2 weeks ago

7 Things: Biden speaks to some of Congress, Alabama congressional delegation bash Biden address, businesses need workers as coronavirus pandemic fades and more …

7. Alabama bill would make daylight savings time permanent

  • The Alabama House Economics Development and Tourism Committee has approved a bill that would make daylight savings time in Alabama permanent, but ultimately Congress has the final say even if Governor Kay Ivey signs the bill. 
  • There are 15 states that have already passed similar legislation, with seven of those states doing so last year. There were questions in committee about how this could impact time zones, but the legislation was still approved. 

6. Rudy Giuliani’s apartment raided to the media’s delight

  • The raid into former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is under investigation concerning his activities in Ukraine while he pursued an investigation linked to Trump’s primary political rival, President Joe Biden. Giuliani hasn’t been charged and has denied wrongdoing. His son said, “The only piece of evidence that they did not take up there today was the only piece of incriminating evidence that is in there—and it does not belong to my father, it belongs to the current president’s son.”
  • In the good ol’ days of 2020, the search of a former president’s lawyer’s home would be a scandal that would bring cries of a politicized Department of Justice, but not in 2021. Instead, the attempt to nail Giuliani for being an unregistered foreign agent, something President Joe Biden’s son clearly did too, is praised and treated as a great moment.

5. Amazon union election could be set aside

  • According to the National Labor Relations Board, the election over forming a union at the Bessemer Amazon fulfillment center could be nullified due to evidence submitted by the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union. This was an election they lost by a more than 2-to-1 margin.
  • There will be a hearing on May 7 to consider the evidence and objections made by the union, and the labor board said their “objections could be grounds for overturning the election if introduced at a hearing.”

4. We will help kids catch up by not implementing accountability standards

  • In 2019, the Alabama Legislature passed a bill called the “Literacy Act of 2019,” and its intent was to make sure that kids could read at an early level before promoting them and setting them up for failure. After a global pandemic that has changed the way schools operate, some lawmakers have proposed that keeping kids who can’t read back might not be such a good idea and we should just promote them. 
  • State Senator Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham) has suggested that educators want this delay implemented but all that would do is promote kids who are not ready to succeed to the next level. State Rep. Charlotte Meadows (R-Montgomery) accurately noted, “To give everybody a pass for two more years is really going to be damaging to the third graders that are now second graders,” adding, “We can’t let them move forward if they can’t read.”

3. Economic optimism is on the rise in Alabama as COVID-19 subsides

  • The coronavirus vaccine is continuing to work in Alabama, and new cases and deaths continue to drop as shots go into arms, but according to Suzanne Judd, Ph.D., an epidemiologist in UAB’s School of Public Health, “we need to hit 3.5 million people in Alabama with immunity.” As of now, 42% of adults have received one dose of a vaccine with 30% are fully vaccinated.
  • As we return to normal, the Business Council of Alabama is pointing out that there are currently 66,500 job openings in Alabama as the unemployment rate continues to drop and employers expect that trend to continue.

2. Biden gives his first address

  • President Joe Biden has delivered his first address to Congress, but there were some U.S. Senators who skipped the event, including Tom Cotton (R-AR), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Marco Rubio (R-FL). In his speech, Biden laid out details for his upcoming $4+ trillion infrastructure, pre-K, community college and child care plans.
  • He also referred to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 as “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War,” which is totally true, unless you count the four assassination attempts, the 1915 Capitol bombing, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the 1954 shooting by Puerto Rican nationalists, the 1971 Weather Underground bombing, the 1983 M19 bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11t attacks as threats to our democracy. Democrats also baselessly challenged the elections of 2000 and 2016 from the U.S. Capitol.

1. Alabama’s delegation responds to Biden speech

  • President Biden’s speech may have gone over fantastically in the media and with people that want a new era of big government, but the state of Alabama’s congressional delegation has a significantly different take. U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) said this was about “[Biden’s] version of socialism,” while U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) stated, “President Biden continues to govern counter to what he promised in his inaugural address when he pledged to not be a partisan President. Instead, he is pushing a liberal, wish list, spending frenzy that Franklin Roosevelt could never have dreamed of and sending the American taxpayer the bill.”
  • Alabama’s senior U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) warned that the agenda by this president was not one of unity. He declared, “Tonight’s address from President Biden was focused on drastically changing the country, but instead of reaching across the aisle to find ways to work together, this Administration is prioritizing liberal policies and a partisan agenda.”
5 hours ago

Tuberville celebrates public charter schools — ‘Look forward to their continued success’

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) this week co-sponsored a resolution honoring the 22nd annual National Charter Schools Week, which ends this Saturday.

The resolution was bipartisan and introduced by U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).

“After spending 40 years recruiting students from high schools all over the country, I know the difference a quality education can make in a young person’s life. I’ve seen public charter schools give parents a valuable option for students in Alabama and across the country,” said Tuberville in a statement.

