Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.
Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.
“The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.
Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.
Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.
Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.
"Frontier Airlines will begin direct flights from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on April 11, the airline announced today. Frontier Airlines will start by offering direct service to Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia from Birmingham. Introductory prices will start at $39."
"At 87, Clint Eastwood is not only trying new things, he’s trying daring new things, and his new film 15:17 to Paris represents one of the most audacious gambits of his career. To dramatize the tale of three Americans who tackled and subdued a heavily armed Islamist terrorist on a train out of Amsterdam in 2015, Eastwood cast the young men, none of whom had professional acting experience, as themselves. It’s a decision with little precedent in the entire history of motion pictures."
7 Things: Protests hit Alabama, state nursing home deaths are unknown, Democrats blame Russia for riots they supported and more …
7. Farmers and ranchers can get help during the coronavirus
The coronavirus has impacted many people, including farmers and ranchers across the country, but the Farm Service Agency is providing relief to those who need it through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
The CFAP has $16 billion to support agriculture producers, specifically focusing on those who have seen a 5% or greater decline in price for their products.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville has confirmed that their hockey program will continue, even after previously announcing they would have to do away with their men’s hockey program due to financial stress from the coronavirus pandemic.
Due to people donating almost $800,000, the hockey program will remain. UAH Athletic Director Cade Smith said, “The university will work with the supporters of the UAH hockey program and a newly formed Hockey Advisory Board to develop a plan that will allow the Chargers to thrive in 2021-2022 season and beyond.”
5. We already have easy accessible absentee voting
Birmingham and Huntsville might be joined by Mobile in adopting a resolution to support absentee voting where you don’t have to submit an excuse due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has already said that for those who want to submit an absentee ballot for this year’s elections because of the pandemic, they just need to select the excuse of “I have a physical illness of infirmity which prevents my attendance at the polls.”
4. Antifa will be treated as a domestic terrorist organization
U.S. Attorney General William Barr has announced that violence committed by individuals tied to the Antifa group will be treated as domestic terrorism as rallies protesting George Floyd’s death have turned into violent riots across the country.
This announcement from Barr comes just after President Donald Trump said that Antifa would be designated as a terrorist organization, and Barr spoke about the protests saying, “the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements.”
3. Maybe it’s the Russians
With many riots taking place across the country over the weekend, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice said while discussing the protests and riots that there are “extremists who’ve hijacked those protests and turn them into something very different.”
Rice went on to say that “based on my experience this is right out of the Russian playbook as well.” She added she “wouldn’t be surprised” if Russia was funding these riots or that they had “fomented some of these extremists on both sides using social media.”
2. Alabama isn’t reporting nursing home data
Alabama and Texas are the only southern states that don’t report nursing home cases of the coronavirus; more recently, Mississippi became the latest to require such data to be published.
In Alabama, nursing homes are required to report their cases to the Alabama Department of Public Health, their county health department, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, resident representatives, staff and residents.
1. Protests took place all through Alabama
Violence erupted in Birmingham Sunday evening as journalists were attacked by protestors. The Confederate monument in Linn Park became a flashpoint as they attempted to tear it down.
Over the weekend, several protests were held in Alabama due to the police brutality that caused the death of George Floyd. There were rallies held in Huntsville, Birmingham, Auburn, Decatur and Mobile.
VIDEO: 100,000 COVID-19 deaths, voting by mail debate spins out of control, Sessions/Tuberville sparring and more on Alabama Politics This Week …
Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:
— Have we reached the worst part of the coronavirus pandemic?
— What does the debate over absentee balloting really mean?
— Will former Attorney General Jeff Sessions be able to eat into former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville’s apparent lead?
Jackson and Handback are joined by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to discuss his campaign, the lack of debates, Tommy Tuberville’s comments about the Chinese military and the coronavirus pandemic.
Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at all of the protesters and rioters who are running around without masks on after we have heard that not wearing a mask at a Wal-Mart was a statement of disregard for our fellow Americans.
Sen. Doug Jones misleads on Trump administration’s coronavirus response
(White House/Flickr, Senator Doug Jones/Facebook, YHN)
It should come as no surprise that the media and their Democrats are blaming President Donald Trump and his administration for the COVID-19 virus.
Call it predictable, call it politics, call it sad, but at the end of the day, call it wrong.
When U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) took part in what should have been a non-partisan conference call with the Alabama Department of Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, he took the time to call out the Trump administration for its lack of action early on in the pandemic.
After blaming the actual people responsible for this pandemic, China and the World Health Organization, Jones said, “I’ve been disappointed in the administration and their early responses.” He added the president and his team had a “cavalier attitudes.”
Too bad he’s wrong.
And truthfully, it’s not even an original thought as former comedienne Sarah Silverman beat him to it by two days.
Trump knew about it January, called it a democratic hoax, and didn’t do shit until March. But he’s perfect, right? Not to mention despite myriad warnings one was coming, cut the entire pandemic response budget in 2018. He’s responsible for nothing. Literally. https://t.co/00O09jzWLy
January 3: Tried to get CDC into China (numerous attempts made/China never allowed) January 6: Began issuing travel notices (issued multiple) January 7: Created issue management system Janurary 17: Began screenings at airports January 20: Announces work on development of a vaccine January 21: Activated its emergency operations center to provide ongoing support to the coronavirus response January 23: Sought a “special emergency authorization” from FDA to allow states to use its newly developed coronavirus test January 23: China finally quarantines Wuhan, had lied to the world for weeks about what was going on and how contagious the virus was and deadly January 29: Creates Coronavirus Task Force January 31: Bans travel from China / Declares public health emergency / suspends entry from foreigners who pose risk of transmitting coronavirus February 2: CDC expands screenings at airports February 5: Briefs lawmakers about pandemic February 6: CDC ships tests February 9: Briefs governors about pandemic February 11: Expands efforts with private sector to expedite vaccine February 14: Partners with local labs to conduct influenza surveillance to see if alarms are going off February 24: Writes Congress asking for billions to combat coronavirus February 29: Bans travel from South Korea / Iran March 3: Donates entire quarter’s salary to fighting coronavirus March 4: Announces massive buy in N95 masks (which Obama-Biden admin depleted and never replaced) March 6: Signs $8.3 billion to combat coronavirus March 11: Bans travel from Europe/made numerous moves to lower interest rates March 13: Declares national emergency, freeing up $42 billion.
Over 100,000 Americans are dead, but Jones has to play politics because his job depends on it.
I don’t blame Jones. He’s mostly echoing the talking points of his party, their true leaders like Silverman, and rightly expecting very little actual push-back.
His only hope of hanging on to his job is pleasing the people who fund his campaign and hoping they will keep dumping their money into his account from New York, California and Washington, D.C. He can only do that by blasting Trump, whether he needs it or not.
But President Trump listened to his health officials and our current trajectory is far below the early projections of 2.2 million dead. This is a success.
Monday morning quarterbacking might make Jones and his handlers feel better, but if he is going to do it, he needs to be accurate.
On this front, he fails miserably. And he looks like another politician who doesn’t know what he is talking about.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.
7 Things: Doug Jones blames Trump for the coronavirus pandemic, Alabama Public Health Department dispels rumors about numbers, no ‘rush’ to press charges in Minnesota and more …
7. Sessions supporters still argue he did the right thing in recusing himself
In 2017, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation of Russian interference into President Donald Trump’s election campaign, and Trump has used Sessions’ recusal as a point to criticize him regularly.
Despite Trump’s criticism, Sessions has maintained that recusal was required due to federal regulations, and now he’s said that these regulations “basically has the impact of law” and “you’re not able to investigate yourself,” adding that U.S. Attorney General William Barr, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Attorney Generals Mike Mukasey and Ed Meese, and U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) all agree with Sessions’ decision to recuse himself.
Friday, the Birmingham City Council is going to vote on whether to continue the mandatory mask city ordinance until June 12, which is set to expire on May 29 after first being put in place back on April 28.
