Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin headlines a “Tax Day” rally outside the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. Palin was quick to criticize President Barack Obama while emphasizing the importance of the 2012 election period. State authorities estimate 6,500 people were at the rally. Recorded Saturday, April 16, 2011.
Clifton Perry surveys the debris left from his home in Colerain, N.C.
People walk through the neighborhood to assess the damage after a tornado ripped through the Cottonade neighborhood Saturday, April 16, 2011 near Fort Bragg, N.C. Homes and businesses were badly damaged Saturday by a severe storm system that whipped across North Carolina, bringing flash floods, hail and reports of tornadoes from the western hills to the streets of Raleigh. (AP Photo/The Fayetteville Observer, Andrew Craft)
A Lowe’s employee takes a picture outside a storm-damaged Lowe’s Home Improvement store after a tornado in Sanford, North Carolina, April 17, 2011. The death toll from three days of severe storms and tornadoes in the southern United States rose to at least 39 on Sunday, with hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed in North Carolina alone, weather and emergency officials said. REUTERS/Chris Keane
In the Lee County town of Sanford, a Lowe’s store was smashed by the storm. “The Lowe’s Home Improvement has been flattened,” said Monica Elliott, who works at the nearby Brick City Grill. “It’s totally destroyed.” (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds)
Family and friends sort through debris from a tornado that swept through the area Saturday night in Gloucester, Va., Sunday, April 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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— CBS…One brother escapes, other trapped in Idaho mine – Silver mine officials scramble to reach 30-year mining veteran trapped a mile below the surface
Patrick Woods, a freshman at Pine Forest High School in Fayetteville, NC and player on the JV baseball team, picks up a flag on the remains of structures on the softball field at Pine Forest High School on Saturday, April 16, 2011 after a tornado struck the area. (AP Photo- The Fayetteville Observer- Michael Conti)
:: Total Devastation in North Carolina ::
Tar Heel State hit hardest by deadly storms
— AP… South looks to recover from killer twisters – SANFORD, N.C. – Lowe’s store manager Michael Hollowell had heard the tornado warnings but his first clue that the danger was outside his front door came when he saw his staff running toward the back of the home improvement store.
– ABC 33/40…Tales of survival amid NC tornado destruction…DUNN, N.C. (AP) – At least 21 people were killed when tornadoes hit North Carolina over the weekend. The state was hardest hit by a storm system that spawned dozens of tornadoes from Oklahoma to Virginia. Here are a few stories of survival.
— Business Insider…Here’s The Treasury’s Response To The S&P Downgrade Shocker – In a nutshell: S&P reaffirmed the US AAA, but this does emphasize the need for bipartisan cooperation on debt.
A remote-controlled robot called “Packbot”, which has capabilities including manoeuvring through buildings, taking images, and measuring radiation levels, is pictured by another “Packbot” in Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) Co.’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant No.2 reactor building in Fukushima, northern Japan April 18, 2011, in this handout photo released by TEPCO.
— AP…Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power faces hurdles – Radiation near Japan reactors too high for workers
— Business Insider…Now Mexican Drug Cartels Are Causing Huge Problems For The Beef Industry – LAREDO — An unexpected casualty of the drug-cartel-fueled lawlessness in Mexico: the cattle industry.
– Heritage…Something Happening Here: Bob Dylan Goes to China…It’s a hard rain that’s been a-fallin’ on Bob Dylan from some blustery climes. This is because the 69-year-old folk-rock icon supposedly broke the sellout meter with a Chinese concert debut in which he performed songs approved in advance by the Communist regime.
— AP…Gas in 6 states, nation’s capital tops $4 a gallon – WASHINGTON – Add New York to the growing list of states where gas prices are topping $4 per gallon.
On Sunday, the Empire State became the sixth state to top $4 for the average price of a gallon of gas, joining Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii and Illinois, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge. The average price of gas also rose to more than $4 per gallon in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
The U.S. ambassador to Malta, an important Roman Catholic supporter of President Obama, said Sunday he would resign after a State Department report criticized him for spending too much time writing and speaking about his religious beliefs.
— CFP…She’s Baack! Helen Thomas to Address Pro-Palestinan Conference – Helen Thomas, the veteran journalist who lost her job and her plum seat in the White House press briefing room over her anti-Israel remarks, has re-emerged.
Thomas Paine was an author and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He is best known for the widely-read and influential pamphlet Common Sense (1776), advocating colonial America’s independence from Great Britain. So effective was Paine in eliciting patriotic fervor that John Adams said “Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.” The quotes you will read below are those of revolutionary intellectual Thomas Paine.
— Des Moines Register…Herman Cain to tea party rally: ‘Stupid people are ruining this country’
– [Chicago Breaking News]…Wis. Dems file recall petition for 3rd GOP senator…MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Democrats plan to file recall petitions for a third Republican state senator over his vote to curtail collective bargaining for most public employees.