Florida

Jeb Bush Makes an Anti-Pander Promise if He Runs in 2016

Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida at the National Summit on Education Reform in Washington last month.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida at the National Summit on Education Reform in Washington last month.Credit Susan Walsh/Associated Press

The New York Times

Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida was blunt Monday night: If he runs for president in 2016, he will not pander to his party’s conservative base in the primaries.

Mr. Bush said at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council in Washington that Republican candidates must be willing to “lose the primary to win the general, without violating your principles.”

“It’s not an easy task, to be honest with you,” he added.

Mr. Bush said he would make a decision about the 2016 race “in short order” and sketched out the sort of campaign that he said Republicans must run to take back the White House. “It has to be much more uplifting, much more positive, much more willing to be practical,” he said.

Practicality is not, of course, the primary attribute many Republican primary voters look for in a presidential hopeful. Still, Mr. Bush noted, the viability of an unapologetically pragmatic bid has not been tested.

“Frankly, no one really knows that because it hasn’t been tried recently,” he said, prompting a round of knowing chuckles among the business executives in attendance.

Mr. Bush recognized what he had implied and quickly heaped praise on the last Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

FL Gov Rick Scott Pleaded the Fifth a Shocking Number of Times During Medicare Fraud Trial

rick-scott-scary

I’m a couple of days late with this news…

Forward Progressive – By Allen Clifton

It’s been a while since I wrote about one of our nation’s sleaziest governors, Florida Governor Rick Scott. I honestly have no idea how this guy got elected governor. You’d think the fact that he was CEO of a company that was found guilty of defrauding Medicare out of hundreds of millions of dollars would be enough to disqualify him from being elected to such a high office.

But apparently not, because the good people of Florida elected him in 2010. Not only that, but he stands a pretty good at chance at being reelected this November.

Florida, I’m begging you, please don’t reelect this guy.

If his incompetence isn’t potentially banning every computer in the state of Florida, then it’s his blatant (and illegal) attempts to disenfranchise many Florida voters. Or how about denying Floridians paid sick days? No matter how you analyze Rick Scott, he’s easily one of the most incompetent and unethical governors in this country today.

Well, a recent fact-check by Politifact found that Rick Scott pleaded “the Fifth” a shocking 75 times during his Medicare fraud case.

Seventy-five times! 

And he wasn’t even facing prison time. Because why would he, right? He was just the CEO of a company which defrauded the government, of course prison time wouldn’t be on the table.

Now if he had been caught with a moderately sized bag of weed, that would have been an entirely different story.

While I understand that it’s every American’s right to “plead the Fifth” in certain instances when on trial, for a former CEO of a company that’s on trial for massive Medicare fraud to do it 75 times is astounding. That alone tells you that Scott clearly had something to hide.

Oh, and for the record, his former company was found guilty of defrauding Medicare. They were ordered to pay over $600 million in penalties.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, Florida Governor Rick Scott – the man who was CEO of a company which was found guilty of massively defrauding the federal government.

I live in Texas and Rick Perry is definitely a scumbag, but he’s still not on the level of Rick Scott. In my opinion, Scott has proven himself to be one of the most corrupt and unethical politicians in this country.

10 things you need to know today: August 22, 2014

The National Guard withdraw from Ferguson. 

The National Guard withdraw from Ferguson. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Week

National Guard begins withdrawing from Ferguson, a judge strikes down Florida’s gay-marriage ban, and more

1. Nixon pulls National Guard from Ferguson as protests grow calmer
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) announced Thursday that National Guard troops would begin withdrawing from Ferguson after two days of easing tensions there. Nixon said the troops had helped restore calm following sometimes violent protests over the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, by a white policeman on Aug. 9. Attorney General Eric Holder visited the St. Louis suburb on Wednesday and promised a fair investigation. [The New York Times]

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2. Judge rules Florida’s gay-marriage ban unconstitutional
A federal judge in Florida declared the state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional on Thursday. U.S District Judge Robert L. Hinkle ordered the state to allow same-sex marriages and to recognize legal unions performed in other states. Hinkle said that in 50 years the ban will be seen as “an obvious pretext for discrimination.” He did, however, stay most of the ruling’s effects pending appeals. [The Miami Herald]

