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Profile Information

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: 85,595

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

I've had too much brandy so ask me anything.

But make it quick becuz I'll prob'bly not be here long.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 5, 2014, 02:15 AM (2 replies)

Laredo judge pleads guilty to extortion

A local judge has pleaded guilty to extortion.

Ricardo Rangel, longstanding Webb County Precinct 2, Place 2 justice of the peace, pleaded guilty to the charge Thursday afternoon in a Laredo federal court.

Court records state Rangel, 48, accepted cash from a bail bondsman in exchange for granting a $1,000 surety bail bond on a person who had been arrested on a DWI charge.

More at http://www.lmtonline.com/articles/2014/09/04/front/news/doc5408c79c863d5657749397.txt (subscription required).
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 5, 2014, 12:23 AM (0 replies)

Five arrested in Houston fast food wages protest

Five protesters were arrested Thursday afternoon in front of a McDonalds in Southwest Houston as part of a one-day protest in 150 cities to boost the minimum wage of fast food workers to $15 an hour.

In a scene that has become increasingly familiar, Houston police were standing nearly with an armful of handcuffs and as soon as the protesters flooded into the intersection and sat down in the middle of the roadway, the police began making the arrests.

The intersection of Richmond and Fountainview was cleared in less than 10 minutes.

The five protesters who were arrested will be charged with blocking traffic, a Class B misdemeanor, according to several police officers on site. The penalty for a Class B misdemeanor is up to 180 days in jail, a fine up to $2,000 or both.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/article/Houston-workers-join-national-minimum-wage-protest-5732954.php
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Sep 5, 2014, 12:19 AM (0 replies)

How’s that new health care contract for state workers, retirees working out? Ties to Perry's staff.

Lawmakers are sniping at UnitedHealth Group, two years after its main subsidiary took over a state health care contract affecting nearly a half million Texans.

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based company hired super-lobbyists connected to Gov. Rick Perry, such as former Perry chief of staff Mike Toomey and former Perry campaign manager Luis Saenz, when it snagged the four-year, $204 million Employees Retirement System deal in 2012.

United wrested the work as third party administrator for 445,000 active and retired state workers and their dependents from long-time vendor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, a unit of Chicago-based Health Care Service Corp.

The dispute has to do with some House lawmakers’ concern that some state employees may be paying much higher medical bills because caregivers they see are “out of network” – and even when they go to an in-network hospital, they can be slammed because anesthesiologists, radiologists and other hospital-based providers don’t have contracts with United.

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/09/hows-that-new-health-care-contract-for-state-workers-retirees-working-out-some-lawmakers-raise-red-flags.html/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Sep 4, 2014, 11:27 PM (0 replies)

Rick Perry packing his bags for Japan, China

Gov. Rick Perry will continue to build his foreign policy credentials with a trip next week to Tokyo and Beijing.

On Monday, he is scheduled to address a sold-out luncheon of the American Chamber of Commerce-Japan. He then travels to China where he will meet with business leaders and officials in Beijing. His last stop is at the World Economic Forum – a gathering he also attended in 2010 – in Tianjin before returning to Texas next Saturday.

Later this fall, the governor also has plans to visit England, Poland, Croatia, Romania and the Baltics.

Perry has made presidential race headlines over the past few months by criticizing President Obama and making bold statements on foreign relations. In July, he ordered the Texas National Guard to the border to assist law enforcement and has brought Republican gatherings to their feet with the line, “If the federal government does not do its constitutional duty to secure the southern border of the United States, the state of Texas will do it!”

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/09/rick-perry-packing-his-bags-for-japan-china.html/

Cross-posted from LBN.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:55 PM (5 replies)

Speaking of Fair Wages

Texas Congressman Steve Stockman is a scary version of Louie Gohmert but, thanks be to God, he will not be returning to Congress next year.

However, it’s difficult to just let him go peacefully into the night when he puts ads on the official Republican hiring website for an unpaid intern position that will last through the end of the year. It appears he needs to train people to be arrogant, snot-nosed, haughty youngsters with no safe grip on reality.

Here is a typical ad for a Republican House intern position.

And here is Stockman’s …

The Tea Party – they are much better Americans and people than you are.

Vaya con Reality, Stockman.

Feel free to get some more laughs and read the comments at http://www.juanitajean.com/2014/09/04/and-speaking-of-fair-wages/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:52 PM (0 replies)

Houston ISD Officers Pin Student To The Ground Because She Was On Her Cell Phone

A brief cell phone video of Houston school district cops pinning down a screaming high school student caught fire on social media Wednesday.

Students and parents alike have taken to Twitter and Facebook, airing concerns of overhanded policing in schools. The eight-second video, reportedly taken at Sam Houston High School Tuesday, shows a student lying on a hallway floor, pinned down by officers at her head and feet. The video shows one officer reaching for something from his belt shortly before cutting out - it's unclear what the officer was grabbing.

The girl in the video is Sam Houston sophomore Ixel Perez, according KPRC. Perez told the station her father texted her while at school to let her know about her mother, who has health problems. When the assistant principal demanded she give up the cell phone, she refused. That's when school police apparently got involved.

Perez's mother posted a video to Facebook yesterday defending her daughter, saying the teenager was only concerned about her mother's health.

Read more: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/news/2014/09/hisd_officers_pin_student_to_the_ground_because_she_was_on_her_cell_phone.php
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:42 PM (7 replies)

To Expand Medicaid in Texas, Those Without Insurance Must Vote

There’s really no other way to put this. If you’re in the “coverage gap” – someone who doesn’t have health care because Perry and the GOP declined to expand Medicaid in Texas – and don’t vote, then you’re choosing not to have health care coverage.

If Texas was included the headline below it would read “GOP Losses In 6 States Could Bring Coverage To 2.5 Million Uninsured“.

Instead it says this, GOP Losses In 5 States Could Bring Coverage To A Million Uninsured.

Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion has lately been making progress in unlikely places like Wyoming, where Republicans are being slowly swayed by business groups that it is a good financial deal for their state. But the quickest way to bring Medicaid expansion to the 23 states that have declined it so far would be a new state legislature or governor.

The former can be a little harder to anticipate. And according to some handicapping by Governing magazine’s Lou Jacobson, it doesn’t look like any legislatures are going to flip in a way that would have serious repercussions for Medicaid expansion, anyway, absent a change in the governor’s house. Gubernatorial races, on the other hand, get a lot of national attention and as the head of the executive branch, governors have an outsized influence on the fate of Medicaid expansion.

There are 1.4 million uninsured Texans who would have health insurance if Perry and the GOP would have allowed Medicaid expansion in Texas.

Read more: http://eyeonwilliamson.org/?p=14032
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:39 PM (2 replies)

Planned Parenthood's New HB2-Proofed Clinic Opens in Southern Dallas

It's a nice clinic, it really is. With more space and amenities, it's a credit to the private donors who payed for it and continue to fuel Planned Parenthood's response to the Texas Legislature's crackdown on abortion. It's just unnecessary.

The large janitor's closet, the backup generator, the locker rooms, the extra wide hallways and the special air circulation system that qualify the building as an ambulatory surgical center (ACS) do nothing to promote women's safety. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that Texas' requirement that all abortions be performed at ASCs, as well as that all abortion providers have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic from which they operate, actually increase danger to women.

Those with an unwanted pregnancy, the organization's CEO Dr. Hal Lawrence says, are more likely to seek out an alternative means of termination or forego appropriate prenatal care when access to abortion is restricted. Abortion is an exceedingly safe procedure, much safer, in fact, than carrying a pregnancy to term. It is not the type of procedure that has, in the past, been performed at an ASC.

"An ambulatory surgery center is where you go to have day surgery," says Kelly Hart, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas' director of government relations, "to have your cataracts removed or something like that, but a first trimester abortion procedure is not a surgical procedure in the sense that most people think of a surgical procedure."

More at http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2014/09/planned_parenthood_hb2_abortion_dallas.php .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:34 PM (1 replies)

Austin Just Became a National Leader in Solar Energy

By 2025, the city of Austin will produce more solar energy than most states in the U.S. do today ... if Austin Energy can afford it.

The Affordable Energy Resolution passed by the Austin City Council on August 28 directs Austin Energy to procure 600 megawatts of solar power by 2025. That means that 65 percent of the city's power will be drawn from renewable sources. The resolution also calls for Austin Energy to phase out all carbon pollution from its power plants by 2030 and close the Decker Creek Power Station, which runs on natural gas.

This a huge committment to solar energy. The entire state of Texas generates 185 megawatts of solar energy (on a utility level; privately-owned solar panels may account for more), and once the resolution is fully in effect, Austin alone will generate more solar energy than almost any state in the nation does today, excepting California, Arizona, and New Jersey.

“Council's approval of the Affordable Energy Resolution last week represents clear policy direction that our city is committed to both a carbon-free energy future and to keeping our rates affordable," said Councilmember Chris Riley, who sponsored the resolution.

- See more at: http://www.austinpost.org/article/austin-just-became-national-leader-solar-energy#sthash.kJEUfh7U.dpuf

Cross-posted in the Texas Group.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:29 PM (2 replies)
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