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 [ Text Menu: Today's Stack of Stuff | Audio | About Ralph | Contact Ralph | Ralph Rant! ]October 24, 2014 
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NBC's Chuch Todd embarrassed by role in campaign ad
  NBC’s Chuck Todd is upset with himself because the new host of Meet the Press forgot to transfer his own opinion onto the nameless, faceless voter while making an observation about Democrat Kentucky Senate Candidate Alison Grimes – and he wound up in a Republican campaign commercial. The ad features a montage of newscasters and pundits talking critically about Grimes' evasive answer to the question of whether she voted for President Obama. Twenty seconds in, Todd is seen criticizing Grimes: "And Kentuckians expect her to cast a tough vote on anything? Is she ever going to answer a tough question on anything?" Todd told Media Matters (the liberal barking Chihuahua that lives to harass Fox News), “"You can accuse me of being sloppy, of putting the words in my mouth and I should have put the words in the — in how this will impact, impact voters and impact the race," Todd said. "And, you know, that's where I was sloppy." [You see what he almost said there? That he put words in his own mouth that he should have put in the voters’ mouth.]

politico.com: Grimes won't be 'bullied' by Chuck Todd
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Federal judge rules IRS abuse of Tea Party groups is 'moot'
  The statute of limitations on the abuse of power is pretty short, in the eyes of one federal judge. A federal judge on Thursday threw out two lawsuits brought by more than 40 conservative groups seeking remedies for being singled out in the tea party targeting scandal, a victory for the IRS. Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia dismissed almost all counts brought against the tax-collecting agency in two cases, ruling that both were essentially moot now that the IRS granted the groups their tax-exempt status that had been held up for years. [In short, the Judge, a GW Bush appointee, ruled it doesn’t matter whether the groups were harmed by any alleged abuse of power, since the IRS is not harming them now.] Walton also said individual IRS officials could not be fined in their individual capacity for allowing such treatment because it could hurt future tax enforcement. Republicans said they were outraged at Walton’s decision. “You get targeted and harassed for three years but, oh, because you finally get [tax-exempt status], the three years of harassment doesn’t mean anything?” asked Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who heads a congressional subpanel investigating the controversy. “We are stunned by today’s judgment,” said Catherine Engelbrecht, who heads True the Vote, one of the groups that sued the government. “The Court acknowledges in its opinion that the IRS did in fact target True the Vote for our perceived political beliefs, but then it holds that neither the agency nor the individual IRS agents or officers are responsible for this unconstitutional conduct.”

politico.com: IRS notches legal victory in tea party cases
 
Another U.S. doctor, who treated patients in Africa, catches Ebola
  A doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus in New York City. So far, there’s no reason to be he infected others before being isolated. 33-year-old Dr. Craig Spencer, an emergency room doctor, was working with Doctors Without Borders and returned from Guinea more than a week ago. City officials say Spencer acknowledged riding multiple subway lines and taking a cab to a Brooklyn bowling alley called "The Gutter" in the past week before he started showing symptoms. According to a rough timeline provided by city officials, the doctor's symptoms developed Wednesday, prompting him to isolate himself in his apartment. When he felt worse Thursday, he and his fiancé made a joint call to authorities to detail his symptoms and his travels. EMTs in full Ebola gear arrived and took him to Bellevue Hospital in an ambulance surrounded by police squad cars. His Harlem apartment was cordoned off, and his fiancé , who was not showing symptoms, was being watched in a quarantine ward at Bellevue, one of eight hospitals designated by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to treat Ebola in the state.

Fox News: Patient at New York City hospital tests positive for Ebola
 
Early voting turnout lower than expected in TN
  More than 200,000 Tennesseans have already cast their ballot during early voting, but News Channel 5 reports that is lower than that the state expected. Channel 5 quoted the State Election Coordinator as saying the low turnout could be blamed on confusion over the meaning of some of the four amendments, but more likely it’s because there’s no “marque” election – and not as much interest in the amendments as the sponsors would like to see. Both the governor and U.S. Senator are considered “shoo-ins,” and none of the congressional races are attracting much attention. A low turnout, especially for the gubernatorial race, bodes well for the amendments, which have to not only get a majority “yes” vote, but the “yes” votes also have to represent a majority of those who vote in the race for governor. The lower that number is, the better change the amendments have of passing. Most of the fighting, at least in Middle Tennessee, has been over Amendment Two, which would establish a modified “federal” system of choosing appellate court judges in the state, with the Governor choosing the judges, and the legislature approving them. That would eliminate the current requirement in the constitution that voters elect the judges – a practice that has not been followed for decades, but which opponents of Amendment Two want to reestablish. Amendment One is also generating a fight. It would render the state constitution neutral on Abortion, leaving lawmakers free to reenact some abortion regulations, providing they don’t conflict with the U.S. constitution, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. Amendment three would establish a constitutional prohibition against an income tax on payrolls and other earned income. Amendment four would allow non-for-profit Veterans Organizations hold annual lotteries to raise funds.

Newschannel 5: Early Voters Complain Amendment Wording Is Confusing
 
Narrowing gender gap favors GOP in mid-terms
  Democratic campaign officials dispute the accuracy of recent polls that show Democrat candidates failing to draw enough support from women in three key Senate races—Iowa, Arkansas and Colorado—to offset the strong backing that men are giving to Republicans. Democrats are making a particular effort to mobilize unmarried women—their strongest supporters, but a group that tends to skip midterm elections. Democratic operatives insist the polls underestimate Democratic strength, especially among women because they don’t reflect the potential impact of the party’s unprecedented get-out-the vote effort targeted in particular at single women. In 2012, many polls underestimated the turnout of core Democratic voters. However, the rise of national-security concerns and low approval ratings for President Barack Obama may undercut that effort. This month’s Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, taken Oct. 8-12, found men more enthusiastic about voting than women. Groups such as men age 50 and over were among the most enthusiastic about voting, while core Democratic groups, such as women age 18-49 and college-educated women, were among the least enthusiastic.

Wall Street Journal: GOP Gains in Key Senate Races as Gender Gap Narrows
 
Senate candidates debate sans Lamar
  Six third-party and independent candidates joined the Democrat for a U.S. Senate candidate debate Thursday in a small conference room inside the Sheraton Nashville Downtown. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Republican incumbent whose seat they would like to take, wasn't there. Alexander, a heavy favorite to capture a third term, has declined repeated invitations for debates. The debate, Moderated by retired Knoxville News-Sentinel Nashville bureau chief Tom Humphrey, and sponsored by Libertarian candidate Joshua James — was attended by 30 or so spectators.

The Tennessean: Ball, others debate without Alexander
 
Michelle O flubs candidate info again
  It’s hard to keep things straight about people you don’t know, which is why you probably shouldn’t campaign for them. First Lady Michelle Obama is getting known for saying wrong things about people she’s campaigning for. She repeatedly called Iowa Senate candidate Bruce Braley “Bruce Bailey,” in one speech a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday, she incorrectly boasted that Democratic senator Mark Udall is a "fifth-generation Coloradan.” Udall, who is running for reelection in Colorado, was born in Tucson, Arizona, and is the son of the former Arizona congressman and presidential candidate Morris Udall. It’s Udall’s GOP opponent, Cory Gardner, who is the fifth generation Coloradan. Iowa’s [Braley should be feeling good now. She didn’t get his name right, but at least Mrs. O didn’t call him Joni Ernst – the name of his opponent.]

Weekly Standard: Michelle Obama Flubs Again: Gets Dem Candidate Bio Wrong
 
NBC's Chuch Todd embarrassed by role in campaign ad
  NBC’s Chuck Todd is upset with himself because the new host of Meet the Press forgot to transfer his own opinion onto the nameless, faceless voter while making an observation about Democrat Kentucky Senate Candidate Alison Grimes – and he wound up in a Republican campaign commercial. The ad features a montage of newscasters and pundits talking critically about Grimes' evasive answer to the question of whether she voted for President Obama. Twenty seconds in, Todd is seen criticizing Grimes: "And Kentuckians expect her to cast a tough vote on anything? Is she ever going to answer a tough question on anything?" Todd told Media Matters (the liberal barking Chihuahua that lives to harass Fox News), “"You can accuse me of being sloppy, of putting the words in my mouth and I should have put the words in the — in how this will impact, impact voters and impact the race," Todd said. "And, you know, that's where I was sloppy." [You see what he almost said there? That he put words in his own mouth that he should have put in the voters’ mouth.]

politico.com: Grimes won't be 'bullied' by Chuck Todd
 
Missouri police brace for grand jury decision
  Missouri police have been brushing up on constitutional rights and stocking up on riot gear to prepare for a grand jury's decision about whether to charge a white police officer who fatally shot a black 18-year-old in suburban St. Louis. Many protesters want Darren Wilson indicted for murder. Grand jury proceedings are secret, but legal analysts say recently leaked information about Wilson's testimony to investigators may be an attempt to prepare the public for the possibility that he won’t be charged. Law enforcement officers expect to receive at least a day's notice before a grand jury announcement. They will need that time to prepare for protests, at best, and possible riots. "The moment I learn that there is, in fact, a non-indictment, then there's going to be an organized protest," said Eric Vickers, a black St. Louis attorney and civil rights activist. ---Officer Wilson's description of events was leaked recently, as was an autopsy report that appeared to support Wilson’s report that Brown was trying to grab his gun in the SUV.

myway.com: Missouri police preparing for grand jury decision
 
Anti-bullying group doesn't want Lewinsky help
  A group organized to fight online bullying is upset that Monica Lewinski is trying to horn in on its business. After Lewinski gave a speech on the subject in Philadelphia this week, StopCyberbullying founder Parry Aftab said Lewinsky's involvement would "set back" their efforts. "I find it a bit insulting to the people who have been cyber bullied to have Monica Lewinsky step out and say she's the poster-child for cyber bullying," said Aftab, whose nonprofit is organized in 76 countries and began in 1995. Aftab said that Lewinsky's baggage would take attention away from the main issue. "Look at her interviews — it's all about Monica," Aftab said. "She's setting us back years. She doesn't know what she's talking about." Lewinsky drew a standing ovation for the speech, and said one of the “principal reasons” she decided to break her public silence was the 2010 death of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University student who committed suicide after intimate pictures of him were posted online to humiliate him and "expose" him as being gay.

The Hill: Questions surround Lewinsky's return
 
Amazon gives disappointing holiday forecast
  Does Amazon know something about the upcoming holiday season that other retails don’t. The world's largest online retailer disappointed investors by reporting a wider than expected third-quarter loss Thursday - and then gave a disappointing holiday forecast. Amazon said it expects holiday quarter revenue of $27.3 billion to $30.3 billion, below analyst expectations of $30.9 billion. That's an increase of 7 percent to 18 percent — slower growth than the prior-year holiday quarter when sales rose 20 percent. Amazon stock price tumbled 11 percent after earnings results came out Thursday. That's on top of the 22 percent decline the stock has already suffered this year.

myway.com: Amazon's loss makes holidays a question mark
 
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 TNResponsibleTransit@gmail.com. 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.