Thursday, May 29, 2008


Red State Update: Hillary's In It 'Til Somebody Gets Shot

Jackie and Dunlap wax on how Hillary Clinton is for gun control - unless a shooting results in her being the Democratic nominee:

More Burr-Hamilton style debates for the Democrats - now that's an idea I could get behind! Heh heh...



Interesting Statistic Regarding Voting and Gay Marriage


Politically, it seems that the anti-gay marriage faction has the advantage, benefiting from much greater intensity of feeling on the part of its supporters. One in four of those who are opposed to legal recognition of same-sex marriages (26%) say they will vote only for candidates for major office who share their view on the issue. By contrast, only 2% of those who favor making same-sex marriage legal define themselves as one- issue voters on the subject.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I Love Tom Coburn

Tom Coburn, Republican Senator from Oklahoma, is one of the few Republicans in Washington for whom I would lay down my firm for here in Knoxville and travel to D.C. Anyone who has had the privilege of spending quality time with Senator Coburn (and, thanks to Ed Bryant, I can count myself as one of those fortunate people) knows that he's the real deal when it comes to conservative governance.

Senator Coburn's column in today's Wall Street Journal tells it like it is - Republicans have been sidetracked lately, venturing from ideology in pursuit of re-election vehicles like the K Street Project and "compassionate conservatism." With the exception of the last paragraph, Coburn's column might be one of the best I have read this year.

Regarding the last paragraph - it's probably the most evident sign that Coburn wouldn't mind the VP slot on McCain's ticket, supporting some rumors that I have been hearing for months now. And, yes, Coburn is one of those few guys that would make me rethink my inability to support the current GOP ticket.

Labels: ,


The State, Marriage, and Contract Law

Christopher Roach of Taki's Magazine (edited by Taki Theodoracopulos, who probably plays a mean game of Scrabble with a name like that) has an excellent argument about why the state is in the marriage business.

The state (as in NY, FL, etc.) should be in the marriage business because marriage is primarily about taming heterosexual men, whose passions and bad behavior create real problems without a norm (supported by laws) in favor of marriage. Men are biologically disposed to promiscuity. Without direction by chaste women and their stern fathers, this passion can create a glut of uncared for and poorly raised bastard children.

Well, Christopher, tell us how you really feel...

Read the whole thing, along with the myriad of comments. I believe the contract theory argument contained at the end of the piece will satisfy those of you who think legalistically.

Labels: ,


Momentum Gaining Behind GOP Senate Trouble?

A.C. has a post over on his site regarding Mitch McConnell now beginning to feel the heat behind this title wave of Democratic momentum. My reply, also in the comments over at A.C.'s site, is not as alarmist as some are proving to be.



OK, there are some Republican Senators who are going to have problems. I grant you that. However, one can look into the numbers and the dynamics of the particular states in play - as I have instead of following the 3 Democrats running for POTUS - and see that all is not lost.

Alexander is safe. McConnell is safe. Coleman is safe. Chambliss is safe. Dole and Cochran should be fine. However, where the real trouble for the GOP lies is in states such as Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia, where losses are probable for open seats that were in the GOP column.

If the RNC is smart (and it has shown to be anything but on a national level this decade), it will pour resources into the retirement states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia, as well as possible pick-ups in Louisiana and New Jersey where good candidates face tired Democratic incumbents. Use those resources to point out that things have become drastically worse economically under Democratic rule in both houses of Congress. Turn the tables, saying that it's hard to pin this one on the GOP when it's been the Democrats in control since gas was under $2.00 a gallon.

Keeping the line drawn at 40 GOP Members of the Senate is more important than a certain loss in the race for POTUS.





Looking Forward to November's Aftermath

Dave Oatney has two quality pieces on what each of the major parties faces should their nominee go down to defeat come November. Yesterday, Dave looked at a McCain defeat, and today he visited an Obama defeat.

