The Wire

  • Decatur doctor accused of sexual assault responds to lawsuit

    Excerpt from WHNT:

    A Decatur doctor accused of sexually assaulting several of his patients is disputing all claims of wrongdoing. Dr. Michael Dick of Alabama Medicine and Rheumatology Clinic responded to a lawsuit filed on behalf of six women who claim to be his former patients. The doctor also filed a protective order asking a judge to stop the victims from sharing their stories with the media.

    A Birmingham-based attorney responded on behalf of Dr. Dick saying there is “no basis to contend he preys on female patients as alleged in the complaint.” The lawsuit filed against Dr. Dick says female members of the nursing staff were present with him. He says no misconduct took place, as alleged in the lawsuit. The response also says employees who work at the medical practice deny any misconduct.

  • Bobby Bright says ‘D.C. powerbrokers’ pushed Trump to endorse Martha Roby

    Excerpt from

    Bobby Bright says ‘D.C. powerbrokers’ pushed Trump to endorse Martha Roby in Alabama’s District 2 race.

    “I understand politics and how Washington works. It appears the D.C. powerbrokers have gotten to the President on this issue. It’s truly a swamp of insiders controlled by big money special interests, the same crowd who’s bankrolling Martha Roby’s campaign to the tune of over $1 million just this year,” Bright said in a statement. “It’s a place where loyalty doesn’t exist. When you take that much money from D.C., New York and California, you lose sight of Alabama.”

    Incumbent Roby will face Bobby Bright — a former congressman she defeated in 2010 — in a runoff next month. Bright served one term in Congress as a Democrat, but switched parties to run against Roby in this year’s Republican primary.

  • Man accused of trying to run over police officer, charged with attempted murder

    Excerpt from ABC 33/40:

    A man accused of trying to run over a police officer was charged with attempted murder Friday, Shelby County authorities confirm.

    Chief Assistant District Attorney Roger Hepburn says Issai Serrano is the suspect connected with a Wednesday afternoon shooting involving an Alabaster Police officer. The shooting occurred at Morgan Road and South Shades Crest Road, said Hoover Police officers, who were the first to respond to the scene.

2 years ago

“Dark money” Clinton machine targets Sen. Sessions with ethics complaint

Sen. Jeff Sessions (left) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (left) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (left) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right)

Jeff Sessions has again found himself as the target of Hillary Clinton’s liberal network, as an organization tied to the Democratic presidential candidate has filed an ethics complaint against the Alabama Senator.

The complaint aims at comments Sessions made during an October 15th campaign rally in New Hampshire, in which he said that the Trump’s opponents were working to hijack the results of the presidential race.

“They are attempting to rig this election,” he said. “They will not succeed.”

The American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF) sent a letter on Monday to Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, urging members of the Senate to take “appropriate remedial action” against Sessions. They allege that Sessions’ claims were a violation of the legislative body’s code of conduct.

“Senator Sessions made baseless and irresponsible allegations that the 2016 presidential election is rigged, perpetuating unsubstantiated claims that threaten the stability of our election process and the safety of voters on Election Day,” ADLF wrote. “Such comments and behavior not only reflect negatively upon the Senate, but attempt to discredit our entire democratic system.”

ADLF is a well-known “dark money” group whose co-founders, Brad Woodhouse and David Brock, are also credited with the creation of pro-Clinton Super PAC Correct the Record. Brock was revealed by TIME Magazine to work directly with the Clinton campaign. Though coordinating with Super PACs is generally illegal under the law, TIME found that he legally exploited a loophole by operating Correct the Record exclusively online, rather than through print and broadcast.

Unsurprisingly, the Fund is no stranger to filing complaints that would benefit Clinton. During the Democratic Primary, they aggressively targeted Bernie Sanders and his allies.

In their letter against Sessions, ADLF acknowledged that the majority of voters are concerned about election rigging. They site a poll published by POLITICO last week, which found that 41 percent of voters believe the election could be “stolen” from Donald Trump. ADLF failed to mention Democratic members of the Senate like Harry Reid, who have accused Trump of colluding with Russia to steal the election.

2 years ago

GOP calls on Alabamians to help Trump win battleground Florida

The GOP is asking for an increased number of Alabama volunteers to step up to help Donald Trump win Florida this cycle. In a memo from the Republican National Committee, officials claim that the initial need was for approximately 100 Alabamians, but “due to pressing needs that has ballooned into something quite larger.”

Alabama is a consistently Republican state when it comes to presidential elections. Its neighbor, the Sunshine State of Florida is not. While, Alabama has gone red for every presidential contest since 1980, President Obama won Florida both times he ran for office. Not only does the state flip from election to election, but it is generally close. Out of 8.4 million votes cast in Florida in 2012, Obama won by just 73,189 votes. In 2000 it was even closer, as soon-to-be President George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by only 537 votes.

Because of the critical nature of the “purple” state, the GOP has often called on volunteers from Alabama to assist its ground game operations as November draws near. But this year, the RNC said the need is greater than ever.

In the memo, the RNC noted the important role that Alabamians are playing on the ground right now. “Your state’s volunteer efforts are becoming more and more critical to a vital Trump win in Florida,” the memo reads. “In fact, RNC internals point to a major Alabama involvement in the Florida ground game being essential for that state’s victory on November 8th.”

The key reason that volunteers are needed for a Trump victory is to ensure the future of the U.S. Supreme Court is slanted in a conservative direction, the RNC said. “Imagine a 7-2 Hillary skewed Supreme Court,” the memo reads. “We need you, Alabama. You can serve as a catalyst in the Florida ground game.”

With new volunteers comes the need for more financial support. The RNC notes that while not everyone can be a ground-game worker, others can chip in by sponsoring those who can. According to the memo, sponsoring RNC workers costs less than $500.

2 years ago

Rogers sticks with Trump, says stakes are too high to elect Hillary

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-AL03 (Photo: Facebook)
Rep. Mike Rogers, R-AL03 (Photo: Facebook)

Rogers sticks with Trump, says stakes are too high to elect Hillary

Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers says he isn’t getting distracted by the narrative of a Clinton-friendly media. Come November, he’s sticking with his commitment to cast a vote for Donald Trump.

“I plan to vote for Donald Trump for president,” Rep. Rogers said. “I have pledged from the beginning to support the Republican presidential nominee even if it was not one of the candidates I initially preferred.”

He’s referring to the primary election, of course. Prior to Trump winning the Republican nomination, Rep. Rogers had supported Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s campaign. He told Alabamians in May that he would support the voters choice for the GOP ticket.

However, following released audio that found Trump making lewd comments toward women, some Republican Representatives across the country have begun to question their own support of the GOP nominee. Rep. Rogers maintains that the stakes are too high to allow Hillary Clinton into the White House.

Other leaders agree. This week, a stream of leaked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign has revealed hostilities toward Christians, Catholics, Southerners, and other conservative-leaning voter groups. As a result, dozens of religious leaders have blasted the Democrat candidate for “Christophobic” behavior.

The Alabama Congressman points to Clinton’s record, and acknowledges significant legislative battles ahead as reasons why Republicans should consider supporting the nominee.

“The fact of the matter is Hillary Clinton is the wrong choice for our nation,” he said. “A Supreme Court under Mrs. Clinton would be destructive to everything we hold dear in Alabama from protecting the rights of unborn children to our Second Amendment rights. Additionally, we must repeal and replace Obamacare and start to roll back some of the overly burdensome EPA and Dodd-Frank financial regulations that are destroying our economy.”

“Only a Trump presidency can make these possible,” he added.

Alabama Representatives that have put forth a similar position include Senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, along with Representatives Mo Brooks, Gary Palmer, and Bradley Byrne. All have affirmed they would vote for Trump in November.

2 years ago

Senator Jeff Sessions: Democrats have stood behind Bill Clinton for worse

Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) host a press conference on the Thin Blue Line Act (Photo: Screenshot)
Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) host a press conference on the Thin Blue Line Act (Photo: Screenshot)
Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) host a press conference on the Thin Blue Line Act (Photo: Screenshot)

Hours before Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton squared off in the second presidential debate, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was appearing in a flurry of national interviews to help create anticipation of a Trump win.

As one of the Republican candidate’s top advisors and greatest allies on Capitol Hill, his forceful support comes at a key time. On Friday, leaked audio of Trump making lewd comments sparked controversy throughout the media. As a result, several GOP lawmakers- including Alabama Representatives Martha Roby and Bradley Byrne- withdrew endorsements from their party’s nominee.

Sen. Sessions said he believes Trump would rebound from the ordeal, pointing to Bill Clinton’s sordid past.

“I don’t know if his flaws in this video are the kinds of things that will change peoples’ minds,” Sessions said in an interview with CBS News. “The Democrats remained loyal to Bill Clinton in the face of much more serious charges.”

That didn’t amount to a full defense of the controversial statements, but rather an assertion that voters would reject Hillary Clinton’s political spin.

“Nobody’s character is perfect. This is a wrong thing. I do not like this kind of talk, I don’t think that most Americans do. But he operates in a world of media and beauty pageants and that kind of thing,” Sessions said. “So I would just say to you, the people are more concerned about Hillary Clinton admitting and acknowledging in a private speech, speaking to millionaire bankers that, ‘I tell you the truth, but I tell the American people something different.’”

Sen. Sessions said that he would urge his fellow lawmakers to “slow down” before withdrawing their support of Trump.

“How much more could you say about this? You have to make up your mind. Is this disqualifying- this tape recording of statements from eleven years ago?” Sessions said. “The American people will decide this election. I don’t think the politicians’ endorsements will make the difference.”

“I would urge my colleagues to take a deep breath,” he added.

2 years ago

Sen. Sessions: ‘Slick’ Hillary distorted Trump’s comments on PTSD

Sen. Jeff Sessions (left) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (left) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (left) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right)

Senator Jeff Sessions is blasting Hillary Clinton for distorting recent comments made by Donald Trump about veterans suffering from PTSD.

“When people come back from war and combat and they see maybe what a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over, and you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it,” Trump said during a retired American Warriors PAC event on Monday. “They see horror stories and they see things that you can’t see in the movies- nobody would believe it.”

Trump went on to say that more mental health support is needed for troops suffering from PTSD, though Hillary Clinton was quick to accuse the GOP candidate of calling traumatized soldiers “weak.”

During an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, Sen. Sessions launched back at Clinton’s comments. He said that Hillary was distorting Trump’s statements.

“From the day one in his campaign, Donald Trump has talked about rebuilding our commitment to veterans and fixing the broken veterans’ healthcare system. I don’t think he’s hardly given a speech that he hasn’t led with that issue,” Sessions said. “So for Hillary Clinton, who’s allowed her own State Department people to be attacked at night without a response in Benghazi, and producing a failed foreign policy that’s created chaos, refugees and death throughout the Middle East, I think that’s a very inappropriate comment.”

“She, as she typically does, takes it out of context, the slick politician that she is, and tries to suggest that this man- who’s greatly committed to fixing V.A.- is somehow wrong,” he added.

Throughout the 2016 presidential election, Senator Jeff Sessions has been regarded as one of Donald Trump’s strongest supporters. He is now a key surrogate and adviser on the GOP nominee’s national security advisory committee.

2 years ago

Sessions offers crushing critique of Clinton’s debate performance, touts Trump as agent of change

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) at the Republican National Convention (Photo: Matt Rourke)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) at the Republican National Convention (Photo: Matt Rourke)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) at the Republican National Convention (Photo: Matt Rourke)

HEMPSTEAD, NY — Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) responded to the first presidential debate of the General Election by offering a stinging indictment of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who he says maintains “a deep disdain for regular, hardworking Americans,” and touting Republican nominee Donald Trump as a candidate who is “offering the people an opportunity to profoundly change directions.”

Sen. Sessions’ statement reads as follows:

“On one side of the debate stage we saw Hillary Clinton, a candidate who will continue to support the job-killing trade policies that have been an economic boon for foreign nations at the expense of American workers.

“We saw a candidate who believes anyone on the planet has a right to demand entry into the United States and has every intention of drastically expanding the current administration’s radical, open-borders immigration policies.

“We saw a candidate who has proven herself to be untrustworthy when handling classified national security information and whose stewardship of America’s foreign policy while secretary of state was a disaster.

“And we saw a candidate who has been entrenched in the Washington, D.C., establishment for some 30 years while maintaining a deep disdain for regular, hardworking Americans, to whom she does not believe she should be accountable.

“On the other side of the stage we saw Donald J. Trump, a candidate who will boldly advance trade and tax policies that will ensure that American workers come first once again.

“We saw a candidate who will secure the border and return law and order to America’s immigration system.

“We saw a candidate who as commander-in-chief will make America an indisputable ally to her friends and a feared adversary of her enemies, and re-establish America’s standing abroad.

“And we saw a candidate who, against all odds, has taken on the political establishment and started a movement that has given voice to millions of Americans whose interests have been ignored for far too long.

According to Gallup, 72 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction of their country.

“Tonight’s debate made it crystal clear that only one candidate is offering the people an opportunity to profoundly change directions and Make America Great Again. That candidate is Donald J. Trump.”

The debate drew a 46.2 television rating and a 63 share, an approximately 17% spike over the first debate of the 2012 General Election between Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. For context, the most-watched television event of the year was Super Bowl 50, which garnered a 46.6 rating and a 72 share, amounting to about 111 million viewers. With that in mind, it appears that approximately 100 million people tuned in to watch Clinton and Trump square off.

There will be two more presidential debates prior to Election Day. They will take place Tuesday, October 4 at Longwood University, in Farmville, VA, and Sunday, October 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

2 years ago

Sessions: Bush family should rally behind Trump, remember conservatives got them elected

George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush (Photo: Flickr)
George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush (Photo: Flickr)
George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush (Photo: Flickr)

WASHINGTON — Responding to the Bush family’s unwillingness to openly support Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) told the Washington Examiner he believes the Bushes should remember that conservatives rallied behind them, even though they were usually not their first choice.

George P. Bush, Jeb Bush’s son and the current Texas Land Commissioner, is the only member of the Bush family who has publicly endorsed Mr. Trump, and Politico recently published the unconfirmed assertion by a member of the Kennedy family that George H. W. Bush is planning to vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Responding to the report, Sen. Sessions recalled that “millions of Americans, including this one, worked their hearts out for the Bushes in 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2004. And it wasn’t Bill Clinton that helped the Bushes get elected. It was the same voters, in large part, that elected Ronald Reagan and stand to elect Donald Trump.

“I think they’re not thinking clearly enough about this,” Sen. Sessions continued. “They’re not … appreciating half the American people, virtually, that have been supportive of Republicans. A lot of them preferred somebody other than Bush candidates, but they rallied around them when it came to Nov. 1 So I would hope that we see more rallying.”

Sen. Sessions also noted that the unconfirmed Politico report was “just a Democrat reporting what Mr. Bush said. I haven’t heard him say anything.”

A spokesperson for George W. Bush said the former president does not plan on commenting on the race.

When asked for her take on the elder Bush’s supposed comment about voting for Clinton, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said she “respect(s) the 92-year-old former president very much,” but added that it would be odd for him to vote for “the wife of the man who knocked him out of the race” in 1992.

2 years ago

Ahead of pres. election, Alabama first to implement electronic voting for deployed military

An instructor approaches a Black Hawk helicopter on Fort Rucker (Photo: Fort Rucker Flickr photostream)
An instructor approaches a Black Hawk helicopter on Fort Rucker (Photo: Fort Rucker Flickr photostream)
An instructor approaches a Black Hawk helicopter on Fort Rucker (Photo: Fort Rucker Flickr photostream)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama is the first state in the country to implement fully electronic voting for service members stationed overseas, a system that will be used for the first time in a Presidential election this year after being previously rolled out in limited use in late 2015.

Alabama National Guard Maj. Chris Theilacker told WSFA he and other Alabamians deployed around the globe are excited about the more streamlined process to vote.

“It doesn’t seem like a lot of trouble, but taking the time out to request that ballot, wait for it to get there, mail may or may not ever get to you when you are in an overseas environment,” Theilacker said. “I go out everyday to make sure our citizens have the right to vote, so by the state and the city providing access to voting no matter where in the world we are, that says a lot about their commitment.”

Alabama Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), a military veteran who was instrumental in passing a bill setting up the new system, told Yellowhammer he hopes it will make life easier for Alabamians who are deployed serving their country.

“As chairman of the House Committee on Military and Veterans, I am proud Alabama is leading the way on this important issue,” he said. “Americans’ voting rights are sacred. Nothing could be more important than ensuring that the men and women who are protecting our freedoms abroad have a voice in our political process. That is what this law does.”

Secretary of State John Merrill concurred.

“Every military serviceman or woman who is interested in voting now has the opportunity to receive their ballot electronically, to vote electronically, and have their ballot returned electronically,” he concluded. “They’ll have their vote cast and counted the same way they would if they were at their home with their family.”

So who will they be voting for?

A recent NBC/Survey Monkey poll shows Republican Donald J. Trump leading Democrat Hillary Clinton by double-digits among active military and veterans. Fifty-five percent say they favor Trump, while 36 percent back Clinton.

The election is set to take place Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

2 years ago

Sims: I’ll donate $1k to the first Alabama HS whose football team runs through this banner

Yellowhammer News CEO Cliff Sims offers $1,000 to the first Alabama high school to run through this banner.
Yellowhammer News CEO Cliff Sims offers $1,000 to the first Alabama high school to run through this banner.
Yellowhammer News CEO Cliff Sims offers $1,000 to the first Alabama high school to run through this banner.

Yellowhammer News CEO Cliff Sims on Tuesday offered to donate $1,000 to the first Alabama high school to allow their football team to run through a pre-game, breakaway banner that says, “Hillary would delete this banner if she could!”

The offer was in response to the uproar over Briarwood Christian School’s Trump-related breakaway banner this past weekend.

Prior to their game against Fairfield High School, Briarwood’s team ran through a banner that said, “Make America Great Again. Trump the Tigers!”

The banner elicited outrage from some fans at the game, as well as local media.

“It’s ridiculous. To me, it’s an insult because I don’t like Trump and Trump doesn’t like my people either,” Fairfield student Nicole Cabrera told WBRC.

Another attendee added on Facebook that “this should not be going down this close to me,” apparently referring to the banner’s mention of Trump.

“Briarwood Christian Schools Superintendent Barrett Mosbecker did not say who authorized the sign or why it was used during a game against an opponent with a predominantly African American student body,” one reporter wrote, insinuating that the banner may have been meant as an attack on African-Americans.

Briarwood quickly issued an apology for the banner and asked for forgiveness from anyone who may have been offended.

“Briarwood Christian School desires to publicly apologize for any understandable offense caused by the sign used during a recent football game,” the school told in an email. “The message of the sign did not represent the school’s deep commitment to biblical principles and values, nor did it reflect our commitment to honoring and respecting our guests. Our existing policies were not followed effectively and appropriate measures will be taken to correct this. Above all we desire to seek forgiveness of any who were offended.”

On Tuesday’s episode of Yellowhammer Radio, Cliff Sims addressed what he described as “faux outrage.”

“This whole thing makes me inclined to offer suggestions for future banners,” Sims laughed, sparking a series of suggestions from co-host Scott Beason, producer “Encyclopedia Jeff” and callers.

Encyclopedia Jeff suggested, “Let’s go Bucs! We ain’t in no ways tired,” recalling Mrs. Clinton’s 2007 visit to Alabama, during which she was mocked for reciting a hymn with a thick accent, saying, “I don’t feel no ways tired.”

Beason suggested, “I don’t recall who we’re playing, but I hope we win,” referencing the 40 times Mrs. Clinton told the FBI she couldn’t remember something. “Plead the 5th on 1st down,” Jeff added.

“What if a school starts calling their fans the Bleacher Bits,” he continued, alluding to BleachBit, the tool a Clinton staffer used to wipe her email server clean.

A caller concluded the brainstorming session by suggesting a banner reading, “At this point, what difference does it make,” referencing Mrs. Clinton’s response to intense congressional questioning about the 2012 attack in Benghazi.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that people are up in arms about this,” Sims said about the Briarwood Christian banner. “You would have thought that they assaulted the other team before the game, that they were hitting them in the knees with baseball bats as they walked out of the locker room.”

In conclusion, Sims said he was willing to incentivize schools to not back down to the “PC Police.”

“I will donate $1,000 to the first high school — whoever’s in charge of the banner, if it’s the cheerleading squad, the band program, whoever it is — if you’re high school creates a banner that says, ‘Hillary would delete this banner if she could,’ and the football team runs through it, I will donate $1,000 to your cause.”

Sims said the first school to send photographic evidence of the banner and the football team running through it will receive the donation.

Additionally, the Yellowhammer team created a template that high schools can use to design their banner.

The template shows an email marked “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN,” the classifications the Inspector General assessed the emails on Mrs. Clinton’s private server to contain. The template can be viewed below and downloaded here.


2 years ago

Trump, Sessions meet with Egyptian president, a key US ally in the fight against Islamic terrorism

Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump and Sen. Jeff Sessions met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump and Sen. Jeff Sessions met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

NEW YORK — Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) accompanied Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump to his meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Monday, evidencing the Alabama senator’s role as one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted confidants on foreign policy. Sen. Sessions serves as Chairman of Mr. Trump’s National Security Advisory Committee.

According to a readout of the meeting, “Mr. Trump expressed to President el-Sisi his strong support for Egypt’s war on terrorism, and how under a Trump Administration, the United States of America will be a loyal friend, not simply an ally, that Egypt can count on in the days and years ahead.”

Egypt has experienced two revolutions in recent years.

In 2011, Egyptians demanded the overthrow of then-President Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled for 30 years with support from the United States as a result of his suppression of extremist elements and his willingness to maintain peace with Israel. He was succeeded by Islamist Mohamed Morsi, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “provided Morsi with verbal support in the critical days leading up to [the presidential election],” noted National Review. Egyptians took to the streets again in 2013, pushing Morsi out and ultimately electing el-Sisi, a former military general, to the presidency.

Mr. Trump has pointed to Mrs. Clinton’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Morsi as evidence that her foreign policy credentials are far from the strong suit her campaign touts them to be.

In a release titled “Hillary’s Foreign Policy: A Before And After Look At The World,” the Trump campaign highlighted Egypt as a stable U.S. ally prior to Mrs. Clinton’s tenure atop the State Department.

The Egypt section of the release reads as follows:

Prior To Clinton Becoming Secretary Of State, The U.S. Had Normal Relations With Egypt. Between 1948 and 2011, the United States has given Egypt about $71.6 billion in bilateral military and economic aid. That’s more than we’ve given to any other country over that time frame save for Israel. A recent report from the Congressional Research Service lays out the details. The biggest chunk is military aid, averaging about $1.3 billion per year since 1987, with much of that military equipment. (Brad Plumer, “The U.S. gives Egypt $1.5 billion a year in aid. Here’s what it does,” The Washington Post , 7/9/13)

Egypt Wanted To Expand Bilateral Relations With The U.S. Prior To The Arab Spring. “Now, with Mubarak in Washington for the first time in five years, Egyptian media are hailing a new era of bilateral harmony between the world’s sole superpower and the country struggling to remain the Middle East’s political linchpin. He is expected to meet President Barack Obama on Tuesday morning. Mubarak’s pitch? A continuation of America’s hands-off policy and the US aid that has helped keep this impoverished nation afloat since the 1978 Camp David Accords in exchange for assisting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Egypt receives $2 billion in direct US aid annually, second only to Israel.” (Ashraf Khalil, “Mubarak Meets Obama To Patch Up US-Egypt Relationship,” The Christian Science Monitor, 8/18/2009)

With Sen. Sessions at his side on Monday, Mr. Trump “highlighted how Egypt and the U.S. share a common enemy and the importance of working together in defeating radical Islamic terrorism, not only politically and militarily, but also addressing the ideology.”

He also said he plans to extend an official invitation for President el-Sisi to visit the United States if he wins the presidency.

As for Sen. Sessions’ role in helping to develop Mr. Trump’s foreign policy, former Sessions staffer and current Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller said earlier this year that his decades of experience have proven to be invaluable.

“Sessions has been for twenty years on the Armed Service Committee” and “is one of the most respected members of the Senate,” he said. “Anyone who knows Jeff Sessions will tell you that he is the most straight-shooting, sincere, honest, and frankly apolitical person that you will ever meet in Washington.”

2 years ago

Sessions: Clinton knew thousands of criminal aliens were being released, did nothing

Sen. Jeff Sessions (left) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (left) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (left) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right)

Federal records show that from 2008 to 2014, nearly 13,000 criminal aliens who had been ordered deported were released back onto our streets because their home countries refused to take them back. This unacceptable practice has allowed many of these criminal aliens to commit new and serious crimes after their release, including rape, assault, child molestation, drug dealing, and murder. This serious problem was well known to Hillary Clinton the entire time she was Secretary of State. Yet she failed to stop this practice when she had the duty and responsibility do so as Secretary of State, failing to follow clear legal requirement passed by Congress.

Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act commands that when a foreign nation refuses or “unreasonably” delays the return of one of their nationals, the Secretary of State shall order our consular officials to stop issuing visas to persons from that country. As Secretary, she clearly had both actual and constructive notice about these practices from many nations. Yet, Hillary Clinton failed to fulfill her duty to use this authority and stop this practice, even once. For most nations, using this authority will get compliance in short order. Of course, there are many other diplomatic and financial actions the United States can take to promptly end the refusals and delays.

While the full scope of this problem and all of the crimes may not be known to the public, the available information is disturbing.

The Boston Globe has reported that between 2008 and 2014, almost 13,000 convicted aliens that should have been detained until deported, were released onto our streets, resulting in numerous totally preventable rapes, assaults and murders, among other crimes. For example, a convicted criminal alien who should have been deported to Haiti in 2012 was instead released, and murdered 25-year-old Casey Chadwick just last year. The Boston Globe further reported that, out of the data it analyzed, there were more convicted killers released from 2008 to 2012 than traffic violators.

Hillary Clinton must explain to the American people, and especially to the victims of these criminal aliens who were not deported, why she did not act to prevent these tragic events.

Jeff Sessions represents Alabama in the United States Senate, where he is chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest.

2 years ago

Navy SEAL in Alabama goes off when asked about Hillary, Kaepernick: They’re ‘worthless’ (Audio)

Retired Navy SEAL Jeremiah Patrick is not one to mince words, and he did not hold back during a recent interview on Yellowhammer Radio.

Patrick served on SEAL Team Three, alongside guys like Medal of Honor recipient Mike Monsoor, “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, and “The Last Punisher” author Kevin Lacz. Perhaps most notably, Patrick and his compatriots were called on to take the fight to Iraqi insurgents in the Battle of Ramadi, one of the toughest of the Iraq War.

Patrick now runs Never Settle Consulting, which does “training and consulting in combative’s, shooting, tactics, long-range shooting, and unique team-building events to improve companies’ leadership and sales teams,” and is an MMA fighter. But this past week he was in-studio with Yellowhammer Radio host Cliff Sims to discuss a wide range of topics, from his role in the upcoming Transformers movie, to his take on current events and politics.

Sims asked him for his take on the 2016 presidential race.

“I just wonder what happened; what’s changed with our country?” Patrick began. “I mean, Hillary? Come on. I’ve got to watch what I say so I don’t end up ‘committing suicide,’ but you know she’s worthless. I mean there’s reasons why there are t-shirts out that say ‘Hillary Clinton killed my friends.’ There’s a reason for that, you just don’t make that up.”

Patrick said Mrs. Clinton’s role in the U.S. government’s botched response to the Benghazi terrorist attack still impacts him emotionally.

“It hits hard. There’s no reason for that to happen to these guys,” he said. “I’m not a big political guy. I don’t try to dive into the middle, because I don’t see the big picture on a lot of things, and I understand that. I know my role. I know my level of intelligence on things. But I’ve talked to guys that are very in-depth and know a lot about it and helped with the movie (13 Hours). Ty [Woods] and Glen [Doherty] were good dudes, and the ambassador (Chris Stevens) was as well. There’s no reason for that to have happened to those guys. But seeing what Michael Bay and the rest of the guys did with the movie to help bring some stuff to light was cool. You can read between the lines in that movie and know exactly what’s going on.”

Sims also asked Patrick for his take on the growing trend of professional athletes refusing to stand for the National Anthem. San Francisco 49ers quarterback started the protests, saying he would no longer stand at attention for a flag he believes represents oppression.

“Well, you know he’s had a really rough life,” Patrick said sarcastically. “Come on, bro. Get out of here. That subject kind of tears at me. Because you know what? Freedom of speech. Does he have the right to do that? Absolutely. But should he? No. If this country is good enough to live in, then it should be good enough to respect the flag, respect our National Anthem, and it should be good enough to fight for. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. But go travel across the world, look at these other countries and see what it’s like.

“You’re making millions of dollars and now you’re going to all of a sudden take a stand because people are being oppressed?” Patrick continued. “What have you done to help that? I don’t know, I don’t care about the guy. I think he’s worthless as a person now because of that… I’ve escorted bodies of my buddies home with that flag draped over their casket and then you’re going to disrespect it? I don’t understand people like that. What’s even more disrespectful is, what does that say to his parents that raised him and adopted him? He was adopted. They really oppressed him, right? You have a horrible life becoming an NFL quarterback. Must suck.”

To hear Yellowhammer’s complete interview with Patrick, check out the video above. To subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio podcast on iTunes, click here.

2 years ago

Alabama congressman on Clinton’s health: ‘If lying were a disease, she’d be terminal’

Republican Gary Palmer speaks during the Alabama 6th Congressional District debate at Regions Field Thursday, June 19, 2014. (Photo: JeffCO GOP)
Republican Gary Palmer speaks during the Alabama 6th Congressional District debate at Regions Field Thursday, June 19, 2014. (Photo: JeffCO GOP)

WASHINGTON — Alabama congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL6) on Monday expressed “serious doubts” about the Clinton campaign’s truthfulness regarding the former secretary of state’s health.

During a 9/11 memorial service on Sunday, Mrs. Clinton felt ill and was escorted out of the event by the Secret Service. However, before she could step into her van, her knees buckled and she appeared to faint as she was drug into the van by her security detail.

After refusing to allow members of her traveling press corp to leave with her, Mrs. Clinton re-emerged hours later, briefly waving to a crowd outside of her daughter’s apartment and saying she felt “great.”

The campaign ultimately claimed she had been diagnosed with pneumonia. Rep. Palmer isn’t so sure.

“I’ve got serious doubts as to whether or not it’s pneumonia,” he said on Birmingham’s Talk 99.5. “But I can’t say. I mean, if it, in my opinion, just my observation, if it were pneumonia, I would’ve thought they would’ve come out and said that very early on. You know, she’s disappeared for a few days and if I’d been her adviser, I would’ve said, ‘You need to get out there and let people know what’s wrong with you, get treatment, get a few days’ rest, get back on your feet.’”

Rep. Palmer also referenced Mrs. Clinton’s recent coughing fits, which he does not believe have been fully explained.

“They’ve tried to attribute the cough to bronchitis, they’ve tried to attribute it to pneumonia, but I sat in the Benghazi hearing for three hours,” Palmer said. “And she sat there and coughed her way through that. You know, again, you just look at the pattern and it just begs the question, are we being lied to again?”

Rep. Palmer said he hopes Mrs. Clinton will make a speedy recover, but continued to express skepticism about her campaign’s transparency.

“We need to separate our political views from the woman’s health,” he said. “I think it’s pretty serious. Whatever it is, it’s pretty serious. I don’t wish her ill. I want her to lose the election obviously, but I think we need to be careful, but I do think there is a tremendous amount of disinformation out there. I think we were being lied to. And in some respects, if lying were a disease, she’d be terminal.”

(h/t Buzzfeed)

2 years ago

Scalia’s successor on Supreme Court could decide whether Alabama’s voter ID law survives

(S. Masker/Flickr)
Justice Antonin Scalia (Photo: Wiki Commons)
Justice Antonin Scalia (Photo: Wiki Commons)

Iconic conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely death earlier this year has left the High Court split 4-4 on many contentious issues, increasing the stakes of this year’s presidential election because it could decide the balance of the Court for decades to come.

Among the issues that could ultimately be decided by Scalia’s successor is photo voter ID.

During the 2011 Regular Legislative Session Governor Robert Bentley (R-Ala.) signed a voter ID law that went into full effect for the 2014 primary elections. Act 2011-673 requires an Alabama voter to have a specific type of photo identification at the polls in order to vote. Since that time, Democrats across the country have decried the law as “racist” and “hateful”.

In an October 2015 visit to Hoover, Hillary Clinton slammed Alabama Republicans for requiring proof of citizenship to vote and for shuttering driver’s license offices in the wake of state budget cuts. The Democratic presidential nominee insisted that both issues were examples of Republicans trying to return Alabama to its Jim Crow past.

RELATED: Bentley and Clinton spar over whether Alabama Republicans are racists

“We have to defend the most fundamental right in our democracy, the right to vote,” she said. “No one in this state, no one, should ever forget the history that enabled generations of people left out and left behind to finally be able to vote.”

Before that, Vice President Joe Biden chided supporters of voter ID laws in light of liberal defeat in the Supreme Court case of Shelby County v. Holder which stemmed from a legal challenge in Alabama. “These guys never go away,” Biden said. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”

RELATED: Biden: There’s ‘hatred’ behind Alabama’s photo voter ID law

Since 2008, Republican-controlled legislatures in 17 states have adopted new voting-related laws. Among those are Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin, which passed laws requiring a photo ID to vote. (h/t The Daily Beast)

Conservatives have long argued it is reasonable to require photo voter ID in order to protect the sanctity of elections, particularly because photo ID is also required for any number of other activities, from buying alcohol and opening a bank account, to getting on an airplane and renting a car.

But several lower courts have in recent months agreed with Democrats’ assertion that such laws are discriminatory.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in July that North Carolina’s 2013 voting law was implemented with “discriminatory intent.” The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled in July that Texas’ photo voter ID law violates that Voting Rights Act.

Marc E. Elias, an attorney representing some of the groups challenging the photo voter ID laws, told the Washington Post this week that they plan to engage in “hand-to-hand combat” in the legal system. And because a tie vote in the U.S. Supreme Court results in the lower court ruling standing, Scalia’s absence on the bench is allowing Mr. Elias in his allies to rack up victories in the short term.

If a Democrat is elected president, Mr. Scalia’s successor could lock in such victories for the longterm.

RELATED: Democrats call Alabama’s voter ID law ‘racist’ but require DNC delegates to show ID to vote

For the time being, Alabama’s photo voter ID law is an effect, and recent voting suggests it has not suppressed turnout.

There are currently at least 10 different types of ID that are acceptable to use at the polls (including a driver’s license) and the Secretary of State’s office also offers free Alabama photo voter ID cards and free non-driver IDs for purposes of voting.

2 years ago

Zero Syrian refugees have been resettled in Alabama

Hundreds of Syrian refugees waiting for the next train in Vienna, Austria (Photo: Josh Zakary)
Hundreds of Syrian refugees waiting for the next train in Vienna, Austria (Photo: Josh Zakary)
Hundreds of Syrian refugees waiting for the next train in Vienna, Austria (Photo: Josh Zakary)

MOBILE, Ala. — A new analysis of Syrian refugee relocation in the United States reveals that no such refugees have been placed in Alabama, in spite — or perhaps because — of vocal concerns from citizens and lawmakers and a court battle between the Yellowhammer State and the federal government.

“More than 7,500 refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria have been admitted to the United States since Oct. 1,” explains Roll Call, a Washington, D.C.-based political magazine, “more than four times the number in all of fiscal 2015. Syria is now the third most common country of origin for refugees.”

But the Obama administration’s decision to increase the flow of refugees has not yet directly impacted Alabama.

According to the U.S. State Department, more than 100 Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees were previously slated to be housed by Catholic Social Services (CSS) in Mobile.

Though the CSS is part of the church’s Archdiocese of Mobile, the program is completely funded by federal tax dollars. CSS volunteer outreach coordinator Erin Dunn told Yellowhammer last September they were equipped to provide assistance to up to 130 new refugees in the coming year.

“We work with them for about six months to help them become self-sufficient,” explained Dunn. “We have various programs that our case managers walk them through, and we have a job developer that helps them find jobs, and case managers work on connecting them to local resources… As volunteer outreach coordinator, I work with volunteers who are willing to help teach them English, or take them to the grocery store, or teach them how to ride the bus. It’s pretty much everything you can think of to help orient them to the city so after six months they’re able to be self-sufficient.”

According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the State Department provides $1,850 per refugee for the first three months of assistance, to be used for reception, initial housing, food, clothing, referrals services and social programs.

However, if the refugees are not able to find a job in those first three months, or are precluded from doing so due to a disability, they are eligible for many welfare programs, including Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), and Supplemental Security Income.

Revelations that refugees could have access to welfare prompted widespread backlash around the state and country, but the security concerns were the most pressing.

“I will not place Alabamians at even the slightest, possible risk of an attack on our people,” Gov. Bentley said in announcing his administration’s plan to block Syrian refugee resettlement in the state.

Gov. Bentley’s move sparked a tense back-and-forth between his administration and the White House, which denied the governor’s request to view classified information on refugees slated to be placed within his state.

Alabama later sued the federal government claiming the resettlement plan violated the Refugee Act of 1980, which requires that states be consulted before refugees are planted there. A federal judge dismissed the suit.

The political and PR battles continued though, with Alabama congressmen actively working to keep refugees from being housed at military installations located in their Districts. It is also difficult to know whether any refugees have migrated to Alabama after being initially placed in other states.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has also been sounding the alarm that the election of Hillary Clinton could lead to a massive influx of Syrian refugees, costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

The Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, headed by Sen. Sessions, cited statistics calculated by economists at the Heritage Foundation, who determined that the lifetime cost of the 10,000 refugees pledged by President Obama is $6.5 billion. Using that number as a baseline, Sen. Sessions’ committee determined the cost of Hillary’s plan drawn out over a four year term would be roughly $403 billion.

A map showing the location of Syrian refugees over the past year can be found below, courtesy of Roll Call.

Roll Call refugee map

2 years ago

Flanked by Sessions and the leader of UK’s ‘Brexit’ movement, Trump courts black votes

Jeff Sessions speaks at Donald Trump's campaign rally in Mobile, Ala. (Photo: Screenshot)
Jeff Sessions speaks at Donald Trump's campaign rally in Mobile, Ala. (Photo: Screenshot)
Jeff Sessions speaks at Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Mobile, Ala. (Photo: Screenshot)

JACKSON, Miss. — Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) stood at Donald J. Trump’s side Wednesday night as the Republican presidential nominee made a pitch to black voters, urging them to abandon a Democratic Party that he argues has failed them.

“Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as people,” exclaimed Trump as Sen. Sessions, former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani looked on.

“It’s time to give Democrats some competition for the African-American and Hispanic vote,” Trump said. “What do you have to lose by trying something new?”

It was the latest overture in a concerted effort by Trump to woo minority votes away from Mrs. Clinton. NBC polls have seen Trump’s support among black voters fluctuate between 6 and 10 percent, but the billionaire mogul believes he will garner a much higher percentage of the minority vote. He has also predicted he will win 95 percent of the black vote in his 2020 re-election bid.

Trump has at times softened his rhetoric on immigration in recent days, but Wednesday night he was back to his hardline self — which undoubtedly pleased Sen. Sessions — prompting “Build That Wall” chants to envelop the crowd.

“Hillary Clinton does not believe in America first,” Trump said. “We will protect your job from illegal immigration and a broken visa system. We will rebuild roads and bridges and infrastructure, and we will do it with our companies and our steel and our labor.”

The stop in Mississippi was part of a swing through the South designed to fire up Mr. Trump’s base and raise money. The campaign raised over a million dollars at the Mississippi stop alone.

Sen. Sessions has been a fixture on the campaign trail and on Sunday morning talk shows while the U.S. Senate has been on its summer recess. Along with Mr. Giuliani, a fellow “law and order” politician, he has been the most high-profile Trump surrogate in recent months.

This week the group has been joined by Mr. Farage, who led UK’s “Brexit” movement to leave the European Union.

“If I were an American citizen, I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton if you paid me,” Mr. Farage said during an Austin, Texas, event, although he declined to officially endorse Mr. Trump because he was critical of President Obama’s attempt to influence the Brexit vote in the U.K.

Trump has drawn comparisons between the Brexit vote and the U.S. presidential race, saying both represent opportunities for “the People” to take their countries back from “globalists.”

“Tonight is about redeclaring our independence in this country,” Trump declared as Sen. Sessions nodded approvingly.

(h/t Clarion-Ledger)

2 years ago

Sessions: Special prosecutor needed to investigate Clinton Foundation ‘extortion’ scheme

(Video above: Sen. Jeff Sessions interviewed on CNN, August 23, 2016)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate whether then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to “extort” individuals or obtain “contributions” to the Clinton Foundation in return for access to the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Judicial Watch recently obtained emails between State Department and Clinton Foundation staffers that show the level of access major Clinton Foundation donors were given to U.S. government officials during Mrs. Clinton’s time as Secretary of State.

“They show the Clinton Foundation, Clinton donors and operatives worked with Hillary Clinton in potential violation of the law,” saidJudicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

In one notable example, a top executive at the Clinton Foundation requested a State Department meeting on behalf of one of the Foundation’s largest donors, a wealthy Nigerian businessman named Gilbert Chagoury.

“We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance person re Lebanon,” The Foundation’s Doug Band wrote in the email to Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, two top Clinton aides at the State Department. “As you know he’s a key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp.”

Ms. Abedin responded by saying she would email then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman. Mr. Band responded that it would be better to call him and stressed it needed to happen quickly.

“The fundamental thing is you cannot be Secretary of State of the United States of America and use that position to extort or seek contributions to your private foundation,” Sen. Sessions said Tuesday on CNN. “That is a fundamental violation of law and that does appear to have happened here.”

Pressed on where there is evidence that Mrs. Clinton “extorted money,” Sen. Sessions says he believes emails show foreign governments and wealthy individuals around the world believed the surest way to gain access to the State Department was to make a donation to the Clinton Foundation.

“When people think the way that you gain entry to give to this foundation, why are these people giving money to the foundation?” Sen. Sessions asked. “Why are these people that are in countries that are very poor giving millions of dollars even hundreds of millions of dollars to a foundation that doesn’t benefit them in any direct way or the people in their country? They’re doing it to gain access, and you cannot pay for access. This last deal was that this prince asked… to get access to Hillary Clinton and meet with her and it was turned down. The foundation called and said, in fact, that he’s given 32 million dollars. Then he immediately got access. That’s wrong.”

The full interview can be viewed above.

2 years ago

Black Alabamian’s pro-voter ID tweet goes viral: ‘It’s racist to assume we can’t get an ID’

(Photo: Flickr)
(Photo: Flickr)

A black Alabamian is tired of Democratic politicians calling photo voter ID laws “racist,” and has taken to Twitter to declare that “it is racist,” however,” to “assume minorities are too incompetent to get an ID.”

The latest Gallup survey caught some Democrats by surprise this week when it revealed that 80 percent of Americans support “requiring all voters to provide photo identification at their voting place in order to vote.”

“As partisan-fueled court battles over state voting laws are poised to shape the political landscape in 2016 and beyond,” explained Gallup’s Justin McCarthy, “new Gallup research shows four in five Americans support both early voting and voter ID laws.”

The 2016 Democratic Party platform declared the Party would collectively “fight against discriminatory voter identification laws, which disproportionately burden young voters, diverse communities, people of color, low income families, people with disabilities, the elderly, and women.”

Prior to that, during an October 2015 visit to Hoover, Hillary Clinton slammed Alabama Republicans for requiring proof of citizenship to vote and for shuttering driver’s license offices in the wake of state budget cuts. The Democratic presidential nominee insisted that both issues were examples of Republicans trying to return Alabama to its Jim Crow past.

RELATED: Bentley and Clinton spar over whether Alabama Republicans are racists

“We have to defend the most fundamental right in our democracy, the right to vote,” she said. “No one in this state, no one, should ever forget the history that enabled generations of people left out and left behind to finally be able to vote.”

Vice President Joe Biden also chided supporters of voter ID laws.

“These guys never go away,” the vice president said. “Hatred never, never goes away. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason.”

RELATED: Biden: There’s ‘hatred’ behind Alabama’s photo voter ID law

“It’s not racist to require an ID to vote,” responded an exasperated Pam Besteder, a black Alabamian who identifies on her Twitter profile as an independent voter who “loves God and Country and the American flag.”

“It IS racist,” she continued, “to assume minorities are too incompetent to GET an ID.”

The tweet has already been retweeted over 2,000 times and continues to spread around the internet.

Despite calls of racism, Alabama’s implementation of the voter ID law does not seem to have suppressed turnout.

To vote in Alabama, individuals must show a photo ID. This could include a drivers license, non-driver ID, State or Federal-issued ID, US Passport, government employee ID, student ID from a public or private Alabama college, military ID, tribal ID, or, if none of those are accessible, a free photo voter ID provided by the state.

To acquire a free ID, citizens can go to their local Board of Registrars office; there is one located in every one of Alabama’s 67 counties. Additionally, the Secretary of State’s office has visited every county with a mobile photo voter ID van in an effort to reach people right in their neighborhoods.

Alabamians go to the polls Tuesday for municipal elections and will return November 8 for the presidential election and other state-level races.

2 years ago

Byrne: While Louisiana suffers, Obama’s golfing with his buddies and the media’s silent

Flooding has displaced tens of thousands of Louisiana residents. (Photo: Screenshot)
Flooding has displaced tens of thousands of Louisiana residents. (Photo: Screenshot)
Flooding has displaced tens of thousands of Louisiana residents. (Photo: Screenshot)

BATON ROUGLE, La. — In what the Red Cross has called “the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy,” Louisiana has endured catastrophic flooding from 6,900,000,000,000 gallons of rain in a single week.

President Barack Obama has directed FEMA Director Craig Fugate to “utilize all resources available to assist in the response and recovery,” but has been conspicuously absent himself, choosing instead to remain on vacation on Martha’s Vineyard as the state’s residents suffered.

“On the Gulf Coast, we have seen friends and neighbors reaching out to help our neighbors in Louisiana,” noted Alabama congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL1), whose coastal district has made him close friends and allies with Louisiana’s congressional delegation. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem President Obama shares that same empathy. While the people of Louisiana continue to suffer, the President was playing golf with his liberal buddies in Martha’s Vineyard.”

Then-President George W. Bush endured fierce criticism from the national media in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Texas when the storm hit, but flew back to Washington, D.C. two days later before visiting Louisiana later in the week. The fiercest critics blasted him for initially flying over the devastation and viewing it from the sky, rather than from the ground.

Perhaps most famously, rapper Kanye West declared during a Red Cross television special, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Even as Bush transitioned out of the White House, articles continued to be written about Katrina being “the beginning of the end” of his presidency.

This week, however, there has been noticeably less outrage from the national media as President Obama chose to stay on vacation even longer than President Bush.

“Where is the national media outrage that we saw during Hurricane Katrina?” Congressman Byrne asked.

A local Louisiana newspaper has been among the few critics of the Obama administration’s response to the flooding.

“We’ve seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don’t deserve a sequel,” wrote the editorial board of The Advocate. “In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The current president was among those making political hay out of Bush’s aloofness… If the president can interrupt his vacation for a swanky fundraiser for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, as he did on Monday, then surely he can make time to show up for a catastrophe that’s displaced thousands.”

Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump will be visiting Louisiana on Friday with his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

2 years ago

Alabama congressman tapped to advise Trump on ag issues: ‘I want to help any way I can’

Agriculture is the largest sector of Alabama's economy.
Agriculture is the largest sector of Alabama’s economy.

NEW YORK — Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump has tapped Alabama congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL4) to advise him on issues important to farmers as part of his newly-formed Agriculture Advisory Committee.

“I am honored to be a part of the Trump-Pence team and in particular this Agriculture Advisory Committee,” Aderholt told Yellowhammer. “I appreciate the confidence placed in me. Serving as Chairman of the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee, I hope that I can bring attention to some of the issues, needs and concerns of our famers and agriculture community. I have seen first-hand the many ways the Obama Administration has put heavy burdens on our farmers, like the EPA’s excessive water rules. I have no doubt this type of overreach will continue under the administration of a President Hillary Clinton. That is one of the many reasons I want to help Mr. Trump any way I can in seeing that he is elected the next President of the United States.”

The Trump campaign said the committee will “provide pioneering new ideas to strengthen our nation’s agricultural industry as well as provide support to our rural communities.”

“The members of my agricultural advisory committee represent the best that America can offer to help serve agricultural communities,” said Mr. Trump. “Many of these officials have been elected by their communities to solve the issues that impact our rural areas every day. I’m very proud to stand with these men and women, and look forward to serving those who serve all Americans from the White House.”

According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, agriculture has a $70.4 billion impact on Alabama’s economy (the latest numbers are based on 2010 data).

“Top sectors are timber production and processing, $21.4 billion; poultry and egg, $15.1 billion; soybean, corn and wheat, $576.5 million; greenhouse, nursery and floriculture, $561.6 million; beef, $524.5 million; cotton, $290.1 million; peanuts, $211.4 million; and catfish, $158.2 million.”

RELATED: THANK A FARMER: The stunning impact of Alabama’s massive ag industry

With the formation of Trump’s Agriculture Advisory Committee, Rep. Aderholt joins his Alabama colleague Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as a top advisor on the campaign.

Sen. Sessions currently serves as chairman of Mr. Trump’s National Security Advisory Committee.

2 years ago

Sessions: Terrorists are getting into the United States posing as refugees

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) delivers remarks on the Senate floor.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) delivers remarks on the Senate floor.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) delivers remarks on the Senate floor.

Hillary Clinton’s plan to admit 65,000 refugees from Syria next year is radical and places America at great risk. Her goal is disconnected from reality. This surge would be nearly 40 times the number of Syrian refugees entering the country last year, and six times the number President Obama admits this year.

The proof is in.

Terrorists are getting into the United States posing as refugees. Our own government officials tell us there is no way to vet these individuals. Indeed, terrorism charges or convictions against refugees have increased steadily each of the last three years, totaling at least 18. This wipes out the argument that refugees don’t commit terrorism crimes.

The stunning and extreme nature of Hillary Clinton’s planned refugee increases cannot be ignored. These huge increases will result in more terrorism against the United States.

RELATED: Sessions-led committee estimates Hillary’s refugee plan would cost a jaw-dropping $400B

Further, Hillary Clinton ignores or dismisses the large financial cost of these increases. Assuming that her first year refugee increase total remains at that level for a four-year term, that would mean the admission of 620,000 refugees from all sources. These refugees would create a lifetime cost on the United States economy, according to an estimate by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, of over $400 billion.

These numbers do not count asylees, who are like refugees, except they present themselves in the United States requesting asylum. This would add likely another 100,000 to the 620,000 total over her first term.

These are costs that our country will bear for welfare, food stamps, healthcare, housing, schooling, and other entitlement benefits. Refugees and asylees are given access to the various government assistance programs after only one year, while normal immigrants must wait for five years.

It is time for the media to ask Hillary Clinton directly about these issues. She makes promises for short term political gain while ignoring the security risks and the financial costs her irresponsible promises will cause to fall on our country in the future. A full and open discussion of this disastrous policy proposal is an essential part of a healthy political process. It is past time for a diligent media to do its part and demand an explanation.

RELATED: Sessions tees off on CNN: Trump’s taking interviews while Hillary ‘hides from the press’

Jeff Sessions represents the State of Alabama in the United States Senate

2 years ago

Sessions suggests FBI investigating ‘dangerous’ Clinton Foundation ‘pay-to-play’ scheme

(Video above: Sen. Jeff Sessions discusses the latest batch of Clinton emails on Fox News)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) says the latest emails released from Hillary Clinton’s time at the State Department reveal a “pay for play” scheme between the Clinton Foundation and the Department of State, and added that the “issue was not closed” with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Judicial Watch obtained emails between State Department and Clinton Foundation staffers that show the level of access major Clinton Foundation donors were given to U.S. government officials during Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State.

“They show the Clinton Foundation, Clinton donors and operatives worked with Hillary Clinton in potential violation of the law,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

In one notable example, a top executive at the Clinton Foundation requested a State Department meeting on behalf of one of the Foundation’s largest donors, a wealthy Nigerian businessman named Gilbert Chagoury.

“We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance person re Lebanon,” The Foundation’s Doug Band wrote in the email to Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, two top Clinton aides at the State Department. “As you know he’s a key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp.”

Ms. Abedin responded by saying she would email then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman. Mr. Band responded that it would be better to call him and stressed it needed to happen quickly.

Asked by a Fox News anchor if the emails reveal that the Clintons were running a “pay-to-play” operation, Sen. Sessions said he believes they do.

“I think that is a fair description of it,” he said. “It does clearly appear that individuals who were dealing with the United States government and its representative Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, made massive contributions to her and Bill Clinton’s foundation. And it does appear from the emails that they got benefits from that. So I think that is unacceptable. I do believe it is worthy of an investigation. And, in fact, as I understood the FBI Director, he indicated some weeks ago that that issue was not closed.

“It is dangerous,” Sen. Sessions continued. “It is the kind of thing that is worthy of a serious investigation. And when [Clinton Foundation executive Doug Bland] said it was ‘important,’ he didn’t mean it was important to the United States, he meant it was important to the Foundation, which is a private entity. The secretary of state cannot be using the power of that office to subordinate the national interest to the Foundation’s interest. So I think that is a serious problem and who knows what else will be in some of these emails that have not been disclosed. These are emails that have been suppressed, held back and are just now coming to light.”

Sen. Sessions said he believes Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump should continue hammering on revelations from the Clinton emails, as well as touting his recently released economic proposals.

“I think he needs to continue to talk about this issue and her integrity and leadership ability,” said Sessions. “But actually he also needs to move forward on the great issues he’s raised on the economy… [He has laid out] a plan that will increase growth and productivity in American; help wages rise instead of fall… The people of this country are hurting. They’re not angry because they’re just irritable, they’re angry because systemically things have not gone well. It’s time for this government to respond. We need a change and Donald Trump has got the right ideas and can make this country better.”

2 years ago

Trump pledges to ‘defend coal’ in Alabama, US: ‘Miners are going back to work’

Republican Nominee Donald Trump is working to draw a contrast between himself and Hillary Clinton on energy policy this week with a new ad criticizing the Democratic nominee for her attacks on American energy producers.

“We are going to lift the restrictions on the production of American energy,” Trump says in the ad. “Our steel workers and our miners are going back to work again!”

Trump’s official campaign website specifically highlights the importance of deregulating the beleaguered coal industry. The campaign wrote that Trump will “save the coal industry and other industries threatened by Hillary Clinton’s extremist agenda,” by “canceling the Paris Climate Agreement and stopping all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs,” and by “lifting restrictions on American energy to increase economic output and wages.”

Continuing his so-called campaign “re-start”, Trump is also reminding voters of Clinton’s past anti-coal statements.

The former secretary of state has frequently expressed her desire to dismantle the coal industry in favor of “green” alternatives.

In a March 10 town hall on CNN, Clinton surprised many political observers when she exclaimed, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and a lot of coal companies out of business.”

As recently as August, Clinton has vowed to defend and “build on” Obama’s anti-coal “Clean Power Plan” if elected President, calling it a “significant step forward.”

The “war on coal,” as it is often called, has inflicted serious damage here in Alabama in recent years.

The “Clean Power Plan” has caused Alabamians electricity rates to rise, forced Alabama power to shut down coal units, and created some heart-breaking personal stories from the political war’s casualties.

RELATED: War on Coal hits home, Alabama Power forced to shut down coal units

In 2014, Alabama coal miner Walter Parker delivered emotional testimony during an EPA public hearing in Atlanta, Georgia.

No one is thinking about the burden my family and my co-workers will face if we no longer have a job, a steady paycheck, or if there are no more contributions to the UMWA health and retirement funds.

No one will care until the money runs out and the government… which is killing our jobs, must pay the price of unemployment benefits, welfare and public assistance, which is running rampant in our country today.

I am proud that I have been able to take care of my family because of the work I do. I am proud to be a miner. I have never asked for handouts from the people around me or from the government. I want to pay my own way. I want to work. I feel pride in my work. I want to be able to continue my profession and produce coal to power this nation. And I’m sorry that I get emotional, but I can’t help it.

While most Alabamians have not been directly impacted by the president’s energy agenda the way Mr. Parker has, all Yellowhammer State residents have felt the sting to some degree.

RELATED: Alabamians huge losers in Obama’s power plan

“Under the EPA rule, Alabamians’ average annual household energy bills could rise by more than $800 a year by the time the plan is fully implemented,” the Associated Press wrote in 2015. “This places an undue burden on those who can least afford it, including the poor, the elderly and others on fixed incomes. What’s more, it punishes as many as 16,000 Alabamians whose jobs are dependent upon the coal industry.”

Donald Trump’s latest video on the subject can be seen below.

2 years ago

Sessions: Release of violent criminals continues Obama’s abuse of executive power

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

President Obama continues to abuse executive power in an unprecedented, reckless manner to systematically release high-level drug traffickers and firearms felons. These 214 individuals are not so-called ‘low-level, non-violent’ offenders – which simply do not exist in the federal system. They are serious criminals, including 56 with federal firearms convictions, several career offenders, fugitives, many who violated conditions of their release, and at least one who engaged in witness intimidation.

The President is playing a dangerous game to advance his political ideology. Violent crime has been rising across the country since 2014. And now, according to new data from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, thousands of the most violent, federal career criminals are applying for early release in droves because of two recent decisions by the Supreme Court invalidating long-standing criminal laws intended to keep armed felons off of our streets.

In a report released last month, the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that career offenders account for more than 11 percent of the federal prison population, and are “increasingly receiving sentences below the guideline range, often at the request of the government.” The report also notes that career criminals re-offend at alarmingly high rates, with 66.2 percent of those released between 2004 and 2006 re-arrested for a new crime or violation of conditions of release – many for violent crimes.

President Obama has presided over an historic weakening of some of our most important criminal sentencing policies. In 2013, his Justice Department ordered federal prosecutors to stop charging certain drug traffickers. As House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte said, this “directive, along with contradicting an act of Congress, puts his own front-line drug prosecutors in the unenviable position of either defying their boss, or violating their oath of candor to the court.”

The directive had its desired effect: According to the Sentencing Commission, in Fiscal Year 2015, the proportion of federal drug defendants convicted of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum penalty was the lowest it has been since 1993.

Then, in 2014, with the full support of the Obama administration, the Sentencing Commission retroactively reduced the sentences for all drug traffickers in federal prison, making 46,276 eligible for early release. This is fully one-quarter of the current federal prison population, which has decreased by nearly 26,000 since 2013, and is projected to drop by another 7,000 by the end of this fiscal year. And this does not account for any other criminal leniency measures, such as future commutations. Moreover, a 2014 Department of Justice study found that drug offenders recidivate at a rate of 77 percent.

Meanwhile, President Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to push for so-called “criminal justice reform” legislation that would further weaken penalties for and result in more early releases of federal felons, including criminal alien drug traffickers. Not only are such proposals a thumb in the eye of the law enforcement officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, court and prison personnel who put time and resources into these cases, but they are ill-timed. The wiser approach is to evaluate the consequences of the already dramatic policy changes that have taken place, the rising violent crime rates, and our dramatically declining federal prison population.

President Obama has said he would like “criminal justice reform” to be his “legacy item.” Unfortunately, history and common sense tell us that rushing to release federal prisoners will have long-lasting, harmful consequences, particularly for our nation’s most vulnerable communities.

Jeff Sessions represents Alabama in the United States Senate.

1. Obama is commuting the sentences of five convicted Alabama drug dealers
2. Sheriff slams Obama for releasing ‘large scale’ Alabama drug dealer from prison
3. Check out the rap sheet on the two Alabama crack dealers Obama just let out of prison
4. Obama just let another Alabama drug dealer out of prison