Looks like Forrest County General Hospital got smart about interest rate swap agreements:
"Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'A' rating to the expected issuance of $44,990,000 Mississippi Hospital Equipment and Facilities Authority's series 2009 refunding bonds issued for the benefit of Forrest County General Hospital (FCGH). Fitch also affirms the rating on the hospital's outstanding series 2007 and 2000 bond issues. The Rating Outlook is Stable.
Bond proceeds will be used to current refund the hospital's outstanding series 2007 bond issue, fund the termination payment associated with a swap issued in conjunction with the series 2007 bond issue, and pay for costs of issuance. The bonds will be issued as unenhanced fixed-rate bond issue, on parity with existing hospital debt and secured by ageneral obligation of the hospital under the bond documents...."
Earlier this year Reuters reported "FCGH entered into both a floating-to-fixed interest rate swap agreement and a basis-swap agreement related to the series 2007A bonds for a notional amount of $46 million. As of FYE 2008, the swaps had a negative market value of $6.2 million." Article
Some are starting to wake up. Rick Hill, are you paying attention?
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Looks like Forrest County General Hospital got smart about interest rate swap agreements:
Click Here to Read More..
After Church” Mixed Medium 35” x 30.5” by Kennith Humphrey $3,400
“Mississippi Autumn” Oil 30” x 48” by Melanie Atkinson $2,000
“Sky Walkers” Oil 20” x 16” by Paul Fayard $950
“Camellias in Silver” Oil 24” x 12” by Melanie Atkinson $700
Click Here to Read More..
If no video appears, watch in Explorer. Some good information here.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Page 3, Table 9. Meanwhile, Fannie Mae finally got around to requiring all loans have a minimum 620 credit score. Press Release But wait, what about the green shoots? The NAR says things are getting better. Happy days are here again. Well, here is what some experts at Amherst Securities had to say last week:
"Recent analysis by the Amherst Securities Group indicates the housing industry will not only worsen as a delayed pipeline of foreclosed loans begins to liquidate, but that the Administration’s Making Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) will have no lasting effect on keeping delinquent loans current.
The early signs of stabilization seen among housing industry observers may soon recede as an overhang of the shadow inventory of foreclosures waits to enter the market.
The general outlook that the housing market has bottomed is “premature” optimism, according to analysis this week from Amherst."
The Fannie Mae report mentioned above bears this out as delinquincies have doubled from a year ago. Amherst's Lori Goodman said on Bloomberg this morning that their research showed there was a 95% chance of foreclosure if one house payment was missed.
"The single largest impediment to a recovery in the housing market is the large number of loans that are either in delinquent status or in foreclosure that are destined to liquidate,” analyst Laurie Goodman said in an insight report Wednesday.
Amherst estimates this “shadow inventory” at around 7m housing units, or 135% of a full year of existing home sales, compared with 1.27m units in this bucket in early 2005. The backlog is due to high transition rates, low cure rates and a longer timeline for loan liquidation — in other words, loans continue to transition into the delinquency/ foreclosure pipeline at a rapid pace, but are moving out at a very slow pace.
The loans, however, are “destined to liquidate” and will impact the signs of recovery seen in recent months by pulling down house prices through distressed sales.
“We are concerned that, in light of this housing overhang, the stabilization we have seen in home prices the last few months is temporary,” Goodman added...." Article
Redstate published the following post written by someone at the California Republican state convention:
"I’m writing to tell you about the loose talk here about Carly and the NRSC, emanating from the friends of Larry Elder.
You know Larry Elder: the African-American, Californian, libertarian, popular radio host and firebrand. He’s been around for a while, and he’s a solid presence on the California media-and-politics scene. Elder is a serious name and presence among California Republicans. He just wrapped up his radio show. “Why,” you might ask, “doesn’t Larry Elder run for the Senate?”
There is an answer accorinding to many of Elder’s friends at the Republican Convention — Senator Cornyn and the NRSC told him not to.
Here’s the story that is circulating at the convention: Back in the spring, Elder went to Washington to sit down with John Cornyn and the NRSC, and ask for their support for a bid for U.S. Senate against Barbara Boxer. Cornyn and the NRSC told him the following:
1. If Elder chose to run, they would not support him.
2. The NRSC was already committed to supporting Carly Fiorina
3. The NRSC expected Fiorina to lose against Boxer, but expected her to tie up Democrat resources in the meantime.
So Larry Elder came back to California and did not run. You know the rest: he’s watched the Fiorina campaign move from crisis to crisis (failure to vote, Iran sales, revelation of no self-funding, no CRP attendance, this Rasmussen poll, that website, etc.), and feeling increasingly frustrated. It’s probably too late for him to enter and Larry is hot under the collar that Cornyn gave him such terrible advice. So he’s talking to his friends — and his friends are talking to us — and I’m talking to you.
How incompetent is this? The NRSC actually told a popular African-American with statewide name recognition to NOT run? Last I checked, our party isn’t overflowing with those..." Redstate article
Ran a little poll last week about things you might like to see at The Auditorium and tried to offer a vary diverse set of choices. I was somewhat surprised by the winning choice: comedy. We haven't had a comedy venue in a long time in Jackson and that might be something that works. I wish the debate choice had received more votes as I think it would be pretty cool to have a formal debate, a la Firing Line where you could enjoy a mean and a brew while watching a serious debate about health care reform or Two Lakes. Wine tastings apparently received quite a bit of support as well and of course, concerts were a leading selection. Its about time we had such a venue in Jackson that offered the possibility of so many different events.
Business networking events
Speed dating events
High school/college arts performances
Town Halls (calm ones)
Monday, September 28, 2009
The Auditorium Restaurant announces the Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) radio show Friday Night Under the Lights will now broadcast live from The Auditorium Restaurant every Friday night throughout the high school football season. The only statewide high school football scoreboard show in Mississippi will air from 10 p.m. until midnight in front of a live audience.
For ten years, host Russ Robinson has been giving listeners the latest scores and updates on Mississippi high school football. Robinson is joined this season by co-host Kim Tanner. Tanner is a veteran in sports broadcasting and has been the on-field reporter for the Mississippi High School Activities Association Championship football games for the last seven years.
The Auditorium Restaurant invites any high school football fan to come join the excitement by being a part of the studio. Admission is FREE and area high school teams, coaches and fans are encouraged to come and take part in this live broadcast. For a listing of radio stations where you can hear the show visit its website. The Auditorium is located in the historic Fondren District of Jackson, Mississippi at 622 Duling Avenue. For more information on The Auditorium and upcoming concerts and events go to The Auditorium's website or call 601-982-0002.
Sarah Palin gave a much-publicized speech in Hong Kong last week. While MSNBC and its apostles beat her up and tell you what she said, I'll follow the policy of Jackson Jambalaya and give you access to the original speech itself. Here is a transcript of the speech from Palin's Facebook page. She discusses the role of bailouts, fighting Islamic jihadism, Afghanistan, China policy, and free trade policy. Its worth reading and will give you a different picture of what she said than did the accounts provided by Time, MSNBC, and the rest of the media.Click Here to Read More..
Peter Kann, former publisher of the Wall Street Journal, penned a column in Saturday's edition on the future of newspapers and what is wrong with the newspaper industry. Copy of column Makes some very valid points that stand out in stark contrast to this earlier statement by the Clarion-Ledger's Ronnie Agnew. Kann writes:
"Imagine yourself the proprietor of a venerable and profitable business whose success is based on the quality of your distinctive product, the brand loyalty of your customers, and the fair price they are willing to pay for the value you provide.
Then you hire some bright young managers who develop a new and improved version of your product that can be distributed faster and accessed more conveniently than the old one. The new version—essentially a repackaging since core components are the same—appeals to traditional and new customers. No mystery there, since unlike the older version, for which you still charge, the new one is given away for free.
Consequently, your total customer base grows but your revenues do not. Your profits shrink as the free version lures customers from the paid one. You begin to wonder whether there might be a little flaw in your new business model, whether perhaps you should have charged for the new and improved version, but all the experts now tell you it is too late for that...."
The obvious choice is to change the model but everyone says you can't do that because the customers are used to getting their online information for free. They can be used to it all they want, right up until the day when their online sources go out of business. Kann continues:
"a business analyst landing here from Mars logically might question why an unwieldy newsprint product, stale as soon as it rolls off the press and not updated till another sun rises, should not be free whereas the new Internet product, offering all the same news plus more and evolving as does the news around the clock, should not be worth a pretty price? An even wiser Martian might conclude that customers should be given a choice, or offered a combination, but that they should be expected to pay for both...."
Seems as though I've written this before on this website. I compare it to offering MS Office 2007 for free while selling MS Office 97 for $150. Think that would allow Microsoft to stay in business for long? Kann blames newspapers for changing their models to depend more on advertising revenue:
"If publishers were at fault here for chasing ever larger audiences, editors and even reporters all too often were complicit. The list of modern journalistic flaws and failings is long, but surely includes the blurring of traditional lines between news and opinion and news and entertainment, predatory pack journalism, an undue emphasis on conflict rather than context, pessimism and cynicism (as differentiated from appropriate skepticism and criticism), social orthodoxy, elitism, flea-like attention spans, and more. Yes, the traditional newsprint medium was becoming less appealing, but its messages also were becoming less enlightening. (Gee, this wouldn't apply to our local newspaper, would it?)
In any case, by the time Internet editions arrived, the prevailing philosophy in most publishing companies already was that customers could not be expected to pay much for content, that it was easier simply to rely on advertising. The new Internet editions were merely the ultimate extension of that trend: free news to the consumer, total reliance on the advertiser...."
This of course led to the predictable outcome: fewer paying customers and even less advertising revenue as advertising revenue derived from the internet doesn't even come close to that gained from print editions. The newspapers lost more revenue when search sites such as Craig's List and Monster.com appeared on the horizon. Kann states the WSJ faced a dilemma over ten years ago: adopt a free version or charge subscription prices for the online editions:
"At the dawn of the era of online editions this newspaper, like all the others, was faced with a free or pay choice. At the time, I was chairman of Dow Jones, the Journal's parent company, and virtually alone we chose to charge for our online content. The reasons for this have been the subject of much ensuing speculation...."
People say, "yeah, but its the Wall Street Journal, of course they were successful in charging subscriptions. Such arguments miss the point. The key to the paper's success is it offers information not published anywhere else I.e., it is a unique product. Newspapers such as the Clarion-Ledger are in similar niches as no one else publishes the local news as thoroughly as they do:
"The real threat is to the future of news—informative, relevant, reliable news of the wider world around us. And that is disappearing as newspapers, whose reporting staffs still produce most of the news, no longer can afford to do so. As their news budgets and staffs continue to shrink, the key question is what can fill that gap?
Television does not begin to fill it. To the extent broadcast networks ever tried they now have abdicated to so-called cable news channels. These, in turn, now devote most of their resources to covering celebrities, crimes and sundry social trivia and to prime-time programming that pretends to be analysis and informed opinion while mostly offering the spectacle of extremist heads yelling at each other. There are few resources and even less commitment to covering significant news beyond floods and fires.
The Internet is not filling news vacuums either. There are hundreds upon hundreds of online sites and blogs that claim to provide news, but virtually none of them even pretend to pursue the traditional news role of newspapers, which is to invest in professional staffs dispersed around a community and across the country or the globe to cover, analyze, and only then comment on, events. Actually, all they do is comment. (He is correct. Lets be honest here. The blogs in Mississippi mainly publish opinion pieces and links to news articles. This blog has made an attempt to offer some original news stories but the goal is still to provide informed commentary, whether the informed part comes from other news sources or own investigative efforts.)
As to all the free online editions of our newspapers, their business model does not begin to cover the cost of significant news reporting. So the online editions with growing audiences—largely cannibalized from print audiences—rely on the poor print editions for almost all the news they give away. Sadly, there is less and less of that, and the ultimate loser, of course, is the public."
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The Wall Street Journal published an essay yesterday that thoroughly examines Israel's military options in attacking Iran:
"One of the fundamental problems dogging Israel, especially concerning short-ranged fighters and fighter-bombers, is distance. Iran's potential targets are between 950 and 1,400 miles from Israel, the far margin of the ranges Israeli fighters can reach, even with aerial refueling. Israel would be hard-pressed to destroy all of Iran's best-known targets. What's more, Iran has had years in which to build up covert facilities, disperse elements of its nuclear and missile programs, and develop options for recovering from such an attack.
Most analyses of a possible Israeli attack focus on only three of Iran's most visible facilities: its centrifuge facilities at Natanz, its light water nuclear power reactor near Bushehr, and a heavy water reactor at Arak it could use to produce plutonium. They are all some 950 to 1,000 miles from Israel. Each of these three targets differs sharply in terms of the near-term risk it poses to Israel and its vulnerability.......
srael has fighters, refueling tankers and precision-guided air-to-ground weapons to strike at all of these targets—even if it flies the long-distance routes needed to avoid the most critical air defenses in neighboring Arab states. It is also far from clear that any Arab air force would risk engaging Israeli fighters. Syria, after all, did not attempt to engage Israeli fighters when they attacked the reactor being built in Syria. In August 2003, the Israeli Air Force demonstrated the strategic capability to strike far-off targets such as Iran by flying three F-15 jets to Poland, 1,600 nautical miles away. Israel can launch and refuel two to three full squadrons of combat aircraft for a single set of strikes against Iran, and provide suitable refueling. Israel could also provide fighter escorts and has considerable electronic-warfare capability to suppress Iran's aging air defenses. It might take losses to Iran's fighters and surface-to-air missiles, but such losses would probably be limited.
Israel would, however, still face two critical problems. The first would be whether it can destroy a hardened underground facility like Natanz. The second is that a truly successful strike might have to hit far more targets over a much larger area than the three best-known sites. Iran has had years to build up covert and dispersed facilities, and is known to have dozens of other facilities associated with some aspect of its nuclear programs. Moreover, Israel would have to successfully strike at dozens of additional targets to do substantial damage to another key Iranian threat: its long-range missiles......" Essay
Notice the essay says nothing about the use of ground troops, special forces, anti- government elements in Iran, or submarine-launched cruise missiles (Article on cruise missile capability). Given how many years Iran has been on Israel's radar, especially for funding and supporting Hezbollah, I wouldn't bet the Mossad has much better intelligence than we do about Iran. Most of the so-called analysis on a possible attack focuses on air power and ignore other factors. Few operations that have been as heavily publicized as this one follow the predicted plan.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Florence King in National Review:
"But one thing I can't forgive is their Cult of the Book (They being grassroots conservatives.). As soon as I saw the "Ayn Rand was right" signs at one town hall meeting I knew: People who rarely read one book at all were reading Atlas Shrugged. I read it when it came out in '57 and still remember groaning halfway through "OK, I get it! You can stop now!". But Rand didn't and the grassy roots didn't. Some people read fifty books a year and others read one book fifty times, and you can always tell the difference by the pile-driving insistence on reiterating their points they bring to town hall meetings."
Conservative sourpuss or elitist? I report, you decide.
The Arkansas and LSU fans are having fun today. Spurrier outcoached Nutt last night. The Ole Miss D played very well and kept what should have been a blowout very close and gave the offense a chance to win the game. The offense looked sloppy and unfocused. Nutt waited until the fourth quarter to turn his best player loose then screwed the team with that stupid gimmick call at the end. Before the season I thought Ole Miss would lose four games as Nutt's teams at Arkansas tended to underachieve when they were picked to do very well and overachieved when they weren't picked to do well at all. In short, I've always thought of him as the Dale Brown of SEC college football coaches. The O Line better learn to block because Saban's defense will eat Snead alive if they play like they did last night.
I still pick LSU to lose four games. Bama and Florida are sure losses and UGA, Ole Miss, Auburn, and Arkansas probably have at least two more losses in there. A brand new starting qb (again) for LSU plus a defense that is improving but still learning new schemes and there is a certain level of intensity I'm not seeing.
Click Here to Read More..
Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Netanyahu's speech to the UN yesterday. He doesn't pull any punches in defending Israel. Meanwhile, here is a pretty good article on the growth of anti-Zionism and the hatred of Israel written by a former Director of the Simon Weisenthal Center.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Found this little gem online. I haven't forgotten what a nutjob Dale Brown was when he was the basketball coach at LSU but this article brings back some memories:
"Forty-one years passed, and Dale Brown heard the alarms ringing and the people shouting once more, this time about his conduct as LSU basketball coach. Both the FBI and the NCAA were on his campus, and the press and fans and other coaches were zeroing in on LSU and him. Where there's Dale Brown there's fire. "Everybody," says a rival SEC coach, "thinks he's cheating."
"Dale Brown is so vulnerable, they'll reopen Devil's Island if he's done anything wrong," says Al McGuire.
No longer did Brown hide when he felt threatened. He attacked. He telephoned reporters at all hours of the night to refute their stories. He cried again and again for reform of NCAA rules on scholarship athletes. He tape-recorded his phone calls and team meetings, stockpiling evidence. He threatened to reveal information that he said would buckle the country's top basketball universities.
He slapped his right biceps and demanded that the NCAA attach him to a polygraph machine in front of a roomful of witnesses. "I will resign right now if everything I've said isn't 100—ever hear a coach say this before?—100 percent honest. That's a pretty powerful statement I'm making. If the NCAA tries to nail me, I'll blow away the top 10 programs in the country. I could give them enough information [about other schools] to keep them busy for the next 2½ millennia.
See why I want to get out of coaching? I feel like I'm in the rifle scope of an assassin. I just want to be with my friends. Where else does a 50-year-old man chase a 17-year-old athlete? That's called pimpin' and hookin'. I hate it. When I go see another basketball game and watch the coach yelling at the referee and the players, I think, 'That's me. I must look like an absolute moron.' God, I'd be so happy to be in a village in Yugoslavia, sipping wine and eating bread and cheese. Why do I beat myself to death?..." Rest of article">
Click Here to Read More..
Money quote: "Worrying about what is going to happen five years from now, three years from now, is not the way to succesfully manage money today". Oooooook. Santelli was ganged up on pretty good.
If in Firefox and no video appears, watch in IE.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I added Calculated Risk to the feeds in the center column and removed the one from Commercial Property News. CR has been a very good source for much news in real estate and the economy. I'm going to leave it up at the top of the page before I move it down with the rest of the feeds. Enjoy.Click Here to Read More..
The Steadivest scrum heats up as Investlinc filed a Motion to Dismiss the Plaintiff's Complaint Friday in Rankin County Circuit Court. Several individuals who invested in Steadivest sued Marshall Wolfe, Jack Harrington, Joel Travelstead, Justin Adcock, the Steadivest companies, and Investlinc/TFS Investment Fund. Their lawsuit claims the defendants induced the plaintiffs to invest in Steadivest while hiding the true financial condition of the company as the defendants sold them worthless promissory notes. While the motion seeks to knock the complaint out of the court, it aims a withering barrage of fraud accusations against Mr. Wolfe and his fellow defendants. Earlier post on lawsuit, Motion to Dismiss
The Motion states Marshall Wolfe owned and managed the Steadivest Companies and worked for the company that "managed and invested monies for the Investlinc Fund - which is a distinct and separate entity from the Steadivest Companies." Investlinc then throws Mr. Wolfe under the bus: "As he did with the Steadivest Companies, Wolfe deceived, betrayed, and victimized the Investlinc Fund and its investors. Investlinc accuses the Plaintiffs of trying to hold Investlinc responsible for Mr. Wolfe's actions even though they invested their money in Steadivest, not Investlinc. Investlinc states Mr. Wolfe was never an officer or director of the Investlinc Fund and that the Plaintiffs are "mistaken" about this fact. Wolfe is accused of defrauding Investlinc:
"As losses mounted, Wolfe was not able to find enough new lenders/investors for the Steadivest Companies to fund interest and dividend payments. Wolfe's solution was to start fleecing the Investlinc Fund and its investors.... (p.9)
Once Wolfe cheated the Investlinc Fund of its money, the Steadivest companies could no longer make interest and dividend payments to their lenders/investors. His scheme collapsed and the companies imploded. The Steadivest Companies filed bankruptcy and the Investlinc Fund was stuck holding illiquid, non-income producing and defaulted junk loans and properties it purchases from the Steadivest Companies at grossly inflated prices."
One question to ask is exactly what was Mr. Wolfe's role in the Investlinc/TFS Income Fund LLC. According to the fund's SEC filing, the address is 4 Country Place in Pearl, the same as the address for the Steadivest companies. Tactical Financial Solutions is listed as the General/managing partner. Mr. Wolfe is listed as the sole member of TFS (Business ID# 902236), with Wolfe, Harrington, and McRaney listed as Executive Officers. Lee Paris is described as a promoter. Harrington signed the forms as Chief Financial Officer of TFS. It should be pointed out Investlinc is a broker/dealer company and Investlinc/TFS Income Fund is a hedge fund (therefore the Reg D filing), and that there are several other companies in Mississippi carrying the Investlinc name. However, it should be noted that the promoter of the Fund, Lee Paris, is listed as President of Investlinc Securities, LLC (Business ID#711010) on the Secretary of State's website. SEC filing for Investlinc/TFS Income Fund. Mr. Wolfe managed the fund but did not work for Investlinc Securities. It is rather confusing at times when there are soooo many companies with such similar names run out of the same office with the same managers and members.
Regardless of whether Wolfe worked for Investlinc, Investlinc didn't mince any words in its Motion in accusing Wolfe of "fleecing" Investlinc. If Investlinc does indeed think Wolfe committed fraud and is making these allegations in good faith, it should sue Mr. Wolfe if the Motion is denied.
Note: One interesting little fact is the day before Investlinc/TFS placed liens (Earlier post) on Steadivest properties (and signed for both companies in many cases), Mr. Paris set up Meadowbrook Capital, LLC and is listed as the sole member and CEO, according to its filing with the SOS and FINRA. According to FINRA, Meadowbrook and Investlinc Securities have the same address, 4266 I-55N, Suite 106 in Jackson. FINRA lists Meadowbrook Capital as the majority owner of Investlinc Securities. Thus, Mr. Paris is the majority owner of Investlinc Securities through Meadowbrook Capital. FINRA filing
Earlier post on Steadivest:
Steadivest: snakes or snake-bitten?
Steadivest defendants were disciplined in 2005
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
James Jennings, Jr. sued Hinds County Judge Houston Patton and former District Attorney Ed Peters in federal court last year. The lawsuit claimed Judge Patton illegally confined Jennings in order to "coerce him to forego a civil judgement" and that Peters engaged in a conspiracy with Patton to indict and prosecute Jennings under false pretenses. Original post. Peters filed a Motion to Dismiss on June 18, 2009, claiming "absolute immunity" as District Attorney from the lawsuit. Copy of Motion, Memo in support of motion
The Court ordered discovery halted while the Motion to Dismiss was adjudicated. Rebecca Cowan and Michael Myers filed an Entry of Appearance for Judge Patton. Judge Patton filed a Motion for Summary Judgement on September 4, 2009, claiming immunity from actions committed while on the bench and a failure by Jennings to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Copy of Motion for Summary Judgement
While Patton and Peters claim their divine rights, one should remember exactly what the Mississippi Bar published in its findings of fact concerning their treatment of Mr. Jennings. From an earlier post:
"The nightmare for James Jennings,Jr. began ( According to a finding of fact by the Mississippi Bar) "on September 24, 1993, as a judgement in favor of Jennings in the amount of $35,000 by Judge Houston Patton (p.4)...... Mississippi Bar's Finding of Fact
Jailtime for Jennings
Unfortunately, Jennings was unaware his ex-wife filed telephone harassment charges against him. On February 1, 1994, Justice Court Judge Clyde R. Chapman signed an order and mittimus to place Jennings in the county jail until a bond was posted.... (p.4) On February 11, Justice Court Judge Raymond Bates signed a warant for Jennings' arrest...... It should be pointed out Jenning's ex-wife then hired local attorney James Bell (remember him?). Jennings became the Man in the Iron Mask as Judge Patton sent Jennings back to jail without ever affording Jennings the opportunity to have counsel..... (p.6. He was imprisoned on March 5).
Ten days later, Jennings was still in jail. Bonds were refused, release orders were found, then revoked by judges. Jennings was tried in absentia. His new attorney was not allowed to represent him. Every legal trick in the book to keep Jennings in jail was used as he continued to rot in a Hinds hellhole. Finally his lawyer cornered Judge Patton on March 15. Ms. Pierce spoke with Judge Patton in the foyer of the Hinds County Courthouse and asked Judge Patton what it would do to get Jennings out of jail. Judge Paton replied "get the agreement (giving up his judgement of $35,000) signed." (p.9)
"It became clear to Ms. Pierce that in order for Jennings to be released he would have to give up his $35,000 judgement against Kenney. Mr. Kirstine (Jennings' other lawyer) drafted the agreement for Jennings to sign. Jennings at first emphatically refused to sign the agreement. After much protest, Jennings eventually signed the agreement and was then immediately released.
It is important to note that at no time during Jennings' incarceration was he ever charged or tried for any alleged conduct but instead was simply held in jail until he agree to give up his rightfully obtained judgement against Kenny. Jennings was apparently deprived of due process which would give rise to claims under 42 U.S. Code Section 1983." Jennings sat in jail for nearly two weeks as he became a pinata for Judge Patton and his judicial cronies.
Jennings later filed a complaint against Judge Patton with the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance and hired Jackson attorney Keith Shelton to represent him in a Section 1983 action against the Hinds County Jurist. It should be noted the narrative for this ordeal is taken directly from the Mississippi Bar's finding of fact and is not just hearsay or some outrageous claim made by Jennings. (There are many more details, including some that are very juicy, but in the interest of presenting a story easier to follow, they have been omitted from this post. Please read the rest of the findings and accompanying affidavits).
The Empire Strikes Back
While discussing a possible settlement of the lawsuit, Judge Patton informed Jennings' lawyer, Shelton, he would settle if he dropped the complaint with the Commission. It is a pretty well established point of judicial ethics in Mississippi that once a complaint is filed against a judge or lawyer, it cannot be dismissed by the person who signed the complaint. The two sides agreed to a sum of $25,000 for settlement, with Judge Patton paying Jennings $5,000 up-front and the rest in installments. Meanwhile, Judge Patton contacted law enforcement and told them Shelton and Jennings were attempting to extort him, while neglecting to mention he himself was the subject of an ethics complaint filed by Jennings and a possible Section 1983 lawsuit.
Patton wore a wire to the meeting. He paid Jennings the $5,000 and both parties signed the settlement agreement. Shelton and Jennings were later arrested and then indicted. The charges were later dismissed as Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Robert Taylor (served from 1982 to 2006). Taylor stated Judge Patton deviated from the script he was given. Taylor said he didn't understand why they were indicted and said seeking the indictments "was an egregious error". Taylor testified to the bar "it's clear in retrospect we didn't get the complete story."
Taylor revealed some other important facts in an internal memo:
"After examining the transcript of the conversation, it was determined that Judge Patton had deviated from the script given to him in many material ways. Also, it was agreed the suspects had not said things which were quite incriminating enough. Everyone who reviewd the case at that time, agreed there now was no case against either Shelton or Jennings. I was not one of the persons who reviewed the case. I know that Tommy Mayfield, Ed Peters, and another Assistant did. Again, it was agreed there was NO CASE.
Then for reasons which are unclear to me, and will never be clear, the case against Shelton and Jennings is presented with the recommendation of this office that True bills (indictments) be returned as to both defendants for Conspiracy and Bribery. This was in fact done....
This case lacks, and has never had any prosecutive merit. The decision to send it on to the Grand Jury was an egregious error......" Robert Taylor Memo (Kingfish note: Do any of these names sound familiar? See The Robbie Bell Case Family Tree)
However, Taylor also testified his boss, Ed Peters (who was D.A. when Jennings was arrested and indicted), would indict defendants on a "dare" just to see if he could get away with it. It should also be noted Taylor was a partner of Tom Royals when Royals defended Peters in the NASA case in the 1970's. See Ed Peters: Do Leopards Ever Change Their Spots? Taylor stated he was not sure who indicted Jennings, as it could have been one of any number of prosecutors but that once he became aware of the flaws and misrepresentations in the case, he moved to dismiss it."
A little bit different than what Peters and Patton claim in their motions. The Court has not ruled on their motions to dismiss the case.
Monday, September 21, 2009
The Mississippi Secretary of State disciplined and fined W. Marshall Wolfe, MTW Investment Financing, and Joel Travelstead $20,000 in 2005 for several violations of Mississippi securities laws. Wolfe and Travelstead are currently accused in a lawsuit (see link below) of defrauding investors for millions of dollars using methods similar to those described in the Consent Orders. Jackson Jambalaya obtained a copy of the orders through a public records request.
The Consent Order states:
David Hampton wrote in the Clarion-Ledger yesterday:
"That last one even got to the president. President Obama might have graciously accepted Wilson's apology, but called West a "jackass." He's right.
Sadly, "jackassery" seems rampant these days.
Experts say this is brought on not only by an obvious societal decline in good manners, but the Web that allows long-distance, anonymous personal attacks. I tend to agree. For such a wonderful tool to expand the marketplace of ideas, it seems to bring out the bullies, jerks and cowards who feel they have a right to say anything without being called on it."Click Here to Read More..
A very worrisome development noted by Zero Hedge today:
"The degree of intermediation by the Federal Reserve in the issuance of US Treasuries hit a record in Q2, accounting for just under 50% of all net UST issuance absorption. This is a startling number, as the Fed's $164 billion in Q2 Treasury purchases dwarfs the combined foreign/household UST purchases of $101 billion and $29 billion, respectively, over the same time period. In fact, the Fed was a greater factor in UST demand than all three traditional players combined: Foreigners, Households and Primary Dealers, which amounted to a $158 billion in net Q2 purchases..." Article
Translation: Obama-Bernanke-Geithner are creating money out of thin air to finance deficit spending.
Click Here to Read More..
Seems the Mayor of Wellford, SC has issued a no-chase policy to police officers and when she says no-chase, she means NO-chase, not even on foot:
"The Mayor of Wellford is defending her policy which bans police officers in that city from chasing suspects. Sallie Peake says the policy also includes vehicle chases along with pursuits on foot.
A memo issued on September 2nd from Peake to all Wellford officers reads:
“As of this date, there are to be no more foot chases when a suspect runs. I do not want anyone chasing after any suspects whatsoever.“...." Stupid-ass *#&$*
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Imagine my surprise when I read this (and read it word for word) column by local rapper and developer Kamikaze over at the Jackson Free Press titled "Don't be a jerk":
"We have become a society that applauds bad behavior. We have become a nation that shuns decorum and champions those who break rank with tact. We have become a country that no longer respects authority, title or office. We live among people who have lost respect for their fellow man. We no longer have the ability or desire to disagree without being disagreeable. Some say they breathe the breath of patriots but encourage their children to not respect the office of president.
We elect lawmakers who teach our kids that adults can and will act like children when they don't get their way. Shouting, yelling, threatening, lying, stealing, cheating have become the rule and not the exception. It disgusts me. It further disgusts me that people have tolerance for it or make excuses for it.....
In the past week, America has witnessed several instances of rudeness. No matter what color, what creed, what religion, or tax bracket you are in, we (at least I) expect every human being to least conduct themselves as if they have some modicum of home-training. Its not a "black" thing as some folks have tried to pin it. Not an "artist" thing. Not an "athlete" thing. Whether or not someone else would have been treated differently is irrelevant. You don't put out a fire by starting another one as a distraction. Wrong is wrong, and being uncouth is being uncouth....
The bottom line is this. We have to start rewarding, showcasing and reporting good, proper behavior. We have become a nation where some men( and women) have no honor. We have to do better. We have to set a better example for our kids. How? By letting them know that you do "not" mistake rudeness, brazen, callous, uncouth or tacky behavior for genius, nonconformity, rebellion, activism or uniqueness. Just because you're loud doesn't mean you're "saying" anything. It just means you're an ass.
And that's the truth ... sho-nuff" Rest of column
Surprised? Why would I be surprised by a well-written column in which Kamikaze makes some very good points (although Serena needs to win a grand slam first before she can lay claim to being the greatest of all-time)? I am surprised because I seem to remember some things Kaze said a long time ago about President Bush. A long time ago if you can describe 2007 as such. Does anyone remember this (Taken from Kaze's Myspace page):
"Sunday, September 09, 2007
KAMIKAZE IN TROUBLE FOR BUSH BASHING...AGAIN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hip-hop artist and activist Kamikaze of Jackson, MS, was suspended indefinitely from the Kim Wade Show on Jackson's WJNT-Talk radio (1180 AM) for anti-Bush comments. Following a month-long tour of the Czech Republic, Kamikaze was set to return as Wade's co-host, but was informed just moments before going on the air. The reprimand, which stemmed from one angry listener, was based on comments Kamikaze made in his blog.
In it, Kamikaze blasted President Bush's foreign policies and encouraged fans to scream "f**k George Bush" during his shows.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that Kamikaze has come under fire for his anti-Bush commentary. In October, he was temporarily banned from Millsaps College in Jackson during an on-campus concert. http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/comments/php?id=10963_0_4_0_C
As a rebuttal, Kamikaze has recorded a new song, "Take Me Away (Mr. President)" that will serve as an open letter to the Commander-In-Chief. The song will be posted Friday and available for downloading at www.myspace.com/mrshonuff601
Says Kamikaze, "Freedom of speech no longer exists in this country. I just toured a country that used to be under communist rule and they appreciated hearing someone speak out against a government...against a president", Kamikaze says. "I don't know if im being singled out but its unfortunate that the station caved to some random callers who disagreed with my viewpoints, but as I remember it that's what this country was founded on. If somebody hadn't spoke out against the government centuries ago, we'd still be ruled by a king and under British rule!"
In fact, one comment on Kaze's Myspace stated: "SHOOT GEORGE BUSH! I hate that bastard! Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on Saturday, September 15, 2007 - 8:41 AM " Myspace comment
Mr. Kaze did not repudiate nor delete the comment threatening the President on his Myspace page. Here is what Kaze said in his original column that got him kicked off the air:
"As many know, I simply must give my George Bush speech at my shows. I feel it is my duty. Turns out, folks here are none too enamored with Bush, either. Imagine a club full of eager hip-hop-goers screaming “f**k George Bush” and me leading the chant. Sean Hannity would call for my head as a traitor; Bill O’Reilly would call for my music to be banned and my WJNT co-host Kim Wade would call me a “looney on the left.” Column, Blog
Seems as though when Obama wasn't President, Mr. Kamikaze had no problem being "uncouth" or "an ass". Its hard to take Kamikaze seriously when he calls for more decorum as he didn't exactly repudiate his past behavior. If Kamikaze wants to lecture the rest of us on how to criticize the President and act in public, perhaps he should look in the mirror first, read his own columns, apologize for his behavior, and then lead by example. And that is the truth, sho-nuff.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Matt Eichelberger was voted best criminal defense attorney in Jackson in a recent JJ poll. Second place went to Rob McDuff and Sam Wilkins placed third. It should be noted hours before voting ended Mr. Mcduff enjoyed a 30 vote lead when in the space of one hour over fifty votes were entered for the erstwhile Hinds County public defender.
THE Matt Eichelberger
This great video is an internet classic:
Now Mr. Schiff is running for the U.S. Senate against Dodd:
Who should be in the Senate? One of the main players who caused this crisis in government or someone who told us what was going to happen even when ridiculed by everyone on tv?
Friday, September 18, 2009
I must be getting senile as this little story has been sitting over at Mississippi Litigation Review for a week and I completely missed it. Local attorney Philip Thomas reported:
"The jury's verdict was for $3,333,189.00. It was a general verdict form, so there was no break-down of the verdict into separate categories. The judgment states that $612,500 was previously paid to the plaintiff on behalf of the losing defendants (Joe Ed Carter and M&A Trucking, Inc.). Therefore, the Court reduced the verdict to $2,720,689 and the judgment was for that amount. The case was filed in 2000, so the tort reform caps do not apply to the judgment.
I do not know what any potential appeal issues are, but Judge Samac Richardson is not reversed often and the plaintiff's attorney (John Toney) is very respected in the legal community. Also, Rankin County juries are as conservative as they get. I would be very surprised if this case is reversed on appeal.
Here is a link to the Mississippi Department of Corrections' profile on Mr. Carter. It states that Mr. Carter was sentenced to 20 years in prison for vehicular homicide and 15 years for aggravated assault."
Copy of judgement
I spoke to Judge Toney (He used to be a Circuit Judge in Rankin County.) about the case after reading this story and learned some more about the background of this case (It must be pointed out he was very nice and extremely helpful.). Judge Toney sent me the following statement:
"The jury on August 27, 2009, awarded $3,333,189 to the McCrory family for the death of Courtney McCrory.
Courtney was the 19 year-old daughter of Cecil and Janis, sister to Josh. She was a student at USM at the time of her death studying to become a paramedic.
Courtney's death resulted from a traffic accident which occurred on April 7, 2000 at the intersection of Highway 49 South and Main Street (Hwy 469) in Florence. She was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a tractor-trailer rig being driven by Joe Ed Carter, an employee of M&A Trucking, Inc. of Canton, MS. Carter ran the red light at the intersection while traveling South on Hwy 49.
Carter was arrested at the scene and charged with DUI Homicide. He was convicted and was sentenced to serve a term of 20 years.
Cecil McCrory currently is a member of the Rankin County School Board, a former legislator, and former Justice Court Judge. Josh McCrory presently serves as a Justice Court Judge.
The McCrory family intends to establish a scholarship fund in Courtney's name to perpetuate her legacy of caring and sharing."
It should be pointed out the Pogue estate has been submitted to probate in the Rankin County Chancery Court and is represented by Ashland attorney John Farese. It is clear from reading the file Mr. Farese is preparing to file a Wrongful Death action against the Irby's in the same court, thus this verdict is probably a good indicator of how such an action will fare in terms of damages if a verdict is returned for the plaintiffs.
Having said that, our hearts and prayers do go out to the McCrory family as this trial was not easy for them.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
For once David Hampton and Donna Ladd agree on something:
David Hampton: Save me from the blogs
Donna Ladd: Tablogging is dangerous
Disclaimer: titles above are not actual quotes or attributions but satire penned by moi.
I think when it comes to accuracy and telling the whole story both of their publications have a good deal of work to do before they start throwing stones at blogs.
The plaintiffs in the Steadivest Lawsuit filed a Notice of Deposition in Rankin County Circuit Court for Justin Adcock and Jack Harrington for September 30, 2009.
The link below is one of the exhibits in the lawsuit. It was pointed out on this blog earlier that the exhibits were not included in earlier posts, so the posting of said exhibits (which are submitted by the plaintiffs with their lawsuit and not by the defense) will commence. Since each exhibit is many pages, they will not be posted all at one time but instead at regular intervals so readers can scrutinize and digest each one. This particular exhibit is the Proforma Statement issued by Steadivest in December, 2007.
Copy of Notices and Proforma Exhibit
Earlier posts on Steadivest:
Did Steadivest use shell games to shield assets from creditors?
Steadivest: Snakes or snake-bitten?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Click Here to Read More..
September 11th marked the second anniversary of Heather Spencer's tragic beating and murder. In an effort to keep her memory alive, HeathersTree.org is hosting the 2nd annual "Soulshine Memorial Concert" on October 17th at Hal & Mals. A silent auction will be held as well. All proceeds will be donated to the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
This is where the Jackson Jambalaya readers come into play. I'm challenging our local business owners to either donate an item for the silent auction or make donations of any kind. Go to heatherstree.org for details, as they are accepting items now. Also, anyone can easily make a donation on the website using PayPal. Easy as eBay!
I did not know Heather, or anyone involved and am not associated with Heather's Tree. Yet this case, like all domestic violence cases, pulls at my heart and strikes a nerve with me that I cannot explain. I know the same goes for a lot of JJ followers here. So let's not just talk about how it's such a shame while saying "gosh, I wish there was some way I could help", but rather actually DO something. It is estimated that 1 in every 4 women in Mississippi are victims of these pathetic abusers. Until I can personally travel the state and individually kick every one of THEIR asses (sorry), let's do all we can to promote awareness and eradicate domestic abuse while honoring Heather's memory. Pony up, business owners.
(And the video? one of my favorite songs, enjoy...)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Tonight: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade at 8:00 PM. Enjoy some food and drink (and by that I mean a real drink) and come support this little gem over in Fondren.
Become a fan of The Auditiorium. Join The Auditorium's Facebook page.
Realtytrac reported Mississippi ranked 43rd in foreclosure filings last month. The number of foreclosure filings increased 3.14% from July 2009 and 108% from August 2008. Report However, Mississippi still fared better than the rest of the country in terms of foreclosure activity.Click Here to Read More..
Monday, September 14, 2009
Robbie Bell filed a Motion to Dismiss Elizabeth Hall's lawsuit against her in Hinds County Circuit Court Friday. The motion states:
"2. Plaintiff claims that Defendant breached a legal duty owed to Plaintiff by not alerting authorities when Defendant's son, George Bell, III, allegedly left Defendant's house to kidnap Plaintiff. Plaintiff further claims that while Plaintiff was allegedly being held captive at Defendant's house, Defendant breached a legal duty owed to Plaintiff by not alerting authorities.
3. Assuming all facts alleged in the Complaint are true, which is denied, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against Defendant upon which relief can be granted.
4. Assuming all facts alleged in the Complaint are true, which is denied, Defendant owed no legal duty to Plaintiff and/or Defendant's alleged braeach of legal duty was not the proximate cause of any alleged damage to the Plaintiff." (Motion will be uploaded later today.)
The motion was filed on September 11, 2009, two years to the day after Heather Spencer was murdered by Robbie Bell's son. The timing of the motion's filing says more about Ms. Bell's character than anything in the motion itself. Bell and Burwell's actions are disgusting and show what despicable lengths Ms. Bell will go to in order to win this fight. Copy of police report
Earlier post on lawsuit
Click Here to Read More..
Start at 6:00 minute mark. Santelli is great.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Good job, Obama. The unions are going to wind up screwing you as they have the rest of us. Look at what our esteemed President did:
"Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama placed tariffs of 35 percent on $1.8 billion of automobile tires from China, acting on a labor union complaint that surging imports were pushing U.S. factory workers out of their jobs.
The additional duties will begin Sept. 26 and last for three years, dropping 5 percentage points a year, according to a White House statement.." Article
Nothing like sticking a finger in the eye of the country financing your deficit spending. Leadership is about making tough choices and once again, Obama failed miserably as it was more important to pay off his union buddies than to not anger the Chinese. The same Chinese that are our biggest purchaser of treasuries, the same treasuries that Obama has to sell to finance his health care plan, so-called stimulus plan, and all those trillions of dollars in budget deficits. Wonder what he will do when the Chinese cut him off and suddenly he has no money. Hope those tires were worth it.
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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.
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.