1. State Sen. Jim Summerville: In a display of mean-spiritedness that made him something of a folk hero in the Republican Party, Summerville writes in an email what everyone already knows: He doesn’t give a rat’s ass what black lawmakers think. As an exclamation point, he refuses to apologize and flips off a TV news crew. Summerville may not survive much longer as a politician, but he’s got a bright future as a media relations consultant or contestant in Sir Cecil Creape lookalike competitions.
2. State Rep. Judd Matheny: In announcing he’s thinking about challenging Rep. Beth Harwell for House speaker, Matheny says the stakes are high — very high. If he loses, it’s the end of the world! “We have to alter the trajectory that we’re on or we will not be able to survive,” he warns direly. He goes on to tar Harwell as an untrustworthy moderate because she’s a little squeamish about letting state-licensed gunmen go armed wherever they please.
3. State Sen. Stacey Campfield: Adding to his stunning, record-shattering number of appearances in the Kook rankings, Campfield this time scores for (1) defending Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin for saying “legitimate rape” victims can stop pregnancy; (2) patting Summerville on the back for disrespecting black lawmakers; and (3) scoffing at Gulf Coast concerns about Hurricane Isaac — and he did it all in consecutive rapid-fire blog posts from the Republican National Convention!
4. Rep. Joe Carr: Also in Tampa, Carr steals the show — topping even the Tennessee delegation’s trip to Hooters — with a bizarre back-and-forth with the media over the female reproductive system. Unfurling a diabolical, if seldom-used, strategy apparently aimed at befuddling reporters into submission, Carr first says he agrees that raped women possess a magical power to ward off pregnancy, then denies that he said it, then says it again but claims he didn’t really mean it — at least not at that moment as the words were crossing his lips.
5. Mark Clayton: Calling his anti-gay outfit “a love group,” Clayton laughs off Democratic disavowals of his Senate candidacy and proceeds to bash gay people as sexual predators drooling after our schoolchildren. Campfield then makes a surprise appearance at a press conference to embrace the weird Democratic nominee against Bob Corker. In the World of Kooks, it’s a Ruth-and-DiMaggio moment.
This Week In The 'Drome: Bestlettsville, kickoffs, and more...
Greatness vs. Greatest: What will we remember about the Goodlettsville's Little Leaguers run in Williamsport?
Will it be their 12-2 loss to the well-rested Japanese, a team able to save its ace for the big game?
Or will it be Saturday's U.S. championship, a mind-boggling ballgame featuring three three-run home runs from 'Drome favorite Lorenzo Butler and a furious 10-run comeback by California which would have left lesser teams than Goodlettsville on the mat, punched in the stomach by the improbability of it all?
As I write in this week's dead tree, at the top level, a comeback like Petaluma's typically portends resignation. With the wisdom of age so often comes cynicism and pessimism. When you're 12, though, anything is possible.
So Goodlettsville trotted back in extra innings, responded with nine runs of their own and became America's Little League champions.
The thrilling U.S. final was likely a chronicle of a loss foretold. Little League's intransigent devotion to strict pitch counts forced Goodlettsville manager Joey Hale to start a pitcher who hadn't thrown since late July. It was just too big an ask.
Don't tell Goodlettsville they lost, though. Star player Brock Myers — who hit a home run in every game in Williamsport — said, "We're the second best team in the world. I'm all right with that."
So are we, Brock.
You can always tell there's trouble when people start lying about money. When things are going as promised or better, there's never any reason to fudge about the numbers.
So you may recall how, over in Memphis, in order to keep scary, scary Planned Parenthood from getting funding, the state awarded Title X funds to Christ Community Health Services to provide healthcare to low-income Memphis folks. And you may recall how some of us had our doubts that CCHS would be able to reach into the community in the same way Planned Parenthood did.
They competed for funds for a program they don't have the staff to deliver. And yet somehow Planned Parenthood is the bad guy for sending them patients — the very patients that they said they could serve.
Well, it seems they couldn't actually serve those patients.
You saw it, and maybe you still don't believe it. Above is Clint Eastwood's soon-to-be-legendary performance at the Republican National Convention. If you missed it, Billy Crystal will give you a half-dozen recaps during next year's Oscar monologue. Or you can just check out this Storify account, taken from reactions on Twitter in the moment.
As the debate over apparent voting irregularities in the Aug. 2 elections continues, several Metro Council members are seeking to halt the Davidson County Election Commission's planned rollout of additional electronic poll books until an audit can be performed, Joey Garrison reports.
On Monday, Tennessee Citizen Action announced that several elected officials had received the wrong ballots at the polls. They revealed evidence that the electronic poll books, which were only used in 60 of the county's 160 voting precincts in the August primaries, had defaulted to the Republican ballot if a voter did not request a specific ballot or was not asked by a poll worker which one they wanted.
Details from Garrison on the amendment filed by council members, after the jump:
When we last left Rep. Julia Hurley, she and the Tennessee delegation were at the Florida Aquarium, eating lunch with U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, Gov. Bill Haslam, and Winter, the aquatic star of Dolphin Tale.
But when she checked in with Pith yesterday afternoon, she started by describing her first experience in the convention hall Tuesday evening.
“It’s overwhelming," she said. "You walk in there, and it is the most overwhelming moment of your life. It doesn’t matter how long you stand there, how crowded it gets or how busy it is, that place is enormous.”
That can be the only possible outcome, because the Republican Party is in such a muddle. Let's look at the messages that have emerged from this convention, and try to make sense of them.
The convention kicked off day one with a theme — "WE BUILT IT" — that presumed to dispute President Obama's earlier statements about entrepreneurship. Obama had said that no entrepreneur can be considered responsible for all of his success. An entrepreneur relies on a whole set of people and conditions — from teachers to bankers, highways to computers — to become successful.
Frankly, I wasn't too crazy about Obama's statements, and his words were probably ill-considered. If the guy has a weak spot, it's a lack of appreciation for entrepreneurship. But for the life of me, I thought the "We Built It" phrase for the Republican convention was such a bizarre, narrow and unmemorable tagline.
With whom would "We Built It" resonate? A majority of Americans? Who would leave the convention with that phrase on the tip of their tongue? Who would even, upon hearing it, understand immediately what it meant? And even to the 2 percent of cable news nut jobs who got the joke and understood what it referred to, was there a broader and deeper meaning to it, which is the purpose of tagline? Is this the kind of tagline that would capture the Republican Party's appreciation for American exceptionalism, self-reliance, life and liberty and freedom?
WE BUILT IT.
As we get further away from Missouri Congressman Todd Akin's comments about "legitimate rape," the political reporters at various Gannett publications seem to have settled on an almost completely nonsensical interpretation of these comments. The way it looks to me, this misinterpretation is leading them to incorrectly report on the Joe Carr story.
“Okay, so if an abortion can be considered in the case of, say, tubal pregnancy or something like that, what about in the case of rape? Should it be legal or not?”
Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.):
“Well, you know, uh, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, ‘Well, how do you — how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question.’
“It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
“But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
It's the second paragraph that's crucial. It seems obvious to me that Akin is saying "It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, [getting pregnant from rape]'s really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down [in other words: to prevent a pregnancy from occurring].
Humphreys County Tea Party chairman Jerry Pangle phoned in the results this afternoon to Pith Election Headquarters.
“I’d like to know who that one was who voted for Corker,” Pangle joked in a mock-threatening voice.
The Republican senator lost favor, to put it mildly, with the tea party by voting for the bank bailout and committing various other offenses that only the mind of a tea partier can fathom.
Clayton gave a little speech to the tea party before the straw poll, scoring points when he ranted against the homosexual menace but losing support when he waffled on whether he might vote for President Obama. That’s Pangle’s analysis of the results anyway.
“He’s not standard,” Pangle said of Clayton.
In other Mark Clayton news, he appeared on Janet Mefferd’s Christian Right radio show this afternoon. Mefferd, who is virulently anti-gay, likened Clayton’s situation to that of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin—each has been ostracized by his party for courageously sticking up for crazy right wing things. The only difference, according to Mefferd, is that the media isn’t paying much attention to the plight of Clayton.
Clayton told Mefferd that state party leaders are “having playground hissy fits for gay marriage” rather than discussing the important issues of the day with their Senate nominee.
The Washington Post's blog The Fix shared a neat-o chart (after the jump) today, comparing the President's vote share in 2008 to his current polling numbers.
If you really want somebody to know something, you could just tell them.
I doubt she'd choke on yours.
The story on "the Lutheran," ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, was from January. I was…
Bill, I agree. But you're messing with Betsy's MO.