Lott's Seat Not Secure

Gov. Barbour had appointed one of his lackeys to finish out Sen. Lott's term. But it does not look too promising for Wicker to retain the gig.

Two nonpartisan national political observers with solid track records as students of Mississippi politics say that the Mississippi special election to choose a permanent successor to former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott is now a legitimate horse race.

Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report and longtime columnist for Roll Call magazine, said on May 20 that the race could no longer be considered "safe for Republicans."

Rothenberg's call came after the release of a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee poll showed former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove with a 48 percent to 40 percent lead over Republican interim U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker in the race.

"Musgrove benefits from higher name identification, and the race will be close, but the initial numbers are good for the Democrat," Rothenberg said. The DSCC poll showed Musgrove with significantly higher name recognition than Wicker, but that Musgrove had over twice the "unfavorable" rating than did Wicker.

But the same poll showed that in the 1st Congressional District, which Wicker represented before taking the Senate appointment, Wicker leads Musgrove 48 percent to 43 percent. Democrat Travis Childers just defeated Republican Greg Davis in a special election to fill Wicker's seat

"Like the 1st District race, party labels will not appear on the ballot beside Wicker and Musgrove's name, because the November race is technically a special election to fill Republican Trent Lott's seat," Rothenberg wrote. "Even though he (Musgrove) has the lead today, the race is still a difficult one for Musgrove, since the state leans Republican in federal races. But it can no longer be considered safe for the Republicans."

Mississippi Democrats still basking in the glow of Childers' win over Davis believe Musgrove can continue the party's reversal of fortunes in congressional politics. Many Democrats also believe that if Sen. Barack Obama is indeed the Democratic presidential nominee, Musgrove's chances to defeat Wicker are greatly enhanced.

Republicans point to Obama's recent blowout losses in Kentucky and West Virginia as evidence that Wicker can and will hold the seat.


How Will Mississippians Vote?

This is a finding that should not surprise any Mississippian.

Fifty percent of Mississippians favor McCain to 44 percent for Obama.

Fifty percent of Mississippians said it's more important to get troops home from Iraq than to win; 45 percent say it is more important to win.

If McCain wins, 53 percent said they believe it is somewhat likely the U.S. will win the war, to 26 percent who believe the same would be true with Obama.

Ten percent more voters believe Obama is more likely to bring the troops home within a year, the poll found.

President Bush took 59 percent of the Mississippi vote in 2004, the report said, but today only 42 percent of Mississippians believe he is doing a good or excellent job; 41 percent think he is performing poorly.

Democrats believe they will ride a wave of discontent over the war, the economy and President Bush's job performance into the White House this fall, and that Obama could create record turnout among black voters here.

Members of the state GOP believe no matter whom Democrats nominate, they'll be far to the left of mainstream Mississippi values. In 1976, Jimmy Carter became the last Democrat to carry Mississippi.

Republican Sen. Thad Cochran is expected to roll to an easy victory over Democrat Erik Fleming, as he leads in the Rasmussen poll 58 to 35 percent.

Mississippi is still "safely Republican," according to Rasmussen's balance-of-power calculator.


Energy Research Leader

I have been thinking a lot about the energy problems we are having and will have in the future and I do not understand why Mississippi has not become a research center. we have Coast winds, tidal action and lots of damn sunshine, so why is Mississippi not doing more in research and production?

Jobs would be created, good jobs. The state has numerous universities and colleges and they should be in the forefront of the research and production.

Of course to be a leader in this field would take the cooperation of the Legislature and anyone that lives in Mississippi knows what a screaming bunch of do-nothings they are.

We Mississippians should be demanding that more be done, but we seem to worry about the next casino and not the problems that await just over the horizon

Katrina Fraud Still Rampant

The Mississippi Attorney General's Office has investigated more than 1,000 Hurricane Katrina-related home repair fraud cases.

So far, investigators from the Consumer Protection Division have made 89 arrests in cases totaling $3 million in losses.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood expects the number of cases and arrests to increase.

"The reason it keeps going up is because people will do everything they can to get their house fixed. They'll wait and wait and try to work with the contractor until they finally get frustrated and decide to call us," Hood said.

Among possible charges for those arrested are home-repair fraud, embezzlement, false pretense and wire fraud. Nearly all of those arrested were from outside Mississippi, Hood said.

People of the MS Gulf Coast are still being scalped by people that have nothing but contempt for those who have suffered from the devastation of Katrina. The penalty should be the same as those caught looting after the storm...take them out and shoot them! WORD!


Mississippi Remembers

A Mississippi marine was shot and killed over the weekend while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan, according to a press release from the Marine Corps.

Corporal Justin Cooper was a decorated marine who will be greatly missed not only by his family but by the town he called home.

