Monday, May 16, 2005


Tennessee legislators lining up for "The Other White Meat"

Yes, pork is in vogue in Nashville, according to this report from The Tennessean. I often criticize the Nashville paper because, well, it deserves it more often than not. However, this is a good story, spreads the blame, and probably could have been twice the length and still held the readers' attention.

Like most recent actions, conservatives have to be embarrassed by the Knoxville legislators in particular. Tim Burchett, whom I praised last week over voting against the Pre-K program, has decided that $0.5 million needs to be carved from the government pig for the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, which will "showcase the achievements of African-Americans in East Tennessee." That's amazing, because I was driving around Knoxville Saturday and thought to myself, "You know what the people of Knoxville need? A cultural center that would highlight black achievements in this area. Not a solution to the generational road projects that stifle the city's growth or a revitalization of East and South Knoxville or even a downtown baseball stadium so that the minor league Tennessee Smokies don't have to play 20 miles outside of town, but a cultural center. Yep, that's the ticket!" Of course, Jamie Hagood is no better since she believes that the State of Tennessee should foot the bill for the "operational expenses" of the East Tennessee Historical Society - at a price tag of $2.5 million.

I know they're not conservatives, but I'm having a hard time telling whether these members of the General Assembly are liberal or have traversed to the level where calling them socialists is more accurate. I can't wait until the Tennessee House releases their requests for pork. Nothing is more telling about where a politician stands than where he/she believes that the State's limited resources should be spent.

MORE: Bill Hobbs has more on this story. In particular, he does not like the way that the report makes it sound like all constituents are requiring their elected representatives to push these pork projects and how the report seems to have a disconnect with where the "State's money" comes from. I agree with Bill on both counts.

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