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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: 87,082

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

Missouri lawmakers might miss budget deadline, necessitating a special session

JEFFERSON CITY — For only the second time ever, Missouri lawmakers might miss the constitutional deadline to balance the state budget.

The deadline, spelled out in the Missouri Constitution, requires lawmakers to stop working on the budget by "6:00 p.m. on the first Friday following the first Monday in May of each year."

For everyone else, that's the evening of May 5. Lawmakers will still convene the following week until the legislature adjourns indefinitely, but the Constitution prevents them from taking up the budget.

House Communications Director Trevor Fox said the only time lawmakers have missed this deadline was in 1997.

Read more: http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/25/missouri-lawmakers-might-miss-budget-deadline-necessitating-special-session/100853536/

Missouri Senate votes to up funding for public K-12 schools

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri public K-12 schools appear set to get roughly $48 million more in basic aid next fiscal year after state senators voted Tuesday to bump up funding enough to meet targets called for under state law.

Because House members also passed a spending proposal that would meet funding goals, the money for schools likely will be locked into the final budget due to Gov. Eric Greitens by May 5.

The measure passed 19-14. All nine Senate Democrats joined 10 Republicans in voting for the amendment by Farmington Republican Sen. Gary Romine for higher funding.

Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh in a statement praised the move, though she noted lawmakers last year redefined adequate K-12 school funding so the state can spend hundreds of millions of dollars less but still meet the target for fully funding schools.

Read more: http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/25/missouri-senate-votes-to-up-funding-for-public-k-12-schools/100917302/

Physics Professor and 'Proud Homophobe' Gets Owned by Washington Univ. Freshman

In his role as physics professor at Washington University, Dr. Jonathan Katz labors to explain universe through the study of its parts in motion. But when he's not in the classroom or in the laboratory, Katz's life is governed by far more worldly (and unscientific) beliefs.

Those beliefs include such statements as "the diversity movement is racist to its core" and declaring that he is "a homophobe, and proud." Both lines are found in essays on Katz's personal website, and over the years the professor's noxious views have created headaches for his employer — which can't fire him because of tenure rules — and outrage among students.

Now he's at it again. But this time, Katz's views have been rejected in a satisfyingly public fashion — with the prof getting owned by a first-year undergrad, no less, in the pages of the student newspaper.

Katz's latest tantrum involves the status of women in Washington University physics department. To Katz, a tenured professor since 1976, the fact that his department includes exactly zero women with tenure or tenure-track professorships is hardly a cause for concern, and certainly not a reflection of intentional discrimination. Instead, as he wrote in an April 3 op-ed published in the student newspaper Student Life, Katz suggests that the absence of women in physics is simply unexplainable and should be accepted as a basic fact of nature.

Read more: http://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2017/04/20/physics-professor-and-proud-homophobe-gets-owned-by-wash-u-freshman

Ferguson Court Audit Turns Up Illegal Fees, Missing Money in Moldy Files

The Ferguson city court charged people $26,000 in illegal fees and is missing nearly $1,500 in cash, but it's nearly impossible to figure out everything that's gone wrong, because officials there do such a terrible job keeping records, a state audit released this morning reveals.

In fact, state investigators had to hire a mold remediation service to help clean piles of deteriorating documents.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway revealed the disturbing results of the long-awaited review into the Ferguson Municipal Court on Wednesday. Not only were the records a mess, she says, but court and city workers were "combative" with state investigators during the probe.

"Considering the lack of cooperation my staff experienced in their official roles as representatives of my office, I can only imagine how average citizens are treated when they are trying to get information about their cases or resolution on serious issues," Galloway says.

Read more: http://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2017/04/26/ferguson-court-audit-turns-up-illegal-fees-missing-money-in-moldy-files

Sheriff Cory Hutcheson Vowed to Clean Up His Rural Missouri County. Now He's the One Facing Prison

The boy sheriff of Mississippi County had made some big promises.

Sheriff Cory Hutcheson told voters during the 2016 campaign he would wage war on rural drug dealers in their stretch of the Missouri Bootheel. No more meth heads doing business across the street from their schools. No more addicts stealing them blind in the night. No more unanswered calls for help.

"It kind of gave me hope," recalls Adrienne Thurmond-Adams, a 32-year-old social worker and mom. "We needed hope around here."

Running as a Republican — a break from the socially conservative county's Dixiecrat-like tradition — Hutcheson, 33, challenged his old boss, upsetting the twelve-year incumbent by 258 votes. It was a bitter campaign. When it was over, half of the eight-man department left rather than work for a know-it-all kid with less than a decade in law enforcement. Not that it bothered Hutcheson. He had made it clear he was bringing in his own team, openly boasting on Facebook about plans to fire rival deputies.

Read more: http://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis/sheriff-cory-hutcheson/Content?oid=4857359&showFullText=true

Missouri's GOP had a very bad Friday, thanks to Dems and Gov. Greitens' secretive nonprofit

Republicans in Jefferson City on Friday absorbed a hit from rival Democrats — and a body blow from the governor, who, last anyone checked, was a member of their own party.

Gov. Eric Greitens’ dark-money nonprofit, A New Missouri Inc., attacked Sen. Rob Schaaf on Twitter and on the group’s website, accusing him of (gasp) “siding with liberals” and trying to “shut down the conservative agenda” in the Senate. A New Missouri urged citizens to contact Schaaf, and helpfully provided the senator’s private telephone number.

Schaaf had indeed been a nuisance to GOP leaders in recent days, using a filibuster and other tactics to stall Senate business as a protest against plans to hand over more of Missouri’s Medicaid program to private managed-care companies. But governors don’t generally smack legislators so publicly; for one thing, Greitens might need Schaaf the road. But attack Greitens did, and the episode shocked Republicans in the capitol and provided more evidence that the governor, a former Navy Seal, favors bullying over more traditional forms of governmental relationship building. New to politics, Missouri’s governor hasn’t figured out that other duly elected officials don’t feel bound simply to take orders from him.

Schaaf himself issued a tweet on Friday afternoon, telling people: “please text as my voicemail is overwhelmed.” Not one to back down, he told The Kansas City Star he was “saddened that the governor lacks the courage to confront men directly but rather relies on his dark money donors to impugn my stands for liberty and the downtrodden, and against corruption.”

Read more: http://www.pitch.com/news/article/20859131/missouris-gop-had-a-very-bad-friday-thanks-to-dems-and-gov-greitens-secretive-nonprofit

Josh Landy, Richard Moseley Jr. slapped with payday lawsuit from Consumer Financial Protection ...

Josh Landy, Richard Moseley Jr. slapped with payday lawsuit from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Trump wants to gut this agency -- filed a lawsuit against, you guessed it, another Kansas City area payday lending operation.

This time it’s an outfit nominally based on tribal land in California but that has been operating in Kansas. This ought to sound familiar by now.

The lawsuit alleges four different lending operations -- Golden Valley Lending, Inc., Silver Cloud Financial, Inc., Mountain Summit Financial, Inc., and Majestic Lake Financial, Inc. -- were deceiving consumers on debts they did not legally owe, collecting loan payments they were not entitled to, and failing to disclose the true annual percentage rates of loans.

"We allege that these companies made deceptive demands and illegally took money from people's bank accounts,” CFPB chief Richard Cordray says in a release. “We are seeking to stop these violations and get relief for consumers."

Read more: http://www.pitch.com/news/blog/20859633/josh-landy-richard-moseley-jr-slapped-with-payday-lawsuit-from-consumer-financial-protection-bureau

Hogg says Democrats will defend IPERS

Iowa legislative Democrats warned Thursday they are planning to do battle next year if Republicans seek to make major changes to state's public employee retirement system.

Iowa Sen. Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids, the Democratic leader in the Senate, joined a handful of Quad-City area Democratic legislators in Davenport on Thursday for a post-mortem on the 2017 session, which Hogg called "brutal" for working families.

The Republican-controlled Legislature adjourned last weekend after making sweeping changes on several fronts, including reductions in collective bargaining rights for most public employees, a voter identification law and a host of other changes.

Democrats still have to wait another 19 months before they'll get a chance to compete with Republicans at the polls. But asked what they expected were major issues to come in the 2018 session, Hogg said water quality and income taxes will be big topics. He also raised the idea Republicans, much like they did with collective bargaining, could seek to make changes swiftly to Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System, or IPERS.

Read more: http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/hogg-says-democrats-will-defend-ipers/article_e83a5635-ca60-53d0-938b-26271a00a50e.html

Iowa legislators plug gun permit glitch

Before they went home last Saturday, lawmakers quickly amended the state’s gun permit law after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled sheriffs couldn’t ask questions about an applicant’s criminal record.

The court ruled April 14 that the law’s language was unclear but that gun permit seekers should have to answer only questions about their identity — name, address, birth date and driver’s license or identification card number. Other questions, such as whether the applicant is a felon, were not permitted, the court ruled.

Ross Loder, the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s bureau chief for weapon permits, said he immediately emailed Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, and Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Council Bluffs, after the ruling to let them know it was easy to fix that if they wanted to do so.

“Nobody has picked up on that issue before,” Loder said.

Read more: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/public-safety/iowa-legislators-plug-gun-permit-glitch-20170427

Democrat Pete D'Alessandro exploring congressional run in Iowa's 3rd District

Pete D’Alessandro, a Democratic political operative who ran U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign in Iowa, is exploring a run for Congress.

D’Alessandro is eying a run in Iowa’s 3rd District, which includes the Des Moines metro area and is currently represented by two-term Republican U.S. Rep. David Young.

He confirmed to the Des Moines Register on Tuesday that he is forming an exploratory committee with the Federal Elections Commission, a step that allows him to raise money for a potential run without formally announcing his candidacy.

“Over the course of the next few months, I will be traveling to all 16 counties in our district listening to everyday people, talking with activists, and engaging with community leaders to gather their views on the condition and the direction of the district and our country,” D’Alessandro said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2017/04/25/democrat-pete-dalessandro-exploring-congressional-run-iowas-3rd-district/306376001/
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