7 Things: Democrats hammer Barrett and Trump in confirmation hearing, Jones’ chances look bleak, FBI used a willing media to perpetuate the Russia collusion hoax and more …
7. Alabama small businesses would apply for more loans
- A new survey through the National Federation of Independent Business shows that in Alabama, only 27% of small businesses saw an employee need time off for the coronavirus and 50% would apply for another loan to help them financially through the pandemic, such as through the Paycheck Protection Program.
- According to the survey, 80% of small businesses have seen complications with shipping delays or shortages. Also, 75% of businesses reported already having received a PPP loan earlier in the pandemic.
6. Mercedes expanding in Alabama
- Mercedes-Benz will be expanding its operations in Alabama by adding a 500,000 square foot facility and creating 373 new jobs as they work to manufacture more electric vehicles.
- The facility will mostly assist in building Mercedes electric vehicle manufacturing capacity and will be located in Tuscaloosa County. The facility will be a $53.6 million investment.
5. Cost of Hurricane Sally around $86 million
- Estimates have been released for the damage caused by Hurricane Sally to roads, bridges, utilities and other tax-payer funded property, and the total comes in right around $86 million, but FEMA will be helping fund repairs.
- FEMA is expected to pay local governments $64 million for repairs, which is through the Public Assistance program to allow a minimum of 75% of costs to local governments to be covered by FEMA.
4. Census response at almost 100%
- Across the state, Governor Kay Ivey and other officials have been working on getting Alabama’s response to the 2020 U.S. Census up to prevent the state from being undercounted, and those efforts have been working.
- According to the most recent data, the state is up to a response rate of 99.9%. The data shows 63.4% of households responded on their own, while 36.5% were counted by Census workers. Alabama had been last in the nation for Census response.
3. New documents show the media’s role in the Russian collusion hoax
- A newly declassified 94-page FBI spreadsheet shows that the FBI used media reporting that its assets were sources on to back up its claims about Carter Page, Paul Manafort and others. Inspector General Michael Horowitz noted that the discredited dossier’s author Christopher Steele gave bad intel to a Yahoo news reporter. The FBI then cited that article as supporting evidence.
- Although CBS News’ Catherine Herridge broke the story, not a single outlet (including her own) in the mainstream media has covered this angle of the story that shows there was a relationship between unfounded media speculation fed by leaks from the Department of Justice and the investigators who kept the probe going. The FBI used the media to plant evidence against its enemies.
2. Don’t bet on Jones
- Placing bets on elections isn’t legal in the United States, but there’s a gambling site called US-Bookies based in Denmark that shows the odds in the U.S. Senate race in Alabama between former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville and U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).
- For Tuberville, they put his odds at 1/8 to be elected, but Jones is only at 9/2 to be reelected. Jones is showing the worst odds of any incumbent senator.
1. Democrats on the attack at Supreme Court hearings
- During the first day of Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court justice nominee spoke about her philosophy and some of her views on the way the Supreme Court should work. She said, “I believe Americans of all backgrounds deserve an independent Supreme Court that interprets our Constitution and laws as they are written. And I believe I can serve my country by playing that role.”
- Democrats looked to score political points ahead of the election, and they came out swinging focusing their potential swing vote on the court for the striking down of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and her future impact on abortion law. However, a lot of the talk was about their convenient opinion on how this appointment shouldn’t be taking place in an election year.