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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 83,344

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Cooper quickly vetoes both bills lawmakers passed in special session

RALEIGH, N.C. — Accusing lawmakers of "shamelessly attempting to mislead voters," Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday vetoed the two elections-related bills the legislature passed in a one-day special session this week.

The General Assembly called itself into session on Tuesday to devise short captions to appear on the November ballot with the six proposed constitutional amendments they have put before voters. While in Raleigh, they also passed a bill spelling out who could and could not have a party label next to their names on the ballot.

"Legislative Republicans want to roll back checks and balances in order to pick their own judges and put special interests in charge of education, voting, clean water and more," Cooper said in a statement. "Republican legislators are shamefully attempting to mislead voters in order to undermine our state’s constitution and weaken the separation of powers between the branches of government."

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore promised quick overrides of both vetoes.

Read more: https://www.wral.com/cooper-quickly-vetoes-both-bills-lawmakers-passed-in-special-session/17729364/

Why is any mention of God met with condescension?

By Leonard Pitts, Jr.

All she asked was that someone pray for her.

As relayed on Twitter by the activist Brittany Packnett, the unnamed woman certainly had good reason to seek help, divine or otherwise. She was one of the people held hostage by a gunman last week in an L.A. Trader Joe’s. According to Packnett, her friend was hiding in the back of the store with her husband and a pregnant woman. All three survived, though another woman was killed.

The prayer request was too much for “Elizabeth Post,” a self-described “Australian who is sickened by hypocrites.” Though she has the name of a famous etiquette writer, Post responded with a series of tweets noteworthy for their remarkable lack of grace.

“Has that worked in all the other shootings?” she demanded. “No. Prayer does nothing. If prayer worked, there would be no shootings.”

And: “It only makes you feel good. You only ask others to pray on Twitter & Facebook to gain popularity for yourself.”

Read more: https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/article215698300.html

The Assault on Democracy in North Carolina

Since 2013, North Carolina has stayed in national headlines because of the political antics of the Republican legislature. The tactics they’ve used are far more disturbing than their policies. They’ve brazenly undermined democracy and systematically removed checks and balances from the government. What’s more disturbing is the silence from people who should know better.

As soon as Roy Cooper beat Pat McCrory in the race for governor, the legislature began transferring power reserved for the governor to the legislature. They’ve been so successful that, when asked by a reporter if the proposed constitutional amendments were designed to strip power from Cooper, Berger laughed and asked, “Does he still have any?” Moore chimed in, adding, “If you have any suggestions, let us know.”

The two legislative leaders thought they were being funny, but it was only funny because it was so true. They’ve got veto proof majorities in both houses of the legislature despite only accumulating slightly more than a majority of the legislative votes. Now, they’re going trying to accumulate more power by stripping the governor of his appointment powers in proposed constitutional amendments.

They’ve protected their majorities with the most egregious gerrymanders in the nation. Instead of denying trying to disenfranchise Democrats through rigged districts, they’re proud of it. When asked why he drew Congressional Districts that gave Republicans a 10-3 advantage, Rep. David Lewis replied that he didn’t believe it was possible to draw an 11-2 map. Those aren’t the words of somebody concerned about free and fair elections.

Read more: https://www.politicsnc.com/the-assault-on-democracy-in-north-carolina/

A decade after key court ruling, N.C. public school districts say they're owed millions by the state

Nearly a decade after a Superior Court judge found that state agencies owed public school districts almost $750 million, local and state school leaders say they will file a new legal complaint against North Carolina Wednesday.

In that new complaint, which will be filed in Wake County Superior Court, the N.C. School Boards Association (NCSBA) and “many school districts” say they will argue that the state legislature and state agencies have yet to meet their obligations under that ruling.

“The plaintiffs are seeking a win/win and remain willing and eager to work with the legislature and defendants to reach a mutually beneficial resolution,” the NCSBA said in a statement.

School districts say state agencies have held onto millions in civil penalty funds that they were constitutionally obligated to spend on public school technology.

Read more: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2018/07/30/a-decade-after-key-court-ruling-n-c-public-school-districts-say-theyre-owed-730-million-by-the-state/

Putin's fans in the US white supremacist movement

Shortly after Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president, the candidate made an appearance at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, supported by an all-star undercard of GOP politicians, including then-Gov. Pat McCrory, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and one or two congressmen.

During the speeches, I wandered out of the exhibit area in the center of the floor where the candidate lobbed derisive barbs at the press to the delight of his audience. One of the most startling revelations from my foray out of the press pen was the sight of a man standing near the front who wore a long-sleeved shirt with the back covered in vivid color with the image of a bare-chested Vladimir Putin riding a horse. To many political reporters in July 2016 — certainly to me — admiration for Putin among a small number of Trump supporters seemed like a freakish but largely insignificant sideshow.

Later, a YouTube video surfaced of Greensboro area white supremacist Manuel Luxton at the Trump rally a month prior exhorting, “Stop the war crimes against Novorossiya” — a politicized term denoting support for Russia’s expansionist aims in Ukraine. The geopolitical reference might seem obscure, but it points to a striking irony: that the anti-globalist right is far more internationally engaged than the left at the moment, whether it’s American evangelicals traveling to Russia for “family values” conferences or Trump promoting Brexit.

Trump’s successful exploitation of white nationalism to build a political coalition and his strange attraction to Vladimir Putin have never quite synced up as a unified narrative. Until last week, that is, when, one day after the president’s disastrous press conference with Putin in Helsinki, the League of the South announced plans to launch a Russian-language page.

Read more: https://triad-city-beat.com/putin-fans-us-white-supremacist-movement/

Richmond Democrats elect new leadership; will remain under state party supervision

The local wing of the Democratic Party of Virginia elected new leadership over the weekend after the resolution of a lengthy spat stemming from disputed officer contests held earlier this year.

The Richmond City Democratic Committee chose Jamie Nolan as its new chairwoman Saturday at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in the city’s East End. Nolan bested former City Council President Michelle Mosby to win the contest.

Nolan, the committee’s former secretary, had challenged former chair James ‘J.J.’ Minor when the committee originally held leadership elections in January. The results from that contest, which Minor won, were wiped away after 10 members of the committee filed a complaint citing a flawed process and voter intimidation.

"We discussed moving forward, mending fences, coming together, which I think we all had hoped for as the best turn out," Nolan said.

Read more: https://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/richmond-democrats-elect-new-leadership-will-remain-under-state-party/article_1912c17c-fe53-5c27-a949-47de44f49bb1.html

Students push for on-campus voting precincts at CNU, William and Mary

William Parada won’t be a student at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg when Virginians help pick the next president of the United States.

But he is leading a push that, if successful, might let his younger peers vote in that 2020 election right on campus, between classes or study sessions. Christopher Newport University student Matthew Godsoe is hoping for the same thing, but at his own school in Newport News.

Godsoe and Parada are the presidents of their respective student chapters of Virginia21, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that aims to get more students and young professionals to the polls and involved with policymaking decisions.

This past spring, both young men — seniors — started mobilizing their chapters to make voting more accessible for students who might not have time to go off campus on an election day. They’re both devising plans to build student support and present formal plans to their school administrations, hopefully to bring a precinct to their campuses in the next two years.

Read more: http://www.dailypress.com/news/politics/va-general-assembly/dp-nws-politics-precincts-college-campus-20180724-story.html

Ramos pleads not guilty in Capital Gazette shooting

Jarrod Ramos, the Laurel man accused of blasting his way into the Capital Gazette newsroom last month and killing five staff members, entered a not-guilty plea Monday, according to recent court filings.

Ramos, 38, has been indicted on five counts of first-degree murder and other violations. Anne Arundel public defender William Davis entered his appearance as Ramos’ attorney Monday, eliminating the need to an hold an arraignment that had been scheduled.

The Anne Arundel state's attorney has also filed a request to seal residences and phone numbers for civilian witnesses who might be called to testify at trial.

Initial appearances tend to be perfunctory meetings in which judges advise defendants of the charges against them and their rights to an attorney. Often, an attorney will enter an appearance, notifying the court that he or she will represent the defendant.

Read more: http://www.dailypress.com/news/bs-md-ar-ramos-initial-appearance-20180729-story.html

No prison for grandson of ex-Virginia governor in rape case

Stephen Dalton Baril, a former University of Virginia student accused of raping another student, entered an Alford plea on Friday and will not serve any prison time.

As a part of the Alford plea — which is used when a defendant acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict them while they maintain innocence — Baril’s initial charges of felony rape and felony sodomy were reduced to misdemeanor sexual battery and felony unlawful wounding, respectively.

The maximum prison sentence Baril could have faced was five years, all of which Judge Humes J. Franklin suspended. Baril will be on supervised probation for five years and is not allowed to have any contact with the victim or key witnesses.

If the case had gone to trial with the initial charges, Baril would have faced a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years.

Baril, 21, the grandson of a former Virginia governor, initially faced charges of rape and sodomy after a young woman — identified in court as M.H. — told police she was raped by him on the night of Jan. 31 and into the early morning hours of Feb. 1, 2017.

Read more: https://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/crime/no-prison-for-ex-uva-student-in-rape-case/article%E2%80%9496e7a50e-91f7-11e8-ae93-a377469c48c3.html

Baril is the grandson of John Dalton, a Republican who served as governor from 1978 to 1982. His father, Steve Baril, is a Republican who ran unsuccessfully in 2005 for attorney general.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she has 'at least 5 more years' on the Supreme Court. Her fans rejoice.

"Ruth Bader Ginsburg" was trending on Twitter Sunday night, and liberals across the internet panicked.

"My heart stopped for a moment," tweeted writer Wajahat Ali.

Dedicated RBG fans feared the worst. They refused to look up the news. They prayed. They offered their kidneys.

"I was on my way to the hospital to donate all my organs," wrote another fan. "Please be alive, please be alive, please be alive ... ," tweeted another.

Then, came a collective exhale. Her admirers soon realized that Ginsburg is very much alive, and that the news was that she does not plan on stepping down anytime soon. She said so during a speaking appearance Sunday following a performance in New York of "The Originalist," a play about the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Read more: https://www.newsadvance.com/news/trending/ruth-bader-ginsburg-says-she-has-at-least-more-years/article_7d8ce583-07ec-5dfc-ae73-bce9ab5309f4.html
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