Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jim Kyle Fundraiser for tomorrow night

REMINDER - Fundraiser for the Danny Kail campaign for Probate Court Clerk

As I support him, I thought I would pass this on!

Elect Danny W. Kail

The most qualified candidate


Shelby County Probate Court Clerk

Join us for a reception to raise funds

For the Probate Court Clerk 2010 Campaign

Thursday Oct. 29, 2009

5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Hosted by

Pari Motamedi

Earnest Fiveash and the

Committee to elect Danny Kail

Join us at

200 Wagner Pl

Memphis, TN 38103


Suggested Donation- $100

Contribution of all Sizes Accepted

Please make checks payable to

Danny Kail for Probate Court Clerk

Mailing address 50 Gayoso #102

Memphis, TN 38103

4, 117

That's how many people went to the Liberty Bowl last night, and, no, I was NOT among them.

I was going to do another post on the sad state of U of M football, but Geoff Calkins says it better than I can, so go read him here. H/T to callmeishmael!

Monday, October 26, 2009

GoldnI asks the right question:

Where do the gubernatorial candidates stand on Opting Out of the Public Option? Like it or notm, that's now a question that all of them will be asked, and they had better answer it properly.

Note to Democrats: remember, you are in a PRIMARY!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adrienne needs OUR help!

Folks, this is not just a critical race for Senate 31, it is a WINNABLE race. That said, let me turn this post over to the campaign....

Adrienne Pakis-Gillon

Neighbors and Friends,
Thank you for all your support in the Primary Election. Adrienne is now the official Democratic nominee for State Senate in District 31, and we are that much closer to bringing common sense back to Nashville.
The primary results put Adrienne less than 900 votes behind her opponent. A win is just over the horizon, and but we need your help to get there.
Today, there are at least two ways to help Adrienne bring common sense and care back to Nashville.
1) Volunteer. Join Adrienne this weekend in Germantown to get the word out about her caring campaign. We have been having a great time meeting people and the response to our message has been very positive.
Meet us on Saturday at 11:00am or Sunday at 1:00pm at the Germantown Performing Arts Center. We need you to help let everyone in Germantown know about our goals for a better community. Reply to this email or message Barbara Williams so we can have shirts and plans ready for you.
2) Contribute. We need your investment to ensure Adrienne's victory. Despite having a financial advantage of almost 20 to 1, Adrienne's opponent was only able to secure a small number of additional votes. A contribution of just $5 can buy 50 informational cards. A larger contribution helps us spread the message even more.


We're all in this together. Let's make another charge today.
On twitter @voteadrienne

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Somewhere in this city, Carol Chumney must be shaking her head and laughing

Why, you may ask? Well, it seems that The Med is threatening to close its Emergency Room (but NOT the Elvis Presley Trauma Center) if it fails to get $32 Million in needed funding. Mayor Wharton says that he will keep a focus on The Med even after he becomes Mayor of the city in a few days.

That's all well and good, and I'm glad he is, but is it not true that responsibility for The Med falls under the County, not the City, meaning he has more control over it with the job he is leaving compared to the job he is taking?

Chumney, of course, mentioned this during the campaign several times, beginning with a September 9 press release, which was pretty much ignored by the media, even me. The question becomes this: Why did no one at The Med bother to mention this BEFORE the Mayoral Election?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller (not THAT ONE)? Well, this will soon be Joyce Avery's problem, as well as the County Commission, while Mayor Wharton just walks across the Mall to his new job, showing all the concern in the world, while not really having the power to do anything about it.

While I'm grousing about Wharton, let me kick it up a notch. Mr. Mayor, why did you not give Steve Ross the courtesy of a vote before the Council on Tuesday? If he loses, he loses, but it's HIS loss, not yours. Let the chips fall where they may. If, as a trial lawyer, you have seen far worse than the brawl between The Punk Joe Brown and Shea Flinn, why did you roll over so quickly?

Do you think The Punk Joe Brown didn't notice? Do you honestly think he won't keep doing this, now that he sees that, despite all of our criticism for his Punkness, he got what he wanted? Prepare to keep getting rolled, Mr. Mayor, they're not as deferential on the west side of the Plaza as they were on the east side, they FIGHT over here.

Sidney Chism was right, you ARE going to have to piss people off and take stands now, or you will be in a quagmire of which you may find difficult to extricate yourself. Welcome to the big leagues, Mayor Wharton.

