Thursday, May 31, 2007

Well, I didn't see that coming....

I thought that the House 89 Democratic Primary would be a closely fought race, and either Jeanne Richardson or Kevin Gallagher could win.

It appears that the Democratic electorate believed that 32 years of female representation in Nashville was NOT enough, as Jeanne Richardson won a solid victory over Kevin Gallagher tonight, 693-373, to earn the Democratic nomination (tantamount to election) for the permanent seat.

Jeanne, who I have praised with good reason here, ran a solid campaign, worked extremely hard in the district, and earned the nomination to face Republican Dave Wicker, Jr.

I openly supported Gallagher, as I thought he deserved the seat; however, I have no problem endorsing Jeanne Richardson in the July 17 General Election, and I urge all in District 89 to vote for her then, and I know Kevin will do the same, he's already told me he will.

So, on we go to July! Congratulations to Jeanne on her victory tonight.

alt="Go to Richardson for TN House Website" />

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The voters of District 89 are VERY fortunate.

UPDATE: Today is the day before the Special Election for District 89, and I thought this was the time to bring this back to the top.

Jeannie Richardson has been a Democratic stalwart for years, raising money and helping Democratic candidates all over the County. She has experience working in Nashville on behalf of mental health issues and would be a solid legislator. My understanding is that when the seat became open, she decided to sell her home in Harbor Town and move back into the district in which she once lived. I cannot, and will not say anything bad about her, because it's not possible.

So, why then I am asking you to vote for her opponent, Kevin Gallagher? Because as fine a legislator as she would be, I believe Kevin would be even better.

Kevin and his family have lived in this district for years and he has made a commitment to it. This is his blog where he discusses the issues that face District 89 and how he will respond to them.

He has spent most of his professional life in public service, having worked in county government, and currently consults others about campaigns. You may remember that he was the lead Campaign Manager for our Congressman, Steve Cohen. He, along with Field Director Liz Rincon, laid the groundwork for Cohen's hardfought victory.

In addition, he has served on the Center City Commission, the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, and the board of the city's AAA minor-league franchise, the Memphis Redbirds.

He, as you know, intended to run for the Senate 30 seat that Congressman Cohen vacated. However, once then-Rep. Marrero got in, he re-thought his candidacy. although he withdrew after the deadline, he took great pains, along with the Marrero campaign, to endorse her, to let the district KNOW he was endorsing her, and supported her victorious campaign.

Kevin has done EVERYTHING we, and those who had promised him an open shot, have asked him to do, even after he made some mistakes that threatened his campaign. He corrected those errors, made it up to all of us who supported him then AND now, and he has busted his ass to win House 89. Kevin DESERVES this chance to be an outstanding representative for 89.

Kevin Gallagher is the right man in the right place at the right time, and if you reside in House District 89, I am asking you to vote for him in the Democratic Primary.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Senator Ford explains her medical problems

Sharon Cobb has received an unedited press release from Senator Ophelia Ford regarding her physical problems, please go here to read it.

Then come back and tell me what you think...

The Grizzlies may be doomed here....

Yes, it's just that bad. The fact that the Grizz, with the worst record in the NBA, got the 4th pick in the upcoming NBA draft, means that we'll only see Greg Oden when Portland comes to town and Kevin Durant when Seattle visits the FedExForum.

This franchise, which went from three straight playoff runs to the bottom of the NBA in a heartbeat, now has to convince a grumpy populace that Corey Brewer or Al Horford can bring that championship magic with them from Gainesville. Given that A) the U of M Tigers are predicted to be a Final Four team and B) the Grizzlies are expected to be staring up from the bottom this coming year, Grizz season-ticketholders can expect to be pretty lonely this fall.

Michael Heisley is no doubt learning that a professional sports franchise, especially one in a lower-income market like Memphis, simply cannot be turned around for a quick profit like other companies.

His attempts to sell this franchise to anyone appearing to have money (EXCEPT his LOCAL partners!) crippled Jerry West's ability to build on the previous three years. And, not to leave the Logo out of the blame, the Rudy Gay deal simply has not panned out, while Shane Battier went to the Rockets and proved to be their missing link, returning Houston to the playoffs. Of course, the Rockets went out in the first round like the Griz had, but at least their series went to a 7th game!

So, Heisley can put some money into the franchise, hire a combo like Dave Griffin and Marc Iavaroni of Phoenix, pray that they can make honey out of horseshit, and turn the franchise around. Or, he could treat the team like the western version of the Atlanta Hawks and lose his ass.

Given that we had three remarkable years of Tiger football with DeAngelo Williams and three solid playoff years with the Grizz, only to watch everything but Tiger hoops turn to crap, maybe our sports karma has taken a turn for the worse. Unless the Griz make a trade to get up in the top two, crowds of 7500 may be commonplace for the NBA at FedExForum this year.

That's not good for anyone.

Monday, May 21, 2007

On the Forced Childbirth movement...

I am a BLOGLINES junkie, and to those who are on my mailing list, they are deeply aware of it, but until they complain that I am overloading them, I will keep sending them.

However, my blogging brother Autoegocrat keeps telling me that I need to post about some of these things instead of sending them out, so here we go!

Digby, as usual, has a spectacular post on the Forced Childbirth movement, which refers to itself as "pro-life", usually inaccurately. He quotes from Dean Barnett's op-ed piece in the Boston Globe (Barnett blogs with Hugh Hewitt, why is the Globe printing this drek?) as follows:

Because we don't know where life begins, the only logical thing to do is to err on the side of caution -- the side of life. In other words, because an abortion might take an innocent life, it should be avoided. It should also be illegal in most cases.

Digby takes that argument and knocks it out of the park:

This is not the first time I've heard this argument and it's always quite compelling to hear a man make such a stark and simple logical argument about something which others seem to find so complicated. I suspect that is because there is one person involved in this great moral question who is rarely mentioned in such pieces. In fact, if you read the whole thing you will find that this man has managed to write an entire article about fetuses, pregnancy and abortion without even noting in passing the fully formed sentient human being involved so intimately in this that the whole argument takes place inside her body.

Tell me again how this is about the baby....

This is about nothing more than the attempt to control women and their bodies, period. This is about a worldview where females can be NOTHING other than birth vessels, not really even fully human, and this is why I am pro-choice. If a woman is not allow to fully control her body at all times, then she is chattel and property.


Damn, that felt good; Auto, you were right as usual!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Brian Kelsey is a grandstanding little punk

And what's more, TWO of his OWN GOP colleagues called him out on the House Floor for that act!

Kelsey, of Germantown, was pissed about the House Democratic leadership's decision to promote public investment by allowing each House member (Democratic OR Republican) to provide a list of worthy recipients for up to a total of $100,000.

Kelsey kept whining that this was pork, and then put a piece of bacon in an envelope before insulting his fellow House members by impugning their integrity:

"It smells quite frankly of cronyism; it smells of incumbency protection and even of buying votes. In the wake of Tennessee Waltz, who's to stop someone from receiving this money back as a kickback, as a campaign contribution or even in cash?"

That was enough for Curry Todd, Republican of Millington, who had HELPED Kelsey get elected. He stood up on the floor and, according to the CA, allowed as to how he would be happy to take Kelsey's allotment and give it to his education folks and his district. Then, he smacked Kelsey down with THIS: "And maybe you ought to look at giving back the PAC money (campaign contributions from political action committees) you got from the last election if you're concerned about everything that's going up here."

Then, Todd went on to say "I don't rise very often to disagree with my colleagues but my friend from Shelby County -- who I helped get elected and encouraged him to run -- but I don't support you grandstanding any more, trying to draw media attention to your stuff up here."

Also, Jim Coley, freshman Republican of Bartlett (whom, I might add, was ENDORSED in his Primary by your humble Cracker) stood up and said "I too am going to criticize my colleague from Shelby County. I think if he's sincere in talking about the wining and dining and other things that he has used as a platform up here, he needs to return every bit of the PAC money he's received since serving in the Tennessee General Assembly."

Thank you, Jim. it's time somebody took this little whiner to school about how the Legislature works. If Kelsey isn't bright enough to figure the difference between public investment and actual PORK (and it DOES exist), then he has no business in the General Assembly.

In the words of the great American orator, Bugs Bunny, what a maroon!

UPDATE: Kleinheider has a good take on all of this...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hey, listen up!

You think I was rough on Jerry Falwell? You think Rick was rough on Jerry Falwell?

Go read the Rude Pundit. Go on, I DARE YOU.

The Rude One says it best....

UPDATE: Thanks again to The Rude One, here's Christopher Hitchens, who eviscerates Falwell on AC360:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

OK, this is really embarrassing.

As you know, your faithful Cracker stood up for Senator Ophelia Ford during her travails with her original election, where she won by 13 votes. I am all too familiar with GOP attempts to disenfranchise minorities by whining "voter fraud", so I backed her efforts to stay in the Senate.

However, last year, I openly supported my friend Steve Haley when he tried to unseat her in the primary. When she won, I supported her as the Democratic nominee.

As you are aware, she has been absent most of this session, she says it's anemia, others have been less charitable. However, she made an appearance yesterday at a subcommittee meeting of the House-Senate Government Operations Committee in which she asked questions that did not appear to be related to the task at hand, oversight of the Department of Children's Services. The local fishwrap has a story and transcript here.

However, to truly get the full effect, you need to watch this video (H/T to Kleinheider at VV/WKRN). She really needs help, folks, if she has loved ones who read this blog, please see that she gets it. Not only does she deserve it, so do her constituents, who really have not had full representation since John Ford was indicted.

I don't want to kick anyone when they are down, as I would love to see her recover and be the Senator we all hoped she could be. She sure isn't now, and it shows.

OK, I finally got the embed to work, here it is:

There seems to be a wee bit of confusion in District 89

About which office Jeanne Richardson appears to be seeking. Of course, Rick has it nailed down and explains it to her campaign. Read this HERE.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hey Fred, better not take Dick Wolf off your speed dial just yet!

Commissioner Jackson smacks down Arthur Branch with the latest poll numbers showing Freddie at a whopping 6% in the Republican Presidential polls.


On the passing of Jerry Falwell

While I will offer my sympathies to his family, as he obviously treated them better than the American public, I can only remember the public persona of Falwell, which can only be described in one word:


Harsh, you say? Hardly. This man did more to pervert Protestant Christianity than anyone in my lifetime (Pat Robertson? No, who took him seriously? Adrian Rogers? No, he only worked within the SBC, which was trending that direction anyway) and he should be denounced, even in death.

This was a man who was pro-apartheid until he saw that it was not politically possible to do so, attacked the gay and lesbian community at will, and suggested that gays, liberals, etc, were responsible for 9/11, which is essentially what Al-Qaeda said.

I'm not going to be nice and say he was a fine fellow; in fact, this nation would be better off if he had not lived at all.

Flame away.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Cohen goes public in his support of Kevin Gallagher

Our Congressman has confirmed to the Flyer's Jackson Baker what the Freedonian and I had reported earlier, that he supports Kevin Gallagher, has contributed to his campaign and has urged others to do so.

Again, this has nothing to do with Jeannie Richardson, an outstanding Democrat and someone who would be a solid Representative for House 89; it's just that we believe that Kevin Gallagher would be the best choice of a great field of Democratic candidates.

Apparently, so does our Congressman, who knows first-hand Kevin's abilities to lead, having chosen him to run his successful run for the 9th District last year. As his record gives us every reason to do so, we support Steve Cohen's choice and follow his lead!

They talk the talk, can they walk the walk?

Thaddeus Matthews has touted the new Memphis Democratic Club as a force which will supposedly crush the SCDP, raise more money, and elect "qualified' Democrats to office.

This is made up primarily of folks who supported Jay Bailey over Keith Norman for SCDP Chair. Thaddeus announced that they are starting their own PAC, just like the Germantown Club, that they have lined us buses and vans to take people to the polls for elections, and will elect lots of Democrats.

No problem, who DOESN'T want to see Democrats elected? I even suggested that I might join them (in addition to paying my dues for G-Town; I need to send Susan a check!) If they do all that they say they are going to do, great!

Never mind, of course, that most of these folks live in areas where Democrats always win, and losing is next to impossible for Democrats, unless they get indicted, and even then, in the case of Kathryn Bowers. Other than the fact that they don't seem to like the MSDIA reform movement, who basically has out-organized everyone at the last two conventions, I'm not really sure of their purpose.

If the new MDC can increase turnout and register new voters to help Democrats win by larger margins in Shelby County, then great, count me in. Hell, the SCDP will stand and applaud.

If the MDC can produce a large enough turnout in 2008 so that Big Shelby flips the state from red to blue in the presidential race, then bravo. We'll all be on the same team.

You have to ask yourself one thing, though; if these good Democrats couldn't get enough folks from the most Democratic areas in Shelby County to turn out for the SCDP Caucuses & Convention, how in the hell can the MDC organize well enough to elect anyone who wouldn't have been elected in any event?

Only time will tell; I wish the best of luck to the MDC, as another SUCCESSFUL Democratic Club helps us all.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Chris D. Jackson has a new blog!

While our state's YOUNGEST elected official and I have not agreed at all about the former Congressman of the 9th District, we do tend to agree on a lot of other things.

So, why not pop by
here for a visit?

Early Voting for House 89 already screwed up

And Rick has the story at the Freedonian, please go there NOW.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

OK, what the hell is this?

On the amendment that would have set a timetable for the withdrawal of our soldiers from Iraq, there were 59 Democratic traitors that caused the amendment to fail.

Look, 60% of the American people want us out of there. TODAY. I can almost forgive Lincoln Davis, because he's in a GOP-leaning (hell, it's fallen over!) district.

But John Tanner? He is in one of the SAFEST districts there is, the last refuge of the rural Democrat on this side of the Mississippi. He has NO excuse. Hell, Marion Berry in AR-01, who has a MORE GOP-leaning district than Tanner (yes, I know he has the Delta, but have you been to Jonesboro lately? OY.)

Jim Cooper? Hell, if the Senate hadn't been in play (and lost, because of Democrats like him) in 1994, I was almost tempted to vote for Fred Thompson, at least he was honest enough to call himself a Republican.

Whether there is a chance in hell of beating them or not, these two deserve to be PRIMARIED in 2008 for this insanity. If we don't instill party discipline, we will constantly have people who sell out progressives. Let them know that when they fuck up, we will HURT them.

Now, the stunner in all of the traitorous defections is.....Vic Snyder? WTF? Vic Snyder voted AGAINST the McGovern amendment??? This is astonishing, because, after Steve Cohen, he has long been considered the Mid-South's progressive bellwether, and this vote has left me speechless. Almost, anyway.

Seriously, I want a Democrat to step up and file against John Tanner in the Democratic Primary and fight like hell. Same for Jim Cooper, Nashville may be more conservative than Memphis, but they're not THAT right-wing.

As for Snyder, well, maybe not just yet, but he'z got LOTS of 'splainin to do.

Now, THIS is a great ad..

I'm not really on the Bill Richardson bandwagon, but you've gotta love this ad.

I couldn't copy the embed for some reason, so click on the link.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I am hitting another block period

Where I really can't get cranked up enough to write. This, even though Pesky and Jeff are doing a tag-team beatdown on the wingnut local bloggers, Rick and Sharon did yeoman work trying to prevent an execution that should NOT take place, and Jon starts up the much-anticipated Abdullah Watch.

I was on vacation last week, and, other than a drive to my parents' and grandparents graves in Weiner, Arkansas, I did nothing. Oh, I went to the ExecCom and DL, but that's it. I can't get excited about the Mayor's race, because I am getting more worried by the day that we will be stuck with Herenton for four more years, and I seriously doubt that the city can survive his incompetence.

I don't know what's causing this lack of energy, unless it's that my outrage level, on full alert since January 20, 2001, has drained me to the point where I wonder if I can get ready for the fall elections.

I hope to snap out of it soon, we'll see what happens....

Friday, May 04, 2007

It looks like ONE District 89 voter has made his choice...

I would imagine that our Congressman, Steve Cohen, would have preferred NOT to take a public stance on this race, as he is friendly with both Jeannie Richardson and his Congressional campaign manager, Kevin Gallagher.

Freedonian, as usual, is on the case here with some background on this situation, which you can find HERE.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Keith Norman did the right thing tonight.

The new chair of the SCDP, Keith Norman, handled a tricky situation properly tonight.

At the April meeting, he pushed back a motion to expel Richard Fields from the ExecCom to tonight, to allow each member the opportunity to review the indicting materials. Tonight, he allowed the charging member, Jennings Bernard, to make a one minute summation of the charges and establish his intent, and he allowed Richard Fields one minute to rebut, then he allowed the ExecCom members to ask questions of each.

Afterward, he revealed that he and the SCDP parliamentarian (sorry, don't know his name) had done their homework. After reviewing the SCDP bylaws AND contacting the TDP in Nashville, he noted that the time to have done something to remove Fields was at the Convention, by defeating him. Norman pointed out that the "crimes" Fields committed occurred when he was NOT a member of the ExecCom and thus, not eligible for action by the new ExecCom, and refused to allow a vote.

Chair Norman was ABSOLUTELY correct to do this. Simply put, the loyalty oath that one signs at the W/P Caucuses is tantamount to an absolution of your sins. Taken to the
Nth degree, John Freaking Ryder could come up, sign that oath, and he would be protected by it until such time as he helped a Republican, which would be about 30 seconds.

I have to tell you, I firmly believe that if there had been a vote, Fields would most assuredly have been expelled. I know too many people who are still furious about the letter he sent out last year pointing out his beliefs that many of the judicial candidates endorsed by the party were unqualified. Fields hurt one of my friends, Regina Newman, with that letter, and I'm not all that thrilled with him, either.

However, the bylaws are the bylaws, and Norman was right. One of the Members was upset with the chair for having allowed debate and then quashing the vote; however, he let everyone vent (within reason), which may have dissipated some of the bad feelings.

I know my friend and brother, Del Gill, firmly felt that the chair was pontificating and directing the show too much, but I do not believe that he overstepped his bounds. I'm betting we're going to have to agree to disagree on that one.

My favorite part of the meeting was when John Marek, the man who rebuilt the U of M college Democrats singlehandedly, called out Bernard for supporting Jake Ford, and noting that if Bernard were held to this standard, he too would have to resign. I have to hand it to Bernard for his honesty, though, he noted that he absolutely takes race into account. While I amy not agree with it, that's being a stand-up guy.

On the whole, the Chair handled a delicate situation with class, strength and dignity, and I'm happy with that.