Daily News Digest – September 24, 2018

Daily News Digest – September 24, 2018
Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Monday, September 24, 2018.

1. More SCOTUS confirmation drama.

  • The above political cartoon is from my friend, Scott Stantis. Scott now works at The Chicago Tribune, but most will remember him for the many years he spent at The Birmingham News.
  • In a Rorschach Test, what the patient sees from an otherwise indistinguishable ink blot is supposed to tell psychologists about their state of mind.
  • It’s an apt illustration of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination because people on both sides are seeing what they want to see, largely based off their politics.
State of Play
  • Just as the Judiciary Committee had settled on a Thursday hearing for both Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh to testify, a new allegation of sexual misconduct emerged Sunday night.
  • Deborah Ramirez told The New Yorker that Kavanaugh aggressively exposed himself to her at a drunken party at Yale in the 1980s.
  • The new allegation has done exactly what you’d expect it would do: upend the process once again and prompt Democrats to call for further delays of the hearings/confirmation.
  • Just like Ford’s, Ramirez’s story has some problems. She reportedly spent “six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney” before coming forward and the other individuals said to have witnessed the event can’t corroborate.
  • The story had been passed on by other outlets, such as the New York Times and The Washington Post. The Times wrote that its reporters had attempted to corroborate Ramirez’ story by contacting “several dozen people” but “could find no one with firsthand knowledge.”
  • Committee Republicans said they would investigate the new claims, but expressed frustration with allegations being withheld until the last minute as a delay tactic.
  • But again, we already see what we want to see, don’t we?
  • Catch up on the latest HERE.

2. Sessions visits the tailgate.

  • “We are so glad you could join us,” my mom, Teresa Stacy told the nation’s top law enforcement officer as he arrived, flanked by a detail of several federal agents.
  • “Let me fix you a plate.”
  • That’s how things went Saturday when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stopped by our tailgate. He was in town for the Arkansas game, of course, but also to see Auburn University programs and research that support Department of Justice priorities like fighting terrorism and combatting opioid abuse.
  • The AG was in a good mood – gracious, interested, even jovial. He complimented the emergence of Alabama Daily News and scolded me for not dating enough, which, agreed.
  • He raved over mom’s deviled eggs and said he could tell by my waistline how much I enjoyed them, which, again, agreed.
  • I wrote about all this, including some on the record comments about his visit to Auburn, what he sees as progress at the Department of Justice, and the “bottomless pit” of Washington distractions to deal with as Attorney General.
  • Read that HERE.

A message from the Boeing Company

  • Congress and the U.S. Army are looking to quickly re-establish the country’s ability to defend against cruise missile threats.
  • Find out more about Boeing’s upgraded Avenger offer HERE.

3. Trump’s week at the UN.

  • President Trump has a big week in New York as world leaders gather for the United Nations General Assembly and other corresponding meetings.
  • One year after Trump called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” in front of the world, the two are trying to come to terms on a peace deal involving South Korea.
  • Trump’s “America First” doctrine has matured and come into focus in the last year – politically, economically, and militarily.
  • In many ways world leaders are learning what the American political establishment had to: love him or hate him, do not take Trump lightly.
  • He’ll meet with South Korean leaders on a trade deal today, address the General Assembly tomorrow, and chair a Security Council meeting on Wednesday.
  • United States U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley previewed Trump’s UN agenda in this way:
  • “He is looking forward to talking about foreign policy successes the United States has had over the past year and where we’re going to go from here.”
  • “He wants to talk about protecting U.S. sovereignty,” while building relationships with nations that “share those values.”
  • Read more HERE.

4. Matthew Stokes: Isolation & Exhaustion make for Political & Social Headaches.

  • In his column this week, Matthew Stokes takes a look at what leads so many of us to get lost in our own political and social worlds, blithely ignoring the needs and truths of those around us.
  • I admit to it, and so does Stokes.
  • He sees the problem rooted in habits that make us isolated and exhausted, reaching for releif.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
  • “Put together, it’s all just so much. Dress up day at school, often for a cause. Random event at school with parents invited.  Practice for sports two nights a week. Write a check for this, make a donation for that. All of it is fine, and yet when you add it all up, none of it is. The problem is that the complexity of modern life is exhausting, which causes so many people to simply shut down and seek refuge in something else – food, drink, or most often, that stupid iPhone.”
  • Read Stokes’ full piece HERE.

5. News Briefs.

Rogers profiled
  • The Montgomery Advertiser profiled Congressman Mike Rogers for his reelection bid.
  • His 3rd District runs from Cherokee County in North Alabama down the eastern part of the state into Montgomery.
  • Rogers told Brian Lyman he is “walking in lockstep” with President Trump and supporting his policies, such as increasing border security and passing tax cuts.
  • The surging economy and lower illegal immigration rates are proof of their success, he says.
  • Read the full race profile story HERE.
Pushing back on AAA criticisms
  • There has been a lot of criticism aimed at the Alabama Accountability Act lately. That’s the law allowing students in failing school districts to access better schools, many times private ones, paid for by a tax-deductible scholarship fund.
  • The Anniston Star was the latest to attack the voucher-like system in a recent editorial.
  • But now the education reform community is pushing back, arguing that the initial results, while incomplete, are actually very promising.
  • Read Excellence in Education adviser Adam Peshek’s piece HERE.
Collier: Selma officer “ambushed” in attack
  • Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier said one of his officers was ambushed in a pre-dawn attack Sunday. The officer was not killed and is expected to survive his gunshot wounds from a high-powered rifle.
  • The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has taken over the investigation, and Collier told the Selma Times-Journal he plans to use “overwhelming force” to investigate the shooting.
  • “This was a very well-established ambush,” Collier said. “I don’t say that leisurely, but it was thought out. They even had the proper angles to keep from shooting each other. We are seeing more and more military type tactics in these shootings.”
  • Scary stuff. Read more HERE.
From Klan roots to Civil Rights
  • A son of a Klansman becoming a leading student figure in the civil rights movement.
  • Sounds like a story good enough for a movie. And it will now become one, with filming planned in Alabama beginning in November.
  • “Son of the South” will be based on Alabama native Bob Zellner’s book, “The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement.”
  • It details Zellner’s transformation from descendant of Klansmen to the field director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
  • Read the original story from The Montgomery Advertiser’s Brian Edwards HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Attorney General Jeff Sessions stops by the tailgate.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: Isolation and Exhaustion make for Personal and Political Headaches.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New sexual-assault accusation rocks Kavanaugh nomination.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Amid furor, Trump pushes pause on deciding Rosenstein’s fate.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – At UN, unrepentant Trump set to rattle foes, friends alike.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US, China hike tariffs as trade row intensifies.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Klan roots to civil rights leader: Film tells Alabama story.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama police chief: Officer wounded in ‘ambush’ shooting.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Summaries of the governor’s races on the ballot in 36 states.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Excellence in Education: In defense of the Alabama Accountability Act.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Mike Rogers touts economy, borders in congressional reelection bid.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Woman shot and killed on Alabama River Parkway.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Civil rights-themed indie movie expected to begin filming locally in November.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – City of Auburn looks toward public transit options.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Government Oversight: Annual contract between City of Dothan and Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center a ‘win-win’ situation for both entities.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Secretary Merrill must unblock Twitter users.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Mike Rogers on Kavanaugh: ‘It is Doug Jones’ job to represent the majority will in Alabama when he casts his vote in Washington’
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Rep. Gary Palmer warns Brett Kavanaugh brouhaha threatens America’s ‘experiment in self-government’ — ‘I think this is going to have consequences for the Democrats’
ATHENS NEWS COURIER – Contributor Parker Snider: The 10 Commandments and religious freedom.
CULLMAN TIMES – Success stories: Technology Village opens doors for innovation.
CULLMAN TIMES – Cullman County jobless rate at 3.4 percent.
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Ainsworth focusing on education, ethics, jobs.
SELMA TIMES JOURNAL – Here’s to 10 years – Doc in a Bus providing help to community.
SELMA TIMES JOURNAL – Thankful for help – DRA, Gov. Ivey invests in fixing Selma.
TROY MESSENGER – Troy University students get glimpse of life in poverty.
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Contributor Daniel Sutter: Should Alabama bet on sports betting?
LAGNIAPPE – Baykeeper: Channel assessment ‘incomplete,’ ‘inadequate’.
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Jeff Poor: Dear Walt: Try something different.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Ceremony in Brookwood honors fallen miners.
GADSDEN TIMES – Records: Drug abuse is a measurable factor into Etowah crime.
AL.COM – Alabama sheriffs begin signing ‘oaths’ to not misuse state jail food funds.
AL.COM – 12 diagnosed with West Nile Virus in Mobile County.
AL.COM – ‘Respect our flag’: Trump’s Huntsville speech still resonates loudly, one year later.
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: The eyes of Texas are blind to Helen Keller.
AL.COM – Which Alabama city is the future in today’s Biz Buzz?
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL – Editorial: The Presumption of Guilt.
WASHINGTON POST – Senate Judiciary panel’s top Democrat calls for delay in Kavanaugh hearing after new allegation.
WASHINGTON POST – U.S. and China clobber each other with biggest sets of tariffs yet.
WASHINGTON POST – Lindsey Graham: Appoint special counsel to investigate ‘bureaucratic coup’ against Trump.
NEW YORK TIMES – Christine Blasey Ford Reaches Deal to Testify at Kavanaugh Hearing.
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump’s China Fight Puts U.S. Tech in the Cross Hairs
NEW YORK TIMES – One Big Problem With Medicaid Work Requirement: People Are Unaware It Exists.

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