The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    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 workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    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.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

1 month ago

Jeff Sessions: Why I’m running for the U.S. Senate

(Screenshot/YouTube)

We live in very dangerous and serious times. There is a multi-front battle raging for the soul and the future of our country. We have before us great opportunity, and also great peril.

The stakes are very high, and I am uniquely qualified and prepared to represent and defend Alabama and American values in this battle.

The radical left has captured the Democrat Party and the threat is real and dire. The wolf is at the door. This is their agenda, and they are very open about it:

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– Socialism
– Medicare for All (which kills health insurance for 50% of Americans)
– Open borders
– Free healthcare for illegals
– The Green New Deal (which would bankrupt and destroy our economy)
– Confiscation of firearms
– Curtailing freedom of speech and religion.

Alabama must send someone to Washington who has the courage, the knowledge, and the backbone to stand up against this madness, and to actually stop it. I can and I will.

When conservative voters were flocking to support Donald Trump in the primary in 2016, but Republican Senators were hiding under their desks, only one U.S. Senator had the courage to stand up on stage and endorse President Trump. I stood up for Alabama values.

In 2013 when Republican leaders in Washington were on the verge of capitulating to the Democrats and accepting illegal immigration and amnesty as the law of the land, I stopped them. I stood up for Alabama values.

When Republicans in Washington were allowing the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal to go through, a deal which may have been good for Wall Street, but would have been disastrous for American workers, I stopped them. I stood up for Alabama values.

When I took over the Department of Justice, I reversed Obama Administration policies that unfairly targeted Christian and conservative organizations, and I made it the policy of the U.S. Government to defend people of faith in every court in our nation. The liberal press attacked me, but I didn’t care — I stood up for Alabama values. I defended our men and women of law enforcement, and I promised them that the U.S. Department of Justice would support their efforts to keep Americans safe.

Let’s be very clear — every candidate can get up in front of a crowd and beat their chest and tell folks what they want to hear. That’s easy. And we have some individuals running who give a nice political speech.

But talk is cheap. The question is, who is ready to step into the breach and represent Alabama values in the U.S. Senate immediately? Who is ready, and capable, of fighting for President Trump’s agenda? Who can make it happen? Time is short, this battle is raging right now, and we have to win this fight.

Make no mistake — the Democrats in Washington are seeking to fundamentally redefine America, change our ideals, and divide us from each other.

I am certainly not the favorite of the Washington establishment crowd, but I am the one with the courage, the knowledge, the backbone, and the ability to get the job done for Alabama.

Senator Doug Jones is a radical liberal who voted against Justice Kavanaugh and who would certainly vote for Chuck Schumer to be majority leader in the Senate. We must defeat him. I can, and I will, and the Democrats know this.

These are serious times; Alabama needs to send a warrior to Washington. Let’s go!

Jeff Sessions has served as a U.S. Senator and Attorney General and is a 2020 candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama

1 month ago

Sessions: Making Alabama’s judiciary great again

(Jeff Sessions/YouTube, YHN)

President Trump has done a tremendous job nominating smart, qualified and tough conservative judges to the federal judiciary. But there are a lot more vacancies to fill, and he needs another term to finish what he started. While Supreme Court justices receive most of the attention, federal appeals court judges are nearly as influential.

Like the justices, they are appointed for life and hear cases touching on religious freedom, free speech, gun rights, abortion, criminal law, immigration and government regulation issues. Because the Supreme Court hears only 0.1% of appeals, these are essentially the most significant federal courts in the country.

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When President Obama was sworn in on January 20, 2009, only one of these 13  federal appeals courts — the Ninth Circuit — was controlled by activist Democratic appointees. When he left office, nine of 13 circuits were controlled by Democratic appointees. Despite President Trump’s historic gains on the federal courts, if he is not reelected in 2020, the courts would flip back to the left — placing at risk his greatest legacy.

Most federal judges serve for several decades, and so their actions continue to impact the country long after the President who appointed them leaves office. For example, nearly half the federal circuit judges still hearing cases in Chicago were appointed by President Reagan. These numbers are the reason why some say that judicial appointments are President Reagan’s greatest legacy. And he certainly made an impact on the Supreme Court, elevating Justice Rehnquist to Chief Justice, who led the “the Rehnquist Revolution” that began to return power to the states, appointing Justice Scalia, one of the greatest jurists in our nation’s history. He also appointed 83 circuit judges, surpassing each of his four successors. But many of these judges are no longer on the bench and those who continue to serve are nearing retirement.

While President Reagan’s judicial legacy is at its twilight, President Obama’s judicial legacy has just begun to impact the country. And while President Reagan understood that our constitutional system depends on an impartial judiciary that will interpret the law as written, President Obama openly sought activist judges who would promote liberal policy preferences that Congress and the American people would not adopt. His Supreme Court nominees — Justices Sotomayor and Kagan — both of whom I opposed — are two of its younger members and over half of his appellate judges could feasibly sit on the courts for the next 40 years.

During my time as the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, I led Republicans in successfully blocking President Obama’s most extreme judicial nominees who exhibited leniency for sex offenders and violent criminals promoted radical left-wing policy agendas like “constitutional welfare rights, rejected originalism and the limited role of the judiciary, and were openly hostile towards the right to bear arms, religious liberty, private property rights (to name just a few). So when President Trump was elected, he had over 100 judicial vacancies to fill and he has delivered, nominating two outstanding Supreme Court justices and over 50 appellate judges.

Indeed, just a few years ago, there were many federal judicial vacancies in Alabama — vacancies that President Obama tried to fill with progressive appointees. Alabama’s federal courts — as we know them — were one election away from a dangerous transformation. But Senator Shelby and I stood together through eight grueling years of the Obama presidency and blocked all but two of his nominees to our federal bench — including one appointee to a powerful appeals court. Fortunately, a lot has changed since President Trump was elected. In less than half the time President Obama was in office, President Trump has appointed five times that many highly qualified lawyers to sit on Alabama federal courts — including the first female judge in Montgomery and the first African-American judge in Mobile. More great Alabama judges are on the way.

One of President Trump’s first appeals court nominees was Judge Kevin Newsom of Birmingham. Before his nomination, Judge Newsom was a partner at one of Alabama’s oldest law firms and served as the chief appellate lawyer for the state of Alabama, where he argued in support of the Ten Commandments and against the use of federal law to prosecute abortion protestors. This past November, President Trump nominated Judge Andrew Brasher of Montgomery to the same court. Just 38 years of age, Judge Brasher also served as Alabama’s top appellate lawyer, where he tirelessly defended Alabama laws from lawsuits brought by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Once confirmed, Judge Brasher could sit on this court for the next 50 years. Judges Newsom and Brasher are — as President Reagan said of one of his judicial appointees — the kind of judges the American people want on the federal courts; judges who believe in the rule of law, who revere the Constitution and whose sense of fairness and justice are above reproach.

While President Trump has done great work filling judicial vacancies, whoever is elected president in 2020 will be responsible for filling even more vacancies. President Obama’s judges have upheld Obamacare, forced transgender bathrooms in public schools, struck down reasonable voter identification requirements, endlessly blocked the enforcement of our immigration laws and taken over schools and police departments. Whoever the Democrat party nominates to run against President Trump will appoint judges who are even more radical and will accelerate the left’s march to eviscerate the Constitution. With a third of the federal appellate judiciary hanging in the balance, the American people must decide whether they want more of President Trump’s originalists or President Obama’s progressives confirmed to the federal bench for life.

I promise you this — if I am so fortunate as to return to the U.S. Senate, I will continue the work I started as a leading voice in support of the President’s historic efforts to make the judiciary great again.

Jeff Sessions served as the 84th Attorney General of the United States, as Senator from Alabama, and as Ranking Member on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

3 months ago

Jeff Sessions: Give thanks and respect to those who protect and serve

(Lowndes County Sheriff's Office/Facebook, Jeff Sessions/Contributed, PIxabay, YHN)

As we gather around the table this year to give thanks for our loved ones and many blessings, we should all pause to give thanks for the men and women of law enforcement. Every time they put on a uniform, neither they, nor their families, know if they will come home.

Every day, our law enforcement officers do the most unnatural thing – they run toward danger. Tragically, Sheriff “Big John” Williams of Lowndes County was shot and killed while carrying out his duties Saturday night.

The selflessness and sacrifices of police often go unsung, as millions of daily acts of compassion and care are just part of the job and out of sight of the TV cameras.

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While the vast majority of Americans support and count on the police, the recent and terrible trend of disrespect and distrust of law enforcement must be reversed. This summer we watched as people cursed at and doused cops in New York City with buckets of water, and bystanders pelted Philadelphia police with objects as they were responding to an armed stand-off. Our nation simply cannot sit idly by as this anti-police agitation grows.

More than one out of 10 law enforcement personnel will be attacked this year. Almost 59,000 officers were violently assaulted on the job in 2018. Over 18,000 officers needed medical attention. That is a 22% increase in total assaults on police since 2014.

When President Trump issued an Executive Order to protect law enforcement from attacks, I directed the Justice Department and its prosecutors to hold accountable those who assault police and to vigorously support law enforcement in their duties.

Elected officials and community leaders who denigrate and diminish the brave men and women of law enforcement have no place in public office. They are eroding the public trust in our justice system, and encouraging violence against the police. It does all of us a disservice to demoralize and demotivate those who run into harm’s way out of a love for their fellow citizens.

In 2018, over 100 police officers were killed in America (of those, 55 were murdered) doing their duty. Over the last decade, more than a thousand have given their lives for our safety and peace of mind.

Six Alabama law enforcement officers, including “Big John,” made that sacrifice this year. They each left behind grieving families and friends and an empty chair at the Thanksgiving table.

Sheriff Williams loved his job and community so much so that a long-time friend and fellow policeman observed, “Big John was one of those you hear about in our profession that would work for free.” And, in truth, we can never fully compensate the men and women like “Big John” for their courage and kindness.

I know that “Big John” Williams’ story is that of so many police heroes whose dedication and professionalism truly embody the motto, “To Protect and Serve.”

So then, let us take a moment before we enjoy our family meal this Thanksgiving to say a prayer for all of our law enforcement officials and their families.

All law enforcement should know: we have your back, you have our thanks.

Jeff Sessions has served as a U.S. Senator and Attorney General and is a 2020 candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama