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demmiblue's Journal
demmiblue's Journal
July 31, 2018

Trump administration must stop giving psychotropic drugs to migrant children without consent, judge

Source: WaPo

A federal judge on Monday found that U.S. government officials have been giving psychotropic medication to migrant children at a Texas facility without first seeking the consent of their parents or guardians, in violation of state child welfare laws.

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles ordered the Trump administration to obtain consent or a court order before administering any psychotropic medications to migrant children, except in cases of dire emergencies. She also ordered that the government move all children out of a Texas facility, Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Manvel, except for children deemed by a licensed professional to pose a “risk of harm” to themselves or others.

Staff members at Shiloh admitted to signing off on medications in lieu of a parent, relative or legal guardian, according to Gee’s ruling. Government officials defended this practice, saying they provided these drugs only on “an emergency basis” when a child’s “extreme psychiatric symptoms” became dangerous.

The judge didn’t buy this explanation, pointing to testimony from children who said they were given pills “every morning and every night.” Officials “could not have possibly” administered medications to children on an emergency basis every day, Gee wrote.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/07/31/trump-administration-must-seek-consent-before-giving-drugs-to-migrant-children-judge-rules/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e3eccfb63478

July 31, 2018

Trump Blasts 'Globalist' Koch Brothers as 'Total Joke': 'I Don't Need Their Money'

Source: Mediaite

On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump opened fire on Republican billionaire donors the Charles and David Koch, blasting them as “globalists” with bad ideas. He called them a “total joke” and said he has “beaten them at every turn.”

“The globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade,” he tweeted. “I never sought their support because I don’t need their money or bad ideas. They love my Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judicial picks & more.”

“I made…them richer,” he continued in a second missive. “Their network is highly overrated, I have beaten them at every turn. They want to protect their companies outside the U.S. from being taxed, I’m for America First & the American Worker – a puppet for no one.

“Two nice guys with bad ideas. Make America Great Again!”

Read more: https://www.mediaite.com/online/trump-blasts-globalist-koch-brothers-as-total-joke-i-dont-need-their-money/

July 31, 2018

Levin appears to have sizable lead on Lipton in 9th district race

WASHINGTON — Andy Levin, who is running to replace his dad, U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin, D-Royal Oak, appears to have a strong lead heading into next week's Democratic primary, according to a new automated poll of voters in the district.

EPIC-MRA of Lansing did the poll for the Free Press, surveying 730 likely and active voters in Michigan 9th congressional district who said they plan to vote in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary or already have done so by absentee ballot. The poll was done last Wednesday and Thursday and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Levin, of Bloomfield Township, who held roles in former Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration and has a background as a union organizer, had the support of 49 percent of those surveyed compared to 26 percent for his chief rival, former state Rep. Ellen Lipton of Huntington Woods. Attorney Martin Brook was third with 3 percent support.

There was still a large number of undecided voters, with 22 percent saying they were unsure or hadn't made up their minds. When undecided respondents were prompted a second time to make a choice, however, Levin's support went to 55 percent, compared to 31 percent for Lipton and 4 percent for Brook. Ten percent remained undecided.

July 30, 2018

This is a first. The White House is now asking journalists to get a pass to go to a White House...

Andrew Beatty
?Verified account @AndrewBeatty

This is a first. The White House is now asking journalists to get a pass to go to a White House press conference, even though we have White House hard passes.

12:53 PM - 30 Jul 2018

July 30, 2018

How Russia Persecutes Its Dissidents Using U.S. Courts

Russia’s requests to Interpol for Red Notices—the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant—against Kremlin opponents are being met with increasing deference by the Department of Homeland Security.

A little more than six years ago, Sasha was on his way to a meeting of Russia’s pro-democracy Yabloko Party in the tiny Russian republic of Kalmykia when he was pulled into an unmarked black car by two plainclothes police officers. He was interrogated for three days about his prior activity with the party, his lawyer told me, and his captors demanded that he sign a confession that mentioned something about a kidnapping. But they wouldn’t tell him what his crime was.

After seven months in prison, Sasha—whose full name is being withheld by The Atlantic at his lawyer’s request—pleaded guilty without knowing why. In court weeks later, Russian prosecutors revealed the substantive case against him for the first time: Sasha, along with two others, had been accused and convicted of kidnapping someone, holding him in an apartment, and beating him repeatedly with a hammer. Sasha maintains that he never learned who the alleged victim was—no photo was ever submitted into the criminal record. But he served a brief prison sentence and was released on probation in December 2012, at which point he fled to the United States on a B-2 tourist visa and applied for asylum at the end of 2013.

In October 2017, Sasha and his wife were driving to work in Atlanta when they were pulled over by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. They told Sasha that the International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, had issued a Red Notice at Russia’s behest, alerting authorities that he had violated the terms of his probation by traveling to the U.S. years earlier.

Much attention has been paid to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the fear of a repeat in the upcoming midterms. Less examined, however, has been Russia’s abuse of Interpol and the American court system to persecute the Kremlin’s rivals in the United States—a problem that the Atlantic Council described in a recent report as another form of “interference” by Russia. Russia’s requests to Interpol to issue Red Notices—the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today—against Kremlin opponents are being met with increasing deference by the Department of Homeland Security, according to immigration attorneys and experts in transnational crime and corruption with whom I spoke.

July 29, 2018

El Paso County Deputies Started a Fight Club to Reward Use of Force Against Prisoners

Use of violent force is never something to celebrate. Any time law enforcement officers legitimately use force or violence against people in the communities that they serve, it is at best an unfortunate part of the job that should be kept to the minimum amount necessary to control a situation.

Yet in the El Paso County Jail in Colorado, Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rincon was celebrated with a tiara, a “princess” plate, and a cake with the number “50” on top. The number, however, wasn’t her age. It referred to the number of times she had used force against prisoners, ranging from handcuffing to punching and kicking. She was the winner of what one of the county jailers called a “fight club,” crowning whoever used force most often as the champion.

The “fight club” competition was uncovered in the course of a lawsuit filed by civil rights attorney Darold Killmer, which charged sheriff’s deputies with using excessive force against his client, Philippa McCully. The deputies, according to McCully, knocked her legs out from under her and shoved her to the floor, fracturing her knee, tearing her ACL, and bruising her badly. After the “fight club” competition was revealed, the county settled McCully’s case for $675,000.

The uncovering of the “fight club” did lead to an investigation, but that investigation fell far short of being genuine and robust. The investigation largely minimized the culture of violence that led to the “fight club” coming to be in the first place. There were written reprimands, but no demotions, no transfers, or dock of pay for anyone involved, and there was no other disciplinary action along the lines of limited suspension. The competition was dismissed as little more than “bad judgment,” and the county denied that it resulted in increased use of force, even though incidents of use of force nearly doubled during the first two years of the competition.


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