This year alone, Tennessee is due to receive almost $160 million from Big Tobacco. By the time the 25 year payout period is up, we are due to receive almost $5 billion dollars. It is supposed to be to protect our health. It is supposed to be to help educate us. It is supposed to help us stop smoking. If we, the citizens of Tennessee, permit this fraud, waste and abuse to continue then I have to ask how healthy our priorities really are; what we are really learning from what they are teaching, and; what in the world are we really smoking in the Volunteer State?
We were lucky enough to catch up with McCain's friend Fred Thompson, who talked with us about McCain's positions, the current and possible future states of the federal judiciary, and whether there's a place for an Attorney General Fred Thompson in a McCain administration. ("No Ma'am" he responded, when Helen asked.) Thompson said this was the first interview he's given on McCain and the judiciary, but it won't be the last.Go here to listen to the podcast.
Mike Padgett, a Hillary Clinton supporter, concurs that the gas tax holiday quick fix is bad policy.
Corker (R-Tenn.) essentially sided with Obama today in remarks to reporters after speaking to the Nashville Rotary. Corker pointed out that both Clinton and McCain are in favor of so-called “cap and trade” legislation coming up for debate next month in the Senate — legislation that Corker says, “actually is a tax on gasoline.” “So again, if that’s not pandering, I don’t know what it is,” Corker told reporters. “It’s very disappointing to see. I think as a country we need to have a real energy policy that ensures that Americans are going to be able to have access to petroleum at fair prices over time and that we’re not transferring this huge amount of wealth overseas that we’re doing every day.” When asked if he was disappointed in McCain’s proposing of the idea, Corker said: “I watch what happens during election years, and nothing surprises me.”
Now that the sun is setting on Fidel Castro, I think it is time we make up with Havana and take advantage of that ample oil resource at a price we can afford. After all, there is plenty that the Cubans need from us.
He warned me, though: We’d better move quickly. The Chinese already have an eye on the oil, and they still have communist ties with Cuba.
So, there is no time to waste. We can think about the world in a new way and develop relationships that will help solve the biggest problems we face, or we can continue down the road that has us in debt up to our eyeballs to China and dependent on nations that don’t like us for our oil.
While one might think that the committee system keeps “junk legislation” from taking up time on the floor - and I’m sure sometimes this works - it all too often becomes a way for the party in power to ensure only their agenda is successful.
In an article for Harper's this month, writer Kevin Phillips shows that intentional governmental policy has altered the way government reports on business and the economy in general, with the result being that few Americans get an accurate picture of how weak or strong the economy truly is. How we have allowed massive changes to the definitions of unemployment rates, inflation, the consumer price index, etc, has had a very plain result: the average person has no idea what the economic status of the nation or individual might be. All of the above to say that really, business has been running government for a very long time.
There’s some history that the release overlooks: the French summarily crushed Mexico and eventually took the city of Puebla where they were first defeated. France established a short-lived empire in Mexico that was undone, in part, by lagging French support at home and renewed support from the U.S. after the end of the Civil War.
Therefore, Cinco De Mayo really represented a lone victory in an otherwise unsuccessful war against outsiders. That idea, applied to illegal immigration, might be a little more disconcerting for state Republicans.
Allowing the governor to nominate state court judges, subject to confirmation by the state Senate, would provide public accountability and political checks and balances. Under such a model, the commission could still have a role in recommending candidates to the governor. But the governor should have more flexibility about what to do with the commission's advice. Such a system would also be compatible with the state's current practice of holding merit retention elections after judges have served a period of time. In a merit retention election, voters cast "yes" or "no" votes on the question of whether a particular judge should continue to serve. That provides some public accountability, without making the courts as politicized as they might become under a system of contested judicial elections. Not all of Ramsey's ideas are bad. He favors having the commission meet in public. And he favors reducing the number of positions on the commission that must be held by lawyers. (While lawyers are the group that deals most directly with judges, our court system should reflect the interests of ordinary folks, too.) The bottom line, though, is that the commission currently wields influence that's out of proportion to its accountability to citizens. That needs to change.
On the surface, PETA’s very existence seems like a good idea. After all, no one wants to see animals unnecessarily harmed or mistreated. But PETA goes beyond that. PETA has equated human life with animal life, and that’s just not right. Animals were put on the earth to serve man, for man to use, and yes, for man to eat. The ironic thing here is that PETA thinks animals should not be used (or eaten) by man. But that’s exactly what makes man want to protect those animals. If hunters didn’t go out and harvest deer every year, the deer population would grow so big that they’d eat all the food, and then they’d starve to death. Is that what PETA really wants?