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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

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: 77,549

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

Texas Facing 'Judicial Vacancy Crisis,' Report Claims

Texas is in a judicial vacancy crisis according to a report released today by the liberal Center for American Progress in Washington and Austin-based Progress Texas.

The report shows Texas has the most vacant federal judge seats of any state, with 10 spots open as of March 19. The report warns those 10 vacancies could grow to 13 if no action is taken, since three more seats are set to open up next year.

Those 10 vacant seats translate into backlogged cases, with especially high caseloads along the U.S.-Mexico border, the report notes. The majority of current and future vacancies also happen to be concentrated in the southern and western parts of the state.

Seven of the ten vacancies are within the district courts, and three are in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has declared four of the district court vacancies and all three of the 5th Circuit vacancies “judicial emergencies”.

More at http://kut.org/post/texas-facing-judicial-vacancy-crisis-report-claims .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 12:37 PM (3 replies)

Former employee pleads guilty to embezzling $2.5M of Plano ISD funds

A former Plano ISD employee with a penchant for high-stakes gambling has pleaded guilty to federal charges of embezzling at least $2.5 million from the district.

Kris Wilson Gentz, 59, could receive up to 60 months in prison for his role in a financial fraud scheme that lasted from about 2004 through December 2013, U.S. Attorney Malcolm Bales announced Tuesday. Gentz’s employment with Plano ISD, which began in August 2001, was terminated in December.

Plano ISD security officials discovered the crime in November and alerted the Plano Police Department, who in turn brought in agents from the FBI and the U.S. Department of Education after the magnitude of the financial loss was discovered. Plano PD Chief Greg Rushin said Plano ISD cooperated fully throughout his department’s investigation.

Gentz, the manager for security and fire systems in Plano ISD, was a part owner of two shell companies that were on the list of approved Plano ISD vendors, Bales said. These companies would bid on district services, bids that were approved by Gentz in his management role. The companies submitted false invoices for work that was never completed, while Gentz and at least two co-conspirators, one of which is since deceased, pocketed the payments made by the district.

More at http://starlocalmedia.com/planocourier/news/former-employee-pleads-guilty-to-embezzling-plano-isd-funds/article_e8a0a486-b9ca-11e3-94d0-001a4bcf887a.html (Plano Star Courier).

[font color=green]An article in the Dallas Observer noted that Gentz was a security director responsible for maintenance of fire and security systems. His embezzlement scheme lasted for twelve years.
http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2014/04/plano_isds_security_director_a.php

One thing to watch is whether the Texas Education Agency will recommend that a board of managers to take over Plano ISD (a predominately white school district) like they did earlier this week with the Beaumont ISD (a predominately black school district) since both school districts were swindled out of millions of dollars in a similar set of circumstances.
(references: http://www.democraticunderground.com/107816736 and http://www.democraticunderground.com/107816084).

Will the TEA set a double standard?

[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 12:00 PM (0 replies)

Appellate court rejects Wal-Mart arguments, returns former Lubbock employee to discrimination suit

A federal appellate court on Monday, March 31, reinstated the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit filed by a former Lubbock Wal-Mart employee who claims the retail giant denied her and other women pay raises and promotions on the basis of gender.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a Dallas judge’s dismissal of a suit filed by Stephanie Odle claiming she was denied promotions to a top store management position and eventually fired for pressing the issue.

Wal-Mart attorneys argued to U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor in Dallas that Odle waited too long after being removed as a plaintiff in a similar nationwide class-action suit to file her own case.

Odle had been a co-plaintiff in the Betty Dukes v. Wal-Mart case, filed in federal court in Northern California in 2001, but a San Francisco appellate court had ruled that on the one hand former employees weren’t entitled to injunctive relief, but could be considered a class of employees who may have been eligible for back pay and punitive damages.

More at http://lubbockonline.com/crime-and-courts/courts/2014-04-01/appellate-court-rejects-wal-mart-arguments-returns-former-lubbock .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 11:38 AM (0 replies)

Univ. of Texas Prof. Regnerus says Michigan judge showed bias in ruling allowing same-sex marriage

DETROIT, MI, March 31, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dr. Mark Regnerus, whose conclusions about same-sex "marriage" were dismissed in last week's ruling on the matter by Judge Bernard Friedman, is fighting back.

"I frankly don't understand why the judge elected to pass on a discussion of some of the very real concerns our research raised," Regnerus told LifeSiteNews in an e-mail. Regnerus says Friedman "chose to privilege certain scholars as well as research that leaned on self-selected samples."

