Friday, April 28, 2006

Marsha Gets Spanked

GOP congresswoman Marsha Blackburn got spanked by the Federal Election Commission for under reporting campaign contributions to her campaign committee to the tune of more than $61,000 and for failing to report expenditures by her campaign fund of more than $50,000. The $1,500 fine was the focus of an article in the Commercial Appeal (4/25/06).
It was the CA that earlier wrote about excessive contributions from her political action committee - Wedge PAC (ouch)- to her campaign committee, and campaign expenditures to her son-in-law lobbyist.
Blackburn has refused to comment on Wedge PAC (ouch) and the recent FEC fine.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Frist falls behind whorecast

In today's iTunes podcast rankings, iFrist has dropped to #66 in popularity behind a host of other podcast collections, including Instapundit (featuring an interview with Harold Ford Jr.), Clarkcast (featuring gen. wesley clark), australia talks back and whorecast.

Van Hilleary as Optimus Prime

Today's Chattanooga News Free Press reports that GOP senate candidate Van Hilleary has $7,600 on hand in his Tennessee Leadership PAC "set up in the wake of the Jack Abramhoff scandal to raise and donate money for charity."
The CNFP reports that the PAC was "announced in January as a way to collect money for charity because Mr. Hilleary could not return money given by Mr. Abramhoff or the American Indian tribal clients he represented."
Hilleary's campaign has said that the PAC will make donations to the American Indian College Fund based in Denver. PAC treasurer J. Sam Daniels of Charlotte, North Carolina, said that the PAC has raised $7,600 and already sent a contribution to the Fund. However, in today's story the CNFP quotes a spokesperson for the Fund who denies having received any $$ from Hilleary's PAC.
Who's zooming who? It's anyone's guess.
But in the event that donations do not in fact ever make it to the American Indian College Fund from Hilleary's PAC, I offer up the following suggestion:
This week there's an auction on EBay of some awesome vintage transformer action figures. At a going bid of $45 for one of the cooler transformer characters - Optimus Prime - Hilleary could take his $7,600 and buy 168 of these figures to hand out to Tennessee voters - sending a not-so-subtle message that he'll say or do anyhing to get elected, even if it means transforming the truth in the process.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Go forth and multiply....especially if you are Democrats.

In the interest of fairness (ok, get off the floor and stop laughing) I offer the following sites for those political junkies who keep visiting my blog or emailing me in the middle of the night because they are lonely and get no dates because they are damned political junkies.

democraticmatch.com - their slogan is a quote they attribute to Robert Kennedy, Jr. "80% of Republicans are just Democrats who don't know what's going on."

conservativematch.com - their slogan is "sweethearts, not bleeding hearts."

Go forth and multiply.

If Bush now says we're screwed on the energy front then we must really be...well, screwed.

President Bush today announced that we are in for a long summer of energy shortages and rising gas prices. Bush's prediction for the summer comes less than 30 days before the summer kicks off for most American families, once again proving his knack for planning ahead.
Among the many revelations by the President today were the following:
- we must stop price gouging at the gas pumps, and states should do something about that
- we probably need to stop stockpiling oil for emergencies since we are in the middle of a f-ing crisis
- gas prices are going to remain high
- oil companies should invest in alternative fuel sources and build new refineries.
The President added that his tax breaks for the profit-rich oil companies might need to be reconsidered.
Meanwhile on the Tennessee political front, GOP Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn declared that the current energy crisis is the fault of environmentalists who complained about drilling in environmentally sensitive areas of our nation (check out guerillawomentn.blogspot.com for a copy of Marsha-Marsha's release).
God, tell me this is just a bad dream.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fox News delivers bad news on its President

Latest Fox News poll:
33 percent of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing.
66 percent of Republicans approve, down from 84 percent this time last year.
Nuff said.

Time to bid New Hampshire and Iowa aloha

In 1988 Al Gore, four years into his first term as Tennessee's U.S. Senator, ran for president. To a pundit all assumed that Gore's prospects at capturing the democratic nomination fell somewhere between none and no flipping way. But that didn't stop the candidate and his woefully unseasoned political team (including yours truly) from believing that we would prove the pundits wrong.
The strategy was simple - endure the frigid political climates of New Hampshire and Iowa, rank high in some of the southern state primaries that followed, and reap the benefits of a strong southern slingshot showing into the Midwest states and beyond.
The strategy - while it looked good on paper - never panned out and by April 1988 we were heading back to the Hill, Gore to celebrate his 40th birthday and all of us to return full-time to our Senatorial duties.
Within days of Gore's pullout, our entire campaign effort was relegated to the status of a single footnote in the back pages of presidential campaign history.
That is, all but one episode.
On the day of the Iowa caucuses during the '88 nomination run, Gore and his core political team convinced a sizeable contingency of national media to abandon coverage of the Iowa meetings and join us on a campaign swing through the sunny South. While Iowans, candidates and media endured near zero temperatures and blistering snowstorms to gather in and around caucus meetings across their state, our candidate jogged in shorts and a t-shirt on a Florida beach in front of our media contingency who themselves got into the spirit of the southern swing by decking out in short sleeve shirts and sneakers.
As expected, Gore got clobbered in Iowa, but his actions raised a question that today still remains unanswered - why do we insist on forcing candidates, media and voters to conduct their winter presidential campaign business in states that have some of the worst winter weather in the nation?
This week a group of Democratic leaders have been gathered in New Orleans pleading on behalf of 11 states and the District of Columbia for greater relevance in the democratic nomination process. The reported common theme in all pitches to members of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee has been that states with greater racial, ethnic and economic diversity deserve equal or higher standing in the nominee selection process than New Hampshire or Iowa.
Almost overlooked in all the debate has been the plea of delegates from the state of Hawaii - who have once again raised that unanswered question of 1988 - why doesn't the party conduct its winter business in sunnier, warmer climates?
Reports are that the Hawaiians made the case that warmer weather would have a positive effect on all of the democratic candidates' outlook. You can take that point even further by making the asumption that candidates who campaign in more pleasant weather are likely to be more civil to one another.
At the end of the day, while I would love to see change, I am not yet convinced that the party will abandon its tired old traditions of making its candidates battle for survival on the frozen tundras of Iowa and New Hampshire as Gore did in 1988. But I for one am certainly warming up to the idea of an early winter Hawaiian primary.
Pupule baby!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bring back Powell?

Harold Ford Jr. may be on to something. In today's Kingsport Times, Ford, during a campaign swing through Carter County in upper ET, reportedly renewed his call for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign, but added that he would support former Secretary of State Colin Powell as a replacement. Powell has obvious strong military and diplomatic credentials.

A sinking ship...well, you can finish the rest...

The Washington Post reports (4/17/06) that "anger at Bush may hurt the GOP at the polls." According to the latest WAPO-ABC News poll, 47 percent of voters "strongly" disapprove of Bush's job performance, with only 20 percent who said they "strongly approve."
The Post goes on to state that in 2002 - the last go around of midterm elections for the Bush Administration - the President had 42 percent of voters strongly approving of him, compared to 18 percent in strong opposition.
What a difference a war with no end in sight, a few extra hundreds of billions of dollars added to the federal deficit, a raising of the debt ceiling, a White House scandal over CIA-related leaks, and some serious snafus over homeland security can have on one's public persona.
Arguably, no one can be certain of what this means for the November elections.
But if a rising tide lifts all boats, one might assume the opposite is true.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A footnote on Mohammed Cartoons

This week the Nashville Scene published an article about a blog called Mohammed Cartoons that was created by Nashvillian Bill Hobbs, which, for a brief period of time, was linked to the Bryson for Governor blog. I initially wrote here about Mohammed Cartoons - how I discovered the blog, how and why I found it offensive, and in my postings I raised questions about whether Belmont University - Hobbs employer -and GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Bryson had opinions about the offensive blog.
This morning nashvillepost.com moved a story about Belmont and Hobbs parting ways. This afternoon I got a call from a reporter at the Tennessean asking questions about the whole affair.
I directed the Tennessean reporter to go to this blog and read for herself the exchange that occured a few days ago on the matter. I added the notion that we bloggers operate in something of a fish bowl, and as such we can be and should be held accountable for what we write and with whom we associate on our blogs. Within a few minutes of her call to me, the reporter and I parted ways.
But on my way home, having left the office a bit early to join my family on this Good Friday, something happened that made me call back the Tennessean reporter to offer a footnote to our earlier conversation.
As I pulled into my multi-racial, multi-cultural subdivision in West Nashville, I drove past a small group of children whom I know to be members of several Muslim neighborhood families playing in a yard up the street from my home. One of the children, a young girl, waved at me and smiled. In an instant it became clear to me why I had written as I did about the blog Mohammed Cartoons.
I called the Tennessean reporter to tell her that had I not pointed out the insensitivity of the blog, I would have had trouble facing my neighbors; the children and their parents who walk our sidewalks each day and call out in friendship at every opportunity. "Shame on me," I told the reporter, "if I hadn't taken a stand on this matter."
I don't know if Hobbs and Belmont parted ways because of Mohammed Cartoons. I don't know if Hobbs removed himself from Bryson's blog team because of Mohammed Cartoons. But I do know why I did what I did, and I feel better for having done it.

