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Governor Praises Alabama Farmers

Bill Britt

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Last Friday, Gov. Robert Bentley addressed more than 1,300 farmers from across the State for the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 92nd annual meeting in Montgomery.

Bentley praised the farmers for being a big part of the State’s economic drivers and job creators. He compared his own work life to that of an Alabama farmer:

“I work like a farmer…get up early and work till late,” said Bentley, who then continued to recount the accomplishments of his administration.

“We decided from the beginning that we were going to make government more efficient…streamline…save money, not raise taxes on the people of this State. That is a commitment I made and it has paid off,” said the Governor.

He also paid tribute to the work of Spencer Collier, the Alabama Secretary of Law Enforcement. Collier, at the Governor’s behest, established a special unit to investigate agricultural crimes: “…they’ve already found and prosecuted 14 individuals for stealing farm equipment,” said Bentley.

The governor reiterated how important the farm industry was to the State and that promoting Alabama agricultural was a part of his newest program called, Accelerate Alabama.

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Public Service Commissioner Jeremy Oden was also at the event and agreed with the Governor assessment of the importance of agriculture in the state: “Statewide politics has to look at agricultural as the number one business we have in the State of Alabama,” said Oden, “…agriculture represents 20 percent of the work force in the State.”

Oden who is from Cullman County says that the Governor is on the right path by promoting the promise of agricultural in the State.

The annual event began Thursday night with a Roots & Boots Show, featuring country music superstars Aaron Tippin, Joe Diffie and Sammy Kershaw.

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The convention’s keynote speaker was Fox News Channel commentator, John Bolton.

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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Trump rallies supporters in Pensacola

Brandon Moseley

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Friday, President Donald J. Trump (R) was in Pensacola speaking to a large crowded of supporters in an effort to energize his base in the final 12 days of the campaign.

Trump acknowledged that his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; but claimed that he did not want to be beholden to the big money donors.

“I’d be the greatest of all time at raising money, but I don’t want to call up every guy on Wall Street and say, you got to give me $10 million, they’d all give it to me,” the President said. “I would have numbers … I don’t need the money. Last time, we did it with a very small fraction of the money that Crooked Hillary used, right? No, but they were saying he raised a lot of money. That means he’s making deals.”

Trump reiterated his claim that Biden has used his office for his own personal gain and to enrich his family. The President has produced little in the way of evidence to prove that assertion.

“Joe Biden uses his public office to enrich himself and his family,” Trump charged. “I use public office to bring jobs and wealth back to American workers and American families.”

“The drug companies don’t exactly like me too much, lately, big pharma,” Trump said claiming that he was lowering drug prices. “You know what, who cares, I’m doing the right thing. Favored nations, you’ll see numbers, 50, 60, 70% lower. This is the first time in 52 years, last year, where drug prices came down. Not much one percent, but you know what, first time they’ve ever come down. But now we’re going for the big one. We pay the most of any country in the world by far. We’re going for favored nations, where we pay the lowest price anywhere in the world to matched.”

“We support our police, our great law enforcement, our police,” Trump said. “We protect our Second Amendment, which is under siege but not with me it’s not. We defend our borders, maintain energy independence. Did you hear Joe last night made a big mistake? He made a big mistake. I said, “Oh, you’re against oil.” “Well, yes, sir, we would like to get …” “Oh,” I said, “thank you.” Texas, are you watching, right? Pennsylvania, are you watching? Ohio, are you watching? And then today they came, “Well, actually we’re not rarely against it. We don’t know.” They didn’t know what the hell happened.”

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“We will deliver record prosperity, epic job growth, 11.4 million people over the last few months, it’s a record,” Trump promised. “A safe vaccine that quickly ends this horrible pandemic. And we’re rounding the turn, with or without the vaccine, we have the vaccines. They’re going to be great. But with or without it, we’re rounding the turn. Normal life, it’s all we want, fully resuming. We want normal life to fully resume and that’s happening.”

