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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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 73,220

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

Senate rejects Ted Cruz strategy 79-19; cloture invoked, Obamacare funding restored


Sen. Ted Cruz faces the press, with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (left) and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, after the Senate rejects his Obamacare tactics. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The Senate issued a stern and unmistakable rebuke to Sen. Ted Cruz and his fellow tea partiers who wanted to hold the federal budget hostage as leverage to defund Obamacare.

The 79-19 vote on cloture fell far short of the uprising Cruz had sought. Anything 60 or over was sufficient to cut off debate and keep the process moving.

“This is an ongoing process and we’ll see how it concludes at the end of the process,” Cruz said, putting a game face on the defeat.

The cloture vote cleared the way for the Senate to restore funding for the health care law before sending the stopgap spending plan back to the House. That vote was 54-44, along party lines. The vote on final passage was the same, and on those, Cruz, fellow Texas Sen. John Cornyn and the rest of the Republicans were on the same (losing) side.

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/09/senate-rejects-ted-cruz-strategy-79-19-cloture-invoked.html/

[font color=red]The game face expressions on Cruz, Lee and Rubio are priceless!

Please get this recced to the front page.[/font]

Bush Library and Museum could close if federal government shuts down


The Bush library on SMU's campus could be closed if there's a government shutdown. (Kye R. Lee/Staff Photographer)

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum could close next week if Congress doesn’t reach a budget deal before Tuesday and avert a government shutdown.

Bush Library officials said they are still waiting for guidelines on what exactly would happen in the event of a federal shutdown. And lawmakers still have time to render the discussion moot, although Republicans and Democrats seem locked in a stalemate.

But the precedent is there: presidential libraries, which are run by the National Archives and Records Administration, historically have closed when the federal government shuts down.

“If we do close, we’re working on contingency plans,” Bush Library spokesman John Orrell said, adding that more details would be made available on Monday. “But as of right now, a final decision has not been made.”

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/09/bush-library-and-museum-could-close-if-federal-government-shuts-down.html/ .

[font color=green]Well, something good might come from a federal shutdown after all![/font]

This place too:



George Bush library in College Station.

Exxon to offer benefits to same-sex couples in US beginning next year

Source: AP

NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon says it will begin offering benefits to legally married same-sex couples in the U.S. for the first time as of Jan. 1.

The company says it will recognize “all legal marriages” when it determines eligibility for health care plans for the company’s 77,000 employees and retirees in the U.S.

That means if a gay employee has been married in a state or country where gay marriage is legal, his or her spouse will be eligible for benefits with the company starting next year.

Exxon Mobil Corp., which is facing a same-sex discrimination lawsuit in Illinois, said Friday it was following the lead of the U.S. government. Federal agencies have begun to offer benefits to legally-married same sex couples in recent months.


Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2013-09-27/exxon-offer-benefits-same-sex-couples-us-beginning-next-year

Rep. Joaquin Castro blasts Cruz, says ‘he can’t be president’

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) said Friday morning that Sen Ted Cruz’ 21-hour speech before the Senate this week made one thing clear: The Texas Republican can never be president.

On the MSNBC program “Morning Joe,” Castro said the reason Cruz can’t be president is “nobody will follow him. Even people within his own party won’t follow him. And so I think in terms of his long-term prospects, it was fairly damaging.”

Castro repeated a sentiment he had expressed in a Tweet during Cruz’ speech — that Cruz had made dysfunctional Congressional politics even worse.

“It was really hard to hear Ted speak about representing 26 million Texans when he was giving that talk, because there are millions and millions of Texans who’re without health care coverage and who very much disagree with his point of view and who are also looking forward to the chance to get health care coverage,” Castro said.

More at http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2013/09/castro-blasts-cruz-says-he-cant-be-president/?cmpid=hpts .

The Big Question: Is Big Tex Mexican?


Amy Silverstein

Yesterday afternoon, Texas gaped as the resurrected Big Tex experienced, in the vaguely unsettling words of State Fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding, a "premature birth." Fair Park's official Twitter feed announced the successful delivery with an equally unfortunate metaphor: "Ta-daaa! Big Tex drops his robe earlier than announced."

Rest assured that Big Tex was fully clothed in his custom-made Dickies when high winds prompted fair officials to remove his cloak of secrecy a day earlier than planned to reveal....a giant, semi-animatronic cowboy that looked pretty much like the old model. A bit more junk in the trunk, but otherwise indistinguishable.

Well, not quite indistinguishable. A close inspection reveals that the face has a darker complexion than before, leading many to pose a vital question:

Does Big Tex look African American or Mexican? pic.twitter.com/BtARDyVdYo
— K104 Morning Show (@K104MorningShow) September 25, 2013

Most people go with the latter. On Twitter, his unofficial nickname is Big Tex-Mex.

