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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: 87,074

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

Deadly citrus greening disease plaguing the Valley

The future of the Rio Red grapefruit among other citrus trees in the Rio Grande Valley are at risk, including commercial operations worth $150 million, said leaders of the Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Control Corp. during a Wednesday presentation.

More than 500 trees in commercial fields are now infected by a deadly citrus greening disease, known as Huanglongbing, since positive test results rolled in recently, with around 100 of which confirmed in the past few days.

Hundreds of trees have already been sprayed with pesticides and removed from properties across the Valley.

“We have a lot more infected trees out there than what we can show on a map,” said John Dale, program manager for the Texas Citrus Greening project, adding that residents should still spray first and then remove the tree, which costs about $40 per tree.

Read more: http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/deadly-citrus-greening-disease-plaguing-the-valley/article_05c61818-28e1-11e4-86f4-001a4bcf6878.html

Houston's rare clouded leopard cubs can't get any cuter

Houston Zoo has released new photos of two rare clouded leopard cubs born earlier this year and they seriously could not be any cuter.

The two males, named Kashi and Senja appear to be living the good life, rough-housing with each other and a giant stuffed toy.

At just two and half months old the cubs are still too young to be out on show with the public, according to the zoo, who say they still have a couple of vaccinations left before they make their debut. Earlier this year the zoo put out video of them being fed in the zoo nursery.

Kashi and Senja are the first clouded leopards ever born at the Houston Zoo, parents Suksn and Tarak have been residents since 2012.

There is a whole photo gallery of squee! Read more: http://www.chron.com/houston/article/Houston-s-rare-clouded-leopard-cubs-can-t-get-any-5700491.php

At Least Five Children Deported Back to Honduras Have Been Killed

Despite reports showing violence in their home countries is a key factor to the flight of minors to the United States, many lawmakers are calling for swift court cases and deportation.

The first plane of deported children and mothers was sent back to Honduras last month. At least five of the children deported to Honduras have since been killed in the violence they attempted to escape, the L.A. Times reports

Hector Hernandez runs the morgue is San Pedro Sula, where the deportees arrive. He told the L.A. Times:

There are many youngsters who only three days after they've been deported are killed, shot by a firearm. They return just to die.

The L.A. Times piece continues,

In one case, a teenage boy was shot to death hours after arriving in San Pedro Sula on a deportation flight, according to the boy's cousin, who refused to identify himself or the boy to The Times for fear of reprisal from neighborhood gangs.

Read more: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/15595/at-least-five-children-deported-back-to-honduras-have-been-killed

Why the conventional wisdom in the Rick Perry indictment story might be incomplete

The conventional wisdom following Rick Perry’s indictment on charges of abuse of power has been strikingly uniform in the national media – the governor’s getting a raw deal. Newspapers, on-line outlets and thoughtful Beltway pundits were quick to pronounce the charges a political witch hunt against a governor performing his duly constituted duties.

The narrative goes like this: Perry is the victim of a smear campaign by Democrats who want to hurt his presidential prospects because he vetoed funding, as is his right, for an office run by a district attorney convicted of drunken driving. Even some Democrats in Texas say it won’t be easy getting a conviction. But as is often the case, there’s more to the story. Here are five things to consider in evaluating the conventional wisdom.

1) The case is about politics.
Within hours of the indictment by a Travis County grand jury, Perry denounced it a partisan attack by political enemies. When he turned himself in for booking Tuesday, the governor cast himself a victim of retribution for vetoing funding for a Democratic district attorney.

The Travis County district attorney is not prosecuting Perry. The state district judge in the case is a Republican appointed by George W. Bush when he was governor. The judge selected San Antonio lawyer Mike McCrum as the special prosecutor in the case. McCrum served as a federal prosecutor in the administration of President George H.W. Bush and was supported by Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison as a potential U.S. attorney candidate.

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/08/why-the-conventional-wisdom-in-the-rick-perry-indictment-story-might-be-incomplete.html/

Livestrong Foundation to donate $50 million to UT medical school

A $50 million donation from the Austin-based Livestrong Foundation has put the University of Texas over its goal of raising $3 billion and will fund an innovative cancer unit at UT’s Dell Medical School, officials said Tuesday.

The foundation’s gift, to be paid over a 10-year period, will establish the Livestrong Cancer Institutes, whose programs will focus not on treating the disease but on developing and promoting a broad approach to helping patients and their loved ones navigate it. That will include help in understanding insurance, signing up for clinical trials, connecting with other patients who received similar diagnoses and dealing with other practical, psychological and social challenges.

(premium content)

US Senate race draws focus in Alaska primary

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A whistle-stop tour of the state in an RV. An endorsement from the second man to walk on the moon. Even one of the most polarizing figures in American politics found cause to weigh in on the state she used to lead.

The last-minute scramble ahead of Tuesday's primary election in Alaska had a little bit of everything as three Republican challengers waged a contentious campaign to be the candidate to take on U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in the fall.

The race is important to Republicans nationally since Begich, a first-term incumbent Democrat, is seen as vulnerable and the GOP needs a net gain of six seats to take control of the Senate.

The Alaska GOP Senate race mirrors national trends, with tea party conservatives trying to knock out mainstream Republicans. The race features former state attorney general and natural resources commissioner Dan Sullivan, current Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and tea party favorite and 2010 GOP primary winner Joe Miller.

Read more: http://www.theeagle.com/news/politics/us-senate-race-draws-focus-in-alaska-primary/article_ab36de61-cf06-544e-871d-75f730ddb0cf.html

Wendy Davis talks sexual assault, education funding at Lubbock campaign stop

They weren’t pink tennis shoes, but Wendy Davis’ footwear held particular importance Monday night.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Davis spoke to Lubbock supporters at a phone bank Monday. Her shoes, she said, were the same ones she wore to filibuster $5.5 billion in cuts to Texas public schools in 2011.

“Our children suffered as a consequence of that,” she said.

Davis focused most of her speech on her work addressing problems of sexual assault, criticizing her opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, for “a disturbing pattern of siding with corporations over victims of rape and sexual assault.”

Read morre: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2014-08-18/wendy-davis-talks-sexual-assault-education-funding-lubbock-campaign-stop#.U_LXJGNCz2Q

Attorney: Gov. Perry's booking will be public

AUSTIN - Attorneys for Texas Gov. Rick Perry say they don't know when he will be booked on abuse of power charges — but that it won't happen in secret.

Houston-based defense Tony Buzbee said Monday that he will head Perry's high-powered legal team. The Republican and longest-serving governor in Texas history has been indicted on two felony counts.

Buzbee said the governor is "going to let everyone know" when he will be booked, fingerprinted and have his mug shot taken. Perry's attorneys and a special prosecutor are still working that out.

Buzbee also dismissed the case as "nothing more than banana republic politics."


In 1917, Similarities to Gov. Rick Perry's Indictment

Nearly a century ago, a sitting Texas governor was indicted for allegedly playing politics with public money and yanking funding from an institution.


A Travis County grand jury's allegations on Friday that Gov. Rick Perry improperly threatened to veto funding for the state's anti-corruption prosecutors marked the first time since 1917 that a Texas governor was indicted. That year, Gov. Jim "Pa" Ferguson was indicted by a Travis County grand jury on allegations that he meddled with the state's flagship university amid a squabble with its board of regents.

In Ferguson's case, he vetoed $1.8 million over two years (about $34 million in today's dollars) for the University of Texas; in Perry's case, it was $7.5 million for the public integrity unit, which is overseen by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. After Lehmberg pleaded guilty to drunken driving, Perry threatened to pull state funding from her office unless she resigned.

Ferguson's indictment led to impeachment by state legislators in September 1917. That's highly unlikely for Perry, a lame duck with an overwhelmingly conservative Legislature who is facing felony charges for his threat — one he made good on — to veto funding for of the unit charged with investigating public offices in Texas, including that of the governor.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2014/08/17/you-couldnt-make-stuff-1917-either/

Additional background on the Perry indictment--why he wanted to control or eliminate the PIU

Posted in the Texas Group


There is more to this story than what is being reported on The Rachel Maddow Show.
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