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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Milton and me

The age old battle of regulation of the free market vs regulation of the government. In this case, the certificate of need (CON) deal. The states con regulation stops the free market in hospital industry by saying that a doctor or hospital can not do or offer certain procedures unless their competitors say it is OK.










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Pre K gets another 0

As in 0 noticeable difference after the 2nd grad between kids who took pre k and those of similar background who did not.

When will we realize this is not money best invested?

The battle leans to Fred

If the battle on tort reform were called today I would say Fred Thompson won. The tort reform bill has been watered down to the point of soup and I am not talkin chunky soup either. More like water soup. Cold water soup at that.

The administration has fallen for the age old trap many new moderate Republicans fall for. Starting at a moderate point and then being forced to give ground. Most every other state that has caps (about 35) set the limit between $250k and $400K. Haslam started his legislation with caps higher ($750K) with the probable hopes it would sail through as reasonable. The problem is, Haslam has not realized he is not dealing with reasonable people. He is dealing with political people.

Big difference.

He now has now conceded to go up to $1.5 million (possibly more in some cases). The caps have gotten so high I don't know know if there have been any cases in recent history that would have even qualified for the cap under the current limits.
I am about at the point where I wonder if it is really worth voting for. Now, for any real difference to be felt they will have to fight to reclaim ground they should not have given up in the first place.

Luckily the game is not over. More to come....I hope.

So Bill Dunn gave up reading my blog for lent huh?

"Monkey Bill" Dunn has said he has given up reading my blog for lent. Bill, You are supposed to give up BAD things. Not good ones.

Any way, his "critical thinking" bill passed in the house education committee yesterday.

It is funny how the left likes to compare it to the the Scopes monkey trial. While their may be a similarity, it is not in the way the left likes to present it. As you may recall, the Scopes case was against a teacher that taught a different point of view than was allowed at the time. The left fought saying other points of view should be allowed to encourage critical thinking in young adults. Now that their point of view is being taught they think no other point of view should be allowed.

John Deberry gave the quote of the day when he laid the biblical wood to a Vandy professor who thought only one point of view should be taught.









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Term limits barely fails









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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Electing judges. Here is the video









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Lt.Gov. Ron Ramsey drifting in at the end and voting to break the tie and then drifting back out (barely breaking stride) is GOLD!

ELECTING JUDGES PASSES!!!!!!!!!!!!

My bill to say election means election of supreme court judges passed out of the Full Senate Judiciary committee today. 5-4.

THIS IS HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.


More later.

SJR127 passes senate health

SJR127, the constitutional amendment saying there is nothing in the state constitution regarding abortion passed the senate health committee today. Oddly enough, the solution to the reason we had to pass SJR127 (activist judges) is also up today. My bill to say election means election when the constitution is discussing the election of judges is also up today.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quote of the day

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything...they just make the best of everything."

Hobbs on 60 to 16

Bill Hobbs comments on the disparity of giving the TEA did to 16 Republicans versus the 60 Democrats:

The TEA will point to the fact that it gave money to some Republicans, but if you really study that list you realize that it did so in races in which there WAS no Democrat. These are "fig leaf" donations, designed to give the TEA political cover. (These donations also tend to be smaller - the TEA gave $812 to Republicans on average, and $2,171 to Democrats, on average

Just how partisan is the TEA?

