Friday, September 29, 2006

I'm not the only one asking the question.

The Christian Progressive Liberal has written an open letter to Chris D. Jackson over at The Flypaper Theory, and she is not flippant, she asks probing questions.

Mr. Jackson, as you know, is the blogger of The Ford Report, and he has asked us to join the Ford campaign. CPL asks him why we should:

Get past your hero worship of the man and look at his voting record. Examine what his votes actually mean. They mean to torture people; they mean to leave them physically, mentally and emotionally bankrupt. They promise to deliver a prehistoric time that the forefathers of this country ran away from England from, because they decided that they didn't want to live like that again, EVER.

They promise not to educate our kids. Tell me how a voucher is going to do that, when an economically strapped family still has to pay to send his kid to St. Albans, even if that family gets an actual voucher - but one that only pays a portion of the tution costs?

They promise to limit whether or not you can send your child to college; or a person buy their own home, or start businesses, or keep sending 18-year olds off to fight in wars that they are ill-trained, ill-equipped and psychologically not mature enough to handle. Has he talked to Vietnam vets like John Murtha or John Kerry about how their experiences in Vietnam affected them? Has he talked to Max Cleland, a Senator who left three limbs in a rice patty, only to get slimed by the likes of the draft-dodging Saxby Chambliss?

Please, PLEASE read it all.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Why are YOU voting for Junior?

In the comments of WTL's angry rant about the Democratic Senate nominee, there was this comment from Polar Donkey:

To all Jr campaign workers, I'd like to ask why you are working for him and why we should support him?

A) Party Loyalty-Jr shows none.
B) Republican control of the Senate-We've heard the boogeyman argument already.
C) He speaks to Democrats-Hah, when not using republican talking points.
D) Jr votes in the interest of his constituents- Bankruptcy, torture, Patriot Act, the Iraq War etc...
E) Inspirational leader-Jr's never had a job, passed the bar, and inherited his seat.

Tell me Jr supporters, why should we vote for him?

Ok, let's hear it. After his votes on the bankruptcy bill, the Patriot Act, his support of the Iraq War and his support for TORTURE, I want to hear from you why I should vote for Harold Ford Junior. Please comment and make me a good argument.

Bob smites the Ho

55-40 Memphis: Breaking: Ho votes for torture

Bob doesn't mince words. Or pictures, for that matter.

I'm sorry, I didn't quite hear you..

WHO did you say had a 6-point lead in the Senate race? Mr. Zogby says, not so much.

This is why you NEVER trust internal polls, kids. Zogby sez Corker 47.6, Ford 42.4, MOE +/- 3.4% . No, I'm not happy about this, but I thought the Ford-by-6 internal poll was bullshit.

When Zogby or Quinnipiac or SUSA or Rasmussen (Goopers that they are) give Ford a 6-point lead, I'll applaud, but not before.

Hat tip to Polar donkey, who emailed the link to me.

UPDATE: Chris Bowers of MyDD opines that the Internet-only sampling of Zogby may make his polls outliers. Read on here; it's down toward the end of the post.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This is getting out of control.

I have to admit that I am no longer worried that Jake Ford can beat Steve Cohen; all it will take is one more performance like Monday night, and Jake is toast on a stick.

As a Democrat, even though I have been maddened by Junior's open campaigning to the RIGHT of Bob Corker, and that we never really had a chance to have a debate between Rosalind Kurita and Ford, I had steeled myself for the probability that I would have to hold my nose and vote for him.

I, like Steve Cohen (who wears a Jr. button EVERYWHERE he campaigns), believe that if you're the nominee, you have to support EVERYONE on your ticket.

Instead, Harold continues to dance around this issue as if he would just as soon avoid it. We are not going to let him.

His brother's campaign is going to be a danger to his own, and he has to do something about it now, but not for Steve Cohen's sake, because Steve is going to kick ass. This is about saving JUNIOR, not Steve. Hell, even the New York Times is writing about it (hat tip to the River City Mud Bugle).

