Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Schools Out For the Summer!!!

No more students, no more gradebooks, no more administrators dirty looks!!!

For the first time since I was 14, I am unemployed for a summer. Excuse me while I strip down to my underwear, grab a Bud, and watch judge Judy. And the next candidate that says I can help him instead of sitting on my butt will just have to wait until after Oprah cause I ain't answering my phone.

Okay, I'm bored already. Gotta go find some sort of political mess to get into.

Memo to Republicans:

Please annoy independents.

Okay, so I was wrong. I was under the impression that Republicans were evil, but politically competent. Apparently I was wrong. Case in point, Jefferson hands them ammo on a silver platter to counter the "culture of corruption" charge on they defend him. Today's example, Bilbray, Francine Busby's opponent (see previous post) attacked John McCain's immigration bill which made McCain cancel his campaign appearance scheduled this week. The election is June 9th. Let's hope they keep annoying moderates.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

She just might do it.

The RCCC has spent 1/8 of their cash on hand trying to defeat Democrat Francine Busby in a HARDCORE Repbulican district. If they lose this, Republican control of Congress is toast. If she comes close they better be scared. Want to help that?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Let's rumble.

So how do I respond to this?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

For All You District 7 Readers:

Ms. Let's Tear Down the Capital, Marsha Blackburn has a Democratic Opponent. You can check out Bill Morrison's webpage here. I know it's a rare pleasure to get to vote for a Democrat in some parts of that district. Savor that feeling and make her have to spend some of her dough instead of just giving it to her son.

Al Gore Article

Check out this article about Al Gore from The New Yorker that I found at evilblog. If Gore jumps into the race then I'll be marching through the New Hampshire snow for him in a heartbeat. If he doesn't I'm not sure where I'll end up. I like Edwards the most of the current crop, but there is a lot of time to go. In the meantime, RUN AL RUN!!!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Happy Anniversary!


Happy Anniversary to my wonderful wife, Margo, for being married to me for 5 years, dating me for another 4, and for just putting up with me since we started preschool together. You deserve a medal, sweetie. I love you!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Clearing Up My Previous Post

Several people have asked whether I meant them in that post where I generically complain about us fighting instead of concentrating on elections. I both did and did not mean anyone specific. I'm not going to start calling people out. Even if I was so inclined there are too many to name. What I was talking about is the large number of people involved in the party both on and off of the executive committee that are fighting with each other and calling one another names and causing trouble and just generally being immature. It's one thing to fight over stuff that matters; it's an entirely different matter to fight over names and personalities and titles and past grudges and other knick-knacks. Yesterday, I got a dozen emails (at least!) and more than half a dozen calls from people upset at another Democrat, and not one of those conversations concerned a political or philosphical or practical issue.

Frankly, I'm more than sick of it. We waste half of our time putting out the fires of one contrived tempest-in-a-teapot after another. What we need to be doing is building a real ward and precinct organization, recruiting candidates, improving the party's image, hitting the streets for our nominees, etc. We're doing some of that, but mostly we're treading water and fighting over who gets the best mud puddle.

Hottest Politician in the Country

Politics1 is doing their yearly poll to find the hottest politician in the country. So, I'm taking a break from hard-hitting political coverage to link up to that. The current polls is for the females. The males will come later. Last year's winners were John Edwards and Stephanie Herseth. This year Nikki Tinker (got to admit she's a bit of a looker) and Marsha Blackburn (Say what?!?) are in the running. I believe Tennessee is the only state with two in the running. Ford was on there last year and probably will be again. Tennessee grows them well, I guess.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Whole New Meaning to Political Fighting

I read over at Freedonian and over at the CA that Herenton is going to box Joe Fraizer for a fundraiser for his alma-mater. Now that I might pay to see, although I think my money would be on Fraizer.

He's inspired me. Maybe I should call out on the mat my equivalent Republican vice-chair locally for an undercard. Boxing or mixed martial arts, his choice. Matt could take on Giannini. Cracker vs. the Main Street Journal. Let's Rumble!!!

To Whom it May Concern:

And you know who I'm talking to. This is election season. Everybody needs to put aside their petty BS and shutup. We have Republicans to beat. We can go back to disemboweling one another in the next off year. If we can't be united for the 8 weeks until the next election then we deserve to lose.

The First August Endorsement:

My first endorsement for the August elections (aside from the obvious carry-over from District 5) is Regina Newman for General Sessions Division 4. Not only is she a good Democrat in a field full of Republicans, but she is also supremely qualified. But don't take my word for it. Check out her webpage.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wouldn't It Be Nice

To have a third party nip at the Republicans' heels again? This is from politics1.com

P2008: MINUTEMAN GROUP FOUNDER LIKELY TO MAKE WHITE HOUSE RUN.Immigration reform activist Jim Gilchrist -- the retired accountant who founded the controversial Minuteman Project civilian border patrol group -- met with Constitution Party national leaders last week at a Florida gathering. The leaders openly asked Gilchrist to be their nominee for President in 2008. He responded by saying that if McCain runs in the Republican contest, they can count on him to be the Constitution Party's candidate. Gilchrist sharply disagrees with McCain's support for guest worker program and amnesty for many illegal immigrants already in the US. Gilchrist made a third-party bid for Congress in the California CD-48 special election last year. He raised over $500,000 and captured an impressive 25% of the vote in that race -- finishing just 3-points behind the Democratic nominee. Gilchrist is a close political ally of Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), who endorsed Gilchrist over the GOP nominee in that congressional race. Conservative groups aligned with the GOP helped Ralph Nader obtain ballot status in several states in 2000 and 2004. Will progressive groups aligned with the Dems help Gilchrist in key swing states as payback?

