Tuesday, March 10, 2015

TN News Buzz 3-10-15

Tennessee mislabels 3,500 drivers' licenses 'Not for Federal ID'

Alexander, Corker refuse to sign GOP letter to Iran

Opinion: Todd Gardenhire could be a case study in hypocrisy

The Campaign Cash That Can Kill the Open Internet

The Internet Freedom Act” is a House bill intended to destroy newly instituted Net Neutrality rights. And of the bill's 31 co-sponsors, all but two of them received money from a major telecom or its lobby in 2014 alone.
The 29 co-sponsors received over $800,000 from AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and their lobby, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA).
The legislation would invalidate rules instituted by the FCC last week that declared the Internet a public utility and disallowed telecoms from forcibly slowing or blocking Web traffic to competitors, or separating the Web into artificial, cable package-like tiers for lower-paying users.
The bill was brought to the House floor by Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and 30 Republican colleagues. In the last year, Blackburn received $87,000 from those Internet service providers, or ISPs, and their lobby, through her campaign committee and her political action committee, MARSHA PAC. This included a maximum $25,000 donation from AT&T. LINK

Alexander, Corker refuse to sign GOP letter to Iran

U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander refused to sign an open letter that Republican senators sent to Iranian leaders on Monday warning that any agreement limiting Tehran’s nuclear program could be revoked as soon as President Barack Obama leaves office, reports Michael Collins.
The two Tennesseans were among only seven GOP senators who refused to sign the letter, which warned that any deal the Obama administration strikes with Iran is merely an “executive agreement” that could be easily overturned unless it is approved by Congress.
“The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time,” said the letter, which was signed by 47 GOP senators.
The White House and congressional Democrats blasted the letter as a partisan attempt to disrupt ongoing negotiations with Iran. LINK

G.O.P. Senators’ Letter to Iran About Nuclear Deal Angers White House

WASHINGTON — The fractious debate over a possible nuclear deal withIran escalated on Monday as 47 Republican senators warned Iran about making an agreement with President Obama, and the White House accused them of undercutting foreign policy.
In a rare direct congressional intervention into diplomatic negotiations, the Republicans signed an open letter addressed to “leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” declaring that any agreement without legislative approval could be reversed by the next president “with the stroke of a pen.”
The letter appeared aimed at unraveling a framework agreement even as negotiators grew close to reaching it. Mr. Obama, working with leaders of five other world powers, argues that the pact would be the best way to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. But critics from both parties say that such a deal would be a dangerous charade that would leave Iran with the opportunity to eventually build weapons that could be used against Israel or other foes. LINK

Firearm bills get TN Senate review

It will be a long afternoon for the nine members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The senators will discuss 27 different bills related to firearm and gun possession, all part of the so-called "Gun week" in the General Assembly
Among the items on the agenda:
-SB: 70: A proposal that would hold a person harmless for storing a firearm in a car on school property
-SB 149: Makes it legal to have a firearm on property used by a school or board of education; it would still be illegal if the property is owned or operated by school
-SB 874: Allows the use of exploding targets. Sponsor is Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, who said this would clear confusion over a recent state attorney general's decision to restrict certain chemicals and items currently found in some ammo
-SB 1171: Allows a gun in a public park, if the carrier has a permit, overriding current municipal rules. The bill was introduced last year. Some cities and towns including Farragut now ban all guns in its parks.
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to meet at 3:30 p.m. Central in Legislative Plaza.LINK

Opinion: Todd Gardenhire could be a case study in hypocrisy

It wouldn't be unfair for District 10 constituents to assume that tens of thousands of our family, friends and neighbors are being denied access to health care because governing is just too hard and too complicated for our state senator. After all, Gardenhire claimed that he himself did not receive state insurance when he voted against providing it to his constituents—a claim that was later revealed to be untrue.
When pressed for an explanation, Gardenhire claimed that he had no idea that he was receiving government-provided health insurance because when he took office, he just signed all the papers that were handed to him without reading them. Apparently, Gardenhire simply can't expend the time or effort necessary to read, much less comprehend, documents pertaining to governing.
In fact, Gardenhire's time in office could be viewed as a case study in double talk and hypocrisy: Government insurance is good for me but not for you, which is another way of saying free markets are good for you, just not for me. As a man of faith, Gardenhire doesn't believe in voting to extend government health care to Tennessee's working poor. However, as a wealth manager for Morgan Stanley, a too-big-to-fail bank that received trillions(with a "t," as in "tax-payer handout") in government bailouts and risk-free loans, Gardenhire apparently does believe in providing massive subsidies to privately owned corporations, like Volkswagen, and then using the power of the state's purse strings to keep workers from unionizing.
Gardenhire was one of the legislative cartel that organized a press conference last February announcing that the Republican establishment was, in essence, holding hostage hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies—and the 2,000 local jobs those subsidies could bring—to Volkswagen in fear that the company might support the working people of Chattanooga who were organizing on the job.  LINK

Tennessee mislabels 3,500 drivers' licenses 'Not for Federal ID'

Some 3,500 Tennesseans who got new driver's licenses Feb. 17-19 at state driver service centers or online accidentally received licenses with "Not for Federal Identification" printed on them, the state said Monday.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security said the snafu was "a printing error," and that it will mail "a new permanent card, without the misprint," to those people, by the end of the day Tuesday.
People who received those licenses will get a letter explaining the misprint and asking them to return the incorrect license via an enclosed self-addressed, stamped envelope, said Dalya Qualls, spokeswoman for the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
"We will mail the letters to those citizens affected within the next 24 hours," Qualls said Monday afternoon. "The new driver's licenses or ID cards will be mailed separately from a secure print farm" in Washington state, which prints all Tennessee's driver's licenses. LINK

Crockett Policy Institute

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