Southern Comfort

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I drink rarely and when I do, wine is usually my drink of choice. If I’m feeling really adventurous, Southern Comfort is my favorite liqueur. Wikipedia describes it as, “a fruit, spice, and whiskey flavored liqueur produced since 1874. It is made from a secret blend of whiskey, peach brandy, orange, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon flavors.” It is so damn yummy and the perfect metaphor for the focus of this and subsequent posts I’ll be doing this week on Louisiana and Tennessee.

Wikipedia goes on to say that “Southern Comfort was first produced by Irish bartender Martin Wilkes Heron (b. 1850 c. 1920), the son of a boat-builder, at McCauley’s tavern at the corner of Richard and St. Peter Street, in French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. He moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1889, patented his famous creation, and began selling it in sealed bottles with the slogan “None Genuine But Mine” and “Two per customer. No Gentleman would ask for more.” Southern Comfort won the gold medal at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.”

“The plantation depicted on the label of Southern Comfort since the 1930s is Woodland Plantation, an antebellum mansion in West Pointe a la Hache, a small town in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.”

Being a lover of history, even the history of this liqueur evokes the right image of warmth and cozyness that I feel once I’ve downed a glass and settled in for a rich discussion of political history and southern politics. That being said, here we go.

Looking around the web I spotted the latest campaign finance reports of several races I have my eye on and found several interesting things.

Starting in Memphis, Tennessee, there is the race between the sistah I have dubbed the Corporate Mammy and her opponent, Steve Cohen. Cohen, you’ll recall, is the white successor to Harold Ford, Jr’s Memphis Congressional seat and is set to defend it next year against Nikki Tinker, a corporate tool cut from the same cloth as her mentor, Harold Ford, Jr.

At this point, its all about the benjamins and sistah ain’t no slouch having raised $176,000 so far this year with $171,000 on hand. Her white opponent is running scared and clocked a healthy tally of $374,000 on hand. The Commerical Appeal is reporting that the corporate mammy ain’t playing fair and has resorted to push polling to get her campaign jump started. This race has only begun to get interesting. The racial angle is what we thrive on here at Skeptical Brotha.

Next up is the race in Maryland between challenger Donna Edwards and her opponent, Congressman Al Wynn, a corporate butt buddy of Harold Ford Jr in the DLC. I’ve got much love for this sistah and have endorsed her for this seat. She’s been endorsed by Democracy for America and hopefully after the corporate pod people at Emily’s list are whipped mercilessly with a wet noodle-Emily’s List. Something tells me that we’ll all turn blue black and die holding our breath on that one.

Sistah Donna has rasied over $214,000 for this race with $115,000 on hand. Fat Albert has raised over $592,000 with $400,000 on hand. He is giving new meaning to running scared because he clearly is terrified. She is burning money at a fairly good clip and that concerns me, but I think that whatever she’s doing, she’ll have the money to continue and win this February primary over Wynn.

Finally, there are two races I’ve classified as no way in hell. My favorite two candidates for the Senate: Vernon-I-didn’t-rape-her,-I’m-just-a-little-freaky-Jones, and Vivian-I’ve-lost-my-damn-mind-Figures. Vernon Jones, the DeKalb County CEO, is term-limited and running for the Senate seat of Saxby Chambliss, the shameless xenophopbic bastard that accused his opponent, former Senator Max Cleland, of coddling Osama Bin Laden in a series of ads so foul that they are still infamous to this day-5 years later.

Jones has no hope of unseating the senator and his millions in campaign cash. Jones is being aided in his hopeless quest by raising over $376,000, which is more than respectable at this point. He has over $265,000 on hand. Dekalb county, the largest suburban county outside Atlanta is booming and he can rightfully take credit, but it still won’t help. We are talking about Georgia after all. I wonder if he takes a page out of Marion Barry’s book when his supporters ask about the rape allegation and tells them “The Bitch set me up.”

Anybody who knows me knows that I enjoy Alabama politics because like all southern politics, its colorful and interesting. The most interesting race in Alabama of late was the Mayor’s race in Birmingham in which they ousted their two term Mayor in favor of Jefferson County Comissioner Larry Langford. They were so pleased with the Mayor that he got only 8% of the vote. Ouch.

It also featured a wealthy candidate endorsed by CBC corporate whore Artur Davis. He came in second. Hallelujah, Thank You, Jesus. Anyhoo, the Alabama Senate race has none of the same Pizzazz. Instead, its tired and as over as Whitney’s marriage to Bobby.

To put it simply, State Senator Vivian Davis Figures is delusional. Her campaign report states clearly why: she ain’t raised but $24,636 dollars in the short time she’s been in this race. Not an auspicious start at all. Senator Jeff Sessions, a neo-confederate racist, has $3.5 million on hand. Like I said, the sistah is delusional and needs to check herself into a private funny farm somwhere before she’s involuntarily committed to a padded cell she can permanently call her own.

I almost forgot the little matter of Harold Ford, Jr’ s up and coming nuptuals to his fiance and his impending announcement of a run for Governor.

