Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Does he remember "Lipstick"

Jimmy Naifeh wants to get involved in National Republican party political races. I guess he hasn't done enough for the Tennessee Democrats.

From the KNS article...

"I could not just sit back and let something like this occur and no one say anything about it," said Naifeh, adding that he intends to fight to maintain his seat. "These things need to be brought to the forefront no matter who's saying them."


I laugh at the thought that Naifeh is coming out against harsh words in a political campaign. OK so he has had a change of heart, I am sure Naifeh is now going to speak out against Obamas sexest "Lipstick on a pig" comment or Kerrys ageism "McCain wears depends" comments too, Maybe Naifeh just didnt like the word "Negro" being used. He can start with condemnation of the "United Negro College fund" and anyone who uses the name. I mean "These things need to be brought to the forefront no matter who's saying them." Right?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vanity plates

If I had one it would probably be worth more then my car. WSMV Has the story.

Good for the goose but....

Got to love local school board politics. On the issue of allowing people the right to elect school board superintendents. Most of the local school board members are against it. They say the school board should appoint the chairman since they have to work so closely with them.

But the money quote comes toward the end of the of the times article when a county commissioner then makes a good connection. If that is true then county commissioners should be able to appoint school board members as well since the county commission has to work so closely with school board. What does the current school board chair think of that idea....

From the Chattanooga times free press article.....


The school board needs to work closely with the County Commission, said school board Chairman Kenny Smith, but should remain an independent body.

“If each commissioner picked their school board member, I don’t see a great need for the school board,” he said. “A board member’s thinking is a lot more independent because we’re not appointed.”

Thursday, December 25, 2008

On this day.......

A king was born. Of common parents, with a young unwed mother of less then noble means in a place that many said was not fit for animals. He grew up with limited formal education and worked in the trades most of his life. He lived but 33 years and was well known and outspoken in only 3 of those years......Yet he changed the world for the better by his sacrifice and willingness to help other at his own expense.

Today we celebrate his birth and rejoice at the gift he has given us.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pajama TV

About a week ago I got a great opportunity to go on Pajama TV and be interviewed by Dr. Helen Smith. We talked about the baby daddy bill. You can view the interview here or go to her blog here It was a very interesting experience. Helen enjoys talking social issues, their effects on society and politics. We touch on the "baby daddy" bill, shared parenting, fathers rights and slid on over to the life issue a little in our interview. It was an interesting argument she made and I would have loved to jump all over it but I knew time was limited so I cut my argument a little short. It was a great time and she is very sharp. Right after Dr. Helen and I were on, her husband the Insapundit, Glenn Reynolds and Mechelle Malkin interviewed Michael Steele. Dr Helen and her husband were kind enough to let me stick around and watch the interview live. It was a great time. I could have stuck around a little longer and watched them interview Joe the plumber but I was a little under the weather so I called it after Michael Steele.

Could it be

A Christmas miricle?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Frist may not run?

I know Frist has never really committed on being governor but I think most people think he is in and it is a done deal. A few days ago I got the first input from a "Political insider" who did not think he would actually run.

I must admit I was sort of shocked when this person said it because I considered them one of the people more likely to know or have a working relationship with Sen Frist. When they said they didn't think he would run I was sort of curious and asked why they thought it. Their comments were along the line of...

"Oh, I don't know anything for sure. He may run. If he does, he will win no doubt. I just don't see why he would want it all that much. He sure doesn't need it. He has been down that road before. He has already climbed the big mountains so to speak. He can go back to being a doctor, running a health care company or do something else he enjoys. Why would he want to be governor with the mess this governor is going to leave the state in. Just a lot of work and no great reward for him unless he wants to take another run at president."

We will see. It seems like a lot of other people who want to run are thinking/hoping that same thing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

JOKE OF THE WEEK (My sister edition)



Hat tip: Ken Hodge

A home and home away from home game

Today the Titans play the Steelers for home field advantage in the playoffs as well as some serious bragging rights. It should be a good game.

With the recent partial purchase of the Steelers by Knoxville native Jimmy Haslem couldn't this still really be looked at as a home away from game for the Steelers?

Credit to the governor

Channel 4 in Nashville has a story on possible changes needed to state contracts to actually lay some state employees off. Phil is moving to cut a lot of the hoops he has to to jump through to cut positions and lay off some non necessary employees. A lot of bureaucracy has been built up around state employees for what is supposed to be a right to work state (A state that employers can hire or fire at about any time for about any reason).

I give the governor credit. It is good to see him taking steps to be ready to trim some fat, to make the changes necessary to get the result the state needs for the greater good. I think it is a smart and reasonable move on his part. He will now be more able to make the moves necessary to quickly and painlessly as possible get the desired result. People are holding him accountable for the important result of the budget so I think this is a more than reasonable that he has the ability to present changes like this with limited interference.

It is funny how the governors situation is similar to another important situation.

A situation where bureaucracy has grown unwieldy. Where managers are being held accountable for failing results, but have limited ability to make changes. If Phil looked he would see that to give other people the ability to manage their own employees and budgets, to hire good leaders and to get rid of bad ones if they are to be held accountable for their results would only be reasonable, fair and sensible. I think if The governor were to look at the situation he would see it too is in ripe need of CHANGE!

The situation I am talking about is the education of the states children.

Principles being able to remove bad teachers (who are negatively effecting our states children) by ending teacher tenure is necessary if we are to hold schools and school systems accountable. How can we expect to hold anyone responsible for performance if hey do not have reasonable ability to hire and fire the good and bad performers, to make changes where it is needed for a desired important result? To lay the blame completely at the feet of an employer who has limited ability to make change is not reasonable.

The current system is failing. Phil wants to be empowered to make change. He should have it. It is necessary for the governor to be able to take steps of change since we are holding him accountable. If we are to hold local schools accountable they too must be able to make the steps of change.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The 12 days of Christmas

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me.
What in the world do leaping lords, French hens,
swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out
of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?
This week, I found out.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning
plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each
element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.


-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness,
Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol...so pass it on if you wish.'

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lemons to lemonade

I am not going to get into the social issues in this post as much but there are some interesting possible scenarios that would really put Republicans up over the top going into an election year. Some of those things depend on the economy but one key factor that could help Tennessee Republicans in a big way (Again) is Barry Obama and the Democrats at the national level.

As many of you may have read, deep cuts are in our states economic future. 15-20% across the board are looking like the norm for most everyone in state government. Here is how it could all shake out....Or not.

Lets just say all the groups come in with the cuts asked of them. OK. Now what. Pre K is some how currently getting a complete pass. By the governors own study it has proven to be a failure. I would be shocked if higher ed does not put up a fight and make them share in some of the cuts. I have heard some people say pre K needs to be funded with lottery money totally unless we have a surplus. Guess what. No surplus. It can be cut. Now lets say we do that. We have a little extra money from the pre K cuts. Possibly higher ed gets a chunk of that money back if they fight for it or at least they may not have to go to 20%.

Senate education chair Jamie Woodson could probably make it happen if she wanted to. She has a lot of ties to UT Knoxville who hold her up as a solid supporter but she would have to step on some toes with her TEA friends who support Pre K to do it. That could be interesting.

Lets just say that works itself out. Budget is balanced or pretty close to it. Maybe Even a little surplus. In steps Obama and the deficit spending Washington Democrats. They pass his huge spending program/state bailout. The state suddenly get a windfall of (some estimate) $400 million. That puts the state at least $400 mill in the plus late in the year. Possibly even as session gets close to end. Phil will want to re expand programs or go on a spending spree but the votes may be a little tougher to get this time. By already having a budget, with no educatin cuts, it is proven it can be done and the government does not truly need to be as big as it is. Many Republicans have supported the idea of when their is a sudden surplus when the legislature is out of session that instead of giving it to the governor to do campaign road projects with that it should go into a fund to be voted on by the legislature or to remove taxes.

