Politics is all the rage now. Not only are we fresh off the presidential election and inauguration, but state legislatures are in session all across the land. And now, in the early stages of the sessions, come all manner of bills and debates. Here in Oklahoma, there’s discussion down at the Capitol about abortion, nuclear power and the state budget. And how can we mention state budgets without thinking of California, where a stalemate over the budget could lead to the elimination of 20,000 state jobs. In Alabama, an early-stage bill deals with increasing the level of alcohol allowed in beer in the state. But Alabama is not the only state mulling a beer-based piece of legislation. In Oregon, beer brewers, distributors — and likely consumers — are about to be hit with a whopper: A bill proposing a 1,900 percent increase in beer taxes. That’s right. 1,900 percent. Taxes. Increase. Let those words sink in. Proponents of the bill say Oregon is near the bottom of the country when it comes to malt beverage taxation, and funds from the increase could support numerous programs. Opponents say the measure would force small brewers to close and cost jobs. The Thirsty Beagle – while not necessarily opposed to a tax increase that would bring Oregon in line with some of its regional counterparts — thinks 1,900 percent is 100 percent a little too dramatic.