Stories for November 2008


Sunday, November 30

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College Football: Croom Era Over At Mississippi State

Mississippi State football coach Sylvester Croom "resigned" on Saturday.

Saturday, November 29

LoungeList Photos: Vanilla Ice @ Fire

That's right -- 'Ice, Ice Baby' made a swing through Jackson and cooled down the crowd at Fire on Friday. Photos by LoungeList photog Kip Caven. Enjoy:

Time to Stop the 'Black Friday' Lunacy

The trampling death of a Wal-Mart temporary worker yesterday morning in a stampede to shop in a big-box retrailer whose products are mostly made outside the United States sent a clear sign that American needs to grow up and that the marketing creation "Black Friday" needs to end. Not to mention, Black Friday is terrible for local economies and local businesses as people crowd into mega-stores that take much of the profits out of town and out of state (and out of the country, in too many cases.

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State Not Good for Business?

Mississippi's competitive environment is the worst in the U.S. So says the "Eighth Annual State Competitiveness Report," from the independent, non-partisan Beacon Hill Institute, an economic research organization at Boston's Suffolk University.

College Football: Rebs Scramble Dogs

What was the turning point in Ole Miss' victory over Mississippi State on Friday? When the teams ran on the field.

Friday, November 28

College Football: Egg Bowl Is Here

No matter what the weather, dark clouds of animosity will hover over Oxford on Friday. It's time for the Egg Bowl.

Thursday, November 27

Time for Gratefulness, and Shopping Local

View Flip FLY!

As Americans come together to express gratefulness today for the blessings we enjoy, the JFP wishes you a safe and loving Thanksgiving. We also urge you to support the local economy for shopping on Black Friday and beyond at locally owned businesses that re-invest all of your money in the local economy. And remember to take the JFP Pledge to spend $100 in local stores this holiday, and be in the drawing for prizes worth hundreds of dollars, and yes donated by locally owned businesses. As we've urged for years now: Think Global, Buy Local!

Wednesday, November 26

Mumbai Terrorist Attacks Continue

As Americans prepare for a day of gratefulness, the horrors in Mumbai, India, continue. Follow the story on CNN here and pray for a quick resolution before more people die.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

NFL football, Tennessee at Detroit (11:30 a.m., Ch. 12) and Seattle at Dallas (3:15 p.m., Ch. 40): If you're a real American, you will celebrate Thanksgiving by watching football all damn day. No matter how much the games suck.

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Season For All

The span of time between Thanksgiving and the New Year used to be my favorite because not only did I get to eat great food and run around with my cousin, but I also got time off from school, played in the snow and celebrated my birthday. It didn't get better than that. As I grew older, the novelty of buying gifts for people wore off as the fake wreaths and sugarplums marched into the seasonal section of stores before Halloween was even over.

Holiday Food Recipes

This is the easiest, tastiest ham I've ever made—juicy and flavorful. And if you use a crockpot, it is almost no work!

WRAP IT UP: A Holiday Guide to Eco-Friendly Gift-Giving

It's great fun to watch small children excitedly tear through the paper on the way to their gifts, but for adults and everyday gift-giving, you can do away with wrapping paper altogether in favor of more creative solutions. Here's your chance to express your creative side while caring for the environment. Why use wrapping paper when there are so many other fun ways to decorate packages?

Alternatives to the 'Holiday' Letter

What is it about December that tempts even the most modest people to break out the Kinkos stationary and pen excessively boastful form letters? You know the ones I'm talking about: cheesy rants and run-ons disguised as Christmas cards that flood your mailbox every winter until the joyous season ends.

Holiday Traditions Unwrapped

The Nordic custom of kissing under mistletoe began centuries ago with a plant of peace under which you hugged an enemy. It evolved into kissing, and made its way into English, and later American, culture. Despite its romantic use during the Christmas season, Mistletoe is botanically classified as a parasite.

Fingerless Gloves

It's almost time for the holidays, which means it's going to get a little bit colder outside. A super cute way to battle the cold without breaking the bank is to make your own fingerless gloves.

Confessions of an ex-Martha Wannabe

I once was a Martha Stewart wannabe. Sparkling holiday decorations on slick magazine pages danced in my head like sugar plums. I would envision trimming every corner of my house with ribbons, garland and twinkling lights. As my Martha self, I struck out on missions to make the most wonderful adornments and embellishments angels could behold.

Holiday Fashion Meets Fun

The Christmas season is already stressful enough without having to worry about looking your best for all those holiday parties. This season, it doesn't have to be that way. There are great local boutiques that have something for everyone. It doesn't matter what the occasion is, from casual to formal, you can find what you're looking for. There is no doubt that all eyes will be on you with the help of the right outfit.

Tasty Holiday

With the holidays around the corner, it's time to make your list and check it twice. Instead of store-bought fruitcake, indulge your creative urge this season. Check out these tasty and easy-to-make edible gifts that will please friends and family.

NAUGHTY or NICE: The Bipolar Holiday Playlist

Typically, people think of the holidays as a shiny, happy time, but the season isn't so nice for everyone. Whether you're naughty, nice or a little of both, these playlists accommodate both ends of the yuletide spectrum.

Holiday Drinks

Rocking around the Christmas tree is twice as fun when you have a holiday drink in hand. Whether you are serving these up at a swanky holiday party or sipping slowly to get through family time, these recipes are sure to meet your needs.

Get Your Holiday Jollies

Bellies are full, but the day is not over. Once everyone has helped with his or her assigned clean-up task, what is there to do but fall into a stupor in front of the television or stir up the old family argument? Fortunately, it is easy to keep a houseful occupied after a holiday gathering with a little planning.

Let Us Begin Again

Not long ago, an evangelical minister and his teenage son visited me at the JFP offices. We sat in the classroom, under the watchful gaze of Emmett Till from a movie poster on the wall, and talked about being inspired to live a good life. The dad is well known in the state for his very conservative views and, well, I'm not.

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Oakley Training School: A 'Bad Model'

Mississippi is wasting time and money in its attempt to bring the decrepit Oakley Juvenile Training School up to humane, livable standards. Calling large-scale, centralized juvenile facilities ineffective, Bear Atwood, director of the Mississippi Youth Justice Project, is advocating for the state to close Oakley permanently in favor of small community-based programs.

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Stop Creating More Shortfalls

If State Auditor Stacey Pickering gets his way, the state could end up paying an extra $3 million for a bill that has already been paid.

[Sue Doh Nem] Inauguration at the Disco

Momma Roscoe: "I thought I'd never see this day. And you know what I mean. This old lady hasn't been this excited since John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1961. I'm not like that sweet 106-year-old lady President-Elect Barack Obama referred to in his speech, but I'm proud to say that I, too, witnessed a lot of history while raising my son, Big Roscoe.

[Kamikaze] One-Way Metro Street

I often hear the term "metro Jackson" bandied about, more so in recent years. We have a "Metro"center Mall. We even had a "Metro" Jackson Chamber of Commerce (now called the "Greater" Jackson Chamber Partnership). But I often find myself asking, "What does the term 'metro Jackson' really mean?"

[Wilson] My Choice to Head the RNC

In 2005, I was involved in an inner-party election that was every bit as vitriolic as the most recent presidential election, but that time it was Republicans fighting Republicans. Ever since, I have tried to remain neutral on party leadership elections.

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Victoria Scantlebury

"It's interesting when people just look at me and think I'm black," says Victoria Scantlebury. "And then when I open my mouth, they're like, 'Oh, wow.'"

