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Posts from ‘January, 2017’

Precinct analysis: Dallas County Presidential numbers

News flash: Hillary Clinton won every Dallas County State Rep district. See for yourself: Dist Trump Clinton Johnson Stein ======================================== CD32 117,758 127,824 5,751 1,056 HD100 8,405 33,647 647 217 HD102 24,768 30,291 1,312 287 HD103 8,710 28,689 683 205 HD104 6,941 25,168 414 200 HD105 20,979 25,087 855 246 HD107 24,162 29,159 991 274 […]

Look for the helpers

They’re at the airports now. Luis Ruiz, an immigration attorney with his own practice, set up shop early Sunday at Bush Intercontinental Airport. He’d seen news of attorneys around the country flocking to airports to help people detained under the terms of the executive order President Donald Trump issued Friday, and he figured duty called. […]

State fails to respond to voter registration lawsuit

Here’s an update on a different voting rights lawsuit from last year. Civil rights lawyers suing Texas over its voter registration practices are asking a federal judge to sanction the state for allegedly blowing past deadlines and ignoring a court order to hand over thousands of pages of documents related to the case. The Texas […]

Welcome to Houston, y’all

Lots of visitors in town this week. Our goal is for them to leave with a positive impression. With the city’s third Super Bowl a week away, Houston appears ready for its close- up. The national press has taken turns lauding America’s fourth-largest city as a burgeoning 21st century cosmopolis. No longer is Houston dismissed […]

Interview with Jose Garza

So it’s been a busy couple of weeks for the voter ID litigation. There was the motion by the Justice Department to delay the hearing on whether the law was passed with discriminatory intent, which everyone expects is a prelude to them switching sides in the case. Then there was the decision by the Supreme […]

Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi

This is who the now-injuncted executive order suspending refugee resettlement and immigration visas from certain countries was supposed to “protect” us from. The lawyers said that one of the Iraqis detained at Kennedy Airport, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, had worked on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for 10 years. The other, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq […]

Astrodome gains antiquities status

Nice. The aging behemoth billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World has joined the revered ranks of the Alamo and State Capitol as an honored historical site. Just days before a crowd of more than 70,000 files past for Super Bowl LI in neighboring NRG Stadium, the long-vacant Astrodome has won the coveted designation […]

The Observer talks to Rep. Beto O’Rourke

I wish this were longer, and I’d have definitely asked about how he plans to win a Senate election in 2018, if indeed he does run, but it’s worth reading nonetheless. You mentioned how incredibly expensive congressional elections have become. Do you see this as a real barrier to reform? I remember my first official […]

Weekend link dump for January 29

10 Actions for the first 100 Days. Neanderthals were people, too. “Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening”. The Dallas Stars Jumbotron operator is the best person in Dallas. #Seanspicersays I get more readers than the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal combined. Six […]

“Fetal remains” rule blocked

Good. U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks ruled Texas cannot require health providers to bury or cremate fetuses, delivering another blow to state leaders in the reproductive rights debate. On Friday afternoon, Sparks wrote in his ruling that Texas Department of State Health Services’ fetal remains burial rule’s vagueness, undue burden and potential for irreparable […]

SB6 will hurt people

It will hurt transgender people, who despite what Dan Patrick would have you think, are people like you and me. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has said his so-called bathroom bill isn’t discriminatory because transgender people can update their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity. However, statistics obtained by the Observer from the Department of […]

So what will the Justice Department do with voter ID now?

We don’t know yet. Hours after President Donald Trump was inaugurated, the Department of Justice filed to postpone a hearing on the Texas Voter ID law. The request was granted. The DOJ had previously argued that the law intentionally discriminated against minority voters, but told the court it needed additional time for the new administration […]

Saturday video break: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only John Lee Hooker: We should all achieve that level of coolness at least once in our lifetimes. Now here’s George Thorogood with the version you’ve probably heard: So, did Jersey party as good as they did in Philly? I love the narrative he adds to the song. The […]

Yes, SB6 targets transgender people

That is its purpose. The author of the so-called bathroom bill said she is working on potential changes after listening to people “from all walks of life,” emphasizing that her measure is aimed not at the transgender people it would affect but at men who might assert a right to go into women’s restrooms for […]

Dan Patrick and the wall tax

Hey, you know who’s going to pay for Dear Leader’s wall? You and me and everyone else in the country. The Trump administration sparked widespread surprise Thursday by announcing it intended to implement a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to pay for a coming border wall — followed by extreme confusion when it appeared […]

Trump and the train

This could be interesting. A privately-funded bullet train between Dallas and Houston and a passenger rail line connecting suburban North Texas are among a litany of transportation projects considered priorities by President Donald Trump’s administration, according to The Kansas City Star. But what that means for the projects either financially or in a regulatory sense […]

Friday random ten: Ladies’ night, part 30

One week down, 195 to go… 1. We Crawl – The Polyphonic Spree (many members) 2. September – Pomplamoose (Nataly Dawn) 3. The Resurrected Lover – The Poor Clares (Betsy McGovern) 4. Brass In Pocket – The Pretenders (Chrissie Hynde) 5. Hole In The Washtub – The Priestess and The Fool (Meredith DiMenna) 6. Harden […]

