It also reportedly leveled an elementary school. There are mixed reports that all kids in the school are accounted for but nothing confirmed. Please keep the state in your prayers as rescue, recovery, and rebuilding efforts get underway. Via Fox News:
A mile-wide tornado churned through Oklahoma City’s suburbs Monday afternoon, causing significant property damage for the second day in a row, as part of a severe weather outbreak that was expected to spread in other parts of the Plains and Midwest.
Television footage on Monday afternoon showed homes and buildings that had been reduced to rubble in Moore, Okla., south of Oklahoma City. Footage also showed vehicles littering roadways south and southwest of Oklahoma City.
Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department also said and elementary school in Moore suffered “extensive damage.” There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The National Weather Service said the tornado was on the ground for nearly 40 minutes, with the first tornado warning coming 16 minutes before it touched down.
Search and rescue crews are now staging at the Warren Theaer in Moore to look for anyone who may be trapped in the rubble, Fox 25 reports. Aerial flyovers showed crowds of residents picking through debris.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman had predicted a major outbreak of severe weather Monday in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The National Weather Service has also issued tornado watches and warnings for counties in Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
On Sunday, at least two people were killed and 29 were injured in Oklahoma as a severe storm system generated several tornadoes in Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, leveling neighborhoods and
Unconfirmed reports say today’s twister took at 12 mile path. Of course, this story is still developing so for the latest, make sure to stay tuned to one of the 24 hour networks, the Weather Channel, your local news if you live at or near the affected areas, and to social media platforms which update constantly. There are tornado watches in other parts of OK and TX right now, so it’s REALLY important to stay informed about this for those potentially in the path of the storm. BE SAFE.
It looks really, really bad there. Praying hard for all impacted.
**Posted by Phineas
It could be a coincidence: a meeting between a very union-friendly president and the head of the union that includes IRS employees, a union described as very “anti-Tea Party,” and then the very next day the IRS begins targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups, stalling their applications for non-profit status.
According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.
The White House lists the IRS union leader’s visit this way:
“Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30″
In White House language, “POTUS” stands for “President of the United States.”
The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:
“April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.”
In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union — the union for IRS employees — met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS “Determinations Unit Program agreed” to open a “Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases.” As stated by the IG report.
I’m not yet ready to call this a “smoking gun,” but I do think Ms. Kelley should be hauled before the Ways and Means committee and made to answer some very pointed questions about their conversation and just what, if any, instructions or “encouragements” were given to her union members.
But I’m sure this is all one big coincidence.
via Jim Hoft.
RELATED: John Fund on “Three signs there’s a cover-up.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
Kind of a quiet weekend here at Casa Toldjah, which is the way I like it right now. Loooong week, and one in which I didn’t get enough sleep, worked my fannie off, and feel like I yelled a lot. Taking the weekend to catch my breath. Hope you’re having a good one.
The lies just keep stacking up:
A number of people have sought to explain the IRS targeting of Tea Party, patriot, and 9/12 group applications — as well as those from other conservative groups — for “specialist team” treatment (mainly delays and excessive and inappropriate questions) in 2010 by pointing to the Citizens United decision that year allowing for unlimited, undisclosed fundraising by such groups. That’s the explanation IRS official Lois Lerner gave a week ago when she first revealed that the agency had improperly handled a slew of applications — the political shorthand was a mistaken attempt to deal with a surge in applications.
But Todd Young, a Republican congressman from Indiana, pointed out at Friday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing with former acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller and Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George that this was not the case, according to the very data the IRS provided to the Treasury IG’s office.There were, he noted, actually fewer applications for tax-exempt status by groups seeking to be recognized as social-welfare organizations that year than the previous one, according to this IRS data. The real surge in applications did not come until 2012 — the year the IRS stopped the practice of treating the Tea Party class of groups differently from others.
Worse still? This –> IRS Official in Charge During Tea Party Targeting Now Runs Health Care Office
**Posted by Phineas
You know it’s bad when pleading stupidity is the best you can come up with.
Via Sharyl Attkisson at CBS:
Obama administration officials who were in key positions on Sept. 11, 2012 acknowledge that a range of mistakes were made the night of the attacks on the U.S. missions in Benghazi, and in messaging to Congress and the public in the aftermath.