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3. GAO says the Bergdahl prisoner swap was illegal
The prisoner exchange that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl violated federal law, the General Accountability Office said in a legal opinion sent to Congress Thursday. Under a law passed in February, the GAO said, President Obama should have notified lawmakers 30 days in advance of his plan to swap five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in 2009. [USA Today]

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4. Bank of America to pay record $16.65 billion settlement
Bank of America has agreed to a record $16.65 billion settlement to put an end to an investigation into its sale of risky mortgage securities before the housing crash. The bank will pay $9.65 billion in fines and $7 billion in aid to devastated communities. “This historic resolution — the largest such settlement on record — goes far beyond ‘the cost of doing business,'” said Attorney General Eric Holder. [Los Angeles Times]

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5. Russian aid convoy rolls into eastern Ukraine
Russia sent a convoy of aid trucks into eastern Ukraine toward the besieged rebel stronghold of Luhansk on Friday. Reporters said about 70 of the 260 trucks, which had been delayed at the border for more than a week, crossed the border, apparently without approval from Ukraine’s government. The trucks were accompanied by pro-Russian separatist fighters — not the Red Cross, as required under terms negotiated by Moscow and Kiev. [Reuters]

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6. Foley’s family releases last message from ISIS
GlobalPost on Thursday released the final message that ISIS sent the family of kidnapped American freelance journalist James Foley before his murder. The note, sent on Aug. 12, was addressed to “the American government and their sheep like citizens.” Previous messages had demanded ransom. The final one threatened bloodshed, saying, “You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings” of ISIS in Iraq. [GlobalPost]

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7. Stocks rise on better-than-expected economic data
The S&P 500 Index soared to a record and the Dow Jones Industrial Average returned to the 17,000 level on Thursday as positive financial news gave stocks a boost. Reports on existing home sales and manufacturing surpassed expectations. The good news overshadowed the release of Federal Reserve meeting minutes earlier in the week suggesting that the central bank might raise interest rates sooner than expected due to signs of a strengthening economic recovery. [MarketWatch]

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8. Treasury inspector general rules Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Cuba trip legal
The U.S. Treasury Department’s inspector general has concluded that Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Cuba trip to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary did not violate the 51-year-old embargo barring tourist trips to the communist island. The musical power couple angered Florida Republicans, but the inspector general’s office said their visits to an art school and theater group made their trip a legal educational exchange. [The Associated Press]

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9. Court confirms Joki Widodo as Indonesia’s next president
An Indonesian court ended the country’s bitter presidential election dispute on Thursday when it rejected a challenge to Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo’s 8.4-million-vote victory. The constitutional court found no evidence of the systematic fraud claimed by Suharto-era general Prabowo Subianto. A spokesman for Prabowo and his running mate were disappointed but respect the decision, “which is final and binding.” [Bloomberg News]

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10. U.S. aid workers leave hospital after recovering from Ebola
Doctors at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta released American aid workers Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol from a specialized isolation unit on Thursday after treating them for Ebola. Brantly and Writebol were flown back from West Africa after they were infected while treating Ebola patients, and improved after receiving an experimental drug. “Today is a miraculous day,” Brantly said. [The New York Times]

Video: U.S. lodges protest over American teen ‘severely beaten’ by Israeli Border Police

beatenkhdeir

This was a serious issue for the U.S. State Department to get involved…

The Raw Story

The U.S. has lodged a strong protest over the savage beating delivered to an American teen from Florida was attending the funeral of his cousin who was murdered in Israel this past week, according to Haaretz.

The teen, identified by the State Department  as Tariq Khdeir, 15, of Tampa, Florida, alleged to be the person  seen in two different videos, laying passively on the ground as two Israeli Border Police officers punch and kick him before carrying his unconscious body away.

“We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. “We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force.”

“We reiterate our grave concern about the increasing violent incidents, and call on all sides to take steps to restore calm and prevent harm to innocents,” the statement read.

Khdeir was visiting his  Palestinian relatives in Shuafat, Jerusalem, when he was detained at the home of his cousin Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was allegedly abducted and then burned alive in retaliation for the deaths of three Israeli teens who were kidnapped on June 12.

Defending the  actions of the Israeli police, a spokesperson stated that Tariq Khdeir had resisted arrest and attacked police officers, and that the authorities had discovered a slingshot on him. According to police, other protestors arrested with Khdeir were armed with knives, and that several police officers sustained injuries in a skirmish with them

Tariq’s father said he witnessed his son’s arrest and insisted the boy was not involved in the violence.

