Tag Archive for: Tate Reeves


Over half of Mississippians struggling to pay household bills, the most in the nation.

FAA seeks to address string of near-collisions at US airports.

Poland, Slovakia to send Soviet-era jets to Ukraine.



Over half of Mississippians struggling to pay household bills, the most in the nation

A recent Household Pulse Survey by the Census Bureau found that more than half of Mississippians (52.9%) are struggling to pay typical household bills. This is the highest percentage in the nation and the only one over 50%. Mississippi narrowly edges out neighboring Alabama which came in second at 49.7% and far exceeds the national average of 39.7%. 

Over that same period (the week of Feb. 4-13), Mississippi was 5th in the nation at 48.6% among states whose residents fear eviction or foreclosure in the next two months. Mississippians also led in the category of householders that were unable to pay an energy bill in full in the last 12 months with 30.5%.

Median household income is the lowest in the nation at $46,637, far below the national average of $70,784. Recent data shows that Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the nation with 19.07%.

State Republicans suddenly remember this is an election year

During the pandemic, states received millions in federal dollars to help people get through the economic downturn. Despite the great need, average Mississippians received far less help than people in other states. Instead, the state government decided to use this windfall to push for income tax cuts.

While income tax reduction is popular in the state (62%), the suspension of the state’s 7% grocery tax is far more popular (74%). Mississippi is one of the few states to tax groceries and has the highest rate of any of them. Grocery taxes disproportionately burden the poor while income tax cuts disproportionately benefit the wealthy. But the state’s Republican leadership hasn’t considered using the state’s surplus to cut grocery taxes, despite rising food costs. 

State legislators recently narrowly rejected proposals that would have eliminated income taxes in the state. This means the stalled bills likely won’t move forward in this year’s legislative session. However, House Ways and Means Chairman Trey Lamar said the bills’ failure was “more of a timing issue with some of these representatives as opposed to any real opposition to income tax elimination. Coming off the heels of last year’s income tax bill, and this being an election year, there are a few that would just prefer to wait a little longer before making further cuts”.

Reeves believes life begins at conception, but when does it end?

In a rare win for public welfare in the state, Gov. Reeves has just signed a bill to extend Medicaid coverage to new mothers and babies from 60 days after birth to 12 months.

Mississippi has some of the worst rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality in the country. Until Reeves signed this latest bill, Mississippi was the only state in the nation that had neither extended Medicaid coverage for new mothers nor expanded Medicaid eligibility overall. 

Reeves touted expanding Medicaid coverage for new moms and babies to 12 months as being in line with the state’s pro-life stance. However, Reeves was quick to remind us he still opposes expanding eligibility for Medicaid for low-income families under Obamacare. Maybe Reeves thinks life ends at 12 months?


FAA seeks to address string of near-collisions at US airports

So far in 2023, there have been at least nine near-collisions of commercial airplanes at eight US airports. That number may seems small in light of the fact that there are about 45,000 flights taking off each day. But when you consider the hundreds of lives put at risk each time, even one near-miss is unacceptable.

The circumstances vary in each case, but in some instances, the near-miss was the result of air traffic control clearing two planes to use the same runway. This was the case in the most dramatic near-collision in Austin, TX, in which a FedEx cargo plane came within 100 feet of a Southwest Airlines passenger plane. Controllers had cleared the FedEx plane to land on the same runway where the Southwest Airlines flight was taking off. In this case, it was the quick thinking of the FedEx pilot that averted disaster, rather than any action by air traffic control.  

On Wednesday, FAA held an emergency summit this week, its first in 14 years, to discuss the issue. The panel of aviation experts cited low staffing numbers at the FAA and a lack of experience among new hires as a major factor. The staffing issues come at the same time that US demand for air travel is surging, making accidents and near-accidents more likely.

It may also be significant that 8 of the 9 incidents took place after an outage of the FAA’s automated NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) system which notifies pilots of potential hazards they may encounter during their flights. The NOTAM system went dark late in the night of Jan. 10 and grounded all flights in the US for two hours the following morning. An investigation found that the outage was the result of FAA contractors deleting files.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Poland, Slovakia send Soviet-era jets to Ukraine

After nearly a year of requests from Kiev, Poland yesterday agreed to send about a dozen Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Today, Slovakia followed suit, promising 13 MiG-29s. At the time of Russia’s invasion last year, Ukraine had several dozen MiG-29s that it had retained following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It’s not clear how many of these remain in service over a year later.

According to Slovakia’s Defense Minister, the European Union is offering Slovakia 200 million euros ($213 million) in compensation for giving the jets to Ukraine. Slovakia will also receive $745 million in unspecified arms from the US, the minister said. There’s no reporting on whether Poland is receiving similar compensation for its pledge. However, Poland’s Defense Minister did mention that they would be replacing their MiGs with South Korean and American-made fighter jets.

The White House says it was informed of Poland’s decision before it was announced. Biden has long been under pressure to give Ukraine F-16s, a request the US has so far steadfastly refused. National Security advisor John Kirby neither endorsed nor condemned Poland and Slovakia’s decision, but said it would have no bearing on the US position on sending F-16s. 

Unlike F-16s, Ukraine’s fighter pilots require no additional training to fly MiG-29s. But maintaining them may pose a problem. Slovakia had previously grounded its MiG-29 fleet due to difficulties obtaining spare parts and the departure of Russian maintenance workers.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!


Majority Black Jackson may soon have courts, police run by majority white state government. State also moves to seize control of the city’s water system- and hundreds of millions in federal funds.


Majority Black Jackson may soon have courts, police run by majority white state government

Local residents and politicians in Jackson are outraged by recent proposals from the state legislature. Many see proposals for a new court system and expansion of Capitol Police jurisdiction as a paternalistic white takeover of a majority Black city. Others, including Jackson’s Democratic Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, accuse state officials of attempting to set up a city within a city in Jackson – one white and affluent, the other Black and poor – tantamount to apartheid. 

Separate but equal judiciary

The first proposal would allow the state’s chief justice and attorney general (both white, neither from Jackson) to appoint judges and prosecutors for a new court system within Jackson. This would be a separate system from Jackson’s existing court system, whose judges and prosecutors are elected, which would supersede the elected court’s jurisdiction in parts of the city. Its judges would not have to live in Jackson, or even in Hinds County.

The white state legislators championing the bill (only one of which is from Jackson) say the new court would simply supplement the existing court and help to alleviate a case backlog. Critics say it is a naked power grab from the city’s elected Democratic government and its largely Black citizenry.

This bill initially passed in the statehouse earlier this month and is still under debate in the state Senate. Mayor Lumumba characterized the bill as “plantation politics”. He said of the legislators who voted for the bill, “I was surprised that they came half-dressed because they forgot to wear their hoods“. 

“If we allow this type of legislation to stand in Jackson, Mississippi, it’s a matter of time before it will hit New Orleans. It’s a matter of time before it hits Detroit, or wherever we find our people,” Lumumba said.

Policing a city within a city

The second proposal would expand the patrol of the Capitol Police force, which currently only patrols the Capitol district and state government buildings. The proposal would expand the bailiwick of the state-controlled Capitol Police to include wealthy (white) residential and shopping areas at the city’s heart. Recently, an amendment to the bill proposed giving Capitol Police jurisdiction over the entire city of Jackson.

Again, proponents of this proposal say that Capitol Police would not replace Jackson’s understaffed police force, but supplement it. However, this expanded district already has a much lower crime rate than the rest of Jackson. Critics see the move as an attempt to cordon off an affluent white-dominated power center, using intensified police presence as a show of force to intimidate Black residents.

Some fear this is the beginning of a return to the bad old days of segregation. It doesn’t help that the Capitol police have had several violent interactions with Black people in the past year. This includes two deadly encounters with Black motorists.

State takeover of Jackson’s water (and federal funds)

After a series of recent collapses, Jackson’s water system is currently under the control of a federal manager. But a third proposal seeks to transfer ownership of the system to a nine-member regional governing board to oversee Jackson’s water system. Again, most of the members would be appointed by Republican state leaders.

Locals are skeptical to say the least. Gov. Tate Reeves denied state financial aid requested by Jackson’s municipal leadership time after time. Reeves was so proud of this fact he even campaigned on it.

It wasn’t until the federal government pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to addressing the city’s water crisis that state leaders showed the slightest interest in helping. Skepticism is an understandable reaction. Reeves and his cronies don’t exactly have a stellar reputation when it comes to managing funds entrusted to them by the federal government to help disadvantaged Mississippians.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!

NEMiss.News Brandon Presley and Tate Reeves


It’s only the first of February, but it appears the field is pretty well set in the races for Mississippi’s top statewide offices.

For the big jobs, we are unlikely to have costly and confusing run-off elections such as those we had in 2019.

In 1998, I teased then Third District GOP Congressman Chip Pickering about the Democratic nominee he faced in that year’s general election. It was a Democrat Pickering had whipped pretty decisively in the congressional election two years earlier.

“Hell, Chip,” I said. “You have the ideal opponent this year: a guy you’ve already beat and you know you can thump him again.”

Pickering laughed, but quickly disagreed. “No” he said. “The ideal opponent is a guy with no money and no way to get any.”

In this year’s governor’s race primary, incumbent Tate Reeves, with at least $8-million in the bank, faces a quirky medical doctor with a history of alcohol and other chemical abuse. Dr. John Witcher has been dismissed by at least one Mississippi hospital for failure to follow approved treatment of COVID 19. It’s hard to imagine Dr. Witcher being able to raise enough money to give Reeves a serious challenge. Witcher will attract a few radical “anti-vaxxers,” but that will be thin support, not enough.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Waller, Jr., who forced Reeves into a run-off in 2019, announced Monday evening that he would not be a GOP candidate this year. So, it’s no stretch to say Reeves will again be the Republican nominee.

On the Democratic side of the ballot, for the first time in many election cycles, will be a credible, electable candidate for governor. Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley has qualified to run for governor as a Democrat.

A very smart, high-energy guy, brimming with ideas, Presley is one of the very few Mississippi elective officials who can honestly be citied as having done anything substantial for his constituents. Thousands of rural Mississippi homes have hi-speed internet service today because Presley worked tirelessly to make it so. He was also among the first to see the folly of the coal-fired electrical plant in Kemper County.

In fairness, the reader should know that Presley is a family friend. We have spent many hours talking about the needs of Mississippi. We read and exchange many of the same books. Yet, I have no idea whether I would characterize Presley as “conservative” or “liberal.” Those are buzz words, and have no useful place when it comes to discussing public policy. What I do know is that Presley’s approach is simple and direct: “See problem. Fix Problem.”

Like Governor Reeves, Presley has no serious opponent for the nomination. Running against him is a self-described “unemployed, designer, singer, artist” with even less chance of raising money than Dr. Witcher.

Presley has some serious money in the bank. He can and will get more. Reeves has some very serious cash on hand, and a remarkable talent for getting more. Raising money for himself may be Tater’s only certifiable skill.

Presley will work circles around Reeves. He is among the best I’ve ever seen at communicating with people, whether it’s one-on-one or with large groups. On the other hand, even talking with small groups or individuals, Reeves always has that “deer-in-the-headlights” look. Then there’s the problem of the $77-milllion welfare money scandal that occurred during the co-administration of Reeves and Phil Bryant.

The Democratic and Republican primaries will take place on Aug. 8, with any runoffs taking place Aug. 29. The general election will take place on Nov. 7, with any runoffs taking place Nov. 28.

What other issues will develop? That’s the fun of politics, and this year’s gubernatorial election in Mississippi could turn out to be great fun.

Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!

NEMiss. News Brett Favre, Tate Reeves, Phil Bryant

Mississippi’s Department of Human Services (MDHS) is suing former non-profit head Nancy New and others involved in the embezzlement of millions in federal welfare funds. The suit hopes to recover some some the misspent funds. Defense attorneys for New are attempting to halt the civil case until the criminal probe into the case is complete. MDHS says the motion is a ploy by New and the other defendants to “avoid, or at least delay, liability for their actions”.

In July, Gov. Tate Reeves advocated for the criminal case preceding the civil case. This was part of his justification for the abrupt firing of Brad Pigott, the state’s lead attorney in the case, who was probing high-profile players in the case. Pigott and independent reporting says Tate’s firing of him was to head off Pigott’s probe of former Gov. Phil Bryant and former NFL quarterback Brett Favre and their involvement in the case.

The following is from Mississippi Today, authored by their reporter Anna Wolfe (link to the story here):


Nonprofit founder Nancy New and former welfare director John Davis, defendants in the state’s civil litigation over the misspending of millions of federal grant funds, have asked the court to stay the case until the criminal investigation concludes.

Mississippi Department of Human Services, the agency that administers welfare programs and is bringing the suit, is objecting against the stay, arguing that defendants are attempting to “avoid, or at least delay, liability for their actions.”

Now, the attorney representing New and her son Zach New is questioning the motives of the state agency, which was responsible for managing the funds in question, especially since it omitted at least one key recipient of improper welfare payments from the defendant list.

“Of course, MDHS would love nothing more than to rush this case through discovery with the cloud of criminal prosecution looming large, thereby muzzling witnesses who would reveal the depth of its wrongdoing,” wrote the News’ attorney Gerry Bufkin.

Both New and Davis have pleaded guilty to charges related to the welfare scheme and have agreed to aid officials in prosecuting other individuals “up the ladder,” Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens said after Davis’ plea hearing in September. They have not been sentenced.

Under the leadership of Davis and the politician who appointed him, former Gov. Phil Bryant, officials stole or wasted at least $77 million in federal grant funds, many of which flowed through Nancy New’s nonprofit Mississippi Community Education Center to the pet projects of celebrities and politically connected figures. Some of the purchases were criminal while others simply violated federal spending regulations. Communication obtained by Mississippi Today reveals Bryant’s involvement in many conversations about the projects.

In its Oct. 11 response to the News’ motion to stay, MDHS shot back a fiery response to the defendants’ claims that the welfare agency is also responsible for the misspending.

“The New Defendants nevertheless seek to have the Court and the public absolve them of liability by pointing the finger back at MDHS, despite the fact that the New Defendants admit that they bribed MDHS’s Executive Director,” the filing reads. “But no public official or employee can approve fraudulent payments or waive statutory requirements. This strategy may generate media attention, but it is no legal defense to civil liability.”

Bufkin has argued his clients have already taken responsibility for their actions. But in response to the state Tuesday, he said the threat of an ongoing criminal investigation hinders the News from providing testimony in the civil case.

“The civil suit is the best opportunity the New Defendants have had in years to tell their story. The evidence will show that politicians, MDHS bureaucrats, and well-connected powerbrokers funneled tens of millions in welfare funds to pet projects in a series of sad and disturbing examples of TANF-flexibility gone wild,” Bufkin wrote. “The New Defendants look forward to telling their story, but unfortunately the opportunity is premature.”

Gov. Tate Reeves, who is overseeing the state’s civil lawsuit, said in July that civil cases should come after parallel criminal cases.

In the civil case — filed more than two years after the state auditor’s initial findings — the state is attempting to recoup roughly $24 million from 38 individuals or companies that misspent or received improper welfare payments. 

Bufkin argued delaying the civil litigation until the criminal cases have concluded is necessary “to ensure the thorough, complete and efficient discovery of one of the most sprawling and complex cases in Mississippi history.”

The single largest purchase within the misspending scandal is the $5 million in welfare money that Mississippi Community Education Center paid the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation to build a volleyball stadium at the university on behalf of former NFL quarterback Brett Favre. MCEC also paid Favre’s company an additional $1.1 million, which texts indicate was also intended for the volleyball project, bringing the possible total to $6.1 million. Reeves’ office and the welfare agency chose not to include the athletic foundation as a defendant when it filed the complaint in May.

MDHS then terminated the private attorney it had contracted, former U.S. Attorney Brad Pigott, who spent a year crafting the case, after Pigott filed a subpoena on the athletic foundation in July. Pigott was attempting to examine the events surrounding the volleyball stadium project, including Bryant’s involvement.

“Not only has MDHS refused to pursue recovery of this $6.1 million in welfare funds, but it has actively thwarted its former counsel’s efforts to uncover facts related to the expenditure of these funds,” Bufkin wrote.

If the purpose of the state’s civil suit is to recover as much welfare money as possible, Bufkin questions why it would not pursue the single largest purchase, which has already resulted in a criminal conviction. Zach New pleaded guilty in April to defrauding the government by paying for the volleyball stadium construction under a sham lease agreement.

“MDHS argues it ‘aims’ to recover money damages, and, therefore, Defendants should not be concerned with allegations of criminality in the Complaint. Whatever motives lurk beneath the civil suit, in the post-termination of former counsel Brad Pigott era, the efficient recovery of welfare money is not one of them,” Bufkin wrote.

Current MDHS Director Bob Anderson answered questions about Pigott’s firing Tuesday during the Mississippi Legislative Democratic Caucus hearing on the scandal. He told lawmakers that the agency terminated Pigott because the attorney subpoenaed the athletic foundation without discussing the filing with him first and while he was out of town. Pigott did email a copy of the subpoena to a MDHS attorney before filing it, but Anderson said that was not sufficient notice as he was not copied on the email. Anderson also said that the agency felt that Pigott did not have the capacity to handle the breadth of the case, which includes hundreds of thousands of pages of discovery documents.

Bufkin also represents the nonprofit, Mississippi Community Education Center, that Nancy New founded and ran alongside Zach New.

Bufkin stated in his Tuesday response that even though MDHS filed the complaint in May, it did not request discovery from the nonprofit until October. He also said MDHS has not produced documents that MCEC requested through discovery in August. The court will address several motions and filings in the case, including multiple subpoenas on Bryant, at a hearing in early 2023.


EPA probes Mississippi state government for discrimination in Jackson water crisis. Doctors warn parents to be on the look out for severe respiratory illness in children. Zelenskyy: Russia plans to blast major dam in Ukraine.



EPA probes Mississippi state government for discrimination in Jackson water crisis

Following a complaint from the the NAACP, the Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it will be investigating whether Mississippi’s state government discriminated against the majority-black city of Jackson when allocating federal funds for water infrastructure projects. Specifically, the EPA will probe the actions of the Mississippi’s Department of Health and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. A statement from the EPA says it will investigate whether MDOH and MDEQ “discriminated against the majority black population of the City of Jackson on the basis of race in the funding of water infrastructure and treatment programs and activities in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964”.

The NAACP complaint alleges civil rights violations were committed. The complaint cited a “decades-long pattern and practice of discriminating against the city of Jackson when it comes to providing federal funds to improve local water systems”.

Earlier this week, House committee chairs Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wrote to Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves seeking a breakdown of what communities were allocated federal funds for water infrastructure by the state government. The letter sought specifics on racial demographics and the population sizes of each recipient city. The chairs also wanted an explanation for why Jackson faced an “additional layer of scrutiny” to no other municipality was subject to.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Doctors warn parents to be on the look out for severe respiratory illness in children

Pediatricians are warning parents of young children to be on the look out for symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV cases have overwhelmed hospitals in 33 states, with cases having doubled in 25 states in the last month. For the moment, Mississippi is not among the states reporting an increase in cases, but neighboring states are.

RSV symptoms are similar to the common cold but come with advanced respiratory distress. Doctors say to watch out for heavily flaring nostrils and skin tightening to the ribs as children breathe.

Hospitals typically see RSV cases rise in December to February, but the wave has started earlier this year. Right now, RSV cases are outpacing all other respiratory complaints in children, including COVID and the flu. Doctors are urging parents to get their children’s flu vaccines as soon as possible to head off trips to crowded emergency rooms.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Zelenskyy fears Russia plans to blow up a major hydroelectric dam in Ukraine

Ukrainian forces are preparing an offensive in the Russian-occupied region of Kherson. Russian authorities have already ordered an evacuation of its personnel along with 50,000-60,000 civilians. Ukraine has condemned the civilian evacuation as a mass forced deportation of its citizens.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned of another looming danger in the province. Zelenskyy said the Russians had mined a major hydrolectric dam and wired it to explode. The Kakhovka hydroelectric dam on the Dnieper River supplies power and water to much of Ukraine’s south. If the dam is destroyed, it would immediately flood about 80 settlements, including Kherson. It could also leave the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant without the water necessary to cool its reactors.

Both Russian and Ukrainian media have reported that the dam’s destruction would also stop water supply to a canal that provides Russian-occupied Crimea with 85% of its water. Russian media have claimed that it is in fact Ukraine that is planning to blow the dam. A Russian official in Kherson claims Ukraine has already fired missiles at it.

Commentators have pointed out that Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine would suffer most if the dam is destroyed, although many Ukrainian-controlled territories would be catastrophically affected as well.

If the Russians are targeting the dam, it is an act of desperation. Zelenskyy said that if the Russians blow the dam, it is an admission by Putin that he will lose control not only of Kherson but all of southern Ukraine, including Crimea.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!



Congress probes Mississippi’s handling of Jackson water crisis. Kroger-Albertsons merger may increase grocery prices. Zelenskyy: 1/3 of Ukraine’s power stations destroyed. Nigeria: Floods kill 600 since summer.




Congress probes Mississippi’s handling of Jackson water crisis

House Oversight and Reform Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) have sent a letter to Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves asking him to explain how millions in federal funds are being distributed for water infrastructure projects in the state. Since Jackson’s days-long water outage this summer, questions have swirled about whether Mississippi’s Republican-led government has been overly stingy and restrictive of funds to the Democratic-led predominately black city. Recently, the NAACP filed a civil rights complaint with the EPA. The complaint alleges that the state government has discriminated against Jackson on the basis of race.

Maloney and Thompson’s letter requests details about which municipalities will be receiving federal funds from the American Rescue Plan and the bipartisan infrastructure plan. They also want information on the population sizes and racial demographics of those communities. The chairs also want to know why Jackson is subject to an “additional layer of review” that was applied to no other municipality in the state to receive funds.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Kroger-Albertsons merger may increase grocery prices

Supermarket giants Kroger and Albertsons have agreed a $25 billion merger deal. If it goes through, it will be one of the biggest retail mergers in US history. The deal would bring more than 5,000 stores across the country under the same corporate umbrella. Kroger operates more than 2,800 stores in 35 states (including subsidiary brands like Ralphs, Smith’s and Harris Teeter) while Alberstons operates 2,220 stores in 34 states (with subsidiary brands Safeway, Jewel Osco and Shaw’s). 

The merger has already drawn antitrust scrutiny from members of Congress. Progressive Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MT) are already calling for regulators to block the deal.  Sarah Miller of the American Economic Liberties Project warns that the merger “would squeeze consumers already struggling to afford food”.

The companies’ executives say that the merger will save them $500 million, which can then be passed on to consumers. The merger will also allow them to expand their store brand offerings and save customers money. This may be true in the short-term, but in areas where there is little competition, supermarket mergers tend to drive consumer prices higher over time. Large mergers also tend to squeeze out smaller competitors, giving remaining stores more power to set prices.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Zelenskyy: Russian attacks destroyed 1/3 of Ukraine’s power stations

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that recent barrages of Russian missiles have destroyed nearly one-third of Ukraine’s power stations. The downed power stations have led to blackouts in parts of the country. Despite comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin last week indicating missile attacks would be scaled back for now, air attacks against civilian targets and infrastructure in Ukraine have persisted. However, Putin is relying less on conventional missiles in favor of Iranian-made “kamikaze drones”. US intelligence says Putin has been purchasing these drones for months, but this is the first time they’ve been deployed on a mass scale.

Compared to missiles, the drones are slower, noisier, and easier for Ukraine’s air defense to eliminate in flight. But because there are so many of them, Ukraine simply can’t stop them all. Ukraine’s allies have promised more air defense systems and equipment, but they haven’t yet arrived.

Meanwhile, Iran has promised to deliver surface-to-surface missiles to Russia in addition to more drones.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Nigeria: 600 killed in floods since summer

Nigeria has long been accustomed to seasonal flooding, but this year’s flooding has lasted longer and done more damage than any in the last decade. Like Pakistan and areas of southern and central Asia that saw overwhelming flooding this year, overbuilding and poor water management in Nigeria have also contributed to the impact.

Since early summer, more than 600 people have perished in Nigeria’s floods. The flooding has destroyed over 200,000 homes and displaced about 1.3 million people. Experts expect the flooding to continue into November.

As in Pakistan, floods have also devastated much of Nigeria’s agricultural land. Nigeria is among six countries the UN says is at high risk of hunger. The country’s economy has already been battered over the last year due to high levels of inflation. 

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!


Reeves declares Jackson’s water safe again… but would he drink it? Mar-a-Lago case: Judge rejects DOJ request to access docs. Ukraine: hundreds of graves, evidence of torture in recaptured areas.



Reeves declares Jackson’s water safe to drink again… but would he drink it?

In a news conference yesterday, Gov. Tate Reeves declared that, “We have restored clean water to the city of Jackson”. Many Jackson residents are relieved after a 7-week long boil water notice. For all that time, they’ve had to hunt down bottled water from various distribution sites or buy it themselves.

With the boil water notice listed, those free distribution sites will close over the coming days. However, some residents say the water coming out of their pipes remains discolored or smelly. Their understandable distrust of the water means they’ll now either have to buy their drinking water, or rely on local charities.

In addition to continuing concerns about pollution at the source, much of the city’s aging infrastructure still relies on lead pipes. Unlike other waterborne contaminants, boiling does nothing to diminish lead content. Jim Craig, a state public health official, says Jackson residents should refrain from using the city’s water to prepare baby formula. Instead they should use either bottled or filtered water. The Health Department also recommends that pregnant women and young children use bottled water, and that children under 5 undergo regular lead screenings and blood tests.

The EPA has a set standard for how much lead in a water is “acceptable”. However, no amount of lead is safe for human consumption. Even in low levels, lead accumulates in the body over time and can lead to neurological impairment and organ damage.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

Mar-a-Lago case: Judge approves special master, rejects DOJ request to access docs

Judge Aileen Cannon has approved Judge Raymond Dearie as special master to review the documents seized by the FBI from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. Dearie was proposed by Trump’s team but the Department of Justice has accepted his qualifications. Cannon has given Dearie until November 30 to complete his review.

In her ruling, Cannon has rejected DOJ’s request to be allowed to continue to review the documents themselves as part of their ongoing criminal investigation into Trump’s mishandling of classified material.

Cannon’s ruling seemingly rejects DOJ’s assertion that the classified documents are, in fact, classified. She claims that that fact is in dispute. While Trump has claimed publicly that he declassified the documents, it’s important to note his attorneys have not made that claim in court, where they could be sanctioned for lying.

Experts have again panned Cannon’s ruling in this case, some even called it “silly”. Especially troubling is Cannon’s decision to allow Trump’s attorneys to review these documents while DOJ cannot. Some of these documents bear classifications that even high-ranking White House and defense officials wouldn’t have access to. DOJ is expected to appeal at least this part of the ruling to a higher federal court.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Ukraine discovers hundreds of graves, evidence of torture in areas liberated from Russia

Ukrainian soldiers have discovered hundreds of graves following a massive eastern offensive that liberated an area until recently occupied by Russian troops. Some of the graves were found in a wooded area, marked by makeshift wooden crosses. At least some of these were mass graves containing the bodies of dozens of Ukrainian soldiers.

Near the city of Izium in the Kharkiv region, investigators are conducting a mass exhumation. Officials there say they are uncovering evidence of likely war crimes, including torture. Many of the people buried in the graveyard bore signs of a violent death, but also severed ears and other signs of torture. Ukraine’s national police chief says torture chambers have been found in the Kharkiv region.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!


Jackson residents now have running water, but it’s still not safe to drink. DOJ subpoenas several Trump aides in Jan. 6 probe. China: Xinjiang COVID lockdowns lead to food, medicine shortages.



Jackson residents now have running water, but it’s still not safe to drink

After heavy rain and flooding overwhelmed Jackson’s O.B. Curtis water treatment plant, Jackson’s 150,000 or so residents were unable to shower or even flush their toilets for several days. But even before that, the city had been under a boil water notice for a month. With considerable help from FEMA and the EPA, Jackson has managed to restore adequate water pressure to its residents. Still, there is no end in sight for the boil water notice, and a long term solution to the city’s water woes is still nowhere to be seen.

Jackson’s mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba has spoken to NPR and most recently CBS about the prospects for a resolution. It’s clear from both interviews that considerable tensions remain between Jackson’s city government and the state government. There are also major disagreements about how to proceed with necessary upgrades to Jackson’s infrastructure and who should pay for it.

Is privatization “on the table”?

The NPR interviewer mentioned Gov. Tate Reeves’ comment that privatization of Jackson’s water utility was “on the table”. Lumumba responded that privatization would take the people of Jackson “from one state of misery to the next”. Privatization of public utilities often results in unsustainable rate increases. More than a quarter of Jackson’s residents live below the poverty line and would struggle to pay higher rates for their water. Lumumba said that a maintenance agreement with a private entity that allowed rates to remain reasonable would be preferable.

EPA opens federal probe

The CBS interviewer addressed a new probe by the EPA’s Office of the Inspector General into the failures of Jackson’s water infrastructure. Lumumba said he had encouraged all city employees to cooperate fully with investigators, and denied knowledge of any criminality by city employees. In fact, Lumumba said he welcomed the probe, hoping that it would get to the root causes of the crisis.

A similar EPA OIG investigation of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, led to 9 indictments of city and state officials, including Michigan’s former governor Rick Snyder. The indictments were announced last year and the trials are still ongoing.

Lumumba touts federal help

During the CBS interview, Lumumba says he’s been in close communication with President Biden, EPA head Michael Regan and federal infrastructure czar Mitch Landrieu. The city of Jackson has recently received some $42 million in federal funds, but doesn’t yet have all that money in hand. Lumumba says that while the lion’s share of that money will go towards Jackson’s infrastructure, “it is insufficient to meet the great need of 30 years of deferred maintenance and accumulated challenges”. Lumumba said that more federal funds may be on the way to Jackson in October but didn’t give further details. In previous interviews, Lumumba has said it may cost as much as $2 billion to fully overhaul Jackson’s water infrastructure.

The CBS interviewer asked Lumumba about his previous comments claiming that state lawmakers had been racist in their treatment of Jackson. Lumumba didn’t walk back those comments but said that Jacksonians won’t be served by focusing on political infighting.


DOJ subpoenas several Trump aides in Jan. 6 probe

News broke over the weekend that the Justice Department has subpoenaed several current and former Trump aides in a grand jury probe related to Jan. 6. Sources familiar with the investigation told several news outlets that DOJ wants to question these aides about Trump’s fundraising following his November 2020 election loss. This probe is separate from another federal grand jury probe of Trump’s efforts to pressure 6 states to appoint fake electors.

This probe centers on Trump’s Save America PAC. Following the November 2020 election, Trump’s campaign raised millions in small dollar donations from Trump’s supporters, supposedly to fund the campaign’s judicial challenges to the election results. Rather than supporting court challenges, most of that money went to the Save America PAC.

Where did the money go?

The PAC’s leadership is a who’s who of current and former Trump officials, all of whom draw hefty salaries. These include subpoena recipients William B. Harrison, William S. Russell, Nicholas Luna, and Sean Dollman.

Save America also set up several sub-organizations, which have funded Trump’s defense in his myriad court battles, none of which have anything to do with his initial litigation of the election results. They’ve also helped pay for the defense of several Trump confidents who are fighting subpoenas in other Jan. 6-related cases. Through one of these sub-organizations, the PAC also funded the efforts for a ballot recount in Arizona.

PACs in general have a reputation for spreading money around in ways that rarely receive official scrutiny, although they probably should. In many cases, they simply act as warehouses to ensure that a campaign’s political operatives remain on a candidate’s payroll.

Considering the wide latitude given to other PACs, it’s not clear yet what Save America did that was egregious enough to merit a federal grand jury probe. An answer may materialize in the days and weeks to come. It’s possible DOJ believes the PAC’s financial dealings will shed light one one of their other criminal probes of Trump and his associates.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



China: Xinjiang COVID lockdowns lead to food, medicine shortages

Parts of China’s northwestern province of Xinjiang, home to much of the country’s oppressed Muslim Uighur and Kazakh populations, has been under COVID lockdown since at least early August. Lately, desperate Uighurs and Kazakhs have take to social media to plead for food and medicine. China’s internet censors have instructed users to flood social media sites with innocuous posts about Xinjiang to try to drown out the cries for help.

Meanwhile, the 21 million inhabitants of the city of Chengdu in the southwest Sichuan province have endured weeks of heatwaves, power cuts and deadly earthquakes while also in strict lockdown. Chengdu is China’s largest city to go into strict lockdown since Shanghai, a city of 25 million, endured two months of lockdown earlier this year.

President Xi to meet with Putin

In his first trip abroad since the pandemic, China’s president Xi Jinping is traveling to Uzbekistan for a regional conference. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also attending and will be meeting with Xi. The last time the two leaders met face-to-face was at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Putin was one of only a few foreign leaders to attend the Olympics. This was shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Xi and Putin’s partnership has intensified since then. However, Xi may be having concerns about Putin’s war in Ukraine, which doesn’t seem to be going very well at the moment. At an upcoming Chinese Communist Party Conference in October, Xi hopes to secure an unprecedented third 5-year term as the party’s leader and China’s president. Xi is therefore eager to avoid embarrassment from either the social and economic devastation of China’s severe lockdowns or from Putin’s destabilizing war in Ukraine.



Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!


Jackson water crisis: Biden puts ball in Reeves’ court. Mar-a-Lago raid: Judge unseals detailed list of seized material. Zaporizhzhia: UN nuclear inspectors arrive at Ukraine plant.



Jackson water crisis: Biden puts ball in Reeves’ court

Much of Jackson still lacks adequate water pressure on the fourth day of the outage. As of Wednesday, about 80% of the city still lacked adequate water pressure. It’s not clear if there has been any improvement since then. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba claims that there has been some improvement, but would not say when he thought water pressure would be fully restored.

The National Guard are now manning seven new water distribution sites which will remain open “until further notice”.

After issuing a federal state of emergency declaration earlier this week, President Biden seemed to call out Gov. Tate Reeves. “We’ve offered every single thing available to Mississippi. The governor has to act,” Biden said yesterday. “There’s money to deal with this problem. We’ve given them EPA. We’ve given them everything there is to offer”. Biden said he has no immediate plans to visit Jackson, but the director of FEMA is due to visit today.

Decades of political hot potato

Biden’s comments echo years of frustration with the state government’s inaction on the matter. Reeves and other state GOP say they don’t want to give Jackson a “bailout” to restore water service to its 160,000 residents. However, in recent years the state granted hundreds of millions of dollars to wealthier white communities to build new water facilities.

Successive administrations of Jackson’s city government are also guilty of years of neglect and mismanagement. Over a decade ago, the city contracted with Siemens to sort out the water authority’s billing issue. Siemens somehow managed to make matters even worse. But even if the billing was up to snuff, more than a quarter of Jackson’s residents are below the poverty line. The city simply doesn’t have the customer and tax base to raise the $2 billion Mayor Lumumba estimates it will take to fix the problem. Certainly not in the near term.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Mar-a-Lago raid: Judge unseals detailed list of seized material

A federal judge in Florida has unsealed a detailed list of property seized from Mar-a-Lago by the FBI on August 8. The list details the contents of 33 boxes that Trump kept either in his office or in a storage room at his Florida estate. It includes:

  • 103 classified documents (31 “Confidential”; 54 “Secret”; 18 “Top Secret”).
  • 11,108 documents belonging to the US Government without classification markings.
  • 1,675 Magazines/Newspapers/Press Articles and other Printed Media dating between 2008 and 2020.
  • 48 Empty Folders labeled “Classified”.
  • 42 Empty Folders labeled “Return to Staff Secretary/Military Aide”.
  • Several dozen items of personal memorabilia including clothing items, gifts and books.

If you’d like to check my math, (never a bad idea) you can see the full list by clicking here.

What does all this mean?

The 11,000+ US documents are presumably non-classified material from Trump’s presidency that should have been turned over to the National Archives when he left office.

The 90 empty folders are most alarming as it supports suspicions that a great deal of highly sensitive material has not yet been recovered. A previous filing by the DOJ alludes to witness testimony that sensitive material was removed from Mar-a-Lago after FBI agents visited the property to recover documents in June. During that search, members of Trump’s legal team forbade agents from opening certain boxes to search for classified material.

All of this material was haphazardly intermingled with Trump’s 1,675-piece collection of magazines and newspaper clippings. It’s almost as if Trump was treating the classified documents as part of his own personal scrapbook.

As for where the 90 folders worth of classified documents are, it’s anyone’s guess. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is currently conducting a risk assessment. For now, they say they don’t believe this material has yet found its way into an adversaries hands.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Zaporizhzhia: UN nuclear inspectors arrive at Ukraine plant

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, have arrived in Zaporizhzhia to evaluate the damage to the nuclear facility from shelling. The plant has been occupied by Russian forces for months, but remains under the control of its Ukrainian handlers. Hours before the IAEA inspectors were due to arrive, there was a new round of shelling that hit the plant. The Ukrainians and Russians have each blamed the other for the shelling. Russian military forces have been using the plant as a nuclear shield to launch attacks on surrounding cities.

On arriving at the plant, the inspectors seem to have been quite dismayed at what they saw. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told reporters that the “plant and physical integrity of the plant” had been “violated several times”. Grossi also said several IAEA inspectors were remaining behind to continue monitoring the situation, and perhaps also hoping their presence might discourage whoever keeps firing on the plant.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!



Jackson’s water crisis could take $billions to fix. Mar-a-Lago: DOJ details months of obstruction by Trump. Drought forces China to ration electricity.




“Humanitarian crisis” unfolds in Jackson with no end in sight

Even as floodwaters recede, it’s unclear when Jackson’s water system will be fully operable. Adding to the confusion is the apparent friction between the state and local authorities. Mayor Lumumba’s office and Gov. Reeves’ office do not appear to have communicated with one another. However, both have been in contact with the White House. Lumumba and Reeves are also each making contradictory statements regarding the crisis. Gov. Reeves has warned residents that whatever water coming into their homes is undrinkable “raw” water from the reservoir. Meanwhile, Lumumba says this isn’t true. Lumumba does say that Jackson’s residents should continue boiling their water, as they’ve been advised to do for over a month.

Jackson residents aren’t taking any chances and are assuming the worst. Residents have told reporters that when any water comes out of their taps, it’s cloudy and brown.

Drive-up distribution points have opened throughout the city where residents receive one case of bottled water per car. Many residents are waiting in their cars for hours in lines that stretch for miles. Often, the supply points run out of water within 30 minutes of opening their doors. Those who arrived to the line even minutes too late ended up waiting hours in the hot sun for nothing.

A long overdue investment

President Biden has authorized FEMA assistance to deal with the immediate crisis. But Jackson’s water woes have been going on for years and are likely to continue without major intervention.

State and local authorities at least agree on one point: this is not going to be a quick fix, or a cheap one. Jackson’s antiquated water infrastructure has suffered decades of neglect and under investment. Lumumba estimates that a complete overhaul of Jackson’s water delivery system may cost $2 billion. And neither the city, the state, nor the federal government has yet volunteered to pony up.

State Sen. David Blount (D-Jackson) has called for a special legislative session to discuss the issue. Blount advocates putting a portion of the state’s $2.5 billion in surplus funds towards fixing Jackson’s water system. If they do, it will be the first time in decades the state has made such a monumental investment in Jackson’s utility infrastructure. By contrast, as Blount points out, “the state has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to benefit regional utility authorities on the Gulf Coast and in DeSoto County“. Wealthier and whiter communities in nearby Rankin County also received state funds to build a new sewer plant, severing them from Jackson’s crumbling system.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Mar-a-Lago: DOJ details months of obstruction by Trump

Late last night, the Department of Justice filed a brief contesting a petition by Donald Trump’s attorneys in the investigation of top secret documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home by the FBI. A hearing tomorrow will determine whether Trump’s attorneys will be successful in having a “special master” appointed to oversee the FBI’s investigation. A special master reviews document evidence in a case to ensure that none of it is subject to attorney-client privilege.

Trump’s attorneys want the special master to review whether any of the documents are subject to “executive privilege”. On this point, the DOJ’s counter-filing stated unequivocally that there was “no legal basis” for such a review. By law, executive privilege applies only to sitting presidents.

The DOJ also contends that appointing a civilian special master to the investigation could potentially further compromise national security. Some of the 700 pages of documents seized by the FBI contains classified information on intelligence gathering practices and even human intelligence assets. The FBI agents already reviewing the case had to be given higher security clearances just to view the material.

Months of obstruction

A photo from the DOJ showing top secret documents alongside Trump’s collection of framed magazine covers at Mar-a-Lago.

In the filing, the DOJ also sought to debunk “meritless accusations” from Trump’s legal counsel and his supporters that DOJ had treated Trump “unfairly”. The filing outlines months of negotiations between the department and Trump’s team. It reveals that Trump’s team lied repeatedly when they claimed to have no classified documents other than what they had already surrendered.

DOJ also provided a photo of top secret files on the floor at Mar-a-Lago, sitting alongside Trump’s personal paraphernalia (in this case a box of framed magazine covers). Previous reports described that material in top secret folders seized from Mar-a-Lago were taken out of their folders and mixed in with other material, such as Trump’s personal photos and magazine clippings.

During a June search of the property, agents were “expressly forbidden” by Trump’s counsel from opening certain boxes in a storage room to verify they contained no classified material. Agents later removed several boxes of top-secret and above-top-secret material from the storage room. 

More troubling still, multiple civilian sources told DOJ that other material was “likely concealed and removed” from the estate to hide it from investigators. This means there may be still more classified material out there that the FBI hasn’t yet got hold of.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Drought forces China to ration electricity

China depends heavily on hydroelectric dams for its power needs. Now, an 11-week drought has dried up reservoirs and rivers across the country. This has forced some of China’s largest cities to ration electricity use. As a result, manufacturing centers that normally run 24/7 are going dark for much of the day. High-rise offices in financial hubs like Shanghai are also having to do without air conditioning, despite weeks-long stretches of 100+ degree temperatures.

