Saturday, July 31, 2010

Flipping Channels: Is 'Rubicon' Damned with Intelligent Praise?

Posted By on Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 4:05 AM

Below, Ron Wynn trains his spyglass on AMC's new espionage series Rubicon, the future of Dark Blue and This Week with new host Christiane Amanpour.

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Brenda Ivey Robertson Flood Relief Show Tonight

Posted By on Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 4:00 AM

From Scene writer Ron Wynn:

Popular area gospel singer and personality Brenda Ivey Robertson has organized one of the year's most impressive and comprehensive events designed to both give exposure to gifted local performers and choirs and help victims of the recent flooding. Saturday night's "Salute For Flood Relief and Benefit Gospel Concert" at the Watson Grove Baptist Church, 1415 Horton Ave, will feature top soloists, groups, duos and choirs doing classic, traditional and original gospel numbers.

The night's many events will also include appearances from city officials and dignitaries, and offer fans a chance to hear great music and also bring donations and funds to assist area charities and philanthropic organizations. Also a special recording entitled "You're My Neighbor" will be sold for $6. The event gets underway at 7 p.m.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Franklin High Students Protest Flip Flop Ban...FAIL?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Perhaps not filed within the Department of Truth and Consequence, under the heading "Profiles in Courage," Franklin High students — who attend a school in one of the wealthiest counties in the country — have drawn a line in the sand. They're not boycotting a prom that bans same-sex dates. Nor are they protesting massive cuts in state aid to public schools. (Clearly in Franklin this is not a concern.)

They're refusing to obey the new Draconian dress code which bans — the humanity! — flip flops. Truly, flip flops are the "cornerstone," as The Tennessean reports, of every slovenly high school student's wardrobe ... along with frayed ball caps and khaki cargo shorts.

"I always wear flip flops," junior Gabrielle Lamay told Jennifer Brooks of The Tennessean. "I just kind of think (the ban) is dumb." Powerful stuff.

Some 200 students have signed onto a Facebook campaign to flout the dictatorial decree.

Pith's verdict: Civil disobedience FAIL...

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Anticipating Far-Right Losses at Polls, Gill Disses Tea Party

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 8:09 AM

The election still is six days away, but right-wing radio hero Steve Gill already is making excuses for movement conservatives. Do you think he can read the handwriting on the wall? In this week’s Scene cover story on the Republican governor's race, Gill claims it’s not ideology that’s bringing down Zach Wamp and Ron Ramsey—it’s money.

"What's really been happening in Tennessee politics is that rich guys win. Forget ideology. Just good fundraising isn't going to get the job done if you're running against guys who get their money at the Anytime Teller Machine. So I don't know that it's a really a battle of ideology as it is a battle of checkbooks. If Wamp or Ramsey had an unlimited bank account, we'd have a different race."

And here’s something we didn’t include in the dead-tree edition: Gill also dissed the Tea Party movement as all but inconsequential in Tennessee.

“The Tea Parties, quite frankly, are four or five guys who gather at the coffee shop and declare themselves the Tea Party of such and such and start issuing press releases. There’s no organization.”

Sounding very much like an establishment guy himself, Gill says the Tennessee Republican Party already espouses Tea Party views for the most part. The state GOP was taken over by its right wing during the horn-honking protests against the state income tax a decade ago, according to Gill.

“The Tea Party isn’t as big a factor in Tennessee as it may be in other places. We’ve had that movement already. The horn honkers are basically the same thing as the Tea Party. It’s a lot of the same players. The horn honkers moved into office. A lot of our legislators were folks who got their start out there in the horn-honking process. We didn’t form a formal horn-honking party or even a horn-honking wing of the Republican Party. All those people just gravitated into the party, and it became the anti-income tax party. It basically subsumed and took over the Republican Party.”

If all those right-wingers only had some cash …

Will Tea Party Meet Hype and Take Over GOP Next Week?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 7:24 AM

Media analysts will look to next week's election results for whether the Tea Party fulfilled its hype. In Tennessee, that would translate into victories for either Zach Wamp or Ron Ramsey in the governor’s race and for Lou Ann Zelenik and Van Irion in GOP congressional primaries.

Of all these candidates, only Zelenik is given much chance to win, and she'd have to come from behind. In the highest profile race, Ramsey and Wamp are losing to Bill Haslam, who is seen as another Republican establishment moderate like Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker and Bill Frist. Maybe these angry tea partiers are merely loud and not so numerous as we've been led to believe?

