The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

11 hours ago

Bradley Byrne as Secretary of Navy possibility? Says he is ‘flattered,’ but likelihood of being asked ‘pretty low’

(Jeff Poor / Yellowhammer News)

As of late, there has been a tremendous amount of turmoil in the U.S. Navy at a very critical time in the country. In the wake of the USS Theodore Roosevelt coronavirus outbreak and the dismissal of Capt. Brett E. Crozier, as the ship’s commanding officer, came Tuesday’s resignation of acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly.

Modly will be replaced by Undersecretary of the Army James McPherson, a retired rear admiral. Waiting in the wings to take the post permanently is President Donald Trump’s nominee Kenneth Braithwaite, the U.S. ambassador to Norway. The U.S. Senate has yet to take up Braithwaite’s nomination. However, that could be in jeopardy as well, according to a Politico report from earlier this year.

Meanwhile, in Alabama, with eight months left in his congressional term is U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), who is coming off a failed bid for the U.S. Senate seat up in November. Despite lacking military service, Byrne has ties to the U.S. Navy and congressional experience dealing with it as well. If the Braithwaite nomination falls through, could Byrne, a Trump loyalist, be a Secretary of the Navy possibility?

315

It was raised by State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Daphne), who currently serves in the state senate seat representing Baldwin County’s Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay that Byrne once occupied.

In an interview with Huntsville’s WVNN on Tuesday, Byrne responded to a question about that possibility, saying he would consider if offered but downplayed the possibility.

“Of course, if the opportunity presented itself, I would,” Byrne said. “You know, I’m on the seapower subcommittee. I work with the Navy a lot and have loved the work I’ve done with them. I certainly understand the importance that they play to the defense of the United States. The President has already got someone appointed to be the Secretary of the Navy awaiting confirmation. Modly just tendered his resignation today, and the President has already appointed the Undersecretary of the Army to be the acting Secretary of the Navy. The likelihood I’m going to be called to do something like that is pretty low. I’ll just keep on doing my job as the congressman from the first congressional district and be happy with it.”

“Don’t get me wrong — I’m flattered, and I’d love to do it,” he added. “The President has already got people in place, and this is no time to be upsetting the applecart. But you know, if the President of the United States calls me up and says, ‘I need you to go do something with the Navy,’ I’m going to say, ‘Yes sir, Mr. Commander-in-Chief,’ and go do what he asked me to do. I just don’t think it’s very likely that that is going to happen.”

@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 Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

12 hours ago

Rep. Palmer: ‘China is constantly trying to take advantage of the situation’

(Congressman Gary Palmer/Facebook, YHN)

The behavior of the People’s Republic of China amid the coronavirus pandemic has left much to be desired. The government of the nation of an estimated 1.4 billion people has not been transparent and they have threatened punitive actions against nations that call them out for this behavior.

That is to be expected, according to U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover), who warns against expecting anything different from the Asian communist superpower.

During an interview with Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Palmer deemed China a “bad actor,” and noted the action that led to President Donald Trump banning flights in and out of China to the United States.

350

“China is constantly trying to take advantage of the situation,” Palmer said. “They impose themselves in the South China Sea, illegally in violation of international law. To expect China to behave in a way that we would want them to behave is foolhardy. They’re not going to do that. I can’t speak for the decisionmaking of other countries but if the United States were presented with the same opportunity as the Chinese would offer it, to get health care equipment but we would have to use Huawei, I would say turn it down.”

“The key — and I’m not an isolationist, I’m pretty much a free trader — there’s certain things you have to add to your calculations when you’re talking about dealing with certain countries around the world, whether it is Russia and the Saudis and what they’re doing with the oil prices, or China with them just flat-out being a bad actor, ” he explained. “I think that has to become part of the calculation here, and not lose sight of the fact of who we’re dealing with.”

“I mean, Xi Jinping — I was at a lunch with the president at the White House,” Palmer continued. “I’m part of a leadership team, and we met with President Trump on January 27, and he told us them about phone calls — multiple calls he had with Xi Jinping trying to allow our scientist to come in and help them stem the outbreak, and send the CDC in so we could get a better handle on what this virus was like. Xi wouldn’t allow it. That’s when the president banned out the flights into and out of China, which by the way, despite the fact that he was viciously attacked by the left-wing media — that was exactly the right decision.”

@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 Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

2 days ago

U.S. Rep. Brooks: Democrats putting America’s interests ‘behind their quest and thirst for political power’ on coronavirus

(MSNBC/YouTube)

In recent days, there has been a push for House Democrats to launch an investigation into President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The media and even some congressional Democrats have not been shy about the possibility of convening a panel for such an inquiry. However, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) said such a maneuver would be par for the course for Democrats.

In an interview that aired Monday on Huntsville WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Brooks slammed his Democratic Party colleagues, accusing them of putting political ambitions ahead of the public amid the coronavirus pandemic.

361

“It’s very clear that the socialist Democrats will use every crisis they can to try to maintain the power they have or grab more power,” he said. “And unfortunately, they are putting the interest of Americans second behind their quest and thirst for political power. Hopefully, the curtain has been pulled where the American people can better see what exactly the Democrats are doing.”

The Huntsville GOP lawmaker likened Democrats’ efforts to investigate the Trump administration to those investigations into alleged Russian interference and Russia-Trump 2016 presidential campaign collusion, as it pertained to the 2016 presidential election.

“They did this with the fake Russian collusion argument that went amuck for over two years,” he said. “They did this with the sham impeachment effort, and now they’re going to try to blame these deaths on Donald Trump. If you want to blame somebody, blame the Chinese Communist Party. If you want to blame somebody, the Democrats should blame themselves to some degree because to a very large degree, all media eyes and eyes in Washington were focused on the impeachment proceeding that had been ongoing for a number of months and had reached ahead this year.”

“And I had warned the public that this impeachment proceeding by the Democrats was a total and complete sham, and it was diverting our attention away from a lot of other serious public policy issues that we needed to address — things like border security, things like deficit and debt, things like the battle between free enterprise and socialism,” Brooks added. “At the time, I did not realize it was diverting public attention, and for that matter, elected official attention from the threat posed by this coronavirus. But that turns out to also be an effect of the sham Democrat impeachment that the Democrats foisted on the American people for more than six months.”

@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 Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

3 days ago

State Health Officer Scott Harris: ‘We think the next two to three weeks are really going to be a tipping point for us’

(Screenshot/APTV)

The worst is yet to come for Alabama regarding the coronavirus pandemic, according to State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.

During an interview with APTV’s “Capitol Journal” host Don Dailey, Harris said mid-to-late April would be a “tipping point,” for which he said the state was bracing.

“We think the next two to three weeks are really going to be a tipping point for us,” Harris said. “What we hope we have done is prepare enough to be ready for any potential surge. We hope we have plans in place we can handle that should we get to that point.”

184

“There’s a lot of models out there about what the numbers may look like in Alabama, and they’re just that — they’re models, and they’re best guesses, and they’re estimates, and they’re a little bit all over the maps,” he continued. “But generally speaking, we believe somewhere between April 17 and up to April 22 or 23 is when we’re going to see peak number of admissions in our hospitals. And so, we’re really buckling down and trying to get ready for that.”

“We don’t have a good way to monitor those people right now in Alabama,” Harris added. “We have staff that are still tracking new infections and do contact tracing, and isolate people who have been exposed. Ultimately we’ll be able to monitor that a little better. But we know from around the world, more than 80% never get particularly sick at all and recover without any consequence.”

@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 Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

3 days ago

State Finance Director Kelly Butler: ‘We’re still not anticipating having to prorate either budget’

(Screenshot/APTV)

With the unanticipated slowdown in the Alabama economy caused by proactive measures meant to limit the spread of coronavirus, the possibility of proration, a dirty word in Montgomery circles, has been raised.

When proration is declared, state agencies are forced to decrease expenditures through the remainder of the fiscal year. However, State Finance Director Kelly Butler says Alabama is not to that point yet.

During an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Butler laid out the state’s financial situation, noting that things were in a good place prior to the COVID-19 disruption.

320

 

“For those that might be listening, Alabama’s fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30,” he explained. “So, we are halfway through that fiscal year. And up until this COVID-19 epidemic and the resulting economic slowdown, our economy was running strong. Unemployment was very low. Tax revenues were reflective of that. We were showing growth of revenues greater than our expectations through the first six months of the fiscal year, October through February. And really, we just got the March reports, and they were also still showing strong growth in income and sales tax. And that’s to be expected since that’s primarily based on February economic activity before the slowdown. That helps us be prepared for this fiscal year through September to sort of have some money in the bank from better than expected revenues to help deal with shortfalls that we know are coming.”

Butler said for those reasons and other responsible actions taken by the governor and the legislature, he was not expecting proration this fiscal year.

“At this point, we’re still not anticipating having to prorate either budget,” Butler said. “But we are watching the revenues closely, and we will take whatever action is necessary. For the general fund, the SSUT has been one factor that has helped it to be more able to meet the needs on the expenditure side that are in the general fund. It’s also an economic-driven tax. Legislatures have put more growth taxes into the general fund, which has helped. I think the other thing that has helped is the governor and the legislative leadership has been conservative in budgeting the general fund and leaving balance available, which will also help fund the general fund this fiscal year.”

@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 Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

3 days ago

Del Marsh: ‘There has to be a balance’ between the medical, economic perspectives in state’s coronavirus response

(Screenshot/APTV)

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in hard times for some businesses, particularly for small business in an age where big business dominates so much of the landscape.

A few members of the Alabama legislature have decried the state government for picking winners and losers in its declaration of what businesses are essential and non-essential.

During an interview that aired Friday on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” State Senate President Pro-Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) called for a balance that would correct some of those issues once circumstances allow for it. He also indicated Gov. Kay Ivey had been responsive to those concerns.

284

“I do believe this: We want to save as many lives as possible,” Marsh said. “I think we’re doing that. But thus far, everything has been driven pretty much from a medical perspective. I do think it is our responsibility to bring the economic voice into the conversation at a time. There has to be a balance somewhere. I’ve expressed that to the governor. I think she is trying to do that. You can’t pick winners and losers. And that’s what I’m hearing from the business community right now, especially small business. They have a hard enough time competing against the big box stores, and they feel that through this process, they have been given a little bit more to deal with or a better situation than they have to deal with. I’ve expressed that to the governor.”

“I think what’s going to happen — what we’re trying to do is as long as we can get certain parameters to work toward, a certain number of cases — hopefully a decrease in the number of cases,” he continued. “[Personal protective] equipment in place, ventilators in place, hospital beds if we need them. If we get those things in place, then my hope is we can start easing on some of the economic restrictions we have, get people back to work and at the same time have as many of our citizens are safe as possible — that’s the balance we’re trying to keep, and the governor is working on that.”

@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 Huntsville’s’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

3 days ago

Ainsworth dismisses questions of ‘rift’ between him and Ivey — ‘The governor and I are getting along great’

(Screenshot/APTV)

Last month, a memo from Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth to Alabama’s coronavirus task force critical of the state’s response to date had raised eyebrows and led to questions about his relationship with Gov. Kay Ivey.

A few days later, during a media availability, Ivey pushed back against Ainsworth’s criticisms by saying it was “not helpful” to raise issues without offering solutions.  The had led some to speculate there was tension between the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.

However, during an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” on Friday, Ainsworth denied that to be the case and argued raising his concerns as he had was justified.

405

“My concern is simple,” he said. “I serve on the task force, along with other members I represent the state. I think it is my job on the task force to call something out if I didn’t see adequate preparation or needs being met. That’s what I did. I felt that this was probably the most serious thing we’ve faced in my lifetime, and probably most people’s lifetime. I think my concern was the preparation and the plans in place were not adequate. I feel confident now. I think certainly the task force is addressing those, and happy to see that happen.”

“[I] was just bringing awareness to an issue that I thought we were deficient and didn’t have a plan on, and it needed to be addressed, and we also need to take this seriously,” Ainsworth added. “You remember before this, you know, I basically sent out a call-to-action video to the state saying we’re not taking this serious enough, and when you look at the data and the exponential growth and where the numbers were going, it was clear to me every health care professional that I talked to said the same thing: This is going to grow, we’ve got to put measures in place to stop the growth, and people are not taking this serious enough. And so, I felt it was my job on that task force to bring to light the fact, and it was fact because data and science backed up the fact that every scientist, every doctor was saying tuned out to be true.”

“Capitol Journal” host Don Dailey asked Ainsworth about his relationship with Ivey, to which Ivey said it was “great,” and there was “no rift.”

“The governor and I are getting along great,” Ainsworth said. “There’s no rift. We’re in this together. You know, all I did was point out something that I thought was just one thing. I mean, she’s done a lot of great things on this. It’s just that one particular area I saw something, and I wanted to make sure our task force was taking this serious. Governor Ivey and I are great. Our offices talk every day and will continue to work hard for the people of Alabama.”

@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 Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

4 days ago

ACCA’s Brasfield: COVID-19 freeze on convicted inmates not moving to state prisons from county jails ‘biggest issue’ for county governments

(Twitter/ACCA)

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been felt far and wide, and Alabama’s county governments are no exception.

A perhaps overlooked consequence of a freeze on the transfer of inmates from county facilities to state facilities, one of the Alabama Department of Corrections’ efforts to limit inmate exposure to COVID-19, has put a burden on county governments.

During an interview with Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) head Sonny Brasfield acknowledged that burden as a primary issue confronting county government amid the pandemic.

679

“The lion’s share of my time so far this week has been on this issue — the county jails and the freeze on movement of inmates to the state level, and how do we try to address that issue,” he said. “If we were in court, I would say I will stipulate that the Department of Corrections is overcrowded. I will stipulate that they have a difficult time generating social distancing in their facilities. And I would think they would stipulate we have the same problem. County jails are no less overcrowded. We don’t have positions to segregate inmates at the county level, either.”

“So far, the conversations are at least somewhat productive,” Brasfield continued. “I would say at the county level, we really don’t think this is a proper county expense. We hope that we can get things worked out. We’re concern not only about the cost of these inmates … but also we’re worried about the liability exposure for the counties that is being generated because these inmates that otherwise would be in state custody are being mandated to stay at the county level. There are about 830 inmates that have been tried, convicted and sentenced in county jails that should be in custody of the Department of Corrections.”

According to Brasfield, even once things resume normal operations with the Alabama Department of Corrections, the system will still need time to catch up.

“Commissioner Dunn quite honestly said to me on Tuesday, ‘Sonny, once we start back taking inmates, it will take more than six months to get rid of that backlog,'” he said. “And of course, once we move to the court system operating again, there will be more state inmates generated. There are another 700 or 800 inmates that are also in county jails that are there because their probation has been revoked. They’re out on probation or parole. They commit another crime. They’re arrested. They’re waiting to go back to DOC, as well. So, we think the number is as much 1,300, 1,400 — maybe as much as 1,500 state inmates at this point. The counties really have nothing to do but to hold their breath and hope.”

When asked if the state should helping counties recoup some costs from the situation, he said discussions were underway.

“We have resisted that over the years,” Brasfield explained. “Our efforts over the years have been to help the state clear the inmates out rather than county jails becoming a repository for state inmates. There are a lot of reasons for that — liability is one of those. These are extreme circumstances. Yes, we are having discussions about the state reimbursing the county for its expenses. We wouldn’t be interested in trying to make any money. But certainly, there is an expense to housing those inmates. More importantly, for us, again, it is the liability issue and the long tail that will be generated by these inmates backing up. For us in county government right now, this is the biggest issue in terms of the exposure that we have in trying to solve it.”

Brasfield also recognized Gov. Kay Ivey’s executive actions to ease some of the burden.

“Now to the credit of the administration — Governor Ivey issued a proclamation … that generates some relief on technical violators of probation and parole,” he added. “We call those ‘dunks.’ It’s a term from the 2015 prison reform act. She did provide relief to some of the county jails, clearing the way for some of those inmates to be released earlier than they would have been because they can’t go to DOC either. That would be of some help — maybe 300 or so some inmates around the state. We think that will be some help. But you know, we’ve got bigger problems than that.”

@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 Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

4 days ago

State Sen. Elliott seeks to prevent state income taxes from being levied on federal coronavirus relief payouts

(Contributed/State Sen. Chris Elliott)

Soon eligible Alabamians will receive payouts from the federal government, part of the effort to stem the tide of economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic. However, under Alabama law, those monies are considered income and would be taxed as such.

State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Daphne) is seeking to prevent that from happening with a bill he hopes will get consideration this abbreviated legislative session, also impacted by the coronavirus spread.

During an interview on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Friday, Elliott reminded listeners of similar circumstances from the 2008 federal stimulus.

366

“This happened back in 2008 when it was the last federal stimulus package took place,” he said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “The state looks at that money as income and wants the revenue off of that accordingly. In 2008, the legislature passed an act that excluded that stimulus money from state income taxes, and what I’m trying to do is essentially the same thing again and make sure that the folks that are getting the stimulus money — $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 jointly and additional $500 a kid — is not taxed at the state level. I think that’s just kind of heaping on at that point. So hopefully, we can make that one of the essential — one of the few bills that will probably see its way through this session as we get back at the end of April.”

The Baldwin County Republican lawmaker said there was a distinction between the executive and legislative branches’ roles in the COVID-19 fight, and said it was his view the legislature take a “big picture” look at the economy under these circumstances.

“That’s been at the forefront of a lot of folks’ minds,” Elliott explained. “As a legislator, we are in those executive branch functions that are charged with the immediate response to this. So, we have the ability, and really the charge, I think, to take a step and really look at what’s happening big picture to the economy and to the folks we represent from a financial standpoint, to try to do what we can do while we’re in session. That’s the other issue — because this comes in, and we’re going to have to get it done this session to get it ready for the next tax year. It’s incumbent upon us to act and look forward to make sure we got these things taken care of for our constituents ahead of time.”

@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 Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

6 days ago

State Rep. Whitt on coronavirus restrictions: ‘Our small businesses are getting destroyed’

(Screenshot/WAFF)

As far as some businesses go, there have been both winners and losers with the restrictions put into place because of the coronavirus pandemic. That has led to pushback from some small businesses that are not considered “essential.” In contrast, larger retailers that have both essential and non-essential products for sale are allowed to remain open.

In an appearance on “The Jeff Poor Show” on Wednesday, State Rep. Andy Whitt (R-Harvest) agreed with that notion, noting the toll it was taking on Alabama’s small businesses.

He said he agreed with a point State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) had made earlier in the week regarding Alabama’s rural small businesses. However, he was unsure of a remedy for small businesses.

225

“I certainly agree with Senator Whatley — our small businesses are being destroyed,” Whitt said. “For instance, I had a customer call me and a constituent call regarding they have a nursery. Well, their nursery stocks tomato plants, pepper plants — things like that. It is gardening time, yet they were shuttered. When I went through Lowe’s drive-thru to look at their parking lot — what are people buying? Well, they are getting ready to plant their garden. So yes, it puts them at a deep disadvantage, and it is hurtful to our economy. I wish I knew a better answer. I just simply don’t know one at this time.”

“But yes, they have an advantage,” he continued. “So many people in those stores — maybe they should start limiting them to 25% occupancy of the store and sell only the essential items. We don’t need people in there shopping for dresses or whatever at Walmart or Target. They need to go in there and get essential items or prescriptions filled, and move on about their business.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

7 days ago

Tennessee U.S. Sen. Blackburn touts Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha, Redstone Arsenal roles in bringing pharmaceutical manufacturing back to U.S.

(blackburn.senate.gov)

One of the vulnerabilities exposed by the outbreak of the COVID-19/coronavirus is how dependent the United States is on China for certain manufactured goods, including pharmaceuticals.

With the United States facing a health crisis, efforts are afoot to bring aspects of manufacturing back to the United States from China, and part of that includes two Huntsville institutions, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) explained her legislative proposal to make such a transition possible and mentioned HudsonAlpha and Redstone Arsenal by name.

314

The Tennessee Republican U.S. Senator argued the manufacturing issue should be considered from a national security perspective.

“[M]y legislation says let’s look at this from a national security issue,” she said. “Let’s look at it from a manufacturing issue. Let’s incentivize our colleges and universities to work with pharmaceutical companies, and to establish these protocols that say we can bring this back. We can bring that back. We can find better ways to do just-in-time manufacturing. We can develop new manufacturing capabilities.”

“And you know, there in Huntsville, you have the HudsonAlpha Institute,” Blackburn continued. “And they are a tremendous, tremendous research facility and have done an unbelievable amount of work — both there with the active pharmaceutical industry. They have partnered with Life Sciences, with Vanderbilt University, and with the Life Sciences Center here in Franklin, TN.”

“You also have over at Redstone, DoD — some of the contract work that is being done there,” she continued. “Some of that gets into medical isotopes, and they partner up with some of the work that is being done at Oak Ridge in Tennessee. So, our region of the country is very active in this type of research and very active in teaming up.”

Blackburn said her proposal would bolster these efforts underway in the region.

“My legislation says let’s give this a shot in the arm,” she added. “And let these smart minds that know what we need have the ability to set those protocols and those benchmarks. And then let’s just go ahead and determine that we’re going to be smart about this, and we’re never going to get ourselves in this situation again.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

 

1 week ago

Alabama Ag Commissioner Rick Pate: ‘We’ve got a safe, abundant, sustainable food supply here in Alabama’

(Screenshot/APTV)

On Tuesday, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) Commissioner Rick Pate reiterated his sentiment about the stability of Alabama’s food supply not being a cause for concern during an interview with Huntsville radio’s WVNN.

Pate told “The Jeff Poor Show” that despite a run of grocery stores and other retailers in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, the in-state food supply remains safe and abundant.

However, during the wide-ranging interview, he said the coronavirus spread had not come without some challenges for Alabama’s farmers, including labor difficulties as legal migrant workers are no longer able to come to Alabama with the closure of borders.

354

Nonetheless, he assured listeners there was no threat to the food supply.

“People go in the grocery stores, and they see shortages – but I want to promise you we can sustain that, and we’ll refill that two days from now, two weeks from now, two months from now, two years from now,” Pate said. “Our food supply in this country is secure. It’s abundant. It’s safe. And the thing is – our government officials, at least around food, haven’t given me any indication that they don’t understand that – the federal USDA people, the Homeland Security people, our own state governor’s office, our own public health.”

“I mean, anything is possible,” he continued. “But we’ve got a safe, abundant, sustainable food supply here in Alabama, and I would assume across most of the country.”

Pate urged those to be in touch with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI), either through the website or by phone (334) 240-7100, for further information about farming issues or to verify something is misinformation or rumor.

“[Y]ou might hear some rumors,” he said. “I’d like to know what they are because you might hear some rumors.”

Pate recounted a smaller stockyard that was under the impression the state government wanted it to shut down because to prevent the coronavirus spread.

“I don’t want you to close down,” he said. “I don’t even want the rumor that the smallest one in the state closed down. It will get said all the stockyards in the state are closing down. That’s just not the case. Every stockyard is still up and running, cattle being sold.”

Pate added that while demand is up at the consumer for some agriculture products, prices are low. He also warned of continued falling prices for beef given it is a staple of many upper-end restaurants that are unable to serve dine-in customers due to the pandemic.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

1 week ago

U.S. Rep. Aderholt: Alabama ‘holding our own quite well’ through coronavirus — Predicts state economy will ‘hit the ground running’ post-pandemic

(House Appropriations Committee/YouTube)

The coronavirus has clearly had a profound impact on the American economy by forcing some businesses to shut down or limit transactions to prevent the spread of the virus.

However, with some proactive measures, the American stock market, although way off of its 2020 highs, has recovered some of its value from a crash that resulted from an investor sell-off because of the coronavirus spread. This is not lost on U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), who points to the slight recovery of stocks as a reason for optimism looking beyond the pandemic.

Monday on Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Aderholt had a similar view of optimism for Alabama as well. He noted the slowdown of automobile manufacturing in the Yellowhammer State that has come as a result of coronavirus. But said in some ways, the state was still holding its own, shown by the trucking industry in his Fourth Congressional District.

304

“Of course, one thing that’s been shut down in Alabama that’s really, I think, we’ve not seen in a long time is these automotive makers,” he said. “Automobile manufacturers around the state have been holding up their lines of production. That has made a big impact on Alabama. So, I think once they go back into work, then we will see that. Last week, I was talking to some of my trucking companies — had reached out to them to just see how they’re doing. And surprisingly, they’re doing very well considering the circumstances.”

“Of course, obviously people are still buying groceries, still buying a lot of products and going to stores where they can buy them,” Aderholt continued. “So obviously, those products — most of them, are brought in by trucks. Some of the trucking industry does have a certain amount they deal with bringing automobile parts into facilities. And they did say that of course had been decreased very extensively because of the shutdown. But, they were getting work from other places, so I took that as a good sign as well.”

Aderholt predicted Alabama would be back at a normal pace once it is able to shake off the impact of coronavirus.

“Considering the situation we’re in where so many Alabamians are sitting at home — I think that we’re holding our own quite well,” Aderholt said. “And I’m encouraged that once this is blown over, so to speak, then I think we’ll really hit the ground running, and I think the economy will get back to its normal pace.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

1 week ago

State Sen. Butler on Ivey and coronavirus: ‘Right now, I think we need to get behind the governor’

In the early stages of what could be a long path to handling the coronavirus pandemic, the state of Alabama has taken extraordinary actions, some of which have interfered with lifestyle, livelihoods and civil liberties.

That has led some to question the efforts of state government leadership, including Gov. Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. For now, State Sen. Tom Butler (R-Madison) urges his legislative colleagues and others to put that aside, recognize the severity of the situation and line up behind Ivey’s leadership as she attempts to navigate the crisis.

Butler made his feelings known on the state of Alabama’s response to the coronavirus pandemic during an appearance on Huntsville radio’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Monday.

227

“We have a national emergency,” he said. “The president this morning actually referred to it as a national disaster. The governor is our chief executive officer. She is the commander-in-chief of the national guard. She has all kinds of input around her. She has had some input from the legislature, and I think our voices have been heard. But this is a health emergency. That the state has never faced before. As the president would say, it’s an unseen enemy. That is true. It is killing people right and left, putting all kind of people in danger.”

“The six-foot social distancing — if we keep doing that will help push that curve down we’re looking for,” Butler continued. “But right now, I think we need to get behind the governor, just stay there. I know it’s going to be hard but the Congress and the president has now signed a huge bill that will hopefully restore and give some relief to people financially, including small business, big business, individual families. This is the biggest problem this country has seen probably since World War II.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

1 week ago

State Sen. Whatley: Coronavirus order favors big business over small business — Hints at legislation changing powers of ‘dictator’ state health officer

(Screenshot/APTV)

Saturday, State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) and State Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville) both took to social media to voice their frustrations with the blanket order closing certain businesses to limit the spread of the COVID-19/coronavirus threat.

Whatley took to the airwaves later that day to elaborate on his concerns. During an appearance on Huntsville radio WVNN’s “Will Hampson Weekends,” Whatley explained how economic consequences were ignored and done so at the expense of individuals’ civil liberties with the order issued at the behest of State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.

“It’s not just Auburn and Lee County, Tallapoosa and Russell County – it’s all across the state,” Whatley said. “You’ve got rural Alabama that doesn’t have some of the things, advantages other places do – options I should say, to obtain certain items they need in everyday life. And now, the state has come in with a one-size-fits-all order signed by the state health officer, who is not an elected official but an appointed official by a board of doctors.”

600

“He is issuing orders for the state that are carrying the rule of law,” Whatley continued. “Yet, he is an unelected individual. And he is a good fellow, and he is a good guy. He’s doing everything he can to keep the state safe. But as you stated earlier, the whole focus has been on making sure the state is safe and minimizing the consequences. And that’s great. And we need to do that. But he admitted to me yesterday he had only been focused on the medical side of the issue. And when you’re doing something outside of the medical side of the issue, you need to bring everybody to the table. And that’s a concern with the economics as well. You’re going to curtail people’s civil liberties.”

The Lee County lawmaker also expressed his concern with how the order from the state favors big business over local business by giving a competitive advantage.

“That may not have been their objective to start with,” Whatley said. “But it sure is the result of their order. And if this was ever an order that was given down to benefit big business over the guy that goes to church with you, that lives down the street, that has a mortgage at the local bank – I don’t know what is.”

Whatley revealed State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) has also reached out Ivey with similar concerns regarding the mandate from the state.

“I can’t speak for him, but I know Senator Del Marsh has written a letter to the governor that I had a look at,” Whatley said. “It was a very well thought out letter. It said those who are in danger, those who have the pre-disposition – make sure you can get yourself in a place where you can be safe and don’t put yourself at risk. And then the rest of us need to continue on with business, need to continue on to make sure that we can go to schools, go to shops and we can continue the commerce that is the business of Alabama.”

Host Will Hampson asked if there was the possibility the Alabama legislature could take a look at the authority given to the state health officer.

