Personalized Cincinnati Bengals Jersey These Numbers Show That The US Is At War With ISIS

WASHINGTON — What began in August 2014 as limited airstrikes in Iraq, aimed at protecting American diplomatic personnel and the minority Yazidi population from the Islamic State, has escalated into daily bombings against the militant group in both Iraq and Syria.

Wary of starting another protracted occupation of a Middle Eastern country,
Personalized Cincinnati Bengals Jersey President Barack Obama has tiptoed into this war, calling for greater military force only in a piecemeal fashion. Now, nearly 17 months into the fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, it doesn’t exactly feel like the U.S. is at war.Officially, Obama has kept his initial
Men’s Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey pledge not to deploy combat ground forces, although he has blurred the lines by allowing for several thousand on-the-ground advisory troops. And Congress, for its part, has yet to declare war or even authorize the military endeavors in Iraq and Syria.

However, it is clear that the U.S. is indeed at war with ISIS, and that the battle is likely to continue for years. As the first full calendar year of the war draws to a close, here’s a look at the scale of the current conflict:

Airstrikes: As of Dec. 22, the U.S. had conducted 4,115 strikes in Iraq and 2,903 in Syria since August of last year, totaling 7,018 airstrikes, according to the Defense Department.Custom Bengals Jersey The other countries in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS launched an additional 2,023 attacks on targets in Iraq and Syria during the same time period.

Targets destroyed: The Defense Department says that the U.S.-led coalition has destroyed a total of 16,075 ISIS targets as of Nov. 13. Tanks, Humvees, buildings and oil infrastructure are all included in this category.

Cost: The war against ISIS has cost a total of $5.36 billion so far, which amounts to just over $11 million a day,Men’s Nike Personalized Cincinnati Bengals Elite Alternate Orange Football Jersey Shirt according to Defense Department reporting from Nov. 30. The daily average cost has increased by $2 million since the earliest days of the war in August 2014.

U.S. ground troops: About 3,500. But didn’t Obama say he wouldn’t send any U.S. ground troops to Iraq or Syria to fight ISIS?

Yes, but the president started sending small groups of American troops to serve in an “advisory role” in Iraq back in June 2014, just after ISIS stormed the Iraqi city of Mosul. Since then, that number has gradually increased to 3,500.

In October, Obama announced plans to send an additional 50 Special
Customized Cincinnati Bengals Jersey Operationstroops into Syria to advise local ground troops trained by the U.S. Before that, the only American troops authorized in Syria were those assigned to conduct quickraids against high-value targets.

Civilian casualties: Technically, 0. The U.S. military does not track or formally acknowledge that any civilians have been killed in the military campaign (thoughthis isn’t unique to the fight against ISIS). Earlier this year,Women’s Nike Cincinnati Bengals Customized Elite Away White NFL Football Jersey a Pentagon official toldthe Daily Beast that it’s impossible to know for sure whether a civilian is killed in an airstrike, but that the military will not drop bombs on a target if they think civilians are present. Despite this vague assurance, it is extremely unlikely that the bombing campaign against ISIS has not resulted in any civilian casualties.

Number of war authorizations passed: 0. The White House claims it has the authority to deploy military force against ISIS under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force,Youth Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey, which permitted the U.S. military to fight the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.

Obama sent Congress a draft of a new, ISIS-specific war authorization in February. Crippled by partisan politics, however, lawmakers failed to move forward on that AUMF, or on an alternative proposal of their own.Custom NFL Jersey Instead, Congress has tacitly endorsed the Obama administration’s convoluted claim that the 2001 war authorization is sufficient.

O’s Angels Kole Calhoun jersey have sights set on return to prominence

BALTIMORE — The Angels Jersey Cheap new year is a fresh start for everyone, and the Orioles are hoping to return to prominence in 2016. With postseason berths in two of the past four seasons (including an American League East title), Baltimore has its core group returning and eyes set on returning to the top of the division.

“You talk about needs. I like the way this clubhouse is right now. Obviously, you can add a few pieces, so if we bring this team back and add a few pieces, I’d like that,” center fielderAdam Jones said at the end of the season. “But, the reality is, this clubhouse is going to be very different, especially with the number of free agents. Bring back who you really, really want and you really think is going to be the most effective for the next five years, at least three of four years, until I’m up, Manny [Machado is] a free agent. There’s a lot of things. I think the next three years are going to be very important to this organization.”

The O’s have already brought back two of those free agents, with catcher Matt Wietersaccepting a one-year qualifying offer and reliever Darren O’Day signing a four-year deal earlier this month. But Andrew Heaney Jersey more questions remain. In no particular order, here are five of the most pressing facing the O’s. They could go a long way in determining whether the Orioles thrive in ’16.

5. What happens with Chris Davis?
Does he stay? Should he stay? When news of the Orioles’ contract offer leaked out to Davis in December, there was a surprising amount of fans ready to move on if the slugger didn’t want the record-setting deal. No matter how this ends, it will be a big part of this season’s storyline.

