6 months ago

Byrne: Democrats’ ‘Equality Act’ an effort to take away constitutional right to freely exercise our religion

PRICEVILLE — The Equality Act has made headlines in recent days because of remarks made by pop star Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards calling on the White House to acknowledge a petition promoting the legislation.

During a speech given to the Morgan County Republican Party on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), a candidate for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up in 2020, warned the Equality Act was one of a number of measures championed by Democrats that would strip constitutional rights from citizens.

Byrne explained that opposition to the Equality Act was just one of many public policy fights required to protect fundamental American values.

“I think every public policy fight we have in Washington right now is a fight over basic values — basic America values deeply embedded in our Declaration of Independence, deeply embedded in our Constitution, ” Byrne said. “And for me, our right to freely exercise our religion. Mo [Brooks] and I voted against a bill in the House called the Equality Act — in the news today a little bit. Sounds great — equality, right? Know what it does? It tries to take away from you and me our rights in the Constitution to freely exercise our religion, OK? Not to just believe what we want to believe — to go to church every Sunday and worship with the people we worship with. But when we get out of church — on Monday through Saturday, we get to actually live our lives that way. They want to take that away from us because they don’t share that value.”

The Baldwin County Republican tied this and other efforts to a belief in socialism, which would give government more control over individuals’ lives.

“They do not share the value that the Constitution is fundamental to our country,” he said. “That’s why they’re OK with taking away our Second Amendment rights. That’s why they would take away our First Amendment rights — to freely exercise our religion. That’s why they believe the Constitution means whatever they want it to mean instead of what it was written to mean. They’re socialist, OK? They call themselves socialist.”

“They’re socialist because they believe government should run your life and my life,” he added. “They fail to understand the fundamental words of the Declaration of Independence — that God gives us our rights, not the government, and it’s government’s job to secure those rights for the people, governing with the consent of the people that sent us there. The government is secondary to that process, not primary. They would make it primary.”

Byrne detailed plans by these so-called socialists to expand the entitlement state to “Medicare for all,” which he said would come at a whopping cost of $40 trillion.

“That’s why they’re socialists, and it reflects that value,” he added.

He also took a jab at the Green New Deal, which he accused Democrats of trying to repeal the laws of nature.

“They want to repeal the laws of physics,” Byrne said. “Did you know that? Look at the Green New Deal. We’re going to get America off of fossil-based fuels in 10 years. No gasoline, no diesel, no oil, no natural gas, no coal.”

Byrne said he asked engineers at both the University of Alabama and Auburn University if such a feat was possible, to which they replied, “You’ll be cold in the wintertime, hot in the summertime and you’ll have to walk everywhere — and no more cows because they produce methane gas.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

24 mins ago

Elisabeth French selected as first black woman to serve as Presiding Judge of an Alabama Circuit Court

On Wednesday, Judge Elisabeth French was elected to be the presiding judge for Alabama’s 10th judicial circuit by her fellow judges on the court.

She will be the first woman to hold that position since the court was created in 1821, and she will be the first black woman to serve as Presiding Judge of any Alabama circuit court.

“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Jefferson County as a Judge since 2010,” French told the Alabama State Bar. “I am looking forward to now taking on such an important role with the support of my fellow judges.”

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French will assume the responsibilities of the role on March 1, 2020, following the retirement of current Presiding Judge Joseph Boohaker on February 29, 2020.

By the number of judges and cases, the 10th circuit, which covers Jefferson County, is the largest of Alabama’s 40 circuit courts.

The Presiding Judge of a circuit court is tasked with overseeing all of a court’s employees and is meant to maintain an orderly and expeditious process through which justice can be administered.

French earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Montevallo and her law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

Will Sen. Doug Jones vote to protect vulnerable babies?

It’s hard to believe that, in 21st century America, the life of a baby more than halfway through pregnancy is considered up for debate – but it’s true, thanks in part to Senator Doug Jones and his extremist Democrat friends in Congress. In many parts of the country, even newborn infants are uniquely vulnerable to being killed or left to die, all because they were slated for abortion and miraculously survived.

