Stories for November 2003


Sunday, November 30

Sly Croom Update, Part 2

OK, Mississippi State didn't hire a new football coach on Saturday. But Dr. S urges you to keep Monday and Tuesday clear. The (Biloxi) Sun Herald and both report that Paclers assistant Sylvester Croom has been offered the job. Now he is spending the weekend deciding whether he wants to move to Starkville. Dr. S predicts he will say yes. Who can pass on a chance to make history?

Saturday, November 29

Sly Update, Part 1

A Green Bay newspaper reports that Mississippi State has offered its head football coach's job to Sylvester Croom and now he's trying to decide what to do.

Friday, November 28

The Kid's Alright

Is there anything more meaningless than your average NBA regular-season game? (Yes, your average NHL regular-season game.) But there is one player this season who's always worth watching: rookie sensation LeBron James. Add Slate's Charles P. Pierce to the Cleveland Cavaliers man-child's legion of admirers.

MSU About To Make History?

Mississippi State is expected to make history (no later than Saturday) when Sylvester Croom is named the Bulldogs head football coach. MSU AD Larry Templeton has been tight-lipped about the search for a replacement to the retiring Jackie Sherrill. LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher visited Starkville, so most had expected he would get the job. But Fisher "withdrew" from the search on Thursday (translation: MSU didn't want him). Croom, a former Alabama player and assistant who's been an NFL assistant for the last 17 years, was one of the finalists for the Alabama job last summer. If State hires him, he will become the first black head football coach hired by an SEC school. And likely will become the first black head football coach to be fired by an SEC school. Croom, who's now the Green Bay Packers running back coach, had to work on Thursday, but he's expected to fly into StarkVegas on Friday. State fans are looking for any shred of good news after that debacle on Thursday night. 31-0 and it wasn't that close.

Thursday, November 27

Commitment to Egg-cellence

Mississippi State and Ole Miss meet for the 100th time in football on Thursday night. For the sixth straight year, all eyes will be on the Egg Bowl because it's the only college football game on TV. (Spies tell Dr. S that MSU AD Larry Templeton might not sign a new contract to play on Thanksgiving night. Good move, Larry, who can blame you for wanting to conceal what your footbll program has turned into?) But don't be fooled by all the subplots swirling, this game means EVERYTHING to these two teams and their fans. Dr. S says ... So Long Elis 35, So Long Jackies 21

But, Mr. Cleo

I first saw Robert Little, a very handsome toastmaster-by-trade and Jacksonian, take on a young, somewhat skeptical audience Nov. 19 at the North Midtown Community Development Center. He was the guest speaker, the guest motivator, at the gathering of about 40 parents and kids from Brown Elementary and Rowan Middle schools, schools scoring far below the levels deemed acceptable by No Child Left Behind federal standards.

Wednesday, November 26

Harvey Talks Back: The 2003 JFP Interview with Mayor Johnson

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. is having one hell of a year. On the one hand, the Vicksburg native has presided over a city for six years that seems to have shifted into high-gear renaissance mode, or certainly as high gear as re-development has been in this city since harmful out-migration to the suburban areas began decades ago. About everywhere you look in the city, it seems there is construction; dilapidated buildings are being razed; a city that has been left to decay for many years by other administrations seems set on re-inventing itself at a slow, if steady, pace. Yet, there is a dark side.

Do We Really Have To Talk About The Egg Bowl?

While Ole Miss fans sweat out Mississippi State and find themselves forced to pull for Arkansas on Friday, Slate's Allen Barra explains the BCS' big flaw: Trying to fix something that wasn't broken.

[City Buzz] Crackheads vs. Democrats

CRACKHEAD SON-IN-LAWS: The usually-respectful Jackson 2000, a group that meets regularly at Mikhail's to discuss racial reconciliation, got a little saucy this month when a panel gathered to discuss the impact race had on the state's elections on Nov. 4.