Before I comment on that fully in another post, what do y’all think about that. Y’all think he’s been hitting a bottle of southern comfort on the regular or do you think that it’s a mental thang for him to believe that jumping the broom with snowflake is not gonna make his gubernatorial run an exercise in futility.

I’ll let you all in on a little secret. There is a certain black female politico that I met a few years back and she met Harold Whore Jr at one of the Democratic National Conventions and has been pining for him ever since. Like Harold, she is fair skinned. What we used to call “Light, bright, and damn near White.” I’m sure if she got the chance, she’d tell him what Lonette McKee told Wesley Snipes in Jungle Fever “I wasn’t light enough for ya, you had to get you a white girl.”

Congressman Hank Johnson faces possible primary challenge

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Cynthia McKinneyGo to fullsize image

May 09, 2007
Rep. Hank Johnson’s (D-Ga.) mild-mannered style will never be mistaken for that of his outspoken predecessor, Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D). But that doesn’t mean fellow Democrats are going to let him cruise to a second term without another heated primary.Democrats in the Atlanta area say Johnson is keenly aware that McKinney’s departure has opened a door to any number of ambitious would-be members of Congress. Johnson, wary of pronouncing himself reelected, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that he’s hearing several names.

Anti-McKinney Democrats largely coalesced behind Johnson last year to knock off McKinney for the second time in the last three cycles. Now some of them — and possibly McKinney — apparently have turned their eyes on the quiet freshman as well.

“He’s certainly hearing rumors,” Johnson spokeswoman Deb McGhee Speights said. “But he wouldn’t be surprised, certainly, at this point if there is a challenger.”

Pervasive speculation has it that DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones will drop his U.S. Senate bid to enter the race, and Democrats are not counting out repeat bids by McKinney or former Rep. Denise Majette (D-Ga.). Majette beat McKinney in 2002 but vacated the seat for a failed bid for Senate in 2004, at which point McKinney retook her old seat. Jones’s campaign dismissed the rumors and spoke highly of Johnson. But many Democrats are dumbfounded by Jones’s flirtation with running for Senate.

Jones, who has said he is running but is still technically in an exploratory phase, raised a meager $18,000 in the first quarter and has a spotty personal history that might be hard to overcome statewide. At the same time, he has crossover appeal because he is conservative and black.

A Strategic Vision poll from last month showed current Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) up 57–29 in a head-to-head match-up.

As a black Democrat in Georgia, Jones figures to have a strong shot at the Democratic nomination and could scare off other candidates, according to Georgia political operatives and observers.

Atlanta Democratic consultant Angelo Fuster, who has worked for Jones in the past, said people underestimate Jones at their own peril, and Johnson surely wouldn’t.

“I think that [Johnson] has some concerns that Vernon is going to run against him,” Fuster said. “The general consensus is that Hank would have a difficult competition if Vernon decided to run for the House.”

University of Georgia political science Professor Charles Bullock said Jones, who is term-limited in his current job at the end of 2008, is much better known than Johnson is.

Before entering Congress, Johnson served as a DeKalb commissioner beneath Jones.

“That would certainly be a much more winnable seat for him,” Bullock said. “There was some thought when McKinney was in there that he might run against her once his term was up. So this is not novel speculation that he might run in the 4th district.”

Jones spokesman Jamie Grey said the speculation is unfounded and based on race, but he also suggested Jones would have beaten both Johnson and McKinney.

“You’re hearing that from some naysayers and some ne’er-do-wells that really want to look for a person of a different hue to run under the Democratic banner for the Senate,” Grey said. “If Vernon wanted to be the congressman from the 4th congressional district, he would be it now.”

Grey also said any of the other names being mentioned likely would not be able to beat Johnson.

Johnson won in 2006 partially thanks to the backlash from McKinney’s dust-up with a U.S. Capitol Police officer. The officer didn’t recognize her and tried to make her go through a security check, from which members are exempt.

Johnson gained a primary runoff with McKinney and defeated her 59–41 in August. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic, and he went on to sail through the general election.

Democrats say they believe McKinney might be interested in running for her old seat now that another year has passed since the event. McKinney has remained a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq and has been giving speeches, including at a peace conference in Malaysia in February where President Bush was labeled a “war criminal.”

Johnson hesitated to support the Iraq war supplemental last month, but eventually decided to join Democrats. Speights said though Johnson wants the troops out soon, it was the best option and Johnson wasn’t concerned about a primary challenge from the left.

McKinney, for her part, tried to position herself toward the end of the 2006 runoff as the No. 1 opponent of Bush.
She has been working to retire a $60,000 campaign debt and has updated her website in recent months to reflect her progress. She’s about one-sixth of the way there, according to the site.

Majette ran for state school superintendent in 2006 after losing her Senate bid and again lost by a wide margin. Like Johnson did in 2006, she won in 2002 with an assist from McKinney’s antics.

McKinney and Majette could not be reached for comment.

DeKalb County Commissioner Burrell Ellis said McKinney loyalists have rallied around Johnson in the early going and that he looks ready if a challenge heads his way.

“I think he’s now making his own mark and looking strong,” Ellis said.