Thursday, July 26, 2007
Democrats showing poor campaign strategy?
Perhaps the DSCC has some internal polling that shows something that none of the rest of us know, but this seems as errant as a SCUD missile. I simply can't see a veteran like McConnell getting knocked off in Kentucky with Hillary Clinton on the top of the ticket. Just ain't gonna happen.
To make the decision even better, the Democrats still have to run a primary to see who faces McConnell in 2008, and there are multiple candidates there. Plus, they are fundraising for their gubernatorial campaign that is currently ongoing. (And if they fail in picking off embattled Governor Ernie Fletcher, then they need to give up entirely.)
Of course, the Democrats are still reveling in their 2006 victories and might have enough money to throw around so haphazardly. It just seems to me that it would be better off buying Al Franken a brain in the politically unique state of Minnesota instead of challenging Mitch McConnell in the Bluegrass State.
Labels: 2008 Senate Races
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Liveblogging the move?
But we are closing today and moving over the next 24 hours, so VOLCon will have to wait.
Hopefully, everything will be back to normal by Wednesday evening. I look to provide a few more pictures of our new surroundings then, too.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Sad but True
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Key to U.S. Senate in 2008 could be New Hampshire
I think Senator John Sununu has done a fair job, but he may have trouble on his hands if Harvard Institute of Politics Director Jeanne Shaheen gets into the race. Early polls (which tend to be poor indicators of success, mind you) show Shaheen with a double-digit lead in a hypothetical race against Sununu.
The Republicans couldn't stand to lose any of their existing seats if they have any plans on being in the Majority come 2009.
Labels: 2008 Senate Races
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Cobb Liveblogging the Senate All-Nighter
It's a good read. Even though Sharon and I are basically in agreement on our troops in Iraq (my position has been and currently is that we should have removed Hussein and then come home, so we are in agreement that our troops should not be in Iraq at this time), you do need to read her comments with a bit of a filter. She really doesn't like those Senators who would vote to keep our troops in Iraq.
My position is a bit different because I come from the perspective that we were in a no-win situation from the beginning. Come home and the region potentially explodes into a regional turf war. Stay, become an occupying force, and lose thousands of troops with no real endgame. Both of those options are losers, so I can't fault someone with an opposing loser viewpoint just because they chose the loser viewpoint different from my loser viewpoint.
The Senate should vote on the measure some time this morning. I predict that it will fail in a vote closer than most pundits expect. Of course, it's practically moot anyway, as the bill awaits certain veto from President Bush.
Let's be honest - this is political posturing by the Democrats as the presidential campaign gears up. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
"Great Hair, John."
Bush's and Clinton's - Political Soul Mates?
I don't know. Certainly some good evidence to connect the two - both anecdotal and actual - but it certainly seems a bit of a stretch on its face.
Ghandi the PC Geek
Dear Norton AntiVirus,
I have recently installed updates to your products and wish to inform you that your product can kiss my ass.
And in Comments:
I got to speak with “Ghandi” too, and my conversation was basically an echo. I had to ask him to repeat everything he said because I could barely understand him. Being rather tech savvy and IT certified, this wasn’t a killer obstacle for me but was pretty frustrating. Naturally, his solution didn’t work He suggested I wait 24-hrs and try again. Fat chance.
If you've ever had to contact Norton's tech support (which is all housed out of their office overlooking the Bay of Bengal), you know this to be the truth.
Help with my Laundry
Anyone have any experience that might help us?
The last pair that I purchased from Best Buy are staying with the soon-to-be old house.
I am intrigued about the amount of water and electricity saved by the Bosch model. It seems very eco-friendly. Anyone know where Al Gore stands on this choice?
Harry Potter and Ocean's 13
In any case, we saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix first. It was a decent movie, exploring the pressures that Harry is facing at such a young age. However, it wasn't the best of this series of movies. In fact, I would rate it right in the middle, behind the 4th and 2nd installments and ahead of the 1st and 3rd films. Of course, that is a bit harsh since this is obviously a set-up for things to come. I expect great things out of the 6th movie, which is slated for release in November of 2008. Also, this movie really interjects the evils of politics into the storyline, as the truth is put down by a overbearing political administration. So that was a bit interesting, for sure. Overall, I gave it a 6.7 - which is certainly above my average rating but not in line with what one would expect for a movie that might gross $1 billion worldwide.
The second film, Ocean's 13, was better than Harry Potter and certainly much better than Ocean's 12. Good acting, good plot (which I'm not going to give away here), and not so many ridiculous twists that you wonder which of these films was really about magic and which was based in reality. Overall, I gave it a 8.1.
Blackburn's 1st TeleTownhall to be held Tuesday Night
Here is the press release:
Blackburn Tele Town Hall Coming to Your Town
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Representative Marsha Blackburn's (R-TN) will hold a series of telephone town halls over the next two weeks with residents of Tennessee's 7th Congressional District. She will be updating her constituents on the latest legislation facing Congress and getting feedback on issues that are the most important to our community. Calls will be made to the residents of the 7th district and they will be asked to participate by telephone.
The Teletown Halls are scheduled as follows:
Tuesday, July 17 - 6:15 pm CDT
Shelby County and Memphis Metro Area
Thursday, July 19 - 6:00pm CDT
Williamson and Davidson Counties
Tuesday, July 24 - 6:15 pm CDT
Fayette, Hardeman, McNairy, Hardin, Chester, Henderson and Decatur Counties
Thursday, July 26 - 6:00 pm CDT
Montgomery, Cheatham, Hickman, Perry and Wayne counties.
Divorce Law is not the Major Cause of the Increase in Divorce over the past 50 Years
A study by the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy (IMAPP) shows that the creation of no-fault divorce laws in a given state only results in a 10% increase in divorce rates over the next decade. However, forces such as increased selectivity by young singles and knowledge of the system eventually cause a correction in that increase after ten years pass.
MSNBC has a short piece on the study. It's quite interesting and shows that fault divorce - which has been around for ages and is primarily rooted in adultery and cheating spouses - is still the primary vehicle for the destruction of families today.
The Huddleston's are on the move
RIP, Joann Cheek
My deepest sympathies are passed to the entire Cheek family. They are in my prayers.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Interesting Tidbit in the Fight Against Earmarks
Of those 42, four are from Tennessee - Marsha Blackburn, David Davis, Jimmy Duncan, and Jim Cooper.
The lone Tennessee Republican not accounted for in the fight against earmarks is Zach Wamp. Interesting, I thought.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Update on the Baby Front
Since Angela is at 16 weeks (as of this past Sunday), we decided to take a gander during the ultrasound to determine if we could detect the sex of the new addition. And...
We are thrilled, of course. I'm sure that other members of the family have mixed emotions. My parents were hoping for a girl, as all of the offspring of this generation have been boys. My paternal grandfather - who was big into genealogy - had wanted me to have a son for some time now, as it was the only chance for the family name to continue (as I am the only grandson). I think my sister wanted us to have a boy because she has two herself. Angela's parents just wanted a grandbaby - no preference as to gender - as our children are the only grandkids they will have.
The funny thing is that Angela and I have always wanted a boy. However, knowing that the Lord works in his own time, we almost expected a girl because it seemed that was what most everyone else wanted. Also, all of our friends and colleagues due within the next few months are having girls, so we kinda figured that we would be much the same way. For the past two months, we have been resigned to the fact that this baby was a girl. I guess you could say that we are a bit shocked at the news. But pleasantly so, of course.
Now comes the great name debate. We had worked solely on girl's names since May, narrowing it down to eight of them. Boys names? Not really sure. As Angela puts it, the first item of business is whether or not there will be a "Robert L. Huddleston, IV" or not. I'm not sure. I like the idea, but I want the "L" to be a different "L." The question is: does that constitute a "IV" if what the "L" stands for changes? Most people say "no." I say "show we the written rules."
Anyway, just thought I would share the news...
Monday, July 09, 2007
More Bad Science from Al Gore
Reisman takes apart Gore's recent op-ed in the New York Times in this piece over at LewRockwell.com.
Anyone who is looking to Al Gore for scientific knowledge is in worse shape than one of the masses who turns to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for the news. At least the boys at Comedy Central provide some semblance of intellectual honesty with most of their comedy routines. Gore, on the other hand, is, as Reisman posits, either oblivious to the science about which he is preaching or making this stuff up as he goes along.
"The Other Man" of a Cheating Wife Gets Sued in Illinois
I'll let the story speak for itself, but you may find it interesting that the 8 states which still have valid alienation of affections laws are Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.
A Busy Few Days
Over the weekend, I was also able to attend the NHRA drag races at Thunder Valley in Bristol, Tennessee, play in a golf benefit near Blountville (where our team of three shot a 65 in a four-ball event), and participate in a BBQ at Bays Mountain in Kingsport.
Lots of work. Lots of play.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Robin Smith to Seek Tennessee GOP Chair
At 10:35 this morning, I received word that current Vice-Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, Robin Smith, was throwing her hat in the ring in an effort of being named the next Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party.
Robin is very popular with the members of the State Executive Committee, so one has to consider her one of the favorites for the position.
Labels: TN GOP
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Blackburn Talks Illegal Immigration
Blackburn Consults Local Sheriffs to Combat Illegal Immigration
Henderson, TN -- Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) met today with several members of Tennessee's law enforcement community, including sheriffs of eight West Tennessee counties to discuss the availability of federal funding and programs to aid local law enforcement in the fight against illegal immigration.
"Illegal immigration is not an issue that only affects the large cities, but also has tremendous impact on the rural areas of the Country. We are living at a time when all states are border states, and all towns are border towns," said Blackburn
The two programs Blackburn highlighted today are the SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistant Program) and the 287g waiver. The SCAAP program provides for direct federal dollars to offset the cost of housing captured illegal immigrants, while the 287g program allows local law enforcement to tap into federal resources and training.
"One of the ways we can lead in Congress is to keep our constituents up to date with the latest information and provide tools that are critical to fighting illegal immigration. One of my top priorities is to make sure we are an active partner in the fight to keep our communities safe."
Al Gore's Son Caught Harming the Environment
An AP headline that just crossed the wire:
Al Gore's Son Arrested on Drug Suspicion
A few thoughts:
1) What is Al Gore, Jr.'s reaction to a report of his son burning something that might be adding waste products to the atmosphere?
2) Is all forgiven because Gore, III was caught in a Prius?
3) Wait a minute - Al Gore, III got a Toyota Prius up to 100 miles per hour?!?! Was he being towed by a car with a real engine or a low-flying jet?
4) In all seriousness (ignoring the fun above), my thoughts and prayers go out to Al, Jr. and Tipper. They have some tough decisions ahead with how to deal with this problem (not Al, III's first, by the way), and with celebrity rehab being more chic than helpful, the options are limited.
Labels: Al Gore
Update on TN GOP Chairman - Smith Exploring Options
Today's Chattanooga Times Free Press seems to indicate that I am correct in my suspicions. After some time to reflect and pray on the matter, I think you'll see Robin as a serious and formidable contender for the position.
On other fronts, my phone rang off the hook yesterday. I have yet to speak with any State Executive Committee member who endorses the idea of Van Hilleary as Chairman, although it is clear that Van likes the idea. I haven't heard one way or the other on Ed Bryant, and I'm waiting until tomorrow to contact him so that he can spend the 4th with his family. As was noted yesterday, Jim Bryson isn't a candidate for the position.
Several legislators are looking at running, and it is my position that they should not run unless they are willing to resign their elected position. My objection is two-fold.
First, there are the new ethics laws. Bob Davis addressed this yesterday in the conference call, referencing the limited role that Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey was able to play in the Statesman's Dinner this past year. Rep. Campfield says that the Ethics Commission believes that the Party Chair could raise funds during the legislative session. I don't see how they can read T.C.A. Sec. 2-10-310(a)(1) and come to that conclusion. My disagreement on that point is noted and, like their opinion, worthless. While the Commission would first hear the case, they are not the final arbiter of the issue. A case brought by the Democrats seeking to hurt the GOP in Fred Thompson's home state would eventually end up in the courts. It would be that judge's opinion (more than likely a chancellor in Davidson County, whom, if memory serves, are all Democrats) that would matter. Is that a route that Republicans want to take in an important election year that could be the most important for the Party at the state and national level in recent history?
Second, I have a beef with legislators wanting to hold a full-time job - heck, it's more than a full-time job - as Chairman and continue to serve in the legislature. As one grassroots activist said to me yesterday, our legislators haven't passed one bill of consequence for conservatives this entire past session. As that activist put it, the legislators need to work on being better legislators before they try to add running an entire state political party to their list of responsibilities. I might not be that harsh, but you have to remember that these people who are so led to serve in the legislature are also husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, church members, community activists, entrepreneurs - and the list goes on and on. It's hard to be excellent at all of those roles, and it just seems a bit audacious to try to add Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party to all of that when there are others who are less burdened.
That being said, people are going to do what they are going to do. If Bill Dunn - who has been rumored to be interested - decides that he is being led to be Chairman and resigns his position in the legislature, I am announcing here and now that I will be a candidate to take his seat in the State House.
In any case, this is going to be an interesting month for our Party.
Labels: TN GOP
I liked this post about the sources of liberty so much that I decided to reprint it from last year. Enjoy!
We often see photographs of the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington, D.C. That's all well and good, but it's my opinion that we don't see the photograph of "the real thing" nearly enough.
This from the Family Research Council:
What's So Glorious about the Glorious Fourth?
And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty
II Corinthians 3:17
Everyone should be a patriot. Whatever your country, whoever your people are, you should love your land and love your countrymen. And where does this love of country begin? That great English friend of liberty, Edmund Burke, said it began in the home. "We begin our public affections in our families No cold relation is a zealous citizen." So it's not surprising that we who stress the importance of the family in American life also foster the celebration of patriotism. Many countries have beautiful vistas, grand architecture, and stunning achievements to celebrate. As Christians in America, we have all that and more. We have liberty. The great contests of today are all about liberty. For some, liberty means they can burn a flag or put a virtual picture of an unclothed minor on the Internet. They think liberty means they can end a pregnancy or end a marriage--on demand. We hold to an older view of liberty. We believe that we are all created equal. And we believe that our Creator is the one who endows us with our natural rights. Today, that belief is challenged. In Europe, in Canada, and in America, a different view of human rights is advanced. This view says that our rights are those--and only those--that we as a human community can agree upon.
Thomas Jefferson did not agree with the modern thought of "rights". He said "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time." America's Founders agreed with Jefferson on this. And when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, he was not speaking only as one brilliant young delegate from Virginia. That document, he said, "was to be an _expression of the American mind." We should not be surprised that the author of the Declaration of Independence thought that religious liberty was the first of freedoms, the foundation for all other liberties. That's why, we believe, the First Congress put religious liberty first among the freedoms listed in the First Amendment. Jefferson went further. He said an attack on religious liberty was an attack on liberty itself.
And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis--a conviction in the minds of the people that their liberties are the gifts of God, that they are not to be violated but with His wrath?
Daily, we see militant efforts in our schools, in our colleges and universities, in our public media, to remove that conviction from the minds of the people. When an outstanding young high school graduate has her microphone turned off because she might mention Jesus, we see this militant spirit at work. When members of Congress try to ban by law the mention of Jesus' name in our military, that same militant spirit is working its will. Attacking God, they also attack liberty. When we think of the Fourth of July, we remember holidays past. We remember our grandparents and aunts and uncles, many of them now gone to be with the Lord. We celebrate the joys of today and we look forward with hope to the prospects of future "Glorious Fourths." We pray that our family circle will be unbroken here and beyond. It should be a day of family picnics, trips to the lake, and blankets spread out for a concert of "Stars and Stripes Forever" followed by fireworks. Let us celebrate with baseball, hot dogs, apple pie. We should rejoice in the good things God has provided. We should also remember those brave young Americans who are serving around the world to keep us free. I pray that you and yours will have a glorious Fourth of July.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Tennessee Republican Party Update
1) Bob Davis is resigning, effective August 4, 2007.
2) The State Executive Committee will meet on that date to select a new Chairman.
3) In response to a question from an SEC member regarding serving in an elected position in the General Assembly and as Party Chairman, Bob Davis referenced the new ethics laws that prohibit fundraising while the General Assembly is in session. When thinking of the Statesman's Dinner and other opportunities in a presidential election cycle, I concur that it would be unwise to have a Chairman who is also an elected official. Such a person would have to resign from his or her post if selected by the SEC as the new Chairman.
4) Van Hilleary spoke on the conference call. Why this was allowed to happen is a good question. I understand that Van is the National Committeeman, but unless he was on the call to notify SEC members that he was not a candidate for the position, then he shouldn't have been speaking on the call.
More to come later.
MORE: I just received the following press release from Bob Davis:
STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN BOB DAVIS
(Nashville) - The following is a statement from Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Bob Davis:
"During the last three and a half years our Tennessee Republican Party has made incredible strides towards majority status. During that time, I'm proud that I played a small role in electing Bob Corker to the United States Senate, Ron Ramsey as the first Republican Lieutenant Governor in 138 years, and strengthening our party organization statewide.
"We've tried to lead with conviction and integrity, and other than being a father and working for Fred Thompson, it has been my highest honor to serve as chairman.
"The good Lord leads us down different paths throughout life, and the time has come for me to move on. Therefore I am resigning my chairmanship effective August 4th.
"Let us all remember our common bond and promise to the next generation: to leave this place better off than when we found it."
Labels: TN GOP
Mark Warner to run for Senate?
The GOP in Virginia has been more focused on themselves lately (as they well should after letting Jim Webb get elected), prepping a formidable candidate in Tom Davis for when John Warner is put out to pasture.
The problem is that Mark Warner - who raised taxes in the Commonwealth like he was founding a socialist state - was beloved when he left office. I can only imagine that Virginians are suffering from the voter equivalent of spousal abuse syndrome, in that the more than Warner hurt them, the more they loved him. Yeah, it's just too weird.
In any case, if Mark Warner does run, then the prospects of the Republicans taking back the Senate diminish greatly - to the point where it isn't really realistic to talk of such things.
Labels: 2008 Senate Races
Rumors about Bob Davis
Lots of names are flying about regarding a placement for Bob Davis. While Bob has been an extremely effective leader for the Tennessee Republican Party, our key advantage over the Democrats in this state is our depth. Think of the Democrats as the Cleveland Cavs, with a few good front-line players, and the Republicans as the San Antonio Spurs, with depth at every position to spare.
State Senator Paul Stanley, Larry Kidwell, Jim Bryson, Van Hilleary, Ed Bryant - all have been linked to the position.
One thing that seems to be quite wrong comes from Nashville's The City Paper, which states that Robin Smith, the current Vice Chairman of the TRP, is not expected to be interested. I don't believe that's true, but I also know Robin and while I'm sure she would excel in the role as Chairman, I doubt that she would seek the position if it caused any division in the Party. Robin wants to see Republican majorities in both Houses of the General Assembly, and she would do nothing to jeopardize that outcome (such as causing rifts in the Party). Basically, the SEC would have to be firmly behind Robin Smith for her to become Chairman.
Personally (read: not speaking for the State Executive Committeewoman), we have lots of great candidates here. I would love to see Robin Smith ascend to Chairman, but there are a few other great candidates that would do a great job, as well. That being said, there are a few others being mentioned that would probably not do a good job.
If I hear anything else, I'll pass it along.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Tennessee Firearms Association July Meeting
The speaker for July's meeting is Officer Todd Gilreath of the Knoxville Police Department's Bomb Squad. No word on whether there will be any demonstrations or explosions, but I'm crossing my fingers.
Monthly meetings are held at Bob’s Mountaineer Restaurant, 10321 Chapman Highway (Rt. 441) in Seymour, TN. A pre-meeting social hour is from 6 PM to 7 pm during which you may wish to eat dinner either from the menu or from the buffet. The meeting will begin at 7 PM and end at 8 PM. Participation by those in attendance is always encouraged.
Gun owners, persons involved in the shooting sports, Second Amendment supporters and interested public are urged to attend, YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER TO ATTEND.
"See this movie or Die Hard"
In my opinion, it was the best of the four "Die Hard" movies. It's non-stop action from beginning to end, and you don't even notice that 2 1/2 hours have passed by the time the credits are rolling. Combining fantastic stunts, plenty of explosions, and Bruce Willis in his most famous role makes for one heck of a July 4th movie.
Keeping in mind that I love "end of days" type movies - where the terrorists aren't retarded like Star Wars' storm troopers and actually have a plan to bring down our way of life - I give "Live Free or Die Hard" a mark of 8.9 out of 10. That makes it the second best movie I have seen this year (behind "300," which received a 9.4).
There are several conservative and anti-bureaucratic themes in the movie, as well. Heck, the anarchist computer geek who acts as John McClane's sidekick in this installment (played by Justin Long) comes to see that there is more to America than corporate greed and an evil government.
Also within the past few weeks, the VOLConWife and I (appropriately) saw "Knocked Up." It's a good movie, not as funny as "The 40-Year Old Virgin," but does provide some laughs and even inspires in parts. I must have liked it, because I gave it a 6.8 out of 10 (which barely beats out the third installment of "Pirates of the Caribbean," which I dare say took a great deal more money to make). I think I probably subconsciously penalized "Knocked Up" for the incessant drug culture scenes, but that's just a guess. The language is a bit rough, too, in places where it doesn't need to be.
The thing that got me about "Knocked Up" is that I heard all of the pro-abortion forces stewing about the movie. Here's the thing, and this is important for understanding them - they were mad that Katherine Heigl's character chose to keep the baby. Uh, yeah, that's pretty amazing. I guess one could file that under more evidence that there is a pro-abort side in this debate and not a pro-choice side at all.
Plus, it's not like it would have been a comedy if she had aborted the baby, right? It just would have been another tragedy.
Is there a Knox County GOP anymore?
It seems that the Knoxville Young Republicans are still going strong, but http://www.knoxgop.org/ was not responding as of Monday morning.
Labels: Knox County GOP