This is the longest drought in China’s recorded history and could have global implications. Months of high temperatures and no rain have devastated crops. This will contribute to a rise in food prices rises in coming months, especially since Europe has been experiencing similar droughts. The slowdown in China’s factories could also affect international traders that rely on Chinese manufacturing.

Meanwhile, several provinces in China have ramped up coal-fired plants to ease power shortages. This is a major setback in efforts to convince China and other developing countries to decrease their coal use to ease climate change.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!

NEMiss.News Jim Waide (L) and Tate Reeves


Tupelo attorney Jim Waide has asked a judge to examine whether Gov. Tate Reeves has acted to protect himself and his political donors in the state welfare scandal.

Waide represents defendant Andrew Smith in a lawsuit in which the state is trying to recover some of the tens of millions of federal welfare dollars embezzled during the administration of former Gov. Phil Bryant.

Reeves fired attorney Brad Pigott, who had been hired by the Department of Human Services to try to recover some of the stolen money. Reeves objected to a subpoena in the case that Pigott had issued to the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation.

Waide contends that Reeves is meddling in the lawsuit to protect himself and political associates from responsibility in illegally directing five million dollars of federal welfare money to a volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Jim Waide is one of the South’s long-time successful litigators. In a career spanning 50 years, Waide has won millions of dollars in judgements against scores of defendants in civil rights, employment discrimination and wrongful death lawsuits.

As a United States Marine Corps officer, Waide volunteered as a forward air observer during the Vietnam War. The work of a forward observer is considered some of the most hazardous of all military duties. Waide’s legal career has reflected the same aggressive and intrepid qualities.

Nine of his cases have been reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has never lost a case at the high court.

The story below is by Anna Wolfe. Her stories for Mississippi Today have revealed much about the $70-million or more embezzled during the Bryant Administration. The money was stolen from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, federal welfare funds intended for the poorest Mississippians.

Anna Wolfe’s story is republished below, with permission.


NEMiss.News Favre, Reeves & Bryant



NEMiss.News Editor:  The shenanigans of former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and others in illegally diverting $77-million in federal welfare money to their cronies are getting national attention. The case first broke in 2020 when State Auditor Shadrack White crowed about the arrests of former DHS Director John Davis, Nancy New, a promoter of private schools, and several others. White, a Bryan protege’, claimed at the time that Bryant was the “whistle blower” in the case, an assertion that came unraveled when it came out that Bryant and his wife Deborah were themselves involved in misdirecting the federal money. Retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre, a former football hero at the University of Southern Mississippi and a buddy of Bryant and current Governor Tate Reeves, was the beneficiary of several millions, a portion of which he paid back when the scandal came to light.

The case caught a special new wrinkle a few days ago when former U.S. Attorney Brad Pigott, who had been hired by DHS to “claw back” some of the millions, was fired by Reeves after Pigott subpoenaed additional information about the dirty deeds. Reeves himself got donations from New, which he said he “donated to charity” after the case broke 30 months ago. The New York Times, NBC News and several other national news organizations jumped on the story during the weekend just ended. Read on…



Mississippi fires lawyer who was investigating Brett Favre’s potential connection to $5 million payment to Southern Mississippi

The massive, multi-million-dollar welfare scam in Mississippi is an onion with many lawyers and levels. Some have been explored. Some haven’t been. Now, some may be stopping others from the effort to keep peeling.

As reported by Mississippi Today, the state’s welfare department has fired attorney Brad Pigott, who was hired to get to the bottom of the scandal. The firing happened roughly a week after he sent a subpoena to the University of Southern Mississippi aimed at exploring why and how the school received $5 million in welfare funds to build a volleyball stadium.

“All I did, and I believe all that caused me to be terminated from representing the department or having anything to do with the litigation, was to try to get the truth about all of that,” Pigott told Mississippi Today on Friday. “People are going to go to jail over this, at least the state should be willing to find out the truth of what happened.”

Pigott, in seeking more information about the $5 million payment to USM, was exploring the involvement of former NFL quarterback Brett Favre and former Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, among others. Favre played college football at USM an his daughter played volleyball at the school in 2017 and 2018.

The New York Times pushes the ball a little farther, after separately speaking to Pigott. The lawyer told the Times that Favre had promised to give $5 million to the construction of the volleyball stadium. Pigott claims that Favre, instead of writing the check, asked the Mississippi Community Education Center to fund the project. And the Mississippi Community Education Center was at the heart of the distribution of federal welfare money in a way that has created a major controversy in one of the nation’s poorest states.

Pigott told the Times that the center paid the $5 million, and then “disguised it as a payment for use of university facilities that did not occur.”

“I’m a born and raised Mississippian, and this particular kind of fraud was just an especially offensive failure to use money to serve what [federal] law calls ‘needy families,’ of which we have an excess supply in Mississippi, and do have great, great needs,” Pigott told the Times. “I found it especially offensive that they so cavalierly spent so many millions of dollars intended to remove poverty in this state, and instead spend it on each other and celebrity figures and corporations and their favorite institutions.”

A spokesperson for current Mississippi governor Tate Reeves told the Times as to the firing of Pigott that there are “many capable lawyers who can handle the work necessary to recover stolen [federal] funds” and that “it was decided that a semiretired solo practitioner was not the right person to sign on for more work.”

Pigott seems to believe he wasn’t the right person because he wasn’t the “right” person. The former U.S. Attorney who was appointed by Bill Clinton apparently thinks the firing happened because the work was coming too close to possibly exposing new depths of Favre’s and Bryant’s involvement, and because certain political forces intervened.

“I am sure they can find a loyal Republican lawyer to do the work,” Pigott told Mississippi Today.

Favre was first connected to the scandal via reporting that he received $1.1 million in welfare funds for no-show public appearances and other work. He denied getting paid not to perform services, but he nevertheless paid back the money. Mississippi has since sued him for unpaid interest on the funds.

NEMiss.News 3 part series on MDHS embezzlement scandal (May, June 2020):  Part I (Charges & Evidence), Part II (Key Players),  Part III  (How to get money back?)

To see original NBC Sports post: https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2022/07/24/mississippi-fires-lawyer-who-was-investigating-brett-favres-potential-connection-to-5-million-payment-to-southern-mississippi/

Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!