Jefferson County GOP General Meeting scheduled for January 21st

Posted January 2, 2012 by David Oatney
Categories: County, Local Politics, President, State House, State Politics, TN Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

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The Jefferson County Republican Party has scheduled a General Meeting on Saturday, January 21st, 2012 at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Dandridge. All Jefferson County Republicans are invited to attend this important gathering.

This is a meeting for Jefferson County Republicans to hear reports on the health and State of the party, and more importantly to hear from Republican candidates or their representatives from among those who are running for office as Republicans in 2012. All REPUBLICAN candidates who are running for an office where they would, if elected, represent all or part of Jefferson County are invited to speak or to send a representative to speak in their stead where appropriate.

A reminder to those of you attending that this meeting is not the same as the Mass Meeting (the Mass County Convention) which in Jefferson County we usually hold in January of odd-numbered years. We won’t be electing party officers at this meeting, as officers are never chosen at the Mass Meeting during an election year. This meeting is to help our Republican voters get excited about our coming election year, to learn about the Republican candidates they’ll have the opportunity to choose from this year, and to learn about party activities and, most importantly, how you can help. We’ll see you on January 21st


The committee designed to fail

Posted November 22, 2011 by David Oatney
Categories: Government Pork, Local Politics, National Politics, President, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

The so-called Congressional “supercommittee” that was supposedly charged with coming up with a deficit and debt reduction plan for the federal government has shut down without an agreement. That isn’t a suprise at all.

No Democrat on that committee was going to agree to cut entitlements to the degree needed to restore the full faith and credit of the United States because it will undermine the Democrats’ core constituency groups. No Republican would agree to tax increases without significant cuts and reform to entitlement spending, nor should they. The even numbers on the committee in light of those realities insured that the process would fail before it even began. The President likely wanted it that way, because now he can cut national defenses so deeply that he will make this country a weakling and a by-word in the earth, but he’ll find ways to increase entitlement spending if Obama should, God forbid, remain in office. Failure is what the President wanted all along, since failure is what his administration is all about.

I would posit this opinion:  This entire so-called supercommittee has been a charade from the beginning. Barack Obama knew that this process would fail, and he wanted it to-he needs some reason to blame Republicans to deflect attention from the reality that he has failed to fulfill his oath of office to preserve the Constitution.

A debate on the economy….or something like that

Posted November 10, 2011 by Barry Fain
Categories: Media, Miscellaneous, National Politics, President

On the evening of Wednesday, November 9, 2011, the GOP presidential hopefuls gathered in Rochester, Michigan for a debate on the economy. Well, that’s how it was billed beforehand by CNBC. You don’t believe it was quite billed that way? Check out CNBC’s own opening to the debate for yourself. However, it did not quite end up playing out in reality as each candidate’s “plan to jumpstart the American economy.” That’s the funny thing about CNBC and other mainstream media outlets; reality is too subjective for them.

CNBC’s true colors were fairly evident from the start, to the informed viewer. However, those colors were very much on display for viewers, when Maria Bartiromo decided to take a hard left turn from the economy and traipse off onto the allegations that have been made against Herman Cain…

BARTIROMO: You have all said that ….But, first, Mr. Cain, the American people want jobs, but they also want leadership. They want character in a president. In recent days, we have learned that four different women have accused you of inappropriate behavior. Here we’re focusing on character and on judgment.


You’ve been a CEO.

CAIN: Yes.

BARTIROMO: You know that shareholders are reluctant to hire a CEO where there are character issues. Why should the American people hire a president if they feel there are character issues?

CAIN: The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations. That’s…


And I value my character and my integrity more than anything else. And for every — one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably — there are thousands who would say none of that sort of activity ever came from Herman Cain.

You’re right. This country’s looking for leadership. And this is why a lot of people, despite what has happened over the last nine days, are still very enthusiastic behind my candidacy. Over the last nine days…


Over the last nine days, the voters have voted with their dollars, and they are saying they don’t care about the character assassination. They care about leadership and getting this economy growing and all of the other problems we face.


Herman Cain handled himself fairly well and shut Bartiromo down. But, it was tag team time in Michigan, if you watched the video on past about 8:00 on the counter, when John Harwood decided to spin it around to Mitt Romney and ask him if he would keep Herman Cain, when he worked for Bain Capital and such accusations had been made…

HARWOOD: Governor Romney, when you were at Bain Capital, you purchased a lot of companies. You could fire the CEO and the management team or you could keep them. Would you keep a CEO — are you persuaded by what Mr. Cain has said? Would you keep him on if you bought his company?


ROMNEY: Look, look, Herman Cain is the person to respond to these questions. He just did. The people in this room and across the country can make their own assessment. I’m not…



There’s video of it here, starting at about 6:00 on the counter….

Note the applause, when Harwood openly indicated that they were abandoning that current tactic and trying to get back on the advertised topic of the economy.

Am I the only one that finds it intriguing that CNBC left video of the boos and jeers segment out of their own “Top Debate Video Moments” collection on their own site?


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Poetic justice for wrongly-accused Republican legislator

Posted October 24, 2011 by David Oatney
Categories: Cabinet/Commissrioners, Governor, State House, State Politics

Rep. Tony Shipley (R-Kingsport)


The mainstream media is finally catching on to a story that your 2nd Vice Chairman has been following and writing about for months-that a rising conservative Republican star within our State House of Representatives has been the target of a political hit job because-well, he did his job.




Knoxville News Sentinel Capitol reporter Tom Humphrey has a story in this morning’s paper about Rep. Tony Shipley (R-Kingsport) feeling vindicated in helping three Upper East Tennessee nurse practitioners whose licenses were wrongly taken from them after a “show trial” hearing in which those attempting to defend themselves weren’t even allowed to present evidence which might (and ultimately did) exonerate them. It’s nice to see someone with what we might call some “pull” within the mainstream press in East Tennessee, such as Tom Humphrey has, cover this story and shed some light on it.

Your Examiner has been covering this story for months when it seemed no one else would listen. We were among the first to report the other side of the story while the Nashville-area media rushed to judgment and all but pronounced Shipley and Ford as guilty of wrongdoing for doing nothing more than their jobs as legislators. Indeed, it was pointed out in this space that what was happening to Ford and Shipley appeared to be a case of the Governor and his executive minions attempting to throw Shipley and Ford under the bus. As far as this writer has been able to find, he was among the first media in the State to report that the nurses’ licenses were initially suspended after a hearing in which only one member of the Board of Nursing was physically present in the room, and the nurses weren’t allowed to present evidence in their own defense.




See, many of the agencies in Nashville are still crawling with Democrats who owe their positions to the party that was previously in legislative power, and that includes the TBI, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the Tennessee Department of Health and Board of Nursing. They targeted a Republican legislator that they didn’t like (for no legitimate reason), and it has backfired on them royally. For now Shipley will be in charge of the committee which oversees, among other things, the Tennessee Board of Nursing.

Missed opportunities abundant in 10-11-11 debate

Posted October 12, 2011 by Barry Fain
Categories: Media, Miscellaneous, National Politics, President

Election 2012… It’s something to which many of us, as conservatives, have been looking forward, since late-2008.  A lot of independents and some Democrats have been looking for it, as well, since early to mid-2009 now themselves to replace a failed Obama administration.

The October 11th GOP presidential debate from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire hosted by Bloomberg Television and the Washington Post was the latest look at the field of potential candidates in an oh-so-cozy little roundtable setting.

To be honest, I only caught the last half of the debate. I’m sort of thankful that I did not endure the first half, if it was as lackluster as the latter half.

Gov. Rick Perry was lethargic. He was passive. His efforts seemed half-hearted, at best. Basically, he was lacking energy. He missed a golden opportunity to take Mitt Romney to task over recently unearthed documentation on intimate meetings between Romneycare architect Jonathan Gruber and the Obama administration, by asking some full of beans question that allowed Romney to spin through it with stereotypical style.  He went on about “block grants” as a means of fiscal reclamation for America.  He dodged on a direct question from Karen Tumulty about Obama’s Solyndra fiasco by failing to touch on Obama’s crony corruption of the green jobs racket. Maybe that is because of his own state-level subsidies program that’s been called into question or maybe not. He did note, on that particular subject that, “Well, I don’t think the federal government should be involved in that type of investment, period. If states want to choose to do that, I think that’s fine for states to do that.”  Just a personal point of privilege, since I am the author of this piece, I do not think it appropriate for either the federal or a state government to siphon taxpayer money away from workers to redistribute to cronies behind closed doors, period. I don’t even think the average viewer needed Perry to tell them, “Debates are not my strong suit.” Overall, Perry’s performance was a Texas-sized fail in New Hampshire for his third debate performance where he needed to turn around from the last two debates in which he’s participated.

Herman Cain pushed his 9-9-9 plan hard and took several valid hits on it too.  For those not up-to-speed on the 9-9-9 center point of Cain’s campaign, it proposes to flatten the capital gains tax out to 9%, flatten the personal income tax out to 9% and to implement a flat 9% national sales tax. Note that last one says “implement.”  Can you imagine tax and spend federal government getting a new tax that they can eventually raise to give them an additional revenue stream? Now, as a local note, add that 9% national sales tax to your already high local sales tax over 9% here in our county and do the math on just a regular grocery run to the store.  While the “666” reference by Michele Bachmann may have been a little overboard in some regards, truly “the devil’s in the details.” Rick Santorum chimed in for a short time as well on Cain’s proposed plan.  The real gaffe on Cain’s part, at least to me, seemed to be his proposal to appoint Alan Greenspan to the Federal Reserve.  Now, I rarely agree with Ron Paul on much of anything but Paul’s analogy of Alan Greenspan’s past performance as chair of the Federal Reserve as “a disaster” is pretty much right on the money for me, all pun intended.  Needless to say, Cain spent much of the evening defending his 9-9-9 plan and his new contender status. He certainly didn’t do himself a favor with the Greenspan idea.

Michele Bachmann seemed to do best in attacking the Obamacare/Medicare bureaucracies. Beyond that, her most memorable injection last night was in the previously mentioned reference to Cain’s proposed 9-9-9 plan.  I’m seriously beginning to think Bachmann is angling for a VP slot on the ticket at this juncture. But, maybe I’m wrong.

Newt was….well…Newt.  I can’t really think of a lot to say about him from what I watched last night.  He has a lot of knowledge but no matter how grandiose one’s ideas, you have to be able to articulate them, as well as bring them to fruition.  Anyone, besides me, still see him sitting on that danged green couch from the commercials a few years back?

Rick Santorum sat quietly much of the evening, only to pipe up later on and insinuate that he wasn’t getting enough time.  Some things are by one’s own design sometimes, Rick.

Like Michelle Malkin, I’m ready to rename my mute button the “Huntsman button” after all the time Charlies Rose gave him. Frankly, I found myself thumbing through an LMC Truck catalog when Huntsman would speak.  Don’t forget that Huntsman held a position in the Obama administration.  That should give anyone a little pause on who he really is.

Aside from the normal spin on Romneycare and taking a stab at Perry on how many uninsured children live in Texas, my biggest thing I saw out of Romney was his defense of TARP and failing to say he would oppose doing the same in the next manufactured crisis.  It bears noting that Cain joined Romney in defending the Wall Street bailout with TARP too. Boiled down to it’s core, it’s big business/big government corporatism.  In plain and simple terms, TARP was the selling out of big business to save it with the trashing of free-market principles. 

So, who was the winner and who was the loser last night?

Winner: Barack Obama

Loser: The American Taxpayers

And, I really hate to say that but I haven’t seen much, yet, that seems to indicate that any of these folks are ready to take on Barack Obama.  I can only hold out hope that someone is going to seize the reins and lead America back onto the road to prosperity.

I’d really like to see a candidate I could wholeheartedly support. While anyone in this debate is better than Obama, some more so than others, I’d really like to see a candidate’s platform I could really get behind.  I’ve not seen that, yet.  Maybe it’s just a lack of ability on their part to adequately articulate it. But, at this juncture, I’m just not seeing it.

As I’ve said before, if you think the first term of an Obama administration is bad, imagine a lame duck second term of an Obama administration.

It’s going to be a long road to 11/6/12, folks.


*NOTE:  The commentary in this article are solely those of the author and are not intended to reflect any position(s) of the JCGOP.

Occupy Gay Street?

Posted October 5, 2011 by David Oatney
Categories: Local Politics, Miscellaneous

If you thought the protests in New York were rowdy, get ready for Occupy Knoxville.

