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Posts under ‘Show Business for Ugly People’

SBOE adopts history textbook changes it hasn’t read

Awesome. After adopting hundreds of pages in last minute updates and corrections, the Texas State Board of Education approved new social studies textbooks Friday. All but the five Democrats on the 15-member board voted to accept products from all publishers except Worldview Software, which they rejected because of concerns over factual accuracy. “When I think […]

It’s OK if energy costs go up for now

That’s my reaction to this. As Texas regulators weigh a response to President Obama’s proposal to combat climate change, the operator of the state’s main electric grid says the plan would raise energy costs and threaten reliability – particularly in the next few years. In an analysis released Monday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) […]

SBOE defers new textbook decision

They’re funny even when they’re not trying to be. After an afternoon spent wrangling over the proper definition of jihad and the influence of Moses on the Founding Fathers, it was Common Core that ultimately derailed the State Board of Education’s initial vote on giving a stamp of approval to new social studies textbooks Tuesday. […]

It’s textbook approval time again

You know what that means, because we can’t do this sort of thing without controversy and a generous side order of knuckleheadedness. Bowing to public pressure, the world’s largest textbook publisher has revised misleading language on global warming in a proposed Texas reader. But another major imprint has yet to do the same, worrying scientists […]

Even Rick Perry appointees back Medicaid expansion

It’s just the right thing to do. A board of medical professionals appointed by Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that the state should provide health coverage to low-income Texans under the Affordable Care Act — a move the Republican-led Legislature has opposed. The 15-member Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency recommended that the […]

Paper ballots make a comeback

From the Everything Old Is New Again department: States have abandoned electronic voting machines in droves, ensuring that most voters will be casting their ballots by hand on Election Day. With many electronic voting machines more than a decade old, and states lacking the funding to repair or replace them, officials have opted to return […]

Expand Medicaid or else

Turns out the federal government has more leverage over Texas than you might think. If Texas wants to keep receiving billions of federal dollars to help hospitals care for uninsured patients, state lawmakers may have to look again at expanding Medicaid coverage for impoverished adults, some political observers say. That’s because in 2016, Texas will […]

What will The Dew do now?

“Go away” would be my first choice. David Dewhurst is not ready to leave Texas politics. The outgoing lieutenant governor said Monday he is planning to start a “large public policy venture” and may consider a run for political office in the future. He offered few details on either front, deferring questions about the policy […]

UT/Trib poll says Texans would be fine with same sex marriage

A result of interest from the most recent UT/Trib poll: Registered Texas voters narrowly oppose same-sex marriage, but a large majority is open to allowing either marriage or civil unions to gays and lesbians, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Asked whether those couples should be allowed to marry, 42 percent say […]

Empower Texans could have some tax problems

Schadenfreude alert: Empower Texans, an organization at the center of the state’s far-right conservative movement, reported no political expenses on its 2012 tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service, despite showing $350,000 in campaign expenditures to state authorities, documents show. The group, which claims to support fiscal responsibility and greater transparency in government, is best […]

Steven Hotze in his own words

Media Matters sat in on a conference call of professional haters, and, well, see for yourself. Fox News hero and prominent Texas conservative Dr. Steven Hotze warned supporters during a conference call that gay activists want to overturn laws prohibiting pedophilia, calling gay people “perverted and deviant.” On September 10, Conservative Republicans of Texas leader […]

Next in “What’s wrong with our textbooks”: Climate change

From the inbox: An examination of how proposed social studies textbooks for Texas public schools address climate change reveals distortions and bias that misrepresent the broad scientific consensus on the phenomenon. Climate education specialists at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) examined the proposed textbooks, which publishers submitted for consideration by the State Board […]

On Gene Green and representing Latino districts

I’ve been meaning to blog about this story about Rep. Gene Green and CD29 and how the Houston area has never sent a Latino to Congress, but I kept getting stuck and I finally decided I was overthinking it. Two decades after local political leaders thought they had solved the demographic puzzle with a new […]

Congressional Dems request federal investigation of Abbott’s persecution of Houston Votes

Good. Democratic congressmen from Texas have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate a raid by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office that targeted a nonprofit voter registration group. The Dallas Morning News reported Aug. 31 on the attorney general’s criminal investigation of Houston Votes, which was accused of election fraud. The probe was […]

Time again to talk textbooks

Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network sounded the alarm in the Sunday op-eds. The last time Texas adopted social studies textbooks – in 2002 – political activists and members of the state education board themselves demanded scores of changes to content they didn’t like. Publishers resisted some, such as demands to downplay slavery as […]

Abbott’s voter registration persecution

Now this is what a partisan witch hunt looks like. On an overcast Monday afternoon, officers in bulletproof vests swept into a house on Houston’s north side. The armed deputies and agents served a search warrant. They carted away computers, hard drives and documents. The raid targeted a voter registration group called Houston Votes, which […]

Shine a light on dark money

I totally favor this. Secret campaign donors in Texas may soon be forced out of the shadows. The Texas Ethics Commission, already fighting a conservative group in court over whether it can regulate dark money disclosure, appears poised to approve a proposal aimed at requiring some politically active nonprofits to start revealing their anonymous donors. […]

