Sunday, November 30, 2008

New level, New Devil

As I said in my last political post I think Republicans have a very strong shot of not only maintaining the majority but also expanding it. Is that a guarantee? No. While I do not see the Democrats taking majority from us (The issues and idea people are not over there) I do think Republicans can fumble the ball on their own.

How?

To look forward, we must look back. Over the years I have had the opportunity to speak with and listened to several Republicans who were part of the Reagan revolution as well as many people who have worked long and hard to put us in the majority. They all seem to offer similar advice on what to do and what not to do.

I hear a lot of "Don't let happen what happened to us", "Let Tennessee be a leader for the country to see why Republicans should lead again"

These are the top 9 things I gleaned....

1. Don't Compromising values for power, position and money. Campaigns and leadership, if done correctly, are hard work for regular people. In the legislature people don't necessarily offer bribes (As far as I know) but it is well known who gives money and the issues that are important to them. Some fear loosing the money or having that money used against them. They would rather compromise their principles then possibly offend some group and have to do the physical work of a campaign against the big money people. In the long run though, it will disenfranchise people from us and our message.

2. Family values does not means "involvement" with multiple people from different families outside your own. We won on family values. Republicans are held to a higher standard on social issue. When one of us stumbles it pulls down the entire team. Proof can be seen at the national level where one Republican and a male intern or bathroom stall incident pulls down the entire party at election time. Should someone screw up at the wrong time it could hurt us all.

3. Don't move from conservative to Republican. The warnings came from many people that saw it happen in congress. After six or eight years many of the conservatives retired from congress back into private life. What replaced them were not true believers but were more liberal or moderates who ran on the ticket as Republicans but served as liberal Democrats. They lost the strong conservative agenda that swept Republicans into power. It diluted the brand message. It just took time to be exposed and removed.

4. Don't get cocky and lazy. Do not stop doing the things that got us there. Hard work, door to door, going to events having listening tours, doing surveys, etc..


5. Not pushing what we promised. Many groups worked hard to help us get where we are. They expect and deserve to be rewarded for that hard work by our following through with what we promised them. Homeschooling groups, legal gun owners, right to life groups have great expectations.


6. Don't fall for the Bright lights, big city/Don't "Go Nashville". Big parties and pretty people laughing at all your bad jokes can be very addicting to some people. They like the people so they fear loosing the friendship if they cut their department. It is so addicting that many people forget to go home. They forget that the only people that matter aren't their "Friends" in Nashville. They are the real friends back in their home district. The people in Nashville don't knock on doors, put up signs or stand at the polls for us. The people at home do.

7. Watch out for Personal greed. Some legislators have gotten "rich" from their time and connections in Nashville. Sooner or later it gets exposed and looks terrible. Our goal should not be to get rich or make our immediate friends and family rich because we are suddenly in power. It is to remove barriers to success for everyone. To give all people back more of their money so they they have an equal opportunity to make a living or get rich. As momma said "If you didn't come with it and it wasn't clearly part of the deal then don't leave with it."

8. Compromising for compromise sake. Trying to be everything to everybody is a sure way to sooner or later mean nothing to anybody. When some reasonable compromise can be reached it is fine but don't give away the farm to buy some chickens.


9. Power as a multiplier They say three things can really multiply the negative aspects of people. Money, drugs and power.

Now that we are in power we must guard against letting the negative sides of our personal nature get the best of us. Obviously as conservatives versus Liberals our ideas are going to greatly diverge but if A Democrat comes up with an idea it should get a fair hearing and an honest vote.

Joke of the week (God vs. Science)

A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the
students, "Let me explain the problem science has with religion." The
atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks
one of his new students to stand.

"You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"

"Yes sir," the student says.

"So you believe in God?"

"Absolutely."

"Is God good?"

"Sure! God's good."

"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"

"Yes."

"Are you good or evil?"

"The Bible says I'm evil."

The professor grins knowingly. "Aha! The Bible!" He considers for a
moment. "Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over
here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would
you try?"

"Yes sir, I would."

"So you're good...!"

"I wouldn't say that."

"But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you
could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't."

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. "He doesn't,
does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though
he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you
answer that one?"

The student remains silent.

"No, you can't, can you?" the professor says. He takes a sip of water
from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.
"Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?"

"Er...yes," the student says.

"Is Satan good?"

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. "No."

"Then where does Satan come from?"

The student falters. "From God"

"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil
in this world?"

"Yes, sir."

"Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?"

"Yes."

"So who created evil?" The professor continued, "If God created
everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according
to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil."

Again, the student has no answer. "Is there sickness? Immorality?
Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this
world?"

The student squirms on his feet. "Yes."

"So who created them?"

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his
question. "Who created them?" There is still no answer. Suddenly the
lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is
mesmerized. "Tell me," he continues onto another student. "Do you
believe in Jesus Christ, son?"

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. "Yes, professor, I do."

The old man stops pacing. "Science says you have five senses you use
to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen
Jesus?"

"No sir. I've never seen Him."

"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"

"No, sir, I have not."

"Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your
Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or
God for that matter?"

"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."

"Yet you still believe in him?"

"Yes."

"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable
protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to
that, son?"

"Nothing," the student replies. "I only have my faith."

"Yes, faith," the professor repeats. "And that is the problem science
has with God. There is no evidence, only faith."

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of
His own. "Professor, is there such thing as heat?"

"Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."

"And is there such a thing as cold?"

"Yes, son, there's cold too."

"No sir, there isn't."

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The
room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. "You
can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat,
unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't
have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero,
which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no
such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the
lowest -458 degrees."

"Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or
transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or
transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat.
You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of
heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units
because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just
the absence of it."

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom,
sounding like a hammer.

"What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?"

"Yes," the professor replies without hesitation. "What is night if it
isn't darkness?"

"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the
absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright
light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have
nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use
to define the word."

"In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make
darkness darker, wouldn't you?"

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This
will be a good semester. "So what point are you making, young man?"

"Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to
start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed."

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. "Flawed? Can
you explain how?"

"You are working on the premise of duality," the student
explains. "You argue that there is life and then there's death; a
good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as
something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even
explain a thought."

"It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less
fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is
to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive
thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it."

"Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved
from a monkey?"

"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man,
yes, of course I do."

"Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes
where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

"Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and
cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you
not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a
preacher?"

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the
commotion has subsided.

"To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student,
let me give you an example of what I mean."

The student looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who
has ever seen the professor's brain?" The class breaks out into
laughter.

"Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt
the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one
appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of
empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have
no brain, with all due respect, sir."

"So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your
lectures, sir?"

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his
face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. "I guess
you'll have to take them on faith."

"Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with
life," the student continues. "Now, sir, is there such a thing as
evil?"

Now uncertain, the professor responds, "Of course, there is. We see
it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man.
It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world.
These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it
does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is
just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe
the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of
what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart.
It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness
that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The outlook for 2010 and beyond

I know the election just passed but many people are already gearing up and some libs are even predicting Republican losses or a Democrat return to power in Tennessee. To this I often wonder what some people are smoking.

So, As the official buzz killer/delusion ender of the Democrat party, without even getting into superior Republican ideas and such, I present my top 10 reasons Democrats wont take back majority any time soon.

#10 The National Economy The economy is in a slump. No matter who won the presidency, I and many others doubt a huge turn around in two years. If anything the economy will probably get worse before it gets better. Who will the national Dems blame it on? They just about have total control! They will now have to finally take responsibility for how things are moving (or not moving). Two years from now the economy and deficit will probably look worse then it will in four years (if Dems are lucky). Not a positive look for Democrats on the national scene. This wont be as much a factor against Republicans at the state level because a balanced budget is required in our state constitution.

#9 The President Even though he will not be on the ticket, Obama will still be president and the titular head of the Democrats. Lets just go with the assumption (even though I feel it is false) that racism was a huge factor in this election cycle. Those people are not suddenly going to change their prejudices and get excited about the president elect. If anything more people will have more reasons to hate him since he will have a record of doing things that some people don't like. Some will say he did too much, others too little. Either way its bad for Dems. Minority and youth vote turnout will also probably go back to its normal dismal pre Obama numbers because the blind Obama hysteria will be over.

#8 The top of the ticket What race will be the top of the state ticket? The governors race.
Democrats in this election may not have turned out as much because they weren't excited about their top of the ticket candidate but does anyone think that will change dramatically if Bill Frist is running at the top of the ticket vs. another relative unknown similar to what "Lamar!" had in this last election run? I think that is the likely scenario as any halfway credible Democrat knows the odds are slim to none if Frist is in and only marginally better if he is out. Down ticket Republican can tie their name to Frist. Who can Down ticket Dems tie to? Nobody. Phil Bredesen is a lame duck now (look at the election results, even in his own caucus) He will be way more lame in two years. Forget it.

#7 Weak state wide Democrats "No! No! No! We can win if Frist isn't in" say the Dems. Not likely. The proof is Ford Jr.. I think by most accounts Jr. was the Democrats best candidate. He was beaten by Bob Corker who, by most accounts (with the exception of fund raising ability) was not thought of as the top shelf candidate. The numbers don't get a lot better against a Marsha, Zack or Haslem who will be funded about as well as Corker was and probably would present better. Jr. Was a national novelty figure so he could raise money outside the state and kept it close. Obama's big win and Ford's loss have taken Jr.'s novelty and shine away. Jr. is a repeat run at best.

Lincoln "The great white hope" Davis, while less liberal then Ford was in his time in the house doesn't present as well as Jr. did (To be kind he has a way of putting his foot in his mouth) and he will have a hard time getting to the right of any Republican candidates or out raising them to the point needed to compete state wide. Lincoln Davis wont have big name ID going for him and he isn't personally rich so if he can't win big on charisma, issues, money or name ID. Where does he win?


#6 Tennessee trends Like it or not Tennessee is already a right leaning state and is trending more and more Republican. Want proof?

Al Gore.

Gore was well known and a big name already in Tennessee from riding on his fathers coattails. Even running for president he couldn't win statewide anymore in Tennessee and it's his supposed home state. John Kerry? Worse. Obama? Double Worse. Bredesen? He is the anomaly and probably wouldn't have won if he wasn't Rich, rich, rich.

#5 Down ticket Republicans have fresh new candidates who almost won some close races against older Democrat candidates this last election. Many of these older Democrat candidates may move on now being in the minority as well as facing probable tough rematches in two years. Some younger Democrats in office are also being rumored to be shifting to other local offices. Open seats are much easier to win by someone who has run before and most of the likely open races or rematches are in Republican leaning districts. I suspect we could pick up two or three more seats in 2010 (Possibly 4 or 5 if it all falls right).

#4 Money The flow of campaign donations is going to shift more to Republicans now that we are in power. We saw the shift start when Republicans took over the senate. I expect it will continue to flow for Republicans and dry up for Democrats since we have now gained control of the house as well as the senate. With a likely Republican governor (Especially one who has a lot of money and will want to keep a Republican legislature to push his agenda) I expect Republicans to have large fund raising leads at election time. Possible bigger gains or wider disparities will grow if some campaign laws are made equitable for both sides (as I expect them to become).

#3 Redistricting In 2010 if Republicans re draw the district lines (The majority party draws the lines) and are fair, most people think we will be at 55 to 60 seats. If we treat Dems as Republicans have been treated in the past it could get up to 65 seats or more held by Republicans.

#2 Fair distribution Expect Republicans to suddenly look more effective in passing legislation as well as getting their fair share of government resources. Did we suddenly get smarter? No. We just wont run into blockades, have our legislation stolen and hopefully distribution of assets won't be based solely on party affiliation anymore.

#1 Funny stuff Expect election laws changes to clean up some shady things that have been going on for years. Stopping Dead voters, Democrats no longer always being at the top of the ticket, Republican election commissions and mandatory ID should slow some of the questionable things that have traditionally been to the advantage of Democrats on election day.

Moving time

It now looks like the Dems are settling into their role as probable number two party. Many Democrat office holders are up scouting out what will probably be their new offices in the war memorial building. I always thought it was silly how much importance some legislators put on getting this office or that one. With a window or not, what it looks out on, who is the Secretary and who they share an office with.

Others who were supposed to be non partisan are looking like they wont even run for their old offices I guess all that campaigning they did (And it wasn't just showing up at events) exclusively for Democrats didn't work out so well.

Some question if Naifeh will even put himself up for speaker when it comes time. From what I hear, if he does it wont be close. I am sure he sees what way the wind is blowing and to not run for speaker might be a little more graceful way to exit then to run and get beat 60-39 (a projection by some insiders).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bredesen's first tax increase as part of "no new tax" budget

Got to love Lib talk. "No new taxes" means "Tax increase ahead". At least they have a consistent history of "No new taxes tax increases" Sorry Phil. Regan Farr gave you up on that little deception last year.

I find it also interesting that libs also always seem to talk about "Small businesses" and "Family owned businesses". What does this tax increase mostly hit? Small family owned businesses.

Speaking of Farr. It looks like he is longing for the days when he set up guards on the borders.

Democrats stick with winning formula

Naifeh, DeBerry, Odum, Turner all win re election to Democrat leadership. If it ain't broke don't .........Um, never mind.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Obama copies Corker

Phil Ayres uncovers the details on this possible scandal! Did U.S. Senator Bob Corker have the rights to "Yes we can!" before Obama?

I will let this vintage campaign commercial of Bob tell you all you need to know.

Joke of the week (God works)

God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael, the archangel, found him, resting on the seventh day.
He inquired, "Where have you been?"
God smiled deeply and proudly pointed downward through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made."
Archangel Michael looked puzzled, and said, "What is it?"
"It's a planet," replied God, "and I've put Life on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a place to test Balance."
"Balance?" inquired Michael, "I'm still confused."
God explained, pointing to various parts of earth. "For example, here will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while over there is going to be poor."
"Over here I've placed a area of mostly jungle, and over there is an area of mostly desert.
"Balance in all things," God continued, pointing to different countries.
"This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice."
The archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land area and said, "What's that one?"
"That's Washington State , a most glorious place. There are beautiful mountains, rivers and streams, lakes, forests, hills and plains.
"The people from Washington State are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent, and humorous, and they are going to travel the world.
"They will be extremely sociable, hardworking, high achieving, and they will be known throughout the world as diplomats, carriers of peace and producers of software."
Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, then asked, "But what about balance, God? You said there would be balance."
God smiled, "There is another Washington . Wait till you see the idiots I put there."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Untrustworthy attacks lazy

It is a cat fight over in the state Democrat party as current Democrat majority leader Rep. Gary Odom (Who was attacked yesterday as untrustworthy by the governor) takes a swipe back at the Democrat governor for being lazy.

A unified bunch over there.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Tennessee are getting national attention for being on message, beating back the liberals and thus winning seats.

From The Wall Street Journal....

"Republican Party officials say they didn't shy from their bedrock opposition to abortion or support for expanding gun rights and lower taxes. Instead, they put local Democratic candidates on the defensive by aligning them with Mr. Obama, whose stances on such issues are perceived as more liberal than opinions held by a majority of Tennessee voters.

One popular tactic was a bumper sticker hammering congressional Democrats, as well as Mr. Obama, for initially opposing offshore drilling this summer when gasoline prices hit record highs. Sales of the bumper sticker, which says "YOUR WALLET: The only place Democrats want to drill," raised roughly $10,000 for the state Republican party.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Apollo Creed, I must break you!

When Chuck Norris has nightmares, he sees me. To Mickey Mouse, I am your trap. Yoda, My force is stronger. Phil Fulmer I think you should think about winning somewhere else. Darth Vader, I am your daddy. Flavor flav, not this time. Hulk Hogan, No Hulkamania running wild here. Hillary Clinton, Get used to loseing.

Don't we all?

The headline says it all. Hard to believe someone could have trust issues with the Democrats in power. So many jokes, so little time.

I thought only Republicans did wedge issues?

As I am sure you have read in the paper and elsewhere Libs are screaming "Republicans, Don't push any social issues!" or "Republicans will push wedge issues now that they are in control"

Why are they wedge issues now? Is this a social wedge issue?

Where are or where were the editorial pages on Obamas pledge to NARAL or GLADD to do by executive order what he could no pass otherwise? Moves, positions and pledges to overturn such things as Obamas opposition to the Hyde Amendment, the defence of marriage act, the Mexico City Policy (against federal funding of abortion abroad), limits to state and federal funding of abortion, parental consent and notification laws, conscience protections, and the funding of alternatives to embryo-destructive research. They ask us to look past his support for Roe v. Wade, the Freedom of Choice Act, partial-birth abortion, and human cloning and embryo-killing.

What, they are not social wedge issues when the other side pushes their agenda? Will they be silent as Tennessee Republicans push SJR127 for neutrality in our state constitution on abortion? or will the headline be....

"Republicans continue to push radical social agenda"?

I think you can imagine what it will be. If we are going to be the only side painted with the "Radical" brush, even when we only want neutrality, you have to wonder why we should hold back on the harder issues. We are going to be painted as radicals no matter what.

In for a penny, in for a pound.

Doctor Doom looks good now



Schiff was a fan of Reaganomics and was an advisor to Ron Paul. He Fears Obamas ideas of excess regulation.

I swear, I didnt start it!!!

This is just too funny As I read through what my friends are doing on facebook this morning I hit this and it sends me into wild laughter. Chuck Norris watch out!!! What can I say? Never argue with a guy who wears a Rambo T shirt.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The passing of Sunny Day

Sunny Day, good friend of conservatives around the Knoxville, Anderson, pigeon Forge area, passed on to the great reward after a sudden stroke yesterday. Sunny lived life about as fully as you possibly could. He was as passionate about conservative politics as you could be and wasn't afraid to work. He often would laugh and cut up with the best of them but he would cuss a friend as much as a foe if he thought they were were acting like a worm. Sunny had a heart of gold for all people and his jolly demeanor will be missed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Make that 15%

The governor now is saying some departments may have to cut 15% out of their budget. Some departments fear this may eat into their travel account!!!

Oh, the horror!! The horror!

Possibly we could cut legislator travel down to one paid trip per year and then make it only in country. I know this is really going to be a hardship for Lois Deberry and her government paid world tour, but tough times call for tough measures. That second trip to Africa, Germany, Lithuania and China at government ex pence may just have to wait.

Possibly she could hitch a ride with Phil or one of his buddies as they jet around on one of the 5 (Yes, thats right. FIVE) planes the state has.

I wonder if any of the fat raises that Phil gave to his immediate staff or the big payday that our lottery chief gets are on the chopping block.

Something tells me no.

Of course now the governor is ready to start deficit spending on bridge work (probably mostly in east Tennessee) that has been being put off for years. "Why was it put off for years?" you may ask. A few simple reasons, Most TDOT money went to middle and West Tennessee Democrat districts to keep their legislators happy. What money was dedicated to go to roads and bridge repair has also been raided over the years to prop up other new government programs. Now it is time to pay the piper. The Chickens have come home to roost. The governor says it would be a "One time deal" but I am sure you all know how good government is at keeping its promises to scale back spending once its has found a new revenue source. Like a junkie that just needs one more hit before they quit.

Possibly Phil could hold a big function at the new 20 million dollar party bunker for all his rich friends and ask them to pony up for the state.

No?

I guess the party is over and guess who has to come in, pay the bill and clean the mess?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Great links

Ben Cunningham has gotten together links to all the big newspaper and TV markets. It is an awesome resource. You can find them under "The Paper bomb" for the newspaper links and "The video bomb" for the TV links in the lower section of my links column.

But can we save the party bunker?

It is all becoming more clear now. Across the board cuts are not really across the board. Phil wants to keep Pre K as a sacred cow as well as k-12 education. How bout higher ed? Police and Fire protection? not so much.

It is going to be tough to say pre K has been a success and say it needs as much or more funding when the governors own study said it was a flop. How bout we go back to the original plan for Pre K. Make its budget part of the lottery budget.

I like k-12 as much as the next guy but is Phil saying their is no room to cut in administration of k-12? How bout no more cuts in funding that actually goes to the classroom and leave the rest on the table? Last I checked about 40% of education spending went to administration. No room to trim that even a little?

Does that 20 million spent on the party bunker still look like a good investment?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Why social issues are winners

David Fowler does a great piece on what he feels should be the early focus of the new Republican leadership as well as how and why Democrats should join in.

The baby daddy revenge

Could the flair up between Rep. Rob Briley and myself over the baby daddy bill been one of the final nails in the coffin for Democrats?

Clint Brewer seems to think it is a strong possibility.

Democrats love the crying game

This is getting repetitive. Democrats continue to complain about their losses. Did Dems do dirty, misleading mailers? You bet. In fact, I think their stuff was more hard hitting misleading and ruthless then then anything we put out. Do you hear anything from those Republicans who lost close races? No, they sucked it up and moved on. Only Democrats are now playing the crying game.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Joke of the week (New Democrat offices)

There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth that Republicans wont be fair to democrats after the way we have been treated for decades. I don't think that is a fair assessment. Why just last week I was suggesting to leadership my ideas for the new Democrat offices:

First, A nice scenic tram ride.

Follow the path.
Hold the railing with both hands when not bringing coffee to a legislator.

Follow the lobbyist in front of you.

Be careful when passing people moving in the other direction.


An easy little walk...

Up a few steps.


Then bang, your there! The luxurious new offices for 49 members and staff. What a view!


How could they say we aren't being fair.

Easy money

You keep hearing about the terrible deficit our state is in. $500 to $800 million by most accounts. Some sources say it could be over a billion when it is all said and done. Some are spinning this into a near disaster. Rumors and threats of 10% cuts across the board by the governor are coming out almost daily.

Lets look at the real picture and some facts shall we?

Across the board?

Last years budget was about 28 billion dollars. 10% of that 2.8 billion dollars. way more then we need to cut. That is of course unless in reality you plan on expanding other programs and sparing some programs from cuts. Making it not truly across the board.

Reserves

Tennessee has other money in reserves it could use if it is truly necessary without even making cuts. Not only the rainy day fund but reserve funds of many departments. Tenncare is just one department. It has money left over from past over budgeting or additional unforeseen seen savings that happen throughout the year. How much money are we talking about? $500 million just in Tenncare reserves. That is just one of many departments with huge unused reserve funds.

Is it really a cut?

Last year our budget was about 28 billion dollars. This year it could be all of that if not even a little more. Is it then really still a cut then or is it just a cut of expected growth? Can you say continuation budget?

Pork report

Where should we cut anyway? I think we could easily kick off the cutting by making it so Drew Johnson and the TCPR's "Pork Report" could legibly be reproduced on the back of a matchbook cover. That is just a warm up. The pork in Tennessee government is closer to a telephone book in size. Lets get out the knife.....No, make that a machete......No, lets make it an ax.

Stopping the handouts

It is crazy that as the governor was running around the state telling of the "Dire financial straights" that our state was in at election time. He was also busy handing out huge grant checks to groups and departments in swing Democrat districts. We need to end this practice no matter who is governor or in power next. All grants should be approved by a vote of the body, put into a reserve fund or returned to the taxpayer since we obviously had an over collection. Buying votes in tough times is not a way of acting financially responsible.

As a part of history

The budget last year was about 28 billion dollars. Six years ago when Phil Bredesen took office the budget was 19 billion. Has their been 30% inflation in just the last 6 years? Bill Hobbs and Susan Lynn have done an excellent job exposing the Copeland cap fraud our governor has used to push his agenda so I wont get into it. Still, If you can't cut a few hundred mill and make ends meat from a budget that has grown that big, that fast, I have to wonder if you truly have been paying attention or deserve to be down here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Was race the case?

One commenter (David Garrett Jr.) got me thinking about race and racism in our last elections.

I admit, yes, there are pockets of all sorts of people and yes there is still racism in America. In fact I read how over 95% of one race voted for one candidate of a similar race in this last election. I doubt it is possible that all the votes were based on a similar ideology as much as they were on the candidate's race. Even in Tennessee the 95% number held true. You can guess the candidate and the race if you want but just a hint, it wasn't whites who had voted for Vaughn multiple times in the past but suddenly turned racist and voted against him because he happens to be black.

In fact, that political race was quite close. Closer then the Republican/Democrat makeup in that district. Closer then the racial breakdown of the district. What probably turned the Shipley/Vaughn race more then anything else was the local paper did a multi part pro/con piece about both the candidates and where they stood on important state issues before the election. Possibly you saw some of them that I highlighted in this blog.

Race was not one of the issues.

Either way, those races are over now. Racism is not and was not as big an issue as some people make it out to be or even would like it to be. People can work, achieve and do (or not do), about whatever they want, regardless of their race or place of birth. If anything, this last presidential election proved that for both sides.

I think for some people, racism has become an all too easy excuse for poor results, inactivity and a crutch for failure. It has become a simple tool used by some people to get a disproportionate share of an asset that all should have equal access to or it is used to lower a standards that all should be equally held to. The bigger problem we face now, as a state and a nation, is not racism. It is the soft bigotry of low expectations that cripples our best and brightest from fully reaching their true potential, no matter their race.

Looking at the past election, both sides could easily play the race card now. As we look to the future though, I think most reasonable people can clearly see it is time to move forward, past that. Free of the chains that held us apart. Outside of the walls that imprisoned our best efforts. Now, finally, we can get free of those backwards barriers that limited us to old stereotypical thinking, free of the division and exclusive bureaucracies that have kept us down and separate as long as it has.

The times have clearly changed. The future can start now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blackbirds or Vultures?

A lot has been made about this mail piece. I say let your eyes be the judge. You can double click the photos to see up close what what kinds of birds they are and what the mail piece says. I am no bird specialist but if I were to guess I would say the birds on the front side sure look a lot like vultures.

On other blogs the back is left small (so you can not read it?). If it is calling attention to race and is racist then I wonder what this piece is supposedly saying about Nancy Pelosi? That she is somehow a black person? I don't think anyone thinks that.

Nathan was a nice guy but the vote history looks right and I just don't see the racism. This looks to me like another one of those "Why are the green olives in a jar, but the black olives are in a can?" type arguments.

Can you say sour grapes? There seems to be a lot of that going around lately.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Going red

Yes, Democrat dreams do come true

From Rex in the city

From the article.....

Democratic lawmakers stumbled through the halls of Legislative Plaza in utter shock Tuesday night — and pretty much for the rest of the week — after losing the State House to the Republicans for the first time since Reconstruction.

Some of the mumbling and chatter was hilarious.....

One Democrat said: “Can you believe it. Chairman Stacey Campfield.”


Awww, I never knew you cared so much. Don't worry. Now all your dreams can come true!

I am more of an "Incredible Hulk" man myself

The things you learn about people. Mumps is a comic book collector.. Interesting. I have a huge collection myself that I started as a child. Many are older (silver age) stuff but I have some that go way back. I am not sure if I ever put them on my disclosure sheets or not. I guess I will have to keep an eye on that in the future.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's goin on

Lots of people are calling and asking what is going on at the capitol. I have been up there a few times this last week and it is still sort of crazy.

Leadership had us all come up to sign a pledge that we would vote for a Republican. All 50 of us signed. Several more conservative Democrats are supposedly calling to join the team in the expectation that a more fair hearing will be now given on important issues.

Lots of people are making announcements that they are running for this position or that or would like this position or that. Leadership is keeping a pretty tight lip as to who will go where and get what, but I think most people know how it will all shake out in the end (Just about). No, I am not going to say who will be where, but I don't think it will be hard to guess.

Lots of people have been asking what we plan on doing as far as goals go this year. Unfortunately, I have been told to stay Quiet until the first vote is made. Yes, it is killing me. I think it is safe to say that not much that will cost much money is going to move that far. I expect that leaves 140 years of lost freedom and lack of personal responsibility issues to sort out.

Will it be all that conservative?? I would like to think we will be as conservative as the other side has been liberal or allowed liberalism take control of our state.

C.R.s

I will be speaking to the UTK College Republicans tonight at 7:30 at the U.C.

Thank you vets

Veterans Day - Today we are reminded to honor those that serve our country. We
owe the freedoms we enjoy today to the men and women that have served us in the
past, and serve us now. Let us also remember Charles Burchett, father of State
Senator Tim Burchett, who died Sunday. He served as a Marine in World War II. Services will be held at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church tonight at 6:00

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Winning, and why we really won.

It is all over the place. People are asking why and how Republicans won in Tennessee so big. Was it McCain? The "Black factor"? Obamas liberalism? Our candidates? Democrat candidates? The conservative message? Phil Bredesens inactivity? The money? Gray Sasser?

Having campaigned door to door all over the state to help most of the candidates that won I think I have a pretty good idea of what happened, and why, based on responses at those doors.

Lets go through the factors one by one.

McCain? Not much to no issue. Most people I talked to didn't think much of him but thought he was better then the alternative. Many people said they were more excited about Palin.

The "Black factor"? AHHH! the race card. Democrats favorite tool. It makes me laugh as Democrats keep dropping it over and over calling Tennessee Republicans "A bunch of backwards dumb, racist" Lets see, Ford jr. got more republican crossovers when he repackaged himself as a conservative (and almost won) against moderate Bob Corker. Were the same people racist and dumb then?

How bout when we had two Democrat US senators and the house and senate was all Democrat? Or when they elected Phil Bredesen? Were these same people dumb then?

If anything it was weak Democrat turnout/ Democrat crossovers against their own candidate (some probably due to race) rather then an extra strong "Racist Republican" turnout. People are sick of the race card. They don't see it anymore. The more they use it the less it works and Democrats have used it ad nauseum, to the point people are starting to get mad instead of intimidated whenever it is dropped. They want real issues and ideas not excuses. Some black people are even getting sick of hearing the excuse so keep it up!

