Mark Twain

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

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Why the Border Crisis Is a Myth

The fervor of anti-immigration activists and (politicians who will take advantage of even the perception of such a crisis has crested into perception replacing reality. Yes, we have had an increase of children from Central American countries fleeing violence. Opportunistic politicians are harnessing anti-immigrant feelings of some of the public to manufacture this crisis from what is simply young refugees fleeing violence in their countries for their personal safety. Veronica Escobar writes in The New York Times, "Why the Border Crisis is a Myth." Maybe part of the problem comes from self described fiscal conservative politicians willing to spend millions and millions of dollars to reach their own personal political goals.



Why the Border Crisis Is a Myth

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Analysis: Senate Decks Shuffled a Little Early, by Ross Ramsey

The politics of the Texas Senate just became a little more interesting with early committee chairs selections by David Dewhurst.



Analysis: Senate Decks Shuffled a Little Early, by Ross Ramsey

Dems prep for voter ID

We, as a country, support democracy through out the world yet Republicans are trying to depress voter turnout and rejecting registered voters in Texas. Republicans trying to turn the tide of real Democratic competition are doing everything possible to shrink total voter turnout with possibly the most restrictive  picture voter I.D. in the nation. With a passport and a concealed handgun license being the only alternatives to an official Texas driver's license or an official Texas picture I.D., Texas Democrats are working to prepare voters for the 2014 election by educating voters now.  



Dems prep for voter ID

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Analysis: A Border Plan — and a Political One, by Ross Ramsey

Rick Perry is trying to prove he doesn't have a heart (which seems to be essential to be a successful Republican candidate for president.) The Texas National Guard call up will be an expensive boondoggle.  It is a waste of Texas tax dollars and serves no practical purpose other than potential political capital for Perry.



Analysis: A Border Plan — and a Political One, by Ross Ramsey

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Obama admin. says health subsidies will continue - The Sacramento Bee

The Associated Press , N.B.C. and other news sources are reporting that health subsidies will continue according to the Obama Administration. There have been and are still, several cases winding their way through the courts over subsidies to people who qualify for health care subsidies due to income qualifications. Whether the state has a state exchange or not is a major issue in these cases. The count so far on just this issue and similar cases, several for and only this one against. This ruling will be big news on one propaganda network and for many right wing talking heads however it doesn't affect subsidies or stop them. Theses cases are just one of many brought to attempt to weaken The Affordable Care Act. The immediate effect is there is no change.

Obama admin. says health subsidies will continue - The Sacramento Bee

Perry’s border surge – Off the Kuff

Yes, Rick Perry is likely planning to run for President again. If he was not planning to run why would he be announcing a twelve million dollar a month stunt that Texans will likely pay for? "Absent a federal activation,...Texans will pick up the estimated 12 million dollar a month tab."
Perry’s border surge – Off the Kuff

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Making Sense of a Migration Crisis

Erica Grieder, has an informative post concerning the current surge in border crossings.  "Making Sense of a Migration Crisis," is recommended reading.



Making Sense of a Migration Crisis

What else is at stake in the redistricting trial – Off the Kuff

Can Section 3 of The Voting Rights Act provide protections we once accepted as established law. After a 5 to 4 Supreme court decision that basically made a shell of the previously "muscular,"  Section 5, Republican controlled legislatures almost immediately started gerrymandering maps. Was it more than just to gain a slightly stronger political party advantage. Is there a "Smoking gun?" I personally believe they went too far but the courts will decide. Does Section 3 apply? We're likely headed back to The Supreme Court with this because it's, "More than just about the maps." Start with Charles Kuffner's post and follow the links.



What else is at stake in the redistricting trial – Off the Kuff

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Michael Morton's Life in Prison, In His Own Words

Pamela Colloff, writing for Texas Monthly and with permission from the publisher, Simon & Schuster, Inc. to use a few of her favorite quotes from Michael Morton's book, Getting Life, provides just enough excerpts to make me want to buy and read the book. Michael Morton spent 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.There is more about the Michael Morton case in the labels. Updated  & corrected Monday, July 14 2014.

Michael Morton's Life in Prison, In His Own Words

Here’s What Rick Perry Looked Like While Touring the Border on a ‘Badass’ Boat

Here's Rick Perry's  own photo opt  which was taken on a tour of the Texas border. The high performance craft is equipped with machine guns, high tech equipment, and accompanied by a helicopter.

Here’s What Rick Perry Looked Like While Touring the Border on a ‘Badass’ Boat

Climate Scientists: Texas is Missing an Opportunity, by Neena Satija

We have a choice in Texas. There are opportunities in making the correct choice to be a leader in developing ways to slow emissions (656 metric tons of CO2) makes Texas number one by 310 metric tons, almost doubling California. We can be a leader in the ways to reduce greenhouse gases or:
1. We can continue to contribute to the rise in sea level, (We are losing 15 to 25 inches of coastal land per year from Sabine Pass to Port Isabel
2. Continuing losing agricultural land due to increasing heat and drought. Texas saw a decrease of 600,000 head of breeding stock cattle directly due to just the 2011 drought.
3. Continue to deplete water supplies for homes and businesses.
4. Begin to lose businesses and see crop production move North because of lack of water.
5. Lastly and this list could be much longer, I want to live in a healthy environment and leave one for future generations.


Climate Scientists: Texas is Missing an Opportunity, by Neena Satija

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fear Is Driving Young Men Across the U.S. Border

The tide is beginning to slow a little however the conditions in Central America are still driving people toward the U.S. border. Honduras, Guatemala El Salvador can not protect their young people so mothers are sending their 15  /16/ and 17 year old sons on a dangerous journey toward the U. S. and praying for a better life for them. Julie Turkewitz writing for The Atlantic has an excellent background story for this Central American humanitarian crisis which is Driving Young Men Across the U.S. Border

High-Speed Texas Toll Road Considered in Default by Moody’s | Transport Topics Online

A toll road update from "Transportation Topics Online." SH 130 runs from Austin to Sequin with an 85 M.P.H speed limit. The highest speed limit in the nation wasn't enough to move traffic to there and most Texans I know oppose toll roads. It's just not part of our heritage. I boycott toll lanes and roads whenever possible. 


High-Speed Texas Toll Road Considered in Default by Moody’s | Transport Topics Online

Anticipating a Showdown, Ukraine City Empties Out

With so much happening in the world this week and the last few months, many people don't know much about the current events in Ukraine. Below, is one of a few news stories that is getting attention in the U.S. To summarize: The roads have been, for several days, filled. For people with the resources: cars, motorcycles and all manner of transportation headed out of town. Others walked, carrying bags.  Bags carrying food, papers, pictures, money, if they had any, along with their memories of  Donetsk.  Donetsk is entering the center of the storm of Ukraine's conflict. As of Friday the train station was still crowded. If a ticket couldn't be obtained to  the destination of choice a ticket away in direction seemed safer than staying.

Anticipating a Showdown, Ukraine City Empties Out

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Yet another day in Republican scumbaggery

The border crisis is a goldmine for Republicans. They can complain that it's Obama's fault and then refuse to approve funding the President is requesting. They can score easy political points. Even Rick Perry is going for some today. As Kevin writes and I'm paraphrasing here: 'It fires up their base. It's great for fundraising and Obama gets the blame so where's the incentive to actually address the problem?'[



Yet another day in Republican scumbaggery

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 7.8.14






Here's Tuesday's late Mini-Report from Steve Benen with most of the big stories you will hear, see, or read about today. A deadly strain of smallpox was found at the C.D.C. just sitting in a storeroom. It is good news that it didn't get out of there (not good at all that it could have). There's still time, yes, a little but it is running short to do anything about climate change. We can't keep using the excuse that the Chinese are using dirty coal and have terrible air. They are beginning to realize that they need to have cleaner air as their's is getting so bad it's beginning to affect their lives and health.
Teachers are fed up with Arne, (high stakes testing isn't working), and other issues. It's time to go, resign Duncan. He and the current group of, "So called education reformers," are headed in the wrong direction. Their ideas are just bad. Privatization, and charters aren't helping poor kids and they are draining money from public education. This is bad for students, educators and education in general. In good news, Al Franken is pushing hard for net neutrality. Thanks Al. President Obama and Rick Perry will talk. Perry is looking for political points from anywhere. Today it's immigration. How he graduated from A.& M is still a mystery to me? Lastly, even though Republicans want offsets for everything else they want to continue spending money on and investigating Benghazi whatever the cost.

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 7.8.14

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Grits for Breakfast: Texas' paltry mental health infrastructure strains justice system

Instead of linking to individual  articles, Grits for Breakfast has a roundup of recent articles and stories from various sources concerning: "Texas' paltry mental health infrastructure strains justice system." Check some of them out.





Grits for Breakfast: Texas' paltry mental health infrastructure strains justice system

My Texas Democratic Convention Keynote Speech - Leticia Van de Putte

Leticia Van de Putte is likely Texas's most exciting candidate for state-wide office. She, for Republicans who vote for the most qualified candidate, will most likely increase vote splitting across the state. If you don't have the time to listen / view her entire speech now, bookmark it directly or comeback here before the election to link to it.





My Texas Democratic Convention Keynote Speech - Leticia Van de Putte

The Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc

The Greg Abbott connection, contributions from, support from Koch Industries along with the lack of a state-wide fire code: requiring zoning, disclosure, precautions, especially safety, when fertilizer components such as ammonium nitrate are involved, is explored in this segment of, "The Rachel Maddow Show." Are large contributions by Koch interests and hazard chemical lists no longer being available in Texas connected? Is it just a consequence? According to Wayne Slater of The Dallas Morning News the issues in this story have the potential to bring the storage of hazardous chemicals (including, but not limited to ammonium nitrate,) to the forefront of the Wendy Davis  vs. Greg Abbott campaign for governor. (Wayne Slater's comments are paraphrased.) Watch the segment for  exact quotes and more details of the story.



The Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc

Monday, July 7, 2014

We really need to do better on vaccinations

Those vaccinations whose successes have prevented and almost wiped some diseases from our collective memories are being ignored by too many people. The result could be the return of some of those preventable diseases. Off the Kuff writes about the completely safe vaccinations that are being ignored by too many people.

We really need to do better on vaccinations

Manufacturing Giant's Water Woes a Sign of What's to Come, by Neena Satija

Multiple years of drought in the last decade combined with Texas's lack of long term water planning is having its toll. The increasing demand for water is now pitting industries such as Dow Chemical against farmers, cities, other industries including power plants, and water authorities. The Brazos River is unable to meet future demands and pumping of ground water is likely the cause of subsidence or ground sinking in this costal part of Texas where demand is increasingly growing and supply may not be able to meet future needs.

Manufacturing Giant's Water Woes a Sign of What's to Come, by Neena Satija

Sunday, July 6, 2014

jobsanger: Stop The Republican Effort To Damage Social Security

I'm currently a retired Texas teacher /educator. Most of my retirement income is from T.R.S. (Teacher Retirement System of Texas. I support Social Security though and am proud that it is there for most of our Seniors. As Ted explains, we need to, "Stop The Republican Effort To Damage Social Security."

jobsanger: Stop The Republican Effort To Damage Social Security

In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are

An average conversation by phone, baby pictures, casual E-mails between friends, even harmless, innocent, (boring ) communications can end up in  the data which is intercepted and saved by NSA. (Story by Barton Gellmon, Julie Tate & Ashkan Soltani, July 5th, The Washington Post. ("In NSA-intersepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are.")

In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are

Editorial: Abbott steps in it on chemicals issue

Gregg Abbott has among his contributors Koch connected interests, (the famous / infamous) deregulation promoting  billionaire and millionaire family. Gregg Abbott appears to be on the side of the chemical industry and not on the side of average citizens and Texans. How do you feel about possibly being exposed to, have your or your children's health affected,  (possibly get cancers or die from long term exposure to chemicals), or be killed by those very chemicals on lists which Gregg Abbott has ruled don't have to be released? "Gregg Abbott steps in it on chemicals issue," is the understatement of the year so far in Texas politics.



Editorial: Abbott steps in it on chemicals issue