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7 Things: Biden acquiesces to Taliban demands, pandemic of the unvaccinated rages on, more people demand masks and more …

7. Local elections take place as mayors could be looking at bigger races

  • Some local elections across Alabama reaffirmed the status of the current mayors of some of Alabama’s largest cities. Birmingham’s Randall Woodfin and Mobile’s Sandy Stimpson cruised to reelection in elections that were never really in doubt.
  • The story coming out of these elections might be about what is next for some of Alabama’s mayors and whether they might pursue higher office. Woodfin, Montgomery’s Steven Reed and Tuscaloosa’s Walt Maddox have all been mentioned as potential candidates for Democrats in the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.

6. Remain in Mexico policy remains

  • Turns out both sides can use the Supreme Court to stymie the immigration efforts of the current president. In an odd turn, the court ruled that the Biden administration’s disastrous immigration policy can’t continue and they must put President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy back in place.
  • Texas and Missouri sued the Biden administration by alleging the Biden administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which was how liberals halted then-President Donald Trump’s ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). But it is clear the Biden administration will continue to undo immigration policies that have worked in the past to allow mass immigration into the United States from Mexico while keeping restrictions on the Canadian border in place.

5. Zeigler wants people to challenge Ivey to help him

  • State Auditor Jim Zeigler has been vocally opposed to Governor Kay Ivey and many of her recent decisions, and now he’s advocating for U.S. Senate candidate Lynda Blanchard or former Governor Fob James’ son Tim James to run against Ivey in 2022.
  • Currently, the only other candidate in the race is Opelika pastor Dean Odle. Zeigler isn’t an official candidate yet, but he said that it’s his “strategy to be in that runoff” with Ivey. His reason for wanting Blanchard and James to enter the race is because they could potentially pull some voters away from Ivey and thus help him make the runoff.

4. John Lewis Voting Rights Act passes the House

  • In a 219-212 vote along party lines, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill will allow more authority in determining what a discriminatory practice in voting is, but the companion bill has stalled in the U.S. Senate.
  • The Voting Rights Act would not as heavily impact state voting laws, but the companion bill, For the People Act, would require minimum voting standards with automatic and same-day voter registration, no-excuse absentee voting, early voting and other practices that were heavily divisive in the 2020 presidential election.

3. Vestavia Hills parents want a mask mandate for schools

  • At a recent Board of Education Meeting, many parents from Vestavia Hills voiced their opposition to the district upholding a mask-optional policy for schools, and the parents want there to be a mandate similar to last year.
  • Dr. Claudette Poole spoke at the meeting as a parent and pediatrician, saying that there’s been a “steady flow of children” being taken to the ICU with the coronavirus. Mask mandates have been left up to individual districts, with state leaders saying they won’t make a universal mandate for all schools.

2. Majority of deaths and hospitalizations are still unvaccinated people

  • The Alabama Department of Public Health has given a recent update on coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths from April 1-August 18 in the state, and a vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths were unvaccinated individuals. This could change because vaccine effectiveness reportedly wanes as time goes on.
  • Reportedly, 90% of coronavirus cases were unvaccinated people, 84% of people hospitalized were unvaccinated and 95% of those who died from the virus were also unvaccinated. This data has reaffirmed the claim that getting vaccinated prevents most people from getting a severe case of the coronavirus or dying from the virus. Of those who are vaccinated in Alabama, only 1.1% have gotten the virus.

1. Biden gives into Taliban demands, won’t push back August 31 deadline …maybe

  • A spokesperson for the Taliban said recently that there would be “no extension” of their August 31 deadline to have all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, and President Joe Biden gave in quickly by saying he wouldn’t push to extend this deadline, but now he could be walking that back some.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki was questioned about the Taliban deadline and said that the deadline wasn’t official after Biden had a meeting with G7 leaders. She claimed that Biden “conveyed that our mission in Kabul will end based on the achievement of our objectives.” She added that the success “off the mission by August 31st depends on continued coordination with the Taliban, including continued access for evacuees to the airport,” and they are working on “contingency plans to adjust the timeline should that become necessary.”

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