Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's Sunday Blogger Roundup time!!!

An abbreviated "on-the-road live from Memphis" edition of our weekly sampling from some of Tennessee's best and brightest bloggers:

• 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera: Authentic Russian dinner for the holidays (yum!)

• Andy Axel (at TennViews): Red pickup on fumes

• BlountViews: Blount one of seven Tennessee counties to pass new property tax freeze for seniors

• The Crone Speaks: Who benefits?

• Cup of Joe Powell: Liberal fascism

• Enclave: Davidson Co. Election Commission data theft

• Fletch: Favorite 2007 photo

• KnoxViews: Fair tax discussion

• Lean Left: A holiday we should celebrate in America

• Left Wing Cracker: It's a cultural celebration, not a religious one

• Loose TN Canon: Bill Maher at Berklee

• NewsComa: Happy blog anniversary to NewsComa!

• Progress Nashville: Top 10 Progressive New Year's Wishes, Day 8

• Resonance: 2008 Energy outlook

• RoaneViews: Clinch River protection pact

• Russ McBee: Musharraf walks a tightrope

• Sean Braisted:Fun with framing

• Sharon Cobb: Analysis: candidates react to Bhutto assassination

• Silence Isn't Golden: Right of refusal does not extend to infants

• Southern Beale: Davidson Co. voter data theft casts shadow over next election

• Tennessee Guerilla Women: Ron Paul considers third party bid

• TennViews: Democratic candidates on health care

• Whites Creek Journal: Off the grid

• Women's Health News: Women's Health year in review

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from the girls...

From left to right, Zoey, Missy and Silky want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and I do as well.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I meant to write something about this, but Smart City beat me to it

And they did a lovely job of it, too.  SCC eviscerates Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas for his idiotic reaction to Commissioner Henri Brooks' Kwanzaa celebration on county property.  His failure to understand that this is a CULTURAL, not religious celebration makes him look racist and reactionary.

Read the whole thing, it's too good to excerpt!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

TennViews presents the weekly roundup!

A "Jingle Bells" edition of our weekly sampling from some of Tennessee's best and brightest bloggers:

• 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera: Democrats fail to show up on SCHIP, bonus: Wordless Wednesday

• Andy Axel: Brr!

• BlountViews: Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft, also BlountViews in the news, bonus: Best Christmas music video ever

• The Crone Speaks: Bad Santa

• Cup of Joe Powell: Without restraint, totally beyond the pale, bonus: Sophie spins some Christmas soul music

• Enclave: NOLA housing crisis roundup, plus The David Bowie/Bing Crosby Christmas duet classic

• Fletch: New coal plant on fast track, plus Wordless Wednesday, bonus: 'Tis the Season

• KnoxViews: Energy bill gets 50MPG on way to White House. plus UT launches tobacco research center - anything for a buck

• Lean Left: Obama and Alter's faulty memory, plus: Huckabee's video Christmas card

• Left Wing Cracker: Larry King impersonation ramble, plus: Nat King Cole for Christmas

• Loose TN Canon: Conservative climate science ignorance on parade, bonus: Fried Cheesecake

• NewsComa: The rural factor in presidential politics, bonus: Christopher Walken's Night Before Christmas (warning: children should leave the room)

• Pesky Fly: Separated at birth, plus: McCain beneficiary of Chucklebee fallout but Romney by a nose?

• Progress Nashville: Starving the poor, plus Corker wading into 2010 minefield, and Top 10 Progressive New Year's Wishes, Day 1

• Resonance: Pelosi surprised by Republican resolve

• RoaneViews: State Sen.Tommy Kilby on Tennessee's sunshine law, plus Alvin C. York and the origin of turkey shoots

• Russ McBee: State Sen. Randy McNally having second thoughts on changing Tennessee's sunshine law plus, A Christmas story

• Sean Braisted: (back at home) A law firm divided

• Sharon Cobb: Gov. Bredesen should follow Gov. Corzine's lead on death penalty, plus Expect to see Republican politicians, country artists and Ted Nugent on late-nite TV

• Silence Isn't Golden: Reporting in from the Obama Nashville HQ opening, bonus: possibly the stupidest letter to the editor ever, plus (sorry, missed from last week): Happy Hanukkah

• Southern Beale: Ron Paul's true Republican credentials, plus Gift idea for the person who has everything except health insurance, plus 12 Days of Christmas

• Tennessee Guerilla Women: Coverage denied, girl dies and a follow up, plus You're so lame - let the party begin!

• TennViews: Bush to California: Drop dead, plus State Rep. Beth Harwell's toxic toys, and Tennessee election study recommends paper audit trail and other reforms, and 1968

• Whites Creek Journal: Tilt and the gift of the mysterious, plus This technology must be stopped!

• Women's Health News: Spermicide in your hair dye?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

It's sunshine time in Tennessee!

Thanks to our beloved Newscoma, I now know of a new blog, founded by our friend Tom Guleff, which is focused on maintaining the Open Meetings Law as it is now written. it even has a link or two to a Cracker column, for which I thank Tom.  

It's not easy or fun being on the opposite side of people you've worked for and still support, but it needs to be done.  Thanks, Tom.

Friday, December 21, 2007

OK, that WAS a little weird, so here's Nat

with the Greatest of them all, The Christmas Song, again with thanks to Orson..

Now, THIS says Christmas to me.....

Other than hearing the Nat King Cole or Mel Torme versions of the Christmas Song, nothing says Christmas than the greatest Christmas duet of all time, with a nod to Orson at EDSBS..

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Larry King impersonation

Well, we're in the middle of PEAK out here and our document system is fried, so I can't do any letters for my customers.

That means I'm doing a version of the old USA TODAY column that Larry King used to do, who knows what the hell I'll say next.