The Wall Street Occupiers have turned out to be a diverse lot, one in which the views of the Left may be the majority, but the views of the Right are very obviously heard. The major political factions within the country are joined by people of the Monster Raving Loony persuasion, making for perhaps the most motley crew ever assembled for a public protest. Apparently, Wall Street isn’t the only place that protestors are looking to occupy, because both the Occupy Together website and the News Sentinel are reporting that a protest meet up is being organized two days from now. The website says that only one person is going, but the whole affair seems to be taking off on Facebook-helped by a Jack Lail write-up on the News Sentinel website.
If the scheduled “occupation” becomes something more than a few aging hippies and a  college transient collection on Market Square, it might be interesting to watch. Will it be as diverse as the New York protests, representing all sorts of political views that might have an axe to grind with the financial and banking establishment-including some of those on the right? Will it just be a bunch of Leftist whiners who represent only the political minority in East Tennessee and are angry that they can’t ever win a serious election in these parts?
It remains to be seen if this supposed “Occupy Knoxville” will be anything more than a meetup for liberals who are upset that so few people in East Tennessee are real liberals, or if this will be a protest of some substance. Strange substance, perhaps-but something. Someone needs to remind these people who wanted a bigger bailout and stimulus

Searching for another Reagan?

Posted September 28, 2011 by Barry Fain
Categories: Miscellaneous, National Politics, President

Where? Oh, where?

Who is or where is the next Ronald Reagan for the GOP?  A lot of people are asking and combing potential candidates each election cycle to find that person.  I have been as guilty of it, as many other have over the past several years.

Let’s just be honest about it. There was only one Ronald Wilson Reagan. He was a once-in-a-lifetime candidate.  He was historic.  Reagan seemed to have it all. He presented well on television. He was a natural leader. He united the country. However, Reagan’s ascendency to the presidency was not immediate.  Even I am not old enough to remember Reagan’s speech firsthand, “A Time for Choosing” at the 1964 GOP convention.  However, every person should either read it or listen to it.

Yet, The Speech, as it later became known, by Reagan in 1964 for Barry Goldwater’s campaign was years before Reagan was ever elected as President of the United States.  But, it did establish him in Republican and conservative politics.  For years, Dad referred to Goldwater as the “forerunner of Reagan” and, indeed, his appearance on behalf of Goldwater surely set the stage for Reagan’s political rise.

But, I digress.  The “next Reagan” yearning started to clearly manifest itself in 1999 and resonate as GOP officials flocked to Texas to solicit then Governor George W. Bush to run for president.  Bush, indeed, did win election and serve two terms, as we all know. But, honestly, he was no Ronald Reagan. Otherwise, we would be looking for the “next Bush,” instead of the “next Reagan” after his two terms in office.  So, in 2008 the “next Reagan” longing revealed itself with former Senator Fred Thompson’s arrival on the GOP primary ticket. At best, Thompson proved to be a lackluster candidate and quickly fizzled out, if he ever really took off after jumping into the fray, much to my dismay.

Now, we find ourselves in the 2012 campaign season, after a miserable few years of recession under the Obama administration. Has the longing subsided for the “next Reagan?” No. It has only grown to be a deeper yearning. In a mere six – count ’em 6 – months we have seen several names touted as the “next Reagan.”  We’ve already seen Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry floated as the “next Reagan.” That’s a whirlwind six months, folks. Yet, none of them have been able to seize the opportunity, like Ronald Wilson Reagan.

The new flavor of the day is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Surely he is the “next Reagan.”  Sadly, I believe Christie is more appealing as a non-candidate than as an actual candidate. Yet, that is not stopping many from putting the full-court press on Christie to jump into the race for the GOP nomination.  Can you imagine the frustration for the current GOP field to be out on the trail campaigning like they are to have the spotlight shining on a non-candidate?  Each of the current candidates missed their opportunity to seize the ever-elusive spotlight and hold onto it.

But, there again, the spotlight of the “next Reagan” will forever remain elusive, simple because there was only one Ronald Reagan. While he may be imitated, he will never be duplicated. A candidate may replicate him to some degree in their platform but that’s going to be the extent of it.

Reagan knew how to work an audience. He had charisma. He was soft spoken. He was easy going, when he needed to be but also tough as nails, when that need presented itself.  But, there was another beauty about Reagan, he could temper these personas, moving back and forth between the two as circumstances dictated.  The true underlying consistency of Reagan was his conservative disposition.  I have yet to see these things in the purported saviors of the GOP in the past or present fields.

What we need today is a candidate that runs as a true conservative and then, when elected, governs in the same manner. Surely, that isn’t too much to ask, is it?

Bear this in mind though, while some of the GOP candidates are better than others on conservative credentials, any of them in the GOP field now are better than the current Obama administration.  And, if you think one term of Obama was bad, dig deep into your imagination and think about how bad a lame duck Obama administration would be in a second term. Bearing that in mind, work hard for your preferred candidate in the GOP Presidential Primary. But, once the primary is over, get behind the nominee and bust your tail to make Barack Obama a one-term president.