Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Trollfest '09 Update

New act for Trollfest '09 - Frank Melton confirmed he will be at Trollfest '09 to give a dramatic performance of Fred Sanford's "It's the Big One" on the MADD stage. Should make an action-packed night even more lively.

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Hide the women.

Mississippi Business Journal reports today:
"Gov. Haley Barbour has appointed former State Senator J. Ed Morgan as Commissioner of Revenue and chairman of the Mississippi State Tax Commission, effective Jan. 1, 2009."

All I will say is make sure he has only male secretaries.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Double Standard?



So the "Puff the Magic Negro", a parody of Al Sharpton by Paul Shanklin, is racist but this isn't? Guess if it's NBC it's ok.

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Oldie but Goodie

video

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Jena 6's Mychal Bell in trouble....AGAIN.

Poor little Mychal Bell is in trouble once again. You may remember this member of the Jena 6; he and five friends beat up Justin Barker. Prior to that incident he was arrested for other crimes, including beating up a teenage girl and trashing his grandmother's house after she kicked him out. Since the Barker beating, he's been in trouble again after moving to Monroe, Louisiana. The Monroe newspaper reported Bell apparently got a little too carried away with the Christmas spirit:

"Bell, 18, who lists his current address as 109 Grayling Lane, Monroe, is free on bond following a Christmas Eve arrest on multiple charges, including shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple battery, related to an incident at Dillard’s in Pecanland Mall. Bell was arrested less than one month after he completed a sentence for his role in the beating of a fellow classmate, Justin Barker, at Jena High School in 2006.
Police said Bell and an unidentified male were spotted Wednesday by store security after they placed $370 worth of merchandise in a Dillard’s shopping bag. After the two separated, Bell left the store, was followed by a security officer, and began running through the parking lot.
Police said Bell was discovered under a vehicle in the Sears parking lot. Lt. Jeff Harris said Bell began “swinging his arms wildly” and delivered a glancing blow to the security officer with his elbow. Bell was booked into Richwood Correctional Center and released on $1,300 bond. He will be arraigned at a later date. Each of the charges carries a possible penalty of up to six months in jail
......." The Rest of the Story

His lawyer naturally claimed he was arrested because he was black: "Louis Scott who has represented Bell in the past said that preconceived notions on the part of Dillard’s employees may have played a role in Bell’s arrest. “Dillard’s has a tradition of being overly suspicious of young black males,” Scott said."

Yeah, those evil white people made him put a bunch of merchandise into a Dillard's bag and then leave the store. (Anyone want to bet who the video supports?) I said he would be in trouble again when the Jena 6 turmoil was taking place . It's sad. This former football star has talent (good enough for a USM or 1-AA school) that could get him a scholarship to college where he could become a productive citizen. Unfortunately, Mr. Bell repeatedly chooses to get in trouble and learns nothing from his experiences.

Update: Apparently Mr. Bell decided to do something even more stupid. Stupid because he tried to shoot himself in the chest. More stupid because he used a .22. The police said they thought he did it because he was upset over the coverage and didn't want to be in the news again. Hey Mychal, if you want to stay out of the news, here is a piece of advice: stay out of trouble! That means don't beat up your girlfriend, don't get in fights, don't steal, and don't tear up someone's house when you are mad. These are not hard things to do.

Previous Jena Six posts:
Update
Bad apples don't fall far from the tree
Is this the real story of the Jena 6?
Nice to see the media catching up with Kingfish
Beat up student, get red carpet treatment
What is the truth here? Heroes or Hoodlums?

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Redstate's Erik Erickson will be on Kim Wade tomorrow.

The mad genius behind Redstate.com, Erick Erickson, will appear on Kim Wade's radio show tomorrow from 5:10 to 6:00 PM CST. Mr. Erickson is one of the leading conservative bloggers and more concerned with shaking things up in the Republican party than being liked by so-called establishment Republicans. Should be an interesting show.

Articles on Redstate and Mr. Erickson:
http://www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2008/12/26/evredstate.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/24/AR2008112403004.html?wprss=rss_technology%2Ftechpolicy

Can't get near a radio? Stream show at WJNT's Website .

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Enjoy



If it doesn't work, try this

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Blogs v. Journalism

Paul Mulshine, a columnist for the Newark Star-Ledger, pens a column in The Wall Street Journal about how bloggers will not replace journalists. Mr. Mulshine is correct in that blogging is no substitute for reporting. Few bloggers will take the place of the backbone of journalism: the beat writer that sits through every public meeting, digs through public records, and interviews everyone involved in a story. Here are some excerpts from his column:
"The common thread here, whether the subject is foreign, national or local, is that the writer in question is performing a valuable task for the reader -- one that no sane man would perform for free. He is assembling what in the business world is termed the "executive summary." Anyone can duplicate a long and tedious report. And anyone can highlight one passage from that report and either praise or denounce it. But it takes both talent and willpower to analyze the report in its entirety and put it in a context comprehensible to the casual reader.
This highlights the real flaw in the thinking of those who herald the era of citizen journalism. They assume newspapers are going out of business because we aren't doing what we in fact do amazingly well, which is to quickly analyze and report on complex public issues. The real reason they're under pressure is much more mundane. The Internet can carry ads more cheaply, particularly help-wanted and automotive ads.

So if you want a car or a job, go to the Internet. But don't expect that Web site to hire somebody to sit through town-council meetings and explain to you why your taxes will be going up. Soon, newspapers won't be able to do it either...."

Mr. Mulshine makes good points. Only a fool thinks bloggers will replace journalists. However, where bloggers are superior to journalists is in expertise. The Scruggs story was a perfect example of this, as the local media covered the scandal but its reporting was rather lacking in comparison to FOLO (http://www.folo.us/). The bloggers at FOLO were lawyers digging through motions and other court filings while providing true expert analysis, something beyond the education or experience of most reporters at similar-sized newspapers. However, Mr. Mulshine has been spoiled working at an excellent newspaper such as the Star-Ledger.

Most reporters have journalism degrees (how many classes do you need to take to learn how to write a story?) and are clueless about law, economics, finance, science, and other matters. Even a veteran star reporter such as Jerry Mitchell didn't know how to read a deed of trust when he reported on Judge Bobby DeLaughter's mortgage. Blogging allows for people who are not journalists but who are more experienced and better-educated than the reporters covering a story, to offer true insight, news and analysis on a particular subject. However, bloggers must not get too carried away and think they will replace true journalists.

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Look at what some UAW bosses are up to

http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/15908257/index.html


Also notice the abseentism figure for UAW shops. Seems to be just a lil bit higher than in non-union ones.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why is Marshand Crisler qualified to be Mayor?

What qualifies Marshand Crisler to be Mayor of Jackson?