The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called upon the U.S. State Department  to demand that Israel immediately release Khdeir.

Khdier is currently being held  under police guard at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and will appear in court on Monday.

Watch the video below uploaded to YouTube by Real Views:

Florida Judge Tells Attorney ‘I’ll Beat Your Ass,’ Allegedly Does Just That

The Huffington Post

A war of words between a judge and attorney in Florida ended after the judge allegedly punched the attorney in the head.

Judge John Murphy of Brevard County, Florida, challenged veteran public defenderAndrew Weinstock to a fight on Monday, and it was all caught on tape and obtained by WFTV.

The station reports that Murphy pressured Weinstock during court proceedings to make his client waive his right to a speedy trial.

“I’m not waiving,” Weinstock can be heard telling the judge.

The two men, seemingly frustrated with one another, start to get heated.

“You know, if I had a rock, I would throw it at you right now,” Murphy shoots back. “Stop pissing me off!”

Murphy tells Weinstock to sit down.

“I have a right to be here,” Weinstock says to the demand.

“If you wanna fight, let’s just go out back and I’ll beat your ass!” Murphy can be heard saying. Weinstock then walks away from the camera.

In the hallway and out of view from the courtroom cameras, Murphy allegedly grabbed Weinstock by the collar and punched him in the head, according to WGHP.

“You want to f**k with me?” one of the men is heard shouting during the brawl.

Two deputies broke up the altercation. Murphy then returned to the courtroom to applause, saying, “I will catch my breath eventually. Man, I’m an old man.”

Public Defender Blaise Trettis told Florida Today that Weinstock did not return to the courtroom, and that criminal charges won’t be pursued.

Weinstock was reassigned to another area so he and Murphy wouldn’t interact with one another.

The public defender’s office told WFTV that the incident will be reported to the Florida Bar.

President? REALLY? 5 Things You Don’t Know About JEB

Former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush

Daily Kos

I remember reading a conservative article in 2012 that yeah, the GOP is going to get roasted that year but just wait till 2016!  Marco Rubio! Chris Christie!  Rand Paul!  Hooo boy!  The pickin’s will be good!  Nowhere did the article mention Jeb Bush, which shows how far the GOP field has fallen.

Jeb is a has-been who’s last campaign was 14 years ago. During that time he has not done anything productive or constructive–except try to get rich. What he considers his biggest legacy, education, has turned out to be a failure and liability.  He also faces a changed country:  its a lot browner, and his potential supporters have gotten a lot more racist and crazier.

But suddenly, he is now the GOP frontrunner.

He may just win the primary because just like Romney in 2012, all of the other GOP candidates are imploding.  This time earlier than usual.  But another Bush in the White House?  Against a Clinton?  I don’t see it.

I never thought I’d be writing about him again, but here we are. Most people outside of Florida only know him from his disastrous handling of Elian Gonzalez, the 2000 election (selection) of his brother, and the Terri Schiavo debacle.

So just a few quick things about W’s brother:

1.  Jeb was paid big bucks by Lehman Brothers on a scheme to save them.   Lehman Bros, as you recall, was the shady firm engaging in toxic mortgages that was the catalyst for the 2008 financial collapse.  They hired Bush in a desperate bid to save themselves on a plan code-named “Project Verde“. Essentially, Bush was to go to Mexico and convince (trick) a telecom mogul into making a large investment. It failed spectacularly. “Project Verde was unsuccessful”, Bush wrote back.  This is one of many instances where his quest for money overtook his judgment.  Which brings me to #2…

2.  Greedy. Rushed into very shady deals to make money.   Jebbie is always all about the money.  He has been chasing dollars since his early years.  During the 80s, while Jeb was working real estate angles in Miami, he told the Miami Times “I want to be very wealthy”.  Jeb actually felt slighted and whined openly about having to rebuild his wealth during all those years “serving” the public as governor.   He was in such a rush that the NY Times notes that a lot of these deals were quite questionable:

The Times chronicles the efforts of the brother of President George W. Bush – both sons of President George H.W. Bush — to recruit investors for InnoVida, a Miami-based start-up company, as a handsomely paid consultant and member of the board of directors.

