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OPINION

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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JACK WEATHERLY — Saying no to the press is the wrong order

It’s not often a retailer will turn down free publicity. But I was rebuffed the other day when I attempted to write something about Cook Out, a fast-food restaurant chain that just opened a store on High Street. It happens to be located on the street I take twice each work day, to and from the Journal offices downtown. Um, ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Legislature has flubbed responsibility for good schools

With all the noise about school funding, school choice, vouchers, and teacher shortages, perhaps a look at some fundamentals would be helpful.   Remember 2015? The Initiative 42 referendum to put full funding for the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) in the state constitution? That initiative and the Legislature’s alternative both failed. So Section 201 of the Mississippi Constitution remains ...

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BEN WILLIAMS — Alexander Hamilton v Robert S. Mueller III: Can a president be indicted?

At the end of Act I of the box-office smash Hamilton: An American Musical, the play’s namesake beseeches his murderer-to-be to co-author a “series of essays, anonymously published” defending the proposed U.S. Constitution.  Alexander Hamilton’s entreaty to Aaron Burr probably never occurred, but Hamilton – with assistance from fellow Founding Fathers James Madison and John Jay – would publish incognito ...

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TODD SMITH — Could NRA ties pose serious business branding problems?

Major brands are cutting ties to the National Rifle Association in the wake of public pressure after the tragic mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school. And there’s little advantage for companies to stick with the NRA, branding experts told USATODAY. “Unless you’re in an adjacent industry like hunting, having a public connection with the NRA is” highly detrimental ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Do you care about your followers?

Ask members of a group to name the characteristics of a good leader, and don’t be surprised when the usual descriptions come up: visionary, listener, communicator, ethical, trustworthy, etc. I’ve been doing such an exercise with groups for a long time. Lately, I’ve noticed that a certain characteristic has moved from the middle of the list to near the top. ...

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Analysis: Conflicting messaging helped doom new school funding formula

Legislative leaders in their failed effort to rewrite the Mississippi Adequate Education Program school funding formula touted two, conflicting messages. On the one hand, they argued that the Adequate Education Program needed to be replaced because the state could not afford to provide the amount of money to local school districts that was called for under the school funding formula. ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — McDaniel determined to take down an incumbent senator

Well, here we go again. State Sen. Chris McDaniel has again anointed himself as the conservative messiah sent to save us from a successful incumbent U.S. Senator.   Most will remember the nasty and controversial campaign McDaniel waged four years ago to unseat Sen. Thad Cochran. As described by the Biloxi Sun-Herald, “that GOP primary race dominated the media and ...

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