HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » TexasTowelie » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 31 Next »


Profile Information

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: 85,723

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

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon blasts back at Perry trip

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has pulled up the welcome mat and put on the gloves.

Nixon was initially dismissive of the Texas governor’s business luring trip to Missouri this Thursday. But that was when the $100,000 relatively tame TV ads were running that just featured businessowners touting Texas.

But when the radio ads began a few days ago attacking Nixon’s veto of a tax cut, Missouri Democrats began fighting back. The first push back was left to Secretary of State Jason Kander, who wrote Perry a letter basically suggesting he stay home.

Then Missouri radio station KTRS refused to run the pro-Texas ad.

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/08/missouri-gov-jay-nixon-blasts-back-at-perry-trip.html/ .

Cross-posted at Texas Group.

New Laws Arrive Next Month to Help Patients, Doctors

New laws take effect on Sept. 1 that will help patients and physicians across Texas.

Red-Tape Reduction

* Widespread reductions in medical practice red tape, including development of a uniform prior-authorization form to be used by all health insurance payers in 2015 for prescription drugs and for medical procedures. This will simplify and speed up the delivery of care to patients, because doctors’ offices will have to process just one form instead of shuffling through nearly 50 forms just for one health plan. Doctors’ offices spend an average of more than $80,000 per year shuffling insurance paperwork.
* Implementation of a new law that allows patients to check in at their doctor's office by swiping their Texas driver license for information like their name and address, meaning fewer forms for patients to complete and doctors’ offices to transcribe and process.
* Landmark regulation of third-party payers or “silent PPOs” that take physician-contracted discounts without doctors knowing about or agreeing to it.

More at http://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=27857 .

Anonymous DPS trooper blog bites the dust

The Texas State Troopers Association has shut down a blog that for almost 13 years let members post anonymous -- and often critical -- comments about their employer, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and officials of their own organization.

"We all agreed it got out of hand," said Lee Johnson, a Beaumont lawyer and former DPS trooper who is president of the nonprofit association, which claims about 1,000 commissioned officers and retirees as members. "This anonymous stuff is pretty bad. They should be man enough to say who they are.”

The "we" Johnson referenced is a select group -- basically the four people who run the TSTA. They are the same people who founded it in 1984 -- Johnson; his wife, Anne; and Herschel Henderson, another retired trooper from Beaumont -- plus executive director Clyde Hart. Records show that Hart and Lee Johnson earn the largest executive salaries at the association.

Johnson said that occasional criticism of DPS director Steve McCraw in anonymous postings played no part in the decision to stop the blog in July.

More at http://www.statesman.com/weblogs/investigations/2013/aug/26/anonymous-dps-trooper-blog-bites-dust/ .

In Austin, Pelosi praises Wendy Davis but doesn’t pressure her to run for governor

The minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives was in Austin on Monday to attend a conference on the status of women in society and politics, but she did not press the state’s most popular female Democrat to run for Texas’ highest political office.

U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who was the first female speaker of the House when she held the job from 2007 to 2011, focused her attention on promoting equal pay for women, a better balance between work and family and access to affordable child care. But Pelosi, D-Calif., also took time to talk about state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who is pondering a run for Texas governor.

Davis gained global attention for a filibuster during a special session of the Texas Legislature in June that derailed — for a time — a GOP-sponsored anti-abortion measure. Her stand immediately inspired talk of her running for governor next year. Davis promised to announce her decision after Labor Day.

Pelosi, a favorite target of the Republican base, said Davis wouldn’t have any trouble raising the needed cash — about $30 million to $40 million — to run for governor.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/in-austin-pelosi-praises-wendy-davis-but-doesnt-pr/nZck5/ .

Fire marshal: 5 facilities similar to West fertilizer plant refuse inspection

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Five facilities in Texas with large quantities of the same fertilizer chemical that fueled the deadly plant explosion in West have turned away state fire marshal inspectors since the blast, investigators said Monday.

A railway operator that hauls hazardous materials across Texas also allegedly rebuffed state efforts to share data since the April explosion at West Fertilizer Co., which killed 15 people and injured 200 others.

Regulators and state lawmakers at a hearing about the still-unsolved explosion were intrigued by the lack of cooperation. State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy said "well, sure" when asked whether those facilities refusing to admit inspectors raised concern.

"In their defense, they may have a very good reason," Connealy said.

More at http://www.reporternews.com/news/2013/aug/26/fire-marshal-5-facilities-similar-west-fertilizer/ .

[font color=green]My second thread today about weak regulatory authority in Texas. Will I find a third?[/font]

Radioactive waste dumped on the street

When waste haulers don't follow the regulations of their permit,
they leak oil-based mud and spill it onto the road such as this
spill on South Hwy 281 and FM 625 in Jim Wells County.
Photo: Hector Zertuche

Radioactive waste from drilling sites is leaking and spilling onto South Texas roads while on the way to dumping sites by waste haulers in violation of state law, said McMullen County Sheriff Emmett Shelton.

Shelton said eight miles of county road was found with a stream of leaked waste that looked like burned motor oil in McMullen County. When the leaking truck was located, the hauler was found stuffing a T-shirt into the leak, he said. The case is still pending in court, but had the company not been caught the cleanup cost would have been left to the state at a price of $1,500 per hour.

Spills often require a Geiger counter due to the radioactive nature of the fluid, said Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department’s Deputy Hector Zertuche.

Environmental impacts aren’t the only risk associated with improperly transporting or dumping waste.

More at http://mysoutex.com/view/full_story_progress/23419205/article-Radioactive-waste-dumped-on-the-street?instance=progress_regional_news .

An additional note: Penalties for not complying to hauling requirements range from $100-1,000 or up to 10 days in jail.

“The Railroad Commission said they could be cited for up to $1,000 per day for each violation, but they don’t ever do it,” Zertuche said.

[font color=green]Why would we expect anything different in this state with its "regulations be damned" attitude?

Michael Brown Sues the Guy He Hired to Save His Companies

Here's a riddle: What do you do when you are facing sentencing in federal court for choking a flight attendant after telling her you wanted to "fuck" her and a co-worker, while at the same time ignoring another judge's bench warrant for your arrest?

Well, if you're Michael "Act Like Your [sic] Enjoying it and He'll Only Take 5 Minutes" Brown, you sue the shit out of everyone within humanitarian-award-hurling-distance, that's what.

On the heels of a federal civil rights lawsuit he filed against attorneys representing estranged wife Rachel Brown, Brown has filed suit against the guy he and one of his cadre of attorneys hand-picked to save Brown's hemorrhaging empire.

Brown and lawyer Robert Hantman -- the man to call if you've been accused of spreading anal herpes -- proposed the hiring of retired U.S. Army General David Grange in March, when Brown was facing jail time for buying a mansion and yachts and a bunch of other small-penis-syndrome symptoms in violation of a court order.

Read more at http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2013/08/michael_brown_miami_grange_lawsuit.php .

Military removes commander of nuclear weapons unit

Source: AP

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. (AP) — The Air Force has removed the commander of a nuclear weapons unit at a Montana base following a failed safety and security inspection that marked the second major misstep this year for one of the military's most sensitive missions.

Military leaders say the decision to relieve Col. David Lynch of command at Malmstrom Air Force Base stems from a loss of confidence. They say it is not the result of the failed inspection this month first reported by The Associated Press on Aug. 13.

Lynch will transition into retirement, base spokesman Sgt. Robert Biermann said Sunday. Lynch's command included the 341st Missile Wing, which operates land-based nuclear missiles known as 450 Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles. The unit failed a review of its adherence to rules that ensure the safety, security and control of its nuclear weapons.

This is the second time in recent months that an Air Force nuclear commander was replaced following a high-profile security problem.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Military-removes-commander-of-nuclear-weapons-unit-4759639.php?cmpid=hpbn

It's Debatable: Religion's influence on government

This week, Arnold Loewy and Don May (aka Mr. Conservative) debate religious morality as a basis for legislation. Don writes an independent blog on lubbockonline.com and Arnold is the George Killiam Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law.

Arnold: Religion is a wonderful behavioral guidepost for the true believer. Where it is not so wonderful is when a majority of true believers seek to impose their morality on a non-believer. For example, in the mid-1960s, it was unlawful in Connecticut for married people to use contraception. Obviously the genesis of this legislation was the Catholic (majority religion in Connecticut) viewpoint that sex for purposes other than procreation was immoral.


Consider the Ten Commandments. Many people think they are the foundation for American law. They are not. While murder, theft, and perjury are forbidden by both American law and the Ten Commandments, the latter are not a necessary predicate for the former. With or without religion, it seems clear those things would be forbidden.


So religiously inspired laws may be appropriate, but only if there is also a secular justification for them. Otherwise, we would all be captives of whatever the majority religion of the day happened to be.

Don: Our Founding Fathers established the United States of America and its Constitution on a solid foundation of religious principles with very limited federal powers.

Our nation’s founding document, The Declaration of Independence, tells us our rights come from God and not from our government. Our rights are inalienable and cannot be taken from us by a president, a Congress, or anyone else.

The complete debate is at http://lubbockonline.com/editorials/2013-08-25/its-debatable-religions-influence-government#comment-301934 . There are also several noteworthy comments at the link.

'Whites only' East Texas meth dealer pleads guilty

A 49-year-old East Texas woman has admitted her role in a "whites only" criminal enterprise that sold methamphetamine and engaged in murder, federal prosecutors said.

Vicki Stark-Fitts pleaded guilty Friday to taking part in a pattern of racketeering activity that included conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and commit murder, U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced Friday.

Kenny Don Stanley, 25, of Vidor; Tanner Lynn Bourque, 33, (aka "Two Shoes" and "Hitman" of Port Arthur; and Kristopher Leigh Guidry, 28, (aka "Hollywood", each pleaded guilty to murder in aid of the racketeering activity earlier this summer.

The four were charged in a seven-count indictment returned Aug. 7 by a federal grand jury, the latest in a series of prosecutions in East Texas targeting members and associates of the SWS [font color=green](also known as "Solid Wood Soldiers" and "Separate White State"[/font] and the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) criminal gangs, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Whites-only-East-Texas-meth-dealer-pleads-guilty-4756087.php?cmpid=houtexhcat

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 31 Next »