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Daily News Digest – July 5, 2018

Good morning! Hope you had a great Fourth. Wouldn’t you know it, I move away from DC and six months later they book Jimmy Buffett to play two blocks away from my house. Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, July 5.

1. Begun the trade wars have.  

  • American tariffs on some $35 billion of Chinese imports went into effect earlier this morning.
  • China announced it was not going to “fire the first shot” in any trade war, but will likely respond with retaliatory tariffs in the coming days/weeks.
  • Alabama officials – from Gov. Kay Ivey to the Congressional delegation – have been clear and direct in communicating to the Trump administration just how badly some of these tariffs could impact industries in Alabama.
  • Throwing a new wrinkle into this is Greg Canfield, Alabama’s Secretary of Commerce and chief economic developer.
  • Canfield says tariffs not only affect existing industry, but also our ability to recruit new industries. Here’s what he said in an interview with Bloomberg:

“We’ve seen a couple of projects that we’ve been actively working where their timeline has slipped,” Greg Canfield, the state’s secretary of commerce, said in an interview. “The longer this drags out, the more danger there is that we’ll see a real drag on our economy. We’re going to see Alabama lose jobs, and that’s not acceptable.”

2. Abolish ICE?

  • A new rallying cry on the political left is doing away with ICE, or the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency.
  • ICE agents have to do the dirty work of enforcing the nation’s immigration laws, which at times can look unseemly.
  • Calls to abolish the agency completely started with New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand who said on CNN that ICE “has become a deportation force,” and that we should “get rid of it, start over, reimagine it.”
  • The slope from random comment to decided dogma was slippery indeed, and now Democrats are being pressured to take that same position.
  • But they ought to be careful, writes Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post. Calling for abolishing ICE could be a gift to Republicans in a mid-term election year where the battle for control of Congress is very tight.

…calls to eliminate ICE are likely to be perceived as undermining the security of the nation’s borders — and the integrity of the government employees who carry out its mandate, many of whom risk their lives to do so.

That is why wiser Democratic leaders have tried to temper the anti-ICE rhetoric coming from their base…

What’s more, Democrats are making it all too easy for Trump and his allies to falsely portray a call to abolish ICE as another way of clamoring for open borders.

3. What will happen with Medicaid work requirements?

  • Alabama submitted its Medicaid work requirement waiver request to Washington last week.
  • As Mary Sell reports for the Times Daily, officials have extended the so-called “transitional” coverage period from six to 18 months.
  • That means able bodied Medicaid recipients will continue to receive coverage for 18 months if they become ineligible.
  • The change is something of a tacit acknowledgement of a problem inherent with the proposed Medicaid requirement: those who start working could make just enough money to become ineligible for Medicaid but, with fewer employers offering health care these days, lacking alternative health insurance options.
  • Critics like ARISE’s Jim Carnes call extending that coverage gap “cruel,” and the Hospital Association’s Dr. Don Williamson argues it could drive up costs by sending people to emergency rooms.
  • Complicating matters further, a federal judge has blocked Kentucky from going forward with its Medicaid work requirements.
  • Remember: Kentucky expanded Medicaid, so its coverage gap would presumably be much smaller than Alabama’s.
  • Anyway, you really should read Mary’s story in the Times Dailythis morning.

4. Columns

We’ve got some columns that are worth your time this morning.

Skip Tucker has part two of his three-part series on former Congressman Carl Elliot. Skip writes that Elliot was the rare politician who maintained the courage of his convictions, even when the odds were against him.

“Not that he was hopeless. He hoped the truth might shine through the mud. He hoped courage and confidence and truth might overcome bombast and slick political sleights of hand, and he hoped for a groundswell and funding that never came. Figuratively, he was slain.”

Matthew Stokes is back with an Independence Day-themed column. He says we should step back and show some gratitude for all we have, even amid the political rancor.

“Read the news, and lots of it from a wide variety of sources.  Talk to your friends and neighbors. And this year, spend Independence Day enjoying food and drink, sports and family without any concern for owning the liberals or pushing back against the right. Take a day to celebrate to America and work to strengthen her bonds of civility.”

Taylor Dawson of the Alabama Policy Institute also writes about Independence Day, asking and answering, “what does freedom mean to me?”


“It may seem like freedom is being threatened in America, but in reality, freedom is on the move. Do not get discouraged, as I all too often do. This Fourth of July, embrace the freedom given to us by the founders.”

5. News Briefs


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: Show some gratitude for our country’s legacy this July 4th

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Skip Tucker: Carl Elliot and the cost of courage. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Taylor Dawson: What does freedom mean to me? 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS –  Americans celebrate July 4th with fireworks, parades, salutes. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge’s ruling slows plans for Medicaid work requirements. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – China rejects ‘blackmail’ on eve of tariff hike. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former state lawmaker testifies he was paid to oppose EPA. 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge lets challenge to census citizenship query go forward

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS –  Trump continues interviews with Supreme Court candidates.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Krista Johnson: Things you might not know about Montgomery.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Some Montgomery retirees will see shift in health insurance plans.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Kids Count data shows improvement, but Alabama still has far to go for child well-being.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Inconsistent weather leads to stressful growing season for local farmers. 

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – 2 constitutional amendments on ballot.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Work requirement awaits federal approval.

ANNISTON STAR – ‘The incident’:  Mother accuses JSU of protecting athlete from prosecution in daughter’s rape.

ANNISTON STAR – The debate over debates.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Inconsistent weather leads to stressful growing season for local farmers.

AL.COM – From Alabama to Alaska, a divided America celebrates Fourth of July.

AL.COM – The fleeting but spectacular bloom of Alabama’s lotus.

AL.COM – 57 private schools dropped from AAA scholarship program for lack of accreditation.

AL.COM – Levi’s Legacy: Grieving mom turns son’s drowning into mission.

AL.COM – RSA owns a Manhattan skyscraper; Alabama’s tallest bulding.

AL.COM – Alabama man turns 99 this Fourth of July, plans to cast his first vote.

AL.COM – Tariff and trade talk is slowing investments in Alabama, Canfield says.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump’s trade war with China is finally here — and it won’t be pretty, analysts say.

WASHINGTON POST – Liberal Democrats mount campaign against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee by targeting two Republican senators.

WASHINGTON POST – Contributor Jared Bernstein:  The question isn’t when is the next recession is coming; it’s what are we going to do about it.

NEW YORK TIMES – How Trump’s Policy Decisions Undermine the Industries He Pledged to Help

NEW YORK TIMES – ‘Access to Literacy’ Is Not a Constitutional Right, Judge in Detroit Rules

No front pages today 🙁

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