Category: Breaking News Written by Huffingtonpost
Mitt Romney refused to answer reporters' questions about how he would handle the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), after a Tuesday "storm relief" event in Ohio for Hurricane Sandy.
From the Romney pool report:
TV pool asked Romney at least five times whether he would eliminate FEMA as president/what he would do with FEMA. He ignored the qs but they are audible on cam. The music stopped at points and the qs would have been audible to him.
A follow-up report noted the specific questions Romney ignored, as he was collecting hurricane supplies following his event:
"Gov are you going to eliminate FEMA?" a print pooler shouted, receiving no response.
Wires reporters asked more questions about FEMA that were ignored.
Romney kept coming over near pool to pick up more water. He ignored these questions:
"Gov are you going to see some storm damage?"
"Gov has [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie invited you to come survey storm damage?"
"Gov you've been asked 14 times, why are you refusing to answer the question?"
During a GOP primary debate last year, Romney had said he supported the idea of states and private sector groups taking over responsibility for disaster relief.
"Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction," he said. "And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. Instead of thinking, 'In the federal budget, what we should cut?' we should ask the opposite question: 'What should we keep?'"
"We cannot -- we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids," Romney continued, when asked specifically about disaster relief. "It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we'll all be dead and gone before it's paid off. It makes no sense at all."
Those comments were highlighted in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as a sign of how Romney might respond to natural disasters. His campaign quickly clarified that Romney's emergency management response would include FEMA.
“Governor Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions,” said campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. “As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.”
The Republican presidential nominee and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, suspended all campaign events on Monday evening and Tuesday "out of sensitivity" to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misquoted Mitt Romney to say he would "absolutely" shutter FEMA. He did not use the word "absolutely" in that context.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 09:00
Category: News Briefs Written by Huffington Post
As Hurricane Sandy wreaks devastation on the East Coast, Southeast Michigan residents have also felt the effects of the superstorm. 80,000 DTE Energy customers are out of power as of Tuesday morning and people stranded after flight cancellations and travel delays.
More than 111,000 customers have been hit with power outages since high winds began blowing Monday, DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simon told The Huffington Post. Midwest travel has also been affected by the East Coast storm. The Detroit Free Press reports 146 departures and 124 arriving flights were cancelled Monday at Detroit Metro Airport.
23-year-old Michael Kremer is one of the flyers who missed out on his Monday morning flight to New York and is now stuck in Detroit. A native San Franciscan and enthusiastic Giants fan, Kremer flew in Sunday with a friend who currently lives in D.C. to see Game 4 of the World Series. After learning that he wouldn't be able to fly out until Saturday, he is taking a Greyhound overnight to New York on Tuesday. But, he said, the delay was worth it.
"We saw our baseball team, the Giants, win in person," Kremer said. "We could have been stranded here for three weeks and we still wouldn't have regretted it."
Kremer, who lives in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, said it's also been a relief to monitor the storm's devastation from afar.
Power outages caused by the storm have affected 8.1 million homes and businesses on the East Coast, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
The highest number of outages in the Detroit area have been reported in Oakland County, with 20,000 homes affected. St. Clair and Wayne counties follow with 15,000 and 14,000. To track power outages, see the DTE map.
Hurricane Sandy also caused gales and large waves on the Great Lakes.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 16:11
Category: News Briefs Written by My Fox Detroit
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -
The federal trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will be delayed until at least next week after a defense attorney suffers a medical emergency in court.
Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds has put the corruption trial on hold until at least Monday while attorney Gerald Evelyn recovers from an undisclosed health problem.
The attorney for Kilpatrick codefendant Bobby Ferguson was rushed to a hospital after asking for a break during testimony and remains hospitalized in stable condition, according to Judge Edmunds.
Kilpatrick, his father Bernard, contractor Bobby Ferguson and former Detroit water department head Victor Mercado are on trial for racketeering and other charges. The trial, which started Sept. 21, is expected to last several months.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 16:02
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
Lance Armstrong (wearing the yellow jersey) rides with teammates during the 21st stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race, in Paris, July 24, 2005. / JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images
DEARBORN (Talk Radio 1270) Lance Armstrong’s former teammate, Dearborn native Frankie Andreu, said the superstar cyclist was “vindictive” when he testified against him in the case that ended up finishing Armstrong’s career.
When he came out against the cyclist, Andreu was smeared in the media – and said, finally, six years later he feels fully vindicated.
“It seemed like things spiraled out of control from there,” Andreu said about his testimony. “Lance was very vindictive in attacking my wife and I … I’m not the traitor, I’m not a rat.”
Andreu said he testified in an insurance case in 2006 that he had heard Armstrong admit in a hospital room to taking performance enhancing drugs, making Andreu one of the first to accuse the “hero” of foul play. Eleven other athletes were questioned, spurring the investigation that brought Armstrong down for illegal doping throughout his record-breaking career.
The cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France medals, his winning records were removed, and he lost most major endorsement deals.
At the time of his testimony, Armstrong called Andreu and his wife liars who made up the information because, he said, they didn’t like him personally.
“He didn’t want this information getting out there, he had to figure out any way to discredit us, but now we’ve been vindicated,” Andreu said, adding, “This report has shown everything my wife and I said was true … Lance Armstrong defrauded the public.”
He added: “He made our lives a living hell, any journalist who spoke out against him, he would attack, that’s what he was known for.”
Andreu said he felt sorry for the other riders on Armstrong’s Postal Service team, who were brought down along with him. He feels like they weren’t as responsible as Armstrong, whom he described as “charismatic, demanding, an information junkie, controlling, and a type A personality.”
He also insulated himself by tying himself to the anti-cancer community, Andreu said, adding, “If you accused Lance Armstrong of something he would say you were a ‘cancer lover.’”
“It came down to him pressuring these riders to also dope along with him … If you race the entire season and you’re getting ready for the biggest event in the world, the tour, and your boss Lance Armstrong says if you’re going to race with us you have to take this, this and this … It’s a tough choice, a tough situation to be in,” Andreu said.
Andreu retired in 2000 after a 12-year professional career on the same team as Armstrong’s. During his racing career he competed in the Tour de France nine times.
“There was a lot of things happening right under my nose that I wasn’t aware of,” he said, adding he didn’t know the people delivering Armstrong’s drugs.
Andreu admitted he took erythropoietin, known as EPO, for a couple of years in the 1990s. Known as “blood doping,” EPO artificially increases red blood cells, giving athletes super endurance.
“Many riders at the time did that,” Andreu said, adding that many riders stopped using EPO in 2000 when a test was developed, but Armstrong was among those who discovered a micro-delivery system that could allow them to continue doping without detection.
“I admitted back in 2006 that I had done that, the reason I came out was I saw the problems the sport was having … I came out and admitted my past so that I could try to make the sport better,” Andreu said.
He said Armstrong was using performance enhancing drugs at a level no one could really comprehend at the time — and even now. He paid an Italian doctor more than $1 million for doping products, and allegedly had help getting through the testing system without detection, Andreu said.
“He had a lot of connections and a lot of favors during his cycling career to allow him to, in a way, dope more than the others,” he said.
Past all that now, Andreu is back in his hometown of Dearborn, riding for fun now with two or three friends every day down Outer Drive through Detroit to downriver. He manages a professional cycling team.
And he thinks cycling’s worst days are in the past.
“Now it’s a much cleaner sport, a much better sport,” he said.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 15:55
Category: Breaking News Written by Lynette Holloway , the root
Hurricane Sandy barreled across mid-Atlantic states as a downgraded storm Monday and overnight, leaving a wave of destruction including massive flooding, power outages, fires and reports of at least 33 deaths in seven states, government officials and emergency authorities said, according to the Washington Post.
A 13-foot surge of seawater flooded streets, tunnels, parking garages and parts of the electrical system that powers Lower Manhattan, leaving a portion of the city's storied skyline dark.
Seven tunnels and several bridges leading to Manhattan were closed, the city's crucial subway system was shut down, and a fire destroyed 80 to 100 houses in the flooded Rockaway peninsula of Queens, forcing the rescue of about 25 people from an upstairs apartment. Firefighters were still battling the blazes Tuesday morning.
The storm claimed at least 10 lives in New York City, "and tragically we expect that number to go up," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) told a late-morning news conference.
Overall, the death toll climbed to 33, including 17 victims in New York state, the Associated Press reported. Storm-related fatalities were also reported in at least seven other states. Many of the victims were killed by falling trees, AP said.
"The damage we suffered across the city is clearly extensive, and it will not be repaired overnight," Bloomberg said.
He said all New York area airports are still shut down Tuesday and that public transportation in the city "remains closed until further notice." About 750,000 New Yorkers are without power, the mayor said.
Scores of rescue workers from New York to New Jersey slogged through sometimes waist-high floodwaters to save residents who refused to heed evacuation orders from elected officials. Some of those people resided in housing projects in New York City and were left without elevators, hot water or heat, the Daily News reports.
"I'm not leaving. I have faith in God. If he wants to get us, he will," declared Dorothy Shields, the 80-year-old tenant leader in the Red Hook East Houses in Brooklyn.
"It won't be as bad as they think it will be," she predicted.
Red Hook was one of 26 housing developments located in low-lying areas along the city's waterfront that NYCHA targeted for evacuation late Sunday.
On the election front, officials worried that the severe weather could have a negative impact on early voting in the three swing states of Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina. And early voting was suspended in several places for safety reasons on Monday, including Maryland and Washington, D.C., which could hurt Democrats who were counting on the process to rally voters to the polls early. But in a turn of good news, Politico reported on Tuesday that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announced that early voting would resume in his state on Wednesday and continue with extended hours each day through Friday.
"O'Malley said the addition of early voting on Friday and the extended hours for the three days this week that it will occur -- from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- 'should make up for all but about 60 minutes' of the cancellation of early voting Monday and Tuesday this week," Politico writes. "Early voting was initially scheduled to open at 10 a.m. each day."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 15:53
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffingtonpost
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, President Barack Obama headed to the Red Cross on Tuesday.
"This storm is not yet over," the president said in remarks at the Red Cross national headquarters. In responding to damage left by the storm, Obama added that his message to government officials is "No bureaucracy. No red tape."
Obama described the impact of superstorm Sandy as "heartbreaking for the nation."
The news comes on the heels of the White House issuing a statement that the president canceled campaign appearances in Ohio scheduled for Wednesday, and instead would remain in the nation's capital to monitor the aftermath of the storm.
HuffPost's Jennifer Bendery and Lynne Peeples reported on Monday night:
On the campaign side, Obama halted his flood of fundraising emails on Sunday, and the campaign is now using its Twitter, Facebook and campaign pages to instead urge donations to the Red Cross storm relief. He also sent out a campaign email on Monday urging supporters to heed advice from local authorities and extending an early thank you to first responders.
“Michelle and I are keeping everyone in the affected areas in our thoughts and prayers. Be safe,” reads the email, signed by Obama.
Politics hasn’t completely vanished as the storm approaches, however. Four critical swing states are expected to be hit by the storm -- North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire -- and these are the same four states in which Romney staffers are collecting storm relief supplies.
Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Ohio on Tuesday in place of the president, who was scheduled to be in the Buckeye State for a campaign event. While in the critical battleground, he said of Obama's decision to remain in Washington, D.C., "He's doing the job a president should be doing."
The White House issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon that the president will travel to New Jersey on Wednesday to assess the damage left by the storm alongside the state's Republican governor, Chris Christie.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 15:45
Category: Breaking News Written by Ugonna Okpalaoka , thegrio
A photo of University of Florida fraternity members wearing blackface at a Halloween party has been garnering criticism across the Internet and now the university, fraternity and the individuals involved are apologizing.
The Gainesville Sun reported that the university’s chapter of Beta Theta Pi hosted a Halloween party with a “rock stars and rappers” theme last week. That is where the photo of two fraternity members wearing dark paint, baseball caps and gold chains was taken.
The photo was posted on the UF NAACP chapter’s Facebook page the following day with the message, “Who’s party this is is not the issue but the fact that this is seen as acceptable is where the problem lies!”
“This comes up like clockwork every year around Halloween across the country at different colleges,” Katheryn Russell-Brown, UF law professor and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, told the newspaper.
“What we’re talking about is not so much whether people can do this … but what message it sends and what kind of community we want to have,” she said.
The national fraternity, chapter president and fraternity members pictured in the photo have apologized for the incident.
A spokesman for Beta Theta Pi said UF’s chapter has 180 members and “dozens of members … who are African-American, Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern and other ethnicities.”
The individuals wearing the costumes said they made “a very ignorant and poor decision” and they weren’t aware of the history of blackface.
“At no point in time were we ever trying to negatively portray African-American stereotypes,” they said in a statement. “We have since learned about the history of ‘blackface’ and fully understand how our actions were insulting to the African-American community.”
This isn’t the first time the University of Florida has gotten attention for blackface costumes. Last year, students dressed up as Florida Gators football players, donning brown paint and dreadlocks. The UF NAACP reminded the community of the incident by reposting the photo last week.
The university will hold a town hall meeting Thursday to discuss the issues around the Halloween costumes.
UF President Bernie Machen said in a statement, “I personally believe that demeaning any race is intolerable and completely counter to the welcoming and inclusive environment that UF has created for its broadly diverse campus community.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 15:17
Category: Breaking News Written by thegrio
Whatever the outcome of the presidential election, it is clear that Hurricane Sandy has created both an unusual pause in the campaign (though not completely — Mitt Romney continues to campaign in Iowa, holding a rally on Tuesday) and an opportunity for President Barack Obama.
Why? Because election or no election, the nation only has one commander in chief, and in a time of crisis, the country’s single national leader takes center stage.
As The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz writes:
“The great thing about America is when we go through tough times like this, we all pull together,” Obama said Monday afternoon as the television cameras rolled. “We look out for our friends. We look out for our neighbors. And we set aside whatever issues we may have otherwise to make sure that we respond appropriately and with swiftness.”
The president was not campaigning—indeed, he had canceled an appearance in Orlando that morning and flown back to a nearly deserted capital—but in a way, he was.
He was auditioning for another four years as commander in chief by demonstrating that he had taken charge of the federal response and displaying compassion toward the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
That’s his job, of course. But he now has the chance to perform it under the unique spotlight of a national disaster that, fairly or unfairly, has left Mitt Romney with little running room in the final week of an extremely tight presidential campaign.
And even on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where host Joe Scarborough has expressed near-certainty that Romney will win the election, the storm’s impact was seen by the panel as a net-plus for the president:
“The president’s going to have the opportunity to go to Virginia not as a politician but as a president,” said Scarborough during an appearance on The Today Show on Monday. “Somebody there to help out. Somebody there to comfort people. You know, the two Bushes — Bush 41 and Bush 43, had disasters in their handling of hurricanes. George H.W. Bush with Andrew, which damaged his political career, was damaged there. And of course George W. Bush in 2005 with Katrina. Many people in the Bush White House say that was the low point of his presidency. A lot of dangers, also a lot of political opportunities.”
The hurricane also gives Obama that rare moment of bipartisanship that independents and more importantly, the media, have accused him of failing to deliver over the past four years (Republican opposition and obstruction aside.)
For example, Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey — and a top Romney surrogate — has heaped praise on the president for his personal touch, communication and leadership as the storm bore down on the Garden State. That’s not ideal surrogate behavior, as New York magazine points out, but it could resonate with people who are tired of the crass partisanship in American politics today.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 15:04
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
LANSING (WWJ) - Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is encouraging Michigan voters to view their sample ballot prior to the Nov. 6 general election in order to help shorten lines on Election Day.
It’s as easy as visiting the Michigan Voter Information Center online at www.michigan.gov/vote.
“Doing a little bit of homework and knowing what you are voting on before you reach the polls will make the voting process faster and easier for all voters, and help lines move more quickly in your polling location,” Johnson, Michigan’s chief elections officer, said in a statement.
To view a sample ballot, voters will need to know their county, jurisdiction (i.e. city, township) and precinct — all information that can be found on your voter ID card.
Voters in some areas will face lengthier ballots, thanks in part to six statewide ballot proposals. Those issues, combined with local proposals and local, county, state and federal races, have resulted in two-page ballots in some areas.
Voters in Emmett, Genesee, Muskegon and Wayne counties will vote on two-page ballots. Some voters in Kalamazoo and Kent counties will also see two-page ballots.
Voters are allowed to bring the sample ballot into their polling location in order to facilitate marking the official ballot, but should be sure to take the sample ballot with them when they leave the voting booth. It may not be shown to other voters.
Also on the Michigan Voter Information Center website, residents can check their voter registration status, find their polling location, learn about absentee voting, get information on Michigan’s voter ID laws and view contact information for their local clerk.
Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Find more information on the Michigan Voter Information Center at www.michigan.gov/vote.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 12:11
Category: Breaking News Written by mlive.com
There was plenty of evidence to indicate that Jim Leyland would be back to manage the Detroit Tigers for the 2013 season.
That news became official this morning.
The Tigers announced today that Jim Leyland will return to manage the team in 2013 after leading them to their second World Series berth in seven seasons.
"Jim is as fine a manager as there is in baseball," general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a news release. "He has done a fantastic job for the organization and we are thrilled to have him back managing the Tigers in 2013.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jim and his ability to lead our club on the field. I am confident that you will not find a harder working or better prepared manager in our game."
Leyland is excited to be back.
"Detroit is a tremendous baseball town and I couldn't dream of a better place to manage," Leyland said. "The support of Mr. Ilitch and Dave is second to none and gives this club an opportunity to win every year. Tigers fans and the people of Michigan have supported us so well during my time here. I can't even begin to express how much that means to me."
This seemed to be the likely outcome to this story even though Leyland managed the entire season without a contract beyond 2012. Leyland said earlier this month that "everyone's known I want to manage."
Less than an hour after the Tigers wrapped up a sweep of the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series, general manager Dave Dombrowski indicated that the decision to return was Leyland's alone.
"Jim Leyland is welcome back here," Dombrowski said while standing in a hallway near Leyland's office in the Tigers clubhouse. "He knows that. He's in a situation where we want him back, and I'm sure that he wants to come back. … But there's a time and a place for that. It's not right now."
Leyland seemed to indicate Sunday night that he would return even while saying that he wasn't sure he would be back.
"I think that since 2006 we've changed the culture around here," Leyland said. "We've been in two World Series in the last seven years. That's not bad. I just want to wait for the right time."
Leyland is 607-528 (.535) in seven seasons with the Tigers, who have won two Central Division titles, made the playoffs three times and played in two World Series during his tenure. In addition to posteason berths in 2006, 2011 and 2012, the Tigers also played in a tiebreaker game in 2009 after the Tigers and Minnesota Twins had identical records after 162 games.
Leyland is 1,676-1,659 in 21 seasons as a manager in the big leagues, including 11 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, two with the Florida Marlins and one with the Colorado Rockies. He won a World Series title in 1997 with the Marlins.
Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander spoke Sunday night as if Leyland's return was a done deal.
"I, for one, am extremely glad he’s coming back," Verlander said. "I love playing for him. It’s an honor. In my opinion, he’s going to be a Hall of Fame manager. Being able to play for a guy like that, not a lot of people get to say they did."
The Tigers also announced that all Leyland's coaches would return in 2013. That includes Toby Harrah as the team's assistant hitting coach, a role he moved into during the 2012 season.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 11:22
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!