Scooby Doo to the rescue!

Just when you think someone has Boss Hogg on the ropes, he goes all biblical and whips out an old school trick from his Gris-gris bag. Turns out black Democrats still matter in Mississippi as Scooby Doo and political operatives like him got some paying work rustling up eligible black voters to participate in the GOP primary runoff. That act of engagement was the difference maker for Cochran.  It has also infuriated half the GOP electorate.

Here is a three pack of worthy links, first up the straight news account:

Cochran Wins Mississippi Runoff, Edges TEA Partyer ~ AP

And now a couple from some of those that are infuriated starting with our friend Scott over at The Hayride:

Cochran Won In Mississippi ~ Scott McKay

Scott goes biblical himself quoting Mark. Don’t let the understated headline fool you folks as Scott has a must read up. Next up are the folks over at Red State:

The Marionettes Remain Uncut ~ Erick Erickson

Erickson has a very interesting take on the politics at play: Continue reading “Scooby Doo to the rescue!”

And here they come again down the stretch!

When I think of the tomorrow’s primary election, I’m viewing it through a longer term lens:

Not that long ago I wrote that the Occupy movement and the TEA Party had far more in common with each other than they ever will with the politicians that purport to represent them.

Before those of you on the political right go into raging denial consider this from one of the smartest guys in the room that hails from the left about Eric Cantor’s crushing primary defeat:

For the time being, though, Tea Party populism is boxed in in such a way that it only further serves the establishment cause. But, unlike the perpetually moribund and bought off left, the populists on the right are the only players with even a slight chance of shaking things up. In many ways that’s a frightening prospect but it might also be the closest thing to a hopeful prospect one can imagine right now.

Jeffrey equates Bobby Jindal with the TEA Party and while I think it is true Jindal panders to the TEA Party he is not one of them. Same for Steven Palazzo.  As for Cantor’s crushing primary election loss a couple of days ago The Economist had an interesting take:

Most GOP members have more to fear from their primary voters than from the general election in November. The Cook Political Report and RealClearPolitics, two political augurs, agree that there are only 17 competitive House races out of 435, so for most Republican congressmen the risk of suffering the same fate as Mr Cantor feels like the bigger threat to their jobs.

And what does this have to do with the commonalities I detect between the political left and right? Its that P word again, Populism. The folks at The Economist detect the intersection of right and left in just the right spot in corporate welfare: Continue reading “And here they come again down the stretch!”

Analysis: Two more years job security, three more weeks of fun

I noted a day or so ago on Twitter that I had burned off a couple of Louisiana based Tweeps, who were no doubt tired of my incessant Mississippi congressional election coverage on Twitter. I also know there are some of you that look at Twitter and scratch your heads in a manner that a horse and buggy owner must have likewise done a hundred years or so ago looking at the automobile. The bottom line is if you are a newshound or power user of information and want the best coverage of an important event like an election or a court proceeding, Twitter literally puts you in the middle of the action. Lest I digress because I have heard from a couple of good folks over NOLA way that have found the analysis contained in the Thad retiring post and comments highly enlightening.  I appreciate the kind remarks and so this post is directed more to you and others from across the country that have watched the national political news on the McDaniel/Cochran Senate race and are trying to figure out if Mississippians are really a bunch of right-wing nuts as some of the media coverage implies or if there is something far more nuanced and complex at play.

First off about Thad.  He is Mississippi’s kindly grandpa and he looks physically well for a 76 year old man.  Thad’s had a remarkable career and is the quintessential southern gentleman. He has a powerful position in the United States Senate, spends most of his time in Washington D.C. engaged in Affaires d’États but more importantly appears to have lost touch with the people that elected him to the US Senate six times.  But there is something else at play here and for that you gotta understand the history, which can found found in insightful reader comments sprinkled through out that earlier Thad retirement post. [Begin with this comment and scroll down]

“If you don’t vote, you don’t count”

To understand what is happening with the dead heat Senate election, you must understand some Mississippi history going back to the civil war.  Paul Hampton over at the Sun Herald covered that part yesterday:

Analysis: Mississippi’s Pine Belt, a key in elections, has anti-government history

Like many folks in Mississippi I’ve gotten to know a few of the good folks in Jones County and my work related travels often take me right past the historical marker commemorating Vernon Dahmer’s murder in 1966 at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, an act that outraged the Hattiesburg area community.  That event shaped subsequent events profoundly and this is where the PIckering surname enters the narrative. Continue reading “Analysis: Two more years job security, three more weeks of fun”

Why Thad is on the verge of being retired

I remember as a college student back in the 80s having to attend an honors forum at USM where the featured speaker was Strom Thurmond. Man o man was that old geezer senile and yet there he was, still a US senator. The times are changing and the following from The Atlantic yesterday is devastating to Thad Cochran:

I followed Cochran from the square to a local diner, Jean’s Restaurant, where patrons swiveled away from plastic plates of boiled okra and corn fritters to shake his hand. On the wall were two framed photographs of Chris McDaniel. The restaurant’s owner, Diane Trammell, told me McDaniel had visited twice and stayed for an hour each time. “I don’t recall the last time I seen Thad,” she said. She’d always voted for Cochran in the past, but now she wasn’t sure.

Cochran didn’t pose for any pictures during his brief sweep. As he made his way toward the exit, the senator held out his hand to me. I had met and interviewed him less than half an hour before.

“Hello, how are you doing?” he said with a kindly smile. “I’m Thad Cochran.”

I can’t see a Cochran path to victory in the upcoming June 24, 2014 runoff.

Stay tuned.

And here they come down the stretch!

Seems that everyone is laying down their chips. First up is the Senate race, which is attracting considerable amounts of national attention:

The Mississippi District 4 House race is between two coast guys so the hometown newspaper’s endorsement is huge. In this instance the challenger wins:

Let’s send Gene Taylor back to Congress ~ Sun Herald Editorial Board

The reasons they cite that make Gene the better Congressman are clear cut to all but the dumbest of the Fox News Kool Aid drinkers:

Accessibility – Gene was not an ivory tower guy, when he was at home he traveled the district to hear his people’s concerns first hand in town hall meetings.  He conducted those meeting even when those meetings were disrupted and turned natsy in 2009 and 2010, the “disrupted and nasty” part supported behind the scenes by GOPers like Phil Bryant. Steven Palazzo’s solution to the problem his political party created was to not have any town hall meetings in favor of more scripted events that mostly excludes the general public.

Staff Quality – Gene’s staff was and will again be a seasoned bunch that know how to navigate the byzantine maze that is our Federal Government to directly help the people in Mississippi 4.  Palazzo’s staff over these past 4 years?  Let’s review:

The Military – Gene won’t cut vital national defense programs out of his own home district just to make Speaker Boehner happy no siree.  Gene is his own man that has looking out for his people as his prime directive as a congressman. Continue reading “And here they come down the stretch!”

Weekend Update

First up is the update on Friday’s hearing in the criminal case State of Louisiana v Thomas “Haller” Jackson where the phrase “hurry up and wait” comes to mind.  The procedural/evidentiary hearings were continued until July.

Moving right along:

LaPolitics Publisher John Maginnis Dies at 66 ~ Jeremy Alford

Reed’s antics keep newspapers busy ~ James Gill

Up to our necks in mud – and sinking in the Mississippi Senate race ~ Paul Hampton

And finally we end with the Fluffer Congressman Steven Palazzo, a lightweight that refuses to hold town hall meetings with his own people and his primary challenger, the guy that used to make the rounds with all his people in Mississippi 4 regularly, Gene Taylor: Continue reading “Weekend Update”

“This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.”

After hearing the stories and backstories from a few politically connected Mississippians, there is a reason I left Rose Cochran (mostly) on the cutting room floor. Unfortunately there are people, in their zeal to see Chris McDaniels elected to the US Senate, that did not get the memo:

Madison Police arrest Clayton Kelly for sneaking into Rose Cochran’s room (Updated) ~ James at Jackson Jambalaya

McDaniel campaign clarifies when they learned of Cochran break-in ~ Geoff Pender

McDaniel issues statement. Calls Cochran (Updated) ~ James at Jackson Jambalaya

Having seen the deleterious impacts of Alzheimers Disease on a personal level, I’ll add that it takes a special kind of asswipe to attempt to exploit someone that is likely in the later stages of the affliction.

Thursday Mix and Match

No state lines today folks, just links:

Must Read: Shades of Harry Lee: Louisiana sheriff convicted of hunting-related crime

Specifically this part as it cuts across many of the Jefferson Parish topics we’ve tackled here:

Carlos Marcello was a Mafia boss who presented himself as a tomato salesman. He lived in Metairie and died in 1993.

Lee was Jefferson’s sheriff from 1980 to 2007. But he was the parish attorney when he dined at Marcello’s Grand Isle camp July 7, 1979, and spent the night there. That pre-dates digital journalism, but you can read this States-Item story about their evening. (Hat tip to Danny Gamble, our chief librarian, for the clip.)

Republican Chris McDaniel Leads Incumbent for U.S. Senate in Mississippi ~ WXXV

Another must read as I take a victory lap regarding the HCA offer for the Jefferson Parish hospitals:

Jefferson Parish hospital lease consultant presents harsh critique of suitors ~ Ben Myers

The heuristics is straightforward: Someone that wants to  “buy a spot in the line” is willing to pay more than existing market participants for that spot. Excuse me while I take another lap….

Hancock Medical adds to lawsuit ~ Dwayne Bremer

WYATT EMMERICH: Tax incentives are a high price to pay for bragging rights ~ Sun Herald

Fresh Blood

So what we have here is a popular Mayor, already re-elected to a second term, see both of his hand picked candidates for the City Council crash and burn. Both were long time fixtures in City government.

Jason Williams claims victory over Cynthia Hedge-Morrell for New Orleans City Council at-large Division 2 ~ Richard Webster

Nadine Ramsey defeats Jackie Clarkson for New Orleans City Council ~ Andrea Shaw

Fresh blood is a good thing IMHO. Could the 2014 NOLA City elections be a harbinger of things to come? Here in Mississippi Chris McDaniel is banking on exactly that.