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TexasTowelie

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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: 75,559

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

Scooter Store could close its headquarters by Sunday

The Scooter Store could shut down operations at its New Braunfels headquarters as early as Sunday if it's not able to line up additional financing.

In a letter sent Tuesday night to the Texas Workforce Commission, The Scooter Store CEO Martin “Marty” Landon said the company is trying to get financing to avoid closing its doors.

“The company has obtained sufficient financing to allow it to avoid the immediate closure of the New Braunfels facility until March 31, 2013, and is optimistic that further efforts will allow the New Braunfels facility to remain operational beyond that date,” Landon wrote.

“However, the company has informed (the remaining headquarters) employees that if negotiations over the next two weeks are ultimately unsuccessful, they will be permanently laid off,” he added.

More at http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Scooter-Store-could-close-its-headquarters-by-4382278.php .

Cross-posted in General Discussion forum.

Rep. Ron Reynolds (D), several lawyers charged in ambulance chasing scheme

A Houston area state representative and seven other lawyers have been charged with barratry in what investigators are calling an "ambulance chasing for profit" scheme originating in Montgomery County.

Attorney Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City, and seven other attorneys have been charged with barratry, a third-degree felony, said Phil Grant, the First Assistant Montgomery County District Attorney.

If convicted, Reynolds and the other lawyers face 10 years in prison and disbarment.

Grant said investigators on Monday raided eight law offices and two clinics believed to be connected to the scheme.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Lawmaker-several-lawyers-charged-in-ambulance-4382672.php .

Push to open scouting to openly gay adults and youth may have awakened a sleeping conservative giant

Hundreds of Boy Scouts of America leaders gathered over the weekend in Orlando, Fla. and pledged their support for BSA’s traditional policy that forbids openly gay adults and youth from participation in scouting.

The group announced a new web site, www.onmyhonor.net, as a vehicle to lobby against changing BSA’s membership policy to allow gay members. An estimated 1,400 voting members of BSA’s National Council will gather at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine in late May to confront the membership issue.

The voting members will have three options: (1) leave the policy forbidding gay members in tact (2) pass a resolution allowing local councils, or even local troops, to decide the issue on a local option (3) pass a resolution that rescinds the gay ban on a national level.

“The Boy Scouts are one of the great jewels of American culture,” John Stembarger, an Eagle Scout and founder of onmyhonor.net, said at the Orlando meeting. “We support the current policy of Scouting, which is backed by over 100 years of tradition and allows anyone to participate irrespective of sexual orientation, only disallowing the open and aggressive promotion of homosexuality and political agendas. When it comes to young boys, parents have the final say on the issues of sex and politics.”

More at http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2013/03/push-to-open-scouting-to-openly-gay-adults-and-youth-may-have-awakened-a-sleeping-conservative-giant.html/ .

Irving city manager Tommy Gonzalez’s employment could end Wednesday with special meeting, big buyout

Original post at 12:40 p.m.: Irving mayor Beth Van Duyne said she expects council members to end City Manager Tommy Gonzalez’s employment with a half-million dollar buyout on Wednesday—a move she called “incomprehensible.”

Gonzalez’s contract is set to expire in May, but council members have been divided or whether to renew it.

Last week, several council members moved toward a new option: letting the city manager go early with a hefty severance package.

On Sunday, staffers were called to City Hall to arrange a special council meeting about Gonzalez’s employment for Wednesday. Council members Rose Cannaday, Roy Santoscoy and Dennis Webb requested the meeting.

More at http://irvingblog.dallasnews.com/2013/03/city-managers-employment-could-end-wednesday-with-a-special-meeting-and-half-million-dollar-buyout.html/ .

[font color=green]The severance payment appears overly generous in my opinion.[/font]

House sets budget debate rule: Undoing school cuts off limits

The House has adopted a rule governing next week’s floor debate of the state budget that frustrates Democrats who want to undo last session’s education cuts, but also some tea party Republicans.

The vote on the so-called calendar rule was 133-11. Among those voting no were nine Democrats, including Reps. Lon Burnam of Fort Worth, Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio, Armando Walle of Houston and Abel Herrero of Corpus Christi; and conservative Republicans David Simpson of Longview and Van Taylor of Plano.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, said the two-year, $193.8 billion budget that will be on the floor next week spends all but $685 million of funds subject to a state constitutional spending limit.

Last session, lawmakers cut funding of public schools by $5.3 billion. The House’s emerging budget would undo $2 billion of the cuts, and Pitts has said he’ll recommend immediately giving school districts an additional $500 million in a separate, emergency spending bill to augment the current budget to pay for things such as the 2011 wildfires.

More at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/03/house-sets-budget-debate-rule-undoing-school-cuts-off-limits.html/ .

Ceremony breaks ground for Vietnam Monument

AUSTIN, Texas —

Vietnam veterans have broken ground on a monument at the state Capitol.

At a ceremony on Monday, hundreds gathered to help turn over the dirt.

Lt. Gov David Dewhurst and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson told their fellow veterans, "welcome home."

Planning has been under way since 2005. Private donors have contributed $1.3 million, according to the monument's organizing committee.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/ap/legislative/ceremony-will-break-ground-for-vietnam-monument/nW3S6/ .

KPRC Weatherman Frank Billingsley to Speak at Marriage Equality Rally Monday Night

Frank Billingsley is used to answering tough questions. He predicts the weather for a living. The longtime weatherman for KPRC channel 2 is one of the most capable and well liked meteorologists in the city. But when he came out as openly gay and even married his partner in a ceremony in New York City recently where same-sex marriage is legal, it ruffled some feathers. Still, Billingsley doesn't really consider himself an advocate.

"Whenever any public figure speaks out on any topic, they put a face on the subject," he told Hair Balls via e-mail. "So for those who don't know anyone seeking marriage equality, then perhaps my face is as good as any -- but more and more people are realizing that someone in their life is gay. I think that's why there's been such a positive shift of support so quickly."

Monday evening, Billingsley will be the featured speaker at an event on the steps of City Hall in support of marriage equality -- quite a distance from reporting the weather, particularly in Texas. But, as Billingsley explains, Houston is rather unique.

"Houston is a city with such diversity that as a group we mostly just all want to get along," he said, "and the public appreciates authenticity in people -- they respect honesty."

More at http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2013/03/kprc_weatherman_frank_billings.php .

Judge denies (former hand surgeon) Michael Brown's request for early release from jail

A Harris County judge denied former hand surgeon Michael Brown's attempt to be released early from his jail sentence, saying he seemed to be "sucking wind" instead of trying to comply with court orders.

The embattled Brown appeared in state District Judge Sheri Dean's court Monday, a day before his planned jail review to request an early release.

His attorneys argued that his business needs his presence as it is being reorganized and its financial assets reviewed. His attorneys also argued to the judge that he suffered from E. coli poisoning in jail and that he wanted to see his children.

Brown was sentenced to 180 days in Harris County Jail this month for violating orders imposed during divorce proceedings with his fourth wife, Rachel Brown, who is part owner of the Brown Hand Center. He had numerous violations of a 2011 temporary injunction restricting the use of his financial assets.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Judge-denies-Michael-Brown-s-request-for-early-4382748.php .

Daily Kos March to Madness Tournament



With the first round complete and nearly 60,000 votes cast, the second round of the 2013 Daily Kos Republican March to Madness Tournament is about to get underway. Here's a look at where things stand—and who remains in the hunt for the Insane 16 and beyond:

Yesterday's action was in the bottom half of each bracket, and there were some big upsets—or, more accurately, there were some big upsets if you think the idiot selection committee made the right picks. #15 seed Ann Coulter edged out #2 seed Roger Ailes in the day's tightest match. #15 seed Eric Cantor blew out #2 seed Mitt Romney and #14 seed Scott Walker pulled away from #3 seed Karl Rove.

It was a great day for #10 seeds: Bill Kristol beat #7 Tucker Carlson, Wayne LaPierre blew away Mitch McConnell, and Pat Robertson knocked off Todd Akin. Sarah Palin was the only #7 seed to survive. She'll face Rand Paul in tomorrow's second round action.

Two of the day's biggest winners—Steve King and Louis Gohmert—will face each other on Sunday in an epic wingnut battle. In the establishment region, Scott Walker and Paul Ryan will face off in a battle for Wisconsin wingnuttia.

More at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/23/1196177/-2013-Daily-Kos-Republican-March-to-Madness-Tourney-First-round-results

[font color=green]Sorry folks, but the voting for the Insane 16 has already closed. I'll update the thread to indicate the second round winners when it is posted.[/font]

Scott Walker tells local GOP to be optimistic, courageous

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Saturday urged his fellow Republicans in Texas to be optimistic about the party’s future prospects and called on them to remain true to their core beliefs.

“We need to care more about the next generation than the next election,” Walker told about 900 people at the Dallas County Republican Party’s Reagan Day Dinner at the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas.

<<<snip>>>

Walker’s speech dealt mostly with education, an issue he believes is critical to the nation’s future. He said Republicans have the right approach, including developing systems that hire and fire teachers based on merit, not longevity.

“We’re the ones who care about education,” he said. “We care about students, not educational bureaucracy.”

The complete story at http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/03/scott-walker-tells-local-gop-to-be-optimistic-courageous.html/ .
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