Friday, January 30, 2009
Memorial To Celebrate the Late Keith Kennedy
The Department of Theatre & Dance will host a memorial event celebrating the life of the late Keith Kennedy, on January 31 at 3 p.m. on the Mainstage in the Theatre and Communication Building, 3745 Central Avenue. A backstage reception will follow the memorial. The event is free and open to the public.
Kennedy, who was the first director of theatre at (then) Memphis State University, died December 17, 2008 of congestive heart failure. Although Kennedy will be remembered for the many plays he directed during his time at the University, he is most often associated with the production of "Hair," staged at Memphis State in March 1970. The University’s was the first non-professional production of the controversial anti-war musical and brought a record audience to the campus theatre. Under Kennedy’s leadership U of M theatre attained national recognition, and became known throughout the region as a major cultural asset for Memphis and Shelby County. He was a renowned teacher who inspired a generation of students and set high artistic standards, which still prevail at the University today.
After 20 years at the University, Kennedy wanted to “find one more big adventure,” and took early retirement in 1986 to pursue that dream and continue directing plays on local stages. In 1992 Kennedy was one of three University employees to receive the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Achievement Award. In 1996, he received the Eugart Yerian Award for lifetime theater service. The memorial celebration will feature Kennedy’s family and friends, colleagues and students. Music will be provided by George Caldwell, Deborah Manning Thomas, who recently played the lead role in Hattiloo Theatre’s production of “Mahalia,” and Brenetta Farmer Miles who sang “The Age of Aquarius” in the Memphis production of “Hair.” Speakers include Michael Osborn and John Bakke, professors emeritus and former chairs of the Department of Communication, Ken Zimmerman, former artistic director of Playhouse on the Square and star of Kennedy’s first Memphis production, “Stop the World I Want To Get Off,” in 1965, and Russell Sugarmon, local civil rights pioneer.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
First, five words I am delighted to put on this page:
Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois.
Now that idiot Blagojevich can wait to see what Fitz has in store for him, which I hope is 20 years in the joint.
Now to more local corruption, and no, not the Herenton investigation, which has seemingly gone longer than the Hundred Years War with no indictment of the Big Fella in sight. This is about something else, something almost as distasteful.
As you are aware, it appears that the new Speaker of the House, Kent Williams, apparently made an ass of himself while drunk and told Rep. Susan Lynn something to the effect that he would pay to see her naked. OK, folks, drunk or not, that's harassment.
Lynn chose not to make a fuss, but asked for a meeting with House leadership to request that the then freshman Rep be told not to let something like this happen again. At that time, the matter appeared to have been settled. (my note: Williams' behavior was inexcusable, and yes, I believe Lynn. As there is no evidence that this has continued, I am willing to forgive as long as SHE is.)
Now, we know that Williams made a deal a couple of weeks ago with the House Democratic Caucus to get their 49 votes, which added to his own, gave Tennessee a more moderate Republican speaker than Jason Mumpower, the House Republican Leader. Williams then split the committee leadership, as befitting a divided House.
However, Rep. Brian Kelsey, who earned the nickname Stuntbaby of Germantown for his antics in Nashville from the venerable AC Kleinheider, decided to file an ethics complaint against the new Speaker. However, he apparently sought "conciliation" with Speaker Williams first, with one caveat; he wanted a full committee chairmanship. Kelsey admits to texting the Speaker's assistant with this bombshell:
“Tell Kent I’m willing to talk about reconciliation if he’s willing to talk about chairman of the full committee.”
Sure as hell makes you wonder what he meant by "reconciliation", doesn't it? Then, Kelsey claims he was so upset by Williams' denial of Lynn's charge (which should only have been brought up by HER, not Kelsey, because SHE, not Kelsey, was the aggrieved party) that he decided to bring up the Ethics charge.
The counsel for the Ethics Committee decided that theirs was not the proper venue for the complaint, so it was dismissed, as it should have been.
If Rep. Lynn wants to bring this back up and make a full complaint, I'm all for it; it's her call. But she DIDN'T, and she apparently wants to let this go, so I'm with whatever she wants.
Kelsey, with this flagrant act, has made himself look like an idiot, and also has injured the reputation of the House Republicans in general, which is not of the good, as Newscoma would say.
Look, I have never denied that I am a Democratic hack, but I also understand that the local House Republicans, Jim Coley, Steve McManus, Ron Lollar, Curry Todd, they're all good guys who I don't often agree with, but who will work with their Democratic counterparts. Same goes for Mark Norris, the Senate Republican Caucus Chair. They get hurt when Kelsey pulls one of these moronic acts, and it makes them look incapable of governance, when they work hard for their districts and generally do what their constituencies want.
As for Kelsey, quit bitching; you wound up as chair of the Civil Practice subcommitee of Judiciary. Don't you think it's time you started practicing some civility? You may not be as safe as you think, pal, so straighten up and act like a leader.
Unless you want to end up like Blagojevich.
UPDATE: The CA has a word for Kelsey's act: EXTORTION.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Bone is also supported by the very people who have led this party to the brink of collapse; Bredesen, Lincoln Davis, the big-money donors who love the Republican-lite approach to campaigning that has seen us win only two state-wide elections since 1990 (and since those were Bredesen, do they really count?). They have dropped veiled threats that they will pull out of the party if Forrester is elected.
To which I can only say....
GOOD. Don't let the doorknob hit you on the ass as you're leaving, OK? What have you done for this party other than pull it away from its populist roots and back people like The Honorable Phil Governor, who has made Don Sundquist look like Hugo Chavez in comparison? NADA. ZILCH.
So, if you're a real Democrat, you'll stay and take a role in shaping its' future. If not, you'll take a hike and you won't be missed.
So, TDP ExecCom members, if you are undecided, please vote for Chip, he'll take us in the right direction, CRB won't, good guy that he is.
Thanks for your time!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
GO. NOW. VOTE NO to stop this latest attempt to codify xenophobia, which will only hurt Nashville now and in the future, as companies recoil from open expressions of racism such as this.
Any questions? I thought not.
Monday, January 19, 2009
This is from yesterday's concert, with perhaps our greatest living folksinger, Pete Seeger. This is for Lauren, this is for me, this is for all of us.
Friday, January 16, 2009
He includes all your favorites, from yours truly to our beloved Newscoma to Aunt B. and all who share the beliefs of liberty, equality, fraternity, and pissing off the Right. Go there now and bookmark it!
And, of course, it's on THE ENDLESS BLOGROLL!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Now, if this turns out to be anything more than an honorary title, then I have problems with it, OK? So, far, NOTHING indicates that this is anything more than an honorary title for someone who served in the office longer than anybody, IIRC. Remember, the Speaker can ask ANYONE from the House membership to sit in the chair if he chooses; this is done frequently in Washington, and I believe it can be done here.
I also note that Speaker Williams voted with the Republicans on all three constitutional offices (although, as The Rep has noted, each race was effectively over after the Senate gave each Republican a five-vote lead coming out of there) and he is in charge. Now, it appears that the committee assignments have yet to be done; however, the Lege is on recess until February 9, so we should know something by then.
At that point, we will get some idea of how this is going to shake out. Right now, Kent Williams is the most powerful person in the legislature, because he is the 50th House vote. He is no liberal by any means, and while Mumpower and his troops will not have the carte blanche they thought they were getting, I suspect that they won't be shut out, either.
Does Williams owe Naifeh and Odom? Well, hell yes he does, but to what extent? Williams knows if he looks like a puppet for EITHER Naifeh or Mumpower, it will hurt him back home. His area is OLD-SCHOOL Republican, long before the new breed of Gingrichites arrived. Williams beat Mumpower's guy TWICE, so Williams knows if he does what his district wants, rather than what the party tells him to do, he will be just fine, even if he's not Speaker in the 107th General Assembly.
There needs to be serious reflection for Mumpower, Casada and the other 47 in his group, as there are a few in that group for whom I have a deep respect. Stories like this make the Mumpower group look like bumpkins who've come to the big city for the first time, not people who have been asked to govern. As is often said to football players who over-celebrate a touchdown, act like you've been there. Even if you haven't.
We are three weeks away from the actual work of the session, with committee assignments and the Governor's undoubtedly dire budget address. There's a hell of a lot of work to do for this state and not much time to do it. EVERYONE needs to focus and remember why they are there, and it's not about your press clippings. As we were reminded this week, it ain't about the talk, it's about the walk.
In other news, I am an idiot for not telling you about this, because for the last two weeks I have been devouring a new website set up by Sadcox and our beloved Newscoma called NewsTechZilla. It's all about news, technology, journalism, and lots and lots of good stuff. Go check it out, you should subscribe to either the email or RSS feed, or both, as I have done. It's got the 'Coma touch, so it's top-notch! You'll also find it below and to the right in THE ENDLESS BLOGROLL, of course.
Now, to my crackpot predictions for the NFL.
It's an all-BIRD Super Bowl, my friends, as the Arizona Cardinals, (the Norman Chad Team of Destiny) led by 78-year-old Kurt Warner, will defeat the Philadelphia Eagles and face the Baltimore Ravens of rookie sensation Joe Flacco and ultimate gangstas Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, who will send Ben Roethlisberger to the emergency ward while humiliating the Steelers at Heinz Field. Remember, with these picks, you're getting your money's worth!
That's enough for now, I ponder a FGF pick for the morning.....
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Didn’t we just go through several years of folks having to sign loyalty pledges to attend GOP events? Isn’t the very act of pledging immediately putting you in opposition of your own intelligence and intuition? Does anyone else out there find loyalty pledges alarming?Great stuff, read the rest here.
I think if you lead, and lead carefully yet confidently, people will follow. Demanding that they do so up front seems so….needy.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Ok, so that's rubbing it in, I'm sorry, I'll try to do better.
The plot was hatched over coffee during the Thanksgiving weekend. House Democratic leader Gary Odom went to Elizabethton to meet Kent Williams at his restaurant, Dino's. Out of the blue, Odom asked Williams how he'd like to be the speaker of the House.Wow.
"I think his first reaction was he thought I was joking because he knew Speaker Naifeh was working diligently to find the 50th vote," Odom told reporters a few minutes ago. "We were looking for an alternative in case it became necessary, and it became necessary."
That didn't happen, though, until 5 o'clock last night when Naifeh finally gave up on his own hopes and went to Williams to seal their deal. When the session started today, many Democrats weren't even aware of what was about to happen, Naifeh said. That's why Democrats moved for a 30-minute recess, to give themselves time to brief the party's members. (The wily Odom told the House he wanted the recess to give everyone time to take pictures with families in attendance on opening day.) Freshman Republican Terri Lynn Weaver, a gospel singer and apparently not the sharpest knife, unwittingly played into Naifeh's hands when she pushed the wrong button and mistakenly voted with the Democrats to allow the recess.
"It was not widely known and it had to be explained to the members of the House Democratic Caucus," Naifeh told reporters. But if Weaver had voted as she intended, "We would have found another way," Naifeh said.
By and large, the best coverage of the day if you weren't watching it unfold online, was Adam Kleinheider, who has this covered from every angle possible.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
|An Evening with Bobby Rush|| |
After spectacular performances at the Center's 2007 and 2008 Memphis Music & Heritage Festival Mr. Rush said, "I want to support an organization that unites Memphis' culture, music, history and arts the way the Center for Southern Folklore and its Festival does. I hope all my fans join me in supporting the Center on Friday, January 9, 2009."
Bobby Rush, performs a rare solo acoustic benefit concert for the Center for Southern Folklore. Admission is $75.00 per person and includes regional foods, beer and wine. The evening will include performances by Mr. Rush plus an on stage interview where audience members will have a chance to ask Mr. Rush about his musical career.
| Location: Folklore Hall |
|$75.00 (includes food, beer & wine) This Event supports the Center for Southern Folklore. Please join us and consider buying a ticket as a gift!|