Monday, March 31, 2008

District 1 Republicans Get Dirty In The Stretch

I don't live in the District so I may get the order of some of this wrong:

First I thing McCullough ran an attack ad which I can't find online.

Next someone, likely a consultant of Greg Davis, placed clips from Tennessee television news online attempting to tarnish McCullough for his time at the Tennessee Valley Authority:
Glenn McCullough's Lavish Government Spending Part 1
Glenn McCullough's Lavish Government Spending Part 2
Glenn McCullough's Lavish Government Spending Part 3

Also Davis ran this ad responding to those attacks and launching his own:
Greg Davis Attack Ad
(placed on YouTube March 4th)

McCullough responds with this ad going as far back as 2001 to get positive quotes about him:

(placed on YouTube March 20th)

Now I think they're both running positive ads.

The election is Tuesday.

Republicans go vote if you live in the 1st or 3rd District.
I prefer Harper over Ross and McCullough over Davis as the best choices among the Republicans.

Democrats go vote if you live in the 1st District.
Both are excellent candidates, but do go vote and express your preference. Either will make a great Congressman.

Closing Arguments in Democratic Primary for MS-01

Democratic Chancery Clerk Travis Childers:

Democratic State Representative Steve Holland:

I'm happy that they've remained positive. Democrats shoot each other too often in our primaries.

Great NYT Article on 1963 MSU Basketball Team

I am back from a brief hiatus centered around a rough week at work followed by a birthday weekend.

Sunday's New York Time had a great article on the 1963 Mississippi State basketball team that defied a segregationist governor to play in the NCAA tournament. This is a great story that is the subject of a new documentary "Game of Change".


1st CD Democrats

Here are some excerpts about Travis Childers & Steve Holland. Both were profiled in the Daily Journal last week.

Click on the names of each candidate to read the entire articles. Both articles are great potraits of each candidate.

Steve Holland:
The people Holland met seemed to enjoy the campaigning as much as the candidate. They hugged him, laughed with him, slapped him on the back and called him a "true Democrat."It wasn't always so.Holland flirted heavily with the Republican party during and after his college days at Mississippi State University. He worked on the staff of the state GOP and spent more than one year as political director on Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's staff. But Holland switched sides in 1983 to win the 16th District seat in the state House of Representatives. He also spent three years as an aide to the late Democratic U.S. Rep. Jamie Whitten. The Democratic party was a perfect fit, he said, even though he continues his friendships with old Republican pals like Gov. Haley Barbour."We have a macabre-kind of relationship today," Holland said.

Holland was born the third of six children to a family that farmed 5,000 acres. He grew up playing with his siblings and the children of various farm hands who helped work the land. Every day, Holland said, he took his meals in the pavilion behind the house where family and farmers alike sat at the same table and broke bread.In high school, Holland played right guard on the football team, weighing in at 162 pounds. But repeated hits left both his knees injured and made it difficult for Holland to stay active. Despite the aches, Holland kept his svelte physique all through college and into his first years in the Legislature.

"I would like nothing more than to have an office and a staff to help people and to give people a ray of hope," Holland said. "I've been advocating every second of my life for the least, the last, and the most vulnerable - poor folks, just like me."

Travis Childers:
"I've lived the challenges facing north Mississippi," Childers said while on the campaign trail Monday. "And I believe one person can make a difference. If you don't believe that, you shouldn't be in public service."A Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives 1st District seat, Childers spent the afternoon greeting supporters in his hometown of Booneville, where he also serves as Prentiss County's chancery clerk.

Since qualifying for the election in January, Childers has kept a grueling schedule of campaigning while still working as chancery clerk and helping his wife, Tami, run the family's two businesses - Landmark Nursing Center and Landmark Community. The first is an 80-bed skilled-care facility; the second is an independent-living home with an on-site staff. He also owns Travis Childers Realty, but leaves the day-to-day operations to an associate.Childers doesn't mind the work. Nor does he consider unplugging the cell phone and drawing the shades to rest for a day."I'm a motivated person," he said. "If I want something, I don't give up until I get it."

Childers said he felt good about it, too: "I'm the underdog in this race," he said. "But I've been the underdog before."

The Club For Growth Flexes Financial Muscle To Help Ross

Earlier in the year we analyzed the support Ross was getting from the Club for Growth.

I predicted in another post that they would buy advertising in the state. Here is their ad:

I suspect they haven't interjected themselves more because they like both candidates.

Rally against 3rd Bush Term

Here's the information from the Democratic party about activities going on today in response to McCain's visit.

· Meridian rally: Mississippi Democrats will rally Monday morning across from the Riley Center in advance of McCain’s speech. Democrats will be available for news media interviews.

· Jackson rally: Mississippi Democrats will rally at noon Monday in Smith Park, located on Amite Street between North Congress and West streets in downtown Jackson. Democrats running for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House, along with other high-profile party leaders and representatives from the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns, will speak about Democratic values and issues beginning at about 12:15 p.m.


Anyone have any predictions or insight in to what could happen tomorrow in the runoffs?

1st Congressional District (Democrat)
Steve Holland or Travis Childers

1st Congressional District (Republican)
Glenn McCullough or Greg Davis

3rd Congressional District (Republican)
Gregg Harper or Charlie Ross

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Specifics On McCain's Scheduled Stop in Mississippi

*Mon Mar 31, 2008 *
9:30am McCain: Speech in Meridian, MS
*Where: *2200 Fifth St., Meridian, MS
*Description: *"Service t o America" tour - Speech at Mississippi State
University at 8:45 a.m. The event will be held at the Riley Center.
*Tracking Scheduled*

I'd go if I lived anywhere near Meridian. Be sure to bring questions about the Keating 5, Staying in Iraq indefinitely, violating campaign finance laws he wrote, or not understanding the basics of Iraq and Iran or longterm foreign policy in general. I would.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Send to your Republican Friends Across MS

From the

The following e-mail went around the Sunday before the March 11 primary. When one of the JFP writers got it (through an account for an organization he volunteers with), it had the sender's name listed, as well as a list of other e-mail addresses it went to, including many people who work at a bank in Brookhaven and members of the local business press. We are seeking a comment from the sender.

Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2008 22:14:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Send to your Republican friends all across MS

Continue the chaos for the Democratic party by voting for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. I know this will be hard for you, but it is more fun watching the Democrats implode. John McCain has secured the Republican nomination, and everyone is predicting that Obama will win MS easily. Don't let this happen. Keep the madness going for this party by voting for Clinton. Forward this on to all of your Republican friends across MS!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Political Ad on Immigration

There hasn't been much chatter on the site the past few days, but this will surely stir something up.

Political Ads Blame Immigration for Black Unemployment

WLBT covered it, and below is some information on the source of the ad.

The ads are paid for by the Coalition for the Future American Worker. The Coalition is an umbrella group that includes trade groups and immigration reform advocates. The claim contained in the ads -- that "'studies show immigration accounts for 40% of the decline in the employment of black men" -- stems from a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private research group.

The NBER describes itself as a non-partisan group, but the liberal group SourceWatch cites conservative sources for the Bureau's philanthropic funding.

A report by KMBC-TV of Kansas City, Mo. found the statistical claim to be misleading, given the actual portion of legal and illegal immigrants within the American workforce. The CFAW ads ran in Missouri and in other states like Mississippi where immigration reform is a key political issue.

Latest attempt to take down Musgrove

According to Y'all Politics, Musgrove may be implicated in the beef plant scandal. Campaign finance reports indicate he did receive contributions from those involved with the beef plant.