By the numbers

2009-2010 TEA Contributions

Candidate, Office, Election Status, Party, Total given, Republican Winner

ARMSTRONG, JOE HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $750
BARKER, JUDY HOUSE Lost - DEMOCRAT $5,000 Sanderson
BARNES, TIM SENATE Not up DEMOCRAT $500
BASS, EDDIE HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $500
BERKE, ANDY SENATE Not Up DEMOCRAT $1,000
BONE, STRATTON HOUSE Lost DEMOCRAT $3,000 Pody
BORCHERT, BUTCH HOUSE lost DEMOCRAT $5,500 Wirgau
BROWN, TOMMIE F HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $1,250
BURKS,CHARLOTTE SENATE Won DEMOCRAT $7,000 Steakley
CAMPER, KAREN D HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $1,000
CARNEAL, PAUL HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $1,500
COBB, TY HOUSE Lost DEMOCRAT $4,750 Butt
COLEMAN, KENT HOUSE Lost - DEMOCRAT $1,750 Sparks
COLEMAN, SAM HOUSE Lost - DEMOCRAT $2,000 Gotto
COOPER, BARBARA HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $2,000
CURTISS,CHARLES HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $750
DEBERRY JR,JOHN HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $250
DEBERRY, LOIS M HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $1,500
FAVORS, JOANNE HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $500
FERGUSON,DENNIS HOUSE Lost - DEMOCRAT $2,000 Hurley
FINCHER, HENRY HOUSE Lost DEMOCRAT $2,250 Williams
FINNEY, LOWE SENATE Won DEMOCRAT $8,250 Don McLeary
FITZHUGH, CRAIG HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $3,000
FORD, OPHELIA SENATE Won DEMOCRAT $1,500
FRALEY, GEORGE HOUSE Lost - DEMOCRAT $3,250 Alexander
GILMORE, BRENDA HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $750
HACKWORTH, JIM HOUSE Lost - DEMOCRAT $2,750 Ragan
HARMON, BILL W HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $750
HARPER, THELMA SENATE Won DEMOCRAT $1,500
HENRY, DOUGLAS SENATE Won DEMOCRAT $1,000
JACKSON, DOUG SENATE Lost - DEMOCRAT $1,000 Summerville
JONES ULYSSEs HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $1,500
JONES, SHERRY HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $1,500
KERNELL, MIKE HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $1,500
MADDOX, MARK L HOUSE Lost - DEMOCRAT $3,500 Holt
MCDONALD, GEORGESENATE Lost DEMOCRAT $1,000 Beavers
MCDONALD, MIKE HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $2,500
MILLER, LARRY J HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $250
MOORE, GARY W HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $2,500
NAIFEH, JIMMY HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $4,500
ODOM, GARY HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $4,000
PITTS, JOE HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $2,500
PRUITT, MARY HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $250
RICHARDSON, JEANHOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $2,000
SHAW, JOHNNY W HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $2,500
SHEPARD, DAVID AHOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $500
SONTANY, JANIS BHOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $2,000
STEWART, ERIC SENATE Not Up DEMOCRAT $1,000
STEWART, MIKE HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $750
TATE, REGINALD SENATE Won DEMOCRAT $500
TIDWELL, JOHN C HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $500
TINDELL, HARRY HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $750
TOWNS JR, JOE HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $1,500
TURNER, JOHNNIE HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $2,000
TURNER, MIKE HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $3,000
WALKER, RANDY SENATE Lost - DEMOCRAT $1,000 Campfield
WINDLE, JOHN M HOUSE Won DEMOCRAT $2,000
WINNINGHAM, LES HOUSE Lost DEMOCRAT $6,626 Keisling
YOKLEY, EDDIE HOUSE Lost - DEMOCRAT $5,500 Faison
WILLIAMS, KENT HOUSE Won INDEPENDENT $1,000

BROOKS, HARRY HOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $1,500
BROOKS, KEVIN D HOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $500
COLEY, JIM HOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $1,250
CROWE, RUSTY SENATE Won REPUBLICAN $1,500
ELDRIDGE, JIMMY HOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $500
FORGETY, JOHN W HOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $500
HARRISON, MIKE HOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $500
HAYNES, RYAN HOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $500
HILL, STEVE SENATE Lost P REPUBLICAN $500 Campfield
LOLLAR, RON HOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $1,750
MCCORMICK, GERALHOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $250
MCDANIEL, STEVE HOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $1,250
MCNALLY, RANDY SENATE Won REPUBLICAN $1,000
ROACH, DENNIS HOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $750
TRACY, JIM SENATE Not Up REPUBLICAN $500
WHITE, MARK HOUSE Won REPUBLICAN $250

Of the Republicans given to, I do not think any had general election opposition.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blogger exposes kiddie porn "art exhibit" at KMA

Dan "The man" Andrews first broke the story about the kiddie porn "Art exhibit" going on over at the taxpayer funded Knoxville Museum of Art. It looks like his bell ringing paid off. It appears the KMA was told to temporarily shut it down or have their doors shut by the new police chief as his first official act after his swearing in at the KMA.

The KMA temporarily closed the "exhibit". but word is they planned to re open the "Show" after the chief left the building.

Will it re open? Will the MSM pick up on this story? Time will tell.

House numbers here

Sean Braistead has the house numbers by district party, person and % over or under here

More on house numbers

The most over represented district was Republican Glen Casada's district as well as Rick Womick who were both over representing almost 37,000 people. More then a district and a half each (by 58%). The most under represented district was Democrat Karen D Camper district 87 she under represented 20,200 people. The average district size is set at 64,102 people.

I will try to get all the numbers up soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

House numbers

The census numbers for the house districts show a similar story to the senate numbers. The Republicans were over representing Tennessee house districts state wide with a total 225,138 people over the number of people that should be in their districts. That works out to 3,518 people per Republican house district over the average.

