If the dollar has little value, then donate a few.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Will Briley get a pass?

Rob Briley will be in court tomorrow to begin proceedings on his two felony charges as well as various other charges stemming from his hit and run of a small family in a truck, drunken 100 MPH car chase and destruction of police property.

Many people think he will get a pass or a slight slap on the hand because of his name and title. Time will tell.

Blogger on the rise

Former blogger Lance Frizzell may be taking the next step and moving up to becoming a candidate for the state house himself. I was speaking of Lance just yesterday as a person who Bill Hobbs is following in the footsteps of. Vol voters has the full story.

DUI problems show errors in laws

The killing of two newlyweds is just another example of the problem Tennessee has with its weak DUI laws. As I have said in past posts it takes 5 arrests for DUI before any real time is spent behind bars. Many of our laws seem upside down like this. Last year we made third offence littering a felony. Not that I support littering but it takes 5 DUI's to get to the same level of crime and assaulting an officer is not a felony either. Right, wrong and the penalties seem confused at times. Next year will be another chance to fix this problem. I hope we have greater success then we have had in years past.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Welcome Bill

Blogfather to many of Tennessee's top blogs, Bill Hobbs starts work today with the Republican party as its new communications director. I think this was another great pick up for the TRP. The house Republicans hired blogger Kara Watkins last year and the senate Republicans have also hired a political blogger for its team a few years ago. Could being a conservative blogger be a career path for those who love politics? It is starting to appear so.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Now, back to our regular programing

Credit where it is due

Some people say all I do is bash Democrats and the Governor. Well here is something for them.

After reading this article all I can say is Wow!
I give credit to our governor for at least talking about the idea of taking a stand on a issue to help our student. Will he actually do anything about it when session rolls around? I do not know, but I am encouraged at the thought of a Democrat, any Democrat, being willing to take a stand for our children against the teachers union.

As many of you know these are a few of the ideas that many Republicans and I have advocated for some time. I hope the governor will stay strong on this issue and continues to reach across the isle for more good ideas.

If he follows through it could be a huge step for our children and I will happily applaud our governor for helping push the idea forward.

UPDATE: After re-reading my previous post I have to wonder about the true identity of a commenter named "Phil" :-).

Look out

Not two years later and some people are looking to go back to the old (Pre Tennessee Waltz) ethics laws. Some of the few changes that I think need to be made just to clear up some mis conceptions would be to make it so that when infractions like what Jerry Cooper has "allegedly" done are found out, that the punishment is more then the benefit of the crime. A $10,000.00 fine when $95,000.00 was taken may make some see this as an easy $85,000.00 profit. Another idea would be to make it so investigations can be done without a citizen having to file a complaint. Another would be to get rid of the Ulysses Jones loophole. I could go on but those steps forward and no more backward would be an excellent first move.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

U of M Basketball tickets

Knox county ethics commission is trying to put a $25.00 dollar limit on gifts for commissioners. In Memphis they just removed the $200.00 limit on gifts so they could all get free sports tickets from contractors.

Joe public put together this cute little commercial just for the event.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The bill being killed

This is the video of my bill that would have had complaints against teachers follow the teacher if they quit the school previous to a final decision on the complaint. Many bad teachers do this to escape from a problem (such as sexual abuse of a student) that may lead to their loosing their licence to teach. Of course as it is now they can just move to another school system and start over.

Hat Tip: Scott G.

Littleton fired

The news is now official that the Tennessee trial lawyers have fired Mary Littleton probably for the fact that it came out that she was "allegedly" having an affair with the chairman of the committee she had legislation in front of on an almost daily basis.

I guess even lawyers have some scruples.

Of course they could go out and hire someone who is the wife of or related to someone on the committee just like several pharmaceutical companies do for the wife of chairman of health committee Joe Armstrongs or Jimmy Naifee who can sit in on and vote in any committee.

People who hate the enviroment the most? Farmers!

Just as I always suspected! The people who hate the environment the most are farmers! Yes, those people who spend their life toiling in the dirt to raise crops, grow fruits and vegetables to feed people are actually the same people who hate the land the most! At least that is what you would get from this article where two of the bottom five legislators who hate the environment the most are farmers. Deloses Grisham and Frank Nicley both have that listed as their profession.

I also made the bottom five. I guess I didn't support enough government land grabs. Sorry!.......Well, not really.

Farr fears facts

This A.P story has many people wondering if Regan Farr fears the possibility of a law suit about the unconstitutional actions the department of revenue says they are taking. I have to wonder when they refuse to release any information on the topic after an open records request has been asked for.

Part III

This is part three of the teacher sex abuse series. I should be having more on this topic later today.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Part II

This is part two of the three part series on teachers who abuse students and for the most part get away with it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pass the trash

The AP and the Knox News Sentinel has two great articles on a problem we have in Tennessee of teachers who sexually abuse children but are allowed to move to another school systems and start over instead of having their teaching licence yanked. I have spoken of it in the past and even had a bill to help stop it last year (Yes, it was killed in the education committee when the TEA came out against any accountability). I am glad to see it start to get some coverage.

Hat Tip: Terry

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Is "Coolie" Bredesens "Macaca"

Jennifer Peebles points out the the definition of the term "coolie" that our governor used to describe the Chinese that helped build our rail road system.

I have always thought that Phil would be a tempting V.P candidate for the Democrat side if Fred did no get the nomination. He has Money, title, could pull a southern state that is usually strong Republican and a superficial glace at his history (all that most V.P candidates get) would show things that look impressive.

But now after this "coolie" slur I have my doubts. A racial slur has derailed another presidential campaign George Allen looked on a sure path to re election and a run for the white house then he used the term "Macaca" when describing a volunteer for a political rival. He did not even win back his seat.

Honestly, I had never heard of the term "Macaca" much less knew it was a slur before it hit the news over that incident. But "Coolie"? Yes, I, and I am sure many others, have heard that one and know it to be negative.

Will the media pick up on it and report it in any where near the level they did the "Macaca" incident? We will see. But the damage is already done. It is out there and could be a big strike against someone looking to pick up a slot on the big ticket.

What started as a trip to strengthen political ties to a country with vast political influence in America (does any one remember Al Gore and the dirty money he got from China) May have just have crashed the Bredesen V.P. bus.

Update: Terry Frank has more on Phil wanting the press to edit out or not report on his slurs in the future and give him a take back on this one.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Toll road expansion

As I have said in the past, once the toll road nose is under he tent.... Expect the expansion push to be strong this next year

Of course if the gov had paid back the money it had taken from the supposedly dedicated for road construction gas tax in the first place it would not be an issue.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How to bring down China

I now understand the real reason Phil went to China. All this time I thought it was just another junket to get some fresh moo-goo-guy-pan. But now I have thought deeper and realize the REAL reason.

This is all part of a plot to help the US bring down China.

I think every one realizes that since capitalism has come in to China they have been on the grow. They learned capitalism from us and have been exporting goods to us in growing numbers ever since. They are pulling in money hand over fist. Many times at the expense of American companies. Many American companies are now going over there to be a part of their fast growth.

Now, how to slow it all down? Well, what has worked to slow our economy over here in Tennessee?

Tenncare! Socialized medicine!

I almost shot a mouth full of Cheerios out my nose when I read this quote.

The product of this exchange was the Summer Institute in Tennessee-China Health, a cooperative health-care education program through which Chinese health-care providers will spend one month every summer receiving training in Tennessee.

Chinese representatives expressed special interest in learning how Tennessee manages public health care and insurance in rural areas.

Dr. Sten Vermund, director of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Institute for Global Health, cautioned that improving China’s health care cannot be reduced simply to copying American health-care strategy.

“We don’t see this as a ‘do as we’ve done.’ We have 35 million uninsured Americans — that’s not a model for China; that’s the model they’ve already got,” Vermund said. “I think we can help them with models that have worked better than others, like TennCare.”

Ohhhh! that is BRILLIANT!! Get them to buy in to the TENNCARE system!! I can't think of a better model to kill an economy! On the next mission they need to teach their workers how to unionize, possibly a little economics and we will be home free!

Phil, you are brilliant!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

S Chipping away at our future

I was at a political event the other day when out of the blue a national political figure came over and asked that I put something on my blog about the S CHIP program.

First, I was impressed that they even know I have a blog or that they read it. Although I usually stick mostly to state issues I had been thinking about the S CHIP issue a lot lately and how it is being sold about the same way Tenncare always was. Of course, most of you will remember how well that all worked out and the issues that still remain because of it.

This is looking to be the national version of Tenncare or it my quickly slide into Canada care. The grass may look greener from this side of the fence but I use to live in upstate N.Y. and had an opportunity to talk with many Canadians when they came around.

People who have ever had much of a chance to talk to people from Canada know. There is a reason we refuse to make Canada the 51 state.

The more government gets into a business sector the slimmer the choices become, the quality of service diminishes and the creativity of the people in the field dies for lack of motivation. The thought of the "Free lunch" is very tempting but as Momma always said. "There is no such thing as a free lunch and if you do get one it is seldom anything you would want to eat!"

Terry Frank has some good posts on the polling of regular people on the issue as well as some of the Democrat/left reasons for support including a possible illegal alien link.

No open government with ford trial

The recordings of the John Ford bribery case will not be open for the public to hear. I can see if there were private conversations not pertinent to the case but those could be withheld or the transcripts redacted. If the evidence is relevant to public corruption I think the people have a right to know.

I still hearken back to the recordings that were reported on in his first trial. Ford was complaining about how a new ethics bill was going to keep him from being able to make any money. He said how he needed the bill to die. He was talking to a few other legislators (3 or 4?) who started up a chant of "Kill the bill!", "Kill the bill!", "Kill the bill!" Oddly the papers never reported the names of the legislators he was talking to.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Free trade shut out in Tennessee

This is sad. How long before someone dies from this protectionist ruling. The free market and competition lowers prices, provides more and better service for all concerned. Sadly some in Tennessee disagree. When ever I hear about certificates of need I just shake my head and groan at the future loss to the free market.

Schools not up to par

30 Knox area schools are not quite up to par and the comments section of the article has gotten into one of the reasons.

Teacher tenure.

My mom is a retired teacher and she would often say that the teachers union and teacher tenure did more to protect the bad teachers then they ever did to help the good ones.

In most every other field of work people get paid for performance and results. A good school administrator or principle (at least an elected one) will always want the best teachers for the student, as it reflects on them. Good teachers will be kept (And in a perfect world get better pay) and bad ones would be moved out or have their skills improved. In bad schools, teachers should get incentives for results such as student improvement and not just for showing up.

School choice also would be a great step forward for the students as well. Give parents a chance to get their kids out of failing schools. Some places cry this will hurt the failing school. I disagree. When we teach for the best in children and don't hold them in a failing school the children win. The failing school will have less kids to teach so the children in those schools would have more individualized attention from the teacher, they win as well.

I have heard the argument "I am not ready to give up on our teachers and our schools" from other legislators. I wish they would look to the best interest of the children first and the teachers after that. In the end it should all be about what is best for the student and not just the teachers union.

Taco bell invades Mexico

So many jokes, so little time...This one is just writes itself.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

$10 Million more in the red

The state just announced we are $10 Million below revenue projections for the new tobacco tax in this month alone. Add that to the $14 Million we were short last month and you start to wonder where the state will make up for the lost projections. No lag time was built in for the state to adjust for this shortfall previous to new programs starting. The new programs that were supposed to be run with the tobacco money don't just go away when the money doesn't show up. Revenue will have to come up with the money from somewhere and I doubt it will be from their new pay raises.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Joke of the week

Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews had to convert to Catholicism or leave Italy.

There was a huge outcry from the Jewish community, so the pope offered a deal.

He would have a religious debate with the leader of the Jewish community. If the Jews won, they could stay in Italy. If the Pope won, they would have to convert or leave.

The Jewish people met and picked an aged and wise Rabbi to represent them in the debate. However, as the Rabbi spoke no Italian, and the Pope spoke no Yiddish, they agreed that it would be a "silent" debate.

On the chosen day the Pope and Rabbi sat opposite each other.

The Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers.

The Rabbi looked back and raised one finger.

Next, the Pope waved his finger around his head.

The Rabbi pointed to the ground where he sat.

The Pope brought out a communion wafer and a chalice of wine.

The Rabbi pulled out an apple.

With that the Pope stood up and declared that he was beaten, and that the Rabbi was too clever. The Jews could stay in Italy.

Later the Cardinals met with the Pope and asked him what had happened?

The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me there is still only one God common to both our beliefs.

Then, I waved my finger around my head to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us.

I pulled out the wine and water, to show that God absolves us of all our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of the original sin.

He had beaten me at every move and I could not continue.

Meanwhile, the Jewish community gathered to ask the Rabbi, how he had won?

"I haven't a clue" said the Rabbi. First he said to me that we had three days to get out of Italy, so I gave him the finger.

Then he tells me that the whole country would be cleared of Jews and I said to him that we were staying right here.

"And then what?" asked a woman.

"Who knows?" said the Rabbi. "He took out his lunch so I took out mine."

Sen. Williams, Hero to the daily KOS

The daily Kos has a feature article on their new hero's. Sen. Mike Williams is touted. What was that they said about betrayal?

More on Al's award

This Tom Humphries article gives Tennesseans reactions and the two sides of Al Gore getting the Nobel peace prize award.

G.Q. Drew Johnson of the TCPR and myself were both quoted in the article....

...Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting against global warming is sort of like an 800-pound man winning the literature prize for writing a book about going on a diet,” said state Rep. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville.

Campfield also contended that most of Gore’s claims about global warming “have been disproven by scientists” and “that doesn’t seem to do much toward helping world peace.”

Drew Johnson, president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, said before the Nobel announcement that selection of Gore “would be an injustice to the many people bravely fighting for peace and freedom throughout the world.”

Johnson’s group gained attention earlier this year by reviewing electric bills for Gore’s Nashville home and reporting it consumed about 20 times as much electricity as the average American home in 2006.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Did anyone notice....

Did anyone notice that there is no comment section in this Tennessean article on gay adoption? You can comment on the article in the Knox News article here . Some people think this will be a big issue in the next election cycle.

"And for my next trick, I will be named "Father of the year""

Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace prize for brokering peace between what two countries? I mean ending the genocide in the country of where? I mean speaking out for the human rights of the oppressed people in where?

And then he kindly donated the money to himself. What a hero.

I knew I should have given my award to Al.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Democrats fear NASCAR disease

The Democrats fear getting disease from NASCAR fans at Talladega so much the tell their staffers to get immunised. I guess they fear mixing with the common folk a little much. I hate to think of what they think of Bristol's fans.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Turning pork into tax cuts

With a two billion dollar surplus last year the ideas for tax cuts were put aside and instead spending the money and giving out pork became part of the budget.

The pork projects that you may remember from the last legislative year have not been given final approval by the secretary of state. Word was they were going to give approval about a month ago but the application process was opened back up to allow more groups to apply. Apply they did. The Secretary of states office was over run with applications. My secretary went down there in the final days of the new application process and said their phone was ringing off the hook and stacks of applications were everywhere.

They got swamped.

Approval was pushed back.

Because of printing time constraints, The city of Knoxville last night went ahead and gave approval to lower their taxes in the expectation of getting the $100,000.00 grant money to pay this off. It was a some what risky step in that final approval has not been given by the Secretary of state, but in the past, the Secretary has made clear that he plans to follow the recommendations of the local legislator where possible.

As you can imagine, I support the plan to lower the taxes and get the money back to the people who overpaid in the first place.

If you have property in the city of knoxville you may want to go on down and pay your property taxes early to collect on your discount. You and the city both win when you pay early.

Reps plan to stop the SS (Smoking Spies)

Reps Matthew Hill and Debra Maggart are drafting legislation to curb some of the more glaring issues in regard to Regan Farrs latest actions.

Another great Charlie Danials cartoon.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Teacher to sue to be able to protect herself

Odd how this comes up after my last blog post. In Utah a Teacher is having to sue the state to be able to legally carry her licenced weapon.

Will it come to this in Tennessee? I could see this going to the supreme court and the gun owner winning. The constitution looks quite clear.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Preventing another Virginia Tech Shooting

While some people think taking squirt guns away from students will stop another Virginia Tech type shooting. Some people who believe in the second amendment think being able to protect yourself with a real gun from a crazed killer on a campus would work better.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Farr an Phil fish for fags (the cigarette kind)

Tom Humphries has a story on how Reagan Farr is being fully supported by Phil Bredesen in his cross border tobacco surveillance and auto confiscation plan. I guess he has to find a way to make up for his $10,000,000.00 shortfall in revenue projections they had in the first month alone. I am sure they think this plan will make up for their shortcomings. Bill Hobbs made a good comment that cut through it all. He said Higher taxes (and thus more government) = less freedom. Milton Friedman couldn't have said it any better himself.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Farr looses it

Regan Farr is acting a little off. Possibly, the pressure is getting to him.

The constant screw ups, special treatment of some tobacco distributors being exposed in the news, the repeated legal failing of the crack tax, stupid comments on the house floor about legislators, being compared across the nation to the Gestapo for his cigarette border control plan, and the list goes on and on.

I was out working this morning when at 9:01 (Nashville time) I received a call. It was Farr. I will try to recite this as best I can. Farr, to be kind, was not happy about my latest post He was practically yelling over the phone, demanding that I take it down immediately.

Not a good tactic to take with me. I seldom, if ever, take down a post. If there is an error I will try to correct it or admit a mistake, but I don't like to take things down. Farr wanted me to go home and take it down any way. I let him know that I had a real job and would be out working until later in the evening and I would look into any it then if there was an issue.

He started to rant about the evils of my blog and how he was always having to call me about errors I make on it (this is probably the third or fourth call I have gotten from him) One of the calls was when I talked about the tank of propane gas tax increase. Farr complained it was not a tax increase, it was closing a loophole. The same issue for a tax increase on timeshare owners, another on how I said the crack tax was a joke and would have serious issues and now this (So far I have been proven correct on all counts.)

I told him if he didn't like it that he should stop reading it. I will repeat it again because I know Reagan does not listen to advice and is probably reading now.


I know he must be one of my top readers because I usual get a call from him within minutes of posting anything about him. That is not an exaggeration, within minutes.

I asked him why he cares what I say. He has made it quite clear on the house floor what he thinks of legislators. I let him know I had and still do have some questions about the legality and constitutionality of his purposed actions.

Farr shot back "I am a lawyer!" I did not remind him that in almost all court battles throughout time (when a decision is rendered) half the lawyers are proven wrong.

I sort of chuckled and said I think I would still like to see a legal opinion from the AG. He said he got an opinion from the AG (attorney general) and he backs him up.

I don't want to say he is lying but I was speaking to Rep. Susan Lynn this evening and she said she actually ran into the AG yesterday afternoon and started to ask him questions about what Farr was doing and the AG said no one from the administration has contacted him on the issue at all. An AGs opinion, especially on complex issues, usually takes some time to formulate.

Draw your own conclusions.

He started to rant and ramble more but I was working so I ended up having to say goodbye and hung up the phone on him.

If you want to hear a short audio clip of what was said you can go here.

Crack/tobacco tax questions

As the state plans to appeal the crack tax again, this time to the supreme court another legislator and I are preparing questions to the AG on some actions that Regan Farr has said he plans to implement to go after people who buy tobacco products in other states.

I was listening to a local political radio show (Lets talk frank)when this came out. A caller asked Regan Farr if he had checked into any of the constitutional issues raised by his proposal previous to implementing it. He admitted that he had not.

The other legislator and I both had some questions on our own but even more were raised with the more we found out about the plans for this new enforcement. A few questions were even sparked from some comments made in the press and in blogs.

Of course these questions are not in final draft form yet but some of the areas we plan to ask about are.

What is the legal jurisdiction of revenue agents. Is it just Tennessee or can they go into other states without probable cause or a warrant and stake out shopping centers Can they search cars coming across the border who were just at cross border shopping centers. Is that probable cause?

If seizing a persons car for a minimal amount of tobacco is legal and equitable for the "crime" committed?

Who legally has rights to enforce interstate commerce under the federal constitution?

Is seizing a persons car (similar to what was done with the crack tax) an admission of guilt, penalty or punishment previous to conviction?

and others questions.

Of course these are some of the areas we have some legal concerns with that may or may not be cleared up with a AGs opinion and may or may not help avoid more costly court cases.

Monday, October 01, 2007

State news, all state news

The Republican party has launched a website with all state legislative news in it. You can check it out here.