Friday, April 30, 2010


Government redeemed record amount of treasuries. Read it and weep at Zero Hedge.

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Too funny

Kim Wade was on Eric Stringfellow's radio show this week. Ladd was there as well and raised hell with Stringellow as she was mad she wasn't told Kim Wade would be there and wouldn't have appeared if she had known.

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Schiff on the financial reform bill

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Radio today

Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker will be on KIM Waaaaaaaaaaaade today at 5:10 to 6:00 today on WJNT, 1180 AM. Topics today will be Goldman Sachs/Financial Reform Bill and Health Care Reform bill. That means Kim will have his usual brilliant monologue, Karl dispenses his usual wisdom, and I sit back drinking my McAlister's tea and say something stupid every ten minutes. Enjoy.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Small business owners get ready to get hit.

Ready for this? Here is what is in your new health care law: spend more than six hundred dollars a year on an entity (including merchandise, plane tickets, banquets, and anything else you can imagine) as a small business owner and you have to issue a 1099 to that entity. Read it and weep.

Page 1961 of Health Care Bill, IRS Code before amendment by new law

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Latest crime stats

Jackson crime statistics for week ending April 18, 2010.

Jackson major crime overview for week ending April 18, 2010.

Latest crime statistics for the City of Madison.

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I KNOW I misspelled Dr. Connie McCaa's name in the poll. Trust me, I've gotten enough emails.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Health Care Reform Update: Health Benefit Exchanges are unconstitutional

While the constitutional debate rages over whether the federal government can require individuals to purchase health insurance, a fundamental part of the health care reform bill has been ignored that may be unconstitutional.

Section 1311 (p. 130) creates health benefit exchanges in every state. The state is responsible for administering and ultimately funding the exchange. An exchange publishes a list of all health insurance options for individuals and small businesses. Such exchanges are already used in Massachusetts and will be the workhorse of Obamacare.

The exchanges will operate both a website and toll-free hotline for consumers to use in shopping for health insurance and will have other features. The exchange will certify, renew, and decertify listed health insurance plans. It will be the exchanges most consumers will use to purchase health insurance. Get cut off from the exchange and a health insurance company will suddenly find it much harder to sell plans as well as suffer from the stigma decertification would carry even though it could sell health insurance outside of the exchange.

The constitutional problem lies in the creation and funding of the exchanges. The federal government provides grants to the states for exchanges. The states are given no choice in whether they can accept the grant or establish the exchanges: "A State shall use amounts
awarded under this subsection for activities (including planning activities) related to establishing an American Health Benefit Exchange" (p.130, Section 3).

The grants are available until January 1, 2015 (Section 5, p. 143). The plan must then become "self-sustaining". The states can charge "assessments or user fees to participating health insurance issuers" or to "otherwise generate funding, to support its operations." In other words, the states are on their own in funding the exchanges after 2014 even though the federal government ordered the states to create the exchanges and regulated their operation. If an exchange runs out of money, the state will have to cough up the money.

Under the ruling of New York v. U.S. (1992), the exchanges are unconstitutional, as the Court held the federal government cannot directly order the states to regulate anything or take a particular action. NY was a case where the federal government directed New York to accept nuclear waste from waste generators within the state. The Court ruled such action was unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment. The federal government could either regulate the activities of individuals (including preemption of an area of regulation such as banking) or place conditions on the receipt of federal funds but it could not directly order the states to regulate an activity. p.145

Justice O'Conner pointedly wrote
"Congress could, if it wished, pre-empt entirely state regulation in this area, a review of this Court’s decisions, see, e. g., Hodel v. Virginia Surface Mining & Reclamation Assn., Inc., 452 U. S. 264, 288, and the history of the Constitutional Convention, demonstrates that Congress may not commandeer the States’ legislative processes by directly compelling them to enact and enforce a federal regulatory program, but must exercise legislative authority directly upon individuals. Pp. 159–166.

Nevertheless, there are a variety of methods, short of outright coercion, by which Congress may urge a State to adopt a legislative program consistent with federal interests. As relevant here, Congress may, under its spending power, attach conditions on the receipt of federal funds, so long as such conditions meet four requirements. See, e. g., South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U. S. 203, 206–208, and n. 3. Moreover, where Congress has the authority to regulate private activity under the Commerce Clause, it may, as part of a program of “cooperative federalism,” offer States the choice of regulating that activity according to federal standards or having state law pre-empted by federal regulation. See, e. g., Hodel, supra, at 288, 289. Pp. 166–169."
It is hard to see how the exchanges will stand under this analysis. Congress ordered the states to create the exchanges. Congress directed the Secretary to issue standards to be used by the exchanges. The Secretary will establish the "criteria for the certification" of health care plans for the exchanges and create the forms to be used (p. 134). Grants are provided to the states but the states are not given the option of declining the grants or refusing to create the exchanges. The law simply tells the states they will create the exchanges and after 2014, fund it themselves. While health care opponents use the Lopez case in their fight to repeal Obamacare, it must be noted that case dealt with the individual activity of carrying firearms within a thousand feet of a school (the Gun Free School Zone Act) and not whether federal could directly order a state to create a new state agency, issue the guidelines for the agency, and then order the state to fund said agency. NY is directly on point.

Simply put, the health care law's treatment of the exchanges is a "commandeering" of the states as outlined by New York and will likely be struck down by the Supreme Court. If the exchanges are to survive, then Congress must provide permanent grants and give the states an "opt-out" option or direct the federal government to create and operate the exchanges itself. If opponents of the law wish to kill it or rip a huge hole in the heart of the bill, the health benefit exchanges are a good place to start. Without the exchanges, it is hard to see how Obamacare will operate.

Copy of Bill

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More on Soto

Apparently my post about former Ridgeland police officer Daniel Soto has stirred up quite a bit of emotion and interest. Several people have come forward with stories of mistreatment by the MADD Officer of the Year. I spoke to one lady today who told me in chilling detail her story.