Tuesday, November 25

Heeding Hip-Hop's Higher Calling

<b>An Interview with Russell Simmons</b>

A devout yoga practitioner, ruthless entrepreneur, dedicated philanthropist and burgeoning political player, Russell Simmons is most famous as the co-founder of Def Jam Records, the label that launched Run-DMC, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys, and along the way propelled hip-hop out of the ghetto and into the Mall of America.

Whip It Good

Watching George Glass demonstrate his skill with a bullwhip, I was convinced that I could grow to enjoy this sport. On eBay I could find myself an inexpensive whip, then I could order some videos from Western Stage Props: "Whip Cracking Made Easy" and "Whip Cracking Made Easy—Part Two," finally working my way up to "No Bull Whip Cracking"—a study of over 30 advanced whip cracking techniques." For now, though, Glass—a 57-year-old insurance man who lives in Ridgeland with his wife, Sherrie, a music teacher at Northwest Middle School—is my best bet for hands-on whipping.

[Fry] The 50 Cent Test

Lately, every time some politician is talking about education on the TV, on radio or in the newspaper, they're talking about testing. "Accountability." They act like standardized test scores are the only thing important about education. But we need to seriously question that logic. This looks like another case where the people who are making the decisions are not actually the ones doing the work.

[Stiggers] Fresh Breath is Coming to Town

Season's greetings, folkses! This is your favorite non-black, Mo'tel Williams, along with the Sausage Sandwich Sisters, also known as the Electric Slide Ambassadors for World Peace and Rent Money. We know that 2003 has been a year of putrid mouths spewing out foul phrases. Now the air is polluted with negative thoughts as misinformed masses bask in lethargy and apathy because the world is at war, the economy is in decay, nations are in conflict, religion is steeped in controversy, the issue of race remains unsolved and Girls Gone Wild Doggy Style. And if you hear anyone say, "life stinks," it's because the world has a bad case of halitosis.

Seetha Srinivasan

From her fifth-floor window at the Education and Research Center of Mississippi—known as the R&D Center by most—Seetha Srinivasan has a splendid view of the surrounding trees. Not that she's got her head in the clouds. This petite lady—dressed, always, in her traditional sari—was born 60 years ago Dec. 27 in Bangalore, India. Today she has her feet planted firmly in the state she calls home and where she serves as director of the University Press of Mississippi.

Drug Testing in the NFL

Malcolm Gladwell writes in The New Yorker: "Despite the N.F.L.'s claims that it is concerned about the health of the players, it is more concerned about the health of the N.F.L. Football's governors make a distinction between natural violence and artificially aided violence, and it's their contention that the former has a good deal more market appeal than the latter, in the same way that consumers are believed to be willing to pay more for pure orange juice than they are for the adulterated version."

Truth in the Hands of Artists

Radiohead's Thom Yorke and author/historian Howard Zinn talk about the artist's role in politics. Yorke: "This goes back to what should be causing extreme alarm. If there are political programs on TV, yet it takes an artist to actually energize political debate, that tells you something really quite frightening about the level of the political debate happening on mainstream channels – right-wing-biased mothers. One of the interesting things here is that the people who should be shaping the future are politicians. But the political framework itself is so dead and closed that people look to other sources, like artists, because art and music allow people a certain freedom. Obviously, the duty of artists is there, but it's more an indictment of the political system that someone like Zinn views artists as the seers, idealizing them as the people responsible for inspiring change. I think that would be great, but the reason people think like that is because there is no other element of participation anywhere."

Bush's ‘Crimes Against Nature'

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. writes: "George W. Bush will go down in history as America's worst environmental president. In a ferocious three-year attack, the Bush administration has initiated more than 200 major rollbacks of America's environmental laws, weakening the protection of our country's air, water, public lands and wildlife. Cloaked in meticulously crafted language designed to deceive the public, the administration intends to eliminate the nation's most important environmental laws by the end of the year. Under the guidance of Republican pollster Frank Luntz, the Bush White House has actively hidden its anti-environmental program behind deceptive rhetoric, telegenic spokespeople, secrecy and the intimidation of scientists and bureaucrats."

