Friday, February 20, 2009

Bobcast: A state Senate stalls

Latest Bobcast is up. Listen here or read below.

Imagine this scene at the worksite. The loading dock foreman says to Ed, “Hey, we need those boxes to the warehouse.”
Ed responds by standing up and stiffly reciting a bunch of rhetorical nonsense. Never straying anywhere near relevance or the boxes he’s supposed to move, Ed prattles on throughout the morning.
Finally, the exasperated foreman shrugs, pays Ed for a full day’s work, sends him home and tells him he’ll see him tomorrow, when Ed might or might not do the whole thing all over again.
Doesn’t seem very likely in the real world. Of course, Goat Hill is frequently an unreal place.
Stalling is often standard in the Alabama Senate. The so-called legislative body in recent years has witnessed such blathering, known formally as a filibuster. In recent terms, the state Senate has spent nearly two-thirds of its annual 30 working days in filibuster-shortened sessions.
The sorry tradition has started again for the 2009 session. Over the course of seven days, Phil Poole, a Democratic senator from Tuscaloosa, twice halted proceedings in disputes that might best be described as highly local and highly personal.
And on the games go as if Alabama wasn’t facing a massive $560 million budget shortfall, rapidly declining employment and a collapsing economy that could hit the state’s working-class and the worksite extremely hard.