2 years ago

Republicans in Alabama’s U.S. House delegation oppose impeachment resolution

All Republicans in Alabama’s U.S. House of Representatives delegation on Thursday voted against a resolution formally opening an impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump, while Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) supported the measure.

H. Res. 660 passed on a 232-196 vote. No Republicans supported the resolution, while two Democrats voted “nay.”

Reactions poured in afterward from Alabama congressmen, who criticized both the substance and process surrounding the impeachment inquiry.

While Republicans prior to this resolution have largely criticized the process as secretive, they now argue that the newly formalized process institutionalizes an inequitable, one-sided inquiry ensuring the minority party has no real input or rights.

In a statement, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) said, “Since starting their impeachment scheme, Democrats have tried to manufacture a case against President Trump despite having no evidence of an impeachable offense. They’ve been playing a shameful game of political keep away in the basement of the Capitol to keep Americans in the dark. Today Democrats doubled down on their illegitimate smear job.”

“This is a sad day for our country, but the facts are in our favor and cannot be hidden from the American people forever. Until then, I will not stop fighting to expose and defeat this politically motivated sham,” he added.

Byrne made national headlines last week when he and a group of conservative Republicans, including Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05), stormed into the secure basement room in which Congressman Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) committee was holding an impeachment hearing. Byrne returned to the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) on Wednesday of this week in an attempt to review transcripts and records from the Democrats’ impeachment hearings but was denied access.

After the vote on Thursday, Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-03) stated, “I am proud to stand with President Trump and fight against the Democrats’ witch hunt. This sham is nothing more than an attempted coup.”

“Adam Schiff’s investigation is based solely on lies and leaks,” he continued. “They have never accepted the fact the Donald Trump was elected president fair and square. House Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.”

Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) released a written statement and a video bashing the impeachment efforts.

He slammed Democrats and took an implicit jab at The Washington Post in the process.

Aderholt’s full statement as follows:

The Democrats have now made official, what they have been wanting to do since January 20, 2017 and that is try and overturn the 2016 election. Impeachment has been their only agenda since President Trump was elected, and they’ve spent the last 10 months since they took over the House trying to find a way to do so.

I voted no! While Congress does have the CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY to impeach a President, it was meant to only be used as a response to actual crimes committed by a President. So far, in what little information the Democrats have selectively leaked, I’ve seen nothing that rises to the level of overturning an American election.

Since the election three years ago, a national newspaper’s tag line has been “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” It’s too bad that our Democracy is dying in the darkness of this impeachment process. The process passed by Democrats reverses procedures used in the Nixon and Clinton impeachment investigations. For those two investigations, the President’s staff could examine evidence, ask questions of witnesses and attend hearings. Members of Congress from the Minority Party could issue subpoenas without the Chairman’s permission. Even with today’s vote, the Democrat impeachment process keeps the investigation behind closed doors for at least the next few weeks. This is wrong.

It’s time for Democratic leadership to accept that the Russians did not cause Hillary Clinton to lose, but that the voters simply chose Donald Trump over the prospects of granting a Clinton four more years in the White House.

The American people elected us here to work for them—to negotiate deals that improve trade, drug pricing, healthcare, infrastructure and aim to fix some of the biggest issues we face as a country. It seems that Democratic leadership would rather waste more even more time and taxpayer dollars on yet another pointless investigation that does nothing to answer the problems we were elected here to fix.

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) used some Halloween puns to make his point in a press released headlined, “Befitting Halloween, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Her Coven Declare Open Season on ‘Donald Trump Witch Hunt’! Mo Brooks & the Good People of Oz Oppose.”

The North Alabama congressman also tweeted out a picture of what appears to be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton photoshopped as a witch.

Brooks’ full statement as follows:

For years, Socialist Democrats successfully manipulated and fooled the American people with a ‘Russian Collusion Hoax’ that helped Socialists win the House of Representatives. Not to be deterred by having been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, Socialist Democrats are implementing ‘Russian Collusion Hoax 2.0’, an effort to again manipulate and fool the American people with a hyper-partisan, false, Trump impeachment narrative that, to date, is wholly lacking in evidentiary substance and legal support.

To date, Socialist Democrats have produced ZERO credible evidence that President Trump committed a high crime, misdemeanor, treason, or bribery—the Constitutional impeachment standard. Rather, Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff have abused their power by holding secret, sham proceedings in the Capitol basement while selectively and illegally leaking one-sided information designed to deceive the American people into believing the worst Fake News allegations against President Trump. Frankly, this process is so appalling as to constitute a very real threat to our Constitutional Republic. Trashing the votes of more than 60 million Americans is no small matter yet that is exactly the blood-lust of Socialist Democrats.

H.Res. 660 is badly flawed. First, the resolution enshrines tainted evidence obtained in secret in the official record. Because of the badly flawed process used, all evidence obtained to date in these Star Chamber proceedings is so badly tainted that it should be discarded as ‘fruits of the poisonous tree’. None of this evidence would ever see the light of day in a court of law where how evidence is obtained is also important. Every witness who has testified in Schiff’s secretive basement proceedings should be called again to testify in front of the American people.

Secondly, the flawed resolution gives Adam Schiff the authority to veto and prevent any Republican from calling any witness to rebut the Socialist Democrats’ false narrative. This process flies in the face of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights and long-standing due process rights and past judicial orders. In contrast, impeachment proceedings for both Nixon and Clinton, the accused and the minority party had the absolute right to call witnesses without majority party authorization. Socialist Democrats should respect past, bipartisan processes often used and long-respected in matters of such grave importance.

Keep in mind, there is a significant opportunity cost to this impeachment. None of the American people’s legislative priorities are being addressed. A tsunami of illegal aliens continues to swamp America’s southern border, at great cost to taxpayers and lost American lives. America’s deficit ballooned to $984 billion this past year, yet there is zero talk in Congress about reigning these deficits in or preventing a debilitating national insolvency and bankruptcy that risks American prosperity and lives. Nationally, economic growth has slowed substantially as impeachment overshadows economic issues. Substantive committee hearings on major issues facing America have declined almost to a standstill, leaving much needed work undone. For example, both the National Defense Authorization Act and federal government funding for the rest of this fiscal year languish while all eyes focus on this impeachment soap opera. Such is the state of Washington politics under Socialist Democrat majority tenure in the House. It’s not just a real shame, it is a dangerous tragedy that threatens America.

By trying to impeach President Trump at all costs, Socialist Democrats show their disdain for more than 60 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump in 2016. America’s Founding Fathers meant for impeachment to be reserved only for the most serious offenses. Impeachment rips apart America by ripping apart American votes. It’s a travesty that Socialist Democrats are proceeding with this impeachment despite ZERO evidence of an impeachable offense. Socialist Democrats ought to be ashamed.

In a statement, Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) said the impeachment inquiry resolution was long overdue, yet still “unjust.”

“This resolution has finally come after many weeks of an already defunct process, a clear attempt to save political face,” he noted.

“Nothing in this impeachment inquiry thus far has met the threshold required for the serious charge of impeachment,” Palmer outlined. “The Constitution says a president may be impeached for ‘treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors.’ The investigation into President Trump has been centered around a phone call with President Zelensky of Ukraine, but the call transcript, which I have read, and Zelensky himself have both confirmed that President Trump has not committed a crime or abused his power. Zelensky has said that President Trump did not bribe or insist on any quid pro quo.”

Palmer concluded, “Aside from clear lack of evidence, the buildup to this point is so flawed that justice has been made virtually impossible. Democrats have held meetings in secret, have withheld transcripts of witness testimonies, and have leaked only the evidence that fits their narrative. They have done their best to construct a biased picture of the president in view of unseating him, regardless of the actual facts. And now they ask the American people to trust them to be fair for holding an official vote, something they should have done weeks ago. At this point, no vote can cure the injury inflicted upon the reputation of the Congress by this Democrat conceived and executed conspiracy against President Trump. We must acknowledge the process for what it is, an unjust and partisan attempt to remove a duly elected president by going against precedent, due process, and justice.”

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

50 mins ago

Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest opens August 2

The 2022 Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest will begin accepting entries on Monday, August 2, 2021. This year’s contest is a joint project between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) and the Alabama Tourism Department. The deadline to enter is October 31, 2021.

The 2022 photo contest will focus on traditional photography techniques and the use of hand-held cameras. No cellphone, smartphone, game camera, or drone photography will be chosen as winning photos for nine of the 10 categories. Smartphone and tablet photos will be accepted in the Young Photographers category.

The photo contest is open to state residents and visitors alike, but qualifying photos must have been taken in Alabama in the past two years. Any amateur photographer not employed by ADCNR is encouraged to enter.

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A total of eight photos per person may be entered in the following categories. You may enter all eight in one category or among several categories.

2022 Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest Categories:
• Alabama State Parks
• Birds
• Bugs and Butterflies
• Cold-blooded Critters
• Nature-Based Recreation
• Scenic
• Shoots and Roots
• Sweet Home Alabama
• Wildlife
• Young Photographers (ages 17 and under)

First, second, third and one honorable mention will be awarded in each category. Winning images will be featured online and in an exhibit traveling to various venues across the state during 2022.

Art teachers are encouraged to incorporate participation in the Young Photographers category into their art instruction this fall.

An exhibit of the 2021 winning photos will be on display at the Johnson Center for the Arts, 300 E. Walnut St., in Troy, Alabama, from August 11, 2021 – September 11, 2021. To view the winning photos online, visit here.

For complete 2022 category descriptions and contest rules, visit www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-alabama-photo-contest.

3 hours ago

Regions reports second quarter earnings of $748 million based on delivery of ‘solid performance’

Birmingham-based Regions Financial Corporation announced its second quarter 2021 earnings on Friday.

The company reported net income available to common shareholders of $748 million and earnings per diluted share of $0.77. The company’s total revenue grew 2% compared to second quarter 2020.

John Turner, president and CEO of Regions Financial Corporation, sees the opportunity for continued growth.

“Our teams delivered solid performance throughout the second quarter, and as a result of our strategic planning and key investments, we are well positioned to generate long-term, sustainable growth over time,” he said in a release from the company.

He cited growth within the company’s markets as a reason for the encouraging outlook.

“Regions operates in highly attractive markets that are benefiting from favorable population trends and strong employment opportunities,” Turner explained. “In each of these markets, our bankers are serving new and long-term customers through customized financial insights, enhanced technology and a commitment to superior service. We have taken several steps – adding talented bankers, investing in service and delivery channels, and enhancing our capabilities through our bolt-on acquisition strategy – to build on our momentum and create greater value for customers, communities, and shareholders over time.”

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Regions emphasized that its digital investments are generating returns, its business segments are proving resilient amid pandemic recovery conditions and its strategic decisions in high-growth areas, such as Florida, Texas and Tennessee, are delivering results.

The company noted that increased consumer engagement with the bank’s online and mobile banking platforms is generating 9% year-over-year growth in active digital banking users and 13% year-over-year growth in active mobile banking users.

RELATED: Joia M. Johnson appointed to Regions board of directors

Regions Financial Corporation is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services.

Regions operates across the South, Midwest and Texas.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

4 hours ago

State Rep. Crawford: Violations of potential Critical Race Theory ban could be fireable offense; ‘Up to leadership’ if it comes up in special session

Another bill banning Critical Race Theory in Alabama’s public schools has been prefiled for the 2022 regular session, the third piece of such legislation, with nearly six months until the legislature reconvenes in Montgomery.

The bill, HB 11, filed by State Rep. Danny Crawford (R-Athens), would prohibit public K-12 schools and institutions of higher learning “from teaching certain concepts regarding race or sex, such as critical race theory.”

During an interview with Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Crawford explained that should teachers choose to ignore and violate such a ban by the Alabama Legislature, it could result in termination according to current law.

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“We have the teacher tenure laws and the students’ first law,” he explained. “There’s due process that must happen. But, if the legislature chooses to ban the teaching of that, then someone disobeys that ban or decides on their own what they want to do, then there needs to be consequences for that. And our code that deals with due process goes into what those things are. If the school system said we’re not going to teach it, then someone does teach it, is that incompetency, or is that insubordination, or neglect of duty, or failure to perform duties in a satisfactory manner? All of those things are types of disciplinary action that would be subject to termination, which falls into the same category. They all have due process. But I don’t think we need to have our teachers teaching something that the state of Alabama says will not be taught.”

The Limestone County Republican lawmaker also suggested the topic could come up in one of the special sessions rumored to occur before the end of the year, noting that was up to leadership.

“That’s all up to leadership,” he said. “But I do think it’s important to have this in place, whether its — sometimes special sessions, the call, we take other things onto the agenda other than say redistricting or something like that. So, all of these things — it could be added to the call if the Governor felt it was important enough. And I would like to emphasize to the Governor’s office that I think it is important, and I think a lot of my colleagues will, as well. It could be time enough. It could be discussed and passed. And it may not be. Leadership may decide we don’t want to do that. If not, then we’ll look at it in regular session in January.”

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

4 hours ago

7 Things: Masks could come back in Jefferson County, AEA demanding education employees stop criticizing them or be punished at work, Biden wants your kids under 12 vaccinated and more …

7. January 6 committee moving forward

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has called the concerns and complaints from Republicans, such as ones voiced by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), “antics,” and she’s planning to move forward despite these concerns.
  • McCarthy slammed the committee after two of his selections were blocked by Pelosi, and he insisted that Republicans would be forming their own committee to investigate the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

6. Race relations are worse than they have been in 20 years

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  • The media and their Democrats would somehow have you believe that America has become a more racist place every single day and even though this is patently absurd, that accusation is leading 57% of Americans to believe race relations between black and white Americans are “somewhat” or “very” bad.
  • According to Gallup, 70% of black Americans had positive views of race relations in 2001, now only 33% do. Also, 43% of white Americans view race relations positively, compared to 62% in 2001. These stunning drops began in 2013, which was the same year Black Lives Matter was founded.

5. Auburn’s head coach isn’t interested in the media’s vaccination games

  • Auburn football coach Bryan Harsin was recently asked about the team’s coronavirus vaccination rate, which he said the medical staff “has those answers a lot better than I do,” but he said he believes it’s around 60%.
  • Despite the rate being as high as it is, media outlets are qualifying this as a “low” vaccination rate. Harsin has emphasized that getting the vaccine is “deeply personal for a lot of people,” adding, “And so, that’s how we approach it: here’s the information, you make the decision.” Harsin didn’t disclose his vaccination status when asked, and he also mentioned that he would not ask players about whether they’re getting the vaccine.

4. Most Alabama counties are now ‘very high risk’

  • As coronavirus cases in the United States and Alabama have been increasing once again, the Alabama Department of Public Health has now said that 59 of 67 counties in Alabama are considered “red,” which is a very high risk, for spreading the virus.
  • There are currently 602 people hospitalized throughout the state, and in the last 14 days, there have been 9,907 new cases.

3. Biden wants to vaccinate kids under 12 by fall

  • President Joe Biden has met the new push for coronavirus vaccinations for children under the age of 12. He said that the goal is to have something available by “the end of August, beginning of September, October.”
  • Biden added that he believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will recommend masks for children who are ineligible to get the vaccine, at least while they’re at school, and he declared the issue of being honest about vaccinations “a matter of community responsibility.”

2. AEA is fighting for education employees

  • A cease and desist letter from the Alabama Education Association (AEA) has been sent to Mary Crosby, a local board of education employee, after she criticized Critical Race Theory and the National Education Association (NEA) after she claimed in a post that part of the dues paid to AEA also went to NEA.
  • AEA claimed that Crosby spread false information and she must “retract the false publications” and they also sent a letter to the superintendent, adding that “should you continue to publish libelous materials about AEA, or make false statements about AEA, during work hours, without disciplinary action against you, we will deem your employer to have approved of such activities.” It was, in fact, not a workday for Crosby.

1. Masks could be coming back to Jefferson County

  • Governor Kay Ivey has made statements encouraging people to get the coronavirus vaccine for months but remains very blunt about the topic. Ivey said that in the effort to end the pandemic, “the unvaccinated folks are letting us down.” However, Ivey has no interest in issuing new mandates for masks or shutdowns, while Jefferson County is going in another direction.
  • Jefferson County health officer Dr. Mark Wilson has warned that masks should be considered for public places once again due to the rise in coronavirus cases. It’s anticipated that with a higher case count, hospitalizations and deaths could follow. Wilson said, “The tragic thing is that almost all of these deaths will have been prevented if only these people had been vaccinated.” Some of the media criticism of large gatherings has also returned as cases rise.

6 hours ago

Boeing’s Starliner capsule cleared for launch on ULA’s Atlas V — ‘We are ready to fly’

Teams from NASA and Boeing completed the flight readiness review on Thursday for the Starliner space capsule’s upcoming trip to the International Space Station (ISS).

The unmanned Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) is set to launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Giving Starliner a lift will be United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Atlas V rocket. The Atlas V was built at the company’s 1.6 million square foot manufacturing facility in Decatur. Boeing’s design center in Huntsville has provided all of the structural design for the Starliner, while its Phantom Works division, which has an operation in Huntsville, has provided the power systems for the capsule.

Kathy Lueders, NASA associate administrator, announced completion of the review at a press conference with Boeing officials.

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“These are very important reviews where the station and commercial crew and Boeing teams really stop and scrutinize the work that they have done to get ready for this flight,” Lueders outlined. “After reviewing the team’s data and the readiness of all the parties, everyone said ‘go’ for launch, today, and moving on for the mission. It was an incredibly detailed review and the team really showed all the work that they have done to get us here.”

OFT-2 is the final test before Starliner carries crew into space.

Establishing Starliner as a qualified spacecraft to carry astronauts to the ISS is essential to the program, according to Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

“It is very important for the commercial crew program to have two space transportation systems,” he said. “This will be the second of those.”

SpaceX’s Dragon is already qualified for the program and has flown with crew. It returned to Earth from its most recent mission to the ISS on July 9.

In an effort to maximize the testing opportunities of this flight, ULA’s Atlas V rocket has been configured exactly the same as it will be for crewed flights.

Stich noted that numerous systems will be tested as part of OFT-2, including the rendezvous and docking systems.

“Boeing and NASA teams have worked side-by-side to resolve numerous issues to go through and close our requirements,” he said. “We’re ready to go flying now. It’s an exciting time. This mission is key to the crewed flight.”

A thorough review of the Starliner’s software and hardware has been an ongoing process for Boeing.

“This is not the first day we have been working on readiness,” stated John Vollmer, vice president and program manager for Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program. “We have literally been working on this for months and months. And so this is really the culmination of a lot of hard work by all the teams.”

“We are ready to fly,” he concluded.

A successful OFT-2 will allow NASA and Boeing to move forward with the Starliner’s first crewed mission later this year. NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore, Nicole Mann and Mike Fincke have already been selected for the flight to the ISS, a mission which will extend more than two decades of human presence on the orbiting research facility.

In anticipation of their flight, the astronauts have been actively engaged in the readiness process.

Norm Knight, director of NASA’s Flight Operations Directorate, provided his perspective on what OFT-2 will mean for the upcoming crewed flight.

“Spaceflight is hard,” he explained. “It’s definitely not easy. I will just tell you that the crew greatly appreciates the effort by NASA, Boeing and the ULA partnership for safe space flight for our astronauts.”

OFT-2 is scheduled to launch on July 30 and dock at the ISS 24 hours later. It will stay at the ISS until August 5 and return to Earth on the same day with a landing in the New Mexico desert.

It will carry cargo on both legs of its trip.

RELATED: ‘From Alabama to the Moon’ — Richard Shelby is the driving force making America’s space dreams a reality

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia