Monthly Archives: March, 2017

“Rules are for the little people…”

Harwell Gang caught red-handed trying to jam through Haslam’s Tax Increase.

Harwell forced to do a special re-vote after conservative legislators and anti-tax advocates call her out.

After the session on Thursday, members of the House Local Government Committee will be held in legislative “after-school detention.”

Seems that in their desperate rush to force the unpopular Haslam/Harwell gas tax increase through the House, Chairman Tim Wirgau and the Speaker faced a threatened press conference revolt by anti-tax legislators who said the ram-down violated well-established rules of procedure.  Harwell then promised to hold a “special committee meeting” following the Thursday House session to try and correct their heavy-handed power play screw-up

Maybe Beth should run for Governor.  She’s seems better at dictating than she is at leading…

Conflicts-of-Interest, anyone?

Meanwhile, no word on whether TDOT pre-certified, preferred road contractor Rep. Barry Doss will use one of his company’s roadgraders to help pave the way for the zombie-like gas tax increase bill.

For some people, “government” seems to be just another word for “feeding at the public trough.”

Yer truck can’t run on Coconut water…

At 1:30 today, the House Transportation Committee will meet in a key vote on Governor Haslam’s bill to raise taxes on gas and diesel fuel.  The political fallout from passing a gas tax increase while Tennessee feeds at the trough of a $ 2 Billion surplus looms particularly large for several legislators who plan to seek other offices.

Speaker Beth Harwell — wants to be governor. We can’t wait to see her ads and direct mail pieces touting her successful passage of a massive gas tax increase on working men and women in Tennessee. If given the choice to break a tie vote in the committee or lead the fight against the gas tax increase, we’re betting Beth will be hiding in the ladies room sipping coconut water as opposed to picking up the conservative banner dropped by Mark Green.  Make no mistake –Beth can kill the tax increase almost single-handedly. We are betting she won’t.

Senator Mark Norris — also wants to be governor.  Already on record as supporting the gas tax, Mark is hoping Beth slips the anchor chain of the gas tax around her own neck and dives in with him. Misery loves company!

Ron Travis — wants to challenge Cong. Scott DesJarlais.  Ron serves on the committee and will be a linchpin vote on whether or not the gas tax increase moves ahead. Ron should realize that running for Congress in the most rural district in the state while voting for a gas tax increase that hurts rural people the most, is not a great platform.  Families in our rural communities drive further to school, further to work, and further to the grocery store and already pay a larger percentage of their income in fuel.  But hey, maybe Ron can win by telling the voters down in Grundy County that his vote for the gas tax helped send their tax money to fund boondoggle mass transit programs in West Nashville.  Yeah, that’ll work.

Praise the Lord and pass the coconut water…

Fake News.

Sher/Chattanooga Times-Free Press gets bona fide scoop on Harwell.

Meanwhile, Tennessean makes up story about Peyton Manning.

Whoo-ee!  For an industry that is losing readers and credibility by the minute, the MSM here in Tennessee can still gin up a tit-for-tat news war.  In the latest round, the Tennessean came up way on the short end of the stick.

On Friday, GOP bon vivant Susan Richardson Hyphen Williams got all giddy from a phone call from the Speaker who told her she was going to run for governor.  Susan rushed right out and posted the info on her Facebook page.  Action Andy Sher was apparently stalking Susan’s Facebook page, saw the entry and posted it around midnight Saturday in an exclusive story.

There was much gnashing of teeth and cries of despair in the Tennessean newsroom when they discovered Sher’s scoop.  “How could this happen?  We are supposed to be the paper of political record in Tennessee.  Our name even has the word Tennessee on its masthead!  Our Gannett overlords have filled our desks with political reporters and editors (albeit none who were born, raised or went to school in the Volunteer state – but hey, they look good on YouTube with their beards and one of them is married to another guy, so there’s that…).  The horror!”

Not to be outdone by the provincials in ChattaVegas, the Tennessean machine quickly went to work to get a political election story that could top Sher’s scoopage.  Alas, there were none to be found.

So they made one up.

Ten hours after Sher’s article was posted, the Tennessean ran with breathless speculation that – wait for it – Peyton Manning might possibly run for the U.S. Senate from Tennessee four years from now.  They settled in on Manning, who is not even a legal resident of Tennessee, since apparently to speculate the Kardasians and/or Taylor Swift would run for the U.S. Senate might be a tad too implausible.  The last time the Tennessean tried to elevate a celebrity to political office was with Ashley (i.e., nasty woman / pussy cap) Judd.  How did that work out, fellas?

They pulled the Manning story out of their collective arses, based on nothing more than a brief appearance by Manning at a Republican meeting in Philadelphia back in January (an event already reported by the news blog Politico several weeks ago) as proof the Tennessean reporters were still relevant and still on the job.  They then ran with their weeks-old “scoop” hours later.  It was so important, don’t you know, that it couldn’t wait another minute before rushing it to print Sunday morning – more than ten hours after Sher’s story hit.

The crew here at Rocky Top have mused that another crack reporter, Alanna Autler (Channel 4 in Nashville), was actually the person behind the Tennessean breaking their fake news.  We imagine she woke up Sunday morning, saw the Sher piece and rolled over in bed and told her significant other (Tennessean reporter Dave Boucher):

“Uh, honey.  You might want to get up.  Remember how you asked me to spank your tushie last night?”

“Well Andy Sher just saved me the trouble.”


My friends call me Donald. You can call me Mr. President.

Most awkward moment in Bill Haslam’s political career:

“Hey, aren’t you that little twerp who publicly attacked me and said you were voting for someone else just before the election?  Yeah, I thought that was you…”


“Just get in the limo, Bill.  Can I drop you somewhere?

“Like, say, off of the roof of the Batman Building?”

We have a modest proposal

We were greeted yesterday morning with this 1,000+ word essay from the Tennessean’s “Community Engagement” editor (not to be confused with a “community organizer):

Ever helpful, Rocky Top has an alternate suggestion for President Trump on the occasion of his visit to Nashville:

Trump should use Nashville rally to explain to Plazas where he can stick it.

Alas, if Plazas was only from Tennessee, he might have the ability to figure out that his opinions here are about as welcome (and as useful) as a fart in a spacesuit.

The only place in Tennessee carried by Hillary Clinton was about a three square block in east Nashville and Mayor Barry’s house.  But such a complete and humiliating defeat of the liberal agenda in Tennessee didn’t even slow Plazas down.  No siree, he just dutifully trotted out the same old tired harangues.

But you keep pitching, Davey.  One of these days Gannett is going to lose enough readers that you will have to find another job.  We hear the new Tennessee Star could use a paper delivery boy (oh wait, that’s right….)


Tying to play both sides of the aisle can get real expensive, real fast.

Is T.E.A. facing financial ruin?

As Jim Wrye & Co. face a couple of major legislative votes on Wednesday (Vouchers, Payroll), some are questioning the continued financial viability of the liberal labor union itself.

Oh sure, the TEA has anywhere from 25,000 to negative-5,000 actual members (they are obviously padding their numbers).  In fact, between 2010 and 2015, the TEA lost nearly 1 out of every 3 of its members.  That’s gotta hurt, don’t you think?

First there were employee cutbacks.  Then came the defection of one of TEA’s largest chapters.  Then Wrye started writing big checks to the Republicans at the expense of TEA’s long-time allies in the Black Caucus (and they wonder why the Memphis TEA bolted) in an attempt to be relevant in a GOP-dominated legislature.

But then Wrye came up with a real estate scheme to paper over the organization’s finances.  It was a complicated deal that included Metro Nashville schools partially subsidizing the TEA to buy the old Ben West Library as its new headquarters.  Mayor Barry was a big supporter of the scheme to help the liberal union (of course she was).

Then something happened.  Despite the sweetheart arrangement brokered by the wife of the former head of the A.C.L.U.  (that would be Mayor Barry, for those of you not paying attention) the deal fell through.  TEA could not come up with the dough.  Maybe because a big piece of their income left with the Memphis/Shelby Education Association?

So pity poor Jimbo.  He’s losing membership, unmoored from his liberal ideology, floundering and flaunting what money he has left to try and buy off “flexible” Republicans, while having to make do with his old digs.

Could the end be near for Wrye’s tenure at TEA or even for TEA itself?

One can only hope.