Friday, March 4, 2016

Royer's pictures tomorrow

Politics is wearing me out these days. I'm sure my doctor would recommend abstinence. I think when I quit watching Gilligan's Island my life has gone south. 

I reserve the right to change my mind when I process new information.  Something we don't seem to permit in our political candidates.  

This penis talk from the Republican Presidential candidates on tonight's debate makes me really do want to go back to when America was great...the Hamilton-Burr days when dueling was allowed. I've seen all I need to see. I just know everyone would  watch the next debate and the ratings would be high if they just issued them all pistols at the beginning of their intelligent "discussion".

The two most recent Republican Presidential nominees, Romney and McCain clearly today disavow Trump and warns Republicans. Brave of them because of the anticipated reaction from Trump.  There was never any doubt in my mind of McCain's patriotism.  Surprised Romney stepped up to the there is little personal gain for him.

Turns out if you go to space and stay there for a year it can make you grow 2" taller.  Problem is it's only temporary.  Checking my finances now and may opt in but it appears to be kinda pricey... not even counting the new clothes I'd have to buy.

Wish Trump hadn't told us today he could make Mitt Romney drop to his knees by merely asking this fellow rich man to do that. SOME things we don't need to know Donald.  Leave something to our imagination.  And how does Trump remember all these things considering that he once endorsed Mitt and Trump's hate list is now so HUGE and often consists of people he formerly endorsed  and told us what great people they were?  Isn't that evidence of his inability to judge correctly?



Video: Baltimore Police Officer Slaps and Kicks 16-Year-Old Student

by jonathanturley
Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.15.56 PMThe videotape below has shocked many people both inside and outside of Baltimore. A Baltimore school police officer is shown slapping and kicking a teenage youth while a second officer watches.The video raises the suitability of either officer to serve in the department as well as the question of potential criminal charges of assault.

short video. disgusting.  Someone in authority needs to stop this.

Video: Baltimore Police Officer Slaps and Kicks 16-Year-Old Student

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.15.56 PMThe videotape below has shocked many people both inside and outside of Baltimore. A Baltimore school police officer is shown slapping and kicking a teenage youth while a second officer watches. The video raises the suitability of either officer to serve in the department as well as the question of potential criminal charges of assault.
The two officers responded to REACH Partnership School after a report of two “intruders.” The officers say that they determined that the two were not students by consulting with school administrators, who could not identify them. However, the parents of the child being beaten says that he is in fact a student at the school. The parents went to the school to speak with the Principal James Gresham but was told that he was busy despite waiting to see him.
Here is the videotape:
I cannot imagine the defense that could be raised by either of these officers. The teenager is not threatening the officer or resisting at the time of the assault. That would seem an easy matter for termination and possible criminal charges.
The other officer does nothing. The key for that second officer is to confirm whether she immediately informed her supervisors or sought aid for the student. She should still have intervened but the failure to act after the assault should be enough to terminate her employment.
What do you think?




Before DAVIS, PRADO, and SOUTHWICK, Circuit Judges.
REVERSED. (February 23, 2016).
Plaintiffs brought the underlying suit on behalf of their minor son seeking attorneys' fees pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act's fee-shifting provision.   Their son, S.M., was a minor with a disability under the IDEA, and in response to an incident that occurred away from S. M.'s school, St. Tammany Parish School Board convened an Individualized Education Program meeting where it proposed changing S. M.'s educational plan. Under that new plan, S. M. would no longer attend classes at the school but would instead receive at-home tutoring. S. M.'s mother disagreed with this proposal and refused to consent to the change.   An Administrative Law Judge issued a ruling granting plaintiffs' request for a stay-put order. Citing the IDEA, the ALJ directed that S. M. be permitted to continue with his in-class educational program until a decision on the merits of the dispute was rendered.   Following that order, the parties reached a settlement through mediation, and plaintiffs moved to terminate the pending administrative hearing on the merits. Pursuant to Plaintiffs' request, the ALJ terminated the matter and never reached the merits of plaintiffs' claims. The District Court later held that plaintiffs were the prevailing party by virtue of having obtained the "stay-put" order under the IDEA and awarded plaintiffs attorneys' fees. Reversing the District Court, the Fifth Circuit holds that obtaining a stay-put order under the IDEA is not the same as obtaining a merits-based decision. Hence, it is insufficient to qualify a litigant as a "prevailing party."
On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (Helen Ginger Berrigan).
Attorney for Appellant - Wayne Thomas Stewart, Baton Rouge, LA
Attorney for Appellee - Debra Judith Weinberg, New Orleans, LA


