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Gender: Male
Hometown: George West, Georgetown, Austin, Brenham and Irving, Texas
Current location: Irving
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 10,668

About Me

BS - Mathematics from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. Statistical Analyst. Played trumpet in college. Middle-aged white guy.

Journal Archives

State indebtedness doubles under Perry's watching eyes

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry told the transportation officials at an Austin conference to enjoy the festivities of Texas’ capital city when they come around, like the concert and movie festival South by Southwest.

But there is a chance they’ll run into traffic, he said.

“You’ve come to what I would suggest is the mecca of innovation on transportation infrastructure,” Perry told those from out of state. “This place has become — Austin in particular, well you can say it about a number of the cities, whether it’s Houston, or Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth area, San Antonio — really cultural meccas of the country and of the world. But with all of that brings transportation challenges. If you’re here for (SXSW), you’ll get a big dose of it. … There is always challenges when you have that type of growth.”

Perry was at the annual meeting and exhibition of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association to tout his transportation success, all in a state that is still searching for ideas to fund roads under the pressure of a booming economy. Now lawmakers may be moving away from the debt accrual that had been part of the outgoing governor’s strategy.

State Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, said after a committee meeting Tuesday that over the past decade Texas’ debt has doubled from about $20 billion to about $40 billion, and half of that is from transportation at about $23 billion, not including toll roads.

Read more: http://www.caller.com/columnists/matthew-waller/gov-perry-talks-texas-roads-funding_71115141

Something to remember if Perry avoids conviction and continues to run for president. It is easy to make the state look prosperous when running up the credit card.

Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott light up TV spots with vitriolic charges about ethics and money

Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott are accusing each other of ethics problems in campaign ads that underscore the increasingly vitriolic tone of the governor’s race. With just weeks before the November election, Davis has prepared a web ad denouncing Abbott for taking $250,000 from the chairman of a hospital that employed a problem doctor, then siding with the hospital against victims. The Abbott camp is airing a spot that accused Davis of voting as a member of the Fort Worth City Council to give tax breaks to businesses in property deals involving her title company.

The Davis hospital ad is about a neurosurgeon at Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano whose patients died or were maimed. It says after he got contributions from hospital board chairman Drayton McLane, Abbott intervened in three federal cases on the hospital’s side. Abbott’s campaign says he’s defending state law as a matter of principle. The ad repeats a Davis’ campaign theme that Abbott used his authority as attorney general to protect powerful insiders at the expense of ordinary Texans. Abbott says in the hospital case, he was just defending state law. McLane says he didn’t know about the case before contributing to Abbott’s governor’s race and has no financial interest in the hospital.

The campaign ad by Abbott allies accuses Davis of using her position as a member of the city council in Fort Worth to personally benefit. The spot features the sound of a siren and kinetic images of newspaper headlines in raising questions about Davis’ business dealings.

Davis appears to have followed Fort Worth’s ethics policy in voting on business incentives for companys doing business with the title company established by her ex-husband. However, the city attorney at the time did caution her to consider avoiding measures where there was any question “to guard against even the appearance of impropriety.”

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/09/wendy-davis-and-greg-abbott-light-up-tv-spots-with-vitriolic-charges-about-ethics-and-money.html/

If you want to see Abbott's ad then go to the link. I'm not giving it any air time on DU.

Bryan man sentenced to 14 years in insurance fraud scheme

A U.S. district judge sentenced a Bryan man Monday to 14 years in prison for his role in scheming more than $3 million out of automobile insurance companies.

Earlie Dickerson, 41, was found guilty by a jury in October of engaging in conspiracy to defraud and 30 counts of mail fraud between February 2007 and December 2009.

During the eight-day trial, prosecutors Al Balboni and Adrienne Frazior presented evidence that, during his time as manager at Sanjoh & Associates, Dickerson worked with several others, including a former local chiropractor, Chase Lindsey, to recruit "clients" involved in car accidents to be represented by the Houston-based law firm and receive services for alleged injuries.

Clients would be sent to see Lindsey at one of four Bryan chiropractic clinics used by Dickerson and his co-defendants -- Lindsey, Brittany Jessie, Edward Graham and Marion Young also have been convicted of conspiracy -- as a part of their scheme. All of the clinics were owned by one or more of the co-defendants. As one would shut down, another would open, according to prosecutors.

Read more: http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/bryan-man-sentenced-to-years-in-insurance-fraud-scheme/article_68b3a578-9b4f-5bb4-8e53-63137814e661.html

Washington GAO raises questions over abortion compromise in federal health law

Source: AP

WASHINGTON — A nonpartisan congressional agency is raising new questions about compliance with a key compromise on abortion that allowed the federal health care law to pass in 2010.

The Government Accountability Office said in a report released late Monday that only 1 of 18 insurers it reviewed was separately itemizing a charge for coverage of elective abortions on enrollees' bills.

That detail is important because the original compromise that President Barack Obama sealed with anti-abortion Democrats stipulated that no federal funds would be used to pay for elective abortions. Instead, private health plans covering the procedure would collect a separate premium, which would be segregated from federal subsidies for other medical services.

Although abortion is a legal medical procedure, longstanding federal laws prohibit taxpayer funds from being used to pay for it, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/washington/20140915-gao-raises-questions-over-abortion-compromise-in-federal-health-law.ece

The Eye of the Beholder: No Apologies

By Dr. Brian Carr

“It is not reality that troubles us but how we look at reality” stated Aristotle. The world that streams around each of us is interpreted, defined, and processed. We superimpose our values and beliefs into a moral framework that we then advance into the world with.

Today I listened in on a conversation about how Michelle Obama was actually transgendered and had undergone extensive surgery to remove his (her?) Adam’s Apple and other male characteristics and “equipment”. What about her two children? “Adopted” was the reply. In my interpretation I believe that the speaker was well beyond the markers of what most people believed about our First Lady.

Having been born and raised in Lubbock I have an understanding of the conservative values of our community. I also appreciate, in my view, how these values have been hijacked by those who are out to profit themselves as well as a second group that is driven by the contemporary version of Marshall Applewhite (otherwise known as Glen Beck).

So long as low voter turnout is the rule we will continue to see the exploitation of our citizens. Profits before people will be the standard as the American Dream goes up in smoke.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/dr-brian-carr/2014-09-15/eye-beholder-no-apologies#.VBe5eRbuPoE

Ted Cruz Embarrassingly Whines About Fact-Checking Site That Constantly Exposes His Lies

f you follow politics fairly regularly, you’ve probably heard of the fact-checking website Politifact. While not always perfect, I would say they’re pretty fair in their findings. Though I will say that sometimes they’re too literal in their conclusions. By that I mean I’ve seen them rate statements as “True” or “False,” simply based on technicalities of the comment that they were researching.

But that’s not really a big deal. For the most part they do great work.

Well, it seems Texas Senator Ted Cruz isn’t a fan. Shocking, I know.

While Cruz was discussing the broken promise made by President Obama when he told Americans that they would be able to keep their old health insurance plan (which was “only” true for 95% of Americans), he said:

“There’s a reason PolitiFact — an institution of which I am not a fan — but there is a reason PolitiFact rated that statement the Lie of the Year.”

Read more: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/ted-cruz-embarrassingly-whines-fact-checking-site-constantly-exposes-lies/

Police: Georgetown pizza worker placed genitals on pie

Police have charged an 18-year-old former employee of a Georgetown pizza business in connection with rubbing his genitals on a customer’s pizza, an arrest warrant said.

A customer told police that he walked into a Papa Murphy’s pizza at 3316 Williams Drive in Georgetown on Sept. 2 and saw an employee — Austin Michael Symonds — “rubbing his testicles on the pizza he had ordered,” an arrest warrant said.

