Sunday, July 31, 2011

Joke of the week (science quiz)

One question threw me off. Name one thing commonly found in cells. I found out Illegal aliens is not the correct answer.

Quote of the day (Isn't that what a representative does?)

On the University of Tennessee's full-time lobbyist in Washingnton.


It has proved worthwhile to have someone (in Washington)," said Hank Dye, UT's vice president for public and government relations. "If you don't have somebody up there representing you, I think you'd be missing out."

Friday, July 29, 2011

The four corners and Lucy Van Pelt

As I watch the federal goings on I have to wonder who will blink first. While Republicans have put forward several plans the Democrats have shot down everything and held back on offering anything. Sounds like a song and dance I have seen before at the state level or heard stories of in old "four corners" basketball.

The Dems will sit back and shoot down every other plan possible and when Republicans are completely out of bullets and it is the 11th hour and 59 minutes have gone by, the Democrats will take their shot. Their hope is the fear of default will scare enough people into voting for their plan so it will pass. If it does, they get what they want and take credit for "fixing the economy". If it doesn't they will blame Republicans for shooting down the only hope left to avoid default.

In the mean time Republicans argue and compromise with themselves on a bill that if it went up yesterday would not gain any Democrat support. Democrats are holding pat with the "nothing, no matter what" defense plan, waiting for the final seconds and panic. The question is, will Republicans cave in and chuck up the ball again to see it die in the senate or will they try and hold out for the final second shot themselves.

I expect the Republicans will fall for the same old Charlie Brown trick again.
Democrats will, like Lucy Van pelt, hold the ball down and offer Republicans a shot to kick the winning field goal like Charlie Brown. Republicans will fall for it, take a charge at the ball, kick for it and miss terribly leaving them smarting and flat on their back after Lucy yanks the ball away.

Lucy will then walk to the far goal with the ball. Blaming Republicans for missing the game winning field goal the entire way.


All artistic credit to Charles Schultz

Well said.

Rep. Judd Matheny does an EXCELLENT job laying out how and why Republicans support the constitution and the bill of rights.

It amazes me that whenever conservatives start looking for ways to ensure our Constitution is upheld, liberals are never far behind fretting about what that means for government.Recently, much to the chagrin of those liberals and insider pundits, we announced the creation of a task force to examine our Second Amendment rights. As if on cue, the extreme left used the occasion for demagoguery. In doing so, they once again reveal how far removed they are from the values of Tennesseans.....

....Speaking to a broader point, I firmly believe that any opportunity we can take to review the application of our constitutional rights and ensure Tennesseans are freely exercising them — unencumbered by government — means we are fulfilling our role as delegates of the people. While the left wastes valuable taxpayer dollars on commissions that will expand the scope and reach of government, our Republican majority is committed to expanding the liberty Tennesseans cherish.


Sadly, the one thing I have learned about the philosophical divide of the two main parties is that for the most part his words are true. One party passes legislation to expand the restrictions on the individual and expand the rights, powers responsibilities of government and the other party wants to expand the rights and personal responsibilities of the individual and pass laws to restrict the tentacles of government.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rick Perry to sign "Loser pays" bill

Texas governor Rick Perry is supposedly going to sign the loser pays tort reform bill today.

I think it is a combination of the legislation Vance Dennis and I have been working on as well as a practice used in California. I am considering incorporating the new California idea into my bill (or possibly running as its own bill).

In California if an offer is made that is NOT accepted by the opposing side and the court finds the offer was reasonable (within 10% of the final award) then the person not accepting the offer has to pay the other sides legal fees.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jobs with justice!!!

The one thing that seems to get skipped in story after story about the 3 nurses who got their license back was that the deal was not give them their license and get the board of nursing renewed. It was give them a hearing to present their side of the case and get the board renewed. No pre qualifier on the final result of that hearing was mandated.

No professional should permanently lose their license without being able to present their side of the story.

The board agreed. The nurses did get to present their side and the board decided it was in the wrong. The nurses got their licenses back.


Some people think this entire blow up is all an attempt to get the legislature to stop over site of the groups they brought into being. Ron Ramsey lets them know he does not plan to back down.

Not paying attention?

The way some people tell it Democrats are the only hope for tax cuts in the future. Really? For years Democrats had complete control, They increased taxes, had huge surpluses and still spent about every penny expanding actual government spending on programs. Not putting it all into reserves.

Now republican are at bat. We also have built reserves but we cut programs, cut actual government spending by over a billion dollars, put no new taxes on anyone and yes we actually CUT TAXES on Tennesseans.

Some times I want to ask what game are people watching because it is obviously not the one that has been going on in the legislature since Republicans took over. Do they want the non results or negative results of the past or the positive results of the future?

Talk is cheap. We are getting it done!

Insurance deregulation creates jobs

Well what do you know. Allowing more freedom from regulation helps private companies lower costs, expand insurance to their employees, expand the number of people they employ and encourages new businesses to come to Tennessee.

4,300 apply for 60 solar jobs

When I hear about stories like this one in Tennessee I often feel the need to ask liberals who want to tax job producers "What do you think is the bigger issue. Is it a lack of being able to find an educated workforce that we have a problem with or is it just a plain lack of people willing to start or expand private (Non government subsidized) businesses that is holding our economy back?"

"Why do you think that is?"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ummmmmm


No comment.

Headline of the day

Tom Humphrey shows the great non parallel when describing the upcoming sales tax holiday weekend.

Now for step two

Lady Speaker Beth Harwell made a great first step by limiting the number of trips legislators take to one a year. Personally I think unless you are in higher up leadership it should only allow for trips within the US but still, a great first step. Step two should be to limit the number of days legislators can collect perdiem to days their actual summer study committee gets together plus one or two a month at most.

Some legislators (especially around the Davidson county area) drift into the office waaaaaay more then is necessary just to collect their perdiem.

That needs to stop.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

After the execution they got religion

It is funny how people have a sudden change of heart and suddenly want to do the right thing after they are no longer in power. My biggest laugher of the day is how Democrats suddenly want to use surplus revenue to lower the tax on food and give more to college scholarships!

Holy hypocrisy Batman! I did a simple scan of my blog posts and counted over 19 calls to spend surplus funds lowering the sales tax on food. Some going all the way back to 2005.

Those ideas have been a Republican caucus proposal for years. Years when there really were surplus funds. Big surpluses. When Democrats were in power Democrats fought off those proposals and instead went on spending sprees buying highway signs to tell people what watershed they were in amongst other things.

Larger scholarships for college kids? I seem to remember a little scuffle about that one as well. We had a huge lottery scholarship surplus fund for years. Instead of helping students with more scholarships Democrats spent that to start up Pre K. Remember?

Now that Democrats are no longer in power after 150 or so years they finally get the gumption to try and do something about these issues? You are a little late to the ball Cinderella.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Joke of the week (building a fence)

Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House.

One is from Chicago, another is from Tennessee, and the third is from Minnesota. All three go with a White House official to examine the fence.The Minnesota contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil.

"Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me.

"The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

The Chicago contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the WhiteHouse official and whispers, "$2,700."

The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys!
How did you come up with such a high figure?"The Chicago contractor whispers back, "$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence.

""Done!" replies the government official.

And that, my friends, is how the new stimulus plan will work..

It is called constituent services

Legislators shake trees. We do it on a regular basis. Constituents call with issues of concern or in need of help and we try to help if possible. Now I am not talking about fixing tickets or getting some one out of jail but minor issues where people are having trouble dealing with government come up. Some times we smooth out a rough patch someone is having, sometimes we direct them to where they can best get the desired results they need. Occasionally we have to put some heat on or cajole people to do the right thing for our constituents if there is an injustice going on or someone has closed a door that might ought to be opened.

The two areas I have been directed to stay out of (And I do) are direct criminal proceedings and proceedings that are going to go to court (Law suits between parties, divorce, child custody cases, etc.) We don't want to be dragged into court as any sort of witness or to testify. That is not part of our job. If it does not go into one of those groups and it deals with a government interaction most legislators try to help. It is what we do.

If no money changed hands and they were not trying to cover up criminal activity they have a right to try and do what is best for their constituents. If someone was being rail roaded (I can not speak for this situation in particular) I don't see a problem with holding a group we have oversight over, up for questioning and review. If that review (formal or informal) did not sit well with the legislator then it is well within the legislatures purview to try to do something about it and make it right and fair for their constituent. That is what oversight and review is all about.

While we can not guarantee results (I bat about 25 to 50% success depending on the issue) it is called constituent service and we all do it.

Read this blog post get a free home!

How many legislators will get you a free home just for reading their blog? Ready to kiss the landlord goodbye? At this blog we dont give away dreams, we give away homes!

I have a friend who is giving away a home. Really. No joke. He has a double wide Mobil home on some property he owns and wants it gone. He is giving it away totally free to the first person who will come and haul it off. Rumor is moving a trailer and having it set up somewhere else runs $2-4K depending on the distance you have it hauled so you may want to check on that previous to saying "Yes!".

I had another friend who went and checked it out and he said it was really in pretty good shape. It had 3 large bedrooms and while it probably needed a little bit of touch up it was nothing that could not be polished up in a weekend or less. It is in the Karns/ Powell area (North Knoxville) for reference. If you are serious, want to check it out or have questions my friends name is Paul Miastis he can be reached at 414-0748 but it is first come, first served. Don't say "Oh yes! me!, me!, me!, me!" and then think you can sit around for a few weeks before starting the process of having it moved. As I said, he wants it gone. If you get there first with the truck to move it, you can have it. Till then it is up for the taking.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Home school sports boom

Where home school students have been allowed to participate in sports their numbers have boomed.

BY THE NUMBERS
• 83,000: Estimated home-schooled students in Tennessee

• 1,500: Families in Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association, the main organization for home-schoolers in the Chattanooga area

• 50: Students in the group’s athletics programs five years ago

• 450: Students in its athletics programs today


Now as the state is about to allow home school student participate in in state school sports teams I expect the numbers of parents who home shool to boom.

If it had been his court room would he feel the same?

David Oatney prints the dish on a judge who let the protesters against equal representation go.

Seems the judge has a history of giving liberal causes and liberal legislators a pass. I wonder if a group of conservatives had protested in his courtroom about a conservative cause would the protesters have gotten the same type pass?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Welcome to the smackdown!

Rick Womick drops the bomb on the Democrats and their leaders liberal spin machine...

...Unfortunately, it is the sly politicians that ruin that relationship and taint the public discourse with their transparent attempts to mislead Tennesseans. It is a shameful tactic and, unfortunately, one that Tennessee's Democrat politicians seem bent on using.

Given that, I think it is helpful to shine some truth on the Democrats' accusations and paint a clear contrast with our conservative leadership and their vision for a bloated government that wastes taxpayer dollars.

The Democrats current figurehead is state Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley. Mr. Fitzhugh has been on a barnstorming circuit of late trying to convince Tennesseans that the overwhelming majority of them who voted for reform last fall are wrong. While his claims have as much merit as ocean front property in Rutherford County, Mr. Fitzhugh truly believes what he is peddling. Sadly, he is conveniently ignoring the fact voters sent a message last fall that was directed squarely at him and his big government party.

In the just-completed legislative session in Nashville, voters were rewarded with the common sense reforms they have sought for years — the same ones that fell on deaf Democrat ears. Our Republican majority guided pro-growth tort reforms, small business initiatives, and much-needed education reforms to the governor's desk. At the same time, we literally cut the size of government and saved Tennessee taxpayers millions of dollars. We instituted election reforms and now require voters to show a photo ID, ensuring every vote cast is valid. We did this because of the simple, principled vision we communicated to voters last November: less government, lower taxes, and more freedom for every Tennessean.

Instead of joining us, Democrats like Mr. Fitzhugh and his merry band of big spenders would prefer to play a rhetorical shell game with Tennesseans. Given their proclivity to throw punches at Tennessee's agenda — the one we just passed and will continue advancing — it is helpful to look at a few items on the Democrats' legislative wish list.

Mr. Fitzhugh needs to honestly answer why he would allow his fellow liberals to yet again file a bill instituting a state income tax this year — a notion Tennesseans have continually rejected. Why won't Democrats listen to citizens? Do they really believe Tennesseans need to be paying more taxes in these rough economic times? Apparently, Mr. Fitzhugh does, because he also let his Democrat friends file a bill increasing the gas and diesel tax by 10 cents! Not only would this harm motorists, it would effectively cripple Tennessee's vibrant shipping industry. Yet another Democrat bill would have mandated all Tennesseans who own buildings to conduct a costly, comprehensive energy audit.

