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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: 64,969

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

The Stranglers - Waltzinblack (1981)



Happy Halloween!

Inside Beto's Plan to Turn Out Black Voters in Houston

With two days till early voting, Cameron Mayfield, a Beto O’Rourke field organizer, gets busy setting up a makeshift campaign office in a corner of a combination KFC/Taco Bell in Kashmere Gardens, a predominantly black neighborhood in northeast Houston. Mayfield lugs in a laptop and phone charger. Precinct maps and campaign literature are piled haphazardly on the table.

While other parts of the city are flush with Beto volunteers, the KFC/Taco Bell franchise owner was the only one in this neighborhood to offer up space to the campaign. The men’s bathroom is currently out of order, employees take orders from behind bulletproof glass and, of course, there’s no WiFi.

Kashmere Gardens is one of the poorest parts of the city — median household income hovers around $26,000 — and it was among the areas hardest hit by Harvey. Forty percent of neighborhood residents affected by the storm are still living in homes that need repair. It also has a large concentration of people who’ve been incarcerated, many of whom are unclear about their voting eligibility. Many are unaware that their voting rights are restored once they get off probation or parole.

Kyle Maronie, who grew up in Settegast, a neighborhood a few miles to the northeast, shows up for the noon shift — he’s the main volunteer Mayfield depends on. It’s not easy work. People are often hesitant to answer the door and don’t want to talk.

Read more: https://www.texasobserver.org/inside-betos-plan-to-turn-out-black-voters-in-houston/

To Avoid Surprises, Experts Warn Consumers To Pay Closer Attention To ER Insurance Coverage

There’s an uptick in health insurance companies not covering emergency room care, according a consumer advocacy group.

Washington, D.C.-based Consumers for Quality Care said the increase is the result of the Trump administration pushing less regulated health care plans in its effort to undo protections created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Milton Rodriguez, who lives in Austin, is trying to find out why his insurance company hasn't paid a recent ER bill.

Rodriguez, who does auditing for a company based in California, said health insurance through his job was “completely outrageous.”

Read more: http://www.kut.org/post/avoid-surprises-experts-warn-consumers-pay-closer-attention-er-insurance-coverage

Giant Mural of Beto O'Rourke as 'Superman' Pops Up in Houston

A giant mural featuring Democratic candidate for Senate Beto O’Rourke as a superhero-inspired figure has popped up in the Second Ward.

“We decided to do Beto in kind of a Superman garb,” Melissa Eason, one of the artists behind the mural, said. “He is holding his hands on his jacket and opening up his shirt to reveal the state of Texas with the Houston star on it.”

Congressman O’Rourke is running against GOP incumbent Senator Ted Cruz in a race that has gained national attention. The mural was completed as the first week of early voting comes to an end. Harris County saw high early voter turnout with a total of 309,115 people having cast their ballots as of Thursday, according to the Harris County Clerk.

The mural is located in the Second Ward on Harrisburg and Sampson. Eason teamed up with local muralist, Anat Ronen, to create the design, which took about three days to paint.

Read more: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/arts-culture/politics-arts-culture/2018/10/26/309609/giant-mural-of-beto-orourke-as-superman-pops-up-in-houston/

Place Your Bets: At Long Last, Texas Democrats Have Good Reason To Stay Up Election Day

It’s remarkable we’re here. For decades, Texas political junkies looking for action on the eve of a general election either had to look really small, to one of the few competitive Texas legislative races that might crop up now and then, or outside the state to one of the national contests.

By the end of October in those years, all the best hopes against Texas Republican hegemony, like Wendy Davis in 2014 and, well, Wendy Davis in 2014 have been dead in the water, their campaigns already eulogized. Who can remember the name of the Democrat who ran for governor in 2006, besides Chris Bell?

That’s not the case in 2018.

This year, thanks to an almost perfect storm of charismatic challengers, incumbent hubris and the omnipresence of President Donald Trump, Texas is, for the first time in three decades, competitive.

From the top-of-the-ticket showdown between El Paso U.S. House Rep. Beto O’Rourke and incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, to the crucial but under-the-radar attorney general’s race between Collin County’s Ken Paxton and Houston civil attorney Justin Nelson, to the numerous races down the ballot that could loosen Republicans’ iron grip on the Legislature in Austin, 20 or so undecided races throughout the state are worth paying attention to on the night of Nov. 6.

Read more: https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/texas-democrats-hopes-are-high-but-the-polls-raise-doubts-about-a-blue-wave-11289615

Texas Leadership at a Loss to Challenge Trump's Threat to Birthright Citizenship

Another day, another promise from President Donald Trump to his base ahead of next week's midterm elections. Tuesday, rather than issuing more wisdom about the caravan of Central American migrants that's still hundreds of miles from the U.S. border, Trump declared that he's considering ending birthright citizenship with an executive order. In saying so, he apparently made several of the most powerful men in Texas politics forget their legal educations.

"It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't," Trump said during an interview with the news website Axios for an upcoming HBO special. "We're the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States ... with all of those benefits ... It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous. And it has to end."

In fact, about 30 countries have birthright citizenship, among them Mexico and Canada. Trump said he plans to end the longstanding policy himself.

"It's in the process. It'll happen ... with an executive order," he said.

Read more: https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/texas-leadership-doesnt-have-an-answer-on-birthright-citizenship-11310530

Student bullied after teacher tells class he's gay -- even though he's not

The father of a student at Nixon-Smiley High School in Nixon, Tex., wants his son’s teacher fired for telling his son’s class he was gay and his girlfriend was just a cover. Nixon is about an hour east of downtown San Antonio.

According to News 4 San Antonio, the teacher acknowledged what she said and apologized, but that was after the bullying started. The father said the teacher assumed his son was gay because of the way he looks.

“He’s a well-mannered kid, takes care of himself,” he told News 4.

While the father insisted his son was straight, he insisted, “Gay or straight is not the problem here. The problem is the teacher making a comment causing bullying in a school.”

The father said he didn’t want an apology. He wants the teacher fired. Despite her apology, the bullying hasn’t stopped.

https://www.dallasvoice.com/student-bullied-after-teacher-tells-class-hes-gay-even-though-hes-not/
(no more at link)

Wood charges voter intimidation in House District 5 race

DALLAS -- Black and elderly voters are being intimidated in the 5th District congressional race to replace retiring Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Democratic candidate Dan Wood charged in a press conference held this morning (Tuesday, Oct. 30) on the grounds of Cathedral of Hope.

About 20 voters (whose names have been redacted) were listed on a lawsuit that Republican Lance Gooden sued to seal in June and Democrat Dan Wood succeeded in getting unsealed yesterday. Speaking at the press conference, Wood said Gooden asked the attorney general to investigate voter fraud but then sued to seal the case.

Elderly and minority voters from Terrell who mailed in ballots were called into court in Kaufman County and asked by the judge who they voted for, according to Wood, who said he found out about this voter intimidation when his volunteers were canvassing neighborhoods in Terrell and voters told them their experiences. One woman said she had to find out how to get a bus to Kaufman from her home because she doesn’t drive.

Five voters told Wood volunteers they would never vote again after their experiences.

Read more: https://www.dallasvoice.com/wood-charges-voter-intimidation-in-house-district-5-race/

Sugar Land May Relocate Skeletal Remains of African American Inmates Against Advice of Task Force

The fate of the skeletal remains of 95 African American inmates that were recently discovered in southeast Texas continues to plague officials in Fort Bend County. Now a task force that had been set up to recommend what to do with the remains is expressing concerns that officials in that county never intended to follow their advice and, instead, plan to move the bodies to a place that may be inaccessible to the public—once again burying an ugly part of this region’s history.

In March, construction workers in Sugar Land stumbled upon an unmarked cemetery while building a new career center for the Fort Bend Independent School District. Archaeologists and anthropologists called in to investigate eventually unearthed the skeletal remains of 95 African Americans prisoners who were buried there in the early 20th century, victims of the brutal convict leasing system under which Texas rented out its prisoners to sugar plantations like the one operated by Isaac H. Kempner and William T. Eldridge, founders of the Imperial Sugar Company.

Activist Reginald Moore had been telling the city for years that such a cemetery likely existed on the site, but he was largely ignored until the March discovery. Fort Bend ISD initially tried to keep Moore away from the dig, but after receiving worldwide media attention school officials and the city decided to change course. In August, Sugar Land created a task force to advise the city on how to properly reinter and memorialize the 95 convict laborers—and invited Moore to be a member.

But after the first three meetings, Moore and several other task force members believe Sugar Land never intended to take the group’s suggestions seriously. On October 17, the task force voted 19 to 1 to recommend that the remains be reinterred in their original location, on the property of Fort Bend ISD. (The only dissenter was Veronica Sopher, the school district’s chief communications officer.) Only two days earlier, the Fort Bend ISD board of trustees had voted to approve a so-called “interlocal” agreement with the city to transfer the remains to the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery, a few hundred yards away— the task force’s preferred alternative if the remains had to be moved. On October 23, the Sugar Land city council ratified the interlocal agreement.

Read more: https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/sugar-land-will-relocate-skeletal-remains-african-american-inmates-advice-task-force/

What Does a Texas Millionaire Do When He Loses Political Races in His State? He Spends in Montana

The political machine of Midland oilman Tim Dunn came close to getting skunked in the Texas Republican primaries this year. Empower Texans went after sixteen House incumbents who are key to the chamber’s mainstream Republican majority in the GOP primary, but only captured two of the seats. So far this year, Dunn has put $2 million into the Empower Texans PAC, either for the primary or to save a few of his tea party-backed candidates in the general election—not to mention the $250,000 he has dropped on Attorney General Ken Paxton’s re-election bid.

But a few Texas setbacks aren’t about to keep Dunn from moving to the national stage as a major far-right donor. Other than a guy from Whitefish, Montana—who donated $300—Dunn is the sole source of money for a super PAC called Senate Reform Fund. Dunn contributed $2.2 million to the super PAC, which is working to defeat U.S. Senator Jon Tester, D-Montana. Running the Senate Reform PAC is Mark Meckler, the founder of the Tea Party Patriots in Georgia. Meckler now heads Dunn’s Convention of States, a project dedicated to rewriting parts of the U.S. Constitution.

Dunn’s Senate Reform PAC transferred $290,000 to the libertarian, anti-tax group Club for Growth, and so far has spent $1.1 million on radio, television, and digital advertising against Tester.

Back when the Senate Reform Fund was formed in July, the Montana Democratic Party blasted it for gaming the Federal Election Commission filing deadlines so no one would know where the money was coming from to help Republican Matt Rosendale defeat Tester. One of the anti-Tester ads by Dunn’s committee can be seen at the 1:14 minute mark of this story from a Montana television station:

Read more: https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/texas-millionaire-loses-political-races-state-spends-montana/

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