Alabama Mornings’ ShowPrep for April 28th, 2016…

Trump isn’t being a jerk for once… How presidential

Donald Trump has detailed his foreign policy in a speech, a day after sweeping to a win in five US primaries.

Mr Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican candidacy in the 2016 presidential race, said he would pursue an “America First” policy.

He called the foreign policy of President Barack Obama’s administration “a complete and total disaster”.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump called himself the Republican “presumptive nominee” after his primary wins.

He claimed victories in Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Trump supporters show how serious they are….

Sit down, Ann.

Cruz brings on Fiorina

Ted Cruz formally named Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate Wednesday — a last-ditch move to regain momentum after being mathematically eliminated from winning the GOP presidential nomination outright.

“After a great deal of consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be president of the United States that I will run on a ticket with my vice presidential nominee Carly Fiorina,” Cruz said during a rally in Indianapolis.

Fiorina joined the Texas senator on stage, and Cruz’s staff changed the podium in between Cruz and Fiorina’s remarks to display a new logo featuring both their names.

“Ted could not be more right in what he said: There is a lot at stake, and in fact, this is a fight, this is a fight for the soul of our party and the future of our nation,” Fiorina said. “I’ve had tough fights all my life. Tough fights don’t worry me a bit.”

Fiorina told CNN in an interview the “real formal final conversation” between the two of them regarding the vice presidential decision happened Tuesday.

“Everything about this campaign, everything about this election, is unprecedented,” Fiorina said. “Let’s face it, these are unprecedented times, we face unprecedented challenges and dangers. I think this is a confident leader who knows what he wants to do for this nation and who wants the nation to understand who he is, what he believes and who he wants by his side to fight this fight on behalf of the American people.”


Some debt repayment, more spending of “one-time” money and pork for Baldwin and Mobile

The budget committee in the Alabama House of Representatives today approved a plan to split money from a $1 billion BP oil spill settlement between debt payments and road projects in Mobile and Baldwin counties.

The plan would also free up $55 million in one-time funding for the Alabama Medicaid Agency, said the sponsor, Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark.

The bill could be considered in the House as early as Thursday. It would also have to pass the Senate, and only three days remain in the legislative session after today.

The bill is the latest effort to resolve a dispute between lawmakers over how to use the $1 billion BP is scheduled to pay the state over the next 18 years to compensate for economic damages from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The plan calls for a bond issue and for using the annual BP payments to pay the debt.

About $448 million would go to the Alabama Trust Fund as repayments for transfers used to prop up the General Fund over the last six or seven years.

About $191 million would go to Mobile and Baldwin counties for road projects.

Lawmakers from the coastal counties say two projects are high priorities — improvements to U.S. 98 between Mobile and the Mississippi line and a connector between Interstate 65 and Interstate 10 to extend the Baldwin Beach Express, which runs to Orange Beach.

Rep. Randy Davis, R-Daphne, and Sen. Bill Hightower, R-Mobile, today called Clouse’s bill a good compromise.

The bill would clear the way to appropriate $55 million in the fiscal year 2017 budget for Medicaid, Clouse said.

The Legislature appropriated $700 million from the General Fund for Medicaid for next year, $85 million short of what the agency said it needed to maintain services.

The $55 million would cover about two-thirds of that difference.


The media is against a small town in Alabama

“This is totally directed at protecting our citizens,” said Council President Steven Waits. “People will not come to Oxford if they don’t feel safe.”

On Tuesday, Oxford’s city council made it a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine or six months in jail to use a bathroom opposite the person’s biological sex at birth.

The law does allow for exceptions, such as an adult accompanying a minor under the age of 12, for custodial purposes, for maintenance and inspection, to render emergency medical aid and to accompany the handicapped or those needing assistance.

What is this really about?

But Waits said a national atmosphere of political correctness prompted the action.

“We can’t be concerned with .3 percent of the population,” he said. “We have to be concerned with 100 percent.”

Waits said city officials had not anticipated the national attention the law is receiving, but they understood the city was the first municipality in the nation to pass such an ordinance. However, Waits said city officials began hearing from constituents immediately after Target changed its restroom policy last week.


The woman card is being dealt, make no mistake about that

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Tuesday declared their own war over women.

The Democratic and Republican presidential front-runners signaled a heated general election clash over gender after they both swept much closer to closing out their nominations.

Clinton relished a chance to lay into Trump in her victory speech in Philadelphia after winning four out of the five Northeastern primary contests.

Speaking of that, time for women to register for the draft

Women would be required to register for the military draft under the terms of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act approved by the House Armed Services Committee this week.

Approved on a vote of 32-30, the measure would require women to register with Selective Service on their 18th birthday, something that’s already required of men. The issue of the draft heated up after the Pentagon announced it would open combat positions to women.

“If we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, then we should support a universal conscription,” committee member Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, said.

Currently, men age 18-25 are required to register with Selective Service Systems, an independent government agency. The men provide their full name, date of birth, gender, Social Security number and current mailing address. Failure to register can be a felony and limits access to things such as student loans and government jobs.

Nearly 17 million male U.S. citizens and male immigrant non-citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are currently registered with Selective Service System.

Not gonna happen.


Roy Moore is totally done, again, totally

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday accused several groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and “atheists, homosexuals and transgender individuals” of bringing a politically motivated complaint about his administrative order to probate judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses gay marriage to the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama.

The JIC, which could determine whether Moore is brought up on ethics charges, is the wrong venue to bring the complaint, according to the chief justice and his attorney, Mat Staver. They said the SPLC, Human Rights Campaign and other groups should bring the complaint instead to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in America, Moore ordered the state’s probate justices not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Moore maintained that the Supreme Court ruling had no bearing on Alabama’s constitutional ban on gay marriage.

“This is not about religion,” Moore said at the press conference. “This is about my marriage and my legal orders.”

Asked why he called the press conference, Staver said he was not anticipating an immediate ruling by the JIC, but wanted to clear up what he believed were mischaracterizations. Moore said his orders to probate judges never instructed them to defy a federal order.


Leni’s Law passes

A bill to allow people with seizure disorders or other debilitating medical conditions to use a product that comes from the same plant as marijuana was passed by the Alabama Legislature today.

The state Senate approved the bill, called Leni’s Law, by a 29-3 vote.

The House later voted 95-4 to concur with the bill and send it to Gov. Robert Bentley, who could sign it into law.

The bill would decriminalize cannabidiol, derived from cannabis, for those with certain medical conditions.

The bill is named after Leni Young, an Alabama child whose family moved to Oregon so she could use cannabidiol to treat severe seizures.

The product is legal there and in some other states, but not in Alabama.


What? The Masons lied?

Rebekah Caldwell Mason, Gov. Robert Bentley’s former political advisor and rumored love interest, has filed a series of amended financial disclosure forms showing previously undeclared income for both her and her husband.

Filed April 15 under the name “Rebekah Ann Mason,” the amended Statement of Economic Interest forms cover years 2012 and 2013. Mason, who previously filed her forms under the name Rebekah Caldwell Mason, also resubmitted a disclosure for 2011, her first year as Gov. Bentley’s communications director.

Mason’s original 2013 disclosure form listed only her consulting company, RCM Communications. The amended version lists RCM as well as JRM, the company owned by her husband, Jon Mason. Jon Mason refiled his own amended financial disclosure forms April 14 to reflect hundreds of thousands of dollars of previously undisclosed money JRM received from the University of Alabama.

Rebekah Mason’s amended 2012 form also added Jon Mason’s job as Serve Alabama director and added revenue for JRM of between $10,000 and $50,000. The 2011 form – previously unfiled – also lists JRM.

AL.com reported both Masons had failed to disclose the income received from JRM on reports filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission.


Sex with student? That’s fine.

Matthew Shane Wester, a former Blount County teacher accused of having sexual contact with a 17-year-old whom he married shortly after she graduated high school, was acquitted today after his young wife failed to show up for court and prosecutors said they couldn’t continue without her.

Amy Nicole Cox Wester was expected to be called to testify by Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey, but Casey said multiple efforts to serve her with a subpoena were unsuccessful. She said they left a copy of the subpoena on the door of the couple’s apartment, which defense attorneys brought with them to court Wednesday, but Circuit Judge Dennis E. Odell ruled that wasn’t “proper” service.

Casey asked that the case be continued until Thursday so they could make additional efforts to subpoena Cox-Wester, who previously worked at Sonic and now works at a Leeds outlet store, and Odell refused. Outside of the jury’s presence, defense attorney Robert Bentley expressed concern to the judge that Casey had apparently emailed the judge the previous night, and that she had also called Wester’s cell phone in attempt to locate his wife, also the previous night.

Casey told the judge both actions were unintentional and she apologized. “The court then warned Ms. Casey against further improper communications indicating the possibility of contempt sanctions for further violation should they occur,” according to the judge’s official order released late Wednesday.

The judge’s order also addressed the prosecution’s failure to serve Wester’s new wife with a subpoena. He pointed out that all parties, including Amy Cox Wester, were at an April 18 hearing. “It would have been a simple matter to secure service of the subpoena for trial at that time,” Odell wrote. “The District Attorney’s Office should have accomplished that and failed to do so.”

Here’s an interesting theory, teachers should be able to bang their students

Alabama teacher charged with having sex with a student sought to have the law overturned that prohibits consensual sex between students and teachers.

An Alabama judge denied that request.

Morgan County District Judge Brent Craig issued a two-page ruling Friday denying a motion that sought to make the state’s student-teacher sex law unconstitutional. Specifically, the law prohibits a school employee from engaging in a sex act with a student under the age of 19.

Attorneys for Carrie Witt, Robert Tuten and Nick Heatherly, filed the motion earlier in the month. Witt, 42, taught history, psychology and social studies teacher at Decatur High and was also the school’s girls’ golf coach and junior varsity cheerleaders coach. She was arrested in March and charged with having sexual relations with two male students, who were 17 at the time of the incident, police said.

Similar cases seeking to overturn the law are pending in Tuscaloosa and Blount counties.


Dumb people do dumb things

Birmingham, England and Birmingham, Alabama.  Easily confused, right? Maybe not.

A British couple was expecting the trip of a lifetime when they arrived at the Birmingham Airport in England recently for a flight to Las Vegas.

Their dreams of gambling, star-studded shows and buffet meals were quickly crushed, however, when they learned their flights were actually departing from Birmingham, Ala., the Daily Mail reported.

Richella Heekin spent a year planning the trip for the 30th birthday of her long-time boyfriend, Ben Marlow. She kept the trip a secret until revealing the surprise in front of friends and family.

Heekin paid £1,200 ($1,745) for the flights on lastminute.com and wasn’t able to get a refund.

Marlow said this about the experience to the Daily Mail: “When we turned up at the airport we couldn’t find the flight details anywhere. We approached one of the desks and they told us our holiday was booked from Alabama.

“I was gutted – more for my partner than for me,” he continued. “She had told everyone and she was really upset. She was distraught and we didn’t know what to do.”

Are we calling everyone our partner?

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