Archive for November, 2009

Come On, Glenn — Tell Us What You Really Think

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Talk show conspiracy nut Glenn Beck on his radio show, dismissing talk of a Palin/Beck ticket in 2012:

BECK: First of all let me rule that out.  Uh, Palin/Beck?  Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.

CO-HOST: She’s far too smart for that.

BECK: No, I was just thinking, what, I’m gonna take back seat to a chick?  (laughter all around)

CO-HOST: Oh, you’ve gotta be (indistinguishable), you’ve gotta be (indistinguishable).  Of course, it’s Beck/Palin. [The second sentence might be Beck; it's hard to tell in the cross-talk.]

BECK: And while you’re at it, go shoot a bear.  Make some stew!  I’m hungry in here!   (more laughter)

CO-HOST: That’s, that’s so great.

He was just joking, right?  Just like he was joking here:

BECK: Please can we not? (CROSSTALK) No, no I’m just saying — Beck-Palin, I’ll consider. But Palin-Beck — can you imagine, can you imagine what an administration with the two of us would be like? What? Come on! She’d be yapping or something, and I’d say, “I’m sorry, why am I hearing your voice? I’m not in the kitchen.”

Actually, it sounds more like he got his little feelings hurt because Sarah Palin described him as “a hoot”.  That wasn’t sufficiently respectful of his superior manhood, I guess, so he decided he needed to retaliate with a heaping dose of sexist BS.

Okay, “feminist” tea partiers, those of you who hang on Beck’s every word and love Palin because she makes you “proud to be a woman”, what do you think of this?  It’s just harmless banter, right?  Right?  We all know the right has the greatest respect for women — as long as they keep to their place.  Just ask Glenn Beck.

h/t Blue Gal

Oh Good Grief!

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

The Birmingham News has finally noticed what the Birmingham Weekly figured out on Tuesday — Steven Hoyt’s election as City Council President Pro Tem may not be valid.  When Councilor Roderick Royal was elected the new City Council President, he immediately became acting Mayor, displacing Carole Smitherman.  The Mayor-Council Act says the Mayor cannot vote with the Council, but Royal went on to nominate and vote for Steven Hoyt as President Pro Tem, providing the fifth vote that put Hoyt over the top.

That could also call into question Carole Smitherman’s vote in the initial election, which she lost 5-4.  Did her position as interim Mayor end as soon as the new Council was sworn in?  If not, how could she vote with the Council?  Her vote didn’t make any difference; Royal would have won anyway.  Of course, if Hoyt had voted for her, as he allegedly promised, there would have been a 4-4 tie.

Rep. Demetrius Newton argues that both votes were inappropriate but says no harm was done.  I can’t agree with that.  Smitherman is still in the running to be the next mayor.  Hoyt will be second in command on the City Council once Royal resumes his position as Council President.  These are people with influence.  They should at least adhere to the rules.  Not to worry, though — the Alabama Legislature will get right on it:

State Rep. Demetrius Newton, a former Birming­ham city attorney, said the controversy over the vote highlights the need for more clarity in the Mayor­Council Act. Newton said the question should be re­solved by legislation rather than in court.

“This whole thing is a gray area that the Legis­lature is going to have to deal with,” he said.

Oh goody.  Another relic of our crappy 1901 Constitution — an issue that should be resolved locally will once again waste legislative time, and we’ll likely get to watch the various factions of the Jefferson County delegation show their collective ass while they play power games.

Steven Hoyt, when questioned about the vote, responded with his usual humility and lack of ego:

Hoyt on Wednesday dis­missed the notion of an ille­gal vote, saying council members had a chance to express concern Tuesday but said nothing. Hoyt maintains he is pro tem and will serve as council presi­dent while Royal serves as acting mayor. Hoyt made the committee assignments Wednesday afternoon.

“Voting won’t take place again,” Hoyt said. “I’m council president and I do not plan to relinquish my position. I was elected by a majority of the council.”

