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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: 84,752

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

GOP faithful flock to Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition forum

WAUKEE, Iowa — Like the array of political campaign buttons and T-shirts outside the chapel, the social wars were much on display in the nation’s first caucus state this weekend.

Whether speaking of religion, gay marriage or abortion, each of nine Republican presidential hopefuls, including Texans Sen. Ted Cruz and former Gov. Rick Perry, gave fiery testimonial to 1,000 activists who attended a Faith and Freedom Coalition on Saturday night.

While their devotion is no doubt real, it is demographics that many believe led the GOP leaders to begin their campaigns on the hard right side of social conservatism.

Sharing their faith and vision was a way for candidates to connect with a bloc of voters who traditionally make up more than half of Republican caucus-goers in Iowa.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20150426-gop-faithful-flock-to-iowa-faith-and-freedom-coalition-forum.ece

Texas Tea Party: When Ignorance Aligns With Power

By Carol Morgan

Who will read it? Who will care? For over a week, I’ve asked myself these questions as I sit down to write.

Each day the Texas Legislature convenes, everything Texans take for granted is in jeopardy; education, our environment, the way we govern our communities, even the sovereignty of a woman’s body is under threat by the mercurial whims of the Texas Tea Party. Each Friday, I breathe a sigh of relief. I’m immensely grateful that the confederacy of dunces in Austin is not in session.

If all Texans were required to watch the committee hearings and legislative sessions online, there is nothing that would prevent them from voting in the next election. Not only are the legislators at war with their own constituents, they’re at war amongst themselves. The noxious stench of contentiousness and battle for control is in the very air under the dome. Each of the branches of government, the House, the, Senate and the Executive branch jockey for power and attention.

Every piece of legislation is a mirror of their mortal combat philosophy; a contest to push the limits of cruelty, hatred, extremism and misogyny.

Senator Charles Perry has broken all the rules expected of a public servant. He’s voted for the horrible “opportunity scholarships” a.k.a. known as vouchers that will eventually kill public education. He’s authored a bill that will disrupt any good will built between law enforcement and minority communities.

How can these laws be beneficial for the South Plains? We already have school choice and we’ve had a law that covers illegal immigration since the early nineties.

His legislation serves only one selfish purpose; to garner notoriety and name recognition for a future shot at Randy Neugebauer’s spot in Congress. There’s no such thing as bad publicity in politics when you have your eye on another political office; a promotion in the hierarchy of grandiose political theater.

A local Democrat employed the Perry strategy to take the opposite stance. His hyperbolic letter to the Senator was nothing more than an attention-getting counterattack to pave the path to another future office. The Perry-Hernandez standoff was little more than two male dogs pissing on the same tree. I hate it when Democrats use the strategies of the GOP, because we’re better than that.

Realistically, there are legislators in Austin who are much more dangerous than Charles Perry and there are bills in Austin that are far more dangerous than #SB 185. It pales in comparison to the other bills streaming down the pike.

Public education is under direct attack by Tea Party. Even though Pre-K is one of the Governor’s priorities, Tea Party legislators seek to obliterate it. Our own District 83 Representative, Dustin Burrows voted against it and has aligned himself (on more than one occasion) with the most extreme and certifiably crazy legislators like Stickland, White, Riddle, and Krause.

Senator Donna Campbell insults our teachers and paints public education as an enemy combatant. Dan Patrick allows a handful of attention-seeking-name-dropping-politically-ambitious females and billionaires in his advisory groups to craft policy. This group is more Godless than Patrick’s disingenuous cheesy-dramatic description of kindergarten.

It gets worse. Let’s have a law that forces dead women to be a receptacle for a fetus whose viability at birth is in question, shall we? Conversely, let’s have a live woman forced to carry a dead fetus all the way to term because all life is valued and sometimes miracles happen, right? If it’s a hungry child that’s already born or an innocent person on death row; the rhetoric quickly changes to bootstraps and the angry justified vengeance of eye-for-eye.

The author of this particularly misogynistic piece of legislation (I call it the dead baby bill) liberty-lovin’ Matt Schaefer, justified it this way: Suffering is “part of the human condition, since sin entered the world.”

I'll stop for a moment for your eyeroll.

I have to laugh when I hear Tea Party politicians assert that “government is bad” because I know they’ll prove it as soon as they’re elected. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a backyard chicken ordinance in Lubbock or Sid Miller’s fight (complete with white hat and massive belly) over putting deep fat fryers back in school cafeterias.

It seems nobody knows how to set priorities unless there's liberty or freedom in the subject line.

Almost fifty years ago, economist Garrett Hardin conjectured a theory called the “Tragedy of the Commons”. He contended that individuals in power will always act in a manner that benefits them personally, even though it is contrary to the best interests of the group. How perfectly this describes the twisted psychopathology of the collective of the Texas Tea Party.

There is nothing more dangerous than an elected official with a hungry ego demanding to be fed. They are willing to lie and cheat to get more, if only to prevent others from taking it away. Their judgement for public policy is severely clouded by their next media interview, a selfie, a photo op or the tasty anticipation of the next political office they hope to win.

Candidates with the simple desire to serve won’t be elected. If by some miracle, they win, they won’t stay uncontaminated for long. The tornado of power and ego sucks them into the vortex and they quickly discover it’s easier to join ‘em than to beat ‘em. Those unwilling to be ruthless will be defeated by those who are.

A politician’s betrayal of his or her constituency is nothing new. What’s different now is that citizens can witness the ugliness unfold in real time via a 24-7 news stream and social media. Unfortunately, some refuse to acknowledge it. To do so would force them to choose between speaking out or remaining in the spiral of silence with the pleasant camaraderie of their herd.

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Carol Morgan is a career/college counselor, a freelance writer, and former Democratic candidate for the Texas House. She is the award-winning author of two books: Of Tapestry, Time and Tears and Liberal in Lubbock. Email Carol at elizabethcmorgan@sbcglobal.net , follow her on Twitter and on Facebook or visit her writer’s blog at www.carolmorgan.org

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2015-04-26/texas-tea-party-when-ignorance-aligns-power#.VT249JPy3SI

Permission granted to post Carol's blog in its entirety.

Watch out Houston area, major thunderstorm headed your way.

Marble-size hail, lots of lightning that knocked out the power three times for brief periods and plenty of rain here in Wharton.

Internet billionaires face off in renewed Texas space race with one site in West Texas

VAN HORN, Texas — An isolated edge of vast West Texas is home to a highly secretive part of the 21st-century space race, one of two being directed in the Lone Star State by Internet billionaires whose personalities and corporate strategies seem worlds apart.

The presence of Blue Origin, LLC, the brainchild of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, barely registers in nearby Van Horn, a way station along Interstate 10, a full decade after he began buying land in one of Texas' largest and most remote counties.

Few visitors are allowed beyond the "No Trespassing" sign and a remote-controlled gate and into the desert and mountain environment reminiscent of the Air Force's renowned Area 51 in Nevada. The privileged who do get inside decline to describe what they've seen, typically citing confidentiality agreements.

"No one gets in other than employees," says Robert Morales, editor of the weekly Van Horn Advocate newspaper.

At the opposite end — of Texas and the competition — is the highly visible SpaceX venture, led by PayPal co-founder and electric car maker Elon Musk. His company contracts with NASA to resupply the International Space Station and is building a launch site about 600 miles from Van Horn, on the southernmost Texas Gulf coast, with the much-publicized goal of sending humans to Mars.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2015-04-26/internet-billionaires-face-renewed-texas-space-race-one-site-west-texas#comment-369849

Kazakhstan Goes to Polls as President Expected to Win

Source: ABC News

Voters in Kazakhstan turned out in abundance at polling stations Sunday for a presidential election guaranteed to overwhelmingly reconfirm the incumbent, who has ruled over the former Soviet republic for more than 25 years.

The election is taking place against the backdrop of a slump in economic growth and an air of anxiety over unrest in the nearby countries of Ukraine and Afghanistan.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, 74, wrote in an opinion piece before the election that the vote would give the elected president a clear mandate to lead the country through potentially troubled times.

"The upcoming election will strengthen the stability of Kazakhstan. This remains the main condition for the sustainable development of our country and completing the large-scale tasks of modernizing our economy and society," he wrote.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/kazakhstan-polls-president-expected-win-30587632

Car bombs kill at least 7 civilians in Iraq

Source: AP

BAGHDAD (AP) — Car bombs ripped through commercial areas in and around the Iraqi capital on Sunday, killing at least seven civilians, officials said.

