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September 2, 2014

'Stand to Expand' Rally: Citizens Support Medicaid

By AnnaWolfe

On August 3rd, Michael Johansson celebrated his 65th birthday and became eligible for federal government funded Medicare. While he said he is grateful for the coverage, he is saddened that other citizens of Mississippi are denied federal government funded Medicaid.

This is why he has coordinated a monthly rally called “Stand to Expand,” where Mississippi citizens will come to express support for Medicaid expansion the first Sunday of each month at the south steps of the capitol building from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Johansson pledged that he will rally until “Medicaid is expanded for the tens of thousands of women, men and children who are in dire need of healthcare.”

Johansson called the state’s failure to provide adequate healthcare to the people “shameful, inhumane and callous treatment of our citizens.”

“Most, if not all, who are eligible for this healthcare program—100% paid for by the federal government for the first years of the program & 90% thereafter—are citizens living under great financial stress. To add to their anxiety, having a sick child or a diabetic parent who cannot afford healthcare treatment is intolerable, if not cruel, for a society such as ours. This crisis could be solved by mere approval of the legislature and the governor's signature,” Johansson said.

Johansson points out that the number of uninsured Mississippians has risen, which is a disgrace when one considers the state’s reputation of being generous and hospitable. This, Johansson said, must change.

“This rally is unaffiliated with any organization. It is a TRYPARTISAN EFFORT (take out the "I" and ask the "Y") welcoming like-minded Republicans, Democrats and Independents who agree with Medicaid expansion for Mississippi. I urge any signage brought to the rally be respectful and be directed towards the cause of Medicaid expansion and not be directed against government officials or political parties,” Johansson said.

The next rally will be this Sunday, September 7th at 2 p.m.

August 29, 2014

Justice Has No Timetable: A #mssen Retrospective

By AnnaWolfe

“Justice has no timetable,” said State Sen. Chris McDaniel throughout the course of his challenge to U.S. Senate run-off election results against Sen. Thad Cochran. In the past two months, McDaniel has complained relentlessly about Mississippi’s election process, the one he has a hand in regulating as chairman of the Mississippi Senate Elections Committee.

From the beginning, the McDaniel camp tried to make the claim that so many “bad” votes were cast in the June 24 runoff between their guy and Cochran, that not only did they want Cochran’s win reversed, but they wanted McDaniel named the winner.

They made the claim that the use of election poll books was intentionally screwed up to skew the vote. When Pete Perry, Hinds County GOP Chairman, said that poll workers only found about one-fifth of the votes claimed to be invalid in Hinds County, the McDaniel camp said otherwise.

They compiled a binder of “evidence.”

The McDaniel camp blamed racial messaging. They blamed Democrats.

At more bizarre times, they involved a California blogger in the madness and even named their own lawyer as one of those “bad” votes. When the attorney general’s office launched an investigation into the shady election happenings, the camp’s spokesman was named in said blogger’s subpoena (which ended up on Twitter).

The validity of the challenge was further challenged when the Republican Party refused to hear the case.

Then, when the challenge finally reached the courts, it was shut down before things could get even sillier. Justice may have no timetable in the eyes of McDaniel, but today the presiding judge dismissed the case because he took too long to file.

Of course, McDaniel could always appeal. After reporting on the developments of this story in the last few months, believe us, we’ll be expecting it.

http://jacksonfreepress.com/users/photos/2014/aug/29/18623/

August 29, 2014

Childers Responds to McDaniel Lawsuit Dismissal

By AnnaWolfe

Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator Travis Childers responded to Judge Hollis McGehee's decision to dismiss Sen. Chris McDaniel's lawsuit challenging the election results of the Republican run-off for U.S. Senator. Childers looks forward to debating Cochran on issues including the minimum wage and equal pay.

JACKSON, Miss. — I congratulate Senator Cochran on his win today in court. The allegations of the past couple months have raised serious questions about the electoral process, and I strongly believe we must ensure that every vote in Mississippi counts. With the Republican primary finally nearing the end, it is time for Senator Cochran to focus on the issues of today and spell out his vision for the future. I look forward to a spirited discussion and debates about the issues that affect millions of Mississippians.

