Mississippi is a decently sized state, space-wise, but not many folks live here. In terms of both area and population density Mississippi ranks 32nd. Only two cities in the state have greater than 50,000 residents (Jackson, 143,000; Gulfport, 68,000) and only 19 have more than 20,000. Folks are spread out. A consequence of this is that there are very few state-wide news outlets. If you want to find out what’s going on in Mississippi you can glance at Jackson’s Clarion Ledger as you line your bird cage or you can listen to SuperTalk Mississippi.
I was listening to the Paul Gallo Show on SuperTalk this morning. Paul was railing about the Mississippi legislature. Seems the House voted against a bill which would have put a measure on the ballot this November. The measure would have put to a vote whether or not the Mississippi Constitution should be amended to require a balanced budget (including provisions to not balance the budget if Mississippi goes to war or there’s a hurricane.) To be clear, the Mississippi House of Representative voted to not put the measure on the ballot– not to not balance the budget, but to not put the question to the people.
Stay with me. It’s not nearly as boring as it sounds.
The Paul Gallo Show is a call-in radio show. So there’s Paul yammering on about the seven brave Democrats who voted with the Republicans to put the measure on the ballot and all of a sudden he says “Seems I’m not the only one who’s upset about this. The governor just called in.”
And sure enough the next thing I heard was Governor Bryant saying, “Good morning, Paul! I just wanted to call in and talk about that bill.”
I don’t know about you but I find this freaking hilarious. Can you picture the governor of your state sitting at his breakfast table listening to talk radio and picking up his phone to call in?
It gets even better… .
Naturally since Paul has Phil on the line he asks him about another bill which was defeated in the house– a bill to make it mandatory to hold kids back in the third grade– that is, to not promote them to fourth grade– if they cannot read. Think about that for a minute.
When asked why the bill failed– along party lines– Governor Bryant answered that he heard some (D) representatives were worried too many kids would fail.
Too many third graders in the Sovereign State of Mississippi cannot read. Of course, the way to solve this problem is to promote them to fourth grade. And fifth and sixth and… and then when they get to ninth grade they can just drop out and become really productive members of society.
It is Mississippi.