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Member since: Mon Apr 5, 2004, 04:58 PM
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Federal judge: Pasadena (TX) deliberately worked to reduce voting clout of Latinos

Judge Rosenthal is republican judge and is very conservative. The city of Pasadena Texas gerrymandered the heck out of its districts to exclude Latino voters and this court not only ruled that these actions violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act but also found that these actions were intentional and bailed Pasadena Texas in under Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/pasadena/news/article/Federal-judge-Pasadena-deliberately-worked-to-10840995.php

A federal judge in Houston dealt a major blow Friday to the City of Pasadena in a closely watched voting rights case, ruling that officials deliberately diluted the clout of Hispanic voters by revising the system for electing City Council members.

Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal ordered Pasadena to revert to its previous use of single-member districts for the upcoming May elections and ruled the city would need pre-clearance from the Department of Justice for any future changes.

"In Pasadena, Texas, Latino voters ... do not have the same right to vote as their Anglo neighbors," Rosenthal concluded in the 113-page decision released late Friday.

Patricia Gonzales, one of the plaintiffs who filed the federal lawsuit, said fairness can be restored to the city election system.
"All right," she said, when informed of the ruling. "Now each section will be able to vote on who they want and their voices will be heard. I'm very pleased with the outcome."

The ruling could provide a key test of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in 2013 that gutted portions of the Voting Rights Act, legal experts said.
I have skimmed part of the 113 page opinion and there is material that may help in the Texas voter id case and the Texas redistricting case. http://www.maldef.org/assets/pdf/Patino_V_Pasadena_Memorandum_010617.pdf For example, in the Texas redistricting case, Greg Abbott has argued that it is okay to use gerrymandering for partisan purposes even this results in racial gerrymandering. The court rejected this concept:

Framing the reasons for enacting legislation in terms of enhancing partisanship rather than reducing or diluting minority votes is not persuasive on this record. Partisan goals can be a pretext for invidious intent behind legislation. See Veasey, 830 F.3d at 236, 241 n.30 (majority opinion) and 335–36 (Costa, J., dissenting). When, as here, the party in power stands to gain partisan advantage by diluting Latino votes, pursuing partisan advantage can—and here does—mean intending to dilute Latino votes.

A recent Fourth Circuit case, decided nine days after Veasey, helps make this clear. In North Carolina State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, 831 F.3d at 204, the appellate court reversed a ruling that the record of how a North Carolina omnibus voting bill was enacted failed to show discriminatory intent. North Carolina argued that the evidence showed only partisanship, not racial animus. The appellate court ruled that using race and party affiliation as proxies for one another established discriminatory intent. “Using race as a proxy for party may be an effective way to win an election. But intentionally targeting a particular race’s access to the franchise because its members vote for a particular party, in a predictable manner, constitutes discriminatory purpose This is so even absent any evidence of race-based hatred and despite the obvious political dynamics.” Id. at 222–23. The same reasoning applies here. Indeed, Pasadena’s Director of Community Relations Richard Scott testified that in Pasadena, referring to “Republican” voters was a proxy for Anglo voters, and referring to “Democrat” or “Democratic” voters was a proxy for Latino. Bench Trial Tr. 4:240–42. Bianca Gracia, the Latina president of a Pasadena homeowners’ association and a Republican activist, also credibly testified that she understood campaign rhetoric about Pasadena “turning blue” as a reference to Latino political power.55
This will be my fun reading for the weekend.

Will this come up in Rick Perry's confirmation hearing-The Search for the Hidden Life of Rick Perry?

One of the persons who I have worked with at the Texas Democratic Party is a truly interesting person named Glen Maxey. Glen Maxey was the first openly gay member of the Texas legislature. Glen claims to have the record for the most naked voters registered between midnight and 6 AM and so far no one has dared to dispute this claim. Glen is a member of the DNC and was in charge of the Texas delegation at Philadelphia (he got my youngest a guest pass for the first night of the convention).