The senator and I differ on increasing the minimum wage. I believe the minimum wage should be a living wage. We differ on demanding equal pay for women. If a woman does the same job as a man she should be paid the same and not 76 cents on the dollar, which is the current average. Women are the heads of many Mississippi households and co-bread winners in many others. Women pay the same for milk, gas and child care as a man and it's only right they be paid equally. These are just two of the many issues we must debate in the next 10 weeks.

Mississippians deserve no less.

August 28, 2014

Rebels' Offense Comes Alive in Second Half to Trounce Boise State 35-13

By bryanflynn

In sports sometimes, it not how you start but how you finish. For the University of Mississippi it was an ugly start but a beautiful finish in the Rebels 35-13 win to open the 2014 season.

It was an ugly first half for Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace against Boise State. Wallace struggled in the opening two quarters as he threw three interceptions.

The first half wasn't much better for Boise State quarterback Grant Hendrick. The Broncos quarterback also threw three interceptions in the opening half and four interceptions for the game.

Wallace wasn't the only Rebel who struggled on the big stage. UM had several offensive penalties, with most coming in the form of false starts. Linebacker Serderius Bryant didn't have a good night either after he was ejected for targeting midway through the first quarter.

The stars of the first half for the Rebels were the defense and punter Will Gleeson. All night long the UM defense was able to bring relentless pressure on Hendrick each time he dropped backed, tackled soundly and covered pretty well all game long.

After three straight punts by both teams, the interception fest began on the second possession for the Rebels. Wallace threw his first pick on the very first play of the drive. It looked like Boise State would take that turnover in for a touchdown but Hendrick managed to turn things aroung by throwing his first pick on the ensuing drive, with Senquez Golson making the interception in the end zone.

The Rebels would then go on a nine-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Wallace throwing a 36-yard touchdown to a wide-open Cody Core. Boise State's busted coverage on the scoring play gave the Rebels a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Hendrick would throw an interception on BSU's next drive and Wallace would return the favor on the Rebels' next drive. The Broncos would end up kicking a field goal after the Wallace pick to cut the Rebels lead to 7-3 in the second quarter.

Both teams would spend the rest of the half either punting or throwing interceptions. Mississippi would head into the locker room with a 7-3 lead at halftime.

The third quarter wasn't very good for either team offensively as the Rebels and Broncos struggled to get anything going. Boise State managed a field goal late in the third quarter to cut the UM lead to 7-6 heading into the fourth.

With the game on the line, Wallace finally came alive in the final 15 minutes. Wallace found LaQuon Treadwell for a 14-yard touchdown as the Rebels marched 75 yards down the field in 10 plays.

The Treadwell touchdown would give UM a 14-6 lead. Hendrick threw his fourth and final interception on the next Broncos possession.

Wallace would only need two plays to make the Broncos pay, as he found Quincy Adeboyejo for the 36-yard strike to give the Rebels a 21-6 lead and break the game ...

August 28, 2014

JPS Agrees to Refrain From Convocation Prayer

By AnnaWolfe

"...the District will ask its convocation speakers to refrain from religious activity," Jackson Public School District Superintendent Cedrick Gray wrote in a letter after complaints about prayer in school convocations.

(Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 2014)—In response to the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center’s letter sent on Aug. 25, 2014, the Jackson Public School District in Jackson, Mississippi, has agreed to eliminate religious activity, including prayers and sermons, at future convocations for its faculty.

“We’re very pleased that the school district has promptly responded to this issue and has made assurances that future school-sponsored assemblies will comply with the Establishment Clause,” said Monica Miller, an attorney with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

Earlier this week, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to the school district on behalf of a concerned teacher, who reported that a Christian reverend included prayers, a liturgical call and response, and biblical references in his remarks. Other speakers at the event also included religious language in their speeches and specifically invoked Scripture, “God” and the “Lord.” In a letter sent yesterday, representatives from the district state that such religious activity will not be included in future convocations.

“By upholding the separation of church and state, the school district is respecting the rights of teachers of minority faiths, as well as the rights of teachers who do not profess any faith,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

A copy of the letter sent to the school district can be viewed here, and a copy of the school district’s response can be viewed here.

August 28, 2014 | 1 comment

College Football Week One Picks

By bryanflynn

Finally it is that time of year, the return of of college football. O.k. to be honest there was college football on Saturday when FCS teams Eastern Washington and Sam Houston State played and on Wednesday night Georgia State faced Abilene Christian.

Nearly the rest of the college football world begins play this Thursday through Monday. This weekend offers a plethora of intriguing games with some big matchups sprinkled in the mix as well.

Now that my daughter is sleeping through the night (fingers crossed), I hope I will have time to do weekly picks once more. The upside is having a daughter now, if my picks go badly I can let her make them.

Here are this week's picks (starting with Mississippi teams) with the winners in bold:

Mississippi versus Boise State (Thursday/7 pm/ESPN)

This game is going to be played in the Georgia Dome as Boise State makes the long distance trip. The Broncos are one of the last mid-majors not to have moved to a bigger conference. The Rebels get a national audience to announce to the rest of the country all those recruits have arrived.

Boise State finally lost head coach Chris Petersen and replaced him with Bryan Harsin former BSU quarterback and offensive coordinator. The Broncos have slipped a bit recently from the height of their mid-major power.

Mississippi is one of the trendy choices for dark horse in the SEC this season. The Rebels will have more talent on the field and should blow this game open in the second half.

Boise State will keep this game close but they don't have the talent to win as Mississippi is a better team.

Southern Miss at Mississippi State (Saturday/6:30 pm/SEC Network)

Southern Miss might be on the right track under Todd Monken and on road back to where neither state SEC wanted to play them. Mississippi State has slowly built an impressive squad under Dan Mullen.

The Bulldogs have more talent but expect the Golden Eagles to put up a fight for a half. Brighter days are ahead for Southern Miss but not this Saturday. Bulldogs will roll.

Florida A&M at Jackson State (Saturday/6 pm)

These two teams haven't met in a decade. Florida A&M is coming off a losing season and Jackson State is breaking in a new head coach and quarterback.

This game will be close but the Tigers are at home. The Rattlers are going to be a tough out but I trust in JSU.

Virginia University at Lynchburg at Alcorn State (Saturday/4 pm)

Alcorn State wins. In fact, the Braves win big...very big.

University of Faith at Mississippi Valley State (Saturday/4 pm)

The Delta Devils start the Rick Comegy era off with a big win.

Belhaven at Texas College

Just a gut feeling, I'm picking the Blazers.

The rest

Texas A&M at South Carolina (Thursday/5 pm/SEC Network)

The Gamecocks are replacing the number one pick in ...

August 26, 2014

Watch Party for Rebels Versus Broncos on Thursday Night

By bryanflynn

On Thursday Night, the University of Mississippi will finally get to play in the Georgia Dome making Vanderbilt the only current SEC to have never played at the site. If you can't make it to Atlanta to watch the Rebels take on Boise State, there is a place you can go to watch with fellow University of Mississippi fans.

Below is a full press release of times, where to watch and other information:

Are You Ready for August 28th?

Jackson, Miss. (August 26, 2014) –The Ole Miss Rebels are ready to buck the broncos. They will be facing Boise State for their first game of the season on August 28th. While the Rebels will be gearing up at Atlanta's Georgia Dome, the Central Mississippi Ole Miss Rebel Club (CMOMRC) will be cheering them on in Jackson.

The CMOMRC will host a watch party for the game at 7 p.m. at Fondren Public. There will be door prizes and a Rebel of a good time. Anyone is welcome to come watch the game with their fellow Rebels and cheer on the football team.

“We are very excited to kick off another great football season. The CMOMRC is a great organization that celebrates all Rebel things,” said Bob Box, President of the Club. “We hope everyone will join us and come out to Fondren Public to cheer on our team.”

To learn more about your local Ole Miss Rebel Club, please visit OleMissAlumni.com/Clubs and Facebook.com/CentralMississippiOleMissAlumniClub. For more information on Fondren Public, visit their website at FondrenPublic.com.

August 26, 2014

Feminist Majority Foundation Launches Pop Quiz

By AnnaWolfe

WHEN: Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WHERE: Online

WHAT: Pop Quiz for Equality

ARLINGTON -- Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote in 1920, but it was a right that took decades to realize. This landmark Amendment institutionalized every person’s right to participate in the electoral process regardless of sex, and now it’s time to use the priceless power of the vote to advance another crucial amendment for women’s rights: the Equal Rights Amendment.

This Women’s Equality Day, the Feminist Majority Foundation is taking this important anniversary in the fight for women’s suffrage to continue building momentum around the Equal Rights Amendment with an online quiz testing voters’ knowledge of the ERA.

The Equal Rights Amendment will finally cement equal rights under the law – for all – for the first time ever in the United States Constitution. Now it’s time to make sure voters know what the ERA is all about, and how they can be agents in the fight to ratify the ERA right now!

Take the quiz and join the conversation all day long: Follow @majorityspeaks, @femmajority and #WED2014 all day for reasons to ratify the #ERANow!

August 25, 2014

Amile Wilson Throws Hat in Jackson Ward 1 Ring

By R.L. Nave

Editor's note: In the interest of full disclosure, Jackson Ward 1 city council candidate Amile Wilson formerly wrote a column and has worked as a freelance photographer for the Jackson Free Press. Dorsey Carson, the other Ward 1 candidate who has officially announced, is an attorney for the JFP. Below is the full, verbatim release from Wilson about his candidacy:

Amile Wilson Announces Campaign for City Council

After much prayer and discussion with friends, family and members of the community, I am proud to announce my candidacy for Jackson City Council Ward 1.
Northeast Jackson has a tradition of sending strong leaders downtown: Dent Anglin, Ben Allen, Jeff Weill, and Quentin Whitwell. They have been a voice of reason and responsibility over the years regardless of who was Mayor. I want to continue that tradition and help Jackson forge a new path with Mayor Tony Yarber.
I am a homeowner and want to protect the value of my home just as you do. We need to empower the homeowner associations to use covenants to protect our neighborhoods as our neighboring cities do. We need to set standards for rental housing in Northeast Jackson as too often such housing lowers property values and brings in more crime.
I am a life-long conservative who has worked with leaders of both parties. Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, it doesn’t matter. The people expect us to fix the problems and get things done. As the owner of two businesses in Jackson, the city’s prosperity impacts my bottom line just as it does yours. I share Mayor Yarber’s vision to bring businesses back to Jackson and stop taxing small business out of existence. We’ve made a good start with the District at Eastover and the expansion at Highland Village. We need to keep the momentum going and grow Northeast Jackson.
Controlling crime is key to protecting Northeast Jackson. Crime forces families to leave and businesses to move. My home has been robbed and burglarized. Instead of moving, I’m staying and fighting back. We can fight crime. I will work with the Mayor to cut more fat out of the budget so we can put more cops on the street and put judges on the bench who don’t treat bail as a free get out of jail card.
I humbly ask you for your support and your vote. I will be honored to represent Ward 1 and continue the tradition set by those who have held that seat. Together, we can build a better Jackson.

http://jacksonfreepress.com/users/photos/2014/aug/25/18555/

August 23, 2014

Saints Stay Preseason Perfect with 23-17 Win Over Colts: Quick Thoughts

By bryanflynn

The Saints stayed perfect on the preseason with a 23-17 win over the Colts. New Orleans dominated the first half as Drew Brees saw action for the first time in the preseason.

Indianapolis couldn't get much going on offense and the Saints defense played pretty well the whole game. The Colts played their starters into the third quarter but New Orleans had pulled most their starters by halftime.

As always, the score doesn't matter in the preseason, so here are my quick thoughts:

Brees looks rusty but good

Drew Brees only played one quarter and completed 9 of 15 passes for 128 yards with two touchdowns. Yes, Brees was impressive but he also had some under throws, he almost threw an interception and had a few throws he would like to have back.

Still even a rusty Brees is better than half the starting quarterbacks in the league. And that is way Brees will be wearing a gold jacket when his career has been over for five years.

Rushing attack

New Orleans had a strong rushing attack tonight. The team rushed for 125 yards at halftime but 35 of those yards came from three rushes by backup quarter Luke McCown and Brees add another 10 yards on one rush.

Mark Ingram, Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas combined to rush for 80 yards on 19 carries. The rushing attack allowed Brees to take advantage of play action passes. Thomas was also the leading receiver on the night with 66 yards on four catches.

The Saints finished with 160 yards rushing but the offense struggled in the second half. Not a bad night on the ground as it looks like New Orleans is going to commit to the run a little more this season.

Great defense

New Orleans played pretty tough defense most of the night. The Saints either forced a field goal or punt most of the night.

Indianapolis scored their first touchdown because of sloppy play by the Saints defenders by miss tackles and committing penalties to keep the Colts drive alive. New Orleans busted coverage to lead a wide open receiver to tie the game at 7-7.

After that score the Saints defense shut down the Colts until the early fourth quarter. Indianapolis used a big run and a big pass to score their second touchdown of the night.

New Orleans had two goal line stands. The Saints forced a field goal during one goal line stand and stuffed the Colts offense on four down on their other goal line stand.

The Saints even forced a turnover after third string quarterback Ryan Griffin threw an interception. Brian Dixon returned the favor back using tight coverage to get his own interception.

If I was giving the New Orleans defense a grade, I would have to say they were a B+ tonight overall.

Penalties, penalties and more penalties

It was another game filled with penalties for the ...

August 22, 2014

State Fair Music Lineup Announced

By R.L. Nave

Here are the dates for the performances for this year's state fair.

October 1- Thompson Square
October 2- Ginuwine
October 3- Blue Oyster Cult
October 4- Rhythm & Blues Event: King Edward
October 6- Hinder
October 7- Marshall Tucker Band
October 8- The Charlie Daniels Band
October 9- The Spinners
October 10- Texas Country Showdown – Midway – Free
October 11- Country Rock: Acoustic Crossroads (pavilion) & Brantley Gilbert (coliseum)

For times and more information about the Mississippi State FAir can be found here: http://www.mdac.state.ms.us/departments/ms_fair_commission/state-fair.htm

August 22, 2014

Dow Jones: Miss. Offers Little Bang for Bucks

By R.L. Nave

Only one other state delivers less bang for the buck for residents than Mississippi, a new poll from Dow Jones-owned MarketWatch shows.

The poll looks at taxes that residents pay compared to the quality of services they receive. Although Mississippi's tax bills are relatively low—averaging $6,210 per year—our "residents get a very poor rate of return from what they do pay (this state has the worst government services in the nation). It (has) got the worst economy in the nation, and its education (49th) and health (46th) ranking aren't much better."

Mississippi finished ahead of neighboring Arkansas, which offers residents the least bang for their buck, and behind Louisiana, the survey says.

August 22, 2014

Lee Vance Named JPD Chief

By R.L. Nave

The following is a press release from Mayor Tony Yarber:

Mayor Tony Yarber on Friday, Aug. 22, announced Lee Vance as Jackson’s new police chief, saying his experience in law enforcement and commitment to community collaboration made him the right person for the job.

“He has proven leadership and respect in the community and among the rank and file in the Jackson Police Department,” Yarber said. “He also shares the administration’s vision for a holistic approach to crime-fighting and crime prevention.”

Vance has more than 27 years in law enforcement. He has served as interim chief since former Chief Lindsey Horton announced his retirement last month.

“I’m honored Mayor Yarber has entrusted me with this crucial public safety position. This is my hometown, and the well-being of Jackson citizens is my top priority,” Vance said.

Vance is certified and trained in management, preparedness, leadership and other various aspects of law enforcement. He rose through the ranks in the JPD, serving as patrol officer, public information officer, patrol sergeant, police lieutenant and commander.

August 20, 2014

Christian Right Exploits High-Profile Deaths

By AnnaWolfe

On American Family Radio’s talk show "Focal Point with Bryan Fischer" yesterday, the group's spokesman offered his explanation for the events that have led to the movement in #Ferguson. The policeman who killed 18-year-old Michael Brown did so because, Fischer says, Brown was "hyped up" on marijuana. Fischer cites recent reports that Brown may have had marijuana in his system, making him go "berserk" on the policeman. He also includes reports that Brown was shot six times in his front.

"We know now he did have marijuana in his system," Fischer explained, "and we've had stories, remember, we've had stories from Colorado, people going berserk on marijuana and killing people, hyped up on marijuana. So it's more dangerous than people think."

Not only does Fischer lack evidence to back up his claim that Brown was an aggressor, but, in the words of the late Robin Williams, "Marijuana enhances many things, colors, flavors, sensations, but you are certainly not f***ing empowered."

Speaking of Williams, the Christian right has attacked the actor following his recent death as well. While Rush Limbaugh alluded that Williams' suicide was a result of his liberal worldview, Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said Monday that Williams' death justifies gay conversion therapy.

"…Why aren’t you trying to outlaw rehab? I ask the question because such activists are trying to ban a form of mental health treatment—not drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but 'sexual orientation change efforts' ('SOCE'), also known as 'sexual reorientation therapy.'"

Sexual reorientation therapy, or reparation therapy, has nothing to do with the death of the beloved comedian, and it is also considered unscientific and ultimately harmful by the American Psychiatric Association.

But scientific evidence won’t stop organizations like the AFA or the FRC from using death to push an ideological agenda.

August 19, 2014

Carson announces Ward 1 candidacy

By AnnaWolfe

Today, Jackson attorney Dorsey R. Carson, Jr. announced that he will be running for city council to represent Ward 1 and replace Quentin Whitwell, who resigned earlier this month.

“After much thought, consideration and prayer with our family and friends, I am proud to announce my candidacy for Jackson City Council, representing Ward 1. Having lived most of my life in Northeast Jackson, I have never seen our city so poised for growth and prosperity as it is right now. I will use my talents to help us seize this unique opportunity, and will fight for all of our people and businesses. We humbly ask for your support in our work and campaign, and for your vote in the special election," Carson said.

August 15, 2014

Saints 2-0 in Preseason with 31-24 Win Over Titans: Quick Thoughts

By bryanflynn

The score never matters in the preseason but it is always good to get a win. It is even better to win on a night where the Saints were sloppy on offense and defense.

New Orleans was once again without Drew Brees. That doesn't matter unless he doesn't play in the third or fourth preseason game. Sure, Brees doesn't need a ton of preseason work but some action with a live defense being thrown at him is a good thing.

The Saints get to head to Indianapolis knowing they are 2-0 after their 31-24 win over the Tennessee Titans. That should be a good dress rehearsal game against the Colts who were in the playoffs last season.

Here are my quick thoughts on tonight's game.

Both offense and defense was sloppy

New Orleans started the game sloppy and it ended the game sloppy. The team piled up penalty yardage like they were trying to break a record.

Jimmy Graham had two 15 yard penalties himself after he dunked after his two touchdown grabs. Hopefully Graham was getting the dunking out of his system before the season starts. Sean Payton won't be happy if he does that in a game in the regular season.

After the first quarter the Saints had five penalties for 44 yards. They broke the hundred yard mark before halftime and ended up with 14 penalties 109 yards after the first 30 minutes.

The Saints had eight penalties for 68 yards over the third and fourth quarter. Overall, the Saints had 22 penalties for 177 yards. That doesn't even count all the penalties that were declined.

New Orleans must clean up this sloppy before the season starts. The Saints were lucky and good to win tonight with this type of penalty yards.

Saints defense forces five turnovers

I can count five reasons why the Saints did win tonight. That is five turnovers the defense forced tonight.

New Orleans almost had a turnover on the Titans first drive but it was overruled by replay. The Saints would allow Tennessee to score thanks to penalties and poor defense.

On a play were Cam Jordan missed a sack, a New Orleans defensive back missed an interception. That was two turnovers among a few others the Saints could have had on the night.

In the second quarter, New Orleans got a forced fumble from Kenny Vaccaro and Cam Jordan would get a strip sack to cause a fumble. When the Saints didn't get turnovers in the quarter the Titans got a touchdown and a field goal.

In the second half, New Orleans got a interception that ended up as fumble by Stanley Jean-Baptiste on a wild play. The Titans receiver bobbled the ball and popped it into the air right into the waiting hands of Jean-Baptiste.

Vinnie Sunseri got into the act with a interception in the fourth quarter. The final turnover came in the fourth quarter ...

August 12, 2014

The Tea Party's Prayer

By AnnaWolfe

The Tea Party’s Prayer:

“We ask for your blessing upon the conservatives in this state, that they might stand strong and firm. Father, we even ask for you to bless our enemies, and Lord they are truly our enemies that head the Republican Party and the whole political establishment.

‘We’re asking, Father, for two things. We’re asking, Father, that you would expose them, set division amongst them, set them one against another, bring confusion and fear into their camp, into their thinking, for the purpose of pulling them down, for casting them down out of their high offices and reducing them, Lord, to having no power in this state.

“So, Lord, that you might raise up and seek the righteous in the positions of power that this state might once more be a state that honors you in all that it does.”

I’m not this good at satire. These words, in this order, were truly spoken when Mississippi Tea Party Chairman Roy Nicholson included them in his opening prayer at a Tea Party meeting on Monday.

Something tells me this is not how Christianity works.

Still, the crowd gave a generous “mhm” as the man on the stage asked God to smite the GOP.

The group was welcoming blogger Charles Johnson from California to speak about the U.S. Senate election, through which he’s made a name for himself. Tea Partier Tricia Raymond called Johnson a fearless bulldog, saying “God gave us this red-haired man.”

The red-haired prophet then went on to chastise Mississippi’s 76-year-old U.S. Senator for living in a house with his executive assistant and defended the men who broke into the Senator’s wife’s nursing home to take pictures of her by using the First Amendment as justification.

“Father, we’re asking that in all of the tribulations were asking you to bring upon them, that it would work change in their heart—that you would use it to bring true Godly sorrow, that they might truly repent for their iniquity and their wickedness, for that they would be restored to you, that you would have honor in the state of Mississippi for the great works that you’ve done in correcting and purifying the government and rescuing and saving the worst of us,” Nicholson went on about the establishment Republicans.

It was the most ominous tea party I’d ever been to.

August 8, 2014

Saints Beat Rams 26-24: Quick Thoughts On First New Orleans Preseason Game

By bryanflynn

The New Orleans Saints defeated the St Louis Rams 26-24 in the preseason opener for both teams. While the win is great if you are a Saints fan, in the preseason the final score doesn't really matter much.

What does matter is how individual players look in game action. As New Orleans looks to build this year's team, questions must be answered, jobs must be won and future stars need to shine.

Here are my quick thoughts:

Ingram shines in first half

Mark Ingram looked like he was entering a contract year. The running back out of Alabama looked lighter, had more speed, quicker feet, made defenders miss and finished off runs.

Ingram had 30 yards on his first three carries of the night and he finished the night with 83 yards on 8 carries and a touchdown. His night was done before halftime but he looked impressive and picked up where he left off late last season.

New Orleans didn't pick up Ingram's fifth year option. The reason Saints declined to pick up the option because they would owe Ingram $5.2 million (way too much to pay for a running back in today's NFL) and Ingram hasn't played like a first round pick due to injuries and being inconsistent.

Tonight Ingram looked like he wanted to be the lead man in a crowed backfield. Another running back Khiry Robinson also had a good night with 23 yards on five carries.

New Orleans has plenty of talent at running back. Ingram is not just playing for this season but for next season as well when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Backup quarterback battle

Drew Brees didn't play tonight while he recovers from a strained oblique. Brees will be fine as long as he gets some work before the season begins.

The injury does give the Saints a chance to figure out their backup quarterback situation. Veteran Luke McCown is battling second year player Ryan Griffin for the right to sit behind Brees.

Tonight, McCown got the start, he didn't look terrible as he got to play with the starters but he wasn't super impressive either. His final line of the night was seven for ten for 49 yards with no touchdowns.

McCown did have an ugly interception that killed the Saints first drive. New Orleans had been moving the ball very well on the St Louis starting defense.

Griffin replaced McCown and went 11 for 16 for 103 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions at the half. In the second half, Griffin went five for seven for 76 yards and a touchdown (Saints first touchdown of the preseason).

I have been hearing how the Saints were impressed with Griffin. Tonight he looked impressive with a strong arm, the ability to avoid the rush, nice pocket awareness and some quick feet.

If Brees doesn't play or plays sparingly in the next preseason game, New Orleans should give Griffin some work ...

August 8, 2014

WLBT: Quentin Whitwell Retiring Oct. 31

By R.L. Nave

Jackson Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell will retire this fall, WLBT reports.

Whitwell told WLBT's Cheryl Lasseter today that he would submit a letter of resignation to the city clerk; the resignation would be effective Oct. 31, the station said.

Lasseter: "Whitwell cites family commitments in Oxford and increasing demands from his professional life as reasons for his decision. He tells us he has tremendous respect for the City of Jackson and its leaders, and he believes the city deserves a Ward 1 Councilman who can dedicate maximum time and resources to the position. He is currently in his second term with the City Council."

After he steps down, the city would have to hold a special election to fill his northeast Jackson seat. Ward 3 Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes is also running for Hinds County judge in the November general election.

Jackson has already held one special election this year to fill the Ward 6 council seat that Tony Yarber vacated when he won election to Jackson mayor.

August 6, 2014

MS GOP Response to McDaniel: Er ... Try Court?

By Todd Stauffer

The Mississippi Republican Party has responded to the McDaniel campaign in the form of a statement to the public and a letter to Chris McDaniel's attorney, Mitch Tyner, from Joe Nosef, MS GOP chairman. (Here's the letter in PDF format.)

The upshot is that the MS GOP is suggesting to Tyner that they go ahead and take their fight to court, in part because the MS GOP's executive committee would only have 24 hours starting Aug 13th (once the requisite seven days notice for a meeting was circulated) to figure out whether it makes sense to overturn a U.S. Senate primary result. That's just one day before McDaniel would be forced by law to go to court on Aug 14th.

So, they're punting. (Which sometimes makes sense on Fourth and Forever.)

Jackson, MS. –– Joe Nosef, Chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, issued the following statement today regarding a challenge to the results of the June 24th primary runoff and a letter sent today by Chairman Nosef to Mitch Tyner, lawyer for the Chris McDaniel campaign:

"Our 52-member volunteer Republican State Executive Committee has been asked to spend just five hours listening to legal arguments and then overturn a United States Senate primary in which over 360,000 Mississippians cast votes.

It is neither prudent nor possible in a single day for any political committee to process and review the significant amount of complex evidence necessary to make such a decision, and attempting to do so would be prejudicial to both candidates.

Under these circumstances, the only way to ensure that the integrity of the Mississippi Republican Party and our election process remains intact is to have a proper, public review of this matter through the judicial system in a court of law. Both candidates have said they look forward to such a review, and now is the time. "

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