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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: 85,773

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

Amache national historic site bill passes U.S. House, heads to Senate

Camp Amache, a Japanese American incarceration camp that imprisoned over 7,000 in southeast Colorado, took one step closer to becoming a national park Thursday.

The Amache National Historic Site Act, a bipartisan effort to preserve and learn from the legacy of the notorious incarceration camp, was overwhelmingly passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday. The bill will now go on to the Senate, where its sponsors hope for swift passage.

The bill was led by Colorado's Reps. Joe Neguse and Ken Buck, who introduced the bill three months ago.

"Our nation is better today because of the lessons we have learned from our past," Buck said. "The Amache National Historic Site Act is important because it recognizes the horrible injustices committed against Japanese Americans and preserves the site for people throughout Colorado and the United States."

Read more: https://gazette.com/news/local/amache-national-historic-site-bill-passes-u-s-house-heads-to-senate/article_b4d52970-f0c1-11eb-bfdd-5371f5706df4.html
(Colorado Springs Gazette)

Police Reform is Working in Colorado

In June 2020, Democrats in the state legislature pushed through new police reform measures aimed at increasing transparency and accountability for law enforcement. That legislation was prompted, in part, by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Elijah McClain in Aurora, Colorado. The bill in the legislature was followed by policy changes in some municipalities, including Aurora.

This week, a graphic new case of police brutality in Aurora is putting those reforms to the test…and so far, they seem to be working.

As Fox 31 News reports:

The arrest of two Aurora police officers is the latest in a string of Colorado officer arrests since the killing of George Floyd. Floyd’s death and the historic protests that followed inspired a law requiring Colorado police officers to intervene and report excessive uses of force…

…Body-camera video from the incident has already been made public. It’s an action Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, is praising.

“The body camera footage was released right away,” Herod said. “That shows that our law is working, and it is quite frankly doing more than I thought it would be doing, which is changing the culture in some of these departments.”

Westword has more on Tuesday’s release of body-camera footage from last week’s arrest of Kyle Vinson:

On July 27, during a highly unusual press conference, Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson screened excerpts from body-camera footage to show why two of her officers, John Haubert and Francine Martinez, had been arrested for the incredibly brutal July 23 arrest of Kyle Vinson.

In the video, Vinson is choked, pistol-whipped and more by Haubert, gasping out repeated cries of “Help!,” “Don’t shoot me!” and “I can’t breathe!”

Read more: https://www.coloradopols.com/diary/161478/police-reform-is-working-in-colorado

So Much For "Needle Nazis"-Who's Going Door To Door Now?

As The Dispatch in York, Pennsylvania reports, local police are on alert for activists going door to door as part of a so-called “Election Integrity Project,” approaching voters to question them about how they voted in 2020 and who they voted for:

Various local officials say they have received reports that the group is visiting residents’ homes and questioning how the homeowner voted and who they voted for. The questioning comes as county officials weigh whether to comply with a “forensic audit” of the 2020 election spearheaded by state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin County.

“There is an intimidation factor, and that’s what their intent is,” said Chad Baker, chair of the Democratic Party of York County. “The timing of this doesn’t seem suspect given the recent request of the audit by Sen. Mastriano.”

The individuals claiming to be a part of the committee seem to be targeting Democrats in an attempt to seek out voter fraud, a baseless claim that has cemented itself as a rallying cry for supporters of former President Donald Trump, Baker said.

Despite the thorough process of counting, auditing, and in several swing state recounting the 2020 vote which found no irregularities on a scale that could change the outcome of the election, Republicans continue to pursue baseless theories of election fraud in multiple states. In Arizona, the GOP-controlled State Senate authorized an open-ended fishing expedition by a dubious private contractor which months later has produced nothing but easily-debunked misinformation. Undeterred, other states with dead-ender Trump contingents holding the power to do so are preparing their own so-called audits, because, well, they can.

Going from endlessly recounting the same ballots over and over to accosting Democratic voters in their homes about their vote, however, represents a significant and disturbing escalation–not to mention hypocritical after Republicans lost their minds over misinformation regarding door to door promotion of COVID vaccines. In Pennsylvania, voters targeted were confused, perhaps by design, about whether the “election integrity committee” they claim to work for was in some way official.

Read more: https://www.coloradopols.com/diary/161554/so-much-for-needle-nazis-whos-going-door-to-door-now

Hugely Popular Paid Leave Program Makes Up Most of Heidi Ganahl's Favorite 'Whopping' Public

Hugely Popular Paid Leave Program Makes Up Most of Heidi Ganahl’s Favorite ‘Whopping’ Public Spending Amount

“1.8 Billion!”

University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl, the only Republican elected to a statewide office in Colorado and a rumored 2022 governor candidate, has been metaphorically shouting that figure from the rooftops recently.

In recent newspaper columns, Ganahl has repeatedly cited a report from the Common Sense Institute (CSI), a business-oriented research organization in Denver, that tallied the cost of new taxes and fees resulting from state policy changes over the last few years on individuals and businesses.

The report, titled “Colorado’s Competitiveness: The Challenge of Economic Recovery Under More than $1.8 Billion in New Regulations, Taxes and Fees,” adds up fiscal notes for a wide variety of ballot measures and laws passed since 2018, including measures related to affordable housing, health care, and, notably, the paid family and medical leave program that Colorado voters approved in 2020.

In a column penned for the Colorado Springs Gazette earlier this month titled “Colorado Drops Out of the Jobs Race,” Ganahl writes that “every onerous regulation comes with a cost — lost jobs, more red tape and money taken from the family budget. The costs are taking a toll. In fact, earlier this year, Common Sense Institute estimated the cumulative cost of new taxes and fees will reach a whopping $1.8 billion in the next three to five years.”

