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

It's the weekend! No topics for today.

Check out the top 10 topics from last week.
 Will: Milwaukee D.A. harasses conservative groups to defeat Walker
  The District Attorney of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin stands accused by columnist George Will and others of harassing conservative groups with what Will describes as “early- morning paramilitary-style raids by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats.” Will writes in his latest column, “Spouses were separated as the police seized computers, including those of children still in pajamas. Clothes drawers, including the children’s, were ransacked, cellphones were confiscated and the citizens were told that it would be a crime to tell anyone of the raids.” Will writes that, according to published reports, District Attorney John Chisholm “has told subordinates that his wife, a teachers union shop steward at her school, is anguished by her detestation of Walker’s restrictions on government employee unions, so Chisholm considers it his duty to help defeat Walker. According to Will, “Instead of raising money to disseminate their political speech, conservative individuals and groups, harassed and intimidated, have gone into a defensive crouch, raising little money and spending much money on defensive litigation. Liberal groups have not been targeted for their activities that are indistinguishable from those of their conservative counterparts.”
  Washington Post: George F. Will: The nastiest political tactic this year    

 Italy's obituary
  Here’s another peek into our future if you dare. It’s an op-ed piece from the UK that delivers a bleak prognosis of Italy. Italy is quite a ways ahead of the U.S. in doing the wrong things, including a much higher tax burden on businesses, laws that make it nearly impossible for businesses to fire people, too many government jobs that also pay too much and expect too little, and a political system unable to fix the mess because of the universal dependence on government – all leading to the prognosis of what the author calls a “terminally-ill society.”
  spectator.co.uk: Italy’s in terminal decline, and no one has the guts to stop it    

 Quarantined nurse lashes out
  A Doctors Without Borders nurse who tested negative for Ebola after being put under mandatory quarantine in New Jersey lashed out Saturday at the move to force her detainment. Kaci Hickox, a 33-year-old nurse from Maine who had been working with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, was detained Friday at Newark Liberty International Airport under stepped-up protocols ordered by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. At the hospital, her temperature was recorded at 98.6 degrees on an oral thermometer, and she said a doctor told her, “There’s no way you have a fever. Your face is just flushed.” After that, she said, her blood was taken and came back negative for Ebola after a test. “I am scared about how health-care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa,” Ms. Hickox wrote. “I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine.” In response to Hickox’s criticisms, a New Jersey Department of Health spokeswoman referred back to comments made by Messrs. Cuomo and Christie Friday about the new quarantine regulations, particularly a section that outlined why they decided to take the measures. Hickox was scheduled to remain under 21-day quarantine and may undergo further testing, officials said. [Although that’s likely to change now that both governors said they would allow at-home quarantines.]
  Wall Street Journal: Quarantined Nurse Lashes Out After She Tests Negative for Ebola    

 WSJ: Top 10 liberal superstitions
  I’m not a huge fan of lists, but this one is not bad. It’ a Wall Street Journal Top 10 list of liberal superstitions. 10. Women are paid 77 cents on the dollar compared with men. 9. The Keystone XL pipeline would increase oil spills. 8. ObamaCare is gaining popularity. 7. Voter ID laws suppress minority turnout. 6. Genetically modified food is dangerous. 5. Global warming is causing increasingly violent weather. 4. Raising the minimum wage helps the poor. 3. Republican candidates always have a big spending advantage over Democrats. 2. Government spending stimulates the economy. 1. Spending more money improves education.
  Wall Street Journal: The Top 10 Liberal Superstitions    

 Cuomo, Christie modify mandatory quarantine
  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last night tried to soften the mandatory 21-day quarantine that he and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enacted Friday afternoon for workers flying in to their states from Ebola-stricken countries. Cuomo promised New Yorkers they could quarantine at home, would be given food and compensated for lost wages and could see friends and family. Within hours, Christie’s office released a statement saying New Jersey residents could quarantine at home if they weren’t showing symptoms and that efforts would be made to help nonresidents get home to quarantine, saying that was the intention all along. After announcing the ban Friday, Cuomo and Christie juggled challenges from the region’s first Ebola case. It involved White House officials saying they urged both governors to reverse the quarantines and lingering questions about how such quarantines would be enforced. Christie, in particular, faced sharp criticism regarding the treatment of a nurse returning from Sierra Leone at a Newark hospital. The nurse wrote an essay describing her isolation, and has threatened to file a lawsuit. The quarantine troubled public-health officials—who are concerned that it would discourage workers from traveling abroad to help those affected countries—as well as civil-liberties advocates. Christie said he had no second thoughts about the policy, and expected the federal government to “come around to his way of thinking.” Cuomo appeared to moderate his position.
  Wall Street Journal: Cuomo, Christie Split on Ebola    

