7 Things: Alabama’s spending on pace to beat 2019, don’t California my Alabama, Trump not backing down and more …
7. Saban wasn’t there, but Alabama still won
- University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban was diagnosed with the coronavirus last week, and as a result he was unable to attend or coach the Iron Bowl over the weekend. Even in his absence, Alabama dominated Auburn University 42-13.
- In a press conference from his home, Saban said “it’s just a great team win” as he praised the offense and the defense. Saban also spoke highly of the job the coaching staff did as offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian stepped up to coach the game.
6. Alabama native under consideration for defense secretary
- While much of the transition talk in Alabama has centered around U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) potentially being attorney general for a Biden administration, he was left off a recent list, and Axios is reporting that a Mobile native might be the next Department of Defense secretary.
- Presumed President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly considering U.S. Army General Lloyd J. Austin for the post, and that would make the current Auburn trustee the first black DoD secretary in history if appointed.
5. Birmingham limiting staff
- As coronavirus cases across the state rise and Jefferson County remains a “high” risk area, the city of Birmingham has decided to limit their in-person staff to help lower risk to employees.
- Chanda Temple, spokeswoman for the city, made the announcement in an email. This decision is also due to people gathering over Thanksgiving, as the staff will only be reduced from Monday-Friday of this week. Full staff will return on December 7.
4. Johns Hopkins’ newspaper report on excess deaths pulled but not disputed
- Everyone expects a spike in coronavirus cases after the holiday, but it truly appears that the number of deaths seen this year is not as far out of whack of where you expect they might be according to a Johns Hopkins report that was released and then retracted — not because they deemed it erroneous but because it “was being used to support false and dangerous inaccuracies about the impact of the pandemic.”
- The study found, “in contrast to most people’s assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States,” and the author concludes that while COVID-19 may be a factor in these deaths the underlying issues are far more important.
3. Trump fights on
- President Donald Trump had his first interview since the election with “Sunday Morning Futures” where he said that he “hadn’t seen anything” from the FBI or Department of Justice in regards to investigating the accusations of election fraud. Trump added, “if you’re in the FBI or Department of Justice, this is the biggest thing you could be looking at.”
- While Trump believes the election was rigged, it may be “hard to get into the Supreme Court,” Trump told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. Trump also questioned why the higher court wouldn’t want to hear the case, “We should be heard by the Supreme Court. Something has to be able to get up there, otherwise, what is the Supreme Court?”
2. More people moved to Alabama than left last year
- Last year, more people from Alabama decided to move to Kentucky than anytime in almost a decade. In 2019, it was about 4,400 people moving to Kentucky. But in the same year, more people moved to Alabama than left.
- According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 105,000 people moved to Alabama in 2019, while about 99,000 people left the state. 29,000 of those moved to Florida or Georgia, 10,000 moved to Tennessee or Mississippi, and 9,000 moved to Texas.
1. Alabama’s economy seems to be recovering nicely
- Based on reports from the Alabama Department of Revenue, the state is on track to meet or slightly surpass holiday spending seen in 2019. Through September Alabama consumers had spent almost 8% more than they did in 2019 and this is happening in a global pandemic that has wrecked lives and livelihoods.
- Expectation for the rest of the year look pretty good as well with experts suggesting that holiday sales will remain at 2019 levels or grow modestly. This would be great for Alabama since spending in November in December of 2019 reached an all-time high of $13.25 billion.