Don't believe me? Spin all you want to, but go read WTL this morning. See what others are saying about this dilemma that Senior and Jake and Isaac have thrown us into, and Junior tries to sweep under the rug.

Here's the problem in a nutshell. In the rest of Tennessee, Ford is doing far better than expected because Republicans just don't care for Bob Corker. Frankly, most are either going to stay home or even consider voting for Ford (hell, Ford is the conservative in the race, not Corker!).

However, because of the Jake Ford candidacy, the plan, supposedly hatched by Senior, to have Jake in the race to boost turnout, could backfire disastrously in two ways. First, Republicans in Shelby County who MIGHT have considered either voting for Junior (good) or staying home (better, from a Democratic perspective) will now vote for Corker to punish Junior for being just another Ford and will vote for Steve Cohen if they have to to prevent Jake from winning. More GOP turnout = BAD for Democrats.

Next, let's remember that Shelby County is the last bastion of progressive Democratic p0litics in Tennessee, and we forget NOTHING. So, Junior's votes for the bankruptcy bill, among others, along with the Kurita situation, have angered progressive Democrats here to the point where they were ready to ignore the Senate race, Harry Reid be damned.

However, things calmed, and most were ready to hold their nose and vote for Junior until it became obvious that Jake Ford was going to run a full-blown campaign. Folks, for progressive Democrats in Memphis, Steve Cohen is the third rail; if you go after him, we will beat your ass. He's ours, and while we all have had personal disagreements with him over the years, we make up, because he's the real deal and we WANT him on the House floor pissing off Republicans.

So, after having Goopers turnout heavily in order to beat Jake and punish Junior, on top of that, progressive Democrats will say to hell with it and either vote for a third party candidate or not at all in the Senate race, while turning out in record numbers to elect Steve Cohen.

Remember, folks, out of roughly 330,000 primary votes statewide for Junior, 89,000, to 26.7%, came from Shelby County. He can't afford to lose ANY of them; however, as long as this continues to fester and he continues to try to put himself ABOVE the Democratic Party, he risks everything.

This is like an infection that is allowed to fester and spread for weeks before anything is done, and there may not be an antibiotic to stop it if this goes on much longer, and it will lead to amputation (of Junior's candidacy). Yet, it is Junior who can apply that antibiotic to save his own campaign, and he has not yet done it.

All he has to do is come out and say something like this: "My friends, I love my brother and I understand why he's running for that seat. However, I am a Democrat and I am going to support AND endorse everyone on the Democratic ticket because we all win or lose TOGETHER." That's all; I'm not even asking him to mention Steve Cohen's name.

Hell, his own father came out against HIS brother in the 1994 County Mayor's race; this would be nothing compared to that, so I don't want to hear sob stories about how he can't throw his own brother under the bus, Senior did it to John.

Use that antibiotic, Junior, your campaign and Democratic control of the United States Senate may well depend upon it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The hits just keep on coming!

The Freedonian has a withering post about the Jake Ford campaign as it careens out of control, possibly taking their older brother down with them.

Here's an excerpt, but you need to read the whole thing:

I’m not here to bash Jake Ford again. It’s superfluous at this point. I’m not up to the task of making him sound less like a suitable candidate than he made himself sound at the candidate forum. Words simply fail at this point. The Ninth District Dynasty ends here.

All that remains is for Jake to do what I know he had to be thinking as he sat bewildered on that stage--- It’s time for him to cut his losses and call it a day. This is an embarrassment to a family with a political legacy that, while certainly not flawless, is at least admirable.

Now, for a slightly contrarian position...

I am falling down on the job, friends. I meant to link to this marvelous observation by Polar Donkey on Steve Cohen's campaign, his strengths and weaknesses.

Choice cut:

This week offers Cohen an opportunity. Bush is coming to town on Wednesday. Cohen should go down there and be front and center at that protest. The protest could be the kick off of his campaign spending the next 45 days in the “C”. Forget running against Jake. Play up a populist message and go after Bush hard. Show people that you aren’t afraid to stand up to Bush and the Republicans. Could Jake stand up to Bush the way Cohen could? Obviously, Jr didn’t and he can’t now because he’s kissing republican asses all around the state. If Jr and Jake go campaigning in town together they aren’t going to be able to go after Bush the way Cohen could. If Jr dared, what he said would be broadcast instantly around the state. Black folks don’t like the war and republican economics. Cohen is a fighter so go out and prove you are fighter in areas where people need a champion the most.

OK, go read the rest of it!

Monday, September 25, 2006

And now, we return to our regularly scheduled programming.....

After a few days, we return to political commentary.

I attended the second half of the League of Women's Voters 9th District Debate at the Central Library. Steve Cohen was on top of his game on the issues, Jake Ford was polite and polished but not substantive, and Mark White was sincere but his issues really did not resonate with the crowd.

What was more interesting to watch was after the debate ended, when I observed several female Democratic activists, along with the husband of one of them, engage Junior's younger brother in what appeared to be a heated discussion. As these women are Cohen supporters, I am going to presume there was some disagreement here.

However, Cohen, who had already left by this time, had already established that, no matter what JAKE Ford may do, he was supporting AND endorsing the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate, He wore both his own button and one for Junior, and he had made a point during the debate to note that Junior was HIS candidate for the Senate.

If only Junior would follow the lead of his own father, who had opposed HIS own brother, John, for County Mayor in 1994, and go against HIS brother to endorse Cohen, he would find fewer problems for himself in his own back yard. Jackson Baker wrote a piece for Time.Com about this situation, documenting it for the national press; the state press has apparently already begun to discuss this matter and how it could endanger the chance for the Democrats to take the Tennessee Senate seat, and perhaps the Senate itself.

I suspect Junior is frustrated with the situation, but maybe he thinks he doesn't need to worry, where else have Democrats got to go? I guess he's never heard of skipping races on Election Day.

Meanwhile, as Steve Cohen does what Democratic candidates are supposed to do and support the ENTIRE ticket, Junior dithers.

I am hearing that Senior is now wanting to beat Cohen worse than anything. Why? Junior won in 1996, Cohen accepted that and is clearly supporting his son for Senator. Is it that Herenton, by calling out Senior, has triggered an emotional overreaction that could sink Junior's race?

This reminds me of an old Richard Pryor joke. There were two old men known for their exaggerations of, well, their own endowment. As they walk across the Golden Gate, nature calls and they stop to relieve themselves. The first one says, "Man! This water is COLD!" To which the other replies, "Yeah, and it's deep, too!"

I'm beginning to think this is how Senior views this situation; the only problem is that it WON'T be Steve Cohen who will lose if this continues, it will be he and his children.

And the Tennessee Democratic Party.

And the possibility of a Democratic Senate.

And the potential for subpoena power.

All because he wants to prove that the water's deep, too.

What a pity for all of us.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey, Goodbye..

Well, it is beginning to look like the White Sox will not be repeating as World Series champions; indeed, they definitely will not repeat as Central Division Champions after Detroit's victory in Kansas City knocked the Sox out of that race.

Even if the unlikely event occurs that Minnesota will collapse and the Sox snag the Wild Card, they will have to go into the playoffs without Jose Contreras at the very least, and possibly without Mark Buerhle.

While it's not time to send for the priest just yet, it's time to put him on speed dial. Really, after last year, I have no complaints, the Sox have had a good year, just not as good as either the Twins or the Tigers, and our starting pitching just hasn't been there.

Oh well, I can live with it...


Tuesday, September 19, 2006


As I referenced earlier, I have a passion for Scottish and Irish Music. This Saturday, you have an opportunity to come and see what I am talking about at ClanJamFry, the Memphis Scottish Festival at Evergreen Presbyterian Church, located at University & Tutwiler, near Rhodes College.

We will have a solid lineup of music and dance; here's the schedule for the Scottish Faire:

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM--Faire. A whole day of fun, games, music, and dancing! Activities include Scottish vendors, food (local and Scottish), a children's area, contests and games for older youth and adults, sheep herding demos, Scottish Clans and societies in full regalia, a Bonniest Knees contest, a Most Dour Scot contest, a Parade of Clans, bagpipes, dog rescue groups, a falconry exhibit, Scottish Games demos, a Heritage Tent, and more bagpipes. Also, during the Faire, Clanjamfry will host music and dance venues with performances held throughout the day, plus a Highland dance competition! The schedules for music and dance are...

Music Stage:
10:00-10:45 AM - Fiddlers Four
10:45-11:15 AM - 5K Run awards
11:15 AM-12:00 PM - Peggy Loyd
12:00-12:30 PM - Opening Ceremony, Parade of Tartans
12:30-1:15 PM - Fiddlers Four
1:15-2:00 PM - Peggy Loyd
2:00-2:30 PM - Bonniest Knees contest, Honored Clan presentation
2:30-3:30 PM - Kula (Steve's note: these are the folks from Selmer!)
3:45-4:30 PM - The Border Collies
4:30-4:45 PM - Announcement of Contest Winners
4:45-5:30 The Border Collies
5:30 PM - Closing Benediction

Dance Stage
9:30 AM - (Morning competition check-in)
10:00-11:30 AM - Highland Dance Competition, Pre-Premier
11:30 AM-12:00 PM - Evergreen Bonnie Dancers "Won't You Join the Dance?"
12:00-12:30 PM - Opening Ceremonies
12:30 PM - (Afternoon competition check-in)
12:30-1:30 PM - WindDance "Celtic Freestyle"
1:30-2:45 PM - Highland Dance Competition, Premier
2:45-3:00 PM - Highland Dance demo
3:00-3:30 PM - Memphis Scottish Country Dancers, demo
3:45-4:30 PM - Inis Acla School of Traditional Irish Step Dance
4:30-5:00 PM - Jazzercise demo, Evergreen Outreach Ministries
5:00-5:15 PM - Snowden School Elementary Chorus, directed by Kenleta Pokorski
5:15-5:30 PM - Evergreen Bonnie Dancers "Won't You Join the Dance?"
5:30 PM - Closing Benediction

Wolf River Pipe & Drums Performances
Noon - Opening Ceremonies, in front of church
1:00 PM - Presentation with Performance, church sanctuary
2:00 PM - Encore Presentation with Performance, church sanctuary
3:30 PM - afternoon march on, in front of church

For more infomation on performers on the Music Stage and Special Music Events, please go to the
Music page. For more infomation on performances and competition on the Dance Stage, please go to the Dance page.

Ticket prices for the Faire on Saturday are:
Faire Tickets:
General Admission--$5
Senior Citizen--$4
Student (with ID)--$2
Military (in uniform or with ID) and family--$2 per person
Children, age 5 thru 12--$2
Children, age 4 and under--free

Afterwards, there will be a concert in the sanctuary featuring Enoch Kent and Brian McNeill, legendary founder of the Battlefield Band (and someone who makes me look right-wing by comparison! This will cost $20, but it is worth it once you hear his fiddling and his songs.

I hope to see you Saturday.....

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Ford Party

The Democratic Party has a situation on its hands that it refuses to deal with, to their peril. That is to say, they apparently do not have a Senate candidate in Tennessee.

Oh, sure, he won the primary and appeared with a former President that very night. However, nowhere in his ads does it say he is a Democrat or that he supports Democratic ideals. Why?

Hell, he doesn't even endorse the Democratic nominee that the voters of the 9th District selected to replace him. Why? Because his little brother is in the race, supposedly to increase turnout in November.

What good will it do if it increases Republican turnout in Shelby County, if for no other reason than to ensure that no one named Ford occupies the 9th district seat? And, you can bet it won't be Harold's button they push when they vote in the Senate race. Also, how many Democrats, angered at Ford's rejection of Steve Cohen, will either overlook the Senate race or vote for another candidate?

So, I can guess that we can assume that Harold and his younger brother (poor guy, he doesn't have a clue of what's about to happen) are running on their OWN party.

Thanks to Bob at 55-40, we can even offer them a logo for the Ford Party:

Be careful what you wish for, Senior and Junior; you just may get it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Pam ain't playin'!

Responding to both the Freedonian and Space Ninja posts referenced below, Pam cuts right to the chase at the Freedonian site.

Here's a sample:

Many of the people that have contributed to Jr.’s campaign are also supporters of Steve Cohen. When they donated to Jr., they did not do so with the intention of financing his little brother’s campaign as well. Had they known that this scenario, many would have more likely withhold their wallets as well as their votes, and Jr. should know better. And, if Jr.’s supporters wish to donate to Jake’s campaign as well, they should follow proper and legitimate channels as established by law and give to Jake’s campaign directly.

Ok, go read the rest!

I had hoped it would not come to this.....

Freedonian has a post that saddens my heart, as it appears that Asshead can't even open his OWN campaign headquarters, but is operating out of his brother's HQ at Park and Ridgeway.

I am not even sure if this is legal by FEC standards, as while one might expect a central Party HQ where multiple candidates could operate, as this involves an "independent" and a "Democrat" (if Junior is going to help his brother over Cohen, he's no Democrat).

How am I supposed to aid and endorse all Democratic Nominees when the Senate nominee refuses to do the same? I'm not asking Junior to give Asshead the Fredo Treatment, but support your own party, Ace, or don't ask me for mine.

We're done. It's on now, baby.

UPDATE: The Space Ninja weighs in with a VERY interesting take on Freedonian's post.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The River City Mud Bugle is BACK!

The mighty Autoegocrat has resurrected and refurbished the River City Mud Bugle, and he starts off with a bang, by enlightening us as to who's behind the evil slanderous website, first discovered by the Space Ninja.

Here's a choice cut:

A reverse name lookup for and reveals that the two websites have exactly the same IP address:
$ nslookup

Non-authoritative answer:

$ nslookup

Non-authoritative answer:

Hat tip to the lovely Pam at Freedonian!

A sad ending to an era....

Once upon a time, in a land long ago and far away, there was a bright young man who got elected to Congress. He stood for progressive ideals and was as great a champion of the underdog, the oppressed and the poor as anyone this town had ever seen. He spoke truth to power, caused people to love him and despise him, sometimes in the same week.

He was attacked and prosecuted for crimes he did not commit, and the case was so bad that 12 white folks from rural West Tennessee saw through them and acquitted him. He would occasionally say something that angered his district, but since he helped one and all, no matter whether they lived in his district or not, he was usually quickly forgiven by all but the most rabid haters.

The day came when he presented his eldest son and said, this is who I want to succeed me, and the district agreed, and, for a while, the eldest son showed promise, even though his party was no longer in power.

Then, things began to change. The eldest son, bearing the name of the father, attacked the President of HIS OWN PARTY due to the President's personal failings. Then he began to act as if he had been raised in East Tennessee, not South Memphis. The father, once the champion of the land, moved east and south and began to disappear while his namesake sounded more Republican than those who had dared to challenge his father. The namesake even praised the new President, of the OTHER Party, who had led this country to disaster after disaster, and seemed ashamed of the party of his birth.

The namesake sought to run for higher office, and the father, once the champion of the poor and the oppressed, came home from parts unknown to help his eldest son, and then to have his youngest son keep the seat in the hands of the family, even if it meant opposing the party that had brought he and his children wealth and fame.

The old champion, now a shell of himself, began organizing ministers in the black community as if it were somehow 1974 all over again, but things were now different. People in that community, people who had been with him for years, asked, WHY? We have a new champion, and he may not look like you do but he sures VOTES like you did, and he is the nominee of our party. You've been away for so long and you really don't know how things are any more. Enough is enough, they said, stop this.

However, like Willie Mays stumbling in the 1973 World Series, the old warrior kept on, not realizing that in his efforts to continue the legacy, he was endangering the eldest son in his own back yard. The rival chieftain smacked down the old warrior and proved to most that the old warrior was now a stranger in his hometown, and all was being lost.

