March 3rd, 2012
CNN / By Susan Candiotti and Moni Basu
Are you there? Send us photos and video. Check out CNN affiliates WLEX, WTHR, WISH, WHNT, WAFF, WAAY, KFVS, KTVI, WAVE, WLKY, WDRB and WHAS on the latest on the storms in the South and the Midwest. Find out how to help storm victims with Impact Your World.
Henryville, Indiana (CNN) -- Big news in Henryville, Indiana, had been that the coach of the high school boys' basketball team was stepping down at the end of the season. The Hornets are the pride of this small Indiana town a few miles up Interstate 65 from Louisville.
That was before Friday when killer storms ripped through the area. One day there was a community here. The next, there was none.
"What we know is we've got complete destruction. We're going to deal with it the best we can," Sgt. Jerry Goodin of the Indiana State Police told CNN affiliate WISH-TV.
Goodin was sure the community would rally, come together and claw its way back to what it once knew to be normal.
Saturday, as rescuers still scoured for survivors, the stunned people of Henryville mourned what they lost and gave thanks for what they still had.
Steve Kloepfer lives in Chelsea, just east of Henryville. Friday, he watched on television as the storms drew near.
"I saw it from the radar it was getting close, so I walked down the driveway and saw it coming through the woods," Kloepfer told CNN affiliate WHAS.
He got in his truck and drove south about a mile to "let it blow through."
He returned to a new, grim reality. A tornado destroyed his house and the the home shared by his aunt and uncle, Terry and Carol Jackson. They were missing along with their 4-year-old grandchild.
Later, their bodies were discovered in a field, covered in debris.
They were among the 14 who died in Indiana.
About 2,000 people live in Henryville, known as the birthplace of Colonel Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. Many in this town know each other through the high school and elementary school, housed on one campus.
Friday afternoon, not all the students were able to leave because their parents were not at home. Elementary School Principal Glenn Riggs huddled with 40 students in the offices. And prayed.
Saturday morning, a girder jutted skyward from the wreckage of the school. Across the street, a yellow school bus that only hours ago had taken children home lay off its chassis, slammed into a building as though it were a toy tossed by a child.
Considering the damage, people at the school should have been hurt, Riggs figured.
"It's a blessing. We praise God," he said.
Aerial images of Henryville Saturday were devastating: the guts spilled out from buildings, debris littering open fields and trees felled like dominoes.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels got up in the sky to survey the misery himself. Lucky it wasn't worse, he thought.
"We're not unfamiliar with Mother Nature's wrath out here in Indiana," he said. "But this about as serious as we've seen it in the years I've been in this job."
Joe Sullivan, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said the tornado that swept through the area was an EF-4 -- meaning it had sustained winds of between 166 and 200 mph, putting it in the top 2% of all tornadoes in terms of strength. It went for 52 miles and was roughly 150 yards wide, he added.
People driving on Indiana Highway 60 Friday got a perfect view of the monster twister barreling through town.
Lawrence Smith, a reporter with WDRB, saw the tornado hurtling straight toward him. The video his station was able to get was incredible, he said. So was the experience.
Smith ran into a convenience store for cover as the funnel drew closer.
"We waited for it. The building shook, the lights went off. The noise was incredible," he said. "It passed right by in front of us."
A gas station across street was leveled, as was a nearby apartment complex.
Chad Hinton captured the tornado from his truck as he drove home to nearby Borden.
He had never quite seen anything like it. Adrenaline pulsed through his veins.
"It was a huge powerful force," he said, recalling the thundering noise. The hail and rain bore down on his truck. He felt lucky to be what he estimated as two miles off the twister's track. He thought about the people who were right in the middle of it.
In Salem, another town near Henryville, a little girl with blond hair and blue eyes was found alone in a field. No one knew how she had gotten there; they just knew she needed help.
The 20-month-old toddler was taken to hospital and intubated to help her breathe, said Clark County Sheriff's Department Maj. Chuck Adams said.
She was flown about 35 miles southeast to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, where she was in critical condition Saturday afternoon, said Brian Rublein, a spokesman for Kosair.
Someone had called to identify the girl, after which the family was contacted. The hospital and police did not release any other details.
As uncertain as the toddler's fate was, she was a glimmer of good news amid the sorrow. Another child, a 9-year-old boy from Henryville, is missing.
Adams said that the boy's whereabouts have been unknown since twisters hit. With power out, authorities relied on thermal radar imaging and search-and-rescue dogs to try to find him.
Others waited for loved ones at Henryville's St. Francis Xavier Church, which became a meeting point for frantic residents looking for loved ones.
The message on the church's answering machine summed up the community's fears:
"Hello, this is Father Steve. I'm sorry to let you know we do not have any detailed information ourselves on people. They are consolidating information at the fire station. However, there is no way of contacting the fire department through normal channels because the phone lines are down. All I can say is pray for your friends and family."
CNN's Susan Candiotti reported from Henryville, Indiana, and Moni Basu reported from Atlanta.
March 3rd, 2012
Posted By Josh Rogin
One day before the AIPAC conference kicks off in Washington, an anti-Obama pro-Israel group is widening its criticism of President Barack Obama's record on Israel -- while the White House defends its treatment of the relationship.
The trailer for a new 30-minute video, entitled "Daylight: The Story of Obama and Israel," cuts together clips of Obama quotes and outside commentary to put forth the narrative that Obama has made statements and taken actions as president that have put him out of step with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters.
"We believe that that the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines," Obama is shown saying, a reference to his May, 2011 speech, where he for the first time explicitly defined U.S. policy as supporting the 1967 borders with agreed swaps as the basis for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
"He didn't quite have a full grasp of what the full region looks like," conservative journalist Lee Smith is shown saying in the video. "This is not how you treat an ally."
The ad goes beyond the Israeli issue to suggest that the president is too solicitous of Muslim concerns. The end of the trailer shows Obama saying, "I want to make sure we end before the call to prayer," a clip from his town hall meeting with Turkish students in Istanbul in April 2009.
The video was produced by the group the Emergency Committee for Israel, which has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on its pre-AIPAC publicity campaign, including posters and billboards all over Washington that question Obama's commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
"He says a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. Do you believe him?" the posters read. Then, next to a picture of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini and President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, it says, "Do they?"
ECI is run by executive director Noah Pollak and Michael Goldfarb, a former McCain-Palin staffer now working at the consulting firm Orion Strategies and as chairman of the board of the Washington Free Beacon, an new conservative website.
March 3rd, 2012
Rut-Roh! Corporate must have come down hard on the ad-exodus side....BLS
By Rush Limbaugh
For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone's bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.
My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.
Our friend, Terri Frazier, wishes to add this to the post
March 3rd, 2012
What's truly absurd is how the Left has shifted a ridiculous issue, being a non-existent birth control problem, and placed it into the mainstream as if its America's greatest problem, while we yet are seeing a $17 Trillion dollar deficit, that's being totally ignored.~BLS
By Barry Secrest
Rick Santorum sided with Obama yesterday, calling Rush's comments about Sandra Fluke "absurd" and noted that Limbaugh was but an "entertainer."
This after Limbaugh has tried to defend Santorum's often ridiculous points- including one about Reagan that set my blood to boiling.
It's becoming increasingly obvious where the true character lies in this race....I guess Santorum decided against taking one for the team "for once," and yet a number of embarrassed Santorum supporters have tried to bravely mount a defence of Santorum's comments.
Unfortunately for Rick Santorum, the battle that he constantly describes between the Right and the Looney Left, has now seen Santorum shift sharply left, to join Obama's team in villifying Limbaugh. This particular fight has also seen some advertisers, such as Select Comfort mattress company, pull their ads from Limbaugh's show.
Interestingly, this onslaught of attacks also comes at a time when Conservative warrior Andrew Breitbart was found dead on a sidewalk in LA.
Below are several accounts, from various media sources, restating Santorums disparagement of someone who had previously lifted Santorum up, in the Meda, that being Rush Limbaugh. There's nothing so noble as loyalty Rick, especially in a vacuum of character, a lesson not yet learned, perhaps?
WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says radio host Rush Limbaugh was "being absurd" when he suggested a college student record sex tapes and share them in exchange for contraception.
Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke testified before a House committee last week on the administration's policy requiring religion-affiliated institutions to give employees access to health insurance that covers birth control.
Limbaugh said Fluke's insistence on wanting contraception made her a "slut" and a "prostitute." He said if Fluke wanted contraception, he wanted something in return, such as a sex tape.
President Barack Obama, members of Congress and women's groups have supported Fluke in the wake of criticism aimed at Limbaugh's comments.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says radio host Rush Limbaugh was “being absurd’’ when he suggested a college student record sex tapes and share them in exchange for contraception.
Santorum told CNN on Friday that Limbaugh is an “entertainer’’ taking an absurd point of view.
Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke testified before a House committee last week on the administration’s policy requiring religion-affiliated institutions to give employees access to health insurance that covers birth control.
Limbaugh said Fluke’s insistence on wanting contraception made her a “slut’’ and a “prostitute.’’ He said if Fluke wanted contraception, he wanted something in return, such as a sex tape.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum called Rush Limbaugh "absurd" on Friday for the his controversial comments about Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, an advocate for contraception coverage, earlier this week.
"He's being absurd, but that's you know, an entertainer can be absurd," Santorum told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room." "He's in a very different business than I am."
Santorum stopped short of actually denouncing Limbaugh, who called Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" for asking that employers and schools include contraception coverage in their health plans. Instead, Santorum criticized the president for his birth control policy.
"I'm concerned about the public policy of this president imposing his values on people, people of faith who morally object to the government telling them they have to do something, which they believe is a grave moral wrong," Santorum said in the interview.
According to CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walked right past CNN's cameras when they tried to get him to comment on the Limbaugh controversy.
Republicans in Congress haven't said much in response to Limbaugh's remarks either. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and more than 75 other Democrats in Congress wrote a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday expressing their outrage and demanding that Republican leadership publicly rebuke Limbaugh. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee circulated a petition to that effect.
"Demand that Rush Limbaugh apologize for these incredibly appalling and ignorant remarks," the petition says. "Misogyny must be called out, especially when it comes from a mouthpiece of the Republican Party."
In response, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said simply, "The Speaker obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate, as is trying to raise money off the situation."
UPDATE: 5:40 p.m. -- Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) joined the small group of Republicans who have responded to Limbaugh, tweeting, "Rush Limbaugh's comments are reprehensible. He should apologize."
Santorum calls Limbaugh ‘absurd’ | Rick Santorum labeled Rush Limbaugh “absurd” over the hate radio host’s disparaging remarks about Sandra Fluke. “He’s being absurd, but that’s you know, an entertainer can be absurd,” Santorum told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer today. “He’s in a very different business than I am.” CNN’s Jim Acosta reports that, when Mitt Romney was asked about Limbaugh, he ignored it and “walked right by our camera.”
March 3rd, 2012
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Newt Gingrich is poised to win Georgia's Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, as a new poll for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows him with a double-digit lead in a state that he represented for 20 years in Congress.
The poll, conducted Wednesday through Friday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, shows Gingrich with the support of 38 percent of respondents. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are essentially tied for second place, with Romney favored by 24 percent and Santorum 22 percent. Only 3 percent of those polled said they plan to vote for Ron Paul.
Another 12 percent are undecided. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Gingrich leads in all regions of the state but enjoys his heaviest support in North Georgia, where 42 percent of respondents say they will vote for the former House speaker. Romney, who won 30 percent of the vote in the 2008 Georgia primary, does better in metro Atlanta, where he's the choice of 28 percent. Santorum's numbers are best in Middle and South Georgia.
Georgia's 76 delegates are the most at stake in the 10 states that vote on Super Tuesday. While Gingrich has a clear lead here, the race for second is obviously close. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, and Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, must hope to stay above 20 percent in Georgia because of the state's new rules for awarding delegates.
Any candidate who gets at least 20 percent of the statewide vote will be awarded a share of 31 at-large delegates to the national convention in Tampa this summer. Forty-two delegates will be awarded based on the vote by congressional district and the final three delegates will be awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes statewide.
Read the complete results in the Sunday Atlanta Journal-Constitution.