Category Archives: News

KY: Taxpayers on hook for Kim Davis's refusal to do her job

Source: USA Today

"In a victory for same-sex couples denied marriage licenses by a Kentucky clerk two years ago, a federal judge Friday awarded $222,695 in fees to their attorneys. The ACLU of Kentucky hailed the ruling, saying it should serve as a reminder to public officials in Kentucky of the cost of violating civil liberties. … Davis became a national lightning rod when just hours after the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling on June 26, 2015, she decided her office would no longer issue marriage licenses to any couples, same-sex or otherwise." (07/21/17)

Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation

Source: Washington Post

"Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort. Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves." (07/21/17)

NV: OJ Simpson paroled

Source: Boston Globe

"O.J. Simpson, the former football hero and actor whose good-guy image vanished when he was accused of murdering his former wife and her friend, will go free after serving nine years in a Nevada prison on charges stemming from an armed robbery, a state parole board ruled Thursday. Simpson, who turned 70 this month, went before the board as a man convicted of taking a group of accomplices, two of them armed with guns, to a Las Vegas hotel room in 2007 to take hundreds of items from a sports memorabilia dealer." (07/20/10)

Bitcoin nears record high price after 'milestone' in fierce debate over its future


Source: CNBC

"Bitcoin traded near its all-time high price late on Thursday after the intense debate over the cryptocurrency's future appears to be heading to a positive end. The price of bitcoin hit a high of $2,948.51 on Thursday evening, just shy of the record high $3,025.47 reached on June 11, according to data from CoinDesk." (07/21/17)

VA: McDonald's employee refuses to serve uniformed police officer

Source: Fox News

"A uniformed police officer in Virginia said he was refused service at a local McDonald’s because he was wearing a uniform, reported. Scott Naff, an officer for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, reportedly paid for his food in the drive-thru line, but was allegedly refused the food when he got to the window. Naff’s wife, Cathy, told the newspaper that the employee saw the uniform and told her husband: 'I ain’t serving no police.' She posted the story on her Facebook page to inform her close friends about the incident, and the story went viral, the report said. 'He was in uniform and [in] his police vehicle. He paid for his food and drove forward to the next window," she wrote, according to Fox 8. 'The young man who was working that window looked at him and backed away from the window mouthing something to my husband.'" (07/20/17)

2017 back-to-college spending projected to hit an all-time high

Source: USA Today

"College students preparing to stock up on clothes, gadgets and dorm decor before heading back to campus may have to sock away a little more of their summer earnings. The average collegian is expected to spend nearly a thousand dollars ($969.88) this year, mostly on clothes, food and tech gear, the National Retail Federation says. That’s up 9.1% from last year’s $888.71. Overall, this year’s back-to-college spending will reach an all-time high of $54.1 billion, up 11.5% from $48.5 billion from last year, the NRF forecasts. 'There’s more students actually enrolling in college this year than in the past, which is why there’s an increase in sales,' said Ana Serafin Smith, spokesperson for the NRF, which has tracked college expenses since 2003. And many of these purchases aren’t taking place at the mall. Some 44% of back-to-college shopping occurs online. There are also hybrid options." (07/20/17)

NM: 10-year-old boy trips over 1.2 million-year-old fossil in desert

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

"A boy's misstep on a family hike in New Mexico has given the world a prehistoric wonder. Ten-year-old Jude Sparks was on a desert hike in Las Cruces in November when he tripped over what turned out to be the fossilized tusk of a 1.2 million-year-old elephant-like creature, called a stegomastodon. The family contacted New Mexico State University professor Peter Houde, and he and a team from the university spent a week digging up the skull in May after getting permission from the landowner. Houde estimates the entire skull weighs about a ton." (07/20/17)

Damond lawyer: Minneapolis police ambush claim "ludicrous"

Source: BBC [UK state media]

"A lawyer for the family of an Australian woman shot dead by police in Minneapolis says suggestions officers feared an ambush were ludicrous.' Robert Bennett said Justine Damond was in her pyjamas when she approached them and 'was not a threat to anyone.' Ms Damond was shot after approaching two officers in their car on Saturday after reporting a suspected rape. Mr Bennett has acted in similar cases, including the high-profile police shooting of Philando Castile in 2016. Fred Bruno, the lawyer for Matthew Harrity, whose partner killed Ms Damond, 40, had said: 'It is reasonable to assume an officer in that situation would be concerned about a possible ambush.' But Mr Bennett told CBS News: 'I think that's ludicrous. It's disinformation. It doesn't have any basis in fact.'" [editor's note: So let's see, was she supposed to come out in the nude, with her hands locked together on her head? – SAT] (07/20/17)

NM: Albuquerque Tea Party granted tax-exempt status after 8 years

Source: Fox News

"It’s taken nearly eight years, but the Internal Revenue Service finally granted tax-exempt status to a Tea Party group in what lawyers representing the group on Wednesday called a 'major victory for free speech.' Graham Bartlett, president of the local Tea Party, said he was informed about a month ago that the group's request was going through, The Albuquerque Journal reported. The group filed its request in December 2009. Several months later, the IRS demanded more documentation concerning the organization's activities. The group complied, but then the IRS requested even more documentation. The Tea Party provided more than 1,000 pages of documentation about the group's activities. Eventually, it filed a lawsuit against the IRS." (07/20/17)

Poll: One in eight Trump voters having second thoughts

Source: Reuters

"About one in eight people who voted for President Donald Trump said they are not sure they would do so again after witnessing Trump's tumultuous first six months in office, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of 2016 voters. While most of the people who voted for Trump on Nov. 8 said they would back him again, the erosion of support within his winning coalition of older, disaffected, mostly white voters poses a potential challenge for the president. Trump, who won the White House with the slimmest of margins, needs every last supporter behind him to push his agenda through a divided Congress and potentially win a second term in 2020. The poll surveyed voters who had told Reuters/Ipsos on Election Day how they had cast their ballots. While other surveys have measured varying levels of disillusionment among Trump supporters, the Reuters/Ipsos poll shows how many would go as far as changing the way they voted." (07/20/17)