Wednesday, October 31, 2007

happy halloween!

Have a safe and spooky holiday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Planet Purgatory - A Halloween Horror Story:Part I

This week is Halloween, and inspired by Bill Maher ("I'm dressing up as a melting polar ice cap because that's scary,") we're going to take a good hard look at the issue of global warming.

As fires rage in California, and stories about the southeast drought paint the very real possibility of major cities running out of water, the Fort Worth Star Telegram's Don Erler pooh poohs the hysteria of the "zealots" who suggest this might in any way be related to global warming or a preview of worse things to come.

Mr. Erler is not a climatologist, nor a physicist, nor a statistician. He is the president of General Building Maintenance. He is also what Joseph Romm, in his book "Hell and High Water" calls a "denyer."

"The people I call global-warming Delayers and Denyers are also called "climate skeptics" or "contrarians." I think those terms are misused here. All scientists are skeptics. Hence the motto "Take nobody's word." Skeptics can be convinced by the facts; Denyers cannot. Skeptics do not continue repeating arguments that have been discredited. Denyers do.....

The Denyers and Delayers, as I use the terms, are those who aggressively embrace one or both parts of a twofold strategy. First, they deny the strong scientific consensus that the climate change we are witnessing is primarily human-caused and likely to have serious negative impacts if we don't reverse our greenhouse gas emissions trends. Second, they work to delay this country from taking any serious action beyond perhaps investing in new technology.

Taking a page from the playbook of Frank Luntz before his conversion, Republicans like to sound like they are concerned about catastrophic climate change without actually committing to any solutions. This is combined with a strategy culled from the evolution debate that creates enough confusion through misquotes and half truths as to appear to cast doubt on the science of global warming itself.

Erler hits on some key arguments of the Delayers and Denyers that deserve more analysis, so we'll come back to those. In the meantime, guaranteed to keep you up at night, here is a prophetic quote from the introduction of Romm's book that seems particularly apropos.

Imagine if inland United States were 10 [degrees Fahrenheit] hotter, with many states ravaged by mega-droughts and the widespread wildfires that result. At the same time, our coasts were drowning from a 5- to 1-foot increase in sea levels, which were relentlessly climbing 5 to 10 inches a decade or more toward an ultimate sea-level rise of 80 feet.

This "Hell and High Water" scenario is not our certain future, but it is as likely as the bird flu pandemic we are feverishly fighting to fend off. And it could come as soon as the second half of this century, given the many early warning signs of accelerated climate change that scientists have spotted.

Long before then, the temperature of the inland United States will be rising nearly 1 [degree Fahrenheit] per decade, enough to cause continual heat waves and searing droughts. At the same time, sea levels will be rising a few inches every decade, with much of our Atlantic and Gulf coasts battered year after year after year by super-hurricanes with savage storm surges.

Let's call this phase Planetary Purgatory, when the world comes to know that 20-foot sea-level rise is all but inevitable, and we must endure a desperate multidecade ordeal to correct the mistakes of the past, to keep sea-level rise as low and slow as possible - to avoid the full fury of Hell and High water. If the politics of inaction and delay that have triumphed in this country continues for another decade, then Planetary Purgatory is the likely future facing our country before midcentury - probably in your own lifetime.....

Texas Blog Roundup: Nov. 6 Election Edition

[This round-up of election news and endorsement posts is brought to you by the Texas Progressive Alliance in anticipation of the November 6 general election. Some of the blogs and sites included in this round-up are not member sites of the Texas Progressive Alliance, but are included in the hopes of giving voters a wider picture of the many issues facing voters in local races around the state. The round-up was compiled by Vince at Capitol Annex.]

On November 6, voters all across Texas will have the opportunity to go to the polls to vote on a variety of issues. First and foremost, voters across Texas will vote on 16 amendments to the Texas Constitution including Proposition 15, the much-touted amendment to fund cancer research in the state.

