Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse: The fall of Mike Hubbard

  The older you get the more you realize that old adages you heard as a child are true. There is a political maxim that says, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It could very aptly be applied to the Mike Hubbard saga.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Michael Josephson: Being decisive

  Frank is a new supervisor who wants to do well. Maria consistently comes in late. When he confronts her, she makes a joke out of it.

  Hoping to win friendship and loyalty, Frank is painfully patient with her, but Pat, a conscientious employee, urges him to do more. Soon others begin to come in late, and Pat quits. Frank feels victimized, but he has no one to blame but himself.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Ongoing battle to protect the precious right to vote

  The story of the civil rights movement sometimes overlooks the individual stories that collectively helped to ensure the right to vote. The story of Fannie Lou Hamer, who was jailed, physically abused, and degraded all because she wanted to register to vote. The story of now-Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who was beaten nearly to death on the Edmund Pettus Bridge as he marched across Alabama to ensure full access to voting rights. These stories of suffering, pain, indignity, and perseverance—along with countless others of poll taxes, lynchings, beatings, and degrading interactions—paved the way to the Voting Rights Act. The story of the Voting Rights Act should not be relegated to the pages of children’s history books but instead lifted up as a legacy of triumph that should be protected and maintained.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Craig Ford: It’s pride – not the people – that Governor Bentley knows

  One of the most famous scriptures in the Bible says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” That scripture kept running through my mind this past week as Gov. Robert Bentley repeatedly claimed that he knows the people of Alabama “better than anyone” and that they are not interested in impeaching him.

  That is a bold claim to make and one that is also easily proven wrong.

  Governor Bentley didn’t seem to know the people of Alabama so well when he was proposing $700 million in tax increases last year. The governor wasn’t listening to the people of Alabama when he signed legislation that transferred $80 million out of the education budget.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Trump's evangelical board reads like a who's who of the anti-LGBT extremist Right

  Two days after a massacre at an Orlando LGBT nightclub by a lone gunman, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted a “thank you” to the LGBT community for what he apparently believes is support for his candidacy.

  The tweet included the line, “I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”

  A week later, Trump met with hundreds of conservative evangelical leaders in New York City at an invitation-only event organized by former presidential candidate Ben Carson, who was working in conjunction with other groups including the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT hate group. At the event, Trump called religious liberty “the No. 1 question,” and he promised to appoint anti-abortion Supreme Court justices.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1515: Victory into defeat and defeat into victory

  Every defeat is a victory for somebody. Every victory is a defeat for somebody. This is true in sports, in politics, and in life. In the 2016 Alabama Legislative Session, there were defeats that were victories and victories that were defeats.

  Governor Robert Bentley’s $800 million prison bond bill was defeated, but it was really a victory. They said that the bill would lead to the construction of four new prisons and increase the number of prison beds. However, we could not get any details and there were no provisions to ensure that the nearly $800 million would be used exclusively for prisons. In fact, it appears that some political leaders were promised millions of dollars for other projects. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange stated that the city would get $10 million for a project not related to prisons. There were even rumors that a former elected official would control the entire $800 million project. Given the current allegations against various public officials, to borrow eight tenths of a billion dollars with an open end is crazy. This defeat was really a victory.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Charles C. Haynes: After Orlando, reclaiming our common humanity

  Horrific events like the heartbreaking tragedy in Orlando — the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history — bring out the best and the worst in the American character.

  After Omar Mateen murdered 49 people and injured 53 others, many clergy who rarely, if ever, acknowledge the LGBT community in positive terms offered prayers for LGBT people — actually reciting the letters. This one, brief shining moment was both unprecedented and heartening.

  On the worst side of the ledger, however, a small minority of clergy used the shooting as an opportunity to preach hate in the name of religion.

  Mere hours after the attack, two Christian ministers posted videos of their sermons (since deleted by YouTube) celebrating the murder of 49 “pedophiles” and “predators.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse: Friendships that are bigger than politics

  One of my most cherished lifetime memories is the almost two decades I served in the Alabama House of Representatives. It was because of the lifetime friends made during that era.

  The House was not as partisan as it is today. This day and time it seems like legislators do not mix and mingle with different party members. They get in their caucuses and stay put. When I was in the House, although we were of different parties, we all got along regardless of whether we disagreed on issues.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Jacob G. Hornberger: Interventionism is a rotten tree with rotten fruit

  Fifty-one State Department officials are calling on President Obama to expand U.S. interventionism in Syria by initiating a bombing campaign against the Syrian government. Apparently they’re not satisfied with the great “success” that their philosophy of interventionism has brought to Iraq, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and the rest of the Middle East. They want the U.S. national-security state’s death machine to bring even more death and destruction than it has already brought to that part of the world for the past 25 years.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Charleston shooting anniversary: More work remains to end extremist violence

  A year ago last week, a young white supremacist gunned down nine black parishioners at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, marking the violent start to a lethal year of extremist violence in the United States.

  In San Bernardino, California, in the coming months, Islamist radicals would kill 14 people.

  In Colorado Springs, Colorado, an anti-abortion extremist would shoot three people to death at a Planned Parenthood clinic.