It smears one of Walker's campaign contributors—a retired University of Tennessee professor named John Bohstedt—as an "anti-war rioter." But it turns out, Bohstedt is a celebrated hero who tackled the killer during 2008's shooting at Knoxville's Unitarian Universalist Church.
Bohstedt did demonstrate against the Iraq war, but what makes this mild-mannered academic a rioter? Well, as a history professor, he specialized in the study of riots from the 16th through 19th centuries. Says Bohstedt:
"Stacey's mailing that called me a rioter shows how little he understands the University of Tennessee. And what we do there in teaching and research. If a professor specializes in malaria or heart disease, does that mean that they are in support of malaria or heart disease - that they are a heartworm or mosquito? Of course not."
Do you think this attack might backfire? Campfield apparently does. Naturally, he's claiming no knowledge of it. In a tactic that other Republican candidates are using, he claims he's tried to stop the state party from slinging mud but those rascals just won't listen to him. That damn state party headquarters is out of control!
“Honestly I haven’t received a copy of the mailer,” Campfield says. “I didn’t have anything to do with it. I’ve never heard of the guy until the mailer came out.”
Tennessee Republicans are so flush with cash that they're going after Old Hickory's Mike Turner, the No. 2 Democrat in the House. Turner has been forced to hit the streets to defend himself against a chucklehead named Charles Williamson, whose claim to fame in this campaign is this YouTube video in which he stomps a buffalo turd:
“It is bringing up a discussion about the name change,” said Brandon Batts, SGA president. “It wasn’t proposing a specific name change.” That said, students went on to say that MTSU should basically consider classing up the joint by calling itself University of Middle Tennessee — which has a prestige factor of 7.4, according to speculation directly off the top of my head.
“In some people’s minds, when they see ‘state university, they don’t see ‘university,’” Batts said. “By having university first, some people think that would be more prestigious.”
I suppose "those people" would include Memphis State, ahem, University of Memphis, who took the more prestigious, rebranded moniker back when I was starting college at MTSU in 1994, coincidentally. And the kid may very well be right about the semantic perception therein. But I figure we're talking about a difference in, er, degree and not in kind, if you'll pardon the pun.
There's been an enormous uproar in the country music blogosphere because SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) has just released the video they obtained from a FOIA battle with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which shows Troy Gentry of country duo Montgomery Gentry pretending to be on a real hunt — when actually he was illegally killing a tame bear trapped on a fenced-in acre.
Yes, in both videos, he shoots an arrow into a bear and then the bear staggers off to die. If viewing that disturbs you, consider this your fair warning.
So let's be clear: Troy Gentry is, himself, a huge douche canoe whose too-white teeth are kind of distracting.
That said, though, I've looked at SHARK's website and it's like PETA in that the whistleblowers themselves have an underlying current of douchebaggery that rubs me the wrong way.
SHARK owns huntersrapenature.com. No, they can't make their point with hunterskillnature.com or pseudohunterskilltameanimals.com. They have to go for rape. They list all of the reporters who don't write about their topic in a list on their website called "Media Villains," as if ignoring them is on par with committing a great evil.
There's just a level of bombast to it that strikes me as gross. But, hell, then maybe it's fine that they've got Troy Gentry in their crosshairs (so to speak). They seem like they deserve each other.
Q: In a lot of your mailers, you guys make a big deal about the Obama-Pelosi agenda. What’s the relevance of that in state legislative races?
Devaney: For example, let’s take the immigration issue. Our federal government is not doing its job on immigration, so if you have to pass legislation in the state to deal with the problem, then you want people who are going to stand up for your values on the state level. So that’s one. Um, health care, for example. There might be issues that we have to deal with at the state level that have to do with ObamaCare, and even our governor, Phil Bredesen, who is a Democrat, said it was going to bankrupt the state. So there might be some things we have to take care of at the state level to deal with ObamaCare. So if the Democrats are in control of things, they’re likely just to let the federal government roll over on us on those issues. So we need people to stand up to the federal government and Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.
Q: Maybe we should secede.
Yesterday I stumbled upon this video commemorating the Nashville Flood of 2010. It focuses on the citywide reaction to the deluge, celebrates Nashville's cooperative spirit and sings the praises of government. That's right: Big, bad, intrusive, overreaching government actually got our city through this disaster. The video features Mayor Karl Dean — who garners a lot of praise for his administration's preparedness and resolve — Gov. Phil Bredesen (sadly, sans his resourcefulness-exuding green vest) and ... well, I'm not sure who some of the other people are, frankly. It seems like this might be a rough edit of the video, since there are no captions to tell you who's who and no credits at the end. An interesting tidbit nonetheless. Pith readers, care to ID some of the talking heads?
The party mailer claims Campfield’s for letting the most dastardly criminals carry guns wherever they please.
“Extreme Legislator Stacey Campfield’s got a dangerous idea,” the mailer begins. So far, so good. But then the Democrats get carried away.
He wants to “let anyone carry a concealed gun. No matter who. No matter what they’ve been convicted of. No matter where they want to carry it. Think about it, rapists or even child sex predators would be free to carry concealed weapons at schools, churches, daycare centers or playgrounds. On Nov. 2, Disarm Campfield.”
We just phoned Democratic Party chairman Chip Forrester to ask him to defend this mail piece.
Q: So your mailer says Campfield’s for letting rapists run around with guns on playgrounds?
Forrester: That’s it in a nutshell.
Q: No seriously. [Pause] Since you’re not laughing, I guess you are serious. How exactly is he for letting rapists carry guns on playgrounds?
UPDATE: Will Cromer's name corrected in text.
Those of you following along at home know that Haslam's war on Planned Parenthood has been confusing since at least last week. An audience member at UT Martin attempted to get Will Cromer, Haslam's policy director, to explain what defunding Planned Parenthood exactly meant. Does Haslam, for instance, not support the non-abortion services Planned Parenthood provides?
Cromer's answer? (The first question the person asked was why Haslam himself couldn't be there.)
Second question, as you mentioned, may be something that we all don’t necessarily agree on but he doesn’t agree with state funding for Planned Parenthood. Um, you characterize it as if he doesn’t want to help people which obviously it isn’t the case. It’s just this particular organization, at the core of what they do, has to do with abortions and he’s 100% pro-life and we may not all agree on that in the room but Mayor Haslam is 100% pro-life and he doesn’t agree with funding an organization that that’s a big part of what they do.
Now, this is like me saying, "I'm going to kick you as hard as I can right in the junk," and you saying, "Hell, no, I don't want you to do that," and then me saying, "Well, we're just going to have to agree to disagree." Some things you can't just agree to disagree about.
And Haslam's position raises some questions. So I asked them. As you might imagine, it went poorly.
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