In addition, voters in some municipalities, most prominently Houston, will be casting votes for city officials including mayors and city council members. College districts, independent school districts, and special districts across the state will also hold elections for their members. A number of cities and school districts will also hold bond elections to fund everything from jail construction to parks and recreation and additional school facilities. Some school districts will also hold tax rate elections to authorize tax rates higher than those allowed by the tax reform plan passed by the Texas Legislature in special session back in 2006.

Texas bloggers have dedicated a considerable amount of coverage to election issues across the state, from the statewide constitutional amendment election to local issues. Much of this coverage is highlighted below.

Local Elections, Bonds, & Referendums

Charles Kuffner at Off The Kuff has exhaustive coverage of local elections in Houston from city council elections to college district elections and city bonds. There are a large number of posts, but mosts can be found in two categories, here and here.

Bill Howell in Stoutdemblog comes out for a vote Yes on the Dallas referendum on the Trinity River at River Don't You Weep.

Texas Cloverleaf has a round up of campaign spending on the Trinity River campaign.

Grits for Breakfast has a round-up of jail-related propositions on the ballot across the state, including in Smith County (Tyler).

Bill Howell in Stoutdemblog comes out for a vote Yes on the Dallas referendum on the Trinity River at River Don't You Weep.

North Texas Liberal explores the pros and cons of the Trinity River referendum in Dallas.

Other Key Local Election Coverage:

Homophobia Rears Its Nasty Head in Fort Worth City Council Race (Doing My Part For The Left)

Endorsements & Voter's Guides: Statewide Amendments & Local Races

Non-partisan voter's guides on the 16 statewide Constitutional Amendments: Texas League of Women Voters, Texas Legislative Council (full version), Texas Legislative Council (condensed version--warning, this is a .doc file), Texas House Research Organization

Newspaper Endorsements For Constitutional Amendments: Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, Waco Tribune-Herald (split editorials: here, here, here, here, here), El Paso Times (Prop. 4) Lufkin Daily News, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, San Antonio Express-News.

Bill Howell at Stoutdemblog provides links to analyses of the amendments, then compares different stands taken on them by some other bloggers and Republicans and Libertarians, then gives his own personal stands on each at Web Resources On The Endless Amendments.

Muse at Musings urges voters to vote the opposite of the Harris County Republican Party's endorsements.

Capitol Annex has endorsements of the 16 Constitutional Amendments with detailed information behind the reasons for their picks in their four endorsement posts.

Gary at Easter Lemming News in Harris County finally has his thoughts straight on all the propositions, amendments and bonds to follow his election page.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson has Early Voting in formation for Williamson County along with several guides and couple of opinions on the amendments .

Off the Kuff gives his recommendations for the state and local bonds and propositions.

CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme points at some resources to decipher the proposed Texas constitutional amendments.

Other Notable Statewide Amendment Coverage:

Proposition 4 (Off The Kuff)

Proposition 15 Ramps Up (Off The Kuff)

Monday, October 29, 2007

argentina elects second female president

Photo Credit: EFE

Argentina's first lady, Cristina Fernandez, has been elected as president of that country. Fernandez claimed victory after viewing early results and exit polls that revealed she had avoided a runoff and had won the election outright, according to the Associated Press.

Fernandez's husband, President Nestor Kirchner, is credited with Argentina's rebound from a 2001 economic collapse, and much of her support is due to his popularity.

She has been compared to U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who like her is a lawyer and senator who soldiered alongside a husband as he rose from small-state governor to his nation's presidency.

"We have won amply," she proclaimed, Kirchner standing at her side. "But this, far from putting us in a position of privilege, puts us instead in a position of greater responsibilities and obligations."

The article indicates that six independent television networks, a radio station and an opposition newspaper have all reported that Fernandez has won the election handily. Challengers are still hoping for a runoff election.

The first lady will assume the presidency in December.

Fernandez is the second female president, but the first to be elected by the voters. Juan Perón's third wife, Isabel Martínez de Perón, assumed the presidency after his death in 1974. Perón was removed by military coup two years later. She was arrested in early 2007 in connection with the forced disappearance of subversives under her presidency.

