Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A "Smart ALEC" in Tennessee: If you thought all the pro-business laws recently passed in Tennessee were home-grown, think again. This corporate-supported outfit supplies pre-packaged legislation to legislatures all over the country, including Tennessee:

ALEC bills, which largely benefit the organization's corporate members, have been introduced in legislatures in every state - but without disclosing to the public that corporations previously drafted or voted on them through ALEC, Bottari says. More than 800 ALEC-inspired bills are listed on a website,, which was created by the center. ALEC supporters say they simply offer conservative lawmakers a resource when drafting legislation.

Many bills that have appeared to be home-grown in Tennessee have roots with ALEC, Bottari says.

"The public never knows that the bill was drafted by a corporation and approved by a corporation, because that process takes place behind the scenes at ALEC."

It's clear that what is happening, mostly below the surface of the public's attention, is a war for power. The ideological right wing fanatics are changing state law with cut-outs like this ALEC, and doing it in an organized, methodical fashion.

And many of our elected public servants here in Tennessee are tied to this odious ALEC:

. . . former Rep. Joe McCord, R-Maryville, who is now chief clerk of the state House, traveled to an American Legislative Exchange Council meeting in San Diego.

The ALEC San Diego event was the most popular destination for Tennessee legislative travel last year with 16 attendees from the state — 12 representatives and four senators. Tate was the only Democrat to attend the session, known for developing model legislation with conservative, pro-business themes. Most of billed for six days of per diem at the $185 rate in effect until Oct. 1, or $1,100 each. And most counted it as their one all-expense paid trip and those staying for the full conference had a hotel bill of $1,175 plus varying airline fees.
Oh, and those trips were paid for by -- wait for it -- Tennessee taxpayers. I'll bet Big Insurance and corporate America collectively are laughing themselves silly that you and I are paying for the privilege of them screwing -- you and I.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ron Paul has an idea to lower the debt: my thought is that it can't be that easy.

I like one of the comments, from "roidubouloi":

Some months ago I wrote that the American right is now populated by enemies of the nation who are willing to do us intentional harm to secure political power for themselves. A number of our more rightwing posters scoffed (and worse).

When do I get to say, I told you so? Now?

Sadly, I believe roidubouloi is exactly correct. The right wing zealots in the House are playing with fire, and we're all gonna get burned.

A history of air conditioning. Returning from the mega-steam bath that is New York City, I maintain my position that AC is the single most significant invention of the 20th century.