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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: 85,805

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

West blast: Texans in Congress set party aside to demand major disaster declaration

WASHINGTON – Nothing like tragedy to bring people together: Nearly the entire Texas congressional delegation has linked arms to prod the White House for a “major disaster” declaration in West, the Central Texas town partly leveled by a fertilizer blast.

FEMA denied Gov. Rick Perry’s request last month, finding that Texas can afford the $17.5 million in rebuilding costs the state identified beyond the costs covered by insurance or the emergency declaration President Barack Obama signed after the April disaster.

Perry appealed that on Tuesday. Although his letter listed only $1 million more in unmet costs, it also noted that the local school district eventually faces a shortfall topping $55 million to rebuild. FEMA has 90 days to review the appeal.

“As the appeal clearly outlines, the damages to public infrastructure in the City of West exceeded the federally-determined threshold required” for a major disaster declaration, states the letter, signed by Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Rep. Bill Flores, all Republicans.

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/07/west-blast-texans-in-congress-set-party-aside-to-demand-major-disaster-declaration.html/ .

Crowds fill Capitol corridors ahead of abortion vote

As the Capitol Rotunda rumbled with chants and cheers, one flight below hundreds of people — a mix of blue and orange — waited patiently and quietly in line to get a seat in the gallery of the Texas Senate.

The line stretched down several flights of stairs and into a basement corridor where Stephanie Russell, 27, and her husband brought up the rear. A supporter of the abortion measure up for debate Friday, Russell said she had never been politically involved before but she felt the need to be here today.

“Just to be a presence,” Russell said. “That’s the goal of the blue shirts right now, to be a silent presence.”

Others in blue shirts, the mark of abortion opponents, passed out prayers lists and signed “Peace Statements” that laid out the rules of the gallery.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crowds-fill-capitol-corridors-aheads-of-abortion-v/nYn6t/ .

Could Perry be the next president? A&M president to resign in January.

Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin has announced that he intends to step down in January.

Loftin, 64, was named the 24th president of A&M in February 2010. In a press release sent out by the university on Friday, Loftin announced his intent to serve as a tenured professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the Dwight Look College of Engineering. Loftin also plans to establish an institute at A&M to will focus on advanced, state-of-the-art modeling and simulation in human behavioral modeling in terrorist organizations and the spread of diseases among human and animal populations.

“That being said, I do miss the opportunity to teach and do research — activities that have characterized my long career in higher education,” Loftin said in a prepared statement released Friday. “I look forward to teaching and mentoring ’my’ students and to leading multidisciplinary research teams in creating new knowledge and transforming that knowledge into useful applications.”

Loftin, A&M class of 1970, helped guide Texas A&M through its transition from the Big XII to the Southeastern athletic conference.

More at http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/article_446aa6c0-eb10-11e2-9058-0019bb2963f4.html .

[font color=maroon]Could this be Rick's next job? How would this affect the double-dipper's retirement pay?[/font]

Rick Perry Lies, Claims Abortion is Second-Most Common Surgery in U.S.

On two different radio shows last Monday, Rick Perry claimed that abortion is the second-most common surgery in the United States.

That's a complete lie.

On a list of the 25 most common American surgeries produced by the American Medical Association and the American College of Surgeons, abortion does not appear at all. PolitiFact Texas gave Perry's claim a "Pants on Fire" rating and said this: "This claim not only lacks a factual basis, it's ridiculous."

Abortions aren't even surgeries. Dr. Barbara Levy, vice president of health policy for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists told PolitiFact that abortions are "minimally invasive" procedures that do not involve surgical cutting. "We call these procedures, not surgeries," Levy said. "I don't even think it's appropriate to talk about" abortion "as a surgical procedure."

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/13763/rick-perry-lies-claims-abortion-is-secondmost-common-surgery-in-us .

This Mr. Mayor is barely out of diapers

The mayor of Dorset, Minn. enjoys ice cream and fishing. Well, there's a lot of mayors who like chocolate mint and pulling out a trout from a river.

But this mayor, Bobby Tufts, is all of 4 years old. And it's not like he was just elected. Bobby was 3 when he won election last year as mayor of Dorset, population of anywhere from 22 to 28 that bills itself as the Restaurant Capital of the World.

Dorset has no formal city government, so not to feel left out, each year, a name is drawn during its Taste of Dorset Festival, and the winner is mayor.

It costs $1 to put a name in the ballot box and there's no limit on the number of times to enter. Bobby is running for a second term, and he gets to draw the winning name Aug. 4, so it's possible he could draw his own name.

More at http://amarillo.com/blog-post/jon-mark-beilue/2013-07-10/mr-mayor-barely-out-diapers .

FEMA reimburses Texas nearly $48M after wildfires

DENTON, Texas —

Texas has received nearly $48 million in federal funds as reimbursement for some firefighting costs during 2011 wildfires that blackened millions of acres.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday announced the recent awarding of the money.

FEMA says the reimbursement involves fire suppression costs during wildfires that burned in 168 counties and destroyed more than 1.3 million acres.

The work involved the Texas A&M Forest Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. FEMA's contribution represents a 75 percent federal cost share.

More at http://www.statesman.com/ap/ap/texas/fema-reimburses-texas-nearly-48m-after-wildfires/nYky4/ .

Texas House gives provisional approval to controversial abortion legislation HB 2

After more than 10 hours of debate and 22 tabled amendments, the Texas House of Representatives on Tuesday provisionally passed controversial abortion legislation HB 2 by a vote of 98-49.

"This bill focuses on one part of that pre-born life and that is, at five months, that baby has developed the sensory receptors that it can feel the pain of that abortion," said Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R –Parker, the author of the bill. "That is what gives us the authority and the right to be here, to do this."

The bill requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, ban abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, regulate when women take abortion pills and mandate that the procedure be performed in a surgical center.

Critics have said that its passage means 37 of the state’s 42 clinics that offer abortions will shutter because they’d be unable to meet the new requirements. Laubenberg dismissed that argument as purely hypothetical and said she will not accept amendments to her bill. In all, 26 amendments were filed Tuesday. The House tabled 22 of those while the other four were withdrawn.

More at http://www.wfaa.com/news/texas-news/watch-live-texas-house-discusses-abortion-bill-214757711.html .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Jul 9, 2013, 10:27 PM (1 replies)

Dems pitch national park on the moon

Two House Democrats have proposed legislation that would establish a national historical park on the surface of the moon to mark where the Apollo missions landed between 1969 and 1972.

The bill from Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) would create the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park. The park would be comprised of all artifacts left on the surface of the moon from the Apollo 11 through 17 missions.

The bill says these sites need to be protected because of the anticipated increase in commercial moon landings in the future.

"As commercial enterprises and foreign nations acquire the ability to land on the Moon, it is necessary to protect the Apollo lunar landing sites for posterity," according to the text of the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, H.R. 2617.

More at http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/309829-dems-propose-historical-park-on-the-moon .

[font color=green]I wonder how much it will cost to send a postcard from the Moon to Aunt Minnie back home?[/font]

Tonight they’re turning off the Bank of America Plaza’s green argon

Bank of America Plaza (Richard Michael Pruitt/Staff photographer)

As one Dallas icon is relit, another goes dark.

Less than two weeks after Pegasus reappeared in the nighttime sky above downtown Dallas, the Bank of America Plaza will go dark tonight to make way for — what else — a neon makeover.

Sarah Hinkley of Peleton Commercial Real Estate, which handles the office leasing, says the 72-story-tall tower built in ’85 will go dark “while we replace the argon lighting.” Our Steve Brown noted that was on the to-do list when he wrote about the building’s redo back in early May. The new lights will be LED, naturally, and “bring enhanced light quality, vibrancy, and color to the property to ensure that Bank of America Plaza remains downtown Dallas’ most iconic building,” per a missive sent to tenants this morning.

The green lights will be out from tonight until November — at least, says Hinkley, “that’s the plan.” The building’s owners are planning a “lighting ceremony,” she says. The note to tenants explains further.

More at http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2013/07/when-the-lights-go-down-in-downtown-dallas-tonight-theyre-turning-off-the-bank-of-america-plaza-green-argon.html/

[font color=green]The debut of the new lights are supposed occur during the memorials marking the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Jul 8, 2013, 10:50 PM (5 replies)

Poll Shows Rick Perry Soundly Rejected by His Own State and His Own Party

Earlier this year, Public Policy Polling concluded that most Texas voters are done with Rick Perry. According to a poll released this week, Perry is still about as popular as the MERS virus.

In bad news for Perry but good news for the country, PPP found that fully 74 percent of Texans believe Perry should not run for president and 8 percent aren't sure, leaving only 18 percent who think he should. Even 59 percent of Republicans think he shouldn't run again.

Among other primary contenders, Cruz remains the most popular GOP candidate in Texas, followed by Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and "someone else/not sure" before finally getting down the list to Perry. While none of the other potential candidates are exactly a progressive's dream, it's at least satisfying to see Perry being dismissed by his own party in his own state in the poll's results.

In a head-to-head match-up, Perry even loses to Clinton in Texas - he gets 44 percent of the vote to her 48. Not only do 66 percent of moderates choose Hillary, but even 23 percent of those who identify as 'somewhat conservative' choose her as well. And it's not because Hillary is particularly popular in Texas - the poll shows that Ted Cruz would beat her by at least 5 points.

More at http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/13742/poll-shows-rick-perry-soundly-rejected-by-his-own-state-and-his-own-party .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat Jul 6, 2013, 04:14 PM (2 replies)
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