Stories for January 2004


Saturday, January 31

[Lott] Open and Ready

If U.S. military bases are to be closed, jobs lost, and lives changed, which communities should feel the heat first - those in an increasingly unsupportive Western Europe, or in patriotic, taxpaying towns in Mississippi? Well, I'm more worried about the plight of folks in Heidelberg, Mississippi than Heidelberg, Germany. The well being of America's taxpayers, our domestic economy and homeland security should take precedent. Most domestic military bases should remain open and ready.

Best of Jackson Day!

UPDATE: CNN to Air Anti-Bush Ad

From's Eli Pariser: "During this year's Super Bowl, you'll see ads sponsored by beer companies, tobacco companies, and the Bush White House. But you won't see the winning ad in Voter Fund's Bush in 30 Seconds ad contest. CBS refuses to air it. Meanwhile, the White House is on the verge of signing into law a deal which Senator John McCain (R-AZ) says is custom-tailored for CBS and Fox, allowing the two networks to grow much bigger. CBS lobbied hard for this rule change; members across the country lobbied against it; and now our ad has been rejected while the White House ad will be played. It looks an awful lot like CBS is playing politics with the right to free speech."

Thursday, January 29

Crime at 15-Year Low in Jackson

Monique Guillory

Dr. Monique Guillory has been busy for the last few years. As deputy chief of staff for Jackson State University President Ronald Mason since 2000, the 34-year-old New Orleanian met myriad goals: the restoration of Gibbs-Green Week at Jackson State, commemorating two young men killed on campus by police in 1970; starting the President's Newsletter that keeps 35,000 alumni up-to-date; strategic planning for the university's Millennium Agenda; and writing a grant to fund a collaborative education project. And two years ago her son Julien was born. "The French spelling," she explained. "It's those Louisiana roots."

2004] Urban Living

<b>Best Gallery: Gallery 119 (3017 North State St., 366-5141)</b>

I can't think of anybody who couldn't do with a little more class in their system, and the place to get some in Jackson, according to our poll, is Gallery 119. The gallery, 10 years old and just recently moved to its new Fondren location next to Seabrook Paints on State Street, is one of the premier places to hang a creation. The gallery has no preferences, other than quality.

[Best of Jackson 2004] Urban Living

I can't think of anybody who couldn't do with a little more class in their system, and the place to get some in Jackson, according to our poll, is Gallery 119. The gallery, 10 years old and just recently moved to its new Fondren location next to Seabrook Paints on State Street, is one of the premier places to hang a creation. The gallery has no preferences, other than quality.

[Best of Jackson 2004] Food

Best Gumbo, Red Beans & Rice, Outdoor Dining and Brunch: Que Sera Sera (2801 North State St., 981-2520)

2004] Food

Best Gumbo, Red Beans & Rice, Outdoor Dining and Brunch: Que Sera Sera (2801 North State St., 981-2520)

2004] Community

You have spoken. Several months ago, we asked the readers of the JFP to choose who deserves Best of Jackson kudos for this past year. You responded, in droves. (And we're cross-eyed from counting ballots to prove it!) Some of the winners may surprise you; many are newcomers this year; some are perennial favorites and won last year. You chose these winners, and we think you did a wonderful job, honoring people, businesses and groups from throughout the Jackson area for their efforts and hard work to make this city the best she can be. We truly appreciate your participation, and suspect that the winners do, too. Next time you see one of our festive Best-of awards hanging on someone's wall, thank them for helping the city build toward a glorious future. And, yes, the lobbying for the 2005 awards can begin right now. — Ed.

[Whitley] ‘Movin' On Up' Not Working Anymore

The generation of African Americans that came of age during the '60s and '70s was taught that having the American dream—a job, a house, a car—was the pinnacle of success. They used every tool at their disposal, and demanded those that weren't, in the struggle to achieve that goal. And now that they've achieved it, those now-parents, most of them nicely settled into middle-class life, are teaching that same definition of success to their children.

[Ask JoAnne] God or the Devil?

<b>Q. Is it God or the devil that's in the details?

A. Now that's a full-strength question. It reminds of the tutti fruiti sauce my neighbor Sam Brooks brought me the other day. It was his grandmother's recipe, he said, and when poured over vanilla ice cream would create an "adult dessert." With that introduction, I determined to find out immediately. And may I tell you, Sam Brooks is a man of his word. If you aren't an adult before you eat his grandma's tutti fruiti sauce, you'll be one when you've finished! Believe me, she knew that tutti outranks fruiti any day of the year. If only she were answering the reader's question … .

Ladies' Night

"Talking With" continues Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 29-31 at 7:30. Tickets are $10. Members and JFP readers get in for $8; just mention the JFP when you buy your ticket. Info: 982-2217.

2004] Nightlife

Best Neighborhood Bar, Best Place to Drown Sorrows, Best Open-Mic Night: Fenian's (901 East Fortification St., 948-0055)

Barbour proposes plan to cut debt in half

Clarion Ledger reports: "I can't say everything will work," said Barbour, whose plan would wipe out the state's deficit in two years. It also would eliminate some 700 state jobs. 'I'm committed to saving money by controlling costs,' Barbour told reporters at the Governor's Mansion. Earlier in the day, he presented his plan to legislative leaders at a luncheon."

2004] Category We Left Out

From Aerobics Class to Window Shopping, the categories y'all submitted as "Best Category That We Left Out" range from the everyday to the eclectic. And there were comments, too: "Most Under Appreciated Jacksonian, " "Favorite Instead of Best, " "Bakery, I wish we had one!" and "You put best vegetarian, you should include that other category, too [Best Steak]."

Silent No More

Early on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day, a group of anti-abortion Mississippians gathered to erect 2,000 crosses on the lawn of the Mississippi State Capitol as a "A Memorial to the Unborn." Pro-Life Mississippi joined with the Knights of Columbus Council, a Catholic men's group, to place the crosses after getting permission from Gov. Haley Barbour's office, Pat Carterette, executive director of Pro-Life Mississippi, told the JFP. Last year, Gov. Ronnie Musgrove's office approved the anti-abortion campaign, which was conceived by a national anti-abortion coalition, Silent No More, which has organized similar protests in cities throughout the United States.

[Ladd] Catching a Creative Wave

I've been thinking a lot about who's in charge lately. This first entered my brain because of Haley Barbour's half-hearted attempts at appointing a Cabinet that looks like Mississippi (for the record, that would be close to half black and just over half female. And a good percentage of them would be under 40. For the record). But, he tells us, there aren't enough "outstanding" women who are "qualified" for "leadership" positions in his administration. Ouch.

Mississippi GOP Gleeful Over Pickering End Run

Emily Wagster Pettus of AP writes: "Judge Charles Pickering's exhausting journey to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a cause celebre for the Mississippi Republican Party. People shouldn't expect the talk about it to die down just because President Bush made an end-run around congressional Democrats and installed Pickering on the appeals bench Jan. 16. If anything, the GOP is now ideally situated to gain from the Pickering predicament. Republicans got what they wanted, because the 66-year-old judge — a former state senator, former head of the Mississippi Baptist Convention and former U.S. District Court judge — is serving on the court that handles appeals from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. He can remain on the 5th Circuit bench until the next Congress takes office in January 2005.

[Stiggers] Qweemy, Qweemy Black History Moment

The Cream-O-Wheat Foodbank Foundation's "Bigg Hott Pot in the Back for the World" presents a Qweemy, Qweemy Black History Moment by the Qweem-O-Wheat Man.

‘Dean Goes Bust'

Josh Benson writes in Salon: "Can Dean recover? Maybe. Even without Trippi, he has a core of supporters that will never abandon him. And while the other campaigns will be fighting each other all over the country in the Feb. 3 states, the Dean camp will hope to rebound by focusing on and winning delegate-rich states like Michigan and Washington on Feb. 7. As John Kerry can attest, comebacks have been built on less."

Biggest Blog Day Ever!


The best in sports in the next 14 days

Men's basketball, Tougaloo at Belhaven, 7:30 p.m.: JFP readers, when you finish that latte, crawl out of Fondren and check out this showdown between crosstown rivals.



1. TV on the Radio- Young Liars EP- Incredibly unique fuse of guitars, feedback, muted electronics and soulful vocals (early Peter Gabriel meets Seal).

Wednesday, January 28

Kerry Gets Endorsements; Dean Shakes Up Staff

In the aftermath of New Hampshire, where Sen. John Kerry won 39% of the vote (and 14 delegates), Kerry has received the endorsements of Senators Jean Carnahan and Tom Eagleton in Missouri, and may received one from Representative Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack gave him the nod as well. Read the report.

Fingernail Legislation proposed

Byrd of the AP writes:"Under Jordan's bill, the state Health Department would regulate the wearing of false fingernails by restaurant employees who serve or prepare food. He said it's a sanitary issue. The bill isn't winning support from Michael Berry, manager of Nawlin's Grill in Clinton. He said he wouldn't mind if his waitresses wore false fingernails."

Bill approved for optometrists to prescribe drugs

Shelia Bryd of the AP writes: " ... said Beth Clay, an attorney lobbying for the Mississippi Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Association. 'It's creating a substandard of care for the rural or poor people who don't know the difference,' Clay said. 'They're going to think they've seen somebody who's been to medical school.'"

Tuesday, January 27

Super Bowl Uni Watch

In Uni Watch, Paul Lukas notes that the New England Patriots hold a Super Bowl record. They are the only team to appear wearing three distinctly different uniform designs. Cool.

The Last Word on Bennifer

What's dominating headlines this week? The breakup of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, natch. ESPN offers the last word on the dynamic ex-duo.

Blatter Blather

World soccer boss Sepp Blatter has added a new offense to his crimes against humanity: Sexist pig. Blatter said in a recent interview that the best way to increase the popularity of women's soccer is for female players to wear "tighter shorts." One of Sepp's lackeys blamed the furor over his boss' comments on a "bad translation." How does that happen when Sepp speaks five languages? What's French for "take a cold shower, Sepp"? Oh wait, there is no French word for shower.

Krugman on the Republi-‘Con'

No, George W. Bush clearly is not a fiscal conservative, says Paul Krugman writing today in the NYTimes, the same day the Congressional Budget Office re-released it's 2004 budget deficit projections at $477 billion (and $2.4 trillion over the next decade). But, Krugman says, it's absurd to think the answer is to simply to cut spending on social programs.

Monday, January 26

[Just In] Barbour's State of the State Address

[verbatim] Lieutenant Governor; Mr. Speaker; Fellow State officials, Members of

It is a humbling honor to come before you tonight for the first time as your Governor. I want to start by saying to my colleagues in the Legislature: many of you were kind enough to be there for my swearing-in and listened to my Inaugural Address, and now, in less than two weeks, you're being subjected to hearing me speak again... These are the sacrifices you make as a public official. My old friend, State Representative Steve Holland, caught me in the hall today and said he'd read in the paper that this speech was going to last 40 minutes. He asked me if that were true. I said, "Only if you applaud a lot." He laughed and said we ought to be safe.

Friday, January 23

Barbour: Outstanding Women ‘Rare'

Read the WAPT report.

"'There are some outstanding women but they're rare,' Barbour said. 'I'm not in the bean-counting business. As we fill out this administration, I feel very comfortable that people are going to say those are the right people, they work hard, they're very representative of the state, but I'm not in the quota business.' The co-president of the Mississippi League of Women Voters said Barbour should include more women in his administration. 'This is so important because women make up the 51 percent of the population in Mississippi,' league spokeswoman Fran Leber said, adding that women in Mississippi earn an average of 69 percent what men make."

[Lott] The 2004 Agenda

In his State of the Union speech President Bush outlined an agenda which includes the War on Terrorism, tax cuts, job security and improving worker training, using our nation's community colleges. Passing a good national energy policy, a bold highway bill and preserving our military's edge must also be legislative priorities for 2004, and the American people deserve action on all these issues regardless of the partisan to-and-fro that an election year usually brings.

Thursday, January 22

Poll: Bush Vulnerable Against Unnamed Democrat

Latest Zogby poll: "As Democrats Vote in Iowa and New Hampshire, President Bush Looks Vulnerable in Both His Re-Elect and Face-Off with Generic Democrat; Bush's Job Performance 49% Positive, 50% Negative; Democrats Lead Over Republicans in Congressional Generic, New Zogby International Poll Reveals

Wednesday, January 21

Keep Committee Hearings Open!

Common Cause urges in a letter to the Clarion-Ledger that all legislative committees be kept open to the public. Duh. Those men and women report to us. Dick Johnson writes: "So Common Cause/MS recommends all of us contact our representatives and senators, as well as House Speaker Billy McCoy and Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, and urge them to make sure the rules of the new Legislature keep all conference committees, including those dealing with appropriations and financial matters, open to the public."

Jackson Convention Center Blues

Barbour spots investment

Clarion Ledger reports : "Governmental entities enticed Textron Fastening Systems with economic incentives, but they didn't give away the store, said Gov. Haley Barbour."

Bills acknowledges blacks' contributions

Shelia Byrd of the AP writes: "At least two House bills seek to recognize historical contributions of black Mississippians."

Tuesday, January 20

Take That, Mad Cow

Somehow being a vegetarian also makes me a Father Confessor—people constantly tell me their diet-altering plans, even in polite conversation. Well, what with the New Year and Mad Cow, the din of discussion from those deciding to carve a little bovine muscle out of their diets is growing slightly louder. In response I say, "Hooray!" and offer some street-level suggestions to anyone trying to cut meat from their diets.

Dean's Midnight Note

Here's an e-mail that went to Dean's e-mail list in the middle of the night after Dean's unimpressive third-placing showing in Iowa (BTW, is anyone else as thrilled as I am that Gephardt dropped out? Argh.) ...


Paul Lukas' latest Uni Watch is a very cool report on why athletes wear specific uniform numbers. For more info ...

Super Bore

The New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers are headed to the Super Bowl, which will be played Feb. 1 in Houston. Kickoff will be at approximately 5:30 p.m. Sadly, there's a two-week break before the game, which means we will get even more lame reporting on the game than usual. The only thing lamer than this reporting will be the commentary on this reporting. And, of course, all the stories on the commercials that will air during the game (this is news?), the telecast, blah, blah, blah. Doctor S can't wait, either.

Monday, January 19

[Ladd] Haley's March to the Sea

On the JFP blog recently, someone asked me if I was willing to give Gov. Haley Barbour the benefit of the doubt. That question gave me pause. I think of myself as independent-minded, free of party affiliation, fair-but-tough and willing to consider many viewpoints, even as I refuse to defend any view blindly. The problem, of course, is that Barbour really pissed me off during this campaign. It wasn't because he's a Republican—duh, he gets to be, even if I don't care for today's prevailing corporate Republicanism—but because I believed he cleared a path of destructiveness through the state, a modern-day march to the sea, to get there.

Senate Panel Votes for New Thomas/White Election

Jan. 19, 2004--The Sun-Herald is reporting: "A Senate committee has recommended a new election in the disputed Hinds District 29 race. Democrat Dewayne Thomas was certified the winner of the race by the Hinds County Election Commission, but incumbent Sen. Richard White, R-Terry, filed a contest petition with the Senate. 'The full Senate will vote on the committee's recommendation, but it is unclear when that will happen,' said Sen. Terry Burton, R-Newton, chairman of the committee. The committee recommended a Feb. 10 special election in the entire district.

Dean's Grass-roots Team in Overdrive on Iowa Day

Keep an eye on Dean's Blog for America today as the Iowa caucuses take place. Whatever you think of Dean, his *campaign* is pretty damned exciting.

Economist: Bush Wants Stagnant Job Market

Economic James K. Galbraith argues in Salon that Bush wants a stagnant job market to "keep the help from getting uppity." He writes: "The transcendent economic issue this election year isn't the growth rate. It isn't the stock market. It isn't the budget deficit. And it isn't even the rate of unemployment. It's the number of people in this country who have decent work -- and the number who don't."

Tupelo Republican Wants to Block Gay Unions

The Clarion-Ledger is reporting: 'Saying gay marriage 'goes against everything society has ever stood for,' state Sen. Alan Nunnelee has filed a bill to ban the union under the state Constitution. Mississippi lawmakers must have all bills and constitutional amendments filed by Feb. 23. Nunnelee's bill calls for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Mississippi already bans marriage for same-sex couples and does not recognize homosexual marriages performed in other states, but Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, says the 1997 state law may not be enough in years to come.

Jackson Moves Up in Creative Class Ranking; Other Southern Cities Fall

Regular JFP blogger Philip brought this to our attention this weekend; great news! Go, Jackson, go.

