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Daily News Digest – June 12, 2018

Good morning!  Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, June 12, 2018. 

1. “Extraordinary”

That’s the word that keeps being used to describe President Donald Trump’s whirlwind summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

It’s true. From the photo ops taken to the promises made, this ordeal is anything but ordinary.

What happened?

  • Trump and Kim met for an hour privately.
  • They then concluded the nuclear summit Tuesday by signing a joint document with Trump pledging unspecified “security guarantees” and Kim recommitting to the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
  • Among the concessions: the US/South Korea are going to chill with the war games; North Korea is going to send home remains of soldiers that died in the Korean War;

What does it mean?

  • Like many episodes of the Trump Show, this one is tough to figure out.
  • Is it naive to be really optimistic and think Trump is destined to achieve something truly historic here? Maybe.
  • Is it too cynical to be really pessimistic and think that Trump’s overtures are doomed to fail just like those of his predecessors? Maybe.
  • Either way, the president is going for it and we are now committed to Korean peace and reconciliation in an unprecedented fashion.
  • For what it’s worth, I think President Trump relishes in / is motivated by media types and politicians doubting him. That’s good.

Read more

  • Trump to Hannity: Kim Jong Un to start denuclearization ‘virtually immediately’
  • Texas National Security Review: Marching Toward a U.S.-North Korea Summit: The Historical Case for Optimism, Pessimism, and Caution
  • Reuters: U.N. nuclear watchdog ready to help with North Korea verification.

2. Scoop: Senate Shenanigans threaten Alabama rocket maker. 

  • The Senate is preparing to take up the National Defense Authorization Act, which sets policy and authorizes spending levels for the Pentagon.
  • BUT, a small and highly unusual provision tucked into the bill could spell trouble for Alabama-based rocket maker United Launch Alliance.
  • It would prohibit Mike Griffin, the Pentagon’s chief space technician, from having a say in Department of Defense space policy.
  • Why would someone want to prohibit the Pentagon’s chief space technician from having a say in space policy? Because as the former NASA Administrator, Griffin is thought to prefer the launch capabilities of United Launch Alliance – a Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture.
  • The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee – Sen. John McCain – is a big supporter of ULA’s competitor, SpaceX.
  • McCain is in Arizona undergoing treatment for brain cancer (God bless him), so this is most likely shenanigans from staff.
  • But, it’s a big deal, especially considering ULA employs more than 600 Alabamians in Decatur and supports many more jobs throughout North Alabama.
  • Read my full story HERE.

3. Voter purge?

  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Ohio’s process to remove inactive voters from the registration rolls does not run afoul of the Constitution or federal laws aimed at securing voting rights.
  • This has a lot of voting rights groups upset. Where do you draw the line between a necessary culling to clean up voter rolls and a punitive purge aimed to tamp down turnout?
  • Alabama also has a process to purge its voter rolls. Alabama Daily News contributing writer Will Whatley took a look at how that might be affected by this ruling and what Secretary of State John Merrill had to say about it.

4. Campaign trail. 

Attorney General

Lieutenant Governor

  • Will Ainsworth is doubling down on his campaign for Lt. Gov. He has loaned his campaign another $500,000, much of which I’m told will go toward an increased advertising buy in South Alabama. By my count, that’s $1.1 million in personal funds now invested by Ainsworth.
  • Twinkle Cavanaugh has relied on traditional fundraising, which her campaign says continues to go well and will provide her with the resources to be up on broadcast, cable & radio throughout the runoff. Here campaign says their strengths lie in Central and South Alabama, where other runoffs will push voters out.

Congress AL-2

There are indications that top Republicans, including Mr. Trump, are preparing to try to defuse the situation, at least in this race. At the urging of Paul D. Ryan, speaker of the House, Vice President Mike Pence nearly interceded on Ms. Roby’s behalf in the primary. But after deliberating with top aides until nearly the day of the vote, he held off, because Mr. Trump had not decided whether to forgive Ms. Roby and did not offer his own public endorsement. Republican officials now believe that both Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence will endorse her in the runoff.

  • Whoa.
  • I had heard some whispers about this (not from Team Roby btw) but it wasn’t nearly solid enough to speculate in writing.
  • Blinder went there in the NYT, which says something.
  • Read his full story HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Scoop: Senate shenanigans threaten Alabama rocket maker.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Security guarantees,’ ‘ denuclearization’ promised after Trump-Kim summit.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Voter purge? What the Supreme Court’s Ohio ruling could mean for Alabama.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supreme Court allows Ohio, others state voter purges.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Democrats test liberal messages in midterm House elections.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Director NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center set to retire.  

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marshall testifies to Congress about Census lawsuit.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former Franklin County official sentenced to 20 years on ethics charges.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Opelika-Auburn News publisher leaving for job in Missouri

WSFA – Doctors in Alabama decreasing the number of opioid prescriptions they write.

DOTHAN EAGLE – At 18, new Geneva County commissioner-elect Weston Spivey one of state’s youngest elected officials.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Don’t be alarmed by that burning cross.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Do conservatives face a double standard? Yes, and we should.

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Is Alabama really ready for a gambling expansion?

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS  – Leader of Huntsville non-profit determined to beat the odds.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Lauderdale County man headed to U.S. Special Olympics.

FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Program gives educators up-close look at technical skills and jobs.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Despite odds, Walt Maddox a formidable candidate.

ANNISTON STAR – Farmers unclear what to make of Trump’s turn on subsidies.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Director of Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama retiring.

AL.COM – Alabama’s famous rockets need some help to stay on display.

AL.COM – Sessions: Abuse, gang violence victims generally will not qualify for asylum.

AL.COM – Alabama Toyota plant could hurt endangered fish, suit claims.

AL.COM – Growing number of Americans support the death penalty.

AL.COM – Alabama man awarded multi-million-dollar verdict against credit reporting agency.

AL.COM – Contributor John Meredith:  Trump policies test Republican loyalty.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump-Kim summit: Trump says U.S. will end its ‘war games’ with South Korea.

WASHINGTON POST – Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump made at least $82 million in outside income last year while serving in the White House, filings show.

WASHINGTON POST – Supreme Court upholds Ohio’s way of removing infrequent voters from rolls.

NEW YORK TIMES – Even a Whiff of Disloyalty to Trump Can Imperil a G.O.P. Incumbent

NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Says Kim Jong-un Sees Shared Path After Historic Talk

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