The deadliest attack was in the town of Mahmoudiya, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, where a car bomb killed at least four civilians and wounded another nine, a police officer said.

Three others were killed and 13 wounded in another car bomb explosion in Baghdad's southwestern Amil neighborhood, he added.

Medical officials confirmed the toll. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

Read more: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/apr/26/car-bombings-kill-at-least-6-civilians-in-around/

The Latest on GOP's 2016 hopefuls: Iowans see a bumper crop

9 p.m. CDT (10 p.m. EDT)

For some at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting of social conservatives, it looks like a bumper crop of Republican candidates competing in the 2016 race.

Sixty-eight-year-old Bill Campbell Indianola says he hasn't decided which of the contenders to support. But he's pleased so many are vying for the nomination. He calls that "a wonderful dilemma."

Another voter, Jean Gerritsen of Ankeny, is impressed with what she calls a lineup of "good Christian" candidates. But she's settled on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, calling him steadfast and a standout.

___

7:30 p.m. CDT (8:30 p.m. EDT)

Clinton-bashing is down a notch at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting in Iowa, compared with the big Republican gathering of presidential hopefuls in New Hampshire a week ago.

Carly Fiorina, the only woman among the 2016 Republican contenders, is a relentless critic of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the Iowa meeting Saturday night proved no exception when she had her turn on the stage.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/texas/article/The-Latest-on-the-2016-GOP-field-Cruz-vows-to-6223730.php

Aide to Sen. Cochran arrested on drug charge, plan to distribute drugs in exchange for sexual favors

WASHINGTON — An aide to Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi has been charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine after federal agents raided his home.

An office administrator for Cochran, Fred W. Pagan, was arrested Thursday.

Washington police officers and agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security raided Pagan’s home Thursday and allegedly found 181.5 grams of meth, according to the Washington City Paper.

Court papers said Customs and Border Protection officers found a package on April 9 in Cincinnati, Ohio, that contained 1.1 kilograms of the drug known as GBL. The package was bound for Pagan’s home address.

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/574794/news-more/aide-to-mississippi-sen-cochran-arrested-on-drug-charge.html

Islamists seize control of Syrian city in northwest

Source: New York Times

BEIRUT — Insurgents seized more parts of the northern Syrian province of Idlib on Saturday in a significant advance toward the government-held coast that seemed to signal new coordination among anti-government fighters, some using advanced anti-tank weapons.

The advances showed that government forces have so far been unable to retake the city of Idlib, the provincial capital. It was seized last month by Islamist insurgent groups that included al-Qaida’s Syrian branch, the Nusra Front, but not the rival Islamic State group.

President Bashar al-Assad has hung on during a four-year insurgency, but his forces have been unable to retake control of large parts of Syria, and in recent weeks insurgents opposed both to his rule and to the Islamic State have made advances in the north and south.

On Saturday, insurgents including the Nusra Front, the hard-line Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham and the relatively nationalist groups calling themselves the Free Syrian Army took part in a battle that left Jisr al-Shughour, the province’s second-largest city, in insurgent hands.


Read more: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/islamists-seize-control-of-syrian-city-in-northwest/article_b08c845c-67b2-5f5a-8a1f-6ed328fa7132.html

State Democrats elect first American Indian to lead party

ALBUQUERQUE — Debra Haaland, who was the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor last year, was elected Saturday as the new state Democratic Party chairwoman.

Haaland, 54, who is a member of Laguna Pueblo, is the first American Indian to be elected to head either major political party in the state.

At a meeting in the Valley High School gymnasium, the party’s State Central Committee elected Haaland over former Santa Fe County party chairman Richard Ellenberg. The vote was 214 for Haaland, 168 for Ellenberg.

Haaland, whose term begins immediately, replaces Albuquerque lawyer Sam Bregman. Bregman showed up to the meeting for a few minutes but didn’t stay for the election of new officers.

Read more: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/state-democrats-elect-first-american-indian-to-lead-party/article_b2827808-b4e3-5e0f-a62f-f832134a8ddd.html
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