Quote of the Day: Alabama Wants To Ignore the Federal Government Because God Says So

FILED TO: Politics

“Who has the right to take what God’s given a state?”

— Alabama Public Service Commission commissioner-elect Chip Beeker, standing against new national EPA regulations by extolling the virtues of God-given coal

At a news conference yesterday — because apparently Alabama’s elected officials are beyond public embarrassment — Chip Beeker and the equally unfortunately named PSC president Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh cited God’s will as the reason they want to defy the federal government.

The EPA has put into place new carbon pollution measures aimed at decreasing emissions nationwide 30-percent over the next 16 years. The problem is that for Alabama to come into compliance with the new restrictions, it would have to cuts its own emissions by more than a quarter — and Alabama is a state that relies heavily on coal and coal dollars.

Hence, you get these two clowns actually standing in front of a bunch of cameras and microphones and invoking the name of God in the hope that he’ll, I guess, smite the feds.

“We will not stand for what they are doing to our way of life in Alabama,” said Cavanaugh. “I hope all the citizens of Alabama will be in prayer that the right thing will be done.”

You know, I couldn’t agree more with that quote up top. God has given Alabama an abundance of stupidity. Who are we to try to take that away from them?

(h/t Salon/Alabama.com)


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  • Gump

    I don’t want to hear one single thing bad said against Alabama (commonly know as the incest state) There are politicians and judges in this country in favor of letting muslims rule themselves by sharia law in this country so this is only fair!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pugiron

    The only thing dumber than an Alabama politician is a Crimson Tide fan.

  • Jezzer


  • Jeff

    Like I said in “Palin of the South”…WTF where do these people come from…

    • feloniousgrammar

      Do you really want to know? Just avoid them when they make themselves known, if you can do it without drawing unwanted attention to yourself. They’re half proto-nazis and half Invasion of the Body Snatchers. When they start shrieking, back up slowly until you can run to (relative) safety (all safety is relative). Imitating them may not be possible, even with a lot of practice, because they’re so foreign to the rest of our culture.

    • D_C_Wilson

      I think the “of the South” part was self-explanatory. One of the most vocal factions of the crazies is the neo-confederate lost causes who are obsessed with punishing the federal government for burning down their great-great-great-grand pappy’s plnatation and forcing their grandfater to serve “those people” at his lunch counter.

  • dbtheonly

    But to the issue guys.

    I cite this as the ultimate in the Libertarian fallacy. Alabama has the coal. And no one can tell them not to mine it. But when they burn it; they pump pollutants into the air that does not stay within Alabama. They derive the benefits, while dumping the costs on the rest of us. Why is that so hard to see? Why does that argument get used over and over?

    Does Twinkle not know? I assume he doesn’t care. But the Libertarians keep asserting (stuff) over & over that consistently ignores the fact that pollution, in all it’s various forms, doesn’t stay restricted to it’s area.

    It’s Romney’s stupid, “I built this.” argument all over again.

    • Aaron Litz

      Libertarians are Chaotic Neutral. For all their blather about personal liberty and responsibility, they do not care what happens to others as long as they get their FREEEDOOOOM (which is so utterly and tragically ironic considering that the main thing they want “freedom” from is the responsibility for the effects of their actions on others, and from their social responsibility to the rest of humanity.) Anarcho-Selfish Freedom Bullies.

      They really need to be sat down and have explained to them that humans evolved as social animals, and the only reason our species even survived is because we are adapted to band together to solve problems. They take the romantic idiocy of the “lone wolf” and try to create a philosophy of self-sufficiency around it, without understanding that lone wolves wither and die away from the pack. (Hell, we are even adapted to band together with other species, as our long partnership with canines shows. Canines, equines, bovines, etc.. )

      For all of their love of being “rational” and Ayn Rand’s claims of the “scientific basis” of Objectivism, the entire basis of their ideology is based on the romanticism of the individual triumphant over all obstacles, flying in the face of objective reality of humans as social creatures.

      Then again it shouldn’t come as surprise, considering that the entire philosophy of Rand was based on nothing but her romantic/erotic fetishization of rugged he-men combined with her neurotic hatred of “collectivism” based on the childhood trauma of her rich family’s wealth being taken by the Bolsheviks.

      • feloniousgrammar

        Yes, and A does not equal A when one of the objects isn’t A. Rather than using reason and logic to make appropriately fine distinctions, they use their “reason” to oversimplify to the point that they’ve created caricatures of real and substantial forces.

      • Regina Wanassa

        Righto, Aaron. I wouldn’t regard Libertarian belligerence as neutral, though. And while they do blather on about Ayn Rand and Objectivism, I think they (and militant “sovereign individuals” on the Right) have taken a shine to Benjamin Constant, and they’re trying to pawn off Romantic Era “passionate” liberty (thoroughly French and European) as Enlightenment rational liberty (thoroughly American). Take a gander at Constant’s “The Liberty of Ancients Compared with the Moderns.”

        Constant pretty much upturns American Constitutional liberty in favor of an impotent state comprised of privileged individual merchants free from all public authority, social authority, and government interference.

        He’s pretty batty altogether; he doesn’t get “the ancients” quite right; he interprets them in ways that the Framers of the Constitution absolutely did not, and he projects post-French revolutionary government and Bonapartism onto “the ancients.” He’s a “modern” loon (Romantic Era “modern”) but he reads like a “modern” Conservative-Libertarian loon from the 21st century:

        The Liberty of Ancients Compared with that of Moderns (1819) – Online Library of Liberty


        • Aaron Litz

          The Chaotic Neutral was a D&D reference, sorry. I can’t call them actually Chaotic Evil because they would have to be out pillaging and murdering. to deserve that. But Chaotic Neutral fits.

          I’ll check out the link, thanks. Hadn’t heard of Benjamin Constant.

          • Regina Wanassa

            Many apologies for my ignorance. :) I did a brief search on Chaotic Neutral so I might better understand the reference, and I think I see what you mean. Spot on. By the way, thanks again for posting that Lovecraft documentary. I enjoyed it.

          • Aaron Litz

            My pleasure, glad you liked it! I try to spread the word about that great documentary whenever I can. :)

    • Regina Wanassa

      Thank you for situating the issue so well, db. Alabama coal is an American issue that all Americans should care about. The bleating of Alabama’s provincials should receive push-back from the whole citizenry. Alabama’s coal deposits aren’t “theirs,” they’re “ours.” Really, the feds should take over all energy resources from states and the private sector – oil, coal, natural gas….

      • dbtheonly

        Thank you. I’ll read the stuff you cited to Aaron when I can.

        I don’t view the nationalization of energy as being politically feasible. Do you?

        Lincoln pointed out that Alabama was won in a war by the US. If anything the US owns the coal. But it’s not about owning the coal. It about not being responsible for the resulting pollution.

        • Regina Wanassa

          I do think nationalization is politically feasible in the near future. Not right now and not easy to devise, but doable with the right focus. I also think it’s an absolute necessity. Feasibility is a fickle thing. It’s just a matter of political will. It’s just a matter of talking about what nationalization might look like, first. Second, expect political leaders to develop plans for doing it, tying it to long term goals. It’s a matter of culture and expectation. The Economist has a relatively good review of Norway’s nationalization schemes:

          Norway: The rich cousin | The Economist

          You’re absolutely right about being responsible for the resulting pollution from coal, which is why I think some form of nationalization will eventually be unavoidable. It’s too important an issue to entrust to any state.

          Yeah, when you have some time, read Constant. You might find it amusing for how similar in values and attitudes 21st century Conservative-Libertarians are to Romantic Era radicals who openly scoffed at rationalism and the very legitimacy of government. Take note of what he says about government surveillance. This is one area that he projects onto “the Ancients.” Constant was, indeed, surveilled by French authorities because some of his frequent companions were Carbonari sympathizers.

          He was inconsistent in his views, but he was a persuasive intellectual.

          • dbtheonly

            I can’t share your optimism on nationalization from a Congress that can’t even agree on “cap and trade”.

            “Second, expect political leaders to develop plans for doing it, tying it to long term goals.” Yeah, when Paul Ryan just stated that climate change happens. Get over it.

            Republicans talk about the economic consequences of environmental protection. I’ll talk about the economic consequences of doing nothing.

            But I’m not optimistic.

          • Regina Wanassa


            I understand your position, yet I also think that what you express is precisely the outcome desired by wagers of political warfare and foes to progressive society. I guess I don’t consider the absence of political will among Right Wingers an obstacle to steering the contours of the discourse or to proactive planning. Pragmatism has its place, but if it precludes expansion of thought or constructive action then that uber-utilitarian approach becomes stifling. FDR faced tremendous opposition to the New Deal, yet the New Deal was realized because the ideas contained therein were tangible, palpable, and positively pragmatic.

            I suppose I view it in terms of structural change. Of course Conservatives (on the Left and on the Right) will oppose anything that disrupts “free” market capitalism. I don’t see that as an obstacle. That’s a known, a given. As for Republicans, their objectives are definitely structural and institutional. So far, they’ve done a fine job at ensuring that America remains a Conservative and subsumed nation. They have a vision to implement and they are determined to see it happen.

            Concerning Progressive structural policy, I would say the more Republicans protest, the more opportunity for expanding the national discourse concerning how we as a nation treat our energy resources., the more opportunity for turning the tables. Frankly, I think the real obstacle is Democrats.

            Here’s a good example of why Conservatives are winning in the long term: Senator Leahy just introduced a 97 page bill in the Senate which would lead to a complete transformation of NSA Surveillance. It’s unnecessary, ill-considered, panders to irrationalism, and deflects from major comprehensive reform elsewhere. This is another structural, institutional win for Conservatism handed to them on a silver platter by Democrats. If Democrats spent as much time attending to real issues instead of manufactured crises based on propaganda, perhaps real and meaningful reform could happen in other more critical spheres like our national resources. It’s not the Paul Ryans that we need concern ourselves with. It’s Democratic focus (or lack thereof).

            You’ve misidentified my position as optimistic. It isn’t. But, I’m not cynical due to Right Wing Extremism. I’m cynical due to Democratic Conservatism, Democratic dithering and refusal to progressively engage big ideas.

          • dbtheonly

            I’d point out that President Roosevelt faced a much weaker Republican Party than President Obama does. We’ve discussed the comparisons between the attacks on both Presidents. And the New Deal took its lumps from the nine old men of the day.

            We’ve also discussed the issue of whether Democrats are a hinderance to Progressive policies.

            I’m unfamiliar with Sen. Lahey’s bill; but I’m not unduly concerned by the “Snowden revelations”.

            In the end, discussions are great, but wothout the votes, you’re nowhere.

          • Regina Wanassa

            Point taken. :)

      • feloniousgrammar

        This reminds me of the drowning of New Orleans— the talking heads talked about the loss of “culture”; which is sad — but the following is a Wikipedia excerpt that spells out some ways that makes New Orleans a vital national interest:

        The Port of New Orleans is the center of the Lower Mississippi River port complex in Louisiana. Connected to America’s heartland by the great 23.3 thousand kilometer inland waterway of the Mississippi River and its tributaries, the Port of New Orleans is the port of choice for a wide range of cargoes that include rubber, coffee, steel, containers, and manufactured goods. Some 6,000 vessels and 500 million tons of cargo travel up and down the Mississippi River each year, including over half of the country’s grain exports. With this extremely high rate of traffic, the Port of New Orleans is seen as the center point of American waterway trade.

        The Port of New Orleans is the United States’ only deep-water port served by six major railroads, which is more than any other port in the country, that give it cost-effective rail service to the destinations throughout the country. These six railroads are linked by the New Orleans Public Belt, a 25 mile long railroad. The productive private maritime industry in the Port of New Orleans helps it produce year after year and giving it the United States’ largest market share for imported steel, plywood, coffee, and natural rubber.

        Who owns the ports in New Orleans? Who owns the coal in Alabama? There is no “People’s Port” in New Orleans, and no “People’s Coal” in Alabama. So, when the topic is coal in Alabama, who are we talking about?

        It was common to see people say that we should just abandon New Orleans and let the ocean take it. Nitwits.

        • Regina Wanassa

          Well, the Port of New Orleans is a particularly interesting case, isn’t it? Briefly pondering your questions, my mind immediately goes to Jefferson’s reports on the navigation of the Mississippi to Washington in the early 1790’s and, of course, the Louisiana Purchase.

          Pertaining to the former, Jefferson wrote:

          “The Roman law, which, like other municipal laws, placed the navigation of their rivers on the footing of nature, as to their own citizens, by declaring them public (‘flumina publica sunt pax est, populi Romani.’).

          The question of state control versus federal wasn’t at issue here. The main questions centered around other nations navigating the Mississippi. But the Louisiana Purchase changed that. And really, the main objective of the Louisiana Purchase wasn’t doubling U.S. territory, but to obtain the Port of New Orleans for the United States. Louisiana didn’t prove a good river steward for quite a long time, and the port is now governed by commissioners appointed by the governor of Louisiana. I think that’s unwise. If it were a federally appointed commission, for example, the whole of the citizenry might more readily regard the Port of New Orleans as a matter of national interest. One might say the same for the Great Lakes or any other natural resource.

          I would say it isn’t New Orleans or the state of Louisiana who “own” the Port of New Orleans, but the American people.

          What about the Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta?



        • dbtheonly


          A question we (or our grandchildren) will face. Given rising sea levels; at what point do we “pull the plug” and give up trying to hold back the ocean from reclaiming an area? Is it time to give up & let the Mississippi cut it’s new path? Is it time to give up on levees?

  • DrLearnALot

    I hope they’re not eating fruits and vegetables that God gave to other states. Or the Dell computers She gave to China.

  • David Barnes

    sounds like this guy is a shoe-in for the next leader of Israel

  • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

    Twinkle won the last statewide office held by a Democrat. I will be damned if I am going to let him speak for me.

  • Tom Mullen

    “our way of life”

    • dbtheonly

      I think that concept went out with 1865.

  • ssj

    What’s the matter with the person that painted the picture of Jesus? Everyone knows he had blue eyes.

    • Fritz

      And blonde hair.

      • dbtheonly

        There you go, confusing Thor and Jesus.

  • formerlywhatithink

    So can the federal government stop it’s efforts on behalf of miners with black lung disease? After all, if God meant Alabama to have coal, surely he meant for the miners to get sick from that coal, right? The next time miners want the government to work on their behalf to deal with the side effects of coal mining, can the government just tell them to go pray? Or, will these saintly Republicans praising god for the manna that is coal, step up and pay for the medical treatments, and payments, necessary for the miners? Fucking loons.

    • feloniousgrammar

      And, when “God” dumps horrific pollutants into the water supply, or collapses a mine he just wants to help. Why don’t the victims feel helped? It’s just more of the mystery of God, I guess.

  • Christopher Foxx

    “Who has the right to take what God’s given a state?”

    Who has the right to take out of the ground what God’s so carefully buried away?

  • Draxiar

    Hrm….maybe God’s will is being done through the EPA…did they ever think if that?

  • Daigoro Ogami

    How is “Twinkle Cavanaugh” not a porn star name?

  • neonnautilus

    I totally agree with Alabama. They should keep the coal in the ground exactly where God put it and a curse to anyone who touches it or tries to move it.

    • Jason E

      I heard god put the oil in to lubricate the tectonic plates?

  • trgahan

    “Who has the right to take what God’s given a state?”

    Is God also giving your state the second highest amount of federal tax dollars (for the least amount paid back) year in and out? All that coal doesn’t appear to have ever paid the bills down there in ‘Bama….maybe God is skimming off the top?

    • feloniousgrammar

      God wants people who are eligible for Medicaid expansion and other benefits of the ACA to suffer and die, so why shouldn’t everyone in Alabama suffer and die over EPA regulations? It’s all about Alabama, right? And God.

  • Dizivi

    If God wants inbreds and cousin humpers, then he can take them.

  • xServer

    Funny, wasn’t that the same argument used to defend slavery in Alabama?

    • hanadora444

      Funny how God always seems to tell these guys exactly what they want to hear.

  • D_C_Wilson

    “We will not stand for what they are doing to our way of life in Alabama,”

    Yeah, the last time you clowns in the Deep South said that, things didn’t go too well for you.

    If God wants to stop the implementation of these new rules, let Him stop them Himself.

    • feloniousgrammar

      Yeah. Isn’t it weird how much time, effort, and hot air fundamentalists use to do God’s work for God? I’m starting to expect that they’re not doing much of anything but working for their pet peeves and money, money, money for the rich and the people the rich pay to beat the peasants.

  • CL Nicholson

    because apparently Alabama’s elected officials are beyond pubic embarrassment

    I know its a typo Chez, but I’ve just go some image of the imbeciles showing up without pants, with their man bits hanging out during the press conference – because you know Adam & Eve.

    As for the matter at hand – yeah, I as a church deacon, love how some so-called Christians seems to denounce evolution & embrace Young Earth Theory but will offer up their children’s health to the Altar of Dead Dinosaur Rock.

  • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

    the equally unfortunately named PSC president Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh

    Yeah, anybody named that shouldn’t be under the mistaken impression that God likes them at all.

    • Aaron Litz

      The real question: is there an Icingdeath Andress Cavanaugh?

      I probably wouldn’t mess with that person.

      • dbtheonly

        I wouldn’t worry Aaron. But if there’s a couple who’d name their kid after Adolph Hitler, we’re likely to see Voldemort, Sauron, and Strahd soon enough.

        • Aaron Litz

          As long as someone doesn’t name some poor kid Drizzt. The pronunciation problems alone would cost the kid decades of therapy. (Drizzit? Drisst? Drizz’t? Augggh!) I’m sure it’s happened though. (As an aside, I know of someone who’s online handle is Tyler Do’Urden, a truly wonderful combination.)

          I know there has been an influx of kids named Logan since about the late ’90s, courtesy of our favorite Canadian subject of secret government X-periments (my niece knew about 3 in her 1st grade class alone.)

          I read online somewhere that there has been a rash of baby girls named “Khaleesi” because their parents watching Game of Thrones are unaware that it’s Daenerys’ title and not her name. (Khal, Khaleesi.)

          I personally would have loved to use Sasami as a middle name for a little girl, but never a 1st name. (From my pet favorite show; If you know the reference I’ll send you a slightly used No-Prize.)

          • dbtheonly

            If you don’t mind advice, a baby is a human being, & saddling her with going through life answering the question, “How do you spell that?”, is a lot.

            And I’m praying that no one decides on a boy named Jayne.

            But I don’t need a “No-Prize”. I’ve got several left over from Marvel before the buyout.

          • Aaron Litz

            That’s why it would be a middle name; you wouldn’t really have to worry about most people even knowing it, let alone needing to spell it. Not like naming a baby is something I’m ever going to get to do.

            Besides, unusual references and the like are what middle names are there for! :)

          • feloniousgrammar

            Jim Hogg, who was a Texas Governor at the turn of the 19th Century. He names his daughter “Ima”. I consider this to be child abuse and would like government agencies to give children with such devastating first names the right to umitigated right to change their first names and be called by that name everywhere besides the family home. A child given that right would have a more clear indication that one or more of their parents is an abusive asshole who would psychologically abuse their child or children from birth.

          • dbtheonly

            I’m not sure I’d go as far as abuse. Unearthly clueless is indisputable though.

            As I understand it, upon reaching 18 an individual has the right to petition a legal name change, with the only requirement being showing that there is not a fraudulent purpose.

  • Jason E

    Which does Alabama rely on more coal $’s or federal $’s?

    PS. God just told me Alabama was one of her first mistakes

    • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk


  • Spectricide

    Who Would Jesus Sue


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