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Daily News Digest – September 26, 2018


Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, September 26.

1. Grassley: Thursday hearing, Friday vote.

  • Hearing: set. The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet tomorrow to hear California professor Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony about her claim that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school.
  • Kavanaugh will also be allowed to testify and refute the allegations.
  • This is about as high stakes as a hearing gets, and both individuals are doing a lot of prep work. Go inside that process HERE.
  • There is still a chance Ford might not appear. Her lawyers are unhappy that Senate Republicans have hired Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who has experience in sexual misconduct issues to do some of the questions (FWIW, they had originally complained that only the male senators would be questioning).
  • Kavanaugh’s second accuser, Debra Ramirez has declined invitations to also testify or submit a statement for the record, telling the Committee “if you want our statement, read The New Yorker.”
  • Vote: Also set. Chairman Chuck Grassley plans to put Kavanaugh’s nomination to a Committee vote on Friday. Leaders expect it to move barring any last-minute game-changing surprises.
  • The full Senate could vote as soon as next week, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is prepared to keep senators in Washington through the weekend to dispense with procedural hurdles.
Food for thought
  • One of the unfortunate aspects of this whole ordeal is how you can’t untangle the politics from the accusations and denials. The stakes and partisan ambitions taint everything, whether we like it or not.
  • I like ideas that challenge my thinking, and I stumbled across such a thing yesterday, so I thought I’d share.
  • One of my favorite podcasts is Malcom Gladwell’s Revisionist History. He tackled the complexities of human memory in a two-part series this season and it kind of blew my mind listening yesterday.
  • It probably won’t change your mind about who you believe in this case (at least it didn’t for me). But, it could change your perspective on the psychology behind belief and memory and why accounts can differ.
  • Anyway, if you have an hour in the car, in the gym, or on the Metro today, listen to both episodes:
  • Episode 2: A Polite Word for Liar
  • Episode 3: Free Brian Williams

2. Race profile: House District 28.

  • When Rep. Craig Ford decided to run for Senate, he opened up a seat that has been in his family for more than 40 years.
  • It’s also a seat that has been historically controlled by Democrats (Craig switched to Independent last year), but that now holds promise for Republicans looking for pick up opportunities.
  • It’s a battle of political newcomers: Republican Gil Isbell versus Democrat Kyle Pierce.
  • ADN’s Caroline Beck goes deeper into the race to see who the candidates are, what they’re talking about, and what they’ve raised in her latest campaign profile piece.
  • Read it HERE.

A message from the Boeing Company

  • How quickly could an interim solution be in place to meet the U.S. Army’s need for a cruise missile defense system?
  • An upgrade to Boeing’s Avenger system would take 12 months – offering real capability in half the time and with 30 percent cost savings.
  • Find out more about Boeing’s upgraded Avenger offer HERE.


3. To debate or not debate? This year, a question of strategy.

  • There won’t be a gubernatorial debate this cycle. You probably knew that.
  • Leading in the polls, Gov. Kay Ivey’s team has made the (probably wise) strategic decision to avoid a debate showdown that comes with all risk and no reward.
  • AP did a write up on it and the relatively recent history of gubernatorial debates. You can read that HERE.
  • Better yet, you can read Caroline’s piece from several weeks back that runs down every debate (or lack thereof) since 1998 complete with commentary and video.
  • Who remembers Fob James – Don Siegleman??

4. Skip Tucker goes back to the graveyard.

  • If it’s Wednesday, we’re reading Skip Tucker.
  • Halloween is a month away, but Skip is already spooking me out with some tales from the “bone orchard.”
  • He goes back to Old Pisgah Cemetery in Walker County for his latest, wherein some small town shenanigans and spookery intersect.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
  • “Old Pisgah graveyard in northwest Walker County, with near 400 residents, is worse. Residents are permanent but perhaps restless, you know. It sits, abandoned and furious, midst craggy hills and shadowy forests. It sits apart. And it’s said that whatever walks there at night walks alone.
  • “There are more than 300 cemeteries and graveyards in Walker County. Old Pisgah is a bone orchard, with a reputation. It is therefore attractive to the hardy and the foolhardy. Its foreboding landscape is perfect for minor rites of passage – for hunting the mythic snipe or taking a dare. It is a prime place for young Lochinvars to terrify a maiden with lurid tales and, of course, to provide comfort.”
  • Read Skip’s full column HERE.

5. News Briefs.

The Man Who Would Be Speaker
  • After a long time waiting in the wings, it is finally House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s turn to become Speaker of the House.
  • There’s only one problem: Republicans might lose the majority.
  • He’s working overtime to try and prevent that, crisscrossing the country to support GOP candidates in vulnerable districts.
  • Read Al Weaver’s story from the road w/ McCarthy HERE.
That’s rich, Iran
  • Today’s United Nations Security Council meeting will be dominated by discussions over Iran.
  • Recently-reimposed American sanctions are crippling the country, and Iran is lashing out calling them “economic terrorism.”
  • Now that’s rich. Catch up on the latest HERE.
Jacksonville State benefit concert
  • Tonight, Randy Owen and his Alabama music group are headlining a benefit concert for Jacksonville State University.
  • Concert proceeds will go to the university’s disaster relief fund.
  • A powerful tornado severely damaged about two dozen buildings when it hit the university in March.
  • Some students are still living in alternative mobile homes.
  • Check out this list of performers: Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit; The Charlie Daniels Band; Jamey Johnson; and Shenandoah.
  • Yall might want to get up to Jacksonville. But, even if you can’t go, you can donate to their disaster relief fund.
  • Read about all that HERE.

Bonus: Shelby and Denzel

  • My man!
  • Denzel Washington was on Capitol Hill yesterday raising awareness and building support for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America program – which he has been a part of for 20 years.
  • So, of course he stopped by Senator Richard Shelby’s office to meet with the senator and his staff about working together to support the after school program that helps so many kids.
  • Sorry, I’m admittedly a huge Denzel fan, but these pictures are great: FacebookIntstagram (complete w/ fist bump), Twitter.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House District 28, A Race Between Two Newcomers.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Skip Tucker: Who Ain’t Afraid of no Ghost? DT Rules.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP: To Debate or Not Debate?
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Benefit concert set at Alabama university struck by twister.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US lashes out at Iran as world leaders gather at UN.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Authorities: Son drowns in tub while father plays video game.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US attorneys general discuss social media privacy concerns.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Vote on Kavanaugh planned as showdown hearing nears.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Are they ready? Kavanaugh, Ford prep for high-stakes hearing.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama inmate dies, cause of death ‘not known’ at this time.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama Republican campaigns stick with Brett Kavanaugh.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – So far, only 9 Alabama sheriffs have signed promise to use food funds only on inmates.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Survey: Many Wiregrass employers would consider hiring nonviolent felons.
DOTHAN EAGLE – While Dothan has spent about $118 million on sewerage upgrades, up to $42 million in projects still ahead.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Ivey, Merrill celebrate National Voter Registration Day – ‘Easy to vote and hard to cheat’
DECATUR DAILY – Citing grand jury investigations, Morgan sheriff seeks to avoid testimony.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Deficits don’t matter until they do.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – How can so many be so sure of the truth?
ANNISTON STAR – For Hagan, health care greater threat than space war.
AL.COM – Business groups pump another $175,000 into Ivey campaign.
AL.COM – Bill Cosby’s Alabama-based spokesperson compares client to Jesus.
AL.COM – Rep. Randy Davis, Marty Connors claim misconduct by federal prosecutors.
AL.COM – Fate of $28 billion Georgia nuclear plant down to ‘game of chicken’.
AL.COM – Jasper firm partnering to train Delta pilots.
AL.COM – Verizon confirms service problems in Southern markets.
AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith: Sessions could be Senate’s SCOTUS backstop for Kavanaugh.
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: Prison for Oliver Robinson? Prosecutors say bribed lawmaker penitent.
WASHINGTON POST – ‘Back in the foxhole together’: Conservatives rally around Kavanaugh amid accusations.
WASHINGTON POST – At U.N. speech, Trump suffers the fate he always feared: ‘People actually laughed at a president’.
NEW YORK TIMES – Alabama Revisits Ten Commandments, Hoping for Help from Kavanaugh
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Unleashes on Kavanaugh Accuser as Key Republican Wavers
NEW YORK TIMES – As Debt Rises, the Government Will Soon Spend More on Interest Than on the Military.
NEW YORK TIMES – What to Watch From the Fed: A Rate Increase and the Path Forward

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