Thursday, February 04, 2010

Mike Turner, coal bearer

There's an old British expression meant to convey the futility of some action. A futile action is said to be like "carrying coal to Newcastle." In the 15th century that English town became famous for its coal mines and export of coal. Hence, carrying coal to a place rife with coal is a monumental waste of time.

Democratic state legislator Mike Turner is carrying coal to Newcastle by introducing a bill to allow Nashville's Mayor to appoint the Director of the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency instead of the decision being left up to the MDHA Board. Turner's attempt is both empty and disingenuous as it seems to suggest that the Mayor has no control over MDHA. On the contrary, the Mayor's Office appoints MDHA Board members, so there is already some control. Perhaps the Mayor should consider appointing board members who critically question the MDHA Director rather than rubber-stamping decisions. The attempt to give the Mayor more control is empty symbolism and a distraction to solving what is wrong with this administration.

Now, if you reject the Newcastle metaphor as archaic, I've got another one for you. Mike Turner is simply carrying Karl Dean's water. However, giving Karl Dean appointment control over the MDHA post is only carrying his water in a sieve. It is a monumental waste of time that fools the local mainstream media who seem charmed by that crap.

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