Friday, June 27, 2014

Non-convention related Texas news

The Hispanic Caucus kerfuffle seems to have amounted to much ado about nothing, so before I dash off for an early supper and this evening's plenary, here's some Texas political news headlines and related excerpts.

-- Abbott senior campaign adviser Dave Carney compared Wendy Davis to Satan.  Because an Abbott intern comparing her to Hitler last month just wasn't bad enough.

This ain't the Texas anybody wants to live in, folks.  Maybe that's why Carney lives on his own private island (because he is so neighborly).

-- The very conservative opt-in polling outfit Politix has one going on the Texas governor's race, and at this moment it's Abbott 50, Davis 46, Other 4.  If I had to put down a bet today on the final numbers in November, that would very probably be them.   Feel free to go cast your ballot.

-- Obama has named three Texas federal judges in an apparent bridging of the impasse between he and Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.

If confirmed, U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman of San Antonio, Texarkana lawyer Robert Schroeder III, and Sherman Magistrate Judge Amos Mazzant III will all get lifetime jobs as U.S. district court judges.

Go read about them all, but take particular note of Pittman.

Pitman’s appointment would be “historic,” Tobias added, because he would be the first openly gay federal judge in the state.

Pitman is used to breaking ground. He became Texas’ first openly gay U.S. attorney, and one of the first anywhere. Before his appointment in 2011 as the top federal prosecutor for the Western District of Texas, he served as a magistrate judge.

Pitman, nominated for a seat in San Antonio, earned his law degree from the University of Texas. If confirmed by the Senate, he will take the bench formerly filled by W. Royal Furgeson Jr., dean of the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law that is set to open this fall.

Furgeson, reached Thursday night, called him “an outstanding choice. His career covers a wide range of experience. At every juncture, he has performed brilliantly. He works hard. He is very balanced and has excellent temperament. And he is a very decent, honorable and humble person.”

-- One step forward, one step back.  One of Houston's most virulently bigoted organizations is having a big Sunday church push to get the signatures necessary to place on the November ballot a repeal of Houston's equal rights ordinance.

An email from the far-right Houston Area Pastor Council today calls on pastors “to serve as the turning point in the anti-family tide” by using their churches this Sunday to collect signatures for a referendum overturning the city’s recently passed Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).


Now the Houston Area Pastor Council, led by one of the city’s most vicious voices of hate, Dave Welch, hopes to repeal the HERO with a public vote. A signature campaign to put San Antonio’s new Nondiscrimination Ordinance up for a public referendum last year failed. The number of required petition signers is lower in Houston, however. Supporters of a November HERO referendum must submit their list of signers to the city by July 3.

I still think this would be a terrific development for Democratic turnout in November.  But remind me again why we aren't taxing churches?

-- Lastly, five things at the Texas Democratic convention that make Republicans crap their pants. Two...

3. Diverse groups of women
Every time a GOP leader mentions women’s issues it should automatically be followed by a foot in mouth emoticon.

4. Young People
It’s called the Grand OLD Party for a reason.


Greg said...

Why aren't we taxing churches? because the power to tax is the power to destroy -- and if the First Amendment's religion clauses retain any meaning in the age of Obama, they certainly mean that the government lacks the power to engage in punitive action against religious groups for engaging in freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the exercise of the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

But then again, that is just my take on the matter.

Gadfly said...

Have to say I put little stock in freebie online polls. And demographers would probably say that Democrats, being younger, etc., are more likely to access the Net more often.

If Davis finishes within 10 percentage points, she should "take it." Per Kuff, if she can top John Sharp's 2002 percentage, she should definitely "take it."

PDiddie said...


because the power to tax is the power to destroy

Let's put this bromide to rest.

Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society. If anything has been destroyed, it is the belief that government exists to improve the general welfare of all, not just a privileged few.

And we all know who is responsible for that.

If you want F-35s and clean water and even good roads, then you -- specifically the wealthiest who got a tax break under Bush, and all of this country's corporations, irrespective of where they are headquartered, and the nation's houses of worship -- are going to have to start paying their fair share.

I would propose a repeal of the Bush tax cuts, a 40% corporate tax rate FOR EVERY SINGLE ONE, no exceptions, and a 25% flat rate for churches.

Now if you want to respond to that proposal with some besides sputtering indignation, go for it. I will not be publishing any responses of yours that contain talking points, shibboleths, or other conservative quackery.


I am in agreement about all polling as a general rule. But we have what we have. The corporate media will not spend money on polling any longer. They have left the playing field to the likes of YouGov and Topix. Opt-in online polling is really all that remains to measure the mood of the electorate. A telephone poll by a "reputable" outfit a week before Election Day is nothing but a self-fulfilling prophecy (unless a race is too close to call, of course, which won't be the case in Texas.... more than likely).

PDiddie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PDiddie said...

That should be "they... are going to have to start paying their fair share". You -- and I -- have been paying theirs for too long.

Gadfly said...

TOTALLY agreed on a corporate flat tax. You'll notice that the rich GOPers who claim to be friends of Main Street not just Wall Street never propose one.

So, go away, Greg, you idjit.

Oh, and on paper at least, it's still "We the People" and not "We the States."


True on polling. Gone are the days where media did more public service. But the Net and the "information wants to be free" mentality have been part of that.