Interesting stuff. Dave is still an optimist when it comes to McCain. I, as y'all know, am not. So much so that, for the first time, I actually paid attention to what was happening in Denver this weekend at the Libertarian Party convention.

But more on that later...



Red State Update: Edwards, Biden, Huckabee Revisited

Jackie and Dunlap weigh in on Edwards' endorsement of Obama, Biden's foul language, and the Huckster making funnies about shooting presidential candidates.



Al Franken for Senate - Now That's Entertainment!

I've posted several times on VOLCon about Democrat Al Franken's bizarre run for Minnesota's Senate seat currently held by moderate Republican Norm Coleman.

Even the novice political wonk certainly remembers Al Franken from his stint as a writer/actor on Saturday Night Live and then on that failed radio project of known as Air America.

What has been happening in his campaign, however, has been more elaborate and strange than anything Franken ever wrote for SNL. Worker's Compensation scandals, failure to pay taxes in several states, lies, deceit - and that's just in the last couple of months.

Things keep getting weirder, and blogger Michael Brodkorb (of the blog Minnesota Democrats Exposed) can be credited with keeping Franken's feet to the fire. In his latest post, Brodkorb has been investigating Franken's claims about not receiving mail related to his Worker's Compensation problems at his New York residence. Included in Brodkorb's report are apparent lies and potential forgery.

As I said previously, truth here is stranger than fiction (unless it's fiction that is based on truth, such as with HBO's latest stinker Recount, which I hope to torpedo later this week). It's looking like Coleman won't have to go negative against Franken, because ol' "Stuart Smalley" is doing a daggone good job of exposing his own negatives to Minnesota voters on a daily basis.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Red State Update: Obama, Media Hate the South

More hilarity and political commentary from Jackie and Dunlap:



Bob Barr Takes on the GOP, Democrats

Bob Barr, former GOP Congressman from Georgia, takes on his former Party and dishes plenty of the same on the Democrats in the video below:

Barr is seeking the Libertarian Party's nomination for President of the United States. I always thought that Barr was an interesting guy during his time in Congress, and it will be interesting to see if he gains the traction needed to upset McCain's apple cart should he receive the LP's nomination. (Currently, Barr is polling between one and eight percent, depending on the state, which isn't too shabby given that he has only been a candidate for a number of weeks.)

Someone in the GOP must be scared of a Barr candidacy, though, as several attack articles like this one from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and this one from National Review Online have suddenly popped up on the eve of the Libertarian Party Convention in Denver this weekend. When was the last time that a LP candidate starting receiving fire before the convention? I can't recall it ever happening, to tell the truth.

I could see me supporting Barr. Despite the erroneous report that I had endorsed Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin, I remain uncommitted. It certainly didn't help Baldwin's chances when I attempted to e-mail the head of the Tennessee Constitution Party to see how they planned to gain ballot access here in the Volunteer State. That e-mail came back with fatal errors at the receiving end. What really gives me pause is that the head of the Tennessee Constitution Party is the wife of Baldwin's running mate, Darrell Castle. That certainly didn't inspire any great confidence in the third largest party in the United States.

Barr doesn't strike me as the traditional Libertarian candidate. He hasn't turned himself blue. He hasn't created a nickname for himself like "Liberty Bell," "Apple Pie," or "Firecracker." Heck, I don't think that he's advocated for legalizing statutory rape or bestiality (although he did apparently lobby for medicinal marijuana a few years back). Could Bob Barr lend some much needed credibility to a party that has been short on such for several years?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Red State Update: Criticism of the TNGOP's Obama Video

OK, so maybe Jackie and Dunlap aren't criticizing the message.

Just the video itself...



Tennessee Senate to Decide Today on Allowing Tennesseans to Vote for Appellate Judges?

Terry Frank has been all over this issue, and it is an important one.

First, some background for the uninitiated - despite what it says in the Tennessee Constitution (as pointed out by Rep. Stacey Campfield), we don't really vote on our appellate judges here in Tennessee. When I refer to appellate judges, I am referring to judges who sit on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Tennessee Supreme Court. These judges are appointed by our governor after he receives a panel of three candidates from the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission. Every 8 years we are allowed to cast a retention vote on these judges (only former Supreme Court Justice Penny White has ever been voted off the bench through one of these retention votes), but that's not exactly the same as an actual election, now is it?

This current method of judicial selection - often referred to as the "Tennessee Plan" - sunsets this year. After a year of winding down, we will most likely see some sort of popular election for appellate court judges here in Tennessee absent some sort of rescue operation for the Tennessee Plan.

And such an effort has been ongoing for several months now. A current judge on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals gave a heartfelt plea to a local bar a few months back, trying to drum up support for saving the Tennessee Plan. This particular judge, whom I have practiced before on many an occasion, was elevated to his current position by Governor Bredesen and has been an excellent judge for many years. However, he is probably a bit worried that a Democrat like himself would have little chance of winning popular election in East Tennessee - an election that he would have to take part in to keep his current job.

Liberal lawyers like Knoxville's Wanda Sobieski and members of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association (I refuse to address them by their new, more politically correct name because I've always known them as the TTLA) have also been trying to drum up support from their colleagues, asking that State Senators be contacted. (I mention Sobieski because I received an e-mail from her earlier today, but others have also been active on this front.) Others, like Kay Brooks, have been lobbying to let the citizens of Tennessee vote on their judiciary.

As a practical matter, I have been of two-minds on the sunsetting of the "Tennessee Plan." (As an ideological matter, I am for letting the people vote on all things that effect them at all times, not just when it fits my cause (compare here and here from the same author, for a counterexample).) Practically, though, having statewide elections with the mind-boggling fundraising needed - as they do in Texas, Illinois, and Alabama - raises ethical issues. However, at least that is aboveboard, for the public to view. Appointed judges make for backroom deals and the dirty side of politics. That certainly isn't an ideal way of going about things.

The practical issues aside, my ideology wins out on this one. The Tennessee Plan should go. Instrumental in my understanding and ultimate conclusion on this matter was a report provided to me by The Federalist Society. That report, authored by Vanderbilt Law Professor Brian Fitzpatrick, is an excellent resource for anyone with questions as to why the Tennessee Plan should go the way of the dodo.

As of 2:43 P.M. today, I was informed by staff for Senator Jamie Woodson that the matter had not made it to the floor of the Senate, as planned by former Lt. Governor Wilder. (The videos of Wilder begging to support for the Tennessee Plan are sad - how can this man manage to gain re-election?!?!) In fact, I was told that it was doubtful that the matter would be brought to the floor prior to adjournment. This would certainly be surprising - and welcome.

There's my two-cents...

Labels: , ,


BREAKING: Ted Kennedy has Cancerous Brain Tumor

Given all that Ted Kennedy has been through in his life - some voluntarily, some not - I find it hard to believe that he won't find a way to beat brain cancer, too.

Even from the other side of the aisle, our prayers are with the Kennedy's during this time of need.

Labels: ,

Monday, May 19, 2008


Lottery Scholarship GPA Requirements Likely to Fall

I suppose that it makes sense that a General Assembly comprised of mostly mediocre legislators would seek to reward Tennessee's mediocre college students.

I also suppose that there is some degree of liberal thought at work here, as over 2,000 State employees with degrees in hand are laid off while students who partied too hard to keep a pathetic "B-" GPA are rewarded. Liberals have always had that urge to push as many people to the middle of the "bell curve" as possible and then provide economic incentives to keep them there, all the while stifling the achievements of the top end of that curve - especially when it comes to public education issues.

I certainly hope the Senate Republicans, led by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, will take a stand on this bill and keep the GPA requirements for the lottery scholarship as they currently stand.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Red State Update: Hillary is the Winner, Which Means She is Doomed

"Rats are stupid."

- Dunlap

I think Dunlap meant Democrats, not rats.

Labels: ,


Would a Green McCain Equal Less Greenbacks for America?

Columnist Phil Brennan of NewsMax and formerly of National Review thinks so, even going so far as to invoke the name of the inventor of these here Internets as a comparison.

(McCain's) views on global -- oops -- climate change -- have been no secret, but his latest pledge to take strong action to stop the planet from heating up dangerously puts him squarely in the ranks of Al Gore's cohort of climate change alarmists, a group known for their fanaticism.

Brennan cites a piece by John Carney from GQ:

With a slowing economy, escalating food prices and energy prices climbing ever higher, you might think that Republican presidential candidate John McCain would be hesitant to endorse a European Union-style carbon emission trading scheme that seems likely to result in less economic growth, higher energy prices and higher food prices from increased biofuel demand.

Brennan's piece is interesting, especially the parts regarding the current cooling phenomenon we have observed over the past decade. Funny how the media and moonbats all seem to have missed that one.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Goldman Sachs Manipulates Oil Prices to Record High

Hey, Goldman Sachs - the next time that no one asks for your uninformed opinion, how about keeping it to yourself?

With no real reason for the rising price of gas except for fear and momentum, it doesn't seem conceivable that oil could reach $200 a barrel in the near future.

Labels: ,


FACT Gives Thanks

Family Action Council of Tennessee issued a statement, a bit of which is included below, that commends those Tennessee State Representatives that supported life here in the Volunteer State through the form of SJR 127:

Rep. Dunn is to be commended for his extraordinary effort by a very creative means to get SJR 127 to the floor for an up or down vote. A lesser person without Rep. Dunn's commitment to this cause could have been intimidated by the powerful forces that control the House. All Republicans, but for one, voted in support of Rep. Dunn on every motion designed to thwart his effort and they, too, should be commended.

And a special commendation should be accorded to the Democratic Representatives who also voted in support of Rep. Dunn's effort every time. They are, alphabetically, Eddie Bass, Curt Cobb, Charles Curtiss, Nathan Vaughn and John Mark Windle. They showed that their convictions on the issue of life were more important than the partisan overtones that had surrounded this Resolution and more important than gaining the approval of fellow party members who opposed the effort.

Labels: ,

Monday, May 05, 2008


Getting to Know Chuck Baldwin, Constitution Party Nominee for President

For the first time, I am intrigued by the Constitution Party's nominee for President of the United States. Although the Constitution Party is the third-largest party in the U.S., none of the previous nominees has tickled my fancy enough to turn from the Republican Party's respective nominee. Since the GOP ignored its conservative base and picked a leading RINO as its nominee for 2008, circumstances are different now - and perhaps the Constitution Party's nominee is a bit different.

First, I read Chuck Baldwin's essay on what he plans to do if he were elected President. As a conservative, it's hard to find much with which to disagree in that essay. I am curious as to how Baldwin plans to keep the government solvent by repealing the federal income tax and not resting on a heavy VAT or national sales tax. I'm sure that there is some sort of economic plan to keep a more limited government solvent, but it's not referred to in this particular essay. I'm also not convinced that shifting oil dependence from foreign sources to domestic sources solves anything over the long haul, either.

Second, I listened to Chuck Baldwin's acceptance speech at the Constitution Party's convention in St. Louis, embedded below.

Admittedly, it is early, but it seems to me that if you liked what Ron Paul had to say (and there's a good deal of Internet money and energy that did like Dr. Paul), then you'll like Chuck Baldwin. Baldwin seems to be a younger Ron Paul with a more palatable voice.

There's more to be learned, for sure, and I'm not endorsing Chuck Baldwin today. There are still many questions that need to be answered. But I am intrigued, folks, in this Baptist from Pensacola. Quite so.

Labels: ,

Friday, May 02, 2008


Tennessee Firearms Association Meeting

This from the TFA's Knoxville Chapter regarding their May meeting:





Our guest speaker is Mike Acuff from the American Eagle Foundation, he will talk about their operations at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge.

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. For more information contact: Bill Noll; 865-688-0321 or Charlie Thoms; 865-379-2151.

Labels: ,


The Last of the Caucasians?

Pat Buchanan waxes about new studies that show the decline of European-based peoples by 2060.

The numbers are interesting, but I'm not too worried about them. After all, these projections seem to ignore certain socio-economic factors, wars, and diseases that have worked to keep the world's population relatively in check over human history. To me, it's too speculative to worry about.

Buchanan's worries about the U.S.'s Southern border, however, are quite real and must be addressed. Alas, the three candidates for the White House don't see the security of the U.S. borders as a problem that needs addressing.

Labels: ,


The Bush Legacy?

Yes, we all know that we're paying more for everyday goods these days, but do you know how much more?


. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2008 2000 % Change
Gasoline (per gallon) $3.28 $1.36 141%
Natural gas (per ccf) $1.30 $0.71 83%
Electricity (per kwh) $.116 $.084 38%
Milk (per gallon) - $3.87 $2.78 39%
Bread (per lb) - $1.28 $0.91 41%
Eggs (per dozen) - $2.18 $0.98 122%
Orange Juice (per gal.) $2.54 $1.82 40%
Ground Beef (per lb.) $2.33 $1.48 57%

Those inside the Bush White House often speak of President Bush's concern with his legacy as his second term comes to a close. I can't help but think that the picture painted by the above figures is this president's legacy.

Labels: , ,


Al Franken's Woes in Minnesota

The stories on Franken's tax problems have been slowly coming to light over the past week. Powerline has a full rundown, complete with Franken's attempts to blame his accountant.

Minnesota Public Radio has been delving into the issue, as well, and it doesn't sound like Franken's excuses are carrying water with them or with Minnesota accountants.

It wasn't like Franken was seriously challenging Senator Norm Coleman anyway. Minnesota could have been a problem for the Republicans, but with the walking punchline that is Al Franken representing the Democrats, I don't seriously see any change in this seat come November.

But it will be a fun race to watch as the pompous windbag Franken is exposed for the nut that he is...


Thursday, May 01, 2008


My Hero: Chris Lofton

I was not one of the few who knew that Chris Lofton, the All-American shooting guard for UT, was diagnosed with cancer this past year. But I knew something was wrong early on in the season. I never thought it was cancer, but I knew something wasn't right.

Read Chris Low's outstanding piece on I wept buckets, and I'm not afraid to admit it. My love for Chris Lofton, his parents, and everything that they stand for cannot be measured. I can only hope that my son embodies those same qualities when he grows up.

Whether Chris Lofton ever plays in the NBA is irrelevant for how Vol fans will remember him. I hope he does for his own satisfaction, because his work ethic and selflessness should be rewarded. My selfish hope is that I'm in attendance with my own son when Chris Lofton's #5 jersey is hung from the rafters at Thompson-Boling Arena. I want to show my gratitude for his bravery now that its extent is known, and I want my son to see why the qualities Chris Lofton exhibits are so important in life.

Thank you, Chris Lofton. You truly have the heart of a Tennessee Volunteer.



Bill Dunn Takes On Naifeh On Abortion

My representative in the General Assembly, Bill Dunn, took part in a very interesting procedural maneuver today in an attempt to move SJR 127, which would eliminate the judicial activism of the Tennessee Supreme Court a few years back that read a right to an abortion into the Tennessee Constitution, to the floor for a roll call vote.

A.C. and Ken Whitehouse have the story, which, for wonks like myself, is fascinating. I only wish that I could have been there to help out. (For all of those e-mailers who have asked Angela and I to stay in Knox County, I can say this - having Bill Dunn representing me in the State House is one heck of a perk in favor of Knox County).