This is what REAL freedom means

This was in Maine, where they are waging a battle to keep gay marriage. Hat tip to Newscoma and Brittney G!

It's not just Memphis, the whole STATE is on fire over this.

From Mike Byrd and Christian Grantham in Nashville, to Michael Silence of the Knoxville News-Sentinel, to our own Tom Jones at Smart City Memphis, EVERYONE is weighing in on the hosing of Steve Ross by Joe Brown.

Our beloved Newscoma has this down cold, however. Start at her blog by watching the video of Joe Brown go off on Shea Flinn, then follow as she talks about what bloggers DO for their areas, and then read on as she eviscerates Brown with a scalpel, not a bludgeon.

Go read it all now!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Steve Ross is my friend, and I am proud of him.

I am proud of the grace that he showed today when his nomination to the Metro Charter Commission was pulled back by Mayor Wharton due to opposition from At-Large Councilor Joe Brown. He never complained or whined, and he was grateful to be considered.

He never even got a vote because Wharton got the yips at the first sign of trouble. Consensus has its DISadvantages, folks; if Wharton does this every time Joe Brown whines, Joe Brown may as well be Mayor.

I. however, do not pretend that I have the grace or restraint of Steve Ross, so I am pissed off.

Brown was upset about some things Ross had written about him, so he raised hell and tried to provoke a fight with Councilor Shea Flinn, who had supported Steve from the beginning. From the Daily News article, Brown said this to Flinn:

“I’m a real man,” Brown told Flinn at the end of the exchange. “I’m a real black man. I hope you are a real white man.”

Councilor Brown, are you THAT insecure about your manhood? Are you THAT thin-skinned about what Ross wrote? You kept referring to Steve as THAT BLOGGER, never even referring to him by name. Well, I'm a blogger and I'm a man, too, and what you did to Steve Ross was not exactly manly, pal.

Never mind that Ross has written the most though- provoking work this year on the Charter and the changes that need to be made, your manhood was apparently in danger, so you whined like a little girl until Wharton backed down and pulled Steve Ross, and then you didn't even have the guts to vote on Ross' replacement, Richard Smith. At least Janis Fullilove had the intestinal fortitude to stand up for what she believed in when she voted no, but you did nothing.

I don't know about North Memphis, but I know enough about South Memphis and the Mound to know what they would say about that: "You a punk, Joe Brown!". And if I see you out and about, I'll say it to your face.

Joe Brown's pettiness and churlishness didn't just hurt his friends, it hurt the COMMUNITY. Joe Brown disrespected Steve Ross, he disrespected the blogging community, he disrepected the CITY OF MEMPHIS. Richard Smith is a good guy and he will be a solid addition, this is not about him at all, this is about what Steve Ross brought to the table for all of us. Now, he won't have a chance to help shape what this community will be in the future, and it's a damn shame.

And all because Joe Brown is a punk.

Why Are We Failing

We as Americans have an interesting dichotomy. We are expected to help out fellow man, but also expected to do as much for ourselves as possible. We admire those who help the poor, but we don't give more than maybe a weekend or two a year to chip in. We give a couple bucks a week to help out charities, but spend ten to twenty times that eating out at McDonalds. We believe in self reliance, think people should do for themselves, and denigrate those who need help, but as soon as we are in a similar situation, we think nothing of demanding help.

Allegedly, this country was founded on a philosophy that all man are created equal. We have spent decades placing laws that disprove this. We want government to not tell us who to worship and what to own, but we want the government to say who we can marry and what medical procedures we are allowed to have.

This country is still the greatest on Earth for opportunity. But more and more the American Dream is growing out of reach for the vast majority of us. More and more we are skating by, paying the minimum, just hoping to keep working until the next paycheck. The financial crisis of the past two years is extremely telling as the rich have gotten richer, the true middle class (those making in the 60-80k mark with several kids) barely holding on and in many cases shrinking, and the poor getting worse and worse.

Obama was elected not quite a year ago to change this country and so far has failed to do so. Can you blame him? Sure. Can you blame the Blue Dogs? Yeah. Can you blame the moronic fucktards who for the last 30 years have preached the government is evil while working to handicap it and deliberately ensure that it fails while lining their own pockets and those of their friends? Hell Yes!!

That is why America is such a dichotomy. On one hand we hate lawyers, denigrate them, etc. On the other hand, if we don't like something, we sue, we hire someone who can win. Forget environmental law, forget the guy who is overworked at the public defender's office, forget consumer protection. Celebrate personal injury lawyers. Yes, a lot of lawyers do things for the money, but look at the things that they do mostly self funded until the cases are settled and awards are distributed, asbestos, tobacco, car safety, water safety, etc

We love the self made millionaire, but how many people succeed entirely on their own. As Matthew Lesko points out, their is tons of free money out there, you just have to find it, and a lot of people have. People complain about regulations and codes, but forget that those exist to ensure safe buildings and enviroments. People (and I am one of them) complain about the school systems, but move repeatedly to find a "good" school that stays that way or send them to private schools where they don't learn about life and the diversity of this country.

We complain about taxes, but point out to authority figures that we pay their salary. We complain about wasting money on volcano studies, but demand accountability on why a disaster wasn't better forecasted. We wonder why potholes aren't fixed and why roads are bumpy, but get up in arms when a rise in gas taxes means we have to pay another two dollars a week to drive from our suburb to work. We want more cultural entertainment and a good museum system, but never go except when they have Titanic or dinosaurs.

We want to go to the doctor whenever we want, but never go even to have recommended checkups. We think its absurd that airlines would charge plus sized people for 2 seats, but shovel french fries into our mouth. We wonder why there is no cure for AIDS while we pop a pill to give us a boner. We scoff at global warming when the weather is colder now than it was this time last year, but fail to remember it is called climate change. We demand low cost food, and forget about the environmental damage it causes.

Do you wonder why this country is failing? I don't.

Monday, October 19, 2009

From Brad Watkins...

Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking
October 23-25, 2009
Memphis, TN

Final preparations are under way for what is going to be our most engaging conference yet. We have just updated the schedule and added a listing of workshop offerings to the website. The phones are busy fielding calls from as far away as Kenya and Nepal, with peacemakers from all over the world finding ways to make the trip to Memphis to be a part of this important gathering.

Please don't wait a minute longer. Register today to reserve your space in this gathering that will feature....

Speakers: Rev. CT Vivian, lifelong civil rights activist • Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence • Mubarak Awad, Nonviolence International • Barbara Love, United to End Racism • Rudy Balles, PeaceJam Foundation • Michael Nagler, Metta Center

Workshops by: LaOnf, 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, United to End Racism, Community Media Workshop, National War Tax Resistance, the Matrix Center, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Young Spirit Foundation, the Community Nonviolence Resource Center and much more...

Want more than just a conference? The Gandhi-King Convergence: from shared ideas to coordinated action.

The Gandhi-King Convergence is an opportunity for people from across the country and around the world to come together to vision, share ideas and resources, and further our work in a more unified and collaborative way. Participants will form issue-based working groups and engage in a process to share insights and experiences, find ways we can be of support to each other, and to create an action plan for the coming year. Presenters will act as resource agents in this process to provide guidance and support. We will also form a network so that these groups can stay connected and support each other in their common work throughout the year. These working groups will help us dig deeper and turn our knowledge into action!

Registration includes all this PLUS a Friday reception, lunch on Saturday, and the Saturday evening banquet.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wow, it's hard to believe that this happened 33 years ago

With thanks to The Sports Guy, here is a 1976 clip of Fleetwood Mac performing Rhiannon for Feel Good Friday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It was a massacre

The top 6 in votes:

Wharton, 65,491 (59.9%)

Lowery, 19,625 (17.95%)

Chumney, 10,857 (9.9%)

Carpenter, 5,181

Lawler, 4,044

Whalum, 2,094

What can I say other than the margin was higher than I expected, if the outcome was exactly as I expected. Wharton ran a great campaign, running until the last week like a man 20 points down rather than a man 40 points ahead.

So congratulations to Mayor AC Wharton, the new Mayor of Memphis. Big ups to the man who served for an all-too-short period as Mayor Pro Tem, Myron Lowery, who can return to his City Council Chairmanship with the knowledge that he began the cleanup oif City Hall that is so desperately needed. Mayor Wharton, we're watching you to make sure you keep that going.

And, despite the fact that she had to be deeply disappointed in the evening's events, let us all remember that Carol Chumney foresaw an early departure for Dr. Herenton. She wrote a succession plan for the Charter Commission, got their approval and watched it pass. Without that, folks, there's no election and we are all bitching mightily about Mayor Keith McGee. So, Carol, we all owe you a big thank-you for that; it proves you need not be in public office to provide public service.

For the rest? Well, there's always 2011, who knows if a then-67-year-old Wharton will want to come back for another term. As much as lots of tweeters, bloggers and media may throw bricks at me, let me be the first to say this: Reverend Whalum, run for City Council. Seriously.

Now, let's look at the REAL stunner of the night: Senate 31. It was an unopposed primary for both Adrienne Pakis-Gillon and Brian "Stuntbaby of Germantown" Kelsey. Yet, in what is SUPPOSED to be an hugely Republican district, here are the numbers for each:

Kelsey 6595
Pakis-Gillon 5726

859 votes is NOT that much difference, even for a special election. This is a WINNABLE race on December 1, and we ALL need to get behind Adrienne and help her rid us of Kelsey, who has been an embarrassment to this county while in Nashville.

Toward that end, come to Drinking Liberally next Wednesday night from 7-9 PM and meet her and let's help her WIN a Senate seat, one the GOP desperately wants to keep and one we can TAKE!

I was afraid this might happen, can you help?

Dear Planned Parenthood supporter,
We've been targeted once again by anti-choice extremists. Help us send them a message by making a pledge to our Pledge-a-Picket campaign today!
The picket began September 23 and will continue through November 1.
Supporters have pledged $2,800 so far! Please consider making a pledge today. Your contribution supports preventative patient care and education of young people in our community.
Just reply back to this email with your pledge amount and we will send you a pledge reminder once the picket ends!
The volunteers, staff and Board of Directors of PPGMR
Planned Parenthood.
Every woman safe and healthy.
Every child wanted and loved.

Please visit our website at

A Book Signing this Saturday at Davis-Kidd!

Book Signing

Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times, Vol. 1

eds., Sarah Wilkerson Freeman and Beverly Greene Bond

“The authors of these well-researched and gracefully written biographical studies admirably capture the complexities of multi-textured lives of diverse women who were often heroines on their own terms. Sarah Wilkerson Freeman and Beverly Greene Bond have edited an outstanding work, one that makes a major contribution to American women’s history, southern history, and especially the history of Tennessee.” -- Darlene Clark Hine, editor, Black Women in America

Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Inc.

387 Perkins Ext. , Memphis, Tennessee 38117

October 17, 2009, 1:00 PM

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Disturbing news concerning our friends at Planned Parenthood

On Thursday, October 8th, Action News 5 reported that “Planned Parenthood is at the center of controversy after being accused by the Memphis Catholic Diocese of trying to move too close to Memphis Catholic High School.” The Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region, which has been located for more than 30 years at the Mid-Memphis Tower building at 1407 Union Avenue, plans to move to 1750 Madison Avenue sometime in the spring of 2010. The women’s health care provider is being forced to move because its office space on the building’s third floor has been leased to UT Medical Group. After an exhaustive site search, Planned Parenthood’s administration settled on the Madison Professional Building, a six-story office building located at Madison Avenue between Evergreen and Idlewild.

It just so happens that the 1750 Madison Avenue location is a mile closer to Memphis Catholic High School than Planned Parenthood’s current location. While proximity to the Catholic school had nothing to do with the planned move, the Diocese of Memphis is protesting and threatening to mount a petition campaign to block the move. According to the Action News 5 story, Father John Geaney of the Diocese of Memphis said, “Anytime you are educating children we want to be able to make sure they receive what we understand to be the way of the good Christian approach to life, and having Planned Parenthood that close is not helping that.”

The Planned Parenthood health center and offices will be located on the top floor of the Madison Professional Building, which is also home to a pharmacy and a number of other medical offices. It’s hardly something the Catholic High School students will stumble upon while walking home from school. In fact, the current Planned Parenthood location is just half a mile away from Central High School and .8 miles away from Grace St. Luke’s Episcopal School. Planned Parenthood has never received any complaints from teachers, administrators or parents of students at those schools.

Planned Parenthood chose the 1750 Madison location because it is a prime location near the center of Midtown Memphis—conveniently close to its mostly inner-city clientele, not because of its proximity to Catholic High School. Midtown Memphis is a densely populated area, home to many schools, churches, businesses and medical facilities. It would be difficult to find a Midtown location that is not close to one school or another.

The real issue here is not the new location’s proximity to the school—since Planned Parenthood’s current location is a scant 2 miles away from Catholic High School. If Catholic students were clamoring to go to Planned Parenthood for birth control or abortions, that 2 miles would not stop them. No, indeed, the real issue here is that the anti-choice movement wants to make this impending move as difficult as possible for Planned Parenthood. They would obviously like to see Planned Parenthood go out of business in Memphis. Not only because of the abortion issue—other clinics in Memphis also perform abortions. But Planned Parenthood also provides free and low-cost birth control to thousands of Mid-South women, most of them poor or uninsured, while also providing routine gynecological care and STD testing and treatment.

Everyone knows the Catholic Church’s stance on birth control, though it should be noted that many Catholics openly disagree with the Church’s teachings on that subject. But without the birth control provided by Planned Parenthood, it’s likely there would be many more unplanned pregnancies in the Memphis area. And with a teen birth rate that is already one of the highest in the country, that’s the last thing Memphis needs.
Please watch this space for more information, I will keep you posted.

For a quick interlude..

Still working on the Planned Parenthood post; in the interim, this short film is dedicated to my blogging partner (and fan of Da U), Mr. Carroll:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This, that, and the other

First, on Wednesday, look for a post about our friends at Planned Parenthood, they may need our help soon.

Second, I have decided for whom I will vote for Mayor. For the first time since 1995, I will vote for the incumbent, because he is doing the job now that others have promised to do. I don't really give a rat's ass what Mason-Dixon says; let's not forget that they predicted that John Edwards would win the 2008 Iowa Caucuses.

But that's not why I am here tonight.

The epic battle of District 62 took place today, and it turns out the FORMER Democrat, who may be to the left of the Democratic nominee, won the race, taking a critical House seat away from the Democrats at a time when they could least afford it.

That the people behind the strategy for this race on behalf of Ty Cobb (the brother of outgoing Rep. Curt Cobb) may have erred is without question. Mike Turner, you're a hell of a good guy, but to a great extent this is on you, although you are not alone by a longshot. Ladies and Gentlemen of the House Democratic Caucus, if you don't rethink your strategy for the 2010 elections, the Goopers will have 55 seats and the only Democratic US House seats will be 5 and 9.

I have a question: much has been made of the fact Pat Marsh, the new GOP representative for House 62 (the first in YEARS), switched from the Democrats. I've heard that it wasn't so much about ideology, it was about the fact that he thought he wouldn't have a chance in the Democratic primary because everyone got behind the 2nd Ty Cobb. Is this true?

I am not sure that I buy all of Kleinheider's theory that Tennessee is becoming a one-party hegemony ruled by the GOP, but he IS right about one thing: tonight is the end for conservative Democrats being viable in rural areas. Simply put, as Harry Truman is said to have noted, "if you only give the voters a choice between a pseudo-Republican and a REAL Republican, they'll take the real one every time". Of course, Marsh WASN'T a real Republican, and may turn out to be some one soon to be thought of as a RINO; but he WILL vote for a Republican for speaker, and that adds to the control of Kent Williams, that old Carter County Republican himself.

So, where do the Democrats go from here? First, LEAVE THE F@#KING SOCIAL ISSUES ALONE! Democrats CANNOT WIN when talking about social issues in the South, EVER. KEEP IT ON JOBS AND THE MONEY.

Simply put, ONE OF US is over, now and forever more. Got that? Ned Ray is the only one who could have pulled that off, and he's not running any more, Mike is, and he's already screwed up royally when he went into social issues, remember?

Focus on the fact that the Republican Party is about hoarding wealth for themselves and no one else, remind them that THEIR folks control Wall Street and the policies that have bankrupted the nation. If someone asks about abortion, ask them if they want to have one. NO? Well, good for them!

In short, BE A F&#@ING DEMOCRAT! Go to and see what the hell we are supposed to stand for, and if you can't support that, then LEAVE. If we have to start from scratch, we will. And we'll build a party from the ashes, and it will rise like the Phoenix.

If you're ashamed to tell your neighbors and parishioners that you are a Democrat, then you've either got the wrong friends or you're in the wrong party. It's time to decide now.

UPDATE: More good commentary on 62 from Southern Beale, Aunt B., and a fun group of headlines-that-might-have-been from Joe Lance.

MORE: Sean Braisted weighs in, and he's on target.

Friday, October 09, 2009

THIS is a FGF I'm betting you've never seen before

Tammy Wynette as you've not seen before, with the KLF, doing Justified and Ancient for Feel Good Friday. This is from the early 90s, IIRC. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

When you enter House District 62 you're entering the Twilight Zone

I never knew the Shelbyville area was that weird a place. When Democratic Rep. Curt Cobb resigned his House 62 seat to take a clerkship in the Bedford County Courts, he set off a chain of events that has led to the following:

1) His brother Tyrus, or Ty, a UPS driver, ran for and won the Democratic nomination. He is not to be confused with Democratic State Rep. Tyler "Ty" Cobb, a Columbia firefighter. Then, he sought AND WON the endorsement of....wait for it...TENNESSEE RIGHT TO LIFE. Yes, the people who think that people like us who believe in a woman's right to choose what to do with her body are baby-killers. How did this happen?

Well, because 2) Pat Marsh, the GOP nominee, had been a DEMOCRAT until right before the filing deadline, and apparently thought it would be easier to win the open seat as a Republican than as a Democrat. As every seat is now crucial in a 50-49 House, the GOP establishment has circled the wagons around him. The establishment, yes. The GOP rank-and-file, not so much.

They seem to be moving toward 3) the Constitution Party candidate, Chris Brown, who has decided to bring the crazy when he has gotten the chance to debate either or both candidates.

So, we have a Republican who was a Democrat, a Democrat who is anti-choice and the candidate of the Right-to-Life movement, and a Constitution Party candidate who shows signs of out-looning them all. Why the hell should I even care? It's not my district, after all.

You see, this is the problem with the TNDP outside Memphis, they don't seem to really understand what a Democrat is or is supposed to be. (We had that problem for a while ourselves; see under Ford Jr, Harold) The freaking TNDP is even attacking Marsh for allegedly supporting human cloning! What the hell?

What next, a call for the end of fractional reserve banking? Welcome to Bizarro World, folks, where apparently Democrats are running to the right of Republicans (again, ask Jr. how THAT worked for him), who are trying to keep the Constitution Party guy from getting the teabagger types and pretending everything is OK.

THIS whole scenario is why the TNDP, despite the best efforts of Chip Forrester (who is cranking up ground troops as I write) is lost right now. Outside Memphis, with the exception of a few Nashvillians and bloggers, they still seem to think that Blue Dogism is the path to victory and it's still 1992.

To hell with that noise, I say. If you're not a National Democrat, you're not a Democrat, it's that simple.

Or not; see Baucus, Max, or Lincoln, Blanche. I am a Hubert Humphrey Democrat, a Paul Douglas Democrat (look them up) and a Dale Bumpers Democrat (there was one Southerner who understands the term). Those were people who took stands and were respected for those stands, even getting votes from people who might not agree with them.

You see, if all you do is just run slightly to the left of the GOP, the battle keeps moving to the right and away from natural Democratic positions. Why? Because the GOP ALWAYS advances their beliefs and their agenda. The Democrats here? Gosh, no, we don't want to offend our preachers or Mom or the druggist or whomever, so we can't do that.

BULLSHIT. People respect you when you stand up and fight for your beliefs. The crazy teabaggers? Well, right now, they're unreachable, so quit worrying about them. If you can't make a case for liberalism, what the hell are you doing in the Democratic Party? I am tired of appeasement (and that goes for you, too, Mr. President, STAND UP FOR THE PUBLIC OPTION AND USE YOUR BULLY PULPIT!) and I want Democrats who FIGHT and move the agenda forward. If you can't do that, move over for someone who can.

Besides, we're running out of guys named Ty Cobb.

UPDATE: Andy Axel, who makes a great comment, goes on to write a post of his own at KnoxViews well worth your time, and Aunt B. joins the fun as well. Our beloved Newscoma follows up on this, too.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Two things make my Mayoral decision easier

First, despite dazzling us at Drinking Liberally, and answering my questions, I still have had my doubts about AC Wharton. Have you ever had the feeling that something or someone was too good to be true? Well, after County Mayor Wharton made his ten choices for the Merger Commission, they were realized. County Commissioners gave Mayor Wharton 41 choices for the Commission, but he only used THREE. That's right, THREE, he ignored the Commission and chose the other seven himself.

Let's look at them, shall we? Here they are:

The nominees are:

  • Millington Mayor Richard L. Hodges
  • Former Collierville Mayor Linda Kerley
  • County Commissioner J.W. Gibson of Memphis
  • Julie Ellis, an attorney at Butler Snow PLLC
  • Lou Etta Burkins, FedEx Express project engineer of unincorporated Shelby County
  • Andre Fowlkes, Memphis Small Business Chamber executive director
  • Billy Orgel, Tower Ventures developer, of Memphis
  • Chris Patterson, an attorney atWiseman Bray PLLC of Germantown
  • The Rev. Randolph Meade Walker, pastor of Castalia Baptist Church
  • and Rufus Washington, retired U.S. Marine and president of Southeast Shelby County Coalition.
Hodges is ANTI-consolidation, and he's on the Commission? Great, just great. Kerley? Actually, I give him thumbs up for that, as she appears to be reasonable. Rev. Walker? Sure, he will help among skeptical members of the African-American community.

Billy Orgel? What, Jackie Welch was busy????? This, I do NOT understand, and I know he is one of the CITY votes.

I'm just not at all thrilled with most of this bunch, and they make up two-thirds of the group, if approved by the County Commission. I only hope Myron Lowery now chooses five for the City before the election, in the event he is not chosen as full time Mayor.

Although, I have to tell you, I am beginning to sense a shift in Myron's direction, and not just because he has held his own in that poll over on the right side of the blog. People LIKE what the Mayor Pro Tem is doing (unless they are buds with his predecessor) and are seriously considering voting for him. Despite the AC's, er, the CA's best efforts to move Mayor Wharton across Main Street, people know that the Dalai Lama situation was overblown.

Mayor Lowery(I'm really beginning to like the sound of that) may have helped himself even more on Tuesday with a speech before the Rotary Club, where he told the crowd of 200 that, if elected on October 15, he will NOT seek re-election as Mayor in 2011.

That would allow him to continue the massive cleanup of city government which he has undertaken, and which has won him a great deal of approval all over the city. yes, I know he over-reached at the beginning, but his heart has always been in the right place and his head is there as well.

I'm still waiting until Election Day to vote, but I have a much clearer picture today of where I am headed with this vote. At the end of the day, if the incumbent is doing what we desperately need him to do, why change?

Here's something for the Mayoral candidates to answer:

Are you willing to stop the craziness of the Retired Directors Club, er, the Riverfront Development Corporation? Memphis Cobblestones is all over this one, go check it out!

Monday, October 05, 2009

I know it's unscientific, but....

Has Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery actually PASSED AC Wharton on the Daily Docket-LeftWingCracker poll? Sure looks like it to me, as of 12:30 CDT.

Could this be a trend? Has AC peaked? Will Whalum actually turn out a large number of young voters as he says (they're not doing it HERE, apparently)? Will I ever stop asking questions?

Tune in later!

UPDATE 2:55 P.M. Well, that didn't last long, did it? It's neck and neck now, with a slight lead for AC. Check back later, won't you?

UPDATE 4:55 P.M. Lowery 64, Wharton 61! Back and forth like UNC and Duke!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Mongo, you got NOTHING on this guy!

An interesting campaign video from Chicago, where this gentleman plans to run against Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. Stay until the end, it's worth it, I promise. Hat tip to Brittney G!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

This is going to be a different kind of post

One in which I criticize a Democratic Congressman from my own state (but NOT Steve) and compliment a Republican Gubernatorial candidate.

First things first. As you know, Jim Cooper did more to kill the 1993 healthcare reform bill than anyone when he was representing what is now Lincoln Davis' district. I came thisclose to voting for Fred Thompson in the Senate race that year; didn't matter, Fred rewarded his Blue Doggishness with a country ass-whipping, reminding every one of what Harry Truman used to say: If you only give people a choice between a pseudo-Republican and a real Republican, they'll take the real one every time. I wish more of the Democratic office-holders understood that, and stopped being so damned scared of Valentine and Gill; there's only so many Ty Cobbs to go around.

Well, concerned that Jim Cooper, who now "represents" Nashville from TN-05, would sink the public option, Kos and another national group, Accountability Now, began to see what it might take to get Cooper primaried, because he CLEARLY votes to the right of his district.

Kos took a poll that showed DEMOCRATS in his district were upset with him on the healthcare issue. THE GREAT ORANGE SATAN was pilloried by the local and state Democratic establishment, who circled the wagons because they were probably afraid Phil Valentine might say something nasty about them. Note: he always will, folks!

Then, blindsiding everyone (including the local progressive blogosphere, more on that in a minute), here comes Accountability Now with their Cooper Uncovered website, which exposed Cooper for the DINO that he is. Then they put out the word that they were going to find a primary challenger for Cooper.

