Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Andrew Sullivan, Speechwriter

Here's Andrew Sullivan's advice to President Obama with regard to the SOTU speech:

What he needs to do is remind Americans of the reason they elected him: to get hard things done.

Good advice, I suppose, except for one problem: there aren't any actual examples of this the president can point to as evidence. What "hard thing" has he actually gotten done? And when his party had a filibuster-proof Congress, no less. What's he going to do if and when there are more Republicans in the House and Senate? Harder things?

Sunday, January 24, 2010


How can Gail Kerr write this column with a straight face? A woman who played Lester to Nashville business' Willie Tyler, in a newspaper whose corporate overlords contributed to the same local business interests?

Of course, the column itself is such drivel, that I guess it doesn't matter. Check this passage:

A well-funded trade union could make a million-dollar television ad buy, saturating the airwaves with lies about a candidate it opposes at the last moment. And candidates would have no control. What if Mr. Green Jeans were running for mayor, promising door-to-door recycling? Here comes the Exxon Co.: "We believe Mr. Green Jeans will be the best environmental steward possible. We endorse him wholeheartedly." Ouch.

"Mr. Green Jeans"? Really? And we're supposed to be saddened that newspapers are dying? Geez...and to think that there are actual journalists out there hurting for employment....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Glenn Beck is a Fruit Loop...

...and so is anyone else who finds Scott Brown's "available" comment regarding his daughters anything worse than mildly awkward.

Everybody knows that it is the God-given right of every father to innocently mortify his daughter at any given opportunity. Either that or it is a congenital affliction. Anyway, anybody who was somehow scandalized by that comment has apparently never been to a wedding. Fathers of daughters do dopey stuff like this all of the time. It;s how they cope with their daughters growing up. Get over it.

Headline: Southern Baptist Convention Comes to Town

Dateline: July 8, 2017

NASHVILLE -- As it has for so many years, the Southern Baptist Convention came to Nashville to do whatever it is that giant Protestant organizations do when they convene. Usually there's a lot of fuss about rules, by-laws and so forth and, well, let's face it, unless you are yourself a Southern Baptist, you probably don't really care about that sort of thing.

The real news here is the city's unbelievable foresight seven years ago when it approved the beautiful, gorgeous and just plain kick-ass "Music City Center," without which the Southern Baptist Convention would have stopped gathering in Nashville and would have instead gathered in...well...it's a little difficult to say really. Atlanta? Possibly. New Orleans? No, that doesn't seem right. Miami? Er, doubtful. Well, never mind. Suffice it to say that they would have gone somewhere else and that would not have been a good thing, especially for our local restaurateurs.

"We are of course very excited to have the Southern Baptist Convention back in town," said Mayor Randy Rayburn, elected to office in 2015 because people in Green Hills think he's just the swellest sort of chap, plus the $25,000 contribution from the powers-that-be at then-Gannett-owned-but-now-SouthComm-subsidiaryTennessean didn't hurt either. "I can speak from my own vast professional experience as a restaurant owner when I say that local bartenders relish the arrival of thousands of complete teetotalers to our fair city. Nothing says 'big fat tip' for a bartender like a round of Diet Cokes for everyone."

The convention will be a week-long affair, after which Music City Center staffers face a quick turnaround to host the National Athletic Shoelace Association (NASS) meeting, which begins next Monday and will feature 2008 Republican Vice-Presdential candidate Sarah Palin as its keynote speaker.

"We're pretty excited about coming to Nashville," said NASS chairman William Johnston. "I'll have to say, were it not for the Music City Center, I don't think we would have ever landed someone like Sarah Palin for our keynote address. It goes without saying that our members are very excited."

Despite this excitement, sources say that this may be the last-ever convention NASS will have, inasmuch as it has started to occur to many people in the industry that big national conventions are basically a colossal waste of time and money in this technological day and age.

"Yeah, this will probably be the last one for me, even if they do continue with it in the future," said Ronald Thomas, a shoelace salesman based in Denver, Colorado. "I don't really need to see any of these people. I talk to them all of the time, everyday. What am I going to do? Hand-deliver a crate of shoelaces to them or something? I'm just not sure it's worth it anymore. I mean, I guess I do get some swag--my five-year old will love the Lacey Lion stuffed toy they put in our goodie bags--but beyond that, who cares?"

In other related news, the lawsuit between the city and the various contractors hired to build the Music City Center continues apace, as the contractors refuse to take responsibility for cost overruns, instead blaming "Metro bureaucratic sloth" for the problems.

"When we approved this thing, it was clear to everyone that these contractors would be 'on the hook' for any cost overruns with the project," said Mayor Rayburn. "I mean, it was in writing and everything. Seriously, who could have predicted that a major government project would result in a problem like this? Well, we're doing the very best we can under the circumstances."


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Massachusetts Fun

5:33 PM -- They don't have any exit polls? Why? Did this election just sneak up on everyone?

5:58 PM -- Oh, of course, it's all about the "angry white guy" vote. Right. Because that group makes a majority.

6:04 PM -- Everybody's ripping on Coakley for coasting early on, but if you were the Democratic nominee in Massachusetts, wouldn't you have coasted too?

6:06 PM -- Look! A map:

6:43 PM -- Everything is officially perfect again in Grayson County, Kentucky now that the Ten Commandments are back up.

6:47 PM -- Unemployment rate in Grayson County: 15.8%.

7:23 PM -- Barack Obama was inaugurated a year ago tomorrow. Just saying.

7:29 PM -- "You know what's going to happen."

7:48 PM -- This is over, seems to me anyway. Seriously, if I were a Democrat I'd be pissed. How have they managed to screw this up? Virginia, sure. New Jersey, well, you can kind of see that, too. Too expensive and Corzine was a slimeball. But Massachusetts? This would be like Republicans losing a Senate seat in Utah. Pathetic. But, hey, there's always those four Nobel Peace Prizes!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Clay Risen Slanders Nashville

So The Atlantic's Clay Risen makes his "annual trek home" to Nashville, which is, by his lights anyway, "a surprisingly cool town."

He writes about something called Bacon Bourbon, which I have no opinion about. What did catch my eye was his derogatory mention of the first "tea party" convention that will be held in Nashville and this final passage:

Assuming the fad for all things bacon continues, expect to see more bars offering their own meat-infused potables in 2010. And then for once, maybe Nashville can be at the head of the pack for something other than right-wing loonies.

You know what bugs me about this? It's not the fact that he takes a cheap (and trite) shot at "tea party" people. I don't care about that. The problem for me is that here is someone who is apparently a Nashville native (or close to it) offering up an inaccurate impression of Nashville to his national (and generally--since we're talking about The Atlantic here--urbanite, cosmopolitan, politically center-left) audience. Politically speaking, Nashville is not Tennessee. It's much more like Austin, Texas: a very blue island in the middle of a giant red sea.

Take a look.

But you wouldn't know this from reading Risen's post. The takeaway from that for the average Atlantic reader is that Nashville is some bastion of right-wingerism (i.e., like the south overall), just because it's hosting some dippy convention. And I don't think that's fair. To Nashville or Atlantic readers.