Lee speech shorter, but hardly short

Frequently used terms in Gov. Bill Lee’s three State of the State addresses (via MonkeyLearn)

Bill Lee’s third State of the State address clocked in at 42 minutes on Monday evening. That was still on the long side of budget addresses for Tennessee governors, but a good deal shorter than his previous two speeches.

Lee’s first State of the State in 2019 was 5,994 words long and lasted 57 minutes. Last year’s address came in at 5,493 words. But this year’s speech totaled 4,506 words as prepared for delivery.

For some historical perspective of State of the State speeches, see this TNJ: On the Hill analysis of a couple years ago:

A word cloud analysis processed through MonkeyLearn reveals Lee’s most frequently used terms over her his last three speeches:

  1. State (162 times)
  2. Tennessee/Tennessean (157 times)
  3. Year (126 times)
  4. School (71 times)
  5. Students (57 times)
  6. Teachers (56 times)
  7. Budget (43 times)
  8. Dollars (36 times)
  9. Investment (33 times)
  10. Health care (15 times)

14 Responses to Lee speech shorter, but hardly short

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    Mel Russell says:

    So what how long it lasted? Did the content concern anyone? The things that really matter just escapes people. That’s why we are all in the mess we’re in.

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    Not that Stuart guy says:

    Lee’s speech confirmed we’re really good at Covid-denial around here. After quickly acknowledging the 10k Tennesseans who died, he then spent considerable time telling us how great his response to Covid was despite no evidence to support that and much evidence to support the other side.
    Some other nuggets:
    1) Constitutional carry is being plugged as a “public safety” measure. Yeah, right.
    2) The 700 million plus of federal money we haven’t spent on those in need is going to be “modernized.” What the heck does that mean?
    3) He touted his “pro-life” law, but didn’t note it is flagrantly unconstitutional and is presently not in effect.
    4) However, and this is huge for a Republican, Lee opined that being “pro-life” requires more than just being against abortion and put a little money up where his mouth is on that one. Kudos!
    5) 4% state employee raises -highest I’ve seen in all my years in TN. Tucked near the end of the speech and barely mentioned. Kudos for putting it in the budget.
    6) Sadly, Lee once again equates business success with individual success. Millions of Tennesseans are hurting and he ignores opportunities to help them. He paints a picture way too rosy compared to reality.
    7) Typical BS GOP patter putting the good state against the evil Feds.
    8) Way too much Jesus and scripture for my taste. Lee speaks to the Christians and ignores the rest as per the GOP playbook.
    9) He mentioned the integrity of TN’s election system and noted the problems elsewhere were not found here, a credit to leadership. He did not note that his election commissioner tried real hard to limit COVID-related election flexibility and was taken to court for it. He also didn’t mention that if our election was as close as say PA or GA, we’d have been right in the middle of the nonsense. A benefit of not being a swing state, I guess.

    I know SOS addresses are mostly propaganda, but I sure hope Lee and company don’t really believe what they’re pushing on us and the legislature, cause it’s only about half real.

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      Cannoneer2 says:

      Well said. My thoughts almost exactly. I would pour on more harsh criticism of our Covid response (or lack thereof).

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      Donna Locke says:

      I was going to get back on here and write something about Covid but veered off below on the actual state of the state. Back to Covid — I may have become infected with Covid a month ago, didn’t get tested but had the beginning of some symptoms. Husband had some of the same. I slept 20 hours — 14 straight, awake for 3, then 6 more hours asleep. After that, my symptoms were gone. Now I’ve read research that says sleep is important to fighting Covid because of the immune action during sleep. For what it’s worth.

      At this point, both of my children, their spouses, and two of my grandchildren have had Covid. The other grandchildren may have had it but were asymptomatic. All recovered or are recovering. Several of my extended family members have had it. We had one death, of an elderly extended family member.

      My mom passed away almost 3 weeks ago but not from Covid. We had no public services because of the virus. I read part of a Greek poem about Ithaka and hope she is with my sister again.

      My husband got the first dose of the vaccine after our brief illness that may have been Covid. Nine days after the vaccine, he developed stiff, sore neck that hasn’t gone away. Like meningitis neck. You couldn’t pay me to take the vaccine.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    More conservative republicans repeatedly saying untrue things once again. Nothing new there for TN. It does get old. Sounds like a few more years of no progress in our state. We need some new people.

    • Avatar
      Perry Aubric says:

      We need someone who know what he is doing. Lee is still out of his depth.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      You’ve got at least six more years of the Lee administration so why don’t you guys relax and be grateful that you don’t live in some liberal dystopia like California, New York, Illinois, New Jer. . . .

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    Jane says:

    I would like to see more in-depth reporting on Lee’s handling of schools during 2020 and to date. I have confirmed that every student virtual and in person receives the same funding, but we do not receive the same resources. This is an obvious misallocation. I’m pretty sure it’s not just in my county, which is a pretty good one. Let me know if you would like more examples of the ineptitude I have observed.

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    Jane says:

    From minus 10 day, I have asked for more book, pencil and paper resources as opposed to reading a computer. I have asked for LIVE classes with ANY related arts teacher. The last 10 months Lee was so focused on puttin’ them kids in school, he has scapegoated the entire virtual program. I know there was pressure to go back to school, on the counties from the State. There’s no other explanation. The numbers were so manipulated that every time someone challenged them they changed the criteria. Up to the point where there are “private meetings” between the school board director and emergency personnel, who advise him it is safe.
    And by the way if you recently heard that a certain county has fully returned, the virtual program is still completely up and running.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      Are you expecting that the virtual chemistry or biology courses provide a complete Home lab for each student. There are some Hands-on classes that obviously cannot be replicated virtually. Or are you expecting “resources” such as a complete chemistry lab to be provided to the home of every student?

      • Avatar
        Jane says:

        For a third grader, when I asked for a hard copy of the research passage from the workbook, I was told they only had enough copies for the classroom. We did have a hard copy for a previous one. Wih this she did her best work of the year with the reading and a dictionary, no computer. (luckily we have encyclopedias which have pretty much everything they’ve studied)
        This is about hands-on resources and interactive classwork other than complete screen time. Could they not have a LIVE Art or PE class? Could they not provide the art supplies to do the projects they’re doing in school? And for some reason they haven’t even started on cursive, which is in the curriculum for third grade. Also they have had zero spelling words assigned the entire year. No keyboarding class, other than YouTube videos and apps.
        My 8 year old has learned how to copy and paste.

        Notably I was mailed a lab kit for an online college chemistry class over 15 years ago so it’s not completely outside anyone’s wheelhouse.

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    Donna Locke says:

    What’s the percentage of Tennessee workers in low-wage jobs? That’s the true state of the state. What would we define as low-wage? Less than $12 an hour, less than $15 or $16? Of course, some of these counted workers are not U.S. citizens or even here legally, so we get a distorted picture. But, nonetheless, how many more foreign workers will be coming in to compete?

    Our tax dollars are spent bribing businesses to move to or expand in Tennessee as politicians wave job numbers, but many or even most of those jobs, as with GM, go to transplants. There is no accountability, no reporting, on the actual jobs created and sustained for already-resident Tennesseans. In Maury County, we’ve had some lured businesses/industry take our money and run after a year. We find out about this by accident, or we never know at all.

    Meanwhile, every day, I drive over main roads in Columbia that have been in absolutely terrible condition for the entire 18 years I’ve been back here, and even for years before. Gutted in some cases. These roads are in town. Where is our money going?

    I know where it’s going.

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