Let me tell you, I WANT Cooper primaried. If someone who actually IS a Democrat, like Steve Cohen, can be primaried, then so can this DINO.

However, a great many in the progressive blogosphere of Nashville were, not surprisingly, pissed off, and with some good reason. No one appreciates the implication that something like this has to be done from the OUTSIDE, because we're from DC and we know better. Some had real fears that someone to the left of Cooper might win the primary but lose the general; however, I don't see that happening with the numbers for TN-05.

It was at this point I was contacted by Ben Tribbett of Accountability Now, with whom I met this week. Yes, he gave me the name of the candidate, and yes, I was impressed. No, I'm not telling you, because the candidate will make that announcement him/herself when the time is right. Let's just say that Cooper will have to change his underwear when he hears who it is.

I also emailed and talked to some of the Nashville folks, and put Ben in touch with one of them, and the crisis level has dropped below DefCon1, so we're OK. Since the filing deadline is not until April, you're just going to have to wait, sorry.

Now, to the other part of the post. Say what you want about Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, he may be rich, he may be the leading GOP candidate for Governor, but he's got COJONES for days. Despite how gun-crazy the GOP base in Tennessee has become, he essentially told them to get over themselves by standing up in support of a gun ban in Knoxville parks.

Now, it would be one thing for, say Bill Gibbons to do that, but Haslam? In the middle of East Tennessee? When he's running for Governor as a REPUBLICAN? Wow. Seriously, this liberal gun owner stands and applauds Bill Haslam for LEADING on this subject and not pandering to the gun-nut base of his party. It shows that there are Republicans who realize that the gun lobby has gone too far and are willing to say so.

Great job, Mayor Haslam, let's hope this sets a new trend!

UPDATE! Well, well, well. Once word got out that there was at least one candidate willing to take on the candidate of Big Health, now I hear that there are more asking around about it and taking a serious look at it. I expected this; the blood is in the water now.

First from our friends at TEP, then we have to determine if it's time to give up the Jesus Chicken

From Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project:

It's time to promote equality and fairness this weekend in Memphis

Dear Friends,

It’s time to make your voice heard this Sunday afternoon in Memphis (Oct. 4). Startling vandalism of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center’s billboard campaign caught the attention of the nation and the world this week. Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community CenterHere are two ways that you can confront hateful bias toward GLBT citizens and their allies this weekend:

  1. Attend MGLCC’s Raise Your Voice rally at 1 p.m. on Sunday on the steps of First Congregational Church (1000 So. Cooper St) to respond to the malicious destruction of the National Coming Out Day billboard featuring former marine Tim Smith. It’s time to unite our community in the face of hatred and intolerance. Let’s show Memphis and the world that we are proud and unafraid.
  2. Later in the afternoon, join your friends at the Wine & Cheese Party at the T. Joseph Clifton Gallery benefiting TEP on October 4 from 4-6 pm at 2571 Broad Avenue in Memphis. Make a commitment to fairness and equality for LGBT citizens at the local and state level with a $25-$50 contribution to TEP at the party and celebrate our community’s work to advance inclusive workplace protections in Memphis.

Let’s overcome the obstacles we face in our community and show the world that Memphis is moving forward.

Warm regards,

Jonathan Cole
Board Secretary & Shelby County Committee Chair

Support the Memphis Non-Discrimination Ordinance by making a contribution to TEP here. The Tennessee Equality Project is a 501(c)(4) organization. Gifts to TEP are not deductible for purposes of federal income tax.


I will send a check, but I can't make it. I hope you can, though.

Now, to the other business. I have always had mixed emotions about Chick-Fil-A, because, on the one hand, they do have the best chicken sandwich I have ever tasted, bar none. However, there is a reason that one of my dear friends has dubbed them "Jesus Chicken". True to their beliefs, they close on Sundays so their employees can attend the church of their choice.

However, it appears that one of the groups to whom they give money is....

Focus on the Family. You remember them, don't you? James Dobson and all those crazy homophobes?

It's privately owned, IIRC, and they have the right to do as they wish, I suppose, but that doesn't mean I have to support them with my money, even if they do have incredible chicken.

It's time to seriously think about where we spend our money, folks. Jesus Chicken, I'll miss you, and if you ever change your mind about supporting FOTF, I'll come back.

But it's up to you.