So, fine folks, why did the Democrats not want SJR 127 to arrive at the floor for a vote? While it is likely that a majority of the House would vote in favor of the measure, it is unlikely that 2/3 of the House would give it the thumbs up, and that is what is needed to move the bill on. Democrats undoubtedly will cry "wedge issue" and "election year politics." But, as Boss Hogg himself would say, that's "hogwash." After all, if the majority of voters in your district agree with how you vote on any issue, how could it hurt an incumbent in an election? Only if the representative is voting against the interests of a majority of his or her constituents does a problem arise, and then justly so. A representative voting against his or her constituents' interests is in violation of the trust put to him or her by the voters he or she represents.

The Democrats (and I paint with a wide brush here - some Democrats like Nathan Vaughn are more pro-life than many of the Republicans) don't want any part of SJR 127 because they know that the majority of Tennesseans are pro-life and would vote for a constitutional amendment if given the chance. However, like the Knox County Commission, the Democrats in the General Assembly don't want to give Tennesseans a chance to vote their mind at the ballot box.

And that is why those who support "Boss Hogg" Naifeh need to be shown the door this election cycle - be they Democrat (Karen Camper) or Republican (Doug Overbey).

Labels: , , ,


Smokies Friends of the NRA Banquet Set

From the NRA Foundation:

The Smokies Friends of NRA plans to hold a banquet on Saturday, May 10th at 6:00 PM at the Mainstays Suites, 410 Pine Mountain Road in Pigeon Forge. Tickets may be purchased at Sevier Indoor Range, 1874 Country Meadow Drive in Sevierville or by calling (865) 774-6111. You may also purchase tickets by contacting local committee chairman Tom Ressler at (865) 604-1026 or

Friends of NRA is a key event that supports thousands of community service related to firearm education, hunter safety, wildlife conservation, range improvements, youth marksmanship and law enforcement, among others. Working with NRA field representatives, the members and volunteers organize banquets in their communities, complete with auctions, special drawings and fellowship. Much of the merchandise at the banquets is donated or provided at reduced cost by hundreds of participating vendors.

The Friends of NRA is the face of the NRA, run at the grassroots level by people from all walks of life. At a Friends of NRA banquet, you'll meet fire chiefs, engineers, shopkeepers, police officers, and teachers: all mainstream citizens working together to support an important cause in preserving our rights and heritage.

Half of the profits raised by each Friends of NRA banquet will be spent in the state in which it was held. The other half supports qualifying national-level programs like the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program, Women On Target®, and other educational and safety services. State Fund Committees made up of volunteers review grant applications from local organizations and make recommendations to The NRA Foundation on how the money might best be used in their areas. For more information about Friends of NRA, visit

Labels: ,


Senator Tim Burchett Hospitalized

On the same day that a theory was floated that would have him as Knox County Mayor in 2010, Senator Tim Burchett was admitted to a Nashville hospital complaining of chest pains.

Our prayers go out to Tim and his new fiance as he recovers.

(Tips of the Hat: A.C. Kleinheider, Michael Silence)



Hagen Looks to be Democratic Nominee in North Carolina

It was noted here earlier this year that it appeared that Kay Hagan was the leading candidate for the Democrats to take on Senator Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina.

Recent polling seems to back that up. According to a story in the Winston-Salem Journal, Hagan is up by a whopping 28-points over her closest rival, liberal homosexual Jim Neal. This doesn't surprise me, as Neal's first campaign salvos screamed, "I'm gay. Vote for me." He has since expanded his platform to include every other issue that the liberals love (pro-abortion, anti-war, pro-tax, etc.), but his fundraising is purely amateurish.

Hagan could be trouble for the Republicans in a year where nothing should be taken for granted. Dole is nowhere near as safe as George Allen appeared in Virginia in 2006 around this same time, and Hagan is moderate in the same mould as Jim Webb.

I'm certainly not predicting an upset here - especially with a decent money advantage for Dole and Hagan having to burn through funds to win her primary - but it is something that Republicans should watch in a year where the fate of the Senate filibuster could rest on one vote.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?