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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 69,413

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

Los Alamos National Bank, former exec settle SEC fraud case for $1.5M

Los Alamos National Bank and its former chief executive have agreed to pay more than $1.5 million in fines to settle allegations of civil accounting fraud regarding loans that dropped in value during the recession.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission brought the case against Trinity Capital Corp., the holding company for the bank. The allegations date back to annual financial reports in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

“Specifically, Trinity understated its reported 2011 net loss available to common shareholders by $30.5 million, reporting income of $4.9 million instead of a $25.6 million loss,” The SEC said in a statement this week.

“Trinity was facing dire financial straits but rather than accurately report its losses, we allege that the firm’s executives grossly misreported its income to shareholders and regulators,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “We will hold senior executives liable when they misstate the company’s performance and fail to come clean with shareholders.”

Read more: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/business/los-alamos-national-bank-former-exec-settle-sec-fraud-case/article_2bba5595-71c9-5cac-8107-8fd455d1ff12.html

Trinity Site downwinders keep up the fight


An obelisk made of black lava marks Trinity Site ground zero, where the first atomic bomb was detonated at 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945. The site will be open to the public Saturday. (Richard Pipes/Albuquerque Journal)

Before she died, Annie Chavez told her children the story of how 70 years ago it snowed in July, how the walls of the family home in Capitan crumbled and the floors rocked and the sun rose with a crack into the dark, predawn skies from the West, not the East. And how scared she was.

It was, she thought, the end of the world.

“Mom stumbled to her feet and started yelling at us to get our rosaries. She yelled for us to pray that our sins be forgiven and that we go to God,” Chavez told them. “Then my mom said, ‘See, it’s Jesus, in the cloud,’ and when I looked out the door there was the brightest cloud I’d ever seen.”

They didn’t go to God that day, much to the eternal despair of Chavez’s mother, and it was not until years later they learned that what they had seen and felt that early morning of July 16, 1945, was the detonation of the first atomic bomb on a desolate stretch of the Jornada del Muerto desert at a spot called Trinity Site, about 50 miles west of Capitan.

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/651318/news/trinity-site-downwinders-keep-up-the-fight.html

Abortion clinic lawsuit costs rising; Contract benefits La. legislator

A contract that pays a state legislator for legal services related to a federal lawsuit over abortion clinic restrictions is getting more costly.

An amendment to the deal, awaiting final approval, will increase the maximum contract amount to $750,000 — seven times the original $100,000 ceiling.

The Jindal administration has signed off on the change to the contract with Duncan PLLC, a Washington, D.C., law firm headed by S. Kyle Duncan. State Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Benton, is working as co-counsel.

State law generally bans legislators and certain other officials from entering into a contract with state government. But there is an exception when contracts are entered into prior to the official taking office, which Johnson said applies to his situation. But Johnson also questions whether the law even applies to him since he is a subcontractor.

Read more: http://theadvocate.com/news/13576196-123/abortion-clinic-lawsuit-costs-rising

Democratic candidate backs expanding Medicaid, GOP too but with conditions

State Rep. John Bel Edwards gave strong support for expanding health care to the working poor in Louisiana, while Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne offered his cautious backing, at a gubernatorial forum in New Orleans Tuesday night.

Edwards, a Democrat from in Amite in Tangipahoa Parish, would expand Medicaid under the Obama administration’s health care act on his first day as governor through an executive order.

“We’re talking about people who don’t qualify for Medicaid because they work,” Edwards told the crowd at Dillard University, adding that the infusion of federal dollars would have saved the state $52 million in 2015.

Dardenne, a Republican from Baton Rouge, said he would appoint a task force upon taking office to craft a plan to seek a waiver from the federal government to allow Louisiana to accept the expansion with some changes. The task force would present its plan to him within 30 to 45 days. “I want a waiver that grants Louisiana the flexibility,” Dardenne said.

Read more: http://theadvocate.com/news/13579689-123/democratic-candidate-backs-expanding-medicaid

Mitch Landrieu describes being held up at gunpoint as teen

At a news conference Tuesday (Sept. 29) to address a recent string of armed robberies at Uptown-area bars and restaurants, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he's been the victim of an armed robbery.

"I have been a victim of an armed robbery," Landrieu said. "I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was the most horrific experience."

NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune asked Landrieu's office for additional details about his experience. His office said it could not provide an NOPD report number since the incident happened so long ago.

Here is the mayor's account:

"When I was 13 years old, I was riding home on my bike after playing basketball at a friend's house. I stopped by the Time Saver at Napoleon and Broad to get an ICEE when I walked into an ongoing armed robbery. One of the two robbers pointed his blue steel revolver in my face and said, 'Little one: it's a shame you had to come in here.' I watched in terror as the robbers demanded more and more money from the store employee. I watched as they got visibly upset that the employee couldn't produce more money and threatened to kill him. Eventually, the two robbers gave up, made us all get down on the floor and stay there for at least five minutes as they took the money and ran. The memory of that terrifying experience is seared into my brain forever. I can still visualize the barrel of the gun pointed at my face. So, I know how traumatic these armed robberies can be, and I don't wish them on anybody."


http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2015/09/mitch_landrieu_describes_being.html#incart_river_home

What's Called "Capitalism" Is Far from Any Model of Capitalism or Market


Predators and prey. The homeless and left-behind are at the bottom ("decomposers". Most of everyone else is in the next layer up ("producers". The rest, from the well-off to the wealthy, are "consumers." Interesting how that language works, isn't it?

A recent piece I did on the British Labour politician Tony Benn featured a speech that offered a "history of neoliberalism" (click here to read and listen). Near the beginning of the speech, Benn said, "This country and the world have been run by rich and powerful men from the beginning of time." Consider that for a moment, what that means about the arc of human history.

Near the end of his short talk, referencing the Thatcher (and Reagan) counterrevolution against the great populist gains of the 19th and 20th centuries, he said that this is "what the whole [modern] crisis is about, the restoration of power to those who've always controlled the world, the people who own the land and the resources and all the rest of it."

That radical re-transformation of the world back to control by its original and longtime owners, "rich and powerful men," was begun in England by Margaret Thatcher and several deliberate policies. Benn (my emphasis): "So privatization is a deliberate policy, along with the destruction of local democracy and the destruction of the trade unions to restore power back to to where it was."

Benn also mentions the role of crushing personal debt in the Thatcher de-democratization of her society:

What she said, and this is very clever, "You can buy your council house so you'll be a property owner. You may not be able to get a wage increase, but you can borrow." And the borrowing was deliberately encouraged because people in debt are slaves to their employers."


- See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2015/09/whats-called-capitalism-is-far-from-any.html#sthash.IDH8bJ4n.dpuf

Rebuilding A Real Democratic Party In Arkansas-- Berniemania In Deep Red Arkansas?

Some districts are just so red, Democrats don't even try anymore. The reddest district in Arkansas, for example, is in the northwest corner of the state, bordering Missouri (not far from Branson) and Oklahoma. The PVI is R+19, and Obama only managed to win 34% in 2008 and 32% in 2012. It's John Boozman's old seat and the district hadn't elected a Democrat since 1967. When Boozman won Blanche Lincoln's Senate seat in 2010, right-wing lunatic and anti-immigrant fanatic Steve Womack ran for the House seat and beat Democrat David Whitaker 72-28%. Whitaker was the last Democrat to run for the seat-- until now.

The Old Guard-controlled Democratic Party in Arkansas is on its last legs. It still clings to a Republican-lite mentality epitomized by Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor and the Clinton machine. Democrats hold only 36 of the 100 seats in the state House and only 14 of 35 seats in the state Senate. The governor and lieutenant governor are both extreme right-wing Republicans, as are both U.S. senators and all four congressmen. Someone must be doing something wrong, right? They don't think so. They're still all about backing Blue Dogs, New Dems and DINOs who will probably never win another election in the state.

However, there is an awful lot of grassroots enthusiasm in Arkansas in general and in the 3rd CD specifically, for... ready for it?-- Bernie Sanders. Sure, Hillary was the state's First Lady, and the Clinton Library is there and all, but... people with a pulse know.: same ole, same ole.

Robbie Wilson wants to run against Womack, and he comes straight out of the milieu that is exciting people about Bernie's campaign. He does half his campaigning at Bernie campaign events and shares a volunteer base with Bernie's campaign as well. The state party, needless to say, is all in for Hillary. Although there is a Democrat running against Boozman, Conner Eldridge, who worked for Blue Dogs Marion Berry and Blanche Lincoln, as far as I can tell Wilson is the only Democrat running for any of Arkansas's four congressional seats.

See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2015/09/rebuilding-real-democratic-party-in.html#sthash.qU9bG3RJ.dpuf

II. What's driving the world toward a new slump?

The recent swings in world financial markets and the growing international effects of an economic slowdown in China have raised fears in the U.S. that the economic recovery could be on its last legs--even before working people felt like they had escaped the last crisis. And what will come next? In part one of a three-part series, Lee Sustar looked at the causes and consequences of the Great Recession and the impact of China's slowdown. This second installment answers questions about how the crisis reshaped the European economy--and why it's proving so hard to overcome there and around the world.

HOW DOES the turmoil in financial markets and the slowdown in China described in the first part of this series relate to Europe's crisis over Greece, austerity and the euro currency?

THE DOMINANT European Union (EU) countries are trying to extricate themselves from a crisis of their own making, even as they cope with the rise of China and other developing countries.

The resulting conflicts and confrontations have exposed an aggressive new Germany that is determined to subordinate the rest of the EU to its own agenda and keep itself at the center of a huge economic entity that can meet the China challenge and assert itself in relation to the U.S., at least in economic terms.

Since its creation in 1999, the euro--the common currency used by 18 European countries--was a great deal for Germany. Since the euro was valued significantly below what Germany's old currency, the deutschmark, would have been, it effectively lowered the cost of German exports.

Read more: http://socialistworker.org/2015/09/29/driving-the-world-toward-a-new-slump

I. Are we headed for another crash?

The recent swings in world financial markets and the growing international effects of an economic slowdown in China have raised fears in the U.S. that the economic recovery could be on its last legs--even before working people felt like they had escaped the last crisis. And what will come next? In the first installment of a three-part series, Lee Sustar answers questions about the underlying causes of the instability in the markets--and explains how the troubles in the world economy today are tied the same problems that led to the Great Recession of 2007-09.

THE STOCK markets in China and much of the rest of the world seemed to calm down in September after the chaos of August. Does this mean the financial instability was a passing thing, and the prospects for the economy are looking up again?

NOT IF you go by the decision of the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee to keep its basic interest rate at just 0.25 percent.

The Fed bowed to pressure from those who argued that a rate hike would further destabilize the world economy. According to the chief economist at the World Bank, a rise in U.S. interest rates would risk panic and turmoil."

Nevertheless, some members of the Federal Reserve Board's Open Market Committee argued for a rate increase, contending that the U.S. economic recovery is strong enough to trigger inflation--and that if the economy does go into slump, it will be impossible to stimulate growth without an interest rate cut.

Read more: http://socialistworker.org/2015/09/28/are-we-headed-for-another-crash

Rep. Blake Farenthold cleared of sexual harassment claims

WASHINGTON — Ethics investigators struck a blow Monday to an ex-House staffer’s sexual harassment claims against Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, nine months after the fired communications director filed suit in District of Columbia court.

The Office of Congressional Ethics did not find substantial reason to believe Farenthold, 53, of Corpus Christi, sexually harassed Lauren Greene, discriminated against her on the basis of her gender or retaliated against her for complaining about the alleged unlawful treatment. In accordance with public disclosure rules, the House Ethics Committee shared OCE’s findings and announced it had not yet completed its own review of the matter.

Attorneys from another House entity, the Office of House Employment, are defending Farenthold against Greene’s accusations that the congressman discussed “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about her with another one of his employees. Farenthold’s office has admitted the former talk radio host occasionally complimented Greene on her appearance, but denied making improper advances.

“Due to the ongoing nature of the lawsuit, the Committee has not yet been able to complete its review of the matter and therefore is not in a position to dismiss the matter at this time,” Chairman Charlie Dent, R-Pa., and ranking member Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif., said in a joint statement. “The Committee will continue its review and ultimately will take any additional action it deems necessary, consistent with the House and Committee rules.”

Read more: http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/south-texas-congressman-cleared-of-sexual-harassment-claims/article_717565fa-6625-11e5-b38c-770bbbada3fc.html
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