Monday, August 31, 2009

Weill: JPD has too many civilians

JPD Budget Summary
JPD Officer/Civilian Mix Highlights
JPD Officer/Civilian Mix comparison to other cities

Ward 1 Councilman certainly dropped a bombshell today as he released a study he requested from the Millaps School of Management comparing the police officer/civilian employee mix in comparison to other cities. Mr. Weills focused on several points raised by the study:

1. The percentage of civilians in the police departments of other cities is approximately a 20% average. JPD's is 38%.
2. Only 3% of the Jackson Fire Department employees are civilians.
3. Releasing fifty civilian employees would allow JPD to hire fifty police officers at no additional cost to the city (One assumes that excludes training expenses.).
4. Terminating 100 civilian employees would allow JPD to also give each officer a $2500 a year raise in addition to hiring more officers.
5. Reaching the Southern ratio of 20% would allow the City to hire over 600 police officers.

Mayor Johnson complained to the Jackson Free Press that Weill didn't go through proper channels and avoided discussing any issues raised by the study:
"This survey appears to be an attempt to carry out a function of the administration, or it seems, at the very least, to be mixing the administrative and legislative functions," Johnson commented to the Jackson Free Press via e-mail. "When these types of surveys are done using sources outside the city, the results are shared with the legislative branch after the Administration reviews the findings and asks questions. There is no indication that this occurred. It appears that this survey was done at the request of one member of the City Council." Article

The study will be presented today to the City Council at its weekly meeting.

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The Steadivest website is down.

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Schimmel's in Chapter 11

Update: Mr. Schimmel made a very good comment. Scroll down in the comments section, it wil be under "Jay". Gave us a peek at what we can expect from Schimmels and what is going on with his restaurant right now.

Unfortunately for Jackson, Schimmel's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May (The majority of money owed is for taxes.). I hate seeing this happen as I like to see local establishments such as this one succeed. Mr. Schimmel placed his bet on Fondren and blazed the trail others have followed. In some ways, Mr. Schimmel was the birth of the Fondren Renaissance and I hope the community will support his restaurant. When Schimmel's opened, there was no Auditorium or Fondren after Five and the 2906 building was a fading hulk of concrete and steel. Hopefully Schimmel's will enjoy its own Reniassance. Mr. Schimmel placed his bet on Jackson, its time for us to return the favor.


Copy of BK petition

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Tax sale today

Very interesting. Isaac Byrd, pay up. Same for you David Baria.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

What MY Chase would look like.

Just took a look at the races lined up for the Chase this year: Talladega, Phoenix, Homestead, Martinsville, Texas, Charlotte, Fontana, Dover, Loudan, Kansas.

One superspeedway, one short track, and the rest are cookie-cutters. If I was picking the tracks for the Chase, here is what I would pick:

1. Atlanta. Fastest track on circuit without restrictor plates.
2. Saturday night race at Bristol. A no-brainer.
3. Talladega. nuff said
4. Charlotte. Home of NASCAR
5. Fontana
6. Texas. Fontana and Texas are major markets.
7. Darlington. Southern 500 needs to be in the Chase.
8. Dover. The Monster Mile
9. Richmond. Best short track after Bristol. Great night racing.
10. Chicago. Once again, great market and good track.

2 short tracks, a true superspeedway, the birth of Nascar is included as well as a mix of old and the new. The last race should be in Charlotte. A night race in Charlotte for the Championship. NASCAR's home and the state where is most popular. Anyway, that is my NASCAR fantasy Chase.

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Today's useless bit of information....

Mississippi ranked dead last in per capita spending on Cash for Clunkers.

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The Real Seabiscuit

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

He just won't go away.

Warning: Language and acting like a dumb redneck.

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Breaking: Investors sue SteadiVest, owner Wolfe, Travelstead, McRaney, Adcock, Harrington

WLBT story

First part of lawsuit
Second part of lawsuit

Investors of SteadiVest filed a lawsuit in Rankin County Circuit Court yesterday against SteadiVest owner Marshall Wolfe, Attorney Patrick McRaney, Joel Travelstead, Investlink/TFS Income Fund, The Investlinc Group, and several John Does. The suit charges the defendants with the following counts:
Count I: MTW Fraud
Count II: Steadivest Capital/TFS Fraud
Count III: Steadivest, LLC Fraud
Count IV: Negligent Misrepresentation
Count V: Conversion
Count VI: Civil Conspiracy

The lawsuit seeks return of all monies lost, attorneys' fees and court costs, and punitive damages. The lawsuit claims the defendants defrauded the plaintiffs of over six million dollars through the sale of phony promissory notes, (remember Ed Peters and the Nasa case?), which defendants used to support a lavish lifestyle while lying to investors about the true nature of the financial state of Mr. Wolfe's companies.

Note: Will write more later, don't have time to write a full post.

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Green shoot or weed?

Look at Table 9 in Fannie Mae's July report. Notice anything?

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Latest crime stats for Jackson

Here are the crime stats for the week of August 16, 2009 for Jackson, Ms.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Investors sought TRO against Steadivest

Copy of Petition for Temporary Restraining Order against Steadivest

Several plaintiffs filed a Petition for a Temporary Restraining Order against Steadivest in Rankin County Chancery Court on March, 20, 2009. Steadivest is a "family" of companies operated in Pearl by Marshall Wolfe and was the subject of a post yesterday about its problems in bankruptcy and suspected fraud. Rick Lacey, Mike Yarbro, Sue Yarbro, MYSY Rental, Inc.,, A.J. Warren III sought relief from the Court against Steadivest and Mr. Wolfe. The petition states:

"Plaintiff Rick Lacey is a member and minority owner of Steadivest, LLC. ....

Plaintiffs Mike Yarbro, Sue Yarbro, MYSY Rental, Inc., Mike Lacey, and A.J. Warren, III are creditors of Steadivest, LLC.....

Defendant Marshall Wolfe made material misrepresentations to induce the Plaintiffs to invest and/or loan money to, or for Steadivest, LLC. Certain of the representations made by Wolfe were, upon information and belief, either intentionally, or negligently, inaccurate. These acts on the part of Wolfe have and will continue to adversely impact the Plaintiffs and others similarly situated.

Upon information and belief, the Defendants, individually and collectively, have committed waste of the assets of Steadivest, LLC and have failed to act in the best interests of the subject LLC, its members, and its creditors to the extent that the LLC is no longer able to meet its financial obligations. Moreover, Marshall Wolfe individually has admitted that Steadivest, LLC and its subsidiaries are in financial peril.

Plaintiffs have rightfully requested a financial accounting and audited financial statement concerning the condition of Steadivest, LLC from Defendant Wolfe on many occasion between October, 2008 and March 18, 2009. Defendant Wolfe, on behalf of Steadivest, LLC, has wholly failed and contumaciously (Give that word to O'Reilly or the Hot for Words girl) refused to produce the requested documentation to Plaintiffs."

The petition sought to bar Wolfe from any contact with Steadivest and keep him from withdrawing any assets from the company. It also asked the Court to bar him from the premises as they feared documents would be destroyed. The TRO request was never adjudicated as Mr. Wolfe filed a Suggestion of Bankruptcy in response to the petition on March 25, 2009, citing his filing a petition for bankruptcy in Bankruptcy Court on March 23, 2009. The response was successful as federal law provided an automatic stay of this legal action against Steadivest. The plaintiffs however, filed a motion shortly afterwards asking the Court to convert the Chapter 11 filing to a Chapter 7. They argued Mr. Wolfe only filed bankruptcy for one of his companies and was using the Court as a shell game of sorts to stick one company with the bad debts while he continued to operate his other companies (Companies that all had the same address, same owner, and were in the same industry.). The Court agreed and ordered the conversion to a Chapter 7 filing.

I wrote yesterday this case raised every red flag possible for a case of suspected fraud. Sources have told JJ the amount of money investors lost was close to twenty million dollars (A list of the debts has not been released by the Court yet.) and that Mr. Wolfe claims his company collapsed because of the subprime lending meltdown. If this is true, nothing could be further from the truth as when Mr. Wolfe was producing his slick little videos last year, subprime lending had already disappeared in the mortgage industry.

Mr. Wolfe took money from local investors (many of whom went to church with him at Pine Lake Baptist Church) to lend out to individuals interested in purchasing cheap properties in the Jackson area to either rent out or "flip". Mr. Wolfe never financed more than 65% loan to value on the property, which put his company in a good position in case of foreclosure (This is verified on his website.). Mr. Wolfe charged the borrower 3% monthly and guaranteed a return to his investors. Unfortunately, Mr. Wolfe liked to live the good life as he bought a million dollar home in the Palisades and was known for his extravagant living while his investors' money disappeared. If this storyline sounds familiar, it should as regular JJ readers will remember the Linda Harmon story reported earlier this year on this website. One can only hope Mr. Wolfe is not the Mississippi Madoff as this story develops.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Steadivest...snakes or snake-bitten?

Has another scam taken place in Jackson? Such a scenario might be the case according to recent U.S. Bankruptcy Court filings in Jackson. Steadivest is a "Family of companies" according to a letter written by its managing member, W. Marshall Wolfe. The family consists of Steadivest Capital, Steadivest Development, Steadivest Lending, Steadivest Properties, Steadivest Resources, and the Steadivest Contrarian Fund (Hereafter the "family" will be referred to as Steadivest.).

Copy of deed of trust

Steadivest advertises on its website expertise in property management, mortgage lending, realtor services, and construction. It promotes its "portfolio services to investors and even offers a "buyback" of properties if necessary:
"SteadiVest’s real estate investment portfolio Program was developed to provide an alternative for investors to achieve exceptional returns in non-owner occupied rental real estate without the challenges of investment property selection and daily management and with all the benefits of portfolio diversification. Your SteadiVest™ portfolio will be professionally selected and managed. Through our SteadiVest™ family of companies, we utilize our proven techniques and experience to select investment properties that will provide a mix of geography, size, current income and appreciation potential. Then we actively manage every aspect of portfolio growth and administration right up to the day you exit your portfolio.

We even offer a guaranteed buy-back* of your SteadiVest™ portfolio properties. Our goal is to build your portfolio value as consistently as possible while minimizing any action from you…and we keep you informed of that value every step of the way through our focused reporting. "

Steadivest even went so far as to produce several slick videos such as this one,

for potential clients, touting investment opportunities in Mississippi. This operation provided an affluent lifestyle for Mr. Wolfe as he purchased the home in the Palisades shown above (The home is currently for listed for sale at $879,900. The deed of trust shows he borrowed $754, 400 from Regions Bank on an ARM at 6.375% for a fixed period of five years.). However, things were apparently not doing as well as claimed by Steadivest. Steadivest, LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 23, 2009. There were between 100 and 199 creditors according to the petition and assets between one and ten million dollars were listed as well. Liabilities were estimated claimed as being less than ten million dollars. Ridgeland attorney Jeffrey Tyree represented Steadivest in the petition. Copy of petition

Investors lost millions of dollars in Steadivest. The top 20 creditors holding unsecured claims are:

Scott Stevens, Cabot, AR: $996,563
MYSY Rental, Inc, Flowood, MS: $996,563
Bobby Isonhood, Canton, MS: $958,694
Alex Breeland, Jr., Madison, MS: $805,224
Ray Montgomery, Jr., Brandon, MS: $737, 457
Natalie Dautenhaum, Brandon, MS: $328,660
Linda Matthews, Cabot, AR: $274,055
Richard Lacey, Brandon, MS: $268,604
Claude Smith, Brookhaven, MS: $205,115
Barbara Albritton, Jackson, MS: $196,993
Jack & Toni Williams, Brandon, MS: $149,484
Terry Bailey, Canton, MS: $127,560
James R. Donald, Raymond, MS: $116,059
Freda Hudson, Brandon, MS: $114,106
Arthur Warren, Flowood, MS: $109,821
Robert Isonhood, Liberty, MS: $99,656
John D. Smith, Brookhaven, MS: $98,371
Sheila Stone, Vicksburg, MS: $96,619
Alex Breeland, Canton, MS: $88,513
Leila Stone, Vicksburg, MS: $81,943

Total: $6,784,060.
Copy of list
List of all creditors

Although Mr. Wolfe filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, several creditors filed a petition with the court to convert the filing to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The petition claimed:

"Steadivest is a holding company with various operating subsidiaries as more particularly described on the flow chart attached as Exhibit "A". None of the operating entities have filed for bankruptcy protection; however, the operating subsidiaries all operating under the Steadivest company name as if it is one entity. In addition to the operating subsidiaries identified on the flow chart, the Lacey Group believes that three additional entities, Investline TFS Income Fund, LLC, Steadivest Contrarian Fun I, LLC, and Steadivest Kansas City, LLC are owned and/or affiliated with the Debtor. "

