Alabama Mornings’ ShowPrep for March 11th, 2016…

Oh Hillary…

Trump wants party unity, even though he has done nothing to actually unify people

“We’re taking people from the Democrat party. We’re taking people as independents and they’re all coming out and the whole world is talking about it,” he said. He added, “They’re voting of enthusiasm. They’re voting out of love.”

He also acted like a human person…

Yes, it’s memorable when the billionaire goes out of his way to avoid conflict in the opening moments of a debate. Gone were the “Little Marco” taunts, the frequent interruptions, the red-faced bombast.

For the first half of the debate, Trump took exactly zero shots at his rivals, and they generally showed restraint as well, offering, at most, oblique criticisms of the mogul. It felt like a long exhale after a breathless, nasty campaign — and a resigned acceptance among Trump’s rivals that Trump is the decided front-runner.

Psychopaths for Trump…

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responded to discrepancies in Ben Carson’s personal biography by saying that the former neurosurgeon has a “pathological disease” that cannot be cured.

“It’s a lot of statements that are under fire,” Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “And I hope Ben’s going to be okay with it… But certainly a lot of people are asking a lot of questions all of the sudden.”

“It’s a lot of things,” he continued. “You know, when you say hitting your mother over the head with a hammer, when you talk about hitting a friend in the face with a lock, a padlock. And you talk about stabbing someone and it got stopped by a belt buckle.”

Trump observed that “belt buckles don’t really stop stabbings. They turn and twist and things slide off them. It’s pretty luck if that happened.”

“Ben wrote a book, and it’s a tough book because, you know, he talked about he has pathological disease,” the GOP hopeful added. “It’s a serious statement when you say you have pathological disease. Because as I understand it, you can’t really cure it.”

Senator Orr wants payday lending reform


This session Orr introduced a bill to regulate payday lenders. Those proposed regulations were patterned on a law passed six years ago in Colorado. The Pew Charitable Trusts has called the reforms there a model compromise that protects borrowers from getting ripped off while allowing lenders to stay in  business.

As it is now, most payday loans in Alabama last for two to four weeks, but the debt often lasts much longer. According to Orr, new data collected by the Alabama State Banking Department shows that about 70 percent of the loans made are roll-overs — paying off an old loan with a new one.

With those rollovers come new fees. The net effect is that payday borrowers can end up paying an effective annual percentage rate of 456 percent.

All of this is a choice.

What it has done to Colorado…

The Colorado payday lending industry didn’t collapse, but many lenders did consolidate stores. The number of stores fell by nearly half, but the number of borrowers per store nearly doubled.

Isn’t that’s the definition of a collapsing industry?

Is this government role?

Hubbard trial slowly stumbles on…

No tapes will be released.

Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Walker III issued a protective order prohibiting release of the tapes by Baron Coleman, a Montgomery lawyer, political consultant who was once a fierce Hubbard opponent but who last month said in a sworn statement that he had “concluded” that prosecutor Matt Hart had supplied him secret grand jury testimony in the Hubbard case.

Coleman said he used that information to conduct a “whisper campaign” against Hubbard in his reelection bid in the 2014 Republican Party Primary. Coleman had managed the campaign of Hubbard’s opponent in that race.

On Wednesday Walker had ordered Coleman to turn over the tapes to him by 1 p.m., Friday but had not at the time of that order acted to keep the tapes from public dissemination.

Coleman said Thursday he was mulling over his legal options including whether to hand the tapes over to Walker in light of the protective order.

Coleman said he may seek a hearing before Walker over the issues.

Coleman’s charge that Hart may have shared grand jury information with him has thrown an explosive new element into the three-year-old case which had already seen more than its share of fireworks.

Hubbard appeals are denied

Most of Hubbard’s petition, which is more than 300 pages, remains under seal, so all the issues raised are not clear.

Lawyers in the case cannot speak to the press because of a gag order.

The only part that is unsealed is the claim by Hubbard’s lawyers that the case should be dismissed because the special grand jury that indicted him exceeded a 12-month term before issuing the indictment.

Walker had denied that motion by Hubbard’s lawyers on Feb. 2.

In that same order, Walker also denied Hubbard’s claim of selective prosecution and his claim that parts of the ethics law are unconstitutional.

Walker has also denied Hubbard’s motion to have the case dismissed because Acting Attorney General Van Davis was not appointed according to the law.

Walker has not ruled on Hubbard’s motion to dismiss the case for prosecutorial misconduct and vindictive prosecution.

Hubbard’s lawyers have made those claims for more than a year, and renewed them recently because of an affidavit filed by political consultant, radio host and attorney Baron Coleman, who said Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart had regularly shared information with him about the investigation.

More marriage bills

Legislation giving judges, ministers and other officiants the right to refuse to perform marriage ceremonies, which proved contentious last year, is being considered again in the Alabama Legislature.

This year, however, the bill may be less divisive as its sponsor Rep. Jill Hill, R-Moody, added an amendment on Wednesday intended to keep probate judges from discriminating against gay couples.

Hill said he filed the bill last year after receiving concerns from judges and others concerned they would be forced to marry gay couples.

During the House debate last year, Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, the only openly gay legislator in the state, said the bill was drafted to discriminate against gay couples who want to marry.

“This is very hurtful to me as an openly gay person,” she said.

Hill’s amendment may quell those concerns. It states that if probate judges marry heterosexual couples than they must marry same-sex couples, but they can also opt not to carry any couples.


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