Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Goodyear Tire& Rubber Co. Pensions ?

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company~ Pension$ ?

(GT) Q2: Tire units down 1.9% Y/Y to 15.4M. Segment operating margin improved to 7.7%, from 5.7% last year. Expects full-year tire volume to be 5%-7% below the level in 2011. Says business on track to hit $450M in segment income by end of year, ahead of previously stated plan. Shares -0.5% premarket. (PR) (Read the comments on this) Click link below !

This is a long read, but necessary, to understand. Is Goodyear now looking for a way out of paying our earned pensions ? If Goodyear can, they will ! Goodyear/Badyear can only make money, it seems by screwing the people who made them great. Is BADYEAR and TITAN one in the same ? This writer once felt an allegiance to the Wingfoot. No longer ! I owe Badyear/Goodyear nothing. They owe me !

The corporations don't have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government.
"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
"There is only one thing worse than unanswered questions...unquestioned answers."

Monday, July 30, 2012

Congressman Fincher Votes for Millionaires & Billionaires !

Tennessee Rep./Cong. Fincher(R) District#8~Tennessee

What if I told you that right now, it's a really good thing that you live in Republican Representative/Congressman Stephen Fincher's district?

Last week the Senate voted to keep tax cuts for those making under $250,000 a year. Now the House is getting ready to vote on an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, but Republicans like Rep. Fincher are refusing to pass a middle-class tax break unless the wealthy get a payoff.

The Republican plan is incredibly unpopular with the public, but not that many voters even know this vote is happening now. And the more people know about it, the more Republicans will pay the price at the polls. That's why we need to make sure every voter in Martin knows that Republicans are holding middle-class tax breaks hostage in order to get an extra payoff for millionaires.

One of the best ways to get the word out beyond the progressive base is to get letters in local newspapers. Can you write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to help get the word out that Rep. Fincher is holding the middle class hostage to give a handout to the wealthy?

The House will vote on this early next week, and because it can take a few days for a letter to the editor to be published, we need to act quickly. Can you write a quick letter?

Yes, I'll help get the word out to my community.

Letters to the editor are one of the most-read sections of every newspaper, and our simple tool makes sure that it only takes a few minutes of your time to make a big difference. You'll get simple talking points for your letter and it will be automatically sent to the newspaper you choose—all you need to do is write it in a few of your own words.

A majority of Americans—Democrat and Republican—think the wealthy should pay more in taxes, not less. And 74% of the public does not want to see an extra extension of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. That's why making sure that the public knows about this vote can make a difference in public opinion about Republicans like Rep. Fincher.

Last week, thousands of calls were made to senators, and when the Senate voted, it passed tax cuts for the middle class, without the additional handout to the wealthy. Now we have a chance to take that energy to the House, and make sure that whether we win or lose on the vote, voters know the truth.

Can you help make sure people in your area know that Republicans like Rep. Fincher are holding the middle class hostage so that they can give the wealthy a handout?

Yes, I'll take a couple of minutes to write a letter.

House Republicans like Rep. Fincher are threatening to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage so that the wealthy can get an extra payoff. Can you call to demand that he vote for the middle-class tax cut extension and opposes extending tax cuts for the super-rich?

Representative Stephen Fincher
Phone: (202) 225-4714

PS. Our Two Republican Senators Alexander & Corker also voted NO...They never met a Billionaire/Millionaire they did`nt like !

Sen. Lamar Alexander voted NO......send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Bob Corker voted NO......send e-mail or see bio

Report Your Call

Thanks for all you do,

Don Jones = Underdog

The corporations don't have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government.

"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Let The Sun Shine In !


What's worse than billionaires spending millions to elect corporate candidates this November?
The public not even knowing that it's happening.

That's right -- CEOs and massive corporations are able to secretly funnel millions from their companies' coffers to Super PACs backing far right candidates. Thankfully, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has the authority to expose their hidden influence. But the SEC isn't going to act without public pressure.