Symonds apologized to the customer saying “Man, I am really sorry that was stupid,” the warrant said. The customer asked Symonds how old he is, the warrant said.

The customer then said “So you are old enough to know better … ” the warrant said.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crime-law/police-georgetown-pizza-worker-placed-genitals-on-/nhNKT/

Did the customer ask, "Does that come with sausage?"

Okay folks, before you criticize me...

I might have to reconsider my plans to move back to Georgetown.

Marriott hotels launch envelope campaign to get guests in the habit of tipping maids

NEW YORK — Do you leave a tip in your hotel room for the maid? Marriott is launching a program with Maria Shriver to put envelopes in hotel rooms to encourage tipping.

The campaign, called "The Envelope Please," begins this week. Envelopes will be placed in 160,000 rooms in the U.S. and Canada. Some 750 to 1,000 hotels will participate from Marriott brands like Courtyard, Residence Inn, J.W. Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance hotels.

The name of the person who cleans the room will be written on the envelope along with a message: "Our caring room attendants enjoyed making your stay warm and comfortable. Please feel free to leave a gratuity to express your appreciation for their efforts."

Shriver, who founded an organization called A Woman's Nation that aims to empower women, says many travelers don't realize tipping hotel room attendants is customary. "There's a huge education of the traveler that needs to occur," she said. "If you tell them, they ask, 'How do I do that?'" She said envelopes make it easy for guests to leave cash for the right person in a secure way.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/restaurants-hotels/20140915-marriott-hotels-launch-envelope-campaign-to-get-guests-in-the-habit-of-tipping-maids.ece

While customary to tip, I view this as more of an excuse for Marriott to pay their room attendants less than minimum wage?

New accusations: Adrian Peterson injured another son while disciplining 4-year-old

HOUSTON -- Photos and text messages obtained by the I-Team reveal another incident in which Adrian Peterson is accused of injuring another son while disciplining the boy.

The four-year-old is by a different mother than the alleged victim in the Montgomery County case, in which Peterson is charged with felony injury to a child. In that case, Peterson admits to repeatedly striking the boy with a tree branch or "switch," but has maintained he did not intend to harm the child, and was using his judgment as a parent to discipline his son.

The latest incident allegedly occurred last June, while the boy, who lives out of state, was visiting Peterson at his gated home in The Woodlands. A photo, allegedly texted by Peterson to the boy's mother, shows a head wound to the boy covered by two bandages. Other photos, allegedly taken weeks later, reveal a scar over his right eye.

The text messages also describe an exchange about what happened. They contain numerous misspellings and shorthand:

Mother: "What happened to his head?"

Peterson: "Hit his head on the Carseat."

Mother: "How does that happen, he got a whoopin in the car."

Peterson: "Yep."

Mother: "Why?"

Peterson: "I felt so bad. But he did it his self."

Read more: http://www.khou.com/story/news/investigations/2014/09/15/new-accusations-peterson-injured-another-son-while-disciplining-4-year-old/15693941/

Davis denies conflicts in council, business work

DALLAS (AP) — As a city councilwoman in Fort Worth, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis did not always recuse herself from votes that potentially overlapped with her private business interests, according to a newspaper investigation published Sunday.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Davis voted in a small number of instances on bills affecting companies that acquired title insurance from companies she owned or for which she worked.

In one 2006 case, she joined a unanimous vote to approve $21.5 million in tax incentives for developers of a downtown Fort Worth hotel. By then, Wendy and Jeff Davis had sold their title insurance company to a national chain. As part of the deal, she was named chief executive of the Fort Worth division of a chain affiliate, called Republic Title of Texas.

Republic Title of Texas was listed on the deed transferring the hotel to a California-based company. It’s not clear how much the company made in the transaction.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2014-09-14/davis-denies-conflicts-council-business-work#comment-348136

This article is a condensed version of what appeared in The Dallas Morning News on Sunday. I posted related material in the Texas Group on Sunday night/Monday morning.
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