Archive for the ‘Local Politics’ Category

Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich

September 1, 2007

I really shouldn’t have a dog in this fight.  As soon as my wife can move us to her beloved Smyrna, we are heading for the ‘burbs.  I prefer living in Davidson County out of pure arrogance and snobbery.  But, we don’t want our kids turning into crack whores or Kurdish Gang victims.  (On an unrelated note, when the cops wind up taking down the Kurdish gangs, will they use tear gas?  I want the headline to read “Kurds Gassed In Antioch”.)

Our mayoral race has finally winnowed down to a pair of unsavory characters.

This week’s Scene gives a wholly unbiased look at both candidates.  And by “wholly unbiased” I mean a hatchet job on Clement and a puff piece on Dean.  Not that I have any problem with that.  I love a good hatchet job just as much as the next guy.  Provided the next guy is Richard Milhous Nixon.

My only real gripe with the Clement piece was this footnote: Clement even painted “Little Bob” on a campaign truck driven by 16-year-old Dave Cooley, later to become one of Phil Bredesen’s closest aides.  Cooley recently left the deputy governor post to return to corporate public relations.  Which is akin to saying Alberto Gonzales recently left the attorney general post to return to private practice.  True enough, but missing a salient point or two.

I’m not a Dean fan, but he’s got to be better than the do nothing, intellectually bankrupt, career politician Clement.  Although, not by much.  The key piece of the decision-making puzzle came courtesy of Lindsay Ferrier.  Her blog post prior to the primary shed some needed light on the man behind the curtain.

Where I can see Clement doing a fine job as mayor of Lebanon or Hendersonville or Murfreesboro, he isn’t the man for the job.  I don’t like that Dean is an unhelpful jerk, but maybe an unhelpful jerk is what we need when it comes time to deal with the Bud Adamses, Glenn Yeagers, Ronal Serpases and Pedro Garcias of the world.

Finally, I am supporting Dean because I bet Kleinheider a beer that he would win.  Pure gambling knows no sentimentality.


Scenes From A West Mayberry Polling Place

November 7, 2006

 I wound up in the voting line with the supporting cast of The Andy Griffith Show.  Those that weren’t actual castmembers, were old enough to have watched it when the show originally ran on CBS.  With their grandchildren.  Sure enough, at the age of 40, I was the youngest whippersnapper in the UAW Union Hall.

In front of me was Ernest T. Bass in a Members Only jacket.  The real life Aunt Bee was behind me, though she was missing a few teeth.  Behind her was an angry Goober Pyle.  Over at the fail-safe voting table were the Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot.

We started a pleasant conversation about all of the negative campaigning and how we were all glad it would be over today.  Ernest T. cautioned the group not to discuss who they were going to vote for, so that the pleasant conversation wouldn’t turn ugly.  Aunt Bee started talking about how she was getting all sorts of calls from people trying to tell her how to vote.  I politely brought up the fact that it was raining.  That’s the sort of thing we can all agree on.  I’m a uniter, not a divider.

"I’m 72 years old, no damn body better tell me how to vote!", Goober interjected.

I tried to be helpful.  "Well, they have these auto dialers…"

"No DAMN body!", Goober continued. 

"I got a call from Bill Clinton the other day," Ernest T. added.

"Ooh, me too," Aunt Bee chimed in.  "It was one of those recordings."

"I’ve been getting calls from real people," Goober spat out through a clenched jaw. "I told them what I thought of them!"

Ernest T. wanted to know why there were three unused voting machines off to the side.  Aunt Bee bemoaned the loss of the old voting machine which was better and easier to use.  She must have been an Alabama fan. 

Goober continued to rail against the politicians.

"They all print up their own stuff and pocket the money.  Bill Boner had him a printing press in his basement, then would pay himself out of campaign funds for the flyers.  He’d wind up getting paid three times for the same damn flyers!"

 Aunt Bee wanted to know what the Fail Safe Voting was all about.  Thankfully, the line had moved us up to that table.

"Hello doll," Daphne said in a throaty growl.

"What exactly is Fail Safe voting?"

"Don’t ask.  We don’t want to do any work."

"Oh, you kidder," Skippy laughed.  "It is for people who come here by mistake.  We can look them up and thell them where to go.  Although I’ve been on the phone for the last hour trying to get a hold of Howard School.  We cain’t get through.  Hope no one has a problem, because we cain’t help them."

Aunt Bee was getting nervous.  "I’m worried about these new fangled machines.  How do we know our vote counted?"

"They have people to help you.",  I offered.

"Then they’ll see how I voted!  That isn’t right!" 

I didn’t know what to tell her.  "Well, they can help you figure it out before you cast your vote."

As we got closer to having our turn, Aunt Bee changed the topic to how she turned off her clothes dryer before coming out to the polls.  "I turn off all the electrical appliances before I leave the house."

Ernest T. agreed. "The only thing I have running at home is an alarm clock."

My turn came up.  After making small talk with Floyd the Barber who guided me to the ballot, I was ready to vote. 

The screen for Governor came up first.  I proudly cast my ballot for Rex L. Camino.  I wondered if my new friends in the line did the same.

Barney Fife: [angry] Oh, you’re just full of fun today, aren’t you? Why don’t we go up to the old people’s home and wax the steps?

Unwanted Endorsements

October 30, 2006

C. Wage has already tipped his hand to his voting record. In what some may call an homage, and others a direct rip-off, here are my endorsements for next Tuesday’s election.

Governor: Is there even the slightest possibility that Dollar Phil Bredesen will lose? Even hard-core conservatives, like Mrs. Sarcastro’s father, have cast their votes with the incumbent. Memo to J. Bryson: If you can’t get the Religious-Right Rutherford County Republicans, you are doomed. As far as the third party candidates go, they run the gamut from slightly deranged to bull-goose loony.

I like Marivuana Leinoff’s opposition to the drug war, but am turned off by just about everything else about her hippy throwback persona and disjointed personal narrative.

As for David “None of the Above” Gatchell, that sure is a witty idea. Byron Looper called and wants his gimmick back. The only thing dumber than him running would be him winning. Gatchell’s platform apparently is based on how much time and money he can waste by calling for new elections after winning.


Howard Switzer seems to be in the pocket of the powerful Straw Bale Building Materials Lobby. A vote for Switzer means the wolves win.

The five hundred years too late, anti-immigration candidate Carl “Two Feathers” Whitaker seems to be about as much of a real Indian as Ward Churchill, Forrest Carter, and the owners of certain casinos.

My vote goes to Write-In candidate Rex L. Camino.

Constitutional Amendment #1: No. I make it a point not to care what other people do with their lives, as long as it doesn’t affect me. The gays getting married, though I believe inadvisable, isn’t my business. If your answer in this debate is to amend the state constitution to prevent the possibility of such a union, you should think about what that means. Rather than limiting the power of government over our lives, you are expanding it. What could be more Communist than that?

Constitutional Amendment #2: No. Tell you what, Granny. You don’t have to pay any more property taxes the day I don’t have to pay anymore Social Security and Medicare taxes. Deal?

United States Senate: Both of the major candidates make me wish for a Zombie Apocalypse. The independent candidates are the usual assortment of Jesus nuts, crypto-Nazis and damn, dirty hippies. On the issues, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Ford and Corker. Whenever that happens, they have no choice but to get personal. Hence the mudslinging and the idiotic counterclaims between the supporters of each candidates. My problems with Ford are that he has never worked a day in his life outside of politics. Not one. Never earned a paycheck that wasn’t made from tax dollars. Never gone on a job interview. Never worried about how he was going to cover payroll that week. Or lost sleep trying to figure out how to afford Worker’s Comp insurance. Or had to deal with the entrenched civil service bureaucracy in getting a building permit. For that reason, and that reason alone, I’m voting for Corker.

Then I’ll take a shower.

House of Reprentatives 5th Congressional District: Jim Cooper is part of the problem in Congress. His Republican challenger is a John Birchy nut-job to put it delicately. Ginny Welsch may not be crazy, but has the added disadvantage of being completely and utterly wrong. That leaves Scott Knapp. His letter to the City Paper in 2004 was brave and foolhardy. Oddly enough, I agree with every word.

Tennessee Senate 21st District: How could it be anyone but Bob Krumm? He’s a good man who has a spiffy new campaign ad running on MSNBC right now. Besides, unlike his opponent, he didn’t ride a dinosaur to school. To be fair, the distinguished Civil War veteran and member of the legislature for over FIFTY YEARS, Senator Henry wasn’t around to ride dinosaurs. But, he did watch the last one die. Ok, that isn’t true either. Let’s just say he shouldn’t buy any green bananas, and leave it at that.

Tennessee House 55th District: The guy running as a Democrat is running unopposed. Good job, GOP. You can allegedly engineer two of the most outrageous electoral frauds in history, rig up a fake terrorist attack as a false pretext to war by employing the greatest conspiracy this side of the Easter Heist known to man and manipulate the price of oil on the open market, but can’t find a mouth-breathing dupe to run in my district? Way to lull the Dems into a false sense of security. I’m writing my own name in. Only because Rex L. Camino lives in another district. I don’t know anything about Gary Odom. He’s an incumbent. That’s reason enough not to vote for him.

Metro Charter Amendment No. 1: No, that sounds like a prescription for disaster. Having our elected representative live in fear of raising property taxes is a good enough control measure.

Metro Charter Amendment No. 2: Yes, have your meetings open to the public. Don’t we have a Sunshine Law that covers this? I guess not.

Metro Charter Amendment No. 3: Undecided. Do we need to spend more money to have our very own Metro GAO? Will there be any teeth to their findings? Or will they be auditors in name only?


Metro Charter Amendment No. 4: Yes. Term limits on the mayor. You betcha. In an alternate universe, three-term Nashville mayor Ludye Wallace gnashes his teeth at such a development.

Metro Charter Amendment No. 5: No. How is this going to work? Leave the budget schedule as is.

Metro Charter Amendment No. 6: Yes. This should be a no brainer. You have to live in Nashville to serve on Government Boards and Commissions. Again, I’m shocked to find this wasn’t already in the Charter.

Don’t forget to Vote next week.

Democracy Inaction

August 3, 2006

I just got back from voting.  That had to be one of the most depressing experiences this side of recent Saturday Night Live episodes.  The highlight, of course, was casting a vote for Bob Krumm.

First off, the polling place was staffed by the stunt doubles from The Golden Girls.  What partisan dirty-trick mastermind could possibly perpetrate a voting fraud scheme with these sharp-eyed operators on watch?

Of the thirteen pages of ballot, only the first page contained any real contests.  There was a fleeting sense of mischief when instead of voting for Crazy Tom Kovach, I got to type in, "Anyone Else". Voting "no" on every judge was sort of fun.  The rest was a big waste of memory. 

Uncontested county-wide offices for almost every single office and judgship leads me to believe either the Dems have rigged the system or the Repubs are hapless dopes.  Usually, it is the other way around.  The only thing I hate more than the two-party system, is the one-party system.  That’s what we have here, folks.   At least the people who "voted" for Stalin got the excitement of knowing they were avoiding either the gulag or the firing squad.

And what’s with the polling place being at the UAW hall?  The dump is littered with partisan political junk inside.  You don’t suppose that has anything to do with all the uncontested races, do you? 

Today’s Election Outcome

August 3, 2006

With a nod to The Staggering Prophets, I hereby predict the outcome of today’s GOP Senate primary.

