What have I learned from the last couple of weeks? For one thing, I've found I shouldn't make any sort of promises as to how frequently I'll post around here. For another, I've realized that the Alabama political world is just as sublimely bizarre as it was at last check. Some highlights:
- After decades of back-and-forth squabbling, our state's water wars with Florida and Georgia ended once and for all last week -- at least for a week, until Florida called off the ceasefire due to concerns for the state's mussel and human populations. Their governor also appears to be the only one of the three who hasn't publicly called for prayers for rain. Coincidence? It's called giving peace a chance, guys.
- Attorney General Troy King seems to need to appear in headlines at least once a week, no matter what it takes. Call for parole to be abolished without suggesting where to get the money for the extra prisons that would necessitate? Check. Ask a judge to bar a district attorney from testifying on behalf of the AG office's position? 10-4. Talk about how his office will do "everything they can" to keep former Gov. George Wallace's shooter in a Maryland prison, even when Alabama officials obviously can do nothing about it? Yep.
- State Sen. Harri Anne Smith, R-Slocomb -- last seen associating her name with the governor's race in between bouts of not doing much of note in the Legislature -- has emerged as the early favorite for the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District. But don't worry, political wonks: Fob James' son may well be along to make a race of it yet. And the Democrats might even decide not to forfeit their shot at a rare open seat.
- State Rep. Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale -- he of "bury the gay books" fame -- spoke to a meeting of his local chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. No, really. Gotta commend the fearlessness, if nothing else.
- The state's political future is bright. SGA leaders at the University of Alabama have launched a research group on an issue of utmost importance: getting the school a live elephant for football game days. An enormous, living, breathing elephant that would have to live somewhere, and that presumably would demand its own private dorm bathroom and no suitemate. At least one freshman was skeptical: "You can't just throw an elephant in the middle of the Quad. It has to be thought through."
Given that it's the only thing I've managed to update with any sort of regularity around here, why not do another Saturday live blog? It's next. Hope you enjoy it.