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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: 76,960

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

Progressive Christmas Carols



...done in four-part harmony!

Texas Drops Planned Parenthood From HIV Prevention Program

Amid an ongoing battle over Planned Parenthood’s participation in the state Medicaid program, Texas health officials are cutting off funding to a Planned Parenthood affiliate for an HIV prevention program.

In a notice received by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast late Monday, an official with the Department of State Health Services informed the Houston-based provider that it would not renew its contract for HIV prevention services.

The long-standing grant, which funds HIV testing and prevention services, was set to expire on Dec. 31, according to the notice which was obtained by the Texas Tribune.

“There will be no further renewals of this contract,” a DSHS official wrote in the notice to Planned Parenthood.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/12/22/texas-drops-planned-parenthood-hiv-prevention-prog/

Greg Abbott gets Capitol display ousted, says it mocks Christianity

Ho, ho, hold it right there, an incensed Gov. Greg Abbott sort of said Tuesday in getting the State Preservation Board to remove a Capitol display that celebrated the Bill of Rights and the winter solstice.

We’ll assume our governor supports both, and it’s clear from Abbott’s letter that it was the manner in which the display celebrated those things that got our gov all grumpy during the festive holiday season.

The display, approved by the Preservation Board’s staff, was the work of the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, a church-state separation group that, depending on your point of view, is either very clever or very grating in promoting its point of view.

I’ll let Abbott, from his Tuesday letter to the Preservation Board, which he chairs, explain the display. Until Abbott intervened, it was to stay up through Friday afternoon.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/gov-greg-abbott-orders-spiteful-capitol-winter-dis/npqB4/

Iran’s market return could sink oil prices by $5 to $15, IMF says

HOUSTON – The International Monetary Fund says a resurgence in Iranian oil exports next year could push crude prices down by $5 to $15 a barrel, deepening a market downturn that already has deeply bruised the oil industry.

Iran, which has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves, expects to pump an additional half-million barrels a day into international markets next year, after the United States and other western powers lift sanctions against its oil exports. It has already shown western oil companies more than 70 energy projects it’s planning.

And though the market has likely baked in some of the impact of Iran’s future exports, crude prices could sink further once the Islamic Republic’s oil production actually begins to rise, the IMF said in a report this week.

U.S. crude edged up 5 cents to $35.86 a barrel in early trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday. The February futures contract replaced the January contract, which settled on Monday at $34.74 a barrel. Brent, the international standard, fell 21 cents to $36.14 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe, closing in on a new 11-year low.

Read more: http://fuelfix.com/blog/2015/12/22/irans-market-return-could-sink-oil-prices-by-5-to-15-imf-says/

Latest storm-surge maps show shocking scenarios for south Louisiana

(image at link since it will not embed)

Six feet of water in the streets of ... Baton Rouge?

The latest National Weather Service map shows worst-case storm surge scenarios in Louisiana, and the predictions are downright shocking, according to a report by The Lens writer Bob Marshall.

The map shows the potential of a Category 3 hurricane drowning of the entire bottom of Louisiana’s “boot” under a surge greater than nine feet, as far north as Baton Rouge.

The map, posted at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GeoPlatform website, shows scenarios for hurricanes from Categories 1-5.

Read more: http://theadvocate.com/news/14354840-32/the-lens-latest-storm-surge-maps-show-shocking-scenarios-for-south-louisiana

Bobby Jindal's controversial portrait being returned to Kenner owner



As Gov. Bobby Jindal moves out of his offices at the Louisiana Capitol, several things are coming off the walls -- including a controversial portrait of Jindal that has hung in the governor's fourth-floor reception area for years.

The painting -- which sparked a brief social media kerfuffle earlier this year that included allegations of liberal race-baiting -- was commissioned when Jindal was first elected eight years ago. It has been front and center over the reception desk in Jindal's Capitol office suite since 2008.

Now, it's being returned to Henry Shane, the New Orleans area real estate developer and art collector who owns it. Shane had loaned the portrait to the Capitol during Jindal's terms. The painting was done by local artist Tommy Yow at Shane's request.

It's not clear what the plans are for the Jindal portrait. Shane could not be reached for comment at his office or home in Kenner.

Read more: http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/12/bobby_jindals_controversial_po.html

A cat cafe finally lands in Albuquerque’s lap

[font color=330099]Dis iz impurrtant mews!!![/font]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Cat people, your next lunch date could be with some feline friends.

After months on the prowl, Julia Grueskin said she’s found a spot for her cat cafe and she expects to open Gatos y Galletas by early next near. The first-time restaurateur has signed a lease for a pair of EDo spaces, 412 and 414 Central SE, where she plans to create a space where customers can sit, mingle and even eat — she’ll offer a vegetarian menu— alongside the meowing set.

“I think it’s definitely appealing to people who can’t have cats (at home) — either because of the people they’re living with or because of their apartment — to be able to get to spend quality time with cats and do their work and socialize around cats,” she said. “It’s also for people who already have (them) and want to be around other cats.”

The cat cafe concept has taken off around the world — perhaps most notably in Japan — but Grueskin’s would be the first of its kind in Albuquerque.

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/694462/abqnewsseeker/albuquerques-first-cat-cafe-lands-location.html

Feds subpoena records for governor’s travel, pay as DA

SANTA FE, N.M. — A federal grand jury has subpoenaed travel, pay and other records for Gov. Susana Martinez covering her final months in 2010 as state district attorney for Doña Ana County.

The subpoena was issued to the Doña Ana County DA’s Office in September and also sought records for Amy Orlando, whom Martinez appointed to succeed her as district attorney after her election as governor, and for Aaron “Kip” Scarborough, who worked as an investigator in the DA’s Office under Martinez and Orlando.

The Doña Ana County DA’s Office provided a copy of the subpoena Monday in response to a public-records request from the Journal.

Martinez spokesman Chris Sanchez said in a written statement:

“The Governor has not received a target letter, and she is not the target of an investigation. She has not testified before a grand jury, and has not hired a lawyer. The subpoena frankly underscores our previous statements that any investigation is based on the same old tired allegations made by opponents with an ax to grind.”

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/694329/news/federal-grand-jury-sought-records-related-to-susana-martinez.html

Citgo ordered to pay $460K in overtime back wages

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS -- A federal investigation concluded Citgo's Corpus Christi refinery owes about $460,900 in back pay to more than 200 employees for time spent briefing co-workers after their shifts ended.

The Department of Labor announced the decision in a news release Friday. A Citgo spokesperson reached for comment said any statement would have to come from corporate officials. As of late Monday, a statement had not been issued.

Citgo employees would spend an average of 15 minutes — and up to 30 minutes — following 12-hour shifts talking with incoming workers about the circumstances and status of work, and when employees worked more than 40 hours the "unrecorded and unpaid workers spent briefing their replacements resulted in violations of the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act," the news release states.

The back pay is due to 239 employees. The investigation by the Wage and Hour Division of the department was part of an ongoing multiyear, multistate compliance initiative within the oil and gas industry that started in 2012. The affected employees represent almost a quarter of Citgo's workforce at its Corpus Christi facility., in the

Read more: http://www.caller.com/news/energy-effects/citgo-ordered-to-pay-460k-in-overtime-back-wages-276cb124-6a01-6006-e053-0100007f83ac-363185071.html

Cross-posted in Omaha Steve's Labor Group.

Citgo ordered to pay $460K in overtime back wages

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS -- A federal investigation concluded Citgo's Corpus Christi refinery owes about $460,900 in back pay to more than 200 employees for time spent briefing co-workers after their shifts ended.

The Department of Labor announced the decision in a news release Friday. A Citgo spokesperson reached for comment said any statement would have to come from corporate officials. As of late Monday, a statement had not been issued.

Citgo employees would spend an average of 15 minutes — and up to 30 minutes — following 12-hour shifts talking with incoming workers about the circumstances and status of work, and when employees worked more than 40 hours the "unrecorded and unpaid workers spent briefing their replacements resulted in violations of the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act," the news release states.

The back pay is due to 239 employees. The investigation by the Wage and Hour Division of the department was part of an ongoing multiyear, multistate compliance initiative within the oil and gas industry that started in 2012. The affected employees represent almost a quarter of Citgo's workforce at its Corpus Christi facility., in the

Read more: http://www.caller.com/news/energy-effects/citgo-ordered-to-pay-460k-in-overtime-back-wages-276cb124-6a01-6006-e053-0100007f83ac-363185071.html

Cross-posted in the Texas Group.
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