Monthly Archives: October, 2015

Even MORE bad news for Cong. Fincher

Majority Leader of the House blast’s Fincher’s bill.  Speaker-in-waiting Paul Ryan delivers scathing remarks on the House floor.

Fincher fails to get even one of his Tennessee Republican colleagues to vote with him.  GOP delegation unanimous in opposing Fincher’s legislation.

fincher RINO

Cong. Stephen Fincher (TN)

Rep. Paul Ryan, current chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and the likely new speaker of the House, said he strongly disapproved of the bill.

“This is a pretty profound debate we are having,” Ryan, R-Wis., said. “It’s about what kind of economy we’re going to have. Are we going to reward good work or good connections? I think there are plenty of other ways to expand opportunity in this country, and corporate welfare is not one of them.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who came out in opposition to the bank last year, echoed Ryan’s statements.

“The real question in the debate we’re having comes down to this: do we let government pick and choose who it gives special taxpayer-loans to or not?” McCarthy said. “I believe our constituents know very well what the right choice is. They don’t want their tax dollars backing up any loans for businesses. That’s not the government’s job. The private sector can and should do that. And our economy does best when the government is left out.”

You can stop digging that hole now Stephen.  You’ve reached China.

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More bad news for Cong. RINO

**UPDATE**  

Incoming Speaker of the House Paul Ryan blasts Fincher’s Export-Import Bank maneuver:

“This thing is crony capitalism,”  said Ryan.

“I think there are plenty other ways to expand opportunity in this country, and corporate welfare is not one of them,” Ryan added. “We should be exporting democratic capitalism, not crony capitalism.”

Slick career move there, Fincher.  Not only did you resurrect a taxpayer boondoggle, you did it by getting into bed with Nancy Pelosi while at the same time pissing off your incoming Speaker.

We guess next on Fincher’s “To Do” list is raising the gas tax and expanding Obamacare.  It would certainly fit the pattern.

Primary, anyone?

Fincher Crosses the Rubicon

Cong. Stephen Fincher teams up with Nancy Pelosi to advance crony capitalism at taxpayer’s expense.

fincher RINO

“The unusual parliamentary maneuver led by Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher is a slap in the face to conservatives.”                                                 

“The Democrats seized on an opportunity to move this and are using Fincher … as a willing accomplice.”

— Politico 10/26/2015

For years, conservative in in Congress have complained that the Export-Import Bank is a multi-billion dollar, taxpayer-paid “crony capitalism” program. Democrats love it because they can connect their big corporate donors to the subsidized goodies offered by the Bank. Many consider the Ex-Im Bank as a case study in wasteful government spending. The House Freedom Caucus, in contrast, is vociferously opposed to the extention the Bank’s charter.

One would think that a Southern farmer Congressman from rural Tennessee would naturally be opposed to the Bank. After all, Tea Party types who originally backed Fincher are strongly opposed to the bank and consider it a litmus test.

But Fincher was not content to just stabbing his conservative supporters in the back with his decision to support the Ex-Im Bank (which, by the way, is opposed by incoming Speaker Paul Ryan).  Fincher went much, much further.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Fincher conspired with west-coast-wacko Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the very liberal Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to take advantage of the confusion over John Boehner’s resignation as Speaker, and using a rare procedural maneuver, brought the bill renewing the Bank to the floor of the House. Republicans voted overwhelming against the move, but Fincher convinced enough RINO Republicans to join near-unanimous support from the Democrats to pass the legislation.

What makes Fincher’s actions particularly odious is the fact that several of the biggest corporate beneficiaries of the Ex-Im Bank subsidies rewarded Fincher with huge political contributions while this process was underway. But since the bill is unlikely to be considered by the Senate, Fincher’s efforts may yet turn into an exercise in futility.

It seems like a lot of effort by the Farmer from Frog Jump, just to have himself branded a craven traitor to conservative, small government principles and to do so in cahoots with slimeballs like Nancy Pelosi. If Fincher ever had any ambitions about running for statewide office, he just kissed those chances goodbye.

