Monday, June 29, 2009

Rep. Mayo's Report on the Special Session

We just came back from a recess that started at 12:30.  We came in a two, it is now 2:15 and we are taking a break til 4:30. 

The House passed its half of the general fund appropriation bills this afternoon and we are awaiting the senate's half of the appropriations.

The Speaker also announced that when we come back at 4 we may have word on a Medicaid solution shortly after that.

The House passed the Education funding bill which included full funding of MAEP as well as the teacher incentives.

Here is the location of the whole bill with an amendment that was added on the Floor



Unless the governor extends the session to Medicaid we will probably be gone sometime tonight.


Just a Little Bit Nervous . . .

I suppose I was the only person in America who didn't know that Billy May's death was the day after a rocky landing on a US Air flight to Tampa.  Of course, I learned that while reading today's paper on board . . . a US Air flight.  Wonderful way to start the week.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Moving Day

We're moving this blog to, which we hope will make it easier for new readers to find.

So please join us at the new
Ipse Blogit -- and tell your friends!

Followers, I think you have to re-register at the new site. Sorry!

"Significant federal indictment"

According to the Jackson Free Press Twitter feed, "Acting U.S. Attorney Stan Harris announcing 'a significant federal indictment' Tuesday at 3 p.m. in Jackson."

Anybody know anything?

Tip of the hat to the Jackson Free Press, obviously, and to Rep. Greg Snowden for the "re-tweet."

Anchors Aweigh!

WASHINGTON (June 18, 2009) Secretary of the Defense the Honorable Robert Gates, left, administers the Oath of Office to Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Ray Mabus during a ceremony at the Naval Support Activity Washington-Washington Navy Yard. Mabus, the former governor of Mississippi, is the 75th Secretary of the Navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Joseph P. Cirone/Released) (

h/t Dorsey Carson via Facebook

"I'm Not Dead Yet" -- Section 5 of Voting Rights Act Survives Attack

The authoritative SCOTUSblog has an excellent, brief summary of the Supreme Court's ruling today in the Voting Rights Act case that presented the issue, among others, of whether Section 5 of the Act should be "nullified." SCOTUSblog reports:

With only one Justice voting to strike down Congress’s 25-year extension of the Voting Rights Act’s controversial Section 5, the Supreme Court on Monday interpreted the law in a way that saves it. The Court said that all local units of government must be given the option to bail out of the requirement that they get Washington approval for any changes in their election laws or methods.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., writing for an eight-member majority in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District v. Holder (08-322), said that Section 5 has achieved “historic accomplishments,” but “now raises serious constitutional concerns.”

And, he said, while the Court would not shrink from its duty to apply the Constitution to block “legislative encroachments,” the Court also was obliged to decide a case by interpreting the scope of legislation if that route is available as an alternative to striking down the law altogether. That is the option it chose.

My two cents: I can't agree with his assessment of "serious constitutional concerns," but Chief Justice Roberts kept his word on this one. If he continues to follow Justice Brandeis's version of judicial restraint, which requires the Court to give Congress the benefit of the doubt by interpreting laws so that they can be upheld under the Constitution, then the Obama Era will not be threatened by the Bush v Gore Court.

Did someone forget to tell the Governor that the Legislature has reached an agreement on a budget?

Normally, one would travel from the State Capitol to the Clarion-Ledger building by walking right past the Governor's Mansion:

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But if we're to believe what we're hearing from Haley's foot soldiers, the news of a budget deal must have followed this route:

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In short, it appears as though Haley is going to attempt to deny the existence of a deal in an effort to avoid having to take responsibility for a looming state government shutdown. In all honesty, Barbour wants the budget negotiations to fail, as he sees it as a way to amass power. According to Barbour, he can run state government via his fiat in the event a budget is not passed.

Barbour should know better. This game of budgetary chicken didn't work out well for the GOP during the Clinton Administration, and it won't work this time. Here's why: The general public, on a very instinctive level, views Democrats as the ones who support government services and Republicans as the ones who oppose them. As a result, the public can't envision Democrats willingly shutting the government down and ending state services. They can, however, see Republicans doing so. After all, Republicans get elected to office railing against "big government" and touting private sector alternatives. It's truly that simple.

And if Phil Bryant and Alan Nunnelee aren't careful, they're going to wind up the real casualties of this debacle. Barbour doesn't have to go before the voters of this state again. Bryant's running for Governor, and Nunnelee is setting up a Congressional run. The voters will not look favorably upon a government shutdown on their watch.