Another factor that is not mentioned much is gerrymandering and Democrat concentration. Democrats have drawn the lines so in their favor and their numbers are so concentrated in a few strongholds that when their base turns out it is only in a few places and doesn't effect the rural areas.

Obamas liberalism? Yes, in some part, but I got a lot of feedback on the religious issue as well. More then I would have thought. The Muslim factor as well as many people perception that he was the Antichrist was mentioned repeatedly. The blind worship and screaming adoration reminded many of early Hitler films. I also heard many people say how they did not think he was qualified to run based on his questionable place of birth.

Our candidates? They were replacing older stale candidates and the number of open seats played in our favor. We had some good candidates. Candidates who did what they needed to do. They got out and worked. If you look at Republicans who won most were younger, energetic and conservative. Our candidates weren't afraid to go after Dems on the issues. That credit goes to our state party and Robin Smith for good candidate recruitment and training.

Democrat candidates? I must say most weren't that good. Most had some skeletons as far as terrible credit histories with bankruptcy, fraud, criminal background, disastrous personal lives that were already well known around town without Republican putting out anything on them. If they had been in office, they had a history of raising unpopular taxes and if they talked conservative most people just did not believe them. They were vague on what they wanted to do or how specifically they were going to do it. I guess part of that can be laid at the foot of Gray Sasser and the Democrat party for terrible candidate recruitment and lack of message. To their credit I thought the Democrats had better media presentation. It was more creative and slicker in many ways. We used similar attacks but with weaker results. They won the media award.

The conservative message? What can I say, it played and played strong. We had specific goals and challenges that Democrats have failed to step up on. The message was stronger then the messenger in many cases.

Phil Bredesens inactivity? As the titular head of the Democrats he was a mixed bag. He dogged his own presidential candidate for being out of touch with mainstream America. It was as true, conservative Tennessee knew it, but Phil did not replace himself as a rally point for Democrats to get behind as he could have. He was lazy when it came time to really work for candidates, he gave little to no money. He did a few personal appearances and quickly went back to the bunker to cry about not being picked as VP only reappearing late in races to point out how he and the Democrats had spent us into a half a billion dollar deficit in Tennessee. Thanks for the help Phil!

Conversely Bob Corker, Bill Frist, Lamar! and even Mike Huckabee worked for and gave money to our local candidates. Although not super popular after the bailout they still came around and helped. Our state leadership also came around and did rallies/fundraisers for our people. The conservatives came in to work doors, at the polls and guide the candidates, we also had good campaign managers who knew what they were doing for a change. In the past we had people who just got out of school and had little to no experience in campaigns except possibly typing on a computer about politics, this time they were a little older, wiser and willing to work.

The money factor? It mattered to a point. Our people invested where we needed to, when we needed to. It was the first time spending was close. The final numbers have yet to come in but we may have actually outspent Democrats for once.

Issues, a good ticket, money and work all go hand in hand. They are like links on a chain. Issues are important. You can't beat a message with no message. We had a good ticket with a unified message, Money is important. You can not win hearts if they don't know your message. Work is important, You can not win on your own or if you wont work to solidify and help sell your message.

This time around we had all the links holding strong.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dance time

Isn't it funny how the media wants Republicans to be moderate and work in a bipartisan manner now that we have control. Where were these stories when Democrats had control in the state house? Where are the stories about bipartisanship with Democrats reaching across to conservatives now that they have control at the national level?

When we were climbing the ladder, conservative were told to keep working hard, keep fighting, stay loyal, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, together we will reach it and share in the fruits of success. Now that we are here and the hard painful work has been done. I hope we don't fall into the empty trap of rewarding moderation and capitulation to a greater extent then we reward those who stayed strong and kept the faith.

After all, it was the conservative principles and hard work that got us here.

Mom always said "When you go to a party you will see and get many attractive offers and opportunities. Be polite, gracious and friendly with all. But remember, you are expected to dance and leave with the person who brought you"

Conservatives are ready to dance.

Going through the change

I would not be surprised if you see one or more of the big names in old left hang it up before or just after session starts. The partying, liquor and money are no longer going to flow like it has in the past and work without power and prestige does not suit them.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Like the Pointer sisters

I am so excited. I had some hopes for this year in picking up some seats. I figured I better not say anything because two years ago I predicted we would gain two seats in the house and it was a wash. I hoped in the senate to pick up two seats. Delores Gresham (Delores sat right in front of me in the legislature and she was a good friend) and Ken Yeager I knocked doors for Ken and donated to his campaign. The Mike Faulk race who knew.

This year I had heard we were looking hopeful in three house seats Terry Lynn Weaver, Vance Dennis and Joe Carr. We were down a little in two, Chad Faulkner in William Bairds old seat and Chris Criders old seat. Tom Dubois was supposed to be OK and we were so so in another few races. The Nathan Vaughn and bob Bibb races were possible but not likely.

I hoped.

"Maybe we can pick up the election commission" I thought. Wow. That would be a big help. We might get rid of some of the dead voters and fraud. nice. "Who knows?" I thought. Maybe we have a chance for the house but everything will have to fall our way. I gave majority a 20% to 25% chance of happening.

The last few weeks I know myself and a bunch of the hard cores have been crisscrossing the state working to help Republican candidates. The last few days have been a real blurr. Terri Lynn Weaver and I were up until 3AM doing a last second radio spot on Sunday night to push some issues for her. Three hours later at 6 AM I was up and off to help Vance Dennis and Delores Grisham knock doors in Savanna Tennessee and then Drove back to Knoxville in the wee hours to work the polls on election day on Tuesday. I was running on about 6 hours sleep for the last few days.

As results rolled in I started to hope.

I had worked a bunch on Terri Lynn Weavers race and knew early she was out front. Good.

Scott Gilmer (The campaign manager for Vance Dennis) sent me a text early letting me know his race was looking good and Delores looked good as well. Nice. I had been worried about Delores. Her primary was close, close ,close and I was worried about her. I know she is a great person but many times after a tough primary it is difficult to pull the troops back together to win the general.

"We might pick up 2 in the house." I thought. For some reason I forgot about Joe Carr. I knocked doors for Joe and thought he would win but I guess I just got tired and forgot to get his results.

Then the shakeups started to happen. We lost the Tom Dubois race and I thought that would be the end of it. Two seat gain at best. We had some other question marks to worry about as well. The Faulkner race was close. I had heard he was a real hard worker who was doing everything that was asked of him so I liked his chances to hold on to the seat. Still, Who knows. I didn't know who was running the Crider race but heard he was going good. He held on to win as well. Great! The senate was looking good, Yager was winning but it was close. Real close.

Then the shake up race results started to come in. Williams was loosing to Faulk. Many people thought we might loose that one. Democrat Nathan Vaugn was loosing to Republican Tony Shipley. Most people thought that one was "Possible but not probable" for us. I heard they both got close right at the end. Wow! Who knows? maybe we can get a Democrat crossover or two and do this.

Then the real shocker hit. Democrat Bob Bibb lost to Republican Josh Evans. When we beat Bibb I knew it was over but I didn't believe it. I had to count it over and over. 50? Yes, it equals 50.

50? Really? No. There must be a mistake. 50? I called Mumpower and he said it looked good. 50? Could the torcher be over? 50? is that 50? Something will change. I must have forgotten some race. 50?! They will steal one late somewhere.50? 50? 50!

The more I called the more I hoped 50!, 50!,50! I have been literally dreaming about this for years. 50? We have talked about it in small groups in the legislature but it just looked so far off. 50? Maybe in 4 years we all thought. 50? More calls. 50?

It starts to settle in. Yes. 50! We have it. If we stick together, majority, leadership, change. I am exhausted but I can't sleep. The hard cores were all calling each other. 50! We made it! We are there! We were all so happy we were just giggling, talking about all the bills we are going to finally pass. 50! I didn't know to laugh or cry I was so happy. I probably did both. 50!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Ford gets paid

Got to love our judges (otherwise you would probably want to kill them). With decisions like this one. I guess we can thank the judicial selection committee for this winner.

Remember when you vote. It matters who leads.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Yagerbomb

Ken Yager for state senate will be doing a door to door blitz today at 9:30. Interested people should meet at...

103 E Race St

Kingston, TN 37763

Around 9:00

Could be fun

Feel free to add your own "Why did the chicken cross the road" quote in the comments It could be Political, blog, philosophical or otherwise. I have gotten a few calls, and Email suggestions already. Special prize for top entry.

Here are a few more...

For A.C. Kleinhider.... Because the chicken heard an Obama rally was coming up.
For Rep.Vince Dean.....Because the chicken heard they had a free goatee trimmers on the other side.
For Terry Frank... It was the yellow cake.
For Bill Hobbs....Because the chicken now gets paid to cross the road he always wanted to cross anyway.
For Rep. Brian Kelsey.... Because he didn't want to end up in an envelope like the pig did.
For Drew Johnson.... He heard there were Discounts on frosted hair tips on other side./ To start "The chicken report"..
For Rep. Frank Buck....Because that is what an ethical chicken would do.
For Phil Bredesen.....To get free pre K, so they can go to a trailer in high school that they still wont graduate from.
For Rep. Matthew Hill.... Did you see the size of the giant chicken he has to compete with?
For Ben Cunningham.... To get away from government.
For Rep. Matt Hawk....For hair extensions.
For Rep Jimmy Matlock.... "Forget the chicken! Did you see the tires on that car that nearly hit him? They were almost bald!"
For Rep. Mike Bell....To stay completely clear of any fire hose.
For Sen. Rosalin Kurita.... To write in Kurita!
For David Oatney....Because it was the quickest way to get to White pine.
For Sen. Lamar Alexander...To see what all the "!" was about.
For Tom Humphrys....To see both sides clearly the chicken must go to both sides.
For Rep. Judd Matheny...."No chicken would make it across with me. One shot. Chicken dinner"
Sen. Tim Burchett....I tried to swerve. Really!