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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: 85,931

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

Kentucky college nets $250-million gift, among biggest ever

Source: AP

DANVILLE, Ky. — A tiny liberal arts school in rural Kentucky that hosted vice presidential debates in 2000 and 2012 announced a $250 million donation Tuesday, one of the largest single gifts in higher education history.

The all-stock donation to Centre College from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust ranks among the 20 biggest gifts ever to a U.S. college or university, according to a list maintained by the Chronicle of Higher Education. It is the second-largest such gift to a U.S. school since 2011, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, surpassed only by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's $350 million donation to Johns Hopkins University announced earlier this year.

Centre will use the money to set up scholarships for students majoring in science, economics and computer science. Centre College President John A. Roush said the gift, which comes in the form of stock in Universal Computer Systems Holding Inc., represents a "fundamental transformation" in the school's ability to support students demonstrating leadership potential.

"The gift marks a fundamental transformation in center college's ability to support students whose hard work, character and intellect have demonstrated their potential for leadership," Roush said Tuesday. "The challenges and opportunities confronting our nation and world are increasingly complex, and the Brockman Scholars Program will empower talented young women and men with the knowledge, creativity and integrity necessary to address them."

Read more: http://amarillo.com/news/national-news/2013-07-30/tiny-kentucky-college-nets-250-million-gift-among-biggest-ever

Congratulations to Centre College. Centre College was in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference along with my alma mater until the conference split last year.

DPS seeks AG opinion on excrement request

Tired of the Texas Capitol poo talk? So are we, but it wasn’t the media who opened up that jar – err, can – of worms.

The latest development in our efforts to sniff (or try not to) out the truth has been stymied by the Texas Department of Public Safety. On Monday, I received an email stating that my request for information, along with five other similar ones, was sent to the Attorney General’s office for a ruling.

On July 15, I filed an open records request for several items related to events at the Capitol on July 12, the night that the Texas Senate voted on the omnibus abortion bill.

DPS released a statement that day saying that 18 jars of suspected feces and one jar of suspected urine were “discovered” during bag searches. State troopers who were asked by reporters that night said they didn’t know of any excrement – human or otherwise – that was brought under the pink dome.

More at http://blog.mysanantonio.com/texas-politics/2013/07/dps-seeks-ag-opinion-on-excrement-request/ .

[font color=green]Just what I've been anxiously waiting for--Greg Abbott's opinion about shit (or is that Greg Abbott's shitty opinions)![/font]

Lawmaker: FBI could get involved in UT regent investigation

AUSTIN — A group of lawmakers stepped up the rhetorical pressure Monday on its investigation of University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall, who faces criticism and possible impeachment for continued scrutiny of UT-Austin President Bill Powers.

The House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency on Operations announced they planned to hire an attorney and investigator and call witnesses in the coming month.

The potential witnesses are UT leaders and officials who would likely testify in early September.


“We are going to get a lawyer and an investigator and within the purview of this committee will be the option to get law enforcement folks involved whether it be the DPS, Texas Rangers or the FBI if we feel like it will rise to that level,” said state Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/politics/texas_legislature/article/Lawmaker-FBI-could-get-involved-in-UT-regent-4694130.php .

[font color=green]
Due to his longevity in office, all of the regents at the UT System are Perry nominees.

Rumors have stirred throughout this year about Gov. Perry's desire to oust Powers from UT due to his opposition to increasing enrollment and decreasing tuition. This has flown in the face of Perry's attempts to try to lower the cost of a four year degree to less than $10,000.

Earlier this year, Perry emphasized that there are now 13 bachelor degree programs available with a four year cost of about $10,000 (excluding books, room & board). Of course, there are catches to the plan that require either earning early credits, heavy course loads, limited majors and choices as to which schools to attend. See the chart to see the options:


Chairman of Albuquerque Crime Stoppers submits resignation after DWI arrest

Pat Davis, the chairman of the Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers, said today he submitted his resignation to the group’s board after being arrested in the early hours of July 27 under suspicion of drunken driving.

Davis said he submitted his resignation Saturday. His one-year term would have expired in September, he said.

The Republican Party of New Mexico and the Republican Party of Bernalillo County had issued calls today for Davis to resign his position.


Meanwhile, Davis said he intends to stay on is his job as executive director of ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive advocacy group that frequently targets Republican politicians.

More at http://www.abqjournal.com/227543/politics/chairman-of-abq-crime-stoppers-submits-resignation-after-dwi-arrest.html .

36 groups receiving state money are not playing by the rules, Louisiana treasurer says

There are 36 non-governmental organizations that are not complying with state laws requiring transparency and reporting for groups that receive state money, state Treasurer John Kennedy said Monday. The groups have until the end of August to turn in detailed financial reports or they will have to return any state funds they have received.

Under an executive order first introduced by former Gov. Kathleen Blanco and reaffirmed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, any non-governmental organization that receives state money is required to turn in detailed annual financial reports of how the funds are being used.

