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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: 69,361

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

Beto O'Rourke: The Retirement Survey

Yahoo Finance and the Funding our Future campaign (an alliance of organizations dedicated to making a secure retirement possible for all Americans) teamed up to get more details on where the 2020 candidates for president stand on retirement. According to a recent Gallup poll, “Not having enough money for retirement” is a top financial worry among Americans yet the issue has received minimal attention thus far on the campaign trail. During the September debate, the words “Social Security” or “Retirement” weren’t uttered, according to ABC’s transcript.

The following are the responses from Beto O’Rourke, the former Congressman from Texas.



Will you address the coming insolvency of Social Security’s Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund in your first term as president? If so, what specific policies will you advance?

Beto believes Social Security is a sacred trust—a promise from our government that if you work hard, you’ll have what you need when you retire. We need to strengthen both its benefits and financing. That is why Beto will champion passage of the Social Security 2100 Act while in Congress and why he will sign it into law as president. This legislation includes a 2 percent across-the-board increase in Social Security benefits in addition to cutting taxes on most seniors’ benefits and increasing the minimum Social Security benefit. This bill also guarantees the viability of Social Security well into the next century by, for example, ensuring that, millionaires and billionaires no longer pay proportionately less in Social Security taxes than truck drivers and nurses.

Should every person who pays into Social Security be eligible for full benefits, regardless of their socioeconomic status? In other words, will your plan include means testing? Will your plan include raising the retirement age or other benefit reductions?

Beto will fight to ensure every American receives their full Social Security benefits. He will oppose any effort to cut Social Security benefits. He will continue to combat efforts to privatize the program. And he will continue his opposition to raising the retirement age.

Read more: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/beto-o-rourke-the-retirement-survey-155631931.html

Beto O'Rourke: The Retirement Survey

Yahoo Finance and the Funding our Future campaign (an alliance of organizations dedicated to making a secure retirement possible for all Americans) teamed up to get more details on where the 2020 candidates for president stand on retirement. According to a recent Gallup poll, “Not having enough money for retirement” is a top financial worry among Americans yet the issue has received minimal attention thus far on the campaign trail. During the September debate, the words “Social Security” or “Retirement” weren’t uttered, according to ABC’s transcript.

The following are the responses from Beto O’Rourke, the former Congressman from Texas.



Will you address the coming insolvency of Social Security’s Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund in your first term as president? If so, what specific policies will you advance?

Beto believes Social Security is a sacred trust—a promise from our government that if you work hard, you’ll have what you need when you retire. We need to strengthen both its benefits and financing. That is why Beto will champion passage of the Social Security 2100 Act while in Congress and why he will sign it into law as president. This legislation includes a 2 percent across-the-board increase in Social Security benefits in addition to cutting taxes on most seniors’ benefits and increasing the minimum Social Security benefit. This bill also guarantees the viability of Social Security well into the next century by, for example, ensuring that, millionaires and billionaires no longer pay proportionately less in Social Security taxes than truck drivers and nurses.

Should every person who pays into Social Security be eligible for full benefits, regardless of their socioeconomic status? In other words, will your plan include means testing? Will your plan include raising the retirement age or other benefit reductions?

Beto will fight to ensure every American receives their full Social Security benefits. He will oppose any effort to cut Social Security benefits. He will continue to combat efforts to privatize the program. And he will continue his opposition to raising the retirement age.

Read more: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/beto-o-rourke-the-retirement-survey-155631931.html

Pay attention retirees: Unrealistic decisions by the state could hurt Florida pensioners

The Florida Retirement System Actuarial Assumption Conference will meet this month. The room will not be crowded.

But the decisions the financial analysts on the committee make will be critical to the more than 1 million public workers in Florida who rely – or will rely – on the state pension system for their retirement benefits.

A key decision by the panel will involve the $160 billion-plus pension fund’s “assumed rate of return” during the next budget year, which begins July 1.

Ash Williams, head of the State Board of Administration, which oversees the pension fund, describes that decision as “an unexciting, highly arcane issue.” But he also told Gov. Ron DeSantis and Cabinet members last month: “It’s an important issue.”

Read more: https://www.floridaphoenix.com/2019/10/07/pay-attention-retirees-unrealistic-decisions-by-the-state-could-hurt-florida-pensioners/

Twitter video shows Ukraine scandal figure celebrating with Gov. DeSantis on election night

Video emerged on Twitter Monday showing Lev Parnas, one of two Soviet-born businessmen arrested on campaign finance violation charges apparently connected to President Trump’s Ukranian scandal, standing close to Gov. Ron DeSantis on election night last November.

Joey Roulette, a Reuters reporter who formerly reported on the space industry from Florida, posted the video on his Twitter feed. Parnas is visible standing behind the right shoulder of Casey DeSantis, the governor’s wife.

Last week, DeSantis turned over to the federal government $50,000 in donations Parnas and Igor Fruman made to his campaign through their company, Global Energy Producers, following news of their arrests on charges they funneled illegal donations to a pro-Trump super PAC. They contributed to other Republicans as well, including U.S. Sen. Rick Scott.

Federal prosecutors reportedly believe Parnas and Fruman helped direct money from a Russian donor into U.S. elections.

Read more: https://www.floridaphoenix.com/blog/twitter-video-shows-ukraine-scandal-figure-celebrating-with-gov-desantis-on-election-night/

Donald Trump Jr., Sarah Sanders warn of Big Tech, 'socialist' Democrats at Doral conservative fest

DORAL — Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders warned conservatives that “real chaos” would be unleashed if the Democrats should be allowed to take the Senate and flip the presidency.

“If we don’t reelect President Donald Trump and we allow Democrats to take over the House and take over the Senate, then we’re going to see real chaos in this country,” said Sanders at a prayer breakfast on Saturday.

Sanders, now at Fox News, spoke on the closing day of the conservative American Priority conference at the Trump National Doral. Donald Trump, Jr., and former 2016 Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski also spoke at the three-day conference.

“It is absolutely wild some of the ideas that Democrats are throwing out right now,” she said.

Read more: https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20191014/donald-trump-jr-sarah-sanders-warn-of-big-tech-rsquosocialistrsquo-democrats-at-doral-conservative-fest

Florida Democrats focus on voter registration as most critical need for 2020

If Florida Democrats could sum up the state party’s early 2020 strategy in three words, they would be registration, registration, registration.

During the party’s convention this weekend in Orlando, leaders stressed they have fixed past errors in their voter-registration strategy and are busy building a more Democratic-friendly electorate more than a year from Election Day.

“I think we are going to win by putting our head down and doing the work,” said Juan Peñalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party.

“What we have done in the past is starting too late. … We haven’t built the electorate in time for the election,” he added.

Read more: https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2019/10/13/florida-democrats-focus-on-voter-registration-as-most-critical-need-for-2020

Crippled by Low Wages, Miami Janitors File Labor Charges Against Cleaning Contractor

Miriam Alba is tired of being tired. An immigrant from Nicaragua, she wears her exhaustion like a uniform, juggling multiple jobs to keep a roof over her head and help put her granddaughter through college. For years, Alba's working days have been filled with cooking and cleaning homes, leaving little time for sleep. The few snatches of shut-eye she did get, about three or four hours at most, came after a night shift of janitorial work at CIC Miami, a large co-working space in eastern Allapattah, right next to the interstate.

Alba had always handled her janitorial work at CIC with pride, if unhappily at times: The pay, $8.46 an hour, was poor, and part-time workers like her didn't receive any benefits. But it wasn't until she began organizing for higher wages that she finally decided to leave. CIC outsources its cleaning needs to Coastal Building Management (CBM) and its property management to the real-estate service company Cushman & Wakefield. Last month, Alba was at the center of pending unfair labor practice charges filed against both companies. Since going public with her support for a union, she says she's been surveilled and threatened. CBM denies those charges. Cushman & Wakefield did not return messages from New Times seeking comment.

While Miami's booming real-estate market and nascent startup scene continue to draw attention for their steady growth, it's South Florida's low-wage service sector that's actually created the most new jobs in recent years. That includes janitorial workers such as Alba, who was deflated to learn just how bad janitors in Miami had it. When factoring in the cost of living, the Miami metro area ranks third-worst in the nation for median janitorial wages and dead last in Florida, according to an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Studies by the workers' union Service Employees International Union (SEIU). On average, janitors working in areas as expensive as Miami make more than $3.50 more per hour than Miami janitors.

Put differently, while the industries that help build, sell, rent, and manage Miami properties continue to blossom, work standards for the people who clean them remain virtually stagnant: SEIU estimates that real annual earnings in the janitorial industry have grown by just 1.6 percent in the past two decades. The poor growth is, in part, a product of a race to the bottom on wages among cleaning contractors, to whom office buildings have happily outsourced their cleaning work, according to Ana Tinsly, a spokeswoman for the Florida division of 32BJ SEIU.

https://twitter.com/32BJFlorida/status/1172628745175351296

Read more: https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-janitors-file-labor-charges-against-south-florida-cleaning-contractor-11289040

Lessons of Beto O'Rourke and "Joker": Mental illness is not the cause of gun violence

The hit movie “Joker,” released in theaters last week, unintentionally offers an object lesson in why society should stop vilifying mental illness — and why we need far more vigorous gun control.

Both points became evident in a single scene that perfectly captures both the movie’s ambiguous views on mental illness and those of American society overall. Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is a party clown who has just been assaulted by a gang and is commiserating with one of his co-workers, who offers him a gun. Fleck is initially horrified by the idea: He is mentally ill and legally isn’t permitted to own a firearm. Eventually he agrees to accept the weapon, an act that single-handedly turns him toward the path of violence and thereby sets the plot in motion.

One could write an entire article deconstructing “Joker’s” sometimes sympathetic and insightful, sometimes derogatory depiction of mental illness. (My full review can be read here.) Yet the more troubling subtext of this scene is that it never questions the idea that people who are mentally ill should be treated differently when it comes to guns. It is the weapon that allows Arthur’s innate capacity for violence to be realized — a capacity one the movie explicitly links to his mental illness, as well as society’s mistreatment of him.

In other words, a viewer could easily watch “Joker” and walk away with the same conclusion proclaimed by President Trump in August after mass shootings in Texas and Ohio left 31 people dead: “Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger, not the gun.”

Read more: https://www.salon.com/2019/10/14/lessons-of-beto-orourke-and-joker-mental-illness-is-not-the-cause-of-gun-violence/

Lessons of Beto O'Rourke and "Joker": Mental illness is not the cause of gun violence

The hit movie “Joker,” released in theaters last week, unintentionally offers an object lesson in why society should stop vilifying mental illness — and why we need far more vigorous gun control.

Both points became evident in a single scene that perfectly captures both the movie’s ambiguous views on mental illness and those of American society overall. Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is a party clown who has just been assaulted by a gang and is commiserating with one of his co-workers, who offers him a gun. Fleck is initially horrified by the idea: He is mentally ill and legally isn’t permitted to own a firearm. Eventually he agrees to accept the weapon, an act that single-handedly turns him toward the path of violence and thereby sets the plot in motion.

One could write an entire article deconstructing “Joker’s” sometimes sympathetic and insightful, sometimes derogatory depiction of mental illness. (My full review can be read here.) Yet the more troubling subtext of this scene is that it never questions the idea that people who are mentally ill should be treated differently when it comes to guns. It is the weapon that allows Arthur’s innate capacity for violence to be realized — a capacity one the movie explicitly links to his mental illness, as well as society’s mistreatment of him.

In other words, a viewer could easily watch “Joker” and walk away with the same conclusion proclaimed by President Trump in August after mass shootings in Texas and Ohio left 31 people dead: “Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger, not the gun.”

Read more: https://www.salon.com/2019/10/14/lessons-of-beto-orourke-and-joker-mental-illness-is-not-the-cause-of-gun-violence/

Florida man calls 911 to say roommate 'stole his weed'

A Florida man who kept calling 911 about a roommate who “stole his weed” was asked to please top calling 911, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department.

In a video posted to the sheriff’s department Twitter page, Sheriff’s Deputy N. Zalva said, “The guy’s calling in saying his roommate stole his weed, $20 worth and he’s upset and he keeps calling 911, so I had to give him a call and tell him to stop calling about his weed.”

The video was part of a Tweet Along held Saturday night.

Deputy Zalva did a followup video in which he said, "I called him to let him know not to call the sheriff’s office to report his drugs. He started to freak out a little on the phone, and then hung up on me shortly after.”

Read more: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/florida/os-ne-florida-man-calls-911-roommate-stole-his-weed-20191014-vcadddljjva4dgtz2dzlniodrq-story.html

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