Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waist

Cold as Ice

Michelle Obama is so misunderstood! No wonder she told French First Lady Carla Bruni that life in the White House “is Hell! I can’t stand it!”

Just take a look at her talk to the National Restaurant Association members Monday. It’s true that she’s fried by the offerings on their menus. Hamburgers, pancakes, tacos, ice cream; what are these things doing to the crisis of obesity in our country?

The ignorant among us (who they think mostly live in the South) even think she is a hypocrite for visiting ice cream shops at every travel stop they make. Here’s the scoop: critics just don’t understand what she’s doing – taking a licking for the American people.

Look at this schedule in just the past two months alone!

On July 13, Mrs. O got a chocolate hurricane at a stand in Panama City, Florida. Do you think it is really because she loves chocolate ice cream and it is one of her favorites? Hardly. She was inspecting the nutritional content of the region’s food places and boy did she find it troubling. Down to the last spoonful. If she doesn’t work to protect Florida’s children against such evils, who will?

Did you see Laura Bush take the time to visit an ice cream shop on any of her international trips? Didn’t think so. But Michelle couldn’t let her trip to Spain go unchecked. In Granada on August 5 she scored for American international relations by testing Spanish ice cream. Reviews are mixed and she may have to return for another attempt.

On Panama City Beach the whole family churned out to queue at a Bruster’s on August 15. While the Commander in chief chose mint chocolate chip and daughter Sasha picked Oreo, Mrs. O swallowed concerns for her own health and got a hot fudge sundae. Still, you have to draw the line of sacrifice somewhere and Michelle skipped the whipped cream. Talk about an example!

As culturally superior to the rest of the country as Cape Cod is, even there, during their August 20 vacation, the First Lady was first in trying out the new flavor at Mad Martha’s Ice Cream. Called “Barack My World” the ice cream featuring coffee and macadamia nuts was dutifully downed by Michelle who would rather take one for the team then let down a devoted fan. How typical!

Her concern for our nutrition has even rubbed off on the president. He told “People” magazine that he worked at a Baskin Robbins in 1979 in Honolulu as a youth and “now I can’t stand it.” But when visiting the emperor of Japan Obama bucked up and ate the green tea ice cream. And, while everyone on the mainland was interested in the Christmas Day bomber, Obama took time during his family Hawaii vacation to take the girls for shaved ice. He even admits that he lured Michelle on their first date by taking her for chocolate ice cream. Even then, America, they were thinking of you.

Surely these deeds would melt even the strongest critic’s heart, but it’s not likely to sway gorging rednecks from their 31-wonderland. Mrs. Obama has two more years to keep at it.

In 2012, let’s help her out of this “hell” and back in the city of her birth.

Chicago deep dish pizza anyone?

Haslam at Headquarters

Bill Haslam, left, and Lang Wiseman
Bill Haslam, left, and Lang Wiseman
Harold Baker, center
Harold Baker, center

Tennessee Republican Governor candidate Bill Haslam visited his headquarters at 1214 Ridgeway today with our other candidates for a Victory Open House.

“If we tie in Shelby County,” Haslam said, “we will win. We will be here a lot.” Shelby County Republican Party Chairman Lang Wiseman echoed those sentiments.

“I can’t tell you how important Shelby County is. The percentage of votes we contribute  overwhelms any other county. Our House candidates have a tremendous opportunity,” he said, introducing Charlotte Bergmann, who is challenging Steve Cohen for the U.S. House seat in District 9.

“I’m very excited to be in the party of No,” Bergmann said. “Not just no, but KNOW. We know that what the Democrats plan to do will wreck our country and we say no.” 

She was followed by Tim Cook, who is running against Mike Kernell in District 73, who noted that “Kernell has done zero in 36 years. But he wants more taxes and an income tax, which I am against.”

Clay Shelton said his district, 89, has been held by the Democrats for 36 years also. “But five of our nine candidates in the August election won in this district, so I think I have a good chance. I will be the only accountant in the state legislature,” he noted, “and they need someone with some fiscal experience.” Shelton also cautioned that the make up of the Tennessee House this year will determine who does the redistricting. As it stands now, the districts favor the Democrats. That could change in 2011.

Harold Baker, our candidate in District 86, will visit at our next Midtown Republican Club meeting, Oct 5. Although this district does not include Midtown, it includes our sister areas of Harbor Town and downtown.

Baker is running to “improve the quality of life in Memphis. I have three themes: increase the number of safe streets and neigborhoods; increase the performance of our students and schools; and work to increase the number of hard working, law abiding citizens. How? Get to the root cause of crime and make incarceration more punitive with more mandatory minimum sentences, sending the message to our young people that this is not the way to be. Then increase expectations for our young people. Tell them, young people, you can achieve. And thirdly, expecting people to meet the same standards in our community.”

Chairman Wiseman  closed with the observation that “I’m not asking you to help me; I’m asking you to help yourself by coming involved in these campaigns.”

Just Zip It

The number one rule in life may very well be “Shut up!” Followed by No. 2, which is “Shut Up!”

And that is what the NRSC should have done last night after the Christine O’Donnell victory in Delaware.  Shortly after she was declared  the winner, someone wasted no time in announcing that the Republican hierarchy in the Senate would not provide any funds for her.

Why they felt it necessary to have this immediate temper tantrum is puzzling. The people spoke in the primary and they should accept that. Perhaps she has no chance. That was said of Scott Brown in Massachusetts as well. It didn’t turn out the way pundits thought, did it?

Delaware is a small state and it won’t take many votes to put her over the top. Let the Democrats get cocky. Let them overreach and make their own moronic remarks, which they are prone to do. Change is in the air and that might propel her to a win.

Kudos to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who announced this morning that he was supporting her.

Who was it who said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”?

Oh, yes, it was Abraham Lincoln. And wasn’t he the father of the Republican Party?

Roving Eye Focuses on Five Classic Books

Karl Rove
Karl Rove

What would conservatives deem the top five books Americans should read?

Five Books Newsletter reporter Jonathan Rauch asked this question to six experts. He asked political analyst Karl Rove, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, Brink Lindsey of the Cato Institute, Daniel Finkelstein of the Times of London, Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the New York Times Book Review and Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institute to come up with a list.

The top pick was “Road to Serfdom” by F.A. Hayek. Number 2 was “Witness” by Whittaker Chambers, followed by “Democracy in America” by Alexis de Toqueville. The “Federalist Papers” by Hamilton, Jay and Madison were next with “Free to Choose” by Milton Friedman at No. 5.

However, the author went on to ask Karl Rove for his top 5 and his answers were quite interesting.

Rove puts “The Federalist Papers” at the top. “I think this is the greatest explanation,  in one place, of the American Constitution; of the essential underpinnings and structures that make democracy possible. We can learn from it what is necessary to maintain the American democracy.”

He chose De Toqueville’s “Democracy in America” next because “the recognition that the American habit of association, our tendency to gather together in groups to solve immediate needs without waiting for direction from the government, is vital to the American experience.”

Surprisingly, “The Conscience of a Conservative”  by Barry Goldwater ranks high for Rove, even though it came out in the 1960s. Why read it today?  “It really strikes a defined note of individualism,” Rove says. “I was a westerner – he spoke in western vernacular and spoke about things that as a westerner I felt familiar with – and it was a rip roaring good read.”

Instead of “Free to Choose” by Milton Friedman, Rove picked “Capitalism and Freedom” by that author.

“It was very contraversial. If you have the form of political freedom, but not the substance of market freedom, eventually it will undermine the form of political freedom,” Rove says.

Lastly, he likes “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” by Adam Smith. “For me, the essential part of it is his description of human nature, that there really is inherent in every human being, a striving to win the favor of others by doing right things… I don’t think you can have a society as he describes in “The Wealth of Nations” without also having understood the nature of human striving.”

