Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More about Kim getting out

I hadn't decided, but I admire what Kim McMillan has done so far, and think she would have been a better Governor than what we have had for the last 16 years (granted, that's not saying much).

As someone who has made habit of supporting female candidates for executive positions (See Chumney, Carol, 2002-2007 and Malone, Deidre, 2010) I wanted Kim to do well.  However, despite her Energizer Bunny-like work ethic, she just never got traction in a male-dominated field.  I guess the idea of gender equality still scares the crap out of men down here, I'll never figure that out.

In any event, Kim, I wish you the best and hope you are elected Mayor.  With any luck, females will be governing the State's 5th most-populous city and its most populous County.

Give em hell!

It's Now Official: Kim is OUT, Mike McWherter is The Last Candidate Standing

Here's the official press release received moments ago:

McMillan for Governor

Dear Steffens,
Over the past days and weeks friends have gently (and some not so gently) encouraged me to run for Mayor of Clarksville, my home and Tennessee’s 5th largest city. My answer was simple, “I love Clarksville, but I’m running for Governor.”
And run I’ve been doing. Since April of 2008, with a notepad in my hand, a dream in my heart, and a commitment to listen to Tennesseans, I’ve visited homes and hospitals, schools and factories, diners and drive-ins . . . well, you get the point, I’ve been to a lot of places. I’ve loved every minute of it.
I’ve often been told that “timing is everything.” Well, I’m not sure timing is everything, but I do know it’s important. I also know that timing rarely consults our calendar – in fact, it often seems to disrupt our careful plans.
From the time of this writing, the 24 hours just behind and the 24 hours immediately ahead have become pivotal. Yesterday at 3 p.m., Clarksville Mayor Johnny Piper announced that he will not seek re-election. Tomorrow at noon is the filing deadline for Governor.
I‘m going to answer the call of my friends; I’m going to run for Mayor of Clarksville.
I hope you’ll understand and though it may be too much to ask, I hope you’ll forgive me if my decision disappoints you. Thank you so very much for your support and the many kindnesses you’ve shown to me. Please call on me if I can help you.
I believe I can make a difference as Mayor of Tennessee’s 5th largest city.
For our young people, the ones born here, and the thousands that come here to Austin Peay and Fort Campbell and don’t want to leave, I want to help make Clarksville America’s best place to live. Clarksville, we’re on our way, but there’s work to be done and I want to help do it!
I’ll work hard to link our academic resources, our military resources, our natural resources, and our amazing workforce into a 21st century economic engine.
I’ll concentrate on keeping the jobs we have and growing the jobs we need. I’m proud of our success in recruiting Hemlock Semiconductor, and I’ll continue to use my relationships across the state and across America to tell the tremendous Clarksville story to companies large and small.
And I also know this, behind the headlines of recruitment success lays the heart of long term job growth – existing businesses. As we reach out, we’ll also reach in. I’ll help existing businesses cut through the red tape that can stifle growth and I’ll work hard to connect them to opportunities in every way I possibly can. I know that keeping the good jobs we have takes just as much effort as recruiting the good jobs we need!
At the heart of American’s best place to live are safe neighborhoods. Crime and gang activity literally hold millions of American’s hostage inside their own homes – but we can’t let that be true here in Clarksville, America’s best place to live. I’ll make sure that our first rate law enforcement team leads all of us in a community wide commitment to public safety.
I’ve been working for Tennessee and for Clarksville for a long time. As a public leader, I’ve always taken fairness and openness very seriously, and I promise you that fairness and openness will continue to be at the center of all that I do.
Very Truly Yours,
Kim McMillan for 
Kim McMillan

LWC here again: It's now time to get behind Mike McWherter, unless you LIKE the idea of a gazillionaire oilman running our state.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Well, if this is true, it's not like we didn't see it coming!

As first suggested by Post Politics newbie JR Lind earlier this afternoon, and then followed up by Mr. Ross at STP earlier this evening, Lind comes back and just implies it out loud: Kim McMillan may be about to jump out of the Democratic Governor's race and into the Clarksville Mayor's race.

