Check out my post in The Baffler on DACA here. Other posts: The Possum and the First Lady, Guilt, Shame & the Southern Imaginary. Last month, I visited Cumberland Gap to talk about Predatory Lenders. Check that out on 100 Days in Appalachia.
The government will shut down on February 8, again, if Them Lizards and the Democrats don’t vote on DACA. McConnell promised a vote, but I don’t trust that swollen turtle as far as I can throw him. Essentially, the Dems are fighting for DACA to be written into law by passing the Dream Act. It’s a heavy request for a congress that can’t agree the sky’s blue. Them Lizards went on a retreat in the mountains for three days to figure out what they want, and they couldn’t do that.
The fate of DACA is still undecided, and hopefully, it won’t turn into a pointless fiasco like the last pissing contest. But most importantly, the deadline to reapply is basically March 5. NYT called that date “moot,” but if you’re a DACA recipient and your status expires after March 5, you need to get your but to the USCIS and reapply. Until the Supreme Court rules on the matter, USCIS will take applications even if your status doesn’t expire until toward the end of this year.
Mayor of Nashville Megan Barry got caught screwing her security detail.
I’m going to be really honest: I don’t know that I liked her to begin with. I didn’t vote in the Nashville election because I was living in New Orleans at the time, but I wasn’t shocked to find out after her election that she planned a $250 million soccer stadium plan to bring a Major League team to Nashville. Other shittiness? She got us in the final round of Amazon’s new headquarters which, as I’ve said, I most certainly do not support. She, like the previous mayor Karl Dean, is a staunch business advocate and social liberal. Karl Dean overdeveloped Nashville, made Nashville cool (which inspired my hashtag, #MakeNashvilleLameAgain) and, during his tenure, brought so many Ohioans and Californians to my adoptive hometown that I’ve planned to run for President of East Nashville so I can Build The Wall around the 37206. Limited day passes will be available if you listen to Todd Snyder’s Eastside Bulldog in its entirety.
On a positive note, Barry has created a badass mass transit plan for Nashville. It’s expensive for one stupid reason: she wants to put an underground tunnel covering what looks like a two-mile radius in the middle of downtown. First of all, Tennessee limestone has to prevent that. Second of all, the tunnel looks like it goes from the Capitol to City Winery. Also known as the most pointless $900 million ever spent, ever. The light rail plan is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, though, because I can get from my house to my coffee shop in like 30 minutes. Beautiful. Look at this map:
So, she was caught screwing her security detail. Her son died last year from an opioid overdose, and the affair began in 2016. To say her personal life is in shambles would be an understatement. Since the relationship was consensual, I see no reason to condemn her for getting off. She’s human. There is some speculation that she misappropriated funds due to overtime pay her security detail received and the trips they took, but that’s kind of a stretch. Ethics investigation should happen. Her resignation? Probably not until we find out whether or not the funds were misappropriated.
Controversial Senate Bills
Due to my job in the legislature, I don’t post things I’ve read or seen. These bills have all been proposed with sponsors, though, so I don’t think I’m jumping the gun by talking about them. But I’ll keep this brief. There’s one weird bill that people are riled up over in Tennessee—a bill that would, if passed, ban sororities and fraternities in all Tennessee State Schools.
Alabama and Tennessee have seen a flood of abortion-banning bills, one which bans abortions in Tennessee after “detectable fetal heartbeat.” That can happen as early as six to seven weeks, so you get why these bills are terrifying. The most pointless bill, however, is a proposal to build a statue memorializing “unborn children” set to be erected on Capitol Hill. But, hell, I think they’re planning to move Nathan Bedford Forrest’s capitol statue to the TN State Museum, so why don’t we pick our battles?
Nah. I’m crafting my signs already.
On Friday, The New York Times put out an article on relaxed regulations on predatory lending businesses under Trump. It doesn’t look pretty. Short and sweet, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulations were shot down at the end of last year. Republicans want to relax regulations even more, although it’s unclear how much money these lenders’ lobbyists are funneling into backrooms.
In April, the predatory lending industry will have a conference at a Trump golf course in Florida. Mick Mulvaney has replaced Richard Cordray as budget director. Cordray used strict fining practices on usurious businesses, while it seems Mulvaney likes the lenders and the swag their lobbyists bring (stacks o’ cash on cash).
Still, some lenders have started scaling back their operations under new state laws. Tennessee’s Check Into Cash has slimmed its workforce and plans to shut dozens of stores in the coming year.
Trust the CFPB. Fuck Predatory Lenders.
Hope y’all had a good week. Holler if you want to. Peace and blessings, tell mama and them I said hello.