Cracker Said I Had To Tell

And my momma told me to always obey my elders. They gave away three awards last night at Kennedy Day. Congratulations to Laura Coleman as outstanding volunteer (not the exact phrasing but that was the idea) and John Bratcher for the "Party Loyalty" award. I also got the "Rising Star" award. And I must say that I had the prettiest date there. There should have been an award for that. Oh well, maybe next year.

It was a fun night, even if I was sick and felt like crap. Stupid sinus infections and allergies. Ugh... I hate Spring.

Bredesen and the Protesters

Outside of the hotel where Kennedy Day was held were protesters from disability rights groups. A few of them came and crashed the VIP reception to confront him. Rather than having them thrown out, he went and talked to them for about ten minutes after which they left. Kudos to him for that move.

I know a lot of people are ticked off at him for the TennCare cuts, and I understand that. However, without an income tax, there was no choice, and an income tax is dead in the water for at least a few more years. He had to make a tough, crappy choice, and although I don't like it, I am impressed that he didn't just bandaid the problem and mostly ignore it rather than paying the political price. He is a responsible, capable administrator first and foremost and that's what we need at the helm of the state. I am much less ideological with administrative positions than I am with legislative positions and this is a vote I am not hesitant to cast.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Nothing To Report

Nothing to report on Kennedy Day, and that's a very good thing. The place was packed, and everyone seemed to get along and have a nice time. Even the Cracker behaved himself with his patented "two-clap system."

Blogger's Bash

Mike over at halfbakered is organizing a local bloggers bash on June 9th.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Back to Local Races

CAN THE COUNTY COMMISSION HAVE A DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY?
YES

HELP NEEDED IN THE SWING
5TH DISTRICT RACE
· Districts 1-4 will elect 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans
· Who will be the 13th Commissioner-Democrat Steve Mulroy or a Republican?

HELP ELECT
STEVE MULROY
COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 5

PHONEBANK VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

EVERY AFTERNOON FROM 1-5 PM

EVERY EVENING FROM 6-9 PM

Place: TN Senate Candidate Harold Ford Jr.‘s Election Headquarters’
Park Place Shopping Center, 1213 Ridgeway Rd (Between Park and Primacy Parkway E.)

Contact: Joe Weinberg 755-6180 jaweinberg@pol.net

Friday, May 19, 2006

My Choices

Whew... Finished... So who am I voting for? Not actually quite sure yet. There are some great people in the race. My personal David's vote horse race follows. I'd love to have Tier 1-2. Tier 3 I wouldn't be unhappy with. 4. I don't want.

1. Cohen and Stanton
2. Pratcher
BIG SPACE
3. Mitchell, Tinker, Whitman, Harris, Blumenfield, Kyles
HUGE SPACE!
4. Ford, Bolton, Redwing, White, Townes

Jesse Blumenfield

The poor guy had to follow Steve. After Steve's on fire intro Jesse said "Glad you read my website, Steve." He talked about being a regular guy, not part of a political machine, and that he wouldn't take PAC money, only small donations and grassroots volunteers (I'm a bad person but I looked at Frankie Grace behind me and said "Ahhhh...")

He talked about improving the biotech and alternative energy fields locally to make us competitive.

Said marriage is for churches to decide but he supports civil unions.

Said that abortion shouldn't be a casual choice and we need better education and access to the morning after pill.

Liked the guy on the issues, but he is not a comfortable speaker or politician at all.

Steve Cohen

All right already! Here he is. Steve was interupted by applause more than anyone else all night long. He said that he was impressed by all the candidates but he is the one who has a record of fighting for us for decades. He talked about speaking truth to power in Nashville and D.C.

He called Bush "the most ineffectual, uncaring, incompetent president ever, and I'll tell him that."

Talked a lot about global warming, conservation, alternative energy, decreasing dependence on foriegn oil, and fiscal responsibility.

Said his political heros that he would want to be like were Hubert Humphrey, Jack Kenneday, Bobby Kenneday, and MLK Jr.

When asked about race he said no and pointed out his defense of Ophelia and sponsoring legislation to get felons back their right to vote.

Said he was one of only 3 votes in the senate against the gay marriage amendment.

100% prochoice and was the only legislator male or female willing to speak to women's rights groups back in the day.

In a joking reference to Nikki's statement that it was about gender not race, he quiped that he had the record of a black woman so she has some competition.

He said that the immigration issue was just a coverup for the administration and Republicans to try to distract from the real problems. He likes guest worker programs, and is against sending national guard troops to the border.

Joe Ford Jr.

Joe didn't come, but his brother/campaign manager did. Justin read a letter from Joe Ford Jr. that talked about term limits and constituent services and toll-free hotlines for people in the district. Justin made the mistake of begining the debate by saying it was his dream to be a politician so he was excited to be there but this day was for his brother. I'm sure that's true and there's nothing wrong with wanting to run for something but I think it tends to make you look bad to say that years before you're running for something. No one likes the guy who has been planning (or at least the one who admits he has) his presidential run since 4th grade. Justin left after that.

Joseph Kyles

His first line was "1 billion people in poverty in this world..." He talked about his wife being a teacher at Hamilton Middle School, the need for vocational training, ethanol use, and getting out of Iraq.

When asked about race, he was vague, but immediately talked about 88% of Congress being white males and 100% of presidents being white male. Basic gist was "yes the Congressman from Memphis should be black but I don't want to actually say that."

Was vague about gay marriage. Kept saying you can't legislate morality and state's rights. (Whitman replied that most bills are legislating morality.) Said he would vote no on the amendment.

Pro-choice. Talked about his wife developing ecclampsia and the doctor said they had to choose between her and daughter. They choose to have the baby (mama and baby were there and both are fine.)

Said that we need to protect immigrants, workers' rights, etc. The problem isn't immigration, it's drugs and that only 3% of cargo is checked.

