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4 weeks ago

7 Things: U.S. out of Syria, ethics complaint dismissed against AG Marshall, Congress moves to avoid a shutdown while the wall supporters lose out and more …

7. The rich get richer as Alabama has the number one signing class after the first day of the early signing period

— As if being in the College Football Playoff wasn’t enough, Alabama was able to win the first day of the early signing period with 22 signees.

— The top four spots are all SEC teams with Georgia following Alabama, then Texas A&M and LSU behind them at number four.

6. After a pause, protests in Hoover may start up again if demands aren’t met

— The absurdly named “Birmingham Justice League” has issued the list of demands that the City of Hoover must implement to keep the protests at bay. They include creating a citizen review board, an independent review of minority complaints regarding traffic stops and granting clemency to protesters charged with disorderly conduct.

— The deal requires the city to implement a series of reforms that have very little chance of happening as a whole, but the protests will now move to ALEA and Attorney General Steve Marshall, who is now investigating the case.

5.  A GoFundMe account for a border wall has raised over $1.9 million out of a $1 billion sought

— The campaign was started by Brian Kolfage, a 37-year-old injured Iraq war vet who reasoned on his campaign page, “Democrats are going to stall this project by every means possible and play political games to ensure President Trump doesn’t get his victor[y].”

— While the $1 billion requested is far under the $5 billion the president originally requested, it is the max allowable by GoFundMe, but Kolfage is still seeking to raise $80 from every person who voted for Trump which would put his campaign over the $5 billion requested.

4. Shutdown almost averted as Senate passes short-term funding bill

— The funding bill will keep the government funded until February 8, 2019. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lamented the fact that it didn’t go further, saying, “Democrats will be ready to fully, responsibly fund our government in January, and we will support this continuing resolution.”

—Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, the current second highest-ranking Senate Republican, predicted on Wednesday that Trump would sign it. “He will sign a clean [continuing resolution],” Cornyn told CNN.

3. Freedom Caucus is pushing back against Trump’s decision to walk back on the wall

— The group of conservative lawmakers in the House of Representatives implored the president to stick to his previous vow. There are some signs that Trump is wary of walking back his pledge.

— Radio talker Rush Limbaugh and others decried the “compromise” with Limbaugh saying, “Trump gets nothing and the Democrats get everything.”

2. Ethics complaint against Attorney General Steve Marshall dismissed by the Alabama Ethics Commission

— The Alabama Ethics Commission dismissed an election year ethics complaint by Marshall’s vanquished opponent Troy King which questioned the legality of Marshall accepting contributions from the Republican Attorneys General Association.

— The commission found they had “insufficient facts” to declare that Marshall violated state law. Former State Senator Dick Brewbacker declared this ruling was a mistake, stating, “The [PAC] to [PAC] ban passed by the legislature (outlawing “soft” money) just became worthless.”

1. Seemingly out of nowhere, President Trump announces the United States will be leaving Syria

— The Trump White House ordered the Pentagon to pull U.S. troops from Syria, saying that ISIS is defeated so there is no reason to be there.

— Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Angus King (I-ME), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked the president to reconsider his latest move with a letter stating, “If you decide to follow through with your decision to pull our troops out of Syria, any remnants of ISIS in Syria will surely renew and embolden their efforts in the region.”

14 hours ago

Mo Brooks to continue key service for Tennessee Valley on House Armed Services Committee

Friday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-5) announced he will again serve on the highly influential House Armed Services Committee in the 116th Congress, with increased seniority this time around.

Brooks has served on the important committee for the Huntsville area since taking office in 2011. He will also receive a second committee assignment to be revealed by the House Republican Steering Committee next week.

Among Republican members of the Armed Services committee, Brooks’ seniority has improved to 16th out of 26. His seniority among the full committee membership has officially yet to be determined, but it is expected to improve as well.

In a statement, Brooks emphasized the committee assignment’s importance to his district.