Steadivest claimed in state court it owned these subsidiaries. A cursory glance on the Mississippi Secretary of State's website at the list of companies in which Mr. Wolfe is an officer reveals he had his fingers in many corporate pies:
Jackson Property Liquidators
MTW Investment Financing (dissolved October 16, 2008)
Steadivest Capital (Created November 15, 2006)
Steadivest Development, LLC (Created October 26, 2005)
Tactical Financial Solutions (Created November 15, 2006)
Invision Real Estate and Property Management (Created August 7, 2007)
Steadivest Properties, LLC (Created August 7, 2007)

Steadivest Contrarian Fund is not owned by Marshall Wolfe BUT he was added as manager in corporate documents and SCF has the same address as the other Steadivest companies. It also was created on October 16, 2008, when MTW was dissolved. Steadivest Lending (Mr. Wolfe was an officer) was licensed with the Department of Banking as a mortgage broker but dissolved on December 15, 2008. However, the motion continues:

"Steadivest, through its subsidiaries, solicited individuals to loan money to Steadivest in return for promissory notes which paid above-market interest rates in monthly installments and contained a provision for repayment upon demand..."

"In November of 2008, Steadivest contacted its note holders and advised that it was unilaterally reducing the interest rate on its notes to 3% and suspending the demand feature of the notes. See Exhibit "B".

"Since the filing of the bankruptcy proceeding, Steadivest has not been able to pay its bills as they come due. Specifically, Steadivest was unable to meet its payroll on Friday, April 10, 2009 and has insufficient cash in the bank to pay the rent on the building where the business is located..." Copy of petition, Steadivest financial statements, List of properties owned by Steadivest

The Court agreed and ordered on May 15, 2009 a conversion of the bankruptcy petition from a Chapter 11 to a Chapter 7 filing. The case is currently pending further action as additional creditors had to be notified of the bankruptcy filing.

I have seen this scenario so many times that I can almost predict the outcome. Firm solicits investors in some exotic creation that promises a new way of doing business. Firm is actually a "family" of companies that are constantly created and dissolved with ownership moved around from officer to officer. Said companies also tend to have very short life spans. Owner lives high on the hog, buying a fancy home on the water in the Palisades as investors give him millions of dollars, only to see the money lost in bankruptcy. Owner files bankruptcy1 for one company while keeping the others operating, thus allowing him to continue the um, game (can't say scam, might get me sued at this point.). This one smells, folks and it doesn't take a genius to figure out what is going on in this case.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

PACER is getting some competition


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Stocks: going up?

Stocks are up, happy days are here again, the Dow is up, things are getting better, right? Well, not so fast. Look at the actual volume being traded on the market. Yahoo News reports:
"NEW YORK (Reuters) - In late August's quiet trading, four troubled financial companies have accounted for a big piece of total volume on the New York Stock Exchange, with all four rallying on little news....
On Monday and on Tuesday morning, the four accounted for more than 40 percent of composite volume on the NYSE. Some attributed this to bets on hoped-for economic improvement and ongoing government support, but others said the volume was due to speculation in popular names with low share prices.....
Tuesday, Citigroup was the volume leader on the NYSE with about 681.7 million shares, as of 1:15 p.m. Citigroup was followed by Fannie with 557.2 million shares, Freddie with 188.4 million and Bank of America with 148.9 million.
To compare, the fifth most-traded stock was General Electric (NYSE:GE - News) with 42.4 million shares traded..." Article

About Citi, here is one little item ignored by many: It expects $44 billion in loan losses in the next 18 months. Green shoots.

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Nathan cooks!!!

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Freddie Mac DQ's are up....again

Take a look at page 2 of Freddie Mac's monthly report on its portfolio. Clue: Delinquencies column.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

McCartys Subpoenaed for Deposition

The Estate of Dr. Daniel Mark Pogue, represented by Ashland attorney John Booth Farese, re-subpoenaed Russell and Catherine McCarty to provide a deposition at the office of local attorney Cal Wells on September 1, 2009. They were subpoenaed several months ago and it is not known why the depositions did not take place.

The Estate filed a Petition to Establish Heirs at Law and Wrongful Death Beneficiaries of Daniel Mark Pogue, Deceased on March 10, 2009. The petition states Paul Steven Pogue is the Administrator of the Estate. Dr. Pogue died without a will and only left two next of kin: his mother, Susan Jane Joiner, and Paul Steven, his brother.

Copy of Petition and Subpoena
Earlier post

Note: See lower sidebar on the right for a collection of all Irby posts.

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Foreclosures & delinquencies in Mississippi

Source: Calculated Risk. See story.

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Mark Chinn gives advice on prenups

The self-proclaimed Darth Vader of divorce lawyers, Mark Chinn, blogs about prenup agreements today:
"Before any one signs a prenuptial agreement, they should consult with counsel. This is true even if the agreement is presented in the days or hours before the marriage. Persons asked to sign a prenuptial agreement in the waning moments before the marriage should see that as a red flag that they are being asked to sign something that may be quite detrimental to them....." Column

He gives some good advice on prenups and cites recent Mississippi case law stating one has a duty to read the agreement before signing it as ignorance will not be a defense. He also has a pretty good post, What to do if you are having an affair that is worth reading.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

New feed added

Check out the sidebar on the right above the WLBT Twitter feed. I added a Youtube feed for the videos produced by State Street Posts, a local blog by Tom Wright, former WLBT & CNN producer.

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Expert? I report, you decide.

Matt Steffey, a professor at Mississippi College School of Law, is a familiar site in the local media, as reporters constantly interview him every time they need "expert analysis" on a story. However, how expert is the analysis? One would expect the expert to actually be an expert on the subject on which he is interviewed. He is considered the "expert" despite the fact he has not practiced law since he was fresh out of law school and has been a professor for 20 years or so. There is just one little fact which brings his expertise and the media's judgement into question, and that is this: Professor Steffey is not licensed to practice law in Mississippi. Search the Mississippi Bar's directory for yourself.

Would someone explain how Steffey is an expert on Mississippi law when he is not even licensed in Mississippi? It is understandable that reporters prefer law professors such as Steffey. When they need a quote or interview from a legal expert, it's usually on short notice, which is not convenient for most lawyers. Most lawyers also don't want to critique other lawyers and judges publicly with whom they might have to practice law . However, there are more than a few retired judges and lawyers who might be willing to give some "expert analysis" if actually asked to do so by the media. (Hmmm...could this be Larry Latham's second career?) Hopefully the local media will start seeking out actual experts and not those who play one on tv.

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This would make a good Sunday dinner

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tea Party today at Jamie Fowler Park

Special Guest Congressman Greg Harper will appear at the Tea Party today at Jamie Fowler Park on Lakeland Drive next to Smith-Wills Stadium. The Tea Party meets from 11:30 to 2:00 PM. Food and drinks will be served so just show up.

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The best argument for the death penalty

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Irby Wars: Episode ?: The Whining of the Shrew

Copy of Response
Motion to Strike

Lisa Binder, attorney for Stuart Irby, filed a Response to Motion to Strike in Hinds County Circuit Court on August 19, 2009. She makes several claims in her response:

1. The Motion to Strike is "at the very least, moot".

2. Ms. Binder still whines about how she obtained a copy of the Motion to Preserve Testimony. She argues "The State's motion interjected into the public eye matters which were meant for the District Attorney's Office (Hey Lisa, guess what? The D.A. WORKS FOR THE PUBLIC. )" Which "matters" does Ms. Binder mean? Its already been shown Mr. Irby's medical records were filed under seal. The letter from Ms. Binder to the D.A.? Once again, the D.A. works for us and if he wants to include a correspondence from Ms. Binder in a court filing, that is his right to do so.

3. The State "issued a Grand Jury Subpoena to a medical provider to Stuart Irby indicating there were Grand Jury proceedings in place to which the medical records were returnable, and directing the medical provider to tender the medical records."

4. "There is no discovery in criminal cases and pre-trial investigatory statements absent Grand Jury subpoena are unauthorized." Guess Ms. Binder forgot Judge Green told her since Mr. Irby was a victim, the State had a right to talk to him and also she would probably let them see his medical records at some point as his medical condition was part of the crime.

5. Ms. Binder claims Mr. Beasely attacked her "character in the Motion to Strike". This is somewhat amusing as the only remarks Mr. Beasely made in his motion that could be remotely characterized as attacking her precious character was when he reminded the Court Ms. Binder falsely accused him of "disseminating" Mr. Irby's medical records to the public. I write "falsely" because the records at issue were filed under seal and were never in the public file in the Circuit Clerk's office. Mr. Beasely said her accusations were "reckless, slanderous, and absolutely have no basis in fact." If this was a civil case and not a criminal one, Mr. Beasley probably would have filed a motion for sanctions against Ms. Binder as she made accusations that were simply a lie. Either Ms. Binder lied or she failed to exercise the due diligence required of her as an Officer of the Court (In other words, she was lazy.). Just like a woman who won't let go of an argument, so is Ms. Binder as she can't let it go she was caught with her hand in the cookie-jar and just has to have the last word.

This Response is just more of the squabbling between the lawyers over whether Mr. Irby should testify and there will probably more bickering of this nature for the next few months.

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You can't make this up

School board candidate: I lied, but I'm still running

"Antwon Womack, candidate for District 6 on the Birmingham Board of Education, said at a news conference this afternoon that he will not drop out of the race after The Birmingham News reported that he lied about his age, education and residence while campaigning.
"My campaign is not based on a foundation of lies," Womack said today. "My values are not lies. It's just the information I provided to the people is false.
..." Article

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Latest crime stats

Crime stats for August 3-9, 2009

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Is Morgan Keegan a Snakepit for Regions?

Regions Bank subsidiary Morgan Keegan faces a horde of lawsuits, SEC actions, and controversy. The SEC filed an action against it a month ago. The SEC accuses Morgan Keegan:
"Beginning in late 2007, Morgan Keegan misled thousands of its customers regarding the fundamental nature and increasing risks associated with auction rate securities that Morgan Keegan underwrote, , marketed, and sold..."

The auctions for these securities began to fail. The SEC claims MK increased the sale of them to their customers, assuring them they were safe, as all other broker-dealers abandoned them, then pulled out of the auctions, backstabbing their clients in the process. It charges MK "continued to market ARS to the firm's customers as safe, highly liquid investments" and that it costs thousands of Morgan Keegan clients approximately $1.2 billion. The SEC charged Morgan Keegan with four counts of securities fraud in its lawsuit. The SEC asks the Court to return all "ill-gotten gains" and to require the "Defendant to repurchase all ARS that the Defendant sold prior to March 20, 2008".

However, the SEC action is not the only battlefront for Morgan Keegan as it fights similar lawsuits by FINRA. Investor Insight reports:
"Morgan Keegan also received a Wells notice from Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which stated discipline actions against the brokerage were forthcoming in connection to sales of a group of proprietary mutual funds.
The now-controversial funds at the focus of the SEC and FINRA regulatory notices are the same funds facing hundreds of arbitration claims by investors who allege that Morgan Keegan misrepresented the products as low-risk and high-yield investments. In truth, the funds held huge concentrations of subprime mortgages and corporate junk bonds.
The risky composition of the RMK funds eventually spelled financial disaster for investors beginning in the summer of 2007 and the subsequent collapse of the housing market. Since then, investors have filed scores of arbitration claims with FINRA, winning a total of about $4 million in awards so far.
According to recent analyses of the Morgan Keegan funds, losses in the funds entailed more than $2 billion between March 31, 2007, and March 31, 2008." Article

Morgan Keegan is also appealing recent arbitration awards to former clients. One can only guess if such actions are merely Morgan Keegan playing hardball or if the firm is trying to delay losing more money. The Investment Fraud Lawyer Blog reports:
"Morgan Keegan is engaging in a rarely used hardball tactics in three arbitrations arising out of sales of its proprietary bond mutual funds in which arbitration panels have awards. So far, Morgan Keegan has moved to vacate awards issued in three cases involving more than $1 million in damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.
As a condition to opening their accounts, Morgan Keegan required its customers to sign an agreement to arbitrate all disputes and waive their rights to go to court. These customers have prevailed in the mandatory arbitration process. Their attorneys point out that Morgan Keegan’s tactics have the effect of prolonging their clients’ trouble and expense as well as delaying payment of the awards." Article

Morgan Keegan has lost other arbitration awards. A panel awarded $285,000 to Jackson resident Gerald Humphries, $75,000 to a Little Rock doctor, $950,000 to a former NFL star, and nearly $700,000 to a former Regions bank president. Morgan Keegan is also under the gun for problems with a company it owns, Athletic Resource Management, Inc., home of well-known sports agent Jimmy Sexton, as it was ARM that represented Woods and other professional athletes. A quick review of PACER shows a multitude of lawsuits filed against Regions/Morgan Keegan such as this one filed by a member of a 401k plan and a lawsuit filed by a shareholder against Regions, Morgan Keegan, and its directors.

