무료 등록 생방송 라이브 바카라_bet365 넷텔러_무료 등록 온라인카지노사이트 https://www.google.com//6f2 Alabama Politics, News, & Culture With A Progressive Perspective Sat, 05 Jan 2019 18:34:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 /6f2/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/cropped-LIAOverlay-32x32.gif Left In Alabama – Working for a New Direction in Alabama Politics https://www.google.com//6f2 32 32 98735417 Alabama State Laws Offer Few Protections For Low Wage Workers https://www.google.com//6f2/alabama-state-laws-offer-few-protections-for-low-wage-workers/ /6f2/alabama-state-laws-offer-few-protections-for-low-wage-workers/#respond Sat, 05 Jan 2019 18:30:41 +0000 /6f2/?p=17051 Millions of American low wage workers?got raises this week, after 20 states and 21 cities boosted the minimum wage. Alabama wasn’t one of those states, and none of those cities is in Alabama.? Alabama is one of only five states that has no state-mandated minimum wage, and not likely to pass one any time soon. If the GOP Supermajority has proven anything since 2014, it’s that they can take any bad situation and legislate to make it worse.? In 2016, Republican lawmakers were so terrified by the prospect of local activism that they passed a preemptive law to give more power to the legislature to regulate employment.

“The new law prohibits any ※local governmental entities from requiring minimum leave, wages, or other benefits for employees.§ It also provides the state legislature with the authority to ※establish uniform employment policies and regulations.§

무료 등록 생방송 라이브 바카라_bet365 넷텔러_무료 등록 온라인카지노사이트

During the 2016 session, state legislators jumped into action after the Birmingham City Council voted to raise the minimum wage inside city limits to $8.50/hour with a later increase to $10.10.? Success in Birmingham buoyed a statewide effort by advocates working with City Councils in Huntsville, Mobile, and Tuscaloosa to pass similar measures. The increase had strong support in Birmingham, and among legislators who represent the city.? Not so from legislators representing the heavily Republican ring of suburban communities like Hoover, Mountain Book, and Homewood. Naturally, they knew better than Birmingham what should be happening in… Birmingham.

Representative David Faulkner took the lead, battling bravely to stop a wage increase from happening outside his district. During the legislative debate, Faulkner claimed his bill would help the poor, not hurt them.? Other than that, Faulkner wasn’t clear on much.? Like most exchanges in the Alabama Legislature, it wasn’t exactly Lincoln/Douglas quality debate:

每Rep. Hall: ※You make $400/hour, Rep. Faulkner, but you want to kill raises in minimum wage.§

每Rep. England to Rep. Faulkner: ?※Would you support raising the minimum wage?§ ?Rep. Faulkner: ※I do not know.§ ?※Would you support small incrementals?§ ?※No.§ ?※What about small increases over 3 years?§ ?※I can*t answer that.§

每Rep. Faulkner: ?※Raising the minimum wage doesn*t show that it solves poverty.§ ?(3:55 PM)

每Rep. Melton to Rep. Faulkner: ※Oh, so you support raising the minimum wage only if the state does it? ?Only us?§

每Rep. Faulkner to Rep. Melton: ※I*ve got the data that says raising the minimum wage does not help anyone, it takes away jobs.§

每Rep. Forte to Rep. Faulkner: ※Are you a lawyer?§ ?※Yes.§ ?※Are you a labor lawyer?§ ?※No.§ ?※Who wrote this bill?§ ?※Uh#.I*d say a lot of people, including Rep. Mooney, but#.uh#.§

每Rep. Forte to Rep. Faulkner: ※Have you ever made minimum wage? ?Don*t lie.§ ?※I have#.my employers#have#.always paid me well by the hour. ?I did have a job when I was young in a coffin factory where I did make minimum wage.§

Mandatory PTO Also Prohibited

Really, none of this nonsense was new. In 2014, the Alabama House (with some Democratic support!) passed an ALEC-inspired bill to prohibit mandatory sick leave, vacation, or other PTO – aka the “Give Your Boss the Flu Act.

The latest manifestation of that is ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) member?Rep. Jack Williams‘ bill 每?HB360. It prohibits Alabama local governments from requiring employers within their jurisdiction to offer any sort of paid sick leave, vacation time, or leave that’s not already mandated by the federal government.

The bill passed the Senate committee, with the three Democrats on the committee not voting at all. It was one of those moments where you couldn’t tell the Republicans from the Democrats even with a scorecard.? The very least a representative can do is show up and speak out.

Sure Democrats in the legislature are outvoted.? Legislative rules give them almost no power. As long as one party holds a supermajority, they can essentially do whatever they please, and even a Governor of the other party isn’t an effective check and balance.? Alabama’s Governor is far less power than most people realize, because legislators can over-ride his/her veto with a simple majority vote.