In the Sun Herald, they shared this excerpt from a polygraph report:

The document says the polygraph examiner asked: "Did you ever have an agreement with anyone that your company would get work on the Mississippi Beef Project in return for making contributions to Musgrove's campaign?"

The document said Moultrie replied: "No."

The person conducting the polygraph examination also asked Moultrie: "Did anyone ever communicate to you that your company would be provided work on the Mississippi Beef Project in return for contributions to Musgrove's campaign?"

The document said Moultrie replied: "No."

Discount Rx program in Jackson County

Jackson County is helping to make prescription drugs more affordable for people who don't have insurance of don't have good coverage. This seems too easy to be true. According to the article 12 other counties participate, but this is the first I've heard of it.

From The Mississippi Press:

Jackson County is launching a discount card program starting today that will offer an average savings of 20 percent off the retail price of commonly prescribed drugs for uninsured or underinsured residents.

The program, being made available by the Board of Supervisors under a program sponsored by the National Association of Counties, will be available to those who do not have prescription insurance or whose insurance does not cover their prescription needs.

"It has to do with the people who not have insurance," said Supervisor Manly Barton.

The free cards are available to all county residents, regardless of age, income or health coverage and will be accepted at 27 area pharmacies.

Residents will not have to fill out an application form or pay an annual membership fee, and there is no restrictions on the number of times a participant uses the card. A national network of more than 57,000 participating retail pharmacies also will honor the prescription discount card.

Monday, March 24, 2008

USM upsets MSU 62 - 61 in first round of Women's NIT

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

I just donated $10 dollars to Rep. Don Cazayoux And You Should Too

If you want Democrats to have a majority large enough to pass universal healthcare it's going to take a few more.

I think we'll have a Democratic president (whether it is Madam or Mister President) and a strong majority in the senate with 3 to 6 pickups.

Rep. Don Cazayoux is running in the 6th Congressional District of Louisiana which includes Baton Rouge.

A couple of his ads:

This seat has been historically very Republican, but Cazayoux, like our own Rep. Gene Taylor, fits his District and will vote with Democrats the vast majority of the time. The Cook Political Report calls it a TOSS-UP. We can win this race, but he's going to need help.

If you can volunteer CLICK HERE or if like me you'd like to make a small donation CLICK HERE. Both are excellent choices.

And yes, for the record, I do like and respect Gene Taylor even if I disagree with him on some major issues.

What others say about Mississippi

I ran across a blog (mattstaggs) today that had this to say about Mississippi. I don't know anything about the blog or the blogger, but it is interesting to see what others think about us. I couldn't tell if he is from Mississippi or not, but the one commenter (so far) I think is from here.

Mississippi is a prime example of what they like: weak labor laws that exploit workers and benefit land owners and industrialists, "tort reform" that actually doesn't cut into nuisance lawsuits, all it really does is put a cap on the amount of money you'll get to take care of yourself when some petty noble of a physician screws up and cuts off your arm during what was supposed to be gall gladder surgery. High grocery taxes, high car tag taxes. Super cheap cigarettes and plenty of nickel slot gambling, both of which appeals to desperate people looking for an escape. No money for health care, no money for education. Look at Mississippi, and look at our future.

One comment:

Kny said...
Look at Mississippi and look at the bottom rung of America. Our home state has turned out more famous entertainers, inventors and authors than most any other state... because Mississippians have no way or where to go but up. They typically thrive in the face of adversity. It is a state that has so much potential and promise, but at the end of the day you still have the same crooked, self interested politicos running the show so things will likely never really change a whole lot. Which is a pity

When journalists are wrong...

I ran across "Voter Info: Who Can Vote April 1" today on the Meridian Star's website.

While generally correct, there is one glaring over-generalization:

That list of citizens who cannot vote is a lot shorter than the list of those who can. People who voted on a Democratic ballot in the March 11 primary cannot vote in the run-off, which is between two Republicans. People who were not registered to vote by the Feb. 9, 2008 deadline are also not allowed to vote in the run-off. There's still time to register to vote in the Nov. 4 general election, though. And of course anyone who is not eligible to vote in a regular election, such as a non-resident of Lauderdale County or a convicted felon, will not be able to vote in Lauderdale County April 1 either.

According to the Secretary of State, only the following felonies disenfranchise voters. People deserve their right to vote, and they deserve to have the news reported to them accurately!

Has never been convicted of any crime listed in Section 241 of the Mississippi Constitution (murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement, or bigamy).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SB 2149: Parent's Campaign Update

I received this from Nancy Loome and the Parent's Campaign on Senate Bill 2149 right after my earlier post. Here is the text:

Dear Jeff,

The House of Representatives today passed Senate Bill 2149 calling for the removal of any superintendent in a school district that is determined to be underperforming for 2 consecutive years under that superintendent’s leadership. The bill was amended, however, to remove the language requiring that affected elected superintendent posts become appointed. While elected superintendents in underperforming districts will be prohibited from running for reelection, their successors will be elected under the amended version of the bill. I will email you the votes on SB 2149 tomorrow.

The bill will now go back to the Senate where that body can concur with the current language or invite conference. It is likely that the bill will go to conference, in which case 3 members from the House and 3 members from the Senate will negotiate compromise legislation.

We at The Parents’ Campaign believe this is an important move toward significant education reform in Mississippi. We are disappointed that the amended version of the bill means that children in districts with elected superintendents will continue to have their leaders chosen from a limited pool of candidates, but we are hopeful that this can be addressed in conference.

I am very grateful for the many calls and emails to Legislators generated by members of The Parents’ Campaign. They made a difference. Many of our members wrote me to say that they believe this is the most significant bill to come before the Legislature this session. Parents across the state have expressed their gratitude that school leaders will be held accountable for the quality of education provided our children.

We will continue to update you on other education legislation as we move through the Legislative Session. You can see the progress made on other education bills on our website at bill status.

We took a big step forward for our kids today!

Many, many thanks,


Peace Rallies In Hattiesburg On Highway 49

I ran into fellow blogger Gene O' at a rally calling for the end of the Iraq war today. (5 years in.)

Here's his post on the war.

Mixed Bag on SB 2149: A Step Towards Accountability, but Representative Perkins Guts Key Part of Bill with Amendment

Senate Bill 2149 passed the house today after being amended. With the vote still unavailable as of this post, I have no way of telling you the details of either tally. If you are a supporter of public education, the news is a mixed bag. On one hand there lies a victory for accountability. Local school boards will now be able to remove underperforming superintendents after a period of two years. One the other hand, they will not have the ability to choose the most qualified candidate to fill the role. A special election would be held. The superintendent removed would be barred from running for reelection for a period of four years.

Coming out of committee in the House, SB 2149 was exactly what the Mississippi Department of Education, the very people charged with improving our public schools, supported. However there was an amendment proposed that absolutely gutted the intended effect of the bill. As I noted on Cotton Mouth here and here, Mississippi must eliminate elected superintendents. Out of 17,000 superintendents, only 165 are elected. Of those 165 districts, 65 are in Mississippi.

The amendment changed the bill from the version that came out of committee in a key area. Before the amendment, the superintendent position would be appointed in the case of a board removal due to underperformance. The amendment struck this from the bill and replaced it with language allowing for the return to the standard electoral means of choosing a superintendent, after the expiration of the original term of the removed superintendent. Basically the board of trustees would get to remove an underperforming superintendent, but would not get to choose the replacement.

This does provide a measure of accountability, but it does not address a key problem. The position of superintendent is a professional position, and needs to be filled by the most qualified candidate. The field does not need to be narrowed to the residents of the electoral district. Why “hire within” when your schools have been chronically underperforming?

The really pathetic part of this whole story is who proposed the amendment. Representative Willie Perkins, a Democrat from Leflore County, did a tremendous disservice to the children of Leflore County, the delta, and Mississippi with his shortsighted amendment. His amendment helps to preserve a failed system that has long been abandoned by the rest of the country. He should listen to the Mississippi Department of Education, and leaders like Nancy Loome and Hank Bounds. We need to listen to our leaders in education when they make proposals to improve the worst schools in Mississippi.

The bill now heads back to Senate, where it could be passed as is, or if not sent to conference. We will keep you posted...

At least it's not Mississippi

Below is a clip from the Colbert Report. I'm just glad this bill didn't come up here. Though, I've probably spoken too soon, now...

Tennessee State Senator Doug Jackson- Difference Maker

Update: I think I've got the right clip on there! Sorry- I promise it's funny.

Also, the bill died. To quote the House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh: "I just don't feel that carrying firearms into places that serve alcohol is an appropriate thing to do."

Economy in Mississippi

The Mississippi Economic Policy Center- a nonpartisan think tank- has released a study (National Crisis Hits Home: Addressing Mississippi's Foreclosures) on the housing industry in Mississippi, and it's not looking good.

According to the report, Mississippi has the highest percentage of loans past due, and the eighth highest rate of foreclosures.

From the report:

Industry experts and analysts attribute the high rate of delinquency and foreclosure in Mississippi to two primary factors:

1. Mississippi has the highest rate of subprime lending in the country. According to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data, in 2006, 36.9% of all first mortgages originated for owner-occupied single-family homes in the state were subprime. Research shows that subprime lending can result in delinquency and foreclosure rates of up to 10 times the rates associated with prime lending.

2. Hurricane Katrina has left many homeowners unable to keep up with mortgage payments. Delinquencies on the Gulf Coast have soared in the wake of the storm. Since Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi has consistently had one of the highest delinquency rates in the country: an average of 12.04% of all loans have been past due, compared to 4.82% of all loans nationally.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

DNC TV ad on Iraq

Here's the new DNC ad on Iraq. The five year anniversary is this week. As someone mentioned to me the other day, the Civil War only lasted 4 years and our part in WWI lasted only four years.

Barack Obama Speech Transcript

In Philadelphia today, Barack Obama delivered a powerful speech on race in America. Personally, I found it very moving as did a Republican friend of mine. Senator Obama even invokes the wisdom of our own William Faulkner at one point. The news channels have been repeatedly reporting that the speech can be compared to a speech by Martin Luther King. I won't go there, but the speech is fantastic.

The speech is long so I won't post the whole thing here. But here is a link to a post on TPM

Here a couple of exerpts :

Legalized discrimination - where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments – meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities.

A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families – a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods – parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement – all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.

This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What’s remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

exerpt 2:

For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances – for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives – by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

Ironically, this quintessentially American – and yes, conservative – notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country – a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old -- is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know -- what we have seen – is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

Governor's Statement

Below is Governor Barbour's statement on signing SB 2988. This bill, which many to the far right, including JT & Dave and Phil Bryant, have applauded, is causing serious headaches in the business community. The Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA) has been aggressively fighting this bill and the heavy, and sometimes racist, remarks and actions against immigrants in recent weeks.

Is it too much, too little? Is Barbour going to pay for this in the business community?


MARCH 17, 2008

“Today, I have signed into law SB 2988, a bill designed to discourage illegal immigration in Mississippi by creating new penalties for hiring illegal immigrants. I appreciate the efforts of Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant and others in the House and Senate who have worked so hard on this issue.

Any employer who knowingly hires an illegal alien should be held accountable, and that is the goal of SB 2988. While I have signed this legislation into law, I have serious concerns about specific provisions of the bill that could have unintended negative consequences. I urge the Legislature to make the necessary technical changes to ensure this bill will have the intended effect.

Senate Bill 2988 mandates that employers utilize the federal E-Verify program administered by the Department of Homeland Security. I am concerned about andating the E-Verify system as the sole source from which an employer in Mississippi can verify a potential employee’s eligibility, especially since the federal government itself has said E-Verify is not a reliable system. According to a 2006 Report prepared for the United States Department of Homeland Security: “The accuracy of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) database used for verification has improved substantially since the start of the Basic Pilot program. However, further improvements are needed, especially if the Web Basic Pilot becomes a mandated national program – improvements that USCIS personnel report are currently underway. Most importantly, the database used for verification is still not sufficiently up to date to meet the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) requirements for accurate verification, especially for naturalized citizens. USCIS accommodates this problem by providing for manual review that is time consuming and can lead to discrimination against work-authorized foreign-born persons during the period that the verification is ongoing, especially naturalized citizens.” Mississippi’s economy is growing; we have record employment. We don’t want American citizens or others legally here to lose jobs because the verification system is technologically flawed. I urge the Legislature to add other reliable verification systems beyond E-Verify to confirm the hiring eligibility of potential employees.

The requirement to use E-Verify to determine the eligibility of potential new employees is phased-in, depending on the businesses’ number of employees. Smaller businesses are not required to use the federal program until July 1, 2011; however, SB 2988 establishes employers’ use of E-Verify as an absolute defense against suits brought by a former employee, as it should. But the bill does not make plain that the smaller employers are immune from these private suits until the mandate to use E-Verify goes into effect for employers in their size category. It should be made plain that small employers are exempt from and will be held harmless from the private litigation referred to in Section 2(4)(e) until such time as they are required to use the E-Verify system under the statue’s timetable in Section 2(7).

Also, while the intent of SB 2988 is to hold employers accountable for their actions, the term “employing entity” is used in certain places without being defined. I ask the Legislature to clarify that an “employing entity” in this bill is the entity that is the employer of the employee found to be an illegal immigrant.

Employers are understandably concerned when government applies new regulations to their businesses, especially when these new regulations provide for powerful penalties, even including loss of current contracts or of a license to do business in our state. Employers, therefore, can be expected to be very cautious in hiring with the sword of these penalties hanging over their heads.

It is, therefore, very important that the law be written clearly and be interpreted predictably. SB 2988 falls short of that standard, and it also limits compliance to a system of verification that even its provider, the U.S. Government, says is insufficiently reliable.

I look forward to working with the Legislature this session to make these greatly needed technical amendments.”

Monday, March 17, 2008

New National Delegate Numbers and Polls

For your enjoyment:

Delegate numbers by CNN
Obama with 1,618 (1,411 pledged, 207 Superdelegates)
Clinton with 1,479 (1,242 pledged, 237 Superdelegates)

Polls via TPM
Pres '08 Mar 17 ------ Clinton (D) 51%, McCain (R) 46%
USA Today/Gallup

Pres '08 Mar 17 ------ Obama (D) 49%, McCain (R) 47%
USA Today/Gallup

Pres '08 (D) Mar 17 ------ Clinton 47%, Obama 45%

Pres '08 Mar 17 ------ McCain (R) 46%, Obama (D) 44%

Pres '08 Mar 17 ------ Clinton (D) 46%, McCain (R) 46%

Experts: Recession - We are in Deep Doo-Doo

The word is grim out of the economist circles. New reports have big names like Greenspan forecasting dark days ahead. In a new article on Salon, there is downright doom and gloom talk from several economists. Here is a sample:

Consider the following extraordinary commentary: Alan Greenspan saying, "The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching since the end of the second world war." Former Reagan economic advisor Martin Feldstein saying, "Could this become the worst recession we have seen in the postwar period? I think the answer is yes."

Things are not looking good as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman noted:

Paul Krugman writing that the current situation "looks increasingly like one of history's great financial crises."

Don't forget Captain Obvious had something to add:

Even George Bush concedes that we face "challenging times,"

Well Mr. President, maybe if you did not continue the principles of Reagan conservatism we would not be in such financial dire straights. You know the kind of conservatism that does not curb spending, only reallocates it from social programs and infrastructure building to defense and wars. Hell you even started a war and cut taxes at the same time. Only thing is the tax cuts really only helped those you affectionately called "my base".

I think a post outlining the failures of modern republican policy is in order. If this recession is as bad as liberals, scratch that, economists like Alan Greenspan say, we can thank the same party that gave us the great depression.

My Amateur Photos from the Big Week

Here are a few of my photos from last week.

Disclaimer: I have never owned a camera, and borrowed a digital from a friend for the week. The picture of the arms raised holding the "stand for change" signs is my favorite one.

SB 2149: Steps to Accountability

In a follow up to the post from earlier today, here is a bulletin I recieved from Nancy Loome of the Parent's Campaign. Thanks Nancy for your tireless work for the children of Mississippi.

Dear Jeff,

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is an incredibly important day for Mississippi children. Senate Bill 2149 is likely to be taken up on the floor of the House tomorrow. This legislation promises to do more than perhaps any other to improve the quality of education offered Mississippi children.

Senate Bill 2149 was amended by the House Education Committee and no longer addresses school board selection or school district consolidation. The bill now calls for the removal of any superintendent in a district that is underperforming for 2 consecutive years under that superintendent’s leadership, whether the superintendent is elected or appointed.

Many Mississippi kids simply cannot wait any longer for the Legislature to take this important step. Studies show that when children are subjected to poor education for 1 year, it is difficult for them to recover, for 2 years even more so. And when children are subjected to poor education for 3 or more years, studies show that, in most cases, they never recover from those missed years. In other words, when we consistently subject children to a low quality education, we are sentencing them to lives of underachievement, under- or unemployment, and poverty. That is unacceptable.

This bill also promises to help children in high performing districts, because when all districts perform better, many of the problems facing public education will be resolved. Fewer parents will attempt to send their children to schools outside their district of residency. Fewer children will move into high performing districts underprepared. All children will be educated to higher standards, and student achievement overall will rise. Mississippi can, at long last, begin to move forward.

If you have not asked your Representative to support SB 2149, please do so. You can find contact information for your Representative at Find My Legislators.

Please help us win this important battle for Mississippi children. A brighter future for all our kids is well within our grasp!

Many, many thanks,


Holland Picks Up Endorsements From #3 and #4 Finishers

From a release:

In a joint announcement Monday Calhoun City Alderman Marshall Coleman and Tupelo Attorney Brian Neely announced their endorsement of Rep. Steve Holland for U S. Congress and asked their supporters to vote for Holland in the second primary on April 1. Coleman and Neely garnered more than 23,000 votes in the March 11 primary.

"Steve Holland's record of public service is one of helping people," Coleman said in explaining why he is voting for Rep. Holland. "I believe Steve Holland will be this region's strongest candidate."

"My relationship with Steve Holland and our families go back through the years and we have many mutual friends," Neely remarked. "Steve Holland is a proven winner who can be victorious in the Special Election and in November."

"I certainly am humbled and deeply appreciative for this endorsement and pledge that our campaign will continue to build momentum that will carry us to victory on April 1," Holland stated. "Both of these men have served their country honorably in the military as well as on the local level in elected and appointed positions. I am pleased to receive their support today."


Coleman and Neely were the top African American candidates and recieved 13 and 11 percent of the vote.

It'll be interesting to see who shows up to vote in the runoff election without a marquee race at the top.

Franks for Chair

According to the Daily Journal this morning, former State Representative and candidate for lieutenant governor Jamie Franks may run for chair of the Democratic Party.

Current chair, Wayne Dowdy, will not seek reelection. Jim Herring, the chair of the Republican Party, is also stepping down this year.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Obama's Preacher: Jeremiah Wright

Taken Entirely from Devilstower at Daily Kos:
Damn you rich! You already have your compensation.

Damn you who are well-fed! You will know hunger.

Damn you who laugh now! You will weep and grieve.

Damn you when everybody speaks well of you!

A rant from a radical preacher? Without a doubt. Someone on the Obama campaign? Well, Sen. Obama says so. That's the Scholars Translation of Luke 6:24-26, and the speaker is Jesus of Nazareth.

In the King James Version, the first part of Luke 6:24 reads "But woe unto you that are rich!" That comes off as quaint and a lot less shocking to modern ears -- not the kind of preaching that nets you space on Fox News. But Jesus meant his words to be shocking. He meant them to strike against the status quo and shake up the comfortable.

God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human.

God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.

That's Jeremiah Wright.

Is the vision of a pastor standing in his pulpit shouting "God damn America" shocking? Yes. But don't mistake Wright's (or Jesus') statement for what some drunk in a bar would mean using the same phrasing. Wright isn't saying "FU America!" he's saying "these actions of America are worthy of God's condemnation." He's just saying it in a way that cuts through the Sunday morning sleepiness and makes people sit up in their pew.

From Gandhi to King, it's in the nature of spiritual leaders to grab their audiences by the throat and their nations by the short hairs. This was true at the time of the Civil War and during the Civil Rights movement. Martyrs did not become martyrs by appealing to the status quo.

Don't take this to mean that I agree with every word that Wright spoke (e.g. the United States did not create AIDS), but neither do I feel like his words require that "his church should lose it's tax exempt status" that he's a traitor, or that he's an embarrassment to his church or to Senator Obama -- all comments that have appeared on this site.

Do I think that 9/11 was the "chickens coming home to roost?" Yeah, I pretty much do. Of course the terrorists bear the personal responsibility for their actions and the deaths that resulted. But to pretend that decades of actions overseas had nothing to do with that terrible morning is far more delusional than anything said by Rev. Wright. If you jab a stick into a hornet's nest and shake it for fifty years, the hornets might do the stinging, but you can't blame only the hornets. Actions have consequences, and though we may pretend to both purity of motive and prescience about outcomes, the truth is that violence tends to generate violence in return. Or, as that radical I quoted above said "those who take up the sword, will die by the sword."

The purpose of a good sermon isn't to placate, ease, and make people comfortable. A dangerous religion isn't one that challenges people and makes them squirm. Makes them angry. A dangerous religion is one that is too amicable to what you already think, one that pats you on the head and sends you forth in assurance of your own righteousness. If you want to search for "traitors" in the pulpit, turn your eye toward those who never find anything wrong in the actions of this nation.

I understand why Senator Obama finds it necessary to distance himself from Rev. Wright. There were plenty of things in those sermons that I don't agree with, and I'm suspect many of the ideas that grate on my nerves also strike the Senator as either wrong or unsustainable politically. These days, three isolated words on the news seem far more important than context or intent. But I wish he didn't have to do so.

Because getting your personal beliefs regularly challenged, rather than reinforced, is important.

Damn You Rich At DailyKos

Education: School Superintendents Should be Appointed not Elected

There have been several pieces of legislation recently regarding how our local school districts governing bodies are chosen. Currently most all of Mississippi's county school district superintendents are elected not appointed. While on the surface this may sound acceptable, a closer look at the way effective school administrations are organized begs to differ.