Texas Blog Roundup: October 29, 2007

It's Monday, and that means it's once again time for the Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up. This week's round-up is complied by Vince from Capitol Annex.

Refinish69 from Doing My Part For The Left is outraged with certain politicians in Fort Worth,Texas. Homophobia Rears Its Nasty Head in Fort Worth City Council Race tells who is being a jerk and how to contact one of them.

Muse was at Armando Walle’s campaign kick-off and reports why it’s time for a change in Texas House District 140. Kevin Bailey (Craddick D) has been serving Craddick and not the district. Walle, who is from the district and has a proven track record of service and leadership, already has a large group of supporters lined up to help him take back 140 for the people.

Phillip Martin of Burnt Orange Report provides a detailed chart and analysis updating what's going on with the Craddick D's. The post brought forward an interesting reader response as well.

TXsharon at Bluedaze gives the Texas Railroad Commission Protection Money Breakdown. and makes it easy for you to take action. So, please take that action before you become the next victim of RRC Malpractice.

Hal at Half Empty wonders whether FEMA has finally taken a page out of George Orwell's book when they held a 'news conference' this past week without a single journalist in attendance.

WhosPlayin notes that he would gladly pay the $13.30 per year per person to pay for SCHIP.

McBlogger takes a look at the strange world of Focus on the Family and the very odd people that attended their Values Voters conference.

CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme notes that Perry appointed a public corruption figure to the UT System Board of Regents.

Johncoby at Bay Area Houston finds the highest and lowest costs for electricity in the Houston area. Power Watch: Highest and lowest electricity rates for November.

Stace at DosCentavos features the trailer to the upcoming Jesse Salmeron film, This Is America. "This is America" is the story of a family torn apart by deportation.

NatWu at Three Wise Men exposes the truth about why we need Net Neutrality, especially with all the recent Telecom shenanigans.

North Texas Liberal's Texas Toad gives a breakdown on the factions of the "Trinity Vote" in Dallas Weighs Pros and Cons of Trinity Toll Road.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson wonders What Will John Carter's Excuse Be This Time For Voting Against Health Care For Children?

Off the Kuff gives his recommendations for the state and local bonds and propositions.

NYTexan at BlueBloggin asks how many wars and how many enemies can Bush have?

Vince at Capitol Annex notes that Tom Craddick has borrowed a page from Warren Chisum in announcing that trial lawyers were behind efforts to remove him during the 8oth Legislative Session and wonders why, since he reported it some months ago, it is suddenly "news" to the mainstream media.

In the wake of the Houston Chronicle's announcement of a "position-elimination program", PDiddie at Brains and Eggs recounts his personal experience with Hearst newspapers, budgets, and staff cutbacks in The Trouble with the Newspaper Bidness.

The Texas Cloverleaf looks at who is fueling the push for a toll road in the banks of the Trinity River in Dallas. You guessed it, Big Business!

In the most recent installment of The Texas Blue's podcast interview series Who's Blue, we talk to State Representative Jim Dunnam. We discuss how he got started in politics, what Kirk England’s party switch means to Texas, and the restoration of community college funding vetoed by Governor Perry.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

ntl on the california wildfires

A guide to the situation from Wikipedia:

The October 2007 California wildfires are a series of wildfires that began burning across Southern California on October 20. At least 1,500 homes were destroyed and over 475,000 acres of land have burned from Santa Barbara County to the U.S.–Mexico border. As of October 24, 18 active fires were burning in the region. Fourteen people have died, and at least 70 others have been injured.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in seven California counties where fires were burning. President George W. Bush has declared that an emergency exists in the State of California and has ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts. Over 6,000 firemen are working to fight the blazes; they are aided by units of the United States Armed Forces and United States National Guard.
Our best wishes go out to those affected by these terrible fires. If you are still in a dangerous area, do what you can to stay safe. If you've returned to areas of San Diego or Los Angeles, our hearts go out to you while you pick up the pieces.

