Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and in the spirit of remembering his legacy, I’ll share one of my favorite Dr. King quotes, apropos for our time:
“And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but we must take it because it is right.”
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, January 18.
1. State capital cities prepare for protests
- The entire Capitol complex in downtown Montgomery has been barricaded off with multiple layers of security, as a combination of city and state police prepare for protests associated with Inauguration Day on Wednesday, Jan. 20.
- The FBI has warned that armed protests could target all 50 state capitals in the wake of the riot at the U.S. Capitol building.
- In Montgomery, no organized protests have taken place so far.
- However, other capital cities are starting to see them.
- Small groups of right-wing protesters and left-wing counter protesters— some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified state houses around the country Sunday, outnumbered by National Guard troops and police brought in to prevent violence.
- Michigan, Ohio, Washington state, Oregon, Texas, and Nevada have seen groups gather by the dozens in recent days.
- There are no reports of clashes as of yet.
- Read more about the gatherings nationwide HERE.
- See more photos of the Alabama Capitol from Caroline Beck HERE.
2. FBI vetting Guard troops in DC
- U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event.
- The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters.
- Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said that officials are conscious of the potential threat, and he warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches. So far, however, he and other leaders say they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting hadn’t flagged any issues that they were aware of.
- “We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” McCarthy said in an interview after he and other military leaders went through an exhaustive, three-hour security drill in preparation for Wednesday’s inauguration. He said Guard members are also getting training on how to identify potential insider threats.
- Full story HERE.
3. What will a 50-50 Senate look like?
- At the moment, Republicans hold a majority in the U.S. Senate, but that will change this week.
- The certification and seating of newly-elected Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock could take place as soon as Tuesday. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is expected to resign her Senate seat today and be quickly replaced by Democrat Alex Padilla, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s choice for the seat.
- So, by Inauguration Day, the Senate will be divided 50-50, effectively giving Democrats control since the vice president casts the deciding vote on ties.
- But what will this mean in practical terms? What gets passed and what doesn’t as a new presidential administration meets the 118th Congress?
- Cabinet confirmations, COVID relief legislation, health care policy changes, gun control – what gets passed and what gets blocked?
- Full story from Andrew Taylor HERE.
4. Alabama funeral homes strained
- Funeral home industry leaders say establishments across the state have been reaching out for advice on how to handle the large volume of recent deaths due to COVID-19 and other causes.
- “Funeral homes don’t always operate on regular business hours,” Charles Perine, director of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service. “However, to the point that you are having to run the crematorium around the clock, that is unique.”
- Some funeral businesses report adding extra cremation shifts to handle the work.
- There is no precise count yet on how many people in Alabama died from the virus. But hospitalizations have set new highs throughout the month. And Alabama in January watched the total deaths from the pandemic cross 5,000 and then keep climbing to pass 6,000.
- Homicides and drug overdoses also surged last year.
- Read more HERE.
5. Latest Tuberville ‘gaffe’ wasn’t one at all
- Last week, Twitter blew up with the news of yet another embarrassing misstatement from Alabama’s newly installed U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville.
- This time, based on an interview with Birmingham’s CBS42, Tuberville was said to have wanted to postpone the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden for several months until the pandemic has calmed down.
- “We probably could have had the swearing-in and inauguration a little later on after we got this virus behind us a little bit,” Tuberville said, according to the article.
- What a buffoon, many in media scoffed, either he doesn’t know that the inauguration date is set by the U.S. Constitution or he is calling for an unconstitutional extension of President Donald Trump’s term!
- The predictable mockery fit a narrative of gaffe proneness, most of which has been created by Tuberville himself. Reporters and commentators love when that happens because it makes our jobs easier.
- The only problem is, in this case, that didn’t actually happen at all.
- Read more from me HERE.
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ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Heavily fortified statehouses around US see small protests
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Photos: Alabama Capitol complex barricaded in anticipation of protests
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – FBI vetting the 25,000 National Guard troops in DC
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – What will a 50-50 Senate mean for Biden agenda?
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Latest Tuberville ‘gaffe’ wasn’t one at all
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Virus, homicides, drugs put strains on funeral homes
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Frustration, confusion mark early vaccine rollout
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Statehouses, US capital brace for potentially violent week
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge: Alabama transgender license policy unconstitutional
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Some in the GOP parrot far-right talk of a coming civil war
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – LeFleur: Despite Criticisms, Alabama’s Environment Is Best It’s Been Since Standards Were First Measured
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – January 17, 2021
AL.COM – Alabama Capitol streets blocked off as security precaution
AL.COM – Where are the snowbirds? Coronavirus, hurricane make difficult winter season for Alabama beaches
AL.COM – Alabama crematoriums running ‘around the clock’ as deaths from COVID-19 mount
AL.COM – If we can’t believe the people we elect, what can we trust?
AL.COM – Columnist Amanda Walker: Should Congress be good stewards of our country, or creators of a new one?
AL.COM – Contributor Rev. Dexter Strong: Are Christians finally ready for Rev. King’s Christianity?
Montgomery Advertiser – More police than onlookers around Alabama’s Capitol amid possibility of protests
Montgomery Advertiser – Martin Luther King Jr. inspired Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday.’ The hit helped create a national holiday
Montgomery Advertiser – Road closures, office closures expected in downtown Montgomery ahead of Inauguration Day
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa leaders vote to bailout YMCA, save Barnes branch
Tuscaloosa News – Martin Luther King Jr. inspired Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday.’ The hit helped create a national holiday
Tuscaloosa News – 2020 recap: 22 homicides reported in Tuscaloosa County
Decatur Daily – Limestone indictments include human trafficking, capital murder cases
Decatur Daily – Decatur family: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began the slow march to racial justice
Decatur Daily – After transplant, county investigator ‘blessed’ to be back
Times Daily – COVID claims life of third Shoals health care worker
Times Daily – Convicted murderer up for parole this week
Times Daily – Empty Table Fund collects record $60,145
YellowHammer News – NASA successfully ignites engines on Huntsville-managed SLS core stage, collects valuable data
YellowHammer News – USDA, Alabama sign historic agreement to improve forests on public, private lands
YellowHammer News – Veronica Crock joins Commerce team as senior project manager
Gadsden Times – Martin Luther King Jr. inspired Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday.’ The hit helped create a national holiday
Gadsden Times – Turkey Leg Shack in Gadsden offers unique, intriguing new food experience
Dothan Eagle – Bay County Republican Party won’t acknowledge Biden win
Dothan Eagle – First time buyers for Disney World annual passes out of luck
Dothan Eagle – Tennis legend Bollettieri brings sport to inner city kids
Opelika-Auburn News – Coronavirus spurs students to seek public health degrees
Opelika-Auburn News – Covid-19 ‘superspreader’ in northeast China linked to 102 infections
Opelika-Auburn News – Asian shares mostly lower, China gains on GDP rebound
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – B’ham group holds MLK Day of service gas giveaway and voter registration event
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – JeffCo Health Dept. to activate vaccination sites Monday
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham man shot, found dead in abandoned vehicle at Shell gas station
WSFA Montgomery – Freedom Rides Museum looking to bounce back from challenges due to the pandemic
WSFA Montgomery – Single-vehicle crash on I-85 leaves 1 dead, 1 injured
WSFA Montgomery – ASU closes campus as precaution ahead of possible protests
WAFF Huntsville – Local residents express what they would like to see with the new administration
WAFF Huntsville – One dead after boating accident in Cane Creek
WAFF Huntsville – Brooks High School math teacher is placed on administrative leave
WKRG Mobile – Fake “COVID Response Team” spotted at Mobile Walmart
WKRG Mobile – Mobile Public Library adapts to pandemic
WKRG Mobile – Man shot at Checkers drive-thru in Mobile
WTVY Dothan – Representative Barry Moore discusses new experiences, Capitol riots
WTVY Dothan – Some downtown Montgomery streets closing for possible protests
WTVY Dothan – State Superintendent concerned about winter months for in-person learning
The Atlantic – The coming Republican amnesia
WASHINGTON POST – FBI moves on alleged members of extremist groups Oath Keepers, Three Percenters
WASHINGTON POST – With no ‘armed march’ by extremists, D.C. residents navigate a fortress and fear
WASHINGTON POST – Pence is helping Biden make the transition more normal. But their cooperation has risks for each.
NEW YORK TIMES – ‘I Answered the Call of My President’: Rioters Say Trump Urged Them On
NEW YORK TIMES – N.S.A. Installs Trump Loyalist as Top Lawyer Days Before Biden Takes Office
NEW YORK TIMES – Prospect of Pardons in Final Days Fuels Market to Buy Access to Trump
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Keystone XL Oil Project Pledges Zero Carbon Emissions
WALL STREET JOURNAL – After Stock Surge, Investors Ask Companies What’s Ahead
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Troops, Blockades and Eerie Quiet Pervade a Locked-Down Washington
Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)