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Alabama
  • Liveblogging the AL and MS Primaries, Tonight 3/13 @ 8/7c

    Another election, another day for Mitt Romney to not seal the deal. Or… is it? Tonight's contests in Alabama and Mississippi will give the front-runner a chance to prove he can appeal to authentic, scary-parts-of-the-country-dwelling conservatives — voters whose hearts pump a homogeneous mixture of red American blood and gravy. (Or maybe Gingrich will just split the Santorum vote. Either way…yay Romney!)

    Join us for the excitement here and @Indecision tonight, 3/13 @ 8/7c for live coverage of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries, as well as the Hawaii and American Samoa caucuses.

    Oh yeah. Hawaii and American Samoa are voting too.

    Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Alabama, American Samoa, Hawaii, Liveblog, Mississippi, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul
  • Alabama State Senator Blames Jesus for Low Teacher Pay

    It's a common refrain among education reform advocates that the best way to improve teacher performance is to increase teacher pay. So what's the hold-up — low budgets, sexism, market forces?

    Nope, it's the Bible

    According to Alabama state Sen. Shadrack McGill (R), the Bible says that increasing teacher salaries would only lead to less-qualified teachers…

    "If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren't called to teach. To go in and raise someone's child for eight hours a day, or many people's children for eight hours a day, requires a calling."

    "And these teachers that are called to teach, regardless of the pay scale, they would teach. It's just in them to do. It's the ability that God give 'em… If you don't keep that in balance, you're going to attract people who are not called, who don't need to be teaching our children. So, everything has a balance."

    Good point. Balance. Like the balance we need to keep principled, competent lawmakers in the Alabama state legislature. We should probably keep their pay low too, right?

    McGill found justification in the Bible for not increasing teacher pay, but he evidently found nothing in scripture preventing him from approving a 67 percent pay increase for legislators in 2007… He said that the higher pay helped to stop corruption… Currently, a part-time legislator in Alabama is making more than a full-time teacher with a Master’s degree and 15 years of experience.

    The idea that high CEO and politician salaries are necessary to retain top talent has been trotted out repeatedly during discussions of income inequality. But these are teachers. That's not, you know, a real profession. They just shape the minds of the next generation of Americans, not do important stuff like borrowing and lending money, laying off workers and giving tax cuts to millionaires.

    It's reassuring to know that in Alabama they still teach the 3 R's: Reading, Writing, and Ridiculous Logic.


    Tags: Alabama, Children, Christianity, Economy, Education, Religion, State Legislature, The Bible
  • Conservative Gubernatorial Candidate Kindly Provides Human Seed for New Zealand Lesbians

    As reported today by the Huffington Post — and possibly Mad Libs — a conservative Alabama gubernatorial candidate was caught donating sperm to lesbians in New Zealand

    Bill Johnson — who ran for governor of Alabama in 2009 — has spent most of this year in Christchurch helping run the earthquake recovery without his wife, Kathy, all the while using the online persona "chchbill" to meet women who want help to get pregnant.

    Helping a childless family conceive is usually an act of kindness and generosity, but this guy managed to make it incredibly selfish and creepy. Despite campaigning as a family-values conservative firmly opposed to gay marriage, Johnson went behind his barren wife’s back to spread his seed to heathen lesbian couples…

    The [New Zealand Herald] quotes the 53-year-old Johnson as saying the urge to become a biological father inspired him to donate sperm, after revealing that his wife couldn't get pregnant following a hysterectomy…

    Johnson discussed making donations to at least nine women, and three are now pregnant, while he has also assisted a further three with donations in the past month. Though Johnson had campaigned for governor on a conservative Christian platform which opposed same-sex marriage, the New Zealand Herald reports several of the women interviewed were in lesbian relationships.

    In related Mad Libs news…

    Pro-Life Idaho Senator Dances with Child Dressed Up as Peruvian Birth Control Pill

    Virginia Environmentalist Stabs Endangered African Rhino with Alan Alda Figurine

    Newt Gingrich Emerges as Republican Presidential Front-Runner

    Photo of Bill and Kathy Johnson courtesy of BillJohnson.org


    Tags: Alabama, Conservatives, LGBT, Marriage Equality, New Zealand, Republicans
  • Feds Remind Alabama Not to Pull an Alabama

    Strict immigration laws can help states cut down on crime, but they pose a significant risk to civil rights and family cohesion. So they’re kind of a  double-edged sword.

    And in the chaotic, poorly funded public school classroom that is the United States, Alabama is the slow child who cannot be trusted with sharp objects

    The Justice Department has sent a letter to dozens of local law enforcement agencies in Alabama that receive federal money, warning them that they risk losing that funding if they're not careful in how they enforce the state's tough new immigration law.

    The Obama administration has already sued the state, claiming that the law is unconstitutional. Now it's keeping the pressure on by addressing how the law is carried out.

    The law, HB56 passed by the Alabama Legislature in June, attempts to combat illegal immigration by establishing harsh penalties for employers who hire undocumented workers, requiring public schools to report children and parents who are not legal residents, and forbidding illegal migrants from having any transactions with the government.

    If you listen closely, you can almost hear the government let out a long pained sigh and say, "Listen, Alabama. I thought we went through this already. You can't mistreat people just because they have darker skin and funny names."

    "Remember the '60s? You beat and hosed down black people. We had to send in soldiers — soldiers, with guns — to make sure you let them vote and go to school. Remember that? It was in the news a lot. There were even a bunch of movies about it. Remember? Don't do that again."

    "Now go back to the corner and try not to eat any more sparkly glue."


    Tags: Alabama, Civil Rights, Immigration, Mexico, Obama Administration
  • Judge Partially Upholds Alabama Immigration Law

    There's one thing Alabama legislators know for certain about brown people: they are magic.

    The American civilian labor force has been growing steadily since 1948, with Baby Boomers and women entering the job market en masse. Rarely do we say these new workers "took der jerbs," because new employees create demand for more goods and services, while freeing up other workers for more productive employment.

    But according to anti-immigration activists, undocumented laborers possess magical job-destroying properties, denying Real Americans the chance to work in such sexy and lucrative fields as agricultural field work and manual labor.

    Now, thanks to Alabama's draconian anti-immigration law and a federal judge who upheld many of the law's provisions, those of us seeking backbreaking, underpaid employment on Alabama's poultry farms can breathe a sigh of relief…

    A federal judge gave a green light for Alabama to enforce some of the most controversial parts of its toughest-in-the-nation immigration law, ruling that certain measures do not violate federal law.

    U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn ruled that Alabama can enforce the law’s requirements for schools to verify students’ immigration status and for police to determine citizenship and status of those they stop, detain or arrest. Police are allowed to arrest anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant during a routine traffic stop, under the law…

    But Blackburn granted the Obama administration’s request to block certain portions of the law until she makes a final ruling. Those sections include provisions making it a crime to transport or harbor an illegal immigrant, or for an illegal immigrant to look for or perform work.

    Given Alabama's sterling civil rights record, what could possibly go wrong with a law that deputizes police officers into border patrol agents and turns schoolteachers into Homeland Security officials?

    Photo by John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Alabama, Immigration, Laws, Unemployment