Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's Sunday Blogger Roundup time!!!

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

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

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

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

• The Crone Speaks: Who benefits?

• Cup of Joe Powell: Liberal fascism

• Enclave: Davidson Co. Election Commission data theft

• Fletch: Favorite 2007 photo

• KnoxViews: Fair tax discussion

• Lean Left: A holiday we should celebrate in America

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

• Loose TN Canon: Bill Maher at Berklee

• NewsComa: Happy blog anniversary to NewsComa!

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

• Resonance: 2008 Energy outlook

• RoaneViews: Clinch River protection pact

• Russ McBee: Musharraf walks a tightrope

• Sean Braisted:Fun with framing

• Sharon Cobb: Analysis: candidates react to Bhutto assassination

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

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

• Tennessee Guerilla Women: Ron Paul considers third party bid

• TennViews: Democratic candidates on health care

• Whites Creek Journal: Off the grid

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

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from the girls...

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

Monday, December 24, 2007

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

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

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

Sunday, December 23, 2007

TennViews presents the weekly roundup!

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

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

• Andy Axel: Brr!

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

• The Crone Speaks: Bad Santa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Resonance: Pelosi surprised by Republican resolve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 22, 2007

It's sunshine time in Tennessee!

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

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

Friday, December 21, 2007

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Larry King impersonation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Obama opened up his Nashville HQ last night

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

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

Sunday, December 16, 2007

You will hopefully notice....

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

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

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

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

Courtesy of TennViews, here you are!

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

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

• Andy Axel: The view is exhausting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Loose TN Canon: Why pop music sucks

• NewsComa: Savage political season

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

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

• Resonance: Shared sacrifice, plus House protects Christmas

• RoaneViews: Tax exemptions, good and bad

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

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

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

• Silence Isn't Golden: Bye bye Freddie

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

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

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

• Whites Creek Journal: What rule of law?

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

Friday, December 14, 2007

Yeah, I know...

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

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

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

Enough on that.

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

More later.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

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

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

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

• Andy Axel: Fall Heron, plus Good little lapblogs

• BlountViews: Hometown poll not kind to Lamar Alexander

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

• Enclave: Tennessee in another Top 20

• Fletch: Two men and a truck

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

• Lean Left: Weak-minded Huckabee

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

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

• NewsComa: No solar eclipse in government

Pesky Fly: Impeach Hillary

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

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

RoaneViews: 20,000 tons of nuclear waste

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

Sean Braisted: (at TennViews) The obstructionist Senate

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

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

Southern Beale: TN GOP bunker mentality

• Tennessee Guerilla Women: Harriet Miers knew

• TennViews, by Persimmon: Corridor K

• Whites Creek Journal: CIA: American heroes

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

Friday, December 07, 2007


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

Cheyenne Johnson for County Assessor

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Newscoma explains it better than I can

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

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

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


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

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

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

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

I have kept silent for too long...

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

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

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

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

Change the law: Steve Mulroy

Keep it as it is:

Joe Lance


Jack Lail

Russ McBee

Knoxville News-Sentinel

Joe Lance (again)

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

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

I want to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Your Sunday morning liberal blogger roundup

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

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

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

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

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

• Fletch: Blue Sky, plus Pelican launch

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

• Lean Left: Iraqis denied political asylum

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

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

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

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

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

• Resonance: The Winnebago Bellwether of the economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BONUS SECTION: GOP "Debate" Roundup

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

Lean Left: Hate on display at GOP debate

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

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

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

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

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

DOUBLE BONUS SECTION: Weakening Tennessee's Sunshine Law

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

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

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

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