Whyizzit that I get pissed at Hillary, but get pissed when Goopers attack her as well? I still want Edwards to win.....Speaking of Edwards, hats off to David Holt, who is putting his time and money where his heart is, in Burlington, IA on the ground for John Edwards. Holt rocks, and any Edwards folks in town should thank him when he gets back.

In the state, tomorrow, I want you all to go show some love for our beloved Newscoma, who is starting the Bigfoot Fund for lonely sasquatches in NW Tennessee; it also helps her in the fight to find zombies! She deserves whatever you care to give, I will be in for $7.95 at least! In all seriousness, she has been a stalwart for the good on this side of the state, not to mention having a truly entertaining blog.

Say, you ever think that maybe Arthur Blank may have lied to Bobby Petrino about the situation with the Falcons when he hired him? Like maybe he told him that the Vick situation was under control and that he was just the guy to make Vick the all-around QB the Falcons had been waiting to see? I can hear it now, "Don't worry, Bobby, the players will LOVE you and the FBI is just trying to get Vick to roll on his friends, it won't be a problem!" Under THAT scenario, doesn't Petrino's escape to Fayetteville seem more sensible? I thought so.

Speaking of Larry King, I first heard him on the radio in 1980 and thought he was an 80-year-old guy humped over a microphone THEN, how has he lasted so long? OY. Partially on that subject, if you are a Don Rickles fan, you have to catch Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, which is on HBO this month, it's a great capture of his career and how wickedly gifted he is at needling and insulting people why making you laugh like hell. HE's 81, for heaven's sakes.....

I think the Mitchell Report is mostly hearsay, but I have to admit I am gleeful that Roger Clemens has been accused of being injected with PEDs while with the Yankees. He's still a Hall of Famer, as is the man you love to hate, Barry Bonds, but I grow tired of Bonds being the scapegoat for an institution-wide problem. MLB, the media, and everyone else turned a blind eye when all this started, and they want to blame it all on Bonds because he is a spoiled, selfish (and, did I mention, BLACK) pain in the ass. It's not the whole story, but race has a part of this, doncha know.......

If you see Bill O'Reilly, tell him I said HAPPY HOLIDAYS! BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

The older I get, the more temperature-sensitive I become, and I'm getting tired of the roller-coaster ride the weather has taken recently. I either want it to go to 70 and stay there, or drop to 20 and have a blizzard. No, a real humdinger, like the winter of '67 in Chicago and the Midwest, when we were buried under two feet of snow. Oh, I would like that WITHOUT an ice storm, please!

While I'm at it, how about some applause for Lauren, who keeps me sane, and has put up with a great deal from me this week, more than she should have, for which I am grateful. We share the January 5 birthday, and yes, I'm really seven years OLDER than she is, though I like to tease her otherwise.

I know he's working on his novel, for which we wait with bated breath, but I (and many others) have missed The Freedonian's musings, he rarely misses when he writes and provides a great perspective on Mid-South life and politics. If his novel is as good as his blog (which I expect) who knows how long we'll have him here.

Who out there still watches local news on 3, 5, 13 or 24/30? I try to, but other than 3 at 10, it's just awful. No one seems to understand that Whitehaven is NOT South Memphis, and vice versa, or know where anything is in general. Note, Anna Marie Hartman at 5 is still terrific, though.

While he has gotten on my nerves in the past, send some thoughts and prayers to Stuart Scott at ESPN; he is battling cancer while back on the air at the World Wide Leader. Keep fightin' dawg.....

Anyone else think that Mike Huckabee is the man to beat on the Gooper side? I do, he scares the hell out of me. The evangelicals will STAY HOME if it's not the Huckster, or vote for whoever turns out to be the Constitution Party nominee.

Loved Bill Giannini's comment on the blog the other day; like anyone's going to beat him in the GOP primary. I'll enjoy eating that Republican pizza, dude, but I'm still for Cheyenne.....

OK, that's it for now, remember to watch the football Tigers take on Howard Schnellenberger's Florida Atlantic Owls in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl tomorrow night on ESPN at 7 o'clock. It's the final game for Martin Hankins, Joe Doss and the rest of the senior class, GO TIGERS!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Obama opened up his Nashville HQ last night

And GoldnI was there to capture it for us with pictures and a good post, which will also explain why Bob Tuke decided NOT to run for Senator.  

Now I've got your attention, eh?  Go here and read about it...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

You will hopefully notice....

That, at the top of THE ENDLESS BLOGROLL is a new link to the website for the West Memphis Three. John Brummett of Stephens Media has a solid column today about how, at the very least, efforts to stop the execution of Damian Echols should be successful, and that the efforts to free these folks will eventually succeed.

As time goes by, frequent reviews of the court transcripts only increase, not decrease, any reasonable doubt regarding their convictions, which is the standard for any criminal trial. I urge you to read Brummett's column, and visit their website.

Update: Our friend and mentor Kibitzer takes a differing view.....

Live, from Knoxville, it's your Sunday Liberal Blogger Roundup!

Courtesy of TennViews, here you are!

