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Daily News Digest – September 5, 2018


Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, September 5, 2018.

1. Gordon goes North.

  • We’ve seen worse, thankfully.
  • Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall at the Alabama-Mississippi border last night. It packed winds upwards of 70mph but never reached hurricane strength.
  • A child was killed near Pensacola when a tree fell on a mobile home. There are no other reports of deaths or serious injury.
  • The trouble now is severe weather from tornadoes as the storm moves inland.
  • Alabama Power reports that there are approximately 25,400 homes without power in the Mobile area. Crews are scheduled to move in and work once the weather clears.
  • Read the latest on the storm HERE and see the latest forecast from WSFA HERE.

2. Madness in the Senate.

  • That was wild. The first day of the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearing was sheer spectacle, descending into chaos at times.
  • These first days are usually boring, full of opening statements and not much else. This was different.
  • For one thing, the protests didn’t just come from the crowd, but from Senators on the Judiciary Committee. Sens. Kamala Harris, Richard Blumenthal, and Cory Booker seemed to be in a race to see who could offer more objections to slow the proceedings down.
  • Then there were the distractions of full-on #RESISTANCE politics. A father of a school shooting victim tried to approach Kavanaugh at the desk and claimed he was high-hatted. Liberal twitter was convinced the woman seated behind Kavanaugh was a white supremacist (truly absurd). Women showing up in Handmaid’s Tale costumes.
  • If spectacle is what Democrats wanted to begin these hearings, they succeeded. It won’t likely work to change the outcome, but that’s probably not the goal. I’d say the goal is to spread the idea that President Trump and the Republicans are appointing a bunch of Nazis to the courts and to turn around and use that this fall and in 2020.
  • Read more about Day 1 HERE.
  • Day 2 starts in about an hour. That preview story HERE.
  • Watch live via the Senate Judiciary Committee’s website HERE.


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3. New Woodward book causes stir.

  • Bob Woodward has written a book about the Trump White House.
  • This is a thing he does. After his best-selling “All the President’s Men” and “The Final Days” chronicling the Nixon White House, Woodward has written books on the Supreme Court, the Clinton, Bush and Obama White Houses, among other topics.
  • As you can imagine, “Fear,” is not a generous take on President Trump. The excerpts paint a picture of White House aides constantly intervening to stop Trump from doing damage to himself or the country.
  • Read most of the publicly-available excerpts from The Washington Post HERE.
  • The White House immediately fired back at the assertions made. Statements from President Trump, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis all vigorously deny having said the things they are quoted as saying.
  • Woodward says he has tapes of the interviews. Boy, wouldn’t we like to hear those.
  • More dogging Sessions
    • One book excerpt President Trump himself is categorically denying is the passage on comments Trump allegedly made about Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
    • “This guy is mentally retarded. He’s this dumb Southerner… He couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama,” Trump is quoted as saying.
    • Honestly, it’s plausible, especially coming just a few days after Politico reported Trump mocking Sessions’ southern accent and education from Huntingdon COLLEGE.
    • Sen. Richard Shelby was quick to defend his longtime colleague, and the South really.
    • “I think that’s strong words. I think Sessions is a very smart man and a man of integrity. I would disagree with the president on that,” Shelby told The Washington Post.
    • “Well, I’m sure I’ve got that accent, wouldn’t you think?”
    • “I guess the president, he says what he thinks . . . I think the president’s probably got a lot of respect for the South, I hope so. He did well there. Without the South he wouldn’t be the president of the United States.”
    [I’d be eager to hear what other Alabama politicians and politicos think about all this. So hit me up via reply. All off the record, of course.]

4. Races to watch.

  • Brian Lyman of The Montgomery Advertiser has a new election preview story out.
  • But instead of the top-of-the-ticket races we’ve all heard and read so much about, Brian gets into races for legislative seats.
  • He has several races to watch for the House and Senate, from open seats to incumbent challenges.
  • Give his piece a read HERE.
  • With Labor Day signaling the end of summer and the beginning of campaign season, there will be a lot more to talk about in the coming weeks as far as campaigns go. I’d appreciate any tips you can pass along, and so would Caroline and Will.

5. Issues to watch.

  • Is it too early for a legislative preview? Nah.
  • Mike Cason of has one today. He spoke with House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh and House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels about their priorities going into next session.
  • Not surprisingly, infrastructure tops the list. But so does improving education, which is interesting to me given the changing dynamics at the State Board / Dept of Education.
  • Give Mike’s story a read HERE.

News Briefs.

Nike has conundrum and so does Bama
  • The Nike/Colin Kaepernick fallout continues today.
  • Nike’s stock dropped 2.6 cents or 3.16% yesterday in the wake of its decision to hire Kaepernick as a spokesman.
  • Facebook and Twitter are full of folks trashing or burning their Nike gear, or at least vowing never to buy it again.
  • That puts people in this state in a moral conundrum, given that Nike holds the apparel rights for the University of Alabama.
  • Kyle Whitmire gets at that in his latest column. He argues that choosing products based on politics ultimately leads to “growing your own food and sewing your own clothes.”
  • “Or worse. Rooting for Auburn.”
Ivey outraises Maddox
  • Gov. Kay Ivey raised nearly $500,000 for her campaign last month, finance records show.
  • Democratic challenger Walt Maddox will report $338,000 raised in the same period, his campaign says.
  • That puts Ivey clearly ahead, but Maddox not that far behind.
  • Look for campaign fundraising to increase as the season kicks into gear.
Byrne showcasing Town Hall record
  • Congressman Bradley Byrne is the featured speaker at the House Republican Leadership’s weekly press conference today.
  • This is the first day back for Congress after recess. Most Members hit the road during August to touch as many constituents as possible.
  • Byrne, who is known for hosting lots of town hallshad another significant tour of events this August.
  • Joining the Speaker and Majority Leader for the weekly press conference gets you a lot of attention, but it also puts you front and center for media questions. I’m sure questions about Woodward’s book will be fun.
  • Watch the press conference live starting at 9:00 Central Time HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – The Latest: Gordon strikes land, Florida child killed by falling tree.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey raises $495,000 in August; Maddox to report $338,000.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Steve Flowers: 1978 race for governor was ‘epic’.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Rancorous, partisan start to Kavanaugh Suprme Court hearing.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Day 2 of hearings find Kavanaugh in the hot seat.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump, other leaders dispute book’s description of unhinged leader.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – For US diplomacy, special envoys make a comeback.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Facebook, Twitter defend efforts to stop election meddling.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pressley’s upset marks another win for liberal Democrats.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – A look at some notable House, Senate races.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Ivey declares state of emergency as Gordon bears down on Gulf Coast.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Contributor AG Steve Marshall: Alabama has much to gain if Kavanaugh is confirmed as Supreme Court justice.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Sessions stands firm.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – The ‘Southern Silicon Valley’: Another national business publication names Birmingham as a growing tech hub
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Secretary of State John Merrill encourages all eligible Alabama voters to register.
DECATUR DAILY – Morgan County: Wi-Fi addition could push more students to career technical education.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Alabama moms plan fundraiser for childhood cancer research this week.
ANNISTON STAR – What President Trump thinks of Southerners like Jeff Sessions.
AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey adds $495,000 in campaign funding, tops $5 million total.
AL.COM – Mac McCutcheon eyes another term as Alabama House speaker.
AL.COM – Nike boycott: Colin Kaepernick ‘Believe in something’ prompts people to destroy shoes.
AL.COM – Former Sen. Jon Kyl to replace the late Sen. John McCain.
AL.COM – Phone snag shutters Mobile County’s new Emergency Operations Center as TS Gordon looms.
AL.COM – Marsh, McCutcheon put education, highways at top of to-do list for next term.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Retail politics: No one is afraid of your boycott.
AL.COM – Why are kids doing their homework in McDonald’s parking lot?
NATIONAL REVIEW – Trump’s attacks on Sessions are shameful.
WASHINGTON POST – Bob Woodward’s new book reveals a ‘nervous breakdown’ of Trump’s presidency.
WASHINGTON POST – Southern Republican senators reject Trump’s criticism of Sessions.
WASHINGTON POST – Partisan fury bursts into the open as Kavanaugh hearings begin.
WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: Trump’s tweets criticizing Jeff Sessions mark a grotesque new low.
WASHINGTON POST – U.S. companies in China brace for more trade-war pain.
NEW YORK TIMES – Democrats open contentious hearings with attacks on Kavanaugh. An Advocate for Women or a Threat? As Hearings Begin, Differing Views of Kavanaugh Emerge
NEW YORK TIMES – In Chastising Sessions Over Indictments of Two Republicans, Trump Crosses a Line.
NEW YORK TIMES – What to watch: Kavanaugh hearings, Day 2.

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