marble falls's Journal
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Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:49 AM
Number of posts: 9,900
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:49 AM
Number of posts: 9,900
- 2016 (31)
- 2015 (66)
- 2014 (63)
- 2013 (111)
- 2012 (4)
Bernie Sanders: Prolific Democratic Party fundraiser
By Eric Bradner, CNN
Updated 1:15 PM ET, Mon February 8, 2016
What he didn't mention: The Vermont senator and presidential candidate is a prolific fundraiser himself and has regularly benefited from the Democratic Party apparatus.
In recent years, Sanders has been billed as one of the hosts for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's retreats for the "Majority Trust" -- an elite group of top donors who give more than $30,000 per year -- at Martha's Vineyard in the summer and Palm Beach, Florida, in the winter. CNN has obtained invitations that listed Sanders as a host for at least one Majority Trust event in each year since 2011.
The retreats are typically attended by 100 or more donors who have either contributed the annual legal maximum of $33,400 to the DSCC, raised more than $100,000 for the party or both.
Sanders has based his presidential campaign on a fire-and-brimstone critique of a broken campaign finance system -- and of Hillary Clinton for her reliance on big-dollar Wall Street donors. But Sanders is part of that system, and has helped Democrats court many of the same donors.
A Democratic lobbyist and donor who has attended the retreats told CNN that about 25% of the attendees there represent the financial sector -- and that Sanders and his wife, Jane, are always present.
"At each of the events all the senators speak. And I don't recall him ever giving a speech attacking us," the donor said. "While progressive, his remarks were always in the mainstream of what you hear from senators."
Sanders' political leanings were well known by the donors who attended the retreats. "Nobody was more surprised that Bernie was there than the donors were," said another Democrat who attended the retreats.
But Sanders maintains that members of Congress now spend far too much time making calls seeking campaign contributions -- or "dialing for dollars," he said during a speech at the New England Council's "Politics and Eggs" event Friday morning.
"That's what they do. And not only should members who are elected be working for the people, not raising money -- if you think you could simply divide your brain in half, if you're working on unemployment or health care and think, now I've gotta go out and raise money, it affects your entire being," he said.
Benefits from Democratic establishment
Sanders has been an Independent while in Congress, but has caucused with the Democrats since he was elected to the Senate in 2006, helping them maintain their majority for eight years.
Michael Briggs, a Sanders spokesman, said Sanders has "raised more money for the Senate Democrats than almost any other member of the Senate Democratic caucus" because he sees helping the party regain the majority as critical.
"He has in the past written letters and helped Senate Democrats elect Democrats. He thinks that's very important to the country," Briggs said.
He got a hand from the party in 1996, when Rob Engel, then the political director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, pushed a Democratic contender out of the race for the House seat Sanders held as an independent.
In 2006, when Sanders ran for the Senate, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pumped $37,300 into his race and included him in fundraising efforts for the party's Senate candidates.
The party also spent $60,000 on ads for Sanders, and contributed $100,000 to the Vermont Democratic Party -- which was behind Sanders even as he ran as an independent.
Among the DSCC's top contributors that year: Goldman Sachs at $685,000, Citigroup at $326,000, Morgan Stanley at $260,000 and JPMorgan Chase & Co. at $207,000.
During that 2006 campaign, Sanders attended a fundraiser at the Cambridge, Massachusetts home of Abby Rockefeller -- a member of the same family whose wealth he had one proposed confiscating.
Two years later, when then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was being nominated at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, Sanders was among the senators who met with Sen. Chuck Schumer's "Legacy Circle" donors who had given the legal maximum to the DSCC five years in a row or $500,000 over their lifetimes.
He paid dues to the DSCC, too, with his Progressive Voters of America political action committee cutting checks for $30,000 to the group during the 2014 election cycle.
What 'progressive' means to Hillary Clinton vs. What 'progressive' means to Bernie Sanders
Sanders told the "Politics and Eggs" crowd that he favors a public financing system for elections, eliminating campaign contributions entirely. But his presidential campaign, just as Clinton's and Barack Obama's in 2008 and 2012, has chosen to bypass that system, allowing Sanders to raise millions of dollars more.