For the picks and explanations by the other experts, you can read more at

High (?) on Obama

Ben Stein reports something he heard while lunching with friends in Sandpoint, Idaho. A social worker who works with children of meth addicts and alcoholics was commenting on how bad things are. “What’s really making it worse,” she said, “is this 99-week thing. Now that people who are unemployed can get paid for doing nothing for almost two years, some of them just stay high as long as they can and don’t do anything else.” Y’a think?

Mad Men GOP Image

Don Draper stumping for the GOP? When he went to his son’s birthday party in Sunday’s episode of  “Mad Men, ”  he brought  the tyke a great big stuffed elephant. Relevant, because his ex-wife’s husband works for  Republican governor Nelson Rockefeller and has been approached by John Lindsay’s camp to work for him. Republican Lindsay went on to win the New York mayor’s race in 1966, but later changed to Democrat. Figures. He was considered a lousy mayor.

Hook, line and stinker

Carp for the Czar
Something fishy from Obama

With the economy floundering, and definitely in the tank, you’ll be heartened to know that the Barack Obama administration has busied itself finding us a new czar for our problems. A Carp Czar.

No, that isn’t a typo for Car Czar. I think that czar has already taken his place in the Obama firmament. Nor Tarp czar; I believe we have one of those, too. Nor is it a czar who will monitor and address the carping most of us have done at the Obama administration’s destructive policies, although he would be busy 24/7. Continue reading “Hook, line and stinker”

Turn on the Right Network

Wednesday marked the beginning of, a new website started by actor Kelsey Grammer and some fellow conservatives. Their aim, as I interpret it, is to give the right a place for comedy, documentaries and shows a home of our own.

I first clicked on some of the shows they are offering. I like the idea for “Running,” which follows candidates who have never run for office before.  “Have you ever wondered what makes someone run for Congress and subject their families to all that goes with it?” asks the host. Incumbents like Dan Rohrabacher of California and Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan throw in their commentaries. The first episode runs 46 minutes and follows John Dennis, who is challenging Nancy Pelosi, and An Davis, who has aimed at Henry Waxman. Looks promising. Or at least it does for us political junkies.

“Right 2 Laugh” features comedian Evan Sayet and others. Set in a comedy club, the show has other stand ups who like to skewer political correctness and indulge in satire. There is another show about a fictitious senator and other offerings as well.

You can also find interesting articles, documentaries, Hulu clips, a weekly poll and weekly news items on Right Network. I was interested to see the writers and bloggers who endorse and/or submit articles. It’s a great list of talented authors such as James Lileks, Iowahawk, Michelle Malkin, The Corner, Robin of Berkley from American Thinker, Hillbuzz and Andrew Breitbart’s Big family: Government, Hollywood, Journalism and Peace.

Take a look at it and see what you think.

Mark White at Midtown Meeting

Mark White
Mark White shows the size of the U.S. Constitution.
Pour the Bubbly
Ruth and Dean Henderson pour a splash of Champagne to celebrate the recent Shelby GOP win.

Last night, Mark White, Tennessee State Representative, District 83, addressed the monthly meeting of the Midtown Republican Club.

After we toasted the spectacular 9 out of 9 GOP election win of August 5th, White talked about what motivated him to get into politics.

“Why did I want to go to Nashville after 25 years in business? I believe in the business community and that it is business that generates jobs,” White said. “We’ve lost our way in government. We’re not governing ourselves anymore. We have a Constitution that is just a few pages,” he said, holding up a pocket copy. “But now we have bills that are 2-3,000 pages.”

His first week in Nashville serves as an example. Eager to do something substantive to help his constituents, he found his first bill to tackle concerned whether to allow fish tanks in barbershops.

“A woman had wanted to open a barbershop and when the code enforcer came he found she had a big fish tank there. We spent two weeks discussing this issue! When I brought up what about beauty salons, we spent another week talking about that,” White said. “Then we found that a beauty salon is in a completely different category – cosmetology.”

