Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Video Fun: The Phonies at Fox on Ever-Rising Gas Prices

The Wit & Wisdom of Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

As gas prices continue to fall in Tulsa and around the nation, it's interesting to recall the way the Republicans attacked President Obama for his supposed role in raising gas prices.

Here, for instance, is the brilliant political/economic analysis of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the sage of Kentucky, speaking in February of this year:
This President will go to any length to drive up gas prices and pave the way for his ideological agenda.

Mitt Talk: Fun with Actual Audio

Monday, June 18, 2012

Oklahoma's Shame: A Grandstanding Legislature (oh, and Governor, too)

AltTulsa has been out of touch lately—don't ask—but even with one eye open we've noticed that the Republican leadership 'round these parts has been, well, dumb.

That's the conclusion of one of our favorite observers of the state scene is Arnold Hamilton, editor of The Oklahoma Observer and a columnist for Urban Tulsa Weekly.

In a recent review of the legislative session, Hamilton noted that our elected official are remarkably good at "offering solutions in search of problems." 

As an example, Hamilton cites a GOP favorite, the "open carry law," which allows folks with concealed carry permits to strap on a six-shooter for all the world to see. 

Hee-Haw! It's gun-totin' time in SoonerLand!

Hamilton's comment: "My goodness—is that really the message we want to send to the rest of the country? You think the brightest minds and best companies will be pining to relocate to a state that thinks it's still ensconced in the wild, wild west?"

Or what about the new law that mandates drug tests for welfare recipients? The Republicans love this idea, since  we all know there are thousands of free-loadin' druggies on the dole.

Except, as Hamilton notes, they aren't. "This law does not do anything of significance that DHS wasn't already doing," Hamilton notes.

He continues:
This was Grandstanding 101—yet another triumph of style over substance, giving [Gov. Mary] Fallin and Co. a platform to hoodwink rabid rednecks into believing the state's Powers-That-Be are pokin' a stick in the eyes of those who dare get sumthin' for nuthin'.
Well put, Arnold.

The state's leaders pose and bluster, all the better to polish their far-right credentials. As for tacking the state's real problems—well, those are hard. They can't be bothered with that stuff.

As Hamilton notes, "real leadership is in short supply at the state Capitol these days."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Oklahoma Is Beer Country—Really

True, the Sooner state is not known as a beer-maker's paradise, but there are some interesting (and tasty!) developments in Oklahoma brewing.

We would note, for instance, recent releases from Tulsa's Marshall Brewing Company. For summer sipping, Marshall recently released its Arrowhead Pale Ale.  The brew has been described as "an American pale ale crafted as a lighter, more quaffable ale that is complemented by a unique aromatic citrus notes from its hops."

Quoted in the Tulsa World, brew master Eric Marshall said Arrowhead was very popular last summer, which promoted the brewery to release this year's batch earlier in the season.

A link to Marshall Brewing is here

Meanwhile, the historic Choc Beer Company in tiny Krebs, Oklahoma, just won a silver medal for its Choc 1919 beer at the 2012 Brewers Association World Beer Cup. The 1919 beer is an American-Style Wheat Beer.

The World Beer Cup, we understand, included 799 breweries from 54 countries and 45 U.S. states. Given the scope of the competition, we're pretty confident that Choc 1919 will be worth trying one of these hot summer afternoons.

For more information about Choc beer, click here.

ALSO: In case you missed it, Urban Tulsa Weekly published a "summer brew" cover story a few weeks back. You can read their beer reviews here

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ron Paul Backers vs. Oklahoma GOP in 'Raucous' Oklahoma State Convention

This is old news, but it's worth a moment to recall the fun and games of last month's Republican state convention in Oklahoma City.

It was a "rollicking" good time, according to press reports, complete with some philosophical (and physical!) fights between Rep. Ron Paul's rabid believers and more mainstream Oklahoma Republicans.

Here are some of the lowlights, as reported by Michael McNutt of The Oklahoman:
• Paul backers booed Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin 

• Paul backers booed former Minnesota governor and presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty

• A Paul supporter reported being hit in the head by Romney supporter

• The convention got "slogged down" in fights over credentials, so much so that Gov. Pawlenty's luncheon speech had to be cancelled and luncheon money refunded
Wow! Thanks to Paul's zealots, Oklahoma Republicans were—and are—an unorganized mess. For those of us on the other side of the aisle, this is good news.

The GOP hijinks remind us of the old Will Rogers quip: "I'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat."

In the Sooner state today, that applies to the Republicans.

Will Tulsa Rep. John Sullivan Go Down in Flames?

Rep. John Sullivan is nobody's idea of a heavyweight. If anything, the First District congressman is a ineffective right-wing cipher, a politician with no vision beyond getting himself reelected by thoroughly inattentive GOP voters.

But this election season, Sullivan may have met his match. His challenger this year, Jim Bridenstine, is more accomplished and smarter than Sullivan—that's a really low bar, of course—and even more Hard Right.

In Oklahoma, Republicans can never be too far right—we're the Reddest State in America, after all. So Bridenstine is going way out to the right, all the better to appeal to the talk radio crowd and oust Sullivan.

Bridenstine, by the way, graduated from Rice and has an MBA from Cornell. Oh, and he's a Navy pilot. Sullivan, who graduated from NSU, has no military experience. Sullivan does have experience at the Betty Ford Clinic, but this isn't really a great thing in politics.

AltTulsa's crystal ball is always a little murky, but we'd put our money on Bridenstine. Sullivan is a fabulous slice of right-wing baloney, but he's not much of a leader.

As for us, we're voting for John Olson, the Democratic candidate, Army veteran and Tulsa businessman. As far as we can tell, Olson is a reasonable human being and a thoughtful guy, which is more than you can say for most of the First District Republican voters.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Update: Oklahoma City Worries about Chesapeake's Woes

As noted in this space last week (see below, Chesapeake Energy is—or has been—a high flyer in the Oklahoma City economy in recent years.

But the company has taken a hit recently, both by low natural gas prices and by questions about its CEO and his financial arrangements.

This is potentially bad news at the other end of the Turner Turnpike, which was the subject of report this morning on NPR's "Morning Edition."

Listen to the report here.