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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: 83,349

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

Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn slams state leaders, says he'll 'work as hard as I can' to overturn fund

Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn slams state leaders, says he'll 'work as hard as I can' to overturn funding measure for teachers, state employee raises

Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn said Wednesday that he will “work as hard as I can” to overturn a $400 million revenue bill lawmakers say is necessary to pay for raises for teachers, school support personnel and state employees.

Speaking to the Rotary Club of Tulsa, Coburn said he supports more money for teachers and instruction but said it should be found in existing revenue and by eliminating tax credits for wind energy.

As it turned out, Coburn said this just hours before the Oklahoma House of Representatives voted to terminate the last major tax preference available to wind, an 85 cents-on-the-dollar refund of existing income tax credits for generation.

“I think there’s been a great shift away, in our politics in Oklahoma, from what Oklahoma stands for, and it really disturbs me,” Coburn said.

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/government/former-u-s-sen-tom-coburn-slams-state-leaders-says/article_5a2fbf19-bf71-54aa-9004-62e04f3c66a1.html

Oklahoma Senate kills bill that would have ended wind industry incentive early

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate on Monday killed a bill that would have ended a lucrative incentive given to wind farms.

Senate Bill 888, by Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, failed by a vote of 18-23 after securing House approval last week.

The bill, presented by Sen. Marty Quinn, R-Claremore, would have ended the refundability of zero-emission tax credits.

Under current law, electricity-generating companies earn the credits at a rate of a fraction of a cent per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated with no emissions, such as through wind, water, sun and geothermal sources, and can redeem them to reduce their state tax liability for 10 years. Companies can cash in credits to the tune of 85 percent of the face value of the tax credits.

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/state/oklahoma-senate-kills-bill-that-would-have-ended-wind-industry/article_b55bf5cf-4d3a-50cb-a5c9-0ef41a2e9f5b.html

Oklahoma child abuse prevention programs worry about funding

Oklahoma City — Parent Promise made it through this year's budget cuts without leaving the high-risk families it works with in the lurch.

Executive Director Sherry Fair said she isn't sure it can pull off the same trick for another year, though.

Oklahoma City-based Parent Promise and eight other organizations had $2 million in state contracts to perform home visits with families at a higher-than-average risk of child abuse or neglect. The Oklahoma State Department of Health cut the contracts in October to deal with a budget shortfall caused by years of overspending.

Private funders helped Parent Promise get through this year, but organizations in rural areas haven't been so fortunate, Fair said.

Read more: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-child-abuse-prevention-funding-up-in-the-air/article/5592639

New bill could have huge impact on large-school athletics

A new Senate Bill was introduced Monday that could shift the landscape of large-school athletics throughout the state.

Under the bill, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association would be required to adopt a policy placing any district with more than 2,250 students and just one high school into its own classification.

Broken Arrow, Tulsa Union, Jenks, Owasso, Mustang and Yukon would be placed in their own classification if passed.

Senate Bill 1599 is set to be heard by the Joint Committees on Appropriations and Budget Monday afternoon and could go before the Senate Tuesday and then it could go before the House of Representatives Thursday. If it advances, Gov. Mary Fallin would receive the bill Friday, the final day of session.

Read more: http://newsok.com/new-bill-could-have-huge-impact-on-large-school-athletics/article/5592934

Governor signs budget bill

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a $7.6 billion spending bill, signalling to lawmakers they can adjourn session nearly a month before it's scheduled to end.

Legislative leaders have said that once work on the budget was done, they could send lawmakers home for the rest of the year. The legislative session is annually scheduled to run between February and the end of May. The Fiscal Year 2019 budget goes into effect July 1.

Oklahoma's largest-ever appropriation was possible with a suite of new taxes adopted in special session. Those revenue streams come from higher tax rates on motor fuel, cigarettes and the production of oil and gas.

"The budget includes many of the priorities I have called for in my annual State of the State address to lawmakers the past three years," Fallin said in an emailed statement. "Core services of state government are prioritized throughout the budget. It provides for a teacher pay raise and additional funding for public schools as well as increased funding for mental health and corrections to implement criminal justice reform measures."

Read more: http://newsok.com/gov.-fallin-signs-2018-budget/article/5592990

Finally, A Race For The Rest Of Us: Boerne 0.5K In Texas Includes Beer, Smoke Break

The inaugural Boerne (pronounced like Bernie) race is "500-ish" yards, or .3 miles.

The "um, 'race,'" as its organizers call it, begins and ends with a free pint of beer. And at the halfway point, if you've burned through your carbs (.15 miles in), a doughnut and coffee hydration station is available for a carbo reload — right next to the costume contest and smoking area.

The entry fee was $25 before tickets sold out. All proceeds will go to Blessings in a Backpack, a charity organization that tackles food insecurity by supplying weekend meals for elementary school students who might otherwise go hungry.

The uber-underachieving VIP, however, could pay an extra $25 to be shuttled across the finish line in a restored 1963 VW bus. VIPs also get an even bigger medal, organizers say "because you are even more important!"

Read more: http://tpr.org/post/finally-race-rest-us-05k-texas-includes-beer-smoke-break

Three Black City Council Members Saved the Dallas Confederate Memorial. Don't Ask Why.

A lot of side-of-the-mouth talking took place during this week’s Dallas City Council debate on removal of the shabby Confederate war memorial next to City Hall, but let’s not lose sight of the big thing: The vote to keep that ugly monstrosity in place was led by three of four black members of the council.

That’s it. The whole story. There was a lot of talk about a lot of stuff. There always is a lot of talk about a lot of stuff when a truly difficult decision comes before the council, but let’s not lose sight of the big thing. The vote.

Three of the city’s four black council members effectively sided with dozens of pro-Confederate speakers from the audience and led the council to vote to suspend a yearlong process to remove the memorial. Yes, they said all kinds of stuff about why. But it’s important to focus on what happened. Although the council voted a year ago to take it down, the Confederate war memorial next to Dallas City Hall survives because a majority of black council members saved it from demolition with their votes.

The big lesson here is that dealing with the city’s Civil War legacy and history of white supremacy is not something that can be left to our local elected back leadership. A majority of the black council members proved with their votes this week that they, as individuals, are not capable of dealing with these questions honorably or intelligently.

Read more: http://www.dallasobserver.com/news/dont-leave-civil-war-questions-to-black-dallas-city-council-members-10628972

Democrats Create Big-Money PAC to Oppose Senator Ted Cruz

Even if Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke dislikes and disavows the use of super PACs in federal elections, they have become part of the reality of modern politics. And now there is one whose aim is to defeat Republican incumbent Senator Ted Cruz—and, by extension, help O’Rourke.

The Fire Ted Cruz committee—officially the FTC PAC—makes a point on its website to note that it is “not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.” And so far, there are only two major donors: $100,000 from investment banker Vaughn Vennerberg II of MorningStar Partners and $10,000 from Dallas trial lawyer Marc Stanley. Federal law prevents these PACs from coordinating with any campaign, but that doesn’t mean someone like O’Rourke wouldn’t benefit from a political action committee that is targeting his opponent.

“This was a really good opportunity because the research shows that the time is right to fire Ted Cruz,” said Stanley, who described himself as chairman of the FTC PAC. “I think he’s awful. He’s not only disliked by his colleagues, he’s disliked by millions of Americans. He’s a self-centered hypocrite that continually lies about his actions. We think he’s vulnerable and we want to make sure the voters know exactly how bad he is.”

At the moment, the committee only has the website FTedCruz.com. (If that strikes you as a double entendre, it would not be for me to say whether you have a dirty mind.) Whether it grows into a full-scale super PAC with television and radio advertising remains to be seen, Stanley told me.

Read more: https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/democrats-create-big-money-pac-oppose-senator-ted-cruz/

Andrew White really wants to debate his Democratic opponent, so why isn't it happening?

The runoff election deciding which Democrat will run against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott is less than a month away, and candidate Andrew White is not pleased with his opponent’s reluctance to debate him.

White, a Houston entrepreneur, advanced along with former Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez after competing in a nine-person race in the March 6 primary. White said his team immediately began trying to set up a debate with Valdez in anticipation for the runoff, which will take place May 22.

“Since the day after the primary election, we’ve been calling for debates,” White said. “We’ve received offers to host debates from television stations, newspapers, Democratic clubs … we’ve accepted every single one of them without question, and we still don’t have a debate set.”

White said he believes the Valdez campaign is stalling these attempts because they perceive Valdez to be the front-runner and do not want to jeopardize that status.

Read more: http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2018/04/26/andrew-white-really-wants-to-debate-his-democratic-opponent-so-why-isn%E2%80%99t-it-happening

Congressman Beto O'Rourke 'inspired' by San Angelo town hall meeting

A crowd of more than 300 people applauded as U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke spoke at the Angelo State University for a town hall meeting Friday.

“This is my third visit to San Angelo and I’m always welcomed so warmly,” said O’Rourke, who is seeking to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

“Republicans, Democrats, Independents alike have been coming together around the big issues for this country. Whether that’s jobs, immigration or great public schools,” he said.

Since launching his campaign more than a year ago, O’Rourke has traveled the state and visited more than 240 counties.

Read more: https://www.gosanangelo.com/story/news/local/2018/04/28/congressman-beto-orourke-inspired-san-angelo-town-hall-meeting/560658002/
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