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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: 64,516

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

Abbott’s Houston raid didn’t end with arrests, but shut down voter drive

On an overcast Monday afternoon, officers in bulletproof vests swept into a house on Houston’s north side. The armed deputies and agents served a search warrant. They carted away computers, hard drives and documents.

The raid targeted a voter registration group called Houston Votes, which was accused of election fraud. It was initiated by investigators for Attorney General Greg Abbott. His aides say he is duty-bound to preserve the integrity of the ballot box.

His critics, however, say that what Abbott has really sought to preserve is the power of the Republican Party in Texas. They accuse him of political partisanship, targeting key Democratic voting blocs, especially minorities and the poor, in ways that make it harder for them to vote, or for their votes to count.

A close examination of the Houston Votes case reveals the consequences when an elected official pursues hotly contested allegations of election fraud.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/state-politics/20140830-abbotts-houston-raid-didnt-end-with-arrests-but-shut-down-voter-drive.ece

Greg Abbott's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Weekend

By Carol Morgan

Poor Greg Abbott! He can’t catch a break these last three days. It’s certainly no bedtime story like Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It's more like a campaign nightmare.

On Thursday, Abbott lost his fight to defend $5.4 billion in education cuts as the Texas school finance system was ruled unconstitutional.

On Friday, a federal judge ruled that HB2 (the law shutting down women’s health clinics) was unconstitutional.

Worst of all, Abbott unwisely decided to back out of his commitment to a previously agreed-upon debate with his opponent, Wendy Davis. His campaign manager claimed it was because of the roundtable format which has no response time limits, but in May, it was quite a different story.

Abbott sent a letter accepting WFAA’s terms of the debate, along with the cheery statement, “We’ve made our personal engagement with voters a focal point.”

Yeah, right.

The controversy worsened because it was announced on a Friday before a long weekend. Abbott mistakenly believed he could sequester himself from the political repercussions of his decision, but there was some fall-out, plenty of it.

One Ft Worth columnist tweeted that it was because Abbott “didn’t come off well on TV.” A member of his own party, Republican Senator Robert Corona commented that Mr. Abbott either couldn’t or wouldn’t defend his side on the issues.

We won’t know until September 2nd or 3rd as to when or even if there will be a televised debate between Davis and Abbott. Abbott wins; Texas loses.

When Abbott back-pedaled and announced he would agree to another debate (although not the previous one, no one knew which debate he was talking about), Harvey Kronberg of the Quorum Report shamed the AG, commenting that Abbott was “looking an awful lot like Clayton Williams refusing to shake Ann Richard's hand”, claiming “it looks like the Abbott Campaign is the one that can't shoot straight.”

If I were Greg Abbott, I’d definitely want to avoid debating Wendy Davis. First of all, Mr. Abbott’s not exactly the most charismatic speaker (bless his heart!) and the camera doesn’t love him very much.

But the most important question is this: What is it that Greg Abbott could defend in a debate?

Would he really want to defend his record in front of a television camera with millions of Texans watching? That he “gets up every morning and sues the federal government?”

His record of cutting funding to education, siding against rape victims, allowing his campaign donors to pilfer CPRIT, money that was meant for cancer victims? His record of taking money from the Koch dynasty in return for doing nothing about regulations that would prevent another West explosion? His records of siding with political insiders over hardworking Texans?

Perhaps he worries over losing two court cases? Or that he leads Wendy Davis by only eight points? Or is it his involvement in CPRIT? And with good reason, the CPRIT fiasco’s already taken down Teflon-Rick a notch or two; perhaps others will follow.

Ms. Davis has requested multiple statewide debates, but Abbott only committed to two—one in McAllen and one in Dallas. The Dallas debate scheduled for the end of September would have reached 83% of all Texas voters. So now we’re down to one single debate, and that’s exactly how Abbott wants it; as little exposure as possible about his record would be a mark in the "win" column.

If we examine the GOP candidates down the ballot, avoiding debates seems to be their “thing”.

Dan Patrick has scheduled only a SINGLE debate with Leticia Van de Putte, yet when he ran in the GOP primary for Lieutenant Governor, he participated in over twenty debates.

Glenn Hegar won’t respond to Mike Collier’s debate requests.

And Ken Paxton? Maybe he’s afraid to debate Sam Houston because he admitted to committing a felony. Or could it be his possible disbarment? It’s hard to believe that a candidate with two pending strikes could even be considered for the office of Texas Attorney General.

All the Texas GOP candidates are afraid to debate because their extremist agenda will reveal itself in the spirited context of a televised discussion (emphasis mine). No meaningless buzz words like “family values” and “border security” can camouflage the facts and the truth.

The people of Texas deserve to hear from the candidates running for the office of governor and every race down the ballot. They want to hear about the issues that Texans face and how the candidates will solve them.

Only then can they make some thoughtful choices for the right candidate for Texas' future. We have only 66 days to think on it.

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2014-08-30/greg-abbotts-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-weekend#.VAKsjmNgD2S

Permission granted to post this blog in its entirety. Cross-posted in the Texas Group.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol Morgan is a career/college counselor, writer, speaker, former Democratic candidate for the Texas House and the award-winning author of Of Tapestry, Time and Tears, a historical fiction about the 1947 Partition of India. Read her work at the Houston Press and MetroLeader News Service. Email Carol at elizabethcmorgan@sbcglobal.net , follow her on Twitter and on Facebook or visit her writer’s blog at www.carolmorgan.org

Greg Abbott's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Weekend

By Carol Morgan

Poor Greg Abbott! He can’t catch a break these last three days. It’s certainly no bedtime story like Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It's more like a campaign nightmare.

On Thursday, Abbott lost his fight to defend $5.4 billion in education cuts as the Texas school finance system was ruled unconstitutional.

On Friday, a federal judge ruled that HB2 (the law shutting down women’s health clinics) was unconstitutional.

Worst of all, Abbott unwisely decided to back out of his commitment to a previously agreed-upon debate with his opponent, Wendy Davis. His campaign manager claimed it was because of the roundtable format which has no response time limits, but in May, it was quite a different story.

Abbott sent a letter accepting WFAA’s terms of the debate, along with the cheery statement, “We’ve made our personal engagement with voters a focal point.”

Yeah, right.

The controversy worsened because it was announced on a Friday before a long weekend. Abbott mistakenly believed he could sequester himself from the political repercussions of his decision, but there was some fall-out, plenty of it.

One Ft Worth columnist tweeted that it was because Abbott “didn’t come off well on TV.” A member of his own party, Republican Senator Robert Corona commented that Mr. Abbott either couldn’t or wouldn’t defend his side on the issues.

We won’t know until September 2nd or 3rd as to when or even if there will be a televised debate between Davis and Abbott. Abbott wins; Texas loses.

When Abbott back-pedaled and announced he would agree to another debate (although not the previous one, no one knew which debate he was talking about), Harvey Kronberg of the Quorum Report shamed the AG, commenting that Abbott was “looking an awful lot like Clayton Williams refusing to shake Ann Richard's hand”, claiming “it looks like the Abbott Campaign is the one that can't shoot straight.”

If I were Greg Abbott, I’d definitely want to avoid debating Wendy Davis. First of all, Mr. Abbott’s not exactly the most charismatic speaker (bless his heart!) and the camera doesn’t love him very much.

But the most important question is this: What is it that Greg Abbott could defend in a debate?

Would he really want to defend his record in front of a television camera with millions of Texans watching? That he “gets up every morning and sues the federal government?”

His record of cutting funding to education, siding against rape victims, allowing his campaign donors to pilfer CPRIT, money that was meant for cancer victims? His record of taking money from the Koch dynasty in return for doing nothing about regulations that would prevent another West explosion? His records of siding with political insiders over hardworking Texans?

Perhaps he worries over losing two court cases? Or that he leads Wendy Davis by only eight points? Or is it his involvement in CPRIT? And with good reason, the CPRIT fiasco’s already taken down Teflon-Rick a notch or two; perhaps others will follow.

Ms. Davis has requested multiple statewide debates, but Abbott only committed to two—one in McAllen and one in Dallas. The Dallas debate scheduled for the end of September would have reached 83% of all Texas voters. So now we’re down to one single debate, and that’s exactly how Abbott wants it; as little exposure as possible about his record would be a mark in the "win" column.

If we examine the GOP candidates down the ballot, avoiding debates seems to be their “thing”.

Dan Patrick has scheduled only a SINGLE debate with Leticia Van de Putte, yet when he ran in the GOP primary for Lieutenant Governor, he participated in over twenty debates.

Glenn Hegar won’t respond to Mike Collier’s debate requests.

And Ken Paxton? Maybe he’s afraid to debate Sam Houston because he admitted to committing a felony. Or could it be his possible disbarment? It’s hard to believe that a candidate with two pending strikes could even be considered for the office of Texas Attorney General.

All the Texas GOP candidates are afraid to debate because their extremist agenda will reveal itself in the spirited context of a televised discussion (emphasis mine). No meaningless buzz words like “family values” and “border security” can camouflage the facts and the truth.

The people of Texas deserve to hear from the candidates running for the office of governor and every race down the ballot. They want to hear about the issues that Texans face and how the candidates will solve them.

Only then can they make some thoughtful choices for the right candidate for Texas' future. We have only 66 days to think on it.

http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2014-08-30/greg-abbotts-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-weekend#.VAKsjmNgD2S

Permission granted to post this blog in its entirety. Cross-posted in the General Discussion forum.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carol Morgan is a career/college counselor, writer, speaker, former Democratic candidate for the Texas House and the award-winning author of Of Tapestry, Time and Tears, a historical fiction about the 1947 Partition of India. Read her work at the Houston Press and MetroLeader News Service. Email Carol at elizabethcmorgan@sbcglobal.net , follow her on Twitter and on Facebook or visit her writer’s blog at www.carolmorgan.org

Saturday Night's 80s Doubleshot: Joe Jackson

I went to pick up some food earlier today and I heard the second song on the restaurant so I listened for the chorus to get enough lyrics to do a search to determine the performing artist. I found that Joe Jackson was the singer and then learned that he also was the singer of the more popular song that is posted first. For people that hung out at nightclubs in the 80s it will be a familiar hit.



In Texas, Cruz sounds like he's running in 2016

DALLAS — Firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz is sounding increasingly like he's made up his mind to run for president in 2016.

The tea party-backed Texan's rousing speech Saturday in Dallas energized thousands at the summit of Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the billionaire Koch brothers.

Cruz said of the GOP — quote— "We're going to win in 2014 and 2016 is going to be even better."

His speech came a day after two other possible 2016 presidential candidates, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, gave spirited addresses.

Read more: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2014-08-30/texas-cruz-sounds-hes-running-2016#comment-346460

GOP majority resists calls for swift action on Texas’ school funding

AUSTIN — Democratic lawmakers and virtually all public education groups want swift action to address Thursday’s court ruling that overturned the Texas school finance system. But the GOP majority in the Legislature insists it will not respond until the state’s highest court weighs in.

That means lawmakers probably won’t take any significant action to add money to school budgets in their 2015 session. But GOP leaders appear willing to consider changes on other issues that contributed to the ruling by District Judge John Dietz of Austin, such as further easing student testing requirements.

-snip-

Senate Education Committee Chairman Dan Patrick, R-Houston, reflected the feelings of many GOP lawmakers when he pointed out that the court ruling is the opinion of one man, a Democratic Travis County judge.

“The final say will come from the Supreme Court,” said Patrick, the Republican nominee and front-runner for lieutenant governor this year.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20140829-gop-majority-resists-calls-for-swift-action-on-texas-school-funding.ece

With crowds all atwitter, SXSW named "most loved" U.S. festival

People love to talk, post and tweet about South By Southwest more than any other music festival in the U.S.

That’s the finding of a new study by the ticketing and event management company Eventbrite and the social media analytics firm Mashwork, which looked at the social media traffic centered around fests and put SXSW at the top of the list of the 25 “most loved” festivals in the country. The analysis of more than 21 million tweets and other social media posts over the course of one year found that the majority of fan conversations and posts about a festival concern their overall experience and brand identity rather than details about artists and performances.

Get a look at the whole report here: (PDF Format)

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/creative/2014/08/with-crowds-all-atwitter-sxsw-named-most-loved-u-s.html

Ex-ArthroCare executives get prison time in fraud case

Four former executives of ArthroCare Corp. were sentenced to federal prison Friday for their roles in orchestrating a $756 million scheme to defraud investors in the formerly Austin-based company, which makes surgical products.

A federal Western District of Texas jury in June found former ArthroCare CEO Michael Baker guilty of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud and false statements. Michael Gluk, the company’s former chief financial officer, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Friday sentenced Baker to 20 years in prison, fined him $1 million and ordered him to forfeit $21.6 million in personal assets. Gluk was sentenced to 10 years in prison, was fined $50,000 and ordered to forfeit $581,000 in personal assets.

Co-conspirators John Raffle and David Applegate, both former senior vice presidents of ArthroCare, pleaded guilty to multiple felonies in 2013 in connection with their participation in the scheme.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/business/ex-arthrocare-executives-get-prison-time-in-fraud-/nhCLH/

[font color=green]After a slow week the Friday evening news dump has some interesting and important stories.[/font]

Greg Abbott: Bag bans may violate state law

Bans on single-use grocery bags in Austin and at least eight other Texas cities may violate state law, Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a written opinion Friday.

The opinion, however, was far from definitive, and Abbott declined to assess the legality of ordinances adopted by individual cities.

Requested by state Rep. Dan Flynn, a conservative Republican from Northeast Texas, the opinion concluded that the bag bans appear to violate a Texas Health and Safety Code provision that was added in 1993 to encourage recycling and help cities reduce the amount of waste heading to landfills.

The provision says cities cannot “prohibit or restrict, for solid waste management purposes, the sale or use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law.”

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/abbott-bag-bans-may-violate-state-law/nhCGq/

[font color=green]Will he sue or will he not sue, that is the question?[/font]

After pulling out of one debate, Abbott accepts another

Greg Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign, which Friday morning abruptly pulled out of a statewide televised debate with state Sen. Wendy Davis to catcalls of “coward” and “chicken” from Democrats, announced late Friday afternoon that it had accepted an invitation for another statewide televised debate for the same day with a format it found more to its liking.

Abbott’s campaign said they pulled out of the WFAA/Texas Tribune debate, which was to have been held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 30, because they did not like the round table format, which allows for a little more give and take than a more tightly structured debate.

But, after being bombarded with criticism, albeit mostly from Democrats, for dropping out of one of only two debates scheduled for the general election campaign, the Abbott campaign shortly before 5 p.m announced it had accepted an invitation from KERA, NBC5/KXAS-TV, Telemundo 39 and the Dallas Morning News to participate in a statewide televised debated on September 30 at 8 p.m.

-snip-

According to the Abbott campaign, “the Sept. 30 debate will be distributed statewide without restriction to TV and radio stations, and all media will have the opportunity to stream it online.”

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/after-pulling-out-of-one-debate-abbott-accepts-ano/nhCK9/
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