The moral of our story, for which the final chapter has yet to be written, will still be that one should never take anything for granted, and that things always change, whether we want them to or not.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

WREG-TV up for sale

The Grey Lady is getting out of the TV business, selling nine stations, located in eight cities: Oklahoma City (2), Des Moines, Fort Smith, Memphis (WREG), Moline, IL, Huntsville, and Scranton, PA. Apparently all of the stations are profitable, but they claim they want to focus on the paper itself, along with its digital businesses.

This comes at an interesting time for NewsChannel 3, having finally caught their long-time rivals at WMC-TV 5 in the 10 PM news ratings, and running neck-and-neck in the 5 and 6 PM slots.

I hope that the new owners, whoever they will be, will keep a local focus at 3; this, along with the return of Richard Ransom and the revitalized Claudia Barr, is what has led them to this point, IMO.

Hat tip to Mike Brester for the breaking news....

I am starting a project..

that will lead to another blog, non-political in nature.

As you may have noted, I have come to love Scottish and irish folk music in my middle years, which is why I hit CelticFest in Jackson and the North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas every year.

I am also fortunate to be able to stage-manage at ClanJamFry, the Memphis Scottish Festival for four of the last five years, with the assistance of Lauren, without whom I would have dissolved into a pool of water years ago.

As a result, with the help of some Cue members in the formatting of the site, I will be debuting within the month, a Celtic blog for the Mid-South, so that people who are like-minded can know what's going on in the vast Celtoworld that exists.

One might be surprised at how many great AMERICAN-based Celtic acts exists, and it will be the mission of this blog to highlight them and let people know about them.

Sure, I love Altan as much as anyone, but have you heard Kula yet? They are from SELMER, for heaven's sake, but you'd swear from their music that they just got off the boat from County Cork!

No, I'm not backing off the Cracker or the Cue for even a second, but we want people to know about this wonderful music of the isles and give it a listen. Without it, there's no bluegrass or country, which means no Rock N Roll, either!

OK, enough for now, I will let you know when we are up and running...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Keith Olbermann is all we have left now...

As the Big Three networks, Fox News and CNN fight over who can give the best verbal fellatio to the Bush Administration, leave it to Keith Olbermann to provide the only truth in televised news these days. Here are his comments from Ground Zero on the fifth anniversary of the American equivalent of the burning of the Reichstag:

Half a lifetime ago, I worked in this now-empty space. And for 40 days after the attacks, I worked here again, trying to make sense of what happened, and was yet to happen, as a reporter.

All the time, I knew that the very air I breathed contained the remains of thousands of people, including four of my friends, two in the planes and -- as I discovered from those "missing posters" seared still into my soul -- two more in the Towers.

And I knew too, that this was the pyre for hundreds of New York policemen and firemen, of whom my family can claim half a dozen or more, as our ancestors.

I belabor this to emphasize that, for me this was, and is, and always shall be, personal.

And anyone who claims that I and others like me are "soft,"or have "forgotten" the lessons of what happened here is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante and at worst, an idiot whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.

However, of all the things those of us who were here five years ago could have forecast -- of all the nightmares that unfolded before our eyes, and the others that unfolded only in our minds -- none of us could have predicted this.

Five years later this space is still empty.

Five years later there is no memorial to the dead.

Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.

Five years later this country's wound is still open.

Five years later this country's mass grave is still unmarked.

Five years later this is still just a background for a photo-op.

It is beyond shameful.

At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial -- barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field -- Mr. Lincoln said, "we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Lincoln used those words to immortalize their sacrifice.

Today our leaders could use those same words to rationalize their reprehensible inaction. "We cannot dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground." So we won't.

Instead they bicker and buck pass. They thwart private efforts, and jostle to claim credit for initiatives that go nowhere. They spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they're doing instead of doing any job at all.

Five years later, Mr. Bush, we are still fighting the terrorists on these streets. And look carefully, sir, on these 16 empty acres. The terrorists are clearly, still winning.

And, in a crime against every victim here and every patriotic sentiment you mouthed but did not enact, you have done nothing about it.

And there is something worse still than this vast gaping hole in this city, and in the fabric of our nation. There is its symbolism of the promise unfulfilled, the urgent oath, reduced to lazy execution.

The only positive on 9/11 and the days and weeks that so slowly and painfully followed it was the unanimous humanity, here, and throughout the country. The government, the President in particular, was given every possible measure of support.

Those who did not belong to his party -- tabled that.

Those who doubted the mechanics of his election -- ignored that.

Those who wondered of his qualifications -- forgot that.

History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government by its critics. It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nation's wounds, but to take political advantage.

Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.

The President -- and those around him -- did that.

They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that to them, "bi-partisanship" meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow, or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused, as appeasers, as those who, in the Vice President's words yesterday, "validate the strategy of the terrorists."

They promised protection, and then showed that to them "protection" meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken, a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated al-Qaida as much as we did.

The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had 'something to do' with 9/11 is "lying by implication."

The impolite phrase is "impeachable offense."

Not once in now five years has this President ever offered to assume responsibility for the failures that led to this empty space, and to this, the current, curdled, version of our beloved country.

Still, there is a last snapping flame from a final candle of respect and fairness: even his most virulent critics have never suggested he alone bears the full brunt of the blame for 9/11.

Half the time, in fact, this President has been so gently treated, that he has seemed not even to be the man most responsible for anything in his own administration.

Yet what is happening this very night?

A mini-series, created, influenced -- possibly financed by -- the most radical and cold of domestic political Machiavellis, continues to be televised into our homes.

The documented truths of the last fifteen years are replaced by bald-faced lies; the talking points of the current regime parroted; the whole sorry story blurred, by spin, to make the party out of office seem vacillating and impotent, and the party in office, seem like the only option.

How dare you, Mr. President, after taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love, and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death, after monstrously transforming it into fear and suspicion and turning that fear into the campaign slogan of three elections? How dare you -- or those around you -- ever "spin" 9/11?

Just as the terrorists have succeeded -- are still succeeding -- as long as there is no memorial and no construction here at Ground Zero.

So, too, have they succeeded, and are still succeeding as long as this government uses 9/11 as a wedge to pit Americans against Americans.

This is an odd point to cite a television program, especially one from March of 1960. But as Disney's continuing sell-out of the truth (and this country) suggests, even television programs can be powerful things.

And long ago, a series called "The Twilight Zone" broadcast a riveting episode entitled "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street."

In brief: a meteor sparks rumors of an invasion by extra-terrestrials disguised as humans. The electricity goes out. A neighbor pleads for calm. Suddenly his car -- and only his car -- starts. Someone suggests he must be the alien. Then another man's lights go on. As charges and suspicion and panic overtake the street, guns are inevitably produced. An "alien" is shot -- but he turns out to be just another neighbor, returning from going for help. The camera pulls back to a near-by hill, where two extra-terrestrials are seen manipulating a small device that can jam electricity. The veteran tells his novice that there's no need to actually attack, that you just turn off a few of the human machines and then, "they pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it's themselves."

And then, in perhaps his finest piece of writing, Rod Serling sums it up with words of remarkable prescience, given where we find ourselves tonight: "The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men.

"For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own -- for the children, and the children yet unborn."

When those who dissent are told time and time again -- as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus -- that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American...When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have "forgotten the lessons of 9/11"... look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:

Who has left this hole in the ground?

We have not forgotten, Mr. President.

You have.

May this country forgive you.

Five years..

Five years ago today, I was awakened with a call from my friend Janetta to tell me that a place had crashed into the World Trade Center. I got up, turned on the Today show just in time to see another plane crash into it. Rachel Hurley gives us a frightening look at what it was like to live in Manhattan on that day; it's a must read.

Five years later, we sit here, our lives lost STILL not avenged because of the worst president in the history of the Republic refuses to go after the man who masterminded this horror, Osama Bin Ladin.

You know, the man that Saddam Hussein hated as a threat to HIS country.
Yet, we invaded IRAQ for NO GOOD REASON other than he threatened George Bush's daddy.

I fear that if we don't at least get Congress back from the Goopers this year, the Republic may not last. Yes, I am sober, but I fear what Bush has done to this country and COULD continue to do to it if we don't get control of our government back from this war criminal, this traitor to everything our founders held dear.

Once their term ends, Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld should be shipped to the Hague for War Crimes trials; if found guilty, they should be executed.


Never forget September 11.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Do you like the music of Scotland and Ireland?

Well, I do, and if you do as well, why not take a short three-hour drive to Jackson, MS this weekend for CelticFest Mississippi?

Headliners include The Fuchsia Band, along with Randal Bays and Daithi Sproule. Among the regional acts are Rose Creek Village, TN's own Kula, who are also bringing their great dance troupe WindDance. Rose Creek Village is just outside Selmer, in WTL's old backyard.

There will be music, dance, food, drink, and a session or two, so come on down and join us for a good time in Jackson this weekend!

Bravo to the Mayors

for doing what the Congressman refused to do, endorsing Steve Cohen for Congress.

While I am as far from putting a Re-Elect Herenton sign in my yard as you can get, I have to hand it to him for seizing the day with his remarks on what's left of the "Ford machine". He did what needed to be done, and stood up for the Democratic nominee; given his past history, this was unexpected and appreciated.

I'm not going to go as far as Polar Donkey and say he's unbeatable, but he has absolutely claimed the local party for himself with this act, at least for the time being.

Freedonian notes that Herenton "
drove a wedge between those who support Cohen and those who support Harold Ford Jr.", and that may well be true.

The fact of the matter is that, since The Don took his lobbying business to DC and Miami, he has lost what pull he has in this town, and I wonder if he has any influence at all on his sons any more, since all of them seem to be making stupid mistakes. Junior runs away from Memphis as he were ashamed to be from here, and Jake continues a campaign that, in the long run, will not get him elected to Congress, but could keep his brother from getting to the Senate.

With this vacuum, Willie Herenton has stepped up to the mantle and said to the Fords, "This is MY town now, boys, you only live here". What changes that will bring have yet to be seen, but it will make for an interesting rest of 2006 and all of 2007.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

District 33 Convention to select new Senate nominee

WTL reports that The Shelby County Democratic Party will hold a Convention consisting of ExecCom members who represent House districts that have at least one precinct in District 33. These districts are 83-87, 90-92, and 95, and their reps will decide who will represent the party on the November ballot.

This will take place on September 14 at Cummings Street Baptist Church, 794 East Raines Road, at 7 PM. 1st Vice Chair Cherry Davis will serve as Co-Chair of this special convention.

Given that this is a HEAVILY Democratic district, the nominee is more than likely going to be the next Senator, so the lobbying will hot and heavy. Steve Webster has some support, but he is hardly a shoo-in. This could get interesting, so to quote Bette Davis in ALL ABOUT EVE, "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night!"

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Kathyrn Bowers is going to fight!

According to this CA article, Kathyrn Bowers has decided NOT to plead out on bribery charges and will instead go to trial, which will be sometime this spring. Bravo for Kathryn!

Call me too idealistic, call me naive, whatever you want, but I am rooting for her. These charges are a stain on what has otherwise been a sterling career of public service, and I hope she is acquitted. After all that's happened to her recently, it's a good sign that she still has the stamina to fight.

Monday, September 04, 2006

OK, break's over; everybody back on your head!

Summer's over, the Tigers were upset by Mississippi, Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter) gets too close to a stingray and is killed, and I had a great Festival weekend. Jerry Lewis keeps rolling on, even though Ed McMahon, bless his heart, looks as if he has EMT close by at all times.

Now, the campaigns go 90-to-nothing from here on out, and I will as well, except for this weekend while I go to Jackson, MS for CelticFest 2006 (the schedule is UP).

I will, however, do my best to provide more content here, as one of my loyal readers gently (and CORRECTLY) upbraided me this weekend for not being more regular in posting.

Will do!