Every Monday at Reran Tragedy, Editor-in-Chief Cal Alabaster Jr. draws on his considerable experience in Southern politics to round up news, notes, and blatantly pasted-in press releases that readers may have otherwise missed.
ANDALUSIA — Alabama leaders on Friday excitedly announced that they had awarded an Andalusia-area McDonald’s franchise more than $2 millions in tax incentives and subsidies to create a part-time “milkshake science production specialist” position at the store.
“Better days are ahead of Alabama’s hardworking men and women who have no work to work hard at so they can be hardworking,” said Gov. Robert Bentley, occasionally waving to motorists passing a celebration ceremony in the parking lot of the merged gas station and restaurant. “And I am proud to say that myself and my Republican colleagues in the Legislature have done the only thing anyone in a political position in Alabama can apparently think of to actually get employers to come here: Run around blind-folded throwing money at random potential employers until they finally take it from us.
“Lord knows that we can’t get jobs to come to and stay in this state any other way. We think.” The incentive package granted to the Andalusia McDonald’s gives the store:
- $500,000 in tax that would otherwise be withheld from employees’ pay checks.
- $500,000 in straight state funding toward an expansion of the facility that Bentley touted would produce “the third-finest non-Chick-Fil-A Playplace north of Florida, west of Georgia and south of Tennessee.”
- $1 million for, as it is classified in a state budget listing, “whatevs.”
“I am so glad that our Republican leaders could show leadership for developing new jobs that the Democrats couldn’t when they controlled the Legislature, except for when they threw $250 million at Mercedes[-Benz] for some 2,000 jobs and $1 billion for 2,700 jobs at ThyssenKrupp that reasonably might never happen,” said Rep. Mike Jones, R-Andalusia. “Of course, we could do things like fix the education system to where it trained a pool of workers that would draw and keep employers in Alabama instead of just tossing money at people and hoping the jobs they create stick around, especially since the residual political effects created by the jobs that makes all this spending justifiable are usually marginal at best.
“But then you wouldn’t have events like today where people come out and say, ‘Boy, these political leaders sure are doing something for my economy, aren’t they?’”
Gary Butler, the franchise’s owner, said that because his location sells the highly popular St. Patrick’s Day “Shamrock Shakes,” he needed some part-time help to work his shake machine on Friday nights and weekends, which he described as “the most Shamrockin’ times.”
He said that he appreciated the state giving him “all that money and tax deductions and stuff,” but he plans on laying off the new worker after the Shamrock Shake promotion expires next month.
Sparks probe makes AG investigators reconsider facial hair
Investigators in the Alabama Attorney General’s Office say the amount of mustache grooming tools and guides they have found while probing former Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks has them reconsidering growing facial hair themselves.
“Yeah, it looks so cool on the TV—Adrien Brody shaping his weird, fake-looking facial hair around his weird Adrien Brody face,” said an investigator, who asked not to be named because the Attorney General’s Office’s probe into Sparks is ongoing. “But all those grooming tools, the amount of time he spent using them, all the blog posts he read about dealing with in-grown lip hairs—look man it’s not worth it.”
Sparks, who is now paid $80,000 a year to pretend that Bentley’s administration is doing anything for rural Alabamians, suddenly shaved his trademark mustache midway through his campaign for governor. The move is considered his campaign’s second biggest mistake—though a long ways behind his error in going all-in with Alabama’s probably corrupt gambling interests and having his campaign effectively ended when those interests were shockingly indicted on corruption charges.
Another investigator said that despite those connections, Sparks largely seems like a guy too heartwarmingly dumb to have been tied-up in a vote-buying conspiracy of the kind now on trial for a second time in Montgomery.
“He really seems like he was a big ol’ teddy bear, and definitely not a guy ready to run for governor at all—and boy was he the wrong guy for a year when the [Alabama] Democratic Party‘s future was at stake,” the investigator said. “He’s just such a nice guy, which makes it so surprising and so tough for us that we’re gonna bring all these white slavery charges.”
Blatantly posted-in, actual press release sort of thing: Scott Beason tells families not to take their kids to the movies
Future congressman and potential greatest Alabama leader ever Scott Beason‘s primary campaign is totally not running low on cash in comparison to well-financed and also well-funded in campaign terms incumbent Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus of Vestavia Hills.
And that is totally not why he totally sent out the following desperate letter to supporters in his bid against Bachus next month (emphasis below theirs):
I need your help! I am trying to do my part to get Scott Beason elected to Congress. Scott is the person I believe will fight for us in Washington and help turn our country around. We are in a mess, and I am very concerned about the America we will be passing onto our kids and grandkids if something doesn’t change soon. …
While I’m not a wealthy person, I plan to make a small sacrifice and donate as much as I can. My family can skip going to the movies once and that would be a $50.00 donation . ….
We can use all the help we can get! Thanks so much for your time! Have a blessed day!
So remember when your kids are begging you to see such hits as “Act of Valor” and “Big Miracle” during the always busy mid-February movie season, there are much more Scott Beason uses for that money.
Mildly politically relevant Facebook statuses of the week
Spencer Bachus: “I look forward to setting the record straight, and I have some privileged information that things are going to work out real well for me.”
Alabama Democratic Party: “Satisfy your lady, go-friend! Gain up to three inches. She will be much happy in sleep!”
Scott Beason: “Anybody explain to me what insider trading is. Like when you let the dog poop indoors instead of outside except with trading in something? Something that probably ain’t poop? Wikipedia page really confusing, not helpful. Asking for a friend’s congressional campaign agatinst an incumbent with a lot of money accused of insiding tradery stuff who needs to make voters who don’t really get what of it is care about it.”
“Don Eugene Siegelman liked a video.”
This week in Alabama history
The first Alabama and Auburn football game was played this week in 1893 in Lakeview Park in Birmingham. Auburn won 32-22.
To cope with the defeat, Alabama fans immediately poisoned or otherwise killed every tree in the park.
Reran Tragedy is Weld’s satirical blog about politics and life in Alabama and the South. Much of what you will read here is fictionalized, except for all the parts that are unfortunately true because they are about politics and life in Alabama and the South.
The artist known as Cal Alabaster Jr., if that is his or her real name, may or may not also be the author of the Alabama humor blog called “King Cockfight.” If true, you may read Cal’s work there at kingcockfight.wordpress.com. You can also follow Cal on Twitter @KingCockfight or email Cal at firstname.lastname@example.org.