It’s Mueller Time! + Monday news

Usually on this blog, I have a policy of putting anything political at the end of posts, so that readers who don’t care about political stuff can skip it without missing any Downtown news. I’m amending that policy – anytime an indictment is handed down or there are other developments of similar or greater magnitude, I’m not waiting until the end. Keep reading, because I do have a lot of news today. But first…


Late last week, President Trump announced the release of many of the JFK files. As soon as he did that, I knew something big was about to go down. The release of the files was a classic Trump strategy to divert the attention of the media. This morning former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, along with his longtime assistant Rick Gates, was taken into custody. The indictment was unsealed (read it here), revealing at least 12 charges related to activity in the period 2006-2016, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to report foreign bank accounts, failure to register as foreign agents, and giving false and misleading statements when they did register.

Of course, Manafort and Gates are innocent until proven guilty, but an investigator at Muller’s level would not convene a grand jury without firm belief that guilt beyond a reasonable doubt could be proved.

Also today, it was revealed that former campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos has plead guilty to lying to the FBI in an investigation into Trump campaign/Russia ties back in January. Although Manafort is the bigger fish, Papadopoulos may turn out to be more relevant going farther, because his indictment involves collusion with Russia.

On to the news… There are several job openings at the Memphis Airport, including a newly-posted Customer Relations Program Manager position.

The South Main Association will have its November meeting on Tuesday, November 14, on the ground floor of the new ServiceMaster headquarters. Farmers Market vendor The Grecian Gourmet, soon to open a restaurant on South Main, will provide appetizers. This will also be SMA board member election night. 6:00 social, 6:30 presentation. Free for SMA members, $10 for non-members.

YOGA! Your Inner Yogi at 10 N. Second will offer a Teacher Training program February 10-May 27 of next year. No matter what style of yoga you practice, this teacher training will provide you with the skills to introduce others to your passion. The course also looks at the philosophy behind the poses and is therefore good for anyone who wants to delve deeper into their practice, whether or not they choose to become a teacher.

Mayor Strickland invites the public to follow the MPD Training Academy on Facebook for an insider’s look at what happens there.

An #EmptyNeyland movement has started among Tennessee fans who are fed up with their incredibly embarrassing and mediocre football program. They are threatening to boycott the Vols’ home game on Saturday, the homecoming game against Southern Miss, if current head coach Butch Jones is not fired. Sounds like a great idea to me. How far the mighty Vols have fallen since winning the Life Championship last year.

Just got a call from a 901-875-xxxx number. As always, I never answer calls from numbers not in my contacts. Instead, I Google the number. Gotta be a Memphis number, right? Nope… Jammu and Kashmir, India. These scammers are getting more and more sophisticated.

The 5-1 Western Conference leaders the Memphis Grizzlies host Charlotte tonight at FedExForum at 7 PM.

I’m going to hit happy hour at the Silly Goose after work, where Brittani will ask me “Where are my ribs?” Because, you see, if you’re a member of a BBQ team you can magically produce 16-hour slow-smoked ribs at any time, even if it’s October and BBQ Fest is in May. Go Grizzlies, and go Hustle, because they have their lone preseason game tonight. Back tomorrow with more news.