Archive for January, 2008

>Democrats: A Call to Action

January 31, 2008

>This ought to fire some people up. Bob Martin, who writes “The Alabama Scene” in the Hartselle Enquirer, writes the following (The Alabama Scene):

Gov. Bob Riley wants to rid the state legislative halls of Democrats and he’s leading the charge to raise $7 million to start the job in the 2010 elections.Last Wednesday, Riley announced he will chair the fundraising campaign and has already secured the pledges of 68 people to contribute $10,000-a-year over the next four years to eradicate all those pesky “yellow dawgs” from the House and Senate chambers in Montgomery.

But Democratic Chairman Joe Turnham says that money can’t buy Alabama voters and wonders what kind of favors those who pony up the huge amounts of cash will get from the governor.“I predict these folks will become the most expensive cronies in Alabama history,” he said.And Sen. Wendell Mitchell, D-Luverne, the Senate’s deputy pro-tem, told a group of newspaper editors and publishers in Greenville on Friday he was dismayed by the governor’s action.“Just a few weeks ago I received a letter from Gov. Riley talking about how all of us need to work together in a bipartisan way for the benefit of the people during the upcoming legislative session. Now I read where he is leading the charge to get rid of all of us who aren’t members of his party. I am simply baffled,” Mitchell said.

The successful election of Democrat James Fields Jr in House District 12 on Tuesday (special election) indicates that the “pesky yellow dawgs” are not going to go down easy. Fields got about 59% of the vote, and will become the first black person to represent the people of the mosty white district when the state legislature convenes on Fat (Super Dooper) Tuesday (there is a lot happening that day).

Democrats have to realize that the importance of being involved does not end on Tuesday. Sleeping dawgs get snuck up on. Don’t let it happen to you.

Democrats: A Call to Action

January 31, 2008

This ought to fire some people up. Bob Martin, who writes “The Alabama Scene” in the Hartselle Enquirer, writes the following (The Alabama Scene):

Gov. Bob Riley wants to rid the state legislative halls of Democrats and he’s leading the charge to raise $7 million to start the job in the 2010 elections.Last Wednesday, Riley announced he will chair the fundraising campaign and has already secured the pledges of 68 people to contribute $10,000-a-year over the next four years to eradicate all those pesky “yellow dawgs” from the House and Senate chambers in Montgomery.

But Democratic Chairman Joe Turnham says that money can’t buy Alabama voters and wonders what kind of favors those who pony up the huge amounts of cash will get from the governor.“I predict these folks will become the most expensive cronies in Alabama history,” he said.And Sen. Wendell Mitchell, D-Luverne, the Senate’s deputy pro-tem, told a group of newspaper editors and publishers in Greenville on Friday he was dismayed by the governor’s action.“Just a few weeks ago I received a letter from Gov. Riley talking about how all of us need to work together in a bipartisan way for the benefit of the people during the upcoming legislative session. Now I read where he is leading the charge to get rid of all of us who aren’t members of his party. I am simply baffled,” Mitchell said.

The successful election of Democrat James Fields Jr in House District 12 on Tuesday (special election) indicates that the “pesky yellow dawgs” are not going to go down easy. Fields got about 59% of the vote, and will become the first black person to represent the people of the mosty white district when the state legislature convenes on Fat (Super Dooper) Tuesday (there is a lot happening that day).

Democrats have to realize that the importance of being involved does not end on Tuesday. Sleeping dawgs get snuck up on. Don’t let it happen to you.

>The Nation, The University, The City

January 30, 2008

>1. The Nation

Did you notice that I made no comments after the president’s State of the Union Address? I was just so glad that it was the very last time we have to be subjected to that type of event with him in charge.

But Tuesday night was a different story. Tuesday itself was full of Biostats and such, and I anticipated coming home to relax. (Even with two tests on Wednesday). But how can one relax when their candidate is experiencing a huge win in Florida?

No delegates for the democrats, you say? That will be argued later when the Florida Party officials are lobbying to have their delegates credentialed. No, this vote was very important because of this >>> The candidates did not campaign in Florida…but Florida voters are not without televisions, computers or newspapers. They are well aware of the bickering between the candidates, the media bias, and of Barack’s big win in South Carolina. And they still are giving Hillary a 17% win, with 50% of the vote.

The Floridians had the same amount of candidate contact that most of the Super Dooper Tuesday voters will have. We for the most part, across the 24 states, have to depend on media reports…and word of mouth from friends and neighbors. We will not have candidate saturation like South Carolina had. People interviewed from Florida said that is what they did, and they propelled Hillary Clinton to a huge victory. And as a result, she got great air play from her win and her speech last night.

I just learned that John Edwards has dropped out of the race. It is hard to judge who this will help, the “white” vote might go to Clinton, the “anti-Clinton” vote will go to Barack, some will stay home (but come back out to vote in November). But it does mean we will have a one on one debate tomorrow night between just Barack and Hillary.

2. The University

UAB had a “Free Food For Thought” yesterday, a forum in which students, faculty and anyone else can come and get free food in exchange for participating in a round (rectangle) – table discussion. This month’s topic was “Is UAB Committed to Diversity?” On the flyer above the word “diversity” was a rainbow colored graphic, and also a collage of diversity was pictured. UAB does mention sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy.

The event took place in the Ryals Building which houses the School of Public Health, so it was easy for me to attend. The School was well represented, but there were also students and staff from the School of Medicine, undergraduate, the radio station and more.

One important point brought up is that the appearance of diversity does not indicate diversity in reality. The student who mentioned this used the Bush administration as an example, but even among the public health students this was noted. We are probably the most diverse School on campus, attracting students from around the world, with many students from various African countries along with India, Iran, Bangladesh and more. We are represented by Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Christians and more. Sexual orientation is understood (as presented in various classes) as a part of the normal spectrum of people.

So I was surprised to hear my fellow students voice opinions that did not reflect this. Too much Christianity an American said. Too much gathering of Indians with Indians and Blacks with Blacks and Whites with Whites in the hallways, another said. Yet another public health student said the biostats all hang together, the epi people all hang and the maternal and child health people do the same.

My feeling is that none of that reflects the University’s commitment to diversity, rather the natural tendency of people to associate with people like themselves.

But I was able to bring up an issue that reflects the University’s lack of commitment, or at least their lack of realization that they are breaking their own anti-discrimination policy by refusing to offer benefits (insurance) to same sex (or opposite sex) unmarried partners of employees who are insured. A commitment to diversity should include all people and treating all people equally.

Don’t let UAB tell you they can not do that because the administrator of their plan does not offer it. I am not sure if Blue Cross Blue Shield is the administrator of their (self insure) plan or not, but regardless, other “self insures” like Wachovia, RBC Bank, and Southern Progress offer such benefits, and I think they are administered by BC/BS. Correct me if I am wrong.

Then others like Terry Kellogg from BC/BS who spoke at the Over The Mountain Democrat forum a couple of weeks ago say economics will not allow it, but that is a fallacy. Studies show that costs are less for most same sex couples because most of them do not incur health care costs for things like pregnancies and childbirths.

What’s in it for UAB if they offer insurance benefits? Many top professors and research scientists overlook UAB for this reason. They may not be gay themselves, but they want to work in a place that offers equality. Some probably realize that if one group is discriminated against, it might not belong before another will be.

I made those points in about four sentences, and no one else commented on it, but I did notice some nods from some faculty types that were there. And sexual orientation was mentioned by a couple of other people as being a part of diversity.

All in all the forum was worthwhile and the food (Mexican) was good.

3. The (little) City

Bessemer is trying its best to become “Little Birmingham.” (not to be confused with the liquor store by the same name on the outskirts of Panama City Beach that was the first stop on the beach road for our family vacations when I was growing up!)

I mean, here is Bessemer about to turn control of their water filtration plant over to an outside agancy with no control reserved for the city, like the Birmingham Water Works, sort of. Then, last night at a Council meeting during which the public turned out to voice concerns, Mayor Ed May, Council President Jesse Matthews, Councilors Dorothy Davidson and Earl Cochran, and others, put on an embarrasing display of childish behavoior, arguing and raising their voices until finally the meeting was adjourned having accomplished nothing.

I take that back. Something was accomplished. Information that I learned at the Bessemer Neighborhood Association meeting Monday was released. $3 million or so is missing. This is bond money that during Quitman Mitchell’s administration was supposedly placed in irrevocable trust to draw interest to later pay on the $56 million bond issue that GUSC has only been making interest payments on. Money that was to be used now, or in 2009, to make the principle payment that everybody is worried about.

Those of us who wonder why only interest has been paid also wonder where the $3 million went. We do have copies of a resolution from 2000 which authorized GUSC to make “the first four payments of the $3.7 million from GUSC” to “the City of Bessemer General Fund…”

Alice Martin where are you?

The Nation, The University, The City

January 30, 2008

1. The Nation

Did you notice that I made no comments after the president’s State of the Union Address? I was just so glad that it was the very last time we have to be subjected to that type of event with him in charge.

But Tuesday night was a different story. Tuesday itself was full of Biostats and such, and I anticipated coming home to relax. (Even with two tests on Wednesday). But how can one relax when their candidate is experiencing a huge win in Florida?

No delegates for the democrats, you say? That will be argued later when the Florida Party officials are lobbying to have their delegates credentialed. No, this vote was very important because of this >>> The candidates did not campaign in Florida…but Florida voters are not without televisions, computers or newspapers. They are well aware of the bickering between the candidates, the media bias, and of Barack’s big win in South Carolina. And they still are giving Hillary a 17% win, with 50% of the vote.

The Floridians had the same amount of candidate contact that most of the Super Dooper Tuesday voters will have. We for the most part, across the 24 states, have to depend on media reports…and word of mouth from friends and neighbors. We will not have candidate saturation like South Carolina had. People interviewed from Florida said that is what they did, and they propelled Hillary Clinton to a huge victory. And as a result, she got great air play from her win and her speech last night.

I just learned that John Edwards has dropped out of the race. It is hard to judge who this will help, the “white” vote might go to Clinton, the “anti-Clinton” vote will go to Barack, some will stay home (but come back out to vote in November). But it does mean we will have a one on one debate tomorrow night between just Barack and Hillary.

2. The University

UAB had a “Free Food For Thought” yesterday, a forum in which students, faculty and anyone else can come and get free food in exchange for participating in a round (rectangle) – table discussion. This month’s topic was “Is UAB Committed to Diversity?” On the flyer above the word “diversity” was a rainbow colored graphic, and also a collage of diversity was pictured. UAB does mention sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy.

The event took place in the Ryals Building which houses the School of Public Health, so it was easy for me to attend. The School was well represented, but there were also students and staff from the School of Medicine, undergraduate, the radio station and more.

One important point brought up is that the appearance of diversity does not indicate diversity in reality. The student who mentioned this used the Bush administration as an example, but even among the public health students this was noted. We are probably the most diverse School on campus, attracting students from around the world, with many students from various African countries along with India, Iran, Bangladesh and more. We are represented by Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Christians and more. Sexual orientation is understood (as presented in various classes) as a part of the normal spectrum of people.

So I was surprised to hear my fellow students voice opinions that did not reflect this. Too much Christianity an American said. Too much gathering of Indians with Indians and Blacks with Blacks and Whites with Whites in the hallways, another said. Yet another public health student said the biostats all hang together, the epi people all hang and the maternal and child health people do the same.

My feeling is that none of that reflects the University’s commitment to diversity, rather the natural tendency of people to associate with people like themselves.

But I was able to bring up an issue that reflects the University’s lack of commitment, or at least their lack of realization that they are breaking their own anti-discrimination policy by refusing to offer benefits (insurance) to same sex (or opposite sex) unmarried partners of employees who are insured. A commitment to diversity should include all people and treating all people equally.

Don’t let UAB tell you they can not do that because the administrator of their plan does not offer it. I am not sure if Blue Cross Blue Shield is the administrator of their (self insure) plan or not, but regardless, other “self insures” like Wachovia, RBC Bank, and Southern Progress offer such benefits, and I think they are administered by BC/BS. Correct me if I am wrong.

Then others like Terry Kellogg from BC/BS who spoke at the Over The Mountain Democrat forum a couple of weeks ago say economics will not allow it, but that is a fallacy. Studies show that costs are less for most same sex couples because most of them do not incur health care costs for things like pregnancies and childbirths.

What’s in it for UAB if they offer insurance benefits? Many top professors and research scientists overlook UAB for this reason. They may not be gay themselves, but they want to work in a place that offers equality. Some probably realize that if one group is discriminated against, it might not belong before another will be.

I made those points in about four sentences, and no one else commented on it, but I did notice some nods from some faculty types that were there. And sexual orientation was mentioned by a couple of other people as being a part of diversity.

All in all the forum was worthwhile and the food (Mexican) was good.

3. The (little) City

Bessemer is trying its best to become “Little Birmingham.” (not to be confused with the liquor store by the same name on the outskirts of Panama City Beach that was the first stop on the beach road for our family vacations when I was growing up!)

I mean, here is Bessemer about to turn control of their water filtration plant over to an outside agancy with no control reserved for the city, like the Birmingham Water Works, sort of. Then, last night at a Council meeting during which the public turned out to voice concerns, Mayor Ed May, Council President Jesse Matthews, Councilors Dorothy Davidson and Earl Cochran, and others, put on an embarrasing display of childish behavoior, arguing and raising their voices until finally the meeting was adjourned having accomplished nothing.

I take that back. Something was accomplished. Information that I learned at the Bessemer Neighborhood Association meeting Monday was released. $3 million or so is missing. This is bond money that during Quitman Mitchell’s administration was supposedly placed in irrevocable trust to draw interest to later pay on the $56 million bond issue that GUSC has only been making interest payments on. Money that was to be used now, or in 2009, to make the principle payment that everybody is worried about.

Those of us who wonder why only interest has been paid also wonder where the $3 million went. We do have copies of a resolution from 2000 which authorized GUSC to make “the first four payments of the $3.7 million from GUSC” to “the City of Bessemer General Fund…”

Alice Martin where are you?

>State of the Union, and a Couple of Notes

January 28, 2008

>Bessemer readers: There is an important meeting tonight at 7:00 at Broken Vessel Church on Dartmouth Avenue regarding the proposal to authorize GUSC (Governmental Utilities Service Coprporation)to buyout the contract that the city has with Covanta to manage our water plant. There are problems with this proposal. One is that the GUSC board is autonomous with the exception of their appointment by the council. In other words, no oversight. Can you say “Absolute authority?” Can you say “Birmingham Water Works?” Come learn what is going on in your city. The meeting is sponsored by the Bessemer Neighborhood Association.

Animal lovers: Columnist Scott Ostler: “Michael Vick, serving a 23-month prison sentence, will enroll in a drug-treatment program that can reduce the sentence of nonviolent offenders by as much as one year. Our family dog Petey just asked me to explain to him the part about ‘nonviolent offenders.'” (Seen in The Birmingham News Sports Page “Fun Buzz.” Our dog wonders where’s the “fun” in that buzz?)

U. S. Citizens: Tonight president Bush gives his State of the Union Address. I write about this in The Western Tribune this week, citing this poll, that was taken just last week. The headline from the web page is:

State of the Union Rated Poorly by 4 out of 5 Americans Four in Five Also Say Strengthening the Economy is Going Poorly”

But our state of the union is really demonstrated in a song by Pink and the Indigo Girls, and (like last week) I am posting 2 videos.

Dear Mr. President.

And here is the other.

Lets see how many we can catch him in tonight. And will Dennis Kucinich file for impeachment of the president by the time Bush speaks tonight? That was the rumor last week.

State of the Union, and a Couple of Notes

January 28, 2008

Bessemer readers: There is an important meeting tonight at 7:00 at Broken Vessel Church on Dartmouth Avenue regarding the proposal to authorize GUSC (Governmental Utilities Service Coprporation)to buyout the contract that the city has with Covanta to manage our water plant. There are problems with this proposal. One is that the GUSC board is autonomous with the exception of their appointment by the council. In other words, no oversight. Can you say “Absolute authority?” Can you say “Birmingham Water Works?” Come learn what is going on in your city. The meeting is sponsored by the Bessemer Neighborhood Association.

Animal lovers: Columnist Scott Ostler: “Michael Vick, serving a 23-month prison sentence, will enroll in a drug-treatment program that can reduce the sentence of nonviolent offenders by as much as one year. Our family dog Petey just asked me to explain to him the part about ‘nonviolent offenders.'” (Seen in The Birmingham News Sports Page “Fun Buzz.” Our dog wonders where’s the “fun” in that buzz?)

U. S. Citizens: Tonight president Bush gives his State of the Union Address. I write about this in The Western Tribune this week, citing this poll, that was taken just last week. The headline from the web page is:

State of the Union Rated Poorly by 4 out of 5 Americans Four in Five Also Say Strengthening the Economy is Going Poorly”

But our state of the union is really demonstrated in a song by Pink and the Indigo Girls, and (like last week) I am posting 2 videos.

Dear Mr. President.

And here is the other.

Lets see how many we can catch him in tonight. And will Dennis Kucinich file for impeachment of the president by the time Bush speaks tonight? That was the rumor last week.

>South Carolina Votes

January 27, 2008

>And a South Carolinian speaks.

Ann is a friend of mine since college, and she now lives in South Carolina and reads Bessemer Opinions. She sent me a message this week about the candidates in her state, and gave me permission to share it. Here is her picture and her message.

I had a great time today listening to Hillary explain her plans for the economy. Earlier this week, I heard Barack speak. I have nothing against Barack and will certainly support him if he wins the nomination but . . . Hillary was impressive, especially when she answered questions. Her plans for the economy are specific, detailed and reasonable. (published today on her website) She was able to field any and all questions with in-depth knowledge and plans for handling all issues – coal lobbyists, social security, medicaid health coverage for children adopted from foreign countries (right now there is a 2 year wait), securing borders, electric cars . . . You name it and she handled it. I came away very impressed.

Barack gave his normal very rousing speech and generated a great deal of excitement but then answered only 4 questions and had a great deal of trouble with 2 questions, one about farm subsidies and one about insurance coverage for mental health patients. I think this was largely due to the fact that he was obviously exhausted, but again, I just think Hillary can handle it.

I hope we can have a 16 year dynasty and I have the opportunity to vote for Barack in 8 years.

By the way, I was just on CNN! woo hoo! It’s fun to be in SC right now!!

I am sure Ann is not as excited now, as Barack Obama has been declared the winner (with 0% of the vote counted) and Hillary Clinton is taking second place. But remember, Ann says what I have said as well. Democrats like us will support Obama just as strongly should he get the nomination, and most democrats I have heard feel the same way.

A reader wanted to know my thoughts about the race, and race. I can see where the media focus on race would turn voters off, but hopefully they are like me and it just turns them off from listening to the news, and not from voting. Obviously it didn’t turn the people away from the polls in South Carolina as turnout looks to be huge (especially when compared to the Republicans).

I predict the campaigns (who knows about the media, they are less predictable) will be less focused on race this week as we approach Super Dooper Tuesday, and I would really be surprised if we know the Democratic nominee after that day. But back to race. I am convinced that race is becoming less important to the voters in spite of the media. When you look at the numbers of white voters who voted for Barack, and the number of black voters who voted for Hillary it seems that both candidates appeal to both races. And if that can happen in South Carolina, it could happen anywhere. Even in Alabama.

South Carolina Votes

January 27, 2008

And a South Carolinian speaks.

Ann is a friend of mine since college, and she now lives in South Carolina and reads Bessemer Opinions. She sent me a message this week about the candidates in her state, and gave me permission to share it. Here is her picture and her message.

I had a great time today listening to Hillary explain her plans for the economy. Earlier this week, I heard Barack speak. I have nothing against Barack and will certainly support him if he wins the nomination but . . . Hillary was impressive, especially when she answered questions. Her plans for the economy are specific, detailed and reasonable. (published today on her website) She was able to field any and all questions with in-depth knowledge and plans for handling all issues – coal lobbyists, social security, medicaid health coverage for children adopted from foreign countries (right now there is a 2 year wait), securing borders, electric cars . . . You name it and she handled it. I came away very impressed.

Barack gave his normal very rousing speech and generated a great deal of excitement but then answered only 4 questions and had a great deal of trouble with 2 questions, one about farm subsidies and one about insurance coverage for mental health patients. I think this was largely due to the fact that he was obviously exhausted, but again, I just think Hillary can handle it.

I hope we can have a 16 year dynasty and I have the opportunity to vote for Barack in 8 years.

By the way, I was just on CNN! woo hoo! It’s fun to be in SC right now!!

I am sure Ann is not as excited now, as Barack Obama has been declared the winner (with 0% of the vote counted) and Hillary Clinton is taking second place. But remember, Ann says what I have said as well. Democrats like us will support Obama just as strongly should he get the nomination, and most democrats I have heard feel the same way.

A reader wanted to know my thoughts about the race, and race. I can see where the media focus on race would turn voters off, but hopefully they are like me and it just turns them off from listening to the news, and not from voting. Obviously it didn’t turn the people away from the polls in South Carolina as turnout looks to be huge (especially when compared to the Republicans).

I predict the campaigns (who knows about the media, they are less predictable) will be less focused on race this week as we approach Super Dooper Tuesday, and I would really be surprised if we know the Democratic nominee after that day. But back to race. I am convinced that race is becoming less important to the voters in spite of the media. When you look at the numbers of white voters who voted for Barack, and the number of black voters who voted for Hillary it seems that both candidates appeal to both races. And if that can happen in South Carolina, it could happen anywhere. Even in Alabama.

>Friday Wrap Up

January 25, 2008

>Alice Martin has been busy. The U. S. attorney was in Bessemer last night. No, not rooting out corruption in the city government or indicting more pastors, but speaking at the Bessemer Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet.

As Martin came to the lecturn she said she had a little throat problem and a Bessemer City Council person had given her a cough drop. She said she thought it was OK to take it, but she wouldn’t trust it if had come from the Birmingham City Council. Federal humor.

Prior to speaking in Bessemer she was holding a press conference in which she announced former two year college chancellor Roy Johnson agreed to a plea deal and to cooperate and that the investigation will now focus on legislators and state school board members.

I wonder who has the jitters this morning? I mean, those who are guilty know it.

She may return to Bessemer however, because the Bessemer City council voted this week unanimously to have an audit of the city finances. I have not yet received word as to who will do the audit, but I did hear from two of the council persons last night that another council person wants to “rescind” the vote and appoint a different accountant to perform the audit.

First of all, can you “rescind” a resolution vote? I don’t think so.

Second, think of the reasons a council person might want to change accountants. That’s what I thought. So it looks like somebody’s got something to hide.

As far as accounting for the city finances, I say the sooner the better and let the chips fly.

And I just have to comment on presidential politics beginning with the Republican debate last night. The quacky moment just had to be when Mike Huckabee suggested that Saddam’s (fictitious) weapons of mass destruction might be in Jordan. What a way to make friends in the region. Ignore the really crazy countries and pick on Jordan.

And Rudy dissing the New York Times after they endorsed his rival John McCain. Giuliani’s poll numbers continue to fall…remember, Rudy, a lot of those Florida voters moved there from New York. They remember you. Contrary to how he feels, Rudy Can Fail…unlike the message in this song from The Clash:

If you want to hear a better version of the song, listen to this live version by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros a few years after he left The Clash.

Which version do you like?

They also endorsed Hillary Clinton, their real choice, even over McCain, since they said this about the candidates:

“We have strong disagreements with all the Republicans running for president. The leading candidates have no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq. They are too wedded to discredited economic theories and unwilling even now to break with the legacy of President Bush. We disagree with them strongly on what makes a good Supreme Court justice.”

Well said.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day in South Carolina.

Monday: State of the Union.

Friday Wrap Up

January 25, 2008

Alice Martin has been busy. The U. S. attorney was in Bessemer last night. No, not rooting out corruption in the city government or indicting more pastors, but speaking at the Bessemer Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet.

As Martin came to the lecturn she said she had a little throat problem and a Bessemer City Council person had given her a cough drop. She said she thought it was OK to take it, but she wouldn’t trust it if had come from the Birmingham City Council. Federal humor.

Prior to speaking in Bessemer she was holding a press conference in which she announced former two year college chancellor Roy Johnson agreed to a plea deal and to cooperate and that the investigation will now focus on legislators and state school board members.

I wonder who has the jitters this morning? I mean, those who are guilty know it.

She may return to Bessemer however, because the Bessemer City council voted this week unanimously to have an audit of the city finances. I have not yet received word as to who will do the audit, but I did hear from two of the council persons last night that another council person wants to “rescind” the vote and appoint a different accountant to perform the audit.

First of all, can you “rescind” a resolution vote? I don’t think so.

Second, think of the reasons a council person might want to change accountants. That’s what I thought. So it looks like somebody’s got something to hide.

As far as accounting for the city finances, I say the sooner the better and let the chips fly.

And I just have to comment on presidential politics beginning with the Republican debate last night. The quacky moment just had to be when Mike Huckabee suggested that Saddam’s (fictitious) weapons of mass destruction might be in Jordan. What a way to make friends in the region. Ignore the really crazy countries and pick on Jordan.

And Rudy dissing the New York Times after they endorsed his rival John McCain. Giuliani’s poll numbers continue to fall…remember, Rudy, a lot of those Florida voters moved there from New York. They remember you. Contrary to how he feels, Rudy Can Fail…unlike the message in this song from The Clash:

If you want to hear a better version of the song, listen to this live version by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros a few years after he left The Clash.

Which version do you like?

They also endorsed Hillary Clinton, their real choice, even over McCain, since they said this about the candidates:

“We have strong disagreements with all the Republicans running for president. The leading candidates have no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq. They are too wedded to discredited economic theories and unwilling even now to break with the legacy of President Bush. We disagree with them strongly on what makes a good Supreme Court justice.”

Well said.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day in South Carolina.

Monday: State of the Union.