Birmingham is the only city that requires people to wear a mask in public. Council President William Parker said that wearing a mask “is an intentional act of kindness because you’re helping to protect those around you.” He added that while they “can’t legislate morality, we just want our citizens to understand the importance of covering their face when they are in a public space.”
5. It’s looking more and more like we’ll have football by fall
State Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) has said that while Auburn University and the University of Alabama don’t make the decision to have football this fall, but “every indication is that is going to happen.”
Whatley also said he’s hoping Auburn can have students return to campus by the end of June, adding that the university is “committed to getting students back on the Auburn campus.”
4. Trump has signed an executive order against social media companies
President Donald Trump was fact-checked by Twitter, which he said were “editorial decisions,” and now it has escalated to him signing an executive order to challenge the liability protections that prevent social media sites from lawsuits due to the content on their platforms.
Twitter responded by targeting another Trump tweet. They are granted these protections because they’re considered “platforms” instead of “publishers,” but Trump said that he’s “fed up with it” since Twitter has a reputation of targeting conservatives.
3. Charges against officers involved in Floyd death won’t be rushed
The four police officers in Minneapolis that were involved in the death of George Floyd have been fired, but now, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said that they aren’t going to “rush” to press charges on officers.
Freeman said they’re going to “do this right,” and went on to ask the public to “give me and give the United States attorney the time to do this right, and we will bring you justice. I promise.” However, after the death of George Floyd there has been an outbreak of looting and rioting throughout the city.
2. No, your whole family won’t be counted if you test positive
The Alabama Department of Public Health has put rumors to rest that if you test positive for the coronavirus then everyone in your household will be counted as positive, clarifying that those who are counted in the case numbers are those who test positive through a clinical lab, commercial lab or the Bureau of Clinical Laboratories.
In Alabama, the ADPH is also not including antibody tests in the positive coronavirus cases, and while they aren’t counting people who live in the same house as someone who tests positive in the case count, they do suggest that those people consider themselves positive and “[e]veryone in the home is instructed to quarantine for 14 days from the date of the case’s onset of symptoms.”
1. Jones doesn’t just blame Trump for the coronavirus
In a live-stream with Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) to discuss the coronavirus, Jones answered the question of what he would say to people about how high the death toll in the United States has gotten. Jones said that he doesn’t “think we’re at a point where we should be pointing a whole lot of blame.”
Throughout his comments, Jones said that there is blame to be placed on China, the Worth Health Organization, and President Donald Trump and “the administration and their early responses.” Jones went on to say that reopening states right now is “premature.”
Twitter should back down, and Trump should back off
(White House/Flickr, YHN)
American politics are about to enter a precarious place where the messages put out by politicians, or maybe only one politician, are going to be filtered by nameless and faceless tech employees that work for Twitter.
As we all know, Twitter is the tool used by President Donald Trump to get around the gate-keeping and absurd bias of the mainstream media.
Until this week, he had an unfiltered avenue to speak directly to the American people, and they had an avenue to hear him.
Of course, afterward, anyone and everyone with a TV, newspaper byline or Twitter account could respond and call him a liar, fraud, treasonous monster or whatever they wanted.
But Twitter decided to step in and decide that they would start behaving differently, just for Trump, and editorialize on his content.
While they could have chosen to do so on his claims that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough needed to be looked at as a potential murderer, but they didn’t.
SIDENOTE: There is a tape where he jokes about having an affair and killing her.
Instead, Twitter decided they needed to go after the president on the issue of voter fraud.
There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone…..
The reality is Democrats are pushing for all vote-by-mail elections.
Some states are automatically mailing ballots to all registered voters, while some are just mailing applications.
But this is far worse than this particular case. It’s the precedent being set.
When Trump gets some of the info wrong, let the media and his political enemies call him out.
Why not all the elected officials who continued to allege Russian collusion for years, and still do to this day on Twitter?
What about media figures who spread dangerous misinformation about the motives of their fellow citizens and use Twitter to delimitate their attacks?
Why not Ayatollah Khomeini, who openly threatens Isreal?
The enemies misinterpret the Islamic Republic’s idea of “eliminating Israel”. Eliminating Israel does not mean eliminating Jewish people. We are not #Antisemitic; Jews live in peace in Iran. Eliminating Israel represents elimination of the imposed Zionist regime. pic.twitter.com/4uKDxcccJI
The last two don’t even allow their citizens to use Twitter, but Twitter will bow down to them?
What about the people claiming former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t have to recuse himself? He did.
What about those who think U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has a chance at reelection? He doesn’t.
What about the anonymous guy who accuses me of numerous crimes and misdeeds on Twitter daily?
Does that guy now get a note depicting that his comments are untrue or unfounded?
What about essentially every column written by the bitter losers at Alabama Media Group? They had to dump their comment section because their commenters were crushing their souls. Will Twitter’s CEO or site integrity police call out their misinformation?
We could do this all day.
That’s the point. Moderation of this kind and on this scale is impossible.
It can’t be done effectively. That’s the purpose of the rule Trump wants reinterpreted.
More importantly, it should not be done — and it especially should not be done to one individual.
It shouldn’t matter how many times Joe Scarborough or any of CNN’s interchangeable talking heads declare, “This should be taken down,” Twitter should just stay out of moderating political debates because they will inevitably get it wrong and if they don’t editorialize, they now accept it.
What if Trump tweets “LOOK at all the lies Joe Biden has told, from the lies about his wife’s death to the lies about his son’s business dealings!”
If Twitter lets them stand, they are now confirmed? (SIDENOTE: They are confirmed)
Facebook actually got this as close to right as you could expect. They have attempted to discredit things linked to their site with a bit of a mixed bag approach that has angered liberals and conservatives alike.
But Twitter has now awakened the president, and he has the ability to raise questions about their status as a forum and not a publisher.
If Twitter is smart, they will follow the lead of Facebook’s CEO of stop trying to act as the arbiter of truth. Zuckerberg believes Twitter went too far, saying, “I think in general private companies probably shouldn’t be – especially these platform companies – shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”
Truthfully, Zuckerberg knows that Twitter is dragging him (and Google) into this, and he wants no part of it, nor should he.
Trump’s potential executive order makes his position clear, “This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power.”
He wants to strip them of immunity, meaning if they want to editorialize, then they are responsible for anything that they allow.
This will either force Twitter to back down on moderation or die as it currently exists and take down most social media sites with it.
As with any executive order, the next president can change the rules (except for DACA, apparently).
It’s pretty clear that Twitter has over-stepped here, and they only have two options if the president’s order becomes a reality and survives a court challenge: back down on moderation of political speech or be crushed by lawsuits and government oversight.
The correct move by Twitter would be to stop this nonsense right now, acknowledge that they will stop moderating political speech, and move on knowing they messed up.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.
7 Things: Alabama’s COVID-19 mixed bag, CNN’s fake news about Alabama, Trump vs. social media and more …
7. Casinos reopening in June
Wind Creek Hospitality has said that their three Alabama casinos will reopen to the public on June 8 with new measures in place to try and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Everyone will be required to wear masks, guests and employees will have their temperature checked, capacity on the casino floor is limited to one third, tables and dining areas are all going to be more spread out, hotels will be at half capacity, and employees will be sent home if they show any symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.
In Alabama, just 58.2% of households have responded to the 2020 U.S. Census, while Governor Kay Ivey’s goal is to reach at least 80%.
Alabama isn’t far behind the national response rate, which is currently at 60.1%. The counties in the state that are reporting at a faster rate are Shelby County with 72% of households responding and Madison County with 70.3%.
5. Byrne has joined the lawsuit against Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other Democrats in Congress have supported allowing “proxy” votes where members would be able to vote for their colleagues during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but a lawsuit brought against Pelosi argues that this practice is unconstitutional.
U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) said that this “is a blatant violation of the Constitution.” He added that the proxy voting rules could allow “as few as 22 Democrats could claim a quorum and win a vote against all 197 Republicans.” U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has shown some support of the lawsuit, but Byrne is the only Alabama representative listed as a plaintiff.
4. Trump is prepared to veto FISA bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other House Democrats have pushed forward on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provisions, despite Republican pushback, and now President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the whole thing until the investigation into the investigators is concluded and FISA abuses are exposed.
On Twitter, Trump issued his warning and added that the United States “has just suffered through the greatest political crime in history.” He added, “The massive abuse of FISA was a big part of it!”
3. Trump is mad at social media and making it everyone’s issue
Fact checks were placed on a few of President Donald Trump’s posts on Twitter recently, and now he’s threatening new regulations or shutting down social media websites, saying they “silence conservative voices.”
Trump has also said “Big Action to follow,” suggesting that he would impose some kind of executive order to shut down these sites. Action like that would likely require the support of Congress, but others like U.S. Representative Josh Hawley (R-MO) said social media sites “get this special immunity, this special immunity from suits and from liability that’s worth billions of dollars to them every year.” He asked, “Why are they getting subsidized by federal taxpayers to censor conservatives, to censor people critical of China?”
2. CNN misrepresented Alabama beaches
On Memorial Day, CNN released a report on how crowded the beaches in Alabama were over the holiday weekend, but now Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft is speaking out against how CNN misrepresented the circumstances.
Craft said that while they “can’t control everybody,” he’s “pleased with what I’ve seen down here.” He went on to point out how people are practicing social distancing at the beach, but the camera angles CNN used can easily distort reality, with a horizontal shot making the beach look more packed than it was. Craft said he just doesn’t “think the story is very accurate.”
1. Alabama’s coronavirus cases spike but there is some good news
Alabama has a surge in coronavirus cases, but one of the hotspots for coronavirus in Alabama, Marshall County, has seen 660 cases of the virus and a total of nine deaths. Now, it’s reported that there are no hospitalizations in the county that are positive for the virus.
The hospitals in Marshall County are part of the Huntsville Hospital Healthcare System, and they’ve seen very few patients from the coronavirus overall. Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said he “can’t explain” why they had very few hospitalizations while seeing so many cases.
7 Things: Senate race escalates, Alabama coronavirus cases increase as expected, Birmingham mask ordinance to expire and more …
7. North Alabama waterpark will remain closed all year
Despite most of the state reopening in some capacity, Point Mallard Waterpark in Decatur will remain closed for all of 2020 due to the coronavirus, Decatur city officials have announced.
Decatur Mayor Tad Bowling also discussed that in the last week the city has seen their coronavirus cases increase from 119 to 176, saying that measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus must continue because “through the completion of these crucial steps that we can restart our economy that’s so vital to our communities.”
President Donald Trump put out some tweets about mail-in voting, which he called “fraudulent” and said that “mail boxes will be robbed.” Under those tweets, Twitter has added a “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” link, which is the first time they’ve done this.
Recently, Trump has brought attention to himself on Twitter by posting murder accusations about MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough from when he was a U.S. Representative of Florida, but Trump is notorious for saying outlandish things on the social media site.
5. Absentee ballot rules don’t violate voter rights
To file an absentee ballot in Alabama, two witnesses or a notary is required to validate the ballot. The Department of Justice has filed a statement saying that these rules don’t violate voter rights. The statement was filed in regard to a private lawsuit brought against Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.
The plaintiffs in the case are being represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center; the lawsuit argues that these requirements violate section 201 of the Voting Rights Act, but the Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said, “The Voting Rights Act does not outlaw all voting-related requirements enacted by the States.”
4. Almost 5,000 cases in Alabama within the last two weeks
With the state reopening, an uptick in cases of the coronavirus was expected, and now within the last two weeks, there’s been an increase of 4,743 cases throughout Alabama with 72,489 people tested.
As of May 26, the total case number was 15,194. Overall, there have been 192,602 people tested with 7.9% of tests being positive, but in the past two weeks, only 6.5% of tests have been positive.
3. Trump just wants people to die?
Former Vice President Joe Biden has responded to President Donald Trump’s criticism of him wearing a mask on Memorial Day. While in an interview on CNN, Biden said that Trump is an “absolute fool” for not wearing a mask.
Biden went on to say that Trump is “stoking deaths” by his refusal to wear a mask. He also criticized Trump, saying that he should “lead by example,” adding that “it costs people’s lives.”
2. Birmingham allowing mask ordinance to expire
A new poll of registered voters done by Hill-HarrisX shows that 68% of people want masks to be mandatory in public to some extent, 40% of people think masks should be mandatory for indoor and outdoor activities, while 28% said they should be mandatory for indoor activities and 6% saying masks shouldn’t be recommended at all.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin will allow the city’s ordinance in Birmingham requiring people to wear masks to expire on Friday, but still will require city employees and anyone at a city facility to wear masks. Woodfin is still encouraging everyone to “wear masks, maintain social distancing, and do what you can to limit the spread.”
1. Sessions slams another Tuberville gaffe
Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville suggested that the American military is inferior to the Chinese military, a statement that is incorrect in every possible metric. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions responded to this by suggesting that Tuberville should apologize for “exalting the Chinese Communist Party’s military over our own.”
Additionally, Sessions slammed Tuberville for having a losing record his last two football seasons and refusing to debate after Tuberville declared himself in the lead and therefore had no need to engage in a debate with the former senator.
It looks like U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and the Alabama Farmers Federation (ALFA) will not be making nice any time soon after Brooks once again criticized their decision making in a Tuesday appearance on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show.”
Brooks was asked about ALFA’s decision to back former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville over long-time U.S. Senator and former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the right to take on U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in November.
The North Alabama congressman highlighted the differences he has had with ALFA and pointed to similar areas where ALFA might be at odds with Sessions.
Those areas of disagreement, per the congressman, are vast and include ALFA’s support for more employment-based immigration.
Brooks stated, “ALFA demands and expects from its politicians, huge taxpayer subsidies.”
He then credited ALFA as “successful at getting special privilege and special dispensations of monies from the United States Congress.”
On the latter issue, Brooks hit back at a particular request he believed drew ALFA into his primary race after he rebuffed attempts by ALFA to gain his support for taxpayer-funded capital improvement projects on private farmland.
ALFA’s endorsement of Brooks’ 2020 primary opponent Chris Lewis sparked a war of words that continues to this day, and Brooks seems to believe he and Sessions’ similar records on key issues might be helping drive their decision to support Tuberville over Sessions in the race for the U.S. Senate (although it should be noted that FarmPAC endorsed Tuberville before Sessions even entered the race).
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.
7 Things: Montgomery says it can handle its coronavirus cases, Trump keeps pounding away on Sessions, Nick Saban wants you to wear a mask if you want college football and more …
7. Trump wants full attendance at GOP convention
President Donald Trump has said that if North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) doesn’t allow “full attendance” for the Republican National Convention, those planning the convention will be “reluctantly forced” to find a new location.
Currently, the GOP convention is set to be held in Charlotte on August 24. Cooper’s office has maintained, “State health officials are working with the RNC and will review its plans as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte. North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety.”
After the University of Alabama in Huntsville announced that they would be putting an end to their men’s hockey program due to financial issues they’ve seen from the coronavirus, thousands of people have already signed a petition in support of keeping the hockey program.
UAH has also said in their release that they’re starting “a hiring freeze, a heightened review of spending, cancellations of faculty sabbaticals, and a temporary suspension of the 403(b) voluntary retirement employer match.” They’re also canceling the men’s and women’s tennis programs.
5. Woodfin wants churches to stay closed
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin appeared on CNN where he discussed reopening churches and said, “Having physical church at the actual church grounds is very dangerous right now.”
During this interview, Woodfin referenced an outbreak in Chambers County that was linked to in-person church services, saying “the largest, deadliest event from the coronavirus has been from a church event.” The main concern is the larger population of elderly people who attend church, but Woodfin thinks the “local faith leaders in the city of Birmingham will remain closed,” adding, [T]hey’re listening to our local health experts.”
4. The media is at it again
When the American media wasn’t spending their weekend complaining that the president didn’t wear a mask outside and was praising his opponent for wearing a mask outside, they were highlighting how American human beings spend their holiday weekends and how they were going to get everyone killed.
The American media’s new favorite politician, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, spent plenty of time on cable news fretting about Alabamians going to the beach while beaches in South Carolina and a lake in Missouri were sources of media panic, even though less than 1% of transmission happens outside.
3. Wear a mask if you want college football to happen
University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban is encouraging people to wear masks, sanitize, and socially distance for the sake of the college football season. Saban has said that it’s “everyone’s goal to try to have a football season that starts when it’s supposed to start, like Labor Day Weekend, and have as normal a schedule as possible and as normal a playoff situation as possible.”
In a video posted to social media, Saban is wearing an Alabama mask and says that if we’re going to have football in the fall, “we must be sure we stay at home if we have symptoms, wash your hands often, follow all social distancing guidelines and please wear a mask anytime you’re around other people.”
2. Trump’s latest rant is about Sessions
In a tweet about supporting former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate, President Donald Trump also took a moment to bash former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which continued in Trump’s interview with Sharyl Attkisson of Sinclair Broadcasting.
In his interview, Trump said that Sessions was “a disaster as attorney general,” adding, “He’s not mentally qualified to be attorney general.” In response to Trump on Twitter, Sessions reiterated that “recusal was required by law.” He added, “I did my duty & you’re damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration. Your personal feelings don’t dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do.”
1. Montgomery has seen an increase in hospitalizations, but they’re handling it
Recently, Montgomery has seen a significant increase in hospitalizations from the coronavirus, and while on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Alabama Department of Public Health’s Dr. Scott Harris said there is reason for concern about the situation.
Harris also pointed out that some hospital beds are being taken up by those who had elective procedures, and not everyone in the ICU is a coronavirus patient, and while there is concern, Montgomery is “able to handle what they’re seeing right now.”
7 Things: Ivey further reopens Alabama, Trump says U.S. will not close again, Nick Saban wants you to wear a mask and more …
7. Travel has increased across the state
Everything has slowly been reopening, so it’s easy to assume that vehicle travel would increase across the state, especially after vehicle travel decreased by nearly 80% at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press released data by StreetLight Data, Inc. that showed on a daily basis in January, people in Alabama were traveling about 357 million miles by vehicle, and then just before the shutdown, travel had jumped to 550 million miles on March 6. But by April 12, travel had dropped to 80 million miles; by May 12, the weekly average of travel was 278 million miles per day.
Garrison Commander Col. Kelsey Smith has announced that Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal will be reopening on Tuesday next week. With more than 40,000 employees, the Arsenal is the largest employee hub in North Alabama.
Organizations located on base will be able to make their own decisions about when they’re returning to base. The decision to reopen was based on a steady decline over the last five days in the counties that employees live in. Smith said this is the “first step toward recovery.”
5. We won’t shut down the country again
President Donald Trump while touring the Ford Motor Co. plant in Detroit, Michigan, said there is potential for a second wave of the coronavirus, but he said that in the event of that happening, “we’re going to put out the fires,” adding, “We’re not going to close the economy.”
During his statement, Trump added that he’s “fighting to bring back our jobs from China and many other countries” because the United States “needs to be a manufacturing nation.” Trump went on to say that the coronavirus started in “China and it should have been stopped in China.”
4. Montgomery’s ICU bed “shortage” isn’t what it seems
The national and state media were shocked that the mayor of Alabama’s capital city announced that the city was having to send coronavirus patients to Birmingham for treatment, but State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the situation in Montgomery is manageable.
Harris and Dr. Donald Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association say this is nothing new, adding the hospitals have capacity and the movement of patients is completely normal. Harris advised, “They have the ability within their four walls to handle that and handle more if necessary.”
3. Americans are wearing masks
In the last week, 80% of Americans have worn a mask. According to a recent study, 70% of Americans believe that wearing a mask is respectful. Birmingham has 100,000 masks in storage, yet we are still seeing a pretend culture war being fought over the act of wearing masks when it is just another fabricated fake news narrative.
The latest pro-mask warrior comes from an unexpected place — the University of Alabama. Head football coach Nick Saban has filmed a pro-mask PSA where he scolds Big Al for not wearing a mask and says, “All of us want to make sure we play football this fall, and to make that happen, we must be sure we stay at home if we have symptoms, wash your hands often, follow social distancing guidelines and please wear a mask any time you’re around other people.”
2. People trust Biden with more
Fox News has conducted a new poll between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden asking respondents which jobs they trust each with when it comes to the economy, coronavirus, dealing with China and healthcare.
On the economy, 45% of respondents trust Trump and 42% trust Biden, whereas 46% of people trust Biden to handle the coronavirus and only 37% trust Trump. Surprisingly, 43% of people trust Biden with China and only 37% trust Trump. With healthcare, 50% trust Biden and 33% trust Trump.
1. Alabama is reopening even more
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Governor Kay Ivey has announced that starting Friday at 5:00 p.m., an amended Safer-At-Home Order will go into effect and allow entertainment venues to reopen.
Included in the venues reopening will be museums, movie theaters, bowling alleys and summer camps. Beginning on June 1, schools will be allowed to reopen, and by June 15, Ivey is planning to allow athletic competitions. Everything reopening will still be subject to rules of sanitation and social distancing.
7 Things: COVID-19 hits Montgomery hospitals hard, Jones doesn’t want investigations into Biden, Ivey to take on prisons herself and more …
7. A mayoral candidate wants to hang drug dealers
In Sylacauga, Alabama, special education teacher Michael Ray James is a candidate for mayor. He recently went on Facebook to voice his frustration with the city’s drug problem, and he has suggested an “extreme” solution.
On his campaign Facebook page, James said that public hangings should be the punishment for convicted drug dealers as it “definitely brings attention to this scourge on Sylacauga, Alabama and the United States of America.” He said that those who have criticized his idea just have “a difference of opinion.”
6. Several workers at Bryant-Denny Stadium test positive for coronavirus
A construction crew that’s been working at Bryant-Denny Stadium has seen an outbreak of the coronavirus, with more than 10 workers testing positive.
Work at the stadium was shut down for a few days so that proper cleaning could be done, but it started back quickly with fewer workers.
5. People are still loving the beach
Gulf Shores has been packed “like the 4th of July” most days, according to the head of city beach rescue Melvin Shepard, but there still hasn’t been any citations given for violating the state health order for people to maintain the six feet apart rule.
This month alone, Gulf Shores Beach Rescue has reported at least 722,385 visitors. Memorial Day weekend is expected to only boost those numbers more.
4. We still don’t know everything about the coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that the coronavirus “does not spread easily” by contaminated surfaces. Previously, the CDC had said it’s “possible” for the virus to spread through surfaces.
The CDC has reminded people that the coronavirus “is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads,” adding, “It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads.”
3. Ivey will deal with Alabama’s prison problems
Governor Kay Ivey seems prepared to go it alone on prison reform to save the legislature the hassle of passing laws and allocating spending, something they have had no interest in doing on the issue of prison construction over the last decade-plus, by building three 4,000-inmates facilities under a build-lease proposal.
State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) said Ivey has the legislature “boxed in” while State Representative Christopher England (D-Tuscaloosa) said there is a chance to save money on this plan. He explained, “If the Legislature could ever get its act together and pass our own plan, we would create oversight and likely reduce the price tag by at least a billion dollars.”
2. Investigations are only bad when they’re against Biden
U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has come out against the idea that former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden need to be investigated after the U.S. Homeland Security Committee authorized subpoenas to investigate Hunter’s ties to Ukrainian company Burisma.
While on MSNBC, Jones said that this is “the craziest thing I’ve ever heard,” adding the Senate shouldn’t have to “investigate every perceived enemy of the president, especially this president.” He also insisted, “Democrats in the Senate are talking about the things that are necessary.”
1. Some Montgomery hospitals are overrun
For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck Alabama, we have seen hospitals at capacity with COVID-19 patients to the point where patients from Montgomery are now being sent to Birmingham for treatment because Montgomery area hospitals are down to one ICU bed.
