Texas, again

 Posted by at 16:59  Politics, Republicans
May 222017

Once again the state of Texas takes steps backwards…

Texas lawmakers pass controversial bathroom, adoption bills

Texas lawmakers call it a push for conservative values. Critics call it discrimination.

In a flurry of activity before the state’s legislative session wraps May 29, Texas lawmakers are pushing through controversial bills that affect children and touch on hot-button issues of sexuality and religion.

On Sunday, the state Senate passed a bill that would allow adoption agencies to turn away potential parents they find objectionable on religious grounds. The bill already had House approval and now goes to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature.

And lawmakers weren’t done. The same day, the Texas House of Representatives approved a limited “bathroom bill” that would require public high school students to use restrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates. The measure now goes back to the Senate, which previously approved a broader version mandating that standard for everyone using public restrooms.

Abbott had made the issue a priority for the legislative session. Meanwhile, Texas lawmakers also have proposed bills or amendments allowing “religious liberty” exemptions for lawyers, pharmacists and nurses.

Someday Texas may join the 21st century. I, for one, am not holding my breath.

Aug 212014

From tonight’s The Rachel Maddow Show… Wayne Slater, senior political writer for the Dallas Morning News, talks with Rachel about why the indictment of Texas governor Rick Perry is a bigger deal than many realize and is not a partisan attack and is about coercion, not vetoes.

Mad Hatters

 Posted by at 10:54  Republicans
Feb 262014

We are slowly and painfully working our way toward the Texas primary elections on March 4. Meanwhile, we are being inundated with television ads by all the Republican candidates trying to out-Tea-Party each other. We’re not seeing many ads from Democrats, as most of them are running unopposed. There is one Congressional district, currently held by a Democrat, where there are three candidates. One of those (reminder: a Democrat) is running on the platform of repealing the Affordable Care Act and impeaching President Obama. This is Texas, after all.

Dallas Morning News columnist Jacqueilynn Floyd published a column in yesterday’s paper entitled Tea party brings out a lot of Mad Hatters. (That was the headline on the column in the paper. It did not survive, it seems, to the online edition.) In it she published the script followed by all Republican/Tea Party candidates…

Candidates for all kinds of office follow variations on this script:

I will stand tall against Washington, “Obama,” liberals and every combination thereof. No matter how much chaos it causes, I will never cooperate or work with them in any capacity. If they get on the same elevator as I’m riding, I will not push their floor button.

My all-time favorite constitutional amendment is the second. I love it more than all the other amendments put together. I support a constitutional amendment that would replace the First Amendment with the Second Amendment so that the Second Amendment would come first.

My opponent says he is a lifelong Republican — if this is true, why did he appear in a 1971 grade-school history pageant as Grover Cleveland? Why has he offered no explanation for this troubling contradiction?

If elected, I will seal off all 1,900 miles of the Texas-Mexico border with a wall made of red-hot cast iron and topped with live flames and protected by a 50,000-member armed security force. This will be funded by my plan to raise new Homeland Security funds by eliminating entitlement benefits to anyone whose cellphone ring tone plays the opening bars of “La Cucaracha” or who owns one of those oversized souvenir sombreros with “Hecho en Mexico” embroidered on the brim.

I will stand very, very tall to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. The only legal exceptions will be the case of a union between one person and one firearm or between me and Ted Cruz — I’m just crazy about that man.

I believe life begins not just at the nanosecond of conception, but when your great-great-great grandfather was conceived. I would support the concept of all human life beginning at the conception of the first single-celled organism to crawl forth from the primordial ooze — if I believed in evolution, which I don’t.

If you subscribe to the paper (does anyone anymore beside us?), you may have missed the article. It was in the bottom right hand corner of the Metro section. Anyway, I’d like you to read it… either online or in print. She pretty much hits the old nail right on the old head.

Edited on 03/02/14 to add this very relevant illustration:

Oct 282013

A federal judge has ruled that key parts of the new Texas anti-abortion law are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled tomorrow.

Federal judge rules key provisions of controversial Texas abortion law unconstitutional

In a stunning move, a federal judge Monday ruled that abortion restrictions authorized by Texas lawmakers in July are unconstitutional, and will not be implemented as scheduled on Tuesday, according to court documents obtained by NBC News.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel decided Monday that the regulations requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital impeded on the rights of physicians to do what they judge is best for their patients and would unreasonably limit a woman’s access to state abortion clinics.

“The admitting-privileges provision of House Bill 2 does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the state in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman’s health and, in any event, places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her,” Yeakel wrote in his decision.

Although Yeakel ruled that Texas could regulate how a doctor prescribes an abortion-inducing pill, he said the law did not allow for a doctor to alter treatment taken in order to best safeguard the health of the woman taking it.

Therefore, he barred the provision of the law mandating that doctors abide the Food and Drug Administration’s procedure for drugs in all cases, according to the Associated Press.

He wrote: “The medication abortion provision may not be enforced against any physician who determines, in appropriate medical judgment, to perform the medication-abortion using off-label protocol for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.”

You may recall that this is the law that threw Texas State Senator Wendy Davis into the national spotlight when she staged a13-hour filibuster against it four months ago. Senator Davis is now running for governor on the Democratic ticket.

Also noteworthy (maybe): U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel was appointed to his position in 2003 by President George W. Bush.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (Republican, running for governor) has vowed to fight for the law all the way to the United States Supreme Court if necessary.

Sep 262013

The local Dallas/Fort Worth NBC affiliate has revealed that Wendy Davis will indeed run for Texas governor next year on the Democratic ticket…

Sources: Wendy Davis Running for Texas Governor

Two people with knowledge of the decision have told The Associated Press that Democrat Wendy Davis is running for Texas governor.

Two Democrats spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt her formal announcement scheduled for next week.

The 50-year-old Davis is the state senator who catapulted to national stardom this summer with a nearly 13-hour filibuster in the Texas Capitol that temporarily blocked new statewide abortion restrictions.

Davis campaign spokesman Hector Nieto would not confirm that Davis is running for governor.

No other Texas Democrats have entered the governor’s race. Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott announced his candidacy this summer and is the early favorite to succeed Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry is not seeking re-election after 14 years in office.

Senator Davis will definitely have an uphill battle against Greg Abbott. Abbott is heavily funded and is the Tea Party darling in the race.

Texas women

 Posted by at 20:31  Politics, Republicans
Jul 182013

Republicans across the land have made it their mission this year to restrict the rights of American women in any way they can. Today, in Texas, Rick Perry struck a big blow for them when he signed into law one of the most restrictive anti-women laws in the nation. Here, if you think you can stomach it, is Governor Grecian Formula himself gloating over his victory. Following that is a video that I think you will enjoy much, much more. If the bad governor of Texas is not quite your taste, just scroll down for something that may be.

Jul 132013

The American Taliban had their way with the women of Texas last night…

Texas Senate passes controversial abortion bill

AUSTIN, Texas — After more than eight hours of debate, the plan to enact some of the nation’s most restrictive abortion regulations was approved 19-11 by the Texas Senate late Friday.

This issue – which will restrict abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and put in place regulations so strict that only a handful of abortion clinics, including one in Fort Worth, likely will remain – thrust Texas into the national limelight and drew thousands of activists for and against the legislation to the state Capitol to witness the debate.

As the roar of thousands could be heard inside the normally quiet Senate chambers, senators were poised to vote along party lines to approve the measure and send it to Gov. Rick Perry, who is expected to quickly sign it into law.

I still do not understand why the Republicans believe they have the right to tell women what to do with their own bodies. Those decisions should be left to a woman, her family and her team of medical professionals. Is this part of the “small government” the Republicans are always talking about? I really do believe that Texas just turned blue.

In other news, we have further proof that you simply cannot a believe a word the Republicans say…

Protesters Question Report on Confiscations

The Texas Department of Public Safety said Friday that officers had discovered more than a dozen jars containing “suspected” feces and urine at the Texas Capitol, the site of an intense debate among state senators over abortion restrictions.

In a press release, the agency offered scant details about the seizures and did not say where the items were taken or what happened to them, prompting abortion rights activists to express doubts about the official account.

The department said the items were found after the agency received information that protesters had planned to use a “variety of items or props to disrupt legislative proceedings at the Texas Capitol.”

“During these inspections, DPS officers have thus far discovered one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces, and three bottles suspected to contain paint,” the news release said. “All of these items — as well as significant quantities of feminine hygiene products, glitter and confetti possessed by individuals — were required to be discarded; otherwise those individuals were denied entry into the gallery.”

DPS officers outside the Senate gallery and at each entrance to the Capitol told The Texas Tribune they had not seen or found jars containing feces or urine, and multiple officers throughout the Capitol said they had not heard of any jars being found until a reporter mentioned it. Several officers also said they had not heard anything on the DPS radio system about jars of any excrement.

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Perry not done yet

 Posted by at 15:03  Politics, Republicans
Jul 102013

All the good people in Texas got kind of excited the other day when Rick Perry announced he would not seek another term as our governor. Still, though, he has 18 months left in his current term. And, as author James Moore points out, he ain’t done yet…

Cowboy Rick Perry will ride again — in 2016

No one should expect anything new out of Perry. He will keep traveling the country annoying other state leaders while talking about jobs in Texas and acting like he persuaded God to pour dinosaur wine into our soil and then seduced California tech companies into moving where real estate and labor are less expensive. Texas has always been a job engine because of natural resources, weather and people, not politicians.

No mention will be made by Perry of the fact that a large number of jobs lured to Texas using taxpayer money are minimum wage, nor will he talk about how Texas is 50th in the percentage of population with a high school diploma, or how it’s first in the nation with 28.8% uninsured.

The governor will keep arguing against Obamacare regardless of the fact it insures 3 million more Texans and reduces the uninsured overall to 12%. Don’t expect him to detail, either, that his state is 50th in per capita spending on health care, 51st in benefits for the Women, Infants and Children program, and, even though he is pushing abortion restrictions, Perry will certainly not let anyone know he presides over a state ranked 50th in the percentage of women receiving prenatal care in their first trimesters.

And if his leadership has been so inspiring, why is it that Texas is also last in the percentage of the voting age population that actually votes?

The Texas governor has a good life. And he knows it. He’s already drawing his $7,698 a month pension from the state, and his $150,000 salary, living in a beautiful mansion in downtown Austin, and traveling on jets with an entourage of security and sycophants. But that’s nothing compared with being president. So, no, the cowboy isn’t riding away. He’s hanging around the saloon.

And trying to get another drink.

That’s just a bit of James’ article. Click on the title to read the whole thing.

Unfortunately, we have not yet seen the last of King Rick.

Texas gets a break

 Posted by at 21:29  Politics, Republicans
Jul 082013

The state of Texas finally got a break today…

Perry Says He Won’t Seek Governorship Again in Texas

SAN ANTONIO — Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor of Texas and an unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate last year, announced on Monday that he would not seek another term but would instead “pray and reflect and work to determine my own future path.”

“The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership,” Mr. Perry told a crowd of supporters in a cavernous heavy equipment dealership here. “Today, I am announcing I will not seek re-election as governor of Texas.”

As for what happens after his term is over in 18 months, he said he would “announce any future considerations in due time,” almost certainly an allusion to the possibility of a White House bid in 2016, though he made no direct reference to it. Mr. Perry has indicated regret over entering the presidential race relatively late in the process and has said that back trouble and a lack of sleep contributed to his gaffe-plagued campaign.

But it is an open question whether an earlier start and better health would make a difference for Mr. Perry, should he try to run again. Mr. Perry faces some daunting challenges. First, he would have to convince Republican primary voters that he is not the lightweight who could not recite the third of three federal agencies he would eliminate and blurted out, “Oops.”

I’m hoping that Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee both decide to throw their hats in the ring in 2016. This country could use some real-life comedy.

Perry quitting now puts Attorney General Greg Abbott in front of the race for the Republican nomination for the next Texas governor. I’ve heard that he already has $18 million banked for the race. Believe it or not, Abbott would actually be worse for Texas than Perry. Perry flirted heavily with the Tea Party. Abbott is married to it.