A lady we will call Sue was leaving Amerigo's one evening during the week. She crossed County Line Road and was pulled over in Jackson by Mr. Soto. He claimed she was driving recklessly and asked if she'd been drinking. She said no and explained because of her medical condition, she doesn't drink, but it didn't matter. He told her to blow in the machine. There is just one problem. This lady suffers from a lung disease, is on disability, and has between 30-40% lung capacity. Guess what? She CAN'T blow into the machine. She tried to explain that to the officer, showed him her inhalers, inform him of her condition, didn't matter. He told her he didn't believe her and many people were good liars when pulled over. She tried to blow, didn't even register. So he arrested her and had her car towed. Did I mention she is in her 60's? Didn't matter.

So she is taken to the jail. They try to give her the test again at the jail but once again, she is simply unable to blow hard enough into the machine. She has an attack while in the jail, can't breathe, cop runs up and asks her what is wrong, she somehow tells him, he runs and finds her purse with all of her meds in it, and she finally gets her inhaler and is able to breathe. David Moore, of course, showed up to bail her out of jail. She comes to court with her medical records, several files of them, doesn't matter. Judge says he will reduce her fine to $200 but says in open court he never goes against the police officers. Nice. Such an impartial criminal justice system we have in Ridgeland. She appeals to County Court and her case is dismissed because Officer Soto moved.

This is what passes for law enforcement in Ridgeland. Rambo wannabes who like to deck out in SWAT team gear, show off their drinking prowess on Facebook, and act like Billy Badass to mature ladies who can't breathe or citizens like Charles Whitfield who didn't break the law. This lady was humiliated, forced to suffer physical pain, and spent money she simply didn't have. Meanwhile Officer Soto is allowed to resign, moves to another state, and hooks up with another police department where he can terrorize more citizens. Justice in Ridgeland. Have to love it.

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Heading down the stretch.....

Checking the voting in the poll so far, here are the top ten and a few more with a day to go:

Susan Lunardini (118 votes), Bridget McCart Tisdale (80 votes), Lisa Kirk/Heather Miller (78 votes), Alexandra Wilkes/Leslie Decker (78 votes), Pamela Hancock (60 votes), Jessie Long/Amanda Quarles (55 votes), Myung Cockrell (35 votes), Gail Pittman (30 votes), Olga (23 votes), Suzanne Moak (22 votes), Liza Looser (20 votes), Connie Mckay (20 votes).

Once the vote is over, another poll will be held with the top ten finalists.

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Still looking for Barbie's replacement.

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Evans update: Mississippi Valley Title & Trustee propose settlement

Derek Henderson, Trustee in the Chris Evans bankruptcy case, filed a motion proposing a settlement between the banks, title insurance companies, and the trustee recently. Haven't had time to really dig throught it yet but the nutshell version is MVT will offer a floor price for the properties at issue. They will be placed for sale and if not sold after six months, MVT's offer becomes a purchase.

Motion, List of properties and loans, Proposed agreement

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Video from Saturday

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Do NOT buy HP laptops

Bought an HP dv9700 laptop right at two years ago. Damn screen went black. Boots up fine, its working, just can't see anything. Love this laptop. 17 inch screen, numeric keypad on the right. Was nice, was bein the key word. Do my research online and find out the Nvidia graphics card is built into the motherboard and is defective. Wonderful. Countless stories online about this and HP refuses to issue a recall or pay for repairs for this problem although it has for other models that had the same issuebut they want you to spend $400 for a repair. Nice. Last time I buy HP ever. Meanwhile I am typing away on an 8 month old Dell that is beat up to hell but like a 70 caddy, keeps on going.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

MADD presents Mas Tequila

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Today's health care bill reading

Here is today's reading of the health care bill. If you are reading this for the first time, I've been reading the health care bill page by page and posting each reading here so you can follow along. Most of you don't have time to read a 2500 page bill so I'm taking this slowly and digesting each section online. After we read the health care bill, we will then tackle the reconciliation. Unfortunately, they are not combined into one text yet so this is how we have to do it. See the sidebar on the right side of the page for a collection of all readings.

Page 161. Section 1313: Financial Integrity (Don't laugh). The Secretary will audit each exchange every year and has the full power to investigate and conduct financial examinations of each exchange. Hmmmm.... so if in the end the exchange is a state agency, the federal government gives itself the authority to investigate and regulate the state agency? Interesting federalism question here. IF the government finds there is a "pattern of abuse", it can withhold payments from the Exchange due to the State until "corrective actions" are taken by the State. Penalty can't exceed 1% of such payments.

Section (5) on page 163 deals with fraud and abuse. It states the Secretary an "implement any measure or procedure that (A) the Secretary determines is appropriate to reduce fraud and abuse". Pretty broad and vague grant of authority to the government.

Section (6) on page 163 states all payments made through an exchange are subject to the False Claims Act "if those payments include any federal funds." This article on the Daily Kos of all places points out several salient features of this section.

What exactly IS the False Claims Act? Section 31 U.S. Code 3729 states:
"(1) knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, to an officer or employee of the United States Government or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
(2) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the Government;
(3) conspires to defraud the Government by getting a false or fraudulent claim allowed or paid..."

What is the penalty for submitting a false claim? A defendant found guilty of submitting a false claim under Section 3729 of the False Claims act normally is "liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000, plus 3 times the amount of damages which the Government sustains.." Code

HOWEVER, for the Health Care Reform law, the damages are INCREASED to between 3 and 6 times the amount of the actual damages under Section (B) on pages 163-164.

This section is going to be a big deal in the years to come even though it is now rarely mentioned. A private insurer can be subjected to litigation under the False Claims Act if it participates in an exchange and any federal funds are used. Such funds can include subsidies, tax credits, and "cost-sharing reductions". False claims prosecutions could also be initiated against health care providers if it was determined they were part of a "conspiracy".

Note: This is an article from Compliance Week that provides more analysis about this section and the use of the False Claims Act. Apparently there are some amendments to this section that weaken defenses for those accused of defrauding the government. Article

Copy of bill

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ely's lawsuit moves into discovery.