A weekly sampling from some of Tennessee's best and brightest bloggers:

• 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera: The Myth of "Curing" Homosexuality, bonus: excellent Friday creature

• Andy Axel: The view is exhausting

• BlountViews: Mayor attacks local paper, again, also doesn't like Russian student/cultural exchange program

• Cup of Joe Powell: More on the AT&T statewide cable franchise bill

• Enclave: Tennessee should ban pre-payment penalties, plus Asterisks

• Fletch: Friday bird blogging, plus CNBC's Mr. Drysdale

• KnoxViews: Homeschooling for religious reasons. plus Anatomy of a toxic radioactive plume (at Facing South by way of KnoxViews)

• Lean Left: Financial incentives that discourage pharmaceutical research, plus: Good argument against FISA immunity

• Left Wing Cracker: Dems in Congress: Dance with who brung'ya

• Loose TN Canon: Why pop music sucks

• NewsComa: Savage political season

• Pesky Fly: Harry on hold, plus: Remembering Ike

• Progress Nashville: If the Tennessee Lottery ran elections, plus The failure of privatization

• Resonance: Shared sacrifice, plus House protects Christmas

• RoaneViews: Tax exemptions, good and bad

• Russ McBee: ORNL data theft and me plus, Theme of the day: contempt

• Sean Braisted: (at TennViews) Sumner Dem v. Diane Black

• Sharon Cobb: The only thing the Democrat Iowa caucus will predict is who won't be president, plus Obama's Nashville HQ opening

• Silence Isn't Golden: Bye bye Freddie

• Southern Beale: Dr. Frist's new spots, plus Talking Jesus Action Figure

• Tennessee Guerilla Women: New Jersey abolishes death penalty, plus Huckabee on the Canadian National Igloo

• TennViews: What reporters should be asking candidates (Pam Strickland), plus UT McNair Scholars program in jeopardy (an update)

• Whites Creek Journal: What rule of law?

• Women's Health News: Fetal mortality rates by race/ethnicity, plus Good grooming

Friday, December 14, 2007

Yeah, I know...

I've been a slacker this week, but I'm not alone (Jon, where are you?) and I will have more up later, I promise, really, really, I do.

I am getting more pissed off at the Democrats in Congress (excluding MY Congressman, who, with one exception, has been his usual progressive self) for being the very wimps that the VRWC says they are. They seem to forget very easily why we sent them there, to stop at every turn the corporatist policies of the Republicans who have tried to destroy everything that America stands for.

Which is why Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer should be run out of the party and kept out.

Enough on that.

I want to say GREAT JOB to the Flyer for expanding their blogroll, which I have been fortunate enough to be included for some time now, there are more great local blogs than ever, and Kudos to them.

More later.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It's Sunday, and you know what that means!

Courtesy of brother R.Neal at TennViews, here's your Sunday liberal blogger roundup...

• 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera: Huckabee stumbles, Clinton needs better friends

• Andy Axel: Fall Heron, plus Good little lapblogs

• BlountViews: Hometown poll not kind to Lamar Alexander

Cup of Joe Powell: Christmas TV season preview, plus Joe has the incredible Sidewalk Politics video that's been making the rounds

• Enclave: Tennessee in another Top 20

• Fletch: Two men and a truck

• KnoxViews: KnoxViews 2007 Year in Review. plus W settles an old score, and Holiday shopping humor

• Lean Left: Weak-minded Huckabee

• Left of the Dial: Geek-o-rama, plus Bad boss

• Left Wing Cracker: TN Supremes should decide open meetings law

• NewsComa: No solar eclipse in government

Pesky Fly: Impeach Hillary

Progress Nashville: The blog business model and TV Guide, plus Missing Bill (no, not that one)

Resonance: Expert advice on not getting shot in random mall shootings, plus "Serious" Primaries

RoaneViews: 20,000 tons of nuclear waste

Russ McBee: Carbon dioxide reduction not as expensive as we're being told plus, Candidate: Speak to the working people

Sean Braisted: (at TennViews) The obstructionist Senate

Sharon Cobb: Is Pelosi hurting Clinton?, plus I know what you did in nursery school

Silence Isn't Golden: Mitch McConnell's unfortunate remarks, plus: Regent Law School needs a better recruiter (this is hilarious, especially keeping in mind that Regent is the law school supplying the Neocon cabal with legal foot soldiers who come up with crap like it's ok to lie to Congress)

Southern Beale: TN GOP bunker mentality

• Tennessee Guerilla Women: Harriet Miers knew

• TennViews, by Persimmon: Corridor K

• Whites Creek Journal: CIA: American heroes

• Women's Health News: Make your holiday donations count for women

Friday, December 07, 2007


At Home She Feels Like A Tourist, which should have been added long ago. This blog, run by that noted raconteur and Zombie aficionado Fearless VK, runs the gamut from politics to policy to life observations, and you should go there now if you have yet to visit.

Cheyenne Johnson for County Assessor

You might be saying, Cracker, isn't it a wee bit early for that?  Not at all; because the Tennessee Presidential Primary has been moved up, so too has the Primary for the two County offices due to be filled in 2008, Assessor and General Sessions Court Clerk.

Rita Clark is retiring after twelve years of service as the best Assessor we have had in this County.  At her side for the last several years as her Chief Administrative Officer, Cheyenne Johnson understands the day-to-day functions as well as the overall operations of the Assessor's office better than any other candidate.  She would continue the improvements in these functions that have taken place under Rita Clark, and we need to support her as she makes this run.

At the moment, I have no idea who may be running against her in the Primary; GOP Chair Bill Giannini is the leading contender for the Republican nomination.

Cheyenne Johnson is my choice to succeed Rita Clark, and I want her to be yours as well.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Newscoma explains it better than I can

Go here and read what our beloved Newscoma has written about the assault on the Open Meetings Law and why it must not be changed.  She may be an "interested party", as someone suggested to me over the weekend, but I say to you, we ALL are, or should be.

I also want to say that MY representatives are the most accessible of any that I know.  Whether it's Carol Chumney, Jim Strickland, Shea Flinn, Beverly Marrero, Steve Mulroy or one of my closest friends, Mike Kernell, all of these people are very open and, by and large, strongly believe in transparency of government.

This isn't about me; I'm fortunate in that regard.  This is about people like you'll read about in Newscoma's piece who want to cut deals in private, who want nothing to do with public input despite the fact that they were elected TO LISTEN AND REPRESENT THOSE VERY PEOPLE.

If they were all as trustworthy as the people I listed above (and there are others, I'm just not in your District or area if I didn't list you), we would not have this problem.  But they're not, and we do. so go read Newscoma, as it sums this situation up far better than I could.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tuke's out, too; who's going to take on LAMAR!

