zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)

(1) Amendment 1 is ultimately a power grab by Tennessee's legislature:

Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.

This is the legislature whose shenanigans have repeatedly embarrassed us on a national scale (cue WasTNOnTheDailyShow.com, Don't Say Gay). It frankly should be given as little rein as possible, especially when it is essentially trying to override the rights to privacy discussed in great detail in Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee vs. Sundquist.

(2) For the amendment to pass, it must collect a majority of votes not only among those voting yes, but also in relation to all the ballots cast in the governor's race. Put another way: this November, it will be important to vote for someone for governor (even if you think Haslam has his next term all sewn up), because each vote will raise the threshold of yes votes needed, and thus improve the odds of defeating the amendment.

P.S. My mood is "irritated" because there are plenty of other things I would rather be working on, and there are plenty of things the damn lege should be working on, such as directing funds toward food deserts. From an article by Shelley DuBois:

"it's important that we talk about how we can do things that are not always punitive to mothers who have issues going on. Sometimes we must also do things that are positive," said Rep. Harold Love.

The punitive law he's talking about refers to a controversial bill the legislature passed last month, effective July 1, that will enable law enforcement officials to prosecute women whose babies test positive for illicit drugs.

One positive step, Love suggested, would be a bill that took a portion of the money the state collects from soda taxes to build grocery stores in areas that lack fresh produce. Women's health, he said, ties directly into resources available in the community.
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
political cartoon

When I was a child, I had a coloring book on the presidents of the United States. One of the details that stayed with me was that of Andrew Johnson being buried with a copy of the U.S. Constitution placed beneath his head.

So, thirty-odd years later, I drove to what is now the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery to pay my respects. I parked at Monument Hill, spent some time with the graves there, and then walked around. There was much to ponder among the hundreds of other headstones there.

Photos under the cut; click on them to enlarge )

Earlier that day, I'd walked around the museum buildings on the national historic site. I was especially taken with the depiction of Johnson as a Greeneville tailor (and budding politician), listening to the locals as he worked:

Andrew Johnson
zirconium: Unitarian Universalist chalice with pink triangle as base (rainbow chalice)
In the Cheekwood permanent collection:

From Cheekwood// via The Athenaeum

His First Vote, by Thomas Waterman Wood, 1868. This image (part of a larger painting titled American Citizens (To the Polls) is featured in a 2001 catalog of the permanent collection. Celia Walker writes:

Waiting in line with the other voters [a Northerner/Yankee, an Irishman, and a Dutchman], who smoke, whittle, or fidget, the African American is the only one of the four who appears to be focused on his task. This is hardly surprising, since African Americans had just gained citizenship through the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1868. The first legal vote by an African American actually took place in 1867 in New Orleans, making this a timely scene.

Also mentioned in the catalog: Jacob Lawrence's The Migrants Cast Their Ballots.
zirconium: photo of pumpkin on wire chair (pumpkin on chair)
Like Mitt Romney, she was raised as a child of Republican privilege. Unlike MR, she derived different lessons from that world. Two quotes from the Minutaglio and Smith bio I've been reading:

[Sara] Speights says, "Molly was incredibly disciplined. I think she was dead determined not to act nouveau riche. She didn't want to be one of those people. She wanted to be a genuinely gracious Southern lady. She made a conscious decision on how she would treat people and she lived by it. People would always come up to us in airports and she was always nice to people." [emphasis mine]

-- Minutaglio, Bill; Smith, W. Michael (2009-10-15). Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life (Kindle Locations 4426-4428). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

As he watched his sister, Andy thought that her success and generosity were almost easy to understand. She had grown up disliking the pecuniary people who lorded over others, and she was determined to move in the opposite direction.

-- Minutaglio, Bill; Smith, W. Michael (2009-10-15). Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life (Kindle Locations 4458-4459). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.


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