2 years ago

An unfond farewell to un-statesman Orrin Hatch

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

 

 

The longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history announced this week that he will finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally retire.

That’s seven “finallys” — one for each of the consecutive six-year terms Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, served. He began his occupancy in 1976, when all phones were dumb, the 5.25-inch floppy disk was cutting-edge, the very first Apple computer went on sale for $666.66, the Concorde was flying high, O.J. Simpson was a hero, Blake Shelton was a newborn, the first MRI was still a blueprint, and I was a gap-toothed first-grader wearing corduroy bell-bottoms crushing on Davy Jones.

This encrusted longevity will be marketed by Hatch, 83, and his supporters as proof of his “statesmanship.” Indeed, The Atlantic magazine described him this week as “an elder-statesman figure in the GOP.” Newsweek likewise reported on the farewell announcement of the “elder statesman.” And Hatch’s own press minions have disseminated press releases quoting other entrenched politicians such as Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., hailing their boss’s “reputation as a statesman.”

But that word doesn’t mean what Beltway barnacles think it means.

Merriam-Webster defines a “statesman” as a “wise, skillful, and respected political leader.” Earning the approbation of other office-clinging politicians doesn’t make you a “respected political leader.” It makes you an echo-chamber chump.

Wise? Skillful? Hatch was a Big Government business-as-usual dealmaker. His wisdom was of the wet-finger-in-the-wind variety, claiming a Reagan conservative mantle during election cycles and then throwing constitutional conservatives under the bus once comfortably back in his well-worn Senate committee seats.

Hatch joined with his old pal Teddy Kennedy to create the $6 billion national service boondoggle and the $8 billion-a-year CHIP health insurance entitlement.

He preached about the “rule of law,” but was an original sponsor of the open-borders DREAM Act illegal alien student bailout, and, despite claiming to oppose it, he voted to fully fund the unconstitutional Obama amnesty during the lame-duck session.

He crusaded for “fiscal conservatism,” yet voted for massive Wall Street bailouts, 16 debt ceiling increases totaling $7.5 trillion, and scores of earmarks totaling hundreds of millions of dollars for porky projects. He ends his four-decade reign as the Senate’s top recipient of lobbyist cash.

And for the past two years, Team Hatch allies have spearheaded a multimillion-dollar fundraising campaign, squeezing donations from corporate donors and pharma and tech lobbyists to subsidize a “Hatch Foundation” and “Hatch Center” to commemorate the Hatch legacy.

“Statesman” isn’t a title earned by mere length of service. It’s not a cheap status conferred like an AARP card or IHOP senior discount. A politician who notches decades of frequent flyer miles back and forth between Washington and his “home” state, enjoying the endless perks of incumbency, does not acquire statesmanship by perpetual re-election and political self-aggrandizement.

The idea of amassing $4 million to $6 million campaign war chests, as Hatch did the past two election cycles, is antithetical to the ideal of statesmanship. In the days of Cincinnatus and George Washington, self-sacrifice and civic virtue marked true statesmen. Affability, which Hatch is credited with possessing by his backroom Democrat chums, was no substitute for the humility exhibited by statesmen who volunteered to relinquish power at the very height of it — not in its waning twilight.

So: Call Hatch a clock-puncher. Time-bider. Log-roller. Deal-cutter. Back-slapper. Call him most anything else now that he’s finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally called it a day.

Just please don’t call him “statesman.”

Michelle Malkin is host of “Michelle Malkin Investigates” on CRTV.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

51 mins ago

Alabamians can buy emergency preparedness items sales-tax free this weekend

The weekend from Friday, February 21 through Sunday, February 23 is Alabama’s ninth annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.

As such, several items needed to help prepare for a weather-related disaster can be purchased without state sales tax across stores in Alabama.

Items that cost $60 or less like batteries, ice packs, duct tape, plywood and flashlights will all be exempt from state sales tax this weekend.

90

The biggest ticket item that can be purchased without tax is a portable electricity generator, although, any generator that costs $1,000 or more will begin incurring regular taxes.

Dozens of cities and counties also exempt their local sales tax on the holiday weekend, including Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Mobile and Tuscaloosa. A full list of those areas can be found here.

A full list of the tax-exempt items can be found here.

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

14 hours ago

Alabama’s Warrior Met Coal announces historic Blue Creek mine development

Brookwood-based Warrior Met Coal on Wednesday announced that they will begin development on a new “world-class” longwall mine near its existing mines located on the Blue Creek reserves in West Alabama.

Met coal is the type of coal sometimes referred to as coking coal. Unlike the thermal or steam variety, met coal is used as a vital ingredient in the steelmaking process instead of being utilized for power generation.

The new Blue Creek development is expected to have the capacity to produce an average of 4.3 million short tons per annum of premium High-Vol A met coal over the first ten years of production. It is one of the last remaining large-scale untapped premium High Vol A met coal mines in the U.S.

“We are extremely excited about our organic growth project that will transform Warrior and allow us to build upon our proven track record of creating value for stockholders. Blue Creek is truly a world-class asset and our commitment to this new initiative demonstrates our continued highly focused business strategy as a premium pure-play met coal producer,” Walt Scheller, CEO of Warrior Met Coal, said in a statement.

177

The company expects to invest approximately $550 to $600 million over the next five years to develop Blue Creek with expected spending this year alone of approximately $25 million to kickstart the project.

Based on the current schedule, Warrior Met Coal expects first development tons from continuous miner units to occur in the third quarter of 2023 with the longwall scheduled to start up in the second quarter of 2025.

The company trades on the New York Stock Exchange and as such must report specific financial details on the project. This included the company projecting a “net present value” of “greater than $1 billion over the life of the mine with a projected after-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of nearly 30% and an expected payback of approximately two years from initial longwall production.”

Warrior Met Coal previewed this project at a Yellowhammer News event in 2019.

RELATED: Study: Alabama coal industry has nearly $3 billion impact; met coal reserves to last centuries

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

15 hours ago

‘Gender is Real Legislative Act’ advanced by Alabama House committee

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama House State Government Committee on Wednesday advanced the “Gender is Real Legislative” (GIRL) Act.

The bill, HB 35, is sponsored by State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile). Pringle is the chairman of the committee. The vote on Wednesday was 8-4 on party lines in favor of giving the legislation a favorable report. The GIRL Act now heads to the full House for consideration.

HB 35 would require Alabama public schools to make sure every entrant in an athletic competition is sorted by the gender on their birth certificate. The bill also forbids any state, county or municipal government/agency from providing a facility to a single-gender competition that allows a transgender entrant.The GIRL Act exempts any event that is specifically designed to have both boys and girls as competitors.

213

“Gender is real. There are biological differences between boys and girls that influence athletic performance. The GIRL Bill seeks to support female student-athletes, so that they may compete against each other and not have to compete against male students with an unfair advantage,” Pringle has stated. “Liberal Democrats are always trying to accuse us of refusing science, but gender is a real biological truth. It truly defies logic that anyone would deny science and want male students to compete in female sports.”

During Wednesday’s meeting, a first-grade girl from the Birmingham area called on the committee to support the bill. The girl said it was only “fair” that student-athletes be sorted by the gender on their birth certificate and that she not have to compete against boys.

A full public hearing was held on the legislation last week, when State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) made some interesting remarks about Auburn legend Cam Newton while speaking against HB 35. Rogers in a subsequent interview then called for mandatory genetic testing of all public school student-athletes.

Pringle is currently running in the competitive Republican primary race for Alabama’s First Congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope).

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

15 hours ago

Jessica Taylor ‘appalled and disgusted’ at Doug Jones’ abortion comments — ‘He is unfit’

Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) once again finds himself in a negative spotlight back in his homestate.

Jones was caught in a video on Wednesday laughing about abortion and mocking a question about the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

Jessica Taylor, a conservative Republican candidate in Alabama’s Second Congressional District, reacted strongly to Jones’ remarks.

289

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, she said, “As a Christian, and as a mother, I am appalled and disgusted that Doug Jones would act this way.”

“Defending the unborn has been a pillar of my campaign since day one,” Taylor continued. “Doug Jones’ blatant disregard for the rights of the unborn further demonstrates that he is unfit to represent us in Washington. Pro-life values are Alabama values. As a conservative, I will always fight for our Alabama conservative values in Congress.”

Taylor has been endorsed by the prominent national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List in her AL-01 primary bid.

SBA List also bashed Jones’ latest comments in a separate statement.

“Senator Doug Jones has proven once again that he is no moderate when it comes to abortion on demand through the moment of birth. Alabama’s Democratic senator may think it is ‘stupid’ to question his abortion extremism, but rest assured, his constituents take respect for human life very seriously,” stated SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.

“With a record of voting in favor of late-term abortion more than halfway through pregnancy and forced taxpayer funding of abortion, Sen. Jones has repeatedly betrayed Alabamians, siding with the radical abortion lobby and fellow extremist Democrats in Congress,” Dannenfelser concluded. “Their agenda is dramatically out of step with the people of Alabama and the strong majority of Americans – including 55 percent of Independents and 43 percent of rank-and-file Democrats – who support compassionate limits on abortion after five months of pregnancy, when science clearly shows unborn babies can feel excruciating pain. If Senator Jones refuses to protect innocent unborn children, he won’t be laughing come Election Day.”

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

16 hours ago

Reading aldotcom in large doses might affect your perspective, cognitive abilities and reasoning skills

How out of touch are al.com’s employees?

Very.

Read John Archibald or Kyle Whitmire any day and you will get that answer. These guys have been railing on Alabama government for years, and even they would tell you that they have done a pretty poor job of convincing anyone that their positions are the way the state should go.

To describe them as failures is an insult to actual failures like Hillary Clinton, who al.com obviously endorsed before she was obliterated by Alabama voters.

267

So, it should come as no surprise that the average readers of al.com are equally as out of touch with the average Alabamian because they are consuming a daily digest of anti-Alabama liberal media bile that could best be described as irrelevant and antagonistic to the politics and culture of the state of Alabama.

Former Yellowhammer News editor-in-chief Cliff Sims said it best when he called them a sports blog with a liberal bias.

Because of this, it should come as no surprise that they are attempting to pass off an online poll of their readers as representative of anything close to the opinion of the state of Alabama, but here you go.

Actually, it doesn’t seem like that at all. Even Ramsey Archibald knows that.

Nationally, according to a Pew Research poll in late 2019, 69% of Americans favor some kind of legalization of marijuana. Of those who want to legalize marijuana, 59% want recreational and medical legalization and 32% want just medical legalization.

That’s a national poll — this is Alabama.

Love it or hate it, like the employees at al.com do, you have to acknowledge that there is nowhere near 83% support for recreational marijuana in this state.

Instead of legalizing marijuana, we might want to consider limiting the consumption of al.com for some of their readers whose brains are clearly being damaged by the content.

All polls like this do is show that the readership of al.com is far-left, out-of-touch and completely irrelevant in Alabama politics — just like the authors they read.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.