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

Kid Rock for the Senate? Don’t Be Daft

I’ll never understand the celebrity worship in this country. Someone makes a few movies, stars in a television show or has some hit songs and all of a sudden people are falling prostrate before the celebrity and swearing total emotional devotion. Celebrity worship played a role in Donald Trump being elected president and even he seemed to be aware of it, saying that he could shoot someone on 5th avenue and he wouldn’t lose any supporters.

And now there is a lot of talk about electing Kid Rock (real name Robert Ritchie) to the U.S. Senate from the state of Michigan. Seriously? Why? What is it about this man that appeals to people, politically? When word first broke of his possible candidacy, I was stunned at the number of people who seem to think it’s a great idea. Even Texas Governor Greg Abbott seemed excited about the possibility of Senator Ritchie.

IT’S HAPPENING! New poll has Kid Rock leading Debbie Stabenow. THIS will shake up Washington. #tcot #PJNET @TexasGOP https://t.co/HtRWFe5U8m

— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 24, 2017

[…] → Keep reading

Have I Traveled to a Parallel Universe?

In every movie and television episode I can think of where the protagonist somehow travels to a parallel universe, one of the chief differences is that those who are good and bad have swapped roles. I’m outing myself as a Trekkie here, but the most notable example I can think of is the original Star Trek series episode, Mirror, Mirror, in which Captain Kirk and others accidentally swap universes with their counterparts. Kirk suddenly finds that the Federation is a conquering empire and his ship, the Enterprise, is a battleship sent on a mission of domination and murder.

I haven’t yet worked out the science of it how it happened but I think I may have been transported to a parallel universe.

For weeks now the news from the Oklahoma state capitol building has been proposal after proposal to increase ‘revenues’ by various methods. Let’s pause for a moment here and dispel the euphemism, ‘revenues,’ and call it by its true name, taxes. Anytime you read or hear someone say the word ‘revenues’ just automatically replace it word the word […] → Keep reading

Oklahoma the Worst State for Women

Five years ago this week I wrote a post called Oklahoma – Second Worst in which I noted the now-defunct website iVillage.com ranking Oklahoma as the “second worst” state for women. The reason? A lack of abortion providers in our state.

“Choice is extremely limited in Oklahoma, where 96 percent of counties have no abortion provider and there are only six such doctors in the entire state. Health insurance companies are banned from covering the procedures (except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the mother’s life.) Women seeking an abortion have to wait 24 hours after undergoing a sonogram where they will be offered a chance to view the fetus and are required to listen to a description of the image on the screen. The state legislature is working to limit choice even further. The state Senate recently passed a Personhood bill that gives legal personhood rights to embryos from the moment of fertilization. The bill is awaiting action in the House. A “Heartbeat” bill requiring doctors to tell women they have the right to hear the […] → Keep reading

OK County Sheriff – Just Say No to Mike Christian

Of the seven people running for Oklahoma County Sheriff it’s hard to imagine that any of them could have a worse record than Mike Christian. If you live in Oklahoma County I’m sure you’ve been receiving his almost daily mailers touting the Purple Heart award he received as an OHP trooper. As if that makes him qualified to be our sheriff. But there are a lot of things in Mike Christian’s background that will never be on his mailers because they show dishonesty, unethical behavior and just plain shadiness.

Here’s what he doesn’t want you to know.

NewsOK – The Republican candidate for Oklahoma County sheriff was disciplined while a state trooper for misconduct involving a female police cadet and for lying during an internal affairs investigation, a notice of the action shows.

Mike Christian also was disciplined for bringing beers to cadets at the Oklahoma Police Corps academy in Ada.

Christian was found to have violated the patrol’s rules of conduct while a counselor in 2001 at the patrol-run police academy for college graduates. After the internal affairs investigation, […] → Keep reading