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Profile Information

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: 77,632

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

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards claims $600M in cuts; GOP calls the list misleading

Trying to prove he doesn't always turn to taxes to fill budget holes, Gov. John Bel Edwards is circulating a list of more than $600 million in budget cuts he says his administration has made during its two years in office, a list that Republicans describe as inflated.

The counting of cuts is a flashpoint in the broader debate over how many taxes lawmakers will agree to support to replace $1 billion in temporary taxes expiring July 1.

Edwards wants the full amount replaced. Republican lawmakers have questioned whether a dollar-for-dollar swap is needed or something less. They criticize the Democratic governor as making few structural changes to permanently shrink state spending.

Edwards' budget cut list, released this week, hasn't squelched the criticism.

Alexandria Rep. Lance Harris, chairman of the House GOP delegation, said Thursday that items included appear to be "a play on words and a different definition of what is a cut."

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/news/politics/article_a92a4e0c-079f-11e8-a090-9334143f4d1c.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 08:19 AM (0 replies)

Bobby Jindal says Republicans need to embrace Trump supporters

Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wrote Republicans need to build on President Donald Trump’s appeal to blue-collar, working-class voters in order to survive into the future.

“We need to take over and reinvent the GOP. Mr. Trump won’t be the man to do it,” Jindal wrote in an essay published Thursday by The Wall Street Journal. “The moment immediately after Trump is the one that counts. It is possible that it took him to broaden us and that our subsequent existence will depend on his disappearance.”

Trump attracted blue-collar workers abandoned by the Democratic Party and frustrated by a status quo government, Jindal wrote.

“Trump voters elected a president, causing them to think they had won the revolution. They hadn’t. Their power is one man, and he has an expiration date,” Jindal wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “Republicans must learn to consolidate and build on that base. The next Republican presidential nominee after Mr. Trump will have a fighting shot at bringing home the people who like lower taxes and dead terrorists but bristle at his crude behavior.”

Read more: http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/legislature/article_4ef64cd2-07b4-11e8-86eb-bf1625443240.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 08:05 AM (3 replies)

Democratic candidates for Texas governor split on college tuition, toll roads, legalized marijuana

The two leading Democratic candidates for governor took different approaches Wednesday to pocketbook issues, such as how to pay for the rising cost of college and easing highway congestion in an appearance before the editorial board of The Dallas Morning News.

On college tuition, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez proposed to reverse the Legislature’s 2003 decision to let state schools set their own rates and fees. She said lawmakers, aided by experts, should again set tuition. But she offered few details.

“I think we would have to just set a wage, or set a standard to which would be fair all across the state,” Valdez said. “There’s tuition in some schools that are a lot higher than others. We should look at the experts in education and have them help us stair step, or set a standard in tuition. You can’t do this on your own.”

Houston investor Andrew White stopped short of supporting re-regulation of tuition. But he said that if elected, “at the very minimum” he would press state legislators to pass a law requiring state universities and colleges to guarantee that tuition for a student would stay the same for four years.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2018-elections/2018/01/31/democratic-contenders-texas-governor-split-college-tuition-toll-roads-legalized-marijuana
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 07:24 AM (1 replies)

Former TCU receiver sues Patterson, university and Big 12, alleging abuse and harassment

Former TCU wide receiver Kolby Listenbee has filed a lawsuit in Dallas County civil court against TCU coach Gary Patterson, the university and the Big 12 Conference, alleging a pattern of abuse and harassment.

He is seeking damages in excess of $1 million.

Listenbee was injured during a touchdown reception against SMU in September 2015 during his senior season. He alleges that Patterson, former offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and other coaches “continually harassed, humiliated, pressured and threatened” Listenbee after his injury diagnosis in an effort to “force Listenbee to return to play quickly.”

TCU officials released a statement on the lawsuit but declined to comment on the specifics.

“TCU takes tremendous pride in its long-standing tradition of excellence in providing a positive experience for its student-athletes, especially in the areas of care, prevention and rehabilitation of athletic injuries,” it said.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/college/big-12/texas-christian-university/article197923869.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 07:08 AM (0 replies)

iHeartMedia misses bond payment, places 30-day deadline on possible bankruptcy

San Antonio-based iHeartMedia Inc. failed to make a $106 million bond payment due Thursday, giving itself 30 days to work out an agreement with investors to restructure its debt or face bankruptcy.

The radio and billboard giant said it made a conscious decision not to make the payment “as active discussions continue among its lenders, noteholders, and financial sponsors regarding a comprehensive debt restructuring.”

The company said the move won’t automatically trigger a default on its bonds as it used a grace period that gives it 30 more days to make the interest payment.

The company’s been teetering on the edge of insolvency for much of the last year. It launched an offer almost a year ago — on March 15 — to try to restructure $14.6 billion of its more than $20 billion in debt by exchanging it for bonds with longer maturities and higher yields.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/local/article/iHeart-misses-bond-payment-takes-another-step-to-12542717.php

Austin activists furious over LULAC president's letter to Trump

LULAC members in Austin are among those nationwide who are furious over a letter from the president of the oldest Latino civil rights organization declaring the group’s support for the White House’s proposed immigration plan.