Sunday, January 18

[Fleming] A Brand-New Day

A rooster crows in the morning, at sunrise, to signal a brand new day, and in metaphorical essence, hope. The rooster that was crowing last week was Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus Chair Rep. Phillip West, D-Natchez. His exuberance comes from the news of the House Committee assignments announced on January 15, 2004. In the announcement, made on the 75th birthday of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., African-American legislators made historic quantitative gains in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

[Rockwell] Dr. King on War and Peace

Jan. 13, 2004 Thirty-six years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech that changed my life. I was a student at Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1967, during the peak of the Vietnam War. Almost by accident a friend invited me across the street to hear Dr. King deliver a comprehensive anti-war address at Riverside Church.

[Drive] The Other Mini

It occurred to me the other day, as I climbed into Ms. K's new Toyota Sienna to take it for a spin, that I haven't reviewed a minivan in at least half a decade, and I haven't been inside one in years. The last time time I was up-close-and-personal with such a personnel transporter was when Ms. D and I still lived in Manhattan.

Americans, Wall Street Shrug Off Mad Cow

Reuters reports:: Investor concerns that consumers would shun beef after last month's discovery of the first U.S. case of mad cow disease appear to have evaporated as shares of steakhouses and hamburger chains have snapped back to their previous levels.In the days following the Dec. 23 announcement, restaurant stocks fell hard on fears that meat from a cow with the deadly brain-wasting disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, had entered the food chain. Humans can contract a form of the disease known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease by eating infected beef."

Business lobbyists eye State of the Union

AP reports that lobbyists are campaigning for a Bush mention Tuesday night: "'You tell everybody you can think to tell' in the White House, said Dan Danner, lobbyist for the National Federation of Independent Business. 'You tell the speechwriters. You tell the congressional people. You tell the policy people. You tell the public liaison people and the economic shop.' Danner's issue is what the federation calls Association Health Plan legislation. It would allow small business organizations to provide insurance for members' workers. President Bush has endorsed the idea often, but not in the State of the Union, the annual showpiece of his administration. A reference in the roughly hourlong address Tuesday night would be a declaration that the president considers the plan a priority and would send the same message to lawmakers whose 2004 session got under way earlier in the day."

[Williams] The Easy Feeder

Weight problems are nature's perverse intersection of passion and pain. Anyone who has tried to diet knows this. But it is especially true for horses. Like goldfish, there are some horses that can literally kill themselves with one abundant meal. They're called "easy feeders."

Saturday, January 17

Single Bar

Paul Lukas' Uni Watch examines the curious case of former Titans kicker Gary Anderson, one of the NFL's last real men and rugged individualists.

Creative Class War

Creative Class guru Richard Florida has a long, compelling piece on Alternet about political culture wars in the U.S. He writes: "The last 20 years has seen the rise of the 'culture wars' -- between those who value traditional virtues, and others drawn to new lifestyles and diversity of opinion. In truth, this clash mostly played out among intellectuals of the left and right; as sociologist Alan Wolfe has shown, most Americans manage a subtle balance between the two tendencies. Still, the cleavages exist, roughly paralleling the ideologies of the two political parties. And increasingly in the 1990s, they expressed themselves geographically, as more and more Americans chose to live in places that suited their culture and lifestyle preferences. ...

Friday, January 16

Taking Back Free Enterprise

Kevin Danaher and Jason Mark write on Alternet: "As it turns out, corporations operating in a deregulated environment do what is in the best interest of no one except the top corporate officials: government agencies and investors get lied to, pension funds lose billions, companies go bankrupt, thousands of workers lose their jobs, shareholders lose their investments, and faith in the system is shaken. Now we citizens must decide which definition of 'free enterprise' will prevail. Will it be 'the freedom of large corporations to go anywhere and do anything to people and planet' or will it be 'the freedom of everyone to be enterprising'?"

Mississippi House: Jan. 16, 2003 Weekly Recap

By Rep. Erik Fleming -- Haley Reeves Barbour's inauguration and first address to the citizens as Mississippi's 63rd governor and the announcement of committee assignments in the House of Representatives highlighted the second week of the 2004 Legislature.

New License Plate Supports the Arts

From the Mississippi Arts Commission: "House Bill 940 (legislative session 2003) authorized distinctive license tags for several organizations, including the Arts Commission. Our tag is now ready for pre-sale and we hope that you will consider supporting us with a purchase. The majority of money raised on each sale will help fund our Museum on Wheels initiative and other grant programs. To see the tag and obtain an application, visit our Web site, Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Mississippi Arts Commission. After a pre-sale of 200, these tags will be produced and available in approximately six to eight weeks.

Reese: If not Jefferson Davis ... then Dean

In "A Year for Youth," conservative columnist Charley Reese writes: "When the voting age was lowered to 18, there was a great expectation that youth would flock to the polls. It's been an unfulfilled expectation. This year, however, could be the year of youth, if young people respond to Howard Dean's appeal to their idealism. Dean is telling people that the only way to beat the super-rich and their toady, George Bush, is for people who have turned their backs on politics to get involved. That most certainly includes the 18-to-24 set. Instead of inviting people to $2,000-a-plate fund-raisers, he asks people to send what they can afford, even if it's just $10.

1st black chairman of powerful panel

Andy Kanengiser of The Clarion Ledger writes: "He's finally landed the post. House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, selected (Percy) Watson as chairman of the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. McCoy previously led the panel. 'It's a very important assignment,' Watson, an attorney and the first black lawmaker to hold the post, said minutes after clerk Don Richardson read off the list of committee assignments."

Some Senators Worth Watching

Start planning your spring and summer ... the Jackson Senators have released their 2004 schedule. The Senators open the season on May 6 at Coastal Bend. The first home game is Monday, May 10 against San Angelo at 7:05 p.m. And plan on having lunch at Smith-Wills on May 12 when the Senators play at 10:35 a.m.

Thursday, January 15

Blacks unswayed by GOP social agenda

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting: "African-Americans often agree with Republicans on social issues: abortion, prayer in schools and --- most significant in this year's presidential race --- same-sex unions. But they vote for Democrats. Ninety percent of black voters supported Democrat Al Gore over George W. Bush four years ago. Those issues don't determine how blacks vote, said University of Maryland political scientist Ron Walters.

Will single women swing the ‘04 election?

Women eNews is reporting: "Are single women the soccer moms of 2004? That's what some national Democrats are betting on as they gear up for this year's presidential election. Democratic activists are basing their convictions on a study of unmarried women released late December that showed that single women are more progressive than the average voter but are less likely to vote in national elections. Democrats contend that if they could reverse that trend and persuade more single women to go to the polls on Election Day, they could tap into a goldmine of new supporters and tilt what is now regarded as a difficult race for the White House in their favor. 'If unmarried women voted at the same rate as married women, they would have a decisive impact on this election and could be the most important agents of change in modern politics,' said Stan Greenberg, a Democratic pollster who conducted the survey and chair of Washington-based Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research."


The best in sports in the next 14 days

Men's basketball, Southern Miss vs. Marquette, 7 p.m., WSFZ (930): How strapped for cash is Southern Miss' athletics program? USM sold a CUSA home game to Marquette, which moved it to Green Bay, Wis. This would never happen in the SEC.

Minor and Stringfellow on Barbour's lack of diversity

Columnist Bill Minor writes: "Looking at the lineup of four white, male, mostly 60-something Barbour Administration appointees named last Friday, several to head socially-sensitive state agencies, two thoughts immediately came to mind:

Actor Martin Sheen, Rep. Bennie Thompson endorse Dean

The AP reports: "Thompson, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, cited Dean's efforts to develop and help rural America."

Braun Drops Out; Endorses Dean

AP is reporting: "Former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun dropped out of the presidential race Thursday and endorsed Howard Dean as 'a Democrat we can all be proud to support.'

Holiday Hoops

The MHSAA State Basketball Tournament is still a couple of months away, but the Mississippi Coliseum will be the site of some big-time high school hoops on Martin Luther King Day.

Wednesday, January 14

"I Hear That Train A'Comin'" Scott Miller

Singer/songwriter Scott Miller, formerly of the V-Roys and now a Sugar Hill recording artist, is a true triple threat. He is a great songwriter and singer and fantastic guitar player. Miller's music, however, does not defy description—pure and simple, it rocks. While the Sugar Hill label has long been associated with bluegrass artists, Miller's jangly, twangy, lean, rocking sound somehow fits into the label's historic mission. If there is truly such a thing as alt-country, "Upside/Downside" is it.

Celebrity DUI Update

Soon-to-be-former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia was driving home from a San Jose Sharks game when he was pulled over and arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. If it weren't for hockey, football players would never drink alcoholic beverages.

Opening Shots

Content Provider's Note: Doctor S has lengthened his name and started writing for the print edition of JFP on a regular basis. So get off your ass and pick up the print edition. There's some other stuff in there that you need to read, too. Meanwhile, Doctor S will also post the Amazing Sports page on the SportsBlog..

[Jacktown] Throwbacks and Hot Acts, by Alphonso Mayfield

Another year has passed. While I must admit that 2003 was hotter than a country nightclub on a Delta summer night, 2004 looks to be even more promising—especially for new groups. But let's begin with the announcement of David Banner's latest release, "MTA2: Baptized In Dirty Water." While critical assessment has been mixed, the album debuted at No. 17 on the R&B and hip-hop charts moving around 50 thousands units. The album also showed a slight increase to 16 the following week. Look for the video for the new single "Crank It Up" (which was recorded in ATL) to be impacting shortly.

"These Things Take Time," Peabody

I've been a Peabody junkie for years. I first caught this dead-ahead New Orleans rock band more than 10 years ago at an Anne Rice coven party. They've been in my head ever since. As befitting the title of their fourth album, it's been a while since Peabody's last outing. After all, "These Things Take Time" (Halt Music Co.). Man, was it worth it! I listened all the way back from New Orleans, where the band had its recent CD release party at the Howlin' Wolf. I catch it on headsets in my office every chance I get. OK, I'm addicted again.

Barbour Stashes Riches in Blind Trust

[Statement] (Jackson, Miss.)--In one of his first actions after his Inauguration, Governor Haley Barbour created a blind trust and will place all of his investment and income earning assets in it. Previously, Governor Barbour resigned as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Barbour, Griffith and Rogers, Inc., his Washington lobbying firm. The firm is entirely owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies, a holding company that is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Salter on Barbour Inauguration

The Clarion-Ledger's Sid Salter writes today: "Coupled with the state's money problems is the political reality that Barbour, Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, House Speaker Billy McCoy and the vast majority of lawmakers in both houses ran for election or re-election on the strength of a no-new-taxes platform. Barbour inherits 'built-in' expenses from the previous administration that include the latter phases of the $338 million, six-year phased teacher pay increases, economic development incentives to Nissan, Northrup Grumman and Howard Industries and state bonded indebtedness that approaches 7 percent of the state's general fund."

Let the Games Begin

A lobbyist has become the second Republican governor since Reconstruction; the lieutenant governor turned Republican in the middle of her last term; the first new speaker of the house has been elected in 16 years. No matter how strange things seem, they always make perfect sense within the context of Mississippi politics. And now more than one political observer thinks state legislators might start making law along party lines.

Haley Barbour's Inaugural Address

Inaugural Trivia

Barbour Stashes Riches in Blind Trust

[City Buzz] Kenny Said He's Gonna Slap Me

MAMA, KENNY SAID HE'S GONNA SLAP ME: About time you think that Kenneth Stokes has calmed the hell down, someone goes and sets him off again. Even though we can see why anybody would want to slap the maddening Ben Allen now and then, shame on Stokes. That said, we don't think Stokes gets a fair rap in the city, or at least in Northeast Jackson and the suburbs and the daily paper, but threatening to pop anyone in front of cameras seems so, well, caveman. Also amazing, Allen suddenly announced for the cameras that a man sitting in the front row—Leon Horne, apparently a Council gadfly and Brown supporter—had allegedly threatened his life if didn't support Brown's promotion. Huh?

The Surging General

There's no doubt that Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, a medical doctor and former governor of Vermont, has excited young voters. With his upturned fists and shrill, outspoken dislike for the policies of George W. Bush, he echoes the disenfranchisement of many young (and not-so-young) Democrats. His hot-tempered "anger" and populist posturing has motivated voters like few candidates before him in recent memory, causing him to be compared to everyone from Harry Truman (a comparison he makes himself) to George McGovern and to both Presidents Roosevelt. And, for the past few months, his national poll numbers have enjoyed a lot of empty space between them and the rest of the nine Democratic presidential candidates up against Bush this year—at least until now.

Honey, They're Shrinking Lynette

Yeah, I know it's that time of year when we're supposed to have made resolutions and already broken or forgotten each and every one of them. And I'm not about to tell you I'm any different, but I did make one and have kept it. On Monday, Jan. 5, I made my way in the blasted cold at about 6:20 p. m. to sign up for The Greater Jackson Shrinkdown 2004.

Luis Bruno

If you believe that life can come full circle, you might also buy that some people's lives have more than one circle. Circle No.1 for 34-year-old Luis Bruno started when he was 13 in Tivoli, N.Y.—upstate about 20 miles from Hyde Park where his family had moved from his native Bronx—at his brother's business called Bruno's. "It was a produce, meat ... seafood market, dairy … deli … [and] a pizzeria later on, from there we had a family restaurant," he says. Bruno decided that attending culinary school was the next logical step for him. He packed up and moved to Clearwater, Fla., where he attended Pinellas Technical Education Center for two years. There he met his wife, Kathleen, a native of Mississippi, while in school. "We graduated top in our class," Bruno states with a soft glow in his brown eyes. After graduation and getting married in 1995, the Brunos moved to Jackson to be near her family.

[Capitol Buzz] Coolers, Hoopy and Crosses, Oh My

HERE COME THE CROSSES: Right to Life of Jackson has changed its name to Pro-Life Mississippi and is planning a slate of activities to lobby the Legislature, especially to give health-care workers the right to opt out of participating in an abortion procedure. On its Web site, the group announced that it is again erecting 2,000 crosses on the Capitol lawn, an act that raised a few anti-establishment eyebrows last year (but not of Gov. Ronnie Musgrove). They are meeting Saturday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m. at the Capitol to erect the crosses. The Candlelight Memorial for the Unborn will be held Saturday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. amid the crosses on the lawn. …

2004 Capitol Games: Hot Issues

<b>It's About Education, Stupid!</b>

Also see Ayana's Guide to Need-to-Know Capitol Poop

Capitol Games: Ayana's Guide


Following is the JFP's primer to need-to-know information about the Legislature and state government. We will be adding information as we go. Send suggested information to: [e-mail missing]

Tuesday, January 13

Barbour Inaugural Trivia

At the ceremony, the Inaugural Committee handed out 4,000 Magnolia tree seedlings to the attendees. These young trees symbolize the potential for growth within the Magnolia State over the next four years. Everyone's encouraged to plant these seedlings and watch them prosper.

[Stiggers] Something in the Meat Ain't Clean

In the wake of the current United States beef problem, the Lacto-Vegetarian Church International invites the public to attend an alternative nutrition, lifestyle and spiritual conference: "Something In The Meat Ain't Clean: Living the Non-Carnivorous Life." Hear the Rev. Bean Sprout of the Lacto-Vegetarian Church International deliver a profound, spiritual message titled "Soy Protein: The Fiber Of Our Lives." Listen to the Rev. Dr. Thomas Vegan III speak on the topic of "Prophetic Advertising: Cows Convince Masses To Eat More Chicken." Dr. Peanut of the George Washington Carver Holistic Health Commission of Tuskegee, Ala., will share information from his new book "Tofu as Soul Food.''

Politically Incorrect Dining

With all the advice given to the new Legislature about education, tort reform and the economy, I have not read or heard one person address the most important decision made by anyone on a per diem—where to eat. Initially I was shocked by this oversight. On reflection, however, I understand it. The waters of political correctness are treacherous. Recent examples include Trent Lott and Hillary Clinton, proving most politicians only open their mouths to change feet.

Monday, January 12

Dawgs: Good or Great?

Amazing Sports debuts this issue and will be in every issue of the JFP. For daily (more or less) updates, see Doctor S' Amazing Sports Blog.

[Fleming] Storm Clouds A'Brewin

There is nothing like the honeymoon period of a governmental transition. Optimism is running rampant, public officials are cordial to each other, and controversy doesn't seem to raise our blood pressure as high. But, alas, this too shall pass, and we will be right back to normal, stabbing each other in the back, making insensitive decisions and forgetting our purpose.

Attention Duffers

Tired of playing golf at the local muni? Dancing Rabbit Golf Club in Choctaw is offering a frequent player program that gives you a chance to win free rounds of golf. Through Feb. 29, golfers who play three rounds at Dancing Rabbit will get a free fourth round. Players who complete all four rounds by Feb. 29 will be registered to win free golf through Sept. 30. The drawing will be held March 1. For more information, call the Dancing Rabbit golf shop at (601) 663-0011 or 1-866-44-PEARL.

Space…The Fiscal Frontier?

No less an expert on fiscal responsibility than Treasury Secretary (and former railroad baron) John Snow did the chat shows on Sunday to push the notion that a new, bold moon and Mars initiative would not be too expensive of an undertaking. The story notes that a similar plan proposed by G.H.W. Bush (but without a moon base) would have cost $400-500 billion in 1989 dollars.

Sunday, January 11

Poll: Alternative news gaining influence over TV, dailies

AP reports: "People are turning increasingly to alternatives such as the Internet for news about the presidential campaign, shifting away from traditional outlets such as the nightly network news and newspapers, a poll found. Young adults were leading the shift, with one-fifth of them considering the Internet a top source of campaign news for them, said the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. About the same number of young adults said they regularly learn about the campaign from comedy shows like 'The Daily Show' and 'Saturday Night Live.' ... Nightly network news was named as a regular source of campaign news by 35 percent, down from 45 percent four years ago, and newspapers by 31 percent, down from 40 percent. ... Four years ago, young people were far more likely to have said they learned about the campaign from nightly network news, 39 percent, than the Internet or comedy programs. Now, all three are cited about equally as sources of campaign news. ... Comedy shows like "The Daily Show"are making fun of what they see as the insufficiency of news programs, especially those on cable," said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism. He said that highlights the need for more traditional news shows to learn how to appeal to younger adults."

JSU expansion hurting neighborhood?

Tease photo

Haley's Choice: Native Son Barbour Comes Home to Run for Governor

The big sign draped between two trees next to the Neshoba County Fair pavilion in August 1982 caused a lot of drama: "Happy Birthday, Senator Stennis."

Saturday, January 10

Lott supports direct D.C.-Jackson air service

Dean campaign: ‘Annoy the media'

The corporate media's habit of taking quotes out of context is being discussed on Dean's Blog for America right now. Here's a posting by Matthew Gross that is a very telling exchange between CNN's Paula Zahn's and Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi:

Patsies and Parcells

The NFL playoffs resume on Saturday which makes this a perfect time to read Charles P. Pierce's essay on the myth of the tough Boston sports fans and Mike Shropshire's on God's coach, Bill Parcells, who naturally coaches God's team, the Dallas Cowboys. Amen.

Friday, January 9

‘The Harry Truman of our generation'

In a big endorsement, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa has endorsed Howard Dean just days before the primary there, reports the Associated Press, "calling him the 'kind of plain-spoken Democrat we need' and giving a key boost to the embattled front-runner 10 days before the state's kick-off caucuses. ... In the interview, Harkin praised Dean's straightforward approach to campaigning, saying it brought a breath of fresh air to the campaign trail. He said the former Vermont governor is 'the Harry Truman of our generation. Howard Dean is really the kind of plain-spoken Democrat we need.'"

MoveOn, Bush, Hitler and the RNC

If you've heard anything about the recent flap over MoveOn's reported advertisements, comparing Bush to Hitler, you need to read this Salon article, which gives the rest of the story. It's another example of how things that are 'widely reported' are often not reported entirely accurately. "Two online entries out of hundreds in MoveOn's TV-spot contest compared Bush to Hitler, and Republicans cry 'hate speech.' But they're the ones who are twisting the truth," Salon reports.

Bush backed by core supporters; women undecided

AP is reporting: "Men, evangelicals and rural voters are supporting President Bush by big margins at the start of this election year, while traditionally Democratic-leaning groups such as women have more divided loyalties, an Associated Press poll found. More people say they will definitely vote for Bush's re-election, 41 percent, than say they will definitely vote against him, 33 percent, according to the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs. Another 24 percent said they would consider voting for someone else. ... n the question of re-electing Bush or definitely voting for someone else, men were more likely to vote to re-elect Bush by 49 percent to 26 percent. And rural voters leaned toward Bush by an equally lopsided margin. White evangelicals said they would support Bush rather than vote for someone else by an even wider margin. Women were more divided, with 39 percent saying they would definitely vote for someone else and 35 percent saying they would vote to re-elect Bush."

Thursday, January 8

JFP in 2004

Bowers Wow Wow

The SEC basketball season got off to a rousing start as Mississippi State rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat Ole Miss 61-54 Wednesday night before a capacity crowd in Oxford. The Sun Herald's Jim Mashek and the Daily Journal's Gene Phelps say Timmy Bowers was the difference maker. Is it too early to start playing Bracketology?

Creative Class Rising

Now and then, we bring our first cover story ever back to the top of the site to remind readers just how close Jackson is to becoming a magnet for young creatives, and what we need to do to make it happen.

Wednesday, January 7

Mississippi abuzz about Britney? Really?

Why run this letter???

Tuesday, January 6

Tears For Mr. Spears?

Sawyer: Were these two a couple before this?

Sports fans are still buzzing about one of the biggest stories of the year: No, it's not Pete Rose or who's No. 1 in college football, it's Britney Spears' wedding. Matt Hays, a columnist for ESPN's Page 2, provides the 411 on the wedding of the century (so far). Speaking of Britney, did you see Diane Sawyer's interview with a pair of the former Mr. Spears' homeboys on ABC on Tuesday morning? It probably wasn't the proudest moment in the history of Kentwood, La.

Monday, January 5

A Skate That Will Live In Infamy


Can you believe it was exactly ten years ago Tuesday (Jan. 6, 1994) that Nancy Kerrigan was whacked on the knee and Tonya Harding started the long road toward becoming a mediocre professional boxer? Well, Tonya's hoping people will forget what happened back then, stating "It's just like, you know, that was then and this is now, and I've gone on with my life." Ah Tonya, always the gifted speaker, you took the, uh, you know, the uh, words--yeah, that's it--right out of my mouth. Please don't have my knee smacked! Full story

The Knob Of God?

When pro soccer makes it in America, hopefully we will have more stories like this one. Yahoo News reports, "Argentinian police are searching for a fake penis used by Diego Maradona to beat drug tests while playing for Napoli in Italy.The fake plastic manhood was filled with 'clean' urine to make sure the footballer's sample was acceptable.The plastic piece was given to a museum in Buenos Aires but disappeared on a countrywide tour." Wait, it gets worse. "A police source told the (UK's) Daily Star Sunday: 'It's quite an unusual theft but I suppose it is valuable because of its former owner. We're confident we can sniff it out.' "

Charlie Hustler

Pete Rose admits he bet on baseball in his new book. Shocking. This just in ... O.J. killed two people and got away with it. BTW, Pete's new autobiography turns his 1989 autobiography into fiction. Oops. Now we knew what Pete needed to set the record straight: the right literary agent.

Sunday, January 4

Alternate Development of the Pearl River

Saturday, January 3

Bush ‘hatred'; Wilson Carroll Talks Back

Very compelling column by E. J. Dionne Jr. in the Washington Post: "Republicans won in 2002, but Bush lost most Democrats forever. Conservative critics of "Bush hatred" like to argue that opposition to the president is a weird psychological affliction. It is nothing of the sort. It is a rational response to getting burned. They are, as a friend once put it, biting the hand that slapped them in the face. No one understood this sense of betrayal better or earlier than Howard Dean. Dean's candidacy took off because many in the Democratic rank and file were furious that Washington Democrats allowed themselves to be taken to the cleaners. Many of Dean's current loyalists had been just as supportive of Bush after Sept. 11 because they, too, felt that doing so was patriotic. So Dean also spoke to their personal sense of grievance."

Friday, January 2

Howard Dean on the race question

"'Dealing with race is about educating white folks,' [Howard] Dean said in an interview Tuesday on a campaign swing through the first primary state where African-American voters will have a major impact. 'Not because white people are worse than black people about race but because whites are in the majority, and therefore the behavior of whites has a much bigger influence on hiring practices and so forth and so on than the behavior of African-Americans.'"

Sweet Rose Bowl

Southern Cal ran through Michigan in the Rose Bowl like Reuben through a buffet line. The Trojans only won 28-14, but that was because Pete Carroll was being polite. It wasn't that close. Look for the "BCS bitchfest" (as anonymousPrime so eloquently put it) to reach new heights in the coming week. Meanwhile, LSU is going to beat Oklahoma in the BCS title game (aka the Sugar Bowl) 24-17.

Rebs Roll Cowboys

All hail the Ole Miss Elis for their nail-biting 31-28 victory over Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. Ole Miss won't be nearly as much fun to follow now that the second generation of Mannings is leaving Oxford.

Dean to Washington Dems: Drop Dead!

Sidney Blumenthal writes in Salon that Dean's gaffes may well be helping him:

‘The New Republicans': ‘Drunken sailor' spending?

The NY Times editorializes: "The most striking thing about the new Republicanism is the way it embraces big government. The Bush administration has presided over a $400 billion expansion of Medicare entitlements. The party that once campaigned to abolish the Department of Education has produced an education plan that involves unprecedented federal involvement in local public schools. There is talk from the White House about a grandiose new moon shot. Budgetary watchdogs like the Heritage Foundation echo the Republican Senator John McCain's complaint about 'drunken sailor' spending." ...

Rebels In High Cotton

Ole Miss plays Oklahoma State on Thursday in the Cotton Bowl. It should be one of the more entertaining games of the bowl season. (Of course, Dr. S thought the Liberty and Rose bowls would be a lot of fun to watch, too.) But Dr. S will give the nod to Eli and the Greys ... UM 35, OSU 27

Thursday, January 1

Happy New Year, All!

Rebel Yelp

Former Jacksonian Alex Heard tells Slate why he loves Ole Miss and you should, too. Uh, Alex, would you settle for Dr. S pulling for the Rebels in the Cotton Bowl? Dr. S also agrees with Alex that Ole Miss' football uniforms are among the best in college football. So good that the N.Y. Giants decided several years ago that they wanted to wear 'em, too.

Who's No. 1?, Part 1

In "2001: A Space Odyssey" a computer gone amok attempted to destroy a mission to one of the moons of Jupiter. In 2003, computer polls gone amok destroyed the BCS. Southern Cal should be in the Sugar Bowl, not the Rose Bowl, playing for the national championship. Instead, USC is playing Michigan in today's Rose Bowl, thanks to the antics of the BCS computers. If the Trojans win, they will almost certainly win the AP national title. Is there some way we can blame this on Saddam?

USM Offense MIA

Utah 17, Southern Miss 0. Dr. S didn't see that one coming. Of course, Dr. S thought USM's offense was going to show up for the game. It didn't. And what was Jeff Bower thinking putting Micky D'Angelo into the game? It looked like the guy suffered another concussion when he got sacked near the end of the game. According to the spies in Hattiesburg, you can take whatever number of concussions they give for D'Angelo concussions and at least double it.