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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 63,216

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

Lawrence mayor calls out Seth Moulton, DNC as Democratic field grows

When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio entered the race for the Democratic nomination for president Thursday, he brought the total number of candidates up to 24, and counting. Not everyone is happy about how crowded the field has become, including Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera.

“Hey @TomPerez @ what point does the party say something? Looking more like a circus then a primary! No way this is a good thing!” Rivera tweeted following de Blasio’s announcement.

Rivera suggested Perez, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, consult with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “get some direction.”

https://twitter.com/danrivera01843/status/1128984388795064320

Later that same day, after a few tweets about public works projects happening in Lawrence, Rivera called out Representative Seth Moulton, who announced his own bid for the Democratic nomination for president in April.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/05/17/lawrence-mayor-calls-out-seth-moulton-dnc-democratic-field-grows/OHVgeFzdcKDvh7xMGzd2qL/story.html

MGM pulls out of talks with Wynn over sale of Everett casino

MGM Resorts said Tuesday that it had pulled out of talks to buy Wynn Resorts’ nearly finished Everett casino, a move that came after several days of sharp blowback following revelations that the company was talking to Wynn about a sale.

Completing the deal would have forced MGM to relinquish the casino license it holds in Western Massachusetts, and presumably sell MGM Springfield, the state’s first resort casino, which opened to great fanfare in August.

“We are committed to our Springfield community and proud of what we have accomplished including thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of revenue for small businesses in the area,” the company said in a statement. “We will always explore ways to deepen our engagement in the Commonwealth. Our discussions regarding the Everett resort were in that spirit.”

The company alluded to concerns over a potential sale raised by public officials, including Governor Charlie Baker, legislators, and the mayors of Springfield and Everett.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/05/21/maura-healey-has-harsh-words-for-wynn-resorts/fXdJE6Q9rt0yHcD0hV4fTO/story.html

Labor attorney launches bid for US Senate

SHANNON LISS-RIORDAN, a labor attorney who has won concessions from some of the best known corporations, earning the sobriquet “The Sledgehammer,” announced a Democratic primary challenge against US Sen. Ed Markey on Monday.

“I think that my experience as a worker’s rights lawyer, as a woman, as a mother, as a political outsider gives me a perspective that I think is what we need in Congress now,” Liss-Riordan said in a phone interview. “We don’t have enough women in Congress. We need more women in the Senate.”

The challenge, which will be decided between now and September 2020, is more evidence of the recent political energy within the Democratic party, where the current field of legitimate presidential contenders exceeds 20.

Last year, a wave of Democratic candidates not only swept the party into control of the US House – though not the Senate – it also ushered in a record number of women to the chamber and ended the careers of some entrenched Democrats who were bested by primary opponents.

Read more: https://commonwealthmagazine.org/politics/labor-attorney-launches-bid-for-us-senate/

Senate trying to limit policy proposals in budget

THIS YEAR THE annual spending bill may be just that. While the budget process is only about halfway through, the leadership of both legislative branches appears determined to focus on appropriations and to limit the amount of policy provisions included in the fiscal 2020 budget.

“We talked a lot about the fact that we’re trying to limit consideration of any outside sections or policy in the budget,” Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues said right after the multi-day Senate budget debate began on Tuesday. “That’s what we have committees for.”

That would be a change for the Senate. When Stan Rosenberg was president of the Senate and Karen Spilka was Senate Ways and Means chairwoman, the Senate loaded up the annual budget bill with policy priorities. In the budgets covering fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2019, the years Spilka was Ways and Means chair, the Senate budget had more than double the amount of outside policy sections as the House budgets on average, and the Senate budgets were on average about 145 pages longer than the House budgets.

Spilka is now president of the Senate, and members of her leadership team said the squeeze on policy riders in the budget may mark a shift in House-Senate relations, with Spilka betting that the new approach will lead to the House and Senate working cooperatively to set policy through the committee process of passing bills.

Read more: https://commonwealthmagazine.org/politics/senate-trying-to-limit-policy-proposals-in-budget/

Lilly selling half-price version of popular Humalog insulin

A half-price version of Eli Lilly's popular Humalog insulin is now available, following the company's promise in March to offer diabetics a more affordable option amid fierce criticism of soaring insulin prices.

Lilly, one of the three top insulin makers, said Wednesday that it has begun selling its own generic version of Humalog U-100 under the chemical name insulin lispro.

The Indianapolis drugmaker said insulin lispro will cost $137.35 per vial, or $265.20 for a package of five KwikPens, an easier-to-inject option.

Those figures are half the list price Lilly charges for Humalog. The fast-acting insulin, which diabetics inject shortly before each meal, is used by about 700,000 Americans.

Read more: https://www.timesargus.com/features/health/lilly-selling-half-price-version-of-popular-humalog-insulin/article_eb965639-8726-592f-b5e2-bc1fdf1f2e20.html

Free ice cream! Capital city says it's ready for Sanders' Statehouse rally Saturday

Montpelier -- Capitol Police say they expect a crowd of between 3,000 and 5,000 at Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Vermont kick-off rally Saturday on the Statehouse lawn.

Chief Matthew Romei said a gathering of that size is “well within” the capacity of the grounds, site of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate’s first event in the state since announcing a second run for the White House.

Romei said law enforcement has largely been taking direction on security measures from the Sanders campaign. He said there will be a few set entrance points, with the campaign wanding rally-goers as they enter the lawn.

“We’re working with all our typical partner agencies to make a successful happy Saturday — if the weather complies,” Romei said. “That’s the wild card component. The biggest thing we’re keeping an eye on at the moment is the weather.”

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2019/05/21/capital-city-says-ready-sanders-statehouse-rally-saturday/

Related article:
https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/vermont/2019/05/21/bernie-sanders-montpelier-statehouse-rally-parking-traffic-and-schedule/3665482002/

Vermont Senate supports $12.50 minimum wage by 2021, after nixing House's plan

The Senate on Tuesday approved a new plan to increase the minimum wage to $12.50 an hour by 2021.

The proposal comes after senators rejected a minimum wage bill passed by the House last week, which would have increased the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026 at the earliest. Senators argued the House measure didn’t raise the pay for low income workers fast enough.

The new minimum wage plan, tacked onto H.351, a workers’ compensation bill, passed 22-8.

The current minimum wage is $10.78 per hour.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2019/05/21/senate-supports-12-50-minimum-wage-2021/

Criminal charges expected this week in Jay Peak EB-5 fraud

A press conference is set for Wednesday in Newport, where federal criminal charges are expected to be announced against Jay Peak developers Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger in connection with the largest fraud case in the history of Vermont.

U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan’s office sent out a notice early Tuesday afternoon announcing the press conference set for 2 p.m. in downtown Newport.

According to that notice, Nolan “will announce charges related to a major criminal fraud case,” though it doesn’t specify which case.

Nolan was not available Tuesday to comment, according to Kraig LaPorte, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Vermont. LaPorte declined comment when asked for further details.

According to a source with knowledge of the federal probe, criminal charges against both Quiros and Stenger are expected to be announced at that press conference Wednesday in Newport. The source did not know the specific charges expected to be filed, and added that other individuals may also be indicted.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2019/05/21/criminal-charges-expected-week-jay-peak-eb-5-fraud/

Shaheen sponsors bill to help Afghans who aided American personnel

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, has introduced bipartisan legislation to protect Afghans who risked their lives to assist the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2019, introduced on Thursday, would provide 4,000 special immigrant visas (SIVs) for the remainder of the fiscal year, that would be available for Afghans whose lives are in jeopardy because of their service.

The measure also would address administrative obstacles that prevent Afghan and Iraqi allies from receiving visas, according to a statement released by Shaheen’s office.

Shaheen has worked for years on legislative efforts to protect Afghans who have worked as interpreters and support staff in their country to assist American personnel.

Read more: https://www.unionleader.com/news/politics/shaheen-sponsors-bill-to-help-afghans-who-aided-american-personnel/article_1123b5eb-1ad8-5829-ac83-1df3756c90ef.html

Survey finds wide support for New Hampshire commuter rail

CONCORD — A new poll indicates a large percentage of Granite State residents favor passenger train service between Boston and southern New Hampshire.

The Saint Anselm College Survey Center poll found 75.5% of residents surveyed said they are in support of expanding passenger rail service to Boston from Manchester and Nashua, according to a release Monday from New Hampshire Businesses for Rail Expansion, a statewide, nonpartisan business coalition that launched in January 2018.

“With more than 110 statewide businesses and now three-quarters of residents indicating their support, it is time for policymakers to act and take the next step in expanding rail and realizing the vast economic benefits it would deliver,” E.J. Powers, a spokesman for the group, said in the release.

The release of the study came two days before a legislative committee is scheduled to discuss a funding bill approved by the New Hampshire Senate in February.

Read more: https://www.unionleader.com/news/business/transportation/survey-finds-wide-support-for-nh-commuter-rail/article_14cc776a-c26a-5028-a8f4-da3551b44d6e.html
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