If we were to compile a list of the 100 Dumbest Things About Oklahoma, our ridiculous liquor laws would probably make the Top 10. They’re confusing, bureaucratic, drenched in regulation, contradict free market principles, and protect monopolies, yet for some reason, our small business, limited-government politicians turn a blind eye to them. Granted, that’s because most of our lawmakers double as nutty moralist social conservatives, but that’s for another conversation.
The absurdity of our liquor laws are really magnified when it comes to beer and wine sales. They just don’t make sense. Gas stations and grocery stores are only allowed to sell low-point beer, but they can keep it cold. Liquor stores can sell high-point beer, but it can’t be refrigerated. Only liquor stores can sell wine, but they are closed on Sundays and Holidays, so if you want to grab a last-second bottle of Pinot to accompany you through back to back episodes of Game of Thrones and Mad Men you’re S.O.L.
The laws are also goofy when it comes to how you can produce and distribute beer and wine in this state. If you need proof, check out this story about a Tulsa brew house that was busted for selling beer that was too strong.
Yesterday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 550 by a vote of 69 – 23. The bill overturns a dated 1941 law that prevents retailers from selling merchandise for less than 6-percent above cost. Basically, what the bill does is legalize those crazy “Black Friday” sales in Oklahoma. That’s pretty good news if you like to wait in line at Wal-Mart to buy cheap Dynex TVs.
Before the bill passed, it was debated on the house floor by state lawmakers. One who spoke in favor of the legislation was House Co-Majority Leader Dennis Johnson (R-Duncan). He owns a small business and had some insightful thoughts on the issue. The most interesting was how he deals with those pesky customers who try to “Jew him down on a price.”
Here’s a clip:
Yesterday, Mary Fallin joined Kevin Ogle, Kirk Humphreys and Jari Askins on KFOR’s Sunday morning political news program Flashpoint. They discussed a variety of important topics, including cutting the state income tax, repairing the State Capitol and Kevin Ogle’s little brother’s website, The Lost Ogle.
Check out the video. The fun stuff starts about 3/4 the way through at around the six-minute mark:
Remember back in 2009 when “Do You Realize???” became Oklahoma’s official state rock song? I sure do. To me, it was a symbolic event that showed the world that not all Oklahomans are self-righteous, fun-hating, socially conservative nut jobs dressed in Wranglers and cowboy hats; that some of us enjoy thought-provoking experimental pop songs about life, death and the earth’s rotation.
Well, screw all that. It looks like the conservative fun haters win again. Thanks to Mary Fallin, “Do You Realize” is no longer our state’s official rock song. Via something called eCapitolNews:
An early term decision by Governor Fallin means a song by The Flaming Lips no longer holds the title of Oklahoma’s official state rock song. Some critics are calling the move political, but according to Gov. Mary Fallin’s Media Director Alex Weintz, “Do You Realize??” was only officially the state’s rock song for a couple of years. Fallin decided not to renew former Gov. Brad Henry’s executive order recognizing the song when she took office in 2011.
The Oklahoma Historical Society offered Oklahoma voters the chance to choose the state’s official rock song in 2009. Voters overwhelming chose “Do You Realize??” by Oklahoma City band The Flaming Lips, a hit single off of their 2002 album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
The establishment of a state rock song was first proposed through in a 2009 Senate joint resolution, by Sen. Mike Schulz, R-Altus, and Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs. The resolution (SJR 24) failed in the House after Lips bassist Michael Ivins wore a red and yellow t-shirt emblazoned with the hammer and sickle images found on the Chinese and former Soviet Union flag to a photo op at the Capitol. Just days after taking the opportunity to have their pictures taken with the band, several conservative lawmakers voted against the measure, many expressing offense to Ivin’s shirt.
After the resolution failed to pass the House, then Governor Brad Henry stepped in and made “Do You Realize??” the official rock song of the state through an executive order.
Every time a new governor is elected, the executive orders issued by their predecessors must be approved within the first 90 days of any new governor’s term. Weintz told eCapitol that in Fallin’s first three months her administration was trying to focus on their priorities, and the state rock song simply wasn’t one of them.
I like how Alex Weintz chalks this up to a “two year thing.” Did he not live here in 2009. Is he saying that we nominated all those songs, chose a special panel, and cast our votes for something that wasn’t intended to be permanent? Doesn’t that defeat the point of having something like a state rock song?
Also, are we really supposed to buy the bag of B.S. that she was just too busy with “other priorities” to sign extend Governor Henry’s proclamation? She obviously had time to complain about the temperature in her hot tub and travel to Ireland for a wedding. Even if you’re Mary Fallin, it still only takes five seconds to sign a sheet of paper. Instead of lying to us about “two year things” and “other priorities,” just tell us the truth.
Actually, we already kind of know the truth. During the 2010 Governor’s race, we had special Q&A’s with Mary Fallin, Jari Askins and Drew Edmondson. We asked each candidate the same 15 questions. Question 11 was:
What do you think of “Do You Realize??” being Oklahoma’s official rock song?
You know how Oklahoma City and Tulsa always seem to make those cheesy “Top 10 Cities in America to Start a Business” or “21 Best Places in America to Raise a Family as You Waste Your Life Away?” magazine lists?
Well, Detroit is the opposite of that. The Auto Capital of the World makes them, too, but generally only the bad ones. You know, things like Despair Magazine’s “12 American Cities That Will Make You Sad In A Heartbeat,” Cold Sore Monthly’s “The Best Places to Catch Herpes,” and Debt Weekly’s “Top 10 Destinations for Bankruptcy Attorneys.”
Because of all that, this new campaign ad released by Tulsa mayoral candidate Kathy Taylor is kind of strange. It’s a blatant rip-off the classic Chrysler 200 “Detroit” ad that ran in the Super Bowl a few years ago. It was the one that featured Eminem driving around looking all angry while some guy with a deep, raspy, blue-collar voice talks about everything Detroit has been through or something.
If you need your memory refreshed, here it is. It’s actually a pretty cool ad, but it still can’t hide the fact that Detroit sucks:
Here’s Kathy Taylor’s mayoral ad. I think it was produced by “We Ran Out of Original Ideas Years Ago” ad agency:
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