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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: 87,916

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

Mental health advocates say cuts to state safety net are deadly serious

Officials in charge of Georgia’s mental health safety net offered dire predictions after the governor ordered nearly all state agencies to slash spending.

People suffering from mental illnesses would land in the emergency room, they said. And more people contemplating suicide would act on those impulses.

Those same officials with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities later softened that alarming language and so still plan to yank $10.6 million from a new program state lawmakers funded last year to provide mental health intervention services in communities across Georgia.

Those who care for or interact with fragile people in crisis say department officials got it right the first time.

Read more: https://georgiarecorder.com/2020/02/17/mental-health-advocates-say-cuts-to-state-safety-net-are-deadly-serious/

What's next on the abortion front in FL? A legal showdown

When the Florida Legislature decided that teens seeking an abortion must have parent permission – not just notification –the stage was set for a legal showdown.

Gov. Ron DeSantis had already said he’d sign the parental-consent bill that requires minors under 18 to have permission from at least one parent or a legal guardian before they terminate a pregnancy.

Florida would now be among a handful of states requiring both notification and consent for a minor to get an abortion.

But the ultimate decision on whether the parental-consent law stands will not take place in the 22-story state Capitol. It will happen across South Duval Street at the Florida Supreme Court.

Read more: https://www.floridaphoenix.com/2020/02/21/whats-next-on-the-abortion-front-in-fl-a-legal-showdown/

Michael Bennet returns to Colorado -- and finds his constituents are anxious

In his first local town hall since his failed presidential run, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet hammered on voter turnout, polarization and the Trump administration.

He also said he was still undecided about which of his former Democratic rivals he would back to take on President Donald Trump in November.

“There’s not a nominee, not a potential nominee, that I wouldn’t support because I think Donald Trump poses such an existential threat to the country,” Bennet said in an interview afterward.

He kept his remarks short on his presidential campaign, which ended when he gambled on New Hampshire, but wound up with fewer than .3% of the popular vote.

Read more: https://www.coloradoindependent.com/2020/02/19/colorado-michael-bennet-townhall-democratic-primary/

Klobuchar rallies the middle with message of unity in Aurora

On the evening after a Democratic primary debate in which Amy Klobuchar and political rival Pete Buttigieg exchanged pointed barbs — “are you trying to say that I’m dumb,” she asked him at one point — Klobuchar bounded into the cavernous hangar area of the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora and got right to it.

“As you know, we had a debate last night and I just thought it would be nice to come to a place where, you know, everybody knows your name and people are nice to you,” she said, grinning.

Cheers turned to laughter. Packed shoulder-to-shoulder and wall-to-wall were hundreds of moderate Democrats, committed Klobuchar fans, undecideds and triangulating progressives who said they want only one thing: President Donald Trump’s defeat. And if that means choosing a candidate who might appeal to more conservative friends and relatives because there is no way in hell Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren will, then, voter after voter said, so be it.

“My heart is with Elizabeth Warren and it always has been, but my mind says she’s a little too left for electability,” Deborah Blake said, in what would be a common refrain from self-described lefties throughout the evening.

Read more: https://www.coloradoindependent.com/2020/02/21/klobuchar-rally-primary-aurora/

Trump rally tallies: President has unpaid bills for Arizona events

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump brought thousands out to his rally Wednesday at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. What he likely did not bring was $145,000 to reimburse local governments for costs from previous rallies in Arizona.

That’s how much Tucson and Mesa billed the Trump campaign for police protection and other services at rallies in 2016 and 2018, respectively, according to news reports. Mesa communications specialist Kevin Christopher said this week that the city believes the campaign should “do right by the taxpayers of Mesa” and pay the invoice.

But the campaign, which is not legally obligated to pay such post-event bills from local governments, has not done so. And it’s not just the Trump campaign.

Donald Sherman, deputy director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the practice of avoiding such bills happens with multiple campaigns. Candidates range ideologically from GOP former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the liberal currently leading the Democratic presidential field for 2020.

Read more: https://www.azmirror.com/blog/trump-rally-tallies-president-has-unpaid-bills-for-arizona-events/

Ducey, GOP leaders abandon sanctuary cities constitutional ban

In his state of the state speech less than six weeks ago, Gov. Doug Ducey said one of his priorities for 2020 was a constitutional amendment banning sanctuary cities in Arizona. Now, amid opposition from civil rights groups and the business community, the governor says the legislation he helped author to do just that is dead.

“The governor stands firmly with the people of Arizona in opposition to sanctuary cities — a California-style policy overwhelmingly rejected by voters in Tucson last fall,” said Patrick Ptak, a spokesman for Ducey. He added that the governor “will continue to oppose any effort to create sanctuary cities.”

Andrew Wilder, a spokesman for the Republican majority caucus in the House of Representatives, said in a statement that the decision to kill the proposed constitutional amendment was “made jointly” by Ducey and Republican legislative leaders.

“Sanctuary cities are illegal in Arizona. It will remain that way, and our members will remain vigilant to keep these bad policies out of Arizona,” he added.

Read more: https://www.azmirror.com/2020/02/20/ducey-gop-leaders-abandon-sanctuary-cities-constitutional-ban/

AT&T workers vote to authorize strike in Texas and four other states

Thousands of unionized AT&T workers in Texas have authorized a strike if the Communications Workers of America union can’t reach a new contract with the Dallas-based media and telecommunications company.

The contract, which expires Friday, covers retail workers, call center customer service representatives and technicians. Union members voted 98% in favor of giving its union authority to strike.

Bargaining over a new contract between CWA-represented employees and AT&T has been ongoing since Feb. 4. CWA’s 8,000 Southwest Mobility workers account for roughly 3% of the company, according to AT&T. They span Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas and nearly half of the workers are in Texas.

The authorization vote doesn’t necessarily mean workers will strike. But in August, 20,000 AT&T workers went on strike in nine states across the southeastern U.S. protesting what union leaders described as unfair labor practices in contract negotiations.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/business/2020/02/20/att-southwest-mobility-workers-vote-to-authorize-strike-in-five-states-including-texas/

Sanders' Support Grows In Texas, But Democrats Are Split On Plan To Ditch Private Health Insurance

Health care remains a top concern for voters in Texas, but they are split on whether to completely upend the country’s current health care system, a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll finds.

According to the poll, about a fifth of Texas Democrats who support a government-run health care program don’t support a plan that would eliminate private health insurance.

“There’s not a consensus there,” said Jim Henson, co-director of the poll and executive director of the Texas Politics Project at UT Austin. “And we are seeing that lack of consensus play out in the Democratic presidential nomination fight.”

One of the marquee proposals from Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is slightly leading in polls ahead of the March 3 Democratic presidential primary in Texas, is a system that would mostly eliminate all private health plans and replace them with government-run plans. The plan, known as Medicare for All, has been preferred by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is polling third in the state.

Read more: https://www.kut.org/post/sanders-support-grows-texas-democrats-are-split-plan-ditch-private-health-insurance

Boston Globe: Grading the debate performance of the Democratic candidates

by James Pindell



Warren: A
Sanders: A
Buttigieg: C+
Biden: D
Bloomberg: D
Klobuchar: F

Note: I disagree with the analysis completely.

Debate poll #2 - How did the debate affect you?

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