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Analysis: Agency trying to clip its own bureaucratic backlog

A Mississippi agency that many people describe as a bureaucratic nightmare is getting a long-needed makeover. The state Board of Cosmetology recently hired a new executive director who is working to clear up a backlog of licensing problems. Technology workers have also finished the agency’s conversion to a new computer system to handle licensing applications for people who earn a ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Save us from doofus driven debacles

“Doofus” is an intriguing and timely word. The Oxford Living Dictionary says it likely originated in North America in the 1960s and suggests it is either an alteration of the word “goofus” or from the Scottish word “doof” meaning dolt. The Online Etymology Dictionary says it is “probably related to doo-doo and goofus.” The definitions range from “a foolish or ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Do Republicans really care about debt reduction?

So, is reducing the national debt still the priority concern for Republican leaders?   Remember the rhetoric:   “The national debt threatens our way of life; it threatens the value of our national currency; and it threatens our ability to pay for entitlements that millions of Americans depend on,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2009. And that’s why ...

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Analysis: Faces, usually not parties, change in 4-year term

Some faces may change in the Mississippi Legislature during a four-year term, but parties often don’t. The 52 senators and 122 representatives might want to look at their colleagues on inauguration day. Most will still be at the Capitol at the end of the term. Because of resignations or death, some will not. Legislators are approaching the midpoint of the ...

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BEN WILLIAMS — The one U.S. Supreme Court opinion to read in 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court’s regular term ended Friday, June 30, 2017, and the nine lifetime Justices began their summer recesses. A vacant seat and a perceived 4-4 ideological split clouded expectations in October when the court term began.  Six months into the session, Justice Gorsuch joined the bench in a televised swearing-in ceremony conducted by swing-vote Justice Kennedy at the ...

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TODD SMITH — Best headlines in a digital age

A well-written headline is worth its weight in audience-grabbing gold! That is especially true in our digital age. It is difficult to overstate the importance of headlines. A good headline can entice and engage your audience to click, read and share your content. In many cases headlines are the thing that is shared rather than the article. So you knew that. ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: ‘Shared Services’ still no laughing matter

George Carlin’s word skits made me laugh… and sometimes think. His monologue about “shell shock” morphing to “battle fatigue” then to “post-traumatic stress disorder” lampoons how we have come to use less disturbing, more benign words to camouflage reality. It came to mind when the Governor made his budget proposal. (No, not our current governor. I wrote this and the ...

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TODD SMITH — White House communications team affects PR profession perception

Members of the White House communications team are traditionally the most prominent public relations professionals in the world. As the most visible figures in American and global media, they are a key voice for advancing presidential policies and priorities that affect not only Americans, but also citizens around the world. Under the current administration, they are also affecting something else ...

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TODD SMITH — Brands benefit from trusted news source partnerships

Reuters called this past year “the year the media became the headline” in the release of its Tomorrow’s News 2017 report. The news publisher surveyed more than 1,700 Reuters.com users in April and May to discuss advertising, awareness and perception of other news websites. As the news cycle has developed, the study from Reuters has found that news consumers are ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — What makes a good mayor?

Now that municipal elections in Mississippi are over it’s time for the winning candidates to consider their new roles. Those who are assuming office for the first time will discover that being a mayor or board/council member is quite different from being a candidate. Being a mayor in particular is one of the toughest jobs going.  A mayor does not ...

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