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Overtime Rule Is but the Latest Obama Initiative to End in Texas Court

Overtime Rule Is but the Latest Obama Initiative to End in Texas Court

President-elect Donald J. Trump promised to undo many of the Obama administration’s most ambitious regulations. But even before he takes office, federal courts in Texas are doing some of the work for him.

A federal judge’s injunction this week halted a Labor Department rule that would have made millions more Americans eligible for overtime pay.

Over the last two years, Federal District Court judges in the state have chipped away at Mr. Obama’s legacy by striking down or suspending no fewer than five regulations, executive orders or actions, and guidelines, including an action that would have allowed illegal immigrants who are parents of United States citizens to remain in the country, and guidance that would have expanded restroom access for transgender students.

The injunction in the overtime case, issued on Tuesday by a judge nominated by Mr. Obama, has many advocates and legal experts concerned.

“It’s a troubling trend because it’s essentially delegating policy oversight to a set of handpicked judges in the South, who can pick and choose which regulations move forward and which do not,” said Matthew Wessler, a principal at the firm Gupta Wessler who has argued multiple cases involving workers before the Supreme Court.

The case over the overtime rule, which would have made an estimated 4.2 million people newly eligible for time-and-a-half overtime pay, provides some insight into why opponents of regulation conclude that descending on Texas increases their odds of success.

In an interview, the Nevada attorney general, Adam Paul Laxalt, whose state was the lead plaintiff in the case against the overtime rule, said that the coalition of states it led had elected to file in the Eastern District of Texas because the district had a reputation for handing down rulings quickly.

“That was what is known as a fast docket,” Mr. Laxalt said. “The decision was made based on a bunch of variables, but we thought we may be able to get the quickest answer.” Citing the Dec. 1 effective date for the new regulation, he said, “We were really fighting the clock.”

Mr. Laxalt added that Nevada had been part of multistate litigation that was filed in other states, including a case over a rule regulating waterways, which was filed in North Dakota.

Texas has a rich culture of antigovernment litigation. In 2013, Greg Abbott, now the state’s governor and then its attorney general, jokingly described a typical workday as, “I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home.” He bragged that he had sued the Obama administration 25 times in the previous four years.

While federal judges in Texas are officially appointed by the president, not state officials, Senate custom gives the state’s two United States senators considerable influence over the nominations.

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Special Report: The Two Year Influx of Central Americans to the Rio Grande Valley

So far in 2016, more than 59,000 Central Americans have passed through the doors at the Respite Center at Sacred Heart in McAllen. The influx began in June 2014.

An average of 350 people a day continue to pour in, according to the Council of Foreign Relations.

Sister Norma Pimentel has led the efforts and has even been recognized by Pope Francis for her work with the immigrants.She said Central American immigrants come primarily from three countries known as the northern triangle.

According to the Council, these countries are ranked as some of the most violent in the world. Not including war, El Salvador has the highest murder rate in the world, according to the Council. Honduras is marred by corruption and armed gangs. Children are under frequent pressure to join those gangs. Last year, Guatemala averaged 91 drug trafficking-related murders a week.

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Texas argues it can fix foster care without judge’s oversight

Edgar Walters

Texas’ Republican attorney general, faced with a mounting crisis in the state’s child welfare system, on Tuesday published a scathing critique of costly, court-ordered reforms meant to improve the conditions of children in the state’s long-term foster care system.

Lawyers for the state argued that the court’s proposed reforms — first ordered by a federal district judge, then laid out by a pair of “special masters” hired, against the state’s wishes, on Texas’ dime — are an example of egregious federal overreach.

The move puts the state’s Republican leaders in a delicate position: While they concede that the foster care system’s underlying problems are a pressing matter, they argue it’s one they can address on their own. That’s despite the fact that the system has been broken — and worsening — for years under their tenure.

In a new legal filing on Tuesday, part of the long-running class-action lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott and the child welfare system writ large, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office objected to the special masters’ recommendations, calling them “over-broad” and saying there is no proof they will work. The special masters have recommended lowering caseloads for child welfare workers and hiring more of them to pick up the slack.

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How Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reduced his federal tax bill to zero in 2015

Kristen Mosbrucker

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his wife, Cecilia, trimmed their federal tax bill to zero during 2015, according to records released by his office this week.

Over the course of 2015, Abbott had about $25,242 withheld as federal taxes, but through exemptions and reductions amount that was reduced to zero.

Abbott reported earning $119,819 from income during 2015 but claimed itemized deductions of $101,411 and $12,000 of exemptions, records show. An additional $3,000 in capital gains losses was rOf those deductions, about $42,544 stemmed from real estate taxes paid, while $28,734 was related to the home mortgage interest credit, and $13,125 was related to charitable donations.eported too. Cecilia Abbott was a self-described homemaker.

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Greg Abbott ‘hopeful’ Trump win means Texas can cut border spending

Sean Collins Walsh

Gov. Greg Abbott signaled this week that the election of Donald Trump might give Texas an opportunity to dial back its unprecedented and costly border security campaign, which has an $800 million price tag in the state’s current two-year budget.

Abbott “is hopeful that President-elect Trump will implement a border security policy that eases the enormous financial burden Texas taxpayers have shouldered due to the current administration’s dereliction of duty,” Abbott spokesman Sam Taylor said in a statement. “The governor looks forward to working with the president-elect to secure our southern border once and for all.”

Since 2014, when then-Gov. Rick Perry sent Texas National Guard troops to the border as a flood of families from violence-ridden Central American countries poured into the Rio Grande Valley, Republicans have justified the border program, the only state-level border security program in the nation, by saying the federal government was endangering Texans by failing to keep unauthorized immigrants from crossing the Rio Grande.

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RERfirst – “KING JOE” STRAUS IS UNBEATABLE DUE TO ANONYMITY

The 85th Texas Legislative Session is just weeks away, and as of yet, RagingElephantsRadio.com is unaware of any credible challengers being murmured to stop Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio RER0) from retaining the gavel for an unprecedented fifth term.

Since his 2009 election as Speaker through an inconceivable alliance of a mere 11 Republican and 65 Democrat state representatives, liberty movement (LM) activists in the know have been making futile efforts to see a true conservative dethrone Straus.  There’s been no such blessing.

The 2015 session saw Straus’ most glorious victory for re-election as Speaker.  He pulverized LM candidate State Rep. Scott Turner (R-Plano RER97) after Turner literally announced one full year before the election was to take place.  Starting with the votes of his most ardent supporters, the House Democrats, session after session Straus only needs a tiny fraction of GOP state rep support to maintain his dubious and destructive grip on power.

RagingElephantsRadio’s CEO, Apostle Claver T. Kamau-Imani, has long believed Straus’ anonymity is one of his strongest political assets – not simply his brutal tactics of intimidation and Texas’ largest campaign bank account that affords him the ability to buy support.  The voting population of Texas generally has no idea of the identity of the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

Pastor Terry Holcomb, known as the “Open-Carry Preacher” and head of Texas Carry, ran against Straus-appointed committee chair, John Otto (R-Dayton RER52) in the 2014 Texas GOP primary.

Leading up to the 2015 legislative session, the usual passion was being displayed by Straus opponents as they repeated previous efforts to convince their state reps to vote for any Straus challenger – once again, that was Turner in 2015.  In a November 2014 interview on the Golden Triangle’s Freedom 1350 radio, via telephone Holcomb said of his campaign experience, “I can tell you that most of the average primary voters have no idea who Joe Straus was. And, I’d venture to say that that’s still the same and hasn’t changed”

Program host Chip Darby had a differing response, “I disagree.  I think a lot of people are becoming aware of Joe Straus and who he is. And, I’ll tell you this.  I’m going to do my darndest to let people know who Joe Straus is and what he’s about.”

The in-studio guest for the radio interview that day was State Rep. James White (R-Woodville RER85).  At the beginning of the 2011 session when Straus was running for his second term, White was one of only 15 GOP state reps that hit the “red light” on Straus meaning they were against his Speakership. The “15 Heroes” voted against Straus as Speaker although all of his opponents had withdrawn from the race.  Quite an embarrassment for an egotist like King Joe and his henchmen and henchwomen who had worked so hard to vanquish all opposition.

