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Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 02:57 AM
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White guy, computer programmer. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Houston Congressman John Culbersons Town Hall was a Private, GOP-Only Affair

To a remarkable extent, our current political moment is a sort of funhouse mirror version of the events that followed the inauguration of Barack Obama. Now, as then, a charismatic president whose opposition feels he is unduly influenced by shadowy foreign elements has been swept into power. A populist rabble has emerged to challenge the new regime, and the president’s supporters are certain the new movement is fraudulent, paid for by shadowy billionaires. Except for the fact that what’s happening now is almost completely unprecedented, we’ve seen it all before, to an eerie extent. If the 2009 chart-topper “I Gotta Feeling” starts playing on the radio irritatingly often, we’ll know that a hole has opened up in the space-time continuum, and it is time to make your peace with God.

On Wednesday, outside an invitation-only speech by Texas Congressman John Culberson, those resonances played out on two sidewalk curbs near the gate of Lakeside Country Club, in west Houston. Culberson is a nine-term Republican rep whose wealthy district voted for Clinton in the general election, which means he’s got a target on his back.

Culberson, like every other Republican member of the Texas congressional delegation, isn’t holding public town halls with his constituents during the February recess, as is tradition. Democrats and some moderate Republicans had many disastrous town halls in 2009 and 2010, when agitated tea party types swarmed public events. Footage of those confrontations fed the perception that those in power were losing control.

So Culberson and all of his colleagues are holding private meetings instead — very private — to minimize what people in politics call “bad optics.” If you’re a constituent who’d like to meet Culberson and ask him about health care policy, you’re S.O.L. But on Wednesday, he spoke to the Village Republican Women, a local party group. Only members of the Lakeside Country Club and those on the group’s “waiting list” were allowed past the security guards and a platoon of Houston police officers.

Read more: https://www.texasobserver.org/houston-congressman-john-culbersons-town-hall-private-gop-affair/

Portman speaks to GOP amid Fremont protest

FREMONT — About 150 people waving signs and chanting — mostly in opposition to President Trump — greeted guests arriving for a Republican fund-raiser featuring U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) Wednesday night.

Organizers said they wanted Mr. Portman to hold a town-hall meeting during this week’s congressional recess.

Mr. Portman, like Republican U.S. Reps. Bob Latta of Bowling Green and Jim Jordan of Urbana, has refused to appear in an open assembly hall, though all three say they meet constituents on a regular basis. Mr. Jordan talked with protesters at two announced Presidents Day events Monday in Marion and Fremont.

“Hey Portman, we’re here, come outside and face your fear,” was one of several chants the protesters yelled toward the doors of the Neeley Conference Center on the campus of Terra State Community College.

Read more: http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2017/02/23/Senator-Rob-Portman-speaks-at-GOP-event-in-Fremont-amid-protest.html

Lucas County to pay $1.28M in 2004 inmate death

The family of a Toledo man who died while in custody of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office received some vindication, their attorney said Wednesday, with the settlement of a wrongful-death lawsuit they filed against the county in 2009.

“My clients lost a son, a father, a brother,” Cleveland attorney Joel Levin said. “I know that my client, Denise Coley Brown, during the criminal trial of the person who actually killed her son, went up to him and said, ‘I forgive you and God has forgiven you,’ and that was years ago.”

Under the terms of the agreement finalized before U.S. District Court Judge James Carr, the county’s insurance carrier is to pay the family of Carlton Benton $750,000 in compensatory damages and $530,000 for legal fees and expenses, said Dennis Lyle, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor.

Mr. Levin said the two sides were able to come together and work out what he deemed “a reasonable resolution.”

Read more: http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2017/02/23/County-to-pay-1-28M-in-2004-inmate-death.html

Coroner: Miami student died from complications of alcohol consumption

BUTLER COUNTY -- UPDATE @ 3:15 p.m.: At the time of her death, Buschick’s blood alcohol level was .347, more than three times the legal limit, according to the coroner’s report.

Buschick’s blood also tested positive for marijuana and an anti-depressant, according to the coroner’s office.

Dr. James Swinehart, the pathologist who performed the autopsy said “She was lying face down with her head and face in a soft pillow. There was a history of binge drinking and a fall on the sidewalk prior to being placed in her dorm room.”

Swinehart said positional asphyxia may have played a roll in Buschick’s death because she was was found face down. Her death was ruled an accident.

Read more: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/coroner-miami-student-died-from-complications-alcohol-consumption/MUARardg8VTdxJgeIoLNhM/

Worker who stole $90K from prosecutors office may avoid prison

A former Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office employee who pleaded guilty to stealing $89,976 from the county “made a series of bad choices which resulted in a situation that he could not overcome or correct,” according to a sentencing memorandum filed by his attorney Tuesday.

The memo says David Bruns reported the theft, dating back to December 2011, to his supervisor “in the summer of 2016.” Bruns worked in the delinquent tax unit.

He was fired Aug. 22 and Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck — whose cousin is Bruns’ wife Julie, who is head of Heck’s juvenile division — filed a request to have Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien take over the case as special prosecutor on Aug. 30.

Bruns’ sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 28. O’Brien has not filed a sentencing memo, but he previously said he is not recommending a prison sentence if Bruns pays back the money.

Read more: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/worker-who-stole-90k-from-prosecutor-office-may-avoid-prison/XJrZO5yfirPUTkYkNAI94O/

Trump to seek jobs advice from firms that offshore U.S. work

President Donald Trump, who has vowed to stop U.S. manufacturing from disappearing overseas, will seek job-creation advice on Thursday from at least five companies that are laying off thousands of workers as they shift production abroad.

Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N), United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), Dana Inc (DAN.N), 3M Co (MMM.N) and General Electric Co (GE.N), are offshoring work to Mexico, China, India and other countries, according to a Reuters review of U.S. Labor Department records.

Executives from the five companies are among a group of business leaders due to meet with Trump on Thursday to discuss how to help the president deliver on his promise to increase factory employment, according to the White House.

About 2,300 U.S. workers at these five companies stand to lose their jobs within the next two years as a result of offshoring, according to the Labor Department's Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which provides retraining benefits to workers displaced by global trade. Reuters obtained the information through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-jobs-idUSKBN1612DQ

Libyan Red Crescent recovers bodies of 74 refugees

Libya’s Red Crescent recovered the bodies of 74 migrants when they washed ashore in northwestern Libya near the town of Zawiya (30 miles west of Tripoli) early Wednesday morning. The Red Crescent indicated there were many more casualties, but that the rough seas prevented them from recovering the rest of the bodies.

Officials estimate there were some 150 refugees on board the vessel, which they believe was bound for Europe when it stopped functioning. A lone survivor--a middle-aged, African male--was rescued, comatose, from a torn rubber dinghy in the sea.

Taha K. Sultan Elbarghathi, a spokesperson for the Red Crescent, told CNN the drowned were all African men of varying ages. He noted more African migrants are now attempting the hazardous central Mediterranean route to Europe, departing from the Libyan coast.

According to Elbarghathi, the Zawiya team had never recovered so many bodies in a single incident. He believes the men fell prey to perilous sea conditions over the weekend. “We don’t know the exact time the boat capsized but the boat did not totally sink,” Elbarghathi told CNN. “One of the sides has lost its air.”

Read more: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/02/23/liby-f23.html

Violent arrests as police begin evacuating Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp

Riot police began violently arresting the remaining Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in the Oceti Sakowin Camp, following yesterday’s eviction deadline set by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgrum.

The first arrests occurred a few hours after the 2:00 pm deadline. Police rushed and tackled unarmed protesters and independent journalists, then retreated down the road, only to rush at protesters again. Eric Poemz, one of those attacked, was slammed onto the ground by the police, injuring his left hip and rendering him unable to walk.

The police presence was ramped up in the week leading to the February 22 deadline. Planes and helicopters owned by the pipeline company, carrying police, have been constantly surveilling the camp from only a few hundred feet in the sky. Supplies and sanitation services to the camp have been cut off by roadblocks and checkpoints set up by the police February 15.

The Oceti Sakowin Camp lies in the path of the nearly completed $3.78 billion oil pipeline, on land afforded to the Sioux tribe in the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is expected to be completed by March 6 and will transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil across four states, crossing both the nearby Ogallala Aquifer and the Missouri River.

Read more: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/02/23/dapl-f23.html

A declaration of war on 11 million people

THE DEPARTMENT of Homeland Security (DHS) released two memos on February 20 laying out measures to implement Donald Trump's anti-immigrant executive order, issued under the misleading title "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States."

In reality, Trump's order is a clear-and-present threat to the safety of millions of people, undocumented and not--and DHS officials have drawn up a battle plan for carrying it out.

The DHS memos are chilling because of the directives they contain that could destroy the lives of so many people--but also for their language that directly imports the racist right-wing myth of immigrants as a menacing horde directly into official government policy.

"Criminal aliens have demonstrated their disregard for the rule of law and pose a threat to persons residing in the United States," one memo declares, as if it was cut-and-pasted directly from a rant at Breitbart News.

Read more: https://socialistworker.org/2017/02/23/declaration-of-war-on-11-million-people

Once Again, Trump's Tweet Proves He's an Incompetent, Conspiracy-Driven Idiot

To be honest, I used to dread checking Twitter to see the latest idiotic drivel Donald Trump had sent out. However, now that he’s becoming more and more of a joke each and every day, I’ve actually found myself looking forward to his frequent Twitter temper tantrums. While I still despise the fact that he’s in office, he’s managed to exceed my expectations in how quickly he’s proven all of those who voted against him were right for doing so.

If this keeps up (which I don’t see any reason why it won’t), we could be looking at Trump’s approval numbers in the low 30’s in just a few weeks. Approval numbers that would make him so politically toxic, we’ll start seeing more and more members of his own party wanting nothing to do with him out of fear that aligning with him could cost them their job when the 2018 midterms roll around.

It’s why I’ve said Trump is even worse than I expected — but that’s a good thing.

Case in point, a tweet he sent out Tuesday night, once again showcasing that he’s nothing more than an incompetent, conspiracy-driven idiot:


Read more: https://forwardprogressives.com/latest-tweet-trump-proves-hes-incompetent-conspiracy-driven-idiot/
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