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Analysis: Mississippi budget practices receive mixed grades

A nonpartisan group that evaluates state government budget practices is giving mostly midlevel marks to Mississippi. The Volcker Alliance was formed four years ago by Paul A. Volcker, a former board chairman of the Federal Reserve, with the goal of making government more efficient. The alliance issued a report Nov. 2 called “Truth and Integrity in State Budgeting,” which evaluates all states’ ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Reeves’ fiscal plan risky for teachers and retirees

State economist Darrin Webb projects state general fund revenues will fall for the third consecutive year. That’s unusual. According to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, declines of just two years in a row “have only occurred four previous times since 1970.” Jeff Amy with the Associated Press in an excellent analysis of the Mississippi’s economy said, “State spending this year ...

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TODD SMITH — Fake news hurts trust in media, especially social

Controversies over fake news have damaged trust in media in the United States and elsewhere, but the impact is far worse for social media and online-only outlets than it is for traditional print and TV outlets, a survey has found. The research and data company Kantar, in a survey of 8,000 people in the United States, Brazil, Britain and France, ...

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Analysis: There’s no hiding Mississippi’s economic weakness

Let’s make this simple — Mississippi’s economy is weak and shows few signs of growing stronger. This is a state where total economic output in 2016 still was lower than in 2008, before the recession. Not coincidentally, it’s a state where employers had fewer workers on their payrolls in September 2017 than in February 2008. And that 2008 peak came ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Put the spotlight on big business to grow U.S. jobs

President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress should add one small thing to the tax reform bill to truly help make American great again.   In case you haven’t noticed, corporate earnings are driving the stock market to record highs. Across the board, earnings are up; earnings are strong.    When the corporate tax cut House Republican leaders revealed last ...

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TODD SMITH — National Publicist Day a day for the ages

We celebrated National Publicist Day earlier this week – on Monday, Oct. 30 It honors the date in 1906 when the New York Times printed the very first press release written by Ivy Lee, considered by many to be “The Father of Modern PR.” The Pennsylvania Railroad was Lee’s client. On Oct. 28, 1906, 50 people tragically lost their lives ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — A Q&A with Knox Ross

It’s been a while since I had a chance to visit with former Pelahatchie Mayor Knox Ross so I reached out to him online. Here’s my interview with the personable and accomplished Ross. What are you doing these days? I am completing an 11-month assignment as the CEO of the Coordinating and Development Corporation in Shreveport. The CDC is an ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Big contributors aggressively pursuing (buying?) tax cuts

Steve Bannon recently met with mega Republican political contributor Bernie Marcus and heard him complain “for hours about the lack of return on his investment,” reported Politico.com,    A decade before becoming Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, whose family has helped bankroll Republican issues and candidates, wrote in Roll Call, “I have decided to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we ...

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TODD SMITH — Facebook fights fake news with publisher info buttons

Facebook has taken another step in fighting fake news – by showing Wikipedia entries about publishers and additional Related Articles to give more context about the links they see. It has begun testing a new “i” button on News Feed links that opens up an informational panel. “People have told us that they want more information about what they’re reading” ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Real conservative leaders get things done

Lots of political yammer about who’s a real conservative and who’s not.    So, how do you tell?   Lee Edwards of the Heritage Foundation’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies calls the late William F. Buckley, Jr. “the St. Paul of the modern conservative movement in America.” So, what did Buckley have to say about it?   The ...

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