Until this year, any group not complying with the order would be accountable only to the department issuing the funds. But because individual departments do not operate primarily as debt recovery offices, funds owed often went uncollected.

That changed this year, when the newly created Office of Debt Recovery began providing a centralized, one-stop shop for state debt collection. Kennedy said if the three dozen NGOs fail to turn in their reports by Aug. 31, he and his staff will turn them over to the new office, which will then take legal steps to retrieve any unaccounted-for taxpayer money appropriated from the state budget.

More at http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/07/36_groups_receiving_state_mone.html .

State Treasurer John Kennedy 'seriously' considering running for governor

tate Treasurer John Kennedy says he's "very, very seriously" considering running for governor when Bobby Jindal's second term ends in 2015. He said he has no timeline for when he will make his final decision.

"I want a governor who cares more about Louisiana's future than his own," Kennedy told the Baton Rouge Press Club during a talk on the state's new Office of Debt Recovery on Monday. "I want a governor that will govern this state with knowledge and wisdom, not ambition."

"I believe in the possibility of progress," Kennedy added. "I believe Louisiana's future can be better than its present and better than its past. You're all thinking people. You know what you want in a governor. I do, too."

Kennedy, who was raised in Zachary, said he would like to see a governor in place that treats "our universities like sacred ground, not a line-item veto" and who "will fire our bad teachers, pay our good ones" and do both without "demonizing" the entire profession.

More at http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/07/john_kennedy_louisiana_governo.html#incart_m-rpt-2 .

[font color=green]Don't get too excited folks. Kennedy switched from the Democratic Party to the Repukes in 2007.[/font]

What Steve King Has In Mind When He Hears 'Latino Outreach'

Lifted from JuanitaJean's Website.

House HSC Chair Michael McCaul: Cut foreign aid to China, et al, holding large amounts of US debt

If other nations are making money from financing American national debt, they shouldn’t be receiving foreign aid, too, Rep. Michael McCaul says.

McCaul has introduced the “Prioritizing Debt Reduction in U.S. Foreign Assistance Act” to limit foreign assistance to any country that holds more than $500 billion in U.S. Treasury Securities.

China holds $1.2 trillion in U.S. Treasuries. Between 2001 and 2011, the U.S. gave China $310 million in foreign assistance, mostly for economic development. The federal debt will likely reach $17 trillion this summer.

“It is hard to understand why the United States would borrow money from a county only to return it in the form of foreign assistance. A better use of such dollars would be paying down debt owed to the crediting country in the first place,” said McCaul.

More at http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2013/07/rep-michael-mccaul-cut-foreign-aid-to-china-and-other-nations-holding-large-amounts-of-u-s-debt/ .

Congressional Black Caucus recommends Sheila Jackson Lee for Homeland Security Secretary

Source: Houston Chronicle

Conservative bloggers went wild Monday when they got wind of the Congressional Black Caucus’ suggestion that President Obama pick Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston for the post of Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Rich Cooper, avid blogger for Security Debrief, responded to the news of the Jackson Lee recommendation in a post by saying, “Apparently, it is not a joke. For reasons that baffle any sense of reality, it is a serious gesture on the part of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to encourage President Obama to nominate Rep. Jackson Lee as a replacement for outgoing-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.”

A letter dated July 25 and signed by CBC Chairwoman Rep. Marcia Fudge, an Ohio Democrat, urges President Barack Obama to consider Jackson Lee for the position formerly held by Janet Napolitano, the first woman to hold the position. Napolitano resigned earlier this month to become president of the University of California.

“Representative Jackson Lee would serve as an effective DHS Secretary because she understands the importance of increasing border security and maintaining homeland security,” the nomination letter reads.

Read more: http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2013/07/congressional-black-caucus-recommends-sheila-jackson-lee-for-homeland-security-secretary/?cmpid=hpts

Watch the GOP talking heads explode!

Austin Downtown Building Boom? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

See the new Downtown Austin skyline that sprouted over the last decade or so? Take a good look at it, maybe snap a pic for posterity. Because over the next few years it's going to change even further.

Construction projects now breaking ground, starting to rise, topping out, currently on the books or planned to be built will further transform not just the skyline but the streetscape and the nature and culture of Downtown. And more is likely to follow.

"It may be the biggest building boom yet," says Michael Knox, the City of Austin's downtown manager in its economic growth and redevelopment services office. "We've seen booms before but this seems big if not bigger."

"It definitely seems that way," observes Will Schnier of the civil engineering firm Big Red Dog, who keeps a close watch on redevelopment projects. "My perception is that we're under-built. With the amount of people and businesses that are moving to Austin, we don't have the capacity to handle that right now. The problem could have addressed the need between 2008 and 2012, but nobody in the capital markets was loaning out any money. So now we're catching up to everything in terms of demand."

The article provides a look at the various projects in every sector of downtown. Read more at http://www.austinpost.org/boom-town/downtown-begins-whole-new-building-boom .
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