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Profile Information

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: 84,495

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

I-69 conversion project progressing bit by bit

BROWNSVILLE -- December will mark four years since the first I-69 signs went up on U.S. 77 — on a 6.2-mile stretch of the highway between the I-37 terminus at Corpus Christi and State Highway 44 at Robstown.

It was an initial step toward the larger goal of converting U.S. 77 to interstate all the way from Brownsville to I-37. The journey isn’t over by a long shot, and no one is sure how long it will take, though officials insist that the $600 million to $800 million project is moving forward.

Until it’s done, the Rio Grande Valley will retain its status as the largest metropolitan area of the United States not connected to the rest of the country via interstate.

In May 2013, Victor Mendez, head of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), announced the big news that his agency had authorized attaching the “I-69E” designation to the roughly 50-mile stretch of U.S. 77 between Brownsville and Raymondville.

Read more: http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/business/article_8fe49776-7111-11e5-b2a0-d3af273748ec.html

Exec director of Deep East TX Council of Governments and family named in 51-page federal indictment

JASPER -- Walter Diggles, the executive director of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, was indicted on 17 federal charges Monday, including wire fraud, conspiracy and theft from government programs receiving federal funds.

Diggles is accused of orchestrating an elaborate scheme to defraud the federal government of disaster relief funds by misrepresenting and inflating the amount of money his foundation spent on providing social services, according to a federal indictment.

Diggles, DETCOG's top official appeared in a Beaumont federal courtroom Monday along with his wife, Rosie, and daughter, Anita, who also face federal charges. All three pleaded not guilty Monday.

Rosie Diggles is charged with 12 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and theft from government programs.

Read more: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Jasper-family-named-in-51-page-federal-indictment-6713522.php

I’m Ashamed Republicans Represent My Country

By Allen Clifton

I’ve never been proud of the antics of the Republican party, but I’ve never really felt true shame that these people represent my country until the last few months. I’ve reached a point where I can’t even engage in dialogue with most conservatives because the plane of idiocy and irrationality on which they operate makes any sort of sane discourse essentially impossible.

I get numerous messages every single week from conservatives proclaiming their belief that President Obama is working with ISIS. It’s one thing to disagree with a president, but it’s an entirely different level of insanity to suggest that one is aligned with the worst terrorist organization that’s ever existed to destroy the United States. Then again, these are the same folks who thought Jade Helm was a plot by the Obama administration to seize guns. Sadly, these sorts of ridiculous conspiracy theories have become the norm among many Republicans.

This is also the party that has Donald Trump and Ben Carson as its two leading presidential candidates: a 69-year-old infant who throws hissy fits on Twitter almost daily and a former brain surgeon who thinks the pyramids in Egypt were grain storages and clearly doesn’t know anything about the Middle East.

Nowadays the Republican party is nothing more than our country’s largest hate group. Not only is hate-filled rhetoric allowed, but it’s encouraged.

Read more: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/im-ashamed-republicans-represent-country/

Top 10 Worst Texans of 2015

As in years past, it was damn near impossible to narrow this list down to just 10. But we managed, and you can be sure that each of the fine folks who made the cut more than earned this dishonorable distinction.

So without further ado, check out the video and read more about 2015’s Top 10 Worst Texans below.

Read more: http://progresstexas.org/blog/top-10-worst-texans-2015#.VncZNmTez7w.facebook

PSA: DU needs volunteers for forum hosts!

I am pleased that our administrators made the upgrades for a new server that improved the functionality of this site. The performance of the site improved tremendously as we saw this past weekend. I strongly urge those that have the ability to contribute as Skinner mentioned in his thread yesterday. Skinner, EarlG and Elad are to be commended for their commitment to provide a site to support the Democratic Party.

However, financial contributions are only a piece in making DU great. It also requires volunteers who serve in other capacities such as forum hosting. If you have the opportunity to give some of your time to DU, then I encourage you to join as a forum host for DU. Click this link to volunteer to serve as a forum host. It i

You are eligible to serve as a Forum Host if you have a 100% chance of serving on a Jury. This means that you must:

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Thank you for considering this request and getting involved.

Ted Cruz’s Holiday Campaign Ad Is Ho Ho Horrible

Alright kids, grab your vomit buckets and get ready for some Yuletide nausea because degenerate Senator Ted Cruz is coming to town and he has a new campaign ad that promises to fill your stockings with Christmas fear.

I have to give the Muppet-headed Cruz credit, after his faux filibuster a couple years ago where he defiantly read “Green Eggs And Ham” on the Senate floor to try to block, I don’t know — common sense and progress? I thought I had seen the apex of stupidity involving a grown man and a children’s book, but once again Republican jackassery has proven me wrong.

Now, whether you lean right, left or or somewhere in between I think we can all agree that pasty, dull white guys from The Republican party should stay out of the comedy game. It is almost unbearable watching Cruz do his best SNL impersonation as he butchers the fine nuances of comedy and reads from such humorless titles as, “How Obamacare Stole Christmas” and “Rudolph the Underemployed Reindeer”.

