Archive for October, 2005

Abortion Debate at UT

Monday, October 31st, 2005

My friend Crystal Humphrey has a column in today’s Daily Beacon that is sure to ruffle some feathers!

‘New Media’ Sinks Miers

Monday, October 31st, 2005

John Fund, in today’s Wall Street Journal:

The Miers nomination vividly illustrates how the political battlefield has changed, from the artillery barrages of the Bork battle to the blitzkrieg tactics of today. Back in 1987, when President Reagan nominated Judge Bork, Rush Limbaugh’s nationally syndicated program, the Drudge Report, instantly updated newspaper Internet sites, competing cable-news channels and e-mail message blasts didn’t exist.

Now both political parties can find themselves under siege–and sometimes even held hostage–to outside forces that bear little resemblance to traditional special interest groups. Peter Beinart, editor of the liberal New Republic, lamented last week in a speech at Harvard that MoveOn.org and other manifestations of “the new liberal political culture emerging on the Internet” resemble the forces that backed George McGovern in 1972. They captured the Democratic Party and lost 49 states and four of the next five presidential elections.

Meanwhile, President Bush has a new appreciation for the power of the conservative movement, which rose up en masse to challenge the Miers nomination. “The Bush White House will never again be able to count on conservatives following the dictum, ‘Our leader, right or left,’ ” says Phyllis Schlafly, who heads the influential Eagle Forum.

Read the whole thing. Fund really nails it.

Alito and Libby

Monday, October 31st, 2005

The two biggest events since Friday have been the indictment of Scooter Libby and the nomination of Samuel Alito. Libby was indicted apparently for lying to a grand jury – not for the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame. Not that this makes it any less serious. Unlike with the Delay situation, I have seen little evidence that Peter Fitzgerald is motivated by politics. It is my hope that Libby gets a fair trial… But if he’s convicted, he should be punished. No one – be it presidents for chiefs of staff – can be allowed to lie under oath.

Secondly, there’s Samuel Alito. After the Harriet Miers fiasco, Alito seems to be an effort of regain support from conservatives. And it seems to be working. Michelle Malkin has a blogosphere roundup. Expect a fight for confirmation.

Sanders to Resign; Cutcliffe to Return?

Monday, October 31st, 2005

The News-Sentinel:

Randy Sanders is expected to announce this afternoon that he will resign as the University of Tennessee offensive coordinator, effective at the end of the season.

Sanders will retain play-calling and most coordinator duties through the remaining four regular-season games, however, a source close to the program said.

<...>

Former UT coach David Cutcliffe is a name that will soon surface to replace Sanders, according to a source. Cutcliffe was fired as Ole Miss’ head coach after last season.

I figured Sanders would be gone after this season, but I didn’t expect the announcement to come so soon. Public sentiment is strongly anti-Sanders (as evidenced here and here).

Sanders is, by all accounts, a good person who cares deeply for Tennessee. Part of me hates to see him go; I can only imagine what it must be like for him and his family. I think he deserves some praise for recognizing that things just weren’t working out, and stepping down voluntarily. In a world where no one wants to give up power, it is nice to see Sanders put the team before himself.

Personally, I’d love to see Sanders stay on in some capacity for the Vols, but clearly it just wasn’t to be for him at offensive coordinator.

Halloween in the High Country

Monday, October 31st, 2005

Banner Elk, NC.

Happy Halloween!

Greetings from Music City

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

Fall Flowers

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

Tennessee Poll Numbers

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

Via Jay Bush, Zogby has released it’s Battleground ‘06 polling. Former Senator Fred Thompson was thrown into a hypothetical race for governor. The results are very interesting for Tennessee:

Governor
Thompson (R) 51%
Bredesen* (D) 38%

Senator
Bryant (R) 51%
Ford Jr. (D) 40%

Hilleary (R) 50%
Ford Jr. (D) 41%

Corker (R) 45%
Ford Jr. (D) 40%

Bryant (R) 51%
Kurita (D) 34%

Hilleary (R) 47%
Kurita (D) 39%

Corker (R) 40%
Kurita (D) 38%

Phil Bredesen is often called one of the most popular Democratic governors in the nation, and has even received grudging praise from prominent national conservatives. However, a hypothetical match-up between Bredesen and one of the Volunteer State’s favorite sons shows he is not invincible.

Fred Thompson, the lawyer-turned-actor-turned-politician-turned-actor who spent eight years in the U.S. Senate, after being elected to fill out the remainder of former Vice President Al Gore’s Senate term, is one of the most popular figures in Tennessee. While a run for governor would likely cause him to discontinue his role as the newly-elected conservative District Attorney on NBC’s Law & Order, were he to seek his home stateA^?s highest office, he’d have a very high probability of winning. The Zogby Interactive poll finds him holding a commanding 13-point lead over the incumbent.

The race for Tennessee’s other Senate seat – the one being vacated by current Majority Leader Bill Frist – produces nothing short of great news for the Tennessee Republican Party. Every prospective match-up shows the GOP winning, and usually by substantial margins. While former Congressman Ed Bryant, who lost a 2002 primary to Lamar Alexander, the man who succeeded Thompson in the U.S. Senate, is the GOP’s strongest potential candidate, Van Hilleary, the conservative former congressman who ran against Bredesen and lost in 2002 would also likely win. Beth Harwell, a state representative and former state Republican chairwoman, performs at levels similar to Hilleary. Even Bob Corker, the moderate Chattanooga mayor, and weakest candidate against potential Democratic opponents, would likely win by decisive margins.

On the Democratic side, Harold Ford Jr., the telegenic African American congressman who represents Memphis and is one of the more moderate-to-conservative Democrats in the U.S. House, is his party’s best hope. But, in a state that has trended increasingly Republican since both its Senate seats switched to the GOP in 1994, Ford trails his potential GOP opponents – faring worst in a match-up against Bryant. Democratic State Senator Rosalind Kurita performs even worse.

I am generally skeptical of Zogby polls, so I would take all this with a grain of salt. However, if this poll is accurate, it is very good news for Republicans. The dream scenario of Fred Thompson entering the governor’s race is highly unlikely, but Bredesen clearly is beatable. It would have been nice of Zogby had put Beth Harwell and Jim Henry into hypothetical races against the Governor.

The Senate polls bring even better news, with every candidate winning handily over Harold Ford, Jr. Having said that, I fully expect the race to tighten up after the primary season ends.

State Sen. Rosalind Kurita also sees some good news in these numbers.

Return to Nashville

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

It’s nice to be back in Nashville again. I have always loved this city. The only real complaint I have is the amount of road construction going on here – both on the interstate and Briley Parkway. The amount of road work here is actually starting to rival Knoxville! That is an accomplishment, albeit not a good one.

Tonight I am going on a ghost tour downtown. Should be fun! As most of you know, I love weird stuff :-)

Off to Nashville

Friday, October 28th, 2005

I am spending this weekend in Nashville. Blogging will be light (if I have internet access) or nonexistent (if I don’t). Have a great weekend, everyone!