TX Voter ID law: People too lazy to go get an ID are “discriminated against”

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A panel of federal judges is reviewing the Texas voter ID law under the Voting Rights Act
  • The Justice Department rejected the law, noting 600,000 registered voters lack IDs
  • A lawmaker says the public expected legislation “to give them confidence in the system”

Washington (CNN) — Texas state officials went to federal court Monday to defend a controversial new voter identification law, dismissing suggestions the requirement would deny hundreds of thousands of people — many of them minorities — access to the ballot.

A weeklong trial kicked off in Washington before a special panel of three federal judges who will decide whether the law, known as SB 14, should be allowed to go into effect. It is one of several legal challenges to voter ID laws around the country.

A key enforcement provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 — known as Section 5 — gives the federal government open-ended oversight of states and localities with a history of voter discrimination. Any changes in voting laws and procedures in the covered areas must be “pre-cleared” with Washington. That provision was reauthorized in 2006 for another quarter-century.

Attorney General Holder pledges to protect the right to vote

Voter ID laws raise questions nationwide

The Justice Department in March rejected the Texas law, passed in 2011, using the state’s own statistics to show about 600,000 registered voters there lack a state-issued driver’s license or identification card. SB 14 amended an earlier voter identification law.

Texas is among eight states to require official photo identification in an effort to stop what officials say is voter fraud. Opponents of the laws say they disenfranchise poor, minority and disabled voters. Obama administration officials have concluded there is little evidence of voter fraud in Texas warranting the legislative changes.

“We note that the state’s submission did not include evidence of significant in-person voter impersonation not already addressed by the state’s existing laws,” Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general, said in March.

A key supporter of the law told the judicial panel Monday that having valid, government-issued photo identification is a reasonable, modern-day necessity.

Holder sent Brian Terry to his death armed with bean bags

Murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry Was Defending Himself With Bean Bags

July 9, 2012 | Filed under Fast and Furious | Posted by 

In the Justice Department indictment against five individuals alleged to be involved in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s death, there’s a shocking detail. While the drug cartel was using guns walked to them by U.S. government, Terry and other agents were using gear more useful for riot control. Fox News has the details.

For the first time, federal officials also revealed that Terry and an elite squad of federal agents initially fired bean bags — not bullets — at a heavily armed drug cartel crew in the mountains south of Tucson in December 2011. During the exchange, Terry was shot and killed.

The 11-count indictment, originally handed up by a grand jury in November 2011, implicates five defendants in the killing. A sixth suspect has also been charged in a related incident.

The two men in custody are Manuel Osario Arellanes — who was wounded in the foot the night of the firefight — and his brother Rito. Rito, who was arrested two nights before the Terry shooting, allegedly helped provide weapons to the criminal gang used in the shooting. All six men named in the indictment are either related or friends.

We’re still looking for a copy of the indictment to see why these agents brought bean bags to a gun fight.

Bean Bags versus Drug Cartel

DOJ Fast and Furious indictment released, agents used bean-bag guns

ATF FAST AND FURIOUSJULY 9, 2012BY: KIMBERLY DVORAK

 

After 18 months of stonewalling, hem-hawing, national headlines and a contempt charge for Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. government finally unsealed its grand jury indictment case against those involved with the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry today.

Little new information was revealed, but the Department of Justice (DOJ) provided media with confirmation that Border Patrol agents, using guns that fired bean-bags, not bullets, were used stop a dangerous, well-armed rip crew outfitted with U.S. Operation “Fast and Furious” AK-47s.

The botched Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) gunwalking program allowed more than 2,000 firearms to “walk” across the U.S./Mexican border into the hands of ruthless drug cartels. Not only did a Fast and Furious gun kill agent Terry, but also there have been numerous reports that tie the failed ATF program to murdered ICE Agent Jamie Zapata. Also, Mexican law enforcement officials have said hundreds of their citizens have been murdered with Fast and Furious guns.

The unsealed indictment charged five other individuals for the December 14, 2010 murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

According to the indictment, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza are charged with crimes including first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. A sixth defendant, Rito Osorio-Arellanes, is charged only with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and remains in custody.

The government’s indictment alleges the defendants illegally entered America from Mexico with the intent to rob drug traffickers of their illicit drugs and cash.

“The indictment unsealed today reflects the progress our dedicated law enforcement team has made piecing together this complex murder case,” said U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy. “But there is more work to be done and we will not rest until we bring justice to the family of Brian Terry.”

The U.S. government also said they are working with their Mexican counterparts to apprehend four other Mexican nationals wanted for the murder of Agent Terry. In additional news, the FBI revealed they are offering a $1 million reward for any information resulting in the apprehension of the remaining suspects.

The Terry family, who remain critical of the Obama Administration’s handling of their son’s murder investigation, released a statement regarding today’s news.

“It has been a difficult 18 months for the family since Brian Terry was murdered in December of 2010 and today’s announcement provides hope that justice will eventually be served,” said Robert Heyer, Chairman of the Brian Terry Foundation and cousin to Brian Terry. “The Terry family would like to thank U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy and her team of prosecutors along with the special agents of the FBI’s Tucson Office and the Mexico City Legal Attaché who have continued to pursue leads in the murder case that ultimately led to the additional indictments of the four fugitive defendants. The Terry family would also like to thank the government of Mexico for their assistance in the investigation. It is the family’s hope that the unsealing of details in the case, the identification of the four fugitives and the issuance of reward monies will lead to the eventual capture of all individuals responsible for the murder of Agent Terry.”

“Today’s developments certainly mean that the criminal prosecution of Brian Terry’s killers is moving forward,” said Patrick McGroder, the Terry family attorney. “However, the accountability aspect of Operation Fast and Furious, the flawed ATF/DOJ gun trafficking investigation that put weapons into the hands of the men that killed Brian Terry, remains stalled. The Terry family once again asks that the Attorney General and the Department of Justice comply with the request for documents made by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee so that all Americans can know who approved of the operation in order that those individuals can be held accountable for their decisions. Agent Terry died as a hero protecting this country; he and his family rightly deserve a full and thorough explanation of how Operation Fast and Furious came to be.”

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of the fugitives should contact the FBI’s Phoenix field office at (623) 466-1999 or any local FBI, American Embassy or Consulate.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/guns-fuel-drug-cartels-mexico

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Luxury yacht sinks at Lake Tahoe

Luxury yacht sinks at Lake Tahoe

8:35 PM, Jul 9, 2012   |
The Sierra Rose on Monday.

The Sierra Rose on Monday. / Emerson Marcus/RGJ photo

 

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Lake Tahoe’s largest noncommercial yacht sank to the bottom of the Tahoe Keys Marina on Monday morning.

The Sierra Rose was 85.7 feet and 222 gross tons.

Noises of the boat’s sinking started at about 3 a.m. Monday, said Tony Michalak, who lives in a townhouse about 50 yards from where the boat was docked.

By 7 a.m. when he woke, the boat had hit bottom, he said.

Other neighbors said they heard screeching noises late-Sunday evening.

The mere size of the vessel kept it from completely sinking. Its third floor remained above water Monday. A big screen TV, leather couches and floating slices of bread could be seen inside the luxury liner that included three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a salon and a helicopter pad on top.

“It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen,” Tahoe Keys Property Association front desk clerk Ron Parker said. “My idea is it was so ugly someone had to sink it.”

Placer County Environmental Health Services, Lake Tahoe Office investigated the sinking. Its officials did not return calls Monday.

The Tahoe Keys Marina Yacht Club also declined to comment.

Several homeowners in the area seconded Parker’s distaste for the three-story yacht. Most complained its size blocked views.

In 2008, the Sierra Rose sold at auction for $3.2 million, according to news reports at the time. The buyer was not identified. The unidentified Nevadan outbid more than 40 other potential investors, the news accounts said.

The Sierra Rose by the numbers

85.7 feet long

222 gross tons

7.5 knot cruising speed

2 engines

6 cylinders

Source www.sierraroseyacht.com

 

Good Idea: Mayor Puts City Workers on Minimum Wage

Pennsylvania city workers to take mayor to court over across-the-board minimum wage salaries
By Perry Chiaramonte
Published July 09, 2012
FoxNews.com
Employees of a Pennsylvania city, who have all seen their salaries cut to minimum wage as the mayor grapples with budget problems, are hoping a judge restores their paychecks in full.
Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty cut everyone’s pay — including his own — on Friday, saying the state’s sixth-largest city is broke because the City Council blocked his proposed tax increase. Doherty, a Democrat, warned nearly 400 police officers, firefighters and public works employees about his doomsday plan, prompting a Lackawanna County judge to order the city to pay full wages to all employees, citing that it is a violation of their contracts. Hours later, the payday envelopes went out, and, despite the judge’s order, they were light.
“They are now going to have to throw their bills in a hat and randomly pick what gets paid on time.”
– John Judge, President of Scranton’s Firefighters Union
“This needs to be resolved,” Scranton firefighter and president of the local firefighters union John Judge told FoxNews.com. “My members are getting a check for $7.25 an hour. These are people that are the head of their households. They have mortgages. They have other living costs. They are now going to have to throw their bills in a hat and randomly pick what gets paid on time.”
The judge was not in his chambers Monday, but attorneys for the local city workers’ unions were planning to go to court Tuesday morning to ask him to hold Doherty in contempt of court for violating the injunction.
In addition to scaling back wages, Doherty’s move cut off overtime, worker’s compensation and disability.
The city of Scranton has battled budget woes for years, but the problems reached a boiling point after the City Council blocked Doherty’s plan to raise taxes to cover a $16.8 million shortfall, opting instead to borrow money to cover the budget gap.
“The mayor is trying to strong-arm the council into doing what he wants, but it’s the city’s employees that are paying the price,” Judge said, adding that the workers in his department saw their paystubs go from about $1,500 every two weeks after deductions to a gross pay of about $600. “This is not a case of no cash. It’s a cash-flow problem.”
The cuts were sudden, as city employees were only given eight days’ notice. Doherty also claimed last week that there is only $5,000 left in the city’s accounts.
“The employees are the ones in the middle of this battle between the mayor and the council,” said Sam Vitris, president of the public works union. “We’ve had four or five recovery plans over the years and none of them seemed to have worked. The stalemate between them has led the city to run out of money.”
Doherty has maintained for months that if the City Council had not refused his 2012 budget proposal, which included a 29 percent tax hike, the city would not be in a dire situation. Doherty did not return repeated calls for comment.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/09/political-statemate-leads-to-city-workers-salaries-cut-down-to-minimum-wage-in/?intcmp=trending#ixzz20AkzajUD

Weather Report, Carson City, Nevada

Current Weather in Carson City

Updated at 12:17pm on 7/9/12
Good Afternoon!

92.0° (33.3°C)

 

 

Clear

Winds are 5 mph from the South
Gusting to 9 mph

Relative Humidity is 13%    Dewpoint Temperature is 34°

Barometer is 29.78 inches and Steady

Today’s high wind gust was 12 mph @ 12:01pm

The temperature is rising at a rate of 5° per hour.

It is 2° warmer than it was at this time yesterday.

Precipitation this Month:0.00″   Year:3.82″

 

It’s been 44 days since our last precipitation on 5/26/12.

 

Sunrise:5:43am   Sunset:8:28pm   Moonrise:11:49pm

Radar
Reno/Carson City Radar


Tonight’s Moon: moon phase

 

There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind.~Annie Dillard~

Cancer Breakthrough



Cancer Treatment Breakthrough: A Single Antibody Drug Found to Shrink or Halt ‘All Tumors’ (via Planetsave)

  A biomedical research team at Stanford University School of Medicine reported yesterday the results of mouse  experiments using an antibody molecule to treat various types of tumorous cancer cells — with results showing significant tumor shrinkage and slowed tumor growth in all cancer cell types…

