Nov 21

Not Around Here You Commie Basturd 7 Year Old.

A friend posted a picture today of a lunch served to an elementary school student that was behind on their lunch credit (money). It was literally a cheese sandwich. Two slices of bread and two slices of cheese. These posts pop up from time to time and I always find them incredibly intriguing. You have seen the stories. Schools denying kids food or like in this case, giving them sparse rations.

First off, I think public schools have turned into power hungry gulag camps but I am not going to go into all that.

I always find the lunch post interesting because I enjoy watching people. The comments on these posts are almost always women declaring their condemnation of such barbaric practices. “How can they do this to those poor children?” is a good example of the comments you will see. It’s ironic that most of these same commenters (living in god forbid Republican hell yeah ‘Merica Mississippi dammit) are most certainly GOP’ers and in general fervently against socialism and Obama welfare to no good layabouts. But what they are proposing is stone cold communism and exactly 180 degrees from “capitalism” and a free market. Because capitalism and a free market says that the parents failed to pay the bill so Little Johnny is going to have to starve today.

I personally agree with both camps. No child should EVER go without lunch and should most certainly not be served something different which will ostracize them even more from their classmates. But people should pay their own way as much as humanly possible.

Here’s my proposal. Much better lines of communication. Many problems in life can be solved by this FTR. Make every effort to inform the parents that their kids are running low on their lunch bill. When it runs out, feed the child a normal meal and tell the parents that Little Johnny won’t be allowed back to school until they get their asses up there and pay the bill.

Whatever we do people, for the love of God, punishing the kids is not the right answer.

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Nov 20

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 13

Quote of the Day:

I think I’ll just stay here and drink.”     –Merle Haggard

The Bullies lost, as you know. TB won my POTW thanks to their last minute heroics against the spread, which is nice. It leaves me at 6-6 on the year in POTWs. I went 2-3 on bonus picks to move to 33-25 on the year. Pretty uninspiring I must say. Which means it’s a good time for Third Week and Mailin’ it In. Besides, I need to save my strength for the Egg Bowl.

The MTGU went 11-8 and 24-22 to move our collective records to 143-134-9 and 318-288. Flyin’ J won the week by hitting his POTW, going 4-1, and picking up Song of the Week as chosen by RSR. Nelson gets List of the Week and Sweet and Nelson both picked Oregon State for Dog of the Week honors. RSR picked up a big all-in win to remain in first place, but Flyin’ J is closing in on her.

Here are last week’s results–remember the top 11 won their POTW and bonus picks are in parentheses.

  1. Flyin’ J (4-1, Sotw)    73
  2. Nelson (2-2, Lotw)    55
  3. RSR                          50
  4. Harmony                   50
  5. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop  50
  6. Jessie Lou                 50
  7. Face                          50
  8. RJ (2-2)                     50
  9. Fish (2-2)                  50
  10. TB (2-3)                    44
  11. Sweet (1-4, Dotw)    39
  12. Smily (4-1)               38
  13. Tiny D (2-0)              32
  14. MD (2-1)                   26
  15. SDog (2-1)               26
  16. Kitchen P (0-1)         14
  17. Pitalo                        10
  18. Mac                          10
  19. BW Buzz (1-4)          2

Season Standings:

  1. RSR                         541
  2. Flyin’ J                     527
  3. Kitchen P                 504
  4. Sweet                      468
  5. Nelson                     462
  6. TB                            452
  7. Face                        450
  8. RJ                            432
  9. Folly J                      426
  10. Fish                         420
  11. SDog                       412
  12. MD                          408
  13. TJ                            398
  14. Tiny D                     382
  15. Harmony                 378
  16. Pitalo                       375
  17. Mac                         373
  18. Smily J                    365
  19. JLou                        357
  20. Irv                            324
  21. BW Buzz                 316
  22. BR                           279
  23. And the Rest……

Here are my Picks of the Week for this week and Here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds:

  • Missouri    +3.5
  • Oregon St  +6.6
  • UCLA      -3.5
  • Arizona    +4′
  • Colorado  +32.5

POTW  Wisconsin  -10

And my Third Week playlist, which, if you are doing it right, you ought to have plenty of time sit back, ignore work, veg-out and enjoy!

  • Gettin’ By  – Jerry Jeff Walker
  • Enjoy Yourself – Todd Snider
  • I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink – Merle Haggard
  • Big Rock Candy Mountain – Norman Blake

SOTW – Take it Easy – Eagles



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Nov 19

Keeping the “Third” in Third Week

Quote of the Day:

I’m not even supposed to be here today!”     –Dante Hicks, Clerks

Editor’s note–if you don’t know what the hell this post is about, click here. You’ll thank me later.


You know your new holiday has “made it” once folks begin to lose sight of the meaning of the season.

Case in point: Me. TB. I haven’t exactly been mailing it in this week.

Yeah, I know, Third Week is getting commercialized. It’s terrible. Next thing you know I’ll be forgetting about it’s pagan roots, Jewish songwriters will start penning sappy carols; we’ll all be forced into an extra visit from our crazy-ass uncle from Tallahatchie; a Charlie Brown special featuring Linus and the perfect Third Week power nap will appear; the postal service will issue a new stamp specifically designed NOT to be collected. (Wait for it. Wait for it……oh yes. TB do outdo myself sometimes).

You know the drill.

But like I said, I haven’t really gotten the 3W spirit this year what with having more work than I can shake a stick at–which sounds like work–stick shaking that is–but its really just a lot of motion, signifying nothing, perfectly in keeping with the Third Week ethos–and yet–as I believe I mentioned–the amount of work I have actually defies having a stick shaken in front of it.


Here’s the worst part. In my line I have to be thankful when I am thusly buried because that’s the only way to make one-a-them almighty dollars. Thankful.

Yep, that’s right. Here we are at the height of Third Week and I’m already skipping ahead to the second most wonderful (arguably) time of the year. It’s enough to make a guy lonely thinking about all those of you out there diligently mailing it in for 2014 already, bitter even, sort of sad. Which reminds me of Christmas and commercialization and I’m thinking once this Third Week thing really goes mainstream it’s gonna be one big circus of merchandise, bumper stickers, self righteous Facebook posts, and of course that Charlie Brown special and…..

……actually now that I think of it……all that sounds pretty freaking glorious…..hey you know what Third Week really needs? We need us a saint!

Remind me to get right on making all of this happen.

Next week.

No the week after.

No better make it January.

Late January.

Mail it in, friends, even if you have to do it in really small increments this year like me, and Happy Third Week!

Bumper stickers……yeah…….





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Nov 13

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 12

Quote of the Day:

“To succeed in life you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”     –Mark Twain

Mississippi State vs. Alabama.

The oddsmakers say it’s Bama and not that close.

The national media say it’s Bama like it always is.

History says it’s Bama and it’s not even funny.

So how should TB, long-suffering-self-loathing-disaster-prone State fan, approach this game?

Hells bells, with confidence of course!  Why not? We are the number one team in the nation. We have Dak Prescott. We have a roster of overachievers. Nobody’s hurt and we’re well rested. Yeah, I know we might lose–that’s how it is when you tee it up every week–that’s football. On the other hand, we match up even at worst with Alabama this year and in some of the key positions we are superior. Think I’m just trying to convince you and myself that “I believe?” Hey, I put my money where my mouth/keyboard is and shelled out $150 bucks for a ticket to sit by myself in the upper deck on a frigid Saturday in Tuscaloosa. You damn straight I expect to celebrate on my way out of the stadium.

Right now I’m celebrating on a  smaller scale my victory in last week’s POTW. I went 2-3 on bonus picks and now stand at 5-6, 31-22 on the year. The MTGU went 11-8-1 and 24-21-1 to move our collective records to 132-126-9 and 294-266.

RJ won the week with a POTW winner and 3-1 bonus picks. He was matched by all-in winners JLou, BR, Kitchen P, Face and Mac. List of the week goes to Nelson and Song of the Week to MD. Nobody hit a DOTW. SDog tied his POTW and went 3-0 on bonus picks to bust the curve.  The overall title is shaping up as a potential college roommate tussle between RSR and Kitchen P with only one or maybe two non-Ole Miss playing weekends with which to separate themselves from one another.

Here are last week’s results with bonus picks on parentheses:

  1. RJ (3-1)                  62
  2. JLou                       62
  3. Face                       62
  4. Mac                        62
  5. Kitchen P               62
  6. BR                          62
  7. Nelson (2-1,Lotw)   61
  8. Pitalo (3-2)             56
  9. Sweet (2-3)            49
  10. TB (2-3)                  49
  11. SmilyJ (1-2)            49
  12. SDog (3-0)              48
  13. Flyin’ J (3-1-1)         32
  14. MD (1-0, Sotw)       31
  15. Fish (2-1)                26
  16. BW Buzz (2-3)        14
  17. RSR                        10
  18. Irv                            10
  19. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop  10
  20. Tiny D (0-4)              1

Season Standings:

  1. RSR                        491
  2. Kitchen P                490
  3. Flyin’ J                    454
  4. Sweet                     429
  5. Folly J                     426
  6. TB                          408
  7. Nelson                    407
  8. Face                       400
  9. TJ                           398
  10. SDog                      386
  11. MD                          382
  12. RJ                          382
  13. Fish                        370
  14. Pitalo                      365
  15. Mac                        363
  16. Tiny D                     350
  17. SmilyJ                    327
  18. Irv                           324
  19. Harmony                 328
  20. BW Buzz                314
  21. JLou                       307
  22. BR                          279
  23. A Bunch of Quitters  72-241
  24. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop  76

Here are my Picks of the Week for the Big Pre-Third Week Celebration and except for MD Here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds:

  • Duke   -5
  • LSU  +2
  • Florida St  -2′
  • Arizona St  -9′
  • Michigan St  -12

POTW — Who else? Mississippi State  +8′

My Tunes:

  • Winning – Santana
  • Beautiful Day – U2
  • Let the Good Times Roll — BB King and Bobby Blue Bland
  • Pride and Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughn

SOTW – Jubilation Day – Steve Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers

Also, this:


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Nov 12

Be Excellent to a Stranger 2014

Quote of the Day:

Bill:  “Be Excellent to each other.”

Ted: “Party on, dudes.”

Bill:  “Good one, dude.”

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

I don’t recall exactly what spurred the original idea for “Be Excellent to a Stranger” back in 2011, but I know it had to do with TB’s weariness at sitting through one too many self-aggrandizing charity pitches. It seemed to me the “joy” in giving was being taken a little to the extreme, to the detriment of the value of the act. Not only that, but I kept wondering things like, “If I were going through hard times would I rather have a turkey for Thanksgiving or twenty–five bucks I could apply where it was most needed?”

Put another way, shouldn’t there be a way to “give” that didn’t involve dictating to the recipient how wretched they must be in order to qualify nor how they were required to use the gift?

Now don’t take me wrong. We donate a turkey every year. Organizations that do things like that (as just one example) are wonderful and I’ve no doubt they are much appreciated by those who would otherwise serve bologna for Thanksgiving.

But my bright idea, and your response is what made it worth a damn, was to try and collect a humble pile of cash and simply give it to someone who needed it, without regard to whether they were “poor” or “sick” or otherwise qualified; and to do it anonymously. I set a goal of raising a hundred bucks that first year. We went over four hundred and sent out four gifts to people we don’t know who had no idea where it came from. In 2012 it was five hundred and last year we passed out over six hundred dollars.

I must confess: the idea was to do something completely selfless, but it hasn’t worked out quite that way. I have taken a great deal of pride in the MTGU’s collective generosity and pleasure in the imagining of what must go through the minds of our recipients. My hope is that it gives them a bit of hope in trying times and a reminder that the whole world is not conspiring against them.

Most of you reading know the drill, but for anyone who sees this for the first time, here’s what we do:

There is an Amazon shopping portal on this page to your left. If you begin your Amazon purchase from this page I get a 3-4% commission. The price of your purchase is identical to what you would have paid anyway, so it’s just a little taste out of The Man’s pocket–not yours. One hundred percent of that commission goes into the Be Excellent pot.

Also, people have surprised and delighted me since the first by sending in contributions to be added to the pile. I’ve received paypal donations for ten bucks, a lot of checks for twenty-five and one person has for the last three years sent in three-figure donations.

NONE of this is tax deductible! This is not an official charity! Nobody gets a letter of thanks nor a t-shirt! We are simply a group of friends passing the hat and giving the results to strangers. The way it works is, I collect the money, throw it–literally–in a shoebox, and then about a week before Christmas I send a check to a friend who cashes it and gives the money to the person in need we have identified or if it’s easier I put the cash in a Christmas card and send it out with no return address and a note wishing Merry Christmas from a group of strangers.

This year before ever starting the annual push YOU have contributed over FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS.

If you want to chip in just do one of two things:  you can send me a check to Ben White, P.O. Drawer 3260, Ridgeland, MS, 39157 or make a paypal contribution to AND. OR, you can shop through that Amazon link. It’s easy! Just punch in a search term for your product. Once you get to Amazon, it doesn’t matter if you buy that product you searched for or something completely different. They know you came in to the store through the MTG “Door” and they apply the commission. AND. Share this with your friends online and off and ask them to consider using our Amazon link. Okay that’s three things. This ain’t a math blog.

Finally, if you know someone we should consider for one of this year’s gifts, shoot me an email and tell me a bit about them. There are no rules. They can be poor or dealing with sickness but neither are “requirements.” I personally have particular affinity for the sad and lonely at Christmas and think they need a lift at that time as much as anyone. You may have someone completely different in mind–someone drowning in debt, someone facing legal issues, perhaps someone with no problems at all except that they are under appreciated. All that really matters is that we get the opportunity, as the holiday season approaches (and Third Week is only days away), to Be Excellent. To a Stranger.

Party on.

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Nov 06

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 11

Stay tuned. I’ll edit this and post tonight!

In the meantime, if you want to go ahead and make your picks, you can post in the comments here.

Some people gotta work.


Quote of the Day:  

“Is this heaven?”     –John Kinsella, Field of Dreams

Ok, finished working for a bit, but gotta make this one quick.

TB’s been out in Utah again, and I was fortunate to take in my second visit to Zion National Park. Zion to many is a word embodying utopia, even heaven. Being in that beautiful place in the wake of last week’s Mississippi State victory over Arkansas, I felt the need to ask, meta-cosmically, if this is heaven. I know the chances of getting an answer back that I don’t really want to hear are ever present, but for now, I’m going to enjoy the view from inside the pearly gates.

