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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm a uniter not a divider!

Tom Humphrey reports on a bill I passed last night on the house floor. The bill would allow non custodial parents to petition the court to be able to transfer their visitation to another relative while they are called away on active duty. Of course the court would have the ability to deem someone inappropriate or not in the best interest of the children and stop it.

Sherry Jones tried to add an amendment that would have made it mandatory that the other person had a significant pre existing relationship with the child. The problem with that amendment is pre existing relationship is defined as having already lived with that other family member for a year. In most cases that would have nullified the ability to transfer visitation rights as that threshold would seldom if ever be reached.

Was that the intent? Some people think so. If the amendment passed 100% of the parenting rights would have gone to the custodial parent. In 95% of cases that is the mother. Sherry Jones is a huge advocate for woman's rights. I have no problem with that but some people feel her advocacy comes at the expense of reasonable rights for good fathers and parents. I hope that was not the case.

Faculty carry

I will be presenting two bills tomorrow dealing with the ability of carry permit holders to be allowed to have protection with them on college campuses. One would allow teachers, faculty and staff the other would allow former police and former military who also have a carry permit to also carry on campus. The Knox News does a story on it The Instapundit is quoted in the article and links to the story as well.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Will Al ever learn?

Al gore just does not know when to wise up. There must be some masochistic side he has to himself. He should know Drew Johnson lives in the area and got famous for the first time he whacked little Al. You think he would learn.

But no.

Al was caught leaving his lights/ TV/Computers on for earth hour. Al is becoming (Already is?) the poster child for hypocrisy on the movement he created (Global warming/cooling/climate change/waste of energy/environmental extremism). He is his own manbearpig.

Lamar! goes after higher ed

Lamar goes after higher ed for its costing students out of an education.

I have a bill that could also help in this area as well (HB1851). One of the big costs of education is the books. I have seen students pay well over $100.00 for a single paperback book. Many times a large chunk of that money goes as a kickback to the professor who is many times also the author. The same book can not be used again next year because of "changes" by the professor this stops the resale market of used books and keeps the kickback numbers up.

My bill would work to stop kickbacks for the sale of books that a professor may be teaching.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Joke of the week (The Republican fisherman)


A woman in a hot air balloon realizes she is lost. She lowers her altitude and spots a man fishing from a boat below.

She shouts to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consults his portable GPS and replies, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

She rolls her eyes and says, "You must be a Republican!"

"I am," replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answers the balloonist, "everything you tell me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you're not much help to me."

The man smiles and responds, "You must be a Democrat."

"I am," replies the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," says the man, "You don't know where you are or where you're going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and now you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but, somehow, now it's my fault."

Pro life victory

In Kansas the pro life movement had a victory saying people must have access to ultrasounds and be able to hear the babies heart previous to abortions. They have no problem with their constitution and even the pro abortionists have no problem with it. Sounds reasonable to me.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I am with Phil on this one

I know it only happens once in a great while but on this issue Phil is completely right. UT, THEC and the Tennessee board of regents is in dire need of serious restructuring. They are incredibly top heavy and in many cases redundant.

Ever wonder why some legislators are weary of giving higher ed more money? Many of us know where it goes. Now you will too. Here you go.

THEC (Tennessee Higher Education Commission) has an 8.39 million dollar budget for its administration. No students are taught by THEC.

TBR (Tennessee Board of Regents) has a 30.68 million dollar budget for its head office. $10.1 million of that goes to salary and benefits of the 104 administrators giving them an average salary of $97,560.00. No students are taught by TBR.


At just one school (MTSU) there is a $10.95 million salary and benefits budget for the top 92 school administrators. That is an average salary of $119,054.00 per administrator. They teach 0 students.

What does it all add up to ?

50 MILLION DOLLARS

That is more then the entire budget of an average community college of 4427 students and not one single person is being taught.

The solution from the above administrators to solve the education budget crunch? A tuition increase of $1,336.00 per student. From $5,700 up to $7,068.00.

The average Tennessean makes just $33,373.00

The average full time teacher at MTSU makes just $35,049

Would you want to take more from the tax payers to give the administration more money when they come calling? Some say yes, give it to them blindly. Others are sick of the fat cat administration getting rich when ever the state pays out. That is why you see state money dedicated to buildings and capitol projects but not so much administration. When you build, people get jobs. When you give money to administration.....Well, you see where it goes.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Grab bag

For all my lefty readers out there (must be one or two) I have a prize for you. No really! On a semi regular basis legislators get small gifts and grab bags at receptions. Nothing big. Mostly pens, pencils, post it pads, coffee mugs, occasional t shirt sort of things. Any way, the cable people gave one out that had a nice black MSNBC hat in it. If you want it just be the first to claim it in the comments and I will give it to you in Knoxville this weekend or at my office on Monday. Don't pick it up by then, then the backup name gets it. give me some way to contact you and I will. If you don't want it known you read this blog just e mail and I will keep you on the DL.

Comments section fixed...I think.

if someone would mind sending me a clean test comment I would appreciate it.

Pass the trash comes back

What happens when a teacher touches a child in an inappropriate way? They move to another school and start over This is a perfect example of why we need to pass the "stop passing the trash" legislation I am running again this year. Complaints and arrests would go on a teachers record until it is cleared one way or another.

Democrat fundraiser pushed out

After what can only be described as a short tenure, the Tennessee Democrat party treasurer has quit. Bill Freemans anti tax increase stance (He was against the FONCE tax increase) and support of conservative in some political races put him at odds with the rest of the Democrat leadership team and Phil Brededesen. So much for working to the middle.

The TNDP will now see if Janeane Garofalo, Noam Chomsky or Michael Moore is available to fill the position. Word is if you have Norman Shoes cell phone number you are on the short list.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

But when will we apologize for not doing it sooner?

Tennessee has finally broken the color barrier ....on our school bus advertisements. Yes, our advertisements of color can now mingle freely with other advertisements of one or two colors. Of course as usual, Democrats lead the charge to stop the mixing of the colors but the reasonable Republicans fought off the old separation thinking and were able to get this important legislation through!

Free at last? Free at last? No....Those adds are not going to be free at last, but they will bring in money for our schools.

Will school bus owners sue for potential lost revenue? Should we apologise now or later? Do we need a resolution? If we wait 100 years will we have to pay interest? These key issues are yet to be decided.

Up next is a boycott to allow our adds to be in other places besides the back of the bus. Why can't color adds be in the front of the bus like on all the other buses?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shared parenting

AC blogs about how several members left a committee their bill was going to be heard in. One of the bills was mine.

All the bills were on shared parenting. The bill says men and women walk into child custody hearings on equal footing and the judge decides custody that is best for the child from there. No one is superior purely because of their sex. Currently 95% of contested custody cases go to the woman. Even when abuse is not part of the equation at all that number holds true. Where possible, reasonable, wanted and in the best interest of children both parents involved and active in a childs life should be the case. The single parent household is killing the development of children. While not always the case you can look at about any study and the single parent household will rank at the top as a factor or common denominator for a child's failure. Both parents are important to the life and development of the child and not just as a wallet.

None of the members who have one of these bills put their bill on notice themselves as is the tradition. Sub committee chair Sherry Jones did it on her own. Yes, she can do it but members also have the right to roll or take them off notice until a later date (Rule 80 I think).

It was quite heated before the committee when Donna Rowland tried to roll her bill and Sherry did not want to do it (she finally did). When we took all the bills off notice their were no bills to hear in the committee. Once the meeting is adjourned it is over. Sherry adjourned the meeting just after the end of recording. I then left. Why stay when their are no bills to hear and the meeting is over? I have an odd aversion to dogs and pony's so I stay away from their shows. Just like I and many other members did on the abortion hearings.

When I got back to my office for some reason some woman called me and asked if the committee was still going on. I asked why. She said she got an urgent e mail blast that told her she had to come and speak on the evils of shared parenting. She wanted to come and she was prepared to speak very emotionally as she was directed to by the e mail. Playing along I asked what she was going to talk about. She said she was going to tell how she had a quarter of a million dollars in debt because her parents did shared parenting in Pennsylvania. Intrigued I asked her to tell me about it. She went into how she had school loans from undergrad and graduate work from several universities she had to pay as well as medical bills she had to pay and it was all the fault of shared parenting. She wouldn't have to pay them if her parents hadn't done shared custody. I tried to inform her that shared custody has little to nothing to do with those situations but she was still ready to testify how shared parenting had ruined her finances and her life.

I cant wait for when we do run the bills. All the horses and puppies will be out.

Problems with comments

I just was informed their is a problem with putting up comments on my blog. I hope to have it fixed soon.

Rep. Ben West in hospital

Rep. Ben West went to the hospital today with what is looking like a heart attack. Latest word is he went home and started to have problems. He called had a family member take him to the hospital where an angioplasty was done and a 90% blockage was found in one artery. He will undergo surgery in the morning. Keep him and his family in your prayers.

l

NPR love?

A friend from Knoxville just called me and said they heard a story on NPR supporting my Hepatitis bill. The bill would make it a crime to engage in activity that puts another person at direct risk for catching hepatitis B or C without telling the other person. Both diseases can be deadly. The bill is up shortly.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Honors and awards!!

The Tennessee Home Education Association gave me their Statesman Award for the year. The home school people are great and have always been real leaders for our community and our state.

They sort of caught me off guard. My secretary (Ruthy) called me and said the home school people needed to see me right away at their reception. I figured it was about some legislation I was bringing for them. I figured that something might need some minor adjustment or fine tuning. I went in the large auditorium where they were having a concert before a full house of their members. The president called me up on stage and gave me the award. It caught me totally off guard. I am honored they thought of me.

Thank you.

I have also been named the chairman of the state and local sub committee of government operations by Chairwoman Susan Lynn. I now chair that sub committee and another one in consumer and employee affairs. Thank you Susan Lynn.....I think.

Home school bills

The home school citizens were on the hill today. There are lots of them and they have great kids. All very polite and intelligent. A few home school bills were supposed to be heard in the k-12 education sub committee in the morning. I had a bill allowing home school students to participate in school sports (25 or so states already allow this. Tim Teabow is an example of this system) Being taxpayers that pay for the schools this only seems fair.

Today I got notice that all home school bills that were going to be heard in education sub were being taken off notice by the chairman until further notice. They say they want to hear all the home school bills at one time. The timing seemed a little odd to me.

Word on the hill

More rumors and scuttlebutt on some of the big bills and how they are moving or not.

Good news bad news

The Judicial selection committee

Will be killed by the government operations committee. (I sit on that committee).

The bad news is a deal is being cut to start a new judicial selection committee process that is eerily similar to the last judicial selection committee only this one will have different people making the appointments. The Yes/No retention vote that keeps the same people in office 99.6% of the time and stops contested elections will remain. The new bill will go through judiciary committee. (I don't sit on that committee)

Wine in grocery stores

Does not look to be going anywhere this year. Possibly mail order wine will make it out.

Second amendment rights in restaurants that serve alcohol

Will pass on the house floor shortly. It is waiting for some other gun bills to all come up at the same time. If they make it to the floor they should all pass.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The budget

Phil just finished his state of the state budget report. Increasing taxes on small business, going deeper in debt, going in debt for road projects(Something never done before), increasing the size of government, reversing what Clinton did for welfare reform....Whats not to love!

Just kidding. Lots of it did have me rolling my eyes but a few parts I liked. I liked the fact that he stressed the local schools better not spend one time money on re occurring debt. Good advice. Why cant we follow it? By expanding and growing benefits of social programs aren't we doing the same thing? To think people who are used to going to the trough are suddenly going to be OK with being cut off or having their benefits cut is about the same as giving a teacher a pay raise and then telling them it is going to be cut later.

He also pushed to expand debt by using bonds to fund road construction. Tennessee has always been a pay as you go state. We fund our roads through a dedicated gas tax. In the past this governor has raided the gas tax fund. To the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Now he wants to do bonds to get some road projects done while he is in office but leave the debt for future generations. Even the road builders are against that idea. They were in my office today and even they spoke against the idea.

More on this later...

Follow the money.......Sometimes.

The governor is going to push a budget that includes a tax increase. It will be interesting to watch him sing the blues and how he desperately needs the money as he presents a budget that is at least going to be three an a half BILLION dollars larger then it was last year. About a 12 or 13% growth in one year. Six years ago When Phil came into office government spending was 18 billion dollars. Tonight, he will present a budget that will top 31 or 32 billion dollars and Phil will say we desperately need more money.

Phil is going to push the FONCE tax by talking about the "evil in and out of state business owners" and how they are making millions in profit while getting a tax break.

