Highway 431 Blog

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Links For Candidates ::

I really need to look at the sidebar more often as I didn't realize that I still had a link up for the Vivian Figures senatorial campaign. Man, wasn't that a waste of web space? Anyway, I've added the Democratic candidates for governor and the 5th congressional district over on the left although I can't find a campaign site for either Steve Raby or David Maker. As soon as I can find one for each of them I will put it up.

I guess that it's about time to get energized!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

From This Morning's Huntsville Times ::

More specifically, from the police beat report:

Big Cove Road: A home was burglarized between 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday. Four pairs of panty hose were stolen.

There must be some sort of back story to this, but we'll probably never know!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Benefit Show ::

Hopefully an upside of health care reform will be that musicians can actually get medical attention! If you would like to help someone in need of covering bills then the show is at Bandito on South Parkway Sunday afternoon and evening.

I'll be stopping in and helping!

Marge Loveday ::

Marge will be performing at Carsons in Hampton Cove tonight from about 8pm 'til 12pm. Come out and listen to some good music. I think I'll show up around 9pm.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Roland Martin On Artur Davis ::

Watch the YouTube video. Martin gets it exactly right and I hope that Artur Davis realizes that he has been called out and he has created a huge problem for himself!

Health Care Reform ::

We have health care reform in spite of Artur Davis. I will continue to pound him because of his "no" vote on the package and I will certainly fulfill my promise to him to not vote for him in his race for the governor's office!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

From Mitchell Howie ::

Forwarded by Pam Miles:

When Parker Griffith votes against the People of North Alabama

By: Mitchell J. Howie

I had a conversation the other day with a gentleman named Robert Hughes in Muscle Shoals. Mr. Hughes asked me if I were in Congress, would I vote for the healthcare reform bill being debated.

I talked with Mr. Hughes about my concerns that, even though the bill reduces the federal government's budget deficit, it might not have the muscle to bring down costs for healthcare for most families in North Alabama. I also had some concerns that with 30 million new, federally-subsidized customers, and no public option or Medicare-for-all, this bill might end up being a give-away to the big insurance corporate interests that got our healthcare system into this ditch to begin with.

I told Mr. Hughes that there were some things about the bill that I did like. In 2010, seniors whose drug costs put them into Medicare Part D's donut hole, will get a $250 rebate to help offset those costs. Next year, seniors in the donut hole will only pay for half of their prescription drug costs, and over the next ten years the hole will shrink. In a decade, all prescription drugs covered by Medicare Part D will be paid for 75% by the program, and the donut hole will be closed.

As I talked with Mr. Hughes, I thought about the fact that, under the provisions of the bill, Alabamians will no longer be able to be denied coverage by their insurance companies, because of pre-existing conditions, and they'll be able to seek preventative care without worrying about exorbitant copays. Pulling this all off while reducing the deficit sounds like a pretty good deal. In fact, once the Congressional Budget Office's final estimate on the merged package being considered by the House of Representatives this weekend came out, I set aside my reservations and decided that if I were in Congress today I would find myself voting for this bill and voting for the small businesses and families of North Alabama.

I would be voting to reduce the federal budget deficit by $130 billion over the next ten years and over a trillion over the next. I would be voting to insert a degree of protection into the healthcare coverage of 430,000 of our neighbors in the fifth congressional district, while bringing another 51,000 into the ranks of the insured. I would be voting to ensure that the thousands of individuals in North Alabama who, today, can be denied coverage because of their pre-existing conditions, are not left without care when they need it the most. And I would be voting to bring $23.4 million in new investment to North Alabama's 18 community health centers.

The fifth district's current Republican Congressman, Parker Griffith, on the other hand has made it clear that he will not be supporting the bill. He has become something of a mascot for Republican opposition to healthcare reform, since his political party flip flop in December, despite the fact that the National Republican Congressional Committee aired a TV ad just a year and half ago, citing an independent review that accused Griffith of misconduct and profiteering off of his patients.

Back on March 6th, he was tapped by his Republican Party bosses to deliver a rebuttal to the President's Weekly Message. Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, he took an opportunity that could have been used to talk about our district, to parrot the same half-truths and talking points that Republicans have offered in place of solutions since the healthcare reform debate began, over a year ago. In place of real solutions, Congressman Griffith and the Washington Republicans offer more tax cuts for the rich, and incentives for insurance companies to cover the healthy and the wealthy, while working families struggle against the status quo.

My own grandfather, Dr. Virgil Howie was a doctor in the fifth district who knew what service was about. He had one of the first medical practices to have an integrated waiting room, and during the 1950s and 1960s, he and the rest of my family faced death threats for his support of civil rights protesters. It is to continue this tradition of service that I am working for the opportunity to serve Alabama's fifth district in Congress, to ensure that the provisions of this bill can be put in place in a way that supports our neighbors and their small businesses, rather than the insurance companies.

It's my belief that North Alabama needs a Congressman who is committed to service, and who will look at issues like healthcare reform in terms of what they can do for the folks right here in North Alabama, not for how they can be exploited for political points. When the healthcare reform bill has passed, that will provide some glimmer of hope that Congress might find its way back to solving problems. North Alabama can help put service back in Washington by electing a Congressman who's committed to service and solving tough problems.

So if Mr. Hughes is reading this today, I'd like to let him know, if I were in Congress today, in light of all of the benefits that this bill will bring to our community, I would have no sane choice but to vote for this bill. However, I'm not in Congress today; Parker Griffith is. And when Parker Griffith votes against this bill, he's voting against North Alabama.

Mitchell J. Howie

107 North Side Square

Huntsville, Al. 35801

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Artur Davis' Position On Health Care Reform ::

I called Davis' Birmingham office this afternoon to ask if his position had changed on his decision to not support the pending health care reform legislation given the CBO mark-up of the long-term costs and savings. The nice lady who answered the phone was emphatic that Davis' position had not changed and that he would not be voting for the bill. I was equally emphatic in stating that if he voted against health care reform that I would never support him in his bid for the governorship and that I would very actively campaign against him. I guess we'll see what happens!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Unemployment Benefit Extension ::

Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky saw fit to hold up H.R. 4691 which, among other things, extended unemployment benefits to millions who have been out of work for months and rely on these benefits for everyday life. Yesterday, under intense pressure from both Democrats and republicans, Bunning allowed the bill to come to the floor for a vote and it passed 78 to 19 with 3 not voting. I'm sure this caused a great sigh of relief from all those affected, but guess who one of the 19 nay votes just happened to be? None other than our junior senator, Jeff (Beau) Sessions. At least Shelby had the good sense to vote yea for his constituents who absolutely do need the help.

I surely wish that we could have found a candidate in the last election cycle who could have, at least, given Sessions a run for the office!

Griffith Take Some Heat ::

Parker Griffith is getting some well deserved criticism of his mailing last week of a thinly disguised campaign mailer which was sent at the taxpayer's expense. The Huntsville Times has picked up on this and there have been several stories on broadcast news. Griffith should become a junior member of "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight"!