marble falls's Journal
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Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:49 AM
Number of posts: 10,269
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:49 AM
Number of posts: 10,269
- 2016 (50)
- 2015 (66)
- 2014 (63)
- 2013 (111)
- 2012 (4)
Senate fails to resolve standoff over Patriot Act
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants the government's authority to collect bulk data on Americans' phone records to go unchanged. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)
By Brian Bennett and Lisa Mascaro contact the reporters
Scrambling to prevent a shutdown of a program used to track terrorists, the Senate pulled an all-nighter but failed early Saturday to resolve a standoff over the National Security Agency system of collecting and storing U.S. telephone records.
Lawmakers had hoped to leave town for a weeklong Memorial Day recess, but were stuck in Washington to figure out a way keep the spy program running past its June 1 expiration date after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) forced the midnight votes.
Unable to reach an agreement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called it quits early Saturday and told senators to return to work May 31, hours before the program shuts down.
“We’ll have one day to do it,” said McConnell, who declined to answer questions as he left the building. “So we better be ready next Sunday afternoon to prevent the country from being endangered by the total expiration of the program.”
Senators had rejected two bills that would have continued the program, including one overwhelmingly approved by the House and backed by the White House that would put limits on the government’s ability to acquire phone data. On a vote of 57 to 42, it fell short of the 60 needed to advance.
A measure from McConnell to continue the program for two months as is, with no reforms, was also prevented from advancing, by a 45-54 vote. McConnell then tried to hold votes on four other stopgap measures that would allow the program to continue collecting telephone data for one week, a few days or even just 24 hours until lawmakers could return and launch a full debate. Paul objected to those measures, as did two Democrats, further sign of bipartisan opposition to extending the program without changes.
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Posted by marble falls | Mon May 25, 2015, 08:07 AM (0 replies)
He laughed it off.
In an audio recording obtained by the Guardian, Patrolman Michael Slager is heard laughing in the minutes after fatally shooting Walter Scott. During the conversation with a senior officer, Slager asks, “What happens next?”
Michael Slager“Probably once they get you there, we’ll take you home,” the supervisor tells him. At another point, Slager is told “by the time you get home, it would probably be a good idea to kind of jot down your thoughts on what happened. You know, once the adrenaline quits pumping.”
“It’s pumping,” Slager says, laughing.
The conversation goes to the officer’s state of mind. Many who viewed the video of the incident said Slager seemed eerily calm as he raised his weapon and let off the eight shots as if he were shooting at a paper target on a gun range.
Contrary to what he and other responding officers told investigators, no one attempted to render aid to Scott—who was either already dead or dying. At least three patrolman, including Clarence Habersham, who is seen on the video standing next to the body, said they assisted Slager in CPR.
The taped conversation with his senior officer occurs only minutes after Scott was killed. According to the Guardian, authorities have not confirmed the authenticity of the recording or who was speaking, but a spokesperson said one of the voices “appears” to be Slager.
“It appears that way. I have not been able to independently confirm it,” said Thom Berry, a spokesman for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Posted by marble falls | Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:18 AM (0 replies)
Willie Nelson to Launch His Own Brand of Marijuana
9:25 AM ET
Gary Miller—Getty Images Willie Nelson performs in concert during the Heartbreaker Banquet on March 19, 2015 in Luck, Texas.
"I will make sure it's good or it won't be on sale"
Singer Willie Nelson plans to launch his own brand of marijuana for recreational users who demand “the best on the market,” the 81-year-old country legend announced.
“Willie Weed,” from the newly formed company Willie’s Reserve, will hit dispensary shelves in Colorado and Washington, where legalization of recreational marijuana has created a booming industry, the Associated Press reports. Nelson said he would partner with growers in both states.
“I will make sure it’s good or it won’t be on sale,” the singer said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Nelson is the latest among a growing list of musicians to capitalize on the newly freed trade of marijuana. Last week, rapper Snoop Dog invested in Eaze, a California-based weed delivery startup that has been billed as the “Uber for weed.”
Posted by marble falls | Tue Apr 21, 2015, 09:39 AM (3 replies)
A bill signed Thursday by Gov. Sam Brownback will allow residents in Kansas to carry concealed firearms without a permit or training.
Kansans aged 21 or older will be permitted to carry concealed guns starting July 1 when the law takes effect, even if they’re not trained or don’t have a permit, the Kansas City Star reports. That will make the state one of six to allow “constitutional carry.”
Anyone who would like to carry a concealed gun in any of the three dozen states that accept Kansas permits must go through training, a requirement that Brownback emphasized. But even with regard to Kansans, who won’t be required to go through training, he acknowledged that his youngest son had “got a lot out of” a hunter safety course recently and urged others “to take advantage of that.”
“We’re saying that if you want to do that in this state, then you don’t have to get the permission slip from the government,” Brownback said. “It is a constitutional right, and we’re removing a barrier to that right.”
The Kansas State Rifle Association was supportive of the bill. A statement on its website reads: “the right to keep and bear arms is a natural, unalienable right protected by the Second Amendment and citizens should not have to go through burdensome and expensive hoops to exercise that right.”
What possibly could go wrong?????
Posted by marble falls | Thu Apr 2, 2015, 10:31 PM (14 replies)
This Red State Almost Expanded Health Insurance to 280,000 Poor People -- Then Koch Group Got Involved
The health care plan was killed, revived last week, and killed again.
By Tana Ganeva / AlterNet
April 1, 2015
Tracy Foster calmly explains that when she goes to doctors, all they can do is "poke" -- she makes a poking motion with her hand -- her bladder back into place, because it is falling out of her body. She has bladder cancer. She needs to have surgery immediately, the doctors all agree, but she doesn't have insurance and can't get the operation unless she hands over eight thousand dollars up front (two thousand for the doctor, six thousand for the hospital). She doesn't have that kind of money or a health plan to cover it.
Foster had one surgery for her cancer when she was covered by TennCare, Tennessee's version of Medicaid, state-run health care for the poor. But she was dropped, she says, because her daughter turned 18 and as an adult with no dependent children she's no longer eligible for coverage. She's spent most of her life working in the health industry, tending to Alzheimer's patients in nursing homes, working in a hospital lab, administering EKGs. So she has no illusions about her situation. "They found the lymph nodes near my bladder enlarged," she sighs.
It should not be surprising that anti-government conservatives backed by the Koch brothers gave torpedoing the plan their all. The day of the Moral Monday protest, Tennessee's chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group (David Koch heads AFP's Foundation), had relaunched its radio campaign against Insure Tennessee.
AFP-Tenn has relentlessly hammered the proposal's parallels to Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, making things exceedingly awkward for its Republican backers. "Obamacare has been a disaster. Expanding Obamacare in Tennessee will be the same," the latest ad said.
Here's a link to the Gofundme campaign raising money for Tracy Foster's operation: http://www.gofundme.com/dvq5cs
Tana Ganeva is AlterNet's managing editor. Follow her on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I feel such sadness and I am typing through tears of rage and compassion all at once. I have bladder cancer. If I hadn't enlisted in the Navy at 21 just so my dad would have to listen to my antiwar opinion at the Thanksgiving table in '72 I could very well be in this boat with Tracy Foster. I am being treated very well by the VA for my cancer. I will get a third surgery in a couple of weeks. And I will send a donation to Tracy as soon as I send this. Read the rest oft he article. It will make you shake in anger.
Herb Morehead aka Marble Falls.
Posted by marble falls | Thu Apr 2, 2015, 09:49 AM (3 replies)
Florida Tribe Threatens Rick Scott: Let Us Build A Casino Or We Start Growing Pot
If the state rejects the deal, the tribe is within its rights to sue to use the land to grow marijuana
By Scott Kaufman / Raw Story
February 21, 2015
An Alabama native American tribe that operates casinos in Florida informed the state that if it doesn’t allow them to expand their casinos, they will have no choice but to start growing marijuana on the land designated for the expansion, the Associated Press reports.
The Poarch Creek Band of native Americans told Florida Governor Rick Scott that if the state’s Republican-controlled House and Senate refused to allow the tribe to operate a casino on land it owns in Escambia County, it would endeavor to grow and distribute marijuana on the land in accordance with the regulations that the federal government has imposed on states that have legalized the trade.
If the state rejects the deal, the tribe is within its rights to sue to use the land to grow marijuana, as this past December the Department of Justice stated that tribes can grow and distribute marijuana on their sovereign land — even if the state in which that land is situated has not legalized marijuana.
Many tribes have resisted selling marijuana because, as the director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, Kevin Sabet, told the Los Angeles Times, “native Americans and their families suffer disproportionately from addiction compared to other groups. The last thing they want is another commercialized industry that targets them for greater use.”
Posted by marble falls | Tue Feb 24, 2015, 10:38 AM (13 replies)
How Many Ways Can the City of Ferguson Slap You With Court Fees? We Counted
Ferguson city officials pledge to cut back on revenue-boosting court fees and fines—and there are plenty to choose from.
—By Julia Lurie and Katie Rose Quandt
| Fri Sep. 12, 2014 5:30 AM EDT
Over 100 people showed up on Tuesday night at the first Ferguson City Council meeting since Michael Brown's killing, and unreasonable court fees were a major complaint. Ferguson officials proposed scaling back the myriad ways small-time offenders can end up paying big bucks—or worse. Community activists are optimistic about the proposed changes, but as it turns out, imposing punitive court fines on poor residents is a major source of income for a number of St. Louis County municipalities.
How bad is the current system? Say you're a low-income Ferguson resident who's been hit with a municipal fine for rolling through a stop sign, driving without insurance, or neglecting to subscribe to the city's trash collection service. A look at the municipal codes in Ferguson and nearby towns reveals how these fines and fees can quickly stack up.
To start, you might show up on time for your court date, only to find that your hearing is already over. How is that possible? According to a Ferguson court employee who spoke with St. Louis-based legal aid watchdog ArchCity Defenders, the bench routinely starts hearing cases 30 minutes before the appointed time and even locks the doors as early as five minutes after the official hour, hitting defendants who arrive just slightly late with an additional charge of $120-130.
Or you may arrive to find yourself faced with an impossible choice: Skip your court date or leave your children unattended in the parking lot. Non-defendants, such as children, are permitted by law to accompany defendants in the courtroom, but a survey by the presiding judge of the St. Louis County Circuit Court found that 37 percent of local courts don't allow it.
Coming to court has its own pitfalls, but not the ones many people fear. It's a common misconception among Ferguson residents—especially those without attorneys—that if you show up without money to pay your fine, you'll go to jail. In fact, you can't be put behind bars for inability to pay a fine, but you can be sent to jail for failure to appear in court (and accrue a $125 fee). If you miss your court date, the court will likely issue a warrant for your arrest, which comes with a fee of its own:
At this point, you owe your initial fine, plus fines for failure to appear in court and the arrest warrant. Thomas Harvey, executive director of ArchCity Defenders, explains that if you're arrested, your bail will likely equal the sum of these fines. Ferguson Municipal Court is only in session three days a month, so if you can't meet bail, you might sit in jail for days until the next court session—which, you guessed it, will cost you.
Once you finally appear in court and receive your verdict, your IOU is likely to go up again.
Can't pay all at once? No problem! Opt for a payment plan, and come to court once a month with an installment. But if you miss a date, expect another $125 "failure to appear" fine, plus another warrant for your arrest.
Court fines for minor infractions tend to snowball. For example, drivers accumulate points for speeding, rolling through stop signs, or driving without insurance. You can pay to wipe your record, which is pricey. If you can't afford to, and rack up enough points, your license will be suspended and your insurance costs will probably jump. Need to get to work? If you're caught driving with a suspended license, your court fines increase, you gain more points, and your suspension is lengthened. That's how rolling through a stop sign could end up costing you your job, messing up your degree plans, and more.
In a county like St. Louis, which consists of 81 different municipal court systems, it's easy to end up with fines and outstanding warrants in multiple towns. Harvey has seen his clients bounce from jail to jail, and says there's even a local name for this: the "muni-shuffle."
