Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mike Moore Will Not Run for Senator

The Clarion Ledger is reporting that Mike Moore has said he will not run for the U S Senate seat being vacated by Trent Lott.

“I am happy doing what I am doing, my family is happy, and I look forward to making a big difference in my state and nation,” Moore said in a statement. “I have seriously considered the U.S. Senate vacancy as my friends urged me to do, but I have always known that what I am doing now is good enough for me.”
This is very sad news, since Moore would have made a fantastic U S Senator. I'm a big supporter, and I'm very disappointed, especially since Moore had the best chance of any Democratic candidate to get elected.

Many are speculating this announcement was somehow a result of the Scruggs indictment. There is no doubt the Republicans would have used his relationship with Scruggs against him. And of course, Republicans are all hoping he and Attorney General Jim Hood - the bright stars of the Mississippi Democratic Party - are indicted as well - or at least tarnished by the Scruggs brush. Personally, I'm not worried a bit - let them rant and rave.

Cross posted at the Cotton Mouth Blog

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Fun & Games

In honor of the holidays, I thought I'd give you a couple of political chuckles.

Are you in a quandry over who to support for President? Don't worry. The Internet provides answers for everything. Take this quiz, and voila, it'll tell you who to support. Warning! The results may surprise you. A Republican friend of mine took it and found she should support Obama. Mine said I should support Dennis Kucinich, who is the only Democratic candidate I can't stand, although he does have the right positions on issues. Fortunately, tied for second place was Clinton, Obama, and Biden.

After you've found your candidate, you can see how I have "elfed" them.
  1. Democrats

  2. Republicans

Here's a joke someone sent me - it's a little risque.

At a bus stop, 2 men get on. They sit down and engage in an animated conversation. The lady sitting next to them ignores them at first, but her attention is galvanized when she hears one of them say the following: "Emma come first. Den I come. Den two asses come together. I come once-a-more! Two asses, they come together again. I come again and pee twice. Then I come one lasta time." The lady can't take this any more, "You foul-mouthed sex obsessed pig" she retorted indignantly. In this country, we don't speak aloud in public places about our sex lives!!! Hey, coola downa ladee, " said the man. "Who talkin' bouta sexa? I'ma justa tellin' my frienda how to spella 'Mississippi'."

Finally, Trent Lott's hair. We may find it difficult to believe, but Trent's hair is a topic of much mirth in the Washington area. They don't understand that industrial strength hair spray is a necessity for all well coifed Mississippians - male and female. One blog showed this picture of Trent and Chip Pickering. Practically, the whole discussion was about how Chip couldn't take Trent's place because his hair was messed up. Of course, since this picture was taken, Chip has mastered the perfect hair. But alas, he still won't get to take Trent's place.

For another take on Trent Lott's hair, go to The Gulf Coast Realist, who has a satirical treatment of Trent's surprise resignation.

Please use the comments section to add your personal favorite political funny.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Congressman Roger Wicker to Be New Senator

According to Cottonmouth Blog, Wicker was asked by Haley to take Trent's place as Senator, and he said yes. Haley apparently made this decision after doing some polling.

Another View of the Scruggs Indictment

When Dickie Scruggs was indicted recently, it made many people happy. Of course, bloggers and traditional journalists are thrilled to have something so dramatic to write about. Democrats and left wing blogs are excited because Scruggs gave a quarter of a million dollars to the Bush campaign - plus he was Republican Senator Trent Lott's brother in law. Republicans and right wing blogs thought the indictment was great because Scruggs was a trial attorney (ie, devil incarnate), he gave quite a bit of money to Democrats, and he was about to have a fundraiser for Hillary at his house.

All in all, this guy looks guilty as hell and seems not to have any friends at all.

No friends? According to the Wall Street Journal, Scruggs and his wife just had a party at his house in Oxford, MS with over 200 friends. One of those friends, Robert Khayat, the chancellor of Ole Miss, said, "The town really did turn out for them." Another friend was the most famous lawyer from Mississippi, John Grisham. Oxford's Mayor was there and said, "People appreciate him for his support of the community, and we're all willing to stand by and support him." Another friend was Richard Howorth, the owner of Square Books, the famous bookstore and literary center of Oxford and maybe Mississippi.

So why are all these people so supportive of someone who looks so guilty? First, we should heed the words of John Grisham. "In a situation like this I’m always reminded how quickly we abandon the presumption of innocence. There’s always such a rush to judgment. " Grisham read the indictment against Scruggs and said, "As a former criminal defense lawyer, I started thinking about how I would defend it and started looking for gaps and holes."

After all the initial buzz of the indictment, those gaps and holes are becoming more prevalent. As Grisham said, "It’s only one side of what happened. There’s a whole lot more to the story. One thing is that there are a lot of recorded statements in the indictment but none from Dickie. There are no allegations that he delivered cash or was part of it."

The biggest argument against Scruggs' guilt is something along the lines that he was too smart to do something so stupid. Or why would a big time trial attorney bribe a judge over a small potatoes fee dispute. Since there doesn't appear to be any concrete evidence against Scruggs, the prosecution will have to answer that to the satisfaction of a jury. And there are no obvious answers.

The lawyer who sued Scruggs, John Jones, has one theory, which is outlined in an article in Fortune Magazine. Jones said he filed the suit in Oxford hoping to shame Scruggs. “I wanted a jury to hear it in Dickie’s backyard," he said. He thinks Scruggs wanted the judge to send the case to arbitration, which is a closed proceeding. But that theory doesn't seem to hold up, because most lawyers think the case would have gone to arbitration anyway. And even Jones admits to being shocked when he learned about the indictment.

The person caught on tape is Timothy Balducci. Those in attendance at the party in Oxford were contemptuous of him. Remember that Oxford is a small town, and everyone knows everyone - like Natchez. One comment kind of sums up their attitude: "This is a clear case of a young man wanting to endear himself to Dickie Scruggs in hopes that he might one day have a chair at his table."

I do feel fairly certain that this is not a political prosecution like the one of Paul Minor, Oliver Diaz, and the two judges. The prosecuting US Attorney in the latter case (in the Southern District of Mississippi) was Dunn Lampton, a political appointee with a serious lack of ethical standards. In the Scruggs case (in the Northern District of Mississippi), the US Attorney is Jim Greenlee, who by all appearances is an ethical and professional attorney.

Crossposted on Cottonmouth Blog.