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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: 76,952

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

So Far This Week, Ted Cruz Has Insulted a Fellow Senator, Oprah and People Who Don't Like Trucks

Even for famously acerbic Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, this has been a banner week for bluster.

On Tuesday, the Republican lawmaker staged a committee hearing on conservative bogeyman Antifa that got so combative one of his Senate colleagues walked out. And, as if that wasn't enough, he also found time to get worked up over 'Muricans' right to drive-ass giant pickup trucks and — in what appears to be his latest attempt to provoke a celebrity Twitter feud — accused Oprah Winfrey of spewing "racist BS."

Let's review.

The Hearing: During a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Cruz called Tuesday to purportedly throw back the curtain on Antifa, Cruz accused Democrats of "facilitating" street violence that occurred in some U.S. cities during police brutality protests. After understandable pushback from the Dems on that assertion, Cruz badgered Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, for roughly ten minutes, claiming she was afraid to denounce violent protesters. Finally, she left the hearing, calling out what may rank as one of the great understatements of the year: "Sometimes I don't think you listen."

Pickup Trucks: On Monday, Ryan Cooper, a national correspondent for news site The Week, retweeted a Sunday article from the Wall Street Journal about the danger huge pickup trucks pose to others on the road. In response, Cruz fired back that "blue check-marks are afraid of pick-up trucks." Presumably, Cruz is using the term "blue check-marks" as shorthand for "liberal celebrities." Never mind, though, that Cruz's official account is also verified with one of those blue check marks.

Read more: https://www.sacurrent.com/the-daily/archives/2020/08/05/so-far-this-week-ted-cruz-has-insulted-a-fellow-senator-oprah-and-people-who-dont-like-trucks


Ted Cruz
blue check-marks are afraid of pick-up trucks
ryan cooper
sales of mega-pickups, which have basically been deliberately designed to intimidate and kill pedestrians, are booming https://wsj.com/articles/picku
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Aug 7, 2020, 03:33 AM (0 replies)

A new COVID conspiracy -- squirrels and hand sanitizer

Society has long been rife with conspiracy theories —- and there's nothing like a good old-fashioned global pandemic to bring them out in full force. Maybe I just have weird friends, but I can't go five minutes on Facebook without seeing someone claiming the coronavirus is a Democrat hoax to get Biden elected or that masks are just the government's way to subjugate society on the road to fascism.

I'm pretty sure most conspiracy theories are hogwash, especially these COVID-19 ones. I swear to you all right here and now there IS a sinister conspiracy afoot — one that involves an evil collaboration between car washes, grocery stores, and the most blackhearted masterminds of malice in the world: squirrels.

Once upon a time, I thought squirrels were cute and fuzzy and charming. Then I made the mistake of buying a house with a walnut tree in the backyard. Every year, a small army of squirrels farm that tree 24/7. They're efficient, organized, and their clear purpose in life is to make mine a living hell.

Last Sunday, I went to the grocery store on a food run. While there, I was happy to find a couple big jugs of hand sanitizer perfect for the office. Returning home, I pulled onto the parking slab in my backyard and unloaded the car.

Read more: https://qctimes.com/lifestyles/shane_brown/shane-brown-a-new-covid-conspiracy-squirrels-and-hand-sanitizer/article_abd0deb2-953a-5a9f-84fd-4ed303af340d.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 6, 2020, 04:19 PM (6 replies)

Joni Ernst to President Trump: Accept the Republican nomination in Des Moines, not the White House

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst said Thursday that President Donald Trump should not accept the Republican Party's presidential nomination from the White House, as he has suggested.

And she had an alternative in mind: Des Moines.

"I really think it should be done in Des Moines, Iowa. That makes total sense to me," Ernst, a first-term Republican who is up for re-election this year, said on a conference call with reporters. "We’re a state that would largely support Trump, and of course we could really use that economic boom. Just send President Trump in, and we’ll find a place for him to give his acceptance speech."

Trump won Iowa by more than 9 percentage points in 2016, but a June Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll showed the president leading former Vice President Joe Biden by just 1 point, well within the poll's margin of error.

