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 [ Text Menu: Today's Stack of Stuff | Audio | About Ralph | Contact Ralph | Ralph Rant! ]September 1, 2014 

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 Obama delays immigration action, preps legal case
  President Obama will delay any further action on immigration, because “a host of national security crises (not golf and fundraising) have pushed the announcement back,” the AP reports. As the self-imposed, end-of-summer deadline to act gets pushed back, Obama's lawyers are busy crafting a legal rationale they believe will survive any court challenges. The argument goes something like this: Beyond failing to fix broken immigration laws (what law is broken?), Congress hasn't even provided the government with enough resources to fully enforce the laws already on the books. With roughly 11.5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally — (which they say is) far more than the government could reasonably deport — the White House believes it has wide latitude to prioritize which of those individuals should be sent home. --- But Republicans, too, are exploring their legal options for stopping Obama from what they've deemed egregious presidential overreaching. -- Obama's goal had been to announce his decision around Labor Day, before leaving on a trip next week to Estonia and Wales. But a host of national security crises have pushed the announcement back, likely until after Obama returns, said the officials, who weren't authorized to comment by name. White House preps legal case for immigration shift    

 Lerner's Blackberry destroyed after IRS probe began
  Lois Lerner’s Blackberry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun its probe into IRS targeting of conservative groups, according to Fox News and Judicial Watch. Thomas Kane, Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel for the IRS, wrote in a sworn declaration, part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the IRS, that the Blackberry was "removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012." By that time, ex-IRS official Lerner had already been summoned before congressional staffers who interviewed her about reports of the IRS' targeting of conservative groups. News of the Blackberry's destruction followed Monday’s statement by Judicial Watch that Justice Department attorneys said in a Friday phone call the federal government backs up all computer records to ensure continuity of government in event of a catastrophe, but retrieving the Lerner emails would simply be "too onerous." An administration official told Fox News Monday night that Judicial Watch misinterpreted the Friday phone call. "There was no new back-up system described last week to Judicial Watch," he said. "Government lawyers who spoke to Judicial Watch simply referred to the same email retention policy that Commissioner (John) Koskinen had described in his Congressional testimony." The dueling interpretations will be judged by District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is presiding over Judicial Watch’s lawsuit against the IRS.
  Fox News: IRS lawyer: Lois Lerner's Blackberry deliberately destroyed after start of congressional probe    

 Obama pursues climate 'agreement in lieu of treaty'
  The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to “compel” nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress. In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world.[It all hinges on a fuzzy meaning of “compel.” If the silly agreement doesn’t have the force of law, which it won’t – it doesn’t actually "compel" in the sense of forcing any country to act. It tries to "shame" them into acting. Big deal?]
  New York Times: Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty    

 Dog attacked by hawk in Old Hickory
  Old Hickory, Tennessee – small dog – wooded back yard – anyone sensing danger? Veterinarians say they believe a dog was attacked by a hawk in Old Hickory last Wednesday. The owner took 2-year-old Hershey to the vet with wounds the vet says are consistent with a hawk attack. The vet explained there is no way to prevent an attack like this other than to keep small dogs in an enclosed area with a roof in the backyard. But, if you don’t mind some risk, the odds against such an attack are in your favor. A spokesman with the TWRA said this is not a common problem. He said he has had calls about this in the past but never took a report of a hawk killing a dog. Dog likely attacked by hawk in Old Hickory    

 Obama suggests limited plans for ISIS
  In his first statement about his strategy to deal with the burgeoning terror group ISIS, President Barack Obama cautioned Tuesday that the U.S. must use its power carefully and avoid sending Americans into harm's way unless absolutely necessary. "History teaches us of…rushing into military adventures without thinking through the consequences," Mr. Obama said during a speech at the national convention of the American Legion in Charlotte, N.C. Calling the U.S. the "one indispensable nation in the world," Mr. Obama said the U.S. …wouldn't be dragged back into a ground war in Iraq. The president's speech tamped down implications he may be preparing to launch military operations beyond the airstrikes the U.S. has carried out in Iraq. Obama has authorized surveillance flights in Syria to collect intelligence on Islamic targets. But White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday the president hasn't made a decision about potential military operations in Syria. Obama made no mention Tuesday of the prospect of a broader air campaign or the options his administration is considering. But he said the answer to the crisis in Iraq wasn't to send in large-scale military deployments or occupy other countries for long periods—moves that he said ultimately feed extremism. [And he did take a walk around the White House lawn Tuesday with the same advisor who helped him decide not to bomb Syria after he said he was going to do so.] But, in one contradictory sign of the administration's thinking, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki indicated Tuesday that the threat from the terror organization has increased. "ISIS has threatened the homeland, and we take those threats seriously," she said.
  Wall Street Journal: Obama: U.S. Must Use Power Carefully in Responding to Militants    

 IG: Delays did not cause deaths at Phoenix VA
  The Inspector General for the Department of Veterans said Tuesday that no patient deaths at the Phoenix VA Health Care System were directly caused by long wait times, in a final report that nevertheless detailed widespread scheduling problems at the center. The IG released the report Tuesday, following months of turmoil at the agency, multiple investigations and a number of resignations, including Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki . Much of the attention on the agency was first triggered by claims that patients died because of long wait times that department employees didn't properly track. "While the case reviews in this report document poor quality of care, we are unable to conclusively assert that the absence of timely quality care caused the death of these veterans," the new report said. The VA began facing intense criticism in April, when whistleblowers, including Sam Foote, a former doctor at the VA's Phoenix facility, alleged employees were improperly tampering with patient appointment records and making wait times seem far shorter for record-keeping purposes. He said such delays were a factor in the death of many as 40 patients. Subsequent investigations by the inspector general, the VA itself and a representative from the White House found such tampering was widespread in the VA system. However, they didn't link the delays directly to patient deaths.
  Wall Street Journal: No Deaths Caused by Delays at Phoenix VA Hospital, Watchdog Finds    

 Metro asks parents to fill out income survey
  Nashville Metro School parents are being asked to complete a survey disclosing their income and how many people live in their household. Metro officials say it will determine how much state money the district will receive. Joe Bass, spokesperson for Nashville Metro Schools, said about 73 percent of students are "economically disadvantaged" under Tennessee state standards. Bass said if the district doesn't know how much parents make, state money for students could disappear. Why are they doing the income survey this year, and not before? Previously schools got income information based on how many kids were receiving free or reduced lunch. Now that all students at Metro Nashville schools are getting free lunch, all parents are being asked to fill out the paperwork.
  Fox 17: Metro Asks Parents to Fill Out Income Survey for State Money     

 State Senators challenge AP U.S. history changes
  A pair of Tennessee lawmakers are leveling claims of "revisionist history" against the testing company behind the Advanced Placement system. Republican Sens. Dolores Gresham and Mike Bell want the Tennessee State Board of Education to review the new framework and materials for the AP U.S. history course. Gresham and Bell said the new framework pushes a revisionist view of American history, with a negative interpretation of early American settlers and American involvement in World War II and the Cold War. The college board, which administers AP tests and the SAT, has reviewed and revised what is covered in the course. On their website, they say they've "given teachers greater flexibility to focus on specific historical topics, events and issues in depth." The College Board cites peer review of the new framework by college professors and current AP U.S. history teachers. State senators question AP U.S. history changes    

 Lawmakers demand debate over action against ISIS
  Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are urging President to seek an up-or-down vote on military action in Iraq and Syria. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., issued a statement late Monday saying that while the Islamic State poses a “significant terrorist threat” to U.S. interests, “I do not believe that our expanded military operations against ISIL are covered under existing authorizations from Congress.” Kaine called for a full-blown debate in Congress next month, saying “I urge the administration to use the next two weeks to clearly define the strategy and objectives of its mission against ISIL, then bring it to Congress for a debate and authorization vote.” The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker, R-Tenn., also said (in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday) that Congress should be asked to authorize airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria. Corker noted the War Powers Act allows the Obama administration 60 days for military activity without coming back to Congress. He agreed with Kaine in arguing against relying on the 2001 authorization for continued, or expanded, bombing or other military operations.
  Fox News: Lawmakers demand vote on US military action against ISIS    

 ISIS demands $6.6 million, and prisoner swap, to release American woman
  Islamic State militants are reportedly demanding $6.6 million and the release of a U.S. prisoner before they will free a third American hostage held by the group, described as an unidentified aid worker. The terror organization also has demanded that U.S. authorities release Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted in 2010 of trying to kill U.S. officials two years earlier. The 42-year-olld Siddiqui, who reportedly married a nephew of Al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2003, was later sentenced to 86 years in prison. The Karachi native, who was educated in the United States and earned degrees from M.I.T. and Brandeis University, remains in federal custody in Texas. Siddiqui’s relatives, meanwhile, sought to distance themselves from the militants, saying they were “very distraught” to be linked in any way with Islamic State, ABC News reports.
  Fox News: ISIS reportedly demands $6.6M for release of 26-year-old American woman    

Lamar dodges amnesty question
  July 28, 2014 - The audio version of a Ralph Rant by the same name.
Rafael Cruz to rally Nashville Tea party crows
  July 16, 2014 - Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz, prepares for his starring role in the Nashville Tea Party "We the people" rally.
Laura Ingraham to stump for Carr in Nashville
  July 16, 2014 - National talk show host Laura Ingraham discusses why she's coming to Nashville next week to stump for Joe Carr in his race against Lamar Alexander.
Carr defends Haslam against 'lying' charge
  April 4, 2014 - Rep. Joe Carr to VW. If you have proof Haslam has gone "all Sopranos' on you, have the courage to come forth yourself.
'Minimum'is not 'living'
  March 27, 2014 - This is for those who believe they are "stuck" in a minimum wage job, and think a higher minimum wage is the solution.
What is a free market?
  March 17, 2014 - Everyone talks about the free market, but exactly what is it?
Organized business v. Common Core Opponents
  March 17, 2014 - Here's my analysis of the campaign by organized business to protect Common Core.
Rep. Mathew Hill updates fight to repeal Common Core
  March 14, 2014 - Rep. Mathew Hill (R-Jonesborough)discusses the floor fight in the Tennessee House over Common Core, and where the fight goes next.
Looney defends Common Core
  March 14, 2014 - Williamson County School Supt. Dr. Mike Looney defends Common Core, even as he professes ambivalence about the program. He begins by answering that some central planning of the economy, and education, is beneficial.
Womick leads 'war on core'
  Mar. 11, 2014 - Rep. Rick Womick (R-Rutherford Co.) takes questions about his effort to repeal the Common Core education standards - with Common Core supporter Mark Hill, chief policy officer with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, joining the discussion about half-way through the program.
Mr. Obama, tear down these walls
  Jan. 31, 2014 - Here's a "reenactment" of my rally rant on the occasion of President Obama's visit to Nashville.
Carr accuses Lamar of protecting Obamacare
  Jan. 24, 2014 - State Rep. Joe Carr, running for U.S. Senate against Lamar Alexander, accuses the senior senator from Tennessee of siding with the defenders of Obamacare.
Sen. Stacy Campfield - Is Lamar in trouble
  Dec. 4, 2013 - State Sen. Stacy Campfield of Knoxville discusses why he thinks Sen. Lamar Alexander is running scared.
Matheny seeks 'vertical' ammunition industry in Tennessee
  Nov. 26, 2013 - Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) discusses the heightened Congressional interest in the problem of terrorists coming to the U.S. through our refugee program. He also introduces the prospect of recruiting a "vertical" ammunition industry in the state, to "guarantee ammunition to Tennesseans for generations to come."
RNC plots to squeeze out South
  Nov. 5, 2013 - A Daily Beast report makes it sound like the RNC is trying to squeeze Southern voters out of the presidential selection process. Listen and see if this makes sense to you.
Lamar ad - what he should have said
  Nov. 15, 2013 - A few people wanted to hear this again.
Matheny leads refugee cost investigation
  Oct. 2, 2013 - Rep. Judd Matheny of Tullahoma, chairman of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee, discusses the fiscal, security and federalism issues surrounding a large population of refugees from war-torn Muslim countries.
Black, Blackburn balk at Obamacare defunding plan
  Sept. 13, 2013 - Middle Tennessee Rep. Diane Black and Marsha Blackburn are not on board with a "shutdown showdown" with President Obama over funding for Obamacare.
Taxation Townhall highlight
  April 12, 2010 - Author, historian William Federer was a big hit at our Taxation Townhall Meeting on April 9th, 2010 . Here's his 3-minute lesson on the history of concentrated power. [I'm re-posting by popular demand.]
Obama v. Obama - on red lines
  Sept. 4, 2013 - No need to elaborate.
Gowdy says public, media needed for scandal justice
  Sept. 3, 2013 - South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor, discusses the Obama administration scandals and Obama's plan to bomb Syria. He strongly suggests Congress needs more compelling witnesses and media interest for justice to be served in the scandals - and he's very skeptical of a national interest in Syria sufficient to put American lives at risk.
DeMint argues for Obamacare defunding plan
  Aug. 9, 2013 - Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation, in the first of two live interviews, argues the plan to defund Obamacare is the last, best chance and only workable plan to stop or repeal the President's signature healthcare law, which DeMint believes is uniquely destructive to America.
Heritage Action locks horns with Corker
  Aug. 7, 2013 - Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler rebuts Sen. Bob Corker's position that efforts to defund Obamacare are "silly" and "political."
Corker dismisses Obamacare defunding effor as political
  Aug. 7. 2013 - Sen. Bob Corker called into the program Weds. morning and continued the running debate over efforts to defund Obamacare.
The AMP - an experiment in public transporation
  Aug 3, 2013 - A Nashville's Morning News report and analysis on the issues involving a proposed Bus rapid transit system, The AMP, which would dramatically effect traffic and business on one of Nashville's busiest city streets. And that's just the beginning. [long download][runs 23 minutes]
Ralph Rant: Get to the 'top' of this
  May 22, 2013 - To preserve the Republic, Republicans in Congress cannot stop until they get, not "to the bottom of this," but "to the top of this."
ABC Analyst: IRS decision goes close to Obama
  May 21, 2013 - ABC political analyst Trey Hardin talks about his blunt assestment of the origin of the IRS scandal. “I can say with a very strong degree of certainty that people very close to the president not only knew but authorized that,” said Hardin, and much more.
Opponents rise against BRT
  May 15, 2013 - In this premeditated Ralph Rant, I break the news of a new group that has formed to oppose Nashvill'e planned Bus Rapid Transit on West End Ave.
Rick Williams, BRT opponent, speaks out
  May 15, 2013 - Rick Williams is a member of the steering committee for TNResponsibleTransit, the group opposing the planned Nashville Bus Rapid Transit on West End Avenue. You can reach him at This is the group's debut media interview - in its new campaign to stop BRT.
Tennessee Tea Party leaders respond to IRS scandal
  May 13, 2013 - Ben Cunningham, founder of the Nashville Tea Party and Mark West, President of the Chattanooga Tea Party, respond to the IG report that busts the IRS for targeting Tea Party Groups for harassment in 2011, prior to the 2012 election.
Sen. Rand Paul on guns, immigration, taxes
  April 18, 2013 - U.S. Sen. Rand Paul discusses the failed gun bill, the immigration reform bill ahead, and the right strategy on taxes.
Leahy launches 'The Real Conservative National Committee'
  April 4, 2014 - Author, Breitbart correspondent and tea party activist Michal Patrick Leahy discusses a new organization formed to improve the ground game needed to help elect more conserative candidates to Congress, starting in 2014 with the GOP primary for U.S. Senate
Alexander on coal regs - Round 2
  June 14, 2012 - Sen. Alexander returns to respond to some of the reaction to his stand on new coal plant regulations.
Alexander defends coal regulations, says he will run again
  June 13, 2012 - Sen. Lamar Alexander defends his stand in favor of new coal plant regulations - explains why he belives Medicaid is to blame for higher college tuition - and says he intends to run for reelection in 2014.
Exclusive: The first hand account of "The Last Man to Die"
  May 11, 2012 - A 92-year-old Cookeville, TN WWII veteran solves a 67-year secret behind one of the most famous WWII photographs.

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Ralph Bristol is a 30-year veteran of radio and TV broadcasting. He is a US Air Force veteran and holds a BS degree from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Ralph was a radio and TV reporter, anchor and news director in Missouri and Illinois before joining WORD Radio in Greenville/Spartanburg, SC in 1995.

In the spring of 2007, Supertalk 99.7 WWTN beckoned Ralph to Nashville. Ralph defies political labels, and has no partisan loyalties, but can best be described as a libertarian/conservative. Ralph writes and speaks extensively on education, tax and economic issues. In his spare time, Ralph terrorizes golf courses, invents useful things with sharp tools and dead wood, and entertains audiences with irreverent humor and contrarian insight. Invite him to speak to your group at your own risk.