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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 77,874

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

House votes to kill Gohmert-sponsored resolution to ban Democratic Party

Source: Washington Post

WASHINGTON — House Democrats on Tuesday killed a Republican resolution that would have effectively banned the Democratic Party or any political organization for its past history of supporting slavery and the Confederacy.

The House voted 223-to-176 to table the resolution sponsored by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, who introduced it in July as a counter to the overwhelming, bipartisan House vote to remove statues of Confederate leaders from the Capitol.

Gohmert reintroduced the privileged resolution last week, forcing a swift procedural vote in the House that fell along near-party lines

The resolution from Gohmert also would have directed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to remove "any item that names, symbolizes, or mentions any political organization or party that has ever held a public position that supported slavery or the Confederacy, from any area within the House.

Read more: https://www.news-journal.com/news/local/house-votes-to-kill-gohmert-sponsored-resolution-to-ban-democratic-party/article_4f03d544-0321-11eb-b4ec-e33a58fb4216.html

Link is to the Longview News-Journal.

Managers warn that Rio Grande could go dry in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal managers are warning that if hot and dry conditions persist, it’s possible that the stretch of the Rio Grande flowing through Albuquerque could dry up this fall.

The Bureau of Reclamation has teamed up with the Interstate Stream Commission and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District to lease the last block of water available to keep the river as stable as possible before winter.

Other emergency water releases happened earlier this year as spring runoff was poor and the monsoon season was too spotty to help reservoirs and the river recover. One of North America's longest waterways, the Rio Grande runs through New Mexico from Colorado to Texas and into Mexico and is governed by interstate and international water-sharing agreements.

“Mother nature dealt us a really tough hand on the Rio Grande this year," Reclamation area manager Jennifer Faler said, noting that the river's flow has consisted primarily of water imported from the agency's San Juan-Chama project.

Read more: https://theeagle.com/news/national/managers-warn-that-rio-grande-could-go-dry-in-albuquerque/article_7c579496-5336-5164-b475-4115c2ddaedf.html
(Bryan-College Station Eagle)

Republicans Shelley Luther, Drew Springer head to runoff in special election to replace state Sen.

Republicans Shelley Luther, Drew Springer head to runoff in special election to replace state Sen. Pat Fallon

Republicans Shelley Luther and Drew Springer are advancing to a runoff in the special election to replace state Sen. Pat Fallon, R-Prosper, according to unofficial election returns.

Each was getting about 32% of the vote late Tuesday in the six-way special election, with all polling locations reporting. Luther is the Dallas salon owner who was jailed earlier this year after refusing to close her business due to coronavirus restrictions, and Springer is the state representative from Muenster. The runoff has yet to be scheduled.

The sole Democratic candidate, Jacob Minter, was trailing in third with 21% of the vote. None of the other three candidates broke double digits.

Tensions were already running high between Luther and Springer, and the runoff is poised to be even more contentious. Addressing supporters shortly after 10 p.m. in Aubrey, Luther sought to prepare them for a brutal second round.

Read more: https://theeagle.com/news/state-and-regional/republicans-shelley-luther-drew-springer-head-to-runoff-in-special-election-to-replace-state-sen/article_fd3a3fa2-f4d9-5272-9c3f-44043611e198.html
(Bryan-College Station Eagle)

Republican National Committee outspending Democratic counterpart in Texas by 3 to 1

At this point in the election cycle, the deep-pocketed Republican National Committee has poured three times as much money into Texas than its Democratic counterpart, a new data analysis shows.

Amid big spending to influence the outcome in key swing states — Texas could be one this year — the RNC has transferred $2.4 million to its Lone Star State affiliate, according to a review of filings by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. That total includes a record $1.3 million transfer made in August.

In contrast, the Democratic National Committee has flowed just $796,000 into Texas this election cycle.

The RNC's Texas cash outlay raises questions whether it's worried about letting the once reliably red state's 38 electoral votes slip away, according to the report. Recent polls show Donald Trump ahead here by an uncomfortably narrow margin.

Read more: https://www.sacurrent.com/the-daily/archives/2020/09/29/republican-national-committee-outspending-democratic-counterpart-in-texas-by-3-to-1

Texas House LGBTQ Caucus calls for Medicaid expansion

Access to healthcare is a human right.

As the chair and vice chair of the LGBTQ Caucus, we are proud to stand alongside our colleagues in always calling for equity for all people and particularly for those in the LGBTQ community. But social equity simply cannot exist in Texas when millions of people lack access to health care.

Texas has a long history of discrimination that is built into its health care system, disproportionately disadvantaging certain populations, such as people of color, immigrants and the LGBTQ community. Many LGBTQ individuals rely on Medicaid for health coverage, especially LGBTQ people of color and transgender individuals.

To put it simply, Medicaid is a vital program for reducing health disparities and providing care for the LGBTQ community.

We must act now to expand Medicaid, and as we navigate a public health crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, those inequalities are exacerbated. Medicaid expansion is a crucial step we must take during this health crisis that will also protect the health and wellness of Texans into the future. It is a step we are fighting for as a caucus for all people, but particularly for our friends and loved ones in communities that have consistently been prevented from accessing the quality of care they are entitled to.

Read more: https://dallasvoice.com/texas-house-lgbtq-caucus-calls-for-medicaid-expansion/

Texas Democrats Try To Drag State Rep. Lynn Stucky Into Christian Camp Scandal

Thursday, Texas Democratic Party officials accused Denton state Rep. Lynn Stucky of having ties to Missouri's Kanakuk Kamps, a Christian summer camp where multiple instances of child sex abuse have occurred.

Since 2002, Stucky has served on the board of directors for the Kanakuk Institute, which is an eight-month college graduate discipleship program for young adults, but the institute is an entirely separate entity, Stucky said in an emailed statement. He has no role in what goes on at the summer camps, he wrote.

“The sexual assault incidents that occurred are terrible,” Stucky wrote. “There is no other way to put it. I in no way shape or form condone that behavior. My role on the Kanakuk Institute Board had nothing to do with those incidents.”

As Election Day approaches, political races are intensifying nationally and statewide, with both sides ramping up targeted attacks. Yet as is the case with President Donald Trump’s leaked tax returns, the Kanakuk incident serves as a partisan Rorschach that shifts meaning depending on one’s party.

Read more: https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/texas-democrats-try-to-drag-state-rep-lynn-stucky-into-christian-camp-scandal-11948551

Trump Embarrassed His Country and Himself

I’ve watched a lot of presidential general election debates. This was the first time that I spent much of the time hoping that the feed to foreign nations was somehow disabled, because what we saw Tuesday night — what President Donald Trump did on Tuesday night — was so deeply embarrassing to the nation. Whether it was the constant interruptions, or the refusal to condemn right-wing violence, or the false claims about the voting process and how they undermine the democracy, or the steady stream of false statements, or the habit of casting blame on anyone and everyone except for himself, or the wild conspiracy-theory rantings, Trump spent 90 minutes demonstrating how he’s not fit for the office he holds.

What he did not demonstrate is that he has any grasp of the U.S. government or public policy. At one point, former Vice President Joe Biden — he was there too, he did fine — said of Trump: “He has no idea what he’s talking about.” I think it was about absentee voting, but there was hardly any evidence throughout the debate that Trump has learned, well, anything. Climate? Nope. Health care? Nope. Even the stuff that he supposedly is running on. Policing? His basic message is that anything bad is the fault of Democrats and that he could easily handle it if it wasn’t for them. But not only does he have no detailed plan, he can’t even talk about crime or law-enforcement in a way that demonstrates he has any understanding of the issues.

Trump claimed, as he has many times before, that voting by mail is full of fraud. It isn’t. Once again, he made a meaningless distinction between states in which ballots are sent to everyone automatically and states in which voters must request them. And once again, all his examples of supposed fraud were from states — Pennsylvania, New York, and others — that fall into the latter category. It’s a nonsensical distinction to begin with; experts have found no problems at all, as Biden pointed out, in the handful of states that send everyone a ballot. Trump, on this topic as on everything else, never demonstrated that he knows more than what a typical viewer of a third-rate partisan talk show would know.

Debates are typically useful for two reasons. They are a ritual of democracy, and they are a high-profile venue for making promises. Debates involving Trump barely qualify on either count. The ritual part of it is undermined when one of the candidates doesn’t appear to believe in democracy. I’ll put up with debates that feature a lot of squabbling and heated rhetoric; democracy doesn’t have to always have good manners, and it’s sometimes good when it doesn’t. Indeed, Biden didn’t exactly showcase civil etiquette Tuesday night. He interrupted a fair amount (although, as moderator Chris Wallace pointed out, not nearly as often as Trump), and he certainly didn’t show the respect for the presidency that many challengers have chosen to display on similar occasions.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-09-30/trump-biden-debate-brawl-embarrassed-the-u-s

The Obama Justice Department Had a Plan to Hold Police Accountable for Abuses. The Trump DOJ Has

The Obama Justice Department Had a Plan to Hold Police Accountable for Abuses. The Trump DOJ Has Undermined It.

It was caught on tape. A Seattle police officer lunged into the backseat of a patrol car. The Black woman detained inside had been combative, but she already had her hands cuffed behind her back. Still the cop punched her in the face, breaking an orbital bone.

The Seattle Police Department moved to fire the officer for excessive force, but in November 2018, the cop’s union lawyer was able to convince an arbitrator to overturn the termination.

The implications of the incident went beyond the officer. The entire Seattle Police Department was under an agreement reached with the Obama administration Department of Justice because its officers had a pattern of abuse similar to the incident in the patrol car. That agreement, known as a consent decree, forced the department under tight federal oversight until it reformed itself. The Seattle police had already made a string of changes, including ending unconstitutional stop-and-frisk and improving training.

But the inability to easily fire the officer from the patrol car incident called the city’s progress into question. If the department couldn’t even get rid of officers it thought should be fired, then its disciplinary system potentially violated the settlement agreement, the judge assigned to oversee the consent decree said. The court-appointed independent monitor for the consent decree agreed.

Read more: https://www.propublica.org/article/the-obama-justice-department-had-a-plan-to-hold-police-accountable-for-abuses-the-trump-doj-has-undermined-it

A lesson from the last recession becomes California law

Six months after pandemic-induced lockdowns started tanking the U.S. economy and sparked mass unemployment, a feared foreclosure tsunami has not yet come to pass. Thanks in part to financial relief from the CARES Act, as well as government-sponsored forbearance programs that have allowed millions of homeowners to delay mortgage payments, new foreclosures were down 81% in August compared with a year ago, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

Given the grim state of the economy, however, housing advocates are fearful of what comes next. “The key word is ‘yet.’ We haven’t seen a ton of foreclosures … yet,” said Julia Gordon, a former housing official in the Obama administration who is now president of the National Community Stabilization Trust.

The last time the economy went into deep recession, after the 2008 housing bust, nearly 8 million families lost their homes to foreclosure. Well-heeled speculators, who frequently hide behind shell companies, swooped in to effect a generational transfer of wealth. A handful of real estate magnates close to now-President Donald Trump – such as his inaugural committee chairman Tom Barrack – amassed tens of thousands of these foreclosed homes, frequently offering their former owners leases that amounted to steep increases in rent, while requiring them to maintain the properties themselves.

“It’s been the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my professional life, honestly,“ Barrack said in 2012, boasting of sending “21-year-old kids … with Bluetooths on” to courthouses across the country with “bags of cashier’s checks” to help build an empire of 35,000 homes.

Read more: https://www.revealnews.org/article/a-lesson-from-the-last-recession-becomes-california-law/
(Reveal News--Center for Investigative Reporting)

Fox News uses the word 'hate' much more than MSNBC or CNN

Fox News is up to five times more likely to use the word “hate” in its programming than its main competitors, according to our new study of how cable news channels use language.

Fox particularly uses the term when explaining opposition to Donald Trump. His opponents are said to “hate” Trump, his values and his followers.

Our research, which ran from Jan. 1 to May 8, 2020, initially explored news of Trump’s impeachment. Then came the coronavirus. As we sifted through hundreds of cable news transcripts over five months, we noticed consistent differences between the vocabulary used on Fox News and that of MSNBC.

While their news agendas were largely similar, the words they used to describe these newsworthy events diverged greatly.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/fox-news-uses-the-word-hate-much-more-than-msnbc-or-cnn-145983
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