Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Barbour in Europe

WAPT has reported that the taxpayers are footing the bill for Barbour's trip to Europe over the next two weeks.

JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi taxpayers are footing the majority of the bill for Gov. Haley Barbour’s two-week European trip, officials said.

Barbour was in Dublin, Ireland, on Tuesday where he was honored by the Trinity College University Philosophical Society for his role in Mississippi’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Barbour is also scheduled to meet with executives in Germany and Spain to discuss the possibility of their companies’ doing business in Mississippi.

Pete Smith, the governor's spokesman, couldn’t say on Tuesday how much the trip is costing taxpayers, because the total won’t be known until Barbour returns from overseas.

"Even in a time of national and international economic uncertainty, it is important that we continue to explore potential business opportunities and build relationships with European companies," Barbour said. "Mississippi is pro-business and pro-jobs, and has a great story to tell."

Barbour left for the two-week trip this past Saturday.

Now, before someone gets all upset and starts posting that he's creating jobs for Mississippi, let me say that I have no problem with the state paying for an economic development trip, if that is the legitimate reason (though I hope someone reviews the receipts).

Why I think this post is interesting is because of all the speculation of what Barbour may do in 2012, especially since The Washington Post blog last Friday put Barbour on the top 10 list of Republicans to watch. (Click here for FOLO's coverage of the post.)

A potential 2012 presidential contender visiting foreign dignitaries. Coincidence... I think not.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The tobacco tax that could

As the 2009 Legislative Session approaches, it looks like we'll have another go at the tobacco tax.

In an AP article today:

Two businessmen are petitioning to let Mississippi voters decide whether to increase the state tobacco tax and designate the revenue for Medicaid.

Clarksdale attorney and restaurateur Bill Luckett and Jackson advertising consultant Rory Reardon filed an initiative Thursday in the secretary of state’s office. They have a year to gather about 90,000 signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

And, somewhat surprising, Barbour is not completely opposed to the idea of raising the tobacco tax. Don't get too excited, though. His proposal is so low, the whole thing will inevitably get bogged down, and the King of Tobacco could still come out looking good to his tobacco buddies after all.

Gov. Haley Barbour said this week that he’ll ask the 2009 Legislature to increase the cigarette excise tax, which is now 18 cents a pack. Barbour proposes adding 24 cents a pack on premium brands and 43 cents on off-brands.

I guess off-brand folks don't hire big-time DC lobbyists.

If we do have a ballot measure, which would be preferrable over whatever plan Barbour devises for his buddies, it will be interesting to see what numbers the legislature comes up with, and how much money will be poured into the state on such a measure.

Governor Bryant?

The Sun Herald reported today that Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant is considering a run for governor in 2011. (Unless Barbour changes the Mississippi Constitution, this is his last term.)

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant told the Sun Herald Thursday he is mulling a run for governor, the same day he held a fundraiser to build his war chest for future campaigns.

Bryant said he had not made any firm decision yet about whether to seek re-election as lieutenant governor or to run for governor, but he was certainly considering seeking higher office.

He said keeping revenue in his political account is vital, so Bryant was to hold a fundraiser at a Biloxi home Thursday where attendees would pay $250 a couple, he said. The funds could be used for either his reelection or, if he so chooses, a bid to become governor when Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, an ally of Bryant's, finishes his last term, which would officially end in early 2012 following the 2011 elections.

"I haven't made that decision yet," Bryant said. "The one thing you never try to do is look three years into the future and decide but the one thing I do know is whether I am running for re-election or decide to run for governor it is going to take a lot of money to do so. I don't like to try to wait until the last minute."

We have all been speculating on what he might do in 2011, so it's not surprising to see his comments.

Several employees of the state auditor's office (former and current) have made rumblings about the mess Bryant made while auditor. It will be interesting to see if Pickering can clean up the mess before 2011 since it will come back to haunt Bryant if he runs for governor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Sorry guys I will be back to posting real soon. I am in the middle of a job change and have a lot more on my plate than I can handle. I have a demanding job and do this at night for the love of politics and writing. I just want to say that this is just a temporary interruption. I will try and get some good stuff up later tonight or tomorrow. Lord knows I have a ton of thoughts brewing in my head that need to get some air time

Friday, November 7, 2008

Not so proud moment for Mississippi

According to WAPT, two students were kicked off a public school bus for saying Senator Barack Obama's name. In a separate incident, a girls' basketball coach (at a public school) threatened to suspend any student from the team who mention Senator Obama's name.

Here's a link to the web-story:

I had heard some unconfirmed rumors of this type of activity occurring in some workplaces, but I am definitely shocked to hear this. Times are changing in the world, and it makes me very sad to hear people clinging to such hatred in the year 2008. I'm not naive enough to think racism doesn't exist everywhere - I know it does. However, we are obviously in the limelight on such issues, and I hope we can all grow and learn from this experience of having elected the first African American president.

As Mississippians, we will never be better than the bottom (where we remain on many lists such as health care and education) unless we stop hating people because they do not look like us or they do not think like us.

America took a giant leap forward last Tuesday, but Mississippi refuses to budge.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Senate race to 60 update (Updated x3)

The Democrats came into tonight sitting on 50 seats plus LIEberman for a total of 51 in the caucus. There were about a dozen or so contested races with only one being a Democratic seat. Here is what has happened so far with a running tally:

NC - Hagan (d) defeats Dole (r-inc) - Dem total 51 + LIEberman
VA - Warner (d) defeats Gilmore (r) - Dem total 52 + LIEberman
NH - Shaheen (d) defeats Sununu (r-inc) - Dem total 53 + LIEberman
GA - Chambliss (r-inc) and Martin (d) are headed to a runoff!! (UPDATED)
KY - McConnell (r-inc) defeats Lunsford (d) - Dem total 53 + LIEberman
MS - Wicker (r) defeats Musgrove (d) - Dem total 53 + LIEberman
LA - Landrieu (d-inc) defeats Kennedy (r) - Dem total 53 + LIEberman
CO - Udall (d) defeats Schaffer (r) - Dem total 54 + LIEberman
NM - Udall (d) defeats Pearce (r) - Dem total 55 + LIEberman
OR - Merkley (d) defeats Smith (r-inc) - Dem total 56+ LIEberman

Minnesota is too close to call in the Franken vs. Coleman race. We still are waiting on Oregon and Alaska. Sixty looks out of reach, but President-elect Obama will have a large Democratic majority in Congress to work with.

UPDATED: Jim Martin has knocked Saxby Chambliss under the 50% mark which requires a runoff in the state of Georgia. In Minnesota Norm Coleman is hanging on to a 600 voted lead, with almost all of the returns in. A recount could be called. In Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley trails by around 10,000 votes with 73% reporting. The Portland area still has a lot to be counted. Convicted felon Ted Stevens looks like he will retain his seat over challenger Mark Begich.

UPDATEDx2: Not so fast on the Alaska call. Apparently there are 60,000 absentee ballots yet to be counted and they are breaking by a good margin for Begich. In Minnesota there is very good chance Franken wins the recount which is done by hand. The first count is done by optical scanners looking for bubbled in marks. Many first time voters (likely Dem) might just mark an x or something. The state of MN estimates 2 per thousand missed ballots. At 3,000,000 ballots, 500 votes looks pretty likely. In Oregon Merkley has taken a 7,000 vote lead with 79% reporting. The remaining ballots are from heavy Democratic districts. We will pick up a seat in Oregon.

UPDATEDx3: Oregon has gone the way of change with Jeff Merkley defeating incumbent Gordon Smith. Minnesota is down to 250 votes and a recount is coming.

Travis Childers rolls

The voters of north Mississippi had no problems reelecting Travis Childers to stay in Washington to continue his hard work. There was whispers this past month that Greg Davis had been able to close the gap. Certainly many Childers backers were concerned about the report of over 10,000 new voters registered in Desoto county. No worries, Travis coasted to a resounding 54-44 win over the Republican challenger.

Childers understands Mississippi politics better than any Democrat to run for state office in a long time. He might be conservative on some social issues but he is a Democrat to the bone on the issues Democrats won on for years in the South like economic fairness. Other aspiring Mississippi Dems should look hard at the success Travis had running on meat and potato economic populism. Leave the gay bashing and GOP lite stuff alone and run as a Democrat. State your socially conservative positions if need be, but don't jump and down about them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama wins big, Musgrove looking bleak

As expected Barack Obama will become the 44th president of the United States. Obama carried all of the Kerry states along with Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Florida, and Colorado so far. Mississippi took 2 hours for the networks to call but sits at 57-42 as of this time. Unfortunately Ronnie Musgrove looks to be in a bind against Roger Wicker, trailing by a 55-45 margin with over 60% reporting.

I will give a detailed report of the Senate races as well as more on the Obama romp.

Election night update

Kay Hagan is a winner in North Carolina.

Pennsylvania was called at poll closing. McCain has to win Virginia to have any chance.

Mississippi has been listed as too early to call by MSNBC.

Georgia went McCain, the Senate race is too close to call.

Virginia and North Carolina are too close to call.

Florida, Ohio, and Indiana look promising for Obama.

Mitch McConnell is the fight of his life in Kentucky.

Early races to watch

Here is what I am watching for at the 6:00 release. The road to change starts now.

President: Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana, Florida, Ohio

Senate: Shaheen (NH), Hagan (NC), Martin (GA), Warner (VA), Lunsford (KY)

Election Protection

The Protect the Vote Coalition will have live blogging all day long on their site

They are posting election issues that have come into the call center. If you have any issues voting, or if you hear of anyone with any issues, tell them to call 1-888-601-VOTE!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Barack Obama radio ad for Musgrove

Hat tip to the boys at TPM for this one...

TPM: Wicker denies distributing sample ballot implying that he is a Democrat UPDATED

First we got the radio ads targeted at the black community implying that Musgrove is anti-Obama. Now there is this as reported by Talking Points Memo.

Check this out. The campaign of Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), who is running in a special election that won't have party affiliation listed on the ballot, is being accused by the Dems of circulating this misleading sample ballot that asks recipients to vote for the Democratic candidates in every race -- except his own:

The Wicker campaign denied any involvement.

UPDATED: This is the exact sample ballot prepared by the local Dems. Only this one has been doctored to show Roger Wicker as the Democrat.

Fake Robocalls

This was on Y'All Politics today- very disturbing!

One of the YP editorial staff received a robocall this evening from 866-849-3243 on behalf of MSSC candidate Jim Kitchens. The young man in the voiceover also urged support for Barack Obama. We are hoping to get a recording and get this out there.As the google search linked above has shown, this outfit is a pretty notorious group. There have been a rash of complaints on calls made from that number. We will put more out there if we have it.

Further down, you'll notice a comment from Sam Hall- campaign manager for the Kitchens campaign.

Again. This ain’t our call. This is the other side targeting white, Republican households and trying to play divisive politics.

Of course, I’m sure with all his integrity, Jim Smith will step up really soon and denounce these calls just like he did the push polling that restarted last week. And the way he did those mail outs that distorted the truth about a 14-year-old boy who was persecuted.

Oh. Wait. He never has.

They will continue to try and use race to divide people.

Sam Hall Campaign Manager Kitchens for Justice

Turnout expected to be huge tomorrow

By all indications the polls will be overflowing with voters tomorrow. The Daily Journal reported yesterday that officials in northeast Mississippi are expecting a record turnout. Absentee ballot totals have already surpassed four years ago in most if not all counties.

"I feel like we'll have a huge turnout," said Lee County Circuit Clerk Joyce Loftin. "I know we ordered more ballots than ever - right at 100 percent."
Roughly 1.1 million Mississippians voted in the 2004 election. Over 190,000 new voters have been added to the rolls this year alone. Be prepared to wait it out in long lines.

Voters should expect longer-than-usual lines at polling precincts throughout the area but otherwise will have a normal experience, according to most circuit clerks across the district.
What races are you excited about?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Clarion Ledger Endorses Obama

The Clarion-Ledger endorsed Obama this morning.

I was hoping for this, and I thought there was a chance this may occur, but never did I think it would actually happen. I'm speechless.

Obama Choice for Future
Mississippians will find a tough choice in who to vote for in the presidential race on Tuesday with practically a native son in the race. But the choice must be Sen. Barack Obama.

Republican Sen. John McCain has deep roots in Mississippi - a fact that many Mississippians consider a valuable quality. The first John Sidney McCain (Sen. McCain's great grandfather) served as sheriff of Carroll County and later on the county board of supervisors. That McCain's brother was a major general in the U. S. Army. Camp McCain, the Mississippi National Guard training site in Grenada County, is named for him.

So, the big exit sign on I-55 for Camp McCain - not to mention the legions of soldiers who have been assigned there - serves as a reminder of the McCain-Mississippi

Nor is it lost on Mississippians that the U.S. senator from Arizona who is the Republican nominee for president served with distinction in the military - another consideration many Mississippians find important in an elected official.

No one should try to - or can - diminish the sacrifice John McCain made to America through his Vietnam War service, and the terrible price he paid while imprisoned as a POW.

McCain shall always remain a hero and honored veteran who demonstrably loves his country and has served above and beyond the call of duty in time of peace and in time in war, as a military man and as a civilian public servant.

But, with all this said, that is the past and this is the present. This election is precisely not about the past but about the future and who best should be leading the country into it.

In those matters, Sen. Obama outshines McCain, foremost on policies.

America has spent the past eight years living under the mantra "might makes right," whether military or economic, and the public has reaped a grim reward.

Obama promises to shift the focus of the government to domestic needs.

While both candidates promise tax cuts, Obama's is aimed at middle-class Americans; in health care, Obama's stance is more inclusive. He promises a shift toward helping more people in hard times that require government help.

In foreign affairs, McCain again sides with Bush on Iraq, the major issue facing America militarily (with huge economic impact, as well). Obama promises to shift the emphasis back to where it belongs: bringing those who attacked America on 9-11 to justice, not nation-building.

This country is facing tough times, and those who were elected to lead us in Washington have not been listening to those who elected them. Those who adhere to the party line, and doing the same old things cannot be rewarded. Americans want demonstrable change.

Alas, for all his "straight talk" about change, McCain is just more of the same.
The "straight talk" about McCain? If he were the John McCain of 2000 who ran against George Bush, Obama wouldn't even rate with most Americans.

If he ran the campaign that he had run against Bush, bringing moderate Republicans, independents and conservative Democrats together, with the vast middle of America drawn in by admiring his honesty, he would be attractive today.

But somehow, McCain's "straight talk" express got derailed. He adopted the negative, divisive Bush tactics and, despite protesting he's still a "maverick," cannot escape his
record of backing Bush policies "90 percent of the time," as he said himself, including the Iraq debacle.

McCain '08 is not the McCain of 2000.

In addition to his shift to becoming what he had opposed, McCain offers an uncertainty no one since then can ignore, the elephant in the room, his age: 72.

Some point to Ronald Reagan's age, but when Reagan was reelected at 73, he had already served four years, had remarkable stamina, and an administration set up in power.

If McCain is truly bringing change, he would have to start anew - or, failing that, continue with the Bush/GOP apparatus in place.

Even McCain jokes about his age. But it's no joke, particularly given his past

It's ironic that one voice that has spoken forthrightly to this in recent weeks is the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska's largest daily newspaper, which endorsed Obama, even though McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, is that state's governor.

Palin is "passionate, charismatic," but she is not "ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth," it said, concluding: "Picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time."

One might logically ask, if Palin is inexperienced, then what about Obama?

McCain has more experience than Obama in the Senate, more knowledge of foreign affairs and has military experience. But Obama, 47, offers the character and achievement of someone his age that is exemplary, including election to his state's legislature, election to the U.S. Senate, editor of the Harvard Law Review and professor of law at the University of Chicago. Few candidates for president have ever had his intellect and academic achievements.

But the American public doesn't always judge candidates on their paper accomplishments either - whether that's Andrew Jackson's roughhewn populism or Reagan's folksiness, or John F. Kennedy's charisma.

We gauge people not only by what they have done, but what we believe they will do, based on who they are and what they have achieved. Voters look for "it," an indefinable something that gives them hope, a thrill, a belief in America.

Obama offers that "something" - call it charm, charisma, a positive vision for the future, a voice for empowerment, a role model for youth - Obama has "it." That seems clear to the young and those who don't regularly engage in politics.

And he has "it," whatever "it" is, with a party machinery eager for change after eight years of corruption, division, war, greed and economic failure.

With the new old McCain, given his inability to distinguish himself from the worst of his party, his abysmal choice as a running mate, and his failure to motivate any but the most devout of his party, the choice is clear. For president, Barack Obama is
the best choice.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

CNN front page piece on MS-SEN race

The front page of CNN's website featured a picture of Ronnie Musgrove along with this leading story.


Despite some polling showing Republican Sen. Roger Wicker with a comfortable lead over former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, both campaigns agree the race is going to come down to every last vote.

"We have to run the race based on what we know," said Musgrove campaign spokesman Adam Bozzi. "What we know is that Mississippi [voters] in every region across the state are tired of the bad economy, tired of unemployment, and tired of the direction that Washington is headed in."

Phony calls going on?

This was posted on the Jackson Free Press website this afternoon.

ALERT: Young Voters, African Americans Getting Phony Calls

From the Mississippi Democratic Party/pass the word and let us know if you get any of these calls. Better yet, record them and send us the file:

It has come to our attention that phone calls (NOT ROBO-CALLS) are being made to newly registered voters. As far as we can tell they are targeting young people. A report came in this morning that a phone call was answered by a young, Jackson area man; the caller claimed to be from the Mississippi Democrati Party. The caller said that you MUST have a registration card with you when you vote. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. The MS Democratic Party is neither making these calls AND the information being passed IS NOT TRUE. Many people will not and have not received their cards. They should not be deterred from voting.

We need to inform the media and take action on this issue. This is an ELECTION PROTECTION issue and a serious violation of voters rights. PLEASE inform anyone and everyone you know not to take these calls and if they do to get the callers number and report immediately to Democratic Party HQ at 601 969 2913.

Please pass the information on ASAP.

Election Protection Press Conference tomorrow

PRESS ADVISORY: Protect the Vote 2008 Campaign Gears Up

On Friday, October 31st at 12:30 p.m., the Protect the Vote Campaign will gear up for Election Day with a press conference at the MS State Conference NAACP Office at 1072 J.R. Lynch Street in Jackson, aimed at highlighting the effort to assist voters. “Protect the Vote is about the people, and ensuring that every registered voter is able to cast their ballot,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President.

“Voting is a fundamental right. Mississippians should let nothing discourage them from making their votes count this Tuesday. If someone encounters a problem or just has a simple question, we can assist at 1-888-601-VOTE (8683), said Nsombi Lambright, Executive Director of MS ACLU. A live blog will be posted at detailing voting activities and issues as they are called in from across the state.

A staff of trained legal professionals is available to help with any Election Day issue. And if the problem can’t be resolved over the phone, over 200 legal volunteers are prepared to dispatch to help in person.

