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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: 77,641

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

Teamsters union ratify 5-year agreement with Anheuser-Busch

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters ratified a five year agreement with workers at Anheuser-Busch breweries across the United States.

Eighty-eight percent of employees voted in favor of the contract and 12 percent voted against, with 63 percent of members voting, the union said Tuesday.

The contract covers more than 4,400 workers at 12 facilities across the U.S., including St. Louis, the brewer's North American headquarters.

Workers get increases of $2.50 per hour, improvements to retirement security and a $4,000 bonus.

Read more: https://www.stltoday.com/business/local/teamsters-union-ratify--year-agreement-with-anheuser-busch/article_bb4118be-0d82-5d61-9660-0f3ab5b06f2a.html

State: No medical marijuana at veterans' nursing homes

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Residents and employees of Missouri's seven nursing homes for veterans will not be allowed to use medical marijuana.

Missouri Veterans Commission Executive Director Grace Link said Monday the state must prohibit the use of medical marijuana at the homes in order to comply with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which considers pot an illegal drug.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the decision affects about 1,350 residents of homes in Bellefontaine Neighbors, Warrensburg, Mount Vernon, St. James, Cape Girardeau, Mexico and Cameron.

Federal funds pay part of the more than $80 million needed to operate the homes and Missouri officials don't want to jeopardize that revenue.

Read more: http://www.newstribune.com/news/missouri/story/2019/jan/29/state-no-medical-marijuana-at-veterans-nursing-homes/763277/

Lawsuit: Jefferson City Public Schools coach forcibly cut student's hair

A parent has filed a lawsuit on behalf of her son against Jefferson City Public Schools and her son's former middle school wrestling coach after the coach allegedly had her son held down and forcibly cut his hair in November 2017.


On or about Nov. 13, 2017, Meudt-Antele's son went to Thomas Jefferson to get dressed for a wrestling meet at Blair Oaks Middle School and Whelan then "confronted and demanded (her son) to immediately cut his hair" while in the locker room.

The boy then asked if he could call his mother, and Whelan allegedly prevented him from doing that. "Whelan told (the boy) that it was his hair and not his mom's, and therefore, he could not call her." The wrestler then requested to forfeit his match instead of having to cut his hair, at which point Whelan walked away.

Whelan allegedly then grabbed some barber scissors, forced them into the boy's hands once he was dressed for the meet and demanded he immediately cut his own hair. The boy started to do it, but Whelan allegedly complained the wrestler was not cutting fast enough, so he told five other wrestling teammates of the boy to hold him down so Whelan could cut his hair himself.

Read more: http://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2019/jan/29/lawsuit-jcps-coach-forcibly-cut-students-hair/763250/

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand focuses on women, bipartisanship in presidential run

Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York will look to bring an increasingly liberal platform and a strong focus on women's issues to the 2020 presidential race.

The 52-year-old Gillibrand, who has served in Congress for just over a decade, has promised to fight for protections for women's rights, lower healthcare costs, accessible education, higher wages, veterans benefits and gun control, while also bringing a track record as a vocal opponent to President Donald Trump.

"I'm going to run for president of the United States because, as a young mom, I'm going to fight for other people's kids as hard as I would fight for my own. Which is why I believe that healthcare should be a right and not a privilege," Gillibrand said as she announced her bid on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. "It's why I believe we should have better public schools for our kids because it shouldn't matter what block you grow up on. And I believe that anybody who wants to work hard enough should be able to get whatever job training they need to earn their way into the middle class."

Gillibrand began her career as a lawyer and later served in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. She ran for a House seat to represent the New York's 20th district as a Democrat in 2006 and ultimately won the seat held by a long-term Republican incumbent.

Read more: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2019/01/29/Sen-Kirsten-Gillibrand-focuses-on-women-bipartisanship-in-presidential-run/9511548139771/#ixzz5e0cHIs2v

Powell faces early reckoning on Fed's $4-trillion question

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has a problem: how to explain that the Fed may soon begin to taper its ongoing asset-shedding operation without looking like he’s hunkering down for a coming recession, or caving to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Not long ago, Powell expected to face this delicate communication test some time later in 2019, rather than at his news conference on Wednesday following the close of the Fed’s first policy meeting of the year.

But three things - an unexpected scarcity of reserves deep in the plumbing of Wall Street, overt public pressure from investors and the White House, and the Fed’s own decision to rethink its interest-rate hikes - are forcing the U.S. central bank to acknowledge the real possibility of hanging on to more bonds than originally planned.

“You cannot stop the rate-hiking cycle without communicating on the balance sheet as well,” said Thomas Costerg, senior U.S. economist at Pictet Wealth Management, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-portfolio/powell-faces-early-reckoning-on-feds-4-trillion-question-idUSKCN1PN0FV

Tesla Has Just 4 Weeks to Rally 21% or Pay $920 Million on Bonds

The clock is now ticking for Elon Musk to avoid a $920 million bill for Tesla Inc.

That’s the amount of debt coming due March 1 from convertible bonds issued back in 2014. Tesla can dodge the payout by exchanging the note for a mix of cash and stock -- but only if the shares jump about 21 percent from their current level, based on a 20-day averaging period that starts today.

The debt payment, the largest in the company’s history, would take a big bite out of Tesla’s cash just as Musk enters another challenging year. But while a rally to the $359.87 price needed for a swap may be a long shot, it’s not an impossibility for a stock prone to heavy swings. And with the automaker scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday, a catalyst could be just around the corner.

“There’s always a glimmer of hope,” said Chris Hartman, a senior portfolio manager who specializes in convertible arbitrage at Aegon Asset Management. “With the volatility that can happen inside this stock, the market is clearly saying it’s possible for that stock to be at, near, or above $360.”

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-29/tesla-needs-21-rally-in-weeks-to-dodge-920-million-bond-payout

Harley-Davidson Profit Is Wiped Out by President Trump's Tariffs

Harley-Davidson Inc. broke even in the last quarter of a year in which the struggling American icon got caught up in President Donald Trump’s trade wars. The results sent the motorcycle maker’s shares lower in early trading.


• Harley has more than tariffs to blame: U.S. retail sales tumbled 10 percent in the three months ended in December, the eighth consecutive quarterly drop. The company is having trouble attracting younger riders and is planning to offer cheaper bikes to reach new customers.

• Retail demand dropped in Europe and Asia, sending worldwide sales down 6.7 percent. CEO Matt Levatich unveiled a turnaround plan in July that calls for 50 percent of sales to come from outside the U.S. by 2027.

• Harley said in June it would move some U.S. production overseas to sidestep EU tariffs that jumped to 31 percent, from 6 percent. That drew the ire of Trump, who said he’d back a boycott of the company’s bikes.

• Levatich is introducing as many as five electric models, including lightweight, urban bikes to target growth in Europe and India. Analysts think demand for Harley’s first electric motorcycle, called LiveWire, will be limited because of its $29,799 price tag.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-29/harley-profit-wiped-out-by-tariffs-as-sales-continue-slumping

Rare Footage of New Order From The Early 80s Found

New Order was an indelible part of most queer kids’ lives who grew up in the 80s and 90s. Its music was such a part of the DNA of life in the 1980s that it’s hard to think of either existing without the other.

Hit songs like Bizarre Love Triangle suggested a different kind of love then the heteronormative one we knew.

New Order’s music was quick moving beats, layered with ballads distorted via electronic synthesizers–electronically amplifying their already haunting voices. In fact it was New Order’s innovative integration of post-punk with electronic and dance music that made them one of the most acclaimed and influential bands and producers.

Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris formed New Order after the 1980 suicide death of Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis.

According to NPR, “The first of those [New Order]singles, ‘Ceremony,’ was actually written with Curtis prior to his suicide. It popped up as a single in advance of New Order’s 1981 debut album, Movement, which is about to receive the deluxe-reissue treatment; to commemorate the occasion, the band is circulating a little-seen performance of ‘Ceremony,’ recorded live at Manchester’s CoManCHE Student Union.”

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2019/01/rare-new-order-footage-of-ceremony-from-198/

Ex-chef's lawsuit against Mar-a-Lago claims retaliation for harassment complaint

The former executive pastry chef at Mar-a-Lago is suing President Donald Trump’s private club and two senior managers claiming he was laid-off in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment against two female chefs.

Graham Randall, who worked at the club in Palm Beach from 2012 to 2017, reported to the club’s human resources department complaints he received from two young chefs who said they had been targets of sexual harassment, including lewd text messages, by two married, high-level food and beverage managers, according to the lawsuit.

Mar-a-Lago’s management looked into Randall’s claims and Randall was interviewed as part of the investigation, which resulted in both managers receiving written reprimands and apologizing to the women, according to the lawsuit. About six months later, in October 2017, according to the suit, the managers who were reprimanded then laid him off, saying the club expected to lose $2.5 million from charity fundraisers that were canceled in the wake of the president’s comments about a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that left one woman dead.

Randall, who has also filed a federal employment discrimination action against the club, did not believe their explanation, saying in his complaint that at the same time the club was hiring more foreign guest workers than it had the year before, including pastry chefs.

Read more: https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20190128/ex-chefs-lawsuit-against-mar-a-lago-claims-retaliation-for-harassment-complaint

Once among the '1 percent,' executive faces $1 billion Medicare fraud trial

Not long ago, Miami Beach executive Philip Esformes was living quite comfortably among America’s “1 percent,” raking in millions from his healthcare business, gobbling up pricey real estate and darting around the country in chartered jets.

Then, in a flash, his luxurious lifestyle went poof: FBI agents arrested Esformes in July 2016 and he suddenly became the poster boy for the biggest Medicare fraud case in the country. He was charged with bilking $1 billion out of the federal healthcare program for the elderly and disabled, while his vast business assets and bank accounts were frozen. Worse, Esformes, 50, was ordered held without bail at the Federal Detention Center in Miami.

Esformes was back in court Monday for one final hearing before he goes to trial by himself on Feb. 11. Once always tan and fit, he looked wan and frail as his defense team tried in vain to delay the start of trial. They sought more time to review the Justice Department’s long list of patients who prosecutors say received no services or medically unnecessary treatment at Esformes’ Miami-Dade chain of skilled-nursing and assisted-living facilities.

“We’re not ready to do it by Feb. 11,” said Esformes’ defense attorney, Howard Srebnick, arguing for more time to review the patient files. “The government can choose how it wants to make its case, but it cannot choose how we defend it.”

Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article225176275.html
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