January 2009


I had a hard enough time understanding why in the name of all things sacred Christians were supporting Obama during the campaign, but I just chalked it up to good old fashioned ignorance. I still like to believe that’s the case, because it’s the only way I can justify in my mind such a major inconsistency. I hope now that Christians who supported Obama – more specifically pro-life Christians (as all Christians should be…) – are having a real gut-check moment, and realize their mistake.

President Obama yesterday reversed the policy of refusing to fund international organizations that provide abortions. Our taxpayer dollars will now go, not only to funding organizations in our own country that provide abortions, but also to organziations oversees.

Aside from the vicious killing of innocent children, the thing that I find most disgusting about this move is the way in which Obama and others are referring to the practice of abortion. Their words are careful, calculated, even clinical, and as I sit here looking at my 5-month-old son, remembering how much I loved him from the moment I knew I was pregnant, I must say that I’m having a hard time holding back tears and keeping down my coffee.

Obama said, “It is time we end the politicization of this issue. In the coming weeks, my administration will initiate a fresh conversation on family planning, working to find areas of common ground to best meet the needs of women and families at home and around the world.”

Family planning. What a sweet way to refer to it. I also really appreciate how Obama makes sure to mention how he will be meeting the needs of women and families around the world, but not so much the lives of the unborn.

The group Population Action International said “Family planning should not be a political issue; it’s about basic health care and well-being for women and children”…as long as those children don’t happen to be in the wombs of women who don’t want them.

I typically try and avoid the abortion issue. There are such strong feelings on both sides that I tend to simply shy away from the confrontation. That’s been easy to do with a President who believes as I do on the abortion issue, but as we now have a President – who was placed in office with the votes of many, many “Christians” – that is clearly going to reverse policy that has for the last 8 years worked to protect the most vulnerable, I will no longer keep my mouth shut.

So, to you pro-life Christians who voted for Obama, I leave you with these words: I hope you’re happy.

NASHVILLERepresentative Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) has been named Secretary of the powerful Calendar and Rules Committee, which schedules bills for final consideration before presentation on the House floor, and debates the merits of legislation recommended for passage by the eleven standing committees. The committee is comprised of the leaders from each caucus, committee chairman, vice-chairman, and secretaries, and two other members appointed by the Speaker.

“Representative Hill will be an asset to the Calendar and Rules Committee,” stated Majority Leader Jason Mumpower. “He always displays a commitment to fairness, and has a passion for service.”

“I’m honored to be named as an officer of the Calendar and Rules Committee,” said Representative Hill. “I look forward to delving into all this subject matter to ensure that the legislation passed on from the other standing committees has been thoroughly reviewed.”

Representative Hill was also named to the Education and Transportation Committees. While Education reviews all legislation related to all levels, from Kindergarten to Higher Education, Transportation is given the responsibility of all legislation concerning public roads and highways, and also all safety regulations.

“I am honored to have been named to these additional committees, and I want to thank my leadership for their assistance. I look forward to serving on them, and working on positive legislation for the people of Tennessee,” he concluded.

Matthew Hill is serving his third term in the legislature. He lives in Jonesborough with his wife, where he is in the communications industry.

I just got an email detailing the committee appointments in the Tennessee State House. I’m not going to take time to comment tonight, but will instead publish the list in its entirety.

Agriculture (R 6 – D 6)
Bone Chairman
Ford Vice-Chair
Borchert Secretary

Bass
Niceley
Litz
Faulkner
Shaw
Weaver
Windle
Halford
McDaniel

General Sub of Agriculture (R 3 – D 3)
Niceley Chairman
Litz Vice-Chair
Bone

Ford

Borchert

McDaniel

Calendar and Rules (R 12 – D 11)

Dunn Chairman

Turner, Larry Vice-Chair

Hill Secretary

Odom

Harwell

Turner, Mike

Mumpower

Moore

McCord

Towns

Casada

Bone

Matheny

DeBerry, John

Brooks, Harry

Armstrong

Lynn

Coleman

Todd

Fitzhugh

McManus

Harmon

McCormick

Commerce (R 15 – D 15)

Harwell Chairman

Shepard Vice-Chair

McManus Secretary

Curtiss

Johnson, Curtis

Ferguson

Roach

Towns

McCord

Naifeh

Matlock

Favors

Lynn

Fitzhugh

Lundberg

Pitts

Johnson, Phillip

Stewart

Montgomery

Hackworth

Todd

Harmon

Sargent

Cobb, Curt

Carr

Turner, Larry

Casada

Yokley

McCormick

Gilmore

Industrial Impact Sub (R 6 – D 6)

Curtiss Chairman

Roach Vice-Chair

Ferguson

McCord

Favors

Sargent

Naifeh

Todd

Shepard

Casada

Towns

Lundberg

Utilities & Banking Sub (R 5 – D 5)

Montgomery Chairman

Pitts Vice-Chair

Fitzhugh

McManus

Stewart

McCormick

Hackworth

Johnson, Curtis

Harmon

Johnson, Phillip

Small Business Sub (R 4 – D 4)

Cobb, Curt Chairman

Matlock Vice-Chair

Turner, Larry

Lynn

Yokley

Carr

Gilmore

Harwell

Consumer & Employee Affairs (R 6 – D 6)

Matheny Chairman

Hackworth Vice-Chair

Bell Secretary

McDonald

Eldridge

Moore

Campfield

Jones, Sherry

Swafford

Richardson

Kelsey

Hardaway

Employee Sub (R 3 – D 3)

McDonald Chairman

Campfield Vice-Chair

Moore

Kelsey

Jones, Sherry

Bell

Consumer Sub (R 3 – D 3)

Eldridge Chairman

Hackworth Vice-Chair

Richardson

Matheny

Hardaway

Swafford

Conservation & Environment (R 6 – D 6)

McCord Chairman

Tidwell Vice-Chair

Floyd Secretary

Gilmore

Lollar

Borchert

Hawk

Kernell

Niceley

McDonald

Rowland

Fraley

Wildlife Sub (R 4 – D 4)

Lollar Chairman

Borchert Vice-Chair

Kernell

Floyd

McDonald

Niceley

Tidwell

McCord

Environment Sub (R 5 – D 5)

Tidwell Chairman

Rowland Vice-Chair

Borchert

Hawk

Fraley

Lollar

Gilmore

McCord

McDonald

Niceley

Parks Sub (R 3 – D 3)

Gilmore Chairman

Floyd Vice-Chair

Fraley

Hawk

Kernell

Rowland

Children & Family (R 6 – D 6)

DeBerry, John Chairman

Brooks, Kevin Vice-Chair

Brown Secretary

Jones, Sherry

Rowland

Hardaway

Campfield

Richardson

Bell

Shaw

Rich

Weaver

Domestic Relations Sub (R 3 – D 3)

Jones, Sherry Chairman

Brooks, Kevin Vice Chair

Campfield

Brown

Weaver

Shaw

Family Justice Sub (R 3 – D 3)

Rowland Chairman

Richardson Vice Chair

DeBerry, John

Bell

Hardaway

Rich

Education (R 11 – D 11)

Brooks, Harry Chairman

Winningham Vice-Chair

Coley Secretary

Brown

Hawk

Cooper

Dunn

Jones, Ulysses

Harwell

Maddox

Haynes

Pitts

Lollar

Towns

Hill

Turner, Larry

Weaver

Windle

Hensley

Barker

Brooks, Kevin

DeBerry, John

K-12 Sub (R 6 – D 6)

Winningham Chairman

Lollar Vice-Chair

Jones, Ulysses

Hensley

Maddox

Harwell

Brown

Hawk

Barker

Dunn

Turner, Larry

Weaver

Higher Ed Sub (R 6 – D 6)

Hawk Chairman

Brown Vice-Chair

Cooper

Coley

Towns

Haynes

Windle

Hill

DeBerry, John

Brooks, Kevin

Pitts

Brooks, Harry

Finance, Ways & Means (R 15 – D 15)

Fitzhugh Chairman

Sargent Vice-Chair

Shaw Secretary

Tindell

Dunn

Armstrong

Brooks, Harry

Bone

Harrison

Brown

Brooks, Kevin

Coleman

McDaniel

Winningham

Mumpower

DeBerry, Lois

Roach

Maddox

Casada

Miller

Montgomery

Odom

McManus

Sontany

Maggart

Naifeh

Johnson, Curtis

Turner, Mike

Eldridge

Rowland

Budget Sub (R 7 – D 7)

Tindell Chairman

Sargent Vice-Chair

Armstrong

McDaniel

DeBerry, Lois

Harrison

Fitzhugh

Roach

Odom

Montgomery

Naifeh

Mumpower

Shaw

Rowland

Government Operations (R 6 – D 7)

Lynn Chairman

Kernell Vice-Chair

Cobb, Jim Secretary

DeBerry, Lois

Mumpower

Odom

Casada

Turner, Mike

Campfield

Camper

Bell

Cooper

Hardaway

Health & Human Resources (R 13-D 13)

Armstrong Chair

Hensley Vice-Chair

Favors Secretary

Pruitt J.

Cobb

C. Cobb

Dean

Curtiss

Ford

L. DeBerry

Maggart

Ferguson

Ramsey

S. Jones

Shipley

Odom

Mumpower

Richardson

Harrison

Shepard

Halford

M. Turner

Dennis

J. DeBerry

Rich

Evans

Professional Occupations (R 7-D 7)

Harrison Chair

Favors Vice-Chair

M. Turner

Rich

Armstrong

Mumpower

Ferguson

Hensley

S. Jones

Maggart

Odom

Ramsey

Shepard

Shipley

Public Health (R 4-D 4)

Hensley Chair

Richardson Vice-Chair

Maggart S. Jones

J. Cobb

Curtiss

Dennis

C. Cobb

Health Care Facilities (R 5-D 5)

Pruitt Chair

Ford Vice-Chair

L. DeBerry

Evans

J. DeBerry

Dean

Shepard

Halford

M. Turner

Rich

Judiciary (R 6- D 6)

Coleman Chair

Lundberg Vice-Chair

Sontany Secretary

Bass

Kelsey

Camper

Watson

Fincher

Dennis

Stewart

Matheny

Faulkner

Civil Practice (R 3 – D 3)

Kelsey Chair

Fincher Vice-Chair

Lundberg

Stewart

Dennis

Coleman

Criminal (R 3-D 3)

Watson Chair

Sontany Vice-Chair

Faulkner

Bass

Matheny

Camper

State & Local (R 9-D 9)

Todd Chair

U.Jones Vice-Chair

Swafford Secretary

Miller

McCormick

Yokley

Ramsey

Ty Cobb

Evans

Pruitt

Haynes

Litz

Carr

Tindell

Coley

West

Watson

Moore

Elections (R 3- D 3)

Yokley Chair

Watson Vice-Chair

Moore Coley
Tindell Evans

State Sub (R 3-D 3)

McCormick Chair

Pruitt Vice Chair

Haynes

Litz

Carr

West

Local Sub (R 3-D 3)

Miller Chair

Swafford Vice Chair

U. Jones

Todd

Ty Cobb

Ramsey

Transportation (R 7 – D 7)
Harmon Chair

Dean Vice-Chair
Fraley Secretary

West

P. Johnson
Ty Cobb

Matlock
Fincher

Floyd
Tidwell

Shipley

Barker

Hill
Rich

Public Safety (R 3 – D 3)
West Chair

Dean Vice-Chair

Fincher

Rich
Ty Cobb

Shipley

Rural Roads (R 4 – D 4)
P. Johnson Chairman
Fraley Vice-Chair

Harmon

Matlock
Tidwell

Hill

Barker

Floyd

Joint Legislative Services Committee

Williams

Mumpower

Casada

Odom

Turner, Mike

Rules Committee

McDaniel, Chair

Mumpower

Casada

Williams

Brooks, Kevin

Sargent

Montgomery

Brooks, Harry

Roach

Odom

Turner, Mike

DeBerry, Lois

Fitzhugh

Fincher

Litz

Maddox

Naifeh

Council on Pensions and Insurance

Fitzhugh

Sargent

Shaw

McDaniel

Dunn

Bone

Health Equity Commission

Armstrong

Hensley

Miller, Larry

Ethics Committee

Mumpower

Harwell

McCord

Casada

McDaniel

Sargent

Odom

DeBerry, Lois

Turner, Mike

Fincher

Jones, Ulysses

Maddox

Joint Committee on Veterans Affairs

Borchert

Windle

Curtiss

Litz

Ford

Johnson, Curtis

Lundberg

McDaniel

Corrections Oversight

Harmon

Turner, Mike

Curtiss

Fitzhugh

McCord

Ford

Matheny

Select Committee on Children & Youth

DeBerry, John

DeBerry, Lois

Jones, Sherry

Brown

Sontany

Montgomery

Harwell

Maggart

Faulkner

Education Oversight

Brown

Jones, Ulysses

Maddox

Winningham

Brooks, Harry

Hawk

Lollar

Roach

Rowland

TennCare Oversight

Armstrong

Shepard

Odom

Hensley

McDaniel

Harrison

Mumpower

LongTerm Care Oversight

Ferguson

DeBerry, Lois

Tindell

McDaniel

Maggart

Lottery Oversight

Jones, Ulysses

Winningham

Tindell

Miller, Larry

Todd

Brooks, Harry

McCormick

McManus

Mumpower

Workers Compensation Oversight

Curtiss

Fitzhugh

McDonald

Pitts

Sargent

Matlock

McCord

McDaniel

Select Committee on Business Taxes

Tindell

Cobb, Curt

Hackworth

Stewart

Lundberg

Sargent

Eldridge

Charitable Gaming Committee

Moore

Tindell

McManus

TACIR

Todd

Mumpower

Odom

Naifeh

Diabetes Prevention

Moore

Favors

Brown

Williams

Shipley

Before I get back to my “real” life of bed-making, clothes-washing, house-cleaning, and birthday party planning for a soon-to-be 2-year-old, I have a few things to get off my chest concerning the events of the day.

As if it’s not annoying enough to have the news media absolutely wetting all over themselves as they report the inauguration of Barack Obama, there have actually been several people being snippy to those of us who aren’t thrilled with the new President.

“Way to rain on the parade”

“I feel sad that you guys are so negative”

First of all, I am not going to be all bright and cheery unless there is good reason to be. I am not optimistic about the next four years, and I’m not going to pretend that I am. It would be like watching a group of your friends running as hard as they can toward a giant cliff and just cheering them on as they go. I firmly believe that our country is headed in another bad direction, and I’m not going to sit by and watch it happen with a big grin on my face for the sake of “not being negative.”

For the record, I would be nearly as un-optimistic if McCain had been sworn in today rather than Obama. There is so little difference between the two major political parties nowadays that it matters little who the face in the White House is – there is a very narrow spectrum of where we will go as a country under the leadership of either a Republican or a Democrat. Until we reach a point where there are some viable third-party candidates for National office, very little will change politically. You may have noticed that Obama has already back-pedaled on some major issues…Iraq, for example.

Second, we have endured scores of negative comments about former President Bush from those who are now upset that folks are picking on Obama. Not that I am a major Bush-supporter, but it seems a bit hypocritical to now get upset when the shoe is on the other foot. I criticized Bush, and now I will criticize Obama. Suck it up. I further know without doubt that, had McCain become the new Commander-in-Chief, scores of Democrats would be raining on the inauguration parade with some fiercely negative comments.

It’s days like today when the politically inexperienced take part in the process, and get their feelings hurt by the bitterness that goes along with politics. Those of us who are a part of the political scene on a daily basis are used to the fighting, back-biting, and plain old disagreements that go along with the process, and can fight with each other without hard feelings. I look forward to a return to the hum-drum, everyday chats about policy decisions that only interest the die-hard political junkies, so we can call each other idiots and still be friends.

Typing is going a little slow this morning, as I chopped off part of my pointer finger last night while fixing dinner. And I hadn’t even been drinking!

I tried watching the inauguration festivities on the living room tv, but that was vetoed by the two-year-old who knows that 10am is time for Sesame Street. So, I’ve now got the live feed from Cnn.com playing on my computer, and I’m trying to keep down my breakfast.

It’s just not in my nature to be all bright and cheery about things. I’m a little cynical, as those of you who read my blog regularly have surely figured out. I get it from my mother, who, strangely enough, is actually being optimistic about this whole Obama thing.

I was going to try to watch the inauguration with an excited attitude of “witnessing history,” but the nauseating banter from news anchors on every channel is making it difficult. Maybe I should overlook our vast political differences and just appreciate the excitement of the day, but that is terribly difficult for a gal like me.

I can’t help but think about all that Obama has said he’s going to do to our country. I can’t help but be afraid of the next four years. I can’t help but remember how little we truly know about Barack Obama.

So I will try to watch the inauguration with optimism, but I won’t stop calling my Obama-supporting friends “communists.” 😉

I suspect that some legislators are holding off reacting publicly to Rep. Kent Williams’ speakership scheme until after he announces committee appointments, but a few have been so bold to go ahead and let us know exactly what they think of the Not-So-Honorable Speaker Williams.

Rep. Stacey Campfield wrote on his blog “…many Republicans…say they would have preferred to have Naifeh as speaker. At least he had a clue what was going on and would call on people. Kent was blatantly ignoring people when they were asking to be recognised. When he did recognize them he was rude and had no clue how to respond to simple questions. The Dems just elected someone who just got out of the freshman class to lead the house. Scary for our state.”

