The Wire

  • Three takeaways from Alabama’s Runoff Election

    Excerpt:

    With Alabama’s primary election runoffs now in the books, here are three takeaways from the results.

    North Alabama has spoken.
    When this election cycle began, it became evident that north Alabama saw a window of opportunity to increase its influence.  The results from the Republican primary runoff have shown the electorate in that area of the state was eager to flex its muscle.

    Will Ainsworth pulled out an impressive come-from-behind victory in the Lt. Governor’s race. Steve Marshall enjoyed a resounding win in his bid to retain the Attorney General’s office.

  • On Roby’s win: One false media narrative dies, a new one is born

    Excerpt:

    Like Lucy van Pelt of Peanuts comic strip fame repeatedly pulling the football away from Charlie Brown as he lines up to kick it, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) once again has shown you can’t beat her in a Republican primary.

    Similar to when she defeated “Gather Your Armies” Rick Barber in the 2010 GOP primary and “Born Free American Woman” Becky Gerritson in the 2016 GOP primary, Roby defeated former Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright for a second time on Tuesday night, this time by a whopping 36 points.

    Heading into yesterday, many national media reporters were sent into Alabama’s second congressional district looking at the possibility that Roby might have to answer to a revolt for not sticking with then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the infamous Billy Bush weekend during the 2016 presidential campaign.

  • Mo Brooks Wins FreedomWorks’ Prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award

    Excerpt from a Rep. Mo Brooks news release:

    Tuesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) was one of only 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives awarded the prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award by FreedomWorks, a leading conservative organization with more than six million members nationwide. Only members of Congress who score better than 90% on the FreedomWorks scorecard receive the FreedomFighter Award. Congressman Brooks’ FreedomWorks score was in the top 4% of all Congressmen in 2017.

    Brooks said, “FreedomWorks is a leading organization in the conservative movement. I thank them for their work keeping members of Congress accountable and scoring key House floor votes which helps the American people better understand the impact of those votes. I was proud to receive the prestigious FreedomWorks 2017 FreedomFighter Award for my voting record in 2017. If America is to maintain its place as the greatest country in world history, more members of Congress must fight for the foundational principles that made America great. I’m fighting in Congress for those principles, and I’m glad to have a partner as effective as FreedomWorks in the fight.”

3 months ago

Four takeaways from report that Trump is a ‘subject,’ not a ‘target’ of Mueller probe

(Wikicommons, G. Skidmore/Flickr)

Both haters and defenders of President Donald Trump seized on this week’s bombshell Washington Post report that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team told the president’s lawyers he is not a “target” of the long-running Russia probe.

Trump’s supporters contend it is evidence that breathless media speculation about “collusion” is overblown.

Trump critics counter that Trump’s status as a “subject” rather than a “target” makes little difference and that the president is not in the clear.

Both sides are right.

Here are four takeaways on the big revelation:

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1. The Post’s reporting suggests strongly that Mueller does not have compelling evidence that Trump conspired with Russian agents to fix the 2016 presidential election.

If Mueller had the goods, presumably Trump already would be a target.

There almost certainly would be other tells, as well. It is hard to believe that a smoking-gun piece of evidence would remain secret for long in leak-happy Washington.

Beyond that, it seems reasonable to assume that there would be some indication of a campaign conspiracy in the prosecutions Mueller’s team already is conducting.

CNN, MSNBC and other news outlets have made much hay over the indictments brought by the special counsel’s office, often conflating the the prosecutions with the unproven collusion narrative.

The fact is, the only case brought by Mueller that has anything to do with the 2016 election is the indictment naming 13 Russian nationals and three companies. And in announcing those charges, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made a point of telling reporters that no American was implicated in the case.

The rest of the defendants in the Mueller probe face charges for conduct unrelated to the election — conduct by advisers predating the campaign — or for lying to the FBI during the investigation.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz put it best Wednesday night during an appearance on “Hannity” on Fox News.

“I have to tell you, if after a year of very thorough investigation and going after all the low-hanging fruit and getting people not only to sing but some of them even, perhaps, to compose — if they couldn’t have shifted him from a subject to a target, there’s nothing there,” he said.

Much has been made of the fact the defendants ensnared in the probe have agreed to cooperate with the investigation. Many assume that means they are giving up information about a conspiracy. But such cooperation agreements are standard in federal prosecutions, and one would think that if Mueller had evidence against Trump aides who have been charged, he would have included a campaign-related count.

That would only increase pressure on a defendant to give up bigger fish.

2. Trump is not in the clear. As Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) pointed out on CNN on Wednesday, carrying the label of “target” offers no guarantee against prosecution.

“One witness can take you from being a subject to a target,” he said.

It is true that Mueller could make a late Eureka discovery that puts Trump in the crosshairs, although the chances of a new witness at this stage of the game seem low. But Trump could get into trouble the same way his aides have — perjury.

The Post reported that Mueller’s communication to the president’s lawyers that he was not a target came in the context of negotiations over taking Trump’s testimony.

Trump reportedly is eager to testify, but Mueller’s record in the investigation should make the president tread carefully. An untruthful or conflicting statement well could bring a perjury allegation.

Mueller’s threshold does not appear particularly high. Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about a meeting with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period after the 2016 election.

Mueller did not accuse Flynn of any underlying crime. The meeting was legal — there is nothing wrong with an incoming national security adviser talking with foreign diplomats. Even from a country that has become Public Enemy No. 1. According to court records, Flynn acknowledged that he spoke with Kislyak.

But Flynn told the FBI that he did not ask Kislyak to delay or defeat a vote in the United Nations on a resolution sponsored by the outgoing administration. Flynn also told agents that he did not recall Kislyak telling him about Russia’s decision to moderate its response to sanctions imposed by the outgoing administration.

Those were lies, according to prosecutors.

George Papadopoulos, a low-level volunteer adviser to the campaign, also pleaded guilty to lying about otherwise-legal conduct, misstating the date he spoke to a London professor with contacts to Russia about getting dirt on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the campaign.

Papadopoulos told investigators that he spoke with the professor before joining the campaign; in fact it was after. Authorities also contended that he lied when he downplayed the importance he placed on the professor’s information.

Perhaps the biggest danger to Trump is the Mueller writes a scathing report about the president’s conduct, particularly his behavior after taking office. Such a report might offer plenty of grist for articles of impeachment.

That could happen whether Trump testifies or not.

3. Mueller seems to think he could indict Trump. In the kerfuffle over whether Trump is a target or merely a subject, some people missed an important revelation.

In assigning the label, the special counsel seems to be signaling that he could indict Trump. That is noteworthy because the Justice Department’s position dating to Richard Nixon’s presidency is that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime.

Legal scholars have debated that, and it has never been tested in the Supreme Court.

But if Mueller thinks the president could potentially be a prosecution target, that would be significant.

4. The fact that Trump is a subject is really not all that surprising. But you wouldn’t know that if you watched cable news on Wednesday.

The talking heads treated the news that Mueller told Trump’s lawyers the president was a subject as earth-shattering revelation.

To be sure, it is unusual and significant that the president of the United States is the subject of a high-profile criminal investigation.

But at this point, it hardly is a surprise.

From the time Rosenstein appointed Mueller, it’s been pretty transparent that the entire endeavor has been about trying to find out if Trump conspired with the Russians.

This is not like Watergate, which began as — in the words of Nixon press secretary Ronald Ziegler — a “third-rate burglary” and slowly escalated toward the president.

From day one, the trajectory has been clear — either Trump conspired or it didn’t.

@BrendanKKirby is a senior political reporter at LifeZette and author of “Wicked Mobile.”

4 months ago

Mural of Trump with gun, bloody school children painted over in Alabama city

(Pixabay)

A mural depicting President Donald Trump holding a handgun and school children in pools of blood has been painted over after it appeared in an Alabama city.

WAAY-TV quotes Florence Mayor Steve Holt in a Tuesday report as saying that the mural was on private property and that its owner told the city they could paint over it.

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News outlets report the mural was painted sometime Sunday night or Monday morning.

The mural was displayed on a wall in an abandoned lot in the city’s downtown.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

Alabama House Republican Caucus enacts all items in its 2018 ‘Flag, Family, and Country’ legislative agenda

(AL House Republican Caucus/FB)

Montgomery – House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) on Thursday announced that members of the body’s Republican Caucus successfully enacted all of the items in its “Flag, Family, and Country” legislative agenda during the 2018 regular session.

“House Republicans have once again kept our promises and followed up our words with actions,” Ledbetter said. “The new laws in our Republican agenda will provide new jobs and opportunities to the military veterans who protected our nation, shield children from the traumas of domestic violence, and begin to address Alabama’s on-going opioid crisis. All of those are worthy accomplishments that should make Alabamians proud.”

Among the enacted items included in the agenda are:

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Childhood Trauma Prevention Bills

In order to protect against extreme trauma that can be experienced by children and family members who witness first-hand acts of domestic violence against a parent or guardian, two new laws will increase the penalties for domestic violence in the presence of a child.

The first law allows for the death penalty or life in prison without parole for murder of a parent or guardian in the presence of a child.

The second dramatically increases the penalties for acts of domestic violence committed against a parent or guardian in the presence of a child.

The Veterans Employment Act

This law dramatically expands the “Heroes for Hire Act” previously passed by House Republicans and provides incentives to businesses that hire honorably discharged veterans who are currently unemployed. Veterans covered by this incentive program will be hired for full-time jobs and earn at least $14 per hour. Because the program is modeled after the “pay as you go” method of awarding economic incentives, it will have no negative fiscal impact on the budgets.

Parks for Patriots Act of 2018

This law provides free, year-round admission to all Alabama state parks for all active military personnel and veterans, including members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Resolution urging respect to be shown for the U.S. Flag

This House Republican Caucus resolution urges all Americans to show proper honor and respect to the U.S. Flag during the playing of the National Anthem, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and other displays of patriotic pride.

Resolution supporting construction of a U.S. – Mexican border wall

This House Republican Caucus resolution urges Congress to fund and expedite the construction of a secure wall across the border between the United States and Mexico, which continues to be a cornerstone priority of President Donald Trump’s administration.

Fentanyl trafficking bill proposed by the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council

The on-going opioid epidemic is proving to be among the most serious public health and law enforcement crises in recent years, so Republicans in the Legislature approved a new law that increases penalties for the unlawful distribution of fentanyl and sets minimum mandatory sentences based on the weight.

Prioritizing of rural development proposals and initiatives

Recognizing the need to bring infrastructure and development to rural Alabama, Republican legislators created a $10 million grant program designed to expand high-speed broadband Internet service in rural portions of the state.

The three previous House Republican Caucus legislative agendas that were proposed and passed through the body this quadrennium were:

The 2015 “Alabama First” legislative agenda was designed to combat the liberal mandates that were being handed down by the Obama administration and sought to put our state firmly on the road toward being first in education and first in economic development. It included bills that reduced government regulations, promoted religious liberties, provided school choice opportunities, and provided employment incentives for businesses in rural Alabama.

The “Right for Alabama” legislative agenda in 2016 placed a continuing focus on improving education, creating jobs, reforming government, and protecting unborn life. It included the “Alabama WIRED Act,” which ensures the poorest schools in Alabama have the same broadband access as the most well-funded schools, implementation of zero-based budgeting reforms, a “Right To Work” constitutional amendment that voters ratified by an overwhelming margin, and a generous but affordable pay raise for public school teachers.

The “Alabama Proud” legislative agenda, which was unveiled in 2017, sought to highlight, improve, and protect the aspects that make our state a special place to live, work, and raise our children. It included increased funding for Alabama’s nationally-recognized “First Class” Pre-K kindergarten program, implementation of an electronic notification system for active shooter situations and other school emergencies, protections for long-standing markers and statues that preserve our history, and passage of a constitutional amendment declaring Alabama a pro-life state.

4 months ago

Dr. Gina Loudon is a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact

(YHN)

Media personality Dr. Gina Loudon may have grown up in Missouri, but the firebrand conservative commentator who regularly appears on national television and radio says she will always call Alabama her “sweet home.”

Loudon, who got her talk radio and TV start in St. Louis, moved to Alabama to host the popular “Dr. Gina Show” on Birmingham’s WYDE where she said her broadcast career was “really born.”

“It really began happening for me in Alabama,” Loudon said in an interview with Yellowhammer News. “It wasn’t so much about me, but it was really about what my audience in Alabama taught me about myself, how they believed in me, and how they inspired me.”

Loudon arrived for her new job the day after tornadoes ravaged the area. She said the experience bonded her to Alabamians.

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“I was put on air ’round the clock because we were the only radio signal that survived the tornado, and people were depending on us for food, medicine, and even company,” she said. “I didn’t know a single road, a single moray, or the difference between Alabama and Auburn. But I would learn.”

Loudon said she and her husband, former Missouri State Senator John Louden, had a conversation one evening at their home in Hoover and agreed they never wanted to leave Alabama.

“Our lives were complete,” she said. “We loved our work, our home, our friends, and our family was really flourishing in Alabama. We planned that night to stay forever.”

When John was recruited for a job in California, the couple initially said no before reconsidering whether God was calling them to serve in the state that Loudon said she felt was being destroyed by its government.

“We told ourselves it was a tour of duty, and looking back now, I can tell you that was a true description,” Loudon said. “California, in all her beauty, cost us greatly. Our children were changed, and we were attacked in ways that are darker than I can describe. But we fought the fight, alongside great patriots.”

Loudon, a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact, has gone on to host national TV shows and frequently appears on Sean Hannity’s radio show and networks such as Fox News, Fox Business, CSPAN, ABC and the BBC. She is the author of several books and her latest, “Mad Politics,” will be released in September and is now available for pre-order.

Loudon also serves on President Trump’s media advisory board and was a National Republican Convention delegate for Trump, as well as an official media surrogate and spokesperson for his campaign.

Her opinion columns have appeared on Townhall.com, Breitbart.com and FoxNews.com and she has been a featured speaker at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

She holds a master’s degree from St. Louis University and a master’s degree and doctorate in human development from Fielding Graduate University.

The Loudons have five children, one of whom is an adopted child with Down syndrome. Loudon is an outspoken advocate for special needs children and chairs a non-profit foundation to help families who choose life or wish to adopt children with special needs.

“For some reason, people find it difficult to believe that we set out, and searched for 10 years, for a child with Down syndrome who we could adopt,” Loudon wrote in a recent FoxNews.com op-ed.

“Samuel was born to a Latino man and a Polish woman in a large public hospital in Florida. Today Samuel’s birth mom is one of my very best friends. She had attempted several times to abort him, and she says God intervened in miraculous ways … once when her car ran out of gas and another time when a train stalled across the highway,” Loudon wrote of her 12-year-old son’s birth story.

“We have been so blessed by adopting Samuel,” Loudon said in a touching St. Louis Post-Dispatch video produced when Samuel was a toddler. “There’s just no question that it has been, I would say, the hand of God in our family.”

Loudon returns to Alabama to host the inaugural Yellowhammer Women of Impact awards this evening, both as master of ceremonies, and as an honoree. Details and registration may be found here.

“Alabamians understand something that I can tell you with authority, most of the rest of the country don’t understand,” Loudon said. “They know secrets about life that make them wiser in many ways, than the ‘enlightened’ coasts or the ‘savvy states’ that love to look down their proverbial noses at the south. They taught me how to be a Woman of Impact.”

4 months ago

The worst kind of ignorance is not knowing just how ignorant we are

Here’s a question for you: In 1950, would it have been possible for anyone to know all of the goods and services that we would have at our disposal 50 years later? For example, who would have thought that we’d have cellphones, Bluetooth technology, small powerful computers, LASIK and airplanes with 525-passenger seating capacity? This list could be extended to include thousands of goods and services that could not have been thought of in 1950. In the face of this gross human ignorance, who should be in control of precursor goods and services? Seeing as it’s impossible for anyone to predict the future, any kind of governmental regulation should be extremely light-handed, so as not to sabotage technological advancement.

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Compounding our ignorance is the fact that much of what we think we know is not true. Scientometrics is the study of measuring and analyzing science, technology and innovation. It holds that many of the “facts” you know have a half-life of about 50 years. Let’s look at a few examples.

You probably learned that Pluto is a planet. But since August 2006, Pluto has been considered a dwarf planet. It’s just another object in the Kuiper belt.

Because dinosaurs were seen as members of the class Reptilia, they were thought to be coldblooded. But recent research suggests that dinosaurs were fast-metabolizing endotherms whose activities were unconstrained by temperature.

Years ago, experts argued that increased K-12 spending and lower pupil-teacher ratios would boost students’ academic performance. It turned out that some of the worst academic performance has been at schools spending the most money and having the smallest class sizes. Washington, D.C., spends more than $29,000 per student every year, and the teacher-student ratio is 1-to-13; however, its students are among the nation’s poorest-performing pupils.

