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Mizzou grad workers need fair pay

THE CRY is a frequent one, made by everyone from university administrators to middle managers to CEOs: "We just can't fit it in the budget." For graduate workers here at the University of Missouri, that cry has fallen on deaf ears.

The University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine Dean Patrick Delafontaine resigned September 21 after less than a year on the job. The golden parachute compensation packet for leaving this position? Delafontaine will receive $1.2 million from MU, a guaranteed $600,000 per year for the first two years on the job. The figure includes pay Delafontaine has earned since he started at MU.

Delafontaine's departure comes a few months after MU kicked off significant health-related projects. In July, the School of Medicine began its $42.5 million expansion project that includes a new medical school building at MU and a Springfield clinical campus. Additionally, MU Health Care began construction in June on a $40 million, four-story Missouri Orthopaedic Institute expansion.

As with many public universities across the country, the bloated salaries of administrators come at a high price. A recent survey released by the Chronicle of Higher Education examined pay for chief executives at 220 public universities and school systems. It found the median salary for presidents who served a full year was $428,250. At the University of Missouri, the average salary for a dean is $240,000 per year. This does not include bonuses.

Read more: http://socialistworker.org/2015/09/24/mizzou-grad-workers-need-fair-pay
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Oct 5, 2015, 04:25 AM (0 replies)

III. From a weak recovery to a new recession?

Earlier threads:
I. Are we headed for another crash?
II. What's driving the world toward a new slump?

The recent swings in world financial markets and the growing international effects of an economic slowdown in China have raised fears in the U.S. that the economic recovery could be on its last legs--even before working people felt like they had escaped the last crisis. And what will come next? In the first two installments of a three-part series, Lee Sustar looked at back at the causes of the last recession and at how China, Europe and other parts of the world economy have fared. In the final part, he answers questions about how the recession has impacted working people in the U.S., the prospects for the U.S. economy and the need for a political alternative in the face of a slump that will inevitably come sooner or later.

THE SLUMPING Chinese economy is causing huge problems for countries from Canada to Australia to nations across Africa and beyond. What impact will this have on the U.S.?

THERE IS a lot of happy talk about how the U.S. is immune to China's difficulties, and the prospects for continued growth in the U.S. economy are still good.

Certainly the U.S. stock market has radiated an image of prosperity. Equity markets have risen dramatically since the financial crash of 2008. As of June, U.S. equity markets were up by a combined total value of $17 trillion since then the worst of the crisis. Even after the big stock market drops in August, the S&P 500 index of stock prices was, as of late September, up about 163 percent from its recent low point.

We're told by the media that the stock market gains are a reflection of the overall health of the U.S. economy. There is an element of truth to that explanation: The Great Recession in the U.S. ended more than six years ago. After a period of stimulus spending, the Obama administration has sought to shape a U.S. economic recovery based on low wages, cheap energy and low taxes on business. In some ways, they've succeeded.

Read more: http://socialistworker.org/2015/09/30/weak-recovery-to-a-new-recession
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Oct 5, 2015, 04:22 AM (0 replies)

Follow-up: Dallas County DA Susan Hawk faced suicidal thoughts, wanted to resign

Local Democrats renewed their call for Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk to resign on Sunday, the same day D Magazine revealed details of the DA’s battle with depression, including recent threats to kill herself.

Hawk, a Republican, wanted to resign in July because of suicidal thoughts, according to the magazine. Instead, she spent two months at the Menninger Clinic, a premier psychiatric hospital in Houston.

D Magazine’s Jamie Thompson reported that Hawk thought about overdosing on sleeping pills before she checked herself into the mental health facility. While there, she was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, considered strangling herself with a blow dryer cord and, at one point, was officially committed after telling a nurse, “I’m going to kill myself anyway. Just let me go home.”

Dallas County Democrats responded Sunday by releasing a statement in which they moved beyond nuanced calls for her resignation and explicitly pushed for her ousting.

