Month: June 2018

Modest Proposal: A lottery in Alabama will finally make the poor pay their ‘fair share’

We often hear that the rich should be made to pay their "fair share," but the top 20 percent of earners are already paying about 84 percent of our nation's income taxes. Some say that's a reasonable apportionment from each according to their ability, but here's a modest proposal for consideration: maybe it's time for the poor to actually start paying their fair share in taxes. Outrageous? No more than feeding our unwanted children to the rich. But still, how can we tax the poor without seeming like a monstrous mix of Ebenezer Scrooge and Montgomery Burns? Politicians in Alabama -- both Democrats and an unfortunate number of Republicans -- have finally found the secret answer: a lottery. (more…)

Alabama’s Martha Roby: It’s still ‘very emotional’ recalling horrific Planned Parenthood videos that sparked passionate floor speech

It's been nearly three years since Alabama Republican Congresswoman Martha Roby was the first member to give an impassioned one-minute speech on the House floor decrying Planned Parenthood after alarming undercover videos surfaced about the abortion provider's sale of fetal body parts. Roby, who will next month face former Democrat Congressman Bobby Bright in a GOP primary runoff for Alabama's 2nd congressional district, appeared on Alabama-based EWTN last week and recalled what it was like to see the Center for Medical Progress videos and speak out about them. "Even to hear [a replay of the speech] now is very emotional," Roby said, with tears coming to her eyes. "I remember I was sitting in an appropriations markup, committee mark, that morning, and was scrolling through Twitter on my phone and came across the article and just couldn't believe what I was reading, and I immediately texted the link to my staff and said, 'Is this real? Is this really happening?' So as soon as the committee mark was over, I immediately went to the floor to give that one-minute speech ... and one minute was not nearly enough. I distinctly remember there were other members waiting in line to give their one-minutes and they too were filled with emotion at hearing this for the first time." WATCH Roby's July 2015 speech: (more…)

BREAKING: Alabama AG speaks about Bridgette Marshall’s suicide

This story has been updated.  Albertville -- Slamming what he called “reckless” reporting and rumors that required his response, Attorney General Steve Marshall confirmed to reporters and community members Wednesday morning that his wife Bridgette Marshall died in Tennessee on Sunday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and that he was on the phone with her before she committed suicide. Marshall tearfully shared the circumstances he said he believes led to Bridgette’s suicide, including opioid addiction, mental illness, chronic pain and a fear that she was a burden to others. "I got on the phone with her, and I just talked to a person that had no hope," Marshall said to those gathered at Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Albertville. "She said, ‘I don’t have a purpose, and I’m tired. My body is failing me and I don’t know why. I’ve had pain for a long time and I don’t want to endure it anymore, and I’m just a burden,'" he said. "And I told her how she wasn't and how she was loved, and as a guy who, professionally, is supposed to be able to convince people with words to do something, I couldn’t reach her," he said, choking up as he added that his wife asked him on the phone if he wanted to hear her commit suicide, to which he said he responded no, and that she then hung up the phone. Marshall said he called the police and tried to call her back over and over, but…

Why conservatives need a (partially) viable Democratic Party in Alabama

Liberals seeking a future in Alabama politics don't have many options nowadays, but that's not all good news for conservatives. If the state's Republican Party is the only game in town (and it is), then it's bound to attract all sorts of players, from liberal candidates to liberal special interests and everything in between. Take the recent GOP primary ballot. It was full of former Democrats and, probably worse, many of the longtime Republicans on the ballot accepted thousands of dollars from Democrat-aligned special interests (more than $600,000 from the teachers union alone). Why this matters: Marketing professionals know the value of a brand, of building its awareness and protecting the feeling it evokes. Make changes to a successful product, they warn, and you're bound to lose customers. And in the GOP’s case, lose voters, as Democrats-posing-as-Republicans dilute the brand. (more…)

Laura Ingalls Wilder stripped of honor; why not feminist hero Betty Friedan?

The politically correct have created a new pariah to scrub from significance: Laura Ingalls Wilder, the much-beloved author of “Little House on the Prairie.” Fox News reports that the Chicago-based Association of Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) board unanimously voted last week to change their children’s book award from the “Laura Ingalls Wilder Award” to “Children’s Literature Legacy Award," even though Wilder was the award's first recipient. The decision was announced to a standing ovation audience in New Orleans amid concerns that Wilder’s work includes stereotypical portrayals of minorities. (more…)

TRAGEDY: Pause and pray for Alabama AG Steve Marshall — wife confirmed dead

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall's wife, Bridgette Gentry Marshall was confirmed dead Sunday, following "a long struggle with mental illness," according to a statement from Marshall's office. When untimely death strikes, our natural tendency is to immediately want to know what happened and be tempted to listen to and spread gossip. But Steve Marshall and his family don’t deserve gossip right now. They deserve grace and space, and that’s what Alabamians should give our attorney general. Today, the how and why shouldn’t matter, at least not right now. What matters is that a husband, a father, a man – a good and decent man – is devastated beyond comprehension. Everything we say and do should be about helping Steve and his family, not adding to their grief by posting mean social media comments or spreading unconfirmed rumors. Troy King, his opponent in the GOP primary runoff, said in a Facebook post that he is pausing his campaign and stopping his advertisements, as he should. Take a moment today to pause and pray for Steve Marshall and his family. Update: Steve Marshall, angered by the rumor mill, spoke publicly about his wife's death this week. 

Princeton professor writes beautifully honest, hopeful article about Alabama in Harper’s Magazine

Ivy League professors don't normally write nice things about Alabama, especially when the topic veers into discussions of race and past (and current) injustices. But not all Ivy League professors come from here. Thankfully Imani Perry does, and in next month's print edition of Harper's Magazine the Birmingham-native and current professor at Princeton University pens a beautifully honest and hopeful article about Alabama. Do yourself a favor and read Perry's entire article, titled "As Goes the South, so Goes the Nation," but here are some of my favorite excerpts: (more…)

Alabama AG Marshall on immigration controversy: ‘Misguided’ to blame Trump or Sessions

Update: Trump signed an executive order Wednesday afternoon to stop the separation of parents and children when they are detained for illegal entrance into the country. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing increased pressure amid public outcry to change a border practice that separates children from their parents when illegally entering the United States. However, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Wednesday morning that leadership shouldn’t decide how to enforce immigration laws based on shifting public opinion or media coverage. (more…)

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox says he’s pro-life, but his language is chock-full of pro-choice phraseology

Earlier this month the Democrat Party's nominee for governor, Walt Maddox, responded to a questionnaire about his views on many issues facing Alabamians, but his answers about abortion proved to be the most revealing, although probably unintentionally. The Tuscaloosa mayor began by writing that he was "personally opposed to abortion," a slippery term if there ever was one, before proceeding to use similar phrases that we normally hear from the pro-choice crowd. It's as if Maddox was sampling lines from an abortion apologist's Greatest Hits album. Why this matters: Alabama already has one pro-choice politician in high office with Sen. Doug "20 Weeks" Jones, who infamously voted against banning aborting unborn children when they're 20-weeks old and capable of feeling pain. We cannot afford to have another one. (more…)