Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Um, he's REALLY good.

AC Wharton addressed tonight's gathering of Drinking Liberally at RP Billiards, and spent well over an hour with us, being very candid and talking at length about his plans for the city.

I wanted substance, I got substance. He talked for half that time about education, and he was very clear that he is will to do what it takes to make education a focus. I had never spent that much time with him in a setting, and he is mesmerizing.

He knocked it out of the park, and showed why he is leading.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And you thought no one would pay attention!

Remember THIS post from August, where I asked specific questions of Mayoral candidates and essentially dared them to answer?

Well, guess what? ONE candidate DID answer, and, interestingly enough, it's the fellow coming to Drinking Liberally Wednesday night, the presumed leader in the race, County Mayor AC Wharton! We thank him for his responses, and without further ado, here they are:

1) I KNOW what the problems are, tell me what your SOLUTIONS are, and I would like detail, please.
My main priorities are economic development/job creation, crime-fighting and law enforcement, the environment, government efficiency, regional policy, education, and rebuilding our neighborhoods. My platform has specific strategies and ideas for each one; is a detailed, 33-point agenda for my administration's responsibilities starting on our first day in office.

2) Are you for or against consolidation of government AND schools, and if so, in what form? If not, why not?
I favor a metropolitan system of government that would serve both Memphis and Shelby County. Our current dual government structure is needlessly inefficient and wasteful. It is a bureaucracy that does not provide the best value or services to tax-payers and is prohibiting new businesses from investing in the region.

It is important for residents of both the City and the County to understand that Memphis is not "competing" with Germantown or Collierville or Bartlett. Our entire region is competing with Louisville, Jacksonville, Nashville, and other communities across the nation. Right now, we are not winning those battles. That's why I have advocated strongly for the creation of a commission that can study our current system, gather input from the entire community, recommend changes that will allow for the most user-friendly and efficient form of government possible, and place these recommendations on the ballot for the approval of both city and suburban voters.

As both school systems are represented by their own, autonomous, elected bodies, it is impossible for me to "consolidate them" against their will. If they believe that that merging would provide the greatest value in education to students and families, then it is up to them to reach that decision and take the appropriate actions independently.

3) What is your plan to reduce crime other than just putting people in jail, because the jails are bursting and you can't lock up EVERYBODY, can you?
There are three main points to my crime platform:

- Expand Operation Safe Community, and continue to facilitate common-sense collaboration between the Memphis Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff's Department. Contrary to popular perception, crime is a regional problem, not restricted to any one locality, and requires a regional solution. Operation Safe Community is already having an impact - serious crime is down 16% in the last year - but we have to do more.

- Expand use of Blue Crush technology to identify and intervene in high-risk areas BEFORE they become high-crime areas. Right now, Blue Crush is being used retroactively, after a neighborhood has been plagued with crime. We can use it more intelligently and intuitively to identify specific blocks where we know criminal activity is likely. This will be done in conjunction with grassroots neighborhood watch programs that will focus on vandalism, litter, and other early symptoms of neighborhood decline.

- Continue pushing for tougher penalties for individuals who sell guns to young people. There can be no excuse and no exceptions for these offenders. Illegal handguns are destroying our inner-city neighborhoods by enboldening would-be criminals. When we eliminate the gun trade, we will succeed in making street crime less lethal.

In addition to these strategies I will continue our humane, productive prisoner re-entry programs. As we saw in this week's Commercial Appeal, nothing will have a greater impact on public safety than bringing down our recidivism rate. We must continue to find ways to bring ex-felons back into the economic mainstream and workforce after they have fully paid their dues to society. Simply put, it's cheaper and safer than simply recycling human beings through the criminal justice system. We are already making some headway on this, but we must do more.

4) Without trashing any opponents, tell me what YOU'VE done in the community and FOR the community, and I mean the ENTIRE community, both downtown and the C, as well as the Poplar Corridor.
My administration will be about what my campaign has been about - investing in people, not projects, and doing whatever I can to bring about a new era of unity and joined prosperity for all Memphians. That is why we are calling our campaign "One Memphis;" The fact is we are already one Memphis. The question is whether we will choose to succeed or fail as one.

I feel that I can speak with some credibility on this as I have deliberately built a reputation over the course of my life as uniter and consensus-builder. Before I entered politics, I was a public defender, private attorney, and Director of Memphis Area Legal Services. I was elected with over 60% of the vote in 2002 when I ran for County Mayor and was returned to office with 77% of the vote in 2006. My proudest achievements have come when I have helped the most vulnerable and least advantaged among us, as when I expanded our Head Start programming for children and initated the Jericho Project to treat our mentally ill prison population, and when I have have opened up government to new voices and viewpoints from throughout the entire community; Sustainable Shelby, our community's first comprehensive smart growth plan, and my Congress On Crime last year are two examples. This is a process that I look forward to continuing and expanding as City Mayor.

5) Given we live in one of the most poverty-stricken cities in the country, how can you as Mayor work to overcome that?

I take some credit for recruiting some of the largest corporations to Memphis, including Medtronic and International Paper. Aggressively identifying and recruiting these kind of massive job creators by selling our city's virtues nationwide will continue to be a major priority of mine. I will also create a Memphis Economic Development Advisory Committee which will coordinate ALL of our City's economic development and recruitment efforts for the first time.

I will comprehensively reform MATA so that it serves as the best possible public transit system to connect employable individuals with job centers.

While major corporations are vital to our city's growth, increasing opportunities for minority-owned and small businesses are equally important. Ten successful small businesses have the same economic impact as one FedEx. I will do as much as I can to increase contracting opportunities for minority-businesses and use targeted incentives to lure companies and create jobs in parts of the city where they are needed the most. As part of a more comprehensive Great Neighborhoods Initiative, I will make sure that all individuals, Community Development Corporations, and community groups across the city have access to workshops and other resources to stimulate growth within neighborhood-based commercial districts

6) Lastly, if elected, would you run for a full term in 2011?

A C Wharton. One Memphis

I'll talk about Jim Cooper later, I want to talk about Roman Polanski now

I know he's a great director, I've seen his work. You need not tell me that.

Since 1977, he has been a fugitive from the United States, where in 1977 he is alleged to have given a 13-year-old girl (you're a girl at 13, even if you have the body of a woman at that point) drugs, then had sex with her. Ok then.

I can only presume that since he has avoided the USA like the plague since that time, there is a reasonable chance that he may be guilty, call it a hunch. It may have been a surprise that he was arrested in Switzerland, given how much time he has spent there over the last 32 years, but he IS a fugitive.

I am for his extradition, regardless of the hue and cry of the film community. Statutory rape is statutory rape, and given that the victim was 13 at the time, it borders seriously on child rape. Let him face an American court, let him face his accuser, let the chips fall where they may.

No one is supposed to be above the law, no matter what they have accomplished, and it seems to be something all of us have forgotten, given that Ken Lay did not die in prison, and that many who perpetrated the pillaging of the worldwide financial system are still in their old jobs.

Great director that he is, he is not above the law; he must come back and face these charges. If his victim feels compelled to speak either for or against him, let her speak if she chooses.

We waited until Byron De La Beckwith was near death, but we put the sonofabitch in jail. I don't care if he's 76; if Roman Polanski is found guilty, then he needs to go as well.

There will be other directors; there already are plenty of them out there.

UPDATE: Thanks to Wintermute for sending this Eugene Robinson column on Polanski.

I know where I'll be at 11 AM Saturday!!!!!

The ASU-Iowa game is the national game this Saturday morning at 11 AM on ESPN2 (digital 24, HD 856 on Comcast) and I will be watching. This is awesome!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Commissioner Vasco Smith has passed away.

Former County Commissioner Vasco Smith has passed away, it was announced moments ago at a County Commission meeting. Smith, who served 21 years on the Commission, was a giant in the civil rights movement, along with his wife, longtime School Board commissioner Maxine Smith.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Smith family and the legion of friends and admirers of this civil rights warrior.

Congratulations to Regina Morrison Newman!!!!!!

Per Commissioner Mike Carpenter, she has been elected by the Commission to succeed the late Paul Mattila as County Trustee. She is a terrific choice and the Cracker heartily salutes the Commission for making a great call!

Hey! Listened to LIBERADIO lately?

Miss the live broadcast the morning? Listen to the podcast! Here's what they have today:

Part 1 Mary prepares to unleash (ha!) the congressman Barney Frank on Halloween households all across American and if you think that’s scary, what until you hear what Republican State Senator Ron Ramsey wants to do to fair elections in Tennessee. Plus, Mary and Freddie try to understand just what, exactly, Ben Trippett and Accountability Now PAC have uncovered about Coop. [22.62MB download mp3]

Part 2 Reginald Coopwood, M.D., CEO of the Nashville Hospital Authority tells us about their health facilities, the best-kept secret in Nashville, and Karl Frisch does his best Elbert Ventura impression in the next generation of the Media Matters for America Smackdown. Plus, President Obama’s foreign policy has all but isolated Iran from the world community. So why is the right-wing still calling him a surrender monkey? [22.62MB download mp3]

From the Drinking Liberally email - AC WHARTON comes to DL this Wednesday!

In our continuing series of mayoral candidate visits, AC Wharton will appear at Drinking Liberally this coming Wednesday night, arriving in the 7:45-8Pm time, and staying to talk to us and answer your questions.

Come on out to RP Billiards at 525 South Highland THIS Wednesday night; we start at 7 PM and go until we're tired!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Your Mayoral Candidates for 2009, since Early voting starts today, and my comments on each.

LEO AWGOWHAT - He may not even be real.
- I have no idea who he is or why he's running.
- Will finish in the top 4, one of my finalists, more later.
CAROL CHUMNEY- Will finish in the top 4, one of my finalists, more later.
- This man has stories; doesn't mean he should be Mayor.
- If he ran under his birth name, would do better because people would have a better idea of him. There should be a place for him in government somewhere.
- She ran simply because she could without losing her seat. That is not necessarily a reason to support her decision.
- Another perennial.
- We tend to forget that Mongo has been in our midst since 1978, when he finished a stunning fourth in the County Mayor's race, edging out then-Whitehaven City Councilor Ed McBrayer. His people were the swing voters in 1991, when even I voted for him (first, last and only time). Now, he is an afterthought.
- A beauty salon owner.
- ?
- At one time, this man could have been Mayor, I think. He's had a horrible year, and I don't really understand why he filed, but I wish him nothing but peace and good thoughts.
JERRY LAWLER - I don't think he will do as well as he did in 1999, but I do want to say this about him: I absolutely believe he is sincere when he talks about his love for this city and his desire to turn it around. Believe it or not, this man is probably Memphis' most well-known living resident these days; do you know any other Memphian who is on national television every week? I just don't believe that he has the skills necessary to be the Mayor of Memphis.
- Will finish in the top 4, one of my finalists, more later.
DETRIC W. STIGALL He's putting up signs in Whitehaven, but I know little about him.
SILKY SULLIVAN - one of our most beloved saloonkeepers, he is fun. Mayor? Not likely.
DAVID W. VINCIARELLI - Why not? He's run for everything else.
- V-Cubed, baby!
MARY TAYLOR-SHELBY WRIGHT - our new Willie Jacox.
- Bless her heart, she means well.
- I like this man, he's a hell-raiser at heart, which to me means that I want him to run, not for Mayor, but for City Council in two years. He's also for single-source funding, which is of the good, but against consolidation, which is not so good.
A C WHARTON, JR.- Will finish in the top 4, one of my finalists, more later.
JOHN WILLINGHAM - another person with great ideas, but like so many idea people, they lack the skills necessary to take them to fruition. He was a better-than-expected County Commissioner, and he would be terrific as a legislator. An executive? I'm not sure.

Ok then so here we are with our four finalists, but I'm not putting them in a swimsuit competition.

In reverse order of how I think they will finish, I present:

CHARLES CARPENTER - I am examining him more, because he has been on the periphery of Willie Herenton, yet seems to be trying to distance himself from Herenton. He does have a solid knowledge of city government, as he was our bond lawyer. (Need to ask him, among others, why we lost a floor of the FedExForum garage.)

MYRON LOWERY - If you put a gun to my head and told me to vote right now, I would vote to keep Myron. Why? He is trying to walk the tightrope between cleaning out City Hall and not pissing off the whole town, which is far more difficult than it sounds. He has made missteps, to be sure, but he has had a good balance so far, and I think the whole Dalai Lama situation was overblown beyond all recognition; Myron got a bum rap for that, and it wasn't right.

CAROL CHUMNEY - So why NOT Carol? It's still possible, but my gut says it's not likely. She was arguably the city's best legislator in Nashville from 1991-2003, her toughness and bull-doggedness earned her respect, along with some enmity, from her colleagues. She had as much to do with killing the Tiny Towns legislation as Mayor Herenton did, and it still irks me to hear him take all the credit for it. Without Carol carrying the water, we would have been sunk.

Being an executive, however, is a different matter entirely, and it seems to me that people don't necessarily want a fighter in the Mayor's office; they HAD that for 18 years and he fought with everybody, and not necessarily in the city's best interest. While I know Carol has the city's best interest at heart, people are tired of fighting, they want someone who can get the job done with as little conflict as possible. When I hear her, when I see her, I think: legislator. I suspect others do, too, and wish she were still legislating somewhere.

I am truly torn about Carol, because I have never NOT supported her in an election, but this time, I'm just not sure.

Which brings us to .....
A C WHARTON, JR. - When we discuss probabilities, not merely possibilities, I suspect we will wake up on October 16 to learn that the County Mayor is now the City Mayor. Compared to Herenton, Wharton is a dish of soothing ice cream, which is what the city is desperate for after drinking vinegar for the better part of 18 years.

My contrarian nature suggests, however, that what we want is not always what we need. If Carol will clean out City Hall no matter the cost, AC will soothe every one, no matter if City Hall is cleaned out or not. (Note - I think Myron can do that with less damage, and is in the middle ground here.)

I like AC - hell, what's not to like? I confess to having a bias, though, having been through the 2002 County Mayor primary where he beat Carol like Sherman did Georgia, which had more to do with him than her. AC was smart enough, for this race, to enlist the backbone of the local Obama campaign, Kerry Hayes and Nika Jackson, and it has paid off handsomely.

So why not AC? He has, since 2002, been part of County government, which for all intents and purposes has been run by the same people since 1978, with Bobby Lanier in the background. It really didn't matter who was County Mayor, Bill Morris, Jim Rout, AC, Bobby, IMO, has run the show. So, I am not so convinced that AC is willing to burn his political capital to do what needs to be done.