Monday, November 24

Oops, They Did It Again

In the Southern Style section of The Clarion-Ledger on Sunday, Nov. 23, Orley Hood worked himself into a lather: "The single dumbest paragraph I've read in this newspaper in the past year is a direct quotation from Robert Moore, chief of the Jackson Police Department: 'The perception comes from other people who want to perpetuate the negative image. The newspaper and TV stations go out and find somebody who will say they are leaving Jackson because this happened or they are leaving Jackson because of that.'"

Saturday, November 22

Pigskin Prognosticator On Prowl

OK, so Dr. S was correct when he predicted Southern Miss would burst TCU's BCS bubble. That's all behind us now, because it's time for Dr. S to tell you what's gonna happen on Saturday ...

Thursday, November 20

Horny Toads in Hub City

Just as Dr. S predicted, Thursday night's TCU-Southern Miss game (6:30 p.m., ESPN) will be for the Conference USA championship and more. TCU still has an outside shot at a BCS bowl bid if it beats USM. The Horned Frogs are stout on both sides of the ball. The Golden Eagles kick ass on defense, as usual, and, thanks to the emergence of Dustin Almond at QB, have finally started moving the ball on offense. ... Take it from Dr. S, TCU's BCS dreams are over. USM 28, TCU 24.

Wednesday, November 19

Dixie Dems: Dean Too ‘Liberal'

The Washington Times reports that Democratic leaders in the South consider Howard Dean "too liberal" to win electoral votes in the South: "Most acknowledge the growing conservatism that dominates their region, and some concede it will be difficult, if not impossible, to carry many Southern states if the nominee is out of step with mainstream Southern values."

Bucs Cut The Cancer

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are so sick of Keyshawn Johnson that the team deactivated the receiver on Tuesday. He will still get paid, but he won't play for the last six games of the season. If the Bucs could, they would have just cut Johnson, but that would have cost the Bucs $6 million on the salary cap right away. Believe this: If Keyshawn's reality were as good as his self-hype, he would still be playing. Now he will spend the rest of the season working on an updated edition of his autobiography under the new title "Gimme The Damn Bench!"

Tuesday, November 18

Should the city ban smoking in restaurants?

[City Buzz] Best Gov, Gandhi in Jackson, Two Lakes Doom, more

BEST GOVERNOR: Haley Barbour may have ridden the GOP machine into town, but he's got a long way to go before he can take over the throne of Governor Emeritus William Winter. Winter was honored yet again for his contributions to Mississippi—which meant meeting race and education problems head-on—when the new William F. Winter Archives and History Building was dedicated on a chilly Friday afternoon.

No Fires Burning

For filmmaker Tom Rice, patience is paying off. Rice, a Jackson native, began work on "The Rising Place," his feature film debut as a writer and director, in the late '90s. The film was finally released on DVD and video in late October. The film's roots date back to 1996 when Rice, now a Los Angeles resident, read a novella by Natchez native David Armstrong called "The Rising Place." Shortly thereafter, Rice acquired the rights to the book and penned a screenplay loosely based on the novella.

Snipe Season Open

The state of Mississippi opened season on snipe Nov. 14, which extends until Feb. 28. The daily bag limit is eight birds, the possession limit is 16. The common snipe (Capella gallinago) is a winter resident in the southern United States.

[Stiggers] Poor Health and Bad Credit

Now that the political season is over, the Stop the Hamhock Decrease the Pork Grease Coalition wants to enlighten the public about Chitterling ("Chitlin") Season, a time during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays when varieties of pork products—especially chitlins—are bought and consumed.

Agnew: We Want Our Glory Days Back

Monday, November 17

Bill Minor on the Democrats' Future

Bill Minor writes that Democrats didn't lose in the state as big as Republicans would like to pretend: "In the wake of the Republican mini-earthquake that hit the state Nov. 4, not just a few Democrats were wondering if their party can survive in Mississippi. That question arose after Kirk Fordice sent shock waves through Democrats in 1991, and some said it heralded a mass conversion to the state GOP in the 90s. It didn't happen. Republicans got a momentary uptick, but by the end of the decade, Mississippi Democrats, unlike those in several other Southern states, still had a decided majority in the Legislature and held virtually all state offices."

Vouchers, They Are A'Comin'

AP is reporting that national Republicans are about to make a push for vouchers: "Republican Senate leaders plan to force a vote this week on the nation's first federally funded school voucher experiment, tucking the program into broader spending legislation that would be politically difficult for Democrats to block.

Bush may veto overtime, media ownership rules

AP is reporting : "The GOP-run Senate voted in September to block proposed Labor Department rules that opponents say would make it easier for employers to deny overtime for millions of workers. The House, also run by Republicans, voted narrowly to support the rules, but later cast a nonbinding vote in favor of blocking them. The administration is insisting the proposed rules be allowed to take effect."

Schwarzenegger Takes Office in California

It's official, folks. The Governator has been sworn in. I'm really curious to see how he handles the state's $25 billion deficit. Of course, his inauguration (with Vanessa Williams and Jamie Lee Curtis, among others) sounds way better than Gray Davis':

Sunday, November 16

On Civil Elections and Civic Journalism

<b>Voters to Dems: Be Progressive</b>

In the few days since the Nov. 4 election, we've heard a lot of anger and consternation from readers. Many are wondering how in the world the blatant GOP use of the race card could be so successful in 2003. We have two responses.

Saturday, November 15

Delores' Bus

Delores Williams drives a Greyhound bus full time. I'd be willing to ride anywhere with her after being on board Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.'s 18th "Mayor's Pride Ride" last Saturday. The mayor welcomed us on board, calling us VICs—very important citizens—and then introduced Delores. Throughout the ride, she proved over and over why she gets this special assignment, maneuvering that big dog deftly down narrow, crowded streets, turning at tight corners without touching nearby power poles or parked cars, and zigzagging through the crowded parking lot of Jackson State's Athletics and Assembly Center so that those on board finishing their sweet tea from the Chimneyville BBQ Smoke House didn't spill a drop.

Friday, November 14

Liberals and ‘Flyover Country'

Middle America - which includes most of the South, Midwest and West - too often gets dismissed by liberal politicians and liberal interest groups who seem to look down on our values. They refer to the area between the East and West coasts as "flyover country." The attacks on Judge Charles Pickering's conservative background and religious activity shows this acute divide. Yet, Senators from "flyover country" are striking back, letting the left know that we are here, we are part of America and we expect more, especially better consideration of our judicial nominees.

In Our Blood

"Feeling the Spirit: Church and Other Visions by H.C. Porter" opens at Southern Breeze Gallery in Highland Village on Nov. 15.

[Ladd] God Bless the Little Man

When Wal-Mart first came to my hometown while I was in high school, I was ecstatic. It opened on a side of town where there wasn't a whole lot, and soon other businesses popped up around it. Back then, of course, it wasn't one of those Supercenter monsters; it was the smaller, more manageable kind.

Wednesday, November 12

Bush Plan to Ban Abortion

Michelle Goldberg writes in Salon: "Unnoticed by much of the public, the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have been laying the groundwork for a repeal of abortion rights." (Click on the free ad to get access to the story.)

Tricks and Errors

The 2003 Mississippi election results were pockmarked by dirty tricks and general incompetency that has left one local Senate race in controversy and regular Mississippians feeling like they needed a rough loofah and a long, hot shower to shed the residue.

Deconstructing Thomas

Wearing a black T-shirt and perched on a wooden stool under track lights in his fourth-floor live-work loft in the Fondren Corner building, Jackson native Thomas Morrison hasn't quite shed his former life as an actor in Los Angeles.

Now, Just Who is Basil?

Broadstreet Bakery at Banner Hall, 362-2900, has among its November specials three low-carb alternatives, some new chicken dishes, a Lemon-Basil Pork Loin Sandwich and the return of Shrimp Pasta. … Flashbacks Espresso Café, 5620 I-55 South, 372-3220, brings a bit of nostalgia as well as a large variety of cappuccinos and lattes to the South Jackson area. About time, I'd say. There are lots of us sophisticated people out south of town, not that I drink coffee, but I've found out you can get those Italian-sounding cuppas (oh, I just love to hear Italian) minus the coffee.

[Drive] Gettin' That Olds Feeling

I still don't quite get why GM would decide to retire the Oldsmobile name, especially considering that Pontiac is right there, just begging for it. In the cold, careless world that we live in, Pontiac remains; Oldsmobile is no more. I'm still waiting for an 11th-hour reprieve.

Mad In the U.S.A.

More than 1,000 people attended a rally a few weeks ago in Connecticut to demand fair trade and denounce the sweatshop buying habits of big retailers like Wal-Mart. The speakers were passionate, the crowd pumped. But this rally differed from the usual fair trade gatherings in one key respect: It was not organized by labor, student or environmental groups. It was organized by an alliance of small and mid-sized manufacturers.

Rhonda Richmond

Rhonda Richmond's voice comes as a complete surprise. An earthy, organic, smooth sound weaves itself around your soul and into your heart. I first heard Richmond sing, swaying softly to the music, for the small crowd of jazz-lovers gathered at the Mississippi Museum of Art atrium on an October Thursday.

Tell Me the Truth, JoAnne

<b>Right Between Church and State</b>

Q. Please tell me why state troopers patrol and direct traffic for a Jackson church on North State Street (near Millsaps) during church service, and oftentimes now, a deputy sheriff. Isn't this a violation of church and state?

Friday, November 7

Kobe Dress Code

Just when you thought the Kobe Bryant case couldn't get any more ridiculous, the sheriff of Eagle County, Colo., has told his employees they can't wear some new Kobe-related T-shirts to work. Whatever happened to the uniforms and shiny badges those people used to wear on the job?

High School Grid

The playoffs start in some divisions of Mississippi high school football on Friday night. Just in time for that, Dr. S has found a cool new site,, which has news, features and, best of all, updated scores. Dr. S urges you to go to a high school game. And then check out this site.

Two Large Unions May Support Dean

AP reports: "Two of the nation's largest and politically powerful unions initially overlooked Democrat Howard Dean as a marginal, quirky presidential candidate from a small state. But that changed as he surged in fund raising and state polls in key states such as New Hampshire and Iowa and began attracting large, boisterous crowds."

[Stiggers] Colin Sings the Blues

The election campaign movie feature "Mississippi Mudd Slangin': Don't Start No Stuff, Won't Be No Stuff" will return after this commercial break. ... Blues fans, listen to America's homegrown music, courtesy of the secretary of state. DGI (Darned Good Intelligence) records present "Colin Powell and Friends Sing the Blues." This 2 CD set features some of your favorite blues, country and folk songs performed by White House staffers and their friends. Listen to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sing the Clarence Carter classics Strokin' (a duet with Anita Hill) and Patches. And how about Rush Limbaugh's former house maid. singing a soulful rendition of Aretha Franklin's "Dr. Feelgood":

‘Confederacy of Dunces'

Salon's Joan Walsh reports that Howard Dean's critics have it wrong: "Does anyone really believe that former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was borrowing a playbook from the GOP and telegraphing coded support for Southern racism when he said, in an interview last week, 'I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks'? Dean explained his unorthodox approach this way: 'We can't beat George Bush unless we appeal to a broad cross section of Democrats.' I'd add this: Democrats can't beat Bush unless they abandon their elitist approach to working-class cultural conservatives, especially in the South -- and the opportunistic, preachy pile-on by Dean's Democratic opponents after his remarks won't help."

Thursday, November 6

And the Winners Are…

...Republicans (and Jim Hood) in contested statewide elections, Democrats in Hinds County and Legislative elections and turnout -- over 818,000 people had voted in the Lieutenant Governor's race with 92% of precincts reporting, suggesting that turnout was better than the Secretary of State, Eric Clark, had predicted at the beginning of the day, and besting recent gubernatorial elections.

