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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,961

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

Minnesota officials fear money Argosy University owed students will go to lawyers instead

The money Argosy University had in the bank when it closed won’t all be used to repay students and taxpayers for financial aid the school used inappropriately.

Instead, much of the $4.4 million the institution had on hand could go to the court-appointed receiver and attorneys overseeing the wind-down of the for-profit college chain after its financial collapse.

In May, a federal judge was asked to approve more than $2 million in fees and expenses for those firms. The request includes $973,000 in legal fees and $28,000 in expenses for Dottore Cos., the firm acting as the schools’ receiver, essentially its financial steward.

Sunflower, one of the companies Argosy owes money to, criticized the request for fees and expenses as “exorbitant and excessive” in a legal challenge filed June 12.

Read more: https://www.twincities.com/2019/06/27/mn-officials-fear-money-argosy-u-owed-students-will-go-to-lawyers-instead/

Police investigating possible bias motive after man brings dog into St. Cloud mosque

ST. CLOUD — The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations (CAIR-MN) called on law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for an intrusion into a St. Cloud mosque by a man with a dog Friday.

Assistant Police Chief Jeff Oxton confirmed that the St. Cloud Police Department is investigating.

"We're trying to locate the person," Oxton said. "We took a call of a suspicious person and we are looking into it, to identify who the person is and why they went into the mosque with the dog."

CAIR-MN said a white male entered the Central Minnesota Islamic Center Thursday evening with a large dog. According to a press release, the man wandered in the mosque and was seen by worshipers as he left.

Read more: https://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2019/06/28/cair-mn-calls-investigation-after-man-brings-dog-into-st-cloud-mosque/1601581001/
(St. Cloud Times)

O'Rourke visits Mexico, meets turned away US asylum seekers

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke visited Mexico on Sunday and listened to tearful immigrants say they fled Central American violence and turmoil to seek asylum in the U.S., but were turned away at the border.

In his first international trip as a White House hopeful, the former congressman traveled to Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from his native El Paso, Texas, to meet what his campaign described as "individuals and families directly impacted by Donald Trump's cruel and inhumane policies."

A fluent Spanish speaker, O'Rourke met around a table at a shelter with immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, some of whom wept as they told of being denied entry into the U.S. while their asylum claims are processed. Many said they were terrified they'd be sent back to their home countries, where their lives had been threatened because of abusive spouses, street gang violence or drug smugglers.

"We hope, by sharing these stories, that the conscience of our country is awoken right now, and the need to change the policies that we have in place" becomes apparent, O'Rourke said via a livestream on his Facebook page.

Read more: http://www.startribune.com/o-rourke-to-visit-mexico-meet-turned-away-us-asylum-seekers/512013032/
(Minneapolis Star Tribune)

O'Rourke visits Mexico, meets turned away US asylum seekers

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke visited Mexico on Sunday and listened to tearful immigrants say they fled Central American violence and turmoil to seek asylum in the U.S., but were turned away at the border.

In his first international trip as a White House hopeful, the former congressman traveled to Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from his native El Paso, Texas, to meet what his campaign described as "individuals and families directly impacted by Donald Trump's cruel and inhumane policies."

A fluent Spanish speaker, O'Rourke met around a table at a shelter with immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, some of whom wept as they told of being denied entry into the U.S. while their asylum claims are processed. Many said they were terrified they'd be sent back to their home countries, where their lives had been threatened because of abusive spouses, street gang violence or drug smugglers.

"We hope, by sharing these stories, that the conscience of our country is awoken right now, and the need to change the policies that we have in place" becomes apparent, O'Rourke said via a livestream on his Facebook page.

Read more: http://www.startribune.com/o-rourke-to-visit-mexico-meet-turned-away-us-asylum-seekers/512013032/
(Minneapolis Star Tribune)

New Mexico state Sen. Martinez arrested after suspected drunken-driving crash

State Sen. Richard Martinez, a powerful Northern New Mexico Democrat, was arrested Friday night in Española on suspicion of drunken driving following a collision at an intersection on the city’s north side.

Sgt. Jeremy Apodaca, an Española police spokesman, said officers believe the 66-year-old Martinez rear-ended another vehicle carrying two people around 10:20 p.m. as he was driving his SUV near Paseo de Oñate and Fairview Lane.

“During the investigation, Senator Martinez did admit to consuming alcohol prior to driving,” Apodaca said. “He was cooperative with the officers at the scene.”

Martinez, who was alone in his vehicle, was arrested at the scene, Apodaca said, though he was taken to Presbyterian Española Hospital for an evaluation before officers booked him into the Española jail.

Read more: https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/new-mexico-state-sen-martinez-arrested-after-suspected-drunken-driving/article_17a28678-55f2-536a-972a-b35435d4a21d.html

PolyMet is now owned by Switzerland's Glencore. Why it matters

PolyMet is on the verge of building Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine, and now it has a new — and controversial — owner.

At a shareholders’ meeting Wednesday in Toronto, Glencore — one of the world’s largest companies and a juggernaut in the mining industry — took nearly 72 percent of equity in PolyMet Mining Corp. Some had seen the move as inevitable since PolyMet was already $240 million in debt to Glencore and was working to finance its $1 billion mine before starting construction.

Glencore, which has a hefty bankroll, a wealth of experience in the field and a history of labor issues and pollution problems, already owned roughly one-third of issued stock in the company. Yet the change is still significant. Here’s what we know about Glencore and what the move means for the PolyMet project:

-snip-

And the downside?

Glencore has a checkered past dating back to allegations against its founder, Marc Rich, who was indicted for tax evasion and dodged sanctions on apartheid South Africa and elsewhere to cut oil deals. (Rich was pardoned by Bill Clinton in 2001.) The company is currently facing investigations into corruption and money laundering by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Critics also point to Glencore’s history of labor disputes and environmental problems as evidence that having a giant multinational corporation as PolyMet’s majority shareholder could hurt Minnesota.

Read more: https://www.minnpost.com/environment/2019/06/polymet-is-now-owned-by-switzerlands-glencore-why-it-matters/

Cross-posted in the Environment & Energy Group.

PolyMet is now owned by Switzerland's Glencore. Why it matters

PolyMet is on the verge of building Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine, and now it has a new — and controversial — owner.

At a shareholders’ meeting Wednesday in Toronto, Glencore — one of the world’s largest companies and a juggernaut in the mining industry — took nearly 72 percent of equity in PolyMet Mining Corp. Some had seen the move as inevitable since PolyMet was already $240 million in debt to Glencore and was working to finance its $1 billion mine before starting construction.

Glencore, which has a hefty bankroll, a wealth of experience in the field and a history of labor issues and pollution problems, already owned roughly one-third of issued stock in the company. Yet the change is still significant. Here’s what we know about Glencore and what the move means for the PolyMet project:

-snip-

And the downside?

Glencore has a checkered past dating back to allegations against its founder, Marc Rich, who was indicted for tax evasion and dodged sanctions on apartheid South Africa and elsewhere to cut oil deals. (Rich was pardoned by Bill Clinton in 2001.) The company is currently facing investigations into corruption and money laundering by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Critics also point to Glencore’s history of labor disputes and environmental problems as evidence that having a giant multinational corporation as PolyMet’s majority shareholder could hurt Minnesota.

Read more: https://www.minnpost.com/environment/2019/06/polymet-is-now-owned-by-switzerlands-glencore-why-it-matters/

Cross-posted in the Minnesota Group.

Why aren't we doing more carbon dioxide capture?

Dear EarthTalk: If we already know how to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) and turn it into fuel, why aren’t we doing more of it? - M.N. Daly, Springfield, MA

With recent measurements detecting the highest levels of atmospheric CO2 in human history—and experts warning we have less than a dozen years to turn around our profligate emissions to avoid cataclysmic changes—the time is nigh to start ratcheting down our carbon footprints. One solution that seems obvious but has been slow to get out of the starting gate is scrubbing large amounts of CO2 from the air and recycling it as a feedstock to produce carbon-neutral fuels to power our machines.

We have known how to capture CO2 from the air at large scale since the 1950s, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s that environmentalists started looking to so-called “Direct Air Capture” (DAC) as one of a suite of tools at our disposal for dealing with the greenhouse effect. Since then, researchers have been scrambling to come up with the most efficient ways to capture CO2.

Massachusetts-based start-up Carbon Engineering formed in 2011 in an effort to produce and eventually commercialize DAC technology that can use captured CO2 to make fuel at costs competitive with producing conventional fossil fuels. After several years of research and development and implementation of its technologies at a pilot plant in British Columbia, the company has been able to get the costs of capturing CO2 down to ~$100/ton—six times less than previous models predicted was possible.

Read more: http://duluthreader.com/articles/2019/06/27/17348_why_arent_we_doing_more_carbon_dioxide_capture

New Minnesota wage theft law takes effect July 1

A batch of new Minnesota laws designed to curb wage theft take effect Monday, July 1, offering consequences to employers that fail to pay employees.

As of July 1, the law will require an employer to keep certain employment documents and present them to the Department of Labor and Industry upon request, and an employer failing to do so could receive a fine of up $5,000.

Most notably, the law boosts consequences for employers engaged in wage theft. If found guilty of stealing wages, an employer could face up to 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, effective August 1.

It also requires employers to provide written proof of their employment terms, prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee that complains to the state or asserts their rights. The new law also gives the government greater authority and access to those documents and workplaces for its investigations.

Read more: https://www.wctrib.com/news/government-and-politics/4631856-new-minnesota-wage-theft-law-takes-effect-july-1
(Willmar West Central Tribune)

Republicans' refusal to expand Medicaid is a show of 'gratuitous political cruelty'

I couldn't help but think of Wisconsin when I read economist Paul Krugman's recent piece in the New York Times which described the cruel health care inequities that now exist in several states that have refused to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Wisconsin is one of 14 states that did not accept the federal funds, thanks to former Gov. Scott Walker and now the Republican-controlled state Legislature's ideological opposition stemming from their disdain for Obamacare.

In our state, the GOP would rather throw away hundreds of millions of dollars in federal health care help, foisting the cost of providing health care for the poor, disabled and elderly onto the backs of state taxpayers than take federal dollars. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester — perhaps the best example of fiscal irresponsibility in state government — has famously declared that the state will expand Medicaid over his dead body. Unfortunately, there may be a lot of dead bodies, thanks to his irrational stubbornness.

Several other states controlled by Republicans have since seen the folly of their original stubbornness and voted to take the funds to provide coverage for the impoverished, all the while freeing up millions of dollars for other pressing state needs.

Read more: https://madison.com/ct/opinion/column/dave_zweifel/plain-talk-republicans-refusal-to-expand-medicaid-is-a-show/article_3d0e78fc-38f5-5833-bffb-85102df323e9.html
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