7 Things: Rep. John Rogers wants to primary Doug Jones, Democrats are stuck on the Mueller report, good news for President Trump brings out news from his past and more …
7. No ban on plastic bags in the state of Alabama after all
— The Alabama legislature’s attempt to short-circuit any city from implementing a ban on plastic bags looks like it is going to fail. The bill by State Sen. Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) would keep cities, mostly Birmingham, from being able to ban plastic bags, foam cups and other items. This bill would also prohibit local governments from charging a tax for using said containers.
6. Montgomery swamp critters push back against reforming the broken Pardon and Paroles Board
— Governor Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall are backing the reform of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, and some state employees are not happy about it. The current board is happy with the way things are and feel they are being scapegoated for some early releases and the murder of a seven-year-old Huntsville boy in Guntersville. In response to reform efforts by Rep. Connie Rowe (R-Jasper) and Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), the executive director of the parole board allowed and encouraged the political activity of his employees, saying they could use their state vehicles to go protest the bills — an act that appears to be against the law.
— The markets tumbled for the second straight day on the lack of concrete news about the status of the U.S./China trade deal. President Trump’s threat of more tariffs is meant to move the Chinese to act. We shall see how that works out this week. New calculations by the Peterson Institute for International Economics suggests that Trump’s steel tariffs are moving the Chinese towards a deal, but they are costing the American economy as well, even though that is still not cooling it down. It is suggested that every job created by the tariffs is costing U.S. consumers and businesses $900,000 or 13 times the average salary of a steelworker.
4. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has gone to Iran amidst tensions with Iran
— As cable news was asking, “Why is Trump escalating with Iran?” and “Where is Mike Pompeo?,” it became aware that Pompeo was on his way to speak directly to Iraqi leaders about the growing Iranian threat. Reports indicate that the U.S. received “specific and credible” intelligence that says the Iranians are preparing to move on U.S.-connected interests in the region. Pompeo added, “These were attacks that were imminent, these were attacks that were going to happen fairly soon, we’ve learned about them and we’re taking every action to deter them.”
— McConnell declared the collusion and obstruction issues to be a “case closed” situation and asked, “With an exhaustive investigation complete, would the country finally unify to confront the real challenges before us?” The answer is obvious, and Democrats made it clear that they have no intention of moving on. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, took to the floor shortly after McConnell to breathe life into her campaign, saying, “Robert Mueller makes clear that the president of the United States worked actively to obstruct justice. There is enough here to bring impeachment proceedings.” But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who issued a statement with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) criticizing McConnell’s words, continues to signify that she has no interest in bringing up impeachment anytime soon.
— As the media and their Democrats pound away on Trump from every corner and ignore good economic news, that economic news and the Mueller report seem to be leading Trump into his best approval numbers yet. These numbers are higher than his numbers when he was elected in 2016 or sworn in in 2017. The 46-point approval is good news for Trump as long as the economy keeps clicking and the Democrats continue to try to squeeze blood from the Mueller report. Unhappy with these turns of events, The New York Times published what is being treated as a massive takedown where they lay out Trump’s failed business of the late 80s and early 90s. This would be devastating if Trump hadn’t already written a book about this called, “The Art of the Comeback” in 1997, which Library Journal describes this way: “Six years ago real estate developer Trump (Trump: The Art of the Deal, LJ 2/15/88) was several billion dollars in debt, owing in part, he says, to his complacency and the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Now, thanks to some skillful negotiating, hard work, and luck, he says he is back.”
1. The Rogers/Jones saga gets more interesting as Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) says he has a tape of their conversation and he is running for U.S. Senate
— John Rogers took to the floor of the Alabama State House to continue his attacks on his friend and U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL). This comes after Jones told Rogers that he agreed with his multiple absurd abortion comments but needed to take him to task publicly to keep up appearances for a pro-life electorate, and Jones followed that up by yelling at him in a subsequent phone call. Rogers also announced he is challenging for Jones’ Senate seat in the Democratic primary. He said, “I’ve already, I’ve got – I’m running for real. I’m not backing down. I’m a candidate. I’ve already – I asked them to give me $1,000,000 [in campaign pledges to be able to run] and already $500,000 have come in already. And so if I get $500,000 [more], I’ll be an official candidate. I’m telling you right now.” Whether he is running for real is unsure. Also, there is audio of a phone call that has been released.