Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Cain as the Conservative Option

Interesting ad that depicts Herman Cain as the conservative option that the Right has been complaining has been lacking from the previous election cycles.

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Friday, October 21, 2011


Herman Cain Speaks on 9-9-9 in Detroit Today

It was apparent to this observer from watching the debate earlier this week that the folks running against Herman Cain for the GOP nomination are relying on folks not being informed as to Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan. Their hope is that American voters remain confused as to the differences in state and federal taxes. Like Cain said in the debate, this is apples and oranges. Cain is trying to reform the federal tax program. Despite Mitt Romney's protestations, it wouldn't be legal for any sitting president to alter the way a state taxes its residents.

Cain explained a little more about his plan in Detroit earlier today. In the nearly 20 minute speech, Cain talks about incentives for capital gains by corporations and entrepreneurs, the deductions that businesses would have to work in "opportunity zones," how this activity would be an incentive for cities to work to help themselves, and other facets of the plan.

I am with Ann Coulter, who, as she stated last night on "Hannity," likes the plan more and more as Cain's political rivals keep attacking it.

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Monday, October 17, 2011


The First Herman Cain Video

It's tough to find a Herman Cain headline these days that doesn't reference his 9-9-9 tax reform plan, but what attracted me to Herman Cain in this presidential race were the points that he hits upon in the video below, which was released back in May.

Herman Cain's story is fascinating. I loved his story back when he ran for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. I love that his story doesn't begin with being born into a life of riches and entitlement, that it doesn't involve him taking on Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s, that it isn't built on the backs of Internet crazies, and that it shows so much resolve that you believe that he would sacrifice whatever it took for the country to succeed.

That's a breath of fresh air, even for this conservative to admit.

MORE: Michael Silence over at the KNS has a rundown of links to coverage of Herman Cain's weekend bus trip through Tennessee.

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Friday, October 14, 2011


Ain't That the Truth...

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Thursday, October 13, 2011


Is the Decline of Men Killing Marriage?

Glenn Reynolds forwarded this column by Kate Bolick from The Atlantic magazine, and it is truly a comprehensive look at gender relationships and marriage in this country. There's something for everyone here - personal tales, statistics, racial breakdown, gender-based modern behaviors, and, most importantly and predictably, the typical indictment of marriage.

If you are going to read the entire article, I recommend that you set aside enough time to do so. This is no little ditty. If I had to guess, I would bet that it is Bolick's magnum opus, a personal tale of her own life intertwined with enough research to take months, if not years, to organize.

I had so many reactions regarding this column that it's hard to properly write about them. It is obvious to me that men ain't what they used to be. Bolick doesn't really get into the cause of this greatly; yes, she does state that the collapse of the manufacturing and construction industries in this country have something to do with the collapse, but it does seem to me to be more than that. Perhaps it is my obviously different background from Bolick, but the statistics she cites are the result of men not being men - the feminization of America. It can be seen everywhere - from the schools to entertainment options to the workplace. It is protected by Main Street and by Wall Street, by educational institutions, by the belief of "popular opinion," and very much so by the courts. Men are supposed to be softer, more in touch with our feelings, and nothing like the Neanderthals that our fathers and grandfathers were. You know who they were - men.

In the end, it seems that Bolick is embracing her single status and hitting the snooze button on what she terms as "marriage o'clock." I suppose that she would believe that I am about to resort to some singlism here, but I feel awful for Bolick in every respect throughout the article. That likely is because of where I am in life. I am very happily married with two wonderful boys. I suppose that I am successful in my career at age 35; I believe that my peers would say that I am respected in my field. My wife, who quite admittedly has a better academic pedigree but has similar degrees as I do (both having a JD, her BS being from Vanderbilt in Human ad Organizational Development, my BS degrees being in Chemistry from East Tennessee State University and Biological Sciences, my consolation prize from where I left medical school after 2 years), is also successful in her career. I suppose that is what is curious to me about Bolick's article - why does there have to be so many differences between individuals in a relationship? Why do we have to resort to my 3-year-old son's mentality, where we are constantly measuring ourselves against everyone in the room as soon as we enter? Why can't both pieces of a marriage be equal? Isn't that the goal? My wife and I are a team, and we must work on a team or we will fail at achieving our goals in life.

Who married down in my marriage? (Friends are going to have a field day with that one...) I have always said that Angela did, but isn't that what I'm supposed to say? Isn't that what I should say? I adore my wife, and if I thought that I was marrying down, how would that marriage have any chance of surviving? And how do we measure that? My wife has a better academic resume than I do, but I make more money than she does and have more clients. However, she has more responsibilities with the boys than I do, in that she gets them ready for "school" in the morning. But that is another problem I find with Bolick's column - why does she assume that only one party runs the house? Angela and I share the responsibilities in the house. She tackles laundry, dishes, and cleaning. I handle grocery shopping, all outside and lawn maintenance, garbage, and the cooking. But even that is subject to alteration as the need exists. The same division of labor occurs in our law firm. It's OK that she doesn't have as many billable hours as I do in a given month as long as I do, and vice versa. Again, it's a team concept.

The problem is that Bolick seems to be be stuck on this elitist thought that folks are defined by the cumulation of their resumes and demographics. It seems that she does not believe that changes when folks get married; she doesn't believe that "two become one."

Since there are lots of people inventing their own terms in this social science field, I will do so, as well. It seems to me that Bolick (to a lesser extent) and many of the women referred to in her work suffer from Yankee Mental Illness. This is a far-reaching psychosis that effects those in the metropolitan areas of the Northeastern United States to believe that they are unique, special, and monumentally different from all others who have come before them. When they realize that they are not, they become jaded, depressed, and crestfallen until they come to the point where they remember that they are unique, special, and monumentally different, which justifies their continuing on the same path. Yankee Mental Illness extends well beyond the topic at bar, but it does have some relevance here. In regards to Bolick's article, it means that these unfortunate women all think that they are characters in a bad "Sex in the City" episode (or, even worse, one of the movies based on the show that were without a doubt two of the worst things to ever be filmed - EVER). They keep having sex with the same guys who have no reason to settle down, and then they are shocked when these guys don't want to settle down. (Maybe they forgot to set the alarm on their "marriage o'clock.") They then run to their group of friends that are having the same troubles, give it a good cry, and then go out repeating the same behaviors until they are simply too old to do so. Then they give advice to other younger women going through the same situation, but it doesn't appear that they would ever encourage them to take a different path.

I legitimately feel bad for Bolick. When push comes to shove, it is apparent that she made a mistake when she chose to end the only relevant relationship of her life because she felt that there was "something else out there" (which may be as believable as the X-Files). Now her life is irreparably different because of that one choice. And, while that is not the message that Bolick tries to convey in her magnum opus, it is the one that I take away. Choices have consequences. Your life can be incredibly different based on one choice you make. Youth and innocence are not excuses; they do not provide "do-overs" so that you can make a different choice when the realization occurs that you made the wrong choice. Sometimes you realize when you are at the crossroads (Bolick likely should have before she broke up with Allan at 28, although she states that she assumed that another relationship was just right around the corner), and sometimes you do not. I suppose this goes along with some sort of "the devil's in the details" mantra. You need to treat every decision as if it were important, even if on the surface it is not. The course of your life could be at stake.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Mass. Couple Calls 911 After Getting Lost in Corn Maze

How did the Yankees win the War again?


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Saturday, October 08, 2011


Election Schedule Chaos A Result of Romney "Gaming the System?"

Well, Nevada moved up their primary into January. Given that New Hampshire and Iowa law dictates when their primaries are to be held, this very well could push New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation-primary to January 3rd and Iowa's caucuses to the day after Christmas. Yes, this ridiculous race by the states has caused the 2012 elections to being in 2011.

But this is getting more interesting since it very much appears that Mitt Romney and his uber-rich supporters are, in the words of candidate Jon Huntsman, "gaming the system" by having the primaries run in an order where he maintains momentum and collects victories early on in states where he is strong.

I suppose this can be spun one of two ways. Either Mitt Romney is a suburb strategist who will win at any cost, or Mitt Romney doesn't have the policy positions to win on an even playing field and his conniving suggests that perhaps he is running in the wrong primary. Not sure which spin will win out with the electorate (if either, given that voter apathy must also be seen as a possible "eh, who cares?" outcome), but both are equally plausible.

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Herman Cain Coming to Tennessee Next Weekend

Herman Cain, the new front-runner for the Republican nomination to become President of the United States, will be the first candidate to tour the state when he embarks on a bus tour next weekend. (Other candidates, such as Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman, have stopped in for fundraisers, but to my knowledge this is the first attempt at actual campaigning in the Volunteer State.)

Cain will start in West Tennessee in Bartlett on Friday, eventually making it into Middle Tennessee by the end of the day. Cain will then spend Saturday in Cookeville and Harriman before wrapping up the tour in Hawkins County at the Rogersville Heritage Days.

Here are the details (some of which have been updated since first announced):

11:00 AM Central
W.J. Freeman Park Gazebo
2629 Bartlett Blvd., Bartlett, TN

2:30 PM Central
Bob's House of Honda
603A Vann Drive, Jackson, TN

7:00 PM Central
Humphrey’s County Fairgrounds Agricultural Building
234 West Blue Creek Road, Waverly, TN

Tennessee Tech University
1 William L Jones Drive, Cookeville, TN

Roane State Community College
Outdoors, North Side of the Building,
Near the student lounge
276 Patton Lane, Harriman, TN

3:30 PM Eastern
Rogersville City Park
331 Park Blvd.
Rogersville, TN

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011


Oil Prices Continue To Drop

It cost less for a barrel of oil yesterday than at any time in the past year. In fact, oil prices have dropped over 30% from its high earlier this year.

So why haven't the price of goods also seen a likewise decline? We have seen prices rise at retailers over the past couple of years under the guise of energy costs haven risen. Since energy prices are dropping, shouldn't the savings be passed along to the consumers?

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011


Problems at DOJ - and Beyond

Now that House Judiciary has called for a special prosecutor to determine if Attorney General Eric Holder committed perjury regarding his "Fast and Furious" testimony (the program that was putting guns into Mexico), things may pick up.

As Owens notes in the article, this could be huge. Just file this under advisement for now, as this could be the straw that breaks the camel's back for this Administration if this rabbit hole goes as far as many think it does.

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Tennessee Motorcyclists Look to go Helmetless

TNReport has the story on the wave of support to revive the bill that would repeal the requirement for Tennesseans to wear helmets while riding a motorcycle.

But if we're doing this in the name of freedom, here's my question:

If a motorcyclist has the right to go without a helmet and splatter his brains all over the pavement, shouldn't those of us who prefer four wheels be allowed the choice of whether or not to wear a seatbelt?

It seems like the same argument. But I can guarantee that the State won't allow for the seatbelt requirement to lapse. Why? Because that is a common way that law enforcement can use to pull you over without actual probable cause so that they can search your vehicle for contraband.

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Understanding the Whole Debit Card Mess

Thanks to the Instapundit for tipping me off to a column by Professor Richard Epstein of the Hoover Institution that thoroughly explains how the debit card mess came about and why it is really the government's fault (specifically, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and President Obama) that Americans and eventually the larger banks are being squeezed for no reason.

The column concludes:

The greater tragedy, however, lies in the overheated political scene that
allows demagogues like Senator Durbin to get his way. The current economy has
enough trouble without the Durbin Amendment. One of the economy’s bright spots
was the debit card, which in hard times became the life-line of millions of
people. Its use, measured both by card swipes and dollar levels, far exceeded
that of the credit-card. What possible reason is there for Congress and the
president to meddle in one of the few systems that work, even if the courts will
roll over to whatever they do? There is no one thing that can fix the American
economic system or its horrific political climate. But the prompt repeal of the
odious Durbin Amendment would be a fine place to start making amends.

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West Virginia Governor's Race Today

In a race that polling suggests is too close to call, a small percentage of West Virginians will choose between Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin, an establishment Democrat and career politician who has been in the West Virginia government since years before I was born, and Republican Bill Maloney, a drilling engineer who has never held public office but garnered significant Tea Party support in the primary. More on the candidates here.

Like most special elections, this race has garnered national attention due to its falling on a date where nothing else is occurring politically. Nearly $6 million in money from outside of the state has been poured into advertising for the candidates. And apparently it hasn't had a positive effect on turnout - only a smattering of voters have turned out for early and absentee voting.

Low turnout races are very difficult to predict. If the Republicans are able to carry the day, it would signal that the nation remains toxic to Democrats for 2012, especially President Obama, who the Republicans have made a campaign issue by saddling Tomblin with the political albatross that is the President. (Obama's approval ratings in West Virginia are some of the lowest in the country.)

What is interesting from a Tennessee perspective is how Tomblin has been tied to West Virginia's decision not to join the challenges to Obamacare. Tennessee's Democrat Attorney General (who is not popularly elected but should be) also elected not to join other states in contesting the unconstitutional mandates placed within President Obama's magnum opus. It will be interesting to see what part this may have in the West Virginia special election and whether that will translate into further Democratic losses here in Tennessee in 2012. It will also be a great measuring stick on whether Republican leadership ignores the bad advice of some of their own brethren and makes the Attorney General accountable to the voters.

If I had to make a prediction, I'd predict Tomblin wins. My basis for this unfortunate pick lies with many years of watching West Virginia go Democratic, union influence in the southern parts of West Virginia and their known propensity for intimidation, corruption, and voter fraud, and traditional polling in West Virginia that tends to run 2-3 points low for the Democrat (see previous reference to the unions).

MORE: CNN has more on the race. Seems that their analysis and my own aren't too far off - it will be close, but it's just hard to believe that Republicans would take a contested race in a union stronghold like West Virginia.

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Are We Close to Seeing the Results of Redistricting?

According to this post from Chas Sisk over at the Tennessean, yes.

Someone probably needs to notify the National Weather Service and FEMA, because the tears of all of the Democrats who have had their way with redistricting for the past 150 years may cause flash flooding throughout the state.


Monday, October 03, 2011


One Pundit's Love/Hate Relationship with the GOP Field

RedState's Erick Erickson, who has long been a friend of this site, has a thorough piece today on what he dislikes about each of the Republican candidates. It's an interesting column, inasmuch as Erik is friends with several of the candidates.

But isn't that what races are about? No candidate should be everything that you want - that 100% perfect mix of policy, character, charisma, and background. One of my favorite candidates of all time was my former boss, Ed Bryant, and even he and I disagreed about issues, how to approach situations, etc.

And I guess that's one big problem I have - and that's folks that immediately grab on to a new candidate and start spewing their love for a candidate without knowing one actual thing about them. There's one member of the Republican State Executive Committee here in Tennessee who does that on almost every race, no matter if that race is a contested primary or not. He just goes giddy when a candidate announces, even if that is a first-time candidate with no record of achievement, votes, etc., or that candidate was an ambassador to Outer Mongolia and his record is unknown and undocumented. And this is someone who is supposed to be speaking for the Party. Go figure.

But he's not alone. Would anyone be surprised if Ron Paul supporters would justify Ron Paul's actions if he donned a ski mask and a shot gun and knocked off a bank? They'd probably say that he was a modern day Robin Hood, fighting back against the Fed or something. As Erik says in his column, Paul supporters are kinda scary. What seems to fuel them is this notion that the establishment won't make any concessions to them, which is odd given that they themselves refuse to make any concessions on any issue and openly state that they would never vote for anyone other than Ron Paul. If that's the case, why would anyone care to deal with them? They have abandoned their only real bargaining chips - their vote and support - right off the bat.

Supporting a candidate is not supporting a sports team. Sure, it's fun to be a UT fan and think that we're gonna give Alabama hell come the 3rd (actually 4th this year) weekend of October this year, no matter how unrealistic that is. But should that be the same for our political candidates?

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Where are the Challengers?

There's an article in Nashville's City Paper that talks about Senator Lamar Alexander's recent move to step down as Senate Republican Conference Chairman and to instead work on "bipartisan solutions." Also referenced are Lamar's recent fundraising efforts to put Tennessee dollars into the pockets of known RINOs Olympia Snowe and Dick Lugar.

There is quite a bit of gnashing of teeth and vitriol at Lamar's actions, and likely with good cause, as Tennessee elected him to represent their interests, not some bipartisan mumbo jumbo.

But here is my question regarding both Lamar and Senator Bob Corker, who, if you haven't noticed, is up for re-election in 13 months:

If the base in Tennessee is so filled with angst about their two Republican senators, then where are the primary challengers?

Lamar walked to his second full term in 2010. Bob looks to be uncontested in 2012 (unless someone is raising cash in the shadows, and that would have to be the mother of all stealth campaigns).

If Lamar and Bob are so far afield of the Tennessee conservative base, then why are they not being challenged at all?

UPDATE: Right on cue, Bob Corker added to Lamar's call for more bipartisan legislation.

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If Christie or Palin want in, they had better get busy

Lots of folks openly doubt whether New Jersey Governor Chris Christie or former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin can organize a national campaign in time to be competitive at this late date. (Remember back in 2008, when everyone was saying that Fred Thompson was too late - in July.) Many of the skeptics cite fundraising and getting "boots on the ground" as the main obstacles.

However, there is one other major problem - getting on the ballot in all 50 states and the 6 territories/districts that each have individualized requirements and deadlines. It truly is a hodgepodge of requirements. Some are easy - Stephen Colbert exposed his native South Carolina's simple requirement in 2008 when he attempted ballot access there by simply writing a $25,000 check to the South Carolina GOP. One of the most arduous ballot requirements that I am aware of resides in the Commonwealth of Virginia, where a candidate has to collect over 10,000 signatures from registered Republican voters, with at least 400 of those being from each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts.

The reason I bring this up is that it is October 3rd. Individual state deadlines arrive in a matter of mere weeks. Within the next 45 days, we'll see the deadlines for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, and New Hampshire pass. And that list is likely to grow. Many of the states are moving their primaries closer to the beginning of the year, meaning that deadlines are likely to be pushed up in those states so that ballots can be printed. In fact, on Sunday's "Meet the Press," it was the opinion of several members of the panel that Iowa could very well move their caucuses into December to protect their first in the nation status.

Dealing with this issue is not easy. However, it certainly helps to have a bunch of money; private consultants can be contracted to take care of some of the issues. The problem with that strategy is that you use the money that you need at the beginning to combat the attacks that are bound to come from all sides as soon as you jump into the race.

This might be immaterial. I'm starting to hear some talk that Christie might not want to rush into this and will pass on 2012. And I have contended from the premature end of Sarah Palin's governorship that she would flirt with the idea of running up until the very last minute and then parlay her position into a FoxNews talk show. My position over the years hasn't changed on that one.

Time is growing short. We need to solidify the field - so that we can begin whittling off the also-rans.

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