How can we let that slide! Don't we know, We desperately need that money. How else can he offer huge tax breaks to out of the country corporations so they can take away BILLIONS in profit.

I guess that is the new definition of working for the little man.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Less illegals makes for better pay

Oh how studies like this must kill those people who want to artificially increase the minimum wage but also want the illegals to be able to come in and stay no matter how they got here.
Common supply and demand. No need to artificially increase the minimum wage. Just get rid of the illegals and it will happen on its own.

Hat tip: Steve Gill

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Did you see a shark fin?

I don't know if this has ever happened before. Republicans in Tennessee are raising more money then Democrats. Democrats are wondering how to put out a fire on a sinking ship. Just add more water.

You can look at past years numbers and see we usually get out spent three to one. Why is this year different? Because times are different. Democrats are split in several ways. They have no one, And I mean no one, to rally behind at the state level. The state party is divided between a leader who can not lead and a grass roots person who can not raise money with a fund raiser who is a big supporter of Republicans.

Phil is a lame duck who doesn't like the state party leader and never worked that hard for the party in the first place. There is no one on the horizon who looks even like a reasonable chance to win the Democrat party nomination much less any state wide seat. When you mention the Democrat candidates for state wide seat most people outside the political loop are like "Who??"

The Democrats are no longer in control in either leg of the legislature. In the senate it went from close in numbers for Democrats, to not close at all with no reasonable hopes of change in the next election cycle.

In the house Dems lost a large number of seats in an "up" Democrat year. Their future looks even more grim in two years.

Their caucus is split between the uber liberal urban members and the less liberal rural members. They are also split between those on the Naifeh side and those on the Odum side. The Democrat party is trying to force their members to stay and not retire but several of their older members are ready to go back home and they know they are in shaky seats. Some seats were not focused on by the Republican party in the last election but the races were still very close. Democrats know they dodged a bullet. This time most of those same Republican candidates are coming back and they will have the party zeroed in behind them this time. The wind is not blowing in a Democrat direction and I think many know that if they run again it could end ugly. Not the way they want to go out.

Even if they win, the thought of having to come back under real Republican control does not have them eager with anticipation.

Before the last election Republicans wanted control but weren't that sure we could get it or keep it. Now, Republicans are like sharks in chummed water. We are hungry for it and can smell the blood. The Democrat party is trying to force their kids back in the water for a swim and the money captain of the ship is shaking his head and wanting to pull the boat away.

Not a pretty picture.

Friday, March 20, 2009

New York wants stripper tax

The Porn not corn food tax removal bill gets another follower. This time it is Democrat controlled New York. What is this now 6 or 7 states with similar proposals or plans on the table or in place?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Misinformation by the KNS

Once again the Knox news editorial staff misinforms people on the basic facts of my legislation. My bill was never put on notice by me. It was never heard. It was never voted on. It never failed any vote. It was never killed so it is not dead. No action taken is not an up or down yes or no, pass or fail motion.

It was put on notice by the committee chair without asking or approval of the sponsors. I (and others with pro life bills who had this done to them) postponed action until we are ready to present the legislation. To say they failed is misinformation. But I guess when you are pushing an agenda.....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Aggregation' as we are aggravatin'

Just added an aggregator to the right side of my blog so you can see what other right of center bloggers from cross the state are saying. You can directly link to the post you want to see from there. Hope you enjoy. A special big tip of my hat goes to Alex Cramer for figuring out how to add it and making it happen. Alex, you are the man!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tennessee's most watched

Tom Humphrey reports that the Democrats have put out their bills to watch list. Nine of the 42 bills are mine. Good to know I have their attention. I got to see the list and was somewhat surprised by two of my bills that made the list.

One would limit the out of state and out of country travel by legislators to one trip a year for regular legislators.

The other would turn down the heat in the legislative parking garage.

I have several bills this year that go after traditional Democrat sacred cows and I could see how they might oppose them, but these two are two of their top forty two bills to watch? Come on!

Joke of the week (Saint Patrick's Day edition)

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, 'Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!'

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, 'Never mind, I found one.'
---------------------------------------------------------------
Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and asks the first man he meets, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'

The man said, 'I do, Father.'

The priest said, 'Then stand over there against the wall.'

Then the priest asked the second man, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'

'Certainly, Father,' the man replied.

'Then stand over there against the wall,' said the priest.

