Friday, March 31, 2006

Guess my apology wasn't quite enough, so..

Lest I be accused of throwing old friends under a speeding bus (well, hell, it's too late, I already HAVE been), in all honesty, there apparently have been many factors regarding the Primary Board.

Primary Boards are apparently to be appointed every four years, of which we were not aware. Apparently, the Elections committee of the SCDP (on which I once served) and the Candidate Recruitment Committee were to have assisted on pulling the voting histories.

I have been informed that, once the filing deadline passed, a suggestion was made to pull the histories; however, it appears that members of the Primary Board were told that the other committees were working on it, so nothing was done until all hell broke loose.

Which leads me to my earlier point; where were those who were to oversee the process?

It's damned hard to be a Party Chair, especially when you have to make sure everything goes right. When it doesn't, it leads back to the person in charge of the whole shebang. However, to paraphrase the immortal Super Chicken (not the blues guitarist, either), you knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Matt.

It is the job of the Chair and the Steering Committee to keep their eyes peeled. Yes, this is a rookie mistake. Yes, it could have happened to anybody; but it didn't, and with the Goopers looking to hold onto power at damn near any cost, we can't afford to make this mistake.

As for my friends on the Primary Board, mea culpa. I owe you a beer or three. Or more.


I sure do. We are roughly 48 hours and 30 minutes from the beginning of the 2006 baseball season, to be opened by the team that closed the 2005 season, the defending WORLD SERIES CHAMPION CHICAGO WHITE SOX.

While we bid a sad adieu to future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, we said hello to Jim Thome from the Phillies, and new 5th starter Javier Vasquez, who has been impressive this spring. All in all, I will be watching ESPN2 Sunday night for the festivities.

Let's make it back-to-back!

An update!

A friend of mine rumored to know a thing or two about politics suggested that, if he/she were sending this letter out for Walter Bailey, she/he would change it accordingly:

Dear Constituent:

Thank you for all the years of trust you've put in me as your County Commissioner.

I had hoped to represent you one more term if it were your desire to vote for me.

The Tennessee Court of Appeals told me that, in fact, I could offer you my candidacy for one more term. So, I filed my petition & put my name in the running.

The next court said that I COULDN'T run; however, my name will still appear on the ballot.

If you like one of the other fellow who are running, then vote for them. If you would like the chance to vote for someone else in August, then vote for BAILEY and if my names gets more votes, our local Democratic Party will select a nominee to carry our banner to victory on August 3.

Please consider doing this, because the fellow I fear most (and who has the most money to spend), JW Gibson, is a Republican of many years and has sneaked onto the ballot to trick you into voting for a Republican as your Democratic nominee.

Attached is a record of his Republican service and his Republican primary voting. In order to make sure that a REAL Democrat is elected to the County Commission, vote for BAILEY on May 2.

What do you think? In Walter's case, I ABSOLUTELY think he should do this. In fact, Walter, if you read this, take this letter with my blessing and USE IT!

I like Derrick Harris, he's a good guy and works hard for the party. However, against Gibson's money, he will get run over. It's a shame, but that's how it is.

Imagine getting THIS in the mail!

Let's just say, and why not, that you are a Democratic voter of long-standing, and you live in Commission district 2 or 3. Let's say that you go to your mailbox a day or two prior to the start of early voting, when you get this letter:

Dear (voter),

I am (Walter Bailey or Cleo Kirk), your County Commissioner for these last X years. As you may be aware, a recent Tennessee Supreme Court ruling ruled against me and my fellow Commissioners, and assured that I will no longer be able to serve you past the end of my term on August 31.

This letter is to extend my deepest thanks to you for your trust and support, as it has been my deep honor privilege to represent you. I also want to ask for your help one last time.

You may not be aware of this, but due to a legal requirement, my name will still be on the ballot when you go to the polls. Believe it or not, I could conceivably win the election, even though I could no longer legally serve you on the Commission. In that event, the Shelby County Democratic Executive Committee would choose the nominee to represent you in the August general election.

My friends, I ask for your vote this one last time because of my deep concern that my opponent(s) will not provide you with the high level of service that you have come to expect, and I believe sincerely that their stands on the issues are not in your best interest.

I have worked with most of the Executive Committee, and I trust them to make the right decision to select the best possible nominee. I believe it's the right thing to do.

So, for the final time, I ask for your vote for (Walter Bailey or Cleo Kirk) on May 4, and I thank you again for your support and friendship.


(Walter Bailey or Cleo Kirk)

OK, then.

An Apology

I took a an unwarranted cheap shot at the Democratic Primary Board regarding the JW Gibson & Johnny Hatcher problem, and I apologize.

As always, it is the responsibility of those who have appointed and oversee these folks who are responsible for not knowing about this before March 23.

Enough said.

Back to the statewide race at the moment..

I will post more about the ExecCom situation later, as it appears I may have been wrong about the primary Board, we're still looking into that.

However, as I have noted in the past, Junior continues to trail two of three potential Republican opponents, according to the latest Zogby/WSJ poll (hat tip to JB!). He apparently leads Bob Corker (the numbers weren't published); however, the comments indicate that Corker, despite his money, polls consistently behind Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary.

The results? Ford trails Bryant 49.9-42.4, and trails Hilleary 47.2-44.2. Yes, he's roaring to victory, all right.

I keep telling you he can't win, and these polls keep fleshing that out. You know in your heart that we only have one hope to win this seat, and you know who she is.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Vote for Walter Bailey on May 4.

Well, the things you learn when you're out and about......

The 5-3 vote taken tonight to eject JW Gibson from the District 2 race and Johnny Hatcher, Jr from the District 3 race were of the right mind, but way too late. Why? This should have been done within a week after the filing deadline, and the window for removing candidates from the ballot has CLOSED. Once you are within 40 days of the election (and we ARE), you CANNOT remove someone from the ballot.

So, they're apparently stuck on the ballot.

Guess what? So are Walter Bailey and Cleo Kirk!

That's right, gentle readers, Walter Bailey will still be on the District 2 ballot, and Cleo Kirk will still be on the District 3 ballot, and if you live in one of those districts, you can vote for them.

They could even WIN; they just couldn't serve.

OK, Cracker, let's say that happens, what would happen THEN? Well, should Mr. Bailey or Mr. Kirk win their race on May 4, it would fall to your friendly neighborhood SCDP ExecCom to choose the Democratic nominee for the August general election!

That's right, folks, if they so chose, Walter Bailey and Cleo Kirk could go out and campaign with the idea that if they won, the ExecCom would choose the nominee. Twisted? You bet! Possible? This is Big Shelby, people, what do YOU think?

To quote the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, "When the going gets tough, the weird turn pro!"

This also means that Sidney Chism is not necessarily an elected County Commissioner just yet, he has to campaign against someone who could beat him, but not hold the seat!

Think this couldn't happen? Remember when John Ashcroft lost his US Senate seat in Missouri to a DEAD MAN, the late Mel Carnahan? The Missouri Democratic Party then chose his widow, Jean, to hold the seat.

Even more recently, Cook County (IL) Board President John Stroger had a near-fatal stroke that kept him from campaigning for re-election against his Democratic primary challenger, Forrest Claypool. However, the Cook County Central Committee campaigned mightily for him, and he won.

Mind you, he will probably announce (AFTER the election is certified) that he is physically unable to run. Who will decide who the Democratic nominee is? you guessed it, the Cook County Central Committee!

Am I advocating this policy? I'll leave that up to you.

However, if the SCDP wants to get itself out of a predicament that they got themselves into when, in reality, the Primary Board didn't check these people out as they should have (OK, send me your emails!), they could do worse than to "suggest" that Democrats vote for the incumbents on May 4.

Don't you just LOVE Shelby County politics?

The gift that keeps on giving...

First, it was our dear Christian Progressive Liberal who laid the smackdown on Young Weird Harold for saying that Miss Vera, his Grandmother, was white.

Then, Wendi Thomas devoted one of her final CA columns to the subject.

Now, The Black Commentator brings the sleddgehammer to Junior for this faux pas and they smash him down. Hard. Hat tip to the CPL for noting it at the Fly!

Here's a snippet from the article, which you should read in its entirety:

Tennessee's "greatest lynching carnival" was held in Memphis in May 1917 when Ell Person, the allegedly confessed ax-murderer of a sixteen-year-old white girl, was burned to death in the presence of fifteen thousand men, women, and little children. The mother of the murdered child cheered the mob as they poured oil on the man and set him afire. The Memphis Press said that "the mob fought and screamed and crowded to get a glimpse of him and the mob closed in and struggled about the fire."

Young Harold Ford (known as "The Prince"), who ascended to his father's congressional seat at the age of 26 in 1996, would have us believe that, during this period of murderous white mob violence, a white couple from Memphis would both decide to become Black, and to subject their children to Jim Crow schools and lynch law justice. It defies all reason - an amazing fiction concocted in Harold Jr.'s head for purposes unknown.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I've been waiting for this, and now it's here!

Jackson Baker is reporting tonight at the Flyer site that Senator Steve Cohen will file on Monday at 11 A.M. for the 9th Congressional District seat being vacated by the guy running for the Senate, old whats-his-name.

Old Crackerphiles will tell you that I told everyone in January that if he got in the race, I would support him, and that has not changed. My comments from that post:

What would a Cohen in Congress look like? I suspect he would go after the Bu$h policies like a rabid badger, and represent the 9th District like it hasn't been since, oh, 1996?

Look, I've known Steve Cohen since, well, longer than either of us would admit. I haven't always agreed with him, and I've let him know it. However, if he makes this race, I can't imagine supporting anyone else.

That's my bias, and you might as well know it up front.

Just so you know.


Today we set a new record for hits at the Cracker, and it's because a lot of you are coming over from the Memphis Flyer, the most trusted source for news in this city.

My thanks to Jackson Baker, Ken Neill, and everyone over there; I am deeply appreciative of the link. We hope you enjoy this look at local progressive politics!

Here's something the SCDP is doing RIGHT!

It's called THE SHELBY DEMOCRAT, and it's open for business AND online!

Interesting stories about some of the Democratic candidates; none, fortunately, about the ones we're trying to kick to the curb.

Go read it!

It has come to my attention that...

The SCDP is having an emergency steering committee meeting at 6 PM tomorrow evening to which all ExecCom (SCDP and Shelby County TDP) members have been invited; however, you, the public, are NOT invited. This will occur at the IBEW prior to the regularly-scheduled ExecCom meeting.

The steering committee will apparently hold a hearing regarding the recommendation of the Primary Board that JW Gibson AND Johnny Hatcher, Jr. be removed from the May 4 Democratic County Primary. Apparently, at the ExecCom meeting to follow, (to which you, the public, ARE invited) they, and all other Democratic candidates, will be allowed to take an oath of affirmation of the Democratic covenant.

As I mentioned on another blog, I don't care of either of them come in with Karl Rove's severed head (just kidding, please don't send me to Gitmo), they need to be removed from the Democratic Primary ballot.

We have dealt repeatedly with Gibson's Republicanism;however, Hatcher actually ran against my Senator, Steve Cohen, as a Gooper in 2004. See ya, Johnny.

If either of these fellows are allowed to remain on the Democratic ballot, I am going to publicly ask for the resignation of ANY SCDP officer or ExecCom member who votes for it, ESPECIALLY if they represent District 93.

If a party won't stand up for itself, it deserves no followers.

polar donkey: I'd Bang Katherine Harris

Oh. My. God.

Click on the title for the link, you have to see this to believe it.....

Also, see Autoegocrat's post that triggered it here.

Sidney Chism, you've just been elected to the County Commission!

Are you going to Disneyland?

The Tennessee Supreme Court today UPHELD Shelby County's imposition of term limits on county officials, meaning that Walter Bailey is now OFF the ballot in District 2 and Cleo Kirk is now off the ballot in District 3, giving the election to the former state Senator by default.

Now, more than ever, with JW Gibson facing off against Darrick Harris, it is IMPERATIVE that the SCDP act to remove Mr. Gibson.

I feel a rant coming on.....

