Friday, December 17, 2010

The Tennessee Judiciary

The Tennessee General Assembly must return to the constitutional method of putting judges on the bench:

There is nothing in the Tennessee Constitution about Judicial Nominating Committees, Judicial Selection Committees, or "retention votes." The so-called retention vote was an invented contraption designed to give the illusion of constitutional compliance while the judicial branch of government became completely aloof from the general public in this State. The intent of the framers of Tennessee's Constitution be damned, because the judicial elites in Tennessee long ago decided that the founders of this State were wrong, and that voters are just too stupid to choose the judges who will rule over us.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lame-duck, Lame-arse

Lame-duck sessions of the federal Congress, except in cases of imminent danger, should be outlawed:

So-called lame-duck sessions of an outgoing Congress being called to pass legislation which should rightfully be left to the next Congress to consider shouldn't just be a rarity, such Congressional conventions should simply not exist at all. When a Congress adjourns for its members to return home to contest a General Election, that adjournment should be sine die. If a Congress cannot conclude what its leadership sees as the business of Congress before facing the voters, then those matters need to be left to the incoming Congress to contend with, and whether a Congress acted with prudence and efficiency is a matter for voters to determine. The place of lame-duck sessions should be only in cases of invasion, national emergency, or imminent danger to the Union.

Both parties have abused the idea of lame-duck sessions in recent years, and the practice is both an insult to the electorate and an abuse of the public time and money. The very fact that Congressional leaders seem to see a regular need for a federal Congress to sit in session after its successor bodies have been chosen would indicate that Congress has entirely too many laws to pass and that it needs to become a part-time legislature, just as many States have and as Congress once was in the early days of the republic.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Nullifiers

Whether the Tennessee General Assembly reintroduces the bill from last session which essentially nullified President Obama's health care law in Tennessee could be a key test of conservative commitment:

The bill was first considered in the second session of the last General Assembly, and was only beaten because several Republican legislators had already left Nashville for home or for professional obligations, not believing that there was any further major business to be conducted. Since the Republicans only had a one-seat majority at that time, a few missing members will alter the outcome of such an important vote. With 64 seats and a 14-seat majority, the GOP should now have the votes to pass a bill that would essentially exempt Tennesseans from the federal health law. The great test of the new Republican majority in Tennessee and its commitment to conservatism will be whether the leadership is willing not only to consider legislation to stand up to the federal menace, but to push until it is passed.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Eatery

Where will Knoxville's political class eat now that Regas is closing?:

Regas has become an institution in East Tennessee, not least because local political figures have been known to regularly dine there. Mike Ragsdale is said to have held fundraisers for his favorite political figures there, though we have never been able to confirm this. Regas' reputation for political intrigue was sealed when it was revealed that former Ragsdale assistant Margie Loyd took a county commissioner and guest out for lobster at Regas at taxpayer expense.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Haslam Picks Former Bridgestone Chief at Finance

Bill Haslam's pick to run Tennessee's Department of Finance and Administation may be a good one, but Haslam needs to remember to choose those whose interest and heart are with Tennessee and Tennesseans first-especially in light of his pledge not just to help bring more jobs to Tennessee, but especially rural jobs:

Whatever people say about the economy in the rest of the country, it is not recovering for many rural Tennessee counties and workers. Bill Haslam openly courted rural voters during his General Election campaign, and our rural counties are where the most help is needed.If Jobs are going to be Bill Haslam's first priority, rural development has to be at the very core of his agenda.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Third Sunday of Advent

Listen to my reflections on the Third Sunday of Advent HERE.

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