At one time, astronomers considered the size limit for a star to be 150 times the mass of our sun. But recently, a star (R136a1) was discovered that is 265 times the mass of our sun and had a birth weight that was 320 times that of our sun.

If you graduated from medical school in 1950, about half of what you learned is either wrong or outdated. For an interesting story on all this, check out Reason magazine.

Ignorance can be devastating. Say that you recently purchased a house. Was it the best deal you could have gotten? Was there some other house within your budget that would have needed fewer extensive repairs 10 years later and had more likable neighbors and a better and safer environment for your children? What about the person you married? Was there another person available to you who would have made for a more pleasing and compatible spouse? Though these are important questions, the most intelligent answer you can give to all of them is: “I don’t know.” If you don’t know, who should be in charge of making those decisions? Would you delegate the responsibility to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Donald Trump, Ben Carson or some other national or state official?

You might say, “Stop it, Williams! Congressmen and other public officials are not making such monumental decisions affecting my life.” Try this. Suppose you are a 22-year-old healthy person. Rather than be forced to spend $3,000 a year for health insurance and have $7,000 deducted from your salary for Social Security, you’d prefer investing that money to buy equipment to start a landscaping business. Which would be the best use of the $10,000 you earned — purchasing health insurance and paying into Social Security or starting up a landscaping business? More importantly, who would be better able to make that decision — you or members of the United States Congress?

The bottom line is that ignorance is omnipresent. The worst kind of ignorance is not knowing just how ignorant we are. That leads to the devastating pretense of knowledge that’s part and parcel of the vision of intellectual elites and politicians.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

4 months ago

Is the GOP staring at another 1930?

After the victory of Donald Trump in 2016, the GOP held the Senate and House, two-thirds of the governorships, and 1,000 more state legislators than they had on the day Barack Obama took office.

“The Republican Party has not been this dominant in 90 years,” went the exultant claim.

A year later, Republicans lost the governorship of Virginia and almost lost the legislature.

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Came then the loss of a U.S. Senate seat in ruby-red Alabama.

Tuesday, Democrats captured a House seat in a Pennsylvania district Trump carried by 20 points, and where Democrats had not even fielded a candidate in 2014 and 2016.

Republicans lately congratulating themselves on a dominance not seen since 1928, might revisit what happened to the Class of 1928.

In 1930, Republicans lost 52 House seats, portending the loss of both houses of Congress and the White House in 1932 to FDR who would go on to win four straight terms. For the GOP, the ’30s were the dreadful decade.

Is the GOP staring at another 1930?

Perhaps.

Unlike 1930, though, the nation has not endured a Great Crash or gone through year one of a Great Depression where unemployment hit 10 percent in June, when the Smoot-Hawley tariff was passed.

Today, the economy is moving along smartly. The labor force is larger than it has ever been. Workers are re-entering and seeking jobs. Black and Hispanic unemployment are at record lows. Confidence is high. Our Great Recession is 10 years in the past.

The problem for Republicans may be found in a truism: When the economy is poor, the economy is the issue. When the economy is good, something else is the issue.

A good economy did not save the GOP in the 18th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, where the party’s tax cut was derided by Democrat Conor Lamb as a wealth transfer to the rich. Nor did Lamb hurt himself by implying Republicans were planning to pay for their tax cut by robbing Social Security and Medicare.

Republican candidate Rick Saccone reportedly stopped using the tax cut as his major issue in his TV ads that ran closest to Election Day.

Other factors point to a bad day for the GOP on Nov. 6.

Republican retirees from Congress far outnumber Democratic retirees.

Democratic turnout has been reaching record highs, while GOP turnout has been normal. And even in the special elections Democrats have lost, they are outperforming the Democrats who lost in 2016.

Relying upon hostility to Trump to bring out the resistance, savvy Democrats are taking on the political coloration of their districts and states, rather than of the national party of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders.

There is, however, troubling news from Pennsylvania for Nancy Pelosi.

Lamb promised voters of “Deerhunter” country he would not support San Francisco Nancy for speaker. Look for Democrats in districts Trump carried to begin talking of the “need for new leaders.”

Trump seems fated to be the primary target of attack this fall, and not only in districts Clinton carried. For an average of national polls shows that disapproval of his presidency is 14 points higher than his approval rating. And this is when the economy is turning up good numbers not seen in this century.

At the national level, Democrats will turn 2018 into a referendum on the Trump persona and Trump presidency. For while the Trump base is loyal and solid, the anti-Trump base is equally so, and appreciably larger.

Lest we forget, Hillary Clinton, not the most charismatic candidate the Democrats have put up in decades, beat Trump by nearly 3 million votes. And while Trump pierced the famous “blue wall” — the 18 states that voted Democratic in every presidential election between 1992 and 2012 — the demographic trend that created the wall is still working.

White voters, who tend to vote Republican, continue to decline as a share of the population. Peoples of color, who vote 70 to 90 percent Democratic in presidential elections, are now nearly 40 percent of the nation.

Mass migration into America is re-enforcing that trend.

Moreover, millennials, who have many elections ahead of them, are more liberal than seniors, who have fewer elections ahead and are the GOP base.

But if Republicans face problems of demography, the party of “tax and tax, spend and spend, and elect and elect” appears to be reaching the end of its tether. Federal deficits are rising toward trillion-dollar levels.

The five largest items in the budget — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense, interest on the debt — are rising inexorably. And there appears no disposition in either party to cut back on spending for education, college loans, food stamps, housing assistance or infrastructure.

If the Fed did not retain the power to control the money supply, then the fate of New Jersey and Illinois, and beyond, of Greece and Argentina, would become our national destiny.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

(Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr & Wikicommons)

(Creators, copyright 2018)

4 months ago

Roll Trump Roll – ‘Bama football to visit White House for national championship celebration

The Alabama Crimson Tide football team is travelling – yet again – to the White House to celebrate another national championship victory.

President Donald Trump will host Coach Nick Saban and the team at the White House on April 10, according to a source familiar with the plans.

The president attended the national championship game in Atlanta where Alabama defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in a stunning 26-23 overtime win.

An official announcement is expected later today.

(Image: White House/Flickr & Alabama Football/Facebook)

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6 months ago

Alabama GOP Rep. Byrne: Trump ‘sh*thole’ remarks a distraction

(Screenshot / WKRG)

 

(Screenshot / WKRG)

 

On Friday, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) fielded questions from reporters shortly before a town hall meeting at the city hall in Robertsdale. One of the questions he took concerned a report that President Donald Trump described certain nations as “sh*thole countries” during an immigration policy meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers earlier in the week.

According to WKRG’s Bill Riales, Byrne called Trump’s comments “an unfortunate and major distraction.”

Byrne also argued the Congress had more pressing concerns than immigration at the moment.

“I’m just disappointed that we’re having an immigration debate before we get this funding bill done,” Byrne said. “I mean, we — the government has got to be funded a week from today, and we still don’t have a deal on that.”

Jeff Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and works as the editor of Breitbart TV. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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6 months ago

Left-wing activists call on Nick Saban to speak out against Trump’s NFL anthem protest criticisms, decline White House invite

(RollTide.com & White House/Flickr)

(RollTide.com & White House/Flickr)

 

 

In a press release issued Thursday, the liberal activist group CREDO Action boasted about a petition it claims that more than 72,000 people have signed calling on University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban to speak out against President Donald Trump.

The petition encourages Saban to “disavow” Trump’s criticism of the National Anthem protests by NFL players and to pledge to decline an invite to the White House should Alabama emerge victorious in Monday’s college football national championship game against the University of Georgia Bulldogs.

“Take a stand against Donald Trump’s racism. Disavow his hateful critique of NFL protesters who are speaking out against systemic racism and police brutality. Affirm your players’ right to protest and pledge not to take your team to the White House if you win the national championship.”

CREDO Action is the advocacy arm of CREDO, a self-proclaimed “social change organization” and offers fundraising methods for other liberal groups.

Jeff Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and works as the editor of Breitbart TV. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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7 months ago

Roll Trump Roll! President to attend Alabama-Georgia national championship game

(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Then candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Mobile, 2016

 

 

President Donald Trump will attend Monday’s college football national championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Georgia’ capital city, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein.

Bluestein cites “three people with direct knowledge of his plans” and says Trump will be hosted by Georgia native Pence chief of staff Nick Ayers and his wife, Jamie Ayers. First lady Melania Trump is also expected to be in attendance.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders opened her briefing by congratulating both schools.

“The president would like to start by congratulating two great teams from two great states both in the heart of Trump country,” she said. “We look forward to a fantastic National Championship between Georgia and Alabama next week.”

Jeff Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and works as the editor of Breitbart TV. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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7 months ago

7 Things You Should Be Talking About Today: Papadopoulos continues to be a problem for Trump, Governor Ivey attacked by grinches, Paul Finebaum is to blame for Sen. Doug Jones, and more …

(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

 

1. Latest headache for President Donald Trump comes from a former campaign staffer, George Papadopoulos.

— The New York Times alleges that a drunk Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat that Russia had Hillary Clinton’s deleted e-mails.

— When stolen e-mails appeared online, Australian authorities alerted “their American counterparts” about the conversation.

— Papadopoulos has already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

2. President Donald Trump warns Iran that the world is watching their response to protests in the street.

— Early Sunday the Iranian government warned protesters will “pay the price” for their actions.

— Trump tweeted: “The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”

— Trump campaigned against Iran, calling it the world’s “No. 1 terror state”.

3. President Donald Trump stakes out a very different position than former President Barack Obama did during 2009’s Iranian protests.

— Obama’s administration backed the Iranian regime in 2009 because they were seeking a nuclear deal.

— Former United Nations Ambassador said, “You have President Trump, members of his administration, taking the side of the demonstrators,” he added. “180 degrees the opposite of what Barack Obama did in 2009.”

— U.S. Lindsey Graham criticized Obama’s reaction to those 2009 protests saying he didn’t want to get involved because it would mess up the nuclear deal.

4. Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation is going after Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s Facebook page.

— Governor Ivey, like many politicians, used her Facebook page to wish her followers a Merry Christmas.

— The Freedom from Religion Foundation claimed her Christmas cheer was “unconstitutional”.

— In the past the group has targeted Alabama schools and local governments to mixed results.

5. Roy Moore’s election loss was really all sports talker Paul Finebaum’s fault.

— Finebaum claimed in his 2014 book, “My Conference Can Beat Your Conference” that he is responsible for Gov. Robert Bentley being elected in 2010.

— The influential talker claims Bentley would tell people Finebaum “got me elected”.

— Bentley’s scandal-plagued 2nd term led to an appointment of Sen. Luther Strange and that set the wheels in motion for Democrat Doug Jones to win in a very red state.

6. While the media tells you 2017 was amazing for Democrats, the reality is far different.

— Democrats predicted the stock market would plunge, instead it soared.

—  Democrats predicted world-wide chaos in Trump’s first year, instead United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has secured votes for sanctions for North Korea from Russia and China.

— With the help of a complicit news media, Democrats waged a massive misinformation campaign against tax cuts, it still passed.

7. As the new year begins, many forget President Trump’s biggest victory is how he is packing the court with conservative judges.

— Trump and the Republican Senate have confirmed a record 12 appellate judges this year.

— The last two confirmed judges were conservative Twitter-darling Don Willet and Taiwanese immigrant Jim Ho.

— Many Trump voters cited his list of conservative Supreme Court possibilities as the reason they voted for him.

Yellowhammer News contributor Dale Jackson hosts a daily radio show from 7-11 a.m. on NewsTalk 770 AM/92.5 FM WVNN and “Yellowhammer News Presents: Guerrilla Politics” on WAAY-TV, both in North Alabama.

1
7 months ago

Cliff Sims checks in from the White House, talks Trump’s big tax cut with the Ford Faction on Yellowhammer Radio

Special Assistant to the President Cliff Sims and President Donald J. Trump walk down the West Colonnade of the White House toward the West Wing. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
(White House Photo)

Cliff Sims, founder of Yellowhammer News and current special assistant in the White House, talked about the president’s massive tax cut on today’s Ford Faction radio program.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

Click here to listen in a new window.

1
7 months ago

GOP needn’t despair about Alabama

 

 

Republicans should not be disheartened by Roy Moore’s loss in Alabama, because the election had little to do with Doug Jones — and probably even less with Donald Trump or the Republican agenda.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s quite troubling that the GOP’s thin Senate majority just became anorexic, but this election by itself is not a predictor of a Democratic rout in 2018. Republicans could sustain substantial losses, to be sure, but the Alabama election doesn’t make that foreseeable.

Roy Moore was a uniquely problematic candidate with more baggage than many Republicans believed they could excuse. Though it is remarkable that a Republican candidate lost in crimson-red Alabama, it is also noteworthy that even with his problems, he came close to winning.

The vast majority of Alabama Republicans did not want to sit home or to vote for Jones, because they understand the magnitude of the stakes before us. Yet enough of them did. Apparently, the fact that he would have doubtlessly voted as a conservative at a time when every single Republican vote is critical wasn’t enough to overcome the sexual allegations and other concerns about Moore for these voters.

Also, America’s political situation is particularly fluid, and there are too many variables and important events yet to play out for us to reliably forecast the 2018 election results. One savvy politician told me this week that he could see Republicans losing the majority in both houses in 2018 — but he also wouldn’t be surprised if they were to actually gain seats if the economy remains strong and Trump’s agenda continues apace.

Democrats have more Senate seats to defend in 2018 (26) than Republicans (eight), 10 of which are in states Trump carried in 2016 — five by double digits. Even CNN concedes that the electoral map “still clearly favors Republicans.” But like other liberals, they are counting on Trump’s supposed unpopularity and soaring passion in the Democratic base to offset any GOP advantages.

Moreover, prudent analysis has to factor in the adage that people vote with their pocketbooks — even young people, the demographic reputed to be least enamored with President Trump. A Bank of America/USA Today Better Money Habits survey conducted before the 2016 election showed that 65 percent of voters ages 18 to 26 would base their votes more on economic policies than on social issues.

Economic indicators are decidedly positive now, and notwithstanding Barack Obama’s delusional post-presidential assertion that he deserves the credit for it, it’s hard to dispute that Trump deserves the lion’s share of credit.

The economy is humming well above 3 percent — a threshold the Obama malaise architects had already written off as no longer attainable. Unemployment is way down, and the stock market is surging significantly above impressive Obama-era levels.

This is real growth, as opposed to the fake growth Obama defeatists were touting when the economy was stagnating at 1 percent. And it can be traced to Trump’s actions and the attitude he carried into office, just as Obama’s stagnation can be traced to his business-hostile bearing.

Trump is bullish on America, the free market and American business. Entrepreneurs have responded accordingly, as have consumers. (Look at Christmas season sales already this year.)

Trump has also been aggressive in rolling back stifling bureaucratic regulations across the board, and no one should underestimate the impact of his decision to back out of the Paris climate accord — or his support of the coal and natural gas industries.

Trump also tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to substantially revise, if not wholly repeal, Obamacare, and he is determined to try again. He and congressional Republicans have done a better job so far with the tax reform bill. Though it is imperfect and not the bill I would craft if I were king, it would meaningfully improve the existing law and is very close to being passed.

If it passes, I believe we’ll see even more growth and far more revenues than the experts — the same ones who predicted that our days of 3 percent growth were over — are forecasting.

Yes, things could so south, especially if Trump and Congress are unable to move the tax bill and other major items of legislation before the 2018 elections, but I’m feeling upbeat.

My main concern is chaos within the Republican Party. The angst toward Trump among many Republicans is palpable, and unfortunately, a disproportionate number of these opponents are influential in the media.

I understand the naysayers’ disapproval of Trump’s style and various other complaints. But I don’t understand why they won’t acknowledge the positive developments that are occurring during his presidency — even if they have too much pride to give him credit for them. I get (and sometimes share) their distaste for his tweets, but it’s baffling that they won’t concede that on policy, at least, he has been far different from — and almost entirely better than — what they gloomily warned he would be.

He’s not governing like a so-called populist nationalist, and he certainly hasn’t advocated liberal policies as many feared. No matter what you think of Trump personally, he is advancing a largely conservative agenda.

Unlike some of Trump’s perpetual critics, I don’t worry that Trump is going to usher in an era of alt-right dystopia or that the country is going to descend into Bannonism — whatever that means. The critics shouldn’t fear that Trump will forever taint the conservative movement or that America will descend into darkness.

America was descending into darkness under Obama’s eight years, and that process would have accelerated into warp speed had Hillary Clinton been elected. So could we please lighten up and support the president when he’s advancing salutary policies, which is often, and go into 2018 with a spirit of warranted optimism?

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM

1
7 months ago

Laura Ingraham explains Roy Moore’s loss on Birmingham’s WYDE 101.1 FM

(The Ingraham Angle/Facebook)
(The Ingraham Angle/Facebook)

 

Long-time University of Alabama fan Laura Ingraham appeared on Michael Hart’s radio program on WYDE 101.1 FM this week and gave probably the best explanation yet of why Roy Moore lost.

She said the problem was the candidate, not the Republican agenda.

Laura’s bottom line: “The election has zero to do with the viability of the view of Donald Trump on substantive issues and everything to do with a confluence of circumstances unique to Alabama.”

Ingraham’s key quotes:

— “The idea that substance had anything to do with this is preposterous.”

— “All of those issues that Trump ran on are not only still popular, but vital to be addressed during his time in office.”

— “The idea that the people of Alabama have suddenly [moved] on to now supporting open borders, ridiculous trade deals like NAFTA, is preposterous. Donald Trump’s agenda in Alabama remains probably as popular as it was when he was elected.”

— “Luther Strange, or Mo Brooks especially, Gary Palmer who I think would be a great senator, these guys would be with Trump 98 percent of the time.”

— “(Moore) was probably the only prominent Republican in the entire state who couldn’t beat Doug Jones, and that’s the guy that Republicans end up rallying behind?”

Listen to the interview below:

(Take this article over to social media and start a conversation with your family and friends.)

1
8 months ago

Quin Hillyer: Alabama’s attorney general race may become a ‘Chess’ match

Chess Bedsole (Chess Bedsole for Attorney General)
Chess Bedsole (Chess Bedsole for Attorney General)

 

Alabama faces a barn-burner of a Republican primary for state attorney general next year, with at least four highly qualified candidates. The one perhaps the least well known to the general public is, oddly enough, the one who has almost certainly spent the most quality time with the biggest state and national Republican luminaries.

Meet Chess Bedsole, with whom I sat down for an hour-long interview on November 30.

(Note: Earlier this year I separately visited, off the record, with two other AG candidates, Alice Martin and incumbent Steve Marshall, but I was not writing for Yellowhammer then. I’ll circle back to them soon for on-the-record reports.)

First, understand that I never even attempted to ask Bedsole about policy or his campaign. That will come another time. Instead, I spent the whole hour learning his background, and listening to his remarkable political stories.

As a Mobile native just out of law school (and with a tax degree) in 1998, Bedsole found himself offered jobs by two of the all-time titans of the Senate: moderate Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, who chaired the Senate Finance Committee, and conservative Republican stalwart Jesse Helms of North Carolina, offering (in contrast to Moynihan’s nice offer) an absurdly low starting salary. The Moynihan post was much more of a plum job, but Bedsole, a conservative, chose Helms instead.

“I found Helms was a genuine gentleman, always going at his job with sort of a servant’s heart,” Bedsole said of the senator who in his younger days had been considered a conservative firebrand. “You could tell when he had decided he liked you: He started out just calling a new staffer ‘Fella,’ but you knew he was fond of you when he eventually started referring to you as ‘Son’.”

Helms rather quickly made Bedsole a chief legislative negotiator – but that job was interrupted by the Bush vs. Gore presidential recount in 2000. Bedsole, wanting to help, took temporary leave from Helm’s office and arrived in Florida as the youngest lawyer on Bush’s recount team, but found himself overseeing operations in Broward County – which soon, by luck, became ground zero for the fight. He impressed the right people, and somehow, with no prior ties to Bush-world, ended up (once Bush had been declared the victor) reviewing outgoing president Bill Clinton’s executive orders (seeing which ones might be revoked or reworked) for the presidential transition team. He reported to Scooter Libby, who of course was incoming Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff.

Transition over, Bedsole returned to Helms’ staff – but by early 2002, returned home for family reasons, expecting to work in a Mobile law firm. Instead, he somehow found himself running Jo Bonner’s successful campaign for Congress. And then, since he was a legal recount expert, he was suddenly dispatched – at the urging of Jeff Sessions, no less – to take charge of the Republican side of the Baldwin County recount in the tight and contested governor’s race between Bob Riley and Don Siegelman.

Riley won, of course, but Bedsole – despite a meeting with just him and the Riley family, probing his interest for something more permanent – wanted to go into private practice rather than government, and moved to Birmingham to do it (and eventually to get married).

Government kept calling, though. While still in private practice doing complex business litigation, Bedsole somehow was persuaded to accept an appointment as a municipal criminal judge in Blount County. There, by his account, he started cracking down on worse offenders, rather than letting them skate – including with the help (secured via Sessions) of a federal Drug Enforcement Agency task force) – but also spearheading new programs to divert youthful non-violent offenders in to work and rehab programs.

And Sessions kept calling. At Sessions’ urging, Bedsole found himself in Trump Tower in the fall of 2015, meeting the billionaire himself – and suddenly became Alabama’s state director for the Trump campaign, and then one of Trump’s chief national delegate hunters.

And then, once the nomination was secured, he was assigned, directly by Trump Central, to be the Trump major domo assignee to V-P nominee Mike Pence’s traveling team, working directly with Pence (and usually in the seat right next to him) as they flew around the country campaigning.

Now he’s running for AG.

So, to review the employers, direct superiors, or major sponsors/mentors for Bedsole’s high-level jobs: Jesse Helms, Scooter Libby, Jo Bonner, Bob Riley, Jeff Sessions, Mike Pence, and Donald Trump. Other than that, it sounds like a pretty boring existence, eh?

This, above, is just the Cliff’s Notes version of Bedsole’s résumé. Listening to him elaborate on these political adventures is a political junkie’s dream. (Alas, this column doesn’t have room for some of the war tales.)

Clearly, Chess Bedsole is not to be taken lightly. He impresses.

Again, his competitors in the Republican primary also impress. In particular, I’ve watched the career of Alice Martin for 17 years now, and she’s a no-nonsense legal star. This is gonna be a heckuva race, one in which Alabama voters for once should be thoroughly pleased with their options.

Yellowhammer Contributing Editor Quin Hillyer, of Mobile, also is a Contributing Editor for National Review Online, and is the author of Mad Jones, Heretic, a satirical literary novel published in the fall of 2017.

1
8 months ago

President Trump, Steve Bannon come with last-second support for Moore

(White House/Flickr, Roy Moore for State Senate/Facebook, Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
(White House/Flickr, Roy Moore for State Senate/Facebook, Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

 

 

President Donald Trump is considering coming to Roy Moore’s aid as the special Senate election draws near, according to a Politico report published on Wednesday.

This news comes as former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon confirmed to CNN that he will return to Alabama next week, where he will appear at a rally in Fairhope in support of Roy Moore.

Why this matters: Moore has bled support from would-be colleagues since the allegations were published earlier this month, with many Senators who had previously endorsed recanting, including Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama. Polls show that the race has tightened amid the allegations, and a last minute boost from President Trump and Steve Bannon may prove to be the kind of national support Moore needs to get him over the finish line.

The report reveals that the White House may sign off on robo-calls, emails and text messages in an effort get out the vote for Moore on December 12.

Jeremy Beaman is a Huntsville-native in his final year at the University of Mobile. He spent the summer of 2017 with the Washington Examiner and writes for The College Fix. Follow him on Twitter @jeremywbeaman and email him at jeremy@yellowhammernews.com.

1
8 months ago

Quin Hillyer: Mitch McConnell helped create this mess in Alabama

Mitch McConnell (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Mitch McConnell (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

 

If ever there is legitimacy to playing a “blame game,” it exists right now with regard to the mess Alabama Republicans face in a special U.S. Senate election that should not be occurring in the first place.

In order of approximate chronology rather than of seriousness, here are all the places the blame lies – with the obvious caveat that by far the largest part of the blame lies with Roy Moore, if the allegations against him are even close to being true.

1) Luther Strange. I am reliably informed that numerous people, wise and experienced, advised Strange not to allow his name even to be considered for appointment to the Senate under the unique circumstances then existing. If he wanted to be the senator, he should have run under his own power, not as the selection of the very governor Strange was supposed to be investigating on criminal charges. The appearance of a conflict of interest was too obvious and too appalling.

2) Robert Bentley. Of course the governor should not have done any of the things that compromised himself in the first place – but, having done so, he should never, ever have considered Strange for the appointment. See above.

3) Mitch McConnell and his minions/Political Action Committees (henceforth: MMMPACs). MMMPACs, having failed to learn the lessons of earlier interferences in state elections (for example, opposing Marco Rubio in Florida, Ben Sasse in Nebraska, and others who proved to be excellent senators), decided to waste some $9 million on behalf of the un-re-electable Strange. Even worse, MMMPACs tried to act as bully-boys, threatening candidates and campaign consultants that if they opposed Strange, they would never work in/have no future in Republican politics ever again. Potentially strong candidates – ones who could have defeated both Strange and Moore – were thus bullied out of the race.

4) Governor Kay Ivey. She was wrong, both practically and I believe legally, to call for the special election this year. Practically, a cash-strapped state should not be spending $15 million to run an election when there would really have been no harm in waiting until a regular election in 2018. Also practically, the unique circumstances of the Bentley scandal meant that the political waters were too roiled to allow the public a “normal” and thoughtful consideration of the potential candidates, with too little time for some potentially good candidates to get organized enough to make the race. Finally, while nobody challenged her in court, I am convinced that once Bentley had called the election for 2018, nothing in state law allows a governor the power to unilaterally change a duly called election date. In short, this election should not have been held until November of 2018.

5) Mo Brooks. This is the least of these blame points but it warrants inclusion on this list. The conservative with the best chance of sneaking past Strange into the runoff with Moore chose an ill-conceived tactic that blew up in his face, by airing a TV ad with video of Brooks being interviewed at the scene of the shooting of Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Scalise’s staffers themselves were outraged, and were quoted complaining that Brooks appeared to be trying to profit politically from the assassination attempt.

6) Strange and MMMPACs. Together, they ran one of the most despicable campaigns I have witnessed in more than four decades involved in or covering politics. They poisoned the well with harshly negative, even vicious, and at least somewhat untrue attacks against both Moore and Brooks. (The worst was the one insinuating that Brooks somehow was weak against ISIS!) And when they weren’t wrongly attacking their opponents, they were running ads for Strange that were so trite they insultingly played into national stereotypes about supposedly simple-minded Alabamans. So obnoxious were their tactics that, if basing the judgment on the campaign alone, neither Strange nor McConnell should ever hold office again.

7) Donald Trump. He, too, should have stayed away from a state’s party primary. By jumping in before the first primary, he helped (at least at the margins) Strange ward off the challenge from Brooks. Well, if the national pooh-bahs wanted “anybody but Moore,” the only way by then to stop Moore was for Brooks to edge past Strange into the runoff. As I said the very day qualifying for the race closed, Strange had no chance on God’s green Earth to defeat Moore in a runoff if those were the two candidates who emerged.

It is time for a hard and fast new rule: National party committees and so-called “Leadership PACs,” and their affiliates, should avoid all direct financial involvement in party primaries. Sure, they can and ought to try to recruit good candidates, but their recruiting pitch should be this: “We can help line you up with good strategists and workers and policy briefings, and we will commit to raising X amount of money for you if you emerge as the nominee. But aside from that, winning the nomination is up to you; we are holding our money and our clout for use against Democrats in the general election, not to trash fellow Republicans in a primary.”

Mitch McConnell, Luther Strange and company utterly screwed up this whole election. They should hang their heads in shame.

Yellowhammer Contributing Editor Quin Hillyer, of Mobile, also is a Contributing Editor for National Review Online, and is the author of Mad Jones, Heretic, a satirical literary novel published in the fall of 2017.

1
8 months ago

Why aren’t liberal journalists calling Doug Jones a Civil War-truther like they did General Kelly?

Chief of Staff General John Kelly during a daily press briefing (White House Photo)
Chief of Staff General John Kelly during a daily press briefing (White House Photo)

 

Gen. John Kelly has emerged as President Donald Trump’s most effective spokesperson. He is plain-spoken and authentic.

His defense of Donald Trump’s phone call to a war widow was heartfelt and easily understood, but he had to be punished for that. The Democrats and their allies in the media decided to pretend Kelly using the phrase “empty barrel” to describe provocateur Congresswoman Frederica Wilson was racist. (It’s not).

Last week, the pretend outrage around Kelly centered on his lamenting that Americans do not want to compromise on anything in Washington D.C., a completely reasonable view. While Kelly described the importance of compromise he referenced the Civil War and he praised Robert E. Lee.

“I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man,” Kelly said. “He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

For some reason that was portrayed as Kelly taking up the South’s “lost cause” or arguing for slavery.

Nonsense.

But they still raked Kelly across the coals for a completely reasonable comparison.

 

Do they think John Kelly doesn’t know about slavery and it’s role in the Civil War?

Of course he understands this and they know it.

But, let’s play their stupid game for a second, this is a Tweet (and an ad that was seen during the ‘Bama-LSU game Saturday night) by Democrat Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones.

 

That’s right, Jones is now calling for compromise AND stating that a lack of compromise contributed to the Civil War. If you watch the video, he also praised a Southern General just like Kelly did.

Is Doug Jones fighting for slavery? For the South’s “lost cause”? No, of course not. He is speaking out, in generic politician speak, about the insane polarization of our modern political system, just like John Kelly was.

So where is the American media?

Feeding the polarization.

Pretending John Kelly is a monster.

Asking Sarah Huckabee Sanders if the Trump Administration thinks that slavery is wrong…

 

But on Doug Jones?

Nothing.

Admittedly, Jones is down as much as 17 points to Roy Moore, so maybe he isn’t on their radar? That argument doesn’t fly because the national media has been running a non-stop attack on Moore’s candidacy since the day he beat Luther Strange in the Republican run-off.

Why? Because this isn’t about right and wrong, black and white, or even the things these individuals actually believe, all of this outrage is about running down Kelly, and making him into a racist and minimizing him as an advocate for Donald Trump and his administration.

They are willing to dishonestly trash a Gold Star father, a decorated American general and a good man, in order to hurt Donald Trump, Republicans and conservatives.

Make no mistake, that is what all of this is about.

Dale Jackson hosts a daily radio show on NewsTalk 770 AM/92.5 FM WVNN and a weekly television show, “Guerrilla Politics,” on WAAY-TV, both in North Alabama. Follow him @TheDaleJackson.

(The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect those of Yellowhammer News.)

1
9 months ago

Down Syndrome Man Offers Moving Testimony for the Sanctity of Life

In Iceland, the vast majority of babies with Down syndrome are killed in utero. Using the same reasoning as Nazi Germany, apparently, Iceland sees this as social progress, presuming that those with genetic differences are incapable of loving, inspiring, or creating immeasurable joy.

As those with Down syndrome and other genetic disorders have proven time and again, this is clearly not true.

Related: The Loss of a Son Birthed an Adoption and a Ministry

Related: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Moment in an Alabama High School Football Game

Related: Vestavia Hills Down Syndrome Player Welcomed by Dabo Swinney

Nevertheless, Iceland has apparently left it to society’s elite to decide who deserves to live or die, based on some subjective determination of human superiority. Such thinking led to the horrors of slavery and the holocaust, but humanists never learn from history, which they are bound and determined to repeat.

As reported in Breitbart News yesterday, Kari Stefansson is a geneticist and the founder a company that has studied Iceland’s population’s genomes stated, “My understanding is that we have basically eradicated, almost, Down syndrome from our society—that there is hardly ever a child with Down syndrome in Iceland anymore.”

In response, Patricia Heaton, of ABC’s The Middle cogently Tweeted: “Iceland isn’t actually eliminating Down syndrome. They’re just killing everybody that has it. Big difference.”

Frank Stephens, agrees, and he’s sickened by Iceland’s slective killing. Mr. Stephens, who has Down Syndrome, provided compelling testimony to a Congressional Committee on Capitol Hill last week, making a strong case for the sanctity of all human life. Realizing the obvious connection, Stephens told the committee that his life is “worth living.”

“Seriously, I don’t feel I should have to justify my existence. Is there really no place for us in the world?” Mr. Stephens said. “Surely happiness is worth something…Let’s be America, not Iceland or Denmark,” he added.

If anyone thinks this would never happen in America, Planned Parenthood and our country’s federal judges that are so sympathetic to their cause, are already doing their part to make sure it will.

When U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was Governor of Indiana, he signed a bill into law that that prohibited abortions based on the sex or race of the child or a prenatal diagnosis of “Down syndrome or any other disability.” The law also required that aborted babies bodies be disposed of in a dignified manner befitting human remains, instead of merely throwing them in the trash as abortion providers are known to do.

None of this sat well with America’s largest abortion mill, Planned Parenthood. Never hearing of an unborn child they didn’t want to kill in their insatiable quest to trade death for dollars, they teamed up with the ACLU to sue Indiana over this new law. A federal judge appointed by Barack Obama—U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt—promptly issued a permanent injunction against the law just last month. In other words, this judge says Indiana cannot stop a woman from killing her unborn child if she wants to do so because the child is female instead of male, or because the child’s skin is one color instead of another, or because the child has Down syndrome. This, says Judge Pratt, violates the Fourteenth Amendment.

In response to this ruling, President Trump said:

“Sadly, there remain too many people – both in the United States and throughout the world – that still see Down syndrome as an excuse to ignore or discard human life. This sentiment is and will always be tragically misguided. We must always be vigilant in defending and promoting the unique and special gifts of all citizens in need. We should not tolerate any discrimination against them, as all people have inherent dignity.”

Frank Stephens agrees.

“Whatever you learn today, please remember this,” Mr. Stephens passionately declared, “I am a man with Down syndrome, and my life is worth living.”

Watch Mr. Stephens moving testimony, which was Tweeted by PBS News Hour, here:

1
9 months ago

Donald Trump Takes Healthcare Reform into His Own Hands

(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

In light of a handful of Republican U.S. Senators repeatedly siding with Democrats to block President Trump’s efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, he is using the power of the pen to start the process on his own.

In its news release yesterday, the White House quoted the President as saying:

“The time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines, which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care.”

The media advisory said the President is “signing an Executive Order to reform the United States healthcare system to take the first steps to expand choices and alternatives to Obamacare plans and increase competition to bring down costs for consumers.”

At the crack of dawn today, the President Tweeted “The Democrats ObamaCare is imploding. Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies have stopped. Dems should call me to fix!” Next, he Tweeted: “ObamaCare is a broken mess. Piece by piece we will now begin the process of giving America the great HealthCare it deserves!”

The White House press release yesterday said that the President is “taking action to increase the health care choices for millions of Americans, potentially allowing some employers to join together across State lines to offer coverage.”

“The status quo is not delivering quality healthcare options for the American people, who are facing higher premiums and fewer options,” Trump stated.

A Fox News article this morning said the Justice Department has notified a federal appeals court that a payment due Monday “will not occur.” Confirming this, acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan and Medicare administrator Seema Verma said, “We will discontinue these payments immediately.”

However, The Wall Street Journal reported Trump telling one legislator lawmaker that the payments may continue if a bipartisan deal is reached to reform health care.

The President says he still seeks that legislative outcome. In the meantime, however, he says his order will give help people by giving them more health care choices at lower prices.

1
10 months ago

Three Lessons Republicans Must Learn From That Messy Alabama Primary

Some say Judge Roy Moore’s victory over Senator Luther Strange last Tuesday was a loss for the president: “Alabama defeat leaves Trump weakened, isolated amid mounting challenges,” read a headline in the Washington Post.

Others say it was a defeat for the Senate majority leader: “Judge Roy Moore wins Alabama Senate primary, dealing a huge blow to Mitch McConnell,” declared the liberal news site Vox.

And a few even say it was all about the chairman of Breitbart News: “Steve Bannon just defeated Trump,” wrote liberal columnist E.J. Dionne Jr.

But this wasn’t about Trump or McConnell or Bannon, and it wasn’t even really about Moore or Strange.

It was about Alabama.

More precisely, it was about how Republicans in Alabama choose candidates to stand against Democrats in the general election, and then against liberalism once in office.

But if we allow a proxy war between Trump and McConnell and Bannon and whoever else to distract us, then we’ll fail to learn some valuable lessons that tumbled out of this messy but instructive race. It’d be foolish to repeat these mistakes in another Republican primary, but it could be catastrophic to do so during a general election.

So let’s remind ourselves of three big ones:

Lesson 1: Never disrespect the voters.

Like many Republicans in Alabama, I had a somewhat open mind at the beginning of the primary. And there was plenty to like.

If you like former Senator Jeff Sessions, then you’d probably love Congressman Mo Brooks. He’d carry the torch of conservatism in the Senate. If you like Senator Richard Shelby, then you’d probably love Luther. He’d protect the state’s interest and bring home jobs. Those who like Donald Trump would probably love Judge Moore. He’d give the establishment hell.

I honestly couldn’t decide … until an outside group supporting Luther released an attack ad against Brooks. And someone thought it’d be a good idea to ask veterans to carry the message.“I served my country,” said one veteran. “Mo Brooks, he voted to cut off funding to fight ISIS.” “We fought for our freedom,” said another. “Brooks, he fought to cut off funding.” “Mo Brooks was playing politics,” they went on to say, “siding with Nancy Pelosi and the liberals instead of siding with us.”Luther lost me in the primary because of that ad. Instantly.

First, because claiming that Mo Brooks was siding with Nancy Pelosi on anything is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. He’s one of the most consistently conservative voices in Congress. Hit him on whatever else – being a lifelong politician, not jumping on the Trump Train, etc. – but cozying up to liberals? Come on.

Second, they gave those veterans a script that did more than stretch the truth, and then put them on television. I respect those veterans. They’re my brothers-in-arms, but I fear they were manipulated. That turned me from annoyed to angry.

Then later during the run-off, I had to listen to another ad supporting Luther, this time saying how strong he is on the Second Amendment (which indeed he is). But then they had to blow it with another unnecessary jab.

“Roy Moore,” the narrator said, “He’s a little soft on gun rights.”

Luther lost me in the runoff because of that ad. Permanently.

There’s plenty of truthful material to use against Moore, but claiming he’s “soft” on guns was the dumbest thing I had heard since … well … someone said Mo Brooks was in cahoots with Nancy Pelosi. Do they really think we’re that stupid?

Luther’s outside supporters meant well, but they couldn’t have caused a worse reaction with the voters they were seeking to influence. I saw otherwise calm people grow red-faced with anger about those ads.Not because of where they came from. Not because they were negative, per se. But because they were taking cheap shots at well liked, and well known, conservatives.

It seems like Alabamians know Mo Brooks and Judge Moore much better than the people who created those ads. We not only felt they were being unfair to two of our movement’s most unwavering conservatives, they were insulting our intelligence by claiming they were liberals or gun grabbers.

Listen, the organizations that funded those ads are full of dedicated conservatives. Good people. Our people. And the firms that cut those ads have talented and dedicated experts who can produce amazing spots. I’m sure they poll-tested and focused-grouped the language and think all of this criticism is unfounded. Maybe ads like that worked well elsewhere in the past. But the results speak for themselves.

We can, and must, attack our opponents. Early, often, and without rest. But it must be done with integrity. Doing the research, formulating the right argument, and writing clever copy for an honest yet effective attack will be harder, but the result will be much better.

At least do this: Our ad guys should adopt that old saying from the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm.

Lesson 2: Negative ads still work.

Yes, those ads backfired and drove voters away from Luther, but we mustn’t believe that negative ads don’t work at all. They’re proven to be effective when done correctly, and proven to fail when not done at all.

In 2008, Senator John McCain refused to launch negative ads against then-Senator Barrack Obama until it was too late. Four years later Mitt Romney did the same thing. They played nice, and lost. Remember how we complained about that?

Besides, successfully launching and withstanding negative ads during a primary fight also shows us who can throw a punch and who can take a punch. Republicans need proven fighters and tested survivors, or else our candidates will get hammered in the general election by the Democrats (who will attack, and harshly).

Why this would normally matter: Judge Moore proved once again that he could take a punch, probably better than anyone. Steadfast doesn’t begin to describe the man. But since some voters were primarily driven into his camp by the other guy’s campaign ads, did he demonstrate an ability to effectively counterpunch? He’ll need to do that during the general election, and the time for practice has passed.

But why it doesn’t matter at all right now: Judge Moore’s opponent in the general election just said he thinks it should be perfectly legal to abort an unborn baby at any time during pregnancy, even a few minutes before birth. No restrictions. Oh, and taxpayers should fund it, he says. It’s hard to believe that my grandfather’s party nominated this guy. The only question that remains, does Roy Moore want us to still call him “judge” or will “senator” do?

Bottom line: If our future candidates walk away from this primary thinking they shouldn’t use negative ads, then they’ll follow McCain and Romney straight into the loser’s club.

Lesson 3: You’re the candidate, so control your message.

When asked by reporters, Luther would correctly say that he had nothing to do with those ads, they weren’t created or funded by his campaign, and that he couldn’t legally coordinate with the committee that produced them.

That’s all true, legally speaking. But voters still held Luther responsible for the ads because they knew he could have done something. Hearing him claim he was powerless to make them stop seemed rather unbelievable.

A couple of years ago when Congressman Gary Palmer was running for his seat, an outside group came into Birmingham and ran a misleading ad against his opponent. Palmer could have sat by and allowed the ad to continue, and remained within the law, but he made it known publically that he thought the ad was misleading. He didn’t coordinate with the outside group. He simply voiced his distaste with the ad like everyone else.

Guess what? The group heard Palmer loud-and-clear, and they pulled the ad.

Hearing Palmer say that pulled me strongly to his side. Hearing Luther say nothing pushed me further away.

Still, even if it were true that Luther couldn’t say anything to cause those outside groups to pull their insulting ads, what does that say about his ability to influence things on Capitol Hill? It begs the question, if Luther couldn’t get his friends to pull a bad ad that was insulting his voters, then how could we expect him to convince his opponents to repeal a bad law that was harming his state?

How to avoid this: Congressman Palmer showed us the way. The second an outside group strays from a campaign’s messaging strategy or releases a misleading ad, candidates should immediately make their displeasure publically known.

An old soldier once told me that there’s a big difference between a lesson learned and a lesson observed.

We observed these lessons during the past several weeks, but will we truly learn them? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, what other lessons did you take from the primary? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or Twitter.

(“Be bold and courageous.” – Joshua 1:9)

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About the Author: Pepper Bryars is the new editor of Yellowhammer News. Pepper began his career writing for military newspapers while serving in the Alabama Army National Guard. He then became a staff reporter for the Mobile Press-Register, spent time as an aide to then-Congressman and Governor Bob Riley and served as a presidential appointee managing legislative issues for the Defense Department. Pepper was also a strategic communication advisor to U.S. military forces operating in Europe, Africa, and Latin America. He was twice awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Exceptional Public Service, once for service in Baghdad during the early days of the Iraq War and a second time for work at the Pentagon. He is the author of two books and most recently wrote a popular conservative opinion column that was published in the Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register, Huntsville Times, the Mississippi Press and at AL.com.

1
10 months ago

The Movement Roy Moore Rode To Victory

Photo: YouTube video screenshot.
Photo: YouTube video screenshot.

As is now clear to most of America, Roy Moore won last night because a highly motivated, populist base showed its deep disdain for establishment politics.

As I wrote last week,  “It’s a movement fueled by hard-working, patriotic Americans who embraced an American dream that’s turned into a nightmare, and they’re fed up. They’re tired of being told what to do, what to say, what to believe, and how to act.”

Related: All Eyes on Alabama: A Tale of The Swamp

Donald Trump clearly gave voice to this movement a year ago, but the fascinating question of this election is what reenergized it in Alabama?

Was it more Luther Strange’s appointment by Robert Bentley, his association with Mitch McConnell, a combination of both, or is there an even deeper reason? Regarding the Bentley appointment, as State Rep. Paul Beckman told Yellowhammer six weeks ago:

Regarding the Bentley appointment, as State Rep. Paul Beckman told Yellowhammer six weeks ago:

Look, no one is saying this was illegal; it’s a matter of ethics. Luther’s office was in the middle of a criminal investigation of Bentley, so it just doesn’t look good for Bentley to turn around and appoint the man who’s investigating him. He took the appointment under questionable circumstances, and that took the decision out of the hands of the people. The undecided voters in this election represent a larger group than normal and I think that’s one reason why. You have to do what’s right and instead of waiting for it to play out, Luther created the stigma that now hangs over him.

Related: Exclusive: A Behind The Scenes Look At Luther Strange’s Senate Appointment

The other theory is that Strange’s loss was more attributed to the fact that the Senate Leadership Fund—a PAC associated with a beleaguered Mitch McConnell—intervened on Luther’s behalf and that association was his undoing. McConnell is the face of the establishment, and this new American movement would rather sink that ship with a torpedo than polish its brass as it slowly submerges. The sooner the swamp is drained, the better.

While Strange’s association with both Bentley and McConnell played a part in Roy Moore’s victory, an even deeper factor was in play. What Moore’s campaign so masterfully architected was an emotional connection to members of America’s new populist movement—many of whom feel oppressed, forgotten, and unfairly targeted by leaders of a country they’ve believed in and fought for their entire lives. In other words, Moore’s campaign not only tied Luther Strange to the establishment; they brilliantly reflected to their base how Roy and his wife were under attack from that same establishment.

In so doing, Moore created a way for these socially conservative, fiercely independent voters to see themselves in his story.

The association they made is that Roy was under attack from the same status-quo politicians that they’re under attack from every day. This made sense to them on a very personal, emotional level—a level that affects their wallets and their worries. In this way, Roy Moore’s story found deep, personal resonance among an already-devoted base.

For frosting on the cake, this candidate had already shown that he’s willing to lose his job if it means removing the Ten Commandments from the courthouse, and if he’s under attack,  you can better believe they will have his back. For this reason, it’s not a stretch to believe that these negative ads delivered Roy Moore’s victory on a silver platter. The hardworking, devoted people that comprise his voters despise being told what to do by elitists, and last night proved that’s exactly how they viewed this election.

While there’s no way to know what percentage of them turned out last month and again last night, the proof’s in the pudding, so it’s a safe bet that the number is extremely high. While the apathetic majority found better things to do, this unshakable base was going to the polls to vote for their champion, just as they will this fall.

The only question that now remains is, will Roy Moore’s campaign become a template for anti-establishment Republican candidates in the rest of the country or was it unique to Alabama? In other words, can Steve Bannon and the powerful Breitbart engine make Moore’s victory more about giving voice to everyday Americans that despise the establishment than about Robert Bentley and Alabama politics?

One thing is certain, Bannon and company are just getting started, and as of this morning, Roy Moore now has Donald Trump in his corner too. That’s a locomotive that’s not likely to be stopped, at least in Sweet Home Alabama.

1
10 months ago

V.P. Pence in Alabama Tonight To Campaign for Luther Strange

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Birmingham tonight campaigning for incumbent U.S. Senator Luther Strange ahead of tomorrow’s runoff election against Roy Moore.

Pence’s visit comes on the heels of President Trump’s Friday night visit to Huntsville to campaign for Senator Strange.

Related: Trump Stumps Big for Big Luther In Alabama

At that rally, President Trump said:  “Luther wants to end business as usual, stop the insider dealing, and Luther Strange is determined to DRAIN THAT SWAMP.”

“With Luther Strange…you send a fighter to change Washington the way we all know it can be…Together with the great people of Alabama, and your giant in the Senate, we will make America proud again, we will make America rich again, and we will make America great again,” the President said.

In response, Senator Strange said:

“Tonight, it was my honor and privilege to welcome President Trump back to Alabama, where millions of people are proud of his work to Make America Great Again,” said Luther Strange. “From the beginning of my campaign, I have stood with the President to deliver on the promises he made to our great state, and the entire nation, by fixing our broken immigration system, revitalizing our economy, and draining the swamp in Washington.

Looking forward to tonight’s rally with Vice President Pence, Strange added:

“I want to thank President Trump for coming to Alabama tonight and I look forward to having Vice President Mike Pence in Birmingham Monday night. Voters in Alabama value the President and Vice-President’s endorsements and it is their strong support that will lead to a victory for our great state on September 26th.”

Below are the details of tonight’s event.

Tickets: Tickets can be obtained through Eventbrite and are limited to the capacity of the building.

Where: HealthSouth Aviation, 4851 65th Place North, Birmingham, AL 35206

Date: September 25, 2017

Time: Doors open 4:00 PM/Event Begins 7:00 PM

1
10 months ago

Cliff Sims Talks Suits, Winning Streaks, and the Real Donald Trump on the Ford Faction

Special Assistant to the President Cliff Sims and President Donald J. Trump walk down the West Colonnade of the White House toward the West Wing. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
Special Assistant to the President Cliff Sims and President Donald J. Trump walk down the West Colonnade of the White House toward the West Wing. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

On two laughter-filled segments on the Ford Fusion, Yellowhammer founder Cliff Sims breaks it down for the guys, talking suits, championship belts, and what life is really like behind the scenes in the White House.

In one portion of the segment, Sims gives some insight into life as a senior White House staffer, saying:

“When he says things like ‘we’re going to make sure we get good deals for America and we’re going to be taken advantage of anymore,’ it’s not just a talking point…I’ve heard him behind closed doors meeting with foreign leaders, and I see him look ’em in the eye and say, ‘you guys have got to step up here because we’re not going to tote the load for you anymore,’ and I think that takes some of them by surprise because they think they’re in on the joke, like it’s a wink and a nod. No! There’s none of that (with President Trump).”

You’ll hear this and much more on this audio, so don’t miss Cliff Sims on this segment of the Ford Faction. You’re guaranteed to laugh a lot and you’ll definitely be glad you listened!

Click here to listen in a new window.

Cliff Sims Talks Suits, Winning Streaks, and the Real Donald Trump on the Ford Faction

 
 
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Cliff Sims Talks Suits, Winning Streaks, and the Real Donald Trump on the Ford Faction

 
 
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