Saturday, October 24, 2009

Question of the Weekend

This week's question for open comment is about how the economy may impact the current push for State sovereignty:

There has been much talk in the press in Tennessee this week about the Joint Committee of Conference and Correspondence which has been formed in the General Assembly to assert Tennessee's sovereignty under the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights. One of the biggest grievances that committee members are going to be dealing with and encouraging other States to join with them in fighting is that of the numerous unfunded mandates that the federal government places on State and local governments throughout the Union.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Lamar! Fights the White House

Lamar Alexander often does things that will get conservatives' goats. So why do we in Tennessee still love Lamar?

The reason is that for every time he does something to make Tennessee conservatives just plain mad, he will turn around and hit the nail right on the head, and usually at a time when it is most needed.

Lamar may not be the ideological fireeater that I often am, nor is he always as consumed with the scuttling of government largesse in the way that my good friend Stacey Campfield is, just to point out a couple of examples. Do we sometimes wish that Lamar were more concerned with those things in a public way? Yes, but we also know that when Lamar really needs to take a stand for the good of Tennessee and the Union, Lamar will do just that.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Sovereignty Case and the Federal Failure

One of the most tired liberal arguments against Tennessee's recent sovereignty resolution sponsored by Rep. Susan Lynn is to dare the Republicans to send back federal highway money. In today's Examiner column, I remind readers of the federal government's responsibilities to the States under the Constitution, and how the feds are failing to fulfill those obligations:

The building of post roads or the delegation of money to States for the same is the duty of the federal government under the Constitution. By the same token, federal attempts to bully the States into submission to the absolute will of Washington by threatening to remove federal highway funds from them may be seen as unconstitutional since the federal apparatus has a responsibility under its compact with the States to build and care for those roads on which the mail is carried.

The federal government also has a duty under Article IV, Section 4 to protect the several States against invasion, which is the constitutional provision under which any funds to combat the excessive infusion of illegal aliens would be authorized. Failure by the federal government to fulfill its limited responsibilities to the States under the Constitution means that the States can and must begin to do these jobs themselves, and violation of the compact by the government in Washington means that the States most certainly have the right to take care of themselves.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Breaking Down the "New Order"

Political operative Fabian Story and myself discussed the new legislative order in Tennessee and the potential political implications of the changing political landscape here in a podcast for The Examiner that is well worth the listen. You can listen to the podcast and view more details of the subject matter in today's Examiner.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Disclosing Real Conflicts

Tennessee law requires public officials to disclose all kinds of information when they run for office. However, one of the most glaring potential conflicts of interest that might exist doesn't have to be disclosed anywhere or in any fashion:

Tennessee (and many other States) have some rediculous disclosure laws which require candidates to make public information about themselves which often has no bearing on their ability to do the job for which they are seeking election. However, disclosing property deals in which a public official might be involved can be a glaring conflict of interest when that official might make an arrangement that could benefit them personally or in their business interests. Tennessee needs a law which requires local and State officials to disclose LLCs which they belong to which deal in property that is rented or sold to State, county, or municipal government. Tennesseans have a right to know if public officials are entering into agreements which might benefit those officials.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Committee Change-Up?

Tennessee House Speaker Kent Williams is now likely going to be forced to change the complexion of a few House committees because of the outcome of the special election in Tennessee House District 62 last week:

Kent Williams has said from the day he was selected Speaker by 49 House Democrats and affirmed with his own vote that he intended for the partisan makeup of committees to reflect the partisan makeup of the body of the House. In other words, Williams intended to appoint committee chairs based on the rough percentage of seats which each party holds, not based on who has the overall majority (i.e., majority party controls all committees, as happened under Williams' predecessor Jimmy Naifeh). Most Republicans obviously didn't like this arrangement, but under it, the Republicans may control more committees by raw votes because of Pat Marsh's victory in Shelbyville last week.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

These People Put Us To Shame

Every day at 3pm-the Hour of Mercy-the entire nation of the Philippines pauses to pray. Prayer bells ring in stores, offices, and homes. Even television is interrupted to bring that nation to its knees.

How much better off would our country be if we got "that three 'o clock habit?"

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