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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,960

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

Rick Perry loses second request to dismiss case against him

Source: Austin American-Statesman

A judge denied a second and more substantial request Tuesday by former Gov. Rick Perry to dismiss the indictment against him prior to trial, likely extending his criminal case for the next several months as Perry continues mounting a possible presidential campaign.

The ruling by Judge Bert Richardson, a San Antonio Republican, comes five months after Perry’s attorneys filed the writ of habeas corpus, a sign of the slow speed at which the case is churning through the criminal justice system. Perry’s attorneys could now appeal Tuesday’s ruling to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, a process that could take several months and stall possible resolution of the case.

A Travis County grand jury Aug. 15 indicted the former governor on charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official — two felonies — arising from his June 2013 demand to District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign or lose a two-year, $7.5 million allocation to the state’s Public Integrity Unit after her DWI conviction.

Lehmberg did not resign, and Perry vetoed the money.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/rick-perry-loses-second-request-to-dismiss-case-ag/njx5y/

Down With Tyranny has a unique take on the stormy weather



Here in the Northeast today has been sort of like a shorter version of the weekend we spent back when waiting for Hurricane Sandy to bear down on us. We knew it was coming, and it was likely to be bad, but in the meantime the weather, while hardly salutary, shouldn't by itself have prevented life from proceeding normally. Except that there's nothing normal when the weather gnomes are talking about two feet of snow starting to descend on us late tonight, with maybe 6-8 inches by morning and the rest continuing to amass.

The word for the day was:



Not surprisingly, the news and the e-mailbox are overflowing with announcements of cancellations of stuff scheduled for today, as the city gradually shut down. By mid-afternoon, for example, there ws word that the scheduled home games of both the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets are off. As for tomorrow, it's looking like fuhgeddaboutit! (I think it's safe to say that there won't be any trip to Brooklyn for the New York Transit Museum's scheduled program celebrating the triumphant reconstruction of the Montague Street subway tunnel under the East River, which suffered the heaviest damage of the East River tunnels from the ravages of Sandy, and just reopened in September after being closed for 14˝ months.)

See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2015/01/stormy-weather.html

French involvement in Texas high-speed rail? Mais oui!

FORT WORTH

A company that operates France’s national high-speed rail network is exploring possible involvement in Texas bullet trains.

“We’re here to listen, learn and evaluate,” Alain Leray, president and chief executive of SNCF America Inc., said Monday during a visit to downtown Fort Worth.

Leray and a colleague with SNCF, France’s state-owned railway company, attended a two-hour meeting of the Texas high-speed rail commission and later met privately with officials planning the project.

The high-speed rail commission was formed a little more than a year ago by the Texas Department of Transportation to plan for a possible bullet train network connecting Houston, Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article8202234.html

Rep. Vela tries to block more border fencing for Rio Grande Valley; McCaul leads racist efforts

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela has failed at the committee hearing level to stop ten more miles of border fencing from being built in the Rio Grande Valley.

According to Scott Nicol, co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Borderlands Team, the ten miles of fencing are likely to be built in Roma and Rio Grande City and they could be double-layered. He said the fencing could be constructed inside 18 months.

Vela, D-Brownsville, unsuccessfully offered an amendment to H.R. 399, authored by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul and otherwise known as the Secure Our Border First Act of 2015. The amendment would have struck down a mandate in the bill that requires the Department of Homeland Security to construct an additional 37 miles of fencing on the southwest border.

Republicans have a solid majority on the House Homeland Security Committee and the vote – 18 to 12 -on McCaul’s bill went on party lines. McCaul, R-Austin, chairs the panel. He said his bill would direct additional equipment and resources to the southern border, including unmanned aerial vehicles, new border fencing and National Guard troops. His bill is expected to be debated by the U.S. House on Wednesday.

Read more: http://riograndeguardian.com/vela-tries-to-block-more-border-fencing-for-rgv/

Last week U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, R-Austin, introduced the “Secure Our Borders First” Act in an obvious bid to strike back at President Obama for his executive order on immigration.

Pure politics at its worst, McCaul’s bill will tear apart South Texas communities and our environment and transform our cities into a war zone just to make a political point, at a cost of ten billion taxpayer dollars.

McCaul’s bill requires military hardware and tactics along the entire border, whether or not the Department of Homeland Security and Border Patrol think they will be useful.

When he was interviewed by FOX News on Wednesday McCaul said of his bill, “We’re gonna take the discretion away from the Department {of Homeland Security} and we’re gonna mandate how they get this thing done through the deployment of assets, uh, through the deployment of military assets from Afghanistan and other places to the Southwest border and maritime as well.”

Read more: http://riograndeguardian.com/nicol-mccauls-assault-on-border-communities-and-the-borderlands/

Julián Castro Will Appear on 'The Daily Show' Tonight

Julián Castro, former SA mayor and current secretary of the Department Housing and Urban Development, will be tonight's guest on The Daily Show.

At 10 p.m., viewers can tune in to watch Castro and host John Stewart discuss the finer points of the FHA's recent actions to lower insurance premiums — mortgages are set to decrease from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. It's a compelling and hilarious topic, we know.

Tonight's episode marks Castro's first guest appearance on the program. His twin brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro, appeared on The Daily Show last fall, when Stewart and company filmed a week-long stint of the program in Austin. For tonight's episode, expect the obligatory interrogation regarding Castro's relationship with Hillary Clinton and the possibility of his being her 2016 running mate.

Read more: http://www.sacurrent.com/Blogs/archives/2015/01/26/julian-castro-will-appear-on-the-daily-show-tonight

Cross-posted in the Texas Group.

Julián Castro Will Appear on 'The Daily Show' Tonight

Julián Castro, former SA mayor and current secretary of the Department Housing and Urban Development, will be tonight's guest on The Daily Show.

At 10 p.m., viewers can tune in to watch Castro and host John Stewart discuss the finer points of the FHA's recent actions to lower insurance premiums — mortgages are set to decrease from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. It's a compelling and hilarious topic, we know.

Tonight's episode marks Castro's first guest appearance on the program. His twin brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro, appeared on The Daily Show last fall, when Stewart and company filmed a week-long stint of the program in Austin. For tonight's episode, expect the obligatory interrogation regarding Castro's relationship with Hillary Clinton and the possibility of his being her 2016 running mate.

Read more: http://www.sacurrent.com/Blogs/archives/2015/01/26/julian-castro-will-appear-on-the-daily-show-tonight

Cross-posted in the General Discussion forum.

Decision Day Celebrations Planned Across Texas If 5th Circuit Strikes Down Marriage Ban



The group Texas For Marriage is planning Decision Day celebrations in five Texas cities if the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules in the federal lawsuit challenging the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court heard oral arguments in DeLeon v. Perry earlier this month, and observers say the justices appeared split 2-1 in favor of marriage equality. However, the panel may choose not to rule at all and instead wait for a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear same-sex marriage cases from four states in April.

If the 5th Circuit panel decides to rule, rallies will be held at 6 p.m. on the same day in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio. The locations of the Austin, Houston and San Antonio rallies have yet to be determined, but the Dallas rally will be at Cathedral of Hope (5910 Cedar Springs Road), and the Fort Worth rally will be at First Congregational Church (4201 Trail Lake Drive).

To RSVP for one of the rallies, go here.

Source: http://www.lonestarq.com/decision-day-celebrations-planned-across-texas-if-5th-circuit-strikes-down-marriage-ban/

Giant snow penis demolished at Texas Tech University as students protest (Graphic warning)


A group of mostly male students at Texas Tech University staged a heroic last stand before a bulldozer demolished their beloved snow sculpture of a giant penis. The 11-foot-tall sculpture, built in "one of the most popular places on campus," took about four hours and up to ten students to complete, according to a video description on Newsflare.

A group of mostly male students at Texas Tech University staged a heroic last stand before a bulldozer demolished their beloved snow sculpture of a giant penis.

The 11-foot-tall sculpture, built in "one of the most popular places on campus," took about four hours and up to ten students to complete, according to a video description on Newsflare.

Before the students could add their finishing touches to the sculpture, university workers in a bulldozer arrived to demolish it. The YouTube video showing the incident has received more than 52,000 views as of Monday morning.

Students began pouring water on the sculpture in a futile attempt to solidify it. After a brief standoff between workers and students, who posed with the sculpture and hugged it while others took photos, the sculpture was destroyed in "possibly the most brutal way possible," according to the video's description.

The rest of the article and video of the demolition at http://www.chron.com/news/local/article/Giant-snow-penis-demolished-at-Texas-Tech-6040505.php .

[font color=green]They make things bigger in Texas. Let the comments commence...[/font]

Texas has the Third Most Regressive Tax System in the U.S.

High-income earners in Texas pay some of the lowest state and local taxes compared to other states. But low-income earners pay for it.

The New York Times recently reported on the latest data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) on how income relates to the share paid in state and local taxes.

Nationwide, the poorest 20 percent of Americans will pay an average of 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes in 2015, while the top 1 percent will pay an average of 5.4 percent. That means the share of income that the wealthiest are paying towards state and local taxes is roughly half the share of the lowest-income earners.

In Texas, the inequality is even worse. The top 1 percent only pay, on average, 2.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes – one of the lowest rates in the nation. Meanwhile, the lowest 20 percent of earners pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in state and local taxes – one of the highest rates in the nation. That comes out to a tax burden for low-income earners that’s roughly 4.3 times as high as for the top 1 percent.

Read more: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/29392/texas-third-regressive-tax-system-u-s

[font color=green]We're #3!
(sarcastically ecstatic since Texas is usually #1 or #2 in the undesirable categories)[/font]

Hypocrites at Texas Medical Association Still Giving Hundreds of Thousands to Anti-Choice Candidates

During the last legislative session, one of the most outspoken opponents of SB 5 (the anti-abortion bill filibustered by Wendy Davis that was eventually passed as HB 2) was the Texas Medical Association. They calledthe bill a “legislative intrusion into the patient-physician relationship” that “sets a dangerous precedent of the legislature prescribing the details of the practice of medicine.” Their supposedly nonpartisan opinion was cited frequently as proof that the bill was medically unsound.

However, as we reported last year, the Texas Medical Association was one of the main reasons the legislators who sponsored SB 5 were in office. TMA endorsed 4 of the House authors of HB 2, and two of the Senate authors and sponsors of the bill.

One would think that after supposedly violating TMA’s principles so egregiously, the organization would cease to support these elected officials. That didn’t happen–instead TMA gave the authors and sponsors of HB 2 even more money this election.

Last year, TMA gave tens of thousands of dollars to candidates who were directly tied to HB 2, either as authors or sponsors. The table below shows the HB 2 candidates who received donations from TMA, as well as how much they received for the general election. (Taken from publicly available data at the Texas Ethics Commission:

The list of candidates and the rest of the article is at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/29404/hypocrites-texas-medical-association-still-giving-hundreds-thousands-anti-choice-candidates .
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