Election Post-Mortem

Well, all, there weren't a lot of surprises Tuesday night, and a lot of our prayers about the state rising above the race game went unanswered ... for now. But I truly believe that this election is meant to challenge progressive Mississippians to do everything it takes to attract better candidates and increase the voter base. And that work doesn't start three years and six and a half months from now. It starts tomorrow. So buck up; we have hard, but satisfying work to do, and powerful coalitions to build. And it will be done.

Wednesday, November 5

Barbour, Carroll Bash Jackson With Old Statistics

"Jackson is one of the 10 most dangerous cities in America." How often are you hearing that jingle right now? From Haley Barbour. From Hinds County D.A. candidate Wilson Carroll. From The Clarion-Ledger. From your co-workers. From your Aunt Lula in Kemper County who won't visit you. Scared to death yet? Don't start packing your bags, though. Read the fine print first. With a little careful sleuthing, you'll discover that crime is dropping steadily and dramatically in the city since a spike early this year, and felonies are nearing their lowest level in over 20 years, despite what the challengers have to tell you.

Tuesday, November 4

Just In: Stacking the Deck: 72 Legislative Candidates Sign "Lawsuit" Pledge

The October 2003 newsletter of Mississippians for Economic Progress, a group set up by industry groups, to limit lawsuits in the state, says that 72 legislative candidates in the state have signed a detailed pledge in support of further regulating the rights of citizens to bring lawsuits, and protecting businesses from liability claims. The candidates, if elected, pledge to support industry and the position of Barbour/Tuck that much more "reform" is needed in the state to help industry. The same forces, however, are not pledging to also look at potential reforms possibly needed on the insurance side of the aisle, or supporting hearings to find out whether insurance reform is also needed to help both citizens and doctors. (Click for full list.)

JUST IN: Dem, GOP Heads Address Voter Intimidation

From Chairman Cole, Democratic Party:

The following letters were sent by Democrat Party Chairman Rickey Cole and Republican Chairman Jim Herring to Secretary of State Eric Clark in response to Secretary Clark's memorandum to Circuit Clerks and Election Commissioners regarding voter intimidation.

JUST IN: Voting Irregularities Reported

Secretary of State Eric Clark just faxed this letter to Attorney General Mike Moore and U.S. Attorneys Jim Greenlee and Dunn Lampton, warning of potential violations of election laws.

Monday, November 3

Punkvoter sez youth should vote in 2004

CNN reports that 'Punkvoter' founder (and NOFX lead singer) Mike Burkett is trying to unify the youth vote. "So many millions of people don't feel like their vote has any meaning," says Burkett. "There is no reason why younger people can't be a unified force."

Secretary of State Predicts Average Turn-out

STATEMENT TODAY: Secretary of State Eric Clark today predicted that voter turnout in Tuesday's General Election will be up slightly from the last gubernatorial election and anticipates 775,000 ballots will be cast in races from Governor to Supervisor to Coroner. "I encourage every Mississippian to vote in this important election," Clark said. "On Tuesday, voters will decide who will run our state and county governments for the next four years. We will hire the people who write our laws, set our taxes, and pave our roads. In order to choose the best people, it's important that Mississippians get out and vote."

JFP Endorses Musgrove, Blackmon, Peterson, full slate

To determine our candidate choices, the JFP editorial board looked at the record, watched the campaign (focusing on issues, not rhetoric) and talked to many of the candidates whom our readers will vote for on Nov. 4. We also talked to many Jacksonians about the issues that matter to them. To the best of our ability, we have tried to match the candidates to the concerns of our readers. To that end, we offer you the following slate of endorsements, with several highlighted with explanations.

JFP Questionnaire posted for Justice Court candidate Nicki Martinson Boland

See her PoliticsBlog page to read full answers.

Stringfellow on city's ‘renaissance'

Kudos to Salter's Anderson column

Every now and then, Sid Salter hits with a column. Yesterday told it like it is about the immensely qualified Gary Anderson -- and just why Mississippians might not elected the superior candidate: "Simply put, Gary Anderson is better qualified by education and prior job experience to hit the ground running as Marshall Bennett's successor than is Tate Reeves. Anderson has literally worked his way up through state government and is deserving of a promotion. ... The question unanswered at this point is whether a majority of Mississippi voters can consider Anderson purely and squarely on his experience and qualifications in making their decision — or will race rule once again as the lowest common denominator in Mississippi politics."

Clarion-Ledger Endorses Musgrove, Tuck

So, here's a riddle: Why of the top four candidates' distasteful (at best) campaign tactics -- Musgrove ("poisoning"), Barbour and Tuck (race-pandering), Blackmon (abortion affidavit) -- would the Clarion-Ledger only call out Blackmon's campaign tactics? Were they really worse than Tuck's belated endorsement of the rebel flag?

Former FBI Agent Eyes AG Post

The GOP candidate for attorney general talked to the Jackson Free Press in his offices in Ridgeland. This is the full transcript of the interview.

I Can Fix It

Attorney Wilson Carroll Wants to 'Fix' the D.A.'s Office

Wilson Carroll wants badly to be the next district attorney in Hinds County. As a result, the Harvard and Ole Miss graduate is going on the offensive against incumbent Faye Peterson. In a recent interview in a Phelps Dunbar conference room, private attorney Carroll blamed Peterson's three years in office for the backlog of cases—much of which she, indeed, inherited—in the Hinds County judicial system.

Sunday, November 2

Poet looking for reasons people don't vote ...

Pass it on: Poet looking for reasons people don't vote for big traveling project .... I just got this e-mail:

JFP Voter Guide 2003 - Statewide

<b>Just Who Are these Guys and Gals?</b>

Democratic incumbent Ronnie Musgrove, 47, was a two-term state senator and former Mississippi lieutenant governor before replacing Kirk Fordice as the state's governor. Musgrove, who grew up poor and worked his way through Ole Miss, has adopted education as his own priority issue. He battled legislators in 2001 to pass a historic teacher pay raise for Mississippi teachers, raising the average teacher pay in the state from 49th to 19th if fully implemented—no easy feat, considering the recession the state has been faced with during the last two years.

JFP Voter Guide - County Offices

Incumbent Faye Peterson, a Democrat who graduated from Jackson State and Mississippi College, says that her record shows that she is a strong prosecutor and has worked diligently to clear a backlog left by her predecessor, Ed Peters. She, however, is regularly accused in the media of plea-bargaining too many cases, a charge she denies. She was appointed by Gov. Musgrove in 2001 to replace Peters, who retired after many years.

Breakfast Worth Waking Up For

Nothing worth knowing about happens before noon; and if it does, someone will tell you about it. Thus, I carefully arrange my schedule to begin the awakening process around 11 in the morning. On the rare occasions I cannot avoid an early appointment, I follow a strict routine I recommend to all who wish to enter the day gently. The routine begins as my wife brings me a glass of fresh squeezed seasonal fruit juice while I am still in bed. As I shower, she fluffs my towel in the dryer (there is nothing worse than a cold towel) and irons my shirt so it, too, will be warm and fresh when I dress.

Saturday, November 1

Gannett's Hattiesburg-American Refuses to "Hold Nose" for Lt. Gov

Note that the Hattiesburg-American wrote an entire non-endorsement without a single actual issue mentioned -- the entire column is based on the performance of the two women during the campaign. This must be the WORST example of horse-race logic I've ever seen. Certainly, it's vital that we examine how they ran their campaigns, but issues (jobs, education, health care) are relevant, too. Now I'm waiting to see if the H-A refuses to endorse in the governor's race (especially Barbour) based on the same horse-race logic -- or do such standards just apply to the women in the race? Lordy be.

Mass Prayer for Jackson at The Clarion-Ledger