Tag Archives: TNDP

What We Might Be Missing


So now that the wine in grocery stores debate is pretty much over, let’s take a look at what we’ve been missing being presented by our darlings in the legislature.

  1. TN Senate passes bill to legalize switchblade knives. Yeppers, while we have been watching sex week and getting our Miller Lite at the liquor stores drown converation, The leaders of the legislature burned (successfully I might add) a bill about the length of switchblades getting enlarged. The irony is endless, isn’t it. Grow your blades, campers, because it is more important than something crazy like expanding Medicaid because legalizing switchblades is a priority with a capitol P that rhymes with T which stands for terrible.
  2. The organizers of UT’s Sex Week have been fussed at properly by the General Assembly but it’s not going to make a lot of difference as they are moving along with their plans anyway. While this was happening, a farm bill is moving through that would limit local control on farms. Local zoning ordinance, what is that? It comes back to state over local control of land use. HB1410/SB1614 and the Right to Farm Act hits committee tomorrow.
  3. A lot of our democratic buddies in District 51 are running for Rep. Mike Turner’s seat who has announced he won’t run for re-election. Don’t get me wrong, Speak to Power is a big fan of that seat which leans blue traditionally and of Turner himself (gushed about him a bit last week myself.) There are other folks running as well, so a wag of the finger at the TNDP for not having a cheat sheet on their website on candidates outside Metro Davidson. It would be very helpful during an election year for not only the candidates, but for potential volunteers, activists and voters. Just a little tough love and not an indictment, but it would be helpful and that is just a friendly reminder.
  4. While we were all watching movie stars eat pizza on live television, there was a story from Tom Humphrey over the weekend you might have missed. Why are some legislators “taking a walk” when it comes to voting. I’ll let him explain:

A fine example would be the House floor vote a few days ago involving whether to prohibit employers from dismissing employees who hold handgun carry permits for having a gun stashed in a locked car on the company parking lot. Setting aside the political and procedural situation, the vote was recorded as 45-29-1 in House records.

Observe that 45, the number of yes votes; plus 29, the number of no votes; plus the one (that was a “present and not voting” or PNV in Legislatorland abbreviation lingo) adds up to 75. There are 99 members of the House.

Isn’t that we pay our legislators to do? Instead of talking about jobs, there was major news announced today by Ed Arnold over at the Memphis Business Journal, we have Grover Nordquist in the state talking about the Hall Income tax which really only helps people with investment income. And why isn’t anyone talking about this?

I didn’t think the state’s GOP leaders wanted Washington folks messing in Tennessee’s business but I may have been mistaken. I am, of course, using my snark voice.



Morning Coffee – Speaker Fight

Casada and Harwell in Battle for the gavel

Just because the elections are over doesn’t mean all is lost for political junkies like myself. Even though my junkiness hasn’t been expressed to it’s fullest potential as of late, nothing gets my motor running quite like a power struggle, and that’s exactly what we seem to have in the wake of the Republican wave that swept over the state last week.

House Republican Caucus Chair Glen Casada and former TNGOP Chair Beth Harwell are in a pitched battle for the gavel.

You may remember Casada from this post in response to a boneheaded comment from Casada that people should just “get out there and get a job”. That’s right. This guy wants to be in charge of the State House of Representatives.

The Tennessean’s “In Session” blog posted a letter to the House Republican Caucus by Harwell on Friday. For his part, Casada has been making his case to colleagues as well.

Who will win? Who knows. I don’t have any particular insight into the minds of the House Republican Caucus, so it seems like a wait and see until the caucus gets together on December 8th.

On to the coffee!

The Nashville City Paper looks at the coming thundering herd of Republicans to the State Capitol and the challenges they face… like redistricting.

Speaking of redistricting, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey says Northeast Tennessee is safe from too many changes. That means West Tennessee is screwed.

The Rutherford County Daily News Journal is reports on the Democratic Party’s way forward. Thankfully there’s little blame-storming…for now.

The Commercial Appeal looks at the impact the wave may have on Shelby County. It’s gonna be a weird one for us, no doubt.

In the wake of the election, Governor Phil Bredesen is looking to his future in the Solar biz. To that end, he is defending his investment in his new venture as “nothing improper”. If it walks like a duck….

Reclusive Leftist is talking about feminism and the deletion of the word sexism in the definition. Key phrase:

It’s fascinating the extent to which women have been shamed out of even claiming a movement to address sexism. We just aren’t allowed to have that. Too strident. Too pushy.

Stands, applauds…

The Memphis City Council will conduct its first reading of the Employee Non-Discrimination Ordinance on Tuesday, the West Tennessee Liberal reports. Hopefully it won’t be marked by the shenanigans the last first reading brought forth.

And finally, a shout out to the University of Memphis Mock Trial Team, of which I am a member.

This weekend we went to St. Louis to compete in the Sixth Annual Billiken Barrister Tournament sponsored by Saint Louis University and won 5th place overall, as well as individual awards for Kim Marking, who received a Best Witness award, and Allen Porter was recognized with an attorney award. I’m really proud of our team and look forward to more success in upcoming competitions.

Alright, get out there and do something with your day for chrissakes…and I’m not talking about work. You know, do something productive! 😉

Morning Coffee – Process, Process Edition

Those of you who know me personally know I’m a process junkie. For the rest of you, what I mean by “process” is the manner in which stuff gets done in government, specifically legislative bodies.

Yesterday’s meeting of the Memphis City Council was not only a study in process, but also a prime example of one of the problems facing Memphians. Our elected officials chose to chart their own course, despite widespread public outcry decided there was more need for a ninth Pharmacy in a 2 mile area than for the citizens to have a voice in the character of their neighborhood.

This is government at its worst on several counts. First, with all the opposition to the new CVS, and so many options nearby, there is a good possibility that there will not be enough local support for the business meaning that in the long-term we’ll be left with a building we don’t like that will be vacant. Second, the only two no votes came from the people who know the area best, Jim Strickland and Shea Flinn. The rest of the Council’s decision to ignore both the wishes of the locals and two of the four people who represent those locals is inexcusable.

From my perspective, this is why people don’t trust our local government. Bill Boyd, who represents District 2, which is nowhere near the intersection of Cooper and Union even noted that no amount of public outcry or lack of support would sway the Council. Let’s hear it for accountability and doing the business of the public.

Regardless of any referendum or potential change in government, this illustrates a major problem for our community. If our elected officials believe they know more about the communities they serve than the people who live in those communities, they’ve got their priorities all switched, especially when they don’t even represent those communities. The structure of our government matters little if elected officials can act with impunity toward the wishes of local residents. What the Memphis City Council did yesterday is paternalism at its worst, and they need to be held accountable for it. That’s the only way our voice will ever be heard.

On to the Coffee…

Here’s the Memphis Daily News and the Commercial Appeal with coverage of the CVS vote.

Smart City thinks the Council wasn’t too smart in their decision yesterday.

Guess what? We also have the highest sales taxes in the US.

The ACLU is going after a severely antiquated law.

Anger motivates voters? Who knew?

Resume padding in Rutherford County.

TN Citizen Action notes a Commercial Appeal editorial on predatory lending.

Have a good day out there!

Morning Coffee – Blank Stare Edition

I’m feeling a little blank today.

Nothing bad has happened, in fact, yesterday I got some REALLY good news about my Financial Aid for the upcoming semester. But, for whatever reason, this morning I’m just kinda blank.

It happens. Most of the time when there’s too much going on I thrive. All the activity keeps me moving like a perpetual motion machine. Sometimes it doesn’t work like that. I guess this morning is one of those cases.

So, rather than fight it, I’m just going to embrace it and get to the Coffee!

Matt Pulle at the Nashville Scene is taking a deep look at Islamophobia.

McWherter slams Haslam on leaky tanks.

With all the election controversy, the TNDP points the finger at the guy who gutted TVCA.

Speaking of elections, Election Administrator Mark Goins is blaming all the problems on human error, errors that might have been avoided if his office hadn’t pushed so hard for the gutting of TVCA.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is downplaying his recent visit with Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Haslam.

Nike Inc. is all about the Memphis NDO and Jonathan Cole talks about some surprise opposition that cropped up during the first reading of the proposed ordinance.

The second reading is Tuesday, August 24, at 3:30, 125 N. Main in Memphis.

The Shelby County division of Community Services has launched a campaign to inform people with HIV/AIDS about area services.

Ahh, the good ole days…weren’t really all that good.

Have a great day and an even better weekend!

Hell Is Jealous Of Tennessee’s Weather

I am waiting patiently for the first Tennessean to spontaneously combust. It is going to happen. I realize that, if you have ever read me for any length of time, you probably know I also have been waiting for Bigfoot’s arrival for a number of years. And, just because I have become a creepy old person recently, that we talk a lot about the weather here at STP. This is the first step towards me become a person that yells at children to get off her lawn. I realize that. I cannot apologize because it’s hot.

Hell is jealous of Tennessee’s weather right now.

The heat has made many of us stabby. I am surprised that some of my friends even want to talk to me at this point because I realized this morning, I’ve been a bear. I don’t want to even talk to me. Is anyone else going through this?

Someone asked on Twitter yesterday if violence flares up when the temperature has melted our brains. So I looked it up.

As far as the weather-crime connection goes, the prevailing view is that cold and inclement weather suppress crime, while heat and humidity increase it. Although the association may to some extent reflect physiology, there is a strong link between weather and patterns of activity, which in turn influence crime and violence. During blizzards and extreme cold, criminals tend to stay indoors, just like the rest of us. But in nice weather, we all tend to spend more time outdoors interacting with neighbors, acquaintances and strangers, bringing with it far more occasions for conflict and opportunities for victimization.

Well, if I owe apologies to you, consider that I said it here first. When I see you, we will drown ourselves in cool vats of water and beer before we do the raindance I’ve been working on pictured above.

You guys have been blog talking. We heard you.

The governor’s race is picking up.

Tennessee stands to receive a total of $435.8 million from the state aid package passed by the U.S. House and signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday, according to Tom Humphrey.

The TNDP is questioning election faux pas across the state last Thursday.

From FiveThirtyEight:

A landmark of sorts was achieved today as CNN just came out with a poll showing a 52 percent majority of Americans agreed with the statement that “gays and lesbians should have a constitutional right to get married and have their marriage recognized by law as valid.” Some 46 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement

Southern Beale on the free market fairies.

Street art in Midtown is under attack. Personally, I dig the graffiti down there I’ve seen.

Going to hose down …

Morning Coffee – Jackson Day Impressions Edition

As promised here are my impressions from the annual TNDP Jackson Day event that was held Friday night at Belmont University.

First of all, I want to congratulate the volunteers and staff of the TNDP for again exceeding expectations. After last year’s event I was wondering how they would manage to reach that high bar again.

While I generally preferred last year’s format and timing to this year’s, I also understand the technical and logistical challenges of having a sitting Vice-President at your event. Remember, I did this kind of work for over a decade. I’ve had to coordinate with scheduling offices and the Secret Service before, and while they are always professional and courteous, it can be a difficult balance to meet their needs and the needs of your event. Considering all this, I think they did a fine job of both.

Ellyn and I arrived a little late due to the early start time of the event. Congressman Lincoln Davis was speaking about retiring Congressmen Tanner and Gordon. His time at the podium was nearly over by the time we got seated, but from what I could tell he gave a rousing tribute to the retiring Congressmen. I don’t always agree with Davis’ votes, but in the several times I’ve had the opportunity to hear him speak he has a presence and command of the stage that is hard to ignore.

Next up was State Senator and 8th Congressional District candidate, Roy Herron. Herron is a consistently good speaker, and even though I’ve heard more about his old red truck more than I care to, I’m sure there were many, particularly from the middle and eastern parts of the state that haven’t heard that speech. Herron gave us five reasons to support his bid to replace retiring Congressman John Tanner. In keeping with his consistent small town preacher style, the speech was full of humor and energy.

Herron was followed by an introduction by Congressman Jim Cooper and a tribute video to Governor Phil Bredesen. Bredesen focused on the accomplishments of his administration and the need to continue and expand these policies by electing Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Mike McWherter as well as a Democratic majority in the state legislature in the fall. This was one of the better speeches I’ve heard Bredesen deliver, and was a good introduction for the next speaker, Mike McWherter.

McWherter focused on his consistent theme of attracting and keeping small businesses in the state to provide good paying jobs to Tennesseans. He took aim at the Republicans running in the race. A more thorough account of that can be read here, as well as a short video clip of the speech.

After a brief musical interlude by Grammy Award winner Rodney Crowell, former Vice-President Al Gore took the podium to introduce Vice-President Biden. Gore really set up Biden’s speech well by giving a brief overview of the indictment of the Republican leadership that held power from 2001-2008. Biden, for his part, continued this indictment and expounded on it in a way that only Biden can. I think the most powerful part of his speech was when he recounted a conversation that he and his father had before they moved to Delaware when he was a child. This conversation is being played out over and over again as people struggle to find work in an economy that has just recently started to find it’s way out of decline.

You can read more about Biden’s speech here and here. Also there’s more coverage of the event here and here.

Of course the TNGOP laid out the welcome mat for Biden, as did 7th Congressional District Representative Marsha Blackburn.

Like I said, it was a nice, well organized and attended event. Kudos to all those who helped make it happen.

OK, go get you some coffee…

Tom Humphrey spent some time on the campaign trail with Mike McWherter.

Some state colleges are predicting record enrollment this fall.

The Commercial Appeal profiles the race for the 5th district of the Shelby County Commission.

Have a good day!

Morning Coffee – TNDP Edition

Vice-President Joe Biden hit Nashville last night where the TNDP held Jackson Day raising about $400,000 dollars for state democrats. The usual stuff happened where there was talk of economic recovery and the like.  Al Gore showed up, a bevy of candidates including Mike McWherter and Roy Herron.

Basically, the democrats had a hootenanny, raised some money and now have to head back to work facing the primary coming up in just a few short weeks.

Tom Humphrey has a break down from the state’s political reporters on their observations of the evening.

Our cohort Steve Ross was in Nashville and should have some words as well on Monday. $400,000 isn’t bad and can help buy some cheetos during these final months in the campaign season.

On to Saturday morning coffee:

White’s Creek breaks down the Zack Wamp:

Then there’s this…If Zach’s negative ads narrow the gap to the point that Haslam gets worried, Zach will have to run for cover under the barrage of attack ads he’ll face. The Wamp closet will get ripped open and every crusty old bone will be shined up and put on display. We remember Zach’s disgusting campaign ad from his original run for Congress after Daddy’s money bought him out of bankruptcy in his real estate business. We remember all those stories of Zach’s drug use. We remember all those stories about Zach’s Washington associations and his subsidized housing on C street by a creepy right wing religious group. We remember this and a lot more and we’re just sitting on the sidelines with amusement wondering if Zach is going to awake the sleeping beasts in the Haslam camp, because if WE remember these things, it is guaranteed that certain high cost attack hounds in Haslam’s camp are pacing back and forth in their cages just waiting to be turned loose.

Hutchmo asks you a question.

Let’s play a game.  Let’s pretend it’s tomorrow morning.  You walk out of your house.  Name ONE right you don’t have as you walk out of the house that you had when Obama took office.  I’m not talking about what you THINK will happen or speculation, I want to know one right you had back in 2008, you don’t have right now.

This book trailer from Aunt B.’s family for her new book is just wonderful.

See you on the flip…

Morning Coffee – Biden Edition

Joe Biden
Via The White House

For those of you who don’t know, Joe Biden is in the state today for the TNDP Jackson Day.

I know a lot of folks can’t make it, but I’ll be there just waiting for the gaffe to drop, or a random F-Bomb.

I love Joe Biden.

I’m not sure how ticket sales have been, though I understand they’re doing pretty well with it. Still, it’s going to be hard to top last years bill, but we’ll see.

I love going to these things to a point, not because I know all that many people or anything like that, but because I’m a geek with a politics addiction, and until Phizer comes up with a drug for that problem, that doesn’t have the side effects of unannounced explosive diarrhea, or something equally heinous, I’ll just manage my addiction to the best of my ability.

Going for coffee? Grab me a cup if ya don’t mind…

GoldnI looks at some disturbing policy changes in Israel.

I think the number of debates in the race for county mayor makes up for the lack of any in the 9th District (not really).

The Memphis Metro Charter Commission held another forum last night.

Knox News Sentinel supports someone, anyone other than Stacey Campfield.

And finally, Ole Miss is trying to find a new mascot. To that end, they’ve taken to drinking…maybe I was confused. Muppet like creatures? Really? Old money Mississippi kinda freaks me out.

Later taters…

Two Rivers Golf Course Day

$185 right now is a week’s salary for many Tennesseans .

Tennessee Republicans in the state Legislature admit they “have no problem” playing golf at taxpayer expense instead of balancing the state’s budget and working to solve problems for their communities.

State Rep. Pat Marsh of Shelbyville and three other Republican members of the state House of Representatives each collected $185 in per diem recently while spending the afternoon at Two Rivers Golf Course, according to a WSMV TV Channel 4 investigative report that aired on Tuesday.

“I have no problem with that at all,” Marsh replied when asked if he should be paid per diem while playing golf. State lawmakers are paid $185 each day the Legislature is in session to cover daily expenses.

Read the rest at the TNDP’s blog.

I’m sure we will have more later on this as it’s astounding that with so many people out of work that Marsh has his hand out when he’s playing golf.

The Sun Was Screaming

The fireball in the sky has been wanting a lot of attention these past few days. Ever closer, it has bared down on us with mocking and cruel insistence.  Some quick words of advice about the heat: if you know anyone that can’t get out easily (like an elderly neighbor or the like) go check on them. The heat index can kill people and it’s not going to get any better anytime soon. Outside animals need to stay just as hydrated as people do so make sure there is access to water and shade.

I’m not a fan of the heat. Never have been even when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with a beach or the joyful rays of a kinder sun gently caressing our skin, but the heat that we have right now wants no romance. It’s an angry, bitter sphere demanding worship and will not be ignored. (Why didn’t I move to Brattleboro, VT when I had the chance? Why do I make such bad decision?)

Lots of blogging today all around the state so let’s drink a bottle of Gatorade and dive right in.

Pride pics and commentary from Nashville at Grand Divisions.

Ralph Macchio wants to be bad and by bad I mean cuddle.

The bottomless pit of frustration is a good way to put it. It would be nice for people to, you know, be treated like grown ups.

We wrote about words and actions earlier today. Sean Braisted is doing that today as well.

Have you considered fostering an animal? Animal Shak with our pal Kathy T. has some words of wisdom on this.

Keith Talley of the TNDP is calling candidate Stephen Fincher out about BP.

We are a blog and we must CATBLOG. Megan is right, Link does have crazy eyes.

Pants on the Ground! Pants on the Ground? Acting like a …? Wait, no pants at all? This to me is pretty funny. Not as big of a deal as Julia Hurley thinks it is but funny nonetheless.

Betsy gets the line of the day for this: When the people who are supposed to be behind the scenes step forward to interject their own opinions into matters, it makes me feel like they have no confidence in their candidates’ ability to deliver these points.