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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,959

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

Americans take silver medals in ice dancing

The American pair had a seasons best score, but the French team in fourth after the short dance also had a seasons best score.

Pl. Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON FRA 184.28 4 1
2 Madison CHOCK / Evan BATES USA 181.34 1 2
3 Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE CAN 179.42 2 3
4 Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE ITA 177.50 3 4
5 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA 172.03 6 5
6 Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER CAN 165.22 7 6
7 Elena ILINYKH / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN RUS 164.84 5 9
8 Ksenia MONKO / Kirill KHALIAVIN RUS 159.13 10 8
9 Alexandra STEPANOVA / Ivan BUKIN RUS 156.95 14 7
10 Madison HUBBELL / Zachary DONOHUE USA 156.56 11 10
11 Laurence FOURNIER BEAUDRY / Nikolaj SORENSEN DEN 156.23 9 11
12 Charlene GUIGNARD / Marco FABBRI ITA 153.84 12 12
13 Alexandra PAUL / Mitchell ISLAM CAN 152.59 8 14
14 Sara HURTADO / Adria DIAZ ESP 148.67 15 13
15 Federica TESTA / Lukas CSOLLEY SVK 142.29 13 15
16 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR 136.47 16 16
17 Alexandra NAZAROVA / Maxim NIKITIN UKR 133.80 17 17
18 Carolina MOSCHENI / Adam LUKACS HUN 131.01 19 18
19 Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU CHN 128.77 18 19
20 Allison REED / Vasili ROGOV ISR 124.32 20 20

Senator: Shame on budget writers if pensions, roads aren’t funded

AUSTIN — Senate budget writers must fix public employee pension funds and cough up more money for roads or hang their heads in shame, a maverick Republican senator said Thursday.

Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, said a Senate panel’s nearly completed version of a two-year state budget would leave between $15 billion and $20 billion of state money unspent.

Tapping those funds would require votes to draw down rainy-day dollars or bust a state spending cap. In both chambers, Republicans are reluctant to take such votes.

At a Senate Finance Committee mark-up session, Eltife said the full Senate shouldn’t have passed $4.6 billion in tax cuts, as it did Wednesday. Senators still haven’t advanced “a permanent solution to transportation” problems, much less stopped a snowballing $7.5 billion of unfunded liability in the Employees Retirement System, he said.

“My gosh, you can’t leave here with that money in the bank and not fix pensions — irresponsible,” he said.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20150326-senator-shame-on-budget-writers-if-pensions-roads-arent-funded.ece

Salesforce cancels all travel to Indiana, won’t subject customers or employees to discrimination

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has made good on a threat tweeted Wednesday evening, warning that the $4 billion company would “dramatically reduce” its investment in Indiana in response to a religious freedom law that critics say is a “license to discriminate” against LGBT individuals.

On Thursday, just hours after Gov. Mike Pence signed the legislation, Benioff announced his firm was “canceling all programs” that require its customers or employees to travel to Indiana, saying he would not subject them to discrimination.

Indiana is the first state to enact such a change this year among about a dozen where such proposals have been introduced. The measure would prohibit state and local laws that “substantially burden” the ability of people — including businesses and associations — to refuse services to individuals based on their religious beliefs.

Read more: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2015/03/salesforce-cancels-all-travel-to-indiana-wont-subject-customers-or-employees-to-discrimination/?PageSpeed=noscript

Ted Cruz once took the Bush administration to court over prescription drugs for seniors

Ted Cruz has been an ardent Obamacare opponent; he held a 21-hour filibuster in 2013 to protest federal funding for the health overhaul.

But before Cruz focused on attacking Obamacare, he launched a lesser-known challenge to another big entitlement program: the Medicare Modernization Act.

Passed in 2003 during the George W. Bush administration, the Medicare Modernization Act created a new federal entitlement program to cover seniors' prescription drug costs. Cruz, then serving as Texas's solicitor general, petitioned the Supreme Court to repeal that law, arguing that it was an unconstitutional overstep by the federal government.

"Congress has entered uncharted territory," Cruz argued in the case, Texas v. Leavitt. "No other federal statute conscripts state governments directly to fund a federal program."

Read more: http://www.vox.com/2015/3/25/8288373/ted-cruz-medicare-drugs

Texas woman smiles with pride after setting fire to yoga studio to ‘get rid of the devil’s temple’

A Texas woman explained her unusual mug shot after she was arrested and charged with setting fire to a yoga studio.

“Most people can’t understand the smiling mug shot,” Nancy Duarte told KTVT-TV from jail.

The 41-year-old Duarte, who goes by Suzanne, said she smiled in the photo to help let go of the anger that drove her to American Power Yoga with a baseball bat and can of gasoline, reported the TV station.

She said the studio had brought her “so much pain and suffering” during an ongoing dispute with two men associated with the Dallas business.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/texas-woman-smiles-with-pride-after-setting-fire-to-yoga-studio-to-get-rid-of-the-devils-temple/

UT students vote to remove Jefferson Davis statue from campus

This statue of Jefferson Davis is located on the main mall at the University of Texas.

Renewing an on-again, off-again effort to rid campus of a handful of monuments of the Confederacy, the University of Texas student government has passed a resolution to remove a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Gary Susswein, a UT spokesman, said that university administrators will review the resolution, which student government approved on Tuesday, and possibly take action.

Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu, the president and vice president-elect who drafted the resolution on a serious note amid a largely satirical campaign, said that Davis is a symbol of slavery.

“Statues are meant to glorify individuals and what they stood for and Jefferson Davis stood for some really abominable ideas that not only offend students but affected the groups many students identify with,” said Rotnofsky, a Plan II Honors and linguistic major. “It’s a slap to their face.”

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/ut-students-vote-to-remove-jefferson-davis-statue-/nkf36/?ref=cbTopWidget

Willie Nelson Is Launching His Own Brand of Weed

Willie Nelson takes a hit of the cigarette-sized vaporizer in his gnarled hand, exhaling a small cloud, before placing it on the foldout table in front of us. We’re seated in the cool enclave of his tour bus, at the entrance to his sprawling property just outside Austin, Texas, which he has dubbed the town of Luck. Up a hill and around a corner, people are rocking out at Willie’s own Heartbreaker Banquet, an annual fundraiser/music festival held concurrently with SXSW.

Now 81, Willie is biding his time before joining the festivities, and we’re talking about why he puts on the event every year. In the process, he lets slip that he has something else in the works: a new brand of weed, called, naturally, Willie’s Reserve.

Pressed on this, he’s either dismissive or coy, though he does indicate that the smoking implement he has again picked up is a part of the line. The PR person promises to connect me with Michael Bowman, a veteran hemp and pot lobbyist who serves as the fledgling brand’s spokesperson. Two days later, much colder, much more sober, and back in my native New England, Bowman and I connect by phone.

The discussion is below, but the rub is that the marijuana world is about to get its first connoisseur brand, edging it farther from an illegal substance and closer to the realm of fine wines.


Ethics Bills Draw Ire of Conservative Activists' Lawyers

Lawyers for some of the state's most influential conservative groups voiced bitter opposition late Wednesday to several proposals to reform Texas' campaign finance laws, arguing the bills would only make a broken system worse and trample First Amendment rights.

Anticipating the backlash, state Rep. Sarah Davis nodded to the tough crowd after presenting her House Bill 22, which would overhaul the Texas Ethics Commission, particularly to beef up its enforcement authority.

"I love agreed-to bills, but I have a feeling there is absolutely no change that comes before this committee that contains the words 'Texas Ethics Commission' that Empower Texans would not just immediately oppose," the West University Place Republican said, referring to the conservative group that has come under scrutiny by state campaign finance regulators. "But I'm happy to work with them."

The late-night meeting of the House State Affairs Committee offered the latest snapshot of the intense, organized scrutiny some lawmakers face as they put a renewed focus on ethics reform. Gov. Greg Abbott elevated the issue last month by naming it one of five emergency items, and some of the ideas before the panel Wednesday were similar to what he has called for.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/26/ethics-bills-draw-ire-conservative-activists-lawye/

Anti-Gay Marriage Bill Raises Fiscal Concerns

House Bill 1745, by Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia), seeks to bar Texas officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or recognizing their marriages—regardless of whether courts determine the state’s ban is unconstitutional.

More than a dozen witnesses gave nearly two hours of sometimes emotional testimony during a hearing on the bill—also known as “the Preservation of Marriage and Sovereignty Act”—before the House Committee on State Affairs. They debated the “biblical” definition of marriage, religious freedom and the principles of U.S. government, such as states’ rights, federalism and checks and balances.

However, the bill’s fate may ultimately hinge on something far more simple: dollars and cents.

HB 1745 would shift authority over marriage licenses from county clerks to the secretary of state, prompting a representative from the County and District Clerks’ Association of Texas to testify against it.

Read more: http://www.texasobserver.org/anti-gay-marriage-bill-raises-fiscal-concerns/#.VRQocc09oXk.twitter

[font color=green]As an example, Dallas county would lose about $1.3 million in marriage license fees if the bill were adopted.[/font]

Reports: One dead, one severely injured in Interstate 35 bridge collapse in Salado

Update at 12:50 p.m.: The Killeen Daily Herald reports that one person was killed and another taken by helicopter ambulance to a hospital after Thursday's bridge collapse.

The Herald says crews were working on the bridge when an 18-wheeler passing underneath struck two concrete beams, which fell and crushed the truck's cab and a sedan.

Original story:

Emergency crews are responding to a reported bridge collapse along an interstate in Central Texas.

The Bell County Sheriff’s Department says the accident happened late Thursday morning along Interstate 35 in Salado, about 40 miles north of Austin.

Lt. Donnie Adams says traffic has been halted in both directions. Adams says he didn’t immediately have additional details on possible injuries or what caused the accident.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20150326-reports-one-dead-one-severely-injured-in-interstate-35-bridge-collapse-in-salado.ece
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