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Daily News Digest – April 26, 2018

 Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, April 26.

1. Pompeo to pass w/ Jones vote; Jackson bows out.

  • Once somewhat in doubt, the nomination of Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State is poised to pass TODAY. He is currently CIA Director and was formerly a congressman from Kansas.
  • Alabama’s Sen. Doug Jones will vote YES. After meeting with Pompeo, Jones said “I believe he has the skills required to meet the weighty and urgent demands facing our State Department today.”
  • Meanwhile, President Trump’s nominee to lead the VA – White House physician Ronny Jackson – has withdrawn from consideration.
  • We’re going to need a Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
  • Read more on that HERE.

2. Kayne & Trump, BFF.

  • Kanye West blew up Twitter yesterday in a series of tweets expressing his admiration of, and kinship and likemindedness with President Trump.
  • President Trump thanked him for the kind words and even gave him a MAGA to go along with his autographed hat.
  • Predictably, liberals FREAKED out while conservatives suddenly became Kanye fans.
  • This is the same Kanye West that said after Hurricane Katrina that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” 
  • Think about the juxtaposition of Bush and Trump on race for a minute and that will really blow your mind.
  • So, is this a turning point for Trump and the GOP? Will Kanye’s MAGA-ism turn millennial and black voters into Trump voters?
  • Lol, no.
  • By today, Kayne might change his mind and denounce the president. I see what he is doing as art. Weird twitter art, but art nonetheless.
  • This is GREAT for the free expression of ideas, though. Our culture has grown increasingly totalitarian in demanding conformity to the politically correct.
  • It’s not just uncool to support Trump or understand where he is coming from, it’s wrong and dangerous. See: Shania Twain.
  • Good for Kayne for challenging that ridiculousness.

3. Memorial opens today; big weekend planned.

  • The National Memorial for Peace and Justice opens in Montgomery today.
  • This is the ambitious project by the Equal Justice Initiative to document and memorialize the more than 4,000 victims of lynching from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement.
  • The memorial’s opening and corresponding festivities are bringing a lot of celebrities to town and casting a lot of national attention on Montgomery and the state.
  • The riverfront concert Friday will feature Dave Matthews Band, Usher, Common, John Legend, and a VERY special guest I’m not supposed to tell anybody about.
  • The Montgomery Advertiser has continued its focused and just very good work looking at the history of lynchings in Alabama and beyond. Get into that series and see the photos HERE. (And don’t miss the Advertiser front page below.)
  • This was included in yesterday’s headlines, but I want to recommend Campbell Robertson’s New York Times piece on the memorial to you. Campbell is an Alabama native who covers the South for the Times and his story paints a good picture of what the memorial is like for those who can’t come visit for themselves.

4. Mick Mulvaney steps in it. 

  • Former South Carolina Congressman and Freedom Caucus leader Mick Mulvaney has been a rising star in the Trump Administration.
  • Many believe the president wants to make him the new Chief of Staff to replace John Kelley.
  • Maybe not so much anymore, though.
  • Mulvaney was quoted telling a group of bankers this:

We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress. If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.

  • Man, what a dumb thing to say. Every Member of Congress is simultaneously muttering, “Speak for yourself, Mulvaney.”
  • The thing is, that might have been true for Mulvaney and could be true of other Congressmen, but it certainly isn’t for all of them.
  • Of course money talks in politics. Politicians want to get reelected and that takes funding. But, making contact with a congressman subject to campaign contributions is against the law and also very stupid politically.
  • Many in the Capitol were relieved to see Mulvaney go to the Administration because at least Congress could be free of his unhelpful antics in the Freedom Caucus (constant shutdown threats, torpedoing the farm bill, etc.)
  • With this gaffe and impending budget cuts that could upend the appropriations process in an election year, it looks like Mulvaney is the gift that keeps on giving!

5. News briefs. 

  • From Rueters: “The Trump Administration is preparing to submit to the U.S. Congress up to $25 billion in immediate spending cuts, including possible reductions to social safety net programs, lawmakers said on Wednesday, in a move that could upend a budget deal enacted last month.” Read more HERE.
  • Birmingham minister Scott Dawson gets the profile treatment from today for his campaign for governor. Dawson has performed really well in the recent debates and many people see his star on the rise in this primary. Read that story from Greg Garrison HERE.
  •’s Mike Cason profile the GOP primary in AL-2, where incumbent Rep. Martha Roby is facing a crowded field of challengers.  His story HERE.
  • President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen plans to assert his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self incrimination in the matter of Stormy Daniels. So much for talk of Cohen “flipping” on Trump. Read that story HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lynching memorial now open to the public.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New Ivey ad touts economic gains, cleaning up ‘mess’

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ainsworth airs introductory ad with $1 million buy. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ronny Jackson withdraws from consideration from VA chief.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: VA pick denies allegations he crashed car while drunk.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Trump’s travel ban likely to be upheld by Supreme Court, justices indicate.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Oh Yeezus: Trump and Kanye exchange twitter love.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Harper Lee lawyer seeks to block lawsuit over ‘Mockingbird production’

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – An era of terror: Montgomery family remembers father’s lynching, legacy.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Volunteers dig up the past, collect soil from lynching sites for EJI museum.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Contributor Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange:  Memorial to lynching victims looks to nation’s past, and its future.

DECATUR DAILY – Lawsuit, no charges in wreck involving former state law enforcement chief Collier.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Pickens County celebrates new career center for students.

BIRMINGHAM BUSINESS JOURNAL – Alabama ranks near bottom for children’s health.

AL.COM – Birmingham region has seen $4 billion in investment since 2011.

AL.COM – Doug Jones intends to vote to confirm Mike Pompeo as secretary of state.

AL.COM – Alabama passed state coal ash rules: What’s in them?

AL.COM – Al Gore, Gloria Steinem to speak at Montgomery’s ‘Peace and Justice’ summit.

AL.COM – James Fields calls out Maddox campaign over Cobb heckling.

AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald:  Alabama is a government run on duct tape.

AL.COM – Evangelist Scott Dawson runs for governor on character, leadership.

AL.COM – Martha Roby draws crowded field in bid for fifth term in Congress.

AL.COM – How the Alabama Democratic governor’s debate produced ‘more fireworks’ than usual.

WASHINGTON POST – Michael Cohen to invoke Fifth Amendment right in Stormy Daniels case

WASHINGTON POST – HUD Secretary Ben Carson to propose raising rent for low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies.

WASHINGTON POST – Sessions says Trump has power to pardon anyone without consulting the Justice Dept.

NEW YORK TIMES – Mulvaney, Watchdog Bureau’s Leader, Advises Bankers on Ways to Curtail Agency

NEW YORK TIMES – Fed Officials Worry the Economy Is Too Good. Workers Still Feel Left Behind.

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