Good morning! The U.S. Open is live from Long Island. Hope all the dads out there get to enjoy it this Father’s Day weekend. Here’s your Daily News for Friday, June 15, 2018.
1. Facebook finds Alabama.
- Good news! Facebook is building a $750 million data center in – where else – Huntsville.
- The project is slated to create 100 jobs with an average salary of $80K.
- This means that right now three of the world’s biggest tech firms – Google, Facebook & Amazon – are making significant investments in Alabama.
- (Google & Facebook are building data centers in North Alabama, Amazon is building a logistics hub in Bessemer.)
- I wonder how many states can say that?
- We just need Apple to really make it a party. Anybody got Tim Cook’s cell?
2. Immigration coming to a head.
- Nobody planned for immigration to be the issue that dominates the second half of the summer and into the fall. But, it looks like that is happening.
- The current crackdown at the border in response to the “caravan” is escalating things.
- It’s amazing how Americans of different stripes see this through completely different lenses.
- To some, it’s refreshing to see the government finally enforcing the law and creating a real deterrent to anyone considering entering the country illegally.
- To others, it’s cruel and inhumane to separate children from their parents, no matter the legal reasoning or motives of the immigrants.
- The latter group generally wins these debates, at least in the public eye. And Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t help his case by attempting to use scripture to justify the harsh enforcement of existing policies.
- Now Congress is weighing in. The House GOP just released a draft of its compromise immigration bill that would create a path to legal status for “Dreamers,” put $25 billion toward border security, and change the law to keep children detained with their parents in the case of illegal entry.
- The Senate is saying it might consider such a bill, if it passes. That’s big.
- Who knows if the White House intended the crackdown as a way to spur Congress to finally act on immigration. But, that appears to be what’s happening.
3. IG, You G, We all G.
As expected, the Justice Department Inspector General’s report was not a good look for the FBI.
Here are a few quick takeaways along with links to further reading to help inform your understanding:
- James Comey acted inappropriately in several instances, which we already knew. But we now learn that he used personal email to conduct government business because of course he did. You think that might have influenced how he handled the Clinton email/unsecured server thing?
- The FBI texts are stunning and damning. FBI agent Peter Strzok, who worked on BOTH the Clinton investigation and Russia probe, and FBI attorney Lisa Page texted back and forth about how to “stop” Trump from being elected, how “devastating” it was for Trump to win the election, and at least a mention of “resistance”. The report says these opinions never influenced official action, but, man, they look pretty bad.
- The IG makes sure to say he couldn’t find evidence that institutional bias played a role in either the Clinton investigation or the Russia investigation. BUT, there’s this passage about Strzok that really sticks out: “we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.” Maybe the Russia investigation deserved to be prioritized, but Strzok was clearly out to get Trump.
- The FBI officials running the investigations had relationships with reporters and frequently used them to leak information. Some also took things of value or received special favors from media types. These elaborate “leak charts” are really quite something.
- Both sides are going to use bits and pieces of the report to prove their side of the story (Comey really jammed up Clinton unnecessarily; The “deep state” is after Trump, etc.). There’s plenty in there for both. I think it will help Trump more because his grievances are easier to understand and he’s more willing to go out there and make the case.
If you’re looking for a 5-10 minute read that will bring you up to speed on the whole thing, I found Alex Pappas’ story at Fox News to be helpful and comprehensive.
Of course, you could always just read the document for yourself HERE.
4. Education update.
- The State School board met yesterday. It was the first Board meeting with Eric Mackey as Superintendent. They talked a lot about school safety and the plan by Gov. Kay Ivey, Mackey and ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor to train/arm administrators in schools without SROs. Read Trisha Crain’s story for more.
- There’s a runoff on the GOP side for State School Board Place 2. That’s the seat currently held by Betty Peters. The district stretches down the side of Southeast Alabama. That makes Dothan a big part of the district, and Dothan Eagle reporter Kayla Rutledge has a profile on the race.
- The plan to convert an entire feeder system within Montgomery Schools into a public charter system is now a go. The idea would convert all the elementary and middle schools feeding into Sidney Lanier High School into a charter system, meaning the schools would have greater flexibility to remove problem employees and try innovative education approaches. It’s a bold, ambitious plan.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Facebook to build data center in Huntsville.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Funeral set for WWII pilot missing since 1944 crash.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Movie adaptation of “S-town” podcast in the works.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House GOP unveils bill to deal with young immigrants, put $25 billion to fund border wall.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sessions cites Bible to defend separating immigrant families.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump approves plan to impose touch tariffs on China.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Watchdog: Comey, other FBI officials acted inappropriately.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Secretary of State’s office: No estimate of Alabama voter ID need.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – As 64,000 of Montgomery’s workers drive in, the city’s money drives out.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS: Dale Jackson: We love talking about Republicans who don’t like Trump, but what about Alabama Democrats?
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Yes, Alabama loves Trump, but Roby’s concerns were valid. Are we really going to hold them against her?
TIMES-DAILY – Program gives educators up close look at technical skills and jobs.
DECATUR DAILY – Lawsuit: Death caused by poor health care at Morgan jail.
DECATUR DAILY – Voters deserve candidate debate.
ANNISTON STAR – Williams launches general election campaign for state Senate.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – City, state vow to help find jobs for laid-off plant employees.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – AP Explains: Poor People’s Campaign 1968 vs. 2018
DOTHAN EAGLE – Don’t count on an Ivey-Maddox gubernatorial debate.
AL.COM – Alabama Board of Education talks SROs and armed administrators.
AL.COM – Jeff Sessions cites Bible to defend separating immigrant children, parents.
AL.COM – Could poop train return to Alabama? Residents near landfill concerned.
AL.COM – Facebook bringing $750 million data center to Huntsville.
AL.COM – 3 Mississippi Choctaw casinos will be first to offer sports betting.
AL.COM – Missouri school run by controversial Alabama pastor suddenly vanishes, report states.
AL.COM – New York attorney general sues Trump, alleges ‘illegal conduct’ at charity.
AL.COM – Auburn University raises tuition, following across-the-board increases in state.
AL.COM – A year after baseball shooting, Mo Brooks ready to play ball.
AL.COM – Contributor Ford Wiles: A thank you letter to Jeff Bezos.
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER – Columnist Joey Kennedy: We’re perfecting the “art” of being mean.
WASHINGTON POST – House Republicans consider allowing immigrant children to be detained alongside their parents.
WASHINGTON POST – Sessions cites Bible passage used to defend slavery in defense of separating immigrant families.
WASHINGTON POST – The key takeaways from the Justice Department inspector general’s report.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump to impose 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in Chinese products, broadening the trade war.
WASHINGTON POST – Animosity in the Senate as GOP trades insults over criticism of Trump.
WASHINGTON POST – U.S. to house migrant children in tents outside El Paso as government takes more into custody.
NEW YORK TIMES – New York Attorney General Sues Trump Foundation After 2-Year Investigation
NEW YORK TIMES – Power Companies’ Mistakes Can Cost Billions. Who Should Pay?
NEW YORK TIMES – The Reality of a Migrant Shelter: Clean, Orderly and Devoid of Answers
NEW YORK TIMES – Contributor James Comey: This Report Says I Was Wrong. But That’s Good for the F.B.I.