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Interested Parties

Glen Harness notes the presence of outside agitators in the debate over the future of Nashville's fairgrounds:
If we don’t do something soon, racing in Nashville will be a thing of the past. If you’re a race fan, take off the morning of the first Tuesday of the month and go sit in on the Fair Board meeting. The “neighbors” (I put that in quotes because from what I can tell, they’ve brought in outside “neighborhood activists” to attend the Fair Board meetings) are certainly there at every meeting.
Jun 23, 2008 7:33 AM


The Vol Abroad notes the Islamic conversion trend on the far-right:
[Y]ou get far more indulgence and less outright hostility as an Islamist as opposed to a neo-Nazi, the ideological leap is tiny - you get to keep all your enemies - gays, Jews, liberals, women - and you’re joining a movement which, if not actually flourishing, isn’t down to nearly single figures. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.
Jun 23, 2008 7:23 AM

Sometimes The Best Decision Is No Decision

The Occasional Muse takes issue with criticism of Barack Obama's predilection for voting "present" during his tenure in the Illinois state Senate:
I would argue a thoughtful politician is more inclined to vote "present" or "abstain" than a stupid one. Brooks's tacit argument is that yes/no votes are proper while "present" votes are calculating. After eight years of George W. Bush's decisiveness, the bloviating class should have learned that a binary worldview can be a crippling liability.
Jun 23, 2008 7:21 AM

You Can't Just Drop A Challenge And Leave, Old Man

Joe Powell publicizes an incumbent Congressman's retraction of a challenge to debate his opponent:
1st District Congressman David Davis issued a challenge on his website to debate his opponents in the GOP primary. But not long after GOP candidate Phil Roe agreed to the challenge, Rep. Davis changed his mind. He refuses to participate in the June 24th debate and worse, he tried to even remove his challenge, originally from his website in '06. Bad move.
Jun 23, 2008 7:15 AM

Inventives To Stay Healthy And A Good Supply Of Bubble Wrap

Angelia is not impressed with Republican Congressional challenger Phil Roe's approach to health care:
He tells Hayes he has a health care savings account, and his investment in the plan serves as incentive for him to take care of himself. Yeah, so? What about me? I have young children? This incentive encourages me to cocoon them in Lysol-coated bubble wrap, never allow them outdoors, demand all school classrooms and surfaces be Clorox’d five times daily and no snot-filled peers be permitted to violate their personal safety zone? Not terribly realistic - and considering the cost of medical treatment, lab testing, supplies and prescription drugs, common injuries and illness of childhood will burn through a spending account by early March.
Jun 23, 2008 7:00 AM

Perpetual Political Announcements For PR Purposes

Lynn Sebourn "announces" his run for the state Senate in District 14. Of course, the deadline for ballot access passed long ago making it public information and his website has been live for months but he is "announcing" now.
Jun 23, 2008 6:56 AM

The Refusal

Bill Clinton has not been enthusiastic about his wife's directive to support the election of Barack Obama:
But by not answering and moving on Bill Clinton has likely made party unity among the Demmies tougher– or at least it will take longer. While his wife has publicly suspended her campaign and endorsed Obama and plans to campaign with the Illinois Senator next week, Bill Clinton has basically sent a message that he isn’t ready to endorse him yet. And — whether he meant for it or not — it’ll be a message for many Hillary Clinton supporters or Hillary Clinton supporters who cannot stand Obama.
Jun 23, 2008 6:47 AM

Feeling Her Pain

Katherine Coble shares a personal story about the DEA's regulation of prescription pain medication:
I think it’s important for pain patients to speak up.   We’ve been ghettoised by the bullies who abuse the medication we need for survival.  By being so vocal they’ve turned anyone taking a course of pain management into craven, wasted blues musicians in the eyes of society. Guess what, society?   It’s starting to cost you.   Remember next time your insurance premiums go up at work.  Don’t blame the poor immigrants.   Blame the DEA which has a hand in making folks like me pay monthly visits to emergency rooms for basic treatment.
Jun 23, 2008 6:40 AM

Public Information

Joe Lance surveys laws against using voter rolls for private marketing purposes and the lack of effective deterrents to stop the practice:
Even if it turns out that Marti Rutherford did not use voter registration data for her commercial mailing, the questions that the mailing raised, and the discovery that Tennessee's law on the matter is ineffective, are valuable in their own right. When we register to vote, we should not do so with the expectation that we are signing up for spam. I'm all for a free market and as few laws restricting our lives as possible, but the sale of voters' personal data for commercial use crosses a line. I hope citizens in the other states that currently lack a strict prohibition of this practice will speak to their representatives as well.
Jun 23, 2008 6:33 AM

Chuck Todd Should Have Shaved The Goatee And Taken Voice Lessons

Because Tom Brokaw has been named moderator of Meet The Press through the 2008 elections:
Beginning on Sunday, June 29, NBC News’ Tom Brokaw will serve as moderator of “Meet the Press” through the 2008 presidential election. The broadcast will continue to originate from the NBC News Bureau in Washington D.C. The announcement was made today by NBC News President Steve Capus. “A lot has been said in recent days about what ‘Meet the Press’ means to NBC News and to the nation,” said Capus. “To have someone of Tom’s stature step up and dedicate himself to ensuring its ongoing success is not only a testament to his loyalty to Tim, but his enduring commitment to NBC News and our viewers.”
Newscoma thinks it a good decision, but is it? Brokaw's got the years in the business and impeccable card reading skills but does he really know politics? I mean know politics? Like Russert did? Like Chuck Todd does? Sure, Brokaw can pull off a decent political segment on the strength of his broadcast skills, like many in the news biz, but doesn't Meet the Press need something more than that? Doesn't it deserve something more than that? Should an "anchorman type" really sit in that chair? I mean, did you see Meet The Press with Brian Williams this morning?
Jun 22, 2008 11:34 AM