Mitch McConnell: ‘I think the people of Alabama have figured this guy out — I think they’ve seen quite enough of Roy Moore’
The fingerprints of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on the primary phase of the 2017 U.S. Senate special election will long be remembered as an integral part of that saga.
McConnell and his Senate Leadership Fund PAC backed then appointed-Sen. Luther Strange and spent millions to promote his candidacy. However, it was not meant to be for Strange with his runoff opponent former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore winning the nomination, but losing to the Democratic Party nominee Doug Jones.
“I think the people of Alabama have figured this guy out,” McConnell said. “I think they’ve seen quite enough of Roy Moore.”
Moore’s entry into the Alabama race and the recent announcement of former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach that he is seeking a seat in the U.S. Senate are viewed as two potential adversaries for the senior Kentucky Republican senator from within his own party.
What Jobs to Move America misses as we reopen Alabama
As the economic crisis due to the coronavirus has impacted our state, Alabama’s job creators and our state’s workers have been focused on reopening our state and getting back to work.
Before the coronavirus, Alabama’s economy was strong and one of the biggest challenges many Alabama businesses faced was filling vacant jobs with skilled workers. The gap in skills and lack of training prevented many in our state from connecting with Alabama’s job creators to receive a good-paying job.
That is why I was encouraged to see companies like New Flyer, North America’s largest bus manufacturer with a world-class manufacturing facility in Anniston, released a Community Benefits Framework (CBF). Among many principles of the CBF were increased opportunities for Alabamians with apprenticeship programs in addition to the execution of sustainable business practices and diversify hiring for management and manufacturing jobs.
But like many businesses in Alabama, this pandemic quickly shifted priorities for New Flyer. New Flyer focused on short-term survival to ensure their long-term viability in Anniston so that many Alabamians would have a job waiting for them.
Like many businesses across the country, New Flyer of America made the difficult choice to halt production and idle their facility in Anniston due to the speed and gravity of coronavirus. While there was short-term pain for many in our community, New Flyer’s decision to reopen earlier this month has put many in Anniston back to work.
Sadly, Jobs to Move America (JMA), a progressive Astroturf organization with a chapter here in Alabama, chose to amplify their self-righteous campaign against New Flyer. JMA since engaging in Alabama has worked alongside out-of-state labor unions to spread baseless mistruths and targeted Alabama’s job creators, including Mercedes-Benz that employs over 4,000 in our state.
While Alabamians were concerned where they would get their next paycheck, JMA accelerated the pace of their baseless and unfounded attacks. As Alabama business fought to stay open, JMA elevated the attacks that only proved their intense focus on pursuing anti-jobs and anti-Alabama policies far outweighed anything else.
Be sure, JMA’s self-serving game here in Alabama is not over. As New Flyer has judiciously moved to reopen the Anniston facility and put our neighbors back to work with good jobs that offer economic mobility with extensive on-the-job and classroom training, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, JMA continues to employ its same tactics to endanger workforce morale when all people want is to work again and earn a living.
New Flyer has undertaken extensive measures to protect employees with stringent social and physical distancing guidelines, continuous cleaning and sanitization measures and additional Personal Protective Equipment requirements for employees, while JMA in return, continues to strike fear through false claims.
450,000 people in our state are out of work. Now is not the time to take advantage of a crisis but rather it is time to reopen and give employees their jobs again without outside groups like JMA setting up even more obstacles between Alabamians and their next paycheck.
If we want good-paying jobs in Anniston and across our state, especially as our country faces historic job loss, vilifying companies that provide those jobs and mentorship opportunities puts no one at an advantage. On the contrary, it damages our state’s reputation of being pro-business and pro-jobs that could stunt further job creation when so many in our state need a good-paying job.
Sen. Del Marsh is President Pro Tempore of the Alabama Senate. He represents District 12, including Calhoun and Talladega counties. Marsh was elected to the Senate in 1998 and was reelected for a fifth term in 2014. He was first elected President Pro Tempore in 2010.
7 Things: Doug Jones blames Trump for the coronavirus pandemic, Alabama Public Health Department dispels rumors about numbers, no ‘rush’ to press charges in Minnesota and more …
7. Sessions supporters still argue he did the right thing in recusing himself
In 2017, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation of Russian interference into President Donald Trump’s election campaign, and Trump has used Sessions’ recusal as a point to criticize him regularly.
Despite Trump’s criticism, Sessions has maintained that recusal was required due to federal regulations, and now he’s said that these regulations “basically has the impact of law” and “you’re not able to investigate yourself,” adding that U.S. Attorney General William Barr, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Attorney Generals Mike Mukasey and Ed Meese, and U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) all agree with Sessions’ decision to recuse himself.
Friday, the Birmingham City Council is going to vote on whether to continue the mandatory mask city ordinance until June 12, which is set to expire on May 29 after first being put in place back on April 28.
Birmingham is the only city that requires people to wear a mask in public. Council President William Parker said that wearing a mask “is an intentional act of kindness because you’re helping to protect those around you.” He added that while they “can’t legislate morality, we just want our citizens to understand the importance of covering their face when they are in a public space.”
5. It’s looking more and more like we’ll have football by fall
State Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) has said that while Auburn University and the University of Alabama don’t make the decision to have football this fall, but “every indication is that is going to happen.”
Whatley also said he’s hoping Auburn can have students return to campus by the end of June, adding that the university is “committed to getting students back on the Auburn campus.”
4. Trump has signed an executive order against social media companies
President Donald Trump was fact-checked by Twitter, which he said were “editorial decisions,” and now it has escalated to him signing an executive order to challenge the liability protections that prevent social media sites from lawsuits due to the content on their platforms.
Twitter responded by targeting another Trump tweet. They are granted these protections because they’re considered “platforms” instead of “publishers,” but Trump said that he’s “fed up with it” since Twitter has a reputation of targeting conservatives.
3. Charges against officers involved in Floyd death won’t be rushed
The four police officers in Minneapolis that were involved in the death of George Floyd have been fired, but now, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said that they aren’t going to “rush” to press charges on officers.
Freeman said they’re going to “do this right,” and went on to ask the public to “give me and give the United States attorney the time to do this right, and we will bring you justice. I promise.” However, after the death of George Floyd there has been an outbreak of looting and rioting throughout the city.
2. No, your whole family won’t be counted if you test positive
The Alabama Department of Public Health has put rumors to rest that if you test positive for the coronavirus then everyone in your household will be counted as positive, clarifying that those who are counted in the case numbers are those who test positive through a clinical lab, commercial lab or the Bureau of Clinical Laboratories.
In Alabama, the ADPH is also not including antibody tests in the positive coronavirus cases, and while they aren’t counting people who live in the same house as someone who tests positive in the case count, they do suggest that those people consider themselves positive and “[e]veryone in the home is instructed to quarantine for 14 days from the date of the case’s onset of symptoms.”
1. Jones doesn’t just blame Trump for the coronavirus
In a live-stream with Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) to discuss the coronavirus, Jones answered the question of what he would say to people about how high the death toll in the United States has gotten. Jones said that he doesn’t “think we’re at a point where we should be pointing a whole lot of blame.”
Throughout his comments, Jones said that there is blame to be placed on China, the Worth Health Organization, and President Donald Trump and “the administration and their early responses.” Jones went on to say that reopening states right now is “premature.”
Jones: ‘Whole lot of blame to go around’ for COVID deaths — Points to Trump administration, China, WHO
U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) on Thursday hosted a live-streamed availability with Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris regarding the coronavirus.
Jones and Harris each made opening remarks, including updates on Alabama’s COVID-19 data as well as ongoing efforts to combat the pandemic.
The two officials then answered questions from members of the media that were submitted ahead of time.
For example, Jones was asked, “What would you tell people now that the number of deaths from coronavirus in the U.S. has surpassed 100,000? Many commentators are blaming the White House response. And are the current reopening strategies of Alabama and other states premature?”
“Well, you know, look, I’ve seen the commentators — and I don’t think we’re at a point where we should be pointing a whole lot of blame,” Jones answered, before appearing to do just that.
“There’s a whole lot of blame to go around,” he continued. “I think we have to point to China for some of the issues that they raised. I was disappointed at some of the early response from the [World Health Organization], even though we could have done a better job with testing in this country.”
Jones then placed some “blame” at the feet of President Donald J. Trump and his administration.
“I’ve been disappointed in the administration and their early responses,” the junior senator advised. “You talk about ‘cavalier attitudes,’ I think the president had one early on. All of that has, perhaps, affected where we are in this country.”
“But I think the key right now is where we are today and what we’re planning on doing going forward,” Jones added.
He subsequently questioned the notion that reopening strategies for Alabama and other states in general are “premature.”
Jones outlined that reopening can be done safely if people continue to listen to health experts like Harris and follow social distancing/sanitation guidelines. Jones urged Alabamians to wear masks in public.
“I don’t think that reopening is inconsistent with trying to stop this spread by [doing] the same things that people have been saying since this virus came to this country,” he said. “And that is to social distance, that is to make sure you wear the masks… to protect you and others. If we continue to do that, if we could just get used to that — I think that’s been the biggest issue right now. Some people just don’t want to be told to do it, and I get that. But the fact is if people could just get used to doing this, we could stop the spread.”
Earlier in the live stream, he was complimentary of recent state-level efforts led by Harris and Governor Kay Ivey related to the pandemic.
“Alabama is still seeing a significant number of cases. We have begun to open up, and we’ve begun to open up — I think — carefully and wisely, following the science,” Jones commented. “And I think the governor has done a very good job of trying to get two messages out. Yes, we want to open up, we want to get the economy rolling again. But at the same time, we’ve got to do it safely. And it’s that latter message that I’m not sure folks are hearing as much. You only have to see the pictures from the beaches and other places in Alabama and around the country to see that folks are not quite getting the message that this virus is still out there, it is still dangerous, it is still deadly. And we want to open up, but opening up is not inconsistent with what we should be doing to protect ourselves and our families and our communities.”
Jones further remarked that Harris “has done a great job” helping lead Alabama’s response to the pandemic.
Other topics covered during the live stream included Jones’ hope that live sports can return with fans in attendance this fall, as well as Harris explaining that while increased testing could explain a portion of Alabama’s rising number of positive COVID-19 cases, community spread is occurring in multiple hotspots.
You can watch the entire live stream below:
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn
Huntsville doctor using hydroxychloroquine for some COVID-19 patients
An infectious disease doctor at Huntsville Hospital says he continues to use the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat some patients with the coronavirus.
The drug, often championed by President Donald Trump, has been the subject of intense nationwide discussion during the pandemic.
A recent retrospective study published in the scientific journal The Lancet showed evidence that hydroxychlorquine had no positive results for hospitalized patients.
WAFF asked Dr. Ali Hassoun of Huntsville Hospital about the article published in The Lancet. He said the type of study and characteristics of the subjects meant that it was not good enough evidence to stop using hydroxychloroquine.
Twitter should back down, and Trump should back off
American politics are about to enter a precarious place where the messages put out by politicians, or maybe only one politician, are going to be filtered by nameless and faceless tech employees that work for Twitter.
As we all know, Twitter is the tool used by President Donald Trump to get around the gate-keeping and absurd bias of the mainstream media.
Until this week, he had an unfiltered avenue to speak directly to the American people, and they had an avenue to hear him.
Of course, afterward, anyone and everyone with a TV, newspaper byline or Twitter account could respond and call him a liar, fraud, treasonous monster or whatever they wanted.
But Twitter decided to step in and decide that they would start behaving differently, just for Trump, and editorialize on his content.
While they could have chosen to do so on his claims that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough needed to be looked at as a potential murderer, but they didn’t.
SIDENOTE: There is a tape where he jokes about having an affair and killing her.
Instead, Twitter decided they needed to go after the president on the issue of voter fraud.
There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone…..
The reality is Democrats are pushing for all vote-by-mail elections.
Some states are automatically mailing ballots to all registered voters, while some are just mailing applications.
But this is far worse than this particular case. It’s the precedent being set.
When Trump gets some of the info wrong, let the media and his political enemies call him out.
Why not all the elected officials who continued to allege Russian collusion for years, and still do to this day on Twitter?
What about media figures who spread dangerous misinformation about the motives of their fellow citizens and use Twitter to delimitate their attacks?
Why not Ayatollah Khomeini, who openly threatens Isreal?
The enemies misinterpret the Islamic Republic’s idea of “eliminating Israel”. Eliminating Israel does not mean eliminating Jewish people. We are not #Antisemitic; Jews live in peace in Iran. Eliminating Israel represents elimination of the imposed Zionist regime. pic.twitter.com/4uKDxcccJI
The last two don’t even allow their citizens to use Twitter, but Twitter will bow down to them?
What about the people claiming former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t have to recuse himself? He did.
What about those who think U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has a chance at reelection? He doesn’t.
What about the anonymous guy who accuses me of numerous crimes and misdeeds on Twitter daily?
Does that guy now get a note depicting that his comments are untrue or unfounded?
What about essentially every column written by the bitter losers at Alabama Media Group? They had to dump their comment section because their commenters were crushing their souls. Will Twitter’s CEO or site integrity police call out their misinformation?
We could do this all day.
That’s the point. Moderation of this kind and on this scale is impossible.
It can’t be done effectively. That’s the purpose of the rule Trump wants reinterpreted.
More importantly, it should not be done — and it especially should not be done to one individual.
It shouldn’t matter how many times Joe Scarborough or any of CNN’s interchangeable talking heads declare, “This should be taken down,” Twitter should just stay out of moderating political debates because they will inevitably get it wrong and if they don’t editorialize, they now accept it.
What if Trump tweets “LOOK at all the lies Joe Biden has told, from the lies about his wife’s death to the lies about his son’s business dealings!”
If Twitter lets them stand, they are now confirmed? (SIDENOTE: They are confirmed)
Facebook actually got this as close to right as you could expect. They have attempted to discredit things linked to their site with a bit of a mixed bag approach that has angered liberals and conservatives alike.
But Twitter has now awakened the president, and he has the ability to raise questions about their status as a forum and not a publisher.
If Twitter is smart, they will follow the lead of Facebook’s CEO of stop trying to act as the arbiter of truth. Zuckerberg believes Twitter went too far, saying, “I think in general private companies probably shouldn’t be – especially these platform companies – shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”
Truthfully, Zuckerberg knows that Twitter is dragging him (and Google) into this, and he wants no part of it, nor should he.
Trump’s potential executive order makes his position clear, “This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power.”
He wants to strip them of immunity, meaning if they want to editorialize, then they are responsible for anything that they allow.
This will either force Twitter to back down on moderation or die as it currently exists and take down most social media sites with it.
As with any executive order, the next president can change the rules (except for DACA, apparently).
It’s pretty clear that Twitter has over-stepped here, and they only have two options if the president’s order becomes a reality and survives a court challenge: back down on moderation of political speech or be crushed by lawsuits and government oversight.
The correct move by Twitter would be to stop this nonsense right now, acknowledge that they will stop moderating political speech, and move on knowing they messed up.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.