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20 hours 44 min ago

Taking It To The Street

Mike Byrd discusses the difficulty in questioning the economics of Wall Street
You cannot have a serious debate with the Wall Street mentality, because the sky is falling, and if you dare question market inequities, then you get labeled as a xenophobic, Lou Dobbs clone. It's all hysteria and adhominems and unquestioned dogma.
Jun 13, 2008 7:51 AM

Obama And The War

An antiwar conservative eschews embracing Obama:
[G]iven that Obama's proposed Iraq exit is conditional upon there being no "security vacuum filled with terrorism, chaos, ethnic cleansing and genocide that could engulf large swaths of the Middle East and endanger America," he might not actually end the war in any meaningful sense.
Jun 13, 2008 7:48 AM

In West Tennessee, "That Guy" Now Has A Name

Newscoma brings home the importance of Senator Lowe Finney's endorsement of Mike Padgett for U.S. Senate:
Endorsements from local candidates who are still enmeshed in their communities are rather important. I have asked democrats here about who they are going to support and they don’t always know the candidates. Seriously, they don’t or they know them as “that” guy. You know, “that” guy that worked in the courthouse in Knoxville or “that” guy with the combat boots or “that” guy with the auto business and so on. So, when Finney says I’m backing Padgett, they know Lowe. And for some folks, if it’s good enough for Lowe, it’s good enough for them. Not everyone is this way, don’t get me wrong and I’m by no means saying that’s always the way it is, but our access is much more limited than let’s say, someone who lives in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville or Chattanooga.
Jun 13, 2008 7:45 AM

Hate Speech, If Supressed, Will Turn To Something Else

Nathan Moore with a shout out for the First Amendment:
Suppressing the expression of hate does not kill it, but lets it fester, grow, and reemerge more powerful than before. Let us have the courage of our convictions - awful ideas must be confronted with reason and destroyed, not shrunk from and prohibited. Only one unconvinced that his beliefs are correct wishes for the government to intercede and take on the weight.
Jun 13, 2008 7:31 AM

The Al Gore Veep Talk

Could a Veep nod from Obama be the way back into politics for Al Gore:
[C]learly, the vice presidency has become more important since he held it. He could have the administration's energy and environmental portfolios and use that position to achieve some of the goals that have been dearest to him. He was probably right to stay out of the presidential race this year because he judged that he couldn't win it. But he hasn't said he's not interested in high office. This could be his way back in.
The interesting thing about all this is that back when Al Gore would have had to decide to run, Hillary Clinton looked unbeatable. Al Gore may have insisted that he was through with electoral politics but the man came within a hair's breadth of the Presidency in 2000. The reason he demurred may have been as simple as him not wanting to go up against the Clinton machine. Now that that machine is dead, the forces that would have been arrayed against Al Gore in Democratic politics no longer exist. While he might be in no itching hurry to take a job he already had, the simple fact is that if Al Gore wants ever to be President ticketing up with Obama may be the only path. If Obama wins, then 2012 is out for him. In 2016 whoever Obama does pick for Veep will be set up for a run. If Gore wants to be President in his lifetime taking the plunge with Obama may be his only hope. The only question is: Does he want it and will Barack Obama be willing to cede power to a man whose profile would necessitate an almost co-presidency, ala the co-presidency that almost was with Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford? All of this, of course, is predicated on an Obama win. If Gore believes that Obama is destined to lose, the very best thing he could do for his future political prospects is exactly what he is doing -- nothing.
Jun 13, 2008 7:28 AM

Hating Democracy More

Phil Bredesen may not like the Judicial Selection Commission but he doesn't want to go throwing out the baby with the bathwater either:
“The issue is that when you have state-wide elections, basically for appellate judges, the only people who care about those are people with very narrow special interests. They’re expensive elections because they’re state-wide, and I just think you’d have this scramble to have, you know, every interest out there whether it be business or trial lawyers or anybody else trying to elect their judges and we’d have a vastly worse system than we have today.”
Jun 12, 2008 7:05 PM

Every Confidence: Knoxville Shows Up Memphis On Scandal

Blake Fontenay, via Shea Flinn, points out how mighty Memphis has fallen out of favor as the hotbed of political scandal this week:
Flinn called my attention to an article in today’s online edition of the Knoxville News Sentinel about Knox County Clerk candidate Amy Henley-Vandergriff, who’s dealing with the fallout - political and otherwise - from an incident earlier this week in which her husband, a convicted marijuana trafficker, was arrested for allegedly assaulting Vandergriff and a younger man with whom she was suspected of having an affair. Flinn noted that the Knox County Clerk’s campaign has already incorporated elements of sex, drugs and violence "and that’s just on the Democratic side. The Republican failed to pay his taxes. Memphis politics is going to have to bring its A-game to top that one." Maybe so, Mr. Flinn, maybe so. But I have every confidence Memphis politicians can rise to this challenge, if they’re so inclined.
Jun 12, 2008 7:03 PM

Baker Boys Back Each Other

Senator Lamar Alexander defends John McCain's Veep Vetter, Arthur Culvahouse:

A request for comment from the McCain campaign directly was not answered.

But other Republicans rushed to Culvahouse’s defense. Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who has known Culvahouse since the two native Tennesseans worked for Sen. Howard Baker (R-Tenn.), said Culvahouse is “one of America’s best-respected and most able lawyers.”

Culvahouse’s counsel to Reagan during the Iran-Contra hearings also should not harm McCain, Alexander said.

“That’s what lawyers do, they help clients deal with problems and President Reagan had a problem,” Alexander said. “If he was President Reagan’s lawyer in 1987 and 1988 and he was not involved in Iran-Contra, he should have been fired for malpractice.”

Jun 12, 2008 6:55 PM

Harold And Kumar Run For Congress

Okay, just Kumar. And not that one, this one.
Jun 12, 2008 6:32 PM