Friedman ruled that same-sex "marriage" should be legal in Michigan, overturning the state's ban on those relationships. Gov. Rick Snyder has said he will not validate about 300 same-sex "marriages" until the state's attorney general has exhausted his legal defense of the state. Friedman's decision was temporarily "stayed" by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, pending the state's appeal.

Nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, Friedman criticized Regnerus' study and testimony in his opinion. He called Regnerus’ testimony “entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration," and accused Regnerus of being influenced by the goals of the study's funder. The study was given $700,000 by the Witherspoon Institute, and the organization wanted the study to be done prior to the arrival of certain cases before the Supreme Court.

More at http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/prof.-regnerus-says-michigan-judge-showed-bias-in-ruling-allowing-same-sex .

Disclaimer: LifeSiteNews is a project of the Campaign Life Coalition a Canadian conservative Christian pro-life group. I am linking to this particular article since it is the original source that corresponded with Regnerus via email in order to provide the most comprehensive account on this story.

For those that don't want to click on that link there is a summary at http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2014/04/mark-regerus-has-michigan-sadz.html .

"I frankly don't understand why the judge elected to pass on a discussion of some of the very real concerns our research raised. It's as if raising standard methodological issues on this subject is just unwelcome today, unless it's clear that you are friendly to the political goals of the same-sex marriage movement. My study noted numerous suboptimal outcomes experienced by adult children who reported a parental same-sex relationship. Like other studies, it has its limitations. But there is much it can tell us, including about the household instability experienced by such children, and the uncommon frequency of stably-coupled lesbian households with children in the era I was examining. In the end, the judge seemed to focus on what my study could not say rather than what it could. It is frustrating to see him overlook the significant limitations of other studies." - Discredited researcher Mark Regnerus, speaking to LifeSiteNews in an article tweeted out this morning by NOM head Brian Brown. I believe this is the first public statement by Regnerus since his brutal smackdown by that Michigan judge.


Cross-posted in the LGBT Group.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 11:28 AM (1 replies)

Univ. of Texas Prof. Regnerus says Michigan judge showed bias in ruling allowing same-sex marriage

DETROIT, MI, March 31, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dr. Mark Regnerus, whose conclusions about same-sex "marriage" were dismissed in last week's ruling on the matter by Judge Bernard Friedman, is fighting back.

"I frankly don't understand why the judge elected to pass on a discussion of some of the very real concerns our research raised," Regnerus told LifeSiteNews in an e-mail. Regnerus says Friedman "chose to privilege certain scholars as well as research that leaned on self-selected samples."

Friedman ruled that same-sex "marriage" should be legal in Michigan, overturning the state's ban on those relationships. Gov. Rick Snyder has said he will not validate about 300 same-sex "marriages" until the state's attorney general has exhausted his legal defense of the state. Friedman's decision was temporarily "stayed" by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, pending the state's appeal.

Nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, Friedman criticized Regnerus' study and testimony in his opinion. He called Regnerus’ testimony “entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration," and accused Regnerus of being influenced by the goals of the study's funder. The study was given $700,000 by the Witherspoon Institute, and the organization wanted the study to be done prior to the arrival of certain cases before the Supreme Court.

More at http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/prof.-regnerus-says-michigan-judge-showed-bias-in-ruling-allowing-same-sex .

Disclaimer: LifeSiteNews is a project of the Campaign Life Coalition a Canadian conservative Christian pro-life group. I am linking to this particular article since it is the original source that corresponded with Regnerus via email in order to provide the most comprehensive account on this story.

For those that don't want to click on that link there is a summary at http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2014/04/mark-regerus-has-michigan-sadz.html .

"I frankly don't understand why the judge elected to pass on a discussion of some of the very real concerns our research raised. It's as if raising standard methodological issues on this subject is just unwelcome today, unless it's clear that you are friendly to the political goals of the same-sex marriage movement. My study noted numerous suboptimal outcomes experienced by adult children who reported a parental same-sex relationship. Like other studies, it has its limitations. But there is much it can tell us, including about the household instability experienced by such children, and the uncommon frequency of stably-coupled lesbian households with children in the era I was examining. In the end, the judge seemed to focus on what my study could not say rather than what it could. It is frustrating to see him overlook the significant limitations of other studies." - Discredited researcher Mark Regnerus, speaking to LifeSiteNews in an article tweeted out this morning by NOM head Brian Brown. I believe this is the first public statement by Regnerus since his brutal smackdown by that Michigan judge.