We could go on a spending spree as we have in years past or we could make a strong statement that a new day has truly come to Nashville. What kind of statement could we make with $400 million that would help every single Tennessean?

Imagine a balanced budget, with no cuts to K-12 education (thanks to education first), Higher ed not curt as bad as first expected (thanks to Woodson) smaller government (thanks to the budget cuts) and no sales tax on food in a down economy (thanks to an influx of cash late). That kind of shift in government would probably re elect every Republican as well as add a few more, would bring positive national attention to the state, could set a strong example for National Republicans to rebuild the Republican brand and and would be huge coming into an election year.

Thanks Barry!

What property rights?

The Knoxville city council has decided in its infinite wisdom to limit what you can do on your own property Thank you Councilman Steve Hall for being the lone voice against this infringement on personal freedom.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas song

Sit down coach!

George Korda does a great article on the future and final two years of the governor.

It put me in mind of an old story of a fancy basketball coach in a tough game. As the game wore on his weak game plan fell apart and his team fell farther and farther behind. As it got deep into the fourth quarter and the game was well lost the coach started to act all crazy. Yelling and screaming at the refs and even his own players. He was looking for a way to get thrown out of the game so as not to be a part of the loss.

Finally a fan stood up and yelled "Sit down coach! You aren't getting out of watching this mess that easy."

That is how I see Phil in the next two years. Korda brought it home.

Anchor baby story

I wonder when the story about the legal family who cant find work because an illegal alien does his job for less is coming out. Of course no comments are allowed for this KNS story. Only a place to give more money so they can stay longer.

Parks change rule State needs to change law

The national parks have changed the rule about allowing legally permitted gun owners to protect themselves while in state parks. Tennessee needs to follow suit with state parks to get it all legal. This will be the year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Joke of the week (dead horse edition)

Young Chuck moved to Tennessee and bought a horse from a farmer for $100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the horse the next day. The next Day he drove up and said, "Sorry, Son, but I have some bad news, The horse died."
Chuck replied, "Well, then just give me my money back."
The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."
Chuck said, "Ok, then, just bring me the dead horse."
The farmer asked, "What ya gonna do with him?"
Chuck said, "I'm going to raffle him off."
The farmer said, "You can't raffle off a dead horse!"
Chuck said, "Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead."
A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, "What happened With that dead horse?"
Chuck said, "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars a Piece and made a net profit of $898.00."
The farmer said, "Didn't anyone complain?"
Chuck said, "Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back."
Chuck grew up and now works for the Tennessee Lottery.

Aaaaay! The Fonce aint cool!



This article give about as good a breakdown on what the FONCE tax increase is as I have read. Most of the time when you talk about FONCES with people, eyes glaze over in about 6 seconds, but I expect it to be a more interesting topic as the "Happy days" of session rolls on. Here is why The Fonce ain't cool!

From the article....

It is amazing that they have done a good job of selling this as ‘closing a loophole,’” Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, said of the Bredesen administration’s move to end the exemption. “(FONCEs are) a taxing strategy that has been used for estate planning and other things. It amazes me that at a time when we’re not raising taxes, this would raise taxes on people.

“I also understand the position we’re going to be put in. He’s going to hand us a budget and that’s going to be in there, and then we in the Republican-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate are going to have to figure out a way to come up with another $45 million in cuts when you’re $800 million in the hole — now maybe $1 billion — and that gets tough to do. Philosophically I’m opposed to it, but I understand the political reality of what it is going to take not to do it.”


In other words Phil know he does not have the votes to increase "uncool" taxes (He was told to "Sit on it" last year and he knows he probably will get more of the same this year) but he puts it in as part of the budget any way so he doesn't have to do the work of cutting pork out of his own budget. Work he claims to love.

"Lazy" gets the big thumbs down on the political move. This could be Phil's "Jump the shark" moment where people realize he is just a classic lazy, tax and spender.

Time to cancel the series.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Certified teachers hurt education

The wall has the details.

From the article....

"In states that had genuine alternative certification, test-score gains on the NAEP exceeded those in the other states by 4.8 points and 7.6 points in 4th- and 8th-grade math, respectively," report the authors in the current issue of Education Next. "In reading, the additional gains in the states with genuine alternative certification were 10.6 points and 3.9 points for the two grade levels respectively."

The study undermines the arguments from colleges of education and teachers unions, which say that traditional certification, which they control, is the only process that can produce quality teachers. The findings hold up even after controlling for race, ethnicity, free-lunch eligibility, class size and per-pupil state spending.

The study also found that loosening certification rules can help alleviate teacher shortages. Unions blame these shortages on low pay, though in Washington, D.C. now they are also refusing an offer of higher pay in return for giving up teacher tenure. Messrs. Peterson and Nadler show that broader recruitment paths can also address shortages, particularly among minority teachers who are in especially short supply.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fun talkshow

I just had a good time doing part of a talk show with Lee and Terry Frank on "Lets talk Frank" Mostly it was Lee and I as Terry had to leave about 20 minutes after I got there. While I love talking politics, some how we got sidetracked and spent most of the show talking about religion. Funny how both messages mingle and can be similar.

We talked a lot about Joel Osteen, his preaching style and if it helps spread the word because he reaches a large audience with his warm, positive (some say soft) message or if it ultimately hurts spreading the word because he does not hit the issue of sin that hard (if at all).

Although I agree he is not heavy on the religion in his sermons and he can be a lot like eating religious popcorn, I thought he could be a good first step for some people who may not respond to a fire and brimstone approach. Lee though he needed to talk more about sin and mans need for redemption otherwise he might be giving some people a false sense of Christianity.

We also talked about his mullet. I was pro mullet. (Its not just a hairstyle. Its a lifestyle) I think Lee was anti mullet (although he did mention that he liked the idea of "Business up front, Party in back")

Going to Nashville is more expensive then China

And to think I used to think legislators got to much per diem to go to Nashville. Then I find out this.

Time to move education forward

Yes, people can finally hope for improvements in education for their children. For years school choice (The ability to move kids out of failing schools) has been held back as has many other education ideas.

Frank Cagle has some in his article.

Memphis Democrats (via the Black Caucus) have long dominated the House education committee and any conservative education reforms like charter schools and vouchers have been killed. These measures have a fighting chance now.


And even the LA Times admits it is time to get away from teacher tenure (where it is almost impossible to fire bad teachers). Could we stop the "Pass the trash" system we now have? As my mom (a teacher) always said "Tenure has done more to protect bad teachers then it ever did to help good ones".

Could home school students whose parents pay taxes for the schools financially get access to join school sports teams? It seems to have worked out good for Heisman trophy winner Tim Teabo. Could it work in Tennessee now as well? Can we fund education first and stop funding from being used as a political football? Could we finally get Tennessee out of the education cellar?

I don't see why not.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

GOOD NEWS!!!!!

"Finally, a nation can use the ‘R’ word"

Yes, jump for joy!!! we are now officially in a recession!!! Get out the noise makers its time to party!

The editorial staff at the KNS sound so excited, almost gleeful at the news. Who says the media hate our country?

But will it be at the bunker?

Phil sets up for his capitol staff Christmas party. It has to be scaled back due to tough budget times. Only about a thousand dollars will be spent and some of the alcohol may even be....old.


When will the madness end????????

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Legal guns in national parks for the new year?

W. may allow states to set their own guidelines as far a legal gun owners on national park lands. For years Republicans have known of the safety benefits of legal gun owners being able to carry legal guns for protection. Frank Niceley should smile at this news as he has been toiling for years to remove at least the state regulation and now it looks like it all may come together within a few months.

Parental consent is "Radical" for Democrats

Good to know that a parent finding out before their 13 year old has an abortion is considered A "Radical social agenda" for Democrats.

Dare I guess what will be under the the "Holiday tree" at the Sasser residence. Probably some of these. Because nothing says "I hate baby Jesus and wish illegitimate children like him were never born" like an abortion gift certificate that any 13 year old could use.