“Charter schools give educators more flexibility to teach in ways that best fit students’ unique needs, and studies show charter schools help close the achievement gap for our most at-risk students,” he concluded. “I’m grateful for the educators and administrators who have helped make charter schools available to students and parents, and look forward to their continued success in educating America’s next generation of leaders.”

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Nationally, 44 states — including Alabama — and the District of Columbia have public charter schools, with more than 7,500 schools serving approximately 3.3 million students.

Scott’s resolution congratulates “the students, parents, teachers, and leaders of charter schools across the United States for making ongoing contributions to education.”

The resolution notes that “high-performing public charter schools deliver a high-quality public education and challenge all students to reach their potential for academic success.”

“[P]ublic charter schools promote innovation and excellence in public education,” it continues. “[P]ublic charter schools throughout the United States provide millions of families with diverse and innovative educational options for the children of those families.”

The resolutions especially praises public charter schools for “making impressive strides in closing the academic achievement gap in schools in the United States, particularly in schools with some of the most disadvantaged students in both rural and urban communities.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

9 hours ago

State Rep. Stringer ousted from Mobile County Sheriff’s Office over ‘difference of opinion’ with sheriff; Blames pro-Second Amendment stance for removal

On Friday, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office announced State Rep. Shane Stringer (R-Citronelle) was no longer serving as a captain for the department.

According to Mobile County Sheriff Office spokeswoman, Stringer was dismissed for his support of so-called constitutional carry, and Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran had a “difference of opinion” with the Mobile County Republican legislator.

Shortly after those reports surfaced, Stringer responded with his own press statement declaring himself “proud to stand in defense of the Second Amendment.”

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“The Second Amendment gun rights of Alabamians are under attack from a liberal federal government that is out of control and even from some factions right here at home,” Stringer said in a release. “After dedicating my life and career to law enforcement, losing a job because I stand in support of Alabama gun owners is certainly surprising, but nothing will discourage me from defending the constitutional guarantees promised to all of us as American citizens.”

Also, according to the release, Cochran notified Stringer, who served as the Satsuma Police Chief before winning his election in 2018 to serve in the State House, on Wednesday of his dismissal from the captain’s post in the department “because he is sponsoring ‘constitutional carry’ gun rights legislation.

HB618 would allow Alabamians to carry or conceal a pistol without first obtaining a permit from their local sheriff’s office, an effort that the state’s sheriffs have vociferously opposed in the past.

“The U.S. Constitution does not say you have a right to keep and bear arms as long as you pay what amounts to a gun tax in the form of permit fees,” Stringer said in the release. “It says you have the right to keep and carry firearms. . .period.”

“As a state legislator, I swore an oath to God that I would support the U.S. Constitution, and this legislation does just that,” he added. “And whether or not I am employed by the Mobile Sheriff’s Office, my heart and soul will always belong to the mission of enforcing the law and to my fellow officers who seek to protect the men, women, and children of Alabama.”

The bill has 11 other co-sponsors, including State Rep. Proncey Robertson (R-Mount Hope), who served as an officer in the Decatur Police Department.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

13 hours ago

Report: Environmental activists team up with socialists, sex workers in Birmingham

According to a report published Thursday, left-wing Birmingham environmental group GASP is moving to support socialism and sex work in the Magic City.

Alabama Today reported that a rally is being planned in Birmingham to support sex workers, including prostitutes.

The first speaker listed for the event is reportedly GASP’s Nina Morgan, and the organization itself is set to have a table at the event alongside the local “Party for Socialism and Liberation.”

“Stated in their latest Facebook post is, ‘Without the economic, political, military and diplomatic backing of U.S. imperialism, the state of Israel would not last long,'” Alabama Today noted.

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Morgan is listed as GASP’s “Climate & Environmental Justice Organizer.”

“She became radicalized first and foremost by her parents, who were divorced but often had conversations with her and her twin brother about the social ills of the world. Further, her political analysis emerged during her time serving on the youth council of a reproductive justice initiative called the Alabama Alliance for Healthy Youth,” GASP’s website advises.

The event, scheduled for June 6, is billed as an “International Sex Workers’ Day Rally.”

Per the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) website, the day is an annual event. One of the organization’s core values is, “Opposition to all forms of criminalization and other legal oppression of sex work.”

A flier promoting the event shows a police car in flames, smushed by a stiletto.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

14 hours ago

7 Things: Biden says you have his permission to take off your mask, special session may be needed, Democratic state representatives want Huntsville’s police chief fired and more …

7. 150 Republicans emerge and embarrass themselves again 

  • Since the first day Donald Trump came down the escalator, the American media and their Democrats touted the “courageous Republicans” who would abandon the party over the former president. With U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) losing her leadership post, those same people are leaving the party again, for real this time.
  • The “Call for American Renewal” is an uncompelling list of the usually gripers and grifters, CNN and MSNBC contributors and Lincoln Project hacks. This includes independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin, former Trump staffer Anthony Scaramucci, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Richard Painter, columnist Max Boot and a “Who’s who or who’s that?” of American politics.

6. White House: We have to teach about systematic racism

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  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded to some who have said that teaching critical race theory is “liberal indoctrination,” saying that they don’t “think we believe that educating the youth, next leaders of the future, leaders of the country, on systemic racism is indoctrination.”
  • Psaki went on to say that teaching about systemic racism is “actually responsible.” This comes after U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced the Ivory Tower Act to tax the endowments of colleges and universities to put more money toward training in trades. Cotton said that these establishments are making money while “indoctrinating our youth with un-American ideas.”

5. Ivey makes it clear that Alabama stands with Israel

  • Governor Kay Ivey clearly stated that Alabama is standing with Israel as they face attacks from the terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza. There has been some speculation from UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland that if conflict continues or gets worse, it could result in “a full-scale war.”
  • Alabama has a strong business relationship with Israel, with exports totaling $49 million in 2020, which was 27% higher than the state’s exports to Israel in 2019. Ivey spokesperson Gina Maiola said, “[I]it is appropriate with Alabama’s longstanding relationship with Israel that she reaffirmed our position as an ally and friend. As Governor Kay Ivey said this morning, Alabama stands with Israel.”

4. Group calling for Huntsville PD chief to be fired or forced to resign

  • Due to the comments made by Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray after officer William Ben Darby was convicted of murder, the Rosa Parks Day Committee in Huntsville is calling for Mayor Tommy Battle to fire McMurray.
  • State House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) and State Representative Laura Hall (D-Huntsville) were present with the committee at a press conference where they made these requests. They claimed that McMurray should be removed due to his comments on Darby and the handling of the protests downtown in 2020.

 3. Special session likely needed for issues like prisons and gambling

  • State Senator Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) said it’s likely a special session will be necessary to deal with issues like prisons and gambling since there’s only one more day left in the regular session and it’s unlikely that these issues will be resolved in that short time.
  • Chambliss said that Governor Kay Ivey should at least call “a five-day short special session to make it work.” He added that a special session to deal with building more prisons in the state is even more necessary as there have been funding concerns and the state still faces an order from the U.S. Department of Justice to fix unconstitutional conditions. Chambliss went on to say that if the issue isn’t addressed, he thinks “the DOJ is going to be very serious about their next steps.”

2. Biden thinks he did something on masks

  • New guidelines have been released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on when vaccinated people should wear a mask by saying that they don’t need to wear a mask “in any setting” and you can “resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.” The U.S. House, some cities (including Birmingham), states, and many businesses will keep the masks for now.
  • President Joe Biden hilariously tweeted some authoritarian nonsense, stating, “The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.” Governor Kay Ivey praised the decision to lift masks, despite only lifting the statewide mask mandate in Alabama about a month ago. She said, “Finally, we are seeing some encouraging, common sense guidance from the CDC.”

1. Now schools should be open, too

  • After months of resistance to reopening schools, a teachers union is now deciding that schools must reopen in the fall. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers said, “There is no doubt: Schools must be open,” adding, “Given current circumstances, nothing should stand in the way of fully reopening our public schools this fall and keeping them open.” Weingarten also said, “The United States will not be fully back until we are fully back in school. And my union is all in.”
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci is calling for the schools to open up all the way, telling CNN, “I believe the schools should be open five days, full blast, just the way it was before,” and he wants it done “by the time we get to the fall.”

16 hours ago

Huntsville-based Torch Technologies awarded $722M U.S. Army contract

Huntsville-headquartered Torch Technologies this week announced a $722 million contract award from the federal government.

The task order comes via U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC) Systems Simulation Software and Integration Directorate (S3I) for Modeling and Simulation (M&S) Aviation and Missile Systems. The order has a five-year period of performance and will be executed primarily in the Rocket City.

According to a press release, the Torch team will develop and apply models and simulations to aviation and missile system analysis ensuring warfighter readiness and future capabilities are realized.

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Torch will reportedly supply cost-effective solutions that facilitate readiness and technological dominance of the Army’s current and future force.

“Torch is pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with the DEVCOM AvMC S3I M&S customers,” stated Torch president and CEO John Watson. “We are proud to be a part of their important mission to provide weapons development and modernization support to our warfighters.”

A 100% employee-owned business with more than 900 global employees dedicated to quality technical services, competitive costs and ethical business practices, Torch also has an Alabama presence at Fort Rucker in the Wiregrass. In 2019, Torch annual revenues were approximately $513 million.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn