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Daily News Digest – September 4, 2018


Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

1. Trying to reason w/ hurricane season.

  • Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to become Hurricane Gordon before it makes landfall later tonight.
  • The storm is expected to hit between The Alabama-Florida line to the east and the mouth of the Pearl River to the west.
  • That puts Mobile and the Alabama coast squarely in line for some of the storm’s worst winds and surge.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey said the Alabama EMA team is monitoring the storm and anticipating any response needs. No evacuations have been issued at the moment.
  • Read more HERE and get the latest list of coastal cancellations HERE.

2. Sen. Phil Williams on Fox & Friends.

  • State Sen. Phil Williams appeared on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning to discuss his now-viral tweet inviting the California hamburger chain In & Out to Alabama.
  • California democrats threatened to boycott the chain when it was discovered the company’s CEO donated to the Republican Party.
  • Williams tweeted “Hey #InNOutBurger c’mon to Alabama! We love burgers, and we love #Republicans#alpolitics ”
  • That tweet went viral and caught the attention of Fox News. Watch Williams appearance on the show HERE.

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3. Trump: Blame Sessions if GOP loses.

  • Amid a booming economy, there are two things acting as a real drag on Congressional Republicans this fall: President Trump’s erratic behavior and the string of indictments and convictions that are piling up on the GOP side.
  • Well, it must be the Democrats’ lucky day because President Trump decided to combine those two combustable ingredients in a tweet for the ages. Full story HERE.
  • He’s talking about California Congressman Duncan Hunter, who was indicted last week on a host of ethics violations, and New York Congressman Chris Collins, who is facing insider trading charges.
  • The tweet is a bad idea on many levels, not the least of which being it will be fuel to the Democrats fire when the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings start today.
  • But there are two things that really stand out to me about the tweet:
  1. It is the president tacitly acknowledging that Republicans really are in danger of losing the House majority this fall. Until now he’s been claiming there will be a “red wave.”
  2. He is attempting to shift the blame for a bad election onto Attorney General Jeff Sessions, perhaps laying the groundwork for seeking his removal.

4. Let’s look at the data.

Don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at the survey research data.
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows a couple of things…
  • 58 percent of Americans say the economy is excellent or good. Those are some of the highest marks in more than 15 years.
  • Democratic candidates hold a 52-38 generic ballot lead over Republicans. That’s up from just a four point edge in April.
  • 66 percent would oppose giving Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort a pardon.
  • 64 percent say Trump should not fire Sessions. That includes 34 percent of Republicans.
  • 63 percent support the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Remarkable numbers. See the full results HERE .
Also read the WaPo story on what the results mean for the midterms HERE and the story on the Sessions/Trump numbers HERE.

5. Just do it?

  • To mark 30 years since its monumental “Just Do It” campaign, Nike is wading waste deep into the culture wars by tapping controversial former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as its new spokesman.
  • While playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick famously refused to stand for the national anthem in protest of police brutality toward black Americans. He pretty much sparked the whole kneeling for the anthem thing that confounds NFL teams to this day.
  • Not surprisingly, many on the right are MAD about this, burning their Nikes and whatnot. And many on the left are THRILLED about this, knowing it keeps the issue ripe for another football season.
  • I, for one, can’t wait to get a pair of those new Social Justice Warrior Cross Trainers.
  • It’s interesting that 30 years ago Nike touted Bo Jackson as its spokesman because he played all of the sports, while now they’ll lean on Kaepernick, who plays none of the sports.
  • It kind of makes you long for the fictional Nike slogan from that Mel Gipson movie where he reads women’s minds: “No games. Just sports.”
  • The photo graphic is easy to manipulate, so of course the internet did just that. Below are a few of my favorites, from the funny to the compelling.

News Briefs.

Hard to find workers
  • The thriving economy has made it hard for some industries to fill job openings.
  • That’s what the construction industry is facing.
  • The Associated General Contractors say companies are having a harder time this year filling slots for carpenters, laborers, masons, bricklayers, equipment operators, iron workers, roofers, plumbers and painters.
  • Alabama’s commercial construction industry is a $12 billion business, employing almost 156,000 people full-time and generating a payroll of more than $6 billion a year.
  • Read more HERE.
Rural hospitals
  • Rural hospitals are facing really tough financial times.
  • Several around the state have already shut down and many more are potentially facing closure in the next few years.
  • It’s becoming a political issue, given how hospitals increasingly rely on state and federal dollars to stay afloat.
  • It’s going to be a sticky issue no matter who wins the state and national elections this fall.
  • John Sharp of wrote about the hospitals’ woes and how the issue is manifesting on the campaign trail. His story is worth your time.
Congressional columns
  • U.S. Rep. Martha Roby has been traveling the district in August. She checks in with some notes from the road in her latest column HERE.
  • In his column, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne looks forward to what’s next for Congress as the House reconvenes this week. His piece HERE.
Miss yesterday’s digest? There was lots of good stuff! Read it online HERE .


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gordon strengthens, expected to hit Gulf coast as a hurricane.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sen. Phil Williams on Fox & Friends: Bring In & Out to Alabama.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama contractors could struggle with finding workers.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – What to watch for as senators consider Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Kavanaugh, senators prep for marathon confirmation hearing.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump attacks Sessions, suggests GOP hurt in midterms.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tuscumbia man charged in death of roommate he reported missing.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS -Bradley Byrne: What’s next for Congress.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Martha Roby: Recap from the Road, Part Two.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Former head of Alabama Board of Medical Examiners sues for wrongful termination.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Should school days start later?
DOTHAN EAGLE – Thief stole more than items from grieving mother.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Five injured in wreck on 431.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Teacher employs innovation to capture student’s elusive attention.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – American Bar Association gives its highest rating to SCOTUS nominee Kavanaugh – pressure mounts on Doug Jones to confirm.
DECATUR DAILY – DeVos: No plans to take action on funding to arm teachers.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – As if bots weren’t bad enough already, they’re anti-vaccine.
ANNISTON STAR – Sacred Harp singers gather at Shoal Creek to keep tradition alive.
AL.COM – Avoiding ‘ghost town’: Saving Alabama’s rural hospitals becoming a top campaign concern.
AL.COM – Trump: ‘The Jeff Sessions Justice Department’ hurt GOP’s midterm chances.
AL.COM – Gulf Shores braces for Tropical Storm Gordon.
AL.COM – Trump kicks off Labor Day 2018 with attack on top union leader.
THE ATLANTIC – Contributor Chuck Todd: It’s Time for the Press to Stop Complaining—And to Start Fighting Back
WASHINGTON POST – Poll: Democrats regain clear advantage in midterms shaping up as referendum on President Trump.
WASHINGTON POST – Hours before Kavanaugh nomination hearings, Bush lawyer releases 42,000 pages of documents to Judiciary Committee.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump criticizes union leader on Labor Day: ‘It is easy to see why unions are doing so poorly’.
WASHINGTON POST – ‘Any old blue just won’t do’: Insurgents seek to topple more Democratic veterans in September primaries.
NEW YORK TIMES – NBC, Ronan Farrow in ‘open warfare’
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Could ‘Flip’ the Supreme Court. His Impact on the Lower Courts Is Less Clear.
NEW YORK TIMES – An Advocate for Women or a Threat? As Hearings Begin, Differing Views of Kavanaugh Emerge
NEW YORK TIMES – Growth Has Lifted Counties That Voted for Trump. Mostly, It’s the Wealthy Ones.

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