Allow me to educate those of you who are regular readers but who are not Catholic about the nature of the Catholic vote in 2008. The national media tends to speak of the "Catholic vote" as though that is a singular thing and Catholics are a monolith. Catholics are not only an extremely diverse group of people, but there is a vast difference in the voting patterns of "Catholics" who identify themselves as such but don't regularly attend Mass or make frequent use of the sacraments, and those who are weekly (or greater) Mass-attendants, receive the Eucharist, go to Confession, and observe to the best of their ability the precepts of the Church. Among the latter group, there has been an extremely sharp right turn in the last 30 years. While the Church in the U.S. isn't big on getting involved in national elections, observant Catholics were sent an indirect but clear signal in 2000 that Al Gore was not acceptable. There was never any love lost between the Vatican and the Clintons, and it was presumed that Gore was more of the same.
Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) voiced his continued support for middle class Americans by signing onto legislation earlier this week giving the wealthiest taxpayers the option of returning more of their incomes to the federal government. The legislation, H.R. 5783, the “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” Act, amends the U.S. Tax Code to allow citizens to make voluntary donations above their normal tax liability to pay for federal government programs. The legislation was introduced on April 10 by Congressman John Campbell of California.
What makes Herron's bill appealing is that he already has answered the constitutionality question. He has gotten an opinion from the state attorney general confirming the bill's constitutionality. That means school systems should be able to offer the course, using the guidelines to be developed, without fear of being sued. Another good thing about Herron's bill is that it provides clarity to an often murky and emotional issue. It would create a workable framework for talking about the Bible in school, something people in Tennessee want to do and have been trying to do with mixed results for years.
"Becky Ruppe would vote for a Democrat like Jim Kyle of Memphis – a pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage, pro-income tax, anti-gun rights liberal - to lead the Senate," said Tennessee Republican Party Communications Director Bill Hobbs. "We believe the majority of people of the 12th senate district want a senator who shares their conservative views on abortion, gun rights, marriage and the income tax and won't cast a hypocritical leadership vote for a Memphis liberal who doesn't."The party of course suggests you vote for Ken Yaeger who would presumably vote for Ramsey. Then again, wasn't it a pro-gun woman Democrat who gave us Ramsey in the first place?
Other local governments have supplier diversity initiatives that include the GLBT community. Even the U.S. Department of the Interior signed a memorandum of agreement with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce on supplier diversity. The second reason given is that GLBT community leaders didn't ask for an addition to the bill. Strictly speaking, that is true, but I think it's also fair to ask whether any Metro officials thought to include our community and if not, then why not?
At this point, the two differ on their views about as much as two guys on death row have differing opinions about the death penalty.
Making educated guesses and looking at the list of delegates many astute political watchers made assumptions as to whom the culprit was. John Rodgers of the City Paper seemed to cement the conventional wisdom by putting the word "think" in quotes when introducing this denial by Rep. Lincoln Davis's spokesman, Tom Hayden:
Another worrisome sign: Bredesen said some Democrats running for local and statewide office in Tennessee are now distancing themselves from both Obama and Clinton.
"One of the superdelegates said to me, 'I'm in a swing district and both of them are poison to me,' " Bredesen said.
"I don't think the governor was speaking about Lincoln Davis because he did not say this to the governor."But is the key word "think" here or is it the rest of this sentence? I mean the denial is in there stated rather plainly after all, is it not? Why say "think" at all then? Well, the Governor is the Governor and one doesn't put words in the governor's mouth. Tom Hayden can't say who the Governor was referring to because Tom Hayden is not the Governor.
Now, of course, the Governor is never going to say whom he was referring to and whomever said it to the Governor is not likely to cop to it. But if one takes at face value the Davis denial, if one accepts the explicit denial that Lincoln Davis did not say this to the Governor, I thought it only fair to get some responses from other possible suspects.
When asked for a confirmation or a denial that his boss, Congressman John Tanner, was the superdelegate being referred to, spokesman Randy Ford said the following:
I'm not in a position to confirm or deny. As you know, Congressman Tanner isn't yet decided in the primary race but looks forward to a successful election year for the Democratic Party. He talks regularly with Gov. Bredesen and others in the delegation on a variety of topics, but we don't comment on those private conversations.The other member of the Congressional delegation who would seem to fit the description would be Congressman Bart Gordon of the Sixth Congressional District:
Congressman Gordon doesn’t recall having any conversations with the governor regarding the election. I would suggest you ask Governor Bredesen who he was speaking about since he has been all over the country talking about the issue.Of course, none of this proves anything but if one is going to parse statements there is certainly plenty to go around, is there not?
But last week, the sponsors of the bill—Reps. Jeanne Richardson and Mike Kernell among them—withdrew the law change after the health committee tacked on an amendment proposed by Rep. Jason Mumpower. The amendment required that any change of sex on a birth certificate be reflected on the document, essentially creating a new category of sex. “A birth certificate can be amended with the designation MTF,” Mumpower tells Pith, “designating male to female, or FTM designating female to male.” Mumpower says that it’s a security issue, though he doesn't say exactly how. “During one of these operations, someone’s appearance is changed…so if someone were to present a birth certificate with a changed name and an altered appearance, the fact of gender needs to be represented.”
Bragg said that means the city elections are less relevant and that citizens have other ways to deal with their government than voting out politicians they don't agree with. "Municipal elections, unless there are grievous irregularities, have lost a certain amount of relevance," he said. What does this mean exactly? Perhaps it means that Murfreesboro should eliminate the City Council and Mayoral position altogether and be governed solely by bureaucrats. Why even have an elected body of officials if, according to Bragg, "city elections are less relevant"?