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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: 78,308

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

Kentucky pension crisis: A closer look at what 'Frontline' found

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Years of underfunding by politicians who resisted tax increases and risky investments by Kentucky Retirement Systems created a multibillion-dollar pension crisis that threatens the retirement security of Kentucky teachers, police, firefighters and other public employees.

That’s the conclusion of an hour-long report called “The Pension Gamble” by the PBS investigative documentary series "Frontline" that aired Tuesday night on KET.

“The teachers are afraid of what the future holds. The pensions of some other Kentucky state workers are facing insolvency in around three years,” "Frontline" reported. “Teachers worry that when the time comes for them to retire, the state won’t have the money to pay their pensions.”

The report recaps how Kentucky’s public pension plans that were fully funded in 2000 devolved to become among the very worst-funded plans in the country, officially carrying more than $37 billion in unfunded liabilities – a figure Gov. Matt Bevin says in reality is worse.

Read more: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2018/10/24/kentucky-pension-crisis-frontline-report-blames-underfunding-hedge-funds/1743292002/

Bevin administration sues to keep sexual harassment records secret

The administration of Gov. Matt Bevin has sued the Courier Journal in an effort to conceal details of sexual harassment allegations by the state's former top social services official, including the identity of the state employee she accused of harassment.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Franklin Circuit Court, comes despite a recent court finding in two different cases that the state must disclose such information.

Arguing disclosure of such details would be "an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy," lawyers for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services are asking Franklin Circuit Phillip Shepherd to reverse a decision by Attorney General Andy Beshear that the state must disclose the records.

The lawsuit argues the cabinet is not obligated to release details of alleged harassment and discrimination by Adria Johnson, who resigned in June as commissioner of the Department for Community Based Services, because an internal investigation did not substantiate her complaint.

Read more: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2018/10/24/bevin-administration-sues-courier-journal-over-sexual-harassment-allegations-records/1752667002/

Louisville councilman wants fellow Democrats who 'work against' him investigated

Embattled Councilman Vitalis Lanshima has requested an investigation into two sitting councilwomen who he said "continue to work against" him.

Lanshima has said he was targeted by fellow Democrats when questions arose about his run for office in Nigeria.

A written complaint dated Oct. 11, obtained by the Courier Journal, requests that caucus leadership look into Vicki Aubrey Welch and Cindi Fowler, Democratic councilwomen he says violated caucus rules in supporting his primary challenger.

The allegations in his complaint came to light at a fiery caucus meeting Thursday, when Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, the caucus chair, informed members that she and caucus vice-chair Barbara Sexton Smith had been investigating the claims. But, Hamilton said, that investigation concluded when they determined Lanshima was automatically expelled from the caucus when he registered to vote in Nigeria.

Read more: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2018/10/26/louisville-metro-council-vitalis-lanshima-requests-investigation-2-fellow-democrats/1774735002/

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, mourners say Kroger shooting must be deemed a hate crime

While authorities investigate why a white man allegedly killed two African-Americans in a supermarket, mourners at a Thursday candlelight vigil expressed anger that the shooting has not been labeled what they believe it to be: A blatant hate crime.

Frustrated residents said it wasn’t Gregory Alan Bush’s reported mental illness that led him to allegedly shoot Maurice E. Stallard and Vickie Lee Jones at the Stony Brook Kroger in Jeffersontown.

“I wouldn’t call it a ‘possible’ motive,” said D. Johnson, who works up the street from the Kroger. “The only motive is it’s a hate crime.”

Later, Johnson rolled his eyes at the mention of reports that the suspect had a history of mental illness, specifically Schizoaffective disorder, detailed in court records obtained by the Courier Journal.

Read more: https://www.leoweekly.com/2018/10/mourners-want-kroger-shooting-deemed-hate-crime-now/

Ex-Pilot Flying J president can open Christmas presents in prison, prosecutors say

If Mark Hazelwood wants to celebrate Christmas, he can do it from a prison cell, federal prosecutors say.

Hazelwood, the former president of Pilot Flying J, wants to wait until after the holidays to begin serving a 12-and-a-half year sentence for cheating trucking customers out of millions of dollars at the diesel pump. A federal jury convicted him in February of wire fraud, witness tampering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Hazelwood's lawyers, Bradley Henry and Jim Walden, cite his "devout" Christian faith and sense of "family values" as grounds for letting Hazelwood, 59, open presents at home with his family. Prosecutors say that's why prisons have chaplains.

"The federal Bureau of Prisons has policies to 'provide inmates of all faith groups with reasonable and equitable opportunities to pursue religious beliefs,'" Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Hamilton wrote in a response to the defense motion. "Hazelwood's asserted religious beliefs are therefore not a basis to delay."

Read more: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/crime/2018/10/26/prosecutors-want-christmas-prison-hazelwood-ex-pilot-president/1763639002/

Images of bloody fetus sent to Beto O'Rourke supporters in Garland neighborhood

Residents of a north Garland neighborhood say they received black envelopes in the mail last week with a postcard inside bearing the image of a bloody fetus.

The residents have at least one thing in common: They all had yard signs showing support for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke.

"We were horrified and just, like, gut-punched to see that image," said Angela Fuller Heyde, an O'Rourke supporter who has lived in the Spring Park neighborhood for five years.

She received the postcard on Wednesday. It came in a black envelope with a stamp on it, but it wasn't postmarked, she said.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2018/10/27/images-bloody-fetus-sent-beto-orourke-supporters-garland-neighborhood

Accused GOP lawmaker wanted to take student to hotel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A friend of a Tennessee state lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct has been recorded saying the Republican once said he wanted to take a teenage girl to a hotel after "playing around a bit" when he was a high school basketball coach.

In audio provided by one of three women who have accused Rep. David Byrd of sexual misconduct when he was their coach, a man identified as Michael Edwards can be heard saying Byrd told him about the incident when they both coached basketball at Wayne County High School several decades ago.

Christi Rice made the recording earlier this month. Edwards didn't know he was being recorded but later confirmed to a TV station the audio was accurate.

Byrd has not outright denied the allegations but said he's truly sorry if he hurt or emotionally upset any students.

(no more at link)

Demonstrators erupt at Blackburn Senate rally with Graham

NASHVILLE — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, swooped into Tennessee on Sunday for a rally with Republican Senate hopeful Marsha Blackburn, an event interrupted repeatedly by a group of activists who were later hauled away by security, attendees or police out of the Nashville venue.

Interruptions from the seven demonstrators began as state Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden sought to introduce U.S. Rep. Blackburn, a staunch conservative and sometimes GOP firebrand who is squaring off with former Democratic governor Phil Bredesen in a close campaign that's generated national attention.

As several demonstrators began shouting, the Republican throng at country music artist Ray Stevens' CabaRay Showroom chanted back with "USA, USA, USA" in an effort to drown out the protesters.

Protesters were escorted, dragged or carried out.

When Blackburn asked for a moment of silence in memory of 11 people killed Saturday in a Pittsburgh synagogue by a gunman shouting anti-Semitic slurs, one woman shouted "Marsha Blackburn is a white supremacist!"

Read more: https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/politics/state/story/2018/oct/28/demonstrators-erupt-blackburn-senate-rally/481979/

Trump coming to Chattanooga Sunday, November 4

Duck and cover!

NASHVILLE — President Donald Trump is scheduled to come to Chattanooga for a rally this Sunday to help Republican Marsha Blackburn in her Nov. 6 battle with Democrat Phil Bredesen to become Tennessee's next U.S. senator, news website Axios reported.

On the same day, Nov. 4, the president will also be in Macon, Georgia, where Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams are locked in a tight race to become Georgia's next governor.

Trump's visits are part of a multi-state tour by the president in the final days of the midterm elections where he hopes to be the difference maker in close contests.

Abbi Sigler, a spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Blackburn did not respond Sunday to requests for comment about the Chattanooga trip. Nor did Ward Baker, a top Blackburn strategist.

Read more: https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/politics/elections/story/2018/oct/28/trump-coming-chattanoogsunday/481978/

Marsha Blackburn Is Who We Thought She Was

Election Day is a little more than a week away, and polls show the U.S. Senate race between Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen could be a close one. So, naturally, Blackburn is stirring up anti-immigrant bigotry apparently in hopes that it will give her supporters an extra bit of motivation to get to the polls on Nov. 6.

No, really — this seems to come naturally to her.

In case you've missed the cable news frenzy, or President Donald Trump's frequent demagoguing, there is a so-called "migrant caravan" slowly making its way from Honduras toward the United States. The group, which reportedly swelled to around 7,000 people but is now said to be closer to 4,000, is made up mostly of people from Honduras and Guatemala. Many of them are women and children, who are fleeing violence, poverty or both in their home countries.

Dara Lind, an essential immigration reporter for Vox, published an explainer on the caravan and issues surrounding earlier this week. You should read it if you want to better understand what is an undoubtedly a complicated situation, no matter what your views on immigration policy.

Of course, Blackburn — like Trump — is not interested in a discussion about these migrants that is complicated or nuanced at all. What she is eager to do is use the situation, and the visuals of a large mass of poor brown-skinned people, to scare old Fox News viewers and make sure no MAGA voter in the state of Tennessee lacks motivation to vote.

Read more: https://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/21029148/marsha-blackburn-is-who-we-thought-she-was
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