For a collection of all health care bill readings, see sidebar on the right side of the page.
Here is this morning's reading of the new health care law. Feel free to clarify or post corrections to anything I write as I'm definitely not an expert on this but rather an ignorant layman trying to make sense of it.
Page 20. Section 2713: Coverage of preventive health services. The law mandates insurance plans "shall at a minimum provide coverage for and shall not impose any cost sharing requirements for-" (That means no copays or deductibles.) services that have a rating of A or B in the current recommendations of the U.S. Preventative Task force." Don't know what that is? Well, go to this link to see if the service is covered under this section. By the way, there is not a list under "A" or a list under "B" but instead you have to click on each service to check the rating. How convenient. This section also covers child immunizations, preventative care and screenings for women and breast cancer screenings. A new recommendation does not have to be covered by the insurer until one year after its creation.
Page 22. Section 2714: Extension of Dependent Coverage. Here it is. Read it and weep if you are a parent: "A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage that provides dependent coverage of children shall continue to make such coverage available for an adult child (who is not married) until the child turns 26 years of age." But don't worry, the law does state in the next sentence that the plan does not have to cover the child of the child covered so if your 24 year-old single daughter has a baby, don't worry, your insurance will not cover her kid. Thank goodness for the tough cost containment measures in this law.
Page 23. Section 2715: Development and Utilization of Uniform Explanation of Coverage Documents and Standardized Definitions. Within one year after this bill became law, the government will issue "standards" for use by health insurers and provide to enrollees a summary of benefits and coverage. Wow, it even mandates how the standards shall be described: summary can't be more than four pages. Yup, four. Print can't be smaller than 12-point font. Damned if they aren't meticulous in looking out for our interests. Language MUST be understandable. The rest of the section deals with notice requirements. Failure to comply will result in a fine of $1,000 for each failure. Each failure is obviously a separate offense.
Page 29. Section 2716: Prohibition of discrimination based on salary. Can't offer plans that "are based on the hourly or annual salary of the employee or otherwise establish eligibility rules that have the effect of discrimination in favor of higher wage employees." However, it DOES allow employees making less money to contribute less than those with higher salaries. Translation: Everyone gets the same plan. No more Mercedes plans for upper management who pay little for them while factory workers get plans with smaller coverage.
Question: Will section 2716 apply to state and local governments since too often politicians get much better benefits packages than do the actual employees. Then there are colleges and universities. Some local private ones known for being cheapskates on employee pay and benefits while giving sweet deals to their presidents immediately come to mind.
That's it for today. You're going to looooove the next section, which will be covered tomorrow. Copy of bill.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
For a collection of all health care bill readings, see sidebar on the right side of the page.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Ok, here's the deal. The health care debate was not much of a debate. It's hard to debate something when there are umpteen versions of a bill floating around, countless amendments, talking points, sound bites and the fact that almost NO ONE actually READ the bill. Well guess what we are going to do here on Jackson Jambalaya? We are going to read the damn bill. I'm going to start reading and posting up here. Might be five pages a day, might be fifty pages. There is no set pace here but we are going to read through it if it takes six months. It's 2400 pages so it's going to take us a while. I am reading from this bill when I study the bill. Let's get started.
Pages 1-18: Table of contents.
Page 19: No annual or lifetime limits on benefits. "GENERAL.—A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not establish—
‘‘(1) lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits for any participant or beneficiary; or
‘‘(2) unreasonable annual limits (within the meaning of section 223 of the Internal Revenue Code 1 of 1986) on the dollar value of benefits for any participant or beneficiary." Link to section 223.
What exactly is reasonable? Whatever a court or the government says it is. If no limit can be placed on services at all, what will happen to demand for said services? Better yet, what will happen to insurer if said demand rises and it can't raise revenue (through premium increases or other sources) enough to pay for the increased expenses? However, section b does say that a plan that is not required to provide "health benefits under section 1302(b) of the PPACA from placing limits." SO what is 1302(b)? Let's go find out. Section 1302(b) is on page 105: "Essential Health Benefits Requirements". Only plan referred to as not facing such a requirement in (b) is stand-alone dental plans. There are other plans mentioned in Section 1302 such as catastrophic but they are not in section b. However, section 223 of the IRS code does provide some limits, depending on the type of plan. (Usually health savings accounts or high-deductible plans).
Page 19: Section 2712: Prohibition on Rescissions. Health insurer can not "rescind" a "plan or coverage with respect to an enrollee once the enrollee is covered under such plan or coverage involved" unless fraud or material misrepresentation occurs.
That is enough for one day. Feel free to comment or point out relevant facts. I'm not an expert, not pretending to be one, just want to read the bill and see what is in it. This is going to be a long discussion as I point out what is in the bill and ask for comments. Clarifications are definitely welcome.
The American Spectator reports yesterday in its "Washington Prowler" feature that apparently the Democrats don't know what is in the health care bill and are getting slapped a little bit by reality:
"The White House political and legislative operations were said to be livid with the announcement by several large U.S. companies that they were taking multi-million or as much as a billion dollar charges because of the new health-care law, the issue was front-and-center with key lawmakers. By last Friday, AT&T, Caterpillar, Deere & Co., and AK Steel Holding Corp. had all announced that they were taking the one-time charges on their first-quarter balance sheets. More companies were expected to make similar announcements this week.
"These are Republican CEOs who are trying to embarrass the President and Democrats in general," says a White House legislative affairs staffer. "Where do you hear about this stuff? The Wall Street Journal editorial page and conservative websites. No one else picked up on this but you guys. It's BS."
On Friday White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett were calling the CEOs and Washington office heads of the companies that took the financial hits and attacked them for doing so. One Washington office head said that the White House calls were accusatory and "downright rude."
The companies are taking the charges because in 2013 they will lose a tax deduction on tax-free government subsidies they have had when they give retirees a Medicare Part D prescription-drug reimbursement. Many of these companies have more than 100,000 retirees each. AT&T may have more than three-quarters of a million retirees to cover.
"Most of these people [in the Administration] have never had a real job in their lives. They don't understand a thing about business, and that includes the President," says a senior lobbyist for one of the companies that announced the charge. "My CEO sat with the President over lunch with two other CEOs, and each of them tried to explain to the President what this bill would do to our companies and the economy in general. First the President didn't understand what they were talking about. Then he basically told my boss he was lying. Frankly my boss was embarrassed for him; he clearly had not been briefed and didn't know what was in the bill."
It isn't just the President who didn't understand his own proposal. Late Friday, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Rep. Bart Stupak, chairman of the Oversight and Investigations panel, announced that they would hold hearings in late April to investigate "claims by Caterpillar, Verizon, and Deere that provisions in the new health care reform law could adversely affect their company's ability to provide health insurance to their employees."
Neither Waxman or Stupak -- who betrayed the pro-life community by negotiating for more than a week with the White House to ensure his vote on the health care bill -- had anything more than a cursory understanding of how the many sections of the bill would impact business or even individual citizens before they voted on the bill, says House Energy Democrat staff. "We had memos on these issues, but none of our people, we think, looked at them," says a staffer. "When they saw the stories last week about the charges some of the companies were taking, they were genuinely surprised and assumed that the companies were just doing this to embarrass them. They really believed this bill would immediately lower costs. They just didn't understand what they were voting on."
Monday, March 29, 2010
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Ashley Conroy, WLBT's statewide reporter, covers the story broken on JJ last week about Medicaid's secret cuts to health care providers. Earlier post, Copy of document outlining cuts distributed to health care providers. This website is the only one that provided the document.
**Exclusive. No reprint of reports without permission from Jackson Jambalaya**
JJ has obtained a copy of both accident reconstruction reports in the Irby case. The first one states JPD officer Christopher Barnhart was the investigator and E. Martin was the officer on the scene. Hinds County Deputy Sheriff Michael Huff took the measurements used in both reports.
There are interesting facts in the reports. Officer Barnhart states "Jackson Police Communications contacted me at my residence, in reference to this collision on February 11, 2009, 2236 hours, at which time my assistance was requested in reconstructing this collision. I went to the scene and I began my investigation." JJ has learned Barnhart was not on call that night and was the least experienced accident reconstruction officer at JPD. The Irby wreck was the first accident reconstruction case for Barnhardt. The question must be asked why JPD went out of its way to assign the case to Officer Barnhart for what it knew would be a high-profile case, when it had more experienced officers available to be utilized first if such a wreck occurred.
Barnhart also admits he was the one who ordered the BAC test for Mrs. Irby. However, Barnhart makes a mistake on page eight of the report. He states Mrs. Irby was guilty of a DUI 1st Offense Refusal in 1997. As JJ pointed out in an earlier post, Mrs. Irby was convicted in a Rankin County Justice Court of the offense BUT was acquitted when it was appealed to County Court in Rankin County and the prosecution dismissed the case. The rest of the report is pretty straightforward as it states his conclusion the speed was 114 mph (no calculations are included although he does state the formula used) and Mrs. Irby's driving caused the wreck.
The measurement data starts on page twelve of the report. It states the data was measured on February 16, 2009, five days after the accident. Deputy Michael Huff measured the scene while JPD officers Barnhart and Joe Cotten were present. Sources have also informed JJ Huff was used because no one at JPD was qualified to use the machine to take the measurements. The report also has no photographs whatsoever of the scene or the marks.
Hinds County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Huff submitted the second report on March 12, 2010. It confirms the left front tire of the Mercedes was missing from the car. It was this tire that was not included in evidence. One can only speculate why JPD did not obtain the tire nor include it in the evidence submitted for the case. Huff states "I then used the critical speed formula to calculate the Irby Mercedes speed to be 70 miles per hour." This was important as the lower speed probably would not support a depraved heart murder charge and explains why the District Attorney indicted Mrs. Irby for Aggravated DUI/Death the day before her guilty plea.
It should be noted Officer Barnhart is currently the subject of some recent controversy. WLBT reported he was recently assigned to the dog pound (that is the dog pound in Jackson, not the dawg pound. Have to spell that out for State fans, you know) after he engaged in unprofessional conduct during the recent visit to Jackson by the First Lady. JJ has also learned (ready for this?), Barnhardt filed an EEOC complaint against the city of Jackson for his transfer to the dog pound. It is safe to say the JPD officer will be the subject of much scrutiny for some time to come.
Copy of reports
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Want some wild reading? Here is the online text of Pawns in the Game by William Carr. Written in the 1950's, it is one of the ultimate conspiracy theory books about the Illuminati. Its pretty funny, has no sources and few footnotes but don't worry, it speaks THE TRUTH as Carr puts it. Enjoy.Click Here to Read More..
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A few years ago reporter Carole Carr tried to ambush Mac in an interview. Lesson for you reporters, don't try this at home. Carr found herself screaming Mac was at the wrong ambush site as he smoked out her ambush and bushwacked her. Its pretty funny.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
It was a somber day in Judge Tomie Green's courtroom yesterday as Karen Irby pleaded guilty to two counts of Culpable Negligent Manslaughter in the deaths of Dr.'s Daniel Mark Pogue and Lisa Dedousis. Judge Green explained her plea to her and made sure she understood the choice she was making. She answered Judge Green in a cracking voice, obviously overwhelmed. She admitted to drinking "two glasses of wine" and driving too fast. Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith told Judge Green he had no sentencing recommendation, thus leaving Karen Irby to the court's mercy.
Mrs. Irby went through her hell alone as her husband, Stuart M. Irby, stayed away from the courtroom. While justice was served, there was no victory here, no reason to celebrate, just a numbing sense of tragedy about something that should never have happened. Two doctors who should be enjoying their marriage vows and helping others, a mother at home with two kids, a family legacy once well respected in Jackson, all destroyed. In the end, Judge Green accepted the plea and ordered her to appear on May 11, 2010 for sentencing. Judge Green allowed her to remain confined under house arrest. The law allows Judge Green to sentence Mrs. Irby up to twenty years per count in this case.
Mr. Smith admitted afterwards the state's case changed when several facts were discovered, facts that formed the foundation of the prosecution's case. He stated Mrs. Irby's speed was 70 mph, not the 114 mph figure quoted earlier and claimed there were several errors in the investigation. The untold story of this case is how the prosecution saved a case set to blow up when it got to court.
Sheriff Malcolm McMillin was Chief of JPD at the time of the accident. The Irby family was one of the Sheriff's largest campaign donors over the years. When the wreck took place, JPD did not start taking measurements for the reconstruction until five days later. The officer chosen for the task was Chris Barnhardt. There is little doubt Barnhardt was chosen for the task as he states in his report, "Jackson Police Communications contacted me at my residence, in reference to this collision, February 11, 2009, 2236 hours, at which time my assistance was requested in reconstructing the collision. I went to the scene and began my investigation."
