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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: 75,483

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

No new taxes — for Republicans, that is

The perennial anti-tax mood of the Texas Legislature sliced, diced and finally dropped North Texas leaders’ determined 2009 effort that eventually, under certain circumstances, could have led to more funding for local transportation projects.

This year, it turns out, the prevailing mood on similar legislation was only against new taxes for Republicans. Democrats are another matter.

As of Sept. 1, certain counties, all majority Democrat, are allowed to require residents to pay an extra $10 on their motor vehicle registration fees, with the money going to transportation projects.

County commissioners in Bexar (San Antonio), El Paso and Webb (Laredo) counties have approved the fee beginning Jan. 1. Cameron (Brownsville) and Hidalgo (Edinburg) counties already were authorized to collect the additional money on vehicle registrations.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/09/05/5137592/no-new-taxes-for-republicans-that.html#storylink=cpy
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 01:53 PM (2 replies)

SEC lifts suspension for Dallas attorney accused of helping Stanford’s $7B fraud avoid detection

The Dallas lawyer accused by the U.S. Department of Justice’s inspector general of single-handedly using his position at the Securities and Exchange Commission to let R. Allen Stanford get away with defrauding investors of $7 billion is free to practice law again before the SEC.

Spencer Barasch worked 17 years for the SEC, including seven years as its chief of enforcement at the division office located in Fort Worth. After he resigned in 2005, he began representing Stanford before the SEC.

The inspector general’s report concluded that over the years as enforcement chief he had repeatedly denied federal investigators’ pleas to investigate suspicious aspects of Stanford’s offshore investment accounts, which later were determined to have been frauds.

Barasch denied wrongdoing at the time. He paid $50,000 to the Department of Justice to settle civil claims alleging impropriety.

More at http://bizbeatblog.dallasnews.com/2013/09/sec-lifts-suspension-for-dallas-attorney-accused-of-helping-stanfords-7-billion-fraud-avoid-detection.html/ .

[font color=green]A slap on the wrist and life goes on.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 01:51 PM (1 replies)

150 years ago, the Battle of Sabine Pass saved Texas

After two years of brilliant victories over a sluggish and bewildered federal force with inept commanders, the war was not going well for the southern Confederacy. By 1863, the rebels began to lose even as they won, squandering precious soldiers to gain battlefield dominance.

-snip-

A follow-up campaign aimed at Texas in early September 1863 as gunboats and troop transports chugged out of New Orleans, heading for Sabine Pass.

The Battle of Sabine Pass was one of a handful of Civil War battles waged in Texas. On Jan. 1, 1863, Southern forces expelled Union occupiers from Galveston. The Union had also skirmished with Confederates at Sabine Pass and upriver.

But the battle on Sept. 8, 1863, whose 150th anniversary will be observed on Saturday and Sunday at the Sabine Pass Battleground Park, kept the Union out of Texas for the remaining two years of the Civil War.

More at http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/150-years-ago-the-Battle-of-Sabine-Pass-saved-4792159.php .

[font color=green]This article is posted as part of Texas history, not as condoning or endorsing the Confederate States of America.[/font]

Watch the Dallas Zoo's Aggressively Adorable New Cheetah Cubs Frolic (With Video)



The Dallas Zoo released video footage of its 2-month-old cheetah cubs, named Winspear and Kamau. Notwithstanding the fact that one of them is the namesake of a border casino, this is a big deal. Cheetahs are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. They often suffer health problems, and their curious social structure -- the females are loners while males tend to live in social groups -- means these cubs are special.

Now, enjoy watching them cuddle, wrestle and doze.

http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/09/watch_the_dallas_zoos_aggressi.php
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 01:34 PM (2 replies)

The Affordable Care Act Part IV: Understanding Health Exchanges

By Dr. Brian Carr
President, Behavioral Health Associates, Lubbock, Texas, 1991-Present
Chairman, City of Lubbock Board of Health, 2013
Submitted on September 6, 2013 - 8:41am


When you find yourself hungry what do you do? In meeting the growl of your stomach you travel to the grocery store. You walk the aisle in the supermarket and buy items you need based on the perceived benefits to you and relative to their price. A health insurance exchange is set up the same way as the supermarket except you are not buying milk and meat but health insurance coverage.

The exchanges will be regulated by the federal government. This regulation will require that the insurance companies that offer policies there will have to meet specific standards. This will help the consumer to contrast and compare among the policies offered. For some of the people who shop for coverage at the exchange they will be provided financial assistance by the government to reduce the price they pay for insurance. For those who do not qualify for financial assistance the exchange will help them obtain coverage by pooling people together into a large group so that premiums will be more affordable.

The exchanges are expected to improve the current systems in a number of ways:

1. Increased Choice: By requiring insurance carriers to streamline offered services the consumer will be better able to review a variety of plans.

2. Standardization: Plans offered by different insurance companies must contain identical levels of benefits at specific tiers of coverage so consumer can make “apples-to-apples” comparisons between the plans.

3. Consumer Protection: Consumers will have confidence that they are not being sold an inferior policy because each plan must cover “essential health benefits”

4. Economies of Scale-Because the exchanges will be places where millions of consumers shop, they will foster healthy competition among insurance companies.

You will be able to consider which insurance is best suited to your needs by several methods. You can drive to the government office that manages the exchange, you can discuss your options with a representative over the telephone, or you can visit the exchange’s website portal.

Four standardized plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum

In the past consumers would be overwhelmed with the complexity of different plans offering different services, at different rates, with different deductibles, at a confusing premium. One of the biggest benefits of the exchanges is that they cut through this complexity and simplify the decision-making process for those who go to buy health insurance.

The quality of these plans should also be high as each one, regardless of the amount of coverage it offers, will be required to include so-called “essential health benefits”. Generally speaking, these benefits will be comparable to what can be found in a typical employer-based plan today. In each of these plans insurers must provide benefits in 10 broad categories as follows:

1. Ambulatory patient services

2. Emergency services

3. Hospitalization

4. Maternity and newborn care

5. Mental health and substance use disorder services

6. Prescription drugs

7. Rehabilitative services and devices

8. Laboratory services preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management

9. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

Building off of these essential services, the four levels of insurance coverage will differ based on what is called “actuarial value.” This is the amount of financial coverage that the plan offers to its covered members. The lowest financial coverage is associated with the Bronze plan, with 60 percent of healthcare costs covered on average, followed by the Silver plan at 70 percent, the Gold plan at 80 percent, and the Platinum plan at 90 percent. The premium price for each plan increases as more coverage is added with the Bronze plan being the least expensive and the Platinum being the most expensive.

In addition, the baseline out-of-pocket limit for each plan will match the limits of that apply to Health Savings Accounts ($5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families in 2010). For those who receive financial assistance from the government their out-of-pocket limits will be lowered just as their premiums will be lowered as a function of this assistance.

To further assist the consumer in making decisions about which insurance company to sign up with the exchange will offer information about specific performance information such as enrollment levels, the number of people who dropped out of the plan and the amount of denied claims. This data will be particularly useful as it provides information about the actual performance of the insurance company in providing coverage and not just the flowery marketing quotes that one sees now.

The most comprehensive study on Obamacare to date finds that Americans’ insurance premiums under the health law will be “lower than expected.” Many Americans will pay even less than the top-line rates after factoring in government subsidies for their health coverage, with some paying nothing at all for crucial medical coverage.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) looked at individual policy prices in the 17 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have released comprehensive numbers for their Obamacare insurance marketplaces. Since premiums under the law will vary based on factors such as age and geographic location, KFF chose to examine how much the second-least expensive “Silver” mid-level plan and the least-expensive bare-bones “Bronze” level plan would cost for 25-year-old, 40-year-old, and 60-year-old Americans in those 17 states’ largest cities. The report includes both the top-line prices for those demographics, as well as what their costs would be after factoring in government subsidies based on varying income levels.

According to KFF’s findings, a single 40-year-old in Los Angeles could buy the second-cheapest mid-level plan for $255 per month — but if that person makes just under $30,000 per year, he or she will only have to pay $193 per month after receiving a government subsidy.

Strikingly, in every city analyzed, a family of four with two 40-year-old adults and a household income of $60,000 per year would pay $409 per month for the second-cheapest Silver plan after receiving subsidies. That’s more or less in line with the average $4,565 per year that workers currently contribute towards their employer-sponsored health insurance plans.

The report also finds good news for younger and older Americans. In Seattle, a 25-year-old making $28,725 per year will pay $193 per month for a Silver plan after subsidies and $138 per month for the cheapest Bronze plan after subsidies. For a single 60-year-old with the same income, those number would be $193 per month and $44 per month, respectively, after factoring in subsidies. And in Burlington, Vermont, both a single 25-year-old making $25,000 per year and a 60-year-old couple making a combined $30,000 per year would pay nothing at all for the cheapest, bare-bones Bronze plan.

Lower out-of-pocket limits are the levels that an individual or family must pay before their insurance plan begins to cover their medical expenses. The subsides are given out according to a sliding scale pegged to the federal poverty line, with people in the lowest income range receiving the most help. The baseline out-of-pocket limit on each exchange is equal to the out-of-pocket limit for Health Saving Accounts (currently $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families) and is lowered from that ceiling level according to where an income level falls in that range.

In 2010 dollars this means that a family with an income that falls in the lowest range (100 to 199 percent of the federal poverty level) will reach its out-of-pocket limit at $3,967-or 33 percent of the amount for a Health Savings Account ($11,900) used by a high-income family.

A third major perk of the ACA is designed to help decrease the number of uninsured by offering tax credits to small businesses that provide coverage for their employees. This is a significant benefit for small businesses as the current system tends to penalize these employers with higher documentation costs and higher premiums because of the small pool of covered individuals. The workers in small business will benefit because of being able to switch jobs or work independently without fear of losing coverage.

On average, current premiums are about 20 percent higher for small businesses compared to large businesses.

For those businesses that pay very low wages they may drop coverage and low-wage workers will turn to state exchanges to get health insurance. Such would be the case with a large business such as McDonald’s where health benefits are not a strong incentive to gain employees.

To prevent this dropping of coverage the ACA provides a tax credit to encourage small businesses to offer health insurance. Since the tax credit went into effect in 2010 it has had a positive effect as businesses with fewer than 10 employees that offered health insurance to their workers jumped from 46 to 59 percent that first year alone.

Right now, a company that has up to 10 employees, average annual wages under 25,000 and contributes to at least 50 percent of their healthcare premium costs is eligible for a 35 percent tax credit against the amount it pays for its workers’ insurance.

For those businesses with over 50 employees they will pay a fine of 2000 for every full-time employee who receives a government subsidy for purchasing coverage through an exchange, excluding the first 30 employees.

In the short-term small businesses will have to determine whether or not it’s in their interest to provide health insurance for their workers and receive a generous tax credit (which decreases the cost of the premiums that they pay by as much as 50 percent) or to drop coverage. If they make the latter decision, the pain will be softened considerably because the state based, government-subsidized exchanges will be available for the workers to obtain coverage at an affordable cost.

As reported by Jared Bernstein in The New York Times:

“Since the Affordable Care Act requires businesses with at least 50 full-time workers to provide them with coverage (or it will, when the employer mandate kicks in a year from now), critics claim that it is prompting employers to shift to more part-time jobs. But as I have noted in various postings, there is no evidence to back up that claim — in fact, both involuntary and overall part-time work are declining as a share of all jobs.”

For states like Texas (where our governor has refused to cooperate with the federal government in rolling out the exchanges) the health exchange will be maintained by the federal government. This exchange is already set up and you should review it here.

For additional details on the exchanges and other important “fact sheets” you can view these at the AARP site.

TAGS:

LubbockOnline Blog
Angry old white doctor guys are scared
caring for each other
Go Red Raiders
Insurance
Kickoff tomorrow
Lubbock
ObamaCare
People are people
Perry is not nice
psychosis can be comforting for some
Reaching out to help
Texas
WWJD

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/dr-brian-carr/2013-09-06/affordable-care-act-part-iv-understanding-health

Cross-posted in Good Reads forum.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 01:17 PM (0 replies)

The Affordable Care Act Part IV: Understanding Health Exchanges

By Dr. Brian Carr
President, Behavioral Health Associates, Lubbock, Texas, 1991-Present
Chairman, City of Lubbock Board of Health, 2013
Submitted on September 6, 2013 - 8:41am


When you find yourself hungry what do you do? In meeting the growl of your stomach you travel to the grocery store. You walk the aisle in the supermarket and buy items you need based on the perceived benefits to you and relative to their price. A health insurance exchange is set up the same way as the supermarket except you are not buying milk and meat but health insurance coverage.

The exchanges will be regulated by the federal government. This regulation will require that the insurance companies that offer policies there will have to meet specific standards. This will help the consumer to contrast and compare among the policies offered. For some of the people who shop for coverage at the exchange they will be provided financial assistance by the government to reduce the price they pay for insurance. For those who do not qualify for financial assistance the exchange will help them obtain coverage by pooling people together into a large group so that premiums will be more affordable.

The exchanges are expected to improve the current systems in a number of ways:

1. Increased Choice: By requiring insurance carriers to streamline offered services the consumer will be better able to review a variety of plans.

2. Standardization: Plans offered by different insurance companies must contain identical levels of benefits at specific tiers of coverage so consumer can make “apples-to-apples” comparisons between the plans.

3. Consumer Protection: Consumers will have confidence that they are not being sold an inferior policy because each plan must cover “essential health benefits”

4. Economies of Scale-Because the exchanges will be places where millions of consumers shop, they will foster healthy competition among insurance companies.

You will be able to consider which insurance is best suited to your needs by several methods. You can drive to the government office that manages the exchange, you can discuss your options with a representative over the telephone, or you can visit the exchange’s website portal.

Four standardized plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum

In the past consumers would be overwhelmed with the complexity of different plans offering different services, at different rates, with different deductibles, at a confusing premium. One of the biggest benefits of the exchanges is that they cut through this complexity and simplify the decision-making process for those who go to buy health insurance.

The quality of these plans should also be high as each one, regardless of the amount of coverage it offers, will be required to include so-called “essential health benefits”. Generally speaking, these benefits will be comparable to what can be found in a typical employer-based plan today. In each of these plans insurers must provide benefits in 10 broad categories as follows:

1. Ambulatory patient services

2. Emergency services

3. Hospitalization

4. Maternity and newborn care

5. Mental health and substance use disorder services

6. Prescription drugs

7. Rehabilitative services and devices

8. Laboratory services preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management

9. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

Building off of these essential services, the four levels of insurance coverage will differ based on what is called “actuarial value.” This is the amount of financial coverage that the plan offers to its covered members. The lowest financial coverage is associated with the Bronze plan, with 60 percent of healthcare costs covered on average, followed by the Silver plan at 70 percent, the Gold plan at 80 percent, and the Platinum plan at 90 percent. The premium price for each plan increases as more coverage is added with the Bronze plan being the least expensive and the Platinum being the most expensive.

In addition, the baseline out-of-pocket limit for each plan will match the limits of that apply to Health Savings Accounts ($5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families in 2010). For those who receive financial assistance from the government their out-of-pocket limits will be lowered just as their premiums will be lowered as a function of this assistance.

To further assist the consumer in making decisions about which insurance company to sign up with the exchange will offer information about specific performance information such as enrollment levels, the number of people who dropped out of the plan and the amount of denied claims. This data will be particularly useful as it provides information about the actual performance of the insurance company in providing coverage and not just the flowery marketing quotes that one sees now.

The most comprehensive study on Obamacare to date finds that Americans’ insurance premiums under the health law will be “lower than expected.” Many Americans will pay even less than the top-line rates after factoring in government subsidies for their health coverage, with some paying nothing at all for crucial medical coverage.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) looked at individual policy prices in the 17 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have released comprehensive numbers for their Obamacare insurance marketplaces. Since premiums under the law will vary based on factors such as age and geographic location, KFF chose to examine how much the second-least expensive “Silver” mid-level plan and the least-expensive bare-bones “Bronze” level plan would cost for 25-year-old, 40-year-old, and 60-year-old Americans in those 17 states’ largest cities. The report includes both the top-line prices for those demographics, as well as what their costs would be after factoring in government subsidies based on varying income levels.

According to KFF’s findings, a single 40-year-old in Los Angeles could buy the second-cheapest mid-level plan for $255 per month — but if that person makes just under $30,000 per year, he or she will only have to pay $193 per month after receiving a government subsidy.

Strikingly, in every city analyzed, a family of four with two 40-year-old adults and a household income of $60,000 per year would pay $409 per month for the second-cheapest Silver plan after receiving subsidies. That’s more or less in line with the average $4,565 per year that workers currently contribute towards their employer-sponsored health insurance plans.

The report also finds good news for younger and older Americans. In Seattle, a 25-year-old making $28,725 per year will pay $193 per month for a Silver plan after subsidies and $138 per month for the cheapest Bronze plan after subsidies. For a single 60-year-old with the same income, those number would be $193 per month and $44 per month, respectively, after factoring in subsidies. And in Burlington, Vermont, both a single 25-year-old making $25,000 per year and a 60-year-old couple making a combined $30,000 per year would pay nothing at all for the cheapest, bare-bones Bronze plan.

Lower out-of-pocket limits are the levels that an individual or family must pay before their insurance plan begins to cover their medical expenses. The subsides are given out according to a sliding scale pegged to the federal poverty line, with people in the lowest income range receiving the most help. The baseline out-of-pocket limit on each exchange is equal to the out-of-pocket limit for Health Saving Accounts (currently $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families) and is lowered from that ceiling level according to where an income level falls in that range.

In 2010 dollars this means that a family with an income that falls in the lowest range (100 to 199 percent of the federal poverty level) will reach its out-of-pocket limit at $3,967-or 33 percent of the amount for a Health Savings Account ($11,900) used by a high-income family.

A third major perk of the ACA is designed to help decrease the number of uninsured by offering tax credits to small businesses that provide coverage for their employees. This is a significant benefit for small businesses as the current system tends to penalize these employers with higher documentation costs and higher premiums because of the small pool of covered individuals. The workers in small business will benefit because of being able to switch jobs or work independently without fear of losing coverage.

On average, current premiums are about 20 percent higher for small businesses compared to large businesses.

For those businesses that pay very low wages they may drop coverage and low-wage workers will turn to state exchanges to get health insurance. Such would be the case with a large business such as McDonald’s where health benefits are not a strong incentive to gain employees.

To prevent this dropping of coverage the ACA provides a tax credit to encourage small businesses to offer health insurance. Since the tax credit went into effect in 2010 it has had a positive effect as businesses with fewer than 10 employees that offered health insurance to their workers jumped from 46 to 59 percent that first year alone.

Right now, a company that has up to 10 employees, average annual wages under 25,000 and contributes to at least 50 percent of their healthcare premium costs is eligible for a 35 percent tax credit against the amount it pays for its workers’ insurance.

For those businesses with over 50 employees they will pay a fine of 2000 for every full-time employee who receives a government subsidy for purchasing coverage through an exchange, excluding the first 30 employees.

In the short-term small businesses will have to determine whether or not it’s in their interest to provide health insurance for their workers and receive a generous tax credit (which decreases the cost of the premiums that they pay by as much as 50 percent) or to drop coverage. If they make the latter decision, the pain will be softened considerably because the state based, government-subsidized exchanges will be available for the workers to obtain coverage at an affordable cost.

As reported by Jared Bernstein in The New York Times:

“Since the Affordable Care Act requires businesses with at least 50 full-time workers to provide them with coverage (or it will, when the employer mandate kicks in a year from now), critics claim that it is prompting employers to shift to more part-time jobs. But as I have noted in various postings, there is no evidence to back up that claim — in fact, both involuntary and overall part-time work are declining as a share of all jobs.”

For states like Texas (where our governor has refused to cooperate with the federal government in rolling out the exchanges) the health exchange will be maintained by the federal government. This exchange is already set up and you should review it here.

For additional details on the exchanges and other important “fact sheets” you can view these at the AARP site.

TAGS:

LubbockOnline Blog
Angry old white doctor guys are scared
caring for each other
Go Red Raiders
Insurance
Kickoff tomorrow
Lubbock
ObamaCare
People are people
Perry is not nice
psychosis can be comforting for some
Reaching out to help
Texas
WWJD

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/dr-brian-carr/2013-09-06/affordable-care-act-part-iv-understanding-health

Cross-posted in Texas Group.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 01:16 PM (0 replies)

A Fort Worth Insurance Salesman Stole a $1 Million Settlement from a Widowed Mother of Three


Caleb Deason, from an ad for his company, CD Financial.

When Danny Secker died unexpectedly last January at the age of 41, he left behind a widow, three sons -- one 3 years old, the others 5-month-old twins -- along with a $1 million life insurance policy through Transamerica to help see his family through.

The timing of the life insurance policy, purchased just three months before his death, was almost uncanny, but Transamerica did its due diligence and wired payment to his widow.

She never saw a dime.

Instead, according to an indictment filed Wednesday in federal court, the money went straight into the bank account of their insurance agent, Fort Worth financial planner Caleb Deason. According to court documents, he did so by altering the routing information on the wire transfer and forging the widow's signature.

More at http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/09/life_insurance_salesman_steals.php .

[font color=green]The article states that public documents show that Deason was also fighting foreclosure on his half-million-dollar Fort Worth home. That should be taken as a sign that he shouldn't be a financial planner.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 01:08 AM (4 replies)

USAA admits that some 'totaled' cars by Hurricane Sandy were sold

USAA officials now admit that some vehicles it branded as total losses after being damaged by Hurricane Sandy's floodwaters later were resold and put back on the road.

The San Antonio-based insurer totaled some 4,000 customer vehicles damaged during last year's storm in the Northeast.

USAA earmarked 174 of those vehicles to be sold for parts only because they had no titles. But USAA later found some buyers who bought them at auto auctions fraudulently obtained clean titles with the intention of putting them on the road again.

Last month, the ABC News program “The Lookout” reported on the problem of flood-damaged vehicles making their way back on to roadways. It tracked a 2006 Ford F-350 pickup that USAA had declared a total loss and wanted sold for parts.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/local/article/USAA-admits-that-some-totaled-cars-were-sold-4789903.php .

[font color=green]Why do words like "fraud" and "deceptive trade practices" come to mind?[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 01:02 AM (0 replies)

America’s Worst Cities for Food Lovers

Some cities are so synonymous with food that they have dishes named after them: New York Cheesecake, Boston Cream Pie, Philly Cheesesteak, Los Angeles Linguini. Okay, maybe that last one isn’t real, but the fact that there are some great cities for foodies in the U.S. is totally indisputable. But for every perfectly made crepe, there’s a soggy pancake; a deflated souffle; a burnt grilled cheese sandwich. This post is about those cities where food is definitely an afterthought—the country’s dead zones of cuisine, where it’s tough to be a foodie.

Firing up our food processor, the Movoto Real Estate blog crew tossed in a bevy of dining-related criteria to create a ranking of the country’s least appetizing cities. That is, ones with a limited range of dining options, and thus ways to tantalize your tastebuds. Topping the list was San Bernardino, CA. As we’ll explain over the course of this post, there’s a good reason no one’s made a “Top Chef: San Bernardino”—or a food show about any of the other cities in our top 10, either. They include:

1. San Bernardino, CA
2. Garland, TX
3. North Las Vegas, NV
4. El Paso, TX
5. Laredo, TX
6. Fort Worth, TX
7. St. Petersburg, FL
8. Corpus Christi, TX
9. Detroit, MI
10. Chesapeake, VA

So, how did the center of the Inland Empire end up so unappetizing? And why are there so many cities in Texas on this list? Put on your chef’s apron and join us as we break down our recipe below.

How We Cooked This Up

You can look at our Big Deal Lists kind of like a menu at a restaurant. You’ve just had the appetizer, and next we’re going to serve up the main course. Like any gourmet meal, it’s made up of several dishes; in this case, these are our ranking criteria. In order to prepare this ranking for you, we looked at the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. based on these nine criteria:

Restaurants per capita
Bakeries per capita
Food Trucks per capita
Ice Cream Shops per capita
Candy Shops per capita
Food and Wine Festivals per capita
Caterers per capita
Gourmet Grocery Stores per capita

More at http://www.movoto.com/blog/top-ten/worst-cities-for-food-lovers/ .

[font color=green]Texas takes five of the worst ten spots in the country.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 12:56 AM (5 replies)

New Texas law aims at ‘junk’ auto insurance policies covering only certain drivers

AUSTIN — More than a million Texas drivers with limited auto insurance coverage face increased scrutiny under a new state law that aims to shine a light on policies that cover just one driver, not an entire vehicle.

The rest of the story is behind the paywall at http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20130905-new-texas-law-aims-at-junk-auto-insurance-policies-covering-only-certain-drivers.ece .

[font color=green]This story is of personal interest since I was involved in an incident a couple of weeks ago while riding my bicycle in a hit-and-run accident. The investigation is leading to a minor driver that was excluded by endorsement on the auto policy. My chances of any type of insurance settlement are nil and other than filing a claim against the parents in small claims court, it is unlikely that I will obtain any type of recovery. The most likely repercussions are that the parents auto policy will be cancelled for allowing her to drive the vehicle without coverage.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 12:40 AM (1 replies)
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