I have never been a fan of Louisiana Republican Bobby Jindal. When I worked on Capitol Hill, I was not a fan when the super ambitious Jindal was a member of the U.S. House. I was not a fan when he was elected governor, and before he dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination, he was near the bottom of the list of original 17 Republican candidates. However, I was all on board with Jindal when the former governor was interviewed by Ole Miss alum Shepherd Smith of Fox News after three Baton Rouge police officers were ambushed and murdered. Regularly when on the air Smith, who leans to the left, makes no secret of his love and loyalty to the Rebels. He attends Ole Miss football games and has appeared on the giant video board at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. He did nothing to enhance his journalistic reputation when he interviewed Jindal. Several times during the interview after the police shooting, Jindal used the phrase, “all lives matter.” Almost in anger, Shepherd said the term “all lives matter” was “derogatory” and was a “very divisive phrase.” Jindal, to his credit, stuck to his guns and said we should value all human lives. In the wake of the interview and his treatment of Jindal, many conservatives strongly criticized Smith. Jindal was accurate and correct using the phase, and Smith should receive low journalistic marks for the way he the handled the interview.
Ted Cruz still doesn’t play well with others
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is still catching flak for his snub of Donald Trump and his non-endorsement speech at the Republican National Convention. Some conservatives have gone so far as to label the speech as a F Trump speech. During a recent meeting of some of the major financial backers of Cruz’s presidential campaign, many voiced their objections to his speech at the convention. Cruz still harbors presidential ambitions for 2020 or beyond. A lot can change in the future, but in my opinion, Cruz’s presidential ambitions have been rightfully crushed. His convention speech was not different from his entire career as a member of the U.S. Senate – he doesn’t play well with others.
Lynn Fitch sounds like a Democrat at NCF; maybe rumors are true she will be supported by Jim Hood and Mike Moore
Several people attending the Neshoba County Fair for all the political speeches commented that State Treasurer Lynn Fitch sounded more like a Democrat than
National pundits are right. It is a two-man contest.
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are in Mississippi on Monday as they have been previously. John Kasich was in Jackson last week. Marco Rubio was scheduled to be in Rankin County on Sunday but that visit was cancelled so Rubio could go home to focus on Florida. It won’t do Rubio any good. The smaller number of states voting this past Saturday perhaps had more influence on the race for the Republican nomination than the results of Super Tuesday on March 1. In The Daily 202 political report on Sunday morning, writer James Hohmann had the following headline: “Super Saturday results show Rubio collapsing, Trump stoppable and Cruz gaining momentum.” Hohmann writes, “The biggest story line out of last night, though, is calamity for Marco Rubio. It was his worst showing since the New Hampshire primary – and arguably more damaging. The floor appears to be falling out from underneath the Florida senator: Not only is his win-loss record now 1-18, but he took just 17 percent in Kansas despite canceling events elsewhere to campaign in the state and receiving endorsements from Gov. Sam Brownback, Sen. Pat Roberts and Bob Dole. He got 16 percent in Kentucky, 11 percent in Louisiana (with ex-Gov. Bobby Jindal’s support) and just 8 percent in Maine—where he finished fourth behind John Kasich.” I agree. Sunday morning I also heard one commentator say that he liked Rubio and named a number of very number of positive things about Rubio as a candidate. He then added that for some reason Republican voters just don’t like Rubio. That is also very true. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is another matter. Despite a very impressive list of endorsements from prominent and respected Mississippi Republicans, led by well-liked Congressman Gregg Harper, Kasich is not going anywhere. Why can’t Kasich do the classy thing and end his campaign like Jeb Bush did when he finished fourth in South Carolina? As someone commented Sunday to me, Kasich is “delusional.” Like most politicians Kasich has a big ego, but from my almost two decades in Washington, D.C., during the time when Kasich was a member of the U.S. House, I have always viewed Kasich as someone who not only thinks he is smarter than anyone else, he also thinks everyone else except him is stupid. Trump should thank Kasich every day for staying in the race. Kasich should have called it quits like 13 others who were in the original GOP field. Like Rubio in Florida, Kasich is
There are 246 Republican members of the U.S. House. Approximately 40 of them are members of the Freedom Caucus. That’s less than 17 percent of the GOP membership of the House. It should be called the “Nut Job Caucus”. The caucus would rather be pure than govern. The Freedom Caucus will not list its members but there are a number of internet sites that list the suspected members of the group. In reality, the Freedom Caucus should be known at the Tea Party Caucus. The Wall Street Journal reported that when the Freedom Caucus got involved in the leadership fight to oust Speaker John Boehner and oppose Kevin McCarthy to take his place, U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin resigned from the group. Rep. Tom McClintock of California also left the caucus of tea party members because as Ribble said, there is “no room for dissent” in the Freedom Caucus. WSJ said that the Freedom Caucus “demands absolute fealty from members.” Ribble said if 80 percent of the caucus members agree about a course of action, all members are required to vote that way. Too bad members of the Freedom Caucus do not have the same rule when they participate in the larger Republican caucus for the entire House. It’s their way of saying that their group of 40 members are more important than the 246 Republicans of the entire House. The Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party, RedState, and Heritage Foundation all talk about Republican “moderates” in the House. From their rhetoric you would think that the old Rockefeller wing of the GOP is still in power. Give lots of credit to Mississippi Congressman Gregg Harper. Harper told a Gannett reporter of his irritation with the Freedom Caucus. Harper said, “I am also proud to live in Mississippi where our people have common sense and are not misled by outside groups whose purpose is to raise money.” Harper could have added that Republican in the Freedom Caucus spend more time attacking Republicans rather than Democrats.
Congressman Palazzo, you must be kidding?
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi has endorsed Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee for Speaker of the House to replace John Boehner. In a radio interview, on Twitter and in an Associated Press story, Palazzo said he would support Blackburn if she decides to run.
Some Republicans are GOP’s worst enemies; Trent Lott nails the loose cannons of the far right
Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott told a Wall Street Journal writer, “I was conservative before a lot of these cats were even born, so I’m not going to be lectured by them on what’s conservative” Amen. Republican Rep. Peter King also got it right. In a tweet, King said, “The resignation of John Boehner is a victory for the crazies.”
Kimberly Strassel, a conservative and excellent regular columnist for The WSJ made these comments in an article entitled “A Chance to End Republican Dysfunction”: Boehner’s view was “Republicans have better things to do than engage in repeated political showdowns that have no chance of success.” She writes that the anti-Boehner Republicans in the House will have to decide if they want progress “or if they are in it for the talk-radio hosannas.” Another conservative WSJ columnist, William A. Galston, asked, “Do they want to be a party of protest or a party of governance?” I have not always been a fan of Karl Rove, but I recommend that you read a recent column by Rove in The Wall Street Journal. In a column entitled, “Boehner’s Conservative Legacy”, Rove called Boehner a decent and honorable man who “achieved far more than his GOP critics with their shutdown strategy.” He lists numerous conservative accomplishments that took place while Boehner served as Speaker of the House. Rove also notes that the House Freedom Caucus, the group of tea party and other crazies, represent 15 percent of House Republicans but they also represent 36 percent of Republicans in the House that contributed zero to their party’s campaign committee to make sure the GOP keeps its majority in the House.
The earth is flat Republicans
Even after Boehner announced he is resigning at the end of October, it has not slowed down the Tea Party and right-wing extremist organizations like RedState. The crazies are now taking increased aim at Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In an effort to raise money, one such group said McDonnell is even afraid of former Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada. RedState is not even satisfied that Boehner will leave at the end of October. The organization wants the House to proceed with a motion to “vacate the chair” so that Boehner would immediately be removed as speaker. Of course, all these groups have one thing in common. They made fund raising appeals to remove
Calls for campaign finance reform
Allegations have been made that State Auditor Stacey Pickering, State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, Attorney General Jim Hood, State Sen. Will Longwitz and others have used their campaign finance accounts for personal use instead of legitimate campaign expenses. In the wake of all that a number of politicians have called for next year’s Mississippi Legislature to consider campaign finance reforms. Why now? Nothing has changed about the need to make improvements in the state’s very weak and unenforceable campaign finance reporting laws. Anyone who has ever reviewed state campaign finance reports could easily determine that they are a farce. Transparency and good government would make it obvious that reform legislation is needed. I guess it is better to have the bandwagon now than not to have any action. We’ll see what happens with the new legislature in January of 2016.
Clear conflict of interest by Pascagoula reporter
April Havens is a reporter for the Mississippi Press newspaper in Pascagoula. The newspaper was formerly a daily. Today it is a pathetic excuse for a newspaper, publishing a print edition three days a week and being an online edition for the rest of the week. Among Havens’ duties at the newspaper is covering the Jackson County Board of Supervisors. As many of you know, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors are in the middle of the rotten situation at the Singing River Health System. Paula Yancey is the attorney for the supervisors. Doug Handshoe is a CPA from Wiggins who is a blogger. His website is called “Slabbed” (http://slabbed.org/) and he frequently writes about corruption on the Gulf Coast and also in Louisiana. Despite the excellent reporting by The Sun Herald regarding the Singing River Health Systems and the previous reports about the corruption at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Handshoe has done some solid reporting about these two scandals and other issues in South Mississippi and Louisiana. But back to April Havens. Handshoe recently pointed out a social media post by Havens. Havens was