7 Things: There may already be a deal on Alabama’s Medicaid expansion, Manafort gets more jail time, 2 million more Dreamers and more …
— The situation did not occur while Coach Ira Bowman was at Auburn, nor is it tied to the arrests of over 50 people in the case involving multiple schools, coaches and parents, but it is very similar. Bowman was removed from the team for the SEC basketball tournament because he was implicated in a scheme while at Penn to accept around $300,000 to give his a student a priority spot on Penn’s basketball team so he could get into the prestigious Wharton School of Business.
6. The United States has now joined other nations in grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 jets
— Following the lead of dozens of countries, including European nations and China, President Donald Trump issued an emergency order to ground the planes involved in a series of accidents and other concerns with the computer system on the plane. The FAA and major U.S. airlines have said they believe the planes are safe and resisted calls to ground the planes, but the media was having none of this. Boeing stock has dipped after the announcement as business insiders believe this could harm the company’s reputation, but they have weathered storms before.
— The SEC has donated $100,000 to Auburn University to help students, faculty and staff impacted by the destructive tornadoes that hit the state and killed 23. Also, Toyota, who is already building a $1.6 billion manufacturing facility that could bring close to 4,000 jobs to Alabama as part of their partnership in Huntsville with Mazda, donated $1 million to help fight poverty in the state. Toyota made the donation to the National Center for Family Learning, bringing their total donations to the organization to $50 million over 28 years. There are currently 420 Toyota Family Learning Centers that have helped more than 4.5 million across the U.S. and Toyota will partner with local groups to provide literacy programs.
4. It appears President Trump is correct when he says former FBI Director James Comey lied under oath regarding the Hillary Clinton investigation
— While this seems to be treated by the media and their Democrats as something of conspiracy theory, the FBI did, in fact, kill the investigation into Clinton before it even started. Representative John Ratcliff (R-TX) said testimony by disgraced FBI lawyer Lisa Page “confirmed to me under oath that the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information.” The testimony calls in to count Comey’s honesty. He testified under oath that the FBI investigative team unanimously believed Clinton shouldn’t be prosecuted, but Page disputes this under oath and said a number of FBI agents on the team believed Clinton should have been prosecuted based on the evidence.
— Earlier this week, House Democrats unveiled a bill that would offer 2.7 million illegal immigrants a full pathway to citizenship. It would immediately protect them from deportation, allow them to work, allow some who have been deported to return and then give them an option for citizenship. Like Ann Coulter, the National ICE Council is not happy with the current status of immigration enforcement, most specifically the return of the Obama-era “catch and release” policy. The union said to Trump, “You don’t like ‘fake news’ and neither do our officers, so instead let’s provide transparency, tell Americans the truth, and stop this nonsense and these wasteful and dangerous policies now.”
— Manafort received 43 months on federal conspiracy charges, his secnd sentencing in two weeks. He will now be looking at seven-plus years in total for tax evasion. He will get credit for time served and all told will probably be out of jail in under four years. While the cases stem from evidence uncovered during FBI special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, there is still not a shred of evidence of collusion in the Manafort case, but the judge involved said that is irrelevant here.
1. It is entirely possible that the plan for Medicaid expansion in Alabama is already complete and just waiting to get on the floor of the legislature.
— Former State Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) said Thursday that a few of his former colleagues have told him that the deal has already been cut and that Medicaid expansion would be moving forward in the legislature. House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) spoke of movement on Alabama Democrats’ priorities moving forward in exchange for support of the Rebuild Alabama Act gas tax increase. Brewbaker added that the rank-and-file Republicans are probably not aware of this deal, but they will soon find themselves dealing with these issues in the regular session.