The legal battle between Ridgeland-based Ely's Restaurant and its landlord, Jackson Street Property Management, has moved into the discovery phase. The lawsuit began when the landlord "resurveyed" the building and shazam, discovered an extra 270 square feet and demanded back rent for nearly two years for the newly discovered space: Nearly $7,000 and attorney's fees. Ely's fired back with a counterclaim for half a million kabukis.

Jackson Street filed its defenses recently (no less than 26 were used) and Ely's filed its notice of service of discovery on April 16. Copy of defense and notice. This lawsuit is going to cost the landlord a good bit more than the seven grand he demanded in terms of legal fees before it is ultimately decided.

Earlier post, Copy of lawsuit

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This needs to happen.

So who would've thought it. Rankin County is a hotbed of gay Klukkers in drag. Seems like there should be a B movie made out of all this. Just think of the fun Quentin could have if he took on this project.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Award-winning Ridgeland Police Officer commits perjury in DUI case, leaves town.

"From left: Mike Walker, AT&T and MADD Sponsor, Deputy Justin Branning, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office (308 DUI arrests), Trooper Charles C. White, Troop F, New Albany MS Highway Safety Patrol (206 DUI arrests), Officer Daniel Soto, Ridgeland Police Department (313 DUI arrests), and Tricia Raymond, Executive Director, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Mississippi."

Copy of file

Daniel Soto. MADD's own special child. WLBT reported nearly a year ago he was MADD's top police officer of the year: "Ridgeland Police officer Daniel Soto arrested 316 DUI offenders in 2008. An average of anywhere from two to five arrests for DUI on the nights he works. Soto offers some common sense advice." Story

Well, it seems Mr. Soto is no longer with the Ridgeland Police Department because he got caught lying on the stand. Mr. Soto pulled over a Charles Whitfield and arrested him for first offense DUI and speeding on December 7, 2008. Mr. Whitfield posted a $2,000 (David Moore Bonding Company. Surprise.). He was convicted in Madison County Court on September 14, 2009.

Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Chuck McRae represented Mr. Whitfield and filed a motion for a new trial on September 21, 2009. Mr. McRae pointed out in his motion the Ridgeland PD had not provided him with a copy of the audio and video recordings of the incident. He subpoenaed the video camera and its recordings on January 22, 2010.

The Court granted a new trial, in which it was shown the video recording completely contradicted Officer Soto's testimony. In other words, he lied on the stand. Several sources have said Mr. Whitfield was at a stoplight when Ridgeland Police Officer Soto said he was speeding.

Mr. McRae filed a motion to dismiss on March 17 and stated
"The Court is aware that the prosecuting witness being, Officer Daniel Soto, gave false testimony..."
Defendant would show that it is believed that the prosecution has evidence that the witness in other cases has also given false testimony...."
"It is learned that while Officer Soto announced that no tape existed for various reasons, an independent investigation revealed that he personally viewed the video of the arrest of the defendant which clearly showed the perjured testimony of Soto. In addition a copy of the transcript of said witness and the video tape of the occurrence that the City and Officer Soto said did not exist at trial has been maintained by the City of Ridgeland will be supplied at hearing..."

The Court ruled in favor of Mr. Whitfield and stated on March 24, 2010:
"the State ... announced it was present but unable to go forward in this case as its only witness was not present, had moved to another state, and was not under subpoena." The City also moved to dismiss the charges.

JJ has learned Chief Houston told Soto to quit or be fired. Soto resigned and moved to Tennessee. One can only hope Mr. Whitfield will sue the hell out of the City of Ridgeland. The question remains is how many other innocent people did MADD's Officer of the Year throw in jail and label as drunk drivers. The question must also be asked why Michael Guest didn't prosecute Mr. Soto. Meanwhile, here is a picture of Mr. Soto's new ride and his award.

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Latest crime stats

Crime stats for Jackson week ending April 18, 2010.

Major crimes overview for Jackson for week ending April 18, 2010.

City of Madison crime reports.

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Evans update: More banks pile on against Mississippi Valley Title

For a collection of all posts on Evans case, see sidebar on right side of page.

Matters continue to grow testy between Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company and several of the banks victimized (allegedly) by Chris and Charles Evans (See synopsis at bottom of page for a recap of the case.). Derek Henderson, Trustee for the Bankruptcy Court, filed a complaint against the banks, Mississippi Valley Title, and MVT's parent, Old Republic seeking to settle the questions of which parties had valid liens and who was entitled to recovery. Copy of complaint

Merchants & Farmers (M&F) filed its answer on April 16 and included a crossclaim against the insurance companies. M&F stated "As to parcels 3A, 4C, 4E and 9A, the grantor under each of the Bankʼs deeds of trust was not the title owner at the time Bankʼs liens were granted. MVT and ORNT insured Bankʼs lien as a first lien on each....

Bank is entitled to a judgment against MVT and ORNT, jointly and severally, compelling immediate performance of their payment obligations under the title policies and immediate full payment of Bankʼs claims, plus all interest, attorney fees and expenses incurred by Bank..." M&F's answer M&F is represented by Jeff Rawlings of Ridgeland.

First Security Bank did likewise, answering the complaint and included a crossclaim against MVT. The bank called Charles Evans an "agent of the title insurance companies" and that he never intended to record the deeds for the properties that were the subject of the loans granted. FSB argues "the Title Insurance Companies knew or should have known that there was reason to suspect the validity of title work performed by Charles Evans.." FSB issued approximately $1.7 million in loans to Chris Evans and claims the "title insurance companies are responsible" for the actions of Charles Evans. Copy of answer

FSB is represented by Kristina Johnson of Watkins Ludlam in Jackson. Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Rawlings have been aggressive in defending their clients' interest during this saga. Her other clients filed similar responses as well. Holmes County Bank, State Bank. Bankplus files a similar response and claimed MVT and Old Republic "breached the terms of the title insurance policy by their failure to satisfy the Bank's claims under the title insurance policies by their failure to cure the title defects and/or their failure to pay the bank's claims in full." Bankfirst did likewise. However, Mississippi Valley Title filed a motion this week asking the Court give it until June 1, 2010 to answer all actions filed by the above banks. M&F immediately opposed the request. (Note, there has been a proposed resolution by the Trustee and MVT but due to its length, it will be addressed in the next few days).

What has been interesting is the evolution of the Evans case from a fraud case filed in Madison County Chancery Court in September against a attorney and businessman to a major scrum between one of the largest corporations in American and many banks in Mississippi. Although the filings are complex reading at times, the banks claim they were defrauded by the Evans brothers due to the issuance of phony title certificates by Charles Evans and granting loans to Chris Evans that were thought to be secured. As Charles was an approved attorney for MVT, the banks are seeking payment on their insurance claims and argue Mississippi Valley Title is responsible since Charles Evans was its approved attorney. MVT has only paid four claims and is the subject of other actions by other banks seeking enforcement of their insurance policies. Considering the average loan was $620,000, the potential losses are substantial for either Mississippi Valley Title or the banks.

On a final note, there is some interesting reading in this exhibit filed between Kristina Johnson and Mississippi Valley Title's lawyers. The first letter is written by Bill Brabec of Adams & Reese to Mrs. Johnson. He points out her clients filed insurance claims with his client, MVT. Brabec notes her filings in the Evans bankruptcy on behalf of her clients and demands she withdraw all her motion in federal court. Just to make sure she gets the message, he close with this statement: "Please understand that the actions taken by your clients in the bankruptcy proceedings may seriously affect their rights under the policies".

Ms. Johnson replied in a letter to Mr. Brabec that his client had not paid any claims even though sixty days had passed since they were submitted to MVT and it was rather interesting the insurance company was treated them as covered under the policy yet had not paid any money.
She then accuses Mr. Brabec of trying to "jump" his clients ahead of hers in the bankruptcy case and states the bank has a right to recover against Chris Evans if the policies pay less than the loans issued. There are more letters and if you are a legal or finance geek, you will find them worth reading. Copy of letters

Synopsis of Evans case (This feature will be included with future posts on Evans case): Charles Evans, Jr. was an attorney approved by Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company to provide title certificates to MVT and lenders showing a borrower had clear title to property. MVT filed a lawsuit in September accusing his brother of using over 30 LLC's to obtain fraudulent loans from over 30 banks in Mississippi. Chris Evans would allegedly use one company to purchase a large tract of prime commercial real estate in Madison and Desoto Counties. Another company owned by Evans would obtain a commercial real estate mortgage on a smaller section of the tract yet that borrowing company never obtained a deed showing ownership of the land from the other company. Thus the smaller tract was actually non-existed as the larger tract was never actually subdivided. Charles would allegedly provide a title certificate however showing the borrowing company owned the land even though it didn't. Over 80 loans for nearly $50 million were issued by Mississippi banks to companies owned by Chris Evans for lands those companies either did not own. MVT testified federal authorities are currently investigating the case. Chris Evans filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on October 26, which stopped the Mississippi Valley Title's lawsuit against him as federal bankruptcy law stays most state civil court proceedings once a bankruptcy petition is filed. Mississippi Valley Title testified 65 title insurance claims for approximately $41 million have been filed by banks affected by the Evans case. MVT has only paid four claims according to court documents. Several banks have filed suit against MVT seeking payment of claims. Judge Neal Olack ruled all properties will be sold and the proceeds divided up among the creditors as determined by the Court.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fight animal cruelty in Mississippi

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Today's reading of the Health Care Bill

Starting to get a little deeper into the bill now. I am just reading this bill page by page and posting my observations here. Feel free to clarify or correct in the comments section. Fire away. For a collection of all readings, see the section on the right side of the page.

Page 154. Section 1312: Consumer Choice. The employer is still allowed to specify what level of lan he will support that is available through an exchange but the employee may still choose plans within that level (See earlier health care reading that discussed bronze, silver, gold, platinum levels).

Believe it or not, health insurers are still allowed to offer plans outside of the exchanges according to section (d)(1) on page 156. It states a health insurer can offer a plan outside of the exchange to qualified individuals or employers. However, it is obvious the exchanges will be the main vehicle used for signing up clients, therefor, its going to be tougher for an insurance company to offer other plans when it will have to spend money to promote them.

Section (D) on page 157: Members of Congress. The Law states the only health plans available to "Members of Congress and congressional staff" are those either created under the Act OR offered through an exchange.

Now, many people are thinking this limits Congress and it screwed its employees when passing this law. Not at all. Congress can offer a platinum level plan, offer the same level of premiums for those covered, and not miss a beat. Keep in mind the key is any plan offered through an exchange, which will be most plans. It is also important to note Congress and its employees are not required to enroll in an exchange. The law states the plan must be offered through the exchange to the rest of us. That does not mean we will pay the same premiums, just that if we are able to pay, we can purchase the same health care plan. Congress will be just fine and still have its cadillac health care plans. See Fox Business Blog for a further discussion of this section.

Section (B) on page 160: Incarcerated individuals are not covered under this bill.

Copy of Bill

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Vote for the top businesswoman in Jackson.

New poll is up. Vote for the top businesswoman in Jackson. If anyone was left out, my apologies. When this poll closes, I'm going to start a new poll with ten finalists. Vote early and often.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

IDF on display

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Did Karl Banks hide his ownership in Miller Banks?

A review of records on the website of the Mississippi Ethics Commission reveals Madison County Supervisor Karl Banks may not have disclosed his ownership in Miller Banks Lands. JJ reported yesterday Mr. Banks formed a company in 2004 with his brother, former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice (correction: Fred Banks), that obtained title to a large tract of land in Madison County. The land is currently adjacent to the site for a proposed water park and approximately two thousand feet away from Calhoun Station Parkway. JJ also reported Mr. Banks did not recuse himself on numerous votes concerning Calhoun Station Parkway and the water park and in many cases, proposed the motions concerning these developments next to his property.

Mississippi law requires public officials to file a statement of economic interest every year. The Ethics Commission states on its website "Incumbents must file every year on or before May 1st. Persons appointed to office must file within 30 days of appointment." The penalty for failing to disclose is a criminal fine up to ten thousand dollars. Ethics Commission Website

The state requires the public official to disclose the following information if he:
1. receives more than $2,500 per year in "income from the business";
2. "owns ten percent or more of the fair market value in the business, either directly or through another business";
3. "Owns an ownership interest in the business, the fair market value of which exceeds five thousand dollars; or
4. "is an employee, director, or officer of the business."
Section 25-4-24 through 25-4-29 of the Mississippi Code

Mr. Banks lists several businesses on his disclosure: Peoples Undertaking, Karl M. Banks Real Estate, Act I Hair Salon (wife), and People's Insurance Agency. Miller Banks Lands is not listed anywhere on the form. Banks' statement of economic interest, Miller Banks incorporation papers file with SOS It is inexplicable why Mr. Banks would not list his ownership in Miller Banks Lands on his SEI form, when right above his signature is a statement in bold letters notifying the officeholder of the penalty for failure to disclose all required information. (There is always the chance there are some papers floating around out there showing he was removed from ownership of the company that were never filed with the Secretary of State.)

The question then that must be asked is that after purchasing land in Madison County, then repeatedly proposing motions or voting for projects that would substantially increase the market value of his property, did Mr. Banks violate the law by failing to disclose his ownership in Miller Banks Lands? If such is the case, Mr. Banks should resign from the Madison County Board of Supervisors as it's even more clear he has violated his duties and trust as a public official.

Meanwhile over at the Clarion-Ledger, Madison County Journal, WAPT, WJTV, Fox40, WLBT, and MC Herald:

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We're not married

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Madison County Supervisor owns land next to projects he supports with his votes

If we are going to start raising a ruckus in Madison County, let's do it right. No, this post won't be about the Mayor or the charity guru Tim Johnson but rather on someone else: Supervisor Karl Banks.

Apparently Mr. Banks owns a bunch of land smack dab in the middle of a bunch of proposed development in Madison County. He owns a nice sized tract right next to the site for the proposed water park. If you look at the linked map, the same land sits next to Calhoun Station as well. Its no crime to own land and profit from said ownership. However, there are some details about this property and his votes that beg examination. Map

The property at issue is owned by Miller Banks Lands, a company owned by Karl Banks and his brother Fred, the former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice. Miller Banks Lands acquired several tracts from November 2004 to January 2005 comprising the current tract next to the proposed water park and next to Calhoun Station Parkway. The tract is estimated to be only two thousand feet away from the Parkway if the map is accurate. Deed 1, Deed 2, Deed 3 Deed 4

The problem is, Karl hasn't exactly been recusing himself from votes concerning Calhoun Station and the proposed Water Park. These projects and their accompanying improvements still make Banks' land more valuable even though the economy is in a recession and real estate sales are slow.

On September 17 2004, Karl Banks voted along with the rest of the board Board to "authorize Mr. Woody Sample of Sample & Associates to begin the process of acquiring rights of way along, pertaining to, and associated with, the proposed Calhoun Station Parkway and designate Mr. Sample as the acquisition agent for said project
Following discussion, Mr. Karl M. Banks did move and Mr. Paul Griffin did second a motion to retain Mr. Woody Sample of Sample & Associates under the contract currently in effect with the county to begin the process of acquiring certain rights of way along, pertaining to, and associated with, the proposed Calhoun Station Parkway and designate Mr. Sample as the acquisition agent for said project." Page 5 This vote took place two months before Miller Banks Land began snapping up the property at issue.

However, that was only one vote. Mr. Banks kept at it:
April 4, 2005: Voted to approve the purchase of more easements and rights of way for Calhoun Station. Page 7
February 7, 2005: Voted to relocate an Entergy pole for the construction of Calhoun Station Parkway only a few weeks after gaining title to the property nearby. Page 16
June 20, 2005: Voted to pay $20,000 to Bellsouth for right of way for proposed Calhoun Station Parkway Project. Page 7
August 22, 2005: Voted to approve a change order for Calhoun Station. Page 20
April 24, 2006: Voted to reconsider several engineering contracts for Calhoun Station Parkway Phase II. Page 7
April 2, 2007: Banks proposed a motion, seconded by Elvis, to accept and approve the construction drawings for Calhoun Station. Page 10
January 7, 2008: Banks proposes a successful motion for the purchase of a parcel of land for the Calhoun Station Parkway Project. Page 24
January 15, 2008: Banks proposes a successful motion to revise plats of Calhoun Station phase III. Page 30
September 15, 2008: Banks proposed a motion to approve amendments to engineering agreement on Calhoun Station Parkway phase III. Motion was approved and Banks voted for it. Page 4
November 3, 2008: Banks proposed a motion to approve the acquisition of rights of way for Calhoun Station. Page 8
November 17, 2008: Banks voted for memorandum of understanding for county to receive donations of rights of way for Calhoun Station Parkway phase III. Page 12
December 15, 2008: Banks offered a successful motion to accept donations and pay for right of ways. Page 16
February 18, 2009: Banks voted with the rest of the board to approve the final construction plans for phase II of Calhoun Station. Page 15.
August 3, 2009: Banks offered a motion to authorize Warnock to redesign Calhoun Station Parkway phase II, re-acquire rights of way, and seek more funding from MDOT. Page 17
October 19, 2009: Banks offered a motion for a memorandum of understanding between Calhoun Station Properties, LLC and the County to approve acquisition of certain rights of way. Page 26 The LLC was only established three days prior to the vote. Dwayne Ballard is the only listed officer.
February 16, 2010: Proposed a motion to acknowledge final receipt of Calhoun Station phase II construction plans. Voted for Motion. Page 6

There are more votes (Enter "Calhoun Station" in search box) but you get the idea. Mr. Banks engaged in a clear pattern of casting votes for motions that would clearly benefit the value of his property. Many times Mr. Banks did not just vote for the motion but was the supervisor who proposed it. Mr. Banks even went so far this year as to vote for a resolution stating the Board's support to the Madison County School Board for the proposed water park. Page 16

A precedent was set by a former Mississippi Governor twenty years ago. In 1990, Governor Ray Mabus relieved Adjutant General Jim Farmer of his duties as commanding officer of the Mississippi National Guard after he and several friends purchased several acres next to the main gate to Camp Shelby after expansion of the base was announced. Articles Mabus said then Farmer had violated his public trust and said he couldn't "help" Farmer if the Adjutant General couldn't understand what he had done wrong.

Public corruption is an epidemic in Mississippi and unfortunately, we shrug our shoulders whenever we see it. Every time Mr. Banks proposes a motion or votes on matters concerning his land, he slaps the public in the face and dares them to do something about it. Its quite clear Mr. Banks has no respect for his office nor those who elected him. Tim Johnson yesterday spoke of "appearances". If a Supervisor snapping up title to land and then repeatedly using his position as a public official to enrich himself at our expense is not an appearance of a conflict of interest", it is hard to see what is.

Karl Banks should resign from the Madison County Board of Supervisors. Its not enough for him to merely recuse himself from any votes that might give the appearance of a conflict of interest. He lost that courtesy after the fifth, tenth, or fifteenth vote he cast to support Calhoun Station Parkway and the proposed water park. If Mr. Banks wants to get rich off land deals, he is welcome to do so on his own dime.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Fireworks in Madison today

Update: Well, found out some more news. Apparently someone from the County contacted all the tv stations Friday to cover the meeting. Wouldn't tell them what it was about but promised a commotion. Then the supervisors had a stack of copies of the agreement and ready to be handed out to everyone in attendance. Did I mention they even took a short break right after this was discussed? Almost seems as if it gave the media a chance to work the story immediately. What a surprise.

Original post: Well, the meeting of the Madison County Board of Supervisors had some fireworks today as shazam, Br'er Tim just knows he has Mayor Mary this time. In the video above he claims an agreement signed with developer Richard Skinner has an appearance of extortion. The agreement is posted below and is signed by the Mayor and Skinner.

Skinner's LLC was selling a forty acre tract of land to Pine Lake Baptist Church. Apparently some roadwork needed to be done, the question is who would pay for it. The agreement states Mr. Skinner's company will put up $400,000 contingent upon the sale of the property to Pine Lake. The agreement states the road needs more work and that its completion is the responsibility of the county. The agreement states Skinner will fund the work to meet City specifications if the County does not absorb the cost.

What was interesting was this was brought up at the same meeting where County Administrator Mark Houston announced his resignation. Of course, what dominated the headlines at noon was not his resignation, which is interesting given its at the same time the State Auditor is camped out in Canton reviewing the books, but the calls for Hood and Pickering to investigate Mayor Hawkins-Butler.

It keeps getting more interesting.

Copy of agreement

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Today's reading of the Health Care Bill

Starting to get a little deeper into the bill now. I am just reading this bill page by page and posting my observations here. Feel free to clarify or correct in the comments section. Fire away. For a collection of all readings, see the section on the right side of the page.

Page 130. Part II- Consumer Choices and Insurance Competition Through Health Benefit Exchanges.

Page 130. Section 1311: Affordable Choices of Health Benefit Plans. Section 1311 sets up the Health Benefits Exchanges. Section (a) on page 130 is "Assistance to states to establish American Health Benefits Exchanges". Section (a)(1) states the government will award money within a year after the bill's passage to states to set up exchanges. The grants can be renewed but can not be awarded after January 1, 2015.

Section (b) mandates "each state shall, not later than January 1, 2014, establish" an exchange. I see one problem with this section and its called New York v. U.S. (1992) where the Supreme Court ruled the federal government could not order states to regulate or perform certain functions. It said the federal government could place conditions on grants or take over the function itself, but it could not treat the state as a division of the federal government. The question here is can the federal government order the states to set up exchanges if they refuse the grants. Interesting.

This section is pretty vague on what an exchange actually does. Just states it will "facilitate" the purchase of "qualified health plans" and offer a program that helps small employers enroll their employees. It decrees the exchange shall "ensure a sufficient choice of providers" (Hmmm... what if the providers shrugged and left the business?). The exchange must include "essential community providers where available, that serve predominantly low income-medically-underserved individuals"

Section (F) standardizes the paperwork by requiring a "uniform enrollment form" employers can use. Section (3) on page 135 states the government will establish a rating system for health plans in terms of "quality and price". Section (4) states the government will establish an "enrollee satisfaction survey system" for patient feedback for insurance plans. Section (5) on page 136 states the government will operate internet portals and provide a template to the states for their portals as well. Internet portals will help employers and individuals find health plans for which they qualify and determine eligibility. This link is an example of how such portals as used in Massachusetts. The exchange shall offer an open enrollment period by July 1, 2012 and will be offered annually (page 137).

Section (d) on page 138 states it will be a government agency or nonprofit. Can't outsource that to the private sector. Section (d)(3)(b) on page 139 allows a state to require more benefits than is required by the Secretary.

Well, we've discussed exchanges for awhile now, but what exactly is it they will do? Section (d)(4) on page 139 answers this question. The exchange will
1. certify, recertify, and decertify health plans as qualified for the exchange.
2. Operate a toll-free hotline to for consumer help.
3. Maintain an internet website for enrollees and prospective enrollees.
4. Assign a rating to each qualified health plan.
5. Use a standard format for "presenting health benefits plan options"
6. Inform individuals of eligibility requirements for Medicaid, CHIP, or any other public program. The exchange will enroll such qualified individuals in those programs
7. Make available online a calculator to determine the application of any premium tax credit. Hmm.... all this online stuff, what about the people who don't have internet access or don't know how to use a computer? The elderly, the poor, disabled. I wonder what little solution they have cooked up for that problem.
8. Can issue exemptions to individuals who can not find a qualified, affordable health plan on the exchange
9. Requires the exchange to notify the Secretary if an employee was exempted because the employer did not offer a qualified plan or it was not affordable.
10. "Provide to each employer" the names of employees who terminated their coverage.
11. Publish the average costs of licensing, regulatory fees, administrative costs of exchange, any other payments required by exchange online. Page 144-145.

Section (5) on page 143: No federal funds for continued operations. Requires the State shall ensure the exchange is self-sustaining by January 1, 2015. This requirement includes "allowing the exchange to charge assessments or user fees to participating health insurance issuers" or to "otherwise generate funding, to support its operations." So the exchange will likely be one more cost added to health insurers. If that doesn't work, then the state will have to cough up the money. Uh-oh.

Hmmm... I see a HUGE New York problem here as its a direct unfunded mandate to the states and potentially unconstitutional.

Section (B) on page 144 bans "wasteful use of funds". It states no "staff retreats", "promotional giveaways", "excessive executive compensation", or lobbying.

Suppose the health insurer needs to raise premiums? Section (2) on page 146 requires health plans seeking certification to "submit a justification for any premium increase prior to implementation of the increase." This information must be posted on the website.

The state can also establish exchanges that operate across state lines pending approval by other states or exchanges that serve a "geographically distinct area". The state can also "elect" to "authorize an exchange" to "enter into an agreement with an eligible entity to carry out one or more of the responsibilities of the Exchange". Oh, I can see the pigs lining up at the trough right now for that one. Oops, not pigs, but companies like Healthsystems of Mississippi that get millions of dollars a year to review Medicaid claims. Such entities can be a state Medicaid agency, a private corporation with experience in health benefits coverage but can not be a health insurer.

There is even a section for "Rewarding Quality Through Market-Based Incentives". Section (g) on page 148. The bill (Section 1 on page 148) states the exchange will set use "increased reimbursement" or other incentives (wonder what those could be. Could they be punitive in nature?) to improve "health outcomes" The exchange will thus monitor case management, reporting, chronic disease management, and "medication initiatives" The exchange can offer incentives for activities designed to "prevent hospital readmissions" or reduce medical errors by using "best clinical practices". Ah, is the government going to determine what the best practice of medicine is instead of the doctor? Apparently so as Section (2) on page 149 states "the Secretary, in consultation with experts in health care quality.. shall develop guidelines". Yup. The helath care plans are required by Section (3) to report the activities they've implemented for this so-called market-based strategy. I love it. Congress calls this market-based but the government determines what the "best practices" for health care providers should be.

Think I'm through with exchanges? Nope, because there is a section for NAVIGATORS. Thankfully, the navigators require no spice but Section (i) on page 151 states "an exchange shall establish a program under which it awards GRANTS to entities described in paragraph (2) to carry out the duties described in paragraph (3). What exactly are these "entities"?

The entity must "demonstrate" to the exchange it has "existing relationships" or could "readily establish" them with "employers, employees, consumers, and others likely to be "qualified to enrolled in a qualified health care plan". Hmmm.... WHAT lobbyist stuck that section in the bill? I can see it now: unions, the NAACP, trade associations, Chamber of Commerce, etc, everyone can get in on the gravy train if they are a "navigator".

Kingfish, you are making this up. Actually, I did come up with that list off of the top of my head because I see in section (2)(B) it states "Entities described in subparagraph (A) may include trade, industry, and professional associations, commercial fishing industry organizations, ranching and farming organizations, community and consumer-focused nonprofit groups, chambers of commerce, unions, small business development centers, other licensed insurance agents and brokers.."

Everyone can get in on the gravy train. The insurance industry even brags about its work to get insurance agents included in this provision. What exactly are these "entities" supposed to do?

Section (3) on page 152 states they shall promote the "availability of qualified health plans", "distribute fair and impartial information" concerning enrollment in said plans, the availability of premium tax credits, and information on copays and deductibles. The navigator shall "facilitate enrollment", and provide the information "in a manner that is culturally and linquistically appropriate to the population being served". Ok, instead of Miami, what about the coonasses in Morgan City?

However, don't worry, the Secretary is looking out for you as in Section (4) on page 153 it states the navigator can't be a health insurance company or receive any compensation from health insurance companies for signing up individuals in a health care plan. BUT they can still get a grant. Nice grub if you can get it.

Got all that? Sorry. Wanted to cover the section in one post. I know its long but I thought it would be harder for the reader to understand if I broke up a long post about exchanges into several smaller ones.

Copy of bill

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More change in Madison

Change abrewing in Madison today. Houston, we have liftoff. The mission to reach the private sector is a success.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tate to replace Phil?

Apparently Tate Reeves is telling everyone he will formally announce in a few months he is running for Lieutenant Governor. Possible opponents include State Senator Billy Hewes and State Auditor Stacy Pickering. Hmmm...... I wonder if Haley is going to like two incumbent Republicans leaving two offices open to run for another office.

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More on the WLBT story.

WLBT reported on its website today:
" A pair of students from Saint Joseph Catholic School in Madison find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

The two are accused of making some kind of derogatory or threatening comments about the school. Right now, we know the teens were picked up by Madison Police and released.

Investigators say the matter is now in the hands of youth court and the kids are not in school at this time."

Sources in law enforcement told JJ one student made a comment on his Facebook page about blowing up the school. The second student thought he was joking and volunteered to help. The first one has been expelled and the second one's fate has not been decided yet by school officials.

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Excellent advice

Second video is pretty good as its a third year law student and former that discusses some of the um, techniques used by police.

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Bored this morning?

Walk for Autism today in Flowood then geaux to the Mississippi Tea Party at the Fairgrounds tomorrow.

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Latest crime stats

Crime stats for Jackson week ending April 11, 2010.

Major crimes overview for Jackson week ending April 11, 2010.

City of Madison crime reports

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More Spring in Jackson by Gloria Scott

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Another lesson in politics

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Today's health care bill reading

Still reading the health care bill page by page. We are reading the Senate bill first, then the reconciliation bill. I'm not an expert so feel free to make corrections or clarifications in the comments section. The other readings are in a sidebar on the right side of the page. Fire away.

Page 126. Section 1304: Related Definitions. Not really much here. Defines group and individual markets. It does define a large employer as one with at least 101 employees and a small employer as one with less than 101 employees BUT a State may ELECT to define s small employer as one with less than 51 employees for plan years starting before 2016. SO federal law states a small employer has less than 101 employees unless the State says otherwise.

What about new businesses? No problem, the government will make that determination based "on the average number of employees that is is reasonably expected such employer will employ on business days.." No standard is mentioned for what is considered to be reasonable. Suppose your business grows while under the small employer classification and there are now more than 101 employees? The law gives some leeway as it states the company "shall be treated as a small employer... beginning with the increase and ending with the first day on which the employer does not make such enrollment (small employer plan) available to its employees."

That is all for today. Next reading is on exchanges and that will be a long one.

Copy of bill

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Stacy Pickering: What the hell?

So Stacy decided to send the cavalry up to Madison County to check out Rudy's contracts. So if Mr. Pickering is trying to find evidence of wrongdoing, why did he do THIS?

From the Clarion-Ledger yesterday:
"County Administrator Mark Houston said the county was notified Friday that the audit team would arrive Monday. "We welcome their review of any and all matters they choose to address and hope this will resolve any lingering questions," he said."

Why exactly would Pickering notify a target of an examination three days before the examination he was coming? Any auditor worth his salt knows such audits are unannounced so the subject can't "prepare" for the audit. If this is standard procedure, then maybe we need a new State Auditor.

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Surprise: Paul wins JJ poll

JJ asked last week who you support for the Republican nomination in 2012. As predicted, the Paul people put it up on their message boards and he won, getting more than twice as much as Haley. Romney and Haley came in second and third. Will be interesting to see in six months when I ask this question again what the results will be.

Jeb Bush
19 (3%)
43 (7%)
15 (2%)
3 (0%)
98 (16%)
26 (4%)
76 (12%)
Will vote R but none of these
50 (8%)
37 (6%)
25 (4%)
Mitch Daniels
6 (1%)
Ron Paul
202 (33%)

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

SOS fines FAIM & Murphy $25,000 each.

Copy of order

The Secretary of State issued an order revoking the registration of the Fine Arts Institute of Mississippi, a Ridgeland-based charity. The SOS fined FAIM $25,000 and Bill Murphy $25,000. The order gives each party thirty days to pay the fine.

The SOS ruled:
"A. FAIM failed to maintain its books and records of all financial activities.
B. FAIM's books and records were not available for inspection by the division.
C. FAIM engaged in financial transactions not related to the accomplishment of its charitable purpose.
D. FAIM provided false and misleading information to the Division.
E. FAIM spent an unreasonable amount of money on management.
F. Murphy, as a member of the Board of Directors and an Executive Director, violated his fiduciary duties to FAIM."

FAIM operated Boxcar Bingo under a charitable gaming license for income. The Gaming Commission denied an application for renewal of its charitable gaming license, claiming it hid asset-sharing agreements from the state, improperly hired a lobbyist, and violated the 60/40 rule (40% of the income must go to the stated charitable purpose.) FAIM/Boxcar Bingo is appealing the decision to chancery court in Desoto County.

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Robbie Bell had to give a deposition this week in the lawsuit filed against Narcanon by Linda Francombe, mother of Heather Spencer. Apparently Ms. Bell took the fifth quite a bit in the deposition.

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Today's reading of the Health Care Bill

For a collection of all readings, see sidebar on right side of page.

Page 118. Section 1303: Special Rules. Abortion. Section (A)(i) states the insurance companies are not required to provide abortion coverage and it is up to the insurance company to determine whether it should be covered. However, this is contradicted somewhat by a section discussed later in this post.

Section (B) (page 119) states abortion services are not covered by federal funding based on the law that is in effect six months before "the beginning of the plan year involved." Current federal law provides federal funds for abortion only in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother's life. The loophole here is "based on the law". It does not say it won't pay for abortions, just what the law was six months before the plan's year. So.... Congress could carve out exceptions to or erase the Hyde amendment and suddenly, abortions would be covered by federal funds in the health care reform bill if Conress was so inclined.

Section (C) prohibits "federal funds for abortion services in community health option." Section states the Secretary "may not determine" the community health insurance option covers abortion services. If a state requires abortion coverage in its community health insurance programs, it has to ensure no federal funds are used to pay for abortion services.

Section (D) is weird. It mandates that in each health insurance exchange, at least one plan shall offer abortion coverage and at least one plan won't offer abortion coverage. Keep in mind the exchange is funded by the federal government so the bill states the government shall offer an exchange and then mandates at least one plan will provide abortion coverage and one plan will not do so.

Page 123 provides more details on what type of funding is banned: Can't use tax credits (used to reduce premiums of insured. See section 1412) under the IRS code, or cost-sharing reduction. However, it doesn't say anything about subsidies for health insurance plans that do offer abortion coverage.

Page 125. Section b: Application of State and Federal Laws Regarding Abortion. "ABORTION.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt or otherwise have any effect on State laws regarding the prohibition of (or requirement of) coverage, funding, or procedural require- ments on abortions, including parental notification or consent for the performance of an abortion on a minor." In other words, the health care bill leaves alone state laws already pertaining to coverage of abortion services by insurance companies or abortions involving minors (including parental notification.).

Section (2)(A) also states the bill has no effect on federal laws concerning conscientious objections to performing abortions by health care workers.

Did you get all that? Very convoluted. Doesn't come out and say abortion is covered or not covered, just states its based on "federal law" whatever that is at the time. The law states in the titles no federal funds are to be used for abortion services. Then it states no tax credits can be used but says nothing about subsidies (Unless the subsidies are somehow considered to be the tax credits). However, it does mandate each area shall offer one plan providing abortion coverage. I don't think we've heard the last of this one.

Copy of Bill

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Spoiled brats get professor removed at LSU

Disgusting. Simply disgusting.

"Dominique G. Homberger won't apologize for setting high expectations for her students.

The biology professor at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge gives brief quizzes at the beginning of every class, to assure attendance and to make sure students are doing the reading. On her tests, she doesn't use a curve, as she believes that students must achieve mastery of the subject matter, not just achieve more mastery than the worst students in the course. For multiple choice questions, she gives 10 possible answers, not the expected 4, as she doesn't want students to get very far with guessing.

Students in introductory biology don't need to worry about meeting her standards anymore. LSU removed her from teaching, mid-semester, and raised the grades of students in the class. In so doing, the university's administration has set off a debate about grade inflation, due process and a professor's right to set standards in her own course.
.." Article

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Mooore Spring in Jackson from Gloria Scott

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just for Marshall Ramsey

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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