Read more: https://www.coloradopols.com/diary/161559/hugely-popular-paid-leave-program-makes-up-most-of-heidi-ganahls-favorite-whopping-public-spending-amount#more-161559

More than half of aspiring Colorado elementary teachers fail licensure exam on first try

More than half of prospective elementary teachers in Colorado fail their licensure exams on the first try, and of those who fail, 40% don’t try again, according to new data from the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Only 46% of state elementary teacher candidates pass their exam on the first try, similar to the national average.

Teacher candidates of color are more likely to fail on a first attempt than their white counterparts — and slightly more likely to not try again, derailing those students’ aspirations, and hindering efforts to build a more diverse teacher workforce that would benefit all students.

For example, at the University of Northern Colorado, the state’s largest teacher prep program, 45% of elementary test-takers passed on their first try, compared with 33% of test-takers of color at the school.

Read more: https://coloradonewsline.com/2021/07/26/report-more-than-half-of-aspiring-colorado-elementary-teachers-fail-licensure-exam-on-first-try/

Literacy rates are falling, and Democrats could lose big

Twenty-five years ago Republicans were more educated than Democrats.

Today, the inverse is true.

The education gap is readily apparent. Facts have become partisan, and Republicans have tossed whole science books out the window. It’s a strategy that appears ill-considered at first glance — after all, what good is letting a virus ransack your base?

But what if it’s not unintended, and Republicans are merely catering to a long-term dwindling literacy rate?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of Americans ages 16 to 74 now rank below a sixth grade reading level. The youngest generations are showing further declines, and numeracy scores are similarly dismal. If America continues at this pace, and power is your only goal, solidifying your base among the poorly educated might actually make a lot of sense — consequences be damned.

Certainly, the practiced con man and former President Donald Trump knew exactly who he was targeting. He didn’t even try to hide it, at one point outright exclaiming, “I love the poorly educated.” Scholars also noted he consistently spoke below a sixth grade level — a sharp contrast to his predecessor and the lowest of all presidents to date.

Read more: https://coloradonewsline.com/2021/07/28/literacy-rates-are-falling-and-democrats-could-lose-big/

Homeless Solutions for Boulder County backtracks on six-month residency requirement

Homeless Solutions for Boulder County intends to revoke its policy requiring that people live in the county for six months in order to obtain shelter services and other aid for those experiencing homelessness.

Although officials said the decision was made in a June executive board meeting, it was shared with the Camera Thursday, hours after the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado penned a letter to Boulder officials arguing the city’s treatment of its unhoused residents is inhumane and unconstitutional.

The six-month residency requirement, implemented in January 2020, was not repealed due to the legal concerns raised in the ACLU’s letter, Housing and Human Services Director Kurt Firnhaber said.

“This decision was based on what we think is best for the people that we’re trying to serve,” he said.

Read more: https://www.dailycamera.com/2021/07/29/aclu-argues-boulders-treatment-of-unhoused-is-unconstitutional/
(Boulder Daily Camera)

20 migrants found inside train near Hebbronville

The U.S. Border Patrol Laredo Sector announced on Tuesday that 20 migrants were found inside a train near Hebbronville.

The USBP stated that agents found the people on a Kansas City Southern train on Monday morning.

The USBP reported that around 1 a.m. the KCS train was inspected by agents.

Upon examination, agents discovered two subjects hiding in the engine and broken security seals on stacked containers. The USBP stated that people were also found inside the containers.

Read more: https://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/20-migrants-found-inside-train-near-Hebbronville-16344125.php
(Laredo Morning Times)

Space city: Musk's employees converge on Brownsville

Brownsville has become increasingly thick with SpaceX employees in recent days as the company races toward the biggest launch event so far at its Boca Chica production and test site, which SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has dubbed “Starbase.”

Hotels report being full and restaurants busy with the sudden spike in arrivals as the company moves quickly to conduct the first orbital flight of a Starship prototype, employing its Super Heavy booster to achieve orbit. SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said in June that the company was shooting for a July launch, a window that’s about to close, leaving August a likelier target.

SpaceX just finished stacking a 440-foot orbital tower at Boca Chica that will be used for attaching the 160-foot Starship to the top of the 230-foot Super Heavy, launching the resulting 400-foot-tall vehicle and catching boosters on their way down.

“Congrats SpaceX tower team & supporting contractors!” Musk tweeted on June 28.

Read more: https://myrgv.com/local-news/2021/07/29/space-city-musks-employees-converge-on-brownsville/

Texas Democratic U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee arrested in D.C. voting rights protest

WASHINGTON — Facing criticism and accolades alike, three Texas Democrats took center stage Thursday during a congressional hearing on voting rights with their national call to action to stop Republican efforts to pass further restrictions.

The hearing put an even brighter spotlight on the battle that drove dozens of Democratic state legislators to flee Austin to Washington, where they want Congress to pass federal voting legislation.

In a demonstration of Democrats’ determination, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston was arrested later Thursday outside of the Hart Senate Office Building after leading a march of Black voting rights activists to protest the Senate’s nonaction on the For the People Act.

Jackson Lee and other protestors launched into songs and chants as they were escorted into police vans. Several others were arrested with the congresswoman, but it was not immediately known who or how many.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2021/07/29/texas-lawmakers-who-fled-austin-blasted-by-gop-for-cutting-and-running-from-legislative-duties/
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