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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: 77,712

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

Trump dismisses Carter attacks as "Democrat talking point"

Note: I added the quote marks to the title of the thread

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Saturday dismissed Jimmy Carter's swipe at the legitimacy of his election and said the charge was nothing more than a "Democrat talking point," while offering his own digs at the 94-year-old former commander in chief.

Trump said he was surprised by Carter's comments alleging that Russian interference in the 2016 election was responsible for putting Trump in the White House. The Republican punched back, though with a somewhat muted response, at least for him.

"Look, he was a nice man. He was a terrible president. He's a Democrat. And it's a typical talking point. He's loyal to the Democrats. And I guess you should be," Trump told reporters at a news conference in Japan, adding that, "as everybody now understands, I won not because of Russia, not because of anybody but myself."

Carter made his comments during a discussion on human rights at a resort in Leesburg, Virginia on Friday. Carter had said there was "no doubt that the Russians did interfere" in 2016.

Read more: http://www.vindy.com/news/2019/jun/29/trump-dismisses-carter-attacks-democrat-talking-po/?nw
(Youngstown Vindicator)

Health Care Employers Will Fight Bill To Protect Workers Who Refuse To Get Vaccinations

Health officials plan to oppose a bill under consideration in the Ohio House that would prohibit employers from requiring workers to get vaccines. The son of former U.S Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy came to the Statehouse to support the legislation earlier this week. But many in the public health community stand ready to fight against the bill.

Attorney Robert Kennedy said the bill should pass because vaccines are making people sick – a claim refuted by mainstream public health groups. And Nick Lashutka with the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association says there are good reason why hospitals in particular require workers to get vaccines.

“Many of the children we are privileged to care for in our institutions come to our hospitals with grave illnesses and often times are immune-compromised. If our workers were not receiving flu vaccines or other types of recommendations, we would be putting those children at risk," Lashutka said.

The House bill has seven sponsors and most are conservative Republicans, and it has yet to have a hearing.

Read more: https://www.statenews.org/post/health-care-employers-will-fight-bill-protect-workers-who-refuse-get-vaccinations

No Deal In Sight, But This Budget Crisis Is Different Than Ten Years Ago

For the first time in a decade, state officials are poised to miss the deadline to get the two-year operating budget to the governor for his signature.

Ten years ago, Ohio was in a precarious position.

“Each day that passes is putting us into a deeper financial hole,” said Democratic former Gov. Ted Strickland in July 2009, when he was locked with lawmakers in a budget stalemate that dragged on for two weeks.

Strickland’s first budget two years before had passed almost unanimously. But the Great Recession had blown a hole in the budget, and unemployment was at a record high 11.2 percent. And the solution was slot machines, a billion dollars taken from the state’s rainy day fund, major budget cuts and layoffs and a delay in the final year of a tax cut. So the atmosphere was bitterly partisan as both Republicans and Democrats were preparing for the 2010 elections.

Marc Kovac covers Franklin County government and federal courts for the Columbus Dispatch. Then he was the Statehouse Bureau Chief for Dix Newspapers, and shooting what he often called “shaky video” for his Youtube channel Ohio Capital Blog.

Read more: https://www.statenews.org/post/no-deal-sight-budget-crisis-different-ten-years-ago

PEIA, stable for now, keeps an eye on declining enrollment

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Public Employees Insurance Agency is on solid financial footing for now, but is keeping a close eye on a trend of people leaving their school or state positions.

During a PEIA Finance Board meeting on Thursday, agency officials including director Ted Cheatham acknowledged watching the effects of a shrinking pool of members.

The number is a couple thousand a year, Cheatham said.

On the one hand, that is fewer people being served by the state’s insurance plan. On the other hand, that’s fewer people paying premiums.

Read more: http://wvmetronews.com/2019/06/27/peia-stable-for-now-keeps-an-eye-on-declining-enrollment/

Father sues West Virginia fraternity over son's brain damage

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A lawsuit said a man who fell down the stairs at a West Virginia University fraternity party has been permanently brain damaged.

It said fraternity brothers posed with David M. Rusko's unconscious body, squirted Ketchup on him and posted pictures on social media. By the time 911 was called two hours later, he was bleeding from the nose, foaming at the mouth and his brain wasn't getting enough oxygen.

David A. Rusko filed suit Wednesday, saying his son is now paralyzed and needs 24-hour nursing. He is seeking compensation for a lifetime of medical care.

The Dominion Post reported that defendants include the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, more than a dozen students and the frat's house mother.

Read more: https://fox17.com/news/nation-world/father-sues-wvu-fraternity-over-sons-brain-damage

Protesters of Mountain Valley Pipeline Chain Themselves to Equipment at Construction Sites

Protestors in opposition of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, locked themselves to equipment at construction sites in Virginia and West Virginia in two separate incidents this week.

According to news releases by the group Appalachians Against Pipelines, on Friday, a Blacksburg, Virginia citizen chained himself to equipment at a Mountain Valley Pipeline construction site in Montgomery County, Virginia.

The man, identified as Michael James-Deramo, carried a banner that said “Spark Resistance.”

“We have watched as this pipeline has wreaked havoc — from Brush Mountain to Peters Mountain, from Four Corners Farm to Bottom Creek — not just havoc on the land, but on the lives and mental wellbeing of individuals, and the sanctity of place and safety,” James-Deramo said in the release. “These actions are not just about this stretch of pipe, this stand of trees. These actions are a defiance. These actions are not just about this stretch of pipe, this stand of trees. These actions are a defiance.”

Read more: https://www.wvpublic.org/post/protesters-mountain-valley-pipeline-chain-themselves-equipment-construction-sites

Gov. Justice Signs Sweeping Education Bill

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has signed an education bill that was passed this week and will allow the state’s first charter schools.

The bill drew heavy protests from teachers. Justice had expressed support for the measure.

The measure allows for a staggered implementation of charter schools, limiting the state to three charters until 2023, then letting three more go up every three years afterward. It also contains a pay raise for teachers.

Justice’s office said the education bill was one of 23 that the governor signed on Friday, June 28.

Read more: https://www.wvpublic.org/post/justice-signs-sweeping-education-bill

Julian Castro says he is no longer the other Texan' running for president; also iBeto news

At Austin rally, Julián Castro says he is no longer `the other Texan’ running for president

It was a sultry summer night in Austin, and the two Texas Democrats who are running for the Democratic nomination for president held overlapping rallies a dozen blocks apart Friday, each well aware of the other, but only one of the candidates acknowledging the competition between them, and the startling turn it took when they sparred at the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami on Wednesday night.

“A few months ago they were writing me off as the other Texan. But that is no more. I am THE Texan.” Julián Castro, speaking from the outdoor stage at Cheer up Charlies on Red River Street told a buoyant crowd of some 400 who had paid to see him at a small-dollar fundraiser for the Texas Democratic Party

Castro entered the race months ahead of former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso. He had been planning a run for more then year. O’Rourke jumped in after a close but losing bid for the U.S. Senate against Ted Cruz in 2018. Every step of the way O’Rourke has overshadowed Castro in standing in the polls, crowds drawn, profiles written, and money, and expectations, raised.

That was until Wednesday’s debate when Castro, with a sharp-as-a-tack performance, upstaged O’Rourke, calling him out for not backing Castro’s plan to decriminalize illegal border crossings by repealing Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, which makes entering the US without papers a misdemeanor offense. The idea caught fire Wednesday and when the ten candidates at Thursday’s debate were asked to raise their hands if they supported repeal, Castro said, “by my count, nine out of ten of those folks” were on board.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20190629/at-austin-rally-julixe1n-castro-says-he-is-no-longer-the-other-texan-running-for-president

Italy High School shooter pleads guilty to avoid trial, sentenced to 80 years

The 2018 Italy High School shooter agreed to the terms of a plea arrangement in exchange for his guilty plea Monday morning.

Chad Padilla, 18, was sentenced to a total of 80 years in a state prison shortly after he pleaded guilty to attempted capital murder and two counts of aggravated assault in the 443rd District Court of Ellis County.

The shooting victim, Noelle Jones, 17, spoke to the media following the plea and said, “I can’t stop smiling.”

A felony weapons charged, which carried a maximum of 10 years in prison, was dropped prior to the plea agreement.

Read more: https://www.waxahachietx.com/news/20190624/italy-high-school-shooter-pleads-guilty-to-avoid-trial-sentenced-to-80-years
(Waxahachie Daily Light)

Federal judge rules against Formosa Plastics in pollution case

For a decade, Port Lavaca-area residents and environmental groups begged state and federal regulators to crack down on Formosa Plastics for what they alleged was the rampant and illegal discharge of plastic pellets and other pollutants into Lavaca Bay and other nearby waterways.

This week, they scored a huge victory when U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt ruled that the Taiwanese-owned company was in “enormous” violation of its state-issued permits and the federal Clean Water Act — and that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality had been either unwilling or unable to bring the company into compliance.

“The evidence demonstrates that Formosa has been in violation of its Permit concerning the discharge of floating solids ... since January 31, 2016 and that the violations are enormous,” Hoyt wrote in his ruling, issued Thursday. In his conclusion, he described Formosa as “a serial offender.” Hoyt noted that the company had argued that a $121,875 fine TCEQ imposed for six violations in April and May 2017 made the lawsuit moot.

“Not so,” Hoyt wrote. “Based on the overwhelming evidence, the TCEQ’s findings and assessment merely shows the difficulty or inability of the TCEQ to bring Formosa into compliance with its Permit restrictions.”


The plaintiffs are seeking $184 million — $104,828 for every day Formosa was out of compliance with state and federal environmental permits and laws that require companies to report such violations. Any penalties would go toward cleanup costs.

Read more: https://www.heralddemocrat.com/news/20190628/federal-judge-rules-against-formosa-plastics-in-pollution-case
(Sherman Herald Democrat)
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