Tell the SEC: Shine sunlight on corporate spending in elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court's disastrous ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission unleashed this flood of unaccountable corporate money. That's why we need to take every step we can to mitigate the damage. Add your comment now -- call on the SEC to expose the corporate money.

Thanks for everything you do,

Underdog = Don Jones

" I always turn to the sports section first, which records man`s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man`s failures."
"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
Fiat Lux

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Employers Shifting Toward High-Deductible Healthcare Plans
By Sam Baker - 07/25/12

Businesses and employees are increasingly choosing insurance plans with high up-front costs and low premiums, according to new research from the insurance industry.

Republicans see those plans as a prime example of “consumer-driven” healthcare because they offer a relatively inexpensive option for people who don’t expect to rack up large medical bills.

Roughly 13.5 million people are covered by high-deductible insurance policies — an 18 percent increase from 2011, according to new research from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

AHIP tracked policies that have a deductible of at least $1,200 for a single person or $2,400 for a family. Consumers pay lower monthly premiums in exchange for the higher out-of-pocket costs.

High-deductible plans initially appealed mostly to people who buy coverage on their own, but now the biggest customer base comes from large employers. In 2005, employer-based plans made up only 19 percent of high-deductible plans. That share has risen to 59 percent this year.

Editorial : Medicare for every man woman and child ! Problem solved.

"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


STAND UP for America !

Win or lose in November, there's going to be a fight in December.

Republicans will try to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich. They'll try to keep an unlimited flow of money going to the Defense Department. What's worse -- they're going to try to pay for it all by cutting Medicare and Social Security and by blocking any sort of spending on new jobs bills. We can't let that happen.

Join Democracy for America and our friends at the Congressional Progressive Caucus and say "No!" to any budget that reduces the deficit on the backs of working families.
Republicans have dominated the debate about the deficit -- convincing media outlets across the country that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security need to be slashed. They're wrong. We need to stand up for America's seniors and working people with a plan that will close corporate tax loopholes, and ensure that millionaires pay their fair share.

Read the Congressional Progressive Caucus's resolution and sign on now as a citizen cosponsor.

Thanks for all you do,

Underdog = Don Jones

Tennsseans Being Manipulated ? You Bet`Cha

The numbers are in, and the results couldn't be more predictable - the Republican politics of division and distraction are hurting Tennessee.

Ramsey, Haslam and Harwell  = 12,100 Jobs Lost in June



Tennessee ranked second only to the extremist Scott Walker in job losses last month. The GOP-controlled legislature ignored their responsibility to create jobs and economic growth. Instead they put all their efforts and energies into maligning our teachers, promoting wild-eyed conspiracy theories, and giving special breaks to the wealthy corporate special interests that prop them up.

I know times are tough, but unless we make investments in building our base of Democratic supporters, we'll never be able to get back to a government focused on middle class Tennesseans like you.

Can you give $5 or more today to the TNDP to support our Democratic candidates who care more about the needs of middle class Tennesseans than catering to the whims of the Koch brothers?

I know times are tough, but unless we make investments in building our base of Democratic supporters, we'll never be able to get back to a government focused on middle class Tennesseans like you.

Editorial ; Political donations are part of our problem. Corporate MONEY/DONATIONS are astronomical, we can never out spend them ! It is also a fact, Republicans are not acting in your best interest. Donate if you can ? If not, thats ok too !

The corporations don't have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government.

"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Minimum Wage ~ A No Brainer !

Raising the Minimum Wage Is Cheap and Easy !
Posted: 07/23/2012

There are some policies that are pretty much no-brainers. We all agree that the Food and Drug Administration should keep dangerous drugs off the market. We all agree that the government should provide police and fire protection. And, we pretty much all agree that workers should be able to count on at least some minimal pay for a day's work. The minimum wage is non-controversial.

