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Archive for October, 2006

A Hearty Welcome…

… to a recent and welcome addition to Memphis Bloggers’ Row—

Nutmeg has made her first post at David Holt’s site, and all I can say is that it’s about damn time she makes her voice heard. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing this smart lady since the 2004 Kerry campaign, and now you get to know her too.

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Date: Saturday, November 4, 2006

Time: 4:00pm

Location: Cohen Headquarters
1803 Union Avenue

Bring home-made signs that express Democratic Unity and Victory!

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A Class Ac”T”

In my rush to adequately convey the absolute absence of political gravitas in the Jake Ford campaign and the thuggish Napoleon complex exhibited by his brother Isaac, I’ve overlooked a valued member of Team Ford— T.

I can’t bring myself to follow the lead of Joe Ford Jr. and refer to him as “Mr. T”, for I have far too many fond memories of Clubber Lang and B.A. Baracus. But I’m sure I’ll come up with something else to call him.

The first time I saw T-Cup was at the League of Women Voters forum (Make sure you call it a forum, not a debate, lest you’ll anger Darth Isaac). He was arguing angrily with an older white Cohen supporter. I didn’t get to see who raised their voices first, so I didn’t write about that.

The next time was at the South Main Association debate that Jake obviously didn’t want to show up for. When I spoke to him on the phone regarding the event, he gave me excuses that frankly were undone by simply reading the press release and making some phone calls. Instead, he sat on stage all night with a sullen expression on his face, then tried to pick a fight with Jackson Baker. After the famous “Hot Dog” incident, after Jake walked backwards to his vehicle with arms outstretched like some absurd professional wrestler, T-Bag remained behind to escort another member of the entourage out. I looked over, saw him, and said hello.

“I ain’t talking to you,” he said angrily.

“Okay,” I said before shrugging and going back to my conversation. A minute or so later, I turned back to T-Ball, and he was still glaring at me.

“I ain’t talking to you,” he said again.

“Yeah. I get that,” I said, wondering if he understood the irony of talking to me multiple times to tell me he’s not talking to me.

“I ain’t talking to you, because you’ve got your device for your internet site,” he said, pointing at the recorder sitting in full view in my shirt pocket. He had no doubt heard my recording of Isaac Ford coming off like something less than the political operative he would like us to see him as. He continued to glare until the older lady he was escorting came outside.

I can see why she needed protection— What, with Jake running around and all. So kudos to T-Leaf for walking her out.

When I arrived at the debate Saturday night, there was a lady sitting outside with a sign. I paused to read it— It was a question about reparations that she wanted the candidates to answer, as well as one about a bill to teach African-American studies in school that has been stalled since 1979. I wished her luck, and said I hope she got her answers.

I wasn’t there when Cohen came out of the debate, so I didn’t get to see how he responded. When Mark White came out, he was certainly kind to her— I’m not sure how substantively he addressed her questions, as his answers to everything consist of 1) “This is why I’m running” 2) “You know, I manage a payroll of ninety employees” and 3) “I think it’s time we send a businessman to Washington”. If it cannot be answered by one of those statements, it doesn’t get answered. I almost wonder if he gives the same answer when a waitress asks him what he wants to eat.

If Jake spoke to her at all, I missed it (And he very well might have). But I did see T-Minus talking to her. He had his back up, getting in her face just like he did the older white man at the League of Women Voters Forum.

At this point, I’m hard pressed to think of a campaign staff less effective than the Axis of Duh. And I don’t say that lightly, either. I’ve seen some bumbling buffoons in my day, but never have I seen the kind of open and blatant hostility that these three display every chance they get.

The way Isaac talked to me after the LWV forum is a mistake that no political operative with room temperature IQ would make. Even if I hadn’t recorded it, I still would have written what an ass he was. The recording simply meant he had no way to deny it. Part of being on a campaign is knowing that when you’re in public, you are representing the campaign. I know operatives that won’t even order a beer without removing campaign paraphernalia first— And that’s a damn smart policy.

The way Jake Ford acted after the downtown debate is inexcusable for a candidate for any office— Much less the US Congress. Jake even acknowledged that any spitting incident was accidental— His words were “Didn’t your mama teach you how to eat?” He was trying to antagonize the press so he could play himself up as a victim of the press, so he took something that most of us overlook every time we eat while standing close to someone and made a huge deal out of it. Instead of an aggrieved candidate, he looked like a spoiled, petulant child.

And T-Kettle boils over every time he’s let out of the house unmedicated. His entire existence seems to be measured only in varying degrees of anger. He’s the omnipresent, mostly silent sidekick, like some deranged version of Oddjob from the James Bond movies. If he’s coming to your political event, make damn sure all knives and forks are plastic.

On second thought, just play it safe and serve finger food.

A few days from now, the Jake Ford camp will be sitting around wondering where they went wrong. Not Harold Sr— He’ll know exactly where they went wrong. At the end of the day, you simply cannot send Isaac and T-Pot out to threaten every voter.

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I Get Around…

Gotta love the combination of Volunteer Voters and YouTube. My recording of Isaac Ford has now been made into an ad…

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Just when you think that the Ford campaign staff can’t get any more incompetent…

(Nashville) – Just days after Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D-Memphis) was caught on camera during his Memphis Meltdown, Ford senior staffers were caught on tape using profanity and aggressively manhandling a young Republican staffer – all while Congressman Ford stood by watching idly.

From Garrigan via Volunteer Voters.

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Early Screw-up

And just when you think that Jake has gotten his congressional act together (well, not that any of us actually thought that he would get his act together –ever– but that aside…) he has done it again. So what is it this time?

He did not file his FEC financial disclosure. Just didn’t. Oops! So now the FEC is after him, and let me tell you, the IRS has nothing on the FEC when they are going after the money…

Isn’t it ironic? From all the areas in the campaign that you could have screwed up on, this one was definitively not one that Jake could afford. He should’ve been especially careful in keeping his financial records clean and accurate, especially in light of the fact that so many members of his family have been in trouble with the law over financial irregularities.

Not good. Not good at all.

I wonder if they are having trouble cooking the books to make it appear as if Jr.’s resources haven’t played a part in his campaign… but that of course, is just speculation (or is it not?) Maybe, Mr. T wasn’t as good with math as they though he was. I wonder if someone inside the campaign is standing alone in the corner, thinking: “Gee, maybe we should have hired that guy with the college degree for that job…” I’m almost certain that many are crying bloody-mary that the government is coming after them because he is a Ford, and that this is an ambush to take them down forever, bla, bla, bla. Surely, you have heard this tune before…

So many possible scenarios, so little time to run them all in this post. I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination.

I am tired of making a point about how incidents such as this are further proof that Jake Ford is unqualified for this position because, at his point, is redundant. Jake is not ready to sit at the grown-up’s table, and we all know it. Seriously, he needs to get on his little short bus, go home, and get a life.

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Single Issue Voters

I had been trying like hell to avoid a political discussion with this guy. I was in my workplace, and I try to avoid bringing my politics there. Plus, he walked in complaining about how a travel show with a scene of girls in bikinis was getting in the way of him “living for Jesus”. I’m a little fuzzy on how— It seemed like Taliban-esque thought processes to me. “Men see women flesh and can’t control impure thoughts”.

Over the course of my discussion with him, he kept trying to steer it back to politics. A discussion of a piece of equipment being made in Japan led him back to NAFTA (Making him geographically murky in addition to morally murky), and then finally, he came out with this nugget:

“I have to vote Republican,” he said. “It’s the abortion issue. But I’m voting for them while holding my nose.”

I closed my eyes for a second. I was as annoyed with his constant urge to discuss politics as I was with his reason for voting Republican.

“If I had to vote Republican,” I said slowly, “I would have to hold my nose too.” And that was the end of the discussion for me.

Had I been in a position to discuss it at greater length, I might have asked him: Just what has the Republican Party done about this whole abortion thing?

With the exception of one Carter term and two Clinton terms, Republicans have dominated the White House in the post Roe vs Wade era. What have they done to illegalize abortion, or for that matter, even curtail the number of aborions being performed? What has been the result of four years of total Republican domination?

Answer: Absolutely nothing. Much like Osama bin Laden and illegal immigration, these are not “problems” that the GOP wants to “fix”— These are issues they want to run on at election time.

People who oppose abortion should instead look at candidates that actually want to prevent abortions by funding proper sex education in the schools (I know people aren’t comfortable with the notion of teachers teaching their kids these things, but someone needs to pick up the slack for the parents not doing their jobs). They need to get behind candidates that believe in making birth control more easily available.

But most importantly— They need to learn the difference between candidates that want to talk about a problem and candidates that want to solve one.

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