Those Who Can – Do. Those Who Can’t – Teach.

Homework?This morning it was New York Republican Peter King’s chance to use the term”teachable moment.”

“I think the President missed an opportunity here,” he said on Fox News. “This was a ‘teachable moment,’ in his terms,” King said, referencing Obama’s controversial remarks on the Ground Zero mosque.

We had another teachable moment recently with the Shirley Sherrod tapes released by Andrew Breitbart, according to pundits.

And we had another one with Professor Henry Gates last summer with the beer summit after Gates was arrested by the Cambridge police.

In fact, just about any controversy brings this term out of the pundits’ and politicians’ bag of trite comments.

I, for one, would prefer no teaching moments. How about some governing moments for a change? Why do the American people have to be taught? Aren’t we the ones they are supposed to be listening to? The whole premise of this with Americans as juveniles awaiting our ideas from our professor/president has it all backwards. After all, the President and our elected officials should get their grade from us.

It looks like Obama’s racking up a solid F.

Maybe that will teach him.

Return to sender?

Pardon me, Elvis fans, for using this famous phrase, but does anyone know what happened to the $2,500 embattled House Democrat Charlie Rangel reportedly gave to Steve Cohen? Did Cohen return it or is it part of the stash he’s acquired to fuel his re-election campaign? Has any media type asked? Is it OK to keep tainted money someone else gave you or own up to it?

Pay no attention to the man (Rangel) behind the curtain

hear no evil
I can't hear you!

Last week embattled Democrat Charlie Rangel gave a surprise speech in the House, defending his recent ethics charges.

According to Dana Milbank at The Washington Post,  “it was one of the most extraordinary pieces of political oratory in recent memory.” He characterized it as a “rambling 30-minute speech attacking the committee, the Republicans, his fellow Democrats and even his own lawyers. It was less of a floor speech than a primal scream directed at those who say he should resign.”

So gripping, evidently, that Speaker Nancy Pelosi left the floor and many Democrats looked uncomfortable.

So gripping, too, that afterwards when reporters asked House Democrats about it, they had this to say:

“Not now,” said Representative Louise Slaughter.

“I didn’t really hear it,” pleaded Representative Howard Berman.

And our very own Steve Cohen: “What speech?”

Steve Cohen (S-TN)?

Oh My God!According to the Socialist Voters of America, our own Steve Cohen joins 69 others in Congress who are recognized by them and deemed “Socialist.” He’s in good company with Maxine Waters, Alan Grayson, Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders,  Keith Ellison, Chaka Fattah,  Barney Frank and others.

Do you think he’s in tune with the voters in Congressional District 9 in Tennessee?

The Socialist Voters of America announced the list in their October 2009 newsletter. Check it out at and read the article.

Another Take

Jackson Baker’s “Post Mortems” in the Memphis Flyer has some pretty good conclusions on what happened August 5.

First he posits that the Republican governor primary with three strong candidates “generated much of the GOP turnout.” On the other side, with only one candidate, Mike McWherter, “the Democrats had no governor’s race at all.”  Four other Democrats vying for the position dropped out.

Some might argue that the Cohen/Herenton race would have  brought out more Democrats. But he believes that a lot of the Democrat turnout was really Republican crossover voting against Herenton. “The underfunded erratic effort based on a slogan – Just One – (by Herenton) presupposed the existence of a barrier that had vanished long ago,”  Baker writes. Black voters have been happy with Cohen, he argued, and were in a “comfort zone” perhaps not feeling the need to get to the polls.

Where Joe Ford failed to ignite Memphians for Shelby County mayor,  Mark Luttrell at the top of the GOP ticket set the stage for a slate of excellent candidates with a high recognition, well respected reputation. Ford hurt himself with the “onus of having gone back on a pledge to his then fellow commissioners, rendered as a condition of their naming him interim mayor, not to seek a regular term as mayor.” Hard  to miss a promise that big jettisoned for his own interest.

Baker thinks that race was not so much a factor with white Democrats  and Memphians who, he notes, tossed over incumbent candidate Regina Newman, “arguably an exemplary trustee,”  against another white candidate while black Republican Paul Boyd beat his opponent Sondra Becton.

I beg to differ on the “exemplary trustee”  and there were problems with Becton’s past firing while she was Probate Court clerk.  However Newman did win the Commercial Appeal’s endorsement while the paper refused to back either probate court clerk candidate, a backhanded dismissal of  problems with Becton and you could say, quiet endorsement.

The final conclusion Baker comes to is  reflected in the 8th district race with Roy Herron. “You will look in vain for any use of the word ‘Democrat’ as a signifier.”

“It is worth remembering the argument of linguistic philosopher George Lakoff, in his various treatises on the ‘framing’ of ideological debates: namely, that adopting the memes and code words of the opposition reinforces the opposition, not oneself, and defaults on the obligation to present an alternate vision or version of reality.”

In other words, it’s a bad time to be a Democrat.

The Truth in Black and White

Readers of the Commercial Appeal gave reporters Otis Sanford, Zach McMillan and Wendi Thomas appropriate smack downs in their letters today (

The rush to assign racism to Memphis voters was eloquently rebuked.

“A breakdown of votes by race was not available, yet he (Otis Sanford) makes those statements as if  there were one,” comments one writer. “Sanford has not gotten the message that voters sent on election day.”

Another: “As for me, I am a white, male Republican who will vote for a black, female Republican (Charlotte Bergmann) over a white, male Democrat (Steve Cohen). Go figure.”

Look somewhere besides Memphis writes another. “The reason for this starts with the Democratic agenda in Washington, with President Barack Obama and his reckless spending, a 1,200 page health care bill filled with ludicrous entitlements, illegal immigrants, financial reform, unemployment at 9.5 percent and a $787 billion stimulus bill that has not worked. All of this against the will of the majority of the American people.” Amen!

Another: “It is readily apparent that many black leaders just want a power base of dependent black voters to keep them in power. They can’t keep blacks dependent if blacks become a prosperous and free middle class.”

It’s gratifying that many Memphians get it. Go read those letters.

Pet Project

Flag DogWe all know that Democrats want to control every aspect of our lives. What we eat, what our   kids eat at school, what we drive, how much energy we use, the doctor we see, the light bulbs we use;  just a few notes in the concert of controls they play with us.

But now, thanks to our own City Council committee headed by Democrat Shea Flinn, our pets must submit to their will as well.

And not just for the rabies shots and licenses they must have. Now they’ve taken aim at their private parts. Flinn wants all dogs and cats to be neutered or spayed and it won’t be cheap.

Flinn’s ordinance would impose  a “$200 one-time fee, which would authorize one litter per female dog during a 12-month period and a $35 annual license fee for fertile animals,” according to the Commercial Appeal. At first he just wanted to apply it to pit bulls and pit mixes, but now has enlarged it to all breeds, Flinn says.

He thinks it will curb the dog population  and stop dog attacks. But will it?

Responsible people who own pets will probably comply and fork over the money. But lower income people don’t have it and  probably  will not. We can’t even get all Memphians to get drivers licenses. This point was brought home to me watching a recent “Real Police Women of Memphis.” An officer stopped a truck and asked for his license. He didn’t have it, nor did the other 5 or 6 passengers. The driver called his extended family and friends and not one of them had an active license either. If they won’t do it for the right to drive, who thinks they will to spay and neuter a pet? It’s insane.

Where does the government’s control over us end? Will someone make sure I floss my teeth thoroughly every day?

Losing our freedoms is one of my pet peeves. I hope this one unleashes a backlash and bites all who sign onto it.

So What Does It Mean?

Four states had their primaries yesterday. Here’s a little of what experts are saying about it throughout the blogosphere and media.

An analysis in Politico claims that in the Colorado race, the Democrats and President Obama are the big winners. Michael Bennett, President Obama’s choice, beat out Andrew Romanoff, given the nod  by Bill Clinton, for the Senate race.

But Karl Rove says not so fast. He told Fox’s Happening Now that he sees the Senate race “not good news for Democrats. I’m mystified by Politico’s analysis,” he says. “In the Senate primary 407,000 people voted in the Republican primary vs. 339,000 in the the Democrat. In a state that went for Obama , this would worry me.  The losing Republican got more votes than the winner in the Democrat primary. The amount of energy for the grassroots Republican candidate  was high versus the Democrats with much lower turnout.”

In a poll sponsored by American Crossroads, he notes, the 13 Senate races give the GOP leads in the generic ballot breaking down 47/36. “The Democrats are facing a terrible headwind,”  Rove says.

Powerline blog, whose writers live in Minnesota, say that Democrat gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton just eked out a win. The scion of the family that started Target stores spent a lot of money and just squeaked by. His game plan, the writers say, is to target (sorry!) Tim Pawlenty, the Republican governor as having imposed an unwarranted austerity and the rich must start paying more.

Not a big winner in a state that is already plagued by taxes higher than most other states. Powerline says Dayton disgraced himself in his single term as Senator and is “an alcoholic with mental problems.”

That sounds promising until you consider that Minnesotans also elected Al Franken.

In Georgia, Gingrich/Huckabee backed Deal won over Sarah Palin endorsed Handel for the governorship. It was neck and neck so who knows what that means.

In Connecticut  World Wrestling Entertainment founder Linda McMahon body slammed her two Republican opponents. She told the AP that she is ready to spend up to $50 million of her own money on her campaign, so let’s get ready to rumble!