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Pass the peas and presidency
by Rheta Johnson
Feb 11, 2016 | 42 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sunday Family Dinner at the Bush House Jeb: It's just not fair, Ma. I'm the smart one. You and Pa always said I was the smart one. I really, really, really want to be president. Barbara: I know, son, and in an ideal world, you would be. But as someone once said, life isn't fair. Jeb: But a Democrat said that! I thought we Republicans believed that life was fair. Only whining n'er-do-wells think life can be unfair. I grew up on it. Dubya: Doesn't matter about life being fair or how smart you are. It's not all about brains, bro. The voters have to want to have a beer with you. That's the secret. Nobody wants to have a beer with you – na, na, na, na, boo, boo. Jeb: Ma! Make him stop! They do too want to have an alcoholic beverage with me. Barbara: Cut that out, Georgie, or I'll box your ears. George H.W.: Nobody boxes ears anymore, Barb. In today's child-rearing they now use a punitive system called "time out." Barbara: What do you know, Mister Never Seen a Barcode Scanner. Hush up, Old Man. Jebbie, it's true nobody wants to have a beer with you. Georgie's right; even a stopped clock's right twice a day. But you could take a page from your father's political playbook. Maybe jump out of an airplane in a parachute. That's always appealing. Jeb: Aw, Ma. Do I have to? I don't wanna. Dubya: He's a fraidy-cat! Scared to jump out of an airplane. He'll never win. Barbara: Shut up, Georgie. I didn't see you going to your National Guard meetings. George H.W.: Not to mention, Georgie, you did everything those Nixon retreads told you to do, which did not display a whole lot of character or courage. If Cheney said "Jump!" you asked, "How high?" Hmmmmm? Dubya: Well, let's not forget who won the presidency twice in this family. Barbara: That would be nobody. Do the words "Supreme Court" ring a bell? Dubya: I don't care, Ma. I was The Decider. Wasn't I The Decider? Jeb: Ma, you've got to help me. You helped the others. Barbara: But I'm old as dirt now, son. Plus, I said some things I shouldn't have after Katrina and those displaced, whining, hurricane victims have long memories. Dubya: Helluva job, Ma. Barbara: Shut up, Georgie. I'm trying to talk to your brother, whose numbers have tanked. It's not his fault that despicable orange-haired Trump character came along and took over what should have been a cakewalk. Jeb: I thought it was supposed to be all about name recognition. George H.W.: I believe Trump also has name recognition because of a new invention called "reality television." Barbara: Oh, go jump out of an airplane, George. I'm trying to talk to the Smart One. (To find out more about Daily Corinthian columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson and her books, visit www.rhetagrimsleyjohnsonbooks.com.)
Vote for Hillary or go to hell!
by Roger Simon
Feb 11, 2016 | 31 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bernie Sanders looks like an unmade bed. He appears to buy his suits in thrift stores and then sleep in them for three or four days. His voice is somewhere between a rasp and a growl. On the stump, he gives the appearance of an angry bear who has missed his hibernation for the past 35 years or so. If some corporate vice president ever tried to hand him a $335,000 check to give a speech, Bernie would probably bite his arm off. Bernie is sometimes compared to the fictional Howard Beale, a network anchor in the movie "Network." Beale announces one day that he is going to start telling people the truth because, "I just ran out of b-------." Beale urges people to go to their windows and shout, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" In the end, the corporation that owns his network assassinates him. I don't envision this happening to Sanders. For one thing, he has Secret Service protection. For another, his opponents are usually political operatives, and they tend to come at you with words, not firearms. On Saturday, for example, Madeleine Albright, secretary of state under Bill Clinton, took a stage in Concord, New Hampshire, with Hillary Clinton to promote her presidential campaign. Of all the qualities that Albright could have emphasized – Hillary's experience, intelligence and courage – Albright emphasized the one quality that Sanders couldn't compete with: Hillary is a woman. What's more, women who don't vote for Clinton because she is a woman will be consigned to the eternal fires of Hades, Albright said. "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women," Albright told the crowd. According to The New York Times, Clinton appeared to agree. "Mrs. Clinton, 68, laughed, slowly clapped and took a large sip of her beverage," the paper reported. We don't know what she was drinking, but it probably wasn't brimstone. You would think the Clinton campaign would not have to worry about women voting for Hillary, but the signs have been very bad so far. In Iowa, though Clinton won the women's vote overall, she lost women age 30-44 to Sanders by a hefty 21 percentage points and women age 17-29 by a stunning 70 percentage points. A 70 percentage point gap is the kind of result you'd expect to see in an election in Russia or a Chicago ward, not an Iowa caucus. Clearly, the Clinton campaign must now do something. So in order to win over women aged 17-29, it has brought out Albright, age 78, and Gloria Steinem, age 81, as surrogates. And you can see why campaign consultants get the big bucks. The strategy? Shame women into voting for Clinton. Clinton has real qualities and real accomplishments. But Albright says the reason to vote for Clinton is God will send you to a special place in hell if you don't. (As far as I know, God has not yet publicly endorsed a candidate, but maybe He did so by email and it got lost on Clinton's private server.) Asked to explain why some women flock to Sanders, Albright said, "The bottom line is: I don't know." Gloria Steinem does know. When asked by TV host Bill Maher why young women are going with Sanders, Steinem said that it was a good way for them to meet boys. "When you're young, you're thinking, 'Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,'" Steinem said. To which Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi responded, "If that's the best a feminist icon can offer – ugh." Clinton supporters should not worry, however. Clinton's campaign is dependent not just on the deep thinking of Albright and Steinem but also on deep data analysis and number crunching. And you can bet women voters have been targeted with tightly focused messages for the New Hampshire primary. Women might have gotten leaflets slipped under their doors saying: "Would you like to be burned by red-hot irons for all eternity? How about being torn to pieces by dogs or having burning pitch poured over your head every day? If you don't vote for a woman, this will happen to you in the darkest reaches of hell. "Don't vote for a cantankerous socialist who doesn't have enough sense to take super PAC money or even comb his hair. Vote for a progressive who can get things done and never get caught. Vote Hillary Clinton – she knows how to get away with it." Yes, that's a little extreme. And here's the leaflet that didn't make the cut: "Hillary Clinton is a person of intellect and accomplishment. She has spent almost her entire life helping people around the globe. As president, she will restore economic growth at home, stand up to our enemies abroad and safeguard our allies. She will break the glass ceiling and we will all feel proud. "Or just wait a few years for Elizabeth Warren." (Roger Simon is chief political columnist of politico.com, an award-winning journalist and a New York Times best selling author.)
Toxic words
by Thomas Sowell
Feb 11, 2016 | 36 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During this election year, we are destined to hear many words that are toxic in the way they misrepresent reality and substitute fantasies that can win votes. One of these words is "entitlement." To hear some politicians tell it, we are all entitled to all sorts of things, ranging from "affordable housing" to "a living wage." But the reality is that the human race is not entitled to anything, not even the food we need to stay alive. If we don't produce food, we are just going to starve. If we don't build housing, then we are not going to have housing, "affordable" or otherwise. Particular individuals or groups can be given many things, to which politicians say they are "entitled," only if other people are forced by the government to provide those things to people who don't need to lift a finger to earn them. All the fancy talk about "entitlement" means simply forcing some people to work to produce things for other people, who have no obligation to work. It gets worse. If we are all "entitled" to things, irrespective of whether we produce anything ourselves, then the question becomes: Why are some people getting so much more than others? People who are producing nothing can feel a sense of grievance against those who are producing much, and being rewarded for it, if our basis for receiving economic benefits is supposed to be what we are all "entitled" to, rather than what we have worked to earn. One of the most misleading uses of the notion of entitlement is to say that people who paid into Social Security for years are now entitled to the pensions they receive. Really? It so happens that I have put money into the same bank account for more than 20 years. But if I were to write a check for a million dollars today, it would bounce! The question is not how long you have been putting money in, but how much money you put in. If what you have been putting into Social Security over the years is enough to pay you a $1,500 a month pension, but you were promised a $3,000 a month pension, how much are you entitled to? On what basis? Social Security was created back in the 1930s, during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, one of the shrewdest politicians who ever sat in the White House. President Roosevelt understood that, if you could convince people that they were entitled to a pension under Social Security, it could become politically impossible to ever put an end to that system. The pensions promised exceeded what could actually be paid from the money that was put in by the recipients. But the first generation to enter Social Security would have their pensions paid by money received from the second generation, as well as its own money. The second generation would be paid with money that included what was paid in by the third generation, and so on. This is the principle behind a "pyramid" scheme, in which the first investors can get a big return on their money by simply paying them money received from subsequent investors. But it is only a matter of time before reality catches up with us, since the pyramid scheme is not actually investing any money or saving any money. That is why a private insurance company that sold annuities based on a pyramid scheme would be prosecuted for fraud, and its officials put in prison. But you can't put Congress in prison, even when that is what it deserves. With the money running out in the so-called trust fund for Social Security, reality is beginning to break through the fantasies, and is closing in on us. No one wants to pull the rug out from under people already retired and dependent on Social Security, or on people nearing retirement age, and expecting a pension that is just not going to be there. We can be both realistic enough, and decent enough, to rescue older people who have been victimized by political fantasies. We can pay higher taxes temporarily to rescue them. But, there is no reason to bankrupt the country by keeping the fraud going forever. Younger people can be allowed to opt out and arrange their own pension plans in the private sector, where the kind of irresponsible pyramid schemes that politicians set up are illegal. (Daily Corinthian columnist Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com.)
Man sentenced to 30 years for assaulting children
Feb 10, 2016 | 45 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A Baldwyn man will spend the next three decades behind bars after pleading guilty to sexual battery and fondling of multiple young victims.

Mikeal James Pope, 31, was sentenced to 30 years in prison, to be served day-for-day, after pleading guilty Tuesday to three counts of sexual battery and two counts of fondling. The sentence was handed down by Circuit Court Judge Jim Pounds.

For the full story on this and all the latest local news, pick up a copy of this week’s print edition of the Banner-Independent.

Jail escapee sentenced
Feb 10, 2016 | 23 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print

One of two men who escaped from the Prentiss County Jail on Christmas Day has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Chad Strange, 29, pleaded guilty to charges of armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and jail escape last Friday in Prentiss County Circuit Court. Circuit Judge Paul Funderburk sentenced him to 20 years, to be served day for day, for the armed robbery charges and five years for the jail escape.

Strange was being held in the Prentiss County Jail on the robbery charges when he and Dustin Shook escaped from the jail. The pair were recaptured at a hunting camp in Tippah County two days later. Shook was being held for drug court.

For the full story on this and all the latest local news, pick up a copy of this week’s print edition of the Banner-Independent.

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