One of the biggest stories to break this beautiful weekend has to do with the Citigroup/Wachovia and now possibly the Wells Fargo/Wachovia deal. The FDIC had brokered a deal with the financially troubled Wachovia to be bought out for $1 a share ($2.2 billion) by Citigroup. Four days later, Wachovia announced a much more lucrative deal with Wells Fargo, and Citigroup balked. This Associated Press article, reprinted in the Birmingham News, says a judge in New York has temporarily blocked the deal, and explains why this is important to Alabamians:
Wachovia has thou'adsands of Birmingham stock owners from its $14 billion ac'adquisition in 2004 of SouthTrust Corp., then the second-largest bank in the state.
Those stock owners are probably pushing for the Wells Fargo deal, in which Wells Fargo would pay 7 times more than Citigroup to purchase all of Wachovia.
Birmingham News columnist John Archibald harps on Birmingham's staggering murder rate, mixing in obscure Alabama history with ease. Birmingham has had 71 homicides this year according to BhamWiki's running list, which puts us on pace for 93 for the year. May we never reach that number.
James L. Evans penned a revealing opinion piece in the Mobile Press-Register this morning regarding politics and the pulpit. According to Evans, "33 pastors from all across the country deliberately broke the law" today by endorsing a political candidate from the pulpit. It's illegal for tax-exempt organizations to endorse a candidate. The pastors were encouraged a conservative organization called the Alliance Defense Fund, which hopes to challenge the law in Supreme Court.
The churches risk losing their tax-exempt status, which Evans points out is not "an inalienable right." He states clearly that "tax exemption is a privilege." Here's Evans' succinct opinion on the subject:
If preachers want to play politics from the pulpit, to throw the full weight of the Divine Presence behind some measly political party, that's fine.They should renounce their tax exempt status and become what they truly want to be: a precinct house for local politics. Just don't expect the rest of us to pay for it.
There has been some consternation about the loss of 11,760 endangered watercress darters due to the mangled removal of a beaver dam at Roebuck Springs. The dam's removal cause the pool to drain rather quickly, and the darters were left beached. Katherine Bouma details the story here. Mac Thomason of Thomason Tracts adds his commentary: "In other words, you'92re screwed, fishies."
Other stories include an opinion piece on a panel debating whether or not Alabama should elect its judges on a partisan basis anymore, and questions from former Gov. Fob James on how Alabama should treat its rainy day funds.
See you folks on the morrow.
Update: I got the date wrong yesterday. Nice. Changed to Oct. 5.