Bush's White House bully pulpit can't silence even the softest voice of a Blountville 7th grader

This week Harold Ford Jr. traveled the state in a brightly colored bus, making stops in towns and cities from Mountain City to Memphis. News reports indicated that whereever he traveled, Ford was greeted by throngs of supporters and curious onlookers. Speeches were made, factories were toured, hands were shaken and the energy and excitement of it all was electric.
But at a stop at Blountville Middle School in East Tennessee, the spotlight shifted from candidate Ford to a soft spoken 7th grader. In a school assembly this child bravely raised her hand and posed a question that transcended the politics of the moment. Her question was simple - why can't our troops come home from Iraq?
Witnesses say the exchange visibly moved Ford. The child, it turns out, has a father serving in the Tennessee National Guard - a father who is on his second tour of duty in Iraq. Ford didn't just address the question, he embraced it. In that school room in East Tennessee the sentiments and concerns of both child and Congressman were as one - whatever's being done to bring resolution to the conflict, whatever's being done to support the troops and their families back home is simply not enough. Ford's response to the child was clear - as a nation we can, we should, and we will do more.
As fate would have it, the day Ford's caravan was making its way out of Blountville a group of retired U.S. military generals were stepping forward in Washington to raise similar concerns about failed Iraq policies and misguided leadership at the helm of the Defense Department. Like Ford, the generals had begun calling on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to step down. In order to rethink and redirect our failed strategies in Iraq and Afganistan, Ford has argued that new leadership at the helm is clearly needed.
In response to Ford's and the generals' call for Rumsfeld's resignation, President Bush rejected any and all calls for new policies, new strategies or new direction. Bush proclaimed - with the sort of arrogant tenor that has come to typify this Administration - that Rumsfeld's "energetic and steady leadership is exactly what is needed at this critical period."
But try as he may, this week the President - even using his White House bully pulpit to project a loud and defiant tone - could not silence the voice of a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, and could not silence even the softest voice of a Blountville 7th grader. Come election day this November, their's and the other voices of those Tennessee families with loved ones serving over there will be heard.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wake up and smell the red ink

I can remember the smell of fresh ink from the handouts that rolled off the mimeograph machine at Agnes Cotton Elementary School. The smell had a distinctive and somewhat alluring odor (at least to an eight year old kid).
I got the same sensation this morning reading David Broder's column in the Washington Post. Ok, maybe it wasn't necessarily that distinctive, alluring odor, but I certainly smelled the red ink dripping from his every written word.
The red ink Broder wrote about comes not from an elementary school principal's office but from the Financial Report of the U.S. Government, a document brought to Broder's attention by our own 5th District Congressman Jim Cooper.
You know Cooper - that ubber geeky, super smart fiscal conservative Democrat who is forever going on and on and on about the dangers and pitfalls of deficit spending and the federal debt.
Before you scroll ahead in search of a lighter, more entertaining post, please give me your undivided attention - for just one minute.
This stuff of which Broder writes and of which Cooper speaks is some serious shit (that's deep doo-doo for you more family-oriented browsers).
Broder writes that the official financial report on our government - which Cooper notes is so hard to find in DC you could make a bundle selling a copy of it on EBay these days - shows that the federal deficit is(with apologies to my more hip-speak daughter) like way too totally under reported. Cooper points out to Broder that instead of our federal budget deficit for 2005 being a depressing $319 billion as reported by the White House and Treasury Secretary John Snow, it's actually more along the lines of a "make you want to jump out a freaking window" $760 billion.
A hundred billion here, a hundred billion there, who really cares you ask?
Aside from the fact that we citizens are only getting half the story from people we are told to trust with our tax dollars, our federal government is spending like they actually have any money to spend, with promises to return money to taxpayers that they don't have to give back.
Here's the street line on all this - we ain't just broke, we are flat busted...we ain't just in debt, we are drowning in debt...and the future ain't bright so take off the shades.
Sadly, aside from a handful of congressional fiscal watchdogs - Cooper being a leader of that small pack - no one - other than a now enlightened David Broder seems to want to talk about it, much less actually face up to it.
Read Broder's column today.
Tell someone you care about to read it too.
Maybe, just maybe, if we start paying attention to Cooper on this stuff, and maybe, just maybe if we all took it a bit more seriously, we might become a little more enlightened ourselves and force our lazy ass elected officials to do something about it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Marsha suffers the consequences of some major political wedgies

This week's "Tuesday's Message" email from Tennessee Democratic Party chair Bob Tuke features an item on yet another round of campaign finance woes for Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.
It seems the Memphis Commercial Appeal last week reported that Wedge PAC - Blackburn's ill-named political slush fund - had exceeded legal contribution limits back on December 30, 2005 when it gave her campaign $5,000. What's worse, Tuke writes, is that the improper contribution to Blackburn's campaign came from her lobbyist son-in-law Paul J. Ketchel III, who at the time was treasurer of Wedge PAC (dude it really hurts everytime I write the word "wedge").
Last week's story follows media reports earlier this year on the goings on of Ketchel's firm Political Concepts LLC. Political Concepts has received payments from both Wedge PAC (ouch) and the Blackburn For Congress committee to the tune of more than $123,000. What's more is that Political Concepts, at the time it received $$ from Blackburn's political accounts, was listed as an "inactive" corporation by the state of Tennessee for failing to file an annual report. The company was reinstated only after Ketchel filed the required paperwork in response to media inquiries.
It was also revealed earlier this year that Blackburn's campaign committee paid $9,497 to her daughter and son-in-law for travel reimbursement, computer equipment and other expenses. Blackburn's daughter Mary Ketchel is listed as a director of Blackburn's campaign committee.
But if all that is not enough to make your head spin - here's another political wedgie to endure(this one I rate on the level of an "atomic wedgie" -- the kind of wedgie where you find that your drawers have been pulled up clean over the top of your spinning head!):
Wedge PAC (ouch), according to fecwatch.org, was busy last year handing out $$ that Blackburn raised to fund numerous GOP congressional candidates in other states, including GOP Congressman Rick Renzi of Arizona. Renzi was the target of a major FEC audit in 2004 for a series of violations - from misstatments of financial activity, failure to itemize contributions, failure to disclose transfers and failure to disclosure the names and employers of contributors. Sadly, as one might expect from a GOP-controlled Congress, no actions have been taken against Renzi.
Enough already.
Marsha will be busy digging those wedgies out for some time to come.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Let the chips fall where they may

Who can resist the obvious metaphors?
GOP senate candidate Van Hilleary - Mr. Indian Casino himself - is rolling the dice with the start of his "official announcement swing" through Tennessee. Mind you, Van's been a candidate for months now, but it ain't official until he does the "official announcement swing."
Missing from Van's announcement swing road show this go around will be Van's long time friend and political confidente Jack Abramhoff. You remember "Black Jack" Abramhoff don't you? The infamous D.C. gaming lobbyist turned convicted felon. The dapper dean of GOP K Street lobbyists who recently was forced to trade in his Brooks Brothers pin stripes for prison stripes.
Van and Black Jack go back a ways. Since the mid-1990s Black Jack has made considerable $$ contributions to Van's various political coffers to the tune of $18,250. Much of the funds came to Van via a host of Black Jack's Indian tribe clients seeking political support for their gambling operations. Abramhoff even personally gave Van contributions totalling $1,750; certainly enough $$ to have earned Abramhoff a front row seat for Van's mmost recent "official announcement swing." But alas, Abramhoff's sentencing judge must not have seen the value in granting a reprieve to permit Abramhoff to join Van for his "official announcement swing" in Tennessee. Just think of all the missed grip-and-grin photo opportunities! After all, Black Jack loves getting his picture made with politicians he bankrolled.
So why the fuss now over Van, Abramhoff and Indian gambling interests?
It's about the hypocrisy stupid.
Van Hilleary, in an attempt to woo the faction of GOP primary voters who are opposed to gambling on moral grounds, has been boldly stating of late that he is "staunchly opposed" to the evils of all gambling. His spokeswoman has even gone on record declaring that Van has always, and will forever opposed gambling on moral grounds.
Oh really? Perhaps she's not playing with a full deck (there I go again!).
The facts are that Van Hilleary as a Congressman voted IN FAVOR of Indian gambling interests not once, but at least twice, in 1999 and again in 2001.
And then there are those Indian tribe contributions I referenced earlier.
So what is Van to do about all this on his "official announcement swing" through Tennessee?
Dodge the issue of course.
But just because a politician like Van wants to avoid facing the truths of his record doesn't mean he can't - or shouldn't - be held accountable.
Van, it's time to put all your cards on the table and let the chips fall where they may.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Embedded truths

Regardless of where you stand on the matter of a continued U.S. role in Iraq, I strongly recommend you take some time to check out the Brookings Institution's online April 10, 2006 Iraq Index. The Index is a study of brain numbing variables of post-Saddam-Iraq.
For me, what jumped out of the pages of stats were two categories of data - info that offers some insight into the backgrounds of those American soldiers who have been killed in Iraq; as well as info on insurgency growth that conflicts with all I've heard and read coming out of the Pentagon.
For example...
Since March 19, 2003 through April 1, 2006 more American soldiers who are Hispanic/Latino have been killed than of any ethnic group other than Caucasian.
Also since the start of the war, more American soldiers age 22 or younger have been killed than any other single age group.
The study further shows that of the American soldiers killed, 40.5% came from suburbs, 33.3% from rural areas and 26.2% from large cities.
For me personally, learning a bit more about the demographics of our troops killed - other than the reporting of numbers of troops killed - makes it more hauntingly real.
Equally disturbing to me were the Index charts that indicate that in 2005 alone 23,500 insurgents had been killed or detained in Iraq. I find it disturbing because Pentagon officials last year were reported to have estimated that there were approximately 20,000 insurgents in Iraq. Somehow the math doesn't quite add up - if more insurgents had been killed or detained than were reportedly in existence, then it would stand to reason that there is no insurgency problem anymore in Iraq. But the Index goes on to show a steady rise in the number of insurgency attacks in Iraq since 2004.
All this to say that I'm convinced that embedded in the mountains of data on the variables of post-Saddam Iraq lie truths about the war that have yet to be told.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Strange days indeed

You gotta wonder sometimes if our foreign enemies just shake their heads in disbelief at how nutty we are at managing our own affairs.
Consider this news release I found buried deep in an obscure defense contractor's corporate website: Dateline April 6, 2006 -- IAP Worldwide Services, Inc., working as a subcontractor to another firm, was awarded a major federal contract to provide logistical support, materials management, supply, equipment readiness and maintenance for the Army Reserve and National Guard units.
On February 6, 2006, just two months earlier, President George W. Bush released his FY 2007 budget proposing to cut federal funds for those very same Army Reserve and National Guard units. W's budget proposal would in effect fund 17,100 fewer Army National Guard and 5,000 fewer Army Reserve personnel than is required by law, forcing the military to shift funds from other defense resources to maintain our troop levels.
Sitting on IAP's Board is none other than George Herbert Walker Bush's former Vice President Dan Quayle.
Strange days indeed.

Stan, Bryson and Hobbs

In case you missed GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Bryson's chief blogger Bill Hobbs' Mohammed Cartoons blog site before he removed it as a link off the pro-Bryson blog, you might consider going on line to catch last night's episode of South Park.
South Park character Stan, like Hobbs, was defending showing the cartoons. Wonder if Bryson's camp can get Stan to endorse his race?

Pull the plug on "Part Deux"

On April 5 Bob Corker's Senate campaign announced the release of "Part Two" of his "Blueprint for Tennessee."
I recall a few years settling in to watch my rented copy of the movie "Hot Shots! Part Deux." I thought the first "Hot Shots!" movie was funny, although lacking in any redeeming intellectual or social value. It took real life political characters and put them in ridiculously unbelievable settings and situations. I figured the sequel would be no dumber than the first.
I was wrong.
Corker's first version of his "Blueprint for Tennessee" made me laugh, while lacking in any redeeming intellectual or social value. It attempted to put Corker in a different, more thoughtful light. Knowing something of his record I found it all to be a rather ridiculously unbelievable stretch. In it Corker outlined four principles that he claims are his guiding lights: job growth, smaller government, security, family values. What's so comical about the first "Blueprint" is the fact that each of the four principles totally collide (I mean major train wreck) with the reality of Corker's record.
You remember Corker's record...
- he was one of the principal architects of the Sundquist budget fiascos that prompted that Governor to push for a state income tax
- he was in the Sundquist inner circle hanging with some of the other Sundquist knuckleheads who partied with state dollars and state contracts like it was 1999
- he was Mayor of Chattanooga when the city's unemployment rate went up
- he was the Mayor who raised his salary at the same time he raised local taxes
- he was the Mayor who refused to fund critical 911 emergency positions
- he was the Mayor who pissed away millions in federal $$ to support the city's 911 emergency system
- he was Mayor when the city's long term debt increased by millions of dollars
- and more recently he was candidate who supported Bush's giveaway of our major seaports to foreign interests.
I could go on, but my point's been made.
In this week's unveiling of "Part Deux" of the "Blueprint," Corker's states that he plans to take his proven approach to controlling spending and managing tax dollars to Washington.
Washington is already crowded with politicians who got there on the promise to control spending, only to become clones of the idiots who are breaking the bank and mortgaging our nation. With Corker's record as a point of reference, we can already see past the promises toward an ugly reality.
At some point in the "Hot Shots!" escapade, someone in Hollywood got smart and pulled the plug on any more sequels.
Someone in Tennessee needs to advise Corker to do the same.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bryson's blogging team pulls Mohammed Cartoons off the site

It appears that the Jim Bryson for Governor Blogger team has removed their link to the distasteful Mohammed Cartoons site from their candidate blog. Glad to see that they saw the error of their ways.
But moments before they took it down I took a screen shot of the site, just in case their memories of the whole embarrasing episode failed them.
As my uncle used to say - "see you in the funny papers!"

Jim Bryson, Jesus and a Mohammed cartoon

This week State Senator Jim Bryson announced that he's running for the republican nomination to face incumbent Governor Phil Bredesen. Bryson's announcement statement and subsequent comments to the media were sprinkled with use of the words "faith" and "prayer."
At the same time Bryson's announcement was occuring, a different launch was underway on the web - the launch of a new blog called Bryson For Governor Blog. This blog is founded and edited by Bill Hobbs, an editor and news writer on the marketing and communications staff at Belmont University and a local blogger whose been promoting various GOP political propaganda for several years.
It's not surprising that Hobbs would be tapped by Bryson to be his chief flackie in the blogsphere. The blog says it has no ties to the candidate, but those of us who have been around the barn a few times know better.
None of this is news by any stretch of the imagination. Except for an astounding discovery I made while peering through the Bryson blog portal.
When you visit the Bryson blog you will see where Hobbs is listed as founder and editor. There is also a listing of contributors to the blog and first on the list is B-Ho. If you click on B-Ho you will see a list of other Bill Hobbs sites and blogs.
One of the sites listed as Hobbs site is called mohammed cartoons. If you click through it you will find a bizzare page with the heading Draw Mohammed that spotlights a stick drawing of the Prophet Mohammed holding a bomb. The cartoon is entitled "Mohammend Blows."
Under the cartoon Hobbs issues an invite to "exercise your right to free expression by drawing pictures of Islam's Prophet Mohammed". He ends the post with the phrase "Here's my first mo-toon." All this was posted at 12:40 pm, on Friday, February 24, 2006.
I've know Hobbs for many years and while we never see eye to eye on the issues, I've generally found him to be fairly reasonable to deal with.
But Hobbs has shown me a darker side to his mind with his insensitive, moronic site.
I have no quarrel with a person's right to free speech, but as a Christian I believe this kind of expression goes against all the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.
This prompts me to want to ask candidate "man of faith" Jim Bryson if he condones this kind of distasteful insensitivity to people of other faiths; and it also prompts me to want to contact Bob Fisher, the president of Belmont University, to inquire if he too believes this kind of expression is in line with the University's mission to promote and uphold Christian values.
If Jim Bryson wants to continue to use Hobbs and his blog followers to spread his message, so be it. But if he does, he better be prepared to deal with the political consequences.