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Hometown: Austin, TX
Home country: U.S.
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 18,063

Journal Archives

Obama DOJ Protects Military Voters From Texas Republicans

Talking Points Memo 1/27/12

Obama DOJ Protects Military Voters From Texas Republicans

The Justice Department said in a filing on Friday that the primary schedule proposed by the Texas Republican Party wouldn’t give enough time for military and overseas voters to participate in the election process in violation of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.

Here’s the kicker: conservatives — led by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn — have long been on a crusade against the Justice Department for what they said was a failure to protect military voters under the MOVE Act.

Now it’s Texas’ Republican Party which would be violating the law. The party suggested on Jan. 23 that the court issue an order stating that ballots to voters subject to the MOVE Act should be mailed on March 9 “Notwithstanding the requirements of the MOVE Act,” even thought the election is supposed to be held on April 3.

Justice Department lawyers said that the Republican Party “has proposed shortening the amount of time that military and overseas voters will have to participate in the election” and that such proposals are in “conflict with UOCAVA’s explicit requirement that states transmit ballots to the voters protected under the act at least 45 days before a federal election.”

Go get'em AG Holder!!

Oops: State of Texas' Expert Says State's Senate Map Hurts Minorities

Burnt Orange Report 1/26/12
Oops: State of Texas' Expert Says State's Senate Map Hurts Minorities

The 8-day preclearance trial wraps up in Washington today, but yesterday brought a stunning admission from the State of Texas' expert witness, Rice professor John Alford.

Put on the stand to testify about the treatment of minority groups under the state's maps, Alford testified under oath that the state's senate map hurts the ability of minorities in SD-10 in Tarrant County to elect their candidate of choice. That's, of course, the district currently represented by State Sen. Wendy Davis.

Just like Michael Li points out in his blog post. Holy moly!!

Prospects brighten for settlement that could save April election

Texas Politics blog Houston Chronicle 1/27/12

Prospects brighten for settlement that could save April election

A leading player in the state’s redistricting turmoil said this morning he’s hopeful that both sides are closing in on a settlement that will salvage Texas’ April 3 primary.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been meeting with representatives of minority groups that sued the state last year to stop new political boundaries from taking effect on grounds the decade-long maps ignore profound population growth of minority Texans – mostly Hispanics.

“I am confident that the parties are working in good faith and have enough time to craft a compromise that will assure that the April primaries go on as scheduled,” said state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, chairman of the House Mexican American Legislative Caucus, which is one of the parties suing the state.

Caught off guard as he was preparing for a 1 p.m. court hearing in San Antonio before three federal judges refereering the redistricting fight, Martinez Fischer acknowledged that lawyers for his organization have been talking with Abbott and others in the case about a settlement. Martinez Fischer said he could not share details.

Well that's an interesting development.

Perry's poll numbers slip in Texas after presidential bid

CBS News 1/26/12

Perry's poll numbers slip in Texas after presidential bid

An ill-fated bid for the presidency has not only taken a toll on Texas Gov. Rick Perry's own popularity, it's also worsened the outlook for another gubernatorial campaign he may yet pursue, according to a new poll by several Texas newspapers.

Perry's popularity in his home state dropped 10 points in the past year to settle at 40 percent, a full three points below that of President Obama statewide. And 37 percent of people say that they have a less favorable view of Perry after a campaign filled with embarrassing stumbles on the national stage, like the time he famously failed to name a third federal department he would cut during a debate in early November.

In worse news for Perry, more than half of people - 53 percent - say he should not run for another term as governor in 2014 (Texas has no term limits). The Dallas Morning News notes that his support for another gubernatorial bid is especially weak among three key voting blocs: people 50 and older, with incomes over $100,000 and with advanced or professional degrees.

About freaking time! This waste of time and money known as Rick Perry should exit the stage. Left or right, we don't care which way he exits. We just want him to go away.

South Texas District Suspends Sports to Keep Afloat

Texas Tribune 1/26/12

South Texas District Suspends Sports to Keep Afloat

PREMONT — A plan to save a school district has come down to rows of yellow Post-it notes.

Dozens dot a wall in Premont Independent School District Superintendent Ernest Singleton's office, covering white poster boards labeled with the state benchmarks — 11 in total — that his district must meet in order to remain open next year. Each note points to a step toward the corresponding goal. Scrawled on one are two words that have brought national attention to the tiny 570-student school district in South Texas: "suspend sports."

Singleton came to Premont ISD in June. He received a letter from the Texas Education Agency in July saying that after years of financial disarray and lagging academic performance, the district would lose its accreditationand be absorbed into a neighboring district.

After the initial shock subsided — despite the district’s shabby record, Mr. Singleton said he did not expect closure so quickly — he took his case to Austin and asked for more time to turn it around. In November, Premont residents voted overwhelmingly for a 13-cent property tax hike to support the schools. A month later, the agency agreed to delay its decision by a year, setting out the stringent demands related to financial and academic improvement that now line the superintendent’s office.

The reprieve was hard-won. If Premont ISD fails this time around, there will be no appeal. With those stakes in mind, Mr. Singleton turned to a budget that he had already scrubbed bare and looked for more ways to save. The $150,000 that the district would spend during the next year on spring and fall sports, including football, stared him in the face.

Football takes a holiday in Texas. Freaking shocking. While it is sad that these kids will not have the same opportunities to compete in sports as other kids in districts nearby, at least they won't be doing a daily commute 20 or so miles to get to school. I could see that being much, much worse. And some families just making the decision not to send their kids to school.

This one belongs on the republican controlled legislature which has slowly been starving school budgets.

State rep asks Perry to pay back state for travel expenses

Postcards from the Lege blog 1/23/12

State rep asks Perry to pay back state for travel expenses

State Rep. Jessica Farrar asked Gov. Rick Perry today to pay the state back for the travel expenses he incurred during his presidential run.

Although his campaign pays for Perry’s travel, the state has picked up the tab for the travels of Perry’s security detail.

Farrar, D-Houston, sent a letter requesting that Perry write a check to the Texas Comptroller’s Office for $2,692,376, plus any other expenses related to his out-of-state campaign activity. Here’s the letter.

“As a fiscal conservative, I believe government is supposed to be a wise steward of tax dollars,” Farrar said in her letter. “I believe that if the government must spend money, it should be for essential public services, like education, infrastructure, health services for the young and elderly, and disaster relief. I believe that unnecessary government spending is not just morally wrong, it is criminal.”

Way to go Representative Farrar! That's speaking out for the people of Texas!

Rep. Farrar!

Greg Abbott Sues Feds to Get Voter ID Implemented

Texas Tribune 1/23/12

Greg Abbott Sues Feds to Get Voter ID Implemented

The Texas attorney general’s office today filed suit against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to have the state’s controversial voter ID law implemented without further delay.

The law, Senate Bill 14 by state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, was scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. It requires that voters show a picture ID before casting a ballot. It has been tied up at the Justice Department since July. Under Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act, the department reserves the right to review laws that affect voter participation before they are enacted.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter identification laws are constitutional,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a prepared statement. “Texas should be allowed the same authority other states have to protect the integrity of elections. To fast-track that authority, Texas is taking legal action in a D.C. court seeking approval of its voter identification law.”

Abbott's office said that if the department grants the state's request for preclearance, it would dismiss the suit.

The lawsuit is the latest action by the state in its months-long face-off with the federal government, which has refused to render a decision on whether the bill will disenfranchise minority and low-income voters. Opponents of the measure allege those voters don’t have easy access to a photo ID.

The Texas a-hole of the day award goes to ---- Greg Abbott!

Stick a fork in Rick Perry - He's done

Postcards From the Lege blog 1/19/12
Perry will end presidential bid and endorse Gingrich

Gov. Rick Perry will end his presidential campaign today, the American-Statesman has confirmed from two Perry sources. He will endorse former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Perry has called a press conference for 11 a.m. Eastern time to announce his decision.

After poor finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, polls have shown Perry heading for another poor finish in the South Carolina primary on Saturday. Dropping out now allows him to avoid that embarrassment and skip tonight’s GOP debate.

An NBC/Marist poll conducted in South Carolina on Monday and Tuesday showed Perry in fifth place with support from just 4 percent of respondents.

Perry has been facing calls to drop out so that conservatives who are unhappy with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney could rally behind one candidate.

SOPA Author Lamar Smith (R-TX) Breaks Copyright Law on His Own Website

Burnt Orange Report 1/18/12

SOPA Author Lamar Smith (R-TX) Breaks Copyright Law on His Own Website

Texas Congressman Lamar Smith is clearly a man of principle. He authored the Stop Online Piracy Act because he believes that copyright violators must be punished, whether they're individual citizens or websites that have copyrighted content or link to such content.

Vice journalist Jamie Taete traced that background image to photographer DJ Schulte. Taete asked Schulte if he had given Smith permission to use the image, and Schulte responded that he had never done so.

Apparently the SOPA author is not a man of principle after all. According to SOPA, legal action must be taken against its own author.

"I do not see anywhere on the screen capture that you have provided that the image was attributed to the source (me)," DJ Schulte said. So my conclusion would be that Lamar Smith's organization did improperly use my image. So according to the SOPA bill, should it pass, maybe I could petition the court to take action against www.texansforlamarsmith.com."

Note: Smith and his staff have quickly changed the background image obviously after hearing/seeing the original report from Jamie Taete. But it just goes to show you how little this idiot knows about how easy it is to get caught in a stupid game like this. All Smith knows is that the big money corporations want this and Smith is willing to deliver.

What a huge asshole he is!

Things That Are Less Steep Than Rick Perry's Drop In The Polls:

Talking Points Memo 1/16/12
Things That Are Less Steep Than Rick Perry's Drop In The Polls:

Rick Perry's campaign has had a lot of ups and downs. And lately, the downs are coming fast. The red line in this slideshow represents Perry's trajectory in South Carolina since September 22. Here are other things less steep -- and sometimes as steep as Rick Perry's decline in the polls.

If, as the Mayans predicted, 2012 really is the end of the world, Rick Perry is really going out in a blaze of glory.

Just for a good laugh at Goodhair's expense!
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