Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘tennessee’

Hitting the Stoly pretty hard

Posted by Richard on November 7, 2018

It’s not a good night for small-government advocates (e.g., libertarians) in Colorado. Admittedly, Republicans haven’t been very good proponents of small government, but they’re still far better than Democrats. And Republicans have been routed in this state. At this time, it looks like Democrats may win every state-wide office (the AG race is still too close to call, but Dem Phil Weiser, a far-left law school professor with no prosecutorial experience, leads).

The Dems have flipped three state senate seats to take control of that body, while expanding their lead in the state house. So the entirety of Colorado government is going to be in control of Democrats. People who support “single-payer” (i.e., government-run) health care, more gun control, more money “for the children,” more “affordable housing,” more “multimodal transportation,” etc., etc.

In Denver, it looks like voters have approved tax increases for parks and recreation, “mental health” and housing, the “Urban an Flood Control District,” and a proposal to increase the sales tax to “provide food and education about food to young people in need.” Also passing is a measure to fund election campaigns with tax dollars, giving each candidate $9 for each $1 they raise within the rules.

I. Am. Bummed.

True, some of the ballot initiatives and proposals offer some more optimistic interpretation.

  • Voters rejected 112, which would have essentially ended oil and gas drilling in Colorado.
  • Voters rejected 73, a massive tax increase “for the children,” which would have mainly increased funding for education administrators.
  • Voters rejected 110, which would have allocated tons of new tax dollars to “transportation,” including lots of money for “multimodal” nonsensense plus lots of grants to local governments to do whatever they want.
  • They also rejected 109, the Independence Institute’s proposal to fund specific road projects from existing revenues without tax increases.

Overall, it looks like a massive blue wave, with the caveat that voters don’t want taxes to go up.

I’m thinking that I should seriously think about moving back to  Tennessee.

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Peyton Manning’s birthday

Posted by Richard on March 24, 2014

From one Vol in Denver to another: Happy Birthday, Peyton Manning! I understand that 38 is the new 28.

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Think warm thoughts

Posted by Richard on February 15, 2014

I lived in Knoxville, TN, from 1961-64 and 1967-82. That was a long time ago, and maybe my memory is failing me, but I don’t recall during all those years ever seeing a 6-inch snowfall. Or hearing of 7 inches in Chattanooga. I’m guessing my friends in East Tennessee — heck, folks throughout the eastern half of the country — are about ready for a good dose of global warming. 🙂

Here’s a little ditty that will help you all get through the next arctic blast:


[YouTube link]

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Heroic feline

Posted by Richard on January 13, 2011

I'm back! Did you miss me? (Did you even notice I was gone?) Sorry for the long absence, and a belated Happy New Year. It was a combination of way too much work, too little motivation, and a major computer meltdown that took forever to resolve.

In the last couple of weeks, there have been a bazillion things about which I should spout off. But for now, I'll just give you a little feel-good story you probably missed (unless you're in Chattanooga, TN). At least, it's a feel-good story for those of us who are cat lovers: 

At 4 a.m., Cornett was awakened by the loud and repeated meows of the family's cat. Bustopher Jones, named after a character in the musical "Cats," wouldn't shut up — meow, meow, meow, meow.

"I was a little annoyed, and I raised up and thought, 'What is that cat doing?'" she said.

What he was doing was saving the lives of the entire family.

Awake on the sofa, she smelled the smoke. The smoke alarm hadn't even gone off, and Talullah, Lexiss and Seamus, the Cornetts' three dogs, were asleep, not making a sound. 

Bustopher, a shelter cat, saved the lives of Angi Cornett, her husband, three children, and three dogs. And instead of thanking Bustopher, one of the dogs viciously attacked him, causing nearly-fatal injuries. 

Fortunately, the Cornetts got him to a veterinary hospital, and he survived: 

Jones came home Friday from an animal hospital in Cleveland. The bill was $241 and left the family with about $30 in their checking account.

But Cornett said she doesn't regret anything.

"He fought back from the brink of death," she said. "I just want Jones to be recognized."

He was. The McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center, from which Bustopher Jones was adopted, has awarded him the "McKamey Purple Paw certificate of meritorious conduct." 

Good for you, Bustopher Jones! And I think you should lord it over those useless dogs from here on out. 🙂 

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Join the Obamacare Class Action lawsuit

Posted by Richard on July 31, 2010

Tennessee's attorney general refused to join the lawsuit filed by 22 states against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), a.k.a., Obamacare, a.k.a. the government takeover of health care. So East Tennessean Van Irion, a constitutional attorney admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, decided to file suit himself and invited other Tennesseans to join him in a class action. Soon, people from all over the country were asking to join, and Irion opened up the class to all Americans.

Read about the Obamacare Class Action and, if you like the idea, sign on. Irion is handling the case pro bono and covering the court costs, so it needn't cost you anything. But he does accept voluntary donations, and $10 is suggested. I love the idea (although I acknowledge it's a bit quixotic), because it aims at the heart of the problem: 

The Obamacare Class Action (OCA) is a Federal lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on the basis that Congress does not have the authority under Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution to regulate the health care industry and is specifically barred from doing so by the 10th Amendment.

The OCA is unique among the many lawsuits filed against the PPACA. The 22 States that have joined lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of PPACA direct their challenges at the individual mandate to purchase health insurance and the unequal treatment of different groups. While we agree that these aspects of the PPACA are unconstitutional, and we encourage the States challenges, the OCA challenges the PPACA in its entirety.

… The OCA lawsuit seeks to re-establish the original meaning of the enumerated powers and of the 10th Amendment by re-establishing that the Commerce Clause was intended to allow Congress only the authority to prevent one state from creating trade barriers to doing business with another state.

The chances of success in the courts are slim. Nevertheless, I think the case is extremely worthwhile. Irion already has over 25,000 plaintiffs. If that number rises into six figures and the case draws significant public attention, it can be a wonderful educational opportunity.

Van Irion is also a candidate for Congress in Tennessee's heavily Republican 3rd District. He appears to be a long-shot in the crowded Republican primary for the open seat (incumbent Zach Wamp is running for Governor). But I wish this self-described "Constitutionalist" well.

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The tragedy that was virtually ignored

Posted by Richard on May 12, 2010

For five days, I've tried to write about the horrific 1000-year flood that inundated middle Tennessee and portions of Kentucky and Alabama, and that virtually destroyed the entire city of Nashville when the Cumberland River rose 48 feet. And about the shameful behavior of the national news media and the Obama administration with regard to this disaster.

But I've been a bit under the weather, and somewhat preoccupied, and I'm just not going to get it done. So I'll simply ask you to watch the two videos below. And read this. And this.

What happened in Nashville and the thousands of square miles that were flooded was a tragedy. The media's handling of the story was an outrage.

If you can spare a few bucks, please donate to the Nashville Red Cross or one of the other relief organizations mentioned at the end of the second video. Thank you.


[YouTube link]


[YouTube link]

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A musical “good riddance” to Lane Kiffin

Posted by Richard on January 15, 2010

Knoxville's most entertaining attorney (and probably one of the most entertaining in the country), Anne McKinney, offered up this musical sendoff for former/temporary Vols coach Lane Kiffin, who slunk off to USC:


[YouTube link]

Goodbye, Lane. We hardly knew you (and didn't much like what we learned during your tumultuous one-year stay). I hope you do for the Trojans what you did for the Raiders and the Vols.

HT: Instapundit

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Fullmer’s swan song

Posted by Richard on November 30, 2008

It was a pretty sorry season for the Vols. They finished 5-7, matching the most losses in 112 years of Tennessee football. Although they had one of the best defenses in Division I football (ranked 6th), their offense was virtually nonexistent (ranked something like 106th).

But today was fired coach Phil Fulmer's last game. And you'd be hard-pressed to find a coach whose players love him more. So today, the defense played up to their usual and the offense sucked it up and played one decent half. Tennessee 28, Kentucky 10.

Then they carried Fulmer off the field on their shoulders as if he'd just led them to a championship. It was pretty moving. 

In his 16 years at the helm, Fulmer won more than 75% of his games. Among Tennessee coaches, his 152 wins are second only to the legendary Gen. Robert R. Neyland (who racked up four national championships, back-to-back undefeated seasons, and an entire regular season without being scored upon). This was only Fulmer's second losing season.

