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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: 85,723

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

Serial heckling on health care disrupts Perry speech

Gov. Rick Perry was trying to address the Governor’s Small Business Forum — it was named for him, afterall — but he kept getting interrupted.

“Expand health care now!!” one woman rose and began yelling.

Perry waited until she repeated it about a dozen times. Then he said, “I gotcha.”

She sat down and Perry couldn’t get two more minutes into his speech before another protester rose and began chanting.

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/05/serial-heckling-on-health-care-disrupts-perry-speech.html/ .

A day after Oklahoma’s disaster, some Tea Partiers’ top concern is the IRS

One day after a devastating Oklahoma tornado, some Tea Party groups chose prayer and relief work over a scheduled IRS protest.

But not Watauga’s Boiling Point Tea Party.

Infuriated that the IRS investigated whether some Tea Parties violated tax law by taking political stands, the Boiling Point turned out six protesters strong in downtown Fort Worth.

“This is about our rights,” Keller Republican Marie Howard said. “We are a patriotic group.”

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/05/21/4874486/a-day-after-oklahomas-disaster.html#storylink=cpy

House approves drug tests for jobless benefits

The Texas House tentatively approved a bill Tuesday night to require drug screens, and possible drug tests, for some Texans who apply for unemployment benefits.

The drug screen, a questionnaire adopted by the Texas Workforce Commission, would be given to first-time applicants for jobless benefits who were required to take a pre-employment drug test — workers in the aviation, trucking and hazardous materials industries, for example, said Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe.

If the screen pointed to potential drug use, the applicant would have to pass a drug test to receive benefits, Creighton said.

Under Senate Bill 21, applicants who fail a drug test could receive benefits if they enter a treatment program or pass a second test administered after four weeks.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/house-approves-drug-tests-for-jobless-benefits/nXyjy/http://www.statesman.com/news/news/house-approves-drug-tests-for-jobless-benefits/nXyjy/ .

Religious test for constable applicants in Williamson County (updated 11:37 p.m.)

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) - When applying for work, jobseekers generally aren't aren’t asked about their political, religious, or moral beliefs.

In most cases employers know they can’t ask those sorts of questions under the U.S. Constitution and equal employment opportunity rules. But Williamson County commissioners don’t believe those rules applied when they appointed a new constable.

After Williamson County Precinct 3 Constable Bobby Gutierrez retired, commissioners had to appoint a new constable. They interviewed five candidates. And the questions they asked those candidates during the interviews raised eyebrows.

“Was I for gay marriage or against gay marriage?” former candidate Robert Lloyd said he was asked. “The next question was, what was my thoughts on abortion? Was I pro-life or pro-choice?”

More at http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/investigations/interview-questions-spark-criticism-possible-legal-action .

[font color=green]It looks like the lawsuit is coming![/font]

Lawsuit pending over Williamson County constable interviews


A Central Texas civil rights group is threatening legal action after Williamson County commissioners interviewed candidates for a constable job and asked about their views on abortion, gay marriage, religion and politics.

Such questions violate the Texas Constitution, as well as the First Amendment, said Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project. “It’s just astounding that they think they can ask these questions.”

“You can’t have a religious test for employment, according to the Texas Constitution,” Harrington said. A government employer also can’t discriminate on the basis of “irrelevant personal views,” he said.


“Williamson County will decline to comment further at this time regarding the interviews due to the reported threat of a lawsuit by the Texas Civil Rights Project,” said Connie Watson, a county spokeswoman.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/lawsuit-pending-over-williamson-county-constable-i/nXyj7/

Houston to host Super Bowl LI in 2017

BOSTON – NFL owners voted today to give Houston Super Bowl LI in 2017.

At their spring meeting at the Hyatt Harborside, the owners voted the coveted Super Bowl L to San Francisco over South Florida.

South Florida took another one on the chin in the next vote, losing Super Bowl LI to Houston. The Houston group made the final presentation of the day to the owners.

This will be the third Super Bowl played in Houston – the first since Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.

More at http://blog.chron.com/ultimatetexans/2013/05/houston-wins-bid-for-2017-super-bowl/?cmpid=hpfsln .

Cruz’s attempt to strip citizenship provision from immigration reform fails — in a big way

A series of ambitious amendments by the Texas senators to significantly reshape immigration reform failed today, with several Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee joining a solid bloc of Democrats in foiling the efforts by Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.

The most controversial was an attempt by Cruz to strip the path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants. The Houston Republican’s amendment, defeated on a lopsided 13-5 vote, would have allowed unauthorized immigrants to stay as legal permanent residents. Cruz passionately defended his proposal to the very end, saying a path to citizenship would encourage more illegal immigration.

While all of Cruz’s proposals were voted down by a bipartisan coalition of reform backers, Cornyn did succeed in attaching one amendment to assist victims of some crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

Cruz said he knew in advance that the committee would decide to reject his proposals, but he warned his Senate colleagues of the consequences of their action.

More at http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2013/05/cruzs-attempt-to-strip-citizenship-provision-from-immigration-reform-fails-in-a-big-way/?cmpid=hpfsln .

Premont ISD gets new life with A&M-Kingsville partnership

KINGSVILLE — Premont ISD will remain open thanks to its quick and drastic turnaround that helped haul it from the brink of closure and its willingness to work on academics with Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Tuesday’s announcement by the state’s education commissioner ended nearly two years of uncertainty about the district’s future by taking closure off the table.

“We start the clock all over,” Michael Williams said, eliciting gasps and a standing ovation from a packed crowd in the Founders Room at the university.

Premont officials are expected to announce the decision to students and teachers this afternoon.

More at http://www.caller.com/news/2013/may/21/premont-isd-gets-new-life-m-kingsville-partnership/ .

H-E-B pulls prepackaged Gulf shrimp from Galveston Shrimp Co. after recall

CORPUS CHRISTI — H-E-B has pulled from its shelves prepackaged Gulf shrimp from the Galveston Shrimp Company after the company reported finding small pieces of metal in the bags.

There have been no reports of illnesses caused by the product, H-E-B spokeswoman Regina Garcia said.

The company issued a precautionary recall Friday of the shrimp which is sold in freezers in H-E-B stores statewide, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“If anyone has purchased it, we ask them to return it to the store and they’ll get a refund for it,” Garcia said.

More at http://www.caller.com/news/2013/may/20/h-e-b-pulls-prepackaged-gulf-shrimp-from-shrimp/ .

Witch Hunt Takes Down CSCOPE

State Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican chairman of the Texas Senate Education Committee, sounded downright gleeful today in making a surprise announcement that the state's Education Service Centers will no longer provide lessons in their CSCOPE curriculum management system.

“The era of CSCOPE lesson plans has come to an end,” Sen Patrick declared at a Capitol press conference this morning. What remains of CSCOPE will essentially be a guide to scheduling instruction on the curriculum standards. The hundreds of small school districts that use CSCOPE will now have to find other resources for developing lesson plans for teaching those standards.

Officials with the Education Service Centers that created and managed CSCOPE released a letter at the press conference agreeing to stop providing lessons to school districts. The letter came after increasing pressure from Sen. Patrick, the Texas Attorney General's Office and an assortment of Tea party and other right-wing pressure groups.

Those critics have been absurdly claiming that CSCOPE has been indoctrinating students into Islam and Marxism and undermining Christianity and patriotism. (Current and retired teachers had been writing those lessons for CSCOPE. Who knew that so many Texas teachers were Marxists and Islamists? Shocking!)

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/13554/witch-hunt-takes-down-cscope .

Texas House Decides to Audit Rick Perry's Texas Enterprise Fund

Rick Perry's Texas Enterprise Fund has granted $485 million in grants to private companies, allegedly to create jobs in Texas. Many of those companies are owned by the governor's largest donors. Since the creation of the fund ten years ago, Perry has collected $2 million in campaign donations from its recipients. It is a slush fund and crony capitalism at its worst.

On Friday, using a simple voice vote, the Texas House decided to audit the fund. The report is due no later than January 2015. But though the Senate approved an earlier version of the bill, the audit is not yet official.

"The measure must pass a final, procedural House vote. It then heads to conference committee to reconcile the latest version with what the Senate previously approved," the Associated Press explains.

Source: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/13545/texas-house-decides-to-audit-rick-perrys-texas-enterprise-fund
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