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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: 85,805

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

Wendy Davis questions National Guard role on border

McALLEN — Democratic candidate Wendy Davis said Thursday that as governor she would pull Texas National Guard troops from the border if local officials determined they weren’t necessary.

The remarks followed Gov. Rick Perry’s announcement last month that as many as 1,000 National Guard troops would be deployed to the Texas-Mexico border to bolster security.

“The first thing I would do is call in the local elected officials and the law enforcement and Border Patrol to advise us what they believe the best approach is,” Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth, said Thursday in the border city of McAllen. “I expect that their advice will be that that’s not the right approach and if that’s their advice I will follow it.”

The deployment Perry announced is estimated to cost $12 million per month on top of the $1.3 million per week the state has been paying for a surge of state troopers at the border. The troops will be armed but for the most part are expected to take up observational posts and advise state troopers or Border Patrol of illegal activity. Their deployment is expected to begin in coming weeks, but does not have an end date.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/wendy-davis-questions-national-guard-role-on-borde/ngxjp/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 09:47 PM (2 replies)

State’s fire marshal to let advocacy group scrutinize cases

The Texas state fire marshal will allow the Innocence Project of Texas to review more than a decade of cases investigated by his office to identify possible wrongful convictions.

The fire marshal’s office has already sent 24 case files from 2002 to 2004 to the project.

Fire Marshal Chris Connealy said he intends to let the advocacy group review all his cases up to this year.

“Why not?” Connealy told The Associated Press in an interview last week. “We serve the public. And I want the public to have confidence in the criminal justice system.”

That confidence has been tested by challenges to several high-profile arson cases in Texas, most notably the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 for killing his three daughters in a 1991 house fire in Corsicana. Willingham maintained his innocence, and supporters say evidence suggests that he was wrongfully executed.

More at http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/08/06/6025358/states-fire-marshal-to-let-advocacy.html .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 01:33 AM (0 replies)

Federal grand jury indicts 3 former Beaumont ISD employees (conspiracy and fraud)

Three former Beaumont Independent School District employees have been indicted for embezzling money from a program receiving federal funds in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Daryl Glenn Johnson, 44, Erin Gipson Johnson, 38, and Kailyn DeShondra Pete, 25, all of Beaumont, were indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges of conspiracy and fraud upon programs receiving federal funds.

According to the indictment, from July 2009 through June, 2012, Daryl Johnson, who was employed as the warehouse supervisor for the school district, is alleged to have had first his wife, Erin Johnson, and then a friend, Kailyn Pete, placed on the BISD payroll as temporary employees. Neither Erin Johnson nor Kailyn Pete ever actually worked as a BISD warehouse employee.

Daryl Johnson had the autonomy to hire temporary warehouse employees on his own and the authority to determine how many hours they would be paid, according to the press release. He could do so unilaterally and without the authorization or direct knowledge of anyone else.

More at http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Federal-grand-jury-indicts-3-former-BISD-employees-5672958.php .

[font color=green]Erin Johnson received $193,998.37 and Kailyn Pete received $90,041.05.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 01:23 AM (0 replies)

Dr. Seuss Explains Pregnancy

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 01:15 AM (0 replies)

I think malaise will like this thread

Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 01:08 AM (2 replies)

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Inside the Theresa Roemer (3-story closet) Defamation Lawsuit

As the world sits transfixed by the story of how Houston socialite Theresa Roemer's 3,000-square-foot, three-story "closet" full of designer bags and jewelry was burglarized, we thought we'd take a closer look into the weird, sad family saga unfolding in Harris County District Court.

Theresa, 52, sued her stepson, 32-year-old Maximillian Roemer, for defamation of character in July, accusing him of posting nasty comments on a Neiman Marcus blog devoted to what has become the most famous closet in all the land.

The long-simmering acrimony appears to have reached a boil when, according to the suit, Theresa and her husband, Lamar, kicked Maximillian out of a house owned by the elder Roemers. The petition alleges that Maximillian was staying at the home while it was being renovated for sale, and, when renovation was completed by June, he refused to move.

Both Theresa and Maximillian declined to comment.

The suit alleges that this prompted Maximillian to anonymously post comments accusing his stepmom of being, among other things, a woman of questionable virtue. (One comment was posted under the screen name "Teresathecomerag."

More at http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2014/08/inside_the_teresa_roemer_defamation_lawsuit.php .

Related threads:

Woodlands homeowner says burglar struck her half-million dollar closet

This is what a three-story, $500K closet looks like
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 12:24 AM (2 replies)

Two children injured in related shootings in southwest Houston McDonalds

Two children were struck by stray gunfire during a drug deal just before another shooting outside a fast food restaurant in southwest Houston involving law enforcement agents, authorities said.


As they left, an exchange of gunfire erupted between people in the cars. A brother and sister - a boy, 7, and a girl, 9 - were struck by stray rounds, police said.

The girl was struck in the thigh and the boy was grazed. Both were taken to an area hospital where the boy was treated and released. The girl was then flown by Life Flight helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital where her condition wasn't known later Wednesday.

One of the cars involved apparently wrecked in front of McDonald's restaurant in the 10700 block of Beechnut.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Shooting-erupts-at-southwest-Houston-eatery-5673014.php?cmpid=bna .

[font color=green]After this thread that I posted a week ago (http://www.democraticunderground.com/107819845), there is another reason not to go to McDonalds.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Aug 6, 2014, 08:45 PM (1 replies)

Texas’ workers comp system is still broken

Texas has never really fixed its workers compensation system. But it seems to be a little less broken than earlier this decade when I penned a four-part series of editorials urging specific reforms during the last round of major legislative review in 2005. And I say a little, as evidenced in this impressive four-part series earlier this year from the Texas Tribune. Many of the same problems are on the table.

Oversight of this broken system now falls to Ryan Brannan, an advisor in the Governor’s Office Division of Budget, Planning and Policy, who Gov. Rick Perry recently appointed as commissioner of Workers’ Compensation at the Texas Department of Insurance. The previous commissioner, Rod Bordelon, left earlier this month after nearly six years on the job.

As I mentioned, the complaints are essentially the same – that the workers comp system is expensive for employers and injured workers drag a burden-of-proof anvil into hearings making it very, very difficult for them to win their case. Workers comp remains an impossible morass, even as state officials tout statistics showing that disputes, claims, injury rates, costs and premiums and medical access are ”better.”

One major issue is that Texas is the only state where participation in the workers compensation system is voluntary. A worker who falls off of a roof is flat out of luck.

More at http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2014/08/texas-workers-comp-system-is-still-broken.html/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Aug 6, 2014, 08:40 PM (4 replies)

DPS: Powder-like substance found in envelope at Capitol

1:30 p.m. update: Authorities are investigating a powdery substance in an envelope that was discovered in the Capitol basement on Wednesday, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The east wing of the basement has been evacuated until the Austin Fire Department “can assess the situation,” DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said. The rest of the Capitol has remained open.

The envelope was addressed to a state legislator, Vinger said, but the agency is not releasing that person’s name.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/ems-at-capitol-after-report-of-unknown-substance/ngwr2/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Aug 6, 2014, 03:15 PM (1 replies)

Texas Lawmakers Keep Questions on Border Security Operations Front & Center

Gov. Rick Perry's border security surge was under the microscope at the Texas Capitol Tuesday. In two separate meetings, lawmakers tried to get a handle on how much money was being spent, and what the money was being spent on.

Gov. Perry’s office has identified a source for $38 million dollars in state funding that are going towards a deployment of up to 1,000 National Guard troops and an increase in Department of Public Safety officers in South Texas.

Yesterday, members of the Legislative Budget Board asked staff with the Governor and State Comptroller’s offices for some clarification on just where that money is coming from.

"I think for the most part this group was left out of even the information loop on this and so it’d be helpful for me to understand better," State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton, said to Martin Hubert, deputy comptroller, at the hearing.

More at http://kut.org/post/texas-lawmakers-keep-questions-border-security-operations-front-center .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Aug 6, 2014, 01:29 PM (0 replies)
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