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 day ago

Dale Jackson: Governor Kay Ivey may have some challengers after all

(Wikicommons, Hal Yeager/Governor's Office, YHN)

The conventional wisdom is that Governor Kay Ivey is an unbeatable juggernaut.

The idea was if Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth was to challenge Ivey, he would have a shot yet still probably lose while no one else would even have a shot.

But recently, the rumor mill is out here running and churning out a couple of possibilities for candidates that are considering challenging Kay Ivey.

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Under intense questioning on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,” former State Rep. Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) offered up clues on the identities of these names that are being suggested.

The clues?

Candidate 1:

  • A candidate in the 2022 U.S. Senate race
  • She won’t get 10 points against U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville)
  • Could get a Trump endorsement

Candidate 2:

  • A candidate who ran for the office before and had a stumble
  • “This is Alabama. We speak English.”

The clues lead us to two very distinct candidates.

Candidate 1 is the former ambassador to Slovenia under Trump, Lynda Blanchard.

Candidate 2 is a son of former Gov. Fob James and third-place 2010 GOP primary-finisher Tim James.

Could either of these individuals mount a challenge against Kay Ivey?

Maybe, but what is the argument that the state needs new leadership?

Gas tax?

Lockdown?

Mask mandate?

Soon to be new prisons?

Do these issues motivate people?

Altogether, it may move the needle, but Governor Ivey is a well-known and well-liked politician overseeing a recovering economy on the heels of a global pandemic.

Those in the political world will say she isn’t being seen enough, but that is an inside baseball complaint.

Neither of these individuals have a groundswell of support from people clamoring to enter the fray, but if Alabamians are given another choice for governor, maybe it will turn into a race that ends up surprisingly competitive.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

2 days ago

7 Things: Biden vs. Putin, AG Marshall latest to lobby for more prisons, Congress votes to make Juneteenth a holiday and more … 

7. Comedian claims he was banned from Alabama mall after a child cried

  • An incident that has gone viral occurred at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover when TeJuan Dennis was removed from the property. Now, Dennis is claiming that he was racially profiled in an encounter that was captured on Facebook Live.
  • Mall spokeswoman Lindsay Kahn has said that Dennis wasn’t removed from the mall for his race, but rather he was “being very loud and disruptive.”Kahn added, “I understand there were profanities being yelled so that disruptive behavior is actually a violation of our code of conduct.” Apparently, the loud altercation occurred between Dennis and another man, and Dennis has claimed that security only approached him and asked him, “What are you doing to this man?”

6. Governor Ivey endorsed by Manufacture Alabama

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  • Governor Kay Ivey has not drawn an opponent, although there is some talk of a challenger with President Donald Trump’s support emerging, but she is getting the support of business leaders in the state with an endorsement from Manufacture Alabama, which represents manufacturing in the state.
  • George Clark, president of Manufacture Alabama, explained the endorsement, saying, “[Governor Ivey] has always been committed to make Alabama an even better place to live and conduct business and leads with a common-sense approach. Her tireless leadership has brought positive outcomes to our manufacturers and we couldn’t be prouder to give her our full endorsement.” Ivey gladly accepted the endorsement and touted the growth of manufacturing in the state. She stated, “It has been our mission over these last four years to cultivate a thriving business climate not just by Alabama standards, but to set the bar across all fifty states. We reached that goal – even amidst exceptionally uncertain and trying times.”

5. WHO is ‘compromised’

  • Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield has spoken out about speculation that the coronavirus may have originated as a lab leak in Wuhan, China. Redfield explained that the initial theory of a bat transferring the virus to a human is “not consistent with how other coronaviruses have come into the human species.”
  • Instead, Redfield said that one of the most likely scenarios is that the virus was produced in a lab. Redfield also took aim at the World Health Organization, claiming that they’re “too compromised” by China to investigate the issue with integrity.

4. Arrest warrant issued for the process server in Eric Swalwell/Mo Brooks case

  • When U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) was served notice of U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell’s (D-CA) lawsuit against him, Brooks’ wife Martha was actually served. Video surveillance shows the process server entering the Brooks residence by going into the garage.
  • Now, that server, Christian Seklecki, has been charged with first-degree criminal trespass. It’s alleged that Seklecki “accosted” Martha. Mo Brooks said of the incident, “Swalwell lied in his politically motivated, meritless lawsuit against President Donald Trump and me when he falsely claimed I incited the January 6th Capitol violence.”

3. Congress votes to make Juneteenth a holiday 

  • Juneteenth, until recently, was a little-known holiday that originally commemorated the announcement by Union Army General Gordon Granger that gave slaves freedom in Texas, but the federally recognized Juneteenth holiday will celebrate the day commemorating the official end of slavery in the United States. Congress has now passed a bill declaring it a national holiday. The U.S. Senate passed the bill unanimously and the U.S. House passed the bill 415-14.
  • Of the 14 representatives that voted against the holiday, two were from Alabama — U.S. Representatives Mike Rogers (R-Saks) and Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville). Brooks said he believed there should be a larger celebration of the emancipation of the slaves, not a date tied to one state, and he raised fiscal concerns as well.

2. Marshall: New prisons are still necessary

  • Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has addressed the idea of new prisons being built in the state and if it actually helps remedy the U.S. Department of Justice’s belief that prison conditions are unconstitutional. Alabama already owns the land the prisons could go on.
  • Marshall said that new prisons are “definitely important in the pending case we have against the Department of Justice,” and further explained that building these new facilities could satisfy conditions of the lawsuit and that just more space could limit inmate-on-inmate violence. He went on to say that the state will be “able to show the judge factually that the evidence is there that Alabama has met its responsibilities under the Constitution with regard to how it is we handle our correction system.”

1. Biden claims he laid down the law, but he seems to be more upset at the media

  • Not much was accomplished at the meeting between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, except the return of the two nations’ ambassadors. Biden said that he made “no threats” but instead warned Putin of “consequences.” According to Biden, the meeting was “positive.” He said he warned Putin that he would not allow cyberattacks on 16 American sectors.
  • In talking about the meeting, Biden emphasized that he was focused on being for America rather than against Russia, but he did say that he was “just letting him know where I stood, what I thought we could accomplish together, and what, in fact, if there is a violation of American sovereignty, what we would do.” When pressed on holding Putin accountable, Biden lashed out at Alabama native and CNN White House reporter Kaitlan Collins. He complained about how negative the press was and how Collins, herself, was “in the wrong business.”

3 days ago

7 Things: Conservative groups protest critical race theory, Alabama’s federal officials want more defense spending, Mo Brooks wants Fauci fired and more …

7. Worldwide microchip shortage impact felt at Hyundai plant in Montgomery

  • The coronavirus pandemic has caused supply disruption around the globe, which includes microchips used in automobiles. This is causing about 1,000 employees at the Hyundai Montgomery plant to be temporarily unemployed.
  • Robert Burns, vice president of human resources and administration, says this is a short-term issue and “[n]o other downtime for this reason is expected.” Most of the employees at the plant are still working on maintenance, engines and processing completed vehicles.

6. Alabama student in court for bomb threat to LSU football game

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  • A former University of Alabama student is facing a felony charge for communicating false information of a planned bombing on school property during a 2019 LSU-Florida game at Tiger Stadium, and his attorney wants to “resolve” the case.
  • Connor Bruce Croll confessed to police that he made the threat to stop the game because “his friend was on the verge of losing a large bet,” according to police. There were 102,321 people in Tiger Stadium at the time of the bomb threat. The crime could carry a 20-year prison sentence.

5. Putin asks who shot Ashli Babbitt at the U.S. Capitol 

  • The family of former Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt has been trying to figure out who shot her at the U.S. Capitol during the riot on January 6, and they have been joined in their questioning by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Putin asked a reporter asking about political murders in Russia by asking, “Did you order the assassination of the woman who walked into the Congress and who was shot and killed by a policeman?” This is all happening the day before Putin meets with President Joe Biden.

4. Two killed, two injured at shooting at a manufacturing facility in Albertville

  • An employee at Mueller Co., a water distribution equipment plant in Albertville, opened fire on his coworkers at around 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday. The shooter was later identified as Andreas Deon Horton and was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound 15 miles away later that morning.
  • The shooter utilized a handgun in the shooting, and no other relationship between the shooter and his victims are known other than the fact that they work together.

3. Mo Brooks calls for Anthony Fauci to be fired

  • As Dr. Anthony Fauci’s decision-making continues to be called into question and his emails describe a difference in his public positions and private positions, the pressure for him to be fired is growing. A group of Republican Congressmen is calling for his salary to be $0 and his successor to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
  • The “Fire Fauci Act” was proposed by U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) is a cosponsor. Brooks and Greene appeared with other congressmen and explained that Fauci’s credibility is shot, stating “Trust in Dr. Fauci has been shattered. Hence, Dr. Fauci must go.”

2. Alabama federal officials call for more defense spending 

  • While congressional Republicans have made it pretty clear that President Joe Biden’s massive spending proposal is a non-starter, Alabama Republicans want more funding for defense priorities. U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) believes that a “50-50 Senate split means Democrats will have to work with Republicans to get a deal done, and if they’re going to spend a hell of a lot of money on social programs at the expense of national security, Democrats are going to have trouble.”
  • U.S. Representatives Mike Rogers (R-Saks), Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) and Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) raised various issues about defense priorities including missile defense, Next Generation Interceptor program, the Iron Dome and more.

1. Conservative groups in Alabama oppose critical race theory

  • The media and their Democrats are on a full-court press to both defend critical race theory and demand you not even acknowledge it exists as legislators across the country attempt to ban public educators from telling students America was, is and will always be racist.
  • In Alabama, two conservative organizations, the Alabama Policy Institute and Eagle Forum of Alabama, have offered up a resolution to the state school board to ban critical race theory in the state. API’s general counsel and former State Senator Phil Williams said the proposal was “prepared with expert input and analysis of the growing trend nationwide to inject the misguided concept that by their very existence our children are born either oppressor or oppressed and that nothing they can say or do will change that.”

3 days ago

Dale Jackson: Why does the media support critical race theory while pretending it doesn’t exist?

(Pixabay, Kyle Whitmire/Facebook, YHN)

The media appears to have a playbook that is followed on the national and local levels when it comes to political coverage.

Step 1: Embrace absurd political position
Step 2: Promote those holding the absurd political position
Step 3: Realize absurd political position is absurd
Step 4: Pretend those criticizing absurd political position are making it up

They did it with cancel culture.

Cancel culture was fine, but then it became consequence culture. Now, some progressives fear it is becoming too powerful and people hate it.

They did it with defunding the police.

It was chanting at rallies, they created a hashtag, members of Congress promoted it, cities did it, crime rates spiked, and now you would think no one actually meant for it to happen.

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They did it with Antifa.

We were mocked for having a problem with a group that has “anti-fascists” as the base of its name.

We were told they were a force for good, and now we are told that “Antifa” is just a made-up thing with no real leadership structure and no charter of incorporation, so they don’t exist.

Now, critical race theory is just a boogeyman created by conservatives to scare people into voting for them.

As usual, al(dot)com’s Kyle Whitmire is entering the fray a bit too late with a silly take that amounts to: “Golly, what is this whole critical race theory stuff?”

So, Whitmire, fresh of his award for liberal opinions from some random Texas magazine you have never heard of, decided to call State Representative Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) and ask him what his bill does.

So Pringle told him, per al(dot)com:

“It’s pretty simple,” Pringle said. “All it says is you can’t teach critical race theory in K-12 or higher education in the state of Alabama.”

Still confused, Whitmire demanded some magic words, and Pringle attempted to placate him.

Whitmire relays their conversation and leaves in the uhs and ums to make Pringle look bad and frames it as if Pringle is taking on something he doesn’t understand.

This is Pringle’s fault because he took the call and legitimized Whitmire. Whitmire should be marginalized and mocked rather than listened to.

Instead, Pringle gets destroyed.

Whitmire wrote, “When I couldn’t get an answer from a middle-aged white man, I took the logical next step. I asked a middle-aged Black man, Alabama Democratic Party chairman and state Rep. Chris England.”

State Representative England (D-Tuscaloosa) explained that critical race theory is, in fact, a thing.

“Critical race theory has been around since the ’70s and it’s never been taught in K-12,” England said. “It’s post-secondary education theory that is only discussed in masters level classes.”

England is treated far better by Whitmire, which is his choice, but Whitmire learns that this is a thing after all, and England says it isn’t taught in K-12 — as if that makes Pringle’s bill irrelevant. We know it is moving this way, and advocates make that clear. But the narrative is in place, and they all have to play the game.

Alabama Republicans need to stop engaging this liberal opinion writer. If a “journalist” insists he doesn’t understand the topic, believe him. Maybe have him call you back when he figures it out.

So here you go, Kyle Whitmire. Let’s take a look at critical race theory:

Critical race theory (CRT)intellectual movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of colour. Critical race theorists hold that the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans.

Allow me to summarize: America is racist to its core. It was, is and will always be racist.

This should never be taught in American schools to children of any race. Parents and their politicians have every right to speak out about it, just like parents have a right to speak out on any other subject or theory taught in public schools.

The fact that there is an entire media narrative being built that agrees with critical race theory and pretends it doesn’t exist at the same time is pretty telling and damning of the education and journalism industries.

If you really can’t understand what it is, and Whitmire just can’t figure it out, maybe you should sit the conversation out.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

4 days ago

7 Things: Pressure campaign for prison deal grows, Tuberville latest to slam critical race theory, Brooks touts Club for Growth endorsement with slam of Britt and more …

7. Shooting spree was racially motivated but not in the way that gets national attention

  • Justin Tyran Roberts admitted to a racially motivated shooting spree that covered multiple states. Roberts said he targeted white men that he felt wronged him, according to law enforcement.
  • Roberts shot five different people during three separate assaults, and when asked by law enforcement why he targeted them, he told investigators that “throughout his life, specifically white males had taken from him, and also what he described as ‘military-looking white males’ had taken from him.”

6. “Retain Alabama” seeks to keep graduates in Alabama

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  • Alabama legislators allocated $800,000 dollars in the last legislative session to retain graduates to be employed in the state of Alabama after graduation. Currently, only 51% of graduates are employed in the state five years after graduating, and that rate is lower for STEM graduates.
  • The money will be split between the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and a Birmingham non-profit, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, that will seek to connect industry in Alabama with college students graduating each year, especially focusing on STEM and advanced manufacturing jobs.

5. Ivey announces new local road projects

  • The “Rebuild Alabama” gas tax remains highly controversial in Alabama, but Governor Kay Ivey hopes to show people that the tax increase is being put to work for the people of the state by announcing new projects paid for with the money.
  • The law requires $10 million to be used for local projects each year with more than that allocated in 2020 and $4.9 million allocated this year. The projects identified this week include road work in Trussville and  Tuscaloosa, Autauga, Jefferson, Etowah, Bibb, Calhoun, Cullman, Escambia, Franklin, and Marion Counties.

4. McConnell to frustrate Democrats for years to come

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is looking toward the 2024 election cycle under the premise that Republicans will take control of the U.S. Senate in 2022, and use that power to deny President Joe Biden a U.S. Supreme Court justice in 2024. His statements infuriated Democrats, who refuse to understand why McConnell wouldn’t deny President Donald Trump a justice in an election year when his party controlled the Senate after denying President Barack Obama a justice when Republicans controlled the Senate in his last year.
  • McConnell also dismissed the Democrats’ call for subpoenas for former Attorney Generals Jeff Sessions and William Barr into a legitimate leak investigation, calling it “a witch hunt” of a legitimate Justice Department leak investigation that took place before Barr even arrived at the Justice Department and after Sessions recused himself. McConnell added, “Any outrage from Democrats that alleged criminal leaks within their own ranks rightly drew the attention of federal investigators rings, completely hollow.”

3. Mo Brooks gets Club for Growth endorsement, hits Britt

  • A few days after the conservative group Club for Growth released a poll with a commanding lead for U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in the Republican primary for the 2022 U.S. Senate race, the group announced their endorsement of the congressman. The organization said, “Mo Brooks has proven to be a strong economic conservative who is unafraid to stand up to Democrats and Republican Leadership to fight for the best interests of the people of Alabama.”
  • While accepting the endorsement Brooks said, “Their endorsement is yet another third-party confirmation that Mo Brooks is the fearless fighting conservative America needs in the U.S. Senate.” In the same release, he took a gratuitous shot at his newest rival, Katie Britt, stating, “In Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, the Establishment, Never Trump, cheap foreign labor, debt junkie, tax and spend wings of the Republican Party are ALL coalescing their big-time money on professional lobbyist Katie Britt.”

2. Tuberville against schools teaching the 1619 project

  • It looks like there could be a new politician commenting on critical race theory every day. Yesterday, that politician was U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) who dismissed the idea that it should be taught in classes anywhere. And while critics will pretend this is a made-up panic, the U.S. Department of Education is seeking to prioritize grants for schools that will agree to teach critical race theory and the “1619 Project.”
  • Tuberville joined six other U.S. senators, including Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in opposing this radical theory being taught in schools. He noted, “The U.S. government should not spend a single taxpayer dollar to teach children to dislike their country. I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation so that our schools can encourage the open debate of ideas and teach important morals to our students.”

1. The push for new prisons is ramping up ahead of a deal and special session

  • Alabama Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) says we need to keep bad guys in jail and explained to do that, new prisons will need to be built and the other reforms are secondary. He advised, “The number one premise has to be to keep the bad folks incarcerated and keep the good folks safe.  With that being said, any other type of reform measures needs to reflect just that. We need to make sure that the bad people are kept behind bars, and the good people are kept safe.”
  • Scofield is not the only one making this push. Association of County Commissions of Alabama executive Sonny Brasfield reminded people that the current setup of overcrowded state prisons is leading to overcrowding of county jails, which are not set up to deal with the kind of prisoners the state prison system should house. Brasfield noted that a new law is setting up a showdown. He said, “[T]he law will say that after the 30th day, the sheriff shall transfer custody to the state of Alabama. About 25 sheriffs had a call this week. They are counting the days down to January 1.”

5 days ago

7 Things: Alabama vaccine hesitancy worries some, fight over critical race theory grows, the world loves America now because Biden isn’t Trump and more …

7. Birmingham TV anchor commits suicide, online monsters pounce

  • Sad news for the broadcasting field as ABC 33/40’s Christopher Sign apparently committed suicide on Saturday evening. Sign started his broadcast career in Birmingham before heading to Phoenix and eventually returning. He leaves behind a wife and three kids.
  • While in Phoenix, Sign broke the news that former President Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch met in the middle of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. This story has led to some online suggesting the Clintons had something to do with his death.

6. Democrats continue to deal with Ilhan Omar’s ridiculousness

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  • At the end of last week, U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) drew fire from her fellow Democrats and many Republicans for equating Hamas and the Taliban to Israel and the United States. Hamas didn’t like being compared to Israel and the United States, either.
  • Omar was defiant, and “The Squad” came to her defense before she attempted to walk back her absurd comments. That acquiescence apparently placated the media and their Democrats as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared the matter dealt with, stating, “We welcome the clarification by Congresswoman Omar that there is no moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban.”

5. Brooks warns that U.S. Senate race will get negative

  • Katie Britt, the former chief of staff for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), entered the Republican U.S. Senate race last week and received her former boss’ endorsement. U.S. Representative Mo Brook (R-Huntsville) says that the negativity will have to start flowing soon after polling shows him out to a big lead.
  • Brooks said, “Katie Britt’s people are probably a bit more clever in that regard and will have third-party groups that will attack on her behalf. But both of the candidates have done polling to determine which attacks are the most effective with the voters.” Britt responded to the suggestion on Twitter, saying, “Bless his heart, it appears that Mo has trouble with the truth. I’m focused on showing the people of our state how I will fight tirelessly to put #AlabamaFirst, grow opportunities for hardworking Alabama families, secure the border & hold China accountable.”

4. No one at the Trump DOJ says they knew anything about Democrats’ records being seized

  • Brand new accusations of misdeeds at the Trump Department of Justice are flying as claims that U.S. Representatives Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) appear to have had their records seized while the DOJ was hunting leakers to media outlets and those two were pretty good suspects.
  • Former Attorney Generals Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have all said they know nothing about the seizing of these records. Because this is the Trump DOJ and not the Obama DOJ, expect the American media to have a different perspective when it comes to potential misdeeds than they had during the investigations in the Obama DOJ.

3. G7 ends with a liberal wishlist being promised by global leaders 

  • The general takeaway of this year’s G7 was “Biden is not Trump and we like America now,” and some polling backs this up. The leaders of some of the world’s most powerful countries made promises they have no desire to actually keep in holding Russia and China at bay while fighting climate change and protecting Democracy.
  • The world leaders did agree to let America buy the world some vaccines and some referred to Biden’s team as a “pro-European administration” with a limited time “to cement a solid transatlantic economic and security partnership.” To show you how embarrassing this was, United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson gave a speech quoting Biden’s “build back better” and even called for a “greener, more gender-neutral, and perhaps a more feminine way.”

2. As Alabama and other states target Critical Race Theory, advocates offer multiple defenses

  • It seems pretty clear that America is heading towards a massive multi-front fight on the issue of Critical Race Theory being taught in schools across this country. States like Florida have already banned the practice, candidates and incumbents for the U.S. Senate and Congress are being pressed on the issue, and school boards are also facing the issue.
  • State Representative Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) is working on a bill to stop it in Alabama. He advised, “It’s simply a bill that says in public education, you can’t teach or indoctrinate our children with critical race theory.” As the numbers of those opposing the program grow, some are arguing the issue is one of academic freedom. Some are pretending it doesn’t exist while others argue it is a GOP obsession, which is a move reminiscent of how the media handles Antifa.

1. Alabama lagging on vaccinations

  • Alabama’s health professionals continue to fret about how Alabama’s coronavirus vaccinations continue to lag with Alabama being one of eight states seeing an increase in coronavirus cases over the last two weeks. But Dr. Kiersten Kennedy, chief of hospital medicine at UAB, said the concerns aren’t an issue yet. Kennedy said, “We are experiencing these tiny peaks and valleys. I would say on the whole things have remained pretty stable which is really reassuring.”
  • The fact remains that Alabama continues to have the second-lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the United States at 36% fully vaccinated and far short of the 70% of adults the White House said it wanted to be vaccinated by July 4.

5 days ago

VIDEO: Prisons could be built with COVID-19 funds, Shelby endorses Katie Britt for Senate, Brooks battles with Swalwell as a new poll shows big lead and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and political consultant Mecca Musick take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will Alabama really use COVID-19 relief funds to build prisons?

— Does Katie Britt’s entering of the U.S. Senate race shake things up, or has U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) already won this race?

— Can U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) keep the more radical members of the Democratic Party at bay?

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Jackson and Musick are joined by former U.S. Attorney Jay Town to discuss the issues facing the state of Alabama this week.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at those who want to use the illegally acquired tax returns of the uber-wealthy to push for higher taxes. He argues the released returns show that we should implement a flat tax and do away with all deductions.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

1 week ago

7 Things: Shelby endorses Britt, Alabama legislators looking to ban Critical Race Theory, Brooks complaint against Swalwell’s server in hands of the DA and more …

7. Maybe Texas will build a border wall to keep Vice President Harris out

  • Vice President Kamala Harris is having an interesting few days far-south of the border as she attempts to deal with the disastrous immigration policy of the Biden administration. With Harris out of the country, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced the state will build some border wall of its own.
  • Abbott referenced the new administration’s failure and the influx of illegal immigrants into his state while making the announcement as part of a $1 billion dollar plan for border security. Abbott said, “While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows. The state is working collaboratively with communities impacted by the crisis to arrest and detain individuals coming into Texas illegally.”

6. Alabama will never miss the playoffs again

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  • Great news for fans of college football but bad news for the purist in the college football fandom as it appears an expanded playoff is all but inevitable at this point. The proposed system has no guaranteed bids, but the six highest-ranking conference champions are in and then the six highest-ranked determined by the CFP selection committee are in, too.
  • This is great news for the University of Alabama, who have never come close to falling below the 12th best team in college football since the playoff era has been taking place. This would be great for the SEC as well because there is no limit on the number of teams a conference can send.

5. New report says vaccinating those with prior COVID-19 infections is unnecessary

  • The vaccination of those who already had COVID-19 may end up being unnecessary if a new study from the Cleveland Clinic is accurate. According to the study, those infected previously gain nothing by being vaccinated.
  • The study shows that vaccines should be prioritized to those individuals who have never been infected; it also means that counting those with vaccinations as the only metric is a flawed way to discuss where the country is at this moment.

4. Tuberville wants you to get your vaccine

  • High-profile public figures in Alabama have tried to convince vaccine-hesitant individuals to get the coronavirus vaccine. We have seen Nick Saban, Governor Kay Ivey and others record videos for the effort.
  • Now, former Auburn head coach and U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has recorded his own where he tells Alabamians, “Getting the vaccine is safe, effective, and free. I got mine. And let me tell you, it’s worth it. Vaccines have slowed the rate of hospitalization and death down dramatically – and we want to keep it that way.”

3. District Attorney has trespassing complaint tied to Mo Brooks and his wife 

  • The man that served U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) for U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) by “accosting” his wife in the Brooks home is now facing a potential legal problem and a charge of misdemeanor trespassing. The case is now in the hands of the Madison County District Attorney.
  • The process server, Christian Seklecki, agreed with the account given by Martha Brooks even though that account was disputed by Swalwell’s attorney on CNN. All of this may be for naught as Madison County district attorney’s office has said they would not seek to extradite Seklecki, who lives in Georgia but could be arrested if he returns to Madison County.

2. Alabama legislators looking to ban Critical Race Theory

  • Even though the Alabama Legislature seems like it just finished meeting last month, some legislators are ready to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the state. Alabama is hardly alone.
  • State Representative Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) has already proposed a bill for the next legislative session that would ban teaching “that this state or the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist” or “that an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”

1. Shelby endorses Katie Britt for U.S. Senate

  • U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has endorsed his former chief of staff and the former head of the Business Council of Alabama Katie Britt, saying, “She’s like family. She’d make a good candidate. She’s probably the best-qualified candidate to come along in a long time” but said he will not be active in her campaign.
  • The endorsement of Britt by Shelby is a good get for Britt but al(dot)com tried to plagiarize the headline from Politico and make it about former President Donald Trump with a headline that read, “Shelby distances from Trump with Katie Britt endorsement,” even though Shelby didn’t mention or reference the former president in any way, shape or form.

1 week ago

7 Things: COVID-19 funding for prisons, Tuberville joins fellow senators in questioning unequal justice handed out to protesters, Brooks has commanding lead and more …

7. Lee High in Huntsville is about to see a name change

  • As Confederate monuments fell around the nation, schools also began changing their names from names of Confederate leaders. Alabama has already seen some of this, and now the Huntsville City Schools superintendent is signaling that Lee High School is next.
  • During a school board meeting, Superintendent Christie Finley said that the “Lee Community” will be involved in changing the name, but the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act may get in the way. Finley said the system will move in “a very slow, a very intentional and transparent process” way, The system has already sought an opinion on the matter from Attorney General Steve Marshall. If no waiver is granted, the school system may have to pay a $25,000 fine.

6. Yep, the media screwed that story up, too

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  • Once again, the American media’s lust for negative news about former President Donald Trump led to a media-wide narrative that controlled the conversation for days leading up to a presidential election that was completely divorced from the facts. This is not the first time this has happened and will not be the last.
  • The lastest miss by the media concerns the idea that President Trump had peaceful protesters tear-gassed to stage a photo op at a church that was attacked by protesters the prior evening. According to the inspector general report, the plan to clear the park to erect a fence started two days prior in response to previous violent protests. Missing from some of this coverage still is the violent protests that forced the president into a bunker under the White House and injured 46 police.

5. Medical marijuana cards could be a thing in Alabama soon

  • The passing of Alabama’s medical marijuana law made Alabama the 37th state to allow the use of the drug. State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence) was speaking to a crowd in Limestone County when he explained the law, which will go into effect in the fall of 2022, could see medical marijuana cards being available for patients available in about a year.
  • Melson also made it clear that this is not going to be something you can just ask for. He advised, “This is not the first choice, as we say, this is not the first tool out of the toolbox.” Melson added, “You have to go and document, and all of the physicians who will recommend it have to go through training and education and get the license to dispense it.”

4. Ivey campaign ad makes it clear that she is running on jobs

  • Governor Kay Ivey is up and running for reelection, and her campaign is releasing an ad focusing on the economy and her desire to keep serving the state of Alabama as its governor with an entitled, “Four More Years.”
  • In the spot, Ivey talks about her desire to continue serving her state and the importance of creating economic opportunity. She states, “These past four years have been resilient, they’ve been responsive to our challenges and our opportunities. It’s important to keep our jobs open and keep our people working.” Many in her own party have criticized Ivey’s hesitancy to remove the mask order, but they also praised her for ending the federal government’s unemployment benefit supplement to help employers get workers back.

3. Brooks up big in Club for Growth poll

  • In the first public poll released on Alabama’s 2022 Republican U.S. Senate primary, U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) holds a commanding lead over his two announced challengers in the conservative Club for Growth’s survey, former Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard and the newly-announced former head of the Business Council of Alabama Katie Britt.
  • Brooks is known far more than his challengers with 85% name ID, while his opponents are known by about a quarter of Alabamians. In a race between the three, Brooks leads with 59% of the respondents choosing him, 13% choosing Blanchard and 9% choosing Britt. Undecided pulled in 19% of the vote with a little less than a year remaining in the race.

2. Tuberville signs on to letter questions handling of U.S. Capitol rioters

  • U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has said repeatedly that the riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, “Should’ve never happened,” but he also signed on to a letter that questions the unequal treatment of the perpetrators on that day compared to those who were arrested through the last few years at riots across the country.
  • Tuberville is joined by Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rick Scott (R-FL) in questioning the Department of Justice on how these cases are being handled differently. The questions they want answered include why there is a federal database for defendants in this matter while “no such database exists for alleged perpetrators of crimes associated with the spring and summer 2020 protests?” They also allege there is an “apparent unwillingness to punish these individuals who allegedly committed crimes during the spring and summer 2020 protests.”

1. COVID-19 stimulus money was totally meant for prison building

  • In a twist that not many saw coming, it has been reported that Governor Kay Ivey and some in the Alabama Legislature are preparing to attempt to use money from the American Rescue Plan for prison construction to address the issues in Alabama’s beleaguered prison system.
  • Alabama is expected to receive $4 billion from the federal government; the state will get $2.1 billion of that. State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) believes this money could be used in this way. He said, “Now, we don’t have full authorization of that. We don’t have it clearly identified. We believe there will be a way in which some of this money, how much of it, we don’t know.”

1 week ago

Alabama could determine Trump’s political future

(White House/Flickr, YHN)

It was a campaign rally in Alabama in August 2015 which put the rest of the world on notice that Donald Trump was a force to be reckoned with.

On that warm, humid night in Mobile, Trump packed 30,000 curious and furious people into Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Using the Alabama rally as the template for future events, Trump’s stadium and arena rallies became a signature of his campaign.

After Mobile, his campaign gained enough steam to win Alabama’s presidential primary, the Republican nomination and the presidency. What followed was four years of unassailable success for conservatives in every area from tax cuts to regulatory reform to the federal courts.

Trump has reentered the state’s borders – albeit in the figurative sense this time – to once again put his political fate in the hands of the people of Alabama, a group which has proven to be among the most Trump-loyal voters in the country.

The former casino operator has placed his chips all-in on U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) to be Alabama’s next United States Senator.

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Trump got in early, too, delivering his endorsement more than 13 months ahead of the 2022 Republican primary. Brooks has made two unsuccessful runs at statewide office, including one U.S. Senate campaign, but this one may turn out to be different.

In NFL Draft parlance, Brooks is a high floor, low ceiling candidate, a natural choice for Trump who is seeking to maintain his footing in national Republican politics with an eye toward 2024.

A Club for Growth poll conducted among Alabama Republican primary voters in late April showed Brooks leading the field with 59% of the vote. With a Trump endorsement and the whole of Brooks’ record baked into those polling numbers, Brooks is unlikely to see his numbers nudge up much higher under any circumstance. But a candidate only needs 50% plus one vote to win the nomination, so Brooks currently sits better than the rest of the field.

Brooks – and Trump through his endorsement – are banking on the state’s Republican primary voters to care about the 2020 election with the same intensity in 2022 as they did immediately following the election. After all, the entire premise of Brooks’ campaign, and the reason for Trump’s endorsement, is that Brooks fought for Trump post-election.

Meanwhile, Trump is not the only Republican with designs on a 2024 run.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Vice President Mike Pence have all been circling at a respectful distance and actively gauging Trump’s strength, which is why the Alabama U.S. Senate primary will draw special scrutiny from those aspiring presidential candidates.

Should Brooks stumble and lose a third statewide Republican primary, prospective 2024 candidates are going to see a green light to run. If Trump is unable to steer the outcome of a race in the reddest of red states, what would that signal about his standing among Republicans heading into presidential primaries?

There has been a limited amount of activity in Alabama’s primary, so far.

Earlier this week, Brooks received a gift wrapped in a bow and presented on a platter when he was sued by U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) for allegations related to the U.S. Capitol riot. However, Brooks passed on the opportunity to bolster his credentials as a fighter for Alabamians. He might have used the opportunity to say something like this: “I was sued by a liberal California Democrat, who had an affair with a Chinese spy, for no other reason than the fact that they know I’ll fight for your Alabama values.”

Instead, the response from Brooks and his surrogates involved a discussion of the proper service of process in a civil suit and the intricacies of Alabama’s criminal trespass statute.

Not exactly a confidence-inspiring campaign strategy for anyone whose fate is tied to Brooks.

Brooks has also reportedly been campaigning on the Gulf Coast with Trump nemesis and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It will be interesting over the coming months to see how that alliance sits with the 45th president.

Trump is in the midst of endorsing candidates in swing states like North Carolina and Georgia. Nowhere has he endorsed a candidate where the electorate is such a clear-cut representation of his voters in 2016 and 2020 like there is in Alabama.

Alabama’s primary is scheduled for May 24, 2022, nearly one year from now. That’s a lifetime in politics. Whatever happens will go a long way toward determining Trump’s political prospects.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

1 week ago

Dale Jackson: Huntsville City Schools should change Lee High School’s name to Donald J. Trump High School

(Dale Jackson/Facebook, Pixabay, YHN)

Confederate General Robert E. Lee is canceled.

We already know this, but Huntsville City Schools is ready to get in on the game.

WAAY-31 reports that Superintendent Christie Finley has announced a proposal to rename Lee High School, obviously named after Robert E. Lee, to something else.

What will that be? It’s unknown, but here are the issues the board will run into moving forward:

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  1. People who don’t want these names changed
  2. The Alabama Monument Preservation Act that makes changing these names is a little harder than one might think
  3. Lee High alumni who don’t want their school’s name changed so they don’t lose the history that goes along with it

There is no way to please all of these people, unless you change the name of the school to something that allows it to keep the “Lee High” shorthand.

So, the author of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” Harper Lee?

That’s about it.

But what if Huntsville City Schools went in another direction?

What if they changed the name of the school to “President Donald J. Trump High School?”

The argument against this move writes itself. It’s a school with 79% minority enrollment and it sits in a district that sends liberals to the school board and Statehouse.

But, the choice of this particular American president might send a message that people who demand we engage in this cancel culture nonsense might not always like the change that comes out on the other side.

If we started proposing things like this, maybe we could end this scourge.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

1 week ago

7 Things: Jockeying for narratives starts in U.S. Senate race, another Alabama man arrested for role in U.S. Capitol riot, leaked tax returns being used to push for tax reform and more …

7. Kamala Harris is an incompetent politician

  • After being tasked with tackling the issue of illegal immigration at the southern border, Vice President Kamala Harris has finally said that she plans to visit the southern border of the United States.
  • When asked about visiting the southern border, Harris said, “Yes, I will and I have before,” referencing the time she spent living in California and how this indicates that she’s “spent a lot of time on the border both going there physically and aware of the issues.”

6. Labor shortages are hurting business growth

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  • The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has conducted a survey that shows small businesses are seeing more issues with growth due to the excessive amount of job openings.
  • In the survey, 48% of businesses said they haven’t been able to fill open positions, but 26% have also said that finding quality labor has been a prevalent problem. There’s also been an 11% decrease in business owners who expect improved conditions within the next six months, which brings that to a net negative 26%.

5. Infrastructure conversation is over

  • It appears that conversations between Republicans and President Joe Biden are over when it comes to a big infrastructure bill. Democrats wanted more money and spending, and Republicans, led by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), countered with $150 billion more than their original proposal that was $1 trillion less than Biden’s. The collapse leaves Biden with few options.
  • After the collapse of the conversation, President Biden met with Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ.) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) hoping they could reach an agreement of their own and piece together a coalition to pass it.

4. Manchin is still under attack by people who are bad at politics

  • U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been able to slow down some of the far-left policies proposed by fellow Democrats, such as him supporting the filibuster and refusing to support the For the People Act.
  • U.S. Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) has criticized Manchin for his view on how the “defund the police” narrative damaged Democratic efforts throughout the 2020 elections, but she added, “Our movement was the heart of the organizing that won us the 2020 elections. Now conservative Dems block our progress. Join us in saving lives or get out of our way.”

3. Stolen and leaked documents are fine for distribution now 

  • There has been a leak of several years of tax records from the Internal Revenue Services, and these records revealed that some of the wealthiest people in America didn’t pay income taxes some years. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was one who didn’t pay income taxes for 2007 and 2011.
  • Others like Tesla founder Elon Musk didn’t pay income taxes for 2018. The top 25 richest people in the United States pay about 15.8% in income tax. Other than Bezos and Musk, some of the richest in the country include Mark Zuckerberg, Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. It’s likely that President Joe Biden will use this report to reinforce his stance on raising taxes on the rich.

2. MAGA Lumberjack arrested for role in U.S. Capitol riot

  • A Madison, Alabama man, known online as the MAGA Lumberjack because he was seen throwing lumber at U.S. Capitol Police, was arrested for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot that took place on January 6. The FBI says Dillion Colby Herrington never entered the U.S. Capitol but attempted to assault officers with lumber and a barricade.
  • The list of charges is long; it includes knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or group, knowingly engage in any act of physical violence against any person or property in a restricted building, willfully and knowingly engage in an act of physical violence in the grounds of the Capitol building, commit or attempt any act to obstruct, impede or interfere with law enforcement in the lawful performance of his official duties, forcibly assault, resist, opposes impede, intimidate or interfere. Missing from this list treason, sedition or murder, which the American media assures us are coming from the “insurrection.”

1. With Britt in, Blanchard is claiming to be the only outsider

  • While U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL) battles U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Katie Britt, former president of the Business Council of Alabama, has announced her U.S. Senate candidacy. Britt has never served as an elected official before or in a political position, but fellow candidate and former U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard is attempting to claim that she’s still the only outsider.
  • Blanchard said that the growing field of candidates “forces candidates to stand for their record and what they believe in,” but she quickly added that she remains “the only political outsider currently in the race.” She proceeded to call Congressman Brooks “a 40-year career politician,” and Britt “an establishment insider.” Blanchard describes herself as “a business builder and outsider who served her country at the call of President Trump.”

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Alabama extends Nick Saban, Mo Brooks gets served, Katie Britt enters the U.S. Senate race and more …

7. 29 babies are getting college fund start from Alabama

  • Some born from May 29, 2020, to May 29, 2021, may be eligible to receive $529 to start a college savings account. This is the 7th annual college savings giveaway. 
  • The funds for winners will go into a CollegeCounts 529 account. To enter your child to win, you must be 19 years or older. 

6. Ilhan Omar says America is basically a terrorist organization

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  • Recently, U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) compared the United States of America to terrorist organizations like Hamas and the Taliban.  
  • Omar also included Israel in the group that’s committed “unthinkable atrocities.” Omar brought this up to say that the United States should “have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity.”

5. Millions recovered from pipeline ransom

  • Some of the millions of dollars paid to hackers responsible for the Colonial Pipeline attack has been recovered by the Department of Justice, as they seized it from a cryptocurrency wallet linked to the Russia-based group DarkSide. 
  • The CEO of Colonial Pipeline had previously confirmed that the company paid $4.4 million to DarkSide. The DoJ was able to find the funds paid through tracking Bitcoin transfers. 

4. Kamala Harris has some weird new views on illegal immigration

  • Dismissing an actual border trip as a phony “grand gesture,” Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Guatemala included her taking an unexpectedly strong stance on illegal immigration, saying she wanted “to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making the dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border — do not come, do not come,” but her staff clearly blamed climate change as one of the main drivers of the issue. Guatemala’s president blamed the Biden administration for the immigration issue two days ago.
  • Harris oddly added that the United States is focused on enforcing current immigration laws and keeping the border secure. She also said they’re trying to “discourage illegal migration and I believe if you come to our border you will be turned back.”

3. Katie Boyd Britt is officially running

  • After stepping down from the Business Council of Alabama, Katie Boyd Britt has officially filed candidacy paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to run for the U.S. Senate. 
  • Britt made the announcement early Tuesday morning that she is entering the race that already includes U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and former U.S. ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard. The primary is set for May 24, 2022. 

2. Police report filed by Brooks

  • U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has said that his wife Martha was unlawfully served documents for a civil lawsuit filed by U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA), and now Brooks has filed a complaint and wishes to press charges over the matter. 
  • Martha Brooks was served on Sunday, but she said that it was inside their home. Brooks spokesman Clay Mills said “Swalwell’s process server entered the Brooks’ home without Martha Brooks’ knowledge and without her consent.” The server also didn’t leave when asked, and Brooks now alleges criminal trespass. Video backs up Brooks’ story, and this is far from over, but the media will forget this part and focus on the lawsuit accusing a congressman of causing emotional distress with a speech that was six hours before the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

1. Saban will be at Alabama through 2028

  • University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has extended his contract with the college through the 2028 season. Saban said that he and his wife Terry are “happy to sign another contract extension that will keep us in Tuscaloosa through the end of our career.”
  • Saban’s annual salary and talent fee of $8.425 million will increase every year until the contract expires, and there’s an $800,000 bonus that’ll be paid at the end of the next four seasons. This upcoming season will be Saban’s 15th with the team. 

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Vaccine incentives are working, Huntsville poised to be Alabama’s biggest city, Brooks served with U.S. Capitol civil lawsuit and more …

7. Today is Jefferson Davis Day

  • The state of Alabama still recognizes Jefferson Davis’ birthday as a holiday with Jefferson Davis Day in Alabama, so some state offices will be closed Monday. Jefferson Davis was the president of the Confederate states from 1861-1865.
  • The holiday usually draws some criticism from different groups across the state. Alabama remains the only state that has a separate holiday on the calendar that’s actually observed by state offices.

6. California woman arrested in Huntsville for riot involvement

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  • Stephanie Baez of California was arrested in Huntsville over the weekend for her alleged involvement in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6,
  • It’s not known why the California woman was in Alabama. In one of the videos from January 6, Baez was seen saying, “I want to find me a Proud Boy.” Baez also admitted to being inside the Capitol during the riot on her Instagram. 

5. Ainsworth has officially launched his campaign

  • Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth’s campaign rollout event for his reelection bid drew a crowd of about 3,000 people in Guntersville. Included in those attending were Governor Kay Ivey and State Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville).
  • During the event, Ainsworth said the real reason why he’s running for reelection “is for my kids, for your kids, for your grandkids’ future…I want our kids, your kids, everybody in here to always be proud to call Alabama home.”

4. Manchin has been clear that he will not support extreme liberal policies 

  • The For the People Act won’t receive support from U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who said, “It’s the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our country.” He added that he thinks the legislation will cause more division.
  • Manchin also pointed out how there are details within the bill that don’t apply to voting, and he’s previously expressed that he doesn’t want one political party being the only one to have a say in legislation. Manchin has also made headlines recently for his consistent support of the filibuster.

3. Mo Brooks has been served, claims it was illegal

  • U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) has filed a lawsuit against U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) for speaking at the rally for President Donald Trump on January 6, and now Brooks has been served the lawsuit. 
  • Brooks said that the lawsuit was actually served to his wife. He added, “HORRIBLE Swalwell’s team committed a CRIME by unlawfully sneaking INTO MY HOUSE & accosting my wife!” Swalwell has confirmed that Brooks was served at his home in Alabama. 

2. Birmingham and Montgomery are shrinking

  • New Census estimates suggest that Birmingham and Montgomery are two of the fastest shrinking cities in Alabama. From 2019-2020, Birmingham and Montgomery both lost almost 1% of their population.
  • The No. 1 fastest shrinking city in the state is Selma, losing 2.7% of their population in the same time frame. Birmingham was listed at No. 8 and Montgomery was No. 10 for fastest shrinking cities.

1. Vaccine incentives working

  • Over the course of a month, the number of young people, ages 18-24, receiving the coronavirus vaccine has increased by 10% to 44%. This is after many vaccine incentives have been offered across different states, and President Joe Biden has even mentioned free beer as an incentive.
  • Twelve states have announced different ways to encourage people to get the coronavirus vaccine, and it seems to be helping vaccination rates exceed expectations. In February, data from the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor poll showed that it was unlikely the percentage of young people getting vaccinated would surpass 40% any time soon.

2 weeks ago

VIDEO: Is Kay Ivey inevitable, Birmingham vaccine lottery legality questions, Fauci under fire and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and political consultant Mecca Musick take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Is there anyone that can beat Governor Kay Ivey on the Republican or Democratic side of the aisle?

— Is there any chance a vaccine lottery or sweepstakes could happen in the city of Birmingham? Would Attorney General Steve Marshall challenge it?

— Is Dr. Anthony Fauci in danger of being fired by the Biden administration after his emails show a difference between his public and private thoughts on the coronavirus pandemic?

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Jackson and Musick are joined by Talk 99.5’s Matt Murphy to discuss the issues facing the state of Alabama this week.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” about the deal he has struck with Huntsville City Councilman Devyn Keith to create a series of public service announcements. The PSAs are intended to encourage people to stop resisting law enforcement in order to cut down on negative police interactions.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Fauci continues to face criticism, HPD finds stomping officer was outside of defined policy, Alabama prison reform talk and more …

7. The media was wrong about an unnamed source on Trump again

  • As usual, a reporter claimed an unnamed source said that former President Donald Trump was telling unnamed people that he believed he was going to be reinstated in August. This set off a flurry of speculation and fears for the health of our democracy as it hangs on by a thread.
  • New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who lives in a consequence-free political world, has been asserting this for days, but renowned Trump critic Jim Acosta of CNN is tossing some cold water on the story. He stated, “Now, this adviser, who is familiar with these conversations, went on to say that it doesn’t appear that Trump really believes that he could somehow be reinstated or assume the presidency later on this year,” adding this is “very dangerous” without explaining how.

6. Interesting set of arrests of U.S. Capitol rioters includes an Alabamian 

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  • The Department of Justice announced a series of arrests for people who participated in the riot at the U.S. Capitol and most of the charges are for conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, and entering and remaining on restricted grounds. Missing from this list of crimes is the more serious allegations of treason, sedition, weapons charges or murder, all things the media would have you believe were happening in D.C. that day.
  • Unless President Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland is part of a conspiracy, it appears the rhetoric surrounding that day is overblown so far. One of the eight Alabamians arrested for their role in the riots is Jonathan Walden of Birmingham, who appears to have planned to disrupt the certification vote with people from other states but their actions are more pathetic role-playing and less toppling of governments.

5. Pence speaks on January 6

  • Former Vice President Mike Pence recently attended a Republican fundraising dinner in New Hampshire where he discussed the idea of critical race theory and emphasized that “America is not a racist nation.” However, his comments on the event of January 6, 2021, are far more interesting.
  • Pence acknowledged that he and former President Trump won’t see eye-to-eye on the events of that day and added that the attempts to tar half of Americans as monsters are out of line. Pence spoke of the media and their Democrats framing of the events, saying, “I will not allow Democrats or their allies in the media to use one tragic day to discredit the aspirations of millions of Americans, or allow Democrats or their allies in the media to distract our attention from a new administration intent on dividing our country to advance their radical agenda.”

4. Steve Marshall is running for reelection

  • As anticipated, Attorney General Steve Marshall has announced that he’ll run for reelection in 2022. Marshall has been AG since 2017.  During his announcement, Marshall noted how he’s pushed back on President Joe Biden’s administration on the issues of federal grants, energy policies, emission taxes for cattle farmers, illegal immigrants being counted in the Census and the Equal Rights Amendment. 
  • Marshall was asked about sentencing reform, a favorite of the media that implies we have too many people in jail, and the AG correctly noted, “Alabama doesn’t have an incarceration problem, it has a crime problem. And that’s what we’ll continue to talk about.”

3. Meeting on prisons next week

  • Governor Kay Ivey believes there are prisons in the state that are “unsafe for both correctional staff and inmates alike,” and she’s announced plans to meet with lawmakers to figure out a plan next week. 
  • Ivey said that they’re meeting to “explore options.” She also noted how the Department of Justice plans to “step in and take over” if something isn’t done soon and advised this “is something we cannot afford to let happen here in Alabama.”

2. Huntsville police officer was acting out of policy

  • It’s been confirmed by the Huntsville Police Department that the officer who stomped on the legs of a man resisting arrest at the MapCo gas station was acting outside of department policy and will now face a disciplinary hearing. 
  • This determination was made after all the body camera footage was reviewed during an internal investigation. A spokesman for HPD Lt. Jesse Sumlin said, “This action does not reflect the standards of our department.”

1. Fauci should testify about emails; Mo Brooks wants him gone

  • U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) joined many of his colleagues on Capitol Hill in calling for President Joe Biden to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci after emails were released showing what Brooks called a “trail of lies and destruction” and showed that Fauci was “A man who says one thing in public and does a completely different thing behind closed doors.”
  • U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) is supporting U.S. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) in his effort to bring Dr. Anthony Fauci to testify before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis and House Oversight Committee on the origins of the coronavirus after his emails have been released. Scalise was joined by U.S. Representative James Comer (R-KY) in a letter written to the committees. They said, “[T]he emails contain new evidence regarding the origins of COVID-19, including the possibility it leaked from a U.S. taxpayer-funded laboratory.” The lawmakers added that it’s “imperative” Fauci testifies. 

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Fauci under fire after new book, Ivey says prison special session will have to wait, Birmingham could have its own vaccine lottery and more …

7. Mobile County dealing with cyberattack

  • Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson has acknowledged that “certain systems” have been impacted by a cyberattack in the form of malware. The attack occurred last week and shut down operations for about three days.
  • Sharee Broussard, a spokeswoman for the county, said that they’re working to “restore those systems” and they’re “working closely with federal and other law enforcement and IT specialists.”

6. More good Alabama jobs

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  • The Mazda Toyota Manufacturing facility in Huntsville has announced that they’re looking to hire about 2,400 more people as they prepare to begin operations. Around 1,600 people have already been hired.
  • Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield expressed how hiring is particularly challenging right now as the state emerges from a pandemic. Jobs at the plant don’t require expertise or experience and start at $17 per hour.

5. New Medicaid expansion push includes job creation

  • In the push to expand Medicaid in Alabama, advocates for the expansion, the Commonwealth Fund, released a study that shows expanding the health care service could create about 28,500 jobs in Alabama.
  • Medicaid is state-subsidized health care for low-income individuals, and Alabama is joined by only 11 other states that haven’t decided to expand their Medicaid programs. If expanded to include single adults with an income of less than $17,774 and families of three with an income of less than $30,305, there would be 340,000 people in Alabama covered by the expansion.

4. Vaccine push becomes pushier

  • Even though 63% of Americans have already received the vaccine and cases, hospitalizations and deaths are way down, President Joe Biden is declaring he is setting a target of 70% vaccinated by July 4.
  • Biden’s administration is looking to increase the vaccination rate with partnerships with Anheuser-Busch for a single free beer, already free vaccines for free at black barbershops, free child care, competitions amongst cities and tax credits for employers who let people have time off to get the vaccine. All of this will have a small impact on the desire for people to get vaccinated, but the real goal here is to declare that the administration is dragging America across the finish line so they can take credit for the vaccine developed under the leadership of the previous administration.

3. Birmingham city councilman has a solution for vaccine lottery

  • As the discussion over whether Alabama should start a vaccine lottery to incentivize more people to get the vaccine, Birmingham City Council President William Parker is planning to present a vaccine sweepstakes of $13 million.
  • Parker’s plan would be funded by the funds Birmingham will receive from the American Rescue Plan, totaling $148.8 million, which the city has already received about $75 million. Those who get vaccinated would get a $500 gift card or savings bond. Daily drawings will be done for people to win up to $10,000, with two drawings for $1 million.

2. Pump the brakes on that special session for prisons

  • Governor Kay Ivey is running for reelection, which is already known, but her announcement included the touting of 44,000 jobs created with her as governor and more than $18 billion in new capital investment. Ivey also said she is not sold on a special session for prisons.
  • During an appearance in Montgomery on Wednesday, Ivey declared that there will no call for a special session from her until there is “a plan and that plan has been agreed upon.” Legislators who were frozen out of the prison building process, and that is what this will be, will now have a say in how the state moves forward.

1. Fauci under fire

  • The big news that Dr. Anthony Fauci was getting a big book deal was overshadowed by emails released through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and the emails show how Fauci dismissed a lab-leak theory for the coronavirus, as well as how he has flipped on different issues as the pandemic progressed.
  • U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who has sparred with Fauci regularly over issues like herd immunity and masks, simply said on Twitter “Told you” with the hashtag #firefauci.” He added in another post, “Can’t wait to see the media try to spin the Fauci FOIA emails.”

2 weeks ago

Huntsville City councilman and radio talk show host strike shocking deal on plan to get people to stop resisting police

(Devyn Keith, Dale Jackson/Facebook, Pixabay, YHN)

All too often we watch as Americans of different political stripes approach issues from a starting point that we can’t even recognize what the other person is seeing.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than the conversation surrounding interactions with police officers and citizens engaged in an interaction that leads to the citizen resisting the police officer and the interaction going viral.

A recent event at a Huntsville gas station has created another moment where people see things differently.

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Some see a police officer doing his job and coming to the aid of a colleague.

Some see a police officer viciously assaulting a citizen and trying to cause him harm.

The media aren’t interested in making things better and are trying to stoke racial divisions.

Per Alabama Media Group:

By the time the man is handcuffed, five officers are visible in the video. All of them are white and the man they apprehended is Black.

Here is what we know: Kemontae Hobbs had the police called on him by an employee at the gas station for panhandling, and an officer was dispatched. The officer attempted to remove Hobbs from the scene. Hobbs resisted and was taken to the ground.

Some reports indicate he was tased.

While on the ground, a struggle ensued and the first officer involved attempted to restrain the suspect.

At this point, a camera phone comes out and starts recording.

Two other officers appear. One jumps on the suspect to help restrain him while another delivers a series of stomps to the legs of Hobbs who is still resisting.

Seconds later, he is restrained, lifted to his feet, and proceeds to walk off under his own power.

Was it a bit much? Maybe. Was it an attempt to kill and maim? No.

But here is a straightforward stone-cold fact — if Hobbs doesn’t resist, none of this happens.

This might sound familiar. The same could be said for Michael Brown, Eric Garner and George Floyd.

All of these men made a decision to resist, and without that decision, none of them are gone.

So, if your goal is to make these interactions go better, this is where all of these problems start.

Obviously, this doesn’t absolve police of their misconduct, but even if you believe the notion that police officers are seeking out black men to harm and kill, you should still want those situations to be avoided at all costs. If you think police do this for sport, you should not want to create more situations where this becomes possible.

Hating police, creating animosity and inciting more resistance is a bad decision that leads to more dead black men. Period.

During a Wednesday discussion about this situation on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,” Huntsville City Councilman Devyn Keith agreed that we must teach people to stop resisting.

Keith and I disagree on the severity of what happened here, but we only disagree on whether the officer that did the stomping was completely out of line.

Keith says he was, and I say it’s an understandable response to a struggling colleague in the moment.

Further investigation will bear all of this out. Retraining may be necessary, but this shouldn’t be a life-destroying moment.

It’s also a moment that doesn’t need to happen. It could have been far worse, and we agreed that more needs to be done on this issue to tell people to stop resisting.

So, we made a deal.

If Councilman Keith will film some Public Service Announcements and help us get them on TV and radio, on black-focused stations and other stations as well, I will allow Keith or the Huntsville Police Department to tase me with a taser.

We chose this deal because Keith suggested the man should be tased before being struggled with if he did not comply but, again, this seems to have happened here, and the fight went on.

Hopefully, I soon get to feel the jolt of a taser and those ads make it to air.

The fewer interactions we have with citizens resisting arrest, the fewer violent interactions will happen. Fewer violent interactions will lead to fewer injured or dead citizens or police officers.

And whatever you think of the police, their structure and their behavior, this should be the overall goal for every American.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Prisons become the legislature’s problem again, BCA’s Britt resigns as she is expected to join Senate race, attorney hired to represent man kicked by police while resisting and more …

7. We are not governed by petitions for really good reasons

  • More than 2.3 million people have signed a petition that calls for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks for every adult. The woman who started the bill, restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin, has claimed that “true unemployment rate for low-wage workers is estimated at over 20%” and people aren’t caught up on bills from last year, which is why these payments are still needed. 
  • Multiple stimulus checks have already been sent out to many American adults, and families are about to start getting another monthly check in July since those with children will receive up to $300 per month per child of eligible age. These payments will continue for one year and were made possible through an expansion for the Child Tax Credit. 

6. Let’s hope Harris is as good at voting rights legislation as she is at dealing with the border

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  • President Joe Biden has announced that Vice President Kamala Harris will be leading the effort to protect voting rights, and while commemorating the Tulsa Race Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Biden said voting rights legislation will “address what remains on the stained soul of America.”
  • Harris said that she’s going to work together with “voting rights organizations, community organizations, and the private sector to help strengthen and uplift efforts on voting rights nationwide.” Harris has also been tapped to deal with the crisis at the southern border, but there’s been no action seen from the vice president on this issue. 

5. Democrat civil war rages on

  • When Donald Trump was President of the United States and went off-script at official events and rattled off a list of grievances and half-truths while attacking members of his own party or his adversaries, the American media acted offended and outraged. President Joe Biden is being handled slightly differently.
  • During a ceremony remembering the Tusla Race Massacre of 1921, Biden attacked Republicans for voter integrity efforts and senators of his own party for not being sufficiently loyal. Biden said that U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are “two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends,” but not only is this right out of the Trump playbook, but it is also completely untrue. The record shows that Sinema and Manchin have voted with Democrats 100% of the time.

4. Birmingham city employee bonuses approved

  • Mayor Randall Woodfin’s proposed bonuses for city employees, which will be up to $5,000, have been approved by the Birmingham City Council. The bonuses will be funded through the American Rescue Act. 
  • Full-time employees would get $5,000 and part-time employees would receive $2,500; for about 3,500 employees, this will cost a little over $16.8 million dollars. 

3. Attorney hired for man arrested after panhandling at Huntsville gas station

  • After the video of Kemontae Hobbs resisting arrest and having his legs stomped on by a Huntsville police officer went viral, Hobbs’ family has hired attorney Martin Weinberg to handle the case. 
  • Hobbs’ mother, Kimberly Hayes, said the cops were called after Hobbs asked someone for a dollar at the gas station, and she plans to file a lawsuit against the Huntsville Police Department because she wants “to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future to other people.” 

2. Katie Boyd Britt likely running for U.S. Senate

  • Tuesday, Katie Boyd Britt resigned from her position as president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA). With this announcement, it’s expected that she will soon announce her candidacy for U.S. Senate. 
  • In announcing her resignation, PowerSouth president and CEO Gary Smith noted how Katie’s “leadership and energy on behalf of hardworking American families and job creators” will be missed but mentioned how she’s improved the state and BCA.

1. Kay Ivey’s prison gambit fails — it’s legislature’s problem now

  • Governor Kay Ivey had an ambitious plan to build prisons in Alabama using her executive authority and bypassing the legislature. The legislature feigned offense but did very little to stop the idea; funding fell through, and the state is back at square one.
  • With Ivey striking out, the likelihood of a special session increased as the specter of the federal government’s intervention looms over the state, which it has for the past decade-plus.

2 weeks ago

Vaccine lottery? Fine, but we are doing pretty well without it

(Dale Jackson/Facebook, Trump White House Archived/Flickr, Hush Naidoo/Unsplash YHN)

Alabama has pretty much beaten the pandemic.

The most vulnerable have been vaccinated, and everyone that wants a vaccine can get one (for free).

Cases are down, hospitalizations are down and deaths are down.

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The Alabama Public Department of Health stopped updating its website on weekends, and BamaTracker has shut down.

Yes, there are many who are vaccine-hesitant, but why should I even care if an adult decides they don’t want to take a vaccine?

Kids are now eligible as well, but I won’t be running my kid out for a jab anytime soon.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have admitted that if you have been completely vaccinated, you can relax and lose the mask.

The people who are wrong about everything will tell you how this is a path to doom.

Even St. Fauci agrees the mask can go, so relax.

Alabama’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, now says Alabama is considering a lottery and other potential incentives to get people over the hump on the vaccine.

I am, and everyone should be, completely fine about something like that.

However, State Senator Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville) argued this is most likely unconstitutional during a radio interview on WVNN this morning.

Don’t expect the state to come up with a “vax-a-million” lottery unless they can figure out a way around that pesky constitutional issue.

However, if they do come up with some giveaways, I want in on that, even though I got my vaccine as soon as I was eligible.

We should be honest about this. Alabama is on the other side of this pandemic, and any incentive created won’t do more to get people to take shots in the arm than just getting our lives back.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Lottery vaccine in Alabama a possibility, Ivey quietly signals she’s running for reelection, Alabama’s GOP senators hammer Biden on his budget and more …

7. The Secretary of Defense is making a bad faith argument

  • After U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) claimed that the United States Army was making soldiers look like “pansies,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin refuted Cruz’s statement by saying the U.S. military is not and will never be “soft.” He added that places like China and Russia “would like to capitalize on talking points like that,” even though Cruz is criticizing the marketing the military is using to appear “woke.”
  • Previously, Cruz took to Twitter to make comments like: “Perhaps a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea” while sharing new recruitment videos for the U.S. Army. Cruz also stated, “We have the greatest military on earth, but Dem politicians and woke media are trying to turn them into pansies.”

6. Media coming to grips with another giant group failure

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  • The American media has been mocking and declaring they have “debunked” accusations that the Chinese government knew more about COVID-19 than they let on. Unfortunately, for the media, they were wrong again, and some inside the industry are owning it better than others.
  • President of the White House Correspondents’ Association and ABC News journalist Jon Karl put it bluntly this weekend when he said that journalists have “egg on their face” and admitting, “[S]ome things may be true even if Donald Trump said them.” But some outlets are still blaming Trump for their failures, so they have learned nothing.

5. Moore discussing the benefits of a closed border

  • While appearing on Newsmax TV, U.S. Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) condemned President Joe Biden’s policies on immigration at the southern border, saying it’s a case of putting “America last.”
  • Moore discussed how an unsecured border only encourages drug cartels and forces more people to make deals with the cartel to cross. He added that “a closed border is a compassionate border” since it pushes back against the cartels’ authority. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is working to expand immigration.

4. HPD launching another investigation into officer conduct

  • A video of police officers arresting a man at a MapCo gas station on University Drive in Huntsville has started circulating due to the conduct of some of the Huntsville officers and one of the stomping on the man’s leg. The man arrested was Kemontae Hobbs, and it’s been reported that he’s being charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental operations.
  • The Huntsville Police Department has said that they’re investigating the incident, which was confirmed by Captain Michael Johnson. The Huntsville Bail Fund posted about the issue and claimed that Hobbs had the police called on him for panhandling and he’s “has had several run-ins with the cops.” The fund added, “They are aware that he has schizophrenia, and is sometimes known to wander when he isn’t able to access treatment.”

3. AL GOP senators against a $6 trillion budget

  • President Joe Biden has proposed a $6 trillion budget for the 2022 fiscal year, but U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) have pushed back against the highest budget seen in generations. 
  • Shelby stated that this is “a blueprint for the higher taxes, excessive spending, and disproportionate funding priorities the American people can expect from his Administration over the next four years.” Tuberville said, “[T]he president is asking for a massive and irresponsible increase in domestic programs, apparently forgetting the unprecedented spending levels Congress already reached during the pandemic.”

2. Governor Kay Ivey is running for reelection

  • One of the big questions heading into the 2022 election cycle in Alabama has apparently been answered with an unannounced update to Governor Kay Ivey’s Twitter bio. The Governor changed her bio to read, in part, “Running for re-election to continue building on our strong conservative progress.”
  • Ivey’s announcement, reported by Yellowhammer News’ Sean Ross, may have been seen by some close to the Governor with Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth launching his reelection campaign this week and no one else from the Governor’s own party talking about running for governor.

1. Alabama reviewing vaccine lottery options

  • Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris appeared on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” where he discussed methods the state is reviewing to encourage more people to get the coronavirus vaccine. Harris specifically cited the so-called “vax-a-million” program implemented by the state of Ohio to increase vaccinations and that it could be helpful.
  • Harris mentioned that they’ve “spent a lot of time talking about how we can do that” when it comes to vaccine incentives. However, he mentioned how it could incentivize low-income people more, which has caused hesitancy to move forward with a similar program in Alabama. He added that they’re “trying to get guidance now from the feds on how federal money can be used to do that.”

3 weeks ago

VIDEO: Lynda Blanchard on the attack in the U.S. Senate race, commission to address U.S. Capitol riot fails, Ivey vetoes Literacy Act delay and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and political consultant Mecca Musick take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Can Lynda Blanchard’s recent attacks on U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) do any damage to his campaign?

— Why won’t the media and their Democrats compromise in order to get a commission on the U.S. Capitol riot if they truly wanted one?

— Why did Governor Kay Ivey finally veto the Alabama Literacy Act delay?

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Jackson and Musick are joined by FM Talk 106.5’s Sean Sullivan to discuss the issues facing the state of Alabama this week.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at folks obsessing over Alabama’s low vaccination rate and offers some ideas to increase the number of vaccinated people.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=437880143985112

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: U.S. Capitol riot commission won’t happen, Literacy Act delay is vetoed, Republican compromise on infrastructure announced and more …

7. Huntsville sky bridge is never happening

  • Huntsville city is looking to gain some federal funding to build a sky bridge for pedestrians that would stretch over Memorial Parkway. This is a proposal that has come up in the past, but there hasn’t been funding granted for the project before.
  • The bridge would be 6,000 linear feet, but would be in an S-shape from Clinton Avenue to the Lowe Mill area. Including the improvements to Pinhook Creek and railroad bridge in this project, the price tag comes to about $50 million. The hope is the federal government will grant about $25 million to the project.

6. Montgomery is starting another push to get people vaccinated

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  • A new church-backed campaign called “Get out the Vaccine” has started in Montgomery. The Metropolitan United Methodist Church will be working with Mayor Steven Reed and Partners in Health; the focus will mostly be in the north and west areas of the city.
  • Reed stated, “The launch of the ‘Get Out the Vaccine’ initiative is yet another fruit of their labor and will help us empower residents with information on the vaccine.”

5. ISIS bride claims she was brainwashed

  • Hoover woman Hoda Muthana has said in a new documentary, “The Return: Life After ISIS,” that she was “brainwashed” and that leaving her family in 2014 led to “this horrible way of life that I really regret for the rest of my life and that I wish I could just erase.”
  • Hoda’s sister, Arwa, was arrested with her husband this year in April for attempting to board a cargo ship to join ISIS. In 2019, a judge ruled that Hoda wasn’t recognized as a U.S. citizen, harming her attempts to return to the country with her four-year-old son.

4. We’re going to invest in Central America to slow illegal immigration

  • In one of her first public announcements on how the federal government will work to control illegal immigration, Vice President Kamala Harris has announced that the government will invest in businesses in Central America to assist economic development.
  • Harris advised that she wanted to determine the “root causes” of illegal immigration and the surge of migrants at the southern border, which she has said is somewhat due to climate change. This plan would cost about $4 billion to address climate change, poverty and violence in the area.

3. Republicans have released their compromise on infrastructure

  • In response to President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, Republican senators have released their compromise – a $928 billion infrastructure package that would focus more on roads and bridges and utilize unspent coronavirus aid.
  • There would be an increase of $91 billion on roads and bridges, $25 billion for airports, $48 billion for water resources, $22 million would be invested in rail transportation, and there would be $65 billion put toward broadband. U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) described this package as “a serious effort to try to reach a bipartisan agreement.”

2. Alabama Literacy Act delay vetoed

  • In a rare decision, Governor Kay Ivey vetoed the bill passed by the state legislature that would delay the Alabama Literacy Act, which requires third graders to read at grade level to advance to the fourth grade. The requirement will apply to the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Ivey said that she believes “early literacy is a gateway to all learning,” adding that “to establish any delay in the Alabama Literacy Act prior to analyzing the 2020-2021 summative assessment data for reading would be hasty and premature.” Ivey made it clear that data from this school year will be available to the legislature, but “we need the support and focus the Alabama Literacy Act provides” to identify and address students’ academic needs.

1. Commission to look at U.S. Capitol riot will not happen as constituted

  • The attempt to establish a commission to study the riot at the U.S. Capitol is certain to fail to reach the necessary votes and currently have no way to get the necessary votes to become reality. Democrats have chosen a “take it or leave it” position and refuse to compromise. The media is declaring their position as the only position.
  • The framing of this commission and this vote as a choice between former President Donald Trump and reality is absurdly silly. Republicans have made it crystal clear that if you are going to investigate political violence, you should investigate all political violence. Democrats do not want the violence committed in their name discussed, which is why this failed.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Biden flip-flops on Wuhan lab theory, Blanchard ramps up accusations in U.S. Senate race, inflation worries Tuberville and more …

7. Might be time for a gator hunt in North Alabama

  • There has been a new and unusual statement of caution used by the city of Huntsville. Due to the “uptick in sightings” of alligators in the city, leaders are urging caution in the Hays Farm and Tennessee River area where sightings have occurred.
  • Councilwoman Jennie Robinson, who represents the district that includes Hays Farm, said, “We are sharing our homes with each other and should recognize that they were there first.” She added that people should “respect the alligators in their habitat as a protected species and use caution.”

6. Alabama will look to remove racist language from the constitution

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  • Legislation that will create a commission to review and revise the Alabama Constitution has been signed by Governor Kay Ivey. The purpose of the 10-member commission is to remove racist or outdated language.
  • The commission and the Legislative Services Agency will work to revise the constitution, and they may hold public hearings to take suggestions from citizens on the process. Next year, the legislature will receive the updated constitution, and it has to be approved by a three-fifths majority.

5. Coal miners arrested at protest

  • Coal miners on strike in Tuscaloosa County for the last two months held a protest this week, but the protest ended with 11 members being arrested. Those arrests were confirmed by the United Mine Workers; they were charged with trespassing at a Warrior Met Coal Inc. mine.
  • The protesters have since been released on bond. The strike initially started with a walkout on April 1 after contract negotiations over more pay and health benefits had failed.

4. Curbside voting banned in Alabama

  • Curbside voting is now illegal in Alabama as Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill passed through the legislature that outlaws the process. There was a renewed push to pan the method of voting after there were concerns of voter integrity with curbside voting in the 2020 general election.
  • One of the main issues with curbside voting, as expressed by Alabama Secretary of state John Merrill, is the break in chain of custody with the ballot, since a poll worker would have to bring the ballot to the voter sitting in their car and then back inside to be counted.

3. Tuberville warns of runaway inflation

  • U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has warned that inflation is becoming a major problem in the United States. Tuberville cited a $1 gas increase he witnessed in Auburn and said, “The average person cannot afford that,” adding, “This is basically a tax on the poor.”
  • Tuberville’s notions are backed by the data. Inflation has accelerated to its fastest pace in 12 years in April. Year-over-year consumers have seen a 49.6% increase for gasoline prices, lumber prices have risen 124% and copper has jumped nearly 36%.

2. Stephen Miller says Mo Brooks didn’t buy his endorsement

  • Former U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard has implied that former aide to President Donald Trump Stephen Miller’s endorsement of U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) for the U.S. Senate was part of a financial relationship through being hired by Brooks’ campaign.
  • Miller responded to these suggestions by stating that “Mo is my personal friend” and he “leapt at the chance to endorse Mo because he is the fearless leader Alabama needs.” He also denied that he’s ever “been hired or paid by Mo Brooks or his campaign at any time.” Miller emphasized that Brooks “is the fighter we need in the U.S. Senate.”

1. Biden confirms the lab leak theory for coronavirus is a possibility

  • President Joe Biden has now asked the intelligence community to look back into the theory that the coronavirus could’ve originated in a lab in China, saying they need to “redouble” efforts to gather data so there will be a more “definitive conclusion” on where the virus came from.
  • Biden added, “The failure to get our inspectors on the ground in those early months will always hamper any investigation into the origin of COVID-19.” He added that in early 2020 he advocated for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to get access to China to learn about the virus so we could fight it more effectively.” But as president, Biden canceled the Trump administration’s investigation into this matter earlier this year.