Daily News Digest – January 13, 2021

Daily News Digest – January 13, 2021

Presented by the

Alabama Municipal Electric Authority

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, January 13.

1. Impeachment gets real

  • Just a few days ago, you’d have been hard pressed to convince me that the push to impeach President Donald Trump was anything more than a futile fever dream for Democrats.
  • After the last 48 hours, it appears the movement actually has legs.
  • Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time in an unprecedented House vote today, a week after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results just before they stormed the U.S. Capitol in a deadly siege.
  • While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of leaders and lawmakers are breaking with the party to join Democrats, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend the United States.
  • Most significantly, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is said to be fed up with Trump. The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman reported yesterday that McConnell could be ready to move forward with impeachment proceedings.
  • Why is that significant? Because you don’t orchestrate a leak like that unless you have the votes.
  • In opposition, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said the “cancel culture” was just trying to cancel the president. He said the Democrats had been trying to reverse the 2016 election ever since Trump took office and were finishing his term the same way.
  • Read more HERE.

2. Despite transfer, employer taxes going up

  • Yesterday, we reported on how the state was transferring about $70 million in CARES Act funds to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to delay and diminish a tax increase on Alabama businesses.
  • It turns out that increase cannot be avoided.
  • Alabama employers paying into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund could see a tax increase of about 91% this year, according to the Department of Labor.
  • Exactly how much money employers pay in unemployment taxes varies on their experience rating. In September, Labor used an example of a business with 20 employees and quarterly taxable payroll of $160,000 paying about $1,040 in unemployment tax. Without any transfers, they could have paid $6,320.
  • “We’re doing everything we can to bring that number as low as we possibly can because the thing to remember here is if you put this burden on employers, especially the small businesses, it’s going to put some of them under,” said Tara Hutchison, a spokeswoman for Alabama’s Department of Labor.
  • Closed businesses means more people unemployed.
  • “That’s bad for everyone,” Hutchison said.
  • As of last week, more than 91,000 Alabamians were receiving unemployment benefits, according to Labor. The maximum weekly benefit is $275.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

A message from the

Alabama Municipal Electric Authority

  • One million Alabamians depend on reliable, affordable, innovative public power.
  • Public utilities employ 93,000 people in local jobs across the U.S.
  • 5.6 % of electric operating revenues go back into the community.
  • 2,000 communities large and small across the U.S. trust public power.
  • To learn more about AMEA and public power, visit www.AMEA.com.

3. Ivey urges patience with vaccine rollout

  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday urged people to be patient amid the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, but to take the vaccine as soon as it is available to them.
  • A state hotline has been overwhelmed with calls from people seeking appointments for the shots next week when the state begins making them available to people over 75.
  • The governor said the state is “working to get vaccine in the arms of people as soon as the supplies come in.”
  • “I just want to encourage our people to be patient, stay calm and you’ll get your shot,” Ivey said Tuesday. “I want to encourage everybody to get in line — and be patient as you wait.”
  • Ivey addressed reporters after receiving her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Baptist South Hospital. The governor, as public officials have done in other states, took the vaccine to demonstrate its safety.
  • Full story HERE.

 

4. Facing House censure call, Brooks says he won’t apologize

  • Two House Democrats have proposed that Congress censure U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, arguing that his remarks at a rally of President Donald Trump’s supporters incited the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol last week.
  • Brooks said Tuesday that his critics are misrepresenting his remarks, which were intended as a pep talk for the next election cycle. He added that, “I will never apologize for fighting to win our causes at the ballot box.”
  • Brooks has come under fire for comments at the rally in which he told the crowd that he wanted them to take a message back home and “along the way stop at the Capitol.” “Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” Brooks said at the Save America rally on Wednesday that preceded the riot at the U.S. Capitol. He was wearing a hat that said, “Fire Pelosi.”
  • Democratic Representatives Tom Malinowski of New Jersey and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida on Monday introduced the resolution for censure, which is a public rebuke by Congress.
  • The response from Brooks was a 2,800-word essay that was really quite something.
  • Full story from Kim Chandler HERE.

 

 

5. Column: Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a drug

  • It has been one week since the crazy riot at the U.S. Capitol.
  • Like a lot of folks, I was supremely bothered by the events that unfolded. I worked there for years. I remember how it smells in the rotunda.
  • At this point I’ve heard so many people try to rationalize what happened with various arguments, which has me thinking: if I’m hearing all this, then surely our congressional delegation is.
  • So I wrote about cognitive dissonance and how we can sometimes convince ourselves of even the most irrational things.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
Those who know me well know my favorite Montgomery watering hole has always been Bud’s. Being the COVID-cautious type, I’ve only been a few times since March, but I found myself filling a barstool this past Friday long enough to grab a to-go order (the chicken sandwich is undefeated) and catch up briefly with old friends. As much as I enjoy seeing my barfly buddies, I always enjoy speaking with Bubba, Montgomery’s most beloved bartender. We were careful not to talk too much politics, but in a week when the U.S. Capitol was just ransacked by a mob, the subject was hard to avoid.
“What can you say?” I told Bubba. I really didn’t know what to say.  
He did, thankfully, in just a few words.
“Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a drug,” he said. 
Like the many wise barmen who have come before him, Bubba was right. 
So much of what has occurred these last few years in our politics can be attributed to cognitive dissonance, the psychological theory that explains why we often choose self-delusion over beliefs that conflict with our own…
  • Read the full column HERE.
  • Side note: much of this is pointed at our congressional delegation and their staff. I am eager to hear from you all if you’d like to talk about your experience. Been there.

 

 

 

 

A message from

Alabama Daily News

  • Don’t get left out!
  • The legislative session is only 21 days away and, while we don’t yet know what exactly the schedule will look like, we know that access to the State House will be limited due to the ongoing pandemic.
  • Not to worry. You can still reach lawmakers by advertising with Alabama Daily News! In fact, there is no better way to put your company or organization’s message directly in front of the Legislature, constitutional officers, congressional delegation and associated staff than through a promotion in the Daily News Digest.
  • Reserve your space today!

 

 

 

Headlines

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump on verge of 2nd impeachment after Capitol siege

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Despite fund transfers, unemployment tax to increase

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey urges patience with Alabama’s vaccine rollout

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Facing House censure call, Brooks says he won’t apologize

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State House security will include state troopers

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ABC temporarily closing 41 stores

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Records: Alabama man on bond arrested after Capitol riot

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US asking states to speed vaccine, not hold back 2nd dose

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – January 12, 2021

 

AL.COM – Pence won’t invoke 25th Amendment, says it is not ‘in the best interest of our Nation’

 

AL.COM – University of Alabama to allow remote learning after title celebration; union raises COVID concerns

 

AL.COM – Lonnie Coffman, Alabama man caught with Molotov cocktails in DC, planned to give out weapons, feds say

 

AL.COM – Vaccines in Alabama slowed by reluctant medical workers, hospital bottlenecks

 

AL.COM – Huntsville mayor offers no support to Mo Brooks: ‘Words have meaning’

 

AL.COM – Alabama Capitol, local governments eye security after threats following Capitol violence

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Ivey receives 2nd dose of Pfizer COVID vaccine, urges patience

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Councilman Tracy Larkin will lie in repose at Montgomery City Hall

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama law enforcement, nonprofits form anti-human trafficking alliance

 

 

Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox: ‘Time will tell’ if Alabama football celebration causes COVID spike

 

Tuscaloosa News – Fourteen arrested, 2 injured in Tuscaloosa celebrations after Alabama wins national title

 

Tuscaloosa News – Fans turn out to greet Alabama football national champions at Tuscaloosa airport

 

Decatur Daily – Decatur Utilities: Industries would pay their share of sewer rate increases

 

Decatur Daily – CARES funds redirected to shore up unemployment, lessen tax increase

 

Decatur Daily – US 31 project in Hartselle receives state funding

 

Times Daily – Sheffield restaurant a semi-finalist in best pizza contest

 

Times Daily – Auditions for outdoor production set for Jan. 22 and 23

 

Times Daily – Grant will help Sheffield repair Riverfront Park roadway

 

Anniston Star – Heflin City Council considers variance for tall highway signs

 

Anniston Star – Cleburne County Commission hears about next round of vaccines

 

Anniston Star – Auto Custom Carpets expanding Oxford facility

 

YellowHammer News – Second round of Paycheck Protection Program begins rolling out this week

 

YellowHammer News – Mo Brooks releases lengthy statement defending himself from censure resolution

 

YellowHammer News – Auburn professors denounce move against administration in battle over in-person classes

 

Gadsden Times – Etowah residents can dispose of pesticides in Madison County

 

Gadsden Times – Some ABC stores to close around state, locally in response to rising coronavirus rates

 

Gadsden Times – COVID-19 vaccine in Etowah County: How it went, where it’s going

 

Dothan Eagle – The power of words in crisis: Who hits mark, and who misses?

 

Dothan Eagle – Formula One season to start in Bahrain after Australian Grand Prix postponed to November

 

Dothan Eagle – In Greek city, segregated graves extend COVID-19 isolation

 

Opelika-Auburn News – EAMC COVID-19 hospitalizations slightly fall

 

Opelika-Auburn News – Lee County’s COVID-19 death toll significantly rises overnight

 

Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn University faculty punt on no confidence vote for Hardgrave

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – State health leaders say vaccine rollout is too slow

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Falkville man indicted for weapons found in truck parked near U.S. Capitol

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Walgreens, CVS chains could distribute millions of vaccines when permitted

 

WSFA Montgomery – Health, state leaders ask for patience on COVID-19 vaccine

 

WSFA Montgomery – Alabama leaders watching for possible armed protests in Montgomery this weekend

 

WSFA Montgomery – Greenville police warn of scam checks in the mail

 

WAFF Huntsville – Morgan County Sheriff’s Office investigator hurt by bull returns to work

 

WAFF Huntsville – Jackson County Commission approves courthouse sweep

 

WAFF Huntsville – UAH officers involved in 2020 traffic stop now fired; New UAHPD plan in progress

 

WKRG Mobile – Alabama man possibly possessed destrufctive device at Capitol riots, Affidavit says

 

WKRG Mobile – Here are the Mega Millions lottery winning numbers

 

WKRG Mobile – Gov. Ivey gets second vaccine shot, asks for patience from Alabamians

 

WTVY Dothan – U.S Representative Barry Moore discusses censorship

 

WTVY Dothan – Home Alone: Police say woman locked son in his room and leaves home

 

WTVY Dothan – ESCC offering free COVID-19 testing for students and faculty

 

WASHINGTON POST – Several senior Republicans join impeachment push

 

WASHINGTON POST – Secret Service launches massive security operation to protect Biden inauguration

 

WASHINGTON POST – Before riot, Trump said ‘we got to get rid’ of Rep. Liz Cheney. Now she supports impeaching him.

 

NEW YORK TIMES – Live Updates: House Set to Impeach Trump, After Pence Rejects Call to Strip His Powers

 

NEW YORK TIMES – Pence Reached His Limit With Trump. It Wasn’t Pretty.

 

NEW YORK TIMES – In Georgia, Trump’s Attacks on Election Still Haunt Republicans

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – Pence Says He Won’t Invoke 25th Amendment, Setting Stage for Impeachment Vote

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – FBI Has Opened Over 160 Cases Tied to Pro-Trump Capitol Riot

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – Coronavirus Vaccine Doses That Were Held Back Now Being Released

 

 

 

Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)