Saturday, April 29, 2006
Hat tip to Autoegocrat for the link.
Friday, April 28, 2006
However, I received an email today from Ron Redwing's camp that contained something NOT okay.
I'll post the whole thing and see if you can't figure out what I'm talking about:
The Plan to Seek Clarity out of Confusion
WHEREAS in the Ninth (9th) Congressional Race, we have multiple candidates.
Many of the Candidates are not known well enough to be elected and will only divide the vote. For the first time in thirty (30) years Memphis could be without African-American representation in the U. S. Congress.
Ron will be involved in a forum hosted by the Memphis Baptist Minesterial Association and other political and civic organizations. They have held political forums with the objecitve of listening to the various candidates and conducting straw votes in search of a consensus Candidate for the 9th Congressional Race.
We need YOUR help and show of support for our Future Congressman, Ron Redwing! The next forum will be held Sunday April 30,2006 at Springdale Baptist Church located at 1193 Springdale St. Memphis, Tn. 38108. Pastor Derrick J. Hughes residing . The Forum starts promptly at 7:00pm.
A straw vote will be taken at each Forum with results being reported to the public. All Candidates will be allowed to introduce themselves and their platforms. Each Candidate will be allowed to tell why they are running and what they hope to accomplish if elected. The audience will have a chance to question the Candidates and then vote for the Candidate of choice.
Please come out and join us along with our friend, "The Giant Killer" Willie Gary, Esq., to show support for THE only candidate deserving of the Congressional Seat, RON REDWING!
Thank you in advance for your prayers and your vote.
OK. I know a lot of people around Ron Redwing and have worked along side them in campaigns, so I'm going to take this as an honest mistake.
However, this phrase For the first time in thirty (30) years Memphis could be without African-American representation in the U. S. Congress sounds bad to me.
At the risk of starting war, how is this ANY different from the 1950s, when Democratic candidates would scream the N word at political rallies in the South (not so much Tennessee, but our neighbors to the south and east)? Race-baiting is race-baiting, folks, whether intentional or not.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this is aimed at Senator Steve Cohen. That comment is just a more subtle version of a commercial I remember from the 1983 Chicago mayoral campaign, featuring Harold Washington against Bernard Epton. The tag line of the commercial was this:
EPTON. BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.
That was wrong, and so is this.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
In an area where I actually (Madre Mia!) AGREE with Governor Bredesen, he re-appropriated $44 Million out of the state road-building fund to put it in areas where it might actually be needed. Norris, feeling for the plight of the roadbuilders, who may not know now where their next Lexus SUV may be coming from, pledged to right this wrong.
SCC skewers the Senator accordingly:
While Senator Norris is widely known for his thin skin and the perceived personal offenses and personal attacks that result from it, it’s discouraging to see someone who knows better engaging in such obvious political cleverness, acting as if he truly believes that the public is enraged because roadbuilding interests have seen $44 million taken out of TDOT’s budget of $1.7 billion.
It’s reminiscent of his days as a Shelby County commissioner when he, with great fanfare and a dependable façade of gravity, voted against every property tax increase and every new revenue source such as adequate facilities taxes and impact fees. The fact that this was done in spite of the fact that it was his own district, the unincorporated area and towns of Shelby County, which was largely responsible for the fiscal crisis created by sprawl and schools.
As always, go read the rest of it!
However, you probably knew that. He is attacking Steve Mulroy viciously in robocalls around District 5, and David Holt has called him on the carpet for it.
Did you know that Joe Cooper is a convicted felon who has had his rights restored? He is, and he has.
Cooper has also lied about keeping the trains from blocking intersections if he's elected, which he would have NO AUTHORITY to do as a commissioner.
He is owned by developers, who are funding his campaign. He is, in short, the type of candidate we're trying to run out of town. Go click the title and read David's piece.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
Oops, sorry, AMC had a Godfather I, II and III marathon all weekend!
Props to Terry Roland for making the smart choice and pulling his name out of the hat for the interim District 29 Senate position. While it will piss off the local Gooper braintrust, it will no doubt save them from themselves and not infuriate the African-American community quite as much as it would have had he been appointed to temporarily fill the seat.
Of course, WTL raising hell at his blog had NOTHING to do with this, I'm sure!
Hat tip to the Flyer, who discovered at the CA website the stunning news that Wendi Thomas has decided that crabcakes aren't to her liking, after all, and is returning to the local fishwrap.
I only ask that we see more of THIS Wendi
And less, or none at all, of THIS Wendi (I know, too much to ask!)
Sunday, April 23, 2006
The bloggers at the Fly cover local and national stuff with equal abandon, all terrific and on time. Think WTL hasn't had an effect on local politics? After he led the fight to have people call the Commission offices to DEMAND that Terry Roland NOT be appointed to the District 29 seat, it was apparently leaked on Mike Fleming's show on Friday that ROLAND HIMSELF will request that he not be appointed. How's that for power?
You see, that's the kind of activism that we have to have EVERY DAY. When the eventual nominee of your Party for the United States Senate is running his campaign by denying that he believes in the core beliefs of that Party, you have to fight with all your power to keep from giving up on that Party.
I believe, despite nearly 30 years of activism in the Democratic party here, despite seeing many of OUR OWN candidates for office downplay our core beliefs in social and economic justice because they were afraid to offend potential voters, in this phrase by the greatest president of the 20th Century, Franklin Delano Roosevelt: WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FEAR ITSELF.
The Bush Administration, and by proxy, the Republican Party, promotes and is devoted to spreading fear and disharmony. Frankly, if these people had been in charge during World War II, we'd all be speaking German right now, and no one would notice that an entire religion had disappeared. Oh well, they weren't "our kind of people" anyway, right?
We have two options, folks: fight with everything we have, or lose everything we believe in. Make no mistake about it, folks: the people who run the Republican party these days at the national level don't want to beat us. They want to ELIMINATE US if we don't convert to their way of thinking.
Kill us all? Maybe not. Marginalize us to the point where we give up? Definitely. Watched Fox News or listened to AM600 lately? We have far more to fear from these people than we do from ANY external enemy.
The Bush administration is preparing to launch a nuclear strike on Iran. If that happens, ladies and gentlemen, America is DEAD. The entire world will align against us, and we will be destroyed.
And it will be OUR FAULT for not stopping it. That's why we have to stop them, and stop them NOW. THIS YEAR.
Karl Rove has suffered a "demotion" at the White House. My ass.
He is preparing for the last desperate stand of the Bush Administration by coming up with the most vicious, vile attacks ever seen in an American election in order to preserve the GOP majority in Congress. Our candidates will be called traitors, terrorists, supporters of al-Qaeda, and the like.
THE ONLY WAY YOU DEAL WITH THIS IS TO THROW IT BACK IN THEIR FACE. IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO FIGHT, GET OUT OF THE FUCKING WAY. IF YOU DON'T FIGHT BACK, PEOPLE WILL ASSUME THAT THEY ARE CORRECT. PERIOD. SO, ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK! PEOPLE RESPECT YOU WHEN YOU STAND UP FOR YOUR BELIEFS, IF YOU HAVE ANY.
If Rove fails, and the Democratic Party takes the House back, Bush WILL be investigated, and he WILL be impeached. Then, we will have to hope that the Republicans in the Senate will read the handwriting on the wall and turn their backs on him in order to save the nation.
In fact, please do me a favor if you attend ANY District 9 forums this summer: I want EVERY candidate asked if they would support a bill of impeachment against George Walker Bush. Unless they are willing to say YES, do not vote for them.
This is about far more than who wins; it's about our survival as a democratic republic. I am tired, and it is 1:15 in the morning, and I am going to bed, but I want to to end this post with this:
In Sparta in ancient Greece, mothers would send their warrior sons off to battle with this command: COME BACK WITH YOUR SHIELD OR ON IT.
If we don't have that mentality, and DEMAND that our CANDIDATES have that mentality, the United States of America will soon be only a faded memory.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
The West Tennessee Liberal is on FIRE! He lists the names and office numbers of your County Commissioners so that you can call them to let them know that you do NOT want Terry Roland appointed to fill the District 29 Senate Seat.
Their number is 545-4301, click on the link to determine your Commissioner(s)!
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
By clicking on the link, you can see how various candidates did in areas like Vision, Qualifications & Experience, ability to Implement Initiatives, The County Debt, and so forth.
However, they decided to average out the total score to get their final rating, rather than provide the aggregate score from the candidates' responses to the questionnaires. This, of course, can be a bit deceiving.
For instance, if you go to District 3, they show Paul Springer and Bob Hatton (the Cracker Endorsee!) with the same average of 77. However, if you add up the totals, Bob Hatton has the highest aggregate score, 620, not only in that Position, but of ALL District 3 Candidates regardless of position. His average was 77.5. Springer and Sidney Chism tied for next highest at 614, or an average of 76.75.
Some one should bring this to the attention of the Coalition, which just needs to tweak their otherwise diligent job of reviewing candidates.
He sent it to the party and graciously included me in the email, so here it is:
Where As, Building Loyalty for the Democratic Party name is Job One of the Executive Committee...
Where As, Our Local Party has a Covenant of Beliefs and Values...
Where As, Our next Biennial Convention (est. April 2007) is about a year away...
Where As, Tennessee has no State Wide Party Registration process...
Where As, Party Identification is usually derived from Primary Vote Participations...
Be It Resolved, The Democratic Party of Shelby County commits to adopt a rule for the 2007 Biennial Convention that will EXCLUDE any participating voter who shall have voted in a Republican Primary between August 1, 2006 and the conclusion of our 2007 County Convention.
Ok then. I forwarded the email to my list with the following observation:
You know, at the risk of having some of my favorite people hurl bricks at me Friday night when I host the Tunica trip for the TFDW Convention, I'm not so sure he's wrong here.
On the one hand, we have always bent over backwards to welcome new people, as we should. And, who's to say that people who voted R in August might not have a change of heart?
On the other hand, look at what the party has had to put up with in the last 10 months. We had to boot one ExecCom member who was actively working (and, despite his departure, still IS) against a Democratic elected official.
Then, we had two fellows (one of whom, I understand, has given his mea culpas and given the SCDP money), who had shown to have been involved with the GOP, one as late 2005! And they are running in our primary!
Folks, I don't want to be a spoilsport or someone who's exclusive. Dammit, though, we have people who are very willing to take advantage of our good natures. In the long run, that hurts us.
Now that Committeeman Gill has been good enough to offer this for the ExecCom's perusal and consideration, it's time for us to think about this, too. Mull it over and then let your reps on the ExecCom know how you feel.
UPDATE: I have received some feedback via email, and Joe Weinberg has graciously allowed me to share this response with you, our loyal readers:
UPDATE: Hey, Jim Kyle, WTF???? It's not as if YOU are going to face hardcore Republican opposition, so just what the hell are you thinking here? You know, she's going to win in August and in November, and she's going to be working right along side you again. Way to stand up for your fellow caucus member, Jim.
Now, back to our story.
Now, the Republican-majority County Commission will presumably do the stupid thing and appoint Terry Roland to fill the slot on a 7-6 party-line vote. If they do that, there will be a SERIOUS blowback against anything and anyone Republican, like I pointed out earlier.
The state and county GOPs will push them HARD to do this, even though it will increase turnout in heavily Democratic areas. Why? Because they're just dumb enough to believe that if they got away with disenfranchising voters this time, they can keep doing it.
As I have said before, I supported Steve Haley last year, not Ophelia Ford. What happened today is about far more than Ophelia Ford or anyone else named Ford, for that matter. This is about stopping the GOP in their tracks in their constant attempts to intimidate and disenfranchise minority voters, who are far less likely to vote GOP.
It didn't start today, and it won't end today, either.
FURTHER UPDATE: The West Tennessee Liberal his own self weighs in on the Ford ouster..
