County Attorney Sues to Shut Down Another After-Hours Club

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YouTube
The video was first uploaded to the FB page "Strippers and Fights."
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan filed a lawsuit this week to shut down another after-hours club on Houston's far north side, continuing his crusade against bars and clubs he claims are a nuisance and magnets for violent crime.

The county aims to shutter Club Eclipse on FM 1960, which grabbed headlines last month after a cell phone video posted to the Facebook page "Strippers and Fights" (we kid you not) showed a violent brawl spilling out into the club's parking lot. The county claims shots were fired and at least one person was stabbed in the head and arm during the incident.

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New England Patriots Deflate-Gate Spawns Cialis Parody Commercial (w/ VIDEO)

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YouTube
Deflate-gate finally gets some comedy...
They say that comedy equals tragedy plus time, and while events like the New England Patriots' opting to (allegedly) deflate footballs before the AFC Championship Game hardly qualify as actual tragedy, people do take their football, and in turn this topic, quite seriously.

So we go through the normal stages as we process the latest Belichick-ian scandal. We first heard rumor that the Pats may have deflated the footballs, and we were incredulous. Then we got confirmation Tuesday night that the balls indeed did have less air at kickoff, and we were angry.

Then all of the conjecture about what may happen to the Patriots and how Belichick might be punished began to bubble up, and we became analytical. But now enough time has passed (yes, 48 hours is plenty of time to process this), and we are officially into the "comedy is acceptable" zone.

Thank God!

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UPDATED HCC Wants to Seal Records in Lawsuit Claiming Trustees Treated Bond Money Like a "Private Slush Fund"

Categories: Courts, Education

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Wikimedia Commons
In the ongoing legal fight against its former top lawyer, Houston Community College yesterday filed a motion to seal court records that it claims fall under attorney-client privilege. If successful, the move would likely allow one of the nation's largest publicly-funded community college systems to shield certain internal emails, memos or other communications filed in court from public scrutiny as its case against former general counsel Renee Byas winds through the legal system.

It's unclear what, if anything, already filed in the case would be retroactively sealed if HCC has its way (HCC's lawyers have yet to respond to a request for comment *See HCC's comment at the end of this story).


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Further Evidence that Ted Cruz Is Actually a Performance Art Project

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"Ted Cruz" delivers his response to Obama's speech Tuesday night
For quite some time, we've wondered whether there might be more to Ted Cruz than meets the eye. And by that, we don't mean that there might be some sort of reasonable ideology hiding behind the theatrics of Cruz's napalm-the-jungle style of politics. What we mean is, who is Ted Cruz really?

Conventional wisdom tells us that Cruz is the hard-right firebrand of the Lone Star State, a conservative's conservative for whom ideological purity trumps compromise or bipartisanship - the kind of guy who would lead the charge to shut down the federal government in a half-baked, last-ditch attempt to derail legislation that expanded healthcare coverage to millions of Americans.

But maybe Cruz is a totem, a symbol of what shrill partisan politics looks like when you follow it out to its most absurd conclusion. Maybe "Ted Cruz" is just an elaborate performance art project.

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Houston Rockets Valued By Forbes At Over 1.2 Billion Dollars

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In 2015, there is at least one immutable certainty in the sports business world -- if you're an NBA owner, business is good.

Less than four years ago, as the NBA was going through a summer of lockout and months of arduous negotiations hammering out a new collective bargaining agreement, the song from the NBA owners was one of financial strife, with claims that a third of the teams in the league (at least) were losing money, in large part because of a system of signing and paying players that led to owners being unable to protect themselves from their worst enemy -- themselves.

Despite a salary cap system that kept the salaries of the most marketable players capped at relatively reasonable levels, many owners more than ate up whatever benefit they were getting from muted superstar salaries by overspending on mid-level, highly replaceable, oftentimes journeyman players.

A new CBA didn't completely eradicate bad decisions, but it certainly minimized their impact, and a system which saw the players' percentage of basketball-related income reduced (from 57 percent to 50 percent) was the first in a series of events that have led to a boom period in franchise values.

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Craig Washington's Law License Suspended Amid Claims He Screwed Over Clients

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Wikipedia
Craig "dance like nobody's watching" Washington
To say that former Congressman Craig Washington has a checkered past would be an understatement.

In 2009, the dapper bow tie-sporting lawyer admitted in court to illegally shooting a couple of teenagers who were looking for a parking spot in his private Midtown lot (bullets hit the car but the boys were unharmed). Then, after being sentenced to two years of probation for the offense, Washington sued both teenagers in civil court for about $600,000 each. Right around that time, Washington just so happened to be fighting a lawsuit from the IRS seeking more than $600,000 in unpaid taxes.

All the while, Washington fought complaints by former clients and disciplinary filings by the State Bar of Texas alleging several instances of attorney misconduct. After fighting those allegations for many years, early this month Washington was finally suspended from practicing law for 18 months.

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Gary Kubiak Introduced As Broncos Head Coach

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The Denver Broncos made it official on Tuesday afternoon -- Gary Kubiak is back as a head coach in the NFL, taking the reins of a franchise that won two Super Bowls in the late '90s (with Kubiak as part of Mike Shanahan's staff) and is on a streak of four consecutive division titles in the AFC West.

On the grand scale of "failing upward," it's probably not anywhere close to, say, Lane Kiffin, who parlayed getting fired after two seasons with the Raiders into one 7-6 season at the University of Tennessee, and then parlayed that into the USC job. But with a career record of 61-64 as a head coach, and only two playoff wins (both over a team quarterbacked by Andy Dalton, who has no playoff wins), Kubiak has to feel fortunate not only to get a second chance, but to get a second chance with one of the best organizations in football.

Kubiak met with the media on Tuesday, and there were certainly some nuggets to come out of that session, some from Kubiak and some from others, that should have made Texans fans' ears perk up a bit.

Let's examine a few of these...

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NFL Determines Patriots Deflated Footballs Used in AFC Title Win

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Parker Anderson via flickr
Inflated? Deflated?
"Win if you can, lose if you must, but at all times, cheat." -- "Classy" Freddie Blassie

Bill Belichick does not give a rat's ass about the karmic ramifications of right and wrong, whether it means the "Golden Rule" or the actual rules. If it makes his team better, and increases the chances of the Patriots winning, he will do it.

Spying on other teams, stealing signals, borderline formations that push the spirit of the rules, signing LeGarrette Blount to be his starting tailback after he walked out on his teammates in Pittsburgh...

It doesn't matter. There's no nuance with Belichick. If "x" increases the percentage chances of "y" happening (where "y" equals "a Patriots win"), he will do it. So are we all that surprised about this whole "deflated ball" thing in the AFC Title Game?

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Dan Patrick's "Advisory Panel" Members Already Spend Millions Lobbying Lawmakers

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Dan Patrick, fighting for the little...er, big guys
Last week when Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced the deep bench of millionaires, heavyweight GOP donors and corporate figureheads he's tapped to officially advise him as he steers legislation through the state Senate, he lamented that private interests don't have a loud enough voice at the table.

Really.

"Very often the private sector is asked for help by a candidate, and after they get elected, there's not much follow up," Patrick told reporters. "Why would you want a legislative body to disconnect themselves from the private sector?"

See also: Dan Patrick Gives Rich People an Official Seat at the Table

Maybe Patrick is being insincere, or perhaps he's just conveniently oblivious to how lobbying actually works. But there's hardly been a "disconnect" between Patrick's handpicked "advisory panel" members and the Texas Legislature. In fact, in addition to being comprised largely of people who have contributed directly to Patrick's campaign, the advisory panel members have another thing in common: Many of them are connected to companies that have dropped serious cash lobbying the Texas Legislature.


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Local Banker Stole Money From the Accounts of Dead Nigerian Man

Categories: Crime

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Ben Husmann via flickr
Back in early 2010, a Nigerian man named Benjamin Onweni dumped some $2 million into a couple of accounts he'd just opened at a local Chase branch. When banker Carlos Lavin Ibarra learned of Onweni's death later that year, he was supposed to inform the bank.

Evidently he didn't. Instead, Ibarra siphoned money from the dead man's account, buying nearly $800,000 worth of cashier's checks. Ibarra, who pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of bank fraud last summer, was sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison yesterday.

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