4. Can the corner-outfield spots step up?
Baltimore is still looking for a left-handed-hitting outfielder, and the corner spots in 2015 were a definite sore spot. The preference is for Mark Trumbo to play first base and designated hitter, though he could see some outfield time, depending on what else happens. Regardless of who it is, the O’s need better production to have a more balanced lineup.

3. How will Matt Wieters fare?
Sidelined until June, Wieters accepted the qualifying offer and will make the most on a one-year deal in O’s history. While health doesn’t seem to be an issue, a full season of Wieters — who was on his way to a career year before he got hurt in ’14 — could add some firepower.Caleb Joseph has done a great job mike trout jersey when Wieters was sidelined and having both on the roster gives manager Buck Showalter a lot of flexibility. Wieters will be a free agent again after ’16, so this is a huge season for the switch-hitter.

2. Does Dylan Bundy play a role?
Out of Minor League options, Bundy is projected to be a part of the Opening Day bullpen. He’ll get every chance to prove himself this spring, with the plan to give Bundy — who has dealt with a litany of injuries — plenty of work. Can he stay healthy and be the promising young arm the O’s drafted with visions of someday being a frontline starter? Time is running out.

1. Will the rotation be better?
Forget Davis for a second and the team’s needs in the outfield. If there’s one thing that has to improve next year, it’s the rotation. The Orioles are expected to add at least one starter, but the kole calhoun jersey rest — including Kevin Gausman — are going to be relied on heavily to take a step forward.

Custom NFL Jersey Lawsuits Seek To Abolish U.S. Bail Bond System

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Crystal Patterson didn’t have the cash or assets to post $150,000 bail and get out of jail after her arrest for assault in October.

So Patterson, 39, promised to pay a bail bonds company $15,000 plus interest to put up the $150,000 bail for her,Custom NFL Jersey allowing to go home and care for her invalid grandmother.

The day after her release, the district attorney decided not to pursue charges. But Patterson still owes the bail bonds company. Criminal justice reformers and
Men’s Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey lawyers at a nonprofit Washington, D.C., legal clinic say that is unconstitutionally unfair.

The lawyers have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Patterson,Custom Bengals Jersey Rianna Buffin and other jail inmates who argue that San Francisco and California’s bail system unconstitutionally treats poor and wealthy suspects differently.

Wealthy suspects can put up their houses or other valuable assets — or simply write a check — to post bail and stay out of jail until their cases are resolved.
Personalized Cincinnati Bengals Jersey Poorer suspects aren’t so lucky. Many remain behind bars or pay nonrefundable fees to bail bonds companies.

San Francisco public defender Chesa Boudin says some of his clients who can’t afford to post bail plead guilty to minor charges for crimes they didn’t commit so they can leave jail.

Boudin represented Buffin, 19, after her arrest for grand theft in October. Buffin couldn’t afford to post the $30,000 bail or pay a bond company a $3,000 fee and so contemplated pleading guilty in exchange for a quick release from jail even though she says her only crime was being with the “wrong people at the wrong place at the wrong time.” Men’s Nike Personalized Cincinnati Bengals Elite Alternate Orange Football Jersey Shirt.

Fortunately, the district attorney declined to charge Buffin and she was released after being held for three days.

“My family was worried,” said Ruffin, who lost her $10.50 an hour baggage handler job at the Oakland International Airport after her arrest.

The lawsuit filed by the Equal Justice Under Law in San Francisco federal court in October seeks to abolish the cash bail system in the city, state — and the country. It’s the ninth lawsuit the center has filed in seven states.

“The bail system in most states is a two-tiered system,” said center founder Phil Telfeyan. “One for the wealthy and one for everyone else.”

The center has settled four lawsuits, convincing smaller jails in states in the South to do away with cash bail requirements for most charges.

Telfeyan said a win in California could add momentum to the center’s goal to rid the country of the cash bail system, which the lawyers say is used by most county jails in all 50 states. The federal system usually allows non-violent suspects free without bail pending trial and denies bail to serious and violent suspects.

“The country watches what happens in California,” said Telfeyan,
Women’s Nike Cincinnati Bengals Customized Elite Away White NFL Football Jersey, a former Department of Justice attorney who founded the Washington organization in 2013 with a partner and the first-ever grant from the Harvard Law School Public Service Venture Fund in 2013.

Telfeyan said it’s not his goal to put out of business the classic neon-advertising Customized Cincinnati Bengals Jersey bail bonding industry, but conceded the business model would become obsolete if he convinces courts that the cash bail system is unconstitutional.

The industry didn’t acknowledge Telfeyan’s first lawsuits filed earlier this year.

But on Monday, lawyers for the California Bail Agents Association filed court papers seeking to formally oppose the San Francisco lawsuit. The association argues that government lawyers for San Francisco and the state are offering only “tepid” opposition to the California lawsuit.

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi argues that most jail inmates are awaiting resolution of minor, non-violent crimes and that letting them free while awaiting court hearings will save the city millions of dollars. Mirkarimi said non-violent suspects can be monitored electronically and with frequent visits from law enforcement officials to ensure they don’t flee the area and attend all their court hearings.

In January, Telfeyan and his colleagues from Equal Justice Under Law will ask a judge to temporarily suspend San Francisco’s cash bail system until the lawsuit is resolved. Telfeyan said a victory in San Francisco and the elimination of cash bail in the city will most likely lead to the abolition of cash bail in all of the state’s 58 counties.

Maggie Kreins, who is president of bail agents group, the says the longtime system of putting up money or an insurance-backed bail bond is better at getting people to show up in court and it saves the public costs of monitoring defendants or hunting down bail jumpers.Youth Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey.

Kreins said that California’s “bail schedule” could be reformed to lower bail amounts for minor crimes, but that scrapping the system completely would be a mistake.

“What is the incentive to go to court if you don’t lose anything for failing to appear?” Kreins said.

Custom Bengals Jersey Driver who plowed into Las Vegas crowd charged with murder

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – An Oregon woman accused of plowing her car into a crowd on the Las Vegas Strip, killing one person and injuring dozens, was charged with murder on Tuesday as investigators sought clues to what motivated the rampage.

Lakeisha N. Holloway, 24, who was arrested after the incident on Sunday,
Custom Bengals Jersey has been charged with one count of murder through use of a deadly weapon in the death of a 32-year-old Arizona woman who was in the crowd.

Holloway, due for her first court appearance on Wednesday,Men’s Nike Carolina Panthers Custom Made Elite Team Color Black Football Jersey, was being held in a “medically restricted” jail unit set aside for inmates requiring increased supervision, including those on suicide watch, according to Las Vegas police spokesman Michael Rodriguez.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he expected additional charges to be brought against Holloway as the investigation unfolds.

“This is a horrendous and inexcusable act that has needlessly and tragically impacted countless lives,” Wolfson said in a statement.

Authorities Personalized NFL Football Jersey said Holloway had been living in her car in Las Vegas for about a week with her 3-year-old daughter and had been driving on a suspended Oregon license.

In addition to murder, she has been charged with child abuse or neglect, and with leaving the scene of a collision, according to the criminal complaint filed in Clark County court.Women’s Nike Custom Made New England Patriots Elite Away White NFL Jersey Cheap.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joe Lombardo said the incident did not appear to be an attack motivated by extremist ideology. U.S. law enforcement agencies have been on heightened alert since this month’s massacre in San Bernardino, California.

Police said Holloway repeatedly drove her automobile onto the sidewalk, Custom Panthers Jersey ramming pedestrians and street posts as bystanders pounded on the windows and tried to pull open her car door to stop her. According to a police report, she then drove about a mile away on a flat tire, parked and asked a hotel employee to call police before surrendering.

The incident occurred near Planet Hollywood, where the Miss Universe beauty pageant was being held. Three victims remained hospitalized in critical condition and two in serious condition, an area hospital said.

Holloway, who is being held without bail, told detectives she had been trying to sleep in her car earlier on Sunday but became stressed when she kept getting chased off by security guards, the police report said.

Holloway may have stopped in Las Vegas en route to Texas, where her daughter’s father lives, and the couple may have quarreled, Lombardo said, adding it was otherwise unclear what might have “caused her to snap.”

In 2012, Holloway received an award from an Oregon career-mentoring organization, the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center,Men’s Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey, for being a role model to high school students.

In an online video posted three years ago by the group, Holloway described growing up with a mother who battled alcohol addiction and poverty,Custom Patriots Jersey and how she was homeless during her first year in high school. She said she ultimately “beat the odds” to become the first member of her immediate family to graduate high school.

“Today, I am not the same scared girl I used to be. I am a mature young woman,” she said in the video. “Being homeless and on my own taught me how to stand on my own two feet.”

Holloway worked part-time for the U.S. Forest Service from 2009 to 2012 while attending community college, the agency said.

Custom Bengals Jersey A Big Win for Planned Parenthood

Little noticed in the deal that Congress approved Friday is the fact that the anti-abortion lobby got wiped out. The deal included no provisions cutting funding for Planned Parenthood — an issue on which Republicans have been prepared to shut down the government in past budget fights.

Nor did the anti-choice zealots have any success on their other proposed riders intended to reduce reproductive rights.Custom Bengals Jersey There were proposed cuts in federal spending for sex education, family planning and Planned Parenthood.

Same with efforts to further restrict abortion rights in the name of religious freedom, or international family planning, or attempts to block the government from requiring multi-state plans to include the full range of family planning services.Women’s Nike Custom Carolina Panthers Elite Away White NFL Football Jersey.

What happened? First, the Democrats stood fast with reproductive rights groups.

Second, Republicans read the polls — attacks on Planned Parenthood are political losers. Fully 60 percent of those polled want no cuts in Planned Parenthood’s funding.

Third, Speaker Paul Ryan warned his troops that Republicans, going into an election year, could not withstand the bad publicity of being held responsible for another government shutdown.Personalized NFL Football Jersey He wanted a deal more than he wanted to appease the far right.

Most importantly, Planned Parenthood, under the inspired leadership of Cecile Richards, demonstrated its skill as one of the nation’s most astute political players. Read all about it here.

