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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: 83,375

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

Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton speak in Dallas, day before Bush Presidential Center Dedication

North Texas will host what could be the first showdown of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are scheduled to speak at separate events in the Dallas area on April 24, the day before the potential presidential contenders are expected to attend the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

The high-profile pair, considered among the top White House candidates in their respective parties, are just two of the many dignitaries slated to attend the Bush Center’s dedication on April 25 at Southern Methodist University.

Jeb Bush — brother of the 43rd president and father of George P. Bush, a Fort Worth resident who’s running for state land commissioner — was a no-brainer to make the trip to Dallas. And Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, is expected to speak at the Bush Center ceremony.

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/04/jeb-bush-and-hillary-clinton-to-have-dueling-speeches-in-dallas-day-before-george-w-bush-presidential-centers-dedication.html/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:52 PM (3 replies)

Woman found with nearly 89 pounds of meth at border in Brownsville

A 50-year-old Georgia woman remains in federal custody after she tried to cross more than $1.3 million worth of Methamphetamine at the Veterans International Bridge in Brownsville, authorities said.

The drugs were hidden inside the tires of a Ford Ranger, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

The incident happened sometime Friday.

Authorities said the woman, who was driving a 2002 Ford Ranger, was sent to a secondary inspection area at the bridge where four statues believed to be molded out of methamphetamine were found. Additional packages of the drugs were found stuffed inside the truck’s tires.

More at http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_32d4f7d8-9aea-11e2-bf9a-0019bb30f31a.html .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:49 PM (2 replies)

Is Perry-Powers Tension About College Rivalry, Policy?

Is this about Bill Powers or UT’s tower?

Tensions between Gov. Rick Perry’s administration and Powers, the president of the University of Texas at Austin, are rising, sucking up legislative time and pitting lawmakers, prominent alumni and higher-education critics against one another in a running argument over politics, rivalries and what a public university is supposed to be.

Start with a University of Texas System administration that had the gumption to deflect an embrace from conservatives who wanted to make over the academy.

The “seven breakthrough solutions” unveiled in 2008 were designed to bring some market-oriented changes to the state’s colleges and universities. A couple of those hogged the attention: rating professors, based on student assessments; separating teaching and research; and including revenue as one measure of whether a program or class should continue. Perry implicitly endorsed the idea by headlining a daylong conference where the ideas were unveiled, ensuring the attendance of top regents and administrators from the state’s public colleges.

More at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/04/01/reasons-wont-be-obvious-until-after-fight/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:31 PM (0 replies)

Minority Voters Aren't Anti-Government

In his first inaugural address, the Great Communicator Ronald Reagan said that “government is not the solution, government is the problem,” and set out the conservative message that would prevail in Republican circles for the next 30 years.

Flying in the face of the Great Society and of the New Deal that preceded it, Reagan tapped into deeply held distrust of “big government” solutions and convinced people to reject the notion that government programs could help improve people’s lives.

Reagan’s philosophy claimed that government programs hindered the capacity of individuals to achieve their own successes. For the conservative movement, the social safety net espoused by Democrats was actually a set of ties that bind. This anti-government rhetoric resonated like a bell with many Americans.

Over the intervening decades we have seen this idea claim an increasing share of a diminishing market. Minorities and immigrant communities simply don’t see government as a hindrance. But according to Dr. Stephen Klinberg’s research for the Kinder Institute of Urban Research at Rice University, attitudes about government among Harris County’s racial and ethnic groups differ starkly.

More at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/04/01/guest-column-minority-voters-arent-anti-government/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:30 PM (0 replies)

Senator Cornyn: Expanding Texas Medicaid Would Weaken It (updated)

As Texans, we take great pride in our state. We have a long history rich in tradition, innovation and compassion. Over the course of our state’s history, we’ve weathered natural disasters, tragedies, and some of the worst conditions of the Great Depression. At every turn, Texans have shown great character, lending a helping hand to their neighbors and caring for the neediest among us.

Today, we must continue that spirit of compassion when it comes to the health-care needs of low-income children, the disabled and those who need assistance the most. But instead of expanding a system that is already failing them, as Obamacare would have us do, we must takes steps to strengthen our health-care safety-net programs in a way that offers the poorest Texans a higher level of quality health care and access to the physicians and medical care they need.

Don’t just take my word for it. In a 2012 survey conducted by the Texas Medical Association, a large majority of Texas physicians agreed that Medicaid was “broken” and should not be used as “a mechanism to reduce the uninsured.” Indeed, there are much better ways to expand insurance coverage than simply pushing more Texans into an already dysfunctional and unaffordable program.

Supporters of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion generally make three arguments: (1) It would provide Texas with “free money,” because the federal government would be picking up the tab. (2) It would reduce the financial strain on hospitals struggling with excessive emergency-room visits. (3) It would guarantee quality health coverage for many of the uninsured.

More at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/04/01/guest-column-expanding-texas-medicaid-would-weaken/ .

[font color=green]Conservatives rally at the Capitol today to oppose Medicaid legislation. Please check back for updates.[/font]

[font color=navy]Texas GOP stands firm against Medicaid expansion

With protesters loudly chanting outside the governor’s reception room in the Capitol, Gov. Rick Perry and leading Republicans stood before a crowd of reporters Monday morning to repeat their strong opposition to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

The show of solidarity included U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, U.S. Reps. Joe Barton and Michael Burgess, leading Republicans from the Legislature and several conservative leaders.

“Texas will not be held hostage by the Obama administration’s attempt to force us into this fool’s errand of adding more than a million Texans to a broken system,” Perry said. “Medicaid expansion is, simply put, a misguided and ultimately doomed attempt to mask the shortcomings of Obamacare.”

Republicans have been under pressure from hospitals, counties and business leaders to expand the number of low-income Texans covered by Medicaid, receiving about $79 billion in federal money for 10 years. The cost to the state would be about $9 billion, state health officials estimate.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/texas-gop-stands-firm-against-medicaid-expansion/nW8nJ/ .

Lawmakers Grapple With End-of-Life Legislation

Texas lawmakers have grappled year after year over whether families or medical professionals should make the final decision on when to end a terminally ill patient’s life-sustaining care. This year, they seem closer to a compromise.

“If we were only making decisions based on medical facts, everything would be straightforward,” said Dr. Leigh Fredholm, the medical director of Seton Palliative Care at the University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin. “But that’s not how we make decisions.”

State law allows physicians to discontinue treatment they deem medically futile. If a physician’s decision to end treatment contradicts the patient’s advanced directive or the judgment of the patient’s surrogates, state law gives patients or their families 10 days to find an alternative provider and appeal the physician’s decision to a hospital ethics committee.

Advocacy groups that identify as “pro-life” say existing law does not go far enough to protect the interests of patients or their families. But they are divided on how legislators should reform it. While support in the Legislature’s upper chamber seems to be coalescing around Senate Bill 303, which would tweak the existing process, some endorse bills that would prohibit physicians or hospital ethics committees from making the final decision to end treatment.

More at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/04/01/lawmakers-grapple-end-life-legislation/ .
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Apr 1, 2013, 12:25 PM (1 replies)

Kim Calls Atomic Weapons Top Priority as Korea Tensions Rise

Source: Bloomberg

Kim Jong Un called nuclear weapons development one of North Korea’s top priorities as his country ratcheted up tensions by declaring a state of war with South Korea and reiterating threats to attack the U.S.

Nuclear arms can “never be abandoned” nor “traded with billions of dollars,” Kim said yesterday at a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported. North Korea’s rubber stamp parliament meets today to ratify his remarks.

Tensions have escalated since North Korea detonated a nuclear device in February, denounced tightened United Nations sanctions and threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes in response to U.S.- South Korea military drills. The U.S. yesterday said it takes North Korean threats seriously while denouncing the “long history of bellicose rhetoric.”

The Obama administration yesterday sent F-22 Raptor fighter jets to South Korea to reinforce its commitment to defending its ally. While North Korea said March 30 it may shut the jointly run Gaeseong industrial zone in response to recent flights over the Korean peninsula by U.S. stealth bombers, South Korean workers crossed the border into the area today.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-01/kim-calls-nuclear-weapons-top-priority-as-korea-tensions-climb.html

End of line for state's super computer

ALBUQUERQUE — It’s the end of the line for Roadrunner, a first-of-its-kind collection of processors that once reigned as the world’s fastest supercomputer.

The $121 million supercomputer, housed at one of the nation’s premier nuclear weapons research laboratories in Northern New Mexico, will be decommissioned Sunday.

The reason? The world of supercomputing is evolving and Roadrunner has been replaced with something smaller, faster, more energy efficient and cheaper. Still, officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory say it’s among the 25 fastest supercomputers in the world.

“Roadrunner got everyone thinking in new ways about how to build and use a supercomputer,” said Gary Grider, who works in the lab’s high performance computing division. “Specialized processors are being included in new ways on new systems and being used in novel ways. Our demonstration with Roadrunner caused everyone to pay attention.”

More at http://www.santafenewmexican.com/life/tech/article_f4894a40-dff5-5bb2-ae0a-d294926c0ded.html .

[font color=green]This was the first supercomputer that could process over a quadrillion calculations per second.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Apr 1, 2013, 01:15 AM (0 replies)

Cancer screening cut from state budget: Letter

As a breast cancer survivor, I believe all women in Louisiana deserve access to critical life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatment. For years, the Louisiana Breast and Cervical Health Program has helped low-income, uninsured and underserved women gain access to lifesaving tests for breast and cervical cancer, but the funding for this program has been cut from the 2013-14 state budget.

The program currently receives $700,000 in state funding. By eliminating that funding, Louisiana risks losing the program's federal matching funds as well. This would amount to a total cut of $2.8 million. This funding cut would have a devastating impact on breast and cervical cancer care in our state, as the cut would result in estimated 15,556 fewer women being served.

Louisiana's state budget should not be balanced on the backs of uninsured and underinsured women.

Kathleen Judge

Volunteer, American Cancer Society
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Apr 1, 2013, 01:09 AM (1 replies)

Partying continues in Austin despite North Korea's threats of missile attack

AUSTIN -- If there was any anxiety in Texas' capital city from being named as a possible target by an increasingly belligerent North Korea, it was hard to find Friday.

Tourists and townsfolk alike were clearly in a mellow mood as they strolled along Austin's storied Sixth Street, seemingly oblivious to the possibility they could be in the cross-hairs of mercurial dictator Kim Jong Un.

"Austin, seriously?" said an amused Jeff Miller, a 34-year-old restaurant worker, as he sat inside The Jackalope, a bar and restaurant named after the mythical creature. "He's going to wreck a couple of musical festivals, I guess."

In a city that prides itself on tolerance and its world-famous motto, "Keep Austin Weird," Miller's response typified the street reaction to media reports that Austin is one of four U.S. targets of a missile strike plan prepared by the North Korean leader and his senior military strategists

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/03/30/4738185/partying-continues-in-austin-despite.html#storylink=cpy