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Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- Politics here and elsewhere








Wednesday Toon Roundup 1- Sweet Home Alabama

God ‪@TheTweetOfGod
Gay couples are now getting married in Alabama. I love watching a red state add orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. ‪#ALmarriage

WV Bills would weaken water protections

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A year after a toxic leak contaminated drinking water for 300,000 residents, West Virginia lawmakers are considering a series of proposals that would weaken a new chemical tank safety law, remove stronger pollution protections for streams across the state, and protect the coal industry from enforcement actions over violations of water quality standards.

Members of a coalition of citizen groups called the West Virginia Safe Water Roundtable held a news conference Monday at the Capitol to draw attention to their concerns and to urge lawmakers not to roll back the state’s clean water laws.

On Tuesday, one broad bill backed by the West Virginia Coal Association is up for passage in the Senate, and efforts to attach industry-backed amendments to a Department of Environmental Protection rules bill are expected in a House committee.

“It’s a critical time,” said Angie Rosser, executive director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition.

- See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150209/GZ01/150209182/1419#sthash.fqRVd1YQ.dpuf

'A life like any other family': Gay couple returns to rural Alabama, marriage license in hand

The day-to-day lives of Robbie Vining, April Dockery and Dockery's two daughters are much like that of any other modern Alabama family. Vining brings home the bacon as a technical representative for an Alabaster glass company that makes windows for the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance and Dockery stays at home with the kids, dogs and cats. One daughter loves her Playstation 3, the other plays shortstop.

The Woodstock brood describe themselves as the prototypical young family chasing the American dream, only Vining and Dockery are gay. And on Monday they made their pairing official, receiving one of the first 110 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples at the Jefferson County Probate Court in Birmingham.

"It took a while but we finally did it and it's the best decision I've ever made," Vining said Tuesday. "The whole experience was really amazing. It happened and I was like, 'holy crap, did that really happen?'"

Their union comes at the end of a long, often bumpy road that began in 2008 when Vining and Dockery, now 26 and 32 respectively, met by chance on a Woodstock car lot and recognized almost immediately that they had a special chemistry. At the time, Dockery was married to the man with whom she had her daughters, Courtney and Summer, now 12 and seven years old, and Vining still mostly went by Robin, but there was a spark between them that they couldn't ignore.



Grandfather visiting Alabama from India stopped by police , left partially Paralyzed

Madison police last week roughed up a 57-year-old Indian citizen who was walking on the sidewalk outside his son's home, leaving the older man temporarily paralyzed and hospitalized with fused vertebrae.

"He was just walking on the sidewalk as he does all the time," said his son, Chirag Patel, this morning. "They put him to the ground."

No crime had been committed. Madison Police on Monday issued a statement saying the department had suspended the officer and were investigating the use of force in this case. The police statement wished the man a "speedy recovery."

Chirag Patel, an engineer for one of the many government contractors in Huntsville, said he had just bought a one-way ticket for his father, bringing him from the small Indian town of Pij to his new home in fast-growing suburbs of Madison.



Nitrogen gas death penalty bills clear OK Senate Panels.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma could become the first state to use nitrogen gas to execute inmates under a proposal to reinstate a method of execution that hasn't been used in the U.S. in decades but which supporters say would be painless and foolproof.

With no questions or debate, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 9-0 Tuesday to authorize "nitrogen hypoxia," which causes death by depleting the supply of oxygen in the blood, as Oklahoma's backup method of execution if lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional or if the deadly drugs become unavailable. A similar bill later passed 7-2 in a separate House panel without debate.

"It is a method that has been recognized as the most humane by those who oppose the death penalty," said Moore Republican Sen. Anthony Sykes, the chairman of the Senate committee. "It causes a very quick and sudden loss of consciousness and of life almost simultaneously."

The proposal comes as executions in Oklahoma are on hold amid a U.S. Supreme Court review of its lethal injection method. The case, which was sparked by a botched execution last spring, centers on whether the sedative midazolam properly renders an inmate unconscious before the second and third drugs are administered. Oklahoma officials concede midazolam is not the preferred drug for executions, but death penalty states have been forced to explore alternatives as manufacturers of more effective drugs refuse to sell them for use in lethal injections.



Woman arrested after offer to perform same-sex marriage

PRATTVILLE, Ala. — An Autauga County woman was charged Tuesday with misdemeanor disorderly conduct after offering to perform a same-sex marriage inside the probate judge's office.

Anne Susan Diprizio, 44, of Prattville was charged with disorderly conduct, said Dave Hill, chief deputy of the Autauga County Sheriff's Office. She later was released from Autauga Metro Jail on $1,000 bond.

Courthouse records show she doesn't have a lawyer.

Deputies were called to the probate office, one block from the courthouse, about 10:30 a.m. CT when Probate Judge Al Booth asked for assistance, Hill said.



Sen. Warren Opposes ‘Audit the Fed’ Bill

Updated Feb. 10, 2015 11:55 a.m. ET

A critical question for Sen. Rand Paul’s effort to expand oversight of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decisions is whether he could win support from the central bank’s leftist critics in Congress.

But one of the Senate’s most prominent liberal Democrats says she’s not on board.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), a member of the Banking Committee and an outspoken critic of the Fed’s oversight of big banks, said she does not support Mr. Paul’s proposed legislation, which she said could have “dangerous” implications for monetary policy.

“I strongly support and continue to press for greater congressional oversight of the Fed’s regulatory and supervisory responsibilities, and I believe the Fed’s balance sheet should be regularly audited – which the law already requires,” Ms. Warren said in an emailed statement. “But I oppose the current version of this bill because it promotes congressional meddling in the Fed’s monetary policy decisions, which risks politicizing those decisions and may have dangerous implications for financial stability and the health of the global economy.”


White House asking authorization for military to fight IS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House circulated a proposal Tuesday to authorize the Pentagon to fight Islamic State terrorists without an "enduring offensive combat" role, an ambiguous phrase designed to satisfy lawmakers with widely varying views on the need for U.S. ground operations.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J, describing the proposal to reporters, said President Barack Obama would seek an authorization for the use of force that would expire after three years. It would end the approval for operations in Iraq that Congress passed in 2002.

Menendez spoke after he and other Democratic senators met privately with top White House aides, on the eve of an anticipated formal request for legislation from the president.

"Hopefully there will not be a significant delay in Congress acting," said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.



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