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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

Democratic presidential candidate O'Rourke calls for reparations, doubling Alzheimer's spending

MANCHESTER, N.H. — In September, former Congressman Beto O'Rourke discussed his presidential platform before voters in New Hampshire, a key primary state.

People inquired for details about the Democratic primary contender's views on drug prices, federal minimum wage law, Alzheimer's and other issues. He spoke with them during WMUR-TV's "Conversation with the Candidate" series.

O'Rourke said that doubling the amount the U.S. spends on Alzheimer's disease, from $300 billion to $600 billion a year, is "morally the right thing to do" and is a "fraction of the cost that we would pay for long-term continued care for those who have no cure to look forward to right now."

Regarding immigration, O'Rourke said that the childhood trauma of separating children from parents requires long-term care to fully recover. He said that, as president, he'd reunite families and would make sure that they are "made whole again."

Read more: https://www.kcci.com/article/democratic-presidential-candidate-orourke-calls-for-reparations-doubling-alzheimers-spending/29291585#

Healey sues federal nuclear regulators over Plymouth plant transfer

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is suing the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission over the approved transfer of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s license to a company with no prior experience in decommissioning a nuclear power plant.

The commission last month approved the sale of the Plymouth plant, which shut down in May after 47 years of producing electricity, from Entergy Corporation to Holtec International.

Holtec is a New Jersey-based company that specializes in the storage and transportation of nuclear waste. The company has promised to decommission the site in eight years, well ahead of the 60 years allowed by federal rules. Entergy, a Louisiana-based company, had owned the plant since 1999.

State and local officials previously criticized the proposed deal, saying Holtec did not show that its plan has enough safeguards to protect the public. The sale was completed shortly after the commission approved the transfer of the operating license.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/09/26/mass-healey-sues-federal-nuclear-regulators-over-plymouth-plant-transfer/iloDF9bwYAjNl9bULYiJPL/story.html

Elizabeth Warren loves selfies. 'That is the heart of democracy, right?'

KEENE, N.H. — For her supporters, the most electrifying part of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s recent town hall was not her entrance onto the stage — arms waving, music blasting — nor her speech, peppered with jokes and plans, nor the lottery to ask her questions. Instead, the climax of the event was a line.

A very, very long line.

“I’ll stay as long as you want, and I’ll do selfies,” Warren said at the beginning of the rally, as the crowd of 900 students and others at Keene State College whooped. “That is the heart of democracy, right?” she added, chuckling.

And in 2019, perhaps it is. Though almost all the presidential candidates take photos with potential voters, Warren has become famous for her “selfie” lines, which can last hours and involve hundreds or even thousands of people. She has said that if she wins the nomination, she will continue to do them. But right now, with Warren climbing in the Democratic primary polls, these photo lines have a kind of intimate, now-or-never feeling to them, like meeting Taylor Swift when she was still strumming her guitar at a bar in Nashville.

As the sun set on the lawn in front of the student center, four freshmen discussed what they planned to do with the photo they would soon have.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/09/29/elizabeth-warren-retail-politicking-for-instagram-age/jIq89d5yUA02gXclZqmRAO/story.html

GOP going deep with less than a minute to play?

By SomervilleTom

As I absorb the events of September 24, 2019, I find the resolution passed by unanimous consent of the Senate most striking. Mitch McConnell is no neophyte, and I see no evidence that he is motivated by anything except a passion to win at all costs. So I find myself wondering what his strategy might be.

I wonder if we are seeing a “Hail Mary” pass for the 2020 election — act quickly and decisively today to remove Donald Trump from office, and run an incumbent Mike Pence against the Democratic nominee in 2020.

Here’s why I think this might be happening:

1. Donald Trump polls miserably against the leading Democratic candidates.
2. The House is already Democratic and will likely be more so after 2020. Very little new GOP legislation is likely to happen before 2022.
3. The outlook is bleak and getting worse for GOP Senators (including Mitch McConnell) as the campaign unfolds.
4. The leading Democratic contender (Joe Biden) has made defeating Donald Trump the centerpiece of his campaign. Joe Biden is a MUCH weaker candidate against an incumbent President Mike Pence than against President Donald Trump.

The GOP has a third and long on their own 40 with 25 seconds left to play and no timeouts. They are behind by 4, so a field goal doesn’t do it. They need a touchdown. They need a way to win the 2020 elections.

Read more: http://bluemassgroup.com/2019/09/gop-going-deep-with-less-than-a-minute-to-play/

A bureaucratic nightmare' amid driver's license suspensions

PITTSFIELD — Every week, Michael Ciaburri drives himself to the Brien Center for therapy sessions to help him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder that stems from time he served with the Marines in Iraq.

But in August, the Pittsfield man received a letter from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, notifying him that his license had been suspended.

Turns out, it was a clerical error, but the damage was done.

What ensued was six weeks of headaches, dozens of phone calls to agencies in multiple states, and Ciaburri had to rely on shuttle services to get to his counseling appointments.

"This is criminal what they're doing to me," Ciaburri said one recent afternoon. "It's causing me major anxiety because I do have some panic disorder related to travel."

Read more: https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/a-bureaucratic-nightmare-amid-drivers-license-suspensions,586055

Potential buyers size up Hermitage

WILMINGTON — As the United States Bankruptcy Court provides a trustee assigned to the Hermitage Club case more time for reviewing agreements still in place, potential buyers also want to learn more.

"As is always the case in these situations, a number of investors are looking at the project trying to get 'their arms around' the project," Alan Tantleff, the state court-appointed receiver tasked with preserving properties that fall under a foreclosure complaint filed by Berkshire Bank including the ski resort at Haystack Mountain, told the Reformer in an email Saturday night. "I've spoken to a number of qualified, reputable, prospective investors in recent weeks."

On Wednesday, Wilmington Town Manager Scott Tucker told the Reformer the bank's attorney had been talking with the town's attorney.

"There's always a few groups that are interested in the property but I've not actually seen anything developed yet," he said.

Read more: https://www.reformer.com/stories/potential-buyers-size-up-hermitage,586084
(Brattleboro Reformer)

Addison County man accused of harassing Migrant Justice members

An Addison County man has been accused of harassing members of Migrant Justice, a Vermont-based organization that advocates for farmworkers and immigrant rights.

Chase Atkins, 24, of Addison was issued a citation to appear in Vermont Superior Court in Middlebury in November, Vermont State Police said. He is expected to be charged with disturbing the peace by using a telephone or electronic communications with a hate crime enhancement.

The accusations stem from incidents that occurred in late August. Police say Atkins was visiting a farm on Vermont 22A in Addison at the time, and during his visit, he let the air out of the tires of a Migrant Justice member's car. The tires were later re-inflated, and no damage was caused.

Police say that several days later, Atkins left a voicemail for Migrant Justice in which he told them not to return to the farms. State police said the message "would have left a reasonable person to feel threatened and intimidated."

Read more: https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/2019/09/27/vermont-state-police-addison-man-harassed-migrant-justice-members/3784701002/

Former college towns left to adapt to business loss

POULTNEY, Vt. (AP) — As colleges and universities come alive this fall, some campuses sit closed and empty after succumbing to a recent wave of fewer students and financial challenges.

Now communities that long hosted those historic institutions and relied on them for an economic boost — and their very identity — are left to adapt to the vacancy and wondering what comes next.

In Poultney, Vermont, population 3,300, Green Mountain College had occupied a prominent spot at the end of the main street for 185 years. That changed in the spring, when the environmentally minded liberal arts school closed after commencement, citing a drop in enrollment and financial challenges.

The closure "literally changed the entire town of Poultney," said Mel Kingsley, who runs Mel's Place Hair Salon, several blocks from campus, and got 30% of her business from students.

Read more: https://www.rutlandherald.com/news/vermont_wire/former-college-towns-left-to-adapt-to-business-loss/article_0a02c534-00c3-5898-a60a-abd67d6174c9.html

Forever 21 fashion chain files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

NEW YORK (AP) — Low-price fashion chain Forever 21, a one-time hot destination for teen shoppers that fell victim to its own rapid expansion and changing consumer tastes, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The privately held company based in Los Angeles said Sunday it will close up to 178 stores in the U.S. As of the bankruptcy filing, the company operated about 800 stores globally, including more than 500 stores in the U.S.

The company said it would focus on maximizing the value of its U.S. stores and shutter certain international locations. Forever 21 plans to close most of its locations in Asia and Europe but will continue operating in Mexico and Latin America.

"The decisions as to which domestic stores will be closing are ongoing, pending the outcome of continued conversations with landlords," it said in the statement. "We do, however, expect a significant number of these stores will remain open and operate as usual, and we do not expect to exit any major markets in the U.S."

Read more: https://www.wcax.com/content/news/Forever-21-fashion-chain-files-for-Chapter-11-bankruptcy-561735781.html

Burlington Republicans elect 17-year-old student as party leader

Members of the Burlington Republican Party elected a new leader last week who is likely the youngest director of a local party in the state.

The Burlington Republican Committee unanimously tapped Kolby LaMarche, a 17-year-old student at the Community College of Vermont, and an active volunteer on Republican campaigns, as its chair.

LaMarche’s appointment comes after Burlington Republicans have been without a party chair for nearly a year, after previous leader Paco DeFrancis stepped down to run for Burlington City Council last December.

Lamarche, who has been an active member of the city’s party for three years, and was elected in an uncontested race last week, said that his age won’t prevent him for energizing Republicans in the Queen City.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2019/09/25/burlington-republicans-elect-17-year-old-student-as-party-leader/

They're desperate.
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