Come on, people, LAMAR!'s not invincible, for heaven's sake!


Bob Tuke, ex-Marine, former TDP chair, seemed to me to be the type of guy who would be a bulldog, tearing up LAMAR!'s ass every chance he could get, the ultimate compare and contrast candidate.  Whether he won or not, he would force the GOP Old Guard to spend a lot of money on this race, keeping it out of others.

I knew it would be a tough race, and the old money would be behind Alexander, who has been around forever.  The plaid shirt is old news now, and with every national poll turning against Republicans, I thought we had a shot to make it close, if not outright win.

Some attorney from Nashville named Kevin Doherty has said he would run, but I have no idea who the hell he is; Kevin, if you're in this to run, email me so I can learn something about you.

This is not good news; sadly, we seem to be the one state where the Goopers still have some strength, and that is NEVER for the good, as Newscoma might say.

I have kept silent for too long...

I have been lobbied, as it were, by two different people who represent me, regarding whether the state's Open Meetings Law should be adjusted. As you may or may not know, a Knox County judge said that whenever two or more local legislators talk about an issue in private, it's deliberation, which caused local (and STATE) legislators to have a fit, claiming that was NOT what they had in mind when the law was initially passed. I have been advised that if this is allowed to stand, that lobbyists can line up votes with County Commissioners or City Councilors but other Commissioners or Councilors cannot.

I have trouble with that statement, because I believe lobbyists CAN and SHOULD be more regulated than they are. I think the ruling may have gone a tad far, but maybe not.

Let's face it: either you're for transparency in government or you're not. This needs to go to the Supremes in Nashville for a definitive ruling so we can see what, if anything needs to be done.

In the interim, here are some writings on the subject from the various sides:

Change the law: Steve Mulroy

Keep it as it is:

Joe Lance


Jack Lail

Russ McBee

Knoxville News-Sentinel

Joe Lance (again)

I want you to read all these (and if there are more in the vein of Mulroy, let me know and I will link to them.

I just have REAL trouble with this, especially at a time like this, when the average public servant is trusted by the public less than a three-card-monte dealer.

I want to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Your Sunday morning liberal blogger roundup

Courtesy of TennViews, we present the Sunday morning liberal blogger roundup, featuring yours truly, among many others:

• 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera: Future game show host Tucker "whining drama queen" Carlson

• Andy Axel: Low Wake, plus Sex on the city

• BlountViews: Republican County mayor blasts local paper, liberal bloggers

• Enclave: Handicapping Nashville, plus: Mayor's community connecting disconnect

• Fletch: Blue Sky, plus Pelican launch

• KnoxViews: Report on Charlotte's light rail program, plus: Yet another Knox County sunshine lawsuit

• Lean Left: Iraqis denied political asylum

• Left Wing Cracker: Commentary on possible Kurita challenger and Jim Kyle's feud with her (money quote: Look, I know Kyle is still furious over this, but I have an answer for him: GO BEAT SOME REPUBLICANS AROUND THE STATE AND YOU CAN BE SPEAKER. It's as simple as that.)

• Loose TN Canon: Investigating the investigators, and A Huckabee theocracy

• NewsComa: Paid blogging gig therapy, plus Writer's strike update, bonus: Conversation with a CBS producer

• Pesky Fly: Is Trent Lott collateral damage?, plus a tribute

• Progressive Nashville: Why government is the solution, not the problem, plus Mexican Good Samaritan deported

• Resonance: The Winnebago Bellwether of the economy

• RoaneViews: "Why, in towns in which it is illegal to throw a snowball at a tree, is it legal to stand out in the middle of a five lane road and beg for money?"

• Russ McBee: Junk science in Texas plus, Not supporting the troops

• Sean Braisted: (at TennViews) Obama Nashville, plus Blog reboot in the works

• Sharon Cobb: Middle East peace talks dog and pony show

• Silence Isn't Golden: Tortured conservative logic, plus: BCS broken, time for a playoff system

Southern Beale: Memo To CNN: young women are not bimbos, plus Stuff I don't get (related 2005 article by R. Neal at Facing South)

• Tennessee Guerilla Women: Gee, thanks for the leadership Governor!, plus Fred Thompson: Lazy, arrogant, and grumpy, too.

• Whites Creek Journal: Uncalculated cost of war, plus How Evel got his nickname

• Women's Health News: Feminism and choice: The Business of Being Born

BONUS SECTION: GOP "Debate" Roundup

10,000 Monkeys and a Camera: "Really, I honestly tried to find something positive in tonight's debate. But this selection of white men all seemed either really mean, crooked, or simply insane (what's the deal with Ron Paul's secret NAFTA superhighway?)."

Lean Left: Hate on display at GOP debate

Carole Borges at KnoxViews: "All in all it was a night of tired looking old geezers taking cheap shots at one another. They remained myopically focused on the wearisome old Republican talking points, immigration, no tax increases, crime, guns, abortion, Christianity. Expected answers to expected questions."

Sean Braisted (at TennViews): "I don't think I've ever been more proud to be a Democrat than between the hours of 7 and 9 (CST) when I watched the Republican candidates for the Presidency make a complete mockery of themselves and their party."

Sharon Cobb: "Well, the good news is that when you vote in 08, there has never been a clearer choice between the Republicans and Democrats."

GoldnI: "First of all, I think the Republicans proved once and for all that the term "Support the troops" really isn't anything more than a bumper sticker for them. Otherwise, how could you look a retired Brigadier General in the eye, someone who has defended the country for 43 years, and tell him that his service is somehow less worthy because of his sexuality?" And: "My original plan for the Debate Drinking Game was that you had to take a shot each time Giuliani referenced 9/11. Of course, if you did that then you wouldn't have made it to the first commercial break."

