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TexasTowelie's Journal
TexasTowelie's Journal
May 31, 2014

Cruz wins presidential straw poll at GOP summit

Source: AP


Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has won the latest 2016 presidential straw poll at a conservative summit in Louisiana.

Cruz took 30 percent of the vote at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. He edged out conservative speaker and author Ben Carson.

Organizers at the annual conference say about a third out of 1,500 delegates voted in the straw poll. Delegates had to pay to register for the conference and vote in the straw poll.

Cruz promised delegates Saturday to continue his uncompromising approach on Capitol Hill.

Read more: http://www.statesman.com/news/ap/top-news/cruz-wins-presidential-straw-poll-at-gop-summit/ngBSs/

Carson did not speak at the summit. My only question is who let Cruz keep his passport when he was overseas this week?
May 31, 2014

Plutocracy And A Dystopian Future For Our Children

The wave of super-charged economic inequality-- spurred by uncontrolled greed and avarice and abetted by sold out politicians-- isn't just drowning the American middle class. This week, the British are being told to get ready for a grim future, with no chance for the vast population to "claw their way out of a hand-to-mouth existence."

Rising house prices will see the British middle classes disappear within 30 years, leaving behind a tiny elite and a huge proletariat, a Government adviser has warned.

David Boyle, a fellow of the New Economics Foundation think tank, said that for many young people today owning their own home was a pipe dream… [H]e said that the traditional middle classes would have to work multiple jobs-- with scarcely any leisure time-- just to be able to pay rent.

…“We won’t own our own homes, we won’t be able to afford it.

“It will constrain our dreams and constrain the dreams of our children. It’s a new kind of economy where there are no middle classes at all.

“Nobody in society will have the kind of space in their lives, space in their homes, space in their careers for any kind of culture at all, because we will be having three or four jobs to make ends meet.

“I think it will impoverish society, make it more intolerant and make it more difficult to live.”

The video up top is Bill Moyers' interview with economist Joseph Stiglitz, who has written a new white paper for the Roosevelt Institute showing how that paying our fair share of taxes and cracking down on corporate tax dodgers could be a cure for the kind of inequality-- and a faltering economy-- that David Boyle is warning his British countrymen about above and that Piketty talks about in his new book, Capital. Apple, Google, GE and a host of other Fortune 500 companies, he asserts, are creating what amounts to "an unlimited IRA for corporations," some of them paying no taxes whatsoever. This results in vast amounts of lost revenue for the U.S. treasury and the exporting of much-needed jobs to other countries in an endless race for ever cheaper labor costs. Stiglitz insists that there's an ethical issue of corporations using our national resources without paying for them. He says corporations like Apple are willing to take from our country by using "the ingenuity of America, based on the Internet, created, in large measure, by government spending, but not to give back" by paying their taxes. Stiglitz paints as frightening a picture of a plutocratic future as Boyle:

- See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2014/05/plutocracy-and-dystopian-future-for-our.html#sthash.G2DinkUl.4cUO2uck.dpuf
May 31, 2014

Insider trading inquiry includes Mickelson and Icahn

Source: New York Times

The divergent lives of a championship golfer, a high-rolling gambler and a billionaire investor have collided in a federal insider trading investigation.

Federal authorities are examining a series of well-timed trades belonging to golfer Phil Mickelson and gambler William T. Walters, people briefed on the investigation said, focusing on trading in two stocks. The authorities are also questioning what role, if any, that investor Carl C. Icahn may have had in sharing information about one of the stocks, of consumer products company Clorox.

Mickelson, a three-time winner of the Masters and one of the country’s highest-earning athletes, placed his Clorox trade in 2011, the people briefed on the investigation said. Walters, an owner of golf courses who is often considered the most successful sports bettor in the country, made a similar trade about that time, the people added.

Icahn, a 78-year-old billionaire and one of the best-known investors in the world, was mounting a takeover bid for Clorox around the time that Mickelson and Walters placed their trades.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20140530-insider-trading-inquiry-includes-mickelson-and-icahn.ece

May 31, 2014

Did You Think Democrats Protected Tenants From Predatory Developers?

Yesterday, tragically, the Democratically-controlled California State Senate sided with predatory real estate speculators who are destroying the whole concept of San Francisco as a diverse, working class city by displacing and uprooting tenants. There was an 18-19 vote against SB 1439, Mark Leno's crucial Ellis Act reform bill. Ted Lieu rushed back to Sacramento from his campaign in CA-33 to voted for Leno's bill.

This morning, San Francisco attorney and trusted tenants' rights advocate Paul Hogarth had a glimmer of good news: "It's not over; the bill will be reconsidered either today or tomorrow. Here are three Senators we must target like crazy today."

JERRY HILL (San Mateo County)-- go to his FB page at Jerry.Hill.CA and express your outrage. Hill claims he did it because he has constituents who own rental property in San Francisco, and "might" wanna do an Ellis Act within 5 years of ownership. What about all the tenants evicted out of San Francisco, and are now renting on the Peninsula? As for his landlord constituents, they can still do owner move-in evictions without Ellis Act.

ED HERNANDEZ (L.A. County)-- tweet him @dredhernandez and express your outrage. Urge him to reconsider and vote YES on SB1439.

BEN HUESO (San Diego)-- Ben Hueso voted "yes," and then switched his vote to "no." Could it have been all the money he gets from the real estate lobby? Demand he explain himself, and do the right thing by voting YES. His Facebook page is at /Senator-Ben-Hueso/514048398664628

It's worth noting that Hernandez and Hueso are both opposed to the fracking moratorium which is also up for reconsideration now.


The Senate reconsidered and the bill passed 21-14. The three villains we asked everyone to reach out to-- Jerry Hill, Ed Hernandez and Ben Hueso -- who all voted "no" on the bill the day before, voted "yes" yesterday. They did however make their yes votes conditional on pending amendments to water down the bill's effectiveness. So… still plenty of work left, and plenty of vigilance!

- See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2014/05/did-you-think-democrats-protected.html#sthash.rthMnwei.bYVxgK19.dpuf
May 30, 2014

Kyle Field construction companies fined for violations related to worker's death

Two Kyle Field construction companies have been handed severe penalties from the U.S. Department of Labor for the December death of a construction worker.

The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has charged Lindamood Demolition Inc. and Texas Cutting & Coring with willful violations — ones committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. It’s the most severe violation that OSHA can give out.

Willful violations carry a maximum penalty of $70,000: Lindamood was fined $56,000 and Texas Cutting and Coring $63,000.

The OSHA investigation states that on Dec. 3 the Lindamood employee was operating a skid-steer loader to support a 3,340-pound concrete stub while a Texas Cutting & Coring employee used a circular saw to cut the stub from its support column. The stub overloaded the skid-steer and tipped it and its driver over a ramp wall, falling more than 70 feet to the ground. Worker Angel Garcia, 28, was ejected from the machine and died after falling four stories.

More at http://www.theeagle.com/news/a_m/kyle-field-construction-companies-fined-for-violations-related-to-worker/article_6f158cd0-e814-11e3-97b7-0019bb2963f4.html .

May 30, 2014

Texas judge orders 'affluenza' records turned over

A judge has ordered attorneys for the North Texas teenager who killed four people in a deadly wreck to turn over the records of the psychologist who claimed the teen suffered from “affluenza.”

Judge R.H. Wallace Jr.’s Thursday ruling rejected arguments by Ethan Couch’s attorneys.

Dr. Dick Miller testified last year that Couch was coddled into a sense of irresponsibility by his wealthy parents — a condition Miller called “affluenza.” Couch was 16 years old when he drunkenly rammed a pickup truck into a crowd of people, killing four. He was given probation.

The family of a boy injured in the wreck is suing Couch’s family and wants Miller’s records as part of their case.

More at http://www.dallasnews.com/news/metro/20140530-texas-judge-orders-affluenza-records-turned-over.ece .

[font color=green]Due to the harm that he caused to four members of the public on a public highway it is somewhat ridiculous for his attorney to declare an expectation of privacy for his medical records when he is involved in a tort lawsuit.[/font]

May 30, 2014

A More Conservative Texas?

By Carol Morgan

Envisioning a more conservative Texas is like the ghost of Christmas future who warned Scrooge of his fate if he didn’t change his ways. Just like Ebenezer, if voters could catch a preview of what life could be like with the Tea Party at the helm in Austin, they might think twice about their vote in November.

And perhaps, this glimpse into the future might motivate non-voting Texans to head off our impending disaster.

There’s no doubt that Patrick’s victory was a referendum against David Dewhurst more than a nod in favor of Patrick. After his defeat by Ted Cruz, Dewhurst became the wealthy career politician that Texas came to disdain. What I fear is that November voters will continue to allow labels to dominate their choices, not thinking about the resulting effect of a more corrupt and extreme crop of Tea Party politicians.

There are only five things that voters need to know about Dan Patrick:

1. He wants to stop the “invasion from Mexico”.

2. In 2013, he made Texas Monthly’s list of Worst Legislators of 2013

3. He vowed to obstruct any equal pay legislation.

4. He voted for $5.4 billion in cuts to education.

5. He was the only opponent of the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program.

The complete article is at http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/carol-morgan/2014-05-30/more-conservative-texas#.U4jlnShCxfs .
May 30, 2014

Texas Supreme Court denies Lance Armstrong’s appeal in case over $12 million in prize money

Lance Armstrong has lost yet another round in his fight to keep Dallas-based SCA Promotions from collecting $12 million in bonus money.

Friday morning the Supreme Court of Texas denied Armstrong’s motion for temporary relief filed earlier this month. Armstrong and his former racing team, Tailwind Sports, filed that petition in an effort to block SCA’s efforts to recover the money paid to the Plano-born cyclist in 2006 for winning the Tour de France in 2002, ’03 and ’04.

Armstrong and Tailwind took their case to the state’s highest court just days after the Dallas-based Fifth Court of Appeals denied Armstrong’s request to keep an arbitration panel from reconvening and revisiting a 2006 agreement involving the hefty payout. As far as Armstrong and Tailwind are concerned, that 8-year-old agreement should have been the last word on the matter, despite his admission last year that he was doping during his entire career.

Armstrong is scheduled to be deposed in Austin June 12, marking the second time Dallas-based attorney Jeff Tillotson will have questioned Armstrong under oath. He’s the only attorney to have ever done so, before or after he admitted to doping. “Apparently, once wasn’t enough,” says Tillotson. Armstrong, of course, denied using performance-enhancing drugs during his previous sitdown with the attorney.

More at http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2014/05/texas-supreme-court-denies-lance-armstrongs-appeal-in-case-over-12-million-in-prize-money.html/ .

May 30, 2014

Inequality and the unfree market

While the public discussion about inequality continues to gather momentum, a trio of books exploring the issue from different angles is getting a lot of attention. The most widely known is Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century--the two others are Matt Taibbi's The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap and David Cay Johnston's Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality.

Looming behind both the specific cases made in each of these books and the more general discussions about inequality are questions that socialists have been focused on for many years.

Capitalism has undoubtedly produced wealth, technological innovation and consumer goods on a historically unprecedented scale, but it is also associated with exploitation, inequality and economic crisis. Are these defects the result of attempts to meddle with capitalism's free market, as the system's defenders claim? Or are exploitation and inequality an inescapable and, in fact, necessary component of actually existing capitalism, as its critics contend?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

FOR THE economists who defend capitalism, the free market itself is a realm of freedom and equality, evaluating and rewarding--or not rewarding--individuals' economic contributions on the basis of their worth. If some people can't make ends meet, that can be explained as the product of individual failings. Attempts to address social problems, if they impede the functioning of free markets, can only make the situation worse.

The complete article is at http://socialistworker.org/2014/05/29/inequality-and-unfree-market .
May 30, 2014

Steve Israel's Reptilian Plan To Keep John Boehner On As Speaker

This morning the DCCC announced that they had reserved $43.5 million in broadcast and cable television time in 36 congressional districts-- 19 to defend incumbents (+ an open blue district) and 19 held by Republicans. If they win every single race-- which they won't (more on that below)-- they will still fail to take back the House. They call it "the biggest ad buy in history." A more useful frame may be "the biggest waste of donor money in history."

Let's get the defensive plays out of the way first:

• AZ-01- Ann Kirkpatrick (New Dem)- 51.68
• AZ-02- Ron Barber (Blue Dog)- 25.00
• AZ-09- Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog)- 31.79
• CA-07- Ami Bera (New Dem)- 48.43
• CA-26- Julia Brownley- 64.78
• CA-52- Scott Peters (New Dem)- 46.84
• CT-05- Elizabeth Esty (New Dem)- 72.61
• FL-26- Joe Garcia (New Dem)- 42.11
• GA-12- John Barrow (Blue Dog)- 22.64
• IL-10- Brad Schneider (New Dem)- 51.27
• IL-12- Bill Enyart- 58.06
• MA-06- John Tierney- 89.81
• MN-07- Collin Peterson (Blue Dog)- 38.99
• MN-08- Rick Nolan (Progressive)- 84.52
• NH-01- Carol Shea Porter- 75.84
• NH-02- Ann Kuster (New Dem)- 68.15
• NY-01- Tim Bishop- 75.47
• NY-21- (open)
• TX-23- Pete Gallego (Blue Dog)- 32.05
• WV-03- Nick Rahall (Blue Dog)- 42.77

Most of the incumbents above need triage because they have alienated their bases by voting with the Republicans more than with their own party on crucial, core issues. Many progressives will just stay home on election day, the same way they did in 2010. The number next to their names in their ProgressivePunch crucial vote score for 2013-14. Anything below a 60 indicates someone is from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Then you find "Democrats" like Barrow, Barber, Sinema, Peterson, Gallego who vote with the GOP so frequently that they should be treated by voters as though they are Republicans. The DCCC will often be castigating Republicans on votes that devastate working families and harm the national security that find these members across the aisle. It makes the DCCC sound as hypocritical as they are.

As for the targeting in red-held districts, Israel is out for failure again, without even discussing how he was able to protect favored GOP incumbents like Ileana Ros Lehtinen in blue districts by making sure no Democrats qualified for the ballot. Once again, he's ignoring opportunities to take out vulnerable Republicans-- and even empty red seats-- to bolster his weak, corrupt,conservative recruits. No ad reservations in winnable districts like Fred Upton's MI-06, John Kline's MN-02, David Joyce's OH-14, Sean Duffy's WI-07, Paul Ryan's WI-01 or the CA-25 seat abandoned by Buck McKeon. All the Democrats running in these races-- Paul Clements, Mike Obermueller, Michael Wager, Kelly Westlund, Rob Zerban, Lee Rogers-- have one thing in common: they are all progressives and everyone in Washington knows Steve Israel is more comfortable with Republicans than with progressive Democrats. Here's the DCCC list, along with the district PVI:

• AR-02 (open) R+8
• CA-10- Jeff Denham- R+1
• CA-21- David Valadao- D+2
• CA-31 (open) D+5
• CO-06- Mike Coffman- D+1 R+6
• IA-03 (open)- even PVI
• IA-04- Steve King- R+5
• IL-13- Rodney Davis- even PVI
• MI-01- Dan Benishek- R+5
• MI-07- Tim Walberg- R+3
• MI-08 (open) R+2
• MI-11- Kerry Bentivolio- R+4
• NJ-03 (open) R+1
• NY-11- Michael Grimm- R+2
• NY-23- Tom Reed- R+3
• PA-06 (open) R+2
• PA-08- Mike Fitzpatrick- R+1
• VA-10 (open) R+2

- See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2014/05/steve-israels-reptilian-plan-to-keep.html#sthash.OjqTQhfi.KTbYSCmk.dpuf

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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, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 110,129

About TexasTowelie

Retired/disabled 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!

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