7 Things: Gas tax will be unveiled today, Cohen releases ‘evidence’ before his testimony, Doug Jones wants a rematch and more …
— The Columbia Journalism Review sent a reporter to the state of Alabama to find out how “something called ‘Yellowhammer News'” is covering the state that the majority of the media holds in disdain. Comically, Alabama Media Group’s John Hammontree just doesn’t get that the media’s disdain for Alabamians is why Yellowhammer exists. He told CJR, “I think the idea that Alabama votes Republican, and thus Alabama news should only reflect a conservative viewpoint, is a way of silencing dissent,” which sounds odd considering they employ zero conservative columnists. Graciously, Hammontree doesn’t want to “silence” us.
6. Sixty-four percent of voters believe the Democratic Party supports socialism
— After spending the Obama years telling voters that calling someone a socialist was “racist,” the Democratic Party is almost ready to embrace their true identity, with 49 percent saying they prefer socialism. As Democrats move left, pollster Mark Penn concludes, “This puts socialism on the ballot unless the Democratic Party moves back to the center and socialism is a losing proposition with the American electorate.”
5. Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) takes to the floor of the House to blast “socialist Democrats” over border security
— While debating President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration, Brooks lashed out at his colleagues on the left for supporting policies “that help to kill 33,000 Americans each year.” Brooks cited the National Institutes of Health data that shows “31,000 Americans die each year from heroin and cocaine overdoses, 90% of which floods across our porous southern border. On average, at least 50 Americans die each day from illegal alien homicides or overdoses on poisonous drugs shipped through our porous southern border.”
— Sewell and 229 of the bill’s co-sponsors obtained a victory in the long-shot chance to stop the president’s emergency declaration without legal action by getting the bill out of the House with a 245-182 vote. Unfortunately for Sewell, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, this isn’t close to the 2/3rd majority the body needs to override an obvious presidential veto.
— Responding to teed-up month-old allegations from Moore that there was a conspiracy to deny him the U.S. Senate seat, Senator Jones said, “[I]f the Republican Party really believes that then they all ought to just step aside, have a press conference with him and let’s just do it again.” The “Republican Party” never said this — Moore did. Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) is already in the race to challenge Jones. It is not a surprise that Jones wants to face Moore because it is his best and possibly only path to victory in 2020.
2. Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen releases a statement and a check prior to his testimony — Still no evidence of collusion
— In a preview of Cohen’s opening statement, President Trump is called a liar, a conman and a racist. Evidence that will be produced includes a check, bank statements from 2011-2013, a news article, letters to schools about Trump’s grades and a check signed by Donald Trump, Jr. While the press says this all proves Trump told Cohen to lie, Cohen makes it clear that “Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie.”
— As Gov. Ivey prepares to launch her gas tax initiative from rural Alabama, the forces of opposition are gathering. To thwart this, it is expected that Ivey will eventually call a special session of the Alabama Legislature to make the bill easier to pass. The current plan expected to be unveiled will be for a 12 cents a gallon increase, with special interests, and both the AL House and AL Senate leadership behind them, it is still expected to pass in some form.