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February 15th, 2011
03:41 PM ET

Letters to the President: #757 'Back from being away'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama asked for advice from the public a long time ago. I keep giving it, and not just on special days.

Dear Mr. President,

Well, if I wait any longer to send today’s letter it will be tomorrow!

I saw you handing out the Medals of Freedom earlier and you looked pretty happy about it; a good bit happier than you seem to be talking about your budget, but then money talk tends to get people tense, so no surprise there.

I’ve had a little trouble getting everything back on track since I took a couple of days off. Not sure I told you what we were up to, but this seems as good a time as any, and I suspect you could need a little diversion. (Btw, I notice you and your staff making reference to you reading ten letters a day from the public. So who are the other nine? Ha!)

We made a nice family memory this past weekend - flying everyone down to New Orleans for a Valentine’s Day/Mardi Gras celebration. It was lovely. My wife, younger daughter, and I jetted down from DC and met our elder daughter at the airport on Friday evening. She flew in from Georgia Tech right after her classes were done for the day. By 8:30 we were all gathered around the counter at Camellia Grill (just two blocks from our old apartment) enjoying omelets, gumbo, grilled cheese, and chocolate freezes, among other things. It was, as always, delicious.

Saturday we had a late breakfast at the Ruby Slipper (you’ll notice how all my visits to NOLA are described in terms of meals, but hey, as an old ad used to say down there, “others may only eat to live; in New Orleans we live to eat!”) And again, the meal was so fabulous it made me want to weep.
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February 15th, 2011
03:30 PM ET

Mississippi governor asked to denounce attempts to honor KKK leader

Antoinette Campbell
CNN

(CNN) - The Mississippi NAACP has called on Governor Haley Barbour to publicly denounce an attempt by a Confederacy group to honor a Ku Klux Klan leader, the organization said Monday.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans has launched the campaign to recognize Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest on a specialty license plate.

Forrest, a popular and controversial figure, is best known as a leader of the KKK, the white supremacist group known for terrorizing blacks in the South after the Civil War.

He is also praised and criticized for an 1864 raid at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, where hundreds of black Union Army members were killed during the war. The controversy over whether Forrest conducted or condoned the massacre is still a matter for heated debate.

Mississippi NAACP leaders feel a state-sanctioned license plate honoring a man with ties to the KKK sends the wrong message to people in the state and across the country.

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