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Posts from ‘February, 2014’

Friday random ten: My gayest list ever

In honor of Wednesday’s epic ruling invalidating Texas’ Double Secret Illegal Anti-Gay Marriage law, here’s a supersized list celebrating the LGBTQ artists in my collection: 1. We Are The Champions – Queen 2. The Consequences of Falling – k.d. lang 3. I Don’t Know What It Is – Rufus Wainwright 4. Take Me To The […]

Next steps in the Texas same sex marriage lawsuit

In case you were wondering, Attorney General and candidate for Governor Greg Abbott will appeal Wednesday’s historic ruling striking down Texas’ constitutional amendment barring same sex marriage. The state of Texas has officially given notice that it is appealing a San Antonio judge’s ruling that completely struck down its ban on same sex marriage. “Defendants […]

Don’t worry, Abbott and The Nuge are still besties

Everyone who thinks what happened last week was bad for his campaign is just too stupid to see the big picture. Right about the time Nugent was firing up the second crowd of North Texas voters last week in Wichita Falls, Abbott’s chief strategist, Dave Carney, wondered out loud on Twitter if the campaign’s Democratic […]

The state of HISD

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier assesses the district in his State of the Schools address. While not mentioning the closure controversy Wednesday, Grier touted the district’s progress – being named the nation’s top urban school district in 2013, for example – while conceding he has more work to do in the two years left on his […]

Texas stands with polluters against the EPA one more time

Here we go. The Obama administration’s climate change agenda on Monday faced one of its first real tests in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, where Texas and a group of industry leaders challenged an Environmental Protection Agency regulation aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The question before the court is whether permits needed by […]

BGT fires back

Good for them. Allegations that Battleground Texas broke the law during its voter registration activities are “entirely without foundation,” the Democratic group wrote in a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Tuesday. Dewhurst, citing a secretly recorded video of Battleground volunteers in Bexar County, had earlier called for a criminal investigation because of allegations […]

Cab companies push back on Uber/Lyft

The first Council action on updating the taxi and limo codes to accommodate Uber and Lyft went about as you’d expect. Houston City Council members struggled Tuesday to strike a balance between ensuring paid rides in Houston are available to everyone and encouraging competition from new firms that say they can provide faster service. Speakers […]

Firefighters union sues city to block cutbacks

Not sure about this. Houston firefighters went to court Tuesday in an effort to block the city from removing personnel, trucks and ambulances from service. But a judge rejected their argument that the “rolling brownouts” plan violates the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the city. State District Judge Elaine Palmer turned down the request for […]

Texas blog roundup for the week of February 24

The Texas Progressive Alliance thinks Ted Nugent is an appropriate spokesman for the modern Republican Party of Texas as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Endorsement watch: Hey, there’s still a little bit of early voting left

From the “You just can’t rush these things” department, the Chron endorses James Cargas in the Democratic primary rematch in CD07. Whomever wins in the Democratic primary for U.S. House 7th District will face an uphill battle in a Republican-friendly district to defeat Rep. John Culberson. But voters can also look at this race as […]

Federal judge strikes down Texas’ anti-same sex marriage law

Wow. A federal judge in San Antonio ruled Wednesday that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutionally deprives some citizens of due process and equal protection under the law by stigmatizing their relationships and treating them differently from opposite-sex couples. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia cited recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings as having trumped Texas’ moves […]

The UT/TT poll’s track record in past Democratic primaries

The one result in that UT/TT poll from Monday that has people freaking out is the one that shows nutball LaRouchie Kesha Rogers leading the Senate race with 35%, followed by David Alameel with 27%. I expressed my skepticism of that result at the time, because among other things I have my doubts that their […]

And the same old crap begins in Steven Kirkland’s race

Lone Star Q reports that Steven Kirkland received the endorsement of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, just as the same kind of attacks on his character that he dealt with in 2012 cranked up again. Kirkland, a close friend of Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s, served as a Harris County state district judge from 2009 […]

Some Republican candidates are still embracing Ted Nugent

Why not? He’s an excellent representative of and for them. Sid Miller, a Republican candidate for agriculture commissioner, won’t oust rocker Ted Nugent as his campaign treasurer over controversial remarks made about President Barack Obama and other officials, the Longview Republican said Monday. Nugent, who’s been with the Miller campaign since October, came under fire […]

Ashby II: Highrise Boogaloo

The Ashby Highrise lawsuit may be over, but its legacy lives on. A lawsuit seeking to stop a 17-story office tower under development in a River Oaks-area neighborhood blasts the project as “abnormal and out of place” in a grass-roots effort that observers suggest was emboldened by the recent success of the high-profile fight against […]

UT/TT poll: Abbott 47, Davis 36

The Trib publishes its second poll of the Texas gubernatorial race. After what are shaping up to be easy primary wins in March for the leading gubernatorial candidates, Republican Greg Abbott starts the general election race for governor with an 11-point lead over Democrat Wendy Davis, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. […]

Davis outraises Abbott on the 8 day report

Nice. Democrat Wendy Davis reported that she outstripped Republican Greg Abbott in fundraising, bringing in $2.85 million over a 29-day period. His totals were reported here. Davis has $11.3 million tucked away looking ahead to the general election. Her overall bank account still lags well behind Abbott’s $30 million. The Republican attorney general has seen […]

On schools and neighborhoods

Efforts to revitalize neighborhoods in the Fifth Ward are running into HISD’s proposal to close five schools. Nearly half the students who attend Nathaniel Q. Henderson Elementary School live steps away from campus in an aging, rundown apartment complex. The neighborhood, in Houston’s historic Fifth Ward, is at a crossroads. The city is seeking a […]

Another way to squeeze the payday lenders

I wholeheartedly approve of this. The Postal Service (USPS) could spare the most economically vulnerable Americans from dealing with predatory financial companies under a proposal endorsed over the weekend by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). “USPS could partner with banks to make a critical difference for millions of Americans who don’t have basic banking services because […]

Early voting, one (six day) week in

We have one week completed for early voting, though it was only a six day week thanks to the Presidents Day holiday. Here are the daily totals from the County Clerk. Republicans continue to be the majority of early voters in Harris County, by almost a 3-1 margin. I thought it might be interesting to […]

Leave Greg Abbott aloooooooooooooone!

He’s ready to move on from Nuge-a-palooza. What more do you want? Controversy over Attorney General Greg Abbott’s decision to campaign for governor with Ted Nugent continued to simmer Friday, even after the outspoken rocker apologized for calling President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.” Gov. Rick Perry, who has appeared on stage with Nugent, condemned […]

More on the Lyft and Uber entrances

It’s a new day in Houston for people who need a ride. Brian Walts was out until about 3 a.m. Friday hitting the clubs, but he didn’t have a single drink or set foot on a dance floor. Rather, he was driving two gents home from the Washington Avenue area for free, hoping that by […]

Help HISD review its design plans

HISD would like your input in determining the designs for the schools to be built or rebuilt with the 2012 bond money. The Houston Independent School District is hosting another series of community meetings for the first 17 schools slated for construction in the 2012 bond program to give participants a chance to review designs […]

Weekend link dump for February 23

Some Sharknade 2: The Second One news, for those of you (and you know who you are) that want it. I love Paris in the modern era, because in the old days it really stank. “Practically every big battle you see in the media arena is, one way or another, a battle between gigantic producers […]

Revisiting George Fleming

Lisa Falkenberg catches up with an old friend. Trial lawyer George Fleming was calm and gracious when he took questions back in 2012, insisting that his bankrolling of a respected judge’s no-name opponent had nothing to do with his own displeasure with that particular jurist. “No, no,” Fleming assured my colleague Patti Kilday Hart. “The […]

DA investigating Judge Pratt again

Here we go again. Two months after a grand jury cleared embattled state District Judge Denise Pratt of accusations she had tampered with court records, the Harris County District Attorney’s office again is looking into the family court jurist. Houston lawyer Anna Stool, a former federal prosecutor, said she was called in by the district […]

HFD’s budget problems

I’m sure you’ve heard of this by now. The safety of Houston’s citizens and its firefighters will be compromised over the next four months as the fire department limits the number of personnel on duty and removes trucks from service in an attempt to cut spending, Fire Chief Terry Garrison said Thursday. “People that are […]

Chron overview of Ag Commissioner race

It’s mostly about Kinky and pot, because what else is there to talk about? Democrat Kinky Friedman is attempting to add a little spice to the crowded agriculture commissioner race by being the lone candidate to advocate legalizing marijuana and tapping it as a new state cash crop. Of the eight candidates jostling to replace […]

Saturday video break: After You’ve Gone

This song is almost 100 years old, and it qualifies as a standard. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, here’s the original version, by Marion Harris: I’m impressed there’s still a recording around of that. The first place I encountered this song was in the movie “All That Jazz”, but unfortunately I can’t find […]

Perry schools Abbott

This is how it’s done, son. Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday condemned inflammatory remarks by Ted Nugent that resurfaced when the outspoken rocker this week joined Republican Greg Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign. Nugent was quoted in an interview with Guns.com last month as calling President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.” He appeared with Abbott during […]

And here comes UberX

I mentioned this in passing yesterday, but UberX, which is Uber’s ride share service, similar in nature to that of Lyft, is now in Houston as well. Free rides suddenly became available in Houston on Thursday night as two online companies clamored for attention before they officially break into the city’s cab market. Uber, which […]

Leaning towards the over

Metro is working on a solution to the Harrisburg Line over/underpass problem. “We want the community involved and for this to be as open and honest as possible,” [Metro Board Chair Gilbert] Garcia said. Before Metro makes a decision, Garcia said, he wanted residents to have a better sense of the problem. Leaking gasoline tanks […]

The D-word is back

It’s never really gone away since 2009. Locked in a seemingly endless cycle of droughts and brief reprieves, the Houston region has quietly slipped back into yet another drought. Since December Houston has received less than half its normal rainfall. That’s a pattern present since 2009, a period when the city racked up a deficit […]

Friday random ten: Old man and me

Another birthday this week. God, I’m old. 1. The Old Black Rum – Great Big Sea 2. Old Blevins – Austin Lounge Lizards 3. Old Dan Tucker – Bruce Springsteen 4. The Old Dope Peddler – Tom Lehrer 5. Old Folks’ Boogie – Little Feat 6. Old Friends – Simon and Garfunkel 7. Old Joe […]