The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Stimulus Spending in Tennessee

[During the Depression, my mother and her brother flip the first switch to give West Tennessee electricity from TVA] (more…)

Palin not Obama Speaks and Is Heard

Sarah Palin is like the owl weathervane on the tippy top of the roof, on the top of my three-story house at the top of a hill.  My husband designed the ‘vane, and it’s not accurate to nature because the copper owl twirls ballerina-like with a metal pinecone for partner.  But here’s the amazing thing.  Owls, which have great distance vision, fly from all over the East Bay to woo the glinting beauty from the safety of the large palm tree across the street.  It’s getting to be that time of year when towards dusk mating calls reverberate along my block.  

The other amazing thing is that the weathervane actually works, sometimes. What does it say about the age in which we live that (1) a simple object put to important use in times past has become a decorative object; (2) we don’t expect it to work; (3) we are surprised when it does. (more…)

Tea Party PAC: Men & Woman of the Board

This afternoon in a phone conversation with Mark Skoda, the media director of the Tea Party Convention in Nashville this past weekend, Skoda gave me the names on the board of directors for the new Ensuring Liberty Corporation, a non-profit 501(c)4 that will have its own PAC to raise money for selected candidates in congressional races this fall.

Mark Skoda, Memphis, Tennessee (president) (more…)

Video: Eavesdropping

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Eavesdropping on a conversation in the ladies room at the Tea Party Convention, Nashville.  A common sentiment that weekend about “birthers” and “the birth certificate.”

Video: Teas Get a PAC

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Mark Skoda at the press conference during the Tea Party Convention, Nashville.  Announcing the creation of a Tea Party PAC, among other things.  Charlotte Bergmann, who is contesting Steve Cohen-D for the house seat in TN 9th, is in the background on the right of the screen.  At 6:25 you can see the Flinn Broadcasting wrist slap.

Video: Patriot of Tea

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William Temple, pastor of a black Baptist church in Georgia and a history re-enactor, plays at the Tea Party Convention, Nashville.

The Press Ate The Tea Party

Friday morning early, the first full day of the Tea Party convention at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, I’m inside the security perimeter trying to help myself to coffee at one of the long continental breakfast tables.  But the urns are empty–only a bit of decaf left.  A couple of Tea Partiers and I contemplate, all of us lugubriously, the spigots.  

“You know,” first man says, “the press ate all our food last night.  And now they got the coffee.”  (Only Fox was up and running at this ungodly hour of 7:45 AM, waiting in the lair the guys had claimed at the end of the large foyer, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.) (more…)

Video: McCain Tea

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Dr. Ray, an attorney and law professor from Pennsylvania, talks McCain tea.

Tea Party Videos Nashville

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Mark Skoda, organizer of the Tea Party Convention, speaks with a German reporter.  Thursday evening meet-and-greet, Tea Party Convention, Nashville.

Tea Party Convention

[This is a long piece about the Tea Party movement.  To watch my videos from the Tea Party convention, go into the video room.  If you are still awake at the end of this blog, check out The Press Ate Our Food in Nattering On.]

Fifteen minutes Saturday night in the Tennessee Ballroom at Gaylord Opryland captured for me all the dynamics at play during the Tea Party Convention.  Sarah Palin had just finished speaking, and the reporter from Swiss Public Radio sitting next to me asked, “Please, am I not right? She was not very good.”  Perplexed, he gestured towards the ebullient throng sitting below us.  And so I proceeded to try to explicate for a European the Palin phenomenon—something I can hardly explain to myself.  “You have to understand,” I said, as I always do, “we are a meritocracy now, but, success is much dependent upon education.  By that measure, I am an elite, probably every other American reporter sitting up here, too.  Sarah Palin, however, like most of these 800 guests, did not go to top schools.  And she had to work her way through college, leaving and coming back as she had the money.  She did not get a good education, and yet here she is.  She is an inspiration.” (more…)

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