He has repeatedly touted his campaign's vast online fundraising apparatus, which has pulled in 3.5 million individual contributions, averaging $27 apiece, Sanders said Friday.
Pressed by MSNBC moderator Chuck Todd on why he hasn't accepted public financing in Thursday night's debate, Sanders said the system as it exists now is "a disaster" and "very antiquated" because it limits spending in early-voting primary states.
"The way it is structured right now, if you make it all the way to California, you could do pretty well. But in terms of the early states --
Iowa, New Hampshire, the other states -- it just doesn't work," Sanders said.
Posted by marble falls | Fri Apr 8, 2016, 12:01 PM (4 replies)
Posted by marble falls | Sat Apr 2, 2016, 07:03 AM (28 replies)
Should Gun Owners Have to Join the Reserves?
By Ozy EditorsOCT 222013
Why you should care
Because in some states in America, gun deaths are now as common as motor vehicle fatalities.
It’s time for American gun-control advocates to face facts: The latest attempt at reform was over before the Bushmaster rifle that Adam Lanza used to murder 26 teachers and children at Sandy Hook Elementary School had cooled. No matter how gruesome the carnage from the latest shooting, any attempt to meaningfully limit the number of guns or gun owners in the U.S. will be met by overwhelming firepower from the NRA, the Supreme Court and the millions of Americans who oppose restrictions on a time-honored right. In Colorado, two Democrats who backed tough gun-control laws were ousted in a special election . It was just another defeat for gun-control moderates. Every gun-control battle that’s lost drives up demand for more firearms and further lines the pockets of gun manufacturers.
If you can’t bear the responsibility of bearing a firearm, then perhaps you shouldn’t be bearing one.
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The Second Amendment expressly links an individual’s right to bear arms to the broader need to secure the public’s safety. In other words, with that right comes a corresponding responsibility, and if you can’t bear the responsibility of bearing a firearm, then perhaps you shouldn’t be bearing one.
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Doesn’t it make sense that any American seeking to own a gun should be required to make a pledge to abide by the spirit of the Second Amendment and man a post? After all, the founding fathers specifically contemplated actual militias in conferring the right. As Fordham University historian Saul Cornell reminds us, the Constitution focuses more on maintaining citizen militias than protecting individual rights, and “what’s easy to forget is that the Second Amendment actually poses an enormous burden on the citizenry.”
Asking prospective gun owners to enlist in the reserves would certainly help separate the true patriots from those who merely dress like them on the weekends. It would also ensure that every gun owner receives proper weapons training, gets screened for mental or emotional issues and comes away with a deeper sense of duty to his community. This approach has worked in Switzerland, where gun ownership is coupled with mandatory (male) service and they have one-tenth the number of gun deaths we have in the U.S., even though the Swiss own about half as many guns per capita as Americans.
Posted by marble falls | Tue Feb 9, 2016, 09:11 AM (144 replies)
Warren — at the time a Harvard law professor — recounted how, in the 1990s, she wrote an editorial opposing a proposed piece of legislation tightening bankruptcy laws. Warren explained that it would disproportionately hurt single mothers. Hillary Clinton, at the time the first lady, read the editorial, and asked for a meeting with Warren. The meeting went well; Warren said she “never had a smarter student.” Afterward, Clinton returned to Washington and, according to her biography, persuaded Bill Clinton to veto the legislation.
But when Hillary Clinton was elected to the Senate and another version of the same bill came to the floor, she did an about face:
ELIZABETH WARREN: She voted in favor of it.
BILL MOYERS: Why?
ELIZABETH WARREN: As Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different. It’s a well-financed industry. You know a lot of people don’t realize that the industry that gave the most money to Washington over the past few years was not the oil industry, was not pharmaceuticals. It was consumer credit products. Those are the people. The credit card companies have been giving money, and they have influence.
BILL MOYERS: And Mrs. Clinton was one of them as senator.
ELIZABETH WARREN: She has taken money from the groups, and more to the point, she worries about them as a constituency.
BILL MOYERS: But what does this mean though to these people, these millions of people out there whom the politicians cavort in front of as favoring the middle class, and then are beholden to the powerful interests that undermine the middle class? What does this say about politics today?
ELIZABETH WARREN: You know this is the scary part about democracy today. It’s… We’re talking again about the impact of money. The credit industry on this bankruptcy bill has spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying, and as their profits grow, they just throw more into lobbying for how they can get laws that will make it easier and easier and easier to drain money out of the pockets of middle class families.
Posted by marble falls | Sat Feb 6, 2016, 12:07 PM (0 replies)
ISIS Backer Joins Bundy's Militants, Hijacks Government Computers To Build Militia Website
A militant who recently joined Ammon Bundy's armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as the resident computer expert is a follower of Adolf Hitler and has expressed support for ISIS.
Fry confirmed to Oregon Public Broadcasting that he had used government computers to create the website.
“I am using any computer I can use,” he said. “Their data is perfectly preserved … you can’t access any of that, it’s got encryption on it.”
During an examination of Fry's social media accounts, Oregon Public Broadcasting found that he had posted in support of the Islamic State and frequently praised Adolf Hitler.
"ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS FOR ISIS TO NUKE ISRAELHELL!" Fry wrote in November.
According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, Fry defended his support of ISIS with a rant about "government conspiracies, plots against multiple countries, Sept. 11, court records, computer viruses on Japanese computers, Fukushima and a Jewish conspiracy against the free world that involves causing nuclear meltdowns."
Posted by marble falls | Wed Jan 27, 2016, 07:37 AM (9 replies)
Posted by marble falls | Fri Jan 22, 2016, 10:05 AM (0 replies)
Kosher Pot Coming to New York State
The Orthodox Union has certified medical marijuana products from Vireo Health as kosher.
By Stav Ziv / Newsweek
December 31, 2015
December 31, 2015
Posted with permission from Newsweek
Any potential medical marijuana users in New York state who were concerned that partaking in pot for health purposes might clash with Judaism can stop shvitzing. The Orthodox Union has certified the marijuana products made by Vireo Health of New York as kosher, the latter announced Wednesday.
“Being certified kosher by the OU will not only help us serve the dietary needs of the largest Jewish community in the United States, but also combat unfortunate stigmas associated with medical cannabis,” Ari Hoffnung, Vireo’s CEO, is quoted as saying in the company’s press release announcing the certification, which applies to the company’s vaporization cartridges, oils and capsules. “Today’s announcement sends an important message to New Yorkers of all faiths and backgrounds,” he added. “Patients should never feel guilty or ashamed for using a product recommended by their physicians.”
Vireo, formerly called Empire State Health Solutions, is one of five companies approved by the state to produce and sell medical marijuana under the Compassionate Care Act, signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in July 2014. New York is one of 23 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have legalized the production and use of medical marijuana for qualifying patients.
New York’s law states that eligible patients are those who have been diagnosed with “a specific severe, debilitating or life-threatening condition”—the list currently includes cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy and Huntington's disease—accompanied by a complicating condition, like severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or seizures.
The law allows liquid, oil and capsules for oral administration as well as for vaporization, but “expressly provides that a certified medical use of marijuana does not include smoking,” according to its department of health.
In everyday English usage, the word kosher means proper or acceptable, but in the context of Judaism, it refers to specific religious laws that govern food preparation and consumption. For example, meat and dairy cannot be made or eaten together and pork and shellfish are prohibited. Kitchen and manufacturing equipment must also meet certain standards.
A broad range of foods require kosher supervision, according to the Orthodox Union, because “all units and subunits in a food item must be kosher as well. Thus, for example, a cereal may be non-kosher because it has raisins which are coated with a non-kosher, animal-based glycerin.”
OU Kosher supervises roughly 70 percent of kosher-certified foods in the U.S., including for major companies like Coca-Cola, General Mills, the Hershey Company, Kraft/Nabisco and Unilever. According to Vireo’s release, it will be the first medical cannabis company to receive a kosher certification from OU. Rabbinic field representatives visited and inspected Vireo’s cultivation and lab facilities in Perth, New York, to verify that the company would meet all kosher standards.
Many Orthodox rabbis support the use of medical marijuana (but not recreational pot), The Forward reported earlier this year. In the past, the Orthodox Union has refused to give kosher certifications to cigarette and e-cigarette companies because of the associated health risks, but OU Kosher COO Rabbi Moshe Elefant said at the time that it “would not have a problem certifying” medical marijuana.
The cannabis plant itself does not require a kosher stamp of approval, but capsules and other manufactured forms of it do. "Just as the OU gives out Kosher certificates for vitamins or for any other medical product, after an examination of the ingredients, it is possible in principle to issue kosher certificates for cannabis, as long it is solely for medical uses and in countries where it is permitted by law," Rabbi Avi Berman, executive director of OU Israel, told the Israeli site Ynet in February.
Nearly a year later, OU Kosher has signed off on Vireo’s medical cannabis products, “which were developed to alleviate pain and suffering in accordance with the New York State Compassionate Care Act,” Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher, is quoted as saying in Vireo’s release. The company plans to open four dispensaries in the state in January—in White Plains, the New York City borough of Queens, Binghamton and Albany.
“Judaism prioritizes health and encourages the use of medicine designed to improve one’s health or reduce pain,” Genack said. “Using medical cannabis products recommended by a physician should not be regarded as a chet, a sinful act, but rather as a mitzvah, an imperative, a commandment.”
Posted by marble falls | Fri Jan 8, 2016, 10:14 AM (8 replies)
January 6, 2016 2:55 p.m.
PETA Trolls Oregon’s Militant Ranchers With Vegan-Jerky Delivery
By Chris Crowley
The militant ranchers who are protesting federal policies by occupying an Oregon bird sanctuary, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, have appealed for snacks, and PETA has answered the call by trolling them with a delivery of vegan jerky. PETA being PETA, it's taking the opportunity to spin this from a story about armed citizens threatening violence and illegally taking over buildings into one about the evils of animal agriculture.
The animals-rights organization says in a blog post that the package will fashionably be "hand-delivered" to the ranchers, now calling themselves Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, by staffers with signs reading, "The End (of Animal Agriculture) Is Nigh: Get Out Now!" Twitter, predictably, reacted to PETA's preachy tweets with scorn — asking, "You for real?" — but others have gotten in on the fun, too, with Redditors planning baby food and glitter packages and The Oregonian running a joke poll on the top snacks to send ranchers with the munchies. As that publication pointed out, Ammon Bundy, one of the ringleaders of the group, said that he and his pals are so committed that they're willing to stay for years, but apparently they all forgot to ask their moms to pack their lunch boxes for the field trip.
2 PETA reps show up @ OR wildlife refuge, giving vegan jerky to protesters, asking them to stay out of animal ag. pic.twitter.com/mlrsa4IJI3
— Joe Fryer (@joefryer) January 6, 2016
Posted by marble falls | Thu Jan 7, 2016, 04:23 PM (7 replies)
Grand Juries: How The Tamir Rice Case Lifts The Veil On This Inherently Biased Process
January 1, 2016 by Dylan Donnelly 3 Comments
This post was submitted by Vincent Rivera, Licensed Kansas Attorney
“A grand jury will indict a ham sandwich,” the saying goes. This is because, in grand juries, prosecutors enjoy zero oversight, leaving them free to present (or not present) whatever evidence they choose without any challenges, and in effect avoiding any political backlash.
For those not familiar with Grand Juries: they do not make a guilty/innocent decision. Their job is decide whether or not probable cause exists to file criminal charges.
Generally, Prosecutors impanel about 24 “grand jurors.” From there, it’s similar to a trial, the Prosecutor calls witnesses, and presents evidence. However, unlike a trial, a Grand Jury, is held in private, there is no judge, and no defense counsel. Thus, the prosecutor is allowed to present any evidence they want without interference or challenges.
Politically speaking, in high profile cases, prosecutors can “stack the deck” to avoid an indictment. Thus, when the Grand Jury fails to indict, it was the Grand Jury’s decision and not the prosecutor’s fault. This allows the prosecutors (who’re often elected) to avoid any responsibility for failing to prosecute.
In the Tamir Rice case, the Grand Jury failed to find probable cause to indict the officer. During that Grand Jury, the Prosecutor went out of their way to call in a “use of force” expert witness, who essentially “rubber stamped” Law Enforcement’s actions. Thus, in essence the Prosecutor presented a case of “justified force” to the Grand Jury and SURPRISE: no indictment.
1) Preliminary Hearings, preform the same job as a Grand Jury in that their purpose is to determine probable cause. However, a preliminary hearing is conducted in open court, before a Judge (who makes the probable cause finding), the accused is present and represented by counsel who can cross-examine witnesses, object to evidence, call defense witnesses and make arguments to the Court.
2) Don’t use “local” prosecutors. Prosecutors work every single day with law enforcement. Moreover almost every prosecutor’s office has attorneys and or staff who are married/dating law enforcement. Clearly, this presents a conflict of interest, with the “fox guarding the hen house.”
These problems could be mitigated if States create a special group of Prosecutors, perhaps from the Attorney General’s office, who investigates all law enforcement shootings.
Posted by marble falls | Sat Jan 2, 2016, 09:34 AM (0 replies)
Why are we funding this sort of investigation looking for terrorists? All of the "domestic terrorists" we've found are of this caliber.
Bar owner: Suspect in Rochester attack plot is a panhandler
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) -- An ex-convict arrested in a plot to carry out an attack at a bar on New Year's Eve is a panhandler who'd been a story of mental problems.
Federal authorities have said Emanuel Lutchman, 25, sought to prove he was worthy of joining the Islamic State group by leading an attack in Rochester with a machete and knives provided by an FBI informant.
After authorities announced his arrest Thursday, his father and mother described a man who'd had psychiatric troubles since childhood, had recently stabbed himself in a suicide attempt and, they said, wouldn't have conducted the attack on his own.
"The boy is impressionable," his father, Omar Lutchman, told NBC News. "First he was a Blood, then he was a Crip, then he became a Muslim. He's easily manipulated."
The father and the suspect's grandmother, Beverley Carridice-Henry, told the network Lutchman is married and has a 2-year-old son but had been having marital and money problems. He was frustrated over being unable to find work and care for his family, they said.
"He got very emotional and sick about that," Carridice-Henry told the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester.
Authorities said in court papers that Lutchman said he received direction from an overseas Islamic State group member and planned to carry out the attack Thursday.
"I will take a life, I don't have a problem with that," the court papers quoted Lutchman as saying.
Lutchman's lawyer, Steven Slawinski, declined to comment on the allegations. Lutchman has been charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists.
While authorities didn't identify the target, a co-owner said it was Merchants Grill, a neighborhood sports pub. The U.S. attorney's office for western New York did not return a phone call Friday seeking confirmation of that.
Lutchman lived nearby and had repeatedly come into the bar asking for money, co-owner John Page told local media. He told WHEC-TV that Lutchman had been asked to leave several times.
He "caused more trouble than positive," Page told the Democrat and Chronicle.
Lutchman was described in court papers as having a long criminal history, including a 2006 robbery conviction that led to a five-year prison sentence.
Lutchman's former stepmother, Charma Lutchman, told the Democrat and Chronicle that Lutchman spent part of his childhood living with his grandparents in New York City. She said that while young, he was struck by a car, an accident that transformed him from a happy-go-lucky boy to a more withdrawn child.
The newspaper reports Lutchman spent four months in a Rochester jail in 2015 on misdemeanor charges of petit larceny and menacing his girlfriend.
Lutchman was scheduled to appear in state court Jan. 11 on the domestic violence charges. It's likely that date will be postponed.
This story has been corrected to show the call letters for a Rochester TV station are WHEC-TV, not WEHC-TV.
Posted by marble falls | Sat Jan 2, 2016, 08:07 AM (14 replies)