Saturday, May 31, 2008
Here are a couple of interesting ones.
Issue: Reduce Class Size
Anyone in education will tell you that the smaller the class size, the better. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure out why. Smaller class size = More individualized attention
Issue: Increase Federal Education Funding
McCain: Opposed Bills to Increase Funding, but Says He Supports Adequate Funding
Opposes any increased spending bill but supports adequate funding must be some more Straight Talk talk.
Issue: Increase Student Aid for College (Pell Grants)
Education is the great equalizer in this country. The more people from the lower rungs of the economic ladder that have a chance to get a college education, the more that will climb up into the middle class. I believe in increased opportunity for all, and the hope of economic mobility found on a level playing field. Please click on the link to the full NEA article and read all of the issues. I think it is pretty clear who is a supporter of our public schools and who is not.
Friday, May 30, 2008
The new poll has Ronnie Musgrove in a statistical dead heat, while Travis Childers is set to re-climb the mountain up north. We cannot afford to relax. We have them on the run, let's finish the job.
Please give a few bucks if you can. We are getting close to reshaping the political landscape of Mississippi politics.
Cotton Mouth for Travis Childers, MS-01
Cotton Mouth for Ronnie Musgrove, MS-SEN
They have created a scholarship to help more folks go the the premier progressive political blogging conference; Netroots Nation.
You can help me get it by voting for me here:
DFA Netroots Nation Scholarship: John Leek
Please go vote for me. It would cover most of my expenses and ensure a Mississippi progressive voice at the conference.
Last year (with help from donors including some of y'all) I was able to go and was the ONLY Mississippi blogger there.
I appreciate y'all's continued support.
- John Leek
Thursday, May 29, 2008
For the Mississippi Senate seat vacated by Trent Lott, the special election matchup is former Governor Ronnie Musgrove against Roger Wicker who vacated the Congressional seat now help by our beloved Travis Childers.
Roger Wicker 46%
Ronnie Musgrove 47%
These numbers lie within the 4 percent margin of error, so it is a statistical dead heat. Kos over at the Daily Kos moved this race into his top 5 for the cycle. Kos can raise lots of cash if he highlights this race on his website. He raised over $20,000 for Scott Kleeb in Nebraska in less than a week about three weeks ago. I don't know if he will do that kind of thing here, but I sure hope so.
Edit: I misread the poll, Musgrove is in the lead 47-46, not behind.
Here are links to the polls SEN PRES
Now the other big news. For all you members of the Obamanation, the new poll says Mississippi is in play. You can read an excellent article on how Obama can carry Mississippi here. Now here is the good stuff.
John McCain 50%
Barack Obama 44%
To quote Kos:
As DavidNYC has pointed out, if Obama can get African Americans to 40 percent of the voter pool in the state, he actually has a chance of winning the state. This poll seems to confirm that, giving us a competitive race with a 36 percent black sample. (Blacks made up 34 percent of the 2004 statewide vote.) Unfortunately, we don't have numbers for white voters. As David points out, with a 40-percent black share of the Mississippi electorate, Obama would need at least 20 percent of the white vote to win the state. Kerry got 14 percent of the Mississippi white vote in 2004.
Yes We Can!!
We all know he didn't go far, but but look out for more posts, including several series, from him.
As always, we appreciate the support from our readers, and writers, and we look forward to more political coverage as the 2008 races continue.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Forty Senators and 100 members of Congress visited New Orleans before he did; he finally got there in March 2006. He voted against establishing a Congressional commission to examine the Federal, State, and local responses to Katrina in med-September 2005. He repeated that vote in 2006. He voted against allowing up to 52 weeks of unemployment benefits to people affected by the hurricane, and in 2006 voted against appropriating $109 billion in supplemental emergency funding, including $28 billion for hurricane relief.
(Oct 2005) S.AMDT.2033- Voted NO on $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas.
The record is clear on John McCain and Katrina. He can try and distance himself from brother Bush all he wants but remember this is John McCain and George W. Bush.
From the CL:
The New Orleans court said Pepper’s ruling spawned a free-for-all on appeal.
The court noted the Democratic Party had appealed the mandatory photo ID requirement. The GOP appealed on grounds that Pepper’s order brought Republicans into a lawsuit they did not support. And attorneys for the Mississippi NAACP opposed the voter ID and re-registration portions of Pepper’s order.
There also were briefs filed by the attorney general, the governor and the secretary of state.
“The state is divided ... We will put the parties out of their litigation misery,” wrote Chief Judge Edith H. Jones.Jones said if the Democratic Party had taken steps to keep non-Democrats out of its primaries and been stopped, then the party would have had grounds to sue.
“It is certainly conceivable, for instance, that the party’s mere public announcement of its intent to challenge suspected non-Democrat voters would discourage raiding attempts,” wrote Jones.
However, Jones said whether state law permits party raiding could only be determined if the Democrats tried to stop someone it viewed as a non-Democrat from voting in its primaries.
Jones said the “open-ended nature of the dispute” led Pepper to propose a political remedy.
“When MSDP actually decides to adopt a closed primary, and when the implementation of state law has a demonstrated impact on the conduct of primary elections, a justifiable case or controversy will exist,” the 5th Circuit said.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Let's take a look at a few of Rubber Stamp Roger's votes in the arena of education. Remember that Wicker is from Tupelo. Tupelo has been a model city with its strong support of public education, combined with the investment of the private sector who enjoy a surplus of skilled, work-ready labor. No municipality in Mississippi has benefited from a community investment in education as has Tupelo.
(Nov 2007) H.R. 3043- Voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects.
Here is what George W. Bush had to say during his veto.
This bill spends too much. It exceeds [by $10.2 billion] the reasonable and responsible levels for discretionary spending that I proposed to balance the budget by 2012. This bill continues to fund 56 programs that I proposed to terminate because they are duplicative, narrowly focused, or not producing results. This bill does not sufficiently fund programs that are delivering positive outcomes.In other words we can spend hundreds of billions in Iraq, but we can't afford to spend 10 billion here on our own infrastructure, on our own people. (and is duplicative even a word?) Thanks Rubber Stamp Roger, we see where you stand, right next to George W. Bush and John McCain. And did Bush say something about balancing a budget? One could not write such humor if one tried.
(Mar 2006) H.R. 609 Amendment 772- Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges.
Well I don't think this one is a shocker. It is just your standard Republican against anything that will benefit people of color, just move along, nothing to see here. But don't stress, Roger does support some measures for education.
(Nov 2001) H. Con Res. 239- Voted YES on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror.
And prayer is just what our schools will need with Bush, Cheney, McCain and Wicker at the helm, because there will be no funding.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Neither of the two Democratic victors in the South ran against the war. Mr. Cazayoux's view, set forth on his Web site, is markedly ambiguous compared to Mr. Obama's, whose plan involves beginning a phased troop withdrawal immediately. Mr. Cazayoux's Web site only pledges to support bringing the troops home "responsibly and with honor."Something tells me the Childers website is about as deep our as editor ever made it with his research. Childers opposed the war and made it very clear, if you ever heard him speak, or read the newspapers.
Mr. Childers has said the war is not working, but Iraq appears nowhere on his Web site. Apparently, support for the war is still strong enough in Mississippi to prevent an anti-war Democrat from emphasizing that position.
It seems that what these victories teach is to be wary of conflating the strength of the Republican brand with that of conservative ideas. The former has clearly lost some of its power, but the latter are as strong as ever.Who wrote this, Baghdad Bob? Wow, where to start. If by conservative you mean, ending the war, expanded health care, fair trade as opposed to free trade, and fiscal responsibility (sorry my Republican friends, we own this one now, see Bill Clinton v. George W. Bush), then I am a new found conservative.
The real deal here is that by removing the social wedge issues from the table, the Democrats have been able to tap into a persistent, but rarely tapped strain of economic populism in the Mississippi body politic. With the bread and butter GOP wedge issues like guns and abortion off the table the Republicans have been unable to counter the Democratic proposals on kitchen table issues like health care, jobs, and education.
So far the GOP has stood firm in its wedge issue based attack mode that has been so successful in the last 15 years, and has paid the price for its hesitance to adapt. Right now the Democrats have the advantage of the issues and until the powers that be in the Republican party are willing to have a come to Jesus moment and rethink some basic party principles, they can prepare to bleed in their supposed ideological stronghold of the Deep South.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
First, Childers was a solid candidate who related to rural voters in a way that Davis simply did not. More bluntly, rural voters didn't particularly like Davis.With all due respect to Sid Salters I think the truth lies somewhere between. There is a substantial shift away from "values" voting as Sid pointed out, partly due to the socially conservative stances of the Democrat and partly due to the overall direness of the economic . The Democrats are now tapping into the economic populism of the region by neutralizing the GOP in the social arena. Mississippians love the working man, and that is a good thing for Democrats as they try to establish a new stronghold here in Mississippi.
Second, one can't state clearly enough the price Davis paid among Republicans and swing voters over the scorched-earth GOP primary attacks he made on Republican opponent Glenn McCullough. Some of the GOP faithful simply couldn't get past that.
Third, one can't overstate the regionalism in the race. While the Davis camp was manufacturing a connection between Childers and Obama in TV attack ads that didn't sell very well in places like Bruce and Iuka, Democrats were asking a penetrating question that appealed to old urban-rural mistrusts: "Do you really want a congressman from suburban Memphis?"
This made me laugh,
Of course, when Republicans brought in their "big guns" to stump for Davis, Vice President Dick Cheney poured gas on the fire by making reference on a talk radio show to campaigning in "south Memphis." Rural Democrats had a field day with that gaffe.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
In 2007 a vote came in front of the House of Representatives on whether or not we should regulate the subprime mortgage industry. Does Roger Wicker take the side of his constituency, many poor and victims of predatory lending, or with the big money interests on Wall and K Street? Well I think we all know what Roger Wicker did, exactly what Bush and Cheney told him to do. "Rubber Stamp Roger" voted against regulations that would have helped to curb this crisis as well as help the thousands of Mississippians caught in the cross-hairs of this debacle. Don't take my word on it, click on these links and read for yourselves
Rubber Stamp Roger's vote on H.R. 3915
Roger Wicker has the benefit of the fundraising networks of the most powerful Republicans in the nation and the massive political machine that Haley has built.
I'll be happy to see when Musgrove's campaign gets firing on all cylinders, because it doesn't appear to be doing so yet.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Now looking into the numbers, this can be a little generous OR it can be a great sign of things to come.
Regardless the State Democrats need the national party to get its act together soon. Only then can a strong unified effort be applied to this vulnerable Red seat in the deep South with any chance of success. If we are to hope the DCCC notices Southern states outside of Virginia that is (sorry I was in NC in 2004, still bitter.)
Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 5/19-21. Likely voters. MoE 4% (12/10-12 results)
Wicker (R) 46 (47)
Musgrove (D) 42 (39)
That splits the previous poll's margin by half, well within the poll's margin of error. Not as delicious as the DSCC's poll released earlier this week showing an 8-point Musgrove lead, but still enough to suggest that this is now legitimately a top-tier race.
Enjoy and Happy Memorial Day!
Roger Wicker voted no on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternativeCAFE standards are the fuel efficiency standards that automobile manufacturers are required to maintain. So Roger voted with the Big Oil lobby to keep our cars inefficient and most importantly not reduce our dependency on oil. Only a fool would not acknowledge the need to reduce our dependency on oil as well as funding research into alternative fuels.
fuels. (Aug 2001)
Voted YES on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy. (Nov 2003)You mean the policy written in secrecy by Dick Cheney with all the major oil companies and our worst polluters making up the panel?