Leaders of InnoVida, a manufacturer of inexpensive building materials, had faked documents, lied about the health of the business and misappropriated $40 million in company funds, records show, according to the Times. The nascent company went bankrupt in 2011, its founder eventually went to jail and investors lost nearly all of their money.

Jeb Bush also sat on the board of Swisher Hygiene, a soap maker, “at a time when, its executives acknowledged, their financial statements were unreliable and their accounting practices inadequate,” the Times reported.

3.  Tea party hates him. I mean really.    He is the ultimate insider-establishment candidate.  The tea party has little love for the Bush clan, and Jeb can’t disavow all the spending his brother did out of family loyalty.  Then there’s the pandering. On his trip to  kiss the ring of Sheldon Adelson,  he gave the “act of love” immigration comment. (Re: Jeb’s sudden interest in immigration means he is really running and he read Romney’s showing with Hispanics).   Although Jeb has probably shown sufficient contempt for blacks (in 1994, when asked what he would do to help the black community, he famously replied “probably nothing”), the tea party also hates brown.  Jeb stabbed them in their racist hearts by not going with the “taking over our country” meme.  (Speaking Spanish and marrying a Mexican is also tough for winning over the bigot caucas.) But the icing on their hate cake will come out when they learn that Jeb was on the board for Tenet, a company that aggressively encouraged Americans to sign up forgasp oBaMaCare!!!

You know you have your work cut out for you with your base when national joke Donald Trump has you booed at a tea party rally.

4.  Jeb was the one responsible for Stand Your Ground.   Compared to the incompetent, tone-deaf, and outright corrupt Rick Scott, Jeb looks good in comparison.  But Rick isn’t responsible for the most violent mistake in our state history (just for expanding it and now hiding it from public records).  Bush turned Florida into an NRA meth lab, allowing them to draft awful bills like SYG and then celebrate passage with them.  ALEC would then bring it to the rest of the nation.  No one here asked for SYG; in fact, most of us fought against it–including law enforcement.  There was not one instance in our entire state history that Jeb could point to where someone who shot in self-defense was prosecuted.  But we did warn of the consequences.  The media ran several stories saying it was a license to hunt and kill.  Democrats in the FL House and Senate correctly predicted catastrophe if the bill passed.  The blood of its many victimes, including 26 children, are on Jeb’s hands.  Speaking of children….

5. Ran the most dysfunctional Department of Children and Families in the nation.   The DCF under Bush was beyond disgraceful.  Rilya Wilson and Jami Cotter are just two horror stories involving two innocent children that should have sunk his campaign.  They didn’t.  And since Rick Scott, the situation at DCF has only gotten worse.  The fact that there is still no outrage is more a reflection on our apathetic citizens than these two men.

6.  Bonus: His name isn’t even Jeb.    He calls himself that for the bubba crowd.  Do you really think an elitist family would ever call their son Jebediah?  His name is John Ellis Bush.  Lawton Chiles, who defeated Jeb in his ’94 bid to be Florida gov, made sure everyone here knew that.

I could go on with his “palling around” with terrorists, his imaginary Chinese friend, or any number of fails during his tenure, like eliminating our growth management, but I’ll let others pick apart his record once he dives in.  And he will.

I had really hoped Florida would at least learn something from having a Bush at the helm.  Instead, we elected Rick Scott, who is so bad that even his supporters discourage him from seeking higher office.   But Rick is also a man who Jeb Bush whole-heartedly endorses for governor.  Knowing all that Rick has done to Florida, that says everything you pretty much need to know.

Jeb wasn’t as dumb as W or as horrible as Rick Scott, but that’s hardly something to build a campaign on.  Unfortunately for the GOP, that’s the best they have.

Florida House Passes Bill Making It Easier For People To Arm Themselves During A Natural Disaster

shutterstock_gun violence 3x2

CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

I imagine Florida law makers  have the mind of little children during the 50’s and 60’s playing “cops and robbers” or “cowboys and Indians”.  To put it even more succinctly, these people are stuck on stupid.

Think Progress

“The bells of liberty are surely ringing throughout Florida today.” said state Rep. Heather Dawes Fitzenhagen (R). The cause of Fitzenhagen’s delight is a bill that would allow people with no criminal record to carry a concealed weapon without a permit in crisis or evacuation scenarios. Her bill, which applies to natural disaster scenarios such as hurricanes or forest fires and emergencies declared by the governor or local authorities, passed the state House of Representatives by a 80-36 margin.

Other lawmakers are not quite so excited about this bill. Democratic Rep. Victor Torres, a retired New York City transit police officer, opposed the bill noting that guns in places like storm shelters could be dangerous and increase tension in an already stressful scenario — “[y]ou are talking about introducing concealed firearms into an environment that is already teeming with tension. I hope that tragedy will not be a byproduct of our decision here today.” The bill’s opponents also noted that it would be difficult to check whether a particular individual has a criminal record in an emergency situation such as a hurricane when many technological databases would be unavailable, and that firearms could be used in robberies or other crimes at a time when looting is widespread.

While the bill received support from the National Rifle Association, several law-enforcement lobbyists, most notably the Florida Sheriffs Association, opposed the bill. When asked about their opposition, Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford offered “We don’t want to kill the bill, we want to clarify it. Does it mean when you’re moving out, when you check into your hotel?”

 

Florida Moves To Restrict Media Access To Stand Your Ground Case Records

Rep. Matt Gaetz (Florida House of Representatives)

You know something’s wrong when they resort to these measures…

The Huffington Post

After a Tampa Bay Times’ review of 200 cases that involved the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law found an “uneven application” and “shocking outcomes,” one Florida lawmaker is seeking to impede the media’s ability to scrutinize the law.

Earlier this month, state Rep. Matt Gaetz(R-Fort Walton Beach) filed an amendment that would “severely limit access to court records in the self-defense cases,” the Times’ Michael van Sickler reports.

The amendment would allow those found innocent in a Stand Your Ground case to“apply for a certificate of eligibility to expunge the associated criminal history record.”

Gaetz said his amendment was unrelated to the Times’ Stand Your Ground investigation, the Associated Press reports. “The point is to ensure that someone who appropriately uses a Stand Your Ground defense doesn’t have their life ruined by the use of that defense,” he said.

Gaetz’s amendment has sparked concern among journalists, Media Matters reports, who say the loss of access to public records could have damaging effects. Alongside statements from editors at the Miami Herald and Florida Times-Union are the opinions of staff who worked on the groundbreaking review by the Times:

“Closing records and putting controversial cases that involve violence into the dark is a bad idea, it is against democracy,” said Neil Brown, Times editor and vice president. “This would have inhibited our work further. Our work was done based on court records as well as the stories of the incidents when they occurred.”

The Times coverage was named a finalist for the Online News Association’s Knight Award for Public Service and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism’s Taylor Award for Fairness in Journalism. The investigation has played a key role in informing other outlets’ coverage of cases relating to Stand Your Ground statutes.

It utilized hundreds of court and arrest records to reveal that the law was being interpreted in many different ways and being applied without a uniform approach, according to Kris Hundley, one of the three Times reporters who worked on the project.

“If those were expunged, I don’t know how you would ever do any kind of meaningful look back at the law,” Hundley said. “I think it was important because it gave people a sense of how it was applied across the state, how judges made different decisions faced with similar cases and the wide variety of cases in which it was employed. It showed the law was being expanded to far beyond what the legislators anticipated and (was) applied unevenly.”

Marion Hammer, a former NRA national president who founded and heads the organization’s Florida chapter, said the amendment is about protecting individuals who defend themselves within the law.

“It’s overreach on the media’s part to think they need to know everything about everybody’s life,” Hammer, who personally crafted the proposal that would become Stand Your Groundtold the Times/Herald. “The media wants to know this so they can create news. Privacy is an important thing in America. When people are wronged it should be repaired, and it shouldn’t be anybody’s business.”

The bill to which the amendment is attached — which would extend Stand Your Ground immunity to those who fire warning shots during a confrontation — has sailed through the Florida House.

The warning shot measure has enjoyed some bipartisan support in light of the high-profile case of Marissa Alexander. The Jacksonville woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing what she said was a warning shot into her own ceiling during a confrontation with her estranged husband. (An appeals court has ruled Alexander will get a new trial.)

