Before there was Dolly …

Sandra ClarkGossip and Lies

There was wisdom in Loretta Lynn’s songs. Remember this one?


They say to have her hair done, Liz flies all the way to France

And Jackie’s seen in a Discothèque doin’ a brand-new dance

And the White House social season should be glitterin’ an’ gay

But here in Topeka the rain is a fallin’

The faucet is a drippin’ and the kids are a bawlin’

One of ’em a toddlin’ and one is a crawlin’

And one’s on the way

I like to hum it when things get hectic because it’s calming to know things could be worse. Take today’s news:

  • Washington, D.C.: The Robert Mueller report is released (sort of)
  • Nashville: The House votes on the governor’s voucher bill (maybe)
  • Knox County: Steve Hunley explodes whatever goodwill he gained by supporting the election of pro-teacher members on the school board by depicting the mostly female professionals as mooing cows and hungry hogs.

Wait! Before you start twitching, just hum a few bars … “Here in Topeka the rain is a fallin’, the faucet is a drippin’ and the kids are a bawlin’, one of ’em a toddlin’ and one is a crawlin’ and one’s on the way.”

There’s nothing to do about the Mueller report. The folks who like Donald Trump will say it vindicates him, while those who want a president named Anyone But Trump will keep looking for fraud and/or treason.

Gov. Bill Lee risks losing his legislative super-majority with this voucher bill. Republicans are split. Sen. Richard Briggs is rounding up votes against it, while Rep. Bill Dunn is the primary House sponsor. The Senate wisely wants the House to vote first. The governor is twisting arms for a bill nobody understands. And it changes daily as amendments are added and subtracted to accommodate this legislator or that one.

The Hunley fiasco is just weird. It traces to the Republicans’ Lincoln Day Dinner at which Lee spoke and anti-voucher folks protested outside. Some think the protesters outnumbered the attendees at Rothchild’s.

GOP chair Randy Pace said Monday that 34 tables for 10 were set but not all seats were occupied. Weekly newspaper publisher Steve Hunley bought a table or two. In an editorial dated April 15, Hunley suggested the parents and teachers in red T-shirts were bullies out to intimidate the governor, who swept into the venue in an SUV with tinted windows and bodyguards from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He described the teachers lobbying against the voucher bill in Nashville thusly: “the thundering herd will moo plaintively while the sounds of hooves will echo off the marble walls.”

Retired teacher Susan Swan is mad. She’s requested that Superintendent Bob Thomas stop distributing Hunley’s free papers in Knox County schools. Swan wrote: “Disrespect, intimidation, name calling and vitriol thrown at our hard-working teachers in writing from a wealthy and powerful man following political party lines has no place in any KCS building.”

We’ll see how this plays out.

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