It would seem that the announced departure of Allison Wagley from Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale's unneeded Office of Neighborhoods has created quite a stir on the Knox County Commission:
Commissioner William Daniels, who wanted to eliminate the Office of Neighborhoods during the budget process earlier this month, was angry when he heard the news of her announced departure.
"She had already told some people on her staff she was leaving," Daniels said. "And for her to get up there [at the commission meeting] and tell all of Knox County she wasn't leaving, obviously, it wasn't the truth. It's a lie. That's deplorable. It don't take a priest or a preacher to figure out if you had the truth told to you."
Reading Daniels' comment prompted Van de Vate to fire back.
"It's easy to see why the voters of the Fourth Commission District rejected Mr. Daniels. He needs to check his facts. Once he has done so, if he's any kind of man at all, he will make a public apology," Van de Vate said in a written statement to 10News.
National Review is set to declare who it thinks is unacceptable for John McCain to choose as a running mate. Apparently, Mitt Romney is acceptable to the good folks at the Review, he who was in favor of abortion-"it will not be a multiple choice"-before he was "pro-life, and favored that legislation," and who is now pro-Second Amendment and hunted "small varmints, really," but previously said he favored the "tough gun laws in Massachusetts (I support them)." What a fine conservative choice.
The reality is that we had a conservative choice in this election. We had someone who was pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and who would appoint judges were he elected that reflected those values-our values. We all blew it collectively, including me, because it seemed that we were looking for the perfect candidate instead of the right one.
As Adam Graham pointed out, some people were concerned in 1976 and 1980 that Ronald Reagan didn't have a perfect record, either. Conservatives gave Reagan a chance anyway, and I'd say it worked out pretty well for us and for the country in the end.
Mike Huckabee is a man who, at the very deepest level, understands conservative values and shares them. We do not need to ask whether Huckabee is pro-life, and we don't need to wonder from his past actions if he will act on the pro-life convictions that he proclaims were he to enter office. Huckabee was never the perfect candidate, but those of us who were so quick to write him off soon found out that he may have been the right one.
Through his new venture HUCKPAC, Mike Huckabee is showing that he isn't just supporting Republican candidates, but conservative ones, and even as we bemoan the present Republican nominee, Mike Huckabee is out laying the groundwork for the conservative future of the GOP-a future he will have helped to build. If John McCain is serious about winning in November, he should select Mike Huckabee as his running mate.
The World is proud to endorse Mike Huckabee for the Vice Presidency of the United States.
The great Frank Cagle, East Tennessee politico extraordinaire, co-host of The Voice, former Van Hilleary gubernatorial campaign spokesman, resident conservative at the liberal MetroPulse, and without doubt the finest political analyst in the South-and perhaps the country-hit the nail on the head two weeks ago when it comes to the way that Barack Obama may impact Tennessee:
Hillary Clinton most likely would have carried Tennessee in November. Her husband did it twice; John McCain couldn’t do it in the primary. But Barack Obama? If Harold Ford Jr., a conservative-talking candidate from Tennessee, couldn’t win his Senate race campaigning here daily, then a liberal from Chicago who is unlikely to campaign here at all wouldn’t seem to be a good bet either.
Republican legislators have also been told by many of their rural, conservative Democratic colleagues that they themselves will be voting for McCain, rather than Obama, and many of their constituents will be doing so as well. If rural Democrats across the state are going to vote for McCain, might they also vote for the Republican legislative candidate as well?
Obama may do well in metro areas—where Ford also scored large numbers—but if he is unable to move the rural districts, then the seats down the ticket may be in play. These circumstances have some Republicans quietly thrilled at their prospects. Perhaps they are not just being hopeless optimists.
So maybe the Republicans CAN capture the House. Or, with a couple of seats, force a coalition.
For most of the week we've been hearing about the great national lead that Barack Obama is supposed to have. Although I suspect that lead is exaggerated and obviously does not account for State-by-State polling that shows the race much closer than the Los Angeles Times is prone to do, it is clear that Barack Obama is benefiting from the present economic situation in the national polls.
Tennessee politics, however, is a parallel universe where the exact reverse of the national trend or the normal trend tends to occur. In 1998, when Democrats did unusually well nationally considering the climate, Tennessee's Republican Governor was re-elected with 69% of the vote. When that very same Governor, Don Sundquist, attempted to push through a State income tax, most people in his own party condemned his action-and rather than be punished for being the party of Don Sundquist, Republicans gained several seats in the General Assembly as a reaction to the Sundquist tax proposal, and the resulting composition of the Legislature was seen as an anti-tax and anti-Sundquist election result.
The 2006 General Election was seen nationally as a bellwether election for Democrats, but no one told people in the Volunteer State In the parallel universe of Tennessee, a Republican-Bob Corker-who was virtually unknown outside of East Tennessee, and prior to announcing his candidacy was practically unknown (in non-political circles) outside of Chattanooga, defeated a Democrat in Harold Ford, Jr. from one of Tennessee's most well-known, powerful, and infamous political families. Unlike many of the other Fords, Harold Jr. was a popular, well-liked candidate who was even begrudgingly acknowledged to be tolerable by many Republicans (again, see Frank Cagle), and was probably the only Democrat who could mingle with attendees at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference and not be hissed away. Ford could not carry a single rural county in the State, and his suburban vote in the counties near Memphis turned out to be lighter than expected. At the end of the night, Bob Corker was the only freshman Republican Senator elected in 2006.
While other parts of the country may be going gaga over Barack Obama, John McCain holds a very substantial lead here, and Obama is so unpopular in some quarters that many Democrats have quietly mentioned to me that they simply won't be voting for him. Further, many legislative candidates running as Democrats won't go anywhere near Obama.
It is very possible that John McCain could carry Tennessee on the strength of the anti-Obama vote. Further, if people here believe that Barack Obama may win the national election, they may react by giving long suffering Tennessee Republicans our General Assembly majority at long last.
It is entirely too early for Democrats to take a breather (and, as I have told Adam Graham on several occasions, I still think John McCain will pull out the General Election-these numbers look strikingly similar to John Kerry's numbers at this point in the race four years ago. John McCain's biggest weakness, however-the one thing that can beat him-is not Democrats, but conservative Republicans staying home:
“McCain suffers from a pronounced ‘passion gap,’ especially among conservatives who usually give Republican candidates a reliable base of support. Among voters who described themselves as conservative, 58% said they would vote for McCain; 15% said they would vote for Obama, 14% said they would vote for someone else, and 13% said they were undecided.
Conservative activists warned the GOP establishment that they would be less-than-excited about a McCain candidacy, and the numbers on the ground seem to bear out that this is coming to pass. Base voters' lack of passion for his campaign must figure into John McCain's choice of a running mate if he is to win in the fall. McCain runs the risk of taking the conservative base of the GOP for granted as a shoo-in, possibly thinking that conservatives find Obama so repulsive that we will run to McCain by default. John McCain cannot afford the luxury of capitalizing on a base that traditionally has not supported him, and he must actively court conservative voters to win. The best way to do that and appear trustworthy is to pick the right Number Two.
David Oatney discusses the state of the economy and the comparisons with the 1970's. Thoughts on the passing of Tim Russert and the NBC coverage of Russert's life and death. Adam Graham and Paul Stanton join the show.
In an interview with Fortune, Black said that a terrorist attack would be a “big advantage” to McCain, a comment the all-but-certain GOP candidate immediately distanced himself from.
But for what it's worth, there's been chatter among some Democrats that the big fear Obama aides have is just what Black spoke about -- some sort of national security crisis popping up in October.
What Black said is invariably true-a national security crisis would almost certainly benefit John McCain, as such events do tend to be politically beneficial to Republicans. The GOP is generally seen by the electorate as tougher and more seasoned on national security.
There is a way to point out that reality, however, without sounding like you hope there is a terrorist attack.
As SenatorBarack Obamacourted voters in Iowa last December, Representative Keith Ellison, the country’s first Muslim congressman, stepped forward eagerly to help.
Mr. Ellison believed that Mr. Obama’s message of unity resonated deeply with American Muslims. He volunteered to speak on Mr. Obama’s behalf at a mosque in Cedar Rapids, one of the nation’s oldest Muslim enclaves. But before the rally could take place, aides to Mr. Obama asked Mr. Ellison to cancel the trip because it might stir controversy. Another aide appeared at Mr. Ellison’s Washington office to explain.
“I will never forget the quote,” Mr. Ellison said, leaning forward in his chair as he recalled the aide’s words. “He said, ‘We have a very tightly wrapped message.’ ”
We need to be bluntly honest about reality here-just what were these Muslim groups expecting to happen? Barack Obama is not a Muslim, but he does have plenty of family members who are (by his own admission), and last time I checked we as a nation were engaged in hostile action in two overwhelmingly Muslim nations, and have been attacked many times-and in 2001 finally on our own soil-by groups acting in the name of Islam.
We can speak all we like about the fact that a majority of Muslims would not act in the way that these terrorist groups would act, but the opinions of groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al Qaeda are widely-held opinions on the street in the Muslim world. The anti-American, anti-Jewish (of all sorts), and even anti-Christian (of all sorts) feeling in the Muslim world is not a creature of the Iraq War, it goes back decades to the time of Harry Truman, and foreign policy decisions made during Truman's administration. While the wisdom of these decisions is still a matter of scholarly debate, they are decisions deemed at the time to have been in the best interest of the United States, and are such that 60 years later they cannot be undone.
Having once roomed with a Muslim in college and having known several Muslims over the course of my life, I can attest that there is a difference between those "Muslims" who in reality choose to Westernize themselves in this country, and Muslims whose sympathies and outlook lie primarily in the Middle East. No, I don't believe that Barack Obama's Muslim supporters are lining up to bomb buildings and chant death to America.
The trouble is that Muslims in the Muslim world who would do these things have made it clear that they prefer Barack Obama, and Obama's people know that isn't good for their man.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel-or rather Jack McElroy-showed its true colors as a proponent of metropolitan government in Knox County on Sunday by not only editorializing in favor of the petitions to radically reshape Knox County government, but printed the petition in the Sunday paper, inviting people to sign them and send them in. By far the most dangerous of the two petitions is the so-called orange petition:
The orange petition calls for making changes on County Commission, including strong policies on nepotism, conflict of interest, prohibiting commissioners from being employed by county government and reducing the size of the commission from 19 to 11 members, with two elected at large.
The petitioners, who seem to be egged on by the News-Sentinel and apparently some rather wealthy and powerful people who have long favored metropolitan government in Knox County. Many people are signing this petition in the name of having "a voice," but many do not realize that they are actually signing away a part of their representation on the Knox County Commission, as reducing its members from 19 to 11 is a move that would almost certainly favor West Knoxville, West Knox County, and Farragut at the expense of Powell, South Knoxville, and East Knox County.
The News-Sentinel is free to speak out in favor of whatever initiatives its editorial board should choose. Printing the petitions free in the pages of the newspaper while asking other political causes to pay for their advertising space destroys any claim the News-Sentinel may have to journalistic objectivity, however. In no way can the News-Sentinel be relied upon to give accurate stories free from their own editorial spin where Knox County politics are concerned. Jack McElroy and his editorial board have chosen to place their opinion about government ahead of honesty in reporting. This may be their First Amendment right, but the KNS has shown that as an institution it knows better than few others how best to abuse its freedom of the press.
Mr. Obama is running as a reformer who is seeking to reduce the influence of special interests. But like any other politician, he has powerful constituencies that help shape his views. And when it comes to domestic ethanol, almost all of which is made from corn, he also has advisers and prominent supporters with close ties to the industry at a time when energy policy is a point of sharp contrast between the parties and their presidential candidates.
Nowadays, when Mr. Obama travels in farm country, he is sometimes accompanied by his friend Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader from South Dakota. Mr. Daschle now serves on the boards of three ethanol companies and works at a Washington law firm where, according to his online job description, “he spends a substantial amount of time providing strategic and policy advice to clients in renewable energy.”
Mr. Obama’s lead advisor on energy and environmental issues, Jason Grumet, came to the campaign from the National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan initiative associated with Mr. Daschle andBob Dole, the Kansas Republican who is also a former Senate majority leader and a big ethanol backer who had close ties to the agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland.
In today's oil climate, virtually no one opposes the research and development of alternative fuels. Many of us warned, however, that the increased use of corn-based ethanol could unwittingly drive up the overall price of food. Corn is the food staple in this country, and has been even before European settlement, so any research into corn-based alternatives must be diversified with other alternatives, and plenty of them. As much as I like Bob Dole personally, his ties to ADM have always troubled me, because ADM will do anything to inflate the price of corn. As someone whose politics are by nature sympathetic to agricultural interests in general, I want our family farmers to get a fair price. If food prices are overly high, this tends to benefit huge conglomerates like ADM and hurt small farmers. In addition, higher food prices leads to people purchasing less at once and decreases demand-which really hurts the small farmer.
There are cheaper and more energy-efficient ways to get ethanol than merely from corn, but we aren't hearing about these alternatives from the Obama camp:
“We made a series of mistakes by not adopting a sustainable energy policy, one of which is the subsidies for corn ethanol, which I warned in Iowa were going to destroy the market” and contribute to inflation, Mr. McCain said this month in an interview with a Brazilian newspaper, O Estado de São Paulo. “Besides, it is wrong,” he added, to tax Brazilian-made sugar cane ethanol, “which is much more efficient than corn ethanol.”
John McCain is right-we're keeping sugar-based ethanol off of the American market and subsidizing the corn product, which is largely contributing to the destabilization of the food market. No word from the Obama campaign on how the Savior plans to deal with the further price hikes his corn ethanol obsession will create.
Higher food prices are being brought about not only because of higher fuel prices (that is a contributing factor) but by increased demand for corn for non-food purposes. Rather than promote diversity in our search for alternative fuels, Barack Obama has chosen the singular path of close ties with the corn-based ethanol industry. If this were to continue under an Obama administration, it could mean vastly higher grocery bills for you and me.
That sounds like a wonderful vision for the American economy-long lines around the corner at food pantries.
I'm not normally one to go out of my way to promote blog aggregators, but I want to take the time to encourage my readers to sign up for the aggregation and the unique services available at WhereIStand.com. I've been a member for over two years now, and blog aggregation isn't what makes Where I Stand unique, though it is important.
I recommend membership in Where I Stand because you have the ability to take a public stand on nearly every major issue of the day, to elaborate on that stand, and then to compare yourself with your fellow bloggers based on the percentage of the time you agree. What's more, you don't just see comparisons with other bloggers. At Where I Stand, members can post evidence of the views of public figures from reputable sources, and have those opinions validated. That means that bloggers can compare themselves to everyone from Barack Obama and John McCain to Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser.
Some of Where I Stand's more liberal bloggers will be at Personal Democracy Forum's annual conference in New York this week to seek out the opinions of public figures on questions like this:
How the media covers stories, and issues such as the unFairness Doctrine and net neutrality are (or should be) very important to bloggers. I would invite all of my fellow bloggers who regularly read this space to take a public stand on these very important issues, as well as the other important issues facing the nation and the world, and find out where public figures and even press organizations stand, and how you compare with them. It is well worth your time (and it will increase your traffic.
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