Fincher’s actions firmly moved him into RINO status and are prime and putrid examples of why voters in general, and Republicans in particular, are fed up with the corrupt political environment in Washington.

Enjoy your blood money, Stephen.  Maybe you can take Nancy out for a nice dinner.

Has Tom Ingram Been Fired Yet?

Rocky Top just loves to be able to say: “We told you so.”

News over the weekend that Jeb Bush’s campaign was in financial trouble was no surprise to regular RTP readers. Over a month ago, we noted the Bush campaign had hired Tom Ingram as a consultant. We also advised Ingram “get paid up front” based on the reports we had received that the Bush campaign was hemorrhaging “hard money” necessary to pay non-super PAC regular campaign expenses and consultants:

“Better get paid up front, Tom

“One of RTP’s tipsters hiding out in Washington says the town is buzzing with info that Bush campaign has begun laying off people just at the time they are hiring Ingram. The problem is that while the Bushies have raised of $100 million for his super PAC, the campaign did not create a broad enough base to generate enough money in hard dollars that pay for the campaign’s day-to-day operations, staff, expenses, etc.”

Tom Ingram

Tom Ingram

Now, weeks later, comes confirmation the Bush campaign is firing many of its consultants and demanding steep pay cuts for those it keeps. The Bush campaign may be well on its way to the same fate of other Ingram clients such as “President” Lamar Alexander, “President” Jon Huntsman and Nashville “Mayor” Charles Robert Bone III.

Hope Tom has already cashed his check….

Walking in Memphis

war edited

Memphis teacher’s union will try to secede from the T.E.A.

Loss of largest affiliate could doom T.E.A. to second-class status.

As if labor union lobbyist Jim Wrye doesn’t have enough problems, what with magic mailboxes, a communist/socialist renegade staffer, and what not. Now comes an out-an-out rebellion from within his own dwindling membership ranks.

The Memphis chapter of TEA (M-SCEA) has already severed ties with the TEA in a major dispute, citing lack of representation, ineffective legislative representation, suspicious expenditures, etc. by the TEA state operation. Now they are trying to make it legal with an official vote.

This is a big deal. With the loss of funds generated by Memphis (over $1,100,000 last year), the TEA would quickly find itself in a financial bind even more serious than the one they currently face. TEA’s membership rolls, which once approached 60,000 is now down to about 30,000-35,000 members (it’s hard to tell, since the TEA continually redefines “membership” to artificially inflate their numbers). Losing Memphis’ 4,500 dues payers will drop that even further. But the loss of income for TEA is likely to create a financial crisis that even the creative accountants at the TEA will find difficult to cover up.

A civil war is bad enough, but Gen. Wrye may find himself with an even smaller army and less money to pay the troops.

Wrye & Co. have only themselves to blame. Wrye tried to whore his way into the Republican caucus by throwing around money to Republicans, screwing the Black Caucus – TEA’s most loyal allies – in the process. Don’t think for a minute the Memphis chapter, whose membership is overwhelmingly African American, didn’t notice. And now they are exacting their revenge.

As for those in Republican leadership and others who lately have been taking large contributions from Wrye and the TEA, they should not feel too smug about all this. When you take money from an organization that just endorsed Hillary Clinton (and gave her $30+ million to boot), you can expect to suffer the consequences.

Remember the infamous Maggart/Obama billboard?

billboard photo

Now try to imagine one with you and Hillary going up in your district. And in your mailboxes.  Just in time for the August primary:

billboard edit 3

 

Stupidest. Columnist. Ever.

If one wants to look at a “textbook example” of just how far the main stream media has fallen, one only has to look to today’s Commercial Appeal.  David Waters — a salaried columnist for the CA — wrote a lengthy article responding to the large meeting held earlier this week in White County, where parents turned out in large numbers to protest a pro-Islam biased curriculum begin taught seventh graders in the local public schools.

