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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
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Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,959

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

End of the Road (for Now) for Home Rule in Dallas Schools

Last night in Dallas, the commission that could have completely redesigned the city’s school system—handed control to the mayor, done away with elected trustees or rewritten teacher contracts—voted instead to call off its school reform experiment entirely.

It’s a quiet end to a dramatic reform drive that began almost a year ago, when a group called Support Our Public Schools announced its plans to make the state’s second-largest school system into its first “home-rule charter” district.

As Matt Haag at The Dallas Morning News wrote last night, the home-rule effort had already been slowly fizzling away for a while. Bob Weiss, the commission’s chairman, worried last night that, as Haag put it, “a home-rule district could undermine people’s democratic rights.”

Put that way, it almost sounds like a bad thing.

But to Houston billionaire John Arnold, the home-rule effort’s only financial backer to ever publicly come forward, that was kind of the point. As Arnold explained to the Morning News last year, “It’s very difficult to pass effective reforms with elected school boards. … What happens is you have window dressing of small reforms that collectively add up to very little effect.” To really focus on school improvement, he said, a school board needs to be free from “the ugly parts of politics.”

Read more: http://www.texasobserver.org/end-of-the-road-for-dallas-schools-home-rule-charter/

Corrupt South Texas politician turns out to be worst FBI informant ever

SAN ANTONIO — Federal investigators aren’t too impressed with the help a former Laredo politician offered them after he got busted.

Mike Montemayor, who until his arrest last year was a Webb County commissioner, is scheduled to get sentenced Monday for taking bribes in the form of cash and electronics from an undercover FBI agent posing as a businessman.

A judge will decide his prison term Monday, and Montemayor’s lawyer apparently argued that his sentence should be reduced because he helped out the feds.

That didn’t sit well with federal prosecutor Emily Rae Woods, who this week filed a rare public brief alleging that rather than helping FBI agents, Montemayor made off with bureau equipment.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Former-South-Texas-county-commissioner-tied-up-in-6035756.php

Cats Hilariously Explain Human Super Bowl Rituals

Trump says Romney choked, Pickens invested unwisely

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Billionaire Donald Trump said Friday that Mitt Romney choked so badly in a winnable 2012 campaign that he should be disqualified from running again for the GOP presidential nomination.

“Mitt Romney was given a chance. He should have beaten Obama…. He choked. Something happened. It’s like a deal maker who can’t close a deal. It’s like a golfer who can’t make a par 3 on the 18th hole…. He’s got a lot of problems.”

Trump also panned former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

“We’ve had enough Bushes. That’s the way I feel about it. …I just think we’ve had it with the Bush family.”

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/01/trump-says-romney-choked-pickens-invested-unwisely.html/

Donald Trump says Ted Cruz’s Canadian birth “could be a difficult problem” for 2016 bid

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Billionaire Donald Trump, the most prominent “birther” to question Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as president, asserted Friday that Sen. Ted Cruz must clear up legal doubts about his own eligibility due to his birth outside the United States.

“It’s a problem. It could be a difficult problem, but he admits that he was born in Canada,” Trump told reporters in Iowa on the eve of the first major gathering of 2016 presidential hopefuls.

“He’s a friend of mine. I have great respect for him. But …certainly it’s a stumbling block and he’s going to have to have it solved before he goes too far,” Trump said.

Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, on Dec. 22, 1970, while his parents worked in the Canadian oil patch. His mother is a native-born American. His father, a Cuban émigré who later became a naturalized American, was still a Cuban citizen at the time.

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/01/donald-trump-says-ted-cruzs-canadian-birth-could-be-a-difficult-problem-for-2016-bid.html/

FBI Informant who helped feds indict San Antonio judge is gunned down

A longtime FBI informant at the center of a courthouse corruption probe in Bexar County has been gunned down, creating possible problems for federal prosecutors as they pursue a bribery case against indicted ex-Judge Angus McGinty.

Michael Oliver Otten, 52, was one of two men killed Friday at a home in the 400 block of Linda Drive. Frank Campos, 44, was charged a day later with capital murder.

The double slaying is not believed to have been related to the federal corruption investigation, but was rather a dispute between neighbors, authorities have indicated.

McGinty resigned from the 144th state District Court bench in February after a grand jury returned a 15-count indictment for bribery, wire fraud and other charges. He has denied the allegations and is awaiting trial. His lawyers said Otten’s death creates problems for the case because McGinty has a right to question witnesses against him.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/local/article/Informant-who-helped-feds-indict-S-A-judge-is-6032899.php

Anonymous hacktivist Barrett Brown sentenced to 5 years behind bars

Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months behind bars, minus the 31 months he’s already served.

He also faces nearly $900,000 in restitution and fines and two years of supervised release.

After the sentence, Brown released the following statement:

“Good news!

“The U.S. government decided today that because I did such a good job investigating the cyber-industrial complex, they’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex. For the next 35 months, I’ll be provided with free food, clothes, and housing as I seek to expose wrongdoing by Bureau of Prisons officials and staff and otherwise report on news and culture in the world’s greatest prison system. I want to thank the Department of Justice for having put so much time and energy into advocating on my behalf; rather than holding a grudge against me for the two years of work I put into in bringing attention to a DOJ-linked campaign to harass and discredit journalists like Glenn Greenwald, the agency instead labored tirelessly to ensure that I received this very prestigious assignment.

“Wish me luck!”

Read more: http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2015/01/anonymous-hacktivist-barrett-brown-to-be-sentence-today-in-federal-court-in-dallas.html/

Jury levies $4.5M penalty South San Antonio ISD for principal who preyed on children

A federal jury on Wednesday levied a $4.5 million verdict against South San Antonio Independent School District after a former student sued the school system because he was molested as a child by an elementary school principal.

Michael Alcoser, 48, was sentenced in 2011 to 20 years in state prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child and possession of child pornography. The student who testified against him, now an adult, filed the federal lawsuit in 2013.

Plaintiff’s attorney Ric Garcia said the lawsuit was filed in federal court because the district was alleged to have violated Title IX regulations regarding how to handle sexual violence against children.

The trial, in front of Senior U.S. District Judge Harry Hudspeth, lasted two days.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/education/article/Jury-levies-4-5M-penalty-against-school-district-6031043.php

Del. Morrissey is now facing new felony charges

RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia lawmaker who was just re-elected despite being jailed for a sex scandal with a teenager has been indicted on four new felony charges.

The forgery and perjury indictment of Del. Joseph D. Morrissey was returned the day before that election and unsealed Wednesday in Henrico County Circuit Court.

The lawmaker now stands accused of forging a document he vouched for in court, and persuading the girl's mother to swear to its authenticity as well. That woman, Deidre Warren, also was indicted on perjury and forgery charges. Morrissey faces up to 10 years on each count if convicted, special prosecutor William J. Neely said.

Morrissey, an attorney known as "Fighting Joe" since his 1993 courthouse fistfight with another lawyer, said the charges are false and vowed to beat them.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2015-01-21/lawmaker-reelected-after-being-jailed-indecent-liberties-teen-now-facing-new#.VMB0_Hvy1Z8

Related thread:
Morrissey now the subject of new criminal investigation


Party line vote changes two-thirds rule, weakens Democrats in Texas Senate

AUSTIN – The 31-member Texas Senate made history Wednesday afternoon.

After nearly two hours of spirited debate, the Republican-dominated body voted – largely along party lines – to replace an 84-year rule that required the approval of 21 senators present to bring a bill to the chamber’s floor.

A new three-fifths rule replaces the two-thirds requirement. The change means that bringing a bill to the Senate floor now requires only 19 votes, a move some Democrat called partisan maneuvering because it prevents the Democratic minority from blocking any legislation they oppose.

The final vote was 20-10 with GOP Sens. Charles Perry of Lubbock and Kel Seliger of Amarillo voting with the majority. Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville was the lone Democrat in favor of the historic change while Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, voted “present,” which means he abstained.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2015-01-21/party-line-vote-changes-two-thirds-rule-weakens-democrats-texas-senate#.VMBgxGO-c1k
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