• Egalia: Rightwing Rage: Hillary Plants Gay 'Operative' In GOP Debate! Hillary Wins!, plus more here, here, here, and here.

DOUBLE BONUS SECTION: Weakening Tennessee's Sunshine Law

R. Neal at KnoxViews: It's pretty sad that elected officials have so much trouble understanding that they can't deliberate in secret and that the public's business must be conducted in public.

Newscoma: "It’s not, as I’ve said 100 times, not about journalists. It’s about average citizens. It’s about things being discussed without input of government’s main boss."

Progressive Nashville: "These recommendations undoubtedly weaken the current law and that's never a good thing when it comes to open government."

Russ McBee: "This change would permit a level of corruption that would far surpass anything we've seen so far in our local legislative bodies, and that level of corruption is already unacceptably high.", plus: An eclipse of the Sun

Friday, November 30, 2007

Let's help Mike Kernell!

This Saturday Evening, December 1
from 4-8 PM

A Party and Fundraiser

at the home of
Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy

All donations welcome, no corporate checks, please.

If you are unable to attend but would like to donate anyway,
please make out your check to the Kernell Campaign and mail to
The Mike Kernell Campaign
111 South Highland
Memphis, TN 38111

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

You had to see this coming

Although I don't necessarily believe it's a good idea.

Both Volunteer Voters and R. Neal have picked up on Adam Groves' story that Senator Rosalind Kurita may face a Democratic Primary challenge at the hands of former Montgomery County Mayor Doug Weiland.

The Senate Democratic Caucus supports her, as does the Tennessee Democratic Party; however, I seriously doubt you'll see the Senate Democratic leader, our own Jim Kyle, campaigning for her. Although he would never publicly admit it, a Weiland victory is more likely to make him happy, since he can't be sure that, in the event of another 16-16-1 Senate after the 2008 elections, that Kurita would vote for him over Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville).

Look, I know Kyle is still furious over this, but I have an answer for him: GO BEAT SOME REPUBLICANS AROUND THE STATE AND YOU CAN BE SPEAKER. It's as simple as that.

You know, I was stunned when she voted for Ramsey, and I met with her, as several of my brethren in the blogging community did, and I wasn't really satisfied with her answers.

However, the blunt truth is that A) she was screwed by the DSCC in her aborted US Senate race, for which I have yet to forgive Chuck Schumer, B) since that time, she has continued to work for progressive causes, and C) I do like her personally, and as much as I would like to see her punished for voting for Ramsey, we are in no position to do so unless the Caucus gets a few more members.

As far as I'm concerned, the oust-Kurita movement is wasted effort, as I suspect her district likes her just fine, and will re-nominate and re-elect her. Now, it would help if she would openly declare that she would vote for Kyle for speaker, but since the likelihood of that is the same as Heidi Klum calling me to ask for a date, I'm not holding my breath.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lott quits and McWherter bails out

Our beloved Newscoma and Pesky each raise questions as to WHY Trent Lott is resigning as Mississippi's junior Senator.

Good questions, but I really don't care if he was blowing goats or involved in a scandal or just planning to spend his time disemboweling State Farm, I'm just glad he is out. Now, the long-awaited dustup can begin between former Attorney General Mike Moore, he of the tobacco settlements, and former congressman Chip Pickering, he of the father who served as a US District Judge, ruling against the working folks. Moore can WIN this race, no matter what Pickering and Haley Barbour will come up with.

Pesky suggested US Rep Gene Taylor (D-Gulf Coast) should run, but I have a better idea: let's send him up against Thad Cochran, who is running for a SIXTH term (and not really willingly; the NRSC practically put a gun to his head). A weakened Cochran running against a Democrat who isn't that different from his own views, combined with a hot Moore-Pickering race will force the Goopers to spend FAR MORE money than they had planned, and I am willing to bet that we will pick up at least one, if not BOTH Mississippi Senate seats.

Now, for closer to home, Mike McWherter has weened out on a race against LAMAR! Alexander. Yes, it was going to be an uphill battle, but we need a candidate who will work their ass off and make LAMAR! and the NRSC spend money. Mike, you could have been a contender, but now you're just a...naw, bum's too strong, you just weren't ready. If not now, though, then when?

Well, we have someone ready to go who I am prepared to support in former TDP Chair Bob Tuke, an ex-Marine who will make LAMAR!'s life a living hell until November. Yes, it will be an uphill battle for him, too, but this is shaping up to be a Democratic year if there ever was one, and no one will outwork Bob Tuke. No one thought George (Macaca) Allen could be beaten, either, so let's not write this off yet. Let's do so well with Bob that Chuck Schumer gets embarrassed and has to pour money here to win!

You need to read this.

My friend and co-worker EarthWindFire82 has written a thoughtful piece about the DeAunte Farrow tragedy; it is the most level-headed post about this horrible situation that I have read.

Go read it here.

More later about Trent Lott, Mike McWherter, and whatever else I feel like writing about.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I'm just not that excited...

I can't get worked up over the Democratic presidential primary chase right now, it's too damned early.  Our primary is February 5 in Tennessee, but I can't get worked up in any way, shape or form.

If I had to rank them right now, it would be as follows:

1. John Edwards
2. Chris Dodd (yes, Chris Dodd, he's the only one showing testicular fortitude right now)
3. Dennis Kucinich (I agree with his issues more than I do any other candidate)
4. Mike Gravel (just kidding)
5. HRC
6. Barack Obama, he's just not sure enough of himself and he's too easily swayed.
7. Joe Biden, come on, he's just a slightly more liberal Joe Lieberman, and he's the biggest sellout possible to the financial services corporations.

Edwards, frankly, just isn't catching fire, as much as I agree with him economically.  Dodd is showing some fire, better than the rest, but probably not enough.  Kucinich, well, is Kucinich, and not a real possibility (sorry, Mike).

HRC is NOT Bill, and this would not be a restoration; at this rate, I'm ready for a constitutional prohibition against anyone named Clinton or Bush ascending to the presidency.  It's NOT 1992 anymore, people, we need to face the future and RESHAPE IT, not moon for the past.  

That seems to be lost on HRC's supporters, they seem to think that if she wins, it will immediately go back to 2000 and all will be bright and shiny again.  Bullshit.  The Goopers' only chance to win is if she wins the Democratic nomination, because it will mobilize every good ole boy who had given up on the Gay Old Party.  Fox News will show photoshopped films of HRC kissing Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden simultaneously, the morons who watch it will fall for it, and that will be that.

So, no, I'm not happy with what I see, I want RED MEAT.  I want a Democratic fire-breather who will say that Republican economics are of Satan (which, if I believed in Satan, are exactly that).  I want a Democrat from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, who will say screw Iraq, our folks will be home within 6 month of inauguration, someone who will have Bush and Cheney arrested immediately after inauguration and sent to The Hague for war crimes trials.

I want someone who is willing to reshape our economy to reduce our dependence on oil and make the country green.  I'm not seeing anyone out there who's doing it, and I'm not happy about it.

Flame away.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Why Am I Still Awake?

It's 1:20 and I should be asleep, seeing as I have to be up at 6 to go to work, damn Black Friday. Lets do a list, things to be thankful and not so thankful for.

I'm thankful for the fact that I had LASIK surgery to correct my vision and my eyesight is almost 20/20, damn astigmitism.

I'm thankful that we can now go a couple of months before an election again.

I'm thankful that a couple of the sports heroes of my teens are playing at the top of their game again. Go Brett Favre and Grant Hill. Not so thankful on the amount of syncophaticness of the press corps covering Favre at least.

I'm thankful that my wife loves me and my son is growing up healthy and strong, if not the brightest in the world, he currently reminds of the kid in Parenthood who likes to ram his head into everything.

I'm thankful that we will more than likely win the Presidency back next year. Not so thankful that none of our current leaders have a collective set of marbles among them.

I'm thankful that the Tigers are going to a bowl game again. Not so much that I wish it was the Birmingham game because I could go, but thamks to Georgetown coming to town that day as well, we get to go lose to Troy in New Orleans.

I'm thankful that my current job is being outsourced I am leaving Sprint to do the same job I do now, intially for less pay, but shortly for the same.

I'm thankful that McDonalds makes good coffee, because my first stop when I leave in the morning will be there to pick some up.

I'm thankful for the creators of the DVR, without which I would have to make a choice between friends and Family Guy/Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother/Big Bang Theory and Chuck, and due to work and family I would miss Stargate:Atlantis, Reaper, and Life. If I something interesting on cable, I just check for the repeat, set it to record and forget about it till a couple months later when I'm bored and realize that I got some stuff ho watch.

I'm thankful for Daylight Savings Time, which as all retailers know, kills your business starting around 6 to 7.

I'm thankful for the makers of Bacardi Rum and Woodchuck Cidar, two of the best things ever.

I'm thankful for knowing a group of individuals who try to include me in their efforts despite what even I term is at best sporadic output.

I'm thankful for Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, Peter David, Brian Bendis, Ed McGuiness, Alan Moore, Bill Willingham, and others who work to create, improve, and mainstream a mediom that I love and spend way too much money on.

I'm thankful for Brian Deemer, Peter Rios, Brian Chrisman, Jamie Delassandro, Shane Kelly, and Adam Murdo who do their best to spread their love of the above medium with their CGS empire.

I'm thankful to Steve for letting me camp here so that my occasional wits and wisodm will be read.

I'm not thankful to Steve Nulroy and others who want to weaken this state's open meetings laws, yes they are draconian, but sometimes, that's a good thing.

I'm thankful that Carol Chumney lost. Let's be honest, she would have lost in four years anyway. Now, she can go back to defending people and advocating for the helpless as she did in her days before nad early days in the legislature.

I'm thankful for those of you who read this.

I'm thankful that the last two years have seen more turnover in the power structure than ever before in Memphis politics, a trend that should extend for the next few.

Finally, I'm thankful for Steve Ross, Pam, my wife, Jack, Stacy, Rick Maynard, Brassmask, Thaddeus Matthews, Paul Krugman, Olbermann, Steve Cohen, Jeff Webber, Greg Steinger, Michelle Newell, Lauren Hesse, Ann and Pete, Rusty and Sally, Kenneth and Alan, Dabney, David and Margo, Greg Miller, and Richmond Adams.

Fianlly, I want to thank me, without whom, none of this would be possible. Without my tireless commitment to occasional posts about nothing in particular, the Cracker would be all alone. Good Night or Morning as the case may be.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you are with loved ones today, as I will be (twice!).  This is the original American holiday, and, after new Year's Day, it's my favorite.

Eat, drink, socialize, watch football and enjoy.

I'll try to have something up tomorrow, I am working on a post about this Open Meetings mess, I'm being lobbied by friends on it and am arguing with them....

Enough on that, be good to each other, as Jerry Springer would say!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cheers, apologies and prayer requests

Several weeks ago, in the middle of the flap over building a new on-campus stadium, the football Tigers were 1-4, and I basically asked question, if this is the best we can do, why build a stadium, hell, why keep the football program?

Oops.  Since that time, Joe Doss and Martin Hankins have fought past their injuries, Quinton McCrary quit the team with three games remaining in his senior season, and oh, by the way, the football Tigers have won 5 of 6 and clinched bowl eligibility.  Yes, you read that right.

Tommy, I apologize to you and the staff and the players; you knew something I didn't.  You knew that they would learn to win, which they have.  You knew that Martin and Joe would heal and get back to form, you knew the team would come together.

After MTSU, at which point we were 3-14 in the post DeAngelo era, all I could see is that we were headed back to putridity, and after watching Tiger football since 1972, I couldn't take it.  

But you knew, and we didn't, and for that I thank you.  

I was there yesterday as we broke our hideous 7-game losing streak to UAB (by the way, we never even beat them WITH DeAngelo Williams) and it was glorious to see Will Hudgens (he of the velcro-strip-looking mohawk) run to the table in the end zone after the game to claim the Battle For The Bones trophy, created for this series.  

Whether they go to New Orleans, Fort Worth or other points, yesterday was one of the greatest days in Tiger football history, and we should savor it.

Now then, some not-so-good news for the U of M, the city and the region.  In the middle of Geoff Calkins' column, which talked about various and sundry items having to do with change, came a bombshell:  Harold Byrd has been diagnosed with cancer.

Fortunately, after surgery and chemotherapy, Harold is expected to make a full recovery, and we are all pulling for him in these parts, even if he says our neighborhood is "in distress".  

Obviously, other than that disagreement, if you pay any attention to what happens in this city and this county, you know that if something good is being done here, Harold Byrd is never far away and is usually in the middle of it.  He cares deeply for his city and his University, and backs it up with action, whether it's raising LOTS of money or chairing committees; that's one reason Shirley Raines and RC Johnson are studying the idea of an on-campus stadium.

Harold Byrd is a treasure for the U of M, Memphis and the Mid-South; let's all send him our thoughts, prayers and well-wishes as he kicks cancer's ass and makes a full recovery.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Another little piece of my youth leaves today...

No, I'm not a Cincinnati Reds fan by any stretch, but I AM a baseball fan since birth. In the summertime, when either living in the Midwest or the Mid-South, you always knew you could pick up 700 WLW at night, and hear Joe Nuxhall broadcasting the Reds, his calm, comforting voice offsetting the manic calls of Marty Brenneman. The Ol' Lefthander was an icon, not just in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, but throughout the Midwest and wherever WLW blasted through the Eastern US.

In Cincinnati itself, he was the most popular sports figure, bigger than Bench, Rose, Morgan, Bob Huggins, Ken Anderson, or any of the others who populated the town. He first gained legend as being the youngest player ever to play in the modern-era Major League Baseball, appearing in 1944 for the Reds at the tender age of 15. After that appearance, he went back to school in Fairfield, OH, but wound up back with the Reds in 1952, staying with them for all but a year through the end of his baseball career in 1966, which I am old enough to remember.

Then, he began the broadcasting career that cemented his hold over the area, working first with Waite Hoyt and then Marty Brennaman. He retired in 2004, but continued to work a few home games with Marty through this past year.

The Ol' Lefthander rounded third and went home for good last night, the victim of cancer. He was 79, and the Midwest, and all of baseball, mourns this good man who made you feel like his next-door neighbor while you listened to him. WLW is streaming right now, and it is wall-to-wall memories of Joe, who was on the air for 37 years. If you are familiar with Joe and the Reds, you may want to go there just to listen, and remember, because baseball on radio will not quite be the same ever again.

NAFTA isn't funny....

Thanks to David Sirota...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Here we go again...

Yes, I know former Shelby County Commissioner Bruce Thompson (R-05) was indicted today on Mail Fraud and Extortion charges by a Federal Grand Jury looking into MCS construction contracts. Believe me, I'm not thrilled.

What's even worse is that outgoing School Board member and incoming City Councilor (04) Wanda Halbert appears to be right in the middle of all this, as she was alleged to be the recipient of campaign contributions that was to have enticed her to support H&M Construction's bid to build new schools for the City of Memphis. She denies ever receiving any of this money.

Halbert joined outgoing Councilor Tom Marshall, and former School Board members Sara Lewis and Hubon Sandridge in testifying before this Grand Jury, whose work is apparently not over.

How many black eyes can this city take? Damn, Detroit and New Orleans are starting to look CLEAN by comparison, and this is NUTS.

Let me say this clearly and distinctly: if you are in Politics to make money, GET THE FUCK OUT. NOW.

I say this knowing that a lot of (hell, MOST) public servants are underpaid; however, even so, you are NOT supposed to find creative ways to supplement your salary. If Thompson is found not guilty, I will apologize; hell, even werewolves are entitled to a full legal defense, as Hunter S. Thompson (no relation) once said. The anger comes from putting the City and the County in this horrible position.

I refuse to leave Memphis because I believe it's worth saving. However, I am becoming an ever-shrinking minority.

The Endless Blogroll expands again

RuralFreeDelivery, whom you have seen in our comments from time to time, has taken up blogging, and as such they are welcomed to The Endless Blogroll.

Go over there and check it out!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Welcome back, sir!

Rick Maynard is back at the Freedonian, and he explains why the Writers Guild Strike is important:

We’ve all seen the benefits of good writing vs. bad. I would urge anyone who doesn’t understand the value of good writing to check out the entire run of The West Wing. For the first four and a half years, the show was written almost singlehandedly by a man whose dialogue was so captivating that an episode about the markup of an appropriations bill (“The Stackhouse Filibuster”) was arguably one of the most captivating hours of television ever, with an emotional payoff at the end that was simply beyond the scope of Jack Bauer’s finest hour. When he quit, the next writer on the show was a putz that wrote a two part episode about the president quitting without a vice president and turning the White House over to the Speaker of the House from the other party without anything that had so much as the emotional gravitas of your average infomercial.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Congrats to Bill Morrison, condolences to Brian Stephens

Well, it's Friday and the leg is still attached, so that's a good thing, I guess.

Bill Morrison was elected as Councilor of District 1 on Thursday night, joining former County Assessor Bill Boyd (2), Harold Collins (3) and Edmund Ford, Jr (6) as newbies on the upcoming City Council. As we supported him throughout, there is glee and delight here, not only because of the victory but because of the size of it, nearly 2-1.

Props to WTL, who worked his butt off over there to put the most progressive person available on the new Council.

As for Stephens, well.....

Apparently a robo-call from former city Mayor Dick Hackett (ask me about my Hackett t-shirt some day) and former County Mayor Bill Morris turned the tide for the aging Boyd in this most Republican of districts. My hope is that Brian stays active and is not discouraged by this setback.

As for 3 and 6, I knew little about either Harold Collins or Ike Griffith; when Coleman Thompson lost, I chided them for their poor judgement and went on about my business. Ed Ford, Jr, from what I have heard, is not at all like his indicted father and will do a fine job at City Hall; hell, he's working on a Ph.D! Of course, from the haters commenting on the CA article, one would think he's been standing at 3rd & Mitchell with a sign that reads VOTES 4 SALE! Give the young man a chance, for crissakes, he's going to be fine. You think HE'S not aware of what he's up against?

OK, rant over.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Good news, great time, but....

UPDATE:  As Bob notes in comments, the Meetup has been postponed; apparently others have had to cancel for this weekend, so they are looking at sometime in January.

While I'm sorry that this happened, I should be in shape to attend in January.

Pam Saavedra has put together a meetup of left-leaning bloggers from the Memphis and
Nashville areas for this Saturday in Nashville

It will start at 11 AM at Tennessee Democratic Party HQ, at 223 8th Avenue North, 2nd floor

Speakers will be House Majority Leader Gary Odom, and our own Liz Rincon.

It will be a great time for all and I looked forward to attending, until..........

The damn left leg attacked me over the weekend.  Yes, the cellulitis has returned, no, no hospitalization will be needed (thank you Dr. Nelson), just 10 days worth of antibiotics, and four days home from work.  Oh well, better now than during Peak (coming soon at FedEx!)

So, you won't be seeing much from me for a few days; however, I see below that brother Carroll is already picking up the slack.  Oprah uses NON-UNION writers?  As much money as she makes?  You DON'T go, girl....

Down WIth Oprah, Up With Ellen

Oprah's ratings are going to go up within the next few weeks. Why? Unlike almost every other talk show, her writers are non-union (in Chicago, no less) and she will still have new shows while her competitors are in re-run because they are respecting the Writers Guild Strike.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Gasol

Yes, it's been a rough week, what with the passing of two legends recently. However, tonight I was the guest of the best professional basketball player this town has ever had for opening night at the FedExForum. My buddy Mike, who has been a season-ticket holder from the very beginning, was at the Tuesday night pep rally, where the aforementioned Mr. Gasol handed out 500 tickets that HE BOUGHT just for the purpose of making sure anyone who wanted to go the Grizz-Spurs tilt could go. And, lest you think they were nosebleed level, think again.

Our seats were in the lower bowl, 14th row, certainly not seats I could afford, so this was an act of class and a great way to show Memphians that he does want to be here and lead this franchise to a NBA championship.

While, yes, we lost to the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, 104-101, it is obvious that this team is a far cry from last year's debacle, as we were in this game to the buzzer; as usual, it was Manu Ginobili who stuck in the dagger at the end.

However, the defensive intensity is so far beyond last year it's amazing. We tied the Spurs in rebounding, and I want to give thumbs up to the following Griz players for their work tonight:
Pau (he led with 22 points), Damon Stoudamire, who showed flashes of the old Damon tonight, Darko Milicic (who played great D on future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan), Mike Miller, Kyle Lowry, Rudy Gay, and newcomer Juan Carlos Navarro, who is a terrific three-point shooter.

Folks, if what I saw tonight is any indication of the season to come, we have a playoff team here. We all may be spending more time with the Grizzlies than we'd planned for, and that's a good thing.

Monday, October 29, 2007

And y'all thought I was rough on HFJ???

Any reader of this blog knows that I have no use for that sellout, Harold Ford, Jr.

However, many thanks to Autoegocrat for sending me the link to Skeptical Brotha's vicious (but not inaccurate) hit on Junior, Harold Ford, Jr: Prince of Tennessee.

I'm not even going to excerpt it, you just need to read it all.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What the hell, no seriously, what the hell is wrong with Ulysses Jones

Got an email from the cracker yesterday that was a forward of a commercial appeal article about one of our own local state reps wanting to gut the Sunshine Law. The first thing to go through my mine was that Ulysses had gotten too close to a fire and the chemicals had rotted his brain. Second, how much he had gotten paid, easily dismissed as these are the days of upstanding long term Memphis politicians who learned the lessons of Main Street Sweeper, and Tennessee Waltz. Finally, I just came to the conclusion that Ulysses needs to go, he has overstayed his time in office and should to retire. This bill just proves it.

Seriously, you cite as a reason to gut the rule the idea that you think that having lunch or appearing together at a community group could cause people to sue you. Another reason is that if you or a couple of members get together to share information, you could be sued. As Richard Hollow points out, you can do this in private as long as you simply pass information and don't deliberate towards a decision. This is known among my friends as getting together to shoot the s$%^, get together and just talk.

You can do this, just don't do like Knox County did, and get together with like four other legislators and decide who you guys are going to name to the TVA board or the Department of Corrections. This is the point, if you are going to do official business, the greatest cleanser of the public must be present, sunlight. It should not matter if a quorum is present, if my tax rate, my son's school, or anything else that can affect the people who voted for you, it must be always held in public with rare exceptions. Be happy with what you have Ulysses, a legislative job you don't have to try very hard at to keep. Be someone who wants the public to know more, not less about what you do, or are you afraid they would not like what they see?

What Kind of Liberal Are You?

Here's me:

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Working Class Warrior, also known as a blue-collar Democrat. You believe that the little guy is getting screwed by conservative greed-mongers and corporate criminals, and you’re not going to take it anymore.