Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Your homework assignment for today

Rolling Stone article about Goldman Sachs accusing it of creating most bubbles. Here is Goldman's response. and here is Tabbai's response to their response.

Update: Fixed links.

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Last week's crime stats

Crime stats for June 22-28, 2009 in Jackson, MS.

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Perfect example of what is wrong with GM

GM can't seem to get it right. One of the few bright spots in the entire fiasco is the pending sale of Saturn to Roger Penske. Penske represents quality, success, and the entrepreneurial spirit that built America. Unlike most corporate leaders, Penske is the type of man you'll see meeting with engineers to discuss design on Monday, kicking butt in the plant on Tuesday, and visiting customers on Wednsday. Such drive and attention to detail is what brought him success and has caused many to be hopeful about Saturn's survival after Penske and GM announced a pending sale.

Unfortunately for Saturn, GM still can't stop itself from trying to screw up a good thing. The Wall Street Journal reported this week:
"Though its fortunes soured further in December, when GM said it would sell or close Saturn, they got a boost June 5 when the big chain of auto dealerships owned by motor-racing mogul Roger Penske -- struck a deal to buy the brand. "We were on death row," said Saturn Marketing Director Kim McGill, in an interview. Now, the brand is in "remission," thanks to Mr. Penske, but "is not yet totally cured," she said.
To spark interest and remind consumers that Saturn is still alive, its dealers have kicked off a new marketing campaign built around the slogan, "Wonder where the car business is headed? It's here." The slogan will be used on banners across Saturn storefronts and in a spate of email blasts, Facebook blogs and direct communications with buyers."

However, GM has other ideas as it tells its dealers not to spread the good news. Seems as though the corporate chieftains can't stand the thought of someone else getting any credit:
"But at least for now, GM has asked Saturn not to trumpet the Penske connection -- even though some dealers think it is the biggest thing the brand has going for it -- lest it overshadow the Saturn brand name. The deal may not be sealed until late in the third quarter, Ms. McGill said."

As a former GM employee, I can say I'm not too surprised, as GM is a company where egos mean more than performance or numbers. There is very little accountability at GM, as the worst executives tend to move from title to title, as they all protect each other. (We actually had divisional sales managers who had never been in sales much less visited a customer in their entire careers). Once you rise above a certain management level at GM, individuals with actual ability and common sense are seen as a threat by management and don't last too long. GM is not a corporation but a bureaucracy that just happens to sell cars.

What these REMF's care about is not results but GM's image as they try to avoid the "Penske Connection" even though it means more sales: "Enthusiasm about the "Penske deal helped Saturn in June, Ms. McGill said, drawing more traffic into Saturn showrooms and leading to a 35% year-to-year sales increase."

One dealer started using Penske in his advertising only to earn a stern rebuke from the Empire:
"He said the ads increased traffic to his dealership. "People want to buy from someone they like," Mr. Davies said in an interview. "A lot of customers won't buy a car from GM, but they will buy a car from Roger Penske."
Not long after dealer initiatives like Mr. Davies's billboards began to crop up, Saturn dealers got a letter from GM executives asking them to not overplay the Penske deal, for fear of taking the spotlight off the brand itself."

This is a perfect example of what is wrong with GM and corporate America. Sales, profits, or market share do not matter, as what is important to the Michael Jackson of the car business is the image and reality they created for themselves, a reality where GM reigns supreme and is adored by everyone.

Unfortunately for GM, what built America was not bloated bureaucracies like GM or Citi but risk-takers like Penske, Gates, Watson, Ford, and even Jobs. Business owners like Mr. Penske care only about results, while corporate bureaucrats worry about their image and avoiding any responsibility. If Saturn survives, it will be because it is led by a Penske and not a bunch of REMF's who are clueless about the real world.

One further note: Mr. Penske owns VM Motori, a company that manufactures diesel engines. American car manufacturers have had problems building a small diesel engine for regular cars that would allow them to compete with diesel-powered cars made by Volkswagen and Mercedes. If Penske can use VM Motori to build a diesel engine for Saturn, he might be onto something here and create a real winner.

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Mississippi banks in better shape than most other states

The FDIC published a list of the loan to deposit ratios for host states of banks. It describes the ratio as "The host state loan-to-deposit ratio is the ratio of total loans in a state to total deposits from the state for all banks that have that state as their home state." Mississippi's ratio was 85%, placing it 11th on the list (This is good). FDIC report

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Melton Death Certificate

Jackson Jambalaya has obtained a copy of Frank Melton's death certificate. It was attached to the deed of trust for the new mortgage issued by Omnibank earlier this month. The cause of death is listed as cardiac arrest and other details are provided.

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Update on Melton's 2nd Mortgage

One question asked after Mayor Melton's passing was what happened to the house on 2 Carter Grove Circle. Dr. Melton, Frank's wife, recently obtained a new second mortgage on the home from Omnibank. Mr. Melton took out a second mortgage on his home two years ago. It was a home equity line of credit for approximately $301,967 and was due in full in April of 2009. See earlier post.

Dr. Melton converted the heloc with Omnibank to a 20-year fixed rate mortgage with payments set at $2,175. The principal is $297,587. Deed of trust Omnibank retains the servicing rights. The first mortgage was extended by Bancorpsouth in December for another five years after it became due in full. The combined debt on the home is nearly $500,000.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

If you think the Mississippi legislature is bad...

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Is Brian Perry a CINO?

Conservatism is a pretty simple philosophy: A belief that limited government and the free market best preserve our individual liberties and ensure our prosperity. Unfortunately for conservatism, many people who call themselves conservatives are actually CINO's: Conservatives in Name Only. The CINO loudly touts his conservatism but when push comes to shove, he will do things like vote for bailouts, support Medicare expansion, or work to sabotage the free market.

Brian Perry is a columnist for the Madison County Journal and former spokesman for Governor Barbour. While calling himself a free-market conservative, he is fighting to hike taxes on tobacco companies that didn't sign Mike Moore's tobacco settlement agreement. As the video above demonstrates, the tobacco companies agreed to the shakedown from Moore and his fellow AG's for several reasons. It protected them from future state lawsuits. It allowed them to fix their costs and pass them on to the consumer. It was to be a barrier for potential new competitors who weren't protected from future lawsuits. The states received billions of dollars from the deal while the tobacco companies received protection from the free market and further legal action. Not a bad deal if you can get it.

However, the free market is a pesky little thing. It has this funny way of responding to what consumers want much better than do the government and crony capitalists. In this case, Big Tobacco miscalculated when it decided to pay the vig to Vito and Bruno as it thought there would be no more competition. Unfortunately for Big Tobacco, the free market is teaching it a lesson it doesn't want to learn as tobacco sales by Non-participating (in the settlement) Manufacturers (NPM 's) are increasing due to their lower costs. According to a recent column by Sid Salter, Mr. Perry himself states NPM 's now have a market share of 14% in Mississippi. Most of these agreements are based on market share so the states and Big Tobacco have an interest in preserving their market share.

Mr. Perry and his clients have a solution for their problem and it is one familiar to liberals: raise the taxes on NPM tobacco sales. In true Clintonian fashion, Mr. Perry defends the tax hike as a free-market and thus conservative solution:
"Currently it is competing in a tobacco market where Mississippi has created a built in cost disadvantage for certain companies, including Altria. It wants to level the playing field and has advertised this fact on the radio. It is a pro-competition, pro-free market, pro-capitalism message.
Altria pays about 52 cents a pack above all taxes to Mississippi to off-set the health associated costs of smoking. Altria has proposed that other companies also pay for their health associated costs and has suggested 43 cents a pack as their share. It isn’t as high as the settlement companies like Altria, but it is still a fair share for the NPM’s contribution to health care costs. I believe 46 other states have an NPM fee; it is an established and workable policy option and for Mississippi could produce an additional $20 million per year. Additionally, under an equal NPM fee, whether a smoker continues to buy the NPM cigarette or switches to a different brand, the state would not be losing health care funds.
So it is a win-win-win situation for both Mississippi and Altria. Of course, Altria
(Altria was formerly Philip Morris) benefits from a fair and competitive market place..." Mr. Perry's blog

Big Tobacco tries to rig the marketplace with the government's help only to see its efforts crumble as Smith's invisible hand works its magic. Like most companies that have seen their business threatened after hopping in bed with the government, Big Tobacco squeals for more taxation and government regulation while their hired gun talks about competitive marketplaces and how he believes in free markets. Obama's saying he doesn't want to run GM while firing the CEO comes to mind (In fact, part of Mr. Perry's blog reads as if it were written by a UAW chieftain complaining about Honda and Nissan). None of the NPM's agreed to the terms of the settlement yet Mr. Perry wants it imposed on them through a tax.

It should be pointed out there is nothing stopping Mr. Hood from pursuing the same course of action Mr. Moore did and seek damages from these manufacturers yet for some strange reason, Mr. Perry fails to mention that fact. There is nothing wrong with Mr. Perry advocating his position for his client. However, there is something wrong with someone calling raising taxes and working with the government to destroy competition a "pro-competition, pro-free market, pro-capitalism message".

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Democrats get ready to tax your health care benefits

yet are going to leave union health care plans untouched. Bloomberg story

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More front-running?

A few months ago I posted this CNBC video in which Santelli points out some possible insider trading just before the Fed announcement. Watch the 7:00 mark:

Now Karl Denninger posted this week about some possible insider trading as well: This morning, the buying began in earnest at 8:30 Central, and then again at 10:00 Eastern - one hour in front of the "announcement", again on heavy volume.(Click on the link and see the chart). Needless to say, there was a huge spike and someone was able to profit off of the Fed announcement in way that reeks of insider trading.

By the way, while the government crows about incomes increasing, keep in mind it was mainly due to stimulus money. If you read the rest of the report, it points out real incomes are decreasing and more bad news for the economy:
"Private wage and salary disbursements decreased $12.4 billion in May, compared with a decrease of $0.7 billion in April. Goods-producing industries' payrolls decreased $12.9 billion, compared with a decrease of $12.2 billion; manufacturing payrolls decreased $9.8 billion, compared with a decrease of $4.9 billion."

Insider trading, front-running, green shoots turning into weeds...........

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Possible Barbour-Daniels ticket?

I'm loving this ticket. H/t to Y'all Politics.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tired of Michael Jackson music?

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Obama: Here is a "robust debate" in Iran

Iran says CIA killed Neda. Hey Obama, it doesn't matter what you do, they are going to call you a Zionist anyway. Of course, we shouldn't be too surprised as your best friend Rezco was a front for Saddam's cousin and bagman:

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Congrats to the LSU Tigers, the 2009 NCAA Baseball Champs. In Omaha, they came, they saw, they kicked ass as Texas found out what happens when you wake up a team. Texas fought as hard as they could and played a helluva series but in the end, LSU was just too much for them.

By the way, Ole Miss can enjoy its lil ole SEC title.

Some coverage of the game:
Former Advocate LSU Beat reporter Carl Dubois
Texas fan gets it right BEFORE the game
CBS's Dennis Dodd
Funny post from MSU board

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Latest on Iran

Atlas Shrugs is providing some pretty good coverage on the brutal crackdown in Iran. Worth reading.

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Open thread

Feel free to discuss the Messican Restaurant poll or anything else.

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What happens in Argentina...........

What do you want me to say about Sanford? Friggin' idiot. The out of the country rule is not a bad idea if you are a politician (a rule once followed by one past gubernatorial candidate in Mississippi ) but this guy was to repeat, an idiot. Taking off for 6 days. At Father's Day. Emails. Broken-down confessionals. He deserves everything he gets.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Some rumblings in the mortgage industry

Colonial Bank in Montgomery, Alabama (and the money behind Auburn) was removed from the Smallcap index last week as its net worth fell to a little over $200 million (Its share price is around a dollar a share):
"Standard & Poor’s removed Colonial BancGroup Inc. from its S&P SmallCap 400 Index, which tracks a diverse group of medium-sized firms across the nation." story

Why is JJ tracking Colonial's fortunes? Colonial is the largest issuer of credit lines to mortgage lenders that do not service their own loans. A Colonial collapse would be huge as billions in credit lines for major mortgage lenders (such as Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker) would be jeopardized. Its the credit lines that allow lenders to fund loans and then sell them to servicers. Just think Realty Mortgage.

However, there is more trouble on the horizon as Citi announced today it will not be taking loan applications from lenders for 8 days:
"A spokesperson confirmed to HousingWire the company entered the temporary suspension over “quality control” issues surrounding documentation of appraisals or income verification seen in — or missing entirely from — previous mortgages purchased through the channel. Lenders like Citi purchase mortgage loans originated by independent mortgage bankers through correspondent channels." story

Citi is one of the few remaining servicers for mortgage lending. Most lenders sell their paper to Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo, GMAC, and Chase (Chase only buys from retail operations such as banks). While many banks such as Trustmark and Regions service their own loans, many other lenders such as Community Bank or Copiah Bank don't service mortgages but instead sell them to some of the aforementioned servicers (They don't use Citi, I used them as local examples.).

