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2 months ago

7 Things: Alabama election results doom Doug Jones, Sessions out as AG, Trump pounds losing Republicans but seeks deals with Democrats and more …

7. Red wave in Alabama is bigger than most expected — ALGOP adds seats to supermajorities

— A bloodbath for Alabama Democrats whose huge turnout yielded roughly the same number of votes as the party received in the 2017 special U.S. Senate election. Alabama Republicans swept in all statewide constitutional officers and judicial candidates on the ballot, and they also rendered “yes” verdicts on all of the Republican legislature’s constitutional amendments.

— Most shockingly, the ALGOP strengthened their supermajorities by gaining one seat in the Alabama Senate, making it now 27-8, and five seats in the Alabama House of Representatives, making it now 77-28.

6. Missing from all election talk is the fact that Republicans still control most legislatures

— Most of the coverage of the midterms focuses on the Democrats capturing the House and Republicans holding on the Senate with moderate gains. Missing from all of this is that Democrats seized six legislative chambers while leaving the GOP in control in 30 states, which is down one.

— The six bodies that changed control is far below the historical average and significantly less than the last wave election of 2010 Republicans took 24 legislative chambers.

5. Democrats push more post-election stupidity with talk of a “popular Senate vote

— Some in the media and their Democrats don’t understand that the reason they got more votes in the Senate races yet lost seats is that Democrats is because they were defending a total of 26 states, while Republicans were defending just nine.

— Even the Washington Post found this to be silly because they actually won 63 percent of the Senate seats up for election while only winning just 55 percent of the vote

4. Failed Alabama Democrat candidate Mallory Hagan attacks failed Democrat power structure

— The Democratic loser in Alabama’s third congressional district contest was addressing supporters after a 28-point beatdown to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) when she told them that the current Alabama Democratic leadership did not have “your best interests at heart.”

— She told her supporters, “I told you that I would fight for you and I will continue to do so because there are people who are in control of the Democratic Party who do not have your best interests at heart.” She added, “There are people who are in control of the Democratic Party who say they are fighting for you, who say they are standing up for you, who say they care about you and your communities. And yet, they shit on Democratic candidates left and right, excuse my language.”

3. Trump takes on losers in his own party for some reason, says he is glad Democrats won so they can make deals

— Soon to be former Representatives Mia Love, Barbara Comstock and Mike Coffman caught the president’s ire for not seeking his help in the 2018 midterms at a rambling press conference where he didn’t mention the folks he supported who lose. The conference also featured a weird confrontation with CNN’s Jim Acosta where Trump called him “a terrible person.”

— Speaking on a potential bipartisan deal-making posture, Trump said, “Now we have a much easier path because the Democrats will come to us with a plan for infrastructure, a plan for health care, a plan for whatever they’re looking at, and we’ll negotiate.”

2. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is out, his chief of staff is in — Seemingly baseless speculation continues about the Mueller probe

— Sessions and President Trump have had a contentious relationship ever since the former Alabama senator rightly recused himself from the Russia/Trump investigation because he was on the campaign. Trump never forgave him and Sessions never cared.

— Alabama’s elected officials lavished praise upon Sessions. Former Alabama Senator Luther Strange wants him to run for Senate, while conservative commentators attacked Sessions for not being loyal enough to Trump

1. Alabama’s 2018 election results doom Senator Doug Jones in 2020

— Jones and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox got roughly the same number of votes, but Republicans who stayed home for Moore in 2017 showed up for Republicans in the midterms and crushed Democrats in Alabama by over 300,000 votes.

— As if the results weren’t bad enough, recently resigned former AG Jeff Session is reportedly considering running for his old seat. But many question if the rank and file Republican voters will accept him after his dust-ups with Trump.

6 hours ago

Aderholt named ranking member of appropriations subcommittee critical to north Alabama’s economy

On Tuesday, Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-4) was named ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, which funds NASA and the FBI, amongst other important economic engines.

In a statement, Aderholt said, “It is a great honor to be named the ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. This subcommittee is certainly important to America, but even more so for North Alabama.”

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“This subcommittee is directly responsible for funding NASA and the FBI, along with the Department of Commerce,” Aderholt explained. “The FBI and NASA are two very important agencies to the economy of not only Huntsville, but also the northern portion of our state. NASA, of course, has a long history in this region and gave rise to Huntsville’s name as the Rocket City. And in just the past few years, the FBI has built a presence on Redstone Arsenal and is in the process of growing to a level of approximately 4,000 jobs.”

The congressman concluded, “With my leadership on this subcommittee, I will work to ensure that North Alabama continues to lead as we return to the moon, put boots on Mars and travel into deep space. And with the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School, and growing footprint in North Alabama, I will also be a voice to let my colleagues know that North Alabama is in a prime position to be a hub for matters concerning our national security.”

Aderholt also serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

7 hours ago

Is Doug Jones a foot soldier in the Democrat Civil War for taking a shot at liberal darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

If you are Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) right now, you probably know you have almost no chance of being elected to a full term as a United State senator.

This obviously could change. Roy Moore could continue to crave the spotlight and enter a Republican primary field in 2020, but this is obviously a long-shot for him.

