I am Always Grateful to the People who Lived Here Before Me

My neighbor and her baby came over this evening and she said, “I want my yard to look like yours.” Now, I’d love to take credit for all the cool stuff in our yard, but I’ll tell you, the most nifty stuff was here when we got here. Mostly, I feel like I’m just trying to make the circumstances in the yard as pleasant as possible for the stuff that’s here.

My first iris of the year is open, and I don’t think it’s one that opened last year. It’s a beautiful dark purple. And the lilacs are amazing! I’m really hoping the bluebells spread as they claim they will. And the chamomile is starting to fully bloom, as is the thyme. I’m hoping the rosemary may, too.

And the baby grabbed my finger with her whole little fat hand clenched around it, and she tried to eat it, but of course, her whole hand was around my finger, so she ended up just gumming herself.

I must say, living next door to a baby is the best of both worlds. I get to regularly play with a baby and the baby goes home!

First There is a Mountain, Then There is no Mountain, Then There is and other Random Things

1. Autopsy IV over at Ninebullets has the kind of album review that, upon reading it, a girl can only think, “Oh, yes, that is what’s going on.” In this case, he postulates that Gretchen Wilson’s new album signals that “Nashville” is coming for alt.country.

2. The Professor sent me an link to the awesome gnome census. It’s weird to think of Midwestern towns saving themselves by becoming theme parks, of sorts, but damn, you know, you have to do something. I mean, I feel like you have to do something. Maybe we let the Midwest become a vast prairie roamed by metallic bison-esque combines that make circles around the ghosts of towns we used to love, but I hope not.

3. Speaking of ghosts, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ post today about the Civil War and our necromancy at pulling our dead folks out of the grave and demanding they be acknowledged as something other than who they were is the kind of writing that just shakes me, it’s so good. I don’t know. It puts me in two minds. 1. It’s got me thinking of the kids in East Tennessee who go to high schools with sports teams called “Rebels.” Talk about having your past stripped from you, twisted, and given back to you as a lie. But 2. Doesn’t that make sense of what happened yesterday with the State Legislature? That they would pass something demanding Congress not pass a law that’s already passed? This idea that the past is so malleable that sheer force of will can make it into something that it’s not.

Don’t get me wrong. I deeply understand the impulse to want to come from non-fucked-up people. But no one gets that. You’d think such a deeply Christian culture, as is the South, would be at peace with that, but, when it comes to the Confederacy, they are not.

4. I was driving in to work today listening to Karaoke Blackout on WRVU when this song came on. This song. What can I say about it other than the fact that it exists proves that the idea that pot is more potent now than it was in the 60s is a huge lie. But I am so tickled by this song that I think just listening to it has given me a contact high. So, though it’s a perfectly ordinary song, don’t listen to it if you may have to take a drug test today.

In Which I Make a Prediction

I predict that, in ten years’ time, whatever the new health care reform looks like, Tennesseans of all political stripes will be milking it for all its worth.

In the meantime, though, we have to put up with this nonsense, where only seven state senators will stand against demanding that the State’s Attorney involve us in a very costly and time-consuming lawsuit which we will surely lose at a time when our state budget is in the shitter. When your state senators come to you campaigning on fiscal responsibility, if they aren’t one of these seven senators, they are liars.

Because, let me tell you something–if a bunch of states bring a lawsuit against the federal government and the Supreme Court were to rule (which they will not in this case, but let’s just say…) that the underlying issue is unconstitutional, it is unconstitutional. Not just for those states, but for the whole nation.

This means that we do NOT have to be a party to those lawsuits in order to benefit from them, if they go our way (whatever way “our” way is in this case). So, you can hate health care reform all you want and still take the position that we should stay out of the lawsuits and leave it to people who think they have money to burn to advance the cause.

Wish them well, hope and pray they succeed, but keep our money in our pockets.

But of course, we don’t. After all, all this talk of “fiscal responsibility” only applies to things that affect ordinary people here in the real world. If our betters want to command the State’s Attorney to spend our money to fight this losing battle for the sake of “principles,” well, then, by god, we should open up our pockets.  That’s sarcasm, for you politicians who were starting to think I’d seen the light.

But just when you think that it can’t get any more embarrassing than “We’ll spend your money to give ourselves nothing more than an awesome talking point on the campaign trail,” you’ve got the State House asking Congress to not pass the healthcare overhaul. I will repeat that–the State House voted to ask Congress to not pass legislation that has already been passed.

That doesn’t make us look like stupid assholes or anything. I’m sure Congress will get right on being concerned about us not being smart enough to realize that the vote has already happened.

I have to hand it to John DeBerry for speaking the truth.

Memphis Democrat John DeBerry, who eventually sat at his desk and refused to cast a vote on the resolution, criticized his colleagues for wasting time on the matter.

“You know this is the very reason folks think we’re out of our minds down on this House. Now look at what we’ve down [sic] for the past two hours. On a bill that has already passed in Washington, We’ve talked on it and talked on it and talked on it and talked on it. On both sides of the aisle, both of us are guilty of this.”

Thank you, Representative DeBerry.

Just remember this, folks, when you or people you know are still out of work or working in the only jobs you could find and not the jobs that pay enough to support you, the State Legislature spent the time they could have been spending helping you spending your money on frivolous lawsuits and asking that legislation that has already passed not be passed.

Let me be clear: They did this because they think it will play well with you and they don’t think they you are paying close enough attention to realize how stupid this is. They will say “I demanded that Congress not pass Health Care” and they think you are too stupid to remember that they did that weeks after it already passed. They will say “I demanded that the State’s Attorney take this to court,” and expect that you’ll think this was an appropriate use of your money at a time when the state is so short of money that it’s having to lay off folks.

They are doing this because they are using the time they are in Nashville–which we pay for–to generate talking points for them to run on. These aren’t real issues that the state can actually address (either because they’ve already happened or they’re just on the wrong side of the Constitution). These are campaign issues.

They’re using your money, that you’re paying them to do the State’s business, to generate campaign issues.