Then Father Murphy walked up to O'Toole and asked, 'Do you want to go to heaven?'

O'Toole said, 'No, I don't Father.'

The priest said, 'I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?'

O'Toole said, 'Oh, when I die , yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.'


----------------------------------------------------

Paddy was in New York .

He was patiently waiting and watching the traffic cop on a busy street crossing. The cop stopped the flow of traffic and shouted, 'Okay, pedestrians.' Then he'd allow the traffic to pass.

He'd done this several times, and Paddy still stood on the sidewalk.

After the cop had shouted, 'Pedestrians!' for the tenth time, Paddy went over to him and said, 'Is it not about time ye let the Catholics across?'


----------------------------------------

Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend, Finney.

'Did you see the paper?' asked Gallagher. 'They say I died!!'

'Yes, I saw it!' replied Finney. 'Where are ye callin' from?'


--------------------

An Irish priest is driving down to New York and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut . The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car.

He says, 'Sir, have you been drinking?'

'Just water,' says the priest.

The trooper says, 'Then why do I smell wine?'

The priest looks at the bottle and says, 'Good Lord! He's done it again!'


----------------------

Walking into the bar, Mike said to Charlie the bartender, 'Pour me a stiff one - just had another fight with the little woman.'

'Oh yeah?' said Charlie, 'And how did this one end?'

'When it was over,' Mike replied, 'She came to me on her hands and knees.'

'Really,' said Charles, 'Now that's a switch! What did she say?'

She said, 'Come out from under the bed, you little chicken.'


----------------------------

Patton staggered home very late after another evening with his drinking buddy, Paddy. He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife, Kathleen.

He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump. A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful.

Managing not to yell, Patton sprung up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his butt cheeks were cut and bleeding. He managed to quietly find a full box of Band-Aids and began putting a Band-Aid as best he could on each place he saw blood.

He then hid the now almost empty Band-Aid box and shuffled and stumbled his way to bed.

In the morning, Patton woke up with searing pain in both his head and butt and Kathleen staring at him from across the room.

She said, 'You were drunk again last night weren't you?'

Patton said, 'Why you say such a mean thing?'

'Well,' Kathleen said, 'it could be the open front door, it could be the broken glass at the bottom of the stairs, it could be the drops of blood trailing through the house, it could be your bloodshot eyes, but mostly . it's all those Band-Aids stuck on the hall mirror.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Its for the kids

English Language Learners and English as a Second Language courses in our state funded schools have some problems. Their numbers are going through the roof. (I wonder why)From the Tennessean article....

The number of ELL students statewide is up 10 percent this year compared with last. In Rutherford County, enrollment in English learner programs has more than doubled since 2005. In the past five years, Sumner County has nearly tripled its number of language classes for English learners.

"We are going to continue to see it grow," said Tracy Bullard, supervisor of the program for the Williamson County school system. The number of English language learners there is up 70 percent compared with the 2006-07 school year.......


.....Some 6,900 students are taking part in English learner programs at 66 Metro schools right now, up 500 students from the previous year. In a report on ELL progress, the school system set a goal of hiring and retaining more experienced teachers, a challenge for all school systems because qualified teachers in the field are in high demand and short supply.

"The demand for ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers has taken the general teaching population by surprise," said Stan Blades, federal programs coordinator for the Lebanon Special School District. The system's English learner population is about 265 — three times as high as it was in 2001. In two years, the system's program has grown from five full-time teachers to nine full-timers and one part-time teacher.

ELL teachers are needed
The state will allow teachers to work on a waiver while they are pursuing ELL certification. "We are still short about 200 teachers," Lanier said, and over the next five years, at least 400 more will be needed.

Five years ago, Sumner County had five ELL teachers. Today they have 14 classes, and ELL coordinator Nina Morel wants to add more in the next budget.


If things don't change and these numbers continue to grow I question what programs will have to be cut so we can keep pace.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Oh come on!

Did I really say that? O.K maybe I did. But I want to make clear "I DID NOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH THAT RICHARDSON WOMAN"

It was all in fun. Jeannie and I get along pretty good (Not that good) even though we are oil and water on most issues. We laughed about it later.

We were talking about my baby daddy bill for people who have been mislead as to the paternity of a child or children they thought they produced but in reality did not, yet were still being forced to pay for.

It is almost sad

Why are Tennessee Democrats in the tank?

Here is a perfect example.

TN Democrats released what it is calling their "Agenda" for the year. To give them credit at least they put one out this year but as expected it is pitiful. Not one single bill or piece of legislation is offered as an example or goal for passage. Not one. Republicans in years past have always offered specific examples of legislation we wanted to pass to hit our goals. I doubt it will be any different when we release our agenda again this year.

Come on Mike and Gary, I even gave you an example to follow. This is the best you got?

Please.

I might as well help get you started on next years "Agenda". I may miss a few of your top issues but am sure it will be cutting edge, hard hitting stuff like.....

11. Puppies. we love little soft puppies and we want them all to have fun. We watch them as they play with sticks in the yard!

10. Poverty. It is bad. Everyone should have a new house!

9. Kittens. Where is our ball of yarn!

8. Drunk driving. We are getting tough. A maximum of one road will be named after you.

7. Feeding the hungry. We like apple pie!

6. Fixing the economy. People tell us we are mandated by the constitution to balance those funny number thingies. So we will.

5. Soft things. Pillows are the best but feathers make us laugh and giggle!

4. High energy costs. We think people should pay less.

3. Getting tough on crime. Instead of robbing and shooting people, criminals should all just go to the circus! The clowns are funny! Last time I went there was one with blue suspenders and a red nose!

2. Education. All kids should get an A++

1. The future of Tennessee. Fluffy bunny week starts Monday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Now lets talk issues

The caucus has decided to allow Kent to come back into our caucus meetings.

We had a caucus meeting Monday night and allowed everyone to air their feelings on what Kent was doing. I think the overwhelming sentiment went along the lines of "He is trying to tear our caucus apart, He is doing this all for the attention or We need to find a way to drop this/ get past this so we can talk about our issues." I did not hear a single person say anything along the lines of they support Kent or he is a good Republican or we want or need him back in the caucus.

No one.

It was more of how can we stop this from being the story. In the end leadership decided to do a little poll of just dropping it and letting him in the meetings. Some people who out and out hate Kent even voted to let him in the meetings so we can get past this. The vote was close and a constitutional majority was never reached but it just got to the point that we just decided it was for the best to drop it and move forward.

No one seemed happy about it. The catch Fraze for the night was " It is what it is. Lets move on" I think thats about right.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Republican agenda

Lots of talk is going around about a Democrat agenda (Or consistent complete lack their of) as well as a Republican agenda. Although I am only speaking for myself on this I think a few good ideas would be

1. Second amendment rights

Remove finger print rules for permit. Constitutional rights should not have such a high bar (we don't do that for free speech), Stop mass public printing of names of permit holders for profit (In newspapers) for the safety and privacy of public citizens, Allow second amendment protections in parks, government supported property and where not posted to allow legal permitted gun owners to protect themselves.

2. Illegal immigration

Pass e verify check previous to any public employment to ensure the employment system and discourage illegal immigration, Pass photo ID (Made available for free to indigent citizens) previous to voting to secure the voting process, Strengthen enforcement against people who employee illegals to make sure legal citizens get first opportunity at jobs, Put the drivers licence test in English only for safety on our roads, No services (other then emergency or mandated by federal law) given to non citizens to save the state money and discourage illegal immigration.

Taxes

Clarify Copeland cap so we have no funny business of a few years ago, Remove sales tax on food to help families struggling with tight budgets, Oppose income tax as the constitution says, Remove the Hall income tax to encourage investment and savings, Oppose unfunded long term federal mandates to stop a federal government run wild interfering in state business.

Education

Pass Education first so education can become funded properly instead of just a battle cry for more taxes, Pass local option for election of school superintendents to give locals more power and input in fixing their education system, Allow school choice at least for students in failing schools to help get kids a first class education, Remove teacher tenure putting teachers under civil service protection so teachers can be held accountable and principals can fix failing schools, allow merit pay for teachers who work in failing schools or improve standardized test scores of children to reward success and achievement, Allow home school students to play sports in schools their family pay taxes on.

Higher ed, Lottery

Lower standards to keep lottery scholarships in difficult or needed majors and give more scholarship funding to students in these majors to encourage people to enter the sciences, math, nursing, teaching majors. Add in loan forgiveness for students in these fields if they stay and work in state.

Life

Pass SJR127 to allow reasonable regulation again.

Government and Justice:

Allow popularly Elected judges as mandated by constitution, Put caps on punitive damages to stop "lottery" lawsuits, Pass looser pays on civil suits to stop lawsuits filed to settle, Pass term limits of 12 consecutive years in each body for the legislature to get in fresh ideas, Put government spending on line for all major purchases for government transparency, Oppose card check for union voting to keep people from being harassed and intimidated into a unionization.

Property rights

Mandate voting by elected representatives previous to taking of property (on a case by case basis) by eminent domain to have accountability, Get a clear consistent definition of blight previous to taking of property through eminent domain to stop abuse under current definition, Make property taken through eminent domain be at least 95% public or quasi governmental use and or remain in public hands for 5 years to stop public ED for private use.



Some ideas are old, some are new. some may make it, some may not. Some have been Republican agenda items in the past. This is by no means a complete list but I think it could be a good start. Feel free to expand or comment as you see fit in the comment section.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Joke of the week (They were right)

I have to admit it; my liberal friends were right. They told me if I didn't vote for Obama, the nation's Hope would deteriorate, and sure enough there has been a 20 point drop in the Consumer Confidence Index since the election, reaching a lower point than any time during the Bush administration.

They told me if I didn't vote for Obama, the US would become more deeply embroiled in the Middle East, and sure enough tens of thousands of additional troops are scheduled to be deployed into Afghanistan.

They told me if I didn't vote for Obama, that the economy would get worse and sure enough unemployment is approaching 8.8% and the new stimulus packages implemented recently have sent the stock market lower than at any time since 9-11.

They told me if I didn't vote for Obama, we would see more "crooks" in high ranking positions in Federal government and sure enough, several recent cabinet nominees and Senate appointments revealed resumes of bribery and tax fraud.

Well I ignored my Democrat friends in November and didn't vote for Obama. And they were right.... all of their predictions have come true.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Dinner is served!

Come and get it!

Democrats are mad because I support the free market and don't support their job killing legislation. Legislation increasing expenses on Tennessee small businesses as they already struggle with the burden of Democrat economy blunders. Somehow they say I am against the working man and for "Fat cats"? Since when did some little diner owner become a "fat cat"? Most restaurants I know are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Many have already gone under. Lots of lost jobs. Maybe he should talk to the "Fat cat" restaurant owner he elected speaker and see where he stands on the issue.

Maybe they did not notice but since Obama the economy has gone completely in the tank. Restaurants across the state are not doing well.

Meanwhile Mike Turner gives hundreds of millions of your tax dollars to a few of their real "Fat cat" friends for some risky business venture. Somehow they don't count as "fat cats". I guess because they are foreign owned and a huge chunk of the profits will end up overseas. I wonder how many of the good paying upper management jobs will go to non US citizens? 40%? 50%?, more?

Some one needs to look up the term hypocrite.

Jobs! jobs! jobs! But will there be jobs?

Questions are starting to come up about some of these expected factories we are subsidising. 500 jobs are supposed to be created. 500 sounds nice but some questions need to be asked.

Considering taxpayer investment how much is that per job?

Is that 500 jobs at the factory itself or are you counting jobs created near the factory supposedly because of the factory. Such as a burger king job because employees may pass a burger king on the way to work and get a croissant?

If they are at the factory, are they full time or part time jobs?

Will they last all year for many years or will they only last during initial construction for a few weeks?

What part of the investment that the state is kicking in gets returned or rebated back to the state if the actual full time jobs at the factory drop below a certain number? or the pay drops below a certain amount?

Think it does not happen? Look at Dell or the Saturn plant in spring hill or the Knoxville news sentinel. They are having massive cuts in jobs if not all out collapse. How accurate were they in true job creation numbers then? Was it worth the investment? Will the state prop up a failing company for millions or billions more because the hire A few people? Where will it end?

By the way, Where are all the people on the left who like to attack companies and business owners that make money? Why no protests? Some people want to attack anyone who makes a dollar by the sweat of their own brow but give a pass to any company just takes it directly from the government.

Are they fighting for caps on salary of the executives who are taking this government money? They all seem to be in favor of windfall profits tax. Where are they on windfall subsidy tax? Are they mandating full health care coverage as Phil advocated in his state of the state? I mean he could put it in as part of the deal. How about the "living wage" is that part of the deal? If all these ideas are so great then why not put them as conditions to getting the subsidy? Aren't these the same "Evil corporations" the left says they hate?

Where is the concern on the front end?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Your tax dollars at work

Here is the spending package from the fed for Tennessee. Word is it may still get a little adjustment.

not a lot of real immediate Job creation type stuff. A lot of socialist programs and reward for not working though.

Rules for comments

Some people forget so here they are again.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

On those bylaws

I was talking with a member of leadership who said they had read the bylaws of the caucus and supposedly included in the rules is a section that says if you are not a member of the party you can not be a member of the caucus. I guess there goes Kent's big argument.

Suspicion confirmed

I just went to a reception and ran into a few members who heard Kent in full on temper tantrum mode. Supposedly Someone brought up the point to Kent that he was just trying to divide the caucus and Kent responded along the lines of "Good, we need to divide the caucus between the conservatives and the people who think like me".

As Lincoln said "A house divided against itself can not stand"

We now know for a fact Kent's goal.

Williams out!

It looks like Williams will not be part of our Republican caucus meetings any more unless invited. The last caucus meeting he came to was open to everyone. Today he tried to come in to a closed caucus meeting but was pulled out by our leadership and asked to stay out. He went into full on temper tantrum mode. As I said in the past his new goal is to divide the Republican caucus against itself and pull members over to support him. Many Democrats have been trying to Divide us all year with little success.

Kent is extra wanting a vote of the caucus to see if he should be allowed in or not. My informal personal polling thinks he would get 10 votes if he is Lucky. I am quite sure he must know this but once again this is not about out or in. It is an attempt by Kent to divide the party against itself pro or anti Kent. He might get a few more votes if the vote was roll called because a few members would fear reprisals if they had to publicly vote against him. Kent really wants that. If it were roll called the few that would vote for him would feel isolated in the party even more and everyone else would get punished. He was heard making threats outside of the meeting. That tells you a lot about who this is about.

I guess what is best for Kent is the goal and Tennessee or the ideals Republicans want to put forward would come second. Nothing new.

What do they hurt?

Some people feel because illegal aliens pay sales tax they should have full access to all the rights of legal citizens (including higher ed). But do they really pay there fair share?

There are many fees and taxes that people who run below the radar that don't pay. Licences, permit fees, property taxes etc. They also undercut legal businesses and job seekers because they can bid jobs lower when they don't pay federal taxes. That hurts legal businesses, the unemployed legal citizen or immigrant and in turn hurts federal appropriations. The state (As well as UT) gets a chunk of money from the fed that gets its money from legal taxpaying citizens.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Commenters bring questions

I was reading the comments at the Tennessean on my illegals in higher ed bill and a question came to mind. A lot is being made of the fiscal note. The "Cost" of this bill is currently "Not significant". UT is now claiming it wants it to be changed to be half a million dollars.

If they were to hire a full time employee to do an exhaustive check on each student at each school that could be a correct number but the bill states the responsibility is the students. If the University were to take the names and ssn and push it through the E verify system the entire population of higher ed could be checked on probably one CD in a few hours. E verify is that good.

How much would it cost if that were the case? It could end up saving the University and the state money. Currently UT gets the name and school attended in Tennessee. Currently, illegals are allowed to attend state high schools. Even if they only checked to see if they were legally in the state or not and then did nothing else they could end up making money if they charged illegals the out of state tuition rate.

I would hope it could at least be made that legal citizens of the US would not be charged a higher rate then in state illegals.

Either way, I am looking at amendment alternatives to make sure any fiscal note gets dropped if they are to get one added.

Illegals in higher ed

Today I started to run my bill making students provide proof of legal status before being able to gain access to higher ed. Half of the cost of a college is paid for by the state. Not tuition. Space in our colleges is limited and classes within those colleges is limited. Legal residents should come first.

Students are kept out if they don't pay a parking ticket. Why not make sure they are legal with residency as well.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Joke of the week (Gun control edition)

Ramsey in, Bredesen out

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey is in the governors race. Phil Bredesen is out as HHS for Obama. I hate to say I told you so but a few people were quite outspoken saying I was "way wrong" and I "had no political feel" when I said I didn't think Phil was going to get it. So for all those people here it is.

I told you so.