This flies in the face of basic decency and fundamental American values. Surely, we can all agree that at the very least, unborn babies who can feel pain, or babies born alive deserve protection – can’t we?

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That is the idea behind two bills pending in the U.S. Senate. Last week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, setting the stage for consecutive votes expected to take place this month. One stops late-term abortions after five months of pregnancy, a point when science clearly shows that unborn children can feel excruciating pain. The other ensures that babies who survive failed abortions receive the same medical care as any other baby born prematurely at the same age.

The overwhelming majority of Americans – including 75% of Independents and 70% of Democrats – support Born-Alive legislation, and a strong majority want to protect unborn children after five months of pregnancy. If the will of the people had prevailed, both would already be law – but pro-abortion Democrats in both houses of Congress have stood stubbornly in the way. Senator Jones, who presents himself as a moderate, voted to block Pain-Capable legislation – one of his first major votes as a new U.S. senator.

We hope Senator Jones was paying close attention during President Trump’s State of the Union address this year. The President invited as his special guests Ellie Schneider, one of the youngest surviving preemies ever born in the U.S., and her mom Robin. Ellie was born at 21 weeks and six days. Through the skill of her doctors and prayers of her parents, Ellie is now a happy, healthy two-year-old.

Every year, more than 11,000 babies like Ellie are legally killed under the radical status quo imposed on our nation by Roe v. Wade – and in states like New York and Virginia, Democratic politicians have pushed to expand abortion on demand and strip away what modest protections existed. By the abortion lobby’s own admission, many are healthy babies of healthy mothers. These babies are routinely administered anesthesia during surgery at this stage because they feel pain.

President Trump is on their side. Once again, he has called on Congress to send the Pain-Capable bill to his desk and give these precious children a fighting chance at life. He has continually called out Democratic Party leaders on their extreme stance favoring abortion on demand through birth and even infanticide. While his opponents running for president on the Democratic ticket can’t manage to name a single limit on abortion they support, refusing to draw the line even at the moment of birth, President Trump uses his platform to give voice to abortion survivors, exposing the lies of the abortion industry and showing the nation that “choice” has a human face. The contrast is stark.

Alabama is a profoundly pro-life state that supports President Trump. Voting to protect babies who can feel pain and babies who survive abortions ought to be a no-brainer for Jones as he faces reelection – it’s the morally right and politically smart thing to do. But it will require him to find the courage to stand up to the extremists in his party. Will he stand with innocent children and his constituents, or bow to the radical abortion lobby?

Defenseless babies cannot wait any longer for Congress to act. We urge all compassionate Alabamians to make their voices heard loud and clear today. Let Senator Jones know that if he can’t take a stand for the most vulnerable among us, he doesn’t deserve to represent this great state in Washington.

Jessica Taylor (AL-02) hopes to succeed pro-life powerhouse Congresswoman Martha Roby. An Alabama native, former president of a pregnancy center, and mom-of-3, Jessica made a splash when she announced her run for Congress, promising to protect life. Her husband recently served as general counsel to Governor Kay Ivey, one of America’s most pro-life governors. Jessica is unapologetically pro-life and will always support legislation that protects unborn children and preserves the sanctity of life.

Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president and an original organizer of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), a national pro-life group dedicated to pursuing policies and electing candidates to reduce and ultimately end abortion. She also serves as national co-chair of Pro-Life Voices for Trump. Under Marjorie’s leadership, the SBA List has grown to more than 837,000 members nationwide. Since its founding, SBA List has helped elect more than 118 pro-life candidates to the U.S. House of Representatives, 26 to the U.S. Senate, and 30 to state office.  

2 hours ago

Alabama Launchpad selects finalists competing for $150K in prize money

Alabama Launchpad, a fund that invests seed money in startup companies, announced the six finalists that will compete for $150,000 in prize money.

The six companies are split evenly into two groups, those currently in the “concept stage” that are not generating revenue yet and those in the “early seed stage” that aim to ramp up their existing business.

A panel of judges will hear the pitches from the companies while a live audience watches. The event will occur in the evening on February 27 and will be located in the Warehouse at Alley Station in Montgomery.

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Three companies in the concept stage will be trying to bring home a $50,000 prize.

Those companies as follows:

  • Acclinate Genetics, a Huntsville-based company addressing the lack of diversity in clinical drug trials
  • Pure Game Sports Network, a sports media & marketing company created for high school athletic departments and fans.
  • Smart Solutions, whose products offer assistive technology allowing more living independence for persons with disabilities

Three companies at the early seed stage have bigger stakes. The winner of that competition will take home $100,000.

Those startups as follows:

  • Buolo Solutions, a company connecting professional women to talent-seeking companies with flexible jobs
  • CerFlux, a cancer-fighting company creating personalized medicine solutions to identify the best and most effective cancer therapeutics for patients.
  • MOXIE, whose engineering team is producing custom-designed IOT solutions for clients within 30 days

Alabama Launchpad is a program by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. According to their website, the EDPA “is a private non-profit organization funded by more than 60 Alabama companies, whose mission is to attract and retain world-class talent across a broad spectrum of interests and industries.”

“We are proud to support these innovative entrepreneurs,” said EDPA President Steve Spencer in a press release. “Alabama Launchpad is here to serve early stage companies all over Alabama, and we look forward to seeing these finalists compete onstage in our state’s capital.”

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

2 hours ago

7 Things: Doug Jones calls abortion question ‘stupid’, medical marijuana bill advances, Democrats slug it out and more …

7. If Moore can’t make the news for his campaign, he’ll make it for his lawsuit

  • Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has requested that the judge presiding over his case with Leigh Corfman recuse himself just before a status conference that could determine a date for the trial
  • Judge John Rochester donated to U.S. Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) campaign when he ran against Moore, and according to a press release from Moore, Rochester’s “criticism and mocking of Christianity on his Facebook page with full knowledge of Judge Moore’s belief in God” are reasons that he should be removed from the case.

6. Aniah’s Law has advanced

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  • As the nation continues to move towards more lacks bail rules, the Alabama House of Representatives advanced Aniah’s Law, a bill that would grant judges more ability to deny bail to those accused of violent crimes.
  • The bill is named after Aniah Blanchard, who was allegedly abducted and murdered by a man who has been released on bond despite prior violent offenses.

5. The GIRL Act is going further

  • The “Gender is Real Legislative” (GIRL) Act has been advanced by the Alabama House State Government Committee, which would require that public school student-athletes only compete in the gender which they were born.
  • The committee vote was along party lines, 8-4. Bill sponsor State Representative Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) has said that “gender is a real biological truth. It truly defies logic that anyone would deny science and want male students competing in female sports.”

4. Assange’s lawyer claims Trump dangled a pardon

  • Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has made an allegation that former U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (D-CA) met with him at an Ecuadorean embassy to offer him a pardon in exchange for information about the DNC server and who fed him the information. The media is reporting this as an absolute fact because they need it to be true.
  • Rohrabacher and President Donald Trump say this is not true. Rohrabacher explains, “When speaking with Julian Assange, I told him that if he could provide me information and evidence about who actually gave him the DNC emails, I would then call on President Trump to pardon him.” He added, “At no time did I offer a deal made by the President, nor did I say I was representing the President.”

3. Presidential debate Wednesday night, but the guy at a rally in Arizona won 

  • The Democratic presidential debate took place Wednesday night in Las Vegas. The main target was not President Donald Trump or the 78-year-old socialist that is running away with the race. Instead, most of the fire was trained on the 78-year-old billionaire Michael Bloomberg who was attacked for his money, his history with women and his history with “stop and frisk.”
  • There wasn’t really a moment at this debate that will reset the field, but U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) essentially took over the debate early on and attacked every person on the stage with pointed criticism, except for Bernie Sanders. This will probably be seen as her attempt to damage Bloomberg and will be compared to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s takedown of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) from 2016 because she won’t win but she tried to make sure he won’t either.

2. Medical marijuana is going before the full Senate

  • In an 8-1 vote, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee passed the medical marijuana bill by State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence). The bill will now face the full Senate; if eventually signed into law, Alabama would become the 34th state to legalize medical cannabis. Last year, a similar bill passed the Senate but failed in the House.
  • This bill will require Republican votes to pass the Senate. State Sens. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), Tom Whatley (R-Auburn), Will Barfoot (R-Montgomery) and Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) showed there is some Republican support for it. Only State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Sheffield) voted no while State Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville) abstained.

1. Doug Jones really wants to be a one-term senator

  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) was recently asked by a tracker, “Do you think abortion should be banned after five months?” to which Jones responded, “[W]hat a stupid question.”
  • The tracker referenced the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that Jones will be voting on next week. Jones said he’ll “vote on it next week, just like I did last time.”

3 hours ago

Medical marijuana bill clears Alabama Senate committee

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A medical marijuana bill cleared its first hurdle Wednesday in the Alabama legislature, giving hope to advocates after years of setbacks.

Audience members applauded as the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 8-1 for the bill, putting it in line for a Senate floor vote later this session.

The bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Tim Melson would allow people with a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana for 15 conditions — including cancer, anxiety and chronic pain — and purchase cannabis products at one of 34 licensed dispensaries. The bill would allow marijuana in forms such as pills, gummy cubes, oils, skin patches, gels and creams but not in smoking or vaping products.

Advocates crowded into a public hearing at the Alabama Statehouse to watch the debate and tell lawmakers their stories.

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“This bill is not about getting high. This bill is about getting well,” said Dr. Alan Shackelford, a Colorado doctor who described the success of using medical marijuana on people with seizures and cancer.

Cristi Cain said her son Hardy’s debilitating seizures have been helped by CBD oil, now legal in Alabama, but said the higher doses that could help him more aren’t legal in the state. Hardy had as many as 100 seizures per day before trying the oil, and now has about 20 to 30, she said

“An area code shouldn’t affect one health’s care. If Hardy didn’t live in Alabama, he could be seizure-free. We shouldn’t have to be and don’t want to be medical refugees,” Cain said.

Another woman described how patches used in another state were the only thing that relieved her husband’s leg pain from Parkinson’s

The bill drew opposition from some law enforcement and conservative groups. They expressed concern about dosing, safety and the potential for abuse.

“Just because we put the word medical in front of marijuana does not make it medicine,” Shelby County Sheriff’s Capt. Clay Hammac said.

The Rev. Rick Hagans described addicts he buried. He said that although they obviously didn’t overdose on marijuana, they started their drug use with pot.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall sent lawmakers a letter expressing his opposition that noted marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

The vote was a moment of optimism for medical marijuana advocates who for years made little headway in the conservative-leaning state. A medical marijuana bill in 2013 won the so-called “Shroud Award” for the “deadest” bill that year in the House of Representatives.

Melson said he is hopeful about the bill’s chances in 2020. He said there are multiple steps in the process of obtaining medical marijuana that should limit the danger of abuse.

“You are going to have to go to a physician. You are going to have to get a card. You are going to be on the (state) register,” Melson said. He defended the bill’s allowance of marijuana for a variety of conditions.

“I’m sure some people look at that 15 (conditions) and go, ‘Ýeah, really, that one?’ That’s because they don’t have it or don’t know the literature,” he said.

Sen. Larry Stutts, an obstetrician who cast the lone no vote on the committee, said state medical marijuana laws circumvent the process of drug trials usually required to introduce a new medicine

Stutts said other medications have been “through the process and been through the trials that study its effectiveness and side effects” before patients get them.

Before the vote, Sen. Cam Ward described his late father’s battle with cancer.

“I would have given anything, anything, had he had a tablet to take, something to chew on, some drops to put in his food to avoid the nauseousness from the chemotherapy. That would have changed his life. As a human being, who am I to say … you can’t have that to make you feel better?” Ward said.

(Associated Press, copyright 2020)

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