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2020/08/06/joni-ernst-says-trump-should-accept-republican-nomination-des-moines-not-white-house/3310723001/

Battle over Medicaid coverage for transgender Iowans hits roadblock

The yearslong battle over transgender Iowans’ right to use Medicaid funds for transition-related care hit a roadblock Wednesday when the Iowa Court of Appeals tossed a lawsuit challenging a 2019 law that allows the state to deny that coverage.

The lawsuit, brought by the ACLU of Iowa on behalf of transgender Iowans Mika Covington and Aiden Vasquez, sought to overturn a law passed in the waning days of the 2019 session that allows government entities to opt out of using public insurance dollars, including Medicaid, to pay for transition-related surgeries.

The court didn't affirm that law in dismissing the case. Rather, it said Covington and Vasquez had not yet been denied coverage under that law, so "any dispute is speculative until a denial occurs."

The 2019 provision, included in the health budget bill, was added in response to an Iowa Supreme Court decision in March 2018 that ruled Iowa’s longtime ban on using Medicaid funds for transition-related care was discriminatory under Iowa Civil Rights Act’s gender-identity protections.

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2020/08/05/iowa-appeals-court-tosses-lawsuit-medicaid-transgender-iowans/3300317001/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:01 AM (0 replies)

2 Iowa store employees fired after refusing to serve police officer

DES MOINES — Two former doughnut franchise employees were fired after refusing to serve a Des Moines police officer, the shop’s corporate headquarters said.

Sgt. Paul Parizek, a spokesman for the Des Moines Police Department, said he was refused service over the weekend at a local Dunkin’ doughnut shop because he’s a police officer, television station KCCI reported.

Parizek said he asked a woman behind the shop’s counter, “What’s going on?”

“She said, ‘We’re not going to serve you today and you need to leave,’ ” Parizek recounted.

Read more: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/public-safety/des-moines-police-dunkin-donut-employees-fired-20200805

Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Aug 5, 2020, 11:44 PM (2 replies)

Iowa's budget is the most resilient in the country in the COVID-19 pandemic, study finds

A study conducted by the accounting firm KPMG of the fiscal risk and resiliency of each state in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic found that Iowa is the most fiscally sound, most resilient state in the country when it comes to battling through COVID-19. The study was commissioned by the Council of State Governments.

The study weighed several factors including percent of GDP by industry in each state, the expected reduction of state revenues, balance in each state’s rainy day fund, each state’s debt to income ratio, the solvency of each state’s pension system and each state’s unemployment trust fund, as well as each state’s cost per enrollee in Medicaid, and growth in K-12 education funding since the Great Recession. The full report can be found on the Council of State Governments’ website.

The findings validate the conservative budgeting practices Senate Republicans have implemented over the last four years. Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, said. The findings should make Iowans confident of “stable and predictable funding under Republican leadership.”

(Cedar Rapids Gazette)
no more at link
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Aug 5, 2020, 11:41 PM (0 replies)

Trump campaign uses unauthorized and altered Gazette photo to criticize Biden

A new ad from President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign uses a manipulated version of a news photo taken in Coralville by a Gazette photographer to falsely say it shows presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hiding in his Delaware basement.

The image, which was used without The Gazette’s permission, was taken by Photo Editor Liz Martin in December 2019 when Biden was visiting the home of Coralville Mayor John Lundell.

About three dozen supporters and journalists were at the event, Martin said, and Biden sat on the floor to give someone else his seat.

The Gazette’s policy forbids the use of Gazette news photos for any political advertising. Neither Martin nor Diana Pesek, who handles the newspaper’s licensing requests, gave the campaign permission to republish the image.