“When all of this is said and done, I hope we make some changes to make things better and easier on small business,” he said. “I have spoken to several of my colleagues, and I do think that there is a prevailing thought among those people that I serve with that when we go back in to session– maybe not this year because it will be a truncated year but next year for sure – that we look at legislation addressing some of the issues that have come up during this crisis – maybe the emergency powers, the state health officer being, in essence, a dictator for the state because he has no check and balance on him.”

“One thing that I’d like to see is that person appointed by the governor and be part of the governor’s cabinet,” he added. “So if the governor wants to do a shutdown, he or she has to put their name on the order, not just the state health officer. And I think you’ll see that taken into account. So, I hope we see a change that benefits the small businessman.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

U.S. Rep. Rogers floats possible new federal mandate requiring ‘at least 50%’ of medical equipment produced domestically

(Congressman Mike D. Rogers/Facebook, YHN)

As the country grapples with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, many have put a renewed focus on China and the United States’ relationship with the Asian communist superpower.

Given the origin of coronavirus was in China, and the country’s dependency on China for manufactured goods, including medical equipment, there is a movement afoot to decouple the United States from China in that regard.

During an appearance on “The Jeff Poor Show” on Huntsville radio’s WVNN, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, predicted you might see legislation offered that would raise requirements for what is produced domestically versus abroad.

403

“My guess is, you know, what we do on the military side — I’m on the Armed Service Committee,” he explained. “We have a requirement that at least 50% of what we procure has to be domestically produced for this very reason. We can’t become dependent on other countries for minimum things that we need to fight in wars. So, we may get into something like that — at least 50% of personal protective equipment, medical devices that we use in this country has to be produced domestically.”

“[T] hat’s probably going to result in some higher prices, but that’s worth it to know that in the future if we get in a situation like this, we don’t lose millions of Americans to death because we were trying to save a few pennies on a mask,” Rogers added.

According to Rogers, China’s behavior in the early stages of the virus outbreak justifies such actions.

“I think it will change significantly in two areas,” he said. “One I just described. They literally own the marketplace for a lot of this medical equipment, personal protective equipment and devices. And not just that — the chemicals, like, for example, the testing kits that we need to test for this virus. Most of the materials, and by that, I mean chemical materials that we use for those tests come from China. I mean, they have just taken control of that marketplace. That’s going to change, and I think we’re going to have some changed feelings and interaction with them because they kept this from us.”

“They could have told the world a lot sooner what was going on and we could have been better prepared to, A — help them confine it in their country, or B — prepare to keep it from doing what it did in country’s like Italy because China was not being truthful, withholding from the world what was going on,” Rogers continued. “So, I think it’s not just a change in their relationship with us, but I think its a change in the way the world perceives them going forward. And hopefully, well come out in a better place because of it.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

Tuberville on federal coronavirus relief package: ‘Typical government,’ ‘Just throw money at stuff’ — Says some funding elements ‘criminal’

(Screenshot/APTV)

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly taken a toll on the American economy, which has led to the federal government at the behest of Congress and the Trump White House taking extraordinary measures.

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that was previously negotiated and passed by the U.S. Senate with a 96-0 vote.

Former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama, acknowledged the severity of the situation but questioned where money was being spent and other funding for seemingly unrelated items that it included.

291

“It’s typical — typical government,” he said during an interview that aired on Thursday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show” on Huntsville’s WVNN. “We just throw money at stuff. We got a lot of people that are hurting. You know, I saw a number where President Trump said 65% of the country is actually working. And you’ve got 35% of the people who aren’t. And most of those are small businesses, and they need to be taken care of. Why don’t we just go after that? Why don’t we give loans and grants to the businesses and say pay your employees their normal pay? You don’t have to be open, but pay your normal pay.”

Tuberville mentioned some reported elements of the relief package, including $75 million for public broadcasting and $35 million for computers in congressional offices, as well as daycare, health and travel.

“It’s hilarious what they put in these bills,” he said. “It’s really criminal. That’s what it is because it is our money that they’re spending. They’re just taking advantage of a crucial situation where people need help. We need to be helping the people. We don’t need to be helping the Kennedy Center for Fine Arts for $25 million. It’s gotten to be comical what these people take advantage of a crisis. Nancy Pelosi, what she was trying to put in there — that was criminal. If they put any of that in there, we should run all of them out. It was awful.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

Sessions: ‘Fundamentally, the economy is strong’ — ‘We can bounce back from this’

(Jeff Sessions/Contributed)

It is hard not to notice the economic shock from coronavirus that has come in a historic spike in unemployment benefit claims, the faltering of the stock market, and unprecedented actions implemented by the federal government to stymy the decline.

With many unknowns about what is to come, the question remains what happens to the American economy from here?

During an appearance on Huntsville’s NewsTalk 92.5FM/770AM WVNN on Thursday, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a candidate for U.S. Senate, offered an optimistic view on the future.

180

Sessions told “The Jeff Poor Show” he did not anticipate significant changes and thought recovery was possible.

“I think for some time, we’ll be more careful about travel and the possible transmission of the virus,” he said. “And if some spot becomes a hot spot, I think every nation is probably going to shut down travel to those hot spots. I think fundamentally, the economy is strong. It was just booming the first part of this year. It’s really remarkable — the stock market was high, reflecting confidence and the growth.”

“I’m of the view that we can bounce back from this,” Sessions continued. “And we can do it in a way that doesn’t overwhelm our hospitals and doctors and our medical system. And hopefully, we can get back to work a lot sooner than some people think.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

State Sen. Ward: Prison reform still ‘urgent,’ Can still be done this session — Says prisons ‘seem to be going well so far’ with coronavirus

(Screenshot/APTV)

Interruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic may have an impact on the business of the Alabama legislature, including causing efforts to institute reforms to Alabama’s prison system to come into compliance with the federal government to stall.

However, according to State Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), the chairman of the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee, hopes for progress during the 2020 session are not entirely lost.

During an interview with Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Ward says that while some of the work of the Alabama legislature will have to be altered, there is a package of measures ready to go on prisons.

432

“I don’t think you can put it on hold,” Ward said. “Under the constitution, we can be all the way up until May 18. I think you could see a situation where we come back in the first of May, work those last few weeks and just take on priority issues, as such as some form of a bare-bone education budget and the prison issue as well. There’s a couple of other issues we need to follow up with that are priority. But I don’t think it is completely dead yet. I just don’t think we can go into session right now when we’re telling people they can’t go out to eat, but yet we can go into session. I think that sets a bad example on our part.”

“On the prison issue, it is urgent,” he continued. “I think the Feds said they appreciate where we are and the situation we’re in. We had a package of bills right before this pandemic broke out — we passed six bills, a lot of them reentry programs, some mental health, some more oversight for the system — we passed out of the package and felt like we had a pretty good bill we could get a lot of support behind. But then, of course, this happens. But a lot of the bills are still in position that if we came in, they’re one step closer to passing. I think we can do it still. The Feds understand our situation.”

The Shelby County lawmaker also offered an update on how the prison system itself was grappling with the coronavirus breakout and insisted that things seemed to be holding up for the time being.

“Right now, we have to monitor the prison system,” Ward said. “You can’t practice social distancing when you’ve got 165% capacity.”

“Right now, no inmate in the system has been diagnosed with corona[virus],” he continued. “But now the [Department of Corrections] has implemented their emergency protocol — what they do when an outbreak of [tuberculosis] takes place, or any other disease like that — they basically isolate people, deny outside entry, require regular screenings of everyone for fevers, officers and inmates. So, they implemented that. It seems to be going well so far. But it is going to be a day-to-day battle just like it is for us in the public.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

State Sen. Scofield: ‘I don’t think anything else could have brought’ the rural broadband issue more to light than coronavirus

(Screenshot/APTV)

With people away from work and school, and looking for alternative ways to remain productive through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the urgent need for access to broadband internet is brought to light, according to State Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville).

Unfortunately for those in some parts of the state of Alabama, that is not an option as the economics do not make infrastructure for broadband internet feasible in their locations.

Scofield, a long-time advocate for broadband improvements in rural Alabama, explained during an interview with Huntsville radio’s WVNN how a lack of internet for some public school students had presented a challenge to educators as they seek solutions to make up for lost time during the pandemic’s shutdown.

431

“No question,” Scofield replied when asked about this being a time where internet access is desired on Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show.” “I don’t think anything else could have brought the issue more to light than this one — on something I’ve been jumping up and down, screaming about for a long, long time. And that is narrowing the digital divide in the state of Alabama. You know, roughly only almost one-fifth of the state doesn’t have access to high-speed internet. And you know, that really — those areas of the state are making it difficult to make a decision on what our students are going to do for the rest of the school year, just in case they can’t go back to school.”

“[W]e have got to treat broadband like we do power and water in the 21st century,” he added. “This is proof positive of how we need to address that.”

Scofield likened the void to not having other utilities in a time of crisis and argued the internet was an essential tool in the modern Alabama economy.

“For folks that have internet, sometimes you take it for granted,” Scofield said. “You only have to imagine if through this crisis, or just in reality you didn’t have power or water — obviously those things are necessary for basic living. But in order to maintain this economy as best we can, we have to have connectivity. At the state [level], luckily, we have been engaging in that. But this is only our second year of grants. If these grants went through, we would be looking potentially servicing another 86,000 units in Alabama.”

A unit can be a business, school, household, hospital or library, according to the Marshall County Republican legislator, which would have a considerable impact.

Scofield also applauded efforts from U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), who last week announced he had requested emergency funding for rural broadband.

He added that the hope was not to provide free internet but instead to get private companies to invest in the infrastructure required to make it available, which may include government incentives.

“It’s essentially a business decision,” he added. “It’s economics — the reason why companies aren’t serving those areas. It’s sparsely populated. The infrastructure is very costly to build and maintain. It literally comes down to a business decision by them.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

Jones: Trump’s ‘cure worse than the problem’ comments ‘dumb’; Current coronavirus relief package ‘won’t be the last’

(Doug Jones for Senate/Facebook, YHN)

During an appearance Tuesday on Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) offered listeners a synopsis of the back-and-forth bargaining over a coronavirus relief package on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Jones has been on both sides of procedural votes in the U.S. Senate in recent days, and expressed his disappointment in partisan wrangling.

“The last 48 hours, 72 hours — they were ridiculous in my view,” he said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “There was a lot of political posturing on both sides. We actually took two votes that I was not happy about because they were procedural votes. That’s the misunderstanding. People thought we were voting on a package. We weren’t. We were just voting on procedural votes, to proceed. [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell knew they were going to fail. He just put it out there. It got tensions really raw because it took people away from the hard work of discussing how we’re going to help workers, how we’re going to help businesses, how we’re going to help our hospitals and the money that has got to go in there, and how we’re going to help our state and local governments.”

332

Jones insisted at the time of the interview, both sides seemed to have put that behind them, and he was optimistic the bill ultimately passed by the U.S. Senate would get through the U.S. House of Representatives and on to President Donald Trump’s desk.

However, Jones was not pleased about Trump’s remarks on social media and in a press briefing about the “cure” being worse than the problem, apparently referring to the economic damage potentially done to the country with the shutdowns of day-to-day life around the country.

“I think it was dumb of the president to say it,” he said. “I’m just going to be candid about it. It was not consistent with anything the scientists are saying. It’s not consistent with anything the health care officials in Alabama, from Huntsville to Mobile — there is no one saying that except people that are losing money in their stock portfolio. It really angers me to hear the president say it. And then for people to take that as gospel because the only way — this is a health crisis. If we can get past the health crisis, we will then get past the economic crisis.”

According to Alabama’s junior U.S. Senator, this relief package, if passed by Congress, likely will not be the last.

“[I]’ve said all along as we’re working on this third package, this is not going to be the last one,” Jones said. “I am absolutely convinced that we will be looking at other things, probably I say down the road. But I think quicker rather than later because this is not going to be the be-all, end-all.”

Jones later said he was not certain of the timing of when that next round of legislation could come from Congress.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

State Sen. Orr on gov’t coronavirus response: ‘I’m starting to really question decisions that are being made’

(Senator Arthur Orr/Facebook)

Just in the last several days, extraordinary measures have been taken by federal and state officials as a response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

On the state level, Gov. Kay Ivey has taken steps to prevent the spread in Alabama. Among those were limiting gatherings of more than 25 people, forbidding customers to eat or drink in the dining room of a restaurant, bar or brewery and closing Alabama’s beaches. All of those actions come at a cost to the economy and will result in a decrease in tax revenue for state government coffers.

During an interview with WVNN radio in Huntsville, State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) raised questions about the economic aspects of decisions being made at all levels of government, including the pros and cons of what is being done to the economy and the federal government “throwing money at the problem.”

346

“Nobody is doing a risk analysis for any of this,” Orr said Friday on “The Dale Jackson Show.”

“You know, you look at the Italian experience, and you look and see that 99-plus percent all had serious health issues — either one or more serious health issues other than coronavirus,” he continued. “So what’s going to happen when people don’t have — these $1,200 checks — I mean, just throwing money at the problem? I think that’s just the politicians’ answer. It takes much longer to start a business back up if it hadn’t gone into total bankruptcy and failure than it does to just shut her down. I think all the politicians are trying to one-up each other and just throw it all into the ditch. I’m down at the bottom end of the totem pole of things, but I’m starting to really question decisions that are being made.”

The Morgan County Republican noted the risks to the vulnerable and suggested appropriate protections could be applied to those without hindering economic activity.

“[T]here is no finish line,” Orr said. “I don’t know that the end game has been thought out. And that’s where we should have started — protecting those in vulnerable situations — the elderly, those that have health conditions — really isolating them. But as far as those that have got bills to pay and work, they may get sick or something but so do every year people get sick with the flu. And people move on.”

“I don’t have the information that a lot of the people up the food chain have, but I sit back, and I watch what is happening to the economy and how the politicians seem to be trying to outrace themselves to implement new restrictions. I’m starting to get real serious questions about how things are operating.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

3 weeks ago

State Health Officer warns coronavirus ’20-30 times deadlier’ for seniors than the flu

(Alabama Department of Public Health)

Gov. Kay Ivey has taken some extraordinary steps to stem the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Alabama. Among those were limiting gatherings of 25 or more people or more and closing Alabama’s beaches, preschools and child care centers.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s State Health Officer, Dr. Scott Harris, those unprecedented measures will indeed help with the slowing of the spread.

In an interview that aired on Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Harris explained how COVID-19 was having a much more severe impact on seniors than influenza.

440

“I think we’re having some issues reaching people who are young and healthy because it is absolutely true this is not a disease that is that big of deal for people who are young and healthy,” Harris said. “But when you look at our seniors, people who have chronic health problems — this disease is something like 20-30 times deadlier than the flu. And you know, the flu is pretty bad every year anyway. But this is 20-30 times more deadly than that.”

“For our people over age 80, like my own parents, for example, it is even much higher than that,” he continued. “Even if you’re a young person and you’re not worried about yourself as much, please worry about your family — your own parents, your grandparents, the older people in your community. We really need everyone to buy in and cooperate. And if we can just stick together for a few weeks, we know that we’ll be over the hump.”

Harris noted the spread of a virus that just came into existence near the end of last year had now spread globally. He said that’s the cause for concern for public officials.

“It’s probably more contagious than the flu,” he said. “You know it spreads similarly. There are things that are similar about it — to influenza. But because it is new, there is just a lot about it that is unknown. This virus may not even have existed back in November of last year. And suddenly, it’s sort of popping up in all corners of the planet. We still have a lot to learn, but we know those countries that really worked hard enforcing people staying together like in South Korea or like in China are managing to get over this. And places like Italy, which were really late to come up with these same kinds of guidelines for their population, they are really having a hard time.”

“You know, the day before yesterday, almost 500 people in a single day died in Italy. And you know, that’s a real modern country with up-to-date health care infrastructure. And yet, they had almost 500 deaths in a single day. And so, we’re not trying to be alarmists. We’re not saying that will happen here. But we just don’t know, and that’s why we need people to take precautions and just try to follow these social distancing guidelines.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

3 weeks ago

Tuberville dismisses Sessions’ call for a debate — ‘That’s the least of my worries’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

On Wednesday, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a candidate for the GOP nomination for Alabama’s U.S. Senate election to be held in November, called on his opponent former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville to face him in a debate.

Thursday, Tuberville downplayed Sessions’ call, citing the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and argued the focus should not be on politics.

Tuberville told Huntsville radio’s WVNN that a debate proposal was “the least” of his worries.

351

“That’s the least of my worries,” he said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “You know, they keep attacking me. You would think somebody would have a little bit of compassion and don’t talk politics. I probably won’t talk politics for another five, six, seven weeks. There’s no reason to. I mean, we need to protect our families and our future because this is not a drill. I mean, this is real — what we’re having go on right now.”

Tuberville mentioned his son, currently residing in New York City, and the hardship he was facing to illustrate how Americans are being asked to give up their freedom amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“And again, it’s not to us as much as what is going on right here in Alabama as it is in other places,” Tuberville added. “I have a son that lives in New York, Tucker, who went to Auburn a few years ago. And now he is up there in finance. He said, ‘Dad, it’s a different world up here. It’s really different. You can go into the street. If you do, you got certain times you can go to the grocery stores. We’re losing our freedom, and this is a country where we love our freedom. And that’s what it is all about.”

“We’re starting to lose our freedom for a limited time,” he continued. “But we’re losing them for the right reasons. You’ve got to protect freedom for the future. And so, politics aside — this is not about any kind of election right now. We’ve got our people elected — they need to do the right thing for the state and our country. And I’m going to follow all the rules and regulations. Once we get back to politics, we’ll pick up where we left off, and get ready to go beat Doug Jones in November.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.