The Right Time

Kelsey GrammerConservatives who dislike the dearth of conservative networks on TV will have somewhere else to tune in besides Fox News starting Sept. 8.

The RightNetwork is the brain child of actor Kelsey Grammer and others. He says it will focus on “entertainment with a pro-America, pro-business, pro-military sensibilities,” according to the New York Daily News.

Hoping to be available online, on demand cable and mobile phones, the backers plan on attracting Americans who are turned off by the conventional media.

Two of their shows give a taste of what they mean.

“Running” is described as a reality show that follows political rookies through their campaigns.

“Evan Sayet’s Right 2 Laugh” features the conservative commentator’s take on current events.

Check for an introductory video. Looks promising.

Steve Cohen a ‘no show’ for Townhall

I just got off the phone with Steve Cohen’s office.

I haven’t seen anything about a town hall meeting scheduled; usually in Midtown I get a glossy flier from him talking about his accomplishments, the election and a scheduled town hall meeting. Last summer I believe there were two. According to the media, the health care reform issue at his town hall last year wasn’t too confrontational. However, this summer while making Callfire calls for our candidates I did come across one woman who disputed that.

She had taken her teenage son to it, so that he could get an idea of what happens at one. She said it got pretty heated. The two anticipated seeing that on the TV news. They were shocked when it wasn’t portrayed at all. Her son couldn’t believe the difference between what he saw and what they showed.

Anyway, we won’t be treated to any such occurrence this summer. The spokesman said there was not one on Cohen’s schedule and there wasn’t one listed on his website.

I asked if he would have one before the election and he mumbled that there was a mandatory blackout period before the election so that there wouldn’t be one.


I’ve heard about McCain-Feingold and restrictions about advertising, but it seems strange that a congressman would not be allowed to meet with his constituents.

Then, with everyone talking about President Obama’s remarks backing the Ground Zero Mosque, and Obama’s wholehearted backing for Cohen, I asked what Cohen thought about it.

“I have no idea,” he said. “But anyway, it won’t be an issue in the 9th district.”

Really? I think it is one of the clarifying issues of the campaign. Cohen may represent the 9th district, but his vote impacts the whole country.

Let’s see if anyone in the media asks him this.

Next Club Speaker, Mark White

Mark White
Mark White attended the August 19th meeting of the Lunch Time Republicans.

Mark White, District 83 State Representative, will be our guest speaker at the next Midtown Republican Club meeting Tuesday, Sept. 7, 6 p.m. at Cafe Eclectic.

White will discuss his thoughts on immigration in view of his recent talks with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. White went there recently to look over their immigration laws, since our state assembly will look at it when they meet in January.

It will also be interesting to see what he thinks about the 9th Congressional District race, having opposed Steve Cohen for it in 2006.

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.