Monday, December 30, 2019

Respect The Grind

Memphis, the Grind City.

It is what we are, it is who we are. Grit n' Grind was the Grizzlies, our beloved NBA team for many years. Mark Jones called us that in the Cotton Bowl this past week.

It is what we want our representatives to do. Grind out the work needed for their constituents. Make their lives better. Do it over a period of time that shows your commitment.

We respect and honor those who make it to the top by putting in the work and earning their way to success. We don't like flash, we love substance. We love people who earn the love.

Memphis has two favorite sons. Jerry Lawler, the wrestling King of Memphis. He did the grind to take the torch from his mentor, Sputnik Monroe. Penny Hardaway would be the second, he took the torch from the previous basketball god of Memphis, Larry Finch. Hardaway has come home to continue the grind. A lot of fans wish Penny had continued to be a viable player when the Grizzle came from Vancouver.

We are due for a torch passing of sorts within the next 4 or so years in two major areas. Jim Strickland, a man who has grinded out working on making the city better, has four more years in public service. Steve Cohen, a Memphis icon who will never get the respect and honor he deserves in this state and this city, has fewer years left ahead of him in office than behind.

There will be a rush to fill their voids. Who will get your vote? My only recommendation. Respect the grind.

Friday, October 04, 2019

It has been a while, and I have a lot to say.

I am very happy that my friend and Mayor, Jim Strickland was overwhelmingly re elected with 62.1 percent of the vote.

Why, some of you will ask, didn't you vote for a real progressive?  And then referred me to the third-place finisher, the County Commissioner who could not even wait to finish ONE YEAR in office before she ran for City Mayor.  I would have written in Pamela Moses before I would ever vote for Tami Sawyer, now or in the future.

I have lived in Memphis, Tennessee since June 17, 1972.  I have lived under Wyeth Chandler, J, O, Patterson, Wallace Madewell, Dick Hackett, Willie Herenton, Myron Lowery, AC Wharton, and the gentleman who will now serve us through 2023, Jim Strickland.

ONLY ONE MAYOR has used the term Black Lives Matter in the way it was meant to be used, for real and unironically.  ONLY ONE MAYOR has attended Pride in Memphis and marched in the parade and hired a LGBTQIA Liaison (by the way, that Liaison does a damn fine job!).  ONLY ONE WHITE MAYOR has ever, to my knowledge, been a life member of the NAACP.   ONLY ONE MAYOR has, to my knowledge, served as the Chair of the Shelby County Democratic Party.

And that is the fellow who got 62.1% of the vote of the city tonight: JIM STRICKLAND.  Do I agree with him on everything?  Of course not.  When I have disagreed with him in the past (and I used to call him up when he was my Councilman), he would hear me out and then explain why he disagreed.  He would not placate me, which is one of the reasons he won four years ago.

Tami Sawyer is still butthurt that she didn't get credit for the statues coming down.  I think the voters of the city, if they had ANY question about that, settled that this evening.  He had started working on that while he was on the Council, about the time you were bragging about outing one of your teachers at St. Mary's.   I don't think you had many LGBTQIA voters left by the time your 6,666 voters were counted.  (No, I am not making that up.)  That adds up to 6.9%, single digits, as I had forecast some weeks ago.

You know who understands that we still have a long way to go when it comes to income inequality? JIM STRICKLAND.  Everything that you claim to want, Commissioner, they have been working on since he took office in 2016.  Just what do you think would have happened if you had gotten elected and attempted to do what you said you would do?  Look at whom we have in the General Assembly from outside Shelby and Davidson Counties, do you really think they would let you do that?  They would be salivating to crush a Mayor who is a woman of color, and by the time you won in the courts your term would be up and people here would be tired of the drama.

You have slandered our Mayor for the last three years, and the voters told you tonight what they think about that.  Your base is not North or South Memphis, Frayser or Raleigh, Whitehaven or Hickory Hill.  It is the western end of the Poplar Corridor, it's made up of cranky old Midtowners.  You got mad about Jackson Baker mentioning that in the Memphis Magazine story, but it is the TRUTH.  It is time to pay attention to the people of Commission District 7,  Commissioner.  Whoever talked you into running against a popular Mayor did you no favors.

Most of all, if you had stuck to your plan of getting elected and then re-elected to the Commission and THEN running for Mayor in 2023, you would have been in a better position to establish yourself legislatively, raise the funding necessary to get elected, and, in all seriousness, had time to clean up your social media.  After tonight, who knows?  Sure, you say you are going to keep doing what you have been doing, but if only 7% are listening...............

Enough, it is time to address the media coverage, in particular, the Commercial Appeal, who especially on Election Day had Daniel Connolly and Sarah Macaraeg talking to every voter who apparently had decided THAT VERY DAY to vote for the Commissioner.  Well, CA, way to play to 7% of the voting populace!  That should help with subscriptions!  Oy.  Jackson Baker GOT IT RIGHT.  Otis Sanford GOT IT RIGHT.  Bill Dries GOT IT RIGHT.  And to be fair, Ryan Poe GOT IT RIGHT in Election Day's 901 column.

I also understand that, especially with the CA, they wanted to portray the race as being closer than it ever really was, in order to get clicks and subscriptions.  (NOTE: Until someone local owns the CA, I am not subscribing.  I feel bad for the good people who write there, but I cannot subsidize what Gannett and their new partner is doing to the paper and the website, which is, and has been, hideous).

It will be fascinating to see how the Mayor is covered by the CA from this point forward, considering that the Millennials could not be bothered to show up to vote.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.  Meanwhile, old farts like me will always vote every election!!  I am going to soak all this in and enjoy every moment of this overwhelming victory.  By the way, if you still don’t understand why Jim won, go read Poe’s 901 from today (Friday).  If that doesn’t explain it, I can’t help you!  Enjoy your weekend, I sure will.

Friday, January 11, 2019

There's a TNDP Chair election tomorrow

As noted earlier, I am supporting Mary Mancini, although I have no vote.

Her opponents are Williamson County Chair Holly McCall and former Lincoln Davis staffer Christopher Hale.  I support Mary because she had the guts to shutdown the ineffective SCDP and pave the way for its rebirth, which led to last year's sweep of the County elections.  We owe Mary for that.

Having said that, should she not win, I would prefer Holly McCall to Mr. Hale, as the Blue Dog days are dead forever, and despite what people from those days would tell you, that is NOT the only way for the Democrats to prosper in this state.

I note that Ms. McCall has proclaimed endorsements from the AFL-CIO, the House Democratic Caucus, as well as a couple of other groups.  I am not sure if the AFL-CIO or Labor still has a vote on the Executive Committee (they SHOULD), but each Caucus, the Tennessee Young Democrats, and the Tennessee Fderation of Democratic Women, each have ONE VOTE tomorrow.

If I remember correct, the number of voters will be 72, which means that the winner needs 37 at a minimum.  66 of these voters were elected by their State Senate Districts to the Executive Committee in last August's primary elections.  So, even if you got each of those groups to give you their vote, you would still need 32 members of the Executive Committee to vote for you.

These endorsements imply that there is a groundswell to replace Mary; however, it's the individual relationships between Mary and each elected member that will determine her fate.  Each of those groups could rise up as one to say we need change; if the Exec Com backs her tomorrow, it will have all been for nought.

I think Mary has done her best, and sure, there are things that could be better.  That said, when you can't have dialogue in rural areas because folks have been poisoned by right-wing media, what would YOU do differently?

Well, time to sit back and see what happens.  I will congratulate the winner and console whomever loses and remind them the fight continues to beat the GOP.


Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Happy 2019, here is what I am thinking about

First, it is too damned early, unless you are an operative looking for work, to care about 2020, there is too much happening now to worry about that.  I don't really want a Democratic nominee over 70, if possible.  They will not increase turnout next year.  I will support whomever we nominate, because we can't even be sure who the GOP nominee will be.  Whomever the nominee is, can we NOT turn them into a Messianic figure, please?  THE PURPOSE OF ELECTING PEOPLE TO OFFICE IS SO THEY WILL ENACT THE POLICIES WE WANT.  PERIOD.

Thank you.

Moving right along, I believe we will soon see a return to the blogosphere of one Trace Sharp of Nashville, TN, at  Put her on your RSS feed.  It won't be a return to NEWSCOMA, because that is done.  What you will get will, as always, be WELL worth your time.

Next, it appears that on January 12, Mary Mancini will seek a third term as TNDP Chair.  I don't blame her for Bredesen's loss, you can put that on Bredesen himself, who sucked all the air (and money) out of every other campaign in the state.  Phil Bredesen has never gotten anyone elected to office that was not named Phil Bredesen.  He needs to go retire and never darken our doors again.  It sure isn't 2006 anymore.

Back to this Chair race, which features Mary, Wiilliamson County Chair and longtime operative Holly McCall, and someone named Christopher Hale.  Mary has a record, and has flaws like any other living, breathing human, but I have a question for the other candidates:  What would YOU do differently?  HOW would you do it?  HOW do you fight the rampant right-wing media poisoning happening in rural Tennessee (and the US, for that matter) that precludes any type of true dialogue with folks?   IF you can make a reasonable case for how to do it (and if you CAN, you ought to be running for DNC Chair, not just TNDP), then I will listen.

I don't have a vote, but if I did, I would vote for Mary.  I would do so at the very least for her closure of the inept SCDP and faciliting its rebirth which led to an August sweep last year.  We owe her that much in Shelby County.

There are City elections this year, and I tend to believe that the Mayor will be re-elected, barring something unforeseen.  (NOTE: time to invoke the Hunter Demster Memorial Disclosure, in which I remind the 8-12 of you who do NOT know that my wife works in the Mayor's Office.  Take what ever caveats you need from that.)  No, Hunter Demster is not dead, it's just good for people to remember he is there, watching over us all.  :)

The Council elections will be a doozy, I am just going to sit back and wait for those.  I expect that there are incumbents who MAY not be re-elected, we will just have to wait and see what develops.  It should be a booming year for the local popcorn industry, I am just saying.

Speaking of breaking out the popcorn, the Council will once again attempt to fill three seats (that could have been filled in the November general election) next Tuesday, and we will see if they can get 7 votes for anyone in any of these seats.  Then they will elect a Chair for 2019; as long as it's not the person in the seat now, I am good.  Just saying, and note that these opinions are mine and mine alone, as they have been since 2004.

That's enough for now; the coming return of Ms. Sharp to the interwebs and the continued writing of Mr. Ross at Vibinc has inspired me to start again, I think it's time.  See you back here, and sooner than you think!