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Daily News Digest – November 26, 2018

PRESENTED BY the Stop The HIT Coalition

Good morning! Congratulations to ADN’s Will Whatley and his wife, Margaret on the birth of their twins, Joseph and Abigail . What a Thanksgiving blessing.
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, November 26.


1. It’s getting tense in Tijuana.

  • American border agents fired tear gas at a crowd of migrants attempting to breach fencing and enter the United States Sunday.
  • What began as a peaceful protest to bring attention to the plight of the more than 5,000 migrants wishing to be granted asylum devolved into a violent struggle that shut down the busiest Mexican-American border point of entry.
  • Mexico’s Interior Ministry said it would immediately deport around 500 migrants who broke ranks with protesters and tried to “violently” enter the U.S.
  • Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said U.S. authorities will continue to have a “robust” presence along the Southwest border and that they will prosecute anyone who damages federal property or violates U.S. sovereignty.
  • “DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons,” she said.
  • U.S. Customs & Border Security is currently processing about 100 asylum requests daily. Migrants and their advocates have been protesting to speed up that process.
  • More than 5,000 migrants have been camped in and around a sports complex in Tijuana after making their way through Mexico in recent weeks via caravan.
  • Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum on Friday declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city of 1.6 million and is asking the United Nations to intervene to help deal with the influx of migrants.
  • More details, including what President Trump had to say, HERE.

2. Bentley civil trial set.

  • Spencer Collier’s lawsuit against former Gov. Robert Bentley will go to trial in March.
  • Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin has set a March 4 trial date and told parties to notify him if a settlement is reached.
  • Collier contends Bentley wrongfully fired him and then tried to discredit him with a sham state investigation. Collier also accused Bentley of interfering in law enforcement business.
  • Bentley had contended Collier was dismissed “for cause.”
  • A day after being fired by Bentley, Collier publicly accused the governor of having an inappropriate relationship with an aide before his divorce.
  • I guess we all know what happened next.
  • Now, the question becomes whether a settlement is possible before that trial begins and the dirty laundry gets aired again.
  • Oh, by the way, the Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature begins March 5. Fun times in Montgomery!


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. We’re landing on Mars today.

  • NASA’s InSight spacecraft is scheduled to land on Mars today at approximately 2:00 p.m. Central Time.
  • InSight has travelled six months and more than 300 million miles to the Red Planet where its mission is to drill below the surface and explore the geological contents.
  • Remember: InSight was launched on top of the Alabama-built Atlas V from Decatur-based United Launch Alliance.
  • In an era when spaceflight can seem routine, NASA’s scientists are sweating the small stuff. In fact, they say landing this aircraft is one of the hardest jobs in the field.
  • “Landing on Mars is one of the hardest single jobs that people have to do in planetary exploration,” noted InSight’s lead scientist, Bruce Banerdt. “It’s such a difficult thing, it’s such a dangerous thing that there’s always a fairly uncomfortably large chance that something could go wrong.”
  • Read the full story and connect to the live landing feed HERE.


4. Matthew Stokes: GOP could grow in 2020 by winning on issues.

  • Just like it’s now socially acceptable to put up Christmas decorations and play holiday tunes, Matthew Stokes says it’s finally appropriate to talk 2020 politics.
  • By 2020, he really means the Alabama Senate race.
  • Sen. Doug Jones has announced he’ll run for reelection and run hard.
  • He probably faces an uphill battle if Republicans nominate someone relatively normal, Stokes writes, but the GOP has a chance to do something more than win back a Senate seat.
  • By listening to Jones’ 2017 moderate and independent voters and appealing to them on specific policy choices, Republicans could solidify and grow their coalition with the next generation of voters, he says.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
  • “Of course there are lines a candidate should not cross, and Jones’ vote on Brett Kavanaugh might be one. But parties and politicians should always seek to expand their coalitions by making the case that their positions are preferable, and that those of their opponents are not. This is pejorative towards the opposition, but only by default.
  • “Conservatives have always believed in firm principles. If we truly believe those ideas are good, we should make the positive case for them and argue, not against our opposition, but against their ideas.”
  • Read Matthew Stokes’ full column HERE.

5. Midterm analysis.

Our friend Bill Barrow has some interesting midterm election analysis based on some brand new voter data.
It shows in data form what some anecdotes had already suggested: that suburban voters are not voting in lock-step with the GOP anymore. Or at least they didn’t in 2018.
Bill writes that this data shows a growing geographic divide amongst the electorate, not just a racial and socio-economic one.
Here are some interesting numbers from his story:
  • “Nationally, whites made up 74 percent of the electorate. Among small-town and rural whites (30 percent of the electorate), 63 percent backed a Republican House candidate, compared with 35 percent for Democrats. Suburban whites (33 percent of the electorate) split 51 percent for Republicans and 46 percent for Democrats. Urban whites (11 percent of the electorate) sided with Democrats, 57 percent to 40 percent.”
  • The divide was less stark in Southern states, including battle grounds like Georgia and Tennessee, but it was there nonetheless.
  • That’s Republicans feeling the other edge of the double-edged sword of identity politics.
  • Read Bill’s full story HERE.
As if on cue, the Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University are co-hosting a seminar on the dangers of identity politics later today.
Here’s the descriptor:
  • Identity politics directly threatens the achievements of the Enlightenment, the Founding and the Civil Rights Movement, from freedom of speech to freedom of association and conscience. By partitioning America into ethnic, racial and sexual groups with antagonistic demands and grievances, Identity Politics returns us to the Plessy decision legalizing separate but supposedly equal treatment and it recalls the Dred Scott era of some Americans being less than citizens.
  • It might be worth checking out via live stream if you’re into that sort of thing.


News Briefs.

Cliff Sims on AXIOS/HBO
  • Cliff Sims went on AXIOS on HBO Sunday night and explained President Trump’s tweeting rituals.
  • Of course, Cliff is promoting his book, “Team of Vipers” about his time in the White House.
  • Unfortunately, the video isn’t yet public for those without HBO access. But I watched it last night and it was pretty good.
  • If you have HBO you can look it up via the HBO GO app.
  • Here are some excerpts and the basic gist from Axios’ Jonathan Swan.
More Sessions speculation
  • Politico reporters Daniel Strauss and James Arkin took the latest stab at trying to guess whether former Attorney General Jeff Sessions will run for his old Senate seat in 2020.
  • They interviewed more than 12 Republican operatives to ask (1) whether they think Sessions will run and (2) whether he would run away with the nomination if he does.
  • Raise your hand if you got a call!
  • Some think yes on both, some have mixed feelings. No surprises there.
  • Not a lot of news here except that they speculate that Lt. Governor-elect Will Ainsworth could be a 2020 Senate candidate. That’s been rumored for a while but not printed or said out loud anywhere until now as far as I know.
  • Anyway, you can read it all HERE.
First Gene-edited babies
  • A Chinese researcher claims that he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies — twin girls born this month whose DNA he said he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life.
  • If true, it would be a profound leap of science and ethics.
  • A U.S. scientist said he took part in the work in China, but this kind of gene editing is banned in the United States because the DNA changes can pass to future generations and it risks harming other genes.
  • Many mainstream scientists think it’s too unsafe to try, and some denounced the Chinese report as human experimentation.
  • Full story HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – NASA’s InSight craft to land on Mars Monday
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS -Tense in Tijuana: US agents fire tear gas as some migrants try to breach fence
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bentley lawsuit set for trial.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: GOP can grow in 2020 by winning on ideas.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Midterms reveal South split along urban, rural differences
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – November 25, 2018
AL.COM – Two dead, two injured in Sunday morning shooting
AL.COM – Woman, 70, airlifted to Mobile with internal, brain bleeding from fall after Alabama mall shooting
AL.COM – Police ‘saw young black man with a gun’ and shot him, father says after Galleria police killing
AL.COM – A year after accusing Roy Moore of harassment, Tina Johnson meets woman who helped rebuild her life
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: Gas tax push says a lot about Alabama.
AL.COM – Alabama scientist’s dream nears as NASA’s InSight probe approaches Mars
BIRMINGHAM WATCH – In Soap-Making and Landscaping, ‘Creative’ Entrepreneurs Get Help Building Business Skills from Co.Starters
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama-Georgia rematch a natural inevitability after last year’s national title game
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – One killed, one injured in early Sunday shooting
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Montgomery singer Kirk Jay’s voice is in fans’ hands Monday on ‘The Voice’
DOTHAN EAGLE – Government Oversight: City of Dothan pays $369K to other utility services for Hurricane Michael help
DOTHAN EAGLE – Answer Man: Did downtown buildings contain more than one business?
DOTHAN EAGLE – Suspect questioned in Dothan stabbing death
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama youth leadership conference puts life skills in the hands of students
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – VIDEO: Alabama’s political media mourns Matt Hart, Mississippi wants the next Doug Jones, an increased gas tax looks very likely and more on Guerrilla Politics…
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Southern Research tests parts 3-D printed in space for NASA
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Rob Holbert: Local political scraps are out of hand
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Jeffrey Poor: No gas taxation without fair appropriation
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Police: Man shoots, kills brother after argument in Alabama
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Georgia coach Kirby Smart knows slowing Alabama will be no easy task
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Questions remain in Alabama mall shooting
DECATUR DAILY – Athens’ Scout Music House in final phase of restoration
DECATUR DAILY – Crimson faithful cheers next step in Tide’s title run
DECATUR DAILY – Officials: Downtown parking deck is needed
TIMES DAILY – Partnership creates on-the-job training program
TIMES DAILY – Sheffield Board to discuss superintendent hire
TIMES DAILY – Insurance claim filed over stolen city vehicle
TIMES DAILY – Wayne County trio indicted for robbery
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – MASS HYSTERIA: Andy native who was working Thursday night describes scene in mall
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Retailers report busy Black Friday
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Hobson combines love for travel with medical mission work in Africa [with gallery]
TROY MESSENGER – Troy police investigating fatal shooting
TROY MESSENGER – Troy falls short in regular season finale
TROY MESSENGER – Schools report enrollment numbers
THE ANNISTON STAR – Look Back … to a feast for the 2,100 soldiers, 1993
THE ANNISTON STAR – Downtown Anniston projects remain in limbo
THE ANNISTON STAR – Anniston police toy drive underway
GADSDEN TIMES – Questions remain in Galleria shooting
GADSDEN TIMES – A Marker for Moore: Recognizing a civil rights crime
GADSDEN TIMES – In era of online retail, Black Friday still lures a crowd
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Three roundabouts coming to Columbus Parkway
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Airport takes a swing at buying land from golf course
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – ‘Disappointed’: No. 1 Alabama thrashes Auburn in 83rd Iron Bowl
CULLMAN TIMES – Keeping it local: Home-owned stores attract large share of shoppers
CULLMAN TIMES – Staying safe during the holidays
CULLMAN TIMES – Lights of Love to pay tribute to Echols; raise hospital funds
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Tua Tagovailoa sets school record in Iron Bowl win
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – One person killed, 12-year-old bystander injured in Galleria shooting (updated)
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Thompson beats Hoover, advances to first state championship game since 1982
THE MADISON RECORD – High School Basketball: On The Road Again
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Oakman students serve Mission of Hope
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Christmas parades begin Thursday
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Police urge public to be alert, slow down in traffic
NEW YORK TIMES – After a Wildfire, Rebuilding Life Can Be Hardest for the Oldest
WASHINGTON POST – U.S. closes major crossing as caravan migrants mass at border in Mexico
WASHINGTON POST – Trump demands action to reduce deficit, pushes new deficit spending
USA TODAY – US border agents fire tear gas as some migrants protesting slow asylum process try to breach fence
USA TODAY – Delaware Memorial Bridge reopens after toxic gas leak is contained
POLITICO – Franken scandal haunts Gillibrand’s 2020 chances
POLITICO – Alabama GOP: Sessions not guaranteed to win back his old seat
POLITICO – New Hampshire political legend falls prey to Trump effect

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