The 2014 Alabama Legislature Has A Explosive Ending


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My only question is, what happened to the Alabama Legislature that caused it to go down into flames.  The legislature was signing Kumbaya and actually passed Carly’s Law to allow UAB to do a study featuring oil from Marijuana.  It looked like things were still going great down in Montgomery, until the last day that is.  What caused the legislative session to go down in flames was over the Education Budget.  Governor Bentley wanted to give all education employees a 2% pay raise, which is well deserved.  Because teachers have gone through a lot!  From staying at school overnight with kids during the snowstorm, sponsoring a club before or after school hours, buying supplies out of their own money, and more!  They deserve as much pay as possible!

The Legislature did have some good bills they were working on passing.  Like reforming the Open Meetings Act, creating a database to enforce a debt limit on payday loans, keeping secret the suppliers of lethal injection drugs, keeping low-cost spay and neuter clinics from being closed down, and more.  The Alabama Legislature did pass some things, like more restrictive abortion measures, and selling the legislature to the highest “conservative” bidder.  And did someone from the Alabama Legislature plead guilty and agree to cooperate with the police?  I am willing to bet we will see some legislators arrested for corruption soon.  And with more legislators getting in trouble with the law, it will continue the embarrassment that is the Alabama Government.

What happened on Thursday night was weird.  The governor wanted to include a 2% percent pay raise for teachers and other education employees.  The House just passed the Education Budget and sent it off to the governor, but it was not good enough.  The Governor sent a pay raise amendment to the Senate, and once Del Marsh got word that the amendment was heading towards the Senate, Marsh moved to end the session, while other important bills were still in play.  The important part in this was the House was already done, so if the bill included a pay raise, it could not pass both houses.  Del Marsh blamed the governor for ending the session, and talked about what the legislature accomplished this session.  Hey, the legislature kept the court system in shambles and left the prison system in shambles and at risk for a government takeover, how nice!

The only thing education employees got was a small raise to only cover increased insurance costs.  And now with the Legislative session over, for now.  Lawmakers are off onto the campaign trail blaming President Obama for the troubles the state and country is in.  Instead of blaming themselves for the corrupt government in Alabama, they are going to blame Democrats running the Federal Government, is that right?  Here is what I think really happened.  Marsh and Hubbard did not want to vote on the 2% pay raise for teachers, so they took the easy way out and ended the session before the bill reached the floor.  If I was Governor Bentley, I would veto the Education Budget, and declare a special session!  I want to see how the Alabama Legislature would vote on a pay increase for teachers!

All of this is only going to give ammo to Del Marsh’s opponent in the Republican primary in June.  Steven Guede is running against Del Marsh in the Alabama Senate District 12 primary.  And the winner of this race will pretty much win the Senate seat, since a Democrat would never win here in Anniston.  Del Marsh got a target on his back after he refused to put up an anti Common Core bill during the session.  Now, every education employee has a target on Marsh’s back.  People who also supported low-cost spay and neuter clinics, setting up a payday loan database, and closing loopholes in Alabama’s Open Meetings Act also have a target on Marsh’s back.

Hey Del Marsh, instead of worrying about how Republicans should continue to ruin state government, why not worry about the welfare of you own district, which includes Anniston/Oxford.  If you have not watched the news lately, Anniston/Oxford has been getting body slammed with bad news.  For example, according to the Milken Institute and the list of 179 small metro areas, the Anniston / Oxford area is the second worst performing small metro area in America for 2013.  Also, according to population estimates from the US Census Bureau, Anniston/Oxford has been the 16th fasting shrinking metro in the nation since 2010.  Meaning, the metro area saw more deaths than births in 2013.  From 2010-2013, the Anniston/Oxford metro has loss close to 2,000 people, mostly cause there are no job opportunities here.

I can totally see this happen, because Governor Bentley is angry at Del Marsh and Mike Hubbard.  Have a company interested in moving or expanding in Alabama?  The governor can simply choose to ignore the Anniston/Oxford area as political payback.  And I would not blame him if he decided to do that.  For Steven Guede, who is running against Del Marsh, I think I just gave you some great ammo to use in your campaign.  Del Marsh is already running some campaign ads here in Anniston on Cable One.  And I don’t blame him, because he is going to have a lot of people against him in the upcoming election.  It will be interesting to see if Del Marsh survives the upcoming election.

