Monday, October 5, 2015

a little splash of red


Weary. If my government really loved me, it would ban use of the words amazing and surreal.


Spoons are responsible for me being fat.  Now if we had background checks.....


Cosmopolitan Magazine's cover says it all.

As the President we elected, but who was never allowed to serve, Gore, once said "I'm serial".



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Judge Presses State on Birth Certificate Denials

A federal judge on Friday repeatedly asked an attorney for the state of Texas if denying birth certificates to dozens of U.S.-citizen children is an appropriate response to a problem whose scope is still unknown.
U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by a group of undocumented parents and their U.S.-citizen children against the state Department of State Health Services, which has effectively blocked the children from obtaining birth certificates.  
The families allege that the department has violated the children’s constitutional rights by ordering local county registrars to stop recognizing Mexican consular IDs — known as a matrícula consular — and foreign passports without valid visas, as proof of identification that the parents may use to obtain the vital records. The state argues the documents are susceptible to fraud. 
“Is this a solution in search of a problem?” Pitman asked assistant attorney general Thomas Albright, representing the agency, health Commissioner Kirk Cole and State Registrar Geraldine Harris. “What makes this burden necessary?”
Pitman’s remarks came after he told the state's attorneys he would not allow them to debate the importance of birth certificates, a document he said was “the primary evidence of U.S. citizenship.”
The hearing came after the families asked for an emergency injunction ordering the health department to identify two acceptable forms of identification parents can use to obtain birth certificates. 
Attorney Jennifer Harbury, representing the families, reiterated her belief that Texas changed its policies without warning in reaction to the national debate over illegal immigration that reached a fever pitch in 2011. After that, she said, Texas became the only state in the country to prevent undocumented immigrants from getting birth certificates.
But Albright said the families haven’t proven their case enough for Pitman to grant the emergency order, and instead said the issue should play out through a regular trial.
“There is no burden on us to say ‘We’re great. Our rule is perfect,’” he told Pitman. “Today is just one step in what is a longer process. I don’t think they’ve argued the proof that you need.”
Albright also focused on the Mexican matrícula, conceding it has been made more secure and tamper proof but saying it is still susceptible to fraud. 
Harbury said the families would be amenable to a ruling that excluded that document from a list of approved items. Her argument, she said, is that nothing else is currently acceptable.
“Forty-nine other states accept another form [of ID],” she said.
Though he seemed to question more than one of the state’s claims, Pitman also appeared hesitant to make a decision without more information. It’s unclear when he will rule.
Friday’s hearing marks the first time oral arguments were heard in the case, which was filed in May. The complaint has been amended since to include more than 30 families, and Harbury said that at least 17 more families have expressed similar problems obtaining birth documents.
Albright declined to speak to reporters after the hearing, but Attorney General Ken Paxtonreleased a statement shortly afterward.
“In this case, a birth certificate is the key to a person’s very identity, and these vital documents must be protected by requiring basic, common-sense forms of identification in order to obtain copies,” Paxton said. “With identity theft a growing national concern, now is not the time to relax our requirements and accept forms of identification that may not sufficiently prove that a requestor is who they say they are.”

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Asgari Begum's son Mohammed Ikhlaq was beaten to death by vigilantes in Bisada, India.
Mob Attack, Fueled by Rumors of Cow Slaughter, Has Political Overtones in India

By DAVID BARSTOW and SUHASINI RAJ

Ten men were charged with murdering a Muslim man over rumors that a cow had been killed, raising questions about a group allied with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party.





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Meggan





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LINKEDIN TO PAY OUT $13 MILLION TO SETTLE EMAIL LAWSUIT

This Tuesday, May 7, 2013 file photo shows LinkedIns Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. LinkedIn reports quarterly financial results on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.
This Tuesday, May 7, 2013 file photo shows LinkedIn's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. LinkedIn reports quarterly financial results on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File))
LinkedIn is paying up for sending you too many emails after the social networking site agreed to shell out $13 million to settle a 2013 lawsuit.

Some LinkedIn members were upset the address book contacts they requested to connect with received multiple reminder emails.

The settlement affects those who used the feature between September 17, 2011 and October 31, 2014.

Users have until December 14 to submit a claim form, and can get up to $1,500 from LinkedIn, based on how many users file claims.

Go HERE for more details or to file a claim: http://www.addconnectionssettlement.com/



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The Brief: Cruz's Sharp Elbows Could Have Long-Term Effects

by Madlin Mekelburg and John Reynolds | Oct. 5, 2015
Sen. Ted Cruz speaking at a the Stop The Iran Nuclear Deal protest  in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on September 9, 2015.  Notables at the protest were Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson.  The event was organized by the Tea Party.

The Big Conversation

GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz shows no hesitancy in throwing some sharp elbows at the establishment as senator. As the Tribune's Abby Livingston writes this weekend, that could have consequences for Cruz's future effectiveness as senator.
One key consequence could be in his committee assignments. Livingston writes that committee assignment recommendations are made after each election:
"For now, he sits on prime committees, including the Judiciary and Armed Services committees. Committee assignments are where serious power is delegated, and committee chairs wield enormous influence ... If Cruz remains in the Senate after the 2016 election, his committee assignments would be subject to the approval of (Senate Majority Leader MitchMcConnell, the man whom Cruz called a liar."
And should he win the White House, Cruz would still need 60 senators to support his agenda, something that Livingston notes that the current president hasn't always had. A Cruz spokeswoman tells the Tribune that should Cruz become president, "Republicans in Congress will have no more excuses for failing to fight."

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Jailhouse jeopardy: Guards often brutalize and neglect 

inmates in Harris County Jail, records showHouston

 Chronicle





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INSIDE THE $80 MILLION HOME OF THE WORLD’S SECOND-RICHEST MAN

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Supreme Court justices become more liberal as they age, statistics blog says

Oct 5, 2015, 8:52 am CDT




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TRIALS & LITIGATION

Lawyer can't avoid $364K contempt sanction by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, court rules


Share9
A Michigan lawyer who was held in civil contempt and ordered to pay nearly $364,000 in sanctions for violating a court order and helping a client sell an insurance firm can’t discharge the debt by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, a bankruptcy court has ruled.
Finding that attorney David Charron’s violation of the Kent County Circuit Court order was willful and malicious, Judge James Boyd said it is not dischargeable in the Western District of Michigan bankruptcy case, according to the he Wall Street Journal’sBankruptcy Beat blog, which provides a link to the court’s Wednesday opinion (PDF).
It would appear that Charron may still be able to attempt to get the bankruptcy court’s help in creating a viable payment plan by making a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.
See also:
ABAJournal.com: “Veteran lawyer fined $1K for using b-word to describe trial court in contempt-case appeal

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Ex-judge is awarded $7M by St. Louis jury in disability suit


Share1
A former administrative law judge who wanted to work despite his muscular dystrophy but says he was forced by a hostile work environment to go on long-term disability instead was awarded $7 million last week by a St. Louis jury.
The award to Matthew Vacca, 55, includes $3 million in punitive damages. Of the $3 million, $500,000 is to be paid by Brian May, the director of the Workers’ Compensation Division of the Missouri Division of Labor & Industrial Relations where Vacca formerly worked, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Attorney Joan Swartz is one of the lawyers who represented Vacca. She said a judge will determine after an Oct. 9 hearing how much to award her client in attorney fees and whether he should be reinstated as an administrative law judge.
“He felt vindicated,” said Swartz of Vacca during a Friday interview with the newspaper. “He felt like he was heard and somebody listened to him and believed him and saw him for the first time on these issues.”
Vacca had served as an administrative law judge since 1992. In 2011, May said Vacca had effectively resigned by applying for long-term disability benefits, according to court documents.
A spokeswoman for the Missouri Attorney General’s office, which defended the case, declined to comment when contacted by the Post-Dispatch.






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LEGAL ETHICS

Lawyer blasted by federal appeals court for forwarding judge email did nothing wrong, state bar says


Share1
Although blasted by a federal appeals court last year for circulating a congratulatory email from a federal judge, a BigLaw partner did nothing calling for attorney discipline, the California State Bar has determined.
Partner Edward Reines of Weil Gotshal & Manges said in an August pro hac vice motion (PDF) concerning a case before the U.S. Patent and Appeal Board that the state bar had looked into the matter and “determined that no action was warranted and closed its file,” the Recorder (sub. req.) reports.
He was granted the admission he sought a few days later.
Reines and the state bar declined to comment when contacted by the legal publication.


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a little splash of red



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