We are on the cusp of one of the best political years in modern political history in the Heart of Dixie. Prior to the 1970’s our constitution disallowed succession of office for our state constitutional offices. In other words, you could not run for two consecutive four year terms. That is why George Wallace ran his wife in his place in 1966. George and Lurleen campaigned side-by-side. George would wink at the crowds still drawn to courthouse squares by a country band and say, “I’m going to be her number one advisor.” By the way, she won in a landslide. She beat eight male opponents without a runoff, including two former governors, an agriculture commissioner, the sitting state attorney general and two powerful state senators.
The premier issue of this year’s legislative session will be whether to borrow a massive amount of money to build new prisons in the state. This initiative appears to be our lame duck Governor Robert Bentley’s primary agenda.
We have unbelievable natural resources in Alabama starting with the Tennessee Valley and transcending to the beautiful white sands at Gulf Shores. Many of our natural resources have been exploited over the years.
This third year of the quadrennium Regular Session of the legislature has recently gotten a lot more complex. These next four months will be trying times for the Alabama legislature. They will not only have to deal with a beleaguered General Fund Budget that has to feed a money-eating monster named Medicaid, they have an overcrowding problem in the state prisons to deal with as well as major public school systems being taken over by the state because of mismanagement and underfunding.
As the third regular session of this quadrennium begins, the paramount focus once again will be on the budgets. Even more specifically, it will be about the General Fund Budget.
My first memory of Mother was when she once said I could walk by myself to play with two older girls who lived a few houses down from our home on Norwood Avenue. The trust she placed in me made me feel independent and free to pursue friendships. That pivotal moment started me on a path of feeling confident and of having friends.
Hillary Clinton’s failure to break the proverbial glass ceiling in American politics came up a little short. More than 100 men have been nominated for president by the nation’s political parties over the past 220 years. She was the first female to be the nominee of one of the two major parties.
After Hillary became the Democratic nominee last year, former Colorado Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder, who ran for president in 1988, said it best, “It’s been the ultimate tree house with a no girls allowed sign posted on it.”
Alabama is going to fair well under President Trump. There is an old adage that says, “Those that bake the pie get to eat it.” We truly baked the pie for Trump. We overwhelmingly supported him in the GOP primary and helped him secure the nomination. We then gave him one of the largest mandates in the nation in the November General Election.
What should Americans look for in 2017? Recent polls by Rasmussen Reports indicate “Americans are more optimistic about the future than they have been in over four years. Americans also are feeling much more optimistic about their personal financial future than they were a year ago.”
At the close of every year my tradition is to acknowledge the passing away of significant political players from the political stage in Alabama. We have lost some Icons from politics in the Heart of Dixie this year.
It is Christmas time, and since Alabama is one of the most charitable states in the nation, I would expect that many of us are in the giving mood and plan to help many worthy causes across our great state. Unfortunately, it appears that some recent rulings by the Alabama Ethics Commission are going to make it more difficult for charities across the state to raise the funds that they need to serve our communities.
Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2016 is “post-truth,” and is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief: ‘in this era of post-truth politics, it’s easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire’ (and) ‘some commentators have observed that we are living in a post-truth age.’”
America is like a couple who want a divorce for all the wrong reasons. The judge has ruled the couple must stay together and learn to communicate civilly. And then, there are the children!
Desmond Doss’s story, which has been made into the movie “Hacksaw Ridge,” is how he, a conscientious objector, rescued dozens of wounded soldiers during the worst battles of World War II.
Hillary Clinton says she takes full responsibility for having and using an unsecured email server during her time as Secretary of State. What does that mean? As far as I can tell, she has not taken any responsibility at all.
I hope Americans realize all lives are precious. Unfortunately, we live in a throw away culture. In the 1960s we learned women no longer needed men. Women and men are equal (whatever that means). That movement emasculated many American men who believed the rhetoric. America threw away the strong American man who leads and cares for his family.
I get agitated when people can’t park between the lines. I whined about this one morning to one of my friends, and without hesitation she said, “It’s not that they can’t park between the lines; it’s that they don’t care.” That’s true!
Look at what we’ve become. Do news and entertainment media drive culture … or reflect culture? Regardless, look at America today. The top two candidates to lead America are the most reviled, distrusted, and disliked people in America; and yet, they reflect what we have become as a nation. What issues are driving the election? Sex talk, lies and cover ups.
How do you know what’s true? Based on experiences? Based on authoritative sources? Can you believe your eyes these days? “A man believes what he wants to believe and disregards the rest.”
A visit from my sister Carol, who lives in Georgia, prompted us to look around Saturday afternoon for something fun to do. We headed toward Piedmont and found exactly what we needed: nice people, good food, and several activities.