7 Things: Trump snags highest approval of the year, another group targets Alabama’s census lawsuit, Tuberville says Trump has a noose around farmers’ necks and more …
7. First vaping death in Alabama
- A vaping related illness has spread across the country with more than 800 cases and 12 deaths confirmed, including 19 cases of the disease in Alabama; now the state has its first confirmed death.
- The Alabama Department of Public Health continues to say that everyone using e-cigarettes or vape products should stop, but especially not to use products bought off the street if you do continue using.
6. Tougher reading standards could cause thousands to be held back
- Most Alabama 3rd graders aren’t reading very well, but some educators want to move them forward regardless, which could affect 52% of all students.
- The actual standard for the pass/fail metric has not been set yet. It will be set once the 2020 testing is complete, but educators are already sounding the alarm on this issue and some superintendents are concerned the standard could be set really low to limit the number of students who are held back.
5. Birmingham could be a different type of sanctuary city
- While Decatur has been in the news over the past few days for their quasi-0sanctuary policies, pastors in Birmingham want that city to be considered “a sanctuary for preborn children” and they have now announced their opposition to a new Planned Parenthood facility.
- Reverend Harry Reeder III, pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church, says the closing of all abortion clinics in Birmingham over the last 20 years has been a huge positive development in the city and they want to keep it that way, but it still appears the Planned Parenthood facility will be finished by the end of this year.
4. Trump’s opponents are his biggest asset
- According to the New York Times’ reporting, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), has been less than truthful about his interactions with the whistleblower Democrats have used to escalate the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
- Apparently, officials in the intelligence community wondered why Schiff was so eager to jump in front of cameras instead of holding closed-door conversations before he could have known the details of the complaint, but it turns out he knew all along and was just being dishonest because, like with the complaints against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, key Democrats had early warning and gamed the system to their advantage.
3. Tuberville’s hits Trump on the trade war
- While discussing tariffs and the ongoing trade war with China, former Auburn football head coach and candidate in the GOP U.S. Senate primary Tommy Tuberville said President Donald Trump is “putting a noose around their neck a little bit in terms of choking them out and keeping that price down.”
- Tuberville has heaped an incredible amount of praise on President Trump during his campaign and he has made his support of Trump his core issue to voters.
2. Another group has joined the fight against Alabama’s census lawsuit
- The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) has filed a lawsuit against Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau asking that it be declared that apportionment is only decided by the entire population, therefore excluding the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
- Previously, Alabama has filed a lawsuit against the Census Bureau and the Commerce Department, arguing that not including the citizenship question on the 2020 Census grants an unfair advantage to those in the country illegally. MALDEF president and general counsel Thomas Saenz said that their lawsuit is meant to “prevent the federal government from voluntarily doing what Alabama seeks to compel.”
1. Trump’s approval rating is up following impeachment talks
- A new poll by Hill-HarrisX released on Wednesday has the president’s approval rating higher than it has been in a year, which is noteworthy as it comes from polling done during an impeachment firestorm and the non-stop negative media coverage surrounding it.
- The political nature of this impeachment, the already low approval numbers, the baked-in tribal polarization and the continuous drumbeat of impeachment talk from Democrats over the last 2+ years will probably limit the political fallout from this month’s political drama, barring some major actual crime being committed by President Trump being exposed.