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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,961

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

Ted Cruz provokes outrage for attacking Bernie over the "socialist breadline" at Detroit food pantry

When it comes to discussing left-wing politics, conservatives never hesitate before jumping straight to absurd hyperbole. Every reasonable proposal to help improve ordinary people’s lives and raise their standard of living to that enjoyed by the rest of the developed world is immediately condemned by right-wingers an attempt to install Stalinism and will immediately turn the United States into a wasteland of empty stores and breadlines.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) attempted to mock democratic socialists Bernie Sanders and Rashida Tlaib for holding a media appearance at a food pantry, with the camera revealing empty shelves behind him. Without a second thought, the insufferable and remarkably uncreative Texas Senator immediately took to Twitter to go AHA! See! Empty shelves for socialism!

https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/1189265096817725440

Of course, his “argument” about the wonders of capitalism was contradicted by the picture itself. Sanders and Tlaib were at a food pantry in the city of Detroit, which was very much in the capitalist United States the last time we checked.

Artificial scarcity of food is a feature, not a bug, of modern capitalism, and is the reason that food pantries exist at all. Thanks to Republicans like Ted Cruz and the complicity of right-wing “Democrats,” wages in America have remained stagnant for decades while the cost of living soars. Almost half of all Americans can’t afford to pay for basic needs like food and shelter. 13 million American kids live in food-insecure households.

Read more: https://washingtonpress.com/2019/10/30/ted-cruz-provokes-outrage-for-attacking-bernie-over-the-socialist-breadline-at-detroit-food-pantry/

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Bill and Hillary Clinton reminisce about her nomination

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she knew there was concern about President Bill Clinton nominating a 60-year-old to the Supreme Court when he picked her in 1993.

“Some people thought I was too old for the job,” Ginsburg said Wednesday night during a conversation with Clinton and Hillary Clinton at Georgetown Law Center in Washington. She paused a beat.

“If you worried about my age, it was unnecessary,” she said.

Ginsburg is now 86 and entering her 27th year on the court. She and the Clintons reminisced about the old days at an annual lecture named for her.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/ruth-bader-ginsburg-bill-and-hillary-clinton-reminisce-about-her-nomination/2019/10/30/57bd1014-fb67-11e9-ac8c-8eced29ca6ef_story.html

How a young Baltimore legislator became the Democrats' pick to lead the Maryland Senate

Less than a month ago, a behind-the-scenes race to become the next president of the Maryland Senate was deadlocked.

Four prominent senators who had declared their candidacies behind the scenes were unable to gain a consensus on who should succeed the powerful Thomas V. Mike Miller, a state political legend who has led the Senate for more than three decades but is suffering from cancer and was considering stepping aside.

That’s when Sen. Delores Kelley intervened. The Baltimore County legislator, 83, is known as the “Dean of the Senate.” She’s also chairwoman of the Finance Committee.

Kelley called Sen. Bill Ferguson, a 36-year-old from Baltimore, and asked him to run.

Read more: https://www.baltimoresun.com/politics/bs-md-pol-ferguson-kelley-tick-tock-20191029-ve3spa7nhnaqfhywsseck7pgai-story.html

Ex-lawmaker's campaign treasurer charged with misusing funds

A former Maryland state lawmaker’s campaign treasurer has been charged with misusing campaign funds, the same charge to which the legislator recently pleaded guilty.

Federal prosecutors filed a wire fraud charge against Anitra Edmond on Monday, less than two weeks after former state Del. Tawanna Gaines pleaded guilty to a related charge that she used campaign funds for her personal benefit.

Since 2005, Edmond has been treasurer of "Friends of Tawanna P. Gaines," the Prince George's County Democrat's campaign committee, a court filing says. Edmond also took campaign funds for her personal use and failed to disclose contributions on state campaign finance reports, the filing says.

Stuart Berman, an attorney for Edmond, said in an email Tuesday that he and his client have no comment.

Read more: https://www.capitalgazette.com/politics/bs-md-pol-lawmaker-resigns-20191030-4ytocft5pbdjzkij5nf6id5ire-story.html
(Annapolis Capital Gazette)

Beto O'Rourke Visits Newtown to Discuss Gun Violence Prevention

A Democratic presidential candidate made a stop in Newtown on Wednesday. In an event closed to the public, Beto O'Rourke discussed gun violence prevention.

"Having someone like him be the voice for people that can't speak anymore and be the voice for people who have lost loved ones, it just really means the world to me," said Newtown resident Heidi Alvarez.

Alvarez says her sister was at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. While she survived the shooting, Alvarez's favorite teacher, Victoria Soto, did not.

"She was very, very special to me, and I looked up to her all the time. And I had issues when I was little, and she would always come and support me and give me all the love. And she cared so much about me, and I just miss her so much," said Alvarez.

Read more: https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Beto-ORourke-Visits-Newtown-to-Discuss-Gun-Violence-Prevention-564139601.html

Beto O'Rourke Visits Newtown to Discuss Gun Violence Prevention

A Democratic presidential candidate made a stop in Newtown on Wednesday. In an event closed to the public, Beto O'Rourke discussed gun violence prevention.

"Having someone like him be the voice for people that can't speak anymore and be the voice for people who have lost loved ones, it just really means the world to me," said Newtown resident Heidi Alvarez.

Alvarez says her sister was at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. While she survived the shooting, Alvarez's favorite teacher, Victoria Soto, did not.

"She was very, very special to me, and I looked up to her all the time. And I had issues when I was little, and she would always come and support me and give me all the love. And she cared so much about me, and I just miss her so much," said Alvarez.

Read more: https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Beto-ORourke-Visits-Newtown-to-Discuss-Gun-Violence-Prevention-564139601.html

Uncertainty Over Retiree Benefits Isn't Causing Mass Exodus, State Budget Chief Says

Despite workers’ concerns about the future of the state’s retiree health benefits program, government agencies are not seeing a wave of retirements, a legislative panel was told on Tuesday.

Changes to the state’s prescription drug benefits – passed by the General Assembly in 2011 to take effect in 2018 – have angered retirees and spooked active employees, particularly those who are closing in on retirement.

The changes also sparked a lawsuit, Fitch et al v. Maryland.

Plaintiffs in that suit, which was filed last fall, won an injunction that stopped the state reform from taking place. The shift – intended to save Maryland taxpayers billions of dollars – would have moved Medicare-eligible retirees from a state plan to the federal program.

Maryland Budget and Management Secretary David R. Brinkley acknowledged Tuesday that the changes and subsequent lawsuit have created confusion for current and former state employees.

Read more: https://www.marylandmatters.org/2019/10/29/uncertainty-over-retiree-benefits-isnt-causing-mass-exodus-state-budget-chief-says/

Hogan Declines to Address Kirwan Commission, Tensions Simmer

Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. won’t accept an invitation to address a state commission proposing far-reaching education reforms.

William E. “Brit” Kirwan sent a letter to Hogan late last week inviting the governor to address the full commission “to find common ground” on the policy recommendations and a new education funding formula to pay for them.

Hogan declined to meet with the group Wednesday through a letter from Budget Secretary David R. Brinkley, the governor’s appointee to the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education.

The letter states that the commission’s “sole focus” for the rest of its meetings through November should be on financial transparency and accountability.

Read more: https://www.marylandmatters.org/2019/10/30/hogan-declines-to-address-kirwan-commission-tensions-simmer/

Unions: State Workforce Shortages Leading to Dangerous Conditions

The shortage of 2,000 state employees in critical places like prisons and psychiatric hospitals is leading to unmanageable workloads and dangerous working conditions, members of the state’s largest employee union told lawmakers on Tuesday.

Jeremy Jeffers, a resident adviser at the Victor Cullen Center, a youth detention facility in Frederick County, said employees are drafted to work 16-hour shifts multiple times a week. On days when there isn’t enough staff to fully cover positions, Cullen Center residents don’t get classroom time and instead have school lessons dropped off without instruction. At the facility, Jeffers said he’s been assaulted multiple times, resulting in a partially amputated finger, several concussions, torn ligaments and a fractured ankle.

Rownite Stevens, a correctional officer at Eastern Correctional Institute in Westover, said an “extreme staffing shortage has dire consequences for the inmates who we are in charge of supervising.”

Medical appointments are delayed when there aren’t enough officers for escorts. Inmates are unsafe in the yard if there aren’t enough correctional officers to supervise. Stevens said a fight last week drew a large contingent of responding officers, leaving her and two other officers to supervise almost 400 inmates on their own.

Read more: https://www.marylandmatters.org/2019/10/30/unions-state-workforce-shortages-leading-to-dangerous-conditions/

Maryland approves $9 million settlement for five wrongly convicted men

The state of Maryland on Wednesday approved payments of about $9 million to five wrongly convicted men, including about $3 million — the state’s largest-ever such settlement — to a man who spent 39 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

The settlements, passed on a unanimous vote by the Board of Public Works, amount to $78,916 for each year of wrongful incarceration. They will be paid out in installments — by July, 2021 for two of the men, and July, 2025 for the other three.

It is the first time in 15 years the state has approved compensation to exonerees seeking redress. The vote signals the end of a protracted journey for the men, who served a collective 120 years in prison and waited as long as 20 months for the state to respond to their petitions.

“This is a huge development for James. It means life or death for him,” said Kristen Lloyd, an attorney for Hubert James Williams, 68, who is being treated for drug addiction and has frequently been homeless since his release. “It means he won’t be living on the streets, and he can get the help that he has desperately needed.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/maryland-offers-about-9-million-to-five-wrongly-convicted-men/2019/10/29/7fec4c46-f994-11e9-8906-ab6b60de9124_story.html
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