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Daily News Digest – August 17, 2018

Good morning and Happy Friday! Here’s your Daily News for August 17, 2018.

1. Aretha. 

Aretha Franklin has died, and we’ve lost a treasure.

She was simply the best.

Here are some memorable performances I recommend you play as you read the rest of your news.


2. Just to confirm. 

  • Don’t look now, but President Donald Trump and the United States Senate are reshaping the federal judiciary.
  • On Thursday, the Senate confirmed the 25th and 26th Trump-appointed appellate judges.
  • Of course, Trump’s second Supreme Court justice is awaiting confirmation this fall.
  • If he wins a second term, Trump could select as many as four Supreme Court justices.
  • From the Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan:

The GOP-controlled Senate has been approving appellate court judges at a rapid pace, already setting a record for the most confirmed during a president’s first two years in office. After the confirmation of the two nominees, Republicans highlighted the fact that Trump has chosen one out of seven appeals court judges.

The GOP is installing jurists favored by conservatives who are likely to influence decisions on immigration, voting rights, abortion and the environment for decades.

  • That Mitch McConnell. Such a RINO.


A Message from Leverage Public Strategies

Blake Harris and his team at Leverage Public Strategies recently notched major wins in some of the most consequential primary races:

  • U.S. Rep. Martha Roby’s impressive 67% runoff win;
  • Bill Lee’s campaign from political newcomer to GOP nominee for Tennessee Governor; and
  • State Senate candidate Garlan Gudger, who was the only GOP challenger to defeat an incumbent Senator in Alabama’s primary.

Leverage is establishing itself as the “go-to” consulting firm for candidates wanting to get ahead in the highly-targeted analytics and online advertising game.

If you’re looking to take your campaign strategy to the next level, give Blake a shout: [email protected].



3. Alabama is ground zero in opioid legal fight.

  • Pharmaceutical giant Perdue Pharma is trying to get Alabama’s opioid case thrown out of federal court.
  • Part of the reason why is our case was chosen as the test case for the whole country, Attorney General Steve Marshall says.
  • Cleveland-based U.S. District Judge Dan A. Polster is handling a multi-state lawsuit alleging that Perdue and other pharma companies created an oversupply of highly-addictive opioid drugs and pressured doctors to over-prescribe them.
  • In terms of the stakes, think Big Tobacco and the Florida lawsuit.

“If it goes to trial, it will go to trial in Alabama,” [Marshall] said. “We’re not trying this case in Cleveland.”


4. What’s the clearance, Clarance? 

  • You probably heard that President Trump stripped former CIA Director John Brennan of his Top Secret security clearance this week.
  • But, he might not stop there.
  • Trump is reportedly considering doing the same for a dozen or so officials who are cooperating with the Mueller Russia probe, including former FBI Director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
  • The lede:

President Trump has told advisers that he is eager to strip more security clearances as part of an escalating attack against people who have criticized him or played a role in the investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, two White House officials said.

  • Axios reports that the president is increasingly interested in using the unilateral powers he has as commander-in-chief  on things like this.
  • To paraphrase and completely misrepresent Lyndon Johnson, what in the world is the presidency for if you’re not going to use it?


5. A little pigskin, why not?

We are TWO WEEKS from college football.

I’m pretty excited. I know you are, too.

So, just because it’s a Friday, here are some football headlines…



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Huntsville hospital announces $150 million expansion. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Hayden tent collapse injures 12 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Teacher held on child porn charges also a foster parent. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawsuit filed over pipeline explosion death. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 74-year-old Alabama woman grabs man by his ‘weak spot’ to fend off attack. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama planning extensive renovations to stadium, coliseum. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stidham, Auburn aiming for repeat SEC West title and more 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Saban, Bama seek title with old challenges, new faces.  

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – A look inside: Georgia Washington Middle School transforms into Pike Road High School. 

DOTHAN EAGLE – U.S. Rep. Martha Roby says comprehensive approach needed when making plans for interstates – and that could include an I-10 Connector.

DECATUR DAILY – Comptroller: Sheriffs must promise not to pocket inmate-food money, or state won’t pay.

DECATUR DAILY – No speedy trial for Ed Henry, Decatur doctor.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – FAME, Swampers played big role in Aretha Franklin’s career.

ANNISTON STAR – Democrat stumps through dog days in Senate campaign.

ANNISTON STAR – The good things in the 3rd District.

AL.COM – Federal appeals court reverses decision involving Jefferson County bankruptcy case.

AL.COM – ‘BlacKkKlansman’: For Alabama woman, story rings true.

AL.COM – West Nile virus, Zika in Alabama: How to protect yourself.

AL.COM – Alabama on hot seat in national opioid litigation talks.

AL.COM – These fees and taxes are going up in counties across Alabama.

AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson:  Alabama Dem leader Joe Reed on Doug Jones’ failed power move: “George Wallace tried it, too”.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump gears up to strip more clearances from officials tied to Russia investigation.

WASHINGTON POST  – Pentagon may delay Trump’s military parade, originally slated for November, to next year.

WASHINGTON POST – Columnist Catherine Rampell:  Free-speech conservatives, this is your call to arms.

WASHINGTON POST – EpiPen shortage raises alarm for parents as kids head back to school.

WASHINGTON POST – Zinke said he would never sell public land.

WASHINGTON POST – Despite year-of-the-woman buzz, female candidates lag behind men in drawing in campaign cash.

NEW YORK TIMES – U.S. Banks Teach Financial Literacy With Hands-On Experience

NEW YORK TIMES – Revoking Clearance, Trump Aims Presidential Power at Russia Inquiry

NEW YORK TIMES – Melania Trump, a Mysterious First Lady, Weathers a Chaotic White House.

NEW YORK TIMES – The Costs of Motherhood Are Rising.

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