Roger Rocha, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, sent a letter Sunday congratulating President Donald Trump on the White House’s proposed immigration plan. Presented last week, the plan would provide a pathway to citizenship to up to 1.8 million immigrant youth brought to the country as children, while allocating $25 billion for the construction of a border wall.

“It’s disgraceful that the president of LULAC put his personal agenda before the families that LULAC represents,” said Montserrat Garibay, an Austin activist who has been a LULAC member for more than 15 years. “He’s giving the president a support in his white supremacy agenda and that’s a disgrace.”

Since the release of the letter, critics have been calling for Rocha’s resignation on social media using the hashtag #FueraRocha (fire Rocha), and more than 300 people have signed an online petition. The LULAC Young Adult Membership also started its own petition in support of a clean DREAM Act, a standalone bill on the fate of young immigrants known as Dreamers without any attachments of border wall security.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/local/austin-activists-furious-over-lulac-president-letter-trump/naG8sgghZI9NfL4PCNBXdN/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 02:12 AM (1 replies)

Round Rock middle school student paid stripper to visit campus, officials say

A student at Noel Grisham Middle School in Round Rock is in hot water after ordering a stripper to come to the school on Thursday.

When the woman showed up at the address around 11:30 a.m., she realized it was a school and called the front office to report a prank, district spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo said. The woman did not enter the school.

The student, who used his personal cellphone to call the agency and paid for the entertainer with a credit card, has been identified by school officials and is facing disciplinary action, she said.

“Our staff handled the situation with the utmost decorum and professionalism,” Principal Paige Hadziselimovic said in an email to parents. “While regrettable, the incident had no negative impact on any students, other than the student who is responsible.”

Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 01:44 AM (3 replies)

How a federal proposal could affect millions of dollars in Texas workers' tips

by Sydney Greene, Texas Tribune

A U.S. Department of Labor proposal that could change how workers in Texas and the rest of the nation receive tips is facing greater scrutiny after a report revealed the department withheld an unfavorable economic analysis.

Released last December, the proposal would give employers greater freedom to decide where their employees' tips go. Businesses like restaurants could share "front of the house" workers' tips with “back of the house” workers, such as dishwashers and cooks, or they could pocket employees' tips for themselves. The proposal would only apply to employers who pay a full minimum wage of $7.25. The Trump administration has said the plan is an attempt to help decrease wage disparities between tipped and non-tipped workers.

But a Bloomberg BNA article says that Labor Department leaders scrapped an economic analysis of the proposal that revealed workers could lose billions of dollars under the new tip proposal.

Under the plan, Texas could see $676.3 million of tips transferred from employees to employers' pockets in a year, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank. But Texas groups disagree on the estimated impact of the proposal.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/02/01/texas-workers-tips-millions-dollars-employers/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 01:35 AM (1 replies)

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus calls for investigation into state health agency contracting

by Marissa Evans, Texas Tribune

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is calling on House members to investigate the Texas Health and Human Services Commission after a state audit report revealed mishandling of a contract with a health insurance company.

The State Auditor’s Office released a 44-page report this week showing the Health and Human Services Commission allowed Superior HealthPlan, Inc., a health insurance company, to report $29.6 million in bonus and incentive payments paid to medical providers' employees, even though those payments were not allowed under its contract with the state.

Straus, a San Antonio Republican, said in a Wednesday news release that the House Appropriations Committee or the General Investigating and Ethics Committee should look into the Health and Human Services Commission’s practices for contract oversight as “taxpayers need to know that their money is being properly managed."

“This audit highlights serious weaknesses in HHSC’s oversight of its own contracts,” Straus said. “Taxpayers have a right to expect that the Commission will hold providers to contract requirements. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first example of HHSC failing to properly enforce requirements in taxpayer-funded contracts. This audit shows that there is a lot of room for improvement at HHSC.”

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/01/31/house-speaker-joe-straus-calls-investigation-over-health-agency-contra/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 01:26 AM (0 replies)

Texas board considers Mexican-American studies course, after two failed attempts at a textbook

by Aliyya Swaby, Texas Tribune

The State Board of Education is considering creating standards for an official Mexican-American studies high school course after two failed attempts to approve a textbook for the subject.

Advocates, including many professors and teachers, urged the board Tuesday to set coherent curriculum and graduation requirements for a course they said is already being taught to hundreds of students across the state and that is important for the state's majority-Hispanic student body. The hearing comes almost two months after the board voted not to approve a Mexican-American studies textbook submission from a local publisher, leaving teachers with no state-approved resources to offer the course.

Currently, schools can offer Mexican-American studies as a social studies elective, but teachers and districts must put in additional effort to build a specific course structure and choose materials and they are offering drastically varied versions of the class. With no state-approved standards or textbooks for an official course, smaller districts with fewer resources are facing an uphill battle to get a class started.

The board is not scheduled to vote on the matter this week. The board's staff would not be able to start working to create the course until the end of 2018 at the earliest, said Monica Martinez, the Texas Education Agency's associate commissioner of standards and support services.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/01/30/texas-board-considers-mexican-american-studies-course-after-two-failed/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 01:19 AM (0 replies)
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