As a reporter, it was always fascinating how much the people in charge and the people with power were supposedly up to no good. Not in the decently frequent but relatively mundane forms of malfeasance and general governmental stupidity I spent an awful lot of time checking out, but in the dreamed up ways that usually belligerently anonymous callers would go on and on to me about.
For example, there was the gentleman who assured me that they would zone in a crack house — no, literally — as soon as they annexed his virginal neighborhood. Presumably next to the new firehouse. They come in pairs, you see.
Then there was the woman who demanded that they had given her a $20 Wal-Mart gift card in a drawing but had not bothered to put any money on it — just to mess with her poor old soul. I asked her if she had called the people she won the gift card from before talking to me and asked if they had activated it. She had not.
And then there was the man who discovered a conspiracy theory — probably reaching to the White House and beyond — connected to their malevolent placement of a pole near some property he owned. I wish I could flesh out that theory for you, but he cursed me out 15 minutes into the conversation because he did not think I was taking the pole seriously enough, concluding before he hung up that even though he had called me he “would not wipe (his) damn ass with (my) damn paper.” I can only assume that since then the war has continued. A lot like Terminator. Except with a pole. Continue reading “LETTERS TO DIXIE: No sale”
The Fix at Washingtonpost.com has been putting together a list of the first families, the political dynasties, for each state with the help of readers. The compiled list is out today.
The Wallaces (George, Lurleen, and George, Jr.) and Folsoms (Big Jim and Little Jim) are Alabama’s entries on the list.
For whatever [...]
The ALGOP this week launched a campaign to remind Alabamians that Democrats have been running the state legislature for 136 years. (If you’re counting days on, say, an oDEMeter, that means that sometime in the 137th year it would click over to 50,000.) [...]
I have seen little mention of a fairly noteworthy story coming out of the primary elections: Alabama is poised to elect a woman to Congress for the first time in a regular election. Two women from Alabama served briefly in Congress after the deaths of their husbands who held the seat; one of them [...]
In August, Wade on Birmingham is giving us Birmingham Biggest’s Crooks, a “celebration of Birmingham’s most notorious crooks, whether they be liars, thieves, extortionists, swindlers or thugs.”
You get one a day, ending on August 31 when Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford goes on trial in federal court for charges of bribery and conspiracy.
Upon her confirmation, Regina Benjamin would actually become the third Alabamian to serve as U.S. Surgeon General. Alabamians Luther Terry (appointed in 1961) and David Satcher (appointed in 1998) also served in the role.
Luther Terry is responsible for one of the more visible roles of the U.S. Surgeon General. From [...]
The Anniston Star has placed in their no login required section, the first of a four part series about this Civil Rights era murder.
You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.
I have been interested in the vote by Tom Butler (D – Madison) for Rodger Smitherman (D – Birmingham) as state Senate President pro tem last week and in what that might mean for the dynamic in the state Senate this year. [...]
Dr. Glen Browder’s four part essay on Alabama’s new racial order and its future concludes at the Birmingham Weekly. At the end are links to the other parts of the essay.
In this installment, he discusses and cites research on the current and future state of race and Alabama politics. A [...]
A four part essay by Glen Browder, former Congressman and now a political scientist begins at Birmingham Weekly.
An excerpt to wet the whistle:
So, what would Wallace and King say about Alabama and the South if they were alive today?
Sadly, they would realize that racism extends into the new century. But [...]
Justice Antonin Scalia in a recent interview was asked how he could maintain his friendship with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg despite such ideological polarization. Justice Scalia responded, “I attack ideas, not people.” Sadly, such a view seldom makes its way into politics. Mudslinging is by no means a recent development in American or Alabama [...]
Life moves at a little slower pace down here at the end of the dirt road and as temperatures climb, there’s no better place to be than sitting on the front porch with a cold glass of tea. Long, slow afternoons watching the heat radiate off the hay field allow a great deal of time to reflect upon where we find ourselves in Alabama today. The death of over sixty local bills in the most recent legislative session shows that Alabama is still mired in the problems of the past. The essential functions of our municipal and county governments are inextricably linked to the will of the Legislature. Among the bills that died in the Senate this session were bills requesting additional expense allowances by the Lowndes, Perry, Lee and Marshall County Commissions so that these governmental bodies could better serve their local constituencies. Other bills that withered in the waning days of the session sought to set restrictions on the proximity of commercial dirt pits in Mobile County to residences, or to increase court costs in Macon County, or to allow the Russell County Commission to increase sales and use taxes. Why must our local governments seek permission from the Legislature before undertaking even the most mundane tasks? The answer to that question lies in the antiquated 1901 Constitution, but the root causes reach back much further.
Continue reading “The past is never dead, it isn’t even past.”
Republican state Sen. Harri Anne Smith had a fundraising reception Tuesday night in Enterprise for her campaign for the AL-02 Congressional seat. A noteworthy name on the Host Committee list was developer Ronnie Gilley.
This session Smith introduced a bill to reverse regulations allowing electronic bingo [...]
Two Alabama Political Blasts from the Pasts have released new books. While both pols were once at the top of the state’s political heap, the books could not be more different.
The more traditional release is a biography of former Alabama Governor John Patterson. The book Nobody But the People is actually written [...]
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Wow… a fabulous source told me a very interesting story that I repeated here. A commenter did some research and revealed that the story was not true. I checked with my source who said that the story was a well-worn chestnut and who was very surprised to find also [...]