Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

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Politics is the art of compromise, and politics first begins in the home, because no one always gets their own way all the time. Sometimes, Daddy gets his way, sometimes Mama gets hers. And by mutual consent, on occasion, the children get theirs. But NOBODY gets their way all the time!

Alabama’s Fine Kettle Of Fish

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 24, 2015

Someone asked:
“Getting Alabama’s voters to overhaul the state constitution seems like a pipedream. Do we accept things as they are, and go about our business? I’m ready to overthrow ALL of Montgomery, purge the place, and start over.”

I responded as follows:
There’s certainly no question we’ve a fine kettle of fish to fry. These clowns have NO agenda, and are just flying by the seat of their pants, inventing some asinine idea at the drop of a hat, one day to the next.

Sadly, the people, for the greatest part, are blithely unaware of the shenanigans and goings-on amongst the Goat Hill Gangsters. The “media” – by which I mean Read the rest of this entry »

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The Power of One Small Idea: How Alabama could hit a home run WITHOUT raising taxes in the budget crisis.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 17, 2015

Creativity is in short supply in Monkeytown, Alabama.

I refer, of course, to Montgomery.

And to be certain, there is a backstory on the nickname.

Seems the Montgomery Zoo was originally located in Oak Park, and then named Oak Park Zoo. The zoo also had an island of monkeys, which once escaped. Hence, the nick name.

For what it’s worth, the Montgomery City Planetarium, formerly known as Gayle Planetarium, is also located in Oak Park. I encourage you to go there, sometime! I have.

But back to the creativity thing.

Alabama is in dire straits fiscally. But, then again, that’s nothing new. Governor Bentley has promised (and broken) numerous pledges in his first & second campaigns. The one bothering most folks is the “read my lips… no new taxes” promise he unwisely made while campaigning for a second term.

It may not be the lie the second time around, as much as it is the entire deception thing from the get-go. Because he, the AL GOP, and the entire Legislature knew all about this well in advance. They knew there would come a day when the monies they “borrowed” from the Alabama Trust Fund must be repaid. That day has come… and is now gone. They’re essentially reneging on their promise, which not only makes them liars, but thieves as well, since money is involved.

So, you’re damn skippy the people are hopping mad!

Again, to be certain, Alabama is in a Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Get Elected In #ALpolitics: Convince the “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command” to vote for you.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 14, 2015

It’s a classic variation upon the theme of a “straw man argument.”

But if you’re like most folks in Alabama, you’re probably so “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command” to know what that is.

So, I’ll tell you.

You cite an example of thing you oppose (and which many others would oppose) – even though it’s false (example: “The air in our city has killed thousands of babies!”) – and hammer on it, until you beat it up. Never mind that the example you use is pure bullshit and a total lie. That way, you get your opponent distracted from the REAL issues by responding to your bullshit lies. Studies have shown that when you repeat a lie – even if you are repeating it to refute it – the repetition can reinforce the lie in the minds of some people.

Read on.

Insight: How To Get Elected In Alabama

By Hardy Jackson

In my more than half-a-century of following politics — state, local and national — I cannot recall such a general disgust with the quality of the folks who govern us.

How, I hear it asked repeatedly, did these people get elected?

The answer, of course, is that they got the most votes.

But that is not the answer most people want.How to Get Elected in AL politics

What they want to know is how these politicians were able to convince a majority of Alabama voters to cast a ballot for them.

Well, I’m gonna tell you.

Today, politicians in Alabama get elected because they have mastered a strategy that has gotten Alabama politicians elected as long as there have been politicians and elections in this state.

Here is how it works.

First, a candidate must convince voters that Read the rest of this entry »

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Science Versus Science Fiction In Alabama Education

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 7, 2015

I find it strangely fascinating that so many are so fearful… particularly in the South, and in Alabama especially.

Two days ago many celebrated Cinco de Mayo – the 5th of May – by eating out at Mexican-themed restaurants, quaffing a few margaritas, or by making Mexican-styled eats at home. It’s a way, in part, to acknowledge solidarity with our Mexican brothers and sisters and commemorating Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. A turning point in Mexican struggle for independence, the firefight pitted 2000 ragtag, poorly equipped Mexicans against 6000 well equipped, battle-tested French soldiers. By the time the French retreated from the all-day battle, 500 French, and 100 Mexican lives were lost.

Alabama State House, 11 South Union Street, Montgomery, Alabama

Alabama State House
11 South Union Street, Montgomery, AL

But May 5 also marks another significant event, largely unknown – and certainly unrecognized – by many, if not most.

On May 5, 1925 John T. Scopes was arrested in Tennessee for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

It certainly seems Southerners have had it out for Science for quite some time.

Now, like hogs wallowing in mud, Alabama politicians want to meddle even more in the stinking pot of their own making by… well, here’s the news item: Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Politics: Just Another Day In Paradise

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Opining upon the notion of Alabama State Senator Del Marsh’s casino gambling plan to fund Medicaid, someone wrote, “[It’s] The only voluntary tax I know of. If you don’t want to play don’t pay.”

The retort was, “I’m finding myself more open to this lately however; once someone loses their house, job, family etc., don’t come crying for taxpayers to take care of you.”

To which came this reply, “Those people are already finding ways to gamble their lives away. They don’t need a lottery.”

My response follows.

“Those people,” are the Legislators.

In this one thing, I share the Governor’s sentiment – which he ineffectually (no surprise there) communicates:

Lottery will NEVER remedy poor fiscal policy, with which Alabama is replete.

In almost every lottery situation, law demands that the proceeds from lottery are to be used to supplement – not supplant – existing revenue. And in this single instance authored by Senator Del Marsh (R, Anniston) it is being used to supplant – to replace – existing sources of revenue. And that is Read the rest of this entry »

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If Legislative Pay Ceased, How Much Would That Save Alabama?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 30, 2015

Today (Thursday, 30 April 2015) the Alabama State Senate knocked off at 11:30, and reconvened 1PM. It’s also the final day of the Legislative Session for the week – they only work three days each week – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

An hour and a half – that’s a nice, long lunch break for a wealthy man, a powerful man – not a working man. It’s pretty cushy for someone who works three days a week, only 30 days a year. Reckon how your boss would respond if you asked for a three-day work week and a 30-day work year?

How long do you get for lunch?

Most folks get 30 minutes.

The Alabama Senate gets THREE times longer than most working folks.

But then, excesses in Alabama state politics is nothing new.

Recall that – by law – the Alabama Legislature is limited to work <30 days/year (in a 105 day period) & for that privilege, citizens & taxpayers fork over $50K+/yr in pay & compensation to them – 35 in the Senate, and 105 in the House.
TOTAL=140 men (mostly) & women.

In stark contrast, New Mexico’s State Legislators are a Volunteer Legislature (they’re elected, yes, but unpaid), and during Session, by State Law receive a Daily Federal Per Diem, and Two-Way Mileage once during a session EXCLUSIVELY.

Legislative pay in Alabama has been a hot-button issue, particularly in recent years – and, it’s unnecessarily complicated. By State Constitutional Law, their “official” pay is Read the rest of this entry »

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Examining Right Wing Rhetoric in Memes

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 27, 2015

How accurate, or true are Right Wing statements?

How accurate, or true are Right Wing memes?

Regardless of one’s political beliefs, party affiliation, or ideological inclination, it’s always good to consider the truth of statements in memes that – like flotsam and jetsam – are dispersed throughout the Internet… particularly upon Social Media sites such as FaceBook, and Twitter. And unfortunately, in many cases, they are the veritable garbage, the effluent detritus of communication.

So… let’s examine some of the argument in the meme seen here, and see if it still holds water.

Government has necessary services, and provides the same.

Consider road construction as one example.

To create & build roads (which themselves increase opportunity) government must purchase things – raw materials, and manpower, among them.

Now… exactly where is any “government factory” for that, eh?

That’s correct – there is NONE.

EVERYTHING “we the people” by and through our government – at ALL LEVELS, Federal, State, and Local – purchase comes from the Private Sector!

EVERYTHING!

Consider also what may be the greatest example of Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Democrats Vote to Save Jobs: ABC Privatization Bill Dies in Senate Committee

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A bill by State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) to privatize the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has died in the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee by a 7-6 vote along party lines, with one Republican voting ‘NO.’ The vote received applause from attendees.

A substitution bill presented by Orr would’ve changed the suspension penalty for Selling to Minors from one year to one week, and increased taxes, was also adopted along party line vote.
Orr said earlier that, “Part of our job is to downsize government,” and demanded a committee vote be taken on his bill today.

Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Administrator Mac Gipson testified that employees are paid from mark-ups from sales in the state’s 176 ABC stores. He also noted that by comparison, there are 587 private package stores in the state.

In Alabama, liquor is marked up at Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Governor Bentley signs Executive Order No.4 Creating Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Yesterday, Monday, April 6, 2015, Alabama Governor Robert J. Bentley, MD signed Executive Order No.4 creating a 38-member “Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force.”

Though the unspoken ostensible purpose of the task force is to likely make recommendations to the Governor for the expansion of Medicaid in Alabama, it’s being couched to the less-than-observant (or less-than-smart, take your pick), as a home-grown alternative to the big bad wolf of D.C. known as “ObamaCare.”

Again, for the benefit of the uneducated, in addition to decreasing fraud, waste and abuse, increasing efficiency, eliminating discrimination against women, children & people with “pre-existing” conditions, mandating numerous improvements to the quality of the delivery of healthcare from all states in order to receive payment (performance-based payment), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (sometimes abbreviated as ACA, though popularly known as “ObamaCare”), contains a provision encouraging (but not requiring – that decision was made the U.S. Supreme Court) the state’s governors to expand Medicaid for their impoverished residents. The law provides for 100% payment for so doing, then gradually declines to 90%.

Governors in Kentucky and Arkansas have decided to Expand Medicaid in their states, and are already enjoying savings.

Governors in Kentucky and Arkansas have decided to Expand Medicaid in their states, and are already enjoying savings.

Currently, Alabama’s matching portion (the %age it pays to purchase Medicaid) is 32.4%; so to expand Medicaid, and have it ALL paid for, and then to pay a LOWER rate than is presently being paid is one of the smartest fiscal decisions the state could make.

Already, the Governors of Kentucky and Arkansas – both well-known Republican strongholds, with opposition to the ACA – have expanded Medicaid in their states, and are already reaping the rewards.

Here’s a chart showing the compensation plan to the states: Read the rest of this entry »

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Born In Canada Texas Senator Ted Cruz: Eligible, Or Not For U.S. President? Experts: SCOTUS Ruling Required.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Born in Canada to a Cuban father & American mother, Republican Presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz renounced his Canadian citizenship only last year (2014).

ref: http://www.scribd.com/doc/229039536/Canadian-Renunciation-Letter

To be certain, as a graduate of Princeton undergrad & Harvard Law, Ted Cruz is no dummy. So for him to assert he didn’t know he was a Canadian citizen is not merely disingenuous, it’s fallacious on its face. Plainly put, it’s a blatant lie.

ref: http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/11/politics/ted-cruz-canada-citizenship/
ref: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20130818-ted-cruz-born-a-citizen-of-canada-under-the-countrys-immigration-rules.ece

U.S. Department of State circular on United States citizenship

U.S. Department of State circular on United States citizenship

The U.S. Department of State specifically writes that citizenship via “jus sanguinis,” i.e., by bloodline, “is not Read the rest of this entry »

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Presidential Political Prophesy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 12, 2015

As we wind down the final two years of President Barack Obama’s second term, speculation is arising concerning who will become the GOP’s Presidential nominee. At this point, there is much less speculation among Democrats about who will contend for the race, although Hillary Clinton does seem to be positioning herself early for a run at the Democratic party’s nomination.

Given the increasing inoperability of the radicalized GOP (even though they have wrested solid control of the House and Senate, but not enough to override a presidential veto), and their tendency toward government shutdown, brinksmanship, and extremism, some have said they would prefer to see a Democratic presidential successor, though there may be little evidence to support the notion such a thing will occur.

Some have said “That doesn’t help the Democrats” and that, “a Republican president doesn’t help anyone but corporations.” While there may be merit to both statements, it should be observed that a spirit of cooperation has become eroded to the point that there seems little chance that statesmanship and compromise for the good of the whole will occur… even given the Republican majority in the House and Senate. The radicalized GOP’s infighting even has Speaker Boehner up in arms, and not merely for his impotence and inability to control the party now hijacked by Right-Wing Extremists.

