Tony Kendall

Over the years, I’ve referred to Republican voters and politicians as being hypocrites on issues that they say are their core principles.

Once upon a time, Republicans were for a single-payer healthcare plan with an individual mandate, but that changed when Barack Obama became the Democratic candidate for president in 2008.

Before the rise of Al Qaeda, a sitting Democratic president wondered out loud if the United States’ special forces should drop out of the sky and kill Osama Bin Laden while he was holed up in a sovereign nation that on paper was our ally.

Now with their rushed, post-midnight attempt to pass a tax cut bill that will benefit large corporations and those who are ensconced at the top of the economic ladder, Republicans have shown themselves to be hypocrites when it comes to congressional procedure, fiscal responsibility and integrity.

According to multiple sources, including the Congressional Budget Office, Center for Tax Policy and the Tax Policy Center, this new tax cut bill will add more than $1 trillion to the deficit.

This is the same deficit that for the last eight years Republicans were determined to reduce when they felt the Democrat in the White House was doing things they believed in their fiscally responsible, partisan hearts was adding to that deficit.

Now they have no problem with Republicans created deficits when it’s the result of a tax cut bill that will greatly benefit their base donors. Altogether no, they are hypocrites.

Among the many reasons I dislike President Donald Trump is that he has forced me to have to say nice things about Republicans and conservatives that I’ve spent my adult political life not liking and disagreeing with.

After his vote against the Trump/Ryan/McConnell tax bill, I must extend words of praise to retiring Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker.

Corker, like all Republicans, has spent his entire political career claiming that he is a fiscal conservative, but was the only one who practiced what he campaigned he was.

But I still have hard feeling about that racist 2006 ad that a pro-Corker group ran against Harold Ford, that he was very slow to denounce.

Although I will hate every part of it, I can’t wait for the Trump/Ryan/McConnell tax bill to become law.

The sooner that middle- and lower-class Trump voters don’t get what they thought they would when they bought into his make America great again, the better.

And as if forgetting about being the party of fiscal responsibility wasn’t enough, taking a cue from Trump, many Republicans have decided to support Roy Moore, the flawed, soon-to- be U.S. Senator from the not-so-great State of Alabama, despite the claims against him from then-underaged and teen girls.

I did roll my eyes when Trump repeatedly said Moor’s Democratic oppoenent, Doug Jones, was weak on crime, immigration and all the issues that are close to the cold hearts of Trump supporters and many Republicans.

Jones is so soft on crime that in 2002, he successfully prosecuted two of an Klansmen were responsible for the bombing in 1963 of the 16th Street Baptist Church that resulted in the deaths of four young black girls who were having Sunday School in the basement.

It was a case that many Alabama prosecutors who are not so soft on racially motivated crimes refused to bring up.



These are interesting and sad times on Rocky Top, at the moment. We had a coach, then we didn’t.

Then we had an athletic director who had been on the job less than 10 months; then he was gone.

Replacing him is Volunteer-for-life Phil Fulmer, the coach who guided Tennessee to the only mythical national championship the team has won in my lifetime.

As we have seen, an athletic director is only as good as the people he hires to coach teams, so I’m hoping Fulmer has the same luck picking head coaches as he was recruiting players in the late 1990s.

If Tennessee is going to reach into the 1990s for an athletic director, I hope that line of thinking leads to Fulmer to decide that the right person to lead the Vols back to the winner’s circle is the quarterback who was the architect of the 1998 Tennessee victory over Bobby Bowden and Florida State, one Tamaurice “Tee” Martin.

Contrary to the popular misconception, it was Martin and not the saintly Peyton Manning who beat Florida when it mattered most.

After a brief football career in the NFL and Canada, Martin has been coaching football at the high school and college level.

For the last six years, he has been part of the offensive staff at the University of Southern California, first coaching the wide receivers, then becoming the pass-game coordinator.

At the end of the 2015 season, he was named offensive coordinator for the Trojans, the position he currently holds.

In his time at USC, the Trojans have been one of the top offensive teams in the nation and loaded with guys who are now starring in the NFL.

I stopped being a diehard Volunteer football fan after last season, but if Tee becomes the head coach, I’d be back on board in a heartbeat.

Then again, Les Miles would be OK, too.


Hi, Momma Lois.


TONY KENDALL of Hazel is a writer, teacher, actor, playwright and sports fanatic. He can be reached by email at

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