Friday, April 29, 2011

Will We Be Ignored?

The President is rightly in Ababama survey storm damage today-I just hope the feds don't ignore us like they often do:

How bad was the storm damage in East Tennessee? It has been bad enough that Governor Bill Haslam canceled a scheduled event in West Tennessee to visit storm-ravaged places in this part of the State. An apparent tornado ripped the roof off of the gym at Cocke County High School, and essentially destroyed the Adult High School. People still seem to be in shock that the storms were so severe, since the mountains very often break up the worst storm systems that might blow through the area. This writer detailed some of the damage to his own home yesterday, but in fairness there are many people, especially in neighboring Cocke County, who have had to deal with much worse.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The State of Emergency

Our minds last night were on the subject of making it through in one piece:

Perhaps the most jarring experience of the night was the fact that the storms weren't constant, at least the worst of them weren't. They signaled their inauguration by a constant barrage of lightning above the house the likes of which I have never before witnesses. When one round of wind, hail, and thunder would pass, another would come along less than an hour later. Three different times during the night, Jefferson County or parts of it were under a tornado warning.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Tuesday in March?

Instead of voting on Super Tuesday, Tennesseans will now officially be voting in the presidential preference primary on the first Tuesday in March:

There is another problem, however: Will the race for the Republican nomination be decided before Tennesseans go to the polls on March 6th? A polling day on Super Tuesday could mean that Tennessee will play a roll either in deciding the nominee or in assuring that the first phase of the campaign isn't over yet. With the primary being held the first week of March, Tennessee Republicans have to hope that the race is still on. I'll be voting for my favorite candidate regardless, but let's hope for a competative 2012 campaign

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just a Few Business Deals

Former Governor Phil Bredesen's Administration made "handshake deals" on business development without legislative approval-and the new General Assembly wants to know why they have to disburse money they didn't know about:

For the moment, we won't judge whether such arrangements are right or wrong, but instead whether it is ethical to bind a successor administration to a series of promises involving monetary expenditure and taxation rules when one is leaving office that have neither legislative approval nor were publicly agreed-upon by the incoming Governor or his staff. Bredesen's Commissioner of Economic Development has said to The Tennessean's Chas Sisk that it is a matter of the new Governor "honoring the commitments of the previous administration" and that this was a "bipartisan approach." It is a bipartisan approach to keep the General Assembly in the dark about development agreements until the State Funding Board discovers large disbursements of cash that it cannot explain because it was unaware of the agreements in the first place-all while the General Assembly is trying to come up with a final version of the budget for the next fiscal year?

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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Children's Primary?

The 2012 primary calendar seems more reasonable than what we had to endure in 2008, and it will be unless some people start acting like children:

If the current situation plays out as some expect, that would put Tennessee voting on Tuesday, February 7th-the day that is currently being slated as "Super Tuesday" on the primary calendar. A mid-January start to primary and caucus voting (and early voting in Tennessee) wouldn't be so unbearable and would be something closer to what most political people might consider "normal." Febraury 7th as the date for Super Tuesday is actually a good date for Tennesseans to go to the polls, and gives us plenty of time to digest what the candidates are saying after we have digested Christmas dinner. All of that presumes, however, that if Iowa and New Hampshire move their caucus and primary dates to mid-January that Florida won't try to steal Christmas by moving its primary to an even earlier date, forcing Iowa and New Hampshire to uphold convention by moving even further back. This isn't about one-upmanship, this is a serious matter of nominating a candidate for President of the United States. It will be no time to play childish games about who gets to play with the toy first. Iowa and New Hampshire first-that's the tradition-Americans and Tennesseans would prefer a Christmas free of political haggling.

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