One thing that Alabama Democrats can do, however, is speak out forcefully in committee, on the floor, and to the media.? By now, most activists have given the Alabama State Democratic Party up for dead, although actually, it’s more of a zombie: dead, but still causing trouble for the living.? It’s up to the Alabama House Democratic Caucus, the Alabama Senate Caucus (here’s a tip Senators, reactivate your caucus Facebook page and post more than once a year on Twitter!), organized county Democratic parties, and a variety of issue-based local groups to take the lead.

Who knows? If voters see Alabama Democrats speaking out and fighting for issues that really affect their daily lives – wages, sick leave, schools, infrastructure – they might work with us to make some progress in this state.? After 2017, there’s no place to go but up.

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What Would You Say If Santa Didn’t Bring You Anything? https://www.google.com//6f2/what-would-you-say-if-santa-didnt-bring-you-anything/ /6f2/what-would-you-say-if-santa-didnt-bring-you-anything/#respond Tue, 01 Jan 2019 14:05:46 +0000 /6f2/?p=16928 what did Santa bring you?” is the perfect conversational opener with a child or a group of children. But remember that one child may have received a mountain of gifts while another was lucky to get a few donated toys from the dollar store.
Children are acutely aware of these differences, and we should be sensitive to them as well.

There’s the text of the post:
§In a typical public school setting you will see some students who have clean, styled hair wearing name-brand clothing while other students have shoes that don*t fit or are wearing the same dirty shirt from several days ago. Some students will have their own bedrooms with carefully chosen paint colors on their walls while other students sleep on their couches each night because there are?not enough beds. Some students have an abundance of &real* nutrient-dense foods while others regularly eat fast or heavily processed foods and drink sugary sodas.

Some students may have received everything on their wish lists for Christmas but there will be others whose only gifts were purchased at the last minute at the nearest gas station. Some students were surrounded by family on Christmas morning, while others awoke to find a parent &missing* due to drunkenness or incarceration. With this in mind, I never ask a child, &What did Santa bring you for Christmas?* or &What did you get for Christmas?*

For the privileged child it might feed that ME appetite, but the same questions to a marginalized child may create embarrassment and insecurity. A healthier alternative might be to ask, &What was the best part of your holiday?*??


– Sharon Naylor Pettigrew?

I can remember in 2nd or 3rd grade, coming back to school from the holidays, and the first activity of the day was for every kid to get up in front of the class and list all the things they got for Christmas. As a pretty privileged kid and an only child, my list was long. I remember that it included my own Polaroid Instant Camera, a portable record player, a bunch of records, and enough Barbie clothes to outfit a fashion army.

Sadly, I remember some of the other students who got up, hemmed and hawed, and conveniently “couldn’t remember” what they’d received. Maybe that was true: nervousness plays havoc with my memory. But it’s likely that at least one of them received little or nothing and had to listen while their oblivious classmates (me included) essentially bragged in front of the entire class. ]]>
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Dear Democrats: The Presidential Primary Is Fun, But Let’s Focus On The Present https://www.google.com//6f2/dear-democrats-the-presidential-primary-is-fun-but-lets-focus-on-the-present/ /6f2/dear-democrats-the-presidential-primary-is-fun-but-lets-focus-on-the-present/#comments Mon, 31 Dec 2018 17:06:32 +0000 /6f2/?p=16876 “The rule is jam yesterday and jam tomorrow, but never jam today.” In other words, instead of concentrating on the upcoming legislative session or Congressional legislation that needs to either be fought or passed, we delight ourselves by re-fighting the previous primary and/or throwing mud at each other about candidates who may or may not enter the race.

Enough, y’all! Please, let’s focus and consider what the stakes are in 2019.

Sadly, my social media feeds have been jam packed for a week with pre-primary mud-slinging, name calling, and general nastiness. Y’all, the 2016 primary is OVER. It’s yesterday’s jam, and it hasn’t aged well. It’s political poison.

And the 2020 election is almost two full years away. It’s tomorrow’s jam. And do you know what happens when you eat unripe fruit? You get sick, really sick. So tomorrow’s jam is also political poison right now.

I understand the attraction of the presidential race; I really do! It’s the “bright shiny object,” a race for what used to be one of the top world leaders. It matters who the US President is and people understand that. That’s why they come out in droves to vote and volunteer in presidential election years. Additionally, presidential politics is just more fun than the mundane slog of bills moving through the glacial legislative process or showing up at interminable city council or school board meetings.

And yet, as important as the President is – as consequential a choice it is for both the country and the world – what happens at the congressional, state, and local levels often has a far more direct impact on our daily lives. I’m talking about local public schools, infrastructure, racial justice, wages, insurance, etc.

But we’re often too busy thinking about the jam that we ignore the legislative sausage making that gives allows huge giveaways of tax dollars to big corporations, turns public school money over to private schools, or rewards private sector employees for refusing to do their jobs.

2019 Alabama Legislative Session Begins March 4

The Roman Senate, this isn’t, but it’s what we have in Alabama. And campers, this next session looks grim. The 2018 midterms were a wave election for Democrats in other states, but not here. Alabama Democrats drowned in a sea of red. We came out of this election with an even bigger GOP supermajority.

The Legislature convenes a week from tomorrow (January 8) for their 2019 organizational session, and the full session starts Tuesday, March 4.

Currently, according to ALISON (the online bill/session reporting system), there are NO pre-filed bills. Now, at first glance, this seems like a good thing. The less some of these jokers do, the better off we are. But I fear a more sinister motivation. As the GOP became more comfortable with their supermajority status, they also became more dismissive of their Democratic colleagues and the voters who elected them.

It’s not unusual now for a controversial bill to be filed at night and then scheduled for a committee hearing at 10am the next morning – with no public notice and little chance for public comment. Unless someone requests one, sometimes there’s not even a public hearing: the bill sails straight through committee and to the floor (sometimes in the same day!)

There’s still plenty of time for pre-filed bills, and I’m sure we’ll see more of the Alabama GOP’s . In 2015, there were over 100 just prior to the opening of the legislative session. This year, expect even more antics as the GOP supermajority doubles down on its “4G Agenda,” aka “God, Guns, Gays, & Gynecology.”

New Congress Takes Office in January

Right now, almost the entire US Government is an absolute mess. We have an incoming Democratic majority in Congress who can at least provide a check on the system, but it’s going to take huge public pressure to move the Senate. The Republicans have increased their majority, and most of the new members are just as ideological the House partisans who lost their seats in 2018.

There are opportunities for both the House and Senate this session.

The golden prize for Republicans is the federal judiciary. Remember, while the press and public were transfixed by the garbled daily “tweetstorm” from the White House, Majority Leader McConnell got two SCOTUS justices and 83 lower court judges confirmed.

There are more vacancies, and Democratic votes alone can’t stop them. A few weeks ago, South Carolina’s Senator Tim Scott helped keep Thomas Farr off the federal bench, but we need a lot more Republicans to find the same courage.

The golden prize for Democrats is the House, where we can pass bills on issues that actually matter to voters: protecting health care and increasing access, increasing the minimum wage, environmental protection, real oversight of the Executive branch, developing a humane immigration policy. and keeping the federal government operating.

This is the session where the Democratic Party can begin building a credible platform for 2020. The House can show the country what could be accomplished if we had the votes in the Senate and a competent President. We can’t fumble this opportunity.

Focus, Focus, Focus on the Important Stuff!

In the coming weeks, we’re likely to see a bunch of Democrats announce “exploratory committees” or outright campaign organizations. Some analysts expect as many as 20 candidates. There will surely be someone for everyone. The media will be absolutely consumed by the frenzy; they’ll do everything possible to stoke discord among Democrats.

My hope is that Democrats don’t take the bait. Some level of primary infighting is normal. Politics attracts hardheaded, mouthy, opinionated people, after all.

But please keep this in mind when you’re “expressing yourself” about the election, particularly online:
  • You’re likely fighting with your friends – particularly on Facebook. Is a primary election worth losing people who you share a history with?
  • It’s too easy to be mean online. Before hitting “post,” consider if you’d say that same thing to someone’s face. Would you want to see that fleeting look of hurt before the flash of anger? Is it worth it?
  • The media, Republicans, and Putin (LOL) want us fighting each other. Ignore Putin and his Puppets and slap the media around for being more interested in the horse race (whose up and who’s down) than in actual policy questions. Make them cover an election, not a prize fight.
  • We’re not in jr. high school anymore (most of us, anyway). There will be a ton of good primary candidates. We can like and respect them all even as we pick a favorite. Sure, I may agree with Candidate A on 99% of issues and with Candidate B on just 94%, but that doesn’t make Candidate B or his/her supporters the enemy. Let’s not treat them that way. It’s destructive to the process and to our personal relationships.
Finally, remember that yes, politics has become a sort of team sport, but we’re all on the same team. Let’s please leave the 2016 jam on the shelf (or throw it out entirely), because we have a big job ahead in the next two years – both in Alabama and the entire country.

Oh, and really finally…. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Please, please let it be better than 2018!

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Alabama SOS John Merrill Has Enough Free Time To Critique Manicures On Twitter https://www.google.com//6f2/alabama-sos-john-merrill-has-enough-free-time-to-critique-manicures-on-twitter/ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 21:03:37 +0000 /6f2/?p=15979 Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill’s tenure has been full of “WTF? Moments,” but his recent social media exchanges are odd – even for him.? Previously, he confined his diatribes to blaming voters when the web site he’s responsible for maintaining crashed on election day.? But now, the guy in charge of the conduct and security of the state’s election system is branching out into fashion commentary and flat-out name calling.

You’d think he didn’t have an actual JOB or need sleep or anything, right?

Seriously, what’s up with this exchange on Twitter yesterday (7/9/18)?? Is this all John (Show Me Your Fingernails!) Merrill has to worry about?? FINGERNAILS?



So SOS Merrill was annoyed by criticism from Mr. Lawler – so much so that he visited Lawler’s Twitter page and actively searched from some way to…. criticize his appearance.? Ok then.? Here’s the photo Merrill zoomed in on….


A sharp-witted Twitter user noted:


So, it looks to me like Mr. Lawler MAY have had a manicure before his wedding.? Possibly, based on his bride’s obvious pride in HER appearance, it’s a family thing. The mark of a good spouse is that he/she does things to please the other person.

Ahem… Maybe if our Secretary of State spent more time paying attention to his spouse, he’d have less time to make an ass of himself on social media (and be in a better mood), but that’s an issue for a marriage counselor, not a blogger to determine.

And, I must pause to include this delicious quote from author Rita Mae Brown’s delightful book “Six of One.”

“Any political movement that worries about fingernails ain’t worth two shits.”

Merrill’s social media rants don’t end here – unfortunately.? There was THIS on Facebook recently….

That’s right campers!? Stay data-focused and stay civil — all you “wimpish children!”??Oh, and STOP name-calling!

You know…. Alabama could have an actual adult managing our elections process.? Her name is Heather Milam.? She’s running for Alabama Secretary of State. You can find out more and donate to her campaign at MilamForSecretary.com.


The Case Against Roy Moore https://www.google.com//6f2/the-case-against-roy-moore/ /6f2/the-case-against-roy-moore/#comments Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:27:58 +0000 /6f2/?p=14927 Two-time former Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court Roy Moore, the continued ※birther§ and believer of inane right-wing conspiracies, is running to become the state*s next senator despite his lawless actions that twice forced him from his elected offices. And he very well may win. Polls show with a slight edge over Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the general election. But let*s be clear: It*s insane to support Roy Moore, a man whose derelictions of judicial duty due to his refusal to accept the Constitution 每 and not the Bible 每 as the supreme law of the land twice resulted in his vacating a position entrusted to him by the people of Alabama, for the United States Senate.

Moore*s disdain for man-made law has long been clear. Following his first election as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (he ran on a largely theological platform), Moore erected in the Supreme Court*s building a 5,280 pound monument to the Ten Commandments. At its unveiling, Moore announced ※today a cry has gone out across our land for the acknowledgment of that God upon whom this nation and our laws were founded.§ The taxpayer-funded religious monument quickly earned its day in court as a lawsuit claimed that its installation on state property ※sends a message to all who enter the State Judicial Building that the government encourages and endorses the practice of religion in general and Judeo-Christianity in particular.§ Lawyers of different religious beliefs changed their work practices to avoid the religious atmosphere and public prayer around the monument.

Defense of the statue largely fell flat with Moore citing its necessity to ※remind the Appellate Courts and judges of the Circuit and District Court of this State and members of the bar who appear before them, as well as the people of Alabama who visit the Alabama Judicial Building#that in order to establish justice we must invoke &the favor and guidance of almighty God.*§ In other words, Moore claimed the state needed the monument to reinforce his belief that justice comes not from the Constitution, but from God 每 Roy Moore*s God. Unsurprisingly, Moore lost. U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson found the monument violated the First Amendment as the monument existed to establish ※a permanent recognition of the &sovereignty of God,* the Judeo-Christian God, over all citizens in this country, regardless of each taxpaying citizen*s individual personal beliefs or lack thereof.§ Thompson ordered the monument be taken down.

Yet Moore refused to follow the directive from a judge whose superiority had been established through federal laws. Doing so risked a $5,000 a day fine, paid for by Alabama*s taxpayers (a cost saved only by the other state Supreme Court justices quick actions to overrule Moore and move the statue to a private location). Moore decided that Alabamans should pay a fine because his religious fealty precluded him from obeying his oath of office. This contempt for the law led to Moore*s forced removal from office for actions that ※undercut the entire workings of the judicial system§ by sending a message ※to other litigants§ that ※[i]f you don*t like a court order, you don*t have to follow it.§

A little more than a decade after his removal, Roy Moore decided to again run for the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court and, despite his earlier refusal to follow the law, Alabamans again elected him to the post. Once on the bench, Moore showed that nothing had changed 每 he still followed his religious practices, not the laws of land. After the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the nation through its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, Moore ordered Alabama court judges to ignore the decision and continue denying marriage permits to same-sex applicants.

This, of course, violated the Constitution: The Alabama state Supreme Court cannot overrule the U.S. Supreme Court. Laws interpreted by and constitutional declarations of the Supreme Court become the supreme law of the land (see the Constitution*s supremacy clause, reified by McCulloch v. Maryland). A rogue justice cannot ignore the Supreme Court*s orders simply because of his religious convictions; doing so is clearly illegal, as Moore (again) learned. The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission submitted a list of six ethical violations to the Alabama Court of the Judiciary, which, in turn, recommended Moore (again) be removed from the bench. He resigned and turned his attention to the Senate.

Alabama*s voters must look at Roy Moore*s history of ignoring federal laws and instead trying to implement and enforce his austere religious code. His actions on the bench, short-lived though they may have been, show Moore believes the Bible and not the Constitution should govern America. He*s willing to ignore man-made laws whenever they come into conflict with his religious teachings. Voters mustn*t allow lawless action be rewarded electorally 每 it would be insane to elect Roy Moore to the Senate.

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How You Can Help Elect Doug Jones to the Senate (and Where to Get Signs, Stickers, etc) https://www.google.com//6f2/how-you-can-help-elect-doug-jones-to-the-senate-and-where-to-get-signs-stickers-etc/ Sat, 30 Sep 2017 22:55:58 +0000 /6f2/?p=14909 And they’re off! Democrat Doug Jones will face disgraced former Judge Roy Moore on December 12 in a special election. We have the chance to fill Jeff Sessions’ seat with an actual public servant who is far more likely to pass a bill than brandish a tiny, tiny pistol.? People in this state are excited – Democrats, Independents, and disaffected Republicans are ready to rock and roll.? I’ve received numerous calls and emails this week from people begging for Doug Jones yard signs, stickers, volunteer opportunities, etc.

Here’s a Q&A guide to getting involved, donating, and showing support for Doug in other tangible ways.

Q. How Can I Volunteer?

The Doug Jones for Senate Web site has an online volunteer form. Sign up there to get on the mailing list and on the volunteer list.? Want something to do now in your community?? Here are a few ideas:

  • Contact your county Democratic party organization. Yes, we know that’s problematic in some counties, but areas with active party organizations are already organizing canvassing events, phone banks, meet and greets, and more.? The campaign has held organizing parties in many counties already. Sign up for that volunteer form so you get notified of events in your area.
  • Be a keyboard warrior. Many people have work and family obligations but they can Tweet, show support on Facebook, make comments on blogs, news articles, and other social media sites. Share posts, talk up the issues, etc.? ? Oddly, as of this writing, the campaign Web site doesn’t prominently feature links to the campaign’s social media handles.? Hint, hint….
    – Follow Doug Jones on Twitter
    – Find Doug Jones on Facebook

Q. Why Can’t I Get A Yard Sign or a Sticker?

If you believe all the comments on social media, the lack of yard signs is a huge source of angst for many supporters. The demand is so huge right now that you literally have to reserve a sign with the campaign using this sign-up form. They’re printing and distributing them as fast as they can.? We’ve gotten one big shipment in Madison County – and almost all of them were spoken for before they hit the floor in headquarters. More are on the way.? Please fill out the form!? The campaign will get your sign to you.? They want them in yards as much as you want them!

Q. I’m Too Impatient! How Can I Get Campaign Swag NOW?

A Huntsville author/artist has designed a colorful grassroots support design. It is FREE for you to download and use to make your own signs, t-shirts, and stickers. However, you can’t reuse it for commercial purposes.? This is for personal/grassroots support only.? Here is the high-resolution image for download.? The design looks great on yard signs. Contact your local printers; individual signs cost approximately $15 each.? Bulk orders of 10 or more are $10 each.

Because it costs so much to have a single sticker made ($5 or more + shipping!), we did a bulk order. The stickers are 5 3/4″ x 3 3/4″? They’re also available as magnets. Once the production cost is covered, all proceeds go to help elect Doug Jones. You can buy them now via the PayPal links below.? ?First class USPS shipping is free.? These vinyl stickers are suitable for outdoor use (like your car or bike!) and the sticker magnets are heavy-duty magnet material that hold up great on the car.? The magnets cost more because we had to buy bulk magnet rolls, cut the material, and attach the stickers by hand. It’s a LOT of labor.

Choose your quantity!

Don*t like to buy online???No problem! Mail your checks to:

Left In Alabama, LLC
593 Sharpe*s Hollow Rd.
New Market, AL ?35761

NOTE:?At the designer’s request, we’re using the LIA PayPal account because it’s already set up and verified. The blog will NOT keep the money, but pass it along.? If you do want to support LIA with a donation, check out our 10th anniversary stickers in the top right of the page.?


This design is also available on t-shirts at CafePress.? As with the stickers, any profits will be used to help get Doug Jones elected.? Look for coupons before you check out because CafePress often has sales and special deals.

Remember: you can also upload the design yourself or give it to a local printer and have your own custom shirts, hats, buttons, etc. made.? We want this to be a grassroots effort. The most important thing is to get the word out about the special election.


The election is December 12!!? Let’s get busy.

Post Equifax Breach, It’s Time Alabama Cared About Consumer Protection https://www.google.com//6f2/post-equifax-breach-its-time-alabama-cared-about-consumer-protection/ /6f2/post-equifax-breach-its-time-alabama-cared-about-consumer-protection/#comments Mon, 11 Sep 2017 23:03:26 +0000 /6f2/?p=14889 Want to freeze your credit after Equifax failed to safeguard the personal data you didn’t ask them to collect in the first place? ?In Alabama, you’ll pay some of the highest fees in the country for the “privilege” of not having your identity stolen.?Here’s a golden campaign opportunity for anyone planning to run in 2018. ?Alabama elected officials need to get serious about consumer protection.

In case you’ve been so transfixed by hurricane, fire, and earthquake coverage that you missed the big credit news, Equifax lost control of the personal data of roughly half the adult population of the entire country – 140+ million people. It’s everything, y’all: full social security number, driver’s license, places you’ve lived, mother’s maiden name, answers to security questions…. In short, they failed to protect the data that you would use to prove your identity if someone else tried to steal it.

Financial experts urge people NOT to wait until there’s a problem and advise putting a full “security freeze” on your credit reports. This means that nobody can access your personal credit data unless you specifically “unfreeze” it to allow the bank or car dealership to request your data during a small window of opportunity (24-36 hours). ?Here’s how it works:

  1. You contact the credit reporting companies – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian – and request a credit freeze.
  2. They tell you to fill out a form.
  3. They may charge you for the privilege of freezing your credit, charge you again if you unfreeze it, and charge you yet again if you cancel the freeze.

Nice work if you can get it, eh?

See the big company collect your personal data.
See the big company sell it without your permission so you can be inundated by credit card offers.
See the big company screw up and get hacked.
See the big company offer to sell you “credit monitoring” and profit when you want to lock down your data.

Talk about a no-lose business model….

Now, some states have actual consumer protection laws and attorneys general who don’t put up with this sort of crap. ?Alabama is not one of them.

If you live in New York State, North Carolina, or South Carolina, for example, ?and want to freeze your credit report, temporarily unfreeze it, then cancel the freeze, it will cost you… NOTHING. ?If you live in Alabama? ?Well, get out your credit card and prepare to use it. Unless, of course, identity thieves have run it up to the limit.

Here’s how we stack up on charges for Experian credit freeze fees compared to other Southeastern states:


State Freeze Temp
AL $10 $10 $10
TN $7.50 $0 $5
GA $3 $3 $3
NC $0 $0 $0
SC $0 $0 $0
MS $10 $10 $10

These charges vary by state because there’s no overall federal law governing this. ?If you live in New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, or even Georgia… congratulations!

But those of us in Alabama need to be asking some hard questions of our legislators and regulators. Yes, the amount to freeze, unfreeze, or cancel is small for most of us. $20 total for each event for a 2-earner household. No problem, right? Except that, for people earning minimum wage, even $20 is a big deal. It’s several hours work and an expense that you pay each time you apply for credit. Also, those small charges spread over millions of consumers add up to big bucks for the credit reporting companies. It’s money that drops straight to the bottom line.

These credit reporting companies make big bucks collecting and selling our personal data. ?They don’t ask our permission, and have a perfect business model. ?They make money selling our data to anyone with the money to buy it and make money from us when we want to protect our data from hackers and identity thieves.

At some point, ordinary consumers need a break. ?Alabama lawmakers could give us one. ?Why haven’t they?

UPDATE: an alert reader shared this link that explains the difference between a credit freeze and a fraud alert & discusses the pros and cons of both. ?Very helpful!

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Check Out The Interactive Lynching Map of the United States https://www.google.com//6f2/check-out-the-interactive-lynching-map-of-the-united-states/ Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:15:51 +0000 /6f2/?p=14852 This is one of the few instances where we can be glad that Alabama lags behind Mississippi. ?The Equal Justice Initiative (with support from Google) has created an interactive map of lynchings across the United States. Most happened in the former Confederate states, but there are some surprises – like Minnesota.

“In order to heal the deep wounds of our present, we must face the truth of our past.
After slavery was formally abolished, lynching emerged as a vicious tool of racial control to reestablish white supremacy and suppress black civil rights. ?More than 4,000 African Americans were lynched across 20 states between 1877 and 1950.”

