2 weeks ago

Doug Jones: D.C.’s planned July 4 parade ‘very, very unfortunate’

In an interview on a Washington, D.C. radio show, Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) on Wednesday said he was “very proud” of his record in the U.S. Senate and blasted the planned Independence Day celebration in the nation’s capital.

Covering a broad spectrum of controversial topics during the nearly 30-minute interview on NPR-affiliate WAMU’s “1A,”  Jones first told guest host Todd Zwillich that he fully expects to be reelected, dismissing the notion that he is seriously at risk of losing to an eventual Republican nominee in November 2020.

“I don’t feel vulnerable at all. In fact, I feel very good,” Jones said. “You know, we hit the ground running, Todd.”

Alabama’s junior senator added that while “not everybody’s going to agree” with his record, he is “very proud” of it.

“The thing that I heard the most as we were traveling around the state during the campaign and over the last year was just simply, ‘Thank you. Thank you for being another voice and another option,'” he claimed.

Some of Jones’ most noteworthy votes include being staunchly pro-choice, such as supporting late-term abortion and the federal funding of abortion.

In one especially noteworthy exchange, Jones during the interview blamed gerrymandering for Alabama’s new abortion ban law, the Human Life Protection Act.

He also said the overall abortion debate will not hurt him in the upcoming election cycle, saying the pro-life push around the country is “a wake-up call” that will actually benefit him with the majority of Alabama voters.

Jones asserted that despite common perceptions, most Alabamians are more pro-choice than not. He again called the Human Life Protection Act, which is not in effect and is never intended to go into effect, “extreme,” adding that a majority of the state’s people “overwhelmingly” agree with his take.

“What this law represents is really a gerrymandered legislature that only answers to a small fraction of the voters in their particular districts,” Jones decried. “It doesn’t represent the people of this state.”

Alabama voters 60%-40% in November 2018 passed a constitutional amendment declaring the state as being pro-life and upholding the rights of the unborn.

Jones added that the new law gives him “a really interesting opportunity” to talk about how abortion has “become a political weapon.”

He also tied the subject into healthcare, proudly saying he would make his staunch defense of Obamacare a hallmark of his campaign.

“[H]ealthcare is still a driving issue in this state, and while the Trump administration is trying to dismantle the ACA (Affordable Care Act), we’re trying to keep that,” Jones emphasized.

Later in the interview, he reaffirmed that the modern Democratic Party is still very much so reflective of his values, ideals and policies, even as it becomes more radical. Jones flatly rejected the notion that he would ever consider leaving his party.

“I’ve been a Democrat for a longtime,” he explained. “I am who I am, and I’m where I am, and now I got elected as a Democrat and I’m going to get reelected as a Democrat, and I’ll serve the next term as a Democrat.”

Asked directly if the national Democratic Party was moving too far to the left, Jones responded, “No.”

The host then added the qualifier of if the Democrats were moving too far to the left on the issue of immigration, with Jones again answering, “No.”

“Not at all,” the senator added.

This came after the two Democratic presidential primary debates last week, in which almost all of the candidates embraced providing free healthcare for illegal aliens and extreme open border policies.

Jones said the American immigration system needs to be fixed, lamenting that the issue has become “weaponized” in this “tribally, politically divided” climate.

He blamed the current crisis at the border on the argument over whether the U.S. should build a wall on its border with Mexico. Jones himself does not believe in building the wall.

“You know, a wall is not going to stop these asylum seekers,” he said.

In the closing minutes of the interview, the host brought up the planned July 4 celebration in Washington, D.C., which is set to feature a patriotic parade that includes tanks and other red-white-and-blue pageantry.

Jones was asked if he agrees with the criticism that the historic Independence Day event has faced.

“There’s no question about what’s going on with the parade in Washington,” Jones stressed. “It is a political event. … This is purely a political event, and it is very unfortunate.”

“Independence Day, [the] July 4th holiday, should be as American as possible,” he continued. “It should not be a Republican, a Democrat or a military show. This should be an American show. And unfortunately, I think the president has decided to make it a Donald Trump show. And that’s very, very unfortunate.”

You can listen to the interview here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

11 hours ago

On this day in Alabama history: Camp McClellan was established in east Alabama

July 18, 1917

Shortly after the United States entered World War I, the War Department established Camp McClellan as a rapid mobilization base and permanent National Guard facility. More than 27,000 men were training at the east Alabama base by the end of 1917. Camp McClellan was originally named in honor of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, and was renamed Fort McClellan in 1929. During World War II, nearly 500,000 military personnel trained there. After being put in custodial status following the war, it was reactivated during the Korean War and Cold War era. The focus shifted to chemical weapons training during and after the Vietnam War. The fort survived one round of military base closings during the 1990s, but it was finally shut down in 1999. The site has shifted to private use as well as for Alabama National Guard training.


Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

11 hours ago

Ainsworth in Huntsville: Alabama is ‘the aerospace capital of the world’

Wednesday, Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-AL) presented Dr. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. with the 2019 Thomas R. Hobson Distinguished Aerospace Service Award for a lifetime of exemplary achievement in the aerospace field.

The award presentation came during the Aerospace States Association’s annual dinner, which was held in Huntsville at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

Ainsworth is currently chair of the association, which is a national nonpartisan group composed of lieutenant governors, gubernatorial-appointed delegates and associate members from aerospace organizations and academia.

In remarks shared with Yellowhammer News, Ainsworth honored Alabama’s space legacy, recognizing Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary this week.


“Throughout each of the past six decades, Alabama and the Marshall Space Flight Center have created the engines that rocketed man into the heavens,” he said. “It’s here that Dr. Wernher Von Braun and his committed team of scientists and engineers birthed the Saturn V rocket that took men to the Moon and allowed them to place a U.S. flag on the lunar surface.”

“For those reasons, it’s altogether appropriate that we gather in this state and this city for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission,” he continued. “We are fortunate to have Buzz Aldrin, an original moonwalker and living American legend, join us during this conference.”

The conference is set to last through the rest of the week, with attendees working on publicly policy related to the aerospace industry and advocating for their home states.

“The work we do here this week will bring the stars and planets closer to the earth and ensure that future generations are privy to the same dreams and inspirations that the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Shuttle, and Space Station eras provid-ed to generations prior,” Ainsworth told the crowd.

Alabama is set to play a big role in ongoing and future space exploration, as Ainsworth emphasized in an interview with WHNT on Wednesday.

“I was just talking with some industry leaders who are here and they are talking about expanding the existing industry,” he the lieutenant governor said. “I think a lot of new industries are looking here. And the reason why is we are the aerospace capital of the world. I think when you look at our tax environment, with the workforce we are training, Alabama is open for business in aerospace, no doubt.”

Speaking with WZDX, Ainsworth referenced the Artemis program, with companies like United Launch Alliance (ULA) in Alabama set to make history in the very near future.

“Today I had an opportunity to tour ULA where they are building rockets that will literally send our next astronauts to the Moon, and when you look at just the president’s commitment to going back to the Moon, and when you look at potentially the future of going to Mars, it’s an exciting and energetic time in the aerospace industry right now,” Ainsworth advised.

RELATED: Aderholt celebrates Apollo 11, calls for SLS to stay on schedule

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn.

12 hours ago

Apollo 11 is now problematic?

Right now, Alabama, along with the rest of America, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. A mission that culminated in man walking on the moon and fulfilled the vision put out by President John F. Kennedy that it would be done before the end of the 1970s.

In normal times, this would be a time for celebration and unity. Americans from all sectors and political parties would drop their swords and join together to consume media of trying times and magnificent accomplishments.


Unfortunately, this is Trump’s America and because of that, the overarching theme that must pulse through every aspect of American culture, which is dominated by the media and their Democrats, is the simple undeniable and universal belief that America sucks.

It’s racist, stupid, sexist, stupid, homophobic, stupid, Islamaphobic, stupid and stupid.

Our soccer team believes it. Our celebrities believe it. Our politicians believe it.

And the news media is going to feed it to us non-stop.

For example, Werhner Von Braun was a Nazi, therefore his accomplishments on this matter are unworthy.

Another example: The space program had too many men, therefore it was problematic.

Another argument is Soviet Russia had more firsts (or something), so America should have focused less on accomplishing the mission and more on diversity.

Who is this for? What American wanted this? Who is the consumer for this news?

Inhabitants of American newsrooms and their woke superfans online.

This was not one outlet, one reporter, one editor — it is across the board.

These are major American media outlets and they cannot resist the urge to scold their fellow Americans for, in this case, the perceived sins of the past.

This is why people hate the media as a whole.

They aren’t offended, they aren’t going to write a letter, they aren’t going to demand someone be fired.

Your average American is sick of this nonsense. They roll their eyes and go on about their business.

This is why people don’t trust them. This is why they are called things like the “enemy of the people” and people applaud it.

This is how you got Trump.

President Donald Trump is the embodiment of the people who are sick of this crap.

And every time the people who work in these newsrooms and under these “legendary” banners write these articles try to scold Americans for some clearly arbitrary offense of the day, or the past, they might as well drop a dollar into Trump’s reelection campaign.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.

13 hours ago

Doug Jones’ approval rating continues to fall

Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) continues to lose popularity as 2020 draws nearer.

Morning Consult on Thursday released its polling numbers for the second quarter of 2019, showing Jones’ net approval rating 20 points lower than the first quarter of 2018 when he entered the U.S. Senate.


The polling was conducted from April 1 through June 30 and measured registered voters. The results showed 39% of respondents approved of Jones’ job performance, while 37% disapproved and 24% were undecided. The margin of error was 1%.

In contrast, Senator Richard Shelby’s (R-AL) net approval rating is 15 points higher than Jones’, with 46% approving and only 29% disapproving of Alabama’s venerable senior senator.

Jones’ net approval rating has dropped three points since the beginning of the year.

Another poll conducted in April went deeper than Morning Consult’s approval rating surveys, showing that Jones faces nearly insurmountable demographic barriers to reelection.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn.

13 hours ago

Alabama couple turns racist graffiti message into opportunity to respond to hate with love

Jeremy and Gina Miller, an interracial husband-and-wife real estate team in the Birmingham metro area, were shocked on Wednesday to discover a racial slur painted on one of their “For Sale” signs at a local property.

ABC 33/40 reported that “NO N***R” was painted on the Local Realty sign in large white letters.

However, the Millers are responding to this hateful incident purely with love, guided by their faith, according to The Trussville Tribune.

“I think that God has been preparing Gina and me for a long time, in ways that we never would have expected, to touch a lot of people,” Jeremy told the newspaper.


The Millers, who live in Clay, will not be pressing charges on the individual responsible for the racist graffiti, whose identity is at this time unknown.

“We would love to know who did it because if we find them, we will show them mercy,” Jeremy advised. “I don’t think anything good comes from pressing charges. That’s not the message here.”

The couple hopes to use the incident to unite their community and lift others up.

“We just got a message on Facebook yesterday about how God spoke to him through my post and our response,” Jeremy told The Trussville Tribune. “It encouraged him to see us responding through love and not through retaliation.”

“When something like this occurs, you can love back instead. We want to unite people,” he added.

Jeremy also wants people to know the racist incident is not representative of their community.

“This is not indicative of the people in this area,” he emphasized. “It happens everywhere and they don’t always say it to your face.”

Perhaps the toughest part of the incident personally for the Millers has been trying to tell their children what happened.

“Having to explain to them what happened with the sign has been a little frustrating,” Gina noted.

The Millers are also using this incident as a learning opportunity.

“We tell [our children] all the time, hurt people, hurt people,” Jeremy explained. “I tell them that even adults do mean things sometimes. When you’re angry, you’re not nice to other people… We want to respond in love when maybe that person hasn’t received such things.”

Jeremy stressed a constant message of love.

“It (racism) is not dead and it probably won’t die for a very, very long time, but we as a culture and society have to keep perpetuating the message of loving one another,” he remarked. “If someone’s hurting and they lash out at you, you don’t have to respond negatively.”

The defaced sign has been replaced with a fresh one that includes both Jeremy and Gina’s headshots.

Read more here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn