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Daily News Digest – September 3, 2018


Good morning and Happy Labor Day! Here’s your Daily News for Monday, September 3, 2018.

1. Game on: Kavanaugh hearings start tomorrow.

  • Beginning Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene for the confirmation hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.
  • Tuesday might be mostly opening statements from Kavanaugh and senators, maybe getting into questions at the end. The hearing should last three or four days, depending on how long senators on the committee want to drag it out.
  • Kavanaugh has been deep in hearing prep for the last few weeks, spending hours on end answering mock questions from a murder board panel. Peek inside that process with Capitol Hill reporters Lisa Mascaro and Zeke Miller HERE.
  • If Democrats are going to make a stand against the nomination, this is the week to do it. Math, time and momentum are not on their side. But, they’ll have the benefit of camera time, which they can either use to score real blows on Kavanuagh or to score political points for themselves.
  • Sen. Orin Hatch cleverly compared it to the “tortured” last few minutes of a basketball game in which the result is all but decided.
  • “Democrats are down thirty with ten seconds left, but they keep fouling to stop the shot clock in an attempt to avoid their inevitable defeat.”
Read more
  • Fox News has an extensive look into the arguments on both sides, why Kavanaugh’s past work in the Bush administration matters, what documents have been produced and which haven’t. That story HERE.
  • The Washington Post has a nice write up on the political angles each of the major players is coming from. Kavanuagh himself, Democratic presidential hopefuls, moderate Republicans, etc. That story HERE.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee has set up a website for the confirmation where you can view all the Kavanaugh documents, read the committee’s questionnaires, and follow along via a live video stream. Find that HERE.

2. Be safe out there.

  • Alabama ranks among the worst states for distracted driving. That’s according to a Safewise survey of deaths per crashes, overlaid by texting / distracted driver laws.
  • The Alex City Outlook’s Donald Campbell did a full write up comparing the statistics and, yeah, we aren’t doing all that great.
  • They know a thing or two about dangerous Labor Day traffic up on Lake Martin.
  • State Troopers are out in force this weekend cracking down on drunk and distracted driving.
  • Don’t let anyone you know become a statistic.
  • AT&T’s “It can wait” campaign has some good tips for breaking bad habits of distracted driving.


*A message from Virtus Solutions*

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3. ‘Hey girl, my love for you knows no earthly bounds.’

  • One movie receiving some early Oscar buzz is “First Man,” a bio-pic of Neil Armstrong.
  • It features heart throb Ryan Gosling in the lead role, as well as “The Crown’s” Claire Foy.
  • Like most good movies, it’s based on a book. “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong,” was written by Auburn University History Professor Emeritus James R. Hansen.
  • As the official biographer of Neil Armstrong, Hansen also served as a co-producer on the movie and apparently brought his Auburn gear with him to the set.
  • How Hansen got to become Armstrong’s official biographer is a really neat story in itself, and the whole thing is beautifully told by Vicky Santos in a story that is worth your time (movie trailer also included).
  • The movie is also generating political, um, buzz. Fellow Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin has criticized the moviefor not showing the planting of the American flag. Gosling, the show’s director, and even Armstrong’s family insist that it’s plenty patriotic and the whole point of the biopic was to focus on aspects that were lesser known.
  • We really do have to argue about everything, don’t we?
  • [if you’re wondering about the ‘hey girl’ headline, read up on the ‘hey girl, it’s Ryan Gosling’ meme here.]

4. Matthew Stokes on GOP, environment.

  • In this week’s column, ADN contributor Matthew Stokes takes on the conservative conundrum with environmental protection regulations.
  • Most Republicans – whether small government conservatives or big business chamber types – have a reflexive resistance to environmental regulations, especially the overreaching kind.
  • That’s natural and fine, writes Stokes, but it shouldn’t keep them from supporting commonsense measures that truly do help stop pollution and help preserve resources for the next generation.
  • “At its core, conservatism is about protecting and preserving, and working to preserve our land for future generations is a good goal. We shouldn’t let the missteps of the left stop us from using conservative ideas for a worthy end.”
  • Read: Matthew Stokes: Conservatism and conservation aren’t mutually exclusive.

5. News Briefs.

Birmingham’s reputation as a tech hub grows
  • The Magic City is getting more recognition for its growing status as a hub for high tech businesses.
  • Barron’s magazine has a new profile on Birmingham that tells of the city’s technical coming of age, including some stories I didn’t know about.
  • There’s Shipt, of course, but lesser known companies like XpertDox and Helplighting that are a big part of the tech emergence.
  • Read the full story HERE.
Muscle Shoals album in the works
  • “Muscle Shoals: Small Town, Big Sound.”
  • That’s the name of a new album spotlighting the sound that made our north Alabama town one of the nation’s premier music recording venues.
  • Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and country singers Alison Krauss, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill and Willie Nelson reportedly recorded tracks.
  • Muscle Shoals became a recording hotbed after producer Rick Hall began FAME Recording Studios in 1959. Some of biggest stars in music, including Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynrd, recorded in the town. Hall died this past January.
  • Full story HERE.
Still not sure about Yoga
  • One of the more bizarre / unfortunate upshots of that whole dustup over what should and shouldn’t be allowed at P.E. is we are kind of forced to acknowledge/remember that the State Board of Education voted to ban Yoga back in the early 1990s.
  • Yes, it happened, and now we are talking about it.
  • I’d bet hardly anyone knew. And I bet schools these days that want yoga offer yoga and nobody is worse for wear.
  • So maybe let’s just pretend it never happened and let the School Board focus on bigger issues?
Boomers search for better pejorative
  • Not to be outdone by their Millennial children, Baby Boomers are seeking new and better names to describe their generation as they age.
  • Senior citizens? Not cool. How about Perennials!
  • Elderly? Nah. How about lucky!
  • Read more from The Wall Street Journal and decide whether this is completely absurd or makes all the sense in the world.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New Album spotlights “Muscle Shoals Sound”
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama ban on Yoga in schools questioned.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Kavanaugh, senators prep for marathon confirmation hearing.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Potential tropical storm heads toward Gulf Coast.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS -Matthew Stokes: Conservatism and conservation aren’t mutually exclusive.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Early Oscar buzz surrounds new film based on Auburn University history professor’s book on Neil Armstrong.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Former head of Alabama Board of Medical Examiners sues for wrongful termination.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Should school days start later?
DOTHAN EAGLE – Oversight: a different way to track the goings on of Houston County and Dothan government.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – RNC spox: Doug Jones ‘too beholden to the radicals’ in the Democratic Party
ATHENS NEWS COURIER – USDA announces details of aid package.
CULLMAN TIMES – Alabama ban on yoga in schools questioned.
CULLMAN TIMES – Economy grows with cooperation.
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – City celebrates Elliott’s landmark legislation with open house.
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Auman: Aderholt has ‘no backbone, no courage’.
TROY MESSENGER – House candidates put emphasis on education.
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Ashley Trice: What a drag.
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Jeff Poor: Alabama’s highway to nowhere.
DECATUR DAILY – Secret Meals program helps keep students fed on weekends.
GADSDEN TIMES – Alabama Power says dams along Coosa will operate as usual after licenses were vacated.
AL.COM – Another national magazine is hailing Birmingham as a tech hub.
AL.COM – Drag Queen Story Hours spark protests in Alabama, across South.
AL.COM – Avoiding ‘ghost town’: Saving Alabama’s rural hospitals becoming a top campaign concern.
AL.COM – Talks extended between U.S. Steel, United Steelworkers.
AL.COM – Columnist Shelly Haskins: Last gap filled in Alabama network for abused children.
AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: The promise of virtue and the legacy of John McCain.
AL.COM – Contributor David Sher: Alabama named No. 1 in football & political corruption.
WASHINGTON POST – On Labor Day, how we can really help workers this fall.
WASHINGTON POST – John Kerry doesn’t rule out a bid for president in 2020.
WASHINGTON POST – ‘I don’t want to die’: As the country bakes, studies show poor city neighborhoods are often much hotter than wealthy ones.
NEW YORK TIMES – Companies Say Trump Is Hurting Business by Limiting Legal Immigration

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