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Gender: Male
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Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
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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

Trucking School Owner and President Pleads Guilty in $4.2 Million Fraud for Collecting Tuition for

Trucking School Owner and President Pleads Guilty in $4.2 Million Fraud for Collecting Tuition for Veterans Who Didn’t Attend Classes

LOS ANGELES – The owner and president of a San Fernando Valley trucking school pleaded guilty today to federal criminal charges for bilking the United States Department of Veterans Affairs out of more than $4 million in tuition and other payments after falsely certifying that veterans had attended classes that they never took.

Emmit Marshall, 52, of Woodland Hills, pleaded guilty to five felony counts of wire fraud. United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson scheduled a November 18 sentencing hearing, where Marshall will face a statutory maximum sentence of 100 years in federal prison.

Marshall, the owner and president of Chatsworth-based Alliance School of Trucking (AST), admitted in his plea agreement that, from July 2011 until April 2015, he and co-defendant Robert Waggoner, 56, of Canyon Country, who was a director at AST, schemed to defraud the VA. Marshall and Waggoner recruited eligible veterans to take trucking classes paid under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. AST was certified to offer classes under the Post-9/11 GI Bill that included a 160-hour Tractor Trailer & Safety class and a 600-hour Select Driver Development Program.

Pursuant to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the VA paid tuition and fees directly to the school at which the veteran was enrolled. The VA also paid a housing allowance to the veteran enrolled full-time in an approved program, and, in some cases, the VA paid a books and supplies benefit directly to the veteran. Marshall admitted that Waggoner and another individual recruited eligible veterans to enroll at AST by telling the veterans they could collect housing and other fees from the VA without attending the programs. Knowing that the vast majority of veterans enrolling at AST did not intend to attend any portion of those programs, Marshall and Waggoner created and submitted fraudulent enrollment certifications, according to Marshall’s plea agreement. They also created student files that contained bogus documents.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/trucking-school-owner-and-president-pleads-guilty-42-million-fraud-collecting-tuition

In Oklahoma, fundraising among Democratic challengers swings to Warren

Elizabeth Warren, a native Oklahoman and Massachusetts senator, raised nearly $22,000 in Oklahoma in the second quarter of 2019, the most among Democratic challengers to President Donald Trump, Federal Election Commission data shows.

And Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who Democrats in Oklahoma favored in the 2016 presidential primary, seems to have lost his momentum in the Sooner State, slipping to fourth among Democratic contenders.

But, unsurprisingly, Trump still dominates in Oklahoma. He’s raised nearly $335,000 so far in 2019, more than every Democratic candidate combined (Democrats have totaled a little under $160,000 so far this year).

Data released by the FEC — provided by Propublica and analyzed by The Frontier — shows Warren has totaled more than $26,000 in the first two quarters of 2019. She showed a nearly 400 percent increase in fundraising in the second quarter, after only raising just more than $4000 in quarter one.

Read more: https://www.readfrontier.org/stories/in-oklahoma-fundraising-among-democratic-challengers-swings-to-warren/

GOP opposition to Colin Allred starts to take shape after he turned a Dallas-area U.S. House seat

GOP opposition to Colin Allred starts to take shape after he turned a Dallas-area U.S. House seat blue

by Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune.

The Republican primary to challenge U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas, is finally starting to take shape.

One candidate, former Navy SEAL Floyd McLendon, entered the race Monday. And more announcements are expected before the end of the summer as the opposition begins to crystallize for what will be an uphill battle. Allred easily flipped the 32nd District last year as he unseated U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas.

The national GOP is targeting the district in 2020, though compared to Texas' seven other battleground congressional races, the challenger lineup has been slow to develop. Republicans have waited to see if Sessions attempts a comeback and have been sizing up the political landscape of a presidential-election year in bluer and bluer Dallas County.

"I think it will be a tough race but is winnable by Republicans," said Wade Emmert, former chairman of the county GOP. "It’s always true that turnout drives the result, but that is probably more true with President Trump on the ballot. To win, a Republican candidate will have to embrace the Republican base, including Trump, but differentiate himself or herself enough to speak to the specific issues of TX-32."

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/07/29/republican-primary-challenge-colin-allred-starts-take-shape/

Texas might spend up to $20 billion to protect Houston from hurricanes. Rice University says it can

Texas might spend up to $20 billion to protect Houston from hurricanes. Rice University says it can do it for a fraction of that.

by Kiah Collier, Texas Tribune

For about a decade, two of Texas’ top universities have pushed dueling plans to protect the Houston-Galveston region from hurricanes.

A concept championed by Texas A&M University at Galveston appears to be winning out as the federal and state governments pursue a plan similar to one proposed by A&M oceanographer Bill Merrell in early 2009, months after Hurricane Ike smashed ashore at Galveston Island.

But that project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas General Land Office, which calls for the installation of beachfront sand dunes and massive storm surge barrier gates, won’t become reality for at least 15 years — and probably much longer. That leaves plenty of time for a worst-case hurricane to devastate the densely populated, highly industrialized region — a reality that’s coming into sharper focus as sea levels rise and the ocean warms.

The so-called coastal barrier system also carries a significant price tag — as much as $20 billion — and a significant part of the system may guard against only a modest, 100-year storm.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/07/29/rice-university-plan-texas-coast-barrier/

Historic Catholic church near Temple destroyed by fire, Austin Diocese says

Fire destroyed a historic Catholic church near Temple early Monday, leaving nearly nothing behind, according to the Diocese of Austin.

Diocese officials said the cause of the fire that erupted at the Church of the Visitation in Westphalia on Monday morning has yet to be determined. It appears the church will be a total loss, officials said.

“I am saddened for the people of Westphalia who have suffered this tremendous loss,” said Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, who visited the parish on Monday. “I am grateful for all the firefighters and departments that responded to the fire. Please join me in keeping the people of this historic parish in your prayers today as they try to piece together this tragedy.”

The parish of the Church of the Visitation was founded in 1883 and serves 244 families. The church itself was completed in 1895 for $8,000 with most of the construction done by parishioners.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20190729/historic-catholic-church-near-temple-destroyed-by-fire-austin-diocese-says

Anti-Gay DA Claims His Religious Rights Are Being Violated After Attempt to Have Him Disqualified

A Tennessee county prosecutor who says the law does not apply to same-sex couples and Muslims is now claiming his First Amendment rights of religion and political viewpoint are being violated. Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott attacked a defendant in a case he is prosecuting that hinges on First Amendment freedoms to protest and petition the government to redress grievances, saying his attempts to remove the D.A. from his case are “constitutionally repugnant.”

Northcott says his critics “are trying to impose on me a religious and political test for serving in my office, for conducting my job,” Nashville’s News Channel 5 reports. Northcott says his critics don’t “like” his “theological and political beliefs.”

The case involves student activist Justin Jones, who is charged with throwing a paper cup of iced tea or some other liquid into an elevator filled with lawmakers, during a protest. No one was hurt.

“This case is every bit about race and equality and marginalized populations,” Jones’ attorney, Nick Leonardo, told a judge last week. “And with those sorts of views, judge, it’s impossible for Mr. Jones to get a fair trial.”

Read more: https://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/2019/07/anti-gay-da-claims-his-religious-rights-are-being-violated-after-attempt-to-have-him-disqualified/

Ricky Se Fue--Y Ahora Que? A Mobilized Puerto Rico Battles Increased Federal Control

On the evening of July 25, Puerto Rico’s Constitution Day and the 121st anniversary of the U.S. invasion of the island, disgraced Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló finally announced his resignation. With it, perhaps, comes the promise of a new political era.

The sound of Rosselló’s televised address, which was played over speakers in Old San Juan, was quickly drowned out by the cheers of jubilant protesters who had taken over the streets in front of the governor’s mansion to demand Rosselló’s ouster for his role in a scandal involving misogynistic and homophobic private chats as well as recent arrests of members of his government on pay-to-play corruption charges.

For nearly two weeks, massive demonstrations led by famous artists and community leaders had rocked Puerto Rico, shutting down highways. They were complemented by demonstrations on the mainland, including those in New York and Washington, D.C. Videos of boricuas taking over the streets of San Juan with pot-banging and perreo, a reggaeton-influenced dance, instantly went viral, surprising many Americans along with the rest of the world. (Who knew protesting could look so good?)

Demonstrations last Monday alone drew an estimated 30 percent of the island’s 3.1 million inhabitants. The last time Puerto Ricans displayed anything close to such people power was during the backlash over the U.S. government’s subjecting the island of Vieques, located about 13 miles off the coast of the commonwealth, to target practice for bombing runs.

Read more: https://prospect.org/article/ricky-se-fue-y-ahora-que-mobilized-puerto-rico-battles-increased-federal-control
(American Prospect)

Fewer women are getting abortions in South Dakota, but hundreds go out-of-state

South Dakota's abortion numbers have decreased by 55% over the past decade to reach a historic low last year, but that doesn't account for the hundreds of South Dakotans finding providers out of state.

While nearly 300 South Dakota women received abortions in the state last year, at least another almost 200 South Dakotans had abortions in Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Montana — Iowa and Wyoming don't have tallies for abortions performed on out-of-state residents, according to data from state health departments.

Pro-life advocates say the numbers show that abortion rates are sensitive to state laws and South Dakota is moving in the right direction, but there's more to be done.

"While South Dakota moves to eliminate all elective abortions from the state through education and legislation, it's clear pro-lifers in less conservative states have plenty of work to do in building a culture of life where they live," said Dale Bartscher, executive director of South Dakota Right for Life.

Read more: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/25/abortion-south-dakota-laws-totals-pro-life-choice/1813792001/

Democrats 'actively recruiting' candidates for statewide offices, chair says

Democrats have remained mum as Republican candidate campaigns in South Dakota are starting to show signs of life for the 2020 election.

No Democratic candidates have announced for either the U.S. House or U.S. Senate seats up for election next year while on the Republican side, freshman state Rep. Scyller Borglum of Rapid City has announced her intention to run against U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds in a primary.

Although Rounds and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson haven't formally announced their candidacies for 2020, they've started making campaign appearances at parades or fundraisers.

The South Dakota Democratic Party is "actively recruiting" candidates for statewide, county and city-level offices and the party is looking forward to a "competitive 2020 election," said party Chair Paula Hawks.

Read more: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/26/democrats-have-remained-mum-republican-candidate-campaigns-in-south-dakota-starting-show-signs-life/1841143001/

USDA Announces County Rates for Trump Tariff Farm Welfare

Prior to voting against suspending the debt ceiling for two years yesterday, Congressman Dusty Johnson expressed his support for another imperfect plan for more deficit spending to socialistically prop up South Dakota’s Trump-battered farmers:


The USDA yesterday laid out the county by county rates it will pay farmers for the damage they’ve suffered under Trump’s reckless tariffs. The Trump Administration apparently isn’t differentiating these welfare payments based on which crops farmers plant, or how much their land historically yields or actually yields this year, or how much any given farmer actually loses in sales. As long as a farmer plants one of 28 commodity crops* (few of which would actually show up for immediate consumption at your local farmer’s market), they can cash in on the single county payment rates.

The minimum payment is $15 per acre. South Dakota counties getting stiffed with that rate are all West River: Bennett, Butte, Custer, Dewey, Fall River, Haakon, Lawrence, Meade, Oglala Lakota, Pennington, Perkins, and Ziebach. SOme East River counties can get more than four times that per-acre rate:


Trumpistanis are calling Democrats communists. But the Trump Administration is paying farmers fixed rates regardless of specific crops planted or produced, which sounds more like good old Soviet farming than anything the majority party in the House has proposed. When Congressman Dusty Johnson praises this plan, isn’t he praising Communism?

Read more: http://dakotafreepress.com/2019/07/26/usda-announces-county-rates-for-trump-tariff-farm-welfare/
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