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Yeah, Good Luck With That

Crone Speaks joins a blogger boycott of the Associated Press.
Jun 16, 2008 9:02 AM

Senator Corker Gets A Lesson In Fundamentals

Bob Corker meets with McNairy County Republicans.
Jun 16, 2008 8:52 AM

The False Positives Of Immigration Restrictionism

Greg Siskind notes a high false positive rate in the federal government's new E-Verify immigration "instacheck" system:
Let me clarify how E-Verify works. If an employer receives a tentative non-confirmation notice, the worker is to be notified and given eight days to resolve the problem with the Social Security Administation of DHS. After ten days the employer is to run the employee's name again through E-Verify. The employer will either get a confirmation, a final non-confirmation or notice that SSA or DHS is still working on it. DHS and SSA are using ten days as the target to finish processing in each case where there is an initial non-confirmation. That means that in the vast majority of cases, ten days is the limit and then the employee must be terminated. While it is true that DHS or SSA could keep a matter open and en employer cannot terminate while that is going on, these are not the people I'm concerned as much about. I'm talking about the 1% or more that Jim Harper is mentioning - people who get an incorrect final nonconfirmation and who are terminated after ten days despite the fact that they still are trying to get the problem corrected. As Harper notes, 1% is an enormous percentage and could have devastating effects on many Americans.
Jun 16, 2008 8:50 AM

The Highest Common Denominator

Chris Sanders notes Gail Kerr's strident editorial against Eric Crafton's English First:
Here's the truth, y'all. Crafton is appealing to the lowest common denominator to get his name in the paper. If anyone thinks this referendum is going to stop illegal border crossings, he or she is truly naive. This law is not necessary. It is cruel. It is unconstitutional. And it is racist.
Sanders mentions that Kerr does not "mince words" in the column. Certainly true. But might she thought about it?  I understand elite opinion in Nashville hardly blinked an eye while reading this column and I realize a column is different that a news article or even an editorial but would as dismissive a column appear in the Tennessean over any other issue about any other politician? "Councilman Crapton"? Again, I'm sure those words have been spoken but what was the point of printing them? The column reads more like a furiously written blog post than a carefully considered, edited and vetted column, does it not? We can certainly argue about what kind of fear and ignorance motivate folks to wish that there government only dealt with folks in English but if one wants to see an example of hate one seems like they would only have to read Gail Kerr's column on Eric Crafton. SEE ALSO: Grand Divisions The City Paper editorial
Jun 16, 2008 8:50 AM
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You Can't Fire Me, I Quit: Oak Hill Commisioner Throckmorton A Republican No More

Many speeches were made and many a candidates were recognized at Saturday's Davidson County Picnic and Straw Poll but it was one man's lack of recognition that stood out during the orations and gladhanding of the assembled Republicans in Sevier Park. Tom Lawless, the Davidson County GOP chair, while recognizing executive committee member Austin McMullen's victory over incumbent Tommy Jacobs in his race for Oak Hill City Commissioner, expressed pride in the fact that there were now two (the number was emphasized) Republicans on the Oak Hill Commission: Mayor Tommy Alsup and the the aforementioned McMullen. Oak Hill's third City Commissioner Raymond T. "Chip" Throckmorton, III was not included. A curious omission to state political watchers who remember Throckmorton as a Republican primary candidate in 2006 for the 23rd District state Senate seat currently held by Republican Jack Johnson, covering Williamson County and a small portion of southern Davidson. Throckmorton lost that contentious multi-candidate primary by less than 300 votes. When asked why Throckmorton was not included in his tally of Republicans on the Oak Hill Commission, Lawless said, "I do not consider him the same type of Republican that Tommy Alsup and Austin McMullen are. I think they are radically different in their approaches to things." When pressed as to whether Throckmorton was, in his estimation, a Republican at all, Lawless gave voice to quiet rumors in Republican circles that Throckmorton may be planning to run against Senator Jack Johnson again in 2010 -- this time as an independent. "[Throckmorton] has made comments to me that he wasn't sure he wanted to be a Republican. He may run as an independent the next time he runs," Lawless said. In light of that, Lawless submitted that saying that there are only two members of the Davidson County Republican Party on the Oak Hill City Commission, in his opinion, was "an accurate statement." "[Throckmorton] doesn't have a very high opinion of the Davidson County Republican Party which is unfortunate because Chip is an old friend of mine," Lawless said. Chip Throckmorton, via telephone from a family vacation in Alabama, tells Post Politics that he was not surprised by the omission by Lawless nor his subsequent comments. Throckmorton says he has been ostracized both before, but especially after, his 2006 primary loss to now state Senator Jack Johnson. "I have always been an unwanted stepchild in the local Republican Party," he said. Throckmorton believes he has been slowly "excommunicated" from the Party because he was not the chosen candidate in 2006 and did not "ask permission to run." Thockmorton says that despite his two year respite from party politics, Republicans continue to talk him down. As for his thoughts on Davidson County GOP chair Lawless, Throckmorton was straightforward, "Tom Lawless is the epitome of what is wrong with the Davidson County Republican Party." When asked point blank whether he considers himself a Republican Throckmorton, pausing frequently, said, "Ya know, I guess, not anymore. I am quite frankly tired of hypocrisy in both parties." As to whether he is indeed considering challenging Jack Johnson as an independent in 2010, Throckmorton expressed ambivalence, "I haven't given any more thought to do doing something like that as to not doing it. But, I can tell you one thing. There are a lot of people who would like to see me do it." In the end, Throckmorton seemed agnostic about the call to public service. He said that he really hasn't been that politically active since losing to Johnson instead focusing on making money for his family. But, Throckmorton cautioned, "If business goes well and I continue to get good cases and I find have some money to burn, who knows, I just might ask myself, 'Do I go on down to Tunica to throw this money away or do I go on down and sign up for election?'" REACTIONS: Braisted's Beating
Jun 16, 2008 8:11 AM
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Branding McCain: Maverick No More

From the Baltimore Sun:
John McCain once had the most powerful brand in American politics. He was often called the country's most popular politician and widely admired for his independent streak. It wasn't too many years ago that "maverick" was the cliche of choice in describing him. But that term didn't even make the list this year when voters were asked by the Pew Research Center to sum up McCain in a single word. "Old" got the most mentions, followed by "honest," "experienced," "patriot," "conservative" and a dozen more. The words "independent," "change" or "reformer" weren't among them.
Jun 16, 2008 8:06 AM

Newt Gingrich As A For-Profit Entity

Congressman Zach Wamp takes aim at the architect of the revolution that brought him to Congress:
As a sign of the potential GOP difficulties, the party lost three special elections for House seats in normally reliably Republican districts: one in Illinois, one in Louisiana and one in Mississippi. The losses prompted former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to offer a scathing critique of the Republican Party in an open letter last month, saying if the party fails to “chart a bold course of real reform,” it “could face a catastrophic election this fall.” The criticism from the Georgia Republican, who flirted with a presidential run this year, was welcomed by some House GOP members but rankled others. “I think Speaker Gingrich is obviously very bright and I agree with a lot of what he says, but I also look at him now as a for-profit entity,” Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., said. “He’s not so much looking out for Republicans’ interests as he is looking after his own best interests.” Rep. Wamp acknowledged that his party is facing an uphill challenge this fall and must return to its core principles of reducing government waste and lowering taxes that helped sweep the Republicans into power in 1994.
Jun 16, 2008 8:00 AM

Getting Beyond Race -- To Race

Black conservatives lean towards Obama:
Writer and actor Joseph C. Phillips got so excited about Obama earlier this year that he started calling himself an "Obamacan" _ Obama Republican. Phillips, who appeared on "The Cosby Show" as Denise Huxtable's husband, Navy Lt. Martin Kendall, said he has wavered since, but he is still thinking about voting for Obama. "I am wondering if this is the time where we get over the hump, where an Obama victory will finally, at long last, move us beyond some of the old conversations about race," Phillips said. "That possibly, just possibly, this great country can finally be forgiven for its original sin, or find some absolution." Yet Phillips, author of the book "He Talk Like a White Boy," realizes the irony of voting for a candidate based on race to get beyond race. "We have to not judge him based on his race, but on his desirability as a political candidate," he said. "And based on that, I have a lot of disagreements with him on a lot of issues. I go back and forth."
Jun 16, 2008 7:59 AM

Chairman Smith Goes To Washington?

The Music City Oracle shares his thoughts on rumors that Federal Express Cahirman Fred Smith may be in the running for Veep:
Mr. Smith has never run for public office. However, as I reported at the time, he acquitted himself well while participating in a panel discussion with U.S. Representative John Tanner (D-TN) and former U.S. Senator and U.S. ambassador to China Jim Sasser at the 2006 meeting of the National Conference of State Legislators.
Jun 16, 2008 7:54 AM

Open About Being Closed

Tom Humphrey bestows his treasured closed government award on the House Republican Caucus and its chairman, Glen Casada.
While the House Democrats and both Senate caucuses quietly keep most of their meetings secret by just not telling anyone about when the gatherings will occur, the House GOP guys are actually belligerent about it - announce a meeting, then shut the doors with a guard posted outside.
Jun 16, 2008 7:50 AM