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Daily News Digest – November 19, 2018

PRESENTED BY the Stop The HIT Coalition

Good morning! President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address 155 years ago today . Here’s your Daily News for Monday, November 19.

1. ???? at the Cliff Sims’ book cover.

  • You may have heard that Cliff Sims has written a book.
  • The YellowHammer founder turned Trump aide is the latest White House official to tell their story from inside the storm.
  • Politico first reported the rumor on Friday, and today we have a first look at the art and general scope of the book.
  • “Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House” is due on bookshelves January 29.
  • One of Cliff’s duties as Director of White House Message Strategy was to sit in on meetings and take meticulous notes so that the communications team could be prepared respond to rumors, leaks or accusations. Those notes, coupled with his special access to Trump and other key leaders, resulted in a unique narrative that fetched a seven-figure guarantee from publishers.
  • It’s not an Omarosa-style dump on Trump story, but others in the White House might get lit up. I mean the title says it all.
  • Now Axios’ Mike Allen and the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman have stories as well.
  • Read more HERE.

2. Florida is done.



  • At long last, Florida’s election is over.
  • Rick Scott is Senator-elect and Ron DeSantis will be the Governor.
  • Their respective opponents conceded over the weekend after it became apparent that recounts were not likely to improve the Democratic vote count.
  • That puts the GOP Senate majority at 52, a Mississippi win away from 53. That’s an improvement for Republicans, but hardly what they wanted or expected given a historically-favorable map.
  • How did Republicans win Florida in a year in which Democrats won almost every other swing state? Taxes for one. Democrat Andrew Gillum promised to raise taxes to pay for new programs, forgetting that many people move to Florida specifically to avoid high taxes.
  • One other important reason (and one Republicans nationwide should pay attention to) is the Florida GOP’s appeal to Latino voters.
  • Exit polls show Scott won 45 percent of the Latino vote. For the rest of the GOP nation wide, that was more like 20.
  • You might hear a lot more about this stat over the next two years.

A Message from the Stop The HIT Coalition

  • Sen. Doug Jones: Don’t let Alabama small businesses and middle-class families get sacked by the 2020 Health Insurance Tax.
  • Absent immediate action, the 2020 Health Insurance Tax will begin penalizing hardworking Alabamians on January 1, 2020 by driving up their cost of care as much as $450.
  • Sen. Jones can help score lower premiums for Alabama’s 765,000 small business employees by supporting bipartisan legislation (S. 3063) to block the HIT in 2020.
  • Ask Sen. Jones to help take S. 3063 to the end zone and support legislation to stop the 2020 Health Insurance Tax.


3. Senate stalemate.


4. Matthew Stokes: On Straight Ticket Voting.

  • Matthew Stokes is back this week with some thoughts on straight-ticket voting.
  • Some Alabama pundits have decried the practice of allowing voters fill in one bubble for ALL Republicans or ALL Democrats.
  • This is a ballot feature originally set up decades ago by the Democrats to help keep them in power. Ironically, it now helps Republicans maintain power.
  • Even so, Stokes says many of the criticisms are off-base. Here’s an excerpt:
“Too many in our media and other circles cannot imagine that anyone would vote for the GOP at every level. I agree that voting in this way may be unwise, but it doesn’t render the voter stupid. I did not vote a straight ticket in this most recent election, and I have to admit it was a bit tedious.
“I will also pause to note that it’s rich to read writers suggest that things ought to be more difficult at the ballot box when most pundits have fainted at the mere mention of an ID or address verification on election day. All the same, it is unhelpful in tone, if not in substance, to suggest that straight ticket voting is a matter of stupidity.”
  • Read Matthew Stokes’ full column HERE.

5. News Briefs.

Bridge building
  • Transportation officials in Alabama have gotten plenty of opinions, pro and con, to consider on a proposed bridge to improve access to the state’s beaches.
  • The department of transportation heard from 28 people in Gulf Shores on two proposals for a road and bridge project that’s expected to cost between $56 million and $61 million, news outlets reported.
  • City leaders in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach also testified in favor of the project, saying it would help evacuate the beaches during hurricanes.
  • “You cannot get on or off the island during any kind of catastrophic event,” said Orange Beach City Councilman Jerry Johnson.
  • Read more HERE.
Migrants find cool reception in Tijuana
  • Many of the nearly 3,000 Central American migrants who have reached the Mexican border with California via caravan said Saturday they do not feel welcome in the city of Tijuana, where hundreds more migrants are headed after more than a month on the road.
  • The vast majority were camped at an outdoor sports complex, sleeping on a dirt baseball field and under bleachers with a view of the steel walls topped by barbed wire at the newly reinforced U.S.-Mexico border.
  • The city opened the complex after other shelters were filled to capacity. Church groups provided portable showers, bathrooms and sinks. The federal government estimates the migrant crowd in Tijuana could soon swell to 10,000.
  • Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has called the migrants’ arrival an “avalanche” that the city is ill-prepared to handle, calculating that they will be in Tijuana for at least six months as they wait to file asylum claims.
  • U.S. border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s main crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by migrants themselves that had more than 3,000 names even before the caravan arrived.
  • Read more HERE.
Saudi situation
  • President Donald Trump said Saturday that his administration will release a full report in the next two days about the death of a Saudi journalist, which has created a diplomatic conundrum for the president: How to admonish Riyadh for the killing yet maintain strong ties with a close ally in the Middle East.
  • “We’ll be having a very full report over the next two days, probably Monday or Tuesday,” Trump said. That will include “who did it,” he said.
  • Reporters asked Trump about the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat has said the crown prince had “absolutely” nothing to do with it.
  • American intelligence agencies have concluded that the crown prince ordered the killing in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey, according to a U.S. official familiar with the assessment.
  • Read more HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: On Straight Ticket Voting
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tuscaloosa approves new 7-story housing project near stadium
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Solar farm proposed in Wiregrass would be Alabama’s largest
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Flake vows to oppose judges unless Mueller bill gets a vote
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump says report on Khashoggi’s death coming in 2 days
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Migrants get cool reception in Mexican border town
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – As Florida recount ends, Sen. Nelson concedes race to Scott
AL.COM – After Midterms, will Alabama reform the way you vote?
AL.COM – YouTube’s biggest science stars meet in Alabama.
AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith: Life looks a lot like the Snow Hinton Park jungle gym.
AL.COM – Columnist Dana McCain: Lessons learned from Monica Lewinsky.
AL.COM – Retired Georgia police officer ID as victim in Chilton County helicopter crash in lake
AL.COM – Tennessee man wanted for raping 16-month-old captured in Scottsboro
AL.COM – Authorities ID 3 children who died in fiery I-20 wreck
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Tide defense refocuses after withstanding Citadel
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Trauma surgeon program pioneer John Mark Vermillion brings calm to chaos
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Hank Sanders has led with honor and courage
DOTHAN EAGLE – Former credit union manager ordered to surrender $91K
DOTHAN EAGLE – Answer Man: Where was Flowers Chapel?
DOTHAN EAGLE – Government Oversight: Dothan’s search for a new city manager is nearing an end
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra plans Mozart concert Monday
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – TIME TO GIVE: November 18, 2018 | Where to volunteer in West Alabama
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Alabama women’s basketball looks to improve against Clemson
DECATUR DAILY – New Saint Ann principal felt ‘called by God’ to administration
DECATUR DAILY – Enchanted Forest to fill Founders Park with Christmas trees for good cause
DECATUR DAILY – Anatomy of a slaying: Minister’s psychotic break a ‘confluence of events’
TIMES DAILY – Pleasant through Thanksgiving, rain possible Friday
TIMES DAILY – Colbert Commission clarifies roadside debris pickup rules
TIMES DAILY – Caring Place open house shows progress
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Tore up at Talladega Superspeedway: Progress comes with destruction at storied track
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama brewery hosts grand opening celebration reflective of its Port City home
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Report: Alabama native Condoleezza Rice could be interviewed in Browns’ head coach search
BIRMINGHAM WATCH – Written in Black and White: In Alabama’s Statehouse, the Parties Are Split Almost Entirely by Race
BIRMINGHAM WATCH – Conquering Hero or Political Villain? How Alabama’s Conservative Voters Will View Jeff Sessions After Turbulent AG Tenure
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Military exercises set Tuesday
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Barnes joins Alabama business hall of fame
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Students bring history to life [with gallery]
TROY MESSENGER – Sumpter nails four kicks in Troy’s 12-7 win over Texas State.
TROY MESSENGER – Champions rise: State championships come to Troy
TROY MESSENGER – Ariton heading to round three
THE ANNISTON STAR – Large crowd at ceremony for WWII German and Italian POWs
THE ANNISTON STAR – Former depot unit commander chooses Anniston for promotion ceremony
THE ANNISTON STAR – Alabama’s mushroom hunters battle over state regulation
GADSDEN TIMES – Searchers in California wildfire step up efforts before rain
GADSDEN TIMES – Enhanced video aids local law enforcement
GADSDEN TIMES – Trump pondering Kelly’s status, 3-5 Cabinet changes
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Opelika gears up for annual Christmas tour
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Stone Martin Builders hosts subcontractor appreciation lunch
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Auburn aviation is ready for takeoff
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Warrior fast: Thompson dominates Hewitt to earn trip to semifinals
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Briarwood shut out at No. 2 Vigor
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Helena Hollow to host Supper with Santa
THE MADISON RECORD – Brightwell assists adults in reading for entertainment, education
THE MADISON RECORD – Drummond endears reading to future generations
THE MADISON RECORD – American Legion schedules holiday observances
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Main Street Ministries hands out turkeys
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Dora students sharing food with cart
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – CHS hosts veterans program
NEW YORK TIMES – Despite Evidence on Khashoggi, Trump Sticks With the Crown Prince. Why?
NEW YORK TIMES – If Not Pelosi, Who? The Question Hovers Over a Simmering Rebellion
NEW YORK TIMES – Vote-Stealing Battle in Florida Portends More Distrust in System for 2020
WASHINGTON POST – Calling it a ‘suffering tape,’ Trump says he won’t listen to audio of journalist’s killing
WASHINGTON POST – Nissan moves to fire chairman over alleged ‘significant acts’ of financial misconduct
WASHINGTON POST – Trump risks alienating military community with attacks on revered admiral
USA TODAY – ‘They are trying to make my brother responsible for his own murder’: Facebook exec seeks answers in brother’s death
USA TODAY – Florida recount: Sen. Bill Nelson concedes following manual recount; Rick Scott heads to Senate
USA TODAY – Man shoots buck with two heads. One had been dead for quite a while.
POLITICO – ‘He’s Barack Obama, but white’: Beto O’Rourke blows up the 2020 Democratic primary
POLITICO – Facing suspension by governor, Broward’s election chief calls it quits
POLITICO – Potential 2020 candidate Bloomberg gives $1.8B to Johns Hopkins


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