Alabama and Louisiana — and, oh yeah, South Carolina — may feel slighted, but Tennessee is the most corrupt state in the nation, according to a survey by The Daily Beast.  And it wasn’t the Tea Party Convention or the birthers or the guns-in-bars law or even the notoriously corrupt politics in Memphis that earned Tennessee the title.  The Beast focused instead on a stolen car and drugs ring in Cocke County that involved a former cop and 22 other citizens of the area — and the collective high rankings in fraud, embezzlement, counterfeiting and racketeering.

Some readers may take issue with Alabama ranking a mere 12th, behind No. 11 Georgia, no less.  And does any Southerner really believe that Louisiana, the state that gave us Gov. Edwin Edwards, deserves to be a mere No. 19?

Here’s The Daily Beast’s Top 10:

  1. Tennessee
  2. Virginia
  3. Mississippi
  4. Delaware
  5. North Carolina
  6. Florida
  7. Nevada
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. South Carolina
  10. Oklahoma

More Southern Oddities and Entities:

Feel free to comment, but … The owners of a Florida vacation condo are suing a Murfreesboro, Tennessee, man for libel for his negative comments posted on  In his online review, Jonathan Nicholls cited problems with roaches, ants, dust, dirt, hairs all over the bedding, inadequate air conditioning and mold in the bathroom.  “Tripadvisor is an open forum for reviews, and that’s what I did. I feel like I’m being bullied for my opinion,” Nicholls told The Tennesseean.

Corruption takes many forms: South Carolina Congressman John Spratt, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, has lashed out at the National Republican Congressional Committee for issuing a statement he is losing his memory.

Victim guitars: Among the things damaged in Tennessee floods:  Pete Townshend’s guitar from The Who’s Quadrophenia tour, Jimi Hendrix’s 1966 Fender, the drums Kenny Buttrey used on Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” the bass Lightning Chance used for Hank Williams’ final recording sessions.  They are all part of a collection at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum hit by recent flood waters in Nashville.  Proprietor Joe Chambers told The Tennessean, “You don’t pick up the phone and go, ‘I’d like to order another of the Tommy Tedesco guitar that he played on the M*A*S*H theme,’ or, ‘I’d like another of the bass that Joe Osborne used on “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and all The Mamas & The Papas records.”

More from the party of family values: Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine, a Republican already under investigation for drug possession and facing impeachment, is now the chief suspect in the murder of his mistress.  His attorney says he’s innocent.

Sounds like something BP would do: The graduation ceremony at Hancock Central High School in Sparta, Georgia, was canceled after some students released mice and crickets and poured oil in the hallways.

Not quite as manly as coonskin: A Front Royal, Virginia, man who skinned a guinea pig and wore the skin as hat decoration has been convicted on an animal cruelty charge.

Catching up on Alabama polihicks: Some videos you might have missed …

Dale Peterson does a scary John Wayne

Tim James does language

SwordsComedy does Tim James

We probably need this: Ninety-one-year-old legendary evangelist Billy Graham says he wants to deliver one last sermon.

Check out our News and Opinion Feeds for a lot more Southern happenings.

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.