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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: 85,773

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

Connecticut hasn't started collecting new payroll tax from state workers

State officials imposed a new payroll tax starting Jan. 1 to launch the Connecticut’s Family and Medical Leave program — but it’s more than two months into the year, and they haven’t begun collecting the levy from qualified state employees.

Many businesses also are late collecting the 0.5% payroll tax, and all overdue contributions — from both public- and private-sector workers — will eventually be paid to the state retroactively.

The state’s delay sends the worst possible message to households struggling during the pandemic, the House of Representatives’ top Republican charged Tuesday.

“It’s the height of arrogance, and it is certainly, in my opinion, why Connecticut households are so discouraged,” Minority Leader Vincent J. Candelora of North Branford, who first discovered the delay, said Tuesday afternoon.

Read more: https://ctmirror.org/2021/03/02/ct-hasnt-started-collecting-new-payroll-tax-from-state-workers/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 11:07 PM (0 replies)

McKee sworn in as Rhode Island governor

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island has a new governor.

Democrat Gina Raimondo resigned the state's top office on Tuesday night, hours after winning U.S. Senate confirmation as commerce secretary on an 84-to-15 vote.

Her resignation set the stage for the swearing-in a short time later of her successor: Lt. Gov. Dan McKee.

McKee was sworn in by Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea before his wife, Susan, and two children, Kara and Matthew.

In his first act as governor, McKee, a 69-year-old Democrat and former mayor of Cumberland, signed an executive order that reportedly echoed the promises made by his predecessors to abide by the highest standards of government.

Read more: https://www.providencejournal.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/02/ri-may-have-new-governor-today-heres-how-would-happen/6883302002/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 11:00 PM (1 replies)

Becker College's financial woes could make it the next school to close

Becker College, a small private college in Worcester known for its video game design program, is quickly running low on cash and may not be able to remain open much longer, state higher education regulators warned on Tuesday.

The 1,500-student college has been struggling for several years, but the pandemic has deepened its financial woes, like many tuition-dependent schools with small endowments and shrinking enrollments.

In a statement, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education said Becker’s financial situation has become “sufficiently uncertain” to threaten its long-term viability.

“The Department of Higher Education believes that the institution is unlikely to sustain full operations through the next academic year,” the statement read.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/03/03/metro/becker-college-financial-woes-could-make-it-next-school-close/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:56 PM (4 replies)

State lawmaker refers to LGBTQ people as having "deviant sexuality" during hearing

A New Hampshire representative referred to LGBTQ people as having a “deviant sexuality” on Monday, derailing debate on a bill sought out by LGBTQ rights groups.

Speaking on a bill that would prohibit an alleged perpetrator from using a victim’s sexuality and gender identity as a defense to manslaughter, Rep. Dick Marston, a Manchester Republican, used the phrase while voicing opposition to the measure.

“We’re all the same breed. We’re all the same people. If you kill somebody you should be charged for murder, and you should be tried on it, and there’s no way in heck that you're going to be able to say ‘Well because he or she was some deviant sexuality that I’m not–,’” Marston began, before being silenced by the chairman of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

The chairman, Rep. Daryl Abbas, a Salem Republican, immediately rebuked Marston, banging his gavel loudly to drown him out.

Read more: https://www.concordmonitor.com/New-Hampshire-House-representative-calls-LGBTQ-people-sexual-deviants-bill-hearing-banning-gay-panic-defense-39180181
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:49 PM (7 replies)

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger narrowly wins fourth term

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger has won a fourth term.

The Democratic chief executive secured reelection Tuesday with 6,189 votes, or 43%. Progressive City Council President Max Tracy received 6,060 ballots cast, or 42%, while independent City Councilor Ali Dieng won 1,830 votes.

The results were painstakingly close — Weinberger won by only 129 votes.

