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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: 85,883

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

Cats vs Invisible Wall Challenge

Alabama senator's power play kept coronavirus cruise ship evacuees in San Antonio

Last weekend, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff was confident that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would transfer some passengers from the coronavirus-infected Diamond Princess cruise ship out of Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland to federal facilities in Anniston, Ala.

He’d reached an understanding with the agency after swapping emails with one of its top officials. Darcie Johnson, the HHS director of intergovernmental affairs, thanked Wolff for “the partnership and your patience while we worked through these logistics” and added, “This should help lesson (sic) the burden on San Antonio.”

That was Saturday. But the deal crumbled overnight like a stale cookie.

Alabama’s six-term Republican senator, Richard Shelby, boasted on Twitter the next day he had scotched efforts to bring some of the cruise ship passengers to his state.

Read more: https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Alabama-senator-s-power-play-kept-15089594.php

South Texas county prohibits border-wall surveyors from entering lands near bird sanctuary

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The commissioners of a small, rural county in South Texas have voted to block the federal government from surveying for a border wall on public lands near a coveted bird sanctuary.

The five-member Zapata County Commissioners’ Court on Monday unanimously voted not to grant “right of entry for survey and site assessment to the U.S. Government for county land near San Ygnacio,” according to the agenda item.

San Ygnacio is home to a popular bird and butterfly sanctuary located on a narrow strip of land along the Rio Grande about 40 miles south of Laredo, Texas. It boasts one of the best bird-viewing areas for the tiny white-collared seedeater and scissor-tailed flycatcher, as well as various butterfly species, like the American snout. The seedeater is only found in the United States in this part of South Texas.

The land was donated to the county a few years ago for the sanctuary, Zapata County Judge Joe Rathmell told commissioners, according to an audio recording of Monday’s meeting obtained by Border Report.

Zapata County is mid-way between Laredo and McAllen, Texas, and is mostly rural ranchlands that are home to a population of just about 15,000.

Read more: https://www.borderreport.com/hot-topics/the-border-wall/south-texas-county-prohibits-border-wall-surveyors-from-entering-lands-near-bird-sanctuary/

How Joe Biden could soon be the Bernie Sanders alternative

Plenty of people were all but writing off Joe Biden after his bad finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. He is still counting on the South Carolina primary. But there were real questions about whether he’d even be relevant by the time it rolled around, as other moderate-ish candidates showed momentum and his long-standing lead in the Palmetto State narrowed.

Things are looking quite a bit rosier for former vice president Biden now in the Democratic presidential contests. And there’s reason to believe he could soon emerge as the chief alternative to Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2020.

A Monmouth University poll released Thursday became the latest to show Biden reasserting a big lead in South Carolina. It has him leading Sanders by a whopping 20 points — 36 percent to 16 percent. Public Policy Polling also has him up 15.

That’s a very different state of affairs from after the New Hampshire primary. After Biden’s fifth-place finish there, five successive polls showed him between tied with Sanders and with a five-point lead. And after Sanders’s resounding win in Nevada, it looked like he might be in line for a kill shot — not just for Biden, but perhaps for the rest of the field — in South Carolina. Should Sanders win South Carolina somehow, that would be four popular-vote wins in four states and a big one in a heavily African American Democratic primary. That would mean Biden loses a state that he quite simply needs to win to have any shot.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/27/how-joe-biden-could-soon-be-bernie-sanders-alternative/

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Can You Name a Country?

Bon Jovi new album cover for '2020' inspired by picture of President John F. Kennedy

The cover for the new Bon Jovi album “2020” has a dash of Camelot.

The cover picture of Jon Bon Jovi, alone with sunglasses and a pensive fist on his chin, was inspired by a 1962 image of President John F. Kennedy by Michael Ochs, said Bon Jovi Monday, Feb. 24 on the band's web site.

“The inspiration for the cover of ‘Bon Jovi 2020’ is a photo of John F. Kennedy, taken by Michael Ochs in August of 1962,” Bon Jovi said. “It pictures the president reflecting both literally and figuratively upon a crowd in California. I saw this photo and wondered what the president was thinking. Since there are so many socially conscious songs on the record and my admiration of the photo of JFK, I asked photographer Clay McBride to capture it as the cover of ‘Bon Jovi 2020.’”

-snip-

“2020,” Bon Jovi’s follow up to 2016's “This House is Not for Sale,” will have more have more “socially conscious” themes, previously said frontman Jon Bon Jovi. Those include gun control, veterans’ issues, politics, the meaning of family, and more.

Read more: https://www.app.com/story/entertainment/music/2020/02/26/bon-jovi-new-album-cover-2020-inspired-picture-president-john-f-kennedy/4882421002/
(Asbury Park Press)

Murphy downplays knowledge of toll increase, but his staff briefed unions on plan

Gov. Phil Murphy said he didn’t know the details of proposed toll increases at the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway before reading about it following his budget address, but senior administration officials and the state transportation commissioner briefed several outside stakeholders about the plan on Monday, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

Murphy was in his office just a few feet away when chief of staff George Helmy and commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti met with building trade union leaders and the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association to discus a plan could lead to a toll increase.

“I’ve read the same stories you have about the Turnpike (Authority) holding hearings,” Murphy said at a press availability after announcing a plan to fund two years of in-state college tuition. “I know about as much, probably, as you do in terms of what I’ve read here.”

Administration sources told the Globe that Murphy was referring to the lack of any specific numbers at this point, not that he was unaware of the authority calling for public hearings that might lead to a toll hike.

Read more: https://newjerseyglobe.com/governor/murphy-downplays-knowledge-of-toll-increase-but-his-staff-briefed-unions-on-plan/

More young Texans are registering to vote. Will they actually turn out?

by Sami Sparber, Texas Tribune


MCALLEN — Less than six weeks out from primary day in Texas, Amanda Edwards, among the leading Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, made a campaign stop in the Rio Grande Valley, where she stressed at a small forum the importance of elevating new voices.

“We have to bring people to the table so that they’re not on the menu,” the former Houston City Council member said at the January event. “And one of the things that’s critically important is when we bring them to the table, then we have to deliver.”

It was a fitting message, given that the forum was organized not by a seasoned political organization but by a group of local high school students.

Young and Hispanic Texans turned out in record numbers for a midterm in 2018, when voters under 30 nearly doubled their vote share compared with the 2014 midterms and came close to matching participation levels from the 2016 presidential election. Among that age group, Hispanic voters made up 30% of the vote share in 2018 — a 10% increase from 2014, according to TargetSmart, a political data firm.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/02/26/more-young-texans-are-registering-vote-will-they-actually-turn-out/

With an unusually large Democratic field on Super Tuesday, delegate cutoff looms large for some

With an unusually large Democratic field on Super Tuesday, delegate cutoff looms large for some presidential candidates in Texas

by Patrick Svitek and Alex Samuels, Texas Tribune


As the Texas presidential primary nears, the threshold to earn delegates here is looming large for some Democratic candidates, especially Michael Bloomberg, who has invested far more in the state than anyone else.

Texas will award 228 delegates March 3, the second-largest delegate trove among the 14 states that vote on Super Tuesday. Of those, 149 are awarded based on the results in each of the 31 state Senate districts. Another 79 are awarded based on the results of the statewide vote. A candidate must reach 15% in a district to compete for its delegates and 15% statewide to be eligible for statewide delegates.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have led recent public polls in Texas that indicate they should have little trouble surpassing 15% statewide. It is a different story, though, for candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Bloomberg. Warren has hit 15% in three out of the five last surveys tracked by RealClearPolitics, while Bloomberg has crossed the threshold in two of them. Buttigieg, meanwhile, did not top 15% in any of them.

That means candidates other than Biden or Sanders could be shut out of statewide delegates and left trying to pick up delegates where they can in the Senate districts.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/02/26/how-many-texas-delegates-will-democrats-get-super-tuesday-2020/

This judge refused to toss Rick Perry's indictment. Now Perry is backing his opponent in Court of

This judge refused to toss Rick Perry’s indictment. Now Perry is backing his opponent in Court of Criminal Appeals race.

by Emma Platoff, Texas Tribune


In the little-watched judicial primary between Waco attorney Gina Parker and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Bert Richardson, the pivotal figure may prove to be Rick Perry.

Texas’ longest-serving governor is back on the state’s political scene in an unlikely place: backing Parker in her race to oust Richardson, who as a trial judge in 2015 refused to dismiss a criminal indictment against Perry. Perry has endorsed Parker, and a new political action committee with significant ties to him is running Facebook ads on her behalf.

Perry was indicted in 2014 after threatening to veto funds to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office after DA Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested for drunken driving. In 2016, the Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the final indictment and ended the case, citing concerns about separation of powers and writing that courts could not limit a governor’s ability to veto. Richardson, who was by then on the high court, did not participate.

Of seven Republican incumbents up for reelection this year to the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Richardson is the only one who has drawn a primary challenger. Parker said she decided to challenge Richardson because she considers him the least conservative of the three incumbents on his court up for reelection this year, and said she did not even realize Richardson had been the judge in the Perry case until she had already decided to challenge him.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/02/26/rick-perry-gop-primary-texas-court-criminal-appeals/
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