Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The non-Wendy Davis Wrangle

I'm confident there will be more conservative poutrage in their full-court press to try and stretch out the not-so-much-a-story for another day.  The rest of us can move on.

-- Dewhurst: Texas teachers are paid "a very fair salary".

"At the end of the day, we're paying our school teachers — when you count in cost of living — a very fair salary," Dewhurst said. "We need to have better results. We need to make sure that we're not just paying more money and we need to look at more choice for parents."

Texas consistently ranks near the bottom nationally in average teacher pay according to many groups that track classroom salaries, including teacher unions. One expert testified in the state's pivotal school finance trial last year that Texas' average teacher pay was about $47,300 in 2009-10 dollars — lower than the national average of nearly $55,000, and less than what 32 other states pay educators.

That trial ended with a state judge determining that the system Texas uses to finance public education is unconstitutional. New testimony is set to resume in Austin on Tuesday.

For a guy who grew up in River Oaks and likely sent his children to private school, this is rich.  It never ceases to amaze me how clueless the 1% can be.  And in a Tea Party stronghold like Texas, this dude is still leading the polling for lite guv.

And guess who's defending the most recent multi-billion dollar cutback of Texas public education in court?  Greg Abbott.  Thank goodness he's such a shitty lawyer.

Update: Charles digs deeper into the public school finance trial.

-- Todd Staples and Dan Patrick have hitched their wagon to the Ill Eagles.

(Patrick) pounded the need for border security by citing "hardened criminals we arrested from 2008 to 2012 -- not illegals who were here for a job, who got four speeding tickets, but hardened criminals -- 141,000 we put in our jails just in four years in Texas."

"They threaten your family. They threaten your life. They threaten your business. They threaten our state," he said, adding that they were charged with 447,000 crimes including 2,000 murders and 5,000 rapes.

(Staples') office in 2010 launched the website ProtectYourTexasBorder.com, which features first-hand accounts of confrontations with violent drug traffickers in videotaped interviews. When a message board on the state-run website quickly filled with postings calling for vigilante justice and killing immigrants entering the country illegally, Staples removed the posts and condemned the remarks, but that episode remains one of the biggest embarrassments of his tenure.

But Staples persisted. He published the book "Broken Borders, Broken Promises" in 2012 and continues to reject federal crime data that show decreasing levels of violent crime and Democrats who accuse Republicans of wildly exaggerating the danger for the sake of politics.

Staples said his office hasn't put a financial number on the losses that encroaching violence has cost Texas crop owners.

"I haven't tried to quantify the cash losses," Staples said. "What we have done though is shown that the violence is real, that we have a failed immigration system that is aiding the drug cartels and giving them cover to come into our nation."

What did I say about fear being a primary motivator of human behavior?  Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian, or independent... are you scared yet?

Update: Charles Kuffner calls Patrick a liar.

-- Speaking of the Libs, they lost a gubernatorial candidate over the weekend.

R. Lee Wrights has ended his campaign for the Libertarian Party nomination for governor of Texas. From the former candidate’s website:

We would like to thank the donors who gave when they honestly didn’t have the spare income to justify investing in Lee and his message of Peace and Prosperity. They will always be our beloved friends and family.


No candidate can persevere unless he has the support of those who wish him/her to run. Unfortunately, I found I had far more broken promises than I had genuine support. Thomas Hill, and Cindi Lewis Maidens before him, are absolutely correct. As nice as they all are I, nor any candidate, can run a campaign on “likes” and “shares” on Facebook. It takes “dollars” and”cents”. Again unfortunately, I had far more of the former than I did the latter.

There are some highly entertaining comments there if you are so inclined. The ones I took note of were those disparaging 2010 nominee and presumptive 2014 front-runner Kathie Glass.

I'll update this post with whatever sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity erupts later today from the mind and mouth of some conservative.  Sure hope they don't keep me busy.

Update: Jerry Patterson, being the least dumb among the four RLGs.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, one of four contenders for the Republican lieutenant governor nomination, Tuesday reiterated his support for creation of an immigrant guest worker program, allowing students to carry concealed weapons on college campuses and policies to promote "smarter building" on the state's barrier islands.

Patterson, a former state senator who has been land commissioner since 2003, dismissed immigration hardliners' calls to "build fences, no amnesty, deport 12 million people."

While Patterson opposes amnesty for undocumented workers and supports border barriers "where tactically called for," Patterson told the Houston Chronicle editorial board "it's stupid" to implement mass deportations. "I don't want to live in a country with that kind of police power, especially at the federal level," he said.


Patterson will face incumbent three-term Lt. David Dewhurst, Texas Sen. Dan Patrick and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples in the Republican primary.

"There are three good choices ‑ anyone but Patrick," he said. Asked how he would function as speaker of the House, Patterson replied, "Like (former Democratic) Lt. Bob Bullock without the tantrums."

See?  He's only crazy, not stupid.  (Except for the guns part, of course. That's crazy AND stupid.)

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