I’m not sure that a Speaker Williams is any scarier than a Speaker Naifeh. Because Williams is so inexperienced, he will certainly have to seek help in doing the job of Speaker, and since he’s alienated the entire Republican wing of the House, he’ll have to turn to the Democrats. He can say he’s not a puppet, but Williams will without doubt be guided by Former Speaker Naifeh. We can reasonably call Williams a “Speaker In Name Only,” because, although he is holding the gavel, Naifeh will be calling the shots.

Republican Representative David Hawk of Greeneville had much the same reaction as the other Republican legislators who have come out in opposition to Williams. Shock. Dismay. Disgust. Hawk said that Williams “lied to all six million people across the state.”

Democrat Eddie Yokely of Greene County, on the other hand, called Williams “a fine person, somebody we’ll be able to work with to get things done in Tennessee.” Right. Like Jimmy Naifeh is a “fine person,” eh?

Jason Mumpower, the Republican Representative who was defeated by Williams, said At the end of the day, we’ve just got to get down to work.” Although that’s going to be a bit more difficult since Williams just ticked off 49 members of the House.

When it comes down to it, Williams’ move was nothing more than a political power play. I wouldn’t have such a problem with his Speakership if he had just been up front about it. The back room deals that took place, and the way that Williams and the Democrats sprung this on the House (not to mention Naifeh’s entrance into the Chamber with a, um, smirk on his face…) was dirty politics no matter how you slice it. Sure, some will say that he wouldn’t have become Speaker if he’d been up front because the Republicans would have fought against him, but that doesn’t excuse his lies. Even if you lose, honesty is still the best policy. If Williams truly cared about Carter County and wanted to be bipartisan and cooperative, he wouldn’t have just screwed fully one-half of the Legislature (more than that if you consider that even Dems didn’t know what he was up to until the now-infamous “30-minute recess”).

There are conflicting stories about how Kent Williams (RINO) came to be Tennessee’s newest Speaker of the House. Both are plausible, I think, so I’ll share them both.

Before I get to the scoop, however, I’d like to thank Speaker Williams, for bringing me back to the blogosphere. With two small children, a home remodeling project, the holidays, and training for my first 5k, nothing has gotten me motivated enough to give up any of my precious time to blog. Barack is the new president, blah, blah, blah…House reconvenes in Nashville, blah, blah, blah…Auto industry still wants government money, blah, blah, blah. Then an old friend from my pre-children, campaigning days sends me an IM with the scoop on Naifeh’s, er, Williams’ election as Speaker, and, by golly, I’m motivated! So, thanks, Kent, if for nothing else, for getting me back on the net.

Anywho, according to Jeff Woods, the scheme was planned over coffee during Thanksgiving recess. Reportedly, House Democratic Leader Gary Odom came to Elizabethton to meet Kent at a restaurant. As they sipped coffee (and, I imagine, pressed their fingers together, Mr. Burns style, muttering “excellent…”), Odom asked Williams how he’d like to be Speaker of the House.

Dems knew they had a snowball’s chance in getting Naifeh elected again, with the new Republican majority, and the Republican party to oust Williams if he voted for a Democrat, so they came up with a “just as good as…” plan. Nominate a RINO. Nominate Williams.

They – reportedly – kept all this a good secret, as even members of the Democratic party didn’t know as of today what was taking place, hence, the 30-minute recess called for by Dems at the end of discussion. Since even the Dems didn’t know, you can rest assured the only “Republican” in the room who had a clue was Williams himself.

So, after a 30-minute recess and all 49 Dems on board, Williams cast the deciding vote in favor of himself.

Another story that is circulating is that Williams just wanted to be Speaker and the Dems were the ones who could make it happen.

Now, both stories strike me as shifty. If, in fact, Odom approached Williams about being Speaker, we’ve got nothing more than a puppet on our hands. If, however, Williams “just wanted to be Speaker,” we’re looking at someone who lied about who he was supporting (actually, he lied either way, because Williams has been stating publicly that he was supporting Mumpower) for his own personal gain. He knew that Republicans would work against him, so instead of being up front and honest, he decided to make some back-room deal to get the job for himself.

Look, I hope I’m wrong about Williams, but he has time and again proven himself to be less-than-honorable (see my past posts on fair Speaker Williams…). Just as there are many, many of us who strongly oppose Williams, there are some who just as passionately support him. I hope he does a good job, and if he does, you Williams-lovers out there can give me a big, fat “I told you so…”

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