Independents Kevin McGrath received 99 votes, Patrick White 91, Haik Bedrosian 35 and Will Emmons 27.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2021/03/02/burlington-mayor-miro-weinberger-narrowly-wins-fourth-term/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:43 PM (9 replies)

Progressive legislators want to tax wealthy and corporations to address growing inequality

State lawmakers have introduced a slate of bills this legislative session to raise revenue for services and programs to support Maine’s essential workers and struggling families, paid for by taxing the wealthy and corporations whose profits have grown during the pandemic.

Progressive Democrats say the dual health and economic crises have not been felt equally by all Mainers and argue that tax fairness policies are essential to climb out of the current budget deficit and rebuild a more equitable economy.

“What we see is growing inequality. If you look at COVID right now, if you are living in poverty, this is a depression for you,” said state Rep. Mike Sylvester (D-Portland). “If you are making $60,000 and above, those jobs have increased by 12%.”

Sylvester has introduced a revenue bill that would reauthorize a 3% tax on income over $200,000.

Read more: https://mainebeacon.com/progressive-legislators-want-to-tax-wealthy-and-corporations-to-address-growing-inequality/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:39 PM (0 replies)

A Texas City Had a Bold New Climate Plan--Until a Gas Company Got Involved

When the city of Austin drafted a plan to shift away from fossil fuels, the local gas company was fast on the scene to try to scale back the ambition of the effort.

Like many cities across the US, the rapidly expanding and gentrifying Texas city is looking to shrink its climate footprint. So its initial plan was to virtually eliminate gas use in new buildings by 2030 and existing ones by 2040. Homes and businesses would have to run on electricity and stop using gas for heat, hot water and stoves.

The proposal, an existential threat to the gas industry, quickly caught the attention of Texas Gas Service. The company drafted line-by-line revisions to weaken the plan, asked customers to oppose it and escalated its concerns to top city officials.

In its suggested edits, the company struck references to “electrification”, and replaced them with “decarbonization”– a policy that wouldn’t rule out gas. It replaced “electric vehicles” with “alternative fuel vehicles”, which could run on compressed natural gas. It offered to help the city to plant more trees to absorb climate pollution and to explore technologies to pull carbon dioxide out of the air – both of which might help it to keep burning gas.

Read more: https://www.texasobserver.org/a-texas-city-had-a-bold-new-climate-plan-until-a-gas-company-got-involved/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:20 PM (0 replies)

Matthew McConaughey and Beyonce Did More for Texas Than Ted Cruz

Hollywood has surely never seemed so far from Texans’ minds as in the last two weeks. Not only did the most brutal winter storm we’ve seen in generations sweep away any idle thoughts of movie stars sunning themselves along the Pacific coastline, it replaced them with curdled resentment as we warmed ourselves with propane grills and burning hatred toward our local utility companies. For the millions who lost power, it also completely shut off our screens, with movies, TV, and celebrity gossip becoming distant concerns as we spent our dwindling batteries on futilely refreshing outage maps.

Painfully aware of this shift in priorities, several Texas celebrities set aside their own privileged lives and stepped up to help. For most of them, simply not being Ted Cruz might have sufficed. But the bare minimum has never been good enough for Beyoncé. Instead, the Houston star set up a financial assistance program through her BeyGOOD foundation, joining with Adidas and the nonprofit Bread of Life to offer up to $1,000 in individual disaster relief payments. Naturally, the response was overwhelming, drawing more than 130,000 applications in the first 24 hours, forcing the program to shut down until all of those initial submissions can be reviewed. In the meantime, BeyGOOD continues to work on the ground in Houston, distributing water and hot meals to thousands in need. (Meanwhile, Cruz made sure to pose for photos while handing out water bottles, before heading to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to complain about “cancel culture.”)

Like Beyoncé—and Cruz—Sandra Bullock no longer spends much time in Texas, having left her adopted Austin home for New Orleans some years ago. Yet she continues to give back to her erstwhile state nevertheless. Bullock, who memorably contributed $1 million to Hurricane Harvey relief in 2017, recently donated $250,000 to the Central Texas Food Bank on behalf of her Ocean’s 8 castmates, in a clever scheme to assist people in need and make Ted Cruz look like a feckless weasel. And although Kacey Musgraves has similarly left Austin for Nashville, the East Texas country star combined good deeds with dunking on Cruz by selling a “Cruzin’ for a Bruzin’” T-shirt, raising thousands for the Texas Red Cross and other local charities in the process. So in a way, maybe Ted Cruz helped after all.


Still, whether it’s the collapse of our energy grid or our entire social order, there’s no celebrity Texans have come to rely on in a crisis quite like Matthew McConaughey. This week in McConaughey was an unusual one marked by solemn duty and humble servitude, as the Austin actor continued to plant the seeds under his gubernatorial grow-light by “sending prayers of resilience and the humanity of the helping hand out to all Texans that are struggling with the freeze,” while offering his slightly more tangible assistance to Meals On Wheels, the Austin Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Austin Urban League. McConaughey also released one of his ever-soothing video chats—set, statesmanlike, against a somber black curtain and an American flag—to announce an upcoming “virtual benefit” he’s putting together that will aid relief and rebuilding efforts. He also pledged that Matthew McConaughey will continue to be a daily voice of authority and assurance on how our state can “get back to livin’.” Overall, it’s a clip and message that would prove highly effective in any future campaign for governor—or hell, senator.

Read more: https://www.texasmonthly.com/the-culture/matthew-mcconaughey-and-beyonce-did-more-for-texas-than-ted-cruz/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:17 PM (1 replies)

The Mendoza Line: Ken Paxton accuses AOC and Beto of 'help gouging' during Texas freeze

We understand that in the current political environment it can be really tough to tell the difference between real news stories and satire, which is precisely why we're letting you know that the Mendoza Line is a weekly work of satire.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, and former U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke provided too much help to Texans suffering from the recent winter storm, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleges.

The Republican AG announced via press release that the duo should be charged with felony “help gouging,” adding that they engaged in “exorbitant and excessive fundraising” during the weather crisis.

Paxton, who's vowed to keep Texas ideologically pure, dreamed up the offense after Ocasio-Cortez and O’Rourke raised more than $5 million for relief agencies to help victims of the Texas freeze. The duo also mobilized volunteers to do welfare checks on seniors while GOP leaders busily avoided the cold and accountability.

“Just like you can’t sell much-needed items at an exorbitant or excessive price after a disaster, you can’t raise much-needed assistance at an exorbitant or excessive level,” Paxton said. “You’re especially not allowed to do it if we can’t easily paint you as evil, liberal, socialist villains.”

Read more: https://www.sacurrent.com/the-daily/archives/2021/03/01/the-mendoza-line-ken-paxton-charges-aoc-and-beto-for-help-gouging-during-texas-freeze
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 10:10 PM (4 replies)

Ex-Cop Amber Guyger Appealing Murder Conviction in Botham Jean's Death

One night in September 2018, Alissa Charles-Findley got the call that has upended her family's lives ever since: Her brother, Botham Jean, was dead.

Earlier that evening, off-duty Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who is white, returned to the apartment complex where she lived, not far from the police station. The way she later told it, she walked through the front door and thought she saw a burglar watching television and eating ice cream in her home. She shot and killed him.

But Jean, a 26-year-old Black accountant, was no burglar; he was her upstairs neighbor. Nor was the apartment Guyger's: She had walked into his home by mistake.

Jean’s death sparked protests across the city. Charged with murder, Guyger faced between five and 99 years in prison. In the end, however, the court sentenced her to only 10, but she’s now appealing the charge in hopes of securing a lesser sentence.

Read more: https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/amber-guygers-appeal-court-date-set-for-botham-jean-killing-11991216
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 09:51 PM (2 replies)
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