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Dale Jackson’s 7 Things: Your government is still shutdown, Alabama senator Doug Jones votes with Republicans, Legislators want you to pay for an ex-legislator association, and more …

(Speaker Paul Ryan)


The 7 Things You Should Be Talking About Today

1. The United States of America’s government is still closed

— Trump, Ryan, and McConnell have made it clear they will not include the DACA/DREAMer issue in the deal to end the shutdown, but they appear ready to negotiate on the issue by February 8th.

— A vote will take place today at noon EST and it appears some who voted for the shutdown, like Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, and more, have come around to ending the shutdown.

— House Speaker Paul Ryan says the House has agreed to a deal that would keep the government open.

2. Alabama Democrat Doug Jones bucks his own party, sides with Senate Republicans

— As the nation moved toward a shutdown, people asked where Alabama’s newest senator stood on keeping the government open; his office was mum.

— When the vote took place in the Senate, Doug Jones was 1 of 5 Democrats to vote with the Republicans to pass a continuing resolution.

— Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri all voted with Jones and against Democrats.

3. Democrats have made this all about “DREAMers

— Most in the media and in Congress say there are 800,000 that could be affected by a deal giving legal status to illegal immigrants.

— The real number is apparently much higher, with the Migration Policy Institute placing the number at 3.6 million.

— No one can be clear what type of bill can actually pass both chambers — if one can — in spite of all the certainty with which all sides speak.

4. The real world impact of the tax cuts could have a huge impact on the midterms

— Most of the media coverage leading up to the massive tax cut vote early this month centered around how the average Americans were going to get screwed by the tax cuts.

— Since the signing of the bill, hundreds of corporations have announced huge re-investment programs and cited the tax cuts as the reason for these moves.

— As Americans see these stories, their attitude towards Congressional Republicans has become more favorable; Democrats have lost 7 points and Republicans have gained 6 points.

5. Some of Alabama’s heavy-hitters want to start a taxpayer-supported ex-legislators association

— A bill to create “The Association of Former Members of the Alabama Legislature” has been proposed in both chambers of the Alabama legislature.

— The group’s employees will not be paid by the state, but their employees would get state retirement benefits.

— According to the bill, the association will “work in cooperation with incumbent members of the Alabama Legislature, through the offices of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, to create a better understanding of the legislative process throughout the state.”

6. With #ReleaseTheMemo gaining steam, FBI loses 5 months of text messages from an agent removed for being political

— Lost in all of the government shutdown talk is the controversy surrounding a memo that allegedly lays out malfeasance in the Obama DOJ and the Comey FBI regarding President Trump’s campaign and transition.

— Muddying the waters further is news that an FBI agent removed from Robert Mueller’s team for inappropriate text messages had 5 months of his text messages lost because they “failed to preserve” them.

— Peter Strzok and his mistress exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Clinton texts while Strzok worked on the investigation into Hillary Clinton; messages included revelations that some in the FBI were discussing an “insurance policy” in the event Trump got elected.

7. Governor Kay Ivey appoints Circuit Judge Brad Mendheim to Alabama Supreme Court

— Judge Mendheim has served 17 years as a judge at a district court and county circuit level.

— Ivey tweeted, “I’m pleased to appoint Circuit Judge Brad Mendheim to serve on the Alabama Supreme Court. With more than 17 years of judicial experience, he will bring the valuable knowledge of a trial judge to the highest court in AL.”

— This is the last time you will think about this position.

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