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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: 78,446

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

Kentucky was right to outlaw bestiality. Other states must follow suit

This week Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill to outlaw bestiality in the Bluegrass State, and the animal protection world applauds he and Republican State Sens. Julie Raque Adams, Danny Carroll, Dan Seum, Paul Hornback and Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer who joined in a bipartisan effort with Democrat Sens. Morgan McGarvey, and Denise Harper Angel to usher Senate Bill 67 through the state Senate by unanimous consent a few weeks ago.

Even Sen. Robin Webb, an outspoken critic of animal protection measures of most any kind, voted for the legislation to end this heinous practice in the commonwealth — one of five states in the nation where this perversion remained legal.

I traveled to Kentucky a few years ago to meet with Thayer, the Kentucky Farm Bureau and religious leaders in the commonwealth to advocate for legislation that would finally bring an end to bestiality in Kentucky, and SB 67 is a result of those early discussions. Individuals who participate in bestiality and other heinous crimes against animals have been proven to later go on and become sex offenders and abusers of humans, and we must make every effort to catch these predators and end such abuse upstream.

Among its many ills, bestiality is associated with child pornography and other sexual crimes against humans. During the course of child exploitation investigations, for example, detectives commonly find sexual predators in possession of materials depicting bestiality. In fact, a study from the University of Tennessee determined that human sex offenders were eight times more likely than the general population to have a history of bestiality.

Read more: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2019/03/28/outlawing-sex-animals-important-step-kentucky/3297111002/

No sickout, but some Kentucky teachers continue legislation fight on last day of session

FRANKFORT — As the Kentucky General Assembly gaveled in for the final day of its 2019 session, a familiar scene awaited lawmakers outside their chambers: dozens of educators clad in red, hoping to nab a seat in the House and Senate galleries.

Those waiting in line to enter the Senate side could be in for a show Thursday afternoon.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey, a Louisville Democrat, told the Courier Journal he plans to speak against the confirmation of the Kentucky Board of Education's newest members, each appointed to the position by Gov. Matt Bevin last spring.

The board members, which include Chairman Hal Heiner, were appointed by Bevin when the terms of their predecessors, Democratic appointees, had expired.

Read more: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/ky-legislature/2019/03/28/kentucky-legislature-teachers-come-out-last-day-no-sickout/3298706002/

California Supreme Court justice blasts death penalty system

SAN FRANCISCO -- The death penalty system in the nation's most populous state is dysfunctional and expensive, and a ballot measure approved by voters to speed up executions will not make it "workable," a California Supreme Court justice said Thursday in an unusual opinion.

Associate Justice Goodwin Liu made the comments after joining the rest of the court to unanimously uphold the death sentence of Thomas Potts, who was convicted of killing an elderly couple in 1997.

But Liu wrote separately to express his concerns about the state of the death penalty system in California and Proposition 66, a 2016 ballot measure that aimed to remove regulatory hurdles to executions.

The measure, however, did not enact the "key reforms that leading authorities consider fundamental to a workable death penalty system," Liu wrote in the opinion, which Associate Justice Mariano Florentino-Cuellar joined. Former Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown appointed both justices.

Read more: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article228536039.html

Ivanka Trump, Bevin visit Toyota plant to sign 'Pledge to American Workers'

Ivanka Trump, advisor to the President of the United States, joined Toyota North America president Jim Lentz, Georgetown manufacturing plant president Susan Elkington, and Gov. Matt Bevin in signing the 'Pledge to American Workers.'

(no more at link)

The pledge and accompanying propaganda from the White House:


'Pension relief' bill still pending on legislature's final day, with much at stake

When state lawmakers return to Frankfort Thursday for the last day of the 2019 General Assembly, the biggest issue still sitting on their plates also will be the hardest to swallow.

How much pension relief should they provide to the state’s regional universities and “quasi-public” entities, such as county health departments, mental health nonprofits, rape crisis centers, and other groups that are technically outside state government?

If the General Assembly does nothing, requiring these entities to fund their full share of the state’s $37 billion pension shortfall, then their contribution rates will explode when the next fiscal year begins July 1. Instead of paying 49 percent of each employee’s salary into the Kentucky Retirement Systems as a pension contribution, they will have to pay 84 percent.

That would require deep spending cuts and dramatic tuition increases at Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University and other regional universities and the closure of many essential local programs, including 64 county health departments in the next two years, officials at those agencies have warned. (The University of Kentucky and University of Louisville have their own retirement plans outside of KRS and would not be affected.)

Read more: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article228418929.html

Kentucky lawmakers propose more corporate tax breaks on last day of session

FRANKFORT -- On the legislature’s final day of business in 2019, lawmakers swiftly put together a batch of new corporate tax breaks and corrections to perceived mistakes they included in their previous tax break bill, just signed into law this week by Gov. Matt Bevin.

House Bill 458, as rewritten Thursday morning by the Senate budget committee, will allow more deductions for corporate income taxes owed by multi-state and multi-national companies. These businesses are covered by the “combined reporting” model the state adopted last year to reduce tax avoidance by companies that shift their income across borders between related entities to find the lightest tax rate available.

The bill will create a loss to the state treasury, but nobody yet knows how big a loss, Senate budget committee Chairman Chris McDaniel, R-Latonia, told reporters after the hearing.

“We don’t have any data on it yet. It’s strictly an economist’s guess as to what that will be as it goes forward,” McDaniel said.

Read more: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article228531514.html

Arkansas governor urges lawmakers to keep Medicaid plan

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' Republican governor is urging lawmakers to keep the state's Medicaid expansion program despite a federal judge's ruling blocking the state from enforcing a work requirement.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday that he wants the federal government to appeal the ruling against the state's requirement that those people covered by its Medicaid expansion work or lose coverage. A federal judge in Washington on Wednesday blocked Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky and Arkansas.

Hutchinson said he didn't believe the ruling should threaten the future of the expansion, which covers 235,000 low-income residents.

The state Senate on Wednesday approved the budget for Medicaid and the expansion and it faces a vote in the House on Friday.

Read more: https://www.bgdailynews.com/news/state/arkansas-governor-urges-lawmakers-to-keep-medicaid-plan/article_bff1c7f8-92de-5ebf-9c4b-6514a03d7eb1.html

Beshear opposes Gov. Bevin's Medicaid changes

Democrat Andy Beshear embraced the Affordable Care Act and vowed to undo Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s efforts to revamp Kentucky’s Medicaid program as key parts of a health care agenda he would pursue if elected governor this year.

Calling health care a “basic human right,” Beshear said he supports inserting ACA consumer protections into state law so Kentuckians “aren’t subject to political games” in Washington. He touted a prescription drug spending cap to reap savings for Medicaid.

“My goal is to make sure every single Kentuckian has some form of coverage, and that we lower the cost for every single Kentucky family,” Beshear, the state’s attorney general, said at a news conference outside the state Capitol.

Looking to carry on his father’s legacy in health care policy, Beshear took aim at Bevin’s plan to impose work requirements as a condition for Medicaid coverage for some recipients.

Read more: https://www.state-journal.com/2019/03/27/beshear-opposes-gov-bevins-medicaid-changes/

Federal judge again blocks new Medicaid rules in Kentucky

A federal judge has once again blocked new rules for Kentucky’s Medicaid program that would require those seeking to keep their health benefits to either get a job, go to school or volunteer.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg, in Washington, D.C., posed a new setback to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s efforts to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program after its dramatic expansion under the federal health care overhaul.

Bevin has vowed to end Medicaid benefits for more than 400,000 people in Kentucky if the courts ultimately block his proposed rules. He says the state can’t afford to keep paying its share for that many people. It’s one reason the Trump administration argued it was important to approve the new rules.

But Boasberg said that argument “makes little sense.” He noted if all it took for a state to get new Medicaid rules was to threaten to end coverage, then the federal government would be powerless to stop any proposed rule changes.

Read more: https://www.state-journal.com/2019/03/27/federal-judge-again-blocks-new-medicaid-rules-in-kentucky/

Judge extends temporary ban on 2 new Kentucky abortion laws

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A federal judge has extended a temporary order preventing two new Kentucky abortion laws from taking effect while the court determines their constitutionality.

The Courier Journal reports U.S. District Judge David Hale extended the order Wednesday.

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the laws, and Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration is defending them.

One of the laws bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually about six weeks into a pregnancy. The other bans abortion because of gender, race or disability of a fetus.

Read more: https://www.state-journal.com/2019/03/27/judge-extends-temporary-ban-on-2-new-kentucky-abortion-laws/
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