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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: 77,549

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

Can the voting power of fast-growing Dane County help Democrats win statewide elections again?

MADISON - Amid all the defeats and disasters Democrats have suffered in Wisconsin, there’s one spot on the map that gets brighter for them all the time.

The capital city and its suburbs comprise one of America’s premier “blue” bastions.

Dane County’s liberal tilt is nothing new.

But obscured by the Democratic Party’s statewide losses since 2010 is the rapid, relentless growth of its voting power.

Fueled by a tech boomlet, Dane is adding people at a faster rate than any county its size between Minnesota and Massachusetts. Between 2015 and 2016, it accounted for almost 80% of Wisconsin’s net population growth and is now home to more than 530,000 people.

Read more: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2018/02/01/can-voting-power-fast-growing-dane-county-help-democrats-win-statewide-elections-again/1085968001/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 10:08 PM (3 replies)

Paul Ryan challenger posts phone numbers of critics after claiming '74 are Jews'

MILWAUKEE — A Republican challenger to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is giving out the contact information of his critics, singling them out for harassing calls and messages.

Paul Nehlen, who was beaten handily by Ryan, R-Wis., in 2016 and is seeking to challenge him again this year, drew scathing attacks Tuesday by posting to Twitter a list of his critics and saying most of them are Jewish. Trying to capitalize on the attention, Nehlen also mixed in a sales pitch for his campaign merchandise.

Critics called the post anti-Semitic and several people pointed out some on the list Nehlen had identified as "Jews" were not even Jewish.

Nehlen, in turn, has posted the phone numbers, email addresses and names of critics who reached out to his campaign to complain, saying that "putting America first" means "not backing down to people like this."

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/31/paul-ryan-challenger-paul-nehlen-critics/1082964001/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 09:35 PM (4 replies)

Facing tough re-election, Walker co-opts Democrats ideas, offers voters $100 per child

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's embrace of Democratic ideas as he mounts his re-election campaign generated blowback from conservatives Thursday, while his longtime political foes warned voters should focus on his record, not his promises.

Walker's so-called “Ambitious Agenda” for his eighth year in office includes long-held Democratic initiatives such as removing juvenile offenders from the troubled Lincoln Hills prison, guaranteeing insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, protecting Wisconsin's popular SeniorCare prescription drug program and bolstering school funding.

As an added election-year sweetener, Walker announced Wednesday that he wants to send every family a $100 check for each child they have living at home under age 18. And he wants the money to show up around the time school starts, which also is the election season.

Some of Walker's longtime allies on the influential conservative talk radio circuit blasted that idea.

Read more: http://www.wisconsingazette.com/news/wisconsin/facing-tough-re-election-walker-co-opts-democrat-s-ideas/article_6236b854-02eb-11e8-b17f-57af83e48099.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 09:20 PM (2 replies)

Hawaii's 'last princess' fights for control of her fortune

HONOLULU -- Every day, tourists flock to a downtown Honolulu palace for a glimpse of the way Hawaii's royal family lived, marveling at its gilded furniture, lavish throne room and grand staircase made from prized koa wood. But few know Iolani Palace — America's only royal residence — has relied in part on the generosity of a descendant of that family while the relic of the monarchy's rule now serves as a museum.

Multimillionaire heiress Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa, considered by many to be Hawaii's last princess, has paid the palace's electric bills for the past six years. But the intensely private Native Hawaiian, whose $215 million fortune includes race horses and real estate, is no longer in a position to fund her pet charities, including the palace and various Native Hawaiian causes.

A court struggle is playing out for the 91-year-old's fortune. Her longtime lawyer persuaded a judge to appoint him trustee, arguing a stroke over the summer left the heiress impaired. She claims she's fine, and has since fired that lawyer and married her girlfriend of 20 years.

Since the court battle began, the electricity payments have stopped, Iolani Palace Executive Director Kippen de Alba Chu said. Officials who run the palace completed in 1882 have relied on a backup plan to pay the light bill and stay open. Also disrupted, according to court documents, were funds earmarked for a Native Hawaiian nursing student's scholarship and materials to repair a damaged crypt at the Royal Mausoleum, where members of Hawaiian royalty are buried.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/national/hawaii-last-princess-fights-for-control-her-fortune/t5hIFymrGk7hYFFIomiEDI/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 12:38 PM (0 replies)

Willie Nelson's marijuana business keeps growing with new product line

The Willie Nelson press release all but whispers temptation: “Go West, young man and get high in the country.”

Not me, I say. I was raised along the banks of Whiskey River, and I intend to stay there. But if you’re the sort of Willie fan who intends to roll ‘em up and smoke ‘em before you die, keep reading.

The press release wafted in from Denver, announcing that Willie’s Reserve — Willie’s own cannabis business — was introducing a new product line: SunGrown, “beautifully crafted cannabis raised outdoors throughout Colorado and Washington.”

Yes “terpene-rich strains” of cannabis for those who prefer their marijuana grown by independent farmers in rich earth, under blue skies — but only available in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Nevada.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/entertainment/willie-nelson-marijuana-business-keeps-growing-with-new-product-line/wLffey7LGSJzXrcvrr6csN/

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 12:32 PM (3 replies)

Police push saliva test for drugged drivers; ACLU threatens to sue

Vermont’s public safety commissioner told lawmakers that legislation allowing police to use saliva drug testing is the most important measure they could pass this session.

A representative of the Vermont American Civil Liberties Union told the same panel that if saliva testing becomes law the organization will sue.

The House Transportation Committee is considering a bill, H.237, that would allow law enforcement to use saliva testing of drivers who are “reasonably suspected” to be drug-impaired.

The committee took no action Wednesday, and plans to take more testimony and look at making amendments to the legislation.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2018/02/01/police-push-saliva-test-drugged-drivers-aclu-threatens-sue/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 12:26 PM (0 replies)

Scott administration admits to misleading $20 million error

The Scott administration says the governor made an error last week in his budget address when he said he would pay $20 million “more than required” to pay down teacher retirement liabilities.

That statement was incorrect.

In fact, the Scott administration is not making an additional payment toward the overall $2.7 billion in unfunded liabilities for teacher and state worker retirement obligations, it is merely making the required annual payment of $124 million.

In his speech, Scott painted a dark picture of the state’s economic future, in part as a result of the state’s unfunded retirement liability. He told lawmakers it is “increasingly difficult” to maintain the state’s Triple A bond rating because of the state’s shrinking workforce and the amount of retirement debt now carried by Vermonters.

Then the governor suggested that he planned to take action immediately. “Put simply, the difference between the money we set aside to pay benefits is hundreds of millions of dollars less than it should be. And if we do nothing, these unfunded liabilities will be more than we raise in annual revenue,” Scott said. “It’s time to deal with this issue, head on.”

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2018/01/31/scott-administration-admits-misleading-20-million-error/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 11:48 AM (0 replies)

Foxconn Water Usage Pegged At 7 Million Gallons Per Day

The City of Racine who supplies water to the Village of Mount Pleasant, is requesting Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources input on increasing their water extraction from Lake Michigan by 7 million gallons per day. The water is intended for use at the Foxconn plant that is being built in Mount Pleasant. Racine currently gets 17 million gallons of water from the lake each day. Mount Pleasant returns waste water to the city where it is cleaned and returned to the lake.

The linked article from JSOnline (aka The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) reports that the plant will lose 2.7 million gallons each day through operations and evaporation and 4.3 million gallons will be returned as waste water. Now the math gets a little hazy because they say the water will recycled. Which to me means they only need 2.7 million new gallons of water each day.

Of course we may not be getting the whole picture here because if we go back to news articles from last year during and shortly after the initial negotiation period, there was talk about 10 million gallons per day and 15 million gallons per day. So all of a sudden 7 looks pretty reasonable right? But if they are recycling the 4.3 million gallons…and need 7 million a day are they actually using 10 – 12 million gallons at any given time in the plant.

Now this is all important to the DNR and Racine discussion and I am not going to pursue the actual numbers any further…since for me beyond what is in the media it is conjecture on my part.

Read more: http://bloggingblue.com/2018/01/foxconn-water-usage-pegged-at-7-million-gallons-per-day/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 09:49 AM (2 replies)

Illinois lawmakers wear black in solidarity with #MeToo

Lawmakers showed solidarity with those who have faced sexual harassment and discrimination under the Capitol dome by wearing black to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State address Wednesday.

The symbolic gesture comes just months after a culture of inappropriate behavior in Springfield came to the surface on the wave of the #MeToo movement.

“Every man and woman here today, and every man and woman in our state, is unified in the expectation that we will act on our complete intolerance of, and utter revulsion for, sexual harassment,” Rauner said during his address.

Rauner and his wife, Diana, were among the many in the House chamber to sport black clothing. But the governor and lawmakers said symbolism is not enough, calling for more action to take on the problem.

Read more: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20180131/illinois-lawmakers-wear-black-in-solidarity-with-metoo
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 08:42 AM (0 replies)

Illinois public school funding a step closer with veto override votes

Illinois’ public schools are a giant step closer to getting their share of state money under a new funding formula as a legislative hurdle fell Wednesday.

The Senate and House both voted to override an amendatory veto Gov. Bruce Rauner signed in early January because he wanted to include more private schools in a new tax-credit scholarship program included in the public school funding law.

Rauner’s sudden change of heart threatened to delay the distribution of billions in funding to the state’s 800-plus school districts.

The House voted 90-18 Wednesday, the Senate 28-17. The votes mean that the Illinois State Board of Education can proceed with figuring out how much each district across the state is due.

Read more: https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/illinois-public-school-funding-a-step-closer-with-veto-override-votes/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Feb 1, 2018, 07:38 AM (0 replies)
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