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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: 77,784

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

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The Affordable Care Act Also Lowers Your Car Insurance Rate

The Affordable Care Act isn't just making health care more affordable. It's actually bringing your car insurance rates down too - not to mention workers' compensation and business liability insurance costs.

According to a study by the RAND Corporation, costs in some of these insurance lines could be reduced by 5 percent or more as a byproduct of having so many people insured because of the ACA.

There are a few reasons that other non-health insurance costs will be lower because of the ACA. Though of course none of these types of insurance are directly covered under the ACA, the injuries that they cover often are. And patients might use liability insurance less frequently to get treatment for health problems if they have health insurance. Liability claims are also expected to drop in states that limit the awards based on payments from other sources (like health insurance). On top of that, patients who go to the doctor more often are less likely to file medical malpractice claims. There are several other factors at work here too, but the bottom line is that the ACA has some pretty significant spillover effects in this area.

According to RAND researchers, liability insurance companies currently reimburse tens of billions of dollars each year for medical care related to car accidents, workplace injuries and other accidents. For instance, car insurance companies paid $35 billion for medical costs associated with these accidents in 2007, which amounted to close to 2% of all health care costs that year. Now, it's more likely that health insurance will pick up part of this tab.

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15142/the-affordable-care-act-also-lowers-your-car-insurance-rate .

Georgetown cop trips and pushes students after state soccer tournament

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Officer George Bermudez (2013 Police Officer of the Year) demonstrates why people have contempt for LEOs.

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Georgetown police have placed an officer on paid administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation into his actions following a state championship soccer game held in the city over the weekend.

The move to put Officer George Bermudez on leave came after an incident following Vandegrift High School’s win in the University Interscholastic League championship game on Saturday. In video taken from the game broadcast, as well as from fans, you can see what appears to be a uniformed Georgetown police officer tripping and pushing students as they rush onto the field after the win.

Bermudez has been with the department since 2005.

A spokesman for the Georgetown Police Department said parents began emailing the department early Sunday morning, alerting them of the video.

“After personally watching the videos, the actions of my officer are very concerning to me as well,” said Georgetown Police Chief Wayne Nero.

More at http://kxan.com/2014/04/20/officer-trips-pushes-students-after-soccer-match-police-investigating/ .

Rep. Barton to push immigration overhaul incl guest worker program, path to citizenship for minors

DALLAS -- Rep. Joe Barton said Friday he was close to introducing a sweeping proposal that would overhaul the nation’s immigration system.

The plan will include a path to citizenship for undocumented children and a mechanism to give legal status to adults in the country illegally who have not committed other crimes.

Barton, R-Arlington, said his bill would be ready in a month to six weeks.

“If it were to become law it would solve the problem,” Barton said during a recording of Lone Star Politics, which airs Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on KXAS-TV (NBC 5).

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/04/joe-barton-to-push-immigration-overhaul-that-includes-guest-worker-program-path-to-citizenship-for-children.html/ .

Elon Musk on Texas spaceport: “We’ll probably have that site active in a couple of years.”

Source: Houston Chronicle

At the tail end of a news conference today in Washington D.C. the founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, was asked whether a site had been chosen yet for much anticipated SpaceX commercial launch site.

His reply, “We’re also developing a launch pad on the south coast of Texas … We’ll probably have that site active in a couple of years.”

All he’s waiting for, Musk said, is an environmental clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration, which he expects to receive soon.

This site, if it is indeed built, would allow for launches of both the Falcon 9 (already flying) and Falcon 9 Heavy (under development) from south Texas, near Brownsville. These launches would be for commercial (i.e. satellites) as well as possibly NASA purposes.

Read more: http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2014/04/elon-musk-on-texas-spaceport-well-probably-have-that-site-active-in-a-couple-of-years/?cmpid=bna#22787101=0

Pat Robertson: Jesus Wants You To Divorce Your Wife If She Won’t Put Out

Pat Robertson has had quite the week. After sounding the alarm about the apocalyptic asteroid event that could happen next week, or ever, Robertson advised a 700 Club caller that his wife probably withheld sex because of childhood sexual abuse, and that obviously, the caller should just divorce her. Given that surveys have shown that 43% of women recount experiencing sexual dysfunction and 32 percent of mothers report going years without sex, we now expect to see a lot of 700 Club-inspired divorces as husbands ditch their frigid wives.

This makes Pat Robertson worse for marriage than Dan Savage, who just thinks you should cheat.

This new stance on divorce is real not-progress for Robertson: it seems that previously he believed the only legitimate reason to get a divorce was if your wife gets sick, because it’s kind of like death, but not. But, apparently, when reviewing the Scriptures, Robertson found another loophole! God also condones divorcing your wife if she doesn’t put out. Especially if she doesn’t put out because of an emotionally scarring sexual assault. Cut your losses, gentlemen.

But that’s not all! Another unthinkable thing happened this week: one of Robertson’s doctor friends channeled the power of God to bring the dead back to life. That’s right, it was just like an episode of a show no one watches, Resurrection, except nothing like that, because in this story a surgeon lost a patient, and then jeebus spoke to the doctor and told him to “go back and treat him again” and then “the power of God hit him and the man came back to life again.”

Read more at http://wonkette.com/547564/pat-robertson-jesus-wants-you-to-divorce-your-wife-if-she-wont-put-out#EEPZ5tsfG4eY0Yqj.99 .

Gun Rights Activists' Latest Strategy: Armed Demonstrations

When advocates for tighter restrictions on guns rallied last week in Austin City Hall, a small group of opponents staged a counter-rally outside, carrying firearms and waving a flag emblazoned with an assault rifle and the caption “Come and Take It.”

Texas gun rights advocates, like their counterparts who argue for gun control, have been increasingly active in the wake of recent mass shootings, organizing hundreds of grassroots demonstrations across the state. Their effort includes a simple strategy: a public display of their weapons — sometimes in front of their opponents.

“You’ve got a group of people who are carrying firearms, kids and women, smiling and waving,” said C.J. Grisham, the founder of Open Carry Texas, which wants lawmakers to allow Texans to openly carry handguns as they can carry long arms. “If we truly meant to hurt anybody, would we draw attention to ourselves by waving flags and smiling? If you think about it logically, the fact that someone is alarmed is unreasonable.”

But the tactics of groups like Open Carry Texas, which mobilizes crowds carrying shotguns, hunting rifles, AR-15s and AK-47s, have drawn criticism from gun control groups like the Texas branch of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Stephanie Lundy, the branch’s spokeswoman, said that almost every time Moms Demand Action meets, “we wind up with armed gunmen in the parking lot.”

More at http://www.texastribune.org/2014/04/25/right-bear-arms-twist-baring-them-openly-rallies/ .

The Future of ‘Corporate Welfare’ in Texas after Rick Perry

Is it too early to consider Rick Perry’s legacy? Some state lawmakers already are, at least indirectly.

Legislators are considering what to do with some of the guv’s signature programs, the big corporate subsidy funds that have been plagued by charges of cronyism and inefficiency since their inception. Funding for the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, in particular, is dwindling due to lawmakers’ reluctance to keep pouring dollars into what some critics consider Perry’s corporate welfare accounts. The Observer, for example, reported on a $12 million Texas Enterprise Fund grant to Chevron for a Houston office tower that the company had announced years before. Chevron, in fact, planned to spend the money not to create new jobs, which were already in the works, but on generous moving costs for its employees.

Overall, the Texas Enterprise Fund alone has doled out more than $500 million in grants since the Legislature created it a decade ago. In 2010, the Observer found—in a story appropriately titled “Slush Fun“—that 20 of the 55 Enterprise Fund companies had either given money directly to Perry’s campaign or donated to the Republican Governors Association, a Washington, D.C.-based group that Perry presided over in 2008.

All of that is on Rick Perry. But it’s up to the Legislature and the next governor—either Wendy Davis or, more likely, Greg Abbott—whether to shut down the funds, or modify them.

More at http://www.texasobserver.org/future-corporate-welfare-texas-rick-perry/ .

Man convicted in U.S. consulate slayings gets 10 life sentences

El Paso -- A Barrio Azteca leader who was found guilty of ordering the shooting deaths of three people with ties to the U.S. Consulate in Juárez four years ago received 10 life sentences Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone, who presided over the trial of Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, also ordered that Gallegos pay nearly $1 million in restitution to relatives of the victims and forfeit $785,500, the amount of property officials estimated was involved in money laundering.

A jury in February found Gallegos guilty of 11 counts, ranging from conspiring to kill persons in a foreign country to conspiring to import heroin, cocaine and marijuana into the United States. Gallegos pleaded not guilty.

Gallegos was accused of ordering the March 2010 slayings of Arthur Redelfs, an El Paso County detention officer; his wife Lesley Enriquez Redelfs, who was four months pregnant; and Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, who was married to Hilda Salcido, who worked with Lesley Redelfs in the U.S. Consulate in Juárez.

More at http://www.elpasotimes.com/latestnews/ci_25628697/man-convicted-u-s-consulate-slayings-gets-10 .

Rep. Ralph Hall and primary challenger John Ratcliffe to appear at Tea Party Express rally

WASHINGTON– Rep. Ralph Hall and primary challenger John Ratcliffe will make rare appearance at the same event Saturday, when both will speak at a Tea Party Express rally in Texarkana.

Hall, 90, has held the 4th Congressional District since his election in 1990. He has never had much trouble getting re-elected before Ratcliffe and four other challengers held him to 46 percent of the vote in the Republican primary.

Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney, got 30 percent. He has repeatedly challenged Hall to debates, without success. Hall’s campaign has said the incumbent is not opposed to debating. But he hasn’t agreed to any number of suggested dates and locations. It seems unlikely the two will face off directly tomorrow.

Hall’s campaign said he will be on a tight schedule, fitting in a speech at the rally before a friend’s funeral, and a meeting on science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM) later that day in the district.

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/04/hall-ratcliffe-to-appear-at-tea-party-express-rally.html/ .
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