But the standards are high in Knoxville. A 10-4 record isn't good enough if it includes losses to Florida, Alabama, and LSU. I wonder if that young whippersnapper, Lane Kiffin (the fired Raiders coach rumored to be Fulmer's replacement) knows what he's in for at Tennessee.

(One sports columnist's not very flattering look at Kiffin is here.)

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Tennessee-Wyoming

Posted by Richard on November 8, 2008

No. I don't want to talk about it.

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Fullmer sacked

Posted by Richard on November 3, 2008

For anyone who follows Tennessee football, this announcement is probably not a big surprise:

Phillip Fulmer confirmed in a 5 p.m. press conference today at Neyland Stadium that he will step down as the University of Tennessee’s head football coach. Fulmer is scheduled to receive a buyout of between $5.47 million and $6 million.

After several minutes detailing his history with Tennessee, beginning as a player in 1969, Fulmer said, “I accept the university’s decision that this will be my last as Tennessee’s head football coach.”

He will remain through season's end and may remain at UT in some capacity.

Tennessee fans are probably among the least tolerant of poor performance of any football fans in the country. They're accustomed to and have come to expect above-average performance year in and year out. For most of his tenure at Tennessee, Fullmer delivered. But not so much lately, and especially not this year, which may end up being the Vols' worst season ever.

Today's announcement marks the end of 16-plus seasons for Fulmer that brought 150 victories, two SEC championships, five division titles and a national championship in 1998.

Since then, however, the Vols have failed to win an SEC championship despite winning the SEC East in 2001, 2004 and 2007.

The Vols are 3-6 and 1-5 in the SEC this season, just the ninth time since 1896 that Tennessee has lost six games in a season. The Vols have only lost seven games in a season once, in 1977.

For a time this afternoon (until news that Obama's grandmother had died), "phil fullmer" was the number one search term on Google.

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Lady Vols repeat!

Posted by Richard on April 9, 2008

Offensive powerhouse Stanford scored 90 in each of the last two games, and most people thought they'd easily beat a Tennessee team that squeaked by LSU on a last-second shot, whose star player was still recovering from two shoulder dislocations. But not Coach Pat Summit. Not Candace Parker and her teammates. They told themselves they'd hold Stanford to 50 points and win.

Final score: 64-48.

How did the Lady Vols win back-to-back titles and a record 8th national championship? Defense, defense, defense.

Well, it also helps to have tremendous team discipline, great ball-handling, and the ability to make free throws (which is purely a matter of practice).

This was Coach Summit's 987th win (175 of those were in the AIAW, before there was women's NCAA basketball). I've expressed my admiration for her before, calling her "one of the greatest coaches of any sport, men's or women's, ever." If next year's record is remotely close to this year's (36-2), by mid-season she'll reach 1000 total (825 NCAA) wins. I believe Bobby Knight has 880. 

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Webb Wilder in Knoxville New Year’s Eve

Posted by Richard on December 27, 2007

If you're in or near Knoxville and still wondering what to do for New Year's Eve, head down to the Market Square Celebration in downtown K-town. There'll be fireworks and ice skating at this outdoor event (and propane heaters, too). But most importantly, the headline act will be Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks.

If you're already a fan, you know you need to be there. If you're not, don't miss this chance to see The Last of the Full Grown Men and his band. I'll bet you become a fan.

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Vols earn respect, but not title

Posted by Richard on December 2, 2007

Last week, after Tennessee beat Kentucky to get to the SEC Championship game, I expressed doubts about their chances against LSU:

I'm really sorry LSU lost. Having seen both teams play several times, I'm pessimistic about how Tennessee matches up against LSU, and I figured if they're going to lose the [SEC] championship, I'd just as soon have them lose against the team that went on to the national championship. Oh, well.

Well, the Vols came up short, 21-17, but made it a better game than I'd feared. The defense played well, keeping the Tigers' powerful offense under control and forcing a couple of turnovers. Tennessee led at the half, and retook the lead late in the 3rd quarter. But in the 4th quarter, Ainge threw two INTs, one of which LSU returned for the winning TD.