In his rush to denigrate those bumpkins in White County, Waters claimed he had reviewed the curriculum and found no problems whatsoever with it.  Waters said he reviewed the Islamic section in the McGraw Hill world history textbook. His column is filled condescension and smirking comments about how White County students must be “skimming” the material and not really reading or understanding the text.

Just one teeny, itsy-bitsy problem with Water’s so-called review of the material. The Islamic-biased material that has so offended the parents in White County came from the Pearson textbook on world history – not the McGraw Hill world history textbook used in Memphis schools. The McGraw-Hill textbook that is the focus of Water’s column is a different book entirely, with different material.

Oops.

Waters is apparently so in the tank for the Islamic/liberal apologists and so eager to dismiss the concerns of what he undoubtedly considers the rural hicks of White County, that he “reviewed” the wrong freakin’ book.

What a putz.

Memphis is not exactly a hotbed of education excellence. In fact, it consistently has the worst-performing schools in the state. If Waters was educated in the Memphis school system, then it would go a long way towards explaining why he is not only liberal, but an ignoramus as well.

There’s a popular t-shirt being sold down on Beale Street these days.

tshirt 3

Today, Mr. Waters is finding it is indeed painful to sit in the corner.

Particularly when you have your head up your ass.

What’s that rumbling sound?

Islam marchers 2

Parents’ disgust with pro-Islamic bias in public school curriculum begins to boil over.

Last night in tiny White County nearly 400 people crowded into a townhall meeting to protest the way Islam is being taught in the seventh grade. The curriculum that has them so upset is being served up in numerous schools throughout the state, with indications more protests like the one last night could happen elsewhere.

Combine parental concern with the tone-deaf members of the White County school board, and you’ve got the latest version of RTP’s “Idiot of the week.” Check out this guy:

Idiot of the Week.

White County school board member ROY WHITED

      White County school board member
                  ROY WHITED

Outside yesterday’s meeting, ol’ Roy came up with a whopper:

“We’ve been teaching the same thing for 20 years in White county.”

— Roy Whited

That turned out to be an easily provable lie, since the textbook and the sections that have everyone so upset didn’t even exist a year ago, much less 20 years ago. It’s brand new and this is the first year any school has used it. It was approved by the state despite protests from some teachers who said it was biased and misguided. Whited also said he had received “death threats.”   Yeah, right.

[RTP Editors’ note: Ever notice how when a public figure gets slammed, he or she frequently plays the unprovable “death threat” card? Did Whited report the “death threats” to the police and demand an investigation? We’re guessing the answer to that question is “No.”]

Oh, and who are the publishers of the controversial textbook? Why Pearson publishing. And who are the major investors in Pearson?

According to the Financial Times, the Libyan Investment Authority was founded by Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam; more than five Gaddafi family members own shares. The Council on Islamic Relations (CAIR, a recently designated terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates), Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the Muslim Brotherhood invested in Pearson Education through the Libyan Investment Authority.

— Washington Times 4-7-2015

 

Get the picture? Well, Allah be praised!

And who was the lobbyist for years for Pearson? And whose wife worked for Pearson for over a decade? And who represented the county school boards until recently and who is still representing the school superintendents? (Hint: It’s the same moron who crafted the now discredited legal strategy of “screw the parents, don’t tell them a damn thing” for the school superintendents. Come on now, this is too easy….)

Cagle photo

Chuck Cagle, of course.

This whole affair is beginning to stink to High Heaven (metaphor intended). But let’s not lay everything at Chuck Cagle’s door. The enablers of the Islamic bias in our classrooms rests squarely on the shoulders of Education Commissioner Candace “Queen Bee” McQueen and Gov. Bill Haslam.

If the political apologists for biased Islamic courses and the education bureaucrats think this is going away, they need to think again.

simpsons mob

 

“There’s a group of parents from White County outside waiting to see you, Governor.”

Gov. Billary

Haslam surprise

Hillary edit

“E-mails?  What e-mails?”

Leave it to our feckless governor to invent new ways to destroy what credibility remains in his administration. His latest attempt is an egregious overreach of “crony capitalism” wherein Haslam tries to privatize practically the entire state government. To assist in this effort, he brought in corporate experts and asked them to be creative in coming up with new ways to award contracts on everything from janitors at Austin Peay to state parks personnel. Then he told them not to talk about it, warning them against using the dreaded new technology — called email — so as not to leave a trail of what they were up to.  The Dean has the story here.

Now don’t get us wrong. Most of us here at RTP believe there are some state functions that could and should be run by the private contractors. Out first target for replacement by privatization would be that surly lady behind the counter of the DMV in Putnam, Williamson, Shelby, Gibson, Cocke, Lincoln, Unicoi and Bradley counties. All the rest of the DMV should just be fired.

And anyone who thinks nothing could go wrong with all this privatization stuff has obviously not experienced the culinary delights served up by Aramark at the UTK student cafeterias. (Student: “You call this pizza?” Aramark: “No, we call it a 4.5% return on investment. And it’s a hamburger.”)

But despite one’s personal views about privatization, the biggest problem with Haslam’s latest debacle (remember InsureTN, Common Core, LogoGate, etc., etc., etc.) is his warped sense of noblesse oblige when it comes to keeping public information from the public. We can imagine the conversation between Gov. Billary and then-chief of staff Mark “Haters Gonna Hate” Cate when this whole scheme was first cooked up:

Cate: “Governor, we can’t have the rabble looking at our plans. Why they may ask questions, demand numbers, offer a contradictory assessment.”

Governor: “You’re right, Mark. I know, let’s do what Hillary Clinton did with her illegal email system and destroy any emails we don’t like or might prove embarrassing.”

Cate: “Nah, that’s too much work. And if our experience with Pilot is any guide, the damn FBI will find them anyway. Let’s just tell all the contractors not to use email in the first place.”

Governor: “Brilliant. Now let’s see that new state logo the chimps at the Nashville Zoo came up with.”

All this from the same governor whose first official act after being sworn in was to keep his personal finances and tax returns from the prying eyes of the great unwashed who had just elected him. Then he paid his political consultant under the table in a likely violation of campaign finance and/or lobbying laws.

Yeah, Billary Haslam is so transparent, you can see right through him.

So, all you loyal RTP readers (as well as all of you who read us, but won’t admit it), send Gov. Haslam a quick email letting him know just how you feel about his latest boondoggle and attempted cover-up. You can reach the governor at his private email address:

closetlib@tn.gov.

We’re sure he would love to hear from you. Just make sure to erase your email after you send it. If you send it.monkey

Who’s the dimwit advising Randy Boyd? Oh, wait….

ECDC Commissioner to host fundraiser for Jeb Bush. Bush currently running 6th in the polls — just ahead of George Pataki.

Randy Boyd, a Haslam family favorite and business associate, is widely rumored to be positioning himself for state Boydoffice – most likely governor in 2018 (and is also reputed to be the candidate of choice of the Haslam family). Of course to achieve that lofty position, Boyd must first win a Republican primary. And that makes his embrace of Jeb Bush seem problematic to the base of the party. Boyd would be wise to note what has happened to the agenda of his buddy, Bill Haslam, who has flipped off the conservative base at every opportunity and has suffered mightily as a result.  Endorsing Jeb! immediately puts you in the distinct minority of Tennessee Republican voters.

Boyd has lots in common with Gov. Haslam, not the least of which is that he is getting his political advice from Tom Ingram.

Tom Ingram

Tom Ingram — Political consultant to the very wealthy.

Yes, the same Tom Ingram who was the most recent hire to the Jeb! campaign. The same Tom Ingram who served as the paid consultant to the Nashville mayoral candidate, Charles Robert Bone III — the largest Obama bundler in the state of Tennessee. The same Tom Ingram who recently got bitch-slapped by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey after, among other things, Tom was quoted whining about “self-funders” being the only viable candidates these days.