Oregon Passes Highest Minimum Wage In The Nation Despite GOP Temper Tantrum

They whined and fear mongered, but in the end, Republicans had to sit and watch as Oregon took action to help struggling workers make a fair living.
On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill into law raising the state minimum wage to the highest in the country, but in a unique way that takes into consideration the differences between urban and rural business growth.
According to The Oregonian:
The bill gives Oregon the highest statewide minimum wage rates in the nation, to $14.75 inside Portland’s urban growth boundary, $13.50 in midsize counties and $12.50 in rural areas by 2022.
The law was agreed upon by labor unions and businesses in a compromise that should stand as proof that both sides can work together for the common good of the hardworking people who are trying to feed and cloth their families.
Governor Brown expressed pride at what Oregon Democrats have achieved for families across the state with the help of unions and businesses.
“I am extremely proud of the collaborative spirit of the stakeholder groups that worked to develop this legislation. Oregon has not only avoided a number of potentially problematic ballot measures, we have taken a very smart approach in a way that makes sense for workers and for businesses no matter where in Oregon they are.”
On Facebook, Brown wrote that the new law will “ensure hard-working Oregonians get a much-needed raise in order to keep up with rising costs of rent, food, and other necessities.”
Even President Obama praised the new wage hike in a statement via the White House, and called upon Congress to do the same for the rest of the nation.
I commend the Oregon Legislature and Governor Kate Brown for taking action to raise their state’s minimum wage. Since I first called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage in 2013, 18 states and the District of Columbia have acted on their own. These efforts will boost the paychecks of hardworking Americans and help support millions of workers trying to make ends meet. Today, more than half of our states guarantee their workers a wage higher than the federal minimum. That’s progress. But Congress needs to keep up with the rest of the country. They need to act, and finally give America a raise. And until they do, I’ll continue to encourage states, cities, counties and companies to act on their own to support hardworking families.
This is a great day for Oregon workers, who must be a little more excited than usual to go to work now that they know they’ll be taking home much more needed income to provide for themselves and their families.
The same cannot be said for most of Republican-controlled Alabama and other red states. Republicans there recently passed a law banning counties and cities from increasing the minimum wage within their own boundaries, making clear that they have no intention of raising the minimum wage in that state for the foreseeable future.
So while people in Oregon can have hope that the future will be financially brighter, people in Alabama are struck and that’s why it doesn’t make sense for people to vote for Republicans.




Russia Arrests Atheist For Questioning The Existence of God On Social Media

by jonathanturley
225px-Vladimir_Putin_official_portraitPatriarch_Kirill_of_MoscowWe have recently discussed how Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia have arrested and flogged atheists under medieval Sharia legal systems. However, the most recent case is not out of the Middle East but rather Russia. Viktor Krasnov has been arrested for simply stating his belief that "there is no God" during an argument on social media. For his atheist views, Krasnov has been charged with "offending believers feelings." He is the latest victim of the political alliance of Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church.

Egypt Expels Lawmaker For Inviting Israeli Ambassador to Dinner

by jonathanturley
CcEfGVdXIAApEnUEgypt's parliament voted overwhelmingly to expel Tawfik Okasha from the legislature for the apparently unforgivable sin of inviting the Israeli ambassador in Cairo for dinner. The picture of him meeting with the ambassador took that opposition into a full rage. Now remember that Egypt has full diplomatic relations with Israel, but Okasha's merely having dinner with the ambassador resulted in a vote of 465 out of 490 legislators supporting this expulsion.

Leading Pakistani Religious Council Declares Law Protecting Women From Domestic Violence To Be “UnIslamic”

by jonathanturley
150px-muslim_woman_in_yemenThe Women's Protection Act, passed by Pakistan's largest province of Punjab last week, would seem the type of law that no civilized person could contest. It offers legal protection to women from sexual abuse and violence while calling for the creation of a toll-free abuse reporting hot line and the establishment of women's shelters. However, the Council of Islamic Ideology, a powerful Pakistani religious body that advises the government on the compatibility of laws with Islam, has now declared that criminalizing violence against women is "un-Islamic."


From left, Senator Marco Rubio, Donald J. Trump, Senator Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich at the start of the Fox News presidential debate in Detroit on Thursday.
In Republican Debate, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio Wage Urgent Attacks on Donald Trump


Mr. Rubio and Mr. Cruz relentlessly demeaned and denounced Mr. Trump at Thursday's debate, all but pleading with Republicans to reconsider nominating him.


Mitt Romney and John McCain Denounce Donald Trump as a Danger to Democracy


The last two Republican presidential nominees warned in forceful terms that a Trump presidency would put the country's political system and national security in peril.




Appeals court OKs $3M whistleblower award to fired university attorney

An Illinois appellate court on Wednesday OK’d a $3 million whistleblower award to a former Chicago State University attorney who said he was fired and discredited because he insisted on following the law.
With accrued interest, the award will be closer to $5 million, reports theChicago Tribune (reg. req.). Although Chicago State is struggling financially due to state budget woes, insurance is likely to cover the award.
Attorney and administrator James Crowley was the target of “a campaign designed to both economically harm … and inflict psychological distress,” a unanimous three-judge appellate panel said, after he refused to withhold material about the university’s then-president under Illinois open-records law. Also at issue, according to Crowley, were questionable Chicago State contracts he reported to the Illinois attorney general’s office.
A Cook County jury in 2014 found Chicago State liable in the first whistleblower verdict awarded under a state ethics law that applies to government employees, the newspaper reports. He is presently working a temporary job as a document reviewer.
As the ethics law allows, Cook County Judge James McCarthy, who presided over the trial, later doubled the jury’s $480,000 back pay award. That brought the total compensatory damages to more than $1 million with interest. Another $2 million in punitive damages was also included in the award.
The Tribune says McCarthy also ordered that Crowley be reinstated to his $120,000-a-year position.
“The university is disappointed in today’s ruling upholding the unprecedented level of punitive damages awarded in this case,” said Chicago State in a written statement provided to the newspaper. “We will immediately move to appeal this decision to the state supreme court.
“The main issue of contention in this case is the question of the large punitive awards, and the question is an important one,” the statement continues. “Under the current act, the question of punitive damages has not been settled by the highest court and we look forward to making our case.”
A former Chicago State president and the university’s board of trustees also were named defendants.
Related coverage:


Terrorism defendants ordered by judge to face evaluation for deradicalization program

Mar 4, 2016, 7:30 am CST



Judge tosses First Amendment suit challenging statehouse ban of food truck with slur in name

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state of New York’s decision to ban a food truck from a vendor program because its name was an Italian slur.
U.S. District Judge Mae D’Agostino of Albany tossed the suit in a decision(PDF) on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports.
Truck owners Andrea Loguidice and Brandon Snooks had alleged the state violated their First amendment rights when it refused to allow their “Wandering Dago” food truck to park outside New York’s statehouse. They have said the name is a “playful reference” to their Italian heritage.
D’Agostino said the case did not “fit cleanly within any of the existing First Amendment jurisprudence,” so she would analyze it under cases governing government forums, employee/contractor speech, and government speech. “Whatever the appropriate analysis,” she wrote, “the end result is the same”—there was no First Amendment violation.
D’Agostino also found no equal-protection violation.
The truck owners’ claims against the New York State Racing Association, which banned the food truck from the Saratoga Race Course, have settled.
The lawyer for the truck owners, George Carpinello of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, told the Law Blog he planned to appeal the dismissal of the case against New York state.
“We think this is an important First Amendment case and the judge’s reasoning is unprecedented,” Carpinello said. “In essence what the judge said was, anybody who seeks a permit to perform activities on public property is in effect a vendor of the state and their speech becomes state speech. We think, respectfully, that turns the First Amendment on its head.”



Justice Department reportedly grants immunity to staffer who set up Clinton's email server

Mar 3, 2016, 10:25 am CST



Chief justice refuses states' request to stay mercury rule in 'significant victory' for EPA

John Roberts
Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Thursday refused a request by 20 states to stay an Environmental Protection Agency regulation limiting mercury and other toxic pollutants from power plants.
Roberts’ refusal was “a significant victory for the Obama administration,” the New York Times reports. The article sees Roberts’ action as “an indication that Justice Scalia’s death has altered the balance of power on the Supreme Court.” SCOTUSblog and theAssociated Press also have stories.
Justices routinely refer stay applications to the entire court, but Roberts chose not to do that, SCOTUSblog points out.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit had refused to block the mercury regulation as the EPA completed a cost-benefit review required by a U.S. Supreme Court decision last June. The June decision by Justice Antonin Scalia said the Clean Air Act provision requiring EPA regulation of hazardous emissions when “appropriate and necessary” required at least some analysis of cost.
The states seeking the stay argued that the D.C. Circuit had undermined their Supreme Court victory.
The states noted that the U.S. Supreme Court recently blocked a clean-power rule intended to fight global warming though a federal appeals court had not yet reviewed the regulation. Justice Antonin Scalia was among five justices who voted to issue the stay of the clean-power rule; four justices dissented from that stay grant.



South Africa's top court ends Pistorius murder appeal; sentencing now looms

The top court in South Africa has denied Oscar Pistorius leave to appeal his murder conviction in the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend, law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp.
A spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority said the Constitutional Court made the ruling Thursday, finding the appeal had “no prospect of success,” according to the BBC News and the Sydney Morning Herald.
That sets the stage for Pistorius to be sentenced in April, when the government could seek a prison term of 15 years or more.
A celebrated international track star, Pistorius said he shot Steenkamp unintentionally on Valentine’s Day in 2013, believing the person behind the bathroom door in his home was an intruder.
A trial judge apparently found his testimony persuasive, convicting Pistorius in 2014 of culpable homicide and sentencing him to a five-year prison term.
However, an appellate court in December upgraded the conviction to murder.
“This is the end of the road for Oscar. The murder conviction will stand, and there is nothing that he can do to change that,” attorney Marius du Toit told the Morning Herald. The criminal defense lawyer in Pretoria has frequently commented to the media on the case but apparently does not represent Pistorius.
Related coverage:


Report: Police Officer Removed Knife From OJ Estate And Kept It As Souvenir

by jonathanturley
oj simpsonIn an unbelievable development, news reports have revealed that an unnamed police officer found a knife on the estate where O.J. Simpson lived at the time of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Sources say that the knife appeared to have possible blood residue. Here is the truly incredible part: the officer, who was off-duty at the time, kept the knife as a souvenir and later sought to confirm the case number for a proper framing of the knife. Yet, there is no indication that the officer has been arrested for the removal of the possible evidence. While it could prove to unrelated to the murders, the officer clearly thought that it might be key evidence.


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