Archive for November, 2011

Do What Now?

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

The Associated Press is reporting that two of three  people arrested in a Vermont meth lab bust have been sent to live with their fathers in Alabama while they await trial. I read the headline and thought, okay, it might make sense to send teenagers home rather than holding them for a long period of time.

Then I read the story. If Pokies these two are teenagers, it’s only of the overgrown variety. One is 30 and the other 33. Isn’t it a little late (not to mention cruel and unusual) to force their parents to supervise them? What are the dads supposed to do if they misbehave, ground them?

I bet Christmas will be a blast. Just hope it isn’t a literal one.

Brownback: A No Free Speech Zone

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Geez, how thin-skinned can you get? I’d think Gov. Sam Brownback’s staff would have better things to do than trolling Twitter looking for disparaging comments about their boss. Well, okay, actually I can understand them monitoring the word on the street, uh, tweet. But reporting a high school student to the principal because she said this? Really?

Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot

The principal is insisting that high school student Emma Sullivan, who authored the tweet, write letters of apology to pretty much everyone in the western world.

Here’s the thing. Aside from that pesky First Amendment, which protects political speech, I find it extremely unlikely that this young woman actually said, “You suck,” to Brownback’s face. Had she done so, there would have been great uproar at the time. Twitter, with its 140-character limit, lends itself to shorthand. She didn’t have space to elaborate on the political points she made in opposition to Brownback’s policies, so she boiled them down to “told Pokies him he sucked”.

Here’s the other thing. Where were Brownback’s staffers when Rush Limbaugh referred to our African-American First Lady as “uppity”, a term fraught with racist and sexist history? Did they miss that one in their rush (ha) to find high school students saying rude things online about the governor?

See, I don’t really think it’s the responsibility of Brownback’s staffers to call out Limbaugh (although the silence from Republican leaders is just embarrassing), but they don’t have any business making a big deal out of a tweet sent by someone who doesn’t have a nationally syndicated radio show either.

Yeah, the language was rude. But Republicans getting their panties in a bunch about it is pretty damn hypocritical when their national spokesperson spews racism, sexism and homophobia on a daily basis to an audience of millions.

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Of course, if Republican leaders did dare to speak out about Limbaugh, they also would find themselves in the principal’s office, forced to apologize for exercising their First Amendment rights.

via Think Progress

It can’t be wrong, if it’s for Our Precious Children

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Because they are our Future. Anyway, this was buried on page 4C, under the weather forecast. Judge Tracy McCooey has decided that the phone company will just have to keep on collecting a fee from all of its customers in order to pay for telephone service aiding the deaf and blind. The only difference is, now that money will go not to telephone service for the deaf & blind—their equipment is all paid up, thanks to careful management—but to the education fund. And this makes good sense, because the education fund sure needs that money! So just shut up, okay?

Says Jay Love (R-Montgomery), who sponsored the brilliant bill transferring the money: “I certainly felt like when we passed aussie online pokies that bill that it would withstand any legal challenge, and I’m glad the judge agreed.” Uh-huh. I can’t imagine why the PSC even sued.

The possibilities here are limited only by the human imagination, guys. How about…a fee added to all grocery bills, to pay for those electric wheelchair carts for the disabled—except we’ll use it to pay for court clerks. Or a energy conservation study fee added to your electric bill—hey, that could pay for prison expansion!  This is going to revolutionize taxation in Alabama, already the lowest-taxed state in the country. With any luck, we can put off actually addressing our financial shortfall and developing a sensible, fair tax system to deal with it…well, maybe forever.

 

Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice Launches Campaign Against HB 56 TODAY, November 21st

Monday, November 21st, 2011

From Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice:

The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice will kick off the campaign against HB 56 at 2:00 PM Central Time TODAY with a news conference in advance of an Ad Hoc Congressional Hearing being held at the Council Chambers on the 3rdFloor of Birmingham City Hall. Present will be a number of key members of Congress, including immigration reform champion, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), who will listen to stories of those who have been affected by the law. Other members of Congress in attendance are as follows:

The members of Congress will hear from a number of people in the community who have witnessed the adverse effects of the law. On panel one, members of Congress will hear from Sheriff Mike Hale, Jefferson County; Dr. Craig Witherspoon, Superintendent Birmingham City Schools; Mary Bauer, Southern Poverty Law Center Attorney; and Mayor William Bell, Birmingham.

Panel two will consist of testimony from Jose Antonio Castro, La Jefa Radio; Y.J., 17 year old student; Angie Baylon Viagra, ESL Teacher Woodlawn and Huffman High School; Alma, concerned parent; Trini, undocumented immigrant from Tuscaloosa; Evangelina Limon, an Alabama business owner; and Francisco Garcia, Alabama Business Owner.

Later in the evening, from 7pm to 9 pm, members of Congress will attend a rally at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmignham, Alabama (there’s a map here, in case you don’t know where it is). The event will officially mark the launch “One Family, One Alabama” Campaign to Repeal HB 56.

Eleven members of Congress, including Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), along with civil rights leaders from around the country, will speak to express the nation’s solidarity with the people of Alabama. State Senator Billy Beasley, sponsor of the proposed bill to repeal HB56, will also speak, along with people whose lives have been damaged by the law.

Also slotted to speak at the event are Zayne Smith, Grassroots leader at ACIJ;Wade Henderson, National Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Mitch Ackerman, SEIU; Hillary Shelton, NAACP, among others. The speakers will address thousands of Alabamians who will gather to challenge Alabama’s state lawmakers to repeal House Bill 56, the nation’s most vicious immigration reform law.

