Saturday, August 01, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different...

If you don't like Monty Python, I can't help it you have no sense of humor whatsoever.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Lamar's Vote

Lamar Alexander decided yesterday to break with the Republican Party, and likely with the wishes of many constituents yesterday in announcing his vote in favor of President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor:

"Even though Judge Sotomayor's political and judicial philosophy may be
different than mine, especially regarding Second Amendments rights, I will vote
to confirm her because she is well qualified by experience, temperament,
character and intellect to serve as an Associate Justice of the United States
Supreme Court.

"In 2005, I said on this Senate floor that it was wrong for then-Senator
Obama and half the Democratic Senators to vote against John Roberts - a superbly
qualified nominee - solely because they disagreed with what Senator Obama
described as Roberts' 'overarching political philosophy' and 'his work in the
White House and the Solicitor General's office' that 'consistently sided' with
'the strong in opposition to the weak.' Today, it would be equally wrong for me
to vote against Judge Sotomayor solely because she is not 'on my side' on some

The problem with Lamar's logic in this situation is not his consistency. He is quite correct in presuming that it would be right to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Lamar is extending a courtesy to the Democrats that they have not extended to any of us, however. These same sorts are the very ones who destroyed President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Judge Robert Bork-who like both Roberts and Sotomayor was highly qualified-for no other reason than politics. Barack Obama voted against John Roberts because he didn't like his judicial philosophy. Yes, elections have consequences, but political turnabout is also fair play.

There is a larger issue at stake, however, and that is whether President Obama should be allowed to upend the social and political fabric of this nation without any opposition. One Supreme Court nomination is not where the saga of this administration is going to end. Barack Obama is determined to destroy the very foundations of our Republic, and do so with the people allowing it. Our United States Senators should not merely stand idly by while our own President brings this country to ruination. They have a right and a duty to oppose every facet of the President's agenda of evil, taking all appropriate opportunities to do so. If Lamar Alexander believes as I do, and as all truly patriotic Tennesseans believe, that Barack Obama's plan for America is the most wicked scheme ever devised in the 233 year history of this country, Obama must not only be given opposition, but every political chance must be taken when such situations arise to bring his administration to the total and complete political destruction that it so richly deserves.

Evil must be opposed at all costs and in every legal fashion possible. THAT is why Lamar Alexander should not support Sotomayor's nomination. It isn't about Sotomayor, it is about the man who appointed her.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gone-We Hope

Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale said last Wednesday that he would "not likely" seek future political office:

“You never want to totally close the door. In terms of jumping back into something, I don’t see that.”

He noted that he’s already served on the County Commission and he’s in his second term as mayor.

Mike Ragsdale had his eyes on the Governor's Mansion as late as a year and a half ago, but now says that he may never seek public office again. Many voices attempted to bring Mike Ragsdale's corrupt administration to light, while the News-Sentinel largely ignored that corruption. The paper attempted to brush aside Harbergate, and to this day when one looks at the special "Knox County Chaos" section on the News-Sentinel's website, the section on Tyler Harber is mysteriously bare.

Although I do not believe that Mike Ragsdale's being "cleared" in audits conducted by the State Attorney General of abusing public funds amounted to anything close to a serious investigation, at least the political pressure on Ragsdale is such that he will not be able to advance his own wounded political career any further. Many voices have demanded that Ragsdale be brought to justice over the last three years, and this weblog was among them. Combined with the voices of so many others, at least together those voices have helped to insure that one of Tennessee's most corrupt political figures will not take his graft, abuse of power, and corrupt mismanagement to Nashville, and that his stain on the Republican Party can be cleansed.

In the words of the Psalmist: "Let his days be few, and let another take his office."

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stanley's Gone, Here Comes Kelsey

Tennessee State Senator Paul Stanley has yielded to the voice of both his constituents and his party, and has announced that he will resign in the wake of intern-gate:

Asking for the forgiveness of his constituents and his wife, and a week to the hour after news first broke of his affair with a young legislative intern, state Sen. Paul Stanley announced Tuesday evening that he is resigning from the legislature on Aug. 10.

The Germantown Republican delivered his resignation in a three-sentence letter to Senate Speaker and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who forwarded it to Gov. Phil Bredesen to call a special primary and election this fall. Voters in Senate District 31 — a large swath of Germantown, Cordova, Bartlett and southeast Memphis — will elect a successor for the remainder of Stanley's term until the November 2010 general election. At that time, they will elect a senator to a full four-year term.

Stanley's resignation saves the Senate and the Republican Caucus from the awful specter of having Paul Stanley hang over the party's collective head. The predictable catcalls from the Left wing of the Democratic Party have begun as it is announced that the GOP's most outspoken and controversial House member, Brian Kelsey, will seek Stanley's Senate seat in the special election. It is not known who may run against Kelsey in the special called Republican Primary. Liberals and moderates may discount Kelsey's chances, but these people never believed Brian Kelsey could get where he is to begin with. As controversial as Kelsey is, he also knows how to get effective media attention, and is one of the most personable and approachable men on the Hill.

Brian Kelsey may win or he may lose, but the Left-wing blogosphere makes a terrible mistake when they discount him. However, I would invite these folks to continue making these predictions about how badly Brian Kelsey is going to lose. Some of these same people predicted that Stacey Campfield was going to lose in the Republican Primary in 2006, but Campfield won in a massive landslide. Schree Pettigrew was supposed to beat Campfield, but Campfield crushed her at the end of the day. One of the most popular men in University of Tennessee circles, Ron Leadbetter, could not even defeat Campfield after years of the opposition deriding Campfield as an embarrassment. His opponents are gone, but Stacey Campfield is still standing and has officially seen bills that he sponsored pass the House.

Brian Kelsey is capable of victory on his own, but I would actively encourage his detractors to continue believing otherwise.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Unfit to Serve

The Orlando Sentinel details more of legislative intern McKensie Morrison's apparent run-ins with Florida law enforcement in the wake of the scandal involving Tennessee State Senator Paul Stanley:

In the months after she graduated from Spruce Creek High School in 2005, McKensie Morrison was charged with cocaine possession, got married, lived without electricity and watched her husband beat a 75-year-old man with a hammer.

Last month, the couple filed for divorce in Volusia County via a joint petition.

While enrolled in a Tennessee legislative internship program for college students, Morrison developed a sexual relationship with state Sen. Paul Stanley, a married father of two, according to a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation affidavit filed in a Tennessee court.

Morrison's boyfriend, Joel Watts, threatened to expose the affair when he tried to extort $10,000 from Stanley, according to Tennessee investigators.

The senator triggered an investigation when he contacted the bureau to report the extortion attempt.

In addition to all of the reasons highlighted on Friday, another good reason for Paul Stanley to resign his Senate seat is the fact as it has become known that McKensie Morrison made Paul Stanley quite aware that she was married to a man in prison, and that she had a dark side to her recent past beyond her sexual indiscretions. At that point, Stanley should have known that it was best to end his relationship with her. The very act of taking pictures of Morrison knowing that he could be found out speaks to his ill judgment.

Paul Stanley's lack of personal character seems to be of little question at this point, but unfortunately he isn't the only legislator in the General Assembly with public defects of character. The greatest difficulty for both the Senate and Paul Stanley's constituents is the reality that Paul Stanley has clearly demonstrated that he does not have the sound and sane judgement required of an elected representative to carry on the daily business of government.

When a person demonstrates such a glaring lack of mental capacity, they are not fit for public office.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

The Statesmen Get Together

Nicole and I attended the 2009 Tennessee Republican Statesmen's Dinner Saturday evening at the Nashville Convention Center. We drove to Knoxville and then carpooled up with Rob Huddleston, who was waiting on Angela to finish a beauty treatment-she had to be in Nashville that morning anyway, due to the State Republican Executive Committee meeting. Rob and I were in agreement that the ladies certainly looked better than we did.

When we arrived, the Haslam people were noticeable immediately and were out in force. Haslam's little helpers were everywhere on the entrance floor distributing stickers and pointing people to Bill Haslam's reception. Haslam was the only gubernatorial candidate with a reception before the dinner itself, and there was even a bit of supper at that event. Bill Haslam didn't have a hospitality room, he had a hospitality court-perhaps we might even term it a hospitality hallway. The bar wasn't open, but everything else was and there was plenty to eat and drink. It was quite clear that money was obviously no object to the Haslam camp, especially when one considers that this was an event filled with party activists who are likely going to back the Republican nominee whoever that might be. Bill Haslam has enough money to throw what amounted to a lavish pre-dinner social hour prior to the main event with very heavy hors d'œuvres . When the other candidates complain that they need their financial playing field a bit more level because they are up against the Haslam monetary juggernaut, one only needed to attend the Haslam hospitality hour to grasp the truth behind that statement. If no one donated to Haslam's campaign (and plenty are doing so), the Haslams would have plenty of money to fund the race themselves and it wouldn't hurt them in the least.

There was good reason to be seen at Haslamfest, namely because everyone else was there whether they really supported Bill Haslam or not. Susan Richardson Williams, Rob Huddleston and I once again teased one another over SRW's paid support of cap and trade (something every dinner speaker railed against, and I am sure this caused Susan no small amount of nausea). Not a single person there supported the President's health care proposal, and I suspect that if they did secretly agree with it, they wouldn't dare have said anything about it in that setting. Mike Bell, Gerald McCormick, Deb Maggart, Tony Shipley, Delores Gresham, and Vance Dennis were all to be found moving around the Haslam hallway at some point, and not everyone in that group is part of the Bill Haslam fan club by any stretch. Robin Smith made her way to the back of the room, and Robin's sticker was the only candidate advertisement I wore all night. I made a conscious decision not to wear stickers or pins for any of the gubernatorial candidates, even my favorite. I was there as a blogger, yes, but also as a Republican ready to support our party. I know that one of those men will be the nominee, and we will all have to close ranks around him. As for Robin, I wore her sticker because I would gladly do anything Robin Smith asks of me which I am capable of, and she knows this.

The dinner fare was the standard Republican menu at most such events around the State (see chicken and potatoes, roasted), and Jeff Sessions gave a pretty good speech on the evils of Cap and Trade and Obamacare, but the highlight of the night were the speeches by the gubernatorial candidates. Bill Gibbons went first, and it is with Christian love that it can be said that Gibbons looked like a deer in the headlights tonight. From the minute he was introduced, he didn't seem in his element. Crime is the consistent theme in his stump speech. An important issue, but not the only one. He says he wants to improve our schools and expand Tennessee's economy, but he doesn't tell us how.

Someone killed Bill Haslam and took control of his body. I don't know this new person but they sure sound fine. According to Haslam's body-double, he is pro-life, believes in "our fundamental values as Republicans," and wants to "preserve our Second Amendment rights." New Haslam is also one of America's most fiscally conservative mayors. I'm not sure where New Haslam is the Mayor, but from the sounds of this magical place we all need to move there. New Haslam also derided the President's fiscal irresponsibility and made sure we knew that while the President was irresponsible, New Haslam was not.

Ron Ramsey gave the most charitable speech, highlighting Republican accomplishments of the last year and saying that he "guaranteed" that one of the four of them was going to be our next Governor. Ramsey also reminded the audience with no small amount of glee that Republicans now control every county election commission. Zach Wamp talked about his desire to improve Tennessee health, but acknowledged that he had no power to force us not to eat our morning buscuits and gravy. Wamp also talked about wanting to improve Tennessee education and literacy still further, but I had to wonder what candidate would not want to accomplish that goal.

Both Lamar Alexander and his State Director Patrick Jaynes were very kind to us. Patrick introduced us and I thanked the Senator for having us, he thanked us for coming and sitting at his table. Lamar joined Bob Corker in presenting the inaugural Howard Baker Award to the man for whom it is named, and Senator Baker really seemed genuinely moved by the special presentation. Terri Lynn Weaver closed things out with a medley of The Battle Hymn of the Republic and God Bless America.

After dinner we talked a few minutes with John Duncan III, who introduced himself to me and pointed out that his father is quite a fan of this weblog. Apparently, this dates back to my 2007 comparison of Congressman Duncan to George Washington in his conservative opposition to frivilous foreign wars. JDIII is a very affable young man, and several people have told me just how down-to-earth he is, and I can see it. No wonder many East Tennesseans believe that he should succeed his father in Congress one day.

Rob, Angela, Nicole, and myself eased our way to Zach Wamp's hospitality room. There was a live band that was very good, but the music was so loud in that confined space that it was hard to enjoy it in there. Wamp had an open bar at his reception, but I decided against an adult beverage so that Rob and I could chat on the way home-I settled for a Co'Cola. One thing no one can say about Zach Wamp is that he is a stuffed shirt who does not enjoy himself. I came away from his hospitality room with the understanding that if elected, Wamp may be Tennessee's first air guitar-playing Governor. He also clearly enjoyed being with those who visited his room.

Nicole-who shares my political views but isn't normally as gung-ho about political functions-has told me more than once how much she enjoyed herself and would like to attend another Statesmen's Dinner. The first thing she told me when we had a chance to be by ourselves was "I had a really good time tonight." I was gladdened by this, because I have a feeling this Statesmen's Dinner probably won't be our last.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Down In the River to Pray

Today being a day of prayer, I will have a report about the Statesman's dinner tomorrow

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