Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rick Santorum To Hold Rally At Belmont Tonight

by Janet Kim
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - After losses in Arizona and Michigan on Tuesday, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum will try his luck in the Volunteer State on Wednesday.
Santorum will attend a "Rally for Rick" at 7 p.m. at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University. He will first make a stop at Crown College in Knoxville. Rick Santorum To Hold Rally At Belmont Wednesday - NewsChannel5.com

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Nashville Scene's hit job on Newt Gingrich's First Tuesday event

Newt Gingrich's appearance in Nashville yesterday was widely covered by local and national media. Most media factually reported the events of the day and if they had a bias they hid it. While most members of the working press may be liberal, most journalist try to adhere to a code of ethics and strive for at least a semblance of fairness, truthfulness and objectivity. Not the Scene's Jeff Woods.

The Nashville Scene's coverage of the First Tuesday Newt Gingrich event made no attempt at fairness or objectivity. It was a hit job. Even in opinion pieces, most writers do not resort to juvenile name calling. But that is standard fare for the Scene's Jeff Woods.

"A glittering galaxy of Tennessee's craziest Republicans came out to hear Newt Gingrich speak this afternoon in downtown Nashville," begins his article. "Robin Smith, Stacey Campfield, Mae Beavers, Tony Shipley, Jim Gotto and Lou Ann Zelnik were among the many wingnuts crammed into a room at the offices of the Waller Lansden lobbying/law firm for Gingrich's appearance." From there it gets worse.

He reports that Senator Stacy Campfield was "snubbed" at the event by not being introduced when other dignitaries were introduced. "Tim Skow, president of the GOP club hosting Gingrich, introduced a gang of elected officials," writes Woods, "but pointedly refused to acknowledge Campfield." "Is Campfield now an embarrassment even in this crowd?" he writes.

Why would Campfield be considered an embarrassment? Woods does not explain. I can guess it is because he is the sponsor of the so called "Don't say gay" bill which would prohibit teachers from discussing homosexuality in the classroom in the lower grades. This has sent some liberals off the deep end. I have not really given much thought to the issue but I certainly don't find that the bill makes Senator Campfield one who would be an embarrassment.

Even if one does not agree with some of the legislation that a particular elected official has sponsored, if other dignitaries of equal rank are being introduced, I don't know of any moderator who would purposely single out one person to fail to recognize. That violates protocol. That would simply be poor manners. It just isn't done.

I asked Tim Skow about the failure to recognize Campfield and he explained that it was simply an oversight. "Because you mentioned his comments, I wasted the time to look at what Mr. Woods wrote," said Tim. "Must admit, I roared with laughter at any suggestion of 'snubbing' of Senator Campfield. All I can say is consider the source of the comments.. and that I suspect Mr. Woods has fallen off his prescription medications again". 

Tim is being less outraged than I would be, but just "considering the source" is probably the best response to reporting like this. I know the Scene strives to be youthful and hip and "with it" and this is the kind of reporting you get when that is more important than fairness, truthfulness and objectivity.

I usually read the Scene. I like to keep up with the art and entertainment news, restaurant reviews, movie reviews and music industry news. In fact, I think they do a pretty good job of that coverage. When reading the Scene's coverage of news events however I do not expect facts. Facts might get in the way of attitude. The Nashville Scene is like The Rolling Stone with an underpaid and less talented staff. The Scene is to newspaper journalism what The Colbert Report is to television journalism. Consider the source.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Newt Gingrich needles Obamacare in Nashville

Republican presidential nominee hopeful Newt Gingrich was in town this morning talking health care as part of a panel discussion that took aim at the Affordable Care Act, which has become a key topic this election year. Newt Gingrich needles Obamacare in Nashville - Nashville Business Journal

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Gingrich campaigns in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich was campaigning in Nashville on Monday. Gingrich attended a roundtable discussion about health care reform Monday. He was on a panel with doctors and other health care providers.

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Gingrich: Impossible to 'Fix' Afghanistan

Monday, 27 Feb 2012,

Newt Gingrich said Monday it is impossible to "fix" Afghanistan and suggested the US should tell Afghan citizens to "figure out how to live your own miserable life." Speaking at a business luncheon in Nashville, Gingrich amped up his criticism of US involvement in Afghanistan following a string of attacks by Afghan soldiers on American troops. "We're not going to fix Afghanistan," the former House speaker said. Gingrich: Impossible to 'Fix' Afghanistan

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The Newt Gingrich First Tuesday luncheon experience

Tim Skow introduces Newt Gingrich
Today I had the privilege to attend a luncheon featuring Presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
The event was a special meeting of the First Tuesday Group.

 First Tuesday is a monthly luncheon that normally occurs the first Tuesday of the month and thus the name. It has been going on in Nashville for about 15 or more years but I only learned about it about four years ago. I have been attending faithfully ever since. It takes place downtown on the top floor of an large office building which is occupied by the law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. Each month Republicans gather for lunch and hear an engaging speaker. Tim Skow is the host (Chairman? Organizer? Moderator?) of the events. First Tuesday has become quit influential. No Republican running for County or State office skips making an appearance at a First Tuesday event. In addition to local Republican citizens and activist there are always various State representatives and Metro councilmen in attendance.

At today's event, First Tuesday members were offered tickets before the event was opened to the public. The room can only hold about 80 people and it was packed. I had the good fortune to have a seat at the table immediately in front of the podium and had the opportunity to have my picture taken with the Speaker and shake his hand.

 I personally think Newt Gingrich is one of the smartest political thinkers of our time. When I look back at other people in my lifetime who I think were exceptional and should have been President- people who I felt a passion for, it is a small list: Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Jack Kemp. I feel the same way about Newt Gingrich. He is on that list. I feel we are at a pivotal point in our nation's history when it is not a matter of simply a slight change in direction but one of those occasions when we can continue down the wrong road toward European style socialism and national decline and mediocrity or reclaim our heritage of American exceptionalism and put our country back on the road to greatness, prosperity and liberty. So, for me today was a thrill.

 If you have watched the debates or heard Newt speak then there were no real surprises in today's speech, but it was a thrill to hear his proposals and opinions from his own lips, up close and personal. He said that it is time we had the guts to tell the truth about who it is that is trying to kill us. He said it is time to admit we are in a war with radical Islam. He said when American's are being killed, an American President should not be apologizing to foreign leaders. He said we need a bold energy policy that will bring down the price of gasoline. He said we need a major reform that would allow one to choose the current tax code to file their income taxes or choose a new simplified system. He advocated offering younger tax payers a choice between the current social security regiment or a privatized social security investment plan that they actually own. He said we not only need to repeal Obamacare but need an alternative of market based health care reform. He said now is not the time for tweaking of policy but a time for bold thinking outside the box.

He said that if elected he would ask congress to stay in session and repeal Obamacare so that he could sign the bill within two hours of being inaugurated. He said that two hours after the inauguration he would sign several executive orders. One would be to abolish all of the positions of "Czars" created by President Obama, another would be to prohibit any use of federal funds to implement Agenda 21, and another would be to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Rod Williams, Newt Gingrich, Linda Knight
I am glad I got to be at this event. I still think it is possible for Newt to win the nomination. If Newt is the nominee we will have a clear choice of two dramatically different visions for our country. If Newt is the nominee we will have a candidate who can inspire and motivate and articulate a vision. I don't think any of the other remaining candidates offer that; certainly not Mitt Romney.

Other Newt Gingrich activities in Nashville included a health care panel discussion earlier in the day and a 2PM a receptions for Callista Gingrich, a 3PM Capitol Hill rally, and tonight a fund raising receptions for high rollers.

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Newt Gingrich in Nashville Monday Feb 27

Senator Fred Thompson will be joining Speaker Newt Gingrich on stage at the Tennessee Town Hall on Monday in Nashville.

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