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[Herman's Picks] Vol. 7, No. 11

As we hit the stands, it's Turkey Day eve, Wednesday, Nov. 26. You can sleep late in the morrow, so why not do something interesting with your teenager tonight?

11/26 Dow Continues Up Going into Holiday

The Dow has been up for four straight days, apparently responding to action taken by the Barack Obama transition team as it names its cabinet and bevy of advisors, along with hints that a solution for ailing automakers may be in the works.

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A Gift To Dems

No doubt, Democrats exit 2008 with a clear victory in federal government. Democratic President-elect Barack Obama claimed the White House with a 53-percent victory.


Making a difference this holiday season or beyond is easy, whether you have one minute or one dollar to spare. Here are some ideas from the JFP's GOOD issue/blog:

College Football: Conerly and Playoffs

Conerly Trophy finalists are named and Delta State playoff game to be televised.

Tuesday, November 25

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Official: Obama Asks Secretary Gates to Stay On

The Washington Post is reporting:

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Langston Deal Headed to Hinds County

U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley is sending the state's $14 million dispute with disbarred attorney Joey Langston to Hinds County. Pauley decided this month to uphold a decision to send the case to Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd. The fee dispute is connected to WorldCom's $126.2 million tax-fraud settlement with the state in 2005.

Entergy Drops Rates in Mississippi

After a year of investigation and outcry, Entergy is asking the Mississippi Public Service Commission to approve another 14 percent drop in its fuel adjustment starting Jan. 1. This new drop in cost reflects a total drop in price by slightly more than 30 percent since July, and marks a stark contrast to the company's request to hike costs by 28 percent over the summer.

City Postpones Bus Takeover Plan

The city of Jackson has postponed plans to take over the operations of its citywide bus service. The city council had been faced with the prospect of the city adopting the work of Texas-based McDonald Transit Associates Inc. when its contract ended in mid-December. The council opted instead to extend the McDonald contract another 90 days, until it either finds a new contractor or works the bugs out of the current McDonald contract.

So, Don't Cook!

With the Thanksgiving holidays right around the bend, everyone will be expecting to fill their stomachs with those wonderful holiday treats.

Managing Holiday Stress

Holidays aren't always an unbroken time line of happiness and joy. They can be stressful, especially for women. The Brookhaven Retreat a residential trauma and addiction center in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, offers some reasons for the stress and tips to managing it in the following release:

LoungeList Photos: Capital City Classic

LoungeList photographer Kip Caven filed a ton of photos from the Capital City Classic. Enjoy!

Do-Gooders on Steroids!

That would be you and me. The JFP is ramping up efforts to form a "Do-Gooder Corps" in Jackson—basically people who want to help others in whatever way you can, and we invite you to join us. You can get ideas on the new Good Blog, and we're loading up Jackpedia with ways for you to get involved. (Charities and do-gooder groups, please go add/update your information/needs here).

GOOD Alternative Gifts

For gift-giving on a wider scale, these alternative gift ideas are great for the global economy and the environment. Plus, you will be creating a wonderful new tradition without having to wait in any long lines at the mall.

The Salvation Army Needs Help, Now and Later

The Salvation Army is serving more than 1,200 Thanksgiving dinners in Jackson this week, and needs your help. Here's how to donate and volunteer.

Giving Thanks For The Cheap And Eco-Friendly

Gas prices may finally be going down, but I still do a lot of cringing in line at the grocery store every Saturday morning. It is hard enough to stick to a budget and also make environmentally responsible choices on a normal week. How on Earth can we all manage it during the holiday season? Actually, it is easier than you might think if you follow a few simple guidelines.

Christmas Trees (From Best to Worst)

Christmas may be the time to find the best deals on gifts and goodies, but it is not the time to skimp on eco-values. That means finding the best tree not only for your family traditions but also for Mother Earth. Here is the good, the bad and the ugly side of Christmas tree buying.

Monday, November 24

NFL: Saints Pummel Packers

Doctor S doubts if anybody saw this coming: New Orleans Saints 51, Green Bay Packers 29.

LoungeList Photos: Nicole Marquez Event

Photos from the "Can't Stop This Dancer" event to raise money for Nicole Marquez's medical bills. Photos by Kip Caven:

Markets Surge for a Second Day

The New York Times is reporting:

Court Denies Death-Row Appeals

[Verbatim from attorney general] Jackson, MS-The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled on an appeal by four Mississippi death row inmates who filed suit claiming the State's method of lethal injection is unconstitutional. The suit was dismissed by U.S. District Judge W. Allen Pepper back in July based on the statute of limitations. In other words, the inmates waited too long to file their lawsuit. The Court of Appeals ruling upholds Judge Pepper's ruling. "We anticipated the court's affirmation of Judge Pepper's ruling in this case," said Attorney General Jim Hood. "The statute of limitations had run on these cases. This was simply an attempt by these inmates to slow down the legal process surrounding their executions."

U.S. Chamber Applauds Obama's Economic Team

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement on the announcement of President-elect Barack Obama's economic team: "President-elect Obama has chosen a strong, experienced economic team. Restoring the nation's economic health must be our top priority and the Chamber stands ready to work with the new administration to spur growth and job creation. This team brings a wealth of knowledge to Washington and an understanding that any sustainable economic recovery will involve the business sector."

What's True, What's Not

The five "myths" include:

Even with all of the Obama administration's upcoming emphasis on the economy, the nation's health care is sure to get a lot of attention in the coming years. With nearly 50 million uninsured Americans, and facing epidemics of obesity--and all the fun stuff that comes with it (heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc.)--HIV/AIDS, autism and a host of other health problems (not to mention a rapidly aging population), you're bound to start seeing a lot of news on the subject. As always, the facts will allow you to separate marketing/lobbying spin from reality. Along those lines, The Wall Street Journal health blog featured "Five Health Myths Busted" on their site today.

Southern Chili Twist Pumpkin Pie & Bourbon Cream

I don't know about y'all, but the highlight of my Thanksgiving is most definitely the pumpkin pie. You can take all that turkey and its fixins! All I want is a lil' dessert; preferably spicy and ultra dense.

Let's Put an End to "The Most Segregated Hour"

Some say that the most segregated hour in America is on Sunday at 11 a.m. Because of a history of racial division, most of today's churches are predominately white, predominately black, etc. Is this the way God intended for us to worship?

NFL Preview/Recap, Week 12

There are two burning questions in New Orleans. 1) Can the Saints beat the Packers? 2) Who dumped on the owner?

Saturday, November 22

College Football: Almost Everyone Wins

Seven Mississippi colleges played football on Saturday and five won.

Please Donate Children's Coats

The JFP's good friend, Natalie, sent the following e-mail; please help her and the children out, and spread the word far and wide:

LoungeList Photos: Firefighter's Benefit

New photos of the Jackson Firefighters Benefit for Richard Taylor-Smith event. Photos by Kip Caven:

Friday, November 21

Stocks Rally After New Treasury Pick Announced

Good news on Wall Street for a change, per Bloomberg:

Miss. Dems Host "Sky Party" to Inauguration

Does the Mississippi Democratic Party know how to have (slightly ridiculous) fun? All signs point to yes:

Thomas Daschle to head HHS

The Washington Post announced today that former Sen. Tom Daschle will head the Department of Health and Human Services in the new Obama cabinet.

Recio Subpoenas City Attorney

Cynthia Stewart, attorney for Michael Recio, has subpoenaed Jackson City Attorney Sarah O'Reilly-Evans in the civil rights trial of Recio and mayor Frank Melton.

Obama's AG and the Drug War

The folks at Reason Magazine have pointed out that Obama's pick for Attorney General has held much harsher views on drug sentencing than the president-elect.

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Groups Push For New Smoking Ban in Legislature

Rep. John Mayo, D-Clarksdale, is pushing for statewide legislation in the next session of the Legislature that will prevent smoking in most enclosed public places, including restaurants and bars. The bill has not yet been dropped, and could see adjustments before it enters the legislative process.

Thursday, November 20

LoungeList Photos: Fondren Unwrapped

LoungeList photog Kip Caven got some great shots during Fondren Unwrapped, the annual holiday festival on Fondren shops, restaurants and galleries, including the newly opened Duling School development:

NAMIWalks 2008 Pictures

Yes, this was back on the 8th, but I was bitten by the procrastination bug. Anyone got a flyswatter?

What ‘08 Election Meant for Immigration Reform

[verbatim]In 2008 America's Voice (AV), a new communications campaign organization, was launched to harness the power of America's voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform. Working with pollsters Pete Brodnitz, Celinda Lake, David Mermin, and Sergio Bendixen as well as NDN, Hildebrand Tewes, and other leading experts, AV tracked the politics of immigration in the 2008 elections. Following are our top findings. For more, visit

Officer Sues Melton, City for Retaliation

Jackson Police Officer Robert Watts filed a notice of intent to sue (PDF) the city Monday. Watts claims Jackson Mayor Frank Melton arranged to have him transferred to a different beat for speaking to FBI agents in the weeks leading up to the mayor's federal indictment. A federal grand jury indicted Melton in July for his role in the destruction of a home on Ridgeway Street. His bodyguard, Marcus Wright, pled guilty for his role in the incident, and is currently working with authorities.

Body Soul Page Premieres

If you're interested in health-related issues or follow the Body&Soul column in the JFP, be sure to check out the new Body Soul page. I'll be posting new information concerning your health (physical, mental and spiritual) on that blog at least two or three times a week, and events tagged with Body Soul will also pop there there. Be sure to check back often.

Another Reason to Come to Fondren Unwrapped

Here's an e-mail I received today from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:

Like you need one to come out to one of the the holiday season's premier shopping events, right? Well, you could buy a gift book about Mississippi and do a good deed at the same time.

Film Producer Doing Interactive Lectures at St. Andrews

Film composer/producer/graphic designer Nathan Johnson will do interactive lectures at the St. Andrews Center for the Performing Arts in December.

Mississippi Museum of Art Receives Major Gift

The Mississippi Museum of Art has received a gift of 50 works of contemporary art from New York collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel.

Indeck Magnolia BioFuel Center Breaks Ground

Indeck Energy Services, Inc. of Buffalo Grove, Ill., and Homan Industries of Fulton, Miss., ("The Partners"), invite you to attend the ground breaking ceremony for Indeck Magnolia BioFuel Center wood pellet production plant on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 12:00 p.m., 1610 North Clark Avenue, Magnolia, MS, 39652.

Wednesday, November 19

[Young] Save Our Men

It is Friday morning. The rain is slowing from an overnight storm. The streets are wet, and the air is humid and cold. The gray skies and wet chill are no deterrent for concerned citizens silently gathering at the Medical Mall in Jackson to bring attention to an epidemic in Mississippi that kills—the spread of HIV.

I Heart This: Obama Gives Biden Birthday Cupcakes

Reminds me of our office, and I love our office. ;-) CNN Political Ticker:

Obama Lead Swells Since Election Night

He's now winning by 7 percent rather than the 5 percent on Election night:

Obama: 67,065,042 (52.7%, 365 EVs)McCain: 58,420,587 (45.9%, 162 EVs)

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College football, Miami at Georgia Tech (6:30 p.m., ESPN): Another Thursday, another crucial ACC game for the Hurricanes.

Think Global, Buy Local

Welcome to the "Good" issue. Our goal with this intern-created issue is to present you with ways that you can give back, give thanks and consider some opportunities to do some good this holiday season before you sink into shopping madness.

Seale Granted Hearing

In a rare move Nov. 14, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted federal prosecutors an en banc rehearing on the court's Sept. 9 decision that overturned the conviction of James Ford Seale. In that decision, the court ruled that the statute of limitations had expired on the federal kidnapping charges prosecutors used to convict Seale.

It's Official; We Run it Now

Mayor Frank Melton's administration confirmed to council members Monday that the city will soon be in the business of running a bus route, whether or not council members like it.

Former Pathologist Sues Innocence Project

Former Mississippi medical examiner Steven Hayne is suing the Innocence Project for defamation. In a suit filed Oct. 28 with the Rankin County Circuit Court, Hayne claimed that the New York-based non-profit organization damaged his reputation and cost him income with press releases and letters calling for the revocation of his medical license.

Do the Good Thing

The Jackson Free Press was pleased, a little anyway, to see that Gov. Haley Barbour finally caved this week and proposed a 24-cent-per-pack tobacco tax hike. Maybe he is finally getting the memo that even Mississippians of all parties support higher taxes on tobacco products, which would both help finance our health-care costs, as well as discourage smoking, especially among young people.

[Sue Doh Nem] Back To Myself

Miss Doodle Mae: "In this recessive economy, the financially challenged shop overwhelmingly at Jojo's Discount Dollar Store. Right now, there's no shame in the poor and middle class' game.'

From Outrage to Sadness

The Nov. 8 front page of the online edition of The Clarion-Ledger featured, unsurprisingly, a picture of President-Elect Barack Obama. Plastered above the picture was a headline that, maybe surprisingly, maybe unsurprisingly, read: "Incidents Reflect Racial Tension."

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Do GOOD Unto Others

No matter what your religious or spiritual philosophy, we can all agree that increasing the goodness of the world around us is a priority.

Melton Claims No ‘Evil Motive'

In a new motion filed in federal court (PDF) late today, Mayor Frank Melton claims that prosecutors must show that he had "evil motive" when he allegedly directed and helped police officers and teenagers destroy a duplex on Ridgeway Street in 2006. Federal attorneys have argued to the court that Melton's intent is not relevant and would not excuse his behavior that evening, as long as he knew he was breaking the law. Melton attorney John Reeves writes: "The deficiency in the prosecution's argument is clear. The prosecution suggestions that no inquiry is required beyond whether the mayor knew that his alleged conduct was unlawful when committed. Nothing could be further from the truth."

Technology Report

9. GasolineEmissions: Greenhouse gases/pollutionEnergy: Gasoline fuelMile Range: 350+Time to Refuel/Recharge: MinutesCents per mile: 12 cents+

IN CONCERT: Dorothy Moore

Gospel Brunch Fundraiser

Grammy-nominated Jacksonian Dorothy Moore does gospel right Sunday at Schimmel's.

Consumer Guide to Eco-Friendly Cars

• How it works: Energy is captured whenever the car brakes, stored in the batteries and used whenever possible instead of fuel.

Shop Local

Since this nation gained its newfound health-conscious identity you may find yourself lost in a world of trans fats, carbohydrates and preservatives. Eating well and fresh should not be a workout in itself. We want to make it easier for you to find that new waist size you crave and support local artisans at the same time. Local farmers markets are here to help, and they have been for a long time.

Holiday Waste

From Thanksgiving to New Year's, household waste increases 25 percent. Including holiday wrapping, that's a million tons a week added to our landfills—or 40,000 small humpback whales. Here's how it all breaks down.

Christmas Lights 101

Traditional Christmas Lights• Upfront cost of 100-count lights: $5-$10• One light: 0.4 watts• 4.8 watts: 10 lights• 10 strands on for eight hours a day for one month for $.0853 per kilowatt-hour: $7.20• One light breaks: Throw away the whole strand and buy a new strand• Life span: one or two years• Safety: heats up and can cause fire hazard• Timers: none; 24 hours-per-day use quadruples energy cost and pollution

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Kit Davis Barksdale

Relaxed in her office chair at the Mustard Seed, a smiling Kit Barksdale points to a unique painting created by a Mustard Seed artist, also known as a "Seedster."

[Pass The Mic] Dead Guy Rock

I like to think I have an eclectic taste in music. I listen to anything from '60s rock to modern "booty music," from bossa nova to electronica, and from Johnny Cash to Johnny Rotten. But as a few close friends of mine have pointed out over the last several years, I seem to have a particular affinity for singer/songwriters who are no longer with us.

Autumn's Mixed Bag

Of Montreal - "Skeletal Lamping" 2 of 5 stars Referring to Athens-based musicians Of Montreal as a pop band is a bit misleading. Though often catchy and cheery, the band's discography is more complex, inaccessible and frequently more pretentious than most pop music. Arguably best known for the Beatlesque pop on—and subsequent Outback Steakhouse commercial tune inspired byדThe Sunlandic Twins," Of Montreal's last album, "Hissing Fauna are you the Destroyer," was a series of knotty, complex constructions.

Blue Christmas Without You

My extended family is tiny compared to most, and we habitually don't play well together. We live hundreds of miles from one another, and are infrequently inclined to get on airplanes for what could be an unpleasant, if not altogether intolerable (and expensive) holiday excursion. Because of this and myriad other reasons, the holidays aren't particularly my favorite time of year.


So, what's so special about "Twilight"? Ask your little sister.

Why the South Opposes the Auto Bailout

This seems obvious, but it is worth considering. This seems obvious, but it is worth considering, per Salon:

LoungeList Photos: RAIN, A Beatles Tribute

LoungeList photog Kip Caven got out to see RAIN last night and turned in this visual report. Enjoy!

Melton Back In Hospital

[Verbatim from city] Mayor Frank E. Melton was admitted to the hospital after a routine checkup revealed that minor surgery was needed to correct a complication. The Mayor is expected to remain out of the office for the remainder of the week to recuperate.

Tuesday, November 18

Barbour Caves on Tobacco Tax

Gov. Haley Barbour this week announced that he would support a 24-cent-per-pack hike in tobacco taxes. Some say it's not enough.

Dick Cheney, Former AG Gonzales Indicted in Texas

The Associated Press in Texas is reporting:

IN THE STREET: Fondren Unwrapped

If you think you're going to roll into a premium parking spot in front of Fondren Corner this Thursday evening, you'd better get there early. Fondren Unwrapped is Fondren After Five on steroids. This means twice the people, twice the snacks and twice the local arts and goods. Yum. If you're like me, and your plan is to finally buy holiday gifts before Christmas Eve, Fondren Unwrapped is an ideal opportunity to put a dent in your list. Fondren lights up after dark in a special way, and at Fondren Unwrapped, the shops and galleries seem more magical. It's also a great way to get to know your neighbors and do some window-shopping if you're broke.

Wicker to Oppose $25 Billion Auto Bailout

[Verbatim] WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today made the following statement regarding the $25 billion bailout package for U.S. automakers scheduled for Senate consideration this week: "I opposed the $700 billion Wall Street bailout seven weeks ago in part because I didn't think it did anything to get to the root of the problem. Now, Senate Democrats want to tap into those funds to provide $25 billion to struggling U.S. automakers while ignoring the companies' competitiveness issues that have continually plagued them. The Big Three automakers were in financial trouble before our economy slowed down. To provide a $25 billion bailout for some companies isn't fair to taxpayers or the American businesses that have made smart decisions, nor is it good government policy.

Monday, November 17

Bloomberg: Bush Backing Down on Spending Rest of Bailout

Boomberg News is reporting that a beleaguered President Bush is backing down on spending the rest of the bailout package. The Bush administration is under fire for spending half of the bailout in ways that were not intended by Congress. Bloomberg:

Gay Marriage a Civil Right, Protesters Say

Advocates for the state's gay and lesbian community participated in a nationwide protest against Proposition 8 over the weekend. About 70 people met on High Street, between the state Capitol building and the Sillers Building to protest the passage of the California ballot initiative, which changed that state's constitution to prevent California from recognizing the marriage of same-sex couples. California voters approved the constitutional amendment Nov. 4 with about 6.2 million supporting the amendment and 5.6 million in opposition.

Wicker Applauds Veterans Travel Reimbursement Increase

[Verbatim] WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today applauded the decision by the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs to increase the reimbursement rate for disabled veterans traveling to VA facilities to receive health care. Effective today, the rate was increased from 28.5 cents to 41.5 cents per mile. "This increase is a huge benefit to Mississippi's veterans, especially those in rural areas who travel many miles to reach VA facilities," Wicker said. "Increased energy costs and economic challenges have only added to the financial burden felt by many disabled veterans. This reimbursement increase should help alleviate that burden while helping ensure these veterans have access to the health care they deserve."

Youth Project: Oakley Making Little Progress

The Mississippi Youth Justice Project released these findings today, which bolster its case that Mississippi's youth training schools should be closed. Verbatim:

Dan Rather Fights Back, and How

Hmmm, remember Rather-Gate? There may be another chapter on the way, thanks to the vigilance of Mr. Rather himself. The New York Times reports:

City Votes to Take Over Bus System

As the Jackson Free Press reported last week, the Jackson City Council has voted to take over the city's beleaguered bus system. Watch for a more detailed story.

Watch Live Stream of Barbour Budget Presser Tuesday

[Verbatim]Jackson, Mississippi) – Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour will hold a press conference on Tuesday, November 18, to discuss his Executive Budget Recommendation for Fiscal Year 2010. The press conference will begin at 11 a.m. in the Governor's Press Room on the 18th floor of the Sillers Building, 550 High Street. Credential press only. Copies of the budget recommendation will be available. For those who cannot attend, the event will be streamed live at

Saints Show Signs Of Life

The New Orleans Saints are .500 again, thanks to a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the NFL's worst teams.

Say What, Donovan?

More on the Eagles-Bengals exercise in futility:

It's official: Donovan McNabb is an idiot.

LoungeList Photos: King Edward and Farish Street Tours

JFP/LoungeList photographer Kip Caven took the Farish Street tour last Friday and filed this album of photos:

How Mississippi Voted

Pollsters predicated all along that Mississippi would not break its 32-year Republican voting streak on Election Day, but hours after the polls closed, pundits would not (or could not) accurately predict whether the Magnolia State would provide its six electoral votes to Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama.

Saturday, November 15

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Obama: The YouTube President

Today's Saturday radio broadcast by Barack Obama follows in the tradition of weekend radio broadcasts by the president of the United States and, often, by the opposition party. But, according to the Washington Post, Obama is giving things a twist. Going forward during the transition and then into Obama's presidency, the weekend address will also be presented as a video available on the Web.

Friday, November 14

Barbour Named Vice-Chair of GOP Governors

AP (hat-tip to WLOX) is reporting that the GOP governor's group has elected South Carolina governor Mark Sanford as chair and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour as vice-chair of the Republican Governors Association.

A Call for Sisterhood

A Call for Sisterhood

Just like the stubborn dedication of Harriette Tubman; the proud insistence of Rosa Parks; the support and strong family values of Betty Shabazz, Corretta Scott King and Merlie Evers; the blinding courage of Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt; the spiritual acceptance of Mother Theresa; the unwavering commitment of Mary McCloud Bethune; the uncompromising commitment of Fannie Lou Hammer; the intelligent passion of Sojourner Truth; the creative beauty of Gwendolyn Brooks; the willingness to accept progression of our mothers and grandmothers before us - women are finally standing at attention and recognizing our ability to contribute to this world, this nation, this state and this city. Our female ancestors have planted an everlasting pattern to direct our journey. We need only accept and commit to its power. It's up to us to resurrect these strengths and revitalize our place in the natural order of life.

LoungeList Photos: YUPS Blue Tie Ball

Photos from last night at the University Club. (Photos by Kip Kaven):

Creative Autumn Activities [For Adults!]: Mod Coloring Books

I'm not quite sure what's come over me the last few weeks, but I just can't seem to get enough coloring in. Yep, I said coloring. As in: sheet after glorious sheet of stained glass outlined images just begging to be filled in with your coloring medium of choice.

Thursday, November 13

12/13 Dow Recovers Nearly Five Percent

Thursday trading saw the Dow careen back up at the close, presumably on bargain hunting and the sense that a Dow of 8,000 (which it reached briefly) is a floor for this bear market. The real story, however, was intraday trading...there were 911 points between the Dow's low and high. It closed up 552 points, it's third greatest point gain in history.

Therapeutic Yoga Workshop

Friday Evening: Therapeutic Insights into the Bandhas

Butterfly Yoga in Fondren is hosting yoga teacher, author and columnist Doug Keller, E-RYT 500, for a weekend Yoga Therapy Workshop, Dec. 5 through 7.

"Run"dezvous and Bike Too Duathlon

<i>(verbatim release)</i>

It's not too late to sign up for the inaugural "Run"dezvous and Bike Too Duathlon which will take place Saturday, November 15 at 7:30 a.m. on historic Jackson Street in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Proceeds will benefit Mississippi Children's Home Services' Jean Austin Bagley Campus.

Share Your Health Care Vision

<i>(Verbatim from the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program</i>

In less than 3 months a new American President will be sworn in and tasked with addressing the nation's healthcare challenges. Voting in yesterday's election was not your only opportunity to voice your concerns on health care.

Marathon Prizes Announced

The Second Annual Mississippi Blues Marathon announced today that they will be awarding a total of $30,000 in prize money, including $4,000 each to the top male and female runner, plus an additional $1,000 if they break the course records.

Presidential Inaugural Parade Apps Due Nov. 18

[Verbatim from U.S. Army] WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armed Forces Inaugural Committee has extended its deadline for the public to submit applications to participate in the Jan. 20, 2009, presidential inaugural parade to Nov. 18 by 5 p.m. Applicants have traditionally included local groups from across the country, including school and community marching bands, floats and a variety of performers who fit into a parade format, as well as other non-traditional parade groups such as vocal ensembles, hand bell choirs and orchestras.

Langston Cooperating; Feds Seek His Release

An accidentally published motion reveals agents are working for an early release for convicted attorney Joey Langston, and that more investigations related to Langston are underway. U.S. attorneys filed a motion for downward departure in U.S. District Court Wednesday, explaining that Langston has helped prosecutors pursue investigations on convicted attorney Dickie Scruggs, and has "assisted in the further investigations of (Hinds County) Circuit Court Judge Bobby Delaughter and others."

MDOT Approves Fortification Street Project

A Mississippi Department of Transportation commission voted to approve a plan to narrow Fortification Street and install traffic-slowing features Wednesday. "Obviously we're extremely pleased that we received an affirmative vote on the alternative 3B plan for Fortification," said Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon. "We've been working on this for years, and we think that with MDOT's blessing it will finally move forward.

How's this for an inaugural ball?

Daily Kos contributor Kenyada wrote a creative diary entry about what Obama's inaugural ball could be like if those who went on before him could celebrate with him:

11/12 Markets Down Again on Jobless News

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits hit a staggering number last week -- 516,000, making it the highest week since shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The result was another downturn in the market, with the Dow ended Wednesday just under 8,300, with the S&P 500 and NASDAQ both showing 5 percent drops. In morning trading on Thursday, the Dow had gained 100 points.

Wednesday, November 12

Lies, Damn Lies and Excuses

Nothing is more predictable in Jackson than watching for that David Hampton column in The Clarion-Ledger after any major event, endorsement or election. It's the one in which he tells us why everyone but the Ledger is doing something really, really bad.

[Wilson] What We Conservatives Learned

November 12, 2008 For conservatives, and people who support limited government, this week feels wrong. Fifty-three percent of the American public has chosen a man whose campaign for "change" has felt to the remaining 47 percent more like a return to the old failed ways of Jimmy Carter and Democrats of the past. Time will tell.

Winter Garden

While winter may mean the end of fresh summer fruit and seemingly endless hours of sunshine, it doesn't mean the end of your bright and beautiful garden. Here are some tips to keep the garden green and your hands dirty all year round.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College football, Virginia Tech at Miami (6:30 p.m., ESPN): Since you won't watch the MLS playoffs, this battle of ACC also-rans is your best alternative.

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André de Gruy

André de Gruy did not want to be a public defender when he came to Jackson for law school 20 years ago. But recently, as the top lawyer in the Office of Capital Defense Counsel, his proudest moment came while sitting in the audience at the exoneration of Kennedy Brewer.

Beyond the Blind Spots

Last Sunday after my yoga class, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few essentials like cat food and shampoo. The store wasn't crowded and I had my choice of lines. As usual, I exchanged a bit of banal small talk with the checker and the bagger.

Speech, After Obama

Aaron Thomas, a black sophomore from Jackson, said that 10 minutes after Obama captured California on Election night, he had a reaction like many people across the country, screaming outside Kincannon residence hall, "Obama won, Obama won!"

Frustrated Voters Overhaul Court

Election Day brought an upset of Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Smith, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce favorite, but the outcome may not have loosened the corporate lobby's influence on the court's decisions. The Chamber spent millions of dollars on past elections promoting judges willing to steer the court in favor of corporate defendants. Their fight continued this year, with some measure of success.

Mr. Melton, Please Step Down

On the national level, we're watching an extraordinary process—the American government is making a peaceful transition of power between two very different presidents, administrations and political parties.

[Sue Doh Nem] Operation Retaliation

Sista Church Hat: "Welcome to a very important press conference brought to you by the Inspector 'Beat Down' Lipscomb Security Agency and the Ladies in Church Hats and Deacons in Church Suits Praise Patrol. Before and during this post-election transformational period, we've noticed how change affects some people.

Vol. 7, No. 9

<b><em>The Crappy Alternative</b></em>

The Crappy Alternative While eating the other day, I noticed your paper lying above the garbage can. And after reading it, I put it where it belongs: inside the garbage can. I have never read a more biased, liberal, conservative-bashing piece of literature in my life.

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GOP Panic: How to Save the ‘Party of Lincoln'

The Grand Old Party is living up to the "old," according to Nov. 4 exit polls. The poll revealed the vast brunt of Republican voters to be elderly, rural and overwhelmingly white in a country that is increasingly none of the above with each passing year.

