7. Ticketmaster and Swifties are never ever ever getting back together
- Taylor Swift is preparing for her “Eras” tour next year and the official ticketing source and her fans, now they have bad blood. This follows a few weeks of Ticketmaster being blasted by everyone from President Joe Biden to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who tweeted, “Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in.”
- My wife did not suggest I write this, although she was one of many who were unable to get the tickets she wanted for this show. Some tickets went for as high as $22,000 and once the glitches were resolved, the tickets were still impossible to get.
6. Mayor Woodfin goes to Washington to advocate for marijuana, misunderstands comparisons
- Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin is an advocate for more marijuana legalization, even though people don’t understand Alabama’s new laws. Woodfin wants the drug to be more readily available on the federal level and cited his pardoning of 23,000 criminals and the toll on “the black and brown community.”
- While this is being framed as a Civil Rights issue, confusingly, Woodfin took umbrage to U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) noting that just because marijuana is financially profitable, it doesn’t make it good for society, and noted slavery was very profitable. Woodin, confusingly said, “Words matter. … Putting cannabis and slavery in the same category is patently offensive and flagrant.” No clue what that means, nor does it address the point raised.
5. AG Marshall strikes blow against environmental overreach
- Attorney General Steve Marshall and his office announced that Alabama has led an effort to uphold Trump-era Endangered Species Act regulations that would revert back to Obama-era regulations under the Biden administration.
- Marshall noted “the Trump administration enacted new regulations that made the Endangered Species Act work better to protect both wildlife and property rights,” he said. “The regulations eased burdens on landowners while providing them incentives to care for the wildlife on their property — a win-win for Alabama’s landowners and the great diversity of wildlife in our State.”
4. House Democrats re-elect Rep. Anthony Daniels to lead them
- The 28-member Alabama State House Democrat caucus voted to return Rep. Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) to lead them. Rep. Barbara Drummond (D-Mobile) was voted as caucus chair, Rep. Mary Moore (D-Birmingham) will be vice chair and Rep. Kelvin Lawrence (D-Hayneville) will serve as secretary/treasurer.
- The legislative agenda will be hard to implement given but Daniels has big goals: “Right now, we are already working hard to prepare our 2023 legislative agenda to continue our focus on strengthening economic growth, access to quality health care, education innovation, mental health care, affordable housing, and justice for all.”
3. House elections look to elect McCarthy Speaker and AL’s Palmer to leadership
- There was wind, fire, gnashing of teeth but in the end, the obvious conclusion is obvious, U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will be the next Speaker of the House. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) lost 188-31. Unity may be forced but unity seems assured with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) saying, “If we don’t unify behind Kevin McCarthy, we’re opening up the door for the Democrats to be able to recruit some of our Republicans.”
- U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) has also been elected to leadership again, he will once again serve as the Chair of the House Republican Policy Committee and says this is a “pivotal time” to serve in this role. The Republican Policy Committee was formed in 1949 and advises House Republicans on legislative proposals and policies.
2. Poland hit by missiles, conventional wisdom says it was the Russians but no it was not
- The war in Ukraine has finally spilled over into a neighboring NATO country with missiles hitting Poland and killing two. The missiles have largely been described as Russian-made missiles. President Joe Biden says they were unlikely to have come from Russia, and it appears that they are actually Ukrainian defense weaponry.
- The tensions are high, this could actually have spread the war to NATO and expand the battlefield with more combatants. All of this comes on the same day Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky offered a 10-step peace plan, with nuclear safety, food security, Special Tribunal for Russian war crimes, prisoner swaps and a final peace treaty with Russia but lacks the land Russia wanted all along.
1. He’s running
- Donald Trump is running for president of the United States again and he has announced it 721 days before the next general election. At a speech delivered from Mar-a-Lago, he did not attack his fellow Republicans, he laid out his grievances with President Joe Biden and set the stage for a nearly 18-month-plus battle for the GOP nomination.
- This run for the presidency will likely be harder than the last one with both GOP and Democrats foes having learned by what went down in 2016. There will be fewer GOP opponents to split the anti-Trump vote and his record will come into play. He is still a good bet to win the GOP nomination but there isn’t much for him to push that will bring moderates and independents to his side, while his base of die-hard supporters is shrinking.