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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: 78,939

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

After gay marriage order, Texas won’t deny benefits to same-sex spouses

The U.S. Supreme Court’s order granting gay marriage rights nationwide will require most of the country’s employers to extend benefits to same-sex spouses, including the same-sex spouses of state employees in Texas.

While the ruling is expected to have little effect at the hundreds of Texas companies and local government entities that already provide domestic-partner benefits, it will force the majority of other private and public employers to provide benefits to all spouses or drop spousal benefits altogether.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/after-gay-marriage-order-texas-wont-deny-benefits-/nmmrd/ (subscription required)

El Paso County judge wants to eliminate sodas in county vending machines

County Judge Veronica Escobar has proposed eliminating sodas from county vending machines to promote healthier living.

Escobar said it may sound like a "crazy" idea, but sugary drinks contribute to health problems like diabetes.

Even though the county administration has implemented initiatives to try to encourage a healthier lifestyle among its employees such as incentives to go to the gym, Escobar said limiting sodas in vending machines could encourage people to consume healthy options like water or juices.

"I would like for us to consider not providing sodas in our vending machines and cafeteria, instead water may be protein drinks, ice tea, unsweetened tea only because there is such enormous cost to sugary soda drinks and we are essentially making them easily accessible to everybody in the courthouse," she told commissioners on Monday.

Read more: http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_28382856/county-judge-wants-eliminate-sodas-county-vending-machines

[font color=330099]I'm all for healthier diets, but this does seem like too much of a "nanny-state" proposal. It's one thing to have those limits in schools, but seems inappropriate in an environment filled with adults.[/font]

Victory Medical Center in Beaumont faces eviction

Victory Medical Center Beaumont is facing eviction after the building's owners filed a lawsuit claiming the hospital has failed to pay more than $234,000 in rent, which is in addition to about $246,500 in taxes it owes Jefferson County.

CNL Healthcare Properties delivered the hospital a notice to vacate on May 4 and filed the lawsuit in Justice of the Peace Ken Dollinger's court on June 8. The suit contends Victory has not paid rent since March.

Victory last made a payment on its outstanding personal property taxes — for equipment, furniture, etc. — in May for $60,559, about a fifth of what it owed at the time.

Victory Medical Center's Chief Executive Officer Becky Ames said "everything will be fine for us," in a voicemail message on Thursday.

Read more: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Victory-Medical-Center-faces-eviction-6348881.php

Opinions on how the Affordable Care decision affects Texans is widely split Matthew Waller

AUSTIN — The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold part of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law could mean that the state will hold on to $4.4 billion in federal subsidies and help hundreds of thousands of Texans keep health insurance.

Those opposed to the decision, however, say that the move rewrites the law and pushes forward a system that eventually will make health care even more unaffordable for a state that already has the highest uninsured rate in the nation, tied with Nevada.

According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which analyzes health issues, 832,334 people in Texas were at risk of losing their tax credit. The increase in the average premium if a tax credit isn’t available is 305 percent, and the average tax credit per enrollee is $247.

“Today this ruling protected these particular people from not losing their insurance,” said Melissa McChesney, an outreach coordinator with the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a think tank in Austin.

Read more: http://www.reporternews.com/news/state/opinions-on-how-the-affordable-care-decision-affects-texans-is-widely-split_20354329

Cliven Bundy will be held accountable, Interior secretary says

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy will be held accountable for the federal land grazing fees and penalties he owes, a top federal official said.

Bundy became a national figure in April 2014 when he and scores of supporters got into an armed standoff with federal law enforcement officers over his cattle’s years of alleged unpaid grazing on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, whose department includes the BLM, says Bundy will eventually have to answer for what he owes the federal government, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

“Cliven Bundy has had multiple court orders to remove his cattle from federal public lands and he has not paid his grazing fees and he has not abided by the law,” Jewell told the Review-Journal Wednesday on a visit to Incline Village, Nev., where she spoke at a Western Governors’ Association event.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/246103-cliven-bundy-will-be-held-accountable-interior-secretary-says
(pardon the source)

NM Supreme Court rules Foy fraud suits constitutional

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled Thursday that two civil lawsuits charging widespread fraud and insider dealing in the way billions of dollars in state investments were handled can proceed after finding that the Fraud Against Taxpayer Act is constitutional.

Two civil lawsuits filed under the act by former Educational Retirement Board investment chief Frank Foy have been on hold for almost two years after district judges and the Court of Appeals ruled that triple-damage awards under the act were unconstitutional because they were punitive.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that Foy can receive triple damages if he can successfully prove his allegations of widespread corruption in how state investments were handled.

Foy alleged a scheme in which state investments were placed with financial firms that paid fees to placement agents who were politically connected to then Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration.

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/604213/abqnewsseeker/nm-supreme-court-rules-foy-fraud-suits-constitutional.html

Food truck owner in Odessa offers free food for Confederate memorabilia

ODESSA, TEXAS -- Local food truck owner Rob Jenkins wants to trade free food for the Southern Cross.

The owner of Po Boys and Rich Chics, a Cajun-style food truck, is offering two free po’boys or $20 worth of food to anyone who gives him memorabilia with the Confederate flag on it. Items include hats, T-shirts and flags.

“I just thought, I’m a business owner and I’ll stand up against it (the Confederate flag),” Jenkins said. “I know I’ll probably lose a few customers and I’m OK with that.”

A native of Louisiana who now lives in Ector County, Jenkins said growing up he saw a lot of racism, some of it having to do with the use of the of the Confederate flag, and said it “embarrasses” him.

“I saw it all the time … a lot of racism from white people and from black people towards white people,” he said.

Read more: http://www.oaoa.com/news/business/article_3034c062-1a95-11e5-b937-df4cd6fd618e.html (Odessa American)

Dallas police: Man impersonating a dentist and assistant pulled five teeth from woman’s mouth

Erika Martinez had a toothache, but it was nothing compared to the bloody nightmare she went through to try and fix it on the cheap.

Last month, she said, a man posing as a dentist held her down and yanked five of her teeth out over about an hour or two.

“The truth is, it felt like it lasted years,” Martinez said Thursday in Spanish while her lips concealed a checkerboard smile. “It was horrible pain. Very traumatic.”

Police said Mario Alberto Sabillon-Mejia, 33, masqueraded as a dentist and denture-maker and offered discount oral care in Dallas and Houston. He and his alleged assistant, Tiffany Gonzalez, were arrested Wednesday and charged with practicing medicine without a license.

Read more: http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2015/06/dallas-police-man-impersonating-a-dentist-and-assistant-pulled-five-teeth-from-womans-mouth.html/

Abbott's Office Promised Help to Major Donor

A major donor to Gov. Greg Abbott received an immediate offer of help from the office of the governor after complaining that Democrats and their top contributor were on the verge of defeating a controversial bill insurance companies wanted, records obtained by The Texas Tribune indicate.

In a May 20 email, Texans for Lawsuit Reform CEO Richard Weekley told Abbott that the pro-insurer bill was “good policy and good politics,” and he complained that Democratic mega-donor Steve Mostyn and the candidates he supports stood to gain if the legislation failed. (Ultimately, it did fail.)

Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) and Weekley have given Abbott at least $720,000 since 2001, records from the Texas Ethics Commission show.

“Governor, TLR and I believe that you are going to need to personally intervene,” Weekley wrote. “Having Mostyn rape the insurance companies of hundreds of millions of dollars will harm consumers across the state as well as hurt the politicians who Mostyn will try to defeat.”

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/06/25/abbotts-office-promised-help-major-donor/

Paxton to County Clerks: Wait for Direction on Gay Marriage

If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the coming days that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wants county clerks to hold off on issuing marriage licenses to such couples until his office has given them direction.

"I remain prayerful that the Court will heed millennia of family tradition, Judeo-Christian instruction and common sense and will respect the role of states," Paxton said in a statement Thursday. "But whatever the ruling, I would recommend that all County Clerks and Justices of the Peace wait for direction and clarity from this office about the meaning of the Court's opinion and the rights of Texans under the law."

Earlier this year, the high court took up four gay marriage cases out of a Cincinnati-based federal appeals court. Its decision, which is expected Friday or Monday, could legalize gay marriage nationwide, overturning Texas' long-standing ban on gay marriage.

A separate legal challenge to Texas' gay marriage ban, which has been on the books for a decade, is making its way through the courts. The Texas case, which was brought by two same-sex couples, is pending before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/06/25/paxton-county-clerks-should-wait-direction-gay-mar/

[font color=330099]Two or three days to fix the forms from husband/wife to spouse1/spouse2 should be adequate. After that he needs to comply with the ruling.[/font]
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