Florida

Witness: Confederate Flag Backers Wave Weapons In Black Lives Matter Clash

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WSVN

TPM LIVEWIRE

Several hundred people paraded the Confederate flag from pickup trucks and motorcycles on a 15-mile road rally in Plantation, Florida. Police intervened to keep about 40 Black Lives Matter protesters from blocking an exit, allowing the rally to proceed, the Sun Sentinel reported.

At the rally’s final destination, the two groups briefly attempted to talk about heritage and racism, which ended abruptly when Confederate flag supporters waved a gun and a knife, aprotester claimed. Police at the event said there were no reports of weapons, and that the event was “peaceful.”

In video of the event posted online, Black Lives Matter protesters shouted “fuck your flag” as backers waved Confederate flags from behind a police line erected to separate the groups.

“We love the flag, but we don’t love racism, we don’t love slavery,” Chris Nicolaus, one of the Confederate flag rally organizers, told WSVN. “We just stand for Southern heritage.”

The Confederate flag became a flashpoint after suspect Dylann Roof allegedly opened fire in a predominantly black Charleston church, killing nine, including state Sen. Clementa Pinckney. Roof’s fondness for Confederate symbols has been well-documented since the shooting, spurring a national call to banish the flag from public spaces, including from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds.

KATHERINE KRUEGER

A Florida law required some single moms to publish ads naming their sexual partners

Larry Marano/WireImage/Getty Images

VOX

While Jeb Bush was governor of Florida, the state approved a law forcing single mothers seeking to give their children up for adoption to publish their sexual histories in a newspaper in an attempt to contact the children’s fathers — even if the mothers were rape victims or minors.

The measure, passed in 2001 and soon nicknamed the “Scarlet Letter” law, wasn’t actually signed by Bush — though he chose not to veto it, either — and was repealed in 2003 after courts found it to be unconstitutional. But the bizarre and anachronistic policy, flagged by the Huffington Post’s Laura Bassett Tuesday in a review of Bush’s past rhetoric and policies toward single mothers, could be a problem for the presidential hopeful who once bemoaned that the GOP is viewed as an “anti-woman” party.

When Florida legislators crafted this provision, their goal was to ensure that a biological father would be informed before a single mother gave his child up for adoption. They inserted it into a massive overhaul of Florida adoption law after some well-publicized cases in which children of single mothers were given up for adoption without the knowledge of their biological fathers, leading to years long court battles and uncertainty for the children involved.

But the approach the legislators chose for addressing this problem — requiring women to list every sexual encounter that could have produced their child in newspaper ads, so as to track down biological fathers in advance of the child being given up for adoption — was a disgraceful and humiliating violation of privacy. Here’s how the New York Times described it in 2003:

The Scarlet Letter law required women to run advertisements disclosing their names, ages, height, hair and eye color, race and weight as well as the child’s name and birthplace and a description of the possible father.

It also required the women to provide details of the dates and places of sexual encounters that might have produced the child. Women were required to run the advertisements once a week for a month in the community where the child may have been conceived.

The adoption law passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, and its major champion was a Democrat, state Sen. Walter “Skip” Campbell. But there’s some question about whether many legislators were even aware the Scarlet Letter provision existed.”I have to admit I’m horrified that I voted for this,” Democratic state Rep. Lois Frankel told the Gainesville Sun a year later.

Also, at the time, legislators were saying they’d soon pass another bill creating a confidential registry through which potential birth fathers could claim paternity, as exists in other states. Governor Bush was considering vetoing the adoption overhaul, but decided to let it become law after being assured that this “fix” would pass.

But the legislature failed to pass the fix, and the Scarlet Letter requirement kicked in in October 2001. It soon became the focus of a nationwide controversy. As Nicholas Kristof wrote in 2002:

Do you want to know about the sex life of Sandra, a 33-year-old brunette in Tampa? Just read the Florida newspapers. Sandra is being forced by Florida state law to buy advertisements that give her full name (which I’m not repeating) and physical description: 5 feet 2 inches, 142 pounds, brown eyes. Then, as the law requires, she has to list and describe the five men she had sex with late last summer: Bill, Tommy, Allen, Eric and Joshua.

Several women soon filed lawsuits. “Would you want your deepest, darkest secret to be published for all to read? It has a tremendous chilling effect on women having their child placed for adoption,” an attorney for the plaintiffs told the Associated Press in 2002.One judge quickly ruled that the provision violated the privacy of rape victims. And an appellate court eventually declared that it violated the rights of every woman involved.

Finally, in May 2003, two years after the law was passed, Bush and the chagrined legislature repealed the controversial provision, replacing it with the confidential registry. ”Only a male-dominated legislature could possibly pass a law that facilitates adoptions by requiring public humiliation of women,” Florida American Civil Liberties Union executive director Howard Simon said at the time.

