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2 weeks ago

Shoals’ TimesDaily, Decatur Daily endorsement of ‘socialist’ Joffrion a textbook example of state’s legacy media at odds with Alabama voters

In every election since Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) was first elected to Congress, he has won his general election by a minimum of 15 percentage points. In 2014, as an incumbent, he expanded that winning margin to a whopping 50 points.

Given these massive spreads over various Democratic challengers, one would assume the people of Alabama’s fifth congressional district are satisfied with their representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Every two years, voters are given an opportunity to judge Brooks’ performance, and the numbers don’t lie: They like the job Brooks is doing.

Leave it to those running two of Alabama’s last-remaining daily newspapers to take exception with the voters that are also their customers. In their Sunday editions, the Shoals’ TimesDaily and the Decatur Daily, both of which are owned by the Tennessee Valley Printing Company, ran an editorial supporting Brooks’ Democratic challenger Peter Joffrion in next month’s midterm election.

In its oddball list of criticisms of the incumbent four-term Republican congressman, the editorial cites its dissatisfaction with Brooks’ town hall availability and being a “favorite of cable news” given his hawkish stance on illegal immigration (one held by the majority of his constituents) as proof he was not advancing “the interests of the Fifth District.”

Therefore according to the Decatur Daily-TimesDaily joint editorial board, Joffrion is a better choice given based on its assessment “promises to bring a more level head and a more responsive ear to the district’s congressional seat.”

“Joffrion, a retired Huntsville attorney, is focusing his campaign on the so-called kitchen table issues that may not motivate partisans, but do matter to the vast majority of north Alabamians: education, health care and jobs,” the editorial said.

The criticism of Brooks for his public availability is bizarre given the handful of Brooks-attended events at which I have been during this campaign cycle lacked the presence of any media, myself excluded.

It is almost as if this editorial board determined it wanted to be against Brooks in Alabama’s fifth congressional district election and sought the justification for doing so after the fact.

As for Joffrion, described as a “socialist” by Brooks, he is a run-of-the-mill left-of-center Democrat that supports abortion, restrictions on gun rights and is against the repeal of ObamaCare. Those aren’t mainstream policy positions in Alabama’s portion of the Tennessee River Valley.

The editorial accuses Brooks of growing “increasingly detached from his constituents,” but it is pretty clear from this editorial that these newspapers have grown increasingly detached from its customers in Morgan, Limestone, Colbert and Lauderdale counties.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 hour ago

Inmate denied parole in decades-old Alabama murder

A convicted rapist and murderer has been denied parole in a decades-old kidnapping case.

WSFA-TV reports the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles denied parole to Jerry Lee Jones on Wednesday.


Jones is one of three men convicted of robbing, raping and killing 21-year-old Quenette Shehane in 1976.

Authorities say the Birmingham-Southern College graduate went to buy salad dressing one night that December and was kidnapped, attacked and shot to death.

Her nude and frozen body was found the next day.

The salad dressing was in her car.

Eddie Bernard Neal was sentenced to life without parole for the crime and Wallace Norrell Thomas was executed in 1990.

Jones was sentenced to death for the attack, but received life upon appeal.

This is the fourth time he’s been denied parole.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 hours ago

‘Liberal love story’: Doug Jones criticized for voting to re-elect Schumer

After Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) voted to re-elect Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as Senate minority leader on Wednesday, Alabama’s junior senator was criticized for doubling down “on Support of Chuck Schumer’s Liberal Agenda.”

In an email sent out by the Senate Leadership Fund, which is Alabama native and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) leadership committee, Jones was hit for his “latest embrace of the liberal Schumer-Pelosi agenda that already includes opposition to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominees and support of sanctuary cities and late term abortions.”

The email then advised that Jones should not expect to be around Capitol Hill after 2020.

“If Jones wants to know how this liberal love story ends, he can grab a roll of packing tape, take a walk over to the offices of Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp and Claire McCaskill, and proceed to help them pack up their belongings,” the email concluded.


(Eli Yokley/Twitter)

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

3 hours ago

ALGOP chair Terry Lathan on Jones running for re-election: ‘There is a deep hunger in our state to win this seat back’

After Yellowhammer News broke the news Wednesday that Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) will run for re-election in 2020, Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan expressed the party’s enthusiasm for winning the Senate seat back.

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Lathan reminded Alabamians of Jones’ comments about voting against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Lathan said, “When Senator Jones was asked by CNN if he believed a majority of Alabamians supported the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, the senator responded, ‘It may be, but I don’t think that that’s the be all to end all, because I’m the one who spent all the time and hours, literally hundreds of hours, going through his record, looking at all of this.'”

“The depth of arrogance that Senator Jones displayed by thumbing his nose at the will of the majority of Alabamians was shocking. There is a deep hunger in our state to win this seat back, and when we do it will definitely be the ‘end all to be all’ of a true liberal speaking for a conservative state,” she added.


If former U.S. Attorney General and Senator Jeff Sessions does not run to reclaim his old seat, observers expect a crowded Republican primary will determine who faces Jones in 2020.

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

4 hours ago

7 Things: Alabama has pension problems, the media is fine with Democrats calling legitimacy of elections into question, voter suppression gets lots of headlines but few real cases and more …

The 7 Things You Should Be Talking About Today

7. As Congress comes together in Washington D.C., two Alabama Congressmen make moves

— No one is officially challenging Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House. She is “100 percent confident” she will win, but Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Montgomery) has remained silent on whether she will support Pelosi. Sewell is also running for a leadership position herself.

