Monday, January 5, 2009

Once more into the breach; return to Legislative Plaza for upcoming session is no treat for me

It is with great trepidation, hesitation and constipation that I return for the first time since my fight with leukemia to the state Legislature to cover the beginning of what is going to the most damaging bout of public policy decision-making in the nation -- even worse than Congress.

That is how high the stakes really are from the TennCare recipient to even the affluent property owner in Williamson County. No one will be left untouched by a $1 billion budget deficit. It is only a question of extremes.

I hate returning to the General Assembly for what is going to be a most boring and time-taxing job of filtering out of all the smoke from the fire. It is not that I do not have enough to do with the Music City Inaugural Charity Ball in keeping up with my mentor, the Rev. Enoch Fuzz.

That event, however, is one of hope and patriotism, unity and the coming of the Kingdom of God on Earth.

The upcoming session is going to be one of desperation, deception and downright lying.

I do have friends there at the Legislature, most of them Republicans, who are in power now in both houses. Majority Leader Glen Casada is a class act. The upcoming ouster of House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh and his corrupt machine makes going back to covering lawmakers less distasteful.

Sen. Diane Black of Gallatin is a class act, too, as are her constituents who had me up there to speak when I was a political columnist for The Tennessean. I am proud that I helped Sen. Black, through just writing the truth in my columns -- to oust then-Sen. JoAnn Graves. She never knew what hit her and derailed her incumbency machine.

Rep. and Dr. Joey Hensley is a most compassionate lawmaker. I hope to meet more like him in what is going to be a full-time job when it comes to taking up all of my day and evening. This is not what I consider fun. But it is necessary so that my readers know what they need to know before it happens -- not after the fact.

The governor may even get to see me a few times, something I'm sure that will be of great regret to him. Sorry, Guv, but I did not die over 12 days inside Vanderbilt Medical Center in late June and early July of 2006. I came very close, though.

God and Our Lady of Guadalupe saved me for a reason. And He is providing me new writing opportunities amid a tremendous number of inspired people I am meeting in north Nashville, downtown and through the inaugural ball push -- such as yesterday with Ricky and Sharon-White Skaggs. Wow, they know the Lord.

(Tickets are still available for the biggest inaugural ball outside of Washington, D.C. right here in Music City. All political parties, races and religions welcome.)

So I must follow His will, to whatever mountain that must be climbed.

And the one to the state Capitol building is a most arduous one -- not for the steepness of the ascent but the nastiness at the top.

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