Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of December 7, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11 am.

Cole Shooter,
Cole Shooter,

1. Lubbock City Council

Last night the Lubbock City Council met to discuss a range of different issues.

Due to a lack of support, Councilman Victor Hernandez pulled his plan for the council to waste more than $80,000 on a consulting firm for a Library master plan. Different members of the council felt as though the process could be handled here in Lubbock.

The Council also sent the issue of synthetic marijuana to the Board of Health. According to KFYO News:

The Council unanimously approved sending the issue to be studied by the Board of Health. The City’s legal department is also looking into the issue, and is working with the police department on an agenda item for a ban.


City Attorney Sam Medina said that he expects to be able to deliver more legal information to the City Council regarding a potential complete ban or increased civil and criminal penalties for the sale of these substances to minors at their meeting on December 17th.

I still don't understand why the Board of Health is involved when just about everyone agrees the stuff is bad. My favorite part of last night's meeting was an exchange between the Mayor and someone who showed up to speak in favor of synthetic pot:

Eighteen year-old Julian Hernandez said “I move to decriminalize all organic drugs within the City. Doing so would stimulate the economy, as you, the governing body, could control and regulate the drugs as necessary.” He also advocated for leaving the synthetic marijuana issue alone.

“I do not ever see myself voting yes to legalize any type of drug that causes as many problems as synthetic marijuana,” said District 2 Councilman Floyd Price.


Councilman Hernandez said “first of all, we’re not related, correct?” Julian Hernandez agreed.


Mayor Glen Robertson addressed Julian Hernandez, specifically commenting on his white, flat-billed DC Clothing hat which Hernandez wore while addressing the Council.


“Mr. Hernandez, I’m going to make a statement, and it’s a statement I would make to you if you were one of my three sons. I’m not asking for a response or a comment, but if you’d like to be taken seriously next time you approach this Council, I would suggest showing respect to this Council and leaving your cap off in your truck or your car,” said Robertson.


“I find it very disrespectful, but I do thank you for being here and sharing your views with us,” he continued.

Julian Hernandez responded saying “I do not believe that it is disrespectful for me to wear a hat to the City Council. It is not disrespectful for me to wear a hat in an assembly of God.”


Robertson quipped “It is very plain that I did not raise you then.”

Bravo Mayor Robertson, Bravo!

2. New Forms Allow for Easier Divorce (link)

Getting a divorce just got a little easier in the State of Texas. At least, for some people it got easier. According to the Texas Tribune:

Six of the nine Texas Supreme Court justices approved adoption of divorce forms after months of wrangling with family lawyers who oppose them. Many family lawyers worry the forms could lead to complicated legal problems for couples down the road if they make mistakes in filing.

Pro bono and legal aid attorneys could only meet about 20 percent of the demand for their services for divorce cases last year, said Trish McAllister, the executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Commission. Most other states already have court-approved pro se divorce forms, McAllister said, and the change will make a big difference for poor Texans.


“This really will change the lives of so many people who have not been able to get help through legal aid,” McAllister said. “One of the reasons it’s important to get a divorce is that if you don’t and you have other relationships, have kids, maybe buy a house later down the road, that creates huge complications.”


Only couples without children or real estate can use the forms in lieu of seeking a divorce with the help of an attorney. The forms are simple, and using a standardized form will make the judicial part of the process more efficient, she said.

To me this sounds like an "oops!" type of marriage. Only those with no kids and no property can take advantage of the form. These aren't 10-20 year marriages that get the simple form. I don't have a problem with it, but people should probably do a little more thinking before rushing into marriage.

3. Tax Hikes Back On... Maybe (link)

Tax hikes that Republicans said were on the table, then off the table, might be back on the table again. According to FOX News:

Amid warnings that deadlock in Washington could send the nation plunging into a buzzsaw of tax hikes and spending cuts next month, some Republicans have started to signal a possible middle ground that could involve tax increases on top earners -- even if they're not as drastic as President Obama wants.


House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders are holding firm to their opposition to tax rate increases as part of any deal to avert the looming fiscal crisis. But in recent days, more rank-and-file Republicans have floated the possibility of putting tax rates on the table.


A number of House Republicans have signed a letter along with Democrats that calls for "all options" on taxes and spending to be on the table.


"All options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table," the lawmakers wrote in the letter, obtained by Fox News. They called for savings "from all parts of the budget and real reform of the tax system."

One signer, Republican Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, told Bloomberg that he could accept higher tax rates for married couples earning more than $500,000 annually in exchange for cuts to such entitlement programs as Medicare.


That's more than what GOP leaders want to put on the table, but also less than what Obama is calling for. Obama has said tax rates must rise for households making $250,000 and up.

I am predicting we will not go over the fiscal cliff. That doesn't mean I am predicting the Republicans will win the argument though. The GOP will cave and Obama will have all the power.

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