New law prevents gun confiscation

Here’s an interesting article from Tennessee,

(AP) NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A person who legally possesses a gun would not have it seized during periods of martial rule under a proposal that has been signed into law by the governor.

The measure was signed by Gov. Phil Bredesen on Thursday and takes effect immediately.

One of the more troubling Katrina stories for 2nd amendment advocates dealt with the seizure of firearms in the aftermath of the storm in the greater NOLA area.

Now, we didn’t see anything like that here in Pike County. Of course, the storm damage around here, as bad as it was, didn’t compare to the flooding in NOLA, or the wind/wave damage on the MS Gulf Coast. Still, the new Tennessee law is a good start.

Please feel free to email this article to your MS legislator of choice.

Report: Mayor Frank Melton has died

Jackson Jambalaya is reporting that Jackson mayor Frank Melton has passed away. Melton was rushed to St. Dominic Hospital Tuesday night after losing in his re-election bid.

Frank has passed away. Just told by a very good source. Announcement will be coming soon from family or city.

h/t Hawthorn

Cigarette tax increase fails

It must come as a big disappointment to our friends at the Enterprise Journal, but the cigarette tax increase is officially dead for the 2009 regular session of the Mississippi Legislature.

However, as we have leaned from past experience, no bill is truly dead in the Legislature until it is dead, dead, dead. I never understood exactly what that meant, but Bert Case said it, so it must be true.

Internet tax awaits Barbour’s signature

from Slashdot

“The Mississippi Legislature has passed MS House Bill 1461 which would amend the state’s tax laws to specifically charge sales tax on “electrically transferred digital products,” including products bought via mail-order. The bill is currently on the governor‘s desk awaiting signature.”

Greg Harper holds teleconference meeting on stimulus bill

I joined a conference call this evening with Rep Greg Harper, MS 3rd. It was unsolicited, and unexpected, and I joined the call in progress about 5 minutes after the start.

The topic of the call was the Stimulus Bill. According to Greg, the Dem leadership still hasn’t provided a copy of the bill for members to read, even though the vote is scheduled for tomorrow at 9 AM.

The largest single spending bill in the history of the Republic, and members are supposed to vote on it without examining it. This in spite of the fact that one of the hopey-changey promises was that all bills would be posted to the internet for 48 hours prior to any vote.

So much for transparency.

After hitting all of the hot-button pork issues like Pelosi’s $30 million mouse program, the golf cart program, Harry Reid’s Las Vegas junket train, multi-million dollar STD prevention plans, and striking just the right populist stance by railing against Wall Street excesses, Harper announced that he intended to vote against the bill.

A quick telephone poll of the almost 7500 listeners was solidly against, 76-24.

Greg fielded several questions from the listeners, one from an owner of a trucking company, another from a women in Natchez, another from a doctor in McComb. The doctor brought up the topic of the Health Czar, and wondered about the increase in regulations. Harper said that the health provisions in the bill was a large step toward socialized medicine. Tammy from Foxworth mentioned that “many people down here are losing their homes,” and then started going on about her own personal situation. I thought for a minute she was going to do a henrietta hughes” and ask for a new kitchen and car, but Harper cut her off nicely, and invited her to call his Pearl, MS office and discuss the issue in more detail later.

Harper said that the tax cut provisions in the bill were “laughable”, and described the bill itself as “a disaster.”

Much of the conversation was preaching to the choir. Jim from Brookhaven asked a great question about unfunded mandates hidden in the bill, especially with regards to the bill’s provisions for an extension of unemployment benefits and the required-but-unfunded increase in benefits. Although Harper didn’t know the answer to his question, he pivoted nicely, and proved to be quick on his feet, falling back on an old story about Ronald Reagan.

I don’t know how often Harper plans to do this or if this was a one-time thing. But, I’ve got to give Greg Harper props for the reach-out effort.

Nice job.

cross-posted at Nuke’s

more: Harper expresses reservations about the Census

DeLaughter indicted, pleads not guilty

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter has pleaded not guilty to a five-count indictment in federal court in Oxford today.

Still awaiting news on former Hinds DA Ed Peters, and former Senator Trent Lott.

The Scruggs II saga continues …

more at folo

You might remember the movie “Ghosts of Mississippi” with Whoopi Goldberg as Myrlie Evers, and one of the Baldwin brothers as Bobby DeLaughter, in the story of the the murderer of Medgar Evers finally being brought to justice. Reporter Jerry Mitchell had a big role in the investigation, and in the movie. His report in the CL is here,

I’ve known of Bobby DeLaughter since my high school days at Wingfield. Gotta say, I’m shocked.

cross posted at Nuke’s

h/t Y’all Politics

Update: NYT has a nice writeup

Cochran supports stimulus bill

This just in, Senator Thad Cochran has voted for the pork-filled stimulus bill in committee hearings today.