Wednesday, August 31, 2005

It's time to think about it

First, for the very latest on the New Orleans situation, you can watch WWL-TV on line here; they are on until midnight each night. It provides a sobering perspective on the starkness of their plight.

Then, please click on the link in the post below, and give what you can to the organization of your choice; they need everything they can get right now.

After that, we need to realize that we sit on the most dangerous earthquake fault in the Western Hemisphere, the New Madrid Fault. A massive earthquake like the 1812 quake could reroute the Mississippi River and plunge us into the same darkness as the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.

I hope, with all my heart, that city, county, and state officials have plans ready to go for such an event. Just because it hasn't happened in nearly 200 years doesn't mean that it can't happen soon, and we need to be prepared for it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

You know what?

Michael Hooks Sr. has been indicted in the latest Tennessee Waltz scam, and I could care less.

I could care less about that DLC shill Rusty's latest comments. You know what, Rusty, I don't care, I'm still for Kurita.

What everyone should be focused on is what has become the greatest natural disaster to hit this nation since, arguably, the New Madrid Earthquake. The governor of Louisiana has ordered the entire evacuation of the city of New Orleans. The president of neighboring Jefferson Parish says you may come back in a week, but only long enough to get essentials and clothing, and then leave and not return for ONE MONTH.

We haven't even begun to talk about the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where 80 people are reported dead in Hancock County alone.

Daily Kos has a diary where you can donate to several different groups assisting in the relief effort; I hope that you will go there now and give what you can.

For live feeds, go here or here.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I have stolen this post!!

Why? Because it's about this blog and SOME of our readers. Thanks again to the PeskyFly his own self for having my back!

Here it is:

Quantum Physics as applied to the Tennessee Democratic Party

There's so much STINK in the comments at the LeftWingCracker's place I can hardly stand to visit. The comments, that is, not the Cracker. It would seem that Harold Ford Jr. supporters--having learned their Rovian lessons well--are are branding anti-Ford Democrats as "shady secret Republicans."

I wish I was kidding. To make such a comment outside the realm of broad, broad burlesque suggests a level of willful mendacity (self-aimed or not) that is TRULY astonishing. Since these shit-eaters (for such is the steady diet of fibs) speak such fulent GOPese, l'll keep it simple and couch my points in loud, shrill, Conservative terms.

It's clear from Ford's AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL voting record, and his continued support for President Bush and a war built on LIES that he's FAR OUT OF STEP WITH THE DEMOCRATIC MAINSTREAM.

Opposing BAD Democrats (and Ford is certainly one) doesn't make you a secret Republican, it makes you a good Democrat, dipshits.

Here's a little science wherein the addition of two positive quantaties can result in a negative:

When you give someone bad information and they accept it they know less than they did before. Junior is on his way to becoming a "know nothing" and his personal band of lemmings invectively posed to drop the race bomb at the faintest whiff of opposition are following this Manchurian Candidate right off the rhetorical cliff.

I may not be a good Democrat, but I'm a bona fide Liberal and I know one thing: In a race between Ford and Corker, I'd be voting for roughly the same values. As a GOOD, GOOD, GOOD Lefty I'd be mighty tempted to vote for Corker because it's better to have an enemy that pays tribute than an ally who sells you up the river. Art of War: Fly-style.

posted by PeskyFly @ 1:09 PM

Friday, August 26, 2005

Digby gets to the point

Digby, in reviewing Wesley Clark's op-ed piece in today's Washington Post, advises that it is a political document, and that it's a GOOD THING.

I believe that there is a less than zero possibility that George W. Bush is going to implement any sane plan to withdraw from Iraq, much less one set forth by a Democratic presidential aspirant. And I say this with the greatest assurance that I'm right for the simple reason that George W. Bush has failed on every level, at every moment, from the very beginning to do anything right on Iraq. Why in God's name would we think that he will suddenly become sane and do something different today?

And even if they change course, there is no evidence that the Bush administration could then implement a plan with any more competence than they have anything else. The heartbreaking truth of the matter is that as long as Iraq is in the hands of the Bush administration and the Republicans, it is fucked. Period. That means that all Democratic policy prescriptions are essentially political positioning for the elections. I wish it weren't so, but it is.


He goes on to note the following:

I don't believe in purges or demands for disavowels; they have a faint whiff of Stalinism that rubs me the wrong way. Nobody has to apologise to me for what they believed about the war. But, considering that their credibility is more than a little bit tattered, it would probably be a good idea if the liberal intellectuals who backed the war finally recognized that everything they say and do is being used for political fodder and adjust their thinking and writing accordingly. They are not going to affect Bush administration policy. There is still a chance they could affect politics, however, if they will just stop pretending that the Republicans are operating on a logical basis in which they can find some common ground.

Hmmm. We don't know anybody like that. do we?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

How did I miss this?

Steve Gillard at the NEWS BLOG did a post about the Congressman from the 9th District several days ago, and I missed it until I was told about it today. Please read it, as well as the comments, one of which refers to Junior as a "Vichy Democrat". Those of you who are of the WWII Generation know what that means...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Interesting news

Mike Kernell has informed me that former CA reporter (Nashville Bureau) Paula Wade has left the Bredesen administration to work for ......

The Tennessee Justice Center, led by Gordon Bonnyman! Yes, the same group that has held Bredesen to the fire over TennCare now has a former administration member (as well as top-notch reporter) on their staff.

More news as it develops...

The Flyer reads my mind!

The Memphis Flyer, who has been even more critical of Harold Ford Junior than I have (if that's possible) has endorsed Ford - for the REPUBLICAN nomination for US Senate!

Their comments speak for themselves:

Congressman Ford, we suggest you immediately declare your candidacy for the Republican nomination for the Senate. Your words, your political contributors, and your votes make it clear that’s where you belong. As the Republican nominee, you would become the favorite to be Tennessee’s next senator. And you could go before the voters as what you are: a centrist who believes in the war in Iraq and who favors the budgetary, economic, and environmental policies of the Bush administration.

Best of all, your move to the Republican Party would clear the air in state politics. In 2006, the voters of Tennessee might be given a real choice at the polls: between a Republican candidate who stands on his record and for the status quo and a real Democratic candidate who might have the political courage to articulate a viable alternative to the mess in which we presently find ourselves at home and abroad.

Let’s make Harry Truman proud and give Tennessee voters a real choice.

Great job, folks!

Harold the Liberal?

One of my posters responding to my endorsement of Rosalind Kurita said that Harold Ford Junior was one of the most liberal congressmen in Washington.

Another of my readers sent me an article from Chris Bowers' wonderful chronicling how our House members voted on critical partisan issues in this Congress.

Let's look and see, shall we? From the article:


Democratic Loyalty: 82.4% (83.4%)

Republican Loyalty: 94.8% (94.5%)

Democratic Loyalty deficit: 12.4% (11.1%)

Total Votes for the Democratic Majority Position: 41.2%

Total Votes for the Republican Majority Position: 58.8%

Seats needed to take true majority control: 50

Democratic Caucuses

Progressive Caucus: 96.1% (97.3%)

Dem, non-progressive: 77.9%

New Democratic Caucus: 80.6% (80.7%)

Dem, non-New Dem: 82.9%

Blue Dog Caucus: 59.2% (57.1%)

Dem, non-Blue Dog: 87.3% (88.9%)

Non-aligned Democrats: 83.1% (85.2%)

Right now, there have been twenty-five Democrats and two Republicans who have voted against the majority position of their party at least half of the time:


Seven Defections: Christopher Shays
Eight Defections: Ron Paul


Seven Defections (9 members): Bean, Berry, Chandler, Ford, Lipinski, Matheson, Rahall, Ross, Skelton

That means on FOURTEEN critical Democratic issues, the man who wants to be your DEMOCRATIC nominee voted AGAINST HIS PARTY HALF THE TIME. That's some kinda liberalism, folks, the kind that should get you BEATEN in a Democratic primary.

Click on the link for more information. If, after you read this, you STILL think I'm the second coming of Lester Maddox because I won't vote for Ford in the primary, there's just no hope for some people.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I have no choice but to do this

Today, after reading about Harold Ford Jr.'s speech to the U of M Law School alumni on Friday night, I came to a decision that I have not wanted to make.

You see, I have been enamored of the idea that it would be a marvelous thing to elect an African-American to the United States Senate. I gave money, not once but twice, to Harvey Gantt as he unsuccessfully tried to unseat Jesse Helms. When HF Jr. succeeded his father in 1997, I thought that he might someday move higher up, and looked forward to that possibility.

Then, late in Jr's first term, with President Clinton fighting for his political life, I saw him take the floor of the US House to join in the attacks. Even if it were mild condemnation, this was inexcusable, even for a first-termer. I should have seen what was to come.

He has essentially been running for the Senate ever since. He has appeared on Don Imus' radio show countless times to suck up to the aging DJ and trying to make his bones with the Washington Beltway insiders. He has appeared on Fox News many times as well, and I don't have to tell you that Fox News is the Al-Jazeera of the Republican Party.

Then, this spring, he was too busy eating at Speaker Naifeh's Coon Supper to be in DC to vote against the horrible 2005-6 Budget. He followed that stellar performance by voting for the Bankruptcy Bill, a virtual giveaway to the credit-card industry that hurts HIS OWN DISTRICT more than any other.

He did manage to vote against CAFTA, for which I gave him props. But after this speech, it's too late. Read here from the Flyer article:

Addressing the annual awards banquet of the University of Memphis Law School Alumni, Ford expressed his initial support of the war effort this way: “I support this war in Iraq. I supported it from the very beginning for one reason. Saddam Hussein was a bad guy. Now, there are those who criticize and quarrel with this, and make the point over and over again that perhaps we shouldn’t have done it the way we’ve done it, and I would agree. But I wouldn’t blame the president, or anybody else for that matter, from waking up on September 12th and wondering aloud what would happen if Saddam Hussein and bin Laden married.

"It would be very easy for us to sit back in the comfort of our own homes and say, Well, one is secular and one is religious and they won’t . It would be very easy for us to think that 9/11 wouldn’t happen, but it did.”

Bush’s “instinct” had been right, said Ford, who has visited Iraq three times in the last two years and plans a fourth visit, but there is “a lot of room for change” in how the president pursues operations in Iraq. “I love my president. I love him personally,” Ford said. “But he’s just wrong. – wrong for not being willing to admit that we’ve made some mistakes....It was right to take him [Saddam] down but wrong to think that we can’t right this course.”

If you happen to be a Democrat, I would hope that you find that statement offensive. Bush's instinct was right? WTF???

Ken Neill, Flyer publisher, wrote an open letter to our 9th District Congressman today, as he had been at the UM Law School gathering. Here's an excerpt:

You have been accused by many critics, not just me, of being, shall we say, "soft" on the issues, willing to say just about anything, in hope of striking the politically-correct “moderate” pose that might possibly get you elected to the Senate as a Democrat in a state that's gone heavily Republican in the last two national elections. Others besides me have pointed at your recent voting record in Congress as an indication of this zeal for the middle ground. But talking out of both sides of your mouth doesn't qualify as "middle-speak," Congressman; it qualifies as "mush."

And that, at heart, is why I cannot support his candidacy for the US Senate. He has essentially proven that he will say anything to anyone to be elected to the US Senate.

He also makes the critical error that someone who is now supposed to be a national figure should NEVER make; he takes his base for granted. He assumes that he will be the nominee, especially with Chuck Schumer clouting for him. He has voted against the best interests of the working people of his district, and he expects them to flock to vote for him in August 2006 because he would be a historic figure.

Don't count your votes so quickly, Congressman.

I do have some qualms with Rosalind Kurita, but I feel like she has a better grasp on what the working people of Tennessee need: a tax structure that rewards work, not wealth, a better health care system for all, and someone who will be there for the average Tennessean, not the average CEO.

In the long run, I remember the words of Harry S. Truman, who noted that "if you only give people a choice between a Democrat who votes like a Republican and a REAL Republican, the people will take the real Republican every time."

And so it goes that I join Autoegocrat in asking you to support Rosalind Kurita for the United States Senate; at least she still knows what it means to be a Democrat.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

DLC protecting Junior's flank?

Autoegocrat has an interesting post at River City Mud Company regarding statements recently made by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at a DLC dinner party in Georgia.

There are links to links with the full audio, but the pertinent comments are as follows:

"Let me tell you one other thing we did. We are no longer letting Democrats get in a circle and shoot each other. I was just in Tennessee with Harry and with (...) and we have a primary and I stood up there Harold Ford is running and he can become the first African-American elected in the south to the Senate since reconstruction which would be a great thing for America. There is this young woman whose... not so young... but a nice woman running against him but everyone says she is going to attack him."

"...(unintelligible) we are going to intervene if anyone one democrat attacks another, we're doing that in states where there are primaries. We can't afford to do it anymore. This always happens in the primaries, we would throw up the cards and see where they landed. No more, we are finding the best candidate in every one of the seats where a Republican is vulnerable."

Intervene? Are you suggesting, Senator Schumer, that I as a Democrat can't support who I damn well please in my own primary? If you think I'm mad, imagine Autoegocrat, who has already jumped on the Ros Kurita bandwagon.

In any event, read his post, it's interesting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Senate Democrats cave again

What's the point in even HAVING Democrats in the Senate if they're just going to roll over for Bush every time? It appears that John Roberts is going be rammed down our throat without even the smallest semblance of a fight. The Washington Post reports the following:

The Democrats' decision to hold their fire -- less a formal strategy than an emerging consensus -- has allowed conservatives to husband their resources for future battles. Progress for America, a political group working closely with the White House, had planned to spend $18 million to promote the confirmation of Roberts but now may spend less than half that, according to Republican aides.

What freaking good does THAT do for Democratic causes? WHY should we continue to support people with no backbone? Do you think Rove would allow the GOP to roll over for a Democratic President like that? HELL NO. They would have faked pictures of the Democratic nominee in flagrante delicto with a woodland creature before they would have allowed that to happen.

Dignity my ass; it's for losers, and that's what the Democrats in the Senate are today.

Tre' Hargett jumps ship in mid-term to become.....

A lobbyist. Hargett, who has been House Republican Leader since 2002, also sat on the House Ethics Committee.

He is apparently going to be in charge of lobbying efforts for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for both Alabama and Tennessee, and is relocating to Middle Tennessee with his family.

This, of course, means we will have yet ANOTHER special election to fill a vacated Shelby County seat in the General Assembly. Should Rep. Henri Brooks win her challenge of the results of the Senate 29 Democratic primary, there could be even a fourth general election.

How much do these things cost, anyway?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Drinking Liberally is here!

I had seen Kos mention this organization on his blog a few times and wished that we had a Memphis group; now we have one!

The Memphis group of Drinking Liberally meets on Thursday evenings at Celtic Crossing at 603 South Cooper (former home of the Glass Onion) from 6:30 P.M. UNTIL they get tired, I guess. I was at Otherlands this evening, saw the poster for it and checked it out on the web (see link above).

Go out and meet folks, there's always more liberals that live here than you might believe!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

BOPnews is my new best friend!

There is yet ANOTHER great post there by Ian Welsch regarding a 50-state strategy. I know that there's a sentiment (especially if you're in the GDC!) that we need to field a strong candidate in the seemingly unwinnable 7th District. This post makes a really strong case for that.

An excerpt:

Funding a race doesn't mean matching dollar for dollar what Republicans spend. It does mean you run in every single riding and that you make sure the candidate has enough money for a credible run. That money does not have to come from any one source - part of the job of local candidates is to raise some of their own money after all.

However no party which doesn't run a candidate in every seat is a credible party. 30 point edges don't go away if you don't have someone making the local argument for you, especially when non-swing states don't get any advertising money. Likewise running campaigns in districts builds up volunteer pools and local activists, making the next run stronger. The sort of thinking that says "if we can't win this riding this time we should not even take a decent swing at it" is very short sighted.

It's not about not prioritizing. Of course you prioritize where you spend your money, but every riding should have someone making the Democratic argument.

All righty then! I also liked this tidbit:

Now this does mean that you have to keep your base happy. This is something Democrats don't get, and Republicans do. The base are the people who go out and knock on the doors, who do all the grunt labor and who are your most effective salesmen. But they can and will only do all of this for you if they really believe in you. So if you constantly sell them out, if you're not there for them when they need you, then they won't be there for you.

Go read the rest of this: you'll be glad you did!

By cracky, where are all the young folks? I'm too old to put up signs!

I sent this to my email list, but there's a great post by Shaula Evans at BOPnews regarding the AGING of the Democratic Party. This is one reason that I have been pushing for acceptance of the DFM crowd; it would be nice to attend a Democratic Party event where the median age was under 35.

This is no slap at our wonderful pioneers, people, it's just that we don't have anybody lined up to replace us!!! I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm past the point where I will put up signs or go door-to-door. We need to be training YOUNGER people for this, and DFM seems to be heading that up in the Memphis area. We need to support them, because we have to build a strong foundation for the future.

Nikki Tinker for Congress?

A newspaper focused on congress, THE HILL, is reporting that corporate lawyer Nikki Tinker is preparing to run for the 9th District congressional seat that will be vacated by Harold the Younger due to his Senate candidacy.

This comment jumped out at me from the article (Here's the link, but Frank is on the case at polar donkey )

“I understand business, and I understand the social needs of this community,” Tinker said, indicating that she would run as a centrist Democrat, like Ford. “I can bring both sides to the middle.”

The great progressive commentator Jim Hightower once noted that "there's nothing in the middle of the road but dead armadillos". Center of WHAT? Right-wingers aren't going to vote for a Democrat no matter what you say, and this district is PROGRESSIVE.

She is attractive, and affable, two traits that will serve her well in a race for Congress; but if she's going to be a Harold clone, she's going to be in for a rough time.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Faux News sucking up to Democrats to save themselves

News Corporation, the parent of Fox News Channel, has decided to start ponying up contributions to key Democratic congressmen so that they will block a new TV rating system by Nielsen that they believe will show lower ratings for their propaganda, er, news shows.

This article from those lefties at the Wall Street Journal indiates that one of the largest recipients in the last cycle (2003-2004) was ex-Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), and that News Corporation chair Peter Chernin raised over $100K for John Kerry. Fat lot of good that did, eh?

This is why we need to work toward clean money elections. Either the fat cats will own the electoral process, or we will. Which side are you on?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Kurita starting to draw national attention.

Well, Autoegocrat, you really started something with this post. It is a ringing endorsement of the Clarksville state Senator, who is giving Harold the Younger all the fight he DIDN'T expect, and had the cojones to show up at our lovely Convention three weeks ago.

Now, Scott Shields over at insists that the Kurita campaign has a chance to defeat Ford next August; we'll watch and see. Read the post AND the comments and judge for yourelf.

Friday, August 05, 2005

I'm taking a SHORT break, but first..

I've got tickets for tomorrow's Braves-Cardinals game in St. Louis, so I'm off until Sunday. Were any of you surprised at the District 29 outcome? Amazing work by Henri Brooks and Steve Haley in losing efforts, and thanks to the return of the Don himself, Ophelia Ford finds herself a prohibitive favorite in the September 7 general election.

Gary Rowe beat first-timer Omari Faulkner as well as veterans Alonzo Grant and Rome Withers to take the District 87 seat. I have never met this guy, so we'll just have to see how he turns out.

I was late to the SCDP meeting because of a MEMPHIS MUSIC & HERITAGE FESTIVAL meeting, so I missed all the officer elections. Sorry, but..

(the sound of the theme from JAWS gets louder and louder, then..)


OK, so I've watched too much wrestling in my time. Hell, I'm from Memphis, that's what we do, but you absolutely should read Frank's take on the meeting, it's well-written and very astute.

See you when I get back!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Now, I've seen EVERYTHING

Those of you who are 45+ in age hopefully will remember in the Warner Brothers cartoons, something truly bizarre or unlikely would occur, and one of the side characters would note, "Now, I've seen EVERYTHING" and shoot themselves.

No, I'm not shooting myself, but I am beginning to think I've seen everything. That noted shrinking violet Thaddeus Matthews has taken time away from bashing Del Gill to state that Harold Ford Jr. rigged the SCDP Chair election to ensure that no matter who won, HE would.

Obviously, Thaddeus WASN'T on the receiving end of midnight phone calls from David Upton regarding HIS blog posts. I've always thought of him as somewhat amusing, if rarely accurate, but this stuff is beyond the pale.

A Litmus Test

I followed this from a link at Kos to Steve Gillard's blog. Steve received a comment from a poster regarding his statement that we don't have a litmus test for candidates, and this gentleman replied that he did, and that Paul Hackett (OH-02) met them:

I suggest that we DID have a litmus test, and that Paul Hackett met every important point. It's just not any of the litmus tests that we usually hear about. While I am sure that all of us would have our favorite elements, they would have to include some or all of the following:

Does he 'distance himself' from the party or its leaders, or is he proud to be a Democrat?

Does he talk like a bureaucrat or like a regular person?

Does he make it clear that he opposes Bush and the Republicans?

Does he back down when the corporate press/media or Republican pundits attack him, or does he stand by his words?

Does he respond to the nationwide reaction of the left blogosphere, or does he assign it to a junior staff member?

Does he sleepwalk through the campaign, or does he act like he wants to win?

I don't know all of Paul Hackett's positions and, since I am an old school lefty I am sure I don't agree with all of them. But he passed the litmus test I have set out for Democratic candidate I will support with time and donations.

Imagine if we forced all of our candidates to meet this test! While Paul Hackett lost, he lost by 4% in a district where the Democrat loses by 40%! This is the beginning, and frankly, this is how we need to respond to any Congressional or Senate candidate who asks for our money.

A follow-up to the post below

I commented at PeskyFly's blog regarding the unity breakfast, which was followed with this response:

Otherwise? Otherwise? On the contested point let the record show that Coalition members re still seething over the way their generalized Kerry-campaign contributions last fall got diverted into local office-holders' reelection campaigns. Yes,Yes, I know all the good reasons for that, but don't imagine Pesky's point is irrelevant.

Is the rub that money was spent unwisely for Kerry-related activities (the debate party was brought up as an expense that was unnecessary; as I thought Ford paid for that, I can see why they're upset), or are they upset that money went to aid campaigns other than Kerry's?

If it's the former, I can understand; if it's the latter, we gonna fight. If these folks had sent their money directly to Kerry (like I did) then it never would have gotten here, because KERRY WROTE OFF TENNESSEE. Anything Kerry got in Shelby County he got because of the hard work of the volunteers and the fundraising ability of the now-indicted Kathryn Bowers.

Now, I hope we're clear on that.

I support the Coalition because I believe we need more than just winning elections, and I'll have a post coming about that later. However, if there are Coalition members upset because their money went to assist Beverly Marrero or Mike Kernell or Barbara Cooper, that's what you DO in a coordinated campaign.

On the other hand, any ExecCom members out there should vote for Brad Watkins for 1st Vice chair tomorrow night, and David Holt for 3rd Vice chair. We need these folks in key positions. No more business as usual.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Better late than never!

The PeskyFly his ownself over at Flypaper Theory has weighed in with his observations on the SCDP festival of love last Saturday at Cafe Francisco.

For some reason, he seems to be more skeptical of our Congressman, but don't take my word for it, go read it!

Monday, August 01, 2005

I doubt THIS is good news

Per the CA, Barry Myers has pleaded guilty to two charges for his involvement in the TENNESSEE WALTZ sting operation. Given that he was originally charged with ELEVEN counts, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that he cut a deal to sing like a canary against Roscoe Dixon and Kathryn Bowers.

Well, unless we see several other pleas in rapid succession, this probably means that the investigation and the trial will be following the Party around like the Flying Dutchman for the next year, even though we've had a change of leadership. Don't think for one second that the Tennessee Republican Party isn't getting TV ads ready RIGHT NOW to drill us with this in 2006.