Roger Wicker once again sides with the big monied interests and against the people. This time it is with Big Oil.
Voted NO on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR. (Aug 2001)
Voted NO on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. (Jun 2000)
From the Sun-Herald
Dowdy told The Associated Press he made his decision Wednesday after becoming convinced Obama has enough support to secure the nomination. Dowdy said he hopes Clinton is chosen for vice president.
Mississippi has seven Democrat superdelegates.
Johnnie Patton of Jackson, Everett Sanders of Natchez and Congressman Bennie Thompson are committed to Obama.
Those still uncommitted are state party Vice Chairwoman Carnelia Pettis-Fondren of Oxford and congressmen Gene Taylor and Travis Childers.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
As of yesterday, there were five items on the agenda. But, overnight, sneaky Haley added three more, including voter identification and pay raises for judges and district attorneys.
From the Clarion-Ledger:
An angry Mississippi House has adjourned the first day of a special session at the state Capitol having passed the only two bills they agreed with the Senate on: the reauthorization of a state unemployment agency and a bill to speed construction of a Jackson toll road.
But keeping the Mississippi Department of Unemployment Security open is still unresolved. Senators could not agree on a reauthorization bill today and are expected to reconvene
The departure of state representatives leaves several issues hanging that Gov. Haley Barbour wanted addressed. Among them: changes to an immigration bill he signed, voter identification rules, copper theft restrictions and pay raises for judges and district attorneys.
Some House Democrats voiced displeasure that Barbour gave them late notice of the items included in the special session. They and Senate Democrats also said taxpayer money should not be wasted discussing topics that are not urgent, including voter identification and pay raises.
“This short notice has prohibited any committee study, discussion or investigation, and the extended list has the potential to drag the session on for days, costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars each day,” House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, said in a statement.
Key House leaders were also upset that Barbour did not include hikes in weekly unemployment benefits or a bill that would have incentivized casinos that build non-gaming attractions.
Lawmakers said that if the Senate continues working for three days, the House will be forced to reconvene. It was not immediately clear if the Senate intended to continue working that long.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Congratulations Congressman Childers!
Congressman Travis Childers Sworn In to 110th Congress, Immediately Votes to Help Lower Gas Prices
Childers Thanks God and Family, Pledges to Work Hard
Washington, DC – Congressman Travis Childers today was sworn in as the Representative for Mississippi’s First District for the 110th Congress. For his first vote, Congressman Childers supported the Gas Price Relief for Consumers Act of 2008 (H.R. 6074).
In a floor speech immediately after being sworn in, Congressman Childers thanked God, his family, and the people of North Mississippi, and pledged to reach across the aisle and get to work for Mississippi families.
Congressman Childers then took his first vote to lower gas prices by allowing the U.S. government to crack down on OPEC for oil price fixing. Currently, no foreign sovereign entities are subject to anti-trust law. The bill Congressman Childers supported holds OPEC liable in U.S. Courts for engaging in price-fixing or other anticompetitive activities.
Congressman Childers’ Floor Statement:
Today, I must begin by thanking God. By thanking my community. And by thanking the people of Mississippi’s 1st District.
I am humbled by the trust they have placed in me, grateful for their support and committed to working for the people of North Mississippi each and every day.
I want to thank my wife Tami who has been by my side for 27 years and our wonderful children, Dustin and Lauren.
I want to thank my mother, who always believed in me. I want to thank every person who stood with us and has been a part of my life.
And I want to let everyone know that I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
As a local elected official, I worked hard and worked with both parties. I focused on balancing budgets and creating jobs. This will still be my approach and these will be my priorities in Congress.
I pledge to work as hard as I can to mend our failing economy and help bring down the skyrocketing cost of gas, groceries and health care.
I look forward to meeting and working with all of you.
And I look forward to standing up for the values of the people who I have the honor of serving.
I pledge to work every day for the people of the 1st District of the great state of Mississippi.
This piece also includes information on the different types of blogging credentials.
There is still a chance we'll be given a general pass.
The DNC's blog credentialing f'up
So how did the DNC choose to recognize the growth of local blogs "in line with Governor Dean's 50-state strategy"? Mostly, they got it right. At least in 45 states. But they blew it big time in five others, dissing some of the best state bloggers in the country.
In New York, the excellent Albany Project was passed over for a site focused on NY City corruption founded by the Politico's Ben Smith. Go to that site, and it's nothing but press releases. [Update: That press release page is a lower-level page, which I
got when I clicked on the "blog" link in their navigation. They have real writers on their home page.]
In New Jersey, the inimitable Blue Jersey got passed over for PolitickerNJ -- a non-partisan, corporate owned site run by the guys who own the New York Observer. Somehow, I doubt that's inline with the spirit of Dean's 50-state strategy, online organizing, or being agents of change.
In Alabama, Left in Alabama was passed over, as was Cotton Mouth in Mississippi, passed over in favor of a site, Natchez Blog, devoted to Natchez MS, population 18,000 -- a site, by the way, that didn't have a single post or action alert on the MS-01 special election we won last week. Cotton Mouth was one of the best resources on that race (and the Senate race as well).
Finally, Michigan Liberal was given the big diss as well.
The DNC's online guy at the convention, Aaron Myers (email: myersA@demconvention.com) claims that it's a big ado about nothing, that the snubbed blogs will be getting regular blog credentials when those are announced sometime this week.
But that's not the point.
The state blogger corps were a special program and a particularly coveted one since it allows those bloggers to sit with their delegations on the convention floor. Regular bloggers can't do that. They may "have access" to the state delegations, but they won't be sitting with them.
The solution was easy -- take the five blogs that were given their unwarranted access, and give them regular blog credentials just like most everyone else. Those are the same credentials sites like Daily Kos will have, so there's nothing shameful about
Then they could give those five state blogger corps passes in MI, AL, MS, NY, and NJ to the blogs in those states that have are TRUE reflections of Dean's 50-state strategy, those blogs that are organizing and building for a Democratic majority at the local level with little recognition virtually and no money. Those are the bloggers who are in the trenches helping make victories like MS-01 possible.
This fix could've been done quietly and without any public commotion, but Aaron Myers and whoever ultimately makes those decisions have decided to be obtuse about it. They're pretend that there's no difference between the regular credentials and the state blogger ones, a farcical position.
If there was no difference between the two classes of credentials, then there wouldn't be two classes of credentials.
From Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic,
A rule of sorts for this blog: don't cite partisan polls. I'm going to make an exception for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's latest survey of Mississippi voters. They give former governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) an eight point lead over Republican incumbent Roger Wicker. Even if the DSCC were inclined to fudge the poll (or their pollster was) -- no evidence that they have or will, but I'm just saying -- they wouldn't show their candidate in the lead by that much. Expectations are raised -- and if future polls consistently show Musgrove behind Wicker, we'll know that (a) the DSCC poll was misleading or (b) Wicker has regained a lead. The DSCC poll is consistent with Democratic energy in the state, with Republican pessimism, and with Musgrove's broad popularity.
Monday, May 19, 2008
"He is an advocate for our men and women in uniform and a champion of modernizing our health care system..," President Bush said in a statement Monday afternoon.This guys has never been wrong before has he?
Seriously now. While that may sound good, let's understand what it really is. According to Bush, Wicker is an advocate for our military. That is why he votes to leave our men and women in uniform over in Iraq, many of them on their second or third tour. Wicker has not "supported" our military. He has supported and hence enabled George W. Bush in the crippling of our armed forces. And if Wicker was for modernizing our health care he would not vote with the pharmaceutical, medical, and insurance lobbies over and over. But then again, that is all "Rubber Stamp Roger" knows how to do.
Let's get all of these clowns out of Washington. Ronnie Musgrove needs and deserves our help and support.
Congressman-Elect Travis Childers to be Sworn In as Mississippi's First District Representative Tomorrow
Booneville, Miss. – Congressman-Elect Travis Childers will be sworn in as the Representative from Mississippi's 1st Congressional District tomorrow, May 20, at approximately 1:00 p.m. pending legislative business. Congressman-Elect Childers will be sworn in on the House Floor followed by a ceremonial swearing with the Speaker of the House at 1:15 p.m.
1. Reauthorization of the Mississippi Departmart of Employment Security
2. Medicaid funding
3. HB 1136 (which he vetoed)- dealing with the trade of copper and other metals
4. Prohibiting casino expansion
5. Changing current toll roads laws
The Legislature will be back on Wednesday.
As we've said before, we've been in contact with people who have told us that we were considered for the credential, but were vetoed by someone in Mississippi's Democratic Party. We are attempting to find out who that person is and why they felt we should not represent Mississippi. Any assistance in the matter would be greatly appreciated.
It's a bit disturbing to hear what's going on, then, with a few of the credentials. Pam's House Blend has a discussion going on about which blogs were credentialled at the Democratic National Convention. Mostly the choices were good, but four states in particular raise questions: Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and Michigan.
Similarly, Bluejersey was nixed in favor of PoliticsNJ, a neutral media site owned by the New York Observer. The Albany Project, which cohosted a fundraiser for a special election candidate who is helping to flip the New York state Senate, was nixed in favor of Room Eight, a nonpartisan media site focusing on corruption. And MichiganLiberal was nixed for Blogging for Michigan, a much newer and less trafficked blog.
Why does this matter? Well, aside from the basic lack of fairness in excluding genuine change agents in favor of media sites or newer sites, as blogs become more closely wedded to the Democratic Party establishment, the pressure to NOT speak out about problems increases. Credentials for the DNCC are not only a 'goodie', but they are a clear competitive advantage for any state-based blog. If state parties are able to nix progressive state blogs from something so significant to their business models as the Democratic National Convention, it's just going to incentivize the creation of an 'official' blogosphere, one that is sycophantic and less progressive, and an 'activist' blogosphere which bitterly stares at a party it does not trust. Regardless, we're looking at a party structure that is more corrupt, less accountable, and less progressive.
Howard Dean should not let this happen. The DNCC needs to take another look at the blog credentially process for New Jersey, Mississippi, New York, and Michigan. Regardless of whether this was a simple mistake or retaliation from a state party, the credentials of the other blogs should be revoked and regranted them to the more deserving progressive blogs. And this should happen soon.
Pam's House Blend:
In any case, her last point raises an issue that I haven't seen much buzz on yet -- whether there were political factors that went into the decision of state blogs (outside of race). For instance, if you check out the list (see below), BlueJersey, with its ward-winning contributors, wasn't selected to represent the Garden State (Politickernj was). That seems odd to me, given its high profile and progressive politics. Another blog making noise about politics being involved in the selection for Mississippi's blog rep is Cotton Mouth.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Read full article here: "Could Obama win Mississippi?"
For instance, exit polls show that black primary turnout spiked in South Carolina this year. African Americans made up 47% of the primary electorate in 2004 but 55% in 2008. (I use SC rather than MS as a basis for comparison because SC was contested in both years. Kerry had already wrapped up the nomination before MS voted in 2004, so those primary numbers are not meaningful.David after displaying some charts you should really go read along with the full article. "Could Obama win Mississippi?"
The black vote was also very heavy in the recent MS-01 special election (won by Democrat Travis Childers). What’s more, between the first round on April 22nd and the run-off on May 13th, turnout soared in counties with large black populations, in some instances doubling. Many people have cited not just Obama’s popularity as the cause for this outpouring of support, but the relentless GOP attacks on him as well – attacks which will surely continue, and continue to galvanize.
Three things have to happen here - what I call the "ten, ten, ten" plan. First, the black share of the vote has to shoot up to 40%, pushing the white vote down to 60%. This would represent a shift of about ten points in the racial composition of the vote. Second, Obama has to run ten points better among blacks than Kerry did. And third, he also has to run ten points better among whites than Kerry did.
The question, of course, is whether all of these things actually can happen. As I explain above, there’s already ample reason to believe that black turnout will break all kinds of records. Similarly, with Republicans so utterly demoralized and their party all but shattered, I can definitely see the conservative white vote getting depressed. (Certainly, the GOP loss in MS-01 isn’t helping morale much.) Consequently, I think we're more likely than not to see a materially different black-white voting mix in MS on election day. Will it really shift ten points? Hard to say, as there isn't much precedent for a candidacy like Obama's, but I think it could....
...Obviously, it’s very easy to play with numbers and tweak them just enough to come out the way you’d like. And as I said at the start of this piece, the scenario I’m outlining is not at all likely. But what’s important is that it’s possible, thanks to the unusual candidate, state demographics, and election year we have before us. And the mere fact that you can even talk about Obama competing in MS with a straight face means that the GOP will be sweating bullets. If they have to spend so much as a dollar here to defend the state, that alone will constitute victory.
Yes We Can!!
I want to congratulate Congressman-elect Travis Childers on winning this special election. By electing Travis in this traditionally overwhelmingly Republican district, the people of Mississippi voted to end the politics of division and distraction, and bring about real change. This is the third special election in recent months that Democrats have won in traditionally Republican areas -- an unmistakable sign that Americans want to make a clean break from the failed Bush policies of the past - and are not looking for four more years of those failed policies from John McCain. I look forward to working with Travis in the months ahead to fix our economy, and make a difference in the lives of America's hardworking families.Although we just slayed the dragon on Tuesday, we have to refocus on November. Greg Davis and the NRCC are not going to go away. Let's make sure we keep Travis in Washington come November.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I found this on Daily Kos in a user diary. If you are fan of football, this will put NCLB in understandable terms.
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND - FOOTBALL VERSION, author unknown,
(suggested by Bruce Patterson, Central Michigan University)
1. All teams must make the state playoffs and all MUST win the championship. If a team does
not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable. If after two years they have not won the championship their footballs and equipment will be taken away UNTIL they do win the championship.
2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time, even if they do not have the same conditions or opportunities to practice on their own. NO exceptions will be made for lack of interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities of themselves or their parents. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT A PROFICIENT LEVEL!
3. Talented players will be asked to work out on their own, without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren't interested in football, have limited athletic ability or whose parents don't like football.
4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th, and 11th game.
This will create a New Age of Sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimum goals. If no child gets ahead, then no
child gets left behind. If parents do not like this new law, they are encouraged to vote for vouchers and support private schools that can screen out the non-athletes and prevent their children from having to go to school with bad football players.
Has Roger ever stood up to the Republican powers that be and cast an important vote outside of the party mainstream? Whatever comes down from the GOP establishment or K Street is Roger's marching orders. GovTrack, a non-partisan website that tracks each bill and compiles statistics for every member of Congress has Wicker labeled as "Radical Republican", the most extreme ranking possible. By their chart he is the GOP equivalent of Henry Waxman or Ted Kennedy.
How out of touch with the working folks of Mississippi is Roger Wicker? Just last year he voted against the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which raised the minimum wage from $5.15to $7.25. With the large number of working poor in Mississippi, you would think Roger would vote in the best interests of his constituency. Nope. Roger voted for the K Street lobbyists and the money hungry corporations who think it fair to pay somebody for a 40 hour week and still leave them well below the poverty line. Their god is the free market and they don't care who gets sacrificed at the alter of unrestrained capitalism. Survival of the fittest.
Let's keep Roger in North Mississippi. As of a month ago, Wicker had raised 3 million dollars to Musgrove's half of a million. Ronnie is going to need our help.
Friday, May 16, 2008
We at Cotton Mouth must disagree with the selection of The Natchez Blog to represent Mississippi's blogging community in Denver. We like and respect Casey Ann who in addition to writing there has posted on Cotton Mouth, but her blog should not have been selected over Cotton Mouth.
Cotton Mouth completed all required web forms and asked questions (which were answered) to make sure we did everything right.
Cotton Mouth has been the only progressive political blog covering Mississippi's politics at the federal, state and local levels since it started May of 2007. It had more posts than any other progressive Mississippi political blog and had far more original content than any other Mississippi political blog. That content included original reporting on events, analysis, aggregation, original video, exclusive candidate authored posts and a solid and consistent defense of the Democratic Party of Mississippi.
Here's an original post by new Representative Travis Childers MS-01.
More examples of all can be easily found.
We've had 33 posts so far THIS WEEK. The Natchez blog has had 24 posts so far THIS YEAR.
We are the only Mississippi blog that is a member of the Liberal Blog Advertising Network and are considered the authority on Mississippi state politics by major blogs like MyDD, OpenLeft, and SwingStateProject.
We've been linked to by multiple newspaper blogs in Mississippi and by blogs around the country for our work. Several prominent opinion writers have admitted that they check our blog regularly including Sid Salter who's the most syndicated in Mississippi.
Democrats or their staffs who have personally thanked Cotton Mouth in the past include Congressmen Thompson (MS-02) and Childers (MS-01), Attorney General Jim Hood, Ronnie Musgrove and most of the Democratic nominees from 2007 state elections.
As we move forward towards November I believe that it is important for the blog that best assists Travis Childers win re-election to the house and Ronnie Musgrove beat interim Senator Roger Wicker to be given the best platform among Democrats.
We've done extensive work to help both including helping to get their messages out and actively combating attacks on them. We're the only Mississippi blog that has raised money for them. We are THE ONLY voice consistently doing so and their success is at least partially reliant on having strong blog support. The blog chosen for the pool has helped neither.
Here are the requirements as set out by the DNCC:
the applicant’s blog must have been in existence six months prior to requesting credentials and have at least 120 politically related blog posts. Bloggers must submit their daily audience and list their authority based on Technorati stats. Bloggers may also provide examples of posts that make their blog stand out as an effective online organizing tool and/or agent of change.
We believe it is clear that Cotton Mouth is the strongest candidate for the position on these requirements and merits and should have been an easy decision.
Again I would like to point out that we do not hold any ill will toward Casey Ann, but I think she'd agree that Cotton Mouth would be the choice on the merits.
We've been in contact with people who have told us that we were considered for the credential, but were vetoed by someone in Mississippi's Democratic Party. We are attempting to find out who that person is and why they felt we should not represent Mississippi. Any assistance in the matter would be greatly appreciated.
Here's the video of the endorsement. It was probably up the other day when I said I couldn't find it, but here it is nonetheless. The crowd goes crazy for about 90 seconds for Edwards.
Their "endorsement" photo is still on the front page of the website.
Howard Dean may end up being the biggest hero of them all when this current Democratic takeover is looked back on a few years removed.
Democratic insiders are giving much of the credit for the party's three high-profile victories in conservative congressional districts this year to Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Dean's decision to implement a 50-state strategy, invest staff and money across the country, and compete with the Republicans even in GOP strongholds now looks much smarter than it did a couple of years ago. "He was scorned inside Washington, but he was right," says a party veteran with close ties to the DNC.
Sound familiar? If you watch TV, and you saw an ad for a prescription anti-depressant drug Effexor, you may have in fact heard this slogan before.
It was first discovered by a blogger in Minnesota, but here's what Jason Linkins from The Huffington Post had to say about the drug's (and GOP's) side effects.
Effexor, also known as Venlafaxine, is approved for the treatment "of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in adults." Its common side effects are very much in keeping with the world the House Republicans have striven to build: nausea, apathy, constipation, fatigue, vertigo, sexual dysfunction, sweating, memory loss, and - and I swear I am not making this up - "electric shock-like sensations also called 'brain zaps.'"
Its less common side effects are equally awesome in their appropriateness.
And when the Food And Drug Administration reviewed the ad copy that included the
tagline, "The change you deserve," it took issue with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures Effexor, saying that the company made "unsubstantiated superiority claims." Sounds like the GOP have picked an ironically accurate tagline for their efforts!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
After Schaffer's "Mt. Macaca" Moment, Democrats Send GOP Candidate A Geography Quiz
Matthew Miller, DSCC
In an event that is already being dubbed his “Mt. Macaca moment,” Bob Schaffer launched his first TV commercial of the 2008 campaign yesterday, claiming in it that “Colorado is my life.” Odd, then, that Schaffer’s commercial highlights a mountain…in Alaska. (Or at least it did before Schaffer’s campaign manager told the Denver Post that “the ad would be pulled and re-edited with Colorado mountains.”)
Schaffer’s had a few other geography-related ‘oops’ so the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee put together some practice questions for the next time he has a geography quiz – or a Senate campaign.
1. In a TV commercial where you talk about proposing to your wife on Pikes Peak, what mountain should you show in the background?
a. Pikes Peak in Colorado
b. Mt. McKinley in Alaska
Correct Answer: a. But Schaffer’s commercial features shots of the famous Alaskan mountain. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich’s spokeswoman commented: "While Alaskans can understand why Bob Schaffer would promote our beautiful mountain, I hope he doesn’t expect Alaska to cede North America’s highest peak to the State of Colorado."
2. Where is your favorite place to go for outdoor sports?
a. Skiing at Mary Jane
b. Hiking in the Great Sand Dunes
c. Climbing in Eldorado Canyon
d. Fly Fishing in the Fryingpan River
e. Parasailing in the Mariana Islands while on a “fact-finding” trip – paid for by a Jack Abramoff front group, of course.
Correct Answer: Coloradans would probably accept a, b, c or d. But Schaffer seems to prefer the last option, as the Denver Post reported in several front page stories.
3. If you’re a Congressman elected to represent Colorado’s 4th district, what part of the world should you accomplish the most for?
a. The Eastern Plains of Colorado
Correct Answer: a. But Schaffer once bragged to the Denver Post that, “I’ve accomplished more in that country [Ukraine] with less effort than I have in my own district.” [Denver Post, 12/15/02]
4. Just to cover all the bases…where is Colorado?
Hopefully Bob Schaffer can at least get the last one right.
Another dynamic: a possible record Democratic turnout Nov. 4 if Barack Obama is the first black party nominee.What do you guys think?
Will Mississippi remain Republican in presidential voting, as it has every cycle since Jimmy Carter in 1976? Will a Davis-Childers rematch for the full term change in outcome? Former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove will also face Wicker on Nov. 4 to fill Lott's term, which ends in 2012.
Can the Republicans' presumptive presidential nominee John McCain (with Mississippi roots) get voters to the polls Nov. 4?
Or will Wicker be going home to Tupelo, and Davis lose again, with Musgrove and Childers riding the swell of "change," if Mississippi Republicans stay home?
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joe Biden, D-Delaware, called President Bush’s comments accusing Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats of wanting to appease terrorists "bullshit” and said if the president disagrees so strongly with the idea of talking to Iran then he needs to fire his secretaries of State and Defense, both of whom Biden said have pushed to sit down with the Iranians.
“This is bullshit. This is malarkey. This is outrageous. Outrageous for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, sit in the Knesset…and make this kind of ridiculous statement,” Biden said angrily in a brief interview just off the Senate floor.
“He’s the guy who’s weakened us. He’s the guy that’s increased the number of terrorists in the world. His policies have produced this vulnerability the United States has. His intelligence community pointed that out not me. The NIE has pointed that out and what are you talking about, is he going to fire Condi Rice? Condi Rice has
talked about the need to sit down. So his first two appeasers are Rice and Gates. I hope he comes home and does something.”
He quoted Gates saying Wednesday that we “need to figure out a way to develop some leverage and then sit down and talk with them.”
Also, Obama's home page has a great image of Obama and Edwards- very presidential/vice-presidential.
Justice Chuck Easley, re-entered the District 3, Place 2 race after the media released that he had dropped out and Chandler would take that position, un-opposed.
That left Easley in District 3, Place 1 & Place 2. According to sources, Easley dropped out of Place 1 yesterday. The Secretary of State website has not been updated to reflect this, though they did send out a release.
Glad to know Justice Easley holds the Mississippi Supreme Court in high standards, where such political games are welcome.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
But Mr. McCain’s advisers said the Mississippi race underlined his intention to distance himself as much as possible from Congressional Republicans. Mr. McCain has already been openly critical of some of President Bush’s strategies.OK, so McCain is going to distance himself from Bush and the Republicans in Congress? That sounds as lonely as the Maytag repairman, and achievable as perpetual motion. Do you think for one minute the DNC or Barack Obama is going to let him get too far from Bush? He has already bought into the big two, the Bush tax cuts and the endless war in Iraq. The American public will see the truth...
The level of distress was evident in remarks by senior party officials throughout the day.
And here is one while our people suffered during Katrina. This picture shot on 8/29/05.
Republican Representative Tom Davis of Virgina had this to say,
“They are canaries in the coal mine, warning of far greater losses in the fall, if steps are not taken to remedy the current climate,” Mr. Davis said in a memorandum. “The political atmosphere facing House Republicans this November is the worst since Watergate and is far more toxic than it was in 2006.”They might seriously need to bolt the upstairs windows down at the NRCC, RNC, and NRSC to prevent a tragedy.
1. Our number one biggest job heading to November is to register voters. We need to have voter registration drives in every county. This is crucial in building our new majority.
2. The race-baiting, scary liberal, the other guy is Satan bit came up dry this time, thank God. People are starting to figure out this small government, no health care, endless war, tax cuts for the wealthy style of government is not in their best interest.
3. With that said, yes the geography worked in our favor this time. But the Republicans are stuck with Greg Davis for November. That means it will be 2010 before they can ditch Davis and come back the eastern part of the state to counter Childers. By then Travis will have the all-powerful role of incumbency. As long as we, as in Democrats, don't drop the ball like the Republicans did, we will be fine.
4. Barack Obama can make Mississippi competitive in November. He likely won't win, but I bet the GOP and it minions drop way more cash here than they would prefer. This will be repeated all over the South. Obama will win at least 2 states in Dixie, probably 3.
5. Ronnie Musgrove can win. I would put it at 50-50, except for his fundraising disadvantage. I have started a fundraising page for Ronnie that you will see plenty of soon. I would think the DSCC will take note of what happened to their friends at the DCCC, when the DCCC rolled a little money behind a solid Mississippi Democrat and came up a winner.
6. Dear Republicans:
Updated: Post of year by James at Swing State Project.
At least he didn't say "hurricane":
"No one could have imagined the tsunami that just crashed on Republicans in Mississippi," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in an interview after the victory. "There is no district that is safe for Republican candidates."
Wicker, who in the fall faces his own election for the remainder of Lott's term, said that the race turned on "voter fatigue" from the heated presidential campaigns as well as a complicated ballot system that has produced four different races for the seat in the past two months, including primary contests for the general election to be held in November. "It's just very difficult to get people excited," he said.And for anybody who's in the mood to just wallow around in it, here's an image of the front page of this morning's print edition. Check the top left.
Watch your back, Roger. Ronnie's comin'.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), issued a somber and self-reflective statement following the loss, saying Republicans were “disappointed” and that they need to prepare to run against Democrats campaigning as conservatives.
“Though the Democrats’ task will be more difficult in a November election, the fact is they have pulled off two special election victories with this strategy” in Louisiana and Mississippi “and it should be a concern to all Republicans,” Cole said.
Cole added that “the political environment is such that voters remain pessimistic about the direction of the country and the Republican Party in general. Therefore, Republicans must undertake bold efforts to define a forward-looking agenda that offers the kind of positive change voters are looking for. This is something we can do in cooperation with our presidential nominee, but time is short.”
The Jackson based Clarion Ledger, boasting the states largest circulation, had a few things of note in their wrap up of the MS-01 race.
Travis Childers said:
"What made the difference is the fact that we wanted this to be a local race. So many people tried to nationalize it. This was a local race about 24 counties in Mississippi."Terry Cassereino said:
Childers' victory "changes the dynamics going into the fall elections," said his campaign press secretary, Terry Cassreino, who also is spokesman for the Mississippi Democratic Party. "Democrats weren't supposed to win this seat."And if you think the GOP is done with nasty politics in MS-01, just wait until November...
Davis, 42, said, "I think when he goes to Washington, we'll know where he stands versus what he says."We have a very good shot at winning with Musgrove in November, and holding on the seat just won by Childers. The voters of MS-01 are going to respect Travis, and he will keep their vote. We must work on registering new voters before November. Change is in the air.
"We may have lost the battle but we haven't lost the war," he added. "We're not known for giving up and we don't intend to give up on the November race."
Marty Wiseman, director of the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University, said, "It's only the beginning, not the end. The Republicans will try viciously to hold onto that seat or reclaim it."
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
UPDATE: Speaker Pelosi's statement:
"On behalf of the Democratic Caucus, I welcome Congressman-elect Travis Childers to the House of Representatives and congratulate him on his spectacular victory."
As I tell every new Member of Congress, 'your title Representative is your job description.' Travis Childers earned the votes of the people of Mississippi's First Congressional District because he reflects their values and shares their hopes and dreams for the future."
