Yesterday: a GOP beginning

Yesterday was a great day for Republicans in Shelby County.

The GOP dominated all Shelby County officials sworn into office. We swept in with Mayor, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, Criminal Court Clerk, Juvenile Court Clerk, Probate Court Clerk, County Register, County Clerk and County Trustee. It was a joy to see them all on stage and then to see each being sworn in. The Canon Center was full and the Arlington High School Jazz Ensemble kept everyone’s mood up.

[nggallery id=1]Each of our officials was sworn in easily and well, thanks to help from Chairman Lang Wiseman. It didn’t go so well for the Democrats who amused everyone by not knowing to raise their right hands for the oaths; I guess that pull to the left for them is always strong! When Henri Brooks stepped up to the Bible to be sworn in as District 2, Position 2 County Commissioner she seemed unenthusiastic. If I recall, she has had an unwillingness to say the pledge of allegiance in public also.

But the most humorous swearing in was Democrat Steve Mulroy. His unusual red tennis shoe type foot apparel seemed a little incongruous with the surroundings. However, when he took the oath from The Honorable John Fowlkes, Jr., for District 5 County Commissioner, parrotting the judge, he went so far as to say “I, state your name” instead of “I, Steve Mulroy.” Maybe the Democrats are a little too willing to follow the party line on every occasion.

Former Mayor Jim Rout was the moderator and offered a personal reminiscence when it came time for Wayne Mashburn to take office.

Rout said he was working with Mayor Bill Morris when his uncle, Sonny Mashburn, decided to run for Shelby County Clerk. Neither Rout nor Morris thought Mashburn had a chance. Even as the election approached, they just didn’t see Mashburn winning the race.

Rout said his uncle calmly prayed on it, talked to lots of people and thought he had a chance. Mashburn proved them wrong and won the position, keeping it for 11 years.
So Rout said he was particularly happy to swear in Wayne Mashburn, Sonny’s son and Rout’s cousin, to the same post his father held.

In politics, it’s good to have a dream and follow it. I hope this swearing in is a sign of things to come, with Republicans continuing to have a major role in the running of our city, county and state. At least that’s my dream.

Cafe Eclectic Temporarily Closed!

According to the Daily News, a car rammed through the front door of Cafe Eclectic in Midtown yesterday (Aug. 31) around lunchtime!

No one was injured, but the people at the front must have had quite a shock! Fans found out about it on Twitter when they reported their closing and shared a picture.

The cafe plans on reopening tomorrow.  Great news since our club meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 7!

Someone really must have needed a cup of coffee or a delicious black bean wrap!

Blaze Fires Up Blogosphere

There’s a new blog that should be quite interesting for conservatives. has been called a mixture of and the Huffington Post. Take a look at it.

Today’s headlines: “Time to Reeducate you on Obamacare,” “Shocking Racism at Al Sharpton’s MLK Anniversary,” “New York Residents don’t support Ground Zero Mosque,” and “Education Secretary Pressed Employees to Attend Sharpton Rally.”

It looks like one to add to your favorites.

Most Powerful Man in the World?

George Soros
George Soros

It’s probably not Barack Obama, but George Soros.

Quick, how much do you really know about him? Maybe springs to mind. Or the Center for American Progress. Lots of us have heard of the Tides Foundation and maybe some of the Democracy Alliance. A few may recognize the Open Society Institute. He has been a major founder or contributor to all of these and probably more.

But he remains a shadowy figure to most Americans and the press certainly hasn’t done anything to fill us in on him.

“Covering up for George Soros” by Ed Lasky in the raises some more questions about him.

Lasky takes note of Soros’ huge investments Continue reading “Most Powerful Man in the World?”

Rally Report

Better Vantabe Point
Young people scramble up D.C. monuments to get a better vantage point to see the 8/28 Restoring Honor Rally.

Joan Schmitt, who is forming a downtown conservatives’ club, has sent us her report of the 8/28 Restoring Honor Rally with Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.

“It was a great rally. Everyone needs to witness something like this once in their life. There was a sea of people. I was about a hundred yards from the stage at the fence to the left of the reflecting pool. From all directions I saw nothing but people.

“The most important thing I got out of the entire event was this: There were tens of thousands of people there with me who all felt as I do about the state of our country. I – we – are not alone. Everyone was very respectful of each other. Absolutely no shouting or raucous behavior of any kind at any time. There was a strong police presence, but all they were doing was walking around. The event was exactly on time from start to finish. And – absolutely no one left early. I was watching for this. You know how people start leaving a ball game early when they know the end is near? I saw no lines of people leaving and, when it was over, there were many who just stayed right where they were.

“Glenn Beck said there were somewhere between 350-600,000 people. It was a very Caucasian crowd and very middle class. Lots of American flags, t-shirts with “Restoring Honor” etc. Lots of kids of all ages. Just a very American crowd.

“Speakers were really good. No one spoke for too long. Patriotic music but not too sappy. Beck spoke about three times during the entire event. Sarah Palin spoke after his initial introduction. Dr. Martin Luther King’s niece, Alveda King, spoke also and was great. The event was well timed. Three hours was plenty, but not too much.

“These are the things that stood out to me as I am sending this. I am really glad I went.”

Other Views of the D.C. Rally

For other takes on the Restoring Honor Rally in D.C., take a look at these:

At, Andrew Thomas asks “Was the Restoring Honor Rally the Biggest Ever in D.C.?” with more pictures of the size of it. In “The Education of Glenn Beck” there Matthew May shares some thoughts.

For behind the scene looks, has lots of shots.

A funny picture concerning the Sharpton rally and the SEIU is at

Gateway Pundit writes of the next tea party event September 12 which will occur in St. Louis, Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

Skoda Show Expands

If you like listening to Memphis Tea Party Chairman Mark Skoda on KWAM (990), you will be happy to know that soon there will be more  of him.

His show, which has aired Monday and Thursday mornings, will become a daily show as of September 13. But instead of airing from 8 to 9 a.m., the show moves to 6 – 7 p.m. weekdays. He will follow the Ben Ferguson show on the same  radio network.

The more conservatives on the radio, the better!

Our Correspondent in D.C.

Midtown Republican is fortunate to have our own “reporter” at the 8/28 Restoring Honor Rally featuring Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.

Dr. Joan Schmitt, who visited our club meeting in August and who is working on a Downtown Conservative Club, has graciously accepted the offer to relay what she sees and hears at the event tomorrow in D.C. She decided, with some of her friends, to make the long trip there to participate in an event for America.

Good thing, too, since today’s paper implies that the rally was scheduled as a slap in the face to Dr. Martin Luther King.  Tomorrow marks the anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.”  Though Glenn Beck  denies the event has anything to do with race, lefty journalists want to cast it in a racist light.

With a Memphian there to report, we can get a first hand account of how many people are there, what the feel of the crowd is and what  message is conveyed.

Tomorrow look for her observations here. She’ll phone in her impressions and they will be written up.

Limbaugh’s ‘Crimes’

Crimes Against LibertyDavid Limbaugh is angry. He’s angry that we have a president who has a “god complex that portends ill for this nation.” He’s angry that we have the most divisive president in American history. He’s angry that Barack Obama “lied, cheated and stole to impose Obamacare.”

He’s angry that his five children face an “unsustainable debt and will be a second tier nation for a generation;” at Obama’s “dogged, blind faith in the redistribution of wealth.”

Limbaugh contends Obama “acts outside the rule of law” and likes to bully corporations and threaten uncooperating senators (Kyl) and states.  He decries the “creep to socialism that is now in hyper speed,” as  described to guest host Doug Urbanski, on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show today.

And he makes a further case for his anger in his latest book: “Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama.”

His detailed list of “accomplishments” that have taken place in the last 19 months documents all the instances where liberty has been taken away from Americans. It will be a good reminder – and motivator – for all of us concerned with the 2012 election.

Haslam meets with Memphis TEA Party

Bill Haslam
Bill Haslam

Hello from the Memphis TEA Party;

I wanted to update you on my meeting with Bill Haslam. We met here in a Memphis last week and his wife and West Tennessee campaign manager were present. I had several people from our Memphis TEA Party group along with our 9th District Congressional Candidate, Charlotte Bergmann. The meeting lasted about 50 minutes due to a commitment he had in Nashville with Ron Ramsey.

The meeting was extremely friendly and open. I asked him to address four key issues: His participation in Mayor Bloomberg’s effort “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” ; a TN state income tax; his disclosure of his interests in Pilot Oil; and his views of addressing the Healthcare Freedom Act and the expansion of the Federal government.

He offered a substantial defense of his views and was unequivocal in the right to keep and bear arms as defined by the 2nd Amendment. He indicated that he, along with 700 other mayors, had joined Bloomberg’s coalition when it appeared to be focused on fighting crime and ensuring that guns didn’t get into the hands of criminals. He reiterated his views that the coalition was going in the wrong direction and that he did indeed remove himself when it appeared to be detrimental to his 2nd Amendment views and those of Tennessee. And while the political reality was clear, he again reiterated his views that he would support fully our rights and would not abridge the Constitution in any way.

In the matter of the state income tax, he again stated he would not support and indeed would oppose any efforts to establish a state income tax. I pointed out that the stimulus dollars would expire at the first of the year and that TN would be in a terrible hole from the point of view of our budget. He recognized that and stated he felt we could reduce the size of government while focusing on growing jobs and therefore the tax base. He saw no other way, given our state requirement to balance our budget. His business experience and the realistic perspective about the budget allowed for no other alternative. And he understood that he would work with Ron Ramsey to accommodate the reduction of the budget to meet the balance budget requirements of our state. However, without growth, the state would need to make some difficult choices to meet those reductions in spending.

On disclosure, he pointed out that he has disclosed more about his personal financial position than others in the past and which is required by law. He also stated that his interest in the family business is the source of his wealth and he was not hiding anything relating to this fact. And indeed, while many attempted to make an issue of this, he was of the opinion that he had been forthcoming in this matter.

Mark Skoda
Mark Skoda

Finally, he was most explicit about the need to reject the expansion of the Federal government. The need to push back on healthcare, immigration and Federal largess were all points he brought forward in the discussion. I pointed out that the next governor would need to be absolute in resisting the enticements of the Federal government and the expansion and control of Tennesseans. He understood this fact and was adamant that Washington was broken and that the governors needed to take a stand. He also pointed out that being a part time legislature, our state government was already functioning more efficiently than most.

I told Bill that I appreciated sitting across the table from him with his wife present. She being from Memphis, I was also pleased that she could hear from Charlotte Bergmann who pointed out the problems facing our county and our city. I believe that both he and his wife recognized the emotional turmoil of this campaign and the need to meet their political rhetoric with actions that reflected his promises. He was direct, unapologetic and most friendly. At no time did I feel that he was condescending or placating me and my team. This was a business discussion and a heartfelt defense of the issues.

In closing, I can say that at the very least, he reiterated his official positions. He did so with honesty and forthrightness. He is an extremely charming man with a clear vision for the state and a recognition that he will need to prove out his positions over time. However, he was absolute in affirming those positions and his conservative bonafides. I told him we would be there holding him and our other legislators accountable. I closed by thanking him and indicating I would publish this note of our meeting. However, I have to say that being able to look across the table and have a direct and forthright meeting of the minds was most heartening.

I will not say that one meeting makes the case. However, for me, it went a long way to moving me from sitting on the sidelines to becoming an advocate for Bill Haslam and the changes necessary to achieve success in our state. I believed him and will work to hold him accountable to his representations. In that context, I will also support him during November and will ask my members to do the same. And in the end, each person and Tea Party leader will need to make their own assessment and take decisions accordingly. I am not asking you to support him from your respective organizations. I did however tell Bill that I would share my views with the group and the perspectives from this meeting.

In this, I have done what I promised. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or wish to discuss this further.


Mark A. Skoda

Founder & Chairman

The Memphis TEA Party