But some Democrats are unhappy with the proposed expansion of Stand Your Ground. One local lawmaker asserted that the law has harmed black residents, and the Times study found that shooters who cited Stand Your Ground were more likely to prevail when the victim was black. Rep. Alan Williams (D-Tallahassee), who filed a repeal of Stand Your Ground last fall, has argued instead, “Don’t make this about color, make this about what’s right and wrong. Make this about life and death.”

Gaetz has already encountered resistance from Democrats, including Williams, over Stand Your Ground. Last fall, Florida Republicans seemed to concede to public opposition when they agreed to hold hearings on the law. Gaetz, who was appointed to chair the meetings, announced before the hearings began that he did not “support changing one damn comma of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law,” and characterized any changes as “reactionary and dangerous” and protestors as “uninformed.”

“So much for an objective review of the law’s unintended consequences,” wrote the Orlando Sentinel’s editorial board at the time.

The Senate’s version of the warning shot bill is expected to see a vote this week.

H/t: Ted

In Justifiable Homicide Cases, Race Disparity Extends To Women, Too

Marissa Alexander

Marissa Alexander | CREDIT: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Clearly, the process needs to be re-examined…

Think Progress

Past studies have found that the notorious Stand Your Ground laws that authorize deadly force in self-defense exacerbate racial disparities. Among all cases, the Urban Institute has found that white-on-black homicides are 354 percent more likely to be found justified than white-on-white homicides in states with Stand Your Ground laws.

As Marissa Alexander is facing 60 years in prison in a case in which she unsuccessfully invoked the defense for firing a warning shot during a dispute with her abusive boyfriend, MSNBC looked at racial disparities among women, albeit those who, unlike Alexander, purportedly killed a man in self-defense. While white women with black victims were found justified 13.5 percent of the time, blacks who kill whites are found justified just 2.9 percent of the time, and even whites who kill whites are found justified only 2.6 percent of the time.

“In any situation where a black male is perceived as being the aggressor, you are much more likely to have the homicide considered justifiable,” said John Roman, senior fellow at the Urban Institute who performed the research for MSNBC.

MSNBCHomicidesWomen

Significantly, these statistics come from an analysis of FBI data, which does not include Florida. So MSNBC looks to a Tampa Bay Times analysis of Florida. “All the cases where a woman did not succeed in claiming self-defense, including several in which she said she was the victim of rape or other physical abuse, involved white males,” MSNBC’s Irin Carmon notes. “By contrast, among the eight murder cases found justified, half involved women killing black men. Those cases included both intimate partner and stranger violence.”

The story of Marissa Alexander raises questions about the role domestic violence considerations play in Stand Your Ground cases. Prosecutor Angela Corey has eschewed sympathy for Alexander, even amidst public outcry. While Corey’s vigorous prosecution yielded Alexander a 20-year prison sentence the first time she was convicted of assault for firing the gun, she is now seeing three consecutive 20-year terms — a total of 60 years, after Alexander was granted a new trial and released from prison in the interim. By contrast, others in Florida who have been granted immunity in Florida were involved in bar fights or heated altercations.

West Wing Week 03/14/14 or “What’s Up, Captain America?”

The White House

This week, the Vice President and Dr. Biden traveled to Chile to attend the inauguration of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, while President Obama worked on improving access to college for students, raising the minimum wage, and negotiating a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Ukraine. He also got out the word about the March 31 deadline for health insurance applications, congratulated NCAA champs, and designated a new national monument.

 

Friday, March 7th

·       The President and First Lady visited Coral Reef High School in Miami, Florida to speak about the importance of signing up for Federal financial aid.

Monday, March 10th

·       The President participated in a conference call with healthcare enrollment leaders.

·       The President congratulated the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I Champions at the White House.

Tuesday, March 11th

·      Funny or Die released an interview with President Obama on the web series Between Two Ferns.

·      The President added the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands to existing National Monument land in California

·      Later that day, the President visited a Gap Store in New York City to highlight Gap’s choice to raise the minimum wage for their               employees.

Wednesday, March 12th

·     The President met with a group of advocates who are getting the word out about the Affordable Care Act.

·      Later that day, the President held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine.

·      Then, the President hosted a meeting with women members of Congressto discuss the 2014 women’s economic agenda.

Thursday, March 13th

·       The President spoke on the urgent need to get hardworking Americans the overtime pay they deserve.

·       Later, the President took a photo with the 52nd Annual U.S. Sentae Youth program.

 

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