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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: 78,379

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

Jimmy Kimmel's Quarantine Monologue - What Trump Was Doing During COVID-19 Warnings

Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri May 1, 2020, 12:17 AM (0 replies)

Hundreds refuse to pay UChicago as tuition strike takes off, organizers say: 'This isn't a bluff'

As hundreds of students refuse to make payments to the University of Chicago, organizers say they hope the tuition strike will convince the school’s leadership to come to the bargaining table.

Students with UChicago for Fair Tuition demanded earlier this month that the university cut tuition by 50% and eliminate student fees for as long as the coronavirus pandemic continued, citing changing financial situations for students due to skyrocketing unemployment.

About 1,900 students signed a petition asking the university to cut tuition and 950 said they planned to withhold their money this past Wednesday when spring semester payments were due, the group said.

Julia Attie, an organizer of the strike, said she has received confirmation from about 200 students that withheld payments.

Read more: https://chicago.suntimes.com/education/2020/4/30/21242961/university-uchicago-tuition-tuition-strike

I went to a private university and while they let students study and receive degrees while still owing tuition, if you wanted an official transcript after graduation then all tuition and other fees had to be paid in full.

Democratic candidate for governor outlines small business recovery plan

INDIANAPOLIS—The state’s presumptive Democratic nominee for governor released a plan to help small businesses that he says will help speed Indiana’s economic recovery.

Dr. Woody Myers said in a virtual press conference Wednesday that reopening the state’s economy should include a plan to help small businesses and their workers recover from the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although there have been efforts at the federal level to supply help, it just hasn’t worked yet for us,” said Myers, who served as state health commissioner under Republican Gov. Robert Orr and then Democratic Gov. Evan Bayh.

Myers said he has outlined the broad details, but that there needs to be a dedicated team to carry out his recommendations.

Read more: http://thestatehousefile.com/democratic-candidate-for-governor-outlines-small-business-recovery-plan/41725/

Democrats call for Zorn to be censured for Confederate flag mask in long, slow session day

Days after state Sen. Dale Zorn (R-Ida) came under fire for wearing a Confederate flag-patterned face mask to session, two Democratic lawmakers took to the Senate floor to call on Zorn to be formally censured.

State Sens. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) and Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) also proposed a resolution that would ban Confederate flag imagery from the state Capitol.

Their impassioned speeches capped off an almost six-hour-long session in the state Legislature Wednesday, which was also marked by the dramatic removal of three protesters from the House gallery — including a Republican state House candidate — but not much else.

Zorn initially defended the mask and the Confederate flag, but then apologized later. Santana first condemned Zorn’s actions, referring to the Confederate flag as a “symbol of hatred” that represents a dark time in American history.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/2020/04/29/dems-call-for-zorn-to-be-censured-for-confederate-flag-mask-in-long-slow-session-day/

GOP Legislature moves toward suing Whitmer, as armed protestors watched from Senate gallery

As Senate members sat in session on Thursday, about 20 protesters, some of whom were armed with long guns, stood above in the gallery, while roughly 600 more protested on the Capitol lawn and outside the House and Senate chambers.

“Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today,” state Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) tweeted from the Senate floor about law enforcement in the chamber.


While right-wing protesters flooded the Capitol lawn, House and Senate sessions pressed on to vote on bills that would limit the governor’s power and allow lawmakers to take her to court if she expands the state of emergency declaration without approval from the Legislature.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer did just that on Thursday evening.

She signed Executive Order 2020-68, which declares a state of emergency and a state of disaster until May 28. Last week, she signed an extended stay-home order until May 15. This week, it was upheld in court.

Read more: https://www.michiganadvance.com/2020/04/30/gop-legislature-moves-toward-suing-whitmer-as-armed-protestors-watched-from-senate-gallery/

Sen. King sponsors repeal of tax break for the wealthy buried in coronavirus relief law

Sen. Angus King is cosponsoring legislation to repeal tax breaks for wealthy Americans included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in late March.

“With unemployment skyrocketing, families facing extreme uncertainty, and small businesses, state governments, and hospitals across the country struggling to make it through a hard economic time, it defies comprehension that anyone would think the best use of taxpayer funds is to put more money back in the pockets of the richest Americans,” said the independent senator in a press statement on April 27.

The parts of the law that King’s legislation would repeal – outlined in provisions 2303 and 2304 in the CARES Act – suspend limitations included in the 2017 tax reform bill, which has been criticized for its outsized benefit to the richest 1% of Americans.

With these limitations suspended under the current terms of the CARES Act, government revenue is projected to drop by over $160 billion in the next ten years, according to a report by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). The clear majority of those tax benefits will go to wealthy Americans.

