7 Things: Alabama House Democrats walk away on bill banning abortion, Mueller expressed concern over AG Barr’s initial letter, Biden’s lead is real and more …
7. Alabama food stamp rolls are down
— Last year, people receiving food stamps in Alabama decreased by 38,000 recipients and more than 100,000 have dropped off since 2016. Alabama’s figures mirror the national figures since all food stamp beneficiaries have seen a drop in recipients. The drop is attributed to the growing and improving the economy, as well as the restriction that requires SNAP recipients to work. The national number of recipients decreased by almost 2 million last year.
6. The Democrats are still pushing for their investigations of President Donald Trump’s finances
— The House Intelligence Committee hired Patrick Fallon, an FBI veteran, to help further efforts of digging into Trump’s financial past. The Democrats are currently preparing to go to court to enforce their subpoenas. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) said, “Deutsche Bank is willing to cooperate, but apparently Mr. Trump and others around him are concerned about what those bank records would show. We are going to have to fight this vigorously as necessary to make sure that we validate our ability to oversee the administration.” This just continues the narrative that Democrats have been pushing that someone is clearly hiding something just because they don’t want their privacy forcefully violated. Trump has already vowed to fight the subpoenas put forth by Democrats.
5. A Netflix show is being blamed for an increase in teen suicides
— The American media glamorizes suicide and deifies those who commit suicide, so it should come as no surprise that a high-profile Netflix series that was made for teens would lead to teens attempting to take their lives. Newly published research shows a 28.9 percent increase in suicides among American kids aged 10 to 17 which was a 19-year high. The number of suicides in this period were the most of any single month over the five-year period studied. Additionally, there were 195 more suicides among this age group than researchers expected with historical trends. Study co-author Lisa Horowitz says, “The results of this study should raise awareness that young people are particularly vulnerable to the media,” which is a no-brainer.
— Secretary of State Mike Pompeo relayed to the Amerian media that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was ready to leave the country yesterday and was on the tarmac ready to head to Cuba when Russia convinced him to stay. This is all happening as Venezuela erupts in chaos and violence, news channels feeds are cut and footage of military vehicles running over citizens make international rounds. President Trump’s response was that he would impose a “full and complete embargo” and sanctions on Cuba if they did not end their operations in Venezuela. National Security adviser John Bolton has claimed that Cuban troops are keeping Maduro in power, and he’s said that it’s a very delicate moment, but all options remain on the table. The White House administration has remained in support of the ongoing Venezuelan opposition effort, which is led by Juan Guaido and Leopoldo Lopez. The goal of Guaido and Lopez has been to spark a military uprising against President Maduro.
— A CNN poll released yesterday was good news for the former vice president as it placed him far out front with 39 percent of respondents choosing him. It only got better from there, as Biden also surged to 38 percent in a Quinnipiac poll after his announcement. The other candidates are bunched together with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at 12 percent, Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at 11 percent, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 10 percent, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at 8 percent, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) at 5 percent and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) at 2 percent. Lastly, a Morning Consult poll shows Biden with 36 percent support and Sanders at 22 percent.
2. Reports indicate special counsel Robert Mueller wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr complaining about his interpretation of his report
— With Barr prepared to testify before Congress, a new letter has been released from the DOJ showing frustration with the four-page summary Barr released prior to the full release of the Mueller report. While the full letter has not been released, it expressed that Barr “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the Mueller report. Mueller also wanted the 448-page report’s introductions and executive summaries released, and he suggested some redactions. A Justice Department spokesperson said, “He expressed frustration over the lack of context and the resulting media coverage regarding the special counsel’s obstruction analysis.” But it is important to note a line that many seem to be ignoring from the Washington Post report which read, “When Barr pressed Mueller on whether he thought Barr’s memo to Congress was inaccurate, Mueller said he did not but felt that the media coverage of it was misinterpreting the investigation, officials said.”
1. A bill banning almost all abortions passes the Alabama House
— Almost all Democrats “took a walk” and the most restrictive abortion bill attempted in Alabama in recent history passed. Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) received a standing ovation after the bill passed. The bill criminalizes doctors performing an abortion, makes an abortion a Class A felony and makes attempting an abortion a Class C felony, but would not go into effect until Roe v. Wade is overturned. This bill is by no means a slamdunk in the Alabama State Senate, and some changes will be attempted to address the lack of exemptions for rape and incest. Alabama Democrats are not taking this well, Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) uttered one of the more absurd comments ever made in American politics, saying, “[S]ome children are just unwanted. You either kill them now or you kill them later in the electric chair.” He followed that up with, “I may bring a bill to force all men to have vasectomies. That would end this whole debate. There would be no more abortions and eventually no more voters.”