Sunday, August 31, 2008
Six Wonderful Years
Republican National Convention: Day One
We have arrived in Minnesota! We are staying tonight in the Staybridge Suites at Bloomington, which is the suburb that is south-southwest of Minneapolis. As for distance (for those familiar with Knox County, Tennessee), think Turkey Creek to downtown Knoxville.
Travel to our destination couldn't have been easier. Traffic to Atlanta was light, and we breezed through Hartfield Airport check-in and security in under 20 minutes. On a holiday weekend at one of the world's busiest airports, I was a bit surprised by our speedy trip to the gate. The flight on Delta was also uneventful, with one exception. Several members of the Georgia delegation were also on the flight, and we all had our fill of the Ron Paul supporters who accompanied us to Minnesota. It seems that Ron Paul supporters can be grouped into two different categories - aging academics that were greatly impacted by the Vietnam War, and smelly twenty-somethings that believe their lives to be overly interesting and unfair. At least, that was what we encountered on our flight. In any case, it appears that they neglected to read the memo where their man - rightly or wrongly - will not be President of the United States next year.
After arriving at the Staybridge Suites (which is a fantastic hotel thus far), Angela and I walked a few miles to explore our surroundings. It's my first time in Minnesota, and it is not at all what I expected. Everything is very green, the air remarkably clean and fresh, and lakes and rivers seem to be ubiquitous. I'm not sure if it's just the RNC being here this week or if this is commonplace, but the level of hospitality that we have experienced thus far rivals Southern hospitality. I'm not sure if I can give a higher compliment than that.
Dinner was at Fuddrucker's (where we caught some SEC domination of the Clemson Tigers), and Angela retired for the night shortly after we arrived back at the hotel. That's probably a good thing, because our schedule over the next 6 days borders on the ridiculous. It will be a physical challenge just to make it through our extensive itinerary.
Tomorrow brings a change to the Tennessee delegation hotel at the Mall of America, picking up our credentials, attending a movie premier, hobnobbing at the Convention Delegation Party, and an after-party in one of Minneapolis' finer clubs.
One area of concern involves members of the lunatic Left and their "protests." As others can attest, protesters at various conservative events (the Southern Republican Leadership Conference and the Stand in the Gap rally come to mind) are often more punchline than punch out. That does not appear to be the case here. The local news tonight consisted of 15 minutes (at least) of raids, arrests, warrants, and interviews related to leftist fringe groups facing criminal penalties for planning physical violence and mayhem meant at disrupting the RNC. One environmental group was detained, although the pigs, chickens and dogs that accompanied the humans in the bus were released. The buses used to transport the delegates are under armed guard due to threats, and I can only guess that the stage for the Beach Boys concert (which is parked in trucks near our hotel) has been targeted, too, since Secret Service has been over here multiple times throughout the day. The lunatic Left - they're not just for laughing at anymore...
Like the rest of the country, delegates here in Minneapolis are greatly concerned about Gustav bearing down on Louisiana. While we all would have loved to have heard from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, I haven't heard one delegate here exclaim that they should leave their states in this time of crisis to attend the RNC here in Minneapolis. Our prayers are with our American brothers and sisters in the path of this horrific storm.
The honor of being a part of all of this is starting to sink in. Much like the Republican nominee for Vice President, neither Angela nor myself comes from the advantaged class that tends to comprise those chosen as delegates, VIPs, or elected officials in our system of government. Angela hails from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the daughter of a Southern Baptist preacher and a school teacher. I am from Bluff City, Tennessee, the son of an electrical engineer and a paralegal. We have both been blessed to participate in so many wonderful political events, from inaugurations to campaigns to the creation of laws. That we will be at the Republican National Convention this week, assisting the Party in bidding good bye to one President and selecting the potential President a few nights later, has not been lost on us.
The above being said, I want to set some context for future posts. I am not a credentialed blogger for the Republican National Convention, and that is probably a good thing. I've been credentialed on many other occasions, and, rightly or wrongly, being designated as such can have an effect on one's blogging of events. This way, I can retain my objectivity, and, as regular readers know of my past (some would say constant) criticisms of the Republican Party, I will not be afraid to dish out some smack if it is called for. (I read a few of the blogs that covered the Democratic National Convention, and I'm convinced that some of them would have happily reported the bright side of even the most despicable actions if the offenders at the DNC would have been Democrats. Objectivity was out the window to the point where their "reports" were nothing more than Astroturf press releases from the Democratic Party.) My aim is to stay clear of that obstacle. The downside of not being credentialed is that my posts will be either very late at night or very early in the morning. Only credentialed bloggers and media can carry their laptops past security, so my blogging will be tethered to my hotel.
Of course, I am a conservative, and I have worked, campaigned for, and given all that I can for the Republican Party on multiple occasions. I will not - and perhaps could not - leave that part of me behind when blogging the Republican National Convention. I will view the events here through that perspective. There will probably be aspects that the conservative in me will love, and there will probably be aspects that the conservative in me will hate. I will try to bring both to you as truthfully as I can.
That truthful reporting will also include references to whom is paying for all of these events. I read with some dismay the criticism of Democratic delegates accepting food, beverages, etc., in Denver last week. Folks, delegates and other attendees of these conventions pay their own way to the conventions. Flights are expensive. Hotel rooms are double or even triple what they would normally be if the convention was not in town. The local government raised sales tax rates temporarily and authorized taxis to charge more for this week. It is expensive (especially for Angela and I, who had to close our firm for a week on top of the expenses associated with the trip). However, I also understand some of the concern with certain event sponsorships (particularly the AT&T breakfast for Democrats that handed the telecom giant gift-wrapped legislation in Tennessee earlier this year). I will make every effort to give you the full picture, allowing for you to decide if there are any inappropriate sponsorships occurring.
Well, that's it for tonight. I had better get some sleep, because it is going to be a long week.
Republican National Convention: Welcome!
Well, I don't think anyone will debate my race, so one out of three ain't bad...
Friday, August 29, 2008
If I post on the blog now, I won't be able to post from the Convention, so...
More to come Saturday!
MORE: OK, already, enough with the e-mail questions! Yes, I love the Palin pick.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I'm not one to defend the media on most cases, which may seem a bit odd since that used to be my gig. However, this video borders on the absurd.
All of that for taking pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic money men and elected officials?
I hope St. Paul treats media better, otherwise my laptop might ought to stay home and I'll just write a pictureless book on dead wood.
RedState has a bunch more, as does Instapundit (here and here).
REWIND: Biden Thinks Gun Owners Have Mental Issues
Apparently, Average Joe believes either 1) that all gun owners have mental issues or 2) that he can diagnose the questioner as mentally ill using his experience as a medical doctor and based on a video clip under thirty seconds in length.
That's the kind of deep thought America can expect from a ticket that believes buzzwords like "hope" and "change" are all that American voters want out of their political leaders.
RedState to McCain: Make Cantor Your VP
Coming from a power like RedState, this is a big deal. Maybe they read my post yesterday and decided to join in. (Just kidding, although they have been known to stop by VOLCon in the past.)
There is a sudden drumbeat for Kay Bailey Hutchison from Texas. While I am very supportive of a female on the ticket, I'm not hot of Hutchison. She's dry as Elwood's toast and decidedly pro-choice in a party that has declared pro-life as part of its platform. Besides, I, like most everyone else, was under the impression that she was very interested in changing addresses from the U.S. Senate to Austin's Governor's Mansion.
Go with Cantor, Senator McCain, or find someone like him. Just remember that the clock is ticking and Friday morning is just around the corner.
