Saturday, August 16, 2008

Down the Field Sing Along

Its almost football time in Tennessee.

Strike up the band!

Friday, August 15, 2008

All Over But The Shouting

Congressman David Davis finally gave in today, stating that even though "the law is on my side," he would not pursue a recount in the First District Tennessee Congressional Primary against Dr. Phil Roe. Davis was known to be lobbying members of the Tennessee Republican Executive Committee as late as Wednesday for a recount.

I have it on good authority that this effort continued into yesterday, and that Davis was told in no uncertain terms that the Republican Primary Board, composed of members of the Executive Committee, would not sanction a recount in any form since they blocked one two years ago when Davis opponent Richard Venable had asked for it.

It's all over but the shouting for David Davis...

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A reminder to our Catholic readers that today, August 15, is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary-a Holy Day of Obligation.

Find a Mass time near you.

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Is Ragsdale Out?

Blogger Fabian Story is circulating the story that Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale could be out within days. Thus far, The World has received no confirmation of this.

It would bring a certain sense of justice that the most crooked political figure in East Tennessee-a man whose wrongdoing we've tried to bring to light for nearly two years-would finally be brought to account for the things that he has done, at least in some fashion.

We'll see if anything comes of this.

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All That Money He Can't Use

John McCain has raised an astounding $27 million in July-the most since he clinched the Republican nomination:

John McCain raised $27 million in July, his largest one-month fundraising haul since clinching the Republican presidential nomination, while the Republican National Committee brought in nearly $26 million.

The problem with all of this is that John McCain has crippled himself by agreeing to take public financing for the General Election-and that means that he must spend all of this money by the end of this month. Meanwhile, the hypocrite Barack Obama-the man who earlier in this election cycle exclaimed the heroic virtues of public financing- will not take it because he knows that doing so will limit his ability to raise money.

Polls show that the race is extremely tight at this point in the campaign, and that all of the arguments that Barack Obama's opponents have made against him are beginning to sink in and have a real impact. If McCain's ability to get his message out is hampered by limits which he himself chose to accept while his opponent fails to do so, that will not only hamper his campaign, but could prove to be the biggest factor if he fails to win in November in a year when so many Americans have real doubts about his opponent.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Clinton Die-Hards Could Make Life Hell for Obama Camp

No small number of people who voted for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries have made it a point to let pollsters know that they would have no problem voting for John McCain. Now, some of Hillary's more vocal supporters want to make a show of themselves when the Democrats convene in Denver:

Still sore from an epic primary battle, some of Hillary Rodham Clinton's supporters aren't buying the unity theme planned for the Democratic National Convention.

Some accuse Obama of manipulating party caucuses for extra delegates while others complain that Clinton was the victim of sexist party leaders or was mistreated by the media.

To be fair, some of these groups are spin-offs of militant feminist organizations who think Hillary Clinton is entitled to the nomination because she is a woman, and they are daily proving that they are just as crazy as many conservatives have said for years. These political collectives believe it is their "time," and thus their chosen candidate should not be allowed to be denied.

Still others are sore at how the nomination process turned out and are not crazy, but simply feel that they and their candidate were mistreated and even robbed.

If these people are loud enough and demonstrate with plenty of vigor, it will cause the GOP vote to swell-it will also raise questions in the minds of undecided voters about Barack Obama's fitness for the presidency.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Over the Ridge

John McCain may have ruled out former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge as a running mate on Monday:

After visiting a GE locomotive plant here today with Tom Ridge, the state's
former governor, McCain took questions from some of the plant's employees -- one
of which was about what his plans were for his first 90 days in office.

"To call Tom Ridge to Washington from whatever vacation he is taking
and get him down there and get him to work," McCain joked, subtly suggesting
that Ridge wouldn't be his running mate in November.

Whether McCain may like it or not, both he and his top campaign advisors know that if Ridge were nominated as McCain's Vice, McCain simply could not count on shoring up the conservative base of the GOP in November. Perhaps John McCain was once under the illusion that he could win without substantial conservative public support, but the way the electoral map is shaping up, conservative support is going to be critical in some States if McCain is to win the election.

McCain may not have wanted to hear that reality, but I'd wager that his inner circle has let him know that insofar as it is possible for John McCain to do so (and for McCain it is a difficult task), he must play ball with conservatives.

If McCain's Monday statement can be read as a rejection of Ridge for the Vice Presidency, it may be an indication that he is ready to pick a conservative so that he can attempt to win in November.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Deja Vu in East Tennesee

Tennessee's First District Congressman David Davis continues to play the sore loser today after his Primary loss to Phil Roe here this past Thursday:

Defeated Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. David Davis moved toward challenging his narrow GOP primary loss to Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe on Monday by suggesting that “some outside groups” may have tried to “improperly influence” the primary.

As distasteful as it might be in many cases, it isn't against the law for outside groups to "influence" an election so long as they don't attempt to do so less than 100 feet from a polling place. Do I think it is good that there may have been some "outside influence?" No, but I have my doubts as to whether Davis will be able to prove that such influence existed in large enough quantities to question Roe's victory in any sense, let alone a legal one. David Davis' notion of how Tennessee election law actually works is a blatantly false one:

“There were a lot of Democrats voting in the primary. Tennessee law prohibits crossover vote unless you intend to have loyalty to that party.”

The only way to enforce this notion is to close the Primary (something that has been advocated in this space on numerous occasions), because there is no way to determine voter intent where party loyalty is concerned without party registration and closed primaries. We do not have that in Tennessee at present, and Davis' argument is more of an argument to change the law and change Republican Party rules than it is a credible one to overturn his defeat on Thursday last.

The situation gets more dicey, however, when we learn that David Davis has hired the same law firm that represented the Bush campaign in Florida in 2000:

Davis said his lead attorney will be Jill Holtzman Vogel, whom he said "has a background in Republican politics and in contested races."

According to her Internet site, Vogel is managing partner of Holtzman Vogel PLLC, with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and Warrenton, Va. She is a member of the Virginia Senate, elected in 2007.

Vogel is former counsel to the U.S. Department of Energy, and served as counsel in the 2000 Florida presidential recount.

Her Internet site says she "specializes in ethics, campaign finance and tax exempt organizations."

The irony here is that David Davis will ask Senator Vogel to make the opposite argument that she made in 2000 for Bush. It seems as though Davis will ask Vogel to argue that votes submitted in an illegal fashion should be counted rather than thrown out.

Will Vogel's services be needed by a presidential campaign in November?

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Monday, August 11, 2008

David Davis: Destroying His Own Career

As most people in the First District know, Congressman David Davis so far refuses to concede the reality that he lost Thursday's Republican Congressional Primary to Dr. Phil Roe. Davis, it is said, actually believes that there are enough disqualified absentee ballots to make him the winner (there are not, and even if there were, his refusal to abide by election law makes Davis look remarkably like Algore).

I voted for Davis, but I find his post-election behavior to be atrocious. Apparently, David Davis seems utterly intent upon destroying his political career by holding out on the inevitable instead of doing what is honorable. I have several friends who support David Davis, but it is worth noting that most of these do not live in the First District (note that there is nothing wrong with supporting your man from afar, but I've come to learn that you'll never understand First District Republican politics until you are immersed in them). The folks I know who were voting for Davis were doing so because, like me, they believed their choices were limited and that at least we agreed with Davis about most issues-even if he often grated us the wrong way.

David Davis made two critical errors in this campaign. First, he overestimated his own incumbents' advantage. Someone who was not supported in his first election by 78% of the voters in his district does not have any advantage in modern times-period. Secondly, Davis assumed that because some of us endorsed him this time, that we were now his unwavering faithful supporters. The truth is that most of us voted for him because our guy wasn't running and we thought Davis was the best choice in his place for now. Many more people had a favorite who wasn't running, except in their minds Dr. Roe represented their man because he wasn't David Davis.

Dr. Roe's people campaigned. They marched in parades, they showed up at the Farm Relief concert in White Pine, they handed out fliers and stickers and buttons. David Davis supporters were not to be found at any major events in nearly as large numbers as Roe people, and at many events, they simply had no presence at all. David Davis' campaign consisted of "look at me, I'm Mr. Incumbent Congressman," while the Roe campaign ran on a platform of "I'm not David Davis, I'm actually here."

David Davis is an intelligent man who knows from past experience how to win an election, and the #1 key to victory is to show up. If you can't be at some place, make sure your supporters cover it for you. David Davis' campaign didn't do this in the least, but the Roe people did. How was it Davis expected to win handily without running a campaign?

Davis did not want a campaign, he wanted a coronation.

People came to understand that-and now that he lost because of his own short-sightedness, he can best save his reputation by giving an honorable concession.

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The National Map This Week (August 11)

Today we begin a weekly look at where things stand in the electoral college based on present State-by-State polling information:
<p><strong>><a href=''>Electoral College Prediction Map</a></strong> - Predict the winner of the general election. Use the map to experiment with winning combinations of states. Save your prediction and send it to friends.</p>

If we use the polls to project who has the real lead (as opposed to the "lead" in any generic national poll, which is not necessarily reflective of how the election will fall, Barack Obama supporters will be happy to note that The World projects that Obama has a 243-227 lead, and the situation can change weekly as some States rapidly move into the "too close to call" status. Our projection has 68 electoral votes in play in six States.

New Hampshire where the race has been too close to call since the end of the primary season.

Virginia sees the Obama camp keeping it close with suburban Washington, while McCain keeps the Republican edge in the Shenendoah Valley and has a Statewide lead within the margin of error.

Ohio has gone from a moderate Obama lead to the margin of error in a contest that history indicates that John McCain must win. No Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio.

Michigan has seen a somewhat comfortable Obama lead winnow away to within the margin of error according to the Democrats' most utilized internal pollster, Public Policy Polling, as of July 30.

Colorado has been within the margin of error since mid-June, with the biggest lead in a single poll being Obama's five point Quinnipiac lead June 26th. The Democrats' own pollsters had Obama by two on June 19th. Quinnipiac showed John McCain with a two point lead July 24.

Nevada is a State where the Obama camp feels they are primed for an upset and leads by two with strong union support in Las Vegas.

Good news for John McCain in all of this: Rasmussen says that voters now trust him on more issues than they trust Barack Obama. Will that be reflected in State-by-State trends in the coming weeks?

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Litany of the Saints

The Litany of the Saints with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in New York.

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