Rob Morrow out as Travis County GOP chair

Posted on 25 Aug 2016 at 5:49pm

Rob MorrowRob Morrow unseated the incumbent Travis County Republican chair in the election held during the primary in March. Today, the state party ousted him from his seat.

Morrow has been controversial throughout his tenure, but the party wasn’t able to get rid of him because he was elected legally.

This week, Morrow filed to be a write-in candidate for president of the United States. A party chair can’t be a candidate for another office.

Morrow has also been outspoken in his criticism of Donald Trump and protested outside the Trump rally in Austin this week with a sign that read, “Trump is a child rapist.” On his Twitter account, he links to a lawsuit from a woman who claims Trump raped her.

Aside from hating his own party’s nominee, the party has been critical of his constant posting of scantily clad women on his social media pages.

Here’s the hypocritical statement from the Republican Party:

In accordance with state law, upon filing as a write-in candidate for President of the United States on August 19th, 2016, Robert Morrow became ineligible to hold the office of Travis County Republican Chair. There is absolutely no place for rhetoric as distasteful as Mr. Morrow’s in the Republican Party of Texas. We are excited to move forward with the Travis County GOP and the new incoming Chair as soon as an election is held to fill the position.

Interesting they criticize Morrow’s rhetoric as distasteful, when Trump has been spewing racist, mysogynistic and anti-Muslim crap.

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South Dallas Fair Park Trust Fund Board honors local nonprofits

Posted on 25 Aug 2016 at 12:20pm
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Abounding Prosperity CEO Kirk Myers

The South Dallas Fair Park Trust Fund has announced its 2015-16 grant recipients totaling $378,275.15 in awarded funds to support 19 local nonprofits programs working to improve the South Dallas/Fair Park area. The Trust Fund will host its annual award dinner to honor the recipients for its most recent grant cycle from 6-8 p.m. today (Aug. 25) at the Texas Discovery Gardens, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.

Among the recipients is Abounding Prosperity, the only HIV/AIDS organization based in South Dallas.

In addition to Abounding Prosperity, others receiving awards are:

• ACT for Justice
• African American Museum
• Alley’s House
• Business Assistance Center
• Circle of Support
• Dallas Black Dance Theatre
• Edge Education Group
• Educational First Step
• Jubilee Park
• National Kidney Foundation
• North Texas Capacity Builder
• On the Road Lending
• Skill Quest
• St. Phillips
• Transformance, Inc.
• Victory Baptist Church
• Zan Holmes Community Outreach
• Zip Code Connection

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BREAKING: Police recovering body that washed down Turtle Creek in July

Posted on 24 Aug 2016 at 4:42pm

PoliceDallas police are recovering the body of an SMU police officer that was swept away during a flash flood on Turtle Creek on July 5.

SMU officer Mark McCullers disappeared after he called for help. He had been working as a guard at a property being renovated on the corner of Wycliff Avenue and Turtle Creek Boulevard.

This afternoon, an SMU officer called for assistance when he said he saw a body in uniform along the bank of the Trinity. Dallas police are on the levee at Oak Lawn Avenue at Levee Street near where the body was found.

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Al McAffrey wins Democratic slot in OKC

Posted on 24 Aug 2016 at 4:41pm

McAffrey.AlFormer Oklahoma state Sen. Al McAffrey won his runoff for the Democratic nomination for U.S. representative for Oklahoma District 5.

Out of 16,010 votes cast, McAffrey won in a 40 vote landslide, or one-quarter percent of the vote. He actually received fewer votes on election day, but won with about 100 more votes from absentee ballots.

McAffrey was the first openly gay member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and later of the Oklahoma Senate. The district includes the southern part of Oklahoma City and parts of Pottawatomie and Seminole counties.

In November, he’ll face one-term incumbent Republican Steve Russell.

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Straight people blog: Don’t have sex on your roof

Posted on 24 Aug 2016 at 11:42am
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Ricky Brimer (mug shot courtesy Angelina County)

Rickie Brimer was arrested in Lufkin when a police officer saw a naked man standing in the street in his rearview mirror. The man had fallen off his roof while having sex with a woman.

Brimer admitted drugs were involved.

The lesson here is acting like straight people can be dangerous.

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Travis County Republican Party chair protests Trump

Posted on 24 Aug 2016 at 11:06am

Rob MorrowWhat wasn’t surprising was seeing this sign outside a Trump rally in Austin yesterday, Aug. 23. What may have been surprising is who is holding the sign: Rob Morrow, the new chair of the Travis County Republican Party. Morrow, however, has stood by his convictions and staunchly opposed Trump since before he assumed office earlier this year.

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Now Paxton is suing to deny trans people proper health care

Posted on 23 Aug 2016 at 4:34pm
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Ken Paxton

Less than two days after a federal judge in Fort Worth issued an injunction halting enforcement the Obama administration’s guidelines for school districts on transgender students and issues, in a lawsuit filed by 13 states led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Paxton announced today (Tuesday, Aug. 23), that his has filed yet another lawsuit against the federal government, this time targeting proper health care for transgender people.

In July, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implemented a new regulation intended to protect transgender people from discrimination in the provision of healthcare, The new regulation notes that the term “sex” in the Affordable Healthcare Act includes gender identity, when it comes to prohibiting discrimination.

According to the HHS website, the new regulations require that women have equal access to the health care they receive and the insurance they obtain, and make clear that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on gender identity. That means individuals cannot be denied health care or health coverage based on their sex, including their gender identity; that individuals must be treated consistent with their gender identity, including in access to facilities; that sex-specific health care cannot be denied or limited just because the person seeking such services identifies as belonging to another gender (For example, a provider may not deny an individual treatment for ovarian cancer, based on the individual’s identification as a transgender man, where the treatment is medically indicated), and that “explicit categorical exclusions in coverage for all health care services related to gender transition are facially discriminatory. Other exclusions for gender transition care will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.”

Ken Paxton, however, sees things a bit differently. In a press release announcing his newest lawsuit against the Obama administration, he claims to be battling “against yet another Obama Administration regulatory overreach that is invading the coffers of Texas, as well as violating the medical judgment and conscience rights of doctors and health care professionals across the country.”

Paxton claims that when enacting the Affordable Health Care Act, Congress intended the term “sex” to denote a biological category.  And now, “The Obama Administration [is trying] to redefine the law so that the term ‘sex’ means ones’ ‘internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither or a combination of male and female.’ But the President does not have the power to rewrite the law.”

Paxton’s press release says the new rules could have significant impact on Texas and health care workers because it requires taxpayers to fund “all treatments designed to transition to a different sex,” and it “forces health care workers, including physicians, to provide controversial services.”

The press release continues, “Under the new rule, a physician that believes that certain treatments are not in a patient’s best medical interests may be in violation of federal law. And a physician that, for religious or conscientious reasons cannot perform a particular procedure, chooses to instead refer a patient to another health care provider may be determined to be in violation of this new rule.”

Directly quoting Paxton, the press release says, “This is the thirteenth lawsuit I have been forced to bring against the Obama Administration’s continued threats on constitutional rights of Texans. The federal government has no right to force Texans to pay for medical procedures designed to change a person’s sex. I am disappointed in the Obama Administration’s lack of consideration for medical professionals who believe that engaging in such procedures or treatment violates their Hippocratic Oath, their conscience or their personal religious beliefs, which are protected by the Constitution and federal law.”

Paxton made no mention, however, of his and other Republicans’ efforts to interfere with the doctor/patient relationship when it comes to abortion and other medical treatments/issues affecting women. He also made no mention of the fact that while he continues to waste taxpayer money by filing politically-motivated lawsuits against the federal government, specifically targeting LGBT people in many cases, he has been soliciting donations from individuals and corporations to pay his own legal bills associated with the state and federal securities fraud charges against him. That includes, by the way, a $100,000 donation from the CEO of a company that was under investigation by the AG’s Office.

Rebecca L. Robertson, legal and policy director for the ACLU of Texas, issued a statement today about Paxton’s latest lawsuit, noting that, “Yesterday Texas’ leaders patted themselves on the back for convincing a federal court that transgender schoolchildren should be excluded from the protections of Title IX. Today, the state filed another suit in the same court, this time challenging federal protections intended to shield transgender people from discrimination in healthcare services. We don’t know what else the state has in store, but the people of Texas will not stand idly by and let the state make transgender Texans into second-class citizens with no legal recourse when they face stigma and bias.

“Texas is better than this. This is not who we are,” Robertson said.

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LGBT community school supply drives help various schools

Posted on 23 Aug 2016 at 11:59am
ChadWest

Chad West

Crayons for Kids
Chad West Law Firm put together 50 back packs through donations to support the kids and teachers at Hogg Elementary School in Oak Cliff.

Mi Escuelita
Lost Souls Rugby made a large donation of school supplies to Mi Escuelita Preschool. The team has done this for a number of years and has become a great supporter of Mi Escuelita.

“Through their work and their annual supply drive at the Round Up Saloon, they have donated thousands of dollars worth of supplies to Mi Escuelita, which makes an enormous difference for us,” Mi Escuelita’s Betsy Orton wrote to Dallas Voice.

Mi Escuelita provides high quality early childhood education (Pre-K) to at-risk and low income families in an English immersion environment at four Dallas locations including one at Maple and Wycliff avenues.

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Fort Worth judge instructs trans students to pee in the wrong bathroom

Posted on 22 Aug 2016 at 11:43am
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U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor

A judge in Fort Worth issued an injunction against the Obama administration’s transgender bathroom policy. A hearing was held on Aug. 5 in U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s court in Fort Worth.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton led the charge by 13 states to stop enforcement of guidelines issued by the Obama Administration on how school districts should interact with transgender students. The lawsuit against the federal guidelines happened in the wake of uproar in the Fort Worth ISD when Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick interfered with calls for FWISD to rescind similar guidelines issued by Superintendent Kent Scribner. FWISD school officials have since adjusted its guidelines to address concerns raised by some regarding parental notifications and involvement.

Because Judge O’Connor believes the national guidelines will be overturned in a full hearing by the courts, he issued the national injunction.

While the case works its way through the courts, school districts will have to do what makes Paxton more comfortable, rather than accommodate all students.

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Who knew that cutting healthcare could affect health?

Posted on 22 Aug 2016 at 10:25am
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Texas Capitol

Obviously not the Texas legislature. A new study shows its pro-life policies actually killed people.

According to the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, the mortality rate related to pregnancy doubled between 2010 and 2014 in Texas. At the same time, budget cuts by the Texas Legislature to family planning clinics led to the shut down of 80 of them, many in places with no alternative care for poor women. While the target was clinics providing abortions, most of those 80 clinics didn’t perform abortion.

The report says, “in the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval,” but cutting off funds to clinics with little other source of income IS economic upheaval. Even with some funds restored in 2013, clinics had trouble restoring services to pre-cut levels. Planned Parenthood saw its funding from the state eliminated but survived the cuts, affecting its ability to provide mammograms and other screenings.

The new rate of maternal deaths — 23.8 per 100,000 births — is the highest of all 50 states (YAY! We’re No. 1) and the highest in the industrialized world. According to the CIA World Fact Book, that puts Texas on a par with Saudi Arabia. Take that Estonia with your 2 deaths per 100,000. However if we truly want to achieve Third World status in healthcare, we have some work to do to achieve South Sudan’s 2,054 maternal deaths per 100,000 births.

California, the only state with a larger population than Texas, saw a steady decline in its maternal mortality rate over the past decade. Maine and Vermont had the lowest rates of maternal deaths at 1.2 and 2.6 per 100,000 respectively.

Thanks, in large part to the hard work of Texas legislators, the U.S. is only one of eight countries whose maternal mortality rate is rising.

According to one report, one part of the problem is obesity. While those of us who avoid all things Walmart and take special medication before traveling outside I-635 might not notice that trend, Texas is pretty fat.

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the ill-intentioned law that cut funding to abortion facilities, but mostly affected women’s healthcare.

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