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3 months ago

7 Things: Ivey passes on debate but tosses out 1st pitch, Comey’s tell-all gets “Fire and Fury” treatment, Sen. Doug Jones is more popular than Sen. Richard Shelby, and more …

1. 3 GOP candidates debate while the Governor threw out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game in the same city

— Governor Kay Ivey’s refusal to debate is a key talking point for Republican opponents but probably doesn’t move the needle all that much with actual voters. This won’t stop us from talking about it.

— All of this talk may be for naught, Ivey is either the 2nd or 3rd most popular Governor depending on who you ask.

2. President Donald Trump didn’t want false stories about his life in the media; former FBI Director finds this odd

— James Comey’s book is being treated just like Michael Wolff’s tell-all from earlier this year. The glowing praise and breathless reporting is being treated as gospel and agenda-free.

— Wednesday’s big takeaway was that the president was upset that people were reporting the “pee tape” story as fact and he wanted the FBI to knock it down. Comey relayed that this was especially painful for Melania Trump.

3. Alabama’s Democrat senator has a pretty solid approval rating, for now

— Sen. Doug Jones’ approval rating is a net +22 while the senior Republican Sen. Richard Shelby has a +21 rating, but Shelby is the one of the two with a raw approval number over the 50 percent mark.

— Most of this rub for Jones can probably be attributed to his defeat of Judge Roy Moore. Eventually he will have to cast votes with his party.

4. Republicans continue to angle for the House Speaker job, even though it seems unlikely they control that position

— Representatives Steve Scalise and Kevin McCarthy are raising money for a potential shot at Speaker of the House, Ryan has tossed his support behind McCarthy.

— Not many people think Ryan would have stepped down if Republicans were expected to hang on to the House; currently Democrats are up 6.6 points on the generic Congressional ballot.

5. Alabama Democrats continue to read from the same playbook, this strategy has cost them the last 3 elections

— Democrats of the last 3 elections have argued for a lottery and increased government spending on healthcare. These ideas have not brought about any signs of actual success but that isn’t stopping them.

— The only reported dust-up came when former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox debated who would best raise the state’s minimum wage.

6. Former QB Colin Kaepernick was reportedly denied a job opportunity because he wouldn’t stop kneeling, which he denies

— Kaepernick had a workout planned with the Seattle Seahawks that was allegedly canceled after he would not agree to end his National Anthem protests.

— The embattled QB is not the only player being questioned about his willingness to end the on-the-clock protests, free-agent safety Eric Davis was questioned by the Cincinnati Bengals about the issue when he met with them.

7. Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day; Americans don’t remember

— The day was established in 1980 – at the time only the U.S. and Israel had a day of remembrance – a study released this year shows that 58 percent of respondents believe it could happen again.

— One-third of all respondents and over 40 percent of millennials believe only 2 million or fewer were killed during the Holocaust, it is more troubling that 22 percent have no idea what the Holocaust is.

3 mins ago

President Trump congratulates Rep. Martha Roby on her runoff victory

President Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to congratulate Rep. Martha Roby in her House District 2 primary runoff victory against former District 2 congressman Bobby Bright.

Trump expressed that his endorsement contributed to Roby’s “landslide victory.”

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There were questions, particularly among national news commentators, about whether Roby would be able to overcome the stigma of de-endorsing President Trump in the 2016 election, but his support for her put that question largely to bed.

“I’m honored and humbled that the people of Alabama’s Second District have again placed their trust and confidence in me, and that I will have the opportunity to continue to do this job on their behalf,” Roby said in a statement, in part. “On behalf of my family and me, thank you to each person who went out to the polls today to support me.”

“Over the last year and a half, it’s been a great privilege to be a part of the conservative momentum and to work alongside my colleagues in Congress and the Trump Administration to push some very important priorities over the finish line. We are in a unique position to accomplish even more, and I’m eager to continue the fight,” she also said.

Roby faces Democrat Tabitha Isner in November.

1 hour ago

Rex Lumber Co. to build new facility, bring more than 100 jobs to Alabama

A lumber company is investing $110 million in a new facility in Alabama’s Pike County, bringing more than 100 new jobs.

WSFA-TV reports Rex Lumber Co. announced Tuesday at a groundbreaking ceremony that the new facility will be located 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of Troy in the Harmony Community. It expects to employ around 110 people.

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Officials say the Southern Yellow Pine sawmill is expected to be operation by June 2019.

Currently, Rex Lumber Co. operates sawmills in Graceville and Bristol, Florida. They also have a site in Brookhaven, Mississippi.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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About last night: Three takeaways from Alabama’s Runoff Election

With Alabama’s primary election runoffs now in the books, here are three takeaways from the results.

North Alabama has spoken.
When this election cycle began, it became evident that north Alabama saw a window of opportunity to increase its influence.  The results from the Republican primary runoff have shown the electorate in that area of the state was eager to flex its muscle.

Will Ainsworth pulled out an impressive come-from-behind victory in the Lt. Governor’s race. Steve Marshall enjoyed a resounding win in his bid to retain the Attorney General’s office.

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Both candidates hail from Marshall County and both effectively energized their bases in the Fourth and Fifth Congressional Districts. This is particularly evident when you look at their margins of victory in those north Alabama counties compared to the performances of their opponents in their own base counties. Ainsworth and Marshall won big at home.

With Ainsworth and Marshall the presumptive winners in November (more on that below), north Alabama could have the Speaker of the House, the Lt. Governor and the Attorney General in positions of power.

Keep an eye on this dynamic in the 2020 race for the U.S. Senate.

Democrats?
Several months ago, a fashionable narrative developed among some that Democrats were going to move the needle in November 2018. In fairness to the delusional, much of this was borne out of the bizarre circumstances surrounding the Moore-Jones election.

However, these runoff elections are a culmination of months now during which no one is seriously talking about Democrats — let alone their chances in November.

Even the ultra-liberal New York Times, which is an arm of the Democratic Party, posted this statement as part of its updated Alabama primary election results on June 11:

“In deep-red Alabama, the Republican primary almost certainly determined the general election winner.”

Democrat candidates up and down the ballot — from Walt Maddox in the Governor’s race to Democrat legislators like Johnny Mack Morrow — will tilt at their windmills. But they won’t be able to escape Nancy Pelosi and their own party’s dysfunction.

Expect big Republican wins in November.

It’s time to change Alabama’s runoffs.
South Carolina holds their runoffs three weeks after the primary. Alabama puts six weeks between its primary and its runoff.

In South Carolina’s top race, there were only 24,000 fewer votes in the runoff than there were in the primary. That was only a 6.5% decrease.

In Alabama’s top runoff race, there was a nearly 200,000 total vote difference between the primary and the runoff. That’s a 37.5% decrease in participation. Undoubtedly, those three extra weeks, which bring the runoff deep into the summer, contribute significantly to voter apathy.

South Carolina has established an efficient process for handling military absentee ballots within its three-week runoff. Alabama should do the same.

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3 hours ago

7 Things: Trump backtracks on trusting Putin, election results, new permanent tax cuts, and more …

1. President Donald Trump backtracks and tells an absurd lie 

— After stating he believes Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence officials, President Trump backtracked. He received intense criticism from within his own party, from Democrats and from a deranged media.

— In a statement read by the president of the United States, and believed by no one, he states, “The sentence should’ve been: ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.'”

2. And the winners are…

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— Attorney General Steve Marshall crushes former AG Troy King in a race that wasn’t even close.  Marshall will face former Democrat AG and Governor’s son Joseph Siegelman.

— State Rep. Will Ainsworth squeaks by in the Lt. Gov. race, barely beating the more well-known candidate Twinkle Cavanaugh to be the odds-on on favorite to win the job in November. (Quick: Who is the Democrat candidate for Lt. Gov.?)

3. New tax cuts

— A second round of tax cuts, and a move to make the tax cuts permanent, are being discussed by the White House and Congressional Republicans. The fact they expired was a major part of the complaints by Democrats on the issue.

— Democrats, who still don’t want tax cuts, have filed a frivolous lawsuit with the federal government because blue states taxes are so high and the 1st round of tax cuts capped deductions on state taxes that could be deducted.

4. Toyota CEO continues to sound the alarm on Trump’s tariffs and how they will impact Alabama

— Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama President wrote that a 25% tariff on foreign automobiles will have a devastating impact on manufacturing.

— This is exactly the argument Kay Ivey made earlier this summer when she said, “Import tariffs, and any retaliatory tariffs on American made goods, will harm Alabama, the companies that have invested billions of dollars in our state, and the thousands of households, which are dependent upon those companies for a good-paying job.”

5. After a hate-love relationship with Trump, Congresswoman Martha Roby survives in Alabama’s only real contested Congressional race

— Roby absolutely destroyed former Democrat turned Republican Bobby Bright. Bright was possibly the worst GOP primary candidate if the goal is to point out the divisions in the GOP because he has a vote for Nancy Pelosi on his resume.

— The “can she overcome talking bad about Trump?” narrative should die — it will not.

6. More details emerge about Governor Bentley’s past and present with Rebekah Caldwell Mason

— Bentley continues to deny the affair with his former aide was sexual, which really stretches the bounds of believability.

— The former governor’s love-interest is apparently still working with Bentley at his dermatology office in Tuscaloosa. She is not listed in the staff section of the website.

7. There is a silly notion working its way through the media and Democrats that anyone upset with Trump’s comments must abandon the GOP

—  A Republican Party county chairman in Ohio resigned on Monday after watching President Donald Trump’s press conference with Vladimir Putin, calling it a “matter of conscience”

— While this continues to be a theme, many Republicans continue to support the GOP because as I wrote for Yellowhammer yesterday, “The economy matters, the Supreme Court matters, controlling our borders matters”.

3 hours ago

Alabama officers suspended for alleged ‘white power’ gesture

An Alabama mayor says four members of his city’s police force have been suspended for making a hand gesture some say is a hate symbol.

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Jasper Mayor David O’Mary tells news outlets the four Jasper officers have been suspended and will lose a week’s pay following the publication of a photograph in the Jasper Daily Mountain Eagle on July 12. O’Mary is pictured in that photo alongside several officers, four of whom are making an upside-down “OK” sign with their fingers. He says some have claimed the gesture is meant to express “white power.”

The mayor says he arranged that photo to recognize the narcotics team following a drug bust. He says he hasn’t asked the officers what they meant by the gesture, but says they showed “poor judgment.”

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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