Bob Corker









will defeat Van Hilleary






and Ed Bryant 






P.S.  Don’t forget to vote for Bob Krumm

“Democracy is the pathetic belief in the wisdom of collective ignorance.”

June 28, 2006

If you aren’t a fan, or at least lack an appreciation for Roger Abramson, then you are going to hate this post.  His latest essay on his personal politics, the GOP Senate primary and the holier-than-thou attitude of several Tennessee conservatives is one of the best things I’ve read in a while.  If I could be anymore effusive in my praise without bringing the word "Brokeback" to the minds of those who live on the dull edge of pop culture, I would.  (Why is it the only people lame enough to think Brokeback anything isn’t played out, are the same people lame enough to listen to Kenny Chesney?) My only axe to grind with RA is, how can you be a reviewer for Joe Bob Briggs without ever seeing a James Bond movie?  Shouldn’t that be some sort of prerequisite for a damn movie reviewer?

Watching the doctrinaire partisans and theocon watch dogs go after anyone who doesn’t adhere to the religious right groupthink disappoints me.  If they are indeed the future of the Republican party, say hello to President Pelosi.  One of my criticism of the left wing has always been the insistence on all members to believe in the Liberal Articles of Faith.  For the right wing to adopt the same tactic, makes them just as suspect and just as wrong.

Let me put this in terms of a football analogy that everyone will understand.

Next year, let’s say, Bud Adams decides that all Titans players will need to be functionally illiterate and borderline retarded.  He starts drafting sub-morons who each run a 4.3 40-yard dash and can each bench press 500 pounds.  When questioned and criticized about the wisdom of composing a team of the stupidest people they can find, the Titans organization responds by saying "These will be fastest and strongest players in the league.  Evidently, you people don’t understand how important it is to have the fastest and strongest football players in the league.  You must not be real football fans."  Once the season starts, it become obvious that these players are too fucking dumb to run the simplest of plays.  The Titans lose every game in the most embarassing fashion possible. When the fans register their disgust with the bad decisions that the Titans organization, they again respond with "Real football fans support their team no matter what.  If you understood anything about the game you would know that."

Sound familiar? 

 The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.
H.L. Mencken 

Get Out of The Van

June 22, 2006

Apparently, there is an election this year.  I’m not sure, but Kleinheider may know something about this.  Frankly, I’m not that interested.  The horserace doesn’t hold that much allure for me anymore.  Except, you know, for the gambling part.

Unfortunately, I ran across this Van Hilleary site today.  Van has the reputation of, well, not being the sharpest tool in the shed.  Yes, I used the word tool on purpose.  Apparently, his fan club comes from the same stock.  Something about dumb, like water, seeking its own level. 

Never mind the leaps in logic on the site that you would need Evel Knievel’s Sky Cycle to make.  The big problem is this post.  Beale Street Meets Burboun Street.  Here’s the deal Vaniacs, or whatever you call yourselves, I don’t care about your inability to determine the difference between "there", their" and "they’re".  That’s a common mistake that people make all the time.  It is your mispelling of a distilled spirit that not only is uniquely American, but holds an important place in our history.  Compounding this, is your slur against the New Orleans thoroughfare that shares its name.  Those of us who appreciate fine American whiskey (and a filthy street to drink it on) spell it Bourbon.   

I’d tell you how to help your empty suit of a candidate, but you would just screw that up as well.  So keep doing what you are doing and maybe we will get a decent Senate candidate, and Van can go back to work for Daddy.

When he loses, I’ll send you a nice bottle of Woodford Reserve.   If he wins, I’ll need it for myself.


Today’s Political Endorsement

June 14, 2006

With apologies to the Camino campaign, I am now going to jump on the Bob Corker bandwagon.  His politics seem reasonable and as long as he isn’t going to try to practice medicine via television or have gay Republican stoners murdered, he will wind up with my vote.

More importantly, he has a hot daughter who likes to party. 

Tennessee, now is the time to rally behind a father with a hot daughter who likes to party.  We don’t need a Senator who will spend his time trying to nail someone’s hot daughter who likes to party. 

Or do we

Ay Cabron! Donde Esta Mi Coche?

March 29, 2006

Listening to the President right now ripping off my comments from the other day.  He just said, "We are a nation of laws and need to be able to enforce our borders."  If the White House staff has to stoop to lifting the stuff that I’ve lifted off of other websites and other people’s quotes, we are in deeper trouble than I thought.  As an observation from the last couple of Bush speeches, let me say this.  G.W., ol’ buddy, you HAVE to work on your delivery.  Your predecessor was a master at saying either nothing of value or just out and out bald face lies, yet he made it sound like it was from God’s Own Daytimer to his fried foods loving mouth.  Bush, on the other hand, could be talking about the wetness of water or the hotness of fire and still sound like he’s making up an alibi to tell his parents after getting brought home by the cops. 

Be that all as it may.  Here’s my spin on the little fiesta going on downtown today.  Unlike other minority and special interest groups.  The Hispanics are doing their’s after work.  That’s right, they make sure they put in 8 hours before going out for a flag waving stroll.  Despise and fear the immigrants if you wish, but don’t knock their work ethic.  Be it TennCare protestors or welfare queens or the horn honking taxtards or Mothers Against Irish Drivers or both sides of the abortion debate or those dumbass Not in Our Name broads, they all seem to have one thing in common.  Nothing better to do in the middle of the day than complain.   Not the Amigos.  They have the decency to wait until after rush hour has subsided and the courtesy to finish their chores first.  Who would you rather have as a neighbor or employee?

So I’m going to support Mr. Bush’s Immigration Plan.  Or should we call it The Bush-Wage Plan as CW has nodded his assent to the spirit of compromise?

But I have to wonder.  How many of the marchers know who’s side they are on?  How many have been told what the difference is between the House’s plan, the Senate Plan and the White House Plan?  Many of the interviewees from the last few marches and school walkouts have shown little to no understanding of the actual issue other than "They want to send all Mexicans back home".

I don’t know how many people will march tonight and I really don’t care.  My plans this evening don’t include being anywhere near downtown.    But if you see any of my employees there tonight, tell them I’ll see them on the jobsite tomorrow morning at seven sharp. 

A Shakedown By Any Other Name

February 7, 2006

Metro Council’s Black Caucus showed their true colors the other night.  That color would be green.  As in how to turn black into green.  By playing the race card at the last minute, the race pigs are trying to get their snouts in the money trough. 

The Sounds deal may or may not be good for the Nashville taxpayer.  That isn’t really the concern of the Black Caucus.  Their concern is how they are going to profit from this project by leveraging their votes for  cash.  With that cash finding a route into their very pockets.

There are already minority owned firms working on this project, and not as janitors and beer sellers.  So why the hoopla about minority set-asides?  Why is it so important for the Black Caucus to make sure firms owned by don’t white women get a piece of the pie?  And let’s be honest, when they use phrases like "minority participation", they don’t mean that in the plural sense.  They aren’t making this racket on behalf of the Hispanics and Asians.   I guess their minority participation will be in the form of players from Cuba and Japan.

See, the black owned civil engineering and land surveying firm, the black owned facility planning and project management firm, and the black owned public relations firm don’t have to kick anything back to the race warlords.  So, naturally, that isn’t good enough for the Black Caucus.

A source close to the Sounds told me this story.  A few years ago, an athletic league in a predominately black part of town wanted the Sounds to be involved in teaching the youngsters about baseball.  The Sounds agreed to provide equipment and uniforms for free.  The representative of the group said, "We need $20,000."   The Sounds said that they were providing everything that the kids would need.  The representative replied, "Yes, we will take it.  You still need to give us $20,000."  That man, is of course, a member of Metro Council.