Tennessee

Last week’s Conference on Automotive Communities and Workforce Adjustment, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and held at the bank’s Detroit branch, understandably focused a lot on Detroit and southeastern Michigan.

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The Tennessee political pundit who periodically dings me with news from the Volunteer State dropped this jewel into my inbox yesterday about a new MTSU poll (that's Middle Tennessee State University) examining the prevalence of various anti-Obama rumors making the rounds. The birther movement is still going strong, with just over 1 in 3 Tennesseans saying it is "either probably or definitely true that Obama was born in another country." Among Republicans, this number jumps to 47 percent. The Muslim rumor has similarly impressive legs: A full 30 percent of Tennesseans believe Obama is probably

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Now We Know

Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America By John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev (Yale University Press, 637 pp., $35) If one were trying to define the lowest point in the long and venerable tradition of American anti-communism, surely it came in 2003, with the publication of Ann Coulter's Treason.

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Kazan on Directing Edited and with commentary by Robert Cornfield (Knopf, 368 pp., $32.50) If anyone wants to make the case for Elia Kazan as one of the outstanding twentieth-century Americans, there is a famous text to call in support. I refer to A Life, Kazan's autobiography, published in 1988 at 848 pages (it was cut to make it a reasonable length), and one of the most forceful and engrossing books ever written about a life in the arts or show business.

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If I can intrude on Jon's turf for a second, I wanted to add a few thoughts about Phil Bredesen, the supposedly one-time frontrunner for HHS secretary. His non-nomination nomination is old news, but the intense flak he caught seems to have made the Tennessee governor a minor saint for the right; as the Wall Street Journal editorial page writes today, For MoveOn and the single-payer lobby, Mr. Bredesen's approach is unacceptable because government doesn't run everything. In a petition it has been circulating, MoveOn says that Mr.

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The Dirty South

Forbes is out with a ranking of the healthiest and least healthy states. Not surprisingly, eight of the ten least healthy are in the South (nine if you count Oklahoma). My own home state, Tennessee, comes in at 47th. Only 22 percent of children between 19 to 35 months in the state get immunized, there are only 17 doctors per 100,000 people, and 47 percent of the population is obese. On one level, these numbers appear to be a ringing indictment of the state’s two-term Democratic governor, Phil Bredesen, a former health-care executive who promised to fix the state’s ailing health care system.

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Forbes is out with a ranking of the healthiest and least healthy states. Not surprisingly, eight of the ten least healthy are in the South (nine if you count Oklahoma). My own home state, Tennessee, comes in at 47th. Only 22 percent of children between 19 to 35 months in the state get immunized, there are only 17 doctors per 100,000 people, and 47 percent of the population is obese. On one level, these numbers appear to be a ringing indictment of the state’s two-term Democratic governor, Phil Bredesen, a former health-care executive who promised to fix the state’s ailing health care system.

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Departure, Arrivals

Paul Newman Stranded: I've come from a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains (Zeitgeist Films) Let the Right One In (Magnet Releasing) Three kinds of performers appear in films: actors, stars, and star actors. Some very good actors lack the looks and personality to become stars. Some stars, iconic though they may be, have just enough talent to get by. Then there are the actors who have both talent and charisma.

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Adam Smith In Tennessee

Thirty-six hours ago, on our annual trek to our summer residence on Tybee Island, Georgia, my wife and I stopped at a Comfort Inn in Dandridge, Tennessee, a few miles west of the Great Smoky Mountains. For dinner, we ate very well and very cheaply (for both of us, under $30.00 including a 30-percent tip) at a Perkins restaurant. Around us were tables full of contented, obese patrons, many of whom left with cartons of leftovers. A few days before, I'd seen on the CBS Evening News a vignette from another small Tennessee town, Dover, on the other side of the state, near Nashville.

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Tennessee For Clinton?

I'm watching MSNBC, where they haven't called Tennessee yet.  But I gather the Clinton campaign expects to win there, since they just sent out talking points hyping their performance there and in Oklahoma (which the networks have already called for Clinton). just called Tennessee for Clinton.

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