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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: 87,054

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

Marianne Williamson, visiting Sioux City yoga studio, calls Trump an 'opportunistic infection'

SIOUX CITY -- Fresh off an appearance at the Democratic debate Thursday night in Miami, presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson brought her spiritual campaign to Sioux City Saturday afternoon.

"We have to unleash the spirit of the American people," Williamson told a crowd of about 25 gathered at Evolve Yoga, 411 Pearl St.

Williamson, 66, an author of 13 books (several of them bestsellers in the self-help category), a lecturer and progressive activist, has been trying to sell herself to primary voters as the candidate to beat President Trump in the 2020 election.

Williamson made a highly publicized move to a condo in Des Moines earlier this month as a way of showing her commitment to the state and the political process. She has scheduled several campaign events in Cedar Rapids and Baldwin, Iowa, Sunday, followed by another Cedar Rapids event July 14.

Read more: https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/marianne-williamson-visiting-sioux-city-yoga-studio-calls-trump-an/article_3aea8dda-451c-56a3-baf0-dab6fd583e20.html

BASF to cut 6,000 jobs to drive down costs amid slowdown

BASF SE is cutting 6,000 jobs worldwide in a bid to cut costs as demand slows for chemicals used in industries ranging from cars to electronics.

The workforce reductions will impact operations globally and are expected to generate savings of 300 million euros ($341 million), the Ludwigshafen, Germany-based company said in a statement on Thursday.

Chief Executive Officer Martin Brudermueller is targeting a 2 billion-euro earnings boost as he simplifies BASF and makes it more in tune with rapidly changing markets. Results from companies including HB Fuller Co. and LyondellBasell NV are showing weakness in markets like coatings and plastics. Brudermueller’s vision is to work more closely with customers to sell more higher-margin products rather than simply delivering barrels of basic chemicals.

“We will set up the new organization with a clear focus on leveraging synergies, reducing interfaces and enabling flexibility and creativity,” the CEO said in the statement. Talks on a labor deal at the Ludwigshafen site will get underway earlier than planned.

Read more: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/nation-and-world/basf-to-cut-6000-jobs-to-drive-down-costs-amid-slowdown-20190627

Airline wants to outsource 5,000 maintenance workers: union

American Airlines could outsource another 5,000 union maintenance and fleet service workers, said one of the unions representing those workers.

After nearly four years of tense contract negotiations, International Association of Machinists spokesman Joe Tiberi said Fort Worth-based American Airlines is refusing to make commitments to how much maintenance and fleet service work will be done by company employees.

“They are looking to significantly reduce the union footprint,” Tiberi said. “In places like Dallas, they replace union labor with lower cost and lower benefit labor, and that impacts the whole community.”

American Airlines spokesman Joshua Freed didn’t deny that unionized maintenance and fleet service positions could decrease but said instead that the airline plans to offer job and location security to current workers.

Read more: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/nation-and-world/airline-wants-to-outsource-5000-maintenance-workers-union-20190628
(Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Gov. Reynolds rules out recreational pot in Iowa

DES MOINES — Illinois is slated to become the 11th state to legalize marijuana when dispensaries begin offering products for recreational use as soon as Jan. 1, but Gov. Kim Reynolds says next-door Iowa will not join that growing list of states under her watch.

“I do not support recreational marijuana. I don’t,” Reynolds said Friday in an interview with The Gazette. “I won’t be the governor to do that.”

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and Reynolds raised concerns that state law enforcement and transportation officials are reporting that drug-related traffic deaths have surpassed fatalities caused by drunken drivers — which points to the need for more education about the dangers associated with impaired driving.

“I just think that when the data continues to come in, especially with the strength that we’re seeing, the potency, the amount of psychotic episodes that are happening, it’s a gateway and there are statistics there to support that.” Reynolds said.

Read more: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/iowa-governor-kim-reynolds-rules-out-recreational-marijuana-in-iowa-20190628
(Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Iowa City man beat black man with pipe while yelling racial slurs, police say

IOWA CITY — Iowa City police said a hate crime was committed when a white man assaulted a black man with a metal pipe earlier this month.

According to criminal complaints, around 6:32 p.m. June 16, 46-year-old Darrell L. Abbott — who is white — inserted himself into a conversation taking place in the 1800 block of Boyrum Street. Abbott allegedly said, “I’m a killer,” I’m gonna show you I’m a killer” and “I’ll kill you (racial expletive).”

Police said those comments were directed toward a black man.

Abbott left the area and went to his home at 2033 Keokuk St. for a short time. Police said as he was leaving his residence, his mother heard Abbott said, “I’m going to kill myself a (racial expletive).”

Police said surveillance video shows Abbott returning to the area and approaching the man while wielding a large metal bar. Witnesses told police they heard Abbott tell the man, “You (racial expletive), I’m gonna kill you.” Abbott then proceeded to assault the man with the metal bar.

Read more: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/public-safety/iowa-city-hate-crime-darrell-abbott-racist-assault-black-man-metal-pipe-20190629
(Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Boone County Democrats brave temperatures as election season heats up

Presidential candidates, surrogates and attendees gathered together at the McHose Shelter House Saturday as the Boone County Democrats hosted the Picnic for the People, inviting residents to come out and meet those running for the nation’s highest offices.

Of the candidates who made the trek through the hot and humid weather, Democratic presidential hopefuls Marianne Williamson, Joe Sestak, John Delaney and Kimberly Graham, a Democratic challenger against Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, all attended. Jill Biden, wife of former vice president and current Democratic front-runner Joe Biden, also spoke at the event.

Jill Biden

Jill Biden made a return to Boone to speak on behalf of her husband’s campaign for president, saying although she hasn’t visited the state for a while, she plans to visit more often, and soon, with her husband.

Biden, who has been a teacher for more than 30 years, has two master’s degrees, a doctorate and is currently a professor at Northern Virginia Community College where she teaches English, said people approaching her two years ago to tell her her husband should run for president.

Read more: https://www.amestrib.com/news/20190629/boone-county-democrats-brave-temperatures-as-election-season-heats-up
(Ames Tribune)

Iowa Medicaid leaders still negotiating insurers' pay as new fiscal year starts

Iowa administrators are still negotiating how much they’ll pay national insurance companies to run the state’s $5 billion Medicaid program in fiscal year 2020, which starts Monday.

Hundreds of millions of state and federal dollars are on the table in the extended contract negotiations between state officials and the insurance companies. The companies, also known as managed care organizations, cover nearly 600,000 poor or disabled Iowans on Medicaid.

The same thing happened last summer. Payment negotiations stretched into August, nearly two months after the insurance companies’ contracts took effect for the year. The Iowa Department of Human Services wound up agreeing to give the companies a $344 million raise — an 8.4% increase in state and federal money — for fiscal year 2019.

Medicaid Director Mike Randol said in an interview Wednesday the negotiations for next fiscal year are going well. “We’re very close to finalizing those,” he said.

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2019/06/28/iowa-medicaid-still-negotiating-insurers-pay-new-fiscal-year-starts-managed-care-privatization/1594327001/

Drunk driving, stun guns, absentee ballots: Here are some new Iowa laws going into effect July 1

Iowa lawmakers passed nearly 200 bills during the legislative session that finished in late April. Some went into effect as soon as Gov. Kim Reynolds signed them, but the vast majority are slated to go into effect on July 1.

Several bills that dominated news coverage of the legislative session, including laws promoting free speech on college campuses and changes to Iowa's judicial nominating system, are already in effect. Some, like limits to Planned Parenthood's ability to access federal funds, face court challenges.

The legislation that will go into effect on Monday ranges from allowing some criminal records to be expunged, to prohibiting bans on stun guns on college campuses. Here’s a glance at some of the new Iowa laws:

Criminal justice

The law makes several changes to Iowa’s criminal justice system, including repealing certain offenses. In other cases, the law strengthens mandatory minimum sentencing.

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2019/06/28/iowa-laws-legislature-july-criminal-penalties-stun-guns-rural-health-training-election-barcodes/1563183001/

Bullock, blocked from Democratic debate stage, faces Iowa voters

Presidential candidate Steve Bullock was in an Iowa TV studio Wednesday, fielding questions from voters instead of debating his Democratic rivals on a Miami stage.

"Instead of trying to get three minutes, I'm actually going to talk for 40 minutes with the first voters who will actually decide this," 222 days from now, said the Montana governor, who was locked out of the first Democratic presidential debate for 20 candidates.

Undecided Iowa voters grilled the 53-year-old about immigration, college debt, reparations and other issues at WHO-TV's town hall.

Asked about poor conditions for children at the U.S.-Mexico border, Bullock said, "We don't believe in punishing children by taking their blankets or mattresses for losing a lice comb," allegations reported about U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2019/06/26/2020-caucus-campaign-montana-governor-steve-bullock-blocked-democratic-debate-faces-off-iowa-voters/1576761001/

Marianne Williamson back in Iowa for first time since Democratic debates

GRIMES, Ia. — After being the most Google-searched candidate on night two of this week's Democratic debates, Marianne Williamson is back in Iowa.

The bestselling author started her weekend in Grimes on Saturday morning, speaking to a crowd of around 40 people at the Grimes Community Complex.

"I know I sounded silly saying plans don't matter," Williamson told the crowd, referencing her performance at the debate in Miami. "I'm a practical woman... I understand there are practical things that must be done."

Williamson didn't speak at the debate until around 30 minutes in, but her time talking caught the attention of America on Thursday night as she became the most-searched candidate of night two — and on a stage that featured Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg.

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/06/29/marianne-williamson-campaign-2020-iowa-democratic-debates-andrew-yang-grimes-homestead-immigration/1606871001/
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