Sources have informed JJ this was Barnhardt's first accident reconstruction. This correspondent has also learned Barnhardt was not state certified for accident reconstruction, as he flunked part of the qualifying test, although he did possess another certification. (It is supposedly given in three parts. He did not pass one of them.) Barnhardt reported Mrs. Irby's speed at 114 mph. The speed was the basis for the Depraved Heart Murder indictment, as driving 114 mph in that area would probably meet the criteria for the charge. This is the same JPD officer who recently got in trouble for unprofessional behavior while on duty during the recent visit by Michelle Obama. (He was reassigned to the dog pound.)
The D.A.'s office discovered the speed Barnhardt reported was wrong. It caught a break in that the officer who recorded the measurement data in Barnhardt's report was Michael Huff, an expert in accident reconstruction and Hinds County Deputy Sheriff. Mr. Huff calculated the speed to be 70 mph, 10 mph under what would be double the speed limit (40 mph) but a far cry from the previously reported speed of 114 mph. The reduction in speed caused the prosecution to reindict Mrs. Irby under the charge of Aggravated DUI as it didn't think a speed of 70 mph in a 40 mph zone would meet a prima facia case of Depraved Heart Murder. (This was the new indictment Judge Green referred to in the hearing.)
Mr. Huff's work enabled the District Attorney to save his case, as there is no doubt Joe Holloman would have blown Barnhardt's report and much of the prosecution's case to bits. Mr. Holloman had subpoenaed the measurement data and stated he was obtaining the services of an accident reconstruction expert. Such an expert would have completely discredited the District Attorney's allegation that Mrs. Irby was driving 114 mph and gone a long way in earning an acquittal for the defense. Sources have also informed JJ that a tire showing "yaw" marks was at the scene but was not included in the evidence. However, the "errors" did not end with tires and accident 'rithmetic.
The blood samples for Mrs. Irby were placed in vials with labels showing them to be expired. There is no doubt Holloman would have taken advantage of this and probably gotten the BAC results showing .09 thrown out by Judge Green as well. The prosecution discovered several weeks ago there was an earlier blood test taken at the hospital and subpoenaed the results. The earlier test showed a higher BAC. One can only wonder why the expired vials were used as they would have severely compromised the prosecution's case if used in court.
It is frankly hard to believe these "errors" were mistakes. McMillin's department used the least-qualified officer for accident reconstruction it could find, waited several days to conduct the accident reconstruction, used the wrong marks to calculate the speed of Mrs. Irby's car, placed the blood samples for the BAC test in vials with expired labels, and waited three hours to draw said samples for the test. If Mac was trying to throw the case for one of his best campaign donors and long-time friends, there are few other steps JPD could have taken in the investigation that would have betrayed the prosecution's case when it went to court. WLBT tried to reach McMillin yesterday for comment but was told he was out of town.
In the end, however, it was Karen Irby who stood before a packed courtroom, Judge Green and God as she admitted to ending the two lives of two wondeful people while her husband and McMillin were nowhere to be found. While Mrs. Irby answered for her actions yesterday, one can only wonder if others will answer for their actions as well.
Note: Lets not forget this little gem about campaign donations. Wonder if Bert will ask the Sheriff some more softball questions. "Do you think their contributions have affected your judgement?" Gee Bert, what did you think he was going to say? YES?
AND who can forget this WAPT classic?
It was close but Larry Bird narrowly edged Michael Jordan in the latest JJ poll asking who the best basketball player was. I disagreed with both choices as I voted for Magic Johnson. However, I was obviously in the minority.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Will explain this one later. The Wolf is on this mf.
Update: Going to write about this one in a while. What I will say at this time is that Christopher Barhnardt, yes, that guy, conducted the first accident reconstruction. Turned out he had used the wrong mark to calculate speed. When the D.A. went back to recalculate the speed, the error was discovered. JJ has also learned that Officer Barnhardt had flunked a portion of the state test for becoming certified in accident reconstruction although he was certified elsewhere.
Several sources have also informed JJ that Officer Barnhardt tried to charge the plaintiff's $2,500 for his deposition in the civil lawsuit. Mr. Barnhardt eventually testified for free.
1. Sentencing May 11
2. Plead guilty to two counts of culpable negligent manslaughter.
3. State made no sentencing recommendation. Completely up to Judge Green.
4. Stuart M. Irby did not show up.
5. Karen Irby can't drive.
97-3-47. Homicide; all other killings.
"Every other killing of a human being, by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, and without authority of law, not provided for in this title, shall be manslaughter."
§ 97-3-25. Homicide; penalty for manslaughter.
"Any person convicted of manslaughter shall be fined in a sum not less than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than one year, or both, or in the penitentiary not less than two years, nor more than twenty years."
"Culpable negligence is defined as "the conscious and wanton or reckless disregard
of the probabilities of fatal consequences to others as a result of the wilful creation of an unreasonable risk thereof." Smith v. State, 197 Miss. 802, 816, 20 So. 2d 701, 705, (1945)."
JJ can also report there is no agreed upon sentence. That will be entirely up to Judge Green.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
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The Wall Street Journal had a few things to say yesterday in an editorial about the Build America Bonds program (Hinds County and other Mississippi governments are using the program.):
"Obama Administration and Congress are moving to subsidize even more federal and municipal borrowing through a program called Build America Bonds. These are a new type of state and local municipal bond, authorized by the 2009 fiscal stimulus bill as a temporary way to help open credit markets that were frozen. They no doubt did some good in the crisis, but naturally the politicians can't leave well enough alone and now want to make it permanent.
Unlike traditional munis, these new bonds aren't tax-exempt but rather carry a direct federal subsidy of one-third of their interest payments. Thus on a bond with a 7% interest rate, the issuing city government pays roughly 4.5% of the interest, and the feds pay 2.5%. These bonds also expand the pool of muni bond purchasers to nontaxable entities, such as pension funds, foundations and foreign investors. Conventional munis are mostly purchased by individuals in high-tax brackets. Treasury is proposing to reduce the federal subsidy to 28% of the interest but make it permanent..... (Got that? the federal government is trying to insert itself and take over part of the muni bond market. Wonder how long it will be before the federal government starts placing "conditions" on the subsidy.).
Meanwhile, Wall Street firms have pocketed more than $1 billion in fees in less than a year from selling the bonds. Average underwriting fees are $8.20 per $1,000, according to a March 10 Journal story, compared with traditional tax-exempt fees of between $5 and $6 per $1,000. Goldman Sachs, a major Build America Bonds underwriter with some $10 billion in sales, has taken out advertisements urging Congress to make the program bigger and permanent. This is one banker bonus the politicians don't seem to mind.
We aren't surprised that everyone with government connections is happy when Washington pays cities and states to borrow more money. But no one mentions the downside: Build America Bonds will add hundreds of billions of dollars of new liabilities to the balance sheets of cities, states and Uncle Sam....." Column
Meanwhile, Florida decided to forgo the bonds for now because its not sure if the Feds could take part of the money raised from the bonds for moneys owed it for other programs. Suppose the state had a dispute with the federal government over Medicaid funding and it was argued the state owed $20 million. There is a serious question as to whether the federal government could seize that $20 million from the bond proceeds even though it was for a different program:
"Florida, a frequent issuer of federally subsidized Build America Bonds, is temporarily suspending its use of the highly successful program, state Finance Director Ben Watkins said Thursday.
Mr. Watkins told a Florida municipal bond conference, and then Dow Jones in a telephone interview, that he is "uncomfortable" with an Internal Revenue Service "offset" rule that he believes would let the federal government subtract from the bond subsidy any monies the state may owe it for other programs, such as Medicaid or Medicare.
Mr. Watkins said he has been asking for clarification of the rule for weeks and hasn't received any response other than being "shuffled around."
Given his uncertainty, he said, he decided to cancel a combined sale next week of $265 taxable new-money Build America Bonds and $160 million of tax-exempt refunding bonds..." Article
Hope Hinds County and the rest of Mississippi don't get addicted to this stuff.
Someone made a comment recently on this site:
"While drinking and dining together tonight, Speaker Billy McCoy, FB's David Waide and an assortment of other political types were over heard discussing David Waide's plans to run for Governor in 2011 as an Independent...scary!!! March 23, 2010 9:48 PM"
Hmmm........ now why would the most die-hard Democrat in the Mississippi Legislature do this if true? Couldn't be Waide is running for them so he can pull a bunch of rural white male votes away from the Republican nominee for Governor in 2011, could it?
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Mississippi Division of Medicaid held an invitation-only meeting for health care providers yesterday afternoon. The meeting was announced on short notice and only a select few were allowed to attend, approximately fifty in all. Medicaid distributed this spreadsheet and informed those present the cuts would take place on April 1 and remain in place through the end of the state fiscal year, June 30. Medicaid is reducing payments by 15% to most providers although hospitals fare somewhat better (9.5% cut). Medicaid is allowing only a few days for comment. There is no mention of said cuts on Medicaid's website.Click Here to Read More..
See sidebar on lower right side of page for collection of all posts on the Irby case.
A police report filed by JPD reveals an investigation for child abuse at the home of Stuart Irby was opened on February 9, 2009. Jackson Jambalaya filed a public records request for any police reports involving the Irbys or incidents at their address.
The report states a complaint was filed, the child was spanked, and there was "bruising on both sides of her buttocks". No arrests have been made nor is it known if there is an ongoing investigation. As a minor is involved, the complainant is not identified and the report does not say who reported the alleged abuse. The officer assigned by JPD is H. L. Bullock. However, sources close to the investigation have informed JJ a doctor that treated the child notified the police. JJ has also learned an investigation was opened at DHS about the same incident and the investigator is Hazel Walker. Sources have also informed JJ the child was taken to the complaining doctor by both parents and that Stuart M. Irby, Sr. is accused of causing said injuries.
This is not the first time a police report has been filed at the Irby home. The first incident was on January 7, 2007. Mr. Irby was arrested for Simple Assault. The report states "suspect was intoxicated. When complainant began to question suspect suspect became upset. Suspect slapped complainant across the floor. Suspect continued striking complainant with a closed fist." The report was taken at approximately 8:00 PM. The second one was for Simple Assault as well and was filed the next day and states "after being released from jail, suspect arrived home wanting to take a shower, Complainant attempted to tell suspect to leave, Suspect pushed complainant." The complainant in the charges filed is Karen Irby and the suspect is Stuart M. Irby, Sr.
Unfortunately, that was not the last report as another one was filed on April 7, 2008 at 10:15 PM. The report states "Suspect threw water on complainant and complainant's baby. Complainant entered into another room; Suspect followed complainant knocking complainant to the floor. Suspect grabbed the baby running into the pool area. Complainant followed after suspect, attempting to get the baby. Suspect struck complainant across the head; Complainant fell into the pool."
It is important to point out that although there were multiple arrests, Mr. Irby was not convicted of any of the charges. The wreck that killed Dr.'s Pogue and Dedousis occurred two days after the police report was filed for the alleged child abuse.
Copy of reports
Karl Denninger has his own take over at the Market Ticker after reading every version of the health care bill that was recently passed:
"Here's the bottom line:
- If you refuse to buy health insurance, you will be fined on a sliding scale that amounts to 2% of your AGI. So if you make $100,000 a year, you could be fined $2,000 for "refusing" to buy insurance.
- You cannot buy a catastrophic policy any more. The "cheapest" acceptable policy will cost somewhere around $15,000 for a single person, and over $20,000 for a family. This is, for most people, more than five times the maximum possible fine - each and every year. The law makes it effectively impossible to maintain an existing catastrophic policy as they "renew" every year, and should any change be made you are then forced to buy something "acceptable" in the law (or pay the fine.)
- When the "pre-existing condition" bar comes down you cannot be charged more or denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
- I fully expect 20-50% premium increases immediately, and for the next three years sequentially, in all existing policies. This is precisely what the banks did in front of the CARD act becoming effective, and it will happen here as well. That is the cause of the short-term rocket shot in the health-related stocks this morning.
- In addition the capital gains tax changes will do severe damage to capital formation immediately, and these changes will become especially severe starting in 2014. The market will anticipate these changes and react accordingly, although you certainly wouldn't know it today."
Read it and weep Click Here to Read More..
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sorry but the news just won't stop today. The dynamic duo of the Evans case, attorneys Jeff Rawlings and Kristina Johnson, filed suit in U.S. Bankruptcy Court today to force Charles Evans, Jr. into Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Copy of petition, Joinder petition The Evans case continues to get more interesting.
For a collection of all posts on the Evans case, see Evans sidebar on the right.
Hinds County Court Judge Houston Patton filed an appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and a Motion to Stay with the U.S. District Court in Jackson in the lawsuit filed against him by James Jennings, Jr. Judge Tom Lee ruled against his Motion for Summary Judgment last month. Just remember Judge, you can run, but you can't hide. Motion for Stay, Appeal, Earlier order lifting stay, Earlier postClick Here to Read More..
