Monthly Archives: February 2008

Sewer bonds now flushable

S&P cuts JeffCo sewer bonds to ‘junk’ status – Breaking News from The Birmingham News –

And down the toilet Jefferson County’s finances flow…

What the hell is going on over there?

Machete confiscated from UA dorm |

Last week, the University suspended a student for bringing “vintage” rifles to school. And I got an email today about a “disturbance” where some anti-war demonstrators put on a “drama” wearing military clothing.

The student said he used the machete to chop vegetables, Lane said.

Yeah, that’s a good idea. I personally use grenades to mash potatoes.

Sewers to be repossessed?

Jefferson County tells creditors it may not be able to meet its sewer debt obligations-

Apparently, rising interest rates could make it impossible for Jefferson County to service its debt. Whose fault is this? Why, Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford’s, of course. He was the genius who came up with a financing scheme that was so awful that Moody’s couldn’t find any parallels. Meet your future, Birmingham!

Not by me

Motor sports park sought |

Gerald “Book Burner” Allen wants to make Tuscaloosa County build a “motorsports park” for this guy he knows and his friends. It would cost about $16 million (a public golf course would cost $6 million) and the County would have to borrow money to pay for it. Allen, presumably, figures that people who are driving around in circles aren’t reading.

Well, they certainly do seem to be plans

Langford details plans for Birmingham’s Fair Park – Breaking News from The Birmingham News –

Tuscaloosa developer Stan Pate will be a partner for retail development at the site, Langford said.

Because there’s nothing better than tying your development to a known crook who also likes to get himself tied up with shady politics and is from out of town.

The mayor said the sports-themed development, which will include commercial and residential components, will be open by September 2009. “It will take on the same flavor as Five Points South,” he said.

You can just do that arbitrarily you know. Take a neighborhood with 100+ years of history and photocopy it on the other side of town.

Langford said another company, which he declined to name, is interested in buying the naming rights for the development’s indoor track. That should bring in $3.5 million to $5 million, he said.

Riiiiight. In fact, $3.5-5 million will get you a major sports league facility. SPORTSBUSINESS – Stadium naming rights

Some of those are low-ball offers because of prior relationships between the rightsholder and someone on the inside, and many are older, but there’s no way that an indoor track facility in Birmingham, AL gets seven figures. The only way that the naming rights would bring in that much is if there’s something shady involved. So, probably, he’s right there.


Twinkle Cavanaugh announces bid for PSC presidency – Breaking News from The Birmingham News –

It’s always fun to have Twinkle running for office.

What a radical idea!

Birmingham City Council wants school system to manage laptops without involvement of foundation-

The Council wants to bypass the unnecessary BMLL-controlled foundation and just have the school board control the laptops. No word from Langford on why this would be horrible, but I assume it’s coming.

Another look into Birmingham’s future

Jefferson County sewer debt rating lowered; costs expected to rise-

S&P lowered Jefferson County’s bond rating to BBB, two spots above junk. So they’re broke, and they likely won’t be able to borrow any more money without paying punitive interest.

I really need to stay away from national politics

Here, 180 degrees of the subject:

BBC NEWS | Africa | Ivory Coast’s ‘big-bottom’ craze

A national dance craze in Ivory Coast has spawned a black market in treatments claiming to increase one’s bottom size.

The dance in question has been inspired by DJ Mix and DJ Eloh’s hit song Bobaraba, which means “big bottom” in the local Djoula language.

Rip-off artists!


Clinton to Obama: ‘Shame on you’ –

Two points:

1. It’s a little late for this sort of thing, and honestly it’s time she gave up. She can’t win. All she can do is not lose, leading to a nasty, party-splitting convention fight. She can’t be President this cycle, and she isn’t helping the party or the country by dragging this out.

2. Personally, I’m a free trader, and think little of anti-NAFTA demogoguery; furthermore, Clinton’s health care plan is better than Obama’s (though I really don’t think that their differences are that major, compared to what’s going to happen when this thing goes to Congress.) But her defense on the NAFTA thing is ridiculous. She’s run her entire campaign on Bill’s record. When she talks about her “experience” it’s as First Lady, not as a legislator; Obama actually has significantly more experience in public office. You can’t run on the overall Clinton record and then say that you opposed NAFTA but couldn’t stop it. Anybody looks good if you only count the good things. You get the economic prosperity, but you also have to deal with NAFTA, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and welfare reform.

UPDATE: You know what? Thanks and all, but I don’t want my comments section to turn into a political free-for-all like so many others. So I’m closing comments on this one.