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TexasTowelie

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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: 76,960

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

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

While we are seeing news about the Perry indictment involving his attempt to interfere with the operations of the Travis County Public Integrity Unit, I want to remind everyone of this thread that I posted in January 2013:

CPRIT fallout: Cancer network ceases operations
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10785706

The article from the Austin American-Statesman included the followiing:

In his report released Monday, State Auditor John Keel criticized CPRIT’s handling of the $25.2 million grant to the cancer network. Since the network’s beginning in 2010, CPRIT violated its own rules by advancing the first $6.8 million of the grant to CTNeT instead of just reimbursing the network for expenses incurred.

-snip-

Prior to the audit, it was reported that CPRIT had awarded a $11 million grant to a Dallas startup, Peloton Therapeutics, without the required reviews. A second grant — $20 million for a Houston business incubator — was rescinded after objections that it didn’t receive a scientific review.

-snip-

Gimson, Gilman and Jerry Cobbs, the agency’s chief commercialization officer, have left the agency.

To date, none of the agency’s board members — appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst or House Speaker Joe Straus — have resigned.



In addition, one of the board member for CPRIT is Attorney General Greg Abbott and he never attended any of the CPRIT board meetings.

Greg Abbott, CPRIT & Favors for Friends
http://www.democraticunderground.com/107810591

Dems use CPRIT indictment against Abbott
http://www.democraticunderground.com/107813780

These indictments may ultimately lead to more investigations into other Republicans including Greg Abbott. This should bode well for the Democratic Party in the general election if mainstream media explains Perry's motivations for taking control of the one political unit that he could not control in Texas. The Lehmberg DUI was Perry's attempt to infiltrate the PIU with his cronies and it has backfired enormously.

Texas woman named Teddy Bear Paradise admits to mailing letter that threatened Obama

Source: Dallas Morning News

HOUSTON — Federal authorities say a Texas woman has admitted to mailing a letter that threatened the life of President Barack Obama.

Prosecutors in Houston announced Friday that 56-year-old Teddy Bear Paradise pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening the president. The woman was previously known as Denise O’Neal.

Prosecutors say she admitted to sending the letter addressed to Obama telling him she was traveling to Washington, D.C. to kill him. They say she later told two Secret Service agents of her intention and that if she couldn’t commit the act herself, she would hire someone else to do it.

Paradise will remain in custody until her November sentencing. She faces up to five years in prison.


Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20140815-texas-woman-named-teddy-bear-paradise-admits-to-mailing-letter-that-threatened-obama.ece



Judge overturns Irving ISD election system, says it discriminates against Hispanics

Irving ISD will have to rewrite its election system for the second time in two years following a Friday ruling that it denies Hispanics a fair opportunity to vote.

A federal judge ruled that IISD, where most students are Hispanic, violates the Voting Rights Act because it contains no voting district in which Hispanics make up a true majority of voters.

The ruling, which follows a lawsuit brought by three Hispanic residents and the powerful law firm Bickel & Brewer—is similar to ones that have forced the cities of Irving and Farmers Branch to rewrite their election systems in recent years.

Irving tried to prevent today’s outcome by voluntarily rewriting its election system in 2012. It changed five of its seven at-large voting district to single-member districts, one of which was supposed to be Hispanic-majority.

Read more: http://irvingblog.dallasnews.com/2014/08/judge-overturns-irving-isd-election-system-says-it-discriminates-against-hispanics.html/

Frackers Illegally Injected Diesel Into Wells

Energy companies have been injecting diesel underground during fracking operations—without permits to do so—in a dozen states including Texas, according to a new report from the nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project. The report, released Wednesday, found that between February 2010 and July 2014, nearly 13,000 gallons of diesel were injected underground in Texas alone. During that period, the study found that 33 companies injected diesel into 351 wells across the U.S.—but because the study relies on self-reported data in the chemical disclosure registry FracFocus, the actual total could be much higher.

The Environmental Protection Agency once had the power to regulate fracking fluids injected into the ground. But in 2005 Congress stripped the agency of nearly all of that authority, in what came to be known as the Halliburton Loophole—only diesel injection remained under EPA’s permitting authority. Diesel contains various known carcinogen, including benzene, that easily seep into groundwater, where they can threaten drinking supplies.

“[The EPA] may not be able to make the majority of wells safer, but they can do it with diesel and they should,” says the report’s author, former EPA enforcement attorney Mary Greene. “It’s not clear to me why they’re not.”

The report casts doubt on repeated assurances from industry players that diesel hasn’t been used in fracking in many years, at a time when the media and academics are challenging other industry talking points. For example, oil and gas companies have insisted that their operations don’t threaten water supplies. But last month, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection said that oil and gas activity had, in fact, damaged water supplies in the state at least 209 times since the end of 2007. Pennsylvania is among the states with the most fracking activity in the country.

Read more: http://www.texasobserver.org/report-fracking-companies-blew-thousands-gallons-diesel-underground-without-permits/

Dallas researchers are out to scientifically prove the biblical version of creation

Most scientists believe Darwin got it right: Single-celled creatures evolved into complex ones, a process of natural selection and genetic adaptation that over eons turned a primordial swamp into shape-shifting cells, into ape-like primates, into people.

His theory is taught in virtually every science classroom in the world. It is used to demystify the complexity of life, translate the language of DNA, and make sense of geology, biology and paleontology.

Scientists call evolution a unifying theory, a weight-bearing wall that frames our understanding of the natural world.

But at the Institute for Creation Research in northwest Dallas, a group of nine Ph.D.s from places like Harvard and Los Alamos National Laboratory say all that molecules-to-man stuff is nonsense. And they’re out to prove it.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/metro/20140814-dallas-researchers-are-out-to-scientifically-prove-the-biblical-version-of-creation.ece

Lt. Gov. candidate Van de Putte proposes $2 billion program for college tuition for HS grads

FORT WORTH — State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte wants to make sure Texas high school graduates can go on to college — and she wants the state to foot the $2 billion bill to make it happen.

On Thursday, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor unveiled her plan to shift that money, which would require approval from Texans, from the state’s Rainy Day fund into an account to fund the Texas Promise scholarship.

She said interest generated from that money would be used to provide scholarships for qualifying students attending two-year community colleges and technical colleges.

“My plan is about putting Texans first,” she told a group gathered at the Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus. “Today, Texas is creating more and more jobs than it has qualified workers to fill them.

“Employers are crying out for those qualified applicants,” she said. “The workforce pipeline doesn’t just stop at a high school diploma."

Read more including opponent Dan Patrick's response:
http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/08/14/6043144/van-de-putte-wants-to-help-texas.html

Open Carry: Houston Fifth Ward event postponed after meeting with Quanell X and other leaders

Update: In a news release emailed to the Houston Chronicle late Thursday, Open Carry Texas says the planned event in Fifth Ward this weekend has been postponed indefinitely.

"It became obvious over the past few days that certain individuals in the area were intentionally pitting us against the community," the pro-gun group says in the statement. The group met with community leaders, including activist Quanell X, on Wednesday.

Previous report:


Last night representatives from the Fifth Ward community, Quanell X, and the Open Carry Texas delegation met to discuss this weekend’s upcoming demonstration by the pro-gun group.

A KPRC-TV report from Wednesday's meeting shows the two sides getting into a heated exchange outside the Fifth Ward Neighborhood Civic Club, close to where Open Carry Texas plans on demonstrating for two hours on Saturday afternoon at the corner of Lyons Avenue and Lockwood.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/houston/article/Open-Carry-meets-with-Fifth-Ward-civic-leaders-5688833.php

Rio Grande Valley mayor welcomes National Guard troops

[font color=green]A Republican point of view.[/font]


Ruben Villarreal

Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal doesn’t mince words when it comes to the specter of National Guard troops soon descending upon his city as part of a controversial state-based border security initiative.

“Beggars can’t be choosers. I’ll take whatever help they can give me,” he said last week from Rio Grande City’s tiny city hall. “They make a huge difference for me.”

The Republican city leader doesn’t give what he calls the “chamber of commerce” speech, like many politicians do, sugarcoating the dire reality of the situation on the border and the need for resources. His small city, he said, could use the additional manpower so that local officers can focus on the community instead of immigration concerns.

His is an uncommon sentiment in one of the state’s few Democratic strongholds. Democrats hold the majority of city, state and congressional seats in border districts from Starr to Cameron counties, the bookends of the Rio Grande Valley.

Read more: http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/rio-grande-valley-mayor-welcomes-national-guard-troops/article_a0d4df60-2422-11e4-842e-0017a43b2370.html

First National Guard troops at Texas-Mexico border in observation posts

HIDALGO — The first wave of National Guard troops has taken up observation posts along the Texas-Mexico border.

Several dozen soldiers deployed in the Rio Grande Valley are part of the up to 1,000 troops called up by Gov. Rick Perry last month, Texas National Guard Master Sgt. Ken Walker of the Joint Counterdrug Task Force said Thursday.

Several guardsmen were seen Thursday afternoon manning an observation tower along the busy road leading to the Hidalgo International Bridge.

This first batch of soldiers was specifically trained to man such observation towers in the area belonging to local law enforcement agencies and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Walker said. They will serve as extra eyes on the border and report suspicious activity to authorities.

State officials have estimated the deployment, which they've called a "deter and refer" mission will cost $12 million per month.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2014-08-14/first-national-guard-troops-texas-mexico-border#comment-344799

County judges urge ‘Texas way’ to address Medicaid coverage gap

County judges from the state’s six largest counties are urging members of the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee to find a “Texas way” to provide care for 1.9 million Texans living without health care coverage as the state declines to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

In a letter sent Wednesday, judges from Travis, Dallas, El Paso, Harris, Tarrant and Bexar counties said the so-called coverage gap places an expensive burden on urban counties that are required pay for indigent care.

The letter was delivered ahead of the committee’s discussion Thursday about ways Texas might negotiate with the federal government to provide more care for poor people without broadly expanding Medicaid. Texas has so far rejected that expansion, once a requirement and linchpin of the 2010 federal law commonly referred to as “Obamacare.” The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled the federal government could not force states to expand Medicaid.

As a result, more than 1.9 million Texans between the ages of 18 and 64 are uninsured because they make too much to qualify for Medicaid, yet they don’t make enough to qualify for federal subsidies on the insurance marketplace.

-snip-

The judges cited a study that found public and private providers in Texas are stuck with $4 billion a year in costs that can’t be recouped by insurance or entitlement programs.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/national-govt-politics/county-judges-urge-texas-way-to-address-medicaid-c/ng3HZ/
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