Corporal Cooper's father Alan bought this t-shirt when he saw his son graduate from boot camp three and a half years ago. He found out Monday his son was killed in action serving his country.

"He knew the risks and he took them, but we never expected it to happen. He was good at what he did." Alan says it was his son's decision to go back to iraq a second time and then to Afghanistan.

Corporal Cooper did his job well, receiving seven different decorations for his actions. But he never let on to his family, never wanting them to worry.

"I said son, I know you did something to rank that from your commanders, he said I just did my job daddy that 's all I did," said Cooper.

Flags were lowered to half staff all over Eupora including the high school Cooper graduated. His principal James Mason remembers Cooper having the characteristics even then to be a marine. "He had that demeanor about him and he had that leadership capability about him."

Cooper's father calls his son, simply a hero. "He was naturally my hero when he hit his first little league grand slam. He was my hero when he played senior football and went to the state championship. He sacked the quarterback 19 times in the state championship game, but he has become the world's hero Sunday, and he did it willingly."

And so by all accounts, Justin Cooper was not just a leader in his hometown, at this high school, but a leader on the battle field as well. And now his name will he added to this memorial remembering those who paid the ultimate price.


Insurance Companies Jump On Homeowners

Four insurance companies are offering wind coverage in the South Mississippi market, although restrictions apply.

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said he has recently approved the "surplus-lines" companies. Surplus-lines companies insure high-risk properties without state regulation of rates or any guaranty in case of insolvency.

They have been active for years in South Mississippi's commercial market, but are now beginning to pick up homeowner customers as well.

The companies are Ironshore, Scottsdale, Republic and Foremost.

Ironshore is offering wind coverage for commercial properties built to code and FEMA elevations.

Scottsdale offers wind coverage to homeowners 2 miles or more from the Mississippi Sound.

Foremost offers wind only for mobile homes in Stone, Pearl River and George counties, a company spokesman said. Foremost policies without wind are available in all six South Mississippi counties for mobile homes and specialty dwellings. A Republic representative could not be reached to comment on its policies, and insurance agents contacted were not familiar with the company

These companies are basically betting that there will not be another Katrina-like storm for many years. They saw a chance to bolster their profits and make the investors happy. Yes, it is good news that homeowners now have an insurance outlet, but the better news is to the companies that will charge high premiums and pray for a slow and quiet hurricane season.


SunHerald.com : Cities consider cottages

SunHerald.com : Cities consider cottages

The cities are considering letting these cottages be more than just a stop gap measure. But will they limit where they can be installed?


MS Gulf Coast: Wind v Water

The Mississippi Supreme Court has agreed to decide how an insurance policy should be interpreted in a wind vs. water dispute over Hurricane Katrina claims.

In Corban vs. USAA, Long Beach policyholders argue the insurance company should cover wind damage to their property, regardless of damage caused by water. Water damage is excluded from coverage. USAA and other insurers argue that policy language also excludes coverage for a combination of wind and water.

The Supreme Court is expected to resolve the issue before the case goes to trial in Circuit Court.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with insurance companies, finding that policies bar coverage when wind and water act in sequence to destroy property. The Supreme Court is not bound to follow the federal appellate court's ruling, however, because state law governs insurance contracts.

We will see just how much influence the Insurance companies have over the state Supreme Court. My guess is that it has considerable pull within the state's highest court.


Who Will Be Biloxi's New Mayor?

Probably no one!

Mayor A.J. Holloway already showed his hand and announced he wants to keep the job and become a five-term mayor. "I have every intention of continuing to serve the people of Biloxi," he said.

Since Biloxi is a betting town, the wagers around town are that Ward 4 Councilman Mike Fitzpatrick will run for the job along with Ward 2 Councilman Bill Stallworth. Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rockco is still a roll of the dice, since she would have to decide between serving the county or the city.

Other possible candidates are just starting to consider a campaign for mayor, including Andrew "FoFo" Gillich Jr., who ran a close race with Holloway in 2001, and state Rep. Michael Janus, who said "if Mayor Holloway does not run I'll consider tossing my hat into the ring. I'm not going to run against him."

Damn there must be some major benefits to being the mayor of Biloxi (can anyone say casinos).


Miss. Democrat Wins Election--District 1

It's becoming a disturbing trend for Republicans: losing traditional GOP strongholds to Democrats in some hard-fought congressional races.

It happened again Tuesday, as Travis Childers beat Greg Davis in a special election to replace Republican Roger Wicker, who served in the House since 1994 and was appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill the seat vacated by Trent Lott.

Childers' win will give him the chance to over the next several months left in the seat's two-year term to build a fundraising and publicity advantage as he heads into November's general election. He will again face Davis, as well as two other opponents.

Childers' win gave Democrats a 236-199 edge over Republicans in Congress.

Childers stressed his independence, emphasizing his support of gun rights and opposition to abortion. He said his values match those of most voters in the deeply conservative district.

Tom Cole, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the Mississippi race showed that "Republicans must be prepared to campaign against Democrat challengers who are running as conservatives, even as they try to join a liberal Democrat majority."


MISSISSIPPI: Your Utility Bills Will Increase!

Gov. Haley Barbour signed bills Monday to allow utility companies to raise rates to pay for new power plants before they are built, as well as measures to strengthen ethics laws and protect waterways.

Barbour signed the controversial utility company measure, Senate Bill 2793, which generated much debate among lawmakers in the recent legislative session. Opponents said consumers might be stuck with higher bills even if a power company decides not to go forward with expansions, but the measure does allow the Public Service Commission to require the money to be returned if a power plant falls through. But it's not automatic.

Officials from Mississippi Power Co. said they need a $2 billion continuously operating, coal-burning plant near Meridian in Kemper County, or the company couldn't meet energy needs in the summer of 2013. Raising rates up front is the only way to get the money and the bill was needed to avoid a much higher rate increase later, they said.

How much did the Southern Company pay its investors? How much is the CEO making? My point is they have been showing a steady profit for years, but yet that money cannot be used for the improvements they need.

Mississippians! Have a lovely summer....your fuel costs will be so outrageous that few will get to take the much needed vacation. And staying home with A/C will be a bit more also. Sorry, but you guys voted these pigs into office. Try finding out more about the slugs you vote for.


Still Homeless People From Katrina

What? you ask. Yes there are still many people without adequate housing on the Gulf Coast.

As the June 1 deadline for residents to vacate FEMA trailer parks approaches, many are looking to find more permanent homes, but find few affordable options. After five months of searching for a rental house, Tamecca Carter, 37, succeeded and began moving out of her trailer in a north Biloxi FEMA park last week. Carter is moving back to hard-hit east Biloxi, which still faces a long recovery. She'll live on the same street she lived on before the storm.

There are some good news and mostly bad news. But the worst news is that there is plenty of money for people (I use the term very loosely) to build apartments that go unrented or houses that go unsold, and yada yada, but they must depend on volunteers to build houses for those displaced by Katrina.

Ok am I the only one that sees the bullsh*t here? There is sympathy all around for Burma yes it was a terrible thing, but there are people here that need a home. send the money south. Once we are ok then I personally do not give a sh*t where it goes after that. we are talking about Americans here, if the guys in Washington cannot do the job, then throw the bums out and find someone who can.



Richton Salt Dome Revisited

Hopefully Mississippians will remember the political battle that occurred in South Mississippi, that being the battle over the storage of nuke waste in a salt dome around Richton, MS. Why do I bring this up?

Have you watched the news in Texas where a very large sink hole that has appeared around Daisetta, TX. It is still expanding but for now it is the size of two football fields. Cool, huh? Well not really. You see it appears that this is a salt dome that is collapsing. Think about it!

I ask now, Is it possible that a salt dome may not be the most reliable place to store stuff?


L/Cpl Casey Casanova--R.I.P.

Mississippi has lost one of her daughters in Iraq. The first female death was L/Cpl Casey Casanova, USMC; she was killed when a projectile hit her HUM-V killing all three occupants. Casanova was 22 yrs old, to be wed in September to a fellow Marine, she is survived by her parents and half sister.

We at Atomic Dog send our heart felt sorrow for the loss of a young woman that had so much to live for. Mississippi will be a less warmer place with the passing of Casey Casanova.


Another Coast Landmark Dies

S.S. Camille is gone and soon forgotten. Sad. The old tugboat gas stood on the beach as a monument to those who suffer and survived hurricane Camille. But I guess the beachfront property where it stood for 40 years was just too valuable for the reminder to remain. Sad. That seems to be the rule of the day...to destroy all reminders of the Coast and its history and culture...and to be replaced by the crap of concrete and steel. With a little luck the Coast will soon be a clone of Las Vegas...Glass...chrome..and flashing lights.

I can hardly wait.

Will It Be Environmentally Sound?

As I took out my recyclables I looked around and realized that me a two other people on my street actually recycle. But yet everyone came out for a block party to celebrate Earth day--OK, why would one support Earth Day and not recycle? Was it the environment or was it the food and drink? The later would be the correct answer. They love to celebrate, but seldom do anything beyond that.

I was thinking, how could we get more people to recycle? Make it mandatory? That will not do it. Apparently more neighbors need a bit more incentive to do the right thing. But what type of incentive could work to make more participation attractive?

My best idea was to make the incentive be....a break on their trash collection bill for recycling. Since the company makes money on the recyclables, why not give deduction to those that recycle? Their bill would be less and that could generate lots of participation.

The more recyclables the company gets the more money they would make...it seems to be a win-win scenario--more people recycle--there would be less in the landfills--the company would make more money.

This is a simple plan and a productive plan.....should work.


Coast Mass Transit

Improved public transportation and more "walkable" communities are critical to solving some future problems for South Mississippi, but a light rail system is likely out of reach for many years, planners said Monday.

At a summit on smart growth, Kevin Coggin, executive director of the Coast Transit Authority, said plans call for a trolley system that would run along the beach. Itwould be easy, as the government already owns the beach, he said.

But a light rail system, an idea that came out of the post-Katrina charrettes, is still not cost-effective for a market the size of South Mississippi. It takes a high passenger load to support light rail and the Coast could still be about 30 years from that. But Coggin said officials are pursuing a bus that functions much like a light rail system, with a higher passenger load than a traditional bus.

The shame is that most residents are so addicted to their $ gallon to the mile SUVs that this will not be a reality in my lifetime. Sad.


MS: Time Is Running Out For The Gulfport Library

Harrison County supervisors are set to award the bid today for the demolition of the Gulfport Library, but the demolition needs the approval of the state Department of Archives and History as well.

Time is quickly running out for the library building. Time for all people that want to save the "historical" building to stop forward and voice your opinion. Buildings that are 50 years old and older can be named a landmark, but Baughn said buildings that have significant historical significance also can be landmarks even if they aren't 50. The Gulfport Library is 43 years old. So a push should focus there and there would be the possibility to save the "Grand Old Girl" of Gulfport.

f the demolition goes forward, there are no plans to use the property for a public building...think about that......it is a prime piece of real estate and would bring a hefty sum to the city after the sell. If so it is about the cash and not about the saving of a building that deserves to live.


Mississippi: Jackson County Considers New Insurance

Along with property, wind and liability insurance, Jackson County leaders will take a look Monday at terrorism insurance coverage on the county's 100 buildings. "But if something unforeseen happened and someone blew up the courthouse, how you going to pay for it?" McKay said.

The kicker here is that it will have to be terrorism from an agent of a foreign government. That means if Bubba gets pissed up on Old Milwaukee and puts a pipe bomb in the john att he courthouse, it is not considered terrorism. Now I ask, what are the chances that Syria gets two craps in Hell about Jackson County?

The price tag is about $46.000 and I was just thinking that the cash could be better spent on the residents of the county . I know I am just being foolish again, but the people considering this are just being STUPID!


MS: Ocean Springs Condo Experience

The city of Ocean Springs is the Coast own "yuppy" community. It is the more up scaled community for the young upward mobile individuals. I am not a fan of concrete and steel, I feel we have lost enough of the character of the Coast, thanks to that bitch Katrina. But if there must be condos then I feel that this is the best way to handle the fact.

The new Guyton Place mixed-use development in Ocean Springs is designed to blend into the downtown and encourage residents to walk to nearby stores and restaurants. Designed by architect Frank Genzer, Guyton Place is an infill development on Porter Avenue between Washington and Jackson streets. Along with 22 residential units is 5,000 square feet of commercial space for sale or lease. Smith said he would like to see a gallery, coffee shop, restaurant and community office space open at the complex. A landscaped courtyard is also planned.

If all goes as well as they think, then this is an excellent idea to help a Coast community to keep its original charm. More should be done along these lines, to include the old Markham Hotal in Gulfport.


SunHerald.com : Puff, puff, puff that last cigarette

SunHerald.com : Puff, puff, puff that last cigarette

This is the follow up to the smoking ban in Gulfport. And yes, you cannot smoke even on the out of doors. I know I really appreciate a/holes taking over my life. How about you?

MS: Gulfport's Smoking Ban

Today is May Day, a day that most of the world celebrates labor and its contributions, but not in the US, about the only thing that will be celebrated on 01 May 08 is the ban on smoking in public places in Gulfport, MS.

As of today it is unlawful to smoke in public places like bars with food, restaurants, and smoking outside from public buildings will have to be at least 25 feet from any entrance. Now everyone can take a deep breath and enjoy the fact that they have infringed on others pursuit of happiness. But wait, sports fans, smoking is STILL legal in casinos---go figure.

I will say that if a person does not smoke, bully for them, and they must have laws that protect their delicate sensibilities from those mean old smokers. I am so glad that they could do something about those darn smokers, just wish they could find the same set of nuts to do something about drivers on cels, loud obnoxious music, and cops with shaved heads. All of which is just as silly as smokers, except one and that one is just damn moronic.

So citizens of Gulfport my hat is off to your elected officials. Personally, I cannot wait to see what else these people will want to make a no-no. Maybe making it illegal to serve certain foods to fat people will not be such a bad idea, after all.

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