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Uncovering the 'Real Deal' Blues

The blues in Mississippi refuses to die. Despite music scholars regularly predicting its demise, fans can find the distinctive music everywhere around the state, from small clubs to major festivals. And while many legendary blues musicians have passed on, a few mostly older bluesmen continue to perform the traditional style of acoustic blues in the state.

The Dawn of a New America

Let me start this post by explaining who and what I am. I am the oldest son of civil rights advocate James Meredith who integrated the University of Mississippi back in 1962 and graduated from that flagship institution in 1963.

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[Herman's Picks] Vol. 7, No. 9

This is a fantastic week for people looking to hear great music. This Thursday, Nov. 13, the Mississippi Academy of Ancient Music will host an 18th-century fortepiano concert by Dr. Malcolm Bilson at St. Philip's Episcopal Church on Old Canton Road, 7:30 p.m.

Dancing with Race

Charles Evers is a Republican Barack Obama supporter. A radio talk show host and the manager of WMPR 90.1 FM, a local blues and gospel radio station, Evers has lived here since 1963, when his brother, civil rights leader Medgar Evers, was shot and killed.

Imperfect Storm

Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southern Louisiana and Mississippi Aug. 29, 2005. The subsequent flooding of New Orleans was a tragedy on a scale that is still unimaginable in modern America.

Volunteer to Be Fired, Please

Clarion-Ledger Publisher Larry Whitaker sent out this e-mail to employees last week:

Thank you for working diligently through these tough economic times, even as I know you are aware that we are in the process of making difficult payroll reduction decisions. Since the announcement that we will decrease payroll by approximately 10 percent, we have been in constant contact with corporate staff about the possibility of adding a voluntary component to the reduction.

Melton Trial Delayed, 'Evil Intent' Issue Back

A federal judge has postponed the mayor and his bodyguard's trial for two months. What issues are on the table?

Barbour Announces 2009 Spending Cuts; Spares MAEP

[Verbatim statement] (JACKSON, Mississippi) – Governor Haley Barbour today ordered Fiscal Year 2009 spending cuts totaling $41.9 million, or two percent, for most state agencies due to a shortfall in state tax collections. With revenue falling 2.3 percent below estimates, the Governor said the cuts are mandated by Mississippi Code §27-104-13, which requires the State Fiscal Officer to balance the budget when state revenue falls below estimates for the fiscal year. He noted these budget revisions will not affect funding for such priorities as the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP), Medicaid, public health and certain social services.

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Warren Zevon Reissued with Extra Disc In Stores Now

Rhino's Double-Disc Collectors Edition of the Grammy-Winning Singer-Songwriter's Major-Label Debut Includes a Bonus Disc with Previously Unreleased Versions of every album track.

Tuesday, November 11

City to Take Over Bus System

A surprised Jackson City Council learned Monday that the city of Jackson is planning to take over its public bus system. The Melton administration informed the council of the new development after the city failed to reach an immediate contract agreement with Professional Transit Management. "We are in negotiations now and hope to reach an agreement soon," Chief Administrative Officer Robert Walker told the Jackson Free Press. "When we have something worked out, I will call you."

Craigslist Crackdown

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has announced that the attorneys general in 42 other states have reached an agreement with Craigslist in which the online classified-ad Web site will crack down on inappropriate content and illegal activity in its erotic services section. The move is meant to prevent people from using online classified ads to facilitate prostitution, human trafficking, child exploitation and other illegal activities.

Is the South Politically Irrelevant?

Read this provocative piece in the Times about, well, us:

‘Evil Motive' Question Looms as Melton Trial Delayed

A federal judge agreed today to delay the civil rights trial of mayor Frank Melton and his former bodyguard, Michael Recio, until Jan. 5. Judge Daniel Jordan granted a last-minute motion for continuance filed by Recio's attorney, Cynthia Stewart.

Monday, November 10

11/10 Dow Dips Under 8,900

While the dip wasn't as dramatic as in weeks past, the Dow did fall less than a point today lead by U.S. automotive stocks that are taking a hit as they seek a government handout from the government. GM is warning that it's running low on operating capital, while Ford's stock is trading at $1.93, down 4.5 percent.

Feds Allege Melton Team Up to Ugly Games

PDFs of all U.S. v. Melton documents

Taking Turkey Day Green

Thanksgiving's my favorite holiday by far; loads of food and family, without any of those pesky gifts to concern yourself with. Better yet, if you're a guest, all you've got to do is show up and stuff your gut! If, however, you do find yourself in the position of host or hostess for the big bird day, please take a few minutes to reflect on ways you might lessen the eco burden. This Thanksgiving, put a little less strain on mother earth, and give more thanks to her instead!

LoungeList Photos: Charley's Fund Benefit

Charley's Fund benefit on Saturday raised money for fighting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. To make a donation call 769-798-4417 or write [e-mail missing].

Sunday, November 9

A Funny Thing Happened To Me Downtown Last Friday….

...ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! Attended the Blocktober Halloween Party on Congress St. and had a blast. No one got shot, stabbed, robbed, raped, assaulted, or any of the like. Whats still frustrating is the fact that residents of the Plaza building and organizers of the event got more of those dirty looks, strange emails, and snide remarks about the "safety" of downtown. Of course, not being privvy to the REAL statistics we're still being held hostage by the perception of out-of-control crime in downtown. Especially when in actuality its the safest place in the state. I was disappointed to hear that the Southern Starz Talent Show(that was supposed to have 10 week run at the Alamo theatre) had to relocate because contestants complained that they didnt want to come downtown. Despite the fact it wasnt dark at 7pm and there were two JPD officers outside the event every week. SAD! Whats even sadder is that citizens are apparently dont even feel safe WITH police presence! Its as if they feel the criminals will just mug you right in front of them. AAARGH!

Is Mississippi Ready For A Black Governor?

So. America has elected its first African-American President. But while other parts of the country clearly were getting over the race hurdle. It appears the south particularly, Mississippi and Alabama, remain decades behind the curve. The south reamained a sea of red despite increased numbers for the Democratic Candidate. As the winds of change sweep across The U.S. The only thing I can see now that would be as earth-shattering as a Black President would be for MS or AL to elect a Black Governor. But are we ready? MS has yet to elect an African American to a state ofc. Can we ever turn this state blue? Or better yet, will this state EVER elect a Black man Governor. And an even better question is, of the available talent who could run next election?

Saturday, November 8

LoungeList Photos: Brews and ‘Tinis

Check out these photos from the Mistletoe Marketplace "Brews and 'Tinis" event last night at the Mississippi Trademart. (Photos by Kip Caven.)

Friday, November 7

Obama Releases List of Approved Jokes

Apparently feeling the pain of late night talk-show hosts, President-Elect Barack Obama took time out of his busy transition schedule to put together an approved list of jokes for the comedians to use. They're doozies, like:

Celebrating Black Students Called N-Word at Ole Miss

The Daily Mississippian at Ole Miss reported a disturbing response to the Barack Obama presidential victory on Tuesday night:

ON STAGE: Rain, A Tribute to the Beatles

Thalia Mara Hall

Formed from the same group that performed Broadway's "Beatlemania," Rain has been performing as the fab four since 1977.

IN GALLERIES: "The Philosophy of Beauty"

Millsaps Lewis Art Gallery

Memphis artist Tad Lauritzen's work is a joy to view.

ON SCREEN: "Opera Jawa"

Mississippi Museum of Art

Crossroads Film Society presents "Opera Jawa" and "Luxury Car" as part of the Global Film Festival,

Byram Middle School Honors Military Veterans

[Verbatim] There will be a Veterans' Day Program on November 11, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. at Byram Middle School. Veterans, currently serving military personnel and the public are all invited to share in remembering and honoring our veterans. Please come join us for this special recognition of our men and women serving in our uniformed services.

[Wicker] Congress Continues Effort to Protect Border

In a positive development for our nation's ongoing effort to stop illegal immigration, the president recently signed into law legislation that provides needed funding for border security programs. The funds were contained in the 2009 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill, which was included in a larger bill passed by Congress in September. The legislation contained funding that will greatly assist DHS in cracking down on illegal immigration and keeping our nation more secure. With over 12 million people currently living in our country illegally, there is no question that our borders are broken. Illegal immigration is a serious problem that needs a serious solution. I have been glad to work with other like-minded members of Congress to increase funding for border enforcement and other programs that crack down on illegal immigration. We have made progress, but there is more work to be done.

Money Management Tips for the Newly Unemployed

Jackson, Miss.--- November 7, 2008 — With the nation's unemployment remaining high, Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Jackson today reminds people who have lost their jobs to continue paying their bills on time and managing their credit wisely during this difficult period. Managing your credit during unemployment is critical since having good credit is a requirement for some jobs. "Some people have the professional and education background for a new position, but may have an inability to pay bills on time," says Sherry Rainey, CCCS of Jackson president. "Failing to manage your finances during unemployment could affect your credit report and hurt your chances of landing a new job."

Thursday, November 6

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Driving Mr. Biden: The JFP Interview with the Vice President (Encore)

In 2006, the Jackson Free Press drove then-presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Biden around the capital city to get him off the beaten path and talk about issues facing everyday Mississippians. Due to his new role as vice president, we are moving the narrative of that visit back to the top of the site for an encore.

FLOTUS Dress-Gate: Weigh In on Michelle Obama's Dress

Maybe people are bored after the election, but we have something new to talk about. And it's not just the puppy question. Fashionistas may love it (I at least like it), but others are complaining about the dress first lady-elect (or FLOTUS) Michelle Obama chose for Tuesday night. Care to weigh in? See the dress here

11/6 Markets Down Two Days Running

After losing over 500 points yesterday in the wake of the American presidential election win by Senator Barack Obama, the Dow is down another 440 points in mid-day trading. CNN Money says the sell-off is accelerating on concerns that falling oil prices and problems in the U.S. auto industry will be harbingers for a longer recession.

Republican Party, Remake Thyself (You, Too, Barbour)

Politico's headline today, GOP In Dire Straits, says it all. Don't miss Haley Barbour's take at the end, telling Obama how to be, er, non-partisan:

Democrat Merkley Wins Oregon Senate Seat

It's finally been called.

Wednesday, November 5

FOX: Palin Didn't Know Africa a Continent

The country sure did dodge a mighty bullet yesterday. All the off-the-record-until-after-the-election is now coming out about Gov. Sarah Palin, including that she didn't know what countries are in NAFTA, or that Africa was a continent. Read and watch the segment here. The wackiest part is that she is still viewed as a juicy Republican presidential candidate for 2012. Let's see if that lasts. If so, that party has deep issues. You simply cannot run a candidate who doesn't know the continents by the time she's in her 40s. Truly.

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How To Talk To Your Doctor

Have you ever walked out of a doctor's office feeling more confused than when you arrived? A recent study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine showed that most patients leaving the ER do not understand how or why they were treated. But it doesn't take a fancy study to prove what most of us already know.

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Choosing The Right Workout

Forget size. It never mattered. Still doesn't. What really matters is personality. What's imperative is not mixing multiple fitness personalities.

It's Really Is About Turnout, Stupid!

The JFP has repeated the T-word incessantly since we launched in 2002. That is, conventional "wisdom" about basing political strategy on who has, and has not, voted in the past goes out the window if you focus on increasing turnout, as well as giving unexcited voters candidates who they will turn out for (doh). This year's election has done that, both nationally and in the state, perhaps changing the way we all view election strategy for years to come. First, the early word on what happened nationally:

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The Power of Living in the Now

Living in the now is a lot like hitting the sweet spot on a golf ball. It requires focus, connection with the specific and foreclosure of everything else, particularly yesterday's failures and tomorrow's plans.

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Living With Addiction

Sasha (whose real name is withheld) is an alcohol and drug addict with 12 years of sobriety under her belt. She started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at age 15 with a lot of fear and apprehension but says her attitude changed as she became more involved in the program.

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Got Silk?

It is Saturday morning. The trees are swaying, and the ground is damp from a pre-dawn shower. Sunlight filters through the cloudy but clearing skies. In a garden courtyard, Stanley Graham is leading a small group in Taiji (T'ai Chi).

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Jared Fogle

Eight years ago, Indiana University student Jared Fogle became an instant celebrity when he appeared in a series of television commercials for Subway restaurants. After losing 245 pounds by eating Subway twice a day and exercising, Fogle stood before viewers and showed them the now-famous pants he wore when he weighed 425 pounds before the diet.

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Freaky and Bloody

Kaleidoscopes are usually made from simple, cheap and seemingly random ingredients: a cardboard tube or two, colored pebbles or painted rice grains and a few cut-rate mirrors. That's it, really. You could buy everything you need to make one at a dollar store.

The First Puppy?

Now that the 2008 presidential election is over, the burning political question is: What kind of puppy will the first family choose!?! What's your choice?

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MSU Riley Center, Meridian

Boyz II Men in concert, Opera Jawa on screen, "The Philosophy of Beauty" at Millsaps and "Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles" on stage.

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Lightnin' Fast

I first saw the Juke Joint Duo in 2007 in Clarksdale at My Brother Sports Bar, a dim, smoky dive bar nestled on 3rd Street just around the corner from Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club. The scant floor space in the front of building was barely enough to fit Cedric Burnside's simple drum kit, Lightnin' Malcolm's bulky frame and safe passage through the front door.

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Youth Vote More Prominent in Future Elections?

Young voters believe that government has a role in American lives—to fix problems and ensure economic equality. That's why the "redistribution" argument fell flat with them.

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Subtle September

Horse Feathers - "House with no Home" 3 of 5 stars Once known as the birthplace of grunge and alternative rock, the Pacific Northwest is slowly becoming a cornerstone for indie folk. Portland, Ore.-based Horse Feathers is doing its part with its antique-sounding folk.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

College basketball, Jackson State's men's and women's teams open the season with a pair of exhibition games. The Lady Tigers play Team Evolution (5:30 p.m.) and the Tigers face Miles College (7:30 p.m.)

Now We Begin Again

Like many Americans, the lead-up to the 2008 election was not the healthiest time period for me. It was an anxiety-filled time; at one point, I even woke up in the middle of the night thinking about something awful Sarah Palin had said, my heart pounding.

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More Voters, More Problems

Voting was not a perfect affair in Mississippi this week, especially with almost 190,000 newly registered voters swarming to the polls this Election Day.

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Melton's Intent at Issue in Trial

When Jackson Mayor Frank Melton's trial for civil-rights violations begins Nov. 12, one of the key battlegrounds will be the mayor's intent. Prosecutors must prove that Melton intentionally destroyed the duplex at 1350 Ridgeway Street, with the full knowledge that his actions were illegal.

Clarion-Ledger Layoffs Coming Dec. 3?