He does have a point about his fellow Council members. Why didn’t they consider these questions ahead of time? Didn’t they ask their attorney? That may not have helped much:

J. Richmond Pearson, the council’s legal adviser, said the dispute should be set­tled in court.

“All I can do is opine, and it does not carry any force whatsoever,” he said.

Good to know.

So — will this be resolved, or will it end up under a rug down at City Hall?  My money’s on the rug.  I hope I lose.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

I hope your day is full of love and lots of good food.  Thanks for sticking around here this year!


More from City Hall

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Could it get any crazier at Birmingham City Hall? Of course it could. @BhamWeekly is now tweeting:

Press conference at city hall. Smitherman to read statement saying Hoyt did not keep his word on Council President vote.

Smitherman says city needs stability, honesty, someone whose word can be trusted. Says Hoyt pledged his vote to her last night.

Says her budget review process would have reduced city department needs by $9 million dollars. Says #bham is a vibrant city, not gloomy.

Kyle asks if Hoyt is legally pro-tem, as Royal became Mayor as soon as he was elected Council Pres & could not vote in pro tem elect.

Royal, who became Mayor, might not legally be allowed to have made that vote for Hoyt as pro tem. Would mean 5-4 vote was not valid.

Smitherman says she got played today, politics at its worst. But is a Christian & says she’ll be done w/ this issue when presser over.

Smitherman says she knows Patrick Cooper was calling councilors trying to get them to vote for Royal for council president.

Smitherman won’t say who Cooper called. Says she is tired, is going home to prepare for thanksgiving. Presser over.

So.  Steven Hoyt allegedly stabbed Carole Smitherman in the back.  He may not be the legally elected President Pro Tem. Will there be a real challenge, or will the victors just shove Smitherman off to the side and move on?  What happened to the calm that was supposed to follow the Larry storm?

The Face of Sarah Palin Supporters

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The ignorance and paranoia on display in this video are truly alarming.  (Yes, I know not everyone who supported Obama knew every detail of his policy proposals, but at least he had some.)

No transcript available, but it’s basically 8+ minutes of people saying they love Sarah Palin and want her to be President even though they have no clue what policies she’d try to implement if she were elected. She’s like a rock star! She’ll cut taxes and decrease spending — one woman, who’s almost certainly on Medicare, says she, personally, wants to cut “all of it”. Palin’s protected the Alaska border from all those Russian incursions. “I’m an American. We don’t have czars.”

Oh, and Obama is ruining the country and he’s probably not even a citizen. He wrote a book about his Marxist beliefs. He’s planning to declare martial law to prevent the 2012 election. He’s busy naturalizing all the illegals so there won’t be enough white votes to elect Palin. And he loves partial birth abortions and has made them legal again, even though no law has been passed. And let’s get the polar bears off the endangered species list. Drill baby drill! That pretty much sums it up.

Y’all will be stunned to know that at least some of these folks are Fox News viewers.

Meet the New Boss…

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

not the same as the old boss.  @BhamWeekly tweets:

Roderick Royal is now mayor of Birmingham.

[Steven] Hoyt will serve as council president.

Now I really, really want to know what Kyle Whitmire meant by his Facebook status yesterday:

If what I’m hearing about our next council president is correct, we might have to break LaLa out of jail to put him back in charge.

It’s hard to believe this plot could get any thicker, but stay tuned.

ETA: Yep, that Steven Hoyt. Oh goody.

ETA2: And that Roderick Royal. I can’t tell y’all how thrilled I am…

ETA3: We’ll have yet another new mayor after the special election on December 8 — or January 19 if there’s a runoff. Does anyone else think it’s time to revisit Birmingham’s Mayor-Council Act?

ETA4:  I don’t think this bodes well for Carole Smitherman, who was acting Mayor and hoped to be re-elected as City Council President — not to mention elected Mayor on December 8.  She’s lost almost all of her power now.

Another Good Reason To Avoid the Mall

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

As if the holiday shopping extravaganzas weren’t enough.  There were people who actually spent the night in the Brookwood Mall parking deck over the weekend in hopes of getting a bracelet that would allow them to whiz by Sarah Palin as she signs books at light speed today.

