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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: 85,803

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

As It Fights Ebola, Presbyterian Sends Medical Students and Non-Essential Workers Home

As Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital becomes the epicenter of the American Ebola scare, Texas Woman's University announced yesterday that all "non-essential personnel" had been suspended until further notice from the East Dallas hospital. The university referred specifically to the 90 TWU students this decision would effect, but the announcement of the closure touches on just one more way hospital business has taken a hit in the last two weeks.

While the hospital declined to comment on what exactly the removal of these workers entails, the move can be likened to the emergency preparedness plans which remove non-essential personnel from the hospital in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Not only does the move indicate the hospital's level of concern for further spread within the hospital, the potential for spread is now considered an emergency.

Dr. Forney Fleming, Director of the Healthcare Management Program at UT Dallas, says essential workers who remain at the hospital likely includes anyone involved in direct patient care. "There's a large number of workers who would fall into the non-essential category. So for example there's the IT department, the HR department, the quality improvement department, the students," he says. "Probably they want to take out as many bodies there as they possibly can until they determine how this young lady contracted the virus."

It's the big unknown that clearly has administration at the nonprofit hospital so scared that they're willing to incur revenue losses. And Fleming says in just the two weeks since Duncan fell ill, these losses are likely substantial.

Read more: http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2014/10/presbyterian_hospital_business_suffers_after_enacting_emergency_preparedness_measures.php

Mike Collier for Comptroller Ad: Pokes fun at opponent's ag roots

KUT's political reporter Ben Philpott: Collier is an accountant. He made partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers in Houston and was also CFO of a Texas oil company. And he's focused his campaign on his experience. He released a new ad this week taking a jab at his opponent's work as a farmer and highlighting his work as an accountant. [font color=green](His opponent is Glenn Hegar who wrote the state's new abortion law in the 2013 special session.)[/font]

Collier would say he has the experience needed to put his ideas to work. His plan, like Hegar's, focuses on ending waste and abuse in state spending. He also wants to bring back the Texas Performance Review, which is an audit of state agencies and programs that focuses on wasted spending. Those reviews were removed from the Comptroller's office when lawmakers thought a previous office holder, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, was using them for political gain.

On the campaign trail, Collier likes to highlight mistakes made by the current Comptroller, Susan Combs. That includes the data breach that left the social security numbers of millions of current and former government employees unprotected, and the office's 2011 revenue estimate that ended up being wrong by $11 billion. That estimate, in part, lead to massive education cuts and a $15 billion dollar cut in the state budget.

Voters will have a chance to see how these candidate stack up in a debate on October 29th. It's being hosted by [strike]our friends over at[/strike] Time Warner Cable News.

The complete article is at http://kut.org/post/whos-running-texas-comptroller-also-what-heck-comptroller .

“We are deeply sorry”: Top official at Presbyterian to offer mea culpa to Congress on Thursday

The chief clinical officer at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas will offer a mea culpa Thursday to a U.S. House committee over the initial misdiagnosis of the Ebola patient who died last week at the hospital.

A transcript of testimony by Dr. Daniel Varga was to be presented before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. It was posted online Wednesday. In it Varga apologized for not delivering the remarks in person.

“Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes,” the statement reads. “We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola.

“We are deeply sorry.”

Read more: http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2014/10/we-are-deeply-sorry-top-official-at-presbyterian-hospital-to-deliver-mea-culpa-before-congress.html/

Abortion clinics plan to reopen, but women are left in limbo

AUSTIN–Women are left confused while several Texas abortion clinics prepare to reopen following a Supreme Court order that halted part of the state’s new abortion law from taking affect pending appeal.

Texas was left with eight abortion clinics after new restrictions went into effect earlier this month forcing over a dozen clinics to cancel appointments and shut their doors.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, 15 clinics could reopen while appeals are heard, but none have yet. Abortion providers and supporters worry that the changing clinic status’ are confusing women.

Whole Woman’s Health in Fort Worth and Routh Street Women’s Clinic in Dallas both plan to reopen, but have not yet announced when.

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/10/clinics-plan-to-reopen-but-women-are-left-in-limbo.html/

Fed judge approves $20M bonuses for Energy Future Holding (formerly TXU) execs in bankruptcy hearing

A U.S. bankruptcy judge has approved Energy Future Holding’s plan to award $20 million in bonuses to top executives despite objections from the federal bankruptcy advocate’s office.

At a hearing in Wilmington, Del. Wednesday afternoon, Judge Christopher Sontchi said the bonus programs met legal standards in that it incentivized performance and was not designed solely to keep executives from leaving the company.

“After applying the most stringent test…. I find each plan easily and overwhelmingly meets the standard,” Sontchi said. “It is not a close call.”

EFH, the former TXU Corp., filed for bankruptcy in April, seven years after it was taken private for $45 billion, the largest leveraged buyout in U.S. history.

Read more: http://bizbeatblog.dallasnews.com/2014/10/federal-judge-approves-efh-20-million-executive-bonus-plan.html/

Dallas County to discuss requesting an emergency declaration from the state because of Ebola

The Dallas County Commissioners Court is planning to call a special meeting for Thursday to discuss whether to request that Gov. Rick Perry declare a local emergency because of the Ebola crisis.

The meeting will be at 2 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 411 Elm Street in Dallas.

According to state law, a declaration of emergency “activates the appropriate recovery and rehabilitation aspects of all applicable local or interjurisdictional emergency management plans and authorizes the furnishing of aid and assistance under the declaration.”

In addition, the law says, “the county judge or mayor of a municipality may control ingress to and egress from a disaster area under the jurisdiction and authority of the county judge or mayor and control the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises in that area.”

The declarations last up to seven days, and can be renewed by the Commissioners Court for longer than that. County officials didn’t immediately return calls seeking an explanation. It’s unclear what they will seek to do with the emergency declaration.


[font color=green]Aren't the Texas National Guard members protecting the border?[/font]

Texas voter ID case appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court

Opponents of Texas’ voter identification law asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to block an order from a lower court that gave the go-ahead to keep the state’s strict voter ID law in place for the Nov. 4 election.

Gerry Hebert and other lawyers representing the lead plaintiffs in the case — which include U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, and the League of United Latin American Citizens — filed an emergency application with the high court to reject action that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals took Tuesday to revive the voter ID law in Texas.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers wrote in their filing that allowing voter ID to stay in effect will lead to “significantly more voter confusion,” compared with blocking it.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who is the charge of the appeals circuit that includes Texas, didn’t make a decision Wednesday, but he gave the state until 4 p.m. Thursday to respond to the plaintiffs’ filing.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/texas-voter-id-case-appealed-to-the-us-supreme-cou/nhj6n/

Group moves to force action on TX SC Justice Nathan Hecht ethics fine; asks for Abbott's recusal

An Austin legal watchdog group filed suit Wednesday to force action on a $29,000 ethics fine, levied against Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht in 2008, that has languished on appeal for 5˝ years.

The motion from Texans for Public Justice seeks to remove Attorney General Greg Abbott from the case, saying Abbott has violated his legal duties by failing to pursue the case on behalf of the Texas Ethics Commission, which levied the fine.

“(Abbott) has helped his friend, former colleague and political ally by allowing the case to be inactive and dormant,” the motion said.

After a rare public hearing in 2008, the ethics commission ruled that Hecht — the longest serving Supreme Court justice in Texas history — violated campaign finance rules by getting a large discount on legal fees in 2006.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/group-moves-to-force-action-on-nathan-hecht-ethics/nhjs6/

Frisco police: Cowboys’ Joseph Randle arrested Monday, charged with theft

Dallas Cowboys backup running back Joseph Randle was arrested Monday night after Frisco police say he shoplifted a bottle of cologne and a pack of underwear from the Dillard’s at Stonebriar Mall.

Randle, 22, was booked into the Frisco City Jail on a Class B misdemeanor charge of theft. He was released early Tuesday after posting $350 bail, police said.

Officers were called to the Dillard’s department store at 8:17 p.m. after the store’s loss prevention employees detained Randle at the mall, Frisco police spokesman Chad LaPrelle said.

Police said Randle attempted to steal a two-pack of Polo underwear worth $39.50 and a tester bottle of Gucci Guilty Black cologne valued at $84.

Read more: http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2014/10/cowboys-joseph-randle-arrested-monday-charged-with-theft.html/

[font color=green]Randle has a base salary of $495,000 for this season.[/font]

Judge will not rule on motions until Perry shows up in court

Rick Perry will appear later this month in court on charges he abused his power, one of his lawyers said Monday morning as a visiting judge signaled he would not rule on any pretrial motions until the governor showed up.

The judge, Bert Richardson of San Antonio, had excused Perry from coming to court Monday morning. The governor is in Europe on a state economic mission.

Michael McCrum, the special prosecutor handling the indictment against Perry, told Richardson he plans to respond to the pretrial motions within the coming weeks. Perry's lawyers have argued the case should be dismissed because McCrum was not properly sworn in, among other reasons.

Richardson scheduled the next court date for Oct. 31. At that time, the court will address the claim about McCrum, as well as Perry's request to have the judge order a transcript of grand jury testimony to be produced.

Anthony Buzbee, one of Perry's lawyers, told reporters the governor will be present in court on Oct. 31.


[font color=green]Everybody charged with a crime deserves their day in court. The publicity should doom any Perry presidential campaign. It's nice to know that the court date is just before the election.[/font]
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