The Shelby County Commission and Memphis City Council set up a program last week that would give people $1 for every tire they turned in at a recycling facility in Memphis. Well today they had to abruptly cancel that program because they ran out of money after just three days. People turned in around 53,000 used tires. Yes thats correct, there were at least 53,000 used tires just laying around in the city of Memphis and Shelby County. The city also removed over 100,000 used tires from a vacant property back in October. Who knows how many more tires remain out there because people were still lined up at the facility when the program was canceled today and more were rumored to be in route. I don't know who to yell at more when I hear about stories like these. I guess my first gripe is with the citizens of Memphis and the Shelby County area. Why in the world did you people let at minimum 53,000 tires pile up in your neighborhoods? MY GOD! These tires bread mosquitoes and they in turn carry the west nile virus. Its no wonder Memphis has had people and animals get sick and die from that virus this decade. Stories like this one fuel the perception in the rest of the state that your city and county is a joke . My other gripe is with the so called "enviromentalists" who reside in the mid south area. Did it ever occur to you people that instead of running around worrying about some bear or an ice glacier in some god forsaken place melting that your backyards needed to be cleaned up? People will not take you seriously when your lecturing to them about maintaining a clean enviroment. All the while mosquitoes are swarming in mass all over Memphis like flies on meat every summer. I will give Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy some credit for this program. He helped spearhead the program along with Councilman Harold Collins and they both said tonight on WMC TV that they hope to restart the program in a few weeks. But gentlemen why stop there? Everyone who drives through that area knows there is also a very bad problem with junk. As for the citizens of Memphis and Shelby County if you or someone you know have used tires and junk on your property. Have a little self respect and do everyone a favor and get rid of it!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The head honchos at GOP headquarters welcomed Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith to the party today exactly 14 months after they spent millions on research and tv ads slamming him on Huntsville, Al TV stations as a doctor who purposedly killed cancer patients a quarter century ago with overdoses of radiation and chemotherapy. Its kind of a surprise that he was the first to switch. Mr Griffith had a close relationship with the hyper partisan State Senator Lowell Barron(D) when the two served in the state senate from 2006 to 2008. He also represents a slightly less GOP district than Congressman Bobby Bright has down in southeast Alabama. Most people do expect Mr Bright to switch at some point. I do find it interesting that the NRCC has toned down their rhetoric promoting Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby as of late and that she is the only serious GOPer in this race so far. It makes you wonder..... As for Congressman Griffith next year and his reelection chances we will have to wait and see. The bench of GOP officeholders is still kind of short in this area once you get outside Madison County. One of the current GOPers running against Griffith is Les Phillip but he has been very quiet since his fundraiser featuring Mike Huckabee turned into a disaster last summer. Les should've got the Freed Hardeman accountants to help him. Mike Huckabee broke a fundraising record when he spoke at Freed Hardeman University a few weeks ago. The other GOPer in the race is Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks. He's raised over a $100,000 so far to challenge Congressman Griffith. Mr Brooks is well known through the GOP ranks in that district from his failed run for Lt. Governor in 2006. So my guess is he will probably be Griffith's main opponent in June's primary. Barring Roy Moore winning the GOP nod for Governor next year. Im expecting a very good and probable historic election day next November for Alabama Republicans. So Mo or Parker will in all likelihood be the Congressman from north Alabama in January 2011.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Last week Luther Mercer jumped into the race to replace retiring Congressman John Tanner. The Jackson Sun is reporting this afternoon that yet another young democrat from Jackson is on the verge of entering the race. William Godwin who is a graduate of the London school of economics among other things announced he's forming an exploratory committee to run as a democrat to replace John Tanner in the rural west Tennessee district. He joins Mr Mercer and Roy Herron as democrats seeking the nomination to replace Mr Tanner. I have a hunch there will be more democrats and republicans jumping into this race over the next few months. We have already heard of the former head of the Jackson Clinic, Mr Kirkland and the Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn making rumblings about jumping into this race on the GOP side. The DCCC and NRCC have rallied around Roy Herron and Stephen Fincher as their "preferred choices". But this seat historically only comes open once every twenty years or so and there are a lot of politically ambitious people out there especially in a growing area like Madison County who realize its either now or never to fulfill their dream of serving in Congress. So I'm not going to be shocked if more candidates buck the wishes of the elites in DC and jump into this race.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Clear Channel announced this week that they were breaking up the well known and well liked "The House Foundation" in Nashville. Al Voecks and Duncan Stewart were for all practical purposes fired from their jobs as Gerry House's sidekicks. I realize this show is beloved by numerous people in Nashville and throughout the country music world. But I've personally never enjoyed this show. It just always struck me as being too bland. I was always a fan of Carl P. Mayfield who did an afternoon show on WSIX in the mid 90's and the syndicated John Boy and Billy show out of Charlotte. Those two shows seemed geared more toward the common man and woman while House's show always seemed geared more toward the elites of Green Hills and Franklin.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Longtime Congressman Bart Gordon(D) announced today that he'll retire from Congress after twenty six years in the US House. He replaced Al Gore in 1984 when Gore was elected to the US Senate. The well respected Cook Political Report quickly moved this race from the lean democrat category to the likely republican category. Todays news comes on top of news two weeks ago that longtime Congressman John Tanner(D) would also retire next year after 22 years in Congress. To say things are bad for Tennessee Democrats would be putting it mildly. The fortunes of the Tennessee Democrat Party have fallen so far south this year. That they probably passed Michelle Duggar's boobs somewhere along the way.
Henderson, Tn Police Captain Dennis Cagle passed away Sunday morning in Jackson from a bullet wound he suffered in a gunfight Thursday night in Henderson at a Save-A-Lot grocery store. The store was being robbed by a middle aged man whose wife was waiting for him nearby in a get away car when Mr Cagle arrived on the scene. The husband and wife team will now be charged with first degree murder and in all likelihood receive the death penalty once they go to trial. Its been a tragic few months in the Henderson/Chester County, Tn law enforcement community. A few months ago the popular young Chester County Sheriff Mark Davidson passed away from a cancerous brain tumor. From what I was told that shattered a few of them because Sheriff Davidson had just received a good report from a doctor out west when he abruptly passed away. So this will almost certainly compound what was already a bad situation in Chester County law enforcement. There was also another cop murdered in Birmingham two weeks ago. That situation is the strangest one Ive ever heard of in a cop killing. Most suspects who choose to murder members of the law enforcement community are nearly always low income people of varying ethnic backgrounds. But in this case it was a pharmacist who has a brother that works for a neighboring police department in Birmingham. The pharmacist's wife is also a pharmacist and they live in an upscale neighborhood with two young children. The police officers dashcam showed the officer being murdered. The pharmacist tells the officer that he has a brother thats a policeman and the officer tells him to have the brother call him if he wants to talk about the ticket and then from out of no where the pharmacist murders him right there on the side of I-65. Its a dangerous world out there for everyone but especially for law enforcement officers.
Friday, December 11, 2009
There was a murder trial in Savannah, Tn this week that was televised nationally on TruTv(formerly known as CourtTV). It involved a local nurse who was facing life in prison for murdering her husband with an unprescribed diabetes drug. The husband who was a local fire chief seemed to be a very popular man around their Bruton Branch neighborhood just south of Savannah while his wife was portrayed as being cold and distant. In the end the jury acquitted her of all charges although I noticed an interesting comment posted by someone at the end of a column concerning this case on the Jackson Sun website. The commentator claimed that Mrs Chasson worked with a lady years ago at Regional Hospital in Jackson who is currently serving life for giving her husband an unprescribed diabetes drug. So who knows. Then today came the news that former Tennesee GOP spokesperson Bill Hobbs was arrested on a domestic violence charge back in October. But him and his wife both claim on Adam Kleinheider's blog in Nashville that the whole case was basically a huge misunderstanding. Who knows where the truth lies in that case, but hopefully it'll will work out ok for the sake of their two children. I don't understand cases like those and especially the infamous Winkler case. Ive personally never hit or for that matter threatened anyone in my life although I sure have felt like it a few times (who among us hasnt?). But everytime I have, you just take a few deep breaths and walk away. My late fiance who passed away from cancer a few years ago liked to joke with me that if I ever hit her she would have her father (who played football for Bear Bryant at Alabama) "shine my ass with a grindstone". She always believed humor and honesty were the keys to a successful marriage. Its unfortunate we never got to test her theory......
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Last night attorney Patrick Cooper finished first in the primary for Birmingham's Mayoral race. His challenger in next months runoff will be current Jefferson County Commissioner and former Birmingham Mayor William Bell. Mr Cooper finished with around fourty percent of the vote while Mr Bell barely nudged out Carole Smitherman with a percentage in the low teens. This is just a guess but right now I would give the edge to Mr Cooper in next months runoff. Mr Bell was the Mayor of Birmingham back in 1999. He was also at the time pretty much in the same situation that Mr Cooper finds himself in this morning. Mr Bell barely missed winning the 1999 Mayor's race outright in the primary by just a few hundred votes over Bernard Kincaid who finished in the teens. But when the runoff election occured Mr Kincaid stormed to a surprising upset over Mr Bell by finishing with a 51 to 49% win over Mr Bell in late 1999. One would assume with the roles kind of being reversed, this might help Mr Bell this time around but he's facing an energetic young attorney in Mr Cooper who in most aspects is viewed as an "outsider" running in a city that has gone through a lot of trouble recently thanks mainly to the so called "insiders". While Mr Bell is not implicated in any of the wrongdoing that nearly lead the area to a record bankruptcy he is a classic insider in the sense that he's been an elected official in Birmingham for a few decades now. Mr Bell also performed very poorly in the single digits when he ran for Mayor two years ago in Birmingham while Mr Cooper finished second in what was his first race for an elected office. It should also be noted that if Mr Cooper wins this race he will probably gain national attention in democrat party circles in short order because he is in the same mold as the Artur Davis's,Harold Ford Jr's and Barack Obama's. One final note on the Birmingham Mayor's race concerns yesterdays third place finisher Carole Smitherman. In the last few weeks she has taken quiet a fall from being the first female Birmingham Mayor in modern history. She was also the City Council President but then the new Birmingham City Council was sworn in and the new council quickly removed her from the Mayor and Council President's post and then came yesterdays flame out in the Mayor's race. Thats quite a fall for a woman whose married to the leader of the Alabama State Senate and who doesnt have any known legal problems facing her.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
According to local reports in Henderson, Tn last nights fundraiser at Freed Hardeman University featuring former Arkansas Governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee was a rousing success. The fundraiser brought in a record $1.3 million for the annual event of which most will be used to fund scholarships for students who attend the church of christ affiliated Freed Hardeman University. The University has pretty much rebuilt and expanded their entire campus over the last fifteen years using money from this event along with the help of two prominent donors. Its by no means a stretch to say they have now become the lifeblood of the Chester County, Tn. economy.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Voters in Hardin County, Tn this past Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a reduction in the sales tax that was put on the ballot through the efforts of a local grassroots group that was angry over their schools being closed. The final vote was a three to one margin in favor of keeping the local sales tax where its currently at. This vote clears the way for the Hardin County school system to begin the process of reducing the county's ten elementary schools down to five. This school consolidation deal mainly involves the residents on the southeastern side of the Tennessee River.
Madison County Court Clerk Judy Barnhill(R) announced today that she will not seek re election next year. Mrs. Barnhill was part of the GOP surge in the 90's that eventually helped the Republicans take over the entire county government. But she ran into legal trouble this year when she was arrested over a domestic incident involving her daughter in law.
The Tennessee GOP must be living right. This week they held on to a state senate seat in Memphis that was left vacant when Paul Stanley resigned after making national headlines for having an affair with his intern. Former State Rep Brian Kelsey won the seat in a landslide over his democrat challenger. Then like that wasnt good enough, news started leaking out right after the polls closed on Tuesday in Memphis that longtime west Tennessee Congressman John Tanner would be retiring next year after 22 years in Congress. The Cook Political Report ranks Tanner's Congressional district as 160th most Republican in the country and its now considered a toss up for the first time in modern history. All of this bodes very well for "the singing farmer" Stephen Fincher who the NRCC recruited to run against Tanner earlier this year. They also appear to have succeeded in recruiting a top challenger to take on Congressman Bart Gordon(D) in State Senator Jim Tracy(R). Its worth noting that since Tennessee State House Speaker Kent Williams(Carter County Republican) famously stabbed the GOP in the back, back in January and became the darling of democrats across the country. The Tennessee GOP have since knocked off the longtime Secretary of State,State Treasurer,State Comptroller, won a state house seat that they had never won before and they won a senate seat this week that they lost in disgrace back in the summer. So it makes one wonder if the Tennessee GOP would like a few more proverbial knives in the back.....