Learn more about Steven Guede at: http://electstevenguede.com/

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An Interpretive Dance For Government and Business


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Many people have seen the viral video from Marina Shifrin when she quit her job from Next Media Animation.  So far, the video has around 15 million views!  If you have not seen this video yet, watch below!

Now, I decided to get into the game and produce my own special video that features some dancing from me!  The video features the struggles of being unemployed for 27 months now.  After 450 job applications, nothing has happened!  The Millennials and young people are the ones getting screwed the most as we keep struggling and staying jobless.  This story from the Huffington Post features young people from the around the world who are unemployed or working part-time.  Enough is enough!

I put the blame for young people struggling on both parties in the Federal Government and the business leaders who often skip over young people.  I blame the Tea Party Republicans for keeping the poor poor and the rich rich.  I also put the blame on the Democrats who is forcing everyone to buy something that I can not even afford.  So both parties are responsible for this mess.  And I put blame on the business leaders for paying so low and cutting hours to be more greedy.  It’s wrong!

At the end of this video, I put that I might have to move, and with the way things are going, that might have to happen for me to succeed.  Sorry everyone here in East Alabama.  So now, enjoy my video called An Interpretive Dance For Government and Business.

Animation Monday: Government Shutdown Political Cartoons 2013


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Can our Federal Government ever get along?  The US Congress is in fighting mode over Obamacare and federal spending.  The Republican controlled US House is wanting to defund Obamacare and reduce spending on programs that help people like the SNAP or Food Stamp program.  The Democrat US Senate is wanting to continue with Obamacare being implemented and are wanting safety net programs to not be cut.  All of this fighting and disagreements are going to shut down the government at midnight tonight.

So for this Animation Monday, I am going to feature 10 government shutdown political cartoons.  These cartoons show the good and the ugly over the possible shutdown.  Our government needs to get along!  And quit fighting like they are overgrown babies on a personal mission to advance their personal agendas.  I wish the American people have the guts to vote out everyone in Congress!

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Alabama Passes the School Flexibility Bill


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What a night tonight!  The Alabama Legislature passed the School Flexibility Bill.  The original bill was something both sides of the legislature agreed with.  But after a conference committee session, the bill went from 9 pages to a 28 page bill.  The things that were added included added tax credits for some parents who may want to move their children to private schools and flexibility on teacher tenure.  This all sounds like something politicians would do from Washington D.C.  Why did the Republicans had to go behind closed doors and insert something just like that.  And then turn around and pass the bill in a short amount of time.  Something smells fishy here!

Many people were caught off guard by this bait and switch.  Even the State Superintendent Tommy Bice said “NONE of the added language has been vetted with us at the State Department/State Board of Education, There are SIGNIFICANT negative financial implications for all of Alabama’s public schools. THIS IS NO LONGER THE BILL I GAVE MY SUPPORT TO!”  While the bill was being passed in the Alabama Senate; the chamber became a shouting match and no one had control!

Sadly in my opinion; I think this bill is going to prove to be very bad!  Michelle Rhee sent me a e-mail saying “We’re also pleased to see that Alabama is increasing flexibility for schools and districts. This will empower school leaders by allowing them to be innovative and to better respond to the unique needs of their students.  As Alabama moves toward providing districts with increased flexibility and parents with more school choice, we hope policymakers implement strong performance standards to ensure that schools are being held accountable for student success.”

The House and Senate leadership passed a bill behind closed doors that provides a tax credit give-away to rich families zoned for failing schools to subsidize the private school tuition they are already paying.  This is basically segregation through income instead of race.  So does that mean the legislature has abandoned local schools in favor of private schools for the rich and supported by the poor?  I hope not!

A return to history was made today, where the wealthy (white) students can attend private schools at the citizens of Alabama’s expense, while those same citizens’ children are relegated to the underfunded, inferior education meant to keep them poor and ignorant pawns.  Alabama has made history before; remember when George Wallace made history when he stood in the schoolhouse door.  Or when Bull Connor made history when he ordered fire hoses and attack dogs to be used against Alabama demonstrators, many of them children.

The governor says he is proud the legislature passed this “for the children of this state and especially the children who are in failing school systems and had no way out.”  Are we to assume then, that private schools will now change their policies and, as public schools are required to do, accept all applicants regardless of their previous academic performance, their family’s economic status , etc.?  If public schools are failing now, how will they suddenly become competitive with private schools after their funding has been cut and the students who perform better academically leave the system for private schools, as is bound to happen?

This legislation is a thinly-veiled attempt to destroy public education, no matter what sort of spin you try to put on it, and history will not look kindly upon it. Alabama is going to make national news over this story.  And this will put another black eye on us!  Way to go Alabama!

Sequestration Is Coming; Time to Panic!


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Sequestration is most likely coming on March 1st.  This is a series of across the board spending cuts that will impact all parts of the federal government.  Totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The cuts would be split 50-50 between defense and domestic discretionary spending.  The impacts across the country will hurt everyone, or so that’s what the media is saying.  Alabama’s impact to Sequestration will be tough!  Most of the impacts will be felt in the Huntsville and Anniston areas.  From NBC News; they interviewed workers at the Anniston Army Depot and Redstone Arsenal.

The White House released the impacts of Sequestration in Alabama.  I think some of this is stretching the truth.

Teachers and Schools: Alabama will lose approximately $11 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 150 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 21,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 40 fewer schools would receive funding. 

Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Alabama will lose approximately $9
million in funds for about 110 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities. 

Work-Study Jobs: Around 940 fewer low income students in Alabama would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 280 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college. 

Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,100 children in Alabama, reducing access to critical early education.

Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Alabama would lose about $2 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Alabama could lose another $1 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection. 

Military Readiness: In Alabama, approximately 27,000 civilian Department of Defense
employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $176.9 million in total.

Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $91 million in Alabama.

Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Alabama would be cut by about $8 million. 

Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Alabama will lose about $230,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment, and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives. 

Job Search Assistance to Help those in Alabama find Employment and Training: Alabama will lose about $472,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 16,600 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.

Child Care: Up to 500 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job. 

Vaccines for Children: In Alabama around 2,110 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $144,000. 

Public Health: Alabama will lose approximately $457,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Alabama will lose about $1,180,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 1,600 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Alabama State Department of Public Health will lose about $165,000 resulting in around 4,100 fewer HIV tests. 

STOP Violence Against Women Program: Alabama could lose up to $102,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 400 fewer victims being served. 

Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Alabama would lose approximately $865,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.

With the national debt approaching $17 trillion, America can not afford to keep spending money we don’t have!  Currently, the U.S. takes in about $2.49 trillion in Federal tax revenue, but spends about $3.54 trillion. This results in huge budget deficits.  And we have carried a trillion-dollar deficit every year over the last three years.  To sum it up; America needs to get its spending under control!  President Obama has not been able to pass a budget in over four years, mostly due to the Senate.  Things in Washington needs to change folks!

I am getting tired of the do nothing Congress!  Both Republicans and Democrats finger point and blame the other party 24/7!  I see this online and on the TV news channels.  With all of this blame going on; it has spread onto social media and the comments.  Whenever there is a story about politics, you are bound to see many nasty comments.  So what you don’t like Obama or the Republicans.  The people spreading hate via the comments is going to do nothing to solve this political division.  Combine the comments with the cable news channels, then you have a recipe for disaster.

I have been out of work for 21 months now!  It has gotten so bad that I walked around downtown Anniston wearing these signs saying “looking for work.”

Of course, some people have taken it to me being out of work saying things like “quit being lazy”, or “get a job loser.”  I think this is mostly because people are so frustrated with the way things are going right now.  Until we see the hate online and on cable news end, until we see both parties in Washington working together, until we see this country turn around, nothing will get better!  I wish we would go back to the days of people working together for a better America.

My local Representative; Rep. Mike Rogers is trying to stop the Sequestration.  He is wanting to replace the Sequestration cuts with smarter spending cuts.  And this video of him speaking in the chamber is something you need to watch!

And here is Mike Rogers talking about the impact of Sequestration on the Anniston Army Depot.

I have Asperger’s Syndrome; and one of my beliefs is people needs to be loving and agreeing to each other.  Right now; people are arguing, fighting, bad-mouthing, and at war with each other.  I wish people would start agreeing on things once again instead of taking the my way or the highway type of attitude.

You know the politicians in Washington will continue to act like babies when you see videos like this.  Blogger Michelle Malkin spoofed the Michelle Obama / Jimmy Fallon dance video with one of her own.

Here’s the original; who danced better?