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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: 83,446

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

Blackburn Votes Against Pandemic Stimulus, Accusing Democrats Of 'Socialistic Agenda'

Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn was one of six senators to vote against the coronavirus relief bill passed Monday night.

In a statement, she says she couldn’t get on board with everything in the $2.3 trillion spending plan.

“I have serious concerns with provisions buried in the 5,593 page bill, such as expanded visas, Pell grants for prisoners, and households with illegal aliens receiving economic impact payments,” her statement said.

She accuses Democrats of using the pandemic to “push a socialistic agenda.”

Tennessee’s outgoing senator, Lamar Alexander, did not immediately release a statement on his vote in favor. But the legislative package included parts of his proposal to stop surprise medical billing.

Read more: https://wpln.org/post/blackburn-votes-against-pandemic-stimulus-accusing-democrats-of-socialistic-agenda/

Governor's Work-From-Home Guidance Won't Apply To Tennessee's Teachers

Tennessee’s Department of Education says it is not issuing new guidance to schools, despite Gov. Bill Lee’s newest pleas to mask up and let employees work from home.

This comes as school districts are debating how they’ll return from winter break. Rutherford County administrators won’t decide until early January whether the district adopts a hybrid model. Metro Nashville Public Schools has announced it will start next semester virtually in light of surging coronavirus cases in Nashville.

The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, meanwhile, warned parents there could be more remote days and said it’s asking the state for clearer guidance on how to proceed.

But a state education department spokesperson tells WPLN News that the newest executive order doesn’t apply to schools. And Gov. Bill Lee has made it clear: He wants children in school buildings after the break.

Read more: https://wpln.org/post/governors-work-from-home-guidance-wont-apply-to-tennessees-teachers/

Saint Francis hospital sale to Methodist is cancelled - Methodist cites FTC lawsuit as reason

Saint Francis Healthcare announced Wednesday that the proposed sale of its two Memphis hospitals to hospital group Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is not happening. The move follows a November lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission to block the sale, and Methodist cited it as the reason for the cancellation.

The federal agency argued the two hospital groups are competitors and that a combination would hurt consumers.

The federal agency was joined by the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office in opposing the move.

Methodist released a statement on Wednesday from CEO Michael Ugwueke.

"With the Federal Trade Commission’s recent decision to ask a court to block the sale of the transaction, we would prefer to focus on continuing our commitment to provide compassionate and high quality care to patients rather than costly and protracted litigation that would have lasted at least 18 months and distracted from our core mission," the statement said.

Read more: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/health/2020/12/23/saint-francis-hospital-sale-memphis-methodist-le-bonheur-canceled/4023986001/

Friday Night Catnip: Orpheus - Can't Find the Time (1968)

Bruce Arnold and his band Orpheus perform their hit single "Can't Find The Time" in late 1969. This lip-synced performance was shot for a television show, which aired in the New England area only weeks after MGM re-released the original single. This was nearly two years after it's first issue.

This second release actually charted higher (Billboard #80). Unfortunately MGM still managed to fumble the promotion and took months to distribute the re-issued single to radio stations. Records show that although "Can't Find The Time" was in heavy rotation on the East Coast and spent weeks on the Top 10 playlists of many radio stations across the country, stations in the Midwest and West Coast did not receive the single in time for their airplays to be added to Billboard's national chart tabulations.

As with the original release in January of '68, the inept promotion department at MGM again mistimed the single's impact and any momentum Orpheus could have gathered from the re-issued single was lost. Several months later, Bruce Arnold disbanded the original Orpheus and hired a new group of musicians which included the legendary drummer Bernard "Pretty" Purdie. Purdie was no stranger to Arnold's music as he was, in fact, the uncredited player on Orpheus' debut album as well as all of their subsequent singles.

Written and arranged by Arnold, "Can't Find The Time" (a.k.a. "Can't Find The Time To Tell You" ) is now widely recognized as a timeless classic. It has been covered by dozens of artists including Hootie & The Blowfish. Hootie's version appears in the Farelly Brothers film, "Me, Myself & Irene" starring Jim Carrey and Renée Zellweger.

Bruce Arnold lives in Marin County, California and has recorded a new album with plans for a future Orpheus project featuring original members Howard Hersh, Elliot Sherman and Bernard Purdie.

Merry Christmas and TGIF! Please enjoy the 60s music and for those inclined to catch a buzz, I hope you have some of the chronic catnip.

Trump Just Pissed Mitch McConnell Off BIG TIME

It will take years for the economy to recover from COVID-19, UT experts warn

While Tennessee's economy has started to rebound from the devastating impact of the pandemic, full recovery is still years away, University of Tennessee Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research experts told Gov. Bill Lee.

And it could be a bumpy ride. Recent surges in COVID-19 could cause the economy to retract again, the center's experts said in a new report. Even still, economic growth is on the horizon, said Larry Kessler, the project director at the Boyd Center.

"Looking ahead in 2021, we do expect, at the moment, positive growth going forward as we continue to dig out of the recession," Kessler said.

The Boyd Center released its annual Economic Report to the Governor on Wednesday, which took on additional urgency as the country and state's economy heals.

Read moire: https://www.columbiadailyherald.com/story/news/education/2020/12/16/tennessee-experts-economic-recovery-take-years/6542133002/

Hiring of ex-GOP lawmaker who backed Tennessee school voucher bill criticized as taxpayer-funded

Hiring of ex-GOP lawmaker who backed Tennessee school voucher bill criticized as taxpayer-funded 'payoff'

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Lee's hiring of yet a third ex-Tennessee legislator to serve in his administration in recent weeks is drawing fire from a Democratic lawmaker who calls the appointments taxpayer-funded rewards for the former lawmakers' 2019 votes in support of the Republican governor's 2019 school voucher law.

"Another day, another payoff for a voucher supporter — paid for by taxpayers," charged Rep. John Ray Clemmons, a Nashville Democrat, of Thursday's announcement by state Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher that he has hired former Rep. Andy Holt, a Dresden Republican and former House Finance Subcommittee chair, as the department's business development director.

Clemmons added in his statement to the Times Free Press that "this administration is rife with under-qualified, overpaid officials, so it's not surprising they'd make room for another."

Holt, a farmer who represented rural West Tennessee's House District 76 for a decade until leaving office last month after not seeking reelection, will serve as the department's director of business development. The role includes overseeing the support of economic development initiatives as well as agriculture and forestry industry expansion.

He will be paid $92,700 a year in the post when he officially goes on the payroll in January. A Hatcher spokesperson did not respond to Clemmons' criticism.

Read more: https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2020/dec/25/gov-bill-lee-hiring-ex-gop-lawmaker/538544/
(Chattanooga Times Free Press)

Abbott: Elon Musk wants to expand his operations in South Texas

All that said, I believe that the Texas economic engine is going to press on the accelerator here in the coming months. You have seen a lot of stories taking place in regions across the state of Texas about the great demand that we are seeing from businesses wanting to relocate from other states or, if not to relocate, then expand business operations in Texas.

I have had a lot of conversations with people who have a keen focus on the Rio Grande Valley. It involves Elon Musk who, by the way… Elon Musk loves South Texas. And he tells me he wants to expand his operations in South Texas.

Separate from that I have talked to other business leaders who really want to tap into the labor pool, the sophisticated employee talent that you have in the Rio Grande Valley. And so, I see a lot of promise for future economic development opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley. We have a great team, headed up by Adrianna Cruz in my office, who will be ready, willing and able to work with you any time to assist you at the local level to make sure that you have access to the biggest and the best economic opportunities. And just know that we are one of your best partners to assist you to make sure you are going to be able to grow economically.

Editor’s Note: The above commentary is based on a presentation Gov. Greg Abbott made recently via Zoom to the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. In his presentation, Abbott mentioned Adriana Cruz. She is executive director of the economic development and tourism division within the Office of the Governor.

Read more: https://riograndeguardian.com/abbott-elon-musk-wants-to-expand-his-operations-in-south-texas/

One Texas health district received 900 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Then, it closed for Christmas.

by Shawn Mulcahy, Texas Tribune

The Williamson County and Cities Health District on Wednesday received 900 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, then closed its offices for Christmas.

District officials said Thursday that the vaccine arrived earlier than scheduled and it was impossible to speed up plans to administer vaccines starting Saturday. But the move drew a sharp rebuke from local leaders, who felt that health officials shirked their duties by failing to promptly administer doses of the vaccine.

“We actually have the tool in our toolbox and we’re hanging onto it,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell. He criticized district officials for taking time off while first responders in the Central Texas suburban county, home to Round Rock, continued to work.

“I’m just profoundly disappointed,” he added.

Gravell said he urged the health district to promptly administer the vaccine to those eligible, including front-line health care workers and first responders. But district clinics won’t reopen until Saturday.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/12/24/texas-williamson-county-coronavirus-vaccine/

City of Tyler agrees to pay $300,000 in settlement regarding lawsuit alleging wrongful death of

City of Tyler agrees to pay $300,000 in settlement regarding lawsuit alleging wrongful death of Smith County inmate

The city of Tyler will pay a $300,000 settlement in connection with a lawsuit alleging Tyler and Smith County law enforcement’s actions led to the death of a woman’s son.

Teddy Wayne Parker, 32, of Whitehouse, died May 16, 2017, after he became unresponsive at the Smith County Jail and was ultimately removed from a ventilator at East Texas Medical Center (now UT Health East Texas).

Parker was arrested on May 14, 2017, for public intoxication and taken to the jail by Tyler police officers. At the time of the arrest, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said Parker was combative. Deputies helped Tyler police officers get Parker into the jail, Smith said.

In the civil lawsuit, Christine Parker v. the city of Tyler and Smith County, Teddy Parker’s mother, Christine Parker, alleges the officers and deputies involved used excessive force against her son. She claims he was suffocated. She also made claims against the individual Tyler police officers and sheriff’s office deputies.

Read more: https://tylerpaper.com/news/crime/city-of-tyler-agrees-to-pay-300-000-in-settlement-regarding-lawsuit-alleging-wrongful-death/article_3a2fca80-40a0-11eb-8b40-7f6c965e928a.html
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