Read more: https://www.thegazette.com/factchecker/donald-trump-2020-joe-biden-alone-gazette-photo-unauthorized-altered-coralville-hawkeye-game-20200805
(Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Original photo:

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden sits on the floor Dec. 27, 2019, during a Holiday Bowl watch party at Coralville Mayor John Lundell’s home in Coralville. A new re-election ad for President Donald Trump manipulated the image to falsely say Biden was hiding in his Delaware basement. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Altered photo:

This screenshot of a video published on Facebook by the Donald Trump campaign for president shows a manipulated photo taken by Gazette photojournalist Liz Martin in December 2019. The photo was taken at the home of the Coralville mayor during a Holiday Bowl watch party. It was digitally manipulated and misrepresented as being in the Delaware basement of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Aug 5, 2020, 10:45 PM (7 replies)

Iowa governor has stopped AG from joining anti-Trump suits

DES MOINES — Iowa’s Republican governor has rejected two-thirds of the Democratic state attorney general’s requests to join multistate lawsuits, under an unusual compromise that has allowed her to repeatedly block the state’s involvement in challenges to Trump administration policies.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller agreed in May 2019 to seek Gov. Kim Reynolds’ approval before he would join multistate lawsuits. In turn, Reynolds vetoed a Republican-backed bill that would have prevented the state’s top lawyer from joining any multistate suit unless the governor or Legislature requested it.

Although the deal has allowed Reynolds to block 45 of 67 requests by Miller, the attorney general said he didn’t regret the bargain he made with the governor, which will expire when either of the officials leave office. Miller, 75, is the nation’s longest-serving state attorney general, having been elected 10 times.

“The most important thing is that the agreement is temporary and will not affect future attorneys general in Iowa,” Miller said in a statement. “It’s also important that I — and future AGs — retain the authority to comment on legislation and regulations before Congress and federal agencies.”

Read more: https://www.thehawkeye.com/news/20200804/iowa-governor-has-stopped-ag-from-joining-anti-trump-suits
(Burlington Hawkeye)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Aug 5, 2020, 11:59 AM (3 replies)

Iowa governor says students won't receive credit if school districts defy 50% mandate on in-person

Iowa governor says students won’t receive credit if school districts defy 50% mandate on in-person classes

JOHNSTON — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday students in school districts that hold classes exclusively online without receiving state approval will not receive credit.

The announcement comes one day after two Iowa school districts said they plan to defy the governor’s mandate that at least 50% of classes be held in person this fall.

“Schools that choose not to return to school for at least 50% in-person instruction are not defying me, they are defying the law,” Reynolds said Tuesday during a press conference.

“If schools move to primarily remote learning without approval, according again to the law, those days do not count toward instructional time.”

Read more: https://www.thehawkeye.com/news/20200804/iowa-governor-says-students-wont-receive-credit-if-school-districts-defy-50-mandate-on-in-person-classes
(Burlington Hawkeye)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Aug 5, 2020, 11:50 AM (4 replies)

Exclusive: Iowa's state medical director received 45% pay raise

Monday, Aug 3 2020
Laura Belin, Bleeding Heartland

The base pay for Iowa’s medical director and state epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati increased by 45 percent as the current fiscal year began on July 1, records obtained by Bleeding Heartland show. The additional $3,144 that Pedati began receiving per two-week pay period would translate to an extra $81,744 in base salary over twelve months.

The doctor leading the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response also received more than $55,000 in overtime pay from March through early July, even though her job class would not normally be eligible for overtime compensation.


Pedati’s base pay was $7,050.40 per two-week pay period from March through late June. It rose to $10,194.40 during the pay period that ran from June 26 through July 9, according to Department of Administrative Services records. That agency’s spokesperson Tami Wiencek confirmed via email the information reflects raises in the pay period including July 1.

State employees typically receive modest salary increases at the start of a fiscal year. Pedati’s biweekly pay had increased from $6,844.80 when she joined the Iowa Department of Public Health in 2018 to $7,050.40 the following fiscal year. The 30 other state employees whose recent records Bleeding Heartland reviewed–all of whom earn more than $100,000 annually–saw their biweekly pay increase by amounts ranging from $85 to $122 as the 2021 fiscal year began.

Read more: https://www.bleedingheartland.com/2020/08/03/exclusive-iowas-state-medical-director-received-45-pay-raise/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Aug 4, 2020, 10:56 PM (0 replies)
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