After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Wednesday “suggested” to President Donald Trump that America’s annual State of the Union Address either be canceled and replaced by written remarks or postponed until after Washington, D.C. has ended the current partial government shutdown, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-5) slammed Pelosi’s “childish, partisan, political stunt.”
In a statement, Brooks said that Pelosi is using the State of the Union Address as both a political bargaining chip and to muffle the president during the southern border crisis and funding negotiations.
On Wednesday, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) announced the introduction of a proposed amendment to the Constitution to impose term limits on members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
House Joint Resolution 25 would amend the Constitution to limit Congressional service to six two-year House terms and two six-year Senate terms, or 12 years in each case.
The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
In a statement, Byrne said, “Seats in Congress belong to the American people, not any single elected official. Our Founding Fathers never expected individuals to make a career out of Congressional service, and term limits will allow us to keep fresh blood and ideas in the halls of Congress.”
Representative Martha Roby (AL-2) spoke on the House floor Wednesday to commemorate the 2019 March for Life, which will take place in Washington, D.C. this Friday.
In her speech, Roby thanked and encouraged march participants and paid tribute to the unborn lives lost by abortion in the 45 years following the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
“45 years ago this month, the Supreme Court of the United States offered its infamous Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion on demand in this country,” Roby said. “Since that 1973 ruling, more than 60 million unborn children have had their lives terminated by abortion. To say this is a tragedy is an understatement.
“Our pro-life momentum is strong, especially during this time each year, but our work is far from being complete. I won’t stop fighting until our laws and policies protect life at every stage,” she emphasized.
"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."
Brooks is right — Trump could do the State of the Union in the Senate chamber, but there’s a better location
(White House, CBP/Flickr)
Shutdown politics are far uglier than normal Washington politics. We have seen veterans locked out of memorials by President Barack Obama, we have seen workers miss paychecks and now we have Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi revoking the president of the United States’ invitation to give his State of the Union address in the House chamber.
None of these were necessary, but President Donald Trump has options to circumvent her ploy to embarrass him. He can’t let her do that.
Her goal is obvious: keep the American people from hearing him speak, remove his ability to take his message directly to the people without her allies in the media filtering it. He has to give a speech.
Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has suggested the president deliver the address on the floor of the United States Senate. This is all well and good as it would send the appropriate message and would show the president will not be cowed by San Francisco’s congresswoman, but it doesn’t go far enough.
If Trump wants to push back against this “hyper-partisan and shameless” move, as Brooks called it, he should deliver this speech from the United States border.
He should not be in an arena with cheering and chanting fans, he should not be wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and he should not be playing to a raucous crowd with insults and barbs. He should stand at a podium at the Texas desert border wall, with an audience of families who lost loves ones to illegal immigration, border patrol agents and federal employees.
Trump should make a speech laying out the dangers of illegal immigration and explain how Democrats will not negotiate to reopen the border.
He should give a speech that the fact-checkers cannot debunk and the tone-police cannot destroy.
Polling indicates that Americans mostly blame President Trump and Republicans for the shutdown, and after all of the media’s coverage of the shutdown, no one is surprised by this.
More worrisome to the president — a recent poll indicates that only 30 percent of respondents would “definitely” vote for him while 57 percent “definitely would not” vote for him.
Granted it is early 2019, but this has to turn around for him to be re-elected. A “presidential” presidential address during a crisis could start that turn.
— Airbus will begin building the A220 aircraft, the newest offering in Airbus. The state kicked assistance for Airbus to get the jobs in the form of support from AIDT, the state’s primary workforce development agency.
— Governor Kay Ivey pointed out that this is great for Alabama, now and in the future, because it will “strengthen the bonds that have developed between the global aerospace company and our state. Alabama has a long history in flight and, as this project shows, a bright future in the aviation industry.”
— In an expected move, Alabama lost the best backup QB in the nation to the Oklahoma Sooners for his senior season. As a graduate transfer, he can play immediately.
— Hurts, the consummate team player, took to a backup role for Alabama after Tua Tagovailoa took the reins and helped Alabama to a national title over Georgia. He wrote Alabama fans a letter thanking them for their support.
— ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadly explosion while conducting a routine patrol. It killed eight people in total.
— Graham’s criticism echoes the criticism conservatives leveled at President Barack Obama when he pulled troops from Iraq prematurely. He said, “My concern, by the statements made by President Trump, is that you set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we’re fighting. You make people we’re trying to help wonder about us. And as they get bolder, the people we’re trying to help are going to get more uncertain. I saw this in Iraq. And I’m now seeing it in Syria.”
4. Another caravan crosses into Guatemala to head towards the United States after other caravans are seen as successes
— This migrant caravan formed in Honduras and plans to seek sanctuary in either Mexico or the United States. It could number up to 2,000 people.
— This caravan, like the other caravans that have headed to the United States, is being declared a group of refugees, but a member of the caravan admitted they are heading to the U.S. for work, saying, “We are going out of necessity, because of the poverty.”
— Henry pleaded to one charge of theft of government property. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed all 17 counts of a previous indictment that included conspiracy and violation of an anti-kickback law.
— Prosecutors said Henry had deals with doctors to waive Medicare co-pays and then reimburse Henry’s company for services that prosecutors believe patients would decline had they been required to pay the co-payments.
1. As we enter day 27 of the government shutdown, the president met with the bipartisan “Problem Solver Caucus” as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) cancels the State of the Union
— The meeting was held at the White House with Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, “The president and his team had a constructive meeting with bipartisan members of the problem solvers caucus.” Democrats declared a real “conversation can only begin in earnest once the government is reopened.”
7 Things: Democrats decline to meet with Trump as shutdown hits 26 days, Alabama appears to be in danger of losing a congressional seat, monuments law ruled unconstitutional and more …
7. Kraft is the latest corporation looking to get free publicity by helping employees; Food banks in Alabama are also helping
— The maker of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is offering federal workers unlimited free products at a free pop-up store in Washington D.C. until Sunday. The company is asking the workers “pay it forward” when they get paid.
— The Prodisee Pantry in Spanish Fort is preparing to help Coast Guard families and other government employees affected by the government shutdown
— Bonner will lead Ivey’s staff through what is expected to be a contentious session. The governor made the announcement by touting Bonner’s experience, saying, “Jo Bonner is a respected leader and a known quantity in Washington and throughout Alabama.”
— Bonner will replace Steve Pelham, who is heading to Auburn University to take on the role of vice president for economic development and be the chief of staff to Auburn University President Steven Leath.
— Fear not. The recipients of food stamps in Alabama will receive their benefits for February because the agency that runs the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program program has developed a way to work around the partial government shutdown.
— The food stamp program will run into issues in March, but could still be funded for the 39 million people on food stamps in the United States.
4. President Trump’s pick for attorney general allows the media and their Democrats to trod the same old ground
— The president has not made a single move to fire FBI special counsel Robert Mueller, but the media and Democrats acted surprised when William Barr told them he “would not carry out” an order to fire him without “good cause.”
— The ruling by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo, filed 20 minutes before he retired, says the law which bans the removing or altering of historical monuments violated the free speech rights of local communities.
— Senator Allen called the ruling judicial activism, stating, “Judge Graffeo has taken it upon himself to know and declare that it is ‘undisputed’ that the majority of residents of Birmingham are ‘repulsed’ by the Linn Park monument, and has thus ruled the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act void. But judges are not kings, and judicial activism is no substitute for the democratic process.”
— A federal judge says the Trump administration may not add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. He added that the question could be included but he won’t allow it because Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross added it arbitrarily and did not follow proper procedure.
— The judge concluded that the “addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census will cause a significant net differential decline in self-response rates among noncitizen households.” Not doing so will allocate representation to non-citizens.
— The Trump administration said they were targeting Democratic members of Congress like the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, none of which attended the president’s attempt at a bipartisan lunch. This leads one to believe there is no end in sight for this shutdown.
Is Doug Jones a foot soldier in the Democrat Civil War for taking a shot at liberal darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
(A. Ocasio Campaign, D. Jones/Facebook)
If you are Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) right now, you probably know you have almost no chance of being elected to a full term as a United State senator.
This obviously could change. Roy Moore could continue to crave the spotlight and enter a Republican primary field in 2020, but this is obviously a long-shot for him.
Complicating Jones’ life right now is a number of new Democratic members of the House of Representatives. They are outspoken, silly and contrary to the carefully crafted image Jones wants to sell to Alabama. Jones wants to be Mr. Moderate, a conservative-ish Democrat in the mold of former Congressman Bud Cramer (D-Huntsville), but he can’t do that if he is constantly dealing with a 24-hour news cycle where his fellow Democrats are acting nuts.
Jones seems to know this, and the clearest way to distinguish himself from members like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is to directly scold her to The Hill.
He said, “I think it skews what’s really there for the Democratic Party.”
Jones seems to want to differentiate himself from Ocasio-Cortez’s brand of non-stop Twitter trolling will endear her to the same media that can’t let a Trump tweet go without an analysis of its impact. But Jones didn’t stop there. He also thinks this style of bomb-throwing is ineffective politics.
“When it gets time to get things done, that’s what people are going to be looking at — they’re going to be looking at the middle-of-the-roaders because it’s the only way to get anything done,” Jones stated.
Will Jones double-down or will he slink back to his backbench for fear of his party’s base if she hits back?
For now, Jones sounds like he thinks his voters want him to get stuff done, but considering that Jones’ main accomplishment at this point in his Senate career is his vote against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation it is likely most Alabama voters would prefer he enjoys his time in Washington D.C. as a spectator before being sent home in 2020.
— Ocasio-Cortez received a lot of attention when she called the president a racist on “60 Minutes,” but when Trump was asked about this attack he dismissively waved his hand and said, “Who cares?”
— Senate Democrats like Doug Jones (D-AL) are showing they are tiring of attention-grabbing antics by “AOC,” saying, “When it gets time to get things done, that’s what people are going to be looking at — they’re going to be looking at the middle-of-the-roaders because it’s the only way to get anything done.”
— Senator Romney has become the latest in a long line of Republicans to criticize King, saying, “I think he ought to step aside and I think Congress ought to make it very clear he has no place there.” King has now lost all his committee assignments.
— The response by the media and the left is quite different in regards to freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). Her support from anti-Semitic supporters goes unquestioned, as does her support for the boycott Israel movement. She smeared members of Congress and defended Marc Lamont Hill after he was fired for calling for the destruction of Israel.
— Two of the most recent scandalized governors Robert Bentley (R) and released felon Don Siegelman (D) were given a place of honor at the swearing-in ceremony of the first female Republican governor in the state’s history.
— Ivey invited the former governors and they joined other governors Bob Riley and Jim Folsom, Jr. near the stage.
— Gov. Ivey channeled former Governor Lurleen Wallace (D), who called for funding for roads, saying Monday, “Today, I follow in Gov. Lurleen Wallace’s footsteps in many ways and make the same ask to the members of the Alabama Legislature.”
— In a call for bipartisanship, Ivey called for everyone to come together to get the new higher gas tax passed. She outlined, “If we work on them together – Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals – then today’s challenges can be looked upon as tomorrow’s accomplishments.”
— With no end in sight, the president declared he will “never back down” because he is doing what he pledged, adding, “I’m not interested. I want to get it solved. I don’t want to just delay it. I want to get it solved.”
— The SPLC is the latest in a long list of groups breaking away from the Women’s March over the anti-Semitism expressed by the group, as well as its alliance with the National of Islam and Louis Farakahn.
— Major Democratic groups and newly elected representatives continue to support the march and its leaders, which could create an issue for Democrats if the media largely decide to stop ignoring it.
6. The Democrat field continues to grow as Americans ask, “Who are these people?”
— A group of 39 Democratic members of Congress went to Puerto Rico on a chartered jet to party with lobbyists on the beach and see a special performance of “Hamilton” with ticket prices of $5,000, while some of the new Democratic blood in Congress is frustrated with the lack of strategy from their leaders.
— White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders criticized the trip on Twitter, saying, “Democrats in Congress are so alarmed about federal workers not getting paid they’re partying on the beach instead of negotiating a compromise to reopen the government and secure the border.”
— The FBI reportedly launched the investigation after some in the bureau became concerned that the president was acting in Russia’s interests by firing Comey. This includes people who have since left the bureau for cause, retired or have been demoted, according to a Fox News source.
— Sanders was the top senator for the 11th month in a row with a 64 percent approval rating. Not surprisingly, outgoing Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was the least popular senator in the country, which would explain why he didn’t run for re-election.
— Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Doug Jones (D-AL) both had approval ratings in the 40s, with Shelby’s approval at 45 and Jones at 40 percent respectively.
— President Trump’s former attorney will testify in a public hearing in February before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about his previous lies before Congress in regard to his work for Trump.
— Cohen is expected to testify to issues involving President Trump paying off women and has hinted there might be more for him to tell about the Russia investigation.
— The bills tackle the issue of illegal immigration by allowing donations for the wall, ending catch-and-release programs, ending birthright citizenship, penalizing those who overstay their visas and banning sanctuary cities.
— The bills have very little chance of passing a Democrat-controlled chamber, but Brooks said, “I put the interests of Americans above those of illegal aliens.”
— Senator Jones has finally officially asked for the federal government to investigate Democrat donor dirty tricks, which included “false flag” Facebook campaigns and planting Russian bots on Roy Moore’s social media and then alerting the media to their existence.
— The tactics used during Jones’ campaign were also utilized in the 2018 midterms to suppress Republican votes, which cast doubts on claims that they were just a study and not meant to affect elections by deterring suburban white male voters from casting ballots.
2. Republicans are pushing President Donald Trump to quickly declare a national emergency to build the wall, which would make it our 32nd national emergency we are currently under
— Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says the Democrats’ “refusal to negotiate” has made it clear that “It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall/barrier.”
— The Trump White House is still looking into using the power they believe is available to them, with Trump all but telegraphing it by telling reporters, “If we don’t make a deal, I would say it would be very surprising to me that I would not declare a national emergency and just fund it through the various mechanisms.”
— Roughly 800,000 federal employees will not receive their $2.2 billion due to them today. This includes those who have been working since the shutdown started, but Mo Brooks has filed a bill to get those who are working paid.
— A second government union has sued the federal government in attempt to get the government back open, The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which represents 150,000 members at 33 federal agencies, is claiming its employees are illegally being forced to work without pay.
7 Things: Trump walks out of meeting with Schumer and Pelosi, Democrat ‘false flag’ operations didn’t stop in Alabama in 2017, Alabama congressmen support Trump on the border and more …
7. Alabama lawmakers are seeking a legislative solution to the embarrassing situation with Maori Davenport’s situation with the Alabama High School Athletic Association
— The AHSAA suspended the star player over an errant payment from USA Basketball and has, up to this point, refused to revisit the case stating the current rules don’t allow it.
— Rep. Kyle South (R-Fayette) has proposed legislation that would address the suspension and the current make-up of the AHSAA board by forcing all eligibility issues to be addressed by the State Board of Education and require 25 percent of those on the board to be appointed by the same board.
— Ocasio-Cortez originally hinted that the president was a racist and talking about dog whistles. She has now doubled-down with some factually inaccurate claims about the president defending Neo-Nazis who murdered a woman in Charlottesville, calling Mexicans “rapists,” banning Muslims and ending her tweet with calling the president is a “racist.”
— Rep. Brooks stated he believes that she is held in low regard in DC, even if she is a darling of the far left and the media. Brooks said, “She is somewhat nutty. She has a low respect in Washington, DC by both parties, I might add. However, she does have influence with a significant segment of the American public.”
— Henry has given notice that he plans to change his plea from not guilty to guilty in a federal case, which indicates that a plea deal has been brokered.
— The original charges surrounded allegations of kickbacks and a conspiracy to defraud Medicaid. It alleged a company owned by Henry that provided chronic care management to patients charged the doctor substantially less than the previous firm that had the chronic care services contract but they would get a bigger reimbursement from Medicaid.
— Their analysis indicates that the average cost of an illegal immigrant for taxpayers is $82,191 over the course of their lifetime. Another analysis by the Institute for Defense Analyses says there are 1.95 to 2.28 interactions between illegal immigrants and law enforcement for every successful illegal crossing, which means there were 170,000 to 200,000 successful illegal crossings in 2018.
— CIS argues that the U.S. would be able to pay for the border wall if it was able to stop three to four percent of would-be illegal immigrants on the U.S./Mexico border. It is currently estimated that 60,000 come in a month and 2 million will enter over the next decade.
3. Alabama congressmen support President Donald Trump and his position on the government shutdown and border issues
— Rep. Bradley Byrne wrote Trump a letter voicing support for his border speech telling the president, “[T]hank you for standing up for our communities and for the American people. Please know that this Member of Congress will stand with you to see your proposals enacted into law.”
— Rep. Mo Brooks laid out the dangers of illegal immigration in a speech on the floor of the United State House of Representatives where he stated, “[O]ver the past two years, illegal aliens have averaged 50,000 physical assaults, 15,000 sex crimes, and 2,000 killings per year . . . all in America!”
2. Democrat “false flag” operations did not end in Alabama’s U.S. Senate special election — they went on in 2018 as well
— Tech billionaire Reid Hoffman, who funded the efforts to mislead voters and suppress Republican turnout in Alabama, also created misleading Facebook pages appearing to be disgruntled conservatives, going as far as to purchase ads to perpetuate their fraud.
— The pages were managed by American Engagement Technologies, founded by Obama operatives and used the “The Daily Real” and “Today’s Nation” to buy ads that deceptively encouraged GOP voters to skip the midterm elections.
— Brooks drew a clear distinction between furloughed employees who are sent home and federal employees who still have to show up to work like TSA agents and border patrol agents, who still must come to work even though paychecks are frozen.
— The total tally for Speaker McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) was 98-1 with Rep. Mary Moore (D-Birmingham) casting the only “no” vote. The speaker called on legislators to serve their constituents and not themselves, saying, “As a legislator, you have two choices before you. You can choose to be guided by your own ambitions, desires and personal interests, or you can choose to be led by a desire to make Alabama a better place for the constituents you represent.”
— In the Alabama Senate, senators of both parties unanimously re-elected President Pro Tempore Del Marsh (R-Anniston) by a vote of 32-0. This is Marsh’s third consecutive term. Marsh tweeted his vision moving forward, saying, “I look forward to working with Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton and all of my colleagues in the Legislature as well as Governor Ivey and Lt. Governor Ainsworth as we tackle the tough issues facing Alabama and continue passing balanced budgets and conservative pro-growth policies that have led to an unprecedented record-setting economy.”
— President Trump’s approval rating has dropped from 62 percent in 2016 to 58 percent while his disapproval has climbed from 26 to 37 percent. That marks a net 15 points difference from when he was elected in 2016.
— Liberal Democrats have seen their power in the Democratic Party grow significantly over the last 25 years. In 1994, only 25 percent of Democrats saw themselves as “liberals.” Today, that number is 51 percent. Conservatives still outnumber liberals 35 percent to 26 percent overall.
— To make matters worse, Nadler also recklessly stated the president was attempting to become a dictator, explaining, “I do not believe the courts will permit it, and we would certainly oppose any attempt by the president to make himself a king, a tyrant, by saying he can appropriate money without Congress.”
— The president’s Oval Office speech touched on those killed by illegal aliens, the crime they bring, the drugs that flow over the border, the Democrats previous support for border walls, the violence people face in transit to the border and the sexual assaults one-third of women making the journey face.
— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded by claiming the president is having a “temper tantrum,” said he is holding federal workers hostage, called the issue a “humanitarian crisis,” claimed they are for border security and demanded that he re-open the government.
— Back-to-back championships escaped Alabama’s grasp as Tua Tagovailoa threw a pick-six and it all appeared to go downhill from there, leading to Alabama’s largest loss in the Saban-era.
— The 44 points scored by Clemson are the most points Alabama has given up in years and Coach Nick Saban signaled to many that this game was over after a desperation fake field goal in the third quarter when the game truly got out of hand.
— Charles Henderson High School senior Maori Davenport has been suspended from her basketball team for a year because USA Basketball sent her a check, she cashed it and when the error was pointed, out she returned it. But this was still a violation of the rules.
— The controversy bubbled-up after ESPN’s Jay Bilas made an issue of it during the Alabama/Kentucky game this weekend. NoW, State Senate Pro Tempore Del Marsh has called on her to be reinstated. The Alabama High School Athletic Association has not budged.
— The 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice missed arguments for the first time in her 25 years on the bench after doctors removed two cancerous growths from her left lung in mid-December, this is after she broke a few ribs in a fall.
— Justice Ginsburg has shown no signs of stepping down and is expected to return to the bench. She has achieved cult-hero status and some even offered her body parts to extend her life after her surgery.
— House Republican leaders fear that members could cross the aisle and vote for legislation that would reopen the government without funding the border wall. The Democrats will try to get a veto-proof margin to pressure Senate Republicans and the President.
— Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have already signaled they would support efforts to fund portions of the government that are shut down. The local and national media know they are turning the screws on Republican senators with one-sided coverage.
— The IRS may recall a large number of furloughed workers in order to get tax returns processed. The Trump administration says rules will be changed to make funding available to pay them, and acting director of the White House Budget Office Russell Vought said, “The refunds will go out as normal. There is an indefinite appropriation to pay tax refunds.”
— Usually, tax returns are not processed during government shutdowns, but the Trump administration is obviously trying to alleviate whatever pain it can as the government shutdown drags on to day 18 with no end in sight.
— There will be no investigation into the misinformation campaign that mirrored Russian tactics in Alabama that was implemented by Democrats during the election that saw Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) elected to the Senate.
1. President Donald Trump will give a nationwide address on immigration tonight and visit the border on Thursday
— With no end in sight for the government shutdown, President Trump will take to the airwaves to make his case to the American people that there is a “Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border.”
Of course the Democrats’ shenanigans in Alabama’s 2017 U.S. Senate special election played a role in the outcome
(YHN, Wikicommons, Sen. Doug Jones/Twitter)
Politicians lie, they waffle, they spin, and this is generally to be expected. As a result, no one should be surprised that junior Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) is less than willing to admit, or believe, that dirty tricks helped him defeat Roy Moore.
But let’s be honest about this conversation: Jones had a lot of help.
Before we learned about the latest disinformation campaign used by Democrats where they pretended to be prohibitionists operating a Dry Alabama Facebook page pretending to support Roy Moore, we know they engaged in multiple efforts to mislead Alabama voters.
This only scratches the surface of the all-hands-on-deck campaign by the media, Alabama Democrats and national Democrats to brand Roy Moore as unacceptable and create the perception he was unfit for office.
Yet somehow, there still seems to be some reluctance to acknowledge these tricks are why Roy Moore lost. In a recent Washinton Post story Democrats tried to “distance themselves” from some of the dishonest actions that pushed Jones over the top.
University of Alabama political scientist Joseph L. Smith is quoted in this piece dismissing all these efforts that Democrats took as irrelevant.
Smith said, “My initial gut says that the alleged disinformation campaign I’ve read about would not have been enough to affect this race.”
“Roy Moore is so well known in Alabama that people had very settled opinions about whether they wanted them as their senator before the race even started,” he added.
This position is comically absurd. If Smith’s take was remotely valid, why the all-out dishonest assault on Alabama voters?
The 2017 election was about suppressing Republican votes and ginning up Democrats. They branded Moore as an unacceptable candidate and pushed Republicans to stay home.
Senator Doug Jones won his election in 2017 by 21,924 votes. There were 22,852 write-in votes.
Whether you believe that Moore is unfit for office or not is irrelevant. These dirty tricks worked and for political science professors and pundits of all stripes to pretend otherwise strains their credibility.
— The 30-day withdrawal from Syria initially changed to a “pause” that would take months. Now, national security adviser John Bolton says the withdrawal is not based on time, but instead said, “[W]e won’t be finally pulled out until ISIS is gone.”
— The U.S. position seems to be contingent not only on the destruction of ISIS, but also the protection of the Kurds and the status of 800 terrorist prisoners of war.
— The Associated Press spoke to multiple decision makers in Alabama and the conclusion is quite simple: the gas tax push is coming.
— Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon said, “The topic of the day would be the gas revenue measure.” Senate Pro-Tem Del Marash added, “What we’ve got to determine what are we willing to bite off at this point in time.”
— Jones told CNN that “even the most progressive” of his constituents would “know better than to use that kind of language” about impeaching President Trump and added, “Let’s go about this the way we need to, and not just work out of this out of frustration and anger.”
— Not only do Jones’ conservative red state constituents not want them pursuing impeachment, even after two years of talk of the president “colluding with Russia,” only 43 percent of Americans want Trump impeached (80 percent of Democrats) while 50 percent do not.
— There were more disinformation campaigns underway to impact the race that eventually elected U.S. Senator Doug Jones than previously reported. The “Dry Alabama” was a fake prohibition campaign meant to portray Roy Moore supporters as prohibitionists, but it was was actually the stealth creation of liberal Democrats.
— Fear not, Democrats are now disavowing. Political scientists are declaring the efforts didn’t matter anyway, which is nuts in a race that was decided by less than 22,000 votes.
— According to Alabama Daily News, there are around 53,000 federal workers who are mostly Department of Defense employees, including roughly 6,500 who work for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs who will not be affected by the shutdown. This represents an overwhelming majority of federal workers in the state.
— But Alabama doesn’t escape the pain altogether as there are 2,300 who work at NASA, 500 at the Department of Justice and 1,000 at the Department of Agriculture. This doesn’t account for the contractors that serve them. There are 2,000-plus contractors alone for NASA.
— The shutdown over the funding of a border wall is now on to day 17 with Trump sticking to his demand for wall funding while Democrats like Senator Doug Jones are saying, “I am not going to give wall money just to give wall money.”
— After a meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and Democrats, Trump tweeted that they are moving closer to a deal with steel. He said, “We are now planning a Steel Barrier rather than concrete.” Democrats disagree saying, “[N]o progress was made”.
— It could be that the location is all the way on the West Coast or it could be the game is the fourth Alabama/Clemson matchup in five years, but if you want to experience another Alabama national championship, the tickets can be had for a good price.
— Ticket scalpers could actually lose money on this game. TicketIQ reports that that $475 tickets are going for as little as $135 in some places and other tickets can be had for on StubHub at $115.
— With the gas tax looming over the next legislative session Governor Ivey signaled she and other leaders have been working on a plan, saying, “I’ve been working with House and Senate leadership to get to the bottom of all of this and come up with a plan.”
— Not everyone is signed on to a new gas tax. Some legislators are preparing to push for $63 million in budgetary versions to be returned to infrastructure needs before asking the citizens for new revenue.
— The media and some Democrats in leadership tried to play down the fervor for impeaching President Donald Trump during the election. But the election is over so members are declaring they want to “Impeach that motherf****r“.
— Showing that Democrats are still hurting over 2016, Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) has proposed abolishing the Electoral College solely because Hillary Clinton lost. He said, “[T]he winner of the popular vote did not win the election because of the distorting effect of the outdated Electoral College. Americans expect and deserve the winner of the popular vote to win office. More than a century ago, we amended our Constitution to provide for the direct election of U.S. Senators. It is past time to directly elect our President and Vice President.”
— Alabama’s retirees now own the sole owner of a chain of newspapers that has 68 daily newspapers and more than 40 non-dailies plus websites in 22 states, including five small papers in Alabama.
— But this bet may not be all bad as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett have purchased newspapers in the last few years.
