What’s the Matter with Texas?

  
By any conventional analysis, Texas should be ground zero for the 2016 presidential election, the most important swing state in the Union. Instead, we’re not even a footnote, a best a political ATM for raising funds. Why? A good long read from The Texas Observer tells you: overwhelming voter apathy, especially among Hispanics, due in no small part to Democratic political ineptitude.

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Published in: on September 27, 2015 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Good News, Everyone!

  
Texas’ efforts to further brutalize sick children is (at least temporarily) blocked.

Published in: on September 23, 2015 at 7:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Close But No Cigar

Now that Rob Orr has decided not to throw his empty hat in the ring again, it’d almost be worth it to run again (knowing Jesus Christ Himself couldn’t get elected in this county as a Democrat) just for the chance to say what I really think. On the other hand, tar can cause severe skin irritation and feathers itch…

Published in: on September 14, 2013 at 6:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gone To Texas

Good article on the state of partisan play in Texas. I agree with the notion of Tarrant County as a key bellwether of any purple trend statewide, a county where Democrats were making inroads until the 2010 debacle. Wendy Davis’ campaign for reelection to the state senate will be a strong indicator of whether 2010 was a fluke or a reassertion of Right Wing dominance. Another major problem, referenced in the article, is the degraded state of the Texas Democratic Party, an organization that has never really been that strong and is now practically nonexistent. Hopefully, the TDP has abandoned their fantasy of wooing back white “Reagan Democrats” (so named because they haven’t voted for a Democrat since Reagan) and will instead devote their meager resources to registering and turning out Hispanic voters. Until that happens, Texas Democrats will remain a third party (after the Tea Party and the mainstream country club establishment Republicans).

Published in: on September 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rick Perry: Still A Piece of Shit (but with good hair)

It does not surprise me in the slightest that Perry has decided to further brutalize 1.2 million working poor Texans by “proudly” refusing expanded Medicare funds.  In fact, the only thing that surprises me is that he didn’t beat Bobby Jindal to the punch.  Still, it does add to an already fascinating speculation on just what, exactly, Perry has in place of a human soul:  bullshit?  Aqua Velva?  His secret collection of back-issue GQ?  The mind reels.

“I give THIS much of a shit about you working class peasant mo-fo’s”

The Numbers

There are nearly 22 million eligible Hispanic voters in America.  If Hispanics in Texas registered and turned out at the national average, to say nothing of, say, the California rate, Bill White would now be governor.  The fact that this is NOT happening represents a complete and utter failure on the part of the Texas Democratic Party.  Inexcusable.

Published in: on January 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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Column for 23 July 2011

FIXING THE SYSTEM

 

“Keep far from a false charge and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked.”

–Exodus 23:7

 

The criminal justice system in Texas is broken.  Badly.  We lead the nation (and indeed the industrialized world) in executions and exonerations of the wrongfully convicted.  Disturbingly, some of these exonerations involve clear cases of misconduct by prosecutors and/or the police, misconduct that is for all intents and purposes never punished.  We currently have well over 2,000 discrete felony offenses on the books, eleven of which involve oysters and the most recent of which makes cheating in fishing tournaments a felony.  Texas has one peace officer for every 300 men, women and children, a level one would more likely associate with East Germany before the Berlin Wall fell than in a democracy.  Our prison-industrial complex is the largest in the world, and only likely to grow as private prison corporations seek to influence legislators into passing draconian Arizona-style police-state legislation so that they can make even more money off taxpayers by housing an expected tide of illegal aliens.  Our incarceration rate is second in the nation (behind Louisiana, so thank God for that).  The Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest court for criminal cases, has become a national joke for its’ ludicrously pro-prosecution bias, culminating in Presiding Judge Sharon Keller literally locking the courthouse doors to prevent defense counsel from filing an appeal in a death penalty case.  The conviction rate in criminal jury trials has held steady at around 84% over the last ten years (aided at least in part by a public that is woefully uninformed or misinformed about the law in general and criminal trials in particular), yet we are still eighth in the nation in per capita crime rate, some 25% higher than the national average.  Our institutional devotion to criminalization, prosecution and incarceration doesn’t seem to have accomplished much in terms of keeping the average Texan safe.  Part of the problem lies in the creaky, bloated, outdated Texas constitution: we have a highly politicized criminal justice system and pick our trial judges in just (more…)

Published in: on July 22, 2011 at 9:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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Thanks for All the Votes, Suckers!

Is it humanly possible for Rick Perry to come across as more of a smug prick?  He knows that he can now say or do damn near anything–destroy education in this state, raise taxes while accepting a public tongue-bath from Grover Norquist, bite the heads off kittens on live television–because the majority of voters in Texas have clearly signaled they don’t give a rat’s ass about anything other than preventing illegal aliens from getting gay married under Sharia law and then having abortions.  So thanks, Texas voters!  Great job!

Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 10:44 am  Comments (1)  
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Column for 27 February, 2011

THE MAN IN THE MIRROR

 

“Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin.  But you have neglected the important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.  You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.  You blind guides!  You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”

–Matthew 23:23-24

 

Fear is sweeping through local governments, particularly school districts, throughout Texas.  Not the normal sort of fear understandably caused every two years when the great clown car of State disgorges the idiocrats who mismanage the government; no, this is worse.  Texas is $27 billion in the hole, a deficit comparable to that of California’s, a state with 12 million more people.  Put another way, there’s nearly $1,100 of debt for every man, woman and child in Texas, but less than $750 of debt for every Californian.  Yet Texas already ranks dead last among the fifty states in per capita spending.  Accordingly, with their normal level of rank political cowardice, our alleged leaders are, as usual, looking to fob off as much of the pain of balancing the budget as possible onto the backs of local government.  Thus, the Cleburne School Board faces the very real prospect of closing one or more schools to make up the expected shortfall of money from Austin.  But don’t blame the school board.  How did Texas get (more…)

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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We’re Screwed

Texas is TWENTY-SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS in the hole and the Official State Clown Car just pulled up to the Capitol to disgorge 101 Republicans, each one more ass-scratchin’ pig dumber than the last.  Meanwhile, our governor is the only person imaginable who makes George W. Bush look like an intellectual giant.  Plus, Bob Bullock (prime minister to Dubya as Queen of England) is dead.  By the end of the session, I expect the Legislature will collapse into anarchy and cannibalism and the entire state to be annexed by Venezuela.  Or sold to Halliburton.

Published in: on January 10, 2011 at 11:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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