Tuesday, September 30
[Verbatim] RIDGELAND, MS., – Crye-Leike, Realtors congratulates it's sales associates and employees in Ridgeland Mississippi for their support of the 2008 United Way Campaign. Under the leadership of Broker Associate Shari Lackey-Culver, the sales team achieved 100% participation. "I want to thank my fellow associates for their support and for realizing that we really can make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate," said Shari. "While we always hope to raise more money than we did the year before, it's equally important to have everyone participate and together we can have a profound impact on the lives of our neighbors.
[Verbatim from Ben Allen of Downtown Jackson Partners] ARENA MEETING UPDATE
If you are receiving this email, you are one of 70 people confirmed for our Arena Meeting and Luncheon, Thursday October 2nd, at theTelCom Center. The time for lunch has been changed to 11:30 until 12:20. Representatives from the Governor's Office, the Senate, the House, the Council, the Board of Supervisors, MDA, JRA, the Mayor, Chamber, JCVB, DFA, UMMC, JSU, the City, Clarion Ledger, JFP, JPD, JPS, HCEDD, WAPT, CCCC, Arts Council, Mississippi Mainstreet, Mississippi Business Journal, Jackson Progressives and a host of citizens are pre-registered. The program will begin at 12:30 sharp. If you know of others who wish to come to the meeting at 12:30, please ask them to e-mail me at [e-mail missing]. Seating is limited. *The 11:30 until 12:20 "Deli Sandwich Buffet Luncheon" is filled.
[Verbatim] Atlanta, GA – "Few people thought it could be done, but members of Congress listened to the people rather than the establishment to vote down the proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street," notes Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential nominee. "Their courageous action gives us a chance to start over. Our starting point should not be a government bailout. It should be a market work-out," says Barr. "The bailout package was flawed from front to back, starting with its price tag," Barr explains, noting that a Treasury Department spokesman admitted to Forbes.com that the data was 'not based on any particular data point.'
[Verbatim] Jackson, MSAt the request of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is one of five Secretaries of State from across the nation currently visiting our troops overseas. The bipartisan trip was designed to connect personally in the field with military men and women, to encourage them to cast their vote in the 2008 General Election and to discuss the process of military voting.Â
* 202,320 square feet -Distribution/Manufacturing
A 297,000-square-foot Distribution / Warehouse / Manufacturing facility is available 20 miles from new Toyota plant in Blue Springs, Miss.:
[Verbatim] As Governor Palin and Senator Biden prepare for the V.P. debate, much attention will be paid to the role of women voters and how they may decide the outcome of the elections. In the meantime, a growing working women's movement is advocating for policies that value families at work, such as paid sick days, equal pay and the flexibility to take time off to care for a sick child or attend a parent-teacher conference. Polling shows Americans, particularly women, support these issues. While many are asking how Sarah Palin manages work and family responsibilities, advocates argue the real issue is making it possible for all workers to meet their family responsibilities without risking their jobs or their paychecks.
[verbatim] WASHINGTON, DC – With Congress continuing to debate a bailout of Wall Street banks, Senators will hear from voters this week calling for action on the economic priorities of Main Street. The two million-member SEIU (Service Employees International Union) announced today it will make 150,000 calls this week to Senators running for reelection, criticizing them for failing to take action on a broader stimulus package to ease the economic pain of working families.
Walker's Drive-In in Fondren is open for business on Monday nights.
[Verbatim from Attorney General Jim Hood] Jackson, MS-A Jackson hotel owner has been sentenced in a price gouging case investigated and prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office, Division of Consumer Protection. Ibraham K. Khoder, age 60, (address 10713 Hill Tree) owner of the Select 10, 4639 I-55 North Jackson, MS, was cited for misdemeanor Price Gouging on September 1, 2008 during the State of Emergency Declared for Hurricane Gustav. Khoder entered a plea of no contest to the charge yesterday in Hinds County Justice Court. Judge Frank Sutton found him guilty and ordered him to pay a fine of $500, plus restitution to the consumer ($17) and court costs.
[Verbatim] Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association is pleased to announce that Governor Haley Barbour has proclaimed the month of October as Dine Out Mississippi Month. Recognizing the importance of the restaurant industry to Mississippi's economy, Governor Barbour states, "Mississippi's restaurants are a cornerstone of our economy,"
[Verbatim] WASHINGTON, DCThe Wonk Room has released a new study guide to educate those watching the vice-presidential debate about Gov. Sarah Palin's positions on domestic and foreign policy and the errors the McCain-Palin campaign commits in explaining their stance on the issues.
The Center for American Progress is announcing a new report Wednesday that finds "McCain Health Plan Will Raise Taxes, Take Away Missouri Families' Health Care." Verbatim:
Prosecutors filed three motions yesterday aimed at preventing irrelevant defense arguments in the upcoming federal trial of Jackson mayor Frank Melton. Melton and two bodyguards, Michael Recio and Marcus Wright, were indicted in July on civil rights charges stemming from their involvement in the Aug. 2006 partial demolition of a duplex on Ridgeway Street. Melton, Recio and Wright were acquitted on state charges related to the incident in April 2007.
Just hours after the Dow closed Monday down 777 points, a JFP reader posted the "reason" for the financial crisis on our Web site: "The subprime mortgage gateway was led by Democrats (Carter, then Clinton) insistent on the theory (while noble) that everyone should be able to buy a home. Not everyone can." This sounds innocent enough. But it is vital to read the fine print.
Sen. Roger Wicker's supporters at the National Republican Senatorial Committee are attempting to link his Democratic opponent, Ronnie Musgrove, with incarcerated lawyer Paul Minor, as well as Mississippi attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, who pled guilty this year for attempting to bribe a Lafayette County Circuit Court judge for a favorable ruling in a dispute over $26.5 million in legal fees from a mass settlement of Hurricane Katrina cases. A U.S. District Court found Minor guilty of corruption in March 2007 for racketeering and bribery, along with former Judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield, for accepting the bribes.
[Verbatim] The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, better known as CoCoRaHS, has recently expanded into Mississippi and is looking for volunteer weather observers across the Magnolia State! CoCoRaHS, which is being sponsored by the Office of the Mississippi State Climatologist and the National Weather Service, is a unique, non-profit, community based network of volunteer weather observers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and report precipitation amounts (rain, hail and snow). By using low-cost and self-provided measurement tools, the aim of CoCoRaHS is to provide the maximum amount of data for natural resource education as well as research applications, because, as we say "every drop counts."
In polling done prior to the failed bailout vote yesterday in the House, Americans responded with their lowest approval rating ever for George W. Bush -- 27 percent. That's a decline from 31 percent in a Sept 8-11 poll conducted by Gallup, marking his lowest ranking yet by Gallup during his presidency.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting on the struggle to get Gov. Sarah Palin ready for her vice presidential debate Thursday, and that Todd Palin is upset that his wife has been separated too much from her family:
Monday, September 29
Congressman Travis Childers just released a statement on why he voted against the $700 billion bailout today. Verbatim:
CNN is reporting the bailout plan went down in the U.S. House of Representatives by a 228-205 vote. Mississippi Rep. Chip Pickering voted for it; Reps. Bennie Thompson, Travis Childers and Gene Taylor voted against it. (View roll-call vote). CNN:
Here are the buzz words from Friday's first presidential debate:
More out-of-town papers:
Deuce McAllister gets loose and the Saints end a two-game winning streak. Coincidence?
Saturday, September 27
From the Huffington Post:
One of the surprises in Friday night's debate was Sen. John McCain blatant gaffe about Pakistan being a "failed state"ironically in a moment when he was trying to show that Obama is the "naive" one. From McClatchy News:
I asked former U.S. Senator Trent Lott what he thought were the political costs of McCain's attempt at stalling the debate. Here is what he had to say:
Friday, September 26
I was able to catch up with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in the Media filing tent. I asked her what were the political costs of John McCain almost stalling the debate. Here's what she had to say:
Per Mark Ambinder at The Atlantic:
He sure proved the point that John McCain has nothing on him on foreign policy. And McCain was just scaryimagine him and his anger trying to repair our place in the world.
OXFORDJudging from applause, the McCain supporters on the Square are still most excited about his running mate. McCain's biggest applause line by far was his Sarah Palin "maverick" shout-out.
OXFORDA succinct blog post, but I'm pretty sure John McCain just managed to fit the word "maverick" four times in a single sentence. Impressive. You know what type of person takes such superfluous freedom with the English language? A maverick type of person, that's who.
When you last heard from me, I was documenting John Kerry's choice of Southern foods in the University of Mississippi's lavish media facilities by the Ford Center. Make no mistake, after checking out the spread a few hours before the beginning of tonights' debate, there was at least a small piece of me that wished that I hadn't spent the last three days, well, doing my job, and instead hanging out in the Media Tent filling up on the copious amounts of free food and booze waiting around for some of the pseudo-celebrity national journalists. As a University of Mississippi alum, I have been trying my very best not to glowingly describe my University like a complete homer, but you have to admit, the media facilities here impressive, and most of the journalists holed up in them would probably kill for a newsroom as high-tech as the Big Tent.
OK, maybe not dead exactly. But let it be said that the citizens of Jackson, Miss., do not give a flying bigot what these irrevelant creeps think of us. There it is.
Anyone anticipating protests on the level of those at this year's Republican convention would be sorely disappointed. The designated protest area, an old football field across the street, behind a music building and down a hill from the Ford Center, was almost entirely empty when Matt and I visited it this afternoon. The 10 port-a-potties at one edge of the field nearly outnumbered people. A handful of Ole Miss students, writers for the Daily Mississippian, sat in a circle on the grass, smoking quietly and enjoying the late afternoon sun. Only as we we were leaving did we find true protesters, two Oxford residents carrying a sign that read "911 Was An Inside Job.
The turnout today was much lower than many organizers expected, or at least much more peaceful than they feared.
Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., was standing in front of the Ford Center, where the debate will start in an hour and a half. I walked up and asked him if Republicans are going to be hurt by the Latino vote. I said the Republican Party did well four years ago with Hispanics and asked if it would be different this time.
I don't know what I was expecting from Sen. John Kerrymaybe he'd found his groove after all these yearsbut when I caught up with him near the Music Building just now, I didn't manage to pull anything shocking out of him. So, who's gonna win?
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican and a lead of the John McCain campaign, was standing next to Spin Row (the area where all the press is, according to a sign sticking on a tree). I asked him who he thinks will win the election. He says, "Well, I know who I want to win the election." I said, "Well, do you think you (guys) will win the election?"
I just saw John Kerry in the media tent eating barbecue ribs and baked beans. No word, yet, on whether he's washed away the bitter taste of losing to George W. Bush four years ago.
The wait begins on the east side of the square, as over one hundred people have already staked their spots to wait for the debate to begin. Workers from the City of Oxford spent the day setting up a screen by courthouse to project the debate.
Tony Young, of Savannah, Tenn., probably in his 60s, was carrying a big sign while marching in circles around the Grove: "Stop immigration." Not "Stop Illegal Immigration," but "Stop Immigration." I walked up and pointed out that we are both children of immigrants. What makes him different from the immigrants that he's rallying against?
I ran into Howard Dean, chairman of Democratic Party, in the Grove, being yanked around by his handlers. I pointed out that there are similarities between the way he ran his campaign and the way Obama fashioned his own campaign. I asked him where the two campaigns diverged in their tactics.
OXFORDTony Biessman, from Rollo, Mo., 74, co-founded Rednecks for Obama with his beer-drinking buddy Les Spencer. They like Obama so much that they went to Denver to the Democratic Convention and are now parked in chairs on the Ole Miss campus waiting for the debate. Why are these two rednecks for Obamanot the most obvious choice of the Redneck Nation, after all?
In an important mea culpa, conservative Kathleen Parker is standing up and saying what many people, likely including conservatives, are thinking: Sarah Palin ought to step down. She's not qualified, and she's making a fool out of herself and McCain. Parker today:
OXFORDWalking from the Square to the university, I had heard that the James Meredith contingent was marching toward the Grove. I had hoped to find them so I could take pictures. I walked up University Avenue and stopped at the concrete baricades 200 yards in front of the Ford Center, where the debate will be. Police stopped me and told me the only way for me to enter would be from Sorority Row, which is across campus. Even my debate credentials couldn't get me through this barricade with about 30 Mississippi state troopers vehicles and a SWAT van lined up. Worried that I wasn't going to make it on time, I talked my way into a Memphis taxicab already hauling a pair of lost journalists. One was a writer from Politico; the other was from a Swedish daily newspaper. I knew my way around campus and talked the cab driver into taking us to the Union and showed him how to get there. I'm still looking for the Meredith group, though.
Do we all need a drink after this week, or what!?! Come to the Red Room at Hal & Mal's tonight for a big ole progressive debate-watch party, sponsored by the Jackson Free Press, Lawyers for Obama and the Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee. (We endorsed Obama months ago, so don't whine about us being biased. We're honest.) Starting out, we'll have a serious discussion about voters' rights by a panel (I'm on it with folks from the ACLU, Democratic committee and others), and then it'll devolve into one big ole party as the debate gets going. So join us (even if you're for McCain). (And CNN may be in the house, but we don't know for sure, so don't hold it against us if they're not.) Free admission.
CNN Political Ticker:
OXFORDForty-six years to the day since the last time James Meredith was barred entry to Ole Miss, presidential candidate Barack Obama is now on the Ole Miss campus. Local Alexis Henderson told Adam Lynch that it's about time the candidates, including the wish-washy Republican John McCain, show up. "Obama is not the type of man to follow after McCain slapping his elbows and making noises like a chicken, but for a while I thought somebody would have to do that," Henderson said.
That's supposed to make me feel better.
JFP reporter and curmudgeon Adam Lynch just called in from Oxford; he was standing next to the Fox News. I was worried that he was waiting for Sean Hannity (he had mentioned in passing earlier in the week that he'd like to punch him.) I asked if that was what he was up to, reminding him that he cannot violate the law while representing the JFP. No, he's not going to punch him, he assured me. "You kind of talked me out off it; chances are, he's not here anyhow," Adam said.
OXFORDA few hundred feet from the Square, three Obama t-shirt vendors have set up shop in the parking lot of Goolsby's Hair World. A banner proclaims this swath of concrete "Obama-Land." Business appears to be good. I didn't catch any signs of serious competition between them. There's an impressive diversity of shirts on sale--several referencing Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
OXFORDAnthony Hervey has it rough with his self-imposed protesting duties for today's debate. Perched underneath the statue of the Confederate soldier on The Square with an 8-foot Mississippi state flag propped on his knee, Hervey is burning up in the afternoon sun. He's already discarded his felt hat and bandana, and he admits that the tight-fitting blue jeans, long-sleeved shirt and black cowboy boots don't make for the breeziest outfit.
OXFORDAnyone curious about the feel of the University of Mississippi campus just hours before the debate should take a stroll on The Walk of Champions, the path normally traversed by the football team when they march through The Grove to hopeful victory at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Without a doubt, it feels like a football weekend; the crowds gathering in tents throughout the tree-dotted landscape, musicians performing on the Grove stage, the din of excitement in the air. You can feel it.
Thursday, Sept. 25
Junior college football, Jones County at Hinds (7 p.m., Raymond): Another national power comes calling on the Eagles.
OXFORDAs the debate nears, our sleeping conditions are deteriorating. Last night Bryan and I both crashed at the house of a William Winter Institute employee. The scene this morning reminded me of the line in "The Godfather" about "going to the mattresses" when things get really serious:
OXFORDFor all the debate fever of the past week, Oxford's real transformation has taken place in the last 24 hours. The town felt fairly quiet yesterday morning, but by the afternoon, several impromptu Obama campaign apparel businesses had set up around the square, working out of air conditioning vans or on folding tables. Today, the square has reached another level. Even more patriotic bunting hangs outside the centrally-located shops. Lily's Gifts on the square has a sign asking if you're "Election Ready." Apparently we'll need drinking cups for the election. The mannequins in Kaleidoscope are sporting stars-and-stripes top hats along with their dresses. The Darfur protester carrying a Mississippi state flag--who's been sitting in front of the courthouse since I got here--has all the media attention he could want. There's a steady stream of foot and car traffic, including lots of children. Oxford schools aren't closed today, but it looks like some parents deem the debate a suitable educational alternative.
Thursday, September 25
Update: CNN is reporting that Sen. John McCain has announced he will be attending tonight's presidential debate in Oxford, despite his earlier refusal to participate if an agreement had not yet been met to resolve the looming economic crisis.
The Washington Post is reporting that Republicans backed out of a deal on the bailout this afternoon, with Democrats charging that some Republicans are trying to give McCain cover for backing out of the date:
OXFORDAs you'll see from this week's top story in the JFP, James Meredith has an interesting stance on the need of black-specific support institutions such as The University of Mississippi Black Alumni Association. But he's not the only one. At a race and racial reconciliation panel at the University of Mississippi, panelists were asked if when considering the progress on race issues made in Mississippi and the rest of the country, should black-specific support organizations exist today? Here is what the panelists had to say:
The numbers for voter turnout in the November general election will be historic. That's the prediction in a year where the winning team will either include the first African American president in the U.S., or the country's first female vice president. The country is also sharply feeling the pinch of a trillion-dollar war, a massive deficit, economic chaos, crumbling infrastructure and the disappearing middle class, to name just a few of the issues.
[Verbatim] (JACKSON, Miss.) – On the cusp of what will be historic election, the Jackson (MS) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated announces its "Voter Registration Countdown" through Oct. 3. As a statewide effort targeted to register some of the 400,000 Mississippians who are not registered to vote in the upcoming November election, the local chapter has harnessed its energies on three fundamental components including high schools, churches and communities.
Granted, no surprise here, but the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus just released a statement endorsing Barack Obama, and perhaps more important pledging a massive get-out-the-vote effort for November. Verbatim:
Even as John McCain is still resisting the debate, the League of Women Voters released this statement, verbatim:
More on the cancelled Women for Obama-Biden Forum that Donna mentioned earlier today:
According to a story at the Huffington Post, the Obama camp still expects McCain to attend the debate; if he doesn't, Obama will head to Oxford anyway and hold a town-hall meeting:
Sarah Silverman has a hilarious video out to bring home the point to young Jews that they need to shlep their butts to Florida and get their grandparents to vote for Obama. Caution: Not PC.
OXFORDWhether the person is red or blue, the Ole Miss community is creeping toward a consensus: If John McCain ruins the debate for the Oxford and Ole Miss community, there will be consequences.
OXFORDI sat down with Oxford Police Chief Mike Martin this morning to talk about his preparations for the debate and how his officers have responded to uncertainty. He wouldn't say exactly how many additional officers he's put on duty, citing security concerns, but he confirmed that he has "a good many" officers working overtime.
At a press conference that just concluded at the University of Mississippi, Gov. Haley Barbour said that the debate is happening Friday night, as far as he is concerned: "It's going to be a great debate tomorrow night ... we're excited about it and that the state gets to host it."
The Daily Mississippian is running an online poll that currently shows that 69 percent of respondents think that McCain's bailout on the debate is a "cop-out."
The Daily Mississippian is reporting that all plans are moving ahead (except for people having to cancel already due the financial risk) for the debate Friday night. Even the Mississippi Republican Party had gotten nothing from the McCain campaign:
Just in, verbatim:
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Presidential Debate scheduled for Ole Miss, the Federation of Democratic Women reluctantly postpone the Women for Obama-Biden Forum.
Gov. Haley Barbour is holding a press conference with Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat at 11 a.m. today on campus. This press event was already scheduled, but took on a new urgency after John McCain announced that he was standing Oxford up for the presidential debate this Friday. One wonders how the governor will handle being stuck between a frantic Oxford and supporting a candidate he doesn't like much of his own party.
You know the outlook is in question when the rapaciously conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page is taking John McCain to task for his cancel-the-debate stunt. Granted, they jump through some hoops to somehow make this about both McCain and Obama in the editorial The Candidates Vote 'Present' (they are, after all, the same ol' wingnuts), but it's pretty clear to see how upset they are by this McCain camp gambit:
This is about more than you.
To put John McCain's bailout on Mississippi in perspective, recall that Oxford homeowners have been bending over backward to both rent and share their homes with visiting journalists and others in town for the debates. You see, Sen. McCain, Oxford is a small town without a ton of hotel rooms. People have planned for months for this event. Many have volunteered for months. People have spent a lot of money. Ole Miss itself has spent $5.5 million; small businesses have stocked up in ways they cannot afford to lose.
Wednesday, September 24
Former Gov. William Winter, an Ole Miss graduate and the founder of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, had this to say about McCain trying to stand up Ole Miss:
OXFORDYou're going to hear more from us tomorrow about the money Oxford stands to lose if the debate falls through. But it's also time to consider those purchases Ole Miss made that will quickly seem ridiculous without a presidential debate. We appreciate the hospitality, Ole Miss, but you might regret getting:
Per The New York Times Caucus Blog, McCain may be in Dave's doghouse:
That's the best way to describe the attitude on here at the University of Mississippi. Months of planning. Millions of dollars. All down the drain because of one apparent maverick's desire to stay "above politics." For the candidates, the debate at Ole Miss is simply one obstacle in a series of hurdles that ends with a potential stint at the White House. For Ole Miss, the debate is everything, the final pat on the back that the university has been seeking ever since it started burying its Confederate past under Chancellor Robert Khayat's administration. And, for a moment at least, it seems ruined. John McCain stood them up, or is trying to, at least.
Andrew Mullins, special assistant to the Chancellor at Ole Miss, told ABC News that postponing the debate would be "devastating" and that the university has invested millions in the debate scheduled for Friday night.
This is a truly stupendous moment. Just look at Katie Couric's face as she presses Palin for those examples of McCain's attempts at regulation and then Palin's response:
"My brother is such a badass guitar player I have to replace him with two guys," says North Mississippi All-stars drummer Cody Dickinson about his latest project, Hill Country Revue.
In James Meredith's JFP Interview this week, he details the five people he believes have (or had) the greatest effect on the Obama campaign, starting with Sean Hannity. His thoughts, verbatim:
Sheer absurdity. It just gets worse, as McCain also tries to find a way to reschedule (or cancel) Palin's debate with Biden. CNN Political Ticker:
Dr. William Green is a bishop and an interdenominational chaplain, has studied Buddhism with the Dalai Lama and is a published religious scholar. But most people in Jackson call him "professor.
My favorite James Meredith story involved the über contrarian sot Christopher Hitchens. Todd and I were asked to "entertain" Hitch during his visit to Millsaps College a few years back; after he arrived from the airport, we met him at Que Sera Sera and, essentially, watched him drink all afternoon and pontificate his passionate-but-weak reasons for supporting the Iraq War.
1. Pick-up Ultimate Frisbee between the Gay-Straight Alliance and the College Republicans.
Now that John McCain is cutting and running from the first debate, the town of Oxford is left bursting at the seams with people, reporters, and lots of extra food, booze and energy. So, the JFP staff decided to them out and come up with alternative activities for Friday evening.
I will grant an interview only to people who agree to the following five stipulations.
See what rules James Meredith makes all mediaexcept the Jackson Free Pressagree to before granting an interview.
We decided to beat the reporters to the punch line and offer up a few of their most frequently asked questions.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood filed suit in Hinds County Chancery Court last week to force Entergy Mississippi to release information on the company's practice of buying and selling natural gas and electricity.
Folo's got some good chat going over how McCain's stunt is going Ole Miss (and Mississippi). I mean, our economy can't handle getting ready for a huge political party that doesn't show. I like how olemissreb put it:
40 Days for Life, a national pro-life campaign, is focusing its efforts on the only abortion provider in Mississippi, the National Women's Health Organization in Fondren. Described as "a unique approach to ending abortion," the campaign will hold a prayer vigil outside the clinic from Sept. 24 through Nov. 2.
Survey USA wasted no time taking America's pulse on McCain's latest bombshellAmerica's First Reaction: Friday's McCain-Obama Debate Should Still Be Held On Friday, But Perhaps with New Focus: Immediately after John McCain's announcement 3 pm ET today, Wednesday 09/24/08, that he was suspending his campaign and seeking to postpone Friday's schedule presidential debate, SurveyUSA interviewed 1,000 adults nationwide. Key findings:
The 2008 presidential debate at the University of Mississippi is one in a series of three debates leading up to the Nov. 4 general election. All three debates conform to a different narrow theme. The Mississippi debate deals entirely with international relations, a topic undisclosed to even the university until the final weeks leading up to the event.
In recent years, the role of the secretary of state was handled in a fair-handed and relatively apolitical way by Eric Clark, a conservative Democrat who seemed to focus on good governance and efficiency when it came to handling elections.
No one at an afternoon panel at Ole Miss' Overby Center was willing to stick up for John McCain's plan to ditch the debate. Former Gov. William Winter, Jackson City Council President Leslie McLemore and former Mississippi Republican Party chairman Clarke Reed were scheduled to discuss party realignment in the South, and they mostly stuck to that subject, except to express their disapproval of McCain's stunt.
Rudy McBride: "A wave of great concern looms over this nation and world. The shining prince has turned into a drab-colored frog. Cinderella's diamond-studded slippers and fancy, horse-drawn coach have turned back into a pair of house shoes and a pumpkin.
This column is dedicated to two people. Their names and occupations aren't necessary here. Let's just say they know who they are, whether they actually read this column or not.
Marching down Constitution Avenue to protest the Vietnam War and to support the Equal Rights Amendment was a rite of passage for me. In early 1970s Washington, D.C., if you weren't marching for something, you just weren't hip.
The problem with dieting is that it really only works when you have total control over what you are eating. And seriously, who has the time to count, measure and weigh your food? Even if you are choosing low-fat foods, sometimes you just don't have that option.
Official statement from Chancellor Robert Khayat posted on The University of Mississippi Web site:
The University of Mississippi is going forward with the preparation for the debate. We are ready to host the debate, and we expect the debate to occur as planned. At present, the University has received no notification of any change in the timing or venue of the debate. We have been notified by the Commission on Presidential Debates that we are proceeding as scheduled. We will keep you posted as information becomes available.
James Meredith talks to the Jackson Free Press about identity education, Barack Obama, Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin.
Official Statement From Chancellor's Office
The University of Mississippi is going forward with the preparation for the debate. We are ready to host the debate, and we expect the debate to occur as planned. At present, the University has received no notification of any change in the timing or venue of the debate. We have been notified by the Commission on Presidential Debates that we are proceeding as scheduled.
The JFP will tell you a bit later today on our brand, spanking new Debate-Politics Blog. Stay tuned.
Two polls on the Web site of Jackson CBS affiliate WJTV reveal an inordinate focus on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's race. The first poll deals with Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. It asks respondents to describe themselves as voting for or against "the McCain-Palin ticket" because of one of three issues: "their positions on issues," their Republican affiliation or Palin herself.
Leave it to Portland ... (verbatim): With less than two months to go in a hotly-contested, too-close-to-call race for president, the creators of the popular "President Poopyhead" and "I Already Know More Than The President" baby t-shirts are hitting the presses again, this time in support of the Democratic ticket. Fans of Baby Wit's hip political gear can choose from five original styles of Election 08 t-shirts now available at http://www.Babywit.com.Â The "Obamarama" tee features the democratic contender in a Tony Manero disco-fever suit (starting at $26), the "What Would Obama Do" tee stars Obama as Jesus Christ (starting at $26), the "Team Obama" tee sports a 70s-inspired, distressed logo screen printed on a soft, heather-grey gym tee (starting at $21), and "Obama, Baby!" is a close-up of the democratic hopeful (starting at $21). Obama tees are available in sizes for baby, toddler, women, and men.Â "Pro-Woman, Anti-Palin" baby one-pieces featuring a devilish Sarah Palin are available in both pink and blue (starting at $26).
Just in time for the Big Debate (or Big Deflate as Adam Lynch is calling it since McCain called for a time-out), the JFP has launched both a new Politics Blog, as well as devoted a section of our JFP Events calendar to politics-related listings. Here's the fun part: You can add your own events, from debate watch parties to meetups you want to invite the public to. And regardless of your party. Even if you're a McCain fan (boo, hiss). So bring 'em on, and let's put the fun back into politics.
The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled last week that the U.S. Senate race between Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove should appear near the top of the general election ballot, ending a controversy that attracted national attention and stirred accusations of partisanship on both sides.
OK, it's just a campaign letter, but here is what Michelle Obama sent out today about the Friday debate, verbatim, of course:
This is simply too fabulous for words. CNN's Campbell Brown offers up a stunning take-down to the McCain campaign over their apparently refusal to let Governor Palin hold a press conference or take questions from the media:
An article in today's New York Times deviates a bit from the standard narrative on Ole Miss and the debate. It provides some counterpoint to the several versions of "Look how far they've come!" I've seen in the mainstream media thus far, in the Washington Post (twice), the Wall Street Journal and on NPR.
I am writing you today to tell you about an upcoming event that I am participating in that is both very important and very exciting to me. It is NAMIWalks for the Mind of America, NAMI's signature walkathon event that is being held in Jackson, MS at Mayes Lake State Park on November 8, 2008. Registration begins at 9 AM, and the walk begins at 10 AM.
To keep up with specifics (and find out about ticket and media info, event schedules and the like), check out the Ole Miss Presidential Debate Site. The main UM debate site is here, and the Commission for Presidential Debates is here.
Michael Connery is blogging about the new Rock the Vote poll results of young voters at futuremajority.com:
Tuesday, September 23
In this video shot during the Ole Miss uprising over his enrollement, James Meredith sure looks a lot younger, but he rather sounds just like he does today when he says of the angry students around him, "No, Just Acting Like Students, I 'Spose."
Jake Tapper (now of ABC) and Arkansas journalist Suzi Parker wrote a piece for Salon back in 2000 during the last presidential election in which they revealed to the world, and to McCain, that his family in Mississippi had owened 52 slaves in Carroll County (incidentally Trent Lott's home county and a hotbed for the Citizens Council back in the day):
Ole Miss' most famous alumnist, James Meredith, has made it clear that he will not attend the debate Friday at Ole Miss. His wife, Dr. Judy Meredith, and one of his sons will be in attendance, however. She told the JFP today that she is told that the two of them will be escorted to the debate by Secret Service.
You gotta love it when the conspiracy theorists get going. This blog asks, "Was the debate schedule gamed for Obama too?. (Wonder if they know when the debate was scheduled for Oxford?)
Now we get around to the important stuff: music in Oxford this week. The advance word on the Obamarama at The Lyric. We'll see what the JFP's road team has to say; they rushed out this afternoon to get there in time. We await their reports.
Per a CBS blog: Barack Obama is taking the day off from campaigning today – instead he will be preparing for Friday's presidential debate at an undisclosed location in the Tampa, Fla., area.
On her chatty blog, CBS' Katie Couric wants to know what you would ask Sarah Palin! She's going to interview her next week! She thinks Palin has made the campaign really exciting! She won't ask "gossipy stuff"! She needs you! Read more:
The Pontotoc Progress is reporting (in a whole bunch of one-sentence paragraphs):
NPR has one of the requisite stories about how far Oxford has come since 1962. (Doh.) This one has some good stuff from Boston Globe reporter Curtis Wilkie, who was a famed civil rights reporter and now teaches at Ole Miss:
Allow us to pause during Debate Week madness in Mississippi to observe a different tall, skinny black man in an Oxford debate.
[Verbatim] Mississippi Democrats will celebrate the first 2008 presidential debate with a political rally Thursday night, Sept. 25, in Oxford where party candidates and leaders are expected to speak. The "Turning Mississippi Blue" rally starts at 6 p.m. at the Oxford Activity Center. Democrats who plan to speak include state party Chairman Jamie Franks, former Gov. William Winter, former Gov. Ray Mabus, Oxford Mayor Richard Howorth, U.S. Senate candidate Erik Fleming and U.S. House candidate Joel Gill.
[Verbatin] An estimated 3,000 journalists are expected to descend upon Oxford this week for the first 2008 Presidential Debate. To assist media with resources for broadcasts and articles pertaining to Mississippi, the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) has created a website containing helpful information regarding the state. Media and journalists can access the site at http://www.msdebate08.org . "The first 2008 Presidential Debate being held on the campus of the University of Mississippi is a historic event – not only for Ole Miss and Oxford, but also for the entire State of Mississippi," Governor Haley Barbour said. "We have a great story to tell, and this event is an excellent opportunity to share it with the world. The website is designed to help the media tell the story, and I am sure the information contained within the site will be useful to anyone wishing to learn more about the state."
[Verbatim] After correctly answering 106 questions during a quiz bowl competition, two Millsaps grads have received two highly coveted tickets to the first presidential debate on Friday.
The McCain campaign's efforts to keep Sarah Palin from embarrassing herself in front of the media is reaching ridiculous depths. Today, to their credit, CNN threatened to not show any footage of her effort to look presidential if the McCain camp followed through on restricting all reporters except for cameras. (She likes cameras.) Here is CNN's blog report on the mess.
A 2005 Jackson Free Press investigation helped spur Seale's prosecution. See JFP Archive of Seale Investigation. Also, see http://www.roadtomeadville.com for full coverage.
[Verbatim] PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is coordinating with key federal, local and university personnel to provide support and resources for the Presidential Debate at the University of Mississippi in Oxford on Sept. 26. "We are proud to be a part of this historic event," said MEMA Director Mike Womack. "The preparation for this monumental debate has been a collaborative effort among MEMA, other state agencies, federal entities, city and county officials." MEMA is scheduled to deploy its Mobile Command Unit and members of its state emergency response team Wednesday to set up a forward state emergency operations center near the Oxford Police Station.
Monday, September 22
There's a great Alternet story by Joshua Holland that might hit the spot for those of you (us) cringing over small movements in the national polls this election cycle. It may not completely settle your racing heart -- nothing will until there's an election (followed by a scandal, a recount and hand-ringing over the failures of our electronic voting system) -- but there's a money quote or two worth reading:
About 25 people carrying banners, flags and posters gathered Saturday morning at Freedom Cornerthe intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Medgar Evers Boulevardto kick off a 172-mile march to Oxford, where the first presidential debate will be held Sept. 26. The group, part of the Stand Against AIDS, plans to present a list of demands to the nominees, most importantly the demand of a National AIDS Plan signed within the first 100 days of office to deal with the growing health crisis.
After losing a legal battle to put a U.S. Senate special election on the bottom of the November ballot, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann released a revised sample ballot (PDF, 31 KB) for the Nov. 4 election today. The ballot displays the special election for the remainder of Trent Lott's U.S. Senate term directly below the Senate race between Erik Fleming and incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran.
The New York Times has the story of the day (of the campaign?):
Friday, September 19
In 2005, the Jackson Free Press went to Franklin County, Miss., with the brother of Charles Moore, one of two black teenagers killed by the Klan in 1964. We wanted to detail a case that probably only got attention in the first place due to three missing civil rights workers at the same time in the "Mississippi Burning" case that drew much more media attention over the years, probably because two of the victims were white.
Barack Obama wants the government to give attention to families and workers as well as the financial industry. CNN reports:
Thursday, September 18
The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled against Gov. Haley Barbour and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann today in their appeal concerning the contested sample November ballot. Justice Jess Dickinson's majority opinion (PDF, 496 KB) stated that the sample ballot, which listed the U.S. Senate race between Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove near the bottom, is illegal.
I am growing very weary of people around this town who are always able to find some way to throw "salt" on those who are trying to make a difference. I'm beginning to wonder if some people are born with the natural ability to be hateful and derrogatory. It's unfortunate that progress has to be stumped by those unwilling to accept change and growth. We face these folk in every aspect of our lives, regardless of where you live. However, it's easy to second guess your strides and efforts when met with constant resistence. It's even more difficult when one knows that there is a job to be done and that it is absolutely necessary. I know that any person who steps up to the plate to offer something new will face naysayers and non-believers. There seems to be some level of complacency here that is keeping this city from forward movement.
The Viking Classic tees off on Thursday in Madison.
Wednesday, September 17
James Ford Seale will be going home soon, probably within days, thanks to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which on Sept. 9 overturned his 2007 conviction on federal conspiracy and kidnapping charges for abducting Charles Moore and Henry Dee in 1964.
Golf, Viking Classic (7 a.m., Madison): Many of golf's elite are playing in the Ryder Cup, but there will be plenty of big names and rising stars at Annandale Golf Club. The tournament continues through Sunday. If you can't make it up to Madison County, highlights will be broadcast daily on the Golf Channel at 7 p.m. Junior college football, Pearl River at Hinds (7 p.m., Raymond): The Eagles, who are off to a 2-1 start, face their biggest test yet against the nationally ranked Wildcats.
Salon is reporting that Sarah Palin shocked Wasilla when she spent $50,000 from a city highway fund to re-do her mayoral office:
Thrash metal is the perfect musical setting for the new residence of the Ink Spot. Hidden in the Foundry Lofts (formerly the Ironworks building) at 300 W. South St., the tattoo shop/art gallery is an oasis of free expression and courageous art.
As the JFP turns 6, Todd Stauffer reflects on the problem of "balance" over accuracya media problem McCain's lying spree has brought front and center.
The ACLU of Mississippi filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mississippi residents Jerry Young and Christy Colley in U.S. District Court Friday, challenging the state's denial of voting rights to citizens with felony convictions.
Gov. Haley Barbour took the fight over a sample election ballot to the Mississippi Supreme Court on Friday.
Robert Staples, owner of Staple Martial Arts and Self-Defense, studied martial arts for 23 years. He first started a studio in South Jackson, then moved to Byram three and a half years ago.
Rev. Cletus: "This is your car-selling pastor on the Ghetto Science Radio Network, broadcasting live from my lube and oil change garage. Please excuse the background noise; my mechanics are busy refurbishing several Double Dutch Church buses for our new Rapid Transit Public Church Bus System.
Last Friday, the ACLU of Mississippi and the ACLU Voting Rights Project filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the state's denial of voting rights to citizens with felony convictions. Under Section 241 of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, persons with certain felony convictions are prohibited from voting in state and local elections.
On Jan. 26, 2007, two days after a federal grand jury indicted former Klansman James Ford Seale with three counts of kidnapping and conspiracy, his defense attorneys moved to dismiss all charges on the grounds that the charges violated the statute of limitations.
Whether you're looking for an alternative to the dry, dinner-and-a-movie routine, or trying to plan a Saturday staycation with your spouse of 20 years, Jackson has many options for the eco-savvy, especially if you plan ahead to minimize driving.
Rosemary Maxey is a veritable human Rolodex. Her friends often joke that she knows you, has heard of you or wants to get to know you.
As the JFP turns 6 (!), we take our traditional birthday look at Jackson's progress.
Autumn may not conjure images of ripe, juicy, tomatoes in most people's minds. But the sight of a Campbell's tomato soup can nearly always triggers a storm of nostalgic yearnings for September and after-school lunches in mine.
Tuesday, September 16
One of my former bosses often quipped that her "need to edit" was a force too strong to resist. Having worked as an editor myself, I have to admit that I can usually "fix" just about all but the most poetic and perfect prose. The Clarion-Ledger, on the other hand, seems to have given up editing altogether. Perhaps it went the way of the employee coffee.
The Smokefree Jackson Coalition honored BRAVO! Italian Restaurant Tuesday for voluntarily prohibiting smoking indoors before a citywide ban takes effect Feb. 1, 2009. City Council President Leslie McLemore commended Bravo co-owner Jeff Good for setting an example and jokingly declared "Jeff Good Day" in Jackson.
Freshman quarterback Dominick Britt, the centerpiece of Jackson State's 2008 football recruiting class, has left the team.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State's football games on Sept. 27 will be televised, the SEC has announced.
Monday, September 15
Folo has a good post, and several links, pointing to another inadequate response to a hurricane disaster, this time in Texas. And there are reports that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is trying to keep the severity of the problem under wraps. Can this really be true?
Even as John McCain said this week that Palin asked for no earmarks as governor, The Wall Street Journal that she, indeed, asked for $453 million in projects:
The Jackson Free Press received several e-mails regarding opportunities with the Obama campaign in Mississippi.
Sunday, September 14
[Verbatim from Attorney General Jim Hood] Jackson, MS-Gov. Haley Barbour's ill-conceived attempt to gain a partisan political advantage for his party and violate state law is an embarrassment for both his office and the state's voters, Attorney General Jim Hood said today. "If Gov. Barbour believes his legal acumen is greater than that of a legal staff with a combined 100 years of experience in election law -- including two attorneys considered the deans of election law in Mississippi -- then he is walking in a dream world," General Hood said in reference to the career attorneys in his office.
The Mississippi Braves are the 2008 champions of the Southern League.
Friday, September 12
[Verbatim from Governor] Today's ruling by the Hinds County Circuit Court is being appealed today. The official ballot recommended by the Secretary of State, which I approved, is proper and supported by state law. It was prepared using the same format that's been employed for decades. Democratic Secretary of State Eric Clark arranged the ballot in this manner and Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann arranged the ballot in the same way; I approved both of them.
Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Tomie Green heard arguments Thursday on a preliminary injunction against the distribution of a November ballot that would place the U.S. Senate race between Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove near the bottom. Green denied a last-minute motion to dismiss by Gov. Haley Barbour and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. Green will likely rule later today.
The following are times for the strongest possibility of flooding at high tide:
[Verbatim From MEMA] PEARL–Hurricane Ike is expected to bring significant tidal surge to Hancock Harrison and Jackson counties even though the storm is heading toward the Texas coast.
Thursday, September 11
I am a junkie. That's right; addicted. Right now, I'm going through withdrawals. Haven't had my fix this week. The dusty remnants of the last time hang in my nostrilsI can't control the twitching anticipation of my next hit. I fidget and toss around in my bed and try to make myself fall asleep. My name is Brandi Herrera Pfrehm: I am addicted to The Salvation Army.
[Verbatim from MEMA] PEARL – Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Womack wants all residents living in low-lying areas to seek shelter on higher ground because of flooding from Hurricane Ike.
In a campaign cycle getting more ridiculous by the moment, Obama supporters are fighting back against the McCain-Palin supporters who are boycotting Oprah because she said she isn't inviting Palin on her (optimum word there) show until after the election. The following e-mail came today:
The M-Braves meet Carolina in Game 3 of the SL Championship Series at Trustmark Park in Pearl on Thursday night.
The Associated Press is reporting that Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann distributed controversial sample ballots for November's general election to county election commissioners late Wednesday night. Three Mississippi Supreme Court Justices overruled a temporary restraining order on the ballots issued by Hinds County Circuit Judge Tomie Green, allowing Hosemann to proceed.
A New York Times editorial this morning blasted Gov. Haley Barbour and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann for their proposed November ballot, which places one of the most important national elections--U.S. Senate race between Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove--at the end.
I'm not talking about aviation safety or counterterrorism intelligence. I'm talking about the unity that Americans experienced in the aftermath of that terrible day.
Wednesday, September 10
Last week when McCain announced his candidate for Vice President Ilike many other people in Americaasked myself, "Sarah who?" I tuned in to the Republican National Convention just to hear her speak.
Southern League baseball, Carolina at Mississippi in Championship Series (7 p.m., Pearl, 1590 AM): The best-of-five series moves to Trustmark Park for Game 3. Games 4 and 5 will follow on Friday and Saturday, if necessary. (It's M-Braves in four.)
Four years ago, I wanted John Kerry to pick John McCain as his running mate. He was an impressive politician to me then, willing to buck a then-über powerful Republican Party from the inside.
President George Bush praised the coordinated efforts of FEMA, MEMA, local agencies, and humanitarian organizations to work together and do battle with Gustav's category 2 winds when it came ashore in Louisiana earlier this month.
The Jackson City Council is mulling more budget cuts this week following news of shortfalls.
Local attorney John Reeves has decided to represent Jackson Mayor Frank Melton in November when Melton goes on trial for constitutional violations stemming from the Ridgeway demolition.
When Mississippians vote this November, they may find the hotly contested U.S. Senate race between Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove buried near the end of the ballot.
Barbour revealed this week that "a junior staff person" working for the state uncovered a budget correction that allotted the state a one-time payment of $92 million from the federal government. The payment means the long battle to fill the $90 million Medicaid shortfall is suddenly over for the 2009 budget.
Brett Starrchild: "It's the final round of Ghetto Science Television's new game show 'Living on a Promise.' In the first and second rounds, celebrity judge Nurse Tootie McBride asked three contestants (Miss Wanda, Philmo Jones and Lil' Tiny Bit) some general questions.
I recently received an intriguing e-mail. It raised some interesting points about this year's presidential election, and I thought I'd share.
Dick Molpus, 59, has worked, both as a statesman and a citizen, to the benefit Mississippi his entire adult life, and has built his own wealth in a national sustainable business.
Before we were married, my fiancée dropped by my house with her two teenage daughters one Sunday afternoon. We all sat down, and Michelle talked about her near-death experience she had when she spent the weekend in the hospital after going into anaphylactic shock and had nearly died because she ate a cookie with a nut in it.
If you think it's time to add some mystery and intrigue to your life, head over to New Stage Theatre this month. In its season opener, the theater company presents a new take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.
When you step into the Mosaic Shop, the feeling is welcoming. Wanda and Robert Hendrix, both Texas natives, greet you with charming wit.
Over the past five years, the actors of the Off Kilter Comedy TroupeJackson's longest running comedy grouphave developed an amazing skill.
"Art should reflect the diversity of people," Lorenzo Gayden says.
The current national furor over the lies coming from the McCain-Palin camp reached a ridiculous level today when Factcheck.org had to call the campaign out for distorting the non-partisan's correction of Internet rumors about Palinbecause McCain ran an ad that dishonestly said Factcheck said the Obama campaign told the lies, not anonymous Internet users. Uh, big difference. Factcheck.org today:
TALK Dance Co. Executive Director Stephen Wynne had been searching for a story upon which to build movement and dialogue since he decided to reinvigorate the dance company in Mississippi last year. He found that story last spring in a mixed-media painting by H.C. Porter, "House of Broken Dreams."
The extreme right is declaring a third-party victory with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on the presidential ticket this fall.
Filtered sunlight streams through the windows of Claire Myers' studio on Thursday morning in Jackson as she waits to begin painting.
<b>[Stage & Screen]</b>
This fall is packed with scheduled art events to keep the city buzzing. Check them out here.
An employee of the Mississippi Workers' center for Human Rights invited me the attend a convention in Birmingham this past Saturday called Equal Voice for America's Families, which was sponsored by the Marguerite Casey Foundation. The convention took place simultaneously in Birmingham, Los Angeles and Chicago with a satellite feed connecting all three locations. A total of about 15,000 families participated in the event overall.
During a 5-minute interview with NPR's Renee Montagne this morning, Juan Williams alludes to the Jackson Free Press' award-winning investigation leading up to James Ford Seale's conviction last June. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Seale's conviction on federal kidnapping charges on Sept. 9, citing that the statute of limitations had already run out.
Tuesday, September 9
WLBT-TV3 is reporting that the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned James Ford Seale's 2007 conviction for his involvement in the murders of Charles Moore and Henry Dee. He was sentenced to three life terms last August, and today the Court rendered a decision of acquittal. See the full story here. Look for updates on jacksonfreepress.com.
The Washington Post is reporting that Gov. Sarah Palin and her family haven't been conservative with their expense reports in the year+ she as served as governor of Alaska:
[Verbatim from the Secretary of State's office] The Office of Secretary of State has devoted many hours researching the ballot order for the 2008 General Election. Our office has researched not only the applicable Mississippi statutes, but also prior opinions of the Attorney General, and minutes of prior meetings of the State Board of Election Commissioners.
The M-Braves win Game 1 of the SL Championship Series.
Monday, September 8
[Verbatim from the Governor's office] (JACKSON, Mississippi)Today Governor Haley Barbour issued a State of Emergency for the entire State of Mississippi due to the potential threat posed by Hurricane Ike, which has demonstrated capability to impact parts of the state according to current predictions by the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center.
Mississippi's Medicaid shortfall is solved for the moment, according to a statement released today by Gov. Haley Barbour. Thanks to a refund of approximately $58.9 million from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the state's Medicaid budget will be balanced for the 2009 fiscal year.
You guys know Im all about the kids!
I was asked by friends of the mother of young Serenity Lane to perform at a benefit on her behalf tomorrow. Im appealing to the entire JFP nation to open your hearts and simply show up! If you have kids as I do, I KNOW each and every one of you would want others to assist you in your time of need. Serenity needs valuable, almost life-saving procedures that cost a LOT of money. Without it, who knows what could happen. It has put upon my heart to appeal to all of you to come and donate to the cause. There will be great entertainment and your cover will go to Serenity's family for here medical expenses. Its THAT important. Ive even put aside my disdain for that damn rebel flag and my personal ban of patronizing any place that flies it to do this. So if I can find the time and heart...YOU CAN TOO.
In 2008 at the St. Paul Republican Convention, police arrested 818 protesters, which was less than half of the number arrested at their 2004 convention. Minneapolis had more than 3,700 well-trained, well-armed police officers on the street, and police and FBI raided suspected anarchists prior to the event.
[Verbatim from Power Vote] WASHINGTON, DCWorld-renowned climate scientist James Hansen will join youth leaders from across the country for a tele-press conference to formally launch Power Vote, a generational call to action on the climate this election season. Spearheaded by the Energy Action Coalition, "Power Vote" is a national non-partisan initiative to elevate the issue of climate change this election season. Power Vote aims to unite one million young "climate voters" behind a platform centered on combating global warming pollution, creating millions of new green jobs, and ensuring our nation's energy independence by transitioning to a dynamic new clean energy economy. For more information go to http://www.powervote.org/platform.
Friday, September 5
Factcheck.org, a non-partisan campaign fact-checking site run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania reported today that John McCain "made some flubs in accepting the nomination." Following is the verbatim summary of the McCain factcheck; go to the report for full details and attribution:
The Ink Spot Gallery has moved to a new location in the Ironworks building (300 W. South St.) and invites the public to its grand opening art show tonight at 7 p.m. Artists on display are Shannon Valentine, J.J. Luther and Mike Richardson. Refreshments will be served. Register to win a gift certificate for a tattoo from Mike Richardson. For more details or directions, call 601-352-4700 or check out myspace.com/theinkspotgallery.
A Thursday night public hearing revealed that a proposed tax cut for Jackson residents may be down the tubes. Jackson Mayor Frank Melton proposed the cut last week during a budget hearing, but even he abandoned the cut last night, which would have cut city revenue by only $582,200. Council members present at the Thursday hearingincluding Charles Tillman, Marshand Crisler, Margaret Barrett-Simon and Council President Leslie McLemoresuspected the tax cut would not be able to survive budget shortfalls, especially in light of city employees demands for pay increases.
I saw this notion pop up in another thread here on the JFP site and I thought it was worth a little more examination. (With apologies to Donna, this is pretty much all "horserace.")
August Unemployment At Five-Year High
NPR reported this morning on last month's unemployment figures and updated numbers for June and July. Verbatim from their Web site:
Thursday, September 4
Weeks after Mayor Frank Melton tapped him to serve on the Jackson Development Authority, local attorney John Reeves told the Jackson Free Press that he has decided to represent Jackson Mayor Frank Melton in November when Melton goes on trial for constitutional violations against some Jackson residents. Reeves said he would not discuss the particulars of the upcoming trial for ethical reasons. "I can't make any comments about a case that's in litigation. There are rules of ethics that govern what lawyers can say and can not say and we strictly adhere to those rules by just not commenting at all," Reeves told the Jackson Free Press.
Local businessman and t-shirt designer Chane, owner of Swell-O-Phonic, STUDIOchane, Wilai, Icon Gallery and Swell-O-Venue, invites the public to check out the recent renovations to his shops and galleries at a special open house event from 5-8 p.m. The JFP will be there giving away Chane/JFP t-shirts to the first 250 visitors. The shops are located at 2767 Old Canton Rd. For more information, call 601-981-FLIP.
Saddest of all is that the Republican Party has essentially made no strides on race issues, as was in shocking evidence last night as Sarah Palin, Rudy Guiliani and Mitt Romney threw red meat, and belittlement of Obama, at an extremely white crowd. The Washington Post called it today in this story, In a More Diverse America, A Mostly White Convention:
The Mississippi Braves play at Birmingham Thursday in Game 1 of the SL South Division playoffs.
Wednesday, September 3
In an interview following his Olympic gold medal successes, swimmer Michael Phelps meekly said he and his coach never even speak the words "gold medal" while training for competition. He said that he doesn't even know where the safe is that holds his gold medals.
Hurricane Gustav was not the monster people had been fearing. Almost exactly three years ago, Hurricane Katrina showed America what a real hurricane looks like, and made government on all levels, from federal to municipal, look like a Marx Brothers movie.
Republican presidential nominee John McCain has a shiny new vice presidential candidate but an old idea for dealing with the nation's gas crisis.
Quite frankly, I'm shocked. I expected a speech from Palin that would make Americans who'd never heard of her last Friday *like* her. She's just sneering over and over agaon. I'm truly shocked at the level of nastiness here. There's a belittling tone here that I'm not used to hearing on a national stage. It feels very FOX News, and the room loves (and their return sneers reflect it), but I don't see how it plays to people who aren't going to vote for McCain already. And it could turn some off. Is she going to belittle world leaders she doesn't agree with? Weird. And puzzling.
The summer is far from over in the Deep South, so you might as well sit back with a cool drink in hand and embrace the fact that we made it through another August. Here are a few recipes to help you end the summer well.
"A Season of the Night: New Orleans Life After Katrina" is a tribute of a New Orleans transplant to his adopted home. McNulty writes a heart-felt description of his life during the months following Hurricane Katrina.
When Jabari Graham, 28, was laid off from his job as creative marketing manager at UniverSoul Circus in 2001, he took what money he had saved and organized an art show in Atlanta's Little Five Points. The success of that show grew into "Jack Daniel's art, beats + lyrics," an urban art exhibit currently touring the Southeast.
Out of everything that chilled me to the bone about Bill Clinton's Lewinsky affair, nothing bothered me more than him messing around with the intern with his teen daughter in the building.
Martin's has some top acts lined up over the next few weeks. For more of a pop styling, check out Martin's Thursday, Sept. 11, for the Hattiesburg-based Thomas Jackson Orchestra with highly talented country singer/songwriter Owen Beverly. HBO's TV show "Entourage" used one of Beverly's songs last season. The first time you hear his solid lyrics and rich vocal prowess, you know he's the real deal.
Southern League baseball, Mississippi at Birmingham in South Division playoffs (7 p.m., Birmingham, Ala., 1590 AM): The M-Braves open a best-of-five playoff series against the Barons. NFL football, Washington at New York Giants (6 p.m., Ch. 3): The Redskins and the Super Bowl champs meet on the NFL's opening night.
If Sarah Palin gets past this press cycle and remains the Vice Presidential nominee on the GOP ticket, there might be one interesting item from her brief tenure as governor of Alaska that would be worthy of discussion on the national stage -- her state's windfall profit sharing from oil leases. It turns out that every person who has lived in Alaska for over a year gets a $3,200 payout from the government thanks to taxes on oil companies; a family as large as Palin's would receive over $22,000 a year.
In its zeal to find a new superintendent, Jackson Public Schools has hired one administrator for the price of two. A day after the school board selected Georgia education specialist Lonnie Edwards, on Aug. 10, Earl Watkins resigned as JPS superintendent.
Last week, the Jackson Free Press received several e-mails proclaiming "Jackson Crime Alert" in the subject line. Obviously having been forwarded through dozens, maybe hundreds of prior e-mail addresses, the story the e-mails tell is about a man named Hong Kong, who peddles his hip-hop CDs in neighborhood parking lots and gas stations in Jackson.
As reported last Wednesday, Aug. 27, Mississippi Supreme Court Judge Chuck Easley told the Jackson Free Press last week that a pro-business bloc on the court is attempting to strip other members of their seniority status. "They screwed me. They screwed (Supreme Court Justice James) Graves," Easley said.
The Jackson Free Press revealed in a breaking story online last week that some Mississippi Supreme Court justices had been deliberating how to change a state law that determines who gets to be the chief justice and presiding justices, essentially turning the positions into popularity contests among the justices.
Mr. Announcement: "Ghetto Science Television presents the final episode of the short-lived reality series 'Kunta the Unruly Y'all Mart Employee.'
Last Monday morning, Aug. 25, federal immigration agents descended on Laurel, Miss., to conduct the largest immigration raid in the country, where they arrested 600 workers at a manufacturing plant.
The road leading into Meerwala is a packed-earth track between green farmer's fields. In this remotest corner of Pakistan, the village has no school and no police.
John Sewell plays many roles in Jackson, from his day job as the director of corporate communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield to his position on at least five boards, including the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Parents for Public Schools and the Fondren Renaissance Foundation. He is also a husband and father of three.
Only one fruit or vegetable elicits a mouth-watering reaction from me, and by mouth-watering, I mean literal saliva down the front of my dress: tomatoes.
School days, school days...dear old golden rule days...
Word is that Sarah Palin's speech tonight will focus on being "a reformer." Thoughts?
(No sex-pregnancy-abortion scandal talk on this thread, please. I'm trying to break them up to make conversation talk easier.)
It's call-the-messenger-sexist time. After keeping embattled running mate Sarah Palin under wraps since Monday, and canceling a CNN interview due to Campbell Brown asking about Palin's foreign policy expertise, McCain campaign today blamed the media for pursuing questions about Palin's background and said that the criticism of her is sexist. Read more at Politico:
The Environmental Protection Agency followed through with predictions and announced yesterday its decision to kill the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' proposed Yazoo Pumps Project in the Mississippi Delta.
The movie-trailer king, Don LaFontaine, was a voiceover artist known for his baritone voice and the phrase, "In a world..." From the LA Times:
Tuesday, September 2
Mississippi Insurance Department phone numbers:
The Mississippi Insurance Department has a page explaining how to file a claim after a hurricane. Homeowners should document all damage with photos and/or video and file any claims as soon as possible. The MID Coast office will be available to assist in filing claims.
Mississippi Insurance Department phone numbers:
The Mississippi Insurance Department has a page explaining how to file an insurance claim for hurricane damage to your home. Homeowners should document all damage with photos and/or video and file any claims as soon as possible. The MID Coast office will be available to answer questions and assist in filing claims.
Mississippi Blood Services Main Center
Mississippi Blood Services is reporting an urgent need for blood donations due to Hurricane Gustav. Hospitals and blood drawing stations across the state closed because of the storm, creating a shortage of available blood. If you don't have time to volunteer or money to donate, you can still stop by MBS' Jackson location:
Verbatim from a MEMA news release, 9 a.m. Tuesday:
Power outages:84,173 households without power. Entergy has 20,034; Electric Power Associations ofMississippi have 14,936 and MS Power has 49,203.Pearl River has 10,230 outages. Hancock has 16,401. Harrison has 15,610. Jackson has 1,096.These counties make up 43,327 of the outages statewide.Wind gusts in some areas are delaying the process of fixing some outages.
Mississippi residents woke up today to tornado watches and warnings swirling around the state, especially in central Mississippi, in the aftermatch of Hurricane Gustav. As we return to work and school, the JFP's best advice is to listen to Mississippi Public Broadcasting, which is live with constant updates, as it has been all weekend. Also, Gov. Haley Barbour is cautioning evacuees not to try to return to the Coast until Wednesday, even some highways down there are starting to re-open.
Monday, September 1
Also see: Jackpedia: Hurricane Gustav to get/post vital information.
It's 2:04 p.m. Monday, and Gustav didn't turn out to be the monster we feared. Thank God. It's raining here in Jackson, and we're keeping our eyes out for tornados. Our biggest challenge in the city is caring for evacuees in the shelters. There is early evidence that the shelter situation, and the contraflow from Louisiana, didn't go as smoothly as it could have. We'll be looking into that more.
The drama is coming fast and furious from the abstinence-only McCain-Palin campaign today. The Washington Post is reporting:
Also see: Jackpedia: Hurricane Gustav to get/post vital information.
From Attorney General Jim Hood, verbatim: Jackson, MS-As Hurricane Gustav wraps its sweep across portions of Mississippi, Attorney General Jim Hood reminds residents impacted by the storm to protect themselves from the scammers that every storm brings.
Also see: Jackpedia: Hurricane Gustav to get/post vital information.
The 211 number has been failing over the last 24 hours. The United Way reports that you call use this number instead: 866-472-8265.
American and Southwest Airlines have cancelled all flights in and out of Jackson-Evers International Airport for the rest of today, Sept. 1., and at least until 9 a.m. Tuesday. Delta is cancelling at least some flights. Be sure to call the airline to check on status of flights. WAPT is discussing the fact now that any passengers stranded at the airport cannot check into local hotels because they are all full.
The morning after shelters were turning away frustrated evacuees in the Jackson Metro, MEMA put out a release telling people where space was still available. Verbatim:
The Associated Press is reporting:
Also see: Jackpedia: Hurricane Gustav to get/post vital information.
Also see: Jackpedia: Hurricane Gustav to get/post vital information.