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BILL CRAWFORD: Will Trump’s strongman example become U.S. norm?

Dictators rule. In the U.S., presidents are supposed to govern. The differences between ruling and governing are stark, e.g., Russia’s Vladimir Putin rules, Germany’s Angela Merkel governs.   Unlike Ronald Reagan, our current president just doesn’t get it. President Donald Trump tends to praise the Putins and disdain the Merkels.   “President Donald Trump’s affinity for authoritarian leaders across the ...

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Analysis: Mississippi lawmakers leave big issues unresolved

Leaders of the Republican-dominated Mississippi Legislature put only a few big items on their to-do list for 2018, and two of the biggest — education and transportation— remained unresolved when the nearly three-month session was gaveled to a close Wednesday. The House and Senate completed two must-do items: They wrote a $6.1 billion state budget for the year that begins ...

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TODD SMITH — Facebook finally responded to Cambridge Analytica crisis

The media, communications pros, lawmakers and investors – along with the rest of the world – continuously asked: where is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the wake of the spiraling Cambridge Analytica private data crisis. Zuckerberg and Facebook faced significant media criticism for not addressing reports that Cambridge Analytica obtained the private data of tens of millions of the platform’s ...

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Analysis: Conservatives eye constitution to cut spending

Some Mississippi lawmakers are again seeking constitutional changes to balance the federal budget and limit federal government power. The House last week voted for a resolution calling for a convention of the states to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution, passing the resolution and sending it on to the Senate on a 76-42 vote. This may sound familiar to Magnolia ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Key GOP legislators must be fake Republicans too

Hey, all you Mississippi legislators who switched from Democrat to Republican. Yes, all y’all who vote the conservative party line and give Republicans super-majorities in the House and Senate. Are y’all really fake Republicans?   That seems to be the message coming from your colleague Sen. Chris McDaniel regarding another former legislator who switched from Democrat to Republican.   “”Before ...

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TODD SMITH — Social media landscape dotted by longstanding trends, emerging narratives

A new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults finds that the social media landscape in early 2018 is defined by a mix of long-standing trends and newly emerging narratives. Facebook and YouTube dominate this landscape, as notable majorities of U.S. adults use each of these sites. At the same time, younger Americans (especially those ages 18 to 24) stand out ...

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BOBBY HARRISON: New U.S. senators in Mississippi don’t come along often

In my lifetime, Mississippi’s two United States Senate seats have been held by five men – John Stennis, James Eastland, Thad Cochran, Trent Lott and Roger Wicker. During roughly the same time period, there have been 12 presidents, 13 governors of Mississippi, 18 No. 1 hits (a disputed number) by Elvis Presley, 11 head football coaches at Mississippi State University ...

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Analysis: Auditor wants improved use of accounting system

State Auditor Stacy Pickering says an increasing number of accounting problems shows state employees need more training in governmental accounting practices and how to use the $100 million accounting software system that the state turned on in 2014. But maybe the more important question is, can anyone make recalcitrant agencies care? That’s one main thrust of the findings that Pickering ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — McDaniel switcheroo shifts hot seat from Wicker to Bryant

Call it what you will, state Senator Chris McDaniel blinked. Despite his earlier caustic rhetoric, he will not challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Roger Wicker in the Republican Primary. Instead, he will compete in what he hopes will be an easier pathway to the Senate, the special election to fill retiring Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat. Assuming his billionaire funders stick with ...

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