Complicating Jones’ life right now is a number of new Democratic members of the House of Representatives. They are outspoken, silly and contrary to the carefully crafted image Jones wants to sell to Alabama. Jones wants to be Mr. Moderate, a conservative-ish Democrat in the mold of former Congressman Bud Cramer (D-Huntsville), but he can’t do that if he is constantly dealing with a 24-hour news cycle where his fellow Democrats are acting nuts.

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Jones seems to know this, and the clearest way to distinguish himself from members like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is to directly scold her to The Hill.

He said, “I think it skews what’s really there for the Democratic Party.”

Jones seems to want to differentiate himself from Ocasio-Cortez’s brand of non-stop Twitter trolling will endear her to the same media that can’t let a Trump tweet go without an analysis of its impact. But Jones didn’t stop there. He also thinks this style of bomb-throwing is ineffective politics.

“When it gets time to get things done, that’s what people are going to be looking at — they’re going to be looking at the middle-of-the-roaders because it’s the only way to get anything done,” Jones stated.

If recent history is any judge, Ocasio-Cortez will not let these comments slide without a response. The fight for the soul of the Democratic Party is on and Jones will likely find himself out-gunned and without many powerful allies.

In response to similar criticism from former Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Ocasio-Cortez responded with the following tweet:

Will Jones double-down or will he slink back to his backbench for fear of his party’s base if she hits back?

For now, Jones sounds like he thinks his voters want him to get stuff done, but considering that Jones’ main accomplishment at this point in his Senate career is his vote against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation it is likely most Alabama voters would prefer he enjoys his time in Washington D.C. as a spectator before being sent home in 2020.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

8 hours ago

Trump AG nominee: Sessions ‘probably did the right thing’ in recusing himself from Russia probe

Attorney General-nominee William Barr on Tuesday said Jeff Sessions “probably did the right thing” in recusing himself from the investigation into alleged collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign, according to The Washington Post.

Barr previously served as attorney general from 1991-1993. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr was asked by committee chair Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the probe because he was involved in the Trump campaign.

“I am not sure of all of the facts, but I think he probably did the right thing recusing himself,” Barr said.

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This came the day after Sessions attended Alabama’s Inaugural Day festivities, including the swearing-in ceremony for all statewide elected officials and reception for state Attorney General Steve Marshall.

During Marshall’s event in the attorney general’s office building, Sessions said, “Do the right thing every day and usually things will work out… [well,] not always.”

After the laughter of the room started to subside, he added, “At least in the United States, when they fire you, they don’t shoot you like they do in some countries.”

Sessions’ relationship with President Donald Trump was eroded by the recusal and the president’s public attacks on both that decision and Sessions personally. He resigned at the request of the president in November.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

8 hours ago

State Sen. Gerald Allen responds to judge striking down Alabama Memorial Preservation Act — ‘Judges are not kings’

On Tuesday afternoon, State Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), the sponsor of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, criticized Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

Graffeo made the ruling Monday.

“Under the Constitution, judges are to be neutral umpires who apply the rule of law fairly,” Allen said in a statement. “A judge’s personal beliefs, whether about politics, sociology, or history, have no bearing on how he is to apply the law.”

He continued, “Judge Graffeo has taken it upon himself to know and declare that it is ‘undisputed’ that the majority of residents of Birmingham are ‘repulsed’ by the Linn Park monument, and has thus ruled the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act void. But judges are not kings, and judicial activism is no substitute for the democratic process.”

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“The Memorial Preservation Act is meant to thoughtfully preserve the entire story of Alabama’s history for future generations. The law was vigorously debated for months by the people of Alabama’s duly-elected representatives in the State Legislature, and passed with overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate,” Allen advised.

He concluded, “The Attorney General’s Office is confident that the Memorial Preservation Act is constitutional, and I look forward to the Attorney General’s appeal of Judge Graffeo’s ruling.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

9 hours ago

Judge voids Alabama law protecting Confederate monuments

A judge has overturned an Alabama law meant to prevent the removal of Confederate monuments from public property, ruling the act infringed on the rights of citizens in a mostly black city who are “repulsed” by the memorial.

The 10-page ruling issued late Monday by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo said a 2017 state law barring the removal or alteration of historical monuments wrongly violated the free speech rights of local communities.

The law cannot be enforced, Graffeo ruled, but the state could still appeal.

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The attorney general’s comment had no immediate response to an email seeking comment Tuesday.

The state sued the city of Birmingham after officials tried to remove a 52-foot-tall (16-meter)-tall obelisk that was erected to honor Confederate veterans in a downtown park in 1905.

Rather than toppling the stone marker, the city built a 12-foot (3.6-meter)-tall wooden box around it.

Birmingham’s population of 210,000 is more than 70 percent black, and the judge said it was indisputable that most citizens are “repulsed” by the memorial.

He rejected the state’s claims that lawmakers had the power to protect historical monuments statewide.

The law includes a $25,000 penalty for removing or altering a historical monument, but the judge said the penalty was unconstitutional.

The city has not had to pay while the lawsuit worked its way through court.

The ruling came hours after the inauguration of Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, who signed the law and opened her campaign last year with a commercial that prominently showed Confederate monuments.

“We can’t change or erase our history, but here in Alabama we know something that Washington doesn’t. To get where we are going means understanding where we have been,” Ivey said in the ad.

Supporters of the law contend it protects not just Confederate memorials but historical markers of any kind, but rebel memorials have been an issue nationwide since a white supremacist gunman killed nine worshippers in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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