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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: 87,655

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

My first week as a forum host

Sorry about all the meta I brought to the bar.

Court rejects Texan’s lawsuit challenging Obama’s health care law

A federal appeals court Friday tossed out a lawsuit, filed by a leading Texas conservative and Republican donor from Houston, that sought to overturn President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law.

Dr. Steven Hotze, founder of the Conservative Republicans of Texas, announced the lawsuit against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act during a 2013 news conference at the Texas Capitol while surrounded by almost 30 Republican legislators. The lawsuit became a centerpiece for Hotze’s fundraising efforts for the organization.

A Houston federal district judge, however, ruled in favor of the Obama administration, rejecting Hotze’s argument that the Affordable Care Act violated the Constitution’s origination clause, which requires revenue-raising bills to originate in the U.S. House.

Hotze appealed, leading to Friday’s decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the lower court should not have ruled on Hotze’s lawsuit because he could not show that he had been injured by the law and therefore lacked standing to sue.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/court-rejects-texans-lawsuit-challenging-obamas-he/nk3XQ/

Railroad Commission moves to shut down wells linked to quakes

The Texas Railroad Commission said Friday it was considering shutting down two wastewater disposal wells in North Texas’ Barnett Shale after they were linked to seismic activity in the area.

A study released by scientists at SMU earlier this week presented evidence a series of earthquakes around the rural town of Azle in late 2013 were caused by two disposal wells operated by XTO Energy, the Forth Worth subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, and Houston-based EnerVest.

“In light of SMU’s study linking disposal well activity to earthquakes in 2013, it is important to assess this new information in relation to the continued operational safety of the wells,” Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick said in a statement.

A growing body of research has connected earthquakes with injection wells, which oil and gas companies use to store deep underground the billions of gallons wastewater that are a byproduct of drilling.

Read more: http://bizbeatblog.dallasnews.com/2015/04/railroad-commission-move-to-shut-down-wells-linked-to-quakes.html/

Perry, Cruz to Make 2016 Pitch to Jewish Donors

White House hopefuls Ted Cruz and Rick Perry are making a pilgrimage to Las Vegas as the invisible primary for Republican super-donor Sheldon Adelson's millions heats up, and the two Texans are hoping to stand out for their unwavering support of Israel and deep skepticism of President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.

Cruz and Perry are set to speak back to back Saturday morning at the annual meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, an opportunity for them to redouble their long-running appeals to some of the most prominent Jewish donors in the country. Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate who sits on the RJC board, is expected to have a front-row seat for most of the confab at his Venetian resort hotel and casino.

Along with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Cruz and Perry will address a crowd of nearly 800 people, many of whom have given well above the $1,000 minimum to attend the conference. The four speeches make up the only part of the RJC's three-day confab open to reporters, with other big-name Republicans and their aides making more private overtures to the RJC throughout the weekend.

Adelson, who with his wife gave more than $92 million to presidential candidates in 2012, is being closely watched as 2016 hopefuls scramble to firm up financial commitments for what will probably be the priciest-ever race for the White House. Adelson's hawkish defense views, especially on the Middle East, mesh with a GOP field prepared for foreign policy to factor prominently into the 2016 race.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/04/24/cruz-perry-to-make-2016-pitch-to-jewish-donors/

Oklahoma State hit with probation, fine for NCAA infractions

On Friday, the NCAA determined that the Oklahoma State University athletic department violated NCAA policies by not following its own drug testing policy and allowed a student group to participate in hosting prospects, according to a decision issued by a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.

The school was penalized with one year of probation, $8,500 in fines, suspension of the Orange Pride student group program and university-imposed recruiting restrictions.

This case stemmed from a series of articles published in Sports Illustrated stating various claims of alleged NCAA violations. According to the NCAA report, more than 50,000 emails and other documents were reviewed and nearly 90 interviews were conducted. Many of the allegations from the series of articles were unfounded, but the investigation concluded that the university violated its drug testing policy and committed recruiting violations.


Robinson ISD confirms 1 student with viral meningitis, second case unconfirmed

A Robinson Elementary School student was diagnosed with viral meningitis this week, and a second student at the same campus may also have meningitis, though that case is not yet confirmed.

Parents notified the district Tuesday that a child who presented with a headache and vomiting had viral meningitis.

Laura Bearden, head district nurse for the Robinson ISD, said symptoms vary but some include a stiff neck, fever, headaches and vomiting. She said a viral meningitis confirmation can take as long as 72 hours and as of Friday the second student had not notified the district of the results.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website says meningitis involves swelling around the brain and spinal tissue, but viral meningitis is much less severe than bacterial meningitis, with most cases presenting with flu-like symptoms. Most patients recover from the viral strain without treatment, the CDC website stated.

Read more: http://www.wacotrib.com/news/health/robinson-isd-confirms-student-with-viral-meningitis-second-case-unconfirmed/article_75edf1b2-6287-569d-873f-22c848467cce.html (Waco Tribune)

Former Victoria officer that tazed 76 year-old man hired in Beeville

Former Victoria Police Officer Nathanial Robinson has a new job with the Beeville Police Department, according to a Corpus Christi news station.

Robinson was fired in December after dash cam footage showed him stopping 76-year-old Victoria man Pete Vasquez, throwing him toward the ground, using a stun gun on him and later arresting him.

He was fired from the Victoria department after violating its police conduct, use of force and arrest policies and procedures.

A grand jury decided not to indict Robinson.

Beeville Police Chief Joe Trevino said Robinson won't immediately be placed back on the streets, KIII-TV reported. The 23-year-old will go through a 12-week training program, which will include learning department policies and procedures, and retraining on using tools and weapons, the chief told the TV news station.


6 Texas jailers fired after inmate left alone for weeks

Source: AP

HOUSTON (AP) — Six Texas jailers were fired and 29 others suspended after a mentally ill inmate was left unattended and alone in his cell for weeks with insect-infested food containers, a feces-clogged toilet and ropes from his shredded jail uniform hanging from the ceiling.

Among those fired by Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia on Friday were two jail sergeants indicted earlier this month on record-tampering charges for signing off on paperwork stating that Deterrius Rashad Goodwin was in good condition in his second-floor cell in the Harris County Jail.

The jail sergeants, Sgt. Ricky D. Pickens-Wilson and Sgt. John Figaroa, are both free on $5,000 bond. If convicted, each faces from two to 10 years in prison.

Garcia also fired four jail supervisors, and he said the 29 unpaid suspensions range from one to 10 days.

Read more: http://www.valleymorningstar.com/news/us_news/article_f4219b30-4e2a-5766-a83f-c5531f3b3a28.html

World’s Largest For-Profit Prison Blasted in Federal Audit

The world’s largest for-profit prison has minimal oversight, overcharged the federal government by $2.1 million, arbitrarily punishes protesting inmates and suffers from severe understaffing, according to a report released Thursday morning by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General.

Run by private prison company GEO Group, the Reeves County Detention Complex in Pecos houses nearly 4,000 federal prisoners, mostly undocumented immigrants serving sentences for drugs and immigration-related offenses. Over the last decade, Reeves has been rocked by riots, persistent complaints about inadequate medical care and allegations that prison officials use solitary confinement to punish inmates who complain. In 2009, Reeves was the site of two back-to-back prisoner uprisings after an epileptic inmate, Jesus Manuel Galindo, was found dead in his isolation cell. Galindo, his family and other inmates had repeatedly pleaded with GEO officials for better medical care.

The Reeves complex consists of three compounds. The Department of Justice investigated two of the three sub-complexes, which together hold about 2,400 low-security immigrant inmates.

Perhaps the most alarming finding is that the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) asked GEO Group to eliminate minimum staffing requirements for correctional officers, medical care providers and other personnel in its original bid for the facility. Not surprisingly, the prison was almost continuously understaffed from 2007 to March 2009, following two riots in late 2008 and early 2009 that did more than $1 million worth of damage. “BOP officials told us they removed these staffing requirements to achieve cost savings and grant the contractor flexibility and discretion to manage the staffing of the facility,” the report states.

Read more: http://www.texasobserver.org/worlds-largest-for-profit-prison-blasted-in-federal-audit/

49 immigrants found by Border Patrol at Falfurrias checkpoint

U.S. Border Patrol agents found 49 people suspected of illegally entering the country during two incidents Thursday, authorities say.

Agents on Thursday found 38 people locked inside a tractor trailer driven by a U.S. citizen at the Falfurrias checkpoint along U.S. 281.

Nine people suspected illegally immigrating into the U.S. were found on a flatbed truck on Thursday, as well. People were sweating profusely due to the lack of ventilation and extremely hot temperatures, Border Patrol said in the release.

The drivers of the vehicles face human smuggling charges, the release states.

All of the immigrants declined medical attention.

http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/immigrants-found-by-border-patrol-at-falfurrias-checkpoint/article_43ee68ca-eaba-11e4-b244-bf7eafc5c126.html (McAllen Monitor)

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