First let's go over some facts. Mississippi has 152 school districts. Of those districts, 65 elect their superintendents. The United States has over 17,000 school districts nationwide, with only 165 using electoral means to choose a superintendent. The remainder of the 17,000 districts select their superintendent by allowing the local board of trustees to appoint the superintendent. Only two other states (Alabama and Florida) allow for the position of school superintendent to be chosen by an election.

Accountability is one of the main concerns driving the push to make all superintendent positions appointed. How can a board of trustees hold a superintendent accountable when they do not have the power to replace him in case of chronic underperformance? The elected school superintendent works less hand-in-hand with his board of trustees by design , since in effect he answers to the electorate and not the school board.

Mississippi children suffer from certain school districts that under-perform year after year, despite a rash of measures by the Mississippi Department of Education to help them improve. Some of these districts have elected superintendents, which leads to a hamstrung board of trustees, unable to make the critical personnel decisions at the top necessary to hold the person responsible for the performance of the district accountable. A situation like this would be unthinkable in the private sector.

Another major reason for the role of superintendent to be appointed is to expand the field of eligible candidates. For a person to be a eligible to run for the office of superintendent he or she must reside in that district. This severely narrows the field of qualified candidates. The superintendent position is a professional position, requiring advanced education experience and degrees. It is not a position to be filled by anyone who can get majority vote, but by the most professionally qualified. It makes sense to elect positions such as alderman and supervisors, but not school administrators, due to the professional nature of the position. Often times, the best person for the job may be found across county or even state lines. For instance the Tupelo Public School District prospered when they hired North Carolina native Richard Thompson.

Blowback for this proposal comes from elected superintendents who fear for their jobs. When in actuality it will be a help to them provided they are doing their job. Currently they have to find a balance between being an educator and a politician, in effect robbing from them the necessary time and energy required to be a professional educator. They will no longer have to be an educator who doubles as a politician, or in some dismal cases a politician who doubles as an educator. Some of our severely underperforming districts reside in our poorest areas of the state where jobs are scarce. Unfortunately sometimes these schools lose focus of their purpose, and are viewed more as a source of employment for the community rather than a place of education charged to ensure the future success of the children of the community they serve. The idea of having their feet held to the fire frightens them, but the Mississippi Department of Education and all educators statewide have a job to do and it must be done if we as a state are to rise above our current economic status. That is for certain.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Scruggs pleads

Dickie Scruggs pleaded guilty this morning of conspiracy to bribe a judge. Sid Backstrom has also pleaded guilty.

Click here to read the Sun Herald's coverage.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

SurveyUSA Electoral Matchup

This may be by far the coolest chart and map I have seen yet. SurveyUSA has been by far the best polling service this election cycle. Here is the SurveyUSA electoral map in a matchup of McCain and Obama based on polling completed March 6.

Here is the SurveyUSA breaking it down by state and electoral delegates.

Daddy likey.
You can follow the madness here. SurveyUSA

New Gallup Polls

I promise I won't bore you with national polls on a regularly basis, but these polls add fuel to the Democratic Party "hope fire" we have going on Cotton Mouth. These are new Gallup polls released today.

Pres' 08 - Mar 13 ------ Obama 48%, Clinton 46%
Pres' 08 - Mar 13 ------ Obama (D) 46%, McCain (R) 44%
Pres' 08 - Mar 13 ------ Clinton (D) 47%, McCain (R) 45%

Very positive news if you are a Democrat. Both of our fantastic candidates are ahead, although well within the margin of error.

This Is Cool: "Obama In 30 Seconds" Even If You Support Clinton

I'm a member of MoveOn and they've done some very innovative things and have helped Democrats far more than most of the folks who attack them. Have they done a couple of dumb things? Sure, but overall they've been really cool.

This should be fun to watch. If I get any good ideas I may submit something, but chances are I won't.

Wayne Dowdy Hasn't Publicly Announced

I think he's a super-delegate as party chairman so who is Wayne Dowdy going to support?

This from 3/06/08 at Mississippi's Jefferson Jackson Hamer dinner.

More Numbers And Statistics For Political Junkies

Sen. Obama won the night, with 61% of the vote--roughly 253,441 of the total 417,428 votes cast in the Democratic primary were for him.

Only 458,094 votes cast total for the Kerry/Edwards ticket in the general election in 2004. There were almost that many Democratic primary voters Tuesday night.

Let's go back to 2000. Al Gore got 89.62%, with only 79,408 votes of the total 114,979 cast. The 2008 primary turnout is a 263% increase over 2000.

In the 2004 Democratic primary for president, John Kerry won at 78.4%, gaining 59,815 of the 76,298 votes cast. Better candidates, better ideas, and competition in 2008 combined to create a 447% increase in Democratic presidential primary voters over 2004.

The "loser" of last night's contest, Senator Clinton, alone got almost as many votes last night (154,852) then were cast total for Democrats in the 2004 or 2008 primaries combined (155,706). Note the way 2000 and 2004 track each other (2000-79k, 2004-76k). The Democrats have "found" 300,000 new voters in the primary.

Let's look back just one year in statewide politics. In the 2007 general gubernatorial election, Haley Barbour beat John Arthur Eaves, 430,807 to 313,232, with a total vote cast of 744,039. There were almost as many Democratic primary votes cast last night as it took to win the governorship last year.

In the 2000 presidential primary--the last time there was one for Republicans, as Pres. Bush ran uncontested in 2004--the surging popularity of the former Texas governor brought him 101,042 votes, 87.88% of the total 114,979 votes cast.

Contrast that last night with Sen. John McCain, who won 111,953 votes last night, 79% of the 141,814 cast. This is an increase over those folks claiming to be Republican and voting for then-Gov. Bush. This is a 23% increase (with help from a couple of competitive Congressional primaries). Even with these (comparably modest) gains, the Republicans are performing to their historical scale.

Total votes cast last night in both presidential primaries: 559,242
Total votes cast in 2000 in both presidential primaries: 203, 581
A 175% increase.

This people came from somewhere . . . they've never voted before . . . and they voted Democratic.

Thanks to Cotton Mouth research for this analysis.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Preliminary Mississippi Delegate Count (And Other Data)


Delegate Totals*:

MS-1: 3-2 Clinton
MS-2: 5-2 Obama
MS-3: 3-2 Obama
MS-4: 3-2 Obama

Statewide: 6-5 Obama

Total: 19-14 Obama

*These numbers are not set in stone or official yet (I do believe).

Clarion Ledger:
Mississippi - Summary Vote Results

March 12, 2008 - 02:07PM ET (i) = incumbent = winner = runoff
President - Dem Primary
1909 of 1912 Precincts Reporting - 99%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Obama, Barack Dem 253,441 61%
Clinton, Hillary Dem 154,852 37%
Edwards, John Dem 3,841 1%
Biden, Joe Dem 1,768 0%
Richardson, Bill Dem 1,339 0%
Kucinich, Dennis Dem 891 0%
Dodd, Chris Dem 718 0%
Gravel, Mike Dem 578 0%
President - GOP Primary
1894 of 1912 Precincts Reporting - 99%
Name Party Votes Vote %
McCain, John GOP 111,953 79%
Huckabee, Mike GOP 17,676 12%
Paul, Ron GOP 5,487 4%
Romney, Mitt GOP 2,154 2%
Thompson, Fred GOP 2,128 2%
Giuliani, Rudy GOP 935 1%
Keyes, Alan GOP 833 1%
Hunter, Duncan GOP 407 0%
Tancredo, Tom GOP 241 0%

Yes. Even though he wasn't running John Edwards came close to tying the #2 Republican in the race. Ron Paul still isn't going anywhere folks.

Boycott to end

The American Family Association has announced they will end their two-year boycott of Ford.

The group, headquarted in Tupelo and led by Don Wildmon, was upset because Ford had published ads in gay magazines and supported organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign. (Volvo is technically a corporate sponsor of HRC, but it is owned by Ford.)

According to Wildmon, Ford has met enough of their demands to end the boycott. According to Ford, they haven't "met" any demands- they've just had less sales and less money to give out.

While Ford was ignoring the boycott, so was the rest of America, and probably most of the supposed 700K people who signed the petition.

Read about it in the Clarion-Ledger.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Obama Hal and Mal's Party

Around 8:00 tonight, after viewing the results from my couch for an hour, I wandered down to Hal and Mal's to the Obama results viewing party. There I ran into a lot of familiar faces from the week. Mike Meehan and Aaron (I am sorry I forget your last name), YOU GUYS ROCK. The joint was hopping with a large crowd filled with enthusiasm.

Former Governor Ray Mabus was in attendance. Mississippi state Senator Kenneth Jones from District 21, right her north of Jackson was also on hand. Senator Jones was one of the two men on stage with Senator Clinton in Canton for the JJH. He laughingly told me that he had been catching hell from his family, friends and constituency for his apparent backing of Senator Clinton. He was on stage for the Senator Clinton event due to his position as the Senator for Canton. We shared a good laugh about it.

I met a middle-aged black gentlemen from New Mexico name Jeffrey who used to be a college professor. He shared my pro-education views. He explained to me how the GOP had developed a stronghold in New Mexico, and how New Mexico's education rank had slipped into our league. He agreed with me that the GOP finds strength where poverty levels are high and education levels low. An uneducated electorate is vulnerable to the low-brow politics and deceit of the GOP.

I met a middle-aged white lady down from New Jersey. She just loved the culture and feel of Mississippi. We watched the returns for a while and I bored her to death with my delegate numbers breakdown. Somebody had to hear it, unfortunately for her. She was a good sport about it, but dissapeared like the wind, when I went to field a phone call.

I ran into a co-worker who is also a big Obama supporter. We joined together to cheer for the cameras when the live news broadcasts were run. I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time, and managed to share my ugly mug with the greater Jackson viewing area for the second time this week.

There was a black lady there who was passing out cards to garner support for a voter registration drive. She shared with me her disappointment with the 50% AA turnout, when they make up 65-70% of registered Democratic voters. I agree, but I mainly want tot see the overall total raised, and as of right now we had 400,000 show. I believe that is a record, but I can't find my numbers to verify. I will be in touch with her to see what she has going.

The crowd was a complete mixed bag of young, old, white, black, local, rural, and campaign workers from all over the US. Most of the campaign workers I met were enjoying the spirits, unwinding from an intense, sleep deprived run. Aaron was heading to North Carolina to start it over again, with the NC primary on May 5. Mike was heading home.

Tonight was a nice conclusion to the greatest week a Mississippi Democrat could have, especially if he is supporting Obama. I bought a great T-Shirt that on the back featured a "guilty" looking Chelsea Clinton and in large print, "Don't tell Mama, I voted for Obama".

Delbert Hosemann: "It's Moron Ma'am."

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal:
Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann expects a light to moderate turnout 125,000 to 150,000 voters for today primaries featuring congressional and presidential choices. Hosemann said 100,000 ballots were cast in the 2004 presidential primary, which came after President Bush and Democratic Sen. John Kerry had won their parties' nominations and included fewer contested congressional primaries than this year.

According to my counts from the Clarion Ledger website there will be more than 405,237 voters in the Democratic primary alone and more than 545,237 voters overall.

Would that make the total 363% of his HIGHEST estimate?

The following advertisement is what I played off of for the title:

"It's Moron Ma'am"

Republican Primary Results:

The Clarion Ledger:
President - GOP Primary
1680 of 1912 Precincts Reporting - 88%
Name Party Votes Vote %
McCain, John GOP 102,547 79%
Huckabee, Mike GOP 16,333 13%
Paul, Ron GOP 5,083 4%

People still want Huckabee. I understand. McCain doesn't really have that much going for him.

Even with only with one other active opponent Ron Paul still can't get past low single digits. His supporters are outspoken and yes, you do know every one of them.

U.S. House - District 1 - GOP Primary
450 of 462 Precincts Reporting - 97%
Max Runoff Cands=2
Name Party Votes Vote %
McCullough, Glenn GOP 16,768 39%
Davis, Greg GOP 15,961 37%
Russel, Randy GOP 10,540 24%

If I'd have voted in this race I would have voted for Randy Russel. He looks like a great man, even if I disagree with her politics. The runoff will be April 1st and I have no idea which of the other two will win. Any ideas?

U.S. House - District 3 - GOP Primary
491 of 565 Precincts Reporting - 87%
Max Runoff Cands=2
Name Party Votes Vote %
Ross, Charlie GOP 19,650 34%
Harper, Gregg GOP 16,493 28%
Landrum, David GOP 15,401 26%
Rounsaville, John GOP 5,734 10%

This one goes to a runoff too. If this holds then Gregg Harper owes John Rounsaville a bundle for his attack ads on Landrum. Landrum dropped fast and the only one making it happen was Rounsaville. One of his ads HERE

If the election had been held two weeks ago I would have pegged it Landrum and Ross (in that order) in a runoff. Money (in the absence of a vacuum) can't buy you love.

The Results So Far: / Obama Vs. Clinton and Local Races

Clarion Ledger:

Democratic Primary President:
President - Dem Primary
1590 of 1912 Precincts Reporting - 83%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Obama, Barack Dem 200,509 59%
Clinton, Hillary Dem 132,082 39%

Senate Primary:
U.S. Senate - Dem Primary
1583 of 1912 Precincts Reporting - 83%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Fleming, Erik Dem 181,594 65%
O'Hara, Shawn Dem 96,682 35%

Democratic Primary District 1:
U.S. House - District 1 - Dem Primary
448 of 462 Precincts Reporting - 97%
Max Runoff Cands=2
Name Party Votes Vote %
Childers, Travis Dem 37,811 41%
Holland, Steve Dem 29,012 31%
Coleman, Marshall Dem 11,952 13%
Neely, Brian Dem 9,952 11%
Hurt, Ken Dem 3,836 4%

Democratic Primary District 3:
U.S. House - District 3 - Dem Primary
461 of 565 Precincts Reporting - 82%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Gill, Joel Dem 34,679 55%
Eads, Randy Dem 28,902 45%

A couple points:
- The 13% Republican vote can only partially explain the total for Shawn O'Hara (a perennial candidate who I have little respect for) What else is at play here? Are voters punishing him for his past or is racism at play?
- Childers and Holland will go to a runoff to be help on the 1st of April. Both are good choices. I look forward to a respectful couple of weeks.
- Joel Gill is to the right of Gene Taylor and I doubt he will lead a spirited challenge in the 3rd district. If he does intend to fight for it, I do look forward to assisting him. My first choice was proud Democrat Randy Eads.

Republicans For Hillary (And Not Because They Want Her)

According to MyDD:
13% of those that voted in the MS Democratic primary today were Republicans and they went for Hillary Clinton by a huge margin of 77-23%. Among independents who voted in the Democratic primary today, Clinton loses only by a slight 48-51% margin. These results represent a phenomenal improvement for Clinton among these groups as compared to her overall pre-March 4 results when she lost among Republicans 29-64% and among Independents 36-56%

3 Possibilities Why:

1. Republicans in Mississippi suddenly love Hillary Clinton (most unlikely)

2. Republicans were motivated to vote for the weaker general election candidate

3. Racists who identify as Republicans (i.e. not all Republicans are racist or vica versa) came out to vote against a black man

What do you think explains it?

(Update: Welcome Politico Readers Ben Smith At Politico)

Oh, right. Obama Wins Mississippi!

We'll provide breakdowns of percentage by District and what it means along with the status of all available delegates including super delegates soon.

Exit Polling And Other Such Info

Can be found at MyDD and Daily Kos who will be getting it up fast that I anyway.

Will Bardwell has also offered some observations.

The Big Day! Voting For President (Primary) In Mississippi

I voted in a trailer as I have in every election since Hurricane Katrina.

We voted on touch-screen machines manufactured by Diebold.  I had some difficulty because the screen wasn't very sensitive and I had to poke at it about a dozen times to move onto the next page.  The person who came to assist said that it had been acting up all day.

At 1 when I voted in my overwelmingly Republican precinct 264 folks had voted in the Democratic Primary and 181 folks had voted in the Republican Primary. 

That stands in strong contrast to 2007 state primaries when by the end of the day 802 folks had voted in the competitive Republican primary for Lt. Governor while 153 voted for Jamie Franks in the Democratic Primary.

I wonder if these patterns will be the same statewide.

Please leave you voting experience in the comments:

From Last Night / Barack Obama: Clinton Doesn't Represent "Real Change"

Barack Obama spoke in Jackson Mississippi at Jackson State University. In this clip he describes why he believes he represents "real change" and Hillary Clinton does not.

From Last Night / Barack Obama: There Is Nothing False About Hope

Barack Obama spoke in Jackson Mississippi at Jackson State University. In this clip he describes why he believes hope is powerful and that he provides a hearty defense of his candidacy and presents himself as more than "one speech." He describes the criticism of him as cynical and false. There is nothing false about hope.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Week in Review Delegate Style

Numbers from a post by Kos.

Since last Tuesday the following super delegates have pledged:

Obama (12)
DNC Carol Fowler (SC), 3-4-08
Mary Long (GA), 3-4-08
Roy LaVerne Brooks (TX), 3-4-08
Rhine McLin (OH), 3-5-08
DNC Jane Kidd (GA), 3-5-08
DNC Darlena Williams-Burnett (IL), 3-5-08
DNC Connie Thurman (IN), 3-6-08
Rep. Nick Rahall (WV), 3-6-08
DNC Teresa Benitez-Thompson (NV), 3-6-08
DNC Alexandra Gallardo-Rooker (CA), 3-7-08
Rep. Bill Foster (IL), 3-9-08
DNC Mary Jo Neville (OH), 3-9-08

Clinton (4)
Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA), 3-6-08
DNC Mona Mohib (DC), 3-6-08
DNC Aleita Huguenin (CA), 3-7-08
DNC Mary Lou Winters (LA), 3-8-08

Primary Results by Delegates

Obama Clinton
OH 66 ---- 75
RI 8 ----- 13
VT 9 ----- 6
TX 99 ---- 94
WY 7 ----- 5
Total 189 193


Obama ---- 201
Clinton ----197

Like Kos noted, a few more "bad" weeks for Obama like this and he can wrap up the nomination.

Yes we can!

New Hillary Ads in Mississippi

From a Hillary Clinton press release.

The Clinton campaign today announced it is launching its first two radio advertisements to air statewide in Mississippi.

The 60-second spots entitled "Invisible" and "Neighbor" highlight Hillary’s record of accomplishment on issues important to Mississippi families.

Listen to "Invisible" here.
Listen to "Neighbor" here.

Following are the scripts for the ads.

"Invisible Mississippi"

Radio :60

Announcer: Hillary Clinton has spent her life standing up for those others don’t see.

Hillary Clinton: "Too many Americans today feel as though they are invisible. If you are a child in a crumbling are invisible to this President."

Announcer: She’s working to end the unfunded mandate on our schools known as No Child Left Behind... help every child live up to their god given potential

Hillary Clinton: If you’re a mother without health care, a father without a job, you’re invisible as well.

Announcer: Hillary expanded health clinics in rural Arkansas, won health coverage for 6 million children, [83,000 in Mississippi alone...]

Hillary Clinton: If your stuck on a rooftop during a hurricane, you’re invisible to this President even when you’re on CNN.

Announcer: And she’s voted consistently to fund the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast.

Hillary Clinton: Well, you are not invisible to me and you should never be invisible to the President of the United States.

Announcer: Paid for by Hillary Clinton for President.

Hillary Clinton: I’m Hillary Clinton, candidate for president, and I approved this message. ____________________

"Neighbor Mississippi"Radio :60

Announcer: They said she couldn't do it. They counted her out. But Hillary Clinton fought back. And she won big. Maybe that's why Barack Obama is running false attack ads against her now.
But Hillary thinks Mississippians deserve the truth about what she's done and what she'll do.
When Katrina and Rita struck, Hillary was one of the first people in the country to call for FEMA to be a separate agency, run by a professional, not by the [former] head of a horse association.
And she's stayed with it... fighting to stop giving bonuses to contractors who aren't doing their jobs.

Hillary spent 18 years as our neighbor in Arkansas. She worked to improve the schools and expand rural health clinics. In the White House and the Senate, she won health coverage for six million children, 83,000 right here in Mississippi

...and expanded access to health care for 12,000 members of the Mississippi National Guard.
You know Hillary will fight for Mississippi...because she already has.

Paid for by Hillary Clinton for President.

Hillary Clinton: I'm Hillary Clinton, candidate for President, and I approved this message.

Final ARG poll

The final poll from the American Research Group on the Mississippi Democratic Primary.

MS-Pres (D)Mar 10 ------ Obama 54%, Clinton 38%

Here are the older polls:

MS-Pres (D) Mar 8 ----- Obama 53%, Clinton 39%

MS-Pres (D)Mar 7 ---- Obama 46%, Clinton 40%

MS-Pres (D)Mar 7 ---- Obama 58%, Clinton 34%

Change from last ARG poll
Obama -4
Clinton +4

I would say this is the Bill and Hillary bounce from their tour of state, Chelsea too. The Barack bounce will hit now that he has come to Mississippi.

In Closing: Hillary (not the change we need) Himself (More than Hope)

He went into a 5 or so minute rebuttal/attack on Hillary Clinton

He closed with some standard Hope talk.

Video clips of both will follow shortly.

This Is America

If we say we are going to raise fuel efficiency standards then we will

I went to Detroit and said that.

We need a leader who will tell us what we need to hear, not simply what we want to hear.

Crowd likes talk about proper training for troops and proper equipment

(Iraq) is distracting us from the battle we should have fought.

The war in Iraq was an unwise war.  That's why I opposed it in 2002 and that's why I'll end it in 2009.

Lobbyists Aren't Popular In Jackson

He talked about how lobbyists wouldn't have too much influence on his administration.

He then talks again about valuing teachers getting huge cheers again. Does JSU have a teachers college?

Make college affordable: (The folks like that idea.)

4,000 per year for college, but folks will have to serve their fellow man (students look stoked.)

Invest in the companies that invest in Jackson, Mississippi.

10 billion dollar home foreclosure preventive fund.

If you are willing to work in this country then you should not be poor.

"I made a bet" - Obama

I made a bet on America and on the American people. (not the quote)

"My bet has paid off..."

"They want something new, to write a new chapter" in American history.

He says he can't take all the credit for new voter turnout... A main cause is that "George Bush will not be on the ballot."

"Brownie Incompetence" (among other things) will be coming to an end this year.

"You want to be FOR something"

"We've got some big problems to solve." (lists several problems)

He gets a outsized reaction out of recognizing teachers.

"We Cannot Wait"

Our problems have outstripped politics as usual.

People want to get past the politics of tearing people down, and instead embrace the politics of lifting people up.

People want straight talk, honesty, (other good stuff)

Ordinary people can do extraordinary things when given the chance.

Change doesn't come from the top down, it comes from the ground up.

Some People Have Said "You Have Time"

I am running because of what Dr. King called the fierce urgency of now.

He says that the time to change i quickly passing.

He gives a laundry list of folks' grievances: healthcare, gas, education...

Barack Obama Has Entered The Building

Did I say wild before. Now it's deafening. People are on their feet. Arms are in the air. And He is greeted by nearly 10,000 voices. Competing cheers begin and "Yes We Can" breaks through.

"I'm proud to have the support of one of the most outstanding Congressmen we have: Bennie Thompson" (Crowd cheers.)

Acknowledges Ray Mabus, Joseph Lowry, Jackson State University President, Volunteers, Staffers, and Jackson State University.

I thank you for sending Walter Payton to Chicago.

"I hear you guys were having some fun without me."

The crowd cheers following almost everything he says including "Springfield" and "Abraham Lincoln."

Barack Obama Is Being Introduced by Bennie Thompson...

... and the crowd goes WILD.

Bennie Thompson:

"They said we couldn't fill up this house tonight." (Crowd cheers and laughs)

He then lists a series of failures. "We can do better."

"I know someone who not only talks about change, but lives change..."

"I know someone who embraces our community because he is our community."

Video Of Former Governor Ray Mabus Speaking At Mississippi Obama Rally W/ Crowd Reaction

New Song: "We're Ready"

"We're ready
We're ready
We're ready
for Obama"

(and Repeat)

The Room Is Beyond Full (Pictures of Crowd and the Media)






"I'm So Glad, I'm Voting For Barack"

The crowd spontaneously burst out into song:

"I'm so glad, I'm voting for Barack
I'm so glad, I'm voting for Barack
I'm so glad, I'm voting for Barack
(Whew!) I'm voting for Barack"

It's catchy and I don't think I've seen it elsewhere.

Have you seen it in ay other states?

Re-Enter "The Wave" I'm In Love.

Show me a person who doesn't enjoy the wave and I'll show you a person who doesn't enjoy life.

Rev. Joseph Lowery At Obama Rally In Jackson

I wasn't particularly impressed with his performance in Obama's place in Canton, but boy did he have it tonight.

He had the crowd and the crowd was with him. He came a lot of call and responses.

Followed by (???) Are you ready? Crowd: YEAH!!!

"Obama, Obama, Obama... crowd chant."

There is so much more enthusiasm here than there was for Hillary or Bill at Canton, Hattiesburg, or Biloxi. They sure know how to put on an event.

Very Enthusiastic Crowd Before Mabus Takes The Stage

The wave is an awesome thing! :) Go Obama Crowd!

Ray Mabus Just Spoke

He was good. The video will follow shortly:

VIPs Continue TO Stream In

I saw controversial Jackson Mayor Frank Melton. He looked calm and tired.

I saw Ray Mabus' daughter, but not him (yet).

I saw Congressman Bennie Thompson and Rev. Joseph Lowry.

Thompson and Mabus are Obama's campaign co-chairs.

Lowry spoke on his behalf at the Jefferson Jackson Hamer dinner.

I also saw Erik Fleming up in the stands. Many other folks have streamed in the back, but I confess to not knowing many of the local and historical Mississippi notable persons.

Frank Melton was asked Ms. Rupp from the Clarion Ledger who he was supporting. He said he's waffled and he wouldn't tell the paper.

Before Obama At Jackson State University (Video)


Slightly Delayed (Live Blogging) Of Obama Jackson Mississippi Event

I will be posting pictures video and observations through the evening. I won't be giving you a play by play or be recording the whole thing because you can view it live on television. It's going to be an exciting night!

Pre-event pictures to hold you over:






I'm In The Obama Event At Jackson State University

- At the moment it doesn't look like they are going to let me up on the risers so video wouldn't be particularly good. The Mississippi Democratic Party and The Clinton Campaign were far more accommodating. I expected a little more, though I do understand the challenges of a larger event.

- It's going to be a PACKED house! Another reporter tells me there are 8,000 seats and they're going to fill a large section of the floor. Clinton's best event (as far as I know) was the JJH Dinner with a little over 2,000. There was a massive line at 4 even though he isn't scheduled to speak till 7. I'd say there is an enthusiasm gap between the campaigns.

- The Obama Campaign and JSU have been nice enough to provide wireless internet in the main room which allows me to post this. :)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hillary Clinton In Canton (Video)

Here are some of my observations from the Jefferson Jackson Hamer dinner in Canton this past Thursday.

Jeff Walters also offers his perspective. He was on the floor and I was in the stands. Together we provide a pretty good overall picture.

Part 1:

Part 2:

The rest didn't transfer appropriately. Sorry. Enjoy!

New Rasmussen Mississippi Dem Primary Poll

New poll out for those who get into this type of stuff. By all means if you are supporter of either candidate, keep working hard. Every delegate counts and every vote matters.

MS-Pres (D) Mar 8 ----- Obama 53%, Clinton 39%

Mississippi Delegate Math Explained

One of the great mysteries to the average voter is the way delegates are awarded after a primary has occurred. The popular vote and the delegate vote don't always match proportionately, why is this? Let's look and see how Mississippi's 33 Democratic pledged delegates are awarded.

Let's get some terminology down first.

Pledged Delegate: A delegate awarded based on the results of the Primary. Mississippi has 33.

Super Delegate: A delegate awarded to a state, but assigned to a party leader from that state. Big Wigs like Senator's, state party chairmen, Congressmen, etc... Mississippi has 7.

Delegates: The sum of both the pledged delegates and the super delegates. Mississippi has 40.

The state of Mississippi has 33 total pledged delegates attached to the results of Tuesday's primary. That total does not reflect the 7 super-delegates awarded to Mississippi. Of the seven, three have pledged for Senator Obama, three have remained undecided, and one delegate is yet to be determined. Mississippi has a total of 40 delegates but only 33 are tied to the results of Tuesday's primary.

The Democrats split the pledged delegate count (33) up in a 65-35 proportion, with 65% to be awarded at the congressional district level, while 35% will be split proportionately based on the overall statewide popular vote. Hang with me now, 35% of the total pledged delegates (33) is 11. These 11 delegates are divided proportionally based on the statewide popular vote. So say Obama gets 61% of the statewide popular vote, he would get 61% of 11, which is 7. Hillary would get 4 in this scenario.

The remaining 65% of the pledged delegates are divided up by Congressional District. All districts have 5, except for MS-2 which has 7, for a total of 22. The reason MS-2 has 7, is that the Democratic Party rewards districts that are heavily Dem. The delegates are awarded proportionately within each district based on the popular vote for that district. Say in MS-3 Obama gets 61% of the vote, he would win 3 pledged delegates to Senator Clinton's 2.

So with the 11 divided by the statewide popular vote, and the 22 divided by the popular vote within each Congressional district, we reach our total of 33 pledged delegates.

By Congressional District
MS-1: 5
MS-2: 7
MS-3: 5
MS-4: 5

11 delegates split proportionately based on popular vote
Total: 33

Any guesses to where this is headed?