Archive for August, 2008

Gustav Watch: How You Can Help

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

I just got an email from a friend who is helping to coordinate disaster relief here in Birmingham for Gustav victims.  She reports that there are already more than 5,400 refugees here, with more to come.  Hands On Birmingham needs volunteers to help feed and shelter those refugees.  If you can help, click here to register.

If you know of other agencies, either in Birmingham or elsewhere, that need our help caring for hurricane victims, please leave the information in comments.

What Digby Said

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Re: criticism of Sarah Palin:

…She’s obviously a disaster from my perspective — her extreme social conservatism is an immediate disqualifier for any office, much less the vice presidency. But I really hope the Obama campaign does not take to heart some of the “advice” it’s getting about going after Palin with snappy slogans over her picture that say “this is what McCain thinks is ready to lead?” After all the talk in this election about feminism, I think the Obama campaign is sensitive enough to know that that reads like a sexist dogwhistle loud enough to shatter the sound barrier. This is not a good approach.

I don’t think that many Hillary followers will vote for an anti-choice zealot, but there is no point in unnecessarily suppressing the female Obama vote by thoughtlessly pushing buttons that don’t need to be pushed. McCain chose Palin partially because they wanted to keep open the wounds of feminist discontent and there’s no reason to help them by picking at the scabs. There are many things on which to attack her — her social conservatism, her anti-environmental extremism, her bad policies, even her potential corruption, but her inexperience has to be handled very deftly. (To me the single best way to discredit Sarah Palin among female voters, is to attack her as a heartless extremist who would let the polar bears drown rather than admit that global warming exists.)

In truth, she doesn’t really have enough experience, but a lot of the criticism I’m seeing could easily be read as both sexist and elitist…

A friend asked me jokingly yesterday if I was going to vote for McCain “now that he’s put boobies on the ticket.”  He was, of course, referring to the obvious ploy to attract Clinton supporters, but I can’t support reducing any woman to her anatomy alone, even if I’d never vote for her in a million years.  We had a spirited discussion about the stupidity of progressives going there, and I think he got the point.

Not so some of the big boy bloggers, who are busy panty-sniffing in a fashion that would make the rightest of the religious right mullahs proud.  I don’t want to link because the rumor-mongering is so foul, but you can surf on over to Americablog or numerous diaries at Kos if you want some examples.

Call her out on issues, people, not on speculation about her sex life.  And for God’s sake, leave her children out of it.  We. Are. Better. Than. That.

Not Again

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Yesterday was the third anniversary of the US landfall of Hurricane Katrina.  Now Gustav is bearing down on the gulf coast as a category 4 storm.  Those of you who read here regularly are probably aware that my co-blogger Del and her family live in Mobile, and we have readers who are still recovering from the damage inflicted by Katrina and Rita.  They and many other people in the path of the storm could use our good thoughts and prayers right now and may very well need a helping hand before this is over.  Please hold all of them close to your hearts.

Re: Palin

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

In my zeal to learn more about this woman, I actually read several pages of posts at Free Republic. As you might expect, they are elated about her Godliness, reluctance to murder babies, butt-kicking ability, hot looks, soldier son, and so on. A couple of dissenters with remarkably poor grammar skills think she should be at home with her Down’s syndrome baby instead of running for veep, but these voices are being crushed mercilessly.

There is also much jubilation about the PUMAs all coming over to McCain’s team now. “We must give them a gracious welcome.” Freepers, and several right-wing blogs, are quoting a website thread from someplace called The Hillary Clinton Forum, where people, presumably PUMAs, were saying things like “I’d vote twice for Palin” and “I’m sending money to McCain” and so on.

There are many sound and rational arguments to the effect that Hillary was the better candidate and should have had the nomination. But if there really are Hillary supporters out there who would be willing to take away my daughter’s right to choice just to get a vagina in the White House…I’m sorry, this makes me too angry to type. I probably should not even be posting this now (with only four hours’ sleep yet).