But wait — the fun isn’t over yet! Not to let any good self-promoting acts of narcissism go to waste, Cruz finishes this grotesque ad with his comedy coup de grace “The Senator who Saved Christmas”, thus proving once again that what Republicans lack in intelligence, they make up for in vindictiveness. This video is truly a miserable elixir of shameful pandering, mean spirited sarcasm, and flop sweat.

Read more: http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/politics/ted-cruz-failed-comedy-attempt/

Attorney general: Classroom gun ban would violate campus carry law

A ban on concealed handguns in campus dormitories or classrooms at public colleges in Texas would run afoul of legislation passed earlier this year, state Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a nonbinding opinion Monday.

A court would likely conclude that such a school would exceed its authority under Senate Bill 11 if it prohibits the carrying of concealed handguns “in a substantial number of classrooms or delegates to individual professors the decision as to whether possession of a concealed handgun is allowed” in his or her classroom, Paxton wrote.

A ban on handguns in campus dorms “would effectively prohibit license holders in those facilities from carrying concealed handguns on campus, in violation of the express terms of Senate Bill 11,” he wrote.

State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, who authored SB 11, sought the opinion as the state’s institutions of higher learning craft plans to implement the law, which takes effect Aug. 1 of next year for universities and Aug. 1, 2017, for community colleges.

Read more: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/attorney-general-classroom-gun-ban-would-violate-c/nppnW/?icmp=statesman_internallink_referralbox_free-to-premium-referral

Richard Linklater, Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey Organize "Bernie" Fundraiser

Photo by Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson
Bernie Tiede, who had been imprisoned since 1997 for the murder of Marjorie Nugent, was released from the Panola County Detention Center in May 2014. He was released on the condition that he live with filmmaker Richard Linklater, director of the movie "Bernie."

Four years after director Richard Linklater made a dark comedy about Bernie Tiede, a genial East Texas man who killed an 81-year-old woman, the filmmaker and the film's star-studded cast are planning a fundraiser to help pay for Tiede's legal costs ahead of a new sentencing trial.

Linklater has sent out an invitation for an "uber-private" and "exclusive" fundraiser on Jan. 8 to raise between $150,000 and $200,000 for Tiede's defense fund. Tiede was convicted in 1999 of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Linklater’s film, "Bernie," featured Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey, and was based on a 1998 Texas Monthly article. It portrayed Tiede as a loveable, popular funeral director and church singer caught in an abusive relationship with a miserly wealthy widow.

Following the film's release, Tiede's attorney presented evidence that he was sexually abused as a child, a factor they argued might have persuaded the original jury to give him a lighter sentence. Tiede's life sentence for killing Marjorie Nugent was dismissed in 2014. With the agreement of the original prosecutor in the case, visiting state District Judge Diane DeVasto allowed Tiede to be released on bond while his sentencing is revisited. Nugent’s family filed court papers objecting to his release. A condition of Tiede's release was that he live in Austin with Linklater.

"The trial date is now set for early April 2016, and the reality has set in that the only way to compete with the power of the state... is to put together a top criminal defense team," Linklater writes in an invitation from "the BERNIE film gang (me, Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, and Bernie Tiede)" obtained by The Texas Tribune.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/12/21/linklater-black-mcconaughey-organizing-fundraiser-/

Funeral shrine celebrates fallen Texas A&M cockroach

COLLEGE STATION -- Candles, flowers, teddy bears and poetry piled up in homage to a fallen Aggie, whose short and meager life yielded to posthumous fame.

The memorial, built of dozens of offerings and hand-scrawled notes of remembrance, seems less inspired by the unremarkable life than the two weeks for which the body lay unnoticed in the corner of a stairwell in the university's anthropology building.

It started small—a mere star-studded palette and pink paper tombstone for a dead insect dubbed Rosie Roach. But the budding monument caught the attention of a passing professor.

"There has been a dead cockroach in the anthropology building's stairwell for at least two weeks," professor Michael Alvard wrote on Facebook on December 3, along with a picture of Rosie laid beside her mini-headstone. "Some enterprising person has now made her a little shrine."

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/strange-weird/article/Funeral-shrine-celebrates-fallen-Texas-A-M-6712892.php#photo-9143617

3 Irving brothers could face stiffer charges after 83-year-old beating victim dies

Loved ones of an 83-year-old woman who was brutally attacked in Irving were reeling Sunday as her life slipped away.

Three brothers have been charged in the aggravated assault that left Dessie Hancock with traumatic brain injuries Saturday.

Hancock, who was disconnected from life support Saturday evening, died shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday.

The suspects — Jesse Perkins, 20; Edward Perkins, 19; and Thomas Perkins, 18 — were being held in the Irving City Jail with bail set at $100,000. Police said they’ve identified no motive for the attack that occurred near the great-grandmother’s home.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/headlines/20151220-3-irving-brothers-could-face-stiffer-charges-after-83-year-old-beating-victim-dies.ece
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