For those of us not in Southern California that would like to help, here is a list of recommended charities provided by the Los Angeles Times:

American Red Cross: Cash donations can be made through or through a local Red Cross chapter. Volunteers also are needed. Information on shelter locations can be found on Red Cross websites for Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and San Diego counties and the Inland Empire. Donations of clothing can be made at Goodwill locations. Information: (800) REDCROSS or (800) 257-7575 for Spanish speakers.

Salvation Army: Cash contributions can be made through its website or by calling (800) SALARMY.

Governor's Office of Emergency Services: Businesses wishing to donate large quantities of goods for distribution to fire victims can call (800) 750-2858 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Pacific time. Individuals wanting to donate items or volunteer to help with local disaster response efforts should contact the Red Cross or go to the governor's CaliforniaVolunteers website at

United Health Group: Southern Californians coping with the emotional consequences of the fires can call a counseling hotline at (866) 342-6892. The free service provided by the insurance company will be available around the clock for as long as needed.

The Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Cash donations are needed to support efforts to provide emergency shelter for animals displaced by the fires. Contributions can be made through or by calling (888) SPCALA1. Food supplies also are needed.

New Leash on Life: The animal rescue group needs help caring for evacuated pets at its Newhall facility. The group can be contacted at (661) 255-0097.

Please do what you can. Also, if you are interested in helping the hard-working firefighters in California, please visit the California State Firefighters' Association website.

For those in the area, in case you haven't seen it, Google Maps has introduced a new feature providing updates on the fires in San Diego and Los Angeles.

all the news that's fit to print

NTL has fallen victim to a self-imposed semi-hiatus, so we thought we'd give you the rundown of what's been going on in Texas politics over the past week or so.
  • Mikal Watts withdrew from the Democratic primary, leaving the field wide open for Rick Noriega to challenge John Cornyn for his Senate seat. Watts cited time away from his family as his reason for leaving the race.

  • Gov. Rick Perry has decided to endorse former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the Republican primary. Some speculate this has to do with Perry's aspirations to become vice president, and Giuliani's need to sway the ultra-conservative Southern voting bloc.

  • Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is planning to resign in 2010 to run for governor of Texas. Maybe she just now remembered her promise of a self-imposed term limit? Preparing for her gubernatorial bid, she seems to be trying to position herself as more of a moderate: she voted in favor of S-CHIP and the Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

  • After previously denying vital funding to community colleges, Rick Perry restored the vetoed funds, allowing for performance incentives for two-year institutions.

  • The City of Lewisville is considering regulating uses of personal parking garages. The ordinance, which will be considered at the first November meeting of the city council, would prohibit the use of garages for non-parking purposes.

  • The sheriff of Potter County has been indicted on three felony charges relating to bribery and campaign corruption, but here's the kicker: he hasn't been, and likely won't be, removed from his position as sheriff!
If you've seen any other exciting Texas-centric tidbits, statewide or regionally exclusive to North Texas, then feel free to be our muse! Leave a link in the comments.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dallas Weighs Pros and Cons of Trinity Toll Road

Early voting for the November 6th election begins today. As the rest of us try to sift through the sixteen constitutional amendments up for statewide vote, Dallas County is weighing a highly contentious vote on whether to proceed with plans to build a tollway inside the Trinity River Corridor Project.

For those Dallasites still trying to make up their mind, today's Dallas Morning News has an archive of articles and opinion pieces, as well as an interactive map and video of the controversial project.

The toll road issue isn't black and white from a partisan perspective. Although Republicans, including Mayor Tom Leppert and City Councilman Ron Natinsky, are front and center in the "Vote No" campaign to defeat the ballot initiative and continue with the toll road, prominent Democrats have supported the project as well. Mayor Laura Miller supported a revised version of the plan. And Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) wrote an editorial for today's DMN supporting the tollway project, and asking voters to defeat the proposal.
Simply put, voting no on Proposition 1 means moving Dallas and the entire Dallas County region forward.

