Eight Alabama water systems are contaminated. Hundreds of thousands of customers are at risk, including more than 100,000 people in North Alabama
Online advertising is big business and sites that depend on it are getting really “creative” in using social media to drive traffic to their pages. If they can dangle some fluff piece with a lurid headline and make you click on it (or better, share it!), then the site can raise ad rates and generate more income. But what happens if not enough people share your content? A whole family of “satire news” sites is hiring paid trolls to drop links on every Facebook page and group they can find.
Hyperbole? Not really. Let's take a look at recent events and the GOP supermajority's plan to "fix" the state budget crisis during the special session set to reconvene the first week of August.
Vegetable gardeners know that we can't make it without pollinators. Honey bees are under stress from Colony Collapse Disorder, but they aren't the only pollinators at work on flowers, vegetables, fruit trees, and row crops. An astonishing variety of native pollinators work mostly unnoticed to make our food crops possible.
The City of Brotherly Love got a boost from the DNC today with the announcement that Philadelphia will host the Democratic National Convention the week of July 25, 2016.
2013 wasn't a good year for private prisons on the public relations front. The industry faced federal reports of "unconstitutional conditions" in some facilities, civil rights lawsuits filed by prisoners, & CCA (the largest private prison company in the country) ceased operations in Idaho after being held in contempt by a federal judge. Prison privatization advocates highlight expected "cost savings," and some private facilities do appear to house inmates for less than comparable public prisons. That's not to say that they're doing "more for less," though. In many states, private prison
At 192% occupancy, Alabama's prisons are so overcrowded that some fear a federal takeover. It's likely that some sort of prison reform (or maybe just a building spree) will be a major topic of the 2015 legislative session. And when the private prison lobbyists start waving donation checks and ALEC-inspired bills at legislators, there's a good chance some form of privatization will be under discussion.
After a long, hard-fought battle, North Alabama once again has access to abortion. Are the good guys turning the tide?
Thursday's opening invocation at the Huntsville City Council meeting will be delivered by an atheist. This is a first for the Council, which was in the news earlier this year, when it invited — then dis-invited a Wiccan priest — to deliver the opening invocation at a regular council meeting. It was a silly, spineless decision, made after "several citizens became alarmed" at the prospect of listening to a Wiccan prayer and called to complain. We wonder if those same concerned citizens will have the same issues this time.
Huntsville, Alabama's only women's clinic is closed temporarily as it sorts through the purposefully expensive and confusing red tape of the state's new abortion regulations, so what's a bored abortion opponent to do? Why, protest at the previous location, of course. The fact that it's occupied by a female pro-choice OB-GYN just puts the cherry on top.
The frat parties must be a lot wilder now than when I was in school. Why else would American colleges and universities need MRAPs and M-16s? The increasing militarization of local police forces has gotten a lot of attention lately, but the military hardware flowing to American campuses has gotten less attention. Until the Chronicle of Higher Education, pointed it out with a laser sight:
We've always had labor in this country: free laborers, indentured servants and slave labor. But it wasn't until 1894, that Congress made the first Monday in September the official Labor Day holiday. Although now, in most communities, it's mainly just another day off — or excuse to shop the sales — people used to take Labor Day pretty seriously and with good reason.
Here's your logic: block the sidewalks, bus in scores of children, bellow at passersby through a bullhorn, and assault clinic escorts...and then complain about the "tension and violence" associated with the clinic. That's the noise clamoring out of the anti-choice movement of Huntsville, Alabama, as the zoning board heard their last-ditch effort to keep North Alabama's lone women's clinic from opening a new location.
Like police departments in so many other U.S. cities and towns, the Ferguson Police Department eagerly snapped up military-grade equipment — and the images of its use has looked downright un-American. At least one legislator thinks so, too. Democratic Congressman from Georgia, Hank Johnson, is drafting a bill to cut back on Pentagon transfers of military equipment to local police forces. He plans to introduce the bill in September, when Congress finally returns from its summer vacation.
Walgreen corporate executives have decided that a "corporate inversion," a loophole that allows an American company to purchase a stake in a foreign company and then avoid paying U.S. taxes, "is not in the best long-term interest of stockholders." Good plan.
Is wishing someone a simple "happy birthday" too much civility now? Apparently it is for the RNC. From their email list: "Next week is President Obama's birthday. Democrats are asking you to sign a card, but we have a better idea. Let's send him THE CONSTITUTION."
It may read like satire — but unfortunately, it is not. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is calling for a special Legislative session to divert money from the state's Education Trust Fund to pay for corporate welfare. Because if corporations are people and children are just little people, than this is all the same thing. Right?
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange took to Facebook yesterday and bragged about his role in a federal appeals' court decision in Halbig vs Burwell. This is the case that attempts to end ACA tax credits for families in states that participate in the federal marketplace — a group that includes Alabama. When families lose those credits, their federal tax bills will rise. Mark your calendar, because this is surely an enormous reversal of the long-time GOP mantra of "no taxes, no where, no how."
Fox News entered a time warp with a segment titled: "Husband Appreciation: Sage Advice For Wives." Dress nicely, appreciate him, make him a drink at the end of the day, smile, and whatever you do, girls, hang on to him because if he dumps you and you're 30+, your chances of catching another man are slim to none. The segment also includes nuggets about speaking softly on the job and why date rape should really be called "mistake sex."
Finally, proof that the GOP has truly hit rock bottom. No, it's not their "corporations are people with religious beliefs" piling on in the wake of the Hobby Lobby case. It's not even their candidates and talk radio loudmouths who think women only use birth control for "recreational sex." Nope, it's these "I Miss W" t-shirts the GOP is shilling for $27 a pop.