 Study: non-citizens could decide close elections
  Enough non-citizens vote (illegally) in the U.S. that they can, and probably do, change the outcome of some close elections – in favor of Democrats -- according to two professors of political science at Old Dominion University, who researched the question and will publish their study in the journal Election Studies. Professors Jesse Richman and David Earnest studied data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) and found more than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 survey samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Richman and Earnest wrote, in the Washington Post, “Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.” Furthermore, “we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections.” The pair singled out the Al Franken victory (by 312 votes) in 2008, and Obama’s victory in North Carolina in the same year as likely and possible results changed by non-citizen voters. The pair conclude: “Our research cannot answer whether the United States should move to legalize some electoral participation by non-citizens as many other countries do, and as some U.S. states did for more than 100 years, or find policies that more effectively restrict it. But this research should move that debate a step closer to a common set of facts.” The researchers also found photo I.D.s and other means tried so far to be ineffective in preventing illegal votes by non-citizens. “Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted.”
  Washington Post: Could non-citizens decide the November election?    

 GOP expands advantage as election nears
  The latest WSJ/NBC/Annenberg poll shows Republicans have expanded their advantage in the final days of the midterm campaign and now hold an 11-point lead among likely voters on the question of which party should control Congress. Some 52% of likely voters in the survey said they wanted the election to produce a Republican-led Congress, while 41% favored Democratic control. A week earlier, Republicans had held a narrower, 5-point lead on the question in the survey. In the new survey, Republicans also led on the “congressional control” question among registered voters, a broader group than likely voters, with 46% favoring GOP leadership and 42% favoring Democratic control. The GOP lead had been two percentage points a week earlier. --- Asked whether the events of the past few weeks made them feel more or less favorably toward the parties, 53% said it made them less favorable toward Democrats; 40% said they were less favorable toward Republicans. ---The poll underscored that anti-Obama sentiment remains strong, but also that President Barack Obama isn’t central to the election for a plurality of likely voters. ---Asked whether their votes for Congress would be a signal of support or opposition to Mr. Obama, 13% said it signaled support, while 22% said it signaled opposition. Some 34% said it was not a signal either way.
  Wall Street Journal: Poll: GOP Expands Advantage Days Before Midterm Election    

 Parties launch new, big push for early voters
  The two major parties are deploying new voter-identification tools and large corps of volunteers this year to persuade people to vote early in states that will decide control of the Senate next year. The Wall Street Journal reports: “The results so far suggest these efforts are working.” In Georgia and North Carolina, two of more than 30 states that allow early voting, roughly 21% of those who already have voted show no record of participating in the 2010 midterms, according to data compiled by Michael McDonald, an associate professor at the University of Florida. In Iowa, Republican ballot requests are up 41% from 2010, while Democratic requests are up 30%. Votes cast so far in Colorado equal nearly 30% of all the ballots counted in 2010, but comparisons are complicated by the fact that the voting is entirely by mail for the first time. Of the 518,610 ballots cast in Colorado, far more come from registered Republicans—44% of the total—than from Democrats, who have cast 32%.
  Wall Street Journal: Republicans, Democrats Launch Broad Push for Early Voting    

 Hillary tries to take back jobs comment
  Hillary Clinton on Monday tried to mop up her economically illiterate statement from a rally in Massachusetts last week, when she said “don’t let anybody tell you, that, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” After realizing too late that the 8 second sound-bite will be featured prominently in future GOP commercials, videos, and any other venue that publishes political video or audio, she yesterday tried to revise and extend her remarks. Her Monday statement: “I shorthanded this point the other day, so let me be absolutely clear on what I’ve been saying for decades. Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in America and workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up. … Not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas.” [Sorry Hillary, you can insist you didn’t mean to say it all you want, but you can’t erase the tape.]
  politico.com: Hillary Clinton tries to clarify jobs comment    

 Study: higher cigarette taxes make people drink less
  Watch for this new data to come up in the next round of cigarette tax increases. A new Washington University School of Medicine study finds that a 10 percent cigarette price increase leads to a 1 percent decrease in alcohol consumption. But the researchers found that when it comes to tax policy, all drinks aren't created equal: "Strengthening of tobacco policies was associated with reductions in beer and spirits consumption, but not wine. This suggests that smoking and drinking beer are more strongly related than smoking and drinking wine." The authors note that "people who prefer wine are less likely to smoke, more educated, and more likely to have healthier lifestyle habits than those who prefer other types of alcohol." [Of course, now the taxers will have to take on the alcohol industry and not just the cigarette industry when they go after more cigarette taxes, and the alcohol industry seems to have disproportionate influence with lawmakers for some reason, so this research may backfire on the intended beneficiaries.]
  Washington Post: Want people to drink less? Make their cigarettes more expensive    

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.