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herding cats

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Member since: Mon Nov 18, 2013, 03:56 PM
Number of posts: 15,870

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SC lawmakers discussing Confederate flag’s removal; Haley to hold 4 p.m. news conference

Source: The Charlotte Observer

COLUMBIA, SC - Gov. Nikki Haley plans a news conference Monday afternoon amid growing speculation that South Carolina leaders are ready to call for removing the Confederate flag from the State House grounds.


Haley, a Lexington Republican, is meeting with state political leaders Monday ahead of her 4 p.m. news conference. The office of House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, confirmed he is meeting with Haley at 1 p.m.


State Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, said Monday lawmakers have been on the phone in recent days talking about the Confederate flag.

Smith said there is a “growing consensus among lawmakers – House, Senate, Republicans and Democrats” – to resolve the flag issue before the next legislative session begins.

Smith said lawmakers have the ability vote on removing the flag this summer by amending a resolution that has allowed them to continue working after the regular session ended in early June.

Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article25160845.html

South Carolina Politicians Call for the Confederate Flag to Come Down

Local religious and political leaders joined forces today to call for the South Carolina state general assembly to remove the Confederate battle flag still flying at the state capitol after last week's deadly shooting spree at a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

"The time has come to remove this symbol of hate and division from our state capitol," said the Rev. Nelson Rivers, who is a member of the National Action Network and the pastor at a local Baptist church.


Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said that while the flag was originally used to commemorate South Carolina residents who died during the Civil War, "years and years ago [it] was appropriated as a symbol of hate," he said today.


US senators call for mandatory reporting of police killings

Source: The Guardian

A plan to force all American law enforcement agencies to report killings by their officers was unveiled by US senators on Tuesday, a day after the Guardian published an investigation into the fatal use of force by police.

Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey proposed legislation that would demand all states submit reports to the US Department of Justice that they said would bring “transparency and accountability to law enforcement agencies nationwide”.

“Too many members of the public and police officers are being killed, and we don’t have reliable statistics to track these tragic incidents,” Boxer said in a statement. “This bill will ensure that we know the full extent of the problem so we can save lives on all sides.”

Aides to the senators said their bill, the Police Reporting of Information, Data and Evidence (Pride) Act, would force mandatory reporting on the same data being collected by The Counted, a database published by the Guardian beginning this week.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/02/us-senators-call-for-mandatory-reporting-police-killings

Climate deal must avoid US Congress approval, French minister says

Source: The Guardian

The global climate agreement being negotiated this year must be worded in such a way that it doesn’t require approval by the US Congress, the French foreign minister said on Monday.

Laurent Fabius told African delegates at UN climate talks in Bonn that “we know the politics in the US. Whether we like it or not, if it comes to the Congress, they will refuse.”

If negotiators follow his plan, that would exclude an international treaty that has legally binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions — something some countries still insist on but which would have no chance of being ratified by the Republican-controlled Congress.

“We must find a formula which is valuable for everybody and valuable for the US without going to the Congress,” said Fabius, who will host the UN climate summit in Paris in December where the new agreement is supposed to be adopted.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/01/un-climate-talks-deal-us-congress

Texas Flooding Toll: 8 Dead, 13 Missing

Source: NBC

The death toll from Texas flooding continued to climb on Tuesday, as many areas remained inaccessible and authorities warned of more trouble to come.

The dead included eight in Texas, three of them in Houston.

In Hays County, about 180 miles west of Houston, officials said two people were dead, 12 were officially missing and another 30 people are "unaccounted for," officials said in an afternoon briefing.

That included a eight people staying together in a vacation home in Wimberley, which was swept off its stilts by a tsunami-like "wall of water" that roared down the Blanco River over the weekend following a wave of torrential rain, Hays County Commissioner Will Conley said. The river surged 44 feet there.

Search and rescue operations were continuing, on land and from air, he said.

Among the confirmed dead in Texas were a 14-year-old boy found inside a storm drain and a homecoming queen who was driving home from her prom. Two victims in Houston were under or in submerged cars, and a third involved a capsized boat, officials said.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/texas-flooding-toll-7-dead-12-missing-30-unaccounted-n364876

Another round of storms is about to move into the already storm damaged regions over the next 24 hours. Stay safe Texas DUers.

Editing headline to:
Texas Flooding Toll: 8 Dead, 13 Missing

Previous (confusing) headline - Texas Flooding Toll: 8 Dead, 12 Missing, 30 Unaccounted For - has been changed by NBC.

Josh and Anna Duggar Shut Down Website Amid Molestation Reports

Josh and Anna Duggar’s official website has been taken down.

It’s been three days since Josh responded to allegations that he molested five underage girls as a teen. In wake of the reports, Josh’s scheduled appearance at a Christian homeschool convention in Sandusky, Ohio, has been canceled, according to [link:E! Online.|E! Online].


I looked and this is what shows when you click the link:

We apologize for the inconvenience, but unfortunately this website is currently unavailable.

If you are the web hosting account owner, please contact us at your earliest convenience. Our customer service team is available 24x7 via phone or email:

Email: support@inmotionhosting.com
Phone: 1-888-321-4678 (1-757-416-6575 Int'l)

We cannot disclose any information regarding this account if you are not its owner or authorized party.
For the security and privacy of our customers, all account requests are verified prior to the disclosure of account information

Earthquake: 5.4 quake strikes near Caliente, Nev.

Source: LA Times

A shallow magnitude 5.4 earthquake was reported Friday morning 24 miles from Caliente, Nev., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The temblor occurred at 11:47 a.m. PDT at a depth of 3.7 miles, the USGS said, and quakes of magnitude 3.8 and 3.0 were reported in the minutes afterward.

There are no reports of damage or injuries after the earthquake, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was 46 miles from Mesquite, Nev., 60 miles from St. George, Utah, and 63 miles from Washington, Utah.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-na-nn-earthquakesa-earthquake-54-quake-strikes-near-caliente-nev-u2izki-story.html

No reports of damage beyond a few items being knocked off shelves, etc. so far.

America Is A Liberal Nation: For The First Time Social Liberals Outnumber Conservatives

For the first time since polling began in 1999, Gallup found that there are more social liberals in the United States than social conservatives.

Gallup reported that the number of respondents who called themselves social liberals has increased to 31%, while the number of self-identified social conservatives has fallen to 30%. The number of Democrats who refer to themselves as social liberals jumped from 47% in 2014 to 53% in 2015. The number of Republicans who call themselves socially conservative has declined from 60% in 2014 to 53% in 2015.

Democrats who used to call themselves social moderates are moving to the left while Republicans are experiencing a decline in social conservatives. The polling matches the overall trend in the country. America has moved left on same-sex marriage, equal pay for women, immigration, and climate change. Issues like the minimum wage and taxes have become both social and economic causes.

The United States is moving to the left. It has been inching leftward on social issues for decades, and the leftward trend is accelerating.


Some good news for a Friday.

Christie ally David Wildstein pleads guilty, says Bridgegate closures were retribution

NEWARK — Former Port Authority executive David Wildstein pleaded guilty Friday to his role in the politically-motivated closure of local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.

Wildstein, 53, admitted to conspiring with former Port Authority Deputy Director Bill Baroni and Gov. Chris Christie's former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly to "punish" Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie in his re-election bid.

Wildstein will be released on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond in return for his cooperation with the government.

Watching the proceedings were the two Democratic legislators who spearheaded hearings into the episode: Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. Wildstein refused to answer questions posed by an Wisnewski's Assembly committee last year, citing his right to avoid incriminating himself.


Ally of Christie Pleads Guilty in George Washington Bridge Case; Other Indictments Expected

Bringing to a head a 16-month federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closings scandal, a judge in New Jersey was expected to unseal indictments of two people close to Gov. Chris Christie at a court hearing Friday, according to people with knowledge of the case.

Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, were expected to be indicted.

The news comes as David Wildstein, another former Port Authority official and a high-school friend of Mr. Christie, pleaded guilty at the United States District Court in Newark to conspiracy to commit fraud and “conspiracy against civil rights.”

Judge Susan D. Wigenton, who presided over the case, laid out the scheme by detailing his criminal acts. She asked a laundry list of questions, all of which Mr. Wildstein answered with a soft “yes,” while standing at the defense table.

She asked if he conspired with Mr. Baroni and Ms. Kelly to shut down lanes to punish Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee for not endorsing Mr. Christie in his 2013 re-election campaign.
Continue reading the main story
Graphic: Chris Christie and the Lane Closings: A Spectator’s Guide

“Did you agree with Mr. Baroni and Ms. Kelly to punish Mayor Sokolich by causing significant lane access problems,” the judge asked, staring down from the bench at Mr. Wildstein.

“Yes,” Mr. Wildstein answered.


Posted by herding cats | Fri May 1, 2015, 12:09 PM (9 replies)

U.S. Antitrust Lawyers Said to Be Leaning Against Comcast Merger

Source: Bloomberg

Staff attorneys at the Justice Department’s antitrust division are nearing a recommendation to block Comcast Corp.’s bid to buy Time Warner Cable Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

Attorneys who are investigating Comcast’s $45.2 billion proposal to create a nationwide cable giant are leaning against the merger out of concerns that consumers would be harmed and could submit their review as soon as next week, said the people.

The antitrust lawyers will present their findings to Renata Hesse, a deputy assistant attorney general for antitrust, who will decide, along with the division’s top officials, whether to file a federal lawsuit to block the deal, they said.

The Justice Department lawyers have been contacting outside parties in the last few weeks to shore up evidence to support a potential case against the merger, one of the people said.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-17/u-s-antitrust-lawyers-said-to-be-leaning-against-comcast-merger

GOP Senator Explains GOP's Biggest Fear If Obamacare Goes Down In Court

In a little-noticed radio interview, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) articulated the GOP's biggest fear if the Supreme Court wipes out Obamacare tax credits for millions of Americans who buy insurance from the federal HealthCare.gov exchange.

The fear: President Barack Obama and Democrats will be ready with a one-page bill to restore the subsidies, as well as a slew of attack ads telling horror stories about "individuals that have benefited from Obamacare on the backs of the American taxpayer" and lost their coverage, the Republican said.

Here's the transcript from the April 14 interview radio interview, in which Johnson is asked a question by host Jay Weber about King v. Burwell.

JOHNSON: Unfortunately, President Obama's response to an adverse decision — in other words one that actually follows the law — would be really simple. Just a one-sentence bill allowing people’s subsidies to flow to federal exchanges and/or offer the governors, 'Hey, we know you got those federal exchanges. Just sign the bottom line. We’ll make those established by the state.' And of course, he'll have the ads all racked up with the individuals that have benefited from Obamacare on the backs of the American taxpayer. He'll have all those examples as well so...

WEBER: And the sad sack stories about who's dying from what and why they can’t get their coverage.


WEBER: Oh yeah.


Audio below:

The reality of getting what they've wished for is setting in for some in the GOP. It's disgusting how they're fine with the people dying from a lack of medical care, and yet worried these deaths will be used against them.

My hope is Russ Feingold hands Ron Johnson his walking papers in 2016, no matter what happens with the ACA ruling.

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