Alabama Mornings’ ShowPrep for March 31st, 2016…

Governor Robert Bentley’s concubine resigns

Rebekah Caldwell Mason has resigned from her post as Gov. Robert Bentley’s top political adviser, she said in a Wednesday afternoon statement.

“I have resigned as Senior Political Advisor to Governor Bentley and will no longer be paid from his campaign fund,” the statement reads. “I have also ended my work with the Alabama Council For Excellent Government. My only plans are to focus my full attention on my precious children and my husband who I love dearly.  They are the most important people in my life. Thank you for your prayers for our family.”

Gov. Bentley’s Press Office released the statement on behalf of Mason.

The resignation comes a week after Bentley admitted on March 23 to making “inappropriate” remarks to Mason two years ago, but he denied they were involved in a sexual affair.

Following Mason’s resignation, Bentley released this statement: “I appreciate Rebekah Mason’s service to my administration and the people of this state. I wish the best for her and her family.”

He also commented that he loved her, enjoyed grabbing her boobs, kissing her and that she saw him in his boxers… So….

When does Bentley go?

Gov. Robert Bentley on Wednesday reiterated that he has no plans to resign from office, a week after admitting to making inappropriate sexual comments to his top adviser.

Speaking to reporters outside the Franklin County Courthouse, Bentley also hinted that there may be personnel changes in his administration – which could be interpreted as an indication senior political adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason will no longer serve in that role.

Ed Henry, after appearing on our show yesterday, moves forward with impeachment

State Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, is moving to start impeachment against embattled Gov. Robert Bentley amid the scandal engulfing the governor’s office surrounding his former senior political adviser, Rebekah Caldwell Mason. If the House impeaches Bentley, it would bring the governor one step closer to being removed from office by the legislature.

House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, confirmed to that Henry was planning on bringing the articles of impeachment against the governor as early as next week. Henry could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ford said “over half” of the House is in favor of impeachment. A majority is needed to impeach the governor.

Meanwhile, Governor has been trying to hold off an AG probe

Gov. Robert Bentley last year attempted to stop a Republican lawmaker from presenting concerns over the governor’s relationship with a top adviser to state Attorney General Luther Strange.

State Rep. Allen Farley, R-McCalla, posted on hisblog Monday that he received a phone call from Bentley the night before Farley presented a letter to Strange. The letter, Farley said in his blog, sought the assistance of the AG’s office to determine if Bentley “did in fact (in facilitating the alleged adulterous relationship) utilize any of Alabama’s resources outside the official capacity of his elected office.”

When speculation spilled into the public forum last year about a possible affair between Bentley and senior political adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason, Farley said he presented that letter to Strange on Sept. 1, 2015. The night before, on Aug. 31, Bentley called Farley.

Bentley made four points in the phone call, Farley wrote in the blog:

  • “There is no affair going on.”
  • “There has been jealousy on the part of my wife.”
  • “It is Casino Gambling I can tell you.”
  • “I don’t think you need to get Luther involved in it personally.”

Why is the newspaper industry dying?

Parker Griffith, not content to have the Governor attempting to implement his agenda over the last year and a half, thinks Bentley is mentally ill

The man who went head to head against Governor Robert Bentley in the 2014 election is speaking out about the governor’s scandal.

Democrat Parker Griffith, a former congressman and medical doctor, believes Bentley’s actions reflect obvious symptoms of a mental illness.

“I’m a physician and have witnessed this type of behavior. Often it’s a sign of either a bipolar break or just an individual under stress who has isolated himself from his family and isolated himself from his friends. He’s making decisions that are not logical,” Griffith said referencing statements made by Bentley’s former friends such as Whistleblower Spencer Collier who said the Governor is not the man he used to know. ‘

“He has been struggling both with the legislature and his personal life. I think the things that are just so newsworthy are the symptoms of an individual who’s not facing reality well.       He talks about being divine or destined to be the governor of Alabama and that God intended it to be that way. These are all delusional symptoms,” Griffith said. ” Any psychologist will tell you that Governor Bentley is exhibiting signs and symptoms of a serious illness.”

You guys are crazy if you think 147 people are working on Hillary Clinton e-mails servers, it’s less than 50

Sources close to the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email are knocking down suggestions that 147 federal agents are working on the case, a figure first reported — and now revised — by the Washington Post, citing a lawmaker.

The Post updated the figure on Tuesday, stating that while the “FBI will not provide an exact figure,” there are “fewer than 50” FBI personnel involved in the case.

But a former federal law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the Clinton investigation tells MSNBC an estimate anywhere near 50 agents is also off base.

Geez… it’s only 12!

“There are currently about 12 FBI agents working full-time on the case,” says the source, who would only speak anonymously about an open investigation.

A former FBI official, also speaking anonymously, says many in the law enforcement community view the large estimates of people assigned to the case as completely improbable.


Bama vs. Obama

Attorney General Luther Strange announced Alabama has joined a coalition of 26 states in filing a merits brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition to the Obama administration’s order granting de facto amnesty to some four million illegal immigrants.

The brief, which was filed Monday, argues the administration’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) is unconstitutional and runs counter to the Tenth Amendment.

DAPA is an executive order signed by President Obama that exempts illegal immigrants from being deported if they are the parents of a child who is an American citizen. Such children are sometimes referred to as “anchor babies.”

The states also argue that DAPA violates Article II of the Constitution, which demands that the President must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” In other words, the coalition of states argue that the President is unlawfully picking and choosing which laws to enforce, and which laws to ignore.

“The president’s immigration order is an outright attempt to sidestep the power of Congress which had earlier refused to pass blanket amnesty for millions of illegal aliens,” said Attorney General Strange in a press release. “This president has demonstrated over and over the will to circumvent Congress and the limits on his own constitutional authority in order to achieve a political goal.

“The majority of the states oppose his illegal executive amnesty plan which is now headed to the U.S. Supreme Court after the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted our request for an injunction on November 9, 2015.”

Here is one case where the stalling of Obama’s nominee is a good thing…

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the President’s action last year and oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court will be held April 18. With Justice Scalia gone and with only 8 members on the court, it is probable that the court will render a split decision. In that case, the ruling of the lower court would stand but not create binding precedent.

Donald Trump has no core views….

Heat came, so of course, he changed his views hours later

Donald Trump scrambled to clarify his position on abortion Wednesday after he said women who undergo the procedure should face “some form of punishment” should the practice be outlawed.

Several hours later — after widespread condemnation from Trump’s presidential rivals and even leading anti-abortion groups — he walked back his remarks, releasing a statement in which he said that women who obtain abortions are victims and that doctors who perform the service are the ones who should be punished.

“If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman,” Trump said. “The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed — like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.”

“My position has not changed”, is used in a statement where his position clearly changed.

3 positions in 3 hours

‘Some form of punishment’

The GOP presidential front-runner’s mad scramble began a little after he told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that abortion, if outlawed, should carry “some form of punishment.”

When Matthews asked if that penalty should apply specifically to the woman, Trump replied: “Yes.”

But he didn’t elaborate on its nature except to say that men should not be held responsible.

The backlash was fast, angry and bipartisan.

Dawn Laguens from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund called Trump “flat-out dangerous,” while Bernie Sanders (“Shameful”) and Hillary Clinton (“Horrific and telling”) tweeted their condemnations.

On the GOP side, John Kasich and Ted Cruz, who both favor strict anti-abortion laws, criticized Trump from the right, with the Texas senator accusing him of having damaged the cause, saying the billionaire “demonstrated that he hasn’t seriously thought through the issues.”

‘This issue is unclear’

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks sent in a statement from Trump to reporters: “This issue is unclear and should be put back into the states for determination. Like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions, which I have outlined numerous times.”

Criticism, though, continued to come.

‘The woman is a victim’

By a little before 5 p.m., Trump released another explanation — marking an almost complete about-face.

“If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman,” Trump said in a statement.

“The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb,” Trump said. “My position has not changed — like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.”

Smart guy….

In wide-ranging interviews with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders slammed Donald Trump for suggesting that women be punished for having abortions.

The interviews aired as part of a special with MSNBC Wednesday night.

“What Donald Trump said today was outrageous and dangerous and you know I’m constantly just taken aback at the kinds of things that he advocates for,” Clinton said.


“I mean, he would make both women and doctors criminals,” Clinton said. “Even other candidates on the Republican side who run for office haven’t gone as far as Donald Trump has in recent years, and what he said today is just among the most outrageous and dangerous statements that I’ve heard anybody running for President say in a really long time.”

Sanders, for his part, said that to call Trump’s comments “shameful is probably understating that position.”

“I don’t know what world this person lives in,” Sanders told Maddow. “To punish a woman for having an abortion is beyond comprehension. I — I just — you know, one would say what is in Donald Trump’s mind except we’re tired of saying that?”

Both interviews were dominated by Trump, and Sanders and Clinton came together to critique him. They spent much more time pummeling Republicans than each other. And they agreed that their debate has been more substantive and civil and the one on the other side, despite the real differences between the two candidates. Clinton has chosen to largely ignore Sanders, given her massive delegate lead, and Sanders and his campaign have promised to never get personal.

GOP pounces….

Of course, women shouldn’t be punished,” rival Republican candidate John Kasich said on Wednesday, saying he opposed abortion except in specific cases such as rape.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the third candidate for the Republican nomination for the Nov. 8 election, said Trump had not thought through the issue. “What’s far too often neglected is that being pro-life is not simply about the unborn child, it’s also about the mother,” he said in a statement.


Trump continues to pretend he can’t release his tax returns.

Donald Trump on Wednesdayreleased a letter from his tax attorneysattesting that the GOP presidential front-runner’s tax filings from 2009 and onward are still being audited by the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS has, however, completed audits of Trump’s tax returns through his 2008 filing. Trump’s tax returns have been audited by the IRS each year since 2002, the letter said, and Trump’s tax returns between those years “have been closed administratively by agreement with the IRS without assessment or payment, on a net basis, of any deficiency,” the lawyers stated.

“Examinations for returns for the 2009 year and forward are ongoing. Your returns for these years report items that are attributable to continuing transactions or activities that were also reported on returns for 2008 and earlier. In this sense, the pending examinations are continuous of prior, closed examinations,” Trump’s tax attorneys Sheri Dillon and William Nelson said in their letter addressed to Trump.


“It takes brains to make millions,” according to the slogan of Donald Trump’s board game. “It takes Trump to make billions.” It appears that’s truer than Trump himself might like to admit. An analysis suggests that Trump would’ve been a billionaire even if he’d never had a career in real estate, and had instead thrown his father’s inheritance into a index fund that tracked the market. His wealth, in other words, isn’t because of his brains. It’s because he’s a Trump.

In an outstanding piece for National Journal, reporter S.V. Dáte notes that in 1974, the real estate empire of Trump’s father, Fred, was worth about $200 million. Trump is one of five siblings, making his stake at that time worth about $40 million. If someone were to invest $40 million in a S&P 500 index in August 1974, reinvest all dividends, not cash out and have to pay capital gains, and pay nothing in investment fees, he’d wind up with about $3.4 billion come August 2015, according to Don’t Quit Your Day Job’s handy S&P calculator. If one factors in dividend taxes and a fee of 0.15 percent — which is triple Vanguard’s actual fee for anexchange-traded S&P 500 fund — the total only falls to $2.3 billion.

It’s hard to nail down Trump’s precise net worth, but Bloomberg currently puts it at $2.9 billion, while Forbes puts it at $4 billion. So he’s worth about as much as he would’ve been if he had taken $40 million from his dad and thrown it into an index fund.


“Guns at RNC petitioner” is a liberal?

A petition that’s been circulating for a week on is asking the Quicken Loans Arena to “Allow Open Carry of Firearms at the Quicken Loans Arena during the RNC Convention in July.” Posted by an anonymous petitioner who calls himselfThe Hyperationalist, the petition caught fire when it became a darling of talk radio and right-wing blogging. The petition, which calls the arena’s ban on weapons “a direct affront to the second amendment…[that] puts all attendees at risk” has surpassed 51,000 signatures and is racing toward its goal of 75,000.

But the identity of its anonymous progenitor has not been fully cracked. Until now. The petition is the brainchild of a Democratic activist and blogger named James P. Ryan, who claims to be satirizing rather than supporting the idea that Republicans should bring weapons into their nominating convention.

Guessing his identity has become a bit of a parlor game among right-wing chatters and the success of the petition has stimulated Mr. Ryan, who is guarded about his identity, to call several New York City PR firms to inquire about representing him.

TSA agents have attested the boy killed by the monitor in the Birmingham airport was playing on it before it fell

According to the witness statements provided to FOX6, TSA Security Officer Joseph Ricciardi stated that at approximately 1:30 p.m. he was walking towards a restroom and as he passed by the sign that included three large monitors that provided flight information, two young boys were looking at the monitor images. The two boys were elevated with their hands holding inside the bottom space area of the monitors and their feet resting on a long shiny pipe which ran the length of the bottom of the unit.

“One boy was hanging on the left monitor area and the other was hanging on the center monitor area,” Ricciardi stated. “I thought about saying something ‘parental’ about the boys hanging on the monitor unit but thought surely the lady would intervene as it looked ‘risky’ to me.”

A few minutes later as he exited the restroom, Ricciardi stated he heard a loud “boom” and felt the floor shake and thought a bomb had gone off. After waiting few seconds for any possible additional gunfire or explosion he heard a woman scream. He stated he ran and found the sign had toppled over and others were already trying to lift if off the two boys and woman.

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