2019 Yellowhammer ‘News Shapers’ series continues with its rural broadband edition
Join the Yellowhammer News team Thursday, July 18 for a “Yellowhammer News Shapers” event in Guntersville.
Entitled “Connecting Alabama’s Rural Communities,” the event will feature an evening networking reception followed by a live forum on broadband expansion in the Yellowhammer State.
Confirmed forum panelists already include State Senator Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville), Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative’s Fred Johnson and ADECA’s Maureen Neighbors.
Areas of focus will include recent adjustments to the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Act; requirements and responsibilities of providers; public/private partnerships and community preparedness; and economic development initiatives.
The event will be held at Guntersville Town Hall, located at 340 Blount Ave; Guntersville, Alabama 35976.
The reception will begin at 4:30 p.m., with the moderated forum to follow at 5:30 p.m.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Playoff committee not buying into Bama with latest rankings – 3 takeaways
The college football playoff selection committee released its next round of rankings on Tuesday night. The committee put the Alabama Crimson Tide in the No. 5 slot. Auburn came in at No. 15.
Here are three takeaways:
1. If you are going to lose a game, lose to a bad team. For the second week in a row, Alabama sits one spot behind Georgia in spite of the Tide’s season of offensive dominance and a lone loss to the No. 1 team in the country, LSU. Alabama ranks 8th in total offense, while Georgia ranks 47th.
Georgia also has the worst loss of any team in the top 10. Georgia lost, at home, to a team bearing this profile:
Total Offense: 79th Rushing Offense: 73rd Passing Offense: 69th Scoring Offense: 99th 3rd Down Conversion %: 120th Total Defense: 58th Rush Defense: 61st Pass Defense: 66th Scoring Defense: 49th
That’s 4-7 South Carolina, a team down to its third-string quarterback against Georgia.
Committee chairman Rob Mullens told the ESPN studio crew that the committee considered the wins on Georgia’s resume to be impressive. While Georgia does have some good wins, the metrics point to Alabama as the better team.
ESPN reporter David Hale compiled a list of useful metrics, the sum total of which places Alabama as the third best team in college football.
There will always be debate surrounding the rankings. When Alabama took a close loss to LSU, it lost control of its own destiny. But the committee seems to have already made up its mind about where it thinks Alabama should ultimately land and is selling its stock in the Tide.
2. Bama can force the committee’s hand with a big win over Auburn. We wrote last week about the inconsistency with which the committee handled the Tide’s ranking. Things could intensify should head coach Nick Saban’s squad get a statement win against Auburn. Try this scenario on for size:
Alabama wins convincingly in the Iron Bowl.
LSU, Ohio State and Clemson win out.
Oregon finishes as a one-loss PAC 12 champion.
Do they take Oregon over Alabama even with Alabama having just beaten the team which beat Oregon?
Mullens justified the committee’s placement of Penn State ahead of seven-time national champion Minnesota (a team which defeated Penn State only a week earlier) largely based on the results when facing a common opponent: Iowa. Penn State beat Iowa, while Minnesota suffered a loss to Iowa.
Consistency would lend to Alabama getting the nod over Oregon based on the results on the field against a common opponent. But don’t count on it.
3. The Big Ten is all set. With three teams currently in the top 10, the committee is saying there will be at least one Big Ten team in the playoff. Even after its dud against Iowa, Minnesota came in at No. 10, Penn State at No. 8 and Ohio State at No. 2. The committee has positioned those teams so that the conference champ is in under any circumstance.
Bradley Byrne slams Democrats’ allegation of ‘bribery’ against President Trump
Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01) gave a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday where he slammed Democrats’ latest allegation of “bribery” against President Donald Trump.
“Unfortunately, I must rise again because – like so many times before – the goalposts for impeaching President Trump have moved,” Byrne stated. “At this rate, Nancy Pelosi must be any field goal kicker’s worst nightmare.”
“Since day one – literally day one – it has been abundantly clear that the far-left members of the so-called ‘Squad’ have been moving this Democratic majority closer to impeaching the President,” Byrne continued. “They don’t care why or how. They don’t care what evidence, real or imagined, is used. They only care about the end result – impeaching President Trump so he will not win reelection.”
He added, “As this radical faction gains dominance in the Democrat party, Speaker Pelosi has tried every justification in the book to impeach this president.”
Byrne then recalled the Democrats’ previous, failed attempts at destroying the Trump administration.
“We were told for years we’d get to impeachment from the Mueller report,” Byrne said. “They said, just wait, wait till the report! It’s going to show Russian Collusion! Well, two years and millions of dollars down the drain, Mueller showed no collusion. The Democrat narrative quickly turned towards ‘obstruction of justice,’ but that too fell flat.”
“But then, Mr. Speaker, the majority got a new gift – the whistleblower,” he continued. “Never mind he had no firsthand knowledge of what he blew the whistle on, never mind he’s a partisan Democrat, never mind he worked with Adam Schiff on his new allegations against President Trump.”
The rest of Byrne’s remarks are as follows:
It was campaign finance violations! Well, that didn’t work. So, then it was quid pro quo! For weeks, that’s all the majority has talked about. Not anymore. Apparently, Mr. Speaker, some highly-paid political consultants warned Speaker Pelosi that quid pro quo did not resonate with the American people. So now, it seems they’ve moved on to another version of impeachment that tested best in their focus groups – the nefarious-sounding ‘bribery.’ It’s bribery! That’s what we will impeach President Trump on!
Well, Mr. Speaker, I think my friends on the other side need to dust off their law books because, unfortunately for their latest impeachment fantasy, bribery isn’t just some word. It’s a real crime with a real definition. And it’s one that this majority cannot prove.
You see, bribery occurs when an individual ‘corruptly’ links receiving something of value in exchange for an official government action.
I say to the majority, show me how asking Ukraine to look into the 2016 election and into the sketchy dealings of Hunter Biden is acting corruptly! Because I’ll tell you what, I’ll show you evidence that Ukrainian officials were working to boost Secretary Clinton, and I’ll show you evidence that the Obama Administration was itself concerned about Hunter Biden’s deals. I think most Americans will say maybe the President of the United States should be looking into those things. I think they will say we want the President looking into possible corruption in our government and interference in our elections.
More importantly, I say to the majority, show me how President Trump linked aid to these investigations! Mr. Speaker, President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky, you know, the one that the whistleblower blew the whistle on, is on the internet! Everyone can read it. And I hope they will. Because nowhere in that call did President Trump ever link any aid to Ukraine in exchange for anything. The President did not one time, not one time, even mention any kind of hold on the aid. Not once!
This is not bribery. This is not impeachable conduct. Yet here we are, trying to remove the President of the United States, the leader of this country, the man chosen by the voters, over these newest allegations. Mr. Speaker, the American people see past this charade. They know this is a partisan political scheme. And at this point, I think most people who are paying attention – those who haven’t tuned out – know this is just the latest effort by Democrats to throw something at the wall and see if it sticks. President Trump has committed no ‘bribery, treason, or high crimes and misdemeanors’ – the only offenses that the Constitution says warrant impeachment.
I ask the majority – when do we stop and get back to the business of the American people? I yield back.
Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.
Alabama AG Steve Marshall leads national coalition defending Second Amendment to SCOTUS
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall continues to be a staunch defender of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In his latest stalwart act of advocacy for citizens’ right to keep and bear arms, Marshall on Monday filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the State of Alabama and 20 other states.
The brief calls on the Supreme Court to hear (in Malpasso v. Pallozzi) a challenge to a Maryland law that sharply limits the right of typical, law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun outside of the home.
In a statement, Marshall commented, “The overwhelming majority of states recognize that the Second Amendment allows law-abiding citizens the right to bear arms outside their homes for self-defense.”
“However, a handful of states have decided that citizens’ rights to possess a handgun outside their residence should apply only to when they meet certain limited criteria,” he outlined. “In this case, a Maryland citizen was denied the fundamental right to self-defense because he failed to convince a bureaucrat that he faced some special danger to his safety.”
Marshall continued, “But the right to bear arms is not reserved for just a select few citizens. And there is no question that the Second Amendment right to ‘bear arms’ extends beyond the home. As Justice Clarence Thomas memorably put it: ‘I find it extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen.’”
The States of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia joined on to Alabama’s amicus brief.
“A few states have passed laws similar to Maryland’s that severely limit Second Amendment rights, and those laws are rightfully being challenged in federal court as unconstitutional,” Marshall concluded. “Alabama and 20 other states call on the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of Malpasso v. Pallozzi and decide whether laws that deny law-abiding citizens the right to bear arms infringe on Second Amendment rights.”
Alabama Solicitor General Edmund LaCour and Deputy Solicitor General Barrett Bowdre signed onto Marshall’s amicus brief. LaCour is listed as the counsel of record.
“This is a monumental occasion in our state’s history, and we are looking forward to joining Alabamians in a year full of memorable celebration and commemoration of the bicentennial,” she said. “Alabama is currently experiencing extreme economic development and job growth across the state, which makes this special time even more exciting for us all.”
This comes after it was announced on Friday that Alabama’s unemployment rate dipped below 3% for the first time ever. The state has been breaking economic records consistently, with each month seemingly bringing even better news. The main focus now for the state’s economy is workforce development efforts to increase Alabama’s pool of skilled workers.
Roby, who is not seeking reelection to a sixth term, concluded, “I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve the people of Alabama as we celebrate the birthday and history of the beloved state we all call home.”
You can learn more about Alabama’s bicentennial here, including special events across the state.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn
Technology services veteran appointed to lead State of Alabama’s IT operations
Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday announced that Marty Redden will serve as the permanent Alabama Office of Information Technology (OIT) secretary effective immediately. Redden has been serving as the acting secretary since July.
In a statement, Ivey said, “Since Marty stepped in to OIT as the acting secretary, he has run the agency effectively and with great prudence, and the state will certainly benefit from his leadership in this position. I am confident Marty will continue refining the agency, to make it run successfully and be accountable to the people of Alabama.”
“His decades of experience in the technology field is already paying off for OIT and our other state agencies, which is why I am proud that he will continue serving in this capacity,” she advised.
Redden has three decades of experience in the IT field, include 20 years in management.
He began his career in banking and finance technology. In 2007, he transitioned to a career in state service. Redden has since held high-level management positions in the Alabama Department of Corrections, the Alabama Medicaid Agency and the state Finance Department. While working with each of these agencies, Redden originated, led and implemented technology advancements and improvements, per a release from the governor’s office.
Redden remarked, “As secretary of OIT, my overriding mission is to provide Alabama’s state government with the best technology services at the smallest cost to the taxpayers we serve. Every service that the state provides to its citizens involve some form of technology, so if we do our job well, countless Alabamians will get the help they need more quickly, efficiently and effectively.”
“I appreciate the confidence Governor Ivey has placed in me and will work every day to prove it justified,” he concluded.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn