Friday, June 29, 2007
Blackburn's 1st Blogger Conference Call
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.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Fred as Inspiration
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.
Labels: Fred Thompson
Corker on the Demise of the Immigration Bill
- Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
(As reported by the AP.)
Blog Call This Afternoon with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Stossel on Hamiltonian Conservatives
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."
Fred's Got the Dems Runnin' Scared
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...
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
"Once you go Fred, he stays in your head."
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.
Fed up with the Media
In any case, it made me think of this great video from the guys at JibJab. Enjoy!
Amnesty Train Keeps on Rollin'
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.
McWherter as a Viable Candidate? Whatever...
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.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
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.
SCOTUS Issues Several Rulings
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.
Fred Thompson Barnstorming Through the South
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.
Buchanan: Bloomberg only a Threat to Hillary
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.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Honk if You Hate Amnesty
I know I will.
MORE: If you are in Tennessee, here are the numbers you need to know:
D.C. Office - 202-224-4944
Knoxville - 865-545-4253
Nashville - 615-736-5129
Tri-Cities - 423-325-6240
D.C. Office - 202-224-3344
Knoxville - 865-637-4180
Nashville - 615-279-8125
Tri-Cities - 423-323-1252
Rod Beck, 1968-2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The "Old" Lady
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.)
Bloomberg Leaves Who?
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...
Not sure what to make of this study...
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.
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."
Saturday, June 16, 2007
House Update - Part Deux
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
That gives Republicans two seats on the Court, with Justice Koch joining Chief Justice Barker.
Labels: TN Supreme Court
Has Iran Committed Acts of War Against the United States?
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.
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.
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?
I long for the good ole days when strippers danced on poles instead of danced for pols.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
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.
Goldberg: Do Away with Public Schools
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.
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)
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Bush Draws More Conservative Fire for Support of Amnesty
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.
Process to Select Thomas' Replacement will be Open
"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.
For Sale By Owner
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.
Friday, June 08, 2007
The Death of the Immigration Bill
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.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Good News on the Immigration Front
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.
NRSC Rolls Out First Web Ad
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...
Labels: 2008 Senate Races
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Bill to Allow Concealed Carry in Parks Dead
I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised.
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.
Labels: 2008 GOP Presidential Primary
Fred's Campaign is Alive
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)
When Shill Blogs Attack
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.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Statesmen's Dinner Pictures
Yes, I know, my photographic skills are nonexistent...
2007 Tennessee Republican Party Statesmen's Dinner
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:
- I swear that I saw Al Gore playing with the thermostat at Gaylord and muttering something like "Here's your global warming..." It was hot as blazes at points of Saturday night, and anyone who knows how this Southern boy sweats...
- An excellent steak and desert was served, although the salad left much to be desired. My Jumbo Jack from Jack in the Box on the midnight trip back to Knoxville was also delicious.
- For an off year on the election cycle, attendance was remarkable. Being seated with Lamar at the center of the room (seriously, I don't think I have enjoyed seats this good since a dinner for Bob Dole back in 1996), it was hard to tell how many people were there. I would guess 1,000, but that's purely a guess.
- Lamar did speak to us about his campaign. I have yet to parse through the DVD he provided regarding the direction of the campaign, but he was fired up about keeping his seat in the Senate. He also mentioned that Ed Bryant was going to be an integral part of his campaign team, which shows how things have changed since the last time Lamar ran. That irony wasn't lost on me throughout the night. Here I was sitting with Lamar, who I campaigned against in the 2002 primary, fighting for my boss (at the time) and good friend Ed Bryant, who was sitting a couple of tables to my right. I have since campaigned for Lamar and, if it hadn't been for his assistance, I wouldn't have been in Nashville on Saturday night.
Regarding some of the speeches:
- Congressman David Davis spoke mostly about God. It struck me as a short speech that would have gone over better at a 1st District Lincoln Day, but it probably didn't receive the response that David was looking for at the statewide dinner.
- Jimmy Duncan, III, spoke for his father, who was at a prior speaking engagement in Florida at the time. He delivered a good line ("I have one thing in common with Nancy Pelosi and Jimmy Naifeh - I shouldn't be the speaker for much longer"), but the biggest thing to come of JD III's appearance was more fodder for the rumors that the current congressman from the 2nd District is prepping his son to take his place soon. Several operatives I spoke to Saturday night mentioned the words "aristocracy," "birth right," and "ascending to the family throne" regarding such a maneuver. We shall see.
- Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn delivered a videotaped address where she spoke of a debate challenge against Al Gore on global warming at the Bristol night race in August. Yeah, I was shaking my head at that one, too...
- Congressman Zach Wamp gave one of his typical Southern Baptist preacher speeches that is so successful at firing up the troops. He asked that we do not apologize to the world for our country, that we are hated because we do respect other viewpoints, that it is vital that we have the courage to overcome our own fears, and that we can best serve our party by serving our party first. It was short, sweet, and only contained a few jabs at Governor Romney.
- Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey received a long standing ovation, and it is clear that his star is still on the rise in Tennessee Republican politics. He declared that the state of the party is alive and well.
- TN GOP Chairman Bob Davis reiterated his call (and one that I have voiced to D.C., as well) that the national Republican Party needs to learn from Tennessee Republicans so that it can start connecting with voters in the majority of U.S. states where it lost ground in 2006.
- Mitt Romney gave a very timely speech. With Fred Thompson's picture having appeared on the large screens set up for the presentation of the 2007 Statesmen from each district at least a dozen times, several people wearing "FDT 2008" buttons in the audience, and the discussion of Fred Thompson having dominated the conversation all night, Romney knew that a campaign "stump speech" would not have been received well. Therefore, he delivered an issues-themed speech defused with several jokes and off-the-cuff stories as a lead in. As per norm with Romney, it was a good speech (although not close to his performance at SRLC in Memphis last March). He spoke of how businesses in the private sector have to improve or vanish, while the public sector doesn't have such motivations. The theme of improvement was a common thread through the address, as he quoted his father, saying "There is nothing more vulnerable than entrenched success."
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.
Chavez Insults Those Who Oppose Amnesty
"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.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
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)
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
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.