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“The military side of Redstone Arsenal employs roughly 30,000 Tennessee Valley residents,” Brooks said. “In light of the dramatic cut in Republicans on the Armed Services Committee (as we moved from majority to minority status), I am pleased my Republican colleagues chose me to continue serving on Armed Services, where my growing seniority empowers me to better protect America’s national security and promote Redstone Arsenal’s role in providing that security.”

Brooks concluded, “The Tennessee Valley is experiencing rapid economic growth in large part because of Redstone Arsenal’s reputation as a center of excellence. Quite frankly, we often do what no one else in the world can do. Recognizing this, I again successfully competed for a position on Armed Service, which annually produces the National Defense Authorization Act, the primary mechanism whereby Congress authorizes Department of Defense programs.”

Subcommittee assignments for the House Armed Service Committee will be announced in the coming weeks.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

14 hours ago

Aderholt: ‘Abortion ends a human life, plain and simple’ – ‘Not a matter of religion vs. science’

With the March for Life in full swing in Washington, D.C on Friday, Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-4) released a statement mourning “the loss of more than 60 million unborn children” since Roe v. Wade became law of the land.

Wednesday, January 22 is the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on abortion.

“Today, thousands of Americans joined together to mark the 46th anniversary of a terrible moment in American history – the Supreme Court ruling on Roe vs. Wade,” Aderholt said. “Since that court ruling, we have mourned the loss of more than 60 million unborn children. We must continue to fight for these children who do not have a voice of their own.”

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The congressman added, “This is not a matter of religion vs. science. Science itself shows us that these are not just masses of tissue. I feel calling these unborn children a fetus instead of what they are, an unborn child, is simply a measure to ease guilty consciences. Science has proved that an unborn child’s heart begins beating just 18-21 days after fertilization, that an unborn child’s brainwaves can be detected just 6 weeks after fertilization, and that at 10-11 weeks after fertilization, every organ system is in place.”

“These facts add up to one conclusion, abortion ends a human life, plain and simple,” Aderholt concluded.

In the 116th Congress, Aderholt serves as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, and Related Agencies for the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

He is also a member of that committee’s Defense Subcommittee and its Agriculture Subcommittee, as well as the Helsinki Commission.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

15 hours ago

Report: Doug Jones ‘holding the same position as Nancy Pelosi’ on border wall — ‘Dead man walking’ in 2020

An article published by The New York Times on Friday explained that Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) is taking “the same position as Nancy Pelosi” regarding border security, despite interviews with Jones’ constituents affirming that this stance is unpopular amongst Alabamians.

The piece opens by reminding readers that Jones won in December 2017 while calling himself a “Doug Jones Democrat,” or someone who would not toe the party line.

Yet, his time in office has not necessarily seen this promise come to fruition on key votes, including Jones coming out against the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and key pro-life bills.

His voting record has even led constituents and Republican activists to accuse Jones of being more loyal to House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) than the wishes of the majority of Alabamians.

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Now, the New York Times pointed out, “Mr. Jones finds himself holding the same position as Nancy Pelosi, the liberal House speaker: Reopen the government, then negotiate on border security.”

“By taking on President Trump and the border wall, which are both popular in Alabama, and refusing to give ground on the shutdown, the senator may be the last ‘Doug Jones Democrat’ to win here anytime soon,” the article advised.

The publication then backed up this assertion with the comments of Alabama voters from diverse backgrounds, including a one-time Jones supporter.

“I voted for Jones, I did,” Ann Lynch, an 86-year-old retired schoolteacher in Huntsville, told The New York Times. “But he doesn’t support the wall. I don’t like that, of course. I think we need it. Trump knows we need it.”

Angie Gates, a restaurant owner outside of Huntsville, summarized, “If Doug Jones doesn’t support the wall, I don’t support him.”

This statement comes in spite of Gates’ family-owned business losing significant lunch business because a prison training program was shut down during the current funding standoff.

“For us, because we’re a small town, the shutdown is kind of difficult. But there’s also things in politics that may be worth doing,” she explained.

Jones siding with the Democratic Party on the hot-button issues of the day do not appear to be gaining him any extra voters in 2020.

“Senator Jones, bless his heart, he’ll be a one-term senator,” Sheila Pressnell, 61, said. “The only reason he got it was because he was up against a child predator.”

Pam McGriff, the owner of a custom interior car detailing shop in Holly Pond and a Republican, remarked, “If he would go up there and balk the Democrats, like Schumer and Pelosi, and say, ‘Hey, I think Trump is right,’ and all that kind of stuff, I wouldn’t mind splitting my ticket.”

However, her husband Wayne has seen enough out of Jones already.

“He should support what the people of Alabama want, which is the wall,” he said. “[Jones] shouldn’t be there, and next time he’ll be voted out.”

Jones is even facing pressure from the epitome of a statesman, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL).

On Friday, during a speech in Mobile, Shelby said, “I like Doug Jones. I work with him. But we need to have a Republican.”

In an interview with The New York Times, Shelby made his thoughts clear on the current impasse in partial government shutdown negotiations.

“The president is not going to blink, and he shouldn’t,” Shelby said, adding that he would tell furloughed federal workers to “get your Democrat friends to the table and negotiate with us.”

While it is perhaps unsurprising that Republicans are bucking Jones, what should concern him is the seeming lack of belief among Democrats in the state that he can win re-election, especially after the lopsided 2018 general election results in the Yellowhammer State.

During a presidential election cycle in 2020, assuming he is facing a candidate not named Roy Moore, Jones faces an uphill battle of historic proportions with the electorate and even the enthusiasm gap of his own supporters.

Former Congressman Parker Griffith (AL-5), who helped Jones in 2017 and continues to support him, admitted, “He’s a dead man walking.”

“[Jones] leaned into his base, and his base is not big enough to elect him,” Griffith concluded.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

16 hours ago

Alabama breaks two Department of Labor records

Friday, Governor Kay Ivey announced that the state of Alabama had broken two of its Department of Labor records.

According to the Alabama Department of Labor, Alabama had the highest average weekly earnings ever from December 2017 to December 2018. Total private average weekly earnings were $857.77 in December 2018, up $46.41 from December 2017.

Ivey shared her excitement on social media and also announced that Alabama had reached the largest over-the-year percentage growth on record.

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“We reached the largest over-the-year percentage growth on record at 2.2%, representing an increase of 44,300 jobs, as well as the highest average weekly earnings ever,” Ivey wrote on Facebook.

Alabama State Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh (R-Anniston) also reacted to the news of accelerated Alabama job growth with excitement.

“It is great to see that Alabama is outpacing the nation and breaking records for job growth. This has been one of the top priorities of the GOP Legislature over the past several years,” Marsh said in a statement to Yellowhammer News. “From passing the largest tax cut in a decade to enacting responsible balanced budgeting that forced the state to live within its means, Alabama is proof that conservative pro-growth policies work. I look forward to continuing to make Alabama one of the best places in the world to do business.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

17 hours ago

Gary Palmer: ‘The right to life is sacred’

With the annual March for Life taking place in the nation’s capital on Friday, Congressman Palmer (AL-6) welcomed many of his constituents arriving in Washington, D.C. to show Alabama’s support for pro-life efforts.

“I am heartened and greatly encouraged to know that many of my constituents came to Washington to peacefully stand up for the lives of unborn children,” Palmer said in a statement. “I stand with them in the belief that the right to life is sacred and that life must be protected from its earliest stages.”

The congressman also reaffirmed his opposition to the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

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Palmer added, “The Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in favor of abortion must continue to be challenged if we are to adhere to our nation’s founding principles. The Declaration of Independence states that each person has the ‘unalienable rights’ of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ Life is the first and most basic right that makes all other rights possible. It is the prerequisite.”

“I’m grateful for those who have fought for the rights of the unborn since 1973, including so many from the Sixth District who have added their voices to the cause,” he concluded.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn