Carnies, Politics And Rural Conversations

4 09 2008

I didn’t see Sarah Palin’s speech last night because I was watching the carnies work, drinking beer and taking pictures at Faith Night at the Tennessee Soybean Festival.

Now before all of this, I had a conversation with my retired alderman friend who I will call Bob because that is his name. He is a devout Republican, and other than tweaking my chains sometimes, we have some pretty good conversations.

We talked about economic development and that rural areas were suffering. He thought Sarah Palin got it, I said I wasn’t so sure about that. He kidded me that at least she wasn’t Muslim. I told him to stop that nonsense and he laughed because he was teasing me. I then asked him how he felt because he’s in his late 60s. He told me he was kinda tired and I came back at him that John McCain was three years older than him.

“Point taken,” he laughed. We do this. It’s fine and it’s between us.

Then we talked about local leadership and I asked him if mayors and reps and the like were being handcuffed to a degree due to the economy.

“They are,” he said. “Money trickles down. It always has. And it goes to where there is already money or a possibility of making money. We don’t have the money we once did. It’s a little bit scary.”

I love talking to people that, although ideologically we are completely different, we are the same in one respect and that is we like Hoots and we want to see it thrive. With the festival going on, there is a little bit of relief and hope of better things although it will be business as usual come Monday. We are anticipating 10,000 people tonight, Friday and Saturday.

This is good.

I wandered off to go see my beloved carnies, one who is apparently named Doorknob, but they were still having no part of me so I bought a polish sausage, took some pics and watched a band sing that was pretty good.

With that all said, I keep going back to my conversation with Bob.

We are all really the same in so many ways.

Hobbs/TNGOP Saga Enters Second Day

28 02 2008

The TNGOP/Hobbs Soap Opera continues.

Adam Kleinheider has been playing hardball today.

For a recap, head to NIT.

The Rural Factor

23 12 2007

I’ve been looking at quite a few websites over the last few days about where presidential candidates stand for rural citizens.

Many times, I will comment in my usual whimsical ways about (snark) about the different aspects of what a candidate is doing or that George Bush picked up a book and the world was genuinely surprised until he had to give it to Laura to read because he didn’t know what the word “pony” meant or whatever. You know the drill here at Casa Coma.

But, the thing that is really hurting our area is that we need industry. We need better broadband access (Thanks Maddox and Herron on that one), We need jobs terribly. I think because we live in a college environment, we do have some opportunities that some other rural communities don’t have and for that I’m grateful.

But which candidates are going to be actively advocating for the rural vote. Right now, it’s aggressively been sought in Iowa by John Edwards, who did make a visit after an internet contest back a few months ago to Clinton, Ky. There were thousands who attended and he did show up but, quite frankly, it was a Public Relations spin and we all knew that even at the time.

I’m eager as a rural citizen to see what is going to happen on a couple of levels. I read some where, and I can’t find it so I offer my apologies ahead of time, that the Democrats need someone who is like Mike Huckabee.

I’m not talking about his issues, I’m talking about how he has made a connection with some of his party and effectively pissed off the other side, but he sticks to it although I disagree with that philosophy completely. I think Edwards might be able to make that sort of connection that Huckabee has on the right but he is going to have to have a philosophy and stick to it. Huckabee is interesting to me as a progressive. He has a mission statement, he sticks to it and I love that he at least has a sense of humor but he isn’t who I want in Washington in 2009.

Edwards does make personal connections as well when he visited the area, but he hasn’t seemed to found his voice and this is his second chance. Everyone who has ever met him talks about his charm and that when you hear him, he sorta speaks to you not around you, but this whole mandating health insurance thing isn’t going to work for me. Hell, I have health insurance that sucks big-time, but I have it. If I didn’t need it, I would be freelancing full-time (and probably making more moolah than I do now), but the insurance keeps me where I’m at until I can find another place with, you guessed it, health insurance. Homer tells of a friend of hers who is working (she’d rather be home with her kids) specifically to have health insurance for her family. She brings home $40 bucks a month (Not a week, a month) after she paid. The money is going for insurance.

This isn’t uncommon. I can’t fly with that.  That’s, of course not a rural thing, but a people thing.

The rural thing, for me at least, is about industry. It’s about opportunities. It’s about that manufacturing jobs are leaving and have been for years. Off the top of my head, I can think of seven plants in my area that have closed recently. I can also tell you that the population of my county as of earlier this year has been reduced by about 3500 residents. And with that, the smaller businesses suffer.

So, there are no real answers I guess. Which presidential candidate is going to take care of the areas that don’t have voters in the hundreds of thousands? Something like 22 percent of roughly 19,000 people voted in this county in the last couple of elections.


Because they didn’t feel their vote mattered.

And, quite honestly, with the way 2000 and 2004 went, does it?

I’ll vote until my fingers bleed, believe me. I just wish I could fall in line with a candidate that I liked, that spoke for me. And, yes, I would have actively campaigned for Al Gore again.

This time, I’m thinking of electability and I think that’s the first time I have done that. I just don’t know who that person is yet.

Savage Ramblings Of The Political Season

11 12 2007

Fa-La-La, uhh-hum.

I haven’t really been inclined to get my politics on this week, as I have been having dreams of pizza-eating kangaroos and dealing with the folly and jolly of Christmas.

You see, I’m watching it but I’m sort of “Feh” about it all.

Things I’ve had my eye on this weekend are certainly entertaining, but I’m not so sure that I was in the mood to sit and write a whole montage about it, but I do invite you to go see some of the highlights of the political week. My ADD is just not feeling it.

Yeah, it’s Tuesday.  (Look a penguin.)

First out of the gate, watch Lawrence O’Donnell lose his mind over Mitt Romney on the McClaughlin Group’s weekend show. Also watch Pat Buchanan and Monica Crowley’s heads start spinning. It’s more about political entertainment than anything else, but needless to say, McDonnell doesn’t like Mormons. I offer it to you without further comment.

Surge. Man, our government and mainstream media love that word. Well, Mike Huckabee might be surging, but he still isn’t going to win the presidency at this point. Let’s talk about Ron Paul for no other reason than it keeps my attention.

The story of Michael Guest.

This has always happened. Candidates want information on their opposition. Yet, it’s a story on Drudge and the New York Times which still makes me scratch my head but it’s the way of the new world so I concede, who is also under fire for some things as well.

And, finally, I’m with Pesky here and feeling something would be more than groovy. I still have no idea, but I know who I don’t like. I wish I was more passionate about a candidate for president, but alas, I’m not.

The Lott Resignation Doesn’t Make Sense

26 11 2007


What’s this?

U.S. Sen. Trent Lott’s decision to resign from office may open the doors for U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander to win an influential leadership position in the Senate.

Aides to Alexander said today that the Maryville Republican is considering running for the minority whip position currently held by Lott. The minority whip is the Senate’s No. 2 Republican.

That didn’t take long, now did it?

Also, is there controversy in the air? There were a couple of comments on this post that got me wondering earlier this morning, but it appears that Tennessee Guerilla Woman are already saying it out loud.

Here’s the thing with Trent Lott. It could go either way but if Tony Snow left because of money, why wouldn’t Lott?

But, he’s #2 in the Senate. #2, campers.

Also, take into consideration that he ran, won and now Gov. Haley Barbour has to appoint someone to replace him. The voters don’t get the option, the gov. does and the election isn’t until Nov. 4, 2008 as there are four years still on Lott’s term.

It just doesn’t make sense.

Other blogs posting about this:

Big Head DC

Breaking on Trent Lott

26 11 2007

MSNBC is reporting that Trent Lott will be resigning from his Senate Seat.

NBC News has learned that Trent Lott’s in the midst of informing close allies that he plans to resign his senate seat before the end of the year. It’s possible a formal announcement of his plans could take place as early as today.

Anyone know why?

Dennis Kucinich And Ron Paul?

26 11 2007

The Washington Post has a story about Ron Paul and why libertarians are just smitten with him.

That force is less about Paul than about the movement that has erupted around him — and the much larger subset of Americans who are increasingly disillusioned with the two major political parties’ soft consensus on making government ever more intrusive at all levels, whether it’s listening to phone calls without a warrant, imposing fines of half a million dollars for broadcast “obscenities” or jailing grandmothers for buying prescribed marijuana from legal dispensaries.

Paul brings a forceful argument to the table, however, I can’t get passed some of the stuff in the past. I do go back to a post I wrote last month about that I don’t think he can win the nomination, but would he be willing to run a libertarian ballot as he has done in the past?

News today has liberal darling (I’m not talking Democrat darling, but true liberal darling) Dennis Kucinich suggesting a Republican running mate. Let’s see what he has to say and then let’s break it down, shall we:

“I’m thinking about Ron Paul” as a running mate, Kucinich told a crowd of about 70 supporters at a house party here, one of numerous stops throughout New Hampshire over the Thanksgiving weekend. A Kucinich-Paul administration could bring people together “to balance the energies in this country,” Kucinich said.

I’m thinking. I’m thinking.

It won’t happen, I don’t think, but to be having this dialogue in 2007 is leaps and bounds ahead of both parties’ rhetoric of the last eight years. Actually, would an idea like this, in these times with two men on opposite sides of the fence (but have similar views on the war) be revolutionary in this day and age?

Could voters get behind this kind of balance? Raging Liberal hippie and curmudgeon conservative plain speaker?

I work in a rural college town, I’m hearing a lot about Ron Paul (not so much about Kucinich) and also see that he was only speaking to roughly 70 people when he said this. From a public relations perspective, I think that’s probably a great move on Kucinich’s part. Bring in the rebel Republican rock star’s name and you get national ink.

The article goes on to say that a spokesperson for Paul didn’t fluff it off although he agrees with me that it wouldn’t work in the long run:

It would create a stunning, if dizzying, blend of beliefs, wedding two politicians who hold different views on abortion rights, the role of government in providing health care, and the use of government in fostering — or hampering — the public’s greater good. Those are among the reasons it would never work, said a spokesman for Paul, a Texas congressman and doctor.

“Dr. Paul and Rep. Kucinich are friends and there is a lot of mutual respect,” Paul communications director Jesse Benton said in an e-mail when asked whether a running-mate spot on the Kucinich ticket would be attractive to Paul. “They have worked, and will continue to work, together on ending the war and protecting civil liberties.

“However, Ron wants to substantially cut the size and scope of the federal government. There are too many differences on issues such as taxes and spending to think a joint ticket would be possible.”

Kucinich and Paul are gadflies to their parties’ establishments. Kucinich challenges Democrats to stop cozying up to corporate interests, while Paul challenges Republicans to shed the trappings of big government.

Now, campers, this is getting a little bit more interesting. I sorta hope they keep talking about it, because it could make some of the slicker presidential candidates start giving some firm answers about stuff.

We want answers about stuff, don’t we?

Just saying.

Comparing Tennessee’s Political Party Sites

9 11 2007

Daylights Savings Time, for those of us who are early birds, has created this lovely, little new development for me of waking up at 4 a.m. as wide-awake as a person can be. I’ve had lovely little adventures of wandering about the house and falling over one of the “little dogs” as Homer calls them, catching up on some blog reading (sorry, I’ve been so bad at that lately) and holding on to the joy of knowing I am now reduced to less coffee than I used to drink so I make it last.

You do what you have to do.

With that said, I’ve been reading more about politics as I occasionally take a break from it all when my eyes start bleeding or I go into overload by reading the SOS over and over again. I compared the Tennessee Republicans’ Website this morning to the Tennessee Democrats’ site.

Gary Gray Sasser, I’m talking to you dude.

A suggestion to my democrat party friends in Nashville: Work on your website. It’s very 2004. I shouldn’t be that way and we can talk on (yada, yada, yada) about it’s substance over style (yada, yada, yada) but the site needs a major overhaul. The GOP’s efforts look pretty good. There are free sites out their that look a heck of a lot better than our site, Mr. Sasser.

Now, I’m not meaning to be grouchy as I know my little old free blog here looks like a hot mess and I have the technical ability of a three-day old rabbit, but the Republicans site is filled with pictures, has some interactive qualities that are user friendly and is constantly being uploaded with pictures.

The Democrats’ site, not so much.

As we head into a new election year that will be historic in the big picture, I’m thinking that those individuals who are in the know need to work on a redesign pronto. And, you know, Fred Thompson, Tennessean, running for president?

Did I mention that he’s a Republican? And that a bland Website just isn’t going to cut it.

You guys know I lean left. Heck, call the folks over at TennViews or something and they may be able to help you. We are in this together. And I’m not meaning to be critical (see comment above. Hot mess here) but competition during our upcoming election year is going to be in a variety of areas including the Internet.

Let’s not forget that Ron Paul raised more than $4 million dollars on Monday.

On the Internet. I’m talking about campaign fund-raising and communication here as a collective, unified effort. I’m not talking about his value as a viable candidate.

And just for good measure, we will throw in The Libertarian Party of Tennessee’s website in the mix as well so you guys, if you are so inclined, can take a gander at that one as well.

Now I realize that the fund-raising coup was a grassroots effort by supporters for Paul, but with the addition of fund-raising tools on social networking systems like MySpace and Facebook, I’d say that these innertubes should be given another some serious consideration. I know that is happening, but, Mr. Sasser, but the site just doesn’t look good.

Just saying and trying to be helpful.