Monday, June 28, 2010

Hey Mike, Why Don't You Come And See Us Down Here?

I am supporting Mike McWherter, because he's a Democrat, even if not as lefty as I'd like.  Also, because the GOP choices are 1) a rich guy who's had everything handed to him, ran one company into the ground and ran another because his daddy owned it, then parlayed that into the Mayorship of Knoxville, 2) a Congressman who had drug problems in the 80s and then became mr. C Street once he got to DC, and 3) our Lt, Governor, who is an auctioneer (in more ways than one, if you follow how he does things for the coal industry).

By the way, before you point out that Mike is the son of this state's legendary Governor, I will point out to you that Mike built and paid for his businesses himself.  Yes, that's right, HIMSELF.  I don't know why the hell he doesn't point it out, because he is a self-made man, far more than the Pilot Oil Guy.

Yes, Mike will carry Shelby County in the fall, but if he is going to win it by the amount he needs to win the state, he needs to come and see us.  Looking back, he was lucky in that the Chism Picnic was not as big as in previous years, but he still needs to come and see us.

Due to a screw-up in his campaign office, he had to miss an event with the Germantown Democrats at the last minute.  They will support him, of course,  but it would be nice for him to show up.  I also think it would be nice if he came down and had someone show him around beautiful downtown Whitehaven.

You see, those of us who are activists have gotten to know him and like him, and have no problem getting behind him. I can see the logic in him waiting until after the TN-09 Congressional race is over, but the average Democratic voter needs to meet him and get excited about him, because turnout will be EVERYTHING in November.

Frankly, this is the only race that will drive turnout here in November, so he needs to get the faithful revved up, because the margin in Shelby County will make the difference as to whether he will be Governor McWherter or just the nice fella who runs a bank and a beer distributorship.

Mike, come and see us, I think you'll like us, and, given half the chance, we'll like you too.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The heat got me today

I don't even have any pictures of the annual Chism picnic, because it was too damned hot and humid.  If I hadn't gone to the tent shared by Minerva Johnican and Judge Rhynette Northcross Hurd, I might have passed out.  I didn't even work the crowd like normal.

About that crowd: with TWO other events scheduled at the same time (Randy Wade's luau and Shep Wilbun's HQ opening), the crowd, at least until 2:30 was way down this year, and most of the people there were campaign workers.  One other thing: the GOP candidates worked this as hard as the Democrats, which shows they are somewhat desperate.  The woods of Southwest Memphis are not filled with Republican voters, last I checked.

Yet, there were Sheriff Mark Luttrell, Circuit Court Clerk Jimmy Moore and Juvenile Court Clerk candidate Joy Touliatos working the crowd, and Criminal Court Clerk candidate Kevin Key showed up before I left.

Now, our stalwarts were there, for the most part.  Mayor Joe Ford, Trustee Regina Morrison Newman, Shep Wilbun spoke there before going to his HQ event, Circuit Court Clerk candidate Ricky Dixon was there, along with the once and future Criminal Court Clerk, Minerva Johnican, whose washcloth saved me.

I left before Doc Herenton spoke, which is sad, because I wanted to show him my Cohen t-shirt and ask him where my Herenton t-shirt was that he promised me last year!  Heh.

Ok, so I gave out at 2:30 and went home to lay down, take a nap and awaken just in time to see the USA lose to Ghana, ending their World Cup run.

Back to the nap, more later about why the Democratic candidate for Governor, who was there last year but NOT this year, should have been there, and why he needs to get his butt to Memphis and pronto.


Friday, June 25, 2010


LOCATION: Benjamin Hooks Library - 3030 Poplar Ave - Memphis

Facts and Implications of the recent Supreme Court Decision allowing
unlimited Corporate Contributions to Campaign Finance.


Dr. Heather Larsen-Price is an assistant professor in the political science department at the University of Memphis where she teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in American politics and research methods.  Her broad research interests include American political institutions, public policy processes, as well as decision making and information processing.  She specializes in presidency studies.  Her research has been published in American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, and Political Research Quarterly.

Steve Mulroy is a tenured professor at the University of Memphis School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law, criminal law, constitutional criminal procedure, and civil rights.  He has published scholarly articles in the areas of voting rights and election law.  He also serves as a Shelby County Commissioner, first elected in 2006, and has worked on election reform issues both locally and nationally as an advocate and litigator.  Before coming to Memphis, he did voting rights litigation for the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C.  Both his blood type and his chirpy personal motto are "B positive."

        There will be time for questions.  The meeting is free and open to the public.

The Public Issues Forum is a Memphis voluntary association, which sponsors programs to inform and educate the public on current issues and seeks to reinforce the principles set forth in the Constitution of the United States.