Once again, voter fraud by impersonation just doesn’t exist

From the Washington Post: Election fraud happens. But ID laws are not aimed at the fraud you’ll actually hear about. Most current ID laws (Wisconsin is a rare exception) aren’t designed to stop fraud with absentee ballots (indeed, laws requiring ID at the polls push more people into the absentee system, where there are plenty […]

From the files of privatization failures

A story from last week. State officials have decided to slow the rollout of a controversial overhaul of the foster-care system after the private contractor running a pilot program abruptly pulled out Friday. Judge John Specia, commissioner of the state Department of Family and Protective Services, said a second pilot of the overhaul will continue […]

Abbott does one last solid for Perry

He lets him keep his little secrets. After critics raised a stink about the tax dollars being spent to provide security for Gov. Rick Perry while he was gearing up to run for president, lawmakers passed a bill in 2011 designed to let Texans know — eventually — what they were getting for their money. […]

Intimidation tactics

Very creepy. Anti-abortion activists in Texas employ strategies to identify and monitor abortion patients, investigate abortion providers and clinic staff and search tax records to find locations of abortion providers, according to newly released undercover audio. The audio, from NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Progress Texas, was recorded during a training session at the Capitol hosted […]

From the “Those that disregard history are doomed to repeat it” department

This is the state of environment protection in Texas. Texas’ top environmental regulator suggested Thursday that the state may ignore a proposed directive from the Obama administration in June to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. “I’m concerned that if this is not contested, if we don’t dispute this, if we don’t win, the implications […]

Another look at Perry’s slush fund

Like everything with Rick Perry, there’s less to it than meets the eye. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has distributed $205 million in taxpayer money to scores of technology startups using a pet program designed to bring high-paying jobs and innovation to the nation’s second most-populous state. But a closer look at the Texas Emerging Technology […]

Expanding Medicaid the hard way

A lot smaller than it should have been, but it’s still something. More than 80,000 additional Texans have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act last fall despite Republican state leaders’ decision not to expand eligibility to poor adults, according to federal figures. The 80,435 […]

Don’t sweat that court ruling on Obamacare tax credits just yet

It’s too soon to say what effect, if any will be felt in Texas. Opposing rulings from two federal courts Tuesday left unclear the future prospects of federal financial aid to Texans who qualify for assistance to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled […]

Another perspective on residency requirements

The Texas Election Law blog looks at my coverage of the Dave Wilson residency saga and offers his thoughts on the matter. The saga of gaming residence for the sake of running for office – what a tangle of legal precedent it provides. Mr. Kuffner has used the occasion of the Wilson lawsuit to suggest […]

Four for interim Mayor

Four of out five San Antonio City Council members that had said they would like to file a letter of interest for the post of interim Mayor actually filed those letters of interest. Submitting letters of interest by Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline were District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor, District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, District 6 […]

In defense of Ivy Taylor

Ivy Taylor is a San Antonio City Council member. She’s currently considered a frontrunner to succeed outgoing Mayor Julian Castro once he leaves to become Housing Secretary. Her elevation to Mayor would be historic, as she would be the first African-American Mayor of San Antonio, but it has also generated some controversy because in 2013 […]

The Texarkana experience

The city of Texarcana literally sits on the border between Texas and Arkansas, partly in one state and partly in the other. That means that some of its residents may be eligible for a health insurance subsidy under Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion/privatization hybrid. Or they may be in Texas and be screwed like anyone else. Arkansas […]

Another entry for the judicial election files

Get Wallace Jefferson on the phone for me, will ya? Three justices on the Tennessee Supreme Court are facing an election-year attack, not for any particular decision they have authored or even for any unpopular opinion they have espoused. No, in an ugly campaign in Tennessee that appears to be getting ever uglier, Senate Speaker […]

The Mayoral succession process starts in San Antonio

With the confirmation as Housing Secretary seemingly in the bag for San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the process of naming an interim Mayor has begun. Not too surprisingly, there’s some conflict about this, though the issue at the root of the conflict may not be what you expected. City Council is set to approve Thursday […]

Once again, where are the jobs Rick Perry was trying to poach?

Politico revisits a familiar subject. Since as early as February of last year and as recently as April of this one, Perry has made eight trips to six different states, all of which have one very particular thing in common: They’re run by Democratic governors. Perry has used his visits to hammer on a consistent […]

Being an idiot, on the other hand, is totally treatable

It’s actually a little amazing that stuff like this doesn’t happen more often. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaking in San Francisco on Wednesday night, said the U.S. would better serve its diverse population by letting the states handle many economic and social policies, a point he perhaps inadvertently drove home when he compared homosexuality to […]

Two million Texans used healthcare.gov

Yeah, we had lots of demand for health insurance. That’s what happens when you have so many uninsured people in a state. Almost all adult Texans knew of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace before its open enrollment ended March 31, new research shows. In a report released Wednesday, Rice University’s Baker Institute for […]