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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: 76,962

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

Louisiana's 'admitting privileges' abortion law upheld

NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court panel ruled Wednesday that a Louisiana law requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals does not violate women’s constitutional abortion rights.

The 2-1 ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals notes a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down an admitting privileges law in Texas — a case known as Whole Woman’s Health. But, the majority said, Louisiana’s law does not impose the same “substantial burden” on women as the Texas law. The ruling reversed a Baton Rouge-based federal judge’s ruling in the case and ordered the lawsuit by opponents of the law dismissed.

“Almost all Texas hospitals required that for a doctor to maintain privileges there, he or she had to admit a minimum number of patients annually,” Judge Jerry E. Smith wrote in the opinion joined by Judge Edith Brown Clement. “Few Louisiana hospitals made that demand.”

Supporters of the law said abortion doctors need to be able to admit patients to a hospital within 30 miles in case of medical complications.

Read more: https://www.tuscaloosanews.com/news/20180927/louisianas-admitting-privileges-abortion-law-upheld

Bezos' Blue Origin wins rocket engine contract, Alabama plant coming

Blue Origin, the rocket company started by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, has won a major contract to build its new BE-4 engines for the next generation of United Launch Alliance rockets and will build those engines in Huntsville, Ala., officials said today.

ULA said Thursday that two BE-4 engines will power the booster stage of the company's new Vulcan Centaur rocket due to take off for the first time in 2020. The upper stage will be powered by engines made by Aerojet Rocketdyne, which is also building a new Huntsville plant. ULA builds its rockets in a plant in Decatur, Ala.

The Blue Origin plant will cover 400,000 square feet in Cummings Research Park, employ 400 workers and and represent an investment of $200 million. Groundbreaking is expected in 2-3 months, officials said.

"Our new rocket will be superior in reliability, cost and capability - one system for all missions," ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno said in a statement.

Read more: https://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2018/09/jeff_bezos_blue_origin_wins_bi.html

Maddox asks Ivey: Why start race with Confederate monuments?

Democrat Walt Maddox said in Huntsville Thursday night that he knows what he will ask Gov. Kay Ivey if he gets her on a debate stage.

"Why did you begin your campaign talking about Confederate monuments?" Maddox said in an appearance at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. "You've just told 26 percent of Alabama, 'I'm not working for you.'"

Maddox also hit Ivey again for refusing to debate. "For those who say it makes good political sense, well that is not leadership," Maddox said. "Is she running to be the nominee or is she running to be governor? The last I checked, the Constitution of the State of Alabama doesn't say you get to be governor of just Republicans."

Responding to audience questions, Maddox detailed Alabama's problems and detailed his answers. But the biggest crowd response came to his answer to the final question.

Read more: https://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2018/09/maddox_asks_ivey_why_start_cam.html

Former Rep. Oliver Robinson's sentenced on bribery conviction

It would be two hours before Oliver Robinson (D) finally learned the price he'd pay of his egregious sins--33 months in federal prison, $169,191 in restitution for the government's court costs and forfeiture of another $390,000, followed by three years of supervised release.

For now, he just wanted to finish, well, let's call it a last meal, of sorts. He must report to prison--which prison, it has not yet been determined--no later than 2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.

Our encounter was happenstance. I was at Urban Cookhouse downtown, less than a half-block from the U.S. Courthouse where Robinson would learn his fate from U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon, sharing lunch with a colleague when the disgraced, former state representative and his two attorneys sat at the adjacent table.

We exchanged pleasantries, and the trio went about preparing for the end of at least one segment of a saga that began 22 months ago when Robinson suddenly resigned his seat in the Alabama state legislature.

Read more: https://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2018/09/oliver_robinsons_last_lunch.html

Response to noose on University of South Alabama campus drawing criticism

The University of South Alabama has found itself in the middle of a racial controversy after a noose was seen hanging from a tree outside the campus dining hall, but the dining hall’s response has even more people upset.

Shortly after 9 p.m. on Tuesday evening, Twitter users began sharing pictures showing a bicycle and a noose hanging from the tree outside the dining hall – many pointing out the racial connotations.

According to USA spokesman Bob Lowry, campus police investigated the reported incident but never saw any noose.

University President Tony Waldrop echoed the same sentiment in a statement released earlier today.

Read more: https://lagniappemobile.com/response-to-noose-on-usa-campus-drawing-criticism/

Republican Attorney General Marshall once again flouts campaign finance laws

When Republicans won a supermajority in the Legislature in 2010, they pushed to enact strict ethics and campaign finance laws. Current appointed Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall, the party’s standard bearer in the upcoming November general election for attorney general, has not only accepted tainted funds, which drew an ethics complaint, but he has also failed to report a sizable in-kind campaign contribution in violation of the state’s Fair Campaign Practices Act.

According to federal IRS filings, the Republican Attorneys General Association has given Marshall $735,000 in his bid to defeat Republican challengers in the June primary; it also gave him $18,500 in-kind contributions for opposition research.