Read more: http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2015/10/dallas-county-da-susan-hawk-faced-suicidal-thoughts-wanted-to-resign.html/

Earlier threads:
Friends, colleagues say Dallas County DA Susan Hawk spent time in drug rehab March 27. 2015
Dallas County DA absent for three weeks; addiction rumors start swirling August 23, 2015
Dallas Democrats: DA Susan Hawk ‘needs to do her job or resign’ August 24, 2015
Dallas County DA Susan Hawk takes leave to battle depression August 25, 2015
Dallas County DA Susan Hawk is at Texas facility for depression treatment August 26, 2015
Dallas County DA Hawk battled paranoia, had ‘break with reality,’ friend says August 27, 2015
Update: Dallas DA may remain out of office longer than announced September 15, 2015
Dallas County DA Susan Hawk fends off allegations of financial misconduct September 20, 2015
Fired Dallas prosecutor levels more accusations about Dallas County DA Hawk’s behavior September 22, 2015
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Oct 5, 2015, 12:10 AM (1 replies)

College football Top 25 polls: TCU, Baylor, Texas A&M make big gains

Ohio State remained No. 1 in The Associated Press college football Top 25 and tied a poll record on Sunday, despite lagging support from the voters.

Meanwhile, No. 2 TCU and No. 3 Baylor edged forward, No. 4 Michigan State slipped and No. 5 Utah and No. 6 Clemson took big jumps.

After four top-10 teams lost on Saturday, the rankings were rattled and five teams received first-place votes. The Buckeyes received 38 first-place votes, their fewest this season after beginning as the first unanimous preseason No. 1. TCU has five first-place votes, Baylor received 10, Utah has seven and No. 9 Texas A&M has one.


Team Record Pts Pv
1\. Ohio St. (38) 5-0 1,444 1
2\. TCU (5) 5-0 1,371 4
3\. Baylor (10) 4-0 1,364 5
4\. Michigan St. 5-0 1,291 2
5\. Utah (7) 4-0 1,254 10
6\. Clemson 4-0 1,217 12
7\. LSU 4-0 1,212 9
8\. Alabama 4-1 1,026 13
9\. Texas A&M (1) 5-0 1,009 14
10\. Oklahoma 4-0 976 15
11\. Florida 5-0 935 25
12\. Florida St. 4-0 922 11
13\. Northwestern 5-0 753 16
14\. Mississippi 4-1 731 3
15\. Notre Dame 4-1 721 6
16\. Stanford 4-1 617 18
17\. Southern Cal 3-1 498 17
18\. Michigan 4-1 452 22
19\. Georgia 4-1 441 8
20\. UCLA 4-1 415 7
21\. Oklahoma St. 5-0 332 20
22\. Iowa 5-0 254 NR
23\. California 5-0 233 24
24\. Toledo 4-0 87 NR
25\. Boise St. 4-1 65 NR

Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Oct 4, 2015, 05:31 PM (0 replies)

Thoughts and Prayers Are Useless Because Stuff Happens

Note to forum hosts--I believe that this blog is appropriate for General Discussion for these reasons:

News stories (and related content) from reputable mainstream sources about efforts to strengthen or weaken gun control legislation in any jurisdiction in the United States, national news stories (and related content) from reputable mainstream sources about high-profile gun crimes, and viral political content from social media or blogs that would likely be of interest to a large majority of DU members are permitted under normal circumstances.

Open discussion of guns is permitted during very high-profile news events which are heavily covered across all newsmedia.

By Carol Morgan

If I hear one more politician say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” I may vomit. In the context of this preventable tragedy, thoughts and prayers mean absolutely nothing; zilch, nada, zero, nil, zip…

Like kissing babies and shaking hands, it’s a perfunctory routine gesture in the political p.r. machine, one of the enumerated duties in the job description of an elected official. And it’s very possible it was not written by the officeholder, but rather by a member of his/her staff.

The victims don’t need your thoughts and prayers. They’re dead.

And they’re dead because in order to placate your vocal moneyed constituents, you did nothing.

No amount of thoughts and prayers will change your negligence or erase your disingenuousness. Your thoughts and prayers are inadequate. They are insufficient.

You’ve always possessed the power to do something, but you won’t and I suspect that won’t change in the future. In lieu of action, you offer thoughts and prayers.

It’s ironic that the Jeb! “response” to the Oregon shootings was “stuff happens”. He was more honest than the “thoughts and prayers” people. He merely vocalized what the “t and p” group was thinking.

When you do nothing about the national epidemic of gun violence, then, indeed…stuff happens.

On the very same day that politicians offered their thoughts and prayers for the victims in Oregon, there was no mention of the 5 month old girl in Cleveland, whose chest was blasted apart by a stray bullet or the security guard in Atlanta who was shot by his co-worker, or two brothers who were shot on a busy intersection in Fresno.

Actually, October 1 was a less-than-busy day for gun deaths.

This year, there has been more mass shootings than days on the calendar. According to Mass Shooting Tracker, America has experienced 294 mass shootings in 274 days. The most recent data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2013 an average of 92 people died in the United States each day of firearm-related injuries.

The day after the massacre at Umpqua, there were eight campus lockdowns. And that was just in Texas.

Lubbockites who delude themselves into thinking this only happens elsewhere must not be reading or watching the news. A drive-by shooting yesterday, a teenager the day before, a robbery, a home invasion, an interrupted burglary, ad nauseam. Thankfully, no one was shot when our own mayor drew a gun on a delivery driver.

With so many guns out there and so many who feel threatened, the absolute certainty of one’s personal safety is little more than a crap shoot, even if you never leave your home.

Right at this very moment, college officials in Texas are faced with the conundrum of maintaining the safety of their students versus following Texas’ misguided campus carry law.

It’s easy for politicians to offer their “thoughts and prayers” when the loss is not their own. They seem to be a quart-low on genuine empathy.

They won’t be the ones to suffer through family gatherings with that empty seat at the table. They will never wrestle with the absence of a father, mother, son, daughter, or friend and wonder how that life might have played out. Future birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays will be a painful regular reminder of loss and your thoughts and prayers are useless.

I don’t want to hear a litany of excuses for your lack of action.

Whether it’s on the left or right, I don’t care about your pretexts concerning the NRA lobby, lack of mental health treatment, gun registration, gun safety, gun shows, your fear of gun controls, bad guys with guns or imagined narratives about the heroes with guns, your fear of your own government, your hunting addiction, your survivalist fetish, or your ammo-sexual heritage.

None of these fictitious justifications matter in comparison to someone’s life. Your right to bear arms shouldn’t trump the rights of others to be alive.

Forget your damn thoughts and prayers. They are not enough. Your job is not about offering thoughts and prayers, it’s about finding solutions to problems, deadly problems, which affect your constituents.

That’s why you were elected.

No more excuses. Do something.


Carol Morgan is a career/college counselor, a freelance writer, and former Democratic candidate for the Texas House. She is the award-winning author of two books: Of Tapestry, Time and Tears and Liberal in Lubbock. Email Carol at elizabethcmorgan@sbcglobal.net , follow her on Twitter and on Facebook or visit her writer’s blog at www.carolmorgan.org


Permission granted to post Ms. Morgan's blog in its entirety.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Oct 4, 2015, 03:27 PM (3 replies)

Texas freshman Kris Boyd sends retweet during halftime about transferring to Aggies

While Texas was getting trounced in Fort Worth, Longhorns freshman cornerback Kris Boyd took the time to check Twitter at halftime and do some retweeting.

During halftime – with his team trailing TCU 37-0 – Boyd retweeted a post encouraging him and fellow freshman starter Malik Jefferson to transfer to Texas A&M. Boyd was a top recruit out of Gilmer High School last season and has already moved into the starting lineup.

You thought Charlie Strong was angry about what’s happening on the field? Wait until he checks Twitter.


Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Oct 4, 2015, 04:13 AM (0 replies)

Carl Icahn, Trump’s potential pick for treasury secretary

One of the world’s richest men. A ruthless corporate raider. A brilliant loner. A philosopher and chess player, always thinking 10 moves ahead of you. The phone call that CEOs can’t afford to ignore. A Rhodesian Ridgeback going for the jugular of corporate lions.

These are some of the most common descriptions of Carl Icahn, the 79-year-old investor whom Forbes ranked as the world’s 31st-richest person in 2015. Icahn’s name has been in the news for decades, mostly because of his battles with the executives of dozens of high-profile companies.

Now he is once again in the spotlight, as his longtime business contact, friend and rival Donald Trump, the front-running Republican presidential candidate, says he will nominate Icahn for treasury secretary.

A financial Robin Hood

Icahn is a fascinating figure, seen as a kind of financial Robin Hood by some and a misanthropic attack dog by others — often depending on whether the speaker has been in Icahn’s scope. Icahn grew up in the lower-middle-class neighborhood of Far Rockaway, Queens, and still retains a Queens accent, relatively modest tastes for one of the world’s richest men, a working-class identity — and, some would say, a chip on his shoulder.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/national-govt-politics/carl-icahn-trumps-potential-pick-for-treasury-secr/nnr6K/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Oct 4, 2015, 01:51 AM (0 replies)

Brawl breaks out and ends Spring-Westfield game


SPRING, TEXAS — Bad blood from what should have been a friendly rivalry game between Spring and Westfield spilled onto the field at Leonard George Stadium Friday night.

Westfield held a 36-25 lead with 6:18 remaining in the fourth when an all-out melee between the schools broke out following two consecutive personal foul calls against Spring.

Both benches cleared, punches were thrown, helmets were thrown and players were stomped, forcing Spring Athletic Director Willie Amendola to call the game, giving Westfield the win after a heated night on the gridiron.

Both squads were wired coming into the game. Spring suffered two losses to Westfield last season, with the second one ending a playoff run. Westfield could sense the intensity coming in and matched it on the field.

Amendola refused to comment on the brawl and called the game with 6:18 remaining.

Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat Oct 3, 2015, 09:05 PM (4 replies)

HHSC Former Official in contract scandal Jack Stick: I was ‘the whipping boy’

Jack Stick says he’s “the whipping boy,” the guy who became the face of the 21CT contract scandal as Texas officials pointed fingers and scrambled to save their own jobs.

“I think in December of last year, people began to feel seriously threatened and scared,” Stick said during his first sit-down interview with reporters since he was forced to resign late last year from his job as top lawyer of the state’s sprawling health agency.

“And I think they needed a sacrifice, a person who could put a face to what appeared to be a colossal screw-up, and I was that face.”

In the end, everyone went down.

Stick was first. Then Inspector General Doug Wilson resigned under pressure. Next was Stick’s wife, Erica Stick, who was never accused of wrongdoing but was pressured to resign from the agency because of their personal relationship. Jack Stick’s chief of staff, Cody Cazares, recently resigned after being on paid leave for eight months. Stick’s boss, Health and Human Services Commission head Kyle Janek, held on until June before stepping down, a year of contract foul-ups and the specter of state and federal criminal investigations in his wake.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/jack-stick-i-was-the-whipping-boy/nns9c/?icmp=statesman_internallink_referralbox_free-to-premium-referral

Stick was also convicted of DWI this week, but received a sentence of only six days and two days were already served so he may have already completed his sentence.
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat Oct 3, 2015, 08:13 PM (1 replies)

Trump not going to Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event

NEWARK, N.J. — Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has pulled out of a planned question-and-answer session with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington next week because he was concerned about the questions he’d be asked, the group said Friday.

Chamber spokesman Ammar Campa-Najjar said Trump was “unwilling to abide by the terms and conditions” of sessions that other candidates accepted.

“Trump’s decision to forfeit the Q&A session was motivated by the concern of being ‘put on trial,'” he said.

The meeting was expected to be heated. Trump has repeatedly been criticized by Hispanic groups for comments he’s made about immigrants living in the country illegally, describing some as “criminals” and “rapists.” He was also likely to be pressed on his call for mass deportation.

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/653182/news-more/trump-not-coming-to-hispanic-chamber-of-commerce-event.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sat Oct 3, 2015, 05:56 AM (2 replies)
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