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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 81,311

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

Axne: Don't charge fees if COVID-19 stimulus is paid through debit cards

If Americans are going to receive the latest coronavirus stimulus payment through a government-provided debit card, they should not have to pay fees, Rep. Cindy Axne (D) said in a letter to the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service.

Congress has approved new stimulus payments of up to $600 per individual. Axne and nine colleagues from the House Financial Services Committee wrote to the federal agencies, asking whether they plan to use debit cards to make the direct payments.

“If so,” the lawmakers wrote, “we ask that you explain how you plan to improve communication, ensure there are no fees for the user, and simplify the agreement they have to sign, removing any mandatory arbitration clauses.”

The Treasury introduced prepaid debit cards during the last round of coronavirus stimulus payments authorized under the CARES Act. The cards were issued last spring to millions of Americans, while paper checks were issued to others. The cards, issued through a private vendor, came with numerous restrictions and fees.

Read more: https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2020/12/29/axne-dont-charge-fees-if-covid-19-stimulus-is-paid-through-debit-cards/

San Antonio Spurs Coyote once again named NBA Mascot of the Year


Twitter / SpursCoyote



San Antonio's Spurs Coyote has again earned accolades from his peers.

On Monday, the Coyote tweeted photos posing with a shiny trophy, having been named the 2020 NBA Mascot of the Year. He previously won that distinction in 2014.

https://twitter.com/SpursCoyote/status/1343579020349349890

According to MySA, the award winner is determined by a vote among the 26 NBA mascots. Apparently, the Coyote isn't just beloved by his fans, but also his colleagues.

Though our mascot's on-court hijinks are certainly sorely missed, we won't be seeing him in person for a while yet.

Read more: https://www.sacurrent.com/ArtSlut/archives/2020/12/29/san-antonio-spurs-coyote-once-again-named-nba-mascot-of-the-year

Prehistoric human remains found in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

EMPIRE — Officials are communicating with Native American groups to help decide what to do next with prehistoric human remains found along a Lake Michigan shoreline in a northwestern Michigan park.

A visitor found the remains in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore three years ago, took them out of the park and then returned them a year later, Scott Tucker, the park’s superintendent, told MLive.com.

Examinations at a medical examiner’s office and further analysis of the bones at Western Michigan University helped identify them as prehistoric remains most likely tied to prehistoric Native American populations.

“Our goal is to respect the ancestral remains that were found, and let the tribes determine the next steps,” Tucker said.

Read more: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/12/26/prehistoric-human-remains-found-lake-michigan-sleeping-bear-dunes/4047299001/

Republicans say Whitmer veto puts extension of jobless benefits at risk

Republican legislative leaders say Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made a colossal error when she stripped millions of dollars in unemployment funding from a COVID-19 relief bill before signing it into law Tuesday.

The governor said the money she removed from the bill would have amounted to a tax break for big businesses related to unemployment benefits and won't affect the availability of jobless benefits. The measure still includes more than $60 million for business grants and $45 million for direct payments to workers.

But Republicans say she effectively nullified a portion of a separate bill that extended unemployment benefits and eligibility through March.

They say the question is not about whether money is available, but rather if the veto impacts the length of time someone may receive unemployment benefits.

Read more: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/12/29/michigan-covid-19-relief-bill-gretchen-whitmer-unemployment/4071250001/

Eligible first-time DUI offenders in Michigan could have convictions expunged under new bipartisan b

A new piece of legislation on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's desk would clear records for first-time first-time operating while intoxicated (OWI) offenders.

The legislation, which has been passed by the Michigan House and Senate, is an amendment to Clean Slate Michigan, the marijuana criminal record expungement reform signed by Whitmer in October.

The original bill package allows a person to apply to set aside one or more marijuana offenses if it would not have been a crime if committed after the 2018 recreational legalization of marijuana in Michigan. It also expands expungement eligibility for select traffic offenses and allows multiple felonies or misdemeanors from the same 24-hour period to be treated as one conviction for expungement.

“These bipartisan bills are a game-changer for people who are seeking opportunities for employment, housing, and more, and they will help ensure a clean slate for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders,” Whitmer said after signing the Clean Slate reform bills. “This is also an opportunity to grow our workforce and expand access to job training and education for so many people.”

Read more: https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2020/12/28/eligible-first-time-dui-offenders-in-michigan-could-have-convictions-expunged-under-new-bipartisan-bill

Lansing cracks down on homeless camp during a holiday pandemic

Lansing firefighters didn’t want to put out a small bonfire at a homeless camp off Larch Street on Monday evening. They were just doing their job, following orders from the top, they explained.

After all, it was the darkest night of the year. Temperatures were nearly freezing. Snow was flurrying.

No firefighter signed up for the job with plans to put homeless people out in the cold — three days before Christmas and in the midst of a pandemic. But “city policies” dictated otherwise.

“I’m sorry. We hate doing this, you guys,” one firefighter told a group of several people gathered at the camp just after sundown on Monday. “I have to, or I’ll get in trouble. It’s a city policy, hun.”

Read more: https://www.lansingcitypulse.com/stories/lansing-cracks-down-on-homeless-camp-during-a-holiday-pandemic,15392

3 in 4 Michiganders on unemployment may not get their benefits this week

The majority of Michigan workers on unemployment won’t be getting their benefits on time this week.

Yet, this is a rosier outlook than in recent days, when it looked like millions of Americans could be yanked from eligibility altogether if President Donald Trump would have vetoed the $908 billion COVID-19 stimulus package, as he hinted. Instead, Trump agreed to sign the deal Sunday, Dec. 27.

Federal unemployment programs from the CARES Act – called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – expired at the end of last week.

People on PUA and PEUC won’t be getting paid on time for the week of Dec. 28 but will eventually receive the funds for the week, said Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency spokeswoman Lynda Robinson.

Read more: https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/12/3-in-4-michiganders-on-unemployment-may-not-get-their-benefits-this-week.html

Whitmer allows SNAP benefits to be used for restaurant food

Michigan restaurants and bars, which have been shut down for indoor dining since Nov. 18, will receive some help from the state.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a restaurant meal program which will allow SNAP benefits to be used for prepared meals. Also she announced this week that another liquor buyback program for restaurants and bars similar to the one administered earlier this year.

The restaurant meal program will give eligible food assistance recipients the opportunity to use their benefits to purchase restaurant meals. Older adults over 60, people with a disability including those who receive Social Security Income or other disability program benefits, and people experiencing homelessness are among those who are eligible.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is opening the program for restaurants to enroll with the aim of providing diverse and affordable options for eligible participants across the state. Restaurants interested in partnering with MDHHS in this program are asked to visit the MDHHS website, where they can learn more about program requirements and how to enroll.

Read more: https://www.theoaklandpress.com/news/whitmer-allows-snap-benefits-to-be-used-for-restaurant-food/article_eb007200-4556-11eb-88d7-872fd2243f4b.html

Pohutsky: Threats of violence against lawmakers will continue unless GOP leaders issue 'full

Pohutsky: Threats of violence against lawmakers will continue unless GOP leaders issue ‘full throated condemnation’


When state Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) shared screenshots of an email she received from a Michigander calling for “mass execution of public officials” “very soon,” the Democrat noted that it is just one of many violent, threatening emails her office receives every day.

Pohutsky told the Advance Wednesday that she mostly feels “numb” to the threats now, but is frightened for the safety of herself and her staffers and wants GOP leaders to better protect their members.

In a tweet thread on Tuesday, Pohutsky wrote: “This was sent to my office this evening from Randall Yaeger, who chose to send it from his work email at Yaeger Construction. This email has already been sent to the authorities after my staffer, Sara, read it. Sara gets emails like this every day.”

https://twitter.com/lpohutsky19/status/1341570209707126786

The screenshotted email, which was sent to both Democratic and Republican state lawmakers, begins: “IF NOT BALLOTS, THEN BULLETS!” before going on to condemn elected officials for not taking action to (illegally) hand over President-elect Joe Biden’s victory to outgoing President Donald Trump.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/2020/12/23/pohutsky-threats-of-violence-against-lawmakers-will-continue-unless-gop-leaders-issue-full-throated-condemnation/

Sculpture honoring Breonna Taylor smashed in California

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Police are investigating after a sculpture of Breonna Taylor was smashed to pieces in downtown Oakland over the weekend, authorities said.

The bust was installed just two weeks ago to honor Taylor, the Black woman killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky during a drug raid last March.

The installation at Latham Square was found destroyed on Saturday, prompting police to launch an investigation, the Bay Area News Group reported.

Sculptor Leo Carson called the destruction of his work an act of “racist aggression” against Taylor, whose killing was among those that led to protests in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the nation.

Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/article/Sculpture-honoring-Breonna-Taylor-smashed-in-15832847.php
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