If a major servicer and buyer of mortgage paper such as Citi stops accepting loan applications, this will cause somewhat of a freezing of the mortgage industry as many lenders suddenly find themselves looking for other servicers. One can also expect other lenders that do not have such a problem will face some strain as their capacity is burdened by the increased demand.

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What's good for the goose.....

She can't help it. She just can't as she hates Republicans so much. It's not enough to say they belong to the devil or write 16 straight posts bashing Sarah Palin. Now she has to swipe emails from Democrats. In this case, Bill Luckett is gearing up for a run at the Governor's office in 2011. Bill Lucket is a Democrat and has a few choice things to say about Republicans:

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Elvis is in the building

Leave it to Elvis to give us some comic relief. Fresh from his "Everyone is Picking on Me and I Won't Run Again" tour, Tim Johnson provides a moment of unintended humor when WLBT interviews him about another supervisor's proposal to have the State audit the county's dealings with its engineer, Rudy "Hef" Warnock, as Madison County has paid out over $9 million to Warnock and his company:
"Said Johnson, "...as far as the audit goes, I view it really as a witch hunt but we welcome the state auditor to come look, but when you look at the performance audit, it's gonna cost $35, $40, $50,000 to do this." Instead of the state auditor, Johnson says a committee of the county administrator, comptroller, chancery clerk and board attorney will conduct an internal evaluation. "...And I believe once the facts are laid out, we get a pretty good rate and we get a great job from our engineers.", said Johnson." WLBT story

So Johnson thinks nothing of spending $9 million dollars but fights spending $30,000 (.33%)for an independent auditor to see where the $9 mil went? Why get an outsider to count the money when your friendly neighbors can do it for you? They do understand things so much better after all.

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Compare Mississippi's deficit to other states

Think mean ole Haley has been too tough on the budget? Apparently only a few states have smaller deficits than Mississippi.

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Last week's crime stats

Jackson crime stats for week of June 15-21,2009

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Poll: Mac worst JPD Chief ever

The results were clear in the last JJ poll that asked who was the worst JPD Chief ever, and it wasn't even close. Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin won as he garnered 48% of the vote, with Shirlene Anderson a distant second at 24%. The results were:

Jim Black
27 (11%)
Robert Walker
0 (0%)
Jimmy Wilson
10 (4%)
Malcolm McMillin
117 (48%)
Tyronne Lewis
3 (1%)
Bracey Coleman
16 (6%)
Robert Johnson
2 (0%)
Shirlene Anderson
59 (24%)
Robert Moore
7 (2%)

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Goodbye Ed

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Local Darwin Award Nominee

"Emergency responders from Jackson and Flowood this morning resumed the overnight search for a 24-year-old Clinton man believed drowned in the Pearl River. Johnnie Carroll Evans of 1501 U.S. 80 East was last seen swimming with friends Sunday afternoon in the Pearl River near a Jackson water treatment plant, said Jackson Police Department spokesman Lt. Jeffery Scott.
Today’s search is aimed at recovering Evans’ body, rather than a rescue, Scott said. “We’re still out there looking for him. It’s a search and recover mode at this point,” Scott said at mid-morning Monday...
Scott said rescuers are not ruling out the possibility that alligators spotted in the area could have attacked Evans.
“We won’t know for certain until we find him,” Scott said. “There were some fishermen who said they’d been fishing in that same spot for about three days and they had spotted alligators.”
Scott said the rough waters of the Pearl also might be a factor in Evans’ disappearance..."

Leave it to the reporter to screw up an easy story. If she'd bothered to look a few yards from that spot, she would have noticed a.........drum roll.......... low head dam. Think that might have something to do with the current and the swimmer going under? In that spot I'll put money on his being killed by the dam's current before I would by alligators. One guy years ago decided he'd walk across the dam. Didn't make it and neither did this idiot.

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Merging galaxies

"NGC 6240 offers a rare glimpse of a cosmic catastrophe in its final throes. The titanic galaxy-galaxy collision is located a mere 400 million light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. One of the brightest sources in the infrared sky, the merging galaxies spew distorted tidal tails of stars, gas, and dust and undergo frantic bursts of star formation. The two supermassive black holes in the original galactic cores will also coalesce into a single, even more massive black hole. Soon, only one large galaxy will remain. This dramatic image of the scene is a multiwavelength composite; red colors trace infrared emission from dust recorded by the Spitzer Space Telescope, with Hubble visible light images of stars and gas in green and blue hues. The view spans over 300,000 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 6240." link

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Drama queen alert

"Apparently, she wanted to make the hallway appear that it had snow in it, so she decided to use a fire extinguisher (this is something that her dad has successfully done in the past). Instead of there just being a "little poof", the entire hallway filled with chemicals that caused the fire alarm to go off in the middle of the night during finals week.

Now this is her in the car upset that everyone at Alpha Chi (the sorority she wants to be in and presumably those who live where the fire alarm went off) hates her. She explains how she isn't a bad person and it was just an accident."

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States struggling

I recently found one bit of good news for Mississippi, depending on your political persuasion. The Rockefeller Institute issued its "State Revenue Flash Report". This report tracks state income tax receipts. A few items of interest:

1. The report published the percentage of state revenue that was based on an income tax. Mississippi had the third lowest number: 23.4% as only New Mexico and North Dakota depended less on the income tax for revenue.

2. The states depending on state income taxes the most saw the biggest drop in income tax revenue. (Are you paying attention Bill Minor?)

3. Mississippi is actually in better shape compared to the rest of the country in relation to this problem. While the state's income tax revenue is probably down this year, the budget is not as exposed to possible sharp decreases in this income as are other states.

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It's Sunday Morning

I know its the Blues Brothers but its still a great song and I've heard it sung in churches before. Check out the slide.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Brant Brantley: Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Somehow, Jimmie "Karen Irby was indicted for vehicular homicide" Gates managed to pen this narrative about Brant Brantley announcing his retirement in the Clarion-Ledger:
"A man Mississippi judges fear to see in their courtrooms is stepping down as head of the watchdog group that investigates judicial wrongdoing.
Luther "Brant" Brantley III has been the only executive director of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance since it opened its doors on June 1, 1980. Brantley is retiring at the end of the month...." story

Fear? If anything they laugh at Brantley as his lax treatment of wayward judges is well-known in the legal community. It is a rare day indeed when Brantley prosecutes someone who is not a justice court judge. Brantley's modus operandi is to discipline a judge after someone else has done the same and forced his hand.

The Mississippi Supreme Court spelled out a pretty clear case of wrongdoing by Judge Patton in the Shelton case, yet Brantley somehow couldn't do anything until James Jennings filed a complaint, and even then six months passed until he finally began to interview witnesses (after the media reported on Jennings' lawsuit against Patton and Peters).

This blog reported on the Berry v. Aetna case where Rankin County Chancellor Billy Bridges was admonished by the Mississippi Supreme Court for his conduct during the trial. Bridges awarded a multi-million dollar judgment in a trial where no jury was seated, his divorce lawyer and campaign manager represented the plaintiff, and he contacted the defense lawyer during the trial and asked if he cared how the trial "turned out". Then there is the matter that the case should have been adjudicated in Circuit Court all along, something the MSC ordered. However, Brantley never could seem to find the time to prosecute Judge Bridges for his judicial misconduct. earlier post

While the fops and dandies in our press and judicial system laud Brantley and wish him well, this blog only has one message for him as we hope we get a real executive director for the Judicial Commission: Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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Iranian Propaganda

If you want a good example of what shows up on Iranian tv, watch this clip. The video portrays McCain, Soros, and other so-called Zionists as working together to destabilize Iran. It also shows why it's stupid for Obama to say nothing because NO MATTER what he does, they are going to accuse him of meddling anyway. Remember, they see him as an apostate, so in their eyes, he deserves to die. He needs to man up and say something more than referring to a robust debate while people are being beaten, tortured, and stabbed in the streets.

Here is the text of Khameni's speech yesterday: Transcript. Worth reading. When does he send in the Republican Guards to butcher the protesters?

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Dear WLBT, WAPT, WJTV, and Fox40......

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Some people are just plain nuts.

From Tigerdroppings.com:
"Getting on the cat walk isn't that hard. I went once about 8 or 9 years ago. You just climb up some electrical piping on one of the pylons by river road, walk across a 2ft wide concrete beam and then climb up the ladder.

The catwalk goes all the way across, has guardrails on the side, and lets you climb a ladder down to the pylons in the middle, or if you're brave/stupid enough, climb a ladder to the top of the ironwork above the bridge."

We one upped the f*** outa that. The ladder was locked, so we climbed up inside the 60 degree bridge structure, using the holes as grip. Once we got on top we had to get back to where the ladder brings you, so exposed out there we climbed the last span up to the top. There are two metal bars on each side that you can wedge your feet it and press your shins up against. getting back down was way, way freaky. My friend, once on top, ran the span over traffic, jumping the big holes. Crazy stuff. We climbed the electric tower that spans the river and the tallest radio tower down river road too. That last one was the craziest. Mofo was way up there.
" Y.A. Tittle

There is a catwalk underneath the bridge and a metal pier on one end. There is a ladder that goes up to the catwalk. Crazy idiots.

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Bert has mad-dog skillz

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Irby trial delayed. Defense will use a neurologist.

Update: The motion contains some interesting details. Apparently Patrick Beasley is the prosecutor. The motion also states "defense counsel needs additional time to engage experts and to have adequate time for said experts such as an accident reconstructionist, a toxicologist, and a neurologist to review discovery and to conduct independent examinations in order to assist the defense in this case."

Why exactly would the defense use a neurologist as an expert? Several comments on this website have claimed she would say she passed out or had a "condition". Would the defense's statement about requiring expert testimony from a neurologist validate these comments?

Copy of motion

Original post: Called the Courthouse two hours ago to check on the case and found out about this development. Was going to post after I got a copy of the order and uploaded it but apparently the CL isn't going to cooperate with me. The order will be published on this site later today.

It was originally scheduled for July but Judge Green agreed to a continuance. Sources have also told JJ Green is not willing to engage in any major cases until after she becomes Senior Judge (Judge Yerger announced his retirement), as she is measuring drapes so to speak. It should also be noted Judge Green usually only has three terms a year for criminal cases: March, July, November. Such a schedule would explain the long continuance.

Note: Warning: I've been over to the CL site and saw some of the garbage being posted in the comments section. Any of that stuff winds up here it's coming down the first chance I have to remove it.

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It's safe to fly. Trust us.


It seems as though some companies are importing airline mechanics from Mexico who can't read or speak English, not to mention they aren't really licensed. Wonder why the unions haven't made a fuss about this. (Of course when you have a conflict of interest like Jim Evans does that might be one reason). Better yet, how about Al Qaida using this loophole.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's Faye.

New city attorney will be Faye. I reported before it was going to be city prosecutor, but it's going to be city attorney. Don't worry, I'm going to read over her contract line by line. No more SOREs.

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I report, you decide.

One of the uglier things I've seen written about Sarah Palin and it's from a conservative:Read all the way through

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You can't make this up.

"we will never "solve" crime by focusing on it as the city's biggest problem. Only someone very ignorant about crime would argue that, and we have plenty in this city, starting with those yucks who run The Clarion-Ledger.Everyone should read "Community: The Structure of Belonging" by Peter Block, especially if you thinking of running for office.
posted by
ladd on 12/09/08 at 11:25 AM " No Comment

Note: Posted this last year. Thought it deserved another look.

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Meet the new bonds...........same as the old bonds........

Looks like Wall Street has created more weapons of financial destruction for cities such as Jackson. Apparently everyone (but Rick Hill and Leslie McLemore) is getting wise to the interest rate swap game on municipal bonds which has blown up more than a few municipal budgets.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
Much like auction-rate, variable-rate, and corporate floating-rate debt, the new tax-free "Windows" or "X-tender" securities offer municipalities the ability to borrow for the long term while paying only short-term interest rates.
This model proved dangerous during the credit crisis. Banks and bond insurers -- who offered both express and tacit guarantees to backstop the debt -- failed to live up to some of their promises....Borrowers like municipalities, nonprofit institutions and student-lending companies faced penalizing interest rates well over 10% for months...
Like auction-rate securities and other variable-rate debt, the new instruments have an interest rate that resets every week, but this one is based on a short-term municipal debt index....
This time, though, the banks removed some of the weak links from auction-rate securities and variable-rate demand bonds. Instead of banks or bond insurers acting as a guarantor or buyer of last resort at the auctions -- which they were increasingly forced to do last year -- the borrower itself promises to accelerate repayment. The borrower has seven months to repay.
That structure puts greater risks on the back of the borrower, which needs to come up with the money to repay bonds...." Story

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Omaha: Alex Box North

Omaha is looking better and better. Good thing Virginia has a deep pitching staff. They will need every pitcher they have. I'm picking LSU and NC for the final at this point. Texas has looked weak for four games now. LSU dominated last night and has beaten three really good teams in a row rather convincingly. Arkansas could beat Virginia but I doubt it. I like NC against Texas and I don't think USM has the arms to stay past today. To get past LSU and make it to the final series, Arkansas or UVa has to win three games. I don't see that happening.

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Last week's crime stats

Jackson crime stats for June 8-14, 2009

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Laura Pendergest-Holt is THE Hottest Defendant in Mississippi

Congratulations go to Laura Pendergest-Holt, formerly of the Stanford Group and the winner of Jackson Jambalaya's "Hottest Defendant in Mississippi" poll. It was a tough race, as she had some serious competition from Karen Irby, but in the end she won, edging Ms. Irby by 83 votes. Laura received 83 votes (40%) while Karen Irby received 80 votes (39%). Honorable Mentions go to Sheral Smith -21 votes (10%) and Tyshuna Cooper-18 votes (8%). Regardless of the outcome, one thing is certain: Mississippi has many beautiful women, even among its accused.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Attention Fish & Fisher Lien and Judgment Holders:


An arbitrator just gave them a lil' ole jackpot of $1.3 million. Since they owe nearly two million dollars in judgments and liens (see earlier post), the people they stiffed may want to run to the Sheriff's office real quick-like, if you know what I mean.

Bancorpsouth, Puckett Machinery, State Tax Commission, IRS, Bonds Company, H&E Equipment Service, and so on..... wake up!

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2009 Golden Eagles baseball: best USM team ever

Without realizing it, Clarion-Ledger sportswriter Rick Cleveland shows exactly what ails Mississippi in his latest column. Mr. Cleveland opined yesterday on whether USM's trip to Omaha was the greatest event in USM sports history. While the USM AD said it was, Mr. Cleveland said he couldn't "rubber stamp" that opinion and proceeded to discuss memorable events of USM sports over the years: NIT Champeeeenship, Ole Miss victory in football, the Liberty Bowl (yes, you read right) victory, the 1953 victory over Bama, and other achievements. At the end, he declines to give the Omaha trip the top spot: "So, I’m not quite ready to rate this baseball run as the greatest achievement in USM sports history." Column

Mr. Cleveland's column is a perfect example of why Mississippi is usually last in most categories and what ails this state. Picking the top achievement for USM athletics is a no-brainer: the trip to Omaha. USM is playing for a national championship in a major sport. The only other teams in USM history that did so were the women's softball team ten years ago, which were also omitted by Mr. Cleveland. The Gold Sox are playing on national tv, are the subject of the national media for a solid week, won a Super Regional on Florida's home field and they are compared to a team that went to the Liberty Bowl? If the Gold Sox can win the next game, they still have a pretty good shot at making it to the Champeeeenship series against LSU.

Mr. Cleveland instead focuses on USM beating the neighbors. Just like a typical Mississippian: worrying about beating Alabama and Louisiana while we get left behind by the rest of the country. This is the same mindset afflicting most Ole Miss and MSU baseball fans as well. They look at the college baseball season as they do the football season: "We beat Bama. YEAH!" or "We beat Ole Miss this weekend! How bout dem Dawgs." I remember when Ole Miss beat then number-one ranked Georgia (every serious college baseball fans means those rankings don't mean anything) a few weeks ago, my Ole Miss friends were bragging about it for several days. However, these wins mean nothing unless your idea of success is to beat State or Bama. Most LSU baseball fans couldn't care less which team LSU beats.... as long as LSU gets to Omaha. Go to the major baseball powers: LSU, Miami, Texas, even Rice, and you will rarely hear regular season games discussed the same way they are in Mississippi. They focus on competing at Omaha or trying to get there, not beating the cousins. While the fans and programs here focus on winning the SEC or beating their neighbors, the top programs (and their fans) worry more about how they will do in the playoffs and making that trip to the Midwest in June. Regular season is seen as practice for the playoffs, not a regular season per se. Rarely is getting to a Super Regional or going to Omaha discussed as a regular goal- its seen as a reward, not something to be expected. Meanwhile the fans here focus on their own backyard then are shocked when they can't seem to get past the regional or super regionals and then start blaming the coaches when in reality, the teams didn't have the same talent level as those at Omaha.

However, back to Mr. Cleveland's column. One wonders what Mr. Cleveland thought as he refused to give this run at Omaha the honor it was due. Maybe Mr. Cleveland has covered so many bad sports programs he feels like a prisoner and suffers from Stockholm syndrome.
Whatever the reason for not placing a "rubber stamp" on the baseball team, the Golden Eagles' run at the NCAA Baseball Champeeeenship is without question the greatest event in USM sports history. Congratulations to the Gold Sox.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Banks Get Dirty in Fighting Mortgage Mods

Apparently some of the banks don't like the fact private firms are helping homeowners get their mortgages modified by lenders, as they are now pulling the merchant credit cards of some firms:
"I got a call today from someone who is in the loan modification business In Arizona. He told me that if you’re a loan modification company, you will not be allowed to have a merchant account with Wells Fargo anymore. Even if you’ve had months of success, no charge-backs, or no complaints… your account will just be terminated because Wells Fargo has apparently decided it doesn’t like what you do for a living,
And that will be that.
Wells Fargo has decided that they’re just not allowing loan modification companies to process credit cards anymore....
When a customer is terminated, they’re listed on the Customer Terminated Merchant File (TMF), a database that acts like a black list for banks. Few if any banks will touch an account that’s been TMF’d..
." story

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Want to get the latest on the Iranian (Persian) protests?


Cool thing is it reloads on its own.

Some notable tweets:
StopAhmadi: NEWS: 3 minibuses with extra police forces on their way to Blvd Golsar NOW! #iranelection

tshewang: RT @everynerd RT: @nzanjani: iranian army has announced its neutrality. that's an open invitation to revolution, in case 1/2 #iranelection

k6o: RT @IranRiggedElect conf:Mousavi:I'm fine but being watched. my office shut down. party members arrested. #iranelection (via @razzmichi)

2hamed: Iran's Army: we will only fight the outsider enemy not our own ppl. #iranelection

jmcesteves: RT @fantomplanet RT @DruidSmith RT @W7VOA: Heavy electronic jamming of BBC Persian TV: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/... #iranelection

Robot117: They are using Arab anti-riot police b/c they themselves are Arabs and not Persians. Get out of our land. #iranelection #cnnfail

Tired & beaten. we couldn't break through their wall, they were too many & we were no match for an entire army of special forcesabout 1 hour ago from TwitterFox

# Students & people fighting back a large group of police & Basij right now at university of physics! I'm going to join them. #iranelectionabout 3 hours ago from TwitterFox

# Gordanhaye Ashora (IRG's Elite infantry division) seen at Narmak in standby & fully armed with military equipment. #iranelectionabout 4 hours ago from TwitterFox

Iranians twittering from Iran

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No comment.