He continued to discuss the need for less intrusive government.

“Look at Walmart vs. the Post office. The latter has been in business for 235 years and still doesn’t have it’s act together. They’re broke. Social security is 75 years old and they’re broke. Fannie Mae 72 years and broke. And Medicare/Medicaid 45 years old and broke.”

White says he is wary of more government takeovers and an expanding bureaucracy.

“The Department of Energy was begun 33 years ago with the purpose of developing domestic sources of energy. It started out small and now has 16,000 employees and a budget of 24 billion. And now we import more energy than we ever did in the past.”

On the Health Care Reform act he noted that the bill will “cost us millions to run it alone.” White hopes that a new Republican governor in Tennessee will appoint an attorney general unlike our current one and that he will join other states in suing the federal government about it.

As for immigration, that’s another issue he sees the new Tennessee legislature addressing next year.

“”Tennessee was the only state to recognize Arizona’s new bill. I flew out to meet Governor Jan Brewer with some other congressmen at our own expense to give her the resolution. Although I didn’t know it before I left, Governor Brewer is a big Elvis fan. I took her some stuff from Graceland and she really appreciated it,” White added.

He has hopes that the next Congress can take on the budget. “Stimulus money will be gone in 2011 and we’ll begin to feel it. Republicans say they will not have an increase in taxes in the budget. But,” he noted, the state of Tennessee has less debt than Shelby County.”

White, having won his primary, is unopposed in the November 2 election.

Dog Days for O

Talked About Like a DogA bunch of us guys were lifting a few at the Hydrant, our favorite bar. The bosses had given us the day off since Labor Day means a backyard barbecue and some of us can’t hold our meat. (Did they really miss that rack of ribs I took last year? How was I supposed to know it wasn’t for me?)

Anyhow, the television was on and all of a sudden Barack Obama was on the screen. I hear him say “they talk about me like a dog.” All the woofing stopped at once and every ear in the place perked up.

“Son of a …” the usually quiet Akita started before the Scotty stepped in.

“Stop right there! Don’t talk about our moms like that,” he said. “Besides, maybe he really meant to say ‘dogged’ or ‘they talk doggerel,” he suggested.

“No,” said the poodle, who was still burning over the Tony Blair lap poodle analogy. “He means it in a negative way. These people are so politically incorrect I could barf,” he said.

“Take it easy,” said Splash. “Don’t get your leash in a knot. My boss Teddy was called a horn dog and I think he liked it. Although I kept his leg away from me whenever I could.”

“Just thank God you’re not Bo,” said the shepherd. “How’d you like that gig? The guy can’t even walk a Portugese water dog,” he said as he lapped his Heineken.

“Why even the Dog Whisperer’s jaw drops seeing that you know you’ve got a bigger problem than saving the House in November,” added the chihuahua. “And you can kiss those Blue Dogs there good-bye, by the way.”

“That Barack better hope he never gets stuck in a well or an avalanche,” said the St. Bernard. “What rescue dog worth his kibble would go help him out after this? And by the way, I need another brandy, the cask is running low if you know what I mean.”

“Like the economy,” said the lab, who never missed a chance for a leap in the conversational pool.

“Well, the way it’s going we won’t have him to kick around anymore in two more years,” said the cocker spaniel.

“If I were Bo I’d watch my back,” said the lab. “Remember what happened to Buddy? Not long after Clinton left the White House Buddy was ‘impeached.’ Right on the front of a car.”

“If he knows what’s good for him he’ll slip out of the House the next time the Missus is on vacation,” said the dachshund. “And we know that could be any other day,” they chortled.

“Better go home and rattle some cages,” said the terrier. “Besides this place closes in a few minutes. Meet you all back on Hump Day.”

“This time let’s keep that TV off. Or at least on Animal Planet. Next thing you know they’ll be saying the country’s going to the dogs.

“They should be so lucky!”