2016 in a nutshell:
I should be “And by your Cruzite standards you should be shot at dawn Mr. Pro gay marriage, Mr. Pro choice”…
Not a cult.
Hubbard continues to look terrible in reports of his corruption trial…
Bentley doesn’t deliver a big blow, but it doesn’t look good.
Bentley said he remembered meeting with Hubbard about the project.
“Do you understand you were meeting with him in his capacity as speaker of the House?” Gibbs asked.
“I did. He is speaker of the House,” Bentley said.
Gibbs also asked Bentley about meeting with Hubbard about efforts to recruit a company to the Dothan Airport.
Again, Bentley said he considered that Hubbard was acting in his capacity as speaker during those meetings.
Also, Bentley testified that he thought Hubbard was acting as speaker during meetings they attended during the Paris Air Show in 2013.
During a brief cross-examination, Hubbard lawyer Bill Baxley asked Bentley whether others would see Hubbard as someone other than speaker. For example, his wife sees him as husband, his children see him as father and his neighbors see him as neighbor.
Bentley agreed with that.
Baxley asked Bentley if there was anything illegal or unethical about the help Hubbard sought on the projects.
Bentley said there was not, and that the projects were in the best interest of the state.
Maybe this is more damning, as a lobbyist told the court about Hubbard’s attempts to get investments…
An Alabama lobbyist and friend of House Speaker Mike Hubbard testified today that Hubbard asked him to invest in Craftmaster Printers and that he declined because he thought it would be illegal.
“I told him that it was at a minimum bad perception and my understanding of the ethics law was that he could not ask and I could not give,” lobbyist Dax Swatek testified today in Hubbard’s ethics trial in Opelika.
Hubbard is charged with asking for and receiving money and help with his businesses from people with interests in state government, including Swatek.
The speaker has denied all charges in a 23-count indictment issued by a special grand jury in Lee County in 2014. Today is the sixth day of his trial.
In 2012, Hubbard sought people to invest $150,000 each in Craftmaster Printers, a business he partly owned that was struggling because of heavy debt.
Hubbard’s indictment alleges that he broke the law when he collected a total of $600,000 from four investors who prosecutors say are “principals” under the ethics law. The law defines principals as people or businesses who hire lobbyists.
The indictment also alleges Hubbard broke the law when he solicited an investment from Swatek, who has been a lobbyist for about 15 years and testified that he had worked often with Hubbard since Hubbard’s first campaign in 1998.
The ethics law prohibits public officials from soliciting or receiving “a thing of value” from lobbyists and principals.
Hubbard’s lawyers have claimed that it was legal for Hubbard to ask for and receive the investments under an exception in the ethics law.
That exception applies to ordinary business transactions that are not connected to an official’s public position.
Swatek said Hubbard made the request for him to invest in Craftmaser during a meeting in Hubbard’s Auburn Network office.
Swatek testified that Business Council of Alabama President and CEO Billy Canary was at the meeting.
Canary is on the prosecution’s witness list.
Three of the four investors who gave Hubbard $150,000 for Craftmasters have also been on witness lists for prosecutors and could be called to testify.
These E-mails look terrible….
With Harbert Management executive Will Brooke on the stand, prosecutors entered the first of what will likely be many, many emails from Hubbard to friends, political allies and business partners. In them is the plaintive wailing of a man on the brink of ruin, even though his family was taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from private business and public payrolls.
“It’s ironic that I was the ‘architect’ of putting a pro-business legislature in place yet businesses seem to want to avoid any personal association with me like the plague!” Hubbard wrote Brooke two years after that same legislature made many such business dealings illegal.
Over time, Hubbard’s emails grew more desperate and — there’s just no other way to put it — whiny. Repeatedly he threatened to quit his job as speaker if he couldn’t make ends meet at home, and his martyrdom complex grew worse.
“I have probably been naive in believing that putting a conservative, pro-business legislature in power would be worth the personal sacrifice in the end,” he wrote Brooke. “I am beginning to think that perhaps my role was to simply lead us to the point and I now am just supposed to turn it over to someone else and exit public service.”
Attorneys for Rebekah Caldwell Mason acknowledged their client may be under criminal investigation, according to a court document filed Wednesday.
Mason, through her attorneys, also asserted in the document that she has done “nothing wrong either civilly or criminally.”
