The Future of the Travel Ban- Combatting the Growing Terrorist Threat

The Future of the Travel Ban- Combatting the Growing Terrorist Threat

Now that the Supreme Court has approved President Trump’s travel ban, what’s next? Trump has argued that the ban is necessary to reassess vetting procedures for immigrants from high-risk countries. With the ban officially in place, the administration must figure out how to best enhance these procedures. It’s not altogether clear what changes need to be made, especially with so many questions surrounding the terrorist threat from abroad. Why do some people find the radical ideology embraced by ISIS and other terror groups so attractive? And what, if anything, can the U.S. do to combat the spread of this ideology?

Radical Islam, Social Media, and the Impact of Trump's Travel Ban in Alabama

Radical Islam, Social Media, and the Impact of Trump's Travel Ban in Alabama

Now that the Supreme Court has approved President Trump’s travel ban, what’s next? Trump has argued that the ban is necessary to reassess vetting procedures for immigrants from high-risk countries. With the ban officially in place, the administration must figure out how to best enhance these procedures. It’s not altogether clear what changes need to be made, especially with so many questions surrounding the terrorist threat from abroad. Why do some people find the radical ideology embraced by ISIS and other terror groups so attractive? And what, if anything, can the U.S. do to combat the spread of this ideology?...

A Strange Election: How Recent Events Will Affect the Race to Replace Jeff Sessions

A Strange Election: How Recent Events Will Affect the Race to Replace Jeff Sessions

No one can deny that we are living in strange times. From Russia interfering in U.S. elections, to a President who appears to be either a lunatic or a genius as he enrages the media by making up words like “covfefe,” to our own governor marred by a sex scandal, it seems our country is spiraling out of control by the second. And yet, in the midst of all of the chaos, we Alabamians have a decision to make: who to elect as our new senator...

A Strange Election: Who is More Likely to Win the Alabama Senate Seat, Luther Strange or Mo Brooks?

A Strange Election: Who is More Likely to Win the Alabama Senate Seat, Luther Strange or Mo Brooks?

No one can deny that we are living in strange times. From Russia interfering in U.S. elections, to a President who appears to be either a lunatic or a genius as he enrages the media by making up words like “covfefe,” to our own governor marred by a sex scandal, it seems our country is spiraling out of control by the second. And yet, in the midst of all of the chaos, we Alabamians have a decision to make: who to elect as our new senator...

Katherine Timpf: A Voice for Young Conservatives

Katherine Timpf: A Voice for Young Conservatives

In a political environment where it can be intimidating for young Republicans to speak their minds and openly identify with the party, Fox News commentator Katherine Timpf says the things that many GOP millennials are thinking. At 28 years old, Timpf has already established herself as a noted political pundit and an informed voice on hot-button issues. A comedian as well as a media personality, Timpf brings humor to subjects that could otherwise be awkward or contentious. Her unique style makes politics accessible for young people who might normally shy away from political discussion, and Timpf shows young Conservatives that popularized liberal views are not the only opinions of their generation...

"Trust me, I am an attorney"

"Trust me, I am an attorney"

You’re in a bind, and you’re confused. Legal-ese is a foreign language to you. You know you need a lawyer for this type of problem, but you’re not sure how to choose one and you’re really not sure how to talk to one. Maybe you’re not even sure if you can trust one. So what do you do? How do you find and pick an attorney and, even more important, what should you expect from your attorney-client relationship?

Will Trump Survive the Assault from the Media and the Left?

Will Trump Survive the Assault from the Media and the Left?

The greatest danger to the American people is not an outside force, but internal conflict. Our country has always had diversity of opinions and differences, but we have generally had common values to which we all adhered. Our leaders may have sometimes disagreed on the solutions, but at the very least they worked to inspire people to believe in something greater than themselves. All around us we see people losing hope—not just in political parties, but in the great institutions this country has held dear. People are beginning to believe that they can’t achieve their dreams, so many have stopped trying...

The Resistance, Kathy Griffin, and the Death of Civility

 The Resistance, Kathy Griffin, and the Death of Civility

At no time since the Civil War began has our country seen this level of partisan tension.  In a survey done in 1960, less than 10 percent of Americans said they would have a problem marrying someone from the other political party. In 2010, that number shot up to nearly 50 percent.  According to Shanto Iyengar, a professor of political science at Stanford University, “In the 1950s and 1960s party affiliation made virtually no difference to interpersonal relations.” However, since the divisive 2016 election, partisan tensions have begun dramatically affecting our lives. From couples divorcing and friendships ending to widespread boycotts and politically inspired acts of violence, D.C.’s political climate has created undoubted turmoil across the country...

Power, Pride & the Fall: Reflections on our leaders and the Easter Message

Power, Pride & the Fall: Reflections on our leaders and the Easter Message

As a student of history and politics, it is truly amazing how many great leaders fall because they give into the trappings of pride. In Alabama, our governor had to resign in shame & disgrace because he became conceited with his power, and in doing so neglected the love of his wife of 50 years for the temporal pleasure of a younger subordinate. Governor Bentley learned the truth behind the proverb that “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.

