1 year ago

Former Bama football star won’t join Patriots at White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Linebacker Dont’a Hightower is no stranger to visiting the White House. During his time with the Alabama Crimson Tide, he visited the White House following the BCS National Championship victory in 2012. But since his time with the New England Patriots, he has been noticeably absent.

When the Super Bowl LI champions visit President Donald J. Trump, Hightower will not be joining them. Instead, he is content staying at home. “Been there, done that,” Hightower told ESPN.com. After the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX by defeating the Seattle Seahawks, Hightower also skipped out on the visit to President Barack Obama.

While Hightower appears to be generally uninterested, some of his teammates are skipping the trip to make a political statement. Tight end Martellus Bennett and safety Devin McCourty have made clear that they do not care to meet President Trump.

Five-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady is a fan of Trump, as is future Hall-of-Fame Coach Bill Belichick. After their historic overtime win, President Trump congratulated both of them via Twitter.

Three days ago, the Super Bowl MVP posted a photo on Instagram, with a caption highlighting how sports works to bring different people together, rather than tearing them apart.

Tom Brady was also absent from the most recent White House visit, stating he wanted to spend time with his family.


2 mins ago

In a fistfight between Trump and Biden, Congressman Robert Aderholt is calling Trump all the way

We have seen Ali-Frazier, we watched The Rock-Hulk Hogan, and if Vince McMahon could stop screwing around with the XFL reboot, maybe we could get “Crazy Uncle Joe” vs. The Donald.

This is a match where everyone would win because two of America’s largest big mouths would get punched in the mouth. We could raise some money: if Biden wins, the money could go to pay for illegal aliens college scholarships and if Trump wins, the purse could go towards a big beautiful wall.

Even though this fight will never happen, Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) was on the radio this morning and he thinks Trump would clean Biden’s clock:

“No question Donald Trump would win. That’s an easy one. Well, you know, if you have ever been around Donald Trump he is a big man, and of course I know that Biden isn’t a small guy. But Trump is a big guy, full of adrenaline and energy and I wouldn’t  even think twice about it.”

Why this matters: The back-and-forth threats between Biden and Trump are undignified and trashy. Biden is a former Vice President who should know better, but clearly doesn’t. What he does know, through his history of gaffes and boorish statements, is that he will suffer no consequences for being a jerk. He also knows that President Trump cannot help himself to respond. And even though he responds with the same foolishness, he will be treated as the aggressor and the bad guy.


The details:

— President Trump has 3 inches on Joe Biden and would have a marginally longer reach.

— Biden is in far better shape than the president, he works out regularly and it would be almost impossible for Biden to have a worse diet than Trump.

— Both individuals claim to be men of the people, but neither has any real tough-guy credentials. Trump has been a millionaire loudmouth his entire life while Biden has been a politician for more than 40 years.

— Trump would truly best Biden when it comes to trash talk, Trump uses Twitter to regularly spar with friends and foes alike, while Biden prefers to let the mainstream media do most of his talking.

Listen to the interview with Congressman Robert Aderholt here:

Dale Jackson hosts a daily radio show from 7-11 a.m. on NewsTalk 770 AM/92.5 FM WVNN and a weekly television show, “Guerrilla Politics,” on WAAY-TV, both in North Alabama. Follow him @TheDaleJackson.

32 mins ago

2 charged in overdose death, photos of body posted online

Two teenagers in Alabama are accused of posting photos on social media of an overdosed teenager’s body before deciding to drive her to a hospital.

Al.com reported Thursday that Marshall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Heath Thomas says 19-year-old John Garrett Guffey and 18-year-old Lillie Marie Cooper were indicted on charges of corpse abuse and criminally negligent homicide.


Thomas says that in April 2017, the pair decided to take her, but their vehicle ran out of gas. Firefighters were called to a Mapco station to help the unresponsive passenger.

Investigators determined she died from an overdose at a home.

A prosecutor wasn’t available for comment to Al.com and the sheriff’s office didn’t release further details.

The teenagers are jailed with bail set at $10,000. It is unclear if they have lawyers.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

2 hours ago

Trial date set for Alabama officer charged with murder

A judge has set a trial date for a police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of a man in Montgomery, Alabama.

A court order released Thursday says Aaron Cody Smith will go on trial Aug. 13. A hearing in the case is set for a few days earlier.


Smith is charged in the 2016 shooting death of 58-year-old Greg Gunn, who authorities say was walking in his neighborhood when Smith shot him. The confrontation began when the officer stopped Gunn shortly after 3 a.m.

Smith’s attorney says the officer is innocent. The defense has portrayed the white officer as a victim of racial prejudice since Montgomery is mostly black and the man who was killed was black.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

3 hours ago

Alabama 3rd state to allow execution by nitrogen gas

Alabama will become the third state to authorize the untested use of nitrogen gas to execute prisoners, under legislation signed into law Thursday by Gov. Kay Ivey.

As lethal injection drugs become difficult to obtain, states have begun looking at alternative ideas for carrying out death sentences. While lethal injection would remain the state’s primary execution method, the new law would allow the state to asphyxiate condemned inmates with nitrogen gas if lethal injection drugs are unavailable or lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional.


Lawmakers who supported the change suggested that it would be more humane.

“It provides another option. I believe it is more humane option,” said Sen. Trip Pittman, a south Alabama Republican who sponsored the bill. Pittman likened the procedure to the way aircraft passengers pass out when a plane depressurizes.

The state would have to develop procedures for the new execution method. Pittman said that it might involve “some type of mask” over the inmate’s face that gradually replaces oxygen with nitrogen.

“The process is completely experimental,” said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center — a group that compiles death penalty statistics.

The center says no state has carried out an execution by nitrogen gas. Two other states — Oklahoma and Mississippi — have voted to authorize execution by nitrogen gas as a backup method of execution, according to the center.

Oklahoma announced last week that it will begin using nitrogen for executions, when the state resumes death sentences, because of difficulty obtaining lethal injection drugs.

However, neither Oklahoma nor Alabama will likely carry out executions with nitrogen in the immediate future, Dunham said. Before implementation, the states will have to develop protocols and get them approved by the courts amid almost certain legal challenges.

States face an increasing dilemma if they want to carry put executions, Dunham said. With pharmaceutical companies becoming hesitant to sell drugs for use in executions, states must look for alternate channels to obtain them or alternate methods of execution.

Utah authorized execution by firing squad. Tennessee has said the electric chair will be used when lethal injection drugs are unavailable.

Alabama previously carried out death sentences with an electric chair nicknamed “Yellow Mama” because it was painted with yellow highway striping paint. While inmates can still choose the electric chair, Alabama made lethal injection the primary method amid concerns that electrocution might one day be ruled unconstitutional and beliefs that lethal injection would be more humane.

Opponents of the Alabama legislation questioned how lawmakers could assert nitrogen would be painless since the method hasn’t been tried.

“We had Yellow Mama. Now, we are going to bring back the gas chamber,” Rep. Thomas Jackson, a Democrat from Thomasville, said during debate Tuesday.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

3 hours ago

Alabama’s unrestrained ‘permission slip to work’ laws affect real Alabamians

Across the country, lawmakers are realizing the costs associated with the rampant overuse of occupational licensing laws.

Alabama Policy Institute’s recent report shows that over 21% of Alabama workers are licensed. This means that more than one in five Alabamians need a government permission slip to work.

Although the original impetus behind states’ licensing practices was the assurance of public safety, the current system of occupational licensing has become so burdensome that voices from left, right, and center have noticed.

The Trump and Obama administrations, The Institute for Justice, and the Brookings Institute, among others, are all in agreement: occupational licensing practices need to be changed.


The fact is that these laws affect real people – real, everyday Alabamians.

Bruce Locke, a retired construction company owner and north Alabama native, is one of those people. A dedicated husband, father, grandpa, and Army veteran, Mr. Locke, after retiring, became an auctioneer.

Before he could work, however, Mr. Locke had to pay for state-approved education, apprentice for one year, and hand over hundreds of dollars in fees to the government.

He fulfilled the state’s licensure requirements but, after years of being a successful auctioneer, was suddenly fined $500 by the Alabama State Board of Auctioneers.

According to the board-hired investigator, Mr. Locke, who had a current license to work, was being fined for not filling out a specific form. The problem, however, is that Mr. Locke, after being a licensed auctioneer for years, had no knowledge of this form. When he asked, Mr. Locke learned that the form was created recently. Even so, he was not told about the form nor given any sort of warning. He was instead fined.

Mr. Locke, therefore, under the threat of losing his business, had no choice but to pay the $500 fine.

He later, out of frustration and disgust in the board’s apparent greed, gave up his license and sold his business.

This is just one example of occupational licensing gone awry. Thanks to occupational licensing, Alabama ran a profitable man out of business, forsaking revenue in both sales and income tax.

The truth is, as Mr. Locke put it, “There are a lot of states that do not have auctioneer licenses, and they’re doing just fine.”

He’s right. There are twenty states that do not license the occupation of auctioneers. In fact, the report found, more broadly, that Alabama licenses thirty-one occupations that are not widely licensed in other states, including locksmiths and sign language interpreters.

If it were truly a matter of public safety, one would think there would be relative conformity among the states. The report, however, found that licensing practices are widely varied, even among our neighboring and nearby states. One explanation of this may be economic protectionism – when members of an occupation, in a desire to limit competition, lobby the state legislature to establish licensure.

In Montgomery, lawmakers are reviewing legislation that addresses occupational licensing, specifically when it affects military families and veterans. Conservatives should applaud these attempts to curb big government’s grip on citizens while continuing to push for more comprehensive reforms.

You can view Mr. Locke telling his story here and API’s recent report on occupational licensing here.

Parker Snider is Manager of Policy Relations for the Alabama Policy Institute, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to strengthening free enterprise, defending limited government, and championing strong families.