Monday, January 28, 2008

Readers, I Need Your Input

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2008 at 2:37 PM

OK, this is a little embarrassing, but it's the way it is: I missed the deadline to register to vote in the Super Duper Blowout (Now Fred-Free!) Presidential Preference Tuesday. Yep, I moved from Nashville to Brentwood back in August and kept putting off registering in Williamson County until, when I finally got the notion, lo and behold, I missed the deadline by a day. Whoops. But here's the thing: I'm still registered in at my old address in Davidson County, and I have been told by more than one person that I could just go vote there. Well, I have no doubt that I could just walk into my old precinct and cast a vote, sure, but I have a real personal problem with that because I am no longer a resident of the county and I think—at least technically speaking—I'm not allowed to vote there.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today...or Something Like That

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 4:43 PM

If not for a Xeroxed local zine called The Fireplace Whiskey Journal, fueled by beer, Obie's Pizza and Diet Dr. Pepper in the waning days of Ronald Reagan's second term, I would never have ended up writing for the Scene a year later. I'm just telling you who to blame, that's all. FWJ editor/founder/publisher/Anglophile Tom Wood recalls the zine's 20th anniversary this week over at And check out the official site.

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Can Obama Win Tennessee? Discuss.

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 1:15 AM

So there we were last night at Brandon's bar in the Arcade—a motley collection of journalists and political hangers-on. I was as usual the only one with ovaries, which is neither here nor there. Amid the rise and fall of elbows, between drags on fags and when we weren't busy trading barbed insults of one another, we talked politics. Before I get to the question at hand, a few minutes from the Reject Roundtable: 1) Word is that Gov. Phil Bredesen may be predisposed to sign what may be the backwater bill of the session should it pass the House: the "guns in bars" legislation, as House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh calls it. If he does, maybe it's true after all that he has higher political aspirations. 2) Consensus is that erstwhile presidential candidate Fred Thompson's media operation may have been just as poor and haphazard as Al Gore's was in 2000. 3) Hillary Clinton has Republican coattails, it was decided. Should she get the Democratic nomination, she energizes the fractured GOP—and McCain, or perhaps Stepford candidate Mitt Romney, gets elected. As for Clinton, will she win the Feb. 5 Tennessee primary? Will Obama? Will John Edwards sneak up the middle? The Reject Roundtable was divided over these questions, and some pointed to Harold Ford Jr.'s Senate loss in Tennessee as evidence that this state wouldn't elect a black man. Here are my thoughts on the matter: Ford Jr.'s problem was his family name, not his race; Hillary Clinton can't win Tennessee, but either Edwards or Obama can; while I could vote for any of the three Democrats or for John McCain, I'm betting that Obama (to whom, in the interest of full disclosure, my husband made a contribution) wins Tennessee; have no clue who will get the GOP nod here. Discuss.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Don't Give up on Fred Yet

Posted By on Thu, Jan 24, 2008 at 4:11 PM

Here's an article touting the possibility that, even though our beloved Fred Thompson has withdrawn from the presidential race, he might still wind up as the GOP nominee. The basic theory is that if the Republican National Convention is deadlocked, delegates will turn to somebody who is so utterly bland and boring that he's inoffensive to just about everyone and therefore totally acceptable as the nominee. And who fits that bill to a tee? Fred Thompson, of course. "The flip side of his failure to articulate much of a platform is that he hasn't really alienated anybody," says the article's writer, Steven Stark of the Boston Phoenix. Yes, Thompson could become this year's Warren Harding, who emerged as the nominee from the GOP's deadlocked 1920 convention. Now that would be something to make Fredheads proud.


Hanging with AG Cooper

Posted By on Thu, Jan 24, 2008 at 4:10 PM

A heads up to Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper: You might want to consider using the rear entrance at work tomorrow. Protestors are planning an 11:30 a.m. rally outside Cooper’s downtown office in response to his latest appeal in the case of Paul House, who remains on death row despite exonerating DNA evidence and the U.S. Supreme Court’s determination that he’s likely innocent. A story in this week’s Scene delves into the latest development in the capital case and what it could mean for 46-year-old House, who is suffering from advanced multiple sclerosis. Speakers at tomorrow’s event (sponsored by the Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killing) will include the inmate’s mother, Joyce House, Rep. Mike Turner, a Democrat from Old Hickory who believes House is innocent, as well as a few local musicians. The group will gather in front of the John Sevier Building at 425 5th Avenue North.

Rob Briley: 'I'm Sorry'

Posted By on Thu, Jan 24, 2008 at 11:29 AM

With two Democrats ready to challenge his reelection this year, state Rep. Rob Briley tried to begin his political rehabilitation today, standing before the state House to apologize for his wild drunken escapades, and his colleagues responded with a rousing ovation, hugs and pats on the back. Here are excerpts from the Nashville Democrat’s remarks to the House:

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Scene Story Pirated by Nicaraguan Daily Paper

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Last week’s cover story about Megan Volz’s stormy relationship with—and subsequent filing of assault charges against—two Uruguayan illegals has gotten an unauthorized boost in circulation. The Nicaraguan daily El Nuevo Diario reprinted the story without our permission in its entirety…well almost. The editors there removed all references in our story to Eric Volz’s trial being a sham or other facts of the case that point to the young man’s innocence. They also deleted all references to the significant movement to free Eric Volz, including the work of his lawyers and the website his family started. In all, the story the paper "reprinted"—titled "La Otra Volz"—is about half the length of the English version that we first published last week. The paper also added ominous subheds such as “The Volz’s, from victims to executioners,” and “A bad girl” in between sections of the story. Finally, they spelled my name P.J. Robia. Mercedes Alvarado, mother of the young woman that Eric was accused of killing, was shown the bootleg version of the story and is quoted in this article, which attempts to make the case that violence runs in the Volz family. “They apparently come from a violent society and from an unstable family emotionally," Alvarado tells the paper in Spanish. She also says that she was surprised to know that Eric had a sister. "Here always he said that he was an only child," she says. Keep in mind that this is a woman who claims that Volz offered her $1 million for her silence. He claims that he didn’t, and even if he did, it didn’t work. Alvarado testified at his trial, where he was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years before an appellate court finally released him last month.

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Revisiting the Garcia Acolytes

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2008 at 3:24 PM

With the quiet, ignoble demise of Pedro Garcia, who came to Nashville brimming with bluster and confidence only to become an object of scorn and ridicule, it's hard to believe a few people really did welcome him as a liberator. One particularly dim-witted (if rather handsome) writer nearly dislocated his shoulder patting the smug schools director on the back in Garcia's early years. After the jump we'll give you some of his less-than-prescient characterizations:

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Bredesen's Blemish

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper takes the brunt of the blame in this week's story about efforts to keep an ailing and likely innocent man on death row, although the governor certainly hasn’t been spared from criticism for refusing to free Paul House. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court declared in 2006 that no reasonable juror would convict House given the exculpatory DNA evidence now available, Gov. Phil Bredesen has refused to use his exclusive authority to end the ongoing legal battle and pardon the inmate, who has advanced multiple sclerosis and can no longer walk or feed himself.

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Let Fred Aid Begin!

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2008 at 1:22 PM

Help Jackie Broyles and Dunlap make sweet lemonade out of the lemon that was Fred Thompson's candidacy. Wouldn't you want to own an original Jackie Broyles? Meanwhile, forget Jackie's presidential campaign. Let's lobby Dick Wolf to get him Thompson's old gig on Law & Order.

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