“On this Tuesday, remember to call 1-888-601-VOTE if you need help,” said Pam Johnson, Executive Director of the Mississippi Association for Justice. “Our legal volunteers are ready to help make democracy work in Mississippi.”

Protect the Vote is a nonpartisan initiative of the MS State Conference NAACP,
in partnership with the ACLU of MS, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Magnolia Bar Association, Mississippi Association for Justice, and the Mississippi Center for Justice.

WLOX pulls LEAA ads

As Folo posted earlier today, Supreme Court candidate Bubba Pierce was asked by the Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention for the help in ending the LEAA ads against Oliver Diaz.

As an update, we have been given word that WLOX has pulled the ads- permanently!

Pierce was also asked to stop the Mississippians for Economic Progress ads. Discussion of both ads and information from the panel is found in the Clarion-Ledger today.

Does anyone know if they wrote letters to Justice Lamar, Judge Chandler or Chief Justice Smith regarding the MFEP ads? I know they all had the same ads done on their behalf by MFEP.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama 30 minute TV ad... Rocks!!

I have to say "that one" hit it out of the park tonight with the 30 minute ad. Let's all do our part to make sure this man is the 44th president.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Very effective new DSCC Musgrove ad with fact sheet

First the new ad you have all already probably seen on your teevee...

Now the fact sheet that tells all you need to know...

Narrator: Sometimes, Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove may look alike... But there are some big differences.
Visual: There are big differences

Narrator: Roger Wicker supports sending your Social Security savings to Wall Street.
Visual: Wicker
Sending Social Security Savings to Wall Street
Get the facts at

Wicker Still Advocated Social Security Privatization in March 2008. In March 2008, Wicker “said he would back an independent commission to reform Social Security, saying there are ways for the program to get a better interest rate than the 2 percent returned by investing in the U.S. treasury. ‘I don’t like to say private investment,’ he said, ‘but individual accounts where the Social Security payer can get a better deal.’” [Enterprise-Journal, 3/25/08]

Wicker Voted Against Barring Social Security Dollars From Being Diverted to Create Private Accounts. In 2005, Wicker voted against a Democratic proposal that “said money from the Social Security trust fund should not be used to establish the private investment accounts Bush favors.” [Vote #78, 3/16/05; AP, 3/16/05]

Wicker Voted To Put Social Security At Risk Through Privatization. In 2001, Wicker voted in favor of privatizing Social Security by opposing an amendment prohibiting implementation of the final report of President Bush's Commission to Strengthen Social Security. The commission offered a bleak appraisal of a “broken” system, warning that deep benefit cuts, tax increases or “massive” federal debt are inevitable unless Congress allows the personal retirement accounts the White House favors. [Vote #273, 7/25/01; Washington Post, 7/20/01]

Wicker Was Sold On Bush’s Privatization Plan in ’05. Even before Bush visited Mississippi on his 2005 tour to sell his privatization plan, Wicker “said he already was sold on the idea of personal accounts and on the need to curb benefits for wealthier Americans. ‘We have a system that's going broke,’ Wicker said. ‘Everybody's benefits are going to be cut unless we fix the problem.’” [Gannett News Service, 4/30/05]

Wicker Cosponsored 2005 Bill to Create Private Accounts for Social Security. In 2005, Wicker cosponsored a bill to create private investment accounts for Social Security by taking the annual Social Security surplus to create the accounts. The Growing Real Ownership for Workers or GROW accounts would be created for workers who were under the age of 55 at the beginning of 2005, unless they don't participate. The accounts, which let workers put part of their payroll taxes into U.S. Treasury bonds that they would own, would end in 2017. [HR 3304, introduced 7/14/05; The Advocate, 7/27/05; Washington Times, 8/18/05]

Nonpartisan CBO Said Wicker-Backed GROW Accounts Would Cost More Than $1 Trillion. CBO said the plan to create voluntary individual “Growing Real Ownership for Workers” accounts out of the Social Security surplus would “increase federal outlays by more than $1 trillion” between 2007 and 2021. “Under H.R. 3304, the reduction in traditional retirement benefits would result in lower Social Security outlays from 2012 through 2052,” CBO found. “That would delay trust fund exhaustion, and the automatic benefit reductions that exhaustion entails, until 2063.” [National Journal’s CongressDaily, 9/15/05; CBO Report, 9/13/05]

Narrator: Musgrove will strengthen Social Security.
Visual: Musgrove Will Strengthen Social Security

Musgrove Spoke Out Against Wicker’s Privatization Plan. In a campaign press release, Musgrove stated “These selfish, greedy Wall Street tycoons have robbed us coming and going. They couldn't manage the money they bilked us out of in the first place and now they want us to spend hundreds of millions of dollars of our hard earned tax dollars to bail them out. Even worse, Roger Wicker and his special interest allies want these same institutions in control of our Social Security. The current chaos on Wall Street is bad enough. We don't need the people who drove the economy into the ground destroying Social Security too. This week it is clearer than ever. The special interest-Wicker plan to privatize Social Security would be devastating, and we would be left holding the bag.” [Musgrove Press Release, 9/17/08]

Musgrove: Move Past Partisan Bickering On Social Security. In an interview with the Jackson Free Press, Musgrove said “the partisan bickering stalls the process and keeps real issues left on the table…People know there are serious looming problems with Social Security and Medicare, and they know the partisan bickering is stalling any improvements.” [Jackson Free Press, 4/23/08]

Narrator: Wicker voted 13 times against the minimum wage.
Visual: Wicker
13 Votes Against the Minimum Wage

In 2007, Wicker voted against raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. Wrote the Louisville Courier-Journal, “the veto-proof vote by the House this week to boost the minimum wage – for the first time in a decade, from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 over two years – is a welcome move by the new Democratic leadership…After six years of one-party Republican rule that placed its highest priority on tax cuts and other benefits for the most affluent Americans, the Democrats' interest in the most struggling workers is refreshing.” Wicker voted against the wage increase. [Vote 18, 1/10/07; Louisville Courier Journal, 1/13/07]

In 2006, Wicker Twice Voted Against Raising Minimum Wage to $7.25. In Committee in 2006, Wicker voted twice against increasing the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour by 1/1/09. [CQ Committee Coverage, House Appropriations Committee Markup, 6/13/06; CQ Committee Coverage, House Appropriations Committee Markup, 6/20/06]

In 2000, Wicker voted against increasing the federal minimum wage by $1 over two years. According to the Chicago Sun Times, “The House voted 246-179 for a bipartisan amendment boosting the wage by $ 1 over two years -- a $ 2,000 raise for a full-time worker -- instead of a GOP plan for the same raise over three years.” Wicker voted against the wage increase. [Vote 43, 3/9/00; Chicago Sun Times, 3/10/00]

In 1996, Wicker twice voted against raising the minimum wage by 90 cents over two years. According to the Chicago Tribune, “By a 266-162 vote, the House passed an amendment to raise the minimum wage by 90 cents over two years, to $5.15 an hour.” According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Democrats and moderate Republicans pushed through the House today legislation increasing the minimum wage by 90 cents, thwarting attempts by the GOP leadership to exempt many businesses. The final vote was 281-144 on the package that would raise the current $ 4.25-an-hour minimum wage by 90 cents over the next 13 months.” Wicker voted against the wage increase. [Vote 192, 5/23/96; Vote 195, 5/23/96; Chicago Tribune, 5/24/96; Chicago Sun-Times, 5/23/96]

In 2006, Wicker Blocked Minimum Wage Vote Seven Times in Five Weeks. In June and July 2006, Wicker joined his Republican colleagues in blocking seven separate attempts to offer a minimum wage increase before the House of Representatives. [Vote #308, 6/22/06; Leadership Document, 6/22/06; Vote #313, 6/22/06; National Journal’s CongressDaily, 6/23/06; Vote #319, 6/27/06; Vote #353, 6/29/06; Vote #360, 7/11/06; Congressional Record, 7/11/06; Vote #364, 7/12/06; Hoyer Statement, 7/12/06; Vote #366, 7/12/06; Wall Street Journal, 7/13/06]

Wicker Said He Would Rather Cut Taxes Than Raise Minimum Wage, Even As He Acknowledged Wage Hike Would Help Millions. “A minimum wage hike would help about 3.7 million people,” Wicker said in 1996. “I would rather increase the take-home pay of 50 million people with a tax cut.” [Commercial Appeal, 5/12/96]

Narrator: Musgrove will increase it.
Visual: Musgrove Will Increase Minimum Wage

Musgrove: It’s Wrong Not To Vote To Help Workers Get Paid What They Deserve. In a speech announcing his candidacy, Musgrove said “Roger Wicker voted ten times against raising the minimum wage. He voted eight times against extending unemployment benefits or to help workers whose jobs were outsourced. And he voted for $40 billion in tax breaks for foreign corporations that ship jobs overseas. Roger Wicker will vote to spend money on a New York music hall, but he won’t vote to help Mississippi middle class workers keep their jobs, find a new job, or get paid what they deserve on the job. I think Mr. Wicker is wrong.” [Musgrove Campaign Announcement, 1/8/08]

Musgrove: Only Paycheck a Senator Should Raise Is Yours. Referring in a 2008 campaign ad to Roger Wicker’s votes to raise his own salary while opposing minimum wage hikes, Musgrove said, “the only paycheck your Senator should be focused on raising is yours.” [Musgrove Ad: “Where Did Our Jobs Go?“]

