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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: 78,484

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

Squirrel carrying Danish robbed by another squirrel

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A shocked Ohio resident passing through a parking lot captured video of a squirrel with a "giant" Danish being robbed of its pastry by a second squirrel.

The video, filmed Jan. 20, shows a squirrel carrying the Danish through a condominium parking lot in Aurora.

The squirrel's meal proves short-lived when a second squirrel arrives and runs off with the rodent's dessert.

"I was cruising through a condo parking lot early on a Saturday, and this Squirrel caught my eye. No one would believe this, so I whipped out my phone and caught this guy carrying a giant Danish in his mouth. He was looking for a cup of coffee I think. But a bigger squirrel stole his pastry before he had a chance to enjoy it!" the filmer wrote.


93K pounds of Mardi Gras beads found in New Orleans storm drains

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The storm drains of New Orleans got a thorough cleaning over the past few months and among the trash and debris, workers found 93,000 pounds of Mardi Gras beads, city officials said Thursday.

The 46 tons of beads were all found in the popular downtown thoroughfare on St. Charles between Poydras Street and Lee Circle, the Times-Picayune reported.

While the vast amount of Mardi Gras beads indicate good times were had in the area, city officials said it also means litter needs to be decreased. Overall, the $22 million, three-month clean-up project yielded 7.2 million pounds of debris in city drains.

"Once you hear a number like that, you never go back - so we have to do better," said Dani Galloway, interim director of the city's Department of Public Works, the New Orleans Advocate reported.

Read more: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2018/01/25/93K-pounds-of-Mardi-Gras-beads-found-in-New-Orleans-storm-drains/2951516935039/

Trump's Threat To Pull Out Of NAFTA Hangs Over Montreal Negotiations

The sixth round of negotiations on NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement is underway this week in Montreal. Farmers from Texas who export to Mexico are in Montreal, appealing for a continued trade agreement.

Canada and Mexico made news as the talks opened by striking separate trade deals with a host of Asian nations. President Donald Trump says the NAFTA talks are going “pretty well,” but he also restated that he’ll withdraw from NAFTA if not enough progress is made.

Will he or won’t he pull the U.S. out of NAFTA? That’s the question about Trump that negotiators from Canada and Mexico are asking their U.S. counterparts in Montreal. Rona Ambrose, a member of the Canadian government’s NAFTA Advisory Council told Canada’s CTV it’s not a matter of if, but when.

“And right now there is just a complete lack of flexibility on the American side. It’s basically their way or the highway,” Ambrose said.

The U.S. also wants a new rule mandating that cars shipped duty-free from one NAFTA nation to another contain 50 percent U.S.-made components. That’s a non-starter says Falvio Volpe, president of the Automobile Parts Manufacturers Association. He blames the American side for being inflexible on a rule that would radically reconfigure the auto industry. “There’s no movement. So that’s not, that’s not, creative.”

Read more: http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/trumps-threat-to-pull-out-of-nafta-hangs-over-montreal-negotiations/#

Does business group's use of "dark money" for its political action committee follow state ethics ...

by Jay Root and Ryan Murphy, Texas Tribune

Does business group's use of "dark money" for its political action committee follow state ethics rules?

The Texas Association of Business, the state’s de facto chamber of commerce, hasn’t been reluctant to talk about its opposition to last year’s “bathroom bill” that sought to define which bathrooms transgender people could use, its criticism of state-based immigration laws or its eternal skepticism of higher taxes and expanded government regulations.

The group has not been as forthcoming about who’s funding its political action committee.

For years, the business association's political arm has received hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of corporate “dark money” contributions — amounting to nearly half of its receipts since 2000 — from an affiliated nonprofit that doesn’t disclose its donors, a Texas Tribune investigation has found.

The nonprofit corporation, known as the Committee to Inform Voters on Issues and Candidates (CIVIC), has provided at least $822,000 in donations to the TAB Political Action Committee since 2003, according to a Tribune analysis of filings at the Texas Ethics Commission. That’s 47 percent of the $1.7 million the group has taken in since the state began making digital campaign finance records available nearly two decades ago.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/01/29/does-texas-business-groups-use-dark-money-follow-state-ethics-rules/

Houston fundraiser with New York Democrat Chuck Schumer rankles some Texans

by Abby Livingston, Texqs Tribune

WASHINGTON – A high-profile Democratic fundraiser in Houston this weekend is causing a stir both in the state and in Washington.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer will headline a fundraiser in Houston on Saturday that will raise money for several Democratic Senate incumbents and candidates, including U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, who is vying to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

But it's the fundraiser's location – Hurricane Harvey-ravaged Houston – and the host, a Congressional candidate named Tahir Javed, that were the sources of tension among Texas political players on Friday.

For Republicans, it was an opportunity to hammer Schumer over a hold up in a massive disaster funding bill. Back in December, House Republicans passed $81 billion in disaster relief bill, to be split between Texas and states hit hard this year by hurricanes and wildfires.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/01/26/republicans-pile-charles-schumer-over-harvey/

O'Rourke outraises Cruz in fourth quarter of 2017

WASHINGTON -- Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke raised $2.44 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, about a half million dollars more than incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz raised in the same period.

But Cruz, R-Texas, edged O’Rourke for the 2017 calendar year, $7.1 million to $6.4 million.

Cruz raised $1.93 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, and reported about $7.29 million on hand for his re-election race.

O’Rourke, a three-term Congressman from El Paso is one of three Democrats attempting an uphill challenge to Cruz. O’Rourke did not report cash on hand at the end of the year.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/latest-news/article197109329.html

After Trek -- hilarious Trump reference

For those not keeping up with the series, the crew from the USS Discovery are currently in the evil mirror universe that was also included in TOS, DS9 and Enterprise.

On "After Trek", the host (Matt Meara) had two guests in the studio and Jason Isaacs (Captain Lorca) on Skype. In the segment where they take questions via Twitter, the question arose, "Do you guys think that the agonizer booth feels like pins and needles, food poisoning, or something else?" The other guests say 'food poisoning' followed by Jason Isaacs answering in his British accent, "I'm going to say life under Trump."

What a witty reply!

Fort Worth pays homeless to help clean up city's streets

The city of Fort Worth has been trying out a new way to get homeless people back on their feet, while cleaning up the city at the same time. So far, it's working.

A program called Clean Slate, which is funded by the city and run by the Presbyterian Night Shelter, pays the area's homeless to collect trash, reports KXAS-TV (NBC5).

"It's a win-win," the shelter's CEO Toby Owen told the station. "We want a clean neighborhood that speaks hope, that speaks dignity to our homeless guests. And it also provides income for these individuals so they can move out and be successful without living in a homeless shelter."

A recent Tarrant County Homeless Coalition report lists unemployment as the top reason why people in the county became homeless in 2016. The Clean Slate program is tackling that by offering the homeless paying jobs that come along with paid vacation days and benefits.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/fort-worth/2018/01/27/fort-worth-pays-homeless-help-clean-citys-streets

Far-right conservatives want to unseat longtime swing vote on Texas education board

A North Texas race may be the most watched for the State Board of Education during this year's election cycle as a 16-year incumbent tries to fend off one opponent who's supported conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama and one who is an adamant supporter of vouchers.

The State Board of Education — largely charged with adopting textbooks and curriculum for the state — has often been at the center of culture clashes, with controversies ranging from how to teach Mexican-American studies to — more frequently — heated debates about science curriculum standards.

Republican Patricia "Pat" Hardy, 69, a retired educator from Fort Worth, has often been a swing vote on the board, saying she tries to keep politics out of the equation as she tries to do what's right for students. She has been a frequent target for far-right conservatives.

Hardy, whose District 11 includes Parker County as well as parts of Tarrant and Dallas counties, was first elected in 2002. In 2008, Hardy defeated a challenger who was an avid creationist concerned about evolution being taught in schools. She was forced into a runoff two years ago but held off an aggressive bid by a tea party candidate.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2018/01/27/far-right-conservatives-want-unseat-longtime-swing-vote-texas-education-board

Democrats looking to beat GOP Rep. Pete Sessions headline far north Dallas forum

Democratic candidates for Congressional District 32 on Sunday tried to convince party loyalists that they were the best suited to take down incumbent Republican Pete Sessions.

"I am not a politician. I'm a reporter," said Brett Shipp, who left his television job to run for Congress. "I seek justice for the small guy. I expose injustice. I stand up to big corporations. I stand up to the powers that be, and I help the little guy."

Shipp said he left a job he loved because Donald Trump was elected president and Sessions was his "enabler and rubber stamp. He said the district needed new "leader-Shipp."

"To watch the erosion of our democracy in the hands of a president that we know is unfit to serve has been disgusting."

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2018-elections/2018/01/28/democratic-contenders-looking-beat-pete-sessions-headline-far-north-dallas-forum
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