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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: 85,829

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

The Biden administration faces a gargantuan college debt crisis and there's no perfect solution

Last month, 238 organizations signed a letter to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, beseeching them to get rid of the enormous tab for federal college loan debt.

Ideally, the wipeout would happen on “Day One” of the new administration, though it would be a tough sell.

“Before the COVID-19 public health crisis began, student debt was already a drag on the national economy, weighing heaviest on Black and Latinx communities, as well as women,” wrote the groups representing civil rights advocates, consumers, labor, students, and more.

The organizations called for “bold and immediate action” to cancel existing debt, not only for student loan borrowers but also for less-noticed parent borrowers who took out “Parent PLUS” loans to help their kids go to college.

Read more: https://www.floridaphoenix.com/2020/12/30/the-biden-administration-faces-a-gargantuan-college-debt-crisis-and-theres-no-perfect-solution/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Jan 1, 2021, 07:12 AM (3 replies)

Cuellar: I intend to bring Biden cabinet members to South Texas border region

LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar says he intends to bring at least four cabinet secretaries to the South Texas border region once President-elect Biden is sworn into office.

Cuellar is critical of the way President Trump’s cabinet secretaries, when visiting the border region, would not meet with the business community or environmental leaders. Instead, he said, they only focused on the border wall, and border security issues.

The four cabinet secretaries are Deb Haaland, Biden’s pick for interior secretary, Xavier Becerra, who is set to be health and human services secretary, Marcia L. Fudge, who has been chosen to run housing and urban development, and Alejandro Mayorkas, the president-elect’s nominee to run homeland security.

All four will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate in order to take up their posts.

Read more: https://riograndeguardian.com/podcast-cuellar-i-intend-to-bring-biden-cabinet-members-to-south-texas-border-region/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Jan 1, 2021, 06:56 AM (1 replies)

Texas hits new virus hospitalization record, passing 12,000

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas hit another grim milestone Thursday when it surpassed 12,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, setting a new record high in that category for the fourth consecutive day.

Meanwhile, a Travis County district judge sided with Austin officials after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office tried to overturn a ban on late-night dine-in services on New Year’s Eve following a hearing just hours before people would normally head out for a long night of celebrations.

Judge Amy Clark Meachum ruled the Austin-area ban on dine-in eating and drinking between 10:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. each night from Thursday until Sunday morning can be enforced. At a livestreamed court hearing, the state argued that Austin’s local orders are not allowed under previous statewide orders issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Texas did not object to similar orders previously put in place by other cities, notably El Paso and San Antonio.

The Austin-area's top elected official, County Judge Andy Brown, said in a statement the ruling will “help our community slow the spread of COVID-19, while allowing businesses to safely continue their operations through takeout, drive-thru, and delivery service options.”

Read more: https://www.oaoa.com/news/state/texas-hits-new-virus-hospitalization-record-passing-12-000/article_2981ff90-2970-508e-bb99-091119878fdb.html
(Odessa American)

Texas reported 12,268 COVID patients in hospitals.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Jan 1, 2021, 06:39 AM (0 replies)

Disabled Texans worry loss of Affordable Care Act could hinder independent living

Laura Halvorson relies on two 24-hour breathing machines to keep her alive. The machines cost $2,000 per month.

They’re paid for through her insurance from the Affordable Care Act. Halvorson, who is 36 and lives in San Antonio, has muscular dystrophy, a disease that causes progressive loss of muscle mass.

For years, Halvorson was a teacher in North Texas and received health insurance through her employer. But eventually her disability progressed to the point that she could no longer work.

Now she’s worried that the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down the health care law that has helped her live independently. Without it, Halvorson fears she’ll end up in the state’s care at a nursing home.

Read more: https://www.gosanangelo.com/story/news/2020/12/31/disabled-texans-worry-losing-affordable-care-act/4104280001/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Jan 1, 2021, 05:31 AM (1 replies)

New Kansas lawmaker under court order denied committee seats

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The top Democrat in the Kansas House has refused to give an incoming lawmaker any committee assignments over issues that include an anti-stalking court order filed against him after he won his seat.

Minority Leader Tom Sawyer's action this week is a sign that he and fellow Democrats plan to oust Rep.-elect Aaron Coleman of Kansas City, Kansas, once the Republican-controlled Legislature convenes its next annual 90-day session on Jan. 11. Sawyer and seven incoming female Democratic House members have called for Coleman to resign before lawmakers convene.

The 20-year-old Coleman narrowly ousted a veteran lawmaker in the Democratic primary in August even after admitting on social media that he had circulated revenge porn as a “sick and troubled” middle school-aged boy. He faced only write-in candidates in the general election, as at least two other cases in which he was accused of threatening or abusing girls or young women came to light.

A woman who ran his primary opponent's campaign accused him of harassing her, and a judge issued a no-contact order on Dec. 4. A trial is set for March 8 to determine whether that order will remain in place longer.

Read more: https://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/New-Kansas-lawmaker-under-court-order-denied-15838696.php
(Laredo Morning Times)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Jan 1, 2021, 05:19 AM (4 replies)

Ellis County judge is suspect in vandalism of segregation-era 'negroes' sign in courthouse

WAXAHACHIE -- Controversy that recently erupted over a segregation-era historical sign in the basement of the Ellis County courthouse has taken an unusual twist following an act of vandalism.

Ellis County Judge Todd Little is a suspect along with another man in the defacement of the sign, which says “negroes,” according to court records. The criminal investigation has been turned over to Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot after Ellis County prosecutors requested an order recusing themselves, records show.

No one has been charged and it remains under investigation. Little could not be reached Thursday for comment.

Someone last month spray-painted over the sign, which hung over the spot where a water fountain once stood and was preserved as a reminder of the mistakes of the past. The sign became the center of a controversy involving Constable Curtis Polk Jr., the only Black person serving in an elected county-level position, after Polk objected around mid-November to having his office moved to the courthouse basement and having to see the sign every day.

After Polk’s story spurred a rash of negative publicity, Little offered the constable a private office in the courthouse in Waxahachie to resolve the issue. Then a YouTube video surfaced that apparently shows Little urging another man, Ernest Henry Walker, to spray-paint over the sign, according to Ellis County court records.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2020/12/31/ellis-county-judge-is-suspect-in-vandalism-of-segregation-era-negroes-sign-in-courthouse/

Judge rejects Paxton bid to overturn Austin business curfew; appeal expected

A Travis County judge on Thursday rejected a bid by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to block Austin and Travis County pandemic-related orders that disallow dine-in service after 10:30 a.m. over the next three nights.

"The Court finds the State has not demonstrated a probable right to the relief sought nor imminent and irreparable harm," District Judge Amy Clark Meachum wrote in a two-page letter delivered little more than an hour after a 2½-hour virtual hearing ended.

A longer ruling will be filed in the future, the judge wrote.

Officials with the attorney general's office said earlier Thursday that if unsuccessful before Meachum, they would seek immediate reversal from the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals, taking the matter to the Texas Supreme Court if necessary.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2020/12/31/judge-hear-texas-ag-bid-overturn-austin-business-curfew/4099425001/

An obvious typo in the first paragraph, it should state 10:30 p.m.
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