"Every handful of months, there’s some awful thing that happens as a result of someone being arrested on multiple warrants," says Harvey. Last year, a 24-year-old man in Jennings, another city in St. Louis County, hung himself after he couldn't get out of jail for outstanding traffic warrants. "They can't get out, and they know they’re not going to get out," says Harvey. In Ferguson, he explains, residents are caught in cycles of debt that stem from three main infractions: driving without insurance, driving with a suspended license, and driving without registration.
So what happens to all that cash? In Ferguson, as in thousands of municipalities across the country, it goes toward paying city officials, funding city services, and otherwise keeping the wheels of local government turning. In fact, fines and court fees are the city's second-largest revenue source. Last year, Ferguson issued 3 warrants for every household—25,000 warrants in a city of 21,000 people.
"Ferguson isn't an outlier," says Alexes Harris, sociology professor at University of Washington and author of the upcoming book Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Permanent Punishment for Poor People. Similar measures play out in jurisdictions across the country. "All you have to do is show up in court and watch what happens."
The good news is that this week, under pressure from local activists, the Ferguson City Council announced plans to eliminate some of the most punitive fees, including the $125 failure to appear fee and the $50 fee to cancel a warrant. Of course, nothing is set to change elsewhere in St. Louis County. But eliminating some of the most egregious fees in one town, says Harvey, is "huge progress."
Front page image: Jeff Roberson/AP
Posted by marble falls | Wed Dec 10, 2014, 09:50 AM (0 replies)
A Northern California P.E. teacher is charged with abusing a child after trying to force her into a swimming pool during class. The struggle was captured on camera by another student. The incident happened at Edison High in Stockton during P.E. class at the schools pool.
The video shows the teacher, Denny Peterson, trying to drag a 14-year-old girl into the pool back in August.
The teen reportedly did not want to participate get in the pool because she just had her hair done that morning for an evening event.
Peterson was put on paid leave for a month, but then assigned to another Stockton school. He was charged with misdemeanor corporal injury to a child.
The family says they plan to file a lawsuit.
Map My News
Posted by marble falls | Sun Nov 23, 2014, 11:23 AM (9 replies)
Posted by marble falls | Wed Nov 19, 2014, 04:10 PM (6 replies)
‘You’re the type of girl that can get me in trouble’
17 Nov 2014 at 17:35 ET
The federal lawsuit against Jaris Hayden accuses him of ordering the woman into the boiler room of the city jail in October 2013 and ordering her to provide oral sex before forcing himself upon her. Hayden allegedly assaulted the woman even though her boyfriend had posted her bond, telling her, “You’re the type of girl that can get me in trouble” as he released her from her cell. According to the lawsuit, DNA analysis confirmed that pubic hair the woman obtained during the attack belonged to Hayden.
“Law enforcement Officers of the City of Ferguson have been involved in many other acts of violence including the shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014,” the suit states. “On information and belief discovery will produce other acts of violence, all contributing to a pattern and practice of allowing violence and sexual assault on members of the public. The numerous acts of violence against the citizenry by law enforcement of the City of Ferguson constitute a pattern.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Hayden was charged on Nov. 5 with two counts of having sexual contact with a prisoner, one count of permitting escape and one count of acceding to corruption by a public servant.
The attack allegedly took place after the woman, identified in the suit as “J.W.,” was arrested by another officer for having an expired license plate and accused of providing a fake name. The lawsuit states that the woman was wearing nursing smocks from her job when Hayden told her, “You smell good” and, “This will teach you a lesson” while booking her into jail.
At one point during her incarceration, J.W. reportedly suffered pain and “discharges.” Hayden contacted EMTs, who left it up to him whether to release her to them for medical care.
“Hayden did not indicate a decision in J.W.’s presence,” the suit states. “Hayden and the EMT’s left the room. J.W. never saw the EMT’s again.”
The lawsuit, as posted online by the Post, can be read at link:
Posted by marble falls | Mon Nov 17, 2014, 11:11 PM (1 replies)