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Daily News Digest – October 22, 2018

Good morning! Finally some Fall weather! Programming note: my campaign profile stories on candidates for governor will be published tomorrow and Wednesday, so that will be fun. For now, here’s your Daily News for Monday, October 22.

1. Two weeks out: who will control Congress?










The Stakes
  • Two weeks and one day from now, voters in about eight states and 30 Congressional districts will decide who holds sway in the Legislative Branch.
  • That will also determine, to a large extent, how Donald Trump’s presidency will proceed over the next two years.
  • Should Democrats win the House, they are already talking about doing away with the Trump tax cuts, expanding Russia investigation, forcing Trump to release his tax returns, and shutting down wall funding.
  • Should Democrats win the Senate, you can expect to see the confirmation of Trump-nominated judges come to a halt.
The States
  • There are 31 House races labeled “toss ups” by Cook Political Report. Give or take a few things getting weird, Democrats would need to win about 17 of those to win the majority.
  • Of those races, FIVE are in California, TWO are in Florida, TWO in North Carolina, TWO in New Jersey, TWO in Ohio, TWO in Texas, and TWO in Virginia.
  • All but one are seats currently held by Republicans and SEVEN are open seats.
  • Check out full House details HERE.
  • The Senate hinges on races in Nevada, Arizona, Missouri, Florida, Indiana, and Tennessee.
  • FiveThirtyEight’s latest Senate forecast is HERE.
The Numbers
  • The latest NBC/WSJ poll has some fascinating numbers.
  • That supposed “Kavanaugh bump” you heard so much about? It’s real, as Republicans have closed a once large enthusiasm gap to just four points (68-72).
  • That’s nationwide. In just those swing districts that matter most, voter enthusiasm is DEAD EVEN, whereas Democrats had a 13-point advantage a month ago.
  • Also, Trump’s approval rating is now at 47 percent, the highest mark of his presidency in this poll.
  • What does it mean? This thing is going to be close.
  • Read more from The Wall Street Journal, where Janet Hook walks through the numbers thoroughly.
  • Or read NBC News, where Mark Murray kind of buries the enthusiasm story.

2. Caravan marches north.

  • What’s going to be happening right around Election Day?
  • Authorities on the Southern Border are going to be dealing with an unprecedented situation: as many as 7,000 Central American migrants reaching the border at the same time and demanding entry into the United States.
  • The caravan that started with a few thousand people fleeing violence and poverty-ridden Honduras has swelled to more than 5,000 and could be growing still.
  • Past caravan-like influxes have happened over time, not all at once.
  • President Trump has promised to send the U.S. military to the border to stop the mass migration. He specified on Twitter that he meant “not national guard” and reiterated to reporters later, “not our reserves.”
  • From AP:
  • “We’re warriors, we got to get to the place we got to get to. We’re gonna keep on going and we’re not gonna stop,” Luis Puerto, 39, of Colon, Honduras, said in English.
  • For Puerto, that place is North Carolina, where he has a wife and two daughters. He said he was recently deported from the United States after a brush with the law that he did not specify.
  • “We are going to get to the border of the U.S.,” he said. “I am not going to stop. I don’t care if I die.”
  • Full story HERE.
A message from the Alabama Petroleum Council

  • The United States is the global leader in production and refining of natural gas and oil. It’s an American energy revolution that impacts all 50 states – including Alabama.
  • Alabama ranked 18th in oil production in 2016, 16th in natural gas output that same year and natural gas continues to be the leading source of electricity generation in the state.
  • The Alabama Petroleum Council exists to support policies that maintain this national energy resurgence – benefiting consumers and producing good-paying Alabama jobs.
  • Stay connected to the Alabama Petroleum Council via Twitter.

3. Redneck women.

  • Everyone needs a post-election palate cleanser.
  • Ours, and perhaps the nation’s, will be “The Redneck Housewives of Alabama,” a new show set to premiere in Huntsville on November 10.
  • That all depends on whether the show gets picked up after its pilot episode.
  • I can’t imagine it wouldn’t. Who doesn’t want to watch women shooting, mud riding, boozing, and getting tattoos?
  • Throw in the cattiness that keeps people watching these things and you really have a show.
  • Anyway, read all about it and watch the show’s promo trailer HERE.

4. Matthew Stokes: With friends like these…

  • Alabama Daily News Columnist Matthew Stokesfeels some sympathy for Democratic nominee for governor Walt Maddox after the candidate came under criticism from his own flank.
  • If voters aren’t buying what he’s selling, it’s partly because they’re really not buying much at all these days.
  • But it’s mostly a problem with salesmanship, Stokes writes. And he’s not impressed by Maddox and Co.
  • An excerpt:
  • I have a tinge of sympathy for Maddox here, because I do think our state has a lot of issues looming on the horizon that do not seem to move a lot of voters.
  • Even so, it is incumbent upon a candidate to move to where the voters are to be found, and Maddox and his staff have not done that.
  • I would wager there’s a lot of blame to go around, from Maddox’s aura of destiny after several terms as mayor of Tuscaloosa, to the small but very real progressive echo chamber convinced that a blue wave is imminent in Alabama, to the the social media praise from speechwriter Lars Andersen, the latter of which almost resembles John Cusack holding a boombox over his head in “Say Anything.”
  • Read Stokes’ latest HERE.

5. News Briefs.

In case you missed it…
  • Over the weekend we published two stories by ADN Reporter Will Whatley that are worth your attention if you haven’t seen them.
  • The first breaks down Alabama’s latest jobs report, including the fact that the state set a new record for number of people working. That story with county-by-county and city-by-city unemployment data HERE.
  • The second was about a new report out from SPLC & Alabama Appleseed questioning the state’s policies and enforcement regarding marijuana.
  • Will took a look into the report and drew out its key conclusions, while also getting input from State Sen. Cam Ward, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • That story HERE.
Voter registration deadline is TODAY
  • TODAY is the final day to register to vote in next month’s election.
  • Folks can register online to vote until 11:59 p.m.
  • If you’re registering in person, the local county board of registrars’ office usually closes about 5 p.m.
  • If you’re registering by mail, it must be postmarked by today.
  • More on that process plus links helpful to first time voters or those who have recently moved HERE.
  • Also, for those in DC and elsewhere, don’t wait any longer to request your absentee ballot. It usually involves calling your local election manager to request a ballot, and then mailing it in five days before the election.
  • More on that process HERE.
We’re voting on the Ten Commandments
  • In case you hadn’t heard, we are voting on the Ten Commandments this year.
  • An amendment to the Alabama Constitution would allow schools and public buildings to display the Ten Commandments as long as it is done in a way that “complies with constitutional requirements.”
  • The usual suspects are for and against the amendment.
  • One caveat bill sponsor Sen. Gerald Dial added was that state funds can’t be spent on defending the amendment when lawsuits challenging it occur. That seems important.
  • Read the full story from Kim Chandler HERE.
‘None of the Above’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ragged, growing caravan of migrants marches toward US.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: With friends like these…
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama to vote on Ten Commandments display.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama voter registration deadline is Monday.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Redneck Housewives of Alabama’ set to premier.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama jobs numbers break records.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New report on marijuana highlights questions with enforcement.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ESPN College Gameday feature on Tyler Trent.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – University of Alabama football player charged with DUI.
AL.COM – 23-year-old killed in shooting at Hoover apartment complex.
AL.COM – Frost advisories issued for parts of Alabama overnight.
AL.COM – 6 wounded after possible gang-related shooting near Florida stadium.
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: Alabama amendments: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of unintended consequences.
AL.COM – Can a Democrat win in Baldwin County? In state House race, one hopeful sees ‘path to victory’.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – University of Alabama sets record with $224 million in donations.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Simplicity on the menu at Mary’s Sandwich Shop in Ashford.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Alabama woman’s body found in Texas lake.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Hurricane Michael unearthed 19th century shipwrecks in Florida.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – There’s power in the word: J. Ivy tour kicks off Sunday in Tuskegee.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Congress District 2: Three questions with Isner and Roby.
DOTHAN EAGLE – History on display in Fort Gaines.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Injured knee or not, Tagovailoa makes Heisman Trophy case vs. Tennessee.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Little Miss Geneva County wins National Peanut Festival Pageant.
LAGNIAPPE – State leaders discuss ongoing BP oil spill restoration efforts.
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Jeff Poor: Democrats ‘October surprised’ themselves.
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Ken Robinson: The need for fiscal sanity.
DECATUR DAILY – Miss River City: Miss Alabama preliminary returns to Morgan County.
DECATUR DAILY – Decatur plans to celebrate its 200th year in 2020.
DECATUR DAILY – 10 Commandments amendment debated: Costly trick or Christian charm?
TIMES DAILY – Postal service using double-wide at Muscle Shoals.
TIMES DAILY – Capital murder trial to begin today.
TIMES DAILY – Anonymous alert app coming to Lauderdale schools.
TIMES DAILY – Students help south Alabama residents after trip cancelled.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Three Alabama companies rank in top-ten of nation’s best medium-sized workplaces.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – VIDEO: The “October Surprise” that wasn’t, George Soros dumps money into Alabama, Saudi Arabia creates an international incident and more on Guerrilla Politics…
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Mallory Hagan-donor Rosie O’Donnell: ‘I want to send the military to the White House’ to get Trump.
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Fair, funnel cakes, Factor … oh, my! [A gallery]
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Remember When: Change came to Square in ‘59.
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – A little humility goes a long way with God, others.
THE ANNISTON STAR – Ohatchee man killed in Saturday crash, troopers say.
THE ANNISTON STAR – Look Back … to Masters Games in Oxford, 1993.
THE ANNISTON STAR – George Smith: If this one doesn’t take, forget third.
GADSDEN TIMES – A Walk Through Time.
GADSDEN TIMES – Local pastor works to raise awareness of domestic violence.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Fuller: OPS ONE sale ‘bittersweet’.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Opelika woman charged as fourth suspect in 2016 murder of 85-year-old.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Pioneer Day held in Loachapoka.
CULLMAN TIMES – Alabama to vote on Ten Commandments amendment.
CULLMAN TIMES – State: Unemployment steady; record high number of jobs.
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Montevallo locks up No. 2 seed with win at Sipsey Valley.
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Coosa Valley earns playoff berth with dominant win.
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Shelby County unable to rally past Central-Tuscaloosa, will miss playoffs.
THE MADISON RECORD – Mustangs Claim Region 8 Crown.
THE MADISON RECORD – Orchestra’s pops concert to spotlight superheroes, movies.
THE MADISON RECORD – Barks and Boo’s provides Halloween fun for dogs, humans.
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Two new businesses to locate in Jasper.
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Shoe Fund application process begins Monday.
NEW YORK TIMES – Why They Stay. Why They Can’t: New York Catholics Wrestle With Their Faith Over Abuse Allegations.
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump’s Plans to Deter Migrants Could Mean New ‘Voluntary’ Family Separations.
NEW YORK TIMES – Migrant Caravan Continues North, Defying Mexico and U.S.
WASHINGTON POST – From Model T to driverless: Ford to launch fleet of robot cars in Washington.
WASHINGTON POST – ACLU joins students’ challenge to Prince George’s summer school tuition prices.
WASHINGTON POST – Virginia attorney general calls for reforming state’s bond system.
USA TODAY – Phoenix activist arrested in southern Mexico while participating in migrant caravan.
USA TODAY – Trump administration may end legal recognition of transgender Americans, NYT reports.
USA TODAY – ‘Shark Tank’: Teary tribute to firefighter dad as surviving kids pitch his kitchen product.
POLITICO – Running anti-Muslim campaigns ‘a losing strategy,’ report finds.
POLITICO – Russia slams US withdrawal from arms treaty as ‘blackmail’
POLITICO – O’Rourke walks back ‘Lyin’ Ted’ line.

Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize).


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