Musgrove Suggested He Would Counter Wicker on Minimum Wage Votes. At the 2008 state Democratic convention, Musgrove said, “When my opponent has voted…against raising the minimum wage, it’s time for Ronnie Musgrove to be in the United States Senate.” [Musgrove Convention Speech, 6/7/08]

Narrator: And Wicker supported tax breaks for CEOS
Visual: Wicker
Tax Breaks for CEOs and Oil Companies

Wicker Supported Bush’s 2004 Multitrillion-Dollar Tax Breaks for Wealthy. In 2004, Wicker supported Bush’s budget that permanently locked in multitrillion-dollar tax breaks that mostly benefit the nation’s wealthiest. According to the AFL-CIO, “To finance these taxes cuts for millionaires and billionaires, the Republican budget resolution—which mirrored Bush’s proposal—inflated the record-high $477 billion U.S. deficit and by $120 billion shortchanged or cut funds for the domestic programs working families need most—from job creation to health care, transportation and education. It also accelerated the repeal of the estate tax and made permanent tax cuts—such as the estate tax repeal, the capital gains and dividend rate cuts and the reduction in marginal rates—that provide huge benefits to families with the highest incomes.” [Vote #92, 3/25/04; 2004 AFL-CIO Scorecard]

Wicker Voted For $350 Billion Bush Tax Cut For The Rich in 2003. In 2003, Wicker voted for an irresponsible tax cut package that deepened the nation’s fiscal crisis and left middle-income households out in the cold. Some 53 percent of all U.S. households — or 74 million — will receive a tax cut of $100 or less in 2003 from the bill. Additionally, 36 percent of households — or 50 million — will receive no tax cut whatsoever in 2003, while tax filers who make $1 million or more per year will receive an average tax cut in 2003 of $93,500. [Vote #225, 5/23/03; Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, 5/28/03]

Wicker Voted For 2001 Bush Tax Cuts That Gave Most Benefits To The Rich. In 2001, Wicker voted for the final, $1.35 trillion tax cut package. Under the final agreement, the typical tax cut for the median income taxpayer would be $600 a year. For the 78 million taxpayers in the lowest 60 percent of the income scale, the tax cut would average $347 a year. In contrast, at the top of the income scale the average tax cut would be $53,000 annually--virtually identical to the $54,000 annual tax cut proposed by the President. As a result of the plan, after-tax income was estimated to rise about three times as much among the top one percent of families as among those in the middle class, and more than seven times faster among the top one percent of families than among the bottom 20 percent of families. [Vote #149, 5/26/01; Citizens for Tax Justice, 5/26/01; CBPP, 5/26/01]

> Sen. McCain Said 2001 Tax Cuts Benefited Wealthy “At the Expense of Middle-Class Americans.” Sen. John McCain, who voted against the 2001 Bush tax cuts, “said the measure cut tax rates for the wealthy ‘at the expense of middle-class Americans.’” [AP, 5/26/01]

> Bush Tax Cuts Shifted Tax Burden to the Middle Class. Reporting on a Congressional Budget Office Study in 2004, the Washington Post noted that “President Bush's tax cuts have shifted federal tax payments from the richest Americans to a wide swath of middle-class families.” The CBO report “found that the wealthiest 20 percent, whose incomes averaged $182,700 in 2001, saw their share of federal taxes drop from 64.4 percent of total tax payments in 2001 to 63.5 percent this year. The top 1 percent…saw their share fall to 20.1 percent of the total, from 22.2 percent.” On the other hand, “taxpayers with incomes from around $51,500 to around $75,600 saw their share of federal tax payments increase. Households earning around $75,600 saw their tax burden jump the most, from 18.7 percent of all taxes to 19.5 percent.” [Washington Post, 8/13/04]

Wicker Voted to Make the Bush Tax Cuts Permanent. In 2002, Wicker voted to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts, many of which were set to expire in 2010. This included the income tax rate cut, marriage penalty relief and the estate tax repeal. [Vote 103, 4/18/02]

Narrator: and Oil companies.
Visual: Wicker
Tax Breaks for CEOs and Oil Companies

Wicker Supported 1999 Tax Break Worth Over A Billion A Year For Big Oil. Wicker voted for the final 1999 GOP Tax package, which included a provision that would give oil companies a special tax benefit for their foreign operations. According to USA Today, “One of the biggest targeted breaks in the newly approved measure is for multinational oil companies, courtesy of Ways and Means Chairman Bill Archer, R-Texas. Archer pushed through a provision that would repeal rules limiting tax credits that oil and gas companies can claim from foreign operations. By 2009, the companies would save $ 1.2 billion a year.” According to the New York Times, the bill contained other measures beneficial to the oil industry as well, including allowing tax write-offs for wells that are “marginally productive.” Schaffer also voted for the initial House passage of the bill.[Vote 333, 7/22/99; Vote 379, 8/5/99; USA Today, 8/17/99; New York Times, 7/21/99]

> Additional Sourcing for “Tax Breaks”: According to the New York Times, “Mr. Archer, whose district is in Houston, put into the House bill several tax breaks for his constituents in the petroleum industry. One, for example, allows more favorable tax treatment for Americans who have income from foreign oil and gas. Another allows new write-offs for wells that are marginally productive.” [New York Times, 7/21/99]

> McCain Said Oil Companies Got $5 Billion In Tax Cuts For Their Efforts to Pass The Bill. According to the Durham Herald-Sun, Sen. John McCain “cited the influence of special interests on the passage of this summer's $792 billion tax bill. Had the president signed it, banks and securities firms, which spent $34.6 million in soft money contributions, would have received $30 billion in tax cuts, a good investment according to McCain. Similarly, restaurants and hotels spent $9.9 million and received $8.4 billion; oil and gas companies spent $14.3 million and got $5 billion; steel companies contributed $990,000 and got $187 million, McCain said.” [Durham Herald-Sun, 10/13/99]

Wicker Voted for 2001 Energy Bill With $13 Billion in Tax Breaks to Big Oil. Wicker voted for the 2001 House energy bill, which included $33.5 billion in tax breaks over 10 years. According to the New York Times, “The bulk of the credits and breaks -- $27 billion, according to government watchdog groups -- go to traditional energy producers, both to drill for more oil and gas, develop nuclear energy and produce cleaner coal.” The Orlando Sentinel reported that the House energy bill “would bestow $33.5 billion of tax breaks during 10 years, the bulk of it to encourage production of new energy supplies. They include: $13.3 billion for oil and gas companies.” [Vote 320, 8/1/01; New York Times, 8/2/01; Orlando Sentinel, 8/19/01]

Headline: “In the End, Energy Bill Fulfilled Most Industry Wishes.” According to the Washington Post, “By winning more than $ 30 billion in tax incentives” in the 2001 energy bill, “industry received much of what it wanted. But its success raised questions about how lawmakers and the administration plan to pay for it in a period of declining budget surpluses.” [Washington Post, 8/3/01]

Additional Sourcing for “Tax Breaks”:

> The Times-Picayune reported that the 2001 House energy bill included a number of stipulations that “were good news for the oil and gas industry, which could gain $10 billion worth of tax breaks and a two-year extension of royalty breaks for deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.” [Times-Picayune, 8/2/01]

> The Christian Science Monitor reported that the 2001 House energy bill “contained many of the most important provisions of the administration's original energy outline, including billions of dollars in tax breaks for petroleum producers.” [Christian Science Monitor, 8/3/01]

Wicker Voted for Final 2003 Energy Bill With $11.9 Billion for Oil and Gas Industries. In November 2003, Wicker voted for the final version of the 2003 energy bill. The bill provided an estimated $23 billion in tax breaks over 10 years, with $14.5 billion going to the coal, oil, natural gas industries. Specifically, CQ Monitor reported, “Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, said the tax breaks were expanded to satisfy demands from congressional backers of the oil and gas industry. He said the final version of the bill includes $11.9 billion in tax breaks for the industry.” [Vote 630, 11/18/03; Saint Paul Pioneer Press, 11/18/03; Wichita Eagle, 11/19/03; CQ Monitor, 11/18/03]

Wicker Voted For 2005 Energy Bill With $2.6 Billion in Tax Breaks For Big Oil And Gas Companies. Wicker voted to adopt the final 2005 Energy Bill, which provided for $14.6 billion in energy-related tax incentives, according to Congressional Quarterly Weekly. The tax package, “provides far less support for alternative energy and efficiency than many lawmakers had urged,” with 58% going to “traditional energy industries, including oil, natural gas, coal, electric utilities and nuclear power,” according to the Washington Post. Specifically, “the bill provides $2.6 billion in tax benefits for oil and gas production and refining.” [Vote 445, 7/28/05; Washington Post, 7/28/05; Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 7/29/05]

Additional Sourcing for $2.6 Billion:

> Discussing the 2005 energy bill, The Hill reported, “In total, the energy bill included $2.6 billion in oil and gas tax breaks.” [The Hill, 5/9/06]

> The AP reported, “the legislation would provide $14.5 billion in energy tax breaks, including $2.6 billion for oil and gas industries.” [Associated Press, 7/28/05]

Narrator: Musgrove says cut taxes for middle-class families.
Visual: Musgrove Cut Taxes for Middle-Class

Musgrove: Tax Less. In a speech announcing his candidacy for Senate, Musgrove said “We need a senator who will make the hard choices and the smart choices in the federal budget. And the way to put more money into the pockets of our people is to not take it out in the first place.” [Musgrove Campaign Announcement, 1/8/08]

Musgrove: Stand For Rights Of Taxpayers, Middle Class. In a speech announcing his candidacy for Senate, Musgrove said “I believe in rights of taxpayers, and my loyalties are to middle class families here at home in Mississippi.” [Musgrove Campaign Announcement, 1/8/08]

Narrator: The difference?
Visual: Musgrove
The Difference?
Narrator: Ronnie Musgrove is on your side.
Visual: Musgrove On Your Side

Travis Childers goes to work for Mississippi

Travis Childers is a Mississippi Democrat who gets it. The road to victory for a Democrat in Mississippi lies in economic populism, not trying to sound like Republican Lite. While Childers holds certain socially conservative views, he has centered his campaign around the winning strategy of economic fairness and fighting for the working man. For too long the Republicans have hid behind social conservatism on one hand while pushing the most damaging policies to the working man in the other hand. Travis offers a clear alternative to his opponent.

This week Travis is in Mississippi. From a campaign email...

Congressman Travis Childers continued his district-wide “work week” today at Usry Grocery in Nesbit. He bagged groceries, ran the cash register, and spoke with voters about his record of helping to create jobs and provide relief for North Mississippi’s working families during difficult economic times.

Later this week, the Congressman will also spend time as an employee at small businesses in Lee and Grenada Counties. To join Congressman Childers and see him “at work” for North Mississippi, RSVP for one or more of the following events at

Congressman Childers Takes Orders at Johnnie’s Drive In
Thursday, October 30, 2008
11:30 p.m.
908 E Main St
Tupelo, MS 38804

Congressman Childers “Goes to Work” in Grenada County
Friday, October 31, 2008

Roger Wicker sings!!

Sorry folks but I have been under the weather for a few days. Here we are a week from CHANGE and I get sick. I will do better.

CL endorses Diaz

The Clarion-Ledger endorsed Justice Oliver Diaz today.

Here are some snippets from the article. To read the full piece, click here.

A state Supreme Court comprised of nine justices who think exactly alike is a dangerous thing. Judicial balance comes from divergent philosophies working together to follow the law.

Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz is not in lockstep with the current majority on the state Supreme Court. Frequently, Diaz disagrees with that majority and makes his arguments for his positions in rational, authoritative dissents. That's what the public hears about.

But less evident is the balance that Diaz brings to the court through those dissents and through his own life experiences.

Clearly, Diaz is a judge who has learned to look at the law through the eyes of those whose lives hang in the balance of court decisions.

Voter rolls must be complete by Thursday

Yesterday evening on Mississippi Edition on MPB, they reported that all voter rolls must be completed by Thursday.

Circuit clerks are urging residents to contact their offices directly if you have not received your voter card or if you're concerned that your registration form was not processed for some other reason.

Click here to find contact information for circuit clerks.

Monday, October 27, 2008

LEAA tries to attack Diaz

More out-of-state interests are trying to buy the Supreme Court elections this year.

The Law Enforcement Alliance of America is the latest group trying to make it's way into judicial elections. Unfortunately for them, a few journalists have actually researched their claims and found them to be false.

From the Sun Herald:

False ad pops up on Coast
Some say loophole allows it to run

Proponents of campaign-finance reform say a loophole in Mississippi law encourages misleading, anonymously sponsored television advertisements that out-of-state groups back to attack candidates they oppose.

This past week, incumbent Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. became the target of an inaccurate and misleading advertisement sponsored by the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, an organization headquartered near Washington, D.C.
LEAA, a group that has been backed by the National Rifle Association, is airing the advertisements on television stations from Jackson to the Coast.

They accuse Diaz of supporting two child killers and a rapist who murdered a woman. Diaz actually voted to give one convict a post-conviction hearing in Circuit Court, stay the execution of a second inmate pending a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on lethal injection and grant a new trial to a third defendant because of errors in a previous trial that the entire court acknowledged.
WAPT also put it to the truth test. Result: The ad is false!

Below is Justice Diaz's response to the false attacks.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Esquire Endorses In Mississippi (And Everywhere Else)

I'll just copy and comment on one, but they're all thought out which you can check out on their site.


District 3

Gregg Harper (R)

Joel Gill (D)

For his living, Joel Gill is a cattle trader, but his grasp of policy is the envy of many a representative. Gregg Harper's claim to the seat? Faith and family and faith and traditional values and faith and faith and faith. Lord, have mercy.
Esquire endorses: Gill


Who would have thought a cattle trader from Mississippi would ever end up in Esquire?

While I don't like the tone they take towards faith they are spot on in noting that Mr. Gill is far more the policy wonk than Mr. Harper.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wicker courting Obama voters?

If you need a sign that the Wicker campaign is scared to death of the massive Obama turnout awaiting them Novemebr 4, then look no further than a new radio ad featuring an African-American voice proclaiming that they are voting for Obama and Wicker. Roger Wicker who is supporting McCain, accuses Musgrove of not mentioning Obama's name in their debate a couple of weeks ago.

Audio available at the Politco:

"I'm supporting Barack Obama for president and Roger Wicker for US Senate," an African-American woman says in the ad. “In the debate. [Musgrove] wouldn’t even say Barack Obama’s name. He’s disrespecting us and taking our vote for granted,” she says.

Another African American says of Wicker: “He represents us and he doesn’t take our vote for granted. He’s asking for our vote. Ronnie Musgrove refuses to say he supports Barack Obama.”
So let us get this straight. Wicker openly says he is supporting John McCain. Musgrove said he is supporting his parties nominee. Wicker thinks he can fool enough black people into thinking he is more pro-Obama than Musgrove. Does he really think this will work?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

State paying for Chief Justice's Commute

According to this new ad, taxpayers are footing the bill for Chief Justice Jim Smith's commute to work in the morning. I'll admit, the chair doesn't bother me that much, but the commute - that infuriates me.

MS-01: Greg Davis speaks

In an interview in the Daily Journal Greg Davis attempts to draw some contrasts between himself and the incumbent Travis Childers. Greg Davis is counting on the fact that the GOP brand is still strong in north Mississippi. Greg Davis is also trying to tie himself to the McCain campaign, hoping to ride their coattails to victory.

From the Daily Journal:

- Wants military leaders to set the pace in Iraq instead of leaving those decisions “to a bunch of politicians sitting around a table.”
Davis is taking the McCain campaign position on Iraq. John McCain and Greg Davis may be the last two people left who don't want to set some sort of a timeline to get our troops home from Iraq. Let us not forget the $10 billion a month we are flushing down the toilet while we are in the midst of an economic crisis. Even George W. Bush is ready for a timeline.

- Generally opposes earmarks because there are already ways for the 1st District to obtain federal funding.
Here we go with another staple of the John McCain campaign. Never mind that earmarks make up less than one percent of federal expenditures. Maybe he should talk to Thad and Roger about their appetite's for pork.

- Supports Sen. John McCain for president and thinks his running mate, Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, would make a fine vice president.
Well that may be the most damning thing he said, that he thinks Palin would make a great VP. Sarah Palin is not qualified to be vice president of her local moose lodge. The thought of her one heartbeat away from the presidency sends a cold chill down my spine.

When asked if there were any Democrats currently serving in Congress whom he respects, though, Davis said he couldn’t think of any and chalked that up in part to bitter partisanship.
There are 235 Democrats in Congress and he can't name one he respects. All I can say is wow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New third-party ad slams Roger Wicker

More on ID requirements

As an update to the posting from yesterday, below are the suitable forms of identifying where you live on Election Day, should the need arise. This listed on the voter registration form from the Secretary of State's website.

Identification Requirement: If you do not have a driver's license or social security number, and this form is submitted by mail, and you have never registered to vote in the county you are now registering in, you must send, with this application, either a) a copy of current and valid photo identification, or b) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter. If you do not provide the information requested above, you may be required to provide to election officials either (a) or (b) above the first time you vote after January 1, 2004 at a voting place or by absentee ballot.

Justice Oliver Diaz's Commercial

Senator Jim Webb stumps for Musgrove in Jackson

Senator Jim Webb of Virginia was in Jackson yesterday to stump for Ronnie Musgrove at a veterans rally. Senator Webb is one the netroots biggest heroes from the 2006 Democratic takeover of the Senate. Webb defeated George Allen in Virginia in one of the most hotly contested races of 2006. That race featured the now infamous "macaca" racial smear that helped propel the former Reagan Secretary of the Navy, Jim Webb past the incumbent Allen.

Monday at a veterans rally held downtown, Jim Webb offered his support of Ronnie Musgrove.

From the WLBT website:

Musgrove says, "Our veterans deserve better and Roger Wicker has been on the wrong side of important issues dealing with veterans."

Also critical of Wicker, Virginia Senator Jim Webb, author of a bill passed giving post-9/11 veterans educational benefits.

Webb says, "We didn't get much help from the incumbent Senators in Mississippi on that bill, I think it was a common sense vote if people did care about taking care of our troops not only today, but down the stretch for the rest of their lives."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Barbour questions legality of new voters

The Financial Times interviewed Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour about the upcoming elections. He's obviously not very excited about the hard work of the Obama campaign to register thousands of new voters in Mississippi this election cycle.

Haley Barbour, the Republican governor of Mississippi, has questioned the legality of tens of thousands of new voter applications in his state, raising the prospect that new voters might be challenged on election day.

Mr. Barbour told the Financial Times that “not all” newly registered voters in Mississippi were legal because of rules that require voters who register by mail to include a photocopy of a federally accepted identification in their application, or bring identification to the polls. “I suspect some of those people won’t be able to do that,” he said.

First, if you registered by mail (and, as of right now, this includes anyone who did not register at the Circuit Clerk's office in person), you are not "illegal," and you can vote, but you will be asked to show identification if this is the first time you have voted.

Be prepared when you go to the polls this November. If you do not have a state-issued ID, you can also use a utility bill with your name and address on it as identification.

Also remember, you can always request an affidavit ballot- no one can deny your right to vote.

We want everyone's vote to count this election year!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Research 2000 Poll shows Musgrove only down one point

Finally a new Mississippi Senate poll is out. We have had two polling firms working Mississippi this cycle, Rasmussen and Research 2000. The last Rasmussen poll from October 1 showed a three point swing for Ronnie Musgrove from the previous poll. The numbers went from 47-42 Wicker, to 49-47 Wicker. The last Research 2000 poll was published September 11. In that poll Wicker lead Musgrove 48-43. Thanks to Daily Kos for the poll.

Research 2000
Wicker ------ 47
Musgrove --- 46

Here is a link to the crosstabs. Crosstabs at Daily Kos.

NRSC pulls out of Colorado

The NRSC is pulling out of the Colorado Senate race between Bob Shaffer and Mark Udall. Earlier this week the NRSC pulled out of Louisiana which was the only state they were on offense. According to Marc Ambinder from the Atlantic, the NRSC is only operating in three states right now, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Mississippi. Things are lining up for Mississippi to be the Alamo for the Republicans in the Senate. I fully expect all resources available to be spent by the GOP here in Mississippi.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fox News focus group says it's Obama

As Kos said, aint it good to be a Democrat.

Obama wins CNN and CBS snap polls

Once again viewers thought Barack Obama won the debate. At least I won't have to type that again until 2012. These stats courtesy of the mothership Daily Kos.

CBS poll of undecided voters:

Who won the debate?

McCain (R) 22
Obama (D) 53

Shares your values

Obama, Before the debate: 54
Obama, After the debate: 63

McCain, Before the debate: 53
McCain, After the debate: 56

CNN poll of voters who watched debate:

Who won the debate?

McCain (R) 31
Obama (D) 58


Obama, before debate: 63/35
Obama, after debate: 66/33

McCain, before debate: 51/45
McCain, after debate: 49/49

Hal and Mals debate watch party liveblog

8:00: I am here at Hal and Mal with about 75 or so Obama supporters. The crowd just gave a raucous applause for Senator Obama. I am not going to update question by question but rather on what happens here in this room. What resonates and what fails.

8:06: Obama gets response from crowd on his tax policies.

8:09: McCain tries to blame Joe the plumbers inability to buy a business Obama's tax plans fault. Crowd laughs hysterically at the idiocy of McCain.

McCain is accusing Obama of wealth redistribution. The crowd is getting testy, mad at McCain.

8:25: McCain tries to apoligize for temperment for campaign. He pleas for sympathy and tells how hurt he is. He is trying to lure Obama in to the woods.

8:31 They are in the weeds arguing about whose campaign is the dirtiest. Obama lays him to waste and crowd goes nuts on Ayers.

UPDATE: Hal and Mals internet crashed. Their coverage is below terrible anyway, but tonight it crapped the bed.

I thought McCain had his strongest debate yet, but to no avail. Let's see what the snap polls have to say.

Watch Travis Childers and Greg Davis debate this afternoon via webcast

This afternoon , Congressman Travis Childers will debate candidate Greg Davis at the University of Mississippi 's Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics in Oxford . The debate will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Tune in via a live webcast by clicking here (

Debate Watch Parties for 10-15

Here is the list of tonight's debate watch parties.


• Location: 9125 Mill Branch Road, Southaven
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Contact: Jim Kilderry, (901) 734-1474

• Location: Hancock County Democratic Party, 1017 Highway 90, Bay St. Louis
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Contact: Louis Fuchs, (228) 305-0327

• Location: Grand Casino Biloxi Hotel, Suite 411, 200 Beach Blvd., Biloxi
• Time: 6 p.m.
• Contact: S.J. Smolowitz, (347) 512-6532

• Location: Hal & Mal’s Restaurant, 200 S. Commerce St., Jackson
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Contact: Terry R. Cassreino, (601) 454-7419

• Location: Griffith House, 108 L.C. Turner Circle, Bolton
• Time: 7:45 p.m.
• Contact: Dr. London Thompson

• Location: Jackson County Democratic Party, 2518 Market St., Pascagoula
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Contact: Kay Sims, (228) 938-2973

• Location: Willie and Whirllie Byrd, 3620 Azalea Circle, Columbus
• Time: 7 p.m.
• Contact: Whirllie Byrd, (662) 327-5751

• Location: Marshall County Democratic Party, 200 Martin Luther King Blvd., Holly Springs
• Time: 5:30 p.m.
• Contact: Wayne Jones, (662) 551-2096

• Location: Bennie Paige Jr., 714 Pine St., Charleston
• Time: 8 p.m.
• Contact: Bennie Paige Jr., (662) 625-0081

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is Mississippi the firewall against 60?

The more this coming election comes into focus, the more it looks like a complete Democratic landslide up and down the ballot. Besides winning the White House, building a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate is goal number one. Most experts project the Democrats to control between 55 and 57 Senate seats, up from 50, not counting Darth Lieberman. In the last few weeks things have become more dire for the GOP. Even old hands like Elizabeth Dole, Mitch McConnell, Gordon Smith and John Sununu are in trouble. Today the RNC pulled money from the McCain race to spend in the Senate battleground where they are in grave danger of getting annihilated.

From the Politico:

The Republican National Committee, growing nervous over the prospect of Democrats’ winning a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, is considering tapping into a $5 million line of credit this week to aid an increasing number of vulnerable incumbents, top Republicans say.

With party strategists fearing a bloodbath at the polls, GOP officials are shifting to triage mode, determining who can be saved and where to best spend their money.

Democrats are looking at picking up these states for sure:
Viriginia (Warner)
Colorado (Udall)
New Mexico (Udall)
Oregon (Merkley)

These look like good bets:
New Hampshire (Shaheen)
Minnesota (Franken)
North Carolina (Hagan)
Alaska (Begich)

These are right there:
Kentucky (Lunsford)
Georgia (Martin)
Mississippi (Musgrove)

With the RNC now officially playing defense, I would expect an influx of money here in Mississippi. Mississippi stands as the last ditch to defend before the haggard GOP retreats to a filibuster-proof minority. We may see even more advertising than we have already seen. I know I received two different Roger Wicker mailers today.

Jeff Walters responds to ridiculous new Wicker ad

If you did not read the post below, Roger Wicker has a new negative campaign ad out that is not only reprehensible but a diversion from the topic at hand. We are in the middle of the most serious economic downturn of our lifetime. Voters want answers not false ads filled with stereotypes. Not only is the ad patently false (in what seems to be the GOP tactic of the moment), it is also offensive. One does not have to wait for the credits to know this ad did not come from the NRSC. Even the NRSC would not navigate the murky waters of this campaign ad.

Unemployment is up, as are home foreclosures in these uncertain times. Mississippi is hurting from the failed economic policies of the status quo. Free trade agreements have annihilated the once vibrant manufacturing sector of north Mississippi. Deregulation of our financial markets has resulted in a lot of Mississippians facing foreclosure. Times like these call for change not false attack ads based on the "culture war". Here we are less than three weeks from election day and Roger Wicker wants to talk about gays, guns and abortion. Is anyone fooled by this garbage?

I think Mississippians have had enough of this crap. Roger Wicker has voted with Bush as much as or more than just about anyone in Washington. He has voted for every free trade agreement. He has voted against raising the minimum wage while at the same time voting for his own pay raise nine times. He has voted against laws to regulate the subprime mortgage industry. Wicker has failed. We don't anymore of Wicker, we need change.

Notice in the ad he uses some characters that look the fell out of an audition for a new video of "Y.M.C.A.". This type of cultural stereotyping is not cool Roger. You may think it is politically expedient to make silly caricatures of gay people in you ads, but it makes our state look backwards.

Wicker is wrong on trade, wrong on the minimum wage and wrong on thinking Mississippians are dumb enough to fall for the "gays, guns, and abortion" thing again. Shame on you Roger Wicker.

Goal Thermometer

Musgrove camp responds to ridiculous new Wicker ad

Well damn. The advertisement says approved and paid for by Roger Wicker. It looks like he pays as much attention to the advertisements he endorses as he does the legislation he votes for. Roger Wickers new ad is pretty bad and the Musgrove campaign has a thing or to to say about it. For those who have not seen the ad...

From Musgrove for Senate:

10/14: Roger Wicker Lies Again In New Ad

Wicker's Newest Lie another example of the need for change in Washington

Jackson, MS- Roger Wicker has become so desperate to save his campaign that he has resorted to a series of ads that flat out lie. This time Wicker is fibbing about Musgrove's campaign finances.

"Roger Wicker must think Mississippians are pretty dumb. Ronnie Musgrove doesn't have contributions from any of the groups in Wickers ad. And everybody knows Ronnie Musgrove is pro-life and pro-gun. Apparently, after 14 years Roger Wicker has learned to lie the Washington way. It is time for a change," Tim Phillips, Musgrove for Senate campaign manager said.

Below is a fact check on Wickers lies in his latest ad:

Wicker Ad Ignores The Facts - Misleads Mississippi Voters

Roger Wicker's latest ad is a desperate attempt to mislead Mississippi voters about Ronnie Musgrove's record and donations that he has received. The ad claims that Musgrove has taken money from liberal sources such as Friends of Hillary Clinton, gay rights groups, and abortion groups and then implies that he will support that agenda. The fact is that Musgrove has taken NO money from these sources and has a solid conservative record. Ronnie Musgrove is pro-life, pro-gun, and supported one of the strictest gay adoption bans in the country. Roger Wicker's outright lies to the voters of Mississippi should be called what they are - a desperate political trick.

Musgrove's Donors

Despite Ads Claims - Musgrove Has Received No Money From Friends Of Hillary Clinton, NARAL, Or Human Rights Campaign: Despite the ads implication that Musgrove has received large donations from Hillary Clinton's PAC, NARAL (a pro-choice group), or the Human Rights Campaign (a gay rights group), Musgrove has received no donations from any of these groups. (; Musgrove for US Senate)

Musgrove Stood Up To National Democrats

Musgrove Broke With National Democrats And Supported Pickering To U.S. Appeals Court: In 2003, Musgrove broke ranks with national Democratic leaders and supported President Bush's nomination of Charles Pickering to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination was blocked by Democrats. (Associated Press, 1/14/04)

Supported Republican Congressional Candidate In 1992: In 1992, Musgrove contributed $500 to Marsha Blackburn, the Republican candidate for Tennessee's sixth congressional district. (Political Money Line Web site, "Contributions,"

Musgrove Is A Conservative


Musgrove Supported Additional Restrictions On Abortion: In 1990, Musgrove voted to require the licensing of abortion clinics by the State Board of Health. Also, Musgrove voted to require a 24-hour waiting period before a woman could obtain an abortion. In 1991, Musgrove again voted for a bill requiring the waiting period. (Clarion Ledger, 4/1/90; 4/7/91)

Musgrove Banned Public Funding Of Abortion: In April 2002, Musgrove also signed a bill that would ban spending public funds on abortions with a few exceptions (including when the mother's life is in danger, when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when a fetal malformation is incompatible with the baby being born alive). (Clarion Ledger, 4/18/02 HB 1480, Summary of Legislation 2002)

Musgrove Voted To Require Doctors To Register As Abortion Providers: In 1995, Musgrove voted to require physicians performing more than five abortions per month to have their offices licensed as abortion clinics. (Clarion Ledger, 3/9/95)

Gay Rights

Musgrove Supported Ban On Gay Adoptions: In March 2000, Musgrove supported a ban on adoption by homosexuals or same-sex couples. The ban not only pertained to adoptions in Mississippi, but also ensured that Mississippi would not recognize adoptions by gay individuals or couples from other states if the parents moved to Mississippi. (Clarion Ledger, 3/23/00)

Musgrove Opposes Gay Marriage: Musgrove opposes gay marriage and believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. (Clarion Ledger, 10/3/08; Sun Herald, 10/22/03)


Musgrove Was Endorsed By NRA And Loves To Hunt: In 1999, Musgrove was endorsed (along with his opponent) by the NRA. The postcard from the NRA stated that "Musgrove also supported our right to self-defense with a vote as a state senator for 'right to carry' - an issue of strong importance to NRA members." Musgrove talked about his love of hunting in 2002 and the Clarion Ledger reported that Musgrove had killed a 10-point buck in 2002. (Clarion Ledger, 11/2/99 and 1/6/02)

Musgrove Received An "A" From NRA In 2008: In the 2008 election cycle, Musgrove received an "A" rating, the highest given and the same as Roger Wicker, from the NRA. (National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund)

Musgrove Signed Bill Allowing Conceal And Carry For Certain Persons: In 2002, Musgrove signed HB 844, which provided that guards and other persons could carry concealed weapons, even if they were not sworn law enforcement officers, if they obtained a permit to carry concealed weapons. (HB 844, Summary of Legislation)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wall Street Journal: McCain no help to southern GOP candidates

I am back from a brief vacation. I hopped in a car and rode to Atlanta to see the Allman Brothers Band Saturday night. I was feeling the effects last night after driving back to Mississippi. The show was worth the ride. I wore an Obama '08 shirt and was complimented all night long while enjoying the sweet sounds of Macon, Georgia's finest.

Today in the Wall Street Journal, the effectiveness of the the John McCain campaign in Dixie was examined. Not only is John McCain trailing in the "swing states", he is finding resistance in former GOP strongholds in the South. Virgina and North Carolina are now leaning to solid blue. Obama leads in Florida. Georgia looks to be trending blue. Even Mississippi is in single digits. When you look at the Senate races in these states you see how bad things really are for the GOP. In Virginia Mark Warner is enjoying a double digit cushion over the Republican candidate. Virginia has not voted Democrat but once in 60 years in the race for the White House.

Fueled by demographic shifts, rising doubts about the direction of the country, perceived missteps by Sen. McCain and a voter-registration push by the Obama campaign that has helped add a net of 310,000 new, mostly younger voters, the Democratic ticket increasingly appears positioned to win Virginia and make critical inroads across the South. A CNN/Time Inc. poll released Wednesday shows Sen. Obama has opened a nine-point lead on Sen. McCain in Virginia.

While much attention has focused on Midwestern battlegrounds such as Ohio, Sen. Obama's campaign has pressed for a deathblow below the Mason-Dixon line: In the week ended Oct. 4, Sen. Obama outspent Sen. McCain's campaign by 8-to-1 in North Carolina, 3-to-1 in Florida and 3-to-1 in Virginia.
Senator McCain does not have the resources to keep up with the Obama machine. There are rumors of a $100 million September about to be reported by the Obama camp. Obama is not only making McCain play defense in Dixie (what some thought would be impossible), he is helping bring Senatorial candidates like Kay Hagan, Ronnie Musgrove and Jim Martin to Washington with him.

During the week ended Oct. 4, Sen. Obama spent $1.2 million on North Carolina advertising, while Sen. McCain's campaign spent $148,000, according to the Wisconsin Advertising Project, which tracks political media buys around the U.S. After appearing with Gov. Palin in Virginia Beach today, Sen. McCain will visit Wilmington, N.C., this afternoon. "This is the first time a Republican candidate has visited the state this deep in the campaign since George H.W. Bush in 1988. That tells you something," said Ferrell Guillory, director of the University of North Carolina's Program for Public Life.

In Florida, a RealClear Politics average of major nonpartisan polls shows Sen. Obama has overtaken Sen. McCain in the past three weeks, for a 48.7% to 44.9% edge. The Obama campaign targeted 100,000 eligible blacks for registration, and Democratic registrations have more than doubled those of Republicans. Sen. Obama last week spent more than $2 million in TV ads there, three times as much as Sen. McCain.

Even in states where Sen. Obama's chances of outright winning remain doubtful, his decision to continue campaigning in many of them is narrowing Sen. McCain's leads and bolstering the prospects of Democrats in down-ticket races for governorships and the U.S. Senate.

In early balloting in Georgia, African-Americans made up 39% of more than 369,000 voters, despite constituting only 29% of the electorate. Partly powered by African-American votes, Jim Martin, the once long-shot Democratic challenger to Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, has pulled from 15 points behind to a dead heat in recent polling. Sen. Obama himself has closed Sen. McCain's double-digit lead in Georgia to seven points.

Former Mississippi Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove now trails just two points behind Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, who was appointed to the seat this year after Sen. Trent Lott resigned.

Friday, October 10, 2008

State of the race, Mississippi is in play

The current electoral battlefield shows Mississippi's six electoral votes up for grabs. Team Obama has laid claim to GOP strongholds like Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. The next state in line in the South is Georgia. Georgia has polled remarkably close to Mississippi this cycle. Mississippi Democrats have more black voters while the Georgia Dems make up the difference with an influx of highly educated white voters, a lot of them imports to Atlanta.

Big news out of Georgia today. Saxby Chambliss who enjoyed a near 20 point lead a few weeks back is in a dead heat with Jim Martin. If there is anyone I want to see lose it is Saxby. He is a real piece of work. He "swiftboated" triple amputee Vietnam hero Max Cleeland as being a terrorist sympathizer and won in 2002. The other big news from the peach state is John McCain only has a 3 point lead over Obama in the big race. Folks if Georgia is that close, so are we. I am dying for a new Mississippi poll.

Voter turnout might just make some peoples heads explode in a few weeks. Ronnie Musgrove is starting to look more and more like a sure thing and Obama is looking like the race to watch as far as Mississippi is concerned.

Yes. We. Can.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The last fourteen days have been the product of the last fourteen years

Mississippi voter registration up 130,000 and counting

I have been hearing that there would be close to 100,000 new voters added to the rolls in Mississippi this year. The Clarion Ledger today in a front page article reported that number to be over 130,000 and still rising. Apparently they are still processing thousands of registration forms. While of course not all of these are Democrats, but I bet a wide majority of them are. If Mississippi follows the same trends as other states have shown, expect for an at least 2-1 split in favor of Democrats and possibly as high as 4-1. This is good news for Barack Obama and really good news for Ronnie Musgrove.

In 2004, Hinds County had 119,700 registered voters. By February this year, that number had risen to 135,890 and now has topped 152,000...

...Hinds County is far from the only county seeing a huge increase. Madison County is now reporting 74,870 registered voters - up from 63,975 in February...

...In February, Washington County had more than 26,000 registered voters. That number is now about 35,000, said Washington County Circuit Clerk Barbara Esters-Parker.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Illinois sheriff has had enough

The Cook County sheriff (Dart) has suspended foreclosure evictions. It is encouraging to see the populist spirit of America coming back to front. Change is on the way.

From CNN:

"These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don't care who's in the building," Dart said. "They simply want their money and don't care who gets hurt along the way.

"On top of it all, they want taxpayers to fund their investigative work for them. We're not going to do their jobs for them anymore. We're just not going to evict innocent tenants. It stops today."

