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TexasTowelie

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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: 87,031

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

Ex-Pennsylvania state senator Mike Folmer pleads guilty in child porn case

LEBANON, Pa. — A former Pennsylvania state lawmaker charged last fall with possession of child pornography pleaded guilty Thursday.

Mike Folmer (R) entered a guilty plea in Lebanon County Court to three counts of possessing child porn and one count of criminal use of a communications facility for having items on his cellphone.

Folmer did not comment as he left the courtroom, but told the judge he would have something to say at his sentencing hearing, scheduled for late May.

Folmer faces up to 10 years in prison, but his attorney Brian Perry said after Thursday's hearing that he hopes the sentence will be far shorter.

Read more: https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/former-pennsylvania-state-senator-mike-folmer-guilty-plea-child-porn-20200227.html

Philly's soda tax didn't lead to people drinking less soda, study says

Philadelphia’s tax on soda and other sweetened beverages has not reduced residents’ consumption of such drinks, according to a new study.

Philadelphians reported a slight but not statistically significant decrease in sugary beverage consumption compared with residents of nearby cities without a tax, Drexel University researchers found in surveys taken before and after the tax took effect.

“We have ample evidence that sugary beverages are connected to type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other health issues, but we’re seeing that raising the price of sugary beverages may not impact consumers who don’t drink a lot of soda,” Amy Auchincloss, an associate professor at Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health, said in a statement about the research.

Philadelphia became the first large U.S. city to pass a tax on soda in 2016. Mayor Jim Kenney championed the tax as a means of funding pre-K, community schools, and improvements to parks, recreation centers, and libraries. Public health advocates praised Philadelphia’s levy and have pointed to taxes on soda as a means of reducing consumption and improving residents’ health.

Read more: https://www.inquirer.com/politics/philadelphia/philadelphia-soda-tax-drexel-study-20200227.html

Montco lawyer gets 5 years in prison for running $3.4 million fraud

A disbarred Montgomery County lawyer was sentenced Thursday in federal court to five years in prison for running a $3.4 million scam while working for a Philadelphia law firm, U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said Thursday.

Craig A. Cohen, 55, of Blue Bell, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in November after he was accused of deceptively collecting payments in dozens of cases involving water damage caused by allegedly defective products.

Cohen, who worked at White & Williams in Center City, was voluntarily disbarred in December by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Disciplinary Board.

Prosecutors said Cohen represented insurance companies that had paid claims for water damage, and were seeking recoveries from product manufacturers and class action settlement funds.

Read more: https://www.inquirer.com/news/craig-cohen-blue-bell-philadelphia-white-williams-disbarred-guilty-sentenced-prison-20200228.html

Battle For Future Of Democratic Party On Full Display In Texas' 28th Congressional District

Moderate and progressive candidates are mired in a nationwide struggle that may define the future of the Democratic Party.

One of the starkest examples of that ideological and political struggle can be found in the 28th Congressional District in South Texas, which spans from San Antonio to the border cities of Laredo and McAllen.

Henry Cuellar has represented the district for 15 years and the self-identified moderate Democrat has the backing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and more than 100 local leaders.

But he faces his first serious primary challenge from Jessica Cisneros, a 26-year-old immigration attorney and progressive backed by presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Read more: https://www.tpr.org/post/battle-future-democratic-party-full-display-texas-28th-congressional-district

ACLU sues seven Texas towns for passing local anti-abortion ordinances

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing seven Texas towns in federal court over recent anti-abortion ordinances declaring the towns "sanctuary cities for the unborn."

The controversial ordinances began popping up in small towns in East Texas last year and gradually spread across the state. Eleven towns, extending as far west as Big Spring, had passed a version of the ordinance. It aims to outlaw abortion at the local level if the U.S. Supreme Court makes it possible to do so, and it grants family members of women who have abortions the ability to sue the provider for emotional distress. Some towns also included language to ban the sale of emergency contraception such as Plan B.

"The ordinances’ existence misleads residents of these cities as to whether individuals can in fact exercise their right to access abortion," civil liberties lawyers representing the Texas Equal Access Fund and the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, which help women afford abortions, wrote in a court filing. Some towns included language in their ordinances labeling the groups "criminal organizations."

The strategy of bringing the abortion fight to the local level has divided even the staunchest anti-abortion activists. Some groups have warned against taking an inflammatory approach that is unlikely to survive a legal contest and could set the anti-abortion movement back in court. And several towns — including Mineral Wells, Omaha and Jacksboro — have voted down similar ordinances or walked them back under advice from city attorneys.

Read more: https://www.caller.com/story/news/2020/02/26/aclu-sues-seven-texas-towns-passing-local-anti-abortion-ordinances/4880285002/
(Corpus Christi Caller-Times)

Teachers union: Corpus Christi ISD administrator blames teachers for low reading scores

Teachers, librarians and principals are not at fault for Corpus Christi Independent School District’s low reading scores.

That’s what the president of the Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers, a teachers union, said during a news conference Wednesday.

Nancy Vera held the conference in response to a CCISD administrator suggesting teachers are to blame for the low scores during a school board meeting Monday.

Vera said this wasn’t the first time she has heard negative comments made about teachers during a board meeting.

Read more: https://www.caller.com/story/news/local/2020/02/27/teachers-union-ccisd-administrator-blames-teachers-low-scores/4885932002/
(Corpus Christi Caller-Times)

Democratic Presidential Candidates: Meet Texas' Fastest-Growing Demographic Groups

The days when Democratic presidential hopefuls would think of Texas solely as their ATM – a place to raise money – are over. These days, candidates are actually campaigning in the Lone Star State, vying for Texas’ 228 delegates. And, since candidates are meeting voters face-to-face, it would be good for them to learn as much as they can about us.

The Texas population is close to 40% Hispanic now, and more than 5% Asian. If willing, candidates could take this knowledge as a crash course in the state’s demographics.

It’s true that for several decades, campaigns have specialized in crafting their messages for black and white voters. But political consultant Matthew Dowd says candidates need to approach Texas with fresh eyes.

“The campaign you ran 10 years ago is no longer valid in what you need to do today,” Dowd says.

Read more: https://www.texasstandard.org/stories/democratic-presidential-candidates-meet-texas-fastest-growing-demographic-groups/

Warren, Castro hold town hall in San Antonio ahead of Super Tuesday

SAN ANTONIO — Hundreds gathered Thursday to see Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as the U.S. senator from Massachusetts ramps up her Texas campaign ahead of the state’s delegate-rich primary.

“I love being here, and I love eating here,” she said of San Antonio, where she visited the historic Mi Tierra Cafe earlier in the day. “I may have to cut this short so I can just eat again.”

Speaking in front of the Texas flag during a town hall at San Antonio’s Sunset Station Lone Star Pavilion, Warren vowed to bring “big, structural change” as president and reminding voters that she really does have “a plan for that.”

Warren also answered questions from the crowd about immigration and white supremacy.

“We must recognize the threat among us and we must be willing to call it out,” she said of white supremacy. “Fighting back is an act of patriotism.”

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20200227/warren-castro-hold-town-hall-in-san-antonio-ahead-of-super-tuesday

Meet five star reporters on the ProPublica/Texas Tribune investigative team

by Manny Garcia, Propublica/Texas Tribune


We’re thrilled to introduce five outstanding journalists we’ve hired as our inaugural reporters for the ProPublica/The Texas Tribune joint reporting unit.

Kiah Collier, Vianna Davila, Lomi Kriel, Jeremy Schwartz and Perla Trevizo will join me in this investigative effort, with their journalism powering the platforms of both news organizations.

This is a dream team of reporters.

They are smart, authentic, fearless truth-tellers, with a deep love and understanding of Texas. I could not be prouder than to stand alongside Kiah, Vianna, Lomi, Jeremy and Perla on this journey.

It's been a fun start since I joined the team. I got to read the applications of 139 qualified journalists who raised their hands to join our crew. That in itself has been encouraging. Working with ProPublica’s Charlie Ornstein and The Texas Tribune’s Ayan Mittra, we thoughtfully chose our five accomplished journalists — who view their work as a public trust.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/02/27/texas-tribune-propublica-investigative-reporters/

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Trump is DEFINITELY NOT WORRIED About Coronavirus

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