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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: 69,466

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

PainMD owner arrested, accused of attempting to defraud taxpayers of $38M

A Nashville businessman who led a pain clinic company accused of giving patients unnecessary injections has now been indicted on allegations that he attempted to defraud taxpayers with $38 million in false medical claims.

Michael Kestner, 67, the CEO and majority owner of PainMD, was arrested Tuesday. Kestner was escorted to a federal court hearing in handcuffs and shackles, then pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released pending trial.

Kestner's attorney, Peter Strianse, said after the hearing that all injections provided at PainMD clinics were "medically necessary" and intended to alleviate the need for opioid painkillers.

"Mr. Kestner was relying exclusively on the expert advice of doctors who told him this was an acceptable alternative to opioids and there was a good, sound, medical reasons for giving these types of injections," Strianse said.

Read more: https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/health/2019/10/15/rinova-painmd-ceo-michael-kestner-arrested-fraud-pain-clinics/3985244002/

Tennessee's refugee resettlement lawsuit dealt major setback, leaving U.S. Supreme Court as final

Tennessee's refugee resettlement lawsuit dealt major setback, leaving U.S. Supreme Court as final option


Tennessee's lawsuit against the federal government over refugee resettlement hit another major setback Wednesday, after a panel of judges rejected a request for the case to be heard by the full 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The move sets the stage for the case to possibly be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court. An attorney working on behalf of Tennessee's lawsuit said Wednesday they plan to petition the nation's highest court to hear the case.

In September, attorneys hired on behalf of the Volunteer State filed a petition seeking the appeals court to reconsider the case, which dates back to a 2016 resolution approved by the Tennessee General Assembly.

The lawsuit, which was filed in March 2017, is based on an assertion that the federal government is forcing states to pay for costs related to refugee resettlement while violating the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Read more: https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/16/tennessee-refugee-resettlement-lawsuit-dealt-major-setback-supreme-court/3996637002/

Family Of 2-Year-Old Killed At Cummins Falls Sues Tennessee State Parks

The family of a 2-year-old who died at Cummins Falls State Park this summer filed a lawsuit this week, saying the state's negligence led to Steven Pierce's death.

Central to the lawsuit against the state is park officials' decision to allow visitors to Cummins Falls on June 9. It also argues the park should have had more safety measures in place, and it claims rangers gave Steven Pierce's father directions that led to his getting swept away in floodwaters.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which oversees the state parks system, says it does not wish to comment on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit cites a "series of human errors," starting with park officials' deciding to open the waterfall to the public, despite knowing rain was in the forecast. Once visitors were there, the lawsuit says, the park provided life jackets at the base of the waterfall, but visitors had to give them back before they hiked through the gorge to the trailhead.

Read more: https://www.nashvillepublicradio.org/post/family-2-year-old-killed-cummins-falls-sues-tennessee-state-parks

ICE Sought Student Records From a Nashville Elementary School

In an escalation that alarmed advocates and Metro officials, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents showed up at a Nashville elementary school last month asking for student records.

Metro Nashville Public Schools confirmed to the Scene that immigration officials made the request at Una Elementary School in southeast Nashville, but said that school officials did not release any information. The school is notably diverse and has a significant immigrant population. Thirty-nine percent of it students are English Language Learners, and 23 different languages are spoken at the school.

MNPS spokesperson K. Dawn Rutledge elaborated on the school's response to ICE in a statement:

Under Policy 6.600, all MNPS employees, contractors, and volunteers are respectful of the privacy of students and families. Confidential student records and information are not to be released. If anyone other than the student’s parent, guardian or other person the parent has authorized calls the school or comes to the school requesting access to a student, student records, or information about a student, only an authorized official (the principal) has authority to determine whether the student information can be released.

If the person requesting the information produces a document that appears to be a legal document that a principal has any question about, such as a warrant or other court order, MNPS principals are instructed to call their superiors for support and review.

It is a principal’s responsibility to share and explain the practical application of the policy to the school’s staff, including teachers and front office personnel, so they can help assure a safe and welcoming environment conducive to learning.


Following ICE's visit to Una Elementary, the district's interim director of schools Adrienne Battle sent a memo to Nashville principals on Sept. 26 emphasizing the student records policy. The memo did not address the incident involving ICE.

Read more: https://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/21091593/ice-sought-student-records-from-a-nashville-elementary-school

Nashville Metro Will Not Open Emergency Shelters This Winter

Nashville’s homeless service providers are scrambling to prepare for the cold weather after Metro revealed it would not open emergency shelters this winter. The announcement, which came during an Emergency Weather Committee & Stakeholder meeting Monday night, leaves a gap in the winter strategy private providers had been coordinating.

“We’ve been planning on [the shelters] to happen, we pushed for them to happen,” Lindsey Krinks tells the Scene. Krinks, the co-founder of Open Table Nashville — a nonprofit that focuses on addressing issues of poverty and homelessness — says Metro’s decision results in a shortfall of 200 to 300 shelter beds. Krinks was blindsided by the decision, saying “we received no communication” from the city ahead of the decision.

Vice Mayor Jim Shulman is also surprised by the news. “I thought everything was taken care of as of two weeks ago,” he tells the Scene. As far as he knew, transportation was the last issue they hadn’t figured out for the winter plan. “We need to act quickly, bring all the parties together and figure this out.”

In past winters, Metro would open up additional shelters when temperatures dropped below 28 degrees. The cold-weather response also included coordinated efforts around transportation and meals. According to a government website hosting data on Metro shelters, “During the three-month period of December 2017-February 2018, Metro Social Services provided shelter to approximately 2,200 homeless clients and their pets.” Shelters were open 18 different nights that winter, and Metro saw an average of 121 guests per night.

Read more: https://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/21092622/metro-will-not-open-emergency-shelters-this-winter

Beto's Marijuana Moment

During a discussion about solutions to the opioid crisis during last night’s Democratic primary debate, Beto O’Rourke suggested that when pharmaceutical companies go low, we should get high.

The former congressman from El Paso said a veteran he once met wouldn’t have gotten addicted to heroin if the veteran had been prescribed marijuana instead of opioids for his health condition. “Now imagine that veteran, instead of being prescribed an opioid, had been prescribed marijuana, because we made that legal in America [and] ensured the VA could prescribe it,” O’Rourke said.

This was a savvy answer. It clearly won O’Rourke some fans: At the mention of weed, the entrepreneur Andrew Yang, another Democratic presidential candidate, yelled across the stage, “PREACH, Beto.” (And thereby perhaps underscored O’Rourke’s famed youth-pastor energy.) O’Rourke was also in line with the majority of American voters—two-thirds of whom also support legalizing marijuana—as well as the majority of Democratic candidates for president. Joe Biden, the former vice president, whose stance on marijuana is the most conservative of the bunch, has called merely for decriminalizing the substance.

Putting forth marijuana as a solution for chronic pain stands to differentiate O’Rourke, whose campaign has been flagging in recent months. The other candidates mostly focused on putting pharmaceutical executives who have peddled opioids in jail. That’s all well and just, Beto seemed to say, but marijuana could help replace those awful opioids we’re trying to get rid of.

Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/10/beto-legalized-marijuana/600106/

Beto's Marijuana Moment

During a discussion about solutions to the opioid crisis during last night’s Democratic primary debate, Beto O’Rourke suggested that when pharmaceutical companies go low, we should get high.

The former congressman from El Paso said a veteran he once met wouldn’t have gotten addicted to heroin if the veteran had been prescribed marijuana instead of opioids for his health condition. “Now imagine that veteran, instead of being prescribed an opioid, had been prescribed marijuana, because we made that legal in America [and] ensured the VA could prescribe it,” O’Rourke said.

This was a savvy answer. It clearly won O’Rourke some fans: At the mention of weed, the entrepreneur Andrew Yang, another Democratic presidential candidate, yelled across the stage, “PREACH, Beto.” (And thereby perhaps underscored O’Rourke’s famed youth-pastor energy.) O’Rourke was also in line with the majority of American voters—two-thirds of whom also support legalizing marijuana—as well as the majority of Democratic candidates for president. Joe Biden, the former vice president, whose stance on marijuana is the most conservative of the bunch, has called merely for decriminalizing the substance.

Putting forth marijuana as a solution for chronic pain stands to differentiate O’Rourke, whose campaign has been flagging in recent months. The other candidates mostly focused on putting pharmaceutical executives who have peddled opioids in jail. That’s all well and just, Beto seemed to say, but marijuana could help replace those awful opioids we’re trying to get rid of.

Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/10/beto-legalized-marijuana/600106/

Beto O'Rourke Shames Bill O'Reilly for Doubting Story of Mom Working Four Jobs: "She has to live in

BETO O'ROURKE SHAMES BILL O'REILLY FOR DOUBTING STORY OF MOM WORKING FOUR JOBS: 'SHE HAS TO LIVE IN HER CAR—WHILE A DISGRACED TV HOST LIKE YOU MAKES MILLIONS'


Beto O'Rourke appeared to put political commentator Bill O'Reilly to shame on Tuesday after the pundit tried to cast doubt on a story he shared during the Democratic 2020 debate about a mother forced to work four jobs to keep her family afloat.

O'Rourke had sought to share the story as an example of the harsh realities of income inequality in the U.S. during Tuesday evening's debate.

Asked whether he believed a wealth tax would be "the best way" to address income inequality, O'Rourke said he believed a tax that would make the ultra-wealth pay more could be "part of the solution."

"I think we need to be focused on lifting people up," O'Rourke, a former Texas representative said, before telling the story of a mother he had met in Las Vegas, who might benefit from such support.

Read more: https://www.newsweek.com/beto-orourke-bill-oreilly-2020-democratic-debate-income-inequality-1465554

Beto O'Rourke Shames Bill O'Reilly for Doubting Story of Mom Working Four Jobs: "She has to live in

BETO O'ROURKE SHAMES BILL O'REILLY FOR DOUBTING STORY OF MOM WORKING FOUR JOBS: 'SHE HAS TO LIVE IN HER CAR—WHILE A DISGRACED TV HOST LIKE YOU MAKES MILLIONS'


Beto O'Rourke appeared to put political commentator Bill O'Reilly to shame on Tuesday after the pundit tried to cast doubt on a story he shared during the Democratic 2020 debate about a mother forced to work four jobs to keep her family afloat.

O'Rourke had sought to share the story as an example of the harsh realities of income inequality in the U.S. during Tuesday evening's debate.

Asked whether he believed a wealth tax would be "the best way" to address income inequality, O'Rourke said he believed a tax that would make the ultra-wealth pay more could be "part of the solution."

"I think we need to be focused on lifting people up," O'Rourke, a former Texas representative said, before telling the story of a mother he had met in Las Vegas, who might benefit from such support.

Read more: https://www.newsweek.com/beto-orourke-bill-oreilly-2020-democratic-debate-income-inequality-1465554

Memphis audience angry, anxious about Medicaid block grant proposal

Dozens of people spoke against the proposed $7.85 billion Medicaid block grant amendment Tuesday, Oct. 15, during a hastily-scheduled public hearing at the University of Memphis. And nearly a hundred others clapped and cheered at their outrage and frustration.

“This is clear, people will die if this proposal goes into effect, and they will be our poorest, oldest, most vulnerable neighbors,” said Rachel Ledbetter, a third-year law student in Memphis who spoke candidly that the state should be expanding Medicaid plans just as 36 other states have done instead of looking for ways to save money.

“This plan gives the state authority to cut services as they please without any accountability,” she said.

“If you value the lives of Tennesseans and access to health care, then expand Medicaid in our state.”

Read more: https://dailymemphian.com/section/businesshealthcare/article/8186/memphis-audience-angry-anxious-about-medicaid
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