What’s your weather today?



Dr. John Ed Mathison

By John Ed Mathison

The weather plays a big part in how we live our lives every day.  We dress and plan accordingly.  We can complain about the weather, but complaining doesn’t change the weather.  The weather is what it is.  We can’t change the weather, but we can be prepared to cope with it positively!

   2017 was the costliest year ever for weather related disasters in the U.S., reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Three huge hurricanes and a couple of wild fires combined caused much discomfort, danger, and a huge cost.  Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria plus thirteen other weather and climate disasters cost citizens of the U.S over 306 billion dollars!

I learned a new term, “bomb cyclone,” a few of months ago when this unique weather condition hit the Northeastern U.S. It caused wind chills as low as 100 degrees below zero in New Hampshire – that’s cold!  On the same day in Australia, they had the most catastrophic heat wave in eighty years when temperatures hit 117 degrees Fahrenheit – that’s hot!   A six mile stretch of highway in Victoria melted into soft sticky asphalt.  Same day – different weather.

   The stories that have come out of 2017 show a lot of folks who complained constantly and had a terrible year – while others decided to let God help them make their lives meaningful during these tragedies.  I’ve told many of these stories in the one minute devotional I do every morning on several radio stations and on Facebook. 

   I was attending a social function on a recent Saturday night.  The person had invited about 35 friends to a cookout.  He gathered everybody together on his front porch when it was time to eat.  He commented that he appreciated everyone being there and then revealed that it was actually his birthday.  He said he invited everybody because they were friends, but he had especially invited me because he needed someone to say the prayer.  (I looked around, and I could understand that.)  He then said that the main reason he invited me was to be in charge of the weather.  I quickly reminded him, “I’m in sales, not management.”

   There’s truth in that statement.  We need to stay out of management.  We can’t control things.  We can’t manage the universe – God is in charge of that.  God is in charge of everything.  Our greatest pleasure in life comes when we accept God’s ownership of everything, and then find our place where we fit in to make our lives count in his universe.

   Everything we face today – including the weather, God is in charge of it.  Our task is to get out of the management business and be more effective in the sales responsibility.  We are to let our light shine – to be the salt of the earth – to be the light of the world.  (Read Matthew 5:13-16.)  We are to share the Good News of God’s love for every person.

   I read somewhere that God is in charge of the flowers and trees – I am in charge of the seeds and weeds.  That’s a powerful truth.  When we learn the basic responsibilities of what God does and what we are to do, life begins to take a new dimension.  Abraham Lincoln once said, “Everyday I want to look for an opportunity to pull up a weed and to plant a flower where it might grow.”

   The weather is not your enemy – it’s God’s gift to you to be used in a productive way.  I once heard someone say:

   “Whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot –We’ll weather the weather whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not.”

   Let God help you make this a great weather day!

Those who have the gold



By Steve Flowers

Our antiquated 1901 Constitution was designed to give inordinate power to the Legislature.  During the Wallace years, the King of Alabama politics, George Wallace, usurped this power and controlled the Legislature from the Executive Branch of Government.  Over the last couple of decades the Legislature has wrestled this power back and pretty much excluded the Governor from their bailiwick.  Governors Bob Riley and Robert Bentley were ostracized and pretty much ignored.  Their proposed budgets were instantaneously tossed into the nearest trashcan.

   Legislative power is derived from controlling the state’s purse strings.  Thus the old adage, “Those who have the gold set the rules.” The Legislature has gotten like Congress in that incumbents are difficult to defeat.  Therefore, the interest will be on the open Senate and House seats.  Most of the Montgomery Special Interest money will be focused on these Legislative races.

   Speaking of Montgomery, two open and most interesting Senate seats in the state will be in the Montgomery/River Region. One is currently in progress.  Montgomery City Councilman, David Burkette, Representative John Knight and Councilman Fred Bell are pursuing the Democratic seat vacated by Senator Quinton Ross when he left to become President of Alabama State University.  Burkette has already bested Knight and Bell in a Special Election last month.  A rebound race is set for June 5.

   The Republican Senate seat in the River Region held by Senator Dick Brewbaker is up for grabs.  This seat was expected to attract numerous well-known aspirants.  However, when the dust settled at the qualifying deadline two relatively unknown candidates were the only ones to qualify.  Will Barfoot and Ronda Walker are pitted against each other in a race that is considered a tossup.

   The Etowah County/Gadsden area was considered one of the most Democratic areas of the state for generations.  However, in recent years it has become one of the most Republican.  State Representative, Mack Butler, should be favored as a Republican.  Although, polling indicates that veteran Democratic Representative, Craig Ford, could make this a competitive race in the Fall.  He is running as an Independent.  

   Veteran State Senator Harri Ann Smith has represented the Wiregrass/Dothan area admirably for over two decades.  She has been elected several times as an Independent.  However, she has decided not to seek reelection. Her exit leaves State Representative Donnie Chesteen in the catbird seat to capture the seat.

   Republican State Senator Paul Bussman, who represents Cullman and northwest Alabama, is a maverick and very independent.  This independence makes him powerful.  He will be reelected easily.  

   State Representative David Sessions is predicted to win the seat of Senator Bill Hightower who is running for Governor.

