Friday, November 30, 2007

Let's help Mike Kernell!

This Saturday Evening, December 1
from 4-8 PM

A Party and Fundraiser

at the home of
Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy

All donations welcome, no corporate checks, please.

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

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

You had to see this coming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lott quits and McWherter bails out

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

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

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

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

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

You need to read this.

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

Go read it here.

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

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I'm just not that excited...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flame away.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Why Am I Still Awake?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

Eat, drink, socialize, watch football and enjoy.

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

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

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cheers, apologies and prayer requests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 16, 2007

Another little piece of my youth leaves today...

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

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

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

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

NAFTA isn't funny....

Thanks to David Sirota...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Here we go again...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Endless Blogroll expands again

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

Go over there and check it out!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Welcome back, sir!

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

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

Friday, November 09, 2007

Congrats to Bill Morrison, condolences to Brian Stephens

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

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

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

As for Stephens, well.....

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

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

OK, rant over.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Good news, great time, but....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Down WIth Oprah, Up With Ellen

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

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Gasol

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

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

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

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

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