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

[font color=green]Gasp! Time to quadruple the Border Patrol.[/font]

Hey, look. The Internet is already embracing that diversity:

@K104MorningShow I seen him mowing the cotton bowl So Mexican
— Donovan Lewis (@TheTicketToken) September 26, 2013

Deadly Spin: Health Insurance from the Inside

By Dr. Brian Carr
President, Behavioral Health Associates, Lubbock, Texas, 1991-Present
Chairman, City of Lubbock Board of Health, 2013
Submitted on September 27, 2013 - 6:42am


A few years back I purchased Wendell Potter’s book on the health care industry and the developing struggles in the battle for health reform. The book, entitled “Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Kill Health Care and Deceiving Americans”, was very informative. Mr. Potter is the former CIGNA executive-turned whistleblower who worked for several decades in the industry.

Recently, the collection of his latest articles have been organized so that it is easy to review and consider what is happening in the current debate on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The following are the headlines for each article with hyperlink so you can read more.

Guess which Obamacare provisions were actually thought up by Republicans? From May 13, 2013


“(GOP) lawmakers probably won’t tell their constituents that two of the most important provisions of the law they profess to hate were actually Republican ideas the Democrats embraced in hopes of getting bipartisan support for reform. The first such provision is the requirement that all Americans not covered by a public plan like Medicare or Medicaid must buy coverage from a private insurance company. The second provision: establishment of state health insurance marketplaces (called exchanges in the law) where private insurers compete online for customers.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/05/13/12651/opinion-obamacare-myths-and-realities

The fiction of Obamacare 'rate shock', from Sept. 3, 2013

“I predict that beginning Oct. 1, when the marketplaces go online, most people will discover that because of the new level of competition and the availability of tax credits, affordable coverage will actually at long last be available. To save face, though, you can also expect those politicians who have been crying 'rate shock' to search high and low for constituents who believe their policies have grown more expensive because of Obamacare.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/09/03/13299/fiction-obamacare-rate-shock

Drug companies have armies of lobbyists, and the rest of us are paying the price, from Feb. 11, 2013

“It’s actually the pharmaceutical industry that spends the most each year to influence our lawmakers, forking over a total of $2.6 billion on lobbying activities from 1998 through 2012, according to OpenSecrets.org. To get some perspective on just how big that number is, consider that oil and gas companies and their trade associations spent $1.4 billion lobbying Congress over the same time frame while the defense and aerospace industry spent $662 million, a fourth of Big Pharma’s total.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/02/11/12175/opinion-big-pharmas-stranglehold-washington

Politicians doing 'as much harm as possible' to Florida's insured, from Aug. 19, 2013

“First do no harm. That’s a tenet of medical ethics that future doctors worldwide are taught in medical school. If only the people we elect to represent us were required to take such an oath when they’re sworn into office. Because they aren’t, folks in Florida are facing having to pay far more for health insurance over the next two years than necessary. And health insurance executives will be laughing all the way to the bank.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/08/19/13178/opinion-doing-much-harm-possible-floridas-insured

Finally, plain English from health insurance companies, from Jan. 7, 2013

“From now on, health insurers will have to provide us with information in plain English, and in no more than four pages, about what their policies cover and how much we’ll have to pay out of our own pockets when we get sick. And they’ll have to provide it in a standard format that will enable us to make apples-to-apples comparisons among health plans. As you can imagine, insurers fought hard to kill that part of the law. That’s because they’ve profited for years by using legalese and gobbledygook in describing their policies, and also by purposely withholding information we really need to make informed coverage decisions.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/01/07/12002/opinion-finally-plain-english-health-insurance-companies

Opponents hope to kill health care reform by scaring people, but time for that is running out, from Aug. 26, 2013

“Fear mongering has a shelf life. The strategy the president’s opponents have been using to influence public opinion is based on the premise that people fear the unknown. Most of us just don’t like uncertainty. President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010, but the most important consumer benefits and protections won’t go into effect until January 1, 2014. That has given the president’s political adversaries three and a half years to spread lies and misinformation.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/08/26/13265/fear-mongering-wont-scuttle-obamacare

While opponents spend millions to obfuscate, simple explanation doesn't have to break the bank, from Sept. 9, 2013

“People who have an agenda, motivated by political or financial gain, just make stuff up. And then they use TV ads and the Internet to make sure the made-up stuff is repeated often enough so that gullible Americans eventually accept it as truth. Or at the very least grow confused and skeptical. It is because supporters of the law have been outspent more than 5 to 1, and because opponents in the House of Representatives have voted 40 times to repeal all or part of it, that most of us don’t have a clue how the law will affect us. A sizable percentage of Americans actually believe the law has been repealed.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/09/09/13355/benefits-obamacare-simplest-terms

Misleading information and sloppy coverage are confusing the public about Obamacare, from Aug. 12, 2013

“Considering all the intentionally misleading information we are being subjected to about Obamacare from politicians and special interests with an obvious agenda, it will be vitally important for reporters to be more responsible in their reporting. Sensational media stories with attention-grabbing headlines but inadequate analysis will only add to Americans’ confusion about a law that in reality will help the vast majority of us.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/08/12/13158/opinion-reality-check-affordable-care-act

TAGS:

LubbockOnline Blog
ACA
Affordable Care Act
Children in Lubbock are hungry but so what
everybody play nice
go raiders
Lubbock
need to keep council meetings at night
ObamaCare
Perry grips his bacon and is fed
rain tonight please after fair closes
Texas

Source: http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/dr-brian-carr/2013-09-27/deadly-spin-health-insurance-inside

Cross-posted in Good Reads forum.

Deadly Spin: Health Insurance from the Inside

By Dr. Brian Carr
President, Behavioral Health Associates, Lubbock, Texas, 1991-Present
Chairman, City of Lubbock Board of Health, 2013
Submitted on September 27, 2013 - 6:42am


A few years back I purchased Wendell Potter’s book on the health care industry and the developing struggles in the battle for health reform. The book, entitled “Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Kill Health Care and Deceiving Americans”, was very informative. Mr. Potter is the former CIGNA executive-turned whistleblower who worked for several decades in the industry.

Recently, the collection of his latest articles have been organized so that it is easy to review and consider what is happening in the current debate on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The following are the headlines for each article with hyperlink so you can read more.

Guess which Obamacare provisions were actually thought up by Republicans? From May 13, 2013


“(GOP) lawmakers probably won’t tell their constituents that two of the most important provisions of the law they profess to hate were actually Republican ideas the Democrats embraced in hopes of getting bipartisan support for reform. The first such provision is the requirement that all Americans not covered by a public plan like Medicare or Medicaid must buy coverage from a private insurance company. The second provision: establishment of state health insurance marketplaces (called exchanges in the law) where private insurers compete online for customers.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/05/13/12651/opinion-obamacare-myths-and-realities

The fiction of Obamacare 'rate shock', from Sept. 3, 2013

“I predict that beginning Oct. 1, when the marketplaces go online, most people will discover that because of the new level of competition and the availability of tax credits, affordable coverage will actually at long last be available. To save face, though, you can also expect those politicians who have been crying 'rate shock' to search high and low for constituents who believe their policies have grown more expensive because of Obamacare.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/09/03/13299/fiction-obamacare-rate-shock

Drug companies have armies of lobbyists, and the rest of us are paying the price, from Feb. 11, 2013

“It’s actually the pharmaceutical industry that spends the most each year to influence our lawmakers, forking over a total of $2.6 billion on lobbying activities from 1998 through 2012, according to OpenSecrets.org. To get some perspective on just how big that number is, consider that oil and gas companies and their trade associations spent $1.4 billion lobbying Congress over the same time frame while the defense and aerospace industry spent $662 million, a fourth of Big Pharma’s total.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/02/11/12175/opinion-big-pharmas-stranglehold-washington

Politicians doing 'as much harm as possible' to Florida's insured, from Aug. 19, 2013

“First do no harm. That’s a tenet of medical ethics that future doctors worldwide are taught in medical school. If only the people we elect to represent us were required to take such an oath when they’re sworn into office. Because they aren’t, folks in Florida are facing having to pay far more for health insurance over the next two years than necessary. And health insurance executives will be laughing all the way to the bank.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/08/19/13178/opinion-doing-much-harm-possible-floridas-insured

Finally, plain English from health insurance companies, from Jan. 7, 2013

“From now on, health insurers will have to provide us with information in plain English, and in no more than four pages, about what their policies cover and how much we’ll have to pay out of our own pockets when we get sick. And they’ll have to provide it in a standard format that will enable us to make apples-to-apples comparisons among health plans. As you can imagine, insurers fought hard to kill that part of the law. That’s because they’ve profited for years by using legalese and gobbledygook in describing their policies, and also by purposely withholding information we really need to make informed coverage decisions.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/01/07/12002/opinion-finally-plain-english-health-insurance-companies

Opponents hope to kill health care reform by scaring people, but time for that is running out, from Aug. 26, 2013

“Fear mongering has a shelf life. The strategy the president’s opponents have been using to influence public opinion is based on the premise that people fear the unknown. Most of us just don’t like uncertainty. President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010, but the most important consumer benefits and protections won’t go into effect until January 1, 2014. That has given the president’s political adversaries three and a half years to spread lies and misinformation.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/08/26/13265/fear-mongering-wont-scuttle-obamacare

While opponents spend millions to obfuscate, simple explanation doesn't have to break the bank, from Sept. 9, 2013

“People who have an agenda, motivated by political or financial gain, just make stuff up. And then they use TV ads and the Internet to make sure the made-up stuff is repeated often enough so that gullible Americans eventually accept it as truth. Or at the very least grow confused and skeptical. It is because supporters of the law have been outspent more than 5 to 1, and because opponents in the House of Representatives have voted 40 times to repeal all or part of it, that most of us don’t have a clue how the law will affect us. A sizable percentage of Americans actually believe the law has been repealed.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/09/09/13355/benefits-obamacare-simplest-terms

Misleading information and sloppy coverage are confusing the public about Obamacare, from Aug. 12, 2013

“Considering all the intentionally misleading information we are being subjected to about Obamacare from politicians and special interests with an obvious agenda, it will be vitally important for reporters to be more responsible in their reporting. Sensational media stories with attention-grabbing headlines but inadequate analysis will only add to Americans’ confusion about a law that in reality will help the vast majority of us.”

Read the rest at http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/08/12/13158/opinion-reality-check-affordable-care-act

TAGS:

LubbockOnline Blog
ACA
Affordable Care Act
Children in Lubbock are hungry but so what
everybody play nice
go raiders
Lubbock
need to keep council meetings at night
ObamaCare
Perry grips his bacon and is fed
rain tonight please after fair closes
Texas

Source: http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/dr-brian-carr/2013-09-27/deadly-spin-health-insurance-inside

Cross-posted in Texas Group.

Interstate 69 Congressional Caucus launched

U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold, of Texas, joined five of his colleagues Thursday in launching the bipartisan Interstate 69 Congressional Caucus to raise awareness of the strategic importance of I-69 as a freight corridor.

Farenthold, whose district includes Victoria, will serve as a co-chairmain. Other members are Congressmen Henry Cuellar, of Texas; Ed Whitfield, of Kentucky; Steve Cohen, of Tennessee; Larry Bucshon, of Indiana; and Bennie Thompson, of Mississippi.

Specifically, the caucus' mission is to advance the development of I-69 and to enhance the regional mobility and the safety of the traveling public.

"As Texas' economy continues to grow, so does the need for modern transportation infrastructure to move freight," Farenthold said in a news release. "Goods moving through our ports and the manufacturing items supporting the Eagle Ford shale boom need a more direct freight network, and that's what this caucus is advocating for."

More at http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2013/sep/26/interstate_69_caucus_092613_220838/ .

Gov. Rick Perry appoints Houston judge to Texas Supreme Court

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday appointed Houston-area judge Jeff Brown to fill an empty seat on the Texas Supreme Court.

Brown, a longtime Republican, will occupy the spot vacated by Justice Nathan Hecht when Hecht was named chief justice Sept. 10 to replace resigning Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson.

“Jeff is an outstanding and accomplished jurist whose highest priority on the bench is preservation of the rule of law,” Perry said in a news release. “Jeff is a staunch defender of the constitutional freedoms our state and our nation are founded upon and he will uphold these values with honor, dignity and integrity as a Supreme Court justice. I am pleased he will continue his lifelong commitment to public service and the people of Texas by accepting this appointment.”

Brown ran in the 2010 Republican primary for Place 3 on the court but lost in a six-way race. That seat went to Justice Debra Lehrmann.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/politics/article/Gov-Rick-Perry-appoints-Houston-judge-to-Texas-4847454.php .

Canada PM won’t accept US rejection of Keystone pipeline

Source: AP

TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s prime minister said Thursday he “won’t take no for an answer” if the Obama administration rejects the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the Keystone XL project, a flashpoint in the debate over climate change, during a visit to New York City. The long-delayed project carrying oil from Canada’s oil sands needs approval from the U.S. State Department, and Harper’s remarks are some of his strongest to date.

“My view is that you don’t take no for an answer,” Harper said. “We haven’t had that but if we were to get that it won’t be final. This won’t be final until it’s approved and we will keep pushing forward.”

Harper, who made the remarks at a Canadian American Business Council event, said he’s been in regular contact with President Barack Obama. Harper said it will create 40,000 jobs in the U.S.

Read more: http://fuelfix.com/blog/2013/09/26/canada-pm-wont-accept-us-rejection-of-keystone-pipeline/
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