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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: 78,322

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

New contracts shake up KanCare: One insurance company out and a new one in

The state of Kansas announced new contracts Friday for its $3 billion privatized Medicaid program, KanCare, jettisoning one of the three insurance companies that have run the program since former Gov. Sam Brownback started it five years ago.

The new contracts, which start Jan. 1, went to Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Sunflower State Health Plan, a division of Centene.

Aetna will replace Amerigroup, which applied for another contract but didn't get one.

The 124,357 Kansans who are enrolled in an Amerigroup KanCare plan will stay with that plan until the end of the year. But during the open enrollment period, which begins in October, they will have to choose a new plan for 2019. Consumers with questions about the change can call 785-766-9012.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/news/business/health-care/article213655139.html

Hartzler votes to reduce food stamps while expanding farm subsidy that benefits her

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, voted Thursday for a bill expanding farm subsidies, of which she has received about $1 million since 1995 — and possibly far more.

The bill would distribute about $430 billion over the next five years to rural and agricultural programs. It also would add a requirement for the roughly 40 million people on SNAP, the federal food stamp program, to work or participate in work training for at least 20 hours per week to earn their monthly average of $125 for groceries. The effect would almost certainly be to reduce the number of SNAP recipients.

For those on food stamps, the work or training requirement would “reduce or eliminate their reliance on assistance and improve the lives of family for years to come,” Hartzler wrote in an op-ed supporting the bill.

Federal data show Hartzler Farms Inc., owned by the representative and her husband, received $995,498 from 1995 to 2016. That’s among the highest totals received by any member of Congress, according to the Environmental Working Group, which collects and tracks the data.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article213687999.html

Gov. Scott: Privately built Orlando to Tampa high speed rail in works

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott, who rejected $2.4 billion in federal funding for a high-speed train from Orlando to Tampa as one of his first acts in office, revealed Friday that a similar but privately funded project is on the table.

The Florida Department of Transportation received an unsolicited proposal in March from Brightline to lease right of way and build a high-speed rail line connecting Orlando and Tampa along Interstate 4.

Brightline already is building a rail line from Miami to Orlando, with a terminus at Orlando International Airport. The company on Tuesday got approval from Orange County leaders to lay tracks across wetlands for that project.

To see if other companies might be interested in the Orlando to Tampa route, Scott said DOT and the Central Florida Expressway Authority will put out a bid for the project, with proposals due in four months.

Read more: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-high-speed-rail-orlando-20180622-story.html

Felony drug defendant tells shocked Miami judge: I work caring for kids seized at border

During the day, Franky Santos attends meetings for people trying to get clean, occasionally performs community service, and appears regularly before the Miami judge who oversees the county's Drug Court.

At night, he's a caregiver for immigrant children being held at a Homestead shelter.

As controversy continues to swirl over the Trump administration's immigration policy — even after it walked back a decision to separate undocumented immigrant children from their parents and house them in shelters — a new question looms: Who's minding the kids?

Though children's advocates and human rights groups have criticized the administration's earlier decision to house even small children in shelters — some of which include chain-link fencing likened to cages — Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other administration officials have insisted that the youngsters are well-cared for.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article213525984.html

Deputies: Florida man smoked marijuana as baby drowned in pool

A Florida man is facing manslaughter charges after authorities say a child he was watching drowned in a backyard pool while he smoked marijuana with a teenager in the front yard.

Bay County Sheriff's Officials say 45-year-old Charles Lee was arrested Wednesday.

The {Panama City} News Herald reports the 1-year-old drowned May 31 at a Panama City Beach home. Deputies gave the boy CPR after a family member found him unresponsive in the pool. The baby died several days later.

Investigators said the boy was left in Lee's care. He initially told investigators he was in the home when the boy drowned, but later admitted to smoking with a 15-year-old in the front yard. Authorities say Lee fled while the boy was hospitalized.

Read more: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/sns-bc-fl--child-drowns-arrest-20180621-story.html

Florida's CFO crashed a state car and it's now a campaign issue

Last year, Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis got into a car accident in a state vehicle on his way to see a political consultant.

When Politico reported on Patronis' use of the vehicle seven months after the crash, the CFO reimbursed the state $4,015.62 — even though Patronis claimed he was paying Florida back for his use of the car all along. (Patronis using a state car for personal reasons would have been a violation of his agency's rules, per Politico.)

