The Oklahoma Legislature May Need You to Start Smoking

A question from David Van Risseghem on his Facebook page got me thinking. He asked, “Hey? Is the impending special session being called to help folks quit smoking? Or just to get more money?”

Very quick background for those who don’t know – During the last Oklahoma legislative session a bill was passed enacting a $1.50 per pack ‘cessation fee.’ Senate Bill 845, the Smoking Cessation and Prevention Act of 2017, was designed to bring in about $215 million into the state coffers. Earlier this week the state Supreme Court ruled the bill violates the Oklahoma Constitution for various reasons that are completely correct but not relevant to the discussion here.

Now the question is what to do about the $215 million in taxes (note – taxes, not ‘fees’) that the state will not be receiving, but was included by the legislature in the 2017-2018 budget appropriations. Conventional wisdom seems to be that the governor will call for a special session of the legislature. I’d say that’s a certainty as soon as the legislative leadership devises a plan to […] → Keep reading

Is Marrying A Computer Coming?

If you think being allowed to marry a computer sounds ridiculous, so did same-sex marriage in the past. I never would have thought in my younger days that two men or two women would be legally allowed to get married. And not only that, failing to participate in the festivities could find you in legal hot water, sued out of business and up to your eyeballs in debt if you’re a florist or cake maker and opt to not put your stamp of approval on such an event.

We live in strange times. And it seems the times are on the cusp of getting even stranger.

A man named Chris Sevier is suing the state of Utah for the right to marry his laptop. The Utah Attorney General’s Office tried to have the lawsuit dismissed for a number of reasons, the main one being that a laptop cannot consent to marriage. But, a federal judge declined to dismiss the suit and allowed Sevier to amend his complaint.

Fox 13 Salt Lake – “For example, the Proposed Amended Complaint alleges Mr. […] → Keep reading

Sanctuary Cities – Intent Follows the Illegal Immigrant

As part of his immigration plan, President Trump pledged during his campaign to block federal funding to sanctuary cities within the first one hundred days of his administration. “Block funding for sanctuary cities. We block the funding. No more funding. Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars,” Trump said last August. States could lose funding as well as counties and cities. Some could face huge penalties for noncompliance. New York City stands to lose $1.8 billion in federal dollars.

I sincerely hope he keeps this pledge.

Sanctuary cities, if you don’t know, have laws or unwritten policies in place to limit how much local law enforcement cooperate with federal immigration officials when dealing with illegal immigrants. Illegals who have been arrested for crimes in sanctuary cities are typically allowed to serve their city jail time and are then released instead of being turned over to the feds for deportation. Some cities will turn over illegals who commit serious felonies but shield all others.

The liberals harboring these criminals are doing so at the expense […] → Keep reading

Obama Commutes Sentences For Drug Traffickers

On Thursday this week the White House issued a press release saying that President Obama granted commutation to 72 federal inmates, a follow-up to the 98 commutations he granted last week. For his presidency, this is a total of 955 individuals, including 324 life sentences.

Part of the press release takes a shot at mandatory minimum sentences and calls for Congress to enact “broader reforms needed to ensure our federal sentencing system operates more fairly and effectively in the service of public safety.”

Hogwash.

Obama has now commuted the sentence for more federal prisoners than all other presidents since World War II combined. Reportedly, all of the prisoners were convicted of nonviolent drug offenses but some also were convicted for nonviolent weapons offenses.

White House counsel Neil Eggleston said in the press release, “The President is committed to reinvigorating the clemency authority, demonstrating that our nation is a nation of second chances, where mistakes from the past will not deprive deserving individuals of the opportunity to rejoin society and contribute to their families and communities.”

More hogwash. The vast […] → Keep reading

Oklahoma State Questions

Here is a summary of the State Questions on the Oklahoma ballot and my brief take on each.

BALLOT TITLE FOR STATE QUESTION NO. 776

This measure adds a new section to the Oklahoma Constitution, Section 9A of Article 2. The new Section deals with the death penalty. The Section establishes State constitutional mandates relating to the death penalty and methods of execution. Under these constitutional requirements:

The Legislature is expressly empowered to designate any method of execution not prohibited by the United States Constitution. Death sentences shall not be reduced because a method of execution is ruled to be invalid. When an execution method is declared invalid, the death penalty imposed shall remain in force until it can be carried out using any valid execution method, and The imposition of a death penalty under Oklahoma law­—as distinguished from a method of execution—shall not be deemed to be or constitute the infliction of cruel or unusual punishment under Oklahoma’s Constitution, nor to contravene any provision of the Oklahoma Constitution.

My vote – YES

You can thank liberals for this […] → Keep reading