Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lee Harris reads my blog!

9th District candidate Lee Harris called me to answer questions about who he is and why he's running for Congress.

He was enjoyable to speak with, as we talked about some of the issues that had been raised, such as charter schools, which he feels have been successful in some instances that he has seen, but added that he is committed to public education.

The website, linked above, has more information.

Ralph White opened his campaign this week with a meet and greet at the U of M Holiday Inn, Nikki Tinker is out raising money and talking to people, and Ron Redwing had a fundraiser this week, so the 9th district race is taking shape.

Friday, November 18, 2005

It's about damn time!

As expected, the whiny bitches that are the Republican House attempted to attack Rep. John Murtha today on the floor of the House. When Rep. Jean Schmidt (Idiot-OH) made the following comments: she was nearly booed off the House floor by Democrats:

The fiery, emotional debate climaxed when Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, the most junior member of the House, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel."He asked me to send Congress a message _ stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message _ that cowards cut and run, Marines never do," Schmidt said.

However, what happened next is a cause for surprise. Per the AP article,

Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., charged across the chamber's center aisle screaming that it was an uncalled for personal attack.

Really? Congressman, are you now ready to step up and admit you were bamboozled by the lies from the White House?

I know, I know, baby steps, baby steps. Maybe it's a sign that he has realized it's time to fight the real enemy, the Republican Party.

Here's what a REAL Patriot sounds like

These are the remarks of Rep. John J. Murtha (D-PA12) regarding the Iraq War:

The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We can not continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.

General Casey said in a September 2005 Hearing, “the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency.” General Abizaid said on the same date, “Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is a part of our counterinsurgency strategy.”

For 2 ½ years I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited. A few days before the start of the war I was in Kuwait – the military drew a red line around Baghdad and said when U.S. forces cross that line they will be attacked by the Iraqis with Weapons of Mass Destruction – but the US forces said they were prepared. They had well trained forces with the appropriate protective gear.

We spend more money on Intelligence than all the countries in the world together, and more on Intelligence than most countries GDP. But the intelligence concerning Iraq was wrong. It is not a world intelligence failure. It is a U.S. intelligence failure and the way that intelligence was misused.

I have been visiting our wounded troops at Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals almost every week since the beginning of the War. And what demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace; the devastation caused by IEDs; being deployed to Iraq when their homes have been ravaged by hurricanes; being on their second or third deployment and leaving their families behind without a network of support.

The threat posed by terrorism is real, but we have other threats that cannot be ignored. We must be prepared to face all threats. The future of our military is at risk. Our military and their families are stretched thin. Many say that the Army is broken. Some of our troops are on their third deployment. Recruitment is down, even as our military has lowered its standards. Defense budgets are being cut. Personnel costs are skyrocketing, particularly in health care.

Choices will have to be made. We can not allow promises we have made to our military families in terms of service benefits, in terms of their health care, to be negotiated away. Procurement programs that ensure our military dominance cannot be negotiated away. We must be prepared. The war in Iraq has caused huge shortfalls at our bases in the U.S. Much of our ground equipment is worn out and in need of either serious overhaul or replacement. George Washington said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” We must rebuild our Army. Our deficit is growing out of control. The Director of the Congressional Budget Office recently admitted to being “terrified” about the budget deficit in the coming decades. This is the first prolonged war we have fought with three years of tax cuts, without full mobilization of American industry and without a draft. The burden of this war has not been shared equally; the military and their families are shouldering this burden.

Our military has been fighting a war in Iraq for over two and a half years. Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty. Our military captured Saddam Hussein, and captured or killed his closest associates. But the war continues to intensify. Deaths and injuries are growing, with over 2,079 confirmed American deaths. Over 15,500 have been seriously injured and it is estimated that over 50,000 will suffer from battle fatigue. There have been reports of at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.

I just recently visited Anbar Province Iraq in order to assess the conditions on the ground. Last May 2005, as part of the Emergency Supplemental Spending Bill, the House included the Moran Amendment, which was accepted in Conference, and which required the Secretary of Defense to submit quarterly reports to Congress in order to more accurately measure stability and security in Iraq. We have now received two reports. I am disturbed by the findings in key indicator areas. Oil production and energy production are below pre-war levels. Our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by the security situation. Only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent. Unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce. Only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects has been spent. And most importantly, insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year. Instead of attacks going down over time and with the addition of more troops, attacks have grown dramatically. Since the revelations at Abu Ghraib, American casualties have doubled. An annual State Department report in 2004 indicated a sharp increase in global terrorism.
I said over a year ago, and now the military and the Administration agrees, Iraq can not be won “militarily.” I said two years ago, the key to progress in Iraq is to Iraqitize, Internationalize and Energize. I believe the same today. But I have concluded that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress.

Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, Saddamists and foreign jihadists. I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraqi security forces will be incentivized to take control. A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis. I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy. All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United States occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a “free” Iraq.

My plan calls:

To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces. To create a quick reaction force in the region.To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines. To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq
This war needs to be personalized. As I said before I have visited with the severely wounded of this war. They are suffering.

Because we in Congress are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, it is our responsibility, our OBLIGATION to speak out for them. That’s why I am speaking out.

Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME.

This is no wimp, no appeaser. Rep. Murtha is a 37-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He was decorated in Vietnam, and has far more integrity on this subject than the chickenhawks who are in the Bu$h Administration. Let's give him the support he needs; call your Congressman NOW and demand that they get behind this plan to bring our troops home.

The 9th District field gets bigger, but I see no winners yet

OK. I've heard of Ron Redwing, kind of. I met Ed Stanton (Jr? III?) in my precinct caucus earlier this year, and I saw Nikki Tinker at the Ford post-convention breakfast (oops, the PARTY breakfast, I get confused sometimes).

So, who the hell is THIS GUY? Lee Harris, a UM law professor, has announced his candidacy to succeed Harold Junior in Congress. According to the article, he's anti-choice, pro-voucher, pro-charter school. THAT should help him in the Democratic primary, shouldn't it?

Stanton seems ok, and I've never met Redwing that I remember, so they might be OK. Tinker is sweet and gorgeous, but she's a corporate lawyer. Harris is anti-choice, so we're still looking for a winner here. Jim Maynard, you ran as a write-in two years ago and got nowhere. You could get in this primary and maybe even win it.

'Nuff said.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

First, I want to thank Jackson Baker

for his inclusion of this locale as one of the best blogs in THE BEST OF MEMPHIS - 2005, found in the Flyer. I also can't argue with his selections on three of the other four; The Flypaper Theory and Smart City Memphis are found on my blogroll. Also, Mike Hollihan's Half-Bakered is usually a fun read, even if I only agree with him about 15% of the time. I haven't read Fishkite, another GOP-leaning blog, so I can't tell you what that's about.

Again, thank you for the mention; I'll try to live up to that in the coming months.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Yes, I took down the last post.

The last thing that I want to do is make a bad situation worse, because David deserves better and here's hoping this helps.

That's all I'm saying for now, I was not at all pressured and did this of my own accord.

I'm STILL not spending any money north of Stage Road, though!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

You might wonder..

why I have not written much about the national situation. Well, if you look down and to the right, you will see DailyKos, MyDD, BOPnews, and the Rude One himself listed with links. They do a terrific job commenting on what rat-fuckers the Bu$h Adminstration happen to be.

I stick to state and local because that's what I feel I do best. Draw a 300-mile radius around Memphis, and I can write about it (with a touch of Illinois thrown in for good measure). That's where I can give you something you can't get anywhere else. (No, soandsodem, NOT nausea!)

So, hopefully that's a start. That doesn't mean I won't do a 180 at a later point, though!

OK, I'm back and I have a question:

Given the continuing incompetence of the Herenton Administration with regards to the city's financial problems, why is the majority of the City Council opposed to Carol Chumney's idea that an independent auditor should be brought in to look at the books?

(Full disclosure; many, if not most, of my readers know that I have worked in every Chumney campaign, win or lose, and is a long-time friend as well).

While it's easy to dismiss this as a campaign ploy, the fact remains that it's the right thing to do. The city, which for years could look down its nose at Shelby County regarding budgetary matters, can do so no longer.

And, if in fact, many of these problems occurred when Joseph Lee was CFO of the city, given that he is now in charge of MLGW, isn't this something we as a citizenry should have been told SOONER???

I served with Joseph Lee on the ExecCom, he is as nice and kind a human being as you are likely to find, and I do not enjoy what appears to be happening right now. However, we're beyond that at this point, and we need to find out A) what the hell happened, and B) how we can keep this problem from happening again.

Regardless of whether you like or dislike Carol, an independent audit may be the only way we get the straight news on the city's budget crisis. if you live here, you need to get behind this and call your Councilman ASAP.