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Next, the Republican majority on the Shelby County Commission will commit their last, desperate act of stupidity, and appoint Terry Roland to hold that seat. In so doing, the city's predominately Democratic African-American community is going to get really pissed off.
A majority of them may well not have voted for her, in the primary or the general special election, may have been upset at what they saw as an attempt to pass down that Senate seat.
However, it's one thing for THEM to determine whether she should represent them, it's another to have a bunch of old white men stick ANOTHER old white man in THEIR seat, against their will!
Never mind that Terry Roland didn't win that seat, either, losing by 13 votes; to force him on the District 29 electorate involuntarily is an act of arrogance and stupidity that will only help Democratic candidates in the upcoming county elections.
If they have any brains at all, they will select someone who's either A) Democratic or B) independent, but especially C) someone who is NOT a filed candidate for that seat this year.
That way, the residents of District 29 will decide (more decisively this time) this November who their Senator will be, and here's a hint: it WON'T be Terry Roland.
Which, of course, is what they fear.
Monday, April 17, 2006
with his family in the Clarksville area and he posts about it here.
I am stealing from the comments, first mine after Pesky noted that his father was upset about Kurita's departure, then Jeff's:
The DLCers really believe that HFJr can connect better with people like your Dad than Ros could. That's why they keep losing; it's as if they are TRYING to kill the Democratic Party. LeftWingCracker
I think they are. With everything the Republican party has done in their effort to build a one-party government (stated goal), from buying up media and electronic voting companies to Swift-boating John Kerry......would it really be all that surprising to discover that they have placed double-agents into powerful positions within Democratic ranks in order to sabotage any Democratic effort to regain power?
I mean, seriously, this is what states attempt to do all the time. If I'm not mistaken, the principle is described in the Art of War by Sun Tzu. This is what people at war do, and the Republican party has been in a state of war with the Democratic party ever since Nixon was driven out.
It's entirely possible, and I suggest probable, that powerful elements within the party are in fact saboteurs. What better weapon could you have in your aresenal than a go-to consultant who your enemy depends on for strategy. They'd be virtually helpless, and that, friends, is a fair description of the Democratic party at the national level. Jeff
Do things start to make more sense now?
Here's an excerpt about the Feingold censure resolution, but you need to read ALL OF IT:
Given this, my question to the remaining Democratic Senators is as follows: If you think that Senator Feingold was acting in order to gain favor and political benefit within the progressive base, then why didn't you sign on to his resolution in order to gain that same favor and benefit? The answer, as far as I can tell, must be that most Democrats in Washington do not view the support of the Democratic, progressive base as actually carrying with it much benefit at all. To them, the progressive base apparently does not matter, and does not wield political power of any value. The constant refrain, no matter how far ahead we are among independents, is that we must continue to target independents always, and independents only. It is a frustrating, overly simplistic, and linear view of politics.
Go read the rest of it!
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Second, I want to concur with the comment Autoegocrat in his now legendary post on Harold Ford, Jr.:
I have no respect for Harold Ford Jr. anymore, but I have nothing but respect for people like Chris Jackson and David Bander. I am not on the same team with Ford, but I am on the same team with them. That doesn't mean I'll go silent on Ford's outrages, but it does mean that I am going to be mindful of the fact that I no longer have a dog in this race, and they do.
They attempted to reach out after the Kurita withdrawal, and it is obvious that they care about the Democrat base more than the man whom they support does. I appreciate that more than you know.
Progressive Democrats, it is time to put up or shut up. The DLCers trying to push HFJr off on us with the thought that we'll roll over to prevent the Republicans from keeping the seat need to be sent a message.
We start that message in the primary. Jim Maynard has, again, offered himself as a write-in. That's good, but we need to do more than that. We need those write-in votes to COUNT. Jim, you need to file the necessary paperwork (and I don't know what it is) with either Shelby County or the State of Tennessee to ensure that these votes will count.
Then, we need a SIZABLE write-in vote in the primary.
Come on, it's not that difficult, especially if you early-vote in the August primary. All you have to do is push the write-in button when you come to that race and type in JIM MAYNARD. you can do it.
And then, when Harold Ford Junior only gets 65% of the primary vote, and then realizes that NONE of that 35% will vote for him in November (we have to back this up), we will send this sobering message to the DSCC: You may think you can't win with this base, but you sure as hell can't win WITHOUT us, so you damn well better pay attention.
WE WILL NOT BE IGNORED.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
Autoegocrat has a beautiful column about where we are as a party and a nation, and I'm not even going to excerpt it, except to say please click here and read the whole thing. It will take a few minutes, but it is well worth your time, as it was mine.
Here's a choice cut:
There are two basic schools of thought on how Ford is conducting himself. One is he is a sell-out who is sucking up to those he thinks will get him elected and let him feed at the national troughs on his way to being the first (allegedly) african-american president. The other is that he is a swell guy who is doing what he has to do politically in order to get into the senate so he can help his dear, sweet constituents here in TN.
This blogger thinks that the second one is what is wrong with America and American politics today. If you pretend to be something that you are not and then get into office based on the lies you tell in your candidacy then you are, in effect, nothing. You wind up betraying a lot of people.
Two hip-hip shows, plus two Widespread Panic shows, and other events that had been booked through March 2007 will have to be canceled.
So now, that leaves the Desoto Civic Center and, you guessed it, the FedExForum as the two main concert venues in town. Of course, never mind that, other than basketball games and tractor pulls, and the occasional Cirque du Soleil, concert promoters aren't knocking down the doors to play in the Forum.
Most shows these days are headed for Tunica, except the ones playing the Coliseum. Anyone want to bet those head straight for the DCC rather than play at 3rd & Linden?
Go ahead, I know, you're all going WTF????????
No, I'm NOT on medication, nor do I need to be. Senator Ophelia Ford, despite a Channel 3 interview that my dear Lauren said made her seem like Scarlett O'Hara, has, from all reports, done a very creditable job in her first term. She has sponsored legislation to aid her constituents and worked closely with the Democratic delegation from Shelby County. Anyone here think Terry Roland would be working on behalf of the majority of the residents? Yeah, right.
The point is that session is almost over, so what's the point in removing her now? And why the hell did Jim Kyle and Roy Herron vote to send this to the floor? Now, it's my turn to say it: WTF???????
No matter what you thought of the special election, it's now moot. She has filed for re-election, and with the increased turnout, she will win re-nomination and re-election because she is about to become a sympathetic figure. Enough's enough and people need to get off her back and let the people in District 29 judge her performance this year. I suspect they will be more likely to vote for her now than before.
And Terry Roland can go back to Millington and cry in his beer for all I care. And take Richard Fields with him.
”I’m not a Democrat,” he said at one point, ‘running up to Washington yelling ‘Democrat, Democrat, Democrat, Democrat.’ Somebody’s going to go, and I know I make some Democrats upset at times because I’m just a believer if it works, you have to support it.”
In fact, were it not for the multiple uses of the word “Democrat” in that one sentence, Ford would have used the word “Republican” at least as often, if not more so, in his ten minutes or so of speaking after being introduced to the crowd in the Park Place parking lot by former Georgia Senator Max Cleland.
And the congressman was careful to be as value-neutral as possible in his terminology. No GOP-bashing, a la Howard Dean. (Or, for that matter, Harry Truman.)Great. Never mind that the GOP is going to try to make him look like Friedrich Engels as well as some one who enjoys the carnal knowledge of sows (as LBJ said, make him DENY he's a pig-fucker), but NO, GOD FORBID he should be PARTISAN.
Why not take the next logical step, Congressman, and adopt as your slogan the wording from the old Tom Lee statue: HAROLD FORD, A VERY WORTHY NEGRO.
Follow it up with a minstrel show before each appearance, and those Republicans in East and Middle Tennessee will just LOVE you.
Jesus H. Christ on an onion bagel! What in God's name is he thinking? Who are the idiots telling him to do this? (Wait, if he's actually PAYING for this advice, maybe they're not THAT dumb!)
The point of this mad rambling is this: if you're too ashamed to be a Democrat and take Democratic positions, then take your ass and leave this party. NOW.
Being non-partisan when the Republican Party is going to give you the Ned Beatty treatment every day from now until the November election is insanity, or stupidity, or both. The only way to fight werewolves is with silver bullets, pal, not by inviting them over for tea, crumpets and dialogue.
I leave with a quote from the late, lamented Dr. Hunter S. Thompson:
"Shit. Not even Spiro Agnew was that dumb."
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Core Democratic tennant #2. Democrats shouldn't embrace the consolidation of ridiculous amounts of wealth which are passed on to descendants and create an economic aristocracy in America.
I wrote this about Ford a few months ago.
Harold Ford, Wal-mart and the Estate Tax
A couple weeks ago, I was reading an article in The Nation.
It was about Wal-mart and the descendants of Sam Walton new-found interest in politics and right-wing causes. Sam Walton used to give almost nothing to political campaigns or philanthropic groups. All that changed after Sam Walton died and especially since the 1998 election cycle. Here are Wal-mart Stores PAC total campaign contributions from http://www.opensecrets.org
1998: To Federal Candidates $135,750
7% to Democrats 93% to Republicans
2000: To Federal Candidates $457,050
14% to Democrats 85% to Republicans
2002: To Federal Candidates $1,081,000
22% to Democrats 78% to Republicans
2004: To Federal Candidates $2,633,783
22% to Democrats 78% to Republicans
2006: So Far To Federal Candidates $321,300
30% to Democrats 70% to Republicans
The Wal-mart Store PAC is now the third largest corporate PAC and the second-largest corporate donor to the Republican Party. What really caught my attention about this article was the Estate Tax. The combined family fortune of the Waltons is $90 billion. Now they have a vested interest in getting rid of the Estate Tax. Over the past few years, the Wal-mart Store PAC has given money to Democratic members of Congress who support the repeal of the Estate Tax.
Some of the most known locally are Blanche Lincoln and Harold Ford Jr. In fairness to Ford, he wanted to repeal the Estate Tax before he started getting money from the Wal-mart Store PAC, but he has been well compensated by it since 2002 for his continued advocacy. Here are the campaign contributions Ford has received from the Wal-mart Store PAC:
2002-$7,500 Only 8 other Democrats received as much or more as Ford.
Wal-mart Store PAC was Ford’s 10th highest PAC donor.
2004-$12,250 Only 7 other Democrats received as much or more as Ford.
Wal-Mart Store PAC was Ford’s 9th highest PAC donor.
2005-$5,000 Ford tied Hillary Clinton for most given a Democrat and only second to George Allen.
Here were Ford’s positions on the Estate Tax as of 2001.
Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax.
Vote to pass a bill that would gradually reduce revenue by $185.5 billion over 10 years with a repeal of the estate tax by 2011.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Dunn, R-WA; Bill HR 8 ; vote number 2001-84 on Apr 4, 2001
Voted YES on repealing the estate tax ("death tax").
Vote to pass a bill that would completely eliminate taxes on estates over a 10 year period at an estimated cost of $105 billion as well as $50 billion each year after the repeal of the tax is complete in 2010.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Dunn, R-WA; Bill HR 8 ; vote number 2000-254 on Jun 9, 2000
Ford sponsored the Death Tax Elimination Act:
Title: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to phaseout the estate and gift taxes over a 10-year period.
Summary: Repeals, effective January 1, 2011, current provisions relating to the basis of property acquired from a decedent. Provides with respect to property acquired from a decedent dying on January 1, 2011, or later that:
1. property shall be treated as transferred by gift; and
2. the basis of the person acquiring the property shall be the lesser of the adjusted basis of the decedent or the fair market value of the property at the date of the decedent's death.
3. Requires specified information to be reported concerning non-cash assets over $1.3 million transferred at death and certain gifts exceeding $25,000.
4. Makes the exclusion of gain on the sale of a principal residence available to heirs.
5. Revises current provisions concerning the transfer of farm real to provide that gain on such exchange shall be recognized to the estate only to the extent that the fair market value of such property exceeds such value on the date of death.
6. Provides a similar rule for certain trusts.
7. Amends the special rules for allocation of the generation-skipping tax (GST) exemption to provide that if any individual makes an indirect skip during such individual's lifetime, any unused portion of such individual's GST exemption shall be allocated to the property transferred to the extent necessary to make the inclusion ratio for such property zero; and
8. if the amount of the indirect skip exceeds such unused portion, the entire unused portion shall be allocated to the property transferred.
9. Provides that, if an allocation of the GST exemption to any transfers of property is deemed to have been made at the close of an estate tax inclusion period, the value of the property shall be its value at such time.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR8 on Mar 14, 2001
Fortunately, Ford has slightly modified his position on the Estate Tax as of April 2005.
“Ford's bill would have reduced the estate tax by raising the exemption on estates from $1.5 million to $7.5 million for individuals and from $3 million to $15 million for couples. It would have reduced the tax on the portion above the exempt limit from 47 percent to 27.5 percent.”
Now, supporters of Estate Tax repeal or reform always say that they want to help small businesses and family farms. The problem is family farms and small businesses aren’t hurt by the Estate Tax. Here is the Congressional Budget Report from July 2005 about the Estate Tax.
July 2005 Congressional Budget Office:
Report on Effects of Federal Estate Tax on Farms and Small Businesses
This taken from the summary:
“Under current law, if someone dies in 2005 and leaves an
estate worth more than $1.5 million, the estate must file a
return and pay taxes of 43 percent to 47 percent on assets
(minus various deductions) above that dollar threshold.1
Under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation
Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), estate tax rates will decline
—and the amount of net assets exempt from taxation will
increase—through 2009, at which point the tax will
equal 45 percent of an estate’s net assets over $3.5 million.
The estate tax is then eliminated in 2010. However,
if EGTRRA expires as scheduled in 2011, the tax will be
reinstated that year, at rates ranging from 41 percent to
60 percent on net assets of more than $1 million. The
federal estate tax is projected to raise around $20 billion
to $30 billion in revenues annually through 2011 and
roughly double that amount in the next few years thereafter.
In recent years, fewer than 2 percent of all estates have
had to pay estate taxes. But critics argue that the tax may
pose a particular hardship for a small business or family
farm. If building up such an enterprise results in a taxable
estate without enough liquid assets to pay estate taxes,
heirs may have to wholly or partially liquidate the business
or farm. Purchasing sufficient life insurance might
prevent that problem, but the ongoing cost of paying premiums
would reduce the cash flow available to invest in
the enterprise. In addition, critics charge, because the
estate tax lowers the rewards from investment, a business
owner or family farmer wishing to leave the enterprise to
his or her heirs may be less inclined to invest in it or to
hire workers—or may even be dissuaded from starting
The amount of estate tax owed on a farm or business can
be reduced in several ways. If a decedent has left heirs
minority interests in a business, the estate may claim a
reduced value for those interests for tax purposes, thus
lowering the taxable value of the estate. In addition, until
2004, family-owned businesses could take a special
deduction—the qualified family-owned business-interest
(QFOBI) deduction—to lower their estate taxes. Moreover,
certain types of businesses can spread their tax payments
over 15 years in some circumstances. For farmers, a
special method of calculating the value of a family farm
can lower the amount of estate tax owed. Finally, as the
amount of assets exempt from taxation increases under
EGTRRA, the estate tax will affect fewer small businesses
and farms (at least until the law expires).”
“Affordability of the Estate Tax Information about whether the estates of farmers and small-business owners can afford to pay estate taxes comes primarily from tax returns. CBO’s analysis examined data from estate tax returns filed in 1999 and 2000
(the most recent data available when the analysis was conducted).
Determining from tax returns what constitutes a
family farm or small business is difficult, however. Returns
identify the decedent’s occupation and industry, but
those categories are broad. For lack of better identifiers,
this analysis considered the estates of farmers to be those
reporting an occupation of either farmer or farm worker
(about 4,500 estates per year) and the estates of smallbusiness
owners to be those claiming the QFOBI deduction
(about 1,500 per year).
The vast majority of estates, including those of farmers
and small-business owners, had enough liquid assets to
pay the estate taxes they owed. However, estates involving
farms or small businesses were less likely than the average
estate to have sufficient liquid assets to cover their estate
taxes. In 2000, about 8 percent (or 138) of the estates of
farmers who left enough assets to owe estate taxes faced a
tax payment that exceeded their liquid assets, compared
with about 5 percent of all estates that owed taxes. For
estates claiming the QFOBI deduction, the corresponding
figure was about 34 percent (or 164 estates). Those
numbers are upper bounds, however, because the definition
of liquid assets used on estate tax returns excludes
some money held in trusts, which could also be used to
pay estate taxes.”
This talk of the Estate Tax hurting family farms and small businesses is a load of crap. I would like to hear more on Ford’s position on the Estate Tax and why Wal-mart is such a big supporter of his campaigns.
The link to their website is here, while the direct link to the 51-PAGE PDF (if you're on dialup, it could take awhile) is here. It looks like a really comprehensive overview of Government in the city and county, with maps of districts and who currently holds each office, as well as when they began holding it.
Great job, Leadership Academy! Props to Judy Palmer of MSDIA, David Holt and Jeannette Warren of Germantown Democratic Club for informing me of this guide.
could I get a comprehensive list of the views that one MUST espouse to be a REAL democrat? You guys seem to be writing it one blog at a time.
OK, fair enough. Here's an excerpt from a great DailyKos diary about what I think is the CORE issue of being a REAL Democrat:
Ever since the rise of movement conservatism in 1980, there has been a discernable failure by our government to effect the just distribution of profits in a market economy. Worse yet, liberals have forgotten how to use its principles as way to effectively explain how the middle class and working poor can actually lose ground during periods of high corporate profits.
To that end, liberals must again prove that they will provide Americans with a truer sense of personal security. This goal is attainable simply by using the canons of distributive justice capitalism; the means society uses to allocate its economic resources in proportion to the individual's needs. But to be truly effective, this conversation must be framed within the context of satisfying the greater common good through individual contribution, i.e., the responsibility every citizen has for maintaining the American institutions upon which all citizens rely upon for individual self-development.
Distributive justice democratizes capitalism while leaving intact the incentive for meritorious achievement. While recognizing the employer's right to a just compensation for proper management and economic risk it demands that that the laborer ceases being treated as a commodity but as a dignified individual. It accomplishes this goal not by focusing upon the endless receipt of public assistance, but by emphasizing the dignified compensation for honest labor. Such compensation requires the proportionally just distribution of profits to each individual who contributed to the production of a given item or a provided service.
Expanding the distribution of profits extends opportunity to a greater number of individuals by increasing their ability to acquire and own private property. Increasing both private property ownership and its means of acquisition are major steps forward in satisfying the common good goal of self-sufficiency and individual economic security to a greater number of individuals.
Here is Ford's fundamental problem. He scarificed the interests of the constituents of the 9th congressional district for his own political advancement. He didn't have a right to move his voting in the congress to the right in a deliberate attempt to make himself more appealing to conservative voters in the central and eastern part of the state. Are Ford supporters able to say that Ford is not a panderer. I'd like to see that argument made.
Ford supporters know he is a panderer and you know what showed it. That Port security commercial he ran. For two weeks the port deal issue raged. He didn't run that add until 4 days before the republicans killed the deal. Then he kept the ad up for several days longer. If he would have run that ad a week earlier it could have appeared less oprotunistic, but because he is a spineless panderer, he didn't and the ad only contributed to perception he is weak.
I challenge Ford supporters to explain to us why we should vote for him without using the spectre of republican boogey men. Leftwing Cracker, the folks at Pesky Fly, and myself have been specificly explaining why we don't want Ford for a year. I want Ford supporters to specificly explain why they want him.
Hell, he's young enough to be my son, and I remember what it was like to be 19 and geeked up about politics. I was 19 and walking a precinct for Brave Cordova Dem, who was running for the legislature (neither of us were in Cordova at the time. He's trying to help his candidate; hell, he apparently just got himself elected to the Lawrence County Commission, so he's learning, one would hope.
However, it's good to remember that Ronald Reagan became the icon of the rightwing (although the nutjobs probably look at HIM as a liberal now) because the CONSERVATIVE BASE of the Republican Party got angry at the Bob Michels and Gerald Fords of the world who rolled over for the Democratic Party, who was then in complete control of Congress, and by extension, Washington.
They showed discipline, they NEVER gave up, and they wound up with complete control of Washington.
Howard Dean is our Ronald Reagan, only a hell of a lot smarter and correct on the issues. He understands that the problem with the Democratic Party are our elected officials in Washington, who are so locked into the Beltway mentality that they would rather be stomped on by the GOP than actually fight back or represent their constituencies. THAT is why he's pissed them off by using the money he raises to build parties at the state and local level and not routing it back to those bloated assholes.
That means to me, NO MONEY TO THE DCCC. NO MONEY TO THE DSCC. I give money to the national Party through a Democracy Bond because I know it's coming right back here for party-building.
I am so sick and tired of being told I have to hide my liberalism for fear it might offend some one. FUCK 'EM! Do you think GROVER NORQUIST hides HIS political beliefs, people? Do you think KARL FUCKING ROVE hides his political beliefs because it might offend someone? HELL NO!
We're the ones who are correct, people! The Democratic Party is supposed to be the LIBERAL party in America, not the whiny little party that won't talk back to the big bad bullies! Why can't people figure that out?
Friends, our Democratic Congressmen & Senators are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome because they've been in captivity so long. That's how you wind up with a craven little coward like Joe Lieberman, and that's why we're going to beat him with Ned Lamont.
Harold Ford, Junior has run his campaign like he is ashamed to be a Democrat, and I will NOT stand for that. That's why I supported Rosalind Kurita, not because she was a flaming liberal, but because she stood up for DEMOCRATIC positions on healthcare and on the war in Iraq. She wasn't afraid, and for that the DC establishment worked to crush her at every turn, succeeding in forcing her out of the race.
At the rate things are going, I'm only going to have TWO REAL Democrats to vote for in November, for Congress (Cohen, I hope; anyone but Tinker otherwise) and Kernell for re-election.
Bredesen and Ford have proven to me that they are NOT REAL DEMOCRATS, and I will not vote for either of them. Oh, I won't vote for Goopers, I never do, I'll just write in the names of REAL Democrats in their place. Maybe I'll write in Harold Ford, SENIOR for the Senate; at least he WAS a REAL Democrat.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
I have learned from my sources that EMILY'S LIST would not return her calls. WTF??? So much for the idea that they support progressive women. This kind of bullshit is what led Markos Moulitsas and Jerome Armstrong to write Crashing The Gate, which I have not quite finished.
It's about how the DC-based consultants and Party staff are destroying the Democratic Party from within. This is the kind of bullshit that Howard Dean is fighting by building the state and local parties from the ground up.
Anyway, back to Autoegocrat, with a terrific excerpt:
If I'm Rosalind Kurita, right now I'm asking myself why my own party stabbed me in the back. In actual fact, I am not Rosalind Kurita, but I still have the same question.
Let's be absolutely clear about what just took place here. Rosalind Kurita now becomes the second eminently qualified Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate whose candidacy was torpedoed by Chuck Schumer. First it was Paul Hackett in Ohio, now it's Rosalind Kurita in Tennessee.
Chuck Schumer lives in New York. That yankee rat wouldn't know the Appalachian Trail if he was squatting on it, he wouldn't know the Mississippi River if he was drowning in it, and he wouldn't know a Ripley tomato if one hit him in the face. And yet, that son of a bitch gets to decide who does and does not get money for their campaigns in the Volunteer State.
For the record, my position on Ford stands: I will not vote for an Uncle Tom Democrat, and the day I let some party apparatchik from New York tell me who to vote for is the day I stop being an American. Uncle Junior's got Chuck Schumer's help, so he clearly doesn't need mine.
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Rosalind Kurita, who was blocked at every turn by the DC establishment, ESPECIALLY the DSCC, which in turn killed her fund-raising chances, is apparently withdrawing from the US Senate race, according to the CA and the Flyer.
I was worried about this all along. She needed to be able to go on TV to push her chances, and now the only hope the Democratic Party had of electing a US Senator in Tennessee in November is GONE.
Fuck you, Schumer.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
They endorsed Darrick Harris in District 2, Position 1, Reginald Fentress for Position 2, and Deidre Malone for Position 3. They also tapped Steve Mulroy for District 5, all good choices.
However, we part ways in District 3, as they selected Paul Springer, Jr. in Position 1, who I don't really know, so I can't say anything one way or the other. Then, perhaps attempting to avoid the debacle of having the ExecCom choose the nominee, they chose to endorse Sidney Chism for Position 2.
Like I said earlier, District 3, you're on your own in that race.......
All in all, 4 out of 6 ain't bad, nice job MSDIA!
Then again, maybe this is just a ploy to ENSURE that he gets what he wants, and that he really has no intention of going to NCSU. Maybe.
Let's look at this realistically. On the one hand, the Tigers are losing Rodney Carney and Waki Williams to graduation, while Darius Washington Jr is considering leaving early for the NBA, and Shawne Williams has all but announced his departure. Next year won't be the great year a lot of UM fans think it will, and he might want to get out of town while the getting's good.
On the other hand, does he want to leave a situation where he is going to dominate an entire conference (not to mention the city of Memphis) for a situation where he will have two DYNASTIES in Duke and UNC within 20 MILES of the campus? Think Best Damn Sports Show will want you when you're fighting for the 7th seed in the ACC Tournament, John?
I just don't believe this man's ego can take being THIRD banana in a market smaller than Memphis. Nothing against NCSU, but they haven't been a real power since Norm Sloan deserted them for Florida, the fluke national championship in 1983 notwithstanding.
I could be as wrong as wrong gets, but I suspect RC Johnson, Harold Byrd and company will give him a package that keeps him here.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Hmmm. I wonder who that could be? Brad Watkins has an idea! Yes, why not the old West Tennessee Liberal his ownself, David Holt! It's a great idea, but remember, WE NEED TO VOTE FOR WHICH POSITION WE WRITE HIM IN!
Fortunately, I don't think Margo knows where I live, so I won't be expecting a letter-bomb, but I agree with Brad that it's a great idea, and I hope you do too.
Here are the Goopers in each position:
COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 1, POSITION 1
COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 1, POSITION 2
George S. Flinn
COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 1, POSITION 3
Karla Willingham Templeton
Remember, pick your position, District One!
Just ask Judge McLin, or Judge Lambert-Ryan or Judge Stotts! It can be all the difference in the campaign for some judges. Some of those who sat on the ExecCom with me will remember that I attempted to curtail the process. Yes, I did, and I was rightly thumped for it, and the ExecCom voted to do it.
I am going to ask the ExecCom to make endorsements in these non-partisan races. The Goopers are, so we may as well join them. I, of course, will make my own later, but the ExecCom should push forward.
Now, of course, those ExecCom members that are not active in a campaign (and why aren't you?) are praying that neither Walter Bailey or Cleo Kirk will win their races for County Commission. This, of course, would force them into choosing someone in either district as our nominee; since Republicans never win in either district, this would be tantamount to handing them a Commission seat. Last I heard, both men were continuing to campaign.
Here's a suggestion. There are two races in each district, so why not do this: pick the second-place candidate FROM THE OTHER RACE in each district. Pick the second place candidate from Position 2 for Position 1 in District 2, and then pick the second-place candidate from Position 1 for Position 2 in District 3.
Sorry if that reads like a menu from an old Chinese restaurant, but you get my point: if the people in that district deliberately cast their lot with the Executive Committee when they knew they could have chosen someone available to serve NOW, that's a REJECTION, folks.
Personally, I hope that District 2 voters will choose Darrick Harris and spare us that one. District 3 voters, you're on your own.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
With this in mind, I offer the Cracker's COMPLETE endorsement guide in contested races...
Mayor - AC Wharton - Oh, come on, he could campaign full-time in a taffeta gown and still win.
Sheriff - Bennie Cobb - He has more law enforcement experience than anyone else in the race by a longshot.
Circuit Court Clerk - No Endorsement - I honestly don't know enough about either Roderic Ford or Johnnie Ruth Williams to give you a choice.
Criminal Court Clerk - Kevin Gallagher - No-brainer here; he has plans to streamline the office and he will bust his butt to do so.
Juvenile Court Clerk - Wanda Halbert - There is a great deal of sympathy, and deservedly so, for Shep Wilbun. However, I do not believe he could defeat Steve Stamson in a rematch, and we need a fresher face for that office.
Probate Court Clerk - Sondra Becton - On sheer doggedness, you have to admire the fact that every four years, she runs against Chris Thomas. Maybe she'll win one of these days.
County Clerk - Joe Young - No one should be surprised at this choice, as I have been a supporter of Joe all along. He is incredibly organized, and will make this a friendlier, more efficient office for all County residents.
Register - Coleman Thompson is unopposed for the Democratic nomination, but I would have endorsed him regardless. I worked along side him as co-manager of the Carol Chumney County Mayor race four years ago, and he is first-rate in everyt respect.
And now, for the Commission races....
District 1 - Who cares? No Democrats are running here; I'll be writing in people in all three races in August!
Position 1 - Darrick Harris - He has great ideas for the district, and he has paid his dues to this party without question.
Position 2 - Reginald Fentress - Far and away the most progressive candidate in this race; DFM has already endorsed him and is actively helping him.
Position 3 - Deidre Malone is completely unopposed, and will return in September. However, I would have endorsed her anyway; she has been a bulldog for her district.
Position 1 - Bob Hatton - He has earned this race with his hard work over many years and I believe he would be the best choice.
Position 2 - No endorsement - If Cleo Kirk wins this race, even though he can't serve, come to the May Executive Committee meeting, bring some popcorn and pull up a chair!
Position 3 - Joe Ford is unopposed.
District 4 - Screw 'em, they're all Republicans!
District 5 - Steve Mulroy - Again, a no-brainer, he is our ONLY chance to regain this seat from the GOP, no matter how many billboards developers buy for Joe Cooper.
Flame away, my Crackerphiles!
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Quick notes from filing deadline:
1) Paul Stanley received NO GOP opposition for State Senate 31; there is a Democrat, Ivon Faulkner, running.
2) Jayne Chandler joined an already crowded list of candidates for Juvenile Court Judge, including Curtis Person, Earnestine Hunt Dorse, Veronica Coleman-Davis, and William T. Winchester.
3) Joe Towns had no opposition for his state House District 84, which gives him a free shot to run for the 9th District, and he took advantage of that by filing.
4) Filing as an INDEPENDENT for 9th District was Harold Jr.'s younger brother Jake Ford.
5) Patrick Malone III, who I have learned is the 20-year-old SON of County Commissioner Deidre Malone, filed for State Democratic Executive Committee - District 30 against longtime incumbent David Upton.
6) State Senator Ophelia Ford (D-29) has a primary rematch with STCC professor Steve Haley; however, Terry Roland, her GOP stalker, ALSO faces primary opposition with Kelley Hankins.
7) State Senator Kathryn Bowers (D-33), in addition to her legal troubles, faces primary opposition with Jennings Bernard, John A. Brown, and Steve Webster. There are also two Goopers running, Michael Floyd and Mary Wright (this isn't mary Taylor-Shelby under a married name, is it?).
8) Representative Henri Brooks (D-92), who is a candidate for County Commission in District 2, also filed for re-election. Opposing her in the primary are Democratic activist Elbert Rich, Jr. and Michael Saine.
9) My Godfather, Mike Kernell, faces Gooper Tim Cook in November in District 93.
10) Beverly Marrero (D-89) has Larry Henson of Binghampton in the Democratic primary, and Republican John Farmer (say, isn't he running in US 8?) and independent Charles Irvin Bell in the November election.
Congratulations to the unopposed legislators, all Representatives: Brian Kelsey (R-83), Joe Towns (D-84, see above), Larry Miller (D-88), John Deberry (D-90), Curry Todd (R-95).
I haven't even GOTTEN to the judgeships yet; I'll do that later........
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
WTL has a real point. Darrick Harris may not have money out the wazoo like Gibson, but he has put in his time and effort to help this Party, and I should have recognized that. He is going to need LOTS of ground troops, because Early Voting starts next Wednesday, running through April 27.
Evil of Evilblog seconded the proposal at WTL's site; there's no reason NOT to join in.
With that, your humble Cracker endorses Darrick Harris for District 2, Position 1 over JW Gibson and the erstwhile Commissioner, Walter Bailey.
Overall, Darrick Harris did the best. I'm not sure why the Chism faction has decided to throw him under the bus in exchange for JW Gibson, but that is a mistake. (Funny story about JW. Apprently the reason JW left the republicans in 2005 was because there wasn't an opprotunity for advancement. The thing is, this was the same reason he left the Democratic party over a decade ago. That sir, is not a good excuse.)
Go read the rest...
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Come on out to the Poplar Lounge! No, I'm not kidding, it's not THAT early!
The 4th Annual Hot Wing Contest & Festival ,with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House & the Shelby County Drug Court Program, will take place this Saturday from 11:30 A.M. to 8 P.M. at the World Famous Poplar Lounge at 2586 Poplar (between Hollywood & Union Extended). There will be several silent auctions (I won a $25 GC to Central BBQ last year) and yes, there will be bands playing.
The Cracker will be there, having been graciously invited to join a team this year. I'll be helping set up on Saturday morning, so I'll miss the Covenant Breakfast. But you shouldn't! Come on down after the Breakfast and hang out and help us raise money for two VERY worthy causes.
Will Host A Covenant Breakfast
Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church
70 North Bellevue Boulevard
Memphis, TN 38104
Saturday April 8th at 9:30 A.M.
Mayor A.C. Wharton
The breakfast will be an opportunity for all Democratic candidates to sign the party Ethics Pledge. Party Chair Matt Kuhn will also present the SCDP Covenant, a document setting out Democratic positions on a host of important local issues. featured speaker Mayor A.C. Wharton. All local Democrats are invited to this event as we strive to take back our county.
For more information, please contact Dave Cambron, Public Relations Chair, Shelby County Democratic Party at email@example.com or (901) 830-3283.
Suggested donation is $10.
Monday, April 03, 2006
I will keep at the top of the blog all of the 9th District Democratic websites that I have. Right now, I have Ron Redwing, Ralph White (thanks, Lawrence!), Lee Harris, Ed Stanton, Nikki Tinker, Bill Whitman and Marvell Mitchell and now Tyson Pratcher, but that's it. If you have any other sites, please email me at sjs1959 at yahoo dot com.
I can't find a website for Julian Bolton or Steve Cohen; Steve just filed 4/3 so it's not up yet. That's what I have so far, so if you want your candidate on the blogroll, and they're not listed above, and they have a website, shoot me an email and I will add it!
I take nothing away from the group of candidates who are also in this race, and I'm glad they're running, we need new blood. I hope that we continue to see them involved in Party activities after this race.
However, as Steve pointed out, he is the only one in the race who has had to get legislation through both houses of a bicameral legislature. He's been doing that for 24 years. While Mike Kernell led the battle in the House, his persistence in the Senate for over two decades led to the approval of the statewide Lottery and the Hope Scholarships that they provide to high-school students from Memphis to Mountain City.
As I left, I told him that we needed a bulldog in Washington to stop the Bush policies, and that he was it. I hope that you agree.