Which is where we begin the prophesy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore Sexually Repressed?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 12, 2015

“…it’s about sexual preference.”

In an interview  broadcast Thursday morning, February 12, 2015, with CNN’s “New Day” co-host Chris Cuomo, Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore FINALLY told the truth.

In his view, Marriage Equality under the law in Alabama is NOT the issue under discussion.

When pressed by host Cuomo, Moore said, “It’s about sexual preference overcoming an institution which has existed in our state, in our United States, for centuries, and I think it’s wrong.”

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Jester Roy Moore

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Jester Roy Moore

Clearly, Chief Jester Moore doesn’t “prefer” those with Same Sex Attraction, and by his own confession, seeks to intrude upon their private lives. That is, he seeks to tell others what they should (or should not) do in their own privacy. Why he has such an excessive interest in them is indeed quizzical, if not outright disturbing.

There continues to be a disturbing dichotomy in Alabama law, which, Read the rest of this entry »

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How Inefficient Is The Alabama Legislature?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What’s wrong with Alabama?

How much time do you have?

That’d be an entirely accurate response, of course.

How much bad does it take before the sweet turns sour?

How much bad does it take before the sweet turns sour?

To be certain, criticizing the machinations and politics of Alabama is somewhat like criticizing one’s family – only family members can do it with complete immunity. Outsiders stand the risk of getting punched out.

Here’s one well-known complaint: The Legislature.

Sure, even Washington politicians get lambasted, as, I suppose, does every other politician in our union, at every level – federal, state, county, and local.

But here’s the rub: In Alabama, the legislature takes great pride in calling themselves “part-time” legislators, and boast of having full-time jobs “back home” in the community of their residence. Sure, that sounds nice, but what does it really look like?

By law, in Alabama, the Legislature can meet for NO MORE than 30 days Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Is Alabama Gasoline So Expensive?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 2, 2015

In a word, because of the state legislature.

Here’s an explanation.

In Alabama, an anti-competitive law prevents motorists from enjoying low gas prices.

In Alabama, an anti-competitive law prevents motorists from enjoying low gas prices. This is the price per gallon of a gallon of regular gas purchased at a Kroger Fuel Center in Texas, after using Kroger Fuel Discounts.

In Alabama, a law called the “Motor Fuel Marketing Act” (Code of Alabama §8-22) prevents retailers from selling gasoline (or any other motor fuel, such as diesel) for less than what it costs them to purchase it.

Specifically, the law reads in part, that:

Section 8-22-6

Certain below cost fuel sales prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commerce in this state to sell or offer to sell motor fuel below cost or to sell or offer to sell it at a price lower than the seller charges other persons…”

In other words, it’s illegal to do that.

The marketing technique of retailing something for less than it costs to purchase it wholesale is called “low-price, or loss leader” and Read the rest of this entry »

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Sara Palin… Need anyone say more?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 31, 2015

Others have said it for so long that it’s old hat.

But finally, it seems that the “Right Wing” is awakening to the fact that…

 

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE          www.nationalreview.com

Sarah Palin Slips into Self-Parody

Her recent performance in Iowa should disqualify her from any role in the GOP going forward.

By Charles C. W. Cooke

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The U.S. Economy In 6 Simple Pictures

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Picture #1:

It’s fairly explanatory. American corporations are making profits hand over fist. They’re making more profit now, than before the “Great Recession.” In fact, they’re making more than DOUBLE from their lowest during that time.

Corporate Profits After Tax

Corporate Profits After Tax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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#ALpolitics Inauguration Day 2015: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 19, 2015

Oh! The Irony!

Every quadrennium, January 19 commemorates a special event in Alabama. It is Inauguration Day, when a new Governor takes the Oath of Office, and a new administration of state government begins. Second, this year, January 19, 2015 is unique because it marks the simultaneous and concurrent celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Ironically, Alabama commemorates the birthday of Robert E. Lee, General of the Confederacy, in conjunction with MLK Day.

Commemorative marker, Jefferson Davis Confederate Presidency Oath, Alabama State Capitol Buiding, Montgomery

Commemorative marker, Jefferson Davis Confederate Presidency Oath, Alabama State Capitol Building, Montgomery

So, today marked a triple peculiarity; 1.) a re-elected governor sworn in on; 2.) the day the state and nation celebrate the life and Civil Rights accomplishments of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and; 3.) the state celebrates the birthday of the General of the Confederate Army, Robert E. Lee.

There could hardly be any greater irony.

Freedom and equal rights under Constitutional law is simultaneously celebrated with the memory of a rebellious, oppressive regime which had a vested interest in indentured servitude… more often known as “slavery.” Patterson Hood, founder of the alt-rock Southern Rock group Drive-By Truckers, has described it as “the duality of the Southern thing.”

It reminds me of a hit song in the late 1970’s by a Christian Rock duet named DeGarmo & Key entitled “God Good, Devil Bad” which partial lyrics were:
“I met a man in the Nassau hotel,
“A stranger to my eyes.
“He had a tattoo on his arm of Jesus
“And the Devil side by side.
“I found the nerve so I said “Hey buddy!
“Just whats the matter with you?
“Don’t you know that you can’t serve two masters
“A real man’s gotta choose!”

“I said… Read the rest of this entry »

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History Looks Forward: SCOTUS Chief Justice John G. Roberts Appointment No Accident

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 15, 2015

It wasn’t by accident that George W. Bush nominated John Roberts as SCOTUS Chief Justice, because he’s the SECOND YOUNGEST of ALL the Justices (Elena Kagan b.4/28/1960 is younger than John Roberts b.1/27/1955 by 5 years, 3 months, 3 days), and his influence could be felt for perhaps 40+ years. At his appointment, John G. Roberts was aged 48 years, only 4 years older than the First Chief Justice, John Jay (served 1789-1795), who was aged 44 years when he took the oath of office.

FYI, the youngest Associate Justice was Joseph Story (served 1811-1845), who was aged 32 years when he took the oath of office.

The longest serving Associate Justice was William O. Douglas who served 36 years, 7 months, and 8 days from 1939 to 1975.

The longest serving Chief Justice was Chief Justice John Marshall who served 34 years, 5 months and 11 days from 1801 to 1835.

The average number of years that Justices have served is 16.

However… the average tenure of a Supreme Court Justice from 1789 through 1970 was 14.9 years.

For those Justices who have Read the rest of this entry »

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Analysis: Alabama Unemployment Higher Than Stated

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bentley UR Tweet 10-17-14

Alabama Governor Bentley claims he, and his policies – whatever they are (he has none… just look for your self) – have been responsible for declining Alabama Unemployment. Fact is, he’s blowing smoke.

Bentley UR Tweet Claim 10-17-14

Alabama Governor Bentley claims he, and his policies – whatever they are (he has none… just look for your self) – have been responsible for declining Alabama Unemployment. Fact is, he’s blowing smoke.

Alabama’s Republican Governor Robert Bentley, MD has crowed about “success” in lowering Alabama unemployment during the past 4 years of his term.

However, to be certain, a random statistical examination of the state’s Unemployment rate shows that it is very likely, AT LEAST two points higher than reported.  Here’s how.

Unemployment is calculated as a simple average. Take the number of people working, added into the number of people NOT working, AND who WANT to work, divided by the people who are available to work, gives the unemployment rate.

Here’s how the Bureau of  Labor Statistics defines the parameters of the equation:

What are the basic concepts of employment and unemployment?

The basic concepts involved in identifying the employed and unemployed are quite simple:
• People with jobs are employed.
• People who are jobless, looking for a job, and available for work are unemployed.
• The labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed.
• People who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force.

Simply put, the formula is:

Unemployment Rate = Unemployed


Employed + Unemployed

 

However, if you’ve had a college course in Statistics – and most folks in Alabama have not (it’s part of maintaining the policy of “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”) – then you’d understand that a random sample of the set would show essentially the same results.

And face it… most folks in Alabama DO NOT HAVE A COLLEGE EDUCATION. In fact, according to the Alabama Department of Education, Alabama’s High School Drop Out rate is 28%. Page 2, Frame 2 of the linked document shows the 2010-2011 TOTAL Graduation Rate as 72%.

Face it… ALABAMA IS

Read the rest of this entry »

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