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Daily News Digest – October 8, 2018

Good morning! It’s Columbus Day so congrats to everyone who gets a day off. Here’s your Daily News for Monday, October 8.

1. Michael churns, heads north.

  • Tropical Storm Michael could become Hurricane Michael by later today as it heads north and threatens the Gulf Coast.
  • Right now forecasts have the storm tracking to the east of the Alabama-Florida line. Landfall could be around Destin.
  • That still poses big problems for Southeast Alabama, where a lot of cotton farmers are trying to get their crops in from the field.
  • In fact, the storm’s origin and track are very similar to that of Hurricane Opal in 1995.
  • That storm brought tornadoes and 20 inches of rain as far north as Birmingham.
  • Read more HERE and get the latest from WSFA HERE.

2. McConnell: Senate “not broken” & Dems “handed us the best issue.”

  • Senate Majority Leader did the Sunday talk show circuit and insisted that the tumultuous confirmation battle over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had not left the Senate “broken” and that Republicans who “stood up to the mob” and the “presumption of innocence” will ultimately be rewarded by voters.
  • He said the Senate will consider future nominations as they come, be it in election years or not. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Justice Stephen Breyer is 80.
  • The Supreme Court drama has added fuel to what were already going to be contentious and consequential midterm elections.
  • McConnell saved his best quote for Jonathan Martin of The New York Times, who writes about red state momentum in the battle for the Senate Majority:
  • “There is nothing that unifies all stripes of Republicans more than a court fight,” Mr. McConnell said in an interview, adding: “They stupidly handed us the best issue they possibly could going into the fall election. And it totally underscores the importance of keeping a Republican Senate.”
  • Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s number crunchers are seeing an anomaly develop in which the House and the Senate might go in different directions. Like GOP gains Senate seats, Dems gain House seats and maybe win the majority.
  • A recent Washington Post survey of 69 battleground House districts found Democrats with a slim four-point ballot advantage.
  • If Republicans lose the majority in the House, one important but forgotten factor will be how many long-serving incumbents in purple districts decided to retire rather than adapt to the Trump era.

3. Tennessee whiplash.

  • Alabama is happy to pass the baton for dramatic U.S. Senate race to our neighbors to the North. But our ears are burning a little.
  • Republicans have been tauunting the Democratic nominee, former Gov. Phil Bredesen as “Tennessee’s Doug Jones” leading up to the Supreme Court confirmation. Jones headlined a Wilson County fundraiser for Bredesen in June.
  • [Ward Baker and the folks at the NRSC wouldn’t use that if it didn’t poll well, and it also suggests a universal name recognition for Jones I find interesting.]
  • Then, Bredesen surprised many by saying he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh because the evidence was not disqualifying. That’s a break from Jones and every other Senate Democrat except Joe Manchin.
  • It caused Priorities USA and other liberal groups to drop their support for Bredesen as he tries to defeat favored Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn.
  • THEN, like twelve hours ago, Taylor Swift instagramed support for Bredesen saying she was “terrified” by Blackburn’s voting record.
  • It’s getting dramatic in the Three Grand Divisions. I’m particularly interested in continued references to Alabama and Sen. Doug Jones in Tennessee and other battleground states.

4. Matthew Stokes: GOP should listen to Saban, avoid complacency.

  • When Alabama Crimson Tide Head Coach Nick Saban scolded students for emptying out of the stadium early, ADN Columnist Matthew Stokes was listening.
  • But what he heard was a political lesson about complacency, particularly how it applies to the Alabama Republican Party.
  • After eight years of unprecedented success, the ALGOP might need to motivate voters in the same way Saban motivates students.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
  • “The problem over the long haul is that Republicans are coasting by on today’s good economic news and a bunch of cultural signifiers that are not guaranteed to last forever.
  • “Republicans in Alabama have strong winds behind them, but those winds will eventually fade. In the meantime, the party has to plan for the time when it cannot make a self-evident case to Alabama voters.
  • “It has to put forth actual ideas and vision for the state’s future. It must engage its opposition in a healthy, respectful way. It cannot assume the support of voters. It must take the opposition seriously, and that means doing more than caricaturing every Democratic argument as merely ‘socialist.’”
  • Read Stokes’ full column HERE.

5. News Briefs.

In case you missed it…
  • The latest in ADN’s series of coverage for Alabama legislative races checks in with House District 46.
  • Republican Rep. David Faulkner is running for a second term. And in the reliably Republican district south of Birmingham, that normally shouldn’t be a problem.
  • But the area went for Doug Jones over Roy Moore in December, and Democratic Challenger Felicia Stewart is an unconventional candidate who could draw low-propensity voters to the polls.
  • Read Caroline Beck’s Sunday story diving into the race HERE.
Pat Harris elected to lead national group
  • Alabama’s Secretary of the Senate Patrick Harris has been elected by his peers to serve as president of the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries.
  • Harris has been Secretary of the Senate since 2011, when he took over for long-serving McDowell Lee.
  • Pat has seen some interesting times the last two years or so with the different constitutional office vacancies. His presentation on the subject has been seen all over the country, and I’d imagine that’s like catnip to clerks and secretaries.
  • Read more HERE.
Parker Snider: How to avoid Russia’s October Surprise
  • Parker Snider of the Alabama Policy Institute reminds us this week that Russia has not stopped trying to influence American elections.
  • And, if you think about it, if their true goal is to disrupt American representative democracy as we know it, what would be the best direction to swing the elections toward in November?
  • Here’s an excerpt:
  • “Russia’s goal is not the election of a specific person or party to power. Instead, Russia wants to sow discord and anger in our ranks through misinformation. They hope to control how we think of our political opponents, with the goal that we will ultimately become our own worst enemy. Russia is in the business of mind control, but there’s good news: we can prepare. The best way to do that is not to eliminate social media from our lives, but to adopt a healthy level of skepticism towards political posts we see on those platforms.”
  • Read Snider’s full column HERE.
America, the radicalized
  • Axios co-founder Jim Vandehei has a must-read piece on how the radicalization of American institutions is getting worse, not better.
  • Facebook isn’t helping. Neither is Twitter.
  • It’s telling that Michael Avenetti is a leading commentator on one side and the TPUSA kids are the same on the other.
  • This is a depressing observation for a guy who just started a news platform based on fair & factual content:
  • “All the incentives on social media and in politics favor the radical: If you want clicks, viewers, donors, followers, retweets or votes, there’s no market for moderation or the middle.”


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tropical Storm Michael a growing menace for the Gulf Coast.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – McConnell: Senate ‘not broken’ after Kavanaugh fight.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: ALGOP should listen to Saban, avoid complacency.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Parker Snider: How to prevent Russia’s October Surprise.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Taylor Swift breaks political silence, backs Bredesen over Blackburn in Tennessee.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Confirmed deaths reach 2000 after Indonesian earthquake; Death toll likely to rise.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fox, racoon bites reported in Fairhope.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS -Madison County spends $3.3 million on land for new service center.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – U.S. Attorneys praise crime reduction plan’s impact in Alabama.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Faulkner and Steward vie for House District 46.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – October 7, 2018.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – The state of Montgomery’s schools have many in military struggling for alternatives.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Some Montgomery Council members find liquor-license approval process impaired.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Government Oversight: Dothan sales tax collections grow again, though at a slower rate.
BIRMINGHAM TIMES – Small Business Owners Ready to Hit Ballot Box Big Time in Midterm Elections.
TROY MESSENGER – Candidates disclose September finances.
TROY MESSENGER – Schools will soon need to receive portion of internet sales tax revenue.
LAGNIAPPE – Mobile event will make free voter IDs available.
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Ashley Trice: Have we lost our way.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Survey: Tuscaloosa County 13th best for children.
CULLMAN TIMES – Joe Siegelman campaigns in Cullman.
AL.COM – Tropical Storm Michael 2018 tracks northward while getting stronger.
AL.COM – Alabama general election 2018: Here’s who’s running for statewide office in November.
AL.COM – Huntsville’s Holtz Leather goes from strapped to sought after.
AL.COM – Noose Halloween display in Homewood sparks outrage; family says no malice intended.
AL.COM – Rainbow Wave mostly misses Alabama, although a few LGBTQ candidates on the ballot in November.
AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: The problem with ‘righteous’ anger.
THE ATLANTIC – Brett Kavanaugh and the problem with #BelieveSurvivors.
WASHINGTON POST – Justices move to repair Supreme Court’s image after fight over Kavanaugh.
WASHINGTON POST – The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say.
WASHINGTON POST – “I can’t look away.” The countdown to the midterms is on as Americans wonder what the heck is going on.
WASHINGTON POST – Survey of battleground House districts shows Democrats with slight edge.
WASHINGTON POST – Rosenstein to fly with Trump to Florida.
NEW YORK TIMES – The Senate’s Deep Wounds From an Ugly Kavanaugh Fight.
NEW YORK TIMES – Court battle shifts terrain for Senators in America’s heartland.
NEW YORK TIMES – Wall Street Is Booming Under Trump. But Many of Its Donors Are Embracing Democrats.
NEW YORK TIMES – The New York Times: A Last Hope for Truth in a Mass Lynching.


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