Our legislators on Goat Hill get beat up a good bit. Sometimes they don’t deserve it. But usually, they kind of do.
They have been quite busy this session and our Mobile delegation, in particular, has gotten some bills enacted that are #somobile. You will see what I mean. God, I love this city.
Thanks to Rep. Margie Wilcox we can have crawfish at bars throughout the city, and now throughout the entire county, without that pesky Mobile County Health Department bothering us. “Let them suck heads,” Wilcox cried with the passion of Marie Antoinette as the bill passed. She didn’t really say that, but I wish she would have.
Rep. James Buskey, in his final term, introduced legislation allowing us to start boozing at brunch a full two hours earlier. The bill, nicknamed by some as “Free the Bubbles,” will allow us to start sucking down mimosas and bloody marys at restaurants on Sundays at 10 a.m. instead of having to wait until noon (the horror!). We shall raise our flutes to you each week, dearest James “Brunchy” Buskey. Your legacy will live on every time we wash down eggs Benedict with cheap champagne.
Stoking fear in the hearts of every inoperable vehicle owner, Rep. Adline Clarke got a bill signed into law that will allow the city to more easily remove junk cars on private property. Apparently it was not easy to do this prior to this law for some reason. (Might I suggest starting with DIP?)
All of these laws pertain to Mobile only, so the rest of you folks in other parts of the state will just have to get your own bad car, crawdad and brunch laws. Muhahahahahhaha!
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to be able to get my bloody earlier at brunch and eat crawfish freely at whatever establishment may be serving them up, and hallelujah that the city can remove rat-infested junk cars from our creepy neighbors’ yards now, but it amazes me the Legislature can pass these types of bills with great ease but can’t seem to address other much more pressing issues that should have been dealt with long ago.
No sheriff in the state of Alabama (or anywhere in the universe) should be allowed to personally pocket leftover food-provision money for prisoners. Period. It is the most egregious misuse of funds I have ever seen and has been for years. Of course, the fact that this is still permissible in some counties (thankfully, not ours) came to light recently after Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin pocketed $250,000 per year and then ever-so-brazenly bought himself a fat beach house in Orange Beach with an in-ground pool and canal access. Somebody please pass the Imodium; it’s enough to make you want to barf up your brunch.
And this clown didn’t even try to justify it. He basically told media to go suck it because it’s legal. “As you should be aware, Alabama law is clear as to my personal financial responsibilities in the feeding of inmates,” he said. “Regardless of one’s opinion of this statute, until the Legislature acts otherwise, the sheriff must follow the current law.”
Sadly, he is correct. OK, Legislature, it’s time to act “otherwise.” And now!
To his credit, Rep. Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) is trying to get legislation enacted that would correct this absolute atrocity this session. He said everywhere he went, people brought this up to him. (Um, you think?) But it would only apply to Etowah County.
Dear every member of the Alabama Legislature, This needs to not only be “not allowed” but illegal in all 67 counties in Alabama. This tool needs to be sitting in jail, not lounging by his pool in Orange Beach. Ridiculous!
Speaking of ridiculous, let’s revisit Rep. Will Ainsworth’s (R-Guntersville) bill, HB-435, to allow school teachers or other personnel who have taken a special course to pack heat on school campuses. Though it looked like this bill was going to die, because, well, most of the world agrees this is the worst idea on the planet, it did very narrowly make it through committee so it will go the House and Senate for a vote.
Dear Sweet Baby Jesus and our legislators, DO NOT let this pass. The first time one of these “specially trained” teachers gets spooked and shoots a kid (which will absolutely happen sooner or later), the blood will be on your hands, legislators (not Sweet Baby Jesus). If you really think more firearms is the answer, then for heaven’s sake, find money to put more cops on campuses. (I mean, if they aren’t too busy starving inmates or buying beach houses!)
Another ridiculous thing to come from the debate surrounding HB-435 was the pounding Rep. Harry Shiver (R- Stockton) took from local and national media for voicing opposition to it. A retired educator, Shiver said he thought this was a bad idea (because it is), but unfortunately he went on to say it’s bad because most teachers are women and most women are scared of guns. Now granted, he did not say it quite that artfully. I believe his exact words were we needed to protect “our ladies” because “some of them just don’t want to [be trained to possess firearms]. If they want to, then that’s good. But most of them don’t want to learn how to shoot like that and carry a gun.”
Yes, he could have sounded a little less Ward Cleaver-y, but what he said was not exactly untrue. Did we really have to turn this into a feminist issue? Almost immediately, news outlets were interviewing women at pawn shops and gun ranges so they could say how offended they were and how they weren’t afraid of guns. Oh, for God’s sake.
Of course, there are women who are comfortable with firearms (my mother-in-law is one of them — yikes!), but Rep. Shiver is absolutely correct, many women are not and most teachers are women. Unfortunately, instead of talking about how insane Rep. Ainsworth’s bill was for a full week, we spent it beating up on Rep. Shiver, who at least recognized how dumb it was. Sounds like a great use of airtime and ink! Way to go, world!
Sigh. Sometimes it all just seems so hopeless.
10 a.m. on Sunday can’t get here fast enough.