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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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 96,733

About Me

Retired/disabled 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

Paul Ryan-aligned super PAC preps for battle in Texas

WASHINGTON -- A super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan is opening two field offices in Texas, aimed at protecting vulnerable incumbent Republicans San Antonio Rep. Will Hurd and Houston area Rep. John Culberson.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won both congressional districts in 2016, and Democrats’ House campaign arm has named Hurd and Culberson top targets in the party’s effort to win control of the House next year.

The Ryan-linked Congressional Leadership Fund, whose goal is to retain the GOP’s House majority, plans to spend $100 million promoting House Republican candidates across the country.

The decision to go into Texas, more than a year ahead of the midterm elections, could pressure Democrats to prioritize other races across the country over the Hurd and Culberson contests.

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/politics-government/article180463871.html

ACLU says Congressman Drew Ferguson illegally blocked people on Facebook

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia sent a letter “threatening legal action” to U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-West Point, after the group says he illegally blocked people from commenting on his official Facebook page and deleted their posts, according to a release.

Ferguson represents Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District, which comprises a small part of north Columbus, as well as Harris County, Thomaston, LaGrange, West Point, Carrollton and other cities in east Georgia.

Ferguson responded to the letter acknowledging that some accounts had been blocked “inadvertently” and said the situation had been remedied by staff members and access had been restored. “It is never my intention to silence the voices of my constituents, and I appreciate you alerting me to this issue,” he wrote in the letter.

The ACLU is also threatening legal action against two sheriffs and a police department, and sent letters to the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office, Worth County Sheriff’s Office, Henry County Police Department and to Ferguson.

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article190425934.html

Transit expected to be big focus in next legislative session

Much has been said in past legislative sessions about fixing roads.

And while that’s expected to continue in 2018, lawmakers also are expected turn their attention to public transit — something that could have a direct bearing on Atlanta commuters from Hall County.

Particularly being considered is a regional transit authority that would help metro Atlanta transit providers, such as Gwinnett County Transit, which has a station off Interstate 985, with coordinating routes more efficiently.

“Everybody operates in their own silo and, when you’re talking about transit, you cannot just think about county lines,” said Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, chairman of the House Commission on Transit Governance & Funding, which has held public meetings throughout the state.

Read more: https://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/transit-expected-be-big-focus-next-legislative-session/

'Glee' actor Mark Salling pleads guilty in child porn case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former "Glee" star Mark Salling has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

Salling entered the plea in a downtown Los Angeles federal court on Monday and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7.

The actor reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in October in which he admitted he possessed images of prepubescent children. The agreement states a search warrant found more than 50,000 images of child porn on Salling's computer and a thumb drive.

Prosecutors and Salling have agreed to ask a judge to sentence the actor to between four to seven years in prison. He will also be required to register as a sex offender, pay restitution and abide by residency restrictions.

Read more: https://thebrunswicknews.com/ap/national/glee-actor-mark-salling-pleads-guilty-in-child-porn-case/article_c9aa8f55-dabd-5fa3-b4cb-8604708de63e.html

Georgia university mergers to take effect in January

Mergers affecting four of Georgia’s public universities will take effect in January.

At the start of next year, Armstrong State University in Savannah will merge with Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. Both campuses will remain open under the Georgia Southern name with a combined enrollment of roughly 27,000 students.

At the same time, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton is consolidating with Bainbridge State College. They will both use the name Abraham Baldwin and have about 6,000 students total.

The state Board of Regents gave final approval to the mergers Tuesday after nearly a year of preparation work. The move reduces Georgia’s total number of public colleges and universities to 26. The University System of Georgia had 35 schools before a consolidation initiative was launched in 2011.

Read more: http://evans.allongeorgia.com/georgia-university-mergers-to-take-effect-in-january/

Tax breaks, fast internet proposed to bolster rural Georgia

A group of state lawmakers have approved sweeping proposals aimed at encouraging people and businesses to move to rural Georgia.

The group recently voted to support income tax breaks worth up to $6,000 a year, high-speed internet lines in unconnected areas and better health care access, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported .

High-speed internet is a critical step toward growth in rural areas because without it, businesses and residents might move elsewhere, said state Rep. Patty Bentley, D-Butler.

“You need access to broadband to make all of it work,” Bentley said. “Having access to internet is very critical to attracting industry into your communities.”

Read more: http://evans.allongeorgia.com/tax-breaks-fast-internet-proposed-to-bolster-rural-georgia/

There's an urgent need for foster families in Georgia

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. - There is an urgent need for more foster families in Georgia, especially for homes that can take brothers and sisters together.

Churches are now stepping in and a family is helping the cause.

The size of the math class at the Barlow’s home school in Paulding County expanded from one child to six.

“We have six children,” said Nicole Barlow, one of the adopted parents to the kids. “One biological son who is 14 and five children that we adopted, ages, 3, 4, 5, 10 and 11.”

The five youngest children are siblings. But, in many foster situations in Georgia now, brothers and sisters are split up, just to find them care.

Read more: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/paulding-county/theres-an-urgent-need-for-foster-families-in-georgia/664115913

Feds question legality of Georgia school plan

Georgia’s plan to comply with new federal education law has hit a bump in the road, with the U.S. Department of Education saying at least one of the state’s proposals doesn’t comply with federal law.

State officials characterized much of Washington’s 7-page letter as minor requests for “clarification” that can easily be addressed, though they acknowledged that three of the concerns are more serious. They involve how Georgia will score schools on the state report card, the College and Career Ready Performance Index.

Parents and other observers use that report card as an indicator of quality, and it holds other consequences for schools. The lowest-performing can be targeted for state intervention by the Georgia Department of Education and by a new school “turnaround” office. The Chief Turnaround Officer can, after working with schools that fail to improve, recommend that they be removed from the control of local school districts and placed under new management.

Matt Jones, chief of staff for Georgia Superintendent Richard Woods, whose education department wrote the plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, said Georgia hopes to get it approved with only minor changes. Jones said the state will argue that the three most significant requested changes are not necessary. He said the number of other requested changes was relatively small.

Read more: https://www.myajc.com/news/local-education/feds-question-legality-georgia-school-plan/UZo9pI5n5JQXP0B4BoZOlN/

Amazon lobbyist registers in Georgia, triggering buzz amid 'HQ2' search

Amazon, the e-commerce giant that Georgia is wooing for its second headquarters project, now has a registered in-house lobbyist at the State Capitol.

Jacob Oster, a lobbyist with expertise in “clean energy and technology,” registered Dec. 7 with the state ethics commission. Oster, who represents Amazon Corporate LLC, listed addresses in Washington, D.C., and Seattle.

It’s unclear on what issues or upcoming legislative proposals Oster might represent Amazon, but his registration is the buzz of economic development circles.

Amazon is a growing employer in Georgia, operating distribution hubs for its e-commerce network, as well as a corporate hub for its Amazon Web Services division.

Read more: https://www.myajc.com/business/economy/amazon-lobbyist-registers-georgia-triggering-buzz-amid-hq2-search/AAMpJ8udbssA2igIjSQCCO/

Project Falsitas: The Far Right (and the Government's) Break With Reality

Project Veritas, the creepo undercover right-wing sting team run by James O’Keefe, spent months trying to fool the Washington Post into printing false accusations against theocrat and alleged pedophile Roy Moore in order to undermine the real allegations made by women that he was sexually inappropriate with them when they were minors. Moore, a twice-deposed former judge, is the only man alive who might make Luther Strange and Jeff Sessions, the two previous occupants of the Alabama Senate seat he is vying for, look almost normal.

Jaime Phillips, the woman trying to claim that Moore impregnated her when she was underage and then urged her to have an abortion, was spotted by Post reporters walking into the offices of Project Veritas. They confronted her on cameras of their own. “The Washington Post seems to want a Nobel Prize for vetting a source correctly,” O’Keefe later said in response.

On the same day the Post story broke, prosecutor Jennifer Kerkhoff introduced a Project Veritas video into the trial of the first six of the 193 to be charged under the federal Riot Act for protesting during the inauguration. It came during the testimony of an undercover officer who infiltrated a Jan. 8 meeting in a church where various groups coordinated Inauguration Day activities. Kerkhoff asked the officer if he recorded the meeting, and he said his supervisors told him not to. But, he said, police later obtained a video of the same meeting.

It was filmed by a Project Veritas operative. And here’s where it gets really messed up: We don’t know how much the Project Veritas video was edited.

Read more: http://flagpole.com/news/democracy-in-crisis/2017/12/06/project-falsitas-the-far-right-and-the-government-s-break-with-reality
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