But Down in Alabamaland, A Budget Collapse is in the Offing
The Big Picture
by Glynn Wilson
Ahhh, finally a reprieve from the summer heat.
The summer of 2012 has been the hottest and one of the dryest seasons on record in the U.S. But it was 60 degrees with low humidity when I woke up and rolled over to pet the dog this Sunday morning. The hummingbirds were enjoying the feeders on the screened-in porch as I sipped the first cup of coffee.
All the relatives enjoyed the party here yesterday when we celebrated mom’s 86th birthday. It’s all over but the shoutin’ now, or should I say the clean out and get out plan.
There’s not a lot of important news on the wires or in the online papers this morning, so we can sit back and reflect a little and look forward just a bit.
It was a relief to see the Democrats put on a heck of a show this past week without any major glitches. Even conservative pundits said they did a better job than the Republicans, and President Obama did a great job of making the case for his re-election, even though the best political speech in a long time was delivered by a former president, Bill Clinton.
It sure beat the goofy presentation by Clint Eastwood and the lies from Massachusetts Mormon Mitt Romney and Wisconsin tea party Congressman Paul Ryan.
The Gallup poll numbers should be out in the morning, but Reuters already has a poll out showing President Obama pulling ahead of Romney in the national popular vote by five percentage points, 47-43, enough to overcome the margin of error.
As a public opinion expert, I expect to see some kind of a public opinion increase for Obama after the convention performance. You will recall that Romney got no bump either from the Republican convention or his pick of Ryan as his choice for vice president.
Why do I focus on the national election? Because it is the most important story going on right now, and it is a very important election. If Karl Rove’s computer hacking boys at Smartech were to pull off an election theft on Nov. 6, we might as well flush the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution down the drain, people. There is no future in an America run by another bumbling team of laissez faire Republicans.
Look At Alabama
Just look at what’s happening in a tea party state like Alabama, where the future looks about as bright as the inside of a cumulonimbus cloud on the dark side of a hurricane circling out of the Gulf of Mexico full of BP oil.
The Republicans who ostensibly run this place now, the kind of Republicans who get elected by bashing government solutions and have no idea how to govern once they’re elected, are so hell bent against raising taxes, even taxes on cigarettes, that the state budget is about to totally collapse.
So what do they propose? Letting voters decide in a special election if they can borrow millions of dollars from an oil and gas lease trust fund account so they can keep pot smokers in prison and kill off a bunch of poor Medicaid and Medicare patents who might vote for a Democrat in a future election.
Talk about voter suppression.
Putting Democrats like Don Siegelman in prison to win elections was not enough. Now the doctor governor is willing to leave it up to the state’s ill-educated and uninformed voters if these people get to live or die?
It’s pretty obvious, to me at least, not any other news organization in the state, that either the Republicans fully expect this vote to fail, or they have no idea how to sell it.
There have been no public service announcements flooding the television airwaves to urge people to vote for this stop-gap measure. If they wanted to sell it, it would have had to be drastically sensationalized for the past few months with ads that paint a dire picture of dangerous criminals being released from prison and poor people dying under bridges and such.
Instead, it is being left up to the state’s poorly prepared newspaper reporters to sell it.
But they simply do not have any idea how to properly sensationalize a news story.
Does anybody seriously expect the average Alabamian with an IQ of 100 who barely graduated from a crappy high school to understand all the numbers in a story like this?
I mean what does that mean? A major shift?
The prisons are overcrowded already, but a lot of the people stuck inside those walls don’t belong there anyway.
But the poor people of my home state are so incompetent that there’s not even a pro-medical marijuana non-profit group out there advocating for people to vote no on the amendment so the pot smokers can go free.
And there has not been one single news story anywhere — and for that matter not one single commentary from a single environmental group — advocating against a yes vote because the borrowed money could hurt the long-term future of the Forever Wild program to protect some beautiful wild lands in the state from development. Forever Wild also gets its funding from oil and gas leases. How will this election impact that?
Nobody has a clue. It has not been mentioned either by the press or the non-profit groups in my home state.
It’s football season now, and apparently even the environmentalists are focused on watching the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturdays and tweeting about all the details all week long. Clearly nothing else matters. That’s the lead story in every newspaper and on every newspaper corporation’s Website in the state today.
And let’s face it. The people of this state never show up at the polls for these kinds of special elections anyway. The only way to get them to show up would be to either pay off every Baptist preacher in the state to mention it in their sermons, or produce a TV commercial to run at half-time during the Alabama and Auburn games showing a Budweiser-swilling redneck holding an assault rifle urging his buddies to vote yes so armed criminals don’t invade your neighborhoods.
The only people who seem to be for the amendment are the people who run the for-profit hospitals in the state, who are apparently all for closing the only charity hospital in Birmingham, Cooper Green, because it would increase their business from Medicare and Medicaid patents. The university hospitals especially like it, the very same hospitals that now enjoy sovereign immunity from lawsuits. You can’t sue them — even if they kill your mother.
As regular readers know, I am not usually an advocate for a strategy of letting the government train run off the tracks to teach people a lesson and maybe get them to wake up and smell the coffee.
But in this case we may as well try it. Nobody is going to show up and vote for this one anyway.
© 2012, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.