Congressman-elect Childers' message of positive change and bipartisan progress to create jobs, lower gas prices, and improve access to quality health care resonated in Mississippi, just as our candidates' messages did in Illinois and Louisiana in two recent special elections. For the third time this year, Democrats have turned a red seat to blue, provingthat Americans across our country want real solutions and reject Republicans' misleading and negative attacks. For the first time in more than 30 years, Democrats have won three special elections in Republican seats in one cycle."
I look forward to welcoming Congressman-elect Childers and his family to the Capitol and to swearing in the newest Member of the New Direction Congress."
DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen released the following statement on Travis Childers' victory in the special election runoff in Mississippi's 1st Congressional District. With tonight's win, the Democratic majority in Congress has expanded to 236-199.
"Congratulations to Travis Childers on his stunning victory. His victory has sent a political thunderbolt across America tonight. It is yet another rejection of the House Republican agenda, the Bush Administration's misguided policies, and John McCain's campaign for a third Bush term.
"For the first time in more than 30 years the Democratic Party has picked up three Republican seats in special elections in one cycle. Republicans and their outside groups pulled out all the stops in an attempt to nationalize a congressional race and distract voters away from their own candidates' failure to stand up for middle class families. The NRCC broke the bank and spent nearly 20 percent of their cash on hand on a ruby red district. Travis's victory proves that a Democrat who puts the economy, health care, and homegrown values front and center can win anywhere in America. After three consecutive Special Election defeats in districts President Bush twice won easily, it is abundantly clear the American people have turned their back and shut the door on the special interest driven agenda of the Republican Party. There is no district that is safe for Republican candidates because President Bush's failed policies have hurt every community in America.
"Travis will be a tremendous asset to our Democratic Caucus and a powerful voice in the fight to strengthen our economy, improve education, and make health care more accessible and affordable for America's struggling middle class families."
Question: Does Travis Childers Have a Chance?
Someone over at DailyKos and our friends at Cottonmouth are really trying to sell a bill of goods that says Travis Childers has a chance in NE MS. They forget one important fact; Haley Barbour is the Governor of Mississippi, he made the Senate appointment and I hardly doubt that our good Governor would stand by and not put the full efforts of the MS GOP towards retaining this seat.
Plus everyone already knows that Travis Childers is a shady fellow, just look at who he hangs out with, using his office to make sweet-heart land deals. This is a very well known fact in Prentiss County.
In a year that might be good for Democrats nationwide, they better look somewhere else than here in Mississippi. We think Greg Davis has a pretty good shot at taking the election on the first ballot April 22nd.
ROM, says on their website that they are "96.8% correct on Mississippi Politics so far!!"
We here at Cotton Mouth are curious to what their new percentage is going to be?
Live results here:
County by county results here:
2008 SPECIAL ELECTION RUNOFF
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE 1ST DISTRICT
CHILDERS (D) 57,276 - 54%
DAVIS (R) 49,314 - 46%
(462 of 462 precints reporting)
1. Lee County at +800 childers, we got +1,600 last time, 8 precints of 42 left in Lee
2. 38/38 of Desoto is in now, Lee still 42/42, Prentiss 0/15
3. Childers in comparison to 4/22 picked up 500 in Chickasaw, 400 in Yalobusha
4. Union and Webster a wash
5. Lafayette +450, Panola +700 with one precint left
6. Childers wins Lee by 1,800 , a little more than last time
7. Counties left to report: Prentiss, Calhoun, Clay, Tate, Itawamba, Pontotoc
9. Picked up 200 in Alcorn
10. Desoto hits, now 38/38, we are gonna win this thing, yehaaaaw!!
11. Prentiss only 3/15 in
12. Per MSNBC AP calls race for Childers
13. Final Total, Childers wins by nearly 8,000 votes.
Mississippi Secratary of State's website has the official SOS returns for the April 22 election
2008 Race Tracker has district informationSwing State Project has two very cool charts with the county by county results from the last go around.
Live Blogging the Results: ( I will add more as I learn of them)
Swing State Project
Democratic Convention Watch
Official Results: (will update with specific links as they come available)
Daily Journal election results page
District Map (Color Coded from April 22 results)
Blue - Travis Childers
Red - Greg Davis
Links to today's news articles on MS-01
TPM: All Eyes On Mississippi House Race Tonight
Commercial Dispatch: Voters don mud boots, head to polls
Daily Journal: Reaffirms endorsement
WSJ: A House Race Holds Clues for GOP
Monday, May 12, 2008
Davis told several hundred at the Civic Center rally, "Thanks for being here on the eve of the historic election. Voters have a choice. They can vote for my opponent's party that has the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and John Kerry, all liberals with liberal ideas..."You know, it is not like the last eight years of Republican rule have been a bed of roses there Greg. The man you brought in to campaign for you today is a principal architect of the failed policies of the current administration. I don't think people are too scared about Pelosi or Obama, they just don't want Dick Cheney or any his cronies anywhere near Washington. Today the GOP will learn a painful lesson. The days of the politics of fear and division are drawing to a thankful close in Mississippi.
Despite the onslaught of spending, knowledgeable sources on both sides of the aisle insist little has changed in the last 21 days. Childers is believed to have a mid single digit lead over Davis with Republican strategists turning pessimistic about their chances in the last 48 hours or so.If you are in north Mississippi, please go vote tomorrow and take someone with you, unless they are voting for Davis of course. The Republican strategy appears to be to bring in all their guns to get their vote out, and make the race so ugly that it repels a large turnout. Don't be complacent or fooled, go vote!
UPDATE: The NRCC has fired $4000 a day for a daily tracking poll for the last two weeks, including today. Our friend Mitch at the Thorn Papers has been talking to little Republican birdies about said polls.
A little bird just informed me that the Republicans' own internal polls are showing Childers up five.