Article Comment 

Mississippi Voices: The Crony


By Ashby Foote



Once upon a midnight dreary, came a crony to our door, 


Hands out reaching, reaching -- reaching for our treasure store, 


Tapping, tapping, a crony rapping at our treasure's door, 


And the word there spoken was the whispered word, Kior, 


Dreams of pine chips into diesel, strange new dreams like none before, 


Such a rare and radiant promise, the clever crony calls Kior, 


Tax breaks, tax breaks, job creation 


Quoth the crony evermore. 




Deep into the dreaminess peering, long we stood there wondering fearing, 


Is this just a beef plant haunted - tell us truly we implore, 


But the crony so beguiling, turned our sad frowns into smiling 


And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, Kior, 


Thrilled us-filled us with fantastic tremors never felt before. 


Tax breaks, tax breaks, job creation 


Quoth the crony evermore. 




But things turned poorly, poorly, sadly for the great Kior, 


Production faltered, then was halted, revenues turned nevermore, 


Kior shuttered, dreamers shattered, jobs were gone and nothing more, 


From our own surcease of sorrow -- sorrow for the lost Kior, 


This we whispered, and an echo murmured back the word Kior, 


Treasure drained and nothing more, 


Tax breaks, tax breaks, job creation 


Quoth the crony evermore. 




Back inside our treasure turning, all our soul within us burning, 


Soon again we heard a tapping, somewhat louder than before, 


Tapping, tapping could it be another crony wishing entry to our treasure store, 


In there stepped a fat cat crony, spinning tales of jobs galore, 


Kemper dreams of lignite magic, crony dreams are so fantastic, 


Fat cat wheeler, fat cat dealer, he charms the crowds like few before, 


Tax breaks, tax breaks, special funding, 


Quoth the crony evermore. 




Kemper magic so beguiling, turns the skeptic frowns to smiling, 


Crony tales of lignite bragging, shades of old time carpet bagging, 


billions now and billions more, 


Let our heart be still a moment and this mystery explore, 


Monstrous Kemper, so gigantic, billions more turn Kemper tragic, 


higher rates for evermore, 


Kemper's billions make us poorer, poorer -- poorer than we were before, 


Kemper's magic will be tragic, not unlike the great Kior, higher rates for evermore, 


Tax breaks, tax breaks, job creation 


Quoth the crony evermore. 


(with apologies to Edgar Allan Poe and "The Raven") 




Foote is Jackson based investment advisor and president of, a website devoted to the discussion of "ideas that encourage economic freedom, discourage cronyism." His email address is



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