Lee Harris

Okay, I know I've been slow but they're coming. I'm tempted to break order and do Steve's since people keep asking for it, but I might as well keep plowing through the alphabet.

Lee started by saying that he would answer the question on everyone's mind. He's 27 which is "the average age of freshmen congressmen in Memphis."

He talked about taking a paycut to teach poverty law instead of his Baker Donalson position. He supports increasing the minimum wage and term limits.

He said that race doesn't matter. If you support working families he doesn't care if you're "black, white, or the color of my daughter's bedroom, froggy green."

He says his Baptist faith teaches him not to discriminate and the gay marriage amendment is therefore an easy question.

Asked about abortion he said that 40% of abortions are 2nd abortions, but didn't actually give his own position that I heard.

On the immigration issue he said we need to police employers.

Marvell Mitchell

He started with a good story about trying to help his mother fill out the crazy Medicare Part D forms, giving up, and saying he'd just pay for it himself. He also promised to do something about gas prices (in responce to Stanton's statement that he wouldn't promise that he could fix that.)

Marvell suggested that all candidates pass an FBI background check and credit report (63% of Memphis politicians would therefore be disqualified by my count.)

Responding to the question about race, he said that a candidate's race did matter, and that whites tend to vote for and do buisness with whites. Blacks tend to vote for and do buisness with blacks.

He opposed both gay marriage and the amendment.

Pro-life with an exception for maternal health.

Called the immigration issue stupid (the idea that all these people come here and work for years and all of the sudden we want to send them back.)

Tyson Pratcher

Tyson and Steve got the most applause from their respective intros (Steve probably got the most applause total that night.) He was funny and talked about his experiences in Washington, New York, and Memphis. He talked about different bills he helped write like the election reform bill and helping start the Eagle Academy. He also said that if you asked the other candidates to name one piece of legislation in Washington they have helped advance or one Senator who would return their calls now that they would start "stuttering like George Bush at a spelling bee."

He said that everyone else there was either a career political insider or the relative of one. He then said that despite the number of candidates there were only two choices, old or new.

"Race isn't important but it just so happens that the best candidate is a bald, black guy."

Opposed gay marriage and the amendment but supported civil unions. When Jesse Blumenfield said that it sounded reasonable, but with Tyson it came across as pandering to me because he stated both total opposition to gay marriage than immediatley said but I support civil unions. (When politicians do this it often reminds me of the presidential debate on the Simpsons where the aliens have taken over Clinton and Dole. One says abortions for all. The crowd boos. The other says no abortions for anyone. The crowd boos. Finally they say"abortions for some. little american flags made in China for other." ) Basically, it sounded like he just wanted to cover both bases on the issue.

Said he was strongly pro-choice but that we need good (not abstinance only ) sex-ed to prevent unwanted pregnancies. He said that too often the other side only loves kids in the womb.

Along with Steve and Nikki, he said that Bush actually almost got the immigration issue right. Supported guest worker program, not the national guard getting sent down there though. Both Steve and Tyson said that this was just an all of the sudden political issue to distract from the war, etc.

Margo said that Tyson and Steve seem the most qualified to her. That Tyson seems like he could get things done for us and recognizes a lot of the problems we have. She also said that one vote isn't important in most cases, that a Congressman needs to be able to improve Memphis with his position both with for lack of a better term, pork, and by influencing our messed up political situation. She thinks Ford is too concerned with his ambitions to mess with us on those levels. Although she thinks Tyson could do that the best, she doesn't really think he will. He seems like he'd be more concerned with his own ambitions like our current Congressman. Smart girl, eh?

Ron Redwing

Ron listed a lot of things in his intro like healthcare and education but nothing more detailed.

When asked about whether the race of our Congressman mattered he said that it shouldn't but it does. He then went on to talk about concern that all the black candidates would split the phone and allow "someone else" to win. The other... Always got to love "the other." Who do ya think he could have meant?

He said he opposed gay marriage and the amendment.

He opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or health reasons.

Ed Stanton

Rather than staying behind the desk, Ed got up and walked around in front of the table, prompting everyone else to do that all night. He was charismatic, confident, and passionate. He started off by saying that he wouldn't tell us that he would make gas cost 99 cents (another candidate said he would) or that he could end the Iraq War by himself. What he would do is be honest. He starting talking about 1 in 4 Memphians living in poverty (didn't talk about the infant mortality rate like he has before but a healthcare question was never asked) about MLGW bills, social security, the dropout rate, and prescription drug coverage.

When asked about whether race matters in this election he had mike trouble but handled that with humour. He said he was fed-up with racial politics, that he had support from a broad spectrum of the community and that we need someone he will represent everyone no matter their race. He also said he has a campaign that looks like Memphis which to give him credit, he does.

He said the constitution is sacred and opposes the gay marriage amendment.

He said that every abortion is 1 too many but it's a decision that should rest with the woman.

He also talked about supporting the Dream Act making children in this country illegally citizens if they graduate.

Nikki Tinker

PolarDonkey, you missed a sight. She kicked butt. Sorry about that, but it's true.

There are two main criticisms of Nikki that I have heard (and to a certain extent share.) One is that she won't talk about issues. The other is that she will be a DLC, corporate hack. She is talking about issues and coming to forums now, and her introduction goes a long way to building armour against the latter attack.

Again and again she would talk about her background. She was born to a single mother, raised by a hard-working no-nonsence grandmother. Grandfather was a coal-miner until the day he died. Etc. Basically, the gist is coporate shill? I pulled myself up by the bootstraps, and I know what it was to like to not be rich. Effective.

She had a HILLARIOUS line when asked if the race should be about race. She said it shouldn't be about race that it should be about gender. Then she went off about how most poverty, etc comes from single mothers and she wants to look out for them.

She also had an honest line with gay marriage. She basically apologized for her position. She said she's struggled with the issue, that the way she was raised she can't support gay marriage but she's not saying she's right about that and that she wouldn't support the amendment.

When asked about abortion, she said the she doesn't support abortion but that the government should stay out of it.

I won't be voting for her, but I also won't deny that she helped her campaign last night and did quite well.

Joe Townes Jr.

Joe started his intro with a shot at the newbies in the race who this is their first campaign. He wanted to know that if this was their first office, if their second would be to run for God. He also mentioned the need to protect social security.

Asked about race, he said it's not about race it's about service and the pocketbook. At which point he took out a big wad of cash from his pocket. (Not what I would have done if I was a black state rep. and the Tennessee Waltz patrol was out and around but what do I know?)

He said gays shouldn't be discriminated against, but shouldn't get benefits. He also said our country was founded on Judeo-Christian heritage. (To some extent that is true. But about as many founding fathers were Deists like Franklin or could-care-less like Washington so that line always causes some eye-rolling on my account along with the apparent plot by gays to destroy marriage and cervical cancer vaccines to cause teenage orgies.)

When asked about abortion he said to raise your hand if you wanted to be aborted. (Margo said that there are four positions on abortion. Pro-choice, pro-choice but I hate myself for it, pro-life but I hate myself for it, and pro-life. I kinda like that. I straddle on the issue. Sometimes I lean more one way or another, but I am never comfortable on either side. I want a candidate who takes a position but acknowledges that the issue sucks. If you're pro-life you better start listing off about a million ways to decrease the need for abortion rather than just saying "Don't have sex." You also better not start talking about killers or only those already on your side will listen. If you're pro-choice, you need to acknowledge that it is a touchy issue and not say that anyone who isn't pro-choice is a neanderthal. You also better focus more on keeping legal but rare through sex-ed, healthcare, adoption, etc. When you focus on CHOICECHOICECHOICE it comes across as not recognizing any tragedy in the choice. Anyways, back to the candidate.)

He closed with a long, rambling, somewhat incoherent take on us needing to fix Mexico and that we need to watch our backdoor and how Mexico wanted to invade us in WWII and we better be on the watch...

Ralph White

In his intro Ralph said that he was the only one who wasn't "riding on other's coattails..." He also talked about his experience as a Promise Keepers field director.

When asked about whether the race of a candidate should matter he answered with a great dodge that we have the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. We can "vote for the black whose name is White."

He said he doesn't support discrimination, but he also doesn't support gay marriage. I think he said he wouldn't vote for the gay marriage amendment, but that's not in my notes.

He's pro-life except for when health is endangered, and he thinks we need to start teaching abstinence only in schools. (I get really annoyed when people try and say contraceptives (and more recently the cervical cancer vaccine) give kids permission to have sex. Anyone remember being a teenager? Did the availability of vaccines or contraceptives go into your consideration about whether or not to have sex? I have serious doubts. A large segment of the population will have sex. They do now, and did in the idealized Leave it to Beaver past. That happens regardless of whether they have access to ways to make their mistake safer.)

He stated that we need to punish and fine illegal immigrants and their employers. He also complained about illegals getting "preferential treatment" and being given the healthcare and educational spending that should go to Americans. Funny, that's the same thing certain relatives of mine say about blacks and gays, that they get "preferential treatment" and that we treat "them" better than "us." Trust me, Ralph, that's not company you want to be in.

He also said that seniors should get property tax breaks. Although, to my knowledge that is a state and local issue.

Bill Whitman

I have a lot to write about the debate but my class is full of annoying teenagers so I will write this in candidate by candidate pieces so if I get interuppted I can push publish and finish later. I'll go in reverse alphabetical order because that's how the debate started so that's how my notes run. I apologize in advance for the myriad grammatical errors that are bound to crop up. If I get ambitious I'll fix those at the end, but this is a blog after all.

Bill Whitman: Bill started off nervous and faltered in his opening, but did win some points with me for hitting on the need to raise the minimum wage as one of the three main foci of his campaign. He avoided the opportunity to immigrant bash and said something along the lines of "he who denies a stranger denies America." He also supports a guest worker program

He doesn't support gay marriage, and thinks there is an assault on marriage in this country. He attributes the assaults to heterosexuals not taking their marital committments seriously rather than to any nefarious plot of gays to destroy marriage.

He is pro-life and hit on the need to reduce the need for abortions by increasing the adoption tax credit, WIC, and healthcare coverage. If you read this, what do you think about sex-ed? I'll rant about the sex-ed issue later, but the bell is ringing.

He said that some people have asked him why he doesn't move to the 8th District and run, but that he doesn't want to live in that district because he loves Memphis.

He seems like a good guy, but he really doesn't have much of a chance in this district. He shouldn't have brought up the 8th District comment because he really would have matched up much better there. Being white loses him a big segment of the vote, and being the more moderate, Christian-centered, pro-life/anti-gay marriage candidate would hurt him with the mid-town white vote. In short, he needs him a nice rural Southern Democrat district to run in and this ain't it.

Debate

I'll be posting about the debate later today so Jackson won't fuss at me again. At the moment, I am snowed under with actual work. Don't they know school is supposed to be over? In other news, I just got the gateway scores back for my students and they aren't half as dumb as I thought they were. Or maybe they just had a great teacher.

Thanks to Jackson Baker for doing an excellant job moderating.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bob Corker... Mama's Boy...

I can see how that ad Corker has started running where his mother talks and won't let him talk looked good on paper as a cute idea. In practice though, didn't ya think he looked like a mama's boy or to use a Governator term a "Girlie Man?"