The Jackson Free Press has learned that the next round of Clarion-Ledger layoffs ordered by the Gannett home office in Virginia could come as early as Dec. 3. Bizarrely, even as the newspaper is shrinking staff and doing less substantive news coverage than ever, it has asked staffers to literally work overtime to help take pictures of people hanging out in bars (a photographer even showed up at our Election Night party at Hal & Mal's last night). On Election night, as the world watched Barack Obama become president-elect of the United States, the Ledger was busy launching its new Metromix Web site, which is part of a national chain of fluffy entertainment Web sites, now operated by many Gannett Corp. newspapers nationwide. The U.S.' largest newspaper chain is not known for local entertainment coverage—The Clarion-Ledger notoriously reported that nightlife is "non-existent" in Jackson at one point—but believes that its future profits may lie more in fluffier coverage. The local outlet of Metromix was set to launch in the summer, but was delayed likely due to The Clarion-Ledger's first round of layoffs.

[Mott] Nearing Nirvana

I've always been fascinated with how my brain works. Sometimes, it's downright confounding. Take dieting, for example. I know exactly what I should be eating (and not eating), but I can talk myself out of doing what's good for me in a hot second.

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Holding Water

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton said he would extend the city's water/sewer treatment contract with Severn Trent three years last week. The city's contract with Severn Trent expired last month, but Melton issued an executive order to keep operations running, and then extended the contract when the process to adopt a new treatment company stalled.

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Court Shifts, Graves Makes History

Even as Election Day brought an upset of Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Smith, a U.S. Chamber favorite, the outcome may not have loosened the corporate business lobby's influence on the court's decisions. The Chamber spent millions of dollars on the election, pushing out two justices who were willing to challenge the court's judicial activism against plaintiffs, which it became known for under Smith.

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Hood v. Entergy

Attorney General Jim Hood won a small victory in U.S. District Court last month, with the court deciding to deny Entergy's attempt to block Hood from obtaining internal records regarding their alleged purchase of energy from sister companies in neighboring states like Alabama, Louisiana or Texas.

Mississippi Needs ‘Early Voting'

If there is anything that this historic election proved to Mississippians, it is that the state needs to prioritize ways to ensure that all voters are accommodated fairly and efficiently.

[Sue Doh Nem] Presidential Boxing Match

Miss Doodle Mae: "Welcome to Clubb Chicken Wing's Post-Election Gathering, sponsored by Jojo's Discount Dollar Store, Bubba Robinski's Soy Protein Sausage Biscuits, Aunt Tee Tee Hustle's Technical Institute, Brotha Hustle's Mobile Bill Payment Center and the McBride Family Collective for Community Well-Being.

[Kamikaze] What Now?

This election brought the best ... and worst this country has to offer.

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Byron Knight

Twenty-eight-year-old Byron Knight had no original intention of opening a gourmet coffee shop. But after a friend consulted him about opening a new business in Fondren, he loved the idea.

Four Years Ago Today

In my election hangover today, I've thought a lot about how four years ago today felt after a very bad president was re-elected. Here's our post the next morning, "Mourning in America." It was hard to feel worse than that day with a mess in Iraq and progressives under fire, here in Mississippi and around the country. We didn't know just how bad it would get during Bush's second term, or that Katrina would change us forever, or that the Republican Party of recent years would crumble under its own greed and corruption right before our eyes. We sure couldn't have known that four long years later the country would elect an openly progressive African American president with record turnout—a president with the ability to help us first face, and then heal, our divisions.

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Glorious, Beautiful Leaps of Nicole Marquez

Nicole Marquez looks small in the bed with its hospital-white sheets, her short dark hair showing signs of her lying prone for a little too long.

Barbour's Lobbying Firm Now Open to Dems

In a dramatic sign of how the political winds have shifted, lobbying firm BRG (formerly known as Barbour, Griffith & Rogers) today announced that it has acquired a Democratic lobbying firm. This is huge because Haley Barbour and partners revolutionized what had been the bi-partisan nature of lobbying in Washington by opening a firm that would not cater to Democrats, helping create an intensely divided Washington. [...]

A Heartfelt Response to Obama's Victory

Watch this clip of The View's Sherri Shepherd crying tears of joy over Obama's win. Get your tissues.

The Real Sarah Palin Unveiled

Now, it seems, we're going to hear all about the woman who helped McCain lose the election. A Newsweek story out today starts telling the rest of the story:

Tuesday, November 4

"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"

I saw this YouTube video today and it inspired me greatly, but I decided that I would not post it unless Obama won because of the song choice. Well, he won, so here you go:

Obama Wins

The closing of the polls in California, Oregon and Washington at 11:00 pm Eastern time was enough for the major networks to put Senator Barack Obama over the top in the historic election of the 44th president of the United States. Having won Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire -- all of which were necessary to the McCain strategy -- the closing of polls in the electoral vote rich West was enough to cement the victory for the first African-American president of the United States.

Open Thread: Thoughts on Returns, Exit Polls

The polls are starting to close in some spots on the East Coast. Here's where you can chat about the returns.

‘Studies Weekly' Kids' Vote Goes to Obama

Map below the fold.

With over 850,000 K-6 graders participating, the Studies Weekly poll was, well, a rout. Popular vote went 496,335 for Obama to 349,980 for McCain. The Electoral breakout was 483 to 55. (Obama won Texas, for instance.)

Didja Vote? Have Problems?

Get voting info/advice/help numbers here.

JFP Election Party at Hal & Mal's Tonight 7 p.m.

The Democrats are at the Jackson Convention Complex, 105 E. Pascagoula St. Anyone know where the Republicans will be?

Watch the Obamas Vote

Here's some eye candy for all you Obama junkies:

Open Thread: Election Chatter - Presidential

What is it you need to say about the presidential election? Let 'er rip!

Open Thread: Election Chatter - Mississippi Elections (Senate, etc.)

What's on your mind about the Mississippi elections? Musgrove v. Wicker? Cochran v. Fleming? Congressional seats? What about Supreme Court seats? Here's your spot.

Monday, November 3

Fulmer Out At Tennessee

It's the first of many changes in college football. Several will occur right here in Mississippi.

After 18 years as Tennessee's football coach, Phil Fulmer is out.

Wicker Reaching for Dem Coattails

You can tell Republicans have fallen on tough times when Roger Wicker tries to fool Hinds County voters into thinking he's a Democrat. The Musgrove campaign just sent out a link to this post from Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic.

Open Thread: McCain-Palin's Lies, Damn Lies and Distortions

The whole coal-gate controversy, pushed by McCain and especially Palin, has inspired me to start a list of the lies/distortions that duo has pushed in recent weeks. I need y'all to help beef it out.

Black Angst

Every supporter of Barack Obama seems to be elbow-deep in anxiety over whether this election will be stolen. But for black Americans, it may be worse, writes Jonathan Capeheart in The Washington Post:

Obama's Grandmother Has Died

The day before the election, may she rest in peace:

"It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer," Obama said in a joint statement with his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. "She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility."

Why Won't Palin Release Her Medical Records?

The fact that Gov. Sarah Palin is stonewalling on releasing her medical records in any form is raising eyebrows. CNN Political Ticker:

Obama: ‘Brothers Should Pull Up Their Pants'

In a substantive MTV interview (especially compared to most mainstream media), Barack Obama weighed in on the baggy-pants culture:

U. of Florida Student McCain Leader Now An 'Obamacan'

The Independent Florida Gator is reporting a last-minute conversion of the student leader of Gators for McCain: