Jackson Precincts

trending towards self-government


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Precinct 16-A

The Hinds County Election Commission or the courts have split my precinct as a small part of the redistricting that routinely follows the census data. Who would care about that besides the lawmakers, the voter, likely candidates, United States Appeals court judges, United States Department of Justice, the major political parties, and the fourth estate? Its all worked out now though the State authorities did not have the specific details about my precinct. My precinct 16 had been combined with another small precinct (15), but the matter was skipped over or not understood properly by the State.

The map shows a slice of the easternmost part of Hinds County being added to the land mass known as Harper country.

See http://www.msjrc.state.ms.us/pdf/congress_court_plan_report_dec2011.pdf

Ms. Connie Cochran explained this all to me today over the phone and emailed the precinct maps that showed North State Street or US Highway 51 as the boundary line between the second and third congressional districts.

I thought the Delta had been losing population so they might put more urban Jackson in rather taking out. Bennie had been my man in Washington for so many years, but now its Gregg Harper. Mr. Harper is an up and coming young Republican who has earned his spurs and will now contend for the sixth most powerful spot in the house conference as secretary.

 

My polling box location at the Woodland Hills Baptist Church will have to add a few more poll workers and crowd a couple of more tables in the room. It should be interesting on Election Day from the precinct to the national tally.

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Another Barbour insider

Henry and Austin Barbour are following in the political and lobbyist profession of their uncle, Haley Reeves Barbour, former Mississippi Governor and Washington, DC insider. The nephews have worked in campaigns and central committees at the state and national level. Henry was covered in a January 12, 2011 New York Times article titled “In R.N.C. Battle, the Other Barbour Steps Out” as a national party leader in his role in unseating Michael Steele of Maryland, the former Republican National Committee chairman. The national central committee replaced Steel at its next meeting.

Austin F. Barbour was photographed with Romney campaign senior advisors yesterday in Burlington, Mass. where the candidate was rehearsing for tonight’s presidential debate. See <a href=”http://www.ksl.com/?sid=22572443&amp;nid=1164″ title=”Austin Barbour photo” target=”_blank”></a>

The younger Barbour’s role is not known in the earlier presidential debate or in the town hall style contest this evening. Earlier this year his Romney Campaign position was styled ‘Finance Chairman’.

The majority of Washington lobbyist firms and their functionaries are betting and giving to the Romney campaign.  See http://firststreetresearch.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/first-street-research-group-gop-report-v2.pdf

The national elevation of the Barbour nephews in presidential politics is happening in the midst of historical increases in presidential campaign cash and donation secrecy.


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Salt domes & industries

Assumption Parish has recently had to evacuate residents near a huge sink hole that geologists believe is related to the collapse of a salt dome being used by industry to store products. The Richton Salt Dome has been considered for the National Petroleum Reserve program. Here is an abstract from a recent scientific report:

http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/984101-poO6sb/984101.pdf

“The design of caverns in salt must consider the unique mechanical behavior of the salt compared to that of other geologic media. For example, salt is known to creep (time-dependent deformation) when subjected to shear stress and elevated temperature. As a result, caverns may close over time, particularly at low cavern fluid pressures, thereby reducing the volume available for storage. In addition, salt is also known to dilate (volume expansion) through a process of stress-induced microfracturing that creates new porosity. Microfracturing may also cause localized spalling of salt slabs from the cavern roof and walls (Munson et al, 2003) which could lead to damage of the hanging strings that provide access to the stored oil and ultimately to disruption of operations…
The salt was previously tested as part of the Office of Nuclear Waste Isolation (ONWI) program in the early/mid-1980’s that evaluated the dome as a potential candidate for high level nuclear waste storage.”

Source:

Revised results for geomechanical testing of MRIG-9 core for the potential SPR siting at the Richton Salt Dome.
Author: Scott Thomas Broome; Sandia National Laboratories; Stephen J Bauer
Publisher: United States 2010 Feb 01


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Power of the President

Our President being the leader of the free world has amassed great political and military power. The last two presidents have extended the police powers of the Executive beyond recognition. He is no longer a constitutional figure and our republic is a historical notion. The Congress has given up its constitutional power in favor of the “national security interest” which has little to do with security and even less that is truly national. It ceded the war powers to the President long ago and recently the “power of the purse” to the Federal Reserve and the Treasury. The Commission on Presidential Debates is a political operation of the Presidency with the opposition political party in contrast to an independent commission. The many departments of the general government are extensions of presidential power. Our president oversees the global political economy without legal authority and only appears in domestic political arenas during the campaigns.


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Obvious totalitarianism

Political thought is elastic not dualistic. In our constitutional system we have three branches not two and the political parties are not found in our organic law. See http://www.p2012.org/parties/

I wonder if the parties collapsed due to political failure–would civil order fail too? Or would democracy evolved into a more obvious totalitarianism? The elastic nature of democracy would favor more political diversity if that is truly the nature of our current system.


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Social costs of alcoholism

Nearly a quarter of all Americans engaged in heavy drinking in the last month according to a 2011 SAMSA study. Heavy drinking or a binge is having five or more drinks at one sitting in the last month. Binges are associated with car crashes, injuries, disabilities, and death.

Mississippi collects over $100 million in alcohol taxes. $71 M comes to the Dept. of Revenue from the ABC and $30 M from the “Beer and Wine tax”. Our state’s beer is taxed at a high level compared to other states, but our wine tax is very low. Mississippi should tax the wine drinker like the beer drinker. Hard liquor and the softer alcohols should be taxed equally and should be allocated to the treatment of alcoholism, substance abuse, and mental health. $6 M was allocated to the Dept. of Mental Health in FY2011 from the $71 M collected on the ABC tax. See the Dept of Revenue http://www.dor.ms.gov/docs/stats_AnnualReport2011A.pdf

Medicaid, mental health, hospital, welfare, & rehabilitation services are very large and increasing state expenditures.


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Mississippi State Budget

                                                      Major Budget Items 

Medicaid                            $5.4 billion

Education                           $3.1 billion

Universities                      $2.4 billion

Human Services              $1.3 billion

Transportation                $1.1 billion

Mental Health                  $600 million

Development Authority   $506 million

Emergency Management    $492 million

Treasury                                    $488 million

Health                                         $440 million

Corrections                              $340 million

Junior Colleges                       $312

Environment                           $310

Rehabilitation Services       $216

Employment Security          $216

Information Technology     $168

Public Safety                             $160

Military                                       $141

Dept of Revenue                      $141

Finance & Admin                     $121

Port of Gulfport                        $87

Wildlife Fisheries                     $73

Supreme Court                         $60

Governors Office                      $51

Veteran Home Purchase       $47

Insurance Dept                          $42

             Veterans                                       $38 million

https://www.transparency.mississippi.gov/state_budget_agency_name1.0/index.php