7 Things: Trump asks if America misses him yet, State Sen. Waggoner says simple lottery would pass, Biden supports unionization effort in Birmingham and more …
7. Cuomo downplaying his alleged harassment as ‘flirtation’
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has been accused of sexually harassing women, and now he’s said that he’ll cooperate with the investigation over behavior that women “misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation.”
- The accusations are made by at least two women who previously worked for Cuomo. New York Attorney General Letitia James will be leading the investigation into these accusations.
6. Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine approved for use; Appointments can be made again
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the single-dose coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which will potentially speed up vaccination efforts dramatically. The vaccine is slightly less effective against preventing mild cases, but is said to be just as effective at preventing severe cases of the coronavirus. Johnson & Johnson is expected to deliver 100 million vaccines by the end of June.
- Last week, Alabama State Health Officer Scott Harris said to take whichever vaccine you get offered and noted that vaccine delivery is increasing. The increasing vaccine supply means that counties have restarted taking appointments for the vaccine injections after halting them because of concerns about future availability.
5. Syria strike approved by Alabama congressmen
- President Joe Biden’s administration authorized a drone strike in Syria, and all three U.S. Representatives from Alabama that serve on the House Armed Services Committee approved of these actions.
- U.S. Reps. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), Mike Rogers (R-Saks) and Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) serve on the committee and issued statements on the attack. The Department of Defense also said this was done due to “recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq.”
4. Brooks says to reject expanding absentee voting
- Last week, State Rep. Laura Hall (D-Huntsville) proposed a bill that would remove the need for an excuse to vote absentee in Alabama. Secretary of State John Merrill is in favor of the bill, while U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) raised concerns and wants it defeated.
- Brooks cited the Jimmy Carter-James Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform report that was issued in 2005 which suggested 87 ways to protect ballot access and ballot integrity while specifically calling out the areas where absentee ballots are rife for abuse and manipulation.
3. President Joe Biden endorses union in Bessemer Amazon facility
- Not content with killing jobs with a $15 minimum wage or by killing a pipeline, President Joe Biden voiced his support for the unionization effort in Bessemer, Alabama’s Amazon distribution center. Biden did not use the Amazon name. He now joins U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Stacey Abrams, the NFL players union, Danny Glover and a bullied Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.
- In the video, Biden stated, “Today and over the next few days and weeks, workers in Alabama and all across America are voting on whether to organize a union in their workplace.” He also thinks this has something to do with a pandemic, which is sort of a catch-all. He said, “[T]his is vitally important, a vitally important choice as America grapples with the deadly pandemic, the economic crisis and the reckoning on race – what it reveals (about) the deep disparities that still exist in our country.”
2. A simple lottery bill could pass in Alabama
- The current lottery and casino bill brought to the Alabama Legislature by State Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston) has been stalled to give the bill more hope of passing through working out specifics as some Republicans are undecided.
- State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) is one who is undecided, and while on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” clarified that the holdup for some is in the casino aspect of the legislation. Waggoner advised, “[I]f it was a simple lottery bill, I think it would have passed in great haste.”
1. Trump spoke at CPAC, and no, he’s not creating a new party
- While at CPAC, former President Donald Trump spoke and addressed many issues, including President Joe Biden’s “disastrous first month of any president in modern history.” He added that the administration is “anti-jobs, anti-families, anti-border, anti-energy, anti-women and anti-science.”
- Trump also addressed the rumor that he would create another political party, but he said this is “fake news,” adding, “We have the Republican Party, it’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before – I am not starting a new party, that was fake news.”