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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: 78,352

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

Rios: If elected, Biden should set up Presidential Commission on 2020 Census Undercount

The decennial census is the basis upon which this country allocates its two most important resources: political power and federal funds.

Therefore, an accurate census count is basic to the ideals of democracy.

Every decennial census result in an undercount; typically, minorities and the poor have the highest undercount; this is coupled with a smaller but significant overcount of Whites.

There have been 24 censuses conducted since the beginning of the Republic in 1776. The US Census is conducted between April and October of the beginning of the decade – 1990, 2000, 2010, etc.

This is the first decade, 2020, in which the decennial census was conducted during a pandemic. The Census Bureau has warned that the pandemic has presented a set of problems that will increase the undercount. Experts predict an eight percent to ten undercount resulting in gross injustice in the distribution of federal resources to the disadvantage of minority voters.

Read more: https://riograndeguardian.com/rios-if-elected-biden-should-set-up-presidential-commission-on-2020-census-undercount/

Cuellar: We Democrats want to bring earmarks back in January

MISSION, Texas – U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar says House Democrats could reintroduce earmarks in January, something the Laredo Democrat would support.

According to Wikipedia, an earmark is a provision inserted into a discretionary spending appropriations bill that a dieters funds to a specific recipient while documenting the merit-based or competitive funds allocation process. Republicans banned them in 2011.

“We cannot earmark but I am hoping the in January, we the Democrats are going to put back what our Republican friends took away from us. We are hoping that we can get earmarks back,” Cuellar said.

“If we can get earmarks back, I can say, the Mission Public Library is going to get X amount of dollars, that McMullen County Community Center is going to get X amount of dollars. I hope we can get this back in January because I can get on Appropriations and I can do certain efforts.”

Read more: https://riograndeguardian.com/cuellar-we-democrats-want-to-bring-earmarks-back-in-january/

The attorney general's office has sidelined four of the seven whistleblowers who reported Ken Paxton

The attorney general's office has sidelined four of the seven whistleblowers who reported Ken Paxton to law enforcement
by Emma Platoff, Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office has sidelined four of the seven senior aides who weeks ago told law enforcement they believed Paxton had committed bribery and abuse of office — firing two and placing two more on leave — in what employment attorneys say looks like a clear act of retaliation against legally protected whistleblowers.

The aides, who represented a large share of the agency’s most senior staff, alerted law enforcement and then agency human resources that they believed Paxton was using the power of his office to serve a political donor, Austin real estate developer Nate Paul. The agency had taken the unusual step of weighing in on a lawsuit that involved Paul, and Paxton personally hired an outside investigator — in a process aides called highly suspect — to vet the donor’s complaints

Ian Prior, a spokesperson for Paxton's campaign, denied Friday that the personnel decisions had anything to do with their accusations against Paxton.

"Any suggestion that this has to do with the whistleblower claims is false and demonstrates an unfamiliarity with the facts," Prior said. "There are a number of reasons for these separations that we cannot discuss at this time."

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/10/23/texas-ken-paxton-whistleblowers-fired/

Judge rules Ken Paxton's 5-year-old criminal case can be heard in his hometown of Collin County

by Emma Platoff, Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton should be tried for felony securities fraud charges in his hometown of Collin County, a Harris County judge ordered Friday, reversing a years-old decision that the state’s top lawyer should not face a jury in the North Texas region where he and his wife are deeply connected in political circles.

Paxton was indicted in 2015 but has yet to go to trial on charges that he persuaded investors to buy stock in a technology firm without disclosing that he would be compensated for it. He has maintained his innocence and called the prosecution politically motivated.

The case was sent to be tried in Houston in 2017 given Paxton’s close political ties in Collin County. Paxton once represented the region in the state Legislature, and now his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, does. Prosecutors argued they could not get a fair trial in a part of the state where the Paxtons are so well connected.

Since then, the trial has been delayed time and time again as procedural issues like venue and how much to pay the special prosecutors appointed to take Paxton to trial have played out. In July 2019, Paxton’s defense attorneys asked a judge to send the case back to Collin County, arguing that the judge who moved it to Houston had not had the authority to do so.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/10/23/ken-paxton-criminal-case-collin-county/

DOH: Uptick in syphilis cases in Hawaii a concern

The number of syphilis cases in women and newborns in Hawaii has increased annually during the past four years, the state Department of Health said Wednesday.

“While we know everyone’s current attention is focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19, we must also pay close attention to syphilis because of the potential health effects, especially for developing babies,” said Dr. Glenn Wasserman, chief of the DOH’s Communicable Disease and Public Health Nursing Division, in a news release. “Syphilis is preventable and easily treatable when diagnosed early.”

According to the Health Department, early cases of syphilis in adults are particularly infectious, while later stages of the disease can lead to significant damage to numerous organs, including the heart and brain.

Pregnant mothers with syphilis also can transmit the disease to their unborn fetus at any stage, causing miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, low birth weight or death before or shortly after birth, the DOH said. Babies born with syphilis can have deformed bones, severe anemia, central nervous system damage and other problems.

Read more: https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2020/10/22/hawaii-news/doh-uptick-in-syphilis-cases-in-hawaii-a-concern/

Most new Big Island cases are people younger than 40

Most of the 29 new COVID-19 infections reported Thursday on the Big Island were in younger individuals, according to Mayor Harry Kim.

“People better be aware, the vast majority of (those new cases) are in the ages of 40 and below,” he said. “… People got to realize, these are the people that go out and mingle. We’re talking about close contact, talking about violation of masking and (other prevention policies).”

According to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incidents of COVID-19 were highest among older adults early in the pandemic, but from June to August, cases were higher in people ages 20-29.

Nationwide, the median age of COVID-19 cases declined from age 46 in May to 37 and 38 in July and August, respectively.

Read more: https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2020/10/23/hawaii-news/most-new-big-island-cases-are-people-younger-than-40/

Lanai to be placed under stay-at-home order as number of COVID-19 cases soars to 65

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lanai will be placed under a stay-at-home order on Tuesday amid a rapidly growing COVID-19 outbreak on the island, Maui County’s mayor said.

As of Friday afternoon, authorities put the number of confirmed cases on Lanai at 65.

“There are more cases. We see them coming," said Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino. “To the people of Lanai: We are right now doing everything humanly possible to protect your health."

The stay-at-home order for Lanai still must be approved by the governor . If it is approved, the emergency order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Read more: https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2020/10/22/covid-outbreak-lanai-continues-grow-with-least-cases-now-confirmed/

Hawaii Voter Turnout Already At 41%

With a little more than a week left until Election Day, 41% of registered voters have already cast their ballots, according to Hawaii Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago.

As of Friday morning, 344,000 ballots were received, Nago said during a segment of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii. Voter registration this year is up to over 830,000.

This is the first year elections in Hawaii are being conducted almost entirely by mail ballot.

During the August primary election, 16% more voters cast ballots than in 2016, when the U.S. last voted for a president and Oahu had a mayoral race. Turnout during presidential election years, like 2020, tend to be higher than others.

Read more: https://www.civilbeat.org/beat/hawaii-voter-turnout-already-at-41/

No Rest For The Homeless: Bill Would Ban Sitting Almost Anywhere On Oahu

In Honolulu, being homeless is already a crime in many ways.

It’s illegal to sit or lie down in Waikiki and parts of 17 other neighborhoods. It is also against the law to obstruct a public sidewalk or store belongings on public property. And that’s not even taking into account anti-vagrancy laws at the state level.

But for City Council Chair Ann Kobayashi, the existing laws don’t go far enough. She introduced a measure last month, Bill 73, that would criminalize sitting or lying on a public sidewalk within 800 feet of a park or school from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Civil Beat plotted the property parcels of Oahu’s schools and parks on a map and circled them with an 800-foot perimeter to illustrate the impact of Kobayashi’s bill. It shows that the ban would be a massive escalation of existing sit-lie laws, making large swaths of the island off-limits to homeless people looking to rest.

Read more: https://www.civilbeat.org/2020/10/no-rest-for-the-homeless-bill-would-ban-sitting-almost-anywhere-on-oahu/

Honolulu Mayoral Candidates Can't -- Or Won't -- Say What They'll Do About Rail

The latest rail financial crisis has burst open for the public to see just before Honolulu elects a new mayor, but the candidates for the job are at a loss to explain exactly what they intend to do about it.

The nearly $10 billion project is now short between $1.25 billion and $1.5 billion, and outgoing Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell told members of the Honolulu City Council earlier this month that “we know we’re not going to have the money we need” to finish the project as planned.

If that “October surprise” has triggered any innovative thinking on the part of mayoral candidates Rick Blangiardi and Keith Amemiya, there is no sign of it yet — and voters are already sending in their ballots in the all-mail Nov. 3 general election.

When asked how he plans to proceed in the face of the latest rail crisis, Blangiardi replied in a written statement Tuesday that this was “a question I cannot adequately answer at this time. In fact, without the benefit of having a lot more information, anything I might say would be highly speculative, and candidly, not the way I want to begin my administration as Mayor.”

Read more: https://www.civilbeat.org/2020/10/honolulu-mayoral-candidates-cant-or-wont-say-what-theyll-do-about-rail/
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