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TexasTowelie

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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: 10,802

About Me

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

Journal Archives

Davis calls for inquiry of Abbott’s role in Texas Enterprise Fund; return $1.4M in campaign funds

AUSTIN — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis called Monday for an independent investigation into GOP opponent Greg Abbott’s role in keeping records from the troubled Texas Enterprise Fund secret, and she called on him to return $1.4 million in campaign contributions he has received over the years from beneficiaries of the fund.

Davis, speaking in Fort Worth, accused Abbott of a cover-up through his 2004 ruling to withhold the applications of companies that got millions of taxpayer dollars from the enterprise fund.

“Greg Abbott used the power of his office to orchestrate a cover-up of the transfer of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds to companies who never even completed an application for the funds — blocking the release of applications he knew didn’t exist,” she said.

A state audit released last week found that the job-creation fund was riddled with problems after it was launched in 2003, including lack of record-keeping and the failure to require formal applications from some businesses that received job-creation money. The audit found that the fund distributed $222 million to recipients that didn’t file formal applications for the money or failed to promise specific job-creation targets.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20140929-davis-calls-for-inquiry-of-abbotts-role-in-texas-enterprise-fund.ece

Dallas hospital patient tested for Ebola; results expected Tuesday

A Dallas hospital expects preliminary test results Tuesday that may confirm whether a patient there has Ebola.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas placed the patient in “strict isolation” after the person’s symptoms and recent travel history raised concerns, spokeswoman Candace White said in a written statement Monday.

The name of the patient and other details were not released.

The hospital said it is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to ensure the safety of patients, staff members and visitors.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/metro/20140929-dallas-hospital-patient-tested-for-ebola-results-expected-tuesday.ece

In Lt. Gov. Debate, Patrick and Van de Putte Spar Over Taxes, ACA, Education and Abortion

In the only scheduled debate in their race for lieutenant governor, state Sens. Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte faced off on Monday night in a lively exchange that displayed their divergent positions on everything from health care and immigration to school finance and taxes.

Both candidates played offense: Patrick, R-Houston, attempted to portray Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, as “out of step” with Texas voters. Van de Putte used the back-and-forth to try to pin Patrick down on votes he'd taken on cuts to public education. But one of the biggest points of contention in the hourlong showdown in Austin was over the state’s tax structure.

Patrick recently called for reducing the state’s dependence on the property tax to fund public schools and relying on the state’s sales tax instead. On Monday, Van de Putte used Patrick's position to argue that he would raise the sales tax, which she said would hurt businesses and consumers. Patrick sought to clarify his proposal, saying he would only support increasing the sales tax “by a penny or two” to compensate for reduced revenue from property taxes.

“There's two people standing on this stage, and I’m the only one that doesn’t want to raise your sales taxes,” Van de Putte said. “To burden Texas businesses and families with a sales tax increase ... well, that’s not being pro-business.”

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2014/09/29/debate-van-de-putte-and-patrick-sound-over-taxes/

Purrfessor Katz Kemistre Lessun Wun

Teh kittehs r n skool fur awyl sew it’z tiem fur revuwing summ lessuns. Purfessor Katz beginz wif lessun wun.








35 days: Will Texas Voters Opt to Vote Out Political Corruption?

By Carol Morgan

Corruption has brought down many a country; think Nigeria and Zaire, look at Pakistan and China. Like a silent contagion, it’s infecting America as well. If we examine the kleptocracy at the state level, the prospect for good ethical governance is dim and portentous.

According to State Integrity, which gives a grade to each state based upon ten measures, Texas received a D+. In five of the ten measures, we received an F. The single measure in which Texas received an A was Internal Auditing.

And thank God for Internal Auditing...

Without it, we wouldn’t know about the deals made behind closed doors at the Austin Club, legislators’ offices, and the golf courses on the periphery of Austin. Texas has become a safe haven for insider agreements with our own Davos-banker-bespectacled governor at the pinnacle of the food chain.

If Whitey Bulger ran for office, labeling himself as a Christian Conservative Republican, he’d be elected. In Texas, wearing the CCR label is something close to ala-kazam. It’s a get-out-jail-free card without any dice rolling.

Like Bulger, many CCR politicians should be in jail, but amazingly, they’re running for office. Voting for them is akin to hiring your next babysitter from the list of convicted sex offenders.

Everyone likes lists:

1. Rick Perry:
Under indictment for coercion of a public servant and abuse of official capacity. Four days ago, an audit discovered that he granted millions of dollars in the Texas Enterprise Fund to businesses and universities that didn’t even complete an application and the ones who did created no jobs or jobs in the single digits. I’m sure there’s plenty more crimes (think university meddling and the Formula One wild ride) he’s committed during his years as Texas’ governor, he just hasn’t been caught yet.

2. Greg Abbott: The list is long and for those with selective memory loss go here. Recently, Senator Davis shined a little light on the unexplored shadowy corners of Mr. Abbott’s term as AG. How is he linked with the $222 million TEF audit controversy? What about CPRIT? He withheld money for real cancer needs and passed it on to his donors. He downplayed the West explosion to please the Koch Brothers. His decision to appeal Dietz’ ruling, instead of allowing the Legislature to fund our schools; he flat-out lied during the RGV debates. Don’t forget his stance on equal pay, rape, and women’s health. He’s Rick Perry’s hand-picked successor, need I say more?

3. Dan Patrick: Dannie Goeb’s certainly cleaned up his act during this campaign. We don’t hear much about his dirty tricks and cheesy theatrics like we did in 2013. He done pretty well for an ex-titty-bar-entrepreneur-turned-self-righteous-radio talk show host who won’t pay his bills even when he has the money and then, gets all depressed about it. If you want to completely dismantle public education, then he’s your man.

4. Ken Paxton: This is the biggest knee-slapper of all! How can it be that a man who might be elected as Texas’ number one attorney could be a possible two-time felon and disbarred from the TBA all at the same time? His shenanigans with the Mowery firm could cost him, and us. The Travis County DA’s office has decided to postpone Paxton’s possible indictment until after the election. Try to explain that to the kiddies, eh?

5. Glenn Hagar:
He says he’s proud to cut the funding to our schools. Is he proud of depriving 11, 000 educators of their livelihood? Mike Collier, please.

6. George P. Bush: Knows nothing about lands other than the front yard he dug up with his Trans-Am when he got mad at his girlfriend. If elected, he will give a free ticket to any energy mogul or polluter that has ties to the Bush family. (http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/nut-some-soup-0)

7. Randy Neugebauer: Moves the family business to Puerto Rico to avoid taxes. Allows family farms to suffer without a viable farm bill for how many years? Exponentially increases his personal wealth during his term in office. Likes to use military veterans as a prop. Lapdog to the Heritage Foundation. His latest gift is the Jobs for America Act. It will change the definition of a full time worker in America and thus, assist his corporate handlers. Neal Marchbanks please.
(http://www.democraticunderground.com/107819444)

These midterms scare me.

At the national level, it could determine the nominees for SCOTUS at a later date and that will be uglier than Faustus’ bargain with Mephistopheles.

If Governor Perry’s hastily-arranged-carefully-orchestrated special election is any indication of the poor judgment, lack of factual knowledge, and the dogged belief in dumbed down GOP rhetoric, rather than campaign substance, then those of us on both sides of the aisle have much to fear.

It was name recognition that sent a new Senator to Austin; a man funded by Empower Texans, headed by a fallen Eagle Scout under an ethical cloud for lobbying without registering, and now he’s moving to Denton to get a more favorable ruling from that court.

Empower Texans is merely a front group for Midland oilman and Christian private school entrepreneur, Timothy Cook. If Mr. Cook wants to control things, why doesn’t he run for office himself?

There’s plenty of information out there to educate yourselves on the issues, but most would rather concentrate on football, getting drunk at Raider Alley or ogle Kim Kardashian’s gross oversized wide load.

I want to shake some Texans by the shoulders.

Corruption in Texas is a foundational issue that taints everything. It undermines civic virtue, reduces accountability, and siphons off citizen’s trust in public policy. It results in the inefficiency of public services; assistance does not get to those who need help. Most of all, it’s just plain dishonest; something I thought we were supposed to know by age five.

Until we pluck out the Conservative parasites who are sucking the life and integrity out of Texas, we’ll accomplish nothing. I’ve been ranting about this for two years, and if the experts are correct, that it takes 151 times of hearing a message before you “get” it, then I’m just going to keep on talking every single day.

There should be no more arguments with those who justify Texas corruption by referring to the “Texas Miracle” because that card trick is miraculous only for the insiders and lobbyists; the bootlickers of the corrupt. The only ones who’ve benefitted from the TM song and dance are energy executives, state contractors who operate without any state oversight, corporations who endanger their workers by refusing to provide Workmen’s Compensation, and for-profit educational corporateurs who disguise themselves in the cloak of educational reform.

If there is a GOP victory in November, it won’t be a victory for the people of Texas. It will be the kind of victory that William Faulkner wrote about, the victory that’s “an illusion for philosophers and fools."

I don’t plan on being one of those fools in November. What will it take for you to disengage yourself from the fool’s camp?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol Morgan is a career/college counselor, writer, speaker, former Democratic candidate for the Texas House and the award-winning author of Of Tapestry, Time and Tears, a historical fiction about the 1947 Partition of India. Read her work at the Houston Press and MetroLeader News Service. Email Carol at elizabethcmorgan@sbcglobal.net , follow her on Twitter and on Facebook or visit her writer’s blog at www.carolmorgan.org

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2014-09-29/35-days-will-texas-voters-opt-vote-out-political#.VCnwbBbuPoE

Permission granted to post this blog in its entirety. Links for items 6 and 7 of Carol Morgan's list were inserted by me. Item #6 should be corrected from Trans Am to Ford Explorer.

Former Fort Worth mortuary director indicted on federal fraud charges

A former Fort Worth funeral home director has been indicted on federal fraud charges after she was accused of fraudulently filing for food stamps and other government benefits.

Rachel Hardy Johnson, 35, surrendered Monday after she was indicted on one count of food stamp benefit fraud, two counts of theft of federal public money and one count theft of educational funds, the U.S. attorney’s office said. She was charged with corpse abuse in July after Fort Worth police found eight bodies at Johnson Family Mortuary, which she operated with her husband, Dondre Johnson.

Hardy Johnson received $5,000 in food stamp benefits between April 2010 and July 2012, officials said. She also received $1,000 in Medicaid benefits during that time. Between June 2010 and May 2013, she received $200 in funds from a federal education program, officials said.

She is also accused of receiving $1,000 in housing subsidies between November 2010 and December 2011, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Read more: http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2014/09/former-fort-worth-mortuary-directed-indicted-on-federal-fraud-charges.html/

Top Republican Presidential Candidate Says Anarchy May Force Cancellation Of 2016 Election

Note: I posted this article earlier in Late Breaking News, but the hosts decided that it belonged in General Discussion instead. I also inadvertently truncated the URL link to the story at Think Progress. Here is the story once again with the corrected link. The prior comments to this article are available under the locked thread at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014905802 .

Dr. Ben Carson, a popular Tea Party activist and Fox News contributor who says he will likely seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016, said on Sunday that he is seriously concerned that there will not be 2016 elections in the United States because the country could be in anarchy by that point. His reasons: the growing national debt, ISIS, and the U.S. Senate’s refusal to consider legislation passed by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

Host Chris Wallace noted that in light of his potential presidential campaign, Carson’s previous comments were now under a greater spotlight. He noted Carson’s August comment that if the Republicans don’t win a majority in the Senate this year, the 2016 elections might not even be held and asked the retired neurosurgeon if he stood by it:

WALLACE: You said recently that there might not even be elections in 2016 because of widespread anarchy. Do you really believe that?

CARSON: I hope that that’s not going to be the case. But certainly there’s the potential because you have to recognize that we have a rapidly increasing national debt, a very unstable financial foundation, and you have all these things going on like the ISIS crisis that could very rapidly change things that are going on in our nation. And unless we begin to deal with these things in a comprehensive way and in a logical way there is no telling what could happen in just a couple of years.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/election/2014/09/28/3573103/ben-carson-anarchy-election/

Top Republican Presidential Candidate Says Anarchy May Force Cancellation Of 2016 Election

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/election/2014/09/28/35731

Dr. Ben Carson, a popular Tea Party activist and Fox News contributor who says he will likely seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016, said on Sunday that he is seriously concerned that there will not be 2016 elections in the United States because the country could be in anarchy by that point. His reasons: the growing national debt, ISIS, and the U.S. Senate’s refusal to consider legislation passed by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

Host Chris Wallace noted that in light of his potential presidential campaign, Carson’s previous comments were now under a greater spotlight. He noted Carson’s August comment that if the Republicans don’t win a majority in the Senate this year, the 2016 elections might not even be held and asked the retired neurosurgeon if he stood by it:

WALLACE: You said recently that there might not even be elections in 2016 because of widespread anarchy. Do you really believe that?

CARSON: I hope that that’s not going to be the case. But certainly there’s the potential because you have to recognize that we have a rapidly increasing national debt, a very unstable financial foundation, and you have all these things going on like the ISIS crisis that could very rapidly change things that are going on in our nation. And unless we begin to deal with these things in a comprehensive way and in a logical way there is no telling what could happen in just a couple of years.

Read more: ThinkProgress

Texas TRS fund invests in casinos, loses $99M; businessmen contributed to Perry campaigns

As public investments go, this one looked like a roll of the dice.

But the Teacher Retirement System of Texas wanted a big win, so it put $100 million into the buyout of a Las Vegas gaming company called Station Casinos.

The company went bankrupt, and like many an unlucky jackpot-chaser, the state’s largest pension fund walked away a loser. More than $99 million of Texas teachers’ retirement money had vanished.

“There is no getting around it,” said Britt Harris, the fund’s chief investment officer. “This was a bad investment.”

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/investigations/headlines/20120512-texas-teachers-pension-fund-invests-in-casinos-loses-99-million.ece (part 1 of 2)

Coming Monday: The businessmen behind Station Casinos have been generous campaign contributors to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

4 Good Reasons For A Man To Hit A Woman

By Troy Dunn

Lately, there has been much discussion about violence against women by the men in their life. Many have said there is never a good reason for a man to strike a woman but I disagree and today I am speaking out! I have six sons and I have taught them what my father taught my brothers and I: there are four good reasons for a man to hit the woman he loves;

1. Fire. If you look over at the woman you love and discover flames have overtaken your girl, you should absolutely knock her to the ground and start rolling her around.

2. Spider. If your princess discovers a spider wandering across her shoulder and with sheer terror in her voice says “GET. IT. Off! You should smack that 8 legged sucker right off of her.

3. Choking. If over dinner she begins to laugh at another one of your amazingly funny stories and in the process, lodges a bit of her steak in her throat, you have my full support to yank her out of her chair, spin her around and start squeezing her beneath her rib-cage until she spits up!

4. Train. If, while enjoying a peaceful, after dinner walk with your lover, you notice she has wandered into the path of a quickly approaching oncoming train, by all means, grab her by her arm and like the strong man you are, yank her backwards aggressively.

Absent the presence of fire, spiders, choking or trains, dad taught us boys there is never, ever, ever, ever, ever a justifiable reason for a man to strike a woman. Period. He said real men don’t do it. He then added this important definition about being a ‘real man’ which I want to share with all men today;

“Real men don’t allow other men to hit women either.”

I call upon my brothers-in-manhood everywhere to join with me in ZERO TOLERANCE for violence against women. Don’t hit and don’t tolerate hitting. That woman you see getting abused by her “man”, at the club or in the parking lot or even, oh let’s say, an elevator; intervene. Put yourself between the abuser and the victim. Is that dangerous? Could be. But it’s what a real man would do. Always remind yourself when you witness violence on a woman- that is somebody’s mother, daughter or sister.

Just for the record, it IS your business if you decide to make it your business. In the Dunn household, my sons know we consider the safety of other women, our personal business, whether the abuser likes it or not.

Lastly, a note to the abused women of the world- do not take one more punch, slap or kick from any man. There is NOTHING that makes it okay. Stop making excuses for him. He is a broken man and needs to be repaired before he is worthy of spending another second in your presence. Insist on it.

5 Bad Reasons Women Let Men Hit Them;

1. “He was drunk”. So what? He will be drunk again. And although I have personally never been drunk, I know many people who do occasionally get intoxicated- NONE of them hit their women. Your husband or boyfriend is not NORMAL. Stop trying to convince yourself he is.

2. “He’s under a lot of stress”. Real men deal with stress by hitting the gym, hitting a golf ball or even hitting the buffet. They do NOT hit women. Stress is not a gateway emotion to violence for healthy, normal men.

3. “I deserved it”. What???? No. There is nothing you or any woman can do to validate violence against you. Maybe you have done something so bad he leaves you, but violence is not on the list of options for him to choose from when he is upset. NEVER AN OPTION.

4. “His dad abused his mom. It’s all he knows.” When I hear that statement, it makes me throw up a little in my mouth. So what if he witnessed abuse as a child?? If anything, he knows better than others the hurt and pain that comes from abuse. In life we witness lots of things that are bad but we don’t then go integrate them into our own lives. If your man abuses you because he witness abuse, let him go witness therapy. Let him go witness a support group. Let him go witness life alone without you and the children.

5. “It was only once. He apologized.” Statistics say that where there is a “first time”, there is a second time. Your response to the “first time” needs to send an incredibly clear message to your “man” that there will be no second time. Send that message so clearly it haunts him. Make a bold statement with action attached. It is the ‘action’ that will signal the level of your seriousness. That might be calling the police, it might be moving out for a week or two, it might be telling him to leave for a week or require immediate counseling. Your words to him after being hit MUST be followed up with immediate action to reinforce the true level of intolerance you have for violence against yourself.

You might be shocked to learn that someone in your life is an abuser, which means somebody in your life is a victim. Rather than guessing who it might be, just share this article with everyone so it reaches the ones who need to hear it most.

Abusers, be on notice--I’m watching. My sons are watching. And millions of other real men are watching. We WILL defend and protect your wife, your mother and your sister….even from you.

https://www.facebook.com/TroyTheLocator/photos/a.499440200028.388114.319388540028/10154590655580029/?type=1&fref=nf
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