Cross-posted in the Texas Group.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 11:28 AM (5 replies)

Abbott takes on Head Start

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is attacking the Head Start program in his Republican gubernatorial run and saying that Texas can do a better job.

This article is appearing in several Scripps-Howard publications throughout the state (e.g., Abilene Reporter-News, Corpus Christi Caller-Times and San Angelo Standard-Times). All of the articles are behind paywalls.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 11:08 AM (0 replies)

Blockbuster $1.5m book deal for Ted Cruz memoir

WASHINGTON – Sen. Ted Cruz has inked a blockbuster $1.5 million book deal, agreeing to write a memoir about his brief tenure so far in Washington.

HarperCollins agreed to provide the advance after a four-day book auction last week, according to today’s Washington Examiner, a conservative news outlet. That puts Cruz, the tea party darling and Texas freshman, at the top of the list of potential GOP candidates penning books ahead of the 2016 presidential race.

And it’s the biggest book advance in years for a conservative, topping even the $1.25 million that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin secured after her 2008 run for vice president.

“The book, still untitled and unwritten, will be part memoir and part Cruz’s view of how to get Washington to work again as well as his vision of the future for the country. The 43-year-old has quite a story to tell, being the first Hispanic to serve as Texas solicitor general and as Texas’ senator,” Examiner columnist Paul Bedard reports today.

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/04/blockbuster-1-5m-book-deal-for-ted-cruz-memoir.html/ .

[font color=green]Kindling for the barbecue pit.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 10:55 AM (4 replies)

Texas to begin getting radioactive waste from New Mexico

In a matter of days, a West Texas radioactive waste site is expected to start receiving up to 420 truckloads of radioactive junk — some dating back to the 1940s — from the federal government’s nuclear weapons program.

The waste was not originally meant to leave New Mexico, but a sequence of events headlined by a Feb. 14 radiation leak at a disposal facility near Carlsbad has left its handlers eyeing a private collection site in Andrews County in far West Texas.

Texas and U.S. officials agree with the company’s position that the waste will be stored safely — and temporarily. But the plan has stirred concerns among environmentalists who object to the state’s expanding radioactive footprint.

One of the most vocal critics, Fort Worth Democratic state Rep. Lon Burnam (D), said he may go to court to try to get an injunction to stop the transfer.

More at http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/04/01/5700787/texas-to-begin-getting-radioactive.html (Fort Wort Star-Telegram)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 02:27 AM (1 replies)

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talks Russia, U.S. defense cuts at A&M

Calling Vladimir Putin an "intimidator," Condoleezza Rice recalled her experiences with the Russian leader and called on the Obama administration to reexamine its proposed defense cuts during a lecture at Texas A&M on Tuesday.

"A strong defense is ultimately, after all, the foundation of peace," Rice said, while emphasizing that proposals to cut the Army to its pre-World War II size would "send the wrong signals to a world in turmoil."

The first African-American woman secretary of state, who served under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009 and on President George H.W. Bush's national security council from 1989 to 1991, discussed the impacts of modern American politics with a packed audience at Rudder Auditorium as part of the MSC Wiley Lecture Series.

During a question-and-answer session, Rice was asked if the United States' opposition to Russia's annexation of Crimea was justifiable when its been involved in its own invasions in the past.

More at http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/article_5a34447b-5a8f-53f6-851b-bcc974e3e9ac.html (Bryan-College Station The Eagle)

[font color=green]Why isn't this war criminal in prison?[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 02:23 AM (5 replies)

Fight begins on 2nd phase of Texas abortion law

AUSTIN — Abortion-rights groups, just handed a defeat by a federal appeals court, are considering a new legal challenge to another facet of Texas’ law restricting abortions.

The second phase of the restrictions, due to take effect in September, would require that women using pills to induce an abortion must go to an outpatient surgical center to swallow the medication in front of a doctor.

Previously, such a dose, designed to induce cramping and bleeding to complete the abortion, would be taken at home. But regulations written by state health officials to implement the law will no longer allow that.

Six of the 24 abortion clinics operating in the state currently meet the required standards of ambulatory surgical centers — such as specific room and doorway sizes, air sterilization systems, back-up generators, blood supplies, and male and female locker rooms on site. As a result, Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Sarah Wheat said, more clinics will close, and abortion medication will be “out of reach for thousands of Texas women.”

-snip-

Coupled with a 2012 law requiring women seeking abortions to view a sonogram 24 hours before the procedure, women will soon have to make four visits to the same doctor to get a pill-induced abortion.

More at http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20140401-fight-begins-on-2nd-phase-of-texas-abortion-law.ece .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 12:46 AM (2 replies)
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