Party Hosts, Time to Card Your Guests.

 So you think your son or daughter are old enough to drink at 18 since you were. Think again! According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, more and more states are cracking down on hosts who allow underage drinking on their property.

Here are some examples that show how much trouble YOU could be in if you allow underage kids to drink – whether knowingly or not. In Massachusetts, a mother went to jail this past May for allowing teenage drinking at home. In Rhode Island, a former school board member and cheerleading coach is now on trial for permitting her daughter to host a post-homecoming party where teens drank beer. The 18-year-old son of Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee got in trouble for hosting a party he held in May. Eighteen-year-old Caleb Chafee was sentenced to community service after pleading no contest to hosting a drinking party.

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Democratic Candidate Mark Veasey Soon to be Elected Congressman for Congressional District 33

 

Since 2005, Representative Mark Veasey has represented Tarrant County's HD-95. A long-time resident of Fort Worth, he promotes technology-related issues and is a member of the National Conference of State Legislature's Committee on Technology.  He served on the House Environmental Regulation Committee, the Redistricting Committee, and the Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee.  In 2009 he was elected Chair Pro Tempore of the House Democratic Caucus.

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2012, Palin + Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino for the GOP Ticket!

Several years ago, I wrote an article that sort of "mirrored" Thomas Frank’s "What's the Matter with Kansas." If you haven't read the book, you should. Frank is a terrific writer and an alum - I think same year - of my college, The University of Kansas. Since then, he's gone on to be a prolific writer and champion of the left-of-center crowd. He even wrote for the Wall Street Journal, the antithesis of the left, because he was so terrific at balancing the Wall Street Journal Op-Ed page!

Anyway, as I read more and more about Sarah Palin, I can't help but hearken back to Frank's arguments about what the heck was the matter with Kansas. After all, Kansas was a "free" state that shed blood over the slavery issue in the Civil War! This was where Quantrill's Raid happened. Harpers Ferry! Holy cow, Kansas bled more for the slaves than almost any state!

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Where Did the Aughts Go?

The past decade has been a chimera. Wall Street argued, when it served its interests, that we were in the age of prosperity. Truth is we were in the age of hubris and exaggeration. The more the pundits exaggerated, the more Wall Street made. In the end, the losers were all small investors. As usual.

If you make less than $1MM a year, keep reading. If you make more, kudos to you. You can sit back and laugh at this posting.

Recall, the pundits cried..."The markets will be the common man's buddy...". Ha, ha. 401K accounts are down 40% or more, executive retirement accounts are up 8% +. Why is that? I'll let my readers ponder. Ok. You've pondered. It's because execs get GUARANTEED returns!!! Do you, loyal company woman?

Wall Street assured the "public" that it was on their side. What Wall Street really wanted was for Americans to not understand that Wall Street was not exactly squaring with them!

What happened next? Americans began to "believe" that the regulators, thanks to President Bush, were sabotaging their lives. What was really happening in their lives is that the regulators were ignoring their lives!

So, should any of us question the INCREDIBLE class differences that are now so obvious in this country?

Question: Should we continue to believe that Wall Street has our best interests at heart? Or should all Americans wake up and smell the coffee that Wall Street looks after Wall Street and Main Street should look after Main Street? I should hope so.

Cato Institute Comes Out in Favor Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

For those readers who aren’t familiar with the Cato Institute, here is its mission statement:

“The mission of the Cato Institute is to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace.  The Institute will use the most effective means to originate, advocate, promote, and disseminate applicable policy proposals that create free, open, and civil societies in the United States and throughout the world.”

Parse those words carefully, you’ll see the familiar code words for conservative causes, in spite of the Institute’s website description which describes the Cato Institute as Libertarian Capitalism, whatever that means. But who cares, in a new study by Peter Dixon and Maureen Rimmer at the Cato Institute, the findings are much like the findings in my book Hispanic Heresy.  The findings throw cold water on the red-blooded Americans who typically back conservative causes and talk show hosts like Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity, etc.  Those shows and their audiences typically scream at the top of their lungs that we need to immediately deport 12 illegal aliens.

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Little Information Given About Solo Law Practice Run by Sotomayor in the '80s

Yesterday's NYTimes article, title above, brings to mind a myriad of thoughts. At first blush, it seems that Sotomayor was helping people on the side of her regular gig at the Manhattan DA's office and then at Pavia & Harcourt. In order to fully understand Sotomayor's position, it is necessary to parse her words carefully. Sotomayor claims that she helped "family and friends in their real estate planning decisions." According to Sotomayor, if the clients needed more substantial legal representation, they were referred to Pavia & Harcourt.
 
That brings up issues of fiduciary duty. What exactly was Sotomayor doing for clients while employed at the Manhattan DA's office and Pavia & Harcourt, and was Sotomayor's desire to help those who couldn't get help anywhere else reason enough to step outside those fiduciary boundaries?
 
So, what did Sonia Sotomayor do? A divorce, a contract review, set up a dry cleaning business? Whoa, if her "partners" weren't aware of the work, she must be guilty of a breach of fiduciary duty, right? Hardly; even the Manhattan DA's office is confused and Pavia & Harcourt was oblivious. At the time, they both had liberal policies regarding outside work.

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My interview on the Michael Hart Radio Show

On Saturday, May 30th I was interviewed on the Michael Hart Show on 101.1 FM in Birmingham, AL.  The topic of the interview was how Sonia Sotomayor’s appointment to the Supreme Court could affect issues like immigration in the U.S., and our perceptions of Hispanics in general.  Additionally, we discussed the fact that Obama’s relationship with Hispanics may strengthen the future of the Democratic party.  My own personal experiences, the obstacles I faced as a Hispanic growing up in the U.S., and how I overcame those obstacles were also topics of conversation.  A link to the actual interview will be coming soon.

©2009 Angel Reyes
www.ReyesLaw.com

Obama Nominates Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court

This historic moment in American jurisprudence is long overdue. In nominating a female Hispanic to the nation’s highest Court, President Barack Obama made a smart move on all counts. Sonia Sotomayor has exceptional credentials and vast experience as a prosecutor, corporate attorney and judge on the federal trial and appellate courts.

More importantly, she understands how the legal system impacts regular people. Sotomayor wasn’t born with a “silver spoon.” Quite the contrary. She was raised in a working-class family in New York City. Overcoming all obstacles, she received a scholarship to Princeton University and graduated with the highest honors. She then earned her law degree from Yale Law School, where she was editor of the law review. What really sets Judge Sotomayor apart is that throughout her professional career, she passed up making big bucks in the private sector in order to serve the American public as a prosecutor and subsequently, a federal judge. She is a true role model for the Hispanic community.

Obama knows that Hispanics played a crucial role in his election. He’s fully aware that by deftly nominating an extremely qualified jurist to the Supreme Court, he is forging even stronger ties to the nation’s burgeoning Hispanic population. This nomination is a political and judicial masterpiece.

©2009 Angel Reyes
www.ReyesLaw.com

Swine Flu Frenzy

The Mexican government began shutting down schools-not just in Mexico City, but in places like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta too; and then bars, clubs and restaurants followed. I am beyond baffled when airlines from Canada cancelled all incoming flights and all cruise lines were diverted from Mexico. Do the people who made those decisions own a map? Or, is this just another example of the effects of hysterical, uninformed media coverage and hyperbolic statements from US government officials?

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Justice Souter Departs The Supreme Court

By any measure, Justice David Souter was an anomaly. Appointed by George H. W. Bush to the Supreme Court, ever since, conservative Republicans have cried "No more Souters."
 
Surprisingly, Justice Souter spent 19 years as a Supreme Court Justice and, to the consternation of right wing Republicans, often voted his conscience. It just so happens that his conscience and mine are not so far apart.
 
In 2003, Justice Souter provided the critical 5th vote upholding the University of Michigan's affirmative action plan, my alma mater, thank goodness.
 
In 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, he voted to uphold the court's ruling in Roe v. Wade. Whoa. That is not what a Republican appointee is supposed to do.  Indeed, Souter was a heretic of the Republican Party after that vote!

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Free-Trade Agreement With Panama Is Critical

Since 1900, the country of Panama has been a vital part of our country's free trade. We should not let a small band of self-interested activists derail the free trade agreement we need to strike with Panama.

I hope my former Mayor, Ron Kirk, can navigate the shoals and ensure that we don't lose the free trade agreement with Panama.

Panama to Signal Obama's Agenda
Wall Street Journal
APRIL 28, 2009
By GREG HITT

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has signaled in recent days a more positive stance toward free trade than he did on the campaign trail, pleasing business groups but courting a backlash among trade-skeptical Democrats in Congress.

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Dallas Hispanic PAC's Choice for City Council, District 13 - Ann Margolin

As I mentioned in an entry last week, I recently chaired the Dallas Hispanic PAC meeting where many Dallas City Council candidates explained their positions and asked for our support. You can see the full list of candidates we’re supporting on my 4/21 blog entry but I’d like to take a moment to elaborate on the Dallas Hispanic PAC’s choice for City Council, District 13 – Ann Margolin.

I have personally met with Ann on several occasions and have known of her community involvement and work in and around Dallas. I thoroughly believe she will be a wonderful addition to the City Council and will be well respected among her colleagues and peers.

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U.S. Supreme Court Sides with Plaintiff in Seminal Federal Pre-Emption Battle

Finally, some sanity from the U.S. Supreme Court. Just yesterday, the Court ruled in the Wyeth v. Levine case that Federal pre-emption does not override state court law and individuals will still have the right to bring a failure to warn lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company, under their state court laws, if that company’s drug harmed the individual and the pharmaceutical company failed to adequately warn of the potential harm. Had the ruling gone the other way, drug manufacturers would have been immune from state court lawsuits alleging their drugs caused harm. For eight years, the previous administration allowed the drug industry to erode the oversight powers of the FDA and worked feverishly to push the courts to accept the Federal pre-emption doctrine, thereby killing state court lawsuits against bad drug manufacturers. Yesterday’s decision was a common sense one that protects the rights of individuals who have been harmed by drug makers, and enables them to receive money damages.

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Thinking about immigration

Posted on TexParte Blog (http://texaslawyer.typepad.com/):

Dallas lawyer Angel L. Reyes III says policy makers need to start thinking about how the immigration of Hispanics to the United States impacts socio-economics. So Reyes and two business professors at Texas Tech University wrote a book on that topic published in December 2008.

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FDA Stands for "Freaking Doesn't Act."

We’ve all been brainwashed to perceive the FDA as the great and powerful government Oz keeping us safe from harmful food, drugs and medical products.  In reality, the folks at this organization do very little to monitor what’s being bought and sold in this country. 

Nor do they punish manufacturers with stamps falsely claiming to be FDA approved or registered.  And once the FDA finally does take action, it’s often too late for the consumers who waste their money on ineffective products, or who are damaged as a result of this agency’s ineptitude.

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Dangerous Toxins Found in Toys

After eight long years in the wilderness, the U.S. is finally paying attention to product safety.  Congress is poised to implement the biggest overhaul to U.S. product safety rules in a generation.  Since 2000, the U.S. has seen dangerous products imported from China, India, and other foreign countries that while certainly cheaper than similar products made to stricter standards, caused untold suffering to the people who were injured by these products.  Let's see, in the past few years we've seen recalls of Chinese food products, poisonous toothpaste, children's pajamas, cheap all terrain vehicles, fax machines that catch fire, children's dolls painted with lead contaminated paint, etc. Continue Reading...

Let's Get the Lobbyists out of the FDA Fast Track Drug Approval Process

Over the past 10 years, more and more innovative and expensive drugs have been pushed to market on what's called the "fast track" at the Federal Drug Administration.  What does the fast track achieve?  It allows big pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Merck, Bayer, Wyeth, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi-Aventis, Hoffman-LaRoche, AstraZeneca, etc. to rush lightly tested and sometimes barely proven drugs to the general public.  Why is this important?  Because people are getting hurt, and even killed by these drugs that are rushed to market before they are proven safe or before sterner "Black Box" warnings can be put on the labels, and in some instances, before their efficacy is proven. Continue Reading...

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