Back in 2011 when Rick Perry aka Governor Goodhair was running for the nomination, Glen researched the rumors about Goodhair being bisexual. There have been rumors about Goodhair being caught in bed with the male secretary of state back in 2004 and Kay Bailey Hutchinson attempted (poorly) to use these rumors against Goodhair in the 2010 GOP primary for governor. These rumors had no effect on the primary between KBH and Goodhair and Goodhair fell apart before these rumors were used in the 2016 race. My daughter is LGBT and I personally do not care about Goodhair's sleeping partners.

Just before the Oops comment in the GOP debate, Glen had come out with a book documenting Goodhair's "dates" with a number of gay prostitutes. https://www.amazon.com/Head-Figure-Search-Hidden-Perry/dp/1468025988/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483039707&sr=8-1&keywords=glen%20maxey%C2%A0&tag=viglink20248-20

“On June 23, 2011 a national reporter called Glen Maxey, the first and only openly gay state legislator in the history of Texas. Rick Perry was making noises about running for president, and the reporter asked about rumors that Perry possibly may have had homosexual sex. Glen had heard the rumors before but never investigated them. Now curious, Glen sent out messages to his wide network of gay and political contacts. Within hours, he received astonishing information from multiple sources. For the next five months, Glen’s life was consumed with investigating the rumors and stories about Perry. Did Rick Perry have sex with men? Read this remarkable book and decide for yourself.”
One of my daughters is LGBT and I personally do not care about Goodhair's sleeping partners. I wonder if this book will come up in the confirmation hearings for Goodhair?

Glen is a true character, You cannot say that Texas politics are boring.

All of the Democratic faithless electors were from caucus states

We need to eliminate caucuses. Sanders won most of his so-called victories in undemocratic caucus states. All of the faithless Democratic electors who voted against Hillary Clinton were from caucus states http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/12/21/1613028/-Abbreviated-Pundit-Round-up-Partisanship-rules-like-it-or-not-so-play-to-win

Faithless Electors List: Who Flipped Their Electoral Votes from Trump or Clinton?
It was predictable that more electors flipped away from Hillary Clinton (7) than from Donald Trump (2). Republicans are more tribal, fall in line better and respond to threats better. But protest votes amount to nothing except removing the focus on Trump, so congratulations or something.

Know what the states that had HRC defectors have in common? They were caucus states. Look for rules to be rewritten to prevent that from happening in future. Was that the intent of the faithless electors? I doubt it. But you’ll have a lot of convincing to do if you think this exercise of not voting for Clinton did more good than harm.
We need to do away with caucuses for the next cycle

Houston woman wrote to thank Obama for her life; He wrote her back

I love President Obama and I am proud that he is our POTUS http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/article/Houston-woman-wrote-to-thank-Obama-for-her-life-10796231.php?t=22fb1769ef438d9cbb

Anne Bunting liked to tell friends that President Barack Obama saved her life.

Last month, the Houston native decided to pen a letter telling him so, explaining how his signature health care law had allowed her to get a life-saving heart transplant in 2014.

"I tell everyone that you saved my life and I truly believe that," she wrote.

That, she thought, would be that.

Then last Friday she got a reply: "Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to share your moving story with me. It's clear you have faced tremendous challenges over the last few years, and I am glad to hear the Affordable Care Act helped you."

It was signed with the president's characteristic signature, with a giant B and a giant O.

Judge temporarily blocks fetal burial rules

It is tough living in Texas at times http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Judge-weighs-blocking-fetal-burial-rules-10798661.php

AUSTIN -- A federal judge on Thursday blocked Texas from implementing a controversial new rule requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains following abortions or miscarriages.

In an at-times testy court hearing Thursday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks opted to grant a temporary restraining order against the new rules that were slated to kick in Monday, Dec. 19.

The new rules require that the remains from abortions and miscarriages be buried or cremated, regardless the length of gestation or the woman's wishes. Currently, the remains are treated as other medical waste and incinerated, buried or disposed of in a sanitary landfill or ground up and washed down a sanitary sewer.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, on behalf of several abortion providers, sued the state to block the rule, arguing that requiring health centers provide for the burial or cremation of fetal remains was intended to decrease access to abortion by driving up the cost.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has said the rule was intended as a public health measure to help prevent the spread of disease.
Sam Sparks is a good judge. This will be a long fight

Source: Twitter cut out of Trump tech meeting over failed emoji deal

Trump is a petty and small man http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/donald-trump-twitter-emoji-crooked-hillary-232647

Twitter was told it was "bounced" from Wednesday's meeting between tech executives and President-elect Donald Trump in retribution for refusing during the campaign to allow an emoji version of the hashtag #CrookedHillary, according to a source close to the situation.

Trump adviser Sean Spicer later denied the report, telling MSNBC that "the conference table was only so big."

But POLITICO's source said the social media company's exclusion from the much-publicized, feel-good confab in Trump Tower stemmed from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's role in rejecting the anti-Clinton emoji — a rejection that brought public complaints from the president-elect's campaign.

Twitter was one of the few major U.S. tech companies not represented at Wednesday afternoon's Trump Tower meeting attended by, among others, Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and Tesla's Elon Musk — an omission all the more striking because of Trump's heavy dependence on the Twitter platform. With some 17.3 million followers of his account, the president-elect has made Twitter into the de facto press channel of his transition operation.
The degree of stupidity and vindictiveness represented by the exclusion of Twitter from this meeting was surprising even to me. Trump is a very small and sad man.

Ellison no lock for DNC chair

The contest for DNC chair will affect the direction of the party for the next two to four years. I have met and like Keith Ellison but I do not want him to be DNC chair and I am encouraged that Tom Perez is getting into this race. Ellison would be the wrong choice for DNC chair in my opinion and this opinion is shared by others http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/keith-ellison-democratic-dnc-232613

One reason is that the shadow of the contentious presidential primary continues to hang over the party, and some DNC members view the Minnesota congressman as part of the faction that delivered a mortal wound to Clinton, despite his best efforts to convince them otherwise.

“Ellison is not the front-runner, Ellison has no chance at all,” said Tennessee committeeman William Owen, giving voice to that view. “I’m a Hillary person. Bill Clinton said, 'I’ll be with you till the last dog dies,' and I’m the last dog. I will not vote for Keith Ellison, I will not vote for a Bernie person. I think they cost Hillary the election, and now they’re going to live with Donald Trump. Donald Trump asks, 'What do you have to lose?’ Nothing, except life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

California committeewoman Susie Shannon’s take on Ellison, however, is more representative of the ascendant progressive wing’s view.
Ellison and a couple of the other leading contenders (including perhaps Tom Perez) are speaking to the Texas Democratic Party SDEC meeting on Saturday. http://juanitajean.com/heads-up-to-texas-friends/

All three of the announced candidates for new Democratic National Committee Chair will be in Austin this Saturday at 1:30 at the State Democratic Executive Committee meeting to speak. The meeting is open to the public and while questions and speeches from the floor are not allowed (or we’d be there for a month), you will be able to meet the candidates and hear them speak. Most Texas Democratic National Committee members will also be there. They are the ones who vote on the new chair and this is your opportunity to lobby them for your favorite candidate.

Saturday, December 17th at the Sheraton (701 E. 11th) at 1:30. Announced candidates: Keith Ellison, Jaime Harrison, and Raymond Buckley
Texas has a good number of members on the DNC and so this could be an interesting meeting.

Texas SDEC will have all three announced candidates for DNC Chair speaking on Dec 17

This was posted by Juanita Jean on facefook

- The State Democratic Executive Committee will meet at the TDP office (1106 Lavaca in Austin) at 9 a.m. on Saturday, December 17. The general session will be at the Sheraton (701 E. 11th) at 1:30. The general session had to be moved to a larger space, because all three of the announced candidates for Democratic National Committee Chair will be there: Keith Ellison, Jaime Harrison, and Raymond Buckley. All meetings are open to the public. Don and I hope to see you there!
I am very tempted to attend

Dressing rooms | The Briefing

I have seen this ad on MSNBC the last couple of mornings-General Allen | Hillary Clinton

This is a very strong ad

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