Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Governor Gives First State of State Address

Governor Tate Reeves gave his first State of the State Address Monday.   The video and transcript are posted below.  Enjoy.

Thank you. Thank you to all of the members of the legislature here today. I am grateful for your service and dedication to the people of Mississippi. I know we can accomplish great things together. Thank you, Speaker Gunn. I’m grateful for your friendship and partnership over the years. Thank you, Lieutenant Governor Hosemann. I am looking forward to working together with you to serve our state. You’ve got a great job, one that will present many challenges, opportunities, frustrations, and great joys. I treasure every memory from it, and I hope that you will too.

Now, when we gathered here not long ago for the inauguration, I swore that our administration would be For All Mississippi. That is our creed. but I do have a confession. I do have a favorite Mississippian. She has a brilliant mind and a deep love for her home state. She is a trusted partner, loving mother, and a sharp thinker. I’m lucky to have her, and now we all are. Ladies and Gentlemen, my favorite Mississippian, and the First Lady of Mississippi, Elee Reeves!

Mississippi is a beautiful, powerful state. We have many natural resources: from the fertile soil that produces our crops to the beautiful coastline that draws visitors from around the world. But Mississippi’s greatest resource has always been and will always be our people.

There is a Mississippi spirit that lives within each of our citizens: Pride that comes from generations of hard work and determination. Resilience born from adversity. Diversity that creates meaning and beauty. Deep faith that knows the providence of our Lord and savior.

As I start my term as Governor, my mission is not just to represent Mississippi, but to reflect Mississippi. Reflect the honor. Reflect the grit. Reflect the fortitude of our people. Mississippi is an imperfect state, and I can predict with certainty that I will reflect that imperfection. Mississippians also strive for excellence, and I swear to reflect that as well.

I want all Mississippians to know that every man and woman of every region, every background, every race, every class, and every home in our state has my admiration and my respect. It is my mission to reflect all Mississippi—to serve all Mississippi. That is what all of this is for. We work for all Mississippi.

We have great challenges ahead of us. It is in those challenges, where opportunity lies. We have made tremendous progress, but we must never pretend that the hardest work does not lie in front of us. It was a great son of Marion County, Walter Payton, who told his teammates: “Keep going. Keep going. Fight for more yards.”

The moment that we rest on our achievements; that we look back behind us and say, “good enough.” That is the moment that we have abandoned our duty. Instead, we press forward: determined to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.

It starts with the citizens who need us most: the children entrusted by God into the care of Mississippi families. The responsibility of raising those children starts in the home. A bunch of politicians in Jackson will never replace the power of a good Mom and a good Dad. But those parents cannot do their jobs alone.

Every Mississippian is born with a great inheritance—that Mississippi spirit living within each of us. And every Mississippian is born with a sacred duty—to support the families living in our communities. All of us, particularly those entrusted with public office, must do everything in our power to help those young Mississippians unlock their God-given potential.

That is why our first mission must be the continued improvement of our educational system. We have made tremendous strides. Today, I am overwhelmed with pride to say, Mississippi is the number one state in the country for educational gains.

People around the world are beginning to notice. They look up from the national assessments and ask: What is happening in Mississippi? Why is this state—which we have derided for so long—the only state in the country that is making improvements in fourth-grade reading? Why are these kids gaining ground while the rest of the country stays stagnant? I will let you in on a little secret: These gains are not accidental.

A portion of the credit belongs to the education reform advocates who have fought tirelessly against the coalition for the status quo. Change is never easy, but Mississippi’s education system needed change. Over the last eight years, those advocates have worked to reform our education system: creating more opportunity, choice, and access for Mississippi’s most vulnerable students. There has been a concerted effort to undermine and attack those reforms. But the results speak for themselves. We must hold the line against those who would undo the very reforms that are lifting children up.

The honor from these results ultimately rests on Mississippi’s students, Mississippi’s parents, and, yes, Mississippi’s teachers. Teachers don’t teach for glory, praise, or riches. But it is right to take a moment here, at the beginning of our time tonight and at the beginning of our term of service, to recognize their incredible achievement.

We worked hard over the last decade to recover from a brutal recession, and do the hard, necessary work of rebuilding. We have been forced to make many hard choices in the budget and prioritized the fiscal stability of the state. It’s a position that so many families and businesses know all too well. We often looked at our budgets and longed to do more. Today, we finally can.

Thanks to cost-saving measures and tax cuts that have spurred our economy, we have more money coming in than ever before. We must never forget that our focus on protecting that taxpayers is what got us to this financial position. As we begin to allocate this new revenue, I can think of no one more deserving, and no task more essential, than increasing the pay of our teachers.

I know that there is broad consensus and commitment to achieve this quickly and to increase pay substantially. I want all of you to know that my priority is simple: let’s pay our teachers as much as we can possibly afford. Send me a budget that does that, and I’ll stand beside each of you to sign it with joy.

I do not want to aim for average. We have achieved incredible education gains that put Mississippi at the top of the charts for test scores. We should not just aim for passing grades. We can and should aim to excel. I want to set a goal for Mississippi—that we would equip our teachers with the funding and tools to become national board certified if they are willing to put in the work. And I believe that by the end of my time in office, we can make Mississippi the number one state in the country for certified teachers. Let’s aim high and achieve great things together.

We must also remember the purpose of education. It is to prepare Mississippi’s next generation for a life well-lived. There has been a malicious myth spreading across our country for many years: That the only way to achieve the American dream is through a four-year university degree and a career behind a desk. That myth comes from the arrogance of an elite class that sees their comfortable life as the only ideal. They are the same metropolitan narcissists who look at our state and sneer. They have tricked millions of Americans into taking on mountains of debt and wasting precious years—all based on a conceited lie. We must break the cycle. In Mississippi, we can be at the tip of the spear.

Now let me be clear: there is nothing inherently wrong with those academic studies. In fact, it is good for many Americans and Mississippians to engage in them. We’re proud of our universities. We need bankers and doctors, journalists and lawyers. The big lie is that every American must embark on the same path.

We can take advantage of this national myth. Because in Mississippi, we know that there is pride in a trade. We know that there is money to be made. We can let the east coast have their ivory towers. We can let the west coast have a generation of gender studies majors. We will take more jobs and higher pay!

Here’s what it will take: investment and intentionality. We will not win this great competition without a financial investment in the people who can make it happen. Last year, I outlined a plan to put $100 million into workforce development—training Mississippians so that we are ready to work. Teaching skills to students from the earliest possible age. Apprenticeships, community college grants, and assistance for workers. We can make noise across the nation when they see our commitment to this cause.

I urge all of Mississippi’s leaders to make this a joint priority. We must take action, to capitalize on the opening that has been left for us. We must be intentional and bring focus to this fight. We can win, and we can help Mississippi’s workers to earn more money than we could have ever imagined.

When we are successful, we will see it in the wages of our workers. Income must go up in our state—for every Mississippian. Better paying jobs—quality jobs—are just around the corner. We just need to invest in the training that our workers need to win them.

This is what I see as our greatest challenge and therefore our greatest opportunity. Others are competing in this space as well. We must meet their efforts and exceed them. We must make our workers a priority. We must give them the tools to succeed. We must equip Mississippi’s businesses with the world’s best workforce. We must tell the world what we are doing.

As governor, it is my mission to be Mississippi’s ambassador. To go into every room possible and tell them about the strength and the skill of Mississippi workers. We are engaged in a global fight for quality jobs and higher wages—and with investments in our workers we will win more industry and more income for Mississippi.

Workforce training is perhaps our greatest opportunity, but it is not our only priority. We must continue to invest in critical infrastructure. Mississippi’s roads and bridges need our attention. From ports to potholes, we must continue to be intentional about improving our infrastructure. And we cannot forget the next great generational infrastructure issue: internet access. We must continue to find innovative ways to allow all of Mississippi to connect. No one should be left behind.

We must prioritize the safety of all Mississippians—and the health of all Mississippians. We need to incentivize quality health care in all regions of the state and protect the small-town way of life that makes us who we are.

We must do all of this without falling into the trap that so many misguided politicians cannot avoid. Big government intervention creates as many problems as it solves. That was the lesson of Obamacare. It is the lesson that many on the left, who are now pushing even more reckless expansion of government-run health care, failed to learn. It is a lesson that we must remember.

This is not a call for inaction, but a call for caution. We can invest in health care. We should invest in health care. We can protect rural hospitals. We can protect the people of Mississippi. I am eager to work with each of you to do so. We can and we should do all of this without succumbing to the siren song of big government.

I believe we need more doctors in our small towns. I believe that a major expansion of our rural physician scholarship program will help us get there. I believe we must invest in rural residency programs. I believe there should be incentives for businesses that contribute to hospitals in rural areas. I believe we should expand telemedicine to reduce the cost of care. I believe that we must create a reason for doctors to locate in underserved areas. We must put patients first and protect them from the higher costs. We can do this together, and I hope that we will work together in the coming months to make progress.

Often, the most impactful thing that we can do at this building is get out of the way and allow innovators to thrive. That is why one of my priorities will be cutting red tape and improving customer service across government. We are assembling a team that is committed to ensuring that the people of Mississippi are never held back by cumbersome government. Regulations and processes that may have been well-intentioned, often serve only to slow our state down. We are going to fix that.

While I know that the team tasked with reducing red tape will be committed and capable, there is no replacement for listening to the people. It is my goal to put the citizens of Mississippi in the driver’s seat in this effort. If you are being held back by some unnecessary government rule or process, we will provide an easy way for you to let us know. And whenever we can take action, we will do so quickly. We will have a bias towards action. We will listen to the people of Mississippi and clean up our codes to put them first.

There’s a famous saying: “Never attribute to malice, what can be attributed to incompetence.” And there’s no question, much of the red tape in government is the result of well-intentioned, but now outdated actions. But do not fool yourself: there are many who use regulation to protect themselves from competition. That must end.

We must make it easier for everyone to earn money in Mississippi. That means eliminating those unfair regulations that keep people from getting licenses to work. We must make it simpler for anyone to thrive in our state.

As governor, I plan to take a hard look at all of the regulations on the books that make it harder for people to live and work here. If you want to make a living in Mississippi, we want to make it easy for you to live in Mississippi. It will help us to keep young Mississippians here, and recruit even more to live and work in our great state. That will be a focus of our administration. And we will count on the people of Mississippi to let us know where red tape blocks their path to prosperity.

There is one particular area of the government that has historically, woefully underserved the people who rely on it. It is also one of our most critical. There are children in Mississippi who are wards of the state. That is a legal term that understates the gravity of our responsibility: these are Mississippi’s kids. They belong to each of us.

That is not their natural status. It is always the result of tragedy or trauma. Some are victims of abuse or neglect, whose parents don’t deserve them. Some are orphans, whose parents would have loved them well if they lived. Some are the children of poverty or addiction, whose parents would support them if they could. However they come into our care, they are ours. Ours to protect. Ours to lift up. Ours to look after.

Any parent will tell you how hard it is to look after their own children. It is no easier to develop and maintain a system that adequately cares for the thousands in every area of our state. But today, I ask that we would all take a moment to recognize our responsibility for these kids. I ask that you would join us in working to reform the system that is set up to protect them. There is much that we can and must do.

Some of the progress will be private. Many of these children are in dangerous situations and telling their stories would only put them in harm’s way. Some of the progress will not be easy to explain. It is a complicated, bureaucratic system. All of that unseen work is essential. There will be no glory in it for the foster families or state employees who answer the call. But they will know their reward in the smiles of the children that they care for. They will see the peace that these children have longed for. They will know that their work has borne fruit.

Those will be the private moments of success that will change lives, but we also have a duty to use our public position. We must shine a light on the challenges these children face. And promoting our shared responsibility to care for these kids may ultimately do more than anything else. In Mississippi, we have made progress by promoting adoption and moving children into loving, permanent homes. We must accelerate this progress and bring even more attention to these kids in our care. There is no government program that can replace a forever family.

We have worked hard in Mississippi to make this the safest state in the country for our innocent unborn children. This is noble and it is essential. Our commitment to our pro-life values must never waver.

We must also recognize that it is our duty to protect the lives of those innocent children who are born. Born into harsh conditions. That begins with the children who are Mississippi’s kids. We will promote a culture of life by promoting foster care, by promoting adoption. By reminding each other that our kids are counting on us. Through public promotion and quiet reform, we will do the necessary work to ensure that these children are not twice-abandoned. It is among our most sacred duties as state leaders, and we can do better by our kids. I know we can.

We must also insist on improving our correctional system—to protect the integrity of our state.

In 1982, Inmate 46857 at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman was a 19-year-old. He was holding a shank. He was sitting on his cot. And there was murder on his mind. He was considering killing two of his fellow inmates—to toughen his image and bolster his standing in a prison where violence was the norm. He stood convicted of armed robbery and attempted murder. It may be easy for us to cast such a man off—to believe that his life does not matter. But God did not. God came to Inmate 46857 in that prison cell. The inmate came to know Christ. He served his sentence. On January 14, 1988—six years later—he walked out of Parchman a free man. He became a pastor. He started working with kids who came from poverty like he had. He turned other lives around. On January 14, 2020—exactly 32 years later—he delivered the benediction at my inauguration.

That man is Reverend Eddie Spencer, and he represents everything that is at stake and all the potential of every life in our prison system. With God’s help, he turned his life around and now serves as a leader and testimony to all of us. His ministry has saved countless lives in Mississippi and across the country. He’s here with us today. Can we all take a moment to honor him?

We must get this right, to prevent the next Reverend Spencer from losing their life needlessly in a Mississippi prison. I’ve been to Parchman. I saw it for myself just a few days ago. The problems were infuriating. We will do better. We will right the wrongs of the past, and we will do everything in our power to protect the dignity of every Mississippi life.

All Mississippians must be able to trust that the people in charge of this system are acting with competence to keep them safe. We must be able to trust that the corrections officers operating in these prisons have the tools that they need to do their jobs, and that they are compensated fairly. We must be able to trust that this system shows a baseline level of respect to those who find themselves within it. We must administer justice fairly, respecting the dignity of all within our prison walls. It was a great Christian martyr of the 16th century who saw a group of prisoners headed to the executioner and said, “there but for the grace of God, go I.” We must carry that same spirit of empathy as we embark on this mission.

We have brought in an honorable, able, experienced leader with a background in corrections and law enforcement—Tommy Taylor—to serve as a steady hand in the interim. He has already made several changes that we hope will help us begin to do better. There is a great deal more that must be done, but we are just now starting to move in the right direction.

We have asked a trusted, diverse group of experts to conduct a nationwide search—to provide me with a recommendation for a permanent solution to our leadership crisis.

We have made one major decision that I would like to announce today. I have instructed the Mississippi Department of Corrections to begin the necessary work to start closing Parchman’s most notorious unit—Unit 29. There are many logistical questions that will need to be answered—we’re working through that right now. But I have seen enough. We have to turn the page. This is the first step, and I have asked the Department to begin the preparations to make it happen safely, justly, and quickly.

I know that together we will make progress—day by day. It will often be slow. It will often be painful, as we reckon with the mistakes of the past. We will learn from them, as we have done for generations. We will look back with grief but focus forward with hope. We will do better—For All Mississippi—and work together to ensure that the safety and human dignity of All Mississippians are respected.

I believe in Mississippi. I believe that our greatest days are ahead of us. There are times when I have been criticized for painting too hopeful a picture of Mississippi. Highlighting our progress does not mean ignoring our failures. We face many challenges as a state. But there is a tendency today to allow cynicism to overwhelm us. It is common in politics and the people who cover it, but not unique to this business.

One of Mississippi’s most legendary sons, B.B. King, tells a story about the beginning of his musical career:
He said, “I would sit on the street corners in my hometown of Indianola, Mississippi, and I would play. And, generally, I would start playing gospel songs. People would come by on the street. And they would always compliment me on those gospel tunes, but they would tip me when I played blues.”

Now, I for one am glad that King sang the blues and sang it well. Today, I think our state needs a little less blues and a little more gospel. There may be profit in pessimism, but when we put our faith in God and in each other, we can begin to move forward to a brighter future.

We can begin to put pettiness aside and provide help to the people who need it. We can push through all that divides us and make a difference in our communities.

And so while I recognize the difficulties that lie ahead of us, as governor, I hope that you won’t hear me sing the blues. You will hear the gospel, which means you will hear the good news. You will hear the story of Mississippi’s exceptional rise in education. You will hear the story of our economic growth. You will hear about the might of Mississippi’s workers. You will hear our goals for the future, and my unshakable belief that Mississippians can rise to any challenge.

I know that we will face trouble during our time. That’s the way of the world. I also know that the people of Mississippi are resilient. We are strong. We care about one another. We have a faith that unites us. We have a common bond. We have one mission.

We know our goal, because it comes from God. In the twelfth verse of the twelfth chapter of Romans he tells us: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Over the next several years, we will strive to serve with joy and hope. We will work patiently to aid the afflicted. We will act with faith, praying to God for the wisdom to do what is right. I know that all of our state’s leaders share that mission.

We won’t always get it right the first time, and we won’t always agree on everything. But I know that all of you care about the people we serve. You share that Mississippi spirit which unites every citizen of this precious state. I know that Mississippi’s best days are ahead of us. Will you join me in helping us get there?

Thank you for your prayers and your commitment to this cause. I know that we will do great things together.

God bless you, God bless America, and may God Bless the great state of Mississippi.


Anonymous said...

The only thing missing from this speech is a tribute to Kobe Bryant-

Anonymous said...

"We can let the west coast have a generation of gender studies majors."

hahaha did he forget he graduated from liberal arts college?

Anonymous said...

So what is the reason for having a state of the state so early in the administration. It is a shame this man is the governor. A 1,000 years of darkness for the state ahead.

Anonymous said...

How about the CON process. Got to have competition to have Affordable Quality Anything. Gov is only person that isn’t a puppet for Hospital Association.

Anonymous said...

@10:41 places their ignorance on full display yet again.

Anonymous said...

Wait a sec.... didnt he choose a 4-year degree from a liberal arts college as opposed to following his dad into the family HVAC business???

Anonymous said...

this reads like an Obama state of the union. who knew the real conservative was Jim Hood??

Anonymous said...

It is extremely hard to watch Tater give a speech. I'm still baffled at the fact that we elected this goofball to be guv.

Anonymous said...

Tate is great
He's first rate
All you plebs
Can do is hate

Get a life, Tate won. He's your governor for two terms just like Trump is your president for two terms.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty clear attacking higher education is the new class warfare tactic for the MSGOP.

Which is odd. I agree that gender studies majors are a waste of space, and that tuition costs are way too high nationwide.

But that's not particularly relevant to Mississippi. Most Mississippi public universities don't primarily produce "bankers [...] journalists and lawyers." They produce engineers and IT guys and teachers.

And they don't charge sky-high tuition to in-state students. MSU in-state tuition is $7,800. Which is an absolute steal, especially for a STEM degree.

Universities are among the few economic drivers in this state. If Mississippi could keep 70% of MSU grads, we'd be out of last place very quickly. But the lack of infrastructure, schools, and decent cities drive them all to neighboring states.

I know Tate is a mediocrity and needs to make his base hate somebody. That's just how it works when you can't produce results.

But if there are adults in the room, they might want to yank his leash and point him at an enemy that's ... actually an enemy.

Anonymous said...

Tate did something very impressive before he even won the office. He caused me to vote Democrat for the first time ever.

Anonymous said...

millsaps has a gender studies does ole miss, msu, southern miss...

not just a 'west coast' thing..

Anonymous said...

MSU instate tuition is $8910 per year. Look further than just an out of date google popup. It has increased almost every year for the past five years. Ole Miss is usually the about the same.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, 12:39. You got me. $8900 is still an absolutely incredible deal, particularly if you look at the fields MSU grads go into and what they make starting out.

I sincerely don't understand why Tate would pick this fight, other than it being vaguely fashionable in national conservative circles.

Not to ascribe deep strategic thinking to him, or anything, but Mississippi universities aren't the enemy.

Anonymous said...

1:25 Maybe Tate, in a very inarticulate way, is trying to encourage skilled labor development and the idea that college isn't for everyone. No idea if that is what he's after, but I would like to see someone make some headway on this front. He should let Mike Rowe speak for him if that is his goal.

Anonymous said...

This was the first time I have heard someone argue against college and disparage people with college degrees. If the point is to promote trade programs or junior colleges and the like, why does it have to be to the detriment of people who have 4-year or advanced degrees? Why it gotta be a zero sum game? Isn't there respect enough to go around for all choices? "Metropolitan narcissists" ??? Bizarre.

Kingfish said...

Maybe we should recognize many people aren't cut out for college and quit trying to force everyone into going. If that is anti-college, then oh well. See, for years many have been saying that we are trying to force too many people to go to college when we really need to develop a workforce. A governor says that and boom, here comes the education-industrial complex, scared of losing their checks.

Waitress the other day said she was trying to decide on going to college for sociology or.... wait for it.... becoming an electrician. I told her it was no contest. She will get out of college, probably have student loans to repay, and be stuck in a 20-30 something a year job for a long time - when she could find one. On the other hand, the trade has a real demand and if she is competent, she will make more money. Guess that makes me anti-education.

Anonymous said...

The 4 year institutions should produce the numbers, but I suspect those with better GPAs in meaningful subjects leave MS when they graduate.

Anonymous said...

...but I suspect those with better GPAs

What is the floor numerically of a 'better GPA'? Put up.

Anonymous said...

Actually, what it makes you, Kingfish, is someone who draws false dichotomies.

The point being made above was that Mississippi universities really aren’t part of the national problems you identify. Few Mississippians attend college. Those who do generally get a good deal on in-state tuition, and are more likely to graduate with a degree in electrical engineering or comp sci than women’s studies or sociology.

And as the state auditor recently pointed out, universities are one of the few mechanisms this sorry state has for attracting high margin industries with better jobs. “Be a plumber” may be good advice for an individual, but it’s not a strategy for reviving our dead economy.

Tate can (and I agree; should) push for more technical education without fighting ideological proxy wars that have no relevance here. You’d think a lifelong horse trader and turn waiter like him would be smart enough not to pick fights with large entrenched interests for no good reason whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

@11:21pm "....would be smart enough not to pick fights with large entrenched interests..." Those large entrenched interests are real, and have a strangled hold on billions coming into the state, but then only serve themselves. THAT is perhaps the only thing Tate referenced that was in fact accurate and of real concern.

Producing "teachers" is how you control the Mississippi electorate....teachers are usually too poor to actually vote rationally in their own interests, nor walk away from a losing negotiation, so they can be manipulated with whichever way the winds blow by promising them a raise in crumbs. But money isn't the sole problem or what they really's respect. Respect however will never be given to them because they don't respect themselves enough to strike, because they don't want to be accused of hurting the kids. And so it goes.....election after election.

Anonymous said...

5:43 - By law, public employees in Mississippi are not allowed to strike. And if you think they belong to and are protected by a union, you would be wrong. Not sure why you paint teachers, and those who would teach, as ignorant puppets for sale to the lowest bidder. In that, you're wrong again. The only thing you got right is that teachers want respect. Everybody should.

Anonymous said...

Several of the posts on this thread r approaching an interesting point. MS’s IHL have relatively inexpensive tuition. The state & fed generously fund these institutions. MS could have a dual purpose here. MS could have quality institutions as well as quality industries. I can think of few better ways to enhance the quality of growth in this state than encouraging our IHL to increase out of state enrollment. This would most certainly b a lucrative, white collar industry with only benefits for the state.

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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.

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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