Archive for October, 2007

Trick or Treat?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

halloween-graveyard.gif

Happy Halloween!

Technical Difficulties with Internet Explorer

Monday, October 29th, 2007

I’m hoping this post will at least show up in IE. Right now, trying to view the Blues in IE gives me a mess and a “Done, but with errors on page” message. Everything is working fine with Firefox, so now might be a good time to download it.

I’ll have to turn this over to my technical support team (that would be Zach). Meanwhile, if any of you have a clue as to what could be causing the problem, drop me an email at birminghambluesATbellsouthDOTnet. We’ll get the IE problem solved ASAP.

Never mind.  It’s fixed.

One Klan Group To Protest Another in Cullman

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Um, what? Geez, just how many Klan members are there in Cullman?

Members of one Ku Klux Klan organization say they will assemble at the courthouse Nov. 10 to show their opposition to another Klan group that plans an anti-immigration rally there that day.

Ken Mier, who described himself as an investigator for the Alabama Ku Klux Klan and the national office of the Ku Klux Klan LLC, said in an e-mail to The Cullman Times that his group is against the tactics of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which held an anti-immigration protest last month in Athens.

“We are opposed to the ignorance and stupidity as displayed by the individuals that thumbed their nose at the area churches by continuing to use racial slurs, threats and avoided Christian deportment,” he said.

Okay, I’m speculating here — there’s not much information in the linked news flash — but somehow I doubt the Alabama Klan loves them some immigrants. Sounds like the local folks are just a mite pissed that the damnyankees came down here and stole their thunder.

Tancredo Won’t Run for Re-Election

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Another one bites the dust. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-we hate the brown people) has announced that he will not run for re-election to Congress. He says his pet issue, throwing out all the brown people and building an electric fence around the United States illegal immigration, has attained national prominence, so he isn’t needed anymore. He’s fought the good fight, and now he’ll concentrate on his losing presidential campaign.

I supposed there’s a miniscule chance his poll numbers will rise above the low single digits, but he says most immigrant-haters are supporting “another candidate”. Gee, that wouldn’t be Ron Paul, would it?

Jeffco Commission Sets February Special Election

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Bob Riley is not going to be happy. The Commission voted today to hold a special election on February 5, the same day as the state’s presidential primaries, to replace Birmingham Mayor-Elect Larry Langford. Riley maintains that he has the authority to appoint Langford’s replacement, despite a Jefferson County law that mandates a special election. He’s already been slapped down for trying this in Mobile. What’s the point of going back to court?

Danny has more background here. Pop some popcorn and get comfy, folks. Unless Riley concedes, this is going to be an expensive mess for the taxpayers of Alabama.

Troy King: Confused?

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Troy King is still mad at Shelby County DA Robby Owens. So mad that he’s trying to get a judge to bar Owens’ testimony in a court hearing — even though Owens supports his position.

Amazingly, King has asked a judge to bar Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens from testifying in a court hearing involving a Death Row inmate’s appeal of his death sentence – even though Owens, like the attorney general, opposes Michael Brandon Samra’s efforts to escape the death penalty for the 1997 murder of four people, including two children.

“These motions are necessary because – though Mr. Owens in recent days has changed his position and told the … family that he will not side with the barbaric child murderer Brandon Samra – this new position is a complete change from his original position when he said Samra … in `fairness’ should be resentenced,” King said in a statement Thursday.

Owens said King is wrong and is trying to score “political points.”

Troy King try to score political points? Say it isn’t so.

Last month Troy removed Robby Owens from a death row case because Owens chose justice over political expediency, asking a judge to re-sentence LaSamuel Gamble. Gamble and then-juvenile Marcus Presley had been convicted of capital murder, but store security tape showed that Presley was the killer. Owens reasoned that executing Gamble but not Presley would be a miscarriage of justice. Troy, of course, did not agree. Apparently, he thinks life in prison without the possibility of parole (the only other sentencing option in a capital case) is a cakewalk.

Michael Samra is citing the Gamble case in an attempt to get off Death Row, but Owens — and King — don’t buy his reasoning.

Owens argues Samra’s case is different than Gamble’s. Unlike Gamble, who participated in a robbery but took no life, Samra shot one of the victims and cut the throat of one of the children.

Owens’ position is at least defensible, and this time, it’s in line with the attorney general’s viewpoint. But that isn’t enough to stop King from waging his war on … something.

That Troy — he just can’t abide people who, um, agree with him.

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Related posts:

A post from the Suburban Housewife who hates DST

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

So, our fancy electronic clock radio by the bed “fell back” an hour all by itself, and the husband, who is on call, was late for morning rounds. But no matter, because I am so proud that our Congressboro is fighting the evil terroristski with their so-devious daylight savings time increasement. WAY to lessen our dependence on foreign oil!

Wasn’t this change supposed to be temporary, and accompanied by a study on whether or not DST is really saving us any energy at all any more, what with modern air conditioning and two cars in every driveway? How’s that study coming along, anyway?

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Note from Kathy: I’m so clueless that I’d totally forgotten that the time change usually takes place this weekend. For anyone else as behind schedule as I am, here’s a link to the story.

Joel Montgomery: The Saga Continues

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

montgomerymugshot.jpgWhen last we heard from our intrepid hero public embarrassment Joel Montgomery, he was denying that he participated in alcohol counseling, even though he was required to do so as a condition of the dismissal of public intoxication charges stemming from this charming incident. Prosecutors took exception to Montgomery’s assertion and asked Judge K. C. Hairston to reinstate the charges. The judge scheduled a hearing for yesterday.

Yesterday — surprise, surprise — Montgomery didn’t show up for the hearing. The judge said a notice of the court date had been mailed to Montgomery, but there was no evidence that he signed for it. So the hearing has been rescheduled for December 7, and the prosecutor says he’ll have a Birmingham police officer deliver the notice in person. Given Montgomery’s, um, tendency toward profanity, I hope the city will issue the officer a set of earplugs.

I have to ask — if an ordinary citizen, someone who wasn’t, say, a Birmingham City Councilor, got drunk and fell on his face in a parking lot, went on an obscene rant harassing and threatening the police officer who was trying to help him, publicly bragged that he hadn’t completed court-ordered counseling, and then didn’t show up for a court hearing — do we really think this ordinary citizen would get a do-over from the judge?

How Can We Help in California?

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Wolfrum at Shakesville has listed contact information for agencies that are providing assistance to victims of the California wildfires.  They can use our help.  Head over and check them out.

When Will Dems Challenge Spencer Bachus?

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

I’ve been asking this question for some time now, but Courtney Haden puts it much more eloquently in the latest issue of the Birmingham Weekly:

…I worry about the recent revelation that Spencer Bachus hates poor children. I’d always thought our congressman a reasonably empathetic guy — he cares enough about his constituents not to draw their attention unduly with too much legislating between elections — but when I checked out the House votes on reauthorizing the SCHIP, who should be practically heading the list of Nay-sayers but the Sixth District’s one and only?

To be fair, Bachus was near the top of the list because it was in alphabetical order, but he definitely put himself on record as not wanting to expand the scope of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to give more poor kids and their families access to health care. Not, apparently, out of any deep-seated political principle (according to his website, Spence is still vociferously in favor of a Defense of Marriage constitutional amendment, but he has exactly zip to say about his position on SCHIP), but just because all the other Republicans were voting that way.

Spencer also defended his vote on SCHIP in a recent letter to the editor in which he tries to pit poor children against those whose families have slightly higher incomes, saying the poor children should get coverage first before those rich kids start cheating the system. (Spencer, does that mean you support better funding for Medicaid? You know, the program that is actually intended to provide health coverage for poor children? Gee, I see Medicare on your list of issues — old people vote, you know — but there’s nothing about Medicaid or health coverage in general.) He then goes on to play the “illegal” card, making sure we’re all horrified by the prospect that a sick child whose parents are here picking our produce, processing our chickens, or cleaning our hotel rooms might not be relegated to the emergency room after all.

Courtney continues:

The interesting thing about SCHIP is that not all the Republicans were in lockstep on this vote. With an election at hand, more than a few realized that voting against children’s health care might not be the best way to demonstrate compassionate conservatism.

Many rank and file GOPers wail about the rising costs of the SCHIP. Would that they were as concerned about the billions of dollars irretrievably poured into the bottomless rathole at the center of George and Dick’s Excellent Adventure. No one who’s consistently voted to fund the criminal boondoggle that has become permanent Iraqi occupation should be nattering about paltry millions for sick kids at home in America.

Then he moves on to my question:

Another thing that worries me is that local Democrats won’t even try to oust Bachus in the next cycle. At some point, to be taken seriously again as a statewide political party, Dems must challenge the moss-encrusted GOP incumbents in the House and Senate. They still control a shrinking patch of turf in Montgomery and at certain precinct levels, but straight-ticket Republican voting endangers those little fiefdoms.

2008 is going to be a flux-filled election year, and what better time to mount a campaign against a guy who hates poor children? Remember, all you have to do is make him deny it…

Hey, state party officials, are you listening? I know a Democratic challenger isn’t going to defeat Bachus — at least not this time. Does that mean you won’t even try? If Howard Dean can have a 50-state strategy, can’t Alabama Democrats have statewide strategy? Just asking.