Friday, June 29, 2007


Blackburn's 1st Blogger Conference Call

Yesterday, I had the privilege of participating in Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn's first blogger conference call. It appears that this is currently slated to be a monthly event, which I suppose shows how far the Tennessee blogosphere has come as well as how much Marsha wants to reach out to new forms of communication with her constituents.

The structure of the call was laid out to participants through use of an operator/moderator at the beginning - Marsha would make a few remarks and then the floor would be opened up for questions. During Marsha's remarks, bloggers were reduced to a "listen only" status, which is helpful since (having participated in a few of these sort of things in the past where there was no "listen only" status) I was interested in what she had to say and not which Tennessee blogger had a case of the sniffles or was eating loudly at the time.

Apparently, some people did not understand the structure of the call. The guys over at Blue Collar Republicans were unclear on the instructions (perhaps their blue collars were on too tight?), thought it was "listen only" for the whole event, hung up, and then posted rude comments about a Member of Congress taking time out of (of all days) Energy Committee mark-ups to speak with Tennessee bloggers. Not to get preachy, but it's moves like that which will relegate blogger conference calls to the priority arena of rearranging stereo wires and pressure washing the vinyl siding. BCR's accounts were followed up by Austin Farley and then Volunteer Voters, repeated as fact. Hopefully, retractions and mea culpas will follow today.

The call itself was a bit shaky, to be honest, due to its newness. When the floor was opened up for questions, I stepped up and asked about what the GOP House Members were proposing as solutions to the energy problems in our country, as compared to the radicalism from the Democrats which now treats the Energy Committee as the global warming committee. Marsha responded at length (as I would expect someone who has been immersed in Energy mark-ups), stating that the solution lies in a three-pronged strategy. It was the third prong - innovation - that I was most interested in, as I specifically cited Lamar's opposition (and it is probably valid opposition) to inefficient wind technology. Marsha proved to be quite knowledgeable on the advances at Watts Bar and the need to increase nuclear production throughout the Tennessee Valley. In short, she more than answered my question.

Adam Groves then asked about Marsha's reaction to the demise of the Senate immigration bill. If you have read her release on the subject, you pretty much know where she stands. I thought it interesting that much of the same language was put forth by Marsha Blackburn as was put forth by Fred Thompson in the past few days.

There were no further questions after that, and that is where the bumps in the conference call took place. I had more questions, but I didn't want to hog the floor. I just think that some of the bloggers without journalism backgrounds might have been a bit shy at jumping on in the first time. I do not expect such problems the next time around.

In any case, I enjoyed the call and look forward to next month's version. Special thanks to Congresswoman Blackburn's office for putting this enterprise together.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007


Fred as Inspiration

Wes Comer has an excellent post on how Fred Thompson (and Ronald Reagan before him) inspires him.

There is a nice comparison between our current President and our future President in the post.

With all apologies to Dean Witter, when Fred Thompson talks, people remember. Heck, I had a judge quote Fred Thompson to me during courtroom arguments just this morning!

Cynics like A.C. Kleinheider should note that one shouldn't underestimate the inspiration factor, particularly with the rudderless, leaderless attitude that Americans currently are experiencing.



Corker on the Demise of the Immigration Bill

"Americans feel that they are losing their country ... to a government that has seemed to not have the competence or the ability to carry out the things that it says it will do."

- Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)

(As reported by the AP.)

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Blog Call This Afternoon with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn

I'm looking forward to a conference call this afternoon with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. It should prove to be quite interesting, as immigration is one of the topics on the agenda and we should know by the time of the call if the Senate amnesty bill is still alive or if it failed to survive the test vote scheduled for this morning.

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Stossel on Hamiltonian Conservatives

John Stossel (who proves himself far too knowledgeable to have ever been considered a part of the mainstream media) penned an excellent historical comparison of Hamilton and Jefferson and then applied their views to the fragmented conservative movement today.

Well worth the read, and it contains a profound quote by Thomas Jefferson:

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."

True enough.



Fred's Got the Dems Runnin' Scared

So says a bevy of commentators in this story by Race 4 2008.

This should cement Fred Thompson as the frontrunner by week's end. When the opposition is busy developing attack strategies on you at this early juncture...

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007


"Once you go Fred, he stays in your head."

I was watching The Colbert Report last night and who should be named the "Alpha Dog of the Week" but Fred Thompson.

But, Stephen Colbert, I dare you to call Fred "a basset hound crossed with a grouper" to his face. Or, in your case, to his belt buckle.

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Fed up with the Media

It's amazing how many people have complained to me over the past week on how the news has become nothing more than tabloid entertainment. Most of these remarks have been centered around the Paris Hilton arrests, but that's just the flavor of the week. I'm sure it will be some other sensationalized story next week.

In any case, it made me think of this great video from the guys at JibJab. Enjoy!

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Amnesty Train Keeps on Rollin'

The Senate seems hell-bent on destroying this country, so the Upper Chamber will be debating on how best to do so today.

Six Meat Buffet has the links to all of the blogs covering the illegal immigration bill in the Senate, including the text of the amendments and liveblogging by some of the big-dog blogs like Malkin and Captain's Quarters.

This bill does deserve this kind of coverage, for the societal impact is enormous and the political impact - the beginning of a one-party system of government, for starters - is seismic.

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McWherter as a Viable Candidate? Whatever...

Two bloggers for whom I have much respect - David Oatney and A.C. at Volunteer Voters - give rumored Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Mike McWherter way too much credit. Heck, David even says that McWherter would have stood a better chance against Bob Corker in 2006 than Harold Ford, Jr.

Hogwash. Ford is the best candidate that the Democrats have put up for statewide office since Al Gore. He's articulate, handsome, well-financed, a political animal, and silver-tongued. Those of us who have been around long enough knew that he was headed for the national stage before he was even elected to his first term in Congress. That he ran in the perfect year against a non-incumbent with a tremendously unpopular Republican President and still lost is a testimony to the Tennessee Republican Party - not a mark against Ford.

For whatever reason, David is willing to put forth and A.C. to somewhat endorse the idea that a political novice who happens to be the son of a former Tennessee Governor would be a better candidate. Of course, not many young voters even remember Ned Ray McWherter, but he wouldn't be too popular of a guy these days. Let's see - strong supporter of the need for a state income tax, strong proponent of taxes in general, started one social welfare program after another including the debacle known as TennCare, and several scandals to boot. Yeah, that would carry East Tennessee in 2008...

And since when does being the son of a politician make you automatically a viable candidate? Frank Goad Clement was one of the most popular governors in Tennessee history. How'd that work out for Bob Clement in 2002? Oh yeah - 11 points to the bad against Lamar. And people knew of Bob Clement before that ill-fated attempt to dethrone Lamar - heck, he was a Congressman.

Maybe I am being too hard on David and A.C., but the thought of McWherter even being a viable candidate, much less a better one than Harold Ford, Jr., is half-baked. Ford is still the best Democratic candidate in Tennessee - and he ain't crazy enough to take on Lamar in the Volunteer State.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007



You know it's going to be another tough week when you look at your schedule book and the only free afternoon that you might have had has two words written in dark ink:

"Root Canal."

Oh yeah. I'm feeling it.



Rudy Taking a Few on the Chin

Poor Rudy just can't catch a break (from the AP):

WASHINGTON - Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has confronted a spate of bad news in recent days, from the drug indictment of his South Carolina chairman to criticism for skipping meetings of the Iraq Study Group.

Every campaign faces bad news at one time or another, but with a fundraising deadline looming Saturday, the timing couldn't be worse. Most voters are not tuned in, but for those who are giving and raising money for the former New York mayor, the heartburn-inducing headlines may make them think twice.

And with today's news from Rasmussen (H/T: Volunteer Voters) that Fred Thompson is now ahead nationally, Rudy has to be wondering if his window of opportunity has closed.

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SCOTUS Issues Several Rulings

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down several opinions yesterday, and generally one can see a trend towards a Right-leaning Court beginning to form. Two of the more remarkable aspects of yesterday's rulings were victories for free speech in striking down part of McCain-Feingold and the barring of taxpayer standing as a way of attacking faith-based organizations that apply for federal funding under President Bush's Faith-based Initiative.

How Appealing has a run down of the four rulings from Monday, including links to the opinions issued by the Court.

The AP's Mark Sherman has a good summation, including a quote from Democrat John Edwards that stenches of hyperbole.

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Fred Thompson Barnstorming Through the South

Just a reminder that Fred Thompson will be making several stops throughout the U.S. today, including Nashville.

His plane is set to land in Music City at 9:45 A.M. Central at Mercury Air (635 Hangar Lane).

I have prior engagements and won't be able to make the drive west to see Fred, but I hope that those without such restrictions will be able to attend.

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Buchanan: Bloomberg only a Threat to Hillary

Pat Buchanan has an excellent column on why NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has no shot at winning the White House and, if he decides to run, why he would be the best weapon for the GOP against Hillary Clinton (gee, where did I read that before...).

While impossible to see how Mayor Bloomberg can win, even if he spent $2 billion, it is easy to see how he sinks Hillary Rodham Clinton. For the more popular he makes himself with his media buys, the more votes his candidacy attracts, the more certain it is that he does for the Democratic Party what Ross Perot did for the GOP in '92.

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Monday, June 25, 2007


Honk if You Hate Amnesty

Call your U.S. Senator today and let them know that you will remember how they vote on this attempt by President Bush to give amnesty to criminal immigrants.

I know I will.

MORE: If you are in Tennessee, here are the numbers you need to know:

Lamar Alexander
D.C. Office - 202-224-4944
Knoxville - 865-545-4253
Nashville - 615-736-5129
Tri-Cities - 423-325-6240

Bob Corker
D.C. Office - 202-224-3344
Knoxville - 865-637-4180
Nashville - 615-279-8125
Tri-Cities - 423-323-1252

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Rod Beck, 1968-2007

It was with great sadness that I learned of Rod Beck's passing last Saturday night. Rod was the closer for the Cubs when I was living in Chicago, and he currently ranks 22nd on the all-time saves list for Major League Baseball.
People's memories of Rod are being shared throughout the country (such as here, here, and here), as can happen when someone passes too soon. Rod was only 38, and I am just shocked that he is gone.
I got to know Rod through the magical 1998 Cubs team (and the 1999 disappointment that was more typical of the Cubs). He was one of the nicest players I have ever met. I remember him taking personal time with fans, even inviting some of us over when his wife and two children were in Chicago from Scottsdale. Rod was just that way - he was one of us, getting one out at a time with guts, guile, and determination.
Rest in peace, Shooter. You will be missed.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The "Old" Lady

Guess whose birthday it is today?

Happy Birthday, Angela!

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I've Seen Better Videos by Fifth Graders on YouTube

Please, oh please, let this race come down to acting ability...

Morons like Chris Matthews are orgasmic over this piece from the Clinton campaign machine. Problem is that it's poorly acted, shows that Hillary could be one of the worst presidential candidates in front of the camera in American history, and parodies a series finale that most people hated. (For the record, I thought the finale to "The Sopranos" was brilliant - as in, the opposite of this political ad.)

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Bloomberg Leaves Who?

The headline reads: "Bloomberg Leaves GOP." But how can one leave something that he never was a part of?

Let me put it this way - if I rent a Ford Mustang and drive it to where I need to be this morning (which is court), and I abandon the vehicle once I get there, have I left Ford? That seems to be the case here with Bloomberg. The lifelong Democrat thought he needed to be a Republican (because it was en vogue?) to be elected Mayor of that cesspool in the Northeast. Now it doesn't suit his purposes.

Really, guys, if you didn't see this one coming...

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Not sure what to make of this study...

Since there's a pretty sizable sample population in this study, the results are quite puzzling.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - A study conducted in Denmark found that the sperm count of men who are conceived by fertility treatments is up to 50 percent lower than normal.

I suppose it adds some ammo for those who believe fertility to have a genetic link, but even that is a tough conclusion to reach.

Interesting stuff.

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More Evidence that Democrats Don't Like Me

"Seven times President Bush has nominated a southern white male to the appeals courts, and seven times Senate Democrats have tried to block the nomination. Worse yet, each of the seven have been subjected to a campaign of personal destruction. With one exception – Fourth Circuit nominee William Haynes – the attacks focus on charges that the nominee is insensitive to the rights of minorities, women, gays, and/or the disabled. Democrats and their allies cynically play to the stereotype that southerners are racist or otherwise bigoted."

- Committee for Justice Executive Director Curt Levey

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Saturday, June 16, 2007


House Update - Part Deux

Yesterday, I wrote that a buyer had put earnest money towards the house but that I was awaiting the signed contract before I declared it "sold."