The Democrats were under representing the state to the tune of a negative 218,453 total people that should be in Democrat districts state wide, with an average of -6,425 people under the average per district.

With numbers like that Republicans on average will probably drop a minimum of 5% (And possibly up to 10% or more) of their districts into Democrat districts. Democrats on average will have to add 10% (up to 15%) to their district populations before the next election.

When we do things fair and legal (Key words) that kind of population shift can be huge in election results.

Almost perfect

The latest census numbers have come out for the senate districts.

Some districts had huge increases in population. Republican Jack Johnsons district in particular was over 62,000 people above the new average of 192,306 while some districts shrunk. Democrat Ophelia Fords district was 46,000 people below the new average.

If my quick math is correct, on average, Democrat districts lost population averaging -17,477 people per senate district.

While Republican districts grew by an average population of +8,248 people per district.

State wide, 13 Democrat districts were under representing 227,204 people and the 20 Republican districts were over representing 164,961 people.

With a flexibility of 5% from the new average, some Republican districts could drop almost 40% of their current districts into Democrat districts and some Democrat districts could grow by 30% or more.

My own district was the population closest to perfect state wide. Only 70 people over the new average. 192,376 of the smartest people anywhere.

I will try to get the house numbers later.

Haggerty,Bowman and Mc Nutt

Are the new Republican Knox county election commissioners.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm with Naifeh?

This is scary. Jimmy Naifeh said he thinks there should be a cap on the sales tax at 9.75%.

Yep, I agree.

The problem is, he is trying to tag it on to the constitutional amendment to ban the state income tax.

Some people think he is not sincere in his desire to actually pass the idea but is more trying to kill the current moving resolution (they call it a poison pill amendment).

I am going to give Jimmy Naifeh the benefit of the doubt. In fact, I am ready to go even farther. I am ready to work with him to pass it as its own stand alone amendment to our state constitution this year. I will happily sponsor it in the senate, put it forward, vote for it and actively encourage others to follow suit.

If Jimmy is truly serious about it I will work with him to make it happen this year. I could probably have it drafted and ready for introduction next week. Will Jimmy do the same for the idea as its own resolution or is it all a show to keep an income tax alive?

Union monopoly strikes out at dissent

Greg Johnson tells the story of a Tennessee public school teachers reprimand because her point of view did not follow the chosen unions point of view.

From the article...



Fisher said she was "reprimanded" and told that only the Sevier County Education Association - an affiliate of the Democrat-supporting Tennessee Education Association and the National Education Association - could put messages on the school's bulletin board. "As an American citizen," Fisher said, "I should have the right to put the article up and inform teachers of an alternative to TEA."

Fisher first fell out with TEA and SCEA in 2008. At a meeting of the teachers' union that election year, Fisher said, the TEA representative handed out literature promoting Democrat Barack Obama. Fisher said she then realized, "(TEA's) goal is not to improve education. It's to elect Democrats." She began to distance herself from SCEA and TEA because she "didn't want her money going to political purposes" she didn't support.

Fisher took her concerns to Jim Wade, director of personnel for Sevier County Schools. Wade told her the principal acted correctly and only SCEA and TEA could post notices and information. Why? The union negotiated an exclusivity clause through collective bargaining.

"In our contract, SCEA is the exclusive agent for the teachers and they (SCEA) may then use any of our facilities to communicate," Wade said in a phone interview. "Ms. Fisher may have any opinion she likes and express that opinion, but she cannot use any of the school facilities to promote any other group."

Most collective bargaining agreements across the state contain an exclusivity clause. Such clauses give TEA and its affiliates a monopoly on information distribution whether through bulletin boards, teachers' mailboxes or taxpayer-funded email systems.

"(Teachers) can say whatever they want," Wade said. "They can hand out, to an individual, anything they want." But because of collective bargaining, they cannot post a column opposing TEA.

"Teachers should not feel fearful for sharing their views," Fisher said. But she said teachers who go against the union grain are shunned and those who don't conform to the TEA code are ostracized, even harassed. "I feel my voice is being stifled and silenced," Fisher said. "Is this what we've come to in America?"

Red light rolls

The bill regulating red lights passes out of full house transportation committee.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not the one to cry.

It is almost getting entertaining to watch Jimmy Naifeh complain about the lack of bipartisanship. Seeing the man who used every trick in the book to routinely abuse Republicans, reduced to crying when he can no longer get his way gives Republicans who saw him in action no small amount of joy.

