There it is, then. Too many bills.

“Hey, can I, can I tell you one thing? That’s three holding penalties on one football team in a quarter and a half. (Pauses) That ain’t funny.” — Bum Phillips, to a football official.

Jeff Woods reports that Gov. Bill Haslam thinks 2,200 bills in one legislative session is a tad too many.

To reporters after his speech, Haslam said he planned to “have a conversation” with legislative leaders about redundancy and wasting time.

“A lot of times there’s three or four bills filed about the same thing by the same party members. … As Republicans, we’re the party of smaller government. Let’s see if we can do that in terms of bill proposals.”

Tea Party, once icy, now sweet on Corker

Corker unlikely to face serious opposition from left or right

A story by Jeff Woods in the Nashville City Paper says the Tea Party’s attacks on U.S. Sen. Bob Corker have diminished due to “Corker’s outrage over federal spending and the national debt.”

The article quotes Mark Skoda, a talk radio host and a leader in the Memphis Tea Party.

“A couple of folks called me who were interested in looking at running against Corker. I said, ‘Look, unless the guy is an apostate and turned into a liberal, why would you waste your money, your time and your energy to try to contend against this guy?’”

Skoda has figured in the national Tea Party scene, having helped found the National Tea Party Federation, but not all who self-affiliate with the movement consider him their spokesperson. (See this Free Republic thread.)

There still exists, then, the possibility that someone with Tea Party leanings will attempt a 2012 primary challenge or an independent candidacy in the general election (or both). Neither is likely to make much of a dent in Corker’s results, as he enjoys a rather imposing fundraising advantage; but some resentment lingers over a few of his votes.

Woods also laments the lack of Democratic Party wherewithal in finding a candidate to run against Corker, even as state party chair Chip Forrester prophesies that there will be one. Yes, there will be one, because the party cannot afford be seen as completely lying down in a statewide election. Yes, whoever that one is will be a so-called “sacrificial lamb.” If I had to guess, I’d say the party will be putting all its efforts into the few state legislative races it finds viable after redistricting is complete.

All of this means that Corker is very likely to be re-elected to a second term (2013 – 2019). The only outstanding question is whether he will refocus during that term to run for president in the 2016 election. Speculation has begun about that, but is of little use at this point in the game.

Bonus question: What will be the Tea Party’s influence by then?

Fleischmann frowns at jobs report

From the inbox:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chuck Fleischmann commented on the May jobs report released by the U.S. Department of Labor today.

“Today’s report showing an increase in the unemployment rate, and almost 75,000 fewer jobs being added than expected, is a clear indication that the ‘recovery’ plan put into place by the Obama Administration, and Congressional Democrats, is not working. Month after month we continue to see beleaguered job growth at a pace that will not restore the jobs already lost during this Administration. When Republicans met with the President at the White House this week, we tried to explain the importance of a jobs plan based on free enterprise, lower taxes and less government intervention. The President’s plan of more taxing, spending and borrowing is not working and will not work,” Fleischmann said.