The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Archive for the ‘Scandal’ Category

You stay classy, Paepcke!

Posted by ALmod on October 29, 2009

Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m not a Langford fan.  And I think the guilty verdict was deserved.  Heck, Langford’s own defense pretty much consisted of “Langford did it, but…”  There are no buts.  Langford did it and admitted it.  It’s nice that you think he’s a swell guy in spite of that, but it boils down to the fact he did it.

Now all that being said, let me direct you to this writeup by Kyle Whitmire, who (along with John Archibald) covered the trial spectacularly.  Now once you’ve read that, watch the video of Langford’s reaction, and then pay attention to the second reporter and the question he asks.  That reporter was NBC 13’s Jon Paepke.

Now, it’s quite obvious to anyone who isn’t a moron that Paepke wasn’t asking a serious question.  That was a kick in the nuts and berries that you’d expect from a blogger or pundit– not a professional news reporter.  Grow up.

Posted in Local Government, Mainstream Media, Scandal | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

The Stantis Cartoon You Didn’t Get to See

Posted by ALmod on October 29, 2009

Thank you to Matt Murphy for posting it, and of course to Scott Stantis for drawing it.

Scott Stantis, The Chicago Tribune

Posted in Local Government, Mainstream Media, Scandal | Tagged: , | Comments Off on The Stantis Cartoon You Didn’t Get to See

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.

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

Rick Sanchez to Fox News: “Your pants are on fire.”

Posted by ALmod on September 18, 2009

I have to admit I was rather baffled to hear a few people comment on the 9/12 rally by saying that the “other news networks” weren’t there.  I suppose this would explain it.

Posted in Mainstream Media, Scandal | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Health Reform Opponents Adhere to Wizard’s Rules

Posted by ALmod on August 14, 2009

Brace yourselves for a long ride.

Wizard’s First Rule:

“People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.”

Wizard’s Third Rule:

“Passion rules reason.”

Wizard’s Fifth Rule:

“Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie.”

I’m a big fan of Terry Goodkind and his Sword of Truth series.  And yes, I’ve been watching the Sam Raimi television adaptation.   But it hit me this week just how much some of his work really applies to various things in politics– particularly the opposition to health care reform, the first rule in particular.  It’s the first rule for a reason.

It still amazes me how many people have really latched onto the falsehoods being spread by opponents.  It’s so easy to get the truth, but people refuse to believe the truth.  Why?  Well maybe the lie is more interesting.  It’s much more dramatic to think that someone is going to create “death panels”, ration health care, take your money to give care to people who don’t deserve it (That would be everyone but YOU, of course.), pay for abortions with tax dollars, and turn us into the new USSR.  That’s a rather exciting notion, and it’s one that would be GREAT for a fiction novel.  Reading any of the actual proposals (because there isn’t really a single bill to be for or against just yet) is just… well… boring.  Finding out the truth– that in reality not much is going to change for the average patient, except maybe not having to worry so much about whether or not your next surgery will cost you your home– is boring.

But these lies are just that– fiction.  And yes, they’re lies.  I’m not going to soften it. These lies are currently being spread by some of my fellow bloggers– some that I provide links to over on the right side of this page.  Some of them read this blog, and you know who you are.  If you’ve insinuated any of the ones on this Fact Check article, you’re lying.  You’re helping to spread ignorance.  You’re hurting America.  Period.  If you don’t know any better, inform yourself.  Otherwise, I’m left to reason that you’re purposely misleading the public for whatever nefarious purposes.  More on that in a little bit.

Even the people who are currently railing against reform have admitted in the past that America’s current situation is less than stellar.  So much for horror stories about government systems.  We have our own in a perfectly privatized system.  We have rationing, too, if you want something else to worry about.  Nobody is claiming that a government option or single payer system would be perfect– just better.  And there’s more than ample evidence to back that up.  On average, people who live in countries with government health care pay less, live healthier, and live longer.  That’s one fact you don’t hear opponents touch.  Rather, they tend to single out one-in-a-million horror stories while the medical malpractice lawsuits in the U.S. pile up.

The truth is that the lower classes aren’t hurt by lack of reform.  The middle/working class is what suffers.  The poor qualify for government programs, but the middle class simply makes too much money to qualify for most.  (The rich can afford whatever they like, so it doesn’t affect them, either.)  The way the system is currently set up, one could observe that it actually ENCOURAGES people to do worse so that they can qualify for government assistance, as the chances of hitting the lottery are very low.  It encourages a greater gap between the haves and have-nots.

So if the current system is set up to work against the hard workers of America, who make up a majority, why on earth would someone want to perpetuate support for it?  The answer is simple.  There is a mindset, a cult if you will, among certain people in power that they deserve that power and are entitled to certain benefits of that power.  And the only way for them to keep that power is for them to encourage the majority of people not in the same position as they are that it is somehow in their better interests to support them.

Wizard’s Third Rule:

“Passion rules reason.”

I know.  I know.  I sound like some government conspiracy theorist who needs to get out her tin foil hat.  But I’m not talking about the government as a whole.  I’m talking about select individuals who really do believe this.  And while there may be more than a few who don’t technically believe it, those who do have a nasty habit of gaining support, and so others may perpetuate ideas favorable to them.  Think of them as “goupies.”  And groupies can be in positions of power or member of the media and will basically parrot whatever their heroes on pedistals tell them.  And when groupies speak, “minions” listen.  (Okay, so I’m making these words up, but I don’t know if there’s really a set word for it.)  It’s not exactly a new phenomenon, and it’s a common formula in corporations and churches.  The elite order the few, and the few run the masses.  It’s more complicated than that, of course, but that’s it in a nutshell.

How do you spot it?  Well, let’s look at the Wizard’s Fifth Rule:

“Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie.”

So back to the privileged elite.  The deserve power.  They deserve special treatment.  They deserve entitlements.  That’s what they believe, and it’s what they want you to believe.  If you don’t believe that, then go read a right-wing blog for a week or so.  Why else would countless waves of supporters from the middle class argue against their own best interests because of a program that, they believe, will “punish the wealthy” or “punish the corporations”?  Trust me.  The wealthy and corporations have ample representation in D.C. It’s okay for you, the middle class, to stand up for YOUR rights.  Be a little bit selfish.  You’re not exactly defending the meek or the helpless, though it would be nice if you did help someone who truly met that definition.

So with all these people fighting for the rights and interests of the wealthy and overlooking the needs of the middle class, the workers, is it any wonder that those who have their minions railing against government entitlements are some of the biggest beneficiaries?  Why don’t any of those attendees of town halls held by Republican congressmen railing against government health care ask those congressmen where they get their health care?  Being on government health care must really suck for them, which is of course why they’re railing against it.  I mean, it’s not like any of them are rich enough to purchase a private plan instead.  And I know none of them would ever justify having someone else pay for their health care– like the taxpayers.  Taxpayers should not be burdened with paying for the health care of others– unless it’s someone who can already afford to purchase their own.  Yeah, that makes sense.

What is true, and what these congressmen don’t want to admit, is that the fact that they prefer the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to a private insurer is proof that the government is perfectly capable of running a quality health care option.  They just believe that they deserve it and you don’t.  I mean, just because you work for a living doesn’t mean you deserve anything.  I wouldn’t imply that.  But if you belong to an elite group that can spend billions every two years to win a glorified popularity contest– now that’s something.

The situation is reminiscent of the European caste system.  The lower classes were kept in their place by, among other things, denying them proper access to education.  Few could even read.  Nowadays, the only person keeping any American from information is themselves.  But those in power are always ready to pounce on willful ignorance– which is what brings me back to Wizard’s First Rule.

“People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.”

Know your place, middle class.  You don’t deserve a health care system as good as the French or the Japanese or the British.  At least, that’s what we’re being told to think.

Posted in Entertainment, Federal Government, Health and Wellness, Legislation, Scandal | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

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.

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 Quorum, Indeed

Posted by ALmod on July 2, 2009

It took jurors so little time to find Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford’s buddy John Katopodis guilty on all counts that I didn’t even realize they were done.  I’m so used to slow trials, that I went out and had a late lunch.  I didn’t even bother to look at the news, so I heard from my husband when he got home from work.  Smart jurors.  Now if we can just hurry up and get Langford’s trial in gear before he can do even more damage to Birmingham.

Leave it to Scott Stantis to call it like it is…

Scott Stantis, The Birmingham News

Scott Stantis, The Birmingham News

Posted in Laugh It Off, Local Government, Mainstream Media, Public Outrage, Scandal | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on A Quorum, Indeed

“Governor AFK” has been found!

Posted by ALmod on June 23, 2009

Hiking in the woods, but he seems to have chosen an interesting time to do so.  That’s going to be some killer poison ivy.

UPDATE:  The governor still hasn’t been technically “found” or “seen,” despite the jest in my title.  But this story just gets wierder and wierder.  Now he’s apparently been in Argentina.

UPDATE:  The governor has officially been “found” and has given one of the wierdest press conferences I’ve ever seen.

Posted in Laugh It Off, Scandal | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on “Governor AFK” has been found!

Conspiracy Alert: The White House statement that never was, but it is.

Posted by ALmod on June 10, 2009

Okay, so this is kind of a response to this blog post (h/t to The Snake Pit).  It popped up on my RSS feed, and it got my attention.

Before I begin, let me just say that this particular blogger could easily be grouped with those who broke the hero-shot non-scandalwhich I promptly made fun of.  When you take a look at his typical fare, it pretty much falls in line with what Bob McCarty and Michelle Malkin are pumping out.

Now, I will give the writer that, at the time of this post being written, he is correct in that the release does not appear on the White House website.  Does this spell conspiracy?  Not exactly.  Some press releases are distributed to certain media outlets, some are televised, and some are distributed through electronic feed.  If something was distributed to the major news outlets but not placed on the feed or website just yet, well it wouldn’t be the first time that something like that had happened on the White House website or any other website for that matter.

Do I agree that the matter was handled differently than the Tiller murder?  Yes.  Do I agree that the statement came later than it should have?  Yes.  Do I think it shows that President Obama “disrespects” or “DOESN’T care about his troops” or “DOESN’T appreciate his troops”?  No.  Particularly since it’s not unusual for any president to be occasionally late with a statement– particularly this one and not just on this matter.  Besides, there are worse things that he could have done that would have been far more disrespectful to dead soldiers than taking a few days to release a statemtent.  But depending on which way you lean politically, the question of respect is a matter of opinion.

Did the media report differently on the two issues.  Yes, and they should have.  They were, in fact, two totally different issues that should have been handled differently.  Whether or not they media did a good job of that or not is another matter of opinion, and it depends on who you read and consider to be your media source.  Either way, the president has no control over how the mainstream media covers these things, as no public official ever should.

The part that is a matter of fact is whether or not the White House released a statement.  Did they or didn’t they?  It’s as clear cut as that, and the writer says that they didn’t.  There’s the fact in this posting, and whether or not he got it right is going to heavily play into whether or not the rest should probably be considered to be credible analysis of the president’s actions.  So on the author’s suggestion, both AP and CNN came up with the exact same lie at the exact same time and participated in a conspiracy to cover up Obama’s failure to release a statement.  At face value, the suggestion already sounds absurd.

But then I also look to Fox News for my media “checks and balances.”  Leaning heavily to the right, Fox News would be and should be the first to jump on any perceived conspiracies regarding such a matter.  But as it turns out, Fox News reported on the same statement.  So now according to the writer’s suggestion, CNN and AP both reported on a statement that doesn’t exist, and Fox News is helping them in their conspiracy to make Obama look good.  Let me repeat that.  Fox News is part of a conspiracy to make Obama avoid embarassment.  Tell me when that starts to sound a bit off.

To the writer’s credit, he did include a half-sentence to suggest that Obama “is playing favorites with whom he sends his statements.”  It’s not so much a matter of that so much as when you want to get something out, it’s not unusual to fax it to a few larger news outlets and then let it spread out from those sources.  And it’s quite possible that the statement will be posted on the website (the source of the press release feed, to which I am also a subscriber) but simply hasn’t been yet.  It could be as simple as an oversight made by any number of people, but none of that makes this a conspiracy.

Posted in Bama Bloggers, Federal Government, Mainstream Media, Public Outrage, Religion, Scandal, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »