Monday, October 30, 2006


What debate?

Last week, Michael Silence posted goals for Corker and Ford for their last debate.

Debate? What debate?

I have to give kudos to the Corker staffer who negotiated the debate logistics. Having it run against the Tennessee/South Carolina game was brilliant. I traveled through the First District Saturday, and not one person mentioned that there was a debate happening that night. I have no idea how many people mentioned the need to pummel Steve Spurrier that night.

When you've got a lead and momentum - and Bob Corker has both now - the last thing you need is a debate hosted by the League of Liberal Women Voters.

That raises the question - if a debate happens and nobody watches, does it make a sound?


Another Pundit Says National Media Out-of-touch With Tennessee Politics

Last week, I posted that it was amazing how little the national media knew about the Senate race here in Tennessee. This was even more prevalent when I watched FoxNews - FOXNEWS, of all networks - refer to Harold Ford, Jr. as pro-life. (Take note, kids - as I have said here on many an occasion - if you want an easy job with no accountability as to your performance, pay tuition for four years and get handed a degree in journalism or meteorology.)

It seems that another has noted the ignorance of the national media during this election cycle(besides all of those readers who commented, and to whom I hope to respond if time allows, from Glenn Reynolds' Instalanche last week). Dave Oatney smacks down Hardball in a post today.

If you want to know what is happening in Tennessee, folks, stick to a Tennessee source. The problem for us comes when we want to know what is happening in other states. In this day and age, it is probably safe to find a blog in that state and count on them. At least then the bias is usually out in the open.


Tuesday Plans with the First Lady

This is a very busy time of the year for those involved in politics. Even without having any official position with any of the campaigns, I am finding that a great deal of my time is being invested at events all across the spectrum. Not that I am complaining by any means. It's just a bit unexpected without being involved with a particular campaign.

For instance, Tuesday should be fun. The VOLConWife and myself have been invited to a lunch rally with First Lady Laura Bush in Kingsport. Of course, that assumes some quick disposal of cases on my part in court that morning, but I'm confident in my abilities there.

Add that to several other events (the Real Marriage bus tour pulls through Knoxville on Tuesday evening), conference calls, and other tasks that I am sure I will be asked to do as the need arises, and it has become apparent that not having your candidate win the primary does not mean that you get to take a vacation for the general election.

But this is why the Republicans win here in Tennessee. We have the better get out the vote (GOTV) program - by far. The Democrats pale in comparison, and one reason for that is our realization that the campaigns cannot come close to doing what needs to be done on their own. Everyone pulls their weight, because, if we don't, we end up with a liberal vote in Harold Ford, Jr. (You don't think that the money pouring into the state for Junior from New York and California comes with no strings attached, do you?)

The best part about being so busy is that I don't have time to watch much television. That's the best way to insulate myself from the attack ads that everyone is complaining about in the Senate race.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Travel Time

We're traveling through the First District today. While the main reasons are mostly domestic, I hope to have a post on the pulse of the grassroots in that heavily Republican district once I return. I also hope to post several movie reviews, as well.

Writing of the First District, if all goes as planned, the VOLConWife and I should be returning there very shortly to greet a very special GOP visitor. Stay tuned...

Friday, October 27, 2006


GOP Surging - Despite what CNN says

Here are a few things to consider regarding control of the U.S. Senate:

It's not exactly a sure thing, but it's conceivable that the GOP could take all of these seats, plus Virginia. If that happens, then the Democrats won't even come close to taking over the Senate.

(Hat tip: Patrick Ruffini)


Another Ford Parking Lot Meltdown?

I'm not really sure what is going on here or who is screaming like a lunatic, but it appears that the infamous "Memphis Meltdown" is not a singular event.

Anyone have more info on this? Everything seems fine, then someone (Junior?) is ranting, and then the Ford campaign staffer assaults the cameraman. Anyone care to share more details if they have them?

I mean, it isn't as clear as this piece of priceless footage...

Yes, folks. I can't watch Harold Ford, Sr. calling white people "crackers" enough.

But remember - that's not racist. No, THIS is racist...

Thanks for the crazy climax to your campaign, Harold. I love the trip to Bizarro Tennessee that you have taken us on. Things had been a bit too normal around here before your "Meltdown," and now with your Dad firmly involved in things, we're almost guaranteed non-stop crazy until after Election Day. (That, of course, is when you zap us back to reality with the traditional Democratic cries of voter fraud and racial discrimination. When we get back to that script, I will know that everything is back to normal.)

Thursday, October 26, 2006


From New Jersey, With Gay Love...

I would like to thank New Jersey's Supreme Court. You just boosted voting for the marriage amendments in the eight states that will see state constitutional amendments on the ballot, for sure. What is less clear is the effect that your decision to violate the New Jersey government's separation of powers by holding the legislature hostage in the name of gay marriage will have nationally.

It's certainly a help to the Right. Larry Sabato - one of the recognized experts of election prediction - foresees the New Jersey decision as a campaign Excalibur (hat tip: Terry Frank):

In the face of renewed calls to arms against gay marriage and civil unions, anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives in eight states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin) would now be favored to prevail with more sizeable margins than initially anticipated. But more importantly for our purposes, added evangelical turnout could prove a decisive boon to GOP turnout in key races for control of Congress all over the nation--perhaps in Tennessee and Virginia's absolutely crucial Senate races.

The Crystal Ball reads the implications of this political hot potato with caution. It's possible that the story could fade from media memory in a day and ultimately be forgotten by voters; it's also possible that the political impact of the Garden State's ruling could be conveyed by religious conservative organizations under the radar, only surfacing to haunt the Democrats on November 7th. Time will tell. Nonetheless, Democrats are now scratching their heads and asking, "Why couldn't New Jersey's Supreme Court have announced this decision November 8th?" If Democrats' gains are not as robust as they would have liked when the votes are counted twelve days from now, Republicans may always take glee in this order of events.


Sabato didn't go into specifics, but the big winners from this ruling seem to be New Jersey's Tom Kean (who has pulled even in the most recent poll), Tennessee Bob Corker, and Virginia's George Allen.

Thank you, liberal New Jersey judges. Your timing to release such a ruling couldn't have been better.


Exxon Mobil Posts Record Profit

Headline from Yahoo! News:

Exxon Mobil posts $10.49B profit in 3Q

DALLAS - Oil industry behemoth Exxon Mobil's earnings rose to $10.49 billion in the third quarter, the second-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company. Its shares briefly rose to a 52-week high.

The report Thursday comes as high crude prices this year have fueled record profits in the oil industry, triggering an outcry from consumers who were being asked to pay about $3 a gallon for gasoline in early August.

The largest quarterly profit ever was Exxon Mobil Corp.'s $10.71 billion profit in the fourth quarter of 2005.


But remember, folks, there isn't any price gouging going on. None whatsoever...


Ice Bears Home Opener

The Knoxville Ice Bears, fresh off of their SPHL championship season last year, will have their home opener Friday night against the Jacksonville Barracudas. Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale will be in attendance as the championship banner is hoisted to the rafters of the Knoxville Coliseum.

Mayor Ragsdale urges all to attend. While you are there, he will have a member of his campaign staff hack into your e-mail as a public service of showing you how much political dirt each person has on them. Those who refuse to attend so that your e-mail can be hacked will be promptly threatened by one of Ragsdale's staff.


Casting My Ballot

The VOLConWife and I had the pleasure of voting early yesterday at the South Knox location. While there wasn't any wait, there was certainly more people voting early than in the previous elections this year.

Bob Corker has at least two more votes in Knox County.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Delayed Post

I'll be posting about the happenings (and with Harold Ford, Jr.'s crashing skills on display, there were a few) at the Duncan BBQ later on today. As in, I will post after my court appearances.

In the meantime, check out this tale of Harold Ford, Sr. - who Jr. says has nothing to do with his campaign - blowing his top at National Right to Life leadership as they attempted to hold a press conference in Memphis. (What is it about Ford's and their aversion to Memphis press conferences?)


Today (Tuesday, October 24, 2006), at about 11 AM Central Time, a senior staff member for National Right to Life, Brian Johnston, on assignment for the National Right to Life PAC, attempted to hold a press conference outside the Ford for Senate campaign headquarters in Memphis. The purpose of the press conference was to highlight Harold Ford Jr.'s strongly pro-abortion voting record (and thus, the deceptiveness of his recent labeling of himself as "pro-life").

The idea for having such a press conference, and the location, were chosen entirely by Mr. Johnston. Mr. Johnston is representing the National Right to Life PAC, which is entirely independent of the Bob Corker campaign. Mr. Johnston was accompanied by a friend, local resident Stan Schultz, who is a past president of the Right to Life affiliate for Tennessee. Mr. Schultz brought a small home video camera to record the press conference. The local media had been advised of the press conference, its sponsorship, and its purposes, about a day earlier.

Before the press conference properly got started, Harold Ford SENIOR -- the candidate's father -- came out of the building, denounced the proceedings, and deliberately tried to block the shots of the sole TV camera present, from Fox13, the local Fox affiliate. As the tape rolled, Ford used his cell phone to call Fox13 news director Ken Jobe to complain about the presence of the Fox camera, and to insist (wrongly) that a Corker campaign operative was also taping the event (he was referring to Mr. Schultz, with his little home video camera).

You can review Fox13's report on the incident on the station's website
here. The correspondent, Les Smith, was not present during the incident, and for some reason he treats the identity of Johnston and Schultz -- whom he refers to "alleged pro-life protestors" -- as an unsolved mystery. This treatment by Smith is itself a mystery, since the press conference was announced well in advance, and Brian Johnston had provided the Fox13 cameraman with his business card and with a packet of information, embrazoned with the National Right to Life logo, about Harold Ford Jr.'s pro-abortion voting record. In addition. both Johnston and Schultz had identified themselves verbally for the Fox13 cameraman.

Moreover, Johnston also gave his business card to Mr. Ford, and he told Mr. Ford that Schultz was also with Right to Life.

Fox13's Les Smith arrived at the Ford headquarters while Johnston was still on the scene, and spoke to Ford Sr., but he showed no interest in talking to Johnston.

Fox News Network's Brit Hume used a shorter clip from this local footage on his Special Report today (October 24), on the national Fox network.

The intemperate response by Harold Ford Sr. is interesting for at least two reasons. First, it demonstates how eager the Ford people are to deflect attention away from Harold Junior's strongly pro-abortion voting record. Second, although Harold Junior has publicly insisted that his father not part of his campaign, it sure looked like Harold Senior was calling the shots at the Memphis headquarters today.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006


National Ignorance on who Harold Ford, Jr. Really is, and Why Race is a Factor in the Eyes of Racists

There's an interesting rebuttal over at Instapundit. Last week, Professor Reynolds revealed that he voted for Bob Corker during early voting. Andrew Sullivan then criticized Reynolds, saying that he should have voted for Harold Ford, Jr., who was the candidate most aligned with libertarian thinking.

Professor Reynolds has responded with a "what the heck?" rebuttal that shows that Sullivan doesn't know much about the REAL Harold Ford, Jr. - you know, the one who actually has a voting record, as compared to the one Sullivan knows by what the national media feeds him.

I greatly respect both Reynolds and Sullivan, but this disconnect between those of us who live in Tennessee and follow the races here and those who do not and are only part-timers at best is real. I experienced it this weekend when being interviewed by national reporters at the UT/Bama game. They didn't know jack about what was going on in this race except the popular notions - that a black, young Democrat who makes Barry Goldwater look like a liberal was running for Senate in a red state against some guy who conservatives didn't prefer. Heck, some of them thought that conservatives were flocking to Ford's campaign in droves.

The level of their ignorance was astounding. I guess that's why I was mobbed when the word "blogger" was mentioned, because it was assumed that I had a better idea of what was going on than anyone but the campaign staff.

This was also evident in some of the news broadcasts I watched last night. (Yes, I did watch a bit of CNN last night, but it was for research, folks.) People outside of this state don't know ANYTHING about this race. They don't know ANYTHING about Harold Ford, Jr. They don't seem to know who the Republican in the race even is.

There are several theories of why this is. One could be the liberal media. However, I think it has more to do with race than anything else. You could see this in the CNN report last night, where they were talking about this RNC ad:

Debate the effectiveness or the lack of class surrounding the ad all you want. What I don't get are the alleged racial overtones of the ad. In fact, I'll go this far:

The only person who would think that this is a racist ad would be a racist.

Heck, Sean Braisted even agrees with me on this one. (And for those keeping track, that might be the first area of agreement ever between the two of us.)

I guess it's because I have been familiar with Harold Ford since before he was elected that I have an advantage over some non-Tennesseans who see him as a black man. I see Harold Ford, Jr., as a powerful political rival. I always have. I knew that he would be a figure that would run well before this state became more conservative. I just don't see Harold as a black man. I see him as a man - period.

I know that I am in the minority here. But, folks, until we stop seeing race as a qualifier of a person, racial strife is always going to exist.

Now that I've gone down that rabbit trail, back to what I was writing about. Be careful about how much credence you give the national media regarding our race here in Tennessee. Heck, be careful about other states' races, too. They are doing a poor job in covering these races because they don't know what is going on on a daily basis in the states. The national media's inadequacy has been magnified by the rise of the blogs, for sure. That's why they interview bloggers, as a way of catching up on what has been going on in each race.

Finally, I have to agree with Professor Reynolds - I'll be a bit skeptical about Andrew Sullivan's political commentary from now on.


"He's Had It"

Since the liberal supporters of Harold Ford, Jr., have had their fun lately with editing clips of the Memphis Meltdown in an effort at damage control, it's only fair that Republicans be allowed the same opportunity.

Gotta love this one.

(Hat tip: Volunteer Voters)


Will conservatives throw "Big Jim" underneath his "big bus?"

I thought it quite telling that this post showed up over at Volunteer Voters at the end of last week. Basically, conservatives are realizing that they can improve the chances of the Marriage Amendment passing if they don't vote in the Governor's race.

As last week went on, I had more people ask me about this possibility. These people were independent of each other, preceding any public post on the subject, so it seems that there is more than one strain of this thought amongst conservative voters. I took this possibility to several members of the Republican leadership, and they obviously bristled at the thought.

I don't think that this has much to do with Jim Bryson as a person. However, I do think that it has a great deal to do with a campaign that, according to most polls, is trailing by 35 points.

It is an interesting strategy. It's effectively casting two votes for the Marriage Amendment while stabbing a conservative in Big Jim in the back.

I guess the question is: How close do you think the Marriage Amendment is to being defeated?

(To be clear, I'm not advocating this approach. Everyone needs to get out the message that conservatives need to VOTE YES ON 1. That is certainly important. We also need to show our support for Jim Bryson, who is a decent conservative who at least stepped up to the plate and ran against Bredesen when others lacked the courage to do so.)

MORE: Chris Stovall of the Alliance Defense Fund has a PDF on popular myths that groups opposed to marriage amendments around the country are spreading, with the truth on how those myths are not based in fact provided.

I think that Stovall's fact-check is good, but I don't think that most popular flawed argument - the discrimination argument - is addressed. The honor for best addressing "discrimination" - which honestly could have been penned by myself because it is nearly identical to the argument I have been using for a decade - goes to my friend Mike Faulk, the Mountain 'publican.

Trust me - you don't want to live in a world without discrimination. Well, unless you like to have murderers, pedophiles, and psychotics as neighbors. As Mike opines, we must have some levels of discrimination for social order. "Discrimination" in itself is not a bad thing. It's when people are discriminated against for no good reason that we have to give pause. So is discriminating against one group of people who choose (notice: not born into, as there is no scientific basis for such an allegation) to be members of an activist social class that challenges traditional norms of society and has no sociological or biological purpose categorized as "acceptable?"

That is a question for the voters of Tennessee.


Another poll has Corker out in front

The latest Mason Dixon poll has Bob Corker leading Harold Ford, Jr. by 2 points, 45% to 43%. The margin of error is +/- 4 points.

Those who work in the business will know this is good news for Bob Corker. Mason-Dixon tends to underestimate GOP GOTV programs, which usually results in an error of 1.5-3.5 points off of where the GOP nominee is really polling. For Corker to be out in front without that correction is good news for his candidacy.

In addition, this poll was taken prior to what has been dubbed the Memphis Meltdown, where Ford shaved a few points off of his own total with a bizarre stunt that has many political wonks scratching their heads. Professor Gant over at UT told the Commercial Appeal that he believed that Ford probably "took a hit" over the stunt, and that the next round of polling should reflect that self-inflicted wound. I agree.

This race has turned, folks. Bob Corker is going to be the next United States Senator from Tennessee.

And with victories in Virginia by Senator George Allen and Missouri by Senator Jim Talent, the Republicans will hold on to control of the Senate. (Don't be surprised if New Jersey goes "red", too, although I am beginning to lose faith in our good friend Senator Santorum pulling out Pennsylvania and Senator Conrad Burns being victorious over his unqualified opponent in Montana.)

As for the House, I went over each race that is in the "danger" category for the Republicans. I am predicting that the GOP will retain the House - by one seat. If that isn't close, I don't know what is.

Despite what the no-nothings at CNN may be espousing, the tide has turned, and it appears to be a shade of red.


IRA-CF Rankings - Week 8

Here are the Week 8 rankings from the Internet Ranking Alliance of College Football (IRA-CF).

1) Ohio State
2) Michigan
3) Southern Cal
4) West Virginia
5) Tennessee
6) Texas
7) Auburn
8) Florida
9) Louisville
10) Clemson
11) California
12) Notre Dame
13) Arkansas
14) Boise State
15) LSU
16) Rutgers
17) Wisconsin
18) Georgia Tech
19) Oklahoma
20) Boston College
21) Nebraska
22) Wake Forest
23) Texas A&M
24) Oregon
25) Missouri

Others receiving votes: Tulsa, South Carolina.
Schools receiving 1st Place votes: Ohio State.
Fell out of the poll: None.

Thank you to all of the pollsters who contributed.

Past polls:
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 7
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 6
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 5
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 4
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 3
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 2
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 1
IRA-CF Rankings - Preseason

Monday, October 23, 2006


Reminder: Duncan BBQ Tomorrow Night

Just a reminder, folks, that Congressman Jimmy Duncan is hosting his family's BBQ Tuesday evening at the Knoxville Coliseum. The event starts at 5:30 and lasts until 8:30 P.M.

Jimmy asked me last Thursday to remind everyone to come. (Not that attendance is ever a problem; it seems that everyone in Knox and Blount Counties shows up for the free grub.) I don't think President Bush will be joining us this time (as he did in 2000), but I'm sure that some surprise guests will make their way to the festivities.

Besides, you should come just for the reason of thanking Congressman Duncan for remaining the only Tennessee Congressman to sign on to support the Fair Tax. He spoke highly of the system last Thursday in South Knox, and he even successfully tied our failing current tax system in with illegal immigration. Kudos for that, Jimmy.

I remember attending this event long ago. I learned one of my first political lessons here:

Run for Congress. Invite everyone for free BBQ and bluegrass music. Win election.

It's a winning formula that every prospective Tennessee politician should note. It's certainly a better campaign tactic than committing career suicide at someone else's press event.


The Memphis Meltdown

It's fitting that Harold Ford, Jr.'s campaign ended in the place that it began - Memphis.

In a political move that can only be described as bizarre, Harold Ford, Jr. thought it acceptable to confront Bob Corker in a parking lot before Corker was scheduled to give a press conference on - you guessed it - ethics.

Above is the edited broadcast version of events. However, I recommend the unedited version, which can be found here. The raw feed shows that Ford just isn't ready for the upper chamber of Congress. Senators are supposed to be our statesmen, our most tempered and tested politicians who represent our interests in a body where they comprise 1% of the vote and not the 1/435 of the vote that a House Member constitutes.

Harold Ford just showed that, although he appears the statesman in his ads, he only plays one on TV. In real life, he's the immature, slick, arrogant smart aleck that the GOP has been saying that he is. And in this case, the strongest proof comes from the candidate himself.

Reaction from the Blogosphere has been swift:

Volunteer Voters: Corker's aim here was not only to expose the political "machine" but to show that Harold is just like the rest of his family. This video does that... Even standing several inches above him, Harold Ford comes across the smaller man... Corker had previously been seen as running a bit scared -- afraid to stand toe-to-toe with Ford. But today he walked right up to Ford looked him in the eye and said his peace about the inappropriateness of his being there... Ford miscalculated badly here. Again, he got a bit too brash. He got caught being childish and Corker, surprisingly, walked right up and pulled his punk card and put it right in his face.

Tennessee Talk: In all my life, in observing politicians, I have never observed anything as unprofessional and completely stupid as this. I question whether he has a staff helping him out anymore and whether they are advising him anymore. If so, they are doing Ford a complete disservice.

Real Clear Politics: Ford, who has run a very strong campaign to date, appears to have made his first serious mistake with an ill-advised attempt to crash a Bob Corker press conference Friday in Memphis. You can watch the WMC Memphis TV coverage of this here (Harold Ford Junior Crashes Corker Presser.) Corker appears to get the best of this confrontation and this is the kind of thing that can make a difference in a race as close as this one. Ford's bid in the InTrade market has fallen below 40 for the first time in quite a while.

Hugh Hewitt: (Under the headline: The Incredible, Shrinking Harold Ford) This stunt and the video aftermath (watch the second clip which is the raw footage of Ford recognizing he just shot both feet off) screams arrogant, privileged, spoiled kid with a very developed sense of entitlement and an underdeveloped sense of propriety. I can't imagine that's going to play well in the south. Or the north, for that matter. Mostly it makes you think "jerk."

Instapundit: Ford's behavior here seems odd and out of character - the sort of thing that a candidate who's way behind and desperate for press might pull, not one who's in striking distance of a win. It's the first time I've seen Corker looking significantly more confident and comfortable than Ford. I don't get it.

For more Blogosphere comment, head over to Blogging for Corker, where Jay Bush has put together a great link field. Incidentally, Jay believes Ford's absurd actions to be his version of the Harold Dean scream. I agree, if it can be assumed that the mainstream media gives this episode the attention it deserves and doesn't fall into the slumber it has been in since the August primary.

Then again, it is worth noting that some in the mainstream media are amazed at Ford's gaffe:

Jackson Baker: On TV, however, Corker's resolute and terse termination of the encounter was the sort of image that may grow larger in the collective memory of the event. He had, besides, protocol on his side, and an air of maturity more in keeping with the public notion of what a senator is.

Ford's campaign has attempted to spin their candidate's collosal blunder, but to no avail. Their only hope - in the face of rising poll numbers for Corker and the Republican's traditionally superior Get Out the Vote Program - is for the liberal media to kill these images of Ford looking the amateur to Corker's professional handling of a situation that he did not create.

Of course, with the Blogosphere, YouTube, and the rest of the Internet, the damage might already be done - just like Harold Ford.


The Weekend Blitz

Due to an abundance of recent activity, this version of the Blitz extends back into last week:

It was another great weekend, but, as Monday morning has made clear, winter is just around the corner...

Friday, October 20, 2006


To Alabama, With Love...

Don't be surprised to hear more of this tune Saturday afternoon...

But don't despair, Bama fans. The Bourbon Boys have some consolation for you:

"...Alabama edges out Tennessee in pork intake, klansmen, and 400 lb female residents."

So you have that going for you...


The Friday Skinny

#7 Tennessee (5-1) vs. Alabama (5-2)

Location: Neyland Stadium in Knoxville (capacity 104,079)

Surface: Tifway Bermuda grassed mowed at ¾ inch height which drains 12 inches an hour thanks partially to a 16 inch crown in the center of the field.

Time: 3:30 P.M.

VolWalk: The Vols will make their way to the stadium at 1:15 P.M. from the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex

Pride of the Southland procession: The band makes their way to the stadium at 1:50 P.M.

Vol Network's Kickoff call-in show: Starts outside of gate 21 at 2:00 P.M.

Tennessee legends of the game: Richmond Flowers (1966-1968) and Haskel Stanback (1971-1973) will be honored

Weather: Click here for the latest game day forecast

Television: The game will be shown on CBS with Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analyst), and Tracy Wolfson (sidelines)

Radio: Vol Network in Knoxville, WIVK 107.7 fm,
Bob Kesling, play-by-play
Tim Priest, color analyst
Jeff Francis, sideline reporter

Last time out:

Tennessee beat Georgia 51-33
Alabama beat Ole Miss 26-23 in overtime

Last meeting: Alabama beat Tennessee 6-3 in 2005

The coaches:

Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee 1972)
At Tennessee: 133-38 (.778/14th year)
Versus Alabama: 10-3

Mike Shula (Alabama 1987)
Overall record: 25-19 (.568/4th year)
Versus Tennessee: 1-2

Jayson Swain - ankle, probable
Arron Sears - elbow, ankle, toe, probable
Anthony Parker - ankle, probable
Austin Rogers - mono, out

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Chilling Political Ad

The RNC has produced the following ad to remind folks of why it is important to vote come November 7th:

Many - liberals and even some conservatives - will call this "the politics of fear." They would be right. However, that doesn't mean that the RNC is wrong in the ad. And y'all know that I am no fan of the current state of the RNC.

The truth is that I am shocked that we have not seen another terrorist attack on United States soil since September 11, 2001. The odds on that being the case are quite long. It's not just circumstance that our enemies have not been able to pierce our defenses. For all that has been wrong with the White House and the GOP-led Congress, one thing that is undeniably right is the steps they have taken towards homeland security.

Has everything been done that needs to be done? No. However, very little of what has been done would have been accomplished if the Democrats had been in control of the House, the Senate, or the White House.

This ad is chilling. However, the prospect of the Democrats in control of the Senate or the House is just as chilling because they simply do not have the fortitude to do what is necessary to stop the terrorists that want each and every one of us dead.

You may not want to think about the consequences. I know that I don't. However, our record on keeping this country safe over the past 5 years is something that I don't want to compromise for the sake of "change."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Wednesday Rodeo

The Conservatore is asking for conservatives to help Bob Corker.

Oatney sees a little Barry in Campfield.

Ben Cunningham hears the pro-tax drumbeat - and it's getting louder.

The Mountain 'publican posits whether Mike Williams will once again stab his Republican brothers and sisters in the back.

S-town Mike turns from Harold Ford, Jr. - for much the same reasons that John Jay Hooker gave last night. (Hat tip: Volunteer Voters.)

Gene Patterson and Blogging for Corker catch Harold Ford, Jr. in yet another lie.

SayUncle's revelations regarding Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam being a brother-in-arms (pun intended) with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has grabbed the NRA's Wayne LaPierre's attention. SayUncle: "Wayne LaPierre read SayUncle? Cool."

By the way, today is the first day of early voting. I stopped at locations in Blount County and throughout Knox County. Turnout varies, with it seeming a bit more than normal in Maryville and a bit less than normal in Downtown West. Other things I noticed - Stacey Campfield working the polls, no sign of Schree Pettigrew, and tons of new Corker signs everywhere.


More Bloggers on National Radio

W. James Antle, III, of 4Pundits will be on The Savage Nation at around 7:30 P.M. to discuss this excellent piece he authored for The American Conservative.

The piece is worth the read because it accurately expresses the calculus that so many conservatives are experiencing during this election cycle.

I tend to shy away from Antle's ultimate conclusion, though, because I greatly believe in the political pendulum. I don't foresee that a Democratic win in 2006 means that conservatives will see a gain in power in 2008 and beyond. Yes, the Democratic policies (isn't that an oxymoron?) will fail miserably, but the system that protects incumbents makes me think that taking back control will not be as easy as Antle, Cagle, and others believe.

I hope that Antle can survive Michael Savage without being called any names. I think that's the goal of every Savage guest, isn't it?


KNS Endorses Bob Corker for U.S. Senate

I don't tend to bite at the media endorsement game, but when the newspaper at the top of the food chain in East Tennessee endorses a Republican candidate in the premier race of this election cycle, it is newsworthy.

I may have to be nice to the Knoxville News-Sentinel for getting this one right.

Well, I'll be nice for the rest of the day, at least...


Return to Radio

I want to thank Open Source, Christopher Lydon, and his staff for inviting me to participate in their coverage of the Tennessee Senate race yesterday evening. I had a fantastic time, and it reminded me of how much I enjoy the medium. With the exception of a few short calls on Knoxville talk radio over the years, my last foray as a radio show guest was with Steve Gill, and that was many moons ago.

I was joined on the show by Tom Humphrey, the political columnist from the Knoxville News-Sentinel that I have praised here before, John Jay Hooker, the esteemed liberal politician and attorney, and Randy Neal, the blogger from the Left who is currently at KnoxViews but who many still refer to as SouthKnoxBubba. The show's host, Christopher Lydon, is an experienced political hand himself, having run for Mayor of Boston just over a decade ago.

A few observations:
If you would like to listen to the show, you can download it from Open Source here.


IRA-CF Rankings - Week 7

Here are the Week 7 rankings from the Internet Ranking Alliance of College Football (IRA-CF).

1) Ohio State
2) Michigan
3) Southern Cal
4) West Virginia
5) Texas
6) Tennessee
7) Auburn
8) Louisville
9) Florida
10) California
11) Clemson
12) Notre Dame
13) Georgia Tech
14) LSU
15) Arkansas
16) Boise State
17) Oregon
18) Nebraska
19) Rutgers
20) Wisconsin
21) Oklahoma
22) Boston College
23) Wake Forest
24) Texas A&M
25) Missouri

Others receiving votes: Pittsburgh.
Schools receiving 1st Place votes: Ohio State.
Fell out of the poll: Georgia, Iowa, Virginia Tech.

Thank you to all of the pollsters who contributed.

Past polls:
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 6
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 5
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 4
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 3
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 2
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 1
IRA-CF Rankings - Preseason

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


VOLCon on the Radio Tonight

Today - the Blogosphere.

Tonight - national radio.

Tomorrow - world domination.

As of now, I am down as a guest on Open Source with Christopher Lydon for tonight (Tuesday) at 7:00 P.M. The topic is the Tennessee Senate race, and I believe other Tennesseans (some liberal) are expected as guests, so it could be interesting.

Open Source is out of Boston, but they have podcasts, are on XM radio, and are telecast to various radio stations from sea to shining sea. You can listen here, if you so desire.


Belly up to the Buffet

Smantix over at Six Meat Buffet has an excellent post on Harold Ford, Jr., and how his campaign stances differ from his voting record.

The research is sound and the voting records correct. Unfortunately, I think most voters these days are more into the style than the substance, so I am less optimistic that Ford the Liar will be exposed significantly prior to Election Day.

MORE: Mark Rose has a take on this election cycle that I believe is quite popular amongst conservatives these days. In it, he writes:

"The alternative to having lukewarm Republicans in power is far worse. Yes, congressional Republicans could use some re-direction, but I'd much rather prefer that re-direction come with them maintaining power.

So, despite the pessimism being exhibited a considerable number of my co-pundits (and conservative websites), I'm thumbing my nose at the foregone conclusion that it's over for the Republicans, staying on offense, and maintaining optimism. Polls are polls. The only one that counts is three weeks away. Remember what the exit polls said on election day two years ago? That John Kerry would win. So much for polls."

I agree. Despite unfounded rumors to the contrary, the GOP isn't abandoning any state based on any polling, nor should they. Polls are inherently flawed and often have too small a sample size. You're just as well to go with your gut feeling after being on the ground in the state in question.

Read the rest of Mark's post on his recently redesigned site here.


Liberal Campaign Consultant Threatens Bloggers

This story over at is bizarre. No, it's not bizarre to think that a liberal doesn't believe in the First Amendment; they frequently practice the "free speech for me, but not for thee" mantra patented by the ACLU.

However, it is bizarre to think that a person whose occupation is supposedly centered around advising other political animals how to handle situations and address conflict could be so horrendous at handling this situation.

Threatening Terry Frank was bad. Coming after Bill Hobbs and telling him what he can and cannot publish on his blog is darn stupid. On top of that, Bill Fletcher (the liberal in question) makes a threat against Hobbs that can be taken as potentially physical in nature (see the comments section).

Michael Silence calls this a "Blogosphere brouhaha." Fletcher better leave it at just that. He doesn't want to see this thing in court - civil or criminal.


Brook Thompson Should Be Removed as Tennessee Election Coordinator

I have been calling for Brook Thompson's firing for several years. He simply does not fulfill his constitutional duties and often takes the easy way out instead of adhering to the letter of the law.

Now Bill Hobbs is on board, calling for Thompson to be removed as statewide election coordinator.

Let's put it this way - Brook Thompson is much worse as an election coordinator than Paul Summers was as an attorney general, and y'all know what I think of Summers' job...

MORE: Volunteer Voters weighs in.


"Bear Down, Chicago Bears..."

I have watched nearly every Monday Night Football game (with the exception of the year I lived in England, when I saw a Sunday game broadcast on Monday night) since 1984. Tonight's may have been the strangest, most exciting game this Bears fan has ever seen on Monday Night Football.

Six turnovers (mostly due to the horrific play of ex-Florida Gator Rex Grossman), NO POINTS on offense, and you still win the game?!?!

Even the endless man-crushes of Tony Kornheiser and Joe Theismann for Arizona QB Matt Leinart couldn't ruin this night. (It was bearable, although I wouldn't have complained if Lawrence Taylor had crashed into the broadcast booth and reperformed the hit he gave Theismann in 1985 on MNF that ended Theismann's playing career and gave the simple action of breaking a chicken bone new meaning. Kornheiser will get his beating from Michael Wilbon on the next "Pardon the Interruption," which Tony deserves because he did everything but perform acts covered under the sodomy laws of most states in professing his love for one Matt Leinart.)

Even though I had a LONG day in court and in a mediation, I was glued to the set at the kickoff.

I think I'll keep my Urlacher jersey on until work tomorrow morning. Gotta keep up the karma, because little else can explain the miracle in the desert that I just saw.

Monday, October 16, 2006


The Taming of the Schree

Honey Bunches of Oatney (sorry, Dave, but I love A.C.'s nickname for your site) lays it on the line regarding the State House race in the 18th District. Pure and simple - Stacey Campfield is the best choice out there.

Stacey may not be the greatest speller in the world. Stacey may not have the crossover appeal of a John McCain or Bill Clinton. But if you are a Tennessee conservative, I can't think of a better person to have representing your values in the Tennessee House than Stacey Campfield.

I don't think that this race will be as close as those in the media think it will be. Of course, those same people had Stacey penciled in for a loss in the primary, too, before they got wind of his 45-point win. Even with all of the money coming in from out-of-state (as David points out in his post) and Governor Bredesen pumping money and assistance into her campaign (which tells you where ole Phil stands on a few things), Schree Pettigrew is simply out of her league and in the wrong area of the United States.

Pettigrew's politics are fit for locales like Boston, Burlington, and Binghamton. She has no business representing the values of a slice of Rocky Top.

Send Schree packing, and send Stacey Campfield back to the Tennessee House for the 18th District.

MORE: If you are in the Knoxville area and feel so inclined, Stacey Campfield is having a fundraiser at the I-75 Expo Center from 5:00 until 7:00 P.M. today (Monday). I may make an appearance myself, but I am tentatively set to appear on Open Source with Christopher Lydon Monday evening. The radio show on the Tennessee Senate race may be moved to Tuesday, so we'll just have to see what happens on both counts.


The Return of Conservatore Dall'est

You know I've been too busy lately when I haven't been able to add my most excellent friend, Vance Cheek, to the blogroll.

Yep, friends, Pensieri is back up and running. Liberals - consider yourself forewarned!

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Trans-Siberian Orchestra Coming to Knoxville, Nashville

Readers may remember how much I praised the Trans-Siberian Orchestra last year (here and here). The VOLConWife and I first attended a TSO concert in November of 2004. At that point, my Christmas family tradition of attending "The Nutcracker" went out the window and was replaced by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. In 2005, we took the VOLConMom and The Undecided Philosopher to the Johnson City show.

There is no Johnson City show this year. Instead, TSO is playing to the much bigger venue of Thompson-Boling Arena in KnoxVegas. This will certainly be an interesting show, as the quaint nature of Johnson City's Freedom Hall made the show quite intimate, but you have to wonder how much more that TSO might be able to accomplish in an arena the size of Thompson-Boling with their pyrotechnics.

For those unfamiliar with TSO, they are the group responsible for the music behind the Christmas light show that made the rounds last year and was featured in a beer company's ad. That show is below:

Here is some of what you can expect, as someone has posted a professional edit of TSO's "Christmas Eve in Sarajevo":

The best thing about TSO is that it isn't just a concert like you normally see. There's a story that goes along with it. Perhaps I am a bit biased, but it is almost inescapable to categorize the story as quite Christian in nature, and that is why Angela and I have made it the kick-off of our holiday season as long as TSO is touring in the United States. Although it is a bit too choreographed, here is a sample of the story element in the TSO show from the TSO DVD (which I own):

(By the way, for those who will be attending the show, the kids sing this song, "Christmas Cannon," on one of the CDs and on the DVD, but it has been extremely hot rocker babes that have sung it at the concerts. Just be forewarned...)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is the perfect melding of classical orchestra with hard rock guitar and electric instrumentals. The musicians cannot be nicer folks, and they routinely hang around after the show and sign autographs for their fans.

I'll be at the Knoxville show on November 7th. (Yep, that's Election Night, so don't even bother asking me to attend any election parties or celebrations, because I have plans with the VOLConWife.) My tickets are in Row 3 in the Center Floor section, which are pretty much the same seats I got through the ticket pre-sale in Johnson City. You can buy tickets for the Knoxville show here and for the Nashville show on November 10th at Gaylord here. As of the time of this post, there were still a few seats left in the lower level for each show.

I can't recommend the Trans-Siberian Orchestra enough. After you cast your ballot on November 7th, cap off the day with a fantastic concert that you will never forget.


Foley Debacle a Plague for Both Republicans and Democrats?

For those who claim that there is no liberal bias in the mainstream media, can you explain why this hasn't gotten more play?

"But there are indications that Democrats spent months circulating five less insidious Foley e-mails to news organizations before they were finally published by ABC News late last month, which prompted the leaking of the more salacious instant messages. Harper's Magazine said yesterday that it obtained the five e-mails from a Democratic Party operative, albeit in May, long before the election season."

It's apparent that the media wants to keep the Foley scandal as a Republican entity, but the truth is that Democrats and Republicans alike are to blame for this going on as long as it has. Republicans knew. Democrats knew. No one acted. And the only thing worse than the inaction then is acting concerned "for the innocent children" now, which is just despicable.

The whole thing is sickening, and it makes me long for the days when drawing-and-quartering was an acceptable punishment.

Friday, October 13, 2006


State Senate Rodeo

Both Joe at Tennessee Ticket and Adam Groves have excellent round-ups on all Tennessee Senate races.

The bottom line: the control of the Senate more than likely rests on two seats (the 17th and the 27th) held by Republican incumbents (Beavers and McLeary, respectfully), with the assumption that scoundrel Mike Williams votes Democratic once again for Lt. Governor.

As for the House, I disagree with many of Groves' predictions. Many of those races aren't as close as he thinks they are.


Frank Cagle Goes Fredo Corleone

There was quite a bit of buzz over Van Hilleary minion Frank Cagle somewhat endorsing Harold Ford, Jr., yesterday. Cagle apparently thinks that burning the village is the only way to save it, and he certainly is not alone in that assessment. Of course, one wonders if these people are really up to paying the price for such a political maneuver.

I completely agree with SayUncle on this one - Cagle's effort of communicating with the GOP is fatally flawed. I'll go even further - no one in the GOP is really going to care what Frank Cagle has to say from now on, if they ever did.

Those in power in the GOP will view Cagle's maneuver as treacherous and an assault on their "big tent." If Cagle doesn't like the GOP now, wait until he gets a load of them when he's actually considered an untouchable (instead of just feeling like one as the party governs from the Middle and campaigns from the Right).

Cagle just went Fredo to the GOP's Michael.

"Fredo, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother, you're not a friend. I don't want to know you or what you do."

Honestly, no big loss to me. I was never a Cagle fan.

MORE: Brian Hornback has an update on Cagle's radio explanation.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


SEC Smack Talk

"Florida’s schedule from hell makes a stop in the land that education forgot: Auburn, AL."

- The Bourbon Boys Blog

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


VOLuntarilyConservative Endorsement: Bob Corker for United States Senate

Written by Rob Huddleston

As most people in Tennessee Republican circles know, I have been slow to come to the point of endorsing a candidate in the race for Bill Frist's seat in the United States Senate. Leading up to the GOP Primary over two months ago, I stated that I would not support Bob Corker if he was the Republican nominee. A few conservatives joined me in that position, most of them supporters of Ed Bryant in the draining 21-month primary. Others immediately supported the Republican nominee out of party loyalty, and that is their prerogative.

A funny thing happened shortly after the primary, though. Bob Corker reached out to us. In my case, he delayed a needed family vacation shortly after the primary to come to Knoxville and meet with me for lunch. Say what you want, but sacrificing some time relaxing in a tropical locale to instead be grilled by a guy who has questioned your conservative credentials for the better part of two years speaks volumes to me about the kind of man that Bob Corker is.

Since August, others in Republican circles have pushed me for details about our conversation that day. I will share some of that in this endorsement, but many details were primary campaign related and frankly not relevant at this time.

I will say that we discussed many issues on the minds of conservative voters - abortion, stem cell research, the judiciary, the Second Amendment, hunting, illegal immigration, and tax reform. We may not agree on every detail of every issue, but Bob Corker was able to explain his reasoning for his positions clearly and concisely.

Since that time, I have weighed what Bob said that day. He provided me with his cellphone number and invited questions at any time, which is also something that I did not expect. We have talked many times since, and these conversations have gone a long way in the issuance of this endorsement.

I told those close to me that I would not make any endorsement in this race unless I was 100% comfortable with my candidate of choice. I obviously am uncomfortable with the Democratic nominee, who believes he can provide nuanced answers to questions when it may be more accurate to say that he is a compulsive liar. I exchanged e-mails with Bo Hayward, the independent conservative in this race. I like Bo, and I suspect that a few conservatives may vote for him in November. How few may determine the winner of this race. However, even Bo and I differ on a few key issues.

Since the August primary, Bob Corker has gone out of his way to court conservative voters. He has opened up his campaign to allow us time to seek out his brand of conservatism. He has convinced this conservative that he is the right choice on the November ballot.

One way that Bob was able to do this was through his position against stem cell research. Bob knows that most Americans are for government funding of this program. However, most Americans haven't come close to completing the research that Bob saw as a priority before making his decision about whether to support or fight this program. Bob went to labs in Missouri, spoke with interest groups on both sides of the issue, and visited scientists to find out what was really occurring and what the actual prospects for medical success were. Despite the political reality that this issue may cost him votes, Bob Corker came out against stem cell research.

For this voter, that decision (along with National Right to Life's endorsement) also reinforces Bob's vehement claims to be pro-life. As I have consistently stated, I will not support any pro-abortion candidate. After the past few months getting to know Bob Corker, I am convinced that he will be a vote for pro-life Tennesseans in Washington, D.C.

I plan to write more in the coming weeks about my candidate for the U.S. Senate, Bob Corker. I invite you to read these posts, be engaged in this important race, and choose which candidate you feel will support your views in the U.S. Senate.

That is what I did, and I am glad to have chosen Bob Corker, Tennessee's next United States Senator.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Lunching with Bob, Bill, and Jimmy

(That's Corker, Frist, and Duncan for y'all who weren't there.)

The VOLConWife and I both manipulated our schedules so that we could attend the lunch in support of Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate Bob Corker. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist spoke in favor of Bob after he himself was introduced by Congressman Jimmy Duncan.


That's all for now. Check out the debate tonight from Chattanooga, if for any other reason than to see if Ford loses his composure like he did in Memphis, which he has all but promised that he will do (just like his daddy, his uncle, etc.). WBIR and WATE will be carrying the debate in Knoxville, WTVC has the coverage in Chattanooga, C-SPAN will be broadcasting the debate for cable and dish subscribers, and it can be watched on the Net here.


Bryant Urges Support for Tennessee Marriage Amendment

Below is the release from former Congressman Ed Bryant on the Tennessee Marriage Amendment. I wholeheartedly support the Tennessee Marriage Amendment, even if my support of Focus on the Family (see the postscript) has waned. While I don't feel the need to get into specifics here, let's just say it mirrors the problems that the ACLJ have experienced related to money, the control of their organization, and staying true to your beliefs. Money should never come between an organization and acting on its beliefs, whether they be the preservation of a Christian America, defending the Second Amendment, ending abortion in our country, or anything else for that matter. That being said, I have nothing but praise for Family Research Council.

Now that I've completely gone off-topic, here is Ed's letter:

Dear friend,

Cyndi and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the support you gave us on the campaign trail. We were blessed to meet so many Tennesseans who were interested in the betterment of our state.

I am writing you today about another way you can help fight for Tennessee's bright future. On the November ballot, you will have the chance to vote on an amendment to define a marriage as being between one man and one woman. This is absolutely vital if we are to protect the values we hold dear.

The campaign to inform and promote the amendment, called, is being spearheaded by Family Action of Tennessee (FACT), directed by my friend, State Senator David Fowler, in association with Focus on the Family.

They need your help.

It takes more than a majority of the votes for the amendment to pass. We must have a number of votes equal to half the total votes cast in the Governor's election plus 1. Any number less than this, regardless of the percentage of favorable vote, will result in the amendment's defeat. People must go into the voting booth informed and ready to vote "yes."

And to that end, is running a radio and "get out the vote" campaign. Would you please prayerfully consider making as generous a contribution as you can to You can contribute on-line by
clicking here or my mailing your check made payable to "" to 2479 Murfreesboro Road, No. 362, Nashville, TN 37217.

Best Regards and God bless,

Ed Bryant

P.S. - If you make a $2,000 donation by October 11, you will receive two tickets to a private reception on October 16 with Gary Bauer, and Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council. The event will be held on October 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville. Also included will be priority seating at the Stand For the Family Rally featuring Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family immediately following the reception.


Judicial Input

On Monday afternoon, I was fortunate enough to attend a meeting hosted by the Knoxville Bar Association with Chancellor Mike Moyers. As many of you in the Knoxville area may remember, Chancellor Moyers is our newest judge here in Knox County, having bested Democrat Jim Andrews in the primary.

I made sure to rush through the day so that I could attend this meeting because it was quite intriguing. Chancellor Moyers invited members of the bar who engage in family law to provide input to him as to how they would like to see Chancery Court, Division III, operate. Attorneys ranging from some of the elder members of the Bar to some of us young pups were able to interject our two-cents as to what we find works in other courts and what does not.

At this time, I don't practice much before Chancellor Moyers, but I found it refreshing that he reached out to the Bar before instituting changes to his court. Personally, I don't know of other new judges in other counties from the last election cycle who have made such an effort.

I thought I would relay this to the voters of Knox County, because it looks like you made the right decision when you voted in the August elections when it comes to Chancery Court, Division III.

(In the interest of full disclosure, this site endorsed Mike Moyers in his race against Jim Andrews.)


IRA-CF Rankings - Week 6

Here are the Week 6 rankings from the Internet Ranking Alliance of College Football (IRA-CF).

1) Ohio State
2) Florida
3) Michigan
4) Southern Cal
5) West Virginia
6) Texas
7) Louisville
8) Tennessee
9) California
10) Auburn
11) Notre Dame
12) Clemson
13) Georgia Tech
14) Georgia
15) LSU
16) Iowa
17) Boise State
18) Missouri
19) Oregon
20) Arkansas
21) Rutgers
22) Nebraska
23) Virginia Tech
24) Oklahoma
25) Wisconsin

Others receiving votes: Navy, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest.
Schools receiving 1st Place votes: Ohio State, Florida.
Fell out of the poll: Florida State, Texas Tech.

Thank you to all of the pollsters who contributed.

Past polls:
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 5
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 4
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 3
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 2

IRA-CF Rankings - Week 1
IRA-CF Rankings - Preseason

Monday, October 09, 2006


Tuesday Lunch

Just a reminder that Bob Corker will be hosting a lunch at the I-75 Expo Center Tuesday from noon until 1:30 P.M. Senator Frist will also be in attendance.

As long as everything goes to plan in court Tuesday morning (and by that, I mean justice is swift), I should be there. Heck, it's a free lunch, folks...


Another Great Weekend

Besides shooting a decent round of golf on Saturday afternoon, this has to be rated as a great weekend just because of success on the gridiron.

My two teams, The University of Tennessee Volunteers and the Chicago Bears, put up 91 points this weekend, which might have been mistaken for their entire 2005 seasons. Somehow, the teams that relied on defense over the past few years have turned into replicas of Kurt Warner's "Greatest Show on Turf" with the St. Louis Rams.

I've also been successful in fantasy football. Our league, the Confederate Football League, is in its 9th year, with a Huddleston having claimed the championship each season. I have been lax to talk about the league on VOLCon, mostly because I know that most of the participants are regular readers and I leave my trash talking for the league website.

However, the second-place team, Urban Swampland, talked smack this weekend related to the blog. You see, the manager of Urban Swampland is a graduate of the University of Florida's law school, and she is feeling good these days with her Gators having found such success this year. I paraphrased Coach Fulmer in my smack talk this week, saying that my team would not be distracted, that we were "fired up and focused." (WIVK has carried those words ad nauseum since mid-August on its UT ads with Fulmer.) She replied with:

"Tell it to your blog. The "focus" of team Rocky Flop doesn't scare me!!"

OK, I just did.

Not quite final score (since I have Javon Walker playing in the Monday Night game):

Lords of Rocky Top - 90
Urban Swampland - 64

Much like my Bears, the Lords of Rocky Top are undefeated headed into Week 6.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


"Harbergate" Finally Warrants Investigation

Congratulations to the Halls Shopper, David Oatney, and Terry Frank for keeping the Tyler Harber allegations against Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale alive long enough for the Knox County Commission to finally mobilize an investigation.

In their lead story at 11:00 Wednesday night, WBIR reported that three members of the Knox County Commission were moving forward with calls for an investigation into illegal activity by Ragsdale involving Tyler Harber and Adam Groves. Newly elected Commissioner Greg "Lumpy" Lambert was interviewed, and he sounds ready and willing to take this as far as it needs to go until answers are satisfactory to all.

Good job, David and Terry!

MORE: Gene Patterson, who I mistakenly omitted from the list of those responsible for keeping this story going, has more on his blog.


Arkansas Regulations Murky at Best

The Knoxville News-Sentinel has the big "gotcha!" story they were hinting about yesterday regarding Jim Bryson not having a fishing or hunting license in either Tennessee or Arkansas.

Admittedly, this has to be embarrassing for Bryson and his campaign.

Nevertheless, in Tom Humphrey's story, it is alleged that Bryson's hunting and fishing on his family's land in Arkansas was illegal. This is backed up by a quote from Jill Shaw of the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission to that effect.

But wait a minute...

I went through both publications related to fishing (43 pages) and hunting (72 pages) in Arkansas that are put out by the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission. How many references are there to a prohibition to hunting or fishing on your own land without an Arkansas license?

You guessed it - NONE.

And these were the extended versions of the Fishing and Hunting Rules and Regulations. There isn't anything in their abstracts or on the Commission's website regarding this issue, either.

I'm sure that the Commission has a different read on this than I do, but people cannot be expected to follow the law without proper notice of what the law is.

Bryson may have messed up through his comments at the debate, but I argue that he isn't the only one who made a mistake.


A Waste of Effort

Headline from the Knoxville News-Sentinel:

"New Home Found for UT Sororities"

I know it's a long commute, but it seems like this would be a natural residence for the "ladies."



On Monday, I posted that an e-mail against Senator Don McLeary had been sent out on the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association listserv. A staff member of the TTLA called me and stated that the listserv had not been used by the author (Mr. Robert Hill), and that she was unsure where he had collected the e-mail addresses.

While it may have been sent to TTLA members, it wasn't the TTLA's actual listserv that was used, nor was the message endorsed by the TTLA.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Debate Reminder

Just a reminder that Jim Bryson and Phil Bredesen will hold a debate in Knoxville tonight at West High School. The event is supposed to start at 7:00 P.M., and I believe that WBIR and WNOX will broadcast it live for those who cannot attend.

As of this morning, I plan to be there.

Of course, no one in attendance will be allowed to wear anything that might identify them as partisan or supporting any candidate. That little slice of free speech is brought to you by the League of Women Voters. They probably don't want anyone to detract from their own insignia, which I believe is the old Hammer and Sickle from Communist Russia.

I think my main purpose in attending the debate might be to show my "appreciation" for the League of Communist Women Voters. I would like to think that a debate might break out between Bryson and Bredesen, but I'm not that optimistic after the restriction-filled GOP primary debates in Knoxville.


Not Saying I Told You So...

Republicans - particularly in East Tennessee - take note:

"Is anyone else starting to think Ed Bryant might have been the stronger GOP nominee?"

- Chuck Todd, in Hotline's Senate Rankings on

In the rankings, Tennessee remains at #7 nationally in Hotline's survey of the most competitive Senate races.

(Hat tip: Reader e-mail)


A Red State of Mind

In case you missed it, Nancy French's book, "A Red State of Mind: How a Catfish Queen Reject Became a Liberty Belle," was just released. It has opened to many positive reviews.

I am ordering it (which is rare these days, since most of the books I am reading are being sent to me for reviews, and thus free of charge), because I know Nancy and imagine that the book will be a welcome humorous break from my normal reading. (Currently, I am reading "Washington's God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of Our Country" by Michael and Jana Novak.)

You may remember Nancy as the one who coordinated Mitt Romney's surprising second-place showing at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in March. I admit to being a bit perplexed at her and her husband's (an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, a decidedly Christian organization to which I also have ties) support of the Mormon Romney - not because he's a Mormon as much as his pro-abortion, anti-gun, pro-nanny state political history, but that doesn't mean that I won't be purchasing her book.

I've added Nancy's book to the top of the Amazon sidebar to the left. Do us both a favor and buy a copy.


IRA-CF Rankings - Week 5

Here are the Week 5 rankings from the Internet Ranking Alliance of College Football (IRA-CF).

1) Ohio State
T2) Auburn
T2) Michigan
4) Florida
5) Southern Cal
6) West Virginia
7) LSU
8) Louisville
9) Texas
10) Oregon
11) Georgia
12) Tennessee
13) Oklahoma
14) California
15) Notre Dame
16) Clemson
17) Florida State
18) Boise State
19) Georgia Tech
20) Rutgers
21) Iowa
22) Missouri
23) Texas Tech
24) Nebraska
25) Virginia Tech

Others receiving votes: Navy, Boston College.
Schools receiving 1st Place votes: Ohio State.
Fell out of the poll: TCU, Connecticut.

Thank you to all of the pollsters who contributed.

Past polls:
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 4
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 3
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 2

IRA-CF Rankings - Week 1
IRA-CF Rankings - Preseason

Monday, October 02, 2006


Hero of the Day: Tom Humphrey

I loved Tom Humphrey's refreshing column in Sunday's Knoxville News-Sentinel on his personal voting preferences. An honest journalist - what could be next? Gracious professional athletes? Perish the thought...

I would love to think that Humphrey threw down the gauntlet to both the mainstream media and the blogging community.

But, Rob, the bloggers are an open book...

Oh, I don't know. I'm not the only one who has noticed the chance in ACK. Plus, Michael Silence has been rather - well - silent on his November choices. I haven't announced my choices as of October 2nd, but all in good time, grasshopper...

Let's try to wring a little of the hidden bias out of our biased reporting, shall we?

MORE: On a completely unrelated note, I refuse to get all in a tizzy about a Mason-Dixon poll of 625 supposed voters in a statewide election. Doesn't that mean that only a smidge more than 6 voters per county were surveyed? I assume that more than six calls went to Shelby and Davidson Counties, so some counties might have not been represented at all.

Polls just aren't that important, folks. At least, any one that is released to the public isn't.

Of course, reasonable minds may differ:

"To win I think Harold Ford needs to be winning every poll of consequence that comes out -- a few by more than the margin of error."

- AC at Volunteer Voters

Sure thing. That'll cover up that lack of solution on the immigration issue, Ford's anti-gun, pro-abortion record, and his history of not showing up to vote in Congress on issues important to the average Tennessean.

Just bury it in polls. Works every time.



Minneapolis in 2008?


Can't we go back to San Diego? What about Florida? Was it all booked up?


Tennessee Trial Lawyers Targeting McLeary

I intercepted this e-mail from the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA) listserv over the weekend. It should be noted that I am certainly not a member of this group. I didn't even accept a free membership from the liberal organization when it was offered to me.

Apparently, TTLA is targeting Don McLeary, State Senator from 27th Senate District. As many of you may recall, McLeary switched parties earlier this year, stating that the Democratic Party had moved away from his values, particularly on the subject of ethics.

Since the trial lawyers are going to try to buy the Senate seat for Lowe Finney, I ask that all decent people make a contribution (if you are able) to Don McLeary's campaign at:

Don McLeary for Senate
125 Ed Smith Road
Humboldt, Tennessee 38343

Here's the e-mail, with the address of Finney's campaign omitted but the numerous grammatical errors included:

Subject: Saving the Senate Campaign: 27th Senate Race: Lowe Finney

You may have received a message from me announcing the debate Monday between Lowe Finney, a member of TTLA, and Don McLeary who earlier this year abandon the Democratic Party and joined the Republicans, giving the Republicans control of the Senate. The future of our trial practice will be affected by the results in this race and one or two other races. I know that most of youcannot be here for the debate but you can send $50.00 to Lowe to help with the huge expenses of this race. Yes, I have been 'give out' for several weeks now......but that is why I am asking for only $50.00. If all of us just gave $50.00 to each of the important Senate races, we would make a huge difference and most of us would not miss the few hundred bucks it would take to lift our friends to victory. Won't you please take the time to write a $50.00 check and send it to Lowe Finney for Senate, XXXXX XXXXXX, XXXXXX, Tennessee, XXXXX.

The most recent polls show Lowe within a couple of points of the incumbent whose 'negatives' is hovering around 70%....bad news for an incumbent. Overthe next few days, I will be sharing with you some inside information on thecritical races statewide and asking that you consider making a differencewith a minimal donation of $50.00. We could have a great impact on the future of our State.

Oh, by the way, Don McLeary reneged on a promise of support to TTLA and voted FOR the most recent worker's compensation changes. Hope you will help.



T. Robert Hill
1269 N. Highland Ave.
P.O. Box 3539
Jackson, TN 38303-0539

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