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Jim Cooper

On Sunday, a group of Tennessee preachers will step into the pulpit and say the only words they’re forbidden by law from speaking in a church.

This Sunday, seven Pastors in Tennessee, 4 of which are in the Nashville area, will endorse a number of candidates for office in this district (TN-05). Among the candidates endorsed will be former Mayor Bill Haslam who is currently running for Governor of the state and David Hall, a businessman who is aiming to oust Rep. Jim Cooper from his Congressional seat.

The article linked above calls it IRS baiting. I call it reasserting our civil rights. The article author looks at this from a one sided view citing “a line between church and state.”

But many mainstream churches recoil from the idea of erasing the line between church and state.[…]

Other ministers and organizations have weighed in on the subject, including Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Land said the church endorses many of the ADF’s initiatives, but “we think the mixing of the sacred nature of the church with the exceedingly worldly nature of politics is … unseemly.”[…]

Lewis Lavine, president of the Center for Nonprofit Management in Nashville, is familiar with the balancing act churches and other nonprofit groups must maintain when they stray near the political arena.

“We have separation of church and state in this country for a reason,” Lavine said. “There should be parameters, and there should be common sense.”[…]

The ADF’s polar opposites, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, issued a statement this week calling pulpit-based lawbreaking “the worst idea ever.”

“Clergy serve as spiritual advisers, not political bosses. Pulpit politicking violates federal tax law and offends the vast majority of church-goers,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, the group’s executive director.

“The nation is already bitterly divided over politics this year. … Now, Religious Right political hacks want to haul that divisiveness into America’s houses of worship.

Of course, calling political opposition, Religious Right political hacks isn’t the least bit divisive, is it? Oh no, not divisive at all.

Continue reading

In 2008, you voted for change with Barak Obama(click TN on the map). You didn’t get what was promised in the easy campaign slogan. Instead you’ve gotten the shaft: high unemployment and bigger government.

Somebody during the 2008 presidential campaigns asked: “Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?” It wasn’t Obama who asked that question but I believe the answer is a fairly clear, “No.” We are not better off, quite a bit worse off, and it looks to be getting worse than worse. After doing everything it could to grow the deficit to grow government, putting more than double the Bush years unemployment rate out of work, the government is going to shrink the deficit by spending for Unions and Teachers by cutting back on food stamps. It was such a success, they want to repeat it to fund another initiative.

Is this the change you voted for? How about some real change in your own backyard, Nashville? If you’re tired of being handed the same old promises, election year after election year for decades, why do you keep punishing yourselves? Continue reading

Updated and bumped: I’ve been informed that there is another candidate for TN-05 whose name is David Hall. Please follow the link made from his name and check him out.

In spite of its passage over the protests of the majority of Americans, the health care debate rages on in the states. The number of states challenging the legislation as unConstitutional now number 18. Tennessee isn’t one of them. In spite of Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen’s objections, Tennessee’s Attorney General Bob Cooper is questioning the constitutionality of the Health Freedom Act instead.

Cooper wrote in a legal opinion released Tuesday that the proposed “Health Freedom Act” sponsored by Republican Rep. Mike Bell of Riceville would likely be pre-empted by federal law, and that a requirement for the attorney general to mount a legal defense for the measure could violate separation of powers provisions in the state constitution.

His official opinion is here.

While not brothers, though I admit I haven’t looked very hard for a familial connection between our AG Cooper and our Representative Cooper, there are connections. For instance, the law firm for which the Attorney General once worked was among Representative Cooper’s highest donors coming in just under Caterpillar by $250. Another little tidbit is they’re both adjunct professors at Vanderbilt which was covered here for Rep. Cooper.

The Attorney General is also a native of Chattanooga, TN which is where Representative Jim Cooper first entered politics at the national level, TN district 04. Attorney General Cooper’s father was also a State Supreme Court Justice. Given Rep. Cooper’s positions on issues, a state attorney general with a working relationship connection to said representative as well as a same last name, one has to question just who is in charge of the state of Tennessee. Representative Cooper also has a brother whose claim to fame is this: Tax Informants Are On The Loose. Perhaps we should be changing the name of the state to Cooper rather than Tennessee.

Other states are hiring attorneys to fight the healthcare legislation. Should Tennessee follow suit by hiring an outside attorney?

Given Representative Cooper’s support for the legislation in spite of his Governor’s and Tennesseans’ objections and the Attorney General’s possibly questionable connections to said representative our choices look bleak. Meanwhile, said representative’s brother is advocating a tax informant program that smacks of communist regimes that rewards said informants.

“They” do say all politics are local.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey who is campaigning for Governor to replace Bredesen had this to say about the AG’s position:

Because the attorney general is appointed by the state Supreme Court, not the legislature or governor, Ramsey agreed that lawmakers cannot force Cooper to change his mind. But Ramsey said he hoped to find a lawyer who would represent the state free of charge if Cooper does not change his mind.

“That’s the reason that I’m passing this resolution, to make a statement that the General Assembly — both the House and the Senate when this passes both — wants (Cooper) to do that,” he said. “If he refuses to do that, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

November is just seven months away. We can work for regime change in Tennessee as much as at the national level. We need new blood rather than entrenched politicians at all levels of government. Tennessee deserves better than this. Perhaps, TN-05 is ready for a Republican representative for the district considering there hasn’t been one since 1875.

Here is a list of Republican candidates for TN-05:

Michael Barbuto (No website)
Brendan Finucane Jr. (No website)
Jeff Hartline
Vijay Kumar
Patrick Miranda
Cece Heil
Bob Ries
Robert Schwartz (No website)
Jared Scott
Lonnie Spivak
Al Strauss (No website)
Tracy Tarum

If you live in other districts in Tennessee and would like to know about Republican candidates in your area you can look them up from this link: http://www.politics1.com/tn.htm.

Over the next few weeks/months the plan is to highlight each of those candidates in separate articles. Mr. Miranda is the first and only one to date who answered questions I submitted to be included in the write up. It’s a nice set of questions to have answered but, if necessary, I’ll work without them. In the process of writing this post, the title for those articles is all wrong considering there are twelve candidates versus the five previously thought.

Incidentally, I voted for Kumar in ’08 though knowledge of him was sketchy. Desperation to rid the district of Cooper can lead one to commit such actions on faith rather than actual knowledge. That is NOT an endorsement. As I research these candidates, I’m looking for whom I will endorse as much as any of you Republican Tennessean readers. This election, one is hopeful that we will be better informed and better armed to make better choices.

Surely we can do better than a career politician like Jim Cooper who moved from one district in Tennessee to another, making claims of being a Blue Dog (conservative) Democrat while voting in legislation entailing massive spending, massive tax hikes, and massive deficits.

What’s more he voted for a bill of which he had little to no knowledge of its content. Nor did anyone else except for the authors.

How’s that hope and change working out for you? If you’ve had enough, please consider making a real change in Tennessee instead of voting in the same or similar players, ad infinitum.

{{w|Jim Cooper}}, U.S. Congressman.
Image via Wikipedia

Eh, not so much. This is Cooper.

On November 7, 2009:

Nevertheless, the Nashville Democrat planned to vote in favor of the $1.1 trillion package.

“My vote is not an endorsement of all the provisions of the bill because I find much of the bill to be deeply flawed,” Cooper said in a written statement issued during Saturday night’s debate. The bill passed in the House late Saturday night.

“There is little chance that (the House bill) will become law due to the long legislative process.”

His reasoning seems to be it won’t pass the Senate or a “passing of the buck.” He also stated he was voting for it “to advance the cause of health care reform by forcing the Senate to act.”

What if he is wrong?

What he voted for was this:

… who has not had health insurance coverage
or coverage under an employment-based health plan
for at least the 6-month period immediately preceding the date of the individual’s application for high-risk pool coverage under this section.(pg 18, HR 3962)

So, what is said in public is not backed up in the bill they support. How many people with cancer can wait 6 months for treatment? In spite of the rhetoric and sob stories, Congress isn’t going to do anymore for the people than the insurance companies will do.

His reasoning?

“Without passage of this House bill, the Senate could delay reform indefinitely. That would be the worst possible outcome because our current health care system is not sustainable,” he said.

Did you know there’s a matching funds requirement?

(2) MATCHING FUND REQUIREMENT.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—Subject to subparagraph
(B), no grant may be awarded to a State unless the State demonstrates the seriousness of its effort by matching at least percent of the grant amount through non-Federal resources, which may be a combination of State, local, private dollars from insurers, providers, and other private organizations.(pg 75, HR 3962)

The federal government will raise taxes to pay for this and the states will be forced to play along. Why is it that every time the federal government decides to interfere with something, it means hardship for the respective states? How is your state placed in this economic downturn? Will you be able to afford all the new taxes?

And, yes, Cooper voted for this:

In fact, Cooper was the lone Tennessee vote.

Never mind individual circumstances that might preclude buying a $15,000 dollar policy which is the cheapest one can buy. Never mind the waiting periods for pre-existing conditions. Never mind the cuts to Medicare into which retirees and future retires have poured billions of dollars over decades. Never mind that a 5 year jail sentence is a death sentence to some. Never mind that with that death sentence it means someone will die for someone else’s sense of entitlement. Please, just never mind all the negatives. Just look over here at the cherries. Cherries come with pits and we’re expected to swallow the pits with the fruit… and like it even if it kills us.

And please ignore the majority of Americans who don’t want this plan, especially in an economic downturn. We’re simply right-wing extremists and must be ignored on your way to Shangri-La.

And the excuse, as always, is: “To move it forward.” How many times have we heard that from both sides of the aisle? Does anything get moved forward other than bigger government, more intrusion into our private lives, and more authority over our individual labors toward the American Dream?

Oh, and did I tell you he’s the lone Tennessee vote? I’m sure I must have.

I have no understanding of what it means to be a Blue Dog Democrat if Jim Cooper is supposed to be a prime example. I suppose what it used to mean is no longer what it means. Perhaps, we need a new term for them: BDINO (Blue Dog In Name Only).

Oh and speaking of Blue Dog Democrats, remember that Owens fellow in NY23 who was supposed to be more conservative than Scozzafava, whom she endorsed over a real conservative candidate? He broke four campaign promises within an hour of being sworn in.

Perhaps we should call them what they really are: Liars. There’s no such creature as a Blue Dog Democrat. They’re myths just like their campaign promises.

To say all politicians lie is to admit to apathy and helplessness. When are we going to expect more of the people we pay to represent us? We do not pay them to cater to the Nancy Pelosi’s of Congress. We do not pay them to serve their own self-interest over the interests of the people for whom they work.

Now that I’ve rambled in the NY23 territory let’s get back to Cooper. Did I tell you that Cooper was the lone vote from Tennessee? I was wrong. I suppose two out of seven isn’t bad.

It is small comfort to have only the hope that it is indeed D.O.A. in the Senate as is being claimed. Cooper’s own words imply that is the hope when he says it’s “to advance the cause of healthcare”, which is the equivalent of saying, “The dog ate my homework.”

Hope is cold comfort if you’re one of the ones who may end up sitting in a jail cell because Congress is full of cowards.

Crossposted to Sidetick and The Minority Report.

August 2017
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