Just received this press release from the Tennessee GOP:
NASHVILLE, TN — Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney issued the following statement in response to Democrat leaders aligning themselves with "Occupy Nashville" protestors.
“It is astonishing that Tennessee Democrats are defending ‘Occupy Nashville.’ If the Democrats want to associate themselves with this bunch, more power to them; but I think it shows how out of touch they are with everyday Tennesseans. Their real focus should be President Obama and protesting his lack of leadership on the economy and jobs. Maybe on top of the pizzas they've offered to purchase, they might also offer to pay for the decontamination crew.
“Legislative Plaza is the property of all Tennesseans, not just a small group of loiterers who would’ve served their cause better by simply occupying a restroom, instead of showing utter disregard for public property,” said Devaney.
In other words, "Get off my lawn, you dirty hippies!"
Let's do the time-warp again. Jesus.
Nashville Scene reporter Jonathan Meador was arrested while covering the Occupy Nashville protests in the capital Friday night. Why? Judging from the audiotape Meador had running in his pocket during the arrest, for no good reason at all. He was booked for "resisting arrest," though he told officers he was covering the event as a journalist and was attempting to leave the area. He was slammed to the ground and also booked for public intoxication, which also appears to be a trumped-up charge. Conservative blogger Bill Hobbs has written that Meador was not intoxicated and appeared to be cooperating with the officers.
Nashville Scene publisher Chris Ferrell has demanded an apology from Governor Haslam.
Texas governor and GOP presidential wannabe Rick Perry has announced his campaign organization for Tennessee. Perry's state chairman is fellow cowboy boot lover, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey. Between the two of 'em, they're gonna kick ass and take names, I suppose. Speaking of names, see if you recognize any of those folks listed as supporters at the bottom of the official announcement. If you need a hint, Jackson Baker has more.
Gov. Rick Perry Announces Tennessee Campaign Leadership
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Perry today announced his Tennessee campaign leadership team, naming Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey state campaign chairman, former California Lt. Gov. Mike Curb honorary campaign chairman and Stephen Smith state finance chairman. He also named his state finance leadership team.
“To get our country working again, we need strong leadership,” said Gov. Perry. “Mike, Ron, and Steve are well-respected and proven leaders who share my vision for a stronger America with more jobs, more freedom and less government intrusion in the lives of our citizens. With their help, we will run a spirited campaign in Tennessee, and in 2012 we’ll get America working again.”
Mike Curb is the former Lt. Gov. of California and past national finance chairman for the Republican National Committee. He is owner of Curb Records, one of the most successful independent record companies in the world. As a prominent songwriter and producer, Curb has been recognized with several prestigious awards including Producer of the Year by Billboard in 1972, and Country Music Label of the Year in 2001 by leading trade magazines. He is chair of the Mike Curb Foundation, which supports music education and restoration efforts of historic music locations, and is responsible for the development of art and entertainment centers at Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities. In 2007, Curb was named Nashvillian of the Year.
Ron Ramsey is Lt. Gov. and Senate Speaker of the State of Tennessee, the first Republican to be elected Senate Speaker in 140 years and the longest serving Republican Senate Speaker in Tennessee history. Ramsey previously served two terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives and was elected to the State Senate in 1996, and helped achieve GOP majority in the chamber in 2007. In 2008, Lt. Gov. Ramsey served as chairman of the Tennessee delegation to the Republican National Convention and in 2009, served as national chairman of the Republican Lt. Governor’s Association. Additionally, Ramsey is owner of Ron Ramsey and Associates, a real estate and auction company, and graduated from East Tennessee State University.
Stephen Smith is chairman of Haury and Smith Contractors, Inc., a 55-year-old building and development company. He formerly served as national finance co-chair for Sen. Lamar Alexander’s 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns, and is one of three Tennesseans to achieve Super Ranger status in President George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign. He was also national finance chairman for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s leadership political action committee, VOLPAC, and served as finance chairman for Sen. Lamar Alexander’s 2008 reelection campaign. Mr. Smith attended Middle Tennessee State University, where he serves on the Blue Raider Athletic Association’s board of directors and President's Council.
Gov. Perry also named the following individuals to lead his Tennessee finance team:
Dr. Larry Bates
Tom Beasley, former Tennessee GOP Chairman
Bob Davis, former Tennessee GOP Chairman
Howard “Butch” Eley
Dr. Paul and Carla McCombs
Howard Wall, former Rutherford County GOP Chairman
For more information about Gov. Rick Perry’s record, presidential campaign and plan to get America working again, please visit: www.rickperry.org.
Marsha Blackburn recently spoke at a Tea Party rally against the U.S. government's raid on Gibson Guitar manufacturing plants. The government, as you probably know, invoked the Lacey Act to investigate possible importation of endangered wood products by Gibson.
What you might not know is that In 2008 the Lacey Act was amended to include illegal wood products, an amendment that Blackburn voted for. When confronted by a reporter who asked whether Blackburn was being disingenuous in speaking against the government's actions, she responded ... oh, just watch it. Hat tip to Pith in the Wind and TNReport.com
Also, her glasses are ugly. Also, cue Mickey.
A lot of folks in the media are reacting to the Occupy Wall Street movement, most of them predictably.
The conservative media — Fox News, Limbaugh, Townhall.com — say it's a ragtag bunch of jobless hippies with nothing better to do. Also, they are being supported and transported and fed by deep-pocketed socialist sympathizers.
The mainstream media is mostly trying to articulate how the movement can't articulate what it is all about. Lots of live shots and man-on-the-street interviews are the norm.
They're missing the big picture. Like the Tea Party before them in its early days, the Occupiers are mainly just pissed off at this point. It's a nascent movement, gaining momentum, flexing its new-found muscle, figuring out how strong it can get, how many people will step on board — either in the street or via financial and political support. The goal being, obviously, to impact politics by winning elections or scaring incumbents into changing their positions. The Tea Party got strong enough to take over the GOP with a similar strategy. No reason the Occupiers can't pull off a similar coup from the other side, if the movement can sustain itself and grow.
They say American Dream has been shanghaied and is no longer available to most Americans. They want financial payback for the hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailout giveaways to Wall Street under the Bush and Obama administrations. The best line I've read: "The middle-class is too big to fail." That works.
Here's something else that will work: Show the world this website. It's interactive, and it shows the growth in income of 90 percent of Americans versus the top 10 percent of Americans over the past century. In the screenshot below, I've set the sliders to show the results from 1970 to 2008. You can set your own parameters, if you'd like. The results, as you can see, are simply staggering. Bear in mind, that little blue flat-line across the bottom represents 90 percent of the U. S. population.
The obvious takeaway: The wealthiest Americans are getting richer while the vast majority of us are stagnating or losing ground. It's enough to make you want to occupy something.
Someone emailed me this column by Rick Cleveland of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. Cleveland has some harsh things to say about the group, Forward Rebels, which has placed a number of full-page ads in his newspaper as well as the Commercial Appeal and other local papers.
As you probably know, the ads placed by Forward Rebels were highly critical of the Ole Miss administration, and in particular athletic director Pete Boone. As Cleveland points out, only one person has deigned to come forward and claim a personal affiliation with Forward Rebels, Oxford resident Lee Habeeb, so it's unclear whether the group has 100 members or just Lee Habeeb.
So who the heck is Lee Habeeb? Obviously, a disgruntled Ole Miss alum, right? Nope. Lee Habeeb is a magnate of right-wing talk radio, the man responsible for foisting Laura Ingraham on the world. He is now director of strategic content for the Salem Radio Network, whose clients include Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, and Dennis Prager.
According to his wikipedia page, Habeeb is quite the conservative firebrand. He is a columnist for Townhall.com, and:
Habeeb has also commissioned the creation of several hit YouTube videos, including a William F. Buckley video tribute just after the great conservative's death in February of 2008. During the 2008 presidential primary season, one of Habeeb's videos on Barack Obama's relationship with Pastor Jeremiah Wright titled "Is Obama Wright?"
As Vice President of Content Development at Salem Radio Network, Habeeb was instrumental in drafting and developing the FreeOurHealthCareNow.com petition, which was delivered to Congress on September 9, 2009 and covered on CBS Evening News, Fox News, CNBC and CSPAN. He and Salem's team worked closely with one of America's leading think tanks, The National Center for Policy Analysis, and free market intellectual and economists Dr. John Goodman, on the petition.
Habeeb produced the video "Is Nationalized Health Care a Death Snare?" about the effects a government takeover of health care would have on both beginning of life and end of life issues.
So why this guy, who would seem to have better things to worry about, has it in for the Ole Miss athletic director is something of a mystery. Rick Cleveland seems to think it may have something to do with Boone's decision to eliminate Colonel Reb as a mascot. Or maybe Habeeb just hates black bears.
At any rate, I think if Habeeb and his Forward Rebels — an oxymoron if I've ever seen one — really want to get some advertising bang for his (their?) buck, I think they should buy a few full-page ads in the Memphis Flyer. We're the forward rebels around here, after all.