The Simply Red Future of Tennessee

For the first time since the Reconstruction, the Republican Party has taken control of the Tennessee General Assembly – top to bottom, house to senate, the whole bicameral enchilada. (Go ahead. Take a moment. Laugh or Cry. Whatever suits you.) Personally, I think there’s a damn good reason why state political history is what it is – but eh, politics are kinda like fractions. Every now and then, folks need a refresher course.

Naturally, the Republicans are being terribly humble and gracious about their victory while the State Democrats are setting speed records for fastest finger-pointing in all the land. They’re blaming Obama and the National Party for not paying more attention to the state and/or McCain’s unusually muscular performance – which essentially means the same thing.

I guess the Obama/Baptist backlash might have been a factor. Heck, the fact that UT football wasn’t distracting enough Republican voters in the East might have been a factor. Mostly though, the Republicans won because they worked for it. They ran hard, mean, aggressive, poured money and manpower into the campaigns and did not let up until the polls closed on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Democratic Party was off… well hell, I don’t know what they were off doing but whatever it was, they apparently weren’t doing it right.

So what’s done is done. Better luck next time – and now we all look forward.

Folks around here seem to have different opinions on what this Red Assembly in the Orange State will mean. Mr. C thinks the Republican Majority means we should all move to Kentucky. Uncle Rube, on the other hand, claims a Republican Majority will ensure that nothing much gets spent – as opposed to Democratic Majorities, who hand out funding like it’s somebody else’s money.

I don’t agree with either of them and foresee lots of changes under a red rule – some good and some bad. Continue reading


Not Coming to America…

A very jubilant Cousin Marie send me a link to this Associated Press report claiming that illegal immigration declines as the economy falters – along with a comment “Ha! It’s about damn time.”

The report is based largely upon these findings from the Pew Hispanic Center. Regarding the population estimates, the PHC states:

There could be a number of possible causes, including a slowdown in U.S. economic growth that has had a disproportionate impact on foreign-born Latino workers, at the same time that economic growth in Mexico and other Latin American countries has been stable. Another factor could be a heightened focus on enforcement of immigration laws, which a recent Pew Hispanic Center survey indicates has generated worry among many Hispanics.

So, let me get this straight. The decline (or actually the lack of any statistically significant increase) in folks coming to America is because (a) we’re economically screwed (b) most of the employers, which were here, are moving there and last but not least (c) we are historically suspicious of people who do not talk like us, look like us or eat our food. Therefore, when too many of them appear in our towns and cities, we start making special efforts to count them and then form law enforcement departments just for the purposes of  deporting them.

Well, I mean… if you can be thrilled about something like that: then congratu-freaking-lations dumbass. Have a big ol’ bowl of celebratory store-brand Ramen noodles on me.

Stories T-Fire Won't Tell

“Can we build walls?” asks Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa. “Sure, we’re gonna build walls. Can we make ’em taller? Sure, we can make ’em taller? Would that be a solution? As long as there’s poverty, and as long as people are dying of hunger in other places, it’s human nature. They will try to find better ways.”

Alfredo speaks from experience.  On his 19th birthday, he clawed to the top of a 16-foot border fence and jumped — illegally – into the US.  When he first arrived, he worked as a migrant laborer, picking vegetables for $22-dollars a day and living under an old camper top in the middle of a California field.

Now, the nameplate on his door at Johns Hopkins Medical center in Baltimore says Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, one of the best brain surgeons in the world.

Read here.

David Davis: Mind Reader Among Other Things

From the Times-News:

Both 1st Congressional District GOP incumbent David Davis and Republican challenger Phil Roe take hard-line positions on illegal immigration.

Davis indicates he knows exactly what people are thinking on the subject.

Oh really? I wonder if he knows what I’m thinking on this subject right now… and his efforts to address the problem? If so, I should probably apologize. It’s not nice to call people names like that.

Continue reading

Letter to My Government

Dear Government:

Yesterday, I spent some time with your average American voters.

You remember that plan you had to divert attention from your war, your recession and your corruption by creating a presidential election full of celebrity-gossip type media coverage, trumpeting what amounts to about a 0.0086 per gallon gas-coupon and then pointing your finger and being all like “Oh my God! Look! There’s some Mexicans!”

Yeah, it’s totally working.

So, good job.


Shhh! TN Senate Bills are Scheduled

Two bills scheduled for state Senate votes this week would give elected officials more confidentiality protections.

Legislation introduced by Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro would grant lawmakers and local officials anonymity when filing complaints against businesses suspected of employing illegal immigrants.

The intent, according to Ketron, is to prevent retaliation.

The other bill, sponsored by Sen. Raymond Finney, would close public access to the personal contact information of elected officials.

Several Democratic Senators have objected to the measures, saying they would create more secrecy in government.

(Allowing contact info of all elected officials to remain confidential would also eliminate citizens’ ability to contact county commissioners, city alderman and other “officeholders” who don’t technically have an office.)

More here.

What if the bill were amended to include only elected state officials? Should their personal contact information be off-limits? I can understand why creating stronger boundaries between public service and private life might be appealing for many lawmakers: but would this be inviting abuse and corruption? If you give them an inch – would they take a mile? What say you?

David Davis: Man of His Word

Rep. David Davis is a man of his word.

Back in February, Davis told a gathering of constituents he would call upon federal and state immigration and Homeland Security agents to meet with local police in early March to work out a plan.

According to the Times-News Davis hosted the meeting in Morristown last Friday. In attendance at his round-table discussion were officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and representatives from local law enforcement agencies.

During the meeting, Davis stated: “There are more illegals in Hamblen County than anywhere else in the world, not just Tennessee or America. A person who came here illegally 20 years ago started an employment agency. He had billboards south of the (Mexican) border saying ‘If you want to make it in America, come to Morristown, Tenn.’ Now there are generations of people putting a burden on the education system, health system and corrections system. People here aren’t racist, but they are concerned about the rule of law.”

Joe Powell has already pointed out Davis may not have been entirely truthful about the numbers he offered.

Not surprising. Since Davis announced his decision to seek re-election, exaggerated statements and misleading numbers seem to be the norm as he crusades through the District, discussing the economy, evil Democrats, immigration and the SAVE Act, which he co-sponsored back in November.  Adding insult to injury, he has, on occasion, used Scripture to support his views.

(Granted I am no theologian, but I’ve read the Bible. I am fairly certain there’s nothing in there about deporting Mexicans, buying goods manufactured in the USA or how the Democrats are at fault for painful prices at the pump – or how they’re probably to blame for those excruciatingly annoying Additech machines at all Murphy’s and Kroger’s gas stations too.)

You are not, however, likely to hear him echo his November 2007 statement – in which he favored providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country rather than deporting them. Quite frankly, I disapprove.  Davis is exploiting the fears of area voters to gain their support: and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why he feels the need to do this.

Continue reading