Good luck with that.  Books-a-Million handed out 1,000 bracelets yesterday.  If she spent 30 seconds personally signing each book, it would take her more than eight hours to finish — and that’s without a break to stretch or pee.  I just don’t see it happening.  And it’s not like Books-a-Million has a large gallery to accommodate the people who just want to be in the same room with her.

I predict quite a few people will be palmed off with a pre-signed edition (if that) and at most a fleeting glimpse of their heroine through the mall windows.  And if there are any repercussions, it will all be someone else’s fault.

Racist, Xenophobic, and Clueless

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden shows why some “professional” writers really should save their ravings for their own personal blogs.  I know, I know — it’s the Times, what do I expect?  Something better than this gobsmackingly ugly paragraph, part of a column bemoaning Obama’s bow when greeting the Japanese emperor:

But Mr. Obama, unlike his predecessors, likely knows no better, and many of those around him, true children of the grungy ’60s, are contemptuous of custom. Cutting America down to size is what attracts them to “hope” for “change.” It’s no fault of the president that he has no natural instinct or blood impulse for what the America of “the 57 states” [link added] is about. He was sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World and reared by grandparents in Hawaii, a paradise far from the American mainstream.

“Blood impulse”?  There’s something different about the blood of people who were “sired” by American citizens?  A mother “attracted to men of the Third World”?  We wouldn’t be talking about (whisper) black (/whisper) men, would we?  And reared by grandparents in the state of Hawaii, which for some reason Mr. Pruden sees as unacceptably different from the monolith that is the other 49 states.  Yeah, Maine is exactly like southern California.

Pruden gets in a dig at Bill Clinton too, claiming that “like any draft dodger”, he had trouble learning how to salute.  I wonder how five-deferments Dick Cheney did with that whole saluting thing.  Bet Mr. Pruden didn’t expend any column inches on that subject.

Not bowing to foreign potentates was what 1776 was all about.

Really?  Had Pruden bothered to do any research before spewing, he might have found this.  Apparently, Republican President and retired General Dwight D. Eisenhower didn’t have any problem bowing to show respect when he greeted foreign leaders.  I doubt Mr. Pruden would interpret President Eisenhower’s courtesy as “a sign of a really deep sense of inferiority”.  Looks to me like President Eisenhower, much like President Obama today, didn’t believe he had to be rude or ignore the traditions of other cultures to prove his machismo — or his patriotism.

This foul spew tells us a lot more about the low content of Mr. Pruden’s character than it does about President Obama.  It reads like an anonymous comment at Free Republic.  I’d think even the Times would be ashamed to print it.  Perhaps the paper’s internal struggles allowed it to slip through the cracks.  I’d like to think so, but I doubt it.

h/t Media Matters, via Liss at Shakesville

Musing ’bout Twitter

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Not that I do Twitter. I’m not sure how to tweet, or whatever the verb is, but I think it involves having a data plan on your phone if you’re going to do it right, and we are too cheap to spring for that, especially since I never go anywhere except the grocery anyway.

But I do text. And it occurred to me this morning, as I was mentally composing a text to send to DS19 away at college, that it’s a whole different ball of wax, writing-wise.  (more…)

Arrington Will Not Run for Mayor

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Former Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington is not running again…unless the Draft Arrington rally that was planned for this afternoon changes his mind.

Former Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington will not run for mayor in the Dec. 8 special election. Arrington tells the Birmingham News that he decided over the weekend not to enter the race, saying there are enough candidates in the contest to replace former Mayor Larry Langford.

A draft Arrington rally was planned this afternoon in Linn Park. It is not certain whether that event will go on as planned.

Honestly, I don’t know why anyone who already served for twenty years would want to take on this mess. Arrington says his biggest concern is not the talent in the race but voter apathy. One would think voters would be fired up and ready to find someone new and untainted by past mismanagement. I fear, though, that they’re just sick of the whole thing and skeptical of candidates who say they can bring change.

I hope I’m wrong — there are some good people running, and Birmingham needs an honest, competent mayor who has the support of his or her constituents. Let’s do something right.