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In It to Win It

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Member since: Sun May 27, 2018, 05:53 PM
Number of posts: 5,253

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Biden's Justice Department Finally Stands Up to Out-of-Control Texas Judges



As soon as President Joe Biden entered the White House, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launched an unprecedented campaign of obstruction to block his agenda in the courts. Paxton took advantage of a quirk—really, a loophole—in the federal judiciary: A state can pick the specific judge who will oversee its case by filing in a small division where only one judge sits. Using this strategy, Paxton has positioned his cases before a rotating cast of the same conservative judges, most of them nominated by Donald Trump. They have dutifully played their role in this pantomime of litigation, issuing an unending series of sweeping injunctions that block Biden administration policies nationwide for months or years.

On Thursday, the administration finally said: enough. In response to yet another Texas lawsuit exploiting this loophole, Biden’s Justice Department called out Paxton—and, implicitly, the judges playing along with his scheme. The DOJ highlighted Texas’ “blatant” and shameless “judge-shopping,” urging a transfer to another court “in the interests of justice.” Naturally, Trump-nominated Judge Drew Tipton is unlikely to oblige; that is, after all, why Paxton hand-picked him for this lawsuit. But the DOJ’s filing marks a new phase of battle against Republicans’ judicial gamesmanship: The Justice Department is playing hardball in the lower courts, forcing compromised judges to address their own complicity in a cynical partisan chicanery.

The underlying lawsuit in Texas v. Department of Homeland Security is another frivolous effort to shift control over border policy from the executive branch to a single federal judge. Paxton has pulled this off before: In August 2021, he persuaded another Trump-nominated judge, Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, to block Biden’s repeal of a Trump policy that forced U.S.-bound migrants to remain in Mexico. Kacsmaryk even forced U.S. diplomats to negotiate with Mexican officials under threat of sanctions. Texas’ new suit, filed on Tuesday, seeks to do something similar. The state is infuriated by a new agreement between the Biden administration and Mexico regarding migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Venezuela. (The U.S. cannot send these migrants back to their home countries.) The agreement compels most of these migrants to stay on the Mexican side of the border. But it allows a small number of them to enter the U.S. legally—and remain here for a limited period—if they are vetted and have financial supporters in the country already.

Posted by In It to Win It | Mon Jan 30, 2023, 02:03 PM (6 replies)

At $1.5 billion, Kansas Chamber's flat tax plan would be bigger tax cut than Brownback's


A plan by the Kansas Chamber to implement a flat income tax would come with a price tag far bigger than the tax cuts of former Gov. Sam Brownback that were eventually repealed amid massive budget shortfalls.

The Kansas Chamber's plan would generally implement a 5% flat tax on both personal and business income. Fiscal estimates released Monday on HB 2061 put the cost to state revenues at about $1.5 billion a year.

"It's a little higher than anticipated," said Chamber lobbyist Eric Stafford, adding that the fiscal note does not change their stance on moving to a flat tax in some form.

Stafford said the high cost of the tax cut is largely due to a provision intended to keep a flat tax from raising taxes on poor Kansans.
Posted by In It to Win It | Mon Jan 30, 2023, 01:47 PM (3 replies)

A Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate and her husband want to open an indoor gun range to host wedding


A Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate and her husband are trying to open an indoor gun range that can host weddings and serve alcohol.

Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow, a conservative candidate for the state's Supreme Court and her husband Brian Dorow, purchased the former Hartland Sportsman's Club in 2021 and renamed it Delafield Oaks Range, Jezebel reported.

The couple asked the city of Delafield to turn the space into an indoor shooting range that could also double as an events space that will "host weddings, conventions, and high-end meetings," and also feature outdoor hiking trails, horseshoes, bean bag toss," alongside other similar activities, per city records.

Dorow announced her candidacy for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in late November 2022. PBS Wisconsin reported that Dorow is one of four candidates running to take the seat of Justice Patience Roggensack, who is retiring. The state's highest court is currently made up of four conservatives and three liberals.

Additionally, the proposal includes plans to offer food, a liquor license, and outdoor holiday events like Easter egg hunts and Halloween festivities.
Posted by In It to Win It | Mon Jan 30, 2023, 12:16 AM (13 replies)

U.S. states challenge Biden rule on socially conscious investing


(Reuters) - A coalition of 25 U.S. states led by Texas and Utah filed a lawsuit seeking to strike down a Biden administration rule allowing retirement plans to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors such as climate change and racial justice when selecting investments.

The states filed a complaint in a federal court in Amarillo, Texas, on Thursday arguing that the rule finalized in November will lead many retirement plans to focus on a social agenda rather than long-term financial stability for investors.

The rule, which takes effect on Monday, reverses restrictions on socially conscious investing that were adopted by the Trump administration.

The states in Thursday's lawsuit said the new rule fails to justify the departure from Trump-era regulations, in violation of the federal law governing rulemaking.

The lawsuit was assigned to U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee who has struck down Biden administration rules on immigration and healthcare protections for LGBT people.

The case is Utah v. Walsh, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, No. 2:23-cv-00016.

Posted by In It to Win It | Sat Jan 28, 2023, 08:56 PM (3 replies)

Pritzker (D-IL) warns College Board against any AP course changes to appease DeSantis

Chicago Sun Times

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is going to battle with the national College Board over what he calls “political grandstanding” by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Chicago Democrat is warning the nonprofit that oversees the Advanced Placement program that Illinois will reject a revised African American Studies course if it doesn’t include “a factual accounting of history, including the role played by black queer Americans.”

Pritzker sent a sharply worded letter to the board over its decision to revise the Advanced Placement course in African American Studies after the Florida governor — and likely GOP presidential candidate — blocked Florida high schools from offering the course because it included segments on “queer theory” and “abolishing prisons,” among other topics.

Pritzker objected to any change “in order to fit Florida’s racist and homophobic laws.”

“In Illinois, we reject any curriculum modifications designed to appease extremists like the Florida Governor and his allies,” Pritzker wrote in the letter obtained by the Sun-Times.

Posted by In It to Win It | Fri Jan 27, 2023, 06:43 PM (21 replies)

Biden moves to protect the Tongass, North America's largest rainforest, from logging and road buildi


Ask people to find the world’s rainforests on a globe, and most will probably point to South America. But North America has rainforests too – and like their tropical counterparts, these temperate rainforests are ecological treasures.

The Biden administration recently announced new policies to protect the Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world and the biggest U.S. national forest. It spreads over more than 26,000 square miles (67,340 square kilometers) – roughly the size of West Virginia – and covers most of southeast Alaska. The Tongass has thousands of watersheds and fjords, and more than a thousand forested islands.

For over 20 years the Tongass has been at the center of political battles over two key conservation issues: old-growth logging and designating large forest zones as roadless areas to prevent development. As a scientist specializing in forest ecosystems, I see protecting the Tongass as the kind of bold action that’s needed to address climate change and biodiversity loss.
Posted by In It to Win It | Fri Jan 27, 2023, 11:38 AM (5 replies)

The Democratic Party's Political Gift to Ron DeSantis

I thought this was an interesting article from New Yorker

The New Yorker


The story of Doral began as an immigrant’s dream. In the nineteen-fifties, a Polish real-estate developer and his wife set their eyes on a vast swampland, where they planned to construct a premier golf course. The resort, which they named the Doral Hotel and Country Club, attracted scores of Latin American visitors throughout the years. Luxury condominiums filled pastures where cows once grazed, and a sprawling downtown area featured schools, parks, and a trolley system. With time, Doral also drew in corporate executives, among them Donald Trump, who made a hundred-and-fifty-million-dollar offer for the club, in 2012, and renamed it Trump National Doral.

State Democrats issued a clarion call to the Party’s national leadership, urging them to double down on their investment in the county. The opposite happened: after investing nearly sixty million dollars in the 2018 midterm election, Democrats spent less than two million in last year’s race. For the first time in twenty years, Miami-Dade went Republican, with Ron DeSantis beating his Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist, by eleven points. It was clear that the Democrats’ passivity had come at a cost, but also that the G.O.P. messaging on everything from parental rights to the threat of communism was appealing to a growing segment of the electorate.

In the midterms, Florida proved to be the only state in the country where the red wave fully panned out. Along with DeSantis’s trouncing of Crist, Republicans flipped three House seats, and the number of registered Republicans in Florida surpassed that of Democrats—a historic first. Andrea Mercado, who leads the liberal advocacy group Florida Rising, estimated that Republicans had outspent Democrats by more than three hundred and fifty million dollars. Some losses, as in Doral, where Republican turnout far exceeded that of Democrats, were particularly hard to process. Mercado saw them as an unmistakable sign of entrenched G.O.P. gains, and she said that Democrats had only themselves to blame. “The reality is,” Mercado said, “you just don’t win the races that you don’t run.”

This year, Fabio Andrade, a sixty-five-year-old Colombian American executive, spent most of his time in Doral. The city—also known as Doralzuela, for its growing Venezuelan diaspora—is where Republicans, last winter, opened the Party’s first Hispanic Community Center in Miami-Dade County. Andrade is the founder of Republican Amigos, a group of Latinos dedicated to energizing the Party’s base in South Florida.

Halfway into the networking session, Andrade slid into a booth and urged everyone around him to fill up their drinks. His party’s gains, Andrade told me, hadn’t happened overnight. For him, it went back to the mid-nineties, when he settled in Miami and took a job as an airline manager. Thousands of Colombians were fleeing the country’s protracted conflict between leftist guerrillas and the conservative government; many of them landed in South Florida. At the time, Andrade saw the need to rally local politicians around the Colombian government’s cause. He reached out to members of Congress and lobbied for their support. Chief among the Colombian community’s demands was the need for asylum. “They listened to us,” Andrade said, of the Florida Republicans in Congress. “I guess they were making an investment in the future—making sure they did it right for us, because tomorrow we would be there voting.”
Posted by In It to Win It | Thu Jan 26, 2023, 04:07 PM (3 replies)

KY GOP hard at work on crucial issues, like other people's sex lives - Opinion


For those of you who are concerned about what Senate President Robert Stivers calls Gov. Andy Beshear’s “ultra-liberal, woke” agenda for Kentucky, fear not. Stivers is on it. The Kentucky legislature is ready to tackle the biggest kitchen table, bread and butter issue that has been plaguing ordinary American families for years: other people’s sex lives. While Democrats have wasted their time on such non-problems such as our crumbling infrastructure, global warming, underfunded education, and inadequate health care, Republicans have been studying Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill. In case you haven’t heard, this bill protects students in grades 1-3 from learning about what lawmakers call “the gay lifestyle,” a charmingly anachronistic term now that gay people are serving in the military, appearing regularly on TV, marrying, and playing professional football. But young children are too innocent to be exposed to such distressing material, even those with gay parents. Or maybe there are no gay parents in Florida or Kentucky until kids reach fourth grade, when some cataclysm turns some straight parents gay. Maybe it’s the dioramas. Look for an anti-diorama bill in the near future. (Throw in science projects, and it’s a sure winner.)
Posted by In It to Win It | Thu Jan 26, 2023, 09:33 AM (2 replies)

Lawyers have 3 students ready to sue if Florida bans African-American Studies AP class



Florida’s Black leaders delivered a warning to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday that if he doesn’t stop attempts “to exterminate Black history” in Florida classrooms, they would sue him for violating the constitutional rights of students.

“We are here to give notice to Gov. DeSantis,’’ said Ben Crump, a Tallahassee civil rights attorney said to a cheering crowd of supporters in the Capitol Rotunda, as three high school students stood at his side.

They were protesting the announcement last week by the Florida Department of Education that it had rejected a new Advanced Placement elective course on African-American studies, developed by the College Board for high-school students.

“If he does not negotiate with the College Board to allow AP African-American Studies to be taught in the classrooms across the state of Florida, these three young people will be the lead plaintiffs,’’ said Crump, who has represented families in several high-profile civil rights cases.

Posted by In It to Win It | Wed Jan 25, 2023, 07:10 PM (8 replies)

[T]he shocking corruption, crime, and cover-up in Kevin McCarthy's district in Bakersfield 👀

Posted by In It to Win It | Wed Jan 25, 2023, 06:42 PM (1 replies)
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