In my email from the Travis County Democratic Party (yeah, yeah), I read that Senor ex-Presidente Bill Clinton will be in town to sign his book My Life. I know you are all so eager to attend, so after the jump is the information.
The State Affairs Committee scheduled for May 2 caught our eye. Note the asterisk on the first bill.
If any of y'all got a rule book handy, riddle us this: How is a public hearing allowed to accept 'invited tesimony only'?
We know the State Affairs has had some late nights lately, but when you bring up a boatload of turds you gotta expect it to smell a little bit.
Rep. Keel's prepared speech leads us to believe he was truly outraged that the Dems killed the Campaign Finance Reform Bill. (Keel's remarks after the jump)
What's a young wide-eyed political blogger to think? This is what happens when we stop drinking and try to actually pay attention.
Phil conveniently missed the 7th Annual Community Networking Conference. As Chair of the House Regulated Industries Committee, he was scheduled to give the keynote speech. Oops, that would have required him to defend HB 789, and since he couldn't possibly do that he sent someone else to be slaughtered. Special legal counsel Jake Posey was under attack by many of the attendees.
Poor Jake, how's it feel to get screwed by Phil King?
And Phil, shame on you. How many times do we have to admonish you this session. It's getting embarrassing for both of us.
(via Quorum Report)
We've had a lot to say about Mary Denny not bringing the campaign finance reform bill before her committee this session, and we will have a lot to say about Craddick flip-flopping on his pledge before he became leader (after the jump), but now we'd like to join Mary Denny (who said she's afraid that campaign finance reform bills would limit free speech) in an excercise of our own.
We got you started, with our caption of this photo but we challenge each of you to come up with your own caption by putting a thought bubble on this photo of Mary Denny. We'll post the best here with mad photoshop skillz. You may leave your caption in the comments section (anonymously as always) or email them to us at tipsATpinkdomeDOTcom.
Look how sweet. If True.com online dating service has their way, this will be the only singles looking for love online. In a corporate war with Match.com, they have filed legislation to require criminal background checks before you can post your profile online.
Google search pulls up over 23 million results for 'online dating service' and one company in Texas thinks they all need a background check for singles in Texas.
This is nothing but the result of a corporate war between True.com and Match.com, two lame-ass websites.
The mother of PinkDome has requested a disclaimer. Being a dutiful child, I oblige (kind of).
The views and content of PinkDome do not necessarily reflect that the author was not brought up right by the parents of PinkDome.
For some reason mom thought some of the things on this site could be considered offensive. Weird.
We were going to post a little something about a spike in traffic yesterday that had us perplexed until we saw the referring web sites, but had to put the mom thing first, that original post is after the jump.
We'll divulge a little secret here - PD and I have discussed starting a podcast. It hasn't come to fruition yet, but just wait, my friends. Some day. . .
Anyway, Chris Bell has beaten us to it (Thanks, BOR) . On his refurbished/newfangled/updated site, Mr. Bell has a blog, podcast and other nifty things. Now if Perry sets up a podcast in the near future, then we know end times are upon us!
Just the idea of Perry working on a podcast kinda gives us the creeps. We can just see him choosing what music to use as his intro - something by Toby Keith, I suspect. Or maybe Jerry Jeff Walker.
We were going to write something informative on the revenue cap bill, but then we realized we didn't have any idea what that meant so instead we just decided to poke fun at Craddick. Stick to what you know in a crunch, we always say.
The Statesman keeps saying that 'in a rare vote by Craddick' and after about the fourth time we read that on different bills this season we wondered: When does it stop being 'rare' and turn into a little too 'well done' for us to enjoy anymore?
The Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday to take up the Kinney County water wars some of you may have read about.
Jay Johnson of the West Texas Springs Alliance says:
The Dallas Morning News layout editor is hilarious. Check out why after the jump. Leave the humor to the drunk bloggers, DMN.
EDITED TO ADD: Contrary to what this guy thinks, we didn't use Lee Franke's (who the hell is that?) as a source for this scan, but nice to see a Fox 'news' contributor doing what we expect...not getting their facts right.
Off the Kuff links to a story in D Magazine that is a must-read. After reading the article, we are very glad not to live Midlothian, but certainly the residents of the town deserve better than to be inundated by harmful chemicals from cement plants.
Why we are linking to the story (with our added emphasis):
When the state Senate Natural Resources Committee held a hearing in Plano last August to address air-pollution problems in North Texas, I went and told them about TXI and Holcim‚??s efforts to avoid proper pollution controls. But the senators at that hearing did not consider Midlothian‚??s cement plants a problem for North Texas. They suggested I write state Sen. Kip Averitt if I had any concerns. I did. He never responded.There's some scary shit in the article, so check it out. We'll also link to the related website - Midlothian Family Network.
After telling O‚??Leary and Frisinger about the hearing, I wrote an op-ed piece in the News. The column was titled ‚??Hearing or Farce?‚?? and it prompted a call from state Sen. Craig Estes. After first asking me if I was recording the conversation (I wasn‚??t), he expressed displeasure with what I‚??d written. He then asked me to join him on a tour of TXI‚??s new cement kiln, telling me it had state-of-the-art pollution controls. But I had been associating with radical environmentalists and the liberal media. I knew these were the same pollution controls TXI was fighting to remove. I sent Estes a letter accepting his invitation to tour the plant. I never heard back.
Phil King has backed off his proposal to require steroid testing for high school kids. I guess somebody finally told him it would cost tens of millions of dollars and unless he was paying for it, nobody has any money.
Unfortunately, we think 'overreaction' and 'knee-jerk reaction' could be used to explain the vast majority of all legislation coming out of this session.
The DMN reports that there's a lottery bill we haven't seen yet. This one proposes that buying lottery tickets be easier than ordering online porn over the Internet. Rep. Uresti (D-San Antonio) is a supporter of the bill. Yo, Carlos...did you not listen to us or your party chair back in March?
Citing a decade-and-a-half of broken promises by legislative leaders that a state lottery would pay for public schools, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Charles Soechting today announced that he will ask the state party's executive committee to pass a resolution opposing the expansion of gambling in Texas.You know what really burns our ass? Unfortunately, no...not a flame three feet high...it's when we have to agree with a Republican before we've even gotten over our hangover from how they drove us to drink yesterday. Thanks, Uresti. Attaway to go, son...attaway to go.
Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, said Internet sales are a bad idea because kids could buy lottery tickets. Ms. Crownover also saideasier access could fuel gambling addiction.
Representative Coleman sends us his brief statement: Download file.
Representative Senfronia Thompson's speech on the Floor is also available here: Download file (The full text is also after the jump.)
Representative Anchia's Statement here: Download file.
LGRL Statement here: Download file.
Representative Farrar's office sends her speech to us. We thought she did a great job and her visual aid made a strong point about using the Bible for political agendas. We agree Rep. Farrar. . . the Bible we read says a lot about the poor, the sick, the less fortunate, but it doesn't say disenfranchisement or bigotry. Here is her statement: Download file.
In a 2 hour and 53 minute debate today the State House of Representatives voted yes on the hate legislation banning same-sex marriages. Read our live blog below. When the record vote is released call your legislator and thank them if they were courageous and voted the right way or if they were a bigot and voted the wrong way.
In case you happen to be a gay youth reading this post, or a gay adult Texan, we'd like to make this clear. THE STATE OF TEXAS HATES YOU, The State of Texas believes you are a threat to their families. PinkDome suggests you gather your belongings and leave.
HJR 6, the Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriages is scheduled for the House Floor today. We went forward in time and obtained this exclusive transcript of the debates. Selected portions highlighted below:
Talton: Homosexuals are a threat to Texas Families, the homosexual agenda is an epidemic fueled by hollywood and liberal anti-Christian elitists.
Chisum: I don't know what makes people be homosexual but those kinds of people will ruin the sanctity of marriage.
Senfronia: You are idiots.
Hupp: Philosophically, I believe in the right to carry concealed weapons.
Keffer: I love my gay son, but I don't want to marry him.
Gattis: Legally, because as you know I am a lawyer, I believe the definition of marriage should be one man, one woman, or one man one mermaid but that is as far as my constituents will go in expanding the definition of marriage.
Villareal: Here in 1937 it's nice to see Texas being progressive.
Tatum: Warren, you look so nice today.
Chisum: You, too Bob. I think I love you.
Tatum: Will you marry me, Warren?
Chisum: I do.
The House adjourned to arrange a special committment ceremony between the two legislators. They are registered for gifts at International Male. (Sources say, Bob needs a new leather thong)
The Texas Legislature will most likely cut funding to about 680 libraries this session. Librarians rallied on the steps of the Capitol a couple of weeks ago, but you probably didn't see it or read about it. I had a hard time finding any coverage. Texas currently ranks 46th in the nation on library funding.
So, instead of having these big old buildings all over the place filled with books and periodicals, converting them to prisons is an obvious answer. These spaces could relieve the pressure on the Texas Prison System with minimal effort and expense to the state.
In addition, the long term and recurring cost savings of cutting public libraries completely from the state budget would offset initial conversion costs of these facilities and realize a cost savings within a few short years
Damn, we are so smart. It's not even 9 a.m. and we've solved two state problems. Who gives a shit about books anyway? We like putting people in the pokey. We're kinda confident we'll see a lot of the folks we are used to seeeing in the Pink Dome today we'll be seeing behind bars pretty soon.
There are 25 bills on the calendar for the House Elections Committee this Wednesday. Many of them address the voter identification, attempts to disenfranchise voters, violate the Voting Rights Act, and so on and so forth...
I'm just a bill.
Yes, I'm only a bill.
And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it's a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It's a long, long wait
While I'm sitting in committee,
But I know I'll be a law some day
At least I hope and pray that I will
But today I am still just a bill.
That's right, don't bother looking HB 1348 supported by over 90 Reps isn't on the calendar. Say what you will about Mary Denny (and we've got plenty to say) but she doesn't bow to public opinion, legislator support, media pressure, or what is good for Texas voters.
Happy Monday folks, it's gonna be a great week.
We understand that Phil King has instructed the State Affairs committee that he is ready to have his heineously mean parental consent bill voted out of committee this week. We've seen a committee substitute that he's come up with since the marathon hearing on 4/13-14 and it leaves those abused kids SOL. Orphans, likewise. So call your rep, if he or she is on the committee (you know who you are, District 134 constituents) and tell them to reject HB 1212.
Oh yes, and call your friends who are judges and tell them to get ready to be forced to decide whether "the abortion would be in the best interest of the minor" with the Republican party looking over their shoulder when the first Open Records Act request is filed to find out how well they toted the party line.
This legislative session ought to be renamed the Passion of the Idealogues. We haven't seen anything this graphic since the Jews killed Jesus in Mel's movie last year.
Talton's amendment to the CPS bill to ban homosexual and bisexual singles or couples from being foster parents sparked an uproar. Texas would be the only state to do so, and it would surely be yet another item the courts would have to later fix at a great cost to the state.
But, as we discuss this let's not forget the children. Those that right now are in a loving family environment that could be ripped from that environment and placed in a group home.
Let's put a couple of faces on this gay adoptive parents and see if you can spot the evil lurking in these photographs.
Funny, all I see is selfless people giving love and a home to children that don't otherwise have that in their life.
Gee, Talton that really does seem to hurt the children of Texas doesn't it?
We have an update
What do you get when you have one Hispanic driving and SUV, some racial-profiling Kingsville Drug Task Force Agents, and video released to the media? Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa says you get retaliation for filing good sensical legislation by an out-of-control agency with no checks and balances.
That's right, folks. Sen Hinojosa, a longtime advocate to create meaningful legislation as it relates to reforming the agency and its drug stings.
Ah, the Kingsville Drug Task Force. Corrupt, ineffective, and retalitory. Unfortunately, in Texas that seems just about right, doesn't it?
We're behind you Hinojosa, give 'em hell. Or hell, just make them get fixed. We've learned a lot about the government and the agencies of the State this year. Every time we learn something it should not make us want to throw up.
Question: What agency governs the Kingsville Drug Task Force anyway? Rogue nowhere county without oversight??
Today is Earth Day (the 35th one, in fact). There are many events planned around the Austin area for the Earth Day weekend, such as park cleanups. We're not sure if the Lege has any plans set for Earth Day, but we can hope that at least it will get some lame mention on the floor sometime today.
Sen. Jane Nelson has said that she strongly objects to the Talton amendment in the CPS bill. "They are not going to kill my bill," she told the AP (FWST, bugmenot):
Nelson said part of her concern about the amendment was that a judge in Arkansas had declared that state's prohibition of gay foster parents unconstitutional.Rep. Hupp is considering a re-write of the amendment that would kill the Talton addition. We are so glad these legislators see the real error and stupidity of the Talton amendment. That's at least a step in the right direction. . . .
Rep. Carter Casteel likes ants and gorillas. During the discussion on HB1006 and the amendments thereof, she has referred to the "gorilla" that is school finance, and just stated, "We're stepping on ants, A-U, A-n-t-s!" It just about killed us. Then she went and mentioned Aunt Susie. So maybe she did mean to step on aunts.
The House is currently discussing HB1006. We'd be paying more attention, but we are just not in the right mindset this afternoon. A tipster tells us this bill "has some feathers ruffled". Here's a segment of it, and let us know if you can translate it:
ROLLBACK RATE = ANY RATE EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN (EFFECTIVESee what we mean? It's just like algebra, which we barely passed. Where X = why the hell are we even trying to make sense out of this bill?
MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS RATE x 1.03 [1.08]) + CURRENT DEBT RATE
- SALES TAX GAIN RATE BUT NOT TO EXCEED (EFFECTIVE MAINTENANCE AND
OPERATIONS RATE x 1.05) + CURRENT DEBT RATE - SALES TAX GAIN RATE
where "sales tax gain rate" means a number expressed in dollars per
$100 of taxable value, calculated by dividing the revenue that will
be generated by the additional sales and use tax in the following
year as calculated under Subsection (d) [of this section] by the
current total value
What does a story in the New York Times about a U.N. nominee and an Ohio Senator have to do with Texas Politics? Stick with us and we'll make a great segue.
Yesterday Republican Ohio Senator George Voinivich, in a move to delay the vote on John Bolton for Ambassador to the UN sided with Democrats to put off a confirmation vote. Bolton's reputation as a bully, rageholic and serial abuser, not to mention a career enemy of the UN may come to be his undoing finally, due to Voinivich finding some cajones. What does this have to do with Texas politics? Come on, Texas Republicans (and shamefully a few of you fake Democrats). You CAN get a spine and stand up for what's right. Education, gay families, election reform.
Pick a topic and get a conscience.
It was February 10 when we first posted this photo of Mary "Mary Quite Contrary" Denny. She continues to live under the thumb of Craddick and keeps the campaign finance reform bill bottled up in the House Elections Committee.(DMN)
93 Reps have signed up to support the bill, hell why hasn't every one of them - because it obviously doesn't matter.
Well, it's up to the Senate now to strip the amendment out of the full bill. Otherwise, Child Protective Services is going to have to hire some full-time HomoInvestigators. Where can we apply? See how your favorite
adulterer, hatemonger, idealogue esteemed legislator voted here.
The amendment that was heard round the world is mentioned and affectionately referred to as a big stinking pile of shit at BOR, 100 Monkeys Typing, Appalachia Alumni, Austin American Statesman, AAS Lasso, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chron, Grits For Breakfast and the LGRL Blog (if we left you out, add your link in the comments)...starting to get the idea that both the media and the fake media (see? we're self-depreciating!) think this amendment is a bad idea? It takes children out of loving homes, it has a huge fiscal note, it's a violation of the right to privacy, probably unconstitutional, and oh yeah...homophobic. Way to go!
Rep. King received emergency consideration to introduce HB 3563 to mandate testing high school athletes for steroid use. Only trouble is, when the University Interscholastic League (the group that oversees high school sports) looked into the same thing, they quickly found out that the cost would exceed $60 million dollars.
Where did Phil get an extra $60 million dollars to dole out to the school districts? Oh, he didn't - he has no idea where the money will come from, he's just talking out of his enormous ass. Awesome.
Insomnia makes PinkDome smarter. Otherwise, we would have never seen the PBS Show on science. A segment on the show, NOVA, explained embryonic stem cell research and cloning. You can watch the segment online (click, 'Watch the segment'). You can take the survey online about your beliefs on stem cell research (click Should we allow cloning for stem cell research). Now, before you click on your answer, PinkDome would suggest you choose the decision opposite from the current belief. Why? Because each step of the survey requires you to read the opposing position before you proceed through the survey. Tricky PBS bastards!
Rep. Hupp had to stand up in opposition to Amendment 60(.pdf) that would prohibit homosexual or bisexual couples from being foster parents, even if they are a relative. Hupp said it, "pained her" to oppose Talton's amendment. She opposed the amendment because it has a HUGE
packagefiscal note. This single provision would add about $8million in state expenses to investigate homosexual couples and would take kids out of 1,200 homes where they are now. This would also mean that if an employee of a group home center was gay or bisexual, potentially the entire group home would be closed and the children moved. (Uhm, there aren't enough foster parents to care for the children in the system today, without this amendment)
Villareal proposed an amendment that basically would include a 'don't as, don't tell' provision to prevent the CPS becoming the sexual orientation police. (Amendment to the Amendment FAILED, d'uh)
So, just so we are clear...Texas legislature does not care about what is best for a child, they care about making sure no faggot can be a selfless Texan citizen. So far: Hate 2, Good Legislation 0--Yes, we are keeping score.
Update: LGRL Statement in the comments.
SB 6 is on the House Floor. Rep. Hupp offered an amendment to increase the marriage license fee by $15. Senfronia Thompson just walked up and said, "So, you're raising the cost on marriage licenses by $15?" and Hupp replied "Yes." Senfronia looks at her dead in the eye and goes, "Tax Bill." and walked from the back mic.
A Little Pollyanna led us over to this quiz to determine what global religion category our belief system was most aligned with. (One in which ending your sentences with a preposition is encouraged...obviously)
Anyway, we're totally Christian y'all. Proving that hatemongers like Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Jerry Falwell, and the rest of the Republicans do not own God.
Rock on, Jesus. We got you.
While we totally respect all the other fake religions, we really only condemn the ones that think politics and Jesus have anything to do with one another.
Chris Bell alerted us with this excerpt from a press release:
HB 220 would effectively repeal legislation passed in 1995 to prevent the State Board of Education from censoring content in Texas textbooks. This bill would permit SBOE members to insert their own political agenda into our kids‚?? textbooks.
What exactly have the textbook censors objected to here in Texas?
On the schedule today before the House: HB137. Inside the Texas Capitol has posted on this bill which will make our Texas welcome signs say, "Drive Friendly--The Texas way"(emphasis added for ridiculousness) and "Welcome to Texas--Proud to be the Home of President George W. Bush." (again, emphasis added). We agree with imasuit when he/she states:
I wish I could propose an amendment to say: "Proud to now be the Home of Connecticut-native [President] George W. Bush," or "Proud to be the Vacation Home of President George W. Bush."We wonder, why not advertise the famous politicians who were actually BORN here, such as President Eisenhower (Republican) or LBJ (Dem)? Why not just make a huge wall stating all the famous people born or now residing in Texas at all the state borders? We like, "Proud to be home of famed "Speed" actress and producer Sandra Bullock", or something to that effect.
Our neighbors in Oklahoma City were ushered violently into a world the rest of us would not come to know until 2001. Do you remember that day? Do you remember not being able to understand? How? Why?
I remember the people's faces, I remember looking at the building and my eyes growing wide in shock and disbelief.
What a long 10 years it has been. Now, every American can imagine bombs in buildings. We may be a country divided on a whole host of issues, but today I am reminded that we are all of the same heart. The American heart, one that can bring us together and heal us and fight for us, and like the dysfunctional family we are, make us madder than anything else.
Like all family, we come together in a crisis.
Today, the message I'd like our leaders to send out to us is the message that instead of working towards selfish political goals, take a second...and think. Remember, we're all in this together.
Ok. Sentimentality break is over. My pill is wearing off so back to bitchy in twenty minutes.
In response to news about Perry lining up lobbyists to launch a campaign against Republicans that voted the wrong way on the tax bill. Why would Perry go after them in their districts?
The DMN does a great job of lining up the Republicans responses and they read like shocked teenage girls expressing their disbelief that their boyfriend has, like, totally ditched them at the dance.
Stranded at the drive in, branded a fool. What will they say Monday in school?
Nice try, Greg. Having staff post glowing reviews on craigslist has to be some sort of ethics violation!
Texas Attorney General does recover child support
Reply to: email@example.com
Date: 2005-04-15, 3:22PM CDT
The AG's office did recover my child support for me and I am not on any public assistance. [rambling removed, included after the jump] AND the money now goes through the AG's office so they will take immediate action if he stops paying again.
* this is in or around S. Austin
* no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Jeesh, we come back from lunch and get this email about what you kids have been up to in the House while we were gone.
"This is a bullshit point of a order," "This is a'fuck you Fred Hill 'amendment," "I would appreciate if you would get your hand off of me"
Keel was PISSED OFF and said this to Van Arsdale on the floor today, at his desk, during the lunch recess, after 1) Van Arsdale offered an amendment to Fred Hill's HB 3016 (that was ultimately tabled by just two votes: 68 to 66) and 2) called a point of order on the bill after his amendment failed (the point of order is still pending - the members just broke for lunch until 1:00). Several members were pissed at Fred Hill because he voted against appraisal caps last week and this bill says some drug supplies would not be subject to property taxes. When Hochberg and Hupp are both voting not to table the same amendment, you know some people are pissed!
Did Armbrister and Fraser join the mile-high club with TXU lobbyists when they went to the Master's Tournament? We first talked about their trip on April 11, the Statesman goes in-depth to uncover---nothing.
This time we thought we'd offer a plea to all the lobbyists. Would someone please ask Senator Van de Putte to dance?
"I've been here 14 years (as a legislator). And I keep waiting for someone to ask just so I can be indignant," Van de Putte said. "Either I'm not important enough or they think I'm goody-two-shoes. Nobody has ever asked me. And I don't play golf."Van de Putte's turn-ons are: long walks on the beach and kittens, turn-offs: men who don't listen and social injustice.
Chris Bell: Continues his cock-tease on running for governor. AAS reports he's 70% sure. We've received so many press releases we thought the campaign was nearly over.
Holy Shit, Mary Denny's got a gun! The DMN 'outs' the legislators with permits to carry concealed weapons. We thought the list would be longer. But, now that we know who's packin' and who isn't we'll be more careful in our taunts. For example, Yo Grusendorf...way to go on that education stuff, high five!
Houston Chron to House Elections Committee: Piss or Get Off The Pot: Funny how constitutional amendments to legislate hate run through the House faster than Thai food through our intestines, yet campaign finance reform sits like a big block of cheese. Someone send some Correctol, quick.
According to a DMN Exclusive (we love that word, makes us tingle in our special place) Governor Perry's office met with several top lobbyists to get them to sponsor an "ad campaign" to promote "the school funding legislation" and the "property tax decrease" legislation. Like how we use quotes around things...What the sentence would read like if we didn't have a sense or irony:
...get them to sponsor a smear campaign targeting Republicans that voted against the proposals or whose support is weakening on the shocking school finance piece of shit legislation and the ginormous tax increase bills.
Deirdre Delisi, the governor's chief of staff, asked the lobbyists to report back next week on whether their clients would contribute money, then she took off her strap on and casually walked out the door as the lobbyists sheepishly pulled up their pants.
The Bay Area Democrats and 'A Texas Republican For Ethical Reform" are apparently joining together to protest Tom DeLay's keynote speech at the NRA convention this weekend in Houston. The flyer (.pdf file) points out strongly that this is not a protest of the NRA, just DeLay.
So if you don't have anything better to do Saturday night, mosey on down there and just yell, "JERK" over and over again and see if Tom hears you.
Yeah, we used the "N" word. The proposal to require your race to be displayed on the front of your driver's license is meant to build better statistics to judge whether or not Texas is engaging in 'racial profiling' during traffic stops. (San Antonio Express-News)
Oh, why do we think this is a bad idea? Maybe because a.) the information is already embedded in the magnetic strip on our license, b.) it's none of your damn business what my ethnicity is you fuckwad, and c.) displaying this information on your license? What's next we all have to put decals on our cars?
We're sure Scott over at Grits has a better grasp on this than we do, but we haven't jumped over there yet today.
Says, Rep. Dan Flynn after the coach was shot in his district. Karen Brooks of the DMN reports he seized the golden opportunity of a school shooting to call for a return to the simpler days and put God in schools.
Flynn was quickly interviewed about the incident and used his camera time to let us know that this never would have happened had their been some Jesus in that school.
Weird, the shooter didn't attend the school.
Ok, here's the deal. It is not the government's role to teach people about God. That's a parent's and/or community's responsibility, a Church's responsibility. Not the government.
Oh, and while we are on the subject...quit using religion as a political maneuver. God (and PinkDome) can see right through you.
The House committee holding up the campaign finance bill needs a dose of Ex-Lax. They can't seem to get it moving. (DMN) Funny, other committees are letting the shit flow fast and furious but Mary Denny's just sitting there grunting on the campaign finance bill.
Someone deliver her some laxatives to help her get the message.
The title for this post is taken from a quote in an ad for telecomfortexas.com, which encourages us Texans to question telecom competition. Oh yeah, competition is bad, monopolies good, right? Um, not so much. The ad shows a subscript at the bottom of the screen saying, paid for by SBC. What a surprise! SBC loves Rep. King's bill, we know this.
We wish such crappy ads wouldn't interrupt our CSI-watching. Damn it.
Speaker of the House Craddick will be substitute teaching (AAS) for a Mendez Middle School teacher here in Austin tomorrow. We'd love to get in on that action. Kids, let's talk about how to kill Robin Hood. Middle school is hard enough to deal with without politicians eating into the school day with publicity stunts.
added by PD:
What's next? Photo opps in the maternity ward? Craddick cares about the children, y'all. Wow, think I just threw up a little in my mouth when I wrote that.
Looking over the stats for PinkDome, we were pleased to see that searches for Reps and Senators by name, pieces of legislation, and political related terms were at the top of the list. Of the 1,000 or so other search terms that brought people to PinkDome, here are some of our favorites:
ample bosom--must have been a Delisi related post.
cute liquor flasks--Rep. Geren, sorry we don't sell those.
bill hammond, your logic is flawed--this should be obvious, but glad somebody was searching to make sure.
girls tongue kissing--someone needed to Google that?
does government have enough money solve health care problems--we didn't write about that, but the answer is no.
hot teenage cheerleaders--now we know where Edwards did his research!
things to say to my son graduating from college?--how about son, I wrote a letter on TAB letterhead to try and get you a job? Just sayin' is all.
unflattering tom delay photos--is there a flattering one?
rep yvonne davis from texas is a fucking idiot--wow, nothing ambiguous about that search term is there?
The rest were searches for specific legislation, house calendars, and a few sexy cheerleader searches. We hope they found what they were looking for. We're pleased that the majority of Google search terms that brought people to PinkDome were somehow related to Texas politics. The above is just a sampling of the funny things that people were sorely disappointed when they arrived. Sorry to disappoint you but we have not posted any lesbian porn galleries. (yet)
The State Affairs committee is meeting right now, discussing pharmacists who don't want to hand out birth control and more!
A pharmacist from Dallas is testifying now saying that she won't dole out the morning-after pill. She says she is willing to recommend a pharmacist who will to the customer, but she won't. She will hand out birth-control though. She talked it over with her priest.
Rep. Pena is on a roll with this blogging thing. Not only does he have his own blog (A Capitol Blog), but now he's started a new blog (Lone Star Rising) for his legislator pals to use, since people are still a leetle scared by the idea of setting up their own "blog". So far Rep. Veronica Gonzales and Rep. Joe Deshotel have posted. We added a link to it on the right for your perusal. We look forward to more!
We're so glad the retired teachers from my district are here!! We're so glad y'all aren't on our asses about a pay raise! Give it up for the old folks riding up here on a bus for no reason whatsoever! WOO WOO
Except Senfronia. She means it when she says thanks and she means it. Love her so much. Did y'all send her flowers or something? You should she totally rocks hard core!
By the way, when a Rep. says "I am overly pleased." or "I want to recognize..." What they really mean is: "I am so annoyed I have to get up here and say welcome to a bunch of powerless constituents on a field trip when I'd rather be stripping the rights of Texans out from under them."
The State Affairs Committee will be off and on today going through 13 bills eroding women's rights, most described as 'not giving the courtesy of a reacharound'.
Right now it's the Pharmacy Bill. Let's listen together. I'm still hopped up on painkillers so my commentary will be colorful...at least to me.
Should it be alright to walk into a pharmacy, hand a pharmacist your prescription and the pharmacist not only refuse to fill it, but also refuse to give the prescription back so you could go down the street and have it filled? After all, a doctor prescribed it, it should be filled. Speaking personally, if CVS had refused to fill my prescription for pain killers yesterday and wouldn't give me my scrip back to go to a REAL pharmacy, they would have had to call the S.W.A.T. team with the trouble that would have erupted in the drug store!
Get ready to celebrate, kiddoes! Tomorrow is Fire Ant Prevention day in Texas. You just can't make this stuff up. We are pleased that the Lege is making time to recognize this prestigous day. Seriously, we can't stand fire ants. They have ruined many a picnic/make-out-session-in-the-grass for us. Okay, well, maybe not many, but once was enough to make it memorable.
I hate to plug the same site twice in one day, but Bill Bishop at Lasso has a scathing post on how little we pay for education and how much that affects our state. I'm a fan, okay?
Here's a bit:
In a way, the system might work. The schools will deteriorate because they‚??ll have less money. Kids will receive an increasingly substandard education. But that‚??s OK, because Texas will have more low-wage jobs where unskilled workers can find employment. It‚??s the perfect recipe for creating more poor people and poor places.Ouch! We love that Perry is touting how great our state is, while at the same time, we seem to be headed down the road to Mississippi (except their poverty rate is decreasing, and ours is doing the opposite - see page 22 of the 2003 poverty report from the census bureau(pdf)).
Gov. Perry is starring in a non-campaign ad to sell out-of-state businesses on how coolio Texas is. Come hang with us, yo. The Houston Chronicle states that it is not a campaign spot, instead a promotion of our fair state. We're having viewing issues over here, but we are sure the ad is as ridiculous as it sounds.
Thanks to Lasso for the heads up.
Rep. Villareal's proposed HB 1515 is a Bill to include 'sexual orientation' in the discrimination language to prohibit housing, employment and other forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity.
See the attached Analysis his office sent us here: Download file
We talked to the expert again and talked to them while I was sober, and we re-did our grid to reflect the shit is HB 3305. We guess, here at PinkDome, we still believe there is good in everybody (you know, like Anne Frank did right before they threw her in the oven).
Well, in the Texas Lege that is not the case. So, we had to go back and completely realize that the 3305 has the interest of no one in mind except a vocal minority of idealogues. So much for us trying to lay off the booze and not be cynical just once in our lives.
We'll let the expert explain it. Check out the analysis after the jump. It's a grid! Go ahead, Read!
Tuesday Morning the Texas Senate will vote on SB 848 (see this post and this one), a bill that will destroy local control of development by expanding the ‚??Grandfathering‚?? laws. Wednesday the House of Representatives will vote on its version of the same bill, HB 1704.
These bills allow developers to submit defective and incomplete plans---as in a sketch on a cocktail napkin---and lock in development regulations for years and decades until the project is built.
PinkDome would say another way for developers to submit incomplete plans is when they write them on the back of a 'check.' Just sayin' is all.
Update: Rep. Villareal's office called. After the jump.
Rep. Wong has sent us her statement on HJR 6's lightning fast vote out of committee this morning. View the PDF here.
We also called Vilarreal's office for a statement on where he was along with Martinez-Fisher cause they were both absent on the vote. Sure, it wouldn't have made a difference on getting it to the floor, but it would have been nice to see a couple of "Nays" other than Farrar. Farrar's office told us she says, "We are Texans, fiercely independent and proud of it, and we mind our own business." She gets our strong Democrat award today.
Martinez Fisher gets our pissed off Democrat award today, here's what he had to say:
Representative Martinez Fisher called me to ask if I was about to 'punk' him. His surprise was that HJR 6 was voted on so early and without any notification that it was coming up for a vote. He has more to say, read it after the jump:
"If I were to smash embryo's with my fist, I've terminated life."
"Why do they call it embryonic stem cell research if it isn't an embryo?"
"Martha, before you were an infant, you were an embryo, and if someone terminated your embryo, they would have terminated Martha's life!"
If we hear 'slippery slope' one more time we're going to projectile vomit in the committee room.
State Affairs is hearing testimony from an idiot on stem cell research. Embryos are not live cute little babies. OMG, it's science! Run for the hills folks, them people might talk about science!
update from Bluebonnet: Burnt Orange Report has a post by Alison Bell on stem cell research and why it is needed.
The State Affairs Committee will also take up stem cell research later today. Of course, the bill before them is to ban stem cell research.
We hate to quote Chris Bell, since he's not running for anything...but his press release says it pretty PinkDome'ly:
‚??What would Jesus do?‚?? asked Chris Bell. ‚??Jesus didn‚??t tell us to heal the sick unless politics got in the way. When Jesus healed the lepers and gave the blind their sight, He didn‚??t stop to worry about slippery slopes and potential implications.‚??
Even nationally, Republicans are coming around on this issue. We just named a highway after Ronald Reagan, but we bet Nancy would rather we didn't oppose stem cell research.
Take a good look at her Representatives on State Affairs. Are you going to break her heart?
What does 12 hours of emotional testimony by constituents get you in Texas. Not a damn thing. HJR 6 was voted out of committee this morning. Watch the vote here (6 Ayes, 1 Nay and 2 Absent).
Martha Wong, our favorite Feng Shui expert, voted for sending HJR 6 out of committee despite being lobbied heavily by her district to oppose the amendment.
Rep. Keffer also voted to send it out of committee to the House Floor despite saying he loved his gay son. It's sad when your blinded by idealogy so much so that even when you know in your heart something is wrong you vote with your ignorant constituents.
This is Texas. We hate here. (Can someone put that on a billboard, please?)
Nope. Nothing inappropriate here. Move along, please. Once again, we see the Texas lege and TXU showing a blatant disregard for the 'appearance of impropriety.' Armbrister and Fraser both accepted passes to the Master's Tournament from TXU. What possible state business could be discussed or enhanced in Georgia at a golf tournament? And, is truancy really a good example to set for the children of Texas? We'll need a note from both of your mothers pronto or you're in detention.
Senate Bill 42, filed by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville requires kids to excercise 135 minutes a week while at school. Wasn't P.E. a requirement in school anyway? Nelson is filing this bill to fight the growing epidemic of obesity in schoolchildren,(AAS)
You know what worked for kids in our school?
"Fatty Boom Ba Latty," "You're FAT," "Hey Fat Albert,"
Barring that might we suggest cocaine and perhaps a good eating disorder? Bulemia was sooo last year, though.
Oh, wait! We've got an idea! How about parents? There, under that rock! We see one! Parents, if your child is a fatass why don't you stop buying cupcakes for a few days or something. We're just sayin'.
HB 16 is another of the bills determined to erode the rights of women (and consumers) in the State of Texas. Here's another example of the Republican Party pushing a Religious Idealogue Agenda on the entire state.
The bill would allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill a prescription if it violated his personal beliefs. (Decoded for you idiots that aren't paying attention out there: Pharmacist can refuse to fill a prescription for birth control, the morning-after pill, et cetera.)
What if the pharmacist did not believe in cancer? Would he not give grandma her cancer drugs? Worst yet, would he keep the the prescription and lecture her about her lack of faith in God that must have brought the cancer on her in the first place?
Monday mornings, we're hungover, we're cranky and it's entirely too bright outside to wake up and be filled with a sea of idiocy that continues to surround us.
Frank Corte hates women and all their rights as citizens. Give him a call and tell him to keep his bill out of your hoo-ha. (512) 463-0646
Funny, there's enough 'chum' in the water to create a feeding frenzy.
Glad that even the Republicans aren't so arrogant and stupid to see that! (AAS)
That seems to be the philosophy of some legislators in the House when it comes to prisons. Current capacity is at 97% and the legislation would add more prisoners, not actually fight crime.
We think the legislators ought to be saving some room for themselves in those prisons. I'm sure Big Tito in cell block H is just waiting to make one of you his bitch.
It's ironic that a reader named Hope, left this comment:
"You know, I've noticed...let's call it a shift in tone as the session progresses. Clearly, the bastards are getting you down. ;)"
It stopped us dead in our tracks. You may be right, Hope. We have not been accused of idealism or naivete in a long time. But, often we have been accused of passion and not suffering fools lightly, as often as we‚??ve been accused of being a drunken smartass. This blog is certainly evolving as the session wears on. There are certainly days where, like the frazzled actor in the movie Network, we want to start shouting, "I am as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." Maybe if we just keep shouting it over and over the whole State of Texas would eventually join in.
April 13th is the day the day that women's health issues will be under a full-scale assault by the House State Affairs Committee. PinkDome has solicited three experts on these issues to provide commentary and guest posts to keep us informed and let us know how these bills will affect women in Texas. (If you would like to guest post, please email us here at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Look to PinkDome starting Monday morning for daily coverage leading up to the hearings. Your best-on-the-web and most in-depth coverage (and hilarious commentary) will be here.
The House State Affairs Committee just scheduled a hearing for
next Wednesday, April 13 to consider 13 choice-related bills.
These include a parental consent bill, a controversial bill to
let pharmacists refuse to fill your birth control prescriptions,
and more (to see the committee schedule, please go here). Here's how you
can make a difference:
1. Stop by and sign in to support the good bills and oppose the
2. Let us know if you have specific stories to share on the
issues listed below.
The hearing is scheduled to begin at 8:00 am on Wednesday, April
13 in Room 140 of the John H. Reagan building (at the SW corner
of Congress and 15th Street). The hearing will adjourn when the
House goes into session and reconvene after the House finishes.
The hearing could continue well beyond 5:00 pm.
"Government has no rights. People have rights." Rep. Anna Mowery, R-Fort Worth. PinkDome would say in response, "Then why is this session been so much about taking away or limiting people's rights?
This quote was from a Statesman story on a bill that proposes to make cities pay when their environmental regulations limit development. Read the full story here.
Another interesting note? The bill was authored by a Dem. So, all you Republicans saying it's the Dems that are anti-business and tree-hugging environmentalists? The answer is nope. Clearly, there are some Dems that hate the environment just as much as you do!
Rep. Luna and Rep. Turner and Rep. Giddings..I say to you kind gentlman and gentlewomen..Bullshit!
Poor Rep. Menendez. Speaker Craddick let him think he had a shot with his amendment to increase health benefits to teachers. He actually allowed it to get to the Floor. (That Craddick, he's a giver)
But, awww...it lost by three votes. Seems that three Dems were missing from the Floor! Oh my, say it isn't so! 3 Dems shown favor by Craddick were missing from the floor when the only amendment by a Dem had even made it to a Floor vote? (Gouging your eyes out with a melon baller yet?)
Speaker Craddick is employing many of the political mainstays in distancing himself from Tom DeLay and the ongoing and far-reaching investigation into DeLay's asshole.
In today's Chron, Craddick first backpeddles:
"I wasn't for hiring a lobbyist at the national level. The governor's office was wanting to do that. I didn't want to spend the money. They wanted to do that. I don't even know the man," Craddick said.(This gets an extra 5 points for backpeddling AND shifting blame. A 'twofer')
Then he condemns:
"It's a bunch of bull," Craddick said of the Chronicle report.
Then he pleads ignorance while insinuating that he's 'for the people':
"I want to abolish the office of state governmental relations. I don't even know what they do for us. I'm kind of dumb on that deal," he said. "When you've got the people we've got in the Senate and the House up there, I don't think we benefit from a state lobbyist."
The Daily Show with John Stewart gives air time to two idiotic Texas politicians, Tom DeLay and John Cornyn. Nice. We love crazy, and we love when John Stewart displays with it, needing so little help.
Watch the video clip here.
Lasso(bugmenot) posts on Sen. Barrientos' attempt to name an upcoming toll road in the Austin area after Willie Nelson. Some Republicans are having issues with this bill (he did support Kucinich, after all). We bet if someone threw around Jerry Jeff Walker's name, no one would have a problem with that. Well, we would. "Mr. Bojangles" isn't our favorite song in the world.
There's at least one pissed off social worker in Texas. We overheard this yesterday:
The Texas house just voted 66 to 77 AGAINST requiring the state to evaluate the effectiveness of the $10+ MILLION spent on abstinence education as the SOLE sex education program even though they added money to ensure that no funds would be taken away from the actual abstinence program. FUCK EM. Evidence-based programs my ass.
Nice. Ass and Fuck in the same post.
House passes Budget, Texas weeps.
"Some Texans will think we're not spending enough. Some Texans will think we're spending too much," Pitts said, adding that the plan is "just right, reflecting our priorities, our needs and our revenues." (To make sure you're clear...Texas priorities do not include: the poor, children, college students, health care, public ed) (Statesman)
Women's Health Raped by the Senate
A bill to expand preventive health and family planning services for lower-income women won tentative approval from the Senate on Wednesday, but only after it was amended to exclude Planned Parenthood from funding and prohibit health care providers from giving rape victims access to morning-after birth control pills. (Planned Parenthood has 82 clinics in the state, 7 of which perform abortions.) (Dallas Morning News)
"I don't want to give free needles to known drug abusers," said Rep. Dianne Delisi, a Temple Republican who chairs the Public Health committee. She pointed to Amsterdam as an example of how things can go wrong in cities with needle exchange programs.
"There's a lot of drug abuse. They're sitting there doing drugs in the parks," Delisi said. "Well, not in Texas. Not under my watch."
Come on, Dianne, How about under your watch we all stick our heads up our asses and see if that works!
That was our *wink* to Rep. Farrar and her suggestion to the youth of today in the HJR6 committee meeting.
In today's USA Today (AKA...news-lite) there is a report on the backlash against the Republican party (nationally)after the recent unpleasantness with that woman in Florida:
Some old stereotypes about the two parties have been reversed:
By 55%-40%, respondents say Republicans, traditionally the party of limited government, are ‚??trying to use the federal government to interfere with the private lives of most Americans‚?? on moral values.
By 53%-40%, they say Democrats, who sharply expanded government since the Depression, aren't trying to interfere on moral issues.
By more than 2-to-1, 39%-18%, Americans say the ‚??religious right‚?? has too much influence in the Bush administration.
Does a young woman in an emergency situation get to hear about all of her options?
Yes, we're watching the Senate live feed. Leave your comments, we'll try to live blog. But, honestly...we are so hungover today. It's hard being a drunk.
BluebonPDTX: 20 ays, 9 nays
BluebonPDTX: SB 747 passes
BluebonPDTX: DAMN IT
A post from Inside the Texas Capitol discusses HB6 which "would privatize all CPS services, including case management functions that are not currently performed by private agencies such as whether or not to remove a child from their home. This means private - for-profit and non-profit - companies could profit off removing a child from their home."
We find this quite disturbing, and think this post a must-read for the day.
UPDATE: This was in our comment section. As ImaSuit says, behold the power of comments. Information can be corrected, updated, discredited. We love that.
I've updated the page to reflect two changes:
1) It's not HB 6 by Hupp; it's CSSB 6 by Nelson - as substituted by the House Committee on Human Services.
2) The initial decision to remove a child from their house would not be made by a private company; it would be made by CPS -- but that is basically all the power the agency would have if this bill passes. After a child is removed from their home, a private company could turn around and decide whether the child stays in a foster home or center, or if the child goes back home (I listed the potential responsibilites on my blog). But no, I was wrong -- the initial decision to remove a child would not be made by private companies.
Behold the power of the "comments" section on blogs -- I can't express enough how much I appreciate it.
We know everybody and their dog is covering all the DeLay news that the mainstream media deems worthy of breaking. We just came upon this story in the NYTimes(bugmenot) and had to share it. Or rather our thoughts on it. The story alleges that:
The wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by Mr. DeLay's political action and campaign committees, according to a detailed review of disclosure statements filed with the Federal Election Commission and separate fund-raising records in Mr. DeLay's home state, Texas.Now we are sure that these women have put up with a lot of crap for Mr. DeLay's career, but we have serious doubts that is worth $500,000. We aren't surprised that DeLay is caught yet again in a shady deal, but we are a little disappointed in his family. All these stories coming out about DeLay keep getting sketchier and sketchier. How much is too much? Will he just resign already (or be impeached, we'd accept that also)?
Most of the payments to his wife, Christine A. DeLay, and his only child, Dani DeLay Ferro, were described in the disclosure forms as "fund-raising fees," "campaign management" or "payroll," with no additional details about how they earned the money. The payments appear to reflect what Mr. DeLay's aides say is the central role played by the majority leader's wife and daughter in his political career.
Obviously we are not the only ones covering the "DeLay Debacle", and we are happy with that. We just felt the need to point out this ridiculous find.
Which one of the 59 Co-Sponsors of the Constitutional Amendment to "Protect the Sanctity of Marriage" leaves his wife and kids in the district to have an affair with a younger woman (and a staffer)? Open secrets under the Pink Dome now have a home on pinkdome.com!
Leave your geusses in the comments section.
Old joke, but a favorite. Dear Sir: Our trip aboard the Titanic was lovely, except for the iceberg incident. I am very upset that you lost my luggage, and I must also comment on the extreme discomfort of the seats in the lifeboat.
Well, Tx Dem Chairman Charles Soechting has sent a letter to Sen. Cornyn's office about his idiotic remarks.
Why make the joke about a pointless letter? Because we at PinkDome think that people like Cornyn don't care if they offend us. They relish it. The only way to get these people is by punching back as hard as they do. Soechting insinuates that Cornyn is not a political hack, like Tom DeLay. We say, not only a hack but an irresponsible and idiotic man that we'll make sure has a strong challenger next election cycle.
Letter after the jump...
We just got a release from GEAA that SB848 was passed out of committee yesterday instead of going through public hearing tomorrow as was scheduled. Even though Sen. Madla has expressed "disappointment" with the bill, he sure seems eager for it to be passed. Rep. Villareal is proposing an amendment that will put some of the power back in the community's hands.
All after the jump.
Listening to our AM radio this morning (no one told us Jerry Springer had a show!), we were informed of a flub/misstatement/open-mouth-insert-foot-comment made by Sen. Cornyn yesterday. Jerry kept pronouncing it Cor-nine. Maybe that's a Cincinnati thing. Anyway, on the topic of recent violence against judges and their families, our great Senator said thus (from the Houston Chronicle) :
" . . . he wondered "whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people ... engage in violence."Here in Texas we know exactly how idiotic our great Senator is, but now everyone does! We here at Pinkdome don't think he intended it to sound like an explanation for the violence. Mr. Springer asserts that this incredible comment by Cornyn is just part of a plan by the Radical Right to take apart the judicial system. We think that it is just the same 'ol same 'ol from Sen. Cornyn.
The violence is unjustified, Cornyn said, but is "a concern that I have that I wanted to share."
Edwards has another bill that is important legislation. After going after cheerleaders, now he's after dogs. Edwards latest bill will make it possible to put someone in jail for up to 10 years if their dog bites you. Grrr.
Oh wait, Martha Wong threw something in...as long as it doesn't happen in a park or at a dog show. That would be exempt. Martha Wong: Dog Show Advocate.
At least that's what the school voucher proponents and opponents seem to be up to.
"Every figure they cite is false," the Irving Republican [Rep. Linda Harper-Brown] said. "It is extremely difficult to have a meaningful discussion about school choice when there are organizations that have no qualms about deliberately distorting the facts."
"These three voucher bills are a mean assault on our urban school districts," said Carolyn Boyle, a spokeswoman for the Coalition for Public Schools. She predicted that a pilot program in large urban districts ‚?? which one of the bills would create ‚?? would drain $645 million from Dallas public schools in two years, more than any other district except for Houston.
Well, the can't both be right.
Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) failed to muster a quorum at tonight's Senate Committee on Government Organization, but she's still ready to fight. The long-time opponent to video lottery terminals intends to attach an amendment to the sunset bill on the Lottery Commission to disallow any amendment that would stretch the meaning of "lottery" to include the use of VLTs. Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) promised to call a meeting of his committee on the floor of the Senate this week to vote out the amendment.
Remember our whole post on the overheard bit about tying the definition of lotter to include video lottery terminals?
Update: It is now midnight, the witnesses are still lined up.
I'm still paying attention to the State Affairs committee. It's 9:15. I'll post some updates in this entry and in the 'continue reading' section.
I pay attention to these hearings with a great deal of political cynicism. But you cannot sit in this room and not be moved by some of the emotional testimony here. Brave and powerful.
Eric Scott Krusee, a 19 year old student at ACC, testified today with his mother and father speaking before him. His father and mother both gave loving and moving testimonies, but it was seeing a 19 year old brave enough to testify before state legislators that was incredible.
After Eric testified, his grandmother got up to speak. She had never spoken before a group before, she said. But she plowed ahead. Eric‚??s family is all here. His two little sisters aged 14 and 10 are here as well.
I felt this weird sting in my eyes and when I reached up it was a goddamn tear. Who wouldn't be moved to see a family standing shoulder to shoulder in support and love for their son.
It's 7:41 and this committee room is not air conditioned well. The testimony so far has ranged from the politically naive, to the emotionally charged, to the tangenential. The on topic testimony from the parents of Gay and Lesbian children has, by far, been the most moving.
There are points of law to discuss, such as the dissolution of contracts between two parties that may or may not result in section B of the HJR6, but who wants to hear about that.
Let me remark on Martha Wong. She continues her long tradition of horrendous fashion choices. This evening there is a huge yellow flower adorning her chest. More importantly, she is the only I've noticed that has not asked any of the witnesses a single question. Not one.
Click Refresh in the extended entry for live updates.
Watch our video to recognize the faces in this debate.
WOW, Today's Quote so far:
It does not discriminate against people. it discriminates against a practice. WHAT??? Gays are NOT PEOPLE according to Chisum!! Stop the presses! We have today's headline!
I think marriage is SO important that I don't think we should be shutting the door.
As a sort of late April Fool's post (except written in all seriousness), Ellena Morrison at the Star-Telegram (Startle-gram to some of us) has collected some of the sillier bills being proposed in this Legislature. Her favorites:
"Resolutions exist for making the Dutch oven the official state cooking implement, establishing June as Texas Picnic Month and recognizing the Texas purple sage as the state's premier native shrub.Our favorite out of these - just guess. Of course it's HB1454. Although it would keep us from buying sparklers when we were too tipsy to have driven out to the fireworks stand in the first place, we think such legislation is much needed. We can't speak towards HR98, only because we haven't tried pan de campo. . . at least we don't have a lucid memory of having any before.
# House Bill 1228 would allow statewide-elected officials to perform marriage ceremonies.
# House Bill 1454 would make it illegal to purchase fireworks while drunk.
# Senate Bill 1428 seeks to establish a statewide maintenance program for boll weevils and pink bollworm eradication.
# House Resolution 98 designates pan de campo as the official state bread."
Unless it gets to the State Legislature.
Even morons like us here at PinkDome know this fact. That meso cancer? Pretty much the only way you get it is because of asbestos.
So. If you get it, you probably worked in an asbestos plant. The asbestos plant people knew that asbestos would probably give you that meso cancer. Risk management and all (cost of lawsuit versus estimated revenue = continue plant operations). Are we talking in code today or do you follow?
Ok. So. You get the cancer, right? Then you find out your employer knew you'd get the cancer. You're like WTF? So, you get a lawyer and decide to make the employer pay your medical costs and put a value equation on the cost of your life versus the revenue, et cetera of the company.
Well, not if the Texas Lege has anything to say about it you don't do any of that.
This session of the Legislature, lawmakers are considering legislation that will further strip the legal rights of thousands of Texans suffering from devastating asbestos-related diseases.(courtesy Houston Chron)
God and Politics. It's come down to this. Do we really think God was a Republican or a Democrat? Do we?
"For me, religion has always been a private matter," [Rep.]Mr. Martinez Fischer said. "But in the wake of false prophets working in political circles, it's important for us to talk about religion and talk about it accurately."
Tina Beninwhatever of the GOP is quoted later in the same story:
"They called Bill Clinton's affair a personal issue, and then they want to talk about family values," she said.
Is this really still an issue? The Republicans are still messaging b/c a Democrat was a bad husband that all Democrats are un-Godly?
Dear Republicans, you do not own Jesus. Claiming you do is bad form. And guess what? Everybody knows better. Why don't we ask Tina and Rep. Martinez Fischer to have Bible drills on the House floor?
Plan your Monday accordingly.
The Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas has issued a call to arms to fight an anti-gay measure expected to go to a public hearing on Monday. The House State Affairs Committee will consider a proposed constitutional amendment (HJR 6) that would follow the lead of several other states in defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The bill, filed by Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, carries the names of 59 House members as co-authors ‚?? more than half of what's needed to pass a proposed constitutional amendment in the House. Three of the co-authors serve on the committee that will take testimony on the bill. It's likely the hearing won't get under way until late afternoon and will last well into the night.
"This is my Viagra Amendment." "As I gather all my strength and stand erect before you." "Let me firm up my position." "I probably won't get enough ladies to vote for me on this bill." "So as I go limp"
Latest dialogue from a porn movie? Nope. Remarks by Representative Gene Seaman (no, I could not make that up) made on the House Floor. That's right folks, watch the video here and be totally creeped out. Or watch it here.
Here's Rep. Seaman, "gathering all his strength to stand erect."
Here he is "going limp."
Shocked calls can be made directly to Rep. Seaman at:(512) 463-0672
We called but they hung up on us, after saying they don't talk about Internet sites. So maybe you can call and say you are calling from your righteousness.
Oh...let me remind you, staff member that hung up on me...We not only have a web site, we also vote. OH...and instead of fifteen people seeing this video now, since we've posted it on PinkDome 10,000 people are now visiting the site and will see it. So. There's that.
Remember...See the whole video here.
See PinkDome's Satire PHOTO!! after the jump, NSFW (maybe)
What employee of the Speaker's office was overheard letting this slip