Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 15, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.

1. Texas Claims Provision in the Voting Rights Act is Unconstitutional (link)

Way to go Greg Abbott! The Attorney General for Texas is challenging the Voting Rights Act, by claiming that a key component is actually unconstitutional. According to

Abbott challenged the section of the Voting Rights Act requiring states that have a history of discriminating against minority voters, such as Texas, to submit proposed changes to their election laws to the federal government for approval.

Either the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court in Washington, D.C., must determine that the changes will not disenfranchise minority voters before they are allowed to take effect.

In the filing, Abbott's attorneys claimed that provision of the law “exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress” and “conflicts” with the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which reserves unspecified powers to state governments.

This is something we have been talking about on LFN for a while now and I think other lawmakers are looking at as well. The Voting Rights Act basically assumes Texas, and other states are guilty and the state's must prove that they aren't. We have seen the Department of Justice use their power as a political tool too many times. It's time to do away with the Voting Rights Act and realize that we aren't in the 60's anymore. Should the DOJ protect the integrity of voting? Sure, but they have failed in that respect by striking down both the South Carolina and Texas Voter ID laws.

I hope more states will join with Texas on this issue.

2. Tony Thornton Speaks (link)

The head of Planned Parenthood in Lubbock is speaking out after being arrested for indecent exposure on Monday. According to reports Thornton exposed his genitals at a baseball field in Mackenzie Park. Allegedly, a 43-year old male was the victim. On Wednesday, Thornton released this statement:

"For more than nine years, I have proudly devoted my professional life to ensuring that the Lubbock community has access to the high quality reproductive health care they are seeking, including life-saving cancer screenings, birth control, prevention and treatment of STD's, breast health services, pap tests, sexual health education, information and health counseling. I deeply regret creating a situation in my personal life that potentially creates a distraction from these goals, and I apologize to the people in the Lubbock community for the incident. I will work with my attorney through the appropriate court process to correct any misinformation and take responsibility for errors.

Due to developments in recent months and in light of the recent incident, my Board and I have agreed to an immediate leave of absence and they have appointed an interim CEO, Tara Haskell. I am grateful to Tara for her leadership, and to all women's health supporters who continue to focus on the urgent need to ensure that women, men and teens in Lubbock have access to high quality essential health care."

Interesting. Did you notice that in Thornton's statement they leave out the part about abortion services? Also, in Thornton's statement he says, "Due to developments in recent months and in light of the recent incident,", one has to wonder what has been going on in the past few months with Thornton and if it's related to Monday's arrest.

3. GOP Rift Over Gingrich (link)

Romney supporters want Newt to stay in, while Santorum backers want him out. The GOP is split over what Newt Gingrich should do. According to Politico:

The biggest risk for Gingrich moving forward isn’t the growing clamor for his ouster from Santorum supporters or the potential of establishment Republicans who back Romney calling for his exit. It’s that his own supporters could start beating the drum.

And in the wake of Tuesday’s losses, some Gingrich backers — none of whom would go on the record to say so — are quietly starting to question if his days are numbered.

“If he is staying in to somehow thwart Romney at the convention, that would be fine with me,” one supporter told POLITICO. “But I would have to be convinced of his plan. If he is staying in it just because he can, I think that is selfish.”

The supporter added: “I think his getting out now benefits Santorum. If that hurts Romney, fine. My trouble is, I would hate to see Santorum get the nomination.”

What do you think Newt should do? Personally, I'd love for him to stay in and win the entire thing. Though, no one really thinks that will happen.

4. Soldiers Disarm During Panetta Speech (link)

Are you kidding me? We are now playing politically correct games with Afghanistan?

Less than a week after a US staff sergeant allegedly massacred 16 civilians in Kandahar, Americansoldiers were banned from bringing guns into a talk by Mr Panetta at a base in Helmand province.

Around 200 troops who had gathered in a tent at Camp Leatherneck were told "something had come to light" and asked abruptly to file outside and lay down their automatic rifles and 9mm pistols.

"Somebody got itchy, that's all I've got to say. Somebody got itchy – we just adjust," said the sergeant who was told to clear the hall of weapons.

Major General Mark Gurganus later said he gave the order because Afghan troops attending the talk were unarmed and he wanted the policy to be consistent for all.

Unbelievable! U.S. troops were asked to attend unarmed because we wanted the policy to be fair for all? What a bunch of BS. I don't blame Major General Mark Gurganus for this either. Blame Panetta or Obama.

5. Dumb story of the morning (link)

Obama respects religious freedom, by giving permission to kill the bald eagle.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the unusual step of issuing a permit allowing an American Indian tribe in Wyoming to kill two bald eagles for religious purposes.

The agency's decision comes after the Northern Arapaho Tribe filed a federal lawsuit last year contending the refusal to issue such permits violates tribal members' religious freedom. Although thousands of American Indians apply for eagle feathers and carcasses from a federal repository, permits allowing the killing of bald eagles are exceedingly rare, according to both tribal and legal experts on the matter.

This administration loves to pick and choose freedoms don't they?

6. Good Brews Good News of the Day (link)

Surgery stops world's tallest man from growing. That's a good thing!

Turkish doctors, who feared that an ever-taller Kosen faced greater risks for joint and organ problems, confirmed three months ago Kosen had finally stopped growing, The Daily Progress reports.

Sheehan says the tumor was so deep in Kosen's brain that he had to use a tool called a gamma knife, which focuses beams of radiation on the tumor, rather than conventional surgery.

Without the surgery and it's success, doctors worried that his life would be at risk.

Everyday, Good Brews Coffee & Tea Lounge brings you the Good News of the Day!

Other Top Stories:

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at