President Barack Obama

The United States Supreme Court upheld a ruling yesterday declaring that tax subsidies for health care from the federal government are constitutional.

In Alabama, that’s good news for more than 130,000 people that purchased insurance through the Affordable Care Act. In most cases, the federal tax breaks on those plans were what made them affordable enough to purchase.

President Obama brought his Middle Class Economics plan to Lawson State Community College in Birmingham.

The Commander-in-Chief covered everything from Washington policy to a fairly new government agency called the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau. The CFPB was created as part of Wall Street reform after the 2008 financial crisis. It's an independent consumer watchdog, and President Obama says they've already made a big impact.

President Barack Obama will be in Birmingham this afternoon to talk about the economy.

The President will be speaking at Lawson State Community College on consumer protection issues and the contrast between his vision for the American middle class and Republican efforts to undermine that vision.

According to a White House press release, Congressional Republicans are continuing to roll back progress toward a safer financial system and stronger economy, encouraging the types of abuses that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

Bringing new industry into your state is often an expensive undertaking, full of tax breaks and other financial incentives. But as APR’s Alex AuBuchon reports, Alabama may start looking for results before handing over any cash...

     Governor Bentley is looking at changing how the state of Alabama tries to lure new business and industry to the area.That’s what he told an audience today at the Economic Development Association convention in Montgomery.

Alabama's unemployment rate is down to 6 percent.   The preliminary jobless rate announced Friday represents the state's best unemployment numbers in more than six years. But the state is still slightly above the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.

 Governor Robert Bentley's office says the November jobless rate is an improvement from October, when the rate was 6.3 percent. It's also better than the numbers a year ago.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says he goes to work every day and thinks of a way to sue the Obama administration. reports that Strange made the comment in a speech to the Republican Women of Huntsville. He told the group Tuesday that part of his oath of office compelled him in that pursuit. He described it as a full-time job that's the best job in Alabama politics. Strange has sued over the Affordable Care Act, opposed the Obama administration on environmental regulations and filed court briefs in several cases involving federal policy.

Chief Justice Roy Moore says Alabama's secretary of state should have been required to determine whether President Obama was born in the United States and qualified to be on the state ballot in 2012. The all-Republican Alabama Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court's dismissal of a case that sought to require the secretary of state to demand a birth certificate from presidential candidates. Moore and Justice Tom Parker dissented. Moore writes the secretary of state is a gatekeeper and has a duty to determine if candidates are natural-born U.S. citizens.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama

Alabama's largest health insurance company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, says it won't reinstate health plans that don't comply with the federal health care law.

Blue Cross made the announcement Wednesday in response to the president's remarks last week that consumers should be allowed to renew individual plans slated to end under the federal law.

Jones Valley Teaching Farm

Alabama's largest health insurance company and the state Insurance Department had more questions than answers after the president said consumers should be allowed to renew individual plans slated to end under the federal health care law.

At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, spokeswoman Koko Mackin said the company is reviewing the president's statement and evaluating its impact on the requirements for implementing the federal law.

Blue Cross had 97,000 individual customers whose policies didn't meet the requirement of the new law and were being moved to new policies.

The Alabama House has begun debate on a bill that allows gun owners to carry a pistol in their vehicle.

Hartselle Republican Ed Henry says the bill's purpose is to protect the rights of citizens to carry arms.

Some of the supporters expressed concern that President Obama is using recent shootings at schools and other public shootings as a reason to pass legislation reducing the rights of Americans to bear arms.

Wikimedia Commons

An Alabama woman has struck a deal with a Hollywood filmmaker to make a movie about her long battle for women to receive equal pay as men.

Lilly Ledbetter's long struggle to receive equal pay for the time she worked as a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Gadsden led to the first bill Barack Obama signed into law as president.

Ledbetter's attorney Jon Goldfarb of Birmingham says she has signed an agreement with Hollywood filmmaker Rachel Feldman.He says details about the cast or where the movie will be made have not been finalized.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

Alabama House Republicans have announced an agenda for the upcoming legislative session of items that could put the state at odds with the Obama administration.

The agenda includes a measure aimed at slowing down Obama administration efforts to stiffen gun control regulations through federal laws or executive orders.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard proposed an amendment that would put the right to gun ownership in the Alabama Constitution. He says the amendment would give Alabama the "strongest gun protection" law in the country.

Wikimedia Commons

President Barack Obama is congratulating University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban on another BCS championship, joking that "he and the Crimson Tide are beginning to make this a habit."

Alabama won its third championship during Obama's presidency on Monday night, defeating Notre Dame 42-14 in Miami.

Obama called Saban on Thursday afternoon and noted that it was the third time he'd made the congratulatory call to the coach.

State of Alabama

Alabama's governor isn't changing his mind about not operating a health insurance exchange even though President Barack Obama's administration has given states an extra month to decide.

Friday was supposed to the deadline for states to decide if they would run an exchange under the Affordable Care Act or let the federal government do it. The Obama administration announced Thursday night it was extending the deadline to Dec. 14. The extension came at the request of some Republican governors.

By Mike Disharoon / Wikimedia Commons

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman has reported to a minimum security federal prison in southwest Louisiana.

U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said the 66-year-old Siegelman turned himself in at the federal prison at Oakdale, La. shortly before 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Siegelman previously served nine months at Oakdale before being released while his conviction on bribery and other charges was being appealed.

Dave Martin / Associated Press

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman said he was in "good spirits" as he prepared to enter prison to complete a 78-month sentence for his federal government corruption conviction. Siegelman has been ordered to report to federal prison in Oakdale, La., by 2 p.m. Tuesday. The man who has served in four of Alabama's top elected offices, said he is optimistic he will eventually be pardoned by President Obama. Siegelman was being driven across three states Monday by his grown children, Dana and Joseph, and his wife, Lori.

Siegelman Gets Permission To Go Democratic CVN

Aug 30, 2012
By Mike Disharoon / Wikimedia Commons

A federal judge has given former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman permission to travel to Charlotte, N.C., next week to attend the Democratic National Convention. The convention is a week before Siegelman is to report to a federal prison in Louisiana to finish his 78-month sentence. U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller said Siegelman can travel to Charlotte Sept. 3-6. Fuller ordered Siegelman to advise his probation officer of his flight plans and hotel plans. Siegelman plans to lobby at the convention for President Obama to grant his request for clemency.

Siegelman Has Long Odds On Obama Commutation

Aug 18, 2012
By Mike Disharoon / Wikimedia Commons

Several thousand people have signed a petition asking President Barack Obama to keep former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman from spending the next few years in prison. But Siegelman realizes the odds of getting a presidential commutation are about the same as winning a state lottery. More than 5,700 people convicted of federal crimes have asked Obama for a commutation of their sentences. Siegelman says only one has been approved. Despite the long odds, Siegelman says he's proud of his daughter for starting an online petition to ask the president to commute his sentence.

Former Democrat Davis To Address GOP Convention

Aug 16, 2012
Artur Davis campaign / Wikimedia Commons

Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis will address the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Davis served as Barack Obama's Alabama campaign chairman four years ago and gave the seconding speech for Obama's nomination at the Democratic National Convention. But the Republican National Convention announced Thursday that Davis will speak later this month at the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., to support Mitt Romney.

Davis lost Alabama's Democratic primary for governor in 2010. Then he moved to Virginia and switched parties.

Uzbek Man Gets More Than 15 years For Obama Threat

Jul 13, 2012

A federal judge in Alabama has sentenced a man from Uzbekistan to more than 15 years in prison for plotting to kill President Barack Obama.

U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon imposed the term Friday on Ulugbek Kodirov (OO'-legh-bek KAH'-duh-rahv). He faced up to 30 years in prison.

A defense lawyer argued the 22-year-old Kodirov has accepted responsibility for his actions and is trying to straighten out his life.