Saturday, May 31, 2008

Joke of the week (The popes visit)

During the popes US visit the Pope took a couple of days off to visit the wild, rugged mountains of Alaska for some sightseeing. He was cruising along the campground in the Pope-mobile when there was a frantic commotion just at the edge of the woods.

A helpless Democrat, wearing sandals, shorts, a "Save the Whales" hat, and a "To Hell with Bush" T-shirt, was screaming while struggling frantically and thrashing around trying to free himself from the grasp of a 10-foot grizzly.

As the Pope watched in horror, a group of Republican loggers came racing up. One quickly fired a 44 magnum into the bear's chest. The other two reached up and pulled the bleeding, semiconscious Democrat from the bear's grasp.

Then using long clubs, the three loggers finished off the bear and two of them threw it onto the bed of their truck while the others tenderly placed the injured Democrat in the back seat.

As they prepared to leave, the Pope summoned them to come over. "I give y ou my blessing for your brave actions!" he told them. "I heard there was a bitter hatred between Republican loggers and Democratic Environmental activists but now I've seen with my own eyes that this is not true."

As the Pope drove off, one of the loggers asked his buddies "Who was that guy?"
"It was the Pope," another replied. "He's in direct contact with Heaven and has access to all wisdom."

"Well," the logger said, "he may have access to all wisdom but he sure doesn't know anything about grizzly bear hunting! By the way, is the bait holding up, or do we need to go back to Massachusetts and get another one?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Like peanut butter and choclate

Left and right come together in their combined opinion that Rob Briley should be gone for a long, long time. It is almost as if he was doing all he could to prove he shouldn't be able to return ever. Burn every last bridge on the way out of town so to speak.

Part of it is thanks to youtube. Behavior that has gone on as long as I have been here and supposedly went on before I got here is now being documented and shown for all to see. Parting shots at the media and blogs for his actions burned them from giving him any future cover or forgiveness. Now the new office in a place surrounded by things he needs to stay clear of, for his own good, have some wondering has Rob has even hit bottom yet, or is he just getting a new shovel. Even the people who held out hope for a turn around are now just throwing in the towel.

Rob, Go away. Go far far away where no one knows you and start over. You can not grow back here. The ground is poisoned for you. You are there. This is the bottom.



UPDATE: Some people may think what I am saying is just to be hard on Rob. Not the case. I do not feel any addict should put themselves in a position where they are surrounded by things they have proven to have little self control around. Alcohol, strippers and partying are not going to be easy temptations to refrain from for someone who skipped out early from rehab and just got a divorce.

Some times a clean break is needed for the best interest of someone who want to recover.

I can’t imagine it would be as hard to start a new law firm somewhere new as it will be to keep this one going after the media he has earned in Nashville. Many alcoholics and drug addicts do not decide it is time to change their attitude and lifestyle until they realize their life has hit rock bottom. I hope Rob does realize it is time for a positive change and does turn his life around as so many people wish he would.

Caught in the pickle

In baseball when a player is caught between two bases it is called being caught in a pickle. Usually the player runs back and forth between two players playing catch with the ball over his head as the distance between them gets closer and closer. The base runner knows he is about to run out of time unless something unforeseen happens.

The judicial selection is in just such a situation. Something needs to change and real soon or they are out. Besides a compromise on the plans offered or a new plan. Then the only other solution for them is to win some senate seats and change the numbers and the leadership in the senate (not a likely scenario).

If the numbers in the senate go up for Republicans (as many expect they will) then the hope for things to remain the same will look even less likely then it does now. The odds of a compromise will deminish also as many Republican members want the commission dead no matter what.

Next year will be quite interesting as the days of life for the selection committee wind down and the pressure goes up.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Dunn father

I went to Fountain City park yesterday for their memorial day celebration. It is always a good event and their are usually so many candidates you cant swing a dead cat without hitting one. This year the number of candidates was a little lower but the crowd was bigger then I remember it being in years past.

I am not sure but I think about 1/4 the people there were wearing a orange and white Bill Dunn Tee shirt. I bet there were 70 people there in a shirt for Bill.

Bills opponent was there as well but it had to be discouraging. It looked like the scene in the godfather movie where the Don walks down the street only in this version it was in orange and white as Bill walked through the crowd. People were coming up to Bill shaking his hand and telling him what a great job he was doing. Bill was gracious, kind and unassuming as always. It was impressive to watch as all the candidates and people from both sides of the fence came up to talk to him. In the godfather movie it wasn't much later that the Don got killed. In this version I think the Don is going to have a long life. The only killing will be on election day.

What is reasonable?

Although we passed an open government reform bill mandating quick turnaround time on public records requests the other ugly side is rearing its ugly head. The cost. The legislation says it shall be done for a reasonable fee.

