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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: 85,801

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

Appeals court: Texas Democrats cannot sue for legal fees

A state appeals court Friday tossed out a Texas Democratic Party lawsuit seeking state money for legal fees resulting from the federal court battle over redistricting maps drawn in 2011.

Democrats argued that $88,425 in litigation fees — incurred because the party was named in several lawsuits and intervened in others — were eligible for reimbursement under the Texas Election Code because the expenses were necessary to hold the 2012 primaries.

The party sued after the secretary of state denied the payment.

On Friday, the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin dismissed the Democrats’ lawsuit, ruling that the party failed to include legal fees when it submitted its first estimate of election-related expenses.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/appeals-court-texas-democrats-cannot-sue-for-legal/nhrN3/

Might surprise some supporters, but Abbott supports abortion for the first 5 months of pregnancy

Candidates on both sides in the governor’s race in Texas have handled the divisive issue of abortion gingerly. Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott have staked out very different positions. She’s for abortion rights, he’s against them. But largely lost in all the talking points is an area where both candidates actually agree.

Both Davis and Abbott supports the right of a woman to get an abortion for any reason, without restriction, during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. That’s the law as passed by the Legislature. And while it might come as a surprise to some supporters, Abbott’s campaign says he’s not just defending it as attorney general, but he supports it.

The Texas law HB2, which is in court, adds restrictions on abortion clinics, requires doctors to have admitting privileges to local hospitals and outlaws most abortions 20 weeks after fertilization. But for the first five months of pregnancy, it’s legal for a woman to get an abortion to 20 weeks after fertilization. “Greg Abbott supports HB2,” said Abbott campaign spokeswoman Amelia Chasse.

Chasse said Abbott is defending the law in court as the attorney general. As governor, if he’s elected, she said, “He will continue to support it” if it remains the law, including the ability to get an abortion for five months as consistent with the Supreme Court ruling in the case.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/donald-r-may/2014-10-24/wake-time-america#comment-353250

Strict Texas Law Makes Ebola Lawsuits Unlikely

One of the unexpected lessons from the Ebola cases in Dallas may well be how thoroughly Texas protects hospitals—and their insurance companies—from answering for critical lapses in care.

When Thomas Eric Duncan entered the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital’s emergency room on Sept. 25 with a fever and complaining of stomach pain, there’s a chance that proper treatment might have saved him from the Ebola virus that would kill him 13 days later. Instead, the Liberian man was sent home with only painkillers and antibiotics. Duncan’s family and his fiancée are haunted by the question of whether Duncan might have survived had he been properly diagnosed. Executives at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital have admitted to mistakes and apologized to Duncan’s family.

But should Duncan’s family members seek more than an apology, and ask the courts to hold the hospital accountable for its missteps, they won’t find much recourse under Texas law. Neither will the nurses who contracted Ebola while treating Duncan, apparently for a time without sufficient safety gear, nor will anyone who might have contracted the virus from them later.

Thanks to a number of Texas court decisions and laws—including a sweeping 2003 Republican-led tort reform effort—lawyers say it’s unlikely that Presbyterian faces serious legal risk from the Ebola cases or others like them. Even if the hospital were found liable in court, the damages would be limited. Without the threat of expensive litigation, critics of tort reform argue, hospitals face little consequence for turning away sick, uninsured patients, even ones with Ebola.

Read more: http://www.texasobserver.org/ebola-dallas-tort-reform/

Halloween Hearing for Perry Postponed

Gov. Rick Perry won't be making a Halloween court appearance after all.

The Oct. 31 hearing that had been scheduled in Perry's criminal case has been rescheduled for Nov. 6 at 10 a.m., a court employee confirmed.

Perry will be attending the hearing because his legal team is raising an evidentiary issue and visiting Judge Bert Richardson has ruled that requires the governor's presence.

Perry's defense attorneys have made a motion that the indictment against the governor should be dismissed, alleging that San Antonio lawyer Michael McCrum was improperly sworn in to prosecute the criminal case. They say McCrum is "acting illegally" because procedural requirements were "overlooked."

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2014/10/22/no-halloween-hearing-perry/

Tyler, Texas man guilty of intentionally scalding child

TYLER, TEXAS -- UPDATE: Timothy Choice was found guilty this afternoon of a felony charge of intentionally and knowingly causing serious bodily injury to a child, a felony offense. The Smith County jury hearing the case deliberated for about 90 minutes before returning the verdict. Sentencing is expected to begin tomorrow.


A Smith County jury began hearing testimony Tuesday in a child abuse case in which the defendant is accused of immersing a toddler’s feet in scalding water because the child urinated on himself instead of using the toilet.

The 2-year-old boy suffered severe second-degree burns to his feet and was transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas following the July 1, 2013 incident. Timothy Choice, 25, was charged with felony injury of a child with serious bodily injury.

Choice, who has been confined in the Smith County Jail on a $500,000 bond since his arrest in 2013, sat and listened to the testimony of the child’s mother and his one-time girlfriend Toni Martin.

Ms. Martin told the courtroom that she and Choice met on Facebook while she was living with another man, and that the 2-year-old child was originally thought to be Choice’s child, but DNA testing ruled him out as the father.

Read more: http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/207247/update-man-guilty-of-intentionally-scalding-child

Sherwin Alumina workers locked out after contract negotiations break down

GREGORY, TEXAS – Hundreds of workers have been locked out of Sherwin Alumina after contract negotiations broke down last weekend.

The Gregory plant’s officials have been negotiating with employees and their union—Local Union 235A—to construct a new contract since July 8. The previous contract expired Sept. 30, and contract terms were not agreed upon.

Rey Herrera, vice president for Local Union 235A, said the company locked out 452 workers after contract negotiations fell through.

“We turned down the company’s last proposal Friday, and the company locked us out at 5 p.m. Saturday,” Herrera said. “We said we would come to work and keep negotiating, but it was their choice to lock us out.”

Read more: http://mysoutex.com/view/full_story_sanpat/25979003/article-Sherwin-Alumina-workers-locked-out-after-contract-negotiations-break-down?instance=local_area

Militia member (a felon) arrested on gun charge

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS -- Accused of a federal gun violation, a militia member was arrested Monday in Brownsville by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, authorities said.

Kevin Lyndel Massey, 48, is accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm, authorities said.

ATF spokeswoman Nicole Strong said the arrest was the result of an investigation that began months ago when a U.S. Border Patrol agent encountered an armed militia man and fired several shots near the Texas-Mexico border on Aug. 28.

The Associated Press reported that Border Patrol Spokesman Omar Zamora said agents had been chasing a group of immigrants east of Brownsville when an agent saw a man holding a gun near the Rio Grande. The agent reportedly fired four shots but did not hit the man.

Strong stated that the ATF was alerted to Massey’s possession of a firearm by Border Patrol agents. Strong said authorities obtained a search warrant for Massey’s vehicle and discovered he was carrying a pistol at the time of his arrest.

Read more: http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_8225500a-5996-11e4-8635-0017a43b2370.html

Control Eluded State Leaders in Ebola Crisis (Perry Could have Quarantined Healthcare Workers)

When the Ebola virus first arrived in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry greeted the grave news with trademark swagger.

“There is no place in the world, I will suggest to you, that has better professionals, better ability to address this, than in Texas,” he said at a hastily called press conference, one day after Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan tested positive for Ebola while in isolation at a Dallas hospital.

Three weeks later, that early ebullience stands in stark contrast to the blame shifting and hand wringing that has broken out since Duncan died and two caregivers who contracted the disease were transferred to better-equipped hospitals in other states.

Lessons are being learned from mistakes, Perry has readily admitted. But as public concern about the disease grows, he and other Texas leaders are pointing fingers at the Obama administration, asking for a ban on most flights from West Africa and criticizing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for weak oversight.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2014/10/22/texas-issued-few-control-orders-ebola-crisis/

Analysis: Texas could see biggest drop in federal health funds

Texas could see the biggest drop of any state next year when it comes to federal funding for emergency public health threats, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News.

The Lone Star State was where Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person in the United States to be diagnosed with Ebola and the first to die from the disease. Health officials acknowledge the Dallas hospital where he was admitted flubbed his treatment, resulting in the infections of two nurses.

In fiscal 2014, Texas received more than $37,450,000 from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program. For fiscal 2015, President Obama proposed to decrease Texas’s grant by 8.1 percent to just over $34,450,000.

The program provides grants to state and local public health departments to “effectively respond to a range of public health threats, including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological events,” CDC says on its website.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/finance/221394-analysis-texas-could-see-biggest-drop-in-federal-health-funds
(My apologies since I consider The Hill to lean toward right wingers)

San Antonio Police Department Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio Police Department issued more than 12,000 citations for violations of city laws aimed at discouraging the homeless and poor from hanging out downtown or asking for donations. The crimes include aggressive solicitation—seeking donations in an intimidating manner—but also any solicitation within forbidden zones, camping in a public place, littering, spitting, urinating or defecating in public, disorderly conduct and sitting or lying in the right of way.

All of these violations are Class C misdemeanors, some punishable by fines of up to $200 apiece and others up to $500 each.

In the recent debate over San Antonio Police Chief William McManus’ ill-fated proposal to ticket individuals who give to panhandlers, the police maintained that they are focused on a class of individuals who aren’t truly homeless, but who are essentially low-level con artists, seeking charity that they then spend on cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.

“I’ve been working the streets for 40 years, and in four cities, and I see what happens to the majority of money that goes to panhandlers,” McManus told the Current in September. “A few people may need a buck to go buy a burger, but the vast majority of people are using that money to buy alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.”

Read more: http://sacurrent.com/news/sapd-issues-thousands-of-tickets-for-homelessness-1.1774819
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