Monthly Archives: October, 2017

From the RTP Archives…

[Editors’ note:  In anticipation of former Cong. Steve Fincher’s entry into the U.S. Senate race, we bring back an oldy, but moldy post of Fincher’s putrid deal with Nancy Pelosi, shortly before he left Congress.  You’re welcome.]

What’s that splat on the road?

The conservative newspaper, The Washington Examiner, jumps all over the Farmer from Frog Jump:

“Fincher represents what’s worst about the Republican Party.”

fincher 1

Cong Stephen Fincher, one of the “Tea Party” candidates who was elected in 2010, has long prided himself on his humble roots.  But rumors have swirled that the Congressman from the 8th District of Tennessee, has traded his overalls for a tuxedo and has become the very people he first ran against.

The Examiner column is pretty devastating for Fincher. Titled: “From Tea Partier to Corporate Welfare Champion,” the article reveals that of the 150 contributors to Fincher’s re-election campaign, only two came from Tennessee.  Of the $250,000 he has raised for his re-election, less than 1/2 of 1 percent — a total of $750 — came from here.  Instead, his contributor list reads like a who’s who of Wall Street and K Street corporations and financial services companies pelosi 3who reap enormous subsidies from U.S. taxpayers.  In return, Fincher has teamed with Nancy Pelosi — yes, that Nancy Pelosi — to keep the corrupt Ex-Im Bank operating, even introducing the bill to keep alive an organization hated by many conservatives.

The article also reports that only one other farmer in Congress gets more in subsidized crop insurance and other subsidies than Fincher.  From 1999 to 2012, Fincher pocketed over $3.48 million in subsidies —  over $70,00 in 2012 alone.

As the Examiner put it:

“Washington corrupts, and Congressman Stephen Fincher is proof.”

Not a good reputation to have if you are looking to run for governor or U.S. Senator, as Fincher is reputed to be considering.

[Hat tip to RTP tipsters at the Tennessee 8th District Tea Party Coalition]

 

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Bring it on, Solyndra Phil

She’s with…

Word is former Gov. Phil Bredesen is thinking about running for Coker’s seat in the U.S. Senate.  To which our first reaction was: “You mean he’s still alive?”

If he won, Bredesen would be pushing 75 by the time he was sworn in.  In fairness, that would make him a regular “spring chicken” compared to some of his colleagues, but still….

Bredesen’s biggest problem would not be his age.  Voters would be much more interested in his thoughts on:

  • The TNInvestco boondoggle that saw hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars go to many of his cronies to create “start-ups” many of which have returned little or nothing in the way of the permanent jobs they were supposed to create.
  • $328 million dollars in economic development incentives of taxpayer’s money pissed down a rat hole by Bredesen to attract two solar industry semiconductor factories. Both went belly up, leaving Tennessee taxpayers holding the bag.  Within days of leaving the governor’s office, the two Bredesen top economic development cabinet members who oversaw the handout to the failed factories, opened a – surprise! — solar company with a major investment from – surprise!– Bredesen.  This was all a part of the overall “green jobs” scams promoted by the Obama administration that lost billions of dollars in “crony capitalism” handouts to their political friends, of which Solyndra was the largest bankruptcy.
  • How would Phil vote for New York’s Chuck Schumer for Majority Leader?
  • Would he have voted for Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court?
  • Enlighten us as to his position on DACA, the Wall, tax subsidies for tuition for illegal aliens and other immigration issues

And, of course, we would be remiss if we did not point out that politics in Tennessee has changed just a tad in the 16 years since Solyndra Phil ran in his last competitive election.  While it is true that Bredesen has a sizeable fortune he could spend on the race, he needs to look no further than next door in the recent Alabama senate race to see what outspending your opponent 30-to-1 can get you.  The soon-to-be-former Senator Luther Strange can clue him in on the new paradigm.

Bredesen also told the AP he was going to “do some research” in order to make his decision.  Here is RTP’s helpful “research” map to remind Phil what happened to his candidate for president in the last election, just 11 months ago:

Of course, Solyndra Phil would surely be more competitive than Hillary Clinton, right?  Why, he might even be able to put Polk County back in the win column for the Dems.

We can’t wait.

Brokeback Bob

David Plazas

Plazas to Corker: “I just can’t quit you!”

It wasn’t that long ago when any elected official with a “R” next to his or her name could expect the “journalists” at The TenneCNN to attack them at every turn.  While liberal vitriol for Republicans is still the newspaper’s default position when covering the huge majority of GOPers, The TennessCNN makes special exceptions for select RINOs whom they love.

And they sure love them some Bob Corker.

Look no further than the recent editorial written by political editor David Plazas, lauding Corker for dissing Trump (naturally).  It was a mushy paean to their new-found admiration for Corker, praising him with such bon mots as “[Corker] is truly interested in being a statesman who puts America first,” and “Corker’s retirement is courageous.”

All that was missing was the corsage and a room at the Vanderbilt Plaza for after the prom.

But enough of all this thinly veiled sexual inyourendo.  Corker is clearly trying to curry favor with the MSM by trashing Trump.  Why?  It’s simple.  Corker has left a trail of sketchy business deals stretching back to when he first went to the Senate.  Rumors of investigations by the Securities & Exchange Commission as well as serious questions about a slimy shopping center deal in Mobile, AL have only intensified in the days leading up to and after Corker’s current spat with Trump.  Corker is in trouble and is seeking diversion and protection from the MSM.  But a retirement announcement and a couple of petulant tweets are not going to make Bob’s problems go away.

Every time something new crawls out from under one of Corker’s rocks, look for him to run out and say something nasty about Trump.

And look for Plazas to show up at Corker’s door with flowers, candy, glowing editorials and God knows what else.

Widdle Bob.

OMG!   TRUMP READS ROCKY TOP!

Last night, RTP posted its take on the Trump/Corker feud.  Included in that analysis was that Trump may have “hurt Bob’s widdle feelings.”

Then less than 12 hours later, POTUS tweets about “Liddle Bob.”

Coincidence?  We think not.

In fact, Rocky Top has been referring to the diminutive senator as “Little Bob” for months, and for good reason.

It’s nice to see the President noticed.

 

So Is Todd Womack Lying Through His Teeth?

After the shi-, uh, tweet storm of the last 24 hours between President Trump and soon-to-be-ex-Senator Bob Corker, the crew here at RTP would like to try to help you make sense of it all.

The MSM would have you believe that the Brave Sir Corker, having recently announced his retirement, was now free to move about the country and take pot-shots at the President.  How noble!  How enlightened! What a Hero!

What a load of crap.

The first thing we noticed was that Corker is now proven to be a two-faced political coward of the swamp kind.  As long as Trump could give him something – like, say Secretary of State or an endorsement to try and avoid a primary opponent – the Bobster was more than happy to sublimate his true feelings for Trump and be a bootlicker of the first order. Of course, Bob being Bob, there were occasional times when his disdain for Trump oozed through.  “Not qualified” and “not competent” and “out of control” are recent phrases by Corker about Trump that come to mind.

When it became apparent that all the sucking up that Corker could suck would not be enough for an endorsement or position, Bob realized the jig was up.  After the Breitbart stories about financial corruption and polls that showed Corker was about as popular among Tennessee Republicans as a painful rectal itch, Corker decided to call it a day and put on his cloak of self-righteousness and run to the welcoming arms of the MSM:  “You know all that stuff I said about being a conservative, supporting our president, and such?  Well, I lied.”

But Bobby was not finished – oh no.  He continued to lie.  After Trump shoved a few tweets up the Little Napoleon’s bum (he had to shove low), Corker fired back and said Trump needed adult day-care and told the New York Times that Trump could start World War III.  So does that mean Corker — who made the disastrous Iran deal possible — has been sitting on this information about Armageddon all this time?  So if Trump hadn’t tweeted nasty things and hurt Bob’s widdle feelings, the diminutive senator would have been content to carry own while keeping the rest of in the dark about the approaching holocaust?

Brave, brave Sir Corker.

Todd Womack

To further illustrate his lack of principle and self-serving persona, instead of saying it himself Corker trotted out his long-time aide Todd Womack.   Womack served up claims that Trump had tried to talk Corker into running again, made numerous endorsement offers and even said he would name Corker the Duchess of York (okay, we made up that last part.  What he actually offered Corker was the coaching job at UT).

The soon-to-be-unemployed Womack has been Corker’s lackey for at least 16 years, all while living on the taxpayer’s dime.  So Corker had Womack say things that could well be lies, knowing that (a) no one could prove he was lying and (b) even if he is, the MSM would undoubtedly refuse to cover it since Bob was now one of their shills against Trump.

So unless Todd Womack can offer up recordings, documents, independent third-party witnesses, etc., RTP reserves the right to infer that he is a bald-face liar.

Oh, and Todd, if you or the senator are tempted to tweet out a response to all this, know that RTP is not on Twitter (or Facebook, etc.), so don’t waste your time.  And while you’re at it, Todd, remember the $1million+ in mortgages that you took out in one year while your only income was your senate staff salary as well as the curious real estate purchases you made around the time of the Volkswagen announcement? That’s all still out there waiting for someone to write a story about it.

And somebody probably will.

Somebody like Breitbart.

 

The Establishment Squeals

Winning!

Trump Revolution hits Tennessee.  Bob Corker, Bill Haslam, Kim Kaegi are the latest victims.

End of an era as desperate Establishment Republicans find bench is empty, forced to recruit a re-tread.

A week ago, RTP went after Bob Corker.  He retired.

Then this week Rocky Top pointed out the fallacies in a potential Bill Haslam candidacy.  Within hours, he declined to run for the Senate (much to the surprise of Lamar! And Little Bob – more on that in later posts).

By now, loyal readers of RTP (both of them) must be asking themselves:  Is Rocky Top THAT good?

To that, we say: Yes. Yes we are.

Now don’t get us wrong.  The articles by Breitbart and the Tennessee Star may have had something to do with the Demise of The Establishment Candidates, but we are more than willing to take credit far beyond our actual contributions.  We would express remorse over our over-reach, but we just can’t stop grinning.

(We pause here to express our deepest sympathy to uber-fundraisier, Kim Kaegi, who lost two of her biggest clients in the last week:  Corker and Haslam.  And the 2020 prospects of her other big revenue stream – Lamar! – ain’t looking so good either these days.  Late word is Kaegi has signed up with Steve Fincher.  Congrats to Kim.  But she will find raising money for a political has-been isn’t nearly as easy as raising bucks for senate committee chairmen and incumbent governors.)

So NOW what?

Well, Marsha went from not running 10 days ago, to being the front runner overnight.  Joe Carr went from an asterisk to being completely inconsequential.  Andy Ogles is technically still in the Senate race, but no one expects him to survive October, maybe not even the weekend.

As we write this, the Establishment has settled on political re-tread Steve Fincher as their senate candidate.  Fincher will announce next week and rumors are he will be campaigning with his best buddy, Nancy Pelosi (much more on THAT relationship in future posts).

Mark Green is running for Blackburn’s house seat and everyone in Williamson County is sipping wine and knoshing brie while trying to figure out if someone from Tennessee’s nosebleed country will run against the man who once spent a special night with Saddam Hussein.

Whew!

We’ll end for now, because we are just too damned exhausted from all the winning.

“Say, Bro, about that whole fraud thingy…”

Question asked.  Question answered.

A few days ago RTP asked a rhetorical question:  “Would Bill Haslam announce for the senate before, or after his brother was indicted for fraud.”

We may now have our answer:  Before.

Multiple sources are telling us Haslam will make some sort of announcement by Friday.  We are assuming he is running.

And to put the expected announcement into context, the helpful folks here at Rocky Top provide one of our expert and insightful analyses of the news from the last 24 hours.  The biggest news, of course, is that Warren Buffet is buying out the Haslams’ ownership of the family business, Pilot/Flying J.  Why is that important, you ask?  Well, we’ll tell you.

Despite all the happy talk surrounding the announcement, there is a cold hard reality and likely reason as to why the deal was announced now.  Simply put, the Haslam’s are “getting their affairs in order” in the event Bill runs for the senate and Jimmy has to do a perp walk for the multi-million dollar fraud committed by his company.  That fraud has already netted more than a dozen indictments and/or convictions.  The last of the Pilot senior managers who have not yet pled guilty or worked a plea bargain are scheduled to go to trial in just a few days.  IF that trial takes place (an open question because the defendants may cooperate at the last minute), look for lots of embarrassing information about the Haslam family to spew forth.  And if the defendants work out deals, look for them to serve up Jimmy Haslam on a platter to the Feds.

Don’t think for a second the Sage of Omaha is not aware of the coming Haslam family troubles and don’t think for another second that, possessed with the knowledge, he did not negotiate a sizable discount on his purchase of Pilot stock.  From the Haslams’ position, taking a haircut from Warren Buffet is preferable to having your head lopped off in the market place if your chairman gets indicted.  Better to cut your losses while you can.  Just try cutting a complicated deal to sell billions in shares when you’re dressed in an orange jumpsuit.  Warren Buffet didn’t get to be so damn rich for not knowing how the game is played.

As for The Kid brother, Bill would much rather announce now than to wait while the sordid legal drama plays out in the courts.  He’s betting Tennesseans will be too stupid to put everything together and figure out the Haslams have serious ethical, moral and legal problems that make the late, great Bob Corker’s financial shenanigans pale in comparison.  Using Warren Buffet’s money to buy up every available advertising spot in the Volunteer State will not just be a political strategy – it will be a political necessity.

Yeah, GOP voters are likely to figure out it’s difficult to drain the swamp when you keep stocking it with avaricious alligators like the Haslams.

One final note:  If Bill Haslam thinks he is going to skate by pretending he had no knowledge of his brother’s actions, he is seriously deluded.  To illustrate that point, we will leave you with a fresh question, a version of the famous interrogatory once posed by the late Howard Baker:

“What did the Governor know, and when did he know it?”

Stay tuned to Rocky Top for answers.