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Daily News Digest – August 7, 2018

Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, August 7, 2018.

1. Trump slaps Iran w/ sanctions.

What happened

  • President Trump has put strict economic sanctions against Iran back into effect.
  • The sanctions – which target financial transactions, commercial planes and automobiles, and gold – had been eased under the nuclear deal reached by President Obama.
  • Trump did not like the Iranian nuclear deal and says it left the country flush with cash to fund terrorism and spread unrest in the Middle East.

Why It Matters

  • Iran is having some trouble right now. Their economy is in the middle of a downturn and there is increasing pressure on the Rouhani regime.
  • There have been protests in the street amid frustration over the economy and the regime’s support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
  • Officially, the U.S. is saying the sanctions are not aimed at regime change, but it looks like some wouldn’t be all that sad if it happened.

What’s next

  • Trump has offered to negotiate a new nuclear deal. That’s the carrot to the sanctions’ stick.
  • National Security Advisor John Bolton told Fox News that “if Iran were really serious they’d come to the table. We’ll find out whether they are or not.”
  • “They could take up the president’s offer to negotiate with them, to give up their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs fully and really verifiably,” he said.
  • Also, if the past is any indication, Iran will turn to its ally Russia to continue doing business amid the sanctions. That could get interesting.

Read more HERE.

2. This seems like a bad idea. 

  • Facebook wants banks to give them customers’ financial information – like card transactions and account balances – in order to help “offer new services” and get us to “spend more time on messenger.”
  • Every part of that sentence is offensive and terrifying.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook has pitched the idea to JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and US Bank. At least one of the banks walked away due to privacy concerns (I hope that was my bank.)
  • So the same company that faced a Congressional investigation for allowing Cambridge Analytica to mine political data without user consent and is basically always being hacked by the Russians wants our bank account info.
  • Facebook says the story is overblown and that this kind of stuff is normal. Color me skeptical.
  • Read more in WSJ or watch this segment on CBNC.

3. A new interstate through Alabama?

4. Confirmation bias.

  • That’s a play on words.
  • The political battle over Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is heating up in Washington.
  • Democrats might successfully delay the confirmation vote into October if they can make enough noise about getting access to White House documents.
  • In my column this week, I wrote about how that might be trouble for some red state Democrats up for election this year.
  • Sen. Doug Jones isn’t one of those, but he has a target on his back for 2020.
  • I also speculated that Congressman Bradley Byrne, Alabama Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Glenn Murdock, and Congressman Gary Palmer are some of the ones watching Jones’ vote very closely with eye on the future.
  • Read and share my column HERE.
  • Sean Ross, a recent campaign alum who is now writing for YellowHammer, went whole hog into speculation mode previewing which Republicans might consider a 2020 Senate run.
  • He has interesting names like Roby, Merrill, Battle and others. Read his whole piece HERE.

5. News briefs.

Rocket City profiled

  • Huntsville got the national profile treatment from the Associated Press this week.
  • Areospace writer Marcia Dunn took a deep dive into the past and present of space tourism in the Rocket City. These type stories get published all over the country, including in tourism magazines.
  • It is a fun and worthwhile read this morning.

No voter fraud follow up

  • Kris Kobach, whom President Trump appointed to run a voter fraud task force, never got back with the ALGOP after it agreed to submit election information.
  • So, they never submitted it.
  • The Montgomery Advertiser’s Brian Lyman talked to ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan for his exclusive story, which you can read HERE.

Election Day

  • Speaking of Kris Kobach, he’s on the ballot today trying to win the GOP nomination for Kansas governor.
  • It’s one of several election contests throughout the country. Missouri, Ohio, Iowa and Washington all have elections.
  • Read up on those Election Day storylines courtesy of our old friend, Bill Barrow HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump: Sanctions reinstated against Iran for “world peace”

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stacy column: Shelby and Jones take different approaches to Supreme Court nomination.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Rocket City, Alabama: Space history and an eye on the future.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – WHAT TO WATCH: Primaries test GOP, Democratic identities.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – A new interstate for Alabama? Proposed I-14 would link five states.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gates admits crimes with and embezzlement from Manafort

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Isner says Russians tried hacking website.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama GOP chair: Kobach commission never followed up on voter record request.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Hyundai rolls out record donation to Montgomery schools.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Contributor Lecia Brooks:  The unfinished work of the Voting Rights Act

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Southern Union State Community College: New president hopes to help build school a stronger future.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – 15 states side with Nevada in drugmaker delay of execution.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Dothan City Commission could approve contracts to install walking and biking trail near Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine Tuesday.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Military families should have exemption from public school tuition.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Who’s running? Previewing Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate Election.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Dale Jackson: Alabama’s government wasted their summer break and did nothing on school safety.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Study forecasts job gains from tax cuts — but proportionately less in Alabama than elsewhere.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Narcan training is like an insurance policy.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – No, President Trump, this is not a witch hunt.

ANNISTON STAR – Jacksonville schools faculty undertake new active shooter response training.

AL.COM – A new interstate for Alabama? Proposed I-14 would link 5 states.

AL.COM – It’s no Star Wars fantasy: Alabama is helping Army build battlefield laser.

AL.COM – Martha Roby challenger Tabitha Isner says Russians tried to hack her website 1,300 times.

AL.COM – 30 safest school districts in Alabama.

AL.COM – Tommy Battle makes 1st trip to White House, says meetings ‘enlightening’

AL.COM – Church complaint against Sessions dismissed.

AL.COM – Mercedes-Benz is having a record sales year.

WASHINGTON POST – Kris Kobach used flawed research to defend Trump’s voter fraud panel, experts say.

WASHINGTON POST – In expensive cities, rents fall for the rich — but rise for the poor.

WASHINGTON POST – Rocket City, Alabama: Space history and an eye on the future.

WASHINGTON POST – The share of Republicans who think there’s a lot of discrimination is plummeting.

NEW YORK TIMES – Judge in AT&T Case Ignored ‘Economics and Common Sense,’ Government Says.

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