Daily Archives: April 28, 2011

The Southeast US Smashed by Tornadoes Killing 70

The South was hard hit on Wednesday after a powerhouse storm embedded tornadic thunderstorms tore through Mississippi Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia. The hardest hit was Alabama where 61 people confirmed dead. Hundreds injured. Tuscaloosa and Birmingham suffered widespread destruction. From WBRC-TV/HD “FOX 6 News“:

An especially violent spring storm tore through the state of Alabama on Wednesday, tearing a path of destruction across the state and killing at least 53 people.

In Tuscaloosa, a mile-wide tornado killed 15 people and injured hundreds, tossing boats from a store into an apartment complex, ripping holes in rooftops, and destroying a swath of retail establishments along a busy street.

Hundreds of buildings and homes were leveled by the tornado, and Wednesday night there were fears more victims could be buried beneath the rubble.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox says he expects the numbers of casualties to rise. Maddox planned to meet with members of the City Council to pass emergency powers, including a curfew, if necessary.

In a news conference, Maddox said the recovery of the city would be seen in the spirit of the people.

“Throughout Tuscaloosa, citizens are reaching out to each other and demonstrating that our faith will overcome all, even in this dark hour,” he said.

According to WBMA-TV “ABC 33/40 News”: Alabama Governor  Gov. Robert Bentley activated the Alabama National Guard. 1400 men and women will help with rescue and cleanup throughout the state:

Gov. Robert Bentley is deploying about 1,400 Alabama National Guardsmen to provide assistance to the Alabama counties impacted by the severe weather.

The troops will be on the ground early Thursday to help with search and rescue operations, debris removal and provide security assistance to local law enforcement agencies.

University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa the flagship of the University System closed on Wednesday and Thursday  because of the storms. Again ABC 33/40:

The University of Alabama has canceled classes for Thursday and suspended normal operations on campus after a deadly storm swept through the city.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said there were 15 confirmed deaths Wednesday.

University officials say power outages at the school are widespread, but they have no reports of structural damage to buildings on campus.

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Follow up with:

WVTM-TV/HD “News 13”

WIAT-TV/HD “CBS 42 News”

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Democrats in Massachusetts House Representatives Limits Collective Barganining for Public Employees

Massachusetts legislators voted to restrict collective bargaining agreements on Health Care to Public Employees. From the Boston Globe:

House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last night to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns.

The 111-to-42 vote followed tougher measures to broadly eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states. But unlike those efforts, the push in Massachusetts was led by Democrats who have traditionally stood with labor to oppose any reduction in workers’ rights.

Unions fought hard to stop the bill, launching a radio ad that assailed the plan and warning legislators that if they voted for the measure, they could lose their union backing in the next election. After the vote, labor leaders accused House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and other Democrats of turning their backs on public employees.

“It’s pretty stunning,’’ said Robert J. Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “These are the same Democrats that all these labor unions elected. The same Democrats who we contributed to in their campaigns. The same Democrats who tell us over and over again that they’re with us, that they believe in collective bargaining, that they believe in unions. . . . It’s a done deal for our relationship with the people inside that chamber.’’

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Chainging of the Guard at CIA, Defense Department and Afghanistan

The White House had a changing of the guard Wednesday as Leon Panetta move from CIA chief  to The Pentagon to head Defense Department. General David Petraeus to become CIA chief. WTOP-AM:

President Barack Obama plans to name CIA Director Leon Panetta as the next secretary of defense and move Gen. David Petraeus, now running the war in Afghanistan, into the CIA chief’s job in a major shuffle of the U.S. national security leadership, senior administration officials and other sources said Wednesday.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates will retire on June 30 with Panetta taking over in July. Gates told senior staff that he recommended Panetta as his replacement six months ago.

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Finally President Obama Releases his Long Form Birth Certificate Donald Trump Takes Credit For Release

It it’s finally over President Barack Obama presented his long for birth certificate Wednesday. This comes after Donald Trump haranguing for the last three weeks. From Fox News:

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey set to air Monday, May 2nd, the daytime host asked President Obama why he released his birth certificate now. The president explained that in these serious times, “we can’t be distracted by sideshows”.

The President told the TV host that while he was dealing with the budget debate, “the biggest news was this birth certificate thing.”

And so he was prompted to release the long form of his birth certificate, to put the “silliness” to rest. President Obama released a “certificate of live birth” during his 2008 race for presidency. But the so-called “birther” movement developed when critics of the now-president questioned his citizenship.

The silliness began when Hillary Rhodham Clinton  presidential campaign was looking into then Senator Obama records and believed that he was not born in the  US.  That in-turn  launched the so-called birther movement. A conspiracy theory  which some on the far right leaped on when Obama was elected President in November 2,2008.
Many in the African-American community felt that the birther movement was racially motivated. But in truth, Democrats did the same thing to Sen. John McCain(R-AZ) saying that because McCain was born in US Canal Zone in Panama he wasn’t a citizen. The excuse by the Left was the Panama Canal was returned to Republic of Panama  in 1979 by then President Jimmy Carter.
Billionaire Donald Trump claimed a victory of sorts. From Real Clear Politics:

I’m taking great credit and you have to ask the president, ‘why didn’t he do this a long time ago? Why didn’t he do it a long time ago?’

By engaging the White House in releasing the document  this show that Trump has leadership skills that the president is sorely lacking.
Real Clear Politics has the Trump video.
Read it.