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Daily News Digest – April 24, 2018

 Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, April 24.

1. What’s next for Pompeo? 

  • Last night, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the nomination of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. It was a narrow vote and only happened because GOP Sen. Rand Paul dropped his opposition and Democratic Sen. Chris Coonsvoted “present.”
  • Committee Chairman Bob Corker hailed Coons for his statesmanship. For voting “present” on a presidential nomination.
  • The nomination proceeds to the Senate, where it should have enough votes to be approved. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana said yesterday they would vote to confirm Pompeo.
  • Read more on that HERE.
  • Still no word from Alabama Sen. Doug Jones. I reached out to his office multiple times yesterday to see if the Senator had reached a decision but did not hear back. Remember the 45Committee super PAC is running ads and doing patch-through robo-calls to sway Jones to support Pompeo’s nomination.
  • The next target of the Trump Resistance Machine is the president’s nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Ronny Jackson. His confirmation hearings might now be delayed.
  • I’ll be the first to say I thought firing David Shulkin was a bad idea. But, presidents get to pick their cabinets secretaries. These aren’t lifetime Supreme Court appointments. The Senate should confirm them unless there is some big terrible problem.
  • Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Report and one of my favorite Capitol Hill reporters summed up the ridiculous state of nomination politics in this tweet:

@amyewalter: So, half of D’s who voted for Pompeo as CIA won’t confirm as SoS. The one R who voted NO is now OK. Seems to me that “policy” isn’t the real issue here….

2. Did Ivey, School Board go against executive order in Superintendent selection?

  • Alabama’s next State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey spent the last seven years advocating on behalf of local school leaders in the Legislature & Congress.
  • That experience affords Mackey perhaps his strongest asset for his new position: working relationships with lawmakers and the state’s 137 local superintendents.
  • It also makes him the dreaded “L” word: a lobbyist.
  • Last year, Gov. Kay Ivey banned registered lobbyists from being appointed to agencies and boards.
  • So, did the Governor and the Board violate this Executive Order by hiring Mackey, who is currently a lobbyist?
  • Probably not. Mackey tells me he is de-registering ASAP to avoid any appearance of conflict and the Governor’s Office says the order doesn’t apply to the School Board.
  • Still, it is a lesson in politicians being careful in how they go about tough-on-corruption stands.
  • Read more HERE.

3. Another bad day at the Waffle House.

  • A few days after the tragic shooting in Tennessee, Waffle House is back in the news, and this time it’s an Alabama location.
  • A black woman was arrested in a Saraland Waffle House after restaurant workers called the cops on her for bringing an alcoholic drink into the restaurant, refusing to leave when asked, and saying she might have a gun.
  • The arrest video is pretty rough, and it’s sparking some outrage on the internet.
  • From AP:

…police in Saraland, a suburb of Mobile, said that they responded when employees called them reporting trouble with a woman who appeared drunk and had been asked to leave for bringing in what employees believed to be alcohol. When they arrived, witnesses told them that Chikesia Clemons had indicated she might have a gun and might shoot people.

  • For its part, Waffle House officials said that, after reviewing security camera footage, they were confident police acted appropriately.
  • Think we’ll get to see that footage?
  • Meanwhile, the gunman who killed four people in a Tennessee Waffle House has been captured after a massive manhunt.

4. Oh no. George H.W. Bush hospitalized. 

  • Former President George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized in Houston for a blood infection.
  • Just days ago Bush greeted as many as 2,500 mourners at the funeral of his wife, Barbara.
  • It’s hard to say how serious his illness is. A spokesman is saying Bush wants to get well and get back to their home in Maine.
  • It just sounds scary because how many stories have you heard about elderly spouses passing away close together like that. Doctors say the stress of losing a loved one can weaken the immune system.
  • Read more HERE.

5. News briefs. 

  • A new Farm Bill is on the move in Congress. It has already made it thought the House Agriculture Committee, and the full House could take a vote by next month. Republicans might want to push it through this year just in case the midterms don’t go well. Reforms/Cuts to the Food Stamp program will cause Dems to dig in to stop/change it. Read more HERE.
  • As many worried, some of the tariffs meant to punish China are hitting closer to home. The Commerce Dept. has more than 2,400 applications from companies needing waivers steel and aluminum import tariffs. Read more HERE.
  • State Sen. Bill Hightower gets the candidate profile treatment from’s John Sharp today. He talks about how 9/11 shaped his political career, his service in the State House, and the challenges of building statewide name recognition in race for governor. Read John’s piece HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Did Gov. Ivey, School Board go against Executive Order in Superintendent vote?

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Pompeo nomination narrowly clears panel, goes to full Senate.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senators considers delaying VA confirmation hearing.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Waffle House slaying suspect arrested after massive manhunt.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Spokesman: President George H.W. Bush hospitalized for blood infection.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Arrest of black woman at Waffle House sparks complaint.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Warden testifies in trial over prisons’ mental health care

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Huntsville city councilman charged with DUI.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER: Kuzma not guilty in harassment case.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER: Downtown library opens after extensive renovations.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Path of reconciliation: A walk through the nation’s first lynching memorial.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Divided town struggles to remember what really happened during 1919 Arkansas killings.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Scarred by interstate, Cottage Hill ready for rebirth with EJI memorial.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Police Chief: termination complete for sergeant arrested on drug, theft charges.

DOTHAN EAGLE – EF-01 tornado confirmed at Fort Rucker. 

AL.COM – Look inside the new lynching museum, opening Thursday in Montgomery.

AL.COM – Jill Biden to visit Mobile for Bishop State graduation.

AL.COM – Waffle House: Information about Alabama woman’s arrest ‘strongly supports’ police actions.

AL.COM – What Alabama can expect from a Google Data Center.

AL.COM – Aviation company hires 50, opens at Birmingham airport.

AL.COM – Yeti cuts ties with NRA; gun group fires back.

GADSDEN TIMES – Millican family urges opposition to Judith Ann Neelley’s parole.

ANNISTON STAR – School choice movement growing nationwide, surveys indicate overwhelming support by voters.

WASHINGTON POST – Columnist Charles Lane:  Red America and blue America depend on each other. That’s how it should be.

WASHINGTON POST – Why did the accused Waffle House shooter get back his guns?

WASHINGTON POST – A woman was tackled by officers at an Alabama Waffle House. Police are defending the arrest.

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