That, of course, would mean an uncontested victory for Mike McWherter in the Democratic race for Governor, allowing him to train his sights on Republicans only.  This, it seems, Mike has already started, according to Nashville Scene reporter Jeff Woods, complete with humorous title provided.

I, of course, had opened my vote up for courting a mere two weeks ago, yet it seems I will only have one candidate from which to choose.  Well, as long as he bashes Pilot Oil Boy as much as possible, I guess I can live with it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The political blogosphere takes a punch in the gut.

SouthComm Inc., owner of the Nashville Post, the Nashville CityPaper, and the Nashville Scene laid off seven employees today as a result of losing an account to The Westview, a Bellevue (Nashville) paper recently purchased by the Memphis Daily News.

As some of you may know by now, one of those seven was Adam Kleinheider, who built Post Politics from the ground up when he arrived there.  He had already done it once under the auspices of WKRN-TV with Volunteer Voters.  WKRN moved away from blogging, and let Kleinheider go three years ago.

I can say without any trace of understatement that he was, and is, because I am convinced he will turn up somewhere in this state, the most important political source in Tennessee.  No, he didn't do interviews, he linked to other stories (many of them from this fine blog, and vice versa) and he was a MUST-READ for anyone who wanted to know what was going on here.

His stories had brilliant headlines, and could provoke arguments going for well over a hundred comments.  Yes, he occasionally went too far, but he was our linchpin.  And, for now, he's gone.

Considering that he drew 250,000 pageviews a year to Post Politics, I suspect he won't be gone for long, I certainly hope not, because he was a gold mine of information, and he will be missed.  He's too good to be gone for long.

We certainly wish him the best of luck, as we do the same for JR Lind, Jeff Woods and Ken Whitehouse, the three SouthComm reporters tasked with keeping Post Politics alive and well for all of Tennessee's political junkies (many of who are elected officials).

Other viewpoints:
Speak To Power here and here
Aunt B.
Grand Divisions
Southern Beale
Nashville Jefferson

Friday, March 26, 2010

We answer Glen Casada

Speak To Power and Your Liberal Friends have produced a video response to Glen Casada's insensitive and asinine remarks to Rep. Sherry Jones yesterday.  Go to either one and check it out.

Seriously, if this guy gets to be Speaker of the Tennessee House because the GOP got full control, how long will it be before Mississippians and Arkansans start proclaiming THANK GOD FOR TENNESSEE?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

THIS is Why I am a DEMOCRAT and why we MUST get the TN House back

Your potential next Speaker of the House, Rep. Glen Casada (R-Franklin):

I STILL want to buy wine in a grocery store

I have written on this before at the Memphis Flyer, and I refer you to that today, that explains why I believe this is important and why I believe the liquor wholesalers are wrong.  Look, when I want something Fancy, I will always go to Buster's, and I think they ought to be able to sell beer and I think some of the restrictions about where they can locate need to be loosened, that's a fair trade.

Remember folks, one can buy wine in a convenience store in Trumann, Arkansas, population 7,000, but not in Memphis, Tennessee, population 650,000.  That is wrong on more levels than I can count.

But i want to be able to go Kroger's and buy wine if I want to or need to, and if I want to buy wine on Sunday afternoon, I should be able to do so.  Go read my piece from last year, it is still relevant.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The One Where I Defend Del Gill

Yes, Mr. Gill has infuriated everyone, including me at times, over all the years he has been involved with Democratic Party politics. He called me about this, and I was unable to return his call, but his comments regarding the League of Women Voters debate got me thinking about his point.

And, my friends, I think he has a valid one.

As those who know him know that his passion overtakes him at times, and causes people not to take him seriously.  This can be problematic for those times when he is on to something correct.

Of course, the League of Women Voters is a private, nonpartisan organization and can invite whomever they want.  However, since we are in the PRIMARY phase of elections, where parties select nominees, and not the GENERAL phase, where candidates are actually elected, why did the LWV invite Republican candidate Mark Luttrell and NOT his GOP opponent, Ernest Lunati?  If you want to have all the candidates who will be on the GENERAL election ballot, why not wait until after the primaries are over and THEN have a debate with both nominees and all the independents?

Let's face it, it did none of the Democratic candidates any good with the people who will be voting for them in the primary to have Sheriff Luttrell up there.  It confuses voters who already wonder, sadly, why they can't vote in BOTH primaries.

Not to mention that it probably hurt Del's boss, Otis Jackson, the most.  Privately, I've been told that people laughed at him.  Frankly, Jackson is the one candidate I could not vote for in a GENERAL election, so I understand Del's frustration.

I am not going to ascribe any unseemly motives toward the LWV, as they are a solid organization with a good track record on these debates in the past.  It does seem unfair, however, to have conducted this debate in the manner in which it was conducted.  It was not fair to the Democratic candidates, to the uninvited GOP opponent Ernest Lunati, nor to the Independent candidates who will be on the August ballot.  It gives the appearance that the other candidates did not matter.

Better that the LWV have waited until after the primaries to hold this debate than risk doing the thing that I am sure they least wanted to do: confuse, rather than enlighten, the voters.

And THAT, my friends, is what I suspect Del was trying to say all along, and if I'm wrong, Del, please send me a post to argue or pop in the comments.

Monday, March 22, 2010

John Tanner suffers serious blowback

As you know, the outgoing TN-08 Congressman decided to throw his constituents under the bus by voting against the HealthCare Reform bill; fortunately, it passed any way.

However, it seems to have triggered a lot of emotion, and none of it favorable toward Tanner. First, I got the following e-mail from a dear friend of mine, Mickey Keep, who has been in politics here longer than I have, and ALWAYS a New Deal Democrat.  He sent me the following email, which I offer with his permission:

Steve:  I guess it's been ten/twelve years ago I was at a Christmas party at Jim Crow's home up in Millington and Tanner was there.. Of course I can't remember exactly the set of circumstances that prompted me to corner Tanner and ask him this question, but it was something he did that was typical of him and very un-democratic -like.  but,  I asked him when he was going to switch parties (you know me, I  can be a tactless asshole when it comes to Repubs) and he look surprised and said, no, he was not going to do THAT (empasis the That), but. blah blah blah blah.   I have seriously considered either writing him or belive it or not, the CA Letter to Editor and express my disappointment and disgust maybe at his No vote on health care.  The sonbitch could have went out like a real Democrat, one whos' rural west Tennesse roots came from Ed Jones who was a direct descendent of The New Deal.  What a shame Tanner's last act of real  legislative action will forever be on the wrong side of history.  What a shame.
Sadly, I had to agree with him.  I had heard stories about Tanner from others, but tried to dismiss them in the name of unity.

Well, then, I saw at Post Politics this link to a story that Liz Garrigan wrote at the Nashville Scene, based on an email she had received (not the same one I did, or from the same person).  Wow.

John Tanner has been in the Congress for nearly 22 years. He really doesn't have much to show for it - mainly voting against arts funding and helping lead the residual segregationist-Democrat faction known as the Blue Dogs. If history remembers him for anything, it will be for being named in the Starr report as the person with whom Bill Clinton was speaking on the phone while getting his first servicing from Monica Lewinsky. (Clinton was a big multi-tasker.)

Go read the rest of it, so much for leaving a legacy of service.  What a sad way to be remembered, but he really has no one to blame but himself..

Sunday, March 21, 2010


After over a century of trying, the United States House of Representatives moved closer to an American dream: making healthcare a RIGHT, by passing the HealthCare reform bill, 219-212.

Yes, John Tanner and Marion Berry, despite the fact that they are retiring from Congress, threw theire poorer constituents under the bus by voting against this bill.  Lincoln Davis indicated that his contituency was against the bill, so he voted against it.  I am not sure he really believes that.

However, tonight, we crossed the Rubicon; there's no way we will go back now, and only expansions will take place from this point forward.  Like Social Security and medicare before it, this will stand as long as the Republic exists.

Thank you to Steve Cohen, and special thanks to Nancy Pelosi, who will now go down as the greatest Speaker since Sam Rayburn.

And somewhere tonight, Edward Moore Kennedy looks down at us and just smiles broadly.

Save the Date of March 23, for a SCYD event

Click on the image for a larger view.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mulroy HQ Opens March 20

Moved to the top as a reminder

I can't go, since I will be at a very special wedding, but that shouldn't stop you!

Re-Elect Steve Mulroy
Campaign Kickoff
Please join us for the Grand Opening
Of Mulroy for County Commission Headquarters
Featuring karaoke performances by:
Former Memphis Mayor Myron Lowery
City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove
County Commissioner James Harvey
City Councilman Edmund Ford, Jr.
And of course Steve himself
Saturday, March 20th • 11am-1pm
4661 Knight Arnold @ Village Plaza Shopping Center
RSVP to or 901.433.8292

Jon Stewart deserves an award for this masterpiece

He out-Becks Beck. Watch it, hat tip to Polar Donkey...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Conservative Libertarian
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why I love My Congressman #1,295

Steve remembers the late Alex Chilton on the floor of the US House this morning.

Let this be a warning

As I have experienced much loss in my life this year, it has taught me that it's time to quit screwing around with regard to what I believe in and whom I support.

Right before early vote, I will post as to whom I support in the upcoming County Primary.  Some, of course, are obvious, as you see their blog buttons over on the right-hand side of the blog.  Some may not be, of course.

I want to warn you of something, though, for the August elections: This year, you don't get my support just by having a D next to your name in the County elections.  If some Gooper in a NON-POLICY position is doing a good job or if I think the Democratic nominee can barely walk and chew gum at the same time, I'll endorse the Republican.

Note that I said NON-POLICY position.  I would never do that in a race for Governor, Mayor, or legislative positions (though Mike Carpenter has no Democratic opposition and I just might endorse him anyway).  A clerkship, though?  Hell, those ought to be appointed, anyway.

Understand, I don't give a rat's ass that we might be able to control jobs, I care about how the office is being run, and if it's a situation where the office is functioning as it should be, don't fix it if it ain't broke.

Sure, I will be called a racist who won't vote for black Democrats, even though I have only been doing so SINCE 1978, PEOPLE!   There are going to be people upset by this, but I only expect this to happen in one or two races, tops.

So, Democratic candidates, get your shit together.  Tell me how you are going to make the office you seek more efficient than it is, not how you are going to expand it; we cannot afford any empire-builder in office right now.  Times are tough, and all we need is for you to do the damn job RIGHT.

Reginald Milton, whom I will be co-endorsing with Norma Lester for County Commission, says it best:

It's not about having a job.
It's all about DOING the job.

Alex Chilton 1950-2010

The first time I remember hearing Alex Chilton was on Sunday trips in the summer of 1969.  We would go to Greers Ferry Lake on weekends, and as we drove back to Weiner, Mom and Dad would put the radio on WMPS, which you could get all over east and central Arkansas.  At least once on the way home every time, the DJ would play this, which has stuck with me all of my life:

Then, I moved to Memphis in 1972 and got into the soul coming from here,
and forgot about Alex's music until I was in my 30s, when I soon found out
about what I had missed:

I was actually fortunate enough to see them (now with Jon Auer and Ken
Stringfellow of the Posies) at the Double Decker Festival in Oxford several
years ago and they were magnificent.

He influenced more bands than you can count, and this tribute is woefully
inadequate; all I know is that, among Memphis musical contributors, his
influence is only topped by Elvis, Johnny Cash, Sam Phillips, Jim Dickinson
and Willie Mitchell.

And now, they're all gone, dammit.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When Worlds Collide

Yes, that's Harold and Emily Ford and yes, that's Iggy Pop singing in front of them.  Hat tip to Balloon Juice, go read the comments.

For St. Patrick's Day

Crossposted from Celtic Craichead

The lament of the traditional Irish balladeer, Robbie O'Connell's hilarious You're Not irish!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kim? Mike? Can we talk?

Ok, so maybe I over-reacted a tad when I found myself abandoned by my gubernatorial candidate last month.  I'm sure you can understand that here was a Shelby County guy giving us RED MEAT in his speeches, he seemed to be doing quite well, and then he bailed.

All righty then.  I have decided at this time NOT to endorse either of you, not because I'm going over to THAT side, but because, well, I have decided to ask you both to tell me why I should vote for one over the other in the August Democratic primary.

That's right, court me.

First, some apologies are in order on my part.

Kim, I apologize for calling you "Bredesen in a skirt", you should have punched me for that, but you didn't.  You have certainly proven otherwise, to my delight.

Mike, sorry for referring to you as NOT NED RAY.  I can only imagine that, while he is a big inspiration to you (as he has always been to all of us), but that's a hell of shadow you have to deal with, and that wasn't fair.

OK, now that that's out of the way, here's what I would like to hear from both of you:

First, tell us how you're going to LEAD Tennessee.  We have had 16 years of managers in the Republicans Sundquist and Bredesen (at least Sundquist tried to get us an income tax) and we need a LEADER.  You still have to manage, but you've got to lead and inspire.  Sorry, but this is the party that you've chosen and that's what I expect.  It CAN be done, as it was from 1987-1995. (Oops, there's that damn shadow again, sorry.)

Tell me why you are a Big D Democrat, tell me why you can LEAD this state as well as manage it, DIFFERENTIATE yourself from those boring-to-idiotic fellows on the other side of the divide. GIVE ME A REASON TO BELIEVE, as Rod Stewart once sang.

Remember, this is NOT the general, this is the PRIMARY, and you have to SOLIDIFY and WIN OVER your base.  And despite what those Blue Dog schmucks may tell you, I am your base, as 40% of the August Democratic vote will come from right here, and it's yours for the taking.

Kim, you've got guts, get in somebody's face (preferably Haslam's) and challenge him as to just how a rich boy who inherited everything can relate to the average Tennessean compared to an adopted child who has busted her butt for all she's gotten.

Mike, you need to remind people that you EARNED your business empire, and built it YOURSELF, as opposed to Mr. Pilot Oil.

Both of you need to attack the GOP as hard as you can; let them know that while the state desperately needs jobs, the Gooper-led General Assembly is too worried about an income tax that can never pass or make sure everyone over the age of 2 can pack when going into a restaurant.

Yes, I just gave you the out on the income tax, and no, I don't like it. Sigh.

Anyway, each of you are invited to our Drinking Liberally meeting on a Wednesday night (Kim's already been here once, Mike, you need to show up, too)  and we will enjoy hearing from each of you.

It's a long way to August, and I am undecided, win me over.  Then we can go kick Haslam's ass in a spirit of unity!

Hey! Where are you going for St. Patty's? Come to Drinking Liberally!

Erin go Bragh and all that, we are gathering this Wednesday night, St. Patrick's Day, for Drinking Liberally at RP Billiards, 525 South Highland.

I am sure Scotty will be prepared for our visit, as we talk about anything and everything, we're there beginning at 7, hope to see you there!

Monday, March 15, 2010

fearless vk talks about the Coffee Party and looks for something stronger

With a hat tip to STP, I found fearless vk's column on the Coffee Party, and I like what she has to say.  Here's a snippet:

I am highly skeptical of the Coffee Party. No, scratch that, it doesn't quite communicate my feelings accurately. In fact, the Coffee Party viscerally repels me. Of course, I reserve the right to do a complete 180 and change my mind entirely if this really turns into a meaningful, substantive movement for change. But all signs point to NOT A CHANCE. Why the bitter sarcasm? Because the Coffee Party just doesn't get it - they don't get politics, they don't get democracy, and they don't get what ails us today. Here is the opening paragraph to their platform, if we may call it that:

Coffee Party USA aims to reinvigorate the public sphere, drawing from diverse backgrounds and diverse perspectives, with the goal of expanding the influence of the People in America's political arena. We do not require nor adhere to any preexisting ideology. We encourage deliberation guided by reason amongst the many viewpoints held by our members. We see our diversity as a strength, not a weakness, because we believe that faithful deliberation from multiple vantage points is the best way to achieve the common good. It is in the responsible and reasonable practice of deliberation that we hope to contribute to society.
Compare this placid, polite statement to what the Tea Partiers are doing - taking to the streets and the White House lawn, protesting loudly and uncivilly, engaging in raucous street theater, and demanding specific political objectives. The problem, of course, is that all of this sound and fury is in the service of completely incoherent goals, on the one hand, or utterly terrifying, borderline fascist goals, on the other. As the country (and perhaps the world) goes down the drain of plutocracy, financial malfeasance, environmental destruction, endless war, and the crumbling of the last tattered remains of any public goods, it's not the time to sit around in coffee shops and have a polite conversation with centrist Republicans and Democrats about our differences. At least the Tea Partiers, for all their wackjob conspiratorial John Birch-esque insanity, understand that the times call for direct-frickin-action. 
Go read the rest here. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's Coffee Time In Tennessee!

As John Ward might say...

STP and Jackson Baker remind us that the first Memphis-area Coffee Party meeting is TODAY at 2:30 PM at Otherlands at 641 Cooper Street. I intend to be there, what say YOU?

 From Jackson's piece:

"MEMPHIS, TN —Today Coffee Party USA, a new grassroots effort that has captured the attention of the nation, announced it will hold a community event at OTHERLANDS COFFEE BAR, 641 COOPER ST. AT 2:30 PM as part of National Coffee House Day on March 13, 2010.
"In the midst of growing frustration with the political climate of the country, the grassroots movement Coffee Party USA has declared March 13, 2010, National Coffee House Day, during which Americans across the country will meet at coffee houses and around kitchen tables to facilitate informative and civil dialogue about a myriad of issues. This diverse and non-partisan organization has drawn members from all walks of life who wish to regain their civic pride and have a strong desire to contribute to the political discourse that is the basis of our democracy.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Chuck Norris turned 70 this week

But he can still fight a bear to a draw, never forget that.

I'm still in a Celtic mood, so here's my FGF

This is the Texas-based group TERIBUS, made up of old hands EJ Jones and Al Cofrin (Clandestine), Richard Kean, and drummer Kevin Hartnell.  Enjoy!

I couldn't agree more

After listening to the rampant insanity taking place on American Familty Radio, Lindsay writes:

Why am I writing about this? This is pointless. These people are the fringe, right? Right? They will die out soon, right? My generation and beyond, we see past this unbelievable — and unbelievably mundane — horse shit, don’t we? I mean, I know lots of us are still locked into these idiotic ape thought patterns but most of us, we’re rational, yes? We don’t affix scarlet letters to various sweaters based on who those sweaters prefer to hug. Right? All the hope I’ve ever had is caught up in the notion that we will get past this ridiculousness some day before I eke out my last breath. That some day — some day soon — we will stop listening to these selfish, hateful fucks (YES I CALLED THEM FUCKS BECAUSE THEY ARE MEAN, AWFUL PEOPLE FULL OF HATRED IN THEIR HEARTS AND IT MAKES ME YELL) and go about the business of making sure, at the very least, that our laws are truly fair and not just blink yawn fair or *whatever* to people who deserve to be treated as fully human, fully citizens.
There's more to read here. This is our first edition of WHAT LINDSAY SAID, but it sure won't be the last, because she is awesome.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Silky, 1997-2010

She is in the middle of the page, sitting happily on her pillow.

I was there when she was born to her mother (in the foreground), and I was there with her this morning when I had to say goodbye. She had developed pancreatic problems and suffered cerebral edema, and didn't know who I was. When I picked her up from the emergency clinic this morning to take her back to her regular vet, I knew she wasn't coming back.

For those like me, who have no children, our pets become our children, and she was mine, more so than any I have had; Lauren would always note that Missy was always everyone's dog, but Silky was mine, and I loved her.

For a Lab mix, 13 years is a long time, and the vet complimented me on how well I had taken care of her.

This is the first time since my birth that there are no dogs in my family, either with my late parents, or with me. I still have my cats, who have not left me since I came home.

I will be away for a few days, and I did have some things to say about Rebuild Government and Save Shelby County, but that can wait, I need to mourn right now.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Janetta does it again

The late great Townes Van Zandt sings his classic PANCHO AND LEFTY from 1993, thanks as always to Janetta for sending.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

In case you wondered...

I'm taking a few days off as things are hectic around the homestead and work, trying to cram a lot into a few days, back late next week.