Christian FAQ

Thanks to Mike at halfbakered.blogspot.com for pointing this out. For all you non-Christians out there, this is a handy guide to confusing terms.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Minimum Wage Alert...

State Minimum Wage Action Alert

The Tennessee House vote on the minimum wage has been rescheduled for Wednesday the 17th, so there is still time to make calls to your representative. Please make a call by the end of Tuesday the 16th, and pass this email along to others.

Phone calls are more effective than emails, so please call if you are able to.

Action: Call your state representative today and urge him/her to vote yes on HB 3402, which would raise the Tennessee minimum wage to $6.15 an hour. It's our understanding that several representatives are still on the fence, so your calls can make a big difference!

40,000 Tennesseans earn the minimum wage and deserve a raise!

A bill that would raise Tennessee's minimum wage to $6.15 per hour has been passed by a sub-committee in both the Tennessee House and the Senate. The bill is scheduled to be voted on by the full House on Wednesday, May 17th.

Our elected officials need to hear from us that it's just not possible to make ends meet on $5.15 an hour. The federal government hasn't raised the minimum wage since 1997; it's time for our legislators to take matters in their own hands!

A list of representatives for West Tennessee districts is below. If you are a Shelby County resident and do not know which districts you live in, go to: http://www.shelbyvote.com/locator/ and type in your address. (The website is a little tricky. Only type in your street name, without prefixes or suffixes. For example, if you live on North Main Street, just type in "Main.") You will be provided with your district numbers, which you can match up with the lists below. Or you can call the Mid-South Interfaith Network at (901) 332-3570 or email us at msinterfaith@yahoo.com with your full address and we will get you that information.

If you live in West Tennessee outside of Shelby County, in Middle or East Tennessee and need contact information for your legislators, visit http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/

West Tennessee Representatives
Dis. 72 Steve McDaniel 800 - 449 - 8366 x10750 rep.steve.mcdaniel@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 73 Jimmy Eldridge 800 - 449 - 8366 x17475 rep.jimmy.eldridge@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 74 John Tidwell 800 - 449 - 8366 x17098 rep.john.tidwell@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 75 Butch Borchert 800 - 449 - 8366 x16804 rep.willie.borchert@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 76 Mark Maddox 800 - 449 - 8366 x17847 rep.mark.maddox@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 77 Phillip Pinion 800 - 449 - 8366 x10718 rep.phillip.pinion@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 78 Phillip Johnson 800 - 449 - 8366 x17477 rep.phillip.johnson@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 79 Chris Crider 800 - 449 - 8366 x17478 rep.cris.crider@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 80 Johnny Shaw 800 - 449 - 8366 x14538 rep.johnny.shaw@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 81 Jimmy Naifeh 800 - 449 - 8366 x13774 speaker.jimmy.naifeh@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 82 Craig Fitzhugh 800 - 449 - 8366 x12134 rep.craig.fitzhugh@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 83 Brian Kelsey 800 - 449 - 8366 x14415 rep.brian.kelsey@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 84 Joe Towns 800 - 449 - 8366 x12189 rep.joe.towns@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 85 Larry Turner 800 - 449 - 8366 x16954 rep.larry.turner@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 86 Barbara Cooper 800 - 449 - 8366 x14295 rep.barbara.cooper@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 87 Gary Rowe 800 - 449 - 8366 x11898 rep.gary.rowe@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 88 Larry Miller 800 - 449 - 8366 x14453 rep.larry.miller@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 89 Beverly Marrero 800 - 449 - 8366 x19128 rep.beverly.marrero@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 90 John DeBerry 800 - 449 - 8366 x12239 rep.john.deberry@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 91 Lois DeBerry 800 - 449 - 8366 x13830 rep.lois.deberry@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 92 Henri Brooks 800 - 449 - 8366 x15625 rep.henri.brooks@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 93 Mike Kernell 800 - 449 - 8366 x13726 rep.mike.kernell@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 94 Delores Gresham 800 - 449 - 8366 x16890 rep.delores.gresham@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 95 Curry Todd 800 - 449 - 8366 x11866 rep.curry.todd@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 96 Paul Stanley 800 - 449 - 8366 x13036 rep.paul.stanley@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 97 Tre Hargett 800 - 449 - 8366 x18201 rep.tre.hargett@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 98 Ulysses Jones 800 - 449 - 8366 x14575 rep.ulysses.jones@legislature.state.tn.us Dis. 99 W.C. Pleasant 800 - 449 - 8366 x17084 rep.w.c.pleasant@legislature.state.tn.us

Rev. Rebekah Jordan
Mid-South Interfaith Network for Economic Justice
3035 Directors Row, Building B, Suite 1207
Memphis, TN 38131
(901) 332-3570
(901) 332-3532 (fax)
msinterfaith@yahoo.com
www.midsouthinterfaith.org

Remember to bring tomatoes or palm leaves. Your choice.

Either way, I hope to see a good portion of the blogosphere there. That's right. I'm talking to you.

The Shelby County Democratic Party
and the
Coalition of Democratic Clubs

Will Host An Open Forum For All

9th Congressional District

Democratic Candidates

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 7:00 PM


University of Memphis
Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
3715 Central Avenue
Room 248

Parking is across Central Avenue
http://map.memphis.edu/
Law School is labeled LAW on map

All Shelby County Democratic Clubs are invited to participate, including:

Democracy For Memphis
Democratic Women of Shelby County
Frayser/Raleigh Democratic Club
Germantown Democratic Club
Midsouth Democrats in Action
Midtown Democrats
Stonewall Democrats

Host Club: University of Memphis College Democrats

Come out and meet the candidates, hear
their responses and answers to your questions!!!!!!!!

Moderator - Jackson Baker

Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend!
Questions?
Contact Ann Sandberg @ annsand@aol.com or 729-4406

Monday, May 15, 2006

Game Genie Codes...

Apparently Bush has a game genie. For those of you not young enough to have used a game genie as a kid, it is a device for cheating on video games and can give you say, infinite lives, or an infinite number of national guard troops. Apparently, Bush has used a game genie code to ensure that we have enough national troops to militarize the borders, fight in Afghanistan, fight in Iraq, fight in Iran, and respond to hurricanes, etc.

Nice to know those lazy national guard "weekend warriors" are having to earn their keep. (And on a non-sarcastic note, I came damn close to joining when I graduated high school and I'm DAMN glad I didn't. Defending the country in an emergancy or responding to national disasters is one thing. Stop-loss orders and occupation in a hostile, foriegn country with IED's is a horse of a different color though.)

Check out Smart City

Go and read the latest post at Smart City before the water boils over...

Excuse me, Mrs. Clinton...

But in response to your comment about the lack of work ethic in my generation: "You can kiss our lazy butts."

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Gore Rules...

Anybody catch Gore on SNL tonight? He was hillarious. Where the hell was this guy in 2000? Sigh...

Friday, May 12, 2006

But I really love him...

Ford seems to think that the Democratic base is like an abused woman who keeps going back to the asshole no matter how many times he beats her. I'm not asking for him to be f-ing Dennis Kucinich. I'm just asking him to actually vote in a way that causes some distinction between him and a Republican. I'll leave this one to the capable hands of the Pesky Fly and Autoegocrat and Leftwingcracker because I have a beautiful wife to take out for the evening. I'm really hoping Corker wins that primary though.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

For you wonks out there...

Well, I'm not sure if wonk is the right word since it's about demographics and strategy rather than policy, but I'm sure you get my drift. This is an excellant essay (that I am still reading at the moment) about the strengths and weaknesses of progressives and conservatives and different approaches to winning.

We'll Have a Good Ole Time...

I'll bring the wrestling mats over and we can have them take it to the mat. Last man (or woman, might have a black belt) standing wins. We can charge admission, and split it between the clubs. What do you think?

Anyways, enough goofy David-rambling. Here's the announcement:

The Shelby County Democratic Party
and the
Coalition of Democratic Clubs

Will Host An Open Forum For All

9th Congressional District

Democratic Candidates

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 7:00 PM


University of Memphis
Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
3715 Central Avenue
Room 248

Parking is across Central Avenue
http://map.memphis.edu/
Law School is labeled LAW on map

All Shelby County Democratic Clubs are invited to participate, including:

Democracy For Memphis
Democratic Women of Shelby County
Frayser/Raleigh Democratic Club
Germantown Democratic Club
Midsouth Democrats in Action
Midtown Democrats
Stonewall Democrats

Host Club: University of Memphis College Democrats

Come out and meet the candidates, hear
their responses and answers to your questions!!!!!!!!

Moderator - Jackson Baker

Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend!
Questions?
Contact Ann Sandberg @ http://us.f303.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=annsand@aol.com or 729-4406

I'm Skeptical, But Keeping My Fingers Crossed...

Could Busby win in Ca-50? I doubt it, but the poll numbers look pretty good. The striking thing is how much she is kicking ass among independents. Win or lose in that race, if anything approaching that discrepancy happens in November, then we win the House and Senate. Do I expect any of those three things to happen? No. But I'm keeping my eye (and going to send some change her way) on Busby. If she wins, the Goopers will be running for the hills.

Great Minds Think Alike

Remember my goofy idea on this blog last month of tying minimum wage increases to legislative pay increases? Well, it looks like Hillary likes the idea too.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ain't he a sweetheart?

"I intend to start very carefully organizing the matter of a succession. We need to have some continuity in government," the mayor said.

I can't begin to describe the appreciation I have for our esteemed king that he will be taking care of that pesky matter of succession for us. Just think how awful it would be if we actually had to choose our own leaders. Imagine the chaos.

Thought we didn't like aristocracy?

Also from Jackson's latest:

"Oh, I'm grateful to him as I can be," said Sidney Chism of activist David Upton. Not that the newly nominated county commissioner, an ex-Teamster leader and former party head, is best buds with Upton. In fact, the two are usually at odds over intramural Democratic Party matters.
That was Chism's point. He was crediting Upton for his yeoman's work on behalf of outgoing commissioner Walter Bailey, who allowed a Democratic primary campaign to be run in his name despite a state Supreme Court decision declaring him term-limited and thus ineligible to serve again.


Raise your hand if you expected that to happen? Uh-huh. Bailey staying in and fighting it out with Darrick was stupid and guaranteed to let J.W. buy the seat. Bailey couldn't have served, and even if he won, we would NOT have appointed his son. Nothing against him or his son, but I am SICK AND TIRED of Memphis political dynasties. And I ain't about to go perpetuating one myself just because some county commissioner tells me too. This is not a monarchy last I checked. So, thanks a lot.

Vergos or Chumney?

As I've heard several times from multiple people, Jackson Baker has reported that Vergos is interested in running against Mayor Herenton. He said that he would consider running if none of the people he wants to run do.

Among them: Belz Enterprises head Ron Belz, Blue Cross/Blue Shield executive Calvin Anderson, hospital executive Gary Shorb, all-purpose civic activist Gale Rose.
Another one would be Rick Masson, formerly finance director and CAO under Herenton and now director of the Plough Foundation. "But he's too close to the mayor and wouldn't be likely to do it," Vergos said.


Everyone this side of the equator knows that Carol Chumney wants to run too.

With his expression of interest, Vergos joins a growing number of self-acknowledged mayoral prospects. Among them are current city councilman Jack Sammons and CarolChumney, both of whom concede their interest. Councilman Rickey Peete is also said to be interested, and the names of councilman Myron Lowery and former MLGW head Herman Morris have also received a fair amount of play.

All of which means, in short, that Herenton would win again. If that lineup (or something similar) would happen, I'm not sure if I'd get behind Chumney or Vergos. I'd probably lean toward Chumney, if for no other reason than that I know her better. I've only been in Memphis for 5 years and she has been around a lot more since then. If PD could hook me up with some BBQ though, I might be persuaded to change my mine and go with Mister 12-1. What are ya'll's thoughts? Herenton or someone else? If someone else who would you like, or think could actually beat him?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Help Darrick Out.

You are invited to a
Fundraiser
Sponsored
By
Friends of Darrick Harris
Friday, May 12, 2006
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Cafe Soul
123 Main St.
The Friends of Darrick Harris requests your presence at a fundraising event in support of his efforts in the recent Shelby County Commissioner election.
Your donations of $50, $75 or $100 will support the remaining expenses incurred in the campaign.
We look forward to seeing you on Friday and appreciate your continued support!
For additional information, contact Ruth Pollard at (901) 691-0200.
Sponsors
Ruth Pollard Matt Kuhn Deidre Malone Mal Hooker
Norma Lester Andrea Brooks Cherry Davis Boris Combest
Janis Fullilove James Harvey Sidney Chism Nate Jackson
Ron Redwing John Bratcher

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ford's New Ad...

I just wanted to tell Mr. Ford that I loved his SUV that he filled up as he complained about gas prices. The message that sent about our fuel addiction was appreciated. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go stuff some dollar bills into my sink drain.

For the blogger who has everything...

And wants something a little extra this summer... A convention for progressive bloggers? No, don't check your hearing aide. The little, nerdy, dungeon-dwelling creatures known as bloggers are starting to emerge from their cells and venture into that most mainstream of excuses to go to Vegas, a convention.

Please Support House Bill 893874903-3284902!

Whereas, Kennedeys are a beloved political dynasty among many Democrats.

AND

Whereas, they have this annoying habit of engaging in drug-induced stupidity and creating bad press that distracts from Republican stupidity.

Be it hereby resolved by this, the 20th Congress of myself, that all Kennedeys are henceforth to engage in mandatory drug/alcohol/anger management/sex addiction treatment on an at least (but not limited to) annual basis.

Sponsored by Congressman David K. Holt (D, Tennessee)

Gotta Give Credit...

Where credit is due. The Flyer and Washington Post report on Ford hitting the oil companies, asking for their tax cuts to be rescinded, and demanding more money spent on alternative fuel sources. Yeah, I know what you're going to say. He's just pandering to the polls, and no one likes the oil companies now. But at least he's pandering in the right direction this time.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Kennedy Day

Congrats...

Congrats to Cal Lee on his bronzes at the state championships in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Stanton's Money

Ed Stanton has actually managed to pull almost all of his money locally. Check it out.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Judicial Endorsements...

For what it's worth, the judicial endorsement resolution Dwayne and I wrote passed the executive committee (see the earlier post) with only 2 votes against it. I expected a fight, but I guess I'll have to find another way to be controversial. I'm so boring.

My open apologies to Dwayne Thompson, my cosponser for this resolution. I got a call on my cell phone from an angry parent and had to leave him to the ravaging hordes for about 15 minutes to introduce the bill himself. Sorry to leave you hanging Dwayne, but you must have said something right.

9th District Dollars

The Flyer has the numbers for the 9th District. Tinker, Stanton, Mitchell (although admittedly almost all his money is a loan), and Pratcher are doing the best when it comes to money. It will be interesting to see how things go for Cohen on the money front when he gets to work. Tyson has shown he can be in the ball park in money. Now he needs to stay home and show he can handle that part. I want to get to know Stanton better, but he and Steve Cohen are looking like my top tier. Any Stanton readers, drop me a line next time he is doing something, I have a few questions. I don't really need any questions for Cohen. I have an Oxford's Dictionary of voting records and articles to that tell me all I need to know.

Control of the Senate Depends on Ford...

Sigh...

Do I think Ford is a real Democrat? No. Do I think he is going to win? No. Will I be voting for him? Yes. It is true that the only way we can take back the Senate (slim to no chance) is if he wins. Therefore Ford is my man, here. He is better than the Ambigously Gay Duo (for you SNL fans) of Van and Ed. He might be better than Bob, I don't know yet. What I do know is that if we can take control of the Senate, investigations can begin, committee chairmanships can be assigned, and we can start to have control over what comes to the floor. Even if Ford votes against us worse than we expect, that is enough better than a Republican to vote for him. Idealistic? No. Realistic? Yes.

From Rothenberg Political Report:

Tennessee Senate: Three’s Company By Nathan L. Gonzales Senator Harold Ford. Those might be the three words Republicans fear the most on Election Night. If Democrats can successfully takeover the open Tennessee Senate seat being vacated by Majority Leader Bill Frist (R), they could well win a Senate majority in November. Democratic hopes are riding on the young Democratic congressman from Memphis, while three Republicans are battling for their party’s mantle. Former congressman Ed Bryant, former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker, and former congressman Van Hilleary will face off in the August 3 GOP Primary. Going into the general election, the Republican nominee will start with the advantage over Ford. But even though the Democratic congressman has a handful of tall hurdles in front of him, he should not be underestimated.

From Cook Political Report:

So, what could save Republicans? In the Senate, if the tidal wave is gigantic and every seemingly vulnerable incumbent Republican is swept out -- Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island, Conrad Burns in Montana, Mike DeWine in Ohio, and Jim Talent in Missouri -- and if Democrats hold all of their seats, the GOP would still have a one-seat edge.
To take over, Democrats must win the open seat in Tennessee, where the winner of the August 3 Republican primary will face Democratic Rep. Harold Ford. If Republicans hold Tennessee, they hold the Senate. If they have a truly horrible night and lose Tennessee, they lose the Senate.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Condolences...

Please keep State Rep. Barbara Cooper in your prayers as she deals with the passing of her hudband.

CAPTAIN JOHN D. COOPER, 76, of Memphis, died April 27, 2006 at Memphis Veterans Medical Center. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, May 4 at N. J. Ford & Sons Funeral Home. Service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, May 5 at St. Augustine Catholic Church, 1169 Kerr Avenue, where he was a member. Burial in West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. Capt. Cooper was a retired fireman after 32 years. He leaves his wife, State Representative Barbara Cooper of Memphis; two daughters, Rev. Joan Cooper Burnett of New Haven, CT, and Tanya Cooper of Memphis; a son, Carl L. Cooper of Las Vegas, NV; three grandchildren, Reneshia Burnett and Ashlea Burnett, both of Connecticutt, and Martez King of Memphis; two great-grandchildren, Aubreyana Gilmer and Sean Wallace, both of Connecticutt; two nieces, Joyce Hollowell and Betty (Oscar) Woodall of Memphis; and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Pioneer Black Fire Fighters, 3035 Directors Row, Memphis, TN 38131 and Carter Cooper Funds. N. J. Ford & Sons Funeral Home 901-948-7755

Say What???

Nikki Tinker Receives United Steel Workers Endorsement
Presentation of Endorsement April 26th at Tinker's Campaign Headquarters
Nikki Tinker, the only female Democratic Candidate for Tennessee's 9th Congressional District, and former campaign manager to Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., is honored to announce that her candidacy has been endorsed by the United Steel Workers of America. The United Steel Workers, the largest labor union in the Memphis area, represent over 24,000 members in Tennessee with the greatest concentration residing in the 9th District. The presentation of the endorsement took place on April 26th, at Tinker's Campaign Headquarters located at 4135 Elvis Presley Boulevard.
The goal of the USWA is to promote the interests and well-being of those affiliated with the steel industry, which includes advocating for fair trade practices, environmental protection, and sustainable wages. Nearly two million Americans are directly and indirectly employed by the steel industry or receive pensions and health care from current and former steel companies. Key steel-consuming industries employ six million U.S. workers, nearly 15% of our gross national product and an even higher percentage of our good-paying jobs.
"I plan to go to Washington to fight for working class families," says Tinker. "Having the support of the United Steel Workers means a lot to me, my supporters, and our campaign as we work to get our nation focused on the real problems and struggles of today's families."
Tinker's United Steel Workers Endorsement follows her impressive 2nd Quarter FEC filing, which showed Tinker has continued to out raise the entire field of candidates in her democratic primary. With $125,987 raised in the first quarter of 2006, plus additional fundraising since the filing deadline, her campaign total contributions to date exceed the quarter million mark.

Shrub Sings in Spanish

Props to Evil over at EvilBlog (check my blogroll) for this:

What does that have to do with the W, you ask? Well, the W
actually agrees with Lamar. He thinks it is just terrible that people would sing
the anthem in Spanish. Well, unless they're Republicans, or they're Bushes, or
more specifically the W himself. You see, it turns out that W
sung the
national anthem in Spanish at his inaugural festivities in 2001
. BAM!!!
What's that? That's the sound of a dumbass who should just shut up for the next
three years being bitch slapped.

Election Day

Steve Mulroy's victory last night was great. And for everyone who wasn't there, you missed a legendary thank you speech. It involved Steve standing on a chair, doing mobster impressions of David Upton, Yoda impressions of Mike Kernell, terminator impressions of Desi Frankin and numerous other eye-rolling moments. It was a great time (the beer helped!) and provided reassuring hope that yes, a nerdy white guy can win in Memphis. Maybe there's hope for me, yet.

I won't lie that many of the other races were dissapointing. Reginald Fentress, Joe Young, Kevin Gallagher, and Darick Harris ran hard and we all hoped for better. They were all great guys who fought the good fight, but sometimes that's not enough. Take some time off, buy some beer, but don't give up. All of you are sorely needed in Memphis politics.

If you want a more rabble-rousing take on the day, surf over to polardonkey or freedonian. I'm going to keep my mouth shut and wish all our nominees the best of luck.

We love to lump everyone into a faction here in Memphis, and if you want to look at things that way, Herenton, Chism, etc. had a great night. Sidney, especially. I expected him to win that race, but he really knocked it out of the park. Remind me to never run against him. If he can do that to a thirty year veteran...

I will say this to J.W. Gibson. You said you are a real Democrat. Show us. I'm not going to say a word against you again until you give me reason to. I hope that you will help to put forth a more progressive agenda at the soon-to-be Democratic controlled County Commission. Just remember that everyone will be watching. Make those of us who spoke against you look like asses.

There might be more later. Sorry about the lack of posting the last few days. Election Day seemed a better use of time. Now onto the next batch. Everyone take a few weeks off then grab a candidate for August. Lord knows we have plenty.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Congrats to Steve

A big congrats to Steve Mulroy and all the volunteers who worked so hard. I've been up since dawn so I'm going to hit the sack. Blogging is for later.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Dean Builds the State Parties

www.cnn.com/morninggrind

Dems in Washignton have made whining about Howard Dean a favorite pasttime, but state party leaders are giving him rave reviews. What Dean is doing is focusing on the long-term and building our party on the state levels. The DSCC and DCCC exist to win back the House and Senate. The presidential campaigns are responsible for themselves. Winning those specific races is not Dean's job. His job is to turn the country Democratic for the long haul. Hiring staffers for every state party is a great start to that.

Grizzlies win in 7?

Yup, you heard it here first. Or they could get swept again and set yet another record for playoff losses. Either way.