HEADLINE: State Sen. Jim Tracy officially launches 2014 GOP challenge to U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais
THE RECAP: Republican state Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville announced his bid to unseat embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., in the 2014 4th Congressional District GOP primary.
DREW'S VIEW: It has long been rumored that the 4th Congressional District was drawn so Tracy, one of the most popular members of the Tennessee General Assembly, could one day represent the area in Congress. With the mistress-having, abortion-coercing, drug-using, patient-cavorting Dr. DesJarlais on the ropes as a result of his numerous scandals, it seems a logical time for Tracy to run for the post.
Tracy is known in Nashville as a principled conservative and all-around good guy. The problem is, so is State House Assistant Majority Leader Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland. And so is state Rep. Joe Carr, R-Murfreesboro. And so are the half-dozen or more other folks considering running for the seat.
There are only so many people willing to vote against an incumbent Congressman with a proven track record, even if he has more baggage than a Sampsonite factory. As a result, as I've written in the past, if more than one legitimate challenger enters the race to run against DesJarlais for the Republican nomination in 2014, they will split the anti-DesJarlais vote and allow DesJarlais to return to Congress.
DesJarlias' potential primary opponents have to get together before the filing deadline for the election and agree on which one of them will take on the Congressman in the primary. (Tracy, because of his name recognition in the district's most populated area and his years of respectable service in the state Senate seems like the logical choice.) Otherwise, DesJarlais -- mistresses, abortions, lies and all -- will be reelected.
HEADLINE: Recession rebound: Chattanooga leads state in job growth during 2012
THE RECAP: Chattanooga was the fastest-growing major metropolitan area in Tennessee for job additions during 2012. The six-county Chattanooga region added 3,900 jobs last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Chattanooga's 1.7 percent annual employment growth was nearly double the statewide growth of 0.9 percent during 2012. Jobs additions at Volkswagen and Amazon were responsible for much of the area's job growth.
DREW'S VIEW: Chattanooga bragging about its job growth is a little like a guy bragging about sleeping with dozens of beautiful women -- and then finding out that they are all prostitutes sleeping with him in exchange for cash.
Sure, more job opportunities in Chattanooga is a good thing. A lot of those jobs, however, came because officials shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars in giveaways to lure them to here. Volkswagen for example, received nearly $600 million in handouts and tax breaks. Amazon received about $100 million in incentives to locate distribution facilities in Hamilton and Bradley Counties. That's a lot of money out of taxpayers' pockets and a lot of lost revenues for government.
Just like it's embarrassing to pay for sex, it's embarrassing to have to bribe companies for to bring jobs to our area. Even if it makes us feel good, there's something a little icky about it.
HEADLINE: Number of women killed in Chattanooga doubles
THE RECAP: Police records show the number of people slain in Chattanooga last year was down slightly from 2011. The number of women murdered in Chattanooga, however, doubled.
DREW'S VIEW: True, the number of women slain in Chattanooga last year doubled -- but the number of men murdered fell by 24 percent.
The number of homicides in Chattanooga is so low -- 24 in 2012 and 25 in 2011 -- that any small difference year-to-year results in a big difference in stats. Don't believe me? That 100 percent increase in murdered women? It was an increase from 4 to 8. The 24 percent decreased in slain men? The number was 21 in 2011 and 16 in 2012.
The sample size of people killed in Chattanooga is, thankfully, so small that it impossible to gather any useful information by looking at the numbers. As a result, the city's homicide statistics are absolutely meaningless -- except to the media who can use the bogus stats to get more people to buy a newspaper or turn on their TV.
HEADLINE: Alexander, Corker predict few will see federal taxes increase
THE RECAP: U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker predicted last week that "almost [no] Americans" would see an increase in their taxes as a result of negotiations to avert the "fiscal cliff."
DREW'S VIEW: The U.S. Senators from Tennessee couldn't have been more wrong about how the fiscal cliff negotiations turned out. In the end, because the Social Security payroll tax rollback was allowed to expire, 77 percent of American households will face higher federal taxes in 2013. The tax amounts to two percent for most families -- $1,000 for a household earning $50,000.
It's too bad Alexander and Corker didn't spend less time making grand predictions about how the negotiations would turn out and more time actually fighting to keep most Americans from paying more in taxes.
"Drew's views" is a weekly roundup of Free Press opinions about topics that appeared in the Times Free Press over the past week. Follow Drew on Twitter: @Drews_Views.