7 Things: Severe weather continues impacting Alabama, Rush Limbaugh passes away, Merrill wants to restore the integrity of the election and more …
7. National Guard remains in D.C., but no known threat currently
- Thousands of National Guard troops have been staying in Washington, D.C. since the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, but now Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense & Global Security Robert Salesses has said that he’s “not aware of a threat that is out there.”
- There are about 6,000 troops still in the area, when originally it was 25,000. Earlier in the week, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said, “Things are safe and secure right now.” Troops are scheduled to remain in Washington, D.C. until about mid-March.
6. Increasing the punishment for rioting and penalizing cities that defund police
- State Representative Allen Treadaway (R-Morris) will introduce a bill that would increase the penalty for rioting and inciting riots, as well as punish cities that defund police departments.
- For rioters, the penalty would be “a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in jail and an order of restitution,” and those who incite a riot would face at least six months in jail “and an order of restitution.” Crimes against first responders would have increased penalties, and cities that defund police “would lose eligibility for any state funding, revenues, or other forms of aid.” Those who defund police “would become civilly-liable for any violent crime that result from the action.”
5. Teachers don’t have to be vaccinated to return to the classroom
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki has finally confirmed what many health officials have already said: teachers don’t have to be vaccinated for the coronavirus to return for in-person class, but instead vaccination is a recommended “mitigation step.”
- Psaki did confirm that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris think that “teachers should be prioritized” in vaccinations. She also repeated that other recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as “social distancing and the need for smaller class sizes,” should also be followed.
4. Merrill to help restore faith in elections
- A new commission that will work in partnership with the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) aims to restore “the American people’s confidence in the integrity of their free and fair elections.” Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill will be the co-chair of the commission.
- The commission will work to determine the best practices in running elections and advise state officials. Merrill said that “every state in the nation should be working to assess and improve their respective election laws.” He added that they’re going to identify the best methods for elections “and make sure those are available for legislative bodies in the 50 states to consider as options.”
3. Rush Limbaugh has passed away
- Conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh has passed away at 70-years-old after fighting lung cancer. His passing was announced on his daily radio talk show by his wife, Kathryn Adams Limbaugh. The conservative talker was recognized by many in the media and politics for his influence. Former President George W. Bush noted, “He spoke his mind as a voice for millions.”
- Governor Kay Ivey said Limbaugh’s “profound decades long career as a national voice for conservatives will be sincerely missed on the airwaves.” Many others including former President Donald Trump, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), U.S. Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover), Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth, Attorney General Steve Marshall and more made statements recognizing his life and accomplishments.
2. Cowardly UAB professor tweets vile things about Rush Limbaugh, as does every other liberal
- The people who have demanded “decency” and “unity” over the last five years continue to prove they mean nothing they say and were really just upset that former President Donald Trump stole their schtick as they dance on the grave of Rush Limbaugh. Major and minor figures took to newspapers, cable news and social media to gleefully report the news of Limbaugh’s death.
- In Alabama, a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham said in a now-deleted tweet, “When a terrible piece of scum who caused immeasurable harm to millions dies, there is no sympathy only a desire that they suffered until their last breath.” UAB President Ray Watts, rightly, issued a statement criticizing the lack of class. He stated, “UAB is disgusted and extremely troubled that Sarah Parcak would tweet something so unprofessional and blindly inhumane and cruel. Her poor judgment is completely counter to our shared values as an institution that includes integrity and respect. She absolutely does not speak for our university, and we are reviewing the matter.”
1. Severe weather continues to pound Alabama and the nation
- Compared to how Texas and other states have handled the latest round of freezing cold, snow, ice and rain, Alabama is lucky, but the issues related to the weather event remain in the form of road closures, schools being canceled or delayed, courthouses seeing changed hours, and more.
- The impact on vaccination sites across the state continues to be an issue getting a lot of attention, but many sites are still open in spite of the cold and severe weather.