If abuse were real and someone did need to complain, the person to do it is not him.

Oatney says it better.

The other white meat

Tonight the governor had the legislature over to the party bunker for dinner. The main course?

Pork!

I wonder if he even realizes how ironic that is.

So good make it cover all

Democrats are pushing for a rule change to make all substantive amendments sit a week in committee before potential adoption to a bill. While it would be a reversal from past actions under the old regime it is not a bad idea. In fact there is a 2/3 vote rule is in the senate for amendments on the floor.

Would house Dems be willing to give up the power of the last second floor amendment for the same on committee amendment?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Left over St Patric's day goodies

I have had this tune from The Belfast Cowboy stuck in my head like some leftover haggis in the fridge.

Over 200 "Jobs" bills filed

I find it funny how the Democrats wail and moan about the lack of a "Jobs" package by the Governor and Republicans.

For years the Democrats said all we needed for jobs was a better educated work force and the jobs would flock/grow here. Now, Republican are working diligently to reform education and pull us out of the cellar and Democrats complain that education has nothing to do with jobs.

I would love to see Democrats tell that to all the teachers and kids out there "Education has nothing to do with you getting or keeping a quality job!"

Can they put that in their next election mail piece?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tennessean does guns

The Tennessean does an article regarding guns on campus. The instapundit is quoted quite heavily.

A poll (Last I checked) had allowing guns on campus ahead.

Paying to be in the news


Some people think that the taxpayers of of the state should be forced by law to pay keeping the traditional dead wood papers alive and printing the news that legislators see fit.

Sound crazy? I know, but that is the state of affairs with antiquated laws requiring the public notices to be in the pay papers.

The media world is in the middle of that venues shift as I type this.

Traditional dead wood papers had their place in their time. It was about the only source or venue for information in its day. Almost everyone read the papers to get information.

But that day is passing.

I do not think traditional reporting will disappear if the dead wood edition of a paper goes away. Quality reporting on the facts and issues of the day will always draw a market for those who want information, but it will change venues. To think that the dead wood edition of newspapers in going anywhere but into a virtual dust bin of extinction is just laughable. Dead wood papers large and small across the nation are collapsing day after day as they come up against the Internet.

"Public notices" have stoped being news and have become a government subsidy to a non market. Less the 25% of Tennesseans are still willing to have to pay to get their news from the deadwoods. Of that 25% I would estimate @2% of those actually read the public notices. Of that 2% (of the 25%) I expect that at least 80% of those read the notices for business reasons and would look it up on line if it were the only place it was available. All worked out that is about .01% of the population reads the public notices for fun or general education.

Conversely 75% of Tennesseans have access to the free Internet. Just like with blogs, those with something of interest to say will have people drawn to their site. Those with nothing of interest will get no market share.

If public notices are so important and interesting to the public, nothing would stop a local paper from publishing public notices on their own for free in their dead wood edition or their on line version. In fact, if so many people are drawn to public notices I would encourage it. In fact, print them on the front page of their papers so their paying readers could see and get what they want right away. But the millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies needs to stop.

America is built on the free market and personal responsibility. The government can try and force people to read something that they have little to no interest in and even force other taxpayers to pay for it. But just like the candle makers and buggy whip makers of old, the taxpayers can curse the darkness, stay at home forcing others to prop the products of the past now that the light bulb and automobile have come into being or they can start thinking about electrifying their house and getting new transportation if they want to see at night or go somewhere.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2 more states move guns on campus

Texas and Idaho have now moved bills allowing guns on campus. Oklahoma, Arizona, and Florida have similar bills in the works.

The money quote...

"It is about personal safety. Not campus safety."

Now thats rich!

Jimmy Naifeh and Lois Deberry complain about Republicans being partisan and forcing union reform legislation through the committee (against the minority party complaints) even after the bill has been watered down to the point of insignificance.

Never saw that happen when Jimmy was in control.....Yea right.

When will Republicans realize that Democrats are not going to be happy no matter how much the legislation is watered down. Democrats are the ones who have no ability to compromise on union reforms. I challenge any reporter to ask what type of reforms Democrats are willing to accept on this piece of legislation.

I bet they say none.

They are the party of "NO!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lookin' out my front door

Here is some video of the protest in front of my office door (Room 4) and the "union" protesters that were taken away in cuffs.

Quote of the day

"Your right of free speech does not trump our right to peaceably assemble"

Lee and Terry Frank

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's not like this..........

Love the show, hate the smell.

The "union people" were in the legislature today toooo...... I am not sure what. I guess yell and scream. They started to yell and scream pro union chants and wander around the capitol yelling and screaming at people but for the life of me I never heard a specific issue. They came by my office and started to yell and chant outside my door. I went out and cheered them on. It was sort of laughable. I always have an open door policy for any and all people who want to come in and discuss an issue but they did not.

Honestly they all looked like a bunch of college kids (if that). I asked one what "union" they were a part of. She said she supports a lot of unions. I asked what specific union she was a part of and she said the same thing again. I asked if anyone in the crowd was an actual union member. A bunch of them looked around at each other and said there were several union members there. I think I was pretty clear that I wanted to talk to one if there was one but none stepped forward. They soon wandered off to yell and scream someone else (I guess).

Later, they came back for whatever reason. I was again in my office with the door open. I heard some chanting and yelling then someone say something like "No violence! Stop the violence!" I went out to see what was going on and the police were hand cuffing two protesters.

Again the chanting, yelling and screaming started back up. I was in the doorway and asked "What are you protesting?" They said the fact that no "Anti union bills" were brought forward today. I asked if they really wanted them to move forward.... Blank stares came back.

One person asked why didn't I come of my office doorway, so I did. I said I was willing to listen to anyone who had an issue. One woman said to talk to her. So I went over. She said, "Are you hear to listen?" I said "Yes, what do you want to talk about?"

She asked again "Are you hear to listen?" Again I said "Yes, What issue do you want to talk about?"

Third time I got the same question "Are you here to listen?". I decided to change track. "Who are you with? What do you want?"

She finally fumbled out she was with the person in the other room being arrested and wanted jobs with justice. I asked what that meant to her and she started to bring up nonviolence, Mississippi, MLK and asked If I supported the person being arrested. I said I don't know what happened so I couldn't speak to if they deserved being arrested or not. It sort of went down hill from there and the conversation wondered around with no real point. To be honest I never heard a real issue all day. The closest I got was one bearded kid asked if I supported unions. I said I support peoples right to legally unionize. He didn't know what to do with that but seemed satisfied. It never seemed to go beyond that.

I had to go to committee shortly there after. I don't know what happened to the people getting cuffed. While I support their right to protest they could get a little farther if they actually had a clear idea of what they were protesting for or asked to talk to legislators about it. That and a shower might not hurt either. I understand people sweat but there was some serious old school funk going on in that hall. Water and soap will not kill you. I promise.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The budget.

Was about what was expected cuts wise. I am interested on how and why we are going to increase the rainy day fund and give state employee pay raises while closing a billion dollar deficit and laying people off.

"The Dean" does a good rundown.

And that too

Daytona 500 champ (And Knoxville native) Trevor Bayne was in the senate tonight. We got to talk a little previous to my presenting him with a congratulatory resolution for his big win. Nice kid and family. I have to pull for anyone who wears sneakers with a suit.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The door is open. Get the boot.

Last year I made the commitment if TSSAA opened the door to home school students this year I would not run my home school bill to open the floodgates to home school students last year or this.

TSSAA stuck to their word.

Mike Bell is running a bill to expand on what TSSAA did this year.

The "Hey! I just found the bathroom!" budget

Bill Haslam is about to present his first budget as governor. What do I expect?

Not much. It is Bills first year in the legislature and he is really still just trying to get a staff together.

While I have not seen any part of the budget, I expect the budget to be pretty much what Bredesen left for Haslam as a budget for this year (with a little deeper cuts to higher education and social services to balance the state budget).

No new taxes. They would not pass even if he did bring them forward so he won't.

I do not expect some huge new "Jobs plan" or "Jobs bill" and the Democrats are probably going to rip him on it. The instant gratification parties talking points have diminished to "How many jobs will (Fill in blank) create tomorrow?" I think most people realize we did not grow our deficits overnight and spending our way into prosperity is like standing in a bucket trying to lift yourself up by the handle.

Haslam will talk about jobs, but it will probably be more of a talk on things that could lead to jobs down the road such as improving education, reducing regulations and tort reform, then direct government spending to employ people.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I don't think those words mean what you think they mean.

TNReport lays out the rhetoric the Democrats keep using to try and incite anger. The latest examples are how Republicans are using "Terrorism" or are "Fascist" because we passed a bill that says that you don’t have to be a member of a union to serve on the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System.

The legal definition for the record...

Main Entry: ter·ror·ism
Pronunciation: 'ter-&r-"i-z&m
Function: noun
1 : the unlawful use or threat of violence esp. against the state or the public as a politically motivated means of attack or coercion
2 : violent and intimidating gang activity terrorism > — ter·ror·ist /-ist/ adj or noun — ter·ror·is·tic /"ter-&r-'is-tik/ adjective Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.




World English Dictionary
fascism (ˈfæʃɪzəm)

— n
1. any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism; any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism


If anyone can explain how allowing MORE people the right to negotiate their own contract or serve their state is opposed to open democracy please let me know.

Veritatem cognoscetis et veritas te liberabit.

"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free"

There seems to be a little confusion on who ultimately controls the land grant university known as the University of Tennessee. It is not the university. It is the state of Tennessee (the state legislature).

Therefor when someone says they support whoever has control of the university deciding on if they allow people their second amendment rights, that decision would ultimately fall to the state legislature. Not the university or the faculty senate.

Tenure reform passes

21-12 Doug Henry went with Republicans to pass reforms on future teachers getting tenure.

Could passing tenure reform help the unions?

As we move to pass tenure reform the concern has arisen that passage of the tenure reform bill may actually help doom the collective bargaining reform legislation.

The reasoning is the governor wants to pass his tenure reform bill but is not as passionate about stopping mandatory union negotiations. The fear is once tenure reform passes the governor will have little to no reason to help weak members stand up to the unions and pass the union reform bill out of the house education committee.

Time will tell.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

No preference for unions

The bill removing the requirement that a only a paying TEA union member may be appointed to the Tennessee consolidated retirement system board has passed 20-13. Party line vote with all those voting no being Democrats.

The union battles are on.

Who is the party of No?

Anti income tax bill passes

The bill to amend the constitution saying an income tax is not constitutional passed today 28 to 5. All of the 5 were Democrats.

Congrats to Brian Kelsey who was gracious in thanking all the previous sponsors who were unable to pass similar legislation under Democrat leadership.

Quote of the day (Ron Ramsey edition)

"It scares me when our freshman are regularly quoting Shakespeare and I'm quoting Ricky Bobby."

Who is paying for the subs?

While we were swearing in Sen. Roberts there was a large contingent of teachers(?) in the audience (wearing red). When the swearing in was complete Roberts was given a standing ovation by ALL the members. The teachers sat on their hands.

Boy, that really hurt

In last nights special election to replace Diane Black the TEA really wanted to make an example of Kerry Roberts. They did two targeted mail pieces going after him on collective bargaining claiming he would be bad for education. His opponents wife was a union organizer for the teacher union.

They wanted to make it a referendum on education reform.

It was.

Roberts 67% Wilber 33%.

Roberts won every precinct except his opponents home precinct that he lost by a whopping 1 vote.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Hep bill passes

Walking it back

Richard Grant Does a little look back and look forward on the 10th amendment and the expansion of the federal government.

Hep bill up

4.5 million people have Hepatitis B or C in the US. It often leads to cirrhosis of the liver or cancer and is often deadly. In fact, the death rate from Hepatitis is expected to exceed the death rate from AIDS in a few years.

We already have legislation to punish people who knowingly expose other people to AIDS. In fact it is a felony. Unfortunately, with the cost of imprisonment penalties of that nature are not available at this time. My bill will penalize people who expose others to these diseases with the highest penalty available (without imprisonment).

Will it change everyones life? No. Could it save a few? I hope.

"We don't want to" is not the same as "We don't want you to"

Some members of the UT senate want to continue restricting the constitutional rights of others. They seem to think the perception of safety is the same as actually being safe.

DNA OK or NO WAY!

The Muse does the plus and minus with Ron Ramsey's DNA bill.

Yea, but it was CNN.

Lee and Terry Frank get the shout out on CNN.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

George Will: 14th may go down

George will does a piece on illegal immigration. The thought is that legislation may come down clarifying what the 14th amendment does and doesn't say on birth right citizenship for children of illegal aliens.

Hiding behind the shield

"You are hurting education/children/teachers with this legislation"

The unions have been using this old saw like a club in the media to try to stop the reforms Tennessee is looking at for making our state efficient and get good teaching results.

The problem is when the unions make their claims they don't realize half their own members argue against their talking points. When attacking some of our bills they say how the bills have "nothing to do with changing education" and that they are "pure politics" so we shouldn't run them.

While an argument can be made they are wrong about the end result, lets go with their argument and say they are right. If they agree it has nothing to do with education then step out from behind the shield of "the children and their education" and talk about why the bill is bad.

Is part of it political? Possibly....OK, probably. But the union is political. When you step into the political arena and get involved in political fights in an all but purely partisan basis, guess what? YOU ARE POLITICAL! You cant later run around and hide behind the shield of the children saying you aren't political so no one else should be. That dog won't hunt.

If the unions can make a good current argument as to why they are still valid and need the government to prop them up then fine, make the argument but the unions need to quit the tactic of hiding behind the shield of the children when the fight does not go their way. It is cowardly.

Will our reforms demoralize and possibly bounce out bad, lazy teachers who are unwilling to improve themselves or their skills? I sure hope so and if that is all the unions are left fighting against then I can see little current reason for their existence. I doubt many people out in the real world will either.

Joke of the week (Retirement Dinner... )

A priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the Parish. A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and to give a little speech at the dinner. However, he was delayed, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited.

"I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss's wife, taken illegal drugs and gave an STD to his sister. I was appalled. But, as the days went on, I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed come to a fine parish full of good and loving people ....."

Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and gave his talk:

"I'll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived," said the politician. "In fact, I had the honor of being the first person to go to him for confession."

Moral of the story: Never, never, never ever be late!!!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Memphis is a deadbeat parent

Let me tell you a little story of a parent called "Memphis". Memphis was all hot to have a baby and raise it up in his own way. He talked to the girl next door, got married and had a pretty little baby. It was cute and cuddly but after the baby was born, Memphis realized there was work involved in raising a child and diapers were not cheap. Both parents were somewhat active with the child but Memphis liked the party nightlife more then the work in the morning. After a while, arguments ensued and money for the baby stopped coming.

The girl next door was not too pleased and went to court to get child support. Memphis agreed the child was his, but didn't want to pay for it any longer. He complained when he cared for the child, the baby didn't do what he wanted and was cranky. He said he was willing to turn full custody of the child over to the mother so he did not think he should have to pay anything. The court decided otherwise. Memphis had to pay.

Memphis went into a rage.

He no longer wanted to pay the support payments. What could he do? Memphis gave up the child, the court said he still owed.

Memphis tried to shake the debt by divorce, the court said he still owed.

Memphis figured the last hope would be to fake his death, get a new social security number and change his name. He figured the court would not be able to hold him accountable then. But the court found out his plan and said, while he could change his name and possibly get a new social security number (in time) they still expected the child support payments.

Memphis was at a loss for what to do next.

In a related story,

The commercial appeal tells the details on Memphis/ Shelby school merger deal and Memphis's plan to get out of paying $57M for schools.

When you play with knives

Greg Johnson lays out how the NEA/TEA got itself involved in politics and is now reaping the whirlwind. PET could quickly rise as a non partisan union who looks out for its members for less cost (Its insurance is better and its cost is @ 1/4 what NEA/TEA is).

Last year, TEA chose - with concerted aforethought - to give almost 93 percent of its political contributions to Democrats. TEA fired the first political shot. Now TEA feigns shock when politics doesn't go its way.

When teachers choose to join TEA, they also choose the National Education Association. Since a portion of dues go to NEA, teachers give tacit, if not implicit, approval to the political agenda of NEA. And what a political agenda it is.

In 2010, NEA bragged on its website, "The Association has increased its independent (political) expenditure campaign from $15 million to $17 million." NEA used some of those dollars to attack Republicans.

Tennessee teachers helped NEA fund blatantly noneducational purposes. IRS Form 990 for 2008 (the latest year available) shows NEA gave $300,000 to Health care for America Now, an advocacy group promoting Obamacare. NEA also gave $25,000 to the Democratic Leadership Council.

The NAACP received $50,000 from NEA while the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force got $15,000. NEA gave money to the Center for American Progress, Campaign for America's Future and the Economic Policy Institute, left-wing think tanks all. NEA gave $90,000 to the National Public Pension Coalition, an outfit founded to protect public employee pensions.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Tennessee could steal the spotlight


As all the national media concentrates on what is going on in Wisconsin, Tennessee has a golden opportunity.

While businesses are watching how Wisconsin handles unions, Tennessee has a few pro free market bills of our own. If Tennessee could pass a large chunk of them first (And keep them strong), we could quickly steal the spotlight as a national leader for free market/ non union business growth.

If you are looking for an edge in recruiting employers, this is an opportunity.

As if it mattered

The Democrats are upset how republicans are taking on the government employees unions and their mandate for forced negotiations. They are upset the governor and Republicans are not catering to them as they have in the past.


"Any time you have a bill you'd like to get as many folks voting for it to build that consensus as you can," Haslam said. "But in the end, the main thing that's important to us is to get it passed."

