7 Things: Shelby confirms he’s retiring in 2022, impeachment silliness begins again, vaccinations ramping up while coronavirus numbers in Alabama go way down and more …
7. Years of questioning election results may be having an impact
- The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has released polling data that shows only 16% of Americans believe democracy is working well, while 38% say it’s working somewhat well.
- Although, 45% of Americans say democracy isn’t working in the country. This comes after major disputes over the most recent national election results and now with former President Donald Trump facing a second impeachment trial.
6. Paying the college players
- A bill by State Representative Kirk Hatcher (D-Montgomery) would allow all college athletes in the state to profit off the use of their name, image and likeness.
- Hatcher pointed out how these athletes already “help generate millions of dollars for athletic programs.” This would also allow athletes to hire representation, but schools wouldn’t be able to pay students outside of currently allowed stipends and scholarships.
5. Nearly half of a congressional district would get a raise with a $15 minimum wage
- U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) has previously supported regional increases in minimum wage based on the cost of living. Now, the debate over raising the minimum wage to $15 is back. In Sewell’s district, 43% of workers would receive a pay raise if the minimum wage increased to $15, according to the Economic Policy Institute. This would average out to a 22% increase for those workers, or $4,700 per year.
- The Congressional Budget Office’s newest numbers on the minimum wage indicate that a $15 minimum wage would add $54 billion to the deficit while lifting 900,000 people out of poverty. It will also put 1.4 million people out of work. The Washington Post has declared the rosy picture painted by the Biden administration on this matter requires “significant omissions and/or exaggerations” and explained that those impacted by job losses the most will be the young and less-educated.
4. Vaccinations are now magically going well
- President Joe Biden said that a goal of his administration was to get 100 million coronavirus vaccinations across the country in his first 100 days in office, which the country was already on track for before he took office.
- Now, after less than a month in office, the country is on track to miraculously exceed those expectations in Biden’s first 100 days. Despite reports that the country was already on track for what’s happening now, Biden claims that “we were short on vaccines and short on organization” when he took office.
3. New COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to plummet
- The number of new coronavirus cases in Alabama, and the United States as a whole, continue to drop with the U.S. number of cases as low as they were on October 27, 2020. Hospitalizations have dropped 10% or more in the last week in at least 38 states.
- Alabama is one of those states seeing a massive decline in hospitalization and new cases. The 715 cases yesterday is the fewest since October 12, and the statewide COVID-19 hospitalization rates are down almost 50% in the last month with 1,551 hospitalized Saturday compared to January 8, which saw 3,014 people hospitalized.
2. Impeachment charade begins
- With 45 Senate Republicans already declaring the entire impeachment process illegitimate and unconstitutional, the final outcome of this farce is all but determined. But the media and their Democrats will spend hours over the next week or so pretending the former President of the United States incited an insurrection and will be found guilty if only they find some smoking gun that exposes his culpability.
- Democrats will use video of the riots themselves to pretend President Donald Trump willed them to happen intentionally, with no evidence, while Republicans will point out that the rhetoric used by Trump and his allies is commonly-used protected speech and that members of the Democratic Party have called for violence and defended violence with impunity for years.
1. Shelby has confirmed he’s retiring
- Early reporting suggested that U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) wouldn’t be running for re-election in 2022, and now Shelby has confirmed these rumors after holding his office since 1986. Shelby is Alabama’s longest-serving senator. In announcing that he’ll retire in 2023, Shelby said, “For everything, there is a season.”
- Former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) noted that this decision is a “significant moment in Alabama history.” He added, “No one in the history of the Senate or Congress has delivered more financial benefits for Alabama than Senator Shelby. His work has been of monumental importance. The good news is that he will continue to serve and work for us for another two years as the top, ranking Republican on the extremely important Appropriations Committee. There he is critically positioned to protect Alabama interests.”