A Skeptical Eye At The State Of The State Address

Over the weekend, the TNDP elected a new chair, former state senator Roy Herron. On Monday night, Gov. Bill Haslam gave a rather passionate (for him) state of the union address and he quoted former Sen. Howard Baker who famously once said ‘ … maybe the other guy is right.’

Haslam also said this in a story written by James Harrison at ‘Nooga:

In closing, Haslam charged lawmakers to not get caught up in their own issues and miss the greater purpose for their work in Nashville.

“It’s our job to identify and focus on the real problems,” he said. “We have this rare opportunity to make a difference. I know you feel like I do, that every day we come to work in this building is a blessing and a privilege.”

This morning, Sen. Stacey Campfield filed his infamous “Don’t Say Gay” legislation again this session. He filed a bill last week that would tie children’s test scores in with public assistance which is now being called in some circles the “Starve the Children” bill which made the Comedy Central blog this morning as well. Rep. Marsha Blackburn wants to go skeet shooting (no joke) with the president over reasons I’m not 100 percent sure of.

They are grabbing the ones grabbing national headlines.

A story about an altercation at a Christmas Party between a few democrats last week made headlines (the incident was a month old I might add)  but I have only seen this story by Jeff Woods thus far about the fact that we have constitutional amendments coming up on the ballot next year that will most likely throw the state back decades.

Here is a headline that you won’t be seeing nationally about a group of counties in west Tennessee on unemployment. I realize it’s not sexy and salacious as certain branches of media chomps at the bit to do these days but it is real.

An upward trend in unemployment rates in December has landed two Henry County neighbors among those with the highest rates statewide.

Of the 95 counties in Tennessee, Weakley County ranks 89th with an unemployment rate of 11.6 while Carroll County’s unemployment rate of 11.2 ranks it at number 87.

The rate for Henry County has also risen from 9.4 percent in November to 10.5 percent in December.

Let us not forget that the state has also filed legislation this year to give the state control over local elected school board decisions in the parent trigger proposal (which was filed by faux democrat John DeBerry who took more than $100,000 from Michelle Rhee’s Students First.)

So I implore Gov. Haslam to stand by what he has said to Tennessee last night about facing real problems that impact real people. Speaker Harwell and Haslam both are going to have a long two years fighting back insensitive and insufferable legislation. I hope he backs those words from last night with strong and solid action. If recent history is any indication, I probably am going to be disappointed.