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Don't Grant Eminent Domain to Keystone XL Project

Posted by Calvin on 2011/12/23 0:50:00 (1566 reads)

Open in new windowAn open letter to Congressman Michael Burgess

The Honorable Michael Burgess, M.D.
U.S. Congressman 26th District of Texas
1660 South Stemmons Freeway, Suite 230
Lewisville, TX 75067

RE: Keystone XL Pipeline

Dear Dr. Burgess,

Recently you were interviewed for a local Dallas/Fort Worth radio program in which you expressed your support for the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline project. This project would create a pipeline from the Tar Sands of Western Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and other points in between, over 2,000 miles in length. One issue that is of particular concern for me, ¡s that the company installing this pipeline will be given the power of eminent domain, or the ability to condemn private property should private citizens not want to have this pipeline installed on their property. During my service as mayor, I have seen private for profit companies exercise and abuse the power of eminent domain and it is the private citizens that suffer the results.

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Thoughts and Links on Thursday Afternoon

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2011/12/22 22:08:54 (1286 reads)
Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread

It's a beautiful day today; T-shirt weather you might say. I slept in this morning way longer than in a long time. I think it was afternoon when I got up. It's great to have the day off.

The Hater
For those who have been following the blog regularly, you probably have noticed that the hater came back and shat upon a number of posts here with their conspiratorial and paranoid delusional comments. Normally I go ahead and allow the comments, and then we try to set the record straight with our own responses. A few other readers have also jumped in to try to help set them straight.

But there's only so far you can go in arguing with a crazy person. The policy here is to allow all sorts of views, even when they conflict with our own, but sometimes it no longer adds to the conversation, and just detracts. I've heard from several readers, as well as my wife, that we should give up feeding the troll.

So, that's what I'm doing. Comments by the hater are going to be ignored until they can say anything constructive.

Miscellaneous Stuff
By now, everyone has heard that Kim Jong Il, the dictator of North Korea has died. I wish the people of North Korea, and the people in power there wisdom and courage, and hope they will find a way to choose democracy.

Dallas Morning News has an editorial on the GOP's idiotic stumble with regards to extending the payroll tax cut. I think the whole damned situation is beyond stupid, and perfectly illustrates how Congress is broken, and how the political parties are the root of the problem. In particular, the hypocrisy and misplaced priorities of the GOP are stunning. The economy is not suffering because rich people have to pay taxes. The economy is suffering from lack of consumer demand, which comes from lack of disposable income in the general public. But the GOP's priority is exactly opposite of what it should be. Usually tax cuts are the only tool in their tool box, but they've shown that when it comes down to it, they will go to bat for the super wealthy, and throw the average American under the bus. They want to stifle recovery by taking an extra $1000 out of working people's pockets, but if you dare to insist that people who are very wealthy pay 36% instead of 34%, they squeal like stuck pigs. It's beyond ridiculous, and the American people are largely seeing it for exactly what it is, according to recent polls.

Right-wing bullshitter Bill O'Reilly is a big baby with thin skin who can dish it out, but can't take it. He also apparently doesn't understand the law, since he asks a police officer to arrest someone that he assaulted for asking him questions.

Is Rick Perry really gay? Here's what Glen Maxey, the first openly gay State Representative in Texas has to say:


As far as I’m concerned, whether Rick Perry has had sex with men would be purely a personal matter—except that now he has chosen to launch a series of virulent anti-gay attacks.  That raises the important, legitimate question of whether he has also engaged in profound political hypocrisy.  The almost complete national media black-out on the story, together with my own experiences with the national press publication that worked with me for 5 months, also raises a serious question about media standards in covering stories about homosexual relationships of political candidates.

Maxey has a book exploring the rumors and evidence from various sources. Without seeing any of that, I would say that when you look at a guy like Perry who goes out of his way to hate gays and bash them for political purposes, it seems quite likely he's got something he's hiding or suppressing. I don't give a damn whether Perry is gay or not. I care more that he's a hateful, arrogant, demagogue who panders to ignorant bigots, and has caused great harm to the State of Texas.

Rick Perry's pants were on fire about government bailouts.
It seems that on Perry's watch, the Texas Agricultural Finance Authority had to be bailed out to the tune of $14.7 million.

I can't wait to see what would happen if there were a public audit of Rick Perry's slush fund that he uses to invest in his campaign donors' companies with public taxpayer dollars. I suspect it would be even less successful. Pardon me for being the real conservative here, but I don't believe it's a valid function of government to provide direct investment in private enterprise. Well-placed tax abatements are fine when they're clearly in the public interest because they don't require the government to go out-of-pocket. But with direct investment, there is just too much opportunity for ethical lapses and graft, and there is just not appropriate accountability built in.

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Police Arrest Capital Murder Suspect

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2011/12/21 20:40:00 (5252 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowLewisville Police have arrested Markell Oneil Hardy (26) of Lewisville for the offense of Capital Murder. Hardy is accused of killing Trevor Matthew Kronbach (21) during the commission of a felony.

On December 20th, at approximately 12:30 a.m., Lewisville Police were dispatched to a report of a person having been shot at the Park Lake One apartments located at 1901 Lakeview Circle #1011. Officers located Krondach deceased in the apartment with an apparent gunshot wound. The investigation revealed that several weapons belonging to the victim had been taken from the apartment.

During the subsequent investigation, detectives learned that Hardy was an associate of Kronbach and was believed to be the last person to see him alive. Detectives recovered the stolen weapons from a friend of Hardy. Detectives developed probable cause to believe that Hardy stole the weapons from Kronbach’s residence at the time of the murder.

Hardy was located as he walked out of the Inn Town Suites in Lewisville. Hardy was transported to the Lewisville Police Department where he was interviewed. At approximately 6:45 p.m., Hardy was arrested and charged with Capital Murder. On December 21st, Hardy was arraigned and a $250,000 bond has been set.

Detectives continue to investigate to determine if there were other parties involved in this offense.

Update 6/8/2014:
Tyrone Negal Jenkins was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for this murder. In August of 2013, Hardy was sentenced to 40 years in prison on murder.

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One Big Union

Posted by WhosPlayin on 2011/12/21 17:44:58 (808 reads)

Matthew Grimm of The Hangdogs has this video showing his support for the 99%:

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Paul Sadler Running on Dem. Ticket for U.S. Senate

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2011/12/20 6:10:00 (963 reads)

(Austin) Moments ago, former legislator Paul Sadler filed to run on the Democratic ticket for U.S. Senate. Sadler,an attorney, currently serves as Executive Director of The Wind Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the use of wind as a viable energy source. Previously Sadler served as a Texas State Representative including being Chairman of the Public Education Committee, and co-author of the Texas Education Code, named the Ratliff-Sadler Act, by then Lt. Governor Bob Bullock.

“I decided to run because Texas needs an advocate who can put the good of the state ahead of all else. Like all Texans I am disgusted by the gridlock in Washington. I have a solid record of working with members of both parties to accomplish legislation that improves the lives and education of our children and all Texans.”

It has been very difficult for me, after working so hard in office to increase funding for public schools, to see the devastating cuts being made to the most important pillar of our democracy. The problems facing our country and our state are just too important to trust in the hands of people who don’t believe education should be a priority.”

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