White had made it known by the time of the 2014 radio interview that he intended to flip and become a Straus-ian to the dismay of his knowledgeable constituents — three of which were grilling him in the studio on the air.  The essence of his argument?  That the rank-and-file GOP primary voter has no idea of the identity of the Texas Speaker of the House.

“This is something I’ve thought about”, stated White during the interview. “Why raise emotions, raise expectations, deepen consternation over something when I’m looking at the numbers and see the way it’s going?  Why have that between and among my constituents?  Because at the end of the day, Chip, I represent one of the poorest counties.”

White’s argument was that to help his district, it isn’t wise to vote against the Speaker and tick him off when he’s known to be vindictive and defeating him is impossible.  And, why vote against Straus, under all circumstances, when the vast majority of the voters in one’s district is completely unaware of who Straus is?

As far back as 2012, Apostle Claver and State Rep. White had several similar conversations in which White made the claim that internal polling from several political camps on the GOP side of the aisle had come to the same conclusion.  Pledging to vote against Straus would make no difference whatsoever in the outcome of State House elections across the state. Yet, few outside of those close circles of associates within a campaign had ever seen such numbers to back up the claim that Texans are ignorant of Straus’ existence.

Now there are hard polling numbers to refer to.  The polling comes from the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune polling shop and they conduct job approval surveys every few months with amazing consistency when polling on Straus.  Although UT/TT polling accuracy has come into question in the distance past and very recent future, the results verify the claims of White and others who have desks under the Pink Dome.

The last poll conducted by UT/TT was concluded in October 2016.  Speaker Joe Straus is +8 in overall job approval with 31% saying they strongly, or somewhat approve of his performance while 23% strongly, or somewhat disapprove of his performance.  An eye-popping 56% of respondents registered an answer of neither approved, nor disapproved, or “didn’t know”.

Utter anonymity.

But it’s the crosstabs that deliver the more-shocking results.

Of those that label themselves as strong Republicans, 39% strongly, or somewhat approve of Joe Straus’ job performance.  Only 6% either strongly, or somewhat disapprove of Straus’ job performance.  A whopping 55% registered an answer of neither approved, nor disapproved, or “didn’t know”.

Forget party labels. How about those that prefer to call themselves conservatives?

31% of respondents who consider themselves extremely conservative, strongly, or somewhat approve of Straus’ job performance.  15% either strongly, or somewhat disapprove of Straus’ job performance.  56% neither approved, nor disapproved, or “didn’t know” anything about Straus.

What about voters that consider themselves a part of the Tea Party in Texas?  27% of the most liberty-driven of the electorate have a strong, or somewhat strong approval of Straus’ job.  Only 17% disapprove of his job.  52% didn’t have a clue.

This is the sentiment of liberty-driven Texans about a man that has been called the “Harry Reid of Texas” by Forbes magazine. Wait.  Harry Reid is a Democrat.

With ignorance registering 50+% in all surveyed categories, the efforts of the most active and knowledgeable liberty-driven Texans fall on the deaf ears of their representatives.  No matter how much pressure they attempt to apply on their reps to eject Straus from the Speaker’s chair, as long as Straus enjoys the luxury of anonymity state reps will have no compulsion to take the political risk of having to endure the wrath of “King Joe” – the man that can’t be beaten in Texas.

Team RER

Copyright©2016 Raging Elephants Radio LLC

RERsports — Army Falls to No.1 TCU in Shooting Clash

WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army West Point rifle team fell to No. 1 TCU on Sunday at home 4726-4657, to round out the first half of the 2016-17 season.

AGGREGATE SCORING

  • The Frogs captured the top five individual spots on the day with scores from Rachel Garner (1185), Mindy Miles (1183), Casey Lutz (1179), Sally Li (1172), and Nicole Hankey (1168).
  • The Black Knights high score came from sophomore Payne Nunn who shot a 1167, scoring 579 in smallbore and 588 in air rifle.

HOW IT HAPPENED IN SMALLBORE

  • TCU took the top five places led by Garner with a 593.
  • Army was led by sophomore Nathan Brewer and Nunn shooting 580 and 579, respectfully.
  • Seniors Danielle Cuomo (576) and Allen Solida (572) rounded out the top ten.

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RERfirst — SEN. HALL: ONLY 5 TEXAS COUNTIES HAD CLEAN PRIMARIES (AUDIO)

For months, RagingElephantsRadio.com has been covering the story of Texas election integrity being questioned.  Quarters of activists inside and outside of the Texas liberty have openly said Texas election integrity is under assault, surreptitiously, as they work to bring what they’ve discovered to Texans.

One of the most vocal critics of what is perceived as a systematic dismantling of Texas Election Code safeguards to prevent and detect election fraud is State Sen. Bob Hall (R-Canton RER94).

In an exclusive interview with RagingElephantsRadio.com, Hall reported that only five Texas counties could arguably declare that their 2016 primary elections were conducted with the utmost integrity.

As was reported by Watchdog.org’s John Cassidy, following the March 1, 2016 it was discovered that over 1700 votes were counted in Hill County than voters that presented themselves to the polls.  This directly impacted the primary race of State Rep. “Lord” Byron Cook (R-Corsicana RER56) who was victorious over LM candidate Thomas McNutt by a mere 222 votes.

The recommendation of Texas Director of Elections Keith Ingram, that the Cook race be investigated by the Office of the Texas Attorney General triggered further investigation by Hall connections. Election results in all 254 of the state were analyzed.

“There was an investigation, a data gathering analysis of all the rest of the counties, just to see how they stacked up in comparing the number votes cast, the number of ballots cast and the number of people that showed up at the polls. And, we had very disturbing results that came out of that” stated Hall.

“We found that in 249 of the 254 counties there was an incongruity. The numbers did not match between the numbers of people that were suppose to had been at the polls, and the numbers of votes cast.”

Team RER

Copyright©2016 Raging Elephants Radio LLC

Two-Year-Old Boy With An Extremely Rare Condition: The Only One In The World?

By Hasan Tariq,

There are times that toddlers suffer from a mysterious condition in which they can’t eat or drink anything (not even water). It isn’t a myth and isn’t some unexplained fable, but there are true stories of this condition taking over the bodies of toddlers.

There aren’t many medical statements available for now to explain the reasoning of this phenomenon, but there are incidents of its occurrence.

According to The Sun, this condition disables the toddler from eating anything. Whenever the child eats something, his body starts to attack his insides, depleting his immune system and making him prone to various infections. These causes many other organs of the body to stop acting normally and may in various cases affect the brain.

Formerly residing with breathing problems, the condition of the child progresses to the stage where the body despises any food or drink intake. If the child is still fed, massive bleeding and vomiting takes over him and eventually he has to be hospitalized. A condition like this can rightly be called ‘scary.’

According to The Mirror, many doctors have carried out various tests on such children, but all ended up with no answer. In their words, it can be something rare or pure. However, it has still not been discovered what this condition is and what causes it.

To go more into details, the child’s bowel gets marks that have never been identified before in any other prevailing cases in medical history. When food is ingested, these markings open up. However, this was the only thing that the doctors got to. Even specialists were baffled by this difficult condition that was so devastating for the child.

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Schwertner Files ‘Pre-Born Protection & Dignity Act’

On The Record

Banning Sale of Fetal Tissue, Partial-Birth Abortion

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Today, Senator Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown) filed Senate Bill 8, known as the ‘Pre-Born Protection and Dignity Act.’  If passed, SB 8 would ban the sale of fetal tissue from elective abortions and prohibit partial-birth abortion in state law.

“The idea that anyone would seek to profit from the sale of fetal tissue is beyond abhorrent…it’s evil,” said Schwertner.  “The Pre-Born Protection and Dignity Act I’ve filed today will put a definitive end to the sale or exchange of fetal tissue and outlaw the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion in state law.”

Senate Bill 8 comes in the wake of a series of videos released last summer showing senior Planned Parenthood executives casually discussing the potential sale of fetal tissue to benefit the organization’s bottom line.  On July 29, 2015, Senator Schwertner convened an emergency hearing of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services to investigate the business practices of Planned Parenthood and examine the regulatory framework governing the sale or donation of aborted fetal tissue.

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