Continue reading “Cancer Breakthrough”

Museum of Modern Art Photography

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) began collecting modern photography in 1930 and established the department in 1940. The Museum’s holdings of more than 25,000 works constitute one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary photography in the world. As diverse as photography itself, the collection includes work not only by artists, but also by journalists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and amateurs.
The Erna and Victor Hasselblad Photography Study Center
Online Exhibitions and Projects
New Photography 2010: Roe Ethridge, Elad Lassry, Alex Prager, Amanda Ross-Ho
The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today
Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century
New Photography 2008: Josephine Meckseper and Mikhael Subotzky
Jan De Cock
Denkmal 11, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, 2008
Comic Abstraction: Image-Breaking, Image-Making
Jeff Wall
A Walk through Astoria and Other Places in Queens: Photographs by Rudy Burckhardt
New Photography 14: Jeanne Dunning, Olafur Eliasson, Rachel Harrison, Sam Taylor-Wood
Aleksandr Rodchenko
New Photography 13
Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills
Manuel Alvarez Bravo
New Photography 12

Good News: Election Results in Libya Break an Islamist Wave

Election Results in Libya Break an Islamist Wave

Tomas Munita for The New York Times

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: July 8, 2012

TRIPOLI, Libya — A coalition led by a Western-educated political scientist appeared on Sunday to be beating its Islamist rivals in Libya’s first election of the post-Qaddafi era, breaking an Islamist wave that swept across neighboring Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco in the aftermath of the Arab Spring uprisings.
Multimedia

Tomas Munita for The New York Times

The preliminary results, characterized by independent monitors and party representatives who witnessed the vote count for a new national assembly, reflect in part the well-known name and tribal connections of the coalition’s founder, Mahmoud Jibril. He is the former interim prime minister who helped lead the de facto rebel government in Benghazi, and he is also a member of Libya’s most populous tribe, the Warfalla.

The apparent success of Mr. Jibril’s party over the Muslim Brotherhood’s bloc now makes Mr. Jibril perhaps the most important voice in the next stage of Libya’s political transition, though he is barred for now from elected office.

While U.S. Solar Sours, Reno’s Hamilton Solar Posts Successful Year of Growth

While U.S. Solar Sours, Reno’s Hamilton Solar Posts Successful Year of Growth
Release Date: December 28, 2011

Contact: Reid Hamilton (775) 747-6000

The U.S. solar energy industry achieved a new record for installations in the third quarter of 2011 thanks to utility-scale projects, a rising residential market, and low manufacturing prices, according to a report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association. Grid-connected photovoltaic installations grew 140 percent over last year. The growth of the industry reflects locally with Reno based Hamilton Solar, Inc.

Hamilton Solar posts their most successful year since it’s founding in 2008, having more than doubled its workforce and production. Over the course of 2011, the company grew from 35 employees to over 60.

“In a time when America has been suffering to put people back to work, the solar industry has grown to employ over a 100,000 people, that’s 20,000 more than the coal industry. Rising energy costs coupled with decreasing solar prices, positions Hamilton Solar to have a fantastic 2012,” remarked Reid Hamilton, partner of Hamilton Solar.

The company’s job creation rise was a direct result of Hamilton Solar’s increase in commissioned projects. The company completed 42 projects in 2011, installing approximately 6.6 megawatts of commercial and residential solar power systems. Expanding statewide, Hamilton Solar installed several projects for Nevada counties, cities, school districts, and churches. Some of the most notable projects included: City of Sparks, Carson City School District, Washoe County School District, Humboldt County School district, Lander County School District, Churchill County, Esmeralda County, Eureka County, Lander County, Reno Sparks Indian Colony, Lion County Fire Department, Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and the Nevada Humane Society.
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About Hamilton Solar, INC.
Hamilton Solar, a Reno-based company, is Nevada’s solar electric leader. They specialize in design and installation of solar electric systems for residential, commercial and governmental properties. For more information, please visit www.hamiltonsolarnevada.com, call (775) 747-6000 or email rhamilton@hamiltonsolarnv.com.