What is reasonable?

That depends on who you ask. If it is a one page file of something not too controversial I would say a dime or at most a quarter a page would be reasonable. But if it could be controversial the costs seem to go into the thousands of dollars range odd how that works.

Always willing to compromise

As the left is being noted as great complainers calling Republicans partisan for the senates unwillingness to vote on Wilders judicial selection and his motion to pull his bill directly to the senate floor I had another similar situation come to mind (SJR127).

Always being one open to compromise, in the name of unity I have thought of a solution where both side can get something they want but they have to be willing to give up something they don't want.

When SJR127 is allowed to the full house floor for an up or down vote the senate will allow judicial selection to the senate floor for a one year extension up or down vote. The next year when SJR127 comes back up for second reading the same thing.

As a reasonable offer I am sure the Democrats will be willing to compromise.....That is unless the partisan bickering is what they enjoy and only complain when it does not all go their way.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Quote of the week

Although Rob Briley made a run at it with his attack on the media and blogs, my tip of the hat goes to Rep. Vince Dean.

Vince had two possible winners.

One for standing up on the house floor and congratulating a Democrat for passing the exact same bill that Vince ran last year but had killed. Vice went on to say how last year even though we had a surplus of over a billion dollars the governor sent him a letter saying he could not support his bill because it cost too much money. Now miraculously this year in a half billion dollar budget shortfall the governor found the funds to pass the exact same bill that was being carried by a Democrat.

The other quote was when Vince asked Rep. Kent Williams if a piece of legislation he was running would be his last. Not for the session but ever. Williams who has been a firm Naifeh vote is facing a strong primary rematch with conservative former rep. Jerome Cochran. Vince has not been afraid to let Kent know what he thinks of his votes on a regular basis.

Californians get up on porn

More on the possible tax on porn in California that was modeled after my legislation here in Tennessee. The story is from Utah.

Hat tip: Susan A.

I would like to thank the academy........

For this award..

Rob Briley, Thank you for making me look so good by you being so bad. I guess without Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker would have been just another farmer. In an odd way I will miss you...........But not much.

Mike Turner, You teased me all year long with your resolution condemning Bush for not joining Kyoto. The same resolution that I put my Al Gore amendment on as well as another amendment condemning the governor for the party bunker. For weeks you would put it on the calendar and I would get excited and then you would put it on the desk. Week after week you would wet my apatite only to pull dinner away. Both amendments may have been to much for the Democrat leadership. I am sure their blood pressure went up for weeks as well. In the end you never ran it. That was almost cruel.

Oh well, January is only a few months away.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mennonites don't vote

Some people are wondering why this happened..

This is an issue for many home school groups as well. The cost to renovate a church building up to the standards of a school out weigh the benefit they might get from the limited use they need. The fire standard for a school is much higher then it is for a church or assembly hall.

Some home schoolers are also being hassled by local fire inspectors. I had e mail from one person who had a fire inspector show up at her home (Where she home schooled her three children.) The inspector wanted to inspect her house to see if it met the fire code of a school (sprinklers etc.). She refused to let him in and after a discussion he relented because she had three kids and not five. If it had been five then she would have had to meet the standards of a school. I talked with some home school leaders and found this is not an isolated incident.

I drafted some legislation that said a building that is occasionally used for other purposes besides its original use will only have to meet the fire codes of its main purpose. If its main purpose was a church, it had to meet the codes of a church. If its main purpose was a house, it had to meet the fire codes of a house.

We went round and round with the state and finally settled with mandating that the local fire marshals have to follow the state fire codes for schools. It died in calendar committee with the argument that we need to give locals the ability to regulate as they see fit.

Maybe next year. But this is not the first attack on the home school community this year. It is starting to get national attention on how bad we treat our home school students and grads.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The bunker is like the war?

Rep. Johnny Shaw just two days ago warned me about ever putting him on my blog again. Johnny, when you talk about me on the Mike Slater radio show on WTJS you don't give me much of a choice. When attacked I will defend.

Here is the the audio of what he said. Here is a link to the first bill that I present to stop the bunker here is the video

and here is a link to a story on the second vote on the full house floor to stop the bunker. It was as an amendment to the budget by Rep. Brian Kelsey less then 36 hours ago. It was debated for quite some time and I don't know how someone could be unclear on what the amendment or the bill would do. For the record Shaw was against both motions and both would have defunded the bunker. Unlike what was said on the radio show.

Water water everywhere......

And not a drop to drink. This Tennessean article listed the winners and losers of this years legislative session. Although I plan on doing my own list a little later I want to talk about one "looser" item mentioned on the Tennessean list. It was the environment. The article went on to say...

McFadden said one "nugget of gold" in the session was the defeat of a bill that would have deregulated drinking water across the state.

I am not sure, but I think they are talking about the bill to define streams. Many legislators feel TDEC has gotten a little excessive in their regulation. Much of the controversy is in regards to the regulation and definition of "Blue line streams" or "Wet weather conveyance".

It has gotten to the point that one farmer I know said "I have to watch out where my dog takes a leak. TDEC will come in and want to regulate it."

You may laugh but it could be so. TDEC is getting to where they are requiring farmers to build fences and bridges across and around ditches and and dry creek beds. Areas that may have been dry for years. As you can imagine that can be quite expensive for the small country farmers who may have a cow or two in a field with a dry creek bed in it.

Farmers and other land owners main contention is that their is no good definition in Tennessee of blue line stream or wet weather conveyance (What TDEC regulates) There are actually three different definitions in the regulations. That makes it pretty wide open and allows TDEC to regulate about everything as they see fit.

Some land owners feel there is also unequal enforcement of the questionable regulation. Some feel the unequal enforcement is because TDEC gets to keep the money they get from the fines. Talk about a motivator to fine someone.

The bill would have set one definition in code. A fixed target that all could aim for and know what they should and should not do.

The ecos hated it. Land owners loved it.

I guess that the Tennessean writer is correct in the bill could deregulate all drinking water in Tennessee. I guess if you don't regulate what happens or could happen to every possible drop that hits the ground in the state then you can make the argument that in some way it could effect all the water in the state, just as one drop of water could effect an ocean if it touched it. It is technically true, but I think this is one area we could work to find a reasonable compromise between the landowners and government regulation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We are out of here!

You can take your hand off your wallet.

Amendmets withdrawn

I don't know what happened but the amendments were both withdrawn. We had left the rest of the budget alone to concentrate on those two amendments. For some reason we only ran one.

The Democrats all cheered.

Sanctuary cities comes back!

Rep. Eric Swafford brought up an amendment to the budget to defund any potential sanctuary cities. An amendment was added to say cities that have an illegal alien verification program (287G) can not face sanctions. It more or less encourages cities to take part in the federally funded program to ID illegals and have the fed imprison and deport them. They asked for a 30 minute recess to talk about what to do.

Jimmy Kyle said the house was so excited about passing the mixed martial arts bill that a fight has broken out in the house democrat caucus.

Thanks Jimmy!

Jimmy Naifeh was kind enough to point out how efficient the Republican run senate is. Just before he called a 30 minute recess to explain an amendment he said how the senate passed the budget in 6 minutes!

Party on Phil!

The move to stop the digging on the party bunker failed 57 to 37. No construction has begun and there was no penalty to not start the construction we could have saved millions.

It passed

The lottery bill passed, finally. 2.75 is the standard for the first 6 semesters then 3.0.

A Positive note for Democrats

I was talking to some of my friends from across the isle and they said "Why don't you say some nice things about Democrats on your blog once in a while. Although I have, several times, I will do it some more. Although we may disagree on some issues or Philosophy here are a few. If you aren't on the list (as I know many of you read this) It may be because you are in a race and I would prefer a Republican.

Frank Buck was always a true leader on ethics. He will be missed.

John Mark Windle is one of the most fearless Democrats. He and Ben West will cross over when they feel it is right.

G.A. Hardaway is great on fathers rights and is a tireless warrior for them as well as other groups.

Michael Turner is wrong on almost every issue but he is passionate about them and does not hold a grudge when I vote against almost every bill he brings up. It is hard to dislike someone like that.

Mike Kernell always does his best to be fair.

Joe Towns can make about any person crack up. His impressions are the best.

Henry Fincher can be good on guns.

Charlie Curtis is good on farm issues.

John Tidwell can shoot the three with the best of them and is an old time conservative.

Is that a good start?

Lottery scholarship battles

This is starting to follow the same pattern that happened last year. We waited until the last second to get a plan together and ended up doing nothing.

Their are two (Currently) views on how the excess lottery money should be spent. some like 2.75 for all 5 years. Some like 2.75 for 3 years and either 3.0 cumulative or current semester average after that (with a bunch of other things added in). Many legislators don't like either plan and feel rushed into what they feel is two mediocre plans with an unsecured income source. Many think we should come back next year and do it right when we are not as rushed to make an important decision.

They decided to do another conference committee to see if they can work it out again.

We will see.

Second bill killed

A bill to make the second simple assault of a health care worker a felony was killed. The main issue was we don't offer the same protection to police, firefighters or any other health or safety worker so their was a equal protection under the law issue for many people. Others felt it was cruel to people who may be off their medication or injured and not in their right mind.

MMA bill passes

Finally. It is on its way to the governor.

We are united on illegal immigration

Yesterday we heard a great sermon for a bill on how the house is united on fixing illegal immigration. Of course the companion bill was never offered up by the senate sponsor. More or less it was dead before the house vote. It made the vote meaningless except for political posturing. It was an almost unanimous vote.

This morning in finance only two bills came up. One was a bill to prevent sanctuary cities in Tennessee offered by Philip Johnson. It was killed by a 12 to 11 vote. All Republicans were in favor of the bill.

So much for unity.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wilder lost

Wilder lost in his motion to bring judicial selection directly to the senate floor 18 to 13 I think was the vote. When it was done Wilder said he didn't know what else to do besides go home and cry.

Lottery scholarship

2.75 GPA for 5 semesters and 3.0 after that is looking to be the compromise. A lot of other things are also being added as well. That is not a done deal but it is leaning that way.

Judicial selection

Wilder is going to try and force it up in the senate. The senate thinks they have the votes to stop him from doing it.

One more day

We will be here at least through tomorrow. If every thing goes well it still will take too long to put it all in code.

Services for illegals

I tried to add an amendment to a bill that would have removed all state services to illegal immigrants not mandated by federal law. It would also stop the issuance of state issued birth certificates unless one parent was a legal citizen. It was killed 57 to 39.

Considering the source

In the words of former president Richard Nixon "Your not going to have "Rob Briley" to kick around any more."



Hat tip:AC on the video

Rob Briley took a "shot across the bow" at the media and people who blog in his retirement speech. It went along the lines of "Just because it is written does not make it true. Just because it is true does not mean it should be written."

He went on to say along the lines of "If we don't watch out we will lose that right" I guess he was mad about blogs and the press reporting his legal issues of the last year but I think his threat will have a tough time when it gets to that pesky constitution. The city paper has more.

It was almost hilarious when the first bill after the speech was a bill increasing the penalty on people who leave the scene of an accident.

AC has links to all of "our" indiscretions and people talking about "our" indiscretions

MMA Update

I said in a past post that the MMA (Mixed martial arts) bill had passed the senate it has not. I thought when an amendment was added after it passed the house it was to conform to the passed senate version. It was added to change the date but it did not pass the senate yet. The big hold up is an amendment to give surplus funds created by MMA to D1 college wrestling programs.

Monday, May 19, 2008

O the Show must go on

David Oatney hit it on the head about Candidates spouses helping in campaigns. If they are working for the campaign they are fair game. People associated with the campaigns are often linked to the candidate. Does anyone expect Obama to lay off Bush and his "link" to McCain even though he is not even the candidate?

Doubt it. I don't think Bush is even doing that much for him if any thing at all. It is not like he is on the trail all day like Bill Clinton is for Hillary.

The water balloon is next

Terry Frank has a great post on the making it so kids under 18 must get parental consent to buy a squirt gun in Tennessee. The money quote from Terry on this has to be

Now in Tennessee, if your 13 year old little daughter wants to get an abortion without Mommy or Daddy knowing, heck, we can’t get nannystaters like DeBerry to even acknowledge that a girl has a parent that might want to know.

The comment section is great, it include Bill Dunn and a spot on definition of most legislators by Terry.

We’ve got several very bright folks down there. Then we have several bright legislators with no spine. And then there are the smart legislators with no moral compass.

And then there are the really pathetic, stupid ones. And most of the time, I’ve found that they really aren’t that dumb, they just could care less. They are too lazy to even find out what in the heck they are voting on.



This legislation is more of what we saw last year with the banning of squirt guns on campus. Word was any thing that looked like a gun was out including a pointed finger. I am sure they will next go after water balloons because they might look like a hand grenade.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Is this begging?

Is this where the "abuse" happened? I don't see the begging. But I don't speak Wilder. I think people were quite kind while he was speaking.

The invite

Funny that we should be talking about strippers, the big talk on the hill is the Cabaret association (That is the lobby name for the strip clubs) is having a legislative reception at Dejavu, a strip club in Nashville. I hear there will be all that you would expect at the reception. I have been told the invite says "Party like a rock star, Get treated like a porn star"

Odd I did not get the invite to that event.

Elected school superintendent

Frank Nicley has them in a tither about elected school super attendants. They pulled the bill when it looked like Frank was going to get his amendment on. Now they are working him hard to make him take it off.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

MMA passed the senate

With an amendment. The house conformed. the bill is on its way to the governor.

Paper ballots

passed.

Shot of the day

As we were arguing the judicial selection Jimmy Naifeh kept trying to say some people were trying to make this a partisan issue. Stop making this partisan issue. Why do we want this to be a partisan issue ect.

Mike Bell stood up and said "Mister speaker I don't feel supporting the constitution is a partisan issue."

Judicial selection

"The judges of the state supreme court shall be elected by the qualified voters of Tennessee." I think it is pretty clear in the constitution. The senate has put it in wind down. We are fighting for it in the house. The current argument now is that if we allow the judges to be elected it will hurt the children. It passed in the house 64 to 34.

First dead bill in 4 years

The first bill that I can remember in 4 years has been killed on the house floor. HJR1008 A resolution that urges congress to set up the US Department of Peace and make it a cabinet position.

I asked if the sponsor had any idea what it would cost to do that.

"No"

I asked if she thought the Department of defence was doing a good job?

"Not sure but we could do better"

Glen Casada Then went after it followed by Eric Swafford.

It was killed 47 for, 29 against, 18 present not voting, 5 not voting.

Monday, May 12, 2008

non essential employees

Well the word has come out that we are going to offer buy out packages to 2,011 "non essential employees" of the state. The package is most likely going to include one years pay and free college education for new hires and one year pay for retirees. Those who were going to retire are now holding out for the extra payday. Most of the expense would come from reserves held in the department (Another area that needs to be looked at are these reserves that are held by departments year after year and are not counted as part of the budget or their budget. It is like a inter government slush fund).

The things that kills me are; if they are "non essential employees" then why did we hire them in the first place? How many more of these "Non essential employees" are we currently paying?, how long have we been paying them? and why don't we stop paying them? It they are "non essential" I think that about says it all.

It looks like someone has been using the government as a jobs program.

The kicker is they are getting working businesses and working people to pay for it through taxes. Thus limiting the business growth/employment capabilities. It turns into a vicious cycle. More government jobs kill off private business jobs witch makes some want to give more government jobs with a tax increase to pay for it.

Now as election year starts to loom closer and closer the governors "Technical corrections tax increase" is starting to face some headwind. Thank god for political opponents. Most people on my side of the isle say the only reason Gary Odum is suddenly against the 27 million dollar tax increase bill he has been carrying all year is because he got a political opponent.

Gary was just rated as the least business friendly legislator in the state by a Tennessee business magazine.

Ouch. The lead on a big tax increase and least friendly to business? That would be 2 good political bullets.

Suddenly, he is mister no more tax increases. Good to see the change of heart here at 11:59.

If the technical corrections tax increase bill fails that could be another 27 mill out of the budget. Who knows, maybe we could get rid of some more "Non essential employees" with some non budget money.

Comment of the month

Some comments are so good they deserve their own post. This comment came from my post on California's potential use of the porn tax similar to the one I introduced last year. The comment came from someone named Cere



"Of course your bill didn't pass because what you are saying about strippers and porn stars is 110% incorrect. Many of these women ARE college educated (or are getting their college degree). Many even have a Master's Degree. Others are sole supporters of their families and are responsible, voting members of society. To put a tax a women's right to dance is a whole additional ball of wax. Let's face it, California needs strip clubs and adult entertainment. If you tax an additional 25%, the industry is gone and California loses out entirely.
But the bigger picture here, is your ignorance in the matter. The state ought to put a tax on your mouth, as it seems to be more crass than anything the sex industry stands for."

Payoffs for Bredesen hires

Andy Sher has the details on what was originally though to be layoffs is now more like buyouts on new Bredesen hires.

From the article...

NASHVILLE — Gov. Phil Bredesen’s proposal to eliminate 2,011 state workers represents about 42 percent of the positions created in state government during his administration.

Full-time positions funded by general fund revenues grew by 5,020, or 11.9 percent, since fiscal year 2002-03, an analysis of state budget records shows. There are about 47,079 state government positions in this year’s budget.


Article: State to offer some early retirement incentives to cut budget
Gov. Bredesen hopes the work force cutbacks will produce $64 million of the $468 million in reductions he needs to balance his proposed 2008-09 budget.

The governor, who attributed the weakening national economy for devastating state tax collections, today plans to outline specific steps to rein in spending before a joint session of the House and Senate.

“It’s pretty clear you can’t get from here to there without having some personnel reductions in state government,” Gov. Bredesen said. “What I’m proposing will be a voluntary plan.”.....


......Growth of jobs

WORK FORCES

The number of Tennessee employees:

FY 2004-05 - 44,194

FY 2005-06 - 45,795

FY 2006-07 - 45,871

FY 2007-08 - 47,079 (estimated)

FY 2008-09 - 47,186 (recommended prior to expected cuts)

* Source: Tennessee budgets
Since Gov. Bredesen took office in early 2003, administration budget figures show major growth occurred from fiscal year 2003-04 to fiscal year 2004-05 when the number of state positions rose 4 percent, or 1,717 workers, to 44,194.

From July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2008, figures from Tennessee budgets show the number of state jobs increased by 1,284 slots, or 2.8 percent, to 47,079......

.....Human services

Some Tennessee departments experienced large growth in employees, according to a review of reports filed by departments and agencies with the Senate Finance Committee.

From fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year 2008, positions in the Department of Human Services grew from 4,469 to 5,595 — 1,126 positions, or 25 percent, departmental submissions to the committee show.

Human Services Department spokeswoman Michelle Mowery Johnson estimated about 100 employees involved in program monitoring transferred from Finance to Human Services.

Another 225 people were added to manage eligibility and benefit appeals related to TennCare, welfare and food stamps decisions. The services previously were performed under contract by the secretary of state.

The department hired about 350 workers for four family assistance service call centers where eligibility counselors field questions about Families First, food stamps, Medicaid and TennCare cases, she said.

Tennessee State Employees Association Executive Director Jim Tucker, whose group represents workers, said growth in areas such as the Department of Children’s Services is attributable to federal lawsuits.

The department has grown by 877 employees, or 20.4 percent, since fiscal year 2005, figures show.......

.......PORK VS. JOBS

Drew Johnson, executive director of the conservative Tennessee Center for Policy Research, said the governor’s plans show a “prioritization problem with the budget because there are so many opportunities to cut waste through (eliminating) pork projects rather than firing people.”

The group’s recently released 2008 Tennessee Pork Report found up to $260 million in wasteful spending by state and local governments.

Mr. Johnson said, “Firing people isn’t necessarily a bad thing if they’ve proven unproductive. And despite a 12 percent increase in jobs, I don’t think that children are smarter or Tennesseans are safer or TennCare recipients get any better treatment.”

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Joke of the week (the lion)

A biker is riding by the zoo when he sees a little girl
leaning into the lion's cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs
her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull
her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her
screaming parents. The biker jumps off his bike, runs
to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a
powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain the lion
jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings
her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.

A NYT reporter has seen the whole scene, and
addressing the biker, says, ' Sir, this was the most
gallant and brave thing I saw a man do in my whole life.'

'Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind
bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I
felt right.' 'Well, I'll make sure this won't go unnoticed.
I'm a journalist from the New York Times, you know, and
tomorrow's paper will have this on the first page. What
motorcycle do you ride and what political affiliation do you
have?'

'A Harley Davidson and I am a Republican.'

The journalist leaves, mumbling.

The following morning the biker buys The New York Times
to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads, on
the first page:

'BIKER GANG MEMBER ASSAULTS AFRICAN IMMIGRANT AND
STEALS HIS LUNCH.'

Friday, May 09, 2008

One last shot

I went to the UT Knoxville graduation today. It was pleasant until it started and the guest speaker (Lorin Crabtree) began to speak. After a few quick jokes the political spew started. From the "Fact" of global warming to the war to a government that refuses to invest in education (I am sure Phil was appreciative of that) on and on it went.

He closed with "I am not going to tell you what party to vote for but I do have a favorite."

Really? Gee I couldn't tell. It about made me want to walk out.

When you go to blogs, watch the news, go to a political event, you expect political speech. At a commencement it is not about politics, it is not about left or right. It is about the kids, their hard work their parents friends and family who have sacrificed for the kids to get ahead. Save your brain washing for another event. You have had them for four years (at least). Can't you give it a break for the kids and their families for one day?

To make it a political platform was selfish on Crabtrees part. Although I do not know Crabtree, I had heard mixed reviews from some friends I have on campus. Some people liked him some not at all, then he was fired and some people were glad. I can now understand why.

NC moves to ban illegals in higher ed

NC is moving toward ending its history of allowing illegals to go to higher ed. Stopping the movement to give them in state tuition.

What? people dont want toll roads?

It seems to be spreading. People in Nashville don't seem to want toll roads either. Where was Pinion at this meeting?

California to copy porn tax

California Democrats lead by their state leader are looking to copy the porn tax I started last year. Unfortunately they are using it as a straight tax increase instead of as a tool to decrease other taxes. From the LA Times article.

Calderon said the resistance to his bill did not surprise him. But he is perplexed that he hasn't been able to get more traction for another proposal: a 25% tax on sex toys, strip shows, pornographic magazines and videos and anything else sold in an "adult entertainment venue."

"This is a major industry that is putting a disproportionate burden on state services," he said. "Drugs are heavily used. The actors have a short life span. Some leave the industry drug-addicted with no skills. They wind up availing themselves of Medi-Cal and other state programs."

A coalition of porn stars, strippers and others in adult entertainment roamed the halls of the Capitol recently to lobby against the Calderon bill (AB 2914).

I thought it was just Memphis

I have always wondered, now I know.



Hat tip:E.H.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Smokin in the boys room

Hey now now teacher don't ya fill me up with no rules. Every body knows that smokin aint allowed in school.

"We shall prevail!"

No she is not talking about the great civil rights battle but a bigger more important issue to her. The battle for the first lady to get her giant underground party room at the mansion. The scene has the details.

I can only imagine her speech if the legislature grew some stones and stopped her big plans.

Que the Scooby do dream sequence music.........

Phil: Andria, I have some disastrous news. The man is holding us down. The greedy legislature is stopping the expansion of the mansion party room.

Andria: (Completely distraught, on the verge of tears) How long. How long must my people be bound down! When shall my people be allowed to break free from the chains of this oppressive government!

Phil: I don't know. Possibly in a year or two when the economy gets better?

Andria: What could they possibly want the money for?

Phil: Something about DUI offenders and children services.

Andria: The children? let them eat cake! the DUI offenders? Freedom! I want freedom for my people!!

Phil: I told them! I begged, I pleaded, but they beat me! They whipped me! I was treated like less then a human being like we didn't deserve to sit at the table and eat Bree with hundreds of our richest friends!

Andria: Oh, the humanity. the humanity!

Phil: Don't worry Andria, I have been to the mountain top. I have seen the other side. I may not get there with you but I have seen it. Rich people and rich people sitting together at a unity table for my run for higher office!

Andria: But what about now! Tell the legislature to "Let my people go!" or threaten a plague of cuts for their district roads.

Phil: I have, I even threatened toll roads but they wont listen.

Andria: I will fix it. (shaking her fist in the air) As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry for truffles and steak tar tar again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!

900,000 DUI arrests in Tennessee last year?

The Gov is killing the drunk driver licence revocation bill. He is saying he can not afford the 75 employees needed to process the information. I started to wonder. 75 people to type in a revocation of someones licence at the DMV? How many drunk drivers does the state catch in one year?

I did some simple math, lets just say it takes all of ten minutes to type one in. That is 6 per hour x 8 hours in a day x 5 days a week x 50 weeks a year x 75 employees that totaled 900,000 DUI arrests in one year. I did not realize that almost 1/6 of the states total population of 6 million (That includes every man, women, child and elderly person of the state. some who I doubt drive at all) get arrested every year for a DUI! Look out, our roads are more dangerous then I thought.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hello? Is this thing on?

This is turning into a running joke. We keep hearing that TDOT will listen to the people on toll roads. At the first meeting the public spoke up. If I recall correctly 18 people spoke out against toll roads 2 spoke in favor. The commission voted in favor of doing an expensive study for toll roads. Now this, The Knox County commission voted 18 to 1 against Knoxville toll roads. What do you think their response is? Well read on loyal reader.

From the KNS article...


Ed Cole (of the Tennessee Department of Transportation) has gone on record saying if they don't have local support, it won't go forward," said Fairstein, a member of Citizens Against the Orange Route.

Cole, TDOT's assistant commissioner for environment and planning, said after the commission's vote that the state indeed will pay close attention to local legislators and residents when considering toll roads.

"We are not going to pursue a tolling project where there is strong opposition, and the County Commission represents the people of Knox County," Cole said. "The county would make a big impact on our thinking."



O.K. sounds good. I think you have your answer. So what does TDOT do? Change what they are listening to.

But he said TDOT will pay the most attention to the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization, a federally mandated group of officials from Knoxville, Knox County and surrounding cities and counties formed to provide coordinated planning.

They are still planning on doing an expensive study.

How deaf do they have to be?

Knoxville does not want toll roads!

What do the people have to do? Send up a flair? Rolling billboards? Honking horns? I think it is clear the people have spoken. Who is making all the money doing these studies for things the people clearly do not want? I thought we are supposedly in tight financial times?

Looking forward, looking back.

A lot of going on in the national democrat party race for the nomination. The numbers look down for Clinton. I could think of a one big boost for her campaign.

John Edwards. His 19 delegates could go her way if John was given reason to do so. A reason such as a VP slot would be tempting. It would not be enough to put her over the top but it sure would help. It could also have an effect on some of the pledge delegates in S.C. that are probably leaning Obamas way (Since he did win the state) they could flop over for a Clinton/Edwards ticket.

Think it cant happen, that the race is too far gone? I has happened, worse, by far (and to a candidate from Tennessee!)

In the 1952 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Estes Kefauver of Tennessee won all but three state primaries. He received 3.1 million votes, Democratic presidential nominee, Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson, received only 78,000 votes and won the nomination at the convention.

More like the one they want to shut up

I have been voted #1 in a poll over at Matthew Hurtts place as the favorite outspoken Republican legislator. I would like to thank all the little people..........

2.75 GPA dies?

Lowering the standard to keep the lottery scholarship to 2.75 has been taken off notice. This usually means it is dead for the year but nothing is guaranteed.

Home schools fight for recognition

The Department of education has decided to stop considering home school degrees as valid degrees. Mike Bell is fighting to get them recognised again but the votes are close.

2011 lay offs

2011 people will be "laid off" by the state. That does not include DCS, their may be more when those are included. Most if not all will be offered buy outs with one time money.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Elected school superintendent

The option to allow people to vote on the elected school superintendent was killed Rep. Frank Nicley drafted the amendment so it had to be passed by the county commission by two thirds vote and then by a vote of the people ( and they could even have education qualifiers).

It was killed 46-44 a of lot legislators did not vote.

MMA bill passes the house

The mixed martial arts bill has passed the house 95 to 2. The senate is yet to go. I suspect that it can pass but I hear some members want to add an amendment that would put excess funds raised by the commission to go into college wrestling.

Flip, Flop, Farr

It is all starting to come out now. Farr illegally collected the Ipod tax before he found out he couldn't collect the tax but he still collected the tax until he can pass a bill allowing him to collect the tax. More good work by Farr.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Camper carry

Some hikers and campers are carrying for protection on the Appalachian trail.

Why? Just read on...

In January a 24-year-old woman, Meredith Emerson, was found bludgeoned to death on a North Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail, and the killer has been linked to other park slayings.

Since 1973, 10 killings and 10 rapes have been reported on or around the 2,176-mile-long Appalachian Trail, which comprises 40 percent national park land, 40 percent national forest land and 20 percent state land, said Brian King, spokesman for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

“People say, ‘I am going out into the woods. This couldn’t happen here,’ but yes, yes, it could,” Mr. King said. “It is not isolated from the society we live in.”

"Education last" comes to fruition

Before the tax increase on tobacco last year, Republicans warned "The money is not tied to education at all. It goes into the general fund." Republicans wanted the money to be tied to education. To have education funded first. Not last from the budget. We warned it would be "education last" any other way once the tax increase passed. But the governor went on a rampage of "We need the tax money for education!!"

Sure enough, another year later and what do we get? This news from the KNS


School funding: While Bredesen has pledged to cover the annual growth in the state's school funding formula, he hasn't said whether he will still dedicate an additional $87 million in cigarette tax money to schools. The Legislature last year approved a 42-cent tax increase on every pack of cigarettes, mostly to boost funding for schools. But the tax money isn't legally bound to education programs, so it might be one area where Bredesen could find extra dollars.

For this he is praised for his business like approach.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

"I didn't think people would find out"

Does any one remember this story from last Tuesday. It was talking about the wonders of pre K and the need for all 4 year olds to be in forced pre K. One parent went on in detail in the article...

But siblings not eligible for the preschool program are at a disadvantage, they said. "My 4-year-old is not going to be ready (for kindergarten)," parent Lisa Waraksa said.

"Children at risk need to be at the front of the line, but all 4-year-olds need to be in pre-K."


Now for the rest of the story............

Lisa Waraksa is actually an elementary school teacher. I guess she does not have any faith in her teaching ability since feels she can not even teach her own children. Of course if the state is paying her to teach twenty children at a time, then she thinks she can get the job done for all of them.

I wonder if the governor called the TEA directly to have the plants ready for questioning by the press.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

SJR127 a "silly amendment"?

Thursday, Bill Dunn, I think, tried a masterful move of political strategery. He tried to put SJR127 on a needed motion to adjourn resolution, as an amendment. That move only requires a majority of members approval for adoption. Not two thirds of the vote of members as has been tried unsuccessfully in the past.

Some "Republican" members feel bringing SJR127 to the floor as an amendment in hopes of passage was political grandstanding for a "silly amendment" and that we should trust the committee system that has worked so well for us in years past.

what say you? Are the lives of babies so important we should try to pass it in any legal way possible? or is it a "silly amendment" and we should wait until it is popular with two thirds of the house?



Hat tip: A.C.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Early sermon

Terry Frank got an early release of Jeremiah Wrongs sermon for this weekend.

It was killed

We got the amendment on but they killed the resolution all together. The senate could possibly send a new resolution back over with SJR127 already added but word is they wont do it.

IT IS ON!!!!!!!!!

Bill Dunn pulled a fast one! The house suspended the rules to pass a resolution the Democrats have to have. Bill jumped in and offered an amendment to the resolution to add in SJR127. They went crazy. We only need majority to add that Not two thirds.

It is in deliberations!!!!

Layoffs or no?

There will be layoffs and talks of impending layoffs.

Words is there will be big layoffs Many of the state employees feel this is a red haring used to make state employees feel good about not getting raises but keeping their jobs when new numbers come in. We will see.