“We had the greatest year in the history of our country last year. And then we got hit with the China plague, right?” Trump said. “We got hit with the China plague. We signed a great trade deal with China. In fact, three weeks ago, they bought the largest amount of corn, the largest amount of soybeans, beef, everything, largest deal ever.”

“I gave the largest tax cut and tax reform in American history. And we will cut taxes again for the middle class even more,” Trump added. “By contrast, Sleepy Joe Biden will give you the biggest tax hike in history. He’s looking to give you the biggest … think of it. Does anybody have a 401k? Because you can just throw it right out the window if that happens.”

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Trump said that he got COVID-19; but then his doctors gave him treatment that made him better.

“I got to go back to work for the American people,” Trump said. “We got to get back, right? We got to get back to work for the American people. No, it was great. I mean, we’ve learned so much about this disease. And young people, Barron, my son, Barron, the doctor said, “Sir, Barron tested positive.” Like about 15 seconds later, he said, “Sir, he’s all cured. He just, I don’t know.” They’re young, they have a very strong immune system. What can I tell you? I said, “Barron, I’m jealous.” As you’ve heard from his own mouth last night, Joe Biden will delay the vaccine, prolong the pandemic, close your schools and shut down our country. We’re not doing that. We’re having a record comeback. And that’s despite the Democrat governors not wanting to open up.”

“Biden would bury you in regulations, dismantle your police departments, dissolve our borders,” Trump charged. “You don’t have borders, you don’t have a country, right? Confiscate your guns, want to get rid of your Second Amendment. I’m not here, if I’m not here, you don’t even have a Second Amendment, you wouldn’t have it. Eliminate private healthcare, 180 million people have incredible private healthcare. They want to end it. Terminate religious liberty, destroy the suburbs with regulations, where they want to put low-income housing projects into the suburbs. I don’t think so. That would be the end of the American dream. And they’ll abolish fracking.”

“If Biden wins, the flag burning rioters on the streets will be running your federal government,” Trump continued. “They will decide which businesses can exist and which will be outlawed. That’s what they want to do. They will decide which rights you can keep and which will be revoked. They will reeducate your children. They will cancel your culture. Although, we’re making it very hard on them, you saw the withdrawals, I’ve made them all over the country. They wanted to reeducate our people. They wanted to disrespect our people. It was racist. It was terrible what they were doing. They’ll order you to stay at home while letting rioters and MS-13 killers roam free. You saw that, stay home, don’t go to church. They don’t want you to go to church. But if you want to riot in the middle of a main street, you can do it.”

“We’re doing much better than we did last time,” Trump claimed. “In fact, we’re leading everywhere. I think we’re leading everywhere. I’ll tell you what, North Carolina doing great. We think in Pennsylvania, doing great. They’ve got to be very careful in Philadelphia. They play games in Philadelphia and they won’t let us watch the count in Philadelphia. Remember we had a certain Republican running a number of years ago, got almost no votes in Philadelphia? Doesn’t work that way. So we’re watching Philadelphia.”

“Alabama, by the way, your neighbor, in Alabama … Whoa. Whoa. Alabama,” Trump said. “Well, wait, how many people here are from Alabama? Whoa. Whoa. How many people here are from Florida? Alabama has been growing. I’m up so much in Alabama, right? You have a great candidate, the coach, a coach, another great coach. He’s won three national championships. Urban Meyer, I was talking to him. We’re talking about your coach/Senate candidate, which hopefully will be soon. And Urban said, “Not only is he a great guy, he’s a great coach.” He’s a great coach, and he’s going to be a fantastic Senator. So that’s good. So say hello to him, Alabama. I’m glad I knew about this whole deal in terms of your location. Can you imagine if I didn’t call out Alabama for being a great state? Could you imagine? I’d be in big trouble. I’d be in big trouble. No, we’re way up in Alabama. Alabama has been good for day one.”

“One of the reasons is they say I got elected was because I put out a list of 25 great conservative judges,” Trump said. “And a lot of people, they said 22% of the people voted for me. I never believed that. But the fact is, I guess it must be so. But Joe, he won’t even say whether or not he’s going to pack the court. You know why? Because he has no idea. Other people are telling him, “Joe, you’re going to pack the court.” “Okay. Yes, sir.” And Joe, he doesn’t know. You could have 16, 18, 19, 20, 21 judges. It’s crazy.”

“I couldn’t sit by and watch these horrible trade deals that are ripping off America all the time,” Trump said. “I couldn’t sit back and watch China year after year, after year, hundreds of billions of dollars they made, and we have a much different attitude towards China now, much different, they are coming after me, a lot of people in Washington. By the way, nobody’s ever gone through what I’ve gone through. Nobody. No President has ever gone through this.”

“Under Biden and Obama our veterans were neglected, mistreated, abused, and left on the secret wastelands,” the President said. “That’s what they were. It was just a wasteland. They were on waiting lists for forever. Nothing got done. They’d have to wait for doctors for two weeks, four weeks. The VA’s office of inspector general found that over 300,000 veterans died under the last administration waiting for care. When I came into office, I signed the VA accountability act. More than 11,500 VA workers who were not giving our veterans the kind of care and respect that they deserved. We said, “Get out, you’re fired. Get out.” You couldn’t fire anybody. They could be sadists, they could be thieves. You couldn’t fire anybody. We got it passed. It’s called VA accountability. It was a big deal. For 42 years they tried to get it done, we got it done. Then to help veterans get the care they need when they need it, we approved veteran’s choice and we made it permanent.”

“We will eradicate this pandemic and defeat the scourge from China once and for all,” Trump promised. “So we’re joined today by incredible people. Ron DeSantis, you said hello to and Casey, you said hello to, but I just want to tell you, you have a great governor and you have a great, great first lady. Thank you very much. He is a great governor.”

“Tonight I also want to express my love and support for all the families here on the panhandle who were affected by hurricane Sally and other recent storms,” Trump stated. “You’ve been hit a lot, but we’re there whenever you get hit, I’m right behind that storm. Right behind it and we take care of it. We take care of it. Last month I approved a major disaster declaration for the state of Florida. And together we will rebuild the panhandle stronger than ever before. We’re doing it right now, stronger and better. Rebuilt stronger. We do plenty of others, but I won’t tell you about everything. Because we don’t have enough time. I could be here all night about what we’re doing for Florida and for Alabama.”

“Under my leadership. We achieved the most secure border in US history and we are finishing the wall with nearly 400 miles already built,” Trump told supporters. “And this is the wall they wanted. This is the wall the border patrol want. And we now have just about the safest Southern border we’ve ever had, but we’ll be finished very soon with the wall.”

“Last night, Joe Biden vowed that his immigration policy will be catch and release,” Trump said. “He thinks it’s great. You catch a criminal, murderer, rapist, you catch the criminal and you release the criminal into our country. And you say, “In four years you have to be back for a court case.” Right? But they never came back. We had an argument. I turned out to be right. He said, “And then they come back.” I don’t know what he was thinking. I don’t think he had a clue.”

“If Joe and Kamala are elected, it will trigger a tsunami of illegal immigration the likes of which you’ve never seen,” Trump claimed. “Millions will come from scores of countries all over the world to take advantage of us. No community in the United States will be spared to serve his donors, Biden last night pledged mass amnesty within the first 100 days.”

“Biden is a candidate of endless war and needless death,” Trump said. “I did more in 47 months than Sleepy Joe Biden did in 47 years. A vote for Republicans is a vote for safe communities, great jobs, and a limitless future for all Americans. A vote for Republicans is a vote for the American dream, not the American nightmare.”

“Over the next four years, we will make America into the manufacturing superpower of the world.” Trump promised. “And we will end our reliance on China once and for all. It’s already started. We will hire more police, increase penalties for assaults or law enforcement. Do we love our police? Yes? I have the endorsement of almost every police organization in the country including New York’s finest.”

Trump also promised to: ban sanctuary cities, uphold religious liberty, free speech, the right to life and the right to keep and bear arms, and stand with “the people of Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and their righteous struggle for freedom. We will stand with the people of Colombia. We’re working very closely with them in their fight against the narco terrorists. We will strike down terrorist who threaten our citizens, and we will keep America out of endless foreign Wars.”

Trump has a large lead in Alabama; but Florida is a very tight. A recent Rasmussen poll had Trump up slightly; but a number of other polls have Biden up in Florida.

The general election is Nov. 3.

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Health

Alabama’s hospitalized COVID-19 patients Sunday at highest number since Sept. 2.

It’s a trend that has public health officials and hospital staff concerned that the state may be headed for another surge.

Eddie Burkhalter

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Alabama hospitals on Sunday were caring for 920 COVID-19 inpatients, the highest number of patients since Sept. 2 and a 23 percent increase from a month ago. 

It’s a trend that has public health officials and hospital staff concerned that the state may be headed for another  surge just as the regular flu season begins to fill up hospital beds. 

Alabama state health officer Dr. Scott Harris by phone Friday called the rising new cases and hospitalizations “worrisome.”

Alabama’s seven-day average of daily hospitalized COVID-19 patients was 864 on Sunday, the highest it’s been since Sept. 8. State hospitals saw a peak of COVID-19 inpatients on Aug. 6, when 1,613 patients were being cared for. 

The state added 1,079 new confirmed and probable cases on Sunday, and Alabama’s 14-day average of new daily cases hit 1,358 Sunday, the highest it’s been since Aug. 13. Two “data dumps” to the Alabama Department of Public Health of older confirmed cases Thursday and Friday elevated the daily counts on those days, but after weeks of daily cases hovering around 700 and 800, the state now regularly sees more than 1,000 cases a day. 

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The older test results skew the state’s percent positivity, but Alabama’s 14-day average of percent positivity on Sunday was 20 percent. Just prior to the addition of those older cases, the 14-day average was 15 percent. Public health officials say it should be at or below five percent or cases are going undetected.

As cases continue to rise, the number of tests being performed statewide continue to decline, which is increasing Alabama’s percent positivity rate. The 14-day average of daily tests was 6,619 on Sunday — a 5 percent decrease from two weeks ago. 

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There have been 2,866 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths statewide. The state’s 14-day average of daily confirmed deaths was 14 on Sunday, up from 12 two weeks ago. 

The United States on Saturday recorded its second highest day of new cases since the start of the pandemic, with 83,718 new cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Saturday’s peak was just 39 cases fewer than the country’s all-time daily high, set on Friday. As of Sunday, 225,061 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S.

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Elections

Trump Truck and boat parades this weekend

Brandon Moseley

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Trump boat parade

As Election Day draws near, Alabama Republicans are excited about promoting the re-election of Donald J. Trump as President and the election of Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate. This weekend two pro-President Trump events are happening in the state. There will be a truck parade from Ashland to Phenix City on Saturday sponsored by the Clay County Republican Party, while there will also be a boat parade on Wilson Lake in the Shoals sponsored by the Colbert County Republican Party on Sunday.

The pickup trucks will assemble at the Ashland Industrial Park in Clay County, 8240 Hwy 9, Ashland. There is a pre-departure rally at 10:00 a.m. central standard time. The trucks will depart at 11:00 a.m. and then proceed on a parade route that will take them into the bitterly contested swing state of Georgia. The Trump Pickup Parade will wind through east Alabama and West Georgia traveling through LaGrange and Columbus before concluding near the Alabama/Georgia line in Phenix City, 332 Woodland Drive, Phenix City at approximately 2:00 p.m. central time. Speakers will begin at 3:00. Trump flags will be on sale at the event.

The Phenix Motorsports Park will be hosting what sponsor hope could possibly the world’s largest Pickup Tuck parade in U.S. history that is routing over 50 mile through Georgia in effort to “pickup” President Trump’s numbers in GA.

A number dignitaries have been invited to address the Phenix City rally, including Coach Tuberville. Former State Sen. Shadrack McGill, Trump Victory Finance Committee member former State Rep. Perry O. Hooper Jr., and Paul Wellborn, the President and CEO of the largest Family owned Kitchen Cabinet manufacture in the USA are among the featured speakers who have committed to speak at the event.

Entertainment will be provided by: Charity Bowden, an up and coming country music singer who was the runner up on “The Voice”. Charity will sing ‘I am Proud to be an American’ as well as songs from her Voice performances. The McGill Girls will also perform. The three beautiful and talented sisters will be singing patriotic songs in three part harmony. Geoff Carlisle, a professional DJ will be keeping the crowd pumped with music and entertainment.

Following the speakers and the entertainment there will Trump truck-vs- Joe Bidden truck races down the drag strip for the finale.

The Northwest Alabama boat parade will be on Sunday. The boats will gather at 2:00 p.m. near Turtle Point and then the flotilla will parade around the open waters of Wilson Lake til 3_00 p.m.. There will be a contest for best decorated Trump boats.

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Trump supporters have held a number of large boat parades across the state to show their support for the re-election of Pres. Trump.

Boat parade sponsors say that this parade will be: pro-American, pro-law enforcement, pro-military.

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Health

COVID-19 hospitalizations, new cases continue to rise

Eddie Burkhalter

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COVID-19 Corona Influenza Virus Molecules Image Stock Photo

The number of rising hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Alabama is a concerning sign of a possible coming surge of the disease, state health experts said Friday. Alabama hospitals were caring for 888 coronavirus patients Friday, the highest number since Sept 9. 

UAB Hospital was caring for around 80 COVID-19 inpatients Friday afternoon, said Dr. Rachael Lee, an infectious disease specialist at UAB, speaking to reporters Friday. UAB Hospital hasn’t had that many coronavirus inpatients since Aug. 18, when the disease was surging statewide.

“We have been dealing with this since March, and I think it’s easy for us to drop our guard,” Lee said. 

Alabama added 3,852 new coronavirus cases on Friday, but 1,287 of them were older positive antigen tests, conducted in June through October and submitted to ADPH by a facility in Mobile, according to the department. Still, Alabama’s daily case count has been increasing, concerning health officials already worried that as the weather turns colder and the flu season ramps up, Alabama could see a surge like the state had in July.

Alabama’s 14-day average of new daily cases was 1,247 on Friday, the highest it’s been since Sept 4. Over the last 14 days, Alabama has added 17,451 new COVID-19 cases.

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Friday’s inclusion of those older positive test results throws off the day’s percent positivity, by Thursday the state’s percent of tests that were positive was nearly 16 percent. Public health officials say it should be at or below five percent or cases are going undetected.

The state added 16 COVID-19 deaths on Friday, bringing to total confirmed deaths statewide to 2,859. Over the last two weeks, 206 deaths were reported in the state. Alabama’s 14-day average of new daily deaths on Friday was 15.

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Alabama state health officer Dr. Scott Harris told APR by phone Friday called the rising new cases and hospitalizations “worrisome.”

Harris noted the data dump of older confirmed cases in Friday’s data, but said “but nevertheless, I think it’s clear our numbers are going up.”

Harris said it’s not yet clear what’s causing the continued spread, but said it may be due at least in part to larger private gatherings. ADPH staff has mentioned a few outbreaks association with such gatherings, but Harris said it’s hard to know for certain if that’s the major driver in the state’s rising numbers.

“It’s football season and the holidays are coming up and school is back in session,” Harris said. “I think people are just not being as safe as they were.”

Harris noted that on ADPH’s color-coded, risk indicator dashboard, red counties, which denotes counties with rising cases and percent positivity, the 17 red counties on Friday were distributed across the state.

“So there’s not one event, or even a handful of events. It seems like there’s just a lot of things happening in a lot of places,” Harris said.

Alabama’s rising numbers are mirrored in many states. The U.S. reported more than 71,600 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, nearing the country’s record highs, set in July.

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