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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 76,962

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' Second TV Ad Focuses on Greg Abbott's Lack of Oversight of Cancer Research Center

Wendy Davis has launched her second tv ad in the 2014 race for governor of Texas. In the ad, Manuel Alvarado, a cancer survivor from Fort Worth, narrates his struggles of surviving and overcoming the deadly disease. He quickly pivots to Greg Abbott who was in charge of overseeing the state cancer research fund. Readers will recall the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has been under investigation for favoring services from those who were political donors to Governor Rick Perry. Many of those donors who had allegedly not been completely screened are now major donors to Greg Abbott.

The ad accuses Greg Abbott's donors of using their favorable political standing with the Attorney General to profit with funds which were meant to help find a cure for cancer. The ad further promotes the message that Greg Abbott has used his elected position to act as another powerful insider, only working to serve those who can afford access to him.

The ad is currently playing in multiple television markets across Texas.

http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15614/wendy-davis-second-tv-ad-focuses-on-greg-abbotts-lack-of-oversight-of-cancer-research-center

Texas Pastor Calls For Removal of "Demonic" Twilight Books From Library

There's at least one person who's not torn between Team Jacob and Team Edward.

A Cleveland, Texas pastor has called for the removal of the popular Twilight series from the local library, claiming that the "sexual element" and "creatures that aren't human" are dangerous for young readers.

Missick also thinks teens should have parental approval to check out such books. Currently, library policy requires parental consent for minors to get a library card.

As reported by ABC 13:

Pastor Phillip Missick of King of Saints Tabernacle, a Messianic church, filed a complaint with Austin Memorial Library, Cleveland's public library, asking that many fiction books on vampires, demons and the supernatural be purged. He says he was stunned to find the young adult section full of books like "Blood Promise," "Twilight," and the "Vampire Knight" series.

"This is dark. There's a sexual element. You have creatures that aren't human. I think it's dangerous for our kids," said Missick.

Cleveland City Manager Kelly McDonald declined an interview but we have Library Director, Mary Cohn's response to Missick's complaint, as well as to a petition he had signed by a handful of local pastors. She noted only five percent of all the 1,500 titles in the teen section deal with occult, vampires and the supernatural, and then spoke to the mission of a public library saying materials should not be chosen or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.


Read more: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15617/texas-pastor-calls-for-removal-of-demonic-twilight-books-from-library

Rep. Elliott Naishtat Hospitalized After Bike Accident But In Good Spirits

State Rep. Elliott Naishtat was hospitalized following a bicycling accident in Minnesota, but fear not -- the progressive champion is on the mend and in good spirits.

During the annual bike ride at the National Conference of State Legislators held this year in Minnesota, Naishtat hit a guard rail hard and punctured his calf which resulted in severe swelling and internal bleeding.

Thankfully Naishtat is expected to make a full recovery and be back here in Austin shortly.

http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15615/rep-elliott-naishtat-hospitalized-after-bike-accident-but-in-good-spirits-sign-his-card

[font color=green]Elliott was my state representative when I lived in Austin during the 1990s. I was able to meet and discuss various issues regarding state employees during that time. He is a true gentlemen and I hope that he recovers quickly. A "Get Well Soon" email card is available at the link.[/font]

Perry: Campaign, not taxpayers, will pay legal bills

MIDLAND — Indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he believes taxpayers should have picked up his legal tab but opted to use campaign funds "to keep from having folks grouse about it."

The possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate told reporters Tuesday in Midland that he had considered it appropriate for state funds to pay his legal fees because a criminal investigation dealt with his official duties as governor.

Perry has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges of abuse of power. At least $80,000 in taxpayer dollars have been spent on his defense so far.

Following questions over who would pay for a new team of high-powered attorneys, Perry announced last week that campaign funds would start footing the bill.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/state-politics/20140826-perry-campaign-not-taxpayers-will-pay-legal-bills.ece

Texas education chief under fire for low passing standards on STAAR

State Education Commissioner Michael Williams came under fire from members of the Senate Education Committee Tuesday over his decision to retain low passing standards on state achievement tests for the fourth year in a row.

Some committee members suggested that social promotion of many students would result from the commissioner’s decision, while others said Williams retreated from an earlier plan to gradually raise passing standards on the STAAR as has been done in previous testing programs.

Williams insisted that Texas students are not ready to be graded by higher standards because the instruction they are receiving in core subjects is not up to the rigorous level of questioning on the STAAR.

“Our instruction has not yet risen to the level it needs to be,” he told committee members. “We haven’t jumped high enough in the classroom.”

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/08/education-chief-under-fire-for-low-passing-standards-on-staar.html/

Texas adds patient-confidentiality suit to its fight with Xerox over alleged Medicaid fraud

Texas Medicaid officials, already in a legal battle with Xerox Corp. over the company’s alleged failure to prevent widespread dental fraud, filed another lawsuit Tuesday accusing Xerox of improperly taking large quantities of medical records and not protecting patients’ confidentiality.

The state Health and Human Services Commission said it filed a lawsuit in state district court in Austin seeking return of the patient data.

The commission said it also has filed a notice with federal officials that Xerox “is now out of compliance” with privacy rules under the 1996 federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

“Once again, the reckless and irresponsible actions of this company put Texas tax dollars at risk,” Kyle Janek, the state agency’s executive commissioner, said in a statement. “It really makes you wonder what they’re trying to hide.”

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/08/janek-accuses-xerox-of-reckless-misuse-of-medicaid-data.html/

This post in GD needs some Labor Movement recs.

I became a union member today along with 28,000 others in the biggest labor victory in MN history
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025448036

This post in GD needs some Socialist Progressive recs.

I became a union member today along with 28,000 others in the biggest labor victory in MN history
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025448036

Bastrop County settles lawsuit with family of Tased high school student for $775,000

BASTROP COUNTY -- Bastrop County has settled a federal lawsuit for $775,000 with the family of a high school student who received a brain injury after a sheriff's deputy used his Taser on the teen, causing him to fall and hit his head.

The settlement resulted from ongoing negotiations, which concluded late Monday, between county officials and their insurance provider and the lawyer for Noe Niño de Rivera.

"Noe needs compensation for what happened," said Austin attorney Adam Loewy, who represented Niño de Rivera and his family. "Anyone who goes through what Noe went through deserves money, and the American legal system is designed to compensate people who have been hurt, especially in a case like this."

County officials and Loewy said Niño de Rivera's medical bills have topped $1.3 million.

Read more: http://www.kvue.com/story/news/local/2014/08/26/bastrop-co-settles-lawsuit-with-family-of-tased-high-school-student/14651713/

Additional coverage, including crude, callous and obnoxious comments:
http://www.statesman.com/news/news/bastrop-county-settles-taser-case-for-775000/ng9Kb/

Related threads (in reverse chronological order)
FBI to investigate Taser incident at Cedar Creek High School

http://www.democraticunderground.com/107815413

Video, documents raise new questions in high school student Taser case
http://www.democraticunderground.com/107814786

We Can Honor Our Founding Mothers By Voting (An Homage to the 19th Amendment)

By Carol Morgan

It was 94 years ago today that Congress passed the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. This accomplishment didn’t happen overnight. After years of determined effort, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton drafted the amendment and introduced it in 1878, but it took forty-one years for Congress to submit the amendment to the states for ratification.

In between 1878 and 1919, hundreds of women in the Suffrage Movement endured arrest and imprisonment, gender indignities, force-feedings, and societal shaming to bring this Constitutional privilege to fruition.

Even after the 19th amendment was passed, women continued to be discouraged from voting in the Southern states by way of the poll tax. This obstacle for women wasn’t eliminated until 1964 with the ratification of the 24th amendment.

Even with the additional safeguard of the 24th amendment, women did not turn out to the polls in the same numbers as men until 1980. From 1980 until the present, women’s participation in the electoral process has grown and more recently, surpassed the male vote.

Fast forward to Texas 2014. Texas has the lowest voter turnout in the entire nation. In every area of civic engagement (voting, contacting their elected officials, donating, and volunteering), Texas is dead-last or near the bottom.

Our founding mothers would be devastated to know this.

While we no longer have laws or poll taxes that exclude women from voting, there are diabolical processes at work that make voting more confusing and a little more difficult.

The most recent example is Governor Perry’s hastily-called special election for SD 28. It has put a great financial and logistical burden on the smaller, less affluent counties of District 28. And it has nothing to do with ensuring District 28 has an early representative. In twelve years, I’ve never known Rick Perry to do anything that benefits the regular citizens of Texas.

Luckily, I was able to vote early and I cast my vote for Democrat Greg Wortham. He has more valuable experience as a mayor and he pledges to represent all Texans in District 28. He’s pragmatic, he supports public education, and he has a long list of mayoral accomplishments under his belt.

The other candidates’ rhetoric turned me off. How is it relevant to an election for a Senate candidate to declare, “I bleed red and black”? And if I hear the talking point “border security” one more time, I’m going to scream. These simplistic phrases are an insult to critical-thinking voters everywhere.

Voters want a prioritized "to do" list of Texas' problems alongside solutions posed by the candidate. Here's what needs to be done and here's how I am going to do it. We don't need tired worn-out phrases like family values, pro-gun, pro-life because in reality, those phrases mean something different to everyone.

And no pictures of your "darling" family either. I'm not voting for your wife or your kids. They won't be going to Austin.

I’m also wary of candidates who cultivate large political contributions of $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000. I’m pretty sure those contributors hope to gain something from that huge sum of money and I bet those candidates will deliver, lest the money cease to flow.

Over the past few years, we hear a lot about “voting the bums out”, but in all those years, I've yet to see it happen. People vote for the same type of politicians (or don’t vote at all) over and over and then expect a magically different result.

On the 94th anniversary of women's right to vote, we need to be reminded of long hard-fought battle that it took to gain the privilege to vote.

There will be many meetings and celebrations to recognize this anniversary, but there is no better way to pay homage to these female trailblazers than to engage in the activity they fought so hard to attain.

Shouldn't you honor these women who fought for this right for YOU by voting today?

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Carol Morgan is a career/college counselor, writer, speaker, former Democratic candidate for the Texas House and the award-winning author of Of Tapestry, Time and Tears, a historical fiction about the 1947 Partition of India. Read her work at the Houston Press and MetroLeader News Service. Email Carol at elizabethcmorgan@sbcglobal.net , follow her on Twitter and on Facebook or visit her writer’s blog at www.carolmorgan.org

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2014-08-26/we-can-honor-our-founding-mothers-voting#.U_0BT2NgD2Q

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