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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: George West, Georgetown, Austin, Brenham and Irving, Texas
Current location: Irving
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 10,356

About Me

BS - Mathematics from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. Statistical Analyst. Played trumpet in college. Middle-aged white guy.

Journal Archives

Livestrong Foundation to donate $50 million to UT medical school

A $50 million donation from the Austin-based Livestrong Foundation has put the University of Texas over its goal of raising $3 billion and will fund an innovative cancer unit at UT’s Dell Medical School, officials said Tuesday.

The foundation’s gift, to be paid over a 10-year period, will establish the Livestrong Cancer Institutes, whose programs will focus not on treating the disease but on developing and promoting a broad approach to helping patients and their loved ones navigate it. That will include help in understanding insurance, signing up for clinical trials, connecting with other patients who received similar diagnoses and dealing with other practical, psychological and social challenges.

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional/livestrong-foundation-to-donate-50-million-to-ut-m/ng5Bk/
(premium content)

US Senate race draws focus in Alaska primary

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A whistle-stop tour of the state in an RV. An endorsement from the second man to walk on the moon. Even one of the most polarizing figures in American politics found cause to weigh in on the state she used to lead.

The last-minute scramble ahead of Tuesday's primary election in Alaska had a little bit of everything as three Republican challengers waged a contentious campaign to be the candidate to take on U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in the fall.

The race is important to Republicans nationally since Begich, a first-term incumbent Democrat, is seen as vulnerable and the GOP needs a net gain of six seats to take control of the Senate.

The Alaska GOP Senate race mirrors national trends, with tea party conservatives trying to knock out mainstream Republicans. The race features former state attorney general and natural resources commissioner Dan Sullivan, current Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and tea party favorite and 2010 GOP primary winner Joe Miller.

Read more: http://www.theeagle.com/news/politics/us-senate-race-draws-focus-in-alaska-primary/article_ab36de61-cf06-544e-871d-75f730ddb0cf.html

Wendy Davis talks sexual assault, education funding at Lubbock campaign stop

They weren’t pink tennis shoes, but Wendy Davis’ footwear held particular importance Monday night.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Davis spoke to Lubbock supporters at a phone bank Monday. Her shoes, she said, were the same ones she wore to filibuster $5.5 billion in cuts to Texas public schools in 2011.

“Our children suffered as a consequence of that,” she said.

Davis focused most of her speech on her work addressing problems of sexual assault, criticizing her opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, for “a disturbing pattern of siding with corporations over victims of rape and sexual assault.”

Read morre: http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2014-08-18/wendy-davis-talks-sexual-assault-education-funding-lubbock-campaign-stop#.U_LXJGNCz2Q

Attorney: Gov. Perry's booking will be public

AUSTIN - Attorneys for Texas Gov. Rick Perry say they don't know when he will be booked on abuse of power charges — but that it won't happen in secret.

Houston-based defense Tony Buzbee said Monday that he will head Perry's high-powered legal team. The Republican and longest-serving governor in Texas history has been indicted on two felony counts.

Buzbee said the governor is "going to let everyone know" when he will be booked, fingerprinted and have his mug shot taken. Perry's attorneys and a special prosecutor are still working that out.

Buzbee also dismissed the case as "nothing more than banana republic politics."

http://www.caller.com/news/state/attorney-gov-perrys-booking-will-be-public

In 1917, Similarities to Gov. Rick Perry's Indictment

Nearly a century ago, a sitting Texas governor was indicted for allegedly playing politics with public money and yanking funding from an institution.

-snip-

A Travis County grand jury's allegations on Friday that Gov. Rick Perry improperly threatened to veto funding for the state's anti-corruption prosecutors marked the first time since 1917 that a Texas governor was indicted. That year, Gov. Jim "Pa" Ferguson was indicted by a Travis County grand jury on allegations that he meddled with the state's flagship university amid a squabble with its board of regents.

In Ferguson's case, he vetoed $1.8 million over two years (about $34 million in today's dollars) for the University of Texas; in Perry's case, it was $7.5 million for the public integrity unit, which is overseen by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. After Lehmberg pleaded guilty to drunken driving, Perry threatened to pull state funding from her office unless she resigned.

Ferguson's indictment led to impeachment by state legislators in September 1917. That's highly unlikely for Perry, a lame duck with an overwhelmingly conservative Legislature who is facing felony charges for his threat — one he made good on — to veto funding for of the unit charged with investigating public offices in Texas, including that of the governor.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2014/08/17/you-couldnt-make-stuff-1917-either/

Additional background on the Perry indictment--why he wanted to control or eliminate the PIU

Posted in the Texas Group

http://www.democraticunderground.com/107820193

There is more to this story than what is being reported on The Rachel Maddow Show.

Additional background on the Perry indictment--why he wanted to control or eliminate the PIU

While we are seeing news about the Perry indictment involving his attempt to interfere with the operations of the Travis County Public Integrity Unit, I want to remind everyone of this thread that I posted in January 2013:

CPRIT fallout: Cancer network ceases operations
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10785706

The article from the Austin American-Statesman included the followiing:

In his report released Monday, State Auditor John Keel criticized CPRIT’s handling of the $25.2 million grant to the cancer network. Since the network’s beginning in 2010, CPRIT violated its own rules by advancing the first $6.8 million of the grant to CTNeT instead of just reimbursing the network for expenses incurred.

-snip-

Prior to the audit, it was reported that CPRIT had awarded a $11 million grant to a Dallas startup, Peloton Therapeutics, without the required reviews. A second grant — $20 million for a Houston business incubator — was rescinded after objections that it didn’t receive a scientific review.

-snip-

Gimson, Gilman and Jerry Cobbs, the agency’s chief commercialization officer, have left the agency.

To date, none of the agency’s board members — appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst or House Speaker Joe Straus — have resigned.



In addition, one of the board member for CPRIT is Attorney General Greg Abbott and he never attended any of the CPRIT board meetings.

Greg Abbott, CPRIT & Favors for Friends
http://www.democraticunderground.com/107810591

Dems use CPRIT indictment against Abbott
http://www.democraticunderground.com/107813780

These indictments may ultimately lead to more investigations into other Republicans including Greg Abbott. This should bode well for the Democratic Party in the general election if mainstream media explains Perry's motivations for taking control of the one political unit that he could not control in Texas. The Lehmberg DUI was Perry's attempt to infiltrate the PIU with his cronies and it has backfired enormously.

Texas woman named Teddy Bear Paradise admits to mailing letter that threatened Obama

Source: Dallas Morning News

HOUSTON — Federal authorities say a Texas woman has admitted to mailing a letter that threatened the life of President Barack Obama.

Prosecutors in Houston announced Friday that 56-year-old Teddy Bear Paradise pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening the president. The woman was previously known as Denise O’Neal.

Prosecutors say she admitted to sending the letter addressed to Obama telling him she was traveling to Washington, D.C. to kill him. They say she later told two Secret Service agents of her intention and that if she couldn’t commit the act herself, she would hire someone else to do it.

Paradise will remain in custody until her November sentencing. She faces up to five years in prison.


Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20140815-texas-woman-named-teddy-bear-paradise-admits-to-mailing-letter-that-threatened-obama.ece



Judge overturns Irving ISD election system, says it discriminates against Hispanics

Irving ISD will have to rewrite its election system for the second time in two years following a Friday ruling that it denies Hispanics a fair opportunity to vote.

A federal judge ruled that IISD, where most students are Hispanic, violates the Voting Rights Act because it contains no voting district in which Hispanics make up a true majority of voters.

The ruling, which follows a lawsuit brought by three Hispanic residents and the powerful law firm Bickel & Brewer—is similar to ones that have forced the cities of Irving and Farmers Branch to rewrite their election systems in recent years.

Irving tried to prevent today’s outcome by voluntarily rewriting its election system in 2012. It changed five of its seven at-large voting district to single-member districts, one of which was supposed to be Hispanic-majority.

Read more: http://irvingblog.dallasnews.com/2014/08/judge-overturns-irving-isd-election-system-says-it-discriminates-against-hispanics.html/

Frackers Illegally Injected Diesel Into Wells

Energy companies have been injecting diesel underground during fracking operations—without permits to do so—in a dozen states including Texas, according to a new report from the nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project. The report, released Wednesday, found that between February 2010 and July 2014, nearly 13,000 gallons of diesel were injected underground in Texas alone. During that period, the study found that 33 companies injected diesel into 351 wells across the U.S.—but because the study relies on self-reported data in the chemical disclosure registry FracFocus, the actual total could be much higher.

The Environmental Protection Agency once had the power to regulate fracking fluids injected into the ground. But in 2005 Congress stripped the agency of nearly all of that authority, in what came to be known as the Halliburton Loophole—only diesel injection remained under EPA’s permitting authority. Diesel contains various known carcinogen, including benzene, that easily seep into groundwater, where they can threaten drinking supplies.

“ may not be able to make the majority of wells safer, but they can do it with diesel and they should,” says the report’s author, former EPA enforcement attorney Mary Greene. “It’s not clear to me why they’re not.”

The report casts doubt on repeated assurances from industry players that diesel hasn’t been used in fracking in many years, at a time when the media and academics are challenging other industry talking points. For example, oil and gas companies have insisted that their operations don’t threaten water supplies. But last month, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection said that oil and gas activity had, in fact, damaged water supplies in the state at least 209 times since the end of 2007. Pennsylvania is among the states with the most fracking activity in the country.

Read more: http://www.texasobserver.org/report-fracking-companies-blew-thousands-gallons-diesel-underground-without-permits/
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