It’s past time for Speaker Hubbard to go

As you know, Mike Hubbard, speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives, is awaiting trial on 23 felony charges involving alleged abuse of his office and comingling of personal and government business.

Although he deserves the benefit of the doubt with respect to his legal issues, it has been obvious for some time that Speaker Hubbard has at the very least a serious conflict of roles between his duty to serve the state and his self interest in business and in defending himself and friends in legal matters. Yet heretofore I have been willing to give him the benefit of my doubt.

But now the Speaker is pushing a gambling agreement with the Poarch Creek Indians which could give them exclusive rights to operate class 3 gaming casinos in Alabama without having to compete for the right with any potential alternative operators. This seems like a multi-billion dollar sweetheart deal for the PCI.

Ethics and corruption are always a matter of concern with casinos and gambling and so they are given close oversight and regulation by government. My concern is magnified by the proposal being pushed by our Speaker and his conflict of roles. I simply do not trust him with such a major undertaking and wish not to take the chance of Alabama government making a deal with the PCI and then seeing the court find him guilty of some or all of the criminal allegations against him.

Speaker Hubbard was boneheaded for causing this conflict of roles. He is boneheaded for taking the lead in pushing for more gambling in Alabama and aggravating his conflict of roles while his serious legal issues are awaiting resolution. And it would be boneheaded for me to continue to support his leadership.

I urge you to call for Speaker Hubbard to resign and to replace him with a representative more clearly worthy of our trust and confidence.

Stop demanding apologies and, for God’s sake, stop giving them…

  

This is me smiling, my guess is I just said something very clever. The guy next to me (David Parsons – WEUP) disagrees while the other guy (Shelly Haskins – Al.com) agrees 

At some point in this panel, I stated I love watching Al Sharpton on TV and I watch him so much because I hate him. After the event, a woman came up to me and told me the following stupid thing…

“I enjoyed your talk and I want to like you but here is a little advice for you, next time look at your audience and see who is in the crowd.”

She was black, I assumed that is what she was referring to. I asked “Why?”

She continued “because Reverend Al Sharpton is a man of God and does many good things and it’s very disrespectful to say you don’t like him.”

This was the same woman that during the event snidely asked, “Are you like Rush Limbaugh?”, so I said, “Some people don’t like Sharpton and you  asked about Limbaugh making it clear you didn’t like him.” She agreed, I said “What is the difference?”  Man of God stuff again.

Now I don’t know if this person wanted an apology from me because we disagreed, it sure seemed like it, but she eventually huffed off after another “Look at your audience next time” lecture. 

Was I not to be critical of a black person in another black person’s presence? I was critical of many white people, hope that was OK.

This woman has clearly done this before and most people would probably apologize. Stop doing this. 

Folks, we have to be allowed to disagree. 

What the hell has happened to our society where we can’t even have a disagreement without someone needing an apology to soothe their butthurt. As if hearing words they don’t agree with hurts their feelings and ruins their day.

How the hell do people function like this?

No to more gambling in Alabama

I am opposed to casino gambling and a lottery in Alabama. My opposition has nothing to do with sin or religion. It has everything to with conservative principles of good government.

I do not like stampedes, yet in six months we have gone from an election where taxes and revenue were not an issue and gambling was being pushed only by the losers to the probability of a gambling referendum proposed for September 15 of this year. Now our governor and Republican leaders in the legislature tell us we have a budget crisis that can only be fixed by raising taxes or by getting more revenue from gambling. These issues should have been brought up a year ago and discussed during the campaigns which culminated in the June primary and November general elections. Leaders who were not perceptive enough to see or brave enough to discuss the problems then are suspect for chicanery and mendacity and they should not expect voters to quickly fall for this new story.

Gambling (lottery and casino gaming) will redirect as much as $2 billion (1 percent of the Alabama Gross State Product), likely forever. Gambling may create some jobs while it will certainly destroy other jobs. Deciding such a major change should not be hurried.

Gambling will stall much needed reform of the state budget process. Without real reform which enables setting priorities of needs, we cannot really know what the revenue requirements of the state actually are. We must:

  • Enact a No More Surprises Budget Act to require multi-year budget planning so that issues are identified well in advance. A five-year plan is necessary to assure that we have no more day-after-the election bombshells.
  • Combine the state’s general fund, education, roads, and other budgets.
  • End budget earmarks.
  • Have legislators and members of congress work together to identify and implement federal problem prevention and problem solutions, e.g., unconditional block grants for federal Medicaid funds which would fix our funding issues for that program.

Gambling revenue will grow government and stall initiatives for more efficient and smaller government. More revenue necessarily means bigger government. More revenue means that few programs will be eliminated or reformed, e.g., state employee pension and benefits are a large and growing problem, the state is struggling to get out of the retail liquor business.

Gambling revenue will give the governor and legislature an excuse to not review and account for a state economy that is not producing any significant job growth.

Gambling is fraught with cronyism. For example, Senator Marsh’s draft legislation selects four race track owners and the small Poarch Creek band of Indians for exclusive control of casino gaming. There is no apparent need for such favoritism and elitism.

Gambling is fraught with corruption, e.g., the infamous Milton McGregor trial of 2012 shows gambling powers are ever ready to buy legislators and government employees to get what they want. This is why so much government regulation is applied to it to try to prevent gambling powers from buying government favors.

The state should not be involved in gambling because it requires glamorization of gaming which discourages citizens from learning, industriousness, saving, investing, and paying their own way.

I could be receptive to gambling at some time, but I am not now and I am not likely to ever be so with a governor and legislative leaders I do not trust. And if we expand gambling, the state authorization for it should periodically be reaffirmed by voters. Every ten years or so would be about right. This would provide necessary accountability and force a public review of how promises compare to results.

What is my solution for the so-called budget crisis? I described that when I wrote about reforming the state’s budget process. Effect that reform and we will be able to prioritize needs and have an informed discussion and debate on whether state government needs more revenue and, if we determine it does, how that revenue should be produced. In particular, we should help put Alabama back to work by killing the corporate income tax.

References:

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/04/draft_bill_calls_for_lottery_f.html#incart_river

http://media.al.com/news_impact/other/Read%20the%20lottery%20and%20casino%20bill.pdf

POLL: Alabama WANTS gambling in the form of casinos and lottery. Alabama DOES NOT WANT new taxes…

Politicians take note of this gaming poll.

Some takeaways…

Taxes? No.

Lottery? Absolutely.

Casinos? Sure, that is good too.

Benito Albarran’s attorneys do all they can to tarnish Daniel Golden’s memory one more time…

Emphasis is mine…

Albarran’s attorneys, Joseph Flood and Steve Malone,released this statement this afternoon: “We learned earlier today that our client, Benito Albarran, was found dead in his cell early this morning from an apparent suicide. We are heartbroken from this news and saddened that Benito’s untimely passing will prevente his legal proceedings from going forward. Based on our investigations we had great confidence that particular legal issues would have resulted in a new trial or in the death penalty being removed from the case.

From the moment we began representing Benito it was evident to all of us that he felt extreme shame and remorse for killing Officer Daniel Golden. One of the claims that we intended to advance before the Alabama courts was that Benito was denied his right to testify and to admit his crimes and apologize for killing Officer Golden. The remorse and guilt Benito felt for killing such a good man, one who was just doing his duty, haunted him every day since he committed that crime. It is our hope that in some way Benito’s tragic death contributes to the Golden family’s healing.

Despite his terrible crime, Benito was a kind, decent and gentle man. In our representation we learned Benito struggled from severe mental illness and addiction, that he experienced profound trauma in his childhood, and that he struggled mightily to be a good father and husband. We also learned that he was intellectually disabled and had great difficulty achieving any kind of stability or success throughout his life. The many disabilities he endured converged on him on August 29, 2005, resulting in the death of one of Alabama’s finest citizens and police officers. We now mourn both deaths and pray that both men find peace in heaven.

If Albarran is in heaven, there is no God.

MSNBC hosts love lecturing on taxes. Paying them? Not so much…

There are now 4 hypocrites working at the nation’s progressive cable network

MSNBC, the liberal network that advocates at every turn for a progressive revenue system, is home to four tax delinquents who have all lectured their audience about tax fairness over the years.

Rev. Al Sharpton, PoliticsNation host and civil rights activist, has more than $4.5 million in state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses, according to the New York Times. The IRS filed a $70,000 tax lien against MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry and her husband earlier this month.

The Cycle co-host Touré and former The Reid Report host Joy Reid, still a contributor, are also in debt to the government. National Review reviewed public records and reported Touré owes more than $59,000, while Reid owes nearly $5,000. Representatives said their debts are in the process of being resolved.

Curiously, these folks have had plenty to say over the years about this subject and how the rich should take on greater revenue burdens. MSNBC’s liberal lineup frequently calls for higher taxes on the wealthy and joined President Obama in railing against inversion by corporations.

In one of MSNBC’s silly “Lean Forward” ads, Sharpton blasted Republicans for giving tax cuts and loopholes to the rich and acting “like it’s acceptable,”comparing their policies to Jim Crow laws. Sharpton also ripped Sen. Joni Ernst’s (R., Iowa) response after the 2015 State of the Union address for “defending the top 1 percent not having to pay taxes.”

When a guest of Harris-Perry on Feb. 21 spoke of his pride in paying taxes, she exclaimed, “It’s the public good! Yes!”

Harris-Perry opined in an April 15, 2012, edition of her eponymous show that “taxes are how we all do our part” and a “Democratic spirit, the belief that we’re all in together” carried her through the drudgery of tax season.

“We all want to believe that the tax math adds up to an equitable system, where everyone pays their due,” she said, criticizing corporations that avoid taxes. “But that’s part of the problem. Not everyone does seem to be paying their dues.”

In the same monologue, she expressed frustration with people who avoid their civil responsibility.

“When I am poring over my paperwork, it doesn’t make it any easier to know that my wealthy neighbor isn’t taking responsibility,” she said. “If they don’t pay, why should I, right?”

Discussing the Buffett Rule in a 2013 show, Harris-Perry said with dead seriousness, “If we want the rich to pay more money, getting them to give out of charity instead of federal obligation might be our only option.”

Then there is this video of them lecturing on taxes….

Post-Earth Day wrap up…

Obama flew down to Florida to make a jab at FL Governor Rick Scott over climate change on Earth Day

Describing climate change as a “bipartisan” issue, Obama said that people all over the country know “simply refusing to say the words ‘climate change’ doesn’t mean that climate change isn’t happening,” laughing as he made the remarks and drawing applause. “If you’ve got a coming storm, you don’t stick your head in the sand, you prepare for the storm.”

“Protecting the one planet we’ve got is what we have to do for the next generation,” Obama continued, saying he wants his grandchildren — “a long time from now” — to enjoy the Everglades just like those who lived before them.

Does he believe that?

Should he?

The Everglades won’t be there? Obama enjoyed the Everglades?

Great.

Except, if Obama believes that, he doesn’t really show it.

Here are some predictions from on or around the 1st Earth Day

  • “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
  • “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner
  • “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”New York Times editorial
  • “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
  • “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich
  • “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
  • “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
  • “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine
  • “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  • “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich
  • “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  • “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”Newsweek magazine
  • “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

And if you don’t agree? You hate science or something…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,111 other followers