Spearheading support for the "Trinity Vote" side, which wants to see the toll road removed from the park plan, is Dallas City Councilwoman Angela Hunt. Former Democratic mayoral candidate Sam Coats campaigned on support for the referendum.

As grassroots efforts go, the referendum drive was historic. The petition to get the measure on the ballot was signed by 52,000 voters last spring. As Dallas Observer's Jim Schutze notes:

If the anti-toll road forces win on November 6, their victory will constitute the single biggest electoral victory of a grassroots coalition—and the single most devastating defeat of the old downtown power elite—that I have seen in my 30 years covering Dallas politics.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

john cornyn is actually right about something (and it's about time)

We don't agree on much with Sen. John Cornyn, a tried and true Texas Republican that stands on the wrong side of issues such as SCHIP and Iraq and recently authored a "sense of the Senate" resolution condemning liberal organization for an ad they took out in the New York Times.

There's not much doubt that we will support the eventual Democratic nominee that will run against Cornyn in 2008. In the primary, Texas Democrats will choose between Rick Noriega and Mikal Watts, both of whom would make an all-around better senator for Texas.

But maybe Cornyn's not all bad.

Here's what Cornyn and his staff had to say in a constituent response email about the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act (S. 988) introduced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.
As you know, the Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes employers in certain industries to hire temporary and seasonal workers—subject to an annual cap of 66,000 employees—from outside the United States. The H-2B program is designed to help U.S. employers fill a one-time need, seasonal need, peak-load need or intermittent need.

I supported a comprehensive immigration effort that would include a robust temporary worker program that meets the needs of the U.S. labor market. Though the comprehensive immigration reform proposal debated this year could not be adopted because of significant flaws, I continue to push for the Senate to re-engage the debate on immigration reform this year. As an interim step, I support reform measures that will streamline existing temporary worker programs, like the H-2B visa program, as a solution to demands in critical sectors like the Texas landscaping and construction industries. President George W. Bush has recognized the need for such reform and has taken the lead in looking at ways to administratively reform both the H-2B and H-1A seasonal worker programs.

I support the goal of the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act (S. 988) as introduced by Senator Barbara Mikulski. I am also exploring introducing a more comprehensive legislative package designed to create more targeted reforms to both the H-2B and H-2A programs and to permanently re-authorize the “returning worker” provisions introduced in the Save our Small and Seasonal Business Act of 2005 (P.L. 109–13, as amended by P.L. 109–364).
I guess even if you make a career of bad decisions, you'll eventually do something right by accident. Or, he truly stands on the side of small business and supports legal immigrants and seasonal workers, both of which are invaluable to Texans and our state's economy.

Thankfully, Sen. Mikulski was able to protect small businesses for another year by adding language to the 2008 fiscal spending bill. In a press release, the senator said we could count on her to keep fighting for small business.

“Who says my promises made are not promises kept? I told small businesses they could count on me to keep fighting, and I meant it,” said Senator Mikulski. “Without these seasonal workers, many businesses would not survive – forced to limit services, lay off permanent U.S. workers or, worse yet, close their doors.”

The Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act, signed into law by President Bush in May 2005, made significant changes to the federal H2B (non-skilled seasonal worker) visa program. Among the changes, it exempted returning seasonal workers from counting against the national cap of 66,000 people, created new anti-fraud provisions, and ensured a fair allocation of H2B visas among spring and summer employees. This exemption, however, was not made permanent in the 2005 bill, and has to be extended each year until Senator Mikulski’s proposal to make it permanent is passed into law. Last year, a last-minute, one-year extension was included as part of the 2007 Department of Defense authorization bill, but it expired on September 30, 2007.

Senator Mikulski joined Senator John Warner (R-Va.) in March 2007 to introduce a stand alone bill to extend the provision, and also included it as an amendment to the comprehensive immigration packages considered by the Senate this spring. Unfortunately, no bill was brought up for a final vote before the provision’s expiration.

Today’s provision is a one-year extension to allow companies to continue to get the seasonal workers they depend on, and will expire on September 30, 2008.

Mikulski vowed that she won't give up until the fix is permanent. We're glad that John Cornyn stands by her side. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, however, is another story. She is remaining intentionally ambiguous on the issue. A line from her constituent response:
Temporary work visas play an important role in ensuring U.S. companies have the workers they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. However, U.S. immigration policy must ensure American workers have every opportunity to compete for available jobs.
Perhaps she will remain vague, since anything regarding immigration is seen as controversial in Texas. But why is she worried, when she enjoys such high approval ratings? It seems like she has some new career aspirations which might prohibit her from taking any real stances for the remainder of her Senate term.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Patterson Rebuffs National Park Service Interest in Christmas Mountains

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is telling the National Park Service to "take a hike" on the acquisition of the Christmas Mountains.

Despite previous indications that acquiring the land would not be practical, the National Park Service has now asked Patterson to postpone the sale of the land, which abuts the northwest corner of Big Bend National Park, to allow it time to conduct an evaluation to consider the feasibility of purchase. Patterson's rationale for refusing to postpone the sale of the land to private interests? "No guns, no hunting, no deal."

That's right, despite the fact that the land was donated with the intent that it remain in public hands for the enjoyment of the general populace, Patterson's ever-shifting reasoning is that he

........ would not be willing to sell the Christmas Mountains to the National Park Service if it would mean that there would never be public hunting allowed on the property," Jim Suydam, Patterson's spokesman, said in a statement.

According to the Texas Observer,

Patterson, who allegedly keeps a pistol in his left boot and another in his waistband, calls the ban on packing heat in national parks "unconstitutional.”

The GLO (General Land Office,) which manages the land, is proposing to sell the land to private investors as early as its November meeting.

The GLO has a fiduciary responsibility to maximize returns on land it holds for the fund, and maintains that it must sell the Christmas Mountains as it is “unable to invest the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to fence the land to protect it from poachers and to restore it to its original, native state.”

The GLO's claim that the land needs to be sold because of mismangement is disputed by many. Meanwhile, Patterson assures us that

the deed restrictions conveyed to the Land Office by the Conservation Fund will be conveyed to a private owner and will be legally enforceable. This means that they are bound by the original restrictions set forth by the Fund, yet will have greater financial means to manage the land.

That statement would be reassuring if Patterson had a history of honoring deed restrictions. But of course, if he had abided by the restriction in the original deed that said the land could not be sold without the permission of the Conservation Fund, we wouldn't be having this debate, now would we?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

could congress override bush's veto?

Is it possible for Congress to override President Bush's SCHIP veto?

Some Democrats seem to think so.

The Committee for a Democratic Majority is sponsoring a petition to President Bush and members of Congress. The "tens of thousands" of people that signed support an override of the SCHIP veto. Who else is behind the petition? Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

In an email for the committee, Sen. Kennedy said "If we can afford the war in Iraq, we can afford health insurance for our children. It's that simple."

The Democrat sounded positive when he said asked supporters to help override the veto in under two weeks.

A vote in the House of Representatives is scheduled for October 18.

Others are fighting to override, as well, including a newly-formed coalition that is running an ad campaign blasting Bush for his veto.

The coalition, which includes the AFL-CIO and, rolled out a nearly $1 million television ad campaign and is targeting about 20 Republicans to vote to override the president's veto of the bill.

The national ad, sponsored by Americans United for Change, an umbrella group of liberal organizations, is running on cable networks.

It includes images of a baby and other children with an announcer saying "George Bush just vetoed Abby." The coalition also promises to rally activists in districts of another 20 House Republicans over the next two weeks.

According to the CNN article, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is cautiously optimistic about overriding the veto. "We take it one day at a time," she said.

An override is entirely plausible at this point, as more and more Republicans are distancing themselves from the president by deserting him on domestic issues.

Texas Blog Roundup: October 10, 2007

It's Monday, and that means it is time again for the Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Blog Round Up. This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

TXsharon says, "YOU SUCK AT&T" and she can only say that because she doesn't use AT&T. Over at Bluedaze she tells why, if you use AT&T for your Internets, you can't say they suck.

