Monday, November 30, 2009

Before we send more troops to Afghanistan, check out how much the war in Iraq is still costing us

Hat tip to Polar Donkey for this one:

A couple of things here..

First, if you live in Senate 31 and have not yet voted, TOMORROW IS THE DAY! Get off your arse and go vote for Adrienne Pakis-Gillon!

Now, go read this depressing yet accurate post from Polar Donkey, who, along with Brad Watkins at West Tennessee Liberal covers poverty and homelessness like no one else in our city. Here's a snippet:

Let me give you a little story at how truly bad of shape this city and it's citizens are in. A friend of mine told me this. He knows an immigrant that runs a gas station in Southeast Memphis. The gas station attendant says that he has a group of regular customers. These customers drive large SUV's. The driver's of these SUV's come in 4 or 5 times a day and buy about $1.50 in gas at a time. My friend was perplexed by this behavior and asked the attendant what they were doing. Turns out these are drug dealers. They never want to have more than $10 of gas in their vehicles in case they get busted by the police. Think about that for a second. The DRUG DEALERS are so broke they worry about losing $10 in gas if arrested.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Well, I WAS feeling better today, until...

I received the sad news that Rep. Larry Turner, who represented his Whitehaven and South Shelby County District for 24 years, passed away this morning at the age of 70.

His work on behalf of his district was tireless, and his work helped Memphis, Shelby County, and untold thousands more who may never have known him. He was a true gentleman with a deep affection for the people he served, and we are all better for his having served.

Please remember his family, especially his devoted wife Ms. Johnnie Turner, another tireless servant of this community, when you pray tonight, our thoughts go out to them.

Arrangements are not known at this time, I will update this as soon as I hear of them.

A short but thoughtful remembrance by WREG's Mike Matthews found here, H/T to Joe Lance.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I just don't have a thing to say at the moment.

Other than, first, enjoy your Thanksgiving, I hope each and every one of you are where you want to be tomorrow and with whom you want to be.

I feel burnt out on politics, with Obama showing every sign of turning into Herbert Hoover when we need FDR, Blanche Lincoln and other Democratic Senators whoring themselves out to Big Healthcare, and the Bears playing like crap every weekend.

On the other hand, I am deeply thankful for Lauren and our four-legged children, our family, the best group of friends a human could have, and that fact that (knock on wood) I continue to be employed.

If I have been grumpy of late, I am sorry, it's been a sucky month. I can't wait for December and hope that it snows all month. Well, at least from the 20th on to the end, any way; I can't help it, it's not Yule without snow.

Hopefully, I will be able to be more creative. Oh, and if you are a Democrat in Senate 31 and you didn't early-vote, GET YOUR HINDQUARTERS TO THE POLLS NEXT TUESDAY AND VOTE FOR ADRIENNE PAKIS-GILLON. Unless, of course, you like the idea of Brian Kelsey returning to our legislature.

Enough. Happy Thanksgiving and go Grizzlies!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You know, I was going to write a big post about the County Mayor selection

and a lot of it would have to do with the shabby treatment of the honorable Judge Otis Higgs, who was apparently told he had the votes to be selected County Mayor on a second ballot. However, he had to sit and watch as the rug was pulled out from under him as Joe Ford was elected. This man deserved a better fate and not the slap in the face he received.

However, Polar Donkey has written an even better post about the state of the County right now, and I want all of you to go and read it now.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ok, let's think about things for a moment

Aside from the crazy suggestion by our new city Mayor that he arrange for an agreement to serve as BOTH City and County Mayor, lots of interesting things have happened regarding the deadlocked race for interim County Mayor.

The Democratic Women of Shelby County, who normally would collectively swallow broken glass than choose between two Democrats, yesterday endorsed Commissioner Joe Ford over Commissioner J.W. Gibson at their monthly meeting. Here is the text of that endorsement:

To Shelby County Democratic Commissioners:

After careful consideration by the Democratic Women of Shelby County, it is our pleasure to announce that the Democratic Women of Shelby County give their full endorsement and support of County Commissioner Joe Ford for Interim Shelby County Mayor.
Commissioner Ford’s history of commitment to public service and considerable attention to the City of Memphis as a Democrat, City Councilman and Shelby County Commissioner has earned this valuable endorsement. The Democratic Women of Shelby County have been long-time supporters of Democrats both in Memphis and Shelby County, and we continue to work long and tireless hours to promote the election of Democrats and the Democratic agenda to improve the lives of our citizens.
We have enjoyed a positive relationship with County Commissioner Ford as it is based on respect and fighting for issues that are in the best interest of the citizens of Memphis and Shelby County. This philosophy is consistent with our mission to support and help elect Democrats in Memphis and Shelby County.
We proudly add our endorsement and we encourage you to give your support and your vote to County Commissioner Joe Ford as Interim Shelby County Mayor. We are confident in the leadership and the experience that Commissioner Ford will bring to office of Shelby County Mayor and we look forward to the success that Joe Ford will bring to the County during his interim term as the future Shelby County Mayor.
Please, vote Joe Ford on Tuesday November 17, 2009.
Respectfully Submitted,
Mickey Klenz
Democratic Women of Shelby

OK then. Look, if I had to choose, I would choose Joe Ford myself. He's had experience with both City and County government, he gets along with both sides of the aisle, and would work with commissioner to get things done until September 1, 2010.

Here's my question, though: if NO ONE is going to get 7 votes, why select the interim Mayor from the Commission's body? At the end of the day, this will only lead to a tough time for whomever wins.

Former Commission Chair (and my candidate for County Mayor) Deidre Malone thought that she was on to something by nominating CAO Jim Huntzicker for the position. However, Huntzicker, who has a solidly GOP primary voting record (you can get it at the Election Commission) is no favorite of local unions for his slash-and-burn job-cutting for the County, went nowhere fast.

Right idea, wrong person.

Seeing as how this is my blog, I have my own idea.

The person I have in mind has NEVER been an elected official, but he was a key member of TWO different City administrations, working at high levels for both Dick Hackett and W.W. Herenton. He was a terrific go-between from Mayor Herenton to the City Council in the Mayor's first two terms. While he has never been a part of County government, it is less complex than City government, and he would be a steady hand at the helm, with no likelihood that he would seek the office himself.

This is a person whom I have not spoken with in years, and has no clue I am about to recommend him for this job, but, like Joe Ford, he gets along with EVERYONE and would be trusted by all parties to do the right thing.

My suggestion: former Herenton CFO and CAO Rick Masson.

Yes, if he reads that he is probably doing a spit take, but I think that he would be the right person at the right time for County government, and the perfect transitional figure to September 2010.

Your thoughts?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The teabaggers are coming to Whitehaven for tomorrow's Town Hall

From the office of our Congressman -

Congressman Steve Cohen is holding a public forum Saturday morning in
Memphis, and I wanted to make sure you got an invitation to attend.

He just cast a courageous vote in favor of health insurance reform.

Opponents of reform will be trying to convince him that his vote was a
mistake -- can you come out and show your support?

What: Rep. Steve Cohen Town Hall

Where: Whitehaven Golf Course
750 Holmes Road
Memphis, TN 38109

When: Saturday, November 14th
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

I can't make it, but I hope that YOU can, we need to have Steve's back on this matter.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MGLCC’s Pride Flag Target of Vandalism

Hat tip to Brad Watkins at WTL

MGLCC’s Pride Flag Target of Vandalism

Vandals Attempt to Burn Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center’s Pride Flag

Memphis, TN, November 11, 2009: Early Wednesday morning, two vandals attempted to burn the rainbow pride flag that flies prominently in front of MGLCC’s building at 892 South Cooper. The pride flag is a recognizable symbol for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s solidarity, pride and unity.

No motive for the incident has been reported at this point.

This act of vandalism marks the second time in two months that a public symbol of the LGBT community raised by MGLCC has been destroyed or damaged. The first was a National Coming Out Day billboard on Friday, September 25 at Poplar and High.

We find this targeting of our community to be a disturbing pattern that is not limited to property but also includes the more serious attacks on our transgender members as well as bullying of LGBT youth. MGLCC takes very seriously the safety and security of our visitors and friends. We are cooperating with the Memphis Police Department who are investigating at this time. We understand that they have one suspect is in custody and are searching for the second. We sincerely appreciate the attention given to both incidents by the Memphis Police Department and wish for a speedy recovery of the officer who protected our flag.

Public incidents such as this shed light on the larger issue of intolerance and hatred that our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens face every day. Once again, attempts to silence or frighten our community will not succeed, but will make us more determined to fight for equality. We appreciate the support of the community in this struggle.

Will Batts

Executive Director



HEY! Early Voting starts November 12 in Senate 31 general and House 83 Primary


DECEMBER 1, 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 December 1, 2009, Special State General and Primary Elections as follows:

Site Locations, Dates and Times


Beginning Wednesday, November 12, 2009 - Friday November 13, 2009, 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM
Saturday: November 14, 2009, 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM
Monday, November 16, 2009, - Friday, November 20, 2009, 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM
Saturday: November 21, 2009, 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM
Monday, November 23, 2009, and Tuesday, November 24, 2009, 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM
Last Day: Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM

The Shelby County Election Commission Office will be closed Thursday, November 26, 2009, and Friday, November 27, 2009, for the Thanksgiving holidays.

Satellite Sites

Beginning Wednesday, November 12, 2009 - Friday November 13, 2009, 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM
Saturday: November 14, 2009, 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM
Monday, November 16, 2009, - Friday, November 20, 2009, 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM
Saturday: November 21, 2009, 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM
Monday, November 23, 2009, and Tuesday, November 24, 2009, 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM
Last Day: Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM


Agri Center (Rotunda Hallway)

Agri-Center * closed November 23, 2009 and reopen on Nov. 24, 2009 until Nov. 25, 2009

7777 Walnut Grove Rd., 38120

Anointed Temple Of Praise (Youth Room)

3939 Riverdale Rd., 38141

Bethel Church

5586 Stage Rd., 38134

New Bethel Church

7786 Poplar Pike, 38138

White Station Church of Christ

1106 Colonial Rd., 38117

Monday, November 09, 2009

I feel for Tommy West, but it was time

I agree with Chris Vernon, if you're going to go out, that's the way to go. Tommy West, after a decade with the University of Memphis football program, the last nine as head coach, was relieved of his duties today by Athletic Director RC Johnson, who many believe should have gone right with him.

Tommy showed the passion that has been his hallmark; however, I suspect that much of what he had to say will fall on deaf ears, just as his players tuned him out. He IS right that the program is at a crossroads, a piss-or-get-off-the-pot moment for UM football. They DO need better facilities to recruit better players. However, Art Briles at Houston has crappier facilities than UM, and they are going to win the CUSA West, and had an outside chance at a BCS bowl. HE" not complaining, he's winning, and he's surrounded by the Big 12 South and LSU to the east.

Here's the question, though: while UM may have an increasing number of large donors, do they have a broad-enough donor and fan base to do what needs to be done? 20,000 folks is just fine for men's hoops, but they need 40-50K as a football base. They need to get in a BCS conference, but how can that happen if they can't complete in C-USA, where West NEVER even won a division title, even with the best QB (Wimprine) and the best offensive player (Williams) in the history of the school? The SEC for UM? Never happen, not in a million years, because the SEC has the city already, they don't need the U of M.

If they will build something like TCF Bank Stadium on-campus (and it will have to be exclusively from PRIVATE sources, gang), then they might have a chance. Whatever happens, Tommy was right about one thing: go big or go home with the program. Either put your money where your mouth is, or get out of the business completely.

That's where U of M football stands, and it's up to the administration, the AD, the donors, and the hardcore fans to bring this about. Fail now, and you might as well fold up your tent, because half-assing this is not an option.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Tennessee Democrats, we need to talk for a moment

You see, we are all in the midst of a situation here, one that we can stop in its infancy, but we need your help.

I'm certain that if you read this blog, or follow any of the fine bloggers listed on the righthand side of this blog, you will have read of the exploits of the Stuntbaby of Germantown (TM ACK), former Rep. Brian Kelsey, who is seeking to replace former Senator Paul Stanley in District 31.

Kelsey is a hyper-ambitious guy, whose stands on issues are even too far to the right for the conservative District 31. Kelsey voted to allow guns in parks and guns in bars, positions that angered residents of Germantown. He is a grandstander, and wants to be a Congressman or higher some day.

In short, he doesn't give too hoots in hell for what his old District 83 thought or what Senate District 31 wants, he is too busy trying to move up the food chain.

While the GOP establishment in Nashville loves Kelsey, the rank and file aren't that smitten with him here. In short, he is not even close to being a lock for election on December 1.

Part of the reason for that is Democratic nominee Adrienne Pakis-Gillon, who has been walking all over the district for the past month, with an ever-growing team of supporters. This is a winnable race, which begs a serious question:

Considering that A) EVERY Senate and House seat is critical in preventing a complete GOP takeover of the General Assembly, which will lead to Democrats losing up to three seats in Congress from Tennessee and B) we have a chance to end Brian Kelsey's political career before he damages anything else, why the hell has the TNDP essentially told Adrienne that they aren't going to help her?

THESE are the races that make differences in how each party is viewed. If the GOP can't hold on to this seat, their presumed hegemony is NOT going to happen. Now, understand, I don't want the TNDP to send troops (not after the House 62 debacle), but I DO want them to send money.

(NOTE: You, too, can help Adrienne with time and/or money, go and find out how, it's CRUCIAL!)

Adrienne is showing how this race can and will be won, and unlike Kelsey, she cares what the people of her district think and believe. She is married with children, unlike Kelsey, and she works in small business and understands the needs of Senate 31.

I will be creating a group at the TNDP site for Adrienne in the next day or two, and I will put something up about that. However, in the interim, join her when you can to knock on doors, and if you can put a few bucks in the cookie jar to help her win a race that CAN be won and MUST be won, do it.

Let's put someone in the Senate who cares about what their District wants, not what their Campaign Manager wants.

Friday, November 06, 2009

It's time to implement a Spay-and-Neuter ordinance in the city

After reading the horrible accounts of mismanagement at the Memphis Animal Shelter and seeing the sickening picture of the starved dog, I am delighted that Mayor Wharton took quick action to fix the issues there.

Vvixen joins the blogging world with a report on the vigil that took place at the Animal Shelter in remembrance of the dogs who were neglected to death, and you should read it.

Then, go read Polar Donkey as he forcefully states the point; requiring pet owners to spay or neuter their animals would help to reduce the number of unwanted pets in the city, reducing the demands that are put on the Shelter in the first place.

I agree with PD, this is highly needed, and I intend to talk to my councilors about this situation.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Some good, some bad tonight.

First, to the utter shock of no one, Republican Bob McDonnell was elected Governor of Virginia after eight years of Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. He was simply a better candidate than Democrat Creigh Deeds. McDonnell played down his degree from Regent University and took a page from the W playbook of 2000, appearing to be more moderate than he actually was. Deeds, who ran away from the Obama 2008 playbook, failed to excite the Democratic base and got thumped.

Jon Corzine, who made his billions on Wall Street, may have paid a price for that tonight in New Jersey, losing to former US Attorney Chris Christie. This was about hard times in Jersey, and Corzine hardly came across as a man of the people.

Still out as of the moment are the NY-23 race, and the Maine same-sex-marriage law is down at the moment, which would not be a good thing.

Simply put, I think that gay marriage will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, as to discriminate solely on the basis of gender is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Whatcha doing TONIGHT from 5-7?

Come on out, meet Adrienne and let's help her win this race! I went from house to house with her yesterday, and was delighted with the warm reception she received! I will be at work, so I can't make it, but I hope you can; let's put another Democrat in the State Senate!

Tired of those pesky socialists? Let's go to that Libertarian Paradise!

Hat tip to Ben Vos..