After saying the issue with Montgomery is not the city but the rural community surrounding it, Mayor Steven Reed said, “We don’t want to be in a situation where we have to lock down the city.” He warned that people need to continue social distancing, wear masks and keep gatherings to a minimum.
Governor Kay Ivey threw the Alabama legislature into the briar patch over prison reform
(Governor Kay Ivey/Flickr, PIxabay, Wikicommons, YHN)
Governor Kay Ivey already threw the legislature under the bus when she released a “wish list” — containing a few projects that had nothing to do with COVID-19 relief — that a small group of legislators proposed to start conversations on how to spend CARES Act funding.
After they were run over, and the media spent a week picking at the bones, she seized the money and walked away.
Some legislators are legitimately upset about this, but at least one legislator did put a $200 million dollar State House on the list and, come on, that was a no-brainer.
Because our local political media can only understand one simple thing at a time, they continued this same narrative when Ivey made it clear she was moving forward with her prison plan.
Alabama legislators have never seemed enthusiastic about new prison construction. Now they face a potential worst-case scenario: Paying unknown costs for prisons they have no practical input on. https://t.co/LVJmpcIryV#alpolitics
Lyman is considered one of the “best” “straight news” guys who covers Alabama politics.
This is a direct insult to the others who do the job, the job itself, all of the state’s journalism programs, Edward R. Murrow, William Hearst, spankin’ H. Brandt Ayers and probably Alabama in general.
As for praise, it is faint praise at best.
Unsurprisingly, Lyman thinks legislators wanted to take up, develop and appropriate money for a massive redo of the prison system, and the governor now took this away from them?
Something they needed to do for over a decade? Something they talk about every year? Something they know the federal government will (allegedly) force on them any day?
She took that off their plate?
She will decide how much it will cost?
She will decide to take money from [insert pet project that must be done or people will die] and now wants to spend it on gangbangers, murderers, rapists, child molesters, former elected officials and future journalists?
She will own this completely on every single level?
She will absolve them of their responsibility and failure?
She will force them to go to their constituents and declare, “Gee, I didn’t want to spend all that money on the prisons but that darn Governor Ivey made us do it!”?
“Oh no! Please, Governor Ivey, don’t throw me in that there briar patch!“
“Oh no! Please, Governor Ivey, please don’t resolve that there prison issue for us!”
I am sure the legislature hates this.
Yeah, smart take.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.
7 Things: Trump sours on trade deal with China, Tuberville up big, more Obamagate disclosures and more …
7. Charles Barkley was never going to be governor
Previously, NBA’s Charles Barkley has said that he’d like to be the governor of Alabama, but now he’s announced that he’s “not going to do the governor thing” because “Democrats and Republicans are both full of crap.”
Last month, Barkley said that Democrats “have done an awful job of taking care of poor people.” He added, “They make the same boasts every four years, come to the black community and (say) they’re going to make things better. But they don’t really make things better.”
This week, to the excitement of the media and their Democrats, President Donald Trump will be visiting a Michigan Ford Motor Company that’s been making ventilators, and Trump has been informed that he’ll need to wear a mask during his visit, as it is company policy to do so.
Ford told Fox News that they’ve shared all “safety protocols, including our manufacturing playbook, employee pamphlet and self-assessment survey with the White House ahead of time and in preparation for this trip.” While Trump has refused to wear a mask previously, the trip on Thursday will show if he continues to refuse.
5. Hubbard tries to get his court case tossed again
Former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s (R-Auburn) lawyers are requesting that the courts reverse their decision to uphold Hubbard’s ethics conviction, arguing that parts of the ethics laws are unclear.
In April, five of Hubbard’s ethics convictions were overturned and six were still upheld. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said that Hubbard’s actions that led to his conviction were “corrupt and betrayed the public trust.”
4. Marshall supports dropping Flynn case
A federal judge declined the Department of Justice’s motion to drop the case against Lt. General Michael Flynn, and now Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has joined 15 other attorneys general asking for the charges to be dropped.
A statement released by Marshall’s office explains that the judge blocking the motion “betrays a lack of regard the separation of powers,” adding, “The only branch of government given constitutional authority to prosecute is the executive.”
3. The plot continues to thicken with Obamagate
Every day that passes another piece of evidence emerges that the Obama administration was operating to oppose the Trump administration during the transitions when they were unmasking Lt. General Michael Flynn and withholding information about Russia as James Comey was attempting to build a case against him to keep the Trump-Russia narrative moving forward.
Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice is now demanding that transcripts of calls between Flynn and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak be released because this will show all of their dishonesty and duplicity was justified.
2. Tuberville has a big lead over Sessions
The polling firm Cygnal has conducted an independent survey from May 7-10, asking GOP voters which U.S. Senate candidate who they would vote for if the election were today.
The results found 55.1% of respondents said they’d vote for former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, while 31.8% said former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In the poll, 35.6% said they’re definitely voting for Tuberville, while 19.4% are definitely voting for Sessions.
1. Trump doesn’t feel the same about China trade deal
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump now feels “very differently” about the trade deal made with China, even though the deal is just starting to take effect, but the deal “seems to mean less” to him now.
Trump questioned, “Why did they block it leaving Wuhan into China but they didn’t block it from going to other parts of the world?” The trade agreement requires China to stop currency manipulation, buy an additional $200 billion in U.S. products, and stop intellectual property theft.
7 Things: Legislature passes budgets that include CARES Act funding agreement, more deaths projected in Alabama, Democrats pretend they are gearing up for another impeachment and more …
7. Trump has been taking medication to prevent coronavirus
In an effort to keep from getting the coronavirus, President Donald Trump has been taking hydroxychloroquine once a day for a little over a week, which was approved by a White House physician before Trump started the drug.
Trump revealed this while at a meeting in the White House State Dining Room, but more recent studies have said that hydroxychloroquine isn’t effective in treating the coronavirus. Of course, that issue is still up for debate as no rigorous testing has been done.
Loan forgiveness from the Paycheck Protection Program is now available, according to the Small Business Administration, who recently released guidelines for applications. Additional guidelines and regulations will continue to be released.
Alabama Bankers Association president and CEO Scott Latham said now “small business owners are one step closer to realizing the greatest benefit of the stimulus program designed to provide relief from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
5. Excess COVID-19 testing exists
Even if you aren’t showing symptoms, you can be tested for the coronavirus through Huntsville Hospital, according to CEO David Spiller. This is a big change since people were previously required to be symptomatic to qualify for testing.
Spillers said that they aren’t expecting a big spike in testing because they’ve already been testing some patients before elective procedures that were asymptomatic and have found one that was” COVID positive.” Spillers added, “Contrary to the belief that there were a lot of asymptomatic patients running around in our community that weren’t diagnosed, the data is not proving that to be true.”
4. Tuberville has nothing new to say
Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville has consistently attacked former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on his recusal during the Russia probe, and now Tuberville’s U.S. Senate campaign has put out a television ad against Sessions on that same issue.
The ad shows President Donald Trump saying he wouldn’t appoint Sessions given a second chance. Tuberville says, “Sessions quit on the president and he failed Alabama.” He then repeated popular lines that have also been stated by Trump, such as “build the wall” and “drain the swamp.” Sessions responded to the ad saying that Tuberville “doesn’t know the first thing about Alabama or the great issues facing America.”
3. Get ready for the second wave
The second wave of impeachment is finally here, as House Democrats have informed the Supreme Court that they have an “ongoing presidential impeachment investigation,” claiming that the full special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury testimony must be released.
The Democrats are especially looking at “the possible exercise of improper political influence over recent decisions made in the Roger Stone and Michael Flynn prosecutions, both of which were initiated by the special counsel” The Supreme Court was told that new articles of impeachment could be brought against President Donald Trump if the redacted portions of Mueller’s testimony “reveals new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the articles adopted by the House.”
2. Alabama’s death projection jumps again and health officials are worried
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has released another round of projections for the United States and the state of Alabama. While the United States projections show lower the numbers, Alabama’s projection go from 795 deaths by August 4 to 1,208.
These numbers show that we are not out of the woods yet, and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris iswarning residents that this situation is still very serious in some parts of the state like Montgomery and Mobile Counties, saying, “The numbers are not headed in the right direction, especially in some parts of the state.”
1. Executive amendment for CARES Act funding approved
Governor Kay Ivey’s proposed executive amendment for the $1.8 billion given to Alabama through the CARES Act has been approved by the state legislature, with a House vote of 73-1 and a Senate vote of 30-1.
Ivey thanked the legislature for “supporting this amendment and for ensuring this money helps the people of Alabama who have been harmed by this disease.”
Mac McCutcheon praises Ivey, the state of Alabama on its COVID-19 response
(Representative Mac McCutcheon/Facebook)
Alabama legislators headed into their final day of the legislative session today.
The most important item on their agenda is deciding whether to approve or override Governor Kay Ivey’s executive amendment regarding $1.8 billion in CARES ACT funding for COVID-19 relief.
While appearing on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” Monday morning, Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) made it clear that he believed the House would approve the amendment and go with the governor’s recommendations moving forward.
McCutcheon also noted that the state of Alabama has done a phenomenal job in dealing with the issues surrounding the global pandemic, adding because of that, Alabamians are in a better situation moving forward.
McCutcheon touted the information he gleaned as a member of the National Speakers Conference when talking about state budgets that did not require cuts.
“[W]hen I talk to other speakers across this country, many of the states they cannot put a budget together, they’re having to borrow money to get state governments up and running,” McCutcheon stated.
He also credited governor with sticking to her guns on her approach to open and closing the state.
“Governor Ivey has been just steadfast, she hasn’t wavered, she hasn’t done something that she had to back up and redo,” McCutcheon outlined. “I think overall, with this something being unprecedented, we’ve done well.”
If, in fact, Alabama is on the other side of this issue, the state will be in good shape moving forward. But if there is a relapse and additional restrictions return, the story might have a different ending.
7 Things: Alabama businesses are hurting, future of $1.8 billion in CARES Act funding could be decided Monday, Trump betting on a vaccine but not waiting for one and more …
7. Obama found time to criticize the coronavirus response
While giving a commencement speech for students graduating from historically black colleges, former President Barack Obama took a moment to say, “[T]his pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing.”
Obama added that the upcoming presidential election is especially important because “we’re fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy — that has become a stronger impulse in American life.” While he didn’t mention President Donald Trump or anyone in the administration by name, he made it clear who he was talking about.
On May 22, the schools in the SEC will vote on if athletic facilities at schools should reopen after June 1; the vote will take place via conference call with the SEC presidents.
University of Alabama System Chancellor Finis St. John has already said that they intend for schools to resume on-campus instruction and activities by fall, while Auburn University President Jay Gogue has said they will “have football this fall.”
5. China continues to be exposed as an untrustworthy nation
There is no question that the Chinese government has been less than truthful about the handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, newly-leaked documents indicate that the communist nation has 640,000+ cases of the virus instead of the 80,000 cases they have touted.
No one believed China was telling the truth, but the American media hoped it would be true so they could continue to blame the United States for underestimating the virus, even though health officials have made it clear that China’s dishonesty hid the severity of the issue at hand.
4. Pelosi is pushing for a quick decision on HEROES Act
The $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed the U.S. House late last week and now has to go through the U.S. Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is pushing for the Senate to act quickly on the legislative package. saying, “[W]e cannot take pause.”
GOP members have voiced their opposition to the package, with U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) saying it “would rewrite our immigration laws. Her bill would federalize elections.” He added that the bill “would allow federal prisoners to go free. It mentions dope more than it talks about jobs. I think it references cannabis like 68 times. It would expand ObamaCare.”
3. “Vaccine or no vaccine, we are back”
During the formal announcement of “Operation Warp Speed,” President Donald Trump made it clear that the resumption of American life is not 100% dependent on the creation and distribution of a vaccine and that Americans will return to work and the economy will recover.
Trump’s hope for a vaccine was apparent when he said, “[W]e think we are going to have a vaccine in the pretty near future.”
2. Executive amendment expected to pass
Monday is the last day of the 2020 legislative session in Alabama, and the legislature will be deciding if they’ll accept Governor Kay Ivey’s executive amendment to deal with the $1.8 billion from the CARES Act. State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence) is optimistic and said the state Senate will “agree to the amendment.”
While on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Ivey discussed the $1.8 billion in CARES Act funding that Alabama received, and said that the reason for the executive amendment was to “not only allocate but spend $1.8 [billion] for the purposes intended by Congress to help those who have had expenses caused by the coronavirus.” She wants the money spent by December 30 so it does not have to be returned.
1. Businesses are struggling, but some are expecting a quick recovery
In a survey conducted by the Alabama Workforce Council and AlabamaWorks!, 49.6% of businesses, 68% of which were small businesses, said that they anticipate the business climate to improve over the next six months.
For now, 53% of businesses have issued a hiring freeze and 82% expect a negative financial impact from the coronavirus pandemic. One-third of those that participated in the survey have laid off employees, and at least 46% of businesses have been experiencing supply chain disruption.
Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at those members of the media who insist on covering former Vice President Joe Biden’s scandals the same way they covered Hillary Clinton’s — by ignoring them and pretending the scandal is the fact that they are being brought up.
7 Things: Ivey will sign budgets, football will be back in the fall, CDC has new reopening guidelines and more …
7. Alabama’s new coronavirus hotspot
While Alabama’s recent coronavirus case numbers have seemingly plateaued as a whole, it appears that the state’s capital is seeing a spike in cases over the last few weeks, with only hard-hit Mobile experiencing more new cases of the virus.
The White House has even said that Montgomery’s metro area is a “location to watch” for new cases of COVID-19.
The media and their Democrats have relentlessly criticized any state that would dare move towards reopening their economy without any concern for the results and facts that not every state is a disaster like New York. They have also been praising any governor who wanted to shut down their states for months on end.
Now, the preliminary results of reopening some states are starting to be seen with 28 states now seeing new cases decline. States like Florida and Georgia are not seeing the mass death and chaos we were told we would see, instead, their cases are continuing to decline with cases down 14% in Florida and 12% in Georgia.
5. Redstone general leading vaccine efforts
President Donald Trump’s administration’s work to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus is going to be overseen by Army General Gustave Perna who is from Army Material Command at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville.
Perna will be a co-chair for “Operation Warp Speed” and will oversee logistics, according to White House officials. The goal is to determine the best vaccine out of a group of 14 potential vaccines.
4. Pelosi is willing to negotiate
After the White House threatened to veto the Democrats’ most recent coronavirus relief bill that would total $3 trillion, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that they’ve put their “offer on the table, we’re open to negotiation,” but Republicans don’t seem like they are interested.
The White House was threatening to veto the bill on the accusation that the Democrats were trying to pass “long-standing partisan and ideological wish lists.” Included in the bill would be another round of $1,200 stimulus checks that illegal immigrants would be eligible and $25 billion to support vote-by-mail through the U.S. Postal Service.
3. CDC has released guidelines for reopening
Guidelines for schools, businesses and other establishments have been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but churches were not included in these guidelines after the White House raised concerns about government guidance for places of worship.
The CDC has detailed specific guidelines for businesses, schools, camps, mass transit, childcare centers, bars, restaurants and workplaces. All of the guidelines include sanitation practices, capacity suggestions and encourage social distancing.
2. Football will be back by Fall
Jay Gogue, Auburn University president, said in a recent video released by the school that they will “have all of the activities that we have every fall,” including football. He did not say he would “suit up” and play like West Virginia University’s president.
Gogue added that the only difference is “that you will be with us this fall, and we’re looking forward to having you.” The University of Alabama System intends for on-campus activity to resume by Fall semester.
1. Ivey will sign both budgets
The Fiscal Year 2021 General Fund and Education Trust Fund budgets will be signed by Governor Kay Ivey as she announced, but SB 161 has been returned to the Alabama Senate with an amendment added.
The executive amendment added by Ivey would allow all $1.8 billion of the federal funds from the CARES Act available to her finance director. Ivey said she “will not call the legislature back into a Special Session unless and until they provide the people of Alabama – in advance – a full, detailed and public list of how the money will be spent in exact amounts, down to the penny.”
Biden is in trouble; Rep. Aderholt thinks he may not make it to election day
(Robert Aderholt, Joe Biden/Facebook, YHN)
To hear the American media tell it, just like in 2016, the 2020 election is totally over.
The only thing left to do here is to have a pesky election and count the votes. Good ‘ol straight-shooter tell-it-like-it-is Joe Biden is ready for his inauguration.
Well, like Hillary Clinton, a couple of things are happening on the way to former Vice President Biden’s coronation, and the American media learned nothing about how they mishandled the election and the scandals involving Joe Biden.
So far, there have been no less than three scandals involving Joe Biden and the “scandal-free” Obama administration that are going to ensnare the presumptive future president moving forward.
1. Hunter Biden and his foreign entanglements
2. Sleepy Joe’s apparently heel turn into Gropey Joe.
3. The unmasking of Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the leaking of his name to the press.
Will these scandals take down Joe Biden right now?
In a Thursday interview on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,” Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) said he thinks they could move to replace Biden after all that has “come out over the last 24 hours.”
He thinks these explanations are lacking.
“I really think Joe Biden is the one that’s really got to do the most explaining, just because his name is on the line,” said Aderholt.
Aderholt believes Biden might not be the nominee, but the media will protect him until they have no other choice (see: Anthony Weiner, Ralph Northam, Bill Clinton).
As with never-going-to-be President Hillary Clinton’s problems, the media believes that covering the accusation as if it is baseless is enough to say, “Look, we covered the scandal and it is old news.”
President Donald Trump made it clear that’s not good enough for him.
Trump will, rightly, raise these issues every single day as the election gets closer.
Biden will stumble and stammer through friendly interviews.
"I know nothing about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn."
And while the American media and their Democrats will tout poll after poll showing that Trump is finished because New York, California, New Jersey and Massachusetts hate him, battleground states will tell a different tale.
New @CNN poll shows @JoeBiden leading President Trump nationally. But Trump has an edge in critical battleground states
Those 15 states are the key to the election. Blue states that have high numbers of infections and deaths demanding that the economy of the battleground states be destroyed at the altar of CNN and MSNBC’s primetime lineups is not going to help Joe Biden. In fact, it destroys him.
Biden needs these people. He needs someone extolling his virtues against the bad guy currently in the White House.
They will tell you that the bad guy in the White House wants grandma dead and Shake Shack’s lobby open, while Joe Biden cares about you.
Unfortunately, that’s not true. Now, we have learned that 40% of households earning under $40,000 a year have had someone laid off.
An agreed-upon nationwide shutdown of life for over a month flattening the curve, Americans know this cannot continue. Eventually, they will tire of cheerily being told to “Stay Home, Save Lives” by television stars in mansions who don’t worry about their next mortgage payment or their kids going back to school.
7 Things: Biden wanted Flynn unmasked, COVID-19 lawsuit protection gains steam, no new State House with CARES Act dollars and more …
7. Professor offended by “War Eagle”
Dr. Jesse A. Goldberg, Ph.D. has been hired to be the “Lecturer of African American & American Literature and Composition in the English department at Auburn University,” according to his social media account, and he’s already making waves for saying he won’t say “War Eagle” because it has the word “war” in it.
Goldberg explained that this is just “the kind of language thing that sticks with me.” He describes himself as “radical anti-racist white (Jewish) teacher,” but the official Auburn University responded that Goldberg just needs to “give it some time” and he’ll see what it means.
Much like 2016, the American media and their Democrats are fixated on national polls that show former Vice President Joe Biden with a clear and decisive lead over President Donald Trump. A new CNN poll shows the lead at 51-46.
But that same poll shows Trump in a good position for his reelection campaign when you break out 15 different swing states. In those states, the president leads his challenger 52-45. Obviously, those states will play a bigger role in deciding the winner of the 2020 election than New York, New Jersey and California will.
5. Americans don’t think more stimulus will fix this
While Democrats insist we create a fifth stimulus program that will total $3 trillion dollars, the American people are finding becoming increasingly wary of the idea that the nation can stay shutdown forever and buy our way out of this. A poll shows 56% of Americans (across all demographics and affiliations) feel this way.
Alabama businesses have received over $1.5 billion in assistance across 30,647 small businesses in the state. Nationally, there has been $189 billion worth of loans paid out of the $310 billion in the program. The average loan size nationally is $73,000.
4. Jones wants everyone to wear a mask
U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) appeared on CNN where he discussed the issue of wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic, and he said that he saw a group of Republicans exit the internal Capitol subway and “not a single one of them or their staffs were wearing masks.” He added that “sends a wrong message.”
Jones went on to say that he wants to see President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence wearing masks “whenever they are out.” Jones even said that while he’s “nervous” about Alabama reopening, he reiterated Governor Kay Ivey’s comments that people need to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing.
3. No, CARES Act funds won’t be used for a new State House
State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) has put to rest arguments that CARES Act funding provided to Alabama would be used in part to build a new State House, with Marsh’s spokesman Will Califf saying it’s “clear that the funds could not be used to build a new State House.”
Califf also clarified that the list of things that could be paid for with the CARES Act relief funds was “the first draft of potential uses for these funds as a starting point for discussion.”
2. Protecting Alabama businesses from lawsuits
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall joined 20 other attorney generals in sending a letter to the U.S. Congress asking that there be legal protection for businesses from civil lawsuits related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter was written with the premise that the “COVID-19 pandemic is likely to create a surge in civil litigation targeting well-intentioned businesses.” The goal is to ensure that businesses are protected from frivolous lawsuits “while still ensuring victims are able to seek legal redress and compensation where appropriate.”
1. Here’s who wanted to “unmask” Flynn
During the presidential transition period, officials from the Obama administration wanted to “unmask” former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and now the list of those officials has been released.
Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified the documents, which revealed that former Vice President Joe Biden, former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennen, Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper are all included on the list of those who requested to “unmask” Flynn.
7 Things: Underlying conditions a major factor in Alabama coronavirus deaths, Fauci says it is too soon to reopen, different parts of the state are being hit differently and more …
7. Another stimulus bill could cost $3 trillion
A new stimulus package introduced by House Democrats would include another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, $1 trillion in funding for state and local governments, and continue the $600 in additional unemployment payments per week until January.
The package would also subsidize rent and mortgage payments, suspend student loan payments through September, and hazard pay for essential workers. While announcing the legislative package that’s being called the HEROES Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “This is a moment when many millions of our fellow Americans are in deep suffering. We must have empathy for our heroes.”
A study at the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago predicts that 100,000 small businesses will never operate again because of the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide economic shutdown that followed. This accounts for about 2% of all small businesses and the jobs that go with them.
Restaurants are a particularly hard hit industry with 3% already closed. All of this carnage is happening as the federal government tries to float the economy with loans to 4.2 million small businesses out of the 30 million small businesses across the nation.
5. State Rep. Weaver resigns to take Trump admin job
It’s been announced that State Representative April Weaver (R-Brierfield) has decided to resign from her position in the legislature as she will be joining President Donald Trump’s administration, but it’s not been announced what position she’ll have.
Weaver has been a representative for the last decade, and in her resignation, she said it’s “been one of the greatest experiences of my life.” Weaver went on to say that she’s “excited to be able to use my skills and experience at a national level during this unprecedented time and I look forward to supporting President Trump’s initiatives and serving the people of our nation.”
4. Alabama Republicans want the legislature deciding where relief funds are used
Cygnal was commissioned but the Alabama Senate and House Republican Caucuses to poll where Alabama Republicans stand on several subjects, including who they trust more to appropriate the relief funds Alabama has received through the CARES Act.
When asked if Governor Kay Ivey or the Alabama legislature should be in charge of stimulus funds, 67.5% said the legislature and 17.8% said Ivey. The survey also showed 66% approve of Ivey’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and 26.9% don’t approve. Overall, 69.5% view Ivey favorably and 26.2% view her unfavorably, whereas the legislature is viewed 70.3% favorably and 16.1% unfavorably.
3. Coronavirus cases per capita vary widely across the state
As the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation lowers the death projection in Alabama by almost half, the state still has more than 10,468 coronavirus cases across the state and at least 440 deaths from the virus. We’re starting to see which counties have been hit harder per capita than others, with Lowndes County having the highest case rate at 108 cases per 10,000 people.
Butler County is second with 101.8 cases per 10,000 people, while Mobile County has 36.2 cases, Montgomery County has 29.1 cases, Jefferson County has 17.3 cases and Madison County has 6.7 cases per 10,000 people.
2. Apparently, it’s too soon to reopen
White House coronavirus taskforce member Dr. Anthony Fauci was very skeptical about reopening the nation in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, saying if we open too soon it will lead to “suffering and death” while offering no guidance for schools in the fall.
Brandon White of UAB has recovered from the coronavirus and now he’s saying that it’s too soon for the state to reopen, although Governor Kay Ivey decided to reopen restaurants, salons and churches a little earlier than originally planned. White says he’s “really concerned about that second wave,” adding, “That’s when we will start to see troubles with supplies.”
1. Large majority of coronavirus deaths in Alabama had underlying conditions
In Alabama, there have been at least 428 deaths from the coronavirus, and of those, more than 95% of patients had an underlying condition before being diagnosed.
According to the reporting, 74% of deaths were with patients who were over 65 years old, with the overall age range being 50-92. The reporting shows 63% of those who died had cardiovascular disease, 57% had “multiple underlying conditions,” 39% had diabetes, 27% had renal disease and 25% had lung disease.
7 Things: Alabama one of the most open states, Jones continues supporting Biden, Democrats want to use one time funds for Medicaid expansion and more …
7. Sanders probably won’t run for president again
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)said that “it’s very, very unlikely” that he’d launch another presidential campaign, which makes sense considering he’s 78 years old already and would be in his 80s the next go around.
While interviewing with the Washington Post, Sanders did say that in the next presidential election, “you’re going to see another candidate carrying the progressive banner.”
According to President Donald Trump, the United States is prepared to pass 10 million tests by the end of this week, with more testing and funding coming online. He added this will lead to an “investment to conduct more tests than any other country on earth.”
Alabama’s testing has continued to increase testing with the percent of those tests coming back positive slowly falling, experts declared last month that a positive testing rate under 10% a day indicated enough testing was being done and Alabama has been under that rate since April 25, which doesn’t factor in that some labs don’t report negative tests.
5. Marshall wants China to be investigated
While New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is calling the coronavirus the “European virus,” 16 state attorneys general, including Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, signed a letter that requests “Congressional Hearings into the communist Chinese Government and its role in the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The letter also says that these hearings should be held because recent reports “suggest that the communist Chinese government willfully and knowingly concealed information about the severity of the virus.” Republicans have recently been coming out against China and asking that they be held accountable for their efforts to cover up the pandemic.
4. Tuberville wants Sessions to apologize
After President Donald Trump appeared on Fox News Channel and continued slamming his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Sessions responded by setting the record straight on his appointment and his recusal by saying, “The President offered me the job, I took it, I stood up for the truth and performed at the highest levels.”
This did not sit well with former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who issued a press release demanding Sessions apologize to the president and incorrectly asserting that Sessions didn’t need to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, when even Trump’s current Attorney General William Barr acknowledges Sessions had to recuse.
3. Relief funds won’t be used to expand Medicaid
The coronavirus pandemic has provided a platform for some to advocate more for expanding Medicaid, and while the Alabama Democratic Party has suggested that the relief funds provided through the CARES Act to the state could pay for the expansion, that’s false.
It turns out, the U.S. Treasury Department has specifically said that states can’t use CARES Act funds to pay for Medicaid. In general, federal funds can’t be used for Medicaid expenses, so Governor Kay Ivey’s question remains, “How do you pay for it?”
2. Doug Jones only believes women sometimes
U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has been a vocal supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden, and that support has continued even amid the sexual assault allegations brought against Biden by former Senate aide Tara Reade.
Jones has called Reade’s “credibility” into question recently, and now he has said that Republicans are “the pot calling the kettle black” for them overlooking allegations brought against President Donald Trump. Previously, Jones has defended Biden against sexual misconduct and segregationist issues as well.
1. Alabama is one of the most open states right now
As most states remain shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Alabama has reopened a majority of businesses while maintaining new sanitation standards and customer capacity, but according to the lobbying firm Multistate Associates, the decision to reopen restaurants, salons and other businesses made Alabama the fourth most open state.
Before Governor Kay Ivey decided to let more businesses open, Alabama ranked as the 22nd most open state but, currently, South Dakota ranks first in being open, second is Oklahoma, followed by North Dakota at third. Unshockingly, New York is ranked 50th.
7 Things: Alabama reopening some, both state budgets are done, Alabama coronavirus cases continue to plateau and more …
7. Pence press secretary has coronavirus
Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, has tested positive for coronavirus, but said that she’s “doing well.” This comes just after someone who was working as a valet for President Donald Trump tested positive. After Miller was diagnosed, all White House press corps members were offered testing.
This outbreak is music to the media’s ears as it allows them to ask how the country can reopen when the White House can’t even protect itself.
6. Cuomo finally stops sending COVID-19 patients to nursing homes
If New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) were a Republican, the American media would be crushing him for his policy that forced nursing homes to take patients with the deadly virus back, a policy he has finally reversed.
This policy has been an absolute disaster and has helped fuel the pandemic in the United States with over one-third of the nation’s deaths coming from nursing homes. Hard-hit nursing homes fueled growth in California, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, too.
5. Trump campaign going after Democrats defending Biden against Reade
President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign has released a Spanish ad going after Democrats that have been defending former Vice President Joe Biden against the sexual assault allegations brought by former Senate staffer Tara Reade.
The ad refers to Biden as “the Clueless” and Hillary Clinton as “the Corrupt.” It goes on to show U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) defending Christine Blasey Ford in her accusations against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and how they “believe women.”
4. Tesla to Alabama?
Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth has pitched Alabama as the new home of Tesla after Elon Musk announced the company would be leaving California “immediately” due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
Ainsworth replied to Musk on Twitter, advocating for Tesla to come to Alabama by saying, “We have a tremendous workforce, a lot lower taxes than California, and our businesses are working safely.”
3. New projections for Alabama
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has once again revised the number of deaths the state of Alabama should expect by August 1. This takes into account easing on restrictions. The new projection shows Alabama is projected to see 1,554 deaths down from 2,308, which was projected on May 4.
While the curve has been flattened and cases have plateaued, it is worth noting that Alabama’s rate of positive coronavirus tests is below 10% (7.7% Sunday), and that was the rate “experts” said would indicate enough testing is being done to accurately gauge the virus’ outbreak.
2. Both budgets have gone to Ivey
Both the Fiscal Year 2021 General Fund and Education Trust Fund have been passed by the Alabama legislature and are waiting for Governor Kay Ivey’s signature.
Both budgets are the largest in state history, with the education budget seeing a $90 million increase, and both bills received bipartisan support with the General Fund budget passing the House 75-1 and the Senate 30-0.
1. Alabama is opening a lot more today
Governor Kay Ivey decided to revise the “Safer-At-Home” order and allow restaurants, salons, barbershops and gyms to open, but they still have to abide by social distancing and sanitation requirements.
While Ivey has reopened the state more, she’s still cautioning people that “[t]he threat of this disease continues to be active and it is deadly.” People are still encouraged to stay home as much as possible.