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TexasTowelie

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: 87,009

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

Doped up on disinformation

Just after the sacking of the U.S. Capitol, a friend of mine sent me a typical post found on the MAGA45 page of the emergent social network MeWe:

Military arrests and takedowns begin this weekend and continue for the next 13 days…International raids have already begun. Italy has also been found complicit in our election fraud….DO NOT travel to any large cities (especially Philadelphia) for the rest of the month. Military operations will be taking place in many of the major corrupt cities…. He only has 13 days to put this corrupt dog down.


This sounds like the ravings of a delusional fool, and it is. (The person must be deeply unfamiliar with the bumbling Italian government.) But it’s no less frightening for being so.

The online fantasies of crackpots can easily migrate into real life, shepherded across by reckless political operators and right wing media, as we’ve seen repeatedly in recent years. Recall the President Donald Trump super fan who sent pipe bombs to Democrats and media figures. Or the man who drove 11 hours to kill Latinos at an El Paso Walmart. Or the attempt to kidnap and murder Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Which takes us to the recent attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Read more: https://dailymontanan.com/2021/01/30/doped-up-on-disinformation/

Kansas abortion amendment inspires call for boycott of Republican-affiliated businesses

TOPEKA — A Kansas community organizer is calling for a boycott of businesses tied to Republican politicians in wake of the Kansas Legislature’s endorsement of a constitutional amendment clarifying women in the state don’t have a right to abortion services.

The Kansas Senate affirmed a previous vote by the Kansas House to place on ballots in August 2022 the amendment to the Kansas Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The amendment would reverse a Kansas Supreme Court decision in 2019 establishing that women had the right to make decisions about continuation of pregnancies.

Legislators opposed to the constitutional amendment said passage by Kansas voters would set the stage for an end to legal abortion even to save the life of the mother or for women who were victims of rape or incest.

The amendment, which cleared the Senate 28-11 and the House 86-38, was viewed by supporters as necessary to preserve decades of abortion regulations from judicial overreach.

Read more: https://kansasreflector.com/2021/01/30/kansas-abortion-amendment-inspires-call-for-boycott-of-republican-affiliated-businesses/

Oklahoma chooses vendors for $2 billion program partially privatizing Medicaid

State officials announced the winners of up to $2.1 billion in health care contracts on Friday, a major milestone in implementing Oklahoma’s hotly debated privatized Medicaid program.

Four private health insurance companies will handle much of Oklahoma’s Medicaid program starting in October: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma; Humana Healthy Horizons; Oklahoma Complete Health, which is a subsidiary of managed care giant Centene; and United Healthcare.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has made partially privatizing Medicaid one of his administration’s top priorities. Using a policy called the managed care model, Oklahoma will begin paying private health insurance companies to coordinate much of the state’s Medicaid program, known as SoonerCare. Up to 75 percent of the state’s Medicaid enrollees will work with the private companies. That includes the anticipated 200,000 working adults who will newly qualify for Medicaid after voters passed expansion last year.

Oklahoma has some of the worst health outcomes in the country, Stitt said during a news conference at the state Capitol on Friday. The state’s current approach to health isn’t working, he said, and it’s time to try something new.

Read more: https://www.readfrontier.org/stories/oklahoma-chooses-vendors-for-2-billion-program-partially-privatizing-medicaid/

More than 200 gather indoors for GOP meeting as party chair Louis Gurvich wins re-election

More than 200 Republican activists and elected officials gathered inside a Baton Rouge church Saturday for a state GOP meeting where Louis Gurvich, chairman of the party, fended off state Rep. Lance Harris’ bid to unseat him.

The Republican State Central Committee, the sprawling elected body that comprises the infrastructure of the state GOP, voted 134-61 to re-elect Gurvich to head of the party, putting an end to a battle between Gurvich and a faction of Republicans who pushed for change at the party’s helm.

Party leadership didn’t enforce what they called a mask requirement, and the vast majority of people attending the meeting at Parkview Baptist Church in south Baton Rouge were not wearing masks for most of the roughly five-hour gathering. A small section of the pews were adorned with signs saying they were reserved for “mask wearers only.”

The meeting came less than a week after former state Rep. Steve Carter, a well-known Baton Rouge Republican, died battling COVID-19, and a month after Republican Luke Letlow died of COVID-19 complications just before taking office as congressman for Louisiana’s 5th District.

Read more: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/elections/article_034291c2-634d-11eb-9c75-5b343edf33b7.html
(Baton Rouge Advocate)

New Orleans to Congress: Hold neo-Confederate Louisiana conservatives accountable

The spectacle of five Louisiana Republicans refusing to accept legitimately cast ballots in a presidential election on Jan. 6, after a violent Trump mob trashed the U.S. Capitol, is a stark reminder of history. It’s instructive that Trump’s Republican defenders invoked the election of 1876 as a precedent for their efforts to overturn the election of 2020. Electoral violence and accusations of fraud in 1876 succeeded in muddying the waters enough to necessitate a “corrupt bargain,” the Compromise of 1877. The bargain hinged on leaving black southerners at the mercy of state leaders who proceeded to cut them completely out of the citizen’s community of the United States, in clear violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, which extended citizenship and voting rights to formerly enslaved African-Americans.

The outcome of the latest attack on democracy from white supremacist conservatives is nowhere near as decisive, but the symbolism resonates. It’s a reminder that the key historical lesson of Trumpism is that the project of Reconstruction was never completed. Just as majority black counties and parishes needed to disenfranchise voters to ensure the continuity of minority rule in the 19th Century South, the Republicans of our time hung their hopes on throwing out ballots to continue the minority rule of the past four years.

We’ve always known that Donald J. Trump never won the majority of votes, not even in 2016, and that the Republican Senate majority of the Trump years represented a smaller number of Americans than the opposition party did. Yet the refusal of Trump conservatives to accept his electoral college loss — in addition to an even larger loss of the popular vote than in 2016 — shows that today’s brand of conservatism cannot survive if everyone’s vote is allowed to count.

I wish I could say that my home state contributed to a rebirth of democracy in 2020, but the opposite is true. It fell to another former Confederate and Jim Crow state — Georgia — to topple the Trump occupation of the people’s government. Republican leaders in Louisiana, including Attorney General Jeff Landry, Sen. John Kennedy, and Congressman Steve Scalise, were on the opposite side, committed to overturning a free and fair presidential election by throwing out millions of votes from at least four states, including Georgia.

Read more: https://thelensnola.org/2021/01/21/new-orleans-to-congress-hold-neo-confederate-louisiana-conservatives-accountable/

Missouri must look to public health solutions for gun violence problems, experts say

Arletha Bland-Manlove cried out desperately for her nephew, driving with her sister from one end of Kansas City to the other, looking for him.

She knew he had been shot, but she didn’t know how or why, or which hospital he had been taken to. She didn’t know how badly he was hurt. As she drove, she bargained for his life.

“‘Please God, he’ll do this, he’ll do that, if he just makes it through,’” Arletha said. “I never believed he would die.”

With five bullet wounds in his body, Matthew Bland-Williams was already beyond saving by the time they found him at Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence. He died on July 23, 2020, just three months after his 26th birthday.

Read more: https://www.kansascity.com/news/state/missouri/gun-violence-missouri/article248528560.html

Boulevard leaders knew of sexual harassment but didn't stop it. 'They were all aware'

By the time she called Kansas City police to report sexual assaults, Hannah McEldowney felt she had exhausted her options at Boulevard Brewing Company.

She had already gone to human resources four or five times to complain about a male coworker who showered her with old Boulevard memorabilia, beers and his own T-shirt he asked her to wear to bed.

As he texted her incessantly, McEldowney grew increasingly uncomfortable with the man, a mainstay of the operation since its earliest days. To many of the women at Boulevard, he was widely known for trying to pursue inappropriate relationships with young women.

Over the course of 2018, she said he sexually assaulted her twice. And she reported him to the company.

Read more: https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article248877119.html

Gov. Parson's budget funds Missouri Medicaid expansion without cuts to other needs

Medicaid expansion will add $1.9 billion to the state budget in the coming fiscal year, with most of it paid for with federal funds and the rest from anticipated savings from a cut in state costs for the current program.

The budget Gov. Mike Parson delivered to lawmakers Wednesday anticipates that approximately 275,000 low-income adults will enroll for medical coverage. Missouri voters in August approved expanding Medicaid to everyone in households with incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty guideline.

The breakdown of costs, according to Parson’s budget, is $1.65 billion from federal funds, about $130 million from the state general revenue fund and the rest from a variety of sources, including taxes on medical providers.

About $100 million of the expense will come out of current Medicaid spending because the federal government will pick up a bigger share of the current program, said the governor’s budget director, Dan Haug.

Read more: https://missouriindependent.com/2021/01/27/gov-parsons-budget-funds-missouri-medicaid-expansion-without-cuts-to-other-needs/

Missouri lawmaker can block constituent on Twitter, appeals court rules

A state legislator embroiled in a years-long battle with a constituent over her Twitter account won a ruling Wednesday from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals allowing her to block other users.

State Rep. Cheri Reisch, R-Hallsville, has been in court since 2018 over her decision to block the account of Mike Campbell of Centralia when he retweeted a message critical of her. She lost in U.S. District Court after a trial in April 2019 when Judge Brian Wimes ruled that her account was a public forum under the control of Reisch for the primary purpose of promoting her legislative and political efforts.

As such, he wrote, Reisch must allow anyone to follow her and comment on her posts.

The appeals court disagreed in a 2-1 ruling, with Judge Morris Arnold writing in the majority opinion that Reisch’s account was primarily a private account for campaign purposes and she could block anyone she sees fit.

Read more: https://missouriindependent.com/2021/01/28/missouri-lawmaker-can-block-constituent-on-twitter-appeals-court-rules/

Connecticut school districts warn parents of potential March closures as highly contagious

Connecticut school districts warn parents of potential March closures as highly contagious coronavirus strains become more prevalent


Connecticut students may see more online learning in March, school administrators are telling families, as public health experts warn of another potential spike in coronavirus cases caused by the spread of highly contagious virus strains.

Fran Rabinowitz, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, said Thursday that districts have tried to bring back “as many students as they can” while case numbers were relatively low. But state epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Cartter has told school administrators that case numbers may again go up in late February or early March, she said.

“What I have heard from superintendents is, if they do go up ... we’ll transition to whatever model we need,” she said. For example, fully in-person learners may need to shift to a hybrid model, and/or hybrid students may need to go online-only, Rabinowtiz explained.

“We’d like to be able to give parents and families notice. I think what you’ll see superintendents sending out right now is: ‘Just be aware that this could happen,’” she said. Compared to last March, “we have much more facility in being able to transition to whatever we need to do,” she added.

Read more: https://www.courant.com/coronavirus/hc-news-coronavirus-new-strains-schools-20210129-smkcjkbtgnesfczl4d3h4zfmyi-story.html
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