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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: 83,350

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

Residents ask for vote to consolidate Bethel Heights into Springdale

SPRINGDALE -- Bethel Heights residents say they have the signatures needed to force a special election on whether to consolidate their small city into Springdale.

Residents started the drive last summer after years of living with faulty wastewater treatment plants.

"This is the only way this is going to be stopped," said Joe Brooks, one of the leaders of the annexation effort.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality in the past year has recorded wastewater with extremely high levels of E. coli and coliform pooling on the surface of the ground at the plants. An engineering report sent to the state last month on behalf of the city noted the plants haven't operated in compliance with the state's permit for at least a decade.

Read more: https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2019/dec/22/residents-ask-for-vote-to-consolidate-b/
(Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

Wage law pares caregivers' pay

About 2,800 disabled Arkansans face a reduction in the amount of home-based care they are allotted by the state Medicaid program because the state has yet to fully account for the minimum wage increase that takes effect Jan. 1.

Those facing the reduction receive care through the state's Independent Choices program. The program allows them to hire someone -- often a relative or friend -- to help them with daily tasks such as dressing and bathing.

The hours of care that the recipients receive each week depends on the outcome of an assessment designed to measure their needs. The hour allocations are then translated into a budget based on the $10.40 an hour that the state Medicaid program pays for the care.

The problem is that $10.40 covers not only the caregiver's wage but also unemployment and payroll taxes.

Read more: https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2019/dec/22/wage-law-pares-caregivers-pay-20191222/
(Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

Warren's origin story

By Will Weissert

OKLAHOMA CITY — Elizabeth Warren lets the dramatic tension build as she begins the foundational story of her biography, the one about her mother and the black dress.

It was 1962, and her father had suffered a heart attack. Her mother had no choice. She pulled on her best dress and got her first job at age 50 in a Sears’ catalog department for minimum wage so her family wouldn’t lose its house.

The story that Warren has told hundreds of times has inherent power: A woman from the World War II generation rising up to save the ones she loves from financial ruin. It also helps propel a personal narrative that has made Warren a leading Democratic presidential candidate, portraying her not merely as the well-to-do senator from Massachusetts and former Harvard law professor, but also as a relatable everywoman who has known the depths of life’s struggles.

On Sunday, Warren will return to Oklahoma City, the origin of her origin story.

Read more: https://www.swtimes.com/news/20191221/warrens-origin-story
(Fort Smith Times Record)

AG Rutledge admits she wants to kill the entire Affordable Care Act

By Max Brantley

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge took a couple of days to fess up and explain her key role in the effort by Republican-led states to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this week upheld a ruling that the mandate to have insurance was unconstitutional, but delayed a finding on whether everything else in the Affordable Care Act must also fall. The 2-1 court majority seems to want to delay the ultimate demise of Obamacare until after Trump’s re-election bid. Rutledge was one of the attorneys general making the case to end Obamacare.

Rutledge’s news release lauds the decision, but buries the admission that she supports a finding that would make all of Obamacare unconstitutional.

What does Rutledge want? Medicaid expansion that has provided health security for 300,000? Dead. Coverage for pre-existing conditions? Dead. Extended coverage for older children? Dead. All the pro-health provisions such as coverage for birth control and preventive health care, limits on insurance company profiteering? Dead.

Read more: https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2019/12/20/rutledge-admits-she-wants-to-kill-the-entire-affordable-care-act

Business lobby raising cash for Supreme Court seat, says it's cheaper than tort reform amendment

By Max Brantley

Here’s more from the push by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and other corporate interests to elect Barbara Webb, wife of Republican Party Chair Doyle Webb, to an open seat on the Arkansas Supreme Court. She’s challenging Circuit Judge Chip Welch in March.

The chamber apparently sees buying a Supreme Court seat as cheaper than passing a constitutional amendment to make it hard to sue for damages (tort reform).

I wrote earlier this week that Webb’s first report showed maximum $2,800 contributions from the State Chamber PAC and its doppelganger, Associated Industries of Arkansas.

I wrote then that the Chamber wants tort reform, and then anything else that helps corporate profits. Here’s proof, with my highlights.

Read more: https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2019/12/20/business-lobby-raising-cash-for-supreme-court-seat-says-its-cheaper-than-tort-reform-amendment

As Kris Kobach left office, unsecured gun was found in filing cabinet, successor says

By Jonathan Shorman

TOPEKA -- Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab’s office says that on the day last January it took over from outgoing secretary Kris Kobach, it found an unsecured gun in a filing cabinet.

The discovery was mentioned in a timeline Schwab aides produced as part of an investigation into 1,000 rounds of ammunition that went missing after they were purchased during Kobach’s tenure.

The timeline, obtained through a public records request, provides new details about how the secretary of state’s office armed itself after Kobach gained the power to prosecute voter fraud in 2015.

Schwab’s staff said that they discovered the agency-owned gun in the secretary’s downtown Topeka office suite on Jan. 14. Kobach, who lost the 2018 governor’s race, is now running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate and has championed Second Amendment rights.

Read more: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article238482678.html

Parson calls impeachment a 'scam.' Galloway says he's trying to distract from his record

By Jason Hancock

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson wants voters to know he stands with President Donald Trump, and is making his support of the embattled chief executive a key piece of his 2020 campaign.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway, Parson’s likely Democratic rival in 2020, wants no part of any debate about the president. She said Parson wants the race to be about Trump only to avoid having to defend his own record.

That dynamic was on full display this week, after the U.S. House voted Wednesday to impeach the president for abuse-of-power and obstruction-of-Congress.

Parson, a Republican, went on Twitter to decry the impeachment process, calling it a “scam” and declaring that Democrats “haven’t moved past Republican’s HISTORIC victory in 2016 and can’t beat our president at the ballot box in 2020.”

Read more: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article238561658.html

KCMO City Council passes tenants bill of rights, first in the city's history

By Emily Park

The sound in the council chambers was deafening—whoops, hollers, and chants from over 100 supporters of KC Tenants—on Thursday afternoon as the Kansas City, Missouri City Council voted to pass a tenants bill of rights package on Thursday.

The resolution passed, 12-1 (1st District Councilwoman Heather Hall voted against) and the ordinance passed 10-2 (Hall and 5th District At-Large Councilman Lee Barnes Jr. voted against; 2nd District At-Large Councilwoman Teresa Loar abstained). The resolution establishes a tenants bill of rights in the city and promises a commitment on the part of the mayor and city council to enforcing existing and new tenant protections. The ordinance establishes a Division of Housing and Community Development at City Hall that will enforce the tenant protections in the bill of rights.

“This is such a huge, huge thing,” said KC Tenants leader Tiana Caldwell, who helped draft the package and has been personally impacted by eviction discrimination. “This is what democracy looks like, right? Housing is a human right, and we have revolutionized the way that policy is made.”

The ordinance also bars landlords from discriminating against and denying rent to a tenant solely on the basis of prior arrests, convictions, evictions, source of income or because of a protected trait which includes race, color, religion, national origin, sex, mental or physical disability, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation or gender identity, gender expression, ethnic background, and being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. It requires landlords to disclose any past issues with the unit; provide resources for a tenant to get an estimate of utilities; and requires the provision of at least 24 hours notice to a tenant before entering their unit.

Read more: https://www.thepitchkc.com/kcmo-city-council-passes-tenants-bill-of-rights-first-in-the-citys-history/

State Tax Commission votes against raising taxes on agriculture land

By Kaitlyn Schallhorn

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The three-member Missouri State Tax Commission (STC) approved agriculture land productive values remaining stagnant for 2021-2022, meaning it will not recommend a property tax increase.

State statute mandates the commission establish the productivity values of agriculture land every two years which could result in a property tax increase on agriculture land. A proposed increase by the STC is subject to legislative approval.

But commissioners unanimously voted against raising the land productivity values Tuesday.

Commissioner Victor Callahan said certain problems farmers have faced in recent years — such as flooding and a trade war with China — were not necessarily reflected in the University of Missouri study the STC used in its decision making but weighed heavily for him.

Read more: https://themissouritimes.com/66864/state-tax-commission-votes-against-raising-taxes-on-agriculture-land/

'Pretty easy to trigger the liberals': Billy Long grabs attention with his $45 Trump bills

As his fellow Republicans raged against Democrats’ drive to impeach President Donald Trump Wednesday night, U.S. Rep. Billy Long of Springfield waited stone-faced for his turn to speak.

He also went a little viral.

Numerous Twitter and Reddit users couldn’t help but notice what appeared to be money sticking out of Long’s jacket pocket, prompting a number of posts expressing disbelief.

“Is this a Bribe or a Bet?!” one Twitter user asked. “Republicans in the House during #ImpeachmentVote literally sitting there with cash sticking out of his pocket?"

Read more: https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/politics/2019/12/19/missouri-rep-billy-long-45-trump-bills-money-pocket-impeachment/2700977001/
(Springfield News-Leader)

Fake bank note, fake president.
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