07.27.15

TPA Blog Round Up (July 27, 2015)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 9:46 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance is always on the side of equality as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff decries the Supreme Court ruling that will force a vote on whether or not to repeal Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance.

Harold Cook explains why the Republicans won’t nominate Donald Trump, but won’t be able to escape him, either.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos and contributing to Daily Kos never ceases to be amazed by Rick Perry’s serial hypocrisy. Have YOU No Decency, Rick Perry?

Socratic Gadfly talks about the Dunning-Kruger effect and why many people think their local race relations are much better than national race relations.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes that many people in South Texas do not have clean drinking water. This should be a scandal, but, as Donald Trump has amply explained, Texas Latinos are nothing but piñatas to republicans.

Ben Hall and Steven Hotze, Ben Hall and Dave Wilson… a lot of prayers got answered for the Houston bigots and homophobes when the Texas Supreme Court ordered the City of Houston to either repeal its equal rights ordinance or put it on the November ballot. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs knows that we don’t need another HERO referendum, but we’re going to get one anyway.

With football season fast approaching in Texas, Neil at All People Have Value posted about the NFL’s refusal to allow Junior Seau’s family to speak at his Hall of Fame induction as Seau’s family sues the NFL over his terrible head injuries. Football is unsafe to play at any level. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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

The Texas Election Law Blog tries to clear up some confusion about resignations and vacancies.

Ex-pat Texan Elise Hu-Stiles documents what it’s like to live and have children in Seoul, South Korea.

The TSTA Blog wishes our state leadership cared as much about schools as teachers, parents, and charities do.

Scott Vogel, editor of Houstonia, has some choice words for a couple of readers who objected to an ad showing a multi-racial family.

Tamara Tabo examines the problems of jail surveillance cameras.

Paradise in Hell knows that Texas is great in spite of Rick Perry, not because of him.

Eric Berger geeks out over the pictures from Pluto.

Grits for Breakfast tries to distill some lessons from the Sandra Bland tragedy.

07.20.15

TPA Blog Round Up (July 20, 2015)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 8:14 am by wcnews

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The Texas Progressive Alliance asks #WhatHappenedToSandraBland as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff looks at the lawsuit filed against the state for refusing to issue birth certificates to children of undocumented immigrant mothers.

Lightseeker at Texas Kaos makes a compelling argument as to why the Democratic Party needs to sharpen its message in a way in which it resonates with and motivates the majority of D voters. Why we need a better Democratic story and how Sanders’ candidacy underscores this point.

Socratic Gadfly says that if Obama is going to visit a federal prison and talk about commuting sentences, he ought to throw the long bomb by going to Florida and freeing Leonard Peltier.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants you to know Greg Abbott screwed up child support payment upgrade. Republicans don’t really care about kids. You can tell by action after action.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. The rotting fruit of one-party rule in Williamson County, County GOP Elected Officials Using Courts For Petty Political Battles.

The disruption at Netroots Nation’s presidential town hall forum by activists associated with Black Lives Matter was a clash between the politics of the old-school Social Democrats and that of the New Democrats’ identity politics. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs thinks there will a coming-together of the two movements or a cleaving of the Democratic Party as the dynamic unfolds.

Neil at All People Have Value discussed Obama’s role in taking away our freedoms through the New Horizons mission to Pluto. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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

The Texas Election Law Blog celebrates its second anniversary, and reviews the case that led to its beginning.

Ken Janda asks how can Texas continue to ask for billions of dollars in uncompensated care payments to hospitals for uninsured patients coming to emergency rooms, when more than one million of those people could be put into Medicaid Managed Care?

The TSTA Blog warns of “dangerous anti-educator” Scott Walker.

Texas Vox cheers the forthcoming end of coal.

Grits for Breakfast is pleased to see that funding has been allotted for research into the underlying scientific bases for the forensic tools and methods currently used in the criminal justice system.

David Ortez gives a graphical representation of the Houston Mayoral fundraising race.

Rachel Pearson explains why that video hit job on Planned Parenthood is “pure applesauce”.

Texas Clean Air Matters documents the trend towards clean, affordable power.

07.13.15

TPA Blog Round Up (July 13, 2015)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 7:35 am by wcnews

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The Texas Progressive Alliance does not put peas in guacamole as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff notes the first appearance of lawyers bound and determined to help a few recalcitrant County Clerks deny marriage licenses to same sex couples in Texas.

Horwitz at Texpatriate says farewell as he enters the next chapter of his life.

Lightseeker at Texas Kaos exposes Rick Perry and Greg Abbott’s myth that tort reform ensures more public access to affordable healthcare. In GOP Texas tort reform means insurance companies and corporations are the winners while real people pay the price. Abbott and Perry: Tort Reform as a Trojan Horse.

SocraticGadfly discusses the decline and fall of Walmart, especially in small towns and rural areas.

Should Sen. Bernie Sanders ultimately be eliminated from contention for the Democratic nomination, what’s the best choice for progressives moving forward, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs asks.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants everyone to know that Jeb Bush’s son is following the GOP anti-environment playbook in ploy to kill songbirds. The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.

Neil at All People Have Value posted a number of interesting pictures from his trip this past week to beautiful Cincinnati, Ohio. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

2012 saw the Republican Party lose the Presidency once again, mostly because of their complete refusal to learn from their mistakes, and evolve. As we inch ever closer to 2016, Texas Leftist is left to wonder if the GOP learned anything from the last cycle. Given the dominance of Media Harlot Donald Trump, the answer is a likely “no”.

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

Mike Tolson hears the echoes of Loving v. Virginia in the arguments made by same-sex marriage opponents.

Paradise in Hell counts down the last days of freedom in Bastrop until the inevitable Obama/UN takeover of Texas.

Charlotte Coyle confesses her reluctant patriotism.

Texas Clean Air Matters envisions Houston as a leader in zero-emission cargo transport technologies.

Better Texas Blog celebrates beautiful, messy democracy.

Grits for Breakfast analyzes Rick Perry’s speech on race relations and criminal justice reform in the context of his time as Governor.

07.06.15

TPA Blog Round Up (July 6, 2015)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 9:25 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance congratulates the USWNT on its awesome FIFA Women’s World Cup win as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff reports that thousands more Texas state employees are now eligible for spousal benefits thanks to the SCOTUS ruling on same sex marriage.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos and contributing to Daily Kos observes that it should be obvious the state’s government has become a gathering place for crooks, crony capitalists, religious fanatics, homophobes, racists and misogynists. Texas Governor Cruel.

SocraticGadfly takes a look at American exceptionalism, and the subject of counterfactual history, to produce some musings about the Fourth of July and American independence.

There are two things that will probably keep Sen. Bernie Sanders from acquiring the Democratic nomination for the US presidency, writes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs in the first of two posts on the topic. Clue: one of them isn’t money, and the other isn’t the questionable intelligence of the average American voter.

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

The Lunch Tray updates us on her “pink slime” legal case and her use of Texas’ shield law.

Eric Berger explains why some rocket launches fail.

Elizabeth Rose has no trouble reconciling her Christian faith with same sex marriage.

Cody Pogue finds no good reason to oppose same sex marriage.

Two Houston Tomorrow interns share their bus-riding experiences.

06.29.15

TPA Blog Round Up (June 29, 2015)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 9:28 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance is still celebrating love’s victory as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff discusses the next steps for equality advocates.

Lightseeker at Texas Kaos shares personal stories about the heartbreaking impact of overt racism. And though he has come to hate prejudice and racism with a white hot passion, Lightseeker said the time has finally arrived for sharing the truth, change and healing. Time for Truth, Change and Healing is NOW.

Lost in the earth-shaking Supreme Court developments last week was a report from a former Harris County deputy sheriff that Adrian Garcia did not tell the truth when he said he did not know about the mentally ill jail inmate in a littered, feces-filled cell over a year ago. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs says it’s a headache for the Houston mayoral contender, but shouldn’t damage his prospects… unless things take a turn for the worse.

Socratic Gadfly notes that new polling from Yale shows that people concerned about global warming are NOT a minority, even in a red state like Texas, even to the point of supporting a carbon tax, and suggests there are political activism and outreach lessons to be learned.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. No surprise in SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare, ACA, aka, Obamacare Subsidies Upheld By SCOTUS.

Neil at All People Have Value said that the 14th Amendment–cited this week by the Supreme Court to allow gay marriage–is the product of blood and sacrifice. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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

Scott Braddock adds up the success rate for getting bills passed for legislators who opposed Speaker Joe Straus.

Texas Watch responds to Rick Perry’s claims about his record on health care.

BEYONDBones explains why we should eat bugs. No, really.

Juanita Jean updates us on the activities of one of Dan Patricks’s citizen advisors.

The Lunch Tray says we all have a Sid Miller problem now.

The Texas Election Law Blog highlights a respected federal judge’s change of heart on voter ID.

Better Texas Blog evaluates the legislative session.

Paradise in Hell bids an un-fond farewell to the ideals of the Confederacy.

Lone Star Ma addresses some of the crazy objections that have been made to the SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision.

06.22.15

TPA Blog Round Up (June 22, 2015)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary, Uncategorized at 3:28 pm by wcnews

The thoughts and prayers of the Texas Progressive Alliance are with the families and friends of the victims of the horrible shooting in Charleston as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff looks at the latest developments in the ongoing investigation against AG Ken Paxton.

Letters from Texas advises Capitol staffers how to respond to the Texas Monthly Best and Worst Legislators list.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos and contributing to Daily Kos spanks the GOP for its craven use of dog whistles and thinly veiled racism. Come and Take the Truth About Playing the Race Card, GOP.

Will the outcome of Houston’s mayoral race be similar to San Antonio’s — abysmal turnout, two Democrats in a runoff, one going after Republican votes in order to win? PDiddie at Brains and Eggs would prefer almost any other scenario besides that one.

Moving towards offering an accessible and comprehensive way to view all of life, Neil at All People Have Value added a page of pictures he has taken out in everyday life to his website. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

Socratic Gadfly says that, although the symbolism of the Confederate flag is offensive, the First Amendment protects offensiveness, and the Supreme Court got it wrong in ruling Texas can ban Sons of Confederate Veterans vanity plates.

With municipal elections looming large in the background, Texas Leftist tried to keep up with intense political theater that was this year’s Houston City Budget”… the last ever of the Annise Parker Mayoralty.

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

The TSTA Blog has plenty of reasons to fear a Scott Walker presidency.

Better Texas Blog measures the impact in Texas of an adverse SCOTUS decision in King v. Burwell.

Juanita Jean marvels at the story about Texas’ own Fort Knox.

Texas Vox calls on the CFPB to end forced arbitration.

The Lunch Tray bemoans Ag Commissioner Sid Miller’s decision to lift a decade-old ban on deep fat fryers in schools, ironically done as part of an initiative to fight childhood obesity.

And finally, the TPA congratulates Scott Henson of Grits for Breakfast on his new gig as Executive Director of the Innocence Project of Texas.

06.15.15

TPA Blog Round Up (June 15, 2015)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 8:24 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance is binged out on the Women’s World Cup as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff tries to predict how County Clerks and AG Ken Paxton will react to a SCOTUS ruling in favor of marriage equality.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos and contributing to Daily Kos spanks the Texas Republican Party for its ideological and spiteful decisions that cheat Texas taxpayers, robbing them of paid for services. Wake up voters. TX GOP: Spite Cheats Texas Taxpayers.

A few people predicted Leticia Van de Putte’s close loss in the San Antonio mayor’s race, and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs found them.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants you to know a labor bashing provision was in the Latino bashing border security bill. 50 hours a week is the new norm.

Socratic Gadfly thinks we need to drop a bomb on our entire current health care system, going beyond “single payer” to a full-blown British-type National Health System.

Nonsequiteuse is frustrated by journalists who can’t or won’t shut down wingnuts when they go into the Gish Gallop.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. Good news out of Williamson County regarding renewable energy, Georgetown Will Be Powered 100 Percent By Renewable Energy Within The Next Couple Years.

Neil at All People Have Value took a picture of the mailbox he used to send a $50 donation to the Bernie Sanders campaign. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

Texas Leftist wants you to know about the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth, and where you can go across Texas to celebrate.

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

Scott Braddock looks back at how the Senate operated in a non-two-thirds-rule world.

Juanita is keeping an eye on Tom DeLay as the SCOTUS same sex marriage ruling draws near.

Greg Wythe reviews the list of departing (or possibly departing) legislators so far.

Scott Metzger offers his thoughts on a recent kerfuffle between some high-end restaurants and the Silver Eagle beer distributor that has many Texas microbreweries caught in the middle.

Carmen Cruz and Annetta Ramsey argue that marriage equality matters to both gay and straight people.

BEYONDBones celebrates World Ocean Day while spreading the word about the problem of plastic pollution.

The Texas Election Law Blog critiques Rick Hasen’s criticism of the Hillary Clinton campaign’s push for voting rights reform.

Jay Crossley calls for an end to road-only bonds.

06.08.15

TPA Blog Round Up (June 8, 2015)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 9:34 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance is happy there’s no hint of any special sessions to come as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff notes that while Travis County is ready for the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage, there’s likely to be no small amount of chaos in the state once they do.

Letters from Texas explains how a recent ruling in a North Carolina redistricting case may bode well for Texas’ plaintiffs.

LightSeeker at Texas Kaos calls “ethics reform” in Texas for what it is. Government is for, by and of the highest bidder. Texas leads the pack. Texas Ethical Reform – DOA.

SocraticGadfly, reading about a new study that claims classical psychological conditioning during sleep can reduce racist tendencies, has two thoughts: it’s either too good to be true, or, if it has real and lasting change, it’s probably got an element of Clockwork Orange.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is glad McAllen ISD and others are taking care to feed children during the summer.

Do you think Greg Abbott’s first legislative session as governor was a success or a failure? PDiddie at Brains and Eggs wants to know.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson, the threat was enough for the clandestine video scheme that may have changed the game on the budget and taxes in 84th Texas Legislature, Timing Is Everything.

Neil at All People Have Value offered a framework about how to live our lives. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

Nonsequiteuse missed the Houston Mayoral Candidates Arts and Culture Forum, but it got her thinking about getting arts organizations out of their silos and engaged as advocates for progressive change.

On her long road seeking the Presidency, one of Hillary Clinton’s greatest challenges will be to re-create the infamous Coalition of 2008. This week at Houston’s Texas Southern University, she worked hard to mend some fences, and shared some important views on Voting Rights.

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

Texas Watch celebrated its victories from the legislative session.

Grits can’t wait to see if the state’s new junk science writ will be interpreted broadly or not.

The Texas Election Law Blog asks if our government is supposed to represent everyone, or just everyone who is allowed to vote.

The Texas Living Waters Project warns of a new environmental danger to the Brazos River.

Molly Cox bemoans low voter turnout in San Antonio.

Keep Austin Wonky explains how percentage-based homestead exemptions help fuel inequality.

Paradise in Hell is not impressed by Rick Perry 2016.

Texans for Public Justice and Public Citizen call Greg Abbott “just plain wrong” on the matter of dark money and disclosure.

Texas Vox managed to find a few small rays of hope from the legislative session.

Equality Texas produced its report card for the 84th Legislature.

06.04.15

Wrapping Up The 84th Legislature

Posted in 84th Legislature, Around The State, Commentary at 9:13 am by wcnews

Sine-Die1-370x240

Here’s the take from a business columnist on the 84th Legislature, Thanks to Legislature, business needs go begging.

On Transportation:
Will these efforts generate the $3.3 billion a year needed for Texas roads? No. Shipping and commuting costs will keep rising for every Texan because of poor roads, but hey, at least lawmakers can claim they didn’t raise taxes.

On Education:
Lawmakers also stiffed public schools. Per-student state spending, adjusted for inflation, peaked in 2008. In 2011, legislators cut spending for the first time since World War II. Lawmakers said the financial crisis made the cut necessary, but this year when the coffers were full, the Legislature still refused to adjust per-student spending for inflation and are allowing it to slip again.

Rather than spend the additional $5 billion needed to restore per-student spending to 2008 levels, lawmakers cut property and business taxes by $4.4 billion.

On Health Care:
The smartest way for lawmakers to reduce property taxes would have been to expand Medicaid, the health program for the poor and disabled.

On Taxes:
The big lie is what supporters call a property tax cut. The state did not cut the tax, it merely increased the homestead exemption. Homeowners will not see lower tax bills. Instead, property appreciation and rate increases mean property tax bills will still go up, they just won’t go up as quickly.

Final Analysis:
This is not an issue of Republicans versus Democrats. Texas politicians are divided between those who push an agenda of selfishness and those who promote the common good. Voters disappointed with the Legislature’s performance need to remember what happened this session in November 2016, because lawmakers are betting your frustration will fade.

He’s making the case that what is good for the people of Texas is good for Texas business.  Certainly there’s more common ground to be found with Democrats in Texas on these issues then there is with the tea party.  Not sure what it’s going to take for the business community in Texas to figure that out?

There wasn’t much of anything worthwhile done for the working and middle class Texans.  Wages will stay at their current level.  The high cost of college tuition will stay high.  There will be no improvement of public education.  Those in need of health care, and the hospitals struggling to treat them, are still without help.

Ethics laws were made worse, not better, The brutal death of ethics reform in Texas.

This session was supposed to be a big one for ethics. Abbott even declared it an emergency. What happened? Unlike in 1991, lawmakers didn’t rise to the challenge. Instead, they used the guise of the “ethics session” to protect themselves from public scrutiny and accountability.

We can’t expect the politicians that are elected because of the current system, to reform that system.

But the biggest and cruelest issue, by far, is the GOP’s inability to expand Medicaid, Don’t mess with Medicaid expansion? A lesson from Texas.

Texas is a huge state. It’s also leaving a huge amount of federal money on the table—and not insuring more than 1 million people—because of its opposition to Obamacare.

The decision by Texas to reject expansion of Medicaid, the government health-coverage program for the poor, will prevent the state from receiving an estimated $100 billion in federal cash over a decade, at the same time its hospitals are eating $5.5 billion in annual costs for treating uninsured people, a new National Public Radio report details.

Those uncompensated costs in turn are being covered by taxes and insurance premiums paid by the state’s businesses and residents, who are also footing the bill for expanding Medicaid in 29 states and the District of Columbia that agreed to accept federal funds to offer coverage to nearly all poor adults. The Medicaid expansion states, as a rule, have seen a marked decline in their uninsured rates and the amount of costs their hospitals incur in caring for people without insurance.

This is the government we get when 25% of the voting age population shows up to vote.  Unresponsive to the needs of the vast majority of Texans, and more than willing to take care of the needs of their campaign contributors.

Further Reading:
Lawmakers leaving Austin with little progress to show.
This Lege dramatically disappoints.
Texas Is All for Free Enterprise – Until the Lawmakers Show Up.

06.01.15

TPA Blog Round Up (June 1, 2015)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 7:51 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes everyone is dry and safe as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff reviewed how several bad bills met their end in the waning days of the legislative session.

Letters from Texas worries about the possible effect of the Supreme Court taking up the latest Texas redistricting case.

Lightseeker at Texas Kaos shines a bright light on the woeful lack of responsible, adult leadership among some in the Texas Legislature. Texas Legislators Who Put the Child in Childish.

Socratic Gadfly, with a hat tip to a fellow TPA blogger and his favorite name for a certain Southern senator, killed the birds of both Rick Santorum and another possible GOP candidate.

Hillary Clinton visits Houston on Thursday to collect an award and raise funds, notes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is appalled at the level of racism and xenophobia exhibited by Texas Republicans who deny birth certificates to Texans born to not properly documented mothers.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. There are many Texans that need a government that works for them and not just for business, corporations and wealthy campaign donors. A Windfall For Business, Scraps For The Rest Of Us.

Neil at All People Have Value said that floods in Houston forced people to yield some habitat to Houston wildlife if only for a brief time. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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

The Queso documents flood effects in Wimberley and rounds up a bunch of flood-related resources for those who need them.

Eric Berger tries to explain where all that rain came from.

Texas Vox celebrates an expansion of homeowners’ solar rights.

Ashton Garcia advocates for gender-neutral bathrooms.

The Current introduces us to “Mansplainer: The Statue”.

RG Ratcliffe reminds us that the Lege is hoarding $18 billion of our money.

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