-- the retail diamond industry is concerned about the effect of the movie "Blood Diamond" on its holiday sales.
-- Greg Abbott doesn't believe that carbon dioxide is harming the planet:
Twelve states are squaring off against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which they say has failed to do its job by refusing to limit emissions of carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping greenhouse gas.
But in Texas, where the state climatologist says global warming is a pressing concern and scientists say the Gulf Coast could be flooded within the century, the attorney general has joined a smaller coalition of states that sides with the EPA, which says the gas is not a dangerous air pollutant.
The Texas attorney general's office did not even consult the state's environmental agency before signing onto the legal brief submitted to the high court, according to one of the agency's commissioners.
"The State of Texas' intervention in this case wasn't derived from any formal request" from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, said Larry Soward, one of three members of the commission. "This agency did not ask the attorney general to intervene in the lawsuit on our behalf, nor have we been involved.
"It's routine or common course for the agency with regulatory authority to be integrally involved. And that hasn't been the case."
I'm going to send the OAG a copy of "Inconvenient Truth" for Christmas. How about you?
-- Wal-Mart has added a new benefit for its long-time employees: if you work there for twenty years, you get a polo shirt.
-- student loan regulation is about to change substantially, to the benefit of students and the detriment of the lenders, who in the most recent cycle gave most of their campaign contributions to two Republicans. One of them was John Boehner, the incoming House minority leader.
-- William Wayne Justice is probably the most valuable Texas jurist of my lifetime. It's not too fantastic to imagine him on the Supreme Court, having been appointed by Clinton in the Nineties and surviving a bruising confirmation, and beating the living daylights out of Fat Tony the Fixer and Slappy Thomas.
What a wonderful world it would be.
-- Christof and Kuffner have previously reported on the Trans-Texas Corridor propaganda campaign already underway. Paul Burka calls the TTC potentially the "the worst public policy fiasco" of his lifetime. Many of the 2006 Democratic statewide candidates campaigned hard against the boondoggle and will likely continue that effort. Other smart, ambitious Democrats might do the same. This is an issue still crying out for organized opposition.
-- Electronic voting machines ought to be tossed into the harbor. Or the lake, or the gulf, or the ocean, or the nearest, deepest, saltiest body of water. That's not my opinion but that of the federal agency that advises the US Election Assistance Commission.
-- all the way from last week, the president-elect of the Christian Coalition resigned when the board refused to allow him to expand the mission of the organization beyond opposing gay marriage and abortion, to include poverty and environmental issues. "That's not our base," they said.