7 Things: ‘No tolls’ chorus grows, Byrne doesn’t buy that Democrats are progressive, companies want to build Alabama prisons and more …
7. Everything you are hearing about the rainforest is wrong
- Celebrities, politicians and the media have gotten most of their information about the rainforest wrong as they attempt to bring needed attention to the fires that are raging in the Amazon.
- “One of the world’s leading Amazon forest experts,” Dan Nepstad, told Forbes the claim that the rainforest operates as the “lungs of the earth” is not true at all. “There’s no science behind that. The Amazon produces a lot of oxygen but it uses the same amount of oxygen through respiration so it’s a wash,” he stated.
6. Trump/China uncertainty is not good for anyone
- President Donald Trump said China is ready to re-enter negotiation to “make a deal,” adding they are reaching out to the United States to seek a “calm” end to the trade war that is causing heartburn on both nation’s economies.
- The war between China and the United States was a topic of conversation at the G-7 meetings among foreign leaders with Trump saying the Chinese called twice and the Chinese officials refusing to confirm the outreach.
5. Alabama has a new European office
- The Alabama Department of Commerce has opened a new business development office in Stuttgart, Germany, with the hopes of using the office to recruit new European business to the state.
- The office will be run by Christoph Doerr, an experienced German businessman who will look to increase the $1.5 billion in new capital investment and 1,500 jobs that Alabama took in from Europe during 2018 alone.
4. New poll shows a new look for the 2020 race
- A new poll by Monmouth University shows a tight three-way race for the Democratic candidates for president with both U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) each receiving 20% and surpassing former Vice President Joe Biden, who only came out at 19%.
- The new polls did not bring the results some candidates were hoping for, and now, billionaire Tom Steyer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and author Marianne Williamson all appear to be on the outside looking in.
3. Almost $1 billion in play for prisons
- Governor Kay Ivey’s office has released the names of five different companies that have told the Alabama Department of Corrections that they would be able to build men’s prisons in the state, which was in response to the ADOC’s request for qualified companies.
- The companies that responded are The Geo Group, Inc., Corrections Consultants, LLC, CoreCivic, Inc., Corvias, LLC and Alabama Prison Transformation Partners. The plan would be for the companies to finance, build and maintain three prisons that the state would operate.
2. Don’t call Democrats “progressive”
- While speaking to the Montgomery Rotary Club, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) was asked about how much “the pendulum is going to swing” to increase partisanship, despite the gap between conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats growing.
- Byrne clarified that he doesn’t believe Democrats are “progressive” at all since he believes their views are “regressive,” explaining how “some of them are anti-Semitic. That’s regressive.” He also pointed out how most “progressive” Democrats are in favor of “big, strong central government,” so instead Byrne said he just calls them the “far-left.”
1. Byrne joins Zeigler’s “no tolls” push
- Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler has been consistent that he’s not in favor of the proposed $6 toll for the I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge, but now he’s clarified that he wouldn’t support any tolls, no matter the amount. Congressman Bradley Byrne agrees.
- Zeigler’s Facebook page, Block the Mobile Bayway Toll, makes it clear that he isn’t the only one against the tolls, since now there are 50,000 members in the group, and while Governor Kay Ivey has said that there’s a lot of “noise” out there opposing the tolls, Zeigler isn’t exactly shy about making noise.