Mark Twain

"Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress? But I repeat myself." Mark Twain

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Equal pay debate shifts to attorney general's office - San Antonio Express-News

The Davis campaign has plenty of issues to run on against Greg Abbott. The problem she faces is not the issues but Texas's Republican leaning voters. Getting the word out to voters especially women, including Republican women that a Davis governorship would be better for them and their children is the challenge.

Equal pay debate shifts to attorney general's office - San Antonio Express-News

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fed Up With Government, Environmentalists Sue Companies | The Texas Tribune

I have some real life experiences in working in industrial power plants, refineries and chemical plants. I also worked on both sides of 225 in one of the high concentration areas of industrial activity near the Houston Ship Channel in the 1980's and 1990's. For a  few years I was doing both. I was teaching for the Deer Park I.S.D. and working in the plants, basically, across the street, during my summer breaks. I had already worked in industrial maintenance, construction, shutdowns, or turnarounds as they are sometimes called, (when units in plants are closed briefly for needed repairs) before my four years teaching for the Deer Park school district. There are times when burning product is necessary otherwise an explosion is possible. There are emissions however which have caused pollution in Texas and Louisiana which are unnecessary except for the greed of corporations trying to squeeze maximum profit by spending the least amount of money they can get by with on pollution control. With budget cuts in the E.P.A. and with many Texas politicians receiving large contributions from industries and also lax regulations in Texas, environmentalists are going directly to the courts to sue companies for excessive emissions.

Fed Up With Government, Environmentalists Sue Companies | The Texas Tribune

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Big Oil, Bad Air

Texas has long been a major oil and gas state however along with the recent money it has poured into state coffers, the most recent oil boom also has a darker side and there is another story about the environmental costs and the effects on residents living in the middle of this drilling.

Big Oil, Bad Air
Personal note: No, I haven't stopped blogging however once the cold weather left for a while and all the water leaks were fixed, I've since been working lots of hours. I'm taking down an old building and salvaging the good materials to reuse. During the last few weeks I've also had a good bit of family / estate business to take care of including working on an estate sale, getting a business, a three bay car wash, and a house ready to sell. Both the house and business needed some repairs and family members and myself have mostly done the work ourselves.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Texas Left Me Out

There is a insurance coverage gap in Texas and many people don't know what options are available to them.

Texas Left Me Out

New Campaign Focuses on Texans in "Coverage Gap" | The Texas Tribune

Texas, which has the highest percentage of uninsured in the nation has a new group named, "Cover Texas Now," to inform citizens about healthcare.


New Campaign Focuses on Texans in "Coverage Gap" | The Texas Tribune

573px-The_Gerry-Mander.png (PNG Image, 573 × 600 pixels)

How are Republicans planning to hold the Texas House and Senate for the rest of the decade? It's not just voter suppression.

573px-The_Gerry-Mander.png (PNG Image, 573 × 600 pixels)

WASHINGTON: Democrats passing the torch – will new generation be different? | Congress | McClatchy DC

The perception many in the D.C. press is that there aren't many people who agree with Democratic positions fly over country. Voting Republican here however amounts to voting against your own economic interests for a majority of voters. A minimum wage increase, emphasis on public education, affordable tuition for post high school vocational training and college degree classes are popular ideas. Gerrymandered districts since the Democratic loses and and Republican gains in 2010 have made it more difficult for Democratic candidates which means that turnout is the key to regaining a foothold in the South especially. The Affordable Care Act isn't well understood even though it has already lowered health insurance costs for families with young adults for years as it has mine.  In the coming mid-term election it is important that Democrats hold the U.S. Senate and make inroads in whatever local and state offices possible by informing voters just how important this year's election, like every other one, is.



: Democrats passing the torch – will new generation be different? | Congress | McClatchy DC

Friday, February 7, 2014

Todd Akin 2.0? Georgia’s Senate Race Is GOP’s Worst Nightmare

Democrats have a chance to fend off the Republican field in Georgia's U.S. Senate race this year due to a good Democratic candidate and the statements of the large GOP field.



Todd Akin 2.0? Georgia’s Senate Race Is GOP’s Worst Nightmare

Juanita Jean's | Your Daily Louie

Louie Gohmert and President Obama attended the same event yesterday. Juanita Jean's has a clip of the president's remarks about Representative Gohmert

Juanita Jean's | Your Daily Louie

The cost of fighting the inevitable

The continuing lawsuits and and battles between Texas and the federal government over environmental regulations has begun to hurt approval of projects. We can thank Greg Abbott and Rick Perry for these delays.


The cost of fighting the inevitable

LEXINGTON, Ky.: Grimes holds slim advantage over McConnell in Kentucky Senate race | Congress | McClatchy DC

With all the concern by Democratic strategists about the mounds of money that the Koch brothers' sponsored groups are throwing at the mid-term elections so early there many be a bright spot in the U.S. Senate race  in Kentucky. It appears that dissatisfaction with Mitch McConnell may give Alison Lundergan Grimes a competitive edge for a Kentucky U.S. Senate seat that Democrats would really like to win.



LEXINGTON, Ky.: Grimes holds slim advantage over McConnell in Kentucky Senate race | Congress | McClatchy DC

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Brief: Christie and His Problems Come to Texas | The Texas Tribune

Texas political news from The Texas Tribune.

The Brief: Christie and His Problems Come to Texas | The Texas Tribune

Interactive: A Look at Texas' Uninsured Population, Obamacare Enrollment | The Texas Tribune

High premiums, many jobs which don't offer insurance coverage and a large number of immigrants without legal status are just a few of the reasons that Texas continues to have the highest percentage of uninsured residents in the nation. 

Interactive: A Look at Texas' Uninsured Population, Obamacare Enrollment | The Texas Tribune

AUSTIN, Texas: APNewsBreak: Wendy Davis supports open carry law - Politics Wires - MiamiHerald.com

According to The Associated Press and other sources Wendy Davis has removed one of the wedge issues in the race for governor and her ability to compete with Greg Abbott in Texas. That wedge issue is the expansion of gun rights including 'open carry'. The majority of Texans are very supportive of  gun rights including a lot of  Texas Democrats.


AUSTIN, Texas: APNewsBreak: Wendy Davis supports open carry law - Politics Wires - MiamiHerald.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why the new CBO report on Obamacare is good news - latimes.com

Why the new CBO report on Obamacare is good news - latimes.com

Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers - NYTimes.com

Largest Winners:
1. Crop insurers
2. Rice and peanut farmers
3. Domestic catfish farmers
4. Consumer groups who protected retention of country of origin labeling for meat products

Largest Losers:
1. Food stamp recipients 
(According to a Dallas Morning News article written by Nick Swartsell, Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz opposed the bill because they were for much deeper cuts to S.N.A.P benefits. A Democratic (no) vote from Cory Booker was due, according the same article, the S.N.A.P benefit cuts and, "Subsidies to industries that don't need it (them)."

Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers - NYTimes.com

Thursday, January 30, 2014

You know you’re not supposed to do fundraising activities while in your official capacity, right?

Some Republicans in Texas are facing allegations of doing fundraising while in their official capacity. Off the Kuff has the story.



You know you’re not supposed to do fundraising activities while in your official capacity, right?

A growing divide between rich and poor in Texas | State | News from Fort Worth, Dallas, ...

A good education or the lack there of, is one of the major factors in the growing income inequality in Texas. Texas cut 5.4 billion from education during the 2011 legislative session while leaving billions in our Economic Stabilization Fund. The fund also know as the Rainy Day Fund, had adequate funds to prevent the massive cuts and loss of teachers and staff. The legislature in 2013 replaced some of the cuts however with a growing population classrooms are more crowded. Where we really need accountability is in the legislature and the state-wide elected Republicans who have taken us down this path.

A growing divide between rich and poor in Texas | State | News from Fort Worth, Dallas, ...

Farm bill: Still millions for fat cats in Congress, cuts for the poor - latimes.com

With opposition from both sides of the political spectrum and special interest group opposition for different reasons the Farm Bill is beginning to see serious opposition. Just passed by the U.S. House and headed to the U.S. Senate it is a long way from approval.


Farm bill: Still millions for fat cats in Congress, cuts for the poor - latimes.com

This farm bill deserves a veto - The Washington Post

The Washington Post Editorial Board adovcates a veto by President Obama of the Farm Bill which it says correctly in my opinion, does a lot for rich farmers and agribusinesses while cutting S.N.A.P benefits for the poor. Farm bills span five years so this is an important decision. With the current makeup of Congress, the overdue bill has been through many versions already. With it's long reaching effects, the picking of winners, losers and consequences, I expect this editorial and its points to get a lot of attention.


This farm bill deserves a veto - The Washington Post

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

▶ LIVE ON AIR: Rep. Michael Grimm Drops F-Bomb Threatening Throwing Reporter off Balcony - YouTube

I would think that a Congressman would have the good sense to know that the camera and sound was still on. Many people have been arrested for such threats. I read that his is a swing district. This could likely be a career ending action.

▶ LIVE ON AIR: Rep. Michael Grimm Drops F-Bomb Threatening Throwing Reporter off Balcony - YouTube

U.S. House passes long-overdue farm bill - chicagotribune.com

Eric Beech reporting for Reuters and in an article from the Chicago Tribune describes some of the details of the Farm Bill passed by the U.S. House this morning. The overdue bill cuts food assistance  / S.N.A.P benefits but not nearly as much as the right wing 'pressure groups,' Heritage Action and Club for Growth wanted. The difference is eight billion instead of 40 billion over 10 years which these groups wanted. I don't consider those two groups conservative but on the right wing radical fringe. They were  pushing reductions in S.N.A.P. five times more than the bill which passed the U.S. House. Even some Republicans bucked the pressure groups which promised to score the vote. Big agribusinesses spent somewhere around $115 million on their side of the bill. Their pressure, direct subsidies to many of large agribusinesses are being somewhat replaced by other methods of payment and insurance programs. This will do away with some farmers getting subsidies to not grow crops. Big agribusiness and rich farmers however still come out well. The bill number is H.B. 2642

U.S. House passes long-overdue farm bill - chicagotribune.com

Joe Scarborough: Attacks On Wendy Davis Are 'Nonsense'

"Attacks on Wendy Davis are nonsense," Joe Scarborough

Joe Scarborough: Attacks On Wendy Davis Are 'Nonsense'

The Four Republican SOTU Responses Couldn't Agree On What To Say

As long as Republicans are divided into at least four different factions, with four different responses to President Obama's State of the Union speech, only agreeing on opposition to Obama, Democrats need to do something unusual and be the party which is united as much as possible.

The Four Republican SOTU Responses Couldn't Agree On What To Say

Defending her life story, Wendy Davis tells Greg Abbott he has... | www.mystatesman.com

"Defending her life story," Wendy Davis sends word to Greg Abbott, " He has picked a fight with the wrong Texas gal ."

Defending her life story, Wendy Davis tells Greg Abbott he has... | www.mystatesman.com

Where BGTX stands today

Charles Kuffner doesn't go through the whole Texas Tribune article from yesterday but puts his emphasis on the fact that that Democrats have come far enough that we need to go all out for 2014. The potential numbers are there. From the disengaged who aren't voting and independents who mostly do, could be convinced, many of them, to vote for Democratic state-wide candidates in the general election. Most Independent Texans, I know personally, don't want an extension of Perry's policies with four years of Greg Abbott being governor. Party identification in Texas is only determined by the ballot a person pulls when they go to vote in each different primary. For the people not familiar with Texas's open primary system, voting in the Democratic primary only prevents a person from voting in a Republican primary run off (there may be one in the Texas' Republican Lt. Governors race this year.) We have a large percentage of  independents in Texas who may vote in the Republican primary some years due to local candidates however vote for some Democrats and / or candidates from different parties in the general election.


Where BGTX stands today

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Davis' Daughters Fire Back at Critics of Their Mother | The Texas Tribune

Reading the daughters' letters is better than reading some of the (actually mean) comments below the story.

Davis' Daughters Fire Back at Critics of Their Mother | The Texas Tribune

Louie Gohmert: Raise taxes on poor people because they can pay with welfare | The Raw Story

In another of Louie Gohmert's rambling speeches, he, well, rambles about taxing poor people. This happens just after he makes a few other nonsensical remarks.


Louie Gohmert: Raise taxes on poor people because they can pay with welfare | The Raw Story

Grits for Breakfast: Texas among states where former red-light camera e...

Those red light cameras in some Texas towns and cities are alleged to have been put there due to bribes. Is this just a fabrication of a fired disgruntled executive or will it prove to be true? Grits for Breakfast has more on the story.


Grits for Breakfast: Texas among states where former red-light camera e...: Reported the Chicago Tribune last week , "A fired executive of Chicago's beleaguered red light camera company alleges in a lawsuit...

Despite Recent Hurdles, Battleground Founder Optimistic | The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune's Jay Root writes about the first year of Battleground Texas.

Despite Recent Hurdles, Battleground Founder Optimistic | The Texas Tribune

New Bipartisan Farm Bill Emerges From Long Debate In Congress : The Two-Way : NPR

"The Agricultural Act of 2014," will be likely voted on Wednesday January the 28th according to this N.P. R. story by Bill Chappell. Here are most of the details of the proposed law which will span five years.


New Bipartisan Farm Bill Emerges From Long Debate In Congress : The Two-Way : NPR

Monday, January 27, 2014

Washington: Federal and state marketplace enrollment nears 3 million | Washington Watch | McClatchy DC

The real challenge now for The Affordable Care Act is not the continuing attacks by Republicans but the lack of information about tax credits and subsidies by over 2/3s of the uninsured. Be sure, the people who have opposed Obama-care from the beginning are sure to take advantage of this using obfuscation. The core of the Republican strategy this year, even if it floats just below the surface, is to, "To deliberate make," (the details about the law), "More confusing in order in order to hide the facts." Definition of obfuscate from Wiktionary.



Washington: Federal and state marketplace enrollment nears 3 million | Washington Watch | McClatchy DC

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Huckabee: Gov't Shouldn't Help Women Who Can't Control Libidos

I am not going to advise Republicans about their comments. They, though pretty soon won't even have the women in their family voting for them if they go forward on the path of comments they have been making about women.


Huckabee: Gov't Shouldn't Help Women Who Can't Control Libidos

In Texas, School Finance Battle is a Perennial One | The Texas Tribune

After several days of power outages, a four inch snow Thursday and  a lot of water leaks and plumbing from the last freeze, hopefully I will get back to a more regular posting schedule. I still have some water lines to fix and one is at a business so I'm going to get a little posting done this morning and go to work as it gets a little warmer. Rick Perry's 2006 Tax plan was the most recent wrench thrown into public school funding. Funding and formulas and how to pay for public education, which by the way is an important part of Texas's Constitution will continue to be an important and big issue. This is the most recent update of this week's "School Finance Battle."

In Texas, School Finance Battle is a Perennial One | The Texas Tribune

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Why Does a Governor Want Expensive Status Symbols? | Ten Miles Square | The Washington Monthly

Why, "Isn't the title governor enough?"

Why Does a Governor Want Expensive Status Symbols? | Ten Miles Square | The Washington Monthly

2014: The Year the Pro-Choice Crowd Fights Back - Ilyse Hogue - POLITICO Magazine

2014: The Year the Pro-Choice Crowd Fights Back - Ilyse Hogue - POLITICO Magazine

Juanita Jean's | Texans Only

If you are voting in the Democratic primary this year and want to become more involved in Democratic politics, Juanita Jean's has a link for you to sign up for the county convention and maybe go to the Senate district convention.  There are plenty of opportunities to become involved without committing to be a candidate yourself. Texas has an open primary system

Juanita Jean's | Texans Only

Former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell indicted in gift scandal – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs

Apparently former Virginia governor Robert "Bob," McDonnell due to being cash strapped took money and gifts from a supporter who likely wanted political favors. McDonnell doesn't deny the gifts and claims 'loans' have been paid back. It is hard to predict exactly how the case will proceed. In many instances there are smaller penalties for the political class if they are convicted of a crime than regular people and it will be a while before the trial happens if there is one. For example, former prominent Republican politician Tom Delay was convicted in a money laundering scandal however had his conviction overturned in Texas. In McDonnell's case there is a digital trail of evidence and a conviction seems probable. If this case goes to trial it will be in federal court. Disclaimer: an indictment is just that and McDonnell is presumed to be innocent until or unless proven to be guilty in court.


Former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell indicted in gift scandal – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs

Rep. Gohmert drops health coverage, blames Obamacare | Dallas Morning News

Louie Gohmert has his numbers wrong on insurance costs and with his salary of $174,000.00 dollars a year $550.00 is about what he and his wife would pay, (this is for both of them, he and his wife, the way I read the article), for insurance. Going without insurance at 60 and 59 isn't very wise in my opinion especially if it is such a small percentage of a person's income. This is a political stunt that could backfire on him. He can take his chances if he wishes however I'll pay for insurance even though it is a higher percentage of my income. It makes me wonder if there is something we don't know about this story or if he really is that irresponsible.

Rep. Gohmert drops health coverage, blames Obamacare | Dallas Morning News

School finance retrial, Day One – Off the Kuff

The state's argument, which seems apparently to be Greg Abbott's as he could work on a settlement to the case instead of litigating it over and over. Is any partial restoration of education funds like, "Mana from Heaven?" This post is from: School finance retrial, Day One - Off the Kuff. Remember, Abbott is the current Attorney General.


School finance retrial, Day One – Off the Kuff

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

School Finance Trial Reopens, With a Political Backdrop | The Texas Tribune

Greg Abbott and his supporters would like to place the idea in Texas' voters minds that Wendy Davis is a one issue candidate and that her only filibuster was the one against Texas' restrictive abortion bill which closed the majority of abortion clinics in the state. Davis is an education advocate and also filibustered the $5.4 billion dollars in cuts to Texas public schools in 2011. Wouldn't it be nice if Republicans like Abbott and his allies actually were concerned about the children they are now basically forcing Texas women to have. More children means we need more support for public education, not less.

School Finance Trial Reopens, With a Political Backdrop | The Texas Tribune

Louie Gohmert: Judges who support same-sex marriage need ‘basic plumbing lessons’ | The Raw Story

Louie Gohmert, judges, and plumbing lessons.

Louie Gohmert: Judges who support same-sex marriage need ‘basic plumbing lessons’ | The Raw Story