Oklahoma, Mississippi, & Civil Rights

Oklahoma: Coburn gives pessimistic talk, but… US Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), addressing the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce last Friday, gave a dreary forecast for the nation’s economic future, estimating that each young family’s share of the national debt is $1.1 million. The physician/lawmaker brightened the picture a bit, however, commenting, “I always leave a bottle of Prozac by the door whenever I speak” because the bleak picture “gets people down,” reported the Stillwater News Press. Coburn is retiring in December at the end of his current term.


Mississippi: Bryant announces Blueprint Mississippi. Gov. Phil Bryant (R), along with business and higher education leaders, announced the Blueprint Mississippi Social Business Challenge. Students at the state’s public universities will form teams of six students and at least one faculty member to develop business plans to help solve some of the states significant problems, including in the fields of education, economic development and healthcare.


Civil Rights: Scott gets support for “affirmative action lite.” US Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the Senate’s only African-American Republican and who is up for election this year, recently introduced a Senate resolution to encourage companies to interview at least two qualified minority applicants for managerial openings and at least two qualified minority businesses for vendor contracts. So far, he has five cosponsors from the South, Republicans Rand Paul (KY) and Marco Rubio (FL), both potential presidential candidates, and Democrats Mary Landrieu (LA) and Mark Pryor (AR), both up for reelection next year.  Scott’s Senate Res. 511 is based on the RLJ Rule, initiated by black entertainment mogul (he’s a billionaire) Bob Johnson, who based that on the NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” named after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, which requires league teams to interview minorities for top jobs, including head coach.