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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: 85,862

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

New bill in the Missouri House would force women to bury or cremate aborted fetuses

The Missouri GOP, led by Rep. Hannah Kelly (R-District 141), introduced HB 431, or the “Safeguarding All Children’s Remains to Ensure Dignity Act.” The Act would, among other things, force a person having an abortion to either hold a funeral for or cremate the aborted fetus.

The bill is the same as HB 2402, also sponsored by Kelly, that was proposed in 2020 but is not currently scheduled to be heard in the House.

Kelly—who describes herself as “one hundred percent pro-life”—sponsored the bill to enact even stricter regulations on Missouri women. Missouri currently requires a 72-hour waiting period for women to get an abortion.

HB 431 would also require that the woman seeking an abortion be given materials about the possibility of the fetus experiencing pain during the procedure. The ability of a fetus to feel pain at or before 22 weeks (the legal deadline for a woman to receive an abortion in Missouri) is unproven. Even without research to back the claims, the bill states that the professional performing the abortion must inform the woman that fetuses can feel pain at 16 weeks gestation.

Read more: https://www.thepitchkc.com/new-bill-in-the-missouri-house-would-force-women-to-bury-or-cremate-aborted-fetuses/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat May 1, 2021, 04:01 AM (0 replies)

Federal hate crimes charges put men accused in Arbery killing in bind

A federal hate crimes case against the three white men accused of killing a 25-year-old Black man in Glynn County is a significant blow to the defendants’ chances to avoid punishment in the highly publicized case, legal experts said.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that a federal grand jury indicted Travis McMichael, 35, his father Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan on attempted kidnapping charges and committing racially motivated hate crimes related to Ahmaud Arbery’s death.

The federal case now runs parallel to the state proceedings as the defendants await a trial date on state charges of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

Georgia State University law professor Russell Covey said the likely principal motivation for the federal hate crime charges is because Georgia did not have a similar law on the books when the shooting occurred on Feb. 23, 2020.

Read more: https://georgiarecorder.com/2021/04/29/federal-hate-crimes-charges-put-men-accused-in-arbery-killing-in-tough-bind/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat May 1, 2021, 03:46 AM (2 replies)

Georgia Democrat works to remedy decades of USDA discrimination against Black farmers

WASHINGTON — The arrival of U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in Congress earlier this year coincided with an overdue recognition of the historic discrimination inflicted on Black farmers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The farmers’ plight has emerged as a major priority for Warnock, a Georgia Democrat whose victory in a January special election runoff handed his party a slim majority in the Senate for the first time in a decade.

Senate Democratic leaders who want him re-elected in 2022 are also highlighting Warnock’s key role in moving legislation and crafting policy to provide economic relief to Black farmers across the U.S. and in the Peach State.

On top of that, the House Agriculture Committee—long a bastion of mostly white farm-state lawmakers—now is headed up by its first Black chairman, Rep. David Scott, a Georgia Democrat whose inaugural hearing reviewed the decades of losses faced by Black farmers in the U.S.

Read more: https://missouriindependent.com/briefs/georgia-democrat-works-to-remedy-decades-of-usda-discrimination-against-black-farmers/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat May 1, 2021, 02:23 AM (3 replies)

Missouri Senate rejects funding for voter-approved Medicaid expansion

The Missouri Senate voted against funding Medicaid expansion Wednesday night, after a debate that will not be the final word on whether 275,000 Missourians become eligible for coverage on July 1.

By a 14-20 vote, with four Republicans breaking ranks with the rest of their party, the Senate rejected an amendment to the Department of Mental Health budget offered by Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence. Soon after, an amendment to the medical services provided through the Department of Social Services was defeated by a similar vote.

The Senate completed work on its $35.1 billion spending plan for the year that begins July 1 after midnight following roughly eight hours of debate. It must be reconciled with the House version, which spent $32 billion, by May 7.

With the action, the Senate aligned its version of the Medicaid budget with the House plan adopted in March on the biggest spending issue of the year. The next move is up to Gov. Mike Parson’s administration, which is directed by the state constitution to provide coverage starting July 1.

Read more: https://missouriindependent.com/2021/04/29/missouri-senate-rejects-funding-for-voter-approved-medicaid-expansion/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat May 1, 2021, 02:06 AM (0 replies)

EPA investigation finds Missouri out of compliance with federal civil rights rules

Federal officials are investigating whether Missouri environmental regulators violated the civil rights of St. Louis residents by issuing an air pollution control permit to a fuel transport business located near predominantly Black neighborhoods.

Already, investigators with the Environmental Protection Agency have found the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is out of compliance with regulations requiring agencies receiving money from the EPA to set up nondiscrimination programs, according to the federal agency’s preliminary findings obtained by The Independent.

“Further…it appears that MoDNR ignored concerns raised over the years about its failure to have in place a nondiscrimination program consistent with its long standing legal obligations,” the EPA finding says.

At issue is a permit DNR granted to Kinder Morgan Transmix to operate a facility that separates fuel products back into usable gasoline and other products after shipping. It sits along the Mississippi River near several predominantly Black South St. Louis neighborhoods.

Read more: https://missouriindependent.com/2021/04/29/epa-investigation-finds-missouri-out-of-compliance-with-federal-civil-rights-rules/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat May 1, 2021, 01:55 AM (0 replies)

Evergy to shutter Kansas coal plant, speed transition to renewable energy

Evergy, an electric supplier to about 600,000 customers in western Missouri, will retire its coal power plant in Lawrence, Kansas, by the end of 2023, the company announced on Friday.

The utility revealed its plan to regulators in a filing with the Missouri Public Service Commission. The “integrated resource plan” lays out Evergy’s next few years in capital expenses and pledges to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.

To that end, the company says it will retire “nearly all” of its remaining coal generation by 2040.

In a press release, Evergy’s president and CEO David Campbell said the company is moving toward a cleaner energy future while balancing needs of “reliability and affordability.”

Read more: https://missouriindependent.com/2021/04/30/evergy-to-shutter-kansas-coal-plant-speed-transition-to-renewable-energy/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat May 1, 2021, 01:47 AM (1 replies)

These 12 Dallas ZIP Codes Have Hit 80% Herd Immunity

Earlier this week, we learned that experts at the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation pushed back their estimate of when Dallas County might hit herd immunity—the point at which at least 80% of us will have either been vaccinated or already had COVID-19—to late June or July. That’s due largely to a dropping demand for vaccinations. Right now we’re at about 64% of that herd immunity threshold, Dr. Steve Miff told Channel 8.

The PCCI did name 12 ZIP codes that have already hit 80%, which include sparsely populated industrial areas (75247) as well as the two ZIP codes covering most of downtown Dallas. You’ll also find 75225, covering parts of North Dallas and University Park, which isn’t too surprising: White, wealthy residents have been immunized at higher rates in general, reflecting long-standing healthcare inequalities that have complicated the vaccine rollout. (The median household income in 75225 is $161,296, per U.S. Census data.)

I’m more intrigued by 75204 (parts of Old East Dallas and Uptown) and 75208 (parts of north Oak Cliff and a slice of West Dallas), which are relatively dense, relatively diverse, and have a broader mix of incomes—at least when compared to University Park. (The median household income in 75204 is about $81,000; it’s $63,000 in 75208.) But if there’s any single takeaway here, it’s that we have a lot of work to do in getting the vaccine to everybody who wants and needs it.

Because I’m a visual learner with a rudimentary knowledge of which ZIP codes are where, I looked up each of them on Google Maps, took screenshots, and uploaded the maps below for our edification. Here they are:

Read more: https://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2021/04/these-12-dallas-zip-codes-have-hit-80-herd-immunity/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat May 1, 2021, 01:05 AM (0 replies)

TxDOT wants to improve Laredo-to-RGV connectivity

MCALLEN, Texas – Having listened to the views of stakeholders when developing the new Texas-Mexico Border Transportation Master Plans, TxDOT is moving ahead with plans to improve connectivity between the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo.

This was confirmed by Caroline Mays, director of the Freight, Trade and Connectivity Section of the Texas Department of Transportation during a Zoom conversation with the Rio Grande Guardian.

The conversation focused on how the 400-page master plan was developed and what recommendations came out of it. The master plan projects that truck movements across Texas-Mexico border crossings will triple over the next 30 years.

“One of the key comments we heard was, connectivity between border crossings, connectivity between border regions. And you in the lower Rio Grande Valley region, the biggest thing we heard was connectivity between the RGV and Laredo,” Mays said.

Read more: https://riograndeguardian.com/watch-mays-txdot-wants-to-improve-laredo-to-rgv-connectivity/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat May 1, 2021, 12:12 AM (0 replies)

Students weigh in on bill filed in Texas legislature to cap insulin out-of-pocket costs to $50/month

A bill filed in the Texas House of Representatives would place a price limit on monthly insulin copays for people with diabetes.

Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock, filed a bill which will cap the out-of-pocket costs for insulin and some supplies at $50 a month if passed. Talarico, who was diagnosed with diabetes in 2018, said he has struggled ever since to pay the high costs of insulin.

Insulin production prices have remained relatively stable, costing anywhere from about $2 to $3 to produce, but retail rates have risen. In 1999, one vial of insulin lispro cost $21. In 2019, that price had risen by over 1000% to $332, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The amount of insulin needed for each individual depends on factors such as insulin resistance, weight and physical activity. For biochemistry junior Matthew Kenny, one vial of his insulin lasts one to two weeks and costs nearly $300 before insurance. Nearly a decade ago, when doctors first diagnosed him with diabetes, a vial cost $100 before insurance.

Read more: https://thedailytexan.com/2021/04/29/it-probably-wouldnt-take-more-than-48-hours-without-insulin-for-me-to-slip-into-a-coma-students-weigh-in-on-bill-filed-in-texas-legislature-to-cap-insulin-out-of-pocket-c/

A fight over building apartments in mainly white Woodbridge has become a flashpoint in the debate

A fight over building apartments in mainly white Woodbridge has become a flashpoint in the debate over racial equity in Connecticut. Here’s why.

The contrast between New Haven and its suburban neighbor Woodbridge is impossible to miss.

In the city, duplexes and triplexes are packed side by side, with cars and motorcycles zipping through busy streets. Just over the line in Woodbridge, the urban density gives way to a colonnade of trees. Single-family homes, separated by wide lawns and stone walls, sit far back from the road.

The differences run far deeper than what is visible. In New Haven, a city of 130,000, the median household income is $42,222; in Woodbridge, a town of 8,750, it’s $157,610, nearly four times larger. New Haven residents are less than half white, 5% Asian, about a third Latinx and a third Black, while those in Woodbridge are more than three-quarters white, about 15% Asian and less than 10% Black and Latinx.

In a bid to upend this socioeconomic and racial divide — which exists between cities and suburbs across Connecticut — a team of civil rights attorneys and Yale Law School students has spent the last eight months presenting their case to the Woodbridge plan and zoning commission that the sharp differences between the city and its quiet suburb are not only pernicious, but also unlawful.

Read more: https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-woodbridge-zoning-debate-20210430-x7vda5qdhfegdahtzhd64tbeiq-story.html
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