Rescue teams combed through pulverized buildings and splintered homes early Tuesday after one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history blasted through the suburbs of Oklahoma City, killing at least 51 people — including 20 children.
Officials warned that the death toll from Monday’s mid-afternoon twister was almost certain to rise significantly when dawn broke in the devastated city of Moore, and as more bodies were taken to the Office of the Medical Examiner. Elementary school children were among the many missing. Continue reading Huge Tornado in Oklahoma (Update)→
An earlier version of this post said Tuesday. It was Wednesday. Need more sleep!!
Happy New Year to Everyone. Here’s today’s News Roundup
Congratulations to Stanford University. I guess it is time for us to consider Stafford a legitimate football powerhouse. Really? Stanford? 🙂
There was lots of consternation and handwringing in the House last night. The Senate overwhelmingly passed a lukewarm bill and for some reason this bill drew instant scorn from Eric Cantor and other conservative Republicans. In the end, 85 Republicans joined almost all of the Democrats to lock in the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class. I think that this, as a whole, is a good thing. I do not, however, think that this is cause for the happy dance. I think we have many challenges ahead and the House GOP has basically told us that they want, that they lust after, spending cuts. This is not going to get any easier.
The House decided that the East Coast did not need any relief from Hurricane Sandy. They adjourned without taking any action. I just don’t understand how that is acceptable.
Finally, I saw this from the South Carolina – Michigan game. It was tweeted out by Rich Eisen. This is an incredible hit. When you’re talking about an explosive hit, this is what you’re talking about. Wow!
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia equates homosexuality, gay marriage, with murder. He’s using the time old slippery slope argument. Personally, I believe that Scalia is wrong. If homosexuality and gay marriage were that much an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, Jesus would’ve railed on it. He didn’t. If the Lord believed that that was such an abomination, there would be an 11th commandment. There isn’t.
Once again, union workers, this time in Michigan, are facing having their collective bargaining rights removed. The one big difference that I would point out between Scott Walker’s move two years ago and this move is that there’s no attempt at open discussion. There’s no attempt at trying to use the normal legislative process. Instead, I get the clear feeling that they’re trying to do as much as they can behind closed doors. In my opinion, “right to work” basically insures the right to work for lower wages. A recent study from the University of Notre Dame found that right to work states have higher poverty rates and lower rates of healthcare coverage. This finding is a no-brainer. One thing is clear. The prosperity that we enjoyed in the United States from the 1950s through the mid-1970s was in part due to wide unionization. Unions guaranteed that middle-class Americans received a living wage.
Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican, South Carolina) is on a roll. He spent most of the last several weeks bashing ambassador Susan Rice for reading talking points that the intelligence community gave her to read. Now he’s attacking the president over Medicare cuts. I have no problem with your criticizing the president if you disagree with him. This is cool. I have a huge problem when you say, “How about manning up here, Mister President, and use your mandate to bring this country together and stop us from becoming Greece?” Manning up? So Lindsey Graham is saying that the president does not have enough masculinity to do the right thing? Whatever?!?!?
There are many reasons that I’m happy that Senator Sherrod Brown was reelected. He is smart, thoughtful and doesn’t back down under conservative scrutiny. On Morning Joe, Senator Brown was being pressed on raising the eligibility age for Social Security and making cuts in Medicare to make the program “more sustainable.” Brown replied, “I don’t buy that they’re not sustainable any more than the defense budget is not sustainable. We owe billions of dollars down the line, of course. We can fix these things with changes at the margins without radical surgery.” He is exactly right. Let’s look again at what is driving the deficit. (See graph)
Current deficits are being driven by the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which were never paid for. Conservatives continue to point out that Obama has been in charge of the economy/government for four years. When is he going to take responsibility for his government spending? Look at the graph. The economic recovery measures are in there. What Obama should own up to is not repealing the Bush tax cuts when he had an opportunity – oh yeah, he did own up to that.