Warning: language.

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It's Sunday Morning

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Auburn sinking: Colonial gets cease & desist order

Looks like Bobby Lowder might not have his personal piggy bank much longer. Colonial Bank cease and desist order

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Parker in snit over Palin

Kathleen Parker, who can't wait to squeal "They LIKE me", gets in a little snit over Palin as she makes her out to be a bumpkin from the sticks who never saw the big city before and can't wait to come back for more.

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A lake disappears in Louisiana

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Francesca Da Rimini

The story of Francesca da Ramini, as told by Tchaikovsky. She was married to a cripple and was killed by her husband when caught with her lover. She is found by Dante in the first level of hell where she and her lover are chained to each other. Their punishment is they are to be together for eternity, the result being their passion wears out and they come to the point where they hate each other. Moving piece by Tchaikovsky.

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Governor Barbour on CNBC

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South has strongest housing market


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Mississippi Supreme Court to Jackson: NO!

Mississippi Supreme Court Decision

Mississippi Supreme Court affirms lower court decision granting Byram's request to incorporate.

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Ed Peters disbarred.

"In Re: Petition of the Mississippi Bar to Accept Irrevocable Resignation of Edward J. Peters; Majority Opinion: Dickinson, J. Disposition: Petition of the Mississippi Bar to Accept Irrevocable Resignation Pursuant to Rule 10, MRD is granted. Edward J. Peters is hereby permanently disbarred from the practice of law in the State of Mississippi. This order shall constitute notice of permanent disbarment in this cause. Edward J. Peters taxed with costs of appeal. Votes: Waller, C.J., Carlson and Graves, P.JJ., Randolph, Lamar, Kitchens, Chandler and Pierce, JJ., Concur." decision

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Good interview with Dr. Anna Schwartz

This is a good interview with Dr. Anna Schwartz, probably the most credible and leading economist alive today. A co-author with Milton Friedman, she worked during the Great Depression and remembers it quite well. She still works as an economist at age 94.

Earlier post of interview with Dr. Schwartz in WSJ.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Good Job, Mississippi

Good job, Mississippi. We have one thing in Jackson that works pretty well for autistic kids, so in true Mississippi fashion we shut it down. These kids are going to suffer by being placed in regular public schools. They are going to be ostracized by the other children, not fit in that well, and suffer from teachers and staff who are uninformed and poorly trained in dealing with autistic students. While some school systems such as Madison are proactive in dealing with special needs children, others are clueless, and treat such children and their parents as a nuisance, even though by doing so, are in violation of Federal IDEA law.

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Check your credit card statements

Over on Tigerdroppings.com:
"All the more reason why I don't like to deal with CC companies.
She only uses this card for gas purchases. Total bill this month was $93.00.
The bill has ALWAYS been due on the 12th of every month. We pay it in full each and every month and always on time.
This month, they changed her billing due date to the 8th without any notification. I pulled all of her on-line statements dating back to November 12, 2007 and each and every one have the billing due date as the 12th.
I guess their looking for a late fee from us. I paid it tonight, but it won't post until the 9th. Very sneaky, in my opinion."

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Persac fined over $3 million, look who the attorneys were

Local mortgage broker Lance Persac was indicted in 2005 for mortgage fraud (Mortgage Fraud Blog story). He pled guilty in August of 2008 and was ordered to pay a fine of $3,049,969.12. Copy of plea. He currently awaits sentencing.

What is interesting about this deal is who his lawyers were: Joey Langston and Ed Peters. When the Scruggs scandal broke, they withdrew from the case and Stephen Farese represented Mr. Persac.

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Just a little keyed-up

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Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm going to say it:

Federer is NOT the best tennis player of all time. When he wins six French Opens and five Wimbledons, then he can claim that title. I'd still rank Laver ahead of him as well. I never considered Sampras the best ever as he won his slams on surfaces that favored his big serve and sucked on clay. Before you can be called best ever, you have to win a slam on all surfaces. That limits it to Borg, Laver, Connors, Agassi, Federer, and a couple of others. I put Laver as the greatest followed by Borg. Sorry but Federer needs to win on clay more than once before he can claim that title.

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Irby Question, Is She or Isn't She?

Is Karen Irby under house arrest? While some media stories say she is:

"Irby, 38, was in a wheelchair. She had a boot cast on one foot.
She has been placed on house arrest and will be monitored electronically."
(The Clarion-Ledger, Jimmie Gates, May 13, 2009)

" As part of her bond agreement, Karen Irby was placed on house arrest and ordered to be monitored electronically, court records show." (WAPT, May 13, 2009)
Court records are somewhat ambiguous,. Copy of Court Orders, as the first order never states she is under "house arrest" while the order clarifying the bond order blithely refers to a "house arrest" in one sentence.

The Court gave Mrs. Irby a "conditional bond" and is under the supervision of Hinds County Probation Services Company. There is also a "Supplemental Order Clarifying Conditions of Bond". It decreed that Mrs. Irby surrender her passport nor can she leave the state without permission,

A source at the company monitoring Mrs. Irby said the monitoring is done through the use of a radio-frequency ankle bracelet. Such devices use a "home station" that is installed at the defendant's home and the radius is set at 150 yards or so. The source also said she was under a monitored bond and not under house arrest. However, the clarification does refer to a house arrest, so the question must be asked: Is Karen Irby under house arrest?

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new.....

Update: Found out what happened. They changed owners a month ago. Nathan sold that location.

My favorite dessert the past six months in Jackson has been the strawberry cake at Basils. Naturally that means they had to recently change the recipe. Heavier texture and blander taste. Is this just a simple change or yet another case of a restaurant changing things after it makes it big? Oh well, they still have their killer lemon icebox pie. How killer? G*$% D&$*! Cobra Kang Snake killer.

And I've also discovered homemade strawberry pie with homemade whipped topping. My taste buds are still in awe of that culinary experience.

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Miss the Ole Miss game today?

Don't have time to watch a replay? Read this game thread on Tigerdroppings.com>
It gets real good around page 7 and later.

Note: Students were in their section ordering tickets to omaha on their cellphones. Priceless.

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Raid on Entebbe

Part 12, the ending is rather touching.

For Lotus and her fellow anti-Semites.

Terrorists seized airplane and flew it to Uganda where Idi Amine protected them. Israelis didn't take this one lying down and sent in a C-130 with commandos led by Netanyahu's brother to free the hostages.

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It's Sunday morning

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Internet access tax coming?

Uh-oh. Our Republican friends in the Louisiana House have cooked up a tax idea worthy of any Democrat: a 15 cent tax on internet access fees. WWL reports:
"A 15-cent monthly surcharge should be levied on Internet access across Louisiana to fight online criminal activity, the House voted 81-9 Thursday, over the opposition of Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Rep. Mack "Bodi" White, R-Denham Springs, said he sponsored the bill for Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, to raise money to finance a division in Caldwell's office that investigates Internet crimes, particularly online sex crimes against children.
The measure would raise $2.4 million a year for Caldwell's department, according to a financial analysis.
"I don't think that 15 cents per month is too much to ask for our children's protection," said Rep. Simone Champagne, D-Jeanerette. .."
WWL story

Anyone think it will stay at 15 cents? Thanks alot Republicans.

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Notice anything?

This is CAIR's website (and the whole page. Nothing was cropped off.) Is there anything missing that should be on it?

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Obamanomics so far.............

There was a very good comment made about this post yesterday and I've moved it up as it is worth reading:
"The unemployment graph is telling. While conventional wisdom views unemployment as a lagging indicator a growing number of economists are revisiting that theory as they become convinced that in this meltdown unemployment has morphed into a leading indicator because increasing income losses and debt defaults are exponentially exascerbating our deep economic malaise. (Similar to your own reporting that mortgages previously considered solid and safe are now foreclosing in new monthly record numbers.)

Not only should unemployment be viewed as a leading indicator of more bad news to come but the unemployement data trend is higher, not flat or lower, despite the euphoria this week of lower than expected first time claims. Take California for example which stands on the brink of economic calamity. The tenth largest economy in the world led the nation in April job losses and has the 5th highest unemployment rate. Anyone who thinks that won't have a ripple effect nationwide is smoking too much of that good Eastover weed.

As we have seen firsthand here in Jackson poplation losses add to the misery. In the Census Bureau year ending July08 the two states with the highest net outflow of population was California and New York (another basket case on economic life support). As both of those states provide some of the most (obscenely) generous social program handouts in the United States you can bet the ranch that the people leaving are not those on public assistance.

The Executive Director of the National Association of State Budget Officers is on CSPAN this week communicating that at least 35 states are forecasting FY10/11 revenues LOWER than FY09/10. In other words a minimum of 70% of our states are predicting not only serious but also accelerating budgetary shortfalls over the next two years.Hang on because we haven't seen anything yet. And say a prayer for Haley Barbour -- the best friend Mississippi taxpayers have ever had.
June 6, 2009 11:16 AM

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Eddie Murphy on first black President

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NYPD Police Officers successful in leading other departments..

Note: I posted this a long time ago but since we are going to have a new Mayor, this is still relevant. If I was advising Harvey I would say stay away from JPD officers, anyone from law enforcement in Mississippi, and repeat what you did in hiring Moore as JPD Chief. Resumes and track records don't lie and the NYPD has been turning out some leaders that have become successful chiefs elsewhere. Mayor-elect Johnson should take a serious look at this idea.

Last week I wrote a post about reforming JPD by hiring outsiders with no connections to JPD or Mississippi as leadership positions opened. This article in City Journal examined how many police departments nationwide are hiring NYPD officials to lead their departments with much success:
"Since the late 1990s, more than 18 police commanders have left the New York City police department to run their own agencies elsewhere.....
the diaspora also includes lesser-known young Turks who rose quickly through the NYPD’s ranks during the paradigm-shattering 1990s. Now, as chiefs in their own right, they’re proving the efficacy of analytic, accountable policing in agencies wholly dissimilar from New York’s—in one case, achieving success beyond anything seen in Gotham or elsewhere.....
he moved to a very different city. East Orange, New Jersey, has 70,000 citizens by official counts, about 95 percent of them black, and deep pockets of poverty. Crime there—much of it violent—had started skyrocketing in 1999, reaching a per-capita rate in 2003 that was 14 times that of New York City and five times that of Detroit. East Orange’s mayor recruited Cordero to quell the violence; Cordero started work in 2004. The results were astonishing. By the end of 2007, major felonies had dropped 68 percent, and homicides 67 percent, from their 2003 high—possibly a national record. (By comparison, from 1993, the year before Bratton arrived in New York City, through 1997, major felonies in New York dropped 41 percent and homicides 60 percent.) East Orange’s remarkable experience should give pause to criminologists, who too often ascribe crime drops to anything but policing reforms......" Story

We have stuck with these dysfunctional retreads leading JPD for far too long. Hopefully the next adminstration will take the bull by the horns and hire some true leadership that has no connections to this area as other cities have done with these NYPD alumni. As long as we put up with the good ole boy crap, we will continue to get the crime rate we deserve.

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Banks playing more games

Think the banks are doing better? Guess again. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday:
"The financial-services industry is taking steps to delay an accounting rule that would force banks and others to bring some of their off-balance-sheet vehicles back onto their books next year, which could force some to raise additional capital.
A group that includes the Chamber of Commerce, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the American Council of Life Insurers and others sent a letter on June 1 to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, regarding the off-balance-sheet accounting-rule change, saying it should be adopted "cautiously and seek to minimize any chilling effect on our frozen credit markets....

Now the group of financial organizations is trying to put the brakes on the off-balance-sheet accounting measure, which would force banks to bring hundreds of billions in assets back onto their balance sheets at the beginning of 2010, effectively forcing them to set aside more capital. Some accounting experts say they aren't surprised by the banking industry's latest effort. "Here we go again. They will get out their checkbooks and go to the Hill," says Lynn Turner, the Securities and Exchange Commission's former chief accountant.
The rule would apply to existing off-balance-sheet entities, known as qualifying special purpose entities, which were generally used by banks to package and sell off to investors loans they had made..

I've said all along the banks balance sheets are trash. Citi has nearly a trillion dollars in SIV's (off-balance sheet assets) for example. "Sure, we have profits of $40 million this quarter. What about that $5 billion of stuff not on that balance sheet? Don't worry about that, it doesn't count." Seems as though I heard that one before and it was at Enron and Worldcom. The banks are insolvent and instead of actually having some accountability and getting a handle on this problem, the banks and their allies want to play more shell games and keep investors and the public from knowing how bad their balance sheets really are. To use one of my favorite sayings, they expect us to have learned nothing and forgotten everything.

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Farewell, David Carradine

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Big banks ripping you off again

They are taking our money throught TARP while getting ready to jack up our gasoline prices:
"JPMorgan, which has never hired an oil tanker based on data compiled by Bloomberg going back five years, follows companies including Citigroup Inc.’s Phibro LLC unit and BP Plc in hiring ships to store crude or oil products at sea. The firms are seeking to take advantage of higher prices later in the year. " You can't make this up

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Remember Midway

John Ford's "Battle of Midway":

Part 1

Part 2 (starts with the attack on the Jap fleet)

There is a good discussion of the battle on Redstate and a good analysis of what the battle meant for America:

"Midway was a great victory, but a defensive one. The Japanese had been decisively beaten, but at the height of their tide. Midway assured that Japan would not win the war; the only hope for Japan from that point would be to try to make the coming American counter-offensive so costly that Americans would lose heart and seek to negotiate some reasonable peace with Japan rather than fight onward to complete victory.

Taken in this light, Midway is probably comparable in American history to Gettysburg. Gettysburg was also a great but defensive victory. While the loss at Gettysburg did not doom the Confederacy, it did ensure that the Confederacy could not win the war on its own terms. From that point, the Confederate strategy could only be to fight so costly and stubborn a defensive war that the Union would lose heart and agree to peace.

There is a further parallel though. Beyond the political landscape and the strategies, there is the human factor. At Gettysburg, Lee’s best troops – his crack regiments from Virginia and North Carolina – were virtually annihilated in the final failed attack on Cemetery Ridge. With his best troops gone forever, Lee’s army was never the same again.

A similar disaster struck the Japanese at Midway. In addition to the catastrophic (and never made-up) loss of four (two-thirds) of their fleet carriers, the Japanese fliers based on those carriers were lost almost to the last man. These were the veteran pilots who had flown at Pearl Harbor and had terrorized the Pacific and Indian Oceans from Hawaii to Ceylon, from the Aleutians to Australia. Combined with the earlier aircrew losses at Coral Sea, those men were now almost all gone – and they were never to be replaced

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Obama the fool.

Obama today: "No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons."

Oh really? I guess the Brits shouldn't have decided on their own to take out the Nazis' atomic bomb project. Tell that to any one of N. Korea's neighbors or Israel when Syria decided to acquire nukes last year. What an idiot.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Latest crime stats for Jackson

Crime Stats

Looks like crime dropped for downtown Jackson although Ridgewood Road picked up a bit.

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Just had a thought about the Irby case.

She is under house arrest.

Could that be used as credit for time served? I can see it now, drag the trial out for two years, then get credit. Can it happen?

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Santelli: Geithner is lying

Sorry for the poor quality.

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The Clarion-Ledger editorial on GM filing bankruptcy yesterday:
"GM's bankruptcy - part of a massive government bailout - is designed to remake the company into a smaller, leaner organization that emphasizes its stronger products and throws off some of its crushing expenses."

What stronger products will GM emphasize? The government is going to make GM ditch its most profitable ones, trucks and larger cars. Do Hampton and Agnew even watch the news anymore?

Meanwhile, GM says since it is going to be a private company it won't release as much financial information as it has in the past:
"As a privately held company, it's likely we're not going to disclose information except to the shareholders," Ray Young, GM chief financial officer, said Tuesday.
Young noted that the company is expected to eventually go public again, when it will be subject to public reporting requirements. However, the company is still considering how much information to share as a private company
." Story

Oh really? Who do you think owns you? Remember Die Hard? The United States Federal Government. That means us. The taxpayers. WE are the shareholders, which means you are probably also subject to...........Freedom of Information Act requests. I bet no one thought of that one yet. What arrogance.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nice deal if you can get it.

Go ahead and take a look at what you are paying for in GM's worker layoff.

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Local conservative opposing Sotomayer gets it wrong

The Clarion-Ledger's pet conservative, Matt Friedeman, opined on Obama's nomination of Judge Sotomayer to the Supreme Court. His diatribe against her confirmation was predictable and frankly, not well thought out or researched.

First he makes a comment about her so-called racist comment about "a wise latina woman". The uproar over this comment is getting rather tiresome as it was but one comment. Our society has reached the point where a single comment is blown out of proportion and repeated over and over until the person who uttered the offensive statement is placed on the same level as any klukker from 100 years ago. If Sotomayer is a racist, it will show up in her jurisprudence. While the comment makes for a good sound bite, her writings and opinions over the years are a better indicator of what her true thoughts and feelings are.

Mr. Friedeman then trots out a claim made by some former clerks about her being a "bully". This accusation first appeared in a poorly written and researched article in the New Republic that relied heavily on gossip and anonymous sources. However, it's been picked up by some who oppose her nomination as "proof" of how her temperment is ill-suited for the Court.

Reverend Matt also throws out the charge that 60% of her decisions were reversed by the Supreme Court. Some clarification is needed here: while it is true 60% of her decisions were reversed, it is also true that the actual number was three out of five decisions were reversed. A pretty low number and if one had gone the other way, then 60% of her decisions would have been affirmed by the Court. Using the 60% figure is misleading, to say the least.

As an opponent of Sotomayer, there are better ways to fight this nomination. Is she a racist? Examine her opinions and comments over the years. One remark does not a racist make but several opinions will show where her true sympathies lie. What does she think of using foreign jurisprudence in reaching a decision? That would be a great question to ask her. If she is a liberal in the mold of Breyer, she might get tripped up into admitting we should use the laws of other countries as precedent for Supreme Court decisions. What does she think the role of federalism should be? Does she think there are limits to the Commerce Clause's application or should the Federal Government be able to legislate on anything? Does she think an overwhelming majority of one ethnic group in any field or test results is itself evidence of racial discrimination or does the process or procedures used matter more? There are plenty of other questions that could be asked of her but you get the idea.

If conservatives want to oppose this nomination, then by all means do so but do it right. Don't trot out half-baked charges that look foolish upon further examination. Doing so only cheapens the conservative movement and gives ammunition to the enemy.

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Trollfest '09

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

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

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

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

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS