Author: Rob Holbert

In space, no one can hear you tweet

So this week was apparently the beginning of what we’re told is a serious effort to create a city in space. The Asgardia-1 satellite is the first step in billionaire Russian computer scientist Igor Ashurbeyli’s dream to create a space station that will hold roughly 200,000 people and “be free from politics and laws.” I think even Captain Kirk would agree that’s an attempt to boldly go where no one has gone before. Imagine roughly the same number of people that live in Mobile floating quietly overhead in their own little space station world — a world where people...

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Herman and Roy — peas in a pod

It never fails to amaze me the way people will support the most questionable behavior in the world as long as it’s alleged to be by a politician who’s on “their team.” I’m currently standing slack-jawed after listening to people I know to be bright, educated and thoughtful try to explain why they’re willing to support a so-called “judge” who left office under the cloud of unbelievable breaches in judicial standards and has been accused of horrifically vile sexual assaults. I just can’t believe the number of people who’ve sheepishly told me they’re supporting former Mobile County Circuit Court...

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City Council chaos a waste of time

Just as it looked like it was within his grasp, the silver cup of the Mobile City Council presidency may have slipped from Fred Richardson’s hand once again. For the past three weeks it appeared a junta had been cobbled together from unlikely allies that would put the District 1 councilman in the position he has craved. And on Monday the votes aligned just as Government Plaza sources had said they would — with Richardson, Levon Manzie and C.J. Small being joined by “Dr. No” Bess Rich to upend sitting president Gina Gregory. Only it didn’t work out quite...

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No need for apologies here

Well, Doug Jones has stepped in it now. The Democratic nominee for United States Senate went and called the state he hopes to represent an “embarrassment,” and now he’s catching hell for it from the Republican nominee, occasional Judge Roy Moore. “We are at a point in this state that we can either go forward or backward,” Jones told reporters from a statewide website. “I’m not a perfect candidate or a perfect person, but I will tell you, what we represent is going forward in this state. Roy Moore represents a backward look. I’m tired of Alabama being an...

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Hillyer on ‘Mad Jones’

If you read the words “Quin Hillyer” and “Jones” together in a sentence right now, you’d probably assume the well-known political pundit and essayist was pontificating on the upcoming senatorial clash between Roy Moore and Doug Jones. But these days, Hillyer is concentrating a bit more on a Jones of his own creation — “Mad Jones, Heretic.” “Mad Jones” is Hillyer’s first work of fiction, and it has been recently published and is now available to the public. In the satirical novel, Hillyer invents a modern-day Martin Luther who posts a set of religious theses on Mobile church doors...

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Will council drama leave Fred in charge?

Well, it’s a regular soap opera in Mobile’s City Council these days as our seven protagonists work behind the scenes to determine whether to toss Councilwoman Gina Gregory out of her spot as the group’s president and move her back into the elected official gen-pop. Gregory was voted council president by her peers in 2013, following the retirement of Reggie Copeland. Copeland wielded the gavel with authority, grace and force of personality for 12 years, and Gregory has often suffered in comparison for her “less vocal” leadership style. Still, talk of replacing her came like lightning out of the...

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Does Doug Jones have a shot?

If Russian Twitterbots are any indication of how things will turn out Dec. 12 when Alabama votes to determine who will replace Luther Strange as our junior United States Senator, then the race may be over. Republican nominee Roy Moore’s campaign saw its number of Twitter followers jump from around 27,000 to 40,000 over the weekend, and we’re told the vast majority of that increase came from Russia, with love. Or maybe not so much love. Moore’s campaign immediately distanced itself from the furry-hatted, vodka-swilling bots that joined his team and asked Twitter to bid them dos vedanya —...

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Ain’t it nifty, look who’s 50

It had to happen. There was only one way to stop it, and I didn’t want to go that route. I turned 50 a couple of weeks ago. I know, it’s hard to believe. If I still had my column picture from 15 years ago plastered next to this article you’d be amazed as well. “Gosh, he doesn’t look a day over 35,” is what you’d probably think. Or “Who’s this guy trying to fool?” It’s hard to know what to make of being 50 these days. When I was growing up, 50 was old. Everyone smoked and their...

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