Mr. Crisler's resume consists of the following items: Marine Corps and Air Force officer, Jackson City Council, Master of Public Adminstration from JSU, police chief of Utica and a deputy in the Hinds County Sheriff's office. Compare his background to the duties of the Mayor who administers a budget of several hundred million dollars, is responsible for economic development, appointing school board members, complying with federal regulations and programs, and operating the executive branch of city government with its various departments, programs and employees. The ideal candidate should have both government and business experience as the Mayor must wear many hats in performing his duties.

However, what exactly is on Mr. Crisler's resume suggesting he should be mayor? One rarely gets in trouble when following the principle "hire the resume". If Jackson was a private corporation, the Board of Directors would be fired for incompetence if it hired a person with so weak a resume to be CEO. Mr. Crisler's professional experience has been that of a local cop. He was a chief in a very small town, not even the equivalent of an assistant chief or commander in JPD. He is a deputy working for someone who potentially will depend on him for his job (can we say conflict of interest? It is my understanding he is still an employee of the Sheriff as reported last week in the Clarion-Ledger and this fall by The Northside Sun).

He has been a Councilman for some time now but the city council in Jackson is weak under its charter and councilman is a part-time position (can anyone name a major reform or piece of legislation he led?) They don't hire, fire, or make executive decisions, yet somehow this individual is considered to be a leading candidate for Mayor even though he's yet to show he can actually do something. One doesn't promote a corporal overnight to a general in charge of several divisions.

Jackson has suffered from four years of Melton. Crime is out of control, the budget is a mess, mismanagement has been the rule, not the exception in city government, yet the answer is to hire someone to clean it up who has NO experience in such affairs? In all of Jackson is this the best Jackson can do? On the recent list of supporters for a Crisler fund-raiser at Bravo!, there were several names much more qualified to be Mayor.

A Crisler candidacy points out one of Jackson's main problems: Its best and brightest never desire to lead the city, while we wonder why Jackson declines. Beverly Hogan. LeRoy Walker. Jeff Goode. David Watkins. Robert Gibbs. All MUCH more qualified than Mr. Chrisler yet sitting on the sidelines even though they are the talent Jackson needs in City Hall. If Jacksonians were serious about their city, someone whose claim to fame was being a councilman and a "crime prevention specialist" in the Sheriff's office would not be taken seriously as a candidate for Mayor.

What is also interesting is how the business community has apparently flocked to Mr. Crisler, ignoring his past comments on implementing some form of commuter tax or toll tax from a past interview with The Jackson Free Press:
"(Q) You see the commute lines every morning and evening. What ever happened to the toll-booth idea?
Canned. Flushed. Trashed. It required legislative action, and it got no traction. Every year we bring it up, and it doesn’t even get past a committee, but that’s not the only option. You could do a user fee. A road tax. An occupational tax—meaning if you work in Jackson, you should pay an amount of money there. It comes straight out of your paycheck.
(Q) The first thing business owners will say is you’re hurting business with a new tax.
So? Where are they going to go? Madison? Pearl maybe?My point is, how many jobs are in Pearl? Better yet, how many industries are in Madison? You can’t pick up and move the capitol city. It’s not going anywhere. We’re not talking about Greenville. States don’t change capitols. The industry here is government. As long as that’s the case it will contain the type of jobs that can support those $2 million homes in Madison
. "

Does this sound like someone who is pro-business or understands economic development? Yet for some reason the NE Jackson business community has decided to throw in its lot with the South Jackson Councilman. Perhaps someone should ask Mr. Crisler to clarify his remarks on commuter taxes, occupational taxes, and whether government should be the leading industry in Jackson as they are great prescriptions for destroying a city's economy.

Jackson is in crisis right now. Jacksonians have an opportunity this spring to make a change from the last four years of Melton hell. However, this is not the time to give the keys to someone who has to find the clutch and then learn how to drive the car.

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Market Ticker: Obama's First 100 Days

Denninger gives his opinion on what Obama must do when he first takes office:
"Immediately investigate Hank Paulson, focusing on his 2000 and 2004 "requests" to remove leverage limits and his firm shorting the bonds they were selling to investors. ....
Each and every individual and firm involved in the blatant, rampant fraud that allowed the housing and mortgage bubble to occur needs to be prosecuted.....
Appoint a cadre of special prosecutors with power to subpoena every hedge fund and broker-dealer on Wall Street to ferret out the other Madoff's out there - jail them all. There is never only one cockroach. Never. Oh, and while we're at it we need to guarantee that everyone involved in the Madoff mess goes to prison, including people in the SEC who were complicit in this scam. Nobody pulls something like this for 20 years, at this magnitude, on their own...
Force changes in the bond ratings agency game. No more "pay to play", otherwise known as "issuer pays" - at all. ...
Stop trying to support home prices. The solution to the housing mess is in fact found in the exact opposite policy - correction to affordable levels nationally. That's no more than 2.5-3x incomes, on average. .....
Force The Fed to disclose every asset it has purchased, and disclose every action Treasury has taken. One Executive Order takes care of both. This is our money, not theirs. ......
Revoke the EESA/TARP. ......
Enforce by executive order, immediately, 12:1 leverage limits via the SEC. You control the SEC now. Make it happen on January 21st......
Send up a bill to make the use of off-balance-sheet games a federal offense punishable by forfeiture of the entirety of any asset so concealed. ...." The 100 Days

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Who can forget this?


"I want to kiss you"

Classic.

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Suffer Away

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

In Hoc Anno Domini

From The Wall Street Journal:

When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.
Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.
But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression -- for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?
There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world? Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's
. And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.
So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders.
But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.
Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter's star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.
And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

This editorial was written in 1949 by the late Vermont Royster and has been published annually since.

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SPOILED!


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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What Christmas is all about

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Saw a puppy mill yesterday.

Made me think about learning how to firebomb.

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Bowie & Bing

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GIVE IT BACK!!!

Seems as though Mr. Bush gave a nice little yuletide pardon to one Isaac Toussie, a mortgage fraudster in New York. It turns out the father of the convict (who was also a co-defendant in a lawsuit related to his son's mortgage fraud) gave $28,500 to the Republican National Committee.

There's only once choice for the RNC: give it back. period. If the RNC keeps the money then it really is morally bankrupt.

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Great Moments in Black History



Since Monica Hernandez told me she never saw In Living Colour because she was too young, here is a sketch from the show just for her.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa's Old Lady made the BEST brownies

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It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

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Wheres the *&@# Money???

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I report. You decide.

Well, well, look at how Madame DeLadd censors and slants over at her lil ole progressive alternative weekly "newspaper". Seems that on this thread on immigration, she didn't like some of the comments being made and deleted them as well as slanting the finished product more to her liking. Here is the censored version (The full thread is published in the comments section below): Immigration McCarthyism. Someone with too much time on his hands noticed this and sent it to me. Since jackassery is a featured part of this blog and at times its guiding philosophy, I decided to post the two versions for you. Enjoy.

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Spring Break is just around the corner


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Monday, December 22, 2008

Levee by Fortification St. Yesterday


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Marshand Crisler: Conflict of Interest?

The Clarion-Ledger 's editorial today contained this little tidbit of information concerning possible candidates for the mayoral election in a few months:
"Of the contenders so far, former Mayor Johnson and former Police Chief Johnson both also have records of public service upon which to judge their ability.
So does Crisler of Ward 6, who works for the Hinds County Sheriff's Department, and Horhn, who has represented Hinds and Madison counties in the Legislature for about 16 years
." Editorial

The South Jackson Councilman is still working for Sheriff McMillin, who is also the Chief of JPD? Is that not a conflict of interest? Considering Mac is his boss and could be his future employee, Mr. Crisler should resign from the Hinds County Sheriff's Office as he is clearly a candidate for Mayor even though he has not yet formally announced his intentions although he has already held one fundraiser at Bravo! Jacksonians expect straight talk from the candidates concerning their plans to fight crime. Its hard to see how Mr. Crisler can be candid given the circumstances of his current employment.

One should also ask why a so-called anonymous blogger is raising this issue instead of the newspaper.

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O Holy Night

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Idiot calls WWII a "government stimulus"



What an egghead. Peter Schiff owns him.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ave Maria

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Think Detroit Can't Compete Because the South's Throwing Money at its Competitors? Guess Again.

Bashing Southern states, always a pastime for much of the country and liberals, is once again in vogue as Detroit tries to avoid bankruptcy. A typical scare tactic used by them is the complaint the Big 3 can't compete with foreign competition because the Southern states pay them to build their plants in the South.

The president of the Mississippi AFL-CIO provided a perfect example of this excuse in the Jackson Free Press (a Mississippi free "progressive" weekly) recently “What they do is they come to America and start a bidding war between these southern, right-to-work states, and taxpayers wind up subsidizing their arrival by paying for infrastructure and tax subsidies. Then they get to sell a product for less than their American counterparts."

This statement was disingenuous as it assumed Northern states are NOT themselves giving huge tax breaks to the Big 3. A quick search on Google reveals Northern states haven't exactly sat on their hands when it comes to shoveling out the dollars to Detroit (The governors are in parenthesis, Democrats are highlighted):

Arlington, 1991. Faced with closure, Texas (Anne Richards) and Arlington offered a tax incentive package with abatements and training funds as well as a reworking of worker's comp laws worth $30 million.

Lansing, MI 1999. Michigan (John Engler) gives GM a $98.9 million incentive package to build a new plant. Governor Engler justified the help: "The GM project will provide more than $2.163 billion in revenue to the state over the life of the agreement, resulting in a net positive gain to the state of over $2.090 billion after the MEGA credit. The project is expected to generate over $27 billion in personal income.
"While this package of incentives is large, the benefit to the community and to the state is much larger," Engler said. "For every dollar we invest in this project, we will collect more than $21 dollars in new tax revenue. This is a wonderful return on investment on a project worth fighting for."


Warren, MI 2004. Michigan (Jennifer Granholm) gave GM and Germany's Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems Inc. over $43 million in incentives while the Warren City council also awarded GM nearly $20 million in tax abatements at the same plant. The same story reports Four years ago, Michigan's $256-million state and local incentive package helped persuade GM to announce two new plants just outside Lansing. The two projects, a stamping plant and an assembly plant, involved 2,800 new jobs. Addition Story, scroll down

Lordstown, OH 2008. GM gets $80 million from Ohio (Ted Strickland) for its Cruze production plant.

Yuma County, AZ 2007. Arizona gives GM $500,000 to build a grounds testing facility in that county.

Dayton, OH 2008 Ohio offers GM $56 million to keep a plant open but GM says no thanks.

Jaynesville, WI 2008. Wisconsin (Jim Doyle) gives GM $5.4 million for training costs.

Flint, MI 2008 MI offers GM $122.5 million to expand its plant in Flint.

Michigan 2008 State grants GM more than $130 million in tax credits for future Volt production at several plants.

Ohio 2008 State gives Ford $1.7 million in tax credits for an engine plant.

Detroit, MI 2008 State gives Ford $151 million for several plants.

Ontario, Canada 2008 Canadian government gives Ford $75 million in incentives to reopen plant.

Auburn Hills, MI 2008 State awards Chrysler over $115 million in a tax incentive package for the building of a new plant in partnership with Mitsubishi.

Kenosha, WI, 2007 State announces Chrysler will receive $16.7 million in tax incentives for plant upgrade.

Toledo, OH 1997 Ohio gives Chrysler $280 million in tax incentives for a plant.

The total incentives, credits, and abatements on this list total $1,456,300,000 with nearly $1 billion of it coming from Michigan alone. (This list is incomplete as it was compiled after only spending 20 minutes on Google.).

There is nothing wrong with states creating tax breaks and other favorable economic conditions for such plants if it leads to a stronger economy and increased tax revenue. However, it is more than a little hypocritical for the unions and their lapdogs to blame the South for Detroit's meltdown when the North has been doing the same thing for years. If the union apologists want to blame someone, perhaps they should look in the mirror and start taking responsibility for ridiculous work rules, jobs banks, and a chronic absenteeism rate of ten percent instead of blaming the South.

Note: If I missed any similar aid by states outside of the South, please free free to send examples to mewith supporting articles.

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Meet Marley


Meet Marley, the Tri-Color Cavalier King Charles Spaniel of Dr. Ed and Marsha Thompson

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Friday, December 19, 2008

More UAW Follies. This time, the Jobs Bank.

The role of the UAW in the implosion of the American auto industry has been hotly debated for some time now as its critics place most of the blame on the union while its defenders point to irresponsible decisions made my management. However, very little is mentioned about the jobs bank that pays union members not to work and was agreed to by management. The jobs bank is a program created by the Big 3 and UAW in earlier decades as a compromise on layoffs and automation of assembly lines where workers laid off are paid at close to their original salaries, receive benefits, and do not work. That's right: they do not work.

The Detroit News reported in 2005:
"Pool (subject of the story) is one of more than 12,000 American autoworkers who, instead of installing windshields or bending sheet metal, spend their days counting the hours in a jobs bank set up by Detroit automakers and Delphi Corp. as part of an extraordinary job security agreement with the United Auto Workers union.
The jobs bank programs were the price the industry paid in the 1980s to win UAW support for controversial efforts to boost productivity through increased automation and more flexible manufacturing. ......

General Motors Corp. has roughly 5,000 workers in its jobs bank. Delphi has about 4,000 in its version of the same program. Some 2,100 workers are in DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group's job security program. Ford had 1,275 in its jobs bank as of Sept. 25. The pending closure of Ford's assembly plant in Loraine, Ohio, could add significantly to that total. Those numbers could swell in coming years as GM and Ford prepare to close more plants.
Detroit automakers declined to discuss the programs in detail or say exactly how much they are spending, but the four-year labor contracts they signed with the UAW in 2003 established contribution caps that give a good idea of the size of the expense.
According to those documents, GM agreed to contribute up to $2.1 billion over four years. DaimlerChrysler set aside $451 million for its program, along with another $50 million for salaried employees covered under the contract. Ford, which also maintained responsibility for
Visteon Corp.'s UAW employees, agreed to contribute $944 million. ........"

Why exactly did management agree to this fiasco? Seems the same people who paid Ross Perot twice the value of his stock just so he wouldn't criticize them and decided to make Cadillacs and Chevies look alike used similar judgement:
"The jobs bank was established during 1984 labor contract talks between the UAW and the Big Three. The union, still reeling from the loss of 500,000 jobs during the recession of the late 1970s and early 1980s, was determined to protect those who were left. Detroit automakers were eager to win union support to boost productivity through increased automation and more production flexibility.
The result was a plan to guarantee pay and benefits for union members whose jobs fell victim to technological progress or plant restructurings. In most cases, workers end up in the jobs bank only after they have exhausted their government unemployment benefits, which are also supplemented by the companies through a related program. In some cases, workers go directly into the program and the benefits can last until they are eligible to retire or return to the factory floor.
By making it so expensive to keep paying idled workers, the UAW thought Detroit automakers would avoid layoffs. By discouraging layoffs, the union thought it could prevent outsourcing
..." (For more details on the jobs bank program (your jaw will drop a few times), read this story at Carlist.com: Jobs banks, featherbedding, welfare, its all the same thing)

This welfare program may disappear as the government today made elimination of the jobs bank part of the loan package it agreed to for the Big 3 today. Even though it will be removed, the jobs bank is one of the main reasons the American auto industry is in the ditch. While union defenders are correct in arguing that Big 3 auto workers make the same in wages per hour as their foreign-employed counterparts, the costs for them explode when benefits and the jobs bank is included. Comparing American and foreign auto manufacturer expenses is like comparing apples and oranges as the UAW forced the Big 3 decades ago to pay thousands or workers billions of dollars over time to not work. Such policies kept them from pouring money into research, improved quality, and more plants such as those they've built overseas (such as the Ford plant in Brazil that has FIVE different platforms). Even though last year both Toyota and GM sold the same amount of cars, GM is broke while Toyota made a profit.

A recent article in the International Herald Tribune bears this out:
"Detroit automakers — and Chrysler in particular — nearly erased the North American productivity gap with their Asian rivals in 2007 thanks to worker buyouts, leaner plants and other improvements, but they still make less money per vehicle because of higher costs, according to the Harbour Report on manufacturing released Thursday.....
Still, the Detroit Three are lagging in profits per vehicle because of higher costs for health care, pensions, sales incentives and the higher number of dealerships they support. Ford lost $1,467 per vehicle in 2007, while GM lost $729 and Chrysler lost $412, the report said. Toyota made $922 per vehicle, while Honda and Nissan both made $1,641. That gap is expected to narrow significantly in 2010, when the Detroit automakers hand over their retiree health care liabilities to new independent trusts overseen by the United Auto Workers union...." International Herald Tribune Story

There is no way a company can stay afloat with such numbers. While some like to blame the unions, its not completely their fault. Management made many bad decisions in car design, quality, strategy, and spending hundreds of millions of dollars on bonuses for themselves. Shareholders and bondholders demanded their fair share of the pie. Paul Ingrassia (a Pulitzer-prize winner) summed this perfect storm of incompetence quite nicely:
"The Detroit Three got into their current quandary by making decades of bad decisions, with some help from the United Auto Workers union. Yet despite the current crisis, General Motors is still paying dividends to shareholders, the car companies are paying bonuses to executives, and the private-equity billionaires at Cerberus who bought Chrysler are trying to reap enormous rewards from their risky investment. Meanwhile the UAW's Jobs Bank -- which pays laid-off workers for doing nothing -- remains in place."

Make no mistake, they all deserve a pox on their houses. However, the next time someone defends the unions and says Southern politicians are just trying to bankrupt Detroit, ask him to defend the jobs bank program.

Harbor Report on cost/profit differences between Japanese and American Auto Manufacturers

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Are they laughing now?



I'm reposting this video again as it's simply that good. Watch 3:45 and how they are laughing at Peter Schiff. Bet they aren't laughing now.

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Want to put iTunes on your Blackberry?

Here ya go: http://www.blackberry.com/ap/software/mediasync.shtml. Just be sure you have a media card (format it first) installed on your BB ($15-30).

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Auto Workers have it sooooooooooooo....... tough!

Check out their holiday schedules on the UAW's Website

A total of 68 holidays will be provided to UAW GM workers over the four-year term of the proposed agreement. .....
The schedule of paid holidays negotiated for the term of the proposed agreement in 2008-09 is:

2008 - 2009
Nov. 4, 2008Federal Election Day
Nov. 14, 2008Veterans Day (Observed)
Nov. 27, 2008Thanksgiving Day
Nov. 28, 2008Day after Thanksgiving
Dec. 24, 2008----------
Dec. 25, 2008Christmas
Dec. 26, 2008----------
Dec. 29, 2008----------
Dec. 30, 2008Holiday
Dec. 31, 2008----------
Jan. 1, 2009----------
Jan 2, 2009Period
Jan. 19, 2009M.L. King Jr. Holiday
Apr 10, 2009Good Friday
Apr 13, 2009Day after Easter
May 22, 2009Friday before Memorial Day
May 25, 2009Memorial Day
(or two other such holidays of greater local importance which must be designated in advance by mutual agreement locally in writing)
July 3, 2009Independence Day
Sept. 7, 2009Labor Day

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You can't make this up.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Madoff/SEC Incest?

Turns out working for the SEC was a family affair for the Madoff family. Wonder what Clueless Chris will say about THIS.

Update: Good comment below which offered a good rebuttal. Am leaving post up because this is spreading across the net and the comment deserves an audience.

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Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker will be on KIM Waaaaade Today

5:10 to 6:00 PM CST. - Should be alot of fun. Look at center of page for a feed to his site.

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Couldn't Resist Posting This


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Dropped your cellphone in water?

Dropped your phone in the water and don't want to pay $300 for another one (ex. Blackberry)? Thought you would send in your phone claiming it was broken only to find out those pesky little humidity stickers inside the phone betrayed your intentions to Verizon or better yet, found out your cell phone insurance had a nice deductible of $125 and now you really need to save that phone? Here is what you do. I did this two weeks ago.

