Category Archives: Economic desperation

Uh… thanks?

The Associated Press: Turkish PM visits troubled Greece, backs arms cuts.

Considering that they’ve been fighting longer than anyone except Iraq and Iran, I’m not sure that if I was Greek I’d be that wild about Turkish support. But that’s just me.

Note that the PM of Turkey is named “Recep Tayyip Erdogan”. If you rearrange the letters of this name, you get, “A Cad Eyeing Property”. Nobody tell the Greeks this.

Troy versus the oil company

AG: BP Trying To Get Alabamians To Give Up Right To Sue Over Spill | TPMMuckraker.

So, Alabama’s only Attorney General, Troy King, in between bouts of trying to shield bingo parlor operators from prosecution, is going after BP for the company offering lowball settlements to everyone on the Gulf Coast for how the company sort of poisoned the entire Gulf of Mexico with the oil rig fiasco. BP, meanwhile, is likely already funnelling money to Luther Strange, the Business Council candidate for the Republican AG nomination. Troy is, in this matter, right (that almost never happens) and I find myself on his side. I feel dirty.

Who says there’s no good news?

Operation Rescue facing ‘major financial crisis,’ may shut down – Breaking News from the Press-Register – al.com

The Great Recession would almost be worth it just for that.

The Tuscaloosa News is going to lose its shirt

TideSportsExtra set to launch Monday | TideSports.com | The Tuscaloosa News | Tuscaloosa, AL

This is not going to work.

Maybe he can sell one of his suits

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford can’t afford to pay lawyer, judge says – al.com

Crazy Larry, who makes $45,000 a year as mayor and has another job with Budweiser, will get his lawyer paid for by the court, meaning by the taxpayers, who are also paying for the prosecutors and for the judge.

We’re number one! Whoo!

Colonial BancGroup, 4 Other Banks Shut – ABC News

Colonial, based in Montgomery, is the largest bank failure this year. And you thought Alabama couldn’t create havoc with the economy.

The Birmingdome of Roads

Alabama Department of Transportation sets first public meeting on three plans for proposed Finley bypass – al.com

Birmingham City Councilwoman Maxine Parker said she grew up hearing her granddad and other men in her Collegeville community talking about the Finley bypass.

They’ve been talking about this since 1968! They’ve built something like a hundred miles of interstate in Jefferson County alone since then, and they still haven’t gotten beyond the preliminary planning stages on this. I would guess — I wouldn’t want to call the people who have run Alabama over the years racist or anything — that it has something to do with the community that it would serve.

Hooray, things are getting worse more slowly!

U.S. Jobless Rate Hits 8.9%, but Pace of Losses Eases – NYTimes.com

It’s a great day, really

After 75 years, lights out for Bruno’s Supermarkets – Business News from The Birmingham News – al.com

Bruno’s is getting auctioned off in bits and pieces today. Unless someone buys the whole chain — which is extremely doubtful — the best case scenario is that someone like Kroger’s buys a lot of the stores and keeps them open. But many stores are certain to close, especially in already hard-hit poor areas. Let’s congratulate the people responsible:

  • The Bruno family, whose pursuit of a quick buck destroyed Joe Bruno’s legacy.
  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, who began the process of stripping the chain for parts, allowed stores to deteriorate, and saddled it with debt, driving it into bankruptcy the first time.
  • Ahold, the Dutch company that took over from KKR and did basically the same stuff for a few years.
  • Lone Star Funds, the current owners, who have apparently stripped whatever KKR and Ahold couldn’t get from the carcass, and which has allowed the stores to deteriorate to such a degree that some of them are actually scary to enter.
  • The employees, who are about as happy to work there as you’d expect, and who have refused to allow the union to make any further concessions to keep the stores open.
  • The bankruptcy court, which is allowing the management to pay out $40 million in bonuses to poor, abused executives of the company.

And, okay, Wal-Mart and Publix. Still…

That was a mistake

Judge sentences former Compass Bank teller to two months in prison after she pleaded guilty to stealing $14,500 from a customer – al.com

If she’d stolen $14.5 million, she would have gotten off with probation.