Abortion rights are still under assault, of course, both literally and in policy terms. The Supreme Court will soon rule on which state restrictions are allowed under Roe v. Wade. But score one big win this week for Planned Parenthood and the reproductive rights movement.

***

In theory, a column is about one thing, but here’s another thing:

Did you notice that Republicans, despite the fact that easy purchase of assault weapons makes America far more vulnerable to terrorist attacks, continue to take an absolutist view of the Second Amendment? But, over time, this posture is likely to become a political liability.Men’s Nike Customized New England Patriots Elite Throwback Red Alternate Football Jersey. The case for AK-47s as weapons of self-defense looks increasingly absurd.

Then there is the case of open carry laws. Egged on by the NRA, Republicans have promoted the right of citizens to show off and bring their weapons virtually anywhere, including schools, sporting events, bars, hospitals and public buildings, just like gunslingers of the Old West. (Meanwhile, Disney World has prohibited toy guns at its theme parks, as well as real ones, in order to reassure its customers.)

But here is a question to ponder. What will the Republicans do about guns at their upcoming national nominating convention in Cleveland?

Ohio is an open carry state.Custom Panthers Jersey If Republicans have the courage of their convictions, they should insist on the right of their delegates to come to the convention hall packing heat.

If armed supporters of Donald Trump get into a shootout with allies of Ted Cruz, well, heck, that’s just the price we occasionally pay for freedom. And we can see which Survivor is the best sharpshooter.

Well, maybe that’s not such a great idea. But if the Republicans — having imposed armed mayhem on the rest of us — prudently require their own delegates to check their guns at the door, they are hypocrites. Then again, if they let weapons into their nominating convention, inviting a gunfight at the GOP corral, they are fools.

Hypocrites or fools, take your pick. Maybe both. Perhaps reporters covering the event should pack heat, too.

***

In the holiday spirit of threes — the Holy Trinity, the Three Wise Men — here is a third item to ponder.

The Federal Reserve last week made its long awaited move to raise interest rates. The Fed acted, despite the fact that inflation is non-existent and the job market is far softer than it looks, with temporary and part time and contract gigs crowding out real payroll jobs and wages flat.Men’s Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey.

Why did the Fed make such a dumb move? One oft cited explanation is that “markets expected it.” So what did financial markets do once the Fed acted?

After a brief rally, the stock market promptly tanked. On Friday alone, the Dow dropped 357 points, and has fallen steadily since the Fed hiked rates after a brief rally sputtered out.

That should be no surprise. Higher rates push investors out of stocks and into bonds. The surprise is that anyone thought otherwise.

Supposedly, the higher rates were intended as a gift to banks. They could charge more for loans but not pass along all of the higher rates to depositors, thus widening their “spreads”, increasing their profits, and strengthening their balance sheets.

But, funny thing, bank stocks tanked, too. Someone must have noticed that a softening economy — the result of a premature rate hike — isn’t even great for bankers.

What should the Fed do?Custom Patriots Jersey First, it should do no further harm and leave rates alone, or maybe think about lowering them.

Second, it should heed the advice of Lord Adair Turner, former chair of the British Financial Services Authority. Lord Turner proposes that the Fed, rather than just pumping money into banks (which fail to put it out into the real economy but invest in Treasury debt and underwrite speculation) could give money directly to citizens.

The Fed might “pay $1,000 to all citizens by electronic transfer to their commercial bank deposit accounts,” he writes in his new book, Between Debt and the Devil. Good idea! The Fed could also invest directly in such things as infrastructure bonds, and underwrite a re-financing of the debt that is strangling Puerto Rico’s economy.

Alternatively, we could celebrate Christmas in the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge, as we do the other 364 days of the year.

Custom Bengals Jersey Steelers rally past Osweiler, Broncos 34-27

PITTSBURGH (AP) — There was no explosion necessary, really. The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t need to be reminded how badly they looked while falling behind Denver by two touchdowns at halftime Sunday,Women’s Nike Custom Carolina Panthers Elite Away White NFL Football Jersey, even though linebackers coach Joey Porter decided to provide one anyway.

”I think everybody was (ticked) off,” defensive end Cam Heyward said. ”I don’t think it was just Joey.Custom Bengals Jersey We all knew we played (terribly) in the first half. We really just had to wake up.”

The NFL’s best offense provided the alarm clock.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 380 yards and three touchdowns as the Steelers rallied for a 34-27 win to move into the AFC’s second wild-card spot with two weeks remaining. Antonio Brown caught 16 passes for 189 yards and two scores, and Pittsburgh (9-5) dominated the NFL’s best defense after spotting the Broncos a 17-point lead.

”If we take care of the ball, we feel like we can go up and down the field on anyone,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.

Including the No Fly Zone, the nickname Denver’s secondary gave itself, talk the Broncos have backed up for much of the year. Just not this time. The Steelers Personalized NFL Football Jersey controlled the second half, finally taking the lead when Ryan Shazier intercepted Brock Osweiler to set up a 23-yard dart from Roethlisberger to Brown with 3:24 to go.

Pittsburgh’s defense, shredded so easily on, made it stand up. The Steelers twice stopped the Broncos in Pittsburgh territory over the final minutes.Men’s Nike Custom Made New England Patriots Elite Navy Blue Team Color Jersey Sale.

”It’s very disappointing,” Denver coach Gary Kubiak said. ”That’s this business. You better be built for four quarters, not three.”

Osweiler threw for 296 yards with three touchdowns passing and another on the ground but bruised his left shoulder in the second quarter and wasn’t the same when he returned as the Broncos (10-4) lost their second straight and failed to lock up the AFC West title.Women’s Nike Custom Made New England Patriots Elite Away White NFL Jersey Cheap. Osweiler will have X-rays on Monday to determine if there’s any more damage. He completed just 7 of 26 passes for 84 yards after halftime, including the pick that set up Brown’s winning score.

Emmanuel Sanders caught 10 passes for a career-high 181 yards and a score in his first game against his former team.Custom Panthers Jersey Demaryius Thomas hauled in a pair of touchdowns, but the Broncos were shut out in the second half for the third consecutive week and are just 3-4 following a 7-0 start.

”You play 60 minutes, not 30 minutes,” Osweiler said. ”That is something we will work on and we will fix.”

Who gets a chance to do the fixing is unclear. Osweiler’s grasp on the starting job appeared tenuous coming in after the offense failed to find the end zone in a home loss to Oakland last Sunday.

Peyton Manning returned to practice last week for the first time in a month as he continues to recover from torn plantar fascia in his left foot.Men’s Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey. The NFL’s all-time passing leader traveled with the team and signed dozens of autographs in the pregame, save for any of Pittsburgh’s yellow Terrible Towels, which Manning shunned when thrust his way.

Perhaps it provided inspiration for Osweiler, who spent a half forcing the largest crowd in Heinz Field history to keep their favorite linens tucked safely in their pockets as Denver raced up and down the field.

The Broncos had gone 24 straight possessions without an offensive touchdown before reaching the end zone four straight times. Osweiler hit Thomas for an 18-yard score then found Sanders for an easy 61-yard catch and run.Custom Patriots Jersey Osweiler stumbled his 6-foot-7 frame across the goal line to make it 20-7 and when Thomas stiff-armed Pittsburgh’s Antwon Blake to finish off a 6-yard touchdown, the Broncos were up 27-10.

Yet just as quickly a Denver’s momentum appeared, it vanished. The group that converted its first eight third-downs went just 1 for 8 in those situations in the second half, giving Roethlisberger time to get going.

A pretty lob to the back corner of the end zone to Brown pulled Pittsburgh with 27-20. The Steelers then caught the break they needed thanks to some overanxious Broncos. Pittsburgh punted late in the third quarter and two Steelers attempted to down it, only to whiff. A couple of Denver linemen – all the way on the other side of the field – thought the play was dead. It wasn’t. Jordan Norwood had scooped up the ball and zig-zagged 71 yards for a score that should have restored a two-touchdown lead. The flag for illegal substitution wiped out the score, and the Broncos went three-and-out.

Pittsburgh tied it at 27 on its next possession, with Wheaton scooting in from 9 yards out and dancing a little jig with Brown.Youth Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey. A half-hour later Brown was celebrating after putting the Steelers up for good.

”You want to be the best, you’ve got to be the best,” Brown said. ”There’s no stopping me.”

NOTES: The Steelers have won 10 straight games in December. … Osweiler is only the third QB in Denver history to have three TD passes and one rushing score in the same game. … Brown is the only player since 1970 to have two 15-catch games in the same season. … Denver hosts Cincinnati next week. … The Steelers travel to Baltimore.

Custom Bengals Jersey Marijuana News From the Budget Bill

It’s that time of year when Congress actually gets things done, so they don’t have to work through the holidays. This is always a powerful incentive, and this year is no different. Paul Ryan actually bargained with Democrats instead of following the hotheads in his party into another government shutdown,Custom Bengals Jersey which bodes well for the future of the House of Representatives (and America at large). But, as with all big omnibus budget bills, this means all kinds of unrelated issues — from health care for 9/11 first responders to whether we export oil or not — are tossed into the giant,Youth Nike Carolina Panthers Custom Made Elite Team Color Black Football Jersey, must-pass bill. And along with the wave of other single-issue items came some good news for marijuana legal reformers.

Two riders to the big budget bill will continue to prevent the Department of Justice (which includes the Drug Enforcement Agency) from spending one thin dime to interfere with the implementation of state marijuana laws — even though all of those laws run counter to federal drug law. This is Congress using its famous “power of the purse” to zero out the federal budget for fighting against medical marijuana state laws and hemp cultivation state laws. The medical marijuana provision is already law, having been passed as part of the previous federal budget. It means the Drug Enforcement Agency cannot spend any money on harassing medical marijuana providers, as long as they’re faithfully following their state’s laws.

Or at least that’s the law’s intent. The Department of Justice has “interpreted” the law a little differently, which is why some U.S. Attorneys are still pursuing court cases against state-legal medical marijuana providers. Sooner or later, though, Personalized NFL Football Jersey the Attorney General is going to have to bow to the reality of the clear intent of this law and stop this legal harassment for good. Congress (and, by extension, The People) are telling the federal government not to spend any money on fighting a losing battle. That money should rightfully be spent on other drug enforcement, period.

Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority advocacy group, reacted to the news in a statement:

While marijuana was once treated like a dangerous third-rail by most elected officials, the inclusion of these provisions demonstrates how it has now become a mainstream issue at the forefront of American politics and policymaking. Polls show that a growing majority of voters support ending prohibition,Men’s Nike Customized New England Patriots Elite Throwback Red Alternate Football Jersey, and lawmakers can’t help but listen. This is the second year in a row that Congress is using the appropriations process to tell federal agents and prosecutors not to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. But so far the Department of Justice has taken the absurd position that these spending provisions don’t actually prevent them from going after patients and providers who operate legally under state policies. The intent of Congress is clear, and so is the will of the American people. Since the Justice Department is being so stubborn, the next step should be for lawmakers to pass permanent standalone legislation that goes beyond these temporary spending riders. Then the D.E.A. will have a much harder time undermining Congress and voters.

There was a second marijuana rider that made it into the budget bill as well, that actually expands a law that was included in last year’s budget. It prevents the Justice Department (and the D.E.A.) from spending any money to harass state industrial hemp production programs. As Angell notes: “The negotiators added a second hemp provision,Custom Panthers Jersey which has more teeth than existing law. It seems to be intended to stop the D.E.A. from interfering with the importation of hemp for state research programs, which is something they’ve done in the past (in Kentucky).” Mitch McConnell, who co-sponsored a hemp amendment earlier this year, may have had something to do with this, since he hails from Kentucky.

While all of this is good news, there were other commonsense reforms which unfortunately did not make it into the final bill. One would have allowed Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to veterans (notably, to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) without retaliation, and would have also prevented the V.A. from denying services to any veteran who is a medical marijuana patient (as long as they follow their state’s laws). Another important reform that failed this year was a provision which would have prevented the federal government from punishing banks that do business with state-legal marijuana operations. This is a big stumbling block to the entire industry, and would have been a welcome change, but it looks like it’ll have to wait for another year.

Angell, however, remains optimistic about the future:

While we’d of course like to have seen Congress include provisions protecting veterans and allowing for banking access, there’s no denying that marijuana reformers have political momentum behind us. The federal government is on notice, more states are passing good laws and our movement is growing. We’re going to see even more spending provisions enacted next year, and perhaps even some standalone bills in the near future.

He’s right to feel the wind at his back. Marijuana legal reforms are now becoming if not commonplace in Washington, at least solidly within the realm of the conceivable. Both Republicans and Democrats are beginning to realize that big changes need to be made in the federal government’s decades-long War On Weed. These initial budget bill victories represent the first time that Congress is taking positive marijuana reform seriously since approximately the 1970s (pre-Nancy Reagan, in other words).Custom Patriots Jersey Serious bills are being proposed to solve targeted problems, but soon even that’s not going to be good enough. The fundamental way the federal government sees marijuana still needs changing, beginning with rescheduling it off of Schedule I in the list of dangerous controlled substances. This is going to take a little more time, but likely not all that much.

Next year could be the biggest “Year of the Marijuana Voter” America has yet seen. Outright recreational legalization (for adults) is probably going to be on the ballot in multiple states across the country in 2016. So far, four states and D.C. have pioneered this radical path, but the number of states with fully-legal Men’s Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey marijuana could easily double — or even triple — next year. This will likely set off a stampede, as other states greedily eye all those millions of tax dollars flowing in.

Politicians are starting to realize that there are a lot of pro-marijuana voters out there, and that many of them are “single-issue” voters — meaning it’s really the only reason they go to the polls. When even a Republican-led Congress begins dismantling the War On Weed (one tiny chip at a time),Youth Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey,then fundamental legal reform can’t be too far off.

Custom Bengals Jersey Mistrial underscores prosecutors’ tough task in Baltimore police cases

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A mistrial on Wednesday in the case of the first of six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray shows the risk the city prosecutor took in moving aggressively to bring criminal charges, legal experts said.

Gray’s April death of injuries sustained while in police custody came at a time of high racial tensions in the United States following police killings of other black men in cities including New York and Ferguson,Custom Bengals Jersey Missouri, and sparked rioting and arson in the majority black city of 620,000 people.

The trial of Officer William Porter had been intended to lay the groundwork for the prosecutions of other officers involved in Gray’s death,Men’s Nike Carolina Panthers Custom Made Elite Team Color Black Football Jersey, plans that have been thrown into disarray by the inability of the jury to reach a verdict.

The mistrial could renew criticism that the state’s attorney,Personalized NFL Football Jersey Marilyn Mosby, overreached in bringing manslaughter and other serious charges against the officers, only a day after police completed their investigation into the death.

“She didn’t go where the evidence led her,” said Steven Levin, a former federal prosecutor and now a defense lawyer in Baltimore. “She went where constituents wanted her to go.”

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams has imposed a gag order on all attorneys involved in the case and Mosby’s office said it would have no comment on the mistrial.

TOUGH TO PROVE

Legal experts who followed the trial closely said the charges against Porter, Custom Panthers Jersey which included involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, made for a tough case to prove.

Prosecutors argued that Porter, who is also black, failed to buckle Gray’s seatbelt and then ignored his pleas for medical attention.

Porter testified he thought Gray was faking and that he was unaware the prisoner was in mortal danger until they arrived at the police station.Men’s Nike Custom Made New England Patriots Elite Navy Blue Team Color Jersey Sale.

“This was an incredibly difficult legal case,” said David Jaros, a law professor at the University of Baltimore. “It’s hard to convict someone based on an omission under any circumstances.”

The case’s complexity stands in contrast to other recent instances in which officers have been criminally charged for killing suspects, including in Chicago where an officer was charged with murder for shooting a black teenager 16 times in an incident caught on video.

Andy Levy, a litigator in Baltimore, said Porter’s testimony, which he said appeared credible, undermined prosecutors’ effort to paint him as a criminal.

“It was difficult to make a villain out of Officer Porter,” he said. “This was not a police officer with a history of disciplinary infractions.”

Mosby’s decision in some sense serves as a counterpoint to the criticism leveled at authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York for failing to secure Youth Nike Custom Made New England Patriots Elite Navy Blue Team Color Jersey Sale indictments for officers involved in the killing of unarmed black men, observers said.

“Not all prosecutors would have brought these charges,” Levy said. “It was a ballsy move on her part.”

It is unclear whether Porter will be retried before the other five trials. If Porter had been convicted,Custom Patriots Jersey the state planned to call him as a witness against Caesar Goodson, the van driver, whom Porter claimed to have told about Gray’s request for medical aid.

But legal experts said it was not clear prosecutors could have compelled Porter to testify, given that he might expose himself to potential federal civil charges. The U.S. Department of Justice has said it is investigating Gray’s death.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the mistrial,
Men’s Nike Custom Made Cincinnati Bengals Elite Team Color Black NFL Football Jersey, Levy said, was the judge’s decision to dismiss the jurors after only 16 hours rather than force them to continue.

“Given the resources and the high visibility of the case, it seemed a little precipitous,” Levy said.

Earlier this year in the high-profile New York trial of Pedro Hernandez, accused of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in New York in 1979, the trial judge repeatedly instructed jurors to continue talking for more than a week after they first said they were deadlocked.

He finally declared a mistrial after 18 days of deliberations.

Justice Scalia, Custom Redskins Jersey Affirmative Action and the Perils of Oral Argument

Ever since the oral argument last week in the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas, which involves the constitutionality of the University of Texas’ affirmative action program, Justice Antonin Scalia has been castigated and excoriated by commentators,Custom Redskins Jersey mostly on the left, for asking the attorney for the University of Texas about the so-called “mismatch” objection to affirmative action. In Justice Scalia’s words: “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less — a slower-track school where they do well.”

Although I often disagree with Justice Scalia, and although I emphatically disagree with him about the constitutionality of affirmative action, the outrage and condemnation sparked by this comment is completely unwarranted. Justice Scalia’s comment,Custom Broncos Jersey which asked about the merits of an argument frequently made against affirmative action, and which was made specifically in briefs before the Supreme Court in this very case, was perfectly appropriate. As is often the case, Justice Scalia might have helped himself by framing his comment in a more sensitive manner. But the plain and simple fact is that his question gave the attorney for the University of Texas an opportunity Men’s Nike Personalized Washington Redskins Elite Red Team Color Jersey for Sale to respond to one of the central arguments made against the constitutionality of affirmative action.

The “mismatch” argument runs more or less as follows. Colleges and universities generally admit students based on their academic achievements and potential, as reflected in their standardized test scores, their high school GPAs,Women’s Nike Custom Made Washiongton Redskins Elite Alternate Burgundy Red Jersey, and the nature of the courses they took in high school. These criteria have been shown to be reasonably good at predicting academic success at the college level.

When a college employs affirmative action, it typically admits some students who would not otherwise be admitted based on their academic credentials because their presence would add diversity to the institution and to the student body. Personalized Redskins Jersey Predictably, those students generally do less well academically in college, on average, than most students who are admitted solely on the basis of academic potential. This phenomenon may be exacerbated by a variety of factors, including a sometimes less than congenial or supportive atmosphere for minority students on campus, but it is a perfectly predictable consequence of admitting students, who would not otherwise be admitted on the basis of academic potential, whether because of affirmative action, because they are good football players, because they play the oboe, or because they are the children of potentially generous donors.

In the affirmative action context, as in the other settings, this raises the question whether the college is exploiting the students for its own ends — to achieve diversity — at the expense of the students’ own best interests. Put simply,Youth Nike Custom Made Washiongton Redskins Elite Away White NFL Football Jersey Cheap, is a student better off graduating in, say, the bottom 20 percent of a first tier college or in the top 20 percent of a second tier college?

This is not an easy question. If we were discussing your own kid, what would you think?

As a former Dean and Provost at the University of Chicago, I have had this conversation many times over the years with friends and former students who want advice about how to advise their own children. Most often, I’ve had this conversation with wealthy individuals who know they can get their kids into a top tier college, which hopes someday to receive a large gift in appreciation, but who know from their kids’ SAT scores and high school records that, purely on the basis of academic potential, their kids wouldn’t get into a top tier college.

What they worry about is the impact on their kids of “being in over their heads.” They worry in part about how good an education their kids will actually get if they’re in over their heads academically, and they worry in part about the effect of a mediocre college performance on their kids’ sense of self-confidence. As highly successful people themselves, they understand the importance of self-confidence. They worry that, if their kids barely get by in college, they will have their self-confidence beaten out of them. It’s often a tough call.

This is essentially what Justice Scalia was asking about. A number of social scientists have studied the “mismatch” theory and compared the experience of minority students who are the beneficiaries of affirmative action with those who have not benefited from affirmative action.Personalized Washington Redskins Jersey That is, the idea is to compare the experiences of college students with more or less equivalent academic potential, some of whom attend first tier and some of whom attend second tier colleges.

The results of these studies suggest that the concern that the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action are actually being harmed rather than helped is largely unfounded. In comparing these two groups, the data suggest that the students who attend the first tier schools do less well in terms of academic performance in college, but that they are as likely to graduate, as likely to have a satisfactory college experience, and as likely — indeed, more likely — to get good jobs upon graduation than their peers at second tier schools.

But, of course, there are also social scientists who disagree. Although the weight of authority at the moment appears to be on the side of those who find that affirmative action does, indeed, benefit its intended beneficiaries, the matter is still open to debate. Moreover, even if the matter were resolved with respect to the average student entering a college in an affirmative action program, this does not mean that everysuch student benefits from the experience. Depending on the background, self-confidence, and makeup of the student, the experience can either be a good one, or a not so good one. Indeed, that’s precisely what my rich friends worry about with respect to their own kids.

Now, in my own view, none of this has anything to do with the constitutionality of affirmative action. Rather, these are interesting details that should be taken into account by individual students and their families in making individual decisions for themselves. But my view of affirmative action, unfortunately, is not the view of the Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court’s view, it is Men’s Nike Washington Redskins Customized Elite Team Road Red White Two Tone Jersey unconstitutional for public institutions of higher education to take race into account in making admissions decisions unless they have a compelling interest for doing so. Even the possibility that the mismatch theory is correct, at least for some students, might be sufficient, under that standard, to invalidate affirmative action programs. That is bad constitutional law, but as long as it is the law of the land it is perfectly appropriate and sensible for a justice to ask about this.

It is time that we stopped condemning each other for asking hard questions, however much we might not like them.

Personalized Baltimore Ravens Jersey NBA referee reveals he is gay in wake of Rondo remark: report

New York (AFP) – Bill Kennedy, an NBA referee for 18 seasons, revealed that he is gay after being the subject of homophobic insults from Sacramento guard Rajon Rondo.

Rondo was banned on Friday for one game after repeated insults and a Personalized Baltimore Ravens Jersey confrontation with Kennedy during a December 3 game between the Kings and Boston at Mexico City. Kennedy ejected Rondo on two technical fouls to arouse the player’s anger.

“I am proud to be an NBA referee and I am proud to be a gay man,” Kennedy told Yahoo Sports. “I am following in the footsteps of others who have self-identified in the hopes that will send a message to young men and women in sports that you must allow no-one to make you feel ashamed of who you are.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver made a statement of support for Kennedy to Yahoo Sports.

“I wholeheartedly support Bill’s decision to live his life proudly and openly,” Silver said.

“Throughout his 18-year career with the league, Bill has excelled as a referee because of his passion, dedication and courage.Custom Baltimore Ravens Jersey Those qualities will continue to serve him well both as a game official and as a positive influence for others.

“While our league has made great progress, our work continues to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and dignity.”Men’s Nike Baltimore Ravens Customized Elite Alternate Black Football Jersey.

Kennedy, 49, has officiated 1,056 NBA games and 68 playoff contests, including five NBA Finals contests. He also worked at the 2010 World Championships and 2012 London Olympics.

He was the second NBA referee to announce being gay, Violet Palmer making the same declaration in 2014 upon marrying her long-time partner.

National Basketball Referee’s Association general counsel Lee Seham told Yahoo Sports that other league referees back Kennedy.

“The NBA referees stand by Bill Kennedy for the job he does and who he is,” he said. “We stand against bigotry in all its forms.”Men’s Nike Baltimore Ravens Personalized Elite Team Color Purple Football Jersey.

Rondo will miss Sacramento’s game against Houston on Tuesday and lose $86,300 in salary as a result.Youth Nike Custom Baltimore Ravens Elite Away White NFL Football Jersey.

He is the third NBA player to be punished for an anti-gay slur, but the first to be suspended.

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah was fined $50,000 during the 2011 playoffs for making a slur towards a heckling fan and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant Customized Ravens Jersey was fined $100,000 for using an anti-gay slur towards a referee earlier that same season. Noah and Bryant later apologized for their remarks.