The Two Thirds Rule has been a tradition in the Texas Senate since 1947. At that time and since it has been a way to get more state senators on board with a piece of legislation before a bill or bills went to the Texas Senate floor. Texas' Senate was dominated by Democrats at the time the tradition was initiated. In the changing dynamics of senate membership it has been praised by Republicans and Democrats. Dan Patrick opposed the tradition in 2007 when he entered the senate and now he's effectively moved any roadblocks to pushing through his ( 'radical' ) agenda. The opposition for the most part has been taken out of the picture. It would take the peeling away of some Republican votes this session to slow Dan Patrick on his quest to be the major player, the most powerful Lt.Governor in recent memory and maybe the most powerful elected official in Texas government. It's Dan Patrick's Texas Senate for now.
My house / home is and older structure. When I say older I mean approaching historical marker age. It needs a lot of work, is drafty, but it has possibilities. The most important thing, it's paid for. I'm fairly handy with tool and have started remodeling. The poor, the really poor, have it much harder than I can imagine.
In the 70's Republicans had a a healthy amount of respect for science. "In 74 (they) were the political group that expressed the highest amount of trust in science," Things have changed. Republicans today, "Are now the most distrusting."
Eric Holder, limiting the civil seiure process is an important check on police seizures of personal property and money. An estimated 2.5 billion has been taken from motorists since 9-11. Motorists have had to go to the courts to prove that money or property was not obtained illegally.
A good number of Dan Patrick's new advisory panel, committees, members are a drawn from basically a who's who of Republican donor land. Many already are involved in industries which have paid lobbyists to lobby the Texas Legislature. A good number of them are donors to Patrick's campaigns. Now, they are going to be on advisory panels, he has picked, to give him input about policy. What might these tycoons of industry, of whom at least 43 of them gave about "$1.94 million to Patrick's campaigns since 2005," have to offer for advice. These panels, committees, have no accountability to the people. They will be advising the governor on policy, picked from donors, not all but at least 43 of them, his, "Kitchen Cabinet, so to speak. Is this the embodiment of pay to play politics or am I completely off base. Maybe its just me, being a little suspicious. Maybe every one of them only has the best interests of the state and its people at heart and wouldn't suggest anything just to help their particular industry. Maybe Patrick, has our best interests at heart. Why do I get the feeling it's a picture of pure crony capitalism.
Remember Greg Abbott, the current governor who campaigned for local control. He's the governor now. As governor, Gregg Abbott is already demonstrating that he's not as much for local control as previously advertised. The state knows best now.
A small group of advocates for open carry, likely harmed their cause and destroyed any chance of an open carry law getting through the legislature this legislative session, this week. The "Constitutional carry," open carry of firearms movement was shot in the foot by a few of its own advocates. If you later wonder what ever happened to open carry in Texas, this group of capital visitors made a strong case against it all the time thinking they were promoting it.
There have been several proposals to re-propose the Astrodome. This one may be a winner. Charles Kuffner is optimistic about several aspects of the latest proposal. Maybe the iconic dome in an updated form will be there for another generation to enjoy and become an asset and a draw once again.
They only meet every two years for 144 days, don't get paid a lot of money, but the impact the members of the Texas Legislature can have on the lives of Texans is huge. Did you know one third of them are lawyers? You have seen the headline, what else is notable about them?
With opening ceremonies today the Texas Legislature goes into session today. The most action early, whether the Senate votes to do away with the tradition of having two thirds of its body support legislation, and possibly get more debate and a vote by the full Senate is what to watch for in that body. If the tradition is done away, Democrats will lose one of their major legislative tools.
"We don't need more funding for education or any for a public integrity unit in Austin. Just keep saying, lower taxes, lower taxes. Don't mention, cronyism, pollution, corruption, public schools or healthcare. Job one, 1. Do not fund that Public Integrity Unit, in Austin."
A fly on a wall somewhere in Austin, is hearing something like this, this morning.
As I have keeping up with Louie's Greatest Hits for several years and even use the same title. Oh well, Progress Texas does its own version. Here's just a few from them. I have another 75 or 80 more if you have the time.
I'm pledging to do more gardening this year and what I don't grow I can buy from local farmers. I can go small and provide some of my own food and food for others.
Many of those unblemished fruits and vegetables which come to some major U.S. chain superstores and certain major grocery chains are imported from parts of Mexico where working conditions are not the best to say the very least. The Los Angeles Times has done a four part series which covers much of the dark side of commercial farming which you can link to below.
A wonder in this world, on the same air, the infamous Glen Beck talking on air, with Louie Gohmert. Yes, the same Louie Gohmert who has his own special label at this blog, "Louie's Greatest Hits." Here together are, "Gohmert & Beck. Their pitch:" Save America and the GOP by electing Louie Gohmert Speaker of the House." They should go on tour. As a humor writer, Dave Barry, writes when finding a couple of interesting names or words strung together, "Sounds like a good name for a rock band to me." Presented by Right Wing Watch and linked to from here, "Gohmert & Beck."
A few short quotes and a lot of editing from a nearly hour long speech.
Mario Cuomo, "Must politics and religion divide us? ... Suspicion should be replaced by discussion . ... God does not insist on religious neutrality. ... All can / should be able to believe, (all faiths). I'm for freedom of belief for all... The price of forcing our belief on others is that one day they may force their belief /beliefs on us.... No law prevents us from promoting our religious beliefs." (Paraphrase, "Must I agree with everything that the priests or the Pope says? We must have consensus views. The community must decide....The wrong answers are quite clear. If we we are a Christian nation as many claim, which form of that Christian religion, which form of Christianity?" (Summarized) Abortion is to be avoided but not everyone in my society agrees with me. (Realism), A Constitutional amendment against abortion, would not prevent the rich from abortion services. "Abortion is not a failure of government. It is a failure of the entire people of God.... Respect each one's dignity. Try to develop a respect for life. If we want to prove our respect for life in the womb...It follows, "The right to life to life doesn't end at birth." (Summarized and paraphrased)
"Respect and enjoy our pluralized democracy."