1. IMMEDIATELY take the battery out of phone. Biggest risk is water and current as they don't mix, so get the two apart pronto.
2. Rinse with DISTILLED water. It's de-ionized. Use it anyway. Regular water has a hard water component which can cause corrosion, and other liquids have contaminants which can do the same. This is the key step.
3. Dry with compressed air (the same you use on a computer). Do NOT use a hairdryer as it can cause condensation in the lens and warp the glues and other sensitive materials inside OR set your blowdryer on COLD and use it.
4. Ready for this? BURY your cellphone in RICE for two days. You read right: r-i-c-e. It absorbs the moisture out of the phone. The small silica packets found in drug bottles work even better. However, bury the phone in rice. It needs to be covered completely and do the same for the battery. Cover the container with a lid so it's in a somewhat sealed environment. After 48 hours, the phone should work.

This worked for my Blackberry Curve two weeks ago after I dropped it in water. Got it out instantly, dried it,no dice. Found this technique online and it worked. This method does not work on iphones usually as you can't remove the battery without considerable effort and the iphone is sealed anyway. Apple doesn't fix them for water damage nor does the insurance cover it.

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Gary Pettus has been misplaced.

Gary Pettus did an excellent job of reporting in his story on local mortgage lending last Sunday in The Clarion-Ledger. "Loans Attainable, Experts Say Story was well written, he had his facts right, obviously researched the subject, and got some quotes from a wide variety of sources. If this is how he reports, pull him away from the Southern Style Section and make him the leading news reporter. That was some of the best work I've seen out of that newspaper in a long time.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And this woman has kids?

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"A Story My Paper Led On"

Frankly, this is one of the more tasteless epistles I've ever seen written by a journalist, real or self-imagined. Apparently some knucklehead accused Jackson Free Press publisher Donna Ladd (who has a Master's Degree in Journalism from Columbia) of protecting Robbie Bell as well as being friends with her. A little obscure comment buried in Ronnie Agnews column about layoffs at the CL. A couple of posters have made similar comments on this site before but I've never taken those seriously as I don't think she was some friend of Robbie's that was in the tank for her. However, Ms. Ladd could not let it go and instead, the Fondren Drama Queen had to go on a tirade about what some anonymous poster on a message board somewhere said about her.

For some reason, Ms. Ladd felt the reason to write about how her paper "led" on the Heather Spencer story ("a story my paper led on") and then chronicled how she had done so. The money quote was "
So, to date, we have reported everything we have been able to about the case, which has been more substantial than any other media outlet." I'm not going to take the time to criticize her post but will say WLBT has done a fantastic job of reporting this story. Any further criticism I have of her so-called coverage of the story can be found in this post: Whitewashing or Bad Reporting. Donna Ladd also once again shows her ability to not tell the truth as she writes: "we ... do not... "report rumors as fact as blogs run by anonymous people do. It's not ethical".

Anonymous? I think by now everyone knows who I am and anything I've reported has either come from law enforcement, people with first-hand knowledge, documents, or statutes. There's been no "he said, she said" storytelling here. All posts are down on the lower right side of the page for anyone to see. I don't care who leads on the case as long as the truth gets out. The JFP obtain a police report that was valuable in understanding the case but its coverage has been no better and has made just as many mistakes as other media outlets. However, writing about how well you've covered a murder is just as tasteless as naming Robbie Bell "Most Intriguing Person of 2007".

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Clueless Chris Cox and Exit Strategies

Mr. Chris Cox, Chairman of the SEC and a Bush appointee, called for an "Exit Strategy" on the bailouts:
"Financial markets, of course, are not perfect. In particular, they are susceptible to boom-and-bust cycles. Cycles of this sort have been a hardy perennial over the past 400 years of experience with organized markets. Addressing the results of these cycles is why we have protective mechanisms such as the Federal Reserve System and federal deposit insurance.
But clearly these mechanisms proved inadequate to prevent the current crisis.

As the Congress and the new administration consider what improvements are necessary, they should take exceptional care to preserve the premise of well-ordered markets that underlies our enforcement and regulatory regime....
Focusing on exit strategies now is of vital importance to ensure that we do not stumble along a dangerous path of confusion that may end in far greater financial exposure for the American people, and a far worse situation for America's taxpayers and investors...."

What was conspicuous was what Mr. Cox did NOT call for: reinstating the leverage limits his SEC removed on 2004. The major cause of this financial meltdown was the removal of the limits on how much financial institutions could leverage their assets. For years the limit was 12:1, for every dollar in reserves/assets, the institution can use twelve dollars, whether it is through lending, investing, or other financial activities. The limits were in place to keep some protection for the markets and institutions in case they made bad decisions. As the leverage ratio increases, the exposure increases as well.

For years Goldman Sachs and others lobbied the SEC to remove the limits so they could make "more efficient uses of capital" in the words of one banker. Paulson lobbied for the removal in 2000 and again in 2004. In 2004, Mr. Cox and his agency agreed to the proposed changes and removed the limits. Pretty soon Fannie, Freddie, Lehman, Bear, and others went from 12:1 to 20,30, even 80 to 1. The result of this was to take what would have been a serious crisis for the markets and economy and turn it into a meltdown of global proportions. This rule change is probably the largest single factor responsible for this disaster and it happened under Mr. Cox's watch.

However, while reading Mr. Cox's exit strategy proposal, did anyone notice what was NOT in his cute little essay while he wrote about not "increasing financial exposure"? A proposal to put the leverage limits back in place. Heaven forbid we should rein in the ability of Wall Street to have fun with their spending binges with no money in the bank. Once this crisis is resolved, they'll be seeking more "efficient uses of capital" again while their cheerleaders on the WSJ editorial page create an economic theory to justify it. If Mr. Cox and Congress are truly serious about stopping the carnage and making sure it won't happen again, put the guardrails back on the financial services industry before they blow up our economy again. Unfortunately, Mr. Cox's exit strategy shows how clueless he is and why we need an exit strategy for him.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure and flygirls, The Structuresses, headline the night with Sonjay Poontang returning for an encore performance. Who could forget Poontang's rendition of “Push Push in the Bush” which brought down the house last year? Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright will make his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything). In the event Mr. Cain loses, he will be allowed to sing with his band before he is thrown out of town. Kamikaze will grace the audience with another new song, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell will sing her two greatest hits: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Since it's the Entergy tent, where no one has any rights except the right to be ripped off by Entergy, it doesn't matter how many times you beat them. If there are any crack house deeds after the Pinata-bashing, Kim will donate them to Frank Melton in the event he becomes homeless. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge. Also, don't quote me, but rumor has it Carolyn Shanks will be Kim's date for Trollfest '09, as they might be the new power couple.

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

The hugging booth will return this year. In exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a looooooooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammad the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, this is a terrorist-friendly event, as Lotus from FOLO will be on hand to welcome all terrorists and personally point out to them where all potential targets are, as well as how to avoid getting caught.

It is true Trollfest '07 received some criticism because for all the money it raised, none of it went to charity. In the zeal to create Trollfest and the overwhelming media coverage of the event, donating any of the proceeds to charity was something that was unfortunately overlooked.

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. In 21st century America, no one should be homeless, even Jackson's own bombastic Mayor. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If for some reason Mr. Reeves is unable to continue in his performance, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered to show his ass for the booth, as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up. Representatives from Frank's mortgage-holders, BancorpSouth and Omnibank, will be on hand to receive any money donated to keep Frank in his house.

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

By the way, Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.


Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson and being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News, Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an even for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production. As this went to press, Downtown Jackson Partners had not yet bought Beaver.

Note: Security provided by INS.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Jackson's Demand for $560 Million of Pork.

Given the typical nature of politicians, it shouldn't be too surprising that when Obama announced he was going to create a huge public-works spending program in an attempt to boost the economy, Frank Melton was right there with his list of projects to submit to the federal government, all 170 ($560 million) of them. If you don't have any idea what these projects are, don't feel too bad, as the Jackson media did a pitiful job reporting on Melton's outrageous grab for some government pork (although Gannett's Washington D.C. reporter did write a short list of highlights for the Clarion-Ledger. No link to a complete list was provided.).

Complete List of Projects

Reading through the list of projects reveals more than a few items of pork and questionable value. Here is a partial list of some of them:

$750,000 for Legion Field Softball Complex (4-plex)
$2.5 million for improving Meadowbrook from State St. to I-55
$1 million for renovation of Viola Lake Community Center
$800,000 for design and construction of Historic Garden in the Farish Street
Historical District.
$3.5 million for Splash Parks
$5 million for Buddy Butts Park Improvements
$3.4 million for design and construction of 30 condo units in Farish Street Historical
District (FSHD) (I wonder who thought of THAT one)
$10 million for FOUR OLYMPIC-SIZED NATATORIUMS
$1 million for Josh Halbert Gardens improvements
$1 million for 509 Pearl Street Building Improvements
$1 million for city baseball fields lighting improvements
$115,000 for UMC Medical Mall Signal Synchronization Plan
$2 million for VA Park Lighting Improvements
$5.5 million for Jatran administrative building (to make LEEDS compliant)
$2.7 million for Playground safety enhancements
$4 million for the impound lot facility
$1 million for solar panels for all community centers operated by city
$1.5 million for Mynelle Gardens
$1.5 million for Battlefield Park
$1.875 million to build 15 units of affordable housing in Royal Manor
$2.5 million to build 20 units of affordable housing in Loginlp Subdivision
$4 million to build 40 units of affordable housing units in Bon Air
$12 million to resurface McDowell Road from I-55 to Hwy 18
$6 million for 18 Jatran buses
$2 million for AVL bus tracking system
$1.5 million for signal improvements at Ridgewood and Old Canton (HUH? It was just done
in the last few years and is working fine.)

Then there are the airports:
$30 million to extend runways at JEIA
$6.2 million for pavement rehabilitation at JEIA
$5 million for installation of perimeter road at JEIA
$15 million to expand International Drive to four lanes at JEIA
$15 million to relocate the air traffic control tower at JEIA
$2,672,303 for passenger boarding bridges at JEIA

Why not just tear down the airport and build a new one. Wait, that IS what they are doing. Had enough? Lets go to Hawkins Field:

$3 million for "access control"
$15 million for runway extension

Olympic Sized pools? Practically building TWO new airports? Gardens? Private housing? What the hell are we doing asking the government to pay for these things, as they are a complete waste of money. Developers are having a tough enough time without competing against the government building private condos in the soon-to-be-developed Farish Street District. We've spent millions renovating the airport over the last few years, yet Jackson wants to tear it all down and start over again?

The Clarion-Ledger reported: "They are things the city desperately needs, but we don't have the money for them," said Robert Walker, Jackson's chief administrative officer." The city DESPERATELY needs FOUR Olympic-sized natatoriums? The city DESPERATELY needs to pay for 30 condos so rich folks can enjoy living by some nightlife? Mr. Walker is honest in saying the city doesn't have the money for these projects and if there is any shred of responsibility among the citizens of Jackson, it will NEVER have the money for some of these projects.

The editorial page at the newspaper abdicated its duty to inform its readers and hold leaders accountable, as it referred to building private condos for Farish Street as "Farish Street Entertainment District needs" and said "They could create thousands of jobs." No wonder they are losing money and laying off employees if this is their idea of sound fiscal management. But I digress.

Apparently Melton (surprise) learned nothing from Katrina, as Governor Blanco of Louisiana tried to pull the same stunt with her request for recovery funds. The amount she requested was so high, as she tried to include many creative inventions of government pork, even the Democrats in Congress refused to help Louisiana after Katrina. While there are projects definitely needed on this list, there is simply too much garbage in this request for Jackson to escape any scrutiny.

Think the criticism of Jackson is too harsh? Look at what other cities asked for in their requests: Little Rock: less than 80 projects. Baton Rouge: 40 projects. New Orleans: 38 projects. You read right: 38. Not even RAY NAGIN was as bad as Frank Melton and that is WITH Katrina damage. Birmingham: 28 projects. Cincinnati: 30 projects. Mobile: 12 projects. Jackson requested funding for 170 projects, the longest list out of all the requests.

No criticism needs to be made, as these project requests and Mr. Walker's statements speak for themselves. Nice to know that once again, Melton and his boy have made Jackson the laughingstock of the nation.

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Redstate: More McCain Campaign Incompetence

You won't believe this one and I can honestly say I don't think the Obama camp would've made an error such as this. Seems as though when the McCain crew decided to dispose of their hi-tech toys after the election, they sold off their blackberries without bothering to sanitize them:

"According to reports here and here from Fox5 in Washington, DC, the station purchased two Blackberry units from the McCain campaign. The organization had announced in an e-mail to staffers that it was selling off computers, office equipment and other items as it winds down operations.
Some of the items wound up in the hands of reporters. One journo at the Fox affiliate acquired a Blackberry and was suprised to discover that it was still loaded with what was supposed to be confidential campaign information such as private cell phone numbers, e-mails and the like. So a second Blackberry was purchased, and the news staff found it to contain more than 260 contacts full of personal emails, phone numbers and addresses for McCain supporters
...." McCain's Ship of Fools

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Red State Update

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Great 3 Minute Speech on the Bailout



Peter Schiff is his economic adviser if you wonder why he is on the money.

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Lambert



1:40 is awesome.

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Publisher or Grocery Clerk?




















Recognize the man on the right? That is Larry Whitaker, the so-called Publisher of The Clarion-Ledger. The reason his picture is posted here is because most people who read the paper probably would not recognize him if they saw him. The Jackson daily recently laid off 33 employees, including popular columnist, Orley Hood.

One would think Mr. Whitaker showed some leadership and published an explanation of the layoffs as well as an apology to his readers for releasing Mr. Hood. Unfortunately, Mr. Whitaker sent his lackey, Executive Editor Ronnie Agnew, out to write a column about the newspapers' downsizing. The Apology


A true Publisher would have shown some leadership and written a column explaining the layoffs to his readers as well as an apology for being forced to layoff a popular writer. Mr. Whitaker showed himself instead to be in the words of Colonel Kurtz a grocery clerk who was sent to collect a bill for the owners. The so-called publisher should have stepped up to the plate and led by example instead of ducking his reponsibility and pawning it off on the hapless Mr. Agnew. Can one imagine Al Neuharth assigning such a responsbility to some editor? If Mr. Whitaker has time to go to fancy soirees like the Pre-Mistletoe Marketplace Gala and hob-nob with the movers and shakers, he has time to be a real publisher and actually lead his newspaper.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vida

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Temper Tantrum at the New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/opinion/07egan.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

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Here is audio replay of Karl Denninger on KIM Waaaaaade's show

The Market Ticker's Karl Denninger appeared on Kim Wade's show on WJNT on November 13. Kim was nice enough to let yours truly appear on the show as well. You can access the recording
Here if the embed below does not work.



Start around the nine-minute mark

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We're going in like a bunch of CRAZED dogs!!!



Ray Lewis is a wimp.

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Galaxies Colliding





















Wow. Hard to imagine how big this really is. From Nasa:
"Galaxies don't normally look like this. NGC 6745 actually shows the results of two galaxies that have been colliding for only hundreds of millions of years. Just off the above photograph to the lower right is the smaller galaxy, moving away. The larger galaxy, pictured above, used to be a spiral galaxy but now is damaged and appears peculiar. Gravity has distorted the shapes of the galaxies. Although it is likely that no stars in the two galaxies directly collided, the gas, dust, and ambient magnetic fields do interact directly. In fact, a knot of gas pulled off the larger galaxy on the lower right has now begun to form stars. NGC 6745 spans about 80 thousand light-years across and is located about 200 million light-years away."

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Think Mississippi's finances are in bad shape?

Sure, Barbour might have to make some budget cuts and tax revenue will be slowing next year. However, no one is literally betting the farm against Mississippi as they are other states. Goldman Sachs is advising clients to buy credit default swaps AGAINST several states.

"Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc., one of the top five U.S. municipal bond underwriters, is angering politicians and public-finance officials in New Jersey, Wisconsin, California and Florida by recommending that investors purchase credit-default swaps to bet against 11 states’ debt.
In the three months since the New York-based securities firm recommended “shorting municipal credit,” the value of the Markit MCDX index of the derivatives’ price more than tripled, to as high as 278.33 basis points from 87.75. A basis point on a credit-default swap protecting $10 million of debt for five years is equivalent to $1,000 annually.
Bets against public debt, once unheard of on bonds considered safe enough for retirees, have soared as the
National Conference of State Legislatures projects recession-fueled budget crises will cause $97 billion of shortfalls nationwide over the next 18 to 24 months....."
Bloomberg Story

The states are: New Jersey, California, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Hawaii

Anyone notice a few things about the list? They all tend to be more liberal, high-tax states (except for Florida which has been literally crippled by the housing bust as properties were overvalued 25-40%). While some people complain about the use of short-selling by investors such trades are an excellent indicator for what the market thinks about something. In this case, Mississippi is in better shape than many states.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Don't Buy American Cars

Boycott Alabama Now

Two can play at this game.

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This is what you are dealing with in Pakistan

From The Middle East Media Research Institute:
"Following the Mumbai terror attacks, Pakistani security expert Zaid Hamid was interviewed by Pakistan's News One television channel; in it, he accused "Western Zionists and Hindu Zionists" of planning the 11/26 Mumbai attacks. He also warned that if the Indians attack Pakistan, the war will be fought within India, not on Pakistani soil. The interview was telecast 24 hours after the Mumbai terror attacks began. .....
"This is not the 9/11 he [George W. Bush] was talking about [recently], but the Indians have themselves always wanted to orchestrate a 9/11, to create the same drama [9/11] in which they could include Americans and Israelis. We have no doubt this was [the result of] a joint plan by Israelis, Americans and Indians - in other words, this was a joint plan by Western Zionists and Hindu Zionists; in it Israelis are directly involved, there is involvement of Mossad.
"The details that are coming up - see, if you look at the images, the terrorist they [Indian television channels] are showing firing in the hotel with machine gun in his hand, he has tied in his hand a saffron band of Hindu Zionists; Muslims do not wear this type of band [on their wrists] - their faces are like Hindus, the language in which they are speaking, this language no Pakistani uses."
"The big part of the game has slipped out of their [Indians'] hands. We have not seen a more badly planned operation than this [the commando operation in Mumbai hotels]...."

http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD214008

Do you think a tin-foil hat would help this guy?

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The Art of the End of War

Michael Yon, best reporter in Iraq, writes a final dispatch from that recovering country:
"SSG Foust explained that after the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, his group spent long periods patrolling in the Sinjar mountains in Nineveh where many Yezidis live. He said there was no fighting with Yezidis and that the Yezidis were so friendly that they continuously invited the soldiers to eat with them in the villages. Foust said that though the soldiers brought along Army food, they didn’t really need it because the Yezidis kept them stuffed, and the Yezidi food was much better than army food. Foust said the Yezidis offered the best tobacco he’s ever tasted, because they grow their own. It wasn’t until later that Foust learned the Yezidis are supposed to be “devil worshippers,” which seemed a bit perplexing because they seemed like normal people to him.
I said to SSG Foust what I tell our pilots who fly near Yezidis: If your aircraft goes down near Yezidis, you might be sipping tea with your laundry being folded before search and rescue can get to you. And they’ll cook lunch for the rescue team. This is why a lot of Americans who know Yezidis are angered when al Qaeda attacks Yezidi people. Many personal bonds have been formed during this tragic war. We are no longer enemies with the Iraqis, and there is no good reason why Iraq and America should ever fight again.....

Al Qaeda was handed a vicious defeat in Iraq, and it can be said with great certainty that most Iraqis hate al Qaeda even more than Americans do. Al Qaeda can continue to murder Iraqis for now, but al Qaeda will be hard pressed to ever plant their flag in another Iraqi city. The Iraqi army and police have become far too strong and organized, and the Iraqis will eventually strangle al Qaeda to death.
I still find people in America, Nepal, Thailand, UAE and other countries who believe al Qaeda propaganda that they attack us because we support Israel or occupy Muslim holy land. This would not explain the decapitated Iraqi children I photographed when locals told me al Qaeda did it. This would not explain the Iraqi children al Qaeda has blown up, or the Afghans and Pakistanis killed by al Qaeda, or the Africans who are murdered by the same cult of serial killers. Did those decapitated children in the Iraqi village even know where America or Israel are? What about the Shia mosques they destroyed in Iraq? Were they occupying Saudi Arabia or supporting Israel?
......" Read the Rest of the Dispatch Here

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Get the Pitchforks!!!

Market Ticker blows the whistle on Bernanke seeking approval for Fed to issue DEBT!!! Read on:
"There is a flash on the WSJ Newswire that The Fed has "approached Congress" about issuing its own debt.
"Fed officials have approached Congress about the concept, which could include issuing bills or some other form of debt, according to people familiar with the matter.
It isn't known whether these preliminary discussions will result in a formal proposal or Fed action. One hurdle: The Federal Reserve Act doesn't explicitly permit the Fed to issue notes beyond currency."
No kidding. Then again The Federal Reserve Act doesn't permit buying other than agency and treasury debt as it stands, but that hasn't kept Bernanke from doing so more than once through chicanery and his famous "Maiden Lane LLCs", has it? ........

The Federal Reserve, a private bank, is asking for permission to issue debt in the name of the taxpayers of this nation, obligating them to pay it down and cover the interest on same, without oversight as to how the proceeds are used and under what limits and terms it is issued?...." Tar and Feathers Needed

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Metal

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

So this is what the Clarion-Ledger is doing now?

The current soccer story:
"Referee files charges against Clinton parent
MHSAA bans man from games after altercation at soccer match
By Ruth Ingram • ringram@clintonnews.com • December 9, 2008"

had this at the end:
"Freelance writer Nash Nunnery contributed to this report."

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From the Mississippi Bar

Dear Colleagues:

As Mississippi lawyers, we have an immediate and urgent opportunity to help keep our most vulnerable families from losing their homes. The national foreclosure crisis is hitting home in Mississippi , where we have the highest mortgage delinquency rate in the country. Please use the link below to agree to receive free training (and free CLE hours) and to accept referral of at least two foreclosure cases.

I ask you to agree to maintain a caseload of two active cases over the next two years. Your commitment can take the form of case assessment, mediation and negotiation of workout agreements, and/or litigation. This initiative is especially well suited to transactional lawyers, government lawyers, and any attorney willing to learn the basics to help our neighbors in crisis.

The Mississippi Center for Justice, working with The Mississippi Bar, the Access to Justice Commission, legal services programs and others, has agreed to facilitate this emergency pro bono project and brings to the table a commitment to ensure that volunteer attorneys have a support system in place to be successful. To volunteer for a training session and to take pro bono cases, please contact Paheadra Robinson, 601-352-2269,
pbrobinson@mscenterforjustice.org.

Thank you in advance for your time and pro bono commitment.

Very truly yours,

Rodger Wilder
President

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Kim Wade wins poll.

You've got to be kidding. I can't believe 65 of you knuckleheads voted for local radio talk show host KIM Waaaaaaaade. You know he can't get elected. The Bennie/Louis/Kennie/Frankie crowd hates him and the Republicans are not his best friends either. Yet 54% of you said you vote for Mayor of Jackson.

The others were as follows: Ben Allen, 18 votes (15%), Sheriff Malcolm McMillin, 9 votes (7%), Robert Johnson, 8 votes (6%), Marshand Crisler & Robert Gibbs, 4 votes (3%), Beverly Hogan & David Watkins, 2 votes, (1%), Frank Melton & John Horn, 1 vote (0%), and Eddie Fair and Peggy Hobson-Calhoun 0 votes.

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Soccer Scrum

Some of our local residents are unfortunately picking up the more international aspects of soccer. The Clarion-Ledger reports:

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Is Frank Melton's mortgage past due?

**Must Credit Jackson Jambalaya**


Is Jackson Mayor Frank Melton about to lose his home? A five-year balloon note on Frank Melton's home at 2 Carter Grove Circle held by Bancorpsouth was due in full on December 5, 2008 (The lack of a release of the mortgage by Bancorpsouth was verified at the close of business Friday by the Hinds County Chancery Clerk's office.)

The mortgage was taken out by Mr. Melton and his wife on November 24, 2003 for $250,000. The Meltons were to pay in monthly installments of $2,045.03 until December 5, 2008, when the "final balance of principal and interest" was due (Link to copy of deed of trust at bottom of post)

Using a mortgage calculator on Bankrate.com, it is estimated the Mayor's mortgage was a 15/5 balloon (payments amortized at fifteen years with a final payment due in five years.). Using 15 years for the term and an interest rate of 5.5%, a payment of $2,043 was calculated. Without knowing any terms of the mortgage, this probably the most likely scenario for the terms of his note as longer terms would mean a much higher interest rate.
Bankrate.com Mortgage Calculator . If these are the correct terms, then the amount (excluding any additional fees) due in full last Friday was $189,397.13 according to an Amortization Table.

It is also interesting that Melton took out a five-year balloon note on his home when in late 2003, there was a refinance boom in the mortgage industry as rates were at historical lows. The Mayor should have been able to get a fifteen year note (with no balloon due) at the same interest rate or close to it as his current mortgage.

This is not the first time questions have been raised about Frank Melton and his mortgage payments as earlier in the year his Jackson home was placed into foreclosure proceedings by Omnibank (as discussed in two earlier posts,
Mayor and His Mortgages and Frank's Foreclosure Problem). The Mayor also had a property in Texas that was seized and sold in a Sheriff's sale in 2006 ( Another Foreclosure ). Mr. Melton was forced to pay taxes and late fees on his Jackson home the day before it was subject to a county tax sale as well a few months ago. Mr. Melton is also currently delinquent on the taxes for his home in Tyler, Texas, owing (including late fees of $890.17) $5,474.50. Smith County, Texas Property Tax Records

Regardless of how much Mr. Melton owes for his second mortgage or property taxes in Texas, what is clear is that the first mortgage on his current home in Jackson became due last Friday and is to be paid in full. Since this is a balloon note, it has to either be paid in full by Mr. Melton or Bancorpsouth or another lender can refinance the property.

It also must be asked why a bank would refinance a huge mortgage to someone who has lost a home to foreclosure in the last two years and has received a foreclosure notice on the current home in the last 11 months. Lending standards now require a borrower to not have a foreclosure on their credit history for 5 years as foreclosures are now considered to be worse than a bankruptcy when underwriting a mortgage. Given today's climate and how banks are reeling from losses caused by defaulting borrowers, a shareholder or member of the board will likely have some tough questions for anyone who refinances Melton's mortgage given his recent foreclosure and property tax problems (especially considering there is a SECOND mortgage due in full in April and the fact that the Mayor faces a trial in January.)

Of course, Mr. Melton could have paid his balloon note in full and the release of the mortgage may simply not be filed at the courthouse yet by Bancorpsouth. Does anyone think that is the likely explanation?

Copy of Melton's Deed of Trust

Update: WLBT covered this tonight. WLBT Story

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Trollfest '09

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

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


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

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

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


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

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

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

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
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