Ahem. Don't MAKE me come over there, SCDP. I want to start this rant with a comment to the earlier Gibson post from my friend, the Polar Donkey:

Kind of a funny story. A friend of mine who sneaked into Bush's Social Security speech in order to disrupt it, ran into Gibson the in line to get in the auditorium. Gibson Said to my friend "I thought you would be outside with the protesters." My friend thought that he would be busted and thrown out, but made it in and disrupted the speech. When my friend saw that Gibson was on the ballot as a Dem a few weeks ago, he pointed out that Gibson was a republican, but needless to say no one paid attention. I suggest the Democratic Party pay a little more attention when people have advice or information.

You see, during my six-year-run on the Executive Committee, there were people who all along kept complaining about Democrats who were "pussyfooting with Republicans". I would be remiss if I failed to note that some of these same folks are now fighting to KEEP Gibson on the ballot. WHY?

As PD's comment clearly notes above, this guy WENT TO SEE BUSH WHEN HE WAS HERE, AND NOT AS A PROTESTOR!!! This is even worse than what Richard Fields did, and THAT was unacceptable. Let's review again, people:

A) Since 1994, when Mr. Gibson has voted in a primary, it has been a Republican Primary. B) From 2003-2005, he served on the Shelby County GOP Steering Committee.

No, Mr. Gibson, you do NOT have a right to run as a Democrat with that kind of background, not without spending time AND money for a few years to get yourself back in our good graces. I don't care WHO'S giving you money, you're NOT one of us, not right now.

I am fully aware that the SCDP meeting is a week and a day away, and I am fully cognizant that it is a pain in the ass to attempt to call a special meeting. However, every day that this festers is a day that makes the SCDP look bad. If Bob Tuke has to straighten this out, too, we've got BIG problems.

SCDP, I'm watching.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

If you're going to be a Democrat, STAY a Democrat

I'm not one to turn away any potential converts, but if you're going to switch parties, it's not a good idea to switch BACK.

J.W. Gibson, who listed among his supporters long-time Democrat Harold Byrd, is facing removal from the 2006 Democratic County primary by the Democratic Executive Committee when they meet on April 6. Thanks to David Holt for the correction; the Primary Board has apparently already approved the removal and the ExecCom will have to vote thumbs up or down on the matter.

Supporters of Commissioner Walter Bailey researched Gibson's primary voting record and found that, after registering in 1987, he voted Democrat solidly UNTIL 1994, when he began voting in Republican primaries, where he has voted ever since. To top it all off, Gibson was elected in 2003 to the Shelby County GOP Steering Committee, where he served for two years, through 2005.

One would think that a fellow might want to take some time and renew his Democratic connections before jumping into another political race, wouldn't one?

Do you think that this might have something to do with the fact that the Democrats are going to capture District 5 and regain control of the Commission this August?

Let's see how the Primary Board votes, and what Chairman Matt Kuhn has to say about this. You don't want to turn converts away, like I said, but you sure as hell first want to be sure that they really ARE converts and not just GOP plants.

List of 9th District Websites


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, but that's it. If you have any other sites, please email me at sjs1959 at yahoo dot com.

I have been emailed by Tyson Pratcher, but his website is not up yet. I can't find a website for Julian Bolton or Steve Cohen (he has only picked up a petition, but I am certain he will file). 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!

You KNOW you've noticed it...

And, you were disturbed by it, but, for obvious reasons, you didn't want to talk about it publicly.

However, Mid-South local TV viewers, your shame is over, as a courageous reader and letter-writer to the Arkansas Daily Blog asked the question for which we ALL want an answer:

A reader, Seymour Butts of Hempwallace, sends a letter to the Blog editor. We think he may have a point:

Don't make the blog into a politics-all-the-time deal, man.

I realize politickin' is your meat and potatoes, but there are so many crucial questions that need answering, and only you are up to the task.

Like, why is Jennifer, the Watson's pool and spa and pool table girl, sporting a new look that makes her look like Eddie Munster on crack? Man, her hair is slicked back like Eddie Munster's and is a startling blonde/black zebra stripe do.

Plus, she appears in her new commercial to be sensationally pregnant, thus rendering her an unlikely candidate to pose fetchingly on the side of an above-ground swimmin' hole as she grins maniacally and shouts, "Watson's!"

It scares me to look at her any more, plus her manly-lad colleague has shaved off his big bushy mustache and as a consequence has lost about 30 per cent of his manliness.

People want answers.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Nikki Tinker is officially in the race, and Polar Donkey is waiting for her!

Yes, the PD is rocking the house, having persused her recently updated website. Here's a brief sample:

Who are Tinker's biggest business sector donors. 1) Lawyers and lobbyist ( In the age of Abramoff, do we really need a DLC dem in the pocket of lobbyists?) 2) Transportation 3) Finance/Insurance/Real Estate (Already standing up to those predatory lenders, Ms. Tinker.)

Guess he won't be doing door-to-door for her...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

It's becoming THE area for affordable restaurants

Where? Cooper-Young, of course. It's not enough that the the best all around BBQ joint ON EARTH, Central BBQ, is located there on its northern border of Central Avenue. It's not enough that the best plate lunch restaurant, Buns On The Run, is open for lunch Tuesday-Friday (breakfast only on Saturday).

Now, a place has opened up at 862 South Cooper called Soul Fish Cafe. A) the catfish is the best I've had in the area, even including (gasp) the Olive Branch Catfish Company. B) they have far more than just catfish, C) they're open 11-10 Monday-Saturday and 11-9 on Sunday and D) no live music!!!!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE live music, just not while I'm eating and/or trying to carry on a conversation. However, I hate that I can only hit the Young Avenue Deli on Monday nights, when I can be sure there are no bands.

Back to Soul Fish, the hushpuppies are made with peppers (but not too spicy), corn, salt, cornmeal, and they are ight, fluffy and delicious. It is worth your time, and the best part is the highest price that I remember seeing for any entree is $8.95 USD. Yep.

Go there. NOW.

Buck Owens 1929-2006

It's not without reason that I'm the Cracker. I grew up on WLS top 40 and Saturday afternoon country music shows, and I remember when Buck Owens was the only country act that was played on the Big 89 in the 1960s.

He defined country music's Bakersfield sound, hewn in the dance halls of California in the areas north of Los Angeles. Along with producer Ken Nelson in the record-shaped buildings of Capitol Records in LA, Buck and the Buckaroos broke out hits like "Act Naturally" (later covered by the Beatles),
"Tiger By The Tail", "Love's Gonna Live Here", and his biggest hit, "Together Again".

He toured constantly until he became the co-host of Hee Haw with Roy Clark in 1969, and he stayed with the show through 1986. However, his music was never the same after his close friend and lead guitarist Don Rich was killed in a motorcyle accident in 1974. Rich was a great complement to Owens, and it took a lot out of him.

(CORRECTION - I had earlier said the wreck was in 1971, mea culpa!)

He experienced a renaissance of sorts in 1988 on his duet with Dwight Yoakam, "Streets of Bakersfield" as people rediscovered the Bakersfield style through Yoakam.

Due to smart investments like TV and Radio station, Buck was able to retire to Bakersfield, and played at his own place, the Crystal Palace on occasion.

He was a legend, and he will be missed.


Hat tip to Jeff at the Pesky Fly for this breaking news:

SOUTH KNOX BUBBA (or R. Neal, as he refers to himself on the site) has RETURNED to blogging!!! Our spiritual blogfather is back in action and he is on the blogroll at it's called (what else?) KnoxViews and we welcome his return with glee!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We're all octoroons under the skin....

Well now, y'all best get ready, the Christian Progressive Liberal has decided to comment on the ongoing controversy of the race of Ms. Vera Ford, mother AND grandmother of a Congressman, who both say was white.

Here's a morsel of comment:

He won't catch a break from African-American voters that he needs at nearly 100% turnout to balance the White votes he doesn't get, because in going to great lengths to make it known he has a white grandmother, Ford just alienated African-American voters because they may believe that he finds something so negative in being African-American, that he's ashamed of being African-American. Why should we vote for an African-American who's ashamed of his ethnicity? You know how African-Americans diss Clarence Thomas, and he didn't even run for office! By appearing to be ashamed of being African-American, how can Harold Ford aspire to lead other African-Americans? In order to lead us, you need to have a love for us. Claiming a white grandmother and distancing yourself from being African-American doesn't indicate you have a love for African-Americans, and if you say it does, PROVE IT.

As the great South Knox Bubba would have said, OK then. Go read the rest of it!

Let's play the WHAT IF game, shall we?

As you are aware if you live within the Memphis media market, Thaddeus Matthews is spearheading an effort to get a Recall of Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton on the August 2006 ballot. His forces must obtain the signatures of between 65,000 and 70,000 valid registered votes of the City of Memphis in order to accomplish this feat.

The recall effort has three potential outcomes, each of which we shall attempt to analyze over the course of a few posts. Those are A) failure to obtain enough signatures, thus failure to recall, B) success in obtaining the necessary signatures and placement on the ballot, but defeat at the August polls, and C) complete success, with Mayor Herenton's removal from office immediately after the August results have been certified by the election commission.

First, let's deal with A. Thaddeus has had good crowds at meetings, and his blog posts indicate that they have a plan to achieve the first victory with a spot on the ballot. But what if they don't get the necessary signatures? How would this affect a 2007 mayoral re-election campaign?

While it's not difficult to envision the Mayor making bold pronouncements about God intervening on his behalf, I don't see it having that much effect, depending upon how close the recall effort gets to the total. The Mayor will still run as if he's invincible, which may not be a bad thing for those who wish to see him removed.

Next, let's talk about B. In the event that the recall troops succeed in getting the recall on the ballot, THEN they have to be able to campaign for it. Do they have the money to run endless spots on TV and radio, especially African-American-oriented radio? You know the Mayor will, and he will be ruthless. Every bit of Thaddeus' past, in particular, will be thrown in his face while another set of commercials will document downtown development and growth.

I am skeptical to think that the recall effort could survive a media onslaught, and it might give some pause to African-Americans who remember how long and how difficult the struggle to elect a mayor of color had been. This might lead them to the conclusion that while they might not be happy with him, they will stick with him. THIS TIME.

I have been hearing rumors from various and sundry sources for a couple of years now that the downtown business community had withdrawn their financial support. If the Mayor has to dip into his warchest for a 2006 recall defense, it might well hurt his abilty to run in 2007, and open the door to a real challenge.

Finally, let's say that, in spite of all the obstacles, the recall is completely successful and the Mayor is out on his tush. First, say hello to Interim Mayor (for 20 days) Tajuan Stout-Mitchell, current City Council Chair and a friendly vote for the Mayor more often than not. She will be in charge until the Council selects a Mayor to serve until the 2007 elections (Note: any current Councilman who wanted the appointment would have to resign their seat on the Council).

Maybe. Let's not forget the wrangling that took place in 1982, when Mayor Wyeth Chandler resigned to take a Circuit Court position. When the dust settled, local attorney Dan Norwood had succeeded in forcing a special election at the November general election. This had the unintended result in jacking up the East Memphis turnout. As most of East Memphis was then in the 7th Congressional District, this killed the chances of Norwood's candidate Bob Clement, and resulted in the surprise election of...........Don Sundquist.

How many members of the current Council would jump into a special election this November? No, not ALL of them, but maybe 6 or 7 out of 13, don't you think? With no runoffs, someone could get elected with barely 20% of the vote, and wouldn't THAT be fun? Not to mention the fallout that would occur with the losers still having to work 1) with the person to whom they had LOST, and 2) with EACH OTHER. Happy Happy Joy Joy, right?

Think also of the effect it might have on the US Senate race, especially if Harold Ford Junior is the Democratic nominee. Hell, the Goopers might file suit to STOP a special election.

OK, enough from me; what do YOU think?

The Dixie Chicks are BACK with a vengeance!

The Dixie Chicks have a new album coming out called TAKING THE LONG WAY; one of the tracks plays automatically when you go to their site.

This track is called NOT READY TO MAKE NICE, and it's obvious that they are giving a giant upraised finger to those who got enraged over their comments about Dumbya a few years back. Hat tip to AmericaBlog for letting me know about this and to the Chicks website for the lyrics:

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

I’m through with doubt
There’s nothing left for me to figure out
I’ve paid a price
And I’ll keep paying

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I know you said
Can’t you just get over it
It turned my whole world around
And I kind of like it

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could‘
Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

Go listen; it's worth it! The CD comes out May 23!

So much for taking back the House, eh?

First, a little background. Two years ago, an unknown named Christine Cegelis ran a terrific campaign against Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL6) and pulled a stunning 44%, a factor which may have led to his retirement this year.

She had done this by building a solid grassroots organization in what was thought to be an unwinnable GOP district, and her supporters eagerly looked forward to 2006, as they felt she had a real shot to win.

However, the Chair of the DCCC, Rahm Emanuel (D-IL5), was not impressed that she had built this infrastructure in a GOP stronghold; he was upset because she hadn't raised enough money. He tried to get her to drop out, said she wasn't hitting her fundraising targets (even though she met every one, say her supporters).

He went out AND BROUGHT INTO THE DISTRICT an Iraq War vet named Tammy Duckworth, raised money for her (I thought that Democratic national organizations were NOT to take sides in a primary) and got the local downtown machine and Senator Durbin behind her.

With all that going for her (plus the endorsements of the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, she should have blown out poor Christine Cegelis, right? Right?

Wrong. Duckworth did win the race, but WITH ONLY 44% OF THE VOTE. Despite having all that money and all those connections, she barely beat Cegelis, pissing off Cegelis' supporters in the interim and virtually assuring that, while they may vote for Duckworth, none of them will lift a finger for her in November, probably costing us the seat.

If Emanuel hadn't been such a dick about this and supported Cegelis, we wouldn't be in this shape today.

Which is the reason that Chris Bowers of MyDD is now deeply concerned about our prospects for taking the House back this year:

Nearly the full-force of the Democratic and progressive electoral apparatus "succeeded" in only helping Duckworth win 44% of the vote in the Democratic primary. This wasn't the blow out I was told it was going to be. This wasn't the blowout I imagined it would be considering the establishment support Duckworth had. It wasn't even close to a blowout. It looks like the final margin will be somewhere around 1,000-1,100 votes. IT was very close, and it was a real nailbiter.

This makes me very worried about 2006. The same people and the same organizations who supported Duckworth remain in charge of winning elections of nearly every Democrat nationwide in 2006. If they produce anemic results like this in IL-06, what results can we expect across the country in November? Believe me, whatever group of rag-tag GOTV activists Cegalis had in this election, using their theocon grassroots, the Republican machine will more than match that nationwide in 2006.

Go read the rest of this.....

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I am stealing this post from Ian Welsh of BOPNews

because it's WORTH IT.

Here we go:

It's a constant refrain. Liberals are traitors for doubting George Bush. If I were an American politician this would be my reply:

If believing a man shouldn't trade freedom for illusionary safety makes me a traitor;

If believing that America shouldn't torture makes me a traitor;

If believing in the fourth amendment right to freedom from arbitrary wiretapping by some presumptuous bureaucrat makes me a traitor;

If these things make me a traitor, then I am proud to be a traitor.

George Washington was a traitor to King George. Jefferson was a traitor to King George.

And today, I am proud to defend the Constitution, and if that means I am traitor to King George, then so be it. Because Americans don't trade illusionary safety for real freedoms.

This isn't political; however...

Has anyone else noticed that the Grizzlies are being ignored right now? The last two basketball seasons, when the Tigers were struggling to get in the NIT and the Griz were headed for playoff berths, all anyone could talk about, sportswise, was the Griz.

This year, with the Griz headed for a probable 6th-seed in the Western Conference and a third straight playoff appearance, they have been COMPLETELY lost in TigerMania, to the point that their attendance has suffered.

I'm certain that has NOTHING to do with the fact that they are dropping season-ticket prices for next year! Given the fact that these same prices, along with the single-game prices, were increased after the 2004-2005 season, this is a quick reversal.

The single-game prices will remain at the 2005-2006 levels, as the Griz are desperate to lock in their revenue for the long haul and entice people to commit to a season ticket on the cheap.

Given that Memphis has had a reputation for being a walk-up town, that a Griz playoff appearance is almost taken for granted, and the buzz of the FedExForum has begun to wear down, I'm not sure this is going to work.

One thing that this has done is send a sobering message to the Grizzlies organization that when the Tigers are hot, they own the town. I'm not sure the Griz would be doing better if they had the Spurs' record, and that's just how it is. I wonder what Mike Heisley is thinking right about now....

Let's put an old GOP lie to rest

A finance professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago decided to test out the old theory that Chicago Mob boss Sam Giancana inflated vote totals for John F. Kennedy in the wards that he controlled.

And what did he find?

He found that the mob-controlled areas in the city, as well as Cicero and Chicago Heights, voted no differently than others. In fact, Democratic vote totals remained about the same in those wards for Kennedy in 1960 as they were for Adlai Stevenson in 1956. Binder also disputes the notion that Giancana helped Kennedy win the state of West Virginia, and that the mob influenced citywide votes via union support.

Harrumph. We used to have a saying in Illinois about that to piss off the Repubs; for every stiff that supposedly voted for JFK in Chicago, there are three cows Downstate that voted for Nixon.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

All right, do you want to put your sweat equity into some campaign work?

UPDATE!!! Please note changes to the Mulroy event for Saturday!!!!!

OK then.

If you agree with me that Joe Young should be our next County Clerk, he needs your help. if you support Joe and can volunteer your time and effort, email him at

Looking to help Steve Mulroy? They are looking for door-to-door help this weekend. Lynn Strickland explains:

Steve Mulroy is going door to door Saturday and would like some enthusiastic company. If you have map reading skills that will be a plus, but not a requirement. We will meet at 755A Graham Street, Campaign HQ, near the U of M Campus at 11:30 am. The plan is to work the selected neighborhoods for a while into the afternoon.

Join Steve for a fun day in the sun participating in grass roots politics at its best. Sign on for the morning, afternoon or both sessions. Love to have you!

Please respond by reply back to me, Lynn Strickland -, or reach Steve directly at ALSO if you have not visited the website at and filled out the Volunteer Registration page, please do so at your very earliest convenience.

Lynn Strickland

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I like your choices, David!

David Holt, the West Tennessee Liberal his own self, has decided to join the Cracker in endorsing Joe Young, Reginald Fentress, and Steve Mulroy in their campaigns.

This would have been up earlier in the day, but Blogger has been down for posting since this morning.

I will have an interesting story about the SRLC later in the day; however, go read brother Holt's good comments on our candidates!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Cracker Endorsements

There's a crapload of races on the May 2 Democratic Primary ballot for Shelby County offices, and the Cracker is stating preferences in some of the races.

The four that I care the most about are as follows:


For County Clerk - Joe Young

I have known Joe for years, worked in his campaign for SCDP Chair and heartily support him in his efforts to reclaim this seat from the Goopers. He is extremely organized, and will have that office running smoothly for years to come.

Commission Seats

In numerical order...

For District 2, Position 2 - Reginald Fentress

Reginald, who lost four years ago to the juggernaut that is Deidre Malone, has been working closely in his community and with groups such as Democracy for Memphis on issues that matter to the community. I have every reason to believe he will hold developers' feet to the fire on matters of smart growth, and will make every effort to bring better jobs to that district.

For District 3, Position 1 - Bob Hatton

This is a tough one for me, as my friend Del Gill is also in this race. However, Bob, whom I have known and worked with for over 25 years and is a very good friend, came to me over a year ago to let me know he wanted to serve this District on the Commission, and has been working it ever since. I have every confidence that Bob will work hard to bring better jobs to the community.

For District 5 - Steve Mulroy

Gee, what a surprise, eh? Did the fact that his website is linked on the blogroll give it away? Look, we can WIN this seat, and with it, control of the Commission. He is a tireless worker, a tough advocate, and he is far and away our best hope. He is correct on all the issues, and a hell of a nice guy to boot. Please help him, too, if you can.

All right, what about the others? Here are some observations about some of the other races; if I don't comment, they're either unopposed or I am content to let the electorate decide for themselves.

Juvenile Court Clerk - I am voting for Wanda Halbert, because she simply has the only chance to beat Steve Stamson, as I noted back on Valentine's Day. I like Shep Wilbun, but he should have gone back to the Commission for a term before he ran for this seat.

Criminal Court Clerk - Kevin Gallagher is my choice here, even though Bill Key has been tough to beat, I think he has a reasonably good shot.

Well, those are my picks, and your mileage may vary.

Well, if we're going to rebuild local parties, we'd better start with this one!

And what better way than by raising money? (Yes, I'm an old hack from way back, how did you know?)

The SCDP announces the following:

Kennedy Day Dinner

The Shelby County Democratic Party's Annual Kennedy Day Dinner will be held on Monday, May 22, at the Central Ballroom of the University of Memphis Holiday Inn (3700 Central Avenue). The featured speaker will be Bob Tuke, Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

Tickets are $125. Tickets to the pre-dinner reception (5:30, also at the U of M's Holiday Inn) are $75. Or purchase a full table (seating for 8) for your group for $1000.
Click HERE to purchase tickets online (coming soon).

Online tickets? Holy smokes, they are trying to get tech-savvy! By the way, we appreciate that the SCDP is returning to dear old House District 93 (home of the Cracker, this guy and this guy, not to mention this blog), as we do enjoy hosting our fellow Democrats.

On another note, all we get for $125 is Bob Tuke? No Hillary Clinton? Not even a DLCer like Pryor or Lincoln? Oh well, at least he's a good Democrat, even if he does support Bredesen! :-)

If it weren't for Howard Dean, I'd now be Green.

If it weren't for the terrific work our Chair is doing to rebuild state and local parties, I would leave the Democratic Party. However, the Democratic Party will rise again.

Those worthless bastards in the Senate, Feingold & Leahy excepted (maybe Obama), however, can go straight to Hell. Senator Feingold has a censure motion against the Dictator, but Senate staffers are too goddamned worried about their bosses and saving their own skins to try and do anything to save the republic.

Here's a tidbit from the linked article:

Gotta love it. Feingold steps up and acts like a patriot and rather than supporting him his fellow Democrats are fuming:

One longtime Senate aide was particularly scathing.

“Feingold’s grandstanding screwed the pooch and played into Bill Frist’s hands,” the aide said. “Thank God Dems punted this down the field. Frist was going to force Democrats to vote on a resolution Feingold had kept a big secret and he would’ve split the caucus on an issue that needed time to get the whole caucus to support. Russ Feingold had only one persons’ interests in mind with his Sunday bombshell, and those were his own. He practically handed a victory to a Bush White House that desperately needs a win.”

WTF?? Is there something about living inside the Beltway that turns their minds to mush? Would someone dare to tell me how a censure motion HURTS the Democrats? Even if it lost, (which it would) it would show Americans (only 34% of whom support the Dictator right now) that we are STANDING UP. Now, we look like pussies. No one will vote for a bunch of pussies, and if we can't do better than this we are a PERMANENT MINORITY.

However, Feingold responds:

And Feingold’s fighting back:

I’m amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president’s numbers so low. The administration just has to raise the specter of the war and the Democrats run and hide. … Too many Democrats are going to do the same thing they did in 2000 and 2004. In the face of this, they’ll say we’d better just focus on domestic issues. … [Democrats shouldn’t] cower to the argument, that whatever you do, if you question the administration, you’re helping the terrorists.

I can hardly wait until the Chair finishes rebuilding the state & local parties and get these worthless pieces of shit out of Congress and replace them with REAL Democrats.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Is he ever going to wake up and smell the coffee?

Despite the Goopers giving Harold Junior the Ned Beatty treatment with their FANCY FORD website, despite every NRSC post making reference to his "liberalism" (that's hysterical), despite all of that. Junior has decided that he will still try to get people who would never vote for him, to, well, vote for him.

Junior, UNLIKE local Democrat John Tanner (that Commie bastard he) and that Republican fellow-traveler John Duncan of Knoxville, voted FOR the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. That, despite the fact that it's a far more vicious attack on our constitutional rights than anything any Al-Qaeda member can dream up.

It's time to level with you, Congressman. All those folks outside Shelby & Davidson Counties, most of them aren't going to vote for you, ESPECIALLY if they're Republican. Those morons in DC who are sucking out your money at an incredible burn-rate are giving you VERY bad advice.

While many of those non-urban folks will smile at you and shake your hand, they're NOT going to vote for you, even if it's that "liberal" Bob Corker fella that wins the Gooper nomination. All your hard work sucking up to Anus, er, Imus and Fox News is going to waste, especially once your uncle's trial starts.

Save your money, get out now, and run for Mayor of Memphis; you'll be better off in the long haul.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Well, it's campaign season, so why not?

Well, since Wendi C. Thomas is heading for Bal-mer to work for the Sun, local libertarian blogger Mike Hollihan is shamelessly campaigning to replace her. Yes, Mike, I'm certain you will be popular with her readers, whoever they were.

Nonetheless, we try to be supportive of our fellow bloggers, so as a public service, I present his campaign banner. Striking, eh?

Here's DC's REAL Pimp

The DSCC has answered the Fancy Ford site with one of their own about the ole Kat Killer himself, Bill "Very Fancy Frist".

Let's see who the REAL Pimp Daddy is!

Kurita keeps up the fight!

Jackson Baker profiles state Senator Rosalind Kurita (D-Clarksville) in her quest to become the next US Senator from the Volunteer State.

Here's an excerpt:

Kurita acknowledges that on the war issue she's to the left of Ford, who voted for the war in 2002 and, though critical of President Bush's management of the war, has never disavowed his original support. Kurita has a concrete proposal: Take our ground troops out of the cities, where they are "magnets" to the growing insurgency, and maintain air support for the struggling new Iraqi government. It's a strategy that's arguably a prelude to orderly withdrawal.

Kurita's increasing forthrightness on the war and on Iraq itself ("Let's face it. Iraq ought to be three countries, not one," she has said on other recent occasions) is one of the factors that make her at least a theoretical alternative to the nationally ballyhooed Ford.

See Ya, Wendi!

UPDATE @ 4:30 P.M. : The CA finally breaks the story on their site.

Breaking News: Wendi Thomas is leaving for the Baltimore Sun, according to Romenesko's MediaNews, which got a copy of the internal Sun memo.

Here it is:

Memo to Baltimore Sun employees

03/10/2006 03:01 PM

To: Newsroom

Subject: Staff announcement

We are pleased to announce that Wendi Thomas will be joining The Sun as a metro columnist.

Wendi has been a columnist at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis since August 2003. Her columns -- known for their flair and humor -- include taking on a prominent and controversial political family and calling for elected officials to sign ethical codes of conduct. She has examined potential budget cuts to after-school activities in Memphis and told stories of redemption among ex-gang members. And she has challenged a ballet teacher who won't let a pupil with dreadlocked hair perform in a recital.

Before joining [the Commercial Appeal] -- her hometown paper -- Wendi worked as a reporter and editor at The Indianapolis Star, The Tennessean and the Charlotte Observer. She is a 1993 journalism graduate of Butler University.Wendi is set to start at The Sun April 17, and she'll begin writing later in the month. We're excited to have her bring her sharp insight to Baltimore and read her take on the people and events of our community.

Tim, Bob, Sandy, Mike & Howard

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Come down and infuriate Republicans!!!

I am reposting this to move it to the top of the blog, and to note that the TDP got off its butt nad scheduled a Press Conference downtown at 11 AM Friday..

From my buddy Brad Watkins of Democracy for Memphis comes the following:

This week as many of you may know is the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, from Thursday, March 9th until Sunday 12th. Karl Rove, Lamar Alexander, Bill Frist and many other Republican Presidential wannabes will be here in MEMPHIS, and that will not do.

This Friday, March 10th @ 3:30pm Democracy For Memphis is hosting a progressive counter event at the Bon Ton cafe at 150 Monroe ave. Here we will not only discuss and celebrate progressive values, but will honor the memory of DFM member Charles Grace, who passed away last winter. Charles Grace was a man of warmth, compassion and humor. He saw people for who they were, and tried to accept them. He was steadfast in his passion and desire to bring about positive change for this party and this community, and his humility and kindness will be greatly missed.

It is in his spirit that we would like to extend to all local progressives this invitation to a brief rally which can serve as a potential rally point for protests planned by local grassroots clubs and groups.

We are very fortunate to have a great line up of speakers led by our Event Host, County Commissioner Deidre Malone, who will also speak on the theme of Race Relations and party unity.

Other speakers include...Democratic Candidates for County Commission Reginald Fentress, who will speak in favor of the Living Wage, and Steve Mulroy, who will speak on Ethics and Election reform.Shelby County Democratic Party Chairman Matt Kuhn will also attend and inform the attendees about the SCDP'S "Covenant with the County", A party platform for Shelby County.

Other speakers will be announced soon.

It is my deepest desire to see many local progressives join us as we tell the Republicans that Memphis is NOT buying what they are selling.


So start making your signs and let's get ready.

Brad Watkins, Organizer

DAY & TIME- 3:30-5:30pm
DATE- March 10th
LOCATION-The BON TON CAFE, 150 Monroe Ave.
"One block west of AutoZone Park!"

I'm for the recall; however...

Confessions of a West Tennessee Liberal...: Thoughts on the recall... (Sorry Brad)

David Holt does make some salient arguments AGAINST the recall of the Mayor, and it's worth reading. Here's an excerpt:

And despite what many people say, Herenton is not a Democrat. I don’t think he even really sees himself as one. He is elected to a nonpartisan office, gets most of his money from Republicans, most of his votes from Democrats, and has supported politicians from both parties. Seems like I would be a perfect candidate to sign the recall petition, right? Wrong. The Davis recall in California was wrong. Davis had done nothing illegal and was merely in a bad political position in the middle of his term that any governor would have been in in the same circumstances. It would be hypocritical for me to oppose that recall but support this one.

Click on the title and go read the rest...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Kurita is picking up steam as Ford looks more unelectable

I have been told by a friend who has seen the new issue of the Flyer that Senator Kurita is on the front page with a good story to back it up. The new issue is on stands now; it will be put on the website Friday, if they follow normal procedure.

Add to that the fact that Junior slipped again in the latest Rasmussen polls pitting him against each Gooper candidate, and that his burn-rate of campaign $$$ is apparently approaching warp speed, and we actually have a Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate.

I am in the process of developing a separate blog for the Kurita campaign, which I will link to over in the blogroll once it's done.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Rude One is at it again...

Our beloved Rude Pundit has a, shall we say, INTERESTING plan to get South Dakota to reverse their vote to ban abortion yesterday.

I am saying no more, other than go read it yourself. Unless, of course, you're at work, because, after all, this IS the Rude One!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Kirby Puckett, 1960-2006

While I have never been a fan of the Minnesota Twins (they're in the same division as the White Sox, after all), I have always admired and respected Kirby Puckett, their Hall of Fame centerfielder. He played the game with an infectious joy and an incredible energy that lifted his teammates time and time again.

Now, stunningly, only five years after his induction into Cooperstown, Kirby Puckett is dead of a stroke at the age of 45. Only Lou Gehrig was younger at the time of his death among those who were inducted while living, which makes this all the sadder.

Yes, he had problems in his personal life after having to retire from baseball in 1996 due to a diagnosis of glaucoma in his right eye. Yes, he had to go through a messy divorce as a result of all that.

Tonight, though, I remember the fluid swing that led the Twins to World Series wins in 1987 and 1991 and that garnered over 2300 hits in his 12-year career. I want to remember, even though I rooted for the Braves that year, his game-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1991 Series that saved it for the Twins. It is still remembered as one of the greatest moments in Series history.

Now, he's gone, just like that. For more remembrances, I recommend Bat-Girl's site; she has been hilariously funny in past posts about Twins' baseball. However, tonight, she, along with Twins' fans and all baseball fans, mourn Kirby's passing as a deep loss for baseball and anyone who loves it, as I do.

This really stinks.

I saw THIS

on a car at the North Texas Irish Festival Friday night...

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Bite me, Aunt Esther!

I had to run downstairs at the hotel where I'm staying in Dallas, because I am delirious and proud to be a Memphian, Three 6 Mafia has just won the Academy Award for "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" from Hustle & Flow!!!!

Can't you hear Wendi whining now? While this is not the first time a Memphian has won this award, it is a tremendous achievement, and we should celebrate it!

Now if Terence Howard can just win Best Actor.....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

It's time for jigs, reels, and Guinness!!!!!

The Cracker is bailing and headed for Big D in the morning to attend the 24th North Texas Irish Festival at Fair Park. There won't be any posting after tonight until Tuesday, so none of you get in trouble while I'm drinking and singing and seeing old friends down there.

Headliners include the fabulous Eileen Ivers, Aoife Clancy (her father was Bobby of the Clancy Brothers) and the great balladeer Robbie O'Connell.

No, I'm not Irish or Scottish or Celtic at all, and I'm not wearing a kilt, because they don't make tartans for Polish people. Well, there are always Utilikilts!

See you Tuesday!

Junior is spending his contributions like a drunken sailor!!

The fabulous Pesky Fly beat me to this stunning note from Rosalind Kurita's website:

Harold Ford, Jr. keeps touting his big fundraising numbers.What he's not telling people is this:"In the third quarter, he spent more than he raised. In the fourth he took in $1 million and spent $910,755. His balance is ... considerably less than he estimated a few weeks ago."

Tennessee Journal, Feb. 6, 2006 edition.

Here's my question: on WHAT is he spending his money? Have any of YOU seen any ads lately? Have you gotten flyers in the mail from the Man Who Would Be Senator?

Just how much more ass will he have to kiss in the event he wins the primary? How much will he have to sell out to keep the $$$ rolling in IF he gets to represent the Democrats in November?

Stay tuned, and great job as always, big Fly!

Maybe it's just me, but..

Is the woman on the left

Beginning to sound a lot like the woman on the right?

Wendi Thomas today laments the fact that our own Three 6 Mafia has been nominated for an Oscar for the song, "It's Hard To Be A Pimp Out Here" because, well, you know, pimping is BAD.

Who knew?

Never mind that this is the highest profile for a Memphis-based recording act in a long time, never mind that while Hustle and Flow showed the seamier side of this city, it's a side that exists, and will continue to exist as long as we have the same people running the show economically.

Her columns of late have had that lecture-like tone we used to hear whenever Aunt Esther would lecture Fred Sanford that he would wind up in Hell if he didn't get right with God, to which Fred would note that if she weren't in Hell and he was, he'd be better off.

There are times when Wendi has good points and makes sense, but she ignores the fact that our music industry was made by wild-ass crazy people who were, well, brilliant. Do the names Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Phillips, or Jim Dickinson mean anything to you?

Enough said. I'm rooting for Three 6 Mafia to win Sunday night, and for Terence Howard to win the Oscar for Best Actor. Even if I do burn in Hell.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Smart City represents on Living Wage!

A great post from Smart City calls on Mayor Herenton and the City Council to stand up and get on board the Living Wage train for city employees.

An excerpt:

Meanwhile, back in Memphis, we continue to grapple with the living wage issue. City Council has dragged its feet on this issue, but like so many issues that dissipate with time, this one is not going away, particularly as long as tax freezes are handed out as casually as they are by city and county governments.

The Living Wage Campaign is calling on the City Council to pay its workers $10 an hour with health insurance or $12 an hour without insurance. In addition, it makes the case that if companies are going to have their property taxes waived, they should at least agree to pay a living wage to their workers in return. The $10 an hour would bring a family of four to the federal poverty level.


For ONCE, Phil's folks do something RIGHT..

and now they're under siege for it.

The terrific Nashville Scene article linked above notes how Bredesen challenged the TDOT culture upon arrival in the Governor's Mansion. The "PAVE EVERYTHING" mentality has beren curbed under the watchful eye of TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely, who has taken powers away from the TDOT engineers, and actually considers that there are such things as mass public transit.

The good-ole-boy rural legislators, who only have schools and roads to bring back to their districts (why? so people can leave them for cities quicker?), have decided to try and pass legislation that would shift the power back to the Ledge, where those fat road contracts (and those fat campaign contributions would come back in return) could be dealt out to their buddies.

Disturbingly, the legislation would gut any money going to mass transit in Tennessee, according to this excerpt:

Another provision ensures that, even if TDOT experienced a budgetary windfall, public transit wouldn’t benefit. The draft decrees that no money shall be spent on the operational costs of mass transit in counties with a population of more than 100,000. The affected counties collectively contain more than half of the state’s population.

In short, a nice fat UP YOURS to MATA and Nashville's Metro Transit Authority, as well as any other urban public transportation. Call your legislator (you DO know who your Rep and Senator are, of course) and tell them to stop this garbage.

Screw those rural bastards; let 'em ride mules!