Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We Desperately Need Mike Sumrall for State Auditor

I watched Stacey Pickering's commercial for State Auditor. I am SO glad he has a loving wife and two children. And I was impressed by his narrative on what a great guy he is and how great he looked in that sofa. I am certain that qualifies him for the job as State Auditor.

I received a large postcard from the Mississippi GOP talking about the "Liberal Team Bus." On the bus was a picture of Mike Sumrall. Now the seventh reason why your vote should be counted (to vote GOP, obviously) is Mike Sumrall "admits he couldn't even pass the test to become a certified public accountant." Now that is ONE big reason.

First of all, I don't see where Stacey Pickering has ever taken the CPA exam. Secondly, Sumrall has vowed to take the exam if he is elected. In due time, I believe he will pass it.

Since I did pass the CPA exam (the November 1983 exam), I can tell you it is a very hard exam. Few people pass it the first time. You have to put in a lot of study and study a lot of material. When I took it, you were not even allowed to use a calculator. The exam proctors would give you two sheets of legal paper and that is where you could do your calculations. Just have some pencils and some erasers. One calculation error and you could lose a lot of points on a section of the exam.

But Sumrall DOES have the experience to do a good job as State Auditor. He knows what a good audit is. He will not have to have on-the-job training to figure out what constitutes a good audit. He has had more than twenty years working in the OSA's office and other areas of financial management.

What experience does Pickering have in accounting? Indeed, does he even KNOW the difference between a debit and credit? Has he ever taken an accounting course? What makes you think he's going to stay on as State Auditor once he's elected? You can rest assured he'll be looking for another elective post after four years. Debits and credits are not a turn on for someone trying to have a political career and move up the political ladder. Pickering, like the individual who currently holds the post, will make it a political kingdom for his own political ambitions. Thanks to the current State Auditor, the OSA actually got a failing grade by a peer group of nationwide auditors. Turnover is high and the PEER Committee gave the OSA a very poor grade. Do you want to continue that? If so, Pickering is your man. Pickering can talk about what he's going to do to improve the OSA, but don't swallow it. He won't know what to do in that job from Day One.

Mike Sumrall has vowed not to seek higher office if he is elected State Auditor. I believe him. He has great ideas on how to improve the office and make it the top-notch office it was under the days of W. Hamp King. He will not make it a political satrap for him, but a top-notch professional agency which all Mississippians can be proud of.

Take it from this CPA: Mike Sumrall is the ONLY choice for State Auditor.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jamie Franks' Last Chance--One Week Left

If I were to call the race today for Lt. Governor, I would predict Dewey Bryant would defeat Jamie Franks for the post. I have talked to people and the "liberal" label is beginning to take hold on Franks. Franks can deny the label all he wants, but it's perception--and not reality--that decides the election.

However, there is a week left in the campaign. And in politics, a week is an eternity. I have seen leads dissipate into deficits in just one week. You can look at state elections and Federal elections for such swings. So Franks still has time to turn it around and win.

Here is what Franks has to do:

1. Paint Bryant as a liberal. Remember, he ran as the liberal candidate for Rankin County Supervisor back in the 1988 special election.
2. For the interim vacancy on the Rankin County Board of Supervisors, he wrote a letter to then-Gov. Ray Mabus' office and stated he had always been a Democrat and he wanted the appointment. I found that out from one of Larry Swales' (The eventual winner of that race) top campaign aides.
3. Dewey Bryant started out as pro-abortion. I wrote on a previous post on how vehemently he was for a woman's "right to choose." But don't take my word for it. It was also reported he was pro-abortion in the Rankin County News of April 17, 1991. (No, I did not write a letter to the News or contact any of the reporters.)
4. He is AGAINST cutting taxes. After all, he is bitterly opposed to cutting the grocery tax on working people. Conservatives are always favoring tax cuts. Why not Dewey?

Franks has GOT to point all of this out to have a chance. If there is one issue that Mississippians feel strongly about, it is abortion. Now Dewey can talk about his pro-life credentials all he wants. But he became pro-life ONLY because he knew he would never get elected as a pro-abortion advocate. Franks has been pro-life from the start. If Franks pointed that out, Dewey's support would melt like a snowball on pavement in Key West, Fla. on a summer day.

Now Franks and his campaign staff may not think abortion is not that big of a deal. So I'll remind him about the 1991 Governor's race. Incumbent Governor Mabus was heavily favored to defeat Republican nominee Kirk Fordice. But I remember the bumper stickers that were on many a car that showed a fetus saying "Savus from Mabus." Everybody in politics knew Mabus was strongly pro-abortion. But he and his staff thought that wasn't a big deal.

The Sunday before the election there were flyers in many Baptist churches contrasting Mabus' pro-abortion stance versus Fordice's pro-life stance. On Election Day, Fordice stunned Mabus with a narrow victory. The margin was only by fifteen thousand votes. You can bet your sweet bippy the abortion issue was THE issue that defeated Mabus.

I analyzed the 1991 results versus the 1987 election results. In 1987, Mabus faced Democrat-turned-Republican Jack Reed. Mabus got 53% of the vote. In 1991, he got 49% of the vote. Mabus actually picked up black support in those four years and stayed the same in the white urban areas. It was the rural and the blue collar areas where Mabus lost heavily--in some cases losing more than 10% of the vote from his 1987 run. What was the reason? Mabus was perceived as liberal on abortion and that cost him reelection.

So Franks has a choice--go nuclear in the last week of the campaign or go down in flames. Right now, he is perceived as the liberal (His support of Kerry-Edwards in 2004 is hurting him.). But if he hits Dewey hard on the social issues and paint him as a flip-flopper who is pro-life to further his political career, he has a good chance of winning.

But the hour is getting late. What will Franks do?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Why We Need Jamie Franks for Lt. Governor

I have written many a blog ripping Dewey Bryant to shreds. But there is a positive reason for choosing Jamie Franks as Lt. Governor. And that is we need an independent voice in the Lt. Governor's position.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Gov. Haley Reeves Barbour will be reelected by a good margin--anywhere from ten to sixteen percentage points. I don't see an upset for Governor on November 6th. All the Republican candidates--except Delbert Hosemann--is running on being a workhorse for Haley. But I wonder if that's what Mississippi wants---or needs.

It is very rare when a Lt. Governor is a parrot for the Governor. I can't recall whenever a Lt. Governor has run for office saying he (or she) will be a "wing man" or parrot for the Governor. This is the first time I can recall a Lt. Governor candidate stating he'll be a parrot for the Governor. But Dewey has made it a priority he'll be a parrot for Haley.

Jamie Franks will tell Barbour when he is right and when he is wrong. He won't be a parrot for the Governor but an independent voice. He won't deliberately block Barbour's programs just because he is a Democrat. If it is good for the state, he will support Barbour. But on an issue such as the sales tax swap, he'll oppose Barbour. And I believe the voters want someone who will stand up for them and not just a political leader.

Dewey is boxed in. Don't believe him one bit when he says he'll oppose Barbour when he feels the Governor is wrong. Amy Tuck could oppose Barbour because she wasn't going anywhere politically. Her term expires in January 2008 and she couldn't run for reelection. What did she have to lose by opposing Barbour on the tax swap?

But Dewey has a lot to lose by opposing the Governor. Even though Barbour can't run for reelection in 2011, you can bet your sweet tushie he'll have a big say in who will be the GOP nominee. Dewey wants to be Governor so badly it's like watching a big coon dog looking at a juicy steak. If the GOP nominee in 2011 is elected, he'll run for reelection in 2015. Say Dewey is reelected in 2011, he'll be term-limited in 2015. He'll lose in a Republican primary against an incumbent GOP governor and if the governor is defeated for reelection because of the party split, Dewey will be hated for splitting the party. But what is Dewey to run for? After all, he's the Republican Bill Clinton (sans babes) who lives for politics and has no life other than politics and satisfying his big ego (and combing his coiffed hair).

Now Haley may be a good ole boy with that thick Southern drawl, but he is not a jerk. He is a political wizard. You piss off Haley and he'll give you the screws. He has the intelligence, the contacts, and the political genius. He can politically turn you into cow manure. If Dewey is to go anywhere in the GOP, he'll have to royally kiss Haley's tush or he's dead meat in 2011 if he should run for governor (He'll be one of the stupidest men ever to serve as governor if he is elected.). Haley holds grudges and he has a strong party machinery. Call Haley the Mayor Richard Daley of the Mississippi GOP. And Haley won't be fading away after he steps down as Governor. He'll still be a mover and shaker in GOP politics. So don't believe any of Dewey's horse manure he'll oppose Barbour if he needs to. If you believe he will, I have a gold mine in the back of my yard planted there by Martians I'd love to sell you.

If I wanted stupidity and a thoroughly gutless Lt. Governor who is vain, hot-headed, a liar and vindictive, I'd vote for Dewey Bryant.

I want a Lt. Governor who has brains, is honest, and has a political backbone. That is why I'm voting for Jamie Franks.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dewey Bryant's Interwiew with the Clarion-Ledger: An Analysis

Based on his interview with the Clarion-Ledger, Dewey Bryant has shown the citizens of Mississippi he is not fit to be Lt. Governor. He is also either one of the stupidest people in politics or a pathological, habitual liar.

Jamie Franks stated back in 2002, Dewey knew the Mississippi Beef Plant's owner had forged invoices, yet he NEVER told lawmakers. Bryant also gave "glowing" reports about the beef plant project. How Jamie Franks found out Bryant knew about the forged invoices is not known. But Franks is an exceptionally intelligent man and digs deep for information when he needs it. Knowing Franks, I think he speaks with authority.

Lawmakers gave Bryant money in 2003 to assist the Land, Water and Timber Board in monitoring the plant. Now read Bryant's brilliant response: He wasn't sure the legislation gave him much legal authority.

Huh? Is this guy an absolute mental dullard? Does he believe space aliens exist on the planet Quandax? Why didn't he try to find out what legal authority he had? Why didn't he consult the state Attorney General (Mike Moore had been Attorney General for fifteen years. He knew the office and the legislation.) to find out what legal authority he had? If he needed more legal authority, why didn't he get with Republicans in the State Legislature, such as legal eagle State Senator Charlie Ross (who is very intelligent), and ask for more legal authority? I think it would have been a slam dunk for him to get more legal authority.

As we all know, the Beef Plant went big burp in 2004. The Office of State Auditor, which became a political satrap for Bryant, first discovered criminal activity in November 2004. Did you read that? NOVEMBER 2004!! Now my math tells me there was at least a two-year gap between Franks' accusation Bryant knew about the plant's owner forged invoices in 2002 and discovering criminal activity in November 2004. What was going on in that two-year gap? Stocking up on Dippedy-doo for his hair?

Bryant stated it was not his job to advise lawmakers on projects. Why not? True, State Reps. Billy McCoy, Tommy Reynolds and that buffoon Steve Holland might have told him to blow away. But as I recall, there are Republicans in the State Legislature. My State Representative and State Senator are Republicans. He couldn't have talked to them? There was his own State Senator and good friend Charlie Ross. He couldn't have told him? Even back in 2003 a good solid one-third of the State Legislature was Republican. He couldn't have met with the GOP caucuses and informed them?

Bryant also said a private firm wrote a tax swap tobacco-grocery sales tax was not feasible. He didn't cite the study or give any data. But the Stennis Institute of Government at MSU said it would work. I have given you the raw data on the swap and I'm convinced it would work. Maybe the private firm Bryant cites is imaginary. If not, don't we voters have a right to know so we can make an informed decision?

He also suggested hiring a private accounting firm to study the state's tax code. Is this a payoff to a CPA firm that has been the main recipient of audits from Dewey's office and perhaps some of his biggest campaign donors? Why just one firm? There are thousands of CPAs out there who could do an excellent job in analyzing the state tax code. (No, I'm not angling to serve on such a panel.) Why not appoint a smorgasbord of CPAs, such CPAs working in public accounting and some on the Mississippi State Tax Commission?

Finally, he says he will not be a "yes-man" to Gov. Barbour. Hahahahahahahahahaha!! If he gives Barbour the shaft, he's toast. If Dewey runs for another office, Barbour just might give him the royal screws. Unlike Dewey, Barbour is very intelligent and is a political mastermind. You can rest assured when Barbour tells Dewey to jump (so long as it doesn't mess with his coiffed hair), Dewey will ask "How high?" Anybody who thinks Dewey will be independent of the Governor has been smoking the wacky weed.

This November 6th, vote for a man who is intelligent, independent and hard-working. Please vote for Jamie Franks. The State of Mississippi can't afford someone as stupid as Dewey Bryant to be Lt. Governor.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rudy Warnock: Now More Than Ever

Have you driven over Highway 80 in Pearl during a rainy night? You are in for a real treat. You can't even see what lane you are in. Plus, the highway is as slick as glass. Just make certain you have excellent tires.

Last night, I had to work the church kitchen for a special dinner we had for some church members. When I drove to church I got in the turn lane to make a right-hand turn. I thought my car was going to roll over because of the uneven highway versus the turn lane. When I left about 9PM, you couldn't even see what lane you were in when you were headed west. Plus, the road was real slick.

You can thank MDOT Central Commissioner Richard "Tricky Dicky" Hall for this royal mess. There was nothing wrong with the highway. It needed a little patching but not much else. As I recall, it was just a couple of years ago the highway was repaved. I'll be the first to tell you it is a frequently driven highway. It is the main artery in Pearl. The highway is vitally important to the city's economic health. But if it's so vitally important for the highway to be repaved, why wasn't it done in the summer or late spring when the days were a lot longer? Plus, there was a dry spell where we weren't getting much rain. The highway would be repaved by now and we wouldn't be risking our lives on a real slick highway.

But why does it need to be repaved? In case you can't figure it out: IT'S AN ELECTION YEAR!!! All Trick Dicky cares about is getting re-elected. He may waste money and have poor timing of projects, but it doesn't matters. All that matters to Tricky Dicky is getting back in office by showing folks he cares about us and he's doing something about our roads. I always stand amazed how there's so much highway construction during an election year.

Rudy Warnock is an engineer and knows what he is doing. He has been responsible for building hundreds of miles of roads and bridges in the Central District. He can discuss transportation issues with any engineer at MDOT and know what they are talking about. He would look into why our jobs are sent out of state to other construction companies and not stay in our state. He'll be tight with a dollar and will spend our money wisely.

Warnock is also not interested in being a political potentate. Tricky Dicky has spent thousands of dollars of using a helicopter and office renovations (Why can't he drive over our roads like the rest of us?). Warnock also knows how to get along with people in all walks of life as a professional engineer. Hall has had major and fiery disagreements with other members of the MDOT Commission. Warnock will be a unifier rather than being a divider.

I know Rudy is a Democrat and that is poison to a lot of people. But we are electing an individual for a very important position that involves our safety and even our lives. Shouldn't we elect someone who knows what he is doing and can do a far better job than what is being done right now?

This November 6th, the decision is very simple. Vote for a man who has the knowledge and temperament to be an excellent MDOT Central Commissioner. That man is Rudy Warnock.

John Eaves' Campaign Has Lost Momentum

John Arthur Eaves' campaign was gaining some traction. He came up with some good proposals and he came across as sincere. He criticized some of Gov. Haley Barbour's programs and his handling of Hurricane Katrina's recovery efforts. He also criticized Barbour's relatives getting "sweetheart" contracts for recovery work. Eaves was behind, but his economic populism and conservative social stances was getting him some momentum.

Then came "The Bible" commercial. If there was any turning point in the campaign, it was that commercial. In the TV ad, Eaves is holding up a Bible and talking about the differences between Barbour and him. He went on how Barbour serves the powerful and the "moneychangers" while Eaves served the little people. He said he and Barbour were lawyers, but they used their legal expertise for totally different reasons. All that time, Eaves was clutching and prominently showing his Bible. To say the least, I thought the commercial was fit for the trash can. I'm a very fundamentalist Baptist, but I resent it when a shown Bible is used for political purposes. Mr. Eaves, have you no decency?

I was turned off by that commercial. However, I am not alone. I talked to folks in my Sunday School class plus some of my friends I saw at Wal-Mart where I shop. One person who was leaning towards Eaves switched to Barbour because of Eaves' using the Bible for political purposes. What turned him off was using the Bible to bash Barbour. This person has about six people in his family and they were all turned off by Eaves.

Eaves' criticism of Mike Espy was in poor taste. Admittedly, it was a body blow to the Eaves campaign, since the Espy name is big in black political circles and Eaves needs a near-unanimous black vote to have a chance to defeat Barbour. Now an endorsement is not going to swing a large amount of votes, but Espy's endorsement will give Barbour a little traction in the black community. Calling those Democrats who endorsed Barbour "moneychangers" and wondering what they would get in return was a cheap remark. (In all fairness, Barbour will not get 20% of the black vote. If he did, he would cream Eaves on Election Day. However, I do think he'll get more than the 5-6% he received in 2003. He could get as much as 12% of the vote. My guess is he'll get 8-10% of the vote.)

Maybe it's just me, but Eaves' TV commercials are getting more shrill and are basically Barbour-bashing narratives. Eaves should debate Barbour's health care proposals in his ads. He should state he would do all he could to pass the tobacco--grocery tax swap. Barbour's basically been running a positive campaign (I know he's knocked Eaves' suing the military, but he could really tear him apart for being a high-falutin' ambulance chaser.) stressing more jobs and his leadership during Hurricane Katrina.

In an earlier post, I predicted Eaves would get between 44-47% of the vote. Today, I think he would get between 41-44% of the vote. There are two weeks left and two weeks in politics is a political eternity. But Eaves has done one thing for me: He's solidified my vote for Barbour.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Delbert Hosemann for Secretary of State

It is rare when a race for lower state offices has such a great contrast. Usually, it is Tweedledee versus Tweedledum. But that is not the case for the Secretary of State's race. While I have been a very strong supporter of Secretary of State Eric Clark, perhaps one of the most honorable and decent men ever in Mississippi politics, he is not running for re-election. So the choice is between Republican Delbert Hosemann or Democrat Robert Smith.

I'm voting for Delbert Hosemann. I know him and I can tell you he is a fine person and is well-qualified for the post. He's been active in local affairs and has been active in a lot of charitable organizations. I have listened to him on talk radio (WJNT 1180 rocks!) and he is very well-informed on election matters.

The main issue this race has is a very sharp contrast on the matter of voter ID. Hosemann is for voter ID; Smith is against it. This may shock Smith, but there is voter fraud in this state. Has he ever heard of Noxubee's Democratic primary races? In Smith's home county of Rankin, there were MORE votes for the liquor referendum in 1980 than there was in the Presidential race. There was a lot of talk of voter fraud, but nothing was ever done.

In the Laurel Leader Call of October 7, 2007, Smith said voter ID would stop people from voting. He said he was most concerned about elderly people voting in 2008 due to possible re-registration due to party affiliation. In the Hattiesburg American of September 19, 2007, Smith also stated many older black Mississippians say providing voter identification is a reminder of the Civil Rights Era when the state used poll taxes to keep blacks from voting.

Delbert Hosemann has responded that he has encountered very little opposition to voter ID. In the Biloxi Sun Herald he has stated he would make certain nobody would be left out from voting. He said 97% of the people in the state have a driver's license. As for the other three percent, he would find some other form of identification for them. In the Laurel Leader Call of September 29, 2007, Hosemann said he would lead the fight to pass a state constitutional amendment voter ID program, which would ensure only citizens would vote.

Smith has also come up with a plan to bring all the circuit clerks and county election commissioners together and come up with a better plans and various plans to conduct elections. Newsflash Smith: HAVA (Help America Vote Act) throws cold water on such plans to conduct different modes of voting in various counties. You can't use lever machines and punch card machines. 492 people CANNOT be in charge of elections (82 circuit clerks and 410 election commissioners). You can't have different counties have different voting systems and performance levels. There is only one boss: The Secretary of State. If different counties have different voting systems, the Secretary of State can be hauled into Federal court for violating the equal protection clause. Has Smith even READ HAVA? When the county clerk messes up (and that has been known to happen), the citizens will be calling the Secretary of State's office--not the circuit clerk.

(I'm a municipal election commissioner and I can tell you that office has radically changed since HAVA took effect. Other than conducting elections (not primaries--only general elections), the municipal election commissioners don't do a thing. Before HAVA, we used to meet at least three times a year to clean up the voter rolls. Under HAVA, we can no longer do that.)

Smith has no plans for bringing Mississippi up to code with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has gone on record saying we should have BOTH electronic and paper ballots for the voter to choose between. Is this guy NUTS? As an election commissioner, that would be total chaos. It is a recipe for disaster and total confusion. Does Rob Smith know ANYTHING about how an election is run? Is he ignorant or just plain stupid?

Smith is also not a friendly person. I have had people tell me he is cold and caustic when they dealt with him when he was in the State Senate. I've talked to him in the past and found him to be a cold, aloof individual. What happens when he has to deal with angry voters if he puts some of his nutty ideas into effect (If the Feds don't stop him.)? Is he going to flip them off?

Hosemann is intelligent, friendly, well-informed, witty and a very hard worker. I know he will do an excellent job and continue the great work Secretary of State Eric Clark has done.

The choice is so easy even a caveman can do it: Please vote for Republican Delbert Hoseman for Secretary of State on November 6th.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Three Stooges at WJTV---Channel 12

For a change, I am not writing on politics. Instead, I'm going to vent on the sheer stupidity of WJTV in Jackson, Miss. I have never seen a more callous station that treats the viewer like ignorant, dumb trash.

Last night(Wednesday, October 17) I was watching "Criminal Minds." It was a gripping episode of serial killers and the climax was coming to a head. The child had gone back to the foster home and shot somebody. At this time, Shemar Moore heard a shot and came out of the car to inspect. At that second, the show was interrupted by a weather bulletin. There was some tornadoes out of the metro area and they were reporting on it.

For fifty-five minutes Tony Mastro and Ken South went on and on about the stinking weather. They constantly repeated themselves. Unless you are the stupidest, most ignorant human being that ever walked the face of the earth, you understood what they were saying the first time they reported. They kept on and on with the same information. My opinion of Tony Mastro is unprintable. He talks to us on TV like we are a bunch of dumb, ignorant rednecks. He's from Rhode Island and he probably thinks the average Mississippian has the IQ of an iguana.

Then that Californian Linda Allen came on. She started running her mouth on what we should do during a tornado. I thought we heard the same malarkey from Ken South (at least he's a native Southerner). She was very patronizing when she talked about the interruption of the two best Wednesday night programs on network TV (I don't have cable or satellite.)--"Criminal Minds" and "CSI:New York." I found her tone insulting and she would have been better off not even coming on TV.

The regular programming came on to show the conclusion on "CSI:New York." But before that, we had to put up with five minutes of idiotic commercials. That added insult to injury. On the news, all we heard was the stinking weather. There was no sports at all. It was weather, weather, weather. It was like listening to a broken record.

In our office, the complaints about the rude interruption was loud and long. A lot of us felt cheated for they're butting in just as the climax was coming to a peak on "Criminal Minds." If they had to interrupt, couldn't they have waited for five minutes? Would that have been too much to ask?

I called WJTV twice. The lady was surprised I was fairly polite. She said the answering machine was piled with complaints. The language that was used was totally unprintable except in porn magazines. The phone was ringing off the hook in the morning with people complaining about the rude interruption. They were white-hot with anger. The lady said she had never heard of such loud complaining and had never had as many complaints.

I called near noon to see when they would show the programs. I told her it would be stupid to show them at 1AM. I suggested they show the programs at 7PM and 8PM on Saturday, since the station has latitude in showing repeats of crime programs. She said they had no intentions of showing the programs again. I was miffed. She did tell me the management had a meeting and they plan to do things differently.

I suggested they interrupt commercials and report the weather on the half hour and for the rest of the time just show a trailer at the bottom of the screen. I told her people in this state can read. I curtly informed her she should inform Linda Allen and Tony Mastro that Mississippians are educated and can read the English language. She chuckled but didn't comment.

These rude interruptions have got to come to an end. They have done this in the past and taken up as much as three hours running their mouths about some storm in Buttsville, Miss. They constantly repeat themselves like magpies in heat. I honestly believe the management at WJTV thinks we Mississippians are dumber than dog turds and they have to constantly repeat themselves. It is nauseating, disgusting and insulting. Whenever they have rescheduled the interrupted programs, it has been at 1AM or some other kook time. This is insulting and insensitive to the average viewer. Who is going to watch TV that hour or record it on a VCR? The management must think we don't have jobs and all we do is watch TV 24/7.

Linda Allen, Tony Mastro and Ken South are the Three Stooges of WJTV. All three of them sorely lack common sense and don't have the brains to come out of the rain. All three of them are insulting and very patronizing. I believe they honestly think we are dumber than dog turds and if it weren't for their enlightened reporting and knowledge we would never know anything about bad weather. If they are that stupid and insensitive, they should be immediately fired.

What happened from 8:53PM to 9:48PM was an insult to the average viewer. They should apologize. And if management had any brains (which they don't), they would fire the Three Stooges (Fat chance of that happening.).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why I Will Vote For Haley Barbour

I'm no big fan of Haley Barbour and I think he represents the "Country Club" faction of the Mississippi GOP. Nevertheless, I plan to vote for him. I strongly believe he deserves another term as Governor. I disagree with his stand on the tobacco-grocery tax swap, but I respect his stand of not raising taxes.

I know there are still problems with the Hurricane Katrina Recovery. But he showed extraordinary leadership on August 29, 2005, when the hurricane hit. He was on top of the tragedy and he did a yeoman job in getting relief to the Gulf Coast. I don't like the slow recovery, but that's government for you---slow as molasses. His leadership was in strong contrast to Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blank-o and the New Orleans Mayor EmptyRay Noggin.

John Arthur Eaves, Jr. slams Barbour for his blind trust and getting money from his lobbying firm. That's a fair criticism. But what about Eaves? He's a trial lawyer who has made millions from the agony and tragedy of others. He gets fat contingency fees and sues at the drop of a hat if he thinks he can make a buck. I'm not crazy about lobbyists, but I have raw contempt for trial lawyers. I still remember years ago about some trial lawyer in another state suing McDonald's because some lady spilled hot coffee on herself while driving her auto.

Another strong criticism is his lack of knowledge of basic economics and accounting. In one of his ads (and they are very good ads), he accuses "Big Oil" (Why not "Big Law"?) of gouging consumers and the government does not do a thing. Perhaps he needs to understand a little accounting. Most oil companies use FIFO--First In First Out--inventory pricing. Let's say Exxon sells a barrel of oil for $100. Under FIFO, the cost of the oil would be the oldest inventory. So let's say the barrel cost $50. So, Exxon had made a profit of $50. But that is a fictitious profit because the replacement cost is $88 a barrel. In reality, oil profits are only 4.6% of revenue. The normal profit margin for all industries is 5.4%. And I'll bet it's a lot lower than the profit at Eaves' firm. Eaves strikes me as ignorant about economics and the free market. Barbour does know business and the marketplace. And his lobbying connections just might bring more industries and jobs to the state.

While I admire Eaves' fundamentalist Christian values and exhortations, I was turned off when he held up that big Bible and ripped into Barbour, talking about Eaves' serving the little people and Barbour serving the powerful. Yeah, lobbying firms are powerful. But what about those trial lawyer firms like Dicky Scruggs? They aren't powerful?

I also have doubts about Eaves' statement his proposal that every child be covered by health insurance. He said it won't raise the cost of medical care in this state. Where have I heard that before? Back in 1965 when Medicare was being debated, the liberals said Medicare would cost only $10 billion in 1990. In 1990. Medicare cost over $100 billion--ten times the projection! Do you honestly believe Eaves' plan won't raise medical costs? If you believe that, I strongly suggest you look at other plans in other states--especially Illinois. In EVERY case, health costs were much larger than originally projected.

Eaves also slammed Barbour for investing in Toyota and not investing in Mississippi companies. First of all, I don't have a problem with Toyota coming to Tupelo any more than Musgrove's bringing Nissan to Canton four years ago. After all, these are Mississippians working in those plants. I do tax returns for some of those employees and they get great benefits and wages. And the money is spent in Mississippi. Secondly, what Mississippi businesses would Eaves have the state "invest" in? What criteria will be used? We had a real turkey with that beef plant. Will we have more turkeys?

While Eaves has never said it, I get the gut feeling Eaves would have no qualms about a 6% personal income tax bracket. That idiot State Rep. John Mayo introduced that in the State House a session or two ago. I am bitterly opposed to raising the personal income tax. I have a gut feeling he'd raise the income tax to pay for his health programs.

There's only one candidate for Governor who can lead Mississippi forward and continue the progress we have made in the last four years--especially after the horrific effects of Hurricane Katrina. And that man is Republican Governor Haley R. Barbour.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Highway 80 Follies

Have you driven over Highway 80 in Pearl going from Kroger to Park Place Baptist Church? It looks nice, doesn't it? But why is Commissioner Tricky Dicky Hall spending all these bucks for a highway that does not need asphalting or even major repairs? Answer: IT'S AN ELECTION YEAR!!

My friends and I were travelling over the Interstate to get to the Rankin County Courthouse and we were talking about the major traffic tie ups on Highway 80 because of one lane being closed. Now I don't mind the highway being asphalted. I like nice highways. But what was wrong with it? It was still a very smooth drive. There were probably some minor repairs that needed to be done, but there was nothing major. In fact, from Airport Road for a mile east the road had just been paved just a couple of years ago. Head west on Highway 80 and get in the turn lane to enter Pemberton. Does your car dip a little? That's because the two westbound lanes are paved, but the turn lane isn't. I'll bet your shocks love the wear and tear. Thank Dicky Hall for that.

And yet, we Pearlites look at our streets and shake our heads. You'd have to see the potholes and major repairs that need to be done. Now I'll admit MDOT can't do anything about the city streets. But it would be great if MDOT could have transferred those funds to the city so we could get repairs to our streets rather than repaving Highway 80.

This is why we need to get rid of Tricky Dicky and replace him with Rudy Warnock. As a professional engineer, Warnock would know how to judiciously spend the money. He wouldn't waste money on election year projects to make himself look good. Perhaps he will endorse a plan to give cities more discretion on using funds to repair city streets. Dicky Hall is a politician. He just wants to get reelected so he can get a juicy pension. Warnock is an engineer and he doesn't need the bucks as MDOT Commissioner. He wants to better our roads and make driving a lot safer and smoother.

Just drive down Highway 80 in Pearl and you will see it is time for a change. It's time to elect Rudy Warnock.