Here is an interesting factoid sent along by a RTP tipster: Name the candidate who Ingram has worked for who was not a “self-funder.” You can’t: Corker, Haslam, Bone, Alexander (and yes, Lamar was a self-funder at the most critical time of his career – just ask Ed Bryant) were all Ingram client’s with nothing but a dream and a bank account bigger than the annual budget of a third world country. Corker, Haslam & Alexander were all about outspending their opponents by massive sums and buying their nominations in an electorate that was decidedly more conservative than they are.

Gov. Haslam got elected by spending millions of dollars of personal money to pay for commercials telling Tennessee voters he was a conservative. Of course, between Common Core, sweetheart deals for friends like Jones LaSalle, expanding Obamacare and trying to raise the gas tax, Haslam has governed like a crony capitalist, certainly not as a conservative. Alexander nearly got beat in his last primary by a heavily under-funded Joe Carr. Bone was crushed in his race for Nashville Mayor.  And tough-talking Bob Corker got snookered by Obama and Harry Reid on the Iran deal (What is it about some height-disadvantaged politicians who feel the need to act tough to compensate for their, um, shortcomings?  Sen. John Tower of Texas was the same way. But then the diminutive Sen. Howard H. Baker was short too, but he stood head and shoulders among his colleagues. Note to Bob: try to be more like Howard Henry).

Will Boyd’s reputed personal wealth buy the same dishonest campaign message that Haslam served up? Will conservative voters see through the deception this time? Will another faux conservative get elected to statewide office?

Ask Ingram. He’s the expert on self-funders.

Speaker Beth Boehner?

Harwell apparently hopes the conservatives in her caucus do not read the newspapers or watch FOX news. One would think that after seeing what the conservative members of the U.S. House Republican caucus did to Speaker John Boehner and his hand-picked successor,  Harwell might tread lightly on the conservatives in her own body.  This is especially relevant since conservatives in the Tennessee House make up a much larger percentage of the Tennessee House than do the House Freedom Caucus conservatives in Congress.  There is even an organized, if somewhat mysterious organization called the Conservative Majority Caucus in the General Assembly.  All the warning signs are there.

But Harwell either doesn’t understand the changing political dynamic or has chosen to ignore the recent object lessons being taught in DC.  How else to explain her ham-handed response to the resignation of Rep. Mike Harrison?  When Harrison (who, astute observers of Tennessee politics will remember, was one of the original “Naifeh’s bitches.”) decided to cash in and become a lobbyist, Harwell was presented with a choice:  Would she use the opportunity to reach out to conservatives in the GOP caucus, or would she revert to her establishment roots and pick a reliable toady for a new chairman of the crucial House Finance Sub-committee?

She chose the sycophant.  In so doing, not only did she flip off the conservatives, she violated rules that she herself laid down regarding committee and sub-committee chairmanships.

“Positively Harwellian.”

Harwell had a long-standing rule that members of leadership could not hold committee or sub-committee chairmanships.  But with the appointment of Speaker Pro-Tem Curtis Johnson to chair House Finance Sub, she sent the clear signal that “rules are just for the little people” and the conservatives be damned.  One legislator told RTP that the move was “positively Harwellian.”

Some apologists say Curtis Johnson will be an ally in one or two issues, such as eliminating automatic dues deductions for public employee unions such as the teacher’s union.  We’ll see if that’s true.  But does anyone seriously believe that when the chips are down and Harwell and leadership demand fealty that Johnson won’t fold like a cheap suit?  Besides, their back up is that “rock” of conservatism, Charles Sargent.  You remember Charlie:  after his near-death electoral experience last election he ran around the LP telling everyone who would listen that he would “sponsor anti-Common Core legislation” and he would make sure conservative bills got a friendly hearing in his committee.  Yeah, how did that work out?

Yes, Harwell is in a tight spot.  But pissing off the Republican base is a rather interesting primary strategy for the Harwell for Governor campaign.  No word on whether she also plans to have Rep. Rick Womick shot (blindfold firing squad 1optional) or former radio talkmeister Steve Gill arrested for sedition.  Doing so would certainly be consistent with her most recent anti-conservative maneuverings last week.