Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kamikaze Cruz

This article from Politico lays bare the Republican-on-Republican brutality Ted "Poop" Cruz is waging.

The Texas freshman senator and his senior aides are unleashing a barrage of attacks on their fellow Republicans for refusing to support their plan to choke off Obamacare as a condition for funding the government. Cruz’s chief of staff is lambasting fellow conservatives like Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn for serving in the “surrender caucus.” His top political strategist has compared Mitch McConnell to Barack Obama. And the senator himself has said many Republicans are “scared” to wage this fight.

Too conservative, reactionary, and obnoxious for Tom Coburn. There just isn't enough popcorn in all of Orville Redenbacher's warehouses for summer entertainment this bloody.
The essence of the clash is this: Cruz can’t comprehend why his GOP colleagues don’t welcome the fight, while more senior Republicans think the junior Texan simply doesn’t understand — or care — about the dire political consequences for their party of a government shutdown. Plus, Cruz’s critics think the plan to repeal Obamacare is destined to fail.

But worries about a shutdown are falling on deaf ears.

“There is a powerful, defeatist approach among Republicans in Washington,” Cruz told conservative radio host Dana Loesch earlier this week. “I think they’re beaten down and they’re convinced that we can’t give a fight, and they’re terrified.”

This is the stuff legends are made of. Most of those legendary figures, if history serves, came to ignominious ends (here I'm thinking of Cruz's idols Joe McCarthy and Benito Mussolini).

Cruz’s uncompromising style has won him legions of fans on the right — a fight that started earlier this year when he battled Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary, continued when he helped block House-Senate budget negotiations because of concerns over a debt ceiling hike, and intensified when he fought with Rubio and GOP senators over a bipartisan immigration bill.


A former top Senate GOP leadership aide, who asked for anonymity, said Cruz’s latest battle “isn’t about principle and it isn’t about party.”

“It’s about promoting Ted Cruz’s presidential ambitions, and he and his team are making clear that retaining the House or winning back a Senate GOP majority are all secondary to that goal,” the source said. “It’s a shortsighted and selfish political strategy but one that fellow Republicans are unfortunately having to get used to.”

“The Republican infighting is hurting our brand,” said one Senate Republican aide, who fretted that Cruz’s divisive tack would alienate voters and hurt GOP efforts to retake the Senate.

2016 is a free shot for Carnival Cruz; his eye is actually on the 2020 prize. I think he's really enjoying tearing down the GOP, to be rebuilt in his own image. Not even he thinks he can get that done in a year or two.

But this is also a #TCOT geek fight.

Privately, a number of senior GOP aides are miffed at what they see as personal jabs launched on Twitter by senior Cruz aides, including the senator’s chief of staff, Chip Roy, a former aide to John Cornyn, a Texas senator who took his name off the Lee letter last week. Those aides were unapologetic Tuesday for their public criticisms.
Roy sarcastically quipped on Twitter that it is “shocking” that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) opposes the hardball Obamacare funding tactics given that McCain is “someone talking to [Sen. Chuck] Schumer 5x a day and the White House daily.”

Coburn told The Washington Examiner, “The worst thing is being dishonest with your base about what you can accomplish, ginning everybody up and then creating disappointment."
“Since when is a promise to fight disastrous policy ‘dishonest?’” Roy tweeted in response: “No, the worst thing is giving up & leaving your base believing there is no need to be a Republican any longer.”

Deeper inside that baseball at the link, if that sort of thing floats your boat. This sure is a lot more fun than listening to Big Jolly whine about Jared Woodfill and the Harris County GOP, isn't it?

Clue to Dave: Woodfill is the least of the Republican party's problems.

Update: More on "Poop" Cruz from the Great Orange Satan. And here's a helpful bubble map of all the conservative infighting.

Update II: You'll notice I made no mention in this post to the other major battle front in this war.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rick Perry unable to locate vagina on anatomical doll

At least he can count to three (special sessions)...

In a skirmish at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston about the state’s new ultra-restrictive abortion law, Democratic Senator Wendy Davis angrily told Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry he knows nothing about human reproduction or women’s vaginas.

“You don’t have to own an SUV to know where to pump the gas,” responded Perry, drawing immediate boos from the small lecture hall full of med students and from some of the media in attendance.

As the governor’s press handlers started to interrupt, Perry waved them off and stepped up to an anatomically-correct ‘female’ doll used in medical training that was lying on an examining table in the room.

“I’m not stupid.  Those are the vagina right there,” said Perry, pointing at but not touching the labia majora, the visible protruding edges leading in to the vagina.

As CNN reported, the room went quiet for a very brief second before erupting in “loud, loud laughter and what-the-f’s.”  Over the noise, Senator Davis could be heard repeating over and over, “Are you kidding me?  Are you kidding me?”

The best satire is when you have to question whether what you are reading is the truth. This isn't as pathetic as the Republican state representative who has suggested that Wendy Davis pay the state back for the costs of a special session with some of her fundraising, but it would be if it were reality.

As reporters began shouting questions at the governor, he and security team agents huddled around the medical-training doll with Chief of Staff Billy B. Adair seen talking quietly into Perry’s ear.

“Hell, I was close,” said Perry, shrugging to the crowd in the room as he was shuffled out of the room speaking back over his shoulder.

“It’s all about protecting unborn life, not about where some gal’s body parts are.  I knew it was there somewhere…” he could be heard saying as his voice trailed off into the hallway.

The governor's actual chief of staff is a woman. Presumably she could have been of more assistance. Presumably. 

Senator Davis, who filibustered the first attempt to pass the abortion bill, said she couldn’t stop laughing because Perry’s comments were so “scary, scary stupid.”

“He just compared women’s bodies to his Chevy Suburban,” said Davis loudly over the buzz of talking in the room.

“Governor Perry couldn’t find a vagina today.  Governor Perry couldn’t find a vagina if you put a post-it note on it.”

Update: More from Wonkette on Giovanni Capriglione, the Tea Pee state rep mentioned above...

Sorry Wendy Davis, but there is no arguing with logic like that! Maybe think of all the muneez it will cost you next time you use your rights as a member of a democratically elected body to speak your dumb lady words. Don’t think of it as a bunch of fascist yahoos trying to intimidate you out of exercising your rights. Just think of it as a special “poll tax” for your mouth! We are pretty sure the Supreme Court would be just fine with that.

I'm thinking that reimbursement should occur immediately after the governor pays the state back for his security detail expenses. Yes, that would be the same security detail that could not help him find the "lady's" business.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance applauds the Justice Department's joining the fight to continue VRA pre-clearance in the state as it brings you this week's roundup.
Off the Kuff points out that Greg Abbott would deny the same type of care that he himself has benefited from to millions of people who could not now receive it.

Horwitz at Texpatriate chronicles the unmitigated disaster that occurred when Ben Hall tried to advertise on Facebook.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson says if Texas wants the federal government to stay out of its electoral business, the solution is easy. All they have to do is stop discriminating: Texas and the DOJ.

Former Democratic state representative Aaron Pena found out the hard way that becoming a Republican doesn't help much when you're driving while brown in south Texas. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs observed that not even his Greg Abbott t-shirt could save him from being ICE'd.

After hearing all of the crazy right-wing rhetoric, Texas Leftist wondered what Republicans really say about immigration reform away from the glare of talk radio and Fox News. Here's the interesting result.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Mark Bennett maintains that it is foolish to claim that "stand your ground" laws had nothing to do with the Zimmerman verdict.

Austin Contrarian demonstrates why the rent is too damn high in the capital city.

Better Texas asks what can be done to help disadvantaged children succeed in school.

Eileen Smith sorts out the Republican candidates for Lite Guv.

Texas Watch wants us to close the "Six Flags loophole".

Texas Vox wraps up water legislation from the regular and special sessions.

Texas Redistricting lays out the Section 3 arguments in the fight over the Voting Rights Act and how it should still apply here.

Juanita has had it with the spurious claims about "jars of feces" being brought to the Lege when the final vote on the anti-abortion bill was taking place.

BOR notes that Senate Democrats are demanding a women's health study during the legislative off-season.

And Tuesday Cain, the 14-year-old girl who held up a provocative sign during the protests against the omnibus anti-abortion bill at the Capitol, would appreciate it if all the so-called grownups on the Internet stopped calling her a whore.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

What I'm reading this morning (and it's not Carlos Danger or little Prince George)

-- Terminally ill 'Simpsons' co-creator Sam Simon is trying to give away all his money before he goes. In my experience, people who are dying have some of the most profound insights into the world they are departing.

One of the things about animal rights, which is not the only thing that I care about in this world, is that your money can bring success. I see results. There is stuff happening, really good stuff, every week. I'm not sure you get that with a lot of disease charities. If you were donating to environmental causes for the past 20 years, do you think your money is doing anything? Because I don't, and I used to support some conservationist stuff -- Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund. They're treading water. Climate change is a big part of their problem. The environment has been destroyed, basically.

I want medical experiments on animals stopped. They don't do anything, and they don't work. Veganism is an answer for almost every problem facing the world in terms of hunger and climate change. It helps people's health. Meat is the biggest greenhouse gas producer. There's also the cruelty and suffering aspect. When people do meatless Mondays, and when people adopt instead of buying a dog, that's a PETA victory.

-- The military judge presiding over the trial of Bradley Manning is contemplating the verdict (there is no jury):

A military judge is deliberating the fate of an Army private accused of aiding the enemy by engineering a high-volume leak of U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks.

Prosecutors argue that Pfc. Bradley Manning is a glory-seeking traitor. His lawyers say Manning is a naive whistleblower who was horrified by wartime atrocities but didn't know that the material he leaked would end up in the hands of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

Army Col. Denise Lind began deliberating Friday after nearly two months of conflicting evidence and arguments about the 25-year-old intelligence analyst. A military judge, not a jury, is hearing the case at Manning's request.

Lind said she will give a day's public notice before reconvening the court-martial to announce her findings. The most serious charge is aiding the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence in prison.

Manning's supporters say that a conviction would have a chilling effect on government accountability by deterring people from disclosing official secrets to journalists. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a telephone press conference Friday that if Manning is convicted of aiding the enemy, it will be "the end of national security journalism in the United States."

He accused the Obama administration of a "war on whistleblowers" and a "war on journalism."

Colonel Lind's decision will, obviously, have wide-ranging ramifications. She has promised to give a day's notice to the media and everyone else watching before she declares the verdict.

-- The guy who invented jackpotting (forcing ATMs to spit out cash) -- who had recently claimed that he could cause a person to have a heart attack from a distance of 30 feet by hacking their embedded medical implant -- was found dead last Thursday evening, as he was preparing to reveal the procedure for the national convention of programmers and researchers (yes, hackers) next week.

Barnaby Jack was 35.

--The Houston Press has an investigative piece up about Memorial Hermann: they treat patients who don't have insurance, tell them not to worry about the bills, and then sue them over it when they go unpaid.

--  America is split about NSA spying, but not along party lines:

Something strangely refreshing about the way the National Security Agency data-mining revelations have played out is how it has blurred the usual partisan divides. This was especially apparent Wednesday, when the House voted on an amendment to defund the NSA's spying apparatus. It was Republican-led, but backed by some Democrats. A strange grouping—including the White House; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.—all spoke out against the measure. It lost by a slim margin, 205-217 (94 Republicans and 111 Democrats backed the amendment).

That partisan fuzziness on the Hill is also reflected in the general population, as new polling from Pew indicates. Both parties are split on the issue: 50 percent of Republicans disapprove of the program, agreeing with 36 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of independents. What appears to be growing overall is a libertarian mindset on the issue. "This is the first time in Pew Research polling that more have expressed concern over civil liberties than protection from terrorism since the question was first asked in 2004," the report states. Since 2010, the percent of Republicans who feel the government has gone "too far" in restricting civil liberties jumped from 25 percent to 43 percent (Democrats jumped as well, from 33 percent to 42 percent.)

The polling also is indicative of a growing intellectual rift in the Republican Party between libertarians and traditional conservatives. And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn't a fan, saying on Thursday, "This strain of libertarianism that's going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought." Christie specifically mentioned Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.,  as one of the people with such thoughts. "Do we have amnesia? Because I don't," he continued. "And I remember what we felt like on September 12, 2001."

This is a manifestation of something I have been thinking about over the past year or two; that the conventional, ideological bar graph of left and right is a faulty model in accurately describing the body politic. In fact it seems to be more of a circle, with four orbiting political parties; the Democrats and Republicans closer together, and the Libertarians and Greens clustered.

Two pro-corporate status quo legacy parties whose primary objective is self-perpetuation, not problem-solving. And two that are not; outside the duopoly, looking in. In fact I find that -- while there are still significant differences -- the two largest minor parties have more in common with each other than they do either of the two major parties. That is to say: Greens are closer philosophically to Libertarians than they are to Democrats, and Libertarians less like the GOP than they are Green. With (again) vastly different ideas of means to those common ends.

Anybody want to argue with me about that in the comments?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Terminate the Gynoticians

Can you imagine if this actually happened to you? If you're one of millions of American women, it has. It is happening not in an exam room, but in a room with marbled floors, expensive pens and numerous symbols of 'freedom', populated by men and women in crisp suits whose ideas about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are rooted in illogical double-standards and hypocrisies that boggle the mind. These people are making decisions about you, for you, but not by you. They are passing wildly unpopular laws everyday that dictate the choices you can or cannot make, the health care you may or may not be afforded, the rights you can or cannot enjoy in regards to your very own body.

Tell Gynoticians like Rick Perry, Trent Franks, Pat McCrory and the Pat McCrorys of women like Rep. Jodie Laubenberg and Marsha Blackburn that enough is enough. We aren't just coming for their laws, we're coming for their JOBS.

All talk but no action

Ted Rall nails it.

Blaming Congressional obstruction does not explain why universal single-payer healthcare was never on the table in 2009. And it does not adequately excuse the reason that the public option came off the table very early on in the negotiations of the Affordable Care Act. That's when I first realized we had a problem.

The President of the United States could have fought for these things while he had Democratic majorities in the Congress. He did not. If there were recalcitrant Democrats afraid to vote for true healthcare reform -- and not just healthcare insurance reform -- a president who wanted to see it passed would have twisted some arms, spent some political capital.

The President of the United States could have, by his own campaign promise, closed the detention center at Guantanamo by executive order years ago. He could still do so today. Or tomorrow. But those and other progressive initiatives did not happen, and in the 2010 mid-term elections the Democrats took a "shellacking".

There are things that can be blamed on Congress, like Cabinet and judicial appointments, and there are things that cannot. I'm trying to imagine George W Bush Dick Cheney saying, "We can't invade Iraq on false pretenses because Congress is blocking us", but I can't.

The fact is that Barack Obama does not even wield the bully pulpit all that well any longer, and it's because he would rather give speeches than fight for something. Truth to tell, I first publicly observed his lack of strength during the debates with John McCain in 2008. He simply would not punch back when McCain slammed him. The man just doesn't have it in him.

No fight. Not, at least, for anything that the 1% or the authoritarian state doesn't want. Larry Summers for Fed chairman?! Really?!

I suppose someone will call Ted Rall a traitor or a high school dropout  because he criticized the president before too long. The fact that Obama's words are so often empty makes me feel less concerned about this.

More from Paul Krugman and Eye on Williamson.

Update: And from Salon... Is the bully pulpit dead?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Racist Pigfucker Roundup

-- Louie Gohmert.

"There is nobody in this chamber who is more appreciative than I am for the gentleman from Tennessee and my friend from Michigan standing up for the rights of race, religion, national religion of the Delta Smelt, the snail darter, various lizards, the lesser prairie chicken, the greater sage grouts and so many other insects who would want someone standing for their religion, their race, their national origin and I think that’s wonderful."

First of all it's a grouse, not a grout, you dumb ass. And second, if you can't tell the difference between a black person and a prairie chicken then you're obviously retarded. Which we all previously suspected.

-- Ted Nugent.

"Why wasn't Trayvon [Martin] educated and raised to simply approach someone he wasn't sure about and politely ask what was going on and explain he was headed home? Had he, I am confident that Zimmerman would have called off the authorities and everything would have been fine.

"Why the nasty "creepy a-- cracker" racism and impulse to attack? Where does this come from? Is it the same mindless tendency to violence we see in black communities across America, most heartbreakingly in Chicago pretty much every day of the week? Where does this come from? And why is it so prevalent?"

Just surprised he didn't work in a mention of his home town of Detroit. There's more if you can stand it.

-- Paula Deen.

The Paula Deen racism scandal just got reignited thanks to a blockbuster New York Times story Thursday that claims the former Food Network star asked black employees to dress like Aunt Jemima.

The profile of Deen's cook Dora Charles overflows with allegations of racist behavior. Deen allegedly paid black employees less than white ones and used racial slurs.

But it is Deen's idea of Confederate-tinged dinner theater that may be the most unseemly element of the story. Charles tells the Times that she refused Deen's requests to ring a dinner bell in front of her Savannah, Ga. restaurant The Lady and Sons and, in the words of the paper, holler for "people to come and get it."

It don't matter who hollers and how many times they holler it, Paula Deen ain't never gonna get it.

"The Supreme Court message to the Justice Department was clear: don't mess with Texas," Smith said in a news release. "But Eric Holder and the Justice Department aren't listening. They have decided to continue their vendetta against Texas by asking a federal judge to reinstate the pre-clearance requirement."

What, you had forgotten that Lamar Smith was a bigot? Smith is the Texas version of...

-- Steve King.

“For every (DREAMer) who’s a valedictorian, there’s another hundred out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."

And he just can't stop talking.

I've got a gold-plated douchenozzle that I'm going to cut up into five pieces so they can all share it.

Why early polls are even more like toilet paper than usual

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is outdistancing Vice President Joe Biden by almost 5 to 1 in a hypothetical matchup for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, a new McClatchy-Marist Poll released Wednesday found.

The poll found Clinton leading Biden by a ratio of 63-13 percent among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Martin O'Malley of Maryland trail in single digits, while 18 percent of respondents said they were undecided.

The same poll shows Clinton leading the current Republican front-runner, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 46-41 percent among registered voters. Twelve percent of respondents were undecided.

“Get ready for round two of Hillary Clinton as the inevitable,” said Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, in a statement from the polling organization. “The big question is whether she runs.”

Uh huh. More spin from the Chronic.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry fares worse against Hillary Clinton than any other potential Republican presidential candidate, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

Perry, who says he is thinking and praying about a possible 2016 presidential candidacy, trails the former Secretary of State by 16 percentage points — 52 percent to 36 percent — in a hypothetical general election match-up. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan also trails Clinton by 16 points, 53 percent to 37 percent.


In a GOP primary contest, Perry places a poor seventh at 4 percent. Freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz finished sixth with 7 percent.

B-B-But the Texas Tribune told us just last month to tell us that Ted Cruz is vastly more popular among Texans in the 2016 Republican presidential primary than Governor Suckseed. That's not translating nationally?!

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz starts as the Texas favorite in a fantasy 2016 Republican primary for president, swamping Gov. Rick Perry and a number of other big-name candidates in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

I'm sure that once those Yankee TeaBags get to know Poop Cruz, they'll like him just as much as the rest of us do.

I'm previously on record that if Clinton runs she wins, and further that if she would select a Texas Latino as running mate, that the state turns blue. Further, said Latino would himself be elected and re-elected president, preventing the Republicans from having a decent shot at the White House before 2032.  There weren't any polls that helped me come to that conclusion. Just common sense (even considering, as Master Yoda said, "always in motion the future is").

Polls this far out are used to gin up supporters of the emotional and financial persuasion as well as to cast, as Miringoff notes in the first excerpt, an aura of inexorable destiny.

The difference between fresh TP and used TP -- besides the obvious -- is the immediate evidence of diminishing marginal returns, in economic parlance. Now that you have wiped yourself with these polls, flush them.

And catch yourself before you post it to Facebook or Tweet it, or any of those other things that some political consultant is hoping you will do. That's the kind of person who looks at their Klout score every morning.

Don't be that person.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A terrific idea: close Main Street to cars

Hair Balls:

Local blogger Kyle Nielsen put together an essay for the folks at Houston Tomorrow, partly to discuss the tragic death of a young cyclist who was run over by a Metro train this week, but also to cover the issues with general mobility of vehicles and pedestrians in downtown. ...

The general thesis of the story was that Main Street -- at least the part in downtown that has rail running smack dab down the center of it -- should be closed to vehicle traffic much the way it is for a block near what used to be the downtown Macy's. The theory is that it would give more room to pedestrians and cyclists as well as preventing issues for motorists.

This is an idea whose time we all wish had come before the death of Vivian Guan. From Nielsen's post:

It seems to me that it would enhance cyclist and pedestrian safety, encourage the type of walkable retail and bars/restaurants that Downtown needs, decrease motorist frustration at being stuck behind a bicycle, and enhance motorist and transit safety by eliminating the motorist [illegal] left turns that still hit the Metro rail cars sporadically.

It would also have the effect of slowing down the cars on the cross streets, making those potential T-bone car/train collisions less likely. It goes hand-in-glove with the city's bikeshare program. It's win-win-win and about five more wins.

Like the suggestion for re-purposing the Astrodome -- which, as coincidence would have it, came from a Rice University architecture student --  good ideas don't spring exclusively from the minds of seasoned city planners.

I'd like to see Houston City Council members make this happen yesterday.

People who aren't running for office (and those who shouldn't)

There are already some good news/bad news posts about who definitely might be/probably is running for office in 2014, so I thought I'd veer off into some of the developments regarding who isn't running...and perhaps should not be.

-- Like Anthony Weiner. I thought I had already said everything that needed saying on this topic, but "Carlos Danger" had to make an appearance. If you need to generate your very own semi-anonymous Twitter sexting handle, here that is. Just call me Pablo Hazard from now on.

What a disaster this guy is. What shame his poor wife lives under. Go away, buddy. Far, far away. Update: Already there's a slew of rancid comments that won't ever get approved. If it was wrong when Mark Sanford did it and wrong when David Vitter did it, it's wrong when a Democrat does it. This is real simple shit, people. This country only needs one political party completely immune to hypocrisy.

-- Not running for anything in 2014 is Annise Parker, as Noah helpfully points out.

Parker is very obviously running for re-election, a race that will last until the middle of December if there is a runoff. If she were to run statewide, it would require filing the signatures for the primary ballot about the same day as her third inauguration. There are some pretty outlandish politicians in Houston who would have the unmitigated temerity to do something like that, but Parker is not one of them.

Parker doesn't lack brass, but she is certainly smart enough to see that 2014 isn't going to be the year that Democrats break through. She can term out of the mayor's office and spend a year raising money for a bid in 2016 for whatever she wants, though I question Noah's premise that Congress is in her sights. She's an executive office-styled politico, and I would expect her to run for whatever statewide position might be available in a presidential election year. That's the path to her successful political future. Though I am still convinced that her best fit is state comptroller, that would have to come in 2018 against an incumbent Republican. Magic 8 Ball say "ask again later".

-- Kinky Friedman is also in the news again for the wrong reasons. Since he can't deny himself the media attention, let's join Kuffner and hope he bids for something downballot like Land or Ag Commish, as he did in 2010. He might actually make some noise next year if he did. For example, a Pee Bush/Kinky tilt for GLO commissioner in the fall of '14 has the potential to generate a lot of free media.

-- And it is still too early to be concerned with who is slinging mud in Houston city council races. You'll always have Campos for that. Or even Big Jolly for that matter (don't miss the thrust-and-parry in the comments). As I perused the archives here I found this old post from September of 2009 that suggests that things don't really heat up in this cycle until after the kids go back to school.

I cringe just thinking about having to blog about local politics during the worst of hurricane season.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Aaron Pena's latest tale of woe

If you're Latino in South Texas and driving without current registration and insurance, wearing a Greg Abbott T-shirt still isn't going to help.

Even a Democrat who switched to the GOP should have been smart enough to see this coming.

Aaron Peña was pulled over in Robstown, outside of Corpus Christi, for expired license plates. After being questioned by local police officers as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Robstown police impounded his vehicle and wrote him a ticket for lacking proof of automobile insurance, a charge Mr. Peña disputes.

“I don’t mind that they pulled me over,” said Peña, a Republican from Edinburg. “I don’t mind that they gave me a ticket. I do mind with great personal offense that they treated me like a drug dealer and accused me of lying.”

Peña was driving a 2001 Dodge pickup he said he had purchased within the previous two weeks. He had planned to drive it home to Edinburg so his son could take it with him when he starts college. Peña had expected to address the vehicle’s expired license plate once he got to South Texas. He had considered the possibility that the plates might get him pulled over but figured he would, if needed, explain to a police officer the situation and risk getting a ticket.

While driving down U.S. Highway 77, Peña was pulled over in Robstown. A Robstown police officer directed him to get out of his pickup. Peña complied. He was wearing dress pants and dress shoes and a campaign T-shirt for Attorney General Greg Abbott, who just kicked off his gubernatorial campaign. Peña had introduced Abbott at a campaign event earlier in the week.

Just had to emphasize that.

Within minutes of Peña getting out of his vehicle, he noticed that the two Robstown officers had been joined by at least two other officers. They were not in uniform, but Peña said he could tell they were with the Department of Homeland Security by the badges they wore on chains around their necks. A police spokesman confirmed that the men were with ICE.

“There was a point where I sensed that I was surrounded,” Peña said. “I asked if this was bigger than a traffic stop. One of them says ‘You tell me.’”

"Ha Ha Ha! Look, it's a Mexican Republican!"

We've talked much about Pena here over the years -- his sneaking down the alley to a strategy meeting with Tom Craddick (wearing a jogging suit, baseball cap pulled low) in 2007, his shenanigans during the 2008 campaign where he showed up at events as a supporter of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, his flip-flop from D to R in 2010, the eventual demise of his political career. It hasn't all been harsh; I wrote something nice in 2009, when he was still a Dem and introduced some legislation protecting bloggers.

But it strains credibility -- as if Aaron Pena still has any left among people who process thought -- that these words would exit his piehole.

“They assumed I was guilty, and they expected me to prove that I was innocent,” Peña said.

Welcome to South Texas, Rep. Pena. Now you can go home. Hope you learned something from this experience about how your former constituents live their lives every day.

Perhaps you'll be better known among LEOs by posting more Twitpics like this.

No, I think that likely heightens suspicions.

Update: Another Two Cents.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance sends condolences to the family and friends of legendary White House reporter Helen Thomas as it brings you this week's blog post roundup.

Off the Kuff discusses the status of abortion litigation as pro-choice forces in Texas prepare to file suit over Texas' harmful new law.

Horwitz at Texpatriate covers the current state of municipal elections in Houston.

Can Texas Democrats win in 2014 if they focus on turning out women of all demographics to the polls? PDiddie at Brains and Eggs says 'no, but'...

WCNews at Eye on Williamson makes the case: Why Wendy Davis must run for Governor of Texas in 2014.

Texas Leftist observes that campaign season has swung into high gear for Houston, as city council members debate the true cost of 380 deals.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

CultureMap Houston was on the scene of the dueling protests of Trayvon Martin supporters and their opponents in River Oaks yesterday.

Half Empty says that the Republican War on Women really isn't about women.

Bluedaze delicately points out that one fracking well test does not indicate that all fracking wells are safe.

The Bayou has the news that Texas judges and district attorneys got a raise from the Lege.

Egberto Willies interviewed one of the supporters of HB-2 (the abortion restrictions bill Rick Perry signed into law last week) and came away a little concerned.

And lastly, Hair Balls reports on the new amusement park going up outside Houston that will have a Giant Texas theme.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Chris Hedges: America is a tinderbox

This 18 minutes is going to upset a few people.

OK, a lot of people. If you happen to be one of those people, you might want to go back to watching Dancing with the Stars or something.

: Transcript.

Justice for Trayvon vigils in 100 cities today

In over one hundred cities across the United States, NAN is organizing “Justice for Trayvon” vigils on Saturday, July 20th to press the federal government to investigate civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. Hundreds of national preachers, led by Rev. Al Sharpton and NAN will hold prayer vigils and rallies in front of federal buildings calling on the Justice Department to investigate the civil rights violations made against Trayvon Martin.

Texas cities include Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Wichita Falls.


City Hall, 901 Bagby, 11 a.m.

Texas State Capitol Building, 1100 Congress Avenue, 12 Noon

San Antonio

Federal Courthouse, 655 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., 11:00 a.m.

Wichita Falls, TX

2003 Collins Ave., 2 p.m.

Friday, July 19, 2013

What happens in Texas when Planned Parenthood clinics get defunded

Dateline March 13, by Mother Jones. Keep in mind that this is data showing up from the funding reductions passed by the state legislature two years ago.

About a year after Texas slashed its family-planning budget by two-thirds, with 50 clinics shutting down as a result, the Texas Policy Evaluation Project surveyed 300 pregnant women seeking an abortion in Texas. Nearly half said they were "unable to access the birth control that they wanted to use" in the three months before they became pregnant. Among the reasons: cost, lack of insurance, inability to find a clinic, and inability get a prescription. The state's health commission says Texas will see nearly 24,000 unplanned births between 2014 and 2015 thanks to these cuts, raising state and federal taxpayer's Medicaid costs by up to $273 million.

In a state where half of all pregnancies were unplanned in 2011, and 1 in 3 women of childbearing age lacks health insurance, this is only going to get worse.

Again, this isn't new information; it was posted last spring in order to influence the recently-concluded abortion restrictions legislation that Rick Perry signed into law yesterday. In that wake, Planned Parenthood announced three clinics would close in East Texas (only one actually provided abortion services). But seemingly unsatisfied with that result, Texas Republicans are going back for more.

Hours after Texas Republican lawmakers finalized some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country Thursday, a bill to ban abortions as early as six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, was filed.

State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, filed House Bill 59, which would ban abortions “if it has been determined… that the unborn child has a detectable heartbeat.” North Dakota is the only other state to pass ‘fetal heartbeat’ legislation, and it is being challenged as unconstitutional in court.

More at Burnt Orange and Think Progress. This probably means another round of rallies at the Capitol, followed by a few arrests, some authoritarian displays of force conducted by the state police, and a party-line vote by the legislators. Maybe a lawsuit... eventually.