3. ALGOP chairwoman Terri Lathan joins the chorus of GOP politicians in Alabama to point out how preventable the rape of a child was
— Alabama Congressmen Mo Brooks and Bradley Byrne spoke out about the Shelby County crime, the Republican leader released a statement saying, “Here’s yet another illegal immigrant criminal reality that isn’t in some other state’s backyard, it’s in ours – and it’s heartbreaking as well as infuriating.”
— Lathan also pointed out that an open border put our citizens and lawmakers in danger. She voiced support of the president’s attempts to fix the border while criticizing Democrats, telling Yellowhammer News, “President Trump is trying to fix our broken immigration policy while the Democrats are doing nothing to stop these illegal immigrants from harming our own people as well as placing our law enforcement officers in danger. It is irresponsible to keep fighting the president on this issue for political gain and grandstanding.”
— AG Marshall has now called on the new Congress to fully fund a border wall and highlighted the impact not doing so has had on his state, “I am deeply troubled by the steady stream of dangerous illegal drugs entering my state and the impact it has on our citizens and law enforcement”, adding, “Drug trafficking, human trafficking and many violent crimes committed in Alabama can be traced to criminal elements crossing our country’s borders and the failure of current efforts to secure our border.”
— Marshall criticized Democrats and singled-out Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) by name, stating, “Shame on them and shame on Speaker Pelosi for turning a blind eye to continued security threats to Americans by refusing to fund a border wall and the vital operations of U.S. Homeland Security.”
— Even though Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling the shots, and former-Speaker Paul Ryan is out of the U.S. Capitol, the main decision-makers in this shutdown battle seem no closer to actually opening the government. President Trump says he will not budge on his border demands.
— Speaker Pelosi is attempting to appear to be acting in good faith by choosing to ignore funding any border security while calling a vote Thursday night on a budget plan that funds every shutdown federal agency for the balance of Fiscal Year 2019. This goes nowhere and everyone knows it.
— A state commission tasked with addressing the issues that led to the mass shooting and making suggestions to prevent future shootings unanimously approved a report on Wednesday that calls for some teachers to be armed.
— Last year, Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey created a “School Sentry” program, but no information has been made available about how many school systems or employees have taken part, if any.
— The soon to be senator has drawn the ire of the president of the United States by criticizing his character after seeking an appointment and an endorsement from him. The media is touting him as a new “maverick.”
— The House GOP has an outlier, too. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) says he will vote with Democrats on a series of rule changes in spite of the fact Republican leadership has threatened “consequences.”
— The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will deliver benefits in January, but if the government remains shut down, the entitlement could not be delivered beyond that.
— An estimated 353,530 households reportedly receive food stamps in Alabama each month. Seventy percent are in families with children and one-third are for families with seniors or those with disabilities, with the average benefit being $118 per month.
— Moore has declared he is not done speaking out, posting on Twitter, “There are many false and misleading accounts on social media about me, it is about time I speak for myself! Come join the growing Conservative movement in Alabama and follow @RealJudgeMoore for more details about how the Dem’s hacked my race! #staytuned”
— Moore is the latest Alabamian to speak up about a tech billionaire, Reid Hoffman, funding an organization that created misleading Facebook pages encouraging Republicans to write-in other candidates and created a narrative of Russians boosting Roy Moore’s campaign on social media that they pushed to friendly media outlets, which parroted it all.
3. Retirement System of Alabama calls for sports gambling and legalized weed
— The RSA made the pitch in its newsletter to it 356,000 members, with a headline that stated, “Alabama Needs Reasonable Taxes to Solve Problems, If Not, We Need to Consider a Lottery, and What Other States Are Doing.”
— Oddly, they advocate for sin taxes like other states have turned towards, saying, “We all have vices. For some, it’s a nightcap; for others it’s betting on sports while puffing on a joint. In what feels like a long time coming, American states are moving toward legalizing the latter. Ten states and Washington, D.C., have sanctioned medicinal and recreational marijuana for those over age 21, and 33 more states allow medicinal use. Sports betting has been fully legalized in six states, with three more on the way, and 15 more with bills pending.”
— A previously deported illegal immigrant has been charged with the first-degree rape of a juvenile in Shelby County and Brooks criticized Democratic leaders for obstructing addressing our border issues. He said, “This sickening crime was entirely avoidable, yet Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer continue to obstruct Republican efforts to secure our border to help prevent awful crimes like this one against Americans.”
— Brooks made news earlier this week with his comments about Democrats having the blood of Americans “on their hands” for failing to secure the border,
— The lack of progress between Trump and Democrat leaders was not much of a surprise. Trump stated, “We are in a shutdown because Democrats refuse to fund border security.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer implored the president to “support reopening the other areas of the government that don’t have to do with the immigration dispute,” which Trump said isn’t happening.
— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, “The Senate will be glad to vote on a measure that the House passes that the president will sign. But we’re not going to vote on anything else.”
— Warren isn’t the first Democrat to officially announce the formation of an exploratory committee.Julian Castro was first, but she is probably one of the bigger names that will attempt to challenge President Donald Trump if she can get through the 40-plus other challengers.
— Warren, who was widely mocked for releasing DNA test results that blew up her entire heritage claim, was dismissed by the president when he was asked beating her. He said, “Well, that I don’t know, you’d have to ask her psychiatrist.”
— The tear gas was used to repel about 150 individuals, some that were trying to breach a fence and others who were throwing rocks are border guards. Border patrol detained 25, while the rest slithered back to Mexico through a hole under the fence
— Less than a week ago, an immigrant police officer lost his life to an illegal immigrant while making a traffic stop. The sheriff of Stanislaus County said California’s sanctuary status made capturing the criminal harder, explaining, “We were prohibited — law enforcement was prohibited because of sanctuary laws that led to the encounter with Officer Singh.”
4. While the focus has been on kids who died while crossing the border and the plight of children in U.S. custody, the dangers of the trip and health issues illegal immigrants bring with them have been largely ignored
— The media has focused like a laser on the trials and tribulations of illegal immigrant children and their treatment once they are caught with their parents in the country. Even as some admit they thought the children would help them get across the border, the implication is that stopping them is inhumane.
— Ignored in this biased coverage is the fact that 400 people died trying to enter the United States in 2018 and the children that made it are seriously ill, with 50 people a day needing urgent medical care for tuberculosis, flu and pregnancy.
— After their leader was banned from the Riverchase Galleria about a dozen people showed up to Marshall’s neighborhood where they walked through the neighborhood for about an hour with bullhorns chanting “Recuse yourself” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.” There is no sign Marshall even acknowledged this absurd behavior.
— President Trump’s ally, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced he felt better about the president’s position after a meeting at the White House. Graham said, “I think we’re in a pause situation where we are reevaluating what’s the best way to achieve the president’s objective of having people pay more and do more.”
— The criticism from within the White House and the Republican Party over the hasty withdrawal, which cost the president his Defense Secretary appears to have worked to change the president’s position, which initially called for a 30-day withdrawal.
— Congressman Mo Brooks puts the blame on Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Pelosi, saying they have “American blood” on their hands for refusing to work on border security. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) says “Nobody’s gonna win this kind of game. Nobody wins in a shutdown. We all lose and we kind of look silly.”
The gas tax push: Ten Alabama highway projects to consider in 2019
(ALDOT/University of Alabama map archives)
Now that it appears state legislators are licking their chops to raise Alabama’s gasoline tax, the question we all should be asking is, “What are we going to get out of it?”
As 2018 wound down, the push for the hike was aggressive, but details were scarce.
Obviously, we all know the big projects that have gotten the bulk of the media attention: I-565 widened from Limestone County to Huntsville, improvements to I-65 from Birmingham to Montgomery, a southern Montgomery bypass and the much-ballyhooed I-10 Mobile Bay bridge.
To get the ball rolling, here are ten not-as-publicized suggestions (in no particular order) for the state legislature to consider as part of a sales pitch to the public.
I can’t believe I’m in my early 40s and we’re still talking about this. For decades, Alabama Highway 261, which extends from Valleydale Road in North Shelby County to the heart of Helena, one of Birmingham’s fastest-growing suburbs, is still a heavily traveled two-lane road.
Back-ups are a commonplace heading in and out of Helena at rush hour. Allegedly, ALDOT is finally working to change that, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
Perhaps improvements to AL 261 could work in tandem with four-laning Morgan Road heading northwest from Helena to I-459, or Shelby County Road 17 heading south to Montevallo.
9. Four-lane AL 53 from Ardmore to Huntsville
For whatever reason when they initially laid out the Interstate Highway System, they put I-65 20 miles to the west of downtown Huntsville. And for decades, this has been one of the Rocket City’s biggest obstacles. For those headed south on I-65, there is I-565.
However, for those headed north to Tennessee and beyond, or coming south to Huntsville, there is Alabama Highway 53, a two-lane road that transitions to Tennessee State Highway 7 in Ardmore, a municipality that straddles the Tennessee-Alabama state line.
Coming from Nashville on I-65, the exit is signed for Ardmore and Huntsville. But depending on the time of day, the day of the week, you might be better off continuing south to US Highway 72 or I-565.
8. Improvements to AL186/U.S. 80 from I-85/Wire Road exit to Phenix City
Once upon a time, U.S. Highway 80 was a significant national east-west thoroughfare. Some of it still is, but the Interstate Highway System has made much of it a backroad. If you’ve traveled east from Tuskegee toward Phenix City, you might have seen some of the remnants of U.S. 80’s hay day, where it splits with U.S. Highway 29.
This portion of U.S. 80 remains useful because it connects Phenix City to Montgomery, and, by extension, Columbus, Ga.
Someday, this could be a part of the proposed Interstate 14, a thoroughfare that could pass through the heart of Alabama, running parallel to U.S. 80 from York to Selma to Montgomery to Phenix City/Columbus, and beyond to Macon, Ga.
7. Four-laning U.S. 84 Andalusia to Mississippi line
U.S. Highway 84 in Alabama has been one of the curiosities of the U.S. Highway System. Old Alabama roadmaps show that it has evolved over the past 90 years.
From time to time, portions have been four-laned from the Georgia-Alabama line to headed west. Bypasses for Enterprise, Elba and Opp have been added over the years. But for whatever reason, the progress has stalled west of Andalusia to Mississippi. Once it crosses the Alabama-Mississippi state line, it continues as a four-lane road through Laurel and Brookhaven all the way to Natchez.
Four-laning the road would once and for all connect Monroeville to the outside world by a four-lane highway. Monroe County’s isolation by automobile has been a chronic complaint since the turn of the century.
It would also connect Choctaw County to the rest of Alabama, which functions more as part of Mississippi these days given its proximity to Meridian.
Throughout its history, Dothan has been somewhat fortunate with its highways. There are five different four-laned routes in all directions, like spokes on a wheel, from Ross Clark Circle, the road that functions as a beltway for Dothan.
When U.S. 231 was four-laned as part of the Florida Short Route in the middle part of the last century, there was something of a boom that extended from Dothan into Florida – roadside produce stands, barbecue joints, tourist attractions. Some of that still exists, but now there are also fireworks stands, lottery ticket terminals and bingo, depending on which side of the state line you are on.
There is a history of that stretch being something of a gateway to Florida for much of the country, and it would be appropriate for some sort of controlled-access spur connecting Interstate 10 to Dothan.
Obviously, this would require cooperation from the state of Florida. People in Houston County seem to want to be connected to the Interstate Highway System, and this might be their best bet.
5. US 278 improvements Cullman-Gadsden-Georgia State line
One of the many roads heading west from Atlanta into Alabama is U.S. Highway 278. Initially, U.S. 278 was probably intended to serve as an alternate route to U.S. 78, which passes through Anniston, Birmingham and Jasper, before it reconnects with U.S. 278 in Hamilton.
Given easy connectivity to Atlanta is a premium for communities in Alabama, four-laning U.S 278 from the Georgia line to Cullman would better the economic prospects for Cherokee and Etowah Counties. Beyond Attalla into Blount and Cullman Counties, the potential four-lane route would be useful as the Birmingham metropolitan area expands northward.
4. U.S. 331 four-laned from Montgomery to Florida state line
If you’re going to anywhere along 30A in Florida from central and northern Alabama, you’ve used U.S. Highway 331 and traveled through Luverne, Brantley, perhaps Opp and DeFuniak Springs, Fla. Likewise, if you’ve had to evacuate from 30A anywhere north because of the threat from a hurricane, you’ve probably made the reverse journey.
This route is for both tourist and public safety reasons. It also might lend a boost to the local economies along U.S. 331, which are victims of the globalization trend that began in the 1990s.
3. North-south thoroughfare improvements on Baldwin County’s Eastern Shore
One of Alabama’s least-known traffic nightmares is any of the north-south routes along the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. On paper, Fairhope is within a stone’s throw of Mobile. But if you’re making that commute up U.S. Highway 98 to Interstate 10 and across the bay, you best allow for an hour of driving time.
There are several ideas on the table to make this better and improvements to I-10 across Mobile Bay from Spanish Fort will undoubtedly help that commute. A new bridge across the bay may also encourage more development in that part of Baldwin County, which will make getting to I-10 that much harder.
2. Four-lane connecting Huntsville to Georgia state line Atlanta-bound
Now that Huntsville is officially one of the “big kids” of Alabama cities, it is odd that there is not a good way to get from there to Atlanta. Put Huntsville to Atlanta in your GPS, and it’s going to suggest taking some backroads.
Huntsville is in a geographical predicament. Natural barriers like the Tennessee River and Sand Mountain prevent a bulldozer from making a straight line between the two cities.
If they started tomorrow, a project like this would take decades to complete. The thing is, they’ve already been talking about it for decades.
1. North-south freeway, parallel to U.S. 43 from Mobile to I-20/59, and beyond up through NW Alabama to the Shoals
There aren’t shortages of east-west routes in Alabama, but there does seem to be a shortage of north-south routes. Consider the path Interstate 65 takes from Mobile to Birmingham. It isn’t a straight line because it takes a humongous northeastern direction so that it passes through Montgomery. Then it heads slightly northwest from Montgomery to Birmingham.
If you draw a straight line from Mobile to Birmingham, the closest you get to downtown Montgomery is 70 miles. Yet, when they laid out the route for U.S. Highway 31, which was the basis for I-65, it passed through Montgomery.
A new north-south route through western Alabama would fix that. If it followed U.S. Highway 43 from Mobile to the Shoals, it could shave time off the journey for those making the trip between two of Alabama’s major cities.
Also, GPS systems sometimes suggest an excursion through Mississippi down U.S. Highway 45 to get to points within the state of Alabama. Yes, to get from Tuscaloosa to Citronelle, the fast way is through Meridian, Miss. and down a four-lane U.S. 45.
The idea of a north-south route through the Black Belt and up through the hill country of northwestern Alabama isn’t a new one. It’s been talked about for decades.
It’s time to show the western half of the state that is north of Mobile and south of Tuscumbia a little love. Granted, aside from Tuscaloosa, there isn’t a whole lot there. However, if we’re going to dump endless sums of money into trying to alleviate poverty in the Black Belt, consider infrastructure, which would be improved access to the rest of the state.
North of Tuscaloosa – ask yourself, when was the last time you were in Lamar County? How about Fayette County? For most, it has probably been a while, if ever. Yet, places like Vernon and Fayette survive as outposts on the Alabama frontier. That seems odd in 2019.
The Tenn-Tomm Waterway, a project which had billions of federal dollars pumped into it over the last half of last century, hasn’t been the expected panacea for West Alabama. Perhaps combined with a controlled-access north-south freeway, that could change and make the areas around Tombigbee River more lucrative for companies looking to build manufacturing facilities.
It is a part of Alabama that sure could use the help.
— LinkedIn billionaire Reid Hoffman helped fund a deceptive social media campaign to impact the 2017 U.S. Senate special election. Now, Hoffman, Senator Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall have called for an investigation into the matter.
— While the group involved attempts to downplay the impact the deceptive ploy had, an internal report for “Project Birmingham” said it “had enormous effect“.
5. The Riverchase Galleria shooting and the fallout from the protests finally give some in Alabama their “Black Lives Matter” moment
— A 12-year-old girl and an 18-year-old man were allegedly shot in the Hoover mall on Thanksgiving evening by Erron Martez Dequan Brown. In the chaos that followed, law enforcement shot and killed Emantic Bradford, Jr., mistakenly identifying him publicly as the shooter immediately afterward.
4. An Alabama politician is involved in a corrupt scheme to harm his constituents, goes to jail and takes his accomplices with him
— Former State Representative Oliver Robinson pleaded guilty in federal court for bribes from a Birmingham lawyer and an Alabama coal company in return for opposing EPA actions in north Birmingham. He received a sentence of 33 months in prison, $169,151 to the IRS and the forfeiture of $390,783.
— Robinson’s cooperation led to the sentencing of Joel Gilbert, a former partner at Balch & Bingham, and David Roberson, the former Drummond Company VP of government affairs, to prison sentences and fines.
— While the nation saw a “blue wave” that took 40 Congressional seats from Republicans, ruby red Alabama actually became even more ruby red, as all statewide offices stayed in the Republican column. They also kept all six of their U.S. House of Representivates seats.
— Alabama Republicans already had a supermajority in the State House and State Senate, but they still picked up one seat and five seats, respectively.
1. Alabama’s Democrats continue to remain in irrelevancy with the mainstream media joining them
— Failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walt Maddox was promoted as the next Doug Jones, but the dysfunction in the Alabama Democratic Party continued to render the party feckless and a non-factor in state politics.
Jackson and Ward are joined by Congressman Mo Brooks to discuss the government shutdown and the border wall.
Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” directed at folks who don’t get that the stock market is not the economy and you can’t cite Trump as the reason for its ups and downs as it benefits you politically.
7 Things: Marshall probing ‘Project Birmingham’ and its misinformation campaign, Alabama’s pre-K program is the country’s best, Trump’s lawyer denies reports he went to Prague to meet Russians and more …
— The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released a report showing that 7,836,600 attempted purchases were blocked from “illegal/unlawful alien” buyers.
— This number seems amazingly high considering that we are told there are only 11 million illegal immigrants in the country and they make up a large percentage of the 19 million-plus blocked purchases.
— Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law came in at fourth most conservative, while Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law and the University of Alabama School of Law all picked up accolades for being some of the best law schools in the nation for various reasons.
— All three of the schools also ended up ranked among the 10 most conservative student bodies in the nation. Alabama’s school also received praise from the Princeton Review for “offering a tremendous legal education at an affordable price.”
— Langford’s niece reached out to West to ask for to help with their continued push to get a compassionate release for the ailing mayor who sits in prison for bribery. She wrote, “I’m praying with all my heart that this works. [I’m] sorry to bother you Mrs. West. I’m hoping that you get this in time. My name is Beverly Langford. I’m from Birmingham, Al. My uncle Larry Langford is dying in federal prison. Help for compassionate release please?”
— Kardashian made a big impact on President Donald Trump on a similar matter in June when she convinced him to commute the sentence of a drug-dealing grandmother, Alice Marie Johnson.
3. Report claims Michael Cohen was in Prague colluding with the Russians; he denies
— The report states Cohen’s cell phone pinged off cell-phone towers in Prague and stated that an Eastern European intelligence agency surveilled a conversation where Russians claimed Cohen was there. This report is being cited as proof of collusion.
— Cohen responded to the report with some notable responses including saying he has never been to Prague, responding “No” to questions about being in the Czech Republic, and saying “#Mueller knows everything!”
— A new study shows that Alabama’s First Class Pre-K helps students in math and science and its results show “no evidence of fade out of the benefits of First Class Pre-K over time.”
— Department of Early Childhood Education Secretary Jeana Ross said, “For the 12th consecutive year, Alabama First Class Pre-K is the highest quality, state-funded pre-kindergarten program in the country as recognized by the National Institute for Early Education Research quality benchmarks. There are currently 1,045 First Class Pre-K classrooms statewide serving almost 19,000 four-year-olds, reaching 32% of Alabama’s eligible four-year-old population.”
— Marshall told the Washington Post that he is looking into whether Democrat’s “Project Birmingham’s “Russian tactics” may have violated state law during the 2017 race. Marshall said, “The impact it had on the election is something that’s significant for us to explore, and we’ll go from there.”
— AG Marshall is not the only individual concerned about “Project Birmingham” and its impact on elections. Alabama Senator Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), has called for investigations by the DOJ, the FEC and Reid Hoffman, the billionaire who funded the project. Hoffman welcomed a federal investigation after apologizing.
— The paper found the anti-Trump daughters of a doctor who claimed that their dad helped now-President Donald Trump avoid military service during the Vietnam War with a phony diagnosis of bone spurs.
— The Times says “a possible explanation has emerged” as the doctors’ kids claim he told them the diagnosis was done “as a favor to his father,” but they offered no evidence of this, drawing the scorn of many that feel this is the anti-Trump media latching on to anything they can find to criticize the president.
— The group’s leaders questionable conduct has long been reported, but until recently, that criticism was brushed off by mainstream outlets. Now, members are acknowledging that phrases like “your people hold all the wealth” were used by the leaders in the organization’s meetings in references to Jews.
— The controversy has received little mainstream attention, but a number of smaller Women’s March chapters have distanced themselves from the national organization, like Washingon State’s director who released a statement saying, “I and my team can’t sit idly by and ignore the antisemitism the four National Team co-chairs have supported and continue to support.”
— Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is promising investigations into the handling of the deaths are coming with a new Democratic Congress. He declared, “House Democrats will not stand idly by and watch as our nation’s most fundamental values are eroded, while innocent children are held like prisoners in cages and their lives placed at risk.”
— Two young illegal immigrants have lost their lives this month making the dangerous trek from South America. In both cases, the parents put their children in dangerous situations and the children were apprehended in the United States in ill-health.
— U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, (D-Birmingham) says the Federal Bureau of Prisons should let former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford go home on a compassionate release in a statement that read, “During this season of hope, I am calling on the Trump Administration to act with compassion and immediately reduce Mayor Langford’s sentence due to his deteriorating health.”
— Langford, 72, is in critical condition and is said to be near death in a Kentucky prison where he is jailed on bribery charges. Officials said he still “posed a danger to the safety of the community” when they denied his release in November.
— LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman apologized for donating money to a campaign to deceive Alabamians but claimed he didn’t know what they were doing and would not have supported these tactics, stating, “I find the tactics that have been recently reported highly disturbing. For that reason, I am embarrassed by my failure to track AET – the organization I did support – more diligently as it made its own decisions to perhaps fund projects that I would reject.”
— Facebook has suspended five of the accounts that intentionally spread misinformation as part of a plot to help Jones beat Judge Roy Moore in December of 2017.
— The president and first lady visited military members at Joint Base al Asad on Wednesday. He told them he had no plans to withdraw from Iraq, and stated the importance of using Iraq as a base of regional operations. Trump also touched on some domestic issues.
— After the worst Christmas Eve ever where the Dow Jones lost 653 points, the Dow responded by growing 1,068 points, marking the largest single point gain in one day.
— The volatility in the market is probably not over, but the market is no longer headed for the worst December in history because of this spike, which was possible days ago. But, there are a few days left where we could see more massive shifts.
— Langford, 72, is in critical condition and is said to be near death. His attorney stated, “We were told he may not last through the end of the week.” The former mayor was denied a compassionate release in November.
— Several family members of Langford’s family, including his wife, have gone to the federal prison in Kentucky to be near his side as he is serving 15 years on bribery charges.
— Liberal Democrat darling U.S. Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to declare the birth of Jesus was about refugees, tweeting, “Joy to the World! Merry Christmas everyone – here’s to a holiday filled with happiness, family, and love for all people. (Including refugee babies in mangers + their parents.)”
— This interpretation appears every year at Christmas and is based on nothing. Mary and Joseph were participating in the Roman census. You could claim they fled King Herod later, but they still remained in the Roman empire and did not traverse international borders.
— Not many are surprised that Biden polls well against Trump. He is considered a relatively likable blue-collar guy. Also, being Obama’s vice president while he enjoys good numbers post-presidency doesn’t hurt.
— In all three matchups, Trump sits in the 36 or 37 percent, which does not bode well for an incumbent with 100 percent name recognition. But, the Trump attacks will definitely knock the luster off his opponents in a one-on-one race.
— Carlos Chaverst, Jr. cannot go back to the Galleria until December 15, 2019. If he shows up at the mall he will be subject to arrest.
— Under a fake Facebook account using the name “Montez Chaverst,” he wrote, “These type of actions aren’t constitutional and we will vigorously fight the unfair discriminatory practices by both the Galleria and Hoover Police.”
— The Guatemalan child was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, taken to the hospital and thought to have a cold. He had a fever. The boy was released and then returned later after vomiting, and died.
— There is no indication that the border patrol or any United States authority did anything wrong, but this has not stopped the media and Democrats from implying or outright stating the deaths are the fault of the president’s immigration policy.
— In a Christmas morning availability in the Oval Office, the president told the press, “I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open, I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they want to call it.”
— The White House said there may be room for negotiation. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said, “We moved off of the five and we hope they move up from their 1.3 [billion],” but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office says the two sides are “very far apart.”
— Alabama’s population only grew by 12,751 people, compared to Texas’ growth of 379,128. West Virginia, Illinois, Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York and Wyoming all lost population over the same period.
— The state’s slow rate of growth makes it the 34th fastest growing state. With reapportionment up soon, the state may lose a seat in Congress if the lawsuit Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-5) and Attorney General Steve Marshall filed against the government fails.
6. Alabama police department calls for people to turn away from Satan; Freedom from Religion Foundation attacks them
— The Opp Police Department posted on Facebook that the increased murders in the area are “BECAUSE WE HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM GOD AND EMBRACED SATAN. WE MAY HAVE NOT MEANT TO DO SO BUT, WE HAVE. IT IS TIME TO ASK FOR GOD’S HELP TO STOP THIS”.
— Keeping with the FFRF history of meddling and declaring all things God “illegal,” the organization claimed the post “decried Satanism” and excluded “minority religions and atheism.”
— Republicans, the media and their Democrats were all ecstatic to see a criminal justice reform bill pass. Some called it a bill that will “make communities safer,” even though they call for less prison time for some crimes and more money to be spent on rehabbing prisoners.
— Brooks and the entire Republicans House delegation voted against the final version of the bill and explained, “It is only a matter of time before the verdict on this legislation is rendered: more crime, more crime victims, and more dead Americans. To cite but one major flaw, S. 756 as amended CUTS penalties for gun use during the commission of violent crimes. That is nuts! Further, this soft-on-crime bill even provides for early release of offenders who commit sex crimes, assault law enforcement officers, commit hate crimes, and assist with jailbreaks.”
— A report was released claiming Democrat operatives “experimented” with “tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections.” They created Facebook pages claiming to be conservative and pushing a write-in campaign so Republicans wouldn’t vote for GOP candidate Roy Moore.
— They launched a plan to create a narrative about Moore being supported by Russian bots, pushed it to national media outlets and then delighted as the national media outlets pushed the story for them.
2. Both ALGOP and U.S. Senator Doug Jones condemn the nefarious actions of those who misled voters in the election that put Jones in office
— ALGOP Chairwoman Terry Lathan called these reports “alarming,” adding she found it “deeply disturbing that Democrats took part in this sham.”
— Jones responded by saying he was “outraged,” claiming he had no prior knowledge and called for an investigation by the Federal Elections Commission and Department of Justice.
1. Trump reverses course on his course reversal on border funding as shutdown looms, House cooperates
— After saying he could accept a deal to avoid a shutdown without wall funding, the president faced a torrent of conservative criticism. He then decided he could not accept such a deal and demanded money for a wall.
— The outgoing House of Representatives went back to the drawing board and added $5 billion for the wall. The Senate will now take up the measure but a government shutdown is looming.