Saturday, June 06, 2009

65 Years Ago

Our current Democratic President says we are not a Christian nation, but would be one of the largest Muslim nations if there weren't so many Christians. We are a secular nation, the President says (but President B. Hussein Obama says we would be one of the largest Muslim nations).

There are no atheists and secularists in foxholes or in beach minefields, or in forests filled with enemy infantry.

There was no secularism 65 years ago today, least of all from the Democratic President who led our country on that day and in that hour.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Sporting Back Door

State Representative Stacey Campfield shares information about a new tax in Phil Bredesen's budget:

A graduated income tax on some athletes is a planned part of the new budget. The $2,500.00 tax goes on some professional athletes and entertainers that make over $50K a year, but not others. Affected are the NBA Grizzlies and the NHL Predators competition. Exempt are everyone else. I do not support this camel's nose under the tent but I find it interesting that the one pro team that Bredesen gave the farm to to get them to come to Tennessee (The Titans) get a complete pass.

To clarify, if your professional team is the one visiting Tennessee, your players, coaches, club officials, and staff will be the ones to pay this tax (Titans' opponents exempted).

A new bill sponsored by Tennessee State Rep. G.A. Hardaway of Memphis would impose a privilege tax of up to $2,500 on professional basketball and hockey players when their teams play in Tennessee.

Under House Bill 0019, Tennessee would tax athletes and entertainers performing in the state who make more than $50,000 a year.

It has long been an accepted fact that Representative Hardaway isn't the brightest bulb in the Capitol Hill firmament, but this legislation simply proves how completely clueless the poor man actually is. This bill is literally begging the Predators and Grizzlies to leave the State. No owner in his or her right mind is going to subject their players to paying an unnecessary tax. NHL and NBA owners would likely bring the issue up in owners' meetings at the behest of their respective players' unions, who (you can rest assured) won't put up with it, and will ultimately give the Predators and Grizzlies owners one option-"get out of Tennessee and move somewhere that our players won't have to pay a tax levied only on them for coming to town and doing what they are contracted to do." Lots of States with income taxes impose luxury taxes which are aimed primarily at athletes who visit, but which lots of other folks have to pay-so no one is legally singled out. However, this bill clearly singles out a specific class of out-of-State visitors, and may be unconstitutional.

If this bill is passed and the Grizzlies and Predators do leave within a few short years (I would estimate 3-5 years, considering how bureaucracy works in the NBA and NHL), Hardaway and Bredesen will bear direct responsibility for the jobs lost and drop in the local tax base of both Memphis and Nashville as a result. Since Hardaway is from Memphis, one would think that he would know what the loss of the Grizzlies would mean to the local economy there and that he simply would not want to risk that possibility, especially in this time of the economic doldrums.

The other issue which rears its ugly head here is that of the income tax itself. Twice before in this decade, the income tax in Tennessee was put to rest as a result of popular outrage, most recently being this very year when State Senator Reginald Tate's bill was quickly removed so that it would do no damage to the Democrats (Tate still ran a bill that would tax out-of-State employees). If the Hardaway bill passes, however, it is an income tax on out-of-State residents, and if the Legislature believes they can get by with levying such a tax, they will be poised in a couple of years to try a State income tax again-because they will argue that a form of one is already on the books.

This is a terrible bill, and not merely because I disagree with it, but because its impact was obviously either ignored or poorly thought-out.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, June 04, 2009

New Tennessee GOP Chair Doesn't Care About Majority

In a post earlier this week, I expressed my support of new Tennessee Republican Chairman Chris Devaney, but expressed concern that his commitment to conservative ideals may not be all that bona fide.

Today, it is revealed that Bill Hobbs will no longer serve as Tennessee Republican Party Communications Director:

As of today, Bill Hobbs is no longer the Communications Director at the Tennessee Republican Party new party chairman Chris Devaney tells Post Politics.

Devaney, in a conversation with Post Politics, made clear that this is not a dismissal and that Hobbs will continue to work with the party.

“Bill Hobbs and I have a good working relationship and he will be continuing to help us as we work through our transition,” said Devaney.

That is political-speak for "I fired Bill Hobbs, now I have to find something to do with him that sounds good, because if the conservative base of the party finds out that I canned Hobbs, they will cook my goose."

When I heard that the Republican Executive Committee had chosen Chris Devaney, I was concerned because his background doesn't seem to lend itself to his being able to connect with the grassroots of the Republican Party. Robin Smith is someone who is a mill worker's daughter, she comes from the stock of the ordinary people whose votes the party is actively seeking in order to win elections. Both she and Bill Hobbs understand what connects with our party's core voters and what causes them instinctively to vote Republican. Chris Devaney seems to be showing very quickly that his primary concern is placating the Country Club wing of the party. With due respect to Senator Baker (and yes, I have great personal respect for the Godfather), one has to wonder if Chris Devaney is more concerned about placating the Howard Baker wing of the party than about winning in 2010.

The short version is that Robin and Bill come from our kind of people-Devaney is clearly sending a signal that he and those around him are not our kind of people.

How serious could the departure of Bill Hobbs be for our election chances in 2010? The Democratic Left is very happy about Hobbs' departure. Noted Left wing Memphis blogger Steve Steffens (Left Wing Cracker) comments:

Personally, I think this is a mistake. You can say a lot of things about Hobbsie, and I’ve said most of them, but I would never call him ineffective.

He fired up the base and moved the message in his direction, which is what a Communications Director is supposed to do.

They will regret this; as a Democratic partisan, I am relieved that he is gone.

It would seem that Steffens speaks for many Democrats. Randy Neal, founder of Knoxviews and perhaps the most noted liberal blogger and activist in East Tennessee says:

But seriously, I agree with LWC [Steffens].

Democrats know what it means to have someone other than Bill Hobbs as Communications Director, and they know that it could lead to such a disaster for the GOP that we could end up with Governor Bill Haslam (who is a de facto Democrat) and Democrats in control of both Houses of the Legislature. All of our hard work would be undone very quickly, and in a State where the Governor has very little executive power, Devaney seems to be telling Tennessee Republicans and conservatives that he would be fine with having Jimmy Naifeh or Gary Odom running our fair State.

I had my suspicions about Devaney because he has worked for Bob Corker, who is the Honorable Senator from Haslam. He isn't sending a good opening signal to the grassroots that he is anything other that the Chairman of Big Jim's Wine and Cheese Club.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Never the Twain Shall Meet

I have waited until now to discuss anything about Sunday's assassination of Dr. George Tiller in his house of worship. The primary reason for the wait was really to collect my own thoughts and not to say anything in a way that was rash or inappropriate, but also to speak freely and honestly about how I feel about Tiller and others like him, and why both sides in this debate will simply never understand the other.

Regardless of my personal feelings toward George Tiller, violence (which is what I believe Tiller engaged in toward the unborn) should not simply begat violence, especially when the violence in question will do nothing to help the pro-life cause. This is no way to advance our movement, a movement that is not rooted in a political party, as some may believe, but in the idea that every human life is precious and has the right to live from conception until natural death.

Even so, I confess to being terribly conflicted in my heart and mind about what has happened to George Tiller. I am, to quote one of my cousins, "sorry for his soul," but I am finding it very difficult to feel sorrow for the man-and I am actually trying. Saying that I feel terrible that George Tiller is gone (and therefore will not be able to murder anymore children) is like saying "how awful, Hitler put a bullet through his head" or "isn't it a shame that Pol Pot is dead." Holding a memorial service for the Son of Sam killer is the rough moral equivalent with which I might memorialize George Tiller.

The other side is angry not merely because George Tiller is dead, but because they do not see what he was doing as murder or killing. Indeed, the so-called pro-choice party feels grief because a champion of their cause is gone. To them, the fewer babies there are in the world, the better off that we all are. What we see as nothing short of murder of a child in the womb-or in Tiller's case, murder of a child about to be born in many cases, they see as merely a matter of choice, and those are just the more reasonable people in the opposite camp.

There is simply no middle ground there, either this is a child or a choice. If you believe that we are dealing with children, George Tiller wasn't just a murderer, but a mass murderer on the scale of minor genocide. If you believe this is a mere matter of personal choice, George Tiller is a martyr and a hero of freedom and liberty.

I am sorry that George Tiller had to die in the way in which he did because someone decided to take the will of God into their own hands. It is God's place to deal with Tiller and no one else's. I pray for his widow and his children, they did not deserve to see the head of their family die in such a way.

I cannot pretend to be sorry that George Tiller will not be working to take the lives of the unborn every day at his abortion mill. I am not sorry in the least about that.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

New Beginning?

Congratulations, we the American taxpayers now own 60% of General Motors, something the President says is a "new beginning." A new beginning for who, Mr. President?

Doubtless it is a new beginning for the tens of thousands of salespeople, mechanics, maintenance and custodial staff at the 2,100 General Motors dealerships around the country that will close largely at the behest of your administration:

General Motors Corp. will pare 2,100 dealers from its business and has until July 10 to complete the remix of its assets in bankruptcy court paid for by the Obama administration, according to filings Monday.

"There simply is no viable alternative," Henderson said in the filing. "There is no other sale, or even other potential purchasers, present or on the horizon."

The Obama Administration went out of their way to find a foreign suitor for Chrysler and are attempting to force the merger down the throats of both Chrysler and Fiat. Yet no other world automaker might take an interest in one of the largest automobile manufacturers on the face of the earth?

A new beginning is how the President is characterizing the bankruptcy of General Motors. Oh, it's a new beginning, alright, for the 2,900 workers in Spring Hill whose plant is being idled, and who may lose their situations permanently if Spring Hill isn't chosen as the site for the making of a new subcompact car (up against a Michigan site-a State whose economy is in even more of a tailspin, Tennessee seems like a longshot). Many of these folks will have their new beginnings in an unemployment office, a welfare line, or a food pantry. Some may not be able to feed their families, and the bellies of their children may feel hunger because any job to replace the one they are losing is going to be hard to find in this economy.

But Tennessee is a red State that looks to be getting even redder-I wouldn't expect Mr. Obama to go to any lengths to help a whole lot of people who didn't vote for him.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, June 01, 2009

The New Chairman

While I was away this weekend at the 106th annual Tennessee Knights of Columbus State Convention in Franklin, the Tennessee Republican Executive Committee was meeting just up the road to elect a new Tennessee GOP Chairman to replace the departing Robin Smith. They chose Senator Bob Corker's State Director, Chris Devaney.

Rob Huddleston had this to say the day before the vote:

I know both Chris Devaney and Oscar Brock well. Chris and I share the bond of having both worked for Senator Fred Thompson while he was in Tennessee, and I had many dealings with him when he served as Executive Director of the TN GOP. I know Oscar through his work with the State Executive Committee (including my time serving as a proxy on the Finance Committee of the SEC, of which Oscar is a member), and we had many memorable experiences in Minnesota as part of the Republican National Convention in September of 2008.

Both Chris and Oscar are fine men whose ideas about where the TN GOP needs
to go from here strongly overlap. I will admit that while their ideas are similar, their styles do not appear to be.

Rob made no endorsement, nor should he have done so considering Angela's position on the Executive Committee-but I know Rob well enough to know that he had an opinion Friday and still has one today, likely the same or similar.

I really want to believe in Chris Devaney the way that I believed in Robin Smith. He certainly has the experience to be a great Chairman, having previously served as State GOP Executive Director. Devaney's latest position placed him as Senator Bob Corker's State Director, and that is really my primary concern. I am very proud of Senator Corker's stand on the auto industry bailouts, but Corker and a lot of the folks who support him still fail to impress me as principled conservatives who care as deeply as some of us do about expanding the reach of conservatism.

It is one thing to say "I am a Republican," there are lots of people who can rightly make that claim. There is something else entirely, however, to being a conservative Republican. Robin Smith wasn't just trying to sell the Tennessee Republican Party, but to sell a series of ideas and candidates who represented them.

If Chris Devaney can sell conservative ideas with the same zeal and verve that Robin Smith did, Republicans will likely experience an extremely successful election cycle in Tennessee in 2010.

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Acts 2:1-20:

And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these, that speak, Galileans? And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome,

Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all astonished, and wondered, saying one to another: What meaneth this? But others mocking, said: These men are full of new wine. But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke to them: Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with your ears receive my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day:

But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass, in the last days, (saith the Lord,) I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And upon my servants indeed, and upon my handmaids will I pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will shew wonders in the heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath: blood and fire, and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord come.

Labels: ,

Locations of visitors to this page
Profile Visitor Map - Click to view visits
Create your own visitor map