The vast majority of people across the political spectrum support the minimum wage. In fact, one of the big accomplishments of the Gingrich Congress in 1996 was a 22 percent increase in the minimum wage. The only real issue is how high it should be. There are good reasons for believing that the minimum wage should be considerably higher than it is today. At the current rate of $7.25 an hour, a full-time year-round worker would have gross pay of less than $15,000 a year. This is less than half of what the average Fortune 500 CEO makes in a day. It would be hard enough for a single person to survive on this income, imagine trying to support a child or even two on this money. And, close to 40 percent of the workers who would be benefited by a minimum wage increase have kids.The counter-argument against raising the minimum wage is that it would actually hurt the people we are trying to help by reducing employment. There is little basis for this claim. The impact of the minimum wage on employment is one of the most heavily researched topics in economics. Most recent research finds that it has no impact on employment. Even the research that finds job loss shows that the effect is small, suggesting that a 20 percent increase in the minimum wage may reduce employment of young people by around 2 to 3 percent. While it's not desirable to see anyone lose their job, it is important to remember the character of these jobs. They tend to be high turnover jobs that people leave after working relatively short periods of time. Job loss in this context is not likely to mean people being fired, rather it means that firms might be somewhat slower to hire. This would cause a typical low-wage worker to spend somewhat longer between jobs.The dollars and cents might mean, for example, that a typical low wage worker ends up working 2 percent fewer hours in a year, but they take home 20 percent more pay for each hour that they work. This nets out to an increase in pay of 18 percent, a deal that most workers would likely consider pretty good. In terms of whether we can afford a higher minimum wage, it is worth remembering that the minimum wage in 1968 would be almost $9.22 an hour in today's dollars. In spite of the high minimum wage in the late 1960s, the job creators of that period pushed the unemployment rate down to 3.0 percent. And, the country has not gotten poorer in the last four and a half decades. We have policy wonks running around Washington who seem to think that cell phones, computers, the Internet, and all other innovations of the past four decades that we now take for granted have reduced our standard of living. This is of course nonsense. Productivity has increased by more than 120 percent since the late 1960s. If the minimum wage had kept step with productivity growth and inflation it would be over $20 an hour today.The real problem in our economy today is not a lack of productivity. The problem is that the gains from productivity growth have not been broadly shared. The wealthy have used their power to rig the deck so that most of the benefits of growth have gone those at the top. They have used their control of trade policy, the Federal Reserve Board, and more recently the Wall Street bailout, to ensure that those at the top have gained at the expense of everyone else. A higher minimum wage is an important step toward reversing this rigging. It should not be too much to expect that workers today should get at least as much as they did 45 years ago, and perhaps some dividend to allow them to share in the benefits of economic growth over this period. A minimum wage of $10 an hour would be a big step in the right direction.

Follow Dean Baker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DeanBaker13

The corporations don't have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government.

"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Meet Brad Thompson Candidate for Tennessee District#24 State Senate

Focus on: 'Jobs, Education, and Reducing Partisanship'

Brad stopped by the The McKenzie Banner recently to talk to Editor Joel Washburn about critical issues facing the 24th District. A few excerpts from the interview, published July 17:

"Job creation is a process, not an event," said Thompson, who indicated he understands economic development in rural markets. In regard to education, Thompson said he comes from a family of public school teachers. Legislators should listen to and involves teachers and other education professors when developing public policy, said Thompson. Elected officials are to serve people, regardless of party. Good ideas should be supported regardless of which party supports those initiatives. Thompson said he adopts the philosophy of former Congressman John Tanner concerning good constituent services, regardless of party affiliation. "I am a doer and do not seek to be something, but to do something.There is lots to be done in this area."

Read it on our Facebook page by clicking here Like us on Facebook. And give Brad -- and the The McKenzie Banner -- a "like" while you're there!

Brad facts . . .

Brad grew up on a working farm and still lives on one today. The Thompson farm in the Midway Community raises hogs, cattle and row crops. So Brad understands the challenges of our farmers, including the drought conditions facing area farmers right now.

With the onset of this drought, Brad has been proactively been working with USDA officials to understand opportunities for farmers and express the need for assistance. The USDA designated all 6 counties in this district a disaster, and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced a streamline process to deliver faster and more flexible assistance to farmers. The SBA followed with an offer of help for ag-related businesses. For more information for help through the SBA, log onto www.sba.gov For more help through the USDA, http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=fmlp&topic=efl

This isn't something new for Brad. He has been working to help farmers and businesses throughout this district in times of distress for many years. He understands constituent services.

As Brad says, "I'm not a politician. I'm an advocate."


Get your Thompson bumper sticker or yard sign

You may have already seen our great bumper stickers and signs popping up in your neighborhood. Get yours now by emailing us at info@votethompson2012.com. Or call us 731-281-4144. We'll get yours right out to you.

Follow me on Twitter

Brad needs your help TODAY !

"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Republican Senators ~ Sell US Down the River !

Which Side Are Your Senators On?

Contact and find out how your Senators Voted>http://www.senate.gov/

Yesterday afternoon the Senate failed to get enough votes to overcome a filibuster on the Bring Jobs Home Act, falling four short in reaching the sixty votes that were needed to move forward with a straight up or down vote. Once again, despite a majority of Senators being in favor of a good bill, a small number are able to hold the process hostage. We suffer as corporations continue to get incentives to ship jobs overseas.

All Democrats and Independents voted RIGHT.
All Republicans voted WRONG except for: Collins (ME), Snowe (ME), Heller (NV) and Brown (MA).
Two Senators did not vote: Kirk (R-IL) and Kohl (D-WI).

But, our work has not been wasted ! Thanks to your many events coast to coast and countless actions in workplaces across the country, we are keeping this issue front and center. This is one more step in our ultimate fight for good, secure jobs.

Let’s keep holding our lawmakers’ feet to the fire and let them know how we feel about this vote.

Please Call Your Senators
Dial the Capitol switchboard toll-free at 866-297-3817.

THANK Senators who voted to Bring Jobs Home.
Let those who voted for companies that
ship jobs overseas know how you feel.

"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Please keep up the great work. We’re changing the debate, and ultimately, we will win

Tennessee`s Two Republican Senators, Alexander and Corker Voted WRONG again !

Fiat Lux !

And our two Senators are in the pockets of the corporations and are only concerned with them instead of us working people here in Tennessee. With the Goodyear plant shutting down and Goodyear's investments in China and Chile plants and importing tires into the USA and exporting our jobs offshore, I am astounded they voted this way. Shame on Corker and Alexander! I'm fed up with them and all the rest that represent me !
I received this from R. Waggoner...my thoughts exactly !

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Former Senator/Dr. Bill Frist on Affordable Healthcare act !

Former GOP Sen./Dr. Bill Frist Urges Party to Back Key Measure in Obama Health Law...

But Frist, a prominent heart transplant surgeon who was Senate majority leader from 2003 through 2006, said that's a mistake. The exchanges, he wrote in an op-ed in The Week magazine, are "perhaps the most innovative, market-driven, and ultimately constructive part of the law."

"Originally a Republican idea, the state insurance exchanges ... will offer a menu of private insurance plans to pick and choose from, all with a required set of minimum benefits, to those without employer-sponsored health insurance," he wrote. The exchanges are estimated to cover 16 million uninsured Americans — roughly half of the number of uninsured folks expected to gain coverage under the law, Frist noted. And unlike the broad expansion of Medicaid, which covers roughly the other half, "these Americans will gain private insurance, and can choose the plan that's right for them," he added. "Helping more Americans find and compare the private insurance they need and can afford," Frist wrote, "should be an easy principle both political parties agree on." So far, however, that hasn't been the case. House Republicans last week voted for a second time this Congress to repeal the entire reform law, including the state-based exchanges. And Republican lawmakers in states as diverse as Texas, Florida, Kentucky and Louisiana have vowed to fight the adoption of the exchanges."I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab," Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announced earlier this month. "Neither a 'state' exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better 'patient protection' or in more 'affordable care.' They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care."Frist disagrees, arguing that the exchanges "represent the federalist ideal of states as 'laboratories for democracy.' "The Tennessee Republican knows something about the business side of getting more patients insured. Frist's family founded the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) — among the largest private hospital chains in the world — earning the former senator an enormous fortune. Shares in HCA surged last month after the Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance mandate.

Editorial : Dr. Frist is one Republican, that needs to be heard on this !

"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
Fiat Lux

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bring The Jobs Home ~ Now !

The Senate will take up the
Bring Jobs Home Act on Thursday.
This bill—S. 2884

would stop allowing corporations to deduct their moving expenses when they offshore good American jobs to other countries.

Call your senators now at 888-659-9401 and tell them to vote YES on the Bring Jobs Home Act on Thursday. Even if you already have called, your senators need to hear from you again.

The vote on this measure comes as news continues to trickle out about Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, when companies it managed outsourced good jobs abroad.
And this week, a new report showed Romney’s tax plan would create even more incentives for corporations to ship jobs overseas. Romney is not the only politician, though, who has been on the wrong side of job creation for working families. Politicians continue to support measures that reward corporate CEOs and leave the rest of us to take the hit. Now they have a chance to move toward a comprehensive plan to stop outsourcing and create family-sustaining jobs in the United States. This not only must include passing the Bring Jobs Home Act but should also:

  • Tax U.S. corporations’ overseas income the same way domestic income is taxed, so they do not shift income and jobs overseas just to lower their tax bill;
  • Make sure trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership are fair and benefit working families—not just multinational corporations;
  • Stop currency manipulation by our trading partners; and
  • Bar companies that send call center jobs overseas from receiving federal grants and tax breaks.

Please call your senators today at 888-659-9401 and ask for their support for the Bring Jobs Home Act.

Thank you for your continued support to stop the policies of outsourcing.

Thanks for all you do ,

Underdog = Don Jones

The corporations don't have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government.

"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Editorial : The fact that we must try to pass laws to support Americans, is almost ridiculous ! Yet, it seems we must ! Our Two Senators Alexander & Corker, will not vote for this, surprise surprise. How do you like them now ? Tennesseans ? I just made my call, have you ?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The War on Drugs ~ Round Two !

I Hate DRUGS !

Nothing has changed. The drug war rages on and people are still being arrested and sent to prison at alarming rates.

Tell President Obama that you won’t be fooled. Urge him to treat drug use as a health issue instead of a crime.

Criminalizing people who use drugs is harmful to our health and safety. It decreases access to treatment while increasing overdose deaths, prohibition-related violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne diseases.

Although the Obama administration claims they approach drug use as a health issue, they continue to punish and imprison people who use drugs at similar rates as before Obama took office.

Tell him you want a real end to the drug war and won’t stand for anything less.

Drug decriminalization would remove criminal penalties for people who use drugs and replace arrests and prison with evidence-based health policies that prevent disease, save lives, and encourage treatment for those who want it. Marijuana possession arrests, in particular, are the engine driving the war on drugs. Simply ending criminal penalties for marijuana use would be a significant step toward a health approach.

As someone who believes the war on drugs has failed, you know we can’t continue to put lives and public health in jeopardy. And we can’t afford to arrest more than a million-and-a-half people every year for nonviolent drug offenses.

The fact that the Obama administration has toned down the drug war rhetoric shows that we’re making an impact. But actions speak louder than words. That’s why you need to turn up the pressure on Obama to start practicing what he preaches.

We can’t let President Obama get away with empty promises: urge him to follow the evidence by prioritizing health and safety over deadly drug war politics.

Thanks for all you do,

Underdog = Don Jones r

Monday, July 16, 2012

Medicare for All...You Bet`Cha !

Demand Medicare for All!
Clicking here will automatically add your name to this petition to Democrats in Congress:
"Medicare works, is extremely popular and unquestionably constitutional. It's time for Medicare for All."

Automatically add your name:

Take action now!
CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.
Dear Don,
Despite the Supreme Court leaving most of President Obama's health care law intact, the prognosis is still grim for America's broken health care system.
Republican governors and conservative state legislators are already planning to reject the Medicaid expansion envisioned in the health care law.
This will leave millions of low-income Americans without any kind of health care coverage, in addition to the tens of millions we already knew the law wouldn't cover. 1
And Republicans in Congress are determined to repeal the law — and they might gain the power to do so in the next election.
We need to solve America's health care crisis, and we know it may take awhile. So with health care reform back in the public debate, we need to start advocating now for the real solution: single-payer health care.
Every other industrialized country in the world provides quality, universal health care at a fraction of the cost of the U.S. system.
Private insurance companies are a big part of our problem. And while President Obama's health care law made some positive reforms and will expand health care coverage to millions of Americans, it guarantees customers and profits for insurance companies who put profits before people.
These companies didn't want to compete with a "public option" for a reason — they want to maximize profits and minimize care.
Medicare, on the other hand, already covers 40 million Americans over the age of 65, providing quality care at prices that are much lower than the private market. It's also quite popular and unquestionably constitutional.
We should expand it so that it covers everybody.
Let's remember, when health care reform went through Congress, a single-payer system like Medicare for All wasn't even on the table.
In another example of Democrats pre-emptively caving to Republican obstructionists and their insurance company lobbyist friends, the starting position for the Democrats was a compromise in the form of a public health care option that might compete side-by-side with private insurance plans.
And then that compromise was compromised even further when the Democrats jettisoned the public option.
With health care back in the national spotlight, we can't let the strongest voices be the Republicans in Congress who are working to defeat President Obama and the insurance companies looking to wring as much profit as they can from the rest of us.
If we do, we know how that will turn out.
America's health care system is in crisis, there's no more time for half-measures and unworkable compromises when we know Medicare already works.
Tell Democrats: Support Medicare for All. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:
Thank you for all you do.

Underdog = Don Jones

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Wolf Wearing Sheep’s Clothing ~ Andy Holt- 07/10/2012 - Chattanoogan.com

A Wolf Wearing Sheep’s Clothing = ANDY HOLT(R) of DRESDEN !

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum
 I personally believe a man best known by the name of Andy Holt was the greatest educator of any type who has ever lived in the state of Tennessee. I feel I must quickly add Vanderbilt’s Rob Roy Purdy in the same paragraph and quickly acknowledge I never met General Robert Neyland or many other legendary types from across the state. But I mention the well-known and much-beloved Dr. Holt in an effort to emphasize how crucial and extremely important it is that each one of us who will soon vote must carefully and dutifully study the candidates who are now seeking local, state and national office and whose names will appear on our individual and very personal ballots. Early voting actually begins this week. I use Andy Holt as my example because there is actually another guy named Andy Holt, a Republican from Dresden, Tn., who is seeking to be re-elected for a second term to represent District 76 in the state’s House of Representatives.
Since nobody from Chattanooga can vote for the guy, he’s a classic case why people have to be so very careful. Andy Holt of Dresden would doubtlessly be the best neighbor you ever had but, in my opinion, this rascal shouldn’t get a single vote, not even for dog catcher.
From what I can learn, Rep. Holt from Dresden is a very hard-working farmer whose family sells pumpkins every autumn, whose barn has a Nativity scene in December, and who makes a living raising mostly pigs and cattle. Even better, he earned a master’s degree from UT-Martin, is in the Rotary Club, and is a Baptist deacon. He and his wife Ellie have two of the cutest kids you ever saw.
Perfect, right? This guy comes off like a dream but – if you didn’t know it – it would be hard to imagine the same Andy Holt is tirelessly gearing up to sponsor legislation that would allow horses to be butchered and slaughtered in Tennessee. He believes that’s the way we ought to go, grinding ‘em up into sausage and sending them to backwards countries where they have no problem eating their pets. It’s disgusting and revolting. What’s next, dogs and cats?
Actually, it is far, far worse than that. I’m afraid that while Andy Holt possesses some fine qualities, I suspect he’s also got a streak of what I see as sure-enough evil in him. I’m going to tell you why Andy Holt is – in the opinion of some --“a wolf wearing sheep’s clothing.” It’s called House Bill 3620 and Andy Holt wants to make it a law.
On April 12 of this year, Rep. Holt stealthily introduced HB-3620 that “As introduced, creates a new misdemeanor offense for a person who applies for employment with the intent to cause economic damage to the employer by recording on the premises of the employer and releasing such recordings to a third party. - Amends TCA Title 39; Title 40 and Title 50.”
Very curiously, it was also being whispered by early April that the Humane Society of the United States had sent an undercover agent into the midst of sadistic criminal’s barn in Collierville, Tn., in 2011 and had obtaining paralyzing footage of then-Hall of Fame trainer Jackie McConnell horribly abusing animals, beating one defenseless Tennessee Walking Horse with an electric cattle prod and showing horrendous footage of another prized horse crying like a human baby because it was hurt so badly.
Are you following me here? When the ABC new show “Nightline” aired the nauseating tape within weeks of Rep. Holt’s HB-3620, it proved to literally millions of people around the world the Tennessee Walking Horse industry is badly tainted. Since then, there has been more solid evidence brought forth to prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, an unsettling group headquartered in Shelbyville isn’t eager to change anything about the soring and abuse of a well-recorded half a century.
Further, the “Shelbyville Slime,” as we might aptly call this small but powerful group who dictate “what is best” for the 500,000 owners of the Tennessee Walking Horses, at first pretended horror at the McConnell tape. Remember, ringleader David Howard was quoted at the courthouse saying he was “shocked.” Please sit down, brother! At what, getting caught?
No, I’ll tell you what is truly shocking. Within six weeks of the million-seller tape, SHOW had sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture, lambasted the Humane Society, been vilified by three prominent veterinarian groups, nearly destroyed the image of a magnificent breed of horse and insulted the integrity of the very employers of the USDA – we, the people of the United States of America.
Had Rep. Holt’s HB-3620 been enacted, the undercover agent who bravely brought light on Jackie McConnell and four others (all who have pleaded guilty) would – in fact – be guilty of a crime in Tennessee. My goodness gracious! The most astounding thing about HB-3620 is that it is fact!
Did any other legislators step in the same slime? Well, we know one. Rep. Holt’s House bill was also sponsored in the Senate (SB-3460) by a woman named Dolores Grisham (R-Somerville) and what will really make you weep is that she is a retired Lt. Colonel from the Marine Corps. Don’t you see? This is almost worse than bacteria-eating cancer.
As the summer has unfolded, there are many longtime observers of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry – not associated with the “Shelbyville Slime – who claim they smell a rat. The Shelbyville villains, dating back to 1998 when then-Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) was the first to sign a scathing letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are very eager to use elected officials as dimwitted pawns. The letter Frist signed clearly threatened to withdraw funding if investigations of (illegal) soring were not eased.
The historic letter, sent from Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), contained 13 signatures and is absolutely unbelievable when compared side-by-side to the federal Horse Protection Act, which was became law in 1970. But it is overwhelming evidence the Tennessee Walking Horse industry richly rewards its “friends” on the state and Federal levels.
Understand, I am not accusing State Rep. Andy Holt or State Sen. Dolores Grisham of being accepting a penny from the Tennessee Walking Horse industry but it is well known the Shelbyville Slime gave “generously” to Bill Frist’s campaign the last time he ran.
I find it downright intriguing that Rep. Holt, who wants to soon make horse sausage in the state of Tennessee, would introduce a puzzling bill that would shield the likes of Jackie McConnell just scant weeks before the nation was horrified by an undercover tape. Why would a man who makes a living raising pigs and cattle want to shield a sadistic trainer for a tainted crowd?
The SHOW organization (in Shelbyville) has just hired a questionable PR firm to lobby elected officials like State Rep. Andy Holt. I use “questionable” because it is a widespread belief that anyone who takes up with trash soon gets dirty hands. It the same reason, we have learned, a wolf will dress up like a sheep.
Editorial : Weakley & Carroll County`s The 76th District in Tennessee have elected a Wolf in Sheeps  clothing, no doubt about it. How do you like him now ? Personally I do not know him. Having said that, unfortunately, he`s my State 76th. Representative. We can fix that, by electing Mark Maddox to that 76th. district seat !
"Democracy...is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"!
Liberty...is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
Fiat Lux