The officials spoke to CBS News in a series of interviews and communications under the condition of anonymity so that they could be more frank in their assessments. They do not all agree on the list of mistakes and it’s important to note that they universally claim that any errors or missteps did not cost lives and reflect “incompetence rather than malice or cover up.” Nonetheless, in the eight months since the attacks, this is the most sweeping and detailed discussion by key players of what might have been done differently.
“We’re portrayed by Republicans as either being lying or idiots,” said one Obama administration official who was part of the Benghazi response. “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.”
My first observation is that “lying” and “idiots” are not mutually exclusive terms. In fact I suspect the former came about trying to cover for the latter.
The article addresses several questions, among them: Why wasn’t the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) activated? Why was the Counterterrorism Security Group, described as…
an interagency task force (…) to be convened when emergency terrorist events are suspected. According to a public military document, it’s part of a plan to “synchronize the efforts of all the government agencies that have a role to play in the Global War on Terrorism.”
…not convened? Where was the “in extremis” (emergency rescue) force?
The answers are, well, “special.” Things along the lines of (paraphrasing) “we didn’t think that was their mission” (FEST); they had been made “lower level” (CSG) and senior people were dealing with it; and “they were off on a training mission (because we didn’t notice the significance of the 9/11 anniversary) and they couldn’t be recalled in time.” Like I said, pleading incompetence.
Read the whole thing, it’s worth your time. You’ll notice that not really touched on is the issue of security for Benghazi prior to the attack on the consulate. I suppose they got tired of saying “We’re idiots” over and over.
Like I said above, one can be both a liar and incompetent at the same time, when the lying is used to cover the incompetence, particularly Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s; she had screwed up our Libya policy big-time, and the commander in chief needed his beauty sleep to be ready for his big fundraiser in Vegas the next day. These underlings weren’t just furiously trading emails and holding meetings to fight a blame war between State and the CIA, they were figuring out how best to cover their bosses’ arses and not damage his reelection campaign and her 2016 run.
And, in the process, lying to the American people, Congress, and the families of the victims.
There is “malicious”, and there is “idiot.”
And then there are “malicious idiots.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
**Posted by Phineas
Today, Senate Democrats placed a hold on Sen. Rand Paul’s recent resolution that condemns the targeting of Tea Party groups by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and calls for an investigation into this practice.
“This resolution is not about Republican vs. Democrat or conservative vs. liberal. It is about arrogant and unrestrained government vs. the rule of law. The First Amendment cannot and should not be renegotiated depending on which party holds power,” Sen. Paul said. ”Each senator took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, yet Senate Democrats chose to block my resolution and thus refused to condemn the IRS for trampling on our First Amendment rights. I am incredibly disappointed in Washington’s party politics and I am determined to hold the IRS accountable for these unjust acts.”
I’m not sure why anyone would find this surprising: as the party of arrogant, unrestrained government, the leaders of which think the Constitution is obsolete, well, of course they would shoot this resolution down.
It threatens their very reason for existence, after all.
via Stephen Green.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
It’s sorta like the Sandra Fluke manufactured “controversy” over “access” to birth control mixing with the religious exemptions issue – except on a local scale, with narcissistic North Carolina “feminists” in the starring role(s). Via the Raleigh News and Observer:
RALEIGH — A bill allowing private employers to refuse to cover contraception in their health insurance plans cleared a House committee Wednesday morning and is headed for a vote of the full chamber.
The legislation would also prohibit coverage for abortions in the new state health insurance exchange that is part of the federal Affordable Care Act, and through the plans cities and counties offer their workers. It also says any health-care provider can refuse to participate in abortions; current law protects doctors and nurses.
The bill is off to a rocky start, as Republicans in a House judiciary committee were not unified in supporting it. Rep. Bob Steinburg, a freshman Republican from Edenton who described himself as a hardcore abortion opponent, said he would only support the bill if the prohibition on contraception coverage was removed.
“It’s almost like we’re stepping back in time,” Steinburg said. “To suggest in the 21st century that women would be prevented from having access to birth control – even as far to the right as I am – is going off the cliff. This is going too far.”
Wellllll, I hope Steinburg’s constituents give him a piece of their mind on his feminist-themed criticism, which greatly misrepresented what the bill actually called for – giving employers the right to EXCLUDE from their health care insurance plans coverage for BC purchases (and abortions). It did not “restrict access.” It just changed who pays for it – not the insurer, but YOU. A self-described staunch pro-lifer shouldn’t be using left wing talking points to advance his argument one way or the other. Perhaps Rep. Steinburg is confused. I dunno.
Unfortunately, Steinburg’s misguided remarks only served to unintentionally amplify a 60s-style themed protest by – you guessed it – self-centered, anti-freedom of religion pro-choicers in attendance at Wednesday’s House committee meeting on the proposed bill:
Steinburg’s remark about stepping back in time played directly into the costume-themed protest that members of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina and other abortion-rights supporters staged in the audience. About 15 of them dressed up in “Mad Men” early-sixties attire to make the point that the GOP legislature was rolling back women’s progress in society.
Here’s a sampling:
(Rep) Rep. Steinberg says he very pro-life and is AGAINST denying BC coverage. Says he feels “we’re going back in time” Must have seen us!
— PPActionFundCNC (@PPCNC) May 15, 2013
Welcome to bizarro world:
— Planned Parenthood (@PPHSNC) May 15, 2013
But women can impose their beliefs on employers, who are made up of … individuals, then? *scratches head*
And from consultant Jeanne Bonds, a prominent North Carolina Democrat and activist comes this classic Fluke-You-And-Your-Freedoms-Too response to a local GOP women’s group:
— Jeanne MillikenBonds (@JeanneBonds4NC) May 15, 2013
Sigh. Embarrassing. What is it about the US Constitution that Ms Bonds – whose Twitter bio includes “Former Special Asst. to NC Chief Justice” – Rev. Akpan and other Democrat women don’t understand? If “going back to the 60s” is what it takes to get us back to the religious freedom all Americans have the RIGHT to observe thanks to the First Amendment, then yeah – we are “going back.” Indeed, we have strayed too far from the Constitution. This bill, and other similar bills which put the emphasis on personal responsibility (SHOCKING!) and protecting the unborn (PANIC!), has nothing to do with wanting to make women subservient to men, “taking away contraceptive access” or any other sort of mindless scare tactic “feminists” warn you it does. It was a woman who proposed the bill, for crying out loud. Oh, wait, it was a Republican woman which means her opinions count because she’s not an “authentic woman” or something due to the fact that she opposes the termination of unborn children.
Stop me if you’re heard this one before …
Anyway, the birth control part of this bill was taken out in last night’s “crossover” marathon session of legislation so on that score, at least, the “feminists” here won. But on the abortion issue itself and an employer’s right to not offer health insurance plans that offer abortion coverage, the unborn are winning. Thank God. Of course this really, REALLY upsets the Usual Suspects, who are still trying to brainwash people into thinking this means women won’t have access to “quality healthcare” aka abortions on demand.
Last word from Charlotte-area Tea Party activist Dennis Peterson:
— Dennis Peterson (@Dennis_Peterson) May 16, 2013
Says it all.
A red-faced, positively outraged!!!-at-the-GOP-for-daring-to-hold-this-admin-accountable Chris Matthews throws the perfect pitch, and Sharpton, of course, hits the race card out of the ball park (via Greg Hengler):
You know how it is …
The above card says it all. Conservatives must be silenced by any means necessary, according to the left. Need I say more?
**Posted by Phineas
But they’re absolutely, totally, without a doubt non-political. And don’t you dare say otherwise, wingnut!
IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status two pro-life organizations because of their position on the abortion issue, according to a non-profit law firm, which said that one group was pressured not to protest a pro-choice organization that endorsed President Obama during the last election.
“In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” the Thomas More Society announced today. “Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”
Planned Parenthood endorsed Obama in 2008 and 2012.
The article also mentions a Texas pro-life group that had its free speech rights roughed up, too.
With new revelations of IRS abuse coming out seemingly hourly, this would be almost comical if it weren’t for the serious constitutional, legal, and political implications. Granting tax-exempt status only if they promise not to exercise their First Amendment rights?? Can these morons in IRS really have been so blind as to not see what a bright red line they were crossing? (Or did they think it was an “Obama red line,” and therefore meaningless?)
via Kevin Eder.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)