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 [ Text Menu: Today's Stack of Stuff | Audio | About Ralph | Contact Ralph | Ralph Rant! ]July 24, 2014 

Stay tuned! Ralph will soon be adding the topics for today.

Check out the top 10 topics from last week.
 Perry announces plans to deploy 1,000 guardsmen to border
  Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops over the next month to the Texas-Mexico border to combat criminals that Republican state leaders say are exploiting a surge of children and families entering the U.S. illegally. Perry said in his announcement Monday that the state has a responsibility to act after "lip service" from the federal government. Texas Adjutant General John Nichols said his troops would simply be "referring and deterring" immigrants and not detaining people -- though Nichols said the National Guard could if asked. As governor, Perry is commander in chief of Texas military forces unless those forces have already been mobilized by the White House. But if Perry deploys National Guard troops it is up to Texas to pay for them, while an order from Obama would mean Washington picks up the tab. The deployment will cost Texas an estimated $12 million a month. White House spokesman Josh Ernest called the move a "symbolic gesture" and said if Perry things 1,000 troops will help, he should help Obama pass the Senate immigration bill, which included hiring 20,000 more border patrol agents, but creating an amnesty program for the 11 million illegal aliens already in the U.S.
  Fox News: Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to deploy up to 1,000 guardsmen to border    

 Obama implores Putin to assist with crash site investigation
  President Barack Obama implored Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday to use his influence over pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine to clear the way for investigators to access the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but did not suggest any actions by the U.S. to hold Russia accountable for the deaths of the 298 passengers. Obama called for "immediate and full access to the crash site" and warned Russia that it would face additional sanctions if Putin doesn't act. He also said the blocking of access to the crash site by pro-Russian separatists "begs the question: What exactly are they trying to hide?" Some analysts suggested Obama was trying to avoid taking a more aggressive stand against Russia for its responsibility until all of the bodies and evidence are secure. Others say Obama is avoiding declaring Russia responsible for the deaths because he lacks the ability to take any meaningful action. Officials in the administration say they expect anti-Putin sentiment generated by the incident to push reluctant EU countries to catch up to the more stringent sanctions the U.S. had imposed last week.
  Wall Street Journal: Obama Demands Putin Clear Way for MH17 Crash Site Probe    

 IRS says Lerner email backup may exist after all
  The IRS might not have lost the backups of Lois Lerner’s emails after all, according to a top IRS official. In testimony released Monday, Thomas Kane, the IRS’s deputy associate chief counsel, told House Oversight investigators last week that the agency was examining whether all the back-up tapes which held the emails have been recycled. A partial transcript of Kane’s interview was released Monday by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). In the transcript, Kane also insists that the IRS believed that the tapes had been recycled when it told Congress more than a month ago that it couldn’t recover all of Lerner’s emails. He doesn’t say why that might not be the case anymore. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is scheduled to appear before the Oversight panel to discuss the investigation on Wednesday, marking his third appearance before the committee in a month.
  The Hill: IRS: Lerner emails may exist after all    

 Carr to campaign with Laura Ingraham in Nashville tonight
  The Tennessean demonstrates a flair for hyperbole this morning with this “State Rep. Joe Carr’s dreams of scoring an historic upset over U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander may turn on a single night.” The newspaper reports, “After nearly a year of campaigning, the Lascassas Republican is banking that he can get a major boost Tuesday, when conservative radio host Laura Ingraham is due to appear in Nashville at a campaign rally on his behalf.” The newspaper article quotes Kent Syler, a veteran campaign manager and professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University. Syler told the newspaper that Ingraham’s appearance demonstrates that national commentators and organizations have taken an interest in Carr’s campaign as the race enters its final phase. “I think Rep. Carr has made some progress in the last couple of weeks,” Syler said, “but there’s still a long way to go.” [Ingraham’s appearance is expected to make tonight the most widely covered campaign event of the Carr campaign to date. Both Ingrham and Carr are scheduled to give TV interviews and hold a private reception before the 7 p.m. rally, sponsored by BeatLamar.com. and scheduled to run just over an hour.] The rally is open to the public, which is being asked to reserve seating at BeatLamar.com
  The Tennessean: Carr looks for a boost from Ingraham    

 Russian missile brings down Malaysian passenger jet
  As pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian government traded charges about who was behind the surface-to-air missile that downed a Malaysia Airlines jet with 298 aboard Thursday, a U.S. intelligence official told Fox News the possibility it was fired from Russian territory could not be ruled out. A U.S. intelligence source told Fox News that the intelligence community was ruling out the possibility the missile was fired by the Ukraine military but could not rule out that it was fired from Russian territory. The missile was believed to have been fired from a Russian Buk launcher, and the Malaysia Airlines plane appeared to be at least the third aircraft downed in the area since Monday, when a Ukrainian An-26 cargo plane was shot down. Late Wednesday, a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet crashed, though it could not be confirmed if it was shot down. Separatist leader Igor Girkin boasted on Facebook at about the same time the plane went down claiming to have downed a transport plane, but the post was quickly deleted after it became clear the plane was a passenger aircraft. The self-titled "Self-defence forces of the Donetsk People's Republic" boasted in a June 29 press release of having taken control of Buk missile defense systems. The Buk, or SA-11 missile launchers, have a range of up to 72,000 feet. The flight manifest reportedly included the names of 23 Americans, though State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a briefing Thursday afternoon, "we don't have any additional details at this point on American citizens" aboard the plane. Other passengers reportedly were from the Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines and Canada.
  Fox News: Authorities scramble to determine who launched missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines jet with 298 aboard    

 Feds struggle with 'medical breakdown' at border
  The federal government is so overwhelmed by the current tide of illegal migrants crossing the border it can’t provide basic medical screening to all of the children before transporting them – often by air –across the country, ABC News is reporting. Inside the government, officials are sounding alarms, fearing that they and their teams who come in contact with the sick children face potential exposure to infectious diseases from chicken pox to influenza, including rare cases of H1N1, more commonly called swine flu. According to Department of Defense memo, officials in charge of moving the immigrants from Border Patrol processing centers to Health and Human Services facilities are “putting sick [fevers and coughing] unaccompanied children on airplanes inbound for [Naval Base Ventura County] in addition to the chicken pox and coxsackie virus cases.” Once kids are in HHS custody they receive exams and vaccinations, and are screened for tuberculosis, according to the Administration for Children and Families at Health and Human Services. But, they say, more serious illnesses such as meningitis and polio are of little concern for causing an outbreak. “Children from this region of the world participate in comprehensive childhood vaccination programs, similar to the United States, and are generally well protected from most vaccine-preventable diseases,” ACF said in a statement. Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras each have rates of vaccination against preventable illnesses such as polio, tuberculosis, measles and pertussis consistent with the United States, according to the World Health Organization.
  abcnews.go.com: Exclusive: Feds Struggling to Cope With Medical ‘Breakdown’ at the Border    

 U.S. says Russia gave separatists missiles that shot down passenger jet
  Secretary of State John Kerry made the rounds on TV Sunday to lay out the case that Russia provided the pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine the missiles, the training, and likely the manpower to shoot down that passenger jet last week, killing the 298 people on board, and then whisked the missile launchers back to Russia in the middle of the night. Now, Kerry says, drunken soldier are rummaging through the wreckage, removing evidence that would help the investigation. U.S. officials say they now suspect that Russia supplied the rebels with multiple SA-11 antiaircraft systems by smuggling them into eastern Ukraine with other military equipment, including tanks. Kerry was vague about what if anything the U.S. intends to do about it. Kerry said Sunday that the U.S. had just imposed more, tougher, sanctions against Russia, one day before the plane was shot down, and that the U.S. was discussing with its European partners how to respond.
  Wall Street Journal: U.S. Points to Russian Missile Connection in Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Crash    

 Illinois makes it illegal for employers to ask applicants about criminal history
  Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) says he will sign legislation prohibiting all private employers from asking prospective employees about their criminal history before they've determined the individual is qualified for the job. The legislation will make Illinois the fifth state to ban employers from requiring disclosure of a criminal history until an applicant is determined qualified for the position. One of the sponsors, Democratic Sen. Antonio Muno says everyone should have the opportunity to be considered for employment regardless of previous actions, including rape, murder, or armed robbery. The government has allowed some construction jobs, emergency medical jobs and security jobs to be exempt from the legislation.
  Illinois Review: Illinois makes it illegal for employers to ask about applicants criminal background    

 Obama's Russia strategy - hope for change
  President Obama’s official response to the downing of a passenger jet and the killing of 298 civilians (including at least one American) is to hope for a change – in the short and long run – with little or no further action by the U.S. Regarding the short run, Obama administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity – told Bloomberg News that Obama expects “anti-Putin sentiment to push reluctant EU countries to catch up to the more stringent sanctions the U.S. had imposed last week.” The Obama administration also believes “it will prevail in the long-run over a Russia that has a battered economy and a leader who is overplaying a weak hand,” the officials said. EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet tomorrow, and top leaders also may meet as early as this week, according to diplomats who asked that they not be identified because the plans haven’t been announced.
  Bloomberg: Obama Seen Gaining on Putin as U.S. Prods EU on Sanctions    

 House expands tax breaks for charitable giving
  The economically schizophrenic U.S. House passed a package of tax break Thursday designed to boost charitable donations by seniors, private foundations and procrastinators. By doing so, the House, led by the chairman of the Ways and Means committee, who insists he wants tax reform that lowers rates by limiting deductions, proved it doesn’t really want tax reform. One provision provides tax breaks to people over 70 who make donations from their individual retirement accounts. Another reduces excise taxes on private charitable foundations. Procrastinators would be able to claim tax deductions for donations made after the end of the year, as long as they were made by April 15. Other provisions provide tax breaks for landowners who donate land for conservation purposes, and businesses that donate food to food banks. The vote was 277-130 to pass the bill. The bill now goes to the Senate, which is debating how to deal with a package of temporary tax breaks that expired at the beginning of the year. More than 50 temporary tax breaks expired in January, including several provisions in the bill passed Thursday. The Republican-led House has voted to make a handful of them permanent (another sign they don’t care about tax reform), and leaving the fate of others uncertain.
  Fox News: House passes tax breaks to boost charitable giving    

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.