All we can do for the moment, in short, is simply document the atrocities. Oh yeah, and mobilize opposition for 2014.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The police/surveillance state of the nation

So is this really the best government money can buy?

In a heated confrontation over domestic spying, members of Congress said Wednesday they never intended to allow the National Security Agency to build a database of every phone call in America. And they threatened to curtail the government's surveillance authority.

Top Obama administration officials countered that the once-secret program was legal and necessary to keep America safe. And they left open the possibility that they could build similar databases of people's credit card transactions, hotel records and Internet searches.

The clash on Capitol Hill undercut President Barack Obama's assurances that Congress had fully understood the dramatic expansion of government power it authorized repeatedly over the past decade.

Sort of knocks the legs out from under that "didn't we already know about this?" crap, doesn't it?

"The statute says 'collection'," Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) told Cole. "You're trying to confuse us by talking use."

Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), a judge, said: "I hope as we move forward as a Congress we rein in the idea that it's OK to bruise the spirit of the constitution in the name of national security."

More Ted Poe:

“Snowden, I don’t like him at all, but we would never have known what happened if he hadn’t told us.”

Poe, the least ignorant Texas Republican in Congress, reveals himself as the blind hog having found an acorn.

Is this just a failing of the Congress, though? No. The corporate media, with its toadies and sycophants fascinated by power, access, and influence is choking on reporting the story again. That's going to have to be its own post, but here's a link regarding coverage of the Snowden/NSA affair: as of yesterday afternoon, just one English language website -- Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller -- had posted former President Jimmy Carter's remark that the United States "no longer has a functioning democracy". There were many articles focusing on his comments about the Zimmerman verdict, however (he supported the jury decision). But Carter may also have been referencing Citizens United and the process by which American elections are funded. From late yesterday...

"It's accepted fact," Carter said during a speech in Atlanta. "It's legal bribery of candidates. And that repayment may be in the form of an ambassadorship to someone who has raised three or four hundred thousand dollars to help a candidate get elected."

So the answer to better government must be that Democrats just have to raise more money than Republicans. Except that Obama accomplished that, and we still have the same problems. Only worse. 

Back to who's watching you that you're paying for. And this isn't about drones.

Drive down many highways, boulevards or small side streets in America, and your movements are being noted by electronic cameras. Eyes in the sky controlled by local police departments snap photos of every passing license plate and store the data, sometimes forever. Even the smallest of agencies now deploys these high-tech voyeuristic machines, creating massive databases where more than 99 percent of the entries represent innocent people.

All, warned the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday, for a one-in-a-million chance that the cameras might aid in the apprehension of a serious criminal.

"Plate readers are the most pervasive system of location tracking that people haven't heard of," said Catherine Crump, a privacy lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union. She wrote the ACLU report released Wednesday questioning the way such cameras are being used. "Even though virtually all of us have had our cars logged into these databases, few know this technology exists." 

More and more on that. Do you feel safer yet? How about last week, when the Texas state troopers confiscated women's hygiene products? And claimed they also found jars of urine and feces, then later reneged on the word "confiscate" and sourced the tip to the "blogosphere"?

How about now?

In emphasizing the more aggressive, confrontational aspect of police work over community service—hurting people instead of helping people—they may be shifting the profile of the typical young person attracted to police work. Browse the dozens of police recruitment videos on YouTube, for example, and you’ll find that many of them feature images of cops tackling suspects, rappelling out of helicopters, shooting guns, kicking down doors, and siccing dogs on people. The images are often set to blaring guitars or heavy metal music. These are the videos that police departments send to high schools and colleges to attract new recruits. At the very first step in the process of staffing their departments, then, these agencies are deliberately appealing to people who are likely to be lured by the thrill-seeking, adrenaline-producing, butt-kicking aspects of law enforcement. Build an entire police force of people who fit that description and you have a force of cops who seek confrontation instead of avoiding it and who look to escalate volatile situations instead of resolving them peacefully. 

This is America, the greatest country inthawerld. The police have never arrested the wrong person or even busted in the wrong house; cops don't just arbitrarily shoot people's dogs. Our criminal justice system has never convicted or, God forbid, executed an innocent man. We do not torture people, and as of 2013 we don't have racial problems or gun safety issues or even concerns about our government spying on us. See, we voluntarily gave up all our privacy to Facebook. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, like Lindsey Graham and Josef Goebbels both said.

It seems to me that all of these millions and billions of dollars could be better spent. Not just the money government spends on defense or security, but also the money being given to elected officials and those aspiring to be.

Surely we are not getting our money's worth when it comes to investing in our politicians. The answer, obviously, is to help them raise and spend even more money. And discuss who has raised and spent the most money for the purpose of assigning probability to election outcomes.

Or maybe it's only a prospect list for those vendors who would like to skim off a few bucks for their own livelihood. And gain some access -- get invited to the good parties; the quiet rooms.

Whichever it is, it doesn't seem to be working right.

Mo' money in government and what we get for it

I don't know why these aggregates get so much traffic -- clicks here yesterday were ten times normal -- but if people want to read it, I suppose I'll have to write it.

Regarding campaign spending...

-- Texans outpace congressional colleagues on big donations:

Texas congressional candidates rely far more heavily on large donors than office-seekers in other states do, a Houston Chronicle analysis of federal campaign data for the 2012 election cycle found.

Three-quarters of Texas' congressional candidates collected less than 5 percent of their campaign funds from donations under $200 last year, a rate that is lower than all but nine other states.

A majority of checks from high-dollar Texas contributions went to Republicans, with just 15 percent of large donors siding with Democrats. Houston, the top city for big-dollar campaign cash, supplied 28 percent of all large donations from Texas last year. The reliance on larger contributions increases the political influence of wealthy donors, said Pete Quist, research director for the National Institute of Money in State Politics. For congressional contenders, it means a shorter path to campaign dollars.

"It's a lot easier for the candidates to just go up to these few donors and get the robust funding of their campaigns done," Quist said.

To fuel the record-setting spending of the most recent election campaign, candidates turned to a powerful minority composed of 31,385 mega-donors across the country. That wealthy stratum, including 2,700 Texans, funded nearly one-third of last year's $6 billion election in spending.

Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who led Texas in Super PAC spending last year, recorded donations of $25 million. He gave money to 15 candidates, including high-profile out-of-state Republicans Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

It's bound to be good for democracy, yeah?

-- It's still easy for incumbents to keep their seats, but it sure costs a lot more:

Over the past 40 years, it hasn't gotten any easier—or harder—to win reelection as a House incumbent. It's just gotten way more expensive.

It's no secret that there's a serious incumbent advantage in the House. (And the Senate, too, but that data are less telling because the chamber has fewer elections and fewer incumbents.) The success rate for House incumbents running for reelection has dipped below 90 percent in only nine of the 34 elections since 1946, according to data compiled by National Journal's own Norm Ornstein and posted by the Brookings Institution and American Enterprise Institute. The reelection success rate has fallen below 80 percent only once. If you're an incumbent looking to keep your job, you are almost guaranteed to win.

And that hasn't changed much, either. The share of incumbents seeking and winning reelection has hovered around the low 90s for the past four decades. In fact, the trendline, in black below, shows that the odds of an incumbent winning reelection have fallen just slightly by 0.7 percentage points, from 93.7 percent in 1974 to 93 percent in 2012.

Ninety-three percent retention. Brought to you by America's banks, pharmaceutical companies, defense contractors, and the business executives who run them. Ain't it grand?

No, really; what kind of government are we actually getting for all that cash?

-- Pentagon lobbies hard to be allowed to keep failing on military sexual assault:

How does the military keep fending off attempts to seriously change its sexual assault culture? Through the excessive deference of many lawmakers and an enormous lobbying operation, the details of which, as reported by Politico's Darren Samuelsohn and Anna Palmer, are staggering.

In recent months, the Pentagon's big goal has been to block Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's proposal to take decisions about sexual assault and other major crimes prosecutions out of the hands of military commanders and put them in the hands of trained legal experts. The strength of that idea has the military scrambling to accept other important-but-not-strong-enough improvements to the failed anti-sexual assault efforts that have prevailed until now—and exercising its incredible advantages in lobbying Congress:
Nearly every Democratic and GOP member of the Armed Services committees has a career military officer working as a fellow—whose salary is paid by the Pentagon—to help craft legislation, unravel the department’s labyrinth of offices and sub-offices and decipher acronyms. 
“Imagine if we had bankers serving as fellows for the Financial Services Committee. Would we do that?” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who has been pushing the military for years on sexual assault.
Plus there are Capitol Hill liaisons, members of the military who regularly meet with key Hill staff to make the Pentagon’s case on a variety of issues.

This doesn't count the actual defense contractor lobbyists, of course. It's a wonder a single military base has ever been closed. But shielding rapists from prosecution is obviously more serious than $400 hammers, $2000 toilets, incompetent weapons programs that can't be killed by Congress, weapons the military doesn't want that Congress keeps alive, and so on.

As you might imagine, this Catholic Church-like effort to protect the sexual criminals in the ranks means that military recruiters have to, ah, revise their pitch.

On and on we could go in this vein, but in the next post the focus will be on the police and surveillance state of the nation.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

No Campaign Finance Reports Roundup

-- No campaign finance reports posted here. Ever. As written many times previously, that is a poor way -- probably the poorest -- of evaluating the quality of a political candidate. In fact it's sort of like picking a horse to bet on at the track based on the size of its owner's bank account. Or declaring which team might win the World Series or the Super Bowl strictly on the amount of the team's payroll.

I'm just not interested in the political insiders -- and those who crave access to them -- telling me what I should think about who is a better man or a woman of the people (sometimes erroneously referred to as "grassroots")  based on how much money they have raised. Not only don't I care, it actually has the opposite effect of convincing me that they care about the 99%. By all evidence of voter turnout in municipal elections, a vast majority of that 99% doesn't care too much either.

If it was in the best interest of our city, state, and nation to vote for people who proved themselves the most adept at pandering for campaign contributions, we'd have the kind of representation in Washington and Austin that we already have. The definition of insanity and all that.

If you don't think there's something wrong in a political system where money is scrutinized and evaluated as the most important thing to getting elected, then you might be part of the problem and not the solution.

There's an app for that. To fix it, I mean.

-- Will almost a million people quit their jobs when (perhaps I should say 'if') Obamacare is fully enacted?

A new study distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that somewhere between 530,000 and 940,000 Americans might quit their jobs after January 1, 2014, as they’re able to get affordable health insurance through one of the public exchanges to be set up under Obamacare. That could provide ammunition for both critics and supporters of the politically explosive law. Critics might see it as evidence that Obama’s reforms encourage idleness while contributing to a growing welfare state. But it might also be a sign that workers have more freedom to pursue meaningful work or other interests instead of sticking to one job just because of the benefits, a phenomenon economists have dubbed “employment lock.”

This is a bad thing how for corporations? It's like mass voluntary layoffs without the separation packages; why would they be upset about that?

-- Justice for Trayvon rallies in a hundred American cities this weekend; noon Saturday, at federal courthouses across the nation. "Juror B37 does not speak for us", according to four of the other five jurors. Here's the story of the Twitterer who single-handedly killed B37′s book deal. (Now that's what I call the invisible hand of the free market.)

Between the injustice served by a clearly biased set of panelists charged with evaluating the guilt of George Zimmerman and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, I have to wonder if the Supreme Court justices who bought the argument that racism is over in America are having second thoughts about that. Perhaps the federal judges who were planning on going in to the office this Saturday have a better understanding.

-- State representative Harold Dutton (D-Houston) has filed a pro-life bill: No abortion restrictions can be implemented until the death penalty is abolished. Sounds good to me.

What I think I like best about it is how it paints pro-birth radicals right into a corner. And they won't be able to tiptoe out of it without getting blood on their shoes.

-- Big Jolly hyperbolically -- or maybe it's hyperventilatingly -- defends Dr. Mark Jones (because he can't defend himself) and Greg calmly bats that away. What's a clown got to do to get in this fight, Dave?

-- Is the tide actually turning, or might it be a storm surge signaling a hurricane? Read all about it in Texas Monthly.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Can Texas Democrats win in 2014 just by increasing the female vote?

The short answer is 'no', but let's dig a little deeper.

The above is a bar graph that Michael Li posted on his FB page a couple of days ago (by the way, he has the best public forum around on Texas politics and if you're not following him there and on Twitter then you're missing out). I responded: "So the way I read this is: women already registered to vote in Texas can easily elect Wendy Davis governor... if they will just show up at the polls and do so."

Li's response was that it isn't quite that simple. After crunching a few numbers I am forced to agree, but since he posted it to "suggest opportunity", let's explore that.

(I'm not going to post any more charts, graphs, or spreadsheets, and we already know math isn't my strongest subject, so if somebody wants to challenge my premise, I'll welcome that discussion in the comments.)

Without having access to Li's precise figures, I have to extrapolate from the bars above to determine what the potential Democratic gain might be, given some other assumptions like: "Can 10% of the registered but not voting women in the 18-24 age bracket be motivated to cast a ballot, or should a more reasonable goal be increasing  existing turnout by that percentage?" The difference in this case is 25,000 versus almost 70,000. And not all of those will be Democratic votes, of course; the split goes more red the older the demographic.

And there's got to be a lot of rounding and estimating, which clouds our analysis. I'm thinking I can still reach a more accurate conclusion than Dr. Mark Jones of Rice University, however.

So let's open with the following parameters.

-- Increasing existing turnout by a factor of 10% is perhaps the most liberal and the most conservative goal for Dems to realize. It might be greater in the younger demographics and less in the older ones, so this will be used as the average.

-- The percentage of Democratic votes in this increase should be fairly high. I don't think the Republican women (or for that matter, men) who did not vote in 2012 have much to grow on, no matter what Phylliss Schlafly says. Not in the country, not in Texas. Still, I'm going to use a conservative estimate of the potential increase for the Ds: 75% for the 18-24 and 25-34 demographics, 67% for 35-49, 60% for 50-64, and 50% for 65+.

So on that basis, what do we have?

-- In the age range from 18-24, it looks like about three-quarters of 25,000 votes, or 18,750.

-- From 25-34, 75% of 10% of almost 600,000 (we'll call it 575K) = 43,125 Democratic votes.

-- 35-49: Ten percent of 1.1 million women who voted in 2012 is 110,000 and two-thirds of that is 73,700.

-- Texas female voters from age 50-64 total over 1.3 million according to the bar graph above, but let's round down to that 1.3 figure and take 10% of it and then 60% of that. That equals 78,000 D votes.

-- Finally, in the 65+ category, half of 10% of something around 950,000 is 47,500.

18,750 + 43,125 + 73,700 + 78,000 + 47,500 = 261,075. Again, a conservative estimate of additional Democratic votes from Texas women who are already registered to vote.

In a recent article at the Texas Tribune they helpfully disclose the vote tallies by which certain Democrats lost to Republicans in recent statewide elections. Here's that excerpt.

The grim performance of Democratic candidates in Texas over the last 10 years is hard to understate. Over the previous decade, the closest Democrats have been to any of the big ticket offices were 11 points in the 2008 presidential contest (950,695 votes), 12 points in the 2002 and 2008 Senate races (540,485 votes and 948,104 votes, respectively) and 9 points in the 2006 governor’s race (406,455 votes). 

The TexTrib goes a little farther in that piece with their back-of-the-envelope calculations of what the Latino effect might be. But they reach the same conclusion as me.

Suppose that some combination of Battleground Texas, amplified mobilization and good old-fashioned political persuasion increases Hispanic turnout in the state from 48 percent to, let’s say, 60 percent (no small feat) and, further, that the Democrats maintain a nearly 3-to-1 advantage in their vote choice (based on that 71 percent figure). That would create an additional 356,560 votes — about a third of the way toward closing the 1 million vote shortfall the Democrats suffered in the 2008 election in Texas (and remember, that was on a good day). 

I prefer to look at gender demographics as opposed to ethnic ones just for the sake of simplicity. There are people with Latino surnames who are Caucasian, to use just one example. (Exhibit A: my pal Neil Aquino. Hurry up with that new blog, by the way.) But everybody is fairly identifiable as male or female.

So what we have learned here is that -- short of a massive die-off of dessicated conservatives in the next 18 months in Texas -- Democrats still have a long, long way to go. That doesn't mean they shouldn't keep pushing, of course.

The sun is rising and the tide is turning, sooner than later. The events in the state Capitol -- and the events that occurred over the weekend in Sanford, Florida -- suggest extra motivation for people who can be convinced that voting might change things for the better. Latinos should already have all the motivation they need, and represent the greatest untapped resource. But everybody who is motivated is going to have to get registered, make sure their ID is current, and then get themselves to their polling place armed with enough knowledge to make the right choices for the future of Texas.

A tall but not insurmountable order.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance joins the family of Trayvon Martin in being "saddened" by the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff gives some advice on what to do now that the anti-abortion bill has passed.

Horwitz at Texpatriate explains why he is a Democrat.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson says the dream that once made America great has become a nightmare for too many: We must “make morality possible again”.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme can hardly wait to see the results of the republican War on Women in 2014. Some Blue Dogs like Eddie Lucio Jr. are already feeling a pinch.

Dr. Mark Jones of Rice University tried to take down Wendy Davis' political prospects, and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs had to take down Jones. Conservatives drinking "librul" whine still smell like vinegar.

At TexasKaos, lightseeker foresees the destruction of Texas Republican Party. Check it out: Texas Republicans - The Coming Crackup?


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Juanita eulogizes Bev Carter, Fort Bend political journalist and rabble-rouser.

Lone Star Ma deplores the gutting of the Voting Rights Act.

Jason Stanford has a personal story about why the omnibus anti-abortion bill is such a miscarriage of justice.

Equality Texas reports from the Texas GSA Network Activist Camp.

Greg Wythe shreds a recent story that claims Sen. Wendy Davis is "too liberal" to win in Texas.

Texas Vox looks at a series of new studies that focus on the destructive effects of pollution.

The Texas Green Report explains why you should care about the cost of tap water.

Concerned Citizens reminds us once again that elections have consequences.

BOR analyzes the litigation that is likely to arise from the passage of the omnibus anti-abortion bill.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sunday Rude and Crude Funnies

Look at all those dicks in her uterus...

Greg Abbott performs a River Walk later this afternoon...