A Discovery of Such Joyous Amazingness I Almost Can’t Type It

So, you remember my nerdy dream to someday take it clear from wool to afghan?  Well, today I had to run by the Haus of Yarn to pick up one more skein to finish my kool-aid afghan and I saw by the door a sign that said something like “Spinning classes start soon” and I asked for information and I’ll be damned if they aren’t going to have drop spindle classes starting at the end of the month.  And I am going to take one and it will be so damn awesome I cannot even stand it.

Some Girl Scout Leader Somewhere, Save Me From Myself

Oh my god, Burpee has got to be the most genius marketers in the world.  First, I’ve begun using their site as nerd-porn when I just need something to switch my brain to, like the question of “How many flowers could I plant in my yard if I had a budget of $5 million dollars?” which is a dangerous question to ask because, at some point, you start thinking “Could I get a credit card with a five million dollar limit if I applied as ‘Beyonce’ instead of ‘B.'”?

And now they’ve just sent me an email with an advertisement for this little device.  And my desire for it is almost unbearable.  But it occurs to me looking at it that I have seen people, maybe even Girl Scouts who fold little square boxes out of paper to put treats in and, if only I knew how to fold those boxes, I could just make little newspaper boxes and fill them with dirt for free and not pay $20 for something that looks a little like a butt plug.  (Not that $20 isn’t a fair price for a butt plug, I’m just saying that this only looks like a butt plug.)

Good-NESS, There’s a Lot Going on in Tennessee Politics

Nathan Moore breaks down how much we’d save here in Nashville by enacting “English-only”–$495 per year.  And that’s only if you don’t factor in the cost of this special election.

Let’s just be clear about what this election is really, at its core, about–can a powerful white man in Nashville still deliberately and publicly fuck over non-white people and have voters either support him or decide that it’s not anything they give a shit about and not worth them voting over?

Also, I see a lot of conservatives giving Moore grief–like he must be trying to run for office or he wouldn’t take such a public stand against this.  And I just want to point out how that feeds into the paragraph above–this idea that, when a white guy decides to publicly throw his weight around, it’s other white guys’ duty to either support him or not stand in his way.  And if said other white guy fails to support or be silent, he must have some agenda.

And maybe Moore does.  I don’t know.

But the other thing is that whole “We Whiteys have an understanding amongst ourselves” nonsense is old and I do think it’s a mindset that suffers from the fact that there are a lot of young people, even young conservatives, who don’t have that implicit understanding.

Crafton’s got to gamble now, because in even 20 years, this is going to seem like such a monumentally bigoted and stupid idea to everyone that his legacy will be as a front for white supremacists.  Woo hoo!  No wonder conservatives like Moore don’t think this is a good idea.

–Speaking of jackass Republicans, S-Town Mike reports that Bob Corker doesn’t think the cost of the TVA disaster should be borne by anyone other than TVA rate-payers.  This sure is convenient, considering that the TVA has a monopoly on providing power to our part of the South, so we have no recourse to make the TVA behave itself other than to either count on our elected national officials–who appoint the Board for the TVA–to keep them in line or to cause the TVA’s bad behavior to so outrage the rest of the nation that the TVA embarrassed into doing the right thing.

And I don’t know if Corker is aware, but you cannot get blood from a turnip.  According to S-Two Mike, the Times Free Press is reporting

Every $100 million of extra expenses for TVA will cost electric ratepayers an extra 1 percent in higher power bills. In the past year, TVA electric rates already have jumped by more than 25 percent — even after a 6 percent fuel cost reduction last week — primarily because of higher coal and natural gas prices.

That’s right.  In a year, our rates have jumped 25%.

I invite you to Newscoma’s to hear about what this means for ordinary people:

What she basically said is that her electric bill in the last three months has gone from $70 to $185. Her latest bill is $245. She knows that there have been increases in utilities and is willing to pay her part but the increase was so drastic that you could tell that there was a genuine state of horror.

“I don’t know how I’m going to keep this up,” she said quietly.

And I have heard similar stories.  Where is a woman like that supposed to scrape together even another 1%?

I think maybe Corker needs to come back to Tennessee and spend some time with the folks who can’t afford to buy themselves into his social sphere.  Does Corker not understand that you’re supposed to aid your constituents when you get to Congress, not make their lives worse?

–It makes you think Andy Berke might be right–“If you’re struggling in this economy, Republicans believe you’re on your own.”

Berke’s an interesting fellow.  His ability to communicate with people through a lot of different media makes him seem like a very viable candidate, but I don’t know if that’s just the illusion of him popping up in my RSS reader or what.  I will point out, yet again, because I’d like to drive a stake through the heart of this notion that Democrats are too diverse to come up with a message that will appeal to all Tennesseans, that Andy Berke seems to not be having much of a problem crafting a message that seems like it might appeal to all Tennesseans.  Is Berke magic?  Or are most of the Democrats still not ready to look in the mirror when talking about what cost them the election?

Which is the other thing I appreciate about Berke’s piece–he does talk frankly about the fact that the Democratic slide has been happening for a while.

I don’t know.  I’ve met the dude.  I found him nice enough, though a hair on the “‘You’re not getting what I’m saying; listen to me.’ ‘No, I get what you’re saying, I just think you’re wrong so don’t try this poor put-upon politician nonsense with me.'” side.  So, I could just have “I met him and liked him” syndrome, but it seems to me a great relief to have a politician speaking so frankly about the state of things.

I don’t know if he can win (or should win, for that matter.  Good god, we’re two years out.), but I do think he’s doing a great service to the State by pushing this agenda.

And I agree with GoldnI that the Democrats need to stop being suckered in by the God, guns, and gays fight (though I’m actually not willing to give up on the gay fight).  I think that this political moment works to the advantage of any non-corrupt Democratic candidate for Governor.  The Republicans rule.  If they pass their legislation and the State is still not fixed, people will notice.

And I am yet again in agreement with Terry Frank, who today was so close to cussing in her blog I almost squealed with delight.  Oh how things come full-circle!  Anyway, Ira Brody sits down with Phil Williams and seems to acknowledge that he’s not clear about when he actually moved to Tennessee.

Now, Frank says that Republicans just don’t have any choice but to put Brody and Wilson in charge of the state finances, that they’re the only candidates (edited to add: Oops.  That’s me misreading Frank.  Wilson is the Repubs’ only choice for his office, but there are other choices besides Brody.  See Pith for more.).  This whole “But there’s nothing we can do.  We’re stuck.” posturing rings a bit false when you learn that Brody’s been taking Republicans to football games all season and, in fact, had State Republicans in a box with him at the Ravens game.

Republicans won because Tennesseans perceived them as less corrupt than the Democrats.  In fact, to go back to GoldnI’s point, because Tennesseans believe that Republicans will stand for more moral values.

I would just point out that giving your friends big political jobs because they took you to football games is not very moral.

I wonder who, over the season, sat in that box with Brody?  That would be an interesting list of names.

One Thing I Did Not Know about the Car Industry

So I was talking to a source in the car industry.  He’s pissed and laughing at the Republican efforts to union bust on the back of the auto crisis.  He says that the unions are a problem for keeping GM viable, but not in the way everyone thinks.  He said it doesn’t matter if every union worker were making $90 an hour and got free pet-sitting.  What the union does that hampers a place like GM is that the union dictates what suppliers GM can us.

So, if you’re building a vehicle that needs x part, depending on the deal GM has with the union, sometimes you can get a bunch of bids on x part from different suppliers and go with the least expensive, but other times you have to just go with the supplier the union dictates, regardless of whether you could get a better deal someplace else.

Obviously, I don’t know how true this is, but, if I were on Mythbusters, I’d call it ‘Plausible.’