These losers won't go down for lack of trying to capitalize on far-right outrage. Wamp and Ramsey have been going after the Tea Party like a horny high school kid after his prom date in the back seat of his father's car, and Zelenik is so desperate she has stooped to hate speech against peace-loving Muslims in Murfreesboro.

Irion, who is running to replace Wamp in the Third District, carries a pitch fork to campaign events. He took his handgun into an editorial board meeting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press this summer. Here he is denouncing ideological impurity in the Republican Party:

Voting as a congressman is like pulling the trigger on a gun. If I’m at the range and I shoot 99 bullets and then I put one through someone’s head, I can’t say, ‘Oh gee, I’m sorry.’ That doesn’t put the bullet back in the gun. When you vote for the bailout saying you’re sorry the next week, that doesn’t fix the $800 billion debt that our great grandchildren will be paying for. Every vote has to be principled. It has to count. That’s what I’m about. Sorry if I seem intense but this is who I am.

Irion sued the president to try to overturn national health care reform. He talks about that lawsuit and his rebellion against the Republican establishment in this video:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dems Say Republicans Making Case for McWherter

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Alexander Says Democrats Treating Energy Like Unwanted Relative

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:05 PM

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McWherter Accuses Haslam of Lying About the State Income Tax

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 1:25 PM

In a press release, Mike McWherter has just accused Bill Haslam of lying about Big Jim Haslam's role in promoting Gov. Don Sundquist's state income tax in 1999. Get used to this. McWherter obviously hopes to pull the old switcheroo on the Republicans on taxes in the fall campaign. He's already outflanked Haslam by calling for lowering the sales tax on food when state finances allow. It may be irresponsible but it's probably good politics. The press release:

Nashville, TN — Mike McWherter, Jackson businessman and candidate for governor, calls Bill Haslam out for lying to the Associated Press about his family’s role in advocating for a state income tax.

Yesterday while discussing his father’s role in the 1999 income tax debate with the Associated Press, Bill Haslam said, “He [Zach Wamp] makes it sound like my dad was out leading the effort, which is not true.”

Jimmy Haslam, Bill Haslam’s father and Pilot Oil’s founder, served as one of four board members for an advocacy group known as Citizens for Fair Taxation. The four member board raised over $1.8 million for a publicity campaign supporting Gov. Don Sundquist’s push for a state income tax.

“Bill Haslam has lied to the people of Tennessee.” said Mike McWherter. “I am frankly disappointed that Bill would purposefully mislead Tennessean’s, this appears to a common theme for his campaign. Tennesseans deserve a Governor who knows the truth when he sees it.”

Roy Herron: Running for Office or Gunning for Mike Rowe?

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Oh, Im sorry, Roy Herron. Were you saying something? For some reason, I cant focus on your love for your truck.
  • Oh, I'm sorry, Roy Herron. Were you saying something? For some reason, I can't focus on your love for your truck.
I sat through two minutes of Roy Herron mumbling about his deep love for his truck in what is supposed to be a political ad and I thought, "This is strange."

Don't get me wrong. I had a '77 Caprice Classic I loved so much that I cried when it went to the junkyard. But I don't think my attachment to an old junker qualifies me for public office.

And certainly Herron can't think it qualifies him.

So, a gal has to wonder, is Herron also running for Ford Truck Spokesperson, if this whole run for Congress doesn't work out?

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WSJ Whacks Zach Wamp

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 9:25 AM

The Wall Street Journal eviscerates Zach Wamp this morning in an editorial headlined "Zach Wamp's Rebel Yell," calling the congressman "an epic spender and earmarker" for the TVA and "other federal boondoggles."

On the National Taxpayers Union's annual fiscal responsibility scorecard, Mr. Wamp rated 54% in 2004, 62% in 2005 and 56% in 2006 during the dissolute late period of the Republican majority, down from 87% in 1995. He told NPR in 2006 amid backbench attempts to impose even modest spending discipline that "You know, I will defend until my death the ability of the Congress to direct the funding or to earmark projects."

Mr. Wamp is once again trying to appeal to the GOP's opposition to big government, but Tennessee voters will want to look at his priorities when he was in a position of actual power.

Update: Ramsey uses the WSJ editorial in a fund-raising email.

While I remain focused on the issues as I speak with the voters of Tennessee, Congressman Wamp is being attacked by the conservative Wall Street Journal. It’s kind of hard to call yourself a true conservative while, simultaneously, the Wall Street Journal is attacking you for reckless spending. Check out the article below and see for yourself why Congressman Wamp is an unacceptable choice for Governor…

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