Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Red State Update and the Iranian Elections

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 5:02 AM

Monday, June 29, 2009

What Happens When You Have a Gun, But No Place Left to Carry It?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 7:14 PM

I spent the weekend in West Tennessee, visiting friends and causing havoc (you can, unless
Unmarked West Tennessee grave after Local Blogger almost falls into it.
  • Unmarked West Tennessee grave after Local Blogger almost falls into it.
you're my Mom, read all about it here).  I talked to a lot of folks in a lot of bars and restaurants and gas stations...

No, I take that back.

I talked with few folks in bars and restaurants, because there were few folks in those bars and restaurants.  The interstate was busy and whoever is running Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch needs to be brought here by car to testify before the State Legislature, because the Pilot at that exit was busier than anything I've ever seen.  I had to wait to park, wait to go to the bathroom, wait to buy my Diet Dr Pepper, and wait to get out the door to get back to my car, and the woman at the cash register said it's been like that all summer.

Everyone in the goddamn universe seems to want to go to Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch and you can tell the locals are happy to have folks come and spend money and keep them employed.

I know we can't do anything about it this year, but how about next year we just change the name of this place to Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch and State of Tennessee, put those folks in charge, and those of us who don't have jobs can get work selling beer to tourists.

Shoot, if that's too much for one country legend to handle, we can split the state in two and give half of it to Loretta Lynn and the other half to Dolly Parton and we'll all go work for them.

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From the Scene Dept. of Duh: Hickory Hollow Among America's Most Endangered Malls

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Even Santa can't draw a crowd at Hickory Hollow Mall
  • Even Santa can't draw a crowd at Hickory Hollow Mall
According to this story in U.S. News & World Report, Hickory Hollow is among the country's most endangered malls:
Hickory Hollow Mall, Nashville, Tenn. (82 percent; $187). Dillard's has left, and other departed tenants include Linens 'N Things and Steve & Barry's, two of the biggest casualties of the recession. Two of four anchor slots are vacant, and the theater recently switched from first-run movies to late-run discount flicks. With a lack of retailers, the mall may convert some of its space to office use. One new tenant: the local police, who recently opened a recruiting station at the mall.
See Hickory Hollow's celebratory walk down the runway to accept the award here. And didn't they mean to say "most endangered (and dangerous) malls"? Judging from the fairly frequent reports of crime in the mall area, perhaps the police recruiting station is a stroke of genius!

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Music, Fun for the Whole Family and Speech by Hate Monger at Next Tea Party Rally

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 3:16 PM

Tea Party Nation flier
  • Tea Party Nation flier
If you're still feeling cranky, teabaggers (and you know you are) come back to Legislative Plaza Thursday for yet another tea party rally! That's right, we'll do it all over again in only 72 hours. This time it's Tea Party Nation throwing the rally, and it's scheduled to last four hours so there should be plenty of time to vent your hatred of--well, of course you hate everything. The "keynote speaker" is none other than the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a talk radio darling from Los Angeles who's well acquainted with hatred himself. Wikipedia informs us that Peterson, who is black, wrote a column for WorldNetDaily in which he suggested that most African Americans stranded in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina were "welfare-pampered," "lazy" and "immoral." And during a panel discussion at the University of California-Irvine, Peterson described Islam as an "evil religion," and argued that extremist Muslims "hate us [America] because we are a Christian nation and we support Israel." What a charming guy! In addition to Peterson's speech, organizers promise "music and fun for the whole family."

Gibbons Finds Surprise Wedge Issue: the Haywood County Industrial Site

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Looks like Bill Gibbons, for one, recognizes that Ron Ramsey really stepped in it when he tried to kill funding for Haywood County's industrial megasite in this year's state budget. In West Tennessee, here's Gibbons dropping his original law-and-order theme to proclaim the state's desperate need for economic development and tout the monumental importance of that industrial site:
"People here understand the importance of having industrial sites like that and the importance of state government providing the infrastructure for the kind of economic growth we need. I'm going to keep talking about those things that are of importance to the citizens of the state of Tennessee."

Teabaggers Unite to Help Promote Talk Radio

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 12:49 PM

The scene at today's teabaggers rally.
  • The scene at today's teabaggers rally.
Nashville's talk radio stations managed to wheedle maybe a thousand cranks to stand in the broiling heat for another one of their promotional events today. Well, actually they're calling it a Tea Party rally to take back our country from Barack Obama and the socialist Democrats. But the star attractions are the city's right-wing radio hucksters and, while the protesters may think they're making a bold patriotic statement, Pith suspects the radio stations are mainly interested in driving up ratings. The glassy eyed Bobbie Patray of Tennessee Eagle Forum opened the rally with this prayer asking God to kick the liberal SOBs out of power:
"Father, we ask your blessing today on this land. We are in such trouble. You have commanded us to pray for our leaders, and lord we want to be faithful in doing that. Regardless of who they are, they are in there because they were elected. And we pray that you'll be faithful in the next election to make some changes."
A catchy sign
  • A catchy sign
Then the rally's emcee, tax nut Ben Cunningham, got down to business: "Talk radio has been our Paul Revere. If it weren't for talk radio, we simply wouldn't have a consistent single source of news. And we've got the best talk radio folks here in Nashville!" Cunningham proclaimed as he began introducing the radio loudmouths Steve Gill, Ralph Bristol and finally Phil Valentine, who asked the teabaggers to send golf balls to Congress for some reason. They even found a black woman military veteran--a threefer!--to speak to the throng of white faces and prove to the media that teabaggers love all God's children. Pith didn't catch her name. "I was offended by being called a racist redneck teabagger," she yells. The teabaggers are so zany that only four elected officials were willing to be seen with them at today's rally: state Reps. Glen Casada, Terri Lynn Weaver and Josh Evans and Sen. Jack Johnson. No sign of any of the GOP candidates for governor.

Blackburn: 'We are the party of no!' Know? Wait, what?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Republicans are the party of know, according to Congressman Marsha Blackburn. Funny, because these days they also seem to be the party of 'no.' And no. H/T Politico

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Bernie Ellis Unleashes Reign of Terror Against Quivering Tre Hargett

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 8:44 AM

Bernie Ellis the bully
  • Bernie Ellis the bully
The reign of terror of Bernie Ellis has apparently only just begun. With an innocuous blog comment, Ellis, a totally mellow fair election activist, somehow managed to frighten Secretary of State Tre Hargett so badly that he sent TBI agents to Ellis' farm last week to investigate a bogus "terrorist threat." Now, Ellis is threatening to file criminal complaints against the secretary of state for official oppression and abuse of power. Pith is afraid he might make Hargett cry this time.

Ellis revealed his plans in an email to Nashville's First Amendment Center in which he tried to drum up publicity for his story. He's been emailing media outlets all over the place too. Ellis may be a nice guy but he turns vicious when cornered. He's none too happy that Nashville's MSM has been ignoring what seems pretty clearly like an abuse of power by Hargett. Says Ellis: "[T]oday's Nashville corpulent media, instead of salivating over this story, is instead sitting idly (and silently) in the corner, drooling all over themselves." In his email, which he also sent to Pith, Ellis adds:

The story will heat up dramatically this week as I will likely be filing two criminal complaints against SoS Hargett (for official oppression and criminal abuse of power), and will be holding a press conference to announce those complaints. ... As much attention as Tennessee has received for the racism and other excesses of the Republicans now in power, I am hoping that you might be able to use your considerable contacts to attract national interest in this story among the handful of respected journalists still left in this country whose saliva glands (and appetite for real, probing, country-saving journalism) are still intact.

Ramsey Campaign Makes 11th-Hour Plea for Cash

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 6:44 AM

Sometimes those political fund-raising pitches can bite the candidate in the ass. Ron Ramsey's campaign has just sent an email plea complaining yet again about their guy's competitive disadvantage: The law didn't allow him to shake down lobbyists during this year's legislative session. To help him overcome this handicap, the Senate speaker says in the email, Republicans ought to give money to his campaign. Here's the hard sell:
Now we have less than 48 hours before the Ramsey for Governor campaign reports our first fund-raising totals. So we have ground to make up. I need your help to prove the strength of our campaign. So we have ground to make up. I need your help to prove the strength of our campaign.

OK, that might pry loose a little more cash. The problem is this: What if Ramsey's total still sucks? Then armed with Ramsey's own words, his rivals can argue that, rather than proving the strength of Ramsey's campaign, it proves the weakness. Here's the whole email from Ramsey:

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Liberty Rally: TN Teabaggers Unite Today at Noon at Legislative Plaza

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 6:25 AM

If you find yourself oddly aroused by this sign, then today's rally is for you!
  • If you find yourself oddly aroused by this sign, then today's rally is for you!
To paraphrase one of America's great founding terrorists, Patrick Henry: "Give me liberty or give me tea!" In that quintessentially American spirit, today there's another teabagger conclave, "The Middle Tennessee Liberty Rally," brought to you by the Tennessee Tea Party. And what better time to push back against the communist infiltrators than the week of Independence Day. To wit(less):
...The Middle Tennessee Liberty Rally will offer Tennesseans an event where they can voice their opposition to America's mad dash towards Socialism. In addition to out of control government spending and the $3.7 trillion budget, issues such as States' rights, cap-and-trade, and Nationalized Healthcare will be hot topics. The Middle Tennessee Liberty Rally is designed to continue to bring awareness to our legislators and fellow citizens about the wave of anger and push-back against this Socialist form of government, especially as we are about to celebrate our Nations' Independence.... We must remind those who we elect and pay to represent us that this Socialist form of government is NOT what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they formed this great nation 233 years ago this Independence Day.
Among the featured guest are conservative radio talk show hosts Steve Gill (duh) and Phil Valentine (double duh). Despite the barely coherent ramblings of their followers, Gill and Valentine are pretty savvy. Like all of the best conservative talkies, they not only manage to snow the impressionable throngs into accepting government policies that work against them, but they convince them to mobilize and protest against programs that are in their best interests. And let's give credit to the Tennessee Tea Party for coining a phrase for the sane and reasonable folks who are actually in favor of "socialist" practices like universal health care: "mad dashers." In the interest of good sportsmanship, and as a token of gratitude for scaring all of the more moderate and rational Republicans into hiding, allow us mad dashers to offer these helpful costume suggestions for today's rally, after the jump. But get to work! You've only got a few hours.

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