Thursday, November 30, 2006


Change coming for U.S. Middle Eastern Policy?

Early reports indicate that the Baker-Hamilton Commission's report on the state of affairs in the Middle East will recommend a gradual pullback of troops from Iraq and opening diplomatic measures with Iran and Syria.

It will be interesting to see how the White House reacts to the report, which is due out next Wednesday.


Republican State Senator Wants to Track Your Movements

When I read this sort of article about a Republican State Senator here in Tennessee wanting to strap GPS devices to the cars of Tennessee citizens in the name of increased revenue...

And people wonder why I'm not giddy over state Republican politics. Between the implementation of TennCare, the Sundquist-led movement for a state income tax, the shepherding of Bredesen's pre-K bill that will eventually lead to an explosion of the state budget, meaningless ethics reforms that did next to nothing, this apparent attack on civil rights - well, you get my point.

Yes, it would be so much worse if we had a General Assembly dominated by the Democrats. I understand that. We would have an income tax and one of the highest tax burdens in the South if Democrats like Bob Rochelle had their way. However, I'm not interested in the worst case scenario. I want to know why we, as Republicans, can't do better. I want the best case scenario - one with limited government, a low tax burden on Tennesseans and Tennessee businesses, and decent, ethical public servants and without government intrusion on personal liberty.

And if TDOT can't operate on its current budget, then defund the whole daggone agency, throw out the incompetents, and start over. Bredesen promised TDOT reform in 2002 and did nothing about it.

It's a shame that Tennesseans didn't hold him to his campaign promise in 2006. It's an even bigger shame that they may be the ones to pay for his mismanagement in the form of lost personal freedom.


A New Jersey Legislator With an Understanding of Separation of Powers?

"The court does not have the authority, as I read the Constitution, to order
the legislature to pass a bill. They can do a lot of things, but they are not
the government."

- New Jersey State Senator Gerald Cardinale (R)

This statement was made in regards to a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that mandated the state legislature to pass some sort of recognition of same-sex unions. Senator Cardinale made his remarks after introducing a constitutional amendment that would define marriage in New Jersey as between one man and one woman.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


BREAKING: Frist not seeking the White House

Word has filtered down to me (while I was writing my last post) that Tennessee Senator Bill Frist will not seek the presidency in 2008.

This is somewhat surprising but more than likely in Bill's best interests. The time is not right now, and to run could end his political career. Taking a break from public service is the best thing to do, as other opportunities will undoubtedly be available down the road.

For the conservatives, this is another potential challenger that has bitten the dust before the starting gate who could have carried the conservative banner in this race.

If we don't draft someone into the race - and soon - we are going to be staring at John McCain or Rudy Guiliani as our nominee, creating a dilemma of whether we draw the line in the sand and tell the Republican Party to shove off in 2008 or compromise our values for a non-conservative. And don't tell me about Gingrich, as he has no spine and would get clocked in the general election.

Who do we need to look at?

My picks:

1) J.C. Watts
2) Mike Pence
3) Michael Steele
4) Patrick Buchanan

I can hear the howls now about my 4th choice. I'll opine later as to why Buchanan's only stumbling block is how he was perceived over a decade ago, but that those perceptions are misguided because Buchanan turned out to be right about so many things that people (especially the media) chided him about at the time.

UPDATE: The story is already on the AP wire.

MORE: Volunteer Voters has the text of the Frist announcement. It is quite gracious, and it leaves the door wide open for his return to elected office at a future date.


#1 Fan?

Roger Abramson asked the following question of fellow bloggers on Monday:

Name three bloggers who tend to be the opposite of you politically, yet of whom you remain a fan nevertheless.

He then gave his answers, and others have done so, as well.

Here are my answers:

1) Sharon Cobb - This was the easiest answer for me. Sharon is such a wonderful person, and she is a pleasure to know both on-line and off. She is a tried and true liberal from a fantastic background, which makes her my polar political opposite. However, Sharon is able to debate respectfully, which is a skill that many on both sides of the spectrum have forgotten. She's my favorite true liberal in the Blogosphere.

2) A.C. Kleinheider - I never knew what to think of A.C. before he got sucked into the mainstream media machine. I really don't know what to think of him now. Paleoconservative? Metroconservative? Homo erectus conservative? I have no clue what A.C. subscribes to anymore. Sometimes I think he's right on (particularly with his powers of prediction), but other times I have no clue where he's coming from. However, I love Volunteer Voters and (truth be told) hit his site multiple times a day and, if time is short, his is the first site that I hit when making the rounds.

3) Sarah Moore - Sarah is from the plank of the Republican Party that wants to take us all to Guiliani-land. We agree on practically nothing - even her choice of ACC basketball teams (Maryland) is not up to snuff (snuff being Duke). However, she debates fairly and respectfully (for a reference - the opposite of Roger Abramson), even when others around her are losing their heads. I also have a great deal of respect for her husband, Nathan, who has given much time and toil to the cause over the years. Despite our many political differences, I still consider her amongst my top three non-conservative bloggers.

Honorable Mention: If my dear friend The Undecided Philosopher posted more, he would certainly be on the list. However, his intensive job and the responsibilities of raising a young man on his own makes blogging trivial in the grand scheme of things. Like Sharon and Sarah, Ben also knows how to defend his liberal viewpoints while keeping matters civil. I can't overstate how valuable of a quality that is to me.

So, you have my answers. Anyone else feel like chiming in?


Christians Must Compromise to Bring Peace to Islam?

This piece in today's Tennessean raised my blood pressure a bit. I was going to vent on the subject of radical Islam and the true meaning of faith as it relates to Camp, but Mark A. Rose has already done that for me.

Camp seems to want to focus on curing the Christian condition. It is people like him that claim to be Christian conservatives but really want to disembowel what it means to be such that we have to be weary of. Those who are not strong in Christ and are going through particularly difficult times may be lured by his false teachings, just as they would a cult.

Enough from me. Read Mark's post.

UPDATE: It appears that Camp is now claiming that he was grossly misquoted (see the URL in the Comments). Perhaps he was.

I'm filing this as much ado about nothing at this time.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Bob Davis in Knoxville

I would like to thank Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Bob Davis for adding The Huddleston Law Firm to his swing through Knoxville yesterday. It was good to sit down and talk to the Chairman yesterday (a most excellent break from talking about the law) about all sorts of matters. Like any wise politician, he's running for re-election like he's 10-points behind (at the current time, it doesn't appear that there are any challengers to Mr. Davis).

There's plenty of excitement as the quarterly meeting of the State Executive Committee approaches on Saturday. It should be an interesting time.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Lack of Sunshine Causes Flu Season?

I have long believed a connection exists between the lack of winter sun and illness. Now there is a Harvard study that backs up my contentions, according to Instapundit.

I have long observed that my attitude and moods tend to suffer as we head into February and March (which I blamed on the "Ides of March" during my youth), and several of my med school professors pitched the idea that it was probably due to the lack of sunlight during the Chicago winter.

It might be time to start shopping for the artificial lights that boost vitamin D production in the skin.

Friday, November 24, 2006


The Friday Skinny

No. 19 Tennessee vs. Kentucky

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: 12:30 P.M.

VolWalk: The Vols will make their way to the stadium at 10:15 A.M. from the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex.

Pride of the Southland procession: The band makes their way to the stadium at 10:50 A.M.
Vol Network's Kickoff call-in show: Starts outside of gate 21 at 11:00 A.M.

Tennessee legends of the game:Former Vols Mark Hovanic and James "Little Man" Stewart will be honored.

Weather: Click here for the latest game day forecast.

Traffic: Click here for the latest traffic information from WBIR television.

Television: The game will be shown on Lincoln Financial Network Dave Neal (play-by-play), Dave Rowe (analyst), and Dave Baker (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 Vanderbilt 39-10
Kentucky beat Louisiana-Monroe 42-40

Last meeting: Tennessee beat Kentucky 27-8 in 2005

The coaches:

Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee 1972)
At Tennessee: 136-40 (.773/15th year)
Versus Kentucky: 13-0

Rich Brooks (Oregon State 1963)
Overall: 107-138-4 (.438/22nd year)
At Kentucky: 16-29 (.356/4th year)
Versus Tennessee: 0-3

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Happy Thanksgiving!

As has become tradition here at VOLuntarilyConservative, I am linking to Mark A. Rose's annual post on the real story of Thanksgiving.

As with all of our annual celebrations, it is only proper to remember the real reason for the season.

Although it's about family, turkey, hunting, football, and plotting the next day's shopping like we are an unstoppable rebel force, it's not really about that.

Take the time to remember what we really are celebrating over this four-day weekend, and give thanks to the Lord for all that you have been blessed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Mike Faulk Resigns as Hawkins County GOP Vice-Chair; Cites Inability to Support Sen. Mike Williams as Reason

You can read Mike Faulk's letter of resignation over at Mountain 'publican.

I can back up Mike's comments on the U.S. Senate race. No one knew where he stood, which is as it should be.

On a related note, at least 3/4 of the GOP county chairs in the state of Tennessee should also resign their posts because they openly violated their oath of office by publicly supporting one candidate or the other. A lot of people won't like to hear that, but it's the truth.

Mike's resigning because he doesn't feel he can stay neutral and support all GOP candidates. The others weren't neutral and should do the same. Kudos to Mike for being preemptive in his actions (even if there are obvious political points that he can score with them as he targets Williams' Senate seat).

Mike Faulk is a man of integrity, and I wish him the best of luck at taking the fight to Williams.


IRA-CF - Week 11 Rankings

Here are the Week 11 rankings from the Internet Ranking Alliance of College Football (IRA-CF).

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

Others receiving votes: California, Hawaii, Penn State, Kentucky.
Schools receiving 1st Place votes: Ohio State.
Fell out of the poll: None. (There was no poll released last week.)

Thank you to all of the pollsters who contributed.

Past polls:
IRA-CF Rankings - Week 8
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


AFA calls off Boycott of Wal-Mart

I know that many free-thinking hypocritical liberals who refuse to acknowledge the role of ethics and morality in the free market system knock the use of organizational boycotts against corporations. However, those boycotts (or even the threat of them) do seem quite effective at times. This release from the American Family Association:


Wal-Mart Says It Will Not Make Corporate Contributions To Support Or Oppose Controversial Issues

You have made a difference! Wal-Mart has announced they "will no longer make corporate contributions to support or oppose controversial issues unless they directly relate to their ability to serve their customers." AFA is pleased with this announcement.

Wal-Mart made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

In response to Wal-Mart's statement, AFA has decided to cancel its efforts of encouraging people to not shop at Wal-Mart or Sam's Club this Friday and Saturday.

We believe that Wal-Mart will remain neutral in cultural battles.

Click here to see the Wal-Mart announcement.


Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman

American Family Association


For those of you who are unaware, the "controversial issue" that is referred to is the funding of the homosexual agenda, which Wal-Mart suddenly decided to do in the last fiscal quarter. This brought a response from AFA, which urged its millions of members to avoid Wal-Mart. While its cause can be argued, Wal-Mart experienced one of its worst quarters ever last quarter, while several of its competitors saw significant revenue gains.

Monday, November 20, 2006


House Democrats to push reauthorization of the Draft

Gotta love that Democratic agenda...

Dan McLaughlin at RedState has yesterday's account of Rep. Charles Rangel, the incoming Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (which, to political novices, is a really big deal), revealing that Democrats weren't kidding about reauthorizing the military draft.

I wouldn't be surprised if they find that the draft has similar national support as an income tax here in Tennessee. Let's hope that it has the same effects on their political careers, too.


Creative Liberty
Mark A. Rose
Sharon Cobb


Volunteer Voters


Ain't that the truth...

"The day I listen to a New Englander’s takes on college football is the day I listen to a Parisian hooker talk about class."

- Matt of the Bourbon Boys

This gets my "ain't that the truth" of the day. All AP and Harris pollsters should be from Dixie, for the simple reason that we can see that a conference with only two teams in it doesn't deserve both National Championship Game slots.

It might not matter, though. USC, Michigan, Notre Dame - you couldn't make one competent defense out of the three teams combined. Ohio State will beat any of them because they can't be beat in a track meet-type game. Someone with actual defense, on the other hand...

The media conspiracy that killed Auburn's hopes two years ago has its eyes on Florida and Arkansas this year. Neither team helped itself this past weekend (the Catamounts?!?! C'mon Gators...), but if Florida stomps the Criminoles and then beats Arkansas, I fail to see how a team that played that kind of schedule doesn't make the National Championship Game.

And if not them, then USC. Michigan had it's chance in the two actual games it played this year, and it split 'em. That's not good enough when your third toughest game might have been Vanderbilt.

As a Vol fan, though, I am looking forward to watching Tennessee play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on December 3oth. Of course, I will be watching it from Chicago (ESPNZone, maybe?), but that should be fun, nonetheless.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


TDOT: A Picture of Fiscal Mismanagement

Bill Hobbs has the breakdown of TDOT's inaccurate portrayal of a financial shortfall. Hobbs accurately fingers Bredesen as the cause of poor TDOT's problems. Voters should remember that TDOT reform was one of Bredesen's two main campaign goals in 2002, although no one seemed to remember that he had failed on that count as much as he had failed on his TennCare reforms during this month's elections.

You don't need to be an economist to know that TDOT is full of it when they whine over not having enough money. They were more than fully funded previously (as I wrote in the Daily Beacon in 2001) when gas was around $1.50 per gallon. By all estimates, they should have been rolling in dough when gas prices recently spiked to over $3.00 per gallon. Seems that Bredesen's reforms really worked, huh?

We need to change the way that Tennessee builds its roads - because we fund our road projects unlike any other state in the Union - to have real TDOT reform. One place to start would be the General Assembly's defunding of TDOT and recreating the organization from scratch with a new vision and new employees.

That - or the implementation of other TDOT reforms - would take bold leadership. Phil Bredesen has already proven that he doesn't have what it takes to manage such reforms. Will anyone else step up to the plate?

UPDATE: Bill Hobbs, in the Comments, correctly points out that the gas tax is fixed and not connected to the whims of OPEC. I checked my notes and he is right. My apologies.

One thing I failed to mention though is that the vast majority of Tennesseans voted in favor of the sizeable gas tax increase that is about to be placed upon them. Yep, that's right. They did so when they elected Phil Bredesen to a second term. It was widely reported that Bredesen was going to push for a gas tax (as in this article from the July 15th edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press). Nearly 69% of Tennesseans still supported Bredesen, so I guess only 31% of us can complain that we didn't want our taxes raised. The rest of you... well, you got what you wanted, right?

In addition, as I was already "steaming mad" after reading of TDOT's lecherous demands, I became "spitting nails mad" as I perused the Knoxville News Sentinel this afternoon, particularly when I read this blurb:


State to enhance Civil War trails

Gov. Phil Bredesen announced today that the state will provide an enhancement grant in the amount of $537,240 to assist with the Tennessee Civil War Trails program, operated by the Tennessee Department of Tourism.... The grant is made possible through a federally funded program administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

"This exciting trails program will allow Tennesseans to create the nation's best program for telling the whole story of the Civil War and to bring new benefits to our towns and communities through heritage tourism," said Dr. Van West, director of the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area at Middle Tennessee State University. "I am pleased to see Governor Bredesen and Commissioner Nicely funding this effort."

"Including this year's enhancement grants, TDOT has helped fund approximately $189 million worth of transportation related projects such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects," said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely.


You gotta be kidding me...

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Friedman on Reagan

"To Mr. Reagan, of course, holding down government spending was a means to an end, not an end in itself. That end was freedom, human freedom, the right of every individual to pursue his own objectives and values so long as he does not interfere with the corresponding right of others. That was his end in every phase of his remarkable career. We still have a long way to go to achieve the optimum degree of freedom. But few people in human history have contributed more to the achievement of human freedom than Ronald Wilson Reagan."

- Milton Friedman (1912-2006)


Excellent Day for College Football

Here's the VOLCon viewing schedule for Saturday:

12:30 - Tennessee v. Vanderbilt

3:30 - Michigan v. Ohio State

8:00 - California v. Southern Cal

It doesn't get much better than that.

Of course, the Sunshine State is probably tuning in to the big Florida v. Western Carolina game. Nice, Gators. What, were the Girl Scouts too busy with the cookie drive to schedule this late in the season? I've been pushing you for the National Title game, but it's hard when you schedule D-1AA teams coming down the stretch.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Democrats for the Environment? I think not...

From the NRA-ILA:



Last month, President George W. Bush signed the "2007 Defense Authorization Act," which included an NRA-supported provision saving hundreds of elk and mule deer on Santa Rosa Island from the court-ordered extermination that was to begin in 2008 and be completed by 2011.

However, this week an amendment by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.), passed the Senate, and, if accepted by the House, will result in the overturning of current law and assure the extermination hundreds of healthy elk and mule deer on the island, off the coast of California. This action is not about public access or whether these animals should be hunted and by whom.

Siding with environmental extremists, Senators Boxer and Feinstein claim that the Kaibab deer and Roosevelt elk on Santa Rosa Island are destroying natural vegetation and thus, should be indiscriminately exterminated. The provision calls for the deer and elk to be killed en-masse. NRA-ILA opposes the indiscriminate extermination of these animals.

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox stated, "In a blatant attempt to slaughter these animals - for absolutely no good purpose - Senators Boxer and Feinstein claim to 'correct a terrible mistake.' The only irreversible mistake in this situation is if these elitist politicians are allowed to kill healthy and robust animals for political purposes."

Santa Rosa Roosevelt elk and Kaibab mule deer are unique and invaluable, as they are free from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and other ailments that threaten the species on the mainland. Forty miles of Pacific Ocean offer them a sanctuary from disease. The healthy and thriving herds can be used as breeding stock to repopulate in case of disaster on the mainland.

Cox concluded, "This is not about hunting - this is about political pandering and payback."



Going Overboard

A.C. over at Volunteer Voters wrote a critique of an off-topic comment I made earlier in the week regarding Nathan and Sarah Moore. A.C. expounded on the emphasis in that comment a bit too far, so perhaps some clarification is needed.

I wrote about my wonderment regarding Nathan - whom I believe will run for office one day as a conservative - and his wife, who does not seem to be politically aligned with Nathan. Knowing the stress of the political arena, I only commented on how such a relationship seems more difficult than a) normal circumstances with "regular jobs" and b) when both husband and wife are politically aligned.

A.C. took this comment too far - partially because I did not provide enough detail as to my observation. Taking it out of the marital relationship is certainly taking my thoughts too far. Heck, my best friend is a died-in-the-wool Democrat and has been for 17 years. That certainly couldn't be the case if I practiced what A.C. believes I was preaching.

This extends into real life and into the Blogosphere. For instance, Sharon Cobb is a liberal, and I think she is one fantastic lady. Roger Abramson is a purported Republican (although no conservative) and a massive tool. Their ideologies do not define them, although one could make the argument that their behavior does.

In reading Sarah's response, I believe she took the comment close to the intended context. I'm relieved of that since I was a bit worried after reading A.C.'s post.

In any case, I pose the question to those who have run or have considered running for office - do you believe that you and your spouse are politically aligned? Do you believe this to be necessary for the rigors of the campaign and public service?


What to do with Mike Williams?

Columnist Greg Johnson has a great round-up of all of the goings on with Senator Mike Williams.

In reading the piece, one can see that Williams does not care what his constituents want (by his own admission), will sell out party and his fellow legislators in a power grab, and may be maneuvering for a position in the Bredesen Administration after he commits political suicide.

I am eager for Williams' district to be in steady hands in 2008 - like those of Mike Faulk.

MORE: I'm surprised that there isn't more talk about Williams voting for Don McLeary for Lt. Governor. It seems that he could justify that vote - casting a ballot for a former Republican senator who has thrown his name into the mix - more than voting for Wilder. I know that many will hold it against Williams if he doesn't vote for Ramsey, but I personally don't see nearly the problem with voting for another Republican if one doesn't like the options presented.

That being said, I still would rather see Mike Faulk in the Senate in 2008.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Has Heath Shuler Already Lied to His Constituents?

Heath Shuler, whom I have mixed feelings about given his assistance to GOP efforts in Tennessee in the past, has already broken one promise that he made on the campaign trail. For the record, Heath was elected to serve North Carolina's 11th District only 9 days ago. That seems to best the record for a broken promise set by Colorado Senator Ken Salazar of 39 days after taking the oath of office in 2004, which is how long it took for Salazar to support a judicial filibuster after promising his constituency he would not support such obstructionist tactics.

Shuler said on the campaign trail that he would not support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. Today, Pelosi was elected unanimously. You do the math.

I am on the record as saying that Heath is a good man, that it is my sincere hope that he upholds his campaign promises and governs like he said he would during his campaign. Such conservative thought in the Democratic Party is a great thing for conservatives. However, this is one early warning that Shuler will be like all of those who have preceded him - campaign chameleons, running as one thing but voting the party line when push comes to shove.

I was hopeful that Heath's backbone was more stout that his foot was in his NFL days, but I'm beginning to have serious doubts.

MORE: Steny Hoyer won the House Majority Leader spot. I'm certainly no fan of Hoyer's, but anything is better than Murtha, right?


Thomas Named to Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals

Word came to me this morning in 4th Circuit court that D. Kelly Thomas, Circuit Judge of the Fifth Judicial District, has been appointed to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals by Governor Bredesen. The rumor has been strong lately that Judge Thomas was being considered, and Governor Bredesen made an excellent choice. I predominantly work in Blount County and have been in front of Judge Thomas on many occasions. He is an excellent jurist, knowing when to be compassionate and when to be intimidating.

Bredesen's judicial appointments have mostly been quite good. Thomas and Wade are top-notch. There is one glaring exception (which would be baffling if it wasn't explained away by partisan politics), but generally one can't complain about his work in the judicial arena. Of course, that is pretty much the feeling that Republicans have about Bredesen in his re-election bid - "can't complain."


Pistol Packin' KnoxVegas

It seems that we may have a new reality show brewing in Knoxville, one where we measure the caliber of our elected officials.

First, Knox County Commissioner Lumpy Lambert foils a robbery at his auto dealership with his .380. Lumpy is a known quick draw artist, and he got the jump on the perpetrator, who got what he deserved when he targeted a man wearing his "Friends of the NRA" cap.

Not to be outdone, Senator Tim Burchett has now foiled a burglary in Knoxville. He certainly didn't bring a knife to a gun fight, either. From the Knoxville News Sentinel:

The state senator, who said he holds a conceal-carry permit, had a recently purchased 9 mm Glock pistol and a .25 automatic Keltec as a "backup," according to his account.

Nice. Add this in with Burchett's fence-mending efforts with Tennessee Republicans and you start to see why many who had once questioned him aren't doing so any longer.

KNS columnist Sam Venable ties this all in with a notable member of the local Bar, Herb Moncier, allegedly roughing up a McDonald's employee.

What can you say? One has to be tough to live in Knoxville. No New York or Massachusetts wusses need apply. What's next? Senator Jamie Woodson drawing down on the Vice Lords in East Knoxville? Mayor Bill Haslam enforcing the city's new anti-panhandling ordinance with a Sig? The possibilities are certainly worthy of the Fox network.

In Knoxville, our elected officials don't just talk about Second Amendment rights - they exercise them. In the past week, that has been at the expense of criminal activity. And that's a good thing.


Tennessee GOP Politics

People often ask why I don't devote more time and effort into the State Republican Party. This is a great example of why.

The thought of Bill Dunn losing his Minority Leader position to Jason Mumpower makes me ill. Dunn reflects the kind of leadership we need in the GOP. Many people within the Party respect both Dunn and Mumpower, but why Mumpower is making this power grab is beyond me.

As for the other part of Terry's story, the idea of my friend Frank Nicely in the leadership is outstanding. No two Tennessee Reps. get under the skin of Jimmy Naifeh than Stacey Campfield and Frank Nicely. The more he sees of them, the better.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Did Santorum torpedo Lamar?

Volunteer Voters has the story in the wake of Lamar Alexander's narrow defeat to Trent Lott for the No. 2 position in the GOP Senate leadership.

Others will point to Lott's experience, vote counting abilities, etc., but I'm not buying it. With little movement amongst the Republicans to inject new blood into the leadership of the Senate, House, and the RNC, it at least has the appearance that the Republican Party has chosen to proceed with business as usual. Lott rings of the old era, one where the GOP exhibited little leadership.

I will be interested to see what becomes of Mike Pence in the House. If he doesn't rise to Minority Leader and if Shadegg is defeated for Whip, then I have to believe that conservatives are being told that we need to find another team to support.

MORE: The Union Leader all but endorses Pence and Shadegg.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


The Savage Nation

Since the VOLConWife teaches Tuesday nights at Walters State Community College, I have developed the habit of hitting the salad bar at Sonny's BBQ on Tuesday nights. (Half price on Tuesdays - an excellent deal for those of you near Cedar Bluff.)

As I was driving back from Cedar Bluff (with a stop at some of the stores at Turkey Creek), I tuned in to hear Michael Savage ripping into President Bush. The topic tonight was Bush's visit to Vietnam, upon which Bush apparently wants to provide more of an economic advantage to the Vietnamese despite the trade deficit with the country that borders on the obscene.

When you look at the numbers, Savage is right. Savage went on to say that Bush has been in the wrong about more than half of his decisions in office. I don't know about that, but it sure seems that way at times.

So, Republicans, I put this to question to you: where does President Bush rank in your current historical perspective in comparison to other Presidents? We're at the point where it is relevant to ask what Bush's legacy will be. In particular, which other Republican Presidents would you rank behind President Bush?

Leave answers in the comments section. I'm truly interested in your responses.


More Election Analysis

The Conservatore has a good wrap-up of the elections from a 1st District perspective. I agree with him that Davis is not exactly safe in the same way that Jenkins and Quillen were safe, but it depends on the circumstances. If everyone (Roberts, Roe, Venable) jumps in against Davis in 2008, you'll see a replay of 2006 and Davis will be re-elected to a new term. However, one-on-one races might play out differently.

Nathan Moore sees one great loser in last week's elections - the Left. (On a side note, I have to feel some angst for my friend Nathan. I am lucky enough to have married a wonderful conservative. The more I read from his wife's blog entries, the more I wonder what it must be like to live with someone who sees the world from a different - in this case, more liberal - perspective than yourself. It seems strained to me - kinda like Mary Matalin and James Carville.)


Wal-Mart, Best Buy weigh-in on Christmas

It seems that Wal-Mart has discovered that shunning the term "Christmas" - by which I mean that they refuse to acknowledge it and instead refer to a "holiday" period or just plain "winter" - isn't good for business. Already under fire for their support of the homosexual agenda and experiencing a losing last quarter when nearly every other retailer saw healthy gains, Wal-Mart has decided to bring "Christmas" back into the fold. Good for them.

Best Buy, it seems, doesn't feel that it is as vulnerable to Christian market forces, having removed all vestiges of the reason for the season from its advertising and displays. We shall see. I tend to think that Best Buy is more vulnerable, to tell the truth. Anyone who has been at a Best Buy on the day after Thanksgiving (and I would be amongst those for the past 3 years) knows that it really is close to an "end of days"-type scenario. Brutal. By far the worst store to visit between Thanksgiving and Christmas, hands down.

I guess I should thank Best Buy for targeting the term "Christmas." It will probably make my Christmas season (and certainly Christmas shopping) easier and more enjoyable this year.

(Hat tip: American Family Association)


FRC wants Pence as Minority Leader

Family Research Council has all but endorsed Rep. Mike Pence (R - Indiana) to be the next Minority Leader in the House. I certainly hope that more House Republicans feel the same way, as Pence would be a strong conservative choice.

Here is FRC's release on the subject:


A Question of Leadership

It is no coincidence that with every shift in power in Washington there is a shift in Leadership. In two separate op-eds today both Tom McClusky, FRC's Vice President of Government Affairs, and I point out that the new Democratic Leadership will be representing the most in-your-face liberal ideology we've seen since the early 90's. In response the Republicans must elect leaders who best represent the ideology they hope to pursue as a minority party.

Will Republicans in Congress decide to stay the course? To do so will guarantee the Republican Party minority status for the years to come. Republicans should elect true blue leaders who will bring back into focus core conservative principles that brought them out the previous 40 years in the political wilderness.

I firmly believe that Mike Pence (R-IN) would be the best choice to lead House Republicans as Minority Leader. As Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, Mike has shown his ability to work with and lead his colleagues in championing limited government and family-friendly policies. A refusal to change direction in leadership sends a very clear signal that pro-family issues will remain relegated to the level of campaign issues or below. A vote to stay the course is a vote to remain in the political wilderness for another 40 years.

Call your Republican member of Congress and urge them to support Mike Pence

Monday, November 13, 2006


Speed Bumps

You can only push your body so hard before it starts pushing back.

Last night on my final leg of my weekend journey from Maryland, my body decided that it had experienced enough fun for this week. The migraine started in my eyes, and thank God I was able to make it home before it got too bad.

It's been a few years since my last migraine, and I'd forgotten how badly you feel after the attack. In any case, I am even more behind of my usual schedule than I expected, and posting will once again be delayed until later today.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Tough Time for a Giving Weekend

Despite popular rumors, I have not died. I could not post Wednesday due to the kind of day that follows several days spent focusing on getting a candidate elected, one of those days that extends from before sunrise until after midnight.

I now am leaving for the mid-Atlantic. No, I'm not headed for D.C. (although I will pass through there), but instead am traveling to see my grandparents with my father and sister. This is no ordinary visit, though. We are using the three-day weekend (God Bless you, Veterans, a day early) to help my grandparents move from their house in Churchville, Maryland, which is just north of Baltimore. As my grandparents have lived in that house for decades (longer than my life, actually), we are helping them with a yard sale Saturday and moving several items back down South.

My grandfather's advanced Alzheimer's has necessitated the move. Once a true patriot having served in World War II and given much of his life for our country, he now requires care that our family cannot give on our own. Needless to say, this will not be the easiest weekend for any of us. It is fitting that we are serving him on Veteran's Day, though, as well as his birthday (November 12th).

I will post more when I return, but it is unlikely that I can do so during this weekend. Have a pleasant one, and let's hope the Vols are victorious.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Update, Part II

I just came from the Farragut precincts (there are two, 66N and 66S, in the same building). After spending time in precincts throughout Knox County, I kept hearing that Farragut was having heavy turnout (whereas most of the county had average to above average turnout).

Having seen it for myself, I can confirm that Farragut is having very heavy turnout.

Bob Corker performed quite well in Farragut during the August primaries despite a concerted effort by the Bryant campaign to win the area:

66N - 50.1% for Corker
66S - 49.2% for Corker

Farragut has long been thought of as showing strong support for Corker. To add to that, I have long been told that Farragut is about 3:1 Republican. The scenes there - voting lines into the hundreds that wrapped around themselves like the line for Space Mountain at DisneyWorld - should be a good sign for the Republican nominee.



(Mobile posting is not easy...)

The rain stayed away for the most part here in Knoxville - until about 15 minutes ago. At about 12:10 P.M., the rain started to fall here. Turnout at the many precincts I have been at has been steady and about average for a mid-term election. I'm still standing by my prediction that voting turnout is in-line with the averages when all things are said and done. More people in early voting only means more people voted early.

While I haven't seen any evidence of voter fraud here (although there have been a few problems), I have heard several reports of false exit polls being released around the country. This is particularly funny in House races (as some of them are purported to be such), since no national firm does House exit polling.

You almost have to live by the DTA theory until the offical results are announced - Don't Trust Anybody.


Reporting Voter Fraud


If you spot voter fraud anywhere in the State of Tennessee, please report it immediately. We have election attorneys in nearly every county in the state that can be called into action on a moment's notice - but they have to know about the incident. You can call toll-free at:

1-866-913-VOTE (8683)

Thanks for being our eyes and ears at the polls. Many of us will be floating from precinct to precinct (while others will stay at one precinct or another all day), but there is a good chance that any efforts at fraud will be done when we are not present.


Election Day, 2006

Well, the general election for 2006 has finally arrived. It has been a long road to this point for many of us, especially here in Tennessee. The campaign for U.S. Senate started only hours after George W. Bush was elected to a second term in November of 2004, making this a long two years for most political beasts in Tennessee.

As with all elections, I am up well before sunrise preparing for the physical rigors of Election Day. After some thought, I've decided that the physical toll of today is the worst part (the VOLConWife and I went over 40 hours without sleep in the August primary, working and traveling the entire time), followed by the mental rigors of having to stay sharp in your tasks, with the emotional toll bringing up the rear. It's not that I don't get emotional when my candidate wins or loses; it's just that such moments are private and have little impact on anything else.

The rain started here in Knoxville about 3:15 A.M. It's not pouring by any means, but it is wet out. It certainly appears to be a Democratic forecast.

But herein lies the rub - for the Democratic Party, this is the "perfect storm" in Tennessee. You have the perfect weather forecast - the best I have seen for your party in recent memory. You have the candidate from the liberal center of the state (Memphis) whom you have been grooming for years. He is by far your best candidate for Congress in several election cycles, and you have no one waiting in the wings with more political skills. You have seen a flood of political cash flow into the state from out-of-state liberal sources to give your candidate equal footing financially. Several big names from your party have been in Tennessee to support your candidate, including Clinton, Obama, and Clark. The national political litmus has been called the most toxic Republican environment since Watergate. Democrats nationally are seeing some signs of success in areas once thought to be firmly Republican.

With all of that, you have a major problem - you are going to lose. And with that, I don't think that a Democrat stands a chance of carrying Tennessee for several election cycles, maybe for a decade or more. You are simply not going to be able to align the political planets like this again, and even with everything going in your favor, you're still going to be whining at the end of the day.

Now, on with the predictions:

U.S. Senate

Tennessee: Some like to say that if this race was held a month ago that Harold Ford, Jr. would have won. OK, that might be true, but that's also like saying that if the football game in Knoxville had been declared over at the 59:00 mark that UT would have beaten LSU. The race has been set to conclude on November 7, 2006, for some time now. Ford peaked too early (as many correctly stated at the time), lost his mind in the Memphis Meltdown, and then was helpless as Bob Corker transformed into a personable, likeable candidate to which the conservative base eventually warmed. If it wasn't for the forecast today and the inevitable voting fraud that will result in 150% turnout in some Memphis precincts, I would predict a much bigger margin, but those that know me know that I am a big believer in weather as a factor in Tennessee statewide elections. Of course, it is an endorsement of how strong the Corker campaign has come on over the past few weeks, as my prediction on Open Source radio a few weeks back was Corker by 1.5%. I'm willing to stretch that out a bit now - even in the rain. Corker by 4.3%

Virginia: This race has been one of the strangest ever. The Washington Post has been more of George Allen's opponent that smut author Jim Webb. However, Allen's political operation has been impotent to stop the attacks, and a once safe 16-point lead has dwindled to a dead heat. Perhaps I am naive here, but I believe that Virginia voters still care about issues, and this race has been anything but about the issues. Webb has delivered no decisive plans on anything, and Allen - whether you like his personality or not - has a strong record that is appealing to most Virginians. This race has been all about character and not about the issues, but that's enough to make it closer than it should have been. Larry Sabato has this one going to Webb, so this is where I draw the line in the sand and declare my crystal ball better than his. Allen by 2.2%

Missouri: This is another smoke-and-mirrors race, much to the credit of the Democratic Party. If Claire McCaskill was my candidate, I would want to make this race a referendum on Michael J. Fox, too. Talent has a good voting record in the Senate, and it is my belief that the last ditch efforts by outside groups to defeat the cloning initiative will be enough of a spark in the base to carry Talent to a win that we won't be able to verify without a recount. Talent by 0.2%

Maryland: I have been on the Michael Steele bandwagon ever since Ehrlich brought him aboard as his running mate. Steele's speech at the Republican National Convention kickstarted his campaign for the U.S. Senate, and he's been off and running ever since. Recent polling has shown Steele pulling even in this race against the atrociously bad campaigner, Democrat Ben Cardin. However, Maryland is just too liberal of a state in the Baltimore County area to believe that it is going to elect a Republican to the Senate. There is a 70% chance of rain in Baltimore, though, so that could be enough to swing this one to Steele, but I just don't see it. If Steele is able to capture 25% of the black vote, it would be enough to swing this one to Steele, but I just don't see it. Maryland just isn't kind to Republicans. Cardin by 1.3%

Montana: I cannot believe how much I have written about this race. A Tennessean has never written so much about anything in the State of Montana. It just boggles my mind that a state of rational people would elect an unqualified-to-be-a-JV-football-coach candidate like Jon Tester to the United States Senate. Republican incumbent Conrad Burns has done a good job of closing, but I'm afraid that it's too little too late. I can't believe I'm about to write this... Tester by 1.7%
New Jersey: Oh, New Jersey, you tease. Just like the popular cheerleader in high school, you do just enough to get us all interested, only to dash our hopes in the end. I think that Tom Kean, Jr. is a fantastic candidate for this race against the scandal-ridden Bob Menendez, and every fiber in my being would think that Kean pulls off the upset here - if this wasn't New Jersey. Menendez could show up at the polls with a dead body in his trunk and Tony Soprano in tow and he'd still win. It's Jersey, folks. Menendez by 4.8%

Ohio: Mike DeWine goes down in flames. Brown by 9.8%

Pennsylvania: Regular readers know that I firmly believed that Santorum would come back to pull this one off. He closed the gap from over 25% down to within the margin of error in only a matter of weeks. The problem for Santorum is much like with Ford, Jr. here in Tennessee, though - he peaked too early. Without the help a strong run by Lynn Swann for Governor (a campaign that has been a disaster against socialist incumbent Ed Rendell) and swarms of negative ads, Santorum was never able to grab the upper hand. With the House races around Philly going badly for the Republicans, this one will probably be called rather early this evening. Casey by 9.0%

Rhode Island: Call me crazy, but I think that residents of the Ocean State send Lincoln Chafee back to the Senate just to screw with us conservative Republicans that wanted him to lose in the primary against Laffey. Chafee by 1.1%

Other winners:
Arizona: Jon Kyl
Connecticut: Joe Lieberman
Florida: Bill Nelson (in a landslide that ends Katherine Harris' political career)
Michigan: Debbie Stabenow
Minnesota: Amy Klobuchar
Nebraska: Ben Nelson
Washington: Maria Cantwell

U.S. Senate Bottom Line: Democrats pick up 3 seats (Montana, Pennsylvania, Ohio)

As for the U.S. House, I have poured over the fifty races that most people feel are most vulnerable for the Republicans, and things don't look too good there. With polling showing that Republicans have the momentum nationally, though, it makes it a difficult call on several of the races. A few weeks ago, I posted that I saw 14 seats going to the Democrats that had been in GOP hands, but that was before the Foley scandal. I think it's going to hurt a little more than that now...

U.S. House Bottom Line: Democrats pick up 25 seats, mostly in the Northeast from moderate-to-liberal Republicans

Here in Tennessee, we also have the Marriage Amendment on the ballot. With the efforts to get it passed having been ramped up over the past few weeks, I see it passing with bipartisan support.

Tennessee Marriage Amendment: Passes with 69% of those who voted in the gubernatorial race

Which brings me to the gubernatorial race... As I posted here this week, this race was about building name recognition for Jim Bryson. On that count, it was a success. It's a shame that voters still - after the campaigning - don't know the sleaze element that Phil Bredesen has brought to State government in Tennessee. The media failed in that respect, but, to a lesser extent, so did the GOP. Of course, it was a longshot to knock off Bredesen, and with control of the Senate being so important (especially with substantial reports that Justice Stephens may be gravely ill and set to resign from the Supreme Court), efforts had to be focused on the Corker campaign. Given that, I don't fault the Party for this loss. Jim Bryson lives to fight another day, folks.

Tennessee Governor's Race: Bredesen by 28.3%

Well, it's time to hit the precincts to make sure that no one is being disenfranchised. I will have a wrap-up post tomorrow for Open Source radio (providing that I make it through today).


More on the Missouri Cloning Initiative

Nik Nikas, one of my old mentors through the Alliance Defense Fund, has an excellent piece with Dorinda Bordlee on National Review Online about the Missouri initiative on cloning that will be decided on today's ballot.

I know that Family Research Council was in Missouri over the weekend getting the word out about what this initiative actually does - create a right in Missouri's Constitution to clone human embryos - in the face of a vicious spin cycle that is attempting to hide the legal impact of the carefully crafted amendment.

It will be interesting to see if Missouri's voters rise above the spin or are duped into voting for cloning when they believe they are voting to save Michael J. Fox.

Monday, November 06, 2006


A Mixed Forecast?

I've always said that rain in Memphis on Election Day is a Republican forecast, while mild conditions in Memphis and floods/snow in East Tennessee was a Democratic forecast.

So how does the weather tomorrow look?

Memphis - Cloudy with a few showers. High - 61 degrees. Chance of rain - 30%.
Nashville - Rain early with showers in the afternoon. High - 61 degrees. Chance of rain - 90%.
Chattanooga - Cloudy with periods of rain. High - 60 degrees. Chance of rain - 90%.
Knoxville - Cloudy with periods of rain. High - 64 degrees. Chance of rain - 90%.
Tri-Cities - Cloudy with periods of light rain. High - 62 degrees. Chance of rain - 90%.

Looks like a mixed bag to me, but probably more favoring the Democrats than the Republicans here. The rain chance seems to be creeping upwards in Memphis with each hour, though.

With Corker having widened his lead, I don't think that weather makes the difference here, but I wouldn't have said the same thing with the poll numbers from a few weeks back (before Harold's Memphis Meltdown).


Corker Stop in Knoxville Today

Bob Corker will be with Senator John McCain, Senator Saxby Chambliss, Senator Lamar Alexander, Senator Bill Frist, and Congressman Jimmy Duncan this morning in Knoxville at 9:30. The event will be held in the park area outside of the AmSouth Bank on Gay Street.

Not many times that you get to see 4 senators in Knoxville at one time. (Of course, after tomorrow night, such a gathering would have yielded a count of five senators...)


National Right to Life on Harold Ford, Jr.

National Right to Life, which has endorsed Bob Corker for U.S. Senate, released the following about Corker's opposition and his pro-abortion record:


Harold Ford, Jr., Is Not Pro-Life
by Douglas Johnson
Legislative Director
National Right to Life Committee
Washington, D.C.
October 30, 2006

I have been closely following the race for Tennessee's open U.S. Senate seat over the past couple of months. I have been somewhat astonished at the degree to which many journalists, and even some conservative commentators, have unskeptically accepted the recent declarations by Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., that "I am pro-life." Mr. Ford made this declaration most recently on Tucker Carlson's program on MSNBC today (October 30).

My astonishment is due to the fact that Mr. Ford's claim to be "pro-life" cannot survive ten minutes study of his actual voting record on abortion-related issues in the House of Representatives. During his 10-year tenure, Mr. Ford has voted against the pro-life side 87 percent of the time. On several major pro-life issues, including federal funding of abortion on demand, Mr. Ford has voted against every other member of the Tennessee congressional delegation, both Democrat and Republican.

Whether one favors pro-life laws or opposes them, I hope you will agree that the voters have a right to know how a candidate has actually voted or would vote on issues of such gravity. But Mr. Ford is misleading the electorate by adopting the label of the pro-life side, while attempting to deflect attention away from a voting record that puts him firmly in the other camp.

Here are a few facts about Mr. Ford's record in Congress:

Although Mr. Ford now says he wants to "eliminate" abortion, for 10 years he has voted, every time the issue came up, to repeal any limitations on federal funding of elective abortions. This, despite a great deal of empirical evidence that restricting such funding has resulted in many fewer abortions (a fact that pro-abortion advocacy groups acknowledge, and lament).

In 1997, he voted to repeal the Hyde Amendment. That attempt failed -- but if successful, it would have resulted in federal funding of from 325,000 to 675,000 elective abortions per year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Mr. Ford was the ONLY House member from Tennessee, from either party, to vote to repeal the Hyde Amendment.

Since then, he has consistently voted for federal funding of abortion without limitation in other programs as well -- for example, for federal funding of abortion for elective abortions for federal employees, and even for incarcerated federal felons.

Mr. Ford's campaign says that these votes on funding of abortion were merely to implement "the law of the land." But the "law of the land" IS the Hyde Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Hyde Amendment, ruling that there is no constitutional obligation for the government to fund abortions, and that the government can favor childbirth over abortion.

Moreover, Mr. Ford was also the ONLY member of the Tennessee House delegation to vote against the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act in 2002 -- a law that merely protects health care providers who do not wish to participate in providing abortions.

In 2003, Mr. Ford and Rep. Jim Cooper were the ONLY Tennessee members of Congress, House or Senate, to oppose "Laci and Conner's Law," which recognizes an unborn child injured or killed in a violent federal crime as a bona fide crime victim. (This bill did not even apply to abortion, but it was opposed by the pro-abortion advocacy groups, and so Ford opposed it, too. Ford gets high ratings from such groups. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported on October 21, "According to Planned Parenthood, Rep. Ford has voted for abortion rights 88 percent of the time.")

Mr. Ford voted to allow the FDA to market the RU-486 abortion pill (on June 24, 1998, roll call number 260, and again on June 8, 1999, roll call number 173), and the FDA did so (in 2000). In 2005, he voted to allow anybody designated as "clergy" to take a minor across state lines for a secret abortion, without parental notification. (Jackson-Lee Amendment, April 27, 2005, House Roll Call Number 142.)

Mr. Ford now likes to talk about his support for the ban on partial-birth abortions. He actually voted against that bill until 2000. Then he switched. But right up to the time that the bill was finally enacted in 2003, he continued to vote for unsuccessful killer amendments. That is the also the pattern on the other small number of issues on which Ford has tossed a vote to the pro-life side -- he first votes for gutting amendments, and only after those amendments fail does he cast a vote in favor of final passage.


Changes in GOP House leadership coming?

There's an interesting article in last week's The Hill. In the article, several House Republicans - some named, some not - intimate that there may be a complete turnover in the GOP House leadership whether or not they retain majority status or not.

One of the named Republicans was Jeff Flake of Arizona. He's one to watch. For those of you looking for a real conservative Mormon Republican - and not a fake one like Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney - Flake's the real deal. There was an excellent piece on his assault on earmarks on last night's "60 Minutes." If you can catch a YouTube or replay of that interview, I highly recommend it because it showed someone who wants to take the pork out of government and actually tries to do just that.

In any case, the piece in The Hill is certainly interesting to say the least. From a Tennessee perspective, Marsha Blackburn's reported attempt to land a role in the leadership is intriguing. It's the worst kept secret in GOP politics that the plan is for her to run for governor in 2010, with Jim Bryson using his newly found name recognition to slide into the 7th District Congressional seat. However, what happens if Marsha rises too far to risk a contested race back home - ala Zach Wamp?

I'm certainly not saying that will happen, but it could. One has to wonder if Marsha might have second thoughts if she obtains a high enough post, if Speaker Blackburn becomes a reality in 2010 - or sooner.

Just pondering here, folks...


Football Blues

I live a rich fantasy life.

The Lords of Rocky Top - the name of both of my fantasy football squads - claimed blowout wins in both my own Confederate Football League and the league known as Tennessee's Best.

However, reality bit this weekend. UT loses on a last-second TD pass by QB JarJarBinks (and a blown call on a fumble that was all the rage of the talk radio scene yesterday). My Chicago Bears looked awful playing the Fish from Miami yesterday, with Rex Grossman playing a game that was actually worse than the one he played in the Arizona desert a few weeks back.

So long, BCS for the Vols.

So long, undefeated regular season for the Bears.

Of course, it could be worse. I could be a Bama fan.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Welcome, Tiger fans!

First, thanks to The Daily Report for linking to VOLuntarilyConservative. Their link has led to a deluge of LSU Tigers on the site, which has led to many fun comments. Some were rejected (sorry, gotta abide by the Comments policy), some were obscene, and others were just red-blooded SEC fans getting fired up. No problems, really.

Some thought that I went too far by posting about that nasty corndog rumor the Auburn fans started. It's probably a good thing that they weren't around Volquest's premium board after last year's game, especially if they were mad at me for just posting the story. A few people had a bit too much fun with Photoshop that week.

In any case, I offer a truce. Since LSU and Ole Miss are a rivalry that goes way back (and if you don't recognize that, Tiger fan, then you might be a bit too young to remember those days), I thought that we could all enjoy a laugh at "Wild Boy" Orgeron's expense. (Hat tip: Michael Silence.)


(If casual fans don't understand some of the finer points of this song, then I will post them here later. Just let me know.)

Of course, I guess I shouldn't make fun of the Rebels. If their AD wasn't stupid enough to fire Coach Cutcliffe, then UT might be struggling through a season like the one we experienced in 2005. And with Butch Davis being hired today at North Carolina, the chances keep getting better that Coach Cut just might be in Knoxville again next year.


The Mind of the Conservative Voter

(Note: Gotta love these long lunches when I can author a few posts!)

Doc B over at Right Justified doesn't post as much as he used to (back when I first started this little blog), but he has an excellent take on how he voted and why.

I point this out because it is very typical of what I have encountered amongst the base in East Tennessee over the past several weeks. The base might not have the energy as it did for Bush in 2000, but it is going to show up for Bob Corker and the Marriage Amendment in 2006.


Oracle Predicts...

The Music City Oracle is saying that if Michael Steele wins his tough race for the United States Senate in Maryland that he will one day be President of the United States.

I'm going to disagree. I was extremely impressed with Steele the speaker at the Republican National Convention in 2004. I was not as impressed with Steele the candidate during his "Meet the Press" debate a few Sundays back.

That's not to say that Steele shouldn't be in an elected office somewhere. We are a better nation with people like Michael Steele - conservative, intelligent, bold - involved than without them.


More Voting Fraud

As I posted this morning, Harold Ford, Sr. has apparently been involved in voting fraud already this election season. The Mountain 'publican says that Harold, Sr. has intimate knowledge regarding voter fraud. Now more is coming out about what else is rotten in Memphis.

I was told Wednesday that as many as 11 of the voting "smartcards" were missing out of Shelby County, raising the possibility of one person (or one campaign) using the cards multiple times. Apparently, more has occurred down in Memphis, as Drudge is reporting that 12 of the smartcards have gone missing.

John Harvey has been tracking voters who love to vote so much that they are doing it twice during early voting. (Hat tip: Volunteer Voters.)

John Farmer has some first hand accounts of attempted voter fraud in Memphis.

Guys and gals, I know that this is scary. To think that certain people have the audacity to try to hijack the election process in such a brazen manner borders on treason in this American's eyes.

Just know that there are many Republican lawyers (not an oxymoron, despite the way it seems some times) that will be doing their best to keep an eye on things. We'll stop what we can, but we've never been up against such an organized threat before. There is some similarity with law enforcement, which is doing well to just keep up with organized, educated criminals. They're acting; we're reacting.

It's going to be a long couple of days...

MORE: From Blogging for Corker:

"Just remember to get out and vote, because if it’s not close, the Ford political machine can’t cheat!"

Well, they can cheat, but it won't matter. I think that's what Jay meant to say.


Ford, Sr. Knew Voter Fraud Before Voter Fraud Was Cool

I have received reliable reports that Harold Ford, Sr. was making the rounds to early voting locations in Shelby County over the past week. And, of course, he wasn't there to vote.

This is at best electioneering within a polling place and at worst voter intimidation.

Can anyone else confirm this? And can anyone explain why felony charges have not been filed against the former Memphis Congressman?


The Friday Skinny

#8 Tennessee (5-1) vs. #13 LSU (6-2)

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: Chip Kell (1968-1970) will be honored as he goes into the College Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.

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 South Carolina 31-24
LSU beat Fresno State 38-6

Last meeting: Tennessee beat LSU 30-27 in 2005 in overtime

The coaches:

Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee 1972)
At Tennessee: 135-38 (.780/14th year)
Versus LSU: 3-2

Les Miles (Michigan 1976)
Overall record: 45-25 (.643/6th year)
At LSU: 17-4 (.810/2nd year)
Versus Tennessee: 0-1


Erik Ainge - ankle, questionable
Jayson Swain - ankle, probable
Austin Rogers - mono, out
LaMarcus Coker - knee, out.


Quote of the Day

"I would like to think that Bob Rochelle's computer is just joining his former supporters in abandoning his desperate campaign..."

- Political Strategist Darren Morris, remarking on the Rochelle campaign's blame of a computer malfunction as the reason for having failed to file their financial disclosures.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Schree, You're Not for Tennessee

I caught a television ad for Democratic State Rep. nominee Schree Pettigrew this morning. I took notice because 1) it is unusual to see State Representative candidates advertising on the television waves and 2) Schree's opponent is incumbent Representative Stacey Campfield, who has an excellent record of representing the 18th district.

I guess there was a third reason - I thought that maybe Schree was taking Bobbie Christianberry's advice (given at Congressman Duncan's BBQ) at getting out of the race because she was in way over her head. Alas, that was not the case.

The contents of the ad were laughable. Schree criticized Stacey for wanting things to be smaller. You know, because Tennesseans are really for big government, big tax increases, big TennCare, big out-of-control Pre-K program, big government regulation. Apparently, Schree thinks that it's a bad thing that Stacey Campfield is for a smaller, less intrusive government.

I think Schree is going to be in for a reality check next Tuesday night when the election results start rolling in.

MORE: The Taming of the Schree


Tennessean: Military Comprised of bunch of intellectual "have-nots"

In defending Senator John Kerry, it appears to this reader that Nashville's own Tennessean may have gone further than the junior senator from Massachusetts in insulting the American heroes who serve in our military.

You have to love it when people with one of the easiest college degrees to obtain look down their noses at our brave soldiers, many of whom use programs such as the G.I. Bill to attend college after completing some of their military service.

What hypocrites. The freedom that allows for their occupation to exist remains only because of the people they feel the need to belittle.

As the product of a military upbringing and the son of a Naval officer and grandson of an Army officer, I demand an apology for everyone who has served this country's military from the "journalists" at the Tennessean who have put politics before patriotism, political loyalty over national loyalty.


Get On the Phone - GOTV Challenge 2006

The GOP has been quite creative in their GOTV efforts, which is probably one of the reasons that they are light years ahead of the Democrats when it comes to closing out an election cycle. For a baseball reference, the GOP is like Trevor Hoffman, the Democrats being more like Dan Kolb.

Which brings us to the Get On the Phone GOTV Challenge. This clever competition involves the blogs, with the bloggers and their readers getting credit for the calls they make to voters that the national party has targeted in key states. It's an interesting idea, although some of the ridiculously large blogs (RedState comes to mind) should win in a runaway victory.

I have decided not to participate for one main reason. Most of my readers are in Tennessee. Y'all already know who to call, who isn't sure if they are going to vote, and who needs help trying to crawl through the muck to find the actual issues that people care about. You don't need the GOP telling you who to call. Just call them yourselves. If each reader can get 5 people to the polls to vote for Bob Corker, you can make a difference in this race.

Besides, I would just assume keep this amongst Tennesseans. Harold Ford, Jr. has already brought too much money and out-of-state influence into this race to last 3 decades of elections.

Just know that you're not alone in your efforts. In a conference call last night with various Republican attorneys, it was confirmed that 35,000 voter calls are going out each day from the Tennessee GOP. That's astounding. If we all pull together toward one goal, then we can keep the most liberal Tennessee Congressman from becoming the most liberal Tennessee Senator.


Rallying for Marriage in Tennessee

Photos from the Knoxville stop of the Real Marriage statewide bus tour:

Good to see so many people showing up at the tour stops, especially when thousands of "Vote No on 1" yard signs have suddenly sprung up like weeds throughout Tennessee.

Today, the tour rolls through Dresden, Jackson, Brownsville, and Memphis.


LSU Fans Smell Like Corndogs

Just to prove that you never know what to expect here at VOLuntarilyConservative...

A few years back, an Auburn fan who goes by the Rivals username "DeepBlue" posted this controversial dissertation about LSU fans. It has become legend ever since, and it received much play last year during the lead up to Tennessee's remarkable comeback against the Tigers in Death Valley. Therefore, without further adieu, I give you the story of LSU fans and their facination with battered meat on a stick:


LSU fans smell just like corn dogs.

Yes, it is often said, but so, so true.

LSU fans do smell like corn dogs.

I would never tell them that to their face though. This is something better said at Internet distances. Even now, I am afraid.

I am afraid that they'll know I said it. I'll walk past an LSU fan someday, and he'll see that look in my eye that gives it away. That look that says, "gee, what is that smell? Is it corn dogs?" The next thing you know, I'll have flat tires on my car.

If you only learn one thing from me today, remember not to tell LSU fans how they smell - you know, like corn dogs.

LSU fans seem, somehow, sensitive to that whole corn dog issue.

I think this may be why a lot of fans get beaten up by LSU fans. If you attend a game in Baton Rouge, try to avoid telling them that they smell like corn dogs. Say something else instead. Like, "Wow, LSU sure does have a great team this year. This is going to be a great SEC game."

It's hard. I know. It's like when you're having sex and you try to think about baseball. That corn dog smell is just so overwhelming. It makes it hard for you to think about football or baseball or whatever else. Your brain wanders into corn dog topics like: "Gee, I wonder if I took a bite of your finger, if you would taste just like a corn dog?"; or "Is this a real person or is it a giant corn dog trying to make me think it is a real person?" or "What did that giant corn dog just say?" or "Excuse me, Mister, why is it that you smell just exactly like corn dogs smell?" or, of course, after a silencer: "Madam, did you just let the corn dogs out?"

Heck, after what I've heard about LSU fans, I think it may be better not to smell them at all. Okay, not all of them. Some of them are nice. Sure. Smell the nice ones. That's okay.

You know what else is a bad thing to do? Holding your nose around them. They are real sensitive to that, too. Try holding your breath. But don't be obvious about it. Somehow they know you're trying not to breathe in the corn dog smell. And that offends them. They'll likely
punch you for that if they catch on to what you're doing.

If you do breathe it in long enough, though, it'll permeate your whole body, and then you'll smell like a corn dog just like they do. But don't say, "Dang, now I smell like a corn dog." They take offense to that. And they will throw things. But not corn dogs. Hard stuff. Stuff that leaves bruises and makes you bleed. Then you may have to get stitches or something. Just don't say it. If you do start smelling like a corn dog, just shut up about it. Okay?

I think kids are acutely aware of corn dog smells too. Counsel your kids on how to behave around LSU fans. If LSU fans are driving around town, do not let your kids stick their heads out of your car window and sniff the air. No. Keep your windows rolled up. An odd change in
their expression - indicating they smell corn dogs - might get a wrench or pipe or some other object tossed at your windshield. So, that's dangerous. Let your kids stick their heads out of the car windows as you drive - on some other weekend

I know you are just as puzzled as I am about some of this corn dog stuff. What puzzles me most is that I've never actually seen any of these LSU fans with a corn dog in their hand. Okay, maybe there's no mystery there - maybe they already ate the corn dogs. Who knows? Maybe there's a corn dog factory in Baton Rouge and they all work there. Maybe, there's a corn dog lotion that they wear, or a French perfume. Maybe their city council puts corn dog juice in the water supply - kind of like fluoride. The politics there are probably weird. The big political issue during the city election is whether they should add more ketchup or more mustard to the water. Don't comment on it though. It's not politically correct over there. It's like a malnutrition issue or something. It's like the corn dogs are probably added to the water to prevent starvation or something.

I know when you go to Baton Rouge, you're thinking: "Ahhhh. Here I am in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I'll bet the people here smell just like boiled crawfish or shrimp etoufe' or some fancy Cajun food." But just stop thinking that. That's just a myth. They smell just like corn dogs.

In fact, please listen to my advice. Leave them alone about the corn dog odor. And don't try masking the odor with something stronger. They'll curse at you. They'll say something like: "WTF, how dare you smoke a cigar in my home," or "WTF!! Are you too good for the smell of
corn dogs?" and they'll cuss out your kids too: "WTF!!! Little Mister fancy pants over here acts like he doesn't want to smell like corn dogs."

Cajuns are not like us. Don't you see that, yet? They are really sensitive about being sniffed and about their corn dog aroma. They know they smell like corn dogs and it is no laughing matter to them at all. I know, I know. We sniff the Bammers and the UGA dawgs and the Ole
messes, and we keep a straight face with each of them, but don't press your luck with the Cajun tiger fans. Don't refer to Death Valley as corn dog valley either. I mean that's just wrong. Even if you've been drinking, they'll beat you up and curse out your kids.

Along these lines, be extra careful when you laugh in their direction - even if you're laughing about something else. Like baseball or football, or sex or whatever. If you can't control yourself and you must laugh though, do not snort. The snorting makes them think that you smell their corn dog body odor from a distance or that you're choking on it or
something. They'll likely burn your van for that. We lost a campus building over just one snort.
So, just remember. You can love one another without sniffing each other. You can enjoy the clash of a couple of good football teams. You can enjoy the thrill of the rivalry. But after the game, please heed my words. Please just move along. No sniffing the opposing fans this
Saturday. Okay? Get your corn dog jollies at home.

Enough with this corn dog talk. Let's play ball...



Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Missouri Initiative would legalize Human Cloning

Admittedly, it has been hard for one outside of the State of Missouri to thoroughly understand what is and what is not on the ballot this election season.

Michael J. Fox says it's about stem cell research. Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh say that it is about much more.

I came across this article by Yuval Levin at the Ethics and Public Policy Center that clears up the initiative for those of us outside of Missouri. Quite interesting. If what Levin writes can be believed, then the initiative seems to have been crafted with the purpose of deceiving voters. It certainly wouldn't be the first piece of legislation with that goal in mind.


Wednesday Lagniappe

A few odds and ends for "Hump Day":

That's all for now. I am running down an allegation of voting fraud having already occurred here in East Tennessee. So far, I am believing that it has happened, yet dismayed that nothing can be done to correct the problem. However, if more comes of it, I'm posting it here first.


There is no busier time than the week leading up to Election Day

On Monday, my legal work dominated. On Tuesday, my political work dominated. The rest of the week is a whirlwind of both - oh, and with a little UT football game on Saturday as a way of keeping my sanity.

Several conference calls, election law workshops, court cases, and other activities will be taking up my time over the next few days. My hope is that the blog doesn't suffer too hard of a hit over the next week, but only time will tell on that one.

The IRA-CF rankings will come out tomorrow, as I have not had an opportunity to compile them yet.

Oh where has the time gone?

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