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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: 85,760

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

Lawmakers Seek To Cap The Cost of Insulin And Supplies To $150 Per Month

HARTFORD, CT – Hamden student Logan Merwin has been the owner of a “mostly useless pancreas” for 11 years and during that time his family has struggled with the cost of insulin and insulin supplies.

He said the cost of the insulin he needs to stay alive is “ridiculous.”

He said if insulin continues to climb he will have to pay over $1,000 per month for the life-saving drug.

He’s not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control there are 100 million adults living in the United States with diabetes. An estimated 11.4% of Connecticut’s population has diabetes, and 36.5% with prediabetes. Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in Connecticut and the cost of insulin continues to rise.

The average annual cost of insulin in 2016 for individuals with type 1 diabetes was $5,705 per-person, up from $2,864 in 2012.

Read more: https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20200213_lawmakers_seek_to_cap_the_cost_of_insulin_and_supplies_to_150/

Ethics Complaint Against Hickenlooper Falls Apart

We’ve been following the silly saga of an ethics complaint filed against former Gov. John Hickenlooper by a partisan “watchdog” organization ever since allegations against the now-U.S. Senate candidate first appeared in late 2018. These charges always looked flimsy, and they are now completely dissolving as we get closer to a conclusive hearing by the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission in March.

This “ethics complaint” was filed in October 2018 by an organization called The Public Trust Institute, a right-wing group headed up by the shady former Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty. Hickenlooper and allies have long argued that the complaint was nothing but a politically-motivated hit job, and it’s always been tough to disagree; The Public Trust Institute, after all, was created literally two days before it filed the Hickenlooper allegations. Subsequent reports have revealed that the information provided in the ethics complaint came from America Rising PAC, a well-known Republican opposition research firm.

Unfortunately for PTI and America Rising PAC, no amount of research can dig up facts that don’t exist. Check out this paragraph from “The Unaffiliated,” a political newsletter published by The Colorado Sun (no link available):

This week, in a little-noticed move, the commission dismissed elements of key claims made in the complaint regarding the airfare and hotel for Hickenlooper’s trip to the Bilderberg conference in Italy, the cost of a hotel during a trip to Connecticut and the use of a private airline terminal in New Jersey. The Public Trust Institute, the dark-money funded conservative political group that filed the complaint in 2018, acknowledged that it had no evidence to show those travel arrangements amounted to an inappropriate gift to the governor and the state’s Independent Ethics Commission dismissed those matters. [Pols emphasis]

Read more: https://www.coloradopols.com/diary/135428/ethics-complaint-against-hickenlooper-falls-apart

Santa Fe Meow Wolf Lawsuit Settled

A former employee of Meow Wolf in Santa Fe announced in a personal Facebook post today that a discrimination suit filed by Gina Maciuszek and fellow former employee Tara Khozein last July is "done."

This follows a settlement reached in Denver last month in a similar suit filed by current employees of Meow Wolf's upcoming installation in that city.

In a screenshot of that post obtained by SFR, Maciuszek, who goes by Gina Clover on Facebook, lists numerous changes reportedly coming to Meow Wolf in the wake of the suit, including a reported hotline for employees to call to make complaints, an overhaul of the parental leave policy and anti-discrimination training for employees in management positions. There is no word on whether there were any monetary damages paid out by the Santa Fe company.

Read more: https://www.sfreporter.com/news/2020/02/13/santa-fe-meow-wolf-lawsuit-settled/

State officials reverse course, will end 5-year death penalty hiatus with return to lethal injection

Oklahoma will use the same drugs as in previous lethal injection executions when it resumes the death penalty, possibly — though unlikely — as soon as later this year, state officials said on Wednesday.
Gov. Kevin Stitt, along with Attorney General Mike Hunter and Department of Corrections Director Scott Crow, announced an updated death penalty protocol that puts the state one step closer to resuming executions.

More than five years have passed since the last execution, where convicted child killer Charles Warner, 47, was executed with the wrong drug. State officials have touted in recent years a switch to a new form of execution, nitrogen hypoxia, in which an inmate would have their oxygen replaced with an inert gas, rendering them unconscious and quickly dead.

The state hasn’t abandoned the nitrogen hypoxia process, Hunter said. But state law required DOC to use nitrogen hypoxia only if the requisite drugs were not available for lethal injection.

And they became available.

However Hunter offered no hints at where the drugs — midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride — had been found. State law exempts officials from having to disclose who is providing the lethal mixture, as officials have argued that identifying the source of the drugs could put those who sell the state the drugs at risk of public reprisal. Before he resigned as DOC director, Joe Allbaugh complained often of the difficulty of locating the drugs necessary for lethal injections, and once told reporters he had been on the phone with “seedy individuals” in the “back streets of the Indian subcontinent” in attempts to find the drugs.

Read more: https://www.readfrontier.org/stories/state-officials-reverse-course-will-end-5-year-death-penalty-hiatus-with-return-to-lethal-injection/

Revitalizing Louisiana's rural communities will be focus of Gov. Edwards' newly-formed task force

The governor named his former chief of staff, Ben Nevers, Friday to chair a task force to start revitalizing Louisiana’s failing rural communities.

The goal of the Advisory Council on Rural Revitalization, which was formed by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Executive Order, will be to remove for small towns “any barriers that prohibit them from being more productive, healthy and attractive places to live and work.”

Rural communities “bear a disproportionate burden of poverty, lack adequate access to healthcare, education and other basic necessities. This council will help us identify their unique challenges and help implement effective and innovative Louisiana solutions," Edwards said in a prepared statement. “It's in the best interests of our state to engage in a centralized and coordinated effort to further the revitalization of our rural areas and make certain the resources are available to help them grow in a sustainable way."

The problems of rural communities have long been neglected by a state government that for the past 40 years has favored bolstering the growing cities along Interstate 10. The issue was barely mentioned, and only in response to questions by reporters, during last fall’s gubernatorial campaign. But lately the governor and other officials have been taking note of rural problems in speeches.

Read more: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/legislature/article_59480ba4-4f69-11ea-9fe2-63c016ca5aae.html

They''re Desperate! -- Wanted: Texas Republicans need new voters in 2020, and fast

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (AP) — It’s normal to target new voters ahead of Super Tuesday. Think volunteers holding clipboards at street festivals, malls or outside grocery stores. Democrats in Texas have made it a perennial focus, hoping they can end decades of losses by rousing more voters to the polls.

Republicans here, meanwhile, never really needed to bother — but now that’s changing as worries deepen about their grip on the state in 2020.

With their base not expanding and their margins of victory getting thinner, Texas Republicans have begun spending big on finding more conservatives to vote. And they’ve taken a different approach to it ahead of the Texas primaries on March 3.

Hired canvassers to stand outside driver’s license offices, pushing a petition on gun rights by asking, “Do you have a moment to support the Second Amendment?” People who stop are nudged to identify themselves as liberal or conservative. Finally, things cut to the chase: they’re offered the chance to sign up to vote.

Read more: https://apnews.com/fea8cca909cc46e0d79b62727fee7c4d

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Donald Trump Gets Us in the Mood for Valentine's Day

Happy Valentines's Day!

Silent Sam settlement scrapped -- but questions remain

As Policy Watch reported yesterday, an Orange County Superior Court Judge effectively scrapped the UNC System’s controversial “Silent Sam” legal settlement with the NC Sons of Confederate Veterans Wednesday. The group will not keep the Confederate monument that was toppled by protesters in 2018 or the $2.5 million UNC had agreed to pay in a trust toward the statue’s care.

Judge Allen Baddour, who initially approved the deal and signed the consent order, found after further examination and argument that the Confederate group had no legal standing to sue in the first place. He voided the original order and dismissed the original lawsuit, which was constructed through collaboration by lawyers for UNC and the Confederate group to reach a pre-arranged settlement.

Baddour has given UNC’s lawyers until Monday to tell him whether they want his order to direct them on what to do with the statue itself. But he ordered the trust dissolved and money returned.

There are, however, some interesting and complicated questions remaining — and we heard them from readers on Twitter, Facebook and over e-mail in the wake of yesterday’s ruling.

Read more: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2020/02/13/silent-sam-settlement-scrapped-but-questions-remain/

LePage staffer forced to answer same invasive questions he asked SNAP recipients

Putting a spotlight on the extensive and invasive information that low-income Mainers are required to disclose in order to obtain food stamps, U.S. Rep. Katie Porter of California fired question after question at a former Maine official credited with implementing that burdensome policy during a U.S. House committee hearing last week.

Sam Adolphsen, a right-wing activist and former chief operating officer at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services under former Governor Paul LePage, is credited with introducing strict work requirements that made it harder for Mainers to receive assistance from SNAP — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as “food stamps.” The Trump administration is trying to impose similar restrictions on the federal level and estimates that nearly 700,000 people across the nation will no longer be eligible for the program.

During a House sub-committee hearing on the proposed cuts, Porter posed a series of questions to Adolphsen, who now serves as policy director for the conservative Foundation for Government Accountability.

“Mr. Adolphsen, how much do you pay each month for electricity and how often?”

Read more: https://mainebeacon.com/lepage-staffer-forced-to-answer-same-invasive-questions-he-asked-snap-recipients/

Iowa inches closer to vote on abortion amendment

Whether or not abortions are protected under Iowa’s constitution isn’t something that should be left to the decisions of the Iowa legislators or the state’s Supreme Court, Republican legislators argue.

Instead, it’s a decision that should be left in the hands of Iowa voters, advocates of a constitutional amendment on abortion rights say.

Following a heated, two-hour debate in the Iowa Senate, Republicans are a step closer to bringing a referendum to Iowa voters. The chamber approved a resolution containing the proposed amendment on a party-line vote.

“What are you scared of? We’re asking to take it to the people of Iowa. Let the people decide,” said Sen. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, to Democrats who opposed the measure.

Read more: https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2020/02/13/iowa-inches-closer-to-vote-on-abortion-amendment/
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