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Daily News Digest – December 28, 2018

Good morning and Happy Friday!
There’s still a few days to run by Crazy Bob’s Fireworks and stock up for New Years, but time’s a wasting.
Here’s your Daily News for December 28.

1. Scoop: Ivey appoints Mendheim.

  • Gov. Kay Ivey has appointed Brad Mendheim to fill the Supreme Court vacancy being created by the election of Tom Parker to Chief Justice.
  • The Governor’s Office confirmed the appointment to Alabama Daily News yesterday evening.
  • It is effective January 14, when new justices are sworn into office.
  • Both Mendheim and Parker are currently Associate Justices on the Alabama Supreme Court.
  • In November, Parker defeated Democratic nominee Bob Vance to win the Chief Justice seat while Mendheim fell short in a primary runoff to Associate Justice-elect Sarah Stewart.
  • Mendheim said he was “humbled” by the confidence Ivey has in him to make the appointment.
  • “Serving on the Alabama Supreme Court has been the greatest professional honor of my life, and I look forward to re-joining Justice Parker and my other colleagues on the court in January,” he said.
  • Full story HERE.


2. Marshall reviewing social media scam.

  • Attorney General Steve Marshall is reviewing whether deceptive social media tactics used in last year’s U.S. Senate race might have violated the law.
  • The Washington Post and New York Times reported last week that a social media researcher mimicked Russian tactics to mislead voters and depress turnout to help Doug Jones defeat Roy Moore.
  • “The impact it had on the election is something that’s significant for us to explore, and we’ll go from there,” Marshall told The Washington Post yesterday.
  • That full story HERE.
Not so fast
  • We’ve been told the effort was a small “experiment” – a $100,000 budget in a campaign that saw more than $50 million spent.
  • However, a new report from Buzzfeed challenges that characterization.
  • NYT reporter Scott Shane attended and spoke at an American Engagement Technologies event in September (which he did not disclose in the story, btw).
  • That’s the group that sponsored “Project Birmingham,” as the effort was known, and the project was discussed at the meeting.
  • “Project Birmingham” was not described as an experiment at all, but rather as “a serious effort to influence 650,000 Alabama voters.”
  • This story is getting some legs.
  • Read Craig Silverman’s full story in Buzzfeed.


3. House punts.

What Happened
  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy advised his GOP Conference that no more votes are expected this year.
  • That all but puts a bow on the 115th Congress and the eight-year GOP control of the House of Representatives.
  • Democrats assume control on January 3rd. It’s possible but highly unlikely that votes could be scheduled before then.
Why it Matters
  • A fourth of the government is still shutdown having not been funded by Congress.
  • The GOP-led House passed a stop-gap funding bill that included $5.7 in border wall funding, but Democrats are blocking it in the Senate.
  • Even if President Trump does reach a deal with Senate Democrats on border security, and any funding bill would have to be approved by the House – a Nancy Pelosi-led Democratic majority House.
What’s Next
  • House Democrats are eager to project an image of responsible governing in contrast to a chaotic White House.
  • In fact, that’s almost exactly what incoming Speaker Pelosi said.
  • “We will vote to swiftly reopen government and show that Democrats will govern responsibly in stark contrast to this chaotic White House.”
  • Media will eat that narrative up, and let’s face it, the president doesn’t do himself any favors with his twitter habits.
  • You’ll start to hear a lot of talk about how the Senate should pass the House’s “clean bill” that doesn’t have wall money.
  • It changes the game for Trump and Senate Republicans because there will presumably be alternative legislation to consider and a legislative body to reckon with.

Read more HERE .


4. Skip Tucker: NOLA New Year’s Shenanigans.

  • We’re in the middle of bowl/playoff season. Auburn plays today and Alabama plays tomorrow.
  • It’s memories of an old Crimson Tide triumph that Skip Tucker writes about today.
  • The 1993 Sugar Bowl victory over Miami inspired many things, including plenty of post-game shenanigans in the city of New Orleans.
  • I’m sure lots of people have stories from that night, and the Walker County contingent is no different.
  • The legendary “DT” and Captain Trav Lee Keaton maybe had a little too much Bama in them that night when they ran into a bunch of Texas cowboys.
  • Here, let Skip tell it.
“Nearly midnight. A cold drizzle. Hours earlier in the Louisiana Super Dome, the Alabama football team had eaten Miami for dinner, and against parlous odds…
“All were enthralled by the win. At some point the adrenaline ambient to victory went straight to the Captain’s fists. Though not a bully, he loved to right perceived wrongs. That was normally a good thing, and this was the very night for it…
“So, on a street named Desire, they encountered a group of lusty young men laughing loudly and long, and boasting about how the Texas Longhorns would make short, bloody slaughter of our heroes’ beloved Crimson Tide…
“‘Start with me then,’ said the Captain to the loudest lout, striding up and shoving him.
“How were our jubilant heroes to know these very men were the recent winners of the featherweight division of the Texas Golden Glove tournament, come to the French Quarter to celebrate?”
  • This is a fun one. Read Skip’s full column HERE.


5. News Briefs.

Tribal sports betting
  • This year’s court decision allowing states to regulate sports betting had myriad upshots.
  • One is for American Indian casinos, particularly those in the South where lots of people bet on college football.
  • AP’s Reginia Cano goes to Mississippi to look at how the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is attempting to expand into the world of sports betting. It not as easy or as cut and dry as you might think, she writes.
  • Full story HERE.
California wants primary love
  • California is moving up its presidential primary date in an effort to lure candidates to take the state more seriously.
  • Early voting in California’s primary will now overlap with the traditional early nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
  • That could force the sprawling field of 2020 Democrat hopefuls to navigate California’s notoriously complex and expensive.
  • Looking past 2020, it would also force Republican presidential hopefuls to contend with a more moderate electorate early on.
  • That full story HERE.
Oil & gas boom fuels growth
  • The ongoing boom of oil and gas production in the United States is fueling global energy growth.
  • From AP: “When Congress lifted restrictions on shipping crude oil overseas in 2015, soon after the Obama administration opened the doors for international sales of natural gas, even the most boosterish of Texas oil men wouldn’t have predicted the U.S. could become one of the world’s biggest fossil-fuel exporters so quickly.”
  • Some environmentalists are worried about a corresponding effect on the climate, while some researchers say new technologies Shale and Liquified Natural Gas can actually reduce global emissions.
  • Full story HERE.


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ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey appoints Mendheim to Supreme Court vacancy
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marshall to review if Senate social media scam violated law
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Skip Tucker: DT, the Captain, and NOLA New Years Shenanigans
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – GOP punts shutdown into new year as Dems set to take majority
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – American fossil fuel exports fuel growth
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Indian casinos across US wary of betting on sports books
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – California maneuvers to make bigger impact in 2020 election
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New study shows long-term benefits of First Class Pre-K
AL.COM – Disinformation campaign targeting Roy Moore’s Senate bid may have violated law, Alabama AG says
AL.COM – President Trump’s Iraq visit includes dose of Roll Tide
AL.COM – Trio arrested trying to smuggle drugs, other contraband into Alabama prison, authorities say
AL.COM – U.S. to place Alabama fish on endangered species list
AL.COM – In ‘desperation,’ niece of Larry Langford turns to Kim Kardashian for help in getting his release
AL.COM – Former Alabama Pre-K students score better in reading, math
AL.COM – ALDOT director says ‘dangerous situation’ led him to back bridge
AL.COM – Comedian Roy Wood Jr. embraces role as an Alabama ambassador
AL.COM – 1 dead, 2 hospitalized after fire at Center Point apartment complex
AL.COM – Billingsley man killed in Autauga County crash
AL.COM – 1 injured in fire at vacant Birmingham apartments
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Ethics revision commission could give legislators multiple choices
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Retiring AUM economist sizes up a different impact: His own
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Storms to bring rain, flooding to Montgomery through New Year’s Day
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Police investigating Christmas day homicide
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Hurts speaks: Beloved Alabama backup QB says ‘story is far from over’
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Study: Benefits for Alabama’s First Class Pre-K students do not ‘fade out’ over time
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Iron Tribe Fitness helps Alabamians get in shape with the 2019 6 Week Challenge
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – AG Marshall exploring whether Democrats’ ‘Russian tactics’ in Jones election may have broken state law
DOTHAN EAGLE – After moving to Dothan to help keep Judaism alive there, a couple has second thoughts
DOTHAN EAGLE – Eufaula mom delivers Christmas baby in SUV as husband drives them to Southeast Health
DOTHAN EAGLE – Top 10 of 2018: Schools, authorities deal with threats
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – ROUNDUP: Bryant, Sipsey Valley advance to DJ White Holiday tourney finals
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Ex-district attorney Charley Freeman dies at 80
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Northport City Council fills District 3 seat
DECATUR DAILY – Police: Man hit woman in head with baseball bat
DECATUR DAILY – Penn Hamburgers finds a new location on edge of downtown, may reopen in April
DECATUR DAILY – Good Deeds Person of the Year: Anita Skinner gives of ‘time, money and talent’
TIMES DAILY – Tuscumbia approves fiscal 2019 budget
TIMES DAILY – Stores experience after-Christmas rush
TIMES DAILY – Blotter Briefs 12-27-18
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Armory getting $2.9M upgrade
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Made your resolutions yet?
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – IN HONOR OF CARLIE; Wagon drive for Children’s is huge success
TROY MESSENGER – Council approves interim financing for Kimber
TROY MESSENGER – Year in Review: Patriots’ state championship highlights exciting 2018 baseball season
TROY MESSENGER – Storms expected throughout year’s end
THE ANNISTON STAR – Several picked up for alcohol-related offenses over holiday
THE ANNISTON STAR – Cleburne undefeated: Junior high girls team hasn’t lost a game in two years
GADSDEN TIMES – Frios Gourmet Pops sells in multi-million dollar deal
GADSDEN TIMES – Gadsden City pulls away from Westbrook 72-54 in Classic semifinals
GADSDEN TIMES – Etowah holds off Southside 71-63 to reach Classic title game
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – AHSAA Super 7 brings $600K in hotel revenue
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Opelika police search for suspect who tried to use stolen credit card
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Malzahn brings new intensity to bowl practices after taking over play-calling
CULLMAN TIMES – Federal workers face grim prospect of lengthy shutdown
CULLMAN TIMES – Cullman business owners named to state retail board
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Winners named in Pelham’s Christmas lights display contest
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Annual Polar Plunge set for Jan. 19
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Local cities among ‘lowest cost of living’ in state
THE MADISON RECORD – Mill Creek students practice top-notch social skills ahead of national ‘Amazing Shake’ competition
THE MADISON RECORD – Girl Scouts volunteer with American Legion for Wreaths Across America
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Make-a-Wish helps girl to visit Disney World
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Garbage cans, paper boxes set on fire in Heritage Hills
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Jones calls for new attitude in dealing with addicts
NEW YORK TIMES – With No Votes Scheduled, a Government Shutdown Will Greet the Democratic House
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Unites Left and Right Against Troop Plans, but Puts Off Debate on War Aims
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Iraq Visit Is Called a Political Rally
WASHINGTON POST – A Russian bank gave Marine Le Pen’s party a loan. Then weird things began happening.
WASHINGTON POST – Are fertility drugs safe? The industry says yes; critics worry they’re overprescribed.
WASHINGTON POST – As police struggle to solve homicides, Baltimore residents see an ‘open season for killing’
USA TODAY – Government shutdown, Day 7: With no movement in House, Senate until next week, standoff expected to slide into new year
USA TODAY – Winter Storm Eboni drives blizzard warnings across Midwest; at least 2 dead
USA TODAY – After saying cigars and whiskey were among his secrets to longevity, nation’s oldest World War II vet dies at 112
POLITICO – ‘What Obama had, he has that’: Jeffries’ stock rises as Pelosi successor
POLITICO – Michael Cohen denies report alleging his cellphone was traced near Prague in 2016
POLITICO – New York City transformer explosion lights up sky, social media

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