Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Tennessee Taxation Farce

It was good to see Nathan Moore blogging about the issue of the Tennessee executive branch trying to collect more sales tax than it is legally owed. I, too, had questions about the constitutionality of this attempted tax collection, and it is refreshing to see other conservative attorneys positing the same thing.

(Yes, I called myself an attorney there. Admittedly, it was difficult to do, but given my new venture into actual practice, I had better get used to it.)


Yeah, whatever, Governor Richardson

I'm a bit confused over why this "draft scandal" (as noted by John Brown) hasn't made more news.

Yeah, I have a green jacket, and I once visited Augusta, so I have become convinced that I am a former Masters champion.

One has to wonder who taught Richardson how to lie and get caught...


TVA - Another Example of the Government Screwing the Public

TVA sets a substantial rate hike for its customers. TVA substantially raises bonuses for its employees.

So, when those bloated electric bills start arriving in the next few days, be sure to think of how TVA is spending that extra money.


A Tough Week

My apologies for disappearing over the past week, but work has been rough. On last Wednesday afternoon, my supervisor instructed all of the TennCare judges to work the entire Thanksgiving holiday. After doing so, most of us were relieved from our responsibilities, effective December 15th. This has certainly hurt some more than others, and I am thankful that I have been establishing my own law firm for over the past month (more on that later) so that I am not nearly as damaged as some of my colleagues. However, there are many aspects of the whole situation that must be divulged for the public good. As I currently have several requests under Tennessee's Public Records Law that are awaiting response from the Department of Human Services (which handles the TennCare appeals), I will have to wait a few weeks until a full recounting of the TennCare saga can begin. However, be assured that it will occur.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


"Well, We're Comin' To Your City"

Last week, I made a point to purchase Big & Rich's new album, Comin' To Your City. The VOLConWife and I have been big fans since we saw the guys open for Tim McGraw at Nissan pavilion in Manassas in the Summer of '04. As usual, the opener was better than the headliner. Well, I was probably a fan of Big & Rich since they released "Wild West Show" off of their last album, Horse of a Different Color, but they vaulted to the top of my country chart, along with the rest of the MusikMafia (Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy, Two-Foot Fred, etc.), after that concert.

I have been listening to the new album all week, so I feel comfortable in recommending that all fans of country/rock make the purchase as soon as possible. While the title track has received the most attention (probably due to serving as the music for ESPN's "College Gameday"), it might not be the best song on the album. In my opinion, "Leap of Faith" is a better song (with its stylings resembling "Wild West Show"), with "Slow Motion" also shining as an excellent effort. Other strong songs ("I Pray For You," "8th of November," "Blow My Mind") and a mix of fun tales ("Caught Up in the Moment," "The Freak Parade," "20 Margaritas") help make this one of the best and most diverse albums this year. There are a few songs that should get the fast-forward treatment ("Soul Shaker," "Filthy Rich"), but that's to be expected of any album these days.

I have added a link to purchase Comin' To Your City from Amazon on the sidebar.

So if you wanna lil' bang in your ying-yang, pick it up.


Mark A. Rose on Thanksgiving

Mark has copied the original Thanksgiving story for reading. He is right in writing that it has disappeared from popular thought (and, I dare say, school social studies books, as well).


A Time to be Thankful - from Family Research Council

A Time to be Thankful - To God

Thanksgiving is uniquely American. There are of course regional twists to the holiday. Ours consists of fried turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potato crunch and my favorite - sweet potato pie. It is a time for families to gather together in prayer around the table. As you join with family and friends, take time and reflect on that first Thanksgiving. William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth, proclaimed the first official day of Thanksgiving in October of 1621. What were they thankful for? One year after arriving, the Pilgrims stood at about half their original number. Not quite one year earlier they had arrived in New England from Holland after a 66-day journey across the North Atlantic. During that first winter 47 of the 102 Pilgrims were lost to disease and starvation. If it hadn't been for Squanto, the young Patuxent Indian, the second winter might have claimed them all. Squanto had been taken captive by slave traders, but monks in Spain purchased his freedom and taught him the Christian faith. He made his way to England, learned our language, and thence returned to America. He was there to welcome the Pilgrims shortly after their arrival. Squanto taught them how to plant corn in New England's rocky soil. He shared his special knowledge of forests and rivers. Governor Bradford said Squanto had been sent by God to be the little band's Joseph.

We trace not only our Christian heritage to this brave band of Pilgrims, but also our country's solid foundation of self-government. The Mayflower Compact was signed even before the Pilgrims landed. It laid out the ideals of government by consent of the governed and made clear their purpose, "undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith." Plymouth Rock is the place where those Pilgrims first set foot on America's shores. The great French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about this scene. In his classic 1835 book, Democracy in America:

This rock has become an object of veneration in the United States...Does this not show very clearly that the power and greatness of man is wholly in his soul? Here is the stone that the feet of some miserable persons touched for an instant, and this stone becomes celebrated; it attracts the regard of a great people; they venerate its remnants; they parcel out its dust in the distance. What has become of the thresholds of so many palaces? Who cares about them?

Tocqueville was one of the first Europeans to recognize the change that was taking place "in the course of human events" in America. He wrote that religious freedom was the key to understanding democracy in America. Today, there are those who think that religion and democracy are at odds with one another. Tocqueville knew that a firm foundation of faith was essential to the rise of democracy.

Family Research Council is dedicated to the defense of faith, family and freedom. Today, more than ever, that cause is grounded on the solid rock of God's grace. One final note as your family assembles on this Thanksgiving Day. Literally tens of thousands of Americans are serving our country in the U.S. military who will not be with their families. They are fighting for freedom or standing watch over our liberties. Their thanksgiving dinner may be eaten in a tent, in a tank, on board an aircraft carrier, or even in a military hospital. Let's be sure to thank God for them, especially, on this day.


Happy Thanksgiving from the Tennessee GOP

America has truly been blessed and our country stands alone as a beacon that shines freedom all over the world. This Thanksgiving, say a special prayer for our brave men and women in the armed services. They unselfishly serve, so that others can taste the blessings of freedom. Happy Thanksgiving.


Thanksgiving Eve

To get us in the Thanksgiving Day spirit, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to post Thanksgiving Day greetings that I receive through e-mail from various organizations. I thought it might show where certain groups are coming from and how others see the holiday.

More to come...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Liberal Bias? Say It Ain't So...

Since Michael Silence is a member of the MSM who blogs off of a MSM site, I am always fascinated by what he chooses to write about. Here are the topics of discussion over at No Silence Here:

The Justice that stole the Election speaks (Factually inaccurate.)
There is no effort to minimize Christmas - It's just a bunch of greedy lawyers (Of course, most of the Christian lawyers are donating their time...)
Rep. Schmidt implied that Rep. Murtha was a coward (This is not true, by the way.)
Gov. Bredesen is popular (Of course, no reference to the other polls to the contrary.)

If I didn't know better, I would paint Silence as leaning towards the Left. History dictates that doesn't seem to be the case (Michael is an admitted friend of 2006 U.S. Senate candidate Van Hilleary), but it sure does seem to be a trend I have picked up on lately.

(Memo to Mike: No offense intended, of course. Just noting a trend that I have spotted.)


Winter has Arrived

I hope my friend John Brown isn't regretting his decision to continue his education in Siberia - ur, I mean, Boone.

Of course, I am of the philosophy (probably hearkening back to my Chicago days) that if it's going to get cold, it better snow, daggone it! We've been pretty isolated from snow here in Knoxville over the past few years. Predictions are that this year will be different, but I'm a bit skeptical.


Report Backs DeLay

(As I posted on

A story buried in The Hill today focuses on a report by the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity, in conjunction with the Center for Responsive Politics. The crux of the report is that DeLay's public defense - that the transfer of corporate money from PACs to the national party with money then being routed to state candidates is commonplace - has validity.

The study (summarized in a press release here) found at least 30 other Congressmen had performed essentially the same act between 2000 and 2002. Amongst those listed as participants were former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, current Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Senator John Kerry, Senator Hillary Clinton, and current Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

It should be noted that illegality in this case is still unknown. This area of campaign finance law falls upon the states, and a minority of states (23) prohibit the use of corporate money in state elections. It should be noted that Texas is one of the states that has such a ban. Also, the money trail in this investigation can be tedious, at best.

Of course, just because others are doing it, Congressman DeLay, doesn't mean that you have to do it, too...

Monday, November 21, 2005


Did I Miss Something Saturday?

According to the crowd on one of the Oklahoma message boards, I missed a special appearance by "The Donald" Saturday afternoon in Knoxville.

After Rick Clausen's pass was intercepted on the final drive, I got out of the stadium, trying to suppress the string of profanity that was just itching to burst from my body. I didn't even bother to look at the scoreboard, which it seems was a mistake on my part.

Lay it on him, Trump!


Overtime over the Holidays

It will be an honor to guest blog over at for the rest of this week, starting tomorrow. I will try to avoid double-posting on both this site and at Hobbs, so this will be quite a challenge. Let's hope that I am up to it!

UPDATE: The roster of guest bloggers at Hobbs' site is up - and there is NO WAY that I am worthy of being included with the likes of Congresswoman/Future Governor Marsha Blackburn, Kay Brooks, and Ben Cunningham. Talk about being the weak link in the chain!


A Tough Sports Weekend

OK, it was a tough couple of days. Thank God that my Chicago Bears beat Sports Illustrated's Super Bowl Champion Carolina Panthers to take a commanding lead in the NFC North. ETSU basketball looked awful. (For clarification - since the Knoxville News-Sentinel butchered the truth in their stories - UT's Chris Lofton played an outstanding game, Bruce Pearl's defense may be great in time but it didn't have anything to do with ETSU's unreal 33 turnovers, and there were at best 16,000 fans in attendance, not the 21,280 that UT officially announced.) UT football hit a new low (and the VOLConWife, a Vandy alum, is making sure that I never forget who beat the Vols to sink them to the lowest point in my lifetime).

After this weekend's debacle - along with the cumulative effects of 4 awful years of football - and listening on the radio to soon-to-be-announced Offensive Coordinator David Cutcliffe's mastery of Phil Fulmer's lame excuses, I have come to the conclusion that the problem with UT Football did not begin nor end with Randy Sanders. No, an entire change of attitude must occur. It's amazing that a Democrat like Fulmer can be so ultra-conservative when it comes to his profession. In order to save UT Football, we need to look elsewhere, and that starts with the man below.

Mike Leach gets the most out of less talent than anyone else in college football. He is quite intelligent, has a law degree, orchestrates a highly entertaining brand of offense, and might be willing to leave for the money that we can offer him. And we'll need that savings, since Phil Fulmer's buyout will cost UT nearly $4 million.

Of course, no BCS bowls in 4 years is costing the program more than that...

Friday, November 18, 2005


ETSU invading Knoxville

In what will be my only appearance in Thompson-Boling Arena this basketball season, the VOLConWife and I are heading to watch ETSU take on UT tonight. Thanks to AD Mike Hamilton's actions regarding Buzz Peterson and Bruce Pearl, I won't be cheering for the basketball Vols anytime in the near future. With that written...


Thursday, November 17, 2005


What Torture Is

For those who have been screaming that the American treatment of terrorists constitutes torture, I give you real examples of torture.

It helps to realize how fortunate we are to have religious freedom in the United States, for it reinforces how important it is that we fight against those who would take it from us - in both domestic and foreign forms.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Tale of Two Players

There is no doubt that this has been one heck of a tough season for my UT Vols on the gridiron. But there's tough, and then there's tough...

It turns out that Jason Mitchell, the starting weakside linebacker for the Vols, has been playing the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. Yes, that's right - a torn ACL to go with his sprained MCL. Mitchell will run through the "T" for the final time this Saturday afternoon at Neyland Stadium before flying to California for surgery. That surgery will end his college career and, more than likely, his complete football career. Because Mitchell has waited until the end of the season for the surgery, he will miss the NFL Combine and individual team workouts, for the most part ending his NFL career before it even gets started.

Why would someone do this - playing through the pain and risking further injury, all the while killing their chance of playing in the pros? Mitchell answers that question with the following:

"My love for the game. My love for my teammates. I didn't want to leave the way I left. I didn't want to leave on somebody else's terms. I wanted to leave when I felt I was ready. I wasn't ready to fold up the tent my senior year, even though it could have hurt me in the long run, which it probably might. I just enjoyed the time and loved it. My love for the game, my love for my teammates, my love for playing for the University of Tennessee kept me still playing."

I love that kind of passion, that love for the game. You don't see it in many players at the pro level, that's for sure. I still remember Mike Piazza's statements during the baseball strike of 1994, when he said that he didn't understand how people could play for the love of the game (in reference to the possibility of "scab" players crossing the picket line). That's why I lustfully boo Piazza to this day. Mitchell, with all of that passion for the game of college football, knows that this week will be tough:

"It's actually very emotional, because every day you just know it's your last days practicing, the last time even hanging around with the guys. There are times I catch myself getting all emotional about the situation, because I made sure I pushed myself hard enough to play in this game. So this will be the last time I run through the 'T,' the last time I get acknowledged, the last time everybody gets to see me, the last time I get to practice. All that stuff meant a lot to me. Just playing. Being that this is the end, it's kind of scary, but I know it's time for me to move on with the next chapter of my life. I'm still just not ready to accept it."

I'll cheer for all of the Vols running through the "T" for the last time this weekend. I'll cheer for Doug Atkins as his number is retired in a pre-game ceremony. But, God, I can't wait to cheer for Jason Mitchell Saturday.

Then, on the other hand, there is DeAngelo Williams, the Memphis running back that (depending upon whose version of the story you believe) refused to play against a vaunted UT defense this past Saturday. The Tigers needed Williams in that game, a game they by all accounts could have won with their best player on the field. But Williams remained on the sideline. Was he really hurt with a sprained ankle suffered two weeks prior? Unlikely, given his 167 yards against UAB the week prior to facing UT. Was he protecting himself from an injury? Was he afraid that a poor performance against the swarming UT defense would hurt his draft status with 8 NFL scouts in attendance? We'll never know.

One thing's for sure, though - DeAngelo Williams ain't no Jason Mitchell. Not by a long shot.


Wednesday - A Day of Sadness

It was with a heavy heart last night that I learned of the passing of a great man and servant of God, Dr. Adrian Rogers. Dr. Rogers is the former pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis. As I know that Dr. Rogers is now with his Lord and Savior, I selfishly mourn his passing, even with the full knowledge that he is now in a better place.

The obituary in today's Commercial-Appeal is outstanding. If only all of us could live such a life, touch others in such a profound way, and know what it means to have a servant's heart - we should all be so fortunate.

Rest in peace, Dr. Rogers.


Tuesday - A Day of Celebration

It was my distinct pleasure yesterday to make the motion before the Tennessee Supreme Court for my colleague Jason Sams' admission to practice law before the courts of our honorable state. It really is an honor set aside for judges, senior partners, district attorneys, and attorneys of much greater notoriety than myself, but I made every effort to play the part yesterday. As you might recall, I was fortunate enough to have Ed Bryant deliver my motion in Tennessee earlier this year. My other bar motions have been executed by the clerks of that jurisdiction, which simply isn't as memorable.

I would also like to recognize Meryl Keegan and Ying Poon, two of my current co-workers who were sworn-in before the Court yesterday. Congratulations!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Kudos to the Golden Corral

No, this isn't breaking news or an earth-shattering investigation, but it is noteworthy. As reported by the Johnson City Press, the Golden Corral restaurant in JC hosted many veterans as part of its Military Appreciation Night yesterday. The vets that participated were treated to a free buffet at the restaurant my Dad affectionately calls "the hog trough."

It's great to see businesses giving back to those who have served and allow for those of us in the United States to enjoy our everyday lives.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Gore: Global Warming More Important Than Terrorism

Al Gore, former Vice President and current Leftist wacko, ran off at the mouth in Australia, saying that terrorists (of whom we know exist) are not as big of a threat as "global warming" (of which we have no evidence besides a minute data set that may not be representative of anything unnatural).

Is there any way to make Gore an honorary co-chair of the DNC? Al Gore and Howard Dean would be quite the pair - an excellent face for the Democratic Party, indeed.

(Hat tip: Matt Drudge.)


Alito on the First Amendment

Julie Hilden has an excellent analysis of Judge Alito's decision in a 3rd Circuit free speech case. As Hilden points out, Alito comes off as quite pro-First Amendment, which is a good thing for those of us who believe in an originalist perspective of constitutional interpretation.

Of course, the Left will probably state that this is not evidence of Alito's pro-First Amendment views, but instead is his bias towards Christians. After all, the Christians won. Of course, as Hilden writes in the article, the Christians won, but it wasn't because they are Christians. It was because they were right.


Feeling My Age

I certainly love a three-day weekend. That is about the only way that I can have the fun I crave and still have a day to vegetate before returning to work on Monday.

I spent Veteran's Day afternoon and night with the VOLConWife at Dollywood. You haven't been to Dollywood until you've visited during the Christmas season. It's always incredibly refreshing to visit a major U.S. theme park that not only recognizes Christianity and the birth of Jesus but celebrates it. (Compare this to Wal-Mart, which won't be getting any of my business for the rest of the year.)

Saturday was quite the eclectic mix for the VOLConWife and I. From shopping for cellphones (we chose the LG AX5000) to trying on my great grandfather's suits to shooting shotguns to dinner and a night with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra with my Mom and The Undecided Philosopher, it was quite the action-packed day. Thank God that we had Sunday to recover.

If you haven't taken in a TSO show yet, I highly recommend it. Attending a Trans-Siberian Orchestra performance has become a Christmas tradition for our small family, and we added several more converts this weekend. I would post pictures from the concert (which had more pyrotechnics and a better-looking string section), but they were confiscating cameras for this show for some unknown reason. I'll have to settle for this pic from last year's show.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Van Hilleary's Campaign Finance Problems

I'm with Blogging for Bryant - this looks bad for Van. Campaign finance compliance is not easy, but it really looks poor when a candidate who - rightly or wrongly - has been questioned about his intelligence commits such an error.

Van's supporters are spinning this as a misunderstanding or the error of a campaign worker. Either way, it shows incompetence.


Psychosis Sweeps Through the Mid-State

It appears that Jeff Ward at TeamGOP is the latest to join the ranks of the afflicted.

This is the worst UT team in two decades. They can still handle a one-dimensional Memphis team.

UPDATE: Of course, this strange set of events could explain what pushed Jeff over the edge. Wow. Who knew that Corker's campaign was so hard up for funds?


A Big Day in Brown Country

John Brown's blog is celebrating its second anniversary today.

Congrats, John!


Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Don't Split the Ninth Circuit

If you can make it through this editorial without laughing, you are a better man than I...

MORE JUDICIAL NEWS: The Washington Times has an intriguing piece on how the manner of the Supreme Court has changed since Justice Rehnquist's death. For those who are always interested in SCOTUS, this story is certainly worth reading.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Light Blogging Tuesday

I have hearings in the lovely town of Chattanooga, so blogging will be light today.

If you're from Tennessee, watch the Virginia returns this evening. If you are from Virginia, GET OUT AND VOTE!

Monday, November 07, 2005


Virginia Shenanigans

It's sad when a story like this is the headliner the night before a dead-heat campaign comes to a close, but that is the way it works sometimes.

Here's my take: if I was on Kilgore's campaign and (as they've stated) didn't know about the phone ads from the Republican Governor's Association, I'm not pleased. You've run a decent race and, if turnout is high throughout the mostly-Republican commonwealth, you probably are enjoying a narrow victory this time tomorrow. That being said, you don't like rogue elements - even those that want to help you - creating controversy on Election Eve.

However, as a commentator not actively involved in the Kilgore-Kaine race, you have to love the ads. A statewide candidate's own words used to stir up regional support played in a different region where they will go over like the proverbial lead balloon - that's a new spin on classic politics. (Actually, as pointed out in the "Comments" on Commonwealth Conservative, these tactics have been used a few other times, specifically in New York.) In any case, it does prove the point that many conservatives have made about Kaine in Virginia - that he's trying to be Bill Clinton, all things to all people.

Now which Senate candidate here in Tennessee does that sound like...?


The Art of the Argument

Nathan Moore has encountered some of the same frustrations I have experienced lately - arguing with those who simply aren't good at it. How do you know when you are arguing with an amateur? When they play David Copperfield with the facts, your own argument, etc., and are constantly changing tack like a dove flying over a hunter-infested cornfield.

It's a difficult exercise. Dick Wirtz, former dean of The University of Tennessee College of Law and my former professor for Contracts I and a 3L Seminar, told me the first day of law school that you should always pray that your opposition in an argument is ethical but also rational. This was some of the best and most relied upon advice I received during my schooling, because it comes into play more often than one would think. Irrational arguments - often hatched by liberals but certainly not monopolized by them - deal with spin, readings that are beyond comprehension, and ignore well-known precedents.

It certainly can be a frustrating affair, that's for sure.


Final Countdown in Virginia Gubernatorial Race

Commonwealth Conservative is looking at Kilgore's last minute efforts to get out the vote tomorrow in Virginia. Judging by reports that Kilgore is using the GOP strategy employed by Bush in 2004, Kaine has every reason to be worried about conservative turnout efforts.

Commonwealth Conservative, by the way, is an excellent site for Virginia political news. I know that I will be watching Chad Dotson's space there over the next 48 hours to see how the closest statewide race in Virginia in years comes to a close. Who knows what will be the difference in this tight race? In my experience, turnout will decide the winner, and the weather forecast (which can be a huge factor in certain years) throughout Virginia is only for a chance of thunderstorms throughout the day.


Should the TN Attorney General be elected?

I have often wondered why Tennessee doesn't follow the majority of states that allow for the citizenry to choose its Attorney General instead of 5 appointed judges. (Before you e-mail me, the judges of the Tennessee Supreme Court are appointed and then are given up-or-down retention votes, which does not make them elected in any sense as they do not participate in an election campaign as those in states such as West Virginia and Texas.)

Apparently, as reported by the Kingsport Times-News, some Tennessee legislators have been wondering the same thing. Kudos to Bill Dunn and Jeff Miller for taking on Naifeh's strange reasoning for keeping the power away from the people.

It must be awful to be the voters from the 81st District in Haywood and Tipton Counties, with your own legislative representative not believing that you have either the intelligence or the moral fiber to elect the state's top legal official.


Why is this story being buried?

It appears that Tennessee Lt. Governor John Wilder either doesn't have the greatest memory on what he was being paid for when helping push a particular 2003 bill or he lied about his involvement. To me, that's not the big news here. My question is: why is this story getting so little play in the mainstream media at a time when very little else is going on in the state? The Tennessean pushed the AP story off the main page, while the Commercial Appeal and Knoxville News-Sentinel neglected to pick up the story at all for their sites.

I thought it was also interesting that Wilder is now referring to himself in the third-person. Well, it's either funny or a bit disturbing...

Friday, November 04, 2005


Clint Brewer's Latest Column

Clint Brewer has a good column regarding the 2006 Senate race. However, he did slightly misrepresent the military service records of Hilleary and Bryant (if I can take up for my former boss for a second) by not mentioning Bryant's service record. Yes, Hilleary served as a navigator on a cargo plane in Desert Storm for 4 months and was Air National Guard prior to that, but I would put Ed Bryant's six years of volunteer service in the U.S. Army up against Van's experience. One of Van's genius campaign staff might want to inform him that running on one's military experience works best when the chief competition doesn't have a similar (or even superior) service record.

Below is Brewer's column:

Hilleary battles for future, survival
Managing Editor
The Lebanon Democrat

Former Congressman Van Hilleary is in a fight not only for his political future but quite possibly his political survival. He seems rather comfortable despite being locked in a battle with another conservative to be the Tennessee Republican Party's standard bearer in next year¹s U.S. Senate race.

"I think we¹ve got an excellent campaign and an excellent chance of winning," Hilleary said on a stop this week by the offices of The Lebanon Democrat. "It is because I am a sincere conservative. They (voters) know I am qualified for the job."

Hilleary is in a pitched battle with a one-time brother in arms from the Republican Class of 1994, former 7th District Congressman Ed Bryant. Both men are seeking the GOP nomination for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's open seat next year.

And both men have nearly identical views on hot-button conservative issues, from gun control to abortion and taxes. Both men also have high name identification among likely Republican voters and in their own polling are leading the likely Democratic nominee, Congressman Harold Ford Jr. of Memphis.

However, polls have made up the bulk of the debate topics in the GOP primary contest. Hilleary and Bryant have released their own polls over the past year, showing both men well ahead of the other. A Zogby "interactive" ­ or Internet based ­poll this last week listed just slightly to Bryant. Hilleary and his staff dismiss the Zogby poll and Bryant's own numbers, saying their own campaign has more sound methodology for polling that they trust showing Hilleary ahead.

The polling arguments in the Tennessee Senate race are representative of the debate at this point for conservatives watching the primary. With Hilleary and Bryant running lockstep on all issues, the race appears to be boiling down to more of a high school popularity contest. Arguments made behind closed doors and in sidebar conversations by both men to state legislators and conservative activists focus on personal character traits ­- who is a "fighter" and who is more "sincere" in their conservative beliefs.

The battle for endorsements from Republican members of the state Legislature is becoming particularly pitched. Both candidates have taken to working GOP events in the state trying to wrangle commitments from the state level Republicans lawmakers.

Hilleary is playing to the GOP faithful well, though he used up more of the party's resources than Bryant in 2002. Both men failed to win statewide office, though Hilleary's general election loss to sitting Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen cost state Republicans far more in political capital and campaign contributions than did Bryant's failed Senate primary bid.

Part of Hilleary's case he makes in his bid to best Bryant with conservatives is his military experience in the face of an ongoing Iraq war. Hilleary is a Desert Storm veteran. "When we have a war going on with flag draped coffins coming home every week, they want someone who has done it before," Hilleary told the newspaper. "I think we have an excellent shot at winning because I am the best candidate and will make the best senator."


Being the lone conservative voice at The Daily Beacon

I know what it's like to be the lone conservative columnist at The Daily Beacon, the editorially independent newspaper of The University of Tennessee. That was my role from 2001-2002 during my stint in law school. It's challenging, but it teaches you to be precise in your writing, as liberals will go to great lengths to tear you down when they can't attack your arguments. (Just ask State Rep. Chris Clem and his encounter with a snot-nosed Georgetown lib.)

This year, it appears that honor falls to my friend and fellow member of Immanuel Baptist Church, Crystal Humphrey. Her latest column centers on the abortion debate on-campus and what it really means to be "open-minded." Take a gander if you have the chance.

MORE: John Brown (who, since his move to Boone, is now known as the "High Country Conservative") predicts that Crystal is going to ruffle some feathers. Probably true, and that's a good thing.


Hungry for the weekend?

Wow. That's one heck of a sandwich, and at only 29,599 calories, you won't have to eat anything else until Thanksgiving. (For a complete ingredients list, check this out.)

Hat tip: Michael Silence, even if Mike ain't showing the love for VOLuntarilyConservative. It must be my dislike for the KNS and their efforts to have Bob Corker elected to the U.S. Senate.


More on the Ninth Circuit's tomfoollery

Mark Rose has more on yesterday's ruling from the Ninth Circuit that basically says that Hillary's literary village will raise your child, whether you like it or not. Mark even has copies of some of the evidence introduced in the case. Other viewpoints can be found at the Conservative Outpost, the Roseville Conservative, and Baylyblog.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Ninth Circuit: Parents can't control their own child's sex education

The "Nutty Ninth" is at it again. Well, to be more exact, Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the uber-liberal judge of the Ninth Circuit that tried to rewrite the Pledge of Allegiance in the same way that he tried to rewrite the Constitution by striking the First and Second Amendments, is at it again.

The Ninth, in a complete misreading of Yoder, Troxel, and Meyer, has decided that parents do not have a say about how their children are taught subjects that fall under the purvey of a secular education - in this case, sex education in elementary schools. In reading the opinion (which can be read here), Reinhardt goes on to iterate that parents are only one controlling interest in the raising of a child. That must be news to libertarians in the Ninth.

This one is just begging for Supreme Court review. No wonder that the House has attached a reorganization of the Ninth Circuit to a spending-cut bill. It's refreshing to see the House taking this on again, as there was sincere interest in the splitting of the Ninth when I was last on the Hill in 2002. The Senate derailed the bill last year, keeping the citizens of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Arizona under the rule of the judicial tyrants of the Ninth Circuit. Hopefully, the citizens of these states can join the rest of us in the free world soon.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


When is a non-profit not a non-profit?

For someone who has supported the American Center for Law and Justice in the past, this article from LegalTimes is stunning.

Jay Sekulow surely has some explaining to do. I have to admit that I e-mailed him a few weeks back, expressing concern with his immediate support for Harriet Miers only seconds after her nomination was announced and questioning his close connection with the White House. If even a fraction of the allegations are true, Sekulow should consider resigning, as the mission of the ACLJ is sound, even as questions about its leadership surface.

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