These are not part of a pathway to prosperity and job creation. These are the dark avenues of economic ruin that led Tennesseans to throw Democrats out of office in record-breaking numbers a little over six months ago.

Thankfully, our conservative leadership in the Capitol spoke with one voice and stopped Democrats cold. Instead we ushered through a bold agenda that will help with short-term economic growth and long-range job development. That is the sort of leadership Tennesseans expect.

For Mr. Fitzhugh and his liberal allies to criticize the reforms passed in this General Assembly is tantamount to slapping Tennesseans in the face. That is unacceptable. Then again, should we expect anything less from politicians who clearly are not meant to lead?

Quote of the day (re: guns on campus)

"I don't think the state should be in the business of legislating away constitutional freedoms"

Senate candidate Victoria Defreese

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Things any smart muggle would know

If you are going to try and be all hip and cool and insult someone by referring to their career as the 8th horcrux You need to first remember that the hero of the story (Harry Potter) was the 7th horcrux.

I guess that puts me in pretty good company, so thank you. I guess some children did not spend enough time studying in the restricted section of the library at Hogwarts.

Class dismissed.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Is now the time?

With the fed cutting $52 million from our road budget now might be a good time to consider Rep. Frank Nicley's idea to opt out of the federal highway fund. Tennessee already pays in about $100 million more in gas taxes to the fed then we get back. If we opt out of the federal gas tax but kept the tax rate at the same level Tennessee would be about $150 million richer.

That, and we can do what we want with the money. Think pave roads and build bridges instead of plant flowers and put up watershed signs.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Word of the day

Nontroversy- A word used to describe a non story puffed up to make someone look extra bad for political reasons. For reference see Julia Hurley

First the bottom now how about the top?

The governor has just suspended the pay increases for employees who have had multiple discipline infractions. I see the reasoning. Why reward bad behavior. That puts a little pressure on bad actors and rewards good ones.

On the other side of the coin, how about suspending pay increases for state employees already making say six figures? I see no reason to increase pay for someone already making 3, 4 or $500,000.00. do they really need the extra 5 or 6 grand?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Quote of the day (for the soon to be retired)

To me, to be a conservative means to conserve the good parts of America and to conserve our Constitution.

Ron Paul

Hat tip: Tona

Well I can see why he didn't make the list

Well, I guess I am not alone. Even the former governor and over 70 legislators got kicked off the news summery list.

Not a bad mix

The house Republican caucus has created a task force to work on securing second amendment rights. It's a good mix of legislators.

On the group is...

Curry Todd (R--Collierville) was named the Chairman of the Task Force. Additionally, Speaker Pro Tempore Judd Matheny (R--Tullahoma), Representative Joshua Evans (R--Greenbrier), Representative Andy Holt (R--Dresden), Representative Barrett Rich (R--Somerville), Representative Glen Casada (R--Franklin), and Representative John Forgety (R--Athens)

This can go one of two ways. Either it is an attempt to corral all the "trouble makers" and force them to "get in line and shut up" or it will give our 2A legislation some support and polish needed to really move it when it is time. These guys are some of the best for 2A rights in the house so I hope it is the latter. This task force can hopefully be a avenue to gain support within the house caucus for our 2A legislation. With our numbers there, that can be the key.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Let them eat cake

Tonight is one of the bigger political events in Knoxville every year. Build an apatite and come on down to the West Knox Republican club BBQ & cake auction at the Deane Hill Rec center tonight at 5. If you are not sure where it is go to Morrel road beside west town mall and look for the 300 million political signs.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

When it's my turn I'll have them scan a Ferrari



Hat tip: Ben Cunningham

Be careful what you ask for.


While the governor is in the process of trying to get the federal government to do something about the "Lost revenue" from internet sales, he may want to be careful what he askes for. Given the budget deficite at the federal level, if given the idea or the chance, I wouldn't be surprised to see them try and implement a national internet sales tax.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Was it the blog?