Dart said he wants the judiciary or the state Legislature to establish protections for those most harmed by the mortgage crisis.

In 1999, Cook County had 12,935 mortgage foreclosure cases; in 2006, 18,916 cases were filed and last year, 32,269 were filed. This year's total is expected to exceed 43,000.

The people we're interacting with are, many times, oblivious to the financial straits their landlord might be in," Dart said. "They are the innocent victims here and they are the ones all of us must step up and find some way to protect."

The Illinois Bankers Association opposed the plan, saying that Dart "was elected to uphold the law and to fulfill the legal duties of his office, which include serving eviction notices."

The association said Dart could be found in contempt of court for ignoring court eviction orders.


It's Ronnie time

Let's see if Cotton Mouth can come through like it did this spring for Travis Childers. Let's raise $1,000 for Ronnie Musgrove here in crunch-time. Roger Wicker is well financed by his big money special interests. Times are tough, but they could be worse with more failed Republican leadership. Vote Democrat and donate some loot to Ronnie Musgrove.

Goal Thermometer

Daily Journal: Turnout this year expected to be 'huge'

I will be very interested to see what the final registration numbers look like for Mississippi. In a year that has seen tremendous Democratic gains on the voter rolls across the country, Mississipp has seen its voter rolls increase as well. I suspect when the numbers are released we will something in the neighborhood of a 3-2 advantage for Democrats in new voters added to the rolls this year.

Yesterday's Daily Journal discussed the gains being made across the state.

Lee County saw 1,500 new registrations on Friday.

"This says it's going to be a huge turnout," Circuit Clerk Joyce Loftin said Monday.

The county's total registration has gone from 51,100 to more than 55,000 - and Loftin says she still has about 4,000 applications to be processed.
That means Lee County alone will see an increase of between ten and twenty percent.

"We've got record-breaking applications," echoed Baretta Mosley, a deputy clerk in Lafayette County.

In DeSoto County, more than 10,000 new voters have been added to the rolls this year – 6,000 since May 20, said Circuit Clerk Dale Thompson.
Marvin King, a political science professor who runs Black Political Analysis, one of my favorite stops of the day while surfing, has this to say about the jump in registration.

Marvin King, assistant professor of political science at the University of Mississippi, said typically these new voters are disproportionately young and minority, and favor Democrats by wide margins.

"I still do not believe this takes Mississippi out of the Republican column for the presidential contest," he noted, "but Travis Childers should welcome this news and it bodes well for all down-ballot Democrats."

He also predicted "a surprisingly close Senate race," if these newly registered voters actually show up on Election Day

Travis Childer, Greg Davis agree to debate

I missed this report yesterday with all the excitement surrounding the presidential debate. Democrat Travis Childers will debate Republican challenger Greg Davis October 15 in Oxford at the University of Mississippi.

From the Sun Herald:

Republican Greg Davis and Democrat Travis Childers, both vying for U.S. House in the 1st Congressional District, have agreed to a debate at the University of Mississippi on October 15.

The one-hour debate will be held at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. Oxford Eagle news editor Jonathan Scott will moderate.

The two appeared together at Ole Miss in April, when they were vying in special election in the 1st District, which was won by Childers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sign for Sarah Palin

This sign sums it up. Ripped from Daily Kos.

CNN and CBS snap polls say Obama wins... again

These snap polls are great. Now the main stream media does not have the ability to make up their own storyline as far as who won the debate.

CBS poll of uncommitted voters

Who won?

McCain (R) 27
Obama (D) 39
Draw 35

CNN (from TV, will add link as it comes available)

McCain (R) 30
Obama (D) 54

Wicker endorser Ayatollah Wildmon's TV viewing guide

Just to show how big of an idiot this Wildmon guy is, and how far off main street his views are, I have a list of all the TV shows Ayatollah Wildmon has protested.


A Team
A Man Called Hawk
A Different World
All in the Family
Almost Grown
Anything but Love
Beverly Hills 90210
Bronx Zoo
Cagney and Lacey
Captain Planet and the Planeteers
CBS Schoolbreak Special
Channel 99
Charlie’s Angels
Crime Story
Dear John
Designing Women
Different World
Doctor, Doctor
Doogie Howser, M.D.
Dukes of Hazzard
Empty Nest
Evening Shade
Facts of Life
Family Ties
First Impressions
Flamingo Road
48 Hours
Full House
Gimme a Break
Golden Girls
Good and Evil
Growing Pains
Head of the Class
Heart of the City
Highway to Heaven
Hill Street Blues
Hogan Family
Houston Knights
In Living Color
In the Heat of the Night
Jack & Mike
Jake and the Fat Man
Johnny Carson
Kate & Allie
Knight Rider
Knots Landing
LA Law
Laverne & Shirley
Law and Order
Let’s Make a Deal
Life Goes On
Love, Sidney
Love Boat
Magnum P.I.
Married With Children
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Matt Houston
Miami Vice
Midnight Caller
Mike Hammer
Mr. T
Mr. Belvedere
Murder, She Wrote
Murphy Brown
My Two Dads
Nancy Walker Show
Newlywed Game
Night Court
Northern Exposure
PrimeTime Live
Remmington Steel
Saturday Night Live
Scarecrow and Mrs. King
Scooby Doo
Shadow Chasers
Simon & Simon
Slap Maxwell
Sledge Hammer
Smothers Brothers
Sonny Spoon
Spenser for Hire
St. Elsewhere
Sunday Dinner
Sweet Surrender
T.J. Hooker
The Cavanaughs
Three’s Company
Three’s a Crowd
Tour of Duty
Trapper John, M.D.
TV 101
Under One Roof
West 57th Street
Who’s the Boss
WKRP in Cincinnati
Wonder Years World of Disney
Year in the Life

Live blogging the Obama debate watch party at Schimmels

7:30: I just arrived at Schimmels. Schimmels is right around the corner from my house in Fondren, making this very easy. Schimmels is a very nice place, and very close to my house, but out of my price range for a regular visit. I arrived a half hour early and the crowd is pretty thin. There are two other debate watch parties in town tonight and this room is small, but it still small crowd of around 30 at this point.

7:50 My opinion is that it is going to be tough for either candidate to go negative. This economic mess has the country scared to death. Gallup registered the highest number ever for the economy being the most important issue to voters. The stock market is not doing Senator McCain any favors, keeping the debate focused like a laser on the economy.

8:00 And we are off... Town House format as my dad said tonight. Actually it is Town Hall but you get the idea.

8:02: First question is about how to get the regular guy out of this economic mess the fastest. Obama hammers the deregulation point tying McCain and Bush to the failed economy. Barack calls for a middle class tax cuts and tighter regulation. Long term he calls for fixing our energy and health care policies. McCain comes out with an emotional tone. he says he has a plan, keep taxes low, energy independence and a package of reforms.

8:10 Obama again repeats that he is giving a tax cut to 95% of working Americans,

8:11: Nest question is about how the bailout will help middle America. McCain brags about going to Washington to help (do nothing). Now he just told the black questioner that he had probably heard of Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae before this crisis. He then blames Obama for getting contributions for Fannie Mae. Obama begins by ignoring McCain and explaining why the credit crunch effects people on the street. He now turns to McCain and blames him for deregulation. Obama pulls the Rick Davis - Fannie Mae card.

8:19: Next question is how can we trust either party when you both screwed up. Barack runs through the meat and potato stats about the deficit, debt, Bush etc... McCain claims to have been a consistent reformer. McCain goes back to his tried and true earmarks and pork rally. Also says we need to drill and more nuclear policy. At least he does not say nuclear like Bush.

8:28: Next question, what sacrifices should Americans be asked? McCain says that there are some programs must be eliminated. He talks about earmarks again (1% of the fed budget). Obama begins by remembering the sacrifices of 9/11. He then talks about the opportunity missed by Bush when he asked everyone to go shopping. Pivots to energy policy. He then talks about how we as citizens can make a difference. Sounded a little Carter-esque.

8:38 Next question is on entitlements and how to fix SSN. Obama fires at McCain on taxes. McCain keeps trying to scare voters by misleading them on Obama's tax plan. Obama lays his bull to waste. McCain has a plan to fix SS. He just won't tell us what it is.

8:42 Next question is about what congress can do about climate change. McCain says he disagreed from the bush admin on climate change. He then goes into a nuclear power spill. Obama talks of creating a new energy economy.

8:49 Next question is do you believe health care should be treated as a commodity. Obama explains that under his plan you will not be force into a government plan. If you do not like you current plan you can join Obama-care. He then lays out the slight-of-hand that John Mccain is pulling on his tax credit. McCain will raise the taxes on your employer based plan, which the chamber of commerce said would end employer based health care. But he gives you a $5,000 tax credit.

9:00 Next question, how will the recession effect our ability to help keep peace in the world. I am not even sure I understand McCain's cryptic response other than he knows more than Obama. Obama says he is right he does not understand some things as McCain suggests. He does not understand how we could invade a country that posed no threat to us.

9:08 I just has a country clubber sit at my table who is cheering loudly for John McCain. She is really stirring the pot.

9:16 The candidates really mix it up on foreign policy. Rules are out. Obama nails McCain for his walk softly big stick spill. McCain explains that he knows what it means to send men into harms way. McCain is hanging on the surge point.

9:23 Is Russia the evil empire? Both candidates deflect.

9:25 The rich white lady who is a McCain fan keeps calling Obama a socialist in my section. What an idiot.

9:30 Party over

Final thoughts: We shall see what the snap polls say, but I think Obama won the debate easily. John McCain is in a tough position trying to defend failed policies.