An Actual Quote from Ron Ramsey

“But in Tennessee, with Speaker Beth Harwell and Governor Bill Haslam by my side, we were able to raise the exemption on the Hall Income Tax on retirement savings, which effectively gave thousands of Tennessee seniors a tax cut.”–Ron Ramsey, who apparently governs with a couple of sidekicks you might have heard of, one of them being, you know, the actual governor.

Question: If we’re going to rightly call Bill Haslam “Governor Baby,” is it time to start referring to Ron as “Big Daddy Ramsey”?

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Some Thoughts on Prince and Shia LeBeouf

On Prince:

God damn it. His increasing weirdness has ruined his old music for me. I was just listening along and “Get Off” came on and I was bopping along and then… I don’t know. I was just like, “yuck.” And that made me sad.

On Shia LeBeouf:

And Michael Bay and Stephen Spielberg. I am also grossed out by how much of the promotional “discussion” around Transformers III is about what a hideous slutty bitch Megan Fox is. Even though she is not in the movie. And yet, LeBeouf carries on in his personal life like he was raised by Porky’s and Animal House and that’s all part of him being edgy and cool. I mean, I think Fox’s talent lies mainly in being able to make that face where it looks like she’s tired and can’t breath also look sexy, but I kind of liked Jennifer’s Body and I’m uncomfortable with so much of the discussion surrounding Transformers III being about how the men involved with the movie put her in her rightful place. It’s kind of souring me on Spielberg. I’m already tired of LeBeouf and Bay, though I liked watching True Grit and pretending that LeBeouf was named so because it was supposed to be a comment on Shia, which in real life is not possible. Thanks, physics, for ruining everything.

Yuck all around.

More Layoffs at the Tennessean

I’m going to admit, this is a part of capitalism that I just don’t understand. Yes, I know you have a legal obligation to maximize shareholder value, but it seems to me obvious that hollowing out your newspaper in order to maximize shareholder value actually means Gannett is now at a moment where… if we view The Tennessean as now a hollow paper mache egg (perhaps made out of the paper itself) as opposed to a solid paper mache egg, you can stand on a solid paper mache egg (I guess I’m thinking an egg suitable for pinata use) and it will support you. A hollow paper mache egg? Probably not.

So, it seems obvious to me that we are at a weird moment where Gannett is saying “Look, look, there’s still more to hollow out beneath you and the paper will still hold!” But it just can’t be so. There comes a point when the paper gives way and everyone who was using the egg as their foundation is now fallen on the ground.

How can gutting the very thing you’re supposed to be maximizing the value of be good business sense? If I were an investor in Gannett, I’d be pissed that I was being sold this zombie fairytale, this undead thing still lurching around like it’s got life and promise.

Do publicly-held companies not have some obligation to the long-term value of their company?

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I don’t know what newspapers will look like in ten years. But I know imagining that we’ll need fewer reporters as the world gets more complex just can’t be right.

I don’t know. It really bothers me. We live in the state capitol, in a town of half a million people. If you count everyone who lives in the area, it’s over a million people. We need healthy newspapers.