Haslam's bill to extend by two years the probationary period before teachers can get tenure -- and to create a mechanism for teachers to lose that status if they perform poorly -- was advanced to a full Senate vote earlier Wednesday on a 6-3 vote by the Senate Education Committee. Each of the panel's Democrats voted against the measure.

Sen. Eric Stewart, D-Belvidere, said Haslam's proposals are losing support from Democrats because of other Republicans' efforts to strip teachers' collective bargaining rights with local school districts. Haslam has taken a neutral stance on that proposal, but Stewart said the measure has cast doubt on all GOP education bills....


...Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville said he was not surprised to see the party-line vote on Haslam's tenure bill, citing the traditionally close relationship between Democrats and the state's largest teacher's union, the Tennessee Education Association.

"It seems to me that the Democrats are bought and paid for by the unions, and they fight even the most commonsense reforms in education," he said.



The talk in the legislature was all about how Ramsey Later went on Ralph Brystal and blistered them some more calling them "Asinine" for some of the false rumors being put out by the TEA flacks. Among other false stories spread...

-Republicans intend to remove sick day.

-Republicans will abolish all unions.

-Republicans are going to raid the retirement funds of teachers.

-Unions will no longer be allowed to represent their members under any circumstances.

-Republicans are going to end the teacher retirement fund all together.

-Republicans are going to take all teacher retirements and give teachers nothing for past service.

-Republicans are going to stop payments for sick days that have been saved.

All false. Now that Republicans are in control, it just doesn't matter.

Quote of the day (My friends logic edition)

At a reception the Governor was attending I asked some friends if they would like to get a picture with the Governor. They shot back...

"Hey, the Governor will be around for at least 4 years. Those ribs at the buffet may not be here in ten minutes."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Lookin out for the 13 year olds

Rep. Frank Nicley helps legalize the sale of Jack Danial's in Tennessee and talks about deregulation for the little man.... The VERY Little man.



"Niceley said Jack Daniel began distilling whiskey at age 13, launching an enterprise that has become known worldwide as much as any Tennessee-launched product except Coca-Cola.

"Today, if a 13-year-old started making whiskey, they'd chop up his still, send him to reform school and arrest his parents," Niceley said. "That's our biggest problem today - overregulation."

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Motivational quote of the day

"A man's life is what his thoughts make of it."

~Marcus Aurelius

Boom, boom, boom. Out go the lights.

"The Dean" does a breakdown on the red light camera bills coming through committee.

The bill approved by the House Transportation Subcommittee (HB1500) also includes provisions that:

--Require "a traffic engineering study" before any new camera could be set up to assure that the proposed camera meets specified criteria.

--Prohibit unmanned traffic enforcement cameras within two miles of a reduction of speed limits of 10 mph or greater. Proponents of the provision say some cameras now create a "speed trap" by being set up immediately past a reduction in speed limit.

--Mandate that notice of violations be mailed to the alleged offender within 20 days and that all responses and payments be made to a Tennessee address. The original bill called for mailing within 10 days, but that was changed by amendment.

Some lawmakers say citations now are sometimes not mailed for months and some require payments be made to the company based out of the state that operates the cameras.

-Require that the mailed notice include a clear statement of penalties and extra costs that can be assessed for late payment or if the alleged offender goes to court. If a person does not contest the citation, the fine would be capped at $50.

-Require that a certified law enforcement officer review all photos or camera footage before a citation is issued. Current law requires only that an "employee" of a law enforcement agency conduct the review.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Vince Dean of East Ridge, is somewhat similar to legislation that was approved by the House last year only to die in the Senate Transportation Committee. This year, Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, is Senate sponsor of the measure.

The provision eliminating citations for right turns on red was not part of last year's proposal and stirred most of the debate in its first committee hearing. The bill passed with just two no votes and now goes to the full House Transportation Committee.

Lawmakers say many complaints from motorists about camera-issued tickets are based on right hand turns....


....Dean's bill effectively bypasses that notion by prohibiting any ticket for a right turn on red being issued by a traffic camera. Police could still personally ticket motorists, however, for turning right without a complete stop.

The panel also approved 6-4 another bill -- over Dean's objections -- that says citations issued on the basis of a traffic camera must be personally served on the alleged offender, not just mailed.

Do public unions violate anti trust laws?

Susan Lynn and the Wall Street Journal think its quite possible.

Knoxville stops home school sports

Knoxville school superintendent Jim McIntyre has put the breaks on Home school sports participation.

He seems to be unaware that home school parents pay taxes for the schools already.