Monday, July 30, 2007

You're probably not going to like this post...

Sometime within the next few days, Barry Lamar Bonds will tie and then break the all-time Major League Baseball home-run record of 755, held since 1974 by Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves.

When that occurs, most baseball fans who live outside San Francisco (where Bonds has plied his trade since 1993) will scream bloody murder that Bonds' record should be taken away from him, because HE CHEATED.

To which I respectfully reply, so what?  The hallowed halls of Cooperstown are FILLED with people who are alleged to have used corked bats, amphetamines, thrown illegal pitches like spitballs, or alleged to have used other means to scuff up baseballs.  Hell, it's even been insinuated that the spectacular 1951 stretch run of the New York Giants that led to the playoff and the Bobby Thomson homer that won the pennant was the result of illegal sign-stealing by Giants personnel using binoculars.

As they say, if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'!  So, do NOT whine to me that Barry Bonds should be hated because he CHEATED, because it insults my intelligence and makes me angry.

On the other hand.......

Barry Bonds, unlike Hank Aaron, grew as the son of a good-but-could-have-been-greater ballplayer named Bobby Bonds in relative wealth in the Bay Area.  He went to good schools, and was awarded a scholarship at Arizona State University, long thought of as a GREAT baseball school.

Unlike Aaron, who had to play in the Negro Leagues before he was signed by the Braves, Bonds, while talented enough to win three NL MVP awards by 1994, has, by all accounts, treated everyone not named Bonds like a piece of shit.  His teammates, for the most part, barely tolerate him because of his self-absorption and his whining.  He is, in short, the LAST player you would want to break this historic record and the LAST person you want as the public face of Major League Baseball.

The fact remains, however, that, even if EVERYTHING in the book, GAME OF SHADOWS, is true, Barry Bonds would NOT have used if it had not been for the fact that MLB executives, the MLB Players Association, and the media turned a blind eye to the fact that stars like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were apparently using performance-enhancing drugs, and breaking the single-season homer record while doing it.  Hell it wasn't even ILLEGAL in MLB in the late 90s. 

If no one in MLB cared then, why make the fuss now?

Because Bonds is widely perceived to be an asshole, that's why.  Too bad, folks, he may well be all of that and more, but ask yourself this question: If it was THAT important to you, why didn't you as questions in 1998, when media-friendly McGwire and Sosa were in the homer race?  


See, I understand that Barry is hardly anyone's ideal as a human being, and I can understand those who grew up idolizing Hank Aaron (justifiably so, I might add) might be pissed off that this punk is going to break the record.  From an intellectual standpoint, it's more honest not to want the record broken from THAT line of reason than the whines that Bonds is a cheater.  That, I understand.

Two things: First, I have outlined why the cheating line falls on deaf ears here.  Second, as Bonds himself has acknowledged, he won't have the record for 33 years as Aaron has, as Alex Rodriguez, at the tender age of 32, is about to hit his 500th homer in the next day or so. Barring injury, it's not a stretch to think that A-Rod will pass Bonds in the next 6-7 years.  If that happens, good for everyone.

Finally, my point is this: it's OK to hate Barry for being a prick and a punk, just don't insult any of us by calling him a cheater.

He wasn't the first, and he sure as hell won't be the last.

Welcome to another new blogger

We welcome GoldnI at Silence Isn't Golden to The Endless Blogroll today.

She is from NashVegas, and she and I went hammer-and-tong with each other last year on the pages of DailyKos regarding our former Congressman and erstwhile Senate c.ndidate. Despite our disputes then, she is a Democrat and we welcome her to the Blogroll. Please go give her a read!

The Trifecta of Celebrity Death returns, sadly.

Today, we have lost Ingmar Bergman, famed film director, at 89, veteran TV talk show host Tom Snyder, at 71, due to leukemia, and Hall of Fame NFL coach Bill Walsh, at 75, also from leukemia.

While I barely knew Bergman's work, I am aware of its influence on other directors.

Snyder was far better than his critics would concede, and he was the first national TV host to have a show that started after midnight in the East with his ground-breaking Tomorrow show, which started in 1973 and lasted until he was canceled in 1982 to make room for David Letterman at NBC.

Letterman, a fan of Snyder's, brought him back to TV in 1995 at CBS to follow Letterman's 10:30 show. This lasted until snyder tired of the grind in 1998, replaced by Craig Kilborn. Tom will be missed by many who have fond memories of his risk-taking interviews.

Last, but maybe not least, we lose Bill Walsh, who changed the run-run-run mentality of the NFL with his brilliant offenses while coaching the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s. As a Bear fan, I HATED the Niners (except when they were beating Dallas), but I always respected his brilliance. Had he stayed past 1988, he would have been the first NFL coach to win five Super Bowls, IMO.

I am partnering on another blog!

I am teaming up with Wintermute for the "unofficial" Steve Cohen for Congress blog, to be found here. I intend to increase my productivitty here AND there, and I want to thank 'Mute for inviting me to be a part of things.

Go read it!

The Freedonian becomes an auteur!

Our friend Rick at The Freedonian has a short film up about those noted friends of the environment, General Motors, and their spokesperson, the equally green Rush Limbaugh.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Michael Vick is in serious trouble...

The first thing you have to do is remember that, like all defendants, Michael Vick is innocent until PROVEN guilty by a jury of his peers.  

Then, go read the indictment, and THEN tell me that.  OK, it's only an indictment, but what kind of lowlife bastard would do the things listed there, or even ASSOCIATE with someone who would? 

Any alleged human who would raise ANY animal to be the type that would be thrown in a pit to fight for its life has SERIOUS psychological problems.  This is animal abuse, and if they would abuse animals, they would abuse people as well.  These allegations are SO angering and nauseating that Michael Vick, even if acquitted, is finished in the NFL.

Why?  Because the presumption is that, even if he didn't know about this, he SHOULD have, and why would he have ASSOCIATED with "people" who would electrocute dogs that failed to meet their toughness standards?  Even the best case scenario for Vick will have him in the CFL next year; the worst case, is, of course, prison.

I have been told that dogfighting is apparently everywhere, and can be found even in Memphis.  If this is true, I hope like hell they are found, convicted, and thrown under the jail.

Full disclosure: I am a pet owner, as you are aware, and there has never been a time in my life where dogs were not a significant part of it.  I am also aware that Pit bulls are NOT naturally mean, they are BRED and TRAINED to be that way.  Anyone who would knowingly train a dog to fight is subhuman scum and I will NOT argue this point.

If Michael Vick is acquitted, he will be allowed to play QB in Canada; no NFL team dares touch him, lest PETA have perennial pickets outside their games.  If, indeed, he is found guilty, let's hope he receives the same warm treatment in prison that he gave to his dogs.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Everything, nothing and something all at once

I am not at all sure how coherent this will be, but here goes.

I have had a Michael Vick/dogfighting post in my head for a few days now, but I just can't put it together right now. Maybe by the weekend, I hope.

Don't faint, but Wendi Thomas has written what may be her best column ever on the subject of healthcare and the myth of merit and the self-made man. Even better, Auto has followed it up with a terrific complementary (and complimentary, too) piece that you should read as well.

I wound up the night at DL, where we were graced by our groovy and sexy dear friends from the Northwest of Tennessee, Newscoma and Squirrel Queen. They need to come back and stay longer, they can't come so close to Central BBQ and NOT go there. (note to Craig, Roger and Steve - where the hell did your website for Central BBQ go???)

Oh, and Liz? Welcome home babe, you were missed.

More later on this non-NBC station!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

All right, we've got some SERIOUS deprogramming to do!!!!

Our friend Commissioner Chris D. Jackson of Lawrence County has a list of elected officials from Tennessee attending this weekend's National Conversation in Nashville. It is sponsored by Democrats for the Leisure Class, er, the Democratic Leadership Council, led by YOU-KNOW-WHO.

OK, here's the list, with Shelby County officials in bold;

Phil Bredesen, Governor
Jim Cooper, U.S. Representative
Lincoln Davis, U.S. Representative
Bill Purcell, Mayor, Metro Nashville
Rosalind Kurita, Senate Speaker Pro Tempore
James Naifeh, Speaker of the House
Lois DeBerry, House Speaker Pro Tempore
Gary Odom, House Majority Leader
Lowe Finney, State Senator
Roy Herron, State Senator
Doug Jackson, State Senator
Tommy Kilby, State Senator
Jim Kyle, State Senator
Beverly Marrero, State Senator

Randy Rinks, State Representative
Johnny Shaw, State Representative
Charles Curtiss, State Representative
John DeBerry, State Representative
Henry Fincher, State Representative
G.A. Hardaway, State Representative
Sherry Jones, State Representative
John Litz, State Representative
Larry Miller, State Representative
Gary Moore, State Representative
Philip Pinion, State Representative
Joe Pitts, State Representative
Joe Towns, State Representative
Barbara Haynes, Judge, Third Circuit Court
Henri Brooks, County Commissioner
Sidney Chism, County Commissioner

Ty Cobb, County Commissioner
Chris Jackson, County Commissioner
Deidre Malone, County Commissioner
Steve Mulroy, County Commissioner

Walter Hunt, Council Member
Myron Lowery, Council Member
Vivian Wilhoite, Council Member

WTF? Marrero? MULROY? MYRON?? Is this BE-NICE-TO-HAROLD Weekend???

Look, legislators (and some of you represent me, BTW) the DLC represents all that is WRONG with the Democratic Party in America, and it is what Democrats voted to run away FROM in 2006, remember?

Most (if not ALL) ran on platforms considered too LIBERAL or PROGRESSIVE for the DLC, and, unless this is payback to HFJ for something or other, y'all don't need to be there. Hell, they may just run you out for being Dirty F***ing Hippies.

Commissioner Jackson is friends with our ex-Congressman and represents an area more comfortable with the DLC philosophy, so I'm not going to bust him up for this, because some day he may be Congressman in his area.

You Shelby County folks KNOW better, and y'all just need to get ready to take some lumps over this.

H/T to Kleinheider!

Let's do a YouTube debate HERE.

Our friend Richard Thompson at Mediaverse has asked the question, why can't we do something like this here in Memphis for a Mayoral debate?

I agree, go here and read his proposal, and let's get this off the ground. MLBers, let's look at this...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wendi hits a home run...

You know that I have not always been complimentary of Wendi Thomas. However, she absolutely hit the right tones in her column this morning regarding Larry Parrish and his handling of the Anna Mae case on behalf of the child thieves, er, so-called benefactors, the Bakers.

A choice cut:

Struggling financially, the Hes agreed to let the Bakers care for Anna when she was 27 days old. The Hes visited their daughter regularly in the Bakers' home -- until a dispute at her second birthday party, when the Bakers called the police on Anna's parents.

Anna's parents left -- as anyone facing officers with badges and guns would do. A few months later, during which time the Hes believed they were forbidden to return to the Bakers' home, the Bakers filed to adopt Anna.

That time that the Hes were apart from Anna, Parrish argued, amounted to abandonment on the Hes' part. See how badly his crazy shows? The only way that a police escort out of the house equals abandonment is if you're on the pipe, no insult to addicts intended.

If they hadn't dropped their attempts to keep that child from her natural parents, I was ready to suggest that we go all Elian Gonzalez on them. Fortunately, they (finally) did the right thing.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Just a reminder to come out and see me Saturday morning!!!

And I'm even linking to Hollihan!

Your humble Cracker has been invited to speak THIS Saturday at a Dutch Treat Luncheon sponsored by the Main Street Journal. It will be held at The Butcher Shop on Germantown Parkway just south of Walnut Grove from 11:30 A.M. to 12:45 P.M.

The topic is The Role of New Media (Internet & Blogging) in Memphis Politics, and I will be joined on the panel by Richard Thompson of Mediaverse, Tom Jones of Smart City Memphis, and ABC24/CW30's Cameron Harper.

It looks like a good time will be had by all, so come on out, grab a bite to eat, and listen to a great discussion!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The West Memphis Three may soon be free.

The Freedonian has a highly informative post about new DNA evidence that suggests that the stepfather of one of the murder victims was involved in the murder.

What angers me is how the investigation was mishandled by the WMPD and by the prosecutor's office in Jonesboro. Go hit the link to find out the rest of the story...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A new blogger with good reasoning

EarthWindFire82 is a new local blogger, blogging at, and her latest post is stirring some controversy.

Her premise is simple: don't just say you're running AGAINST Mayor Herenton, tell us what you are FOR, and how you intend to do it. Go check it out!

Congratulations to Jeanne Richardson

To the astonishment of absolutely no one,  Jeanne Richardson was elected last night to fill the vacated District 89 seat of former Representative, now Senator Beverly Marrero.

The totals: Jeanne Richardson - 814, Republican Dave Wicker, Jr. 185, and write-in Steve Edmundson received 166 votes in the low turn-out race.

Jeanne follows a long tradition of District 89, as a Democratic woman has represented that area since 1975, beginning with the late Pam Gaia (1975-91), now-City Coincolor Carol Chumney (1991-2003), and Beverly Marrer0 (2003-2007).  In addition, the interim Representative was neighborhood activist Mary Wilder.

She will do a fabulous job for the area, as she is known in Nashville already for her advocacy on behalf of mental health issues, and we are delighted with her victory.

So too, are we delighted that this brings to an end the seemingly ENDLESS series of special elections that began when Carol Chumney left District 89 to run for City Council four years ago.

Great luck to Jeanne, and let's all take a breath until the filing deadline passes at noon tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Freedonian comes back with a VENGEANCE!

The mighty Freedonian has THREE stellar posts up right now.

First, he does a terrific job of covering our visit to MIFA last night to hear John Edwards speak more about defeating poverty than his own Presidential candidacy, and Rick also provide pictures, while Vibinc provides video links in the comments.

Then, he throws a giant FLAMING SPEAR into Kathryn Bowers' front yard, with a post that advises you that he is not exactly weeping over her plea acceptance. I want you to read it all, so I'm not even going to excerpt it, just click on the link. Keep it rolling, bro, that's good work, even if I'm a wee bit more sympathetic; I completely understand, though.

UPDATE: NOW he goes after David Vitter, and be forewarned, he has a picture up that could fry your retinas, but go there any way!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Oops. I forgot something!

If you live in District 89, go vote on Tuesday. If you are wondering for whom to vote, as much as I like and respect Steve Edmundson, I am asking you to do this:

Wharton is NOT RUNNING for City Mayor

Courtesy of FOX13, here is Mayor Wharton's statement:

I am grateful for the outpouring of support that I have received since last week's announcement of the Draft A C movement. I had said previously that I had no interest in running for the mayor of Memphis, but because of the hundreds and hundreds of e-mails, phone calls, and faxes that I received from citizens in every corner of my city, I felt that l owed it to them to revisit my decision and to weigh once again all the factors involved it.

Some of these factors included family considerations, timing, and the impact on the community, but in the end, there was one factor that I simply could not ignore - I am in the right job at the right time to help Memphis themost.

The county mayor is the highest elected office in our region,representing the hopes and dreams of 912,000 people. Shelby County Government is one of the largest local governments in the entire country, and it is in the role as its mayor that I can have the most profound and lasting impact on Memphis.

It has not been a year since I was elected to my second term as county mayor, and critical items remain on my agenda to be completed - notably school funding, a healthier community, the stability of The Med, an agenda for a sustainable county, and more.

Each one of these is important to Memphis, but when taken together, they will be crucial in determining its direction for the future. In the past week, in the messages from so many of my fellow citizens -messages re-enforced by the poll by The Commercial Appeal Sunday- it is clear that a majority of Memphians are concerned about their city's direction and are looking for new hope for the future.

It is a message that I take to heart as I continue to work on the important issues of Memphis. There are many national urban experts who say that we cannot stop Memphis from a decline that relegates it to being a third-tier city, uncompetitive in the global economy and with problems that drive people from its borders.

But there is a reservoir of leadership at the grassroots level waiting to be tapped and that can make the difference in our vision for the future. I was reminded of the depths of this leadership in the past week, and it's why I hope every elected official will join me in finding ways for these citizens to control their own lives and their own destiny.

That is what I am doing every day as county mayor.

The competitive units in the global economy are not cities. They are regions. That is why I believe that operating on a regional canvas as county mayor, I have much more influence over the issues that really matter to Memphis.

Already, we have defied predictions of bankruptcy and put county government back on a sound financial footing. We have transformed its ethical standards, we have developed the region's first smart growth policies and we are now writing the first smart code, we developed new ways to address the serious funding problems of our schools, we are eliminating city-county duplication, we have kept the doors of The Med open and we making sure they are always open to those in need, we have developed the first "green" programs, and we have done so much more.

Perhaps, it is the nature of county government that it operates quietly and often below the radar. But that fact of life makes it no less important. While city governments spend most of their time focused on delivering services, county governments are able to look at the big picture, to develop policies and programs on emerging key issues that will set the direction of Memphis and the region, and to address the kinds of problems that have no respect for governmental boundaries.

More than 80 percent of my time every day is spent working on issues affecting the people of Memphis- health care, justice and safety, land use, codes enforcement, neighborhood revitalization, tax fairness, and education funding.

The answers to the challenges of Memphis cannot be solved within the borders of our city. Rather, they demand regional commitment to regional solutions with regional results.

As county mayor, that's my pledge, and it has been my personal mission every day for five years.

There is no reason that Memphis should seem at war with the rest of the region. After all, we are all in this together.

However, before we can seek to make peace with others in the region,we need to make peace here at home. We need to turn down the rhetoric that demoralizes our people, we need to eliminate the personal attacks that demean our political process, and we need to reject the kinds of comments and behavior that produce negative national news coverage about our city.

The future of Memphis and the region are inextricably linked, and strengthened at our core, we can then create the alliances between governments that give us our best chances of dealing with issues like transportation, air and water quality, business recruitment, and quality of life.

Any one of these is reason enough for me to stay in the county mayor's office. Together, they are a mandate for me to remain where I can lead the innovative problem-solving that is needed if Memphis is to have a bright future.

The stakes are simply too high right now for me to do otherwise.

While the potential of running for city mayor is intriguing, I am certainthat my lifetime of public service has brought me to the right place to make the most important difference in the life of my city.

That is why I intend to remain as county mayor, where I will work tocreate the hope, the spirit, and the confidence that we need if we are to succeed as a community.

John Edwards is coming to Memphis TONIGHT

Here's the info:

The "Road to One America" Tour

It's official. We're taking a break from the normal campaign schedule of events and to take the campaign on the road for three days, through eight states and 12 towns and cities, in order to bring attention to the 37 million Americans living in poverty.

John Edwards:

"Everyday, one in eight Americans wakes up in poverty. That's not okay. Today, we have Two Americas in our country - one America that has everything it needs and another that is struggling to get by. Our next president needs not only to understand the struggles facing the 37 million Americans living in poverty, but also have a plan to lift them up out of poverty. That is what this tour and my campaign are about - giving them a voice so that we can build One America, where every person has the opportunity to work hard and get ahead."

The tour kicks off Monday, July 16th. The "Road to One America" tour will begin in New Orleans, Louisiana and travel more than 1,800 miles before ending on Wednesday, July 18th, in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, where Senator Robert F. Kennedy concluded his 1968 200-mile tour of impoverished regions in Southeastern Kentucky. The tour also includes a stop in Marks, Mississippi, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. launched his 1968 Poor People's March to Washington, D.C.

Along the way, John will meet with residents devastated and displaced by Hurricane Katrina and with people who have experienced persistent poverty in the Deep South, the Mississippi Delta and rural Appalachia. He will also visit communities in the Rust Belt region that have suffered from the loss of American manufacturing jobs and cities that are struggling to cope with both urban poverty and the rising problem of poverty. With this tour, we will focus attention not just on problems, but also on solutions and all of the good work that is being done across the nation to help lift people out of poverty.

The new faces of poverty in America come from a wide variety of racial, ethnic and regional backgrounds - from urban, suburban and rural areas. They range in age from the very young to the very old. Some are suffering from disabilities, which prevent them from finding work, and many are hardworking men and women with full-time jobs who are still struggling to make ends meet. All too often they don't have access to the affordable health care, housing and education they need. And their numbers are growing. We'll meet with these Americans, tell their stories to the rest of the nation, and show the diversity of the problem of poverty in America.

We all have a stake in doing something about our fellow Americans living in poverty and believes that working together we can help end poverty.

Below the flip, check out the tour schedule. Also check out what you can do to help the 1 in 8 Americans who are living in poverty.

The "Road to One America" tour schedule:

Pre-Tour Event - Sunday, July 15th
  • Walking tour of Lower 9th Ward with John Edwards

Day 1: Monday, July 16th: Rewarding Work & Ending Poverty in America

  • New Orleans, LA

  • Canton, MS

  • Marks, MS

  • Marianna, AR

  • Memphis, TN
LWC again: This will take place at the MIFA Building at 910 Vance Avenue from 8:15 PM to 10:15 PM; I would get there early if I were you. Click the address for a map!

it WILL be a new Council!

Those who have pissed and moaned about the City Council will be delighted to know that the number of current Councilors leaving has increased.

Jack Sammons (SD9-3) has joined the list of departing councilors, joining EC Jones (1-retirement), Brent Taylor (2-retirement), Dedrick Brittenum (4-retirement) Carol Chumney (5-running for Mayor) Ed Ford (6-indictment), Rickey Peete (SD8-1-indictment).  Add to that the possibility that Councilor Tom Marshall (SD9-2) is considering either a run for Mayor or retirement himself, and you have the potential for 8 new members of the 13-member board.

Given that recent appointees Madeleine Taylor (3) and Henry Hooper (SD8-1) are considering whether to run for a full term, there could be a whole bunch of rookies on the next City Council.  

That possibility provides the opportunity for a fresh start not only for the Council, but for whoever happens to be elected Mayor.  It also means extra work for the potential returnees; Barbara Swearengen Holt Ware Who-Knows-What-Next (7), Joe Brown (SD8-2), Myron Lowery (SD8-3) and Scott McCormack (SD9-1).

With Bill Morrison announcing on Friday night that he is withdrawing from the race to fill Sammons' vacated SD9-3 seat to make a run in District 1, that leaves SD9-3 open for some bright, hopefully progressive candidate who might just be able to raise money and say no to developers.

UPDATE: our mystery guest has called me and asked me to let you know that Desi Franklin is a candidate for SD9-3, and I want to let you know that I am supporting her candidacy, so you will be advised as things progress and how to help her win! 

All right, that's all for now, come to the Edwards event tonight!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The new mayor's poll is out

What? You haven't seen it? All right, go here and look at it, then go to the CA article and look at the link to Steve Ethridge's video about the poll. Go on, I'll wait.

OK, I know Carol took a hit, a solid one, but not a fatal one, not by a longshot. I'd send the condolence cards to Herman first, who is in single digits if Wharton is in, but only at 12% if AC DOESN'T get in. If you read the numbers carefully, and I hope that you do, you will notice that between April, when the first poll came out, and July 8-10 when the poll was taken, Carol lost 12% of her white numbers and AC picked up 16 %.

I believe that was because people really took seriously the idea that AC would run, and he is, after all, the County's most popular political figure by a wide margin.

Now, doesn't it strike you as odd that the CA would decide to do this poll right at the same time as showed up and all this hoopla of will he/won't he took off? I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.......

I also am going to suggest something else here. I now believe it's not just the developers who are pushing AC to run. There's someone who has a real hope that someone will become Mayor of Memphis that will move this city forward without obsessing too much about the past, especially the most recent past. Someone who will try to fix the problems without mentioning the fellow who helped cause them.

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. They had dinner the other night for a reason. All I'm saying is that you should not be surprised if one day this week, prior to Thursday, that there would be a press conference where the two old friends, the Mayors of Memphis and Shelby County, will stride out arm in arm and announce that four terms is enough, and that Mayor Herenton is going to get out and ask us to vote for his friend AC Wharton to succeed him.

Herenton really doesn't want to keep going, but I suspect he would rather eat rusty nails than turn the city over to Chumney or Morris. This way he goes out on his own terms, turning the city over to someone he trusts not to piss on his legacy.

His legacy is that he has done more for Downtown than any other mayor of Memphis, and I would be hard-pressed to dispute that. The Poplar Corridor and Codova have done well, too.

However, the irony of all of this is that the poorest parts of town, which also have higher concentrations of African-Americans, have suffered with job losses, higher crime, higher drug use, and higher poverty. That is part of his legacy, too, like it or not.

If this happens, I also expect Herman Morris to get out, maybe to run for a Super District seat. However, while I can't speak for Carol, let me just say that I think it would be more likely for me to become a swimsuit model than for Carol to exit the Mayor's race. She knows this is about something bigger than herself, it's about giving people who AREN'T developers, who AREN'T trying to get a contract with the city, a real voice at City Hall. She's there to work for EVERYONE.

And what if Wharton gets in and Herenton stays in? Prepare for an uglier race than last year's 9th District Democratic Primary.

If AC stays out??? Carol and Mayor Herenton are dead even, and it will be a whole lot of fun!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

That's my Congressman!

THIS is why I support Steve Cohen and why I will do whatever it takes to keep him as our 9th district Congressman.  H/T to Sharon Cobb and Newscoma.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Jeanne needs your help, too...

Join Senator Beverly Marrero and other Democrats for a
Happy Hour with Jeanne Richardson
Candidate for State Representative

Friday July 13th, 5:00 to - 7:00 PM
@ The Hunt Phelan Home 533 Beale ,
just east of Danny Thomas

Please come and have an after work drink with Jeanne
if you can contribute to Jeanne's Campaign
$100, 250, $ 50, any amount would be greatly

you are unable to contribute now, please come and discuss
how you can help the campaign.

Election Day for District 89 is Tuesday for Democrat Jeanne Richardson. Only about 250 people have voted early out of over 30,000 voters. We need your help to raise funds for our get out the vote efforts to beat her Republican opponent. The district is heavily democratic but only 1,100 people voted in the Democrat primary. Your assistance is greatly needed and appreciated.

If you would like to contribute online or volunteer on election day,

Or call David Upton 276 4024
Jeanne Richardson 725 - 2056

We need help on election day
Let us know if you can call voters from home
We need help knocking on doors this weekend

Bill Morrison fund raiser THIS COMING FRIDAY NIGHT!

I thought I would move this to the top to remind you...

Mayor Wharton, let's talk...

Well, here we are again, and I want to address this to our County Mayor, who is being begged to run for City Mayor against his old buddy, W.W. Herenton.

Mayor Wharton, I maintain that you are the most popular figure in this County, and some people want you to run because they think you're great.  Other people think, mistakenly, that you're the only one who can beat Mayor Herenton.

Let's level with each other, shall we? You KNOW what this is about.  Sure, Reverends Gray & Adkins are wanting to get revenge against Herenton (who doesn't?), but, for the REAL drivers behind this, Bobby Lanier & Karl Schledwitz, this isn't about Herenton, who is mortally wounded as a candidate and they know it.  

This is about stopping Chumney, just like it was 5 years ago.  Carol has a growing base of support among a diverse group of people who are tired of seeing the city atrophy, except for Downtown, due to neglect and policies that grease the way for developers to build subdivisions that diminish our resources as a city.  I'm sure that both of these guys, your "friends", had to change their drawers when they saw that CA poll showing Carol with a big lead.

You don't help anyone but these guys if you run.  Look, Mayor Wharton, Herenton is a wounded bear in his death throes, and if you run, while you may win, WW is going to do EVERYTHING possible to destroy you.  Don't think he won't bring up the personal tragedy of your son's situation.  If you have ever done ANYTHING wrong, it will be in the street, you can count on it.  How can that help when you run for Governor in 2010?

Don't play coy, we KNOW that's why you were raising money earlier this year, you want to make a run for Bredesen's seat.  If you do, great, you could only be an improvement.  However, if you run for Mayor of Memphis, all of your dirty laundry, however much or little that is, will be out there, because Herenton will have put it there.

Mr. Mayor, wouldn't it be better to save that money? Let Carol become your partner across the Mall who can work with you on the pressing issues of the day, rather than having to fight with whoever might replace you in the County Building.

Mr. Mayor, in your heart, you KNOW you don't want to do this.  Tell all of them thanks, but NO thanks, you have a job to do and it's the one to which you were re-elected last year.

Carol will take care of Herenton on her own and then we'll ALL be better off.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Let's talk about something else for a minute.

Since I need to get my mind off the events of the day, let's discuss the fact there will be a meeting Wednesday night in the strip shopping center that replaced Cherokee Lanes to get people behind the Draft AC movement.

Kudos to Richard Thompson for his take at Mediaverse; read the comments as well.

Here's the question that no one has asked: What happens if Wharton DOES run, and wins? Does either the City or County Charter expressly prohibit him from holding both offices simultaneously, creating de facto consolidation? I really do not know the answer to that question, and I would like to know.

Now, to the men involved. Reverend Bill Adkins was fiercely behind Mayor Herenton during his first election in 1991, and until today, I had no idea that he was ready to toss Hizzoner out in the street. Reverend LaSimba Gray has been all over the lot, and I was not thrilled that he went after Congressman Cohen in last year's Democratic Primary based on the idea that only an African-American could represent the 9th district. Still, until today, I thought he would support Mayor Herenton as he had before.

However, I was asked to send out the notice for the meeting (as I do out of courtesy, even though I am still strongly for Chumney) and on the request it was noted that David Cocke had requested this.

David is a terrific person who did a great job, TWICE, as Democratic chairman, and he worked for Wharton, IIRC, in both of the County Mayor races. He is tough, but he is cautious, and I happen to believe that he would not do this publicly without AC's blessing.

Hell, I could be wrong; after all, I have been a Cub fan for 41 years now. However, David's participation in all of this makes me think that AC Wharton will be a candidate for mayor of Memphis.

If that happens, my friends, EVERYTHING changes, just as it did 5 years ago when he jumped in the Democratic Primary for County Mayor.

What it means, we'll all figure out one week from Thursday when the filing deadline arrives at noon. Grab some popcorn, it will be fun to watch!
UPDATE: Smart City to the rescue!
LWC: It has always been the Shelby County Attorney's Office's opinion that the county mayor cannot serve in any other office, because it is forbidden by charter because it is considered a fulltime job. That has been the conclusion since the late 1970s so presumably nothing has changed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Johnny 200?-2007

I knew he was FIV+, so I had to know this would happen, but it's never good when it does.  

Our cat Johnny, who adopted me and the puppies two years ago, left us this afternoon after a short illness due to liver problems.  He had been a stray who had befriended Missy (my black cocker) when we lived in the East Buntyn neighborhood, although he had scratched the hell out of Silky (my Lab mix) once while I was out of town.

Yet, we got along famously when Johnny decided to move in with us, and until the last month or so, when he kept trying to go outside, which I should have seen for what it was.

Cats have this remarkable idea that when it's their time, they go off somewhere to die so they won't be a burden to their people.  It's rather thoughtful of them, but I decided when Johnny stopped eating over the weekend that I could try to save him.  Despite a trip to the vet and lots of medication, he went quietly this afternoon.  Burial will take place this weekend on my friend's property in Alabama.

It goes without saying that he will be missed.

Welcome to the Blogosphere, Commissioner Hart!

MCS Board Commission Tomeka Hart has created her own Blog at HART FOR MEMPHIS, go check it out...

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Great Migration has begun

As Jon Carroll (formerly at MemphisBlue) has jumped to WordPress (and I may not be far behind) at The Oblivion Bar. Go check it out.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I've been thinking about Buck Owens today

and then I saw a clip from the Hee Haw marathon, where Bakersfield's greatest citizen was duetting with Ray Charles on "It's Crying Time Again". I tried to find it on YouTube, but no luck.

So, you'll have to accept these videos of Buck, Don Rich and the Buckaroos.
First, It's Crying Time Again (no Ray)..

Then, Together Again..

Finally, Sam's Place from 1967.



Let me be the first, no, second, no third, oh who knows, to take myself out of the running for State Republican Chair..

That was freakin' hilarious, Tom, I nearly spit Sprite Zero all over my Mac.... 

Julia Gibbons would rather protect Bush than the rights of Americans.

As you may have noticed, US 6th Circuit Judge Julia Gibbons of Memphis was one of two judges appointed by presidents named Bush that voted against the ACLU's challenge of the FISA program, which allows the Bush Administration to spy on you if they believe it's in the interest of national security.

The Carpetbagger points out the ridiculous nature of this ruling:

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars, and lawyers who argued the program made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They have international contacts they speak with regularly by phone, and these contacts are likely targets of Bush’s NSA program.

To the two Republican-appointed judges on the 6th Circuit, it apparently didn’t matter.

Looking at the big picture, today’s ruling is a setback, not only for the specific litigants, but to getting any kind of answers. Is the surveillance program legal? The court didn’t say. Were the plaintiffs’ calls monitored? The court didn’t say.

Who does have standing to challenge the legality of the program? Not only did the court not say, but it leads to a deeper problem.

To hear the 6th Circuit tell it, you can’t file suit unless you know you’ve been subject to the surveillance. And how do you know if you’ve been spied on? You’d have to get that information from the Bush administration, which keeps all of that information secret.

So how is it even possible for anyone to challenge the legality of the program?
Indeed. I have never had any reason to question Ms. Gibbons' performance as a jurist before now; maybe I haven't been looking closely enough at her writings. THAT needs to change.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different

Here's a little something to pick you up on your way back to work, dedicated to our friend Stacy Mac...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

I can't say Independence Day as long as the Bu$h crime family is in office, however, I provide this for your reading pleasure, courtesy of Crooks and Liars, a Special Comment from our beloved KO:

Finally tonight, as promised, a Special Comment on what is, in everything but name, George Bush’s pardon of Scooter Libby.

“I didn’t vote for him,” an American once said, “But he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

That — on this eve of the 4th of July — is the essence of this democracy, in seventeen words.

And that is what President Bush threw away yesterday in commuting the sentence of Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

The man who said those seventeen words — improbably enough — was the actor John Wayne.

And Wayne, an ultra-conservative, said them, when he learned of the hair’s-breadth election of John F. Kennedy instead of his personal favorite, Richard Nixon in 1960.

“I didn’t vote for him but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

The sentiment was doubtlessly expressed earlier. But there is something especially appropriate about hearing it, now, in Wayne’s voice.

The crisp matter-of-fact acknowledgement that we have survived, even though for nearly two centuries now, our Commander-in-Chief has also served, simultaneously, as the head of one political party and often the scourge of all others.

We as citizens must, at some point, ignore a president’s partisanship. Not that we may “prosper” as a nation, not that we may “achieve”, not that we may “lead the world” — but merely that we may “function.”

But just as essential to the seventeen words of John Wayne is an implicit trust — a sacred trust:That the president for whom so many did not vote, can in turn suspend his political self long enough, and for matters imperative enough, to conduct himself solely for the benefit of the entire Republic.

Our generation’s willingness to state “we didn’t vote for him, but he’s our president, and we hope he does a good job,” was tested in the crucible of history, and far earlier than most. And in circumstances more tragic and threatening.

And we did that with which history tasked us.

We enveloped “our” President in 2001.

And those who did not believe he should have been elected — indeed, those who did not believe he had been elected — willingly lowered their voices and assented to the sacred oath of non-partisanship.

And George W. Bush took our assent, and re-configured it, and honed it, and sharpened it to a razor-sharp point, and stabbed this nation in the back with it.

Were there any remaining lingering doubt otherwise, or any remaining lingering hope, it ended yesterday when Mr. Bush commuted the prison sentence of one of his own staffers.

Did so even before the appeals process was complete…

Did so without as much as a courtesy consultation with the Department of Justice…

Did so despite what James Madison –at the Constitutional Convention — said about impeaching any president who pardoned or sheltered those who had committed crimes “advised by” that president…

Did so without the slightest concern that even the most detached of citizens must look at the chain of events and wonder:

To what degree was Mr. Libby told: break the law however you wish — the President will keep you out of prison?

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you broke that fundamental compact between yourself and the majority of this nation’s citizens — the ones who did not cast votes for you.

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you ceased to be the President of the United States.

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you became merely the President… of a rabid and irresponsible corner of the Republican Party.

And this is too important a time, sir, to have a Commander-in-Chief who puts party over nation.

This has been, of course, the gathering legacy of this Administration. Few of its decisions have escaped the stain of politics.

The extraordinary Karl Rove has spoken of “a permanent Republican majority,” as if such a thing — or a permanent Democratic majority — is not antithetical to that upon which rests: our country, our history, our revolution, our freedoms.

Yet our democracy has survived shrewder men than Karl Rove.

And it has survived the frequent stain of politics upon the fabric of government.

But this administration, with ever-increasing insistence and almost theocratic zealotry, has turned that stain… into a massive oil spill.

The protection of the environment is turned over to those of one political party, who will financially benefit from the rape of the environment.

The protections of the Constitution are turned over to those of one political party, who believe those protections unnecessary and extravagant and “quaint.”

The enforcement of the laws is turned over to those of one political party, who will swear beforehand that they will not enforce those laws.

The choice between war and peace is turned over to those of one political party, who stand to gain vast wealth by ensuring that there is never peace, but only war.

And now, when just one cooked book gets corrected by an honest auditor…

When just one trampling of the inherent and inviolable “fairness” of government is rejected by an impartial judge…

When just one wild-eyed partisan is stopped by the figure of blind justice…

This President decides that he, and not the law, must prevail.

I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.

I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.

I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.

I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but instead to stifle dissent.

I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.

I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.

I accuse you of handing part of this republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.

And I accuse you now, Mr. Bush, of giving, through that Vice President, carte blanche to Mr. Libby, to help defame Ambassador Joseph Wilson by any means necessary, to lie to Grand Juries and Special Counsel and before a court, in order to protect the mechanisms and particulars of that defamation, with your guarantee that Libby would never see prison, and, in so doing, as Ambassador Wilson himself phrased it here last night, of you becoming an accessory to the obstruction of justice.

When President Nixon ordered the firing of the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” on October 20th, 1973, Mr. Cox initially responded tersely, and ominously:

“Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men, is now for Congress, and ultimately, the American people.”

President Nixon did not understand how he had crystallized the issue of Watergate for the American people.

It had been about the obscure meaning behind an attempt to break in to a rival party’s headquarters; and the labyrinthine effort to cover-up that break-in and the related crimes.

But in one night, Nixon transformed it.

Watergate — instantaneously — became a simpler issue: a President overruling the inexorable march of the law. Of insisting — in a way that resonated viscerally with millions who had not previously understood — that he was the law.

Not the Constitution.

Not the Congress.

Not the Courts.

Just him.

Just - Mr. Bush - as you did, yesterday.

The twists and turns of Plame-Gate, your precise and intricate lies that sent us into this bottomless pit of Iraq; your lies upon the lies to discredit Joe Wilson; your lies upon the lies upon the lies to throw the sand at the “referee” of Prosecutor Fitzgerald’s analogy… these are complex and often painful to follow, and too much, perhaps, for the average citizen.

But when other citizens render a verdict against your man, Mr. Bush — and then you spit in the faces of those jurors and that judge and the judges who were yet to hear the appeal — the average citizen understands that, sir.

It’s the fixed ballgame and the rigged casino and the pre-arranged lottery all rolled into one — and it stinks. And they know it.

Nixon’s mistake, the last and most fatal of them, the firing of Archibald Cox, was enough to cost him the presidency.

And in the end, even Richard Nixon could say he could not put this nation through an impeachment.

It was far too late for it to matter then, but as the decades unfold, that single final gesture of non-partisanship, of acknowledged responsibility not to self, not to party, not to “base,” but to country, echoes loudly into history.

Even Richard Nixon knew it was time to resign

Would that you could say that, Mr. Bush.

And that you could say it for Mr. Cheney.

You both crossed the Rubicon yesterday.

Which one of you chose the route, no longer matters.

Which is the ventriloquist, and which the dummy, is irrelevant.

But that you have twisted the machinery of government into nothing more than a tawdry machine of politics, is the only fact that remains relevant.

It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them — or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them — we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time — and our leaders in Congress, of both parties — must now live up to those standards which echo through our history:

Pressure, negotiate, impeach — get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

And for you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task.

You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed.

Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.


And give us someone — anyone – about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, “I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

Good night, and good luck.