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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: 77,613

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

Opponents outshine Bernie Sanders in sixth presidential debate

By Jon Margolis

For Bernie Sanders, the good news about Thursday’s candidate debate was that with only six opponents on stage, he had more chance to strut his stuff.

The bad news was that so did the other six, and a few of them were in better form than Vermont’s most celebrated political revolutionary.

Just as a performer, no one was in better form than Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who was both more aggressive and more impressive than she had been in the five earlier debates.

At one point, she took on Sanders over his “Medicare for all” proposal that would abolish private health insurance plans. Turning to Sanders, who stood just to her right, she said a Democrat can be “progressive and practical at the same time” urging universal health care through expanding the Affordable Care Act instead of doing away with private insurance.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2019/12/20/opponents-outshine-bernie-sanders-in-sixth-presidential-debate/

Former Quechee man admits to $1.2 million payroll embezzlement scheme

by Anna Merriman

RUTLAND — A former Quechee resident has admitted to embezzling $1.2 million from clients of a family-owned payroll services and tax firm in West Lebanon.

Several of the victims, who ran small businesses in the Upper Valley, plan to speak at his sentencing hearing in the spring, according to prosecutors.

During a hearing at the U.S. District Court in Rutland on Thursday, Ryan Wall, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for the offense, which prosecutors said occurred over a period of six years.

By agreeing to the plea deal, Wall is consenting to a $1.2 million money judgment against him. The wire fraud charge also carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Chief Federal Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford set the sentencing for April 20.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2019/12/20/former-quechee-man-admits-to-1-2-million-payroll-embezzlement-scheme/

Fact-check: Sanders is wrong -- twice -- in claim about defense budget voting record

By Kit Norton

“I am very proud that I am the only candidate in the Democratic primary to have voted against all of Trump’s defense budgets.”
— Sen. Bernie Sanders in a Dec. 17 video posted on his presidential campaign’s social media accounts at 4:00 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t a big fan of President Donald Trump’s latest defense spending bill.

Tuesday morning, the U.S. Senate voted 86-8 in favor of the $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020, sending it to the president for his signature.

The day before senators passed the legislation, Sanders published an op-ed in the Washington Post panning the proposal, writing he opposes the bill as he as “all previous Trump military budgets.”

Hours after the Tuesday vote, the Vermont senator and Democratic candidate for president doubled down, posting a video to his campaign’s social media accounts, in which Sanders explained how cutting defense spending could pay for his proposed social programs.


Sanders has voted against the last three national defense authorization bills but he was not present in the Senate for Tuesday’s vote on the bill he has publicly opposed.

Sanders’ Senate office also said his vote against the defense spending bill fiscal year 2017 was evidence he has voted against all of Trump’s military budget bills. However, the Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017 was signed by former President Barack Obama on Dec. 23, 2016, and not by Trump.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2019/12/20/fact-check-sanders-is-wrong-twice-in-claim-about-defense-budget-voting-record/

Lawsuit alleging kickback scheme set to be first EB-5 case to go to trial

By Alan J. Keays

BURLINGTON – A lawsuit alleging a “kickback” scheme involving an attorney who brought foreign investors and their money to Jay Peak projects may be the first to make it to trial in a years-long scandal that has rocked the state.

Judge Christina Reiss on Thursday told attorneys in the case during a hearing held in federal court in Burlington to be ready for a trial to begin April 20.

Moments earlier in the hearing, Russell Barr, an attorney for the EB-5 investors bringing the suit, told the judge he wanted the case to proceed as fast as possible.

“We are ready for trial,” he said, adding that the case was already over two years old. “We would like to have our day in court and see what the jury has to say.”

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2019/12/20/lawsuit-alleging-kickback-scheme-set-to-be-first-eb-5-case-to-go-to-trial/

Sanders set to release medical history by end of year

By Kit Norton

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign says it still plans to release the 78-year-old Vermont senator’s health records along with a letter from his doctor by the end of December.

Sanders pledged to make his medical history public on Oct. 24, a week after returning to the campaign trail after suffering a heart attack.

“I want to make it comprehensive,” Sanders told the Associated Press at the time. “The answer is I will, probably by the end of the year.”

Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager, later added to reporters that Sanders’ health records would include a letter from his doctor that would show he had made a full recovery from his heart attack earlier that month.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2019/12/17/sanders-set-to-release-medical-history-by-end-of-year/

Naswa Resort pays $125, 000 in back wages, fines over labor violations

MANCHESTER — A Laconia resort paid $64,449 in back wages to 64 employees and $60,550 in penalties to resolve violations of the non-immigrant visa program, the U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday.

Investigators said Naswa Resort failed to comply with several requirements of the H-2B visa program, which permits employers to hire temporary non-immigrant foreign workers to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the U.S. for a limited time.

The resort failed to offer the same terms and working conditions to U.S. job applicants that it provided to H-2B employees during 2016 and 2017, the department said. In its job advertisement, the resort stated that employees would be required to pay for housing and a security deposit, but did not require H-2B employees to pay the security deposit and did not require all H-2B employees to pay for housing.

The advertisement offered 35 weekly hours, less than the 2016 and 2017 weekly averages of 48 and 45, respectively. It also failed to include the availability of a higher rate of pay in the job advertisement. Other violations included overcharging foreign employees for housing.

Read more: https://www.unionleader.com/news/business/naswa-resort-pays-in-back-wages-fines-over-labor-violations/article_f3f7bfc5-93c8-5695-891f-7c51c68c5bdb.html

Steel CEO: Unfair trade practices in China, Mexico and Canada are hurting employees

GREENLAND — The CEO of Novel Iron Works in Greenland says unfair trade practices in the structural steel industry are hurting her workers.

“We have been, over the last three years, really impacted by foreign trade, unfair foreign trade. China, Mexico and Canada have really impacted the market by depressing it artificially with subsidized dumping,” Hollie Noveletsky said Thursday afternoon.

Noveletsky says the surge of imports from these three countries have caused their margins and profits to be significantly impaired.

In Massachusetts, a market she works in, Noveletsky says public schools are now being built by foreign steel because no domestic fabricator can touch the prices of steel producers that are being subsidized by the Chinese, Mexican and Canadian governments.

Read more: https://www.unionleader.com/news/business/steel-ceo-unfair-trade-practices-in-china-mexico-and-canada/article_b03ad41f-9ba8-5748-bb99-3f0306fee19d.html

New England Sees Record Number of Loons in Several States

Loons are finding New England to their liking, with record numbers seen this year in several states. New Hampshire documented 313 pairs of the iconic bird known for its black head and haunting calls at dusk.

Vermont also saw an all-time high of 101 nesting pairs, and that's the highest number recorded since 1978.

Numbers declined slightly this year in Maine, which has the largest common loon population in the eastern United States.

But those numbers are still twice what they were in the 1980s.

Read more: https://www.nhpr.org/post/new-england-sees-record-number-loons-several-states

Sununu Nominates N.H. Hospital CEO As Head Of Health And Human Services Dept.

By Josh Rogers

Governor Chris Sununu is nominating Lori Shibinette to lead the state's Health and Human Services department.

Shibinette is well-known in state government, and, according to the governor, her operational experienced is "unmatched."

Shibinette's resume includes a stint as deputy HHS commissioner. Right now, she's CEO of New Hampshire Hospital, a state-run psychiatric facility.

She's also worked as a registered nurse and served as CEO of the Merrimack County Nursing home.

Read more: https://www.nhpr.org/post/sununu-nominates-nh-hospital-ceo-head-health-and-human-services-dept

Couple Pleads Guilty To Voting In N.H. And Mass. During 2016 Election

By Casey McDermott

A couple who split their time between New Hampshire and Massachusetts pled guilty on Monday to charges that they voted in both states during the November 2016 election, but they told NHPR they only did so to avoid prolonging an already onerous court battle with the state.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office indicted Grace and John S. Fleming in September 2018 on charges that they committed two election violations each: voting in more than one state and “wrongful voting,” which prohibits voting more than once for any one office.

The Flemings’ case was proceeding toward trial, with jury selection to begin on Monday, according to the AG’s office, but they instead reached a last-minute plea agreement. As a result of their guilty plea, the Flemings were fined $1,000 each, with a penalty assessment of $240, and lost their right to vote in New Hampshire. They were also sentenced to 60 days imprisonment, but that was suspended for one year on the condition of good behavior.

In an earlier interview shortly after the charges were announced last year, the couple told NHPR that the double voting was just an “honest mistake” — that they voted absentee in New Hampshire but forgot that they already mailed in their ballots when Election Day rolled around, and then voted again in-person in Massachusetts.

Read more: https://www.nhpr.org/post/couple-pleads-guilty-voting-nh-and-mass-during-2016-election
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