7 Things: Gov. Ivey starts to push back on the media, WH counsel Don McGahn will not testify, Americans are over Robert Mueller and more …
7. Alabama Public Television did not and will not air PBS’s same-sex marriage episode of “Arthur”
— The episode aired nationwide on May 13, but instead, APT aired a re-run of the show “Arthur,” a show meant for children. The director of programming for APT, Mike Mackenzie, said that when they were notified about the episode in mid-April, they decided not to air the episode. Mackenzie also said that there are no plans to air the episode at a later date. The episode drew a large amount of national attention for showing a same-sex marriage.
6. Billionaire Robert F. Smith offered to pay off the student loan debt for the whole graduating class at Morehouse College, but Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has said that it’s not the right move
— After Smith’s offer, Ocasio-Cortez thought the gesture was great, but tweeted, “It’s important to note that people shouldn’t be in a situation where they depend on a stranger’s enormous act of charity for this kind of liberation to begin with (aka college should be affordable), but it is an incredible act of community investment in this system as it is.” Democrats have been pushing for free or affordable college, and constantly argued that billionaires need to pay their fair share. This situation could’ve been an opportunity for AOC to further the Democrats’ position that the top 1% should pay more, but instead, she has essentially said that this isn’t good enough.
5. U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has written to Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Hugh Hurwitz about the early release of John Walker Lindh
— John Walker Lindh, a.k.a. “The American Taliban,” was captured in Afghanistan in 2001, and is set to be released from federal custody on Thursday, while more than 100 other terrorist offenders are set to be released within the next few years. In 2017, it was said that Lindh plans to spread terrorist ideology when he’s released from prison. Shelby and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) wrote the letter, stating concerns for the release of many terrorists and the lack of details surrounding their releases. President Donald Trump has voiced support previously for keeping Lindh in prison until he serves his full sentence.
4. Federal judge Amit P. Mehta has sided with House Oversight Committee Democrats trying to enforce the subpoena on President Trump’s financial records
— The subpoena seeks access to Trump’s financial records all the way back to 2011. Mehta compared Trump’s concerns about congressional overreach to the concerns President James Buchanan, saying that Trump “has taken up the fight of his predecessor.” Mehta also acknowledged that the subpoena involves records that concern private business and go back to before his candidacy. However, Mehta said that the subpoena falls within congressional investigative and oversight powers since it’s only required that they serve a valid legislative purpose.
3. Americans are not as eager as the media is to hear from special counsel Robert Mueller
— While the investigation seems to have been going on forever and the report has yielded no indictments for collusion, the media still cannot get enough of the Russian meddling investigation. The American people have largely had enough, as 59% of those polled say they don’t care if Mueller testifies or that it is time to move on. Independent voters, the most important voting block, think that we have seen enough of this show and are done with it as polling showed 62% were either disinterested or believe it is time to move on.
2. Former White House Counsel Don McGahn has been directed by President Trump to skip the House Judiciary Committee hearing
— White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement released on Monday afternoon, “The House Judiciary Committee has issued a subpoena to try and force Mr. McGahn to testify again. The Department of Justice has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and Constitutional precedent, the former Counsel to the President cannot be forced to give such testimony, and Mr. McGahn has been directed to act accordingly.” McGahn will not testify. Some are saying it is time to impeach, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) seems uninterested.
1. Governor Kay Ivey has dismissed the media’s narrative about the abortion ban and Alabama has a record year for tourism
— On Monday, Gov. Ivey held a press conference to discuss the tourism increase in Alabama, and after the press conference, reporters asked for Ivey to comment on the mainstream media’s narrative that Alabama businesses and tourism could be negatively impacted by the abortion ban. Ivey said, “The legislature has spoken and [the bill] underscores the sanctity of life that the people of Alabama value so highly.” Ivey went on to say that she has not received any push back from big businesses due to the law, also saying that she doesn’t expect any. Ivey announced that in 2018 people from out of state spent $15.5 billion in Alabama.