   Most of the state Senate’s most powerful members are unopposed or have token opposition.  Included in this list of incumbent State Senators are veteran Senate leader and Rules Chairman, Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia, Senate President, Del Marsh, R-Calhoun, Senate Majority Leader, Greg Reed, R-Jasper, veteran Senator Jimmy Holley, R-Coffee, as well as Senate leaders Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, Clay Scofield, R-Marshall, Clyde Chambliss, R-Autauga, Steve Livingston, R-Scottsboro, Tom Whatley, R-Lee, and Shay Shelnutt, R-Gardendale. The Senate leadership will remain intact, as will the House leadership.

   Almost all of the House leaders are unopposed or have token opposition.  This prominent list includes:  Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Madison, Budget Chairmen, Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, Speaker Pro-tem, Victor Gaston, R- Mobile, Rules Chairman, Mike Jones, R-Covington.

   In addition, there are numerous Veteran lawmakers, who will be reelected, including Lynn Greer, Mike Ball, Jim Carnes, Howard Sanderford, Kerry Rich, and Jimmy Martin; as well as rising leaders: Nathaniel Ledbetter, Kyle South, Connie Rowe, Tim Wadsworth, April Weaver, Paul Lee, Terri Collins, Danny Garrett, Dickie Drake, Chris Pringle, Randall Shedd, Allen Farley, Becky Nordgren, Mike Holmes, David Standridge, Dimitri Polizos, Reed Ingram and Chris Sells.

   Even though there are 22 open House seats and 10 open Senate Seats, the leadership of both Chambers will remain the same. 

There are some competitive House seats that will be interesting. In the Pike/Dale County Seat 89, Pike Probate Judge Wes Allen is pitted against Troy City Council President Marcus Paramore. Tracy Estes is favored to replace retiring Mike Millican in Marion County. Alfa is going all out for Estes. David Wheeler is expected to capture the open House seat in Vestavia.

The Presidential scoreboard



By Josh Moon

Over the weekend, the same Facebook post kept popping up on my feed. It was, essentially, a long whine about how poorly Donald Trump has been treated by pretty much everyone since becoming president, and at the end there was a list of names of regular people who were announcing their support for the pathetic human. 

   I was not shocked to find that most of the names were from Alabama. 

  Why people in one of the poorest states in America — a state filled with lower-middle class and poor workers — ever supported this billionaire conman is strange enough, but why they’re still supporting him today is a complete mystery to me. 

  The only answer that even makes sense is that maybe these men and women are wrapped so tightly in the conservative news bubble — with Fox News and Breitbart and the like serving as the American version of state-run news — they don’t know how badly this grifter has lied to them. 

   So, let’s go to the scoreboard — using Trump’s own words — and take a look at just how ridiculous still supporting this guy is.  

Let’s start with …

   “I’m gonna say, ‘Mexico, this is not going to continue, you’re going to pay for that wall,’ and they will pay for the wall.” — Donald Trump, Aug. 5, 2015

  Not only has zero miles of border wall been built, you won’t believe who’s paying for that YUGE wall. Here’s a hint: It’s not Mexico, and it looks a lot like the person you see in the mirror. 

    “We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare. You will be able to choose your own doctor again.” — Donald Trump, July 22, 2016

  You’ll be shocked to discover that Obamacare was not repealed. And there was no Trump health care plan that covered everyone for much less, as he also promised. The plan he did introduce — so awful that even Congressional Republicans didn’t have the heart to pass it — cost ten times as much and covered 20 million fewer people. 

    “We will bring back coal and get clean coal” to “put you back to work.”  — Donald Trump, July 28, 2016

    Since Trump took office, coal jobs have continued to decline. Almost as if it’s an outdated energy resource that’s being replaced by less costly, more efficient resources. Because that’s exactly what’s happening. Which is why the last president — you remember, the black guy you thought was Satan — tried to give you job training in those new technologies. Instead, you trusted the billionaire who literally thought “clean coal” meant scrubbing the black off. Good call. 

    “When I see the crumbling roads and bridges, or the dilapidated airports or the factories moving overseas to Mexico, or to other countries for that matter, I know these problems can all be fixed, but not by Hillary Clinton. Only by me.” — Donald Trump, June 22, 2016.

     We’re well over a year into this presidency now and Trump has just dumped out his “plan” for infrastructure — an utterly impossible dream that would be unworkable even if he hadn’t ballooned the annual deficit with his stupid tax cuts for the wealthy. 

    “On day one of a Trump administration, the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China a currency manipulator.” — Donald Trump, Nov. 9, 2015 (Wall Street Journal)

     Still not labeled a currency manipulator on Day 475.

     “We are getting rid of the carried interest loophole.” — Donald Trump, Aug. 11, 2016

    Narrator voice: He did not get rid of the carried interest loophole. 

    “I’m so much more into the middle class who have just been absolutely forgotten in our country. Everybody’s getting a tax cut, especially the middle class.” – Donald Trump, May, 2016

     Funny story: the tax plan will actually benefit the middle class the least, with the top 1 percent receiving 84 percent of the cuts by 2024 and 53 percent of Americans actually paying more. And it doesn’t stop there.

     Trump has been engulfed in scandal since his first day, when he started a stupid fight over his inauguration crowd size, and has slowly eroded any decency associated with the office of U.S. president. He’s been caught paying off a porn star, has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault, has spent more on golf vacations in one year than Obama did in three, has run through more White House staff than most presidents do in two terms and he’s employed some of the swampiest of swampy DC insiders. 

     And none of that even touches on the ongoing Mueller investigation, which has already led to four Trump associates being indicted and the raid of Trump’s lawyer’s office. 

      Yet, still, these people are signing their names in support of this clown. 

      I guess this is how Kim Jong Un remains in power.