Pasadena appellate hearing set

Mark your calendars. With deadlines looming for the upcoming May elections, a federal appeals court has agreed to hear arguments Feb. 1 in a voting rights lawsuit that overturned the Pasadena election system. The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will consider whether to temporarily halt the order from the Houston judge until after the […]

Sheriff Hernandez not backing down

Good for her. Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez indicated Thursday she is not backing away from her recently introduced “sanctuary” policy. Her comments came a day after Gov. Greg Abbott proposed the removal of Hernandez, who announced Friday she would reduce her department’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities when they request an inmate be flagged […]

More flood mitigation coming

This is ambitious. After local leaders stood on the banks of Brays Bayou to celebrate a creative agreement that is expected to speed up work on a long-delayed effort to lessen the risk of flooding in southwest Houston, some angry Meyerland-area flood victims peppered them with questions. The press conference was called to tout a […]

More on the STAR Voting System

The Chron updates us on the latest in modern voting technology. The drumbeat of election rigging and foreign hacking of voting machines have energized ongoing efforts to develop a new model of digital election equipment designed to produce instantly verifiable results and dual records for security. Election experts say this emerging system, one of three […]

HCDP Chair Q&A: Robert Collier

(Note: I have sent out a brief Q&A to all of the announced HCDP Chair candidates for whom I could find contact information. I will run the responses I get in the order I receive them. While only precinct chairs will vote on the new Chair, I believe everyone should have some basic information about […]

Abbott goes authoritarian

I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me, but it is still shocking, even in the world we now inhabit. Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that he and state lawmakers will pursue legislation that would “remove from office any officeholder who promotes sanctuary cities,” raising a new consequence as Republicans crack down on local officials who do […]

Yale Street Bridge reopens

Woo hoo! Heights area residents woke up Tuesday to a bright sunny day in more ways than one, finding that crews had opened the new Yale Bridge spanning White Oak Bayou. The opening late Monday is roughly 10 months ahead of the original schedule laid out by Texas Department of Transportation officials when the old […]

Texas blog roundup for the week of January 23

The Texas Progressive Alliance marches with the resistance as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Senate to begin studying school finance changes

We’ll see what this looks like. Leaders in the Texas Senate are vowing to find ways to overhaul the state’s school finance system, saying a recent Texas Supreme Court decision granted them a prime opportunity to shake up the heavily criticized status quo. On Monday, they announced the creation of a Senate budget working group […]

Abbott versus Travis County

This could get ugly. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is formally demanding that Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez reverse her new policy on cooperation with federal immigration authorities or lose state dollars, further escalating a showdown over “sanctuary cities” that have been in the crosshairs of Republican officials. “This is not a pronouncement of sound public […]

Ready for driverless cars, Houston?

Well, they’re coming, ready or not. Researchers, business leaders and elected officials are about to turn Texas into the biggest laboratory for connected cars in the nation, with the likeliest place to spot a self-driving car in Houston along the high occupancy vehicle and toll lanes along some of the region’s busiest freeways. Officials are […]

Time to pay attention to the HCDE again

Some highlights from the HCDE meeting agenda for this Thursday at 1 PM, as emailed to me: 1. Changing board meeting dates. 2. Michael Wolfe wants to name our Post Oak facility for his deceased mother. 3. Create a Home School Division. 4. Create a School Choice Division. 5. Create a board services division that […]

SCOTUS will not review voter ID ruling

For now. The Supreme Court issued orders from its January 19 conference this morning. After granting review in two cases from that conference last week, the justices did not add any new cases to their merits docket today. But there was one notable denial on today’s order list: Abbott v. Veasey, the challenge to a […]

Pat Van Houte for Pasadena Mayor

This is the local race to watch this May. A Pasadena councilwoman who became a key witness in a recent federal lawsuit contesting the city’s redrawn voting districts said she will run for mayor in the upcoming election. Pat Van Houte, who holds an at-large seat, made her announcement Friday, Jan. 6, the same day […]

Now is the time to rent out your house

If it was your plan to do that, anyway. The teams playing in next month’s Super Bowl [are now set] and the final rush for last-minute lodging will be in full swing. That also means more house and apartment rentals will hit websites like Airbnb, VRBO and Austin-based HomeAway, which says demand for Houston-area vacation […]

Interview with Jessica Shortall of Texas Competes

We are very familiar with the fight over Dan Patrick’s bathroom bill, which is encapsulated in SB6 but also exists in a larger sense in several other bills. A major component in this fight is the business community, which sees such legislation as a threat to its ability to attract and retain talent, especially younger […]

Marching

In Austin. Up to 50,000 activists swarmed the Capitol grounds on Saturday to fight for women’s rights on the heels of Trump’s inauguration. The high-spirited crowd joined more than a million protesters nationwide. The Austin march was so large that the front of the rally, which left from the Capitol and traveled down Congress Avenue, […]