I had noticed I had not been receiving the news summery list put together by the governors staff for about the past week. The list is a brief summery of news articles from papers and even some web sites from mostly across the state but also the nation. The articles mostly dealt with state issues or issues that could have impact on Tennessee. Sort of a Tennessee new aggregator.

I thought it was possibly because of the holiday, or just some slow news period but I guess I was wrong. For some reason the governors people have deleted names from the distribution list.

I did not make the cut.

Honestly I don't know why he would take anyone off the list. I mean if they are interested in state government you would think the Governors office would like that. I think the way the news list is put together or who decides to highlight what stories that make the list would be more the factor for the governor. It has been used as the governors propaganda machine. News stories he wanted highlighted were at the top and repeated tons of times. Stories he did not like were buried if reproduced at all. While not all the stories made the governor or legislators look great The governors staff was the one who put the news story lists together. Who got it after that was secondary.


What ever the reason I don't think it was a good move or timing for someone who is already under attack as being bad on open government issues.

I must say I was a liiiiitle surprised I did not make the cut. Being a sitting senator I would think I would get a little bit of a pass. Even the past administration (Who I regularly took swings at) never took me off the list. Why would you want a state legislator left in the dark on state issues?

Was it the blog?


Either way I guess I am not on the "Cool kid" list so I will have to get my news the way I did it in the past. By talking first hand to legislators or by making the news on my own. I had been noticing a drop off of my blogging lately. The list made me lazy. I honestly think this could help pick it back up.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Quote of the day

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”


-- Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Someone call the Whaaaaambulance

Just another example of the tolerant left being open and respectful to people with divergent points of view. Is this an example of what they call "Gay bullying"?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

S.C. Phone home.

I just got a new phone. The old one just gave up about a week or so ago. If you sent me a text in the last week or so or you didn't get ahold of me when calling I couldn't get the missed numbers, messages or text off it.

AKA "The leave illegals alone" story

The KNS says if we pass illegal immigration reform in Tennessee, it might work, but it will not be good. The people on government services might have to try work. They point to Georgia's weeks old bill as an example of such a impending disaster.

"Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields," wrote the Atlanta Constitution-Journal's Jay Bookman.

"It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they've done to Georgia's largest industry."

The state's agricultural commissioner estimates Georgia farmers will need 11,000 more farm workers over the rest of the season and they're not getting them. Attempts by desperate state officials to cajole the jobless and 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers into doing fieldwork have been almost comically ineffective. Once they get a taste of stoop labor in the crushing heat, they're gone.

Head scratchers

Things George Korda does not understand...


I don’t understand how it is that abortion is justified on the basis that a woman has a right to choose what to do with her own body, but if she fails to buckle her safety belt as she drives away from the abortion clinic she can be stopped and ticketed for not protecting her body as the government requires.

• I don’t understand why anyone tries to guess what a criminal case jury is thinking. In the Casey Anthony trial commentators spent hours trying to guess what the jury was thinking. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks a jury is thinking. It only matters what the jury says when it’s finished thinking.

• I don’t understand those who condemn George W. Bush for “lying” about why we went into Iraq (weapons of mass destruction) and give President Barack Obama a pass though we’re clearly not bombing Libya solely for “humanitarian” reasons, as the president first declared.

Quote of the day (Helping people)

“The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”

— Emerson

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy independance day!



Now go eat a hot dog and enjoy your freedom to blow something up!

If you live in Senator Bo Watsons district you may want to say thank you for the fire works.

I agree with the governor

On the "Don't teach gay" bill, when the governor says ....

"That's probably one I would encourage the Legislature to not spend a lot of time on"

I agree. As a matter of fact I hope it passes very quickly in the house next year with no arguing at all. Why should there be any? When people ask why I spent 7 years working to pass this bill I have to turn the question around. Why does such a simple bill take 7 years to pass? Why fight so adamantly against such a simple bill if it is not happening at all? Why not pass it and just move on?

We don't need to keep having this bill come back again next year. And the year after. And the year after that.

I agree. Lets stop spending time on this bill, committee after committee, interview after interview, news story after news story. Lets get it up to the floor, pass it, Have the governor sign it and go on to other topics.

No more time to waste.