Spring “Blessings” from Our Lawmakers 

Spring has come, if you can call it that, what with the more-than-occasional nippy morning, the on-again, off-again temperatures that have been confusing dogwoods' attempts to blossom, and the sporadic rainy torrents that somehow still feel more wintry than not. Even so, let us count our current seasonal blessings. The document that presumably contains the truth about some alarming allegations against our president (the so-called Mueller Report) remains a distant, inaccessible mystery under the misleading cover of a four-page attorney general's gloss. Meanwhile, that president is free to resume his assaults on human dignity, including, reportedly, a new plan by his dead-eyed special assistant Stephen Miller to resume separating children from their immigrant parents along our southern border. (Emma Lazarus and her do-goody inscription on the Statue of Liberty to "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" be damned).

Stephen Miller - REUTERS | LEAH MILLIS
  • REUTERS | Leah Millis
  • Stephen Miller

And, as if to spread the blessings of Trumpism to those of us who are native-born, the president continues to vow to kill off entirely the Affordable Care Act, which he has so far only managed to cripple or inconvenience, here and there. Never mind the consequences for those rascals among us who have been blessed hitherto by the ACA's coverage of pre-existing conditions. They can make do, as before — with thoughts and prayers. There are developments on our state government front, too. Among the bills that have been hurtling toward passage in these last few weeks of the 2019 General Assembly are measures to impose a new state charter-school commission (read: bureaucracy) with the ability to override the wishes of local school boards on charter-school applications; state grants for parents to use in private Tennessee schools, called "education savings account" rather than the justly tarnished term "vouchers," so as to confuse diehard defenders of public school education; a variety of anti-abortion measures, all anticipating that Trump judicial appointees will at some point achieve the specific gravity needed to ward off judgments of unconstitutionality; more end-run attempts to keep transgenders out of gender-specific restrooms; a bill permitting teachers with carry permits to take their guns to school; and one would-be constitutional amendment attributing all these and other splendors of man's domain and God's universe to, well, God.

The legislator who gave us this last one is an East Tennessee guy named James, though he calls himself Micah, after the prophet, something he would have us believe was a suggestion emanating from his personal pipeline to the almighty.

Maybe we expect too much and are ungrateful to the point of ignoring our real blessings like the ongoing presence of spring football and that avatar of the sport known as Johnny Manziel. Wait. It's over with already? Oh, well, at least it's stopped raining. Sort of.

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