Well, the deal has fallen through. The house is certainly back up for sale, and it has been shown already this morning.

If you are interested, let me know, because it doesn't look like it will be available long...


Friday, June 15, 2007


Koch Appointed to Tennessee Supreme Court

I admit that I am a bit surprised by this. Governor Bredesen broke from his recent trend of appointing Democrats to state offices and instead appointed Bill Koch today to fill Justice Adolpho Birch's seat on the Tennessee Supreme Court.

That gives Republicans two seats on the Court, with Justice Koch joining Chief Justice Barker.



Has Iran Committed Acts of War Against the United States?

Pat Buchanan breaks down all of the chatter coming out of D.C. and our commanders in the Middle East regarding Iran.

If what is being said (as Pat puts it, with the endorsement of the White House, no doubt) is true, then Pat is right in saying that Iran has committed acts of war against the United States and her citizens. If what is being said is false, then President Bush's approval ratings may be cut in half overnight - and rightfully so.

Well worth a careful read.



House Update

As several people have asked this week about the housing situation, I figure I should give an update.

As posted here earlier this week, we put our house on the market on the evening of Sunday, June 10th. For simplicity's sake, I arranged for the first set of showings for Wednesday evening. Within 72 hours of being on the market, earnest money was given (although I still haven't received the signed contract) by a prospective couple. I am still waiting for the contract to be returned before announcing that the house is officially "sold," but we are headed in that direction. I am still showing the house, though, in the event that the contract falls through.

Thus, I am not going to comment yet on where our new residence will be until everything is finalized with the contract. No need to put the cart before the horse.

Finally, regarding my sister's house (which was also referenced in this post), I understand that it will also be shown this weekend. It appears - as I had been told many times recently - that the housing slump that is effecting the rest of the nation is not cramping the real estate market here in Knoxville.



Bonnaroo Banker

I want to wish Angel, the bank manager at the SunTrust on Chapman Highway where my firm's account is based, luck this weekend at Bonnaroo. Angel's band, Angel and the Love Mongers, are performing at the Middle Tennessee music festival, which, as they point out in this video feature on the Knoxville News Sentinel's website, is basically opening for The Police. That is very cool.

I wish them luck, because Bonnaroo sounds like a wild place, as with this entry from KNS blogger Lauren Spuhler:

"I came up with the name as a place to hold all those funny sights we commonly see at Bonnaroo every year: naked or topless chicks prancing through the water fountain, people wearing things they wouldn't or shouldn't outside of a music festival, people lying stoned in the middle of a walkway and, on occasion, a grown man wearing a diaper."

Yikes! I think I'll head into the Smokies this weekend, thank you very much...



Obama Attracting Non-traditional Voters?

In response to this:

I long for the good ole days when strippers danced on poles instead of danced for pols.


Thursday, June 14, 2007


Thompson Unplugged

Not to beat a dead horse here (since every other blog has already linked or embedded the above interview from the Hoover Institution), but Peter Robinson's interview of Fred Thompson is getting quite a bit of interest. It was discussed at National Review Online by Ed Whelan, as well as such sites as Instapundit, Save the GOP, Liberally Conservative, Bill Hobbs, Freedom's Lighthouse, and RedState, amongst others.

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Goldberg: Do Away with Public Schools

Jonah Goldberg makes a strong case in Tuesday's L.A. Times for whacking the public school system.

It's an excellent argument, if only that it makes people question why we have public education in the first place. As things stand now, people are born into a system of public education and soon take it for granted without questioning why the system exists or if it should exist at all.

As for the financial argument, one need look no further than our own borders and the failing money pit that is the Memphis school system for proof that money isn't the answer for fixing educational institutions.

Goldberg's point, I dare say, is not to advocate for the defunding of the public school system than to embolden the masses against the beast not yet at our doorstep - universal healthcare.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Hot enough for ya', Rudy?

I guess it shows the forward momentum that Fred has right now, but after the polls released yesterday that show Thompson tied with Giuliani, this cartoon may already be a relic.

(Hat tip: Tennesseans for Thompson)

MORE: What is not a relic is the footage from Fred's appearance on "The Tonight Show" last night. I heard lukewarm reviews before I viewed this, and I don't see what led to those except for hatred for the man. Fred did a great job, and, to tell the truth, Jay Leno did as well with his questioning. (Hat tip: Volunteer Voters)

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Bush Draws More Conservative Fire for Support of Amnesty

From the Family Research Council:

It's the Economy, By George!

At Sen. Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) request, President Bush made the trip to Capitol Hill today and stumped for his struggling immigration plan. While few would argue that immigration reform is inconsequential, many question why the President is spending his political capital on a bill that has fostered more division than it has progress. Particularly now, when Americans are at odds over Iraq and headed into a presidential election cycle, President Bush should turn his attention to rallying the nation. Rather than cheerlead legislation that has failed to attain even cloture in the Senate, why hasn't the administration channeled its energy into issues that unify what remains of his conservative base?

For starters, the President could be trumpeting two terms of economic growth and calling for the catalysts of that growth--tax breaks--to continue. Since 2002, when the President's tax cuts first kicked in, America has experienced 65 months of economic growth--and counting. While his calculations have been off on social issues lately, George Will correctly points out that the biggest indication of Bush's fiscal accomplishments is the deafening silence on the economy from the Democratic presidential candidates. The unemployment rate has declined, the deficit is on the mend, and more than eight million new jobs have been created.

Yet the very tax cuts that have prompted this fiscal renaissance are about to expire. Two years into the next presidency, the child tax credit will be slashed from $1,000 to $500. Unless something is done, the death tax, which would have been zeroed out by 2009, will return. Marriage penalties will be resurrected, and the income tax brackets will skyrocket. If the President hopes to salvage his falling approval numbers, reserve the trek to Capitol Hill for an issue we can all agree on--making the tax cuts permanent.


Leave that dead horse along, George. Get back to work on the economy before it joins the rest of your agenda in the toilet.

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Process to Select Thomas' Replacement will be Open

Wyoming GOP officials announced that the public will be involved in the process to select a replacement for the late Senator Craig Thomas, saying that the process would be "as open as the Western sky."

"We want the confidence of Wyoming's people, so this is how we're going to do it," Republican Party Chairman Fred Parady said.

What a novel concept - one that is superior to the one certain government officials used by following their own hair-brained (and patently illegal) scheme.

I certainly hope that Lynne Cheney doesn't throw her hat in the ring. Nothing would stink more of impropriety at the federal level than the wife of an Executive officeholder serving in the Upper Chamber of the Legislature.

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Leaving KnoxVegas

Wanna buy a house?

For Sale By Owner

142 Woodlawn Pike

Enjoy this modern South Knoxville home with 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, a front porch, and a deck for summer cookouts. Built in December of 2004, this home is only 2 ½ years old and is being sold by the original owners. Other features include:
· 1200 square feet of living space on the main floor
· 1200 square feet of unfinished basement
· Central heat & air (gas heat, electric A/C)
· Laminate flooring in the living room, kitchen, halls
· Carpet in the bedrooms and neutral colors throughout
· Low maintenance vinyl siding and accent shutters
· Refrigerator, dishwasher, range, washer & dryer, and microwave were all new at original purchase of the house
· Within walking distance of Neyland Stadium and the KAT bus line
At this asking price, this almost new home could be a great investment!

For more information, contact Rob or Angela Huddleston at:
Office: (865) 579-9177

MORE: Also, my sister has her place up for sale as she attempts to move herself and her two boys up to the Tri-Cities.

You can see the MLS listing through realtor Jennifer Bilbrey by hitting this link.


Friday, June 08, 2007


The Death of the Immigration Bill

Thank goodness. Now I can quit watching C-SPAN2.

I'm not sure what was the funniest part yesterday - Christopher Dodd trying to persuade his colleagues that allowing for the relatives of those who are here illegally to become American citizens won't increase the number of unskilled immigrants in the country, or Harry Reid chastising President Bush for the Senate Majority Leader's failure to deliver on getting this bill through.

Actually, they're both tragic, not funny.

But it wasn't just the Democrats who were making idiotic remarks.

From the "Who do you trust - me or your lyin' eyes" department:

"I am getting calls, but I would say to my constituents: Do you have no faith in me after 35 years that I am just going to buy a pig in a poke here, or be for something that is bad?"

Yeah, that little snippet was from Senator Trent Lott, Republican Senator from Mississippi. When I read something like that, I say a little prayer that the good people of the State of Mississippi can somehow find the resolve to send a man home from D.C. who has obviously been there too long.

And don't get me started on Lindsey Graham. I'm surprised that Strom Thurmond doesn't rise out of his grave and make Graham start behaving like the conservative that he was once.

A telling week, that's for sure. And the best part is that no legislation was passed that would have granted amnesty to criminals. Maybe we can act on this issue someday with a plan that would work, but I would rather have no plan passed now than pass the wrong plan.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007


Good News on the Immigration Front

By one vote, an amendment was added in the wee hours of the night that might threaten the viability of Bush's plan to grant amnesty to over 12 million illegal aliens in the United States.

Kudos to those senators who spent all of yesterday trying to tack a poison pill amendment on the bill and secure its failure (and the GOP's existence as a party of relevance).

If you have time today, call your senators and ask them to vote against this treacherous bill.

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NRSC Rolls Out First Web Ad

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has published its first web ad of the 2008 election cycle, targeting Colorado Rep. Mark Udall for his multiple votes to raise taxes. Udall is trying to step up to the Upper Chamber through the retiring Wayne Allard's seat (a race where I have posited that Tom Tancredo should have been the Republican in the race).

This is the first of many videos that will have similar themes. After all, despite little to no media coverage, nearly every Democrat actively participated in making it easier to raise your taxes (as in Udall's case, House Democrats' first action as the majority was to suspend the rule requiring a supermajority to pass tax hikes), and they voted to pass the biggest tax increase in American history this year.

If Iraq can somehow be resolved, hanging the Democrats with the "liberal tax lover" albatross could pay dividends in 2008. Of course, there's a big "if" in that sentence...


Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Bill to Allow Concealed Carry in Parks Dead

As I predicted, Jimmy Naifeh would never allow Tennesseans the right of protecting themselves on state grounds.

I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised.

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Debate Reactions

Since I was watching the Lady Vols softball team forget the fundamentals of softball at the NCAA Championships (maybe they caught whatever it was that ailing Vanderbilt's baseball team), I had to catch the replay of the GOP field's debate in New Hampshire.

For the most part, it was a yawner (which probably wasn't helped by the 2:00 A.M. finishing time). Nothing in the way of exchanges. Few good questions, and even fewer good answers. It was certainly less entertaining than the last debate in South Carolina.

Here's how I rate the performances:


1) Mike Huckabee - Again (that's three times in a row for those who are keeping score), Huckabee looked the most comfortable, didn't get rattled by dumb questions, and looked to connect with the conservative base. Some pundits thought he didn't answer the questions about evolution versus creationism very well, but I thought he did fine. No one has lit into Huckabee's record of taxation while Arkansas Governor nor his history of appointments that (at the best) seem conflicted on their face. If Mike can continue to go untested on those during these debates, he'll keep performing well and looking the most presidential. Well, at least he will until the field expands...

2A) Rudy Giuliani - Rudy gave a much better, more confident performance than he did in South Carolina. He still tried to duck a few questions, but not nearly as many as in Columbia. It appears that he knows that he can dominate the field as is (that is, those currently declared candidates at the debates) if he gives the type of performance that he is capable of giving. Of course, Christian conservatives might not forget that God/lightning kept Rudy's answer on abortion from being heard. That's the kind of thing that might stick with voters.

2B) John McCain - Whereas McCain was savaged in South Carolina, he was much better "up North." He showed compassion and conviction, even if his answers on immigration and Iraq might not win him support within the GOP base. His reaction to the question from the parent of the fallen soldier in Iraq was quite touching, and he managed to inject some humor into the night when God was apparently trying to smite Rudy Giuliani with a lightning bolt and by responding in Spanish to immigration foe Tom Tancredo. McCain needs more performances like this if he is going to stay viable in this campaign. Otherwise, he might want to start thinking about what it would be like to be a VP.

4) Tommy Thompson - Thompson gave a better accounting of himself last night. He spoke with conviction and gave better answers (as good as one can give in one minute), in contrast to the limp noodle he portrayed in the last debate. A good night for this Thompson, although it was still a good ways behind the three candidates above.

5) Duncan Hunter - It's almost like Wolf Blitzer forgot that Hunter was there sometimes. When the California Congressman was allowed to speak, he gave good, concise answers that appealed to the GOP base. He also stung Romney at the end by tying him to Ted Kennedy (expect more of this from all candidates until Romney's goose is cooked). Like Tommy Thompson, this isn't enough to propel him into the top tier of candidates, but not a bad night for Hunter.


1) Ron Paul - If I had a guess, I would think that the smackdown unnecessarily delivered by Rudy Giuliani against Ron Paul might have taken some of the starch out of the Texas Congressman. He didn't look as fiery tonight, and he (like Tancredo and Gilmore) was almost the forgotten man in the room in New Hampshire.

2) Jim Gilmore - Gilmore scored some points on Iraq, but that was about it. Like Paul and Tancredo, it wasn't a good night for the underdogs. Unlike Paul and Tancredo, that's two debates in a row of sub-par performances for Gilmore.

3) Tom Tancredo - The Colorado Congressman didn't score too many points outside of the immigration issue, even letting McCain steal some of his thunder when it probably would have benefited Tancredo to go after the Arizona Senator on the issue. Tancredo accounted himself well in the Palmetto State, but he seemed to lose some momentum in New Hampshire.

4) Mitt Romney - Romney tried to handle the questions regarding faith deftly, but I have a hard time believing that real evangelical Christians are going to buy what he's selling. While those answers were technically correct, there is more to say about the Mormon faith than what Mitt spoke of. Where Mitt was really stung was at the beginning of the night, when he tried to say that U.N. inspectors were not in Iraq prior to our invasion and dropped the ball on tactical nuclear weapons as an option against Iran (I couldn't quite tell, but he seemed to answer both "yes" and "no" - did he flip-flop in the middle of his answer?). Romney also looked unprepared for the question from the audience regarding ads in Spanish, where he somehow seemed to come off as weak on immigration (in contrast to earlier in the night, when he appeared much stronger). Given good performances by Giuliani and McCain, the entrance of Fred Thompson, and new polling numbers from Rasmussen that show him trailing both Giuliani and Thompson and only leading McCain by 1-point and getting blistered in the latest McLaughlin & Associates poll (Giuliani - 24%, Thompson - 18%, McCain - 17%, Romney - 7%), Romney's window of opportunity may be closing.

5) Sam Brownback - Brownback gave good answers on some of the social issues (as he should), and those would resonate with conservatives if Mike Huckabee wasn't showing up to these debates, too. Plus, I'm not sure if Sam will be able to recover from previously saying that he would support a pro-choice Republican nominee for the White House. Sam's no sellout, but he sure looked like one after that debate gaff.



Fred's Campaign is Alive

The Friends of Fred Thompson, Inc., have their website up. It's still growing, but you can already sign up as a volunteer and donate to the campaign.

Can't be bothered to head over to the new site but still want to contribute? Well, check out the sidebar, where I've installed a little link to make it easy for you.

(Hat tip: Bill Hobbs over at Elephant Biz)

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When Shill Blogs Attack

Yes, I am supporting Fred Thompson, my former boss and a man I respect for what he is as much as for what he is not, for President of the United States.

However, if Fred hadn't jumped in the race and I was sullenly looking for a candidate, the recent ridiculous nature of the posts over at Evangelicals for Mitt would be enough to keep me away from the former Governor of Massachusetts. Seriously, folks...

Of course, to label them a blog is a bit of a stretch. They don't allow comments, and, in reading some of their posts (these two - where they write of people and situations they know nothing about - were real classics), it's easy to understand why.

Now some may say that one shouldn't judge a candidate by his supporters. In this case, that is hogwash. First, these aren't just your ordinary political fans. Access is key. Second, you can tell a great deal about a candidate by how his supporters act. After all, we (and I mean conservatives here) often link ridiculous comments by liberal moonbats with the candidate the liberal moonbat supports. In order to remain consistent, we have to do the same for our own end of the political spectrum.

Of course, this, too, shall pass. If Governor Romney keeps running fifth or sixth in debate after debate (which was thought to be his strength but has not been such in the South Carolina and New Hampshire debates), he'll be lucky to see mid-February.

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Monday, June 04, 2007


Statesmen's Dinner Pictures

As promised, here are a few visual effects from Saturday night's Statesmen's Dinner.

Senator Lamar Alexander addressing the audience

The nine 2007 Statesmen and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey

Mitt Romney and his staffers (in low light, even though we were at the table next to the former Massachusetts governor)

Senator Alexander welcomes Governor Romney to the podium after a warm introduction

Candidate for the Tennessee Senate out of the 4th District, Mike Faulk, with his daughter, Katy.

Yes, I know, my photographic skills are nonexistent...

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2007 Tennessee Republican Party Statesmen's Dinner

My apologies for posting this so late. Between the festivities in Nashville, a nauseous, pregnant wife, and house-hunting, it was quite the busy weekend. Due to Circuit Court this morning, this post will also be quite brief.

First of all, I want to sincerely thank everyone who made our attendance at the dinner possible. In particular, Senator Lamar Alexander made us feel right at home as our gracious host, and he even answered all of our questions throughout dinner. As always, Tennessee GOP Chairman Bob Davis, Vice-Chairwoman Robin Smith, and the rest of the staff coordinated a fantastic event.

Here are a few random thoughts of the night:

Regarding some of the speeches:

That's all for now. I have more to say on the night and how much I enjoyed the evening - along with many pictures - but I will have to post them this afternoon.

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Chavez Insults Those Who Oppose Amnesty

I want to start this morning by calling for the repudiation of longtime GOP leader Linda Chavez by the Republican National Committee. Chavez put forth the following characterization of conservatives who don't support the Bush-Kennedy immigration bill:

"Some people just don't like Mexicans – or anyone else from south of the
border. They think Latinos are freeloaders and welfare cheats who are too lazy
to learn English. They think Latinos have too many babies and that Latino kids
will dumb down our schools. They think Latinos are dirty,
diseased, indolent and more prone to criminal behavior. They think Latinos are
just too different from us ever to become real Americans. ..."

"Unfortunately, among this group is a fair number of Republican members
of Congress, almost all influential conservative talk radio hosts, some cable
news anchors – most prominently, Lou Dobbs – and a handful of public policy
'experts' at organizations such as the Center for Immigration Studies, the
Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, in addition to fringe
groups like the Minuteman Project."

Is this what the Republican Party thinks of conservatives and those who wish to see the laws of the United States enforced? I am quite serious in calling for a reaction by the RNC (and FoxNews, which oft uses Chavez as a "political analyst") and a distancing of the official party from Chavez's stereotypical and ignorant remarks.

Of course, Pat Buchanan believes it's not Chavez that must go, but that it is Bush who needs to be repudiated by the GOP base.

I agree with Buchanan - treat conservatives like the proverbial whipping boy at your own peril, GOP.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007


Heading West

It's off to the Tennessee Republican Party's Annual Statesmen's Dinner tonight. I hope to have a post up Sunday sometime about the event (and after I get some sleep from a long day of house hunting, driving, and politics).

In the meantime, I highly recommend this piece by Robert Novak. That Fred has won over Bob as the real deal alternative to Rudy McRomney is beyond my expectations (and I have high ones for my former boss, whom I have often gushed about to those who have asked).

I expect a good speech from Mitt Romney tonight in Nashville, but there's no doubt in my mind that the real deal in the run for the White House will be outside of the Volunteer State on this particular evening.

(Hat Tip: Patrick Poole, via e-mail, on the Novak piece)

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Saturday Morning Humor

While I might not agree with the message, the video above is how to make a YouTube point. (Compare that to the amateur hour that A.C. gushed over earlier in the week that eventually made him the focal point of a media storm.)

Here's the funny part - out of all of those experienced politicians on what is effectively a libertarian-produced blooper reel, only one will be in office come January 2009 - and that man is Arnold Schwarzenegger.



Friday, June 01, 2007


Senator Mike Williams Votes for $220 Million Tax Hike

I've always wondered where the Independent caucus stood on taxes. I guess now we know.

Of course, maybe independents are really not for hiking taxes during a time of economic prosperity and they'll kick Senator Mike Williams out of their club. Well, maybe not...

I've always said that a legislative member without a "D" out from his or her name that votes for a tax increase is looking for an excuse not to run for re-election next time around.

Mike Williams already has one reason not to run. Explaining to the good people of Tennessee's 4th Senate District why he chose to raise their taxes - which is significant even with a voluntary act like smoking given the large number of tobacco farmers in Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, and Union counties - is just another reason to retire.

If you ask me, I think Williams sees the writing on the wall, and I do not believe that he will run for re-election in 2008.

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