The conversation was going so well that I didn't notice Rep.Frank Niceleytrying to get my attention, but Nicole did. He stayed for a few minutes at our table and we talked shop. Jennifer Little took Frank and Nicole's picture and I commented that Frank looked much better than I did, to which Frank colorfully replied that I was full of it. The strange seating arrangements described herein also led to Stacey Campfield being seated at the same table with his State Senate Primary opponent, Ron Leadbetter, which must have made for interesting dinner talk.
The most glaring absence was that of the Mayor of Knoxville himself, whose excuse was that he was attending a fundraiser. While no one disparages Haslam of a fundraiser, he has known about the Reagan Day dinner for months but begged off of it, and his fundraiser in Sumner County would have been much easier to reschedule for a man whose personal funds along with collected campaign cash might rival the Sultan of Brunei. Haslam sent people and bought tables, but a conservative event in his own hometown was not good enough for him to be there and actively stump for himself. Bill Dunnis one of the few reputable conservatives openly supporting Haslam and gave a good speech and actually made a decent argument for the Mayor. When Dunn's speech was over, I wanted badly to put Dunn's name into nomination in place of Haslam.
In a time of deep recession-some would say (as I have in this space) that we are in a depression, the University of Tennessee has conducted itself as though it is immune from the impact of that depression and it is entitled to endless infusions of taxpayer dollars for projects which are not of immediate necessity. All the while, UT increases tuition on a semi-regular basis and now makes students pay for football games (and if I am not mistaken, students still must pay their student activities fee) while begging the State for more and more money.
Support for higher education is extremely important. That support should not be wasted.
Yesterday's races in Virginia and New Jersey revealed that Tennessee Republicans havew a wonderful opportunity in next year's elections-if we can capitalize on it:
Yesterday's gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey werenothing short of a whipping for Democrats, and the White House's attempt to downplay the results by saying that "the President isn't watching them" didn't play. The message out of both States from voters was "Yes We Can-give the White House a big black eye."
A special results show discussing the results in the State elections in Virginia and New Jersey and the special Congressional election in New York 23 and the impact of these races on the White House and the national Democratic Party. Also, what this could mean for 2010 elections in Tennessee.
In the very first column that I wrote for The Examiner, I dealt withthe issue of per diem payments in the General Assembly, and took the unpopular position that it is perfectly fine for legislators to accept the payments and that the State should make them. No, Nashville legislators should not receive the payments, and that is a reform that the General Assembly can and should consider very carefully, letting Davidson County members explain why they should get per diem when they don't need a hotel room or apartment. However, per diem payments to legislators outside of Davidson County should be the normal procedure on the Hill, because failure to help pay legislators' expenses will further discourage the everyday Tennessean from running for office at a time when the opportunity to do so is already impossible for so many.
The reality, of course, is that our present campaign laws, intended to limit the influence of money in politics, only make the influence of cash even more deep and wide. The cost of running a political campaign has not decreased merely because laws have been made limiting campaign contributions. As the price of running for office has gone up in recent years as new media sources become increasingly wedded to the political process, what once was mostly a rich man's game would become entirely so and prevent people from more run-of-the-mill places and truly diverse backgrounds from entering public life.
After these things, I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that they should not blow upon the earth, nor upon the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying: Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were signed, an hundred forty-four thousand were signed, of every tribe of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Judah, were twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Ruben, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand signed:
Of the tribe of Asher, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Nephthali, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Manasses, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Zabulon, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand signed. After this I saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: And they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb.
And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures; and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, Saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the ancients answered, and said to me: These that are clothed in white robes, who are they? and whence came they? And I said to him: My Lord, thou knowest. And he said to me: These are they who are come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he, that sitteth on the throne, shall dwell over them.
They shall no more hunger nor thirst, neither shall the sun fall on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall rule them, and shall lead them to the fountains of the waters of life, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
A conservative journal of social, cultural, and ecclesiatical affairs grounded in a realistic Catholic Christian worldview. It is my hope that this site will be a reflection of Christ,the teachings of His Holy Church, and of the basic vision of a Christian social morality.