Check out the map and prepare to be horrified:


Primary Results: It’s Not “Strange” To Want No “Moore” & Congrats to Doug Jones https://www.google.com//6f2/primary-results-its-not-strange-to-want-no-moore-congrats-to-doug-jones/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:40:20 +0000 /6f2/?p=14840 Democrat Doug Jones was the big winner in yesterday’s special Senate primary election. He won a resounding victory with over 60% of the vote. ?The Republicans? Well, the best Facebook relationship status for them would be “It’s Complicated.”

The ethically-challenged incumbent, Luther Strange, used to brag that, as AG, he went to work everyday and thought of “ways to sue President Obama.” That inventive use of tax dollars resulted in nothing but windfalls for dubious legal experts. Now he’s no doubt just hoping he gets to keep his job.

Big Luther had a big loss last night when he?finished second to the constitutionally-challenged Judge Roy Moore, who made headlines for riding a horse to the polls. ?Seriously.

Moore proved again last night that he still has trouble understanding the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. He excoriated federal judges (including SCOTUS) for thinking they can “make law” and push states around. ?No surprise. The “Moore Supremacy Clause” has been his guidestar since he took a home woodburning kit and carved a “Ten Commandments” plaque for his courtroom in Gadsden.

A Moore victory in what is sure to be the nastiest of mud-slinging runoff elections in recent memory provides Alabama Democrats with an opening. Moore is very, very popular with his hardcore base, but not so much with the more business-friendly, establishment Republicans. ?Those two groups have been battling it out for years in Alabama at both the state and county party levels.

Remember 2012? ?That’s was the second time Moore ran for a job he was determined to screw up so badly he’d get tossed out and locked out of his office. ?In spite of (or perhaps because of) his notoriety, Moore barely squeaked into office with just 52% of the vote against Democrat Robert Vance. ?It was a significant underperformance: compare it to Republican Mitt Romney, who received 60.55% of the presidential vote.

Judge Vance was actually a respected judge (just like Doug Jones was a highly-respected US Attorney), who entered the race late. ?He was endorsed by one of Moore’s former fellow Supreme Court justices, and garnered enough Republican support to cause institutional blowback against those Alabama Republicans who actually respect the rule of law.

If Moore is the nominee, are there enough of those Republicans left to cross over in December and help elect Doug Jones? ?We’ll see.

Finally, the best story to come out of yesterday’s Republican primary was the news that AL-05 Congressman Mo (War on Whites) Brooks not only finished 3rd and barely received a majority (50.5% – perhaps voters forgot what he looked like) in Madison County. An even tastier treat was that Mo was listed as an “inactive” voter ?when we went to the polls.

No surprise there. He’s been an “inactive” Congressman the whole time he’s been in DC.

Dear AL Democrats: Stay the Heck OUT of the Republican Primary Tomorrow! https://www.google.com//6f2/dear-al-democrats-stay-the-heck-out-of-the-republican-primary-tomorrow/ /6f2/dear-al-democrats-stay-the-heck-out-of-the-republican-primary-tomorrow/#comments Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:43:36 +0000 /6f2/?p=14833 A vote for a Republican on August 15 isn’t a “strategic” vote that will help your favorite Democratic candidate. It’s a vote FOR a Republican. Period. ?This isn’t a game, so don’t try to play it like a poker hand. You will lose and so will Alabama.

A friend of a friend just posted this on Facebook, and it’s horrifying:

Many different Democratic groups are asking us to vote Roy Moore. The Dems project that the only way we can get Jones in is to have him go against Moore, because Moore splits the party.?

That doesn’t make Jones a shoe in, but at least gives him 20% better shot at the seat. So, I support Moore in the primary.

I don’t know a single “Democratic” group that’s doing this unless there’s some newly-organized shadow club that calls itself “Republicans United to Suppress Democratic Turnout.”?

Doug Jones has a relatively experienced campaign team who, I hope, isn’t so infected with the “inevitability” and “hubris” viruses that they think he’s going to win the nomination without actual voters. ?This really looks like an effort on the part of the Moore campaign to make sure he makes the runoff in September – and perhaps knock out the candidate that Moore thinks is his biggest threat.

The Democratic primary field is full of good candidates, and that has to terrify the Republicans. ?Learn more about all seven Democratic primary candidates here.

Besides this strategy being really clumsy and stupid, here are more reasons to stay out of the Republican primary.

Crossover Voting Ban

Since 2012, some Republicans have been whining about Democratic “interference” in their primaries. This year, the Alabama Republican Party got a burr under its tail because they were sure that Democrats were voting in the Republican primary in order to hurt the strongest Republican candidates. ?They know that sort of mischief happens, of course, because they did it to Alabama Democrats for decades. ?In 2010, Robert Bentley solicited Democratic votes in the Republican runoff!

So this is the first primary election where, by state law (not just party regulations), a voter who votes in “Party A’s'” primary can only voter in “Party A’s” runoff. ?In short, you can’t vote Democratic in the primary on Tuesday and then vote in the Republican runoff.

You can, however, vote for a Republican in the primary/runoff and vote Democratic in the general election. Some Democrats seem to think this is a dandy idea.

Here’s why it is a bad plan. ?In a crowded field of 7 Democratic candidates and a low turnout election, anything can happen. ?A few hundred votes (or fewer) may decide who makes the runoff and who doesn’t. ?Suppose your favorite Democrat makes the runoff, but you voted in the GOP primary. That’s one less vote to help him make it to the general election.

You’ve thrown your vote away by making a “strategic” choice. It’s doubly gone if your favorite Democrat loses the runoff by a small margin.

Discourage New Candidates From Running

Why would a young, energetic progressive Alabama Democrat make the time and financial sacrifice of running for office if he/she knows that all the real “progressive” Democrats will cross over in the primary to vote for the least crazy Republican? ?Or try to implement some dumb “strategic” vote plan to support the nuttiest Republican you think can win the GOP primary but then go on to lose the general election. Seriously… ?you want to take that risk?

If we want to build a bench of new leadership, they need to see that their local parties and their base will be there for them. In the primary to help them win the nomination and in the general election. ?A pledge that “I’ll be with you in November!” means NOTHING in the primary.

There are other reasons not to do it. ?I’ve written about them for years, so allow me the timesaver of cutting and pasting!

It*s really impossible, IMO, to ※vote strategically.§? Instead, as a Democrat and progressive to liberal political person, you*re probably voting for the least crazy person on the ballot,?you*re helping the Alabama GOP choose candidates that are most acceptable to the general electorate.??The people who would be totally turned off by Roy Moore might not have as much of a problem with the other two.

And in doing so,?you make it more difficult for the Democrat in the race in the general election to win because the Democrats voting?in the GOP primary have ※helped hide the crazy.§
Everybody*s vote is personal and their own business, but?when you vote to make mischief you end up hurting the viability of the Democratic Party far more than you hurt the GOP.


From 2013 – Stay out of the GOP special election primary

But when we do that 每?again, with an understandable wish to keep extremists out of office?每 we*re giving the GOP two big gifts:

  1. Turnout bragging rights:?(인터넷바카라PDF) In 1990, almost 750,000 people voted in the Democratic primary and 125,000 participated in the Republican primary.? In the 1996 primary, the gap had narrowed considerably, with only 100,000 more people voting in the Democratic primary than in the Republican. By 2004, the gap had narrowed to just 8,000 more Democrats.In 2010#. 318,000 votes were cast in the Democratic primary and 493,000 in the Republican. The 2012 primary numbers for the Democrats were so dismal I can*t bear to think about it.? However, that was also due the lack of contested races at the state level.
  2. Helping elect the lesser of two evils.? When Democrats get involved in GOP primaries to help defeat the most extremist candidates, the resulting general election candidate is far more palatable to independent voters and even Democratic voters.In short, when you vote in the GOP primary against extremists like Dean Young, you help elect Republicans in the general election.

From 2014: Alabama Democrats, Please Stay Out of the GOP Primary!

Let’s look at how well that worked in 2010 每 the year of the GOP Supermajority.

Our Governor Dr. Robert Bentley swept to victory in the primary and runoff thanks to money courtesy of the AEA.? It was a grudge match between Paul Hubbard and Bradley Byrne: Bentley was the unexpected recipient of millions of AEA’s anti-Byrne ads.? It was well known that AEA funded Bentley in the primary, so in November many of the members marched to the polls and voted for the man & the party that gave us the?great private school giveaway?and no Medicaid expansion.

Nice work.

Of course, Byrne came steaming back in the Congressional special election this year where Democratic votes helped him?인터넷바카라.

Now, Byrne HAD a Democratic opponent, and the same crossover Democrats who voted for Byrne said they’d?of course?※support the Democrat in the general election,§ but Dean Young was just?unacceptable. I’m sure Burton LeFlore, the Democratic nominee, feels a lot better knowing that 每 but how did crossover Democrats in Byrne’s district? feel about their handiwork when the first bill their new – less objectionable – Congressman sponsored was to ※repeal Obamacare

If that didn’t curdle the crossover cream, nothing will.

Is that much different than Dean Young?? Byrne is smarter and slicker,?but the voting results in Congress and the legislature are the same.?

In short, campers… JUST SAY NO to voting in the Republican primary. ?Their crazy is not our crazy.

We have great candidates running for Senate. Support them instead.

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