Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Girly Men

I almost feel sorry for the Republicans. For years, we Democrats have managed to predict our own defeat at every turn. Not so, at the moment. Almost every Democrat I know is assuming we’re going to win the presidency in ’08 and keep both houses. Some of them are even having wet dreams about filibuster-proof majorities. Our activists are motivated. Our donors are giving like never before. The Senate map favors us in a way that looks fated by God for Senate pickups.

I’ve talked to three Republican activists today, and all three were in total agreement that that the entire Republican field sucks and that they were headed for a good-ole-fashioned-country butt-whooping. Somehow, when we weren’t looking the Republican Party has become the party of self-defeating girly-men. They’re depressed and conflicted and scared. I’m loving every second of it.

Never fear though. A savior has arisen in the form of a two-bit-actor who did almost nothing in the Senate and is a lazy campaigner. I was trying to get these highly-informed Republican voters to tell me what was so great about Fred Thompson. Aside from the empty line that he’s the “true conservative” in the race, all I got was evidence of a serious man crush. He’s big. He’s tough. He’s manly. He’s a leader. And did you see that tight butt of his? The right wing’s greatest fear has been realized. Our plan of using Hollywood to push the vaunted “gay agenda” and turn the Republican base gay has worked beyond our wildest imaginations!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thriller in Manilla

Ok. There is absolutely nothing political about this post, but I wanted to make you laugh, and if this doesn't do it, we are not really friends.

Legislation Alert

I have a friend who is a political consultant (surprise, surprise). He works for both political candidates and organizations who need help with political issues. So, I asked him what he was working on now, and he was telling me about H.R. 1459 / S.543. Bill Description: "To improve Medicare beneficiary access by extending the 60 percent compliance threshold used to determine whether a hospital or unit of a hospital is an inpatient rehabilitation facility."

Right now, rehab hospitals are being forced to use what is called the 75% rule when admitting patients. The 75% Rule is a policy that imposes substantial restrictions on the number of patients who can receive care in rehabilitation hospitals and units and the types of medical diagnoses they treat.

Think about all of the reasons someone might go to a rehab hospital. The government has decided that there are only 13 conditions it is willing to pay the medicare expenses on. The problem with the 75% rule is that if 75% of the patients at the rehab hospital (medicare and non-medicare) aren't being treated for one 0f the 13 conditions, then the government doesn't have to pay the medicare bills. It would be like if the U.S. Dept of Education suddenly told colleges that 75% of all their students (whether they receive federal aid or not) had to have one of only 13 majors or the Dept of Ed. would not pay for the Pell grants, and other federal aid for any student at that school. This means that at times a rehab hospital might be forced to turn away a patient, even if it has beds available, in order to keep its percentage at 75.

What this bill will do is lower that number to 60%. That is a good thing. This helps ensure that doctors and patients make health care decisions rather than meeting some formula based standard. I am one of those silly people who thinks that doctors should be allowed to make decisions that are good for their patients, as opposed to the government making those decisions for them.

The bill is being sponsored by Rep. John Tanner and Sen. Lamar Alexander. Every member of the Tennessee delegation (Democrats and Republicans) has signed on as a co-sponsor, except for Congressman Jim Cooper.

So, how can you help? You can call or email your Representatives and thank them for supporting this legislation. You can also call and email Congressman Cooper and let him know that it is important that he signs on as a co-sponsor of this bill. I am putting the contact information below.

Rep. Jim Cooper

Rep. David Davis
Rep. John Duncan
Rep. Zach Wamp
Rep. Lincoln Davis
Rep. Bart Gordon (contact information is on his homepage)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
Rep. John Tanner
Rep. Steve Cohen (contact information is on his homepage)

Sen. Bob Corker
Sen. Lamar Alexander

List of Candidates

Yesterday, I promised you a list of candidates, and here they are via The Memphis Flyer.

List of Candidates

At this point, there isn't a seat that is uncontested.

Of course, a lot of things can change in a week. Some of these candidates will talk to each other and realize that they will pull from the same base and split the vote. Others will realize that they don't have the desire to work as hard as they will need to work in order to win. Some might even realize that without money, their campaigns will never get off the ground. Those are all valid reasons for withdrawing before the ballot is set, and I am guessing that some people on the list will withdraw.

If nothing else, the next few months will prove to be very interesting. I know that the Memphis chapter of Drinking Liberally will be hosting some of these candidates, and if you are running and wanting to come talk to some good people who lean to the left and consistently vote, feel free to send Stacy, Rick, Pam and Rebecca an email. The contact information is on the website.

I will post a follow up next week with the final ballot.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Oh Happy Day

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. No, not because the Emmy nominations came out this morning (although can we talk about the fact that Friday Night Lights was ignored?).

No, the reason today is one of my favorite days of the year is because today is the day where everyone who is running for the city elections has to turn in their petitions. We get to find out who is in, who is out, and who couldn't find the 25 voters necessary to support their campaigns.

Looking at the list I saw yesterday, there are several people running who I am really excited about. Shea Flinn, my fellow blogger - Desi Franklin, Bill Morrison (from last year's race against Rep. Marsha Blackburn), and, of course, my good friend Jim Strickland are all running for the city council. There are about 15 people running for Mayor (16 if Mongo pays his fees). I also like the fact that there are only a couple of uncontested council positions at this time (District 8, position 1 and District 4).

I actually agree with Wendi, I wish some of the people who ran against the Congressman were running for local office (Tyson? Ed? Lee?). I think it would be nice for people who thought they wanted to be the next Congressman to be visible on the local level. It is a good way for people to get to know you and find out what you are all about. If there were any kind of boot camp for federal office, I am guessing the Memphis City Council or the Shelby County Commission qualify.

Of course, even though the filing deadline is today, we won't know until next week who is actually on the ballot, because candidates have a week to withdraw their names. I think that is a good idea. It gives people a chance to back out gracefully if they are worried about their competition.

I will post a full list of all the people who have filed petitions as soon as I get it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th!

May there be plenty of hot dogs and fireworks in your future - just not from the Mayor's office.