I don’t know if this supposed thread, or even the website itself, are “for real.” I followed two different posted links to the thread in question but got a dead end. You can’t search the Hillary Clinton Forum website that I can find. I am not skillful enough in the ways of the internets to figure out if this is, what do they call it? Astroturf? Maybe it’s a Republican ploy to lower Dem morale and affect party unity. Maybe it’s a Dem ploy to make McCain think he’s garnering Hillary’s hardcore supporters.

History Right in Front of Us

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

It just hit me this morning how very cool it is to have been alive on the day that a major political party nominated a person of color to run for President of the United States.

That is all.

Throw the Bums Out?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Wow!  Yesterday’s municipal elections were more exciting than I expected.  I literally almost, almost, forgot to vote.

As of this morning, it appears that seven incumbent mayors were booted out of office, including Homewood Mayor Barry McCulley.  McCulley, a three-term incumbent, had his fanny kicked, garnering only 28% of the vote against City Councilor Scott McBrayer.  Two others on the City Council were also voted out.

I know my friend Alabama Moderate is happy to see that Argo got rid if its incumbent mayor as well.  Results for my little burg aren’t available at the searchable site, but we already have a new mayor are here.

You can’t blame the man for wanting his $100K

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Because when you live in a house with a padlock on the front door, that’s one heck of a lot of money. Yes folks, the Juan Chastang problem simply will not go away. (Riley appointed him to fill the seat on the Mobile county commission vacated by the election of Mayor Sam Jones; Dems protested mightily; Merceria Ludgood was elected by a landslide in a special election; the Repubs took it all the way to the US Supreme court, and won.) Now Troy King is weighing in that Ludgood needs to get out, Chastang needs to step in, and oh by the way we owe him a hundred thou in back pay. Troy uses that fancy legal language they taught him up at the law school – “‘any payment of a salary’ to Merceria Ludgood for work performed after August 13, 2008, is ‘at the peril of the county.’” Juan, of course, would only be serving until January when the term ends, and given the size of his defeat in the special election, might not even choose to run again in November. But you know his mouth has to be watering at the prospect of that back pay check.

I would say “meh, what can the guy do in four months?” but this is the man who pumped $50,000 in county money into a smoke-and-mirrors Ciara concert deal. He wanted to use public funds to build condos on the old courthouse site (sorry, it’s a link to the college paper, but that’s the best account of his foolishness I can find right now.) Before he had a chance to strut his stuff on the commission, he allegedly tried to bribe a fellow police officer and had to resign from the force. Then there’s the whole padlock thing – he didn’t actually live in District One in the first place. Juan Chastang – talk about the peril of the county!

I am wondering when Bob Riley will come out with a strongly worded statement urging that justice be served and Chastang be reinstated (with full back pay, of course). Poor Bob. I know District One is a Democrat stronghold, but is Juan really the best African-American Republican you could find? In retrospect, honestly now, did you try as hard as you possibly could?

Oh, and apparently those who sued are going to have to pay the state’s legal fees. I wonder just how much that is and if the Alabama Democratic Party will end up picking up the bill.

EDIT: Chastang can’t run in November, duh. He would have to already have put his name on the ballot.

If You’re Already Missing the Olympics…

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Democratic National Convention

Monday, August 25th, 2008

The Democratic National Convention begins today in Denver.  For good on-the-spot coverage with a local flavor, check out Left In Alabama and Doc’s Political Parlor.  Both blogs have people on the ground to bring you the stories you won’t read in the newspaper or see on TV.  It promises to be a great week, so don’t miss out.

JeffCo Mayors Unanimously Back Bankruptcy

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

The Jefferson County Mayors Association unanimously approved a resolution today telling the County Commission to solve the sewer debt problem by September 1 or file Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Blues reader Helen asks an excellent question:  was Birmingham mayor (and former County Commission president) Larry Langford in attendance at the meeting?