Last week TB lost another POTW to fall to 4-6 on the season. I went 3-2 on bonus picks to move to 29-19. The MTGU struggled to a 7-13 mark on POTW’s, 21-19 on bonus picks. Flyin’ J dominated the week by winning his POTW and going 5-0 in bonus picks. List of the Week and Song of the Week as chosen by Tiny D go to Flyin’ J, naturally, and TB. SDog hit the Dog of the Week.

Here are last week’s standings:

  1. Flyin’ J (5-0, Sotw)     85
  2. Harmony                    50
  3. JLou                           50
  4. Fish (1-1)                   50
  5. SDog (1-2, Dotw)      49
  6. Nelson (1-2)               44
  7. SmilyJ (0-2)                39
  8. Sweet (4-1)                38
  9. TB (3-2, Lotw)            31
  10. Folly J (1-0)                26
  11. RJ (2-2)                      20
  12. MD (1-1)                     20
  13. BW Buzz (2-3)            14
  14. Pitalo (2-3)                  14
  15. Tiny D (1-2)                 14
  16. BR                               10
  17. Mac                             10
  18. RSR                            10
  19. TJ                                10
  20. Face                            10
  21. Kitchen P                    10

Season Standings

  1. RSR                           491
  2. Flyin’ J                       487
  3. Kitchen P                   438
  4. Sweet                        418
  5. TJ                              408
  6. Fish                          394
  7. SDog (Dotw)            392
  8. TB                             390
  9. Nelson                      390
  10. Harmony                  378
  11. MD                            371
  12. Tiny D                        363
  13. Face                         348
  14. RJ                            340
  15. Pitalo                       323
  16. Smily                       317
  17. Irv                            314
  18. BW Buzz                 314
  19. Mac                         311
  20. JLou                        295
  21. Big Ed                     241
  22. BR                          227
  23. TDW                       178
  24. Krebs                      155
  25. And some other quitters…..

Here are my Picks of the Week and Here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds:

  • Florida    -14
  • Auburn  -23′
  • Colorado    +17
  • Michigan St  -3′
  • Bama  -6′

POTW – Oregon  -8

And….here are my heavenly tunes:

  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – GNR
  • Just Like Heaven – The Cure
  • Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
  • Monkey Gone to Heaven – The Pixies

SOTW – Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf


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Nov 03

The Longshot Candidate

An earlier version of this post stated that Moore lost in 2012 by 200,000 votes, but it was 100,000 votes.  

It was surprisingly crowded considering Part I of what would be the greatest day (so far) in the history of college football in the Magnolia State was already underway. The people wearing maroon far outnumbered people wearing any other color; this despite the fact that Mississippi State had already kicked off against Texas A&M in Starkville.   Matt Moore had agreed to meet me at the Zonta Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown Pascagoula, where he was scheduled to be between noon and two. This was to be the middle stop of a day spent driving from one end of the 4th Congressional District of Mississippi to the other for Moore, which is the type of thing you have to do when you want to get elected to the United States House of Representatives.

Zonta is the type of event that will always attract politicians. It’s an audience of thousands available free of charge. This year was no different. The plethora of Sheriff candidates, along with those seeking a seat on the bench in Chancery Court were spread throughout Downtown Plaza amidst the local artists and businesses selling paintings, homemade jewelry, baby clothes, knick knacks, and greasy food.

Moore was running late, leaving me to wander about aimlessly after I located the tent for the Jackson County Democratic Party where I assumed correctly Moore would post up. That wandering brought back memories of the only other instance I actually recall spending any amount of time at the local festival, memories which double as my first introduction to political activism.

It was 1996 and my mother, for reasons that I’m sure I didn’t understand[1], was selling t-shirts in support of Bob Dole. I remember walking around with my Free Willie Vote Dole t-shirt, ambling from one end of the plaza to the other, just like I was ambling this time around.

When the candidate arrived he was wearing a button up shirt and slacks. A Matt Moore for Congress pin stuck to his right chest, and, hanging like a boutonniere from a lapel, a Fire Palazzo pin was stuck near his collar on the left side; his slightly greying hair slicked back, eyes peering through unfashionable frames, and likely no longer in the shape required of the peacetime sailor he once was. Here was the Democratic candidate for US Congress for the 4th District of Mississippi. No handlers, no volunteers, no staff. Nothing but himself, eager to meet the fine electorate of Pascagoula, MS.

In a way, every politician is playing a long con. The current districts for Congressional seats are solidly held, and those that hold them will keep their jobs for life as long as they say, but not necessarily do, the right things. And here’s Moore, campaigning in one of the most conservative districts in the country, represented by a man swept to power on the wave of the Tea Party in 2010 when he ousted long serving Congressman Gene Taylor, a man who had done nothing wrong with the exception of having the word Democrat following his name.

So why would Moore do this?

He doesn’t have any money, which is both a blessing and a curse.   It means he has no conventional firepower, but it also means he hasn’t been bought yet. In a world where corporations are considered people and money is considered speech almost every politician is owned by somebody and everybody has a price. Moore may have one himself, but right now he is of a rare and pure breed, the politician who still owns his principles.

“A man without principles is no man at all. So if you can’t try to guide those actions by your principles whether it’s faith based or, other, then what the hell are you doing? What’s the point?“

Moore talks fast, not like a used car salesman, but like a man whose got something to say and knows he doesn’t have a lot of time to spare in making you believe him.   Every politician, good or bad, has something in common with a good con man.

“He’s been an insult to everyone whether you’re a Republican, an Independent, or a Democrat, I mean what has the man done in four years that’s assisted anybody other than himself or the national party,” said Moore of his opponent, incumbent Steven Palazzo.

He has a point. Palazzo made national headlines only once during his time in office thus far, and that was for voting against the funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery.   In the name of politics, he decided to slap those that had helped his constituents, no questions asked, when they needed help after Hurricane Katrina. He eventually did a U-Turn and voted in favor of a spending package after touring the devastated regions of New Jersey and New York, but no one who survived Katrina and, in his role at the Biloxi Housing Authority, helped spearhead rebuilding efforts with the aid of Federal money, should have needed to see it with their own eyes to understand it.   He did it because his party saw an opportunity to cut funding in other areas in the name of fiscal responsibility and if innocent people were left to suffer then so be it.

It’s easy to guess Palazzo’s positions. He is a party line Mississippi Republican. Pro-life, anti-gun control, anti-EPA and climate change, anti-Obama everything. This also means he has been another cog in the most obstructionist Congressional delegation in modern times. He joined his party brothers and sisters in voting over and over again to repeal Obamacare, without offering a reasonable alternative. This despite the fact that the status quo prior to the ACA had done nothing to improve the health of Mississippians or the abysmal status of the state’s financially overburdened health care system. He’s also played his part in the budget wars, voting against raising the debt ceiling multiple times, a move which jeopardized the entire economy, including during the Senator Ted Cruz led pointless government shutdown.

The most damaging to his constituency though is likely the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance bill which Palazzo voted for then immediately lamented the bills supposed “unintended consequences” which were abundantly clear from the outset. It was and is a boondoggle for insurance companies allowing them to drastically raise rates. His response to it implied he either didn’t understand the bill or never read it in the first place.

Then there is the more petty stuff like sending out mailers to constituents on tax payer dime[2] and paying for a party with his Congressional credit card where his staffers raised so much cane that police were called multiple times or hiring a chief of staff who was later convicted of embezzling $180,000 from the City of D’Iberville.

None of this matters though because Palazzo will win reelection, if for no other reason than the R next to his name. This was ensured back in June when he again beat Gene Taylor, this time posing as a Republican, in the primary election. Since then Palazzo has been able to lay low[3] and ignore Moore and the three other candidates running eternally doomed campaigns to unseat him.

There is no record on which to judge Moore. He’s a former peacetime sailor and community college student[4] with no legislative experience, not a member of the political elite or state politics in-crowd. He’s a Democrat to boot, which in this part of the south has become a dirtier and dirtier word. Philosophically, he is the polar opposite of Palazzo, which puts him at odds with most of the electorate in this district, but it is a battle he seems eager and happy to fight.

“I can only do so much to try to oppose that. The only thing we can really do is oppose the stereotype that’s been painted of progressives, with the dirty word liberal,” says Moore, who at one point was a Google Glass Explorer, a tool he says was quite effective with combating the ignorance sowed by what he calls rather bluntly, lies.

“They want to talk about fines (in relation to Obamacare), Palazzo still sends emails to people saying they are going to receive a fine if they don’t sign up. Really? We’re exempt, We don’t pay any fines. Why would you lie instead of helping us? That’s a bold faced lie. You’re not helping people. You’re lying. If he’s going to attempt to continue to lie to the people then he doesn’t need to be in the position that he is in. I think the people as a whole have grown kind of intolerant to this level of being, I don’t know, disingenuous.”

Moore is not necessarily alone in his quest, but the help he is getting is very minimal

“We are a small crew, the folks that think I’ve got a huge staff or that I’ve got handlers, it hilarious. We get a good laugh out of it. There’s about 5 or 6 of us in reality and out of that group of us half are family. So in reality we are literally grassroots. The only assistance we are receiving is from these fine committees in the counties that have the ability or the time to contribute to the cause in events like these where they are already doing county or party work.”

The national Democratic Party and the State Democratic Party largely ignore him. Which makes sense as cynical politics considering he has absolutely no chance at winning. Moore seems fine with that. He’s smart enough to understand that everything he is doing is the longest of longshots, but he keeps plugging along with his small staff and the financial handicaps, which I suppose means he is delusional or he actually gives a damn.

So what would he do if he actually won?

“Upon arrival, it’s going to be, I got to care for my vets, I got to try to get the VA into mandatory spending versus discretionary, this political football is not going to work for anybody, not for the left, not for the right, it shouldn’t be done. It’s wrong. When it comes to equal pay for women, it’s got to be taken care of. This has gone on too long. Mississippi’s ranked 41st out of 51, counting D.C. of course,” said Moore.

He’s also in favor of raising the minimum wage, free health care for veterans for life, and fully funding education. Plus he’s pro-union and pro-choice, two topics which get the conservative base in this district all sorts of riled up, and he agrees with science in regard to the reality of climate change and the threat it poses to humanity, which is another area on which he and Palazzo disagree.

“Our incumbent voted against federal funding for climate change research, now we got an eroding shoreline in his district, but he’s not aware of the rising sea levels apparently. But when’s the last time he went to the beach to do anything other than fundraising is the next question,” said Moore.

Despite these conservative boogeyman positions, Moore is most dedicated to constituent services and responsible governance.

“If they back me as the nominee or as an individual candidate prior to or otherwise I want to pay attention to what they’ve got to say. It’s the only way to appropriately represent them in Congress. And being a salesman and customer service rep for most of my hired corporate career, I’ve got a lot of experience in that where I’m on the receiving end having to solve the problem so I don’t have any issues with constructive criticism, direction.”

“In 2012, I had Matt Moore signs next to Mitt Romney signs in Hancock County because I told them, “I’m not asking you to vote for the President, I’m asking you to vote for me. I’m the one that wants to go represent you. I’m the one who wants to go there and do good by you, be there and available, be their customer service rep. We’re taxpayers, we are the investors in government. So as an investor, a fellow investor, who’s at the lower rungs of the income ladder, I agree, I want to make sure my money is going to the right places and appropriately spent.”

Moore was chosen as the Democratic candidate in 2012 when the initial candidate withdrew from the race to take care of an ailing parent. He had five weeks to get his name out there and still managed to get over 80,000 votes, which meant he still lost by 100,000. Maybe this time it’ll be different. Maybe he’ll get over 30% of the vote, maybe he’ll crack the 100,000 vote barrier. The only certain thing is that he will lose, partially because the game is rigged against him, as well as the other challengers, and partially because many voters will only see the party affiliation instead of the human being. The human being next to it, the one with no funding, the one who is running for Congress for free, the one without any apparent ulterior power hungry motives, the one who believes that your political representative shouldn’t treat voters like sheep, might actually be the better choice, no matter how much you disagree with him.

Long Live the Losers!

[1] I still don’t. A Democratic administration was always going to serve her best when it comes to taxes, services, etc. We weren’t dirt poor on welfare but we were low on the ladder. As Clinton would later argue, on behalf of Obama, it’s simple math.

[2] He’s not alone in doing this. Freshmen Republicans sent 25.6 million pieces of mail in 2011 totaling $9.8 million

[3] During which time he has missed 5.4% of votes in the House. The national average is typically 2.5%, but it is election season, so people think it’s fine to not do their job.

[4] His professors joke that he’s the only student going for a Ph, D at a county college

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Oct 30

Thursday Pickin’ Season VII, Week 10 (Halloween edition)

Quote of the Day:

“Tiger Stadium is where opponents’ dreams come to die.”     –Les Miles

It is the annual Halloween Thursday Pickin’ and all through the South, Terror takes center stage. Tear stained eyes were plentiful as Ole Miss’ greatest Fears were realized with the Death of it’s dreams of a perfect season in Tiger Stadium. Alabama and Auburn Dread the rise of suddenly formidable old rivals to the west, and it must seem to them as if the End Times are nigh, even as the approach of their annual internecine Bloodletting remains foremost in their minds. As for Mississippi State, as for me, well, it’s just a matter of, the ticket is bought, ride the ride; and yet the ride is a Thriller and history (and the upcoming schedule) foretells that Doom awaits. Meanwhile Georgia, lying low, hoping to remain unseen as widespread Pain and Panic are inflicted among it’s old brethren of the SEC, cannot hide from the Reckoning barreling their way at the conclusion of the regular season.


TB lost my POTW last week to fall to 4-5 on the year and I went 0-4-1 dropping my bonus picks record to 26-17. The MTGU once again was even steven on POTW’s, 11-11-1, now 114-105-8 on the year. We stumbled on bonus picks, going 13-31, now 249-226 for the season.  Folly Jon, Fish, BR,  Harmony, Jessie Lou and Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop won the week. All of them were all-in winners except Folly J who went 3-2. Nobody picked a Dog o’the Week. Song of the Week and List of the Week as chosen by Mac went to MD and Nelson.

Here are last week’s results, bonus picks only in parentheses, the top 11 won their POTW, Irv tied and everyone else lost:

  1. Folly Jon (3-2)      56
  2. Fish                      56
  3. JLou                     56
  4. BR                        56
  5. Harmony              56
  6. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop  56
  7. Nelson (2-3, lotw) 49
  8. MD (0-1, sotw)      49
  9. Flyin’ J (2-3)         44
  10. Smily J (1-3)         38
  11. Pitalo (0-4)            31
  12. Irvine Redd           30
  13. Mac (1-0)              26
  14. RJ (2-2)                20
  15. Tiny D (0-1)          14
  16. SDog (0-1)            14
  17. Kitchen P               10
  18. RSR                       10
  19. Face                      10
  20. TJ                           10
  21. BW Buzz (1-3-1)    8
  22. Sweet (1-4)            2
  23. TB  (0-4-1)             1

Season Standings:

  1. RSR                      481
  2. Kitchen P              428
  3. Folly J                   426
  4. Flyin’ J                  422
  5. TJ                          398
  6. Sweet                    380
  7. TB                          359
  8. MD                         351
  9. Tiny D                    349
  10. Nelson                   346
  11. Fish                       344
  12. Face                       338
  13. SDog                     338
  14. Harmony               328
  15. RJ                          320
  16. Irv                           314
  17. Pitalo                     309
  18. Mac                        301
  19. BW Buzz                300
  20. SmilyJ                    278
  21. JLou                       245
  22. Big Ed                    241
  23. BR                          217
  24. TDW                      178
  25. Krebs                     155
  26. Fig                          154
  27. TKH                         72
  28. Special Guest Picker Doc Scoop  66

Here are my Picks of the Week and Here’s your HandyDandy Link to the Odds:

  • Florida State  -3′
  • Wisconsin  -11
  • Air Force  -2′
  • South Carolina  -7
  • Arizona  +6′

POTW  Georgia  -13

And here’s my Halloween Playlist:

  • Tear Stained Eye – Son Volt
  • Alpha Male and the Canine Mystery Blood – Tommy Womack
  • Dead Flowers – Rolling Stones
  • Panic – The Smiths

SOTW–Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult (see what I did there?)




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Oct 29

Hello. My Name Is Mac and…

I hate the cowbell. It’s annoying as all shit and is a pretty dang redneck representation of the school. We couldn’t get Sally, married to her first cousin? I think that the Gameday at State was annoyingly loud. I would not lose sleep if it was dropped from our repertoire.

But saying all that, I can say this. That is the point. It’s supposed to be annoying. Loud. Disrupt the defenses. It’s a noisemaker. And it’s here to stay. Clanga!

On to more important matters. The College Football Playoff gurus have come out with their first ever Top 4 college football championship thingy. And Mississippi State is still #1. I cannot even put into words how surreal this entire season has felt so I won’t try. Just suffice it to say that most fans are still in shock at this point. The rest of the country is LIVID about the announcement though. The cries of SEC Bias are reverberating around all halls of collegiate football. I find all of these complaints to be completely without basis. By any measuring stick you want to use, the SEC has been the dominant conference over the last 12 years or so. Eclipsing National Championships. A dang near .600 winning percentage in BCS bowls. When compared to individual conferences, the race hasn’t even been close.

The SEC is the best conference around and the SEC West is the best college football sub conference going. Get over it. Take a big swig of water and just swallow it. You will feel better in the morning. Maybe.

Do I think the four teams announced in this weeks playoff contenders will hold out? Hell no. It is going to change up. I honestly can’t see Alabama not making the top four. They are coming on strong at the right time of the season. I hate them but I know them. They are gonna be there. Will Ms State hold on to the # 1 ranking til the end of the year? Honestly I don’t know. For the first time in my VERY long fandom, I feel like we can beat anyone. But the longtime State fan knows we can lose to anyone too. It is making for a very interesting season.

I will say this final thing to all the SEC haters. There is one way and one way only to shut us up. Bring it.

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Oct 28

TB’s Kentucky Roadtrip to See the Bulldogs

Quote of the Day:

“I’ve been around a long time, and life still has a whole lot of surprises for me.”     Loretta Lynn

It’s 5:09 a.m., Saturday morning, and pitch black outside in Oxford, Mississippi. The car fires and XM powers up, on the same channel my wife left it on last night. Lisa Loeb, “Do You Sleep” is playing. As if I haven’t been thinking, “Have I lost my mind?” for the last twelve hours already. I immediately switch over to my station, XM 60, Americana, where the radio will (mostly) stay until it’s time for pre game shows because I’ve got the car to myself today.

I was listening to Bulldog Sports Radio while exercising Friday morning and as the hosts of the B&B show talked about the game, I tuned them out, entertaining a continuous looping inner monologue that went, “We are the number 1 team in the nation. This may never happen again in my lifetime. I really should be there to see us play as number 1. And I’ve always wanted to go to Kentucky for a game. Hell, it’s now or never.”  All this cycled through about 273 times.

And that’s why I’m driving to Lexington this morning.

I’m doing 80 in a 55 zone and I’m passed by another car and so I am now using him to good purpose as a blocker. I gotta make hay before the sun comes up. We pass a lazy pickup just before Holly Springs. My blocker is opening up holes and I take it as a good omen. “Pure Morning” by Placebo comes on Lithium and I feel good. Optimistic. My team, poor old whipped-down (to borrow a phrase), Mississippi State of all things, is Number 1. Anything is thusly possible. A cure for cancer must surely be only a matter of time. Peace in the Middle East? It’ll come. Fusion-powered, hyperspace-capable flying cars will definitely be available before my number is called for the final time.

That’s why I’m driving to Lexington today.

Crossing in to Tennessee I pass the National Bird Dog museum, ease up through Bolivar where I once got a speeding ticket with my infant daughter and Mother-in-Law in the car at one a.m., and on to Jackson and Interstate 40. I do not like waking up before dawn, but I absolutely relish the driving hours before sunup. Since I was a child, it’s always seemed like more of an adventure at that time. Inevitably, the sun must rise and there is consolation in it’s perfection as it inches upward behind the western Tennessee cotton fields.

There are worse reasons to drive to Kentucky today.

Hungry now, I see a sign for Loretta Lynn’s Ranch House. Why not, right? There’s an old tractor out front and a statue of a buffalo (of all things) and inside are lots of photos of Conway Twitty and Loretta, of course, and more. And you can buy an indian blanket featuring Loretta Lynn’s face because of course you can. There’s biscuits and they’re good, the bacon is burned, the ham is country and I’ll be dang–fried bologna on the buffet. It turns out this interstate exit is a designated scenic byway heading north toward Clarksville where I can connect east to Kentucky and I’m ahead of schedule so I go for it. Winding through the colorful Tennessee autumn, up to the steeple dominated town of Clarksville then over to Bowling Green and more back roads north to Lexington. I pass a horse and buggy outside a Shaker village, and eventually I begin to see the famous horse farms of Kentucky. The interstate would’ve gotten me there sooner, but I’m happy to milk this day for all it’s worth before turning my focus to the game, because we’re putting that top ranking on the line plenty soon enough.

In 1977 or thereabouts, I went with my Dad and some of his co-workers to my first Mississippi State football game in Auburn. I think we won, but I know if we did we later had to forfeit for some boosters giving a guy clothing discounts. I grope around for the memories of that day, but mostly I just conjure the sensations. I think about that day in 1980 when we Beat the Bear, and no–I wasn’t there. But I was in ’91, Jackie Sherrill’s first year when we beat LSU in Tiger Stadium and then took down Ole Miss in the first Egg Bowl back on campus in twenty years. I think about 98 when we beat Arkansas and then Ole Miss to win the SEC West. There was the great comeback against Auburn that I celebrated with Jack Cristil in the Grove. And, being a true Bulldog, I recall too the heartbreaks–The Stand, Tubberville’s two point conversion, the referee-assisted defeat to Tennessee in our one previous shot at glory, leaving Scott Field at the end of the first quarter, down 35-0 to Tulane during the Croom era.

You better believe those are reasons I’m driving by myself to Kentucky today.

I finally arrive, make some friends in Big Blue Nation and avoid making enemies. An old guy named Rodney tells me to stick with him, he may have a ticket for me. He does and he won’t accept a nickel for it. As I make my way into the stadium I exchange random fist bumps and nods of solidarity and understanding with fellow Maroons in a manner unlike anything I’ve ever seen either at home or on the road. My ticket entitles me to 12 inches of booty-room right inside the upper left corner of the Famous Maroon Band, and though they don’t really want me there, I squeeze in next to the trombone section. Or French Horns. I don’t know. Not the tubas. We’re in the corner of the end zone about twenty rows up. Glorious view. Dak doesn’t have a Heisman-caliber game but tailback Josh Robinson does. Between the third and fourth quarters Kentucky holds a little pep rally out on the field. A guy dressed in a Jared Lorenzen jersey leads the cheers and rallies the Wildcat crowd, exhorting them to cheer louder because they “are going to beat…..THE NUMBER ONE TEAM IN THE NATION!!!!”

But Robinson takes off on a scintillating 73 yard sprint/cutback touchdown run and Turtle Holmes ices it with a touchdown return of a Kentucky onside kick and the band plays the fight song over and over and the players salute the crowd and Dak jogs off the field last, after the interviews and for another mind bending week, MY Mississippi State Bulldogs will remain Number 1 in the Nation. I will forever treasure the fact I was there for it all.

And that, emphatically, is why I drove by myself, 22 hours over two and half days round trip, through the byways and backcountry of Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky, just to see the Bulldogs play.





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