Brett Favre’s alleged involvement in stealing funds meant for poor people just gets shadier and shadier

It never ceases to amaze me the ways that powerful well-to-do people will try to work the system in their favor even if it means taking money from poor people in the poorest state in the union — with the (alleged) added assistance of a powerful Republican then-governor.

Text messages entered Monday into the state’s ongoing civil lawsuit over the welfare scandal reveal that former Gov. Phil Bryant pushed to make NFL legend Brett Favre’s volleyball idea a reality.

The texts show that the then-governor even guided Favre on how to write a funding proposal so that it could be accepted by the Mississippi Department of Human Services – even after Bryant ousted the former welfare agency director John Davis for suspected fraud.

“Just left Brett Favre,” Bryant texted nonprofit founder Nancy New in July of 2019, within weeks of Davis’ departure. “Can we help him with his project. We should meet soon to see how I can make sure we keep your projects on course.”

When Favre asked Bryant how the new agency director might affect their plans to fund the volleyball stadium, Bryant assured him, “I will handle that… long story but had to make a change. But I will call Nancy and see what it will take,” according to the filing and a text Favre forwarded to New.

The newly released texts, filed Monday by an attorney representing Nancy New’s nonprofit, show that Bryant, Favre, New, Davis and others worked together to channel at least $5 million of the state’s welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at University of Southern Mississippi, where Favre’s daughter played the sport. Favre received most of the credit for raising funds to construct the facility.

This is in addition to the $77 million in additional funds for the needy that were allegedly misspent by a shady non-profit with Republican connections.

$77 million + $5 million in a dirt-poor state like Mississippi would have helped an awful lot of needy people.

Note also that Mississippi’s current GOP Gov. Tate Reeves “abruptly fired the attorney bringing the state’s case when he tried to subpoena documents related to the volleyball stadium.”

Reeves famously hates poor people and helped precipitate and then ignore the water crisis engulfing poor Jackson, Miss. residents.

Meanwhile, Favre appears to be so crooked I fully expect him to run for Republican office in the near future. The GOP base LOVES Republicans who cheat poor Black people and then paint the poor Black people with the age-old racist brush of being shifty and lazy.

Sports hero Brett Favre is alleged to have misappropriated funds meant for the needy to instead build a state-of-the-art volleyball complex at the university where his daughter attends.

Mississippi’s capital city under boil water order

Such a lovely state, Mississippi.

While the GOP-controlled legislature keeps thinking of new ways to cut taxes on corporations, the state is falling apart for its mostly poor residents:

More than 150,000 people in Mississippi’s capital were without access to safe drinking water on Tuesday, as officials confronted what they described as the “massively complicated task” of distributing bottled water and devising a plan to restore service.

The water system in Jackson, the state’s largest city, has been in crisis for years, crippled by aging and inadequate infrastructure and the lack of resources to bolster it. Residents have long contended with disruptions in service and frequent boil-water notices, including one that had already been in effect for more than a month because of cloudiness found in water samples.

The situation worsened this week as officials said that the city’s largest water treatment plant was failing. Homes and businesses were left with little to no water pressure. And officials warned that whatever did flow from faucets was not safe to consume, as it was probably untreated water that was coming straight from the city’s reservoir.

“Until it is fixed, it means we do not have reliable running water at scale,” Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi said during an emergency briefing on Monday evening. “It means the city cannot produce enough water to fight fires, to reliably flush toilets, and to meet other critical needs.”

You can read the rest here.

New Jersey town cuts down trees in town center rather than let homeless people use them for shade

This is one of those stories that, at first, I didn’t believe.

It’s just so incredibly stupid.

The [Lakewood, NJ] township cut down all of the shade trees that once lined Town Square in a controversial move designed to prevent homeless people from spending time there.

Mayor Ray Coles said the decision was made after a recommendation from the Police Department Quality of Life Unit, which the township said was triggered by numerous complaints from residents and township employees about homeless people defecating and urinating in the area.

“They (homeless people) were harassing people, defecating between the cars and residents were complaining,” Coles said.

All shade trees at Lakewood Town Square were cut down last Aug. 8.

Claudia Romero, who works in a tax preparation company across from the Town Square, said that one day she found human feces on the sidewalk in front of her office and then submitted a complaint to the township. The township did not say how many complaints it received.

The move, advocates say, was unnecessary and does nothing to help those in need.

First of all, we’re trying to plant more trees in the world, not tear them out.

Secondly, I am absolutely certain that, for the cost of removing those trees (plus the dollar values and incalculable aesthetic values of the trees) they could have gotten a porta-potty if public urination/feces really is the primary motivator behind this. (I’ll bet it’s not. I’ll bet it’s just some Karens who don’t like homeless people.)

Finally, why are you ruining the enjoyment of everyone of your town square because town leaders are too stupid/ignorant/stubborn to look for other solutions?

Rest of article here.

Kentucky, already at the bottom of quality-of-life indicators, now deals with devastating floods

Rural Kentucky sounds like a mostly awful place to live.

It just got worse.

Evelyn Smith lost everything in the floods that devastated eastern Kentucky, saving only her grandson’s muddy tricycle. But she’s not planning to leave the mountains that have been her home for 50 years.

Like many families in this dense, forested region of hills, deep valleys and meandering streams, Smith’s roots run deep. Her family has lived in Knott County for five generations. They’ve built connections with people that have sustained them, even as an area long mired in poverty has hemorrhaged more jobs with the collapse of the coal industry.

After fast-rising floodwaters from nearby Troublesome Creek swamped her rental trailer, Smith moved in with her mother. At age 50 she is disabled, suffering from a chronic breathing disorder, and knows she won’t be going back to where she lived; her landlord told her he won’t put trailers back in the same spot. Smith, who didn’t have insurance, doesn’t know what her next move will be.

“I’ve cried until I really can’t cry no more,” she said. “I’m just in shock. I don’t really know what to do now.”

Poor. Undereducated. Ignunt enough to keep voting for people like Trump and Mitch McConnell, who both support corporations over people so that poor people remain poor and rich people get richer.

I want to be clear. I am not gloating over these people’s misery.

But I do want to point out that there are reasons that these people in rural Kentucky, whose deck they were dealt in life makes them so much more vulnerable to disaster, are now without hope and resources.

And it’s not the fault of Joe Biden and the Democrats.

You can read the rest of AP article here.

You might live in an awful place, but at least it’s probably not Mississippi

You probably already know that Mississippi ranks near (or at) the bottom of most state-by-state quality-of-life indicators.

So it might not surprise you that when given $750 million by oil giant BP as compensation for that gigantic oil spill a few years back, the state’s mostly right-wing legislature is wasting the money due to fraud and incompetence:

But Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Restoration Fund is failing to meet any conventional measure of success for an economic development program, a joint investigation by the Sun Herald and ProPublica found.

Legislators put the power to spend the money in their own hands, and they’re doling it out without an overall plan. They’re using the cash to fill gaps in local government budgets and funding projects with few metrics for success. They’ve disregarded input of an advisory board made up of local business leaders, a committee lawmakers created when outlining how the money should be spent. In grant agreements, recipients have committed to creating few jobs, even fewer of them high-wage jobs.

Just 33 full-time equivalent jobs have been promised by the 24 projects for which Gulf Coast Restoration Fund grants have been finalized, according to grant agreements. Those projects have received $53.3 million — an average of $1.6 million per job. Economic development experts say that’s high.

“Experts say that’s high.” I nearly spit my coffee out when I read that part.

“Gee, do ya think $1.6 million per job is too high?”

“I dunno. Let’s ask some economic development experts.”

You can read the rest here at ProPublica.

An oily marsh in the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill.

National poll: Overwhelming number of Americans support free birth control if Roe is struck down

Republicans might want to take note if they, as many of them have predicted, try to get SCOTUS decisions about birth control reversed in the wake of the loss of Roe v. Wade:

The wide-ranging YouGov poll also shows that among those respondents who support abortion rights, 91 percent believe birth control should be made free and widely available if abortion is outlawed. Among those who are anti-abortion rights, 61 percent agree. 

Twenty-one percent of women used birth control pills in 2018, making the contraceptive the second most common behind permanent contraception, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion advocacy group. Birth control pills have consistently been one of the most popular methods of contraception since 1982. 

Despite the pill’s long history as an effective and safe contraceptive, more than 19 million women of reproductive age living in the U.S. are in need of publicly funded contraception and live in contraception deserts, according to Power to Decide, a reproductive rights advocacy group. 

Who is going to pay for the health care of all these unwanted children and their mothers? Who will pay to feed, house and clothe them when they are born to poor families? Who will suffer the result when children born into destitution and poor single mothers grow up to be, as many of them will be, anti-social teenagers and adults? At some point taxpayers will be on the hook for these costs, whether it’s during childhood, or as they enter into a dysfunctional adulthood after growing up in dysfunctional homes.

Apparently even most pro-life people understand that, if you outlaw abortion, you’re going to have to think about how to prevent these unwanted kids from being conceived in the first place.