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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: 78,324

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

Cash-strapped 3D printer business relocating to North Dakota

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A popular but cash-poor 3D printer business in Colorado is relocating to North Dakota.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced Wednesday that the LulzBot brand of 3D printers will be manufactured by Fargo Additive Manufacturing Equipment 3D, or FAME 3D. The company plans to bring 13 employees from Colorado and hire an additional 50 workers for the Fargo plant.

FAME 3D last month bought out Aleph Objects Inc., the Loveland, Colorado company that was making the printers. Before its financial problems it employed more than 100 people, most of whom were laid off.

FAME 3D spokesman Ron Bergan said 10,000 LulzBot printers were made a year ago. The LulzBot TAZ Workhorse and TAZ Pro sell for about $5,000 and the Mini 2 costs about $1,500, Bergan said.

Read more: https://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/cash-strapped-d-printer-business-relocating-to-north-dakota/article_05706dc1-e679-51ac-b8b8-59675f66b26e.html

Sen. Cramer accuses 'corrupt bureaucracy' of leaking his emails

By Rob Port

MINOT, N.D. — A border wall construction contract awarded to a North Dakota company - Fisher Industries of Dickinson - has drawn the ire of Democrats and other critics. They say the company got the contract, at least in part, because of undue influence from Republican leaders. Among them Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and President Donald Trump himself.

A Democratic congressman has taken the step of requesting an audit of the process around that contract, and the Department of Defense is complying.

It is into this political environment that Cramer has released the findings of a review he conducted into the procurement process for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Over the past five months I have spent many hours with officials from the USACE, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Army, and SASC, discussing the border wall procurement process and reviewing procurement documents,” Cramer says in a letter presenting the findings to Trump, who requested the review. “As a result of this investigation, I have compiled the attached findings and recommendations for your review. I appreciate your attention to these issues that threaten the security of our southern border.”

Read more: https://www.inforum.com/opinion/4828501-Port-Senator-Cramer-accuses-corrupt-bureaucracy-of-leaking-his-emails

In Iowa, Bernie Sanders calls Pete Buttigieg's health care plan 'a failed idea'

by Nick Coltrain

BURLINGTON, Ia. — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said Saturday that South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's "Medicare for all who want it" health care hybrid would be "unfair" to working families.

Sanders' "I wrote the damn bill" quote about "Medicare for All" has become a cheer line on debate stages and in rallies, and his decades-long consistency on supporting universal health care coverage is a draw for many of his supporters.

Buttigieg, like many candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president, outlined a health care plan that stops short of Sanders' goal. Instead, Buttigieg proposes giving people a choice between buying into a public option of health care coverage or private insurance. And that's its fatal flaw, Sanders said. It would overload the government with the most expensive patients, he said.

"When you talk about having a system where you're going to have private insurance and you're going to have (a public) option going in, the rich and the healthy will go into private insurance, the poor and the sick will go into Medicare and cost that system an enormous amount of money," Sanders said. "So it's a failed idea in my view."

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2019/12/14/bernie-sanders-attacks-pete-buttigiegs-health-care-plan-calls-unfair/2654495001/

Tom Steyer outlines plan for 10% middle-class tax cut, goes after Democratic rivals in Iowa City

Tom Steyer outlines plan for 10% middle-class tax cut, goes after Democratic rivals in Iowa City speech

Ian Richardson

Tom Steyer on Monday laid out his plan to give the middle class a 10% tax cut, saying he would pay for it by taxing earned and passive income at the same rate.

The billionaire and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate outlined the plan during a speech Monday in Iowa City.

"I plan to treat all taxable income the same, paychecks and investment income," Steyer said. "I'll end the capital gains giveaway because it's not right that those who work for a living pay more in taxes than those who make money off of passive investment."

Steyer, whose campaign has emphasized fighting climate change and getting corporate money out of politics, focused his remarks on Monday on his economic agenda in what his campaign billed as a "major economic address."

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2019/12/16/election-2020-tom-steyer-announces-plan-middle-class-tax-cut/2669082001/

Iowa distilleries want permanent whiskey tax cut, after close brush with 400-percent tax hike

A host of small distilleries breathed tentative sighs of relief this week as Congress demonstrated signs of life on a liquor tax cut set to expire at the end of the year.

Squirreled away within a $1.4 trillion spending deal U.S. House lawmakers passed Tuesday is a one-year extension on the incentive — an 80 percent cut on federal excise taxes paid on distilleries’ first 100,000 proof gallons per calendar year.

The U.S. Senate must approve that deal by Friday — when current funding expires — to avert both a government shutdown and a sudden 400 percent increase on the liquor taxes, the first payment on which is due January 15.

Jeff Quint, owner of Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery in Swisher, said he visited most of the Iowa Congressional delegation’s Washington, D.C., offices in June to discuss the tax cut, and met directly with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

Read more: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/business/iowa-distilleries-whiskey-tax-cut-20191218
(Cedar Rapids Gazette)

ISU poll suggests Iowa Democrats eliminating bottom-tier candidates

There was little change among the top tier in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination over the past month, but a poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers suggests Iowa Democrats are eliminating some candidate from consideration.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg remained atop an Iowa State University/Civiqs poll released today at 24 percent.

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (21 percent) jumped ahead of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (18 percent) and former Vice President Joe Biden is fourth (15 percent), the poll said.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar rounded out the top five at 4 percent — well below the 15 percent viability threshold required in the Feb. 3 Democratic caucuses.

Read more: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/iowa-democratic-caucuses-isu-civiqs-poll-pete-buttigieg-bernie-sanders-elizabeth-warren-joe-biden-20191219
(Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Bernie organizations urge unions to help flip eastern Iowa counties that voted for Trump

By Thomas Guyer

Our Revolution, Labor for Bernie and other organizations supporting presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, are joining forces to win back those eastern Iowa counties, Scott County included, that voted for Trump in 2016 after voting twice for Barack Obama.

During a meeting Wednesday at United Steel Works Local 105 in Bettendorf, union supporters for Sanders issued a call for volunteers and a call to action before the Feb. 3 caucus in Iowa.

“Iowa has the most pivot counties in the country, mostly in Eastern Iowa, and they pivoted from Obama to Trump,” said Mike Oles, of Indiana, a field director of Our Revolution that supports Sanders election.

“People wanted change and Trump was supposed to be that vehicle for change,” Oles said. “What we’ve seen in Iowa and Indiana where I’m from and other places such as Ohio, Trump has failed, and has even declared a tougher war on workers.”

Read more: https://qctimes.com/news/local/bernie-organizations-urge-unions-to-help-flip-eastern-iowa-counties/article_be4156d1-21fa-5159-bf25-e2dd1eb407fc.html
(Quad City Times)

Iowa home with Confederate, Nazi displays gets vandalized

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Vandals have defaced the artwork and property of an Iowa man who displayed paintings of Confederate flags and swastikas in his front yard.

The vandal or vandals scrawled the words “Nazi scum” on a trailer and the pickup parked at William Stark's house in Des Moines and spray-painted over several of the wooden pallets in his yard on which he had painted the Confederate battle flag, the Des Moines Register reported. The vandalism was discovered Wednesday.

Stark told the newspaper for a story earlier last week that he isn't a racist or white supremacist and would paint any flag, if asked. His home, which is next to Morris Elementary School, drew public attention after someone posted a photo of his artwork on Facebook.

Stark said he had already sold the painting of a flag with a swastika. He said he displayed it in his front yard because the buyer dared him to do it.

Read more: https://wcfcourier.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa-home-with-confederate-nazi-displays-gets-vandalized/article_86697813-1251-554e-9886-de5ee53fc164.html

I deplore vandalism, but I have no sympathy for Mr. Stark.

Lawsuit: Iowa illegally marked up liquor prices for years

By Ryan J. Foley

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The former top accountant for the state agency that oversees Iowa alcohol sales claims in a whistleblower lawsuit that for years it illegally and excessively marked up the price of liquor products.

Todd Halbur, former comptroller of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, alleges in the lawsuit that he was fired last year after questioning the illegal price markups and separate payments made under an improper no-bid contract.

Halbur's lawyer, Stuart Higgins, said Tuesday that his client was a “dedicated public servant” who was improperly fired for complaining about those two issues.

Division spokesman Tyler Ackerson said Tuesday that the allegations in the lawsuit are “untrue” but declined further comment, citing the pending litigation. A spokesman for the Iowa attorney general's office, which represents the division, also declined comment and said it would respond to the allegations in court filings.

Read more: https://wcfcourier.com/news/state-and-regional/lawsuit-iowa-illegally-marked-up-liquor-prices-for-years/article_768734d8-bd6e-5730-abf7-a7165fddaba5.html
(Waterloo Courier)

Democrats approve 99 satellite caucus locations in Iowa, U.S., overseas

By James Q. Lynch

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Iowa Democrats’ caucuses are branching out.

The Iowa Democratic Party has approved 99 satellite caucus locations across the state and country as well as three foreign locations in an effort to expand access and participation in the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

The party received 192 applications. Of those, 136 were complete and a party review committee approved 81 percent of them. There will be 71 satellite sites in Iowa, including five in Cedar Rapids and six in Iowa City. There will be 25 in other states and caucuses in France, Georgia and Scotland. In 11 cases, satellite sites were merged to accommodate larger numbers of participants.

For a complete list of satellite sites, visit https://datastudio.google.com/reporting/1L0w7K9JSzkTZRgPDRsrLvGagJVq5oLU6/page/ZRd9.

“From Paris to Palm Springs, Iowa Democrats will be caucusing on Feb. 3, 2020,” Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price said Wednesday. “Our goal has remained steadfast throughout this process — to make these caucuses the most accessible in our party’s history, and the satellite caucuses do just that.”

Read more: https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/democrats-approve-satellite-caucus-locations-in-iowa-u-s-overseas/article_f5216e2f-bdd5-5d8d-a180-1f6f77a1b314.html
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