Labels: 2008 General Election
Bourbon Boys: Week One
By the way, all three of the Boys picked UT to beat UCLA on Monday night, although only one picked the Vols to cover the 7.5 point spread.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
My Kingdom for an Unbiased Media
I'm usually not one to resort to name-calling, but my position is that the media started it. They have to believe that Americans are fools to take the garbage they spew packaged as "news" and then accept their expressions of shock and insult when we question their impartiality.
It's going to take a great deal of restraint for me not to go off on any liberal who claims that the media are being too hard on Obama. (By the way, the last time I heard this from a liberal - 3:15 this afternoon.) I appreciate helping out good, decent media sources like NRO, fellow bloggers, and the like, but I doubt I have it in me to provide too much assistance to media types as reports such as Mark's continue to leak out of Denver.
Jim Geraghty, who doesn't suffer from wishy-washy analytical paralysis, writes over at National Review that Biden blew it big time. I wasn't impressed; it reminded me of the efforts of someone who couldn't break the 2% barrier of support in Iowa after basically meeting every man, woman, and child in the state. Oh, that's right. I guess that would be Average Joe...
Is a Conservative Joining the McCain Ticket?
Could the man in the middle be the next Vice President of the the United States?
Late yesterday afternoon, delegates and media were provided with the breakdown of speakers for next week's Republican National Convention. I have been waiting for that list, because it's standard thought that you can pick an unnamed VP nominee by examining that list - not as much as for who is on it but for who is not.
Many candidates whom I would qualify as "highly desirable" for conservatives are still in play by looking at the Convention agenda. Of particular note is the absence of Eric Cantor, Congressman from the swing state of Virginia, Chief Deputy Republican Whip in the House, and the kind of young, strong conservative that nicely balances the maverick McCain.
Is Cantor the answer to the million dollar question? We'll know in a few days, but I'm starting to think he may be. I may be arriving at that conclusion with my heart and not my head, but it certainly is a possibility. Maybe I'm reaching for proof here, but one could interpret the hiring a few months back of the highly regarded Matt Lira to run McCain's Internet efforts as a sign. Lira's previous job? He was the e-guru for Congressman Eric Cantor.
I'm just saying...
There's even a website devoted to Cantor's cause.
Duncan: GOP Faces Congressional Losses in 2008, but McCain Will Win
Duncan is realistic in saying that the Republicans could lose up to five seats in both chambers of Congress. However, Duncan is not all gloom and doom for the Republicans, as he sees the race for the White House as McCain's to lose. Jimmy is often right when predicting such matters, so it would be wise for people to take notice of his assessment.
Duncan also spoke about other American issues, such as energy sources and road projects.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Recipe for Disaster
I thought of dear Katie last night during Michelle Obama's speech at the DNC. You see, I remember Katie's new drinking game built around Obama speeches at the Convention. According to the rules:
"...every time Obama says the word "change," you take a shot. And every time he says the word "hope," you take a double shot."
During one two-minute episode, I counted 12 "changes" and three "hopes."
Maybe Katie has a higher tolerance than I do (I suspect that most people do), but I would think that I would be a little worse for wear today if I had been playing along.
Quote of the Day, Part II
- "The Ragin' Cajun," James Carville
Quote of the Day
- Bruce Shine, Tennessee delegate and one of three finalists for a vacancy on the Tennessee Supreme Court, commenting on Tennessee law that says that pledged delegates must follow through with their pledge to vote for their candidate.
Wow. Apparently, Mr. Shine believes that we can pick and choose which laws we need to follow. I can't tell you how many of my criminal clients think that way, so I'm sure that he would be very popular with them.
Marsha on Watch in Denver
Democrats Use Old Ploys at DNC
If you didn't watch the Convention coverage last night, here is what you missed:
- Nancy Pelosi showed her commitment to discouraging domestic drilling by riding a caribou into the Pepsi Center. She was dismayed later on when the caribou later trampled North Carolina Congressman and noted Pelosi supporter Heath Shuler when the caribou blitzed the former Washington Redskin quarterback from his blindside.
- Rep. Jessie Jackson, Jr. tried to match his father's record for most consecutive rhymes in a speech but failed miserably. He later pledged not to try to outdo his father on any of his other records, including most illegitimate children by an ordained pastor.
- A video montage outlined the Kennedy contributions over the years to increasing the number of missing and raped women in America.
- In an embarrassing moment, Joe Biden was caught by a FoxNews camera hocking old speeches to convention speakers who were dissatisfied with their own written monologues.
- Michelle Obama, wearing traditional Muslim dress, capped the night off with a stirring prayer to Allah, followed by a ceremonial burning of an American flag her husband had stolen from a battalion serving in Afghanistan.
Like I said, if you didn't watch last night, that's what you should think happened last night...
Monday, August 25, 2008
1) we leave for the Republican National Convention in all of 5 days;
2) UT football kicks off in 7 days; and
3) the NFL football season starts in 10 days.
It's the best time of the year, folks. Between those events and the start of hunting season, Southern men live for these fall months.
Red State Update: Joe Biden!!!
Biden? No, That Can't Be Right...
I've said for a long time that in the current political climate that the one wild card in the 2008 elections was how the Democrats could screw this up for themselves. The Biden pick is a beautiful reflection of that.
How can a ticket (and, indeed, an entire political party) be about "change" when the man helping to pull the top of the ticket has been in Washington, D.C. for nearly as long as I have been alive (and longer than most of the young voters who trumpet Obama)?
How can a ticket say that it is about fighting the system and "Washington insiders" when the VP pick is the very picture of what a Washington insider is?
How can Obama expect for any woman with self-respect to vote for him when all that he has done is torpedo Hillary Clinton at every turn and pick a crusty old white man when presented with the opportunity to provide real demographic change in the Executive Branch?
How can Democrats have any faith in their party when a strategic move could have pushed them toward 270 electoral votes and ultimate victory in the presidential race by picking up Virginia (Webb, Kaine), Indiana (Bayh), or even Kansas (Sebelius), or putting an Hispanic on the ticket in Richardson?
Change? Nope. Just the same old bumbling Democratic Party.
Vice Presidential Hack
The Crone Speaks
Katie Allison Granju - Obama Didn't Get This One Right
Weekend Advantage Goes to McCain - This is from Michael Silence, who penned the great line:
"If my pick were Biden, I'd wait until late Friday night to leak it, too."
One good point, though - by picking Biden, Obama has given me an excuse to drag out this golden oldie from the Red State Update files (warning - language is rough and not for younger ears):
Friday, August 22, 2008
That's the Democratic National Convention that I Know and Love
We ain't got no benediction.
We got plenty of pot.
UPDATE: There have been plenty of quality videos as of late from both the Obama camp and the McCain camp, but, on the eve of the DNC's road to
Now THAT'S a good video...
50% of Co-habitators Separate
So maybe marriage isn't the problem. It seems to me that whether you co-habitate or you marry that the odds are pretty similar as to whether or not you will last as a couple.
Maybe we are just so into ourselves that we can't stand to commit to another person for any length of time, even if that commitment is imaginary (as with co-habitators).
Maybe, like with school shootings and the like, it is a basic failure of who we are now as Americans - particularly in comparison to who were as Americans 50 years ago (pre-1960s).
Baldwin Bashes Pro-Life McCain
Well, color me nuts then.
I'm not a John McCain fan. Not in the least. I do believe that he wore out Barrack Obama at Rick Warren's event. (To say that I was shocked at how well McCain did and how horrible Obama was would be a dramatic understatement.)
However, I have no qualms with McCain's pro-life stances. He's solidly pro-life, and while there are dozens of other topics for conservatives to question John McCain, the pro-life issue is not one of them.
And, in reading Baldwin's article, it is sadly apparent that he has a weak understanding of how our system of government works. That's sad, because, as I have said here before, I thought he could be a good candidate. Unfortunately, the Constitution Party is incredibly unorganized, and if it can't break into this particular presidential race, then it might as well dissolve and start over from scratch.
Sorry, Pastor Baldwin, but I need a conservative in the White House who understands how our system of government works. You would do no good if you don't know how to work within the system to achieve your goals. I need Ronald Reagan, not Don Quixote.
The Day Has Arrived. Oh Happy, Happy Day...
At least this will start the ball rolling so that McCain can go about picking his VP. As I've stated here before, I'm praying for a strong, relatively young conservative VP that I can enthusiastically support. There are some out there, Senator McCain. You've just got to have the cojones to pick one of them. And, by the way, it doesn't have to be a crusty old white man like Joe Biden...
Labels: 2008 General Election
Thursday, August 21, 2008
School Shooting in Knoxville
Especially troubling is that one of our neighbors is a teacher at Central and works before school in the cafeteria, which is where the shooting occurred.
From what I can tell (from a source with no actual confirmation), the student who was shot has died after taking a shot directly to the chest. The shooter was Hispanic and apparently acted like some sort of gangster after pulling the trigger, walking calmly out of the school. He did not resist arrest when encountered by police about three blocks from the school.
The scene is complete chaos, and our church, Central Baptist Church of Fountain City, is acting as a staging area for parents. Adding to the confusion are radio reports that police have been seen responding at high-speed to Halls High School.
Reactions from the community have been passionate, if a bit misguided. In one call to WNOX's radio show, a woman in one breath praised students for updating panicked parents on their cellphones but advocated metal detectors be placed at the entrances to all Knox County schools. Uh, I'm just guessing here, but I bet those cellphones are made of 100% plastic...
Knox County schools have problems educating the children. I have yet to hear of anyone moving into the county for the school system. (Not saying that it hasn't happened, but I haven't heard of it.) The bigger issues are with Knox County schools keeping the kids safe. If they're not being sexually molested or raped by the teachers, then they are being shot at. Angela and I have never planned to send Leo to Knox County schools, and I bet that this event didn't help anything.
I guess this sort of thing should be somewhat expected in Knox County. Our leadership revels in unethical behavior and has a penchant for being completely unable to resolve conflict. Why should we expect anything less from the children of Knox County's citizens?
Just another tragic day here in Knox County...
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Interesting New VP Notes
Most conservatives that I have spoken with were hoping for Jindal, but that doesn't look to be in the cards.
I hope it's not Tom Ridge, but I have a funny feeling...
Labels: 2008 General Election
If We're Just Voting on Musical Talent, Then the Republican National Convention is Gonna Whoop the DNC's Butt
Democrats will be treated to "Punk Rock 2008," "Naughty Pierre's Burlesque and Comedy Extravaganza," "Sex, Politics, and Cocktails Late Night Dance Party" organized by Planned Parenthood and the "Tent State Music Festival to End the War" hosted by Rage Against the Machine and veterans opposed to the war.
Also planning concerts in Denver are Willie Nelson, Melissa Etheridge, Cyndi Lauper and Rufus Wainwright.
Dude, you couldn't pay me enough to attend that moral abyss. Besides, the GOP has the real talent at their convention:
The Beach Boys and '70s rockers Styx are just two of the acts scheduled to entertain the 45,000 political junkies (plus 15,000 members of the media) descending on the Twin Cities Sept. 1-4. There's also former Van Halen front man Sammy Hagar and country stars Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy and John Rich.
OK, I couldn't name one Styx song (Angela says that she can - go figure), but I literally wore out a Beach Boys tape when I was a teen. I also like Sammy Hagar, especially when he was with Van Halen. However, it's the members of the Muzik Mafia that have me stoked. I definitely want to party with that crew.
I also know that Trace Adkins is going to be spending some time with the Tennessee delegation. I want to get together with the superstars of country music and hit the town. Maybe I can sing a some with John Rich and Cowboy Troy, something like this...
Minnesota Teaches GOP About Tax Hikes
This just arrived regarding our pending trip to the Republican National Convention:
Dear RNC Guest,
The Minnesota Department of Revenue recently issued a tax change that
will affect your hotel stay. Beginning July 1, 2008, the Minneapolis
metropolitan area counties of Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and
Washington imposed a 0.25% Transit Sales & Use Tax, which will be used
to fund the area's transit system including light rail, commuter rail
and bus rapid transit.
Due to this change, the tax rate listed on your hotel confirmation may
not be accurate. Please refer to your hotel folio upon your arrival or
departure for the accurate tax rate that will be applied to your stay.
Please refer to your hotel folio for tax rate information, which may
vary from your hotel confirmation.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
2008 Republican National Convention Travel Desk
Travel Technology Group
How did Minnesota politicos think this would go over? Seriously, how blinded by greed can a government be?
Life and Death in Blount County
Then, yesterday afternoon, I received word that Glee Coppinger, who was one of the bailiffs for Judge David Duggan in Blount County, had passed away suddenly Tuesday morning. Glee was on the other end of life's journey as compared to Jonathan. You see, Glee had stormed the beach at Normandy during D-Day. I have known Glee for several years, and I enjoyed our conversations immensely. He will be missed, and I do dread attending court before Judge Duggan (probably next week) without Glee in attendance. It won't be the same.
Friday, August 15, 2008
August 15th is Here, so I Must Be One Step Closer to the Old-Folks Home
Since I've never been one for birthday cake, I think I'll celebrate like a true Tennessee male.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
State: Blount County Commission Will Appoint Duggan's Successor
The vacancy will occur once David Duggan is sworn in as the new Blount County Circuit Court Judge on September 2nd.
A few names have already been bandied about as to who may have an interest in the General Sessions position, with the name on everyone's lips being that of Robert Headrick, Assistant District Attorney.
I have worked with Robert on nearly a daily basis over the years, and I have found him to be an excellent prosecutor. While I know that I am supposed to be worried as a defense attorney about yet another prosecutor being elevated to the bench, I can't help but say that - in my opinion - Robert Headrick would be a great choice. I have no idea how District Attorney General Mike Flynn would replace Robert in his office, but his loss could be the Blount County judiciary's gain come September.
No doubt that the Blount County Democrats will take this ruling hard. After all, how will they come to terms with the State Election Commission - a group that is controlled by DEMOCRATS - being part of the vast Right-wing conspiracy, aka "the Republican Machine," that runs Blount County and cheats the Democrats out of everything?
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
David Davis is Lobbying for a Recount
Apparently, Davis is taking his case straight to the SEC members, hoping that they see things his way this time (as they did in 2006) as a way of keeping his hopes alive in the 1st District race that we all thought was over last Thursday night.
Tragedy for the Florida Gators
Oh, the horror, the horror....
Complements to Volquest.com's TubeSox for a little Photoshop expertise.
And, yes, we are getting very close to UT football season...
The Desire for GOP Unity
It's interesting to hear Republicans talking like that. Here in Knox County, it's more of a bloodsport for Republicans to beat the hell out of each other. Primary, general election, church softball game - all of these are equal opportunities to kick each other's teeth in.
It appears that David Davis isn't going to take Conservatore's advice or Dave's advice. It appears that he is destined to push this to the brink and destroy any chances that he had - no, still has - at political relevance in the 1st District. He's lawyered up, and given that he's chosen a law firm that specializes in election challenges, I would say that it's a longshot that their legal advice would be to concede. (There isn't a lot of money in doing that.)
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey is also asking Davis to drop any thoughts of an election challenge. I join in that plea. It is doomed to failure. Certainly, when the matter is presented to the Republican State Executive Committee, someone is going to point out that Davis was spared a recount upon his election in 2006. Isn't what is good for the goose also good for the gander? Then the case probably winds up in court, where a judge is going to look at an intraparty challenge that was turned down by the governing body of that party and he or she will punt it out of the courthouse. From what I am reading, there simply isn't any merit to the challenge.
Of course, as Ramsey points out, it is the law of the State of Tennessee that we have open primaries. When I see someone who doesn't like the laws, I tell them to contact their elected representatives. The irony here is that Davis was one of those representatives for many years. Does anyone know if Davis ever offered up a bill to close party primaries to declared party members? I ask because I don't ever recall such a bill, but I certainly could have missed it.
Conservative Republicans are a rare breed, and we only function well when we act like conservative Republicans. Don't act like a liberal Democrat, David Davis, because we don't play the part well. It will only come back to hurt you - and your party - in the end.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Interesting Note About the Alexander/Tuke Race
I had almost forgotten that statement until I read Ken Whitehouse's column in Monday's Nashville City Paper. It appears that Lamar not only beat the five-headed Democratic monster, but he beat it by over 60,000 votes and without spending any campaign funds.
Maybe Tuke will do something crazy like turn himself blue or ride a donkey around the state to make this race interesting. If not, you can get the butter and jelly out, because Tuke's toast.
Tennessee Republican Tells Corker to Stand Ground on Energy Issues
In past correspondence regarding the global poverty act, you indicated your concerns about worldwide poverty. In the past week, you have signed on to support a bill that increases subsidies for ethanol. Ethanol is not very energy efficient. Outrageous amounts of corn, water, and energy are required just to produce one gallon of ethanol. Fuel mileage for autos is even less when running gasoline containing ethanol.
In addition to this, increased production of ethanol has caused a spike in the price of several foodstuffs including corn, soybeans, wheat, poultry, beef, and pork. It has been reported that the hunger issue in third world countries is being exacerbated globally as a result of the decrease in corn for food on the market and subsequent price increases in regards to other food commodities.
We have ample amounts of oil off our coasts, in ANWR, and eventually in the oil shale areas of the West. We do not need to cave in by allowing increased regulation and other legal hurdles that can be set up by PETA, the EPA, and other entities. These groups are filled with left-leaning environmentalists who will simply increase the amount of red tape involved in building oil wells, refineries, and exploring.
There hasn't been a catastrophe involving offshore rigs or pipelines in over 30 years. The oil industry proved its safety and technological advancements when it passed the test of Katrina in the Gulf a couple of years ago. Why does your proposed legislation set the barrier for 50 miles off the coast and limit the number of states that would drill? Many experts believe that greater supply could be found if drilling commences from 20-30 miles off the coast.
The drill here, drill now movement is a winning issue for America. The pressure is on the left to stop allowing our economy and national security to be hamstrung by the environmental lobby. I encourage you to be steadfast in your resolve to stand up to this powerful lobby. Push for us to use all our resources, and help remove all of the red tape involved in expanding the oil, gas, and nuclear industries.
Congratulations to Ben & Jenny Farmer!
I think the membership will forgive the Farmer's, though, since they were busy having a baby.
Congratulations, Ben and Jenny, on the birth of another young Republican, little Abigail Farmer!
Why I Hate Appellate Work
I usually don't write much about my job on here, but since it's after 10:00 P.M. and I'm eating take-out at the office - AGAIN - I have an itch that needs scratching. Besides, I can tie this into politics on two different fronts.
You see, I don't practice before the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals on a regular basis. And, by not on a regular basis, I mean that I've had one case before them before. Ever. In that case, it was on interlocutory appeal due to the State filing a motion for an evidentiary ruling on some photographs that had been ruled inadmissible prior to trial. On that case, a plea bargain was struck many months before the Court of Criminal Appeals came back with a ruling. Heck, I elected to not even file a brief in that case, as our case was over before the brief was due.
That should have been my last appearance before the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. However, that is not the case.
I was appointed on a post-conviction relief (think of it as a second round of appeals based solely on constitutional issues) last year in Blount County. After the hearing, I dropped off a motion and order allowing for my withdrawal as I left the courthouse that day. Customarily, this isn't a big deal. I didn't hear anything about the case for several months.
Then, out of the blue, I receive a call from the clerk of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. I'm still on the case, which is now under appeal. Judge Michael Meares, who heard the case in Blount County, had not signed my order allowing for my withdrawal a half a year previous. I don't know why or how this occurred. All that I know is that I didn't receive any notice from Judge Meares as to why he was tying me to this case for an appeal (which my client had filed pro se). I asked the Court of Criminal Appeals - twice - to release me from the case, but they wouldn't have anything of it. So, now, I am having to draft a brief.
I have learned that I am not the only attorney who has experienced this exact situation when it comes to Judge Meares and the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. I'm sure to take some heat for this, but it is entirely unfair to an attorney to hold him or her hostage on an appointed case. It makes that attorney want to quit taking appointments, and, as someone who only on the rarest of occasions turns down court appointments, I can testify that there simply are too many appointments and not enough attorneys willing to take them. Why? On appointments, I make less than 1/6 of the money per hour as my colleagues. Plus, I have a cap set by the Administrative Office of the Courts that only allows for me to receive so much per case - no matter how complicated it becomes. That cap often doesn't even register as a percentage of the retainers my privately-retained colleagues charge.
I didn't talk much about my support for Judge David Duggan, the Circuit Court Judge-elect for Blount County who beat Judge Meares by 20-points last Thursday. There are several reasons for that, one being that I still was practicing before both men and to speak out on the race at the time would have been troublesome. I just campaigned for Judge Duggan at every opportunity and otherwise kept my mouth shut.
One thing I will say - Judge Duggan was one of the first judges to accept me into his court and assist me in beginning my foray into private practice. I probably would have supported him against anybody. However, Judge Meares' actions in the courtroom - and there were others than the one mentioned above - certainly would have made my decision for me in the event that I wouldn't have known the Republican nominee.
The stories that the liberal blogs have been spinning for the past several months were misinformed and downright incorrect in places. (Randy Neal and I may disagree on every issue, but I have respected him since he came out of the shadows and started blogging under his own name. However, I certainly hope that he provides a bit more truth and fact-checking to his efforts at the Democratic National Convention that what went on in the Meares-Duggan race.)
Which brings me to my final point - thank God for the right to vote. And, like the Tennessee Constitution states, we should be voting on every position in the judiciary. What is good for the goose in our trial courts should be good for the gander of our appellate courts. Most liberal lawyers would rather trade the potential improprieties that occur in judicial elections for the almost certain improprieties that occur in politically appointed judges. Not me. Not now. Not ever.
Now that the venting is complete, I need to bring some good kharma into the blog - through music video:
Friday, August 08, 2008
Kurita Wins - By 19 Votes?!?!
In election cycles such as this one where voting turnout struggles to push 25% in most places, each Tennessean's vote means even more. There are close races all over the state, from Dr. Phil Roe's win in East Tennessee to Rosalind Kurita's apparent win (barring a challenge by Barnes) by a mere 19 votes in West Tennessee.
Wild stuff going on as the night wears on...
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Roe Takes Out Davis in the 1st
I have been busily refreshing to see how Phil Roe would match up against David Davis in my home, Tennessee's 1st District. Just seconds ago, the Bristol Herald Courier called the race for Roe, who apparently has won by a mere 460 votes.
I have been an outspoken fan of Dr. Roe, so this is quite the good news. In fact, there was plenty of good news tonight.
I'm not sure what is more incredible - that Roe beat an incumbent Congressman or that one of my dear friends not only predicted Roe's win, but even got the margin of victory (0.8%) right. Who was the mystery predictor? Stay tuned...