You can check out the full schedule — complete with all the speakers — here. There’ll be more on the events tomorrow. Keep checking back on our page for updates throughout the day, or follow us on twitter @ALimmigrant – we’ll be live-tweeting, using the hashtag #CrisisAL. Stay tuned!

“Occupy Mobile member arrested”

Friday, November 18th, 2011

That headline makes it sound like he was doing something baaaad, right? Like maybe disrupting the peace, or defecating in public, or something. But no. He was going through security down at Gov’t Plaza, in order to file paperwork to appear before the city council.

As the group attempted to pass through the security checkpoint in front of the elevators, the security officer said that only two could go up at a time, Hapkmeyer said.
When Henderson asked why not, the officer told him to “shut up and stop asking him questions,” Hapkmeyer said.  When Henderson calmly asked again, the officer arrested him, Hapkmeyer said. (more…)

Unintended Consequences, My Aunt Fanny

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Apparently Alabama Republican lawmakers have heard from enough angry constituents that they’re now open to revamping the state’s punitive, stupid immigration law:

“I had a military guy who came back from Afghanistan and went to get him a tag for a new truck and he couldn’t, he needed to show his birth certificate,” said State Senator Gerald Dial, who voted for the law but said he would not have if he had known of some of its “unintended consequences.”

Gee, Gerald. Maybe you should have read it first. When you passed a law that makes it a felony for an undocumented person to transact business with any government entity, what did you think would happen?

HB56 needs to be repealed, and the official repeal campaign kicks off Monday, 7 PM, at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Come out to show your support!

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More information here: Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice website and Facebook event.

Spencer Bachus: Let the Fluffing Begin

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) has made quite a splash in the news recently, as his insider trading was exposed for the world to see. But one would never know that reading Mary Orndorff’s piece for the Birmingham News, posted just now at al.com. Nope, it’s all about Bachus agreeing with everyone in the county Jefferson County commissioners who want to get rid of the sewer system’s $1 million court-appointed receiver. His rationale? The receiver represents the creditors, not the people. Gee, ya think?

“I’d like him probably out of the picture,” Bachus said in an interview Cialis on Capitol Hill. “The receiver represents the creditors, not the people of Jefferson County.”

Looks like  inside-trader “the regulators are there to serve the banks” Bachus is sucking up to divert attention away from his recent troubles, and Ms. Orndorff (or perhaps her editor) is only too ready to help by omitting any mention of them. Here’s a clue, Spencer: it’s not working.

“I’d like him definitely out of the picture,” constituents said in an interview in Alabama. “Bachus represents his own bottom line, not the people of the 6th District.”

There, fixed that for you.

 

Spencer Bachus, Your Adieu Is Long Overdue

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Unlike most of y’all young whippersnappers, I remember when Spencer Bachus first ran for Congress back in 1992. As I recall, his platform consisted of two major things, prison for pregnant drug addicts who didn’t immediately get into all those available and affordable treatment facilities and TERM LIMITS. Correct me if I’m wrong Cialis – and you can remember back that far – but didn’t he say he’d retire after two terms?

Ten terms later, he’s still there. That fish was already starting to turn, but after this week’s revelations, it’s reeking. Time to go, Spencer. Take retirement and enjoy the fruits of your labors stock trades.

Nice one.

Monday, November 14th, 2011

We got a shoutout on Cialis Online 60 Minutes, y’all.

Was There a Burning Bush Involved?

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Let’s see. First Michele Bachmann said God called her to run for President, then Rick Perry’s wife Anita said God was calling him to run, and now Herman Cain is likening himself to Moses and saying God convinced him he’s the right man for the job.

“I prayed and prayed and prayed,” Cain told about 100 members of the Georgia Young Republicans in Atlanta on Saturday. “I’m a man of faith, I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I’d ever done before in my life. And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. ‘You’ve got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?’”

All those calls, when only one person gets to be President. Bad connection or wishful thinking? I’d say a little of both.

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Joking aside, it’s ridiculous and a little scary that this kind of pronouncement has become de rigueur for Republican Presidential candidates. These candidates are, of course, speaking of the Christian concept of God, and this poses a very real problem. We are a nation of many different faith traditions, of believers and nonbelievers. The President of the United States must be capable of building the proverbial big tent that respects those differences. Invoking the Christian God in this way screams exclusion in a country that was built on inclusion Levitra. It’s easy for Christians, who are still in a majority, to ignore this or make light of it, but imagine the uproar if a Muslim candidate told us Allah had called him to run.

Bristol Palin said this summer that people envy her mother because “she’s got God on her side”.

She’s got a good family, she’s got a good husband, she’s got awesome support, she’s got God on her side, and I think people are envious of that. They’re envious that she carries herself so well, that she’s smart. There are lots of vicious people out there.

Yeah, and there’s a whole lot of arrogance in that statement. If you believe God is on the side of some people but not others, it’s really easy to discount those others and their needs, beliefs and opinions.

Here’s another worry for me. All of these candidates are religious conservatives, and they’re reaching out to religiously conservative voters. By claiming God’s call, they are elevating themselves to the status of prophets. Whatever policies they support, whatever executive orders they sign, they can claim with impunity that God told them to do it. And because they claim that authority, their supporters will be very reluctant to question them.

When a Presidential candidate starts thinking he’s a modern-day Moses, it’s time to run, not walk, in another direction. The US needs a Chief Executive, not a Prophet-in-Chief.