Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Trump’s war on Turkey for Pastor Brunson

  Every year, thousands of American citizens are incarcerated in foreign countries. Yet, President Trump has decided to go to war to secure the release of only one of them. What gives with that?

  The citizen who is receiving the privileged treatment is Andrew Brunson, an American pastor incarcerated in Turkey. He is charged with participating in an attempted coup in 2016 against Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Learning fiscal responsibility from the fall of MoviePass

  One year ago, a relatively-unknown company announced that, for a monthly fee of $9.95, subscribers could see one movie a day without paying anything at the box office. That’s right – even though the average movie ticket in the U.S. is $9 – a $9.95 monthly subscription could get you into 31 movies.

  Since last August, three million film-goers have subscribed to MoviePass, the company offering this seemingly too-good-to-be-true service.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh threatens Americans’ fundamental right to vote

  Last week marked the 53rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). In the years since the VRA’s enactment, however, its protections have not gone unchallenged. In a 2013 decision in Shelby v. Holder, a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the VRA, a provision that prevented certain jurisdictions from unilaterally manipulating their voting policies and procedures. This ruling allowed legislators to enact discriminatory laws that make voting more difficult for both people of color and low-income Americans. With the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy this past July, it is essential that the Senate demand a fair, independent nominee who will defend the fundamental rights of Americans.

  Brett M. Kavanaugh is not that nominee. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a willingness to turn a blind eye to voter suppression and racial discrimination. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, Americans will almost certainly face further erosion of their voting rights.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1626 - Injustice is rolling

  Injustice. Injustice. Injustice. Injustice is rolling down like rivers of waters and unrighteousness like a mighty stream. No, I did not make a mistake and put “injustice” where I should have put “justice” or “unrighteousness” where I should have put “righteousness.” No, I am not talking about Biblical times when the prophet Amos lived. Injustice is rolling down like rivers of waters.

  I am not talking about far off places. I am not talking about far-off times. I am not talking about Africa, South America, Asia, etc. I am not talking about past times of slavery and segregation. I am talking about right now. I am talking about right here in Selma, Alabama.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Rollback of EPA clean car standards will cost you at least $500 a year

  On August 2, the Trump administration proposed rolling back the clean car standards, Obama-era regulations that require new cars for model years 2017-2025 to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025. In addition to the environmental impact that has already been reported by the New York Times and the Washington Post—which could be massive, since cars and trucks account for 45 percent of U.S. oil consumption and 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions—this rollback will be expensive for the American public.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Who owns your body?

  Norma Brickey, an eighty-two-year-old mother, has been driving the streets of Columbus, Ohio, with a sign in her car window reading, “My son needs a kidney, O positive,” followed by her phone number. Both she and another of her sons have had kidney transplants. All three suffer from polycystic kidney disease, a condition in which cysts form on the kidneys.

  Her son who is still waiting for a kidney transplant goes to dialysis for four hours and then goes to his job as a nurse for 12 hours. He has been on dialysis for almost two years. “This is the year I’m going to find him a kidney,” says his mother. She doesn’t “make extra trips for people to see the sign.” She just does her errands, and almost every day gets a call.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse – Primary political potpourri

  Now that the dust has settled on the primaries, allow me to share with you some thoughts on the Alabama political stage.

  There is an old saying that says, the more things change, the more they stay the same. This old adage is true in Alabama politics.

  First of all, “All politics is local.” In the June 5 primaries, the turnout was about 25 percent on average around the state. However, the ultimate voter turnout was 27 percent due to local races. Alabamians are more interested in who is sheriff and probate judge than who is lieutenant governor or attorney general.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

How conservative principles benefit the environment: A lesson from Alabama’s red snapper

  Many coastal and red snapper loving Alabamians may find themselves disappointed by recent events.

  On July 16th, the State of Alabama announced that recreational red snapper fishing season would be cut six weeks short. A result of unexpectedly high catch levels this summer, the state reached its annual quota sooner than anticipated.

  For families and anglers who planned trips for late July and August, frustration with the early closing date is understandable. Why should the government be able to regulate an activity as natural as red snapper fishing?

Monday, August 6, 2018

Craig Ford: A new school year is starting, but it should be starting later

  Remember when school didn’t start until after Labor Day? In a matter of days, students all across Alabama will start a new school year, and yet it’s only the second week of August!

  Instead of spending the last few weeks of August working summer jobs or on family vacations, teachers and students are preparing to head back to school. Why?

  It wasn’t always this way. In 2012, the Alabama Legislature passed a school start date bill that mandated a longer summer break for our public schools. It was a bill that had broad bipartisan support. Supporters argued that extending the summer break would benefit families, students, employers, Alabama’s tourism industry, and even the government.

  But then the legislature failed to renew it, and the state did not get to feel the maximum benefits of the law.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The First Amendment was meant for times like now

  Donald Trump is working the old political shell game again — one that journalists must refuse to play and that every citizen should take as a lesson in civics about the real value of our First Amendment.

  Mere days after a July 20 meeting with the publisher of The New York Times that the White House asked to be “off-the-record,” Trump reversed course and made the conversation public via a series of tweets that ranged from outright fabrication to fanatical claims about the patriotism of journalists and how their work is “putting lives at risk.”