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TexasTowelie

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: 83,685

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

Digital ad targets Beth Van Duyne for helping inspire Capitol attack

The campaign arm of the 38-member Congressional Hispanic Caucus, BOLD PAC, announced this week the release of a political ad against Rep. Beth Van Duyne of Irving.

The 30-second digital ad titled “Spreading Lies,” goes after Van Duyne for her vote against certifying the 2020 Electoral College results in Arizona, hours after the Capitol attack in January.

“When an extremist mob attacked the Capitol, Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne was forced to hide,” the ad states. “But hours later, with blood still on the floors of the Capitol, she voted with Trump and helped spread the same lies that left a police officer dead and many others injured. They deserve better than Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne.”

Similar English-Spanish ads are being released against Reps. Carlos Gimenez (FL-26), Mike Garcia (CA-25) and Yvette Herrell (NM-02).

Read more: https://texassignal.com/digital-ad-targets-beth-van-duyne-for-helping-inspire-capitol-attack/

George P. Bush wants to challenge beleaguered Texas AG Ken Paxton. But can he keep Trump out of it?

by Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune


Land Commissioner George P. Bush is sending strong signals that he’s preparing to launch a primary challenge against Attorney General Ken Paxton, hoping it can center on Paxton’s legal troubles and how he has run his office.

But can Bush keep former President Donald Trump out of it — both figuratively and literally?

It is one of the most glaring questions as the foundation is laid for what could be Texas’ marquee statewide primary next year. Both men have been Trump supporters, but Bush has a unique history with the former president as the most prominent member of the Bush political dynasty to embrace Trump. And in recent months, Paxton has grown only more overt in his affiliation with the former president, making him an inevitable topic in Paxton’s reelection bid.

Bush has insisted there is “no separation” between him and Paxton when it comes to supporting Trump. But even some of Bush’s supporters concede that, fair or not, Bush would have to contend with running with a last name that still evokes strong emotions among Trump backers.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2021/05/17/ken-paxton-george-p-bush-trump/

A Big Raise For Texas Teachers: New Plan Will Give Top Educators $100,000 to Fight COVID Learning

A Big Raise For Texas Teachers: New Plan Will Give Top Educators $100,000 to Fight COVID Learning Loss at State’s Poorest Schools


In a move to create educational equity, Texas is set to offer some of its best teachers more than $100,000 annually, rewarding them for work in the state’s poorest schools where COVID-19 has devastated communities resulting in months, if not years, of learning loss.

“We need our best teachers to be able to do this work,” San Antonio ISD Associate Superintendent of Strategy, Talent, and Innovation Mohammed Choudhury said. “We need them to extend their work and their leadership beyond their classroom to not only be able to move beyond COVID-19, but to build back better.”

For the 193 teachers in San Antonio designated to lead this effort, that could mean extra days of intervention during holiday breaks throughout the school year, and tutoring after school and during the summer.

Several Texas school districts already run similar master teacher programs, or similar incentives that pay teachers extra stipends tied to their performance in the classroom.

Read more: https://www.the74million.org/article/a-big-raise-for-texas-teachers-new-plan-will-give-top-educators-100000-to-fight-covid-learning-loss-at-states-poorest-schools/


The 74 is a non-profit, non-partisan news site covering education in America. Our public education system is in crisis. In the United States, less than half of our students can read or do math at grade-level, yet the education debate is dominated by misinformation and political spin. Our mission is to lead an honest, fact-based conversation about how to give America’s 74 million children under the age of 18 the education they deserve.

Our stories are backed by investigation, expertise, and experience. The 74’s reporting aims to challenge the status quo, expose corruption, spotlight inequality, confront the impact of systemic racism, and champion the heroes who bring positive change to our schools.

There are 74 million children in America. There are 74 million reasons to talk about education. Join the conversation.

Lawsuit seeks to block Lubbock's ordinance aimed at outlawing abortions

by Shannon Najmabadi, Texas Tribune


Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas sued the city of Lubbock on Monday over a voter-approved “sanctuary city for the unborn” ordinance that seeks to outlaw abortions in the West Texas city’s limits.

The ordinance — which the lawsuit says is unconstitutional — was passed by local voters in May over the opposition of City Council members who warned it could not be enforced and would prompt a costly legal fight.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal district court and seeks to stop the abortion ban from taking effect on June 1.

Some two dozen cities have sought to ban abortions in their limits. Most of them have been in Texas but Lubbock is the largest and the first to have an abortion provider — making it a legal test case for the burgeoning “sanctuary city for the unborn” movement. Planned Parenthood opened a clinic to offer birth control and other services there last year, and began providing abortions this spring.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2021/05/17/lubbock-abortion-ban-lawsuit/

Beshear: Ending extra jobless aid now would hurt economy

FRANKFORT, KY. -- Cutting off the extra federal payments going to unemployed Kentuckians would hurt the state's economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.

The Democratic governor said he's willing to consider ending the weekly $300 federal unemployment payment eventually but quickly added: “That doesn't mean we will.”

The Bluegrass State's most powerful Republican, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, criticized the extra federal benefits Monday. He said governors are “having to clean up this mess” as many businesses struggle to find workers.

Beshear said he's trying to “thread the needle” of maintaining the supplemental federal payments that pump tens of millions of dollars into the state's economy each week while encouraging people to go back to work as the economy fully reopens.

Read more: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/article251482338.html
(Raleigh News & Observer)

Mississippi could help long-neglected poor with Rescue Plan payments

The state’s political leaders who are cutting off federal coronavirus-related federal unemployment benefits could provide needy Mississippians cash assistance through another federal program.

Apparently, a portion of the $1.8 billion the state is receiving from the American Rescue Plan, signed into law earlier this year by President Joe Biden, could be paid to Mississippians in direct payments.

The law provides for “direct assistance to households and populations facing negative economic impacts due to COVID-19.”

The payments would be similar to the federal benefits sent out over the past year. Those federal checks have totaled $3,200 for most Mississippians. U.S. Treasury Department regulations, released last week, specified that the cash payments could not be significantly larger than the checks sent out by the federal government, but with more limitations to narrowly target those who need help the most. The language in the law appears to allow benefits to be paid to the families of people who died from COVID-19.

Read more: https://www.sunherald.com/news/politics-government/article251416543.html
(Gulfport Sun Herald)

Mother Died in Madison County Jail After Pot Arrest, Family Sues for Negligence

Lanekia Brown died just before Christmas 2018 in the Madison County Jail where she was held because she could not make a million-dollar bond for trafficking 103 pounds of marijuana. She complained of pain, which autopsy later determined was due to an ectopic pregnancy, but the medical personnel merely put her in a holding cell where she died, the lawsuit filed by her mother Margaret Johnson on Friday, May 14, alleges.

"The Correctional Health services that (the jail) contracted denied Ms. Brown's civil rights by ignoring her pleas for help," attorney Derek Sells of Cochran Firm, a counsel for the plaintiff, told the Jackson Free Press on Monday, May 17, referring to Quality Correctional Health Inc. "She presented a medical emergency, (but) both the Madison County detention facility employees, as well as the correctional services medical providers ignored her pleas for help and did not give her medical attention that she was required to receive. In that way, they violated her civil and constitutional rights."

Brown, who had two children, entered the custody of the Madison County Detention Center on Nov. 26, 2018, after her arrest for trafficking in marijuana and complained at least four times of pain. The Jackson Free Press obtained Brown's death certificate, which Madison County Deputy Coroner Joel Shows signed March 26, 2019. It states that Brown died of abdominal hemorrhage due to ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized ovum implants and grows outside of the woman's womb. Mayo Clinic explains that it often occurs in the fallopian tube, and the growing zygote can cause life-threatening bleeding if untreated.

Sells accused those who run Madison County Detention Center of being in the practice of ignoring "serious medical conditions of inmates and just leaving them to die.”

Read more: https://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2021/may/17/mother-died-madison-county-jail-after-pot-arrest-f/

Supreme Court could reverse Roe v. Wade with Mississippi abortion case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said it will review Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy — serving as the first opportunity for the 6-3 conservative-majority court to challenge Roe v. Wade.

The 15-week ban, passed by state lawmakers in 2018 and immediately blocked by lower federal courts, will provide one of the first reproductive rights cases argued before the Supreme Court since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed in 2020. The 6-3 conservative majority is widely expected to curtail access to abortion.

“As the only abortion clinic left in Mississippi, we see patients who have spent week saving up the money to travel here and pay for childcare, for a place to stay, and everything else involved. If this ban were to take effect, we would be forced to turn many of those patients away, and they would lose the right to abortion in the state,” Diane Derziz, owner of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s sole abortion clinic, said in a statement. “Mississippi politicians have created countless barriers for people trying to access abortion, intentionally pushing them later in the pregnancy. It’s all part of their strategy to eliminate abortion access entirely.”

The court met 13 different times to consider taking the case, a move many legal analysts have called unprecedented. The taking of this case marks the first time since the landmark 1973 abortion rights case Roe v. Wade that the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a a pre-viability ban case — a law that prohibits access to abortion based on the amount of time pregnant before the fetus is viable, or around 24 weeks when it is able to live outside the womb.

Read more: https://mississippitoday.org/2021/05/17/supreme-court-roe-v-wade-mississippi-abortion/

Speaker Gunn supports special session to fix ballot initiative process

House Speaker Philip Gunn says he supports Gov. Tate Reeves calling a special session to allow legislators to reinstate the state’s initiative process after the Mississippi Supreme Court struck it down in a landmark 6-3 decision last week.

“We 100% believe in the right of the people to use the initiative process to express their views on public policy,” Gunn said in a statement. “If the legislature does not act on an issue that the people of Mississippi want, then the people need a mechanism to change the law. I support the governor calling us into a special session to protect this important right of the people.”

Gunn did not comment on whether he believes medical marijuana also should be taken up in a special session if Reeves calls one. The Supreme Court struck down an initiative where voters approved medical marijuana in the same opinion where it voided the whole initiative process.

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, who presides over the Senate, has been unavailable to comments on questions from Mississippi Today about whether he wanted the governor to call a special session.

Read more: https://mississippitoday.org/2021/05/17/special-session-ballot-initiative-mississippi/

Medicaid Expansion Ballot Drive Begins in Mississippi: 'A Matter of Life And Death'

Jonathan Smith wants to see his four children grow up. And, he adds, he would like to be healthy enough to be the father that his four children deserve. But to bring those hopes to fruition, the Amory, Miss., man must first emerge victorious in a two-pronged battle: one part against a cancer affecting his brain and spinal cord, the other with a health-care system that he can no longer afford.

“I have just learned I have another surgery coming up. Without insurance, I can’t afford any of this. At this point, I feel like I shouldn’t be worried about battling the treatment; I should be battling the cancer,” Smith said in Madison, Miss., yesterday.

He was sharing his story for the launch of the Yes On 76 campaign, whose organizers hope to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot in Mississippi for the November 2022 election. If voters adopted it, around 200,000 working Mississippians who cannot currently afford health insurance would become eligible for the Medicaid program.

Since 2014, Mississippi has rejected more than $7 billion in federal dollars that could have been used to expand eligibility. Former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and current Gov. Tate Reeves, both Republicans, opposed Medicaid expansion after President Barack Obama created it when he signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

Read more: https://www.mississippifreepress.org/12117/medicaid-expansion-ballot-drive-begins-in-mississippi-a-matter-of-life-and-death/
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