Is There Still Hope For America's Future

Is There Still Hope For America's Future

As I read the news each day, I realize that one of the major themes is a deep pessimism about America’s future, regardless of where you end up on the political spectrum. I understand why people feel this way, the divisions in this country seem insurmountable, and watching the acrimony in DC it looks like a “united” states isn’t possible. Yet, even though there are many things to be concerned about, I still believe America’s best days are in front of her. Our nation has overcome so many challenges and every generation has had problems that seemed impossible to surmount. Yet the one thing that has united this country is that our people have believed that our best days are yet to come. During WWII, it seemed impossible to combat the advancement at the axis powers. Our military was ranked 17th place in terms of its military might, and the German army seemed unstoppable.

Resignation, Impeachment, or Repentance: The One Thing That Could Save Governor Bentley

Last year, rumors began circulating concerning Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and his adviser, Rebekah Mason. Following the release of an illicit audio recording of the two, serious allegations came to light of a affair between Governor Bentley and Mrs. Mason. Alabama’s House Judiciary Committee is currently overseeing an impeachment investigation concerning a separate but related allegation of misuse of state funds by the governor. It’s been over a year since complaints against the governor were filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission. Governor Bentley adamantly denies any such claims, though he and his wife have since divorced.

Governor Bentley returned to the spotlight this month when hospitalized at Baptist Medical Center South overnight for an irregular heartbeat. News of the trip left many wondering how long Bentley’s tenure in office would continue. Republican Representative Ed Henry, lead proponent of the governor’s impeachment, spoke with reporters last week. According to Rep. Henry, the House will act on the Articles on Impeachment in the very near future, “pending the outcome of a senate trial.” Henry continued that, in order to avoid impeachment, the governor would have to resign by mid-April.

There hasn’t been much public polling, but what little polling is out there puts Governor Bentley’s approval ratings in the teens. In fact, a poll done by a BSC professor last June showed governor Bentley with a 17% approval rating, and the current news cycle is likely going to drop the number even further.  If the 17% number is accurate, then it would be one of the lowest approval ratings of a sitting governor since the invention of polling. Governor Bentley has completely lost the trust of the people of this state and is therefore unable to lead. The state legislature does not take him seriously and although he carries the formal power of Governor, he has lost all moral authority.

The scandal with Rebekah Mason has cost the Governor more than he could have ever imagined. He lost his wife of 50 years, his relationship with his children is strained, and he is facing potential criminal charges if he used state funds to cover up this affair. Regardless of the legal outcome of the case, there is nothing left for the governor after his term is over because his term was so marred by public scandal, it is unlikely that he would have many people willing to associate themselves with him. Yet, I believe that many people in Alabama would be willing to forgive the governor and potentially give him another chance if he would simply be willing to repent for what he has done. The governor needs to first seek forgiveness from God and his family, and then the people of this state deserve an honest account of what happened. Right now the polls are so low that there is no way the legislature is going to be able to find a way not to remove him from office, and if they failed to follow through with impeachment, then the people of this state could throw out many of them in the next cycle. Governor Bentley started his administration talking about loving his brothers and sisters in Christ, and by taking a stand on faith issues, he has held himself out to be someone who trusts in the Lord. Regardless of any voter's particular faith, all of us understand what sincere repentance looks like. Bentley’s apologies to this point have in no way dealt with the real issues of breaking trust with his family and the people of this state. He has done some good things as governor, and I would hope that when the history books are written, they don’t just discuss the sex scandal. The only person who can make this choice is the governor, and I believe that sincere and contrite repentance could restore his governorship and hopefully restore his relationship to his family. The point of writing this isn’t to attack the governor but to encourage him to do the right thing and see how gracious both God and the people of this state would be to him because like I said he has done many positive things for this state and is a very bright governor.

The scriptures teach in Proverbs 16:18-19 that, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” This verse cautions all those who seek power. It takes courage to ask for forgiveness and to acknowledge one’s own shortcomings. It is my hope that Bentley will recognize the error of his ways. After all, “what shall it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul?” (Mark 8:36). It is far more important to have family than power. What good is having a seat in the Governor’s mansion if you have no one to come home to? Bentley is in control of his own actions moving forward. If he asks for forgiveness and truly gives himself to God, only then will he find peace and reconciliation. Bentley has already lost so much, and if he is unable to find humility with God, he stands to lose even more. He has already lost his wife and the support of constituents. He must be careful to not lose sight of God as well, for without God, undoubtedly we have nothing.

No matter Bentley’s actions, we are likely to see some form of a conclusion to this matter in the next few weeks. The Ethics Commission is meeting April 5, and they are expected to release a report on their findings. Whether it is by means of an impeachment or resignation, Bentley’s tenure as Governor will soon come to an end if he doesn’t act soon. For his own good, I hope Governor Bentley is able to own up to the mistakes he has made and accept the consequences humbly that are to come.

Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and was a health policy advisor to the Governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com.Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

What’s Really Behind the Left's Recent Attacks on Congressman Palmer

The election of Donald Trump has created hysteria among the far left members in the Democratic Party. With the repeal of Obamacare on the near horizon, the left has focused their energy on disrupting GOP town halls. Our congressman Gary Palmer was recently a major target of this effort, which begs the question: why did the left organize specifically against Gary Palmer? Some background on Gary Palmer's life and history will shed light on why the Left is focusing so many resources to take him down.

Before being elected to represent the 6th Congressional District of Alabama, Palmer was famous for advocating for conservative solutions to help reform Alabama’s government. In 1989, he founded the Alabama Policy Institute, a think tank that played a pivotal role in defeating a $1 billion tax increase proposal in 2003, which was proposed by a Republican Governor. Palmer demonstrated that he was willing to stand up for his principles even if it meant challenging members of his own party. In 2014, most political analysts believed that Palmer had little chance of winning the GOP primary due to the fact that his opponents were better funded and organized. But what Palmer had was a powerful message that he would not abandon his principles regardless of the cost. Palmer won both due to his command of the issues and because he pledged to the voters that if elected, he would not vote for John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Unlike many politicians, Palmer actually stuck to his promise and famously told then Speaker Boehner that he could not in good conscious vote for him, which took Speaker Boehner by surprise because most freshman congressman wouldn’t challenge the leader of their own party. At first, Palmer was threatened with being sidelined, but in time Boehner actually respected Palmer for being a man of his word, and Palmer was put on some very influential committees.

Now in his second term in Congress, Palmer has also made attempts to curb the out-of-control deficit spending looming over the country. Last year, he proposed an amendment prohibiting bills costing more than $500 million from being brought to the floor for a vote under suspension of the rules. Currently, the rules often allow for bills to be passed quickly while House rules are suspended, which limits debate and encourages the frivolous spending seen over the last 8 years. While this amendment was voted down at the time, it is more likely to pass now that a Republican is in the White House.

Despite the fact that Palmer was aware that the Left was going to disrupt his town hall on Feb 25th, he still attended because he is willing to listen and respond to any constituent regardless of political ideology. Palmer not only fielded every question posed to him by the Left at the town hall, he even made a point to step outside and speak to the protestors who were unable to enter due to the fire code because he wanted to give them a chance to voice their concerns as well.

However, despite Palmer working hard to listen to the concerns of his constituents on the Left, he will likely be a target because he has obtained a significant amount of influence through his appointment to the Budget Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  Congressman Palmer has also been appointed to the Republican Policy Committee as Vice President and to the Steering Committee of the Republican Study Committee. These committees are often tasked with working out the details of major pieces of legislation, and Congressman Palmer will have the ability to work behind the scenes on transformative conservative legislation. That is why the Left is so determined to take him down. My grandfather, a WWII veteran, always used to say that you only take flack when you're over the target, which means the closer you are to achieving your goal, the more opposition you will have. Palmer is up to the challenge of continuing to promote conservative solutions to the problems American face.

Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and was a health policy advisor to the Governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com. Article co-written by Chris Simmons who is a law student at Cumberland school of law and can be reached at csimmon2@samford.edu. Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

 

How Partisan Tensions Are Destroying Relationships, and How We Can Fix Them!

At no time since the Civil War began has our country seen this level of partisan tension.  In a survey done in 1960, less than 10 percent of Americans said they would have a problem marrying someone from the other political party. In 2010, that number shot up to nearly 50 percent.  According to Shanto Iyengar, a professor of political science at Stanford University, “In the 1950s and 1960s party affiliation made virtually no difference to interpersonal relations." However, since the divisive 2016 election, partisan tensions have begun dramatically affecting our lives. From couples divorcing and friendships ending to widespread boycotts and politically inspired acts of violence, D.C.’s political climate has created undoubted turmoil across the country.

The New York Times wrote an article entitled “Political Divide Splits Relationships – and Thanksgiving, Too.” In this article, family after family is ripped apart by the election. One daughter described in the article calls and forbids her parents from seeing their grandchildren ever again due to political differences. One man’s mother claims she, “no longer had a son.” [i]  While each family has their own unique history, there is one constant in each story listed in the article. In every case it was the Trump Supporter who was singled out and cut off from the rest of the family. In the article, the Times points out, “Democrats have dug in their heels, and in some cases are refusing to sit across the table from relatives who voted for President-elect Donald J. Trump.” [ii] 

Trump supporters have not been completely free of political resentments either.  During the election, many called their fellow supporters to boycott companies that didn’t align with their views. Macy’s was boycotted for not holding Trump’s clothing line. Oreos were boycotted when they moved their company to Mexico, and Ben & Jerry’s was singled out for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. [iii] Personally, I could never boycott Ben & Jerry’s because their ice cream is just too delicious.

Democrats had their fair share of boycotts during the election as well. In Detroit, Democrats singled out Don Studvent, owner of the restaurant 1917, for catering a breakfast for Donald Trump, Jr. Though Studvent is a Clinton supporter and has signs supporting her outside his restaurant, he had only two tables filled during what he says was his busiest lunch hour. Studvent argues that the choice to cater for Donald Trump, Jr., was strictly business and that he “can’t take sides” when dealing with his business because he has employees to pay. [iv]

The politically inspired boycotts did not end on election night. One political activist group, the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, is attempting to sway the future of healthcare through boycotts. The group calls for the boycott of any restaurant that allows a Congress member who voted to repeal Obamacare to eat. Scott Dworkin, an adviser to group said, “Restaurants who don’t ban Members will be boycotted by D.C. residents and close down. We’ve done it before – It worked.” [v]

While anecdotal, the above examples give a glimpse into the lack of civility seen throughout our country. In some instances, such political hostility has been known to evoke violence. For example, in Chicago, four teens tortured a mentally disabled teen (who supported Trump) on Facebook Live. Reportedly, the teens threatened the boy with a knife and forced him to drink toilet water. [vi] While an incident like this is rare, it is emblematic of the partisan tension that has taken hold of our society.

            The solution to the problem of partisan tension isn’t that we all must agree with each other. Americans have always had a diversity of viewpoints on issues, and that is the mark of a free society. However, we cannot subscribe to the mindset that because someone has a different viewpoint that makes them not worthy of our respect or friendship. Many people create their views honestly, after having given it much thought, and it is foolish for us to demand that people in our lives see the world as we do. Personally, some of the best friendships I have had were with people who didn’t believe virtually anything I did. What was great about those friendships is that we actually challenged each other by listening to one other’s viewpoints.

            There is so much we can learn from each other if we stop yelling and start listening. Listening doesn’t mean we compromise our principles or our faith. Rather it means that we have chosen to show respect to one other and demonstrate that even though we disagree we can still show we care. I once heard a pastor say, “No one cares what you say until they know that you care,” and that is how we can heal partisan tension. If you really want to persuade people to your way of thinking, first listen to what they have to say and show them you care. I promise they will be much more open to what you have to say. Don’t miss out on quality friendships because of different worldviews. Treat people well no matter what they believe, understanding that they may or may not come around to your point of view. We must remember that being a good friend is more important than being right, so let's all do our part to show respect to each other and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

 

Co-written by Kaela Carpenter and Chris Reid. Kaela is a student at Samford University and an intern at the Reid Law Firm. She is on a pre-law track, and you can reach her by e-mail kcarpen3@samford.edu.  Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com.Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

 

[i] Prager, Dennis. "Ten Reasons Left-Wingers Cut Trump Voters from Their Lives." National Review. N.p., 01 Dec. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

[ii] Sabrina Tavernise and Katharine Q. Seelye. "Political Divide Splits Relationships - and Thanksgiving, Too." The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

[iii] Ford, Zack. "Trump Supporters Launch Boycotts of Pepsi, Oreos, and Netflix." ThinkProgress. ThinkProgress, 16 Nov. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

[iv] Fink, Jenni. "Liberals Boycotting Restaurant Owner Who Catered for Trump Jr. Are Completely Missing the Point." IJR - Independent Journal Review. Independent Journal Review, 16 Nov. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2017

[v] Stinson, Jim. "Liberal Activists Bully Restaurants Over Obamacare." LifeZette. N.p., 23 Jan. 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

[vi] Moreno, Amy. "BREAKING : Four Charged With Hate Crimes for Torturing Mentally Disabled Teen on Facebook Live." TruthFeed. TruthFeed, 05 Jan. 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

Obamacare “Death Spiral” Necessitates Need For Replacement Plan By GOP

The repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one Trumps biggest agenda items for his first term. As recently as February 16, 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated, “It has become increasingly clear that this law is collapsing,” and that, “It will keep getting worse unless we act.” In his statement, Ryan speaks to the ever-increasing insurance premiums that the American people are forced to pay, while their co-pays have gone up and their access to quality physicians has gone down.

Currently, House Republicans are working towards a replacement plan that they believe will be lower costs and increase access for most Americans. As of now, there is a substantial difference of opinion regarding healthcare reform between Republicans and Democrats. Many Democrats support a single-payer system which would effectively eliminate the insurance companies and give the government complete control over your health care decisions. Democrats claim that this single payer system would work “just like the VA” and provide the same level of quality care to all Americans that we provide our veterans. First, our VA is not the model you want this country to emulate. In the past years it has been proven that incompetence at the VA has led to the deaths of many of our nations most decorated veterans. Sadly, the issues with VA have been around for many years. When my dad was doing his residency in the early 80s as an internal medicine physician, one of his rotations was at the VA in Birmingham. On one occasion while he was working there he heard an alarm go off which meant that a patient was going into cardiac arrest and if he didn’t resuscitate this patient quickly they would die. The normal practice is that when someone is going into cardiac arrest the nurse will go to the room with the doctor to help them revive the patient. However, when this cardiac arrest code went off my dad had to run through the halls and try to find this patient who was in imminent danger of dying and finally he went to the nurses station and asked “what room is this patient in” and the nurse pointed to the room with a chicken wing in her hand and my dad was thankfully able to revive the patient. Obviously he was very angry and confronted the nurse and said why didn’t you assist me in reviving this patient and she said that “she was on her break and hadn’t finished eating her dinner”. Well my dad justifiably let her know his thoughts on the matter and the next day the person who got in trouble was not the nurse who was more than happy letting a veteran die rather than take two minutes away from her dinner,  it was my dad who apparently wasn’t sensitive enough to this “so-called”nurse. The problem with giving the government control of our healthcare is that it is almost impossible to fire someone and unlike the private marketplace where you can promote people based on merit, the way you advance in the government system is much different. So if any politician ever says they want to make healthcare run like the VA you need to do everything in your power to make sure that person never wins an election or you may be the person who goes into cardiac arrest during a dinner break and good luck suing the government for negligence because your chances of recovering damages on this when it is in the hands of the government will be slim to none.

 That being said the Republicans prefer a replacement plan with health savings accounts, tax credits to help pay for insurance, and high-risk pools for the chronically sick. The Republicans aim to create a more patient-centered system, allowing for greater choice among insurance companies and healthcare providers. The House Republicans’ blueprint also includes a change in Medicaid payments. Under the ACA, the federal government covers the majority of insurance costs for the Medicaid population. Under the Republican’s proposed plan, states would be reimbursed with block grants. Block grants would limit Medicaid spending, which is currently reimbursed as a percentage of whatever each state spends. Although the House leaders have laid out this general repeal-and-replace plan, a definitive plan has yet to be formulated. As of now there is just speculation as to what the final product will be and if states will end up losing federal funds.

Considering the general formatting of plans to repeal-and-replace the ACA, it is important to follow two individuals throughout the next few months. First, we should follow statements made by Representative Kevin Brady, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, as tax credits are a large portion of Republicans’ repeal-and-replace plans. Representative Brady has discussed tax credit options with a number of congressmen, as well as a potential widening of health savings accounts.  At this point, Representative Brady’s opinions are rather broad. Brady stated, “We’re really looking at a whole range of options.” Although this statement is extremely general, it is important to continue following Representative Brady’s statements and opinions, as his committee will be incredibly influential in the passage of a replacement bill.

The second person to follow is Tom Price, President Trump’s appointment for Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. Price is decidedly against abortion-providing organizations and strongly supports employers’ rights to delegate the level of reproductive healthcare employees receive. While a member of the House of Representatives, Price proposed his own vision for health care reform, The Empowering Patients First Act of 2015. This plan significantly mirrors the plan House Republicans are currently pushing, including giving tax credits to pay for insurance and creating health savings accounts. Considering Secretary Price’s history, it is likely he will gladly support and adopt most anything House Republicans pass in regards to healthcare reform.

With the repeal of the ACA, replacement is vital. Replacement is necessary, as a total repeal without a replacement would disrupt millions of Americans’ healthcare. Many fear, without a replacement, insurers selling individual health plans will exit the market because they will no longer be subsidized. Replacing the ACA would minimize the potential fallout.. Replacement is a complicated issue and undoubtedly much more is to come, but so far, House Republicans appear off to a good start.

Written by Chris Reid and Bennett Naron. Mr. Naron is a political science major at Samford University and can be reached by e-mail at bnaron@samford.edu. Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.comOur firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

The End Of Free Speech: How the Far Left Uses Violence and Fear To Shut Down Speeches Throughout the Country!

At the University of California Berkeley, students protested a speech being held by a controversial speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos (just to be clear I find some of his views repugnant, distasteful and mean spirited). The protest quickly turned into a riot, with protesters throwing bricks and shooting off fireworks. The riot forced the event’s cancellation. Several injuries were reported and at least four banks were vandalized after the protest. During the riot, fireworks were thrown up onto the second-floor balcony inside the venue and fires were lit outside. Yiannopoulos’s speech on campus was sponsored by the campus’s Republican club and was a sold out event (1). By rioting to the point that the event had to be canceled, the protestors attacked the freedoms of Yiannopoulos and every person who planned on attending. Unfortunately, this was not an isolated occurrence. Not long after the riots over Yiannopoulos at Berkeley, California State University Los Angeles experienced a very similar set of events.

At Marquette University, students protested conservative Ben Shapiro’s speech on campus. Again, the protest lead to smashed windows and spontaneous fires. The student group, Young Americans for Freedom, was the sponsor of Shapiro’s speech. In the scheduling of the speech, the Young Americans for Freedom hoped to give conservatives a voice on campus. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just fellow students impeding on the Young Americans freedom of speech, it was also members of the University’s faculty. In addition to the protest, one employee callously attempted to sabotage the event through Facebook. The faculty member posted in the University’s Facebook group Center for Gender and Sexualities Studies asking students, employees, and even former employees to reserve a seat as a student and then not to show up. In doing so, the employee intended to take seats away from people who actually wished to attend the event.

Unfortunately, it has become a common trend on liberal campuses to attack any speaker who isn’t politically correct. Some students feel the need to protest any thoughts and ideas that do not align with their own, resulting in a population of students who expect to always get their way and are stunned when they don’t. The election of President Trump is a prime example of this behavior. Liberal students were so confident that Hillary Clinton was going to win that when she did not, they were traumatized. As a result, Cornell University students held a “cry-in,” University of Michigan professors delayed an exam, Columbia University postponed midterms, University of Connecticut excused students from missing class, and one professor made an exam optional at Yale University (2). College campuses have created safe spaces that protect students from any form of disagreement, thus creating a bubble of identical thinking people. Instead of helping students, these bubbles act as an extreme impairment, limiting students from facing the rest of the world.

The creation of safe spaces could ultimately serve detrimental to the future of the first amendment. When these shielded students graduate, they are not going to know how to deal with controversy. They won’t be able to calmly and logically convey their ideas and emotions when people disagree with them. Students will venture into the workforce with no respect for the ideas of others who disagree with their own.

In order for the United Stated continue to be a free nation; it is imperative that we encourage the free exchange of ideas. The University of Chicago is a great example of how college campuses can support the freedoms of each student. Instead of creating safe places, trigger warnings, and free speech zones, the University of Chicago sent its students a statement addressing campus political correctness head-on. John Ellison, Dean of Students, wrote, “Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called trigger warning’s, we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own” (3).

The overall trend on university campuses for safe spaces and riots is a genuine threat to free speech. People with differing opinions should not be silenced and people should be able to discuss controversial and offensive ideas without the fear of violence. If you are confident in what you believe it shouldn’t bother you if someone else believes something different. People who resort to violence or threats are emotionally unstable and don’t care about how their actions will hurt innocent people. Colleges should not enable this kind of behavior but do everything in their power to encourage their students to listen to all ideas (even repugnant ones that Milo has) and if they disagree then learn to articulate their disagreement in a thoughtful way. The rioters who attempted to shut Milo down only gave him a bigger platform and so the views that they found repugnant where only amplified by rioting.

Written by Kaela Carpenter and Chris Reid. Ms Carpenter is a student at Samford University and can be reached at kcarpen3@samford.edu. Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com. Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

 

Sources:

1. "Riot Forces Cancellation Of Yiannopoulos Talk At UC Berkeley." CBS San Francisco. CBS, 1 Feb. 2017. Web. 16 Feb. 2017.

2. Robby-soave. "Colleges Cancelled Exams for Students Traumatized by Trump's Election." Reason.com. N.p., 10 Nov. 2016. Web. 16 Feb. 2017.

3. Richard Pérez-Peña, Mitch Smith and Stephanie Saul. "University of Chicago Strikes Back Against Campus Political Correctness." The New York Times. The New York Times, 26 Aug. 2016. Web. 16 Feb. 2017.

 

Trump’s Economic Plan: What Tax and Regulatory Reform Means for Alabama

As we transition further from policies of the Obama administration to policies of the Trump administration, conservatives across Alabama readily await an expected (and much needed) resurgence in economic prosperity. The Obama administration dealt us an increase in both government regulation and government spending. With the help of tax and regulation reform, President Trump promises to achieve a four percent annual growth rate over the next decade(1). Whether or not his economic policies will achieve this rate is up for debate, but tax payers and small business owners across the state seem ready and eager for change. In fact, Alabama is experiencing a level of economic optimism not seen since 2005(2). Hopefully, over the next four years, Alabamians will see the benefits promised by the new administration. However polarized our two party system might be, most agree we are in need of some sort of tax reform. Currently, taxpayers fall under one of seven federal tax brackets.

President Trump intends to replace this system with a more simplified four-bracket system. Trump’s plan would exempt single filers making less than $25,000 per year and married filers making less than $50,000 per year from paying any federal income tax. Overall, this would relieve 73 million households from paying income tax. While many skeptics remain(3), the Trump administration assures that by closing federal tax loopholes for the wealthy, the proposal should more than pay for itself. As of 2015, Alabama’s median household income was $43,623, meaning a significant number of Alabama residents would fall under the 0% federal income tax bracket(4). This is great news for business owners across the state. With the level of savings Alabama residents expect to find, one would expect to see an increase in job growth and consumer spending as well. If all goes to plan, Alabama is poised to experience some real economic prosperity over the next few years. In order to facilitate the economic expansion mentioned above, President Trump has proposed a plan to control some of the unnecessary regulation implemented by the Obama administration. President Trump’s plan calls for a “Two-for-One” regulation cut. Under this policy, for every one regulation added, two would be removed. According to the White House, this policy should severely curtail the nearly two trillion dollars paid in regulation costs each year(5). This decrease in regulation should greatly help Alabama small business owners. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), there are 390,000 small businesses in Alabama(6). Of these 390,000, a significant majority are Mom and Pop shops that can’t afford to cut through the red tape imposed by overregulation. For this reason, many ideas never get off the ground. Of the ideas that do, many business owners find themselves strangled by regulations, unable to hire new employees or pay the ones they currently employ.  Undoubtedly, small businesses are the lifeblood of this country. In decreasing the stranglehold implemented through regulations, President Trump’s economic plan should pump some life back into our economy.

Of course, some regulation will still be necessary. We want our workers safe and our water clean. Businesses should still be held accountable if they operate irresponsibly. It is for these reasons that regulation exists, not to place undue burden on the American economy. So far, Trump has come through on much of what he promised on the campaign trail. Perhaps then we can anticipate him following through on his plans for economic growth as well. It would seem there is much for the American business owner to feel optimistic about. By means tax reform and regulation changes, we will hopefully see some real economic growth in the next few years, growth that many business owners haven’t felt in quite some time.

Written by Chris Simmons and Chris Reid. Mr. Simmons is a law student at Cumberland School of law and can be reached by e-mail at csimmon2@samford.edu. Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked for republican leadership in the house in DC and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. For a full description of his practice area’s go to reidlawalabama.com. Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

 

Sources:
1.            https://www.whitehouse.gov/bringing-back-jobs-and-growth
2.            http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2017/01/alabama_business_leaders_optim.html
3.            https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/trump-tax-reform.pdf
4.            https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/INC110215/01
5.            https://www.whitehouse.gov/bringing-back-jobs-and-growth
6.            https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/resourceguide_2822.pdf

False Perception of Corruption Could Hurt Luther Strange’s Political Future

            If you look at Luther Strange’s record, there is no doubt that he is immensely qualified to serve as our senator, and no Republican doubts that he will be as reliably conservative as Jeff Sessions. Luther has shown himself to be one of the best attorney general in the country, and he ran the office of AG in Alabama with excellence. He effectively negotiated the BP oil spill, he was one the lead AG’s in the fight against Obamacare, and he did everything in his power to fight against the crushing and unnecessary regulations that came from DC. He also was willing to take on corruption in his own party and developed a reputation for putting the rule of law over partisan considerations. However, the problem with his appointment is that the story being told right now has nothing to do with how qualified he is and has everything to do with the perception of self-dealing that his appointment has created. Ever since the story broke regarding Governor Bentley’s alleged affair with Rebecca Mason, the issue of whether or not the governor used state resources to engage in this affair has not been adequately resolved. The perception in this state was that Luther Strange would be involved in any investigation that would take place to determine whether any laws had been broken by Governor Bentley. When it was announced by President Trump that Jeff Sessions would be appointed to serve as Attorney General, many conservative pundits believed that Governor Bentley would not appoint Luther Strange because this would create a perception that Luther Strange’s appointment would be a way for Bentley to kill the investigation into his alleged affair. If the Governor’s motive in appointing Luther Strange was to scuttle the investigation, then it will most likely have the opposite effect. Luther Strange’s appointment will actually put more public pressure on the state legislature and AG’s office to investigate the governor than ever before. In addition, there will be a perception that this appointment was a quid pro quo for Luther to get his office to back off the investigation in exchange for his appointment. This perception could make it harder for Luther to be as effective in the Senate as he would be. It will also make it easier for a primary challenger to defeat Strange in the 2018 Senate race. Let me be clear: I do not believe that Luther Strange did anything unethical or illegal to obtain this Senate seat. He has proven throughout his entire life to be a man of integrity, and I believe when this matter is investigated, Strange is going to be cleared of any wrongdoing. However, the damage has already been done and what is frustrating is that by taking this appointment it will create what I believe is a false perception that Strange is corrupt. If he would have turned this appointment down and told the Governor he couldn’t take the appointment because of the perception of corruption, that would have increased his chances of winning the primary in 2018, no matter who the Governor appointed. Also, Strange could have been a front runner in the governor's race if the Senate seat wasn’t an option, and his record of accomplishment is so great that he would have been a tough candidate to beat in the primary. This is frustrating as a conservative because Luther Strange is one brightest stars in the GOP, and I don’t want this false perception of corruption to hurt someone who could accomplish so many great things for the people of this state. The best path forward is for Luther Strange to address this perception head on and explain this adequately to the voters so he can continue to be an effective leader. Hopefully this choice will not hurt him in the long term.

Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.comOur firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

Making the Courts Great Again: Why Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing is so important

One reason I love being an attorney is that every day there is something new I get to learn about the world. The law affects everything we do and governs nearly every human interaction. There are laws that govern the food you ate this morning and the car you drove to work. But more importantly, it is the law that can enable your family to live in peace and freedom. Considering the court has become the most powerful branch of government, President Trump’s appointment of Neil Gorsuch may have the greatest impact on your life. Often, the Supreme Court has moved beyond their role of interpreting law to essentially making law. Unlike laws made by Congress which can be reversed by an election, the Supreme Court’s rulings can only be undone by a constitutional amendment. Practically speaking, reversing Supreme Court rulings is nearly impossible. Despite the intentions of our founders, the court now has more power than Congress concerning issues that affect our liberties. Had Hillary won the election, she may have appointed a justice who could have limited second amendment rights and religious liberty. Often, the far left has used the courts to enact laws Congress would not pass because they were politically unpopular. If a left-wing court were to be implemented the role of Congress would be severely limited. Thomas Jefferson once stated the “government which governs less governs best,” which is why we need justices who will interpret the Constitution as it was intended. The Bill of Rights, at its core, is a restriction on the power of the federal government to protect the rights of the people. Neil Gorsuch understands that his role as a judge is to faithfully interpret the law and the Constitution as written instead of imposing his views on the law.

Justice Scalia once had a stamp on his desk that said, “stupid but constitutional” to remind him that his job wasn’t to opine on the wisdom of a given law but to determine whether it was constitutional. Like Justice Scalia, Neil Gorsuch is a brilliant legal scholar who has an unassailable reputation within the legal community and was confirmed unanimously by the senate 10 years ago. One of the most notable endorsements of Gorsuch is Neal Katyal, who served as President Obama’s solicitor general. He stated, “Judge Gorsuch is one of the most thoughtful and brilliant judges to have served our nation over the last century, as a judge, he has always put aside his personal views to serve the rule of law. To boot, as those of us who have worked with him can attest, he is a wonderfully decent and humane person. I strongly support his nomination to the Supreme Court.” Judge Gorsuch is uniquely qualified to fill the seat of Justice Scalia because of his enduring faithfulness to the law and the Constitution. I realize the Democrats are furious that Obama’s pick to the Supreme Court was not given a hearing. Although the GOP was following precedent, I certainly think Obama’s pick could have been treated more respectfully. However, Neil Gorsuch had no part in the decision to deny Obama’s pick a hearing and he should be considered on his qualifications and given an up or down vote. Although the GOP can use the so called “nuclear option” to pass Gorsuch through the senate with a bare majority, I hope it does not come to that. The use of this option will create even greater causticity in DC, which is unneeded considering the current polarity in our political system.

Despite the opposition on the left, I believe Judge Gorsuch will be installed on the Supreme Court and he will faithfully interpret the laws and the Constitution. As an attorney, I see the immense power that the government has to interfere with the lives of its citizens and I believe that the court was set up to protect us from a government that became too intrusive. Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation from extension. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Judge Gorsuch’s appointment will help protect freedom both for us and for generations to come.

Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked for republican leadership in the house in D.C. and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. For a full description of the Reid Law Firm's practice areas, please visit reidlawalabama.com Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

Is our constitution still worth defending? YES!

In the midst of a pivotal election year, I want to focus on how we can insure our constitution is intact for generations to come. The constitution is a exceptional document meant to protect the American people. It was written to keep the government from overstepping and infringing on the rights of the individual. I’m an attorney, I’ve studied our laws extensively and believe in the rule of law. Our nation’s laws were not written for judges to twist in favor of whatever argument they’re trying to make. Our judicial branch needs to get back to interpreting the law based solely on the plain meaning of the text.

Our country recently lost a historic figure; Judge Scalia is someone I have always greatly admired. He had an excellent philosophy on interpreting the constitution. He did not think he was above the law. He certainly didn’t interpret the law as it pertained to his personal opinions. The Judge was a man of integrity. He is quoted in saying, “The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead, or as I prefer to call it, enduring. It means today not what current society, much less the court, thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted". He interpreted the laws as they were written, and it is for that reason that I hold great reverence for the Judge.

One of my principal concerns should Hillary Clinton be elected is her deciding our nation’s next Supreme Court judges. I fear Clinton’s appointees will be both politically motivated and corrupt. I am strongly in favor of neutral judges. Our country doesn’t need its judiciaries voting down party lines. We need our judges acting strictly as the constitution intended. Simply speaking, we will not prosper under a partisan juridical system. We need to return to the basics. The constitution needs to, once again, be seen as this nation’s rule of law. Our country has been most prosperous in the moments we have followed the rule of law under its original intent. We must stand up against the rule of the mob and remember once more that the law is the highest authority in America.

As someone who has studied law and politics to great lengths, the issue of the constitution is one of great personal significance. I believe we must defend our constitution at all cost so I encourage you to vote this year and make your voice know. Do not support candidates like Hillary Clinton who have no respect for the rule of law. 

Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked for republican leadership in the house in D.C. and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. For a full description of the Reid Law Firm's practice areas, please visit reidlawalabama.com. Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).