Wednesday, February 28, 2007

OK, Herman's in; can he handle the heat?

Herman Morris announced today that he, too, is running for Mayor of Memphis, joining Carol Chumney and John Willingham in the race to oust Hizzoner, Willie W. Herenton, this October.

One has to notice that, while we knew this was coming, the news of the list that he authorized to prevent people either close to him or well-known in this city from having their utilities cut off was well-timed, eh?

Well, while Morris authorized the list, only his successor, Joseph Lee, USED the list to prevent the cutoff of Councilor Edmund Ford on a repeated basis. "Joseph does not want him cut off", said Alonzo Weaver, according to the CA.

Joseph Lee is a nice man, I served with him on the ExecCom and he is a quiet sort, from my experience. However, it is sadly obvious that this is not his forte, and I am forced to agree with the daily fishwrap that his resignation as MLGW chief is clearly called for at this time.

The Mayor may think that by leaking the news that Morris was responsible for creating the list will shift attention from the fact that it was Morris' SUCCESSOR who actually used it. NO.

Morris showed poor judgment in creating the list, and Lee showed worse judgment by using it for Ford. It is also painfully obvious by now that Mayor Herenton showed the worst judgment of all by appointing a man who was overmatched for this position and unable to handle the duties of that office.

Hopefully, by this time next year, they will ALL be out of public life.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Send some prayers and love...

to Steve Gilliard, who is one of my favorite national bloggers, and is facing open-heart surgery for the SECOND time. Those of you who are on my email list get usually at least one Gilly post a day from me when he is healthy, which means you know how good he is and how sharp his writing and analysis is on a consistent basis.

Remember Steve and his partner Jen in your thoughts.

March 1, it's ON, baby!

No, not a basketball game, not a hockey game, not even American Idol.

Steve Cohen.

Stephen Colbert.

The meeting of the epoch on the Colbert Report this Thursday night, March 1st, on Comedy Central, which is Channel 38 on Comcast Digital Cable, at 10:30 P.M.



Monday, February 26, 2007

The Caucuses are Coming

The Shelby County Democratic Party is beginning their biennial re-organization process this Saturday, March 3 with the Ward & Precinct Caucuses at Airways Middle School, located at 2601 Ketchum Avenue, near Airways & I-240.

Registration begins at 9 AM and ENDS PROMPTLY at 10:45 A.M. Bring your Voter Registration card if you have it; if not, bring another form of ID.

After Registration, you will caucus, beginning at 11 AM, with other members of your State House District (83-93 and 95-99 are in Shelby County),. At that time, delegates and precinct chairs (not necessarily delegates) will be elected from EACH PRECINCT to attend the 2007 SCDP Convention, at the same location, on March 31.

If you are a Democrat registered to vote in Shelby County, please attend, as you need to take part in the process so you can help determine who represents you on the Executive Committee of the SCDP. In turn, they will elect the new Chair.

Then, you'll have the right to bitch at your reps if they elect the wrong person or screw things up!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I have ANOTHER blog

I have threatened to do this for some time now, and now here we have the debut of Celtic Craichead, my blog for Celtic music in the Mid-South.

We have links to artists from all over the world including from Memphis and the surrounding area, enjoy!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I'm an idiot..

But you knew that anyway.

I batter myself because it took me a month to realize that the fabulous NEWSCOMA has moved here.

The link on THE ENDLESS BLOGROLL has been fixed as well, so go over there and read her.


Thank you!

What about Shea Flinn?????

While I, as a Democrat, could be happy with any of the four candidates below as our next SCDP chair, I'm going to throw out a name who hasn't been suggested, has not expressed an interest, and is sitting in the state Senate chamber as I write this, not having a clue that I'm doing it:

Shea Flinn.

Yes, the man who is as Democratic as his father is Republican, the man who has introduced progressive legislation like Bernie Sanders in heat, the fellow who has dazzled us all while in Nashvegas keeping the seat warm for Beverly Marrero.

Why not? He OBVIOUSLY stands for what we do, he knows how to lead and could organize. Maybe he could even charm Del, so why not?

Oh. He can't help being melaninally challenged (not mentally), but he is a great Democrat, and if we can't reach a consensus with the other candidates, he should be considered.

If he wants to be, and I hope that he does. Let's see what happens!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

We're 10 days out from the W/P Caucuses

and to date, we only have one ANNOUNCED candidate for SCDP Chair, Jay Bailey. Thaddeus reported that Commissioner Henri Brooks is also considering a run, and others who have indicated that they are thinking about running include Desi Franklin and, as of today, Jody Hurt Patterson.

Let's look at each of them and then I would like you to comment on each of them.

Jay Bailey

Strengths: in Democratic politics practically since birth, as the son of longtime County Commissioner Walter Bailey. He is probably the ONLY candidate considered to be friendly with both David Upton and Sidney Chism, no mean feat. He also represented four Party candidates for County office last year when they challenged the election.

Weaknesses: He has a history with the disciplinary committee of the bar Association; while he dismissed the infractions as small, others have charged it's worse than he says. Deemed by some to be too close to Upton; however, Chism has openly supported him for office, so, we'll see. I don't know how well he would fund-raise, a critical task for any Chair.

Commissioner Henri Brooks

Strengths: Commissioner Brooks spent over a decade representing House 92 after upsetting long-time legislator Alvin King. She was seen as a scrapper for her district. She had a life-changing experience over a year ago, surviving a fall in the dead od winter where she was not found for several hours; people who have worked with her say that she has become calmer and more easy to work with since that time. She is now making news investigating Juvenile Court, which she has likened to a "plantation".

Weaknesses: While this can also be a strength when dealing with Goopers, she is not afraid to offend anyone, as those who remember her refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance while in the General Assembly can attest. If she wants this office, is she the public face that a majority of the Party would want? I say sometimes yes, sometimes no. No clue as to how well she would fund-raise.

Desi Franklin

Strengths: As a relative newbie to Democratic politics here, she has nonetheless worked her ass off for our candidates while working with Women For Kerry, Mid-South Democrats in Action, and since 2005 on the SCDP ExecCom. She is NOT afraid to speak her mind (again, sometimes yes, sometimes no as a strength) and had legendary arguments with veteran Del Gill. She is a supporter of New Path, an association of African-American professionals whom she believes will strengthen the community and the Party. Fund-raising would be a strength; she helped Steve Mulroy's victorious Commission campaign.

Weaknesses: Because she works for Baker Donelson, she is perceived (unfairly, IMO) as a closet Gooper. Well, hell, Buck Lewis was there while he was STATE Democratic Chair, so what difference does it make? Not only that, you can find some HARDCORE Goopers in that legendary Democratic firm, Farris Hancock, so that SHOULD be a non-issue. Some say she is too easily swayed by Chism, only time will tell if that is accurate or not; I tend to think she is more savvy than that.

Jody Hurt Patterson

Strengths: Democratic operative who has been Rep. Mike Kernell's right-hand person for over a decade, and has worked hard in every major Democratic campaign in Shelby County since the mid 1990s. She is the only one of the candidates above to have held an officer position, IIRC, as she replaced Oran Quintrell as SCDP secretary during the term of Kathryn Bowers. She is well-known and well-liked by most in the party, as far as I know.

Weaknesses: Her health. When she is well, she is one of the hardest-working operatives in town, when she's not, she's down for a while. While she herself may not be a fund-raiser, she can call on those who can.

Let it rip and let's see what you think.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Let's all take a deep breath now

I have to say that I am amazed at how many folks I know, good, solid, smart folks, who fell for the madness that Robin Leach was spreading, suggesting that the Grizzlies would be on the next shuttle to Las Vegas.

To steal a line from Terrell Owens' former publicist, there are 94 million reasons that the Grizz will be in our town until 2021 at the earliest. The CA hit the nail on the head for a change in their editorial this morning, noting that the Grizz are a part of the social fabric, and I have to agree.

Look, while I am a Grizz fan, I never thought that public funds should have been spent on the FedExForum, at least no higher of a percent than was spent on AutoZone Park. However, it was, the money was spent and there it is. It can't be UNBUILT and the money returned to our coffers, so, get over it.

I DO believe that we need to investigate the Garage scam to its fullest, and prosecute those whose failure to oversee the problems reaches a criminal level. There is a LOT more under the surface that needs to be dug up.

However, there seem to be people who WANT the Grizzlies to go, so they can wag their fingers and say I told you so. However, the Forum will still be there, and won't make money if that happens.

I'm not saying you have to root for the Grizz if you don't like the NBA, just realize that it's done, there's no sense bitching about it. All we can do is push for a full investigation so that we can send the people to jail who committed criminal malfeasance on the Garage situation.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Broyles????

My friend Greg Miller says we should be queuing up THE END by The Doors, and he may be right.

Not age, not selling out for SEC $$$, not micromanaging the football program, not moving football games from Little Rock to Fayetteville could bring down Frank Broyles, but it appears that the Springdale group has.

According to the Arkansas Times Blog, John Franklin Broyles will announce tomorrow morning at 9:30 A.M. that he will retire as Athletic Director at the University of Arkansas, a position he has held since 1973, ending 50 years of service to that semi-distinguished institution.

In one sense, no one has done more, athletically, for that school than Frank Broyles. During his time there, every facility was upgraded or rebuilt. In every sport but football, he hired the right people to run the program and only checked on them to see that they had what they needed and that they did not violate NCAA rules. For that, he should be applauded and commended.

Ah, but there's the rub; he could never let go of the football program until he hired Houston Nutt. Then, when he SHOULD have stepped in to relieve Nutt of his duties, he refused, so now he walks the plank.

Well, let's wait a minute. The man has more money than God and an Augusta National membership to boot; he ain't hurtin' by a long shot. It's just that you wonder how someone who has had great power (more than anyone else in Arkansas over the past 30 years, except for somebody from Hope we call Bubba), and who was not afraid to wield that power, will adapt to not having that power.

For Frank's sake, I hope he doesn't lose his will to live, like Paul Bryant did, and I'm not kidding. This man has survived the loss of his wife and a couple of attempts to move him out before now, and kept right on going. It's going to be different sitting in his box now having to JUST sit there and watch.

In the long run, this had to be done; it's in the best interests of the University of Arkansas, its athletic department, and its fans, who have wondered why the hell we ever went into the Southeastern Conference in the first damn place.

Yes, I say we, as I have been, to use a John Brummett term, a Hogoholic since the age of 8. I had my heart broken twice by the mythic 1969 team that lost to Texas in the greatest college football game ever played (too bad, Husker fans, it's the TRUTH) and then was upset in the Sugar Bowl by Archie Manning and Ole Miss.

All of that, of course, was under the reign of Broyles as football coach, which he was at the start of his tenure as AD.

Yes, he leaves UAF with lots of money and great facilities, and for that we are thankful. However, as sad as it is to say, it's time for him to step back and enjoy what he has done in the remaining years he has left (he is 82) and allow us to applaud the entirety of his career, before he besmirches it more that he has already.

Brain-eating Zombies will take over Memphis this summer!!!

No, I'm not talking about City Council candidates, I'm talking real undead here, people.

Don't believe me? Check out Freedonian and FearlessVK!


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

We gotta find another seat for Shea Flinn

As the man known to some of us as Senator Jan Brady continues to rock the Capitol with real progressive legislation, we need to get this man elected to another legislative position after he turns the Senate 30 seat over to (hopefully) Beverly Marrero or (not so much) Larry Parrish in mid-March.

His bill would open up the liquor industry to something known as (gasp, shock) THE FREE MARKET, allowing package liquor sales on Sunday. All of this has upset the legendary Golden Goose, Tom Hensley, liquor lobbyist par excellance, who wants to keep the booze biz tightly controlled, keeping the prices artificially higher.

Not only that, he has also introduced legislation to legalize medical marijuana in the Volunteer State, which is a very serious subject. Near and dear to my heart, he has also introduced a bill to start the process for VOTE BY MAIL! All in all, terrific work in a short period of time for a man who used to be a, well, how do I say this.....


Today is one of the most special days of the year.


It's a day we long for every year, after a long winter, the warm feelings come over every man as we realize it's finally here...


Once we get the flowers, candy and dinner out of the way, we can start thinking about what's important: Will the Cubs finish above .500? Will the Cardinals repeat? Will the White Sox rebound from 2006?

That's MY Valentine!

I have an idea

First, we would have to see if the Coliseum were available. Then we would need to ensure that we could get THREE wrestling rings, and see if Lance Russell and Dave Brown were available. (Sorry, fans, Corey Maclin is just weak to me.)

Then, we could stage it live:





NO DISQUALIFICATIONS! NO TIME LIMIT! MASKED ENTRANTS MAY APPLY (as long as they sign the loyalty oath!)!

What do you think????

UPDATE: if we charged $10 a head to spectators, it would replace Kennedy Day as our fundraiser and get us on sound financial footing. Come on, it's a goer, eh?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What do you think about Comcast Broadband?

Mike Cromer has asked me to ask you the following question:

If you had TimeWarner RoadRunner service, and stayed with the switch to Comcast Broadband, have you had service problems since the switch? Are you faster, as they claim, or have you had service interruptions.

As for me, I have Earthlink Broadband, which is cheaper and administered by Comcast, as Time Warner did before. I noticed some outages prior to the switchover, but since then, it's been solid, and a little faster.

Please comment.

What's wrong with this picture?

Jay, if you don't know that DEMOCRAT PARTY is a Republican slur, then maybe you should re-think your run for SCDP Chair.
Don't believe me? Ask Bush whether it's a slur; he had to apologize for it.
Yes, I am fully aware that it is fixed down further in the picture, but WTF? ANY person claiming to be a REAL DEMOCRAT would know that you NEVER use that term.
And you people think Desi Franklin is a Gooper mole? Aiaiaiaiaiaiai!

Monday, February 12, 2007

I think she may be on to something here...

Before everyone gathers to fling poo at County Commissioner Henri Brooks for being enraged at the operations of Juvenile Court, even to the point of flying to DC to meet with the Justice Department, let's think about this for a moment.

Let's not forget, new Juvenile Court Judge Curtis Person has been a referee at JC for more years than I can count, and was practically joined at the hip with former Judge Kenneth Turner. My sources familiar with JC operations indicated that in the last couple of years, Person practically ran the place as Judge Turner's health deteriorated.

While it is true that I was initially skeptical about a second judicial position for JC, things like the Braxton Moore story have led me to a change of heart. Add to that the charges that juveniles from the suburbs get diversion and treatment while juveniles from the inner city get confinement and worse and I think the Commissioner is on to something here.

I couldn't help Michael Erskine's snarky note in the first sentence of the CA story that this flight and trip was at taxpayer expense. Hello, isn't this about PUBLIC business??? What is she supposed to do here, this is her JOB.

If this leads to a federal investigation, fine, not that much will happen under a Republican Administration. Commissioner Brooks has the right idea, though, and we need to get behind her, and keep the pressure up on JC, rather than sabotage her.

Flame away.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

HAHAHAHA, that's hilarious! Oh, wait, you're SERIOUS????

Jackson Baker says it's true, so I have to believe it.

Bill Morris, the erstwhile County Mayor, and before that, Sheriff of Shelby County, is apparently planning, 40 years after his initial run, to run again for Mayor of the City of Memphis.

Why? He has not held public office since September 1994, a month after he was trounced by Phil Bredesen in the 1994 Democratic primary for Governor. While he is no doubt held in a high regard by many Memphians, and he has very high name recognition, what purpose does his candidacy serve?

His entry would further split opposition to Mayor Herenton and make it more difficult to remove the four-term incumbent.

Have I just answered my own question?

It appears that the good ole boys decided that maybe Herman Morris can't win after all, and have called to the bullpen for someone they trust, knowing that either A) Morris will win and they'll be taken care of, or B) at least it will keep Chumney from winning and cutting off the developers' gravy train.

For whatever reason, it is not in the best interests of the City of Memphis that Bill Morris runs. The best case scenario of a Morris candidacy, and it's not good at all, would be for Morris to install the same people who started the sprawl in Shelby County 30 years ago and turn the city over to the developer class.

The worst scenario, of course, is that it would enable Herenton to be re-elected so that he could continue his mismanagement of this city, turning it into Detroit South. Crime continues to spiral, and the only answer is to elect someone who's been out of the loop for over a decade?


It's time to tell the other Old Hacks From Way Back that he needs to stay home, and let the one person who could make a difference for the better for this city run with his support.

And you know who that is.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I want to make this important announcement

Contrary to what you may have heard, I am NOT the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby.

Just so you know.

UPDATE: No. I'm STILL not the father, but our friend Steve at Vibinc has kicked it up a notch with a re-working of a legendary song that is, in my humble opinion, in deliciously bad taste.

Go on, you know you want to, it's about 2/3 of the way down the post!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I don't know what this portends, but...

Entercom Memphis confirms that the new radio home of the St. Louis Cardinals in Memphis is..

Progressive Talk 680? That's great for Cardinal fans, who couldn't hear night games in Memphis east of Clark Tower for the last few years on WMC 79 and last year on ESPN 730.

As 680 BOOMS over the countryside, they will be easy to pick up for Cardinal fans while in their car or wherever they may be. I also presume that, unlike ESPN 730, they won't pre-empt games in the middle of the September pennant race for a WRESTLING show. (Verno, you're going to have to answer for that!)

OK, but why put the Cardinals on a leftie talk station? Is the leftie talk station going to remain that way for the foreseeable future? Inquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Mayoral Season Begins!

For all of my concerns about how the electorate will respond to this year's election, I am openly endorsing my friend of many years, Carol Chumney, for the office of Mayor of the City of Memphis, and would like you to attend her Announcement Party on Thursday night from 5:30 to 7:30 at the U of M Holiday Inn at 3700 Central Avenue.

Right now, the candidates expected to run in addtion to Carol are the Mayor himself (he needs to retire), former MLGW President Herman Morris, former County Commissioner John Willingham, and Memphis dentist Dr. Mark Roudebush.

While the the downtown area is more prosperous than ever before, the rest of the city outside the Poplar Corridor has gone to shit over the last few years, as the middle-class has been fleeing in record numbers in a multi-ethnic, multi-racial wave. Former Memphians have escaped to Fayette and Tipton counties in Tennessee, as well as the fastest growing county in Mississippi, DeSoto.

The major reason for the exodus is simple: crime. It has exploded over the last several years to the point where if you don't live downtown or the Poplar Corridor, you are not living in a safe environment. Mayor Herenton has gone through Police Directors like Spinal Tap went through drummers, and we are the worse for it.

I believe that Carol has the guts and the vision to do something about this situation. She will also be working with a City Council that will have several new members, if not a majority, so that we can have a fresh start and chance to turn the city around.

It will be hard to make a dent in the poverty in the city, at least until we have a Democrat in the White House, and that is a major cause for many of the problems that we have here. Carol will reach out, because whoever the mayor will be will have no choice. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, we must all hang together or we will surely hang separately.

So, there it is; I hope to see you there on Thursday night; then we can all go crash Drinking Liberally and bid adieu to Liz Rincon, the backbone of both the Mulroy and Cohen campaigns in 2006.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Ah well, we'll always have 1985, I guess.

Chicago Tribune photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo

Well, after Devin Hester (pictured above) ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown, it was pretty much downhill for the NFC Champion Chicago Bears, as the Super Bowl was won convincingly by the Indianapolis Colts, 29-17.

Peyton Manning won the MVP in the same manner some Hollywood actors win an Oscar, as a lifetime achievement award. Oh, Peyton outplayed Rex Grossman, but the game was truly won by the Colts DEFENSE, which was the joke of the AFC in the regular season but the TOAST of the AFC in the playoffs and Super Bowl.

Tony Dungy, a fine and classy individual, Bill Polian (4 SB losses with the Bills) and Manning all have the giant Ls removed from their foreheads, and they deserve this championship. They and their Colts were the last team standing, and that's what counts.

Congratulations to the Champions of Super Bowl XLI, the Indianapolis Colts.

SIDE NOTE: This makes my final record 9-2 for the playoffs, not too shabby. My two losses were when the Colts beat the Ravens and the Bears.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

WTF??? Help MARION, for OUR sake!

John Branston wrote a stunning piece in the Flyer this week about how the Memphis REGIONAL Chamber of Commerce is standing idly by and doing NOTHING to help Marion, Arkansas, a short 8 MILES from our doorstep, land a Toyota auto plant.

WHY?????????????? Supposedly, Governor Bredesen is backing Chattanooga's bid for the same plant, so they want our local Mayors and the Chamber to keep quiet.


Governor, which area of your state needs more help right now? Memphis, or Chattanooga? Are you so sure that if it it's built back East, that they won't hire as many Georgians or Alabamians or hell, even people from the southwestern corner of
North Carolina as Tennesseans?

I am willing to bet that 30-40%, if not MORE of the workforce will be from West Tennessee, Shelby, Tipton, Lauderdale, Fayette, maybe even Haywood. Sure, Eastern Arkansas will see a boom, as will DeSoto, Tate, Tunica and Marshall counties in Mississippi will see their folks hired, too.

The largest pool, though, is Shelby County, and we NEED those jobs.

Governor, we know you and the rest of the state HATE Memphis because we're not hill people, not country people, and not white people.

I have just one question, though.

Do you have to be so damned OBVIOUS about it?

However, dear friends and gentle readers, there MAY yet be a happy ending, because there IS an elected official with the guts to help out our neighbors across the river. Who, pray tell, could that be?

Who the hell do you think? It's our Congressman, Steve Cohen, who has pledged to assist Marion Mayor Frank Fogleman and Arkansas' 1st District Congressman, Marion Berry (BERRY, not BARRY!), Democrat of Gillett.

As Cohen points out,
"If you have 7,500 people over in Marion, a whole bunch of them would be living in Memphis," he said. "They'd be coming to ball games here in Memphis. They'd certainly be eating food in Memphis. They'd contribute sales taxes to Memphis. It's going to be real good for Memphis."

Damn skippy.

Readers from the Memphis area, do us all a favor. On Monday, call Herenton's office and call Wharton's office, and then call the Regional Chamber (what a misnomer) and ask what the hell they have against bringing 7,500 jobs to the Memphis area. Let's do this until they get off their collective asses and help Marion get that plant.

Put it this way: I care more about Memphis than Chattanooga. more about Southaven than Lookout Mountain or Dalton, more about Munford or Atoka than South Pittsburg or Cleveland.

Let's bring the jobs to GREATER MEMPHIS where they are more desperately needed.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The time has come...

For my Super Bowl pick....

Super Bowl XLI, Miami, Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears, 5:21 PM, CBS (WREG -3)

Let me tell you a story that I think is a parallel to this year's game. When the Colts first played in this game, in January 1969, they came to Miami as prohibitive favorites. Just as this year, they were the champions of the conference or league that was perceived to be clearly superior to the other one.

Just as this year, the Colts had a legendary QB who was thought to be one of the best all-time, with a great head coach who was also thought to be among the elite.

Just as this year, the other team had a quarterback from the North who went to a SEC school to play under a legendary coach, who helped prepare him for the road ahead..

Just as this year, that QB, who had struggled in the pros prior to that season, enraged the mighty Colts by guaranteeing victory for the upstarts.

Before that earlier game, the Al DeRogatis of NBC stunned the world by predicting that if the New York Jets got over 100 yards on the ground, they would win the game.

Behind Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer, Joe Namath led the upstart Jets to the Super Bowl title by not making any mistakes.

So, if Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson can run for a combined 100 yards, I believe that Rex Grossman will manage this game efficiently, keeping the legendary Peyton Manning off the field and winning the game for the Bears.

I am confident in the Bears' defense, and I think they will shut down Harrison and Wayne, and that will be enough.

PICK: Bears 23, Colts 10