As a dear friend of mine, as has said, "It's real easy to be popular when you're never willing to take a stand that will piss off anyone." Running against AC has become like running against Mom and Apple Pie, which has put everyone in a tough spot here. Even when you CAN make a serious charge, no one seems to believe it, or care whether it was true or not.

So, he leads.

That doesn't mean I'm ready to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, I will probably vote Election Day rather than early vote, which I have done only once in the last decade (November 2006).

There's still time to sway me, folks, but time is running out. Flame away.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Shameless Plug for ClanJamFry for FGF

Here are our friends from Jackson (and Orlando), Legacy, who are performing tomorrow at ClanJamFry, the Memphis Scottish Festival, which is taking place at Evergreen Presbyterian Church from 10 AM-5 PM tomorrow. Joining them will be Memphis' own Sallymacs.

For more on this Celtic weekend in Memphis, check out our companion blog, Celtic Craichead; now sit back and enjoy Legacy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

REMINDER: B.A.D. Picnic September 26

I gotta say, the SCDP is as active as I've seen it in years, props to Van Turner, Lexie Carter, and the ExecCom for being so visible in a (normally) non-election year.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Heads up! Carol Chumney to visit Drinking Liberally this week

From the DL email list:

Mayoral Candidate Carol Chumney will visit Drinking Liberally this Wednesday night between 7 and 9 PM at RP Billiards, 525 South Highland in our Mayoral Candidate series. Come on out to meet Carol and ask her questions about her vision for the City.

Meet Adrienne Pakis-Gillon TONIGHT and help her beat Kelsey!

Fox Ridge Pizza
1769 N Germantown Parkway in Cordova
DATE: 9/22/09
TIME: 6:00PM—8:00PM
Join us for a fundraiser to support Adrienne Pakis-Gillon’s campaign for District 31 Tennessee State Senate! The suggested donation is $25.00; checks should be made out to “Friends of Adrienne Pakis-Gillon.”
Host Committee

Ron Williams, treasurer
Barbara Williams
Jim and Kathy Farris
Dick and Mickey Klenz
Vicky Lyons
Judy and Fred Palmer
Nancy Kuhn
Jeanette and Bob Warren
Mike and Candi Schoenberger
Dwayne Thompson
Dave and Diane Cambron

Monday, September 21, 2009

Oh, the humanity!

From Janetta via Andrew Sullivan:

U.S. Condemned For Pre-Emptive Use Of Hillary Clinton Against Pakistan
OCTOBER 15, 2009
Pursuant to Sec. 2-6-103, Tennessee Code Annotated, notice is hereby given by the Shelby County Election Commission of unrestricted early voting for the October 15, 2009, Special State Primaries and Municipal Elections as follows:
Site Locations, Dates and Times

Beginning Friday, September 25, 2009 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Saturday: September 26, 2009, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday, September 28 - Friday, October 2, 2009, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Saturday: October 3, 2009, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday, October 5 -Friday, October 9, 2009, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Last Day: Saturday, October 10, 2009, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Satellite Sites

Beginning Friday, September 25, 2009 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Saturday: September 26, 2009, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday, September 28 - Friday, October 2, 2009, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Saturday: October 3, 2009, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday, October 5 -Friday, October 9, 2009, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Last Day: Saturday, October 10, 2009, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Agri Center (Rotunda Hallway) 7777 Walnut Grove Rd., 38120
Anointed Temple Of PraiseYouth Room) 3939 Riverdale Rd., 38141
Bethel Church 5586 Stage Rd., 38134
Bishop Byrne High School 1475 E. Shelby Dr., 38116
Dave Wells Community Center 915 Chelsea Ave., 38107
New Bethel Baptist Church - Family Life Center 7786 Poplar Pike, 38138
Pyramid Recovery Center 1833 S. Third St., 38109
Raleigh United Methodist Church 3295 Powers Rd., 38128
Riverside Baptist Church 3560 S. Third St., 38109
Shiloh Baptist Church 3121 Range Line Rd., 38127
White Station Church of Christ 1106 Colonial Rd., 38117

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Interesting night in the Boro

The Mayor's race, frankly, appears to be over, barring an unforeseen incident, so let's talk about the Democratic primary for Governor for a minute.

The Rutherford County Democratic Party held a straw poll in Murfreesboro last night at their inaugural Grow Tennessee dinner. The results?

1. Sen. Roy Herron - 119
2. Sen. Jim Kyle - 81
3. Kim McMillan - 58
4. Mike McWherter - 32
5. Ward Cammack - 13
6. Undecided - 12

1) Roy Herron seems to be out-organizing the field at the moment. He had LOTS of volunteers at Jackson Day, and he seems to be making inroads with Democratic activists in the state.
2) Jim Kyle has only been in the race for two months, and he's already ahead of everyone but Herron, who has been in several months longer.
3) Kim McMillan's showing was better than I expected; if she could only raise more money, she could be a player.
4) Ward Cammack's campaign is over, but he seems to be the only one who doesn't realize it.
5) Mike McWherter is a good and decent man, with a helluva good campaign staff, but, let me say this in the nicest possible way: HE'S NOT NED RAY. NO ONE IS.

I can see Herron contiuing to do well in the rural areas, but he will get bupkis in Shelby County; only McWherter, if any one, can make a dent in the lockdown Jim Kyle has achieved here in a short period of time. Kyle's great showing in the Boro will cause others outside Big Shelby to take another look at him.

Now, The Boro is in the fifth most populous county in Tennessee, so this is a significant showing for Roy, and suggests the Battle of Weakley County will not be going away any time soon.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mary Travers, 1936-2009

OK, confession time. Yes, I've always been a DFH policy-wise, but, until I started listening to Celtic music in the mid-90s, I HATED folk music with a purple passion. The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul & Mary, pretty much all of it until I listened to Celtic music. I was raised on Motown, the Beatles and the Stones, thanks to the late great 89, WLS Chicago.

And still, other than Leaving on a Jet Plane, I never really cared for the music of Peter, Paul and Mary. However, I understand what they have meant to those who believe as we do and who are of a certain age (harumph!)

And so, I mourn the passing of Mary Travers, who passed away today at the age of 72. She was a talented singer and Lauren grew up with her music as well and loved it.

She stood up with her bandmates against the Vietnam War long before it was fashionable to do so, and her courage, as well as her singing, will long be remembered.

Today, it's official, Deidre Malone for County Mayor!

Text Box:


WHAT& WHEN: Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone Launches Campaign for Shelby County Mayor

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

News Conference 11am

777 Cella Street

Memphis, TN 38114

Campaign Event 5:30pm- 7:30pm

Holiday Inn- University of Memphis

3700 Central Avenue

Memphis, TN 38111


Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone will officially launch her campaign for Shelby County Mayor on Wednesday, September 16th. Malone

has scheduled a news conference at 11a.m. at 777 Cella Street to share her intentions with the media to seek the office of mayor.

At 5:30 p.m., Malone will meet with Friends of Deidre Malone at a fundraising event at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave.

Malone is a two-term county commissioner, who has served in various leadership roles on the commission and in the community. She is a past

chairman of the commission, former budget chairman and has held leadership positions in the areas of education, housing and economic


Malone currently serves on the board of directors for the Memphis Housing Authority, Tennessee Work Force Development Board, Circle of Success

Learning Academy, and The Levitt Shell.

For more information contact The Carter Malone Group at 901.278.0881.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cooper-Young Festival this Saturday

With many thanks to Wintermute for the code:

The 2009 Cooper-Young Festival is this Saturday, September 19, 9am-7pm. Here's the poster (click to embiggen), and the schedule is below that:

East12:30:00 PMOrgan Thief
East1:30:00 PMRyan Peel
East2:30:00 PMGood Luck Darkstar
East3:30:00 PMStreetside Symphony
East4:30:00 PMBullet Proof Vests

Congo12:15:00 PMThe Will Tucker Band
Congo1:15:00 PMGroundspeak
Congo2:15:00 PMValencia Robinson
Congo3:15:00 PMTwo Mule Plow
Congo4:15:00 PMQueens of Zion

Main11:30:00 PMRhythm Realm
Main12:15:00 PMU of M Jazz band
Main1:15:00 PMRiver City Tanlines
Main2:15:00 PMTonya Dyson
Main3:15:00 PMDarrel Petties and Strength
Main4:15:00 PMSusan Marshall
Main5:15:00 PM
The Iguanas

We're Number 37!!!!

Hat tip to Ken Neill and Smart City for this. Just think, if Congress passes a health-care bill without a public option, we might make it all the way up to....33?

Lee Winchester and I have come to the same conclusion

And that is that Danny Kail is the best possible choice for Probate Court Clerk in the May 2010 Democratic Primary (not to mention in August 2010 as well).

I have known Danny for well over 25 years, as he has worked for the IBEW and for Shelby County. He understands the role of Probate Court Clerk well and would streamline the office. He has been on the SCDP ExecCom and has been a loyal Democrat as long as I have known him, so I hope that you will agree and support Danny Kail for Probate Court Clerk.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I know its early, but.....

Steve and Steve may disagree with me. I may cost myself a friendship or two. But, you want to know who I am going to vote for for mayor?

I'll tell you. Its Myron Lowery. And he doesn't have a shot in hell of winning due to an effective smear campaign that he isn't one of us in Whitehaven.

In the short period of time he has been the temporary Mayor, Myron has gone after the Herenton cronies and done a lot of the things that those of us who oppose Herenton wish that we could believe that AC would do, but know that AC's desire to be liked prevents him from doing. Myron won't win because the Herentonites in Whitehaven and the surrounding areas will support Cleveland Brown, er, I mean Charles Carpenter, and AC. Chumney's campaign is similar to Myron's and will splinter off the white vote that could have put Myron over the top.

Now I admit, Myron was played like a sucka by Willie in the whole resignation debacle. However, I thought then and still do now that Myron did what he had to do by setting up a transition team and making himself look Mayoral so that he could have a good shot at winning.

Here'e to you Myron. I raise my glass to your ultimately unsuccessful try at Mayor.

It sure wasn't pretty, and it may get worse

Since Lauren was feeling too poorly to make our annual trip to Jackson for CelticFest Mississippi this weekend, I got to see lots and lots of college football (more than I think she realized I would watch).

And the annual weak start by the Memphis Tigers is in full bloom (or full wilt?) with a stinker of a performance at Murfreesboro against MTSU, losing 31-14 (the second TD came very late). This, of course, triggered lots of commenters stating enough was enough, and that Tommy West should be fired. Although West is known for complaining (with some justification) that the football facilities are inadequate compared to their C-USA sister schools, I would be remiss if I failed to note that Houston, who has even worse facilities than we do, marched into Stillwater, OK on Saturday and stunned #6 Oklahoma State, 45-35.

I am of the opinion that Tommy has taken this program as far as he can; however, given the fact that the facilities aren't really that good, what quality coach would come to Memphis? Seriously, who would come here, and if they were good, who would STAY?

The U of M administration from Shirley Raines on down needs to, as my late grandfather would say, piss or get off the pot. In order for Memphis to have a quality program, that means they have to make the same, or better, commitment to football that they do men's hoops. It means new practice facilities, new weight room, and well, (don't faint, Mrs. Green) maybe an on-campus stadium.

What changed my mind on the on-campus stadium? Go check out TCF Bank Stadium, a new, open-air 50,000 seat beauty in downtown Minneapolis, on the campus of the University of Minnesota. It has everything we would need, and I believe the footprint would be small enough to fit on campus, and it would dazzle recruits. You put something like that on campus, you'll get the right coach who could recruit the right players, and it just might be the thing that gets us in the Big East and the BCS.

If Dr. Raines and RC Johnson (who ought to be sacked in any event) are not willing to make that kind of financial commitment to football, then let's just stop half-assing it and drop the program altogether. We have hit a plateau, and now seem to be losing ground. No one wants to go back to the era when Tiger football was a joke, it either needs to move to the next level, or disappear.

For those of you working behind the scenes to get U of M into a BCS league, go check out TCF Bank Stadium, and see if you can't create a reasonable facsimile and build it. If not, then let's get out and find a basketball league for the Tigers, because people are tired of mediocrity. Do it right, folks, or not at all.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Carol Chumney to have HQ Grand Opening

VOTE October 15th
Early Vote Sept. 25 - Oct. 10, 2009
Grand Opening Carol Chumney for Mayor
Headquarters: 3179 Poplar Ave.
(across the street from East High School)
Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 3:00 P.M.
Phone: 901-454-4055
Contribute on the campaign website
or mail your check to:
Carol Chumney for Mayor
P.O. Box 770537
Memphis, TN 38177-0537
Paid for by Carol Chumney for Mayor, Carol Chumney, Treasurer

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


In addition to being Memphis' most delightful yet irritating blogger, I am also a co-host of Drinking Liberally Memphis, found every Wednesday evening from 7-9 PM at RP Billiards, at 525 South Highland on the Strip.

We are inviting all filed and confirmed candidates to come to DL and make a presentation during the next few Wednesdays. We will have 30-minute slots available for you to speak and answer questions, and we are extending the time to 10 PM for these next few weeks so that we may accommodate as many of you as we are able. The dates are September 16, 23, 30, October 7 and 14. The slots are 7:30-8, 8-8:30, 8:30-9, 9-9:30 and 9:30-10 PM.

These slots will be given on A FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS, so please respond to sjs1959 at gmail dot com in order to insure your slot; ties will be determined by the time stamp on the email response.

We will absolutely promote this, and you may bring supporters with you, so come on out.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Very sad news to report

Shelby County Trustee Paul Mattila has lost his battle with lung cancer at the age of 65. He succeeded his old boss, Bob Patterson, after he passed away last year.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his colleagues in the Trustee's office; he will be missed.

Not to be out done, here's new info from Mayor Lowery


You are invited to the opening of the
Myron for Mayor Campaign Headquarters.
Saturday, Sept. 5th
1pm - 3pm
3254 Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN 38116
Call us at (901) 396-3222 or (901) 396-3020

Citizens have elected Myron Lowery 6 times to serve our city; 5 consecutive times as a member of the City Council, where he served as Chairman twice and once as a member of the Memphis Charter Commission where he also was selected as Chairman. All of his recommended charter changes were approved by voters last year. As Mayor Pro Tem, Myron has set a new standard of transparency in local government by releasing previously sealed records and his attempts to reduce the millions in legal fees Memphis pays annually. His efforts to fight crime, in addition to cleaning up our city, as well as introducing the National League of Cities Prescription Drug Card will save our citizens thousands of dollars while improving our quality of life. To learn more about what Myron has done visit or visit his web site To obtain campaign literature or a sign, stop by our headquarters:

Myron For Mayor, 3254 Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN 38116
Call us at (901) 396-3222 or (901) 396-3020

Make an investment in good government by sending your contribution to:
The Lowery Campaign, P.O. Box 3560, Memphis, TN 38173

He's already doing what others are only promising to do!

New information from the Halbert and Whalum campaigns

Then, Rev. Kenneth Trigg Whalum has a campaign video out:

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Festival Schedule is UP, come on out this weekend!

- Show quoted text -

The Memphis Music & Heritage Festival, produced by the Center for Southern Folklore, begins at 11 AM on September 5. for more information, visit our website.


View by music genre. View stage map.

Saturday, September 5th, 2009 Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Verizon Wireless Stage
Main St.@ Peabody Place Ave.
2:00 p.m. Ghost Town Blues Band Blues
3:00 p.m. Smoochy Smith & Hooch Rockabilly
4:00 p.m. Devil Train Bluegrass Jam Band
5:00 p.m. Sweet Angel R&B
6:00 p.m. The Bo-Keys Funk, Soul
7:00 p.m. Los Cantadores Latin
8:00 p.m. Elmo & The Shades R&B, Blues
9:00 p.m. The Brown Singers Gospel
10:00 pm. Bobby Rush Soul, R&B

ArtsMemphis Stage
On Peabody Place at Gayoso Lane
11:15 a.m. Dandelion & The Raindrops
Music for the Family
11:45 p.m. Watoto Memphis Dancers
12:30 p.m. New Ballet
1:00 p.m. Elaine Blanchard-Voices of
the South
Children's Storytelling
1:30 p.m. Chinese Dance & Martial Arts
2:00 p.m. Desert Rose Dancers Belly Dancers
2:30 p.m. Kenneth Jackson Basically Blues
3:00 p.m. Watoto Memphis Dancers
3:45 p.m. The Tennessee Boltsmokers Bluegrass
5:00 p.m. Johnny Yancey & The Sanctuary Jazz
Big Band

5:45 p.m. The Millennium Maddness Fancy
Trick Drill & Drum Show Team

6:00 p.m. Currie Williams My Stories and My Art
6:30 p.m. Last Chance Jug Band
7:30 p.m. Barbara Blue Blues
8:30 p.m. Jack Oblivian & The Tearjerkers
Indie Rock
9:30 p.m. Amy LaVere Indie Folk Rock

Folklore Store Stage
12:15 p.m. David Bowen Guitar & Memphis
Music Workshop

2:15 p.m. Mary Unobsky & Kim Richardson
Songwriting Workshop
3:15 p.m. Tori Norton Folk
4:15 p.m. Roy Harper Country
5:15 p.m. Kim Richardson Folk
6:15 p.m. Slidin' Clyde Roulette Blues
7:15 p.m. Paul Taylor Psychedelic Folk & Funk
8:15 p.m. Sidney, Cidney, Sidney R&B, Jazz
9:15 p.m. William Lee Ellis Blues
10:15 p.m. Hope Clayburn & Soul Scrimmage
Jazz Funk Fusion

Folklore Hall Stage
12:45 p.m. Los Cantadores Trio Mariachi
1:45 p.m. Greg Hisky &
His Whisky Dixie Flyers Rockabilly
2:45 p.m. The Jumpin' Chi Chis Jazz
3:45 p.m. The Annointed Cowans Singers

4:45 p.m. Chris Parker & Kelley Hurt Jazz
5:45 p.m. Grassfire Bluegrass
6:45 p.m. The Sensational Six Gospel
7:45 p.m. Eddie Bond Country
8:45 p.m. Joyce Cobb & Hot Fun
Jazz Rock & Blues

Comcast Gayoso Stage
Main St @ Gayoso Avenue
1:30 p.m. Mr. White DJ Set
2:30 p.m. Deborah Swiney Jazz & Blues
3:30 p.m. Agitators Blues
4:30 p.m. Tempeh Four Jazz Funk Jam Band
5:30 p.m. The Moments of Joy Gospel
6:30 p.m. John Paul Keith &
The One Four Five's Indie Country
7:30 p.m. Victor Wainwright Blues & Boogie
8:30 p.m. Al Kapone Rap

9:30 p.m. Exodus Reggae

Trolley Stop Cooking Stage
12:00 p.m Mary Kirkpatrick Fried Pies
12:45 p.m.Sharon Fernandes, Stonehouse 27
Curried Okra & Indian Sauces
1:30 p.m. Uele Siebert, Groovy Food s Granola
2:15 p.m. John Bragg , Circa Crawfish Beignets
3:00 p.m. Christopher Ruess, Mississippi Mud
Coffee Roasting and Brewing
3:45 p.m. TBA
4:30 p.m. Michael Patrick, Mesquite Grill
Smoked TN Trout

5:15 p.m. UT Medical Healthy Habits in Diet
6:00 p.m. Ella Kizzie Hot Water Cornbread
6:45 p.m. Hattie Childress Chow Chow
7:30 p.m. Karen Febles, Tim's Family Farms

Verizon Wireless Stage
Main St.@ Peabody Place Ave.
2:00 p.m. The Golden Keys Gospel
3:00 p.m. Delta Highway Blues
4:00 p.m. Billy Lavender with Brad
Webb & The Pocket Rockets Blues
5:00 p.m. Sonny Burgess & the Pacers
6:00 p.m. Giant Bear Orchestral Funkabilly
7:00 p.m. The Mellowtones Gospel
8:00 p.m. Blind Mississippi Morris Blues
9:00 p.m. Jason D. Williams Rockabilly/Boogie
10:15 p.m. Darrel Petties & SIP Gospel

ArtsMemphis Stage
On Peabody Place at Gayoso Lane
11:15 a.m. Music for Aardvarks Memphis
Memphis Music for the Family

12:00 p.m. Watoto Memphis Dancers
12:45 p.m. New Ballet
1:15 p.m. Currie Williams My Stories and My Art
1:30 p.m. Randal Morton Banjo Workshop
2:00 p.m. Edward Oluokun Yoruba Drumming
2:30 p.m. Pyramid Dancers Belly Dancing
3:00 p.m. Watoto Memphis Dancers
4:00 p.m. Two Way Radio Indie Rock
5:00 p.m. Mark "The Muleman" Massey Blues
6:00 p.m. Singing Southern Jubilees Gospel
6:45 p.m. Sunshine and Ladia Yates Jookin'
7:15 p.m. Fitz's Ultimate Cooking Hookers
Music That Smells Good
8:15 p.m. The Papa Tops West Coast
Turn Around Country
9:15 p.m. Tonya Dyson & Green Onions Soul

Folklore Store Stage
1:15 p.m. Hattie Childress Quilt Making
2:15 p.m. Joe Scott Baseball Stories
3:15 p.m. Roy Harper Country
4:15 p.m. David Evans Jug Band Workshop
5:15 p.m. Dan Montgomery Trio Rock
6:15 p.m. Niko Lyras & Vicki Loveland Jazz
7:15 p.m. Super Chikan Blues
8:15 p.m. Ms Nickki & the Soul Survivors Blues
9:15 p.m. Valerie June Trio Folk

Folklore Hall Stage
12:45 p.m. Los Cantadores Trio Mariachi
1:45 p.m. Nancy Apple Country
2:45 p.m. Promise Jazz
3:45 p.m. Memphis Klezmer Allstars
4:45 p.m. Dani Rock
5:45 p.m. Gary Topper Trio Jazz
6:45 p.m. Lisa Lambert & The Pine Ridge Boys
7:45 p.m. Orange Mound Jazz Messengers

8:45 p.m. Kate Campbell Folk

Comcast Gayoso Stage
Main St @ Gayoso Avenue
1:30 p.m. Mr. White DJ Set
2:30 p.m. JD Reager & The Cold-Blooded Three Indie Rock
3:30 p.m. Charles Johnson & Kwest
Jazz Gospel

4:30 p.m. Gospel Jubilees Gospel
5:30 p.m. Will Graves Neo-Soul
6:30 p.m. Bluff City Backsliders Jug Band
7:30 p.m. FreeWorld featuring Dr. Herman Green
Jam Rock & Funk Band
8:30 p.m. Susan Marshall Jazz, Rock & Blues
9:30 p.m. The Daddy Mack Blues Band

Trolley Stop Cooking Stage
12:45p.m. Nickson Vu
Traditional Hmong Home Cooking

1:30 p.m. Thomas Sit, Sr. Chinese Fried Rice
2:15 p.m. Mary Kirkpatrick Fried Pies
3:00 p.m. Karen Febles, Tim's Family Farms
Fresh Salsa
3:45 p.m. UT Medical Healthy Habits in Diet
4:30 p.m. Claudia Thompson Choctaw Fry Bread
5:15 p.m. Deanna Lubin Bread Making
6:00 p.m. Christopher Ruess, Mississippi Mud
Coffee Roasting and Brewing
6:45 p.m. Suzanne Powers, Delta Pecans
Pecan Roasting Techniques
7:30 p.m. Ella Kizzie Peach Cobbler

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Anna Belle Clement O'Brien, 1923-2009

Miss Anna Belle, as she was known by all who knew and loved her around the state, passed away last night at UT Medical Center in Knoxville. She had fallen two weeks ago at her home in Crossville, and was taken to UT for treatment.

The sister of former Governor Frank G. Clement, she was a political force in her own right, having served in the state House and in the Senate from 1976 to 1996 representing much of the Upper Cumberland Plateau. She was also a candidate for Governor in 1982, losing a primary fight to Randy Tyree. I voted for her then, and I still believe she was the better candidate.

She was also the aunt of former Congressman Bob Clement, and our own Sara Kyle. Our thoughts go out to her family, friends, and the Tennessee Federation of Democratic Women, for whom she served as a member, mentor, friend and leader.

She will be deeply missed.