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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

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: 69,435

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

Joe Biden to headline Human Rights Campaign dinner

WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden will be the keynote speaker at the top LGBT advocacy group’s gala next week, the Human Rights Campaign announced Friday.

Biden — who is still deciding whether to mount his own presidential bid — will headline the HRC National Dinner on Oct. 3.

The evening will include an award for out actress Ellen Page, who recently had a public clash on gay rights with Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, and an address from the first out NBA player, Jason Collins.

Democratic front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also address the HRC gathering — but in the morning at a separate event, HRC said.

Read more: http://www.outsmartmagazine.com/2015/09/joe-biden-to-headline-human-rights-campaign-dinner/

Note to Forum Hosts: Since Joe Biden has not declared his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race, I believe that it is appropriate to include this OP in this forum rather than GDP.

Ag Commissioner Sid Miller’s Transphobic “Joke” Puts Ignorance on Display Again

This past Sunday, Amazon’s Transparent won big at the Emmys, with series creator Jill Soloway winning an award for directing and star Jeffrey Tambor taking the prize for outstanding actor in a comedy series. It was an historic win that brought trans issues to the forefront–Soloway used her acceptance speech to highlight the country’s “trans civil rights problem,” and to call for Congress to pass the transgender Equality Act. Across social media, most people celebrated the spotlight on a social injustice that hasn’t typically had such a large platform before.

One person who didn’t seem too happy about Transparent was Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. Instead, during the Emmys, Miller took to Facebook to post the following “joke”:



If anything Sid Miller just confirmed what Soloway said in her speech–that we have a massive trans civil rights problem–because he thought it was a-okay to make the struggles of a marginalized group the butt of a (not-very-good) joke.

It’s not the first time Sid Miller has taken to social media to mock people who are different from him. Just last month, Miller received flak for a Facebook post implying that the U.S. should drop a bomb on the “Muslim world.” That time, the post was quickly deleted and blamed on a staffer, indicating that he at least recognized that maybe it wasn’t okay to call for violence against Muslims in a state that has the largest Muslim population in the country. Yet his trans “joke” still remains at the top of his Facebook page.

Read more: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/31051/ag-commissioner-sid-millers-transphobic-joke-puts-ignorance-on-display-again

Ex-UT student gets 10 years in prison for aiding terrorists

More than a year after he pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding overseas terrorists, Rahatul Ashikim Khan, a former University of Texas student, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison.

Khan, 24, became the second of two young men convicted in Austin of the rare federal offense after admitting he connected an undercover agent with co-conspirators recruiting jihadi fighters to Somalia. His plea in July followed that of Michael Todd Wolfe, a Houston native, who confessed he had plans to travel to Syria to engage in jihad himself.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crime-law/former-ut-student-faces-up-to-15-years-in-prison-f/nnnZw/ (subscription required (subscription required)

Update: Amputee Awarded Benefits in Rare Order

A woman who lost her leg in a car accident on the way back from a work meeting will start receiving her workers’ compensation benefits after all — at least for now.

The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation ordered the insurer to start immediately paying Jane Hays temporary income benefits and cover the cost of her reasonable and necessary medical care.

The insurer, Texas Political Subdivisions, had denied the claims on the grounds that she wasn’t considered to be on the job while driving back from the meeting. Hays’ lawyer, Brad McClellan, called it “one of the most absurd denials” he’d seen in more than two decades in the workers’ compensation arena. The Texas Tribune reported on the case earlier this week

McLellan said the order issued Friday showed the state hearing officer “clearly agreed that there appears to be no reasonable basis to dispute this claim. It’s an absurd denial.”

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/09/25/amputee-awarded-benefits-rare-order/

Earlier Thread:

Injured After Work Meeting, Amputee Fights Claim Denial September 23, 2015

Westboro counterprotestors who received tickets: 'We are tired of playing this game'

Members of Journey 4 Justice — a group formed to counterprotest the Westboro Baptist Church — want their day in Topeka Municipal Court.

Four members of the group were ticketed by Topeka police officers Sept. 12 for picketing during a religious event.

Topeka Municipal Code 9.45.140 states “focused picketing means standing or sitting or walking in a repeated manner past or around a house of worship, by one or more persons while carrying a banner, placard, or sign.”

Several of the Journey 4 Justice members were holding American flags during the counterprotest Sept. 11-12. Officers told the motorcyclists that the American flag is considered a “banner.”

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2015-09-25/westboro-counterprotestors-who-received-tickets-we-are-tired-playing-game#comment-382006

Citing ‘irreparable injury’ to kids, judge blocks deep Medicaid cuts

AUSTIN -- A Travis County judge on Friday blocked Texas from cutting $350 million in Medicaid funding, an order the state is expected to appeal despite mounting evidence those cuts will restrict access to care for thousands of poor and disabled children.

At the crux of the case is a question of whether Texas lawmakers’ mandate to trim $150 million in payments to therapists — the state’s share over the next two years — will cause as many as 60,000 children to lose access to services such as speech and occupational therapy.

In the temporary injunction that blocked the rate reduction from going into effect Oct. 1, State District Judge Tim Sulak said, “If a temporary injunction is not granted, plaintiffs will probably suffer irreparable injury … the minor children represented in this lawsuit, plus thousands of other Texas children receiving pediatric services under the Texas Medicaid program, will probably be deprived of those critical services.”

Eugene Clayborn, an assistant state attorney general representing the Health and Human Services Commission, declined comment, but he is expected to appeal the temporary injunction to the conservative 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin. If the higher court doesn’t overturn the injunction, health officials cannot implement Medicaid cuts while the case heads to a trial, tentatively scheduled for mid-January.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/citing-irreparable-injury-to-children-judge-blocks/nnnyd/?icmp=statesman_internallink_referralbox_free-to-premium-referral

Follow-up: Former State Representative and HHS Official Sentenced to 6 days of jail for DWI

Jack Stick, a former state official at the center of a contracting scandal at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, on Friday received a sentence of six days in jail and 90 days without a driver’s license for a DWI case that predated his troubles at the state agency.

Stick, who was convicted by a jury Monday night after pleading not guilty, will receive credit for time he served when he was booked for the 2012 incident and could return to jail for as few as two days.

Stick’s attorney, Brian Roark, said he was happy with the sentence handed down by county court at law Judge Nancy Hohengarten.

“We think the jury made an incorrect decision, of course, but we’re very pleased with the judge’s decision,” he said.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/ex-state-official-jack-stick-sentenced-to-6-days-i/nnngy/

Earlier thread:
Trial Begins for Former State Representative and HHS Official Accused of DWI September 18, 2015
Follow-up: Former State Representative and HHS Official Convicted of DWI September 21, 2015

Ted Cruz calls Obama communist, gloats about Boehner quitting, threatens to assassinate Iran’s supre

Ted Cruz calls Obama communist, gloats about Boehner quitting, threatens to assassinate Iran’s supreme leader

WASHINGTON – Sen. Ted Cruz was in rare form Friday morning at the Value Voters Summit, calling President Barack Obama a communist, gloating over Speaker John Boehner’s sudden resignation, and threatening the assassination of Iran’s supreme leader.

Cruz has been a favorite for years at the annual summit, an event produced by the Family Research Council. The crowd was on its feet for much of his 20-minute speech, as he delivered one line after another than many, if not most, had heard before – red meat lines skewering Hillary Clinton and Democrats, vowing to abolish the IRS and Education Department, end common core, protect Israel, shred Obamacare and reverse all manner of Obama-era policies.

Warming up the ballroom full of conservative activists, Cruz noted that Obama was meeting today at the White House with China’s President Xi.

“Media all across the world are reporting on this historic meeting of the world’s most powerful communist – and the president of China,” Cruz quipped, drawing laughter.

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/09/ted-cruz-calls-obama-communist-gloats-about-boehner-quitting-threatens-to-assassinate-irans-supreme-leader.html/

Fiat Chrysler workers reject UAW contract at Michigan and Indiana plants

Workers at Fiat Chrysler’s stamping plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, a casting plant in Kokomo, Indiana and a Mopar parts facility in Centerline, Michigan have defeated the contract being pushed by the United Auto Workers in the first votes being reported from major factories. The deal was also rejected at smaller parts depots in Colorado and Los Angeles.

Fifty-seven percent of the production workers and 61 percent of the skilled trades rejected the agreement at the suburban Detroit stamping plant Thursday, according to the UAW Local 1264 Facebook page. There are 2,000 workers at the Sterling stamping plant.

Fifty-nine percent of production workers voted to reject the contract while skilled trades workers split the vote at Kokomo Casting, a source at UAW Local 1166 reported to the Detroit News. The factory employs 1,100 workers.

Sixty-five percent of production workers and 52 percent of skilled trades voted “no” at Local 1248, which encompasses some 700 workers at the Mopar parts distribution center in Centerline, another Detroit suburb.

Read more: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/09/25/chry-s25.html

Another truck chase involving undocumented immigrants results in six deaths in Edna

EDNA - Hours after a multiple-fatality wreck roused the little town of Edna, its mayor sat baffled, still searching for answers.

"These things are a tragedy, and you find yourself wondering why they didn't stop, and you know why," Mayor Joe Hermes said. "They didn't stop because they don't want to be sent back home. Now they're going back in a pine box."

Six people were killed early Thursday morning after leading police on an eight-minute chase through the town and along U.S. Highway 59. Of the 16 packed into the modified 2003 Ford Explorer, all but one were illegal immigrants, Police Chief Clinton Wooldridge said.

The driver, a U.S. citizen, and two others in the vehicle are thought to be members of a smuggling organization, Leticia Zamarripa, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a statement.

Read more: https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2015/sep/24/6-die-in-edna-crash-some-detained-by-border-offici/
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