Tag Archives: Race to the Top

What you won’t hear in Gov. Haslam’s “State of the State” address

For Haslam...a lot is better left unsaid.

For Haslam…a lot is better left unsaid.

Tonight, Gov. Haslam will deliver his “State of the State” address. I expect it will go a lot like last year’s address, keying in on education and fiscal restraint. He might say something about Tenncare expansion, but if he does, it will only be to say we can’t afford to take a couple of years of free money to care for 180,000 people in our state…because, you know, free money from the Feds is too costly when you’re terrified of the Lt. Governor.

Haslam will have to face the fact that revenue collections are $171m short for the first 6 months of the year. That’s a lot of scratch any way you slice it. Perhaps this isn’t the economic miracle that he thought it was.

Of course, lower tax collections means the Governor has an excuse to cut necessary services. Every year he’s been in office he’s directed all departments other than education to cut an arbitrary 5% from their budgets…all while lowering taxes on folks who make their money through investment income.

All of this fits neatly into an ideology that’s centered around the”haves” and “can’t haves”…a worldview the Governor doesn’t explicitly articulate, but one he is a studious acolyte of.

But there’s so much more you won’t hear from the Governor.

Giving our money away to other states

Giving our money away to other states

You won’t hear that his Tennessee plan for Medicaid Expansion is a plan in name only, or that, as of today he’s surrendered $85,000,000 of Tennessean’s Federal Tax dollars to other states because he thinks a health insurance plan based on Republican ideology, and authored largely by the Heritage Foundation, aka Obamacare, is a clunker.

You won’t hear about government contracts he supports with a company he formerly invested in, or that an audit calls that same contract into question, or that when he tried to get more government money for his former investment he was told no by members of his own party.

You won’t hear anything about any of these issues, or the contract he gave to his Finance Commissioner’s former employer, or the contract General Services awarded to Enterprise-Rent-a-Car after hiring one of its former execs.

You won’t hear him talk about his economic development plan that includes paying $100,000 per job to a company that gave over $36,000 to his campaign, and is represented by his under the table paid “advisor” Tom Ingram.

You will hear how he’s running state government like a business…he just won’t mention that business is his family business, Pilot Flying J which is under Federal investigation for defrauding clients.

I mean, there’s a whole page of questions and an hour long special to boot.

But despite all this graft, regular Tennesseans must suffer cuts because a state with one of the lowest tax burdens on the wealthy in the nation must find more ways for them to accumulate wealth so…they will “create jobs” even though business leaders say tax cuts don’t create jobs, and so does a study from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

You probably will hear him crow about education, but he won’t mention the reforms he’s taking credit for were first offered by a Democratic President, and put into action by a Democratic Governor.

You won’t hear him talk about our poverty rate that is higher than the national average, or our jobless rate is higher than the national average.

You won’t hear him talk about any of these things because he doesn’t have to. This is just another victory lap in a life of victory laps for a Governor that likely won’t have anyone running against him in the fall, and that feels he can act as he pleases, so long as it doesn’t raise too much of a stir so as to damage his widely held image as a “moderate”.

So enjoy the kabuki theater that will be tonight’s State of the State address, which will be aired online and on your local PBS station.

It’ll be a doozie…I’m sure.

Morning Coffee – Take it Easy Easter Weekend Edition

Not Entirely Sure Why, but this REALLY Frightens Me

That’s what we plan to do. That also, exactly why there’s a picture of this creepy bunny from the 50’s, well that and I like creepy pictures from the 50’s. There’s so many to choose from!

However, there is some stuff going on around here, so I guess I’ll just have to write about it. Even if only for a second.

Roane Views reports on a Metro Pulse article alleging that TVA Chairman Mike Duncan is behind a new GOP PAC seeking to give some $50m to GOP candidates.

Memphis City Schools get $68m from the Race to the top money. Somehow, I’m positive they’ll find a way to sue the feds next year when the money doesn’t come again. (Just kidding)

Did, you know there were Democrats in Tennessee’s 3rd district? Me neither! Apparently there are at least two. I say we mount a search party and find the rest.

I don’t think Cohen fully appreciates the full comedic value of the TEA PARTIERS. In fact, I’m pretty sure I don’t either.

And finally, wanna know what’s holding up the Bass Pro deal with the Pyramid? Earthquakes. Yeah, the potential for earthquakes. Next it will be the potential for swarms of locusts, or killer bees, or really bad diaper rash.

I still like my idea from yesterday. Seriously, building the largest attractive nuisance this side of Vegas would be something to be proud of…and make people sign release forms for.

Have a great day y’all!

Tennessee Chosen In Race To The Top Funding

From Twitter with a fist bump to Andy 2012 for finding the story at the Tennessean.

A source says the U.S. Department of Education has picked Delaware and Tennessee for the first round of its “Race to the Top” competition.

The source tells the Associated Press on Monday that the states will receive part of a $4.35 billion pot meant to encourage the use of innovative programs to improve student performance.

UPDATED: The Washington Post says Tennessee now has “bragging rights.”

Morning Coffee – Spring Break Edition

Honestly, the LEAST offensive Spring Break movie poster...

By the end of the day today, thousands of students, both here in West Tennessee, and around the state, will be leaving school for the week. Spring Break is here, and for those of you that get to truly enjoy it I say, go for it. For the rest of us who will be stuck here working because Mom and Dad stopped paying for our stuff some 20 years ago, I say, meet me at the bar!

Seriously, I’ve never really understood Spring Break, or vacations in general. Maybe it’s because I was traveling for 12 years and the idea of traveling ANYWHERE just didn’t seem all the restful. Or maybe it’s because I’m just one of those people who has to have something to do. God, I hope I’m not one of those people!

Okay, okay, yeah, I’m probably one of those people…

Coffee please! Ummm, errr Coffee? Uhhh, okay, I’ll just get it myself…

We’re tops in Race to the Top, which is good, because in healthcare it seems like we’re racing to the bottom…

Black History month may be over, but Seattle Slim @ Intersection of Madness is none to happy about one of the honorees. (Kinda over the top, but I loved it)

Unemployed? Now that Jim Bunning got out of the way, the qualifying period for your bennies are maically extended! Nope, you don’t get more, just more time to file. Yes, the world is insane.

More nativism. Are you guys that bored really? I got stuff you could be doing instead…

The Right likes the Nukes, the Left likes Sun and Wind? Somehow, that’s not as sexy as I wanted it to sound…

All you folks in Nashville, Morgan at the Nashvillest reminds us about PodCamp this weekend. Never been, but I hear it’s groovy.

And finally, the Reclusive Leftist exposes us to the best spam comment ever. I think I recognize the voice of the author.

Okay, have a good Friday, and if you’re headed down to some super groovy Spring Break locale, don’t send me a picture of your friend, a beer bong, and a 7′ tall cross-dresser, I already have one, thanks.