10 things you need to know today: January 6, 2015

A Florida couple ties the knot.

A Florida couple ties the knot. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Week

Gay marriages start in Florida, oil prices plunge below $50 a barrel, and more

1. Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage comes to an end
Florida’s gay marriage ban ended at midnight. Court clerks in many counties issued marriage licenses to awaiting same-sex couples before dawn. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel got things started, performing the state’s first legally recognized same-sex marriages on Monday night. With the addition of 19.9 million Floridians, 70 percent of Americans now live in states where gay marriage is legal. [Time]

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2. Oil prices sink below $50 per barrel
Oil prices dropped by more than 5 percent on Monday, with West Texas crude falling below $50 a barrel for the first time in more than five years. U.S. stocks plunged, with the Dow Jones industrial average down 331 points, or 1.86 percent, partly because investors feared that declining oil prices could be a sign that slowing economic activity is reducing demand for fuel. Oil prices have fallen by 50 percent since June due to a worldwide oil glut. Oil prices declined further early Tuesday. [The New York Times, Reuters]

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3. Two New York City police officers shot while investigating a robbery
Two plainclothes New York City police officers were shot while responding to a robbery in the Bronx on Monday night. Both of the officers were in critical but stable condition at St. Barnabas Hospital. Police officials emphasized that the officers were not targeted the way two officers murdered last month were. The wounded officers and three colleagues were investigating a grocery store robbery when two suspects opened fire. A manhunt is on for the gunman. [USA Today]

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4. Boston Marathon bombing trial gets underway
Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured 260 others. It could take weeks to pick the jury’s 12 members and six alternates out of a 1,200-person jury pool. The judge said the trial could start in late January and last as long as four months. Tsarnaev is accused of carrying out the attack along with his brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police days later. [The Washington Post]

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5. Lebanon imposes visa requirement to limit entry of Syrian refugees
Lebanon on Monday began requiring Syrians to get visas before crossing the border, a move intended to reduce the influx of war refugees. More than 3 million Syrians have fled their country in the four years since a pro-democracy uprising broke out, then escalated into a civil war. Lebanon’s government estimates that 1.5 million Syrians — 1.1 million of them registered with the United Nations refugee agency — now live in their nation of 4 million people. “This number is enough,” Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said. [Los Angeles Times]

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6. SpaceX delays historic launch
SpaceX postponed the launch of its fifth resupply mission to the International Space Station on Tuesday morning because of a problem with the second stage of its Falcon 9 rocket. The next window is on Friday. The flight will mark the first time the commercial rocket company will try to bring a rocket back for a soft landing, an important step toward cheaper, quick-turnaround space flights. SpaceX will try to land the booster rocket on a drone platform in the Atlantic after it sends the Dragon capsule toward the space station with 5,200 pounds of cargo. [NBC News]

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7. Jerry Brown starts unprecedented fourth term as California governor
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) was sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term on Monday. In a speech to the State Assembly, Brown praised lawmakers for working with him to balance the budget, hike the minimum wage, and address problems in an overcrowded prison system. “While we have not reached the Promised Land,” Brown said, “we have much to be proud of.” Brown served from 1975 to 1983 before term limits, then returned in 2011 to start the first of his final two terms. [San Jose Mercury News]

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8. Former Miss America Bess Myerson dies at 90
Bess Myerson, the only Jewish woman ever crowned as Miss America, has died, The New York Timesreported Monday. She was 90. Myerson won the title on Sept. 8, 1945, making her a cultural heroine days after the end of World War II. Her popularity in her hometown of New York City led to her appointment as the city’s first commissioner of consumer affairs. She went on to head another city agency, and to advise three presidents. She lived her last years in relative obscurity — her Dec. 14 death went unreported for three weeks. [The New York Times]

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9. U.K. reports 2014 was its warmest year on record
Last year was the hottest in the U.K. since the country started keeping records in 1910, the BritishMet Office said Monday. The average U.K. temperature was 9.9 degrees Celsius (49.82 degrees Fahrenheit) in 2014 — 0.2 degrees higher than the previous record in 2006. Eight of the country’s 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2002. Five of Britain’s six wettest years have occurred after 2000, bolstering evidence of climate change. [BBC News]

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10. Two young U.S. ski prospects die in Austria avalanche
Two American ski-team prospects — Ronnie Berlack, 20, and Bryce Astle, 19 — were killed Monday in an avalanche in the Austrian Alps. The men were skiing with four others near Rettenbach glacier when Berlack and Astle reportedly left the prepared trail, possibly setting off the avalanche. The other four skiers were not injured. “It’s a shock for everybody,” U.S. Alpine director Patrick Riml said. “Two great boys, great athletes, good skiers. They were fun to have around.” [The Washington Post]

10 things you need to know today: January 2, 2015

Marcus Mariota is already a Heisman winner. Next up, national champion?

Marcus Mariota is already a Heisman winner. Next up, national champion? | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Week

Former New York governor Mario Cuomo dies, Oregon and Ohio State advance to the college football title game, and more

1. Mario Cuomo dies at age 82
Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo died Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 82. The liberal Democrat served three terms, and died hours after his eldest son, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was sworn in for his second term. The elder Cuomo served from 1983 through 1994, battling two recessions and repeatedly using his veto to block the restoration of the death penalty. He described America as a “Tale of Two Cities” in a widely praised prime-time 1984 Democratic convention address that fueled calls for him to run for president. [New York Daily News]

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2. Judge tells Florida counties to start issuing gay marriage licenses
A federal judge ruled Thursday that all county clerks in Florida must start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Jan. 6. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle of Tallahassee had ruled that the state’s gay marriage ban was unconstitutional in August, but stayed the decision through Jan. 5 to give Florida officials time to appeal. “The defendants did that,” Hinkle wrote. “They lost.” The U.S. Supreme Court declined to extend the stay. [Reuters]

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3. Search intensifies for AirAsia crash victims
Search teams from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and the U.S. are helping in an attempt to step up the search for flight recorders and the bodies of passengers from AirAsia Flight 8501 on Friday. Rough weather on Thursday afternoon forced recovery crews to temporarily suspend the search for the main wreckage of the plane, which crashed in the Java Sea on a flight from Indonesia to Singapore on Sunday. [Voice of America, The New York Times]

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4. 2014 was the Syrian civil war’s deadliest year yet
More than 76,000 people were killed in Syria in 2014, making it the deadliest year yet in the country’s civil war, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday. The dead included 3,501 children. The United Nations estimates that 200,000 people have died in the conflict since the uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad began in 2011. [Agence France Presse]

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5. Oil hits a five-year low on the first day of trading in 2015
Oil prices fell to below $56 per barrel, the lowest level in more than five years, on Friday, the first trading day of 2015. The decline came due to a continuing glut that has cut prices in half since June. The oversupply has come as Saudi Arabia, the top exporter, and other Persian Gulf countries have decided not to cut production despite rising U.S. shale oil production. Some analysts are predicting prices will bounce up this year as major oil projects are canceled. [Reuters]

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6. Gambia makes arrests after coup attempt
Authorities in Gambia arrested dozens of civilians and soldiers after a foiled coup attempt, an intelligence official said Thursday. A military official said that three suspects, including the alleged ringleader, were killed. Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, who seized power in a 1994 coup, was out of the country during the Tuesday attack on his palace. He denied the attack was an internal attempt to overthrow him, saying it was an invasion by foreign “dissidents.” [TIME]

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7. Italian hostages in Syria say they fear for their lives
Two Italian women kidnapped in Syria last July appeared in a video released Thursday wearing black veils and saying, “We are in big danger and we could be killed.” The women — Greta Ramelli, 20, and Vanessa Marzullo, 21 — were working as aid volunteers when they were abducted in the besieged city of Aleppo. They had just arrived in the country days earlier. They are believed to have been captured by an al Qaeda branch, Jabhat al-Nusra, not the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has beheaded five Western hostages. [The Independent]

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8. Marxist group says it was behind attempted attack in Turkey
An outlawed Turkish Marxist group claimed responsibility on Friday for an attack on an Ottoman-era palace that houses the offices of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The offices were used by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he held the post from 2003 to 2014. Neither was present during the attack. The suspect, identified as Firat Ozcelik, allegedly threw two grenades at a guard post, but they didn’t explode. He also had a small gun and an assault rifle. [Agence France Presse]

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9. GM starts 2015 with another recall
General Motors announced three new recalls on Thursday, a sign that a series of problems with ignition switches is continuing to give the automaker problems in the new year. The latest round of recalls involve 83,572 sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks. The company says the defect — an ignition lock actuator that doesn’t meet specifications — has not been linked to any crashes or injuries. GM recalled 2.5 million vehicles over other defects in 2014 after accidents that caused 42 deaths. [The Detroit News]

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10. Oregon and Ohio State advance to the college football title game
The No. 2 Oregon Ducks smashed No. 3 Florida State’s 29-game winning streak on Thursday with a 59-20 Rose Bowl victory in the College Football Playoff semifinals. The game featured a rare matchup of the last two Heisman Trophy winners — quarterbacks Marcus Mariota of Oregon and Jameis Winston of Florida State. In the other semifinal at the Sugar Bowl, No. 4 Ohio State upset No. 1 Alabama. Ohio State and Oregon will play for the national championship in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 12. [The Wall Street Journal, USA Today]

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.

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