Public Issues Forum
P.O. Box 241011
Memphis TN 38124-1011. -

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'm taking some time off

As you know, every now and then I have to step away from LWC.  I am ok, I just need a short break and I need to start putting some time in at Speak To Power to take some of the load off Ross and Trace, who have been playing Hercules for too long.

I have some thoughts running through my head, I just need time to organize them.

OK Then, remember that we are only a week away from the Chism Picnic, I'll move that up to the top later.  Saturday, we have some events, like Steve Cohen's Whitehaven HQ opening, and like Lexie Carter's event at 3 PM to raise money for the Coordinated Campaign for SCDP, shown below.

Oh, and before I go, Lexie is my hero of the week.  Why?  Go check out how she asked our former Mayor why she should vote, as a Democrat, for someone who supports Republicans.  Bravo, girl!

Now, I have some family business to attend to, I'll be back in a few days.  Go see Lexie today!

Friday, June 11, 2010

I would love to attend this!

Text Box:  

Media Release

For Immediate Release

For Info Contact:

 Antonio Parkinson


President@TheVoiceOfRaleighFrayser.orgFormer Mayor W. W. Herenton to Speak Before the Voice of Raleigh and Frayser
(June 11, 2010, 1:30 P.M.) – You've heard the controversial campaign slogan "Just One". Whether you agree or disagree the question has been raised.  Is there a need for a more diverse Tennessee Congressional Delegation?  
Former Memphis Mayor and current 9th District Congressional Candidate Willie W. Herenton will speak before and answer questions from the Voice of Raleigh and Frayser Community Action Network.
This meeting is free to the public and complimentary pizza will be served while it lasts. Take advantage of this opportunity to hear for yourself, ask questions directly to the candidate and make an informed vote.
We look forward to your participation.  Thanks for your support.

The Voice of Raleigh and Frayser Community Action Network Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
6 Pm
Exline's Pizza
2935 Old Austin Peay Hwy @ Stage Road

Please arrive early. is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization and does not endorse candidates nor political affiliations or parties.
For more information call: 901-372-8925, email or visit our website at .

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Speak to Power Speaks to the DWSC This Saturday

Yes, yours truly, along with STP stars Steve Ross and Trace Sharp, will be appearing at the monthly luncheon of the Democratic Women of Shelby County this Saturday. 

The meeting takes place at the Piccadilly Cafeteria on Mt. Moriah (near American Way) with lunch at 11:30 and the speechifying takes place around noonish. 

We appreciate the invite, extended to us at BratFest by Adrienne Pakis-Gillon; our general topic will be about blogging, with each of us bringing a different perspective.

I have not finalized my speech yet, but I will talk mostly about the Blackhawks and the fetish of bison-poo stomping.  No, not really, you'll just have to show up to find out!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Yes, I started crying when I saw this live

Former Hawk Jeremy Roenick gets emotional celebrating the Hawks' Stanley Cup:


Courtesy WGN-TV

For the first time since April 16, 1961, when I was just over two years old, the Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup, eliminating the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime, 4-3 on Pat Kane's goal.

This has not been one of my favorite years by any stretch, but this is a welcome night, as I began to doubt if I would ever see this happen again in my lifetime.  Way to go, Hawks!!!

Predators fans, I hope you someday get to feel the way I am feeling tonight, I just hope you don't have to wait 49 years for it!

Friday, June 04, 2010

GMAIL is screwing with me again

I haven't been able to use my email mailing list for nearly a day now; I'm certain that it's because they are trying force me to go to Google Groups, and I refuse.  I have been sending to this list for a decade now and this is ridiculous.  I can't help but notice that this happened after I sent something out on Net Neutrality.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

RIP Liberadio

From our friend Adam Kleinheider comes this word:

Liberadio(!) radio duo calls it quits 
Today at 1:18pm
One of Nashville's more celebrated alternative news sources has decided to call it quits. Liberadio(!) with Mary Mancini and Freddie O'Connell, which has been broadcast on 91.1 WRVU Monday mornings since 2004, wrapped it's final episode on May 17. The hosts say the final decision was made over the Memorial Day weekend. The reason: time.

"We've done the show as an almost entirely volunteer hobby without more than an occasional break for nearly six years, usually while both of us were working full-time," said O'Connell. "Having half a weekend and brutal Monday mornings to kick off a full work week is exhausting."

With the bold mission of "liberating radio from the Right," hosts O'Connell and Mancini sought to provide a counterbalance to what they saw as a decidedly rightward tilt to over-the-air radio in Nashville. Although mostly a labor of love throughout its tenure, Mancini and O'Connell did attempt to expand and make their project commercially viable.

The duo did a 13-week experimental stint on WAMB-AM and WNSG-AM in the spring of 2007 buying time out of their own pockets and selling ads for their shows, acting as their own salesforce. The foray into commercialism was ultimately unsustainable as the hosts struggled to handle the business side of the project while maintaining the quality of the show.

"We knew we couldn't continue doing the show and sales beyond the pilot period, or the product would suffer," explained Mancini. "We never found either a station or salesperson who was willing to partner with us for a more sustainable experiment."

Liberadio(!) has been able to stay on the air through the generosity of Vanderbilt University's community DJ program. The university has for years offered an ever dwindling number of on-air spots on its station to members of the community not otherwise affiliated with the university. Mancini and O'Connell were thus able to build up their brand and provide a service to the community at a limited cost to them.

"We operated a popular blog, added a podcast, and even a live video stream, so we definitely achieved our goals of bootstrapping with low overhead for maximum impact," said O'Connell. "But you can't start a 10,000-watt radio station in your garage quite so easily."

Despite failing to reach a broader commercial audience, Liberadio(!) never failed to be honored by their community and recognized for the high news content of their show. O'Connell and Mancini were recognized three times in the Nashville Scene's Readers Poll and twice consecutively by Talkers magazine as one of their "Frontier Fifty," a list highlighting talk hosts doing pioneering work on the web.

The show also had an impact in political terms having received, on more than one occasion, requests by candidates for their endorsement.

"We were frequently asked whether we would be endorsing in given races or whether we would sponsor various issue debates," said Mancini. "We heard several voters tell us they had voted the Liberadio(!) ticket."

The Liberadio(!) brand also made waves in the national media; the most recent being in February of 2009 when Congressman Jim Cooper seemed to indicate during an interview that he had been granted permission by President Obama to vote against a health care bill being pushed by the administration in order to make it "cleaner." Cooper subsequently walked back the remarks once they began to get wider circulation. The episode led the hosts to ask almost every subsequent guest to finish the sentence, "I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but..."

Despite having the opportunity to interview candidates, elected leaders and public intellectuals what the hosts most enjoyed was interacting with the audience.

"We had the best and smartest listeners in the world," said the hosts. "[W]e loved hearing from them on all kinds of topics."

Asked what the Liberadio(!) legacy will be, the hosts answered with their characteristic wit and modesty.

"Launching the career of Stephen Colbert. Didn't we do that? Oh, who knows. Maybe someday we'll have our own Wikipedia page."

Freddie O'Connell, a native Nashvillian, is a graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy and Brown University and currently runs SearchViz, a boutique inbound marketing and web design firm. A longtime political and community activist. O'Connell currently serves as president of the Salemtown Neighborhood Association and on the board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority. In 2002, O'Connell ran as an independent against then-TNGOP chairwoman and state Rep. Beth Harwell.

Mary Mancini, best known as the owner and proprietor on the now defunct Lucy's Record Shop, has served on the board of various political and community groups including the Tennessee Alliance for Progress. On Monday, she will start work as Tennessee Citizen Action's Executive Director.

I'm having a hard time writing these days

I took today and tomorrow off, as I need to recover from BratFest.  So, I see my numbers dwindling, and it's because I haven't been writing.

It's not like there's nothing to write about, there's TOO MUCH to write about, between the baby-killing Senate Republicans taking money to reduce infant mortality out of the state budget, to President Obama's impotent response to the BP oil disaster (he just needs to take them over, do what it takes to get the leak stopped, and force them to pay for all of it, even if they have to go bankrupt) and the general rage I have at Democrats for their abject failure to address and attack our nation's problems.


And if you're a person who has changed their deity from some god to the marketplace, take that shit somewhere else; I'm not here for a debate, I'm here for ADVOCACY.  Any questions?

The Democratic Party has moved so far to the right that I barely know it anymore; the Republicans have gone even farther, to the point where John McCain is now seen as a centrist, when once he was thought of as batshit crazy.

Other than Steve Cohen and some of our local legislators like Beverly Marrero and Jeanne Richardson, I can't get excited about Democrats, and rather than sabotage them, I've just tended to shut up.  I really don't know how much longer I can do that, so I hope to be writing a little bit more.

We need more Al Frankens and less Blanche Lincolns.  We need more Steve Cohens and fewer Bart Stupaks.  We need more Ned McWherters and fewer Phil Bredesens.

Frankly, we need to move LEFT.  (Listen, you can hear the Blue Dogs faint as they hear their contributors run away).  We need people at every legislative level who care more about their CONSTITUENTS than they do their DONORS.

We need to make government closer to the people, and reduce the part money plays in politics.  We need to de-financialize and de-Reaganize this society before it becomes neo-feudalist.  And if you think Chris Hedges is wrong, then your head is up your ass, and I will NOT argue that.

Ok, I feel better already; let's see how many Democrats live up to my standards.

By the way, I'm not really talking about the folks running for County offices here; those are clerical positions, and there really is no Democratic or Republican way to run most of those.

Enough for now.