Read more: https://mainebeacon.com/sen-king-sponsors-repeal-of-tax-break-for-the-wealthy-buried-in-coronavirus-relief-law/

Sweden forced to admit significant under-counting of coronavirus deaths

Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare released figures Tuesday revealing that the death toll from the coronavirus has been underestimated in public figures. This came as total infections in the country of 10 million passed 20,000 yesterday, with almost 2,500 deaths.

The discrepancy is due to the Public Health Agency’s policy of only counting deaths following a positive COVID-19 test confirmed by a laboratory. However, the National Board of Health and Welfare noted that as of 21 April, only 82 percent of the deaths it linked to coronavirus had a positive lab test. Assuming that this difference has persisted over the last week, there would have been approximately 400 more deaths from the virus than the 2,462 officially recorded yesterday by the Public Health Agency.

This significant under-counting of deaths is not to be explained by an error, but is the direct product of the Swedish government’s “herd immunity” strategy. Unlike its Nordic neighbours and other European countries, Sweden avoided imposing a general lock-down and even delayed for some time the issuing of limited social distancing guidelines. Gatherings of up to 50 people are still permitted, and shops, restaurants, schools, and non-essential businesses of all types remain open.

As a result, the population has been subjected to a reckless experiment that some scientists have likened to playing “Russian roulette.” Even taking the lower official death toll as a point of comparison, the death rate in Sweden dramatically exceeds neighbouring countries. In Norway, for example, which has a population approximately half the size of Sweden’s, 7,660 cases and 206 deaths have been recorded. Sweden therefore has a death rate more than five times higher than its neighbour per head of population.

Read more: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/04/30/swed-a30.html

Pandemic delays prison for Hot Pockets heir, ex-Pimco CEO in college admissions scandal

BOSTON (Reuters) - An heir to a microwave snack fortune and a former chief executive of investment firm Pimco cannot use the coronavirus pandemic as a reason to avoid prison time for convictions in the U.S. college admissions scandal, a federal judge ruled on Thursday, although they can delay starting their sentences.

U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston said that while the public health crisis warranted delaying when Michelle Janavs and Douglas Hodge would report to prison, he would not allow them to serve their sentences at home instead.

Janavs, whose family’s company created the microwavable food Hot Pockets, and Hodge, who served as CEO of Pimco from 2014 to 2016, had been scheduled next week to begin serving prison sentences of five and nine months, respectively.

They were sentenced in February after pleading guilty to participating in a scheme in which wealthy parents conspired with a college admissions consultant through fraud and bribery to secure the admission of their children to top universities.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-education-cheating/pandemic-delays-prison-for-hot-pockets-heir-ex-pimco-ceo-in-college-admissions-scandal-idUSKBN22C3LQ

Musk's SpaceX, Bezos' Blue Origin land contracts to build NASA's astronaut moon lander

(Reuters) - NASA on Thursday selected space firms SpaceX, Blue Origin and Dynetics to build lunar landing systems that can carry astronauts to the moon by 2024, the White House’s accelerated deadline under the space agency’s moon-to-Mars campaign.

The three companies, which include firms of tech billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, will share $967 million from NASA, though specific amounts each company will receive were not immediately known.

Boeing Co (BA.N) proposed a lander concept last year but was not selected.

“This is the last piece that we need in order to get to the moon,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine told reporters on Thursday, calling the agency’s first lunar lander procurement since 1972 “historic”.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-exploration-nasa/musks-spacex-bezos-blue-origin-land-contracts-to-build-nasas-astronaut-moon-lander-idUSKBN22C3DI

Bailout money bypasses hard-hit New York, California for North Dakota, Nebraska

From his office in Bismarck, North Dakota, Alan Haut started preparing for the coronavirus relief bill before it had even been passed by Congress.

North Dakota had experienced only a handful of deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the state’s Republican governor, Doug Burgum, hadn’t issued a shelter-in-place order or required businesses to close. But as district director of the federal Small Business Administration office in Bismarck, Haut wanted to be ready. So he began convening community banks and entrepreneurs and sharing early drafts of applications to what would become the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, with an eye toward ensuring that prairie businesses would be able to get access to loans as soon as the application period opened.

On April 3, the morning applications opened, Jeff Zarling, founder of DAWA Solutions Group, a software company that also puts on an annual oil industry trade show, drove to First International Bank & Trust, whose branch in downtown Williston (population 14,716) was still open, and dropped off a flash drive with his complete application.

“My banker knows my situation, and we communicate through the year,” Zarling said. “So I simply had to run a few financial reports, which took less than an hour.”

Read more: https://www.revealnews.org/article/bailout-money-bypasses-hard-hit-new-york-california-for-north-dakota-nebraska/
(Reveal News--Center for Investigative Reporting)
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