Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Things Alabama ain’t got… Mega Millions Lottery

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 30, 2012

Some folks would say “common sense,” and to some extent, that’s probably true.

Well… better make that “to a great extent.”

But, a state lottery is another thing Alabama ain’t got.

And, the Republicans in the legislature in the past administration and the present administration seem to have absolutely no inclination to allow the people the opportunity to vote on it… whether to have state sponsored gammlin’, that is.

Folks’ve tried to get one for education but have failed. And, in a move called “proration,” the governor this year cut all state budgets across the board by 10.6%, excluding education, because Alabama’s state constitution, for better or for worse, forbids going into debt and requires a balanced budget. Bonds are a different matter.

But, one other thing the state’s legislature doesn’t do is to raise the tax rates on the very wealthy, whom pay a well documented and significantly lower tax rate than the poor. Furthermore, the state legislature refuses to raise tax rates on multinational corporations which own millions of acres of timberland in Alabama, and pay virtually no tax on that asset.

According to the state, there are 22.7 million acres of timberland in Alabama accounting for 68% of the total land area in the state. Alabama has over 33 million acres and ranks 30th of all states in land mass.

And the damn crying ironic shame of the matter is that the state went to federal court to defend those two tax policies… and won.

No matter what you do, please don’t stop me from shooting myself in the foot.

Go figure.

As a matter of fact, the notion of gammlin’ has gotten at least one governor in trouble – it was Republicans that filed suit against Democrats on that one when the Democratic governor was accused of a quid pro quo for a man who donated to his let-the-people-vote campaign for a state lottery for education, and who has previously had a seat on the state’s Certificate of Need Board (folks that fuss & fight over whether or not someone can build a hospital – yes, the first thing Alabama law requires us to to is spend tax dollars to GO FIGHT IN COURT).

Hello? Is there anybody home?

The lights are on, but I don’t see anybody.

Oh well… must be the Tom Bodett thing.

And more recently, some Republicans filed suit against Democratic folks recently (are we seeing a trend here?), whom were found not guilty of corruption charges levied against them by… you guessed it, Republicans. And it was a Republican state senator who was recorded making the remarks about gamblers in predominantly black Greene County. He made the recordings while helping the FBI investigate claims of lawmakers being bribed by gambling interests to pass a bill legalizing video poker games.

In one transcript, he and two other Republican legislators were talking about economic development in Greene County and the customers at one of its largest employers, Greenetrack casino in Eutaw.

That’s y’all’s Indians,” one Republican said.

They’re aborigines, but they’re not Indians,” he replied.

Interestingly, it was revealed in that most recent federal court case that the previous administration wanted to keep gammlin’ out of the hands of Mississippi Indians so that Alabama Indians would have it. It was all related to lobbying by Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove and company.

Seriously.

In Alabama, we don’t like gammlin’ at all! No sir-ee-bob! We un’s ain’ abou’ta have that!

Another queer irony is that the legislature is changing some arcane laws relating to beverage alcohol, which has in turn had a significantly positive effect upon the state’s treasury, because breweries are popping up throughout the state, most notably in Huntsville. I think three words that accurately describe it are called “entrepreneurship,” “private enterprise,” and “tax revenue.”

I suppose it should be called “the Baptist effect,” for the former and present governor are Baptist, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the majority of the legislature is as well.

By the way, you know how to tell a Baptist in the liquor store? They don’t acknowledge you when you greet them.

So, it’s rather interesting to read this story that features Huntsville – in fact, the story leads with an example of a highly educated man in Huntsville, who must travel a few miles up the road to Tennessee to purchase lottery tickets.

Some Go Far For Their Mega Millions Tickets : The Two-Way : NPR

Link: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/03/30/149694199/how-far-would-you-go-for-a-mega-millions-ticket

And… just in the case you wanna’ tune in, see http://www.MegaMillions.com which has a link to the drawing, which will be held today, 3/30/12, at 10P CST.

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