One of the larger post Katrina rebuilding stories here on the coast was then Governor Haley “Boss Hogg” Barbour and his economic development people diverting over $500 million dollars of recovery money meant to build housing for displaced storm victims to build “The Port of the Future” at the State Port in Gulfport. Wild promises of the port’s potential were made and I highlighted some of those promises in this post way back in 2008 where coastal residents were promised sunshine in the process due to the doubts many local area residents were harboring way back in 2008 when the money was diverted.
I mention all this because while I have been neck deep with my gabby cousin Slabb O’Leak, Anita Lee over at the Sun Herald blew the port’s BS out of the water this week because it turns out those plans Boss Hogg so publicly touted have been revealed to be BS and the locals are furious. This could well grow into a major scandal and it is my hope the OIG from HUD and possibly the Office of the Attorney General take a peeksie at how the recovery money was diverted, based promises that have since proven to be fictitious since the federal government may well have been misled.
That said I hope it is lost on no one the same political power brokers out of Jackson that brought us the port disaster have already annointed career politician and legacy political hack Billy Hewes as the next Mayor, almost a full year ahead of the election. Now for some links to various stories by the Sun Herald’s Anita Lee on the subject:
Making a diagnosis of “improper influence” requires a scalpel, not a sledgehammer. Not only is it unrealistic to think we can eradicate all judicial biases, instincts, leanings or interests, however termed, but it is also unwise. We want our judges to live in the real world, so that they can bring their life experiences and common sense to the table when deciding cases. Judges must remain “partial” to some influences, therefore, like the case law, and controlling statutes, and perhaps even basic standards of decency and morality, too. As The New York Times recently cited, former Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s view on recusal was that if a justice’s mind was “a complete tabula rasa” in relevant respects, it “would be evidence of lack of qualification, not lack of bias.”
While I hope you’ll follow all the links, but by all means, read this opinion post on recusal from Law.com.
Staying with matters of public policy for the moment, let’s talk unemployment rates. Online news is filled with stories like this about the uptick in unemployment rates – and all appear to have been written by someone clueless about the issue.