7 Things: Trump to take shutdown fight to the airwaves, AG calls on FEC to investigate 2017 Alabama U.S. Senate special election, tax returns will go out during the shutdown and more …
7. Alabama loses national championship game in an uncharacteristic blowout
— Back-to-back championships escaped Alabama’s grasp as Tua Tagovailoa threw a pick-six and it all appeared to go downhill from there, leading to Alabama’s largest loss in the Saban-era.
— The 44 points scored by Clemson are the most points Alabama has given up in years and Coach Nick Saban signaled to many that this game was over after a desperation fake field goal in the third quarter when the game truly got out of hand.
— Charles Henderson High School senior Maori Davenport has been suspended from her basketball team for a year because USA Basketball sent her a check, she cashed it and when the error was pointed, out she returned it. But this was still a violation of the rules.
— The controversy bubbled-up after ESPN’s Jay Bilas made an issue of it during the Alabama/Kentucky game this weekend. NoW, State Senate Pro Tempore Del Marsh has called on her to be reinstated. The Alabama High School Athletic Association has not budged.
5. Ruth Bader Ginsberg misses time at the Supreme Court, stoking concerns about her health
— The 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice missed arguments for the first time in her 25 years on the bench after doctors removed two cancerous growths from her left lung in mid-December, this is after she broke a few ribs in a fall.
— Justice Ginsburg has shown no signs of stepping down and is expected to return to the bench. She has achieved cult-hero status and some even offered her body parts to extend her life after her surgery.
4. Under unrelenting media pressure, some Republicans are starting to break against the president
— House Republican leaders fear that members could cross the aisle and vote for legislation that would reopen the government without funding the border wall. The Democrats will try to get a veto-proof margin to pressure Senate Republicans and the President.
— Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have already signaled they would support efforts to fund portions of the government that are shut down. The local and national media know they are turning the screws on Republican senators with one-sided coverage.
3. White House says your tax returns will be processed during the shutdown
— The IRS may recall a large number of furloughed workers in order to get tax returns processed. The Trump administration says rules will be changed to make funding available to pay them, and acting director of the White House Budget Office Russell Vought said, “The refunds will go out as normal. There is an indefinite appropriation to pay tax refunds.”
— Usually, tax returns are not processed during government shutdowns, but the Trump administration is obviously trying to alleviate whatever pain it can as the government shutdown drags on to day 18 with no end in sight.
2. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is passing on investigating shenanigans in 2017 U.S. Senate race and calls on Federal Elections Commission to investigate
— There will be no investigation into the misinformation campaign that mirrored Russian tactics in Alabama that was implemented by Democrats during the election that saw Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) elected to the Senate.
1. President Donald Trump will give a nationwide address on immigration tonight and visit the border on Thursday
— With no end in sight for the government shutdown, President Trump will take to the airwaves to make his case to the American people that there is a “Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border.”
— Believe it or not, some networks balked on providing airtime for the address and some are calling for the address not to be carried, citing an Obama speech that wasn’t carried in the sixth year of his presidency but they never requested that time from ABC, NBC, and CBS.