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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
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Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,960

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

Pete Buttigieg coming to Rev. Barber's church as Democrats compete for black voters

RALEIGH -- Black voters are a major Democratic voting bloc, and a few months before the presidential primaries, candidates are courting the African-American community.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg will visit North Carolina on Dec. 1 and attend the church led by the Rev. William Barber II, former state NAACP president and founder of Moral Mondays.

In South Carolina, one of the first states to vote and one where Buttigieg hasn’t been polling well among black voters, the candidate spoke in October at a Rock Hill church.

It’s a good strategy, as long as it’s not his campaign’s only outreach to African Americans, theologian J. Kameron Carter said.

Read more: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article237748079.html

Legal settlement will keep Confederate statue off UNC campus

RALEIGH - The University of North Carolina announced Wednesday that a torn-down Confederate monument won't return to campus under a legal agreement that hands over the "Silent Sam" statue to a group of Confederate descendants.

The University of North Carolina System said in a news release that a judge approved a settlement giving possession of the monument to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who will keep the statue outside the 14 counties where there are university system campuses. Silent Sam stood in a main quad of the flagship Chapel Hill campus for more than a century before it was toppled in 2018 by protesters.

The announcement comes after the university and statewide Board of Governors spent more than a year grappling with what to do with the prominent but divisive monument, a challenging period during which the Chapel Hill chancellor resigned and the campus police chief who oversaw the response to statue's toppling retired.

Under the agreement, university officials also will create a $2.5 million private fund that can be used for expenses related to preserving the monument or potentially building a facility to house it. No state money will be used to build the fund, the news release said.

Read more: https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2019/11/27/settlement-keep-silent-sam-confederate-statue-off-unc-campus/4323097002/
(Ashewille Citizen-Times)

Eviction City

Organizers behind a Richmond coalition call for officials to address the needs of displaced public housing residents.

If Navy Hill is built, expect displacement and evictions to rise, say organizers with Richmond for All, coalition formed last year to protest inadequate heat for hundreds of public housing residents. Now its fighting public housing evictions and Navy Hill, the proposed $1.5 billion dollar megaproject that would require public financing through an 80-block tax increment financing zone downtown.

Nearly a hundred activists gather in front of City Hall before a Nov. 12 City Council meeting to protest Navy Hill. Among the crowd are many of the same activists who rallied in front of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority headquarters in January and who mobilized to fight evictions of as many as one in eight Creighton Court residents recently.

Omari Al-Qadaffi, a longtime public housing organizer, says that Navy Hill is part of a long-standing plan by the housing authority to demolish public housing.

“The plan was formulated by [former authority chief executive] T.K. Somanath, and he’s the affordable housing consultant for Navy Hill,” Al-Qadaffi says. He points to the recent evictions in Creighton Court as phase one. “They think they’re going to redevelop Creighton Court first, so the evictions and vacancy rates are highest there.”

Read more: https://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/eviction-city/Content?oid=15340683

Will Virginia legalize marijuana now that the Democrats are the majority?

Democrats managed to flip the Virginia House and Senate in this month’s election, taking control of state government for the first time in more than two decades.

What does that blue map mean for legalizing marijuana?

A reader wondered and wrote to The Pilot’s Glad You Asked initiative.

Attorney General Mark Herring believes that the state is ready to decriminalize and legalize marijuana. He said that past bills have been bottled up by Republican-controlled committees, but now that leadership is changing, we may see a different outcome.

“Now that Democrats are in the majority, I think we’ve got a real opportunity to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and I hope we will take real, concrete steps toward legal and regulated adult use,” he said in an interview. “Polling shows that the vast majority of Virginians support decriminalization and a solid majority support legalization.”

Read more: https://www.dailypress.com/ask/vp-nw-fz-marijuana-legalization-20191129-czyh3e5dszewdacgadfwkultpm-story.html

McAuliffe hire suggests he is interested in a second bid for Virginia governor

RICHMOND, Va. - Former governor Terry McAuliffe is staffing up his political action committee, a move that suggests the Democrat is interested in another run for the Executive Mansion in 2021.

McAuliffe, whose term ended in January 2018, has hired Chris Bolling, executive director of the state Democratic party, to lead Common Good VA PAC. The PAC has been without full-time staff since McAuliffe announced in April that he would not run for president in 2020.

McAuliffe has spent much of the past year campaigning and raising money to help Democrats win majorities in the state House of Delegates and Senate in November. The former governor's unusually active role in the elections - assumed when his successor, Gov. Ralph Northam, was sidelined by a blackface scandal, and maintained even after the Democrat largely recovered - has fed speculation that McAuliffe was mulling a comeback.

Virginia is the only state that bars governors from serving back-to-back terms. But governors are free to run again after a break. In modern times, Virginia has had just one two-term governor: Mills Godwin, who served from 1966 to 1970 as a Democrat and from 1974 to 1978 as a Republican.

Read more: https://www.fredericksburg.com/news/government-politics/mcauliffe-hire-suggests-he-is-interested-in-a-second-bid/article_2668c444-0d6a-11ea-a4c4-834ce57b136c.html

House Democrats have passed nearly 400 bills. Trump and Republicans are ignoring them.

There’s a pervasive sense of legislative paralysis gripping Capitol Hill. And it’s been there long before the impeachment inquiry began.

For months, President Donald Trump has fired off tweet missives accusing House Democrats of “getting nothing done in Congress,” and being consumed with impeachment.

Trump may want to look to the Republican-controlled Senate instead. Democrats in the House have been passing bills at a rapid clip; as of November 15, the House has passed nearly 400 bills, not including resolutions. But the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee estimates 80 percent of those bill have hit a snag in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is prioritizing confirming judges over passing bills.

Congress has passed just 70 bills into law this year. Granted, it still has one more year in its term, but the number pales in comparison to recent past sessions of Congress, which typically see 300-500 bills passed in two years (and that is even a diminished number from the 700-800 bills passed in the 1970s and 1980s).

Read more: https://www.vox.com/2019/11/29/20977735/how-many-bills-passed-house-democrats-trump

'This is racist,' IMPEACH TRUMP' spraypainted on Lee statue

CHARLOTTESVILLE -- The downtown statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee has been vandalized again.

Someone painted “this is racist” on the Downtown Mall side of the statue’s base on Thursday night. The other side was tagged with “IMPEACH TRUMP.”

Charlottesville officials placed tarps over the graffiti because city offices were closed Friday and no one was available to clean them.

City spokesman Brian Wheeler said parks and recreation staff will remove the graffiti on Monday and that it could be “time consuming.”

Read more: https://www.roanoke.com/news/virginia/this-is-racist-impeach-trump-spraypainted-on-lee-statue/article_f1d2ab0c-51ec-5d1e-b941-cd41a752fa51.html
(Roanoke Times)

The base of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was covered by Charlottesville officials on Friday after “this is racist” and “IMPEACH TRUMP” were spray-painted on it.
NOLAN STOUT | The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress

The most popular liquor in every Virginia city and county

Every year, Virginia’s state-run liquor monopoly puts out a roster of its best-selling products. And this year, just like the year before, Tito’s Handmade Vodka took the top spot.

But those overall sales figures conceal a rich and varied tapestry of local liquor preference.

Courtesy of freshly compiled data by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, here’s a never-before-seen look at which booze brands residents of every city and county spent the most money on during the fiscal year that ended June 2019.

It’s Tito’s in the suburbs.

There are some exceptions — rural Bath County, for instance, which perhaps not coincidentally is home to the luxury Omni Homestead Resort — but the state’s suburbs and Northern Virginia in particular go hard on Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Read more: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2019/11/27/map-the-most-popular-liquor-in-every-virginia-city-and-county/

Asbestos awareness, damage assessment begin in Port Neches

PORT NECHES — Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick asked residents of Port Neches, Groves, Nederland and northern Port Arthur returning following the lift of an evacuation order to be aware of the most immediate health threats — asbestos and contaminated debris.

“There was a pretty profound explosion that threw debris all over the city of Port Neches and maybe parts of Nederland and Port Arthur,” Branick said Friday. “As people return to their homes, they need to survey their yards and it’s conditions.”

Asbestos, which is a naturally occurring mineral often used as an effective insulator, can be deadly when someone inhales, ingests or comes into contact with the fibers.

Asbestos is noted as having a white, chalky type exterior. Branick said tenants should be on the lookout for a blanketed effect, blocks or dust that can be harmful.

Read more: https://www.panews.com/2019/11/29/asbestos-awareness-damage-assessment-begin/
(Port Arthur News)

Union Pacific attempts to scrap job contract

Union Pacific Railroad is suing the city of Palestine to scrap a 150-year-old contract that now guarantees the employment of dozens of local residents.

If the courts rule in Union Pacific's favor, it would threaten more than 60 jobs that pay an average of $65,000 a year. The local economy would take an annual hit of nearly $5 million.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, alleges the railroad's contract with Palestine should have been invalidated several times over the years, including in the 1970's, when the federal Surface Transportation Board became the nation's regulating authority; and in 1997, when Union Pacific merged with the Missouri-Pacific Railroad.

Railroads are federally regulated, railroad officials argued, and the local contract limits the company's options.

Read more: https://www.palestineherald.com/community/railroad-attempts-to-scrap-job-contract/article_385bb732-12f7-11ea-a2a2-5fc3f255f6e0.html
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