Questions have been raised over whether Regions is insolvent or not after the release of its last earnings statements. See earlier post The question must be asked whether the Morgan Keegan snakepit will cause Regions to go the way of Indymac and Colonial.

List of Regions SEC filings
List of insider transactions

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The new White House prayer breakfast?

"The Obama White House is abuzz with talk of witchcraft by first grandmother, 72-year-old Marian Robinson, who lives in the White House residence. A close friend of Michelle Obama says the president is furious at his mother-in-law after learning that she was practicing Santeria, an African spirit cult, in the White House."
"The president is quite upset about this on two different levels. First, he is a committed Christian, no matter what his critics say about Reverend Wright." Blog post

Note: In the spirit of providing equal time to the opposition, here is what the liberal website The Wonkette had to say about the matter." It was rather amusing. It should also be noted the blogger that posted this at Town Hall signed up for Town Hall on the same day. In other words, this was probably a little plant. Doesn't stop me from having some fun though.

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Mish: Regions insolvent as are other banks.

Leading economic blogger "Mish" Shedlock cites a recent Bloomberg story that makes it clear Regions is insolvent as the value of the assets on its books are vastly overstated:
"Check out the footnotes to Regions Financial Corp.’s (RF) latest quarterly report, and you’ll see a remarkable disclosure. There, in an easy-to-read chart, the company divulged that the loans on its books as of June 30 were worth $22.8 billion less than what its balance sheet said. The Birmingham, Alabama-based bank’s shareholder equity, by comparison, was just $18.7 billion.

So, if it weren’t for the inflated loan values, Regions’ equity would be less than zero. Meanwhile, the government continues to classify Regions as “well capitalized..." Mish

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Cycling in Jackson

Jackson Free Press Editor Lacy McLaughlin writes a pretty good column on how challenging Jackson is for any cyclist:
"It seems pretty absurd that I would still need to depend on my car for transportation. I find this sentiment shared between myself and several other city dwellers. So why aren't we riding our bikes to the farmers' markets, work or museums?
Sadly, a cycling community Jackson is not. The thought of riding my bike up State Street to work invokes visions of a game of chicken with cars, trucks and SUVs that ends in death. Potholes, and broken sidewalks abound, and bike lanes are scarce.
The good news is that all this can change if a small group of determined cyclists and the city work together to promote a bike-friendly community.
The League of American Bicyclists, a national non-profit that promotes cycling, ranks Mississippi number 47 out of 50 for the league's ranking of bike-friendly states." Column

Ms. Mclaughlin is right as riding a bike in Jackson should qualify as combat training in someone's army, and anyone doing so should automatically receive the Combat Cycling Badge. There are biking-friendly areas nearby such as the Natchez Trace, the Reservoir and Ridgeland. However, it defeats the purpose of cycling when one has to load a bicycle on the vehicle and carry it somewhere else when the whole point was to ride the bike in the first place.

It's no surprise Madison isn't keen on cycling as Mary hasn't been able to convince the bicycle manufacturers to paint all bikes in a color that perfectly matches her beloved bricks. However, some leaders such as Mayor McGee are a little more progressive in their thinking:
"Ridgeland Mayor Gene F. McGee, an avid cyclist himself, has worked closely with a task force made up of community members, the city engineer, parks and recreation services, and the local police department to promote and establish Ridgeland as a biking destination.
The city currently has plans to expand its multi-use trails, and each year it hosts several biking events such as the Natchez Trace Century Ride and the Mississippi Heatwave Triathlon. These events not only promote fitness but also draw thousands of visitors each and give the city's tourism economy a boost...."

The main problem is Jackson is already built-up and it's easier to add bike lanes and more bike-friendly features when an area is being developed. Adding bike lanes to Old Canton Road was a good start but it's hard to see how streets such as Ridgewood, N. State Street, and others could be changed to better serve local cyclists. (I can hear some Two-Lakes Jihadist now screaming how Two Lakes could help cyclists as Mr. McGowan emails me a dozen charts in the next 30 seconds showing how cycling can be incorporated into the Two Lakes project.) However, change takes place when people look at a problem and then start working on a solution. Any change in this direction would be a welcome improvement to Jackson and make it more friendly to young people and families.

Note: Would someone tell me why out of the $800 billion dollars in so-called stimulus money that was passed there was none for a biking trail between Baton Rouge and New Orleans on the levee?

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Godfather: Most popular JJ gangster movie

No doubt about it: The Godfather is the most popular "gangster" movie among Jackson Jambalaya readers. The results are:

The Godfather
63 (30%)
The Godfather, Part II
11 (5%)
42 (20%)
Donnie Brasco
7 (3%)
Little Caesar
0 (0%)
14 (6%)
12 (5%)
A Bronx Tale
1 (0%)
The Untouchables
8 (3%)
Once upon a time in America
36 (17%)
Reservoir Dogs
11 (5%)

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

He's baaaaaack and hitting for the cycle

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Commission seeks to dismiss interim suspension for DeLaughter

The Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance filed a Motion to Dismiss Order of Interim Suspension with the Mississippi Supreme Court. It does not mention any facts regarding why he was suspended, only that he pleaded guilty and will not sit on the bench again. What is interesting is there were no exhibits attached nor any details regarding the interim suspension itself.

Copy of Motion

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WaMu debtors accuse Chase of sabotage

Debtors accuse JP Morgan Chase of sabotaging WaMU to get it "on the cheap". Very interesting. Copy of lawsuit

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Monday, August 17, 2009

JPD: Serving & Protecting or Just Protecting the Defense?

**Exclusive: Must credit Jackson Jambalaya**

Copy of documents

The City of Jackson filed a Motion to Quash a Subpoena in Rankin County Chancery Court against the Estate of Dr. Mark Pogue, one of the deceased in the Irby case. The attorney for the estate, John Farese of Ashland, filed several motions for discovery seeking records from JPD. The estate subpoenaed the following from JPD on April 16, 2009:

"1. A copy of all call logs from JPD for radio communications with all Jackson Police Department officers for February 11, 2009, from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM on February 12, 2009.
2. A copy of all 911 call logs for calls to Jackson 911 for February 11, 2009 from 10:00 PM to 11:59 PM.. on February 12, 2009.
3. A copy of all recordings of all radio communications and telephone calls referred to in items 1 and 2 above.
(from another subpoena)
1. A copy of the accident reconstruction of the 2/11/09 accident involving a vehicle driven by Daniel Mark Pogue and a vehicle driven by Karen Irby, which includes but is not limited to all drawings, graphs, digital or electronic re-creations, photographs, reports, analysis and conclusions, and any other item or thing not otherwise described herein which is responsive to this subpoenaed item.
2. The BAC report on the blood sample of Karen Irby taken on 2/11/09.
3. The results of the downloading of the information from the electronic control module on the Irby vehicle- 2006 Mercedes CL S500"

In response, attorney Sarah O'Reilly-Eavans filed for the City of Jackson a Motion to Quash Subpoena on April 28, 2009. The motion claims the information is privileged and should be quashed. Jackson also argues the information sought is not related to the probating of the Pogue estate and that Farese can probate the estate without the records sought. SORE even goes so far as to call the subpoena an "abuse of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure". SORE accuses the plaintiff of not paying a "witness fee", thus making the subpoena "null and void". She finally and predictably argues the information sought was the basis of an ongoing investigation by the Hinds County District Attorney and that "said investigation might be prejudiced by the release of the information until it is presented to the grand jury". Jackson then asks for a protective order in the event the Court honors the subpoena.

The motion to quash was filed while Frank was still alive and Mayor of Jackson. This motion will only fuel some of the conspiracy theories that have floated around Jackson about this case as it gives the appearance that JPD has something to hide. (One should also ask if the D.A. even knows about this little skirmish.) There is a simple way out for JPD and that is to settle with Farese and agree to release the subpoenaed information under seal which will settle the privacy concerns of JPD and ensure the plaintiff's rights are protected. It should be noted the estate has one year to file a wrongful death action based on an intentional tort. Thus the City's argument it has nothing to do with probating the will is probably not valid.

The plaintiff also issued subpoenas to other parties. One was issued to the Country Club of Jackson for a list of all employees on February 11, 2009, "all documents evidencing any orders purchases or any other documents of purchase made by Stuart Irby and his wife Karen Irby, including but not limited to credit card receipts or charge tickets," and all surveillance video from 9:00 to 11:00 PM on February 11, 2009. The plaintiff also subpoenaed Russell and Catherine McCarty to appear at the law office of Calvin Wells to provide depositions.

It is clear the rumors the case settled are false as Mr. Farese vigorously seeks justice for the late Dr. Pogue. One can only wonder if Sarah O'Reilly-Evans and JPD were doing the same after it was shown how much information was covered up by her office when Jackson Jambalaya recently published the police reports on the Heather Spencer murder. While the prosecution certainly has a strong interest in not seeing its case compromised, one is always cynical when Sarah O'Reilly-Evans and Frank Melton are involved.

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Here's another one

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Talk show bullying at its best.

Peter Schiff tries to have a serious conversation but Lawrence O'Donnell is having none of it as he repeatedly bullies his guest. Textbook lesson here in how not to interview somebody. Michell Malkin is almost as bad, but not quite.

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The effects of Colonial's failure

Colonial's failure will have a huge impact on the mortgage industry. The website The Mortgage Implode-O-Meter compiled a list of mortgage lenders it thinks were using Colonial for their warehouse lines. (Colonial was the largest issuer of credit lines to mortgage lenders.) Randall, the website owner, wrote:

"A report told us CNB had about 70 warehouse accounts.

When Colonial got in trouble and had to raise money, along came TB&W and friends. We published a partial list of those lenders that TB&W put together and assume that they had a beneficial interest in keeping the bank afloat, even though all attempts failed. So let's assume they all had lines with CNB.

Here's a list of some of the bigger players:
Allied Mortgage Group, (Philadelphia, PA)
Cornerstone Mortgage
Company Platinum Home Mortgage Corp.
American Home Equity Corporation
Envoy Mortgage, Ltd.
Provident Funding Associates, L.P.
AmeriFirst Financial Corporation
FBC Mortgage LLC
Security Atlantic Mortgage Co., Inc.
Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group
Franklin American Mortgage Company
Urban Financial Group, Inc.
Coastal Mortgage Services, Inc.
Myers Park Mortgage, Inc.
WR Starkey Mortgage

With CNB going down, you have to hope that the lenders would have had other funding options, but it sure puts a strain on the system. I'm sure there are some small lenders that will have to fold due in part to lack of funding, or the resultant liquidity crunch..." Link

Credit lines are the mother's milk of mortgage lending, as mortgage lenders fund closings with them. The mortgages are then sold to Fannie, Freddie, and other servicers, clearing out the credit line (just like paying off a credit card). Without a credit line, most lenders (as Realty Mortgage found out) cannot operate. This will be a very turbulent week in the mortgage industry.

Note: just received word Provident and Franklin are safe.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Art at the Auditorium Tuesday

The Auditorium and Bryant Galleries present world renowned Mississippi artists to Art at The Auditorium on Tuesday August 18, 2009 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The exhibit features the work of P.Sanders McNeal, William Dunlap, Vidal Blankenstein, Paul Fayard, and David Lambert. Admission is free.

Nationally recognized artist P. Sanders McNeal has been painting portraits, landscapes, still life and figurative studies professionally for over 30 years. William Dunlap’s paintings, sculpture and constructions are included in prestigious collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Lauren Rogers Museum, the United States State Department, and United States Embassies throughout the world.

This night will be a time to view more pieces by each artist, meet the artists and to truly observe the beauty in each of their works. Make plans to attend Art at the Auditorium as we honor Mississippi artists. The Auditorium is located in the historic Fondren District of Jackson, Mississippi at 622 Duling Avenue. For more information on The Auditorium and upcoming concerts and events go to or call 601-982-0002.

Kingfish note: All artists are represented by Bryant Galleries on Lakeland Drive in Flowood.
Here are the artists' websites and yes, since the Auditorium is a restaurant with a bar, you can drink wine at the exhibit. Enjoy:
P. Sanders Mcneal
William Dunlap
Vidal Blankestein
David Lambert
Paul Fayard
Jackson Free Press interview with Blankenstein and Lambert

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Is this why Childers went to Israel?

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Where have we heard this before?

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The King of Laurel Park

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The Fairview Inn: a view from above

Guess no one explained to the two attorneys who are trying to force the closure of Sophia's what will happen to their property values if the Fairview Inn shuts down. Nothing like having a building next door sitting vacant because no one else will buy it since they can't make a profit. Of course, one expects that from blueblood attorneys for whom reality is merely an abstract concept to be manipulated in court or someone whose idea of a rough life is waiting an extra five minutes to get a facial and pedicure.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

How terrorists operate

From the IDF Youtube channel:
"Captured in this aerial footage, a Hamas terrorist plants an IED and then climbs into a house containing uninvolved civilians. Later the civilians and the Hamas terrorist exit the house waiving a white flag, at which point IDF troops approach and arrest the terrorist.
This is just one of many examples of how Hamas uses uninvolved civilians as human shields. This example is particularly egregious since the terrorist used civilians waving a white flag to try to evade IDF soldiers."

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Down goes Colonial. Down goes Auburn!!!

I heard the rumor two days ago Colonial was shutting down today, now Bloomberg confirmed it:
"Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) -- BB&T Corp., the North Carolina lender that bought back a $3.1 billion stake from the U.S. government, is taking over offices and deposits of Colonial BancGroup Inc., according to a person familiar with the matter.

Colonial, Alabama’s second-largest bank, is being closed by regulators today, the person said, becoming the largest U.S. bank failure of 2009 after an expansion into Florida saddled the lender with more than $1.7 billion in soured real-estate loans.

Colonial said last month there was “substantial doubt” it could survive and on Aug. 7 said its warehouse mortgage-lending business is the target of a U.S. criminal probe. The Securities and Exchange Commission issued subpoenas for documents related to accounting for loan loss reserves and participation in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the bank said..
." Bloomberg story

This will be the sixth-largest banking failure in American history and Auburn is going to suck. There is also a good chance this will wipe out the FDIC fund, forcing the agency to ask Congress for more funding. This will cause major problems in the mortgage industry as mortgage industry website The Implode-O-Meter reports it issued credit lines for 70 mortgage companies. Unless they can obtain warehouse lines very soon and almost immediately, these companies will be forced to go out of business.

Colonial was apparently on the brink of collapse. CBS4 in Montomery, Alabama reported:
"U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan froze $1 billion of Colonial Bank's assets on Thursday and said the bank is on the brink of collapsing. The ruling came after Bank of America won a temporary injunction preventing Colonial from spending the money or trying to sell of any loans.
Bank of America's lawsuit involved thousands of mortgages that were held in trust by Colonial. Bank of America claims it is owed more than $1 billion in assets, but Colonial has not paid the amount.
Trading of Colonial BancGroup's shares were halted by the New York Stock Exchange on Friday."

What is also unusual is the FDIC is seizing the bank before the close of business today.

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Latest crime stats

Crime stats (street by street listing) for July 27- August 2, 2009

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Bell hires Burwell

Defendant Robbie Bell retained Ridgeland attorney G. Todd Burwell (formerly a partner with Larry Latham) in Hall v. Bell. Mr. Burwell filed a notice of appearance in Hinds County Circuit Court this week.

Note: For all posts covering the Heather Spencer murder, please refer to sidebar.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Obama knows little about Americans"

Pulitzer Prize-winner Dorothy Rabinowitz blisters Obama in the Wall Street Journal yesterday:
"The election over, the warming glow of those armies of supporters gone, his capacity to tolerate criticism and dissent from his policies grows thinner apace. His lectures, explaining his health-care proposals, and why they'll be good for everybody, are clearly not going down well with his national audience.

This would have to do with the fact that the real Barack Obama—product of the academic left, social reformer with a program, is now before that audience, and what they hear in this lecture about one of the central concerns in their lives—his message freighted with generalities—they are not prepared to buy. They are not prepared to believe that our first most important concern now is health-care reform or all will go under.

The president has a problem. For, despite a great election victory, Mr. Obama, it becomes ever clearer, knows little about Americans. He knows the crowds—he is at home with those. He is a stranger to the country's heart and character.He seems unable to grasp what runs counter to its nature. That Americans don't take well, for instance, to bullying, especially of the moralizing kind, implicit in those speeches on health care for everybody. Neither do they wish to be taken where they don't know they want to go and being told it's good for them...." column

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Judge Green gives D.A. 15 minutes with Stuart Irby

Judge Green issued her order yesterday on the State's Motion to Compel Testimony in the Karen Irby case. Judge Green refers to Mr. Irby as a "recalcritant" witness and ruled there was no spousal privilege concerning his testimony since the State is charging his wife with Aggravated Assault against him. The Court ruled:
"Stuart Irby shall present himself for a fact-based interview on September 16, 2009 for a period not longer than fifteen minutes with the District Attorney and fifteen minutes with the attorney for the Defendant Karen Irby at a time and place convenient for Stuart Irby unless a primary physician charged with Stuart Irby's medical care on or before August 31, 2009 provides the Court with a medical statement that Mr. Irby is physically, emotionally, and/or mentally unable to participate in said interview. ..." Copy of order

Does anyone want to bet Mr. Irby will be cleared by a doctor to participate in the interview or if he will do a great impersonation of Hillary Clinton if he is interviewed? What is also interesting is Holloman tells the Court he and Mr. Irby have communicated but never about the case. I'm sure Mr. Holloman met his ethical obligations as an attorney before the Court in making such a claim as he is a man of sterling reputation and character. The case keeps getting more interesting.

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Market Ticker: Regions insolvent?

"Check out the footnotes to Regions Financial Corp.’s latest quarterly report, and you’ll see a remarkable disclosure. There, in an easy-to-read chart, the company divulged that the loans on its books as of June 30 were worth $22.8 billion less than what its balance sheet said. The Birmingham, Alabama-based bank’s shareholder equity, by comparison, was just $18.7 billion.
So, if it weren’t for the inflated loan values, Regions’ equity would be less than zero. Meanwhile, the government continues to classify Regions as “well capitalized
.” Article

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Irby update

The Irby file is back home after taking a little vacation in Judge Green's office. It was just a week-long trip and no word if it received the spa treatment or got a sunburn. However, there was one new thing filed and that was defense attorney Joe Holloman's response to the State's Motion to Compel Testimony. The response is only one page and unlike Ms. Binder's earlier response, has no histrionics nor wild accusations against the prosecution, it just concisely states his objections: the State has no statutory authority nor "procedural basis" to compel a witness to testify.

Copy of response

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sunday night in Jackson

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Will Obamacare cover SEIU kneecapping?

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Millsaps student killed in SW Louisiana

(Clockwise: Malin, Jese Sam (on right), Freyou, Hebert)

A Millsaps student was beaten to death in New Iberia, LA:
"NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) — Authorities in Iberia Parish have arrested three people charged in the beating death of a 19-year-old college student in New Iberia.
The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office says 23-year-old Thomas Hebert and 19-year-old Jesa Sam have been charged with second-degree murder. Another suspect, 18-year-old Sherani Freyou, has been charged with principal to second-degree murder.
The arrests were made after Joseph Adam Malin Jr. was found lying in an open lot around 3 p.m. Friday. The suspects were arrested later that day and police say Malin may not have been the intended target. Authorities say the beating may have been a case of mistaken identity.
Malin’s mother says her son had graduated with honors from Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia and attended Millsaps College in Mississippi." Article

This case is apparently a story about a kid went to Hargave Military Academy, graduated with honors, attended Millsaps, and was making something of his life. On, one poster wrote "I went to school with the victim Adam before he went to Hargrave. This is a shame and I hope the judge throws the book at all 3 of them. Adam really was a good kid."

Unfortunately for Adam, this piece of New Iberia trash named Sherami told her "bros" he sexually assaulted her. The Sheriff said they mistook him for her "alleged" boyfriend. KLFY reported " detectives say Freyou not only pointed out an innocent man, she also lied about being raped. "

According to her Myspace page, Sherami apparently just got out of jail (surprise) and her brother is currently incarcerated. Her mom has a very interesting Myspace page as well, showing the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. The Lafayette Grapevine website discovered more details about Ms. Sherami and her friends gangsta lifestyle. Her sister Shae posted this on her Myspace page:
"sherami u r ma sister but what u did to adam was wrong u knew that was adam and yet u still did what u did what was u thinkin sherami it was adam not motley and u knew that and u cant say u didnt uve been known motley for 3 yrs now u knew the differance my question is WHY???? i still have love for u onlly cuz ur ma sister but its really fucked up how all this took place over ur lie or lies u r were u r b/c of what U DID not b/c of nobody else i hope it eats u up inside knowin that adam is goin and never did u anything he was always nice to u let u use his phone gave u a cig when u needed or asked all around was just really sweet to u i love u but u hurt me alot specially when i found out that u intiated thomas and jesa to beat adam ive been crying since it happen so i hope u know that u didnt just take someone son or brother but u took away a good friend and the happest person anyone would have ever met but u have to live with it nobody else "

Ugh. Sherami's sister, Shae, also showed up on Tigerdroppings and has a few things to say about it. Although the thread is more than 15 pages long, she makes quite a few comments that don't cast her or her family in too good of a light. At least my TD brethren gave the b***h hell. Too bad that was all they could give her.

Aside from that, remember the Malin family in your prayers as they suffer through this horrific tragedy.

Note: Lafayette newspaper story, Read the comments

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Food Fight!!!

Y'all Politics posted this video taking a shot at Childers a few days ago:

The left-wing bloggers in town didn't like it so they decided to make a few comments of their own. First local attorney Jim Craig called the ad anti-Semitic on his blog:
"At Y'all Politics, the focus has been on Rep. Travis Childers, who has yet to declare himself on the President's proposal. And this time YP has gone too far. The two-minute video attack on Rep. Childers' visit to Israel is -- yes, I will say it -- Anti-Semitic. What else do you call an ad that plays Jewish music in the background, tells the Representative to "get a souvenir yarmulke" on the trip and shows pictures of orthodox Jews juxtaposed with Americans at Town Hall meetings? (Note: I am attacking the ad, not the website or its owner.).."
Ipse Blogit

Then of course, the Jackson Free Press takes a shot at Y'all as it can't stand the fact that the Clarion-Ledger published an article about Y'all Politics last Sunday:
"Apparently, though, this is the same blogger that was featured in the Ledger on Sunday. It's stunning to see local-corporate media give credence to bloggers who post unsubstantiated rumor, not to mention ugly anti-Islamic, anti-woman and now anti-Semitic rhetoric. Either the mainstream media are blind to extremism, or they don't care. Not sure which is worse..."
Blog post

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Meet Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley from David Thompson on Vimeo.

Meet Nikki Haley, Republican extraordinaire in South Carolina and a candidate for Governor of that state. A conservative who has taken on her state's Republican establishment. She is bright, funny, well-informed and very articulate. This is her appearance at Redstate's recent gathering in Atlanta. Enjoy.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Westboro scumbags at it again

Now it's the Jews.

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Is this journalism?

Still mad over the selection of Tougaloo College as the home of the Civil Rights Museum, the Jackson Free Press pens an article that can't even be classified as journalism:
"Rumors are circulating that Tougaloo College may have to abandon site development of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum near the college's campus because of funding issues.
"I know I have heard from a source with city government that Tougaloo is supposed to be having some issues securing enough money to continue with the development," Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba told the Jackson Free Press. "I wish the college well in its endeavor to make the museum a reality, but I have heard from a source that the money to fund it isn't turning out very easy to acquire with the economy like it is." article?

No sources, just a report of "rumors". THIS is ethical journalism?

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Harvey: It's called accountability

Seems our new Mayor ran into a couple of members of the City Council who are intent on keeping an eye on the city payroll and he didn't like it:
"Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. faced off against City Council members on Monday by refusing to provide a weekly accounting of city payroll
For years, council members - who approve payroll - have gotten a weekly list of employees and their salaries before their vote. Johnson said he no longer would provide that list because assembling it is "onerous." Johnson bristled under questions from Ward 1 Councilman Jeff Weill, who routinely asks detailed questions about the weekly payroll and claims dockets that add up into the millions of dollars. Johnson said Weill was meddling in executive department affairs. "You are getting into management of the day-to-day operations," he said.
"There are prerogatives that the mayor has and prerogatives that the council has. ... Those have been out of sync."...
Johnson said it may be possible to present the council with a quarterly list of city employees

Sorry Harvey, but the City Council has every right to inspect what you are asking them to approve, although a monthly payroll would probably be an acceptable compromise. In case you haven't noticed, city finances are a wreck and tax revenues will probably decline for the next twelve months or more. It is the responsibility of the Council to hold the executive branch accountable for how money is spent and how many employees are on the payroll. It's OUR money and we aren't going to listen to any politicians who just say "trust us".

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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