Saturday, May 29, 2010

Flowers On the Wall

Some very very classic Statler Brothers from the old Porter Wagoner Show.


Friday, May 28, 2010

The Fish Aren't Biting

The Tennessee budget is being held up almost solely because of the fish hatchery proposal:

Both sides are to blame in this case. A long-term TWRA project should not be held hostage over the need of some people to settle political scores. Compared to the amount of money the State is spending in Memphis and West Tennessee in a given month, $16 million for a fish hatchery in the part of our State that is always left behind in the end is but a drop in the bucket. At the same time, the Speaker needs to quit trying to sell the fish hatchery as a major jobs creator and something that is immediately necessary. We know it is needed to dramatically increase East Tennessee's trout supply and has real potential to bring in fishermen and related tourism to Upper East Tennessee, much of which hasn't enjoyed the economic boom that Sevier County has because of tourism. However, there is simply no way to know how deep the economic impact of the hatchery will be because it isn't in operation. We do know it will provide those of us who eat the trout from East Tennessee rivers and streams with a larger and possibly cleaner catch each year.

One thing the Carter County hatchery is not, however, is a pressing necessity. As with many other things in our State budget, it is not a need so urgent that we must move heaven and earth in order to have it. Many of our East Tennessee Representatives are right to argue that they are tired of standing by and watching us get nothing while Middle and West Tennessee get all the candy-there is a lot of truth to that. It is also true, however, that Kent Williams' seeming willingness to shut the State down if need be in order to get a fish hatchery has the look of political desperation. The hatchery an important project for the region and if it is really a part of TWRA's continuing plan for East Tennessee fisheries, TWRA needed to be the primary party pushing for it in this year's budget and the next. For the Speaker to be its primary proponent has all of the wrong kinds of political appearances both for him and the Tennessee General Assembly.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

The 4th of Never

With no budget to be passed at least until next week, there was at least some comic relief today on the House floor:

Outgoing Representatives Donna Rowland (R-Murphreesboro) and Joe McCord
(R-Maryville) acted as Speakers of the day. In a moment of comic relief, McCord
accepted a request from Rep. Glen Casada (R-Franklin) to roll a resolution
honoring Rowland to " the 4th of Never." Rowland has long been an
opponent of what she sees as overuse of congratulatory resolutions as a waste of
taxpayer dollars.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tennessee House GOP Caucus Considering Changing Rules

The Tennessee House Republican Caucus is considering changes in its rules of membership:

Under the proposed caucus rule changes, members would be required under
bylaws to support the Republican nominee for Speaker of the House and Speaker
Pro Tempore during the organizational session of the General Assembly.
Failure to do so would result in automatic expulsion from the caucus. The
proposed new rules would also bar any member who voted for anyone for Speaker or Speaker Pro Tempore other than the Republican nominees for those positions from
receiving House Republican Caucus funding for their re-election campaigns, and
would require the approval of an uber-majority of 4/5ths of the GOP Caucus to
readmit a member expelled for voting against the Republican nominees in the
organization of the House.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The New Pork

The General Asseembly is being held up from passing a budget because of a $16 million dollar pet project of the Speaker of the House:

"The problem with [the fish hatchery project] is that it is being used as a
political football in a year when we can't afford that," said Rep. Stacey
Campfield (R-Knoxville). "We have members who have pledged to hold the line on
spending, but many of these same people are saying that 'if Kent (Williams) gets
his, I want mine.'"

One promenent House member said "if that fish hatchery becomes a part of
the joint budget proposal, we'll be here for some time yet because people will
want to light up the budget like a Christmas tree."During last night's session,
there was even a debate over the adjournment motion during which Rep. Harry
Brooks (R-Knoxville) pointed out that the House could complete a budget this
week "if we commit to stay here until it is done." It is widely believed that
Kent Williams is trying to hold out on the budget in order to get the hatchery
proposal included, while those who are satisfied with the Senate budget proposal
are among those willing to hold fort at the Capitol until the House comes to an

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Raising Arizona

The Tennessee House honors Arizona:

It was clear that the resolution was going to pass when an amendment by
Rep. Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory) to honor the State of Hawaii on its 50th
anniversary in the Union was moved to the table. It was moved to the table after
the original sponsor of the bill, Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) produced an
identical resolution to honor Hawaii and invited Turner to file it.


Off to Nashville

Hang on to your wallets Tennesseans, it's budget week on the Hill:

This morning I depart for Nashville and the State Capitol for what has become an annual trip to bring you, the reader, in depth coverage of the proceedings of the General Assembly as they surround the Tennessee State budget for the coming year. Whatever other legislation a General Assembly passes during it's existence, it is constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget, and that is the only law that the Tennessee General Assembly is legally required to pass.

Both Houses of the General Assembly are subject to the call of the Chair. The Senate, having already passed its version of a budget, is slated to meet at 1:00pm Central time this afternoon (Senate Floor Calendars) but has no scheduled meetings the rest of the week. The House of Representatives convenes this afternoon at 4:00pm Central time (House Floor Calendars, Regular Amendments, Message Amendments) and is scheduled for sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, times to be determined. The House Finance, Ways and Means Committee is slated to meet tomorrow, along with its Budget Subcommittee and the Calendar and Rules Committee, times to be announced.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010


Catholics will, I pray, forgive my commemoration of Pentecost by making use of one of the world's great Protestant choirs, the Cathedral Choir of St. Paul's, London, and their version of Come Holy Ghost Our Souls Inspire.

Acts 2:1-21:

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.

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.

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