The World According to Oatney
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Winter Storm Is Eastbound and DownThe winter nastiness that much of East Tennessee either is experiencing or is about to experience has moved in an eastward path almost entirely through the corridor of Interstate 40. As a result, the eastbound snowstorm is about to be the first ever given its own theme song thanks to Smokey and the Bandit and Jerry Reed.
Secretaries' DayApparently some Republican members of the Tennessee House of Representatives needed new secretaries:
It should be pointed out that those Representatives who are asking for their own personal secretaries are all fine members who care about their districts and their constituents in a very personal way-and I can say that from knowing four of the five who have asked for the secretaries. For the eternity that the Democrats were in total control of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Democratic Representatives were allowed their own individual secretaries, while Republicans had to share secretaries-and yes, it did lead to work overload for many Republican secretaries. Doubtless, there is a feeling that it is time to even the playing field a bit and allow those Republican members who want them-and their constituents-the same dignity and privilege that Democrats and their constituents have always received.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Somebody Forgot to Tell UsSomebody from the White House forgot to tell some East Tennesseans that the recession is over, as the President would have us believe:
If the recession is over, as the President would have us all believe, someone forgot to bring the glorious news to my home in Jefferson County. While national unemployment hovers around 10%, in Jefferson County unemployment moves somewhere between 12% and 15%, depending on the month. Every day I meet someone who has just recently found themselves down and out in ways I can't even imagine. Just when I think things are bad, I find someone in a far deeper and more immediately pressing set of circumstances, and find myself uttering the prayer "thank you Lord, that I know where my next meal is coming from. Thank you that I have a roof over my head, and shoes on my feet, and a way to heat my home-I have discovered a neighbor who does not have those things." This past Christmas, families called our fire department looking for Christmas gifts for their children in numbers so great that some days it seemed as though the phone rang off the hook with people in need. It pained me to tell folks that we were just the drop off point, we didn't handle distribution-even so, we tried to connect the people that we could with the help they needed. Each day I meet, or hear the story of a new person or family in the community in a very desperate situation. Someone forgot to wire the message to these folks that the recession is over.
While myself and my neighbors are trimming away small and trivial niceties in order to try and meet large and important necessities, we discover that the United States Senate has voted to lift the national debt ceiling by a whopping $1.9 trillion and reject the very spending freeze the President says he supports. It ought to be pointed out that it was the President's allies, and not his opposition, that rejected the freeze.
State of the Union Translation
Since we know the President speaks in a political language that needs translated, here is the real translation of the President's last two speeches to joint sessions of the Congress.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Raising It RightSome of you may know that the Republican State Executive Committee is a voluntary post. If you live in a rural area like I do, you might have a district Constable who helps with basic law enforcement and community order, and that is also a volunteer post where the person must run on the ballot. Members of the State Executive Committee are also volunteers who help make the rules and steer the policies of our State Republican Party.
Just because you volunteer doesn't mean that campaigning for that volunteer position is free, however, especially in such a geographically large district as the 4th District. That's why I'm asking for the help of committed conservatives in defraying some of the cost of traveling around the district and meeting with Republican activists and officeholders-and everyday voters. Traditionally, SEC campaigns are low-budget affairs where you run for the position, not against someone else. I do intend to be true to that tradition, but I also want to run for the SEC with all the vigor I can muster, so folks will know how hard I will work for the interests of local Republican parties and voters in the 4th District if I am elected.
With your help, I will better be able to do that. I've set up an account with the help of Ken Marrero at Raising it Right, a new online tool to help conservative candidates raise money for their campaigns.
I want to thank everyone for their continued prayers and support for my efforts and the work of all grassroots conservative activists in Tennessee to help build a conservative Republican future in our great and sovereign State.
Will Yokley Go Down Fighting?Why might State Representative Eddie Yokley agree to an extremely long-odds race for the State Senate? Maybe he wants to go down fighting:
Eddie Yokley has been in the Tennessee House of Representatives for eight years, and while many members stay much longer than that for good reasons, eight years of service in Nashville for any person is what we in East Tennessee would call a "good long minute" of interrupting personal, family, and professional life. While it is very much conjecture to say so, it might be that if Eddie Yokley were to retire, he would want to go because the people sent him home. By running for the Senate, Eddie Yokley could be signaling in his own way that he is ready to retire from State politics, but that he might rather the voters do the retiring for him.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Pass A Budget, Go Home...The Tennessee General Assembly needs to remember its primary constitutional responsibility:
Representative Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) once told me in one of our many conversations that "the real job of a good representative is not to pass a lot of bills, but to keep bad bills from becoming law." The less legislation that is passed in any given session makes it far less likely that a bad bill (see workers' compensation) will become law, since there will be less legislation to have to sift through. That isn't to say that a legislator should never introduce bills of interest to him or her, their district, or their constituents, but it does mean that members of the General Assembly should not be introducing bills for the sake of introducing legislation merely to appear to be productive.
In Tennessee, our General Assembly has one primary constitutional duty-to pass a budget.
Monday, January 25, 2010
A Stunt?Why Rep. Stacey Campfield's bill curtailing the free distribution of bottled water at the Tennessee State Capitol is not a stunt:
Representative Campfield's "water bill" may seem to many to be yet another piece of "stunt legislation." If prohibiting the distribution of bottled water at the Capitol leads to the reintroduction of water fountains, and even a long-term saving to Tennessee's taxpayers, that is a good thing. Oftentimes in government it is easy for those in the ivory tower to loose track of the reality that it is the people's money they are spending, even on little things like bottled water. Efforts to save the State critical dollars in a year when budget cuts are projected to be somewhere within the range of draconianism should not be treated by the General Assembly as a stunt.
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