The filings were in response to the wrongful termination lawsuit filed by former ALEA Secretary Spencer Collier, who named Mason and Gov. Robert Bentley, among others, as defendants.
In the court document, Mason also “denies each and every allegation” of Collier’s lawsuit.
Bentley has acknowledged an inappropriate relationship with Mason after Collier in March went public with accusations following his dismissal. Mason subsequently resigned as Bentley’s senior adviser.
Mason attorneys William Gray Jr. and Douglas Robertson filed a motion to stay the Collier lawsuit in Montgomery County circuit court. The motion to stay – or put the lawsuit on hold – from Mason is because of ongoing criminal investigations when Mason was serving as Bentley’s senior adviser and Collier was fired by Bentley.
It’s the first public confirmation that Mason may be under criminal investigation. AL.com reported last week that a grand jury investigation into Bentley was underway and that a new federal prosecutor has been brought into the case. Collier’s attorney Kenneth Mendelsohn also confirmed to AL.com last week that Collier has been questioned by investigators regarding Bentley.
According to the station, the 10-question math quiz was given to eighth-grade students in a language arts class at Burns Middle School. The test, which contains many drug and gang references, appears to have been copied from a fake quiz that is widely available online. Questions included:
- Ramon has an AK-47 with a 30-round clip. He usually misses 6 out of every 10 shots and he uses 13 rounds per drive-by shooting. How many drive-by shootings can Ramon attempt before he has to steal enough ammunition and reload?
- Leroy has 2 ounces of cocaine. If he sells an 8 ball to Antonio for $320 and 2 grams to Juan for $85 per gram, what is the street value of the rest of his hold?
- Dwayne pimps 3 ho’s. If the price is $85 per trick, how many tricks per day must each ho turn to support Dwayne’s $500 per day crack habit?
- Tyrone knocked up 4 girls in his gang. There are 20 girls in the gang. What percentage of the girls in the gang has Tyrone knocked up?
A complete list of the questions can be found at the WALA‑TV website.
Neither school officials nor parents were amused by the test.
“I’m shocked. I don’t think it’s appropriate at all,” parent Kellie Lee told WALA‑TV.
Clinton’s tech guy plans on taking the fifth… Oh that’s a real good sign for Hillary!
“Mr. Pagliano will invoke his right under the Fifth Amendment and decline to testify at the deposition,” Pagliano’s lawyers Mark MacDougall and Connor Mullin wrote. “Given the constitutional implications, the absence of any proper purpose for video recording the deposition, and the considerable risk of abuse, the Court should preclude Judicial Watch, Inc. … from creating an audiovisual recording of Mr. Pagliano’s deposition.”
Obama Administration overreaches?
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a rare 8-0 decision that has been called a victory for property rights and significant blow to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers infamous “Waters of the United States” rule (WOTUS).
The “Waters of the United States” rule seeks to extend the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ regulatory reach to an indefinite number of small bodies of water, including roadside ditches, temporary streams or “any waters located within the 100-year floodplain of a traditional navigable water.”
The case, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes, was brought by a Minnesota man who applied to the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for a permit to begin extracting peat from land once he purchased the property in October 2010. Because the regulatory process was so long and costly, the corps strongly insisted that Hawkes not buy the land. When Hawkes insisted on purchasing it anyway, the corps attempted to stop him by claiming that the property was a wetland under the jurisdiction of the WOTUS rule.
Furthermore, the Corps believed that Hawkes had no way to “fix” his issue because its interpretation of the Administrative Procedure Act did not allow for him to seek help from the courts. The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) is the United States federal statute that governs the way in which administrative agencies of the federal government of the United States may propose and establish regulations. The APA also sets up a process for the United States federal courts to directly review agency decisions.
The Supreme Court disagreed with the Corps’ reading of the law and held that the APA does allow for the courts to “judicially review” such actions by bureaucratic agencies.
In blunt testimony revealed on Tuesday, former managers of Trump University, the for-profit school started by Donald J. Trump, portray it as an unscrupulous business that relied on high-pressure sales tactics, employed unqualified instructors, made deceptive claims and exploited vulnerable students willing to pay tens of thousands for Mr. Trump’s insights.
One sales manager for Trump University, Ronald Schnackenberg, recounted how he was reprimanded for not pushing a financially struggling couple hard enough to sign up for a $35,000 real estate class, despite his conclusion that it would endanger their economic future. He watched with disgust, he said, as a fellow Trump University salesman persuaded the couple to purchase the class anyway.
“I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme,” Mr. Schnackenberg wrote in his testimony, “and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”
For Mr. Trump, whose presidential campaign hinges on his reputation as a businessman, the newly unsealed documents offer an unflattering snapshot of his career since branching out, over the past decade, from building skyscrapers into endeavors that cashed in on his name to sell everything from water and steaks to ties and education.
The release of the documents on Tuesday, under court order, was the latest turn in a federal lawsuit, filed in California by dissatisfied former Trump University students, that has bedeviled the businessman since 2010 and could trail him into the White House if he is elected president.
Mr. Trump, who started the university in 2005, owned 93 percent of the now-defunct company. From the start, he acted as its chief promoter, rather than day-to-day manager, selling it as a tool of financial empowerment that would improve life for thousands of ordinary Americans. It would, he said, “teach you better than the best business school,” according to the transcript of a Web video.
But also that those manipulated are not victims, they are morons who gladly paid their money to Donald Trump…
Also, how did Trump U fail? Maybe he is a bad businessman, he can’t even run a scam right?
Maybe Dan Rather isn’t the guy to be trying to defend the integrity of the journalism profession…
Beck was suspended after a recent show on SiriusXM’s Patriot Channel where a guest wondered out loud if a “patriot” would have to remove a possible President Trump from office by any means necessary, which was broadly read as a reference to assassination.
Hours later, Beck posted a column from #NeverTrump ringleader Erick Erickson on his site.
Erickson accused the “brave, bold” SiriusXM execs of waiting for Beck to go on a pre-planned vacation before suspending him in a post headlined “SiriusXM proves to be run by cowards.”
“SiriusXM is caving to the outrage mob,” he originally wrote at The Resurgent. “Ironically, it is this very outrage mob that led Glenn Beck and [his guest] Brad Thor to explore the dark waters of Trump ignoring the constitutional checks and balances of his office.”
This is the shocking moment an enraged journalist repeatedly punches a Ukrainian political pundit in the face during a TV talk show.
The unbelievable incident occurred while the Process talk show, which is broadcast by Zvezda TV, was being filmed in a studio in the Russian capital of Moscow.
The footage shows Yuriy Kot, a pro-Russian journalist who used to work in the Ukraine, talking about his 17-year-old son who still lives in the country.
I never once thought this but, apparently, soccer is too white…
Andreassen watches his federation’s national teams play, and wishes they had more diversity. Like many, he can’t ignore the fact that last year’s Women’s World Cup winners were almost all white, or that several of the non-white players on the US Copa America roster grew up overseas. The talents of some of America’s best young players are being suffocated by a process that never lets them be seen. He sighs.
“People don’t want to talk about it,” he says.
Andreassen used to dance gingerly around the topic, using the same careful code words as the other coaches and heads of leagues, trying not to push or offend only to find that little changed. He has stopped being political. He is frustrated. He is passionate. He is blunt.
“The system is not working for the underserved community,” he says. “It’s working for the white kids.”
But why? How come soccer can’t be more like basketball in America? How come athletes from the country’s huge urban areas aren’t embracing a sport that requires nothing but a ball to play? How have our national soccer teams not found a way to exploit what should be a huge pool of talent?
The hottest story you will see this year: Robots be banging…
In the Robot Baby Project at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, scientists have developed a way for robots to have ‘sex’ and pass on their DNA to offspring.
Doing this can allow them to ‘develop their bodies through evolution,’ making for successive generations that have more advanced physical and behavioural capabilities.
As the process continues, the researchers say robots can become more suitable for use in unknown environments that could be hazardous to humans, like deep sea mines or even other planets.
‘We have two robots that meet and mate, and just as in the animal kingdom, this results in a baby,’ says Guszti Eiben, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at VU, in a video explaining the concept.
The robots live, work, and reproduce in an ‘Arena,’ where they are able to select a suitable mating partner.
They learn through motivation, the researchers explain, and in this case, they are motivated to walk toward a red light.
When the two robots come together, they are then able to communicate and even mate.
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