Dept. of Safety: Thugs one day. Pussycats the next.

ScoreboardFirst the Department of Safety came down on Bradley County like a hammer, threatening to “rock Bradley County’s world” with a massive one-day inspection of all the county’s school buses. That led Bradley officials to speculate they were being singled out for retribution for having dare oppose the Haslam administration’s Common Core cram down. (See RTP 4-8-2014).

Then came the Department’s sleazy “magical fiscal note” that killed the open carry permit bill (See RTP 4-14-2014). It appeared Safety was warming to its new-found role as “enforcer” for administration policies.

But a curious thing happened in Bradley County over the last few days. Shortly after the RTP article, school officials were treated to an intimidating visit by not one, but three uniformed THP officers (guns and all) to try and tamp down Bradley’s protest. They promised to talk to higher ups about softening the blow. For about 48 hours school officials were hopeful, then came word back that no, the one-day, in-your-face inspections would go on as expected. Too bad, suck it up.

But the RTP article continued to circulate among the powers that be.  In fact nearly 2,000 political, policy and news media types read the story in just 4 days, according to our crack team’s statistical analysis.

Then, in what could only be described as a hilarious letter back-dated to April 10th, the Dept. of Safety, through the THP, started backpeddling faster than a Frenchman cycling to the front lines. Instead of the massive, punitive inspections demanded just days before, the inspections had now turned into a sweetness and light “invitation” to “voluntarily” see a demonstration of what they termed an “exciting new technology” that could inspect brakes faster than the old way (one has to be quite creative to claim brake inspections could be in any way “exciting.”) All that was missing was the offer of free coffee and doughnuts to attendees (and you know how those cops like their free doughnuts).

Those “voluntary” and “exciting” inspections took place this morning in a shopping center parking lot in Cleveland. kitten 1As RTP’s man on the ground reports, everything went smoothly, with not one person treated for having been overcome by “excitement” about brakes. And not one single bus was required to be in attendance. Quite a turn-around.  Meow. Pur-r-r.

Congratulations, Bradley County. Sometimes the bureaucrats need to be reminded of the limits of their power. Thanks for standing up.

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