— Congressman Gary Palmer has been elected as Republican Policy Committee Chairman, fifth highest ranking leadership role amongst Republicans, which is a good position for him as he previously led the Alabama Policy Institute.

6. Illegal immigrants from a nonexistent caravan are climbing the border fence


— When banned CNN journalist Jim Acosta was haranguing the president over the caravan, he said, “They are not going to be doing that,” when the president referenced them climbing gates at the Mexican border, but they are doing just that.

— The Border Patrol released a statement about migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. It read, “If they attempt to enter illegally, they will have violated U.S. criminal law and in accordance with the President’s proclamation and the Interim Final Rule they would be ineligible for asylum.”

5. Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker had his appointment cleared by the Department of Justice as President Donald Trump slams the Mueller investigation again

— Much to the chagrin of Maryland, the media and members of Congress who at one point wanted former Attorney General Jeff Session fired before they were mad about him being fired, the hiring of the acting attorney general is legal.

— The president tweeted this morning about the special counsel investigation, saying, “They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts,” adding that it is “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!”

4. President Donald Trump says Jim Acosta is a “grandstander” and “bad for the country”

— Trump ramped up his attacks on Acosta as reporters asked about the lawsuit CNN filed as Fox News and other outlets sided with CNN. Trump said, “Jim Acosta is just somebody who gets up and grandstands, he doesn’t even know what he’s asking you half of the time.”

— The Trump/CNN lawsuit will see some conclusion today as the judge said he will decide whether to return Acosta’s press pass, but the judge Timothy Kelly appeared to question the legitimacy of CNN’s argument saying, “We’ve all seen the clip.” He added Acosta “continued speaking after his time expired” and “wouldn’t give up his microphone.”

3. Voter suppression apparently didn’t happen anywhere — not in Georgia and not in Alabama

— The media and Democrats claimed there was voter suppression all over the country, specifically Alabama, Georgia and North Dakota. But post-election, there doesn’t appear to be much to it and now Georgia Democrats are running TV ads trying to find it.

— In Alabama, Election Day came and went and there were zero legitimate cases of voter suppression in the state of Alabama. In fact, four students who claimed suppression had their court cases dismissed in court by a Barack Obama-appointed judge.

2. Declaring things to be voter fraud without evidence is fine if you are a Democrat

— Two powerful Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), have declared that the reason Democrat candidate for Congress Stacy Abrams lost is because of voter fraud.

— When President Donald Trump made similar claims, also baseless, the media hammered him for it by saying the claims were “without evidence.” But these media darlings did not get that treatment.

1. Birmingham has a massive pension problem, as does the state

— Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin took to social media to announce that the city has a $378 million dollar pension problem over the next 30 years. he also said he will have a solution in a few weeks.

— Alabama’s pension problem is in a similar state. The state has up to $15 billion in unfunded liabilities face the state up to 2050 and we don’t seem ready to face that issue at all.

4 hours ago

Kay Ivey hosts Early Childhood Education Leadership Forum

MONTGOMERY — Governor Kay Ivey hosted the Early Childhood Education Leadership Forum Wednesday evening, where a confluence of hundreds of educators and policymakers heard from notable speakers, including the governor, Alabama Secretary of Early Childhood Education Jeana Ross and Dr. Katharine Stevens of the American Enterprise Institute, who delivered the keynote presentation.

One of the highlights of the night was the premiere of the long-form version of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s documentary, entitled “Starting at Zero: Reimagining Education in America,” that names the Yellowhammer State’s First Class Pre-K program as one of the nation’s best.

Ivey, who was showcasing the first of the three prongs in her “Strong Start, Strong Finish” initiative, explained that 35 percent of Alabama third graders are proficient and reading at grade level. While funding for the First Class Pre-K program is at historic highs under her administration, with more children benefiting than ever before, Ivey stressed that she wanted to see continued progress moving forward in the early stage of education.

Because, as Stevens emphasized in her presentation, these early years are crucial to a child’s development.


While Stevens’ line of “[y]ou can’t go directly from the basement to the top floor” might best summarize her data-laden talk, the visual that stuck out was a metaphor she made — early childhood education, especially until a child is four or five, is like the initial stage of drying concrete. Right after the concrete is poured, it is wet and extremely impressionable, requiring little effort to leave a deep mark. However, as it begins to dry, it is harder to change, until it is totally dry and would require tools to chip away at.

This is like a child’s developmental process, according to Stevens and the various sources of research she presented.

“I’m not saying that if it is not done in the first three years, it’s too late,” Stevens added. “It’s never ‘too late’ in human development. But just like concrete – once that concrete has set in place it takes a great deal more skill and time and energy to change its form. It’s just much easier at the beginning than it is when it’s set into place later on.”

Stevens also outlined that while three and four-year-old pre-k programs are crucial, children need to be nurtured and developed at home starting at birth, saying “brains are built.”

“Early childhood education means human development, not just school,” Stevens said.

To conclude her presentation, Stevens made a compelling case for increased funding of this earliest stage of education, advising that the return on investment is highest, as it amplifies the respective impacts of k-12 and post-secondary education, as well.

Watch the short-form documentary that highlights Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program below:

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