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Daily News Digest – September 20, 2018


Good morning and Happy Birthday to ADN Reporter Will Whatley ! Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, September 20.


1. Blocked: Merrill sued by ACLU, Twitterers.

  • he ACLU sued Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill Wednesday on behalf of Twitter users he has blocked over the years.
  • The group argues he’s blocking their right to free speech in the “modern day town square.”
  • Merrill called the lawsuit a “political hack job.”
  • “Anybody who wants to reach me can reach me whenever they want to,” Merrill said, handing out his personal cell number.
  • This has a “don’t throw me into that briar patch” feel to it because it’s the ACLU and all Merrill has to do is unblock a few folks.
  • President Trump was forced to unblock dozens of Twitter followers this summer after the court found it was a free speech issue.
  • Full story HERE.

2. GOP: Time running out for accuser to be heard.

  • Capitol Hill Republicans are warning that time is running out for Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser to tell Congress about her claim that he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says his panel still plans to meet for a Monday morning hearing and that Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford are invited to attend.
  • Grassley has written Ford’s attorneys to say the committee is giving the California psychology professor until 10 a.m. Friday to submit a biography and a prepared statement “if she intends to testify” Monday.
  • Speaking of Ford’s attorneys, some think she is getting some bad advice from them, given their inconsistent advice/demands.
  • Grassley also put his Democratic committee colleagues on notice that he views additional attempts to delay the confirmation “skeptically.”
  • “This is but the latest and most serious of your side’s abuse of this confirmation process. There has been delay and obstruction of this process at every turn and with every argument available,” he wrote.
  • I think he’s serious and I think there’s going to be a vote.
  • Full story HERE.

A message from the Alabama Coal Association

  • 80% of the coal produced in Alabama is high-quality metallurgical (met) coal, an essential ingredient in the production of steel.
  • 20% of coal mined in Alabama is thermal coal used for local power generation, which provides our state with greater energy security.


3. Realtors release endorsements.

  • The Alabama Realtors released its endorsements for the 2018 general election.
  • Everything from State House to Congress to Appellate Courts got reviewed and endorsed.
  • Realtors boast 15,000 members statewide, making it a formidable group grassroots wise.
  • CEO Jeremy Walker said their PAC supports candidates who “share the vision of growing Alabama’s economy, protecting private property rights and advancing the real estate industry.”
  • Read the full list HERE.

4. Straight Ticket Voting.

  • Straight ticket voting remains legal and popular in Alabama.
  • That’s the little box at the top of the ballot that allows you to vote for either EVERY Democrat or EVERY Republican.
  • I’ve tried to explain to some national reporters just what an impact this could have on the general election.
  • In the last two races for Alabama governor, half the electorate has chosen to vote straight ticket.
  • In recent years, this tends to favor Republicans. I think that’s especially the case this year because President Trump is calling on his supporters to vote Republican, and that’s the path of least resistance.
  • But remember this whole thing was set up by Democrats, back when they ruled the roost and could play it to their advantage.
  • Mike Cason has a great story about straight ticket voting and why it matters HERE.

5. One great read.

  • I’ve been meaning to share this.
  • Beth Moore is a household name in the Christian South. If you haven’t personally read her books or been a part of one of her lesson plans, chances are you know someone who has. And that means her work has touched you in some way.
  • She has built an evangelical empire by inspiring millions of women and men with her unique brand of down-to-earth biblical teaching.
  • But in the political world we live in, where some ministers choose tribes over truth, Moore is risking it all by keeping it real.
  • I started following Moore on Twitter a few years ago and began to notice a refreshing if risky edge to her.
  • Take ten minutes to read this Atlantic profile on Beth Moore. I think you’ll be glad you did.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Merrill sued for blocking people on Twitter.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – GOP warns time running out for Kavanaugh’s accuser to talk.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sheriff: 2 women stabbed to death in northern Alabama.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama editorial roundup.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Realtors release endorsements for 2018 General Election.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trying to hold state Trump won, McCaskill feels pull to left.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate clears Defense, Health appropriations; Shelby touts major wins for Alabama.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Boeing makes pitch for Army’s stop-gap cruise missile defense mission.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – How a pastor improved his west side neighborhood one house at a time.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – MPS official reveals potential insurance pay out on burned BTW building.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Soldiers, community create a refuge for wounded warriors at Lake Tholocco.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Prison deficiencies must be addressed now.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Trump’s sky-high Alabama approval rating holds steady.
DECATUR DAILY – Blue Ribbon status with a bonus: 2 Morgan schools get recognition, make improvements.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Texas proposal shocks Keller officials.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Sheffield poised to be first smoke free Shoals city.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Britton seeks District 18 legislative seat.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Sculpture would balance stories of Civil War era.
ANNISTON STAR – Congressman Rogers talks about depot work, fresh rural water.
AL.COM – Judge puts hold on Alabama prison system contempt hearings.
AL.COM – Alabama among 7 states allowing straight-ticket voting; That won’t soon change.
AL.COM – Roy Moore calls on GOP to ‘take a stand’ and support Kavanaugh amid sex abuse allegation.
AL.COM – Alabama Secretary of State Merrill sued by ACLU for blocking constituents on Twitter.
AL.COM – ‘I don’t have an attorney general,’ Trump says of Sessions.
AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith: The Kavanaugh Standard
AL.COM – Alabama health board adopts youth coach safety training rules.
AL.COM – Airbus, JetBlue: Biofuel spells opportunity for Alabama.
AL.COM – Keep Helen Keller in Texas schools, deaf-blind lawyer argues.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump feels angry, unprotected amid mounting crises.
WASHINGTON POST – Republicans push to confirm Kavanaugh amid fears it will come at a political cost.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump said his tax cuts would bring $5 trillion into the U.S. We have 97 percent to go.
NEW YORK TIMES – The Army Stopped Expelling Immigrant Recruits. But an Email Suggests It’s Still Trying.
NEW YORK TIMES – Everyone Deserves Better Than This Senate Spectacle.

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