Will Ridgeland set up DUI roadblocks in the middle of the parade and on the interstate?
Also, will David Moore become a sponsor so he can get the exclusive bond contract for all Ridgeland arrests that day as he seems to for DUI's?
Jackson City Councilman Jeff Weill of Ward 1 announced his candidacy for the Hinds County Circuit Judge position currently held by Swan Yerger. Yerger announced he is retiring from the bench. Weill made the announcement before a gathering in front of the Willie Morris Library on Old Canton Road. Weill is a lawyer and former prosecutor.Click Here to Read More..
Monday, March 22, 2010
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"The cat showed up on the porch of a Monroe Township home on Jan. 30 with a blow dart in its left eye. The dart - the kind that’s only fired out of a gun of sorts - came out the back of the cat’s neck." Article
Just a reminder that SB #2623 would have made the above picture a first-offense felony. Speaker Billy McCoy double referred the bill so that it would die in committee. While everyone blames Farm Bureau, don't forget it was their lapdog House Speaker Billy McCoy who used every legislative trick in the book to kill the bill. Here's to you Billy Boy, you earned full credit for this one.
Click Here to Read More..
Pearl Mayor Brad Rogers got hit with a nasty surprise Friday morning. Fitch published a notice that went out to all the wire services (including the Mississippi Business Journal):
"Fitch Ratings-New York-17 March 2010: As part of its continuous surveillance efforts, Fitch Ratings withdraws its 'BBB-' rating on the city of Pearl, Mississippi's (the city) $1.355 million in outstanding tax increment limited obligation refunding and improvement bonds (Airport Metroplex Project), series 2002 due to lack of ongoing disclosure to Fitch.
Fitch will no longer provide rating coverage on the city or the outstanding bonds."
Ouch. This is huge for Pearl as Pearl, like every other municipality, uses bonds to finance construction, roads, water & sewer services, and schools. Bonds are the mother's milk for city governments as they can not function without them. Therefore its a big deal when a major ratings agency like Fitch says it won't provide ratings coverage any longer for Pearl.
Such a notice was puzzling because Pearl has its financial house in order by all accounts. I spoke to the Mayor and unfortunately for him, my phone call was the first thing he had ever heard about any of this. Needless to say, he was shocked and informed me their finances were in good shape. He called me two hours later and said he had "been on a mission" since our last conversation and been "round and round" with Fitch. The TIF bonds are apparently paid by the developer.
A quick check with the website of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board shows the bonds were issued in 2002 (see schedule posted above) by Pearl. Bond statement The bond package was originallly issued in 2002 for $2,250,000 to finance improvements (page 6) in the Airport Multiplex project and were TIF's. The introductory statement states "The series 2002 Bonds will be issued by the City...."
Business Wire reported in 2002:
"The bonds are secured by incremental sales and property tax receipts derived from the city's Airport Metroplex tax increment district (the district). Proceeds will refund the city's outstanding tax increment limited obligation bonds (Airport Metroplex Project) series 1998-1 and series 1999, as well as finance basic infrastructure improvements for Phase II of the Airport Metroplex Project.
The 'BBB-' rating reflects the district's satisfactory debt service coverage levels provided by an established increment, steady increases to its incremental tax base since the district's creation in 1997, and a concentrated tax base, which is dependent on economically sensitive sales taxes. The district's proximity to the Jackson International Airport and major highway and interstate systems enhances its growth prospects. The district is expected to continue its improvement as it attracts further commercial development due to its low taxes and prime market location....
The district is located off of US Highway 80, which is a major east-west highway connecting the city to Jackson and Jackson International Airport. Created in 1997 by the city council, the district encompasses 123 acres and is zoned for commercial and light industrial uses. Phase I of the development covers 58 acres and is nearly complete. Phase II of the project began earlier this year as the developer commenced site preparation work on the district's 65 remaining acres. Full development of the district is scheduled for 2005. The district's favorable access to the regional transportation network and proximity to Jackson International Airport attracts a variety of regional tenants including Patterson Dental Supply, Susquehana Communications (Suscom), Hooper's Electronics and MacPapers, Inc." Article
The Mississippi Business Journal updated its story Friday afternoon after speaking to the Mayor:
"Pearl Mayor Brad Rogers said he expects Fitch Ratings to soon issue a correction to the news today that the company is downgrading the city’s credit rating.
Rogers said “The city of Pearl is in strongest financial position it’s been in in a long time. There are no problems...
“Our bond council and our legal council are in contact with Fitch to try to see what information they may be needing that they don’t have. We need to know what they need, and we’ll be happy to provide it for them,” Rogers said.
The Airport project, which is financed by tax increment financing (TIF) bonds, is producing more than enough money to pay for itself, Rogers said." Article
This is a big deal because as I stated earlier, cities need bonds to operate. The Fitch notice hit all the wires Friday morning. I spoke to a local trader of muni bonds and he already knew about it from the same wires. The longer such a notice sits out there without being well, noticed, the more harm is done to the City of Pearl. I spoke to Kevin Dolan at Fitch, who was mentioned in the notice. He said Pearl did issue the bonds and they had not been able to get any information from Pearl before the notice was issued (Very nice guy, turns out his dad lived in Madison for a few years so he was actually familiar with the area even though he now lives in NYC. Someone needs to get him an invite to the Mississippi picnic this summer.).
I was not able to find a "district" but I did find a Airport Multiplex LLC on the Secretary of State's website. It listed a Coleman Hammons and Janice Champlin as the members. Coleman Hammons owns Coleman Hammons Construction in Brandon. It is unknown what the relationship between the LLC, the bond package, and the "district" is at this time.
Be that as it may, I've spoken to the Mayor several times and think this will be corrected this week. Mr. Rogers has been pretty aggressive in fixing this problem and trying to set the record straight as he is doing what he should be doing: looking out for his city's best interests.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I recently submitted a public records request to the Ethics Commission for an opinion issued back in 1990. The complaint at the time was filed by Governor Mabus against Adjutant General Farmer. I received a letter from Tom Hood, the Executive Director, informing me the records no longer existed. The letter stated: "We have searched our records, but we cannot find any complaints or investigative files which are that old."
Mr. Hood continues: "My tenure at the Ethics Commission began in 2003. I am told that several years ago my predecessor had a large number of old files destroyed." Mr. Hood also stated such files are often confidential and can not be released but in this particular instance, the file did not exist. The Department of Archives and they do not have any records of the case either.
Mr. Hood has been a very able Executive Director and is very proactive on the issue of public records. Indeed, there have been times I've thought the wrong brother was serving as Attorney General. His candor and quick response to my request is greatly appreciated. However, the fact a previous director took it upon himself to throw out old files and not leave any record of their existence is troubling, to say the least. Previous opinions can serve as precedent when similar situations occur. In the case at hand, it is simply inexcusable for a Director to destroy all records about a case that received such attention. The issue of public officials using insider knowledge to obtain favorable land deals will undoubtedly arise in the future and his actions should be considered nothing short of delinquent. The Ethics Commission exists to keep our leaders honest, not sweep their sins under the run in the interests of convenience.
Looking for something to read? This book was written around 100 years ago about the slave revolt in Haiti. Although a professor at Harvard, Stoddard was somewhat controversial and a racialist (although he opposed the Nazis) but the book was still rather interesting and provocative as it discusses the dynamic between a government that owned slaves and the Jacobins that preached liberty and equality for all. There are other Google Books online that deal with this subject. Keep in mind it was probably the revolution in Haiti which led several Southern states to strengthen their pro-slavery laws and make it more difficult to own slaves.Click Here to Read More..
Seems there are more problems with local real estate. Vision Landscapes filed a lawsuit last week against Lost Rabbit seeking $561,000 in unpaid fees in Madison County Circuit Court. The subcontractor on Vision's work filed a lien for $296,738 on any monies awarded to Vision by the Court. Ladner Testing Laboratories also filed a lawsuit in the same court against Lost Rabbit and Neopolis Development on March 4. (The complaint was not available online.) Neopolis doesn't have a member or owner listed on the Secretary of State's website, but Richard Ridgeway, a partner in Lost Wabbit, is listed as a partner and William Smith, III is listed as the attorney/other. Utility Constructors filed a lien on February 11 for $1,315, 944.
Also, Realtor Cherry Deddens goes before the Madison Board of Supervisors at tomorrow's meeting. The subject will undoubtedly be the revisions to the preliminary plat made in Longleaf subdivision. Mrs. Deddens owns a tract in Longleaf secured by a twelve-month note from Trustmark for nearly $200,000. She sent a letter in protest to the Board last month after it voted to cut the size of the Longleaf lots in half. She claimed no notice was given to her as a landowner and she opposed the action. It should be a big day for David Landrum as the due date for a Deed of Trust from Trustmark for several million dollars is tomorrow unless modified or extended. Should be interesting.
Thanks to a commentor, I can now provide you with a link to updates on the health care reform bills from Congressman Joe Courtney's (D-CT) website. Link.
Meanwhile on Senator Cochran's page, he whines about earmarks and mentions nothing about the health care fight or the bills. Congressman Harper and Senator Wicker at least discuss it but unfortunately don't provide us with the same information Courtney did. HOWEVER, props to Congressman Gene Taylor. At least he provided us with the bill on his website. Pretty sad when to find out what is in this bill in order to oppose it I have to go to the Democrats for help.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Look at the agenda for the Madison County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday: CITIZENS CONCERNS/ISSUES: 10. Cherry Deddens, Discussion of Longleaf Subdivision Revised Plat 11. Chris Quinn, Discussion of Oak Hill Drive 12. Jill Phillips, Discussion of Gunter Road Should be an interesting discussion.
10. Cherry Deddens, Discussion of Longleaf Subdivision Revised Plat
11. Chris Quinn, Discussion of Oak Hill Drive
12. Jill Phillips, Discussion of Gunter Road
Should be an interesting discussion.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Yup, Sarah O'Reilly-Evans, the Jackson city attorney who also moonlighted as a bond slut while on the clock, walked out with $28,500 in fees last year on Jackson's 26 million dollar bond issue for resurfacing roads. She almost got another $60,000 in fees on the proposed interest rate swap refinance til Kingfish found out about it and raised the alarm. Read it for yourself. Page 95 in the report. Thank goodness we are rid of her.
By the way, see Jackson Academy's bond issue on page 42. Issue was literally half of Jackon's and the fees were only $63,000 while Jackson's was $239,412. Thanks Frank.
Click Here to Read More..
Coburn takes off the gloves and emulates Mitchell and Daschle: Any congressmen sell their votes on health care reform to pass it and lose their election, don't count on getting another job in the federal government if he has anything to do with it. He promised in a press conference yesterday to put a hold on all such nominations.
Hmmm........why aren't Cochran and Wicker doing the same thing? Or are they? Corrections are definitely welcome. I called both offices. Sandra in Cochran said he did not have a position on it at this time but she would pass my urging Cochran to follow Coburn's lead along and at Wicker's office, I left a message with the press secretary.
World Tribune reports:
"Officials said the U.S. military was ordered to divert a shipment of smart bunker-buster bombs from Israel to a military base in Diego Garcia. They said the shipment of 387 smart munitions had been slated to join pre-positioned U.S. military equipment in Israel Air Force bases.
"This was a political decision," an official said.
In 2008, the United States approved an Israeli request for bunker-busters capable of destroying underground facilities, including Iranian nuclear weapons sites. Officials said delivery of the weapons was held up by the administration of President .
Since taking office, Obama has refused to approve any major Israeli requests for U.S. weapons platforms or advanced systems. Officials said this included proposed Israeli procurement of AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, refueling systems, advanced munitions and data on a stealth variant of the F-15E.
"All signs indicate that this will continue in 2010," a congressional source familiar with the Israeli military requests said. "This is really an embargo, but nobody talks about it publicly." Article
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Compare to recently failed Statewide Bank in Louisiana.
Here is HBG's latest balance sheet for your review.
Here are some more sanctions issued by the Mississippi Bar against wayward lawyers from the July-August-September 2008 issue of the Mississippi Lawyer. If the Bar won't post sanctions online or create an online database of sanctioned lawyers for consumers, I will. By the way, I noticed the current issue of the ML is not online. Hmmmm......I wonder why. Well what do you know, there are no sanctions listed in that issue. Guess they were all good little boys and girls back then. So these are from the May-June 2008 issue. Pay attention to the public and private reprimands. See a problem? Enjoy.
Balducci & Langston: Disbarment. Do I really need to say why?
John Edward Jackson, Jr. of McComb: Disbarment. Convicted of felony sale of weed within the jailhouse. Real smart. I'm all for legalizing weed but trying to be the dope dealer for the jailhouse? Good job.
Virginia F. Holliday of Greenwood: twelve-month suspension. Retained in two cases. Failed to complete work or communicate with clients. Didn't return documents and client property when they asked for it. Did not answer bar complaints. Never once defended herself in any of the proceedings.
Erika D. Suttlar of Southaven: six month suspension. Didn't communicate with her clients. Failed to list all creditors in a bankruptcy case, including herself. Attempted to collect fees from BK client even though federal law says she can't try to collect debts after BK is discharged. Failing to list herself as a creditor misled the Bankruptcy Court. Never answered any of the bar complaints.
John J. Morse of Meridian: twelve-month suspension. Failed to appear for client at trial. Turns out the no trial had been set for the time and date given to client although the client showed up for the alleged trial. Morse had filed to tell client he was already under suspension. Blew off the bar and didn't respond to the bar complaints.
John Louis Dolan of Southaven: twelve-month suspension and one year probation. Was suspended by Tennessee Bar. No other details given.
Thomas Dale Beavers, II of Hattiesburg: six-month suspension. Count I: Paid by client, didn't do much work, did not file case, quit communicating with client. Count II: Paid by company to initiate cases for collections of moneys owed. Lawyer took money but didn't file cases until nearly a year later, after client had terminated his employment. Did not return all files to client. Blew off the Bar and didn't respond to bar complaint. Count III: Failed to obtain a default judgement. Once again blew off the Bar and didn't respond to bar complaint. Only six months? Sumbitch should've gotten two years.
Walter Wood of Madison. This one is a complete joke. See earlier post. This prick should've been disbarred or at least suspended for five years. Damn pimp.
Becky Allen Farrell of Bay St. Louis: public reprimand. Client paid shyster for a divorce. Filed petition for divorce but disappeared. No one has been able to locate the lawyer. Lawyer failed to respond to bar complaint. Should have received a six-month suspension just for not responding.
Raymond Wong of Cleveland: public reprimand. Was ordered by the Bar to reimburse it for costs on an investigation. Paid out of his lawyer trust account.
Richard R. Vaughn of Elkhart, Indiana: public reprimand. Client hired shyster for a divorce. Paid him. Fired him later and requested refund. Lawyer did not refund money, did not file any documents with the court, refused to return any original papers belonging to the client. Blew off the bar and never responded to any of the bar complaints. So for keeping two grand, blowing off client and bar, this thief only got a public reprimand. The Bar is a friggin joke.
Richard Burdine of Columbus, MS: public reprimand. Client accused him of failing to perfect an appeal. Burdine blew off the bar and didn't respond to the bar complaint. Should've gotten six-month suspension just for that reason alone.
Joan Jenkins Potter of Memphis: public reprimand. Didn't safekeep client's funds in her trust account, which were stolen. I'm not so sure about this one as she did file criminal charges against the thief.
The Attorney with no name: parts unknown: private reprimand. Client paid him $3,000 for a divorce. Client fired lawyer several months later, demanded files, accounting of work performed, and the return of unearned fees. Attorney did none of those. Private slap on the wrist. Nice.
The Attorney With No Name: Parts Unknown: private reprimand. Client paid shyster $3,300 for a domestic relations matter. Case was dismissed for failure to prosecute and shyster did not return phone calls. Attorney admitted to the allegations. Private slap on the wrist.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Apparently the word has gone out to get real tight on traffic violations. Someone we ALL know got a ticket yesterday on Meadowbrook for doing 38 in a 35. JPD is now making an effort to ticket cars parked in Belhaven the wrong way or more than twelve inches from the curb. Police officer told one resident yesterday they had to "start making money for the city".Click Here to Read More..
You know, making things up, falsely accusing others. Check this one out. I think is pretty funny considering in her professional writing class her manual given to the students is a collection of works from other authors and textbooks copied without their permission.Click Here to Read More..
Vote in poll for best basketball player ever. Who gets my vote? Hmmmm.....right now leaning towards Magic. Had the rings but you could literally line him up at every position. Jordan was a guard and the Bulls couldn't win until they got him some front-court help. Lakers won rings with Magic as center and then guard. I'd vote for Akeem over Shaq as in the finals they were both in their prime and Akeem kicked his ass all over the court. Vote early and often.Click Here to Read More..
JJ conducted a poll on the above interview last week asking what you thought of Paul Gallo's treatment of Angela McGlowan on his radio show. While a sizeable number of voters thought it was part of a Two Lakes conspiracy, only 19% thought he was being unfair to her. Nearly half of the voters thought she was bringing it upon herself with her answers to his predictable questions. Without the Two Lakes votes, it increases to 52%. She has run a pretty weak campaign and ignored quite a few fundamentals although she finally got a website up and running last week.
He's picking on the girl
She brings it on herself
He needs to grill the carpetbagger
Its all a Two Lakes conspiracy
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Click Here to Read More..
This cat was set on fire in Grand Rapids, Michigan last year. Article Farm Bureau doesn't think this should be a first offense felony in Mississippi. See Columbus Packet article, Farm Bureau Newsletter stating opposition to SB #2623, Interview with Farm Bureau President David Waide stating opposition to making it a first offense felony.
"Gee Kingfish, how long will you keep posting this stuff?" As long as the legislature is in session, I'm going to remind everyone who led the fight to kill SB #2623 every few days. I'll also keep reminding you that one of the bills it thought was a good compromise REDUCED the maximum sentence from the current six months to 48 hours for aggravated animal cruelty.
"Oh, and lets not forget this part since someone at Farm Bureau might think I'm trying to sell insurance on this website:
The use of Mississippi Farm Bureau's name and logo in this post is for criticism of MFB policies and additional commentary. Such a use is deemed fair use under the following statute:
"(d) The following shall not be actionable under this section:
1) Any fair use, including a nominative or descriptive fair use, or facilitation of such fair use, of a famous mark by another person other than as a designation of source for the person's own goods or services, including use in connection with:
(B) Identifying and parodying, criticizing, or commenting upon the famous mark owner or the goods or services of the famous mark owner;
(2) Noncommercial use of the mark; and
(3) All forms of news reporting and news commentary."
Mississippi Code Section 75-25-25
Monday, March 15, 2010
Landowner accuses Madison County and Developer of Subdividing her land without notice or her Consent
A dispute over the platting of the Longleaf subdivision has broken out in Madison County between Realtor Cherry Deddens and former 3rd District Congressional Candidate and now-developer David Landrum. Landrum owns half of Landrum & Slade Properties, LLC. Landrum & Slade is the developer for the Longleaf Subdivision in Madison.
The website touts its exclusive and reclusive nature:
"Longleaf is a high quality gated residential development in Madison, Mississippi located one-half of a mile west on Madison’s prominant Highland Colony Parkway. Located on fifty-six acres, Longleaf offers estate lots ranging from 1.6 to 3.1 acres secluded in thick hardwoods creating an “away from it all” feeling with access to every need within two miles. Access to Interstate 55 is minutes away.
A beautiful gated entrance leads through interesting terrain to each home site with building requirements of 3,500 square feet of living space. Protective covenants require licensed architect’s plans and assure long term quality and value. With Ridgeland’s newest retail addition of “Renaissance” north of Longleaf on Highland Colony Parkway and with Madison’s exclusive “Galleria” to the north, convenience is a luxury offered by Longleaf. Coupled with privacy, beauty, and secluded lots, Longleaf is an unusual opportunity for a great way of life. Prices range from $225,000 to $300,000."
Mrs. Deddens purchased a lot in Longleaf through her two companies, D&S Builders and Castlerock Properties. (She is a partner). Longleaf had a preliminary plat at the time of purchase but the lots were sold with the requirement of a minimum area of 3500 square feet per house in the sudbivision. Copy of deed. Mrs. Deddens also obtained a deed of trust on the property through Community Trust Bank (formerly Madison County Bank) for $195,330 on July 31, 2009. The note is due in full July 31, 2010 unless modified. Deed of trust
However, Mr. Landrum approached the Madison County Board of Supervisors last month with a request to allow him to replat Longleaf. The minutes for the February 16 meeting state: "Mr. Sellers reported that the developer proposes revising said plat to develop 42 lots instead of the previous 23 lots". The Board approved the motion on a unanimous vote. Minutes
A final plat map has never been issued for Longleaf. The County approved a preliminary plat map for the subdivision in April 2007: "County Zoning Administrator Brad Sellers did appear before the Board and requested the Board approve the preliminary plat of Longleaf Subdivision" Minutes. The County approved the size of 1.5 acres for each lot. Minutes, Map (If I got the map wrong, feel free to send me a correct one).
Mrs. Deddens purchased her lot based on the preliminary plat map. However, the approved replatting by the supervisors divided her lot into two lots although she still owns the property. Mrs. Deddens was not happy with the decision and fired off a letter to the Board of Supervisors on February 19. The letter states:
"It has come to our attention that Mr. David Landrum of Landrum Development has petitioned the Board of Supervisors to revise the preliminary plat of Longleaf Subdivision on Lake Castle Road in Madison, Ms. According to the original plat, D&S Builders and Castlerock Properties, of which I am a partner, owns Lot 3 of the original preliminary plat. Mr. Landrum has now subdivided the lot that we own into two lots. We were not advised of this petition and we do not agree with this new plat that he brought before the Board last Tuesday. Unless he dissolves the loan at the bank on Lot 3 and pays the interest on said lot, we do not agree to the replatting of the original preliminary plat. We were not notified that replatting was being presented to the Board of Supervisors last week. No notification was given to us by the Board or Supervisors or Mr. Landrum." It is signed by Mrs. Deddens.
One can only wonder why Mr. Landrum did not inform the Board there was another landowner involved or why no written consent was provided along with the other exhibits. Several sources have informed JJ that under the new platting, Mrs. Deddens loses a small portion of land to "greenery" as well.
The Madison Realtor apparently has a legitimate point of contention with the Board if she was not notified of the proposed changes. There is this little thing called due process where someone like Mrs. Deddens is supposed to be noticed in order to defend her interests. In this case, she purchased a lot with the expectation she was going to build a home based upon certain representations. Such representations (price range, lot size, square footage) were relied upon by her when she obtained a 12-month note for nearly $200,000 and purchased the property. JJ can also report the City of Madison tabled the proposed water and sewer revisions last week for Longleaf. This should get interesting. Stay tuned.
Update to earlier post: Landrum apparently sold shares in the Livingston Township project. SEC Filing
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Mark Helprin writes a pretty good argument for America to continue production of the F-22 in the Wall Street Journal:
"Cancelling the F-22 Raptor, the most capable fighter plane ever produced, is yet another act in the tragedy of a nation that, bankrupting itself, embracing moral decline, and apologizing to its enemies, is losing the will to prevail. In pursuit of false prosperities that have failed even the economy, America for three presidencies and an entire generation has diminished its arsenals, unbalanced its military, and forgotten its genius for strategy....
Amid such static one thing stands out. As we rapidly disarm, China is just as rapidly arming. Perhaps because Americans do not play much chess we seem not to understand that a nation can be defeated without war, that after failing in the art of balance and maneuver the king may still stand, but motionlessly in check, "soft power" notwithstanding. "Soft power" in the absence of hard power is like flesh without a skeleton.....
In the very long list of such things is the F-22. Its stealth, speed, agility, and advanced sensors are such that in a 2006 exercise against F-15s, F-16s, and F-18s, the F-22, its pilots scarcely accustomed to it, scored 241 kills to 2. Famously, before its opponents know it's there, their aircraft are exploding. Former USAF Lt.-Col. Joseph Sussingham, F-16 Experimental Command Pilot, put it best: "To face a flight of F-22s is to face a wall of death."
The average age of Air Force fighter planes has more than doubled from 1960-1990 and is fast increasing. As the number of combat wings was nearly halved, and the U-2 and F-117 were eliminated in its anticipation, the F-22 became the keystone of American air power. With no new fighter on the horizon other than the F-35, it was as well a guarantee against placing every egg in one basket...."
What about the F-35? Well, what about the F-35?
"We scrapped the F-22 in favor of a single strike fighter, the F-35, for all the services. Despite major technical problems it is scandalously slated to go into production before it is fully tested. A lesser airplane, it has neither the speed, range, nor electronic capabilities of the F-22. Who needs speed? With munitions spent amidst a swarm of enemy fighters, speed allows the survival of aircraft and pilot. And the F-22's other characteristics superior to the F-35's mean that when its munitions are spent there may not even be a swarm of enemy fighters.
We have thrown away our best aircraft, as we have—directly or by attrition—discarded good ships, armor, and fighting echelons. We have closed production lines, dispersed the skilled people who run them, and weakened the defense industrial base to the point that in a national emergency it cannot revive. Even the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, hardly a hawk, called the death of the F-22 "ill-advised and premature." ..." Article
Click Here to Read More..
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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.