Stace at Dos Centavos reports on racism and bigotry committed by a corporation and a UT fraternity.

What's really going on in Irving? Xanthippas at Three Wise Men notes there's more going on in the immigration crackdown than possible profiling and arrests.

CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme notes that NOW wants to know why U.S. District Judge Judge Samuel Kent was 'punished' with a 4 month vacation after the investigation into sexual harassment charges concluded.

Criticism of Hillary Clinton's laugh is no laughing matter, so says PDiddie at Brains and Eggs in HRC:LOL.

Might be time for a bit of horsetrading on the floor of the Senate, and one of Texas Kaos' regular diarists, Fake Consultant, has a bit of advice on the subject for Majority Leader Harry Reid in On Larry Craig, And Filibusters or Wanna Make a Trade?

Truth, it has been said, is the first casualty of war. The Republican-Media coalition must have declared war on Social Security, and Blue 19th exposes their lies.

Human rights advocates cheered the Williamson County Commission's vote to sever ties with the operator of the T. Don Hutto holding facility for undocumented immigrants, but Eye On Williamson's wcnews wonders if a battle within the Republican party over the county's share of the profits may have driven their decision.

McBlogger at McBlogger speculates as to the reasons Sharon Keller (Chief Justice of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals) needed to get out of work at 5 on Sept. 25th.

Vince at Capitol Annex tells us about the Texas Conservative Coalition's new Election Integrity Task Force, its new Chairwoman and its likely recommendations.

Peter at B and B writes about the quixotic attempts by a group of environmentally-conscious Republicans to get their chosen political party to care about conservation and stewardship: Republicans for Environmental Protection, all 70 of them, meet in San Antonio.

Off the Kuff looks at the ongoing dispute between the Harris County Appraisal District and the State Comptroller over how commercial properties are taxed.

In Texas Kaos dairy, Dallas and Denton drinking water at risk by TxDOT's route selection choice for FM299, Faith Chatham's shares a letter from Highland Village Parents Group activist/homeowner Susie Venable to Mayor Tom Leppert of Dallas regarding the City Water Department's failure to monitor possible MTBE contamination issues. Despite cries of running out of money, TxDOT selected the only route (of 8) which would double project costs by requiring bridges to be built across three tributaries to Lake Lewisville (drinking water source for Denton and Dallas Counties) in the area of the lake already contaminated by MTBE.

Gary at Easter Lemming updates the Pasadena Mayor Manlove resignation and his running for Lampson's seat. There are a lot of happy faces at city hall. Easter Lemming broke the story back on the 22nd.

Trinity Trickey strikes again at The Texas Cloverleaf. This time pro toll road literature features the war on trees and the fight against Angela Hunt by the powers that be. Only in Dallas.

This week's installment of GLBTube at the Houston GLBT Political Caucus Blog is a double feature: first, a sampling of clips related to ENDA; then gay republicans are running ads in order to sabotage hypocritical presidential candidates!

WhosPlayin hammers away on GOP Congressman Michael Burgess for dissing Muslims and being one of 30 boneheads to vote for giving mercenary firms like Blackwater a license to kill.

The Texas Blue looks at how the evangelical social movement isn't playing nice-nice with the Republican Party any longer, and why that is good for America.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, author, syndicated columnist, political analyst and commentator, who is on a virtual book tour will stop by Para Justicia y Libertad on Oct 11 to discuss his new book The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation Between African-Americans and Hispanics.

Hal at Half Empty counted a Lucky Seven congressional candidates that want to run against Nick Lampson in Texas CD 22. He ROFLs and LMAOs.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Texas Blog Roundup: SCHIP Edition

President Bush today vetoed an important and widely supported bi-partisan expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) (H.R. 976).

WhosPlayin takes a look at what the blogs of the Texas Progressive Alliance are saying about this terrible move:

Adam at Three Wise Men writes: Bush uses veto pen to strike health care for kids.

Blue 19th takes Randy Neugebauer to task for being willing to send billions to Iraq, but not to help children at home.

Blue 19th has uncovered a transcript of a secret press conference featuring the President, the Governor, and Rep. Randy Neugebauer. Put your sensibilities on hold and enjoy.

In examining President Bush's veto of the SCHIP reauthorization and expansion, Vince at Capitol Annex notes that this is one of the President's worst actions in office and also points us to statements on the veto from a pair of Texas Legislators: Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) and Ellen Cohen (D-Houston).

Muse interrupts her outrage at Bush’s SCHIP veto to send him a Bible verse, remind him that his approval numbers are half of the percentage of Americans who approve of the legislation and wonder if next up is clubbing baby seals and drowning kittens.

Eye On Williamson calls Bush and Rep. John Carter on their votes against children, for private insurance corporations and urges the people to get involved, Bush Vetoes Childrens Health Care & John Carter Is Right By His Side.

Matt Glazer of Burnt Orange Report notes that the non-partisan Center for Public Policy Priorities urges Texans to encourage Senator Cornyn and the 18 Texas Congressmen who voted against it to change their votes to override the veto. Matt also suggests that Bush, Perry, Cornyn, and McCaul hate children and encourages us to show our outrage at a rally for kids health.

Charles Kuffner of Off the Kuff notes that Bush is acting ashamed of this veto and explores the numbers needed for an override.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Texas Blog Roundup: October 1, 2007

It's Monday and that means it's time for another installment of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Blog Round-Up. This week's round-up was complied by Vince from Capitol Annex.

Blue 19th wonders: Can someone ask Randy Neugebauer why he hates college students?

Evan at the Houston GLBT Political Caucus Blog asks where's Human Rights Campaign as leaders in congress are considering leaving transgender works out of ENDA because, unlike other GLBT political organizations, H.R.C. has been silent so far, and that's unacceptable.

In How are these alike? Fort Worth and Wise County TXsharon of Bluedaze warns Fort Worth residents about the dangers of Barnett Shale drilling, conflicts of interest and good old boy politics.

McBlogger goes all medieval on the Texas Transportation Commission's derriere... Like toll roads? Not McBlogger!

Texas Kaos community member Carol Gee gives a primer on terms we're all going to need to become much more familiar with in 50 Ways to Understand the Protect America Act.

Managing diabetes is a real pain, according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson analyzes the latest actions regarding HD-52 in Krusee's Influence And Credibility Are Gone, Time For HD-52 To Start Over.

BossKitty at Blue Bloggin notes that Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin), representing the 25th District of Texas, hits Bush in the nose again, and this time its on SCHIP. She also tells about some of the antics of Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) on the vote--and how that's all about earmarks.

In a pair of posts, Nat-Wu at Three Wise Men asks if the city of Irving is practicing racist law enforcement.

Off the Kuff takes a look at State Proposition 2, which an education bond issue that should not be confused with the Houston ISD's more controversial referendum.

Over at Stop Cornyn, Matt tells us how John Cornyn has once again voted against Texas Children. Another post at Stop Cornyn notes just how out of touch Cornyn's vote was.

Texas Toad at North Texas Liberal talks about the Project Farm Team meeting, with guest speaker Vince Leibowitz, and how that organization can turn Denton County blue.

The Texas Blue, one of the recent additions to the Texas Progressive Alliance has an audio interview with State Representative Kirk England, who discusses his background and what motivated his recent decision to switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.

Vince at Capitol Annex tells us how Rick Perry's decision to order the state's two largest retirement systems to divest in Iranian-related investments could cause a special session.

Refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left gives his views about people saying elect any Democrat and why he thinks that is total BS in Rick Noriega, Dan Grant and John Edwards 3 Great Democrats To Get Elected

Half Empty'scoverage of a presentation by Hank Gilbert makes note of what a huge issue the Trans Texas Corridor is. Hal attended Hank Gilbert's informative discussion on Saturday and reports.