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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: 96,673

About Me

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!

Journal Archives

Allentown maintains credit rating, but pandemic's financial blow prevents S&P from upgrading 'negati

Allentown has run budget surpluses two straight years, but one of its credit rating agencies remains concerned about the city’s ability to weather the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

S&P Global Ratings last week released a report maintaining a negative outlook on its long-term “A” rating of Allentown’s general obligation debt. The rating indicates Allentown is in a strong position to meet its obligations to bondholders, but is somewhat susceptible to economic shocks and downturns — such as, say, a pandemic. The negative outlook means there’s at least a one-in-three chance that S&P could lower Allentown’s rating over the next year or two.

S&P also assigned an “A” rating to the city’s latest $16 million general obligation bond issue. The city plans to use some of the proceeds to cover the costs of capital improvements initially funded with savings, thereby shrinking a projected 2020 deficit.

Credit Analyst Bobby E. Otter commended Allentown for achieving budget surpluses in 2018 and ’19 and restoring some cash reserves, which assuaged fears that political instability would impair city finances after former Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s conviction on corruption charges. The city also got kudos for settling its various legal disputes with the Lehigh County Authority.

Read more: https://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-nws-allentown-credit-rating-update-sp-coronavirus-20200831-cr6mzikw3ram5a4cua5rga7r5m-story.html
(Allentown Morning Call)

Philly Urban League launches reentry program for the formerly incarcerated

PHILADELPHIA — A new initiative aims to help formerly incarcerated individuals transition back into the community and secure employment.

The Urban League of Philadelphia has launched Out4Good, a four-week comprehensive program that offers skills development, workforce readiness, job training and placement for people with criminal records.

The effort comes as African Americans represent nearly 37% of those incarcerated in Pennsylvania. There are more than 170,000 individuals currently on probation and 45,000 incarcerated in state prisons, according to a Brookings report. Nearly 50% of returning citizens have no form of employment in the first year following their release from prison and the average annual earnings of those employed is less than $11,000.

“We cannot turn our back to the number of brothers that are coming out and have paid their dues and not give them an opportunity to come back as a citizen, come back in a meaningful way and come back with a meaningful job,” said Andrea Custis, president and CEO of the ULP.

Read more: https://www.penncapital-star.com/civil-rights-social-justice/philly-urban-league-launches-reentry-program-for-the-formerly-incarcerated/

Wolf says he might extend eviction, foreclosure moratorium

Expressing concern Pennsylvanians could be at higher risk for COVID-19 if they don’t have stable housing, Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday that he “might” issue a new executive order that puts a temporary ban on evictions and foreclosures.

Wolf made the announcement at the end of an unrelated press conference Monday, the same day that his 60-day moratorium on evictions and foreclosures expired.

It came just days after Wolf said he could not extend the eviction ban, a claim that legal analysts met with skepticism.

Wolf said a new order would not come Monday. Instead, he implied he might take action Tuesday, the day that judges can resume processing many of the eviction claims that are currently stalled in Pennsylvania courts.

Read more: https://www.penncapital-star.com/covid-19/wolf-says-he-might-extend-eviction-foreclosure-moratorium/

'Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames': Biden slams Trump in Pa. campaign

‘Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames’: Biden slams Trump in Pa. campaign stop

by Tom Lisi

PITTSBURGH — Former Vice President Joe Biden denounced looting and rioting in an address from Pittsburgh on Monday, and accused President Donald Trump of being weak for not calling on his supporters to stop acting as armed militias.

“Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames, rather than fighting the flames,” Biden said. “Does anybody believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?”

The address comes after Republicans seem to have gained some traction among some voters. Amidst several days of violent clashes in the streets of Kenosha, Wisc., and Portland, Ore., Republican surrogates have used those events as fodder for their message that the unrest should be associated with local Democratic governance and a hypothetical Biden presidency.

Biden pushed several times against the notion that he was a “radical socialist” or condoned violence.

Read more: https://www.penncapital-star.com/government-politics/fires-are-burning-and-we-have-a-president-who-fans-the-flames-biden-slams-trump-in-pa-campaign-stop/

SpaceX makes history with first polar orbit launch from Cape Canaveral in decades

The weather was iffy all day but the heavens parted for just a moment and allowed the Falcon 9 to take flight south and make history as the first rocket to launch a satellite into a polar orbit from Cape Canaveral in 60 years.

Most rockets launching from the Space Coast travel east over the ocean but to reach for polar orbit, the Falcon 9 had to veer south. A polar orbit is just what it sounds like – the satellite orbits around the North and South poles – which is better for imaging, spy and weather satellites.

The Falcon 9 carried an Earth observation satellite called SAOCOM-1B equipped with radar to help it predict and monitor natural disasters for the Argentinian government. Two smaller payloads, Tyvak-0172 and PlanetiQ’s GNOMES-1, also caught a ride to space aboard the Falcon.

The southern trajectory meant that bystanders all down the coast of Florida got the opportunity to see the launch as the rocket headed toward them instead of away. But storm clouds prevented many from getting a good view.

Read more: https://www.news-journalonline.com/story/tech/science/space/2020/08/30/spacex-makes-history-first-polar-orbit-launch-cape-canaveral/5675792002/
(Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Here's a List of All the Horrible Shit Laura Loomer Has Said and Done

As her surname seems to suggest, Laura Loomer has been looming over South Florida like an ominous shadow.

The anti-Muslim extremist with a penchant for throwing the white power "OK" hand sign has been a persistent purveyor of conspiracy theories and anti-immigrant rhetoric, and now she's made national headlines and baffled even GOP members by winning the Republican primary for Florida's 21st Congressional District, which includes Palm Beach County.

Loomer, the self-proclaimed most banned woman on the internet, has been barred from various social-media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and was also banned from using the rideshare services Uber and Lyft after some particularly racist comments. Good thing she didn't need a ride to first place in the primary.

So what exactly has Loomer done to get herself banned from every major platform, and what should Florida voters know going into November's general election, in which she’ll face Democratic incumbent Rep. Lois Frankel? New Times has compiled this list of Loomer controversies, from theatrical sabotage to racist protests.

Read more: https://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/a-history-of-laura-loomers-stunts-and-islamophobic-comments-10679252

Progressive Turnout Project seeks 200,000 inconsistent Florida voters committed to unseating Donald

Progressive Turnout Project seeks 200,000 inconsistent Florida voters committed to unseating Donald Trump

The Progressive Turnout Project unveiled a massive effort Monday to reach voters in battleground states, including Florida.

The group pledged a one-on-one voter contact program will place 55 million calls and mail 500,000 handwritten letters to voters.

That makes it the largest phone outreach of any progressive organization during the 2020 election cycle thus far. It’s part of a mission to help former Vice President Joe Biden defeat President Donald Trump and for Democrats to retake the Senate.

“Having in-depth, one-on-one conversations is the key to turning out the inconsistent voters Democrats need to win this election,” said Alex Morgan, Progressive Turnout Project executive director.

Read more: https://floridapolitics.com/archives/362754-progressive-turnout-project-wants-200k-inconsistent-florida-voters-committed-to-unseating-donald-trump

Gov. DeSantis suggests he will extend eviction moratorium for fifth consecutive time

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday suggested he will likely extend Florida’s stay-on-evictions while speaking to reporters in Fort Lauderdale.

“I will work on the moratorium,” he said. “I think we probably will continue that as well.”

The current moratorium is scheduled to expire on Sep. 1 at 12:01 a.m. If signed, it will be the fifth consecutive extension.

The Governor’s remarks bring some relief to the thousands of Floridians who remain financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the state received 100,000 additional unemployment claims last week. In total, 1.9 million claims have been paid in Florida for a sum of $14.22 billion since the onset of the pandemic.

Read more: https://floridapolitics.com/archives/362724-gov-ron-desantis-suggests-he-will-extend-eviction-moratorium-for-fifth-consecutive-time

Gov. DeSantis' lack of urgency on unemployment: Jobless workers still don't have $300 supplement

From the East Coast to the West, from the Gulf Coast to Alaska, at least 30 states have signed up for a $300 federal supplement per week for jobless workers. But not Florida.

In a state that has the lowest unemployment benefits in the nation, Gov. Ron DeSantis has thus far chosen not to provide the additional $300, raising questions about his lack of urgency in helping vulnerable residents who are out of work.

For months, DeSantis has used his extensive executive authority to quarantine certain travelers, establish highway checkpoints, shut down and reopen businesses, block and reinstate evictions, and take other actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But when it comes to Florida’s meager unemployment benefits — $275 per week for 12 weeks — the governor appears to be at a standstill, says Rich Templin, director of politics and public policy with Florida AFL-CIO.

Read more: https://www.floridaphoenix.com/2020/08/26/gov-desantis-lack-of-urgency-on-unemployment-jobless-workers-still-dont-have-300-supplement/

Don't trust Abbott's budget cuts

A report by the Houston Chronicle on Thursday detailed the $1 billion in cuts Republicans are proposing to the state budget in response to the pandemic-driven recession.

In a budget document obtained by the paper, $380 million cuts are slated for this fiscal year and another $680 million are being planned for the upcoming fiscal year.

“That lack of transparency has left providers and advocates in the dark about cuts to programs used by millions of vulnerable Texans – including specialized health care programs, oversight of child care facilities and the state’s system for enrolling children and families in services such as food stamps and Medicaid,” reported the Chronicle.

As a result of the Texas Legislature meeting only biennially, or every two years, the $1 billion in interim cuts are being directed by Gov. Greg Abbott and a handful of Republicans on the Legislative Budget Board, chaired by House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Read more: https://texassignal.com/dont-trust-abbotts-budget-cuts/
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