The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Archive for the ‘Jefferson County’ Category

Larry Langford Isn’t the “Big Fish” for the Feds

Posted by ALmod on October 21, 2009

Many people have asked…  If this isn’t a case of political persecution, then why hasn’t Bettye Fine Collins been indicted yet?  That’s a good question.

Well, let’s set aside the whole fact that the FBI has been for some time up to their eyeballs in public corruption cases.  Typically, it’s in your better interest to start with the “smaller fish” and see if you can cut deals so that you can catch your “bigger fish.”  And some smaller fish have been pursued before they went after Langford.  But there are still fish in the water– many, many fish.

Langford is a big fish, but he isn’t the big fish.

My gut is telling me that something very big is about to come crashing down on J. P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs.  The number of times those names have been brought up in the first two days of testimony alone is telling.

EDIT: I forgot to include Lehman Bros. in the names being brought up in this trial.

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Posted in Alabama Government, Corporate Craziness, Federal Government, Jefferson County, Scandal | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Larry Langford Isn’t the “Big Fish” for the Feds

BFC doesn’t like the new JeffCo tax bill.

Posted by ALmod on August 13, 2009

Color me shocked.

It’s not exactly the way she wants it to be– shoved down everyone’s throat and/or at the same rate.  So of course she’s stamping her feet.

Whine & Gripe #1 – It’s not fast enough, and it doesn’t collect enough.

“The bill reduces the amount we collect,” she said. “It’s going to be a new tax. So that means it can’t go into effect immediately. There are certain ordinances that have to be drafted and adopted.”

It’s more than you were going to get and faster than you were going to get it.

Whine & Gripe #2 – The voters shouldn’t have a say.

Additionally, she said, the county might lose the tax entirely if voters rejected it in a referendum.

And it should if they do.  I’m sure that this whole attitude that the voters shouldn’t get to decide will go over well in the next election.

Posted in Alabama Government, Jefferson County, Local Government | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on BFC doesn’t like the new JeffCo tax bill.

I’ll let you insert the watch pun here.

Posted by ALmod on August 4, 2009

I came up with roughly 30 in the last five minutes (including the one I used last time) or so and I couldn’t decide on one, so you’re welcome to take your pick for the title of this entry.

I didn’t exactly have enough time to dedicate to a full entry last night, so I’ll elaborate a bit this morning on particularly why I found the watch propaganda interesting.

  1. Time is running out for Langford.  (I couldn’t help myself.)
  2. Langford is supposedly so poor that he’s unable to cover his legal fees, or so he tried to argue to get his trial pushed back.  So I’m going to go out on a limb and say he didn’t pay for it.  So that leads me to #3…
  3. Birmingham taxpayers just paid in some form (either from the council or the mayor’s discretionary fund, both taxpayer dollars) for their mayor to tell them just how “wonderful” he is.
  4. I’ll let the reader be the judge as to whether or not the mayor deserves credit for most of what the flyer touts as being his work– including projects that haven’t happened yet and at least a couple that, if I remember correctly, are not fully funded for the future.  (It’s hard to keep up with Langford budgets and spending plans.)

Posted in Alabama Government, Jefferson County, Laugh It Off, Local Government, Scandal | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on I’ll let you insert the watch pun here.

Birmingham Blush

Posted by ALmod on August 4, 2009

Larry Langford has come up with an idea to turn Birmingham pink for October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  He’s spending $5000 on pink lightbulb covers and other changes that will give Birmingham a blush.  While I’m sure it’s the thought that counts, that money would be better spent by donating to UAB for cancer research or for the free mammograms that the mayor is lining up.  Plus, isn’t Birmingham having budget woes?  And they’re spending $5000 on a light show that really does nothing for nobody?  I know the mayor is into showing off, but a pink tie would have done just fine and not cost the Birmingham taxpayers a single dime.  (I’m sure he has one already.  He has a lot of clothes, you know.)

Now, lining up free or even discounted mammograms for women is another matter.  It actually does something helpful, and it’s a wonderful idea by the mayor…  Only it’s not really his idea.  It’s far from original.  Several groups already do this every year, so while the mayor is welcome to set up locations within the city or donate money to the cause, it’s not an idea he can take credit for.  In fact, unless I’m mistaken, there were free/discounted mammograms offered in the Birmingham area last year.

Of course, this could be a moot point, since the mayor could very well be watching his light show from prison.

Posted in Alabama Government, Jefferson County, Local Government | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Birmingham Blush

You can almost feel the trial drawing near…

Posted by ALmod on August 3, 2009

If the propaganda littering Birmingham City Hall is any indication, Larry Langford REALLY needs you to like him right now.  Yes, YOU could be a juror.

EDIT: Now with pictures!

Posted in Alabama Government, Jefferson County, Laugh It Off, Local Government, Scandal | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Question for LaLa

Posted by ALmod on July 16, 2009

How do you have a groundbreaking for construction of a domed stadium when no plan or design has been approved?

Posted in Jefferson County, Laugh It Off, Local Government | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on A Question for LaLa

Langford Reasoning

Posted by ALmod on June 10, 2009

Could someone please interpret?

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford on Tuesday delivered gifts to City Council members – HP Mini laptop computers and accessories he said should end any complaints that his office withholds information.

I don’t get it.  I have a laptop and two desktops, and I still can’t seem to get any real information on things like where he gets his numbers for budget proposals and what address he really calls home.

By the way, who is this new company acting as a liaison regarding your city employee’s health benefits (and doing a very poor job with it, if I might say so)?  Why would you reason that charging civil service employees twice as much for their healthcare (which now covers roughly 25% less) is a viable substitute for a pay raise (which is why they had the previous benefits to begin with)?  By the way, as a reminder, those employees typically make a lot less working for city government than they’d make for the same work in the private sector.  Their benefits are supposed to be the selling point that helps the city compete for these employees, but after a quick search, I’ve found cheaper healthcare packages that cover more if you purchase it on your own.  (That’s with the City of Birmingham paying absolutely NOTHING!)  So what’s the middle man for?  Is that information on your new laptops?

What does having a computer and/or Internet access have to do with it?  And for that matter, wouldn’t this sort of thing be considered a sort of bribe to get the council to bend to your whim a little easier?  Doesn’t Birmingham have enough budget issues without presenting taxpayer-funded presents to the council?  Why can’t it be just as simple as asking the mayor to provide information, and he provide it?  And what is with Langford’s laptop obsession?

In the meantime, don’t hand me a ream of printer paper and call it a textbook, Larry.

Posted in Alabama Government, Jefferson County, Local Government | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Langford Reasoning

CNN demonstrates (yet again) why the MSM fails miserably at real reporting

Posted by ALmod on May 22, 2009

As Kyle Whitmire already pointed out, Larry Langford was on CNN Wednesday night defending the City of Birmingham regarding the recently released video of five police officers beating a suspect after a high speed chase.  And as he also stated, Langford decided to push the blame onto the previous administration, but he made a boo-boo in doing that.  Watch this video:

As you can see here, Langford first admits that he’s been in office for about a month, and then in the same exact breath goes on to say that it’s the previous administration.  The reporter who addressed him right after that then repeats that it happened under the previous administration, but as if that wasn’t enough, the other reporter asks some time later if the previous mayor and police chief have owned up to their responsibility on the matter.

And by my count, Mr. Mayor, late November through late January is closer to two months– not one.  While some conduct within the department might have been established under the previous mayor and police chief, there is no doubt that every aspect of this matter, from the act itself to the cover up, happened on your watch.  And as if that wasn’t enough, you made sure to make it clear to everyone that you were the boss before it was even determined whether or not you actually lived in Birmingham.  (Remember when you fired the department heads before you took office?)

No sir.  This one is all yours.  Enjoy.

Posted in Jefferson County, Local Government, Mainstream Media, Public Outrage, Scandal | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on CNN demonstrates (yet again) why the MSM fails miserably at real reporting

Some thoughts on the video

Posted by ALmod on May 20, 2009

By now, if you’ve not been living in a cave, you’ve probably seen the following video:

Speaking as the daughter of a retired cop, I always have to say something when this sort of thing happens, so here goes.

Before I start, I want to say that nothing excuses this behavior, and I am in no way justifying it.  If anyone is going to be outraged by this, it will be cops.  Why?  Well, believe it or not, most cops just want to do their job.  They want to protect and serve, and when these things happen, it undermines their ability to do so.  They meet with more hostility.  They meet with more restrictions.  It makes them less safe.

Also, I’d like to offer a quick apology to my father, should he happen to read this.  He always felt like the term “cop” was a slur or insult and therefore disrespectful.  He used to always correct me by saying “police officer.”  However, with more modern usage, I think it’s save to say that the term is no longer derrogatory, and gosh darn it, it’s just easier to say.

My first reaction upon seeing this was that these cops were acting like scared animals, and they had every reason to be scared.  Here’s a guy who just tried to run over and kill another officer who was laying down a spike strip, so he’s proven that he’s potentially dangerous.  As part of a drug bust, you have no idea what this guy is on.  Here in Alabama, most folks do carry guns and knives– as if that’s the only thing that might be used to harm another person.  Exactly six seconds pass between the time he is ejected from his vehicle and the time the officers get there– hardly time for them to determine if he’s unconscious.  I’d imagine that they’re exploring the mental scenario that he’s lying there waiting for an opportunity, with adrenaline or drugs pumping so that even if he’s injured he’s still a threat.  In this case, they want to subdue him as quickly as possible while he might be “stunned.”

Scared animals.  At the same time, we do hold those who hold positions of authority to higher standards, and for good reason.  They are paid and trained to act like something other than scared animals (though my thoughts on proper pay for any job that requires you to constantly put your life on the line are for another discussion).

My second thought was (sarcastically, of course), “Gee, I guess it’s a good thing Birmingham took the tasers away from them.  Someone could have been seriously hurt.”  Honestly, this was during the whole debate over whether or not they should have tasers, and the whole time, I was arguing that if you don’t give them tasers, cops would actually have to resort to more violent methods that were more dangerous to both parties and more likely to cause more harm.  No, a taser is not completely harmless and should not be used so flippantly.  However, if given a choice between a gun, a billy club, and a taser…  I’d probably go with the taser.

But on to the reactions of others…

Mayor Larry P. Langford likened the beating to the police violence that occurred in the city during the civil rights movement.

No…  It’s nothing like that, though you can color me un-shocked that Langford would have drawn the connection.  It cheapens what the civil rights protesters had to go through to make the comparison, as far as I’m concerned.  First off, the police violence during that period was under a white mayor and a white police chief who acted against people who were committing no crime and simply protesting– peacefully, at that.  Women and children were included.  This was police chasing down a criminal who’d already tried to kill one of them.  They were led by a black police chief and a black mayor, one of the officers participating in the beating was black (according to CNN), and this guy would have likely gotten the same treatment had he been white.  To compare this incident to the Civil Rights Movement would be to insinuate that there was some form of discrimination involved, and there is no evidence of that here.

Roper said he was “shocked” to learn of the video and that it had been around for so long without his knowledge.

…which makes him either a liar or an idiot.  Either situation makes him unfit for the position he holds.  I remember well when this happened.  There were several departments involved in the arrest– including Hoover.  It would have been darn near impossible for him to be unaware.

And finally, from Fox News:

Crew, who did not represent Warren in the criminal case, said he fled in the van because he was confronted by a man who never identified himself as an officer, was not in uniform and drove after him in an unmarked car. She said he had not been accused of any crime when the pursuit began.

I have to call bulls**t, here.  Even if Warren didn’t initially know that he was being confronted by a police officer, then the several other police vehicles that joined the chase from Hoover to Trussville and back should have probably been a clue, at which point he should have pulled over.

I’ve failed to pull over for an unmarked car, myself.  But when the marked car started following, it was easy enough for me to pull over.  There was no high speed chase, and while the cop who did get me to pull over (for speeding) informed me that I should have pulled over for the unmarked car, I was approached no differently than any other speeder.

Again, there’s nothing that excuses the behavior of the officers who participated in this beating, but I figure enough folks are covering that side of the story.

Posted in Jefferson County, Local Government, Public Outrage, Scandal | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

It isn’t my birthday.

Posted by ALmod on April 17, 2009

First Roy Moore.  Now this.  2010 is goign to be a good year for Alabama bloggers.

I’m honestly not sure how to react to this.  Sheila Smoot in any level of government can’t be a good thing.  And while I like Artur Davis, I have to admit that reader Don Seibold did warn me about who might take Davis’s seat should he run for governor, and he owes me an “I told you so” bomb for such.  So far the list is rather unimpressive at best and downright depressing at worst.

At the same time, I want her out of the Jefferson County Commission.  Yesterday.  While Congress would give her the opportunity to screw things up on a national level, it also puts her in a more prominent position and could as a result expedite any potential *cough* investigations.  Of course, with her legendary ego, she could also also turn herself into the next Cynthia McKinney and kill herself politically on a national stage.  All the while, she has hundreds of fellow congressmen who can help to keep her brand of crazy in line.

Okay, so maybe Congress isn’t exactly the best safeguard in the world against hair-brained decisions.  But I might be willing to take the odds of Smoot’s transition from “big fish in a small pool” to “little fish in a big pool.”  And if the feds catch up with her, she may not be there long, but she will at least be out of the Jefferson County Commission.

Posted in Alabama Government, Elections, Federal Government, Jefferson County, Local Government, Scandal | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »