Tuesday, February 04, 2014


But still no time for anything but an assembly.

-- Trey's rant about the Lone Star media was... okay.  I don't understand how anybody can call me vulgar after that, but all of McB's drunken-sailor-ishness doesn't detract (much) from his point: that the people covering politics in Texas day to day are simply a weak bunch, and especially from a historical perspective.  That isn't going to change, and if the Davis campaign is looking for a break... that ain't happening either.

The Texas Tribune apparently represents the best that it's going to get, and they are consumed with the horse-race aspect while at the same time advancing the usual false equivalencies that are by now just lazy and sloppy.  Click here, and then compare the headline to what you read in the address bar (the former headline, I presume).  And Charles Kuffner is absolutely correct: the next time you see "Mark Jones" in a story on Texas politics, just stop reading.

But the bottom line for Wendy Davis remains the same: her campaign is going to have to make something happen and stop reacting to what's happening.

-- I thought that Gadfly one-upped me with this.

Greg Abbott wouldn't want the political correctness police to treat his candidacy with kid gloves related to his physical handicap limitations, now would he?

We know that a good conservative like Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott would never, ever succumb to political correctness, now, would he?

Of course not. A rugged individualist hombre who can shoot thousand upon thousands of clay pigeons with a powerful 12-gauge loaded with double-aught buckshot a light, likely multi-round chambered 20-gauge shotgun with barely-more-than-blanks skeet loads surely doesn't need the support of librul buzz words, coded phrases and mollycoddling language, does he?

Or does he?

"Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus", indeed.  I remember singing that in church when I was a kid.

I wonder how Greg Abbott feels when he sings it.  To have to live with the fact that he can't, I mean.  Does that foster shame, or embarrassment, or some kind of putrid self-hatred?  Can you get counseling to deal with it?  It's probably covered by Obamacare, but not Medicaid, even under the terms of expansion that General AbouttheSame has no more intention of accepting than Governor Goodhair.

Neither of them should ever have to worry about being on Medicaid, after all.

-- Some Republicans have started an anti-Nathan Hecht campaign.  There's a Twitter account as well.  If you want something a little more serious -- and not seriously stupid all the time -- with your Texas Supreme Court campaign soup, then head on over and read John Coppedge at QR.  Excerpt complete with Harvey Kronberg's typical oddball emphasis.

There are three Texas Supreme Court incumbents facing challenges in the Republican Primary this election cycle- Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, Justice Jeff Brown and Justice Phil Johnson.

It is no secret that Houston mega-lawyer Mark Lanier is not a fan of the current court. What is noteworthy is that a look at the most recent Texas Ethics Commission reports of the three challengers to Hecht, Brown and Johnson shows that they have collected $61,100 in total. And 98% of that came from members of the Lanier firm. (Mark Lanier and 10 lawyers in his firm have contributed $60,000). He and his firm seem to be leading the charge. It remains to be seen if others will follow.

If the personal injury bar follows Lanier's lead this cycle, they will contribute handsomely to the campaigns of the three challengers. But so far, they are laying behind the log. And notably some are supporting the incumbents. In past campaigns, the trial lawyer contributions came primarily after the "30 Day Report", thus shielding them from public view until just a few days before the election. And the dollar amounts have been staggering.

More if you have a subscription.

-- Just so we're clear: the underling at MSNBC that got fired over a Tweet about the right-wing acting all indignant about a Super Bowl commercial (you know, the one Phil Griffin apologized to Reince Priebus for) just had the wrong Super Bowl commercial in mind.  You think Griffin will hire that person back?  Since they were correct about the right-wing reaction, that is?

Still way behind on events past and future.  I wanted to blog about all of the Keystone XL developments and #NoKXL rallies yesterday, and even about Louie Mueller Barbecue in town on Super Bowl Sunday (I went, it was great) and coming to Houston permanently soon, but there aren't enough hours in the day.  I'll get a round tuit eventually.

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance still has a dozen or so Republican responses to the SOTU it needs to get through as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff takes a look at campaign finance reports for Harris County legislative and countywide candidates.

Horwitz at Texpatriate laments the loss of Algebra II as a high school graduation requirement.

In light of some of the more ridiculous back-and-forth between Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott and their campaigns -- not to mention James O'Keefe and his clandestine, altered video -- PDiddie at Brains and Eggs asks: "Is it insensitive to say that Abbott is 'running' for governor?"

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants you to scream in horror over the Republican war on women. All Republican candidates for lieutenant governor are FOR keeping a brain dead woman with a severely abnormal fetus on life support against her family's wishes.

McBlogger has some advice for the Wendy Davis campaign, the press, and all the Democratic activists who are eager for a win this year.

Neil at All People Have Value wrote about the slate of Green Party candidates running in Texas in 2014. All People Have Value is part of NeilAquino.com.

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

Nonsequiteuse scoffs at the notion that Texas may turn into California.

Texas Redistricting updates on the proposed fixes to the Voting Rights Act and other election law news.

John Coby names Randy Weber the frontrunner to replace Steve Stockman as the craziest Congressman from Southeast Texas.

Texas Clean Air Matters reports on the longrunning legal battle between Texas and the EPA over clean air regulations.

The Lunch Tray alerts us to potential changes to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Randy Bear examines the reasoning behind various LGBT groups' non-endorsement of Wendy Davis in the Democratic primary for Governor.

Greg Wythe has the data to analyze the actual impact of Texas' voter ID law in Harris County.

BOR asks why the Texas Medical Association supports candidates who oppose their own stated positions, and gets a non-responsive answer from them.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

No shortage of headlines for Texas nutbars

-- Steve Stockman appears to have blacked out about something that happened in his life, because he has found an attorney to sue John Cornyn for lying about his (Stockman's, not Cornyn's) nights spent in jail.  When he (Stockman, not Cornyn) confessed to the media to being in jail. 

Rep. Steve Stockman accused a group that supports Sen. John Cornyn of lying about him, by asserting that he had been “jailed more than once” and was “charged with a felony.”

That is strange, because Stockman has admitted to these facts, several times.

“I may have been in jail a couple of times, two or three times,” he told this newspaper.

As for the felony charge, that stemmed from the time his girlfriend hid three Valium tablets in his underpants when he was reporting for a weekend in jail. “When they found that they charged me with a felony,” he told the Houston Chronicle.

Those interviews were back in 1995, during Stockman’s first two-year stint in Congress.

On Friday, Stockman, R-Clear Lake, announced that he has filed a libel lawsuit in Houston against Texans for a Conservative Majority, a political action committee funded and run by Cornyn supporters. Its website, ShadyStockman,com, includes a line from a Jan. 15, 2013, Washington Post story: “He has been jailed more than once, and was charge with a felony after one such incident when authorities found Valium in his pants.”

“The Cornyn supporters have committed libel per se against me, falsely and maliciously accusing me of a felony,” Stockman said in a statement issued by a campaign aide. “Of course, I have never been charged with or committed any such act, and these anonymous Cornyn supporters know it.”

There's more, naturally.

-- Kesha Rogers went up to the Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M and made some news.  From the Bryan-College Station Eagle...

The woman who interrupted a moderated discussion Wednesday evening between two national leaders was Kesha Rogers, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's seat.

Rogers caused a stir and briefly derailed a discussion between Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs on the committee to solve the nation's debt crisis in 2010, when she began yelling from the back of the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.

The interruption came nearly an hour into the event, when Simpson was talking to moderator Andrew Card, George W. Bush's chief of staff, about the distrust in Washington between Democrats and Republicans. The three had been discussing contributors to the national debt, such as health care and Social Security, and what would need to be cut and changed to reverse the trend.

Simpson called trust the coin of the realm, but said it had been severely tarnished, when Rogers stood up.

"No one is going to trust you guys, because you are sacrificial leaders and they're sacrificing the population," Rogers yelled. "What they're doing right now, this policy was tried at Nuremberg."

Only an hour in, and she's already gone Godwin.

Rogers, a Democrat who is running for U.S. Senate on a platform to impeach President Barack Obama and fund NASA, went on to say that Simpson and Bowles had made a mockery of the lives of Americans, which drew boos from the crowd. Several people attempted to get her to stop yelling, but she said, "They haven't answered my question." Card then acknowledged her from the stage and asked her what her question was.

"My question is why are you pushing policies that are killing people?" she asked. "Policies that Dr. Leo Alexander warned about that were tried at Nuremberg? Why are we bailing out Wall Street and you say ..."

At this point, another attendee from the audience stood up and called her a "nutcase," pointing out that President George H.W. Bush and his wife were in the room, to which she turned around and said, "I don't care."

Card attempted to get the discussion back on track when Rogers began yelling about the funds that were used to bail out Wall Street.

"Why can we not afford Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid? Why do we have to put cost effective measures on human life?" she yelled. "Why do we have to look at the office of budget management to determine who gets to live and who dies?"

Rogers left on her own several minutes later.

You know, Rogers has some good points inside that rant, but as per her usual it's in that stopped-clock-twice-a-day fashion.

She issued a press release Thursday explaining her reference to Alexander, a psychiatrist and neurologist who served as an aide to the chief counsel at the Nuremberg war crime trials. He wrote the Nuremberg Code about moral, ethical and legal guidelines after studying the actions of Nazi troops and concentration camp guards.

Rogers compared cuts to social programs, which were included in Simpson and Bowles' 2010 proposal to reduce the debt, to Alexander's warnings about physicians in Germany devaluing life.

I'm all in favor of the Simpson/Bowles Catfood Commission going off the rails, but it really needs to include Kesha lying down in front of the train.  Three birds with one stone, as it were.

-- And what would a nutbar edition be without some tasty Ted Cruz tapas?

"Anyone pushing an amnesty bill right now should go ahead and put a 'Harry Reid for Majority Leader' bumper sticker on their car, because that will be the likely effect if Republicans refuse to listen to the American people and foolishly change the subject from Obamacare to amnesty," he said.

The Texas senator added that a bill that includes "amnesty" could keep conservative voters away from the polls.

You just gotta love it.

"Republicans are poised for an historic election this fall -- a conservative tidal wave much like 2010. The biggest thing we could do to mess that up would be if the House passed an amnesty bill -- or any bill perceived as an amnesty bill -- that demoralized voters going into November," he said. "Amnesty will ensure they stay home."

P.T. Barnum ain't got nothing on "Norovirus" Cruz.

Sunday Super Bowl Funnies