RAGA in May paid Oklahoma City-based WPA Intelligence $18,500 to dig dirt on Marshall’s Republican primary opponents Alice Martin, Chess Bedsole and Troy King. RAGA didn’t report the expenditure until after the election, and Marshall has never reported the contribution on his state-required FCPA reports.

It wasn’t that Marshall didn’t report in-kind contributions — he listed over a dozen in detail — it was just the RAGA money he failed to disclose.

Read more: http://www.alreporter.com/2018/09/27/republican-attorney-general-marshall-once-again-flouts-campaign-finance-laws/

Walt Maddox has lost his mind

Walt Maddox is nuts.

That’s the only explanation I have for what the man’s doing — going around the state and trying to engage voters on the issues. Holding press conferences talking about health care and offering plans for increasing Medicaid coverage.

The guy’s got an infrastructure plan. He’s got an education plan.

He’s got details and costs and information on how we can do it all and actually pay for it.

And this nonsense is what he believes will get him elected governor.

See? Nutty as a fruitcake, that Walt Maddox.

Read more: http://www.alreporter.com/2018/09/25/opinion-walt-maddox-has-lost-his-mind/

ETA: This is a satirical article.

Rep. Randy Davis claims prosecutor misconduct, seeks dismissal of charges

State Rep. Randy Davis, a Republican from Daphne, and former state Republican Party Chairman Marty Connors are seeking to have their indictments dismissed by the federal courts on claims that prosecutors engaged in misconduct during the grand jury hearings.

Davis and Connors were indicted on federal bribery charges in July. In a filing Tuesday, Davis’ attorney asked the court to dismiss an indictment against Davis, Connors and G. Ford Gilbert, another man indicted in the same case related to charges that the three conspired to force insurers to cover treatments at health clinics in which they had a financial stake.

Davis’ attorney claims that federal prosecutors made up prejudicial statements to the grand jury and altered a transcript of grand jury proceedings in order to cover up the alleged prejudicial statements.

“[A]ll available evidence supports a conclusion that the indictment was procured through multiple instances of flagrant, unconscionable, and prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct before the grand jury in which AUSA’s Jonathan Ross and Josh Wendell took advantage of their special position of trust thereby impairing the grand jury’s integrity as an independent body,” the motion reads.

Read more: http://www.alreporter.com/2018/09/26/rep-randy-davis-claims-prosecutor-misconduct-seeks-dismissal-of-charges/

Utilities that helped Puerto Rico fix power grid now face hefty tax bills

When nearly the entire power grid of Puerto Rico was knocked out by two ferocious hurricanes this past year, utility companies from across the mainland United States sent crews and equipment to help.

It was a power emergency on a scale rarely seen before, and companies spent tens of millions of dollars to mobilize. The utility in Sacramento, California, sent 30 workers and a dozen trucks. Ameren, which serves more than 2 million customers in Missouri and Illinois, sent 225 workers. New York sent workers on at least five deployments to repair power lines and assess damaged substations. Florida Power & Light sent more than 100 trucks, several tons of equipment and 800 employees, many of whom spent Thanksgiving and the winter holidays working 16-hour days.

Though their costs are expected to be reimbursed by the federal government, the companies were not earning a profit. So it was with astonishment that, during the summer, some of the utility companies that had sent aid crews opened letters from the towns where they had worked in Puerto Rico: bills demanding millions of dollars in license and construction taxes.

Florida Power & Light was given five days to pay the first $2 million and 30 days for $333,000 more in taxes, fees, penalties and interest. Ameren and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District received bills for nearly $3 million.

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/utilities-that-helped-puerto-rico-fix-power-grid-now-face-hefty-tax-bills/

Crisis in Government as Teachers Continue to Protest; Mapp Administration Halts Negotiations

ST. CROIX — It was only Thursday afternoon that Governor Kenneth Mapp himself stopped near the Gas City Service Station in La Grand Princesse, where Elena Christian Jr. High School educators were protesting wages and working conditions. Housed at Manor School, some teachers say they don’t have classrooms to teach in, and others questioned why construction that had been ongoing to prepare the former small private school for instruction, had suddenly stopped.

“You have every right to advocate for your interests. You have no negatives in that from me at all,” the governor said to the protesters.

Today, however, union negotiators were escorted off a premises where salary negotiations were ongoing, after the Mapp-appointed chief negotiator, Natalie Nelson Tang How, abruptly halted talks and refused to discuss counter proposals that the union bargaining team was prepared to submit. According to a release the American Federation Of Teachers (AFT) issued today, Mrs. Tang How simply declared there was nothing more to discuss and then directed her staff to escort the union negotiators out the back door.

The Mapp administration also requested that the unions cease and desist the protests, contending that they had violated their contracts, and Rosa Soto-Thomas, president of St. Croix AFT, said she has since directed AFT educators to follow the order — as it pertains to wage increases — until September 30, which is when the month-to-month AFT contract ends.

Read more: https://viconsortium.com/education/crisis-in-government-as-teachers-continue-to-protest-mapp-administration-halts-negotiations/
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