Friday, Patronis' opponent in the race for Florida CFO made the CFO's use of state funds a campaign issue.

"Using state resources for personal and political activities is an abuse of taxpayer funds and exactly the type of behavior that makes Floridians lose confidence in our government," former Democratic state Senator Jeremy Ring said in a statement. "For this reason I am calling for a full investigation into CFO Patronis' use of state resources to ensure that taxpayers aren't paying for the CFO's political activities."

Read more: http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/06/22/floridas-cfo-crashed-a-state-car-and-its-now-a-campaign-issue/

Democratic governor's debate in Orlando canceled

Orlando will be without a Democratic governor’s debate after all.

Saying not enough candidates had agreed to participate, the Orange County Democratic Party canceled its plans Friday for a debate that had been scheduled for Tuesday night.

In May, Central Florida was snubbed by the state party in its listing of official debates, which included dates in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Miramar, Fort Myers and Miami.

In response, Orange County Democratic Chair Wes Hodge had announced the local party would hold a debate of its own at Barnet Park in Orlando.

But only two candidates, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Winter Park businessman Chris King, announced they would participate.

Read more: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-orange-debate-canceled-20180622-story.html

Gov. Greg Abbott calls July special election to fill Texas Sen. Carlos Uresti's seat

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott called Wednesday for a special election to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the resignation of San Antonio Democrat Carlos Uresti.

In a Facebook post Monday, Uresti announced that his resignation would go into effect Thursday, about four months after he was found guilty on felony fraud charges.

He had asked the governor to schedule the special election for Nov. 6 to save taxpayers money, but Abbott set it for July 31, saying it was imperative to fill the vacancy to ensure the district has full representation as soon as possible.

"The indictment and ultimate conviction of Senator Uresti for fraud and money laundering has already left District 19 without effective representation in the Texas Senate for over a year," Abbott said in a prepared statement.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-legislature/2018/06/18/carlos-uresti-resigns-months-after-conviction-felony-fraud-charges

Texas Tech University condemns 'Frat Chat' which mentioned shooting immigrants for 'sport'

Texas Tech University has issued a statement condemning a "Frat Chat" filled with racist comments after the conversation, which included suggestions to shoot immigrants for "sport," was made public Thursday.

In what appears to be a GroupMe chat, at least six users, including Kyle Mitchell, president of the school's Interfraternity Council at the time, exchanged numerous messages about how they felt immigration at the Texas-Mexico border should be handled.

"Don't bother reporting them just use a firing squad," Mitchell wrote under the username "The Cocaine Cowboy." "I'm telling you build a wall, and the us govt. can sell permits for legal hunting on the border and we can make a sport of this, can be a new tax revenue stream for the govt."

Mitchell continued, saying if he ran for U.S. president, he'd "stop all of their support and let them die."

As the conversation shifted, members of the "Frat Chat" ridiculed immigrants who work in the service industry and said "death" was the "solution" for situation.

Read more: https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Texas-Tech-University-condemns-Frat-Chat-which-13018177.php

Once again we see that just because someone is in college, it doesn't mean that they are smart enough to avoid making foolish comments on social media.

More news from the Texas Democratic Party Convention

There are several articles in the media regarding the Texas Democratic Party Convention in Fort Worth this week. Rather than copy and paste excerpts from each article, I am providing the publication, headline and a link to the article.

Fort Worth Star Telegram

Opposing gun-related groups duel at close quarters at Democratic convention

Republican prankster booted from Texas Democratic convention

Donald Trump or Beto O'Rourke: Who will motivate Texas Democrats more?

Dallas Morning News

Abortion opponents at state convention ask: Is there room for us in today’s Texas Democratic Party?

At state convention, LGBTQ Democrats celebrate their slate of candidate 'firsts' ahead of 2018 midterms

Democrats look to use anti-Trumpism, energetic candidates to motivate base at state convention

Female candidates head to Texas Democratic convention, ready 'to raise a little more hell'

Texas Republicans troll Texas Democrats at their convention with hearse, obituary

The Texas Tribune

Family separation crisis takes center stage at Texas Democratic convention
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