I was prescient regarding a couple of this week's other games, though: 

… But are you kidding me? Missouri and West Virginia vying for the national championship? Well, too soon to say. The way this season has been going, they'll probably lose to Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, respectively, next week. Then it will be a real mess.

Well, waddaya know … they did. And it is. So who's next in line for the national championship? Ohio State, I suppose — which is a shame just because of how obnoxious Hugh Hewitt's crowing about it will be. Then who? Georgia is next in line, but will the BCS really take a team that couldn't even get to its conference championship game and give it a shot at the national title?

It is indeed a mess. But I think LSU has as good a case as anybody, and they may get the nod over Georgia.

If so, I may still get my consolation wish — that the team beating Tennessee for the SEC title goes on to the national championship. Go, Tigers! 

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Vols prevail

Posted by Richard on November 25, 2007

Back in the old days, "The Vols beat Kentucky!" would have been met with one of two responses, "Of course!" or "So what?" Not these days. This Wildcat team embarrassed Arkansas in Fayetteville and beat LSU at home in three overtimes. They had their ups and downs this season, but they're a good team, and they were ready for Tennessee.

The Vols were ready, too. Wow, what a battle! Tennessee, 52-50. In four (4) overtimes. So, the Vols will face LSU in the SEC Championship game next Saturday. With LSU losing to Arkansas in three overtimes, they may be two tired and banged-up teams.

I'm really sorry LSU lost. Having seen both teams play several times, I'm pessimistic about how Tennessee matches up against LSU, and I figured if they're going to lose the league championship, I'd just as soon have them lose against the team that went on to the national championship. Oh, well.

Elsewhere in the SEC, after watching another Florida game, I don't see how you can not award the Heisman Trophy to Tim Tebow. The sophomore sensation has almost 4000 yards passing and rushing, and has scored 51 TDs, more than any QB who's won the Heisman. And 22 of those are rushing TDs — a bunch of Heisman-winning running backs had fewer (like Reggie Bush, Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, …). Tebow is a tremendous talent. And as young as the Gators are this year, they're likely to be just awesome next season.

But that's next year. For now, how 'bout them Vols!?! 

UPDATE: Nobody wants to be #1 this year. Missouri just wrecked the Jayhawks' perfect season. Good game. That's the first Mizzou game I've seen, and QB Chase Daniel was quite impressive. But are you kidding me? Missouri and West Virginia vying for the national championship? Well, too soon to say. The way this season has been going, they'll probably lose to Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, respectively, next week. Then it will be a real mess.

Remember back before this silly BCS system, when people complained that there was no objective, definitive way of determining who was #1? Is this system, with computers crunching numbers based on criteria that everyone disputes, really an improvement?

Anyway, I still believe that, top to bottom, the SEC plays the best college football in the country. That's their problem, really — they're so good from top to bottom that they knock each other out of the running nationally. 

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Sweet revenge

Posted by Richard on November 10, 2007

How 'bout them Vols?!?

Last year, Arkansas embarrassed Tennessee. This year, the Vols avenged that humiliating defeat by crushing the Razorbacks, 34-13, in a game not as close as the score would indicate: 

Tennessee (7-3, 4-2 SEC) held Arkansas' powerful rushing game largely at bay, controlling the clock and the line of scrimmage in a 34-13 victory Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

While the 'Hogs Darren McFadden ran for 117 yards on 22 carries, he did not reach the end zone and his longest carry only went for 20 yards — a far cry from his 321-yard performance last week against South Carolina.

Meanwhile, Arian Foster rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, and his 59-yard run in the third quarter put the Vols in command, 27-3. A strong rushing effort allowed Tennessee to have the football for more than 33 minutes, fulfilling a pregame goal by keeping the ball out of McFadden's dangerous hands.

The Vols now control their own destiny. If they can beat Vandy and Kentucky, they'll win the SEC East and face (gulp) the LSU Tigers (now #1 in the nation, after Ohio State's loss) for the SEC Championship.

The victory should quiet the critics calling for coach Phil Fulmer's head. On Friday, almost 200 former Tennessee players told the critics to shut up:

The former players took out a full-page advertisement in The Knoxville News Sentinel on Friday, printing a letter that said the cries for Fulmer to be fired were "laughable — if the potential consequences weren't so serious."

The letter was signed by 191 former Vols, including Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.

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