Tuesday, July 7, 2015

House Majority Leader Says Too Many People Want Nathan Bedford Forrest Removed so We Should Hold Off...and More TN Jokes from Crockett

State representative wants refund for new state logo

The Christian Terrorist Who Vowed to Kill Muslims and May Go Free

It's Been Forty Years, Gerald McCormick — How Much More Slowly Can We Go "Too Fast?"

Citing 'hysteria' over Confederate symbols, McCormick plans to slow down his effort to remove Forrest bust from state Capitol

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick says he'll slow down his effort to remove a bust of controversial Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from Tennessee's state Capitol.
Citing a national wave of "hysteria" over Confederate symbols following last month's slayings of nine black parishioners at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., McCormick said he thinks a calmer discussion is needed, not just of Forrest but related issues as well.
The man charged in the shooting, Dylann Roof, is an avowed white supremacist who posed with Confederate flags in photos. The slayings sparked a national discussion about symbols of the Confederacy that remain embedded in the Southern landscape.
McCormick, who is white, said he intends to talk about the Forrest bust when Tennessee's State Capitol Commission, on which he serves, meets July 17.
"I still do think we ought to remove the bust of Forrest from the Capitol for a number of reasons," the Chattanooga Republican said.
He noted that the bust was placed in the 1970s at a time of reaction against the civil rights movement.
"And unfortunately, Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the great generals, but he was also a slave trader, sold human beings in downtown Memphis."
Often admired as a military genius, Forrest is easily the most famous of Tennessee's Confederate generals. But that comes with at least an equal measure of infamy. Confederate troops under Forrest's command massacred black and white Union troops stationed at Fort Pillow, Tenn., although it's still debated whether Forrest personally was responsible or simply unable to control his soldiers.
Forrest also was the first grand wizard of the original Ku Klux Klan in post-Civil War Reconstruction in Tennessee, although he later sought to disband it. LINK

It's Been Forty Years, Gerald McCormick — How Much More Slowly Can We Go "Too Fast?"

Andy Sher over at the Times Free Press has the story of Gerald McCormick putting the breaks on his efforts to remove Nathan Bedford Forrest's bust from the state Capitol. Apparently, McCormick thinks that things are just too out of hand at the moment, what, with the removal ofDukes of Hazzard from the airwaves and all.
No, I'm not kidding. We can't move Forrest from the Capitol, even though we know he was put there in response to the gains black people had made in society, even though we know how insulting black people who go to the state capitol or work there find it to see a man who was not a Tennessee politician honored in our state capitol when his big claims to fame are making a shit-ton of money from selling black people, fighting to keep the ability to own and sell black people, massacring black people, and then, after the War, joining the Klan and terrorizing black people—oh, and riding a horse real good—because them Duke boys are being unfairly maligned.
The Duke boys are fictional. LINK

The Christian Terrorist Who Vowed to Kill Muslims and May Go Free

A Muslim cleric devises a terrorist plot to lead a group of nine men to attack Christians in the United States. The plan involves burning down a church and slaughtering Christian worshipers.  And these attackers will be well armed with assault rifles, explosives, and even a machete to cut these Christians “to shreds.”
If that Muslim cleric had been arrested shortly before the attack, he would have rightfully been charged with terrorism and held without bail. But when that identical plot is concocted by a Christian minister planning to slaughter Muslims who live in upstate New York, not only is he released on bail and not charged with terrorism, he’s possibly going to walk free.
These are the facts of the case of Robert Doggart, a Christian minster I wrote about in May. Doggart, via an FBI wiretap and conversations with an FBI informant, had revealed his detailed plan to travel from his home in Tennessee to New York state to attack the people of Islamberg, a community of approximately 200 black Muslim Americans near the Pennsylvania border.  He viewed this Muslim community, which right-wing media outlets have long demonized, as a threat to America.
As noted by the criminal complaint, Doggart spoke of his willingness to sacrifice his life to prove his “commitment to our God.” He also exalted his followers to be “cruel” to these Muslims, to burn down their mosque, kill them, and even cut them to shreds with a machete.
In preparation for his terrorist attack, Doggart also met with an undercover FBI informant in Nashville, Tennessee. At the meeting, Doggart shared details of how he planned to build the explosives he would utilize in the assault and even displayed some of his weaponry, including his M-4 military assault rifle. LINK

State representative wants refund for new state logo

A Knoxville lawmaker wants the company that created Tennessee's new controversial logo to issue a refund.
State Rep. Martin Daniel, who represents the 18th district of West Knoxville, sent a letter to GS and F Advertising in Nashville last week.
It's the latest in a controversy surrounding the new logo, which is a red square with the letters TN on it in white, with a blue bar below the square. Some people have even complained that the logo is so simple, a kindergartner could have made it.
Daniel says the the company's work wasn't worth the $46-thousand dollar price tag and that the company has been "substantially over-compensated for its work on this project." LINK

McCormick: TN needs to consider borrowing money to build roads

Speaking to the Hamilton County Pachyderm Club on Monday, House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said the state should consider taking on new debt to build and maintain roads before a gas tax increase, reports the Times-Free Press.
“We have always paid as we went. Some states issue bonds for these things — I don’t know if we want to do that. I’m not advocating that, but it’s something we need to consider before we go for a big tax increase. And it would not be a penny increase, it would be a very large increase,” McCormick said.
Gov. Bill Haslam said in February he would wait until the next General Assembly session before he proposed legislation to deal with transportation funding.
And using bonds was one of the options listed in a state comptroller’s office report. LINK

Just say run: How to overcome cynicism and inspire young people to run for office

Ask young people whether they would ever consider running for office and this is what you’ll hear:
Politicians are just liars.
Most politicians are hypocrites.
People in politics are two-faced.
It’s about lying, cheating, getting nothing done. That’s not how I want to spend my time.
I don’t even want to think about a career in politics.
I’d rather milk cows than run for office.
These are not hypothetical responses. They are the words of a handful of the more than 4,000 high school and college students we surveyed and interviewed for our new book, Running from Office: Why Young Americans Are Turned Off to Politics. Having come of age in a political context characterized by hyper-partisanship, gridlock, stalemate, and scandal, the overwhelming majority of 13 to 25 year olds view the political system as ineffective, broken, and downright nasty. As a consequence, nine out of 10 will not even consider running for office. They’d rather do almost anything else with their lives.
This should sound alarm bells about the health of our democracy. The United States has more than half a million elective positions. And most people who become candidates don’t go through life never thinking about politics and then wake up one morning and decide to throw their hats into the ring. The idea has usually been percolating for a long time, often since adolescence.
In the final chapter of the book, we offer a series of recommendations that could stimulate political ambition and help chart a new course. Here, we summarize three. They are all major endeavors and will require substantial funding and deep commitment from government officials, entrepreneurs, educators, and activists. But each has the potential to change young people’s attitudes toward politics. At the very least, we hope to trigger a national conversation about how to show the next generation that politics is about more than men behaving badly in the nation’s capital. LINK

Crockett Policy Institute

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