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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: 87,716

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

'Socialist' label hasn't slowed Bernie Sanders, but his march gives some Texas Democrats heartburn

HOUSTON – Sen. Bernie Sanders’ decisive win in Nevada on Saturday, and his surprising ability to expand beyond a base of idealistic youth for whom “socialist” isn’t a disqualifying epithet, is forcing Democrats to ponder an uncertain future.

The longer Sanders lasts as the front-runner, the harder it gets for other Democrats to shake off the label. As the Vermont senator packs arenas, courting “brothers and sisters” in the political revolution and cementing his front-runner status nationally and in Texas, traditional Texas Democrats watch with growing alarm.

Putting a democratic socialist at the top of the ticket, they say, will hamper efforts to nab control of the Legislature and build on dramatic gains made last year, when Democrats nearly ended a 25-year GOP monopoly on statewide offices.

“It’s pretty clear that a more center-left nominee would be an easier haul for Texas Democrats than a far left nominee,” said Harold Cook, an Austin-based Democratic strategist. “That is the Republican play, led by Trump. They’re going to try to paint every Democrat everywhere as a socialist. And that’s 100% thanks to Bernie Sanders that Democrats are going to have to fight that off.”

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2020/02/23/socialist-label-hasnt-slowed-bernie-sanders-but-his-march-gives-some-texas-democrats-heartburn/

Gaining steam, Sanders forecasts win in Texas

Bernie Sanders barnstormed across Texas over the weekend, holding rallies in El Paso, San Antonio, Houston and culminating Sunday evening in Austin, celebrating his commanding victory in Saturday’s Nevada caucuses as a harbinger of what’s to come in Texas and beyond on Super Tuesday on March 3.

“My God there are a lot of people here tonight,” Sanders said gazing out at the vast throng assembled at Vic Mathias Shores, which the campaign estimated at 12,700. “I cannot believe how many people there are here. It’s amazing.”

“This is the most consequential election in the modern history of our country,” Sanders declared, saying that the outpouring of support in his four weekend rallies affirmed his confidence that, “We are going to win and win big in Texas.”

“We are not going to have Trump for another term,” Sanders said.

“The pundits tell us Texas is conservative state. I don’t believe that for a minute,” said Sanders, who said Texas will emerge from 2020 as one of the most progressive states in the nation.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20200223/gaining-steam-sanders-forecasts-win-in-texas


Will Virginia get a full Medicaid dental benefit? Advocates say it could be life-altering for poor

Will Virginia get a full Medicaid dental benefit? Advocates say it could be life-altering for poor patients.

Lisa Coles had a tooth infection.

But she couldn’t afford treatment. So, for nearly a decade, she suffered through terrible toothaches, relying on heating pads and Advil to make it through the worst of the pain. Twice, she borrowed $50 from family members to visit a dentist in her home county of Goochland. But without money to pay for a procedure, the treatment was always the same: a prescription for antibiotics that Coles also struggled to afford.

Not that it mattered when she paid for the medication. The infection always came back. By the time she broke down and saw an oral surgeon — one who agreed to let her set up a payment plan — the infection had spread. She had eight teeth extracted when she was still in her 30s.

“One tooth was so bad that they had to take some of the bone out,” said Coles, now 50. “It was awful. I never want to go through that again.”

It’s the type of situation that makes dental health advocates cringe: a simple problem that spirals into a major medical issue. But it’s a concern for the more than 670,000 adults enrolled in Virginia’s Medicaid program, which doesn’t cover basic dental care.

Read more: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2020/02/21/will-virginia-will-get-a-full-medicaid-dental-benefit-advocates-say-it-could-be-life-altering-for-poor-patients/

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warns of fascism at forum

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warned of fascism in the United States during an East Lansing appearance Wednesday.

She was speaking at the former Gov. Jim Blanchard Public Service Forum at Michigan State University. Albright served under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001 and was the first woman to hold that role. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, by then-President Barack Obama in May 2012.

In 2018, she released a book, “Fascism: A Warning.”

“The best quote in my book is from Mussolini, which is, ‘If you pluck a chicken one feather at a time, nobody notices.’ So I thought there were a lot of feathers being plucked,” Albright said. “The part that blew my mind was that he and Hitler both came to power constitutionally.”

While she never mentioned President Donald Trump by name while discussing fascism, she implied that he exhibits fascist tendencies.

Read more: https://ohiocapitaljournal.com/2020/02/21/former-secretary-of-state-madeleine-albright-warns-of-fascism-at-forum/

4,000 janitors to strike, affecting nearly all Twin Cities office buildings

Commercial janitors working in nearly every office building in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul plan to strike for one day next week as they push for higher wages, more sick days and a program to reduce their environmental impact.

Representatives of Service Employees International Union Local 26, which represents 4,000 commercial janitors, say negotiations have stalled with more than a dozen maintenance contractors.

“The only reason that we are striking is because the conversations have come to an end and are stalled,” said Iris Altamirano, president of SEIU Local 26. She said they hope the strike will put pressure on the companies to return to the bargaining table. They’ll announce which day they’ll strike next week.

Workers with the union, which represents mostly women and people of color, say their wages have not kept up with inflation.

Read more: https://minnesotareformer.com/briefs/4000-janitors-plan-to-strike-next-week/

Michigan Democratic chair blasts GOP for fighting voting rights suits

During a voting rights roundtable held in Detroit on Friday, Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Chair Lavora Barnes called out the GOP and the Republican National Committee (RNC) for “rigging the game.”

This comes after the RNC announced $10 million for a motion to intervene and challenge several voting-related lawsuits.

As the Advance previously reported, Priorities USA, a Washington, D.C.-based Democratic SuperPAC, has filed three lawsuits in Michigan over voting issues, including one challenging the Secretary of State rule that absentee ballots are only valid if the signature you have on file with the state matches that on your ballot.

The second lawsuit is over restrictions in transporting voters to the polls and helping them apply for absentee ballots. The third lawsuit challenges voting restrictions signed into law by GOP former Gov. Rick Snyder in the 2018 Lame Duck session.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/blog/michigan-dem-chair-blasts-gop-for-fighting-voting-rights-suits/

Hogan, Legislature in Open Warfare Over Crime, Taxes and Communication

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) launched a blistering attack on Democratic lawmakers Thursday, accusing them of blocking vital anti-crime legislation for political purposes and suggesting that a proposal from House leaders to fund a major education reform plan could ruin the Maryland economy.

Hogan’s message, delivered in a heated midday State House news conference and through radio interviews, newspaper reports and social media, came as lawmakers resist his top proposals to address violent crime in Baltimore, which he labeled “THE most important priority of the people of Maryland.”

Hogan’s criticisms — which included a call for the new chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to resign — set off an extraordinary day of charges and counter-charges between the chief executive and the legislature, with key lawmakers accusing him of political grandstanding and hyperbole.

Hogan, whose political operation conducts polls frequently, repeatedly cited survey data to accuse Democrats of subverting the will of the people on his crime proposals.

Read more: https://www.marylandmatters.org/2020/02/20/hogan-legislature-in-open-warfare-over-crime-taxes-and-communication/

New ad faults Collins for refusing town halls, voting with Big Pharma

A new political advertisement that will begin airing across Maine features voters asking an absent Sen. Susan Collins why she “hasn’t had a town hall in 20 years?”

The ad, paid for by the national Democratic political action group Majority Forward, highlights Collins’ inaccessibility to constituents as well as her votes against lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

“Senator Collins, why did you vote against lowering prescription drug costs?” asks one elderly attendee.

“Was it because you were taking so much money from drug companies?” asks another.

Majority Forward specifically cites Collins’ 2010 and 2012 votes against amendments that would have banned corporate “pay-to-delay” agreements in which drug makers suppress the release of lower cost generic drugs. A 2009 study estimated that this practice forced consumers to pay billions in additional costs over 22 years.

Read more: https://mainebeacon.com/new-ad-faults-collins-for-refusing-town-halls-voting-with-big-pharma/

Conversion therapy is happening underground in Iowa, LGBT advocates say. Some lawmakers are trying

Conversion therapy is happening underground in Iowa, LGBT advocates say. Some lawmakers are trying to stop it.

When Peter Nunn was 14 years old, his parents found a men’s workout magazine he owned and came to their own conclusions about his sexual orientation.

His father decided to take him on a trip away from their home near Atlanta, but declined to tell him where they were going until their layover in St. Louis.

It was then he revealed that on the advice of a religious organization, they were going to Sioux City where he told his son he was going to get counseling to help, “whatever weird sexual s— I had going on,” Nunn said.

For two weeks, Nunn attended a counseling center that didn’t advertise a conversion therapy service, but as a place that specialized in “spiritual warfare.”

Read more: https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2020/02/19/conversion-therapy-is-happening-underground-in-iowa-lgbt-advocates-say-some-lawmakers-are-trying-to-stop-it/

Iowa Democrats to start partial caucus recount

The Iowa Democratic Party’s weeks-long effort to complete its report of caucus results is entering what could be its final phase.

The state party announced Friday that it had completed its assessment of requests for recounts of caucus results from the campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. The party said in a release that it would recount 10 precincts submitted by the Sanders campaign and 14 precincts submitted by the Buttigieg campaign for a net of 23 unique precincts.

The Iowa Caucuses were Feb. 3, but a breakdown in a reporting app and other glitches delayed the release of results for several days. Now, the Iowa Democratic Party is in the process of rechecking results that have been challenged by the two campaigns.

In the meantime, the party elected a new chairman, state Rep. Mark Smith, after the resignation of former party chairman Troy Price.

Read more: https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2020/02/21/iowa-democrats-to-start-partial-caucus-recount/
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