He’s Still Lamar!
Published 2/27/2013 at 2:54 p.m. 0 comments
I think Washington pundits and the Obama administration may be surprised by Sen. Alexander’s votes. Alexander was a two-term governor, a cabinet secretary, a presidential candidate, and has served in the Senate. He’s accomplished all that because he is politically ...
Can They Govern? Former Back Backbenchers Should Know: What They Do Now Has Consequences
Published 2/20/2013 at 11:48 a.m. 0 comments
It was a fascinating prospect, after a hundred years of Democratic dominance of the state Legislature, to watch it change to a Republican majority.
Getting Attention: How Do You Get Washington to Listen to State Issues?
Published 2/13/2013 at 10:53 a.m. 0 comments
So if we can appoint people to office without an election, then why can’t we have the Legislature at least appoint the candidates for office?
Tipping Point: Here Are the Facts of Life in the Restaurant Industry
Published 2/6/2013 at 3:17 p.m. 0 comments
You may have followed the controversy last week when a minister in St. Louis objected to a restaurant tacking on an 18 percent tip for a large dinner party. The bill had the tip crossed off and the minister customer ...
Spirited Debate: Why Won't Legislators Listen to Constituents Instead of Liquor Lobbyists?
Published 1/30/2013 at 10:28 a.m. 0 comments
Consumers would like the convenience of picking up a bottle of wine the same place they buy steaks and potatoes. That convenience would lead to increased wine sales and a corresponding increase in state tax revenue
Imposing Limits: Bill-Limit Reform Good Step, But We Can Still Expect the Frivolous and Crazy
Published 1/23/2013 at 10:55 a.m. 0 comments
You might wonder why it was necessary for legislators to introduces thousands of bills each session—before House Speaker Beth Harwell put a stop to the practice this year with a limit.
Whose Money? You Pay Taxes to Educate Everybody's Kids
Published 1/16/2013 at 10:24 a.m. 1 comment
Using that specious logic, the money for education belongs to the parents. But it doesn’t.
Carrots and Sticks: Reform Has Left House Speaker Without Power to Prevent Gridlock
Published 1/9/2013 at 9:28 a.m. 0 comments
Being speaker of the House is the most difficult job in politics, whether you are presiding over the state legislature or the U.S. House.
Are People Happy With Commission's Structure, or Happy to Have Voted Against the Old Guys?
Published 1/2/2013 at 11:45 a.m. 0 comments
Are people happier with the present structure, or have term limits and turnover made the difference?
Pendulum Swings: Gun Lobby Ignores the Importance of Public Support
Published 12/26/2012 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments
You would think the murder of 20 Connecticut school children and a national debate on gun safety would prompt the gun lobby and its legislative allies in Tennessee to reconsider spending the upcoming session pushing another gun bill. You would ...
Opt Out? Cool Heads, Not Knee-Jerk Reaction, Should Keep Health of Hospitals In Mind
Published 12/19/2012 at 10:28 a.m. 0 comments
Knoxville has fewer hospitals than it did, but the city remains the health-care center for Middle East Tennessee, and the health-care industry here is one of our largest employers. What’s looming in the health-care industry is important for us all ...
Whither Federalism? States Okay Pot, Gay Marriage Ignoring Federal Law—What Will Courts Do?
Published 12/12/2012 at 10:24 a.m. 0 comments
Anytime we try to discuss state’s rights and federalism, some moron on one side starts screaming about seceding from the union and the other side dismisses the issue as just a right-wing fantasy.
Stand Your Ground? Responsible Gun Owners Need to Lead Charge Against Abuse of Gun Rights
Published 12/5/2012 at 9:58 a.m. 0 comments
Critics argued that these liberalizations of gun laws would lead to a “wild West” atmosphere. Considering the thousands and thousands of gun permits that have since been issued across the country, there have been remarkably few instances of these concepts ...
Tipping Point: Can State Dems Reconcile Urban Obama Democrats and Rural Independents?
Published 11/28/2012 at 1:09 p.m. 1 comment
It used to be said that the Tennessee electorate consisted of one-third Democrats, one-third Republicans, and one-third independents. If that is still true, the independents have been spending a lot of time in the Republican camp of late.
Just Stop: Impetus and Impulse to "Finish" James White Parkway Should Be Resisted
Published 11/20/2012 at 11:03 a.m. 1 comment
Highway projects never die, they just move down the list. Decades ago, Knoxville billed itself as the Gateway to the Smokies and the James White Parkway would deliver tourists through Knoxville to Gatlinburg and the park.