Monday, December 08, 2008

"Untrustworthy" attacks "Lazy" for being "untrustworthy"

Gary Odum (who the governor described as untrustworthy) is taking another shot at the governor (who many feel was lazy on the campaign trail) for being untrustworthy himself. Gary brings back up the questions of the personal background checks done by state trooper Shirley on possible political enemies of the administration.

I wonder if we could now have a more full investigation of those actions when new leadership takes over.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

What took us so long?

Why did it take so long for Republicans to take over what has really been a Republican state for a long time? It can all go back to one vote, 30 years ago.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

They may just be words....But

Bill Hobbs has the details on a new facebook page the TN GOP has started called "Defending the majority". To wit I have but one thing to say.

Joke of the week (You got to have faith)

There was a little old lady, who every morning stepped onto
her front porch,raised her arms to the sky, and shouted: "PRAISE THE
LORD!"

One day an atheist moved into the house next door. He
became irritated at the little old lady. Every morning he'd step onto his
front porch after her and yell: "THERE IS NO LORD!"

Time passed with the two of them carrying on this way every
day.

One morning, in the middle of winter, the little old lady
stepped onto her front porch and shouted: "PRAISE THE LORD! Please Lord, I
have no food and I am starving, provide for me, oh Lord!

The next morning she stepped out onto her porch and there
were two huge bags of groceries sitting there. "PRAISE THE LORD!" she
cried out.
"HE HAS PROVIDED GROCERIES FOR ME!"

The atheist neighbor jumped out of the hedges and shouted:
"HA! HA! THERE IS NO LORD I BOUGHT THOSE GROCERIES-!!"

The little old lady threw her arms into the air and
shouted
"PRAISE THE LORD! HE HAS PROVIDED ME WITH GROCERIES AND
MADE THE DEVIL PAY FOR THEM!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Why we need English only

Former Senate Democrat leader John Wilder talks about going flying in the KNS after another paper reports on how he lost his flying licence.Is he flying without a licence or did he find someone to give him his flying test in his native tongue of Wildereze? Just another example of why we need English only licence tests.

Undergrowth

I don't know why, I guess it was a gut feeling but I always expected growth projections to be over a billion too high. It seems my gut was right again.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Shame as a deterrent

Wow! What a novel concept! Using shame to deter negative actions. How many bad situations could be deterred by putting a little public shame associated with things we don't want.

Cas Walker used to announce who had given him a bad checks or who he had caught shoplifting multiple times in his stores on his local TV show. Now he probably would get protested for doing it.

I am sure it will be about 15 seconds before some crazy lefty does a post "If Campfield had his way he would brand adulterers and unwed mothers!" No, but the "Do what ever you want at any time and expect no consequences" or the "When you do something wrong, don't worry, It can just be cover it up" Crowd has ruined many lives of both criminals who never learned to change their behavior and victims who were hurt by their actions.

Their has been a long standing effort to give habitual DUI drivers, child predators and convicted felons who have restrictions on travel a different licence plate (possibly with a pink tint) for a few years or at least as long as they were on parole.

Even putting some notification about violent felony convictions on drivers licences for police and people who sell ammunition at gun stores has been shot down year after year. Possibly we will see new life for these ideas in the new session.

Time will tell.

New ideas/old ideas

When I hear about problems I always try to look at it and see what works, what does not, what are the root problems, what needs to be expanded or contracted (usually based on financial constraints) and try to think of possible creative solutions. In the last few days, several articles have come out on possible changes to our education system. Here are a few.

Expand school days, have national standards, do away with school boards, pay teachers for results from a CEO of IBM.

Allow in teachers from other fields of study who will Increase discipline and push a Jr. ROTC program as worked to increase math scores over 20% in Memphis.

Looking at the amount of money we spend on English Language Learners as is being done in the Nashville area where they have had a huge uptick in non English speaking students and


Increase funding for education across the board
by Jammie Woodson the chair of the senate education committee.


Your thoughts?