Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sid Salter: Cochran's courage, compassion, and character

STARKPATCH – To say that I like, appreciate and admire U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran is a gross understatement. I think the majority of Mississippians – rich and poor, black and white, Democrat and Republican - share my affection for the senator.
Quiet, thoughtful, extremely intelligent, and possessed of that rare ability to disagree agreeably, Cochran broke the mold of loud, bellicose Southern demagogues and effectively conducted his 46 years of service to the people of Mississippi on Capitol Hill as what Time Magazine cogently called in 2006 “the quiet persuader.”

In an article identifying Cochran as among America’s best senators, Time observed of our state’s senior senator, then fresh from literally saving Mississippi and the rest of Gulf Coast by wrestling a $29 billion Hurricane Katrina relief package from his Senate colleagues:

“As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which decides how Congress doles out money, Cochran wields considerable power on Capitol Hill, particularly on budget issues. But along with that post, Cochran has gained the trust of the Administration and Capitol Hill for his quiet, courtly manner that is evident whether he is playing the piano in his office or using his experience and mastery of the issues to persuade his colleagues privately rather than making demands on them in public. ‘I don't call lots of news conferences,’ Cochran says. ‘I just don't see that as a necessary part of my responsibilities.’ "


 Cochran’s consummate skill in directing congressional earmarks back to Mississippi to benefit his constituents led in great measure to the political alley mugging that was the 2014 Republican U.S. Senate primary in Mississippi. In that race, voters easily influenced by dubious claims that truly complex problems like the future fiscal viability of Social Security and Medicare, the provision of public health care, the national defense, immigration, and other serious questions of public policy can be effortlessly solved by sprinkling some magic foo-foo dust called “freedom” and “liberty” on them.

That group of ideological purity zealots also like to throw around Ronald Reagan’s name and quotations when it suits them and label themselves “Reagan Republicans.” But they never burden themselves with the fact that Reagan, like Thad Cochran, grew up as a New Deal Democrat. Cochran converted to the GOP in 1968 running the Nixon campaign in Mississippi.

To that end in the 2014 primary, Cochran was assailed as a liberal and was targeted by “Astroturf” (you know, fake grass roots) political action committee spending that saw groups like Club for Growth, Senate Conservatives Fund, and Freedom Works spend millions trying to unseat the veteran senator. In Mississippi, outside spending accounted for about $12 million of a $20 million campaign.

Revisionist history of Cochran’s supposed “liberalism” aside, it almost worked. State Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville came from near anonymity statewide to within a half-percent of the vote of unseating Cochran. Like a bad penny, McDaniel’s back in 2018 and still dispensing the magic foo-foo dust – but still no substantive policy offerings. Just more “freedom” and “liberty.”

One policy area in which Cochran battled the “freedom” and “liberty” crowd successfully was in the battle over the 2013 federal farm bill. The Tea Party wanted to break the nation’s food stamp program or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program away from the farm bill. Doing so made food stamps more politically vulnerable.
So Cochran made himself more politically vulnerable – as the senior senator from the poorest state in the union – by using his clout on Capitol Hill to scuttle that effort.

Why? There are places in Mississippi where without food stamps, grocery stores would close and food would be scarce for people who can’t afford to drive to buy it. Some 20.8 percent of Mississippians are food insecure, 19.4 percent of Mississippi households utilize food stamps, and 36 percent of those SNAP recipients are in working families.

Age and failing health finally took their toll on Thad Cochran. It’s time for him to come home. But his courage, compassion and character endure and he deserves our thanks for his service.

 Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at sidsalter@sidsalter.com.

54 comments:

Dee Ray said...

Ahh, another Salter article. You can always spot them with the heavy crust of superlatives, throughout. And where would Salter be if he couldn't throw at least one left-hook at the Tea Party? All we need now is a follow-up article by Marty Wiseman who I believe to be Salter's twin brother.

Anonymous said...

Cochran supoorted the GOP’s turn to racism, misogyny, torture, environmental destruction, disease, poverty, & endless war, but gosh! was he ever a gentleman about it.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Talk about revisionist history. So we should be thanking the good senator for assisting us down the road for lots of debt. Thanks. I guess. Thad is a career politician. I hope and pray that gov Bryant doesn’t appoint another career politician.

Anonymous said...

Some 20.8 percent of Mississippians are food insecure

Can someone show me these people? I can't find them among all the 350lb fatties I see in every place I go in the state.

Sid can't find them either, what with his nose buried so deeply in a certain retiring senator's backside.

Anonymous said...

Sid Salter is part of the elite, well-payed "insiders" club in Mississippi. He stopped being a journalist decades ago. Now he's merely a sycophant (bootlicker) for the "media" that also wants perpetual access to the insiders circle to keep the ocean of money steered their way.....and certainly not toward the majority of Mississippians. Salter is no different than the press agents a hundred years ago who supported the status quo of segregation and disempowerment, and he knows if he gets out of line, he'll be shown the door by the good ole' boys.

Anonymous said...

"Cochran supoorted the GOP’s turn to racism, misogyny, torture, environmental destruction, disease, poverty, & endless war, but gosh! was he ever a gentleman about it."

Wow! How absurd is that? As if Kennedy, Moynihan, Byrd and forty other lifetime democrats didn't hold down the same fort for thirty or more years each. And as if every democrat president has not presided over racism, environmental problems, disease, poverty and war. Blame it on ole Thad who was just a 'kind fellow mindin' his own bidness' as his butt-boy Salter pointed out.

Misogyny? "Name the president who made misogyny a popular sport for 400, Alex". And, "The president who gifted us with 55 years of poverty ensuring programs for 1000, Alex"?

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ. Cochran hasn't been on the same planet mentally for almost ten years. How his handlers get him to perform for the microphones is a damn miracle.

He should've been gone a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

It is painfully obvious that Salter, Crawford and the MS RINO herd have absolutely no problem watching our country slide off into a debilitating insolvency that is sure to bring chaos and another Civil War as long as the Federal pork spigot to Mississippi remains full open until that very last day.

Anonymous said...

to 6;33 , YOU ARE BEUTIFUL!!! i really mean that! so true

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sid. Great article and passionate, clear thoughts. Of course the loud losers on the far right will criticize, claiming, ignorantly, to be "Reagan Republicans".The rednecks need to Google "Ronald Reagan" and read.....if they can.

Anonymous said...

Its time for him to come home? Hell, he hasn't been home in 40 years until someone had the audacity to stand up to the people propping him up against the jukebox. And then he could only win by being dishonest. Hasn't the predicted outcome come true exactly? I don't hear anyone coming forward to say Ole Thad the gentleman played us like a fiddle. Because they knew it too, but don't care as long as they aren't rooted away from the trough.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what concerns me the most.
There's the political naiveté, the hypocrisy, the blind hero worship, the mean spiritedness or the narrow , foolish idea that if someone disagrees with your beliefs, they are lesser mortals.
I've not noticed that we've ever had a perfect elected official or news person who made the right choice every time on every issue.
Seems to me, most of you put your britches on one leg at a time and have yet to achieve perfection as well.
What you all should have is some respect for those who accomplished some good things for our State at the cost of small minded critics who ought to look in the mirror occasionally.
That neither Salter or Cochran are perfect men is not news worthy. There is no such thing as the perfect human. They have been decent men who didn't behave outrageously and who have done more than a few admirable things that were selfless.

Anonymous said...

Cochran had no business no business running last time. He only ran to keep certain hands in the cookie jar. He spent most of the last decade travelling the world with his girlfriend on the taxpayers dime. I just cannot respect a man like that.

Anonymous said...

Sid Salter did a mid afternoon radio program at Supertalk while still employed full time at Gannett. Appears he was stealing from his employer.

Anonymous said...

9:06, Does it concern you at all that attempts were made to destroy another candidate's reputation and career because he had the audacity to challenge a sitting Senator and not follow the rules of the game that shut out different opinions? A system like that, and those that support it, is what should concern you.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, in today's modern world, we now have cell phones. So mild-mannered reporter Sid Salter doesn't have to dash into a phone booth to change into Supersuckup.

Anonymous said...

Cochran while I think he was once a good senator, he is a perfect example of staying way too long.

Anonymous said...


Cochran is a politician that has taken more than he has given. I'm sorry that he is ill (if even that is true) but he has done more harm to this state than Bennie Thompson by not doing anything. He could not make a decision without checking with "Boss Hogg" back here in Mississippi. It's almost impossible for me to believe that we would send any of the candidates on JJ's list to Washington. We need a young smart man like Josh Harkins who can look at Washington from a different view.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, in today's modern world, we now have cell phones. So mild-mannered reporter Sid Salter doesn't have to dash into a phone booth to change into Supersuckup.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!

Take a bow!!

YAWN!!! said...

Wow. Reading Sid's exercises in Senatorial buttkissing makes me nostalgic for Rick Cleveland and his long-winded tales of how at age 12 he met Milburn Gullywumper, the legendary coach who led the Jumpertown High Baldknobbers to the 1937 Southeastern Regional Kicksoccer Championship.

Anonymous said...

Sid's assessment is correct. Senator Cochran has been a dedicated servant and statesman for Mississippi. Those of you newcomers on the McDaniel train don't have a clue. And drop the RINO thing. WE are the Republican Party, and you accusers have attempted a hijack. Go over your far right, narrow, mean-spirited, uninformed cliff and form your own party and leave ours alone.

We GOTCHO Party! said...

"Go.....form your own party and leave ours alone."

Isn't that what you Barbour Rinos have been saying for four decades? But, saying it to any and everybody who is not a charter member of the blue-blazer-Bass Wejun-Dockers and Crown Royal crowd?

Anonymous said...

Even if McDaniel loses the MSGOP has completely trashed any semblance of party unity and loyalty they had achieved. You don't scam your primaries because you don't care for the result. MSGOP wants party eunuchs to blindly follow and vote as they are told. They foolishly believe voters they alienate will still vote Republican when push comes to shove in any general elections. They are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Why you dissin Crown Royal like that, 12:36?

Anonymous said...

I'm no McDaniel supporter, but 1:14 nailed it. The MSGOP only wants fiscal and social conservatives for a few minutes in early November of even-numbered years. Otherwise, they could care less about seeing or hearing from these folk. They well typify the Big Business "screw the little guy" mentality.

Anonymous said...

Sid should contact John Grisham. This is good fiction.

Anonymous said...

See next post down. In reading these comments, Chris Rock is completely correct. We will never, ever, as a state, be anything but redneck, white trash.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for Sid to write about Andy.

Anonymous said...

... MSGOP has completely trashed any semblance of party unity and loyalty they had achieved.

Mouthpiece Salter's continuing arrogant condescension in this column is all the proof you need. He's basically saying "F*7k You".

mOVED TO NASHVILLE said...

This blog site has responses so predictable it becomes boring. Does every conservative here wear a tin foil redneck antennae? Do you ALL go to the same "how to be a close minded idiot" seminar? Thank God I left your hellhole, armpit state. SMDH

Anonymous said...

I just wish the liberals on this site would occasionally make a cogent point. Instead, they do nothing but drag out the tired "tin foil", "redneck", and "idiot" labels. Oh, and don't forget the old standby "KKK" reference.

When you don't have a good argument, you degenerate into name-calling and demonization.

Anonymous said...

I have a difficult time giving credibility to Sid’s “journalism” about government and politics considering the fact that he earns a very generous salary as a high ranking government official at a public institution that relies heavily on public funding. Isn’t journalism rooted in independence?

Anonymous said...

OK, so Sid's expert analysis of why Thad almost lost the last election left out the #1 reason not to vote for him - the man was 150 years old. There was no way he could serve six more years. But instead of retiring and letting the voters elect the next senator, he stumbled the get reelected one last time and thus allowed politicians, and not the voters, select the next senator. The man worked for forty years to gain our trust and respect and then threw it away with this one act of supreme arrogance.

MOVED TO NASHVILLE said...

8:44. 6:44 here. I don't need to "demonize" or "name call" anyone. You country ass fools do it over and over and over ad nauseum. Objectively read any thread on this 90 IQ blog. Re phucking dick you lus. Enjoy being number 50 in all things good and first in all things bad. Bozo ass rednecks.

Anonymous said...

MOVED TO NASHVILLE said... NOTHING but feels much, much bigger in their own mind.

Anonymous said...

9:25 pm You overlook the alternative which would have been being stuck with McDaniel.

At least we knew Cochran has an experienced and competent staff.

McDaniel surrounded himself with fools who skulk around court houses and nursing homes . He had visible support from the KKK , Neo Nazis and those with a history of mental illness.

The temporarily appointed Senator doesn't always fare well so you'll get a chance to vote .

MOVED TO NASHVILLE said...

6:40. Moved to Nashville here. I said plenty. YOU said nothing. And you are right. I do feel better expressing my disgust at the POS attitudes so many of you and your "Chris McDaniel" types. Your state is so ridiculous. Idiots on this site rail on and on about "heritage" and "history" in supporting that stupid ass, racist (why do you think it is actually defended) flag you rednecks proudly defend. The world scoffs, laughs and pities you country ass, backwards hicks. And you remain proud to live in the 50's.

Anonymous said...

March 8, 2018 at 8:30 AM = Hating but loyal JJ Reader!

Anonymous said...

Since Kingfish has sold space to Wicker for the glowing anti-McDaniel header post, let me put this math wizardry here:

DeSoto County Push Poll by Wickerites:

Roger Wicker 44%
Chris McDaniel 29%
Undecided 28%

29% + 28% = 57%

Anonymous said...

Thad's legacy is pork, nobody did pork, Mississippi loves Pork better than Thad. Knowing he was there for the pork sort of makes him have integrity. Harper will also be after Pork, will never match Thad.

Anonymous said...

9:44 am I'm more concerned about you.

I agree that the politics of personal destruction that is now common is awful . I don't like spin or speculation either.

But, it is bizarre that you didn't see that McDaniel's campaign was doing the same and to me, worse ,after I checked out the facts and that those making accusations on his behalf.


I don't support people who make accusations of sinister or unethical motivations based on nothing. For example, that there was child porn ring operating out of a pizza restaurant was invented out of air and nearly got someone killed and did get them arrested.

Trying to get a picture of someone in a nursing home was to stir emotions and would accomplish nothing in establishing the timelines of baseless. And the voter fraud lawsuit was even more baseless. The outcomes were awful in both.

And, it's not really that hard to learn to recognize propaganda and what is or isn't " fake news" if you are willing to check out what both sides are " selling".

And, everything is indeed a conspiracy if you define that as like minded people coming together to accomplish a mutual goal. A garden club is a conspiracy based on that definition.

What I do know with certainty is the KKK and Neo Nazis and those with a history of mental illness are not reliable sources of information. I know that the KKK and Neo Nazis have sinister goals. I have seen what they want government to be and that is fascism and killing those who don't submit to their chosen " leader(s)". And, I know they were not only visible in McDaniel's campaign but that McDaniel was raised in such a family and did not disavow them or their notions of government.

I also know he knows, given his early legal career, what the law is. So, he either cannot instruct or control those working on his behalf or his political beliefs are in conflict with the basic principals of our legal system . That means to me that he chooses fascism or dictatorship over laws that ensure the rights of all people as long as it puts him in power and only his kind of people in control.

We seem, as voters, to be having to choose " the lesser of evils". That's our fault.









Anonymous said...

"And you remain proud to live in the 1850's. "

FIFY

Anonymous said...

9:45 proved 8:44's point and apparently he is too blind to see it. Just make your point and leave the name calling to the elementary school playground.

MOVED TO NASHVILLE said...

8:46. Moved to Nashville here. Kudos to you for your worn out, disingenuous comment. I am not a loyal, hating reader of this small time, chicken shit "blog". I am simply trying to bitch slap you homies that can't read the tea leaves. We. Are. Laughing. At. You. You redneck small timers are being left in the dust. Your hick ass state has LOST population 3 years in a row. Think about it. Why? Pissant "leaders" like moon pie Reeves and Feel. Keep up the idiocy, and remain losers. Period.

Relief in site. I am gone. I will tune back in in a year, and you hillbillies will be taking the same hillbilly crap.

Anonymous said...

To Beulah from Porky's @ 9:41...Hold ON! WAIT! That's not your ball. You can't take it with you. You can leave (hopefully) but don't be tryin' to take our ball when you stomp out of the gym.

Anonymous said...

MOVED TO NASHVILLE been there, heard that sooooooo many times before. We all know that you are still reading and that you'll comment anonymously. LMAO

Anonymous said...

"Your hick ass state has LOST population 3 years in a row. "

Uh, Mississippi lost a Congressional seat after the 2000 census, so the state has been losing population for over 18 years, not 3.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi didn't lose that congressional seat because it had lost population. You need to brush up on reapportionment before commenting further.

Anonymous said...

Moving to Nashville certainly didn't improve your foul mouth. Nor your manners.

Anonymous said...

9:41 We're elated that TN is now able to enjoy you.

Anonymous said...

10:52 So I over-simplified (a useful trait when writing for Mississippians). The rate of growth of population in MS was less than, oh, 49 other states, so one of our seats was re-apportioned to another state where the population was GROWING (the opposite of shrinking). There are 40,000 - 45,000 babies born in MS every year, yet the population did not grow by that amount each year. That is because people are fleeing the state (or dying).

The poster "Moved to Nashville" is fairly nasty, but understands economics. I, too, am moving (coincidentally to Nashville) in a few weeks, and looking forward to a place that is growing and thriving and attracting people and businesses to it.

Ask Ruth's Chris Steak House why they are vacating the state, or ask the Cheesecake Factory why they abandoned plans to open a restaurant here. No people, no money = poor business prospects. Once Thad stops bringing welfare to MS people here are going to be hurting even more.

Anonymous said...

... the state has been losing population for over 18 years ...

That is no over-simplification no matter how you spin it. You flat out claimed Mississippi has been losing population for "over 18 years".

The poster "Moved to Nashville" is fairly nasty, but understands economics. I, too, am moving (coincidentally to Nashville) in a few weeks ...

Sure, whatever you say. Long time readers here knew you'd be back.

MOVED TO NASHVILLE said...

1:28 you are so right. I am (finally) back in Nashville after spending 5 days in your shithole city. City could be a trendsetter....compact, beautiful downtown, great WHITE neighborhoods, museums galore yada yada. But one thing you can't escape. Provincial redneck thinking and attitudes. Commenters need to read this blog from afar and ask themselves "Where the hell am I?" and realize how stupid you look? Or sound?

Anonymous said...

i seem to remember barbour saying that "we had to get involved" in the runoff since mcdaniel stomped thad so barbour got all his little minions revved up doing the most treacherous GOTV cross-over campaign in the runoff so barbour (and his lobbying groups) could be assured of having the head of senate appropriations in his pocket. they kicked cochran's then-campaign mgr kirk sims to the curb and unleashed ALL the trash, and that is exactly what led to the RINOs getting routed in presidential election; the people saw who the GOPE really was, no different than the dems, all one big UniParty of thugs.

maybe barbour & co has finally flown too high, fast and loose....whatever, there will be a great shout of joy heard across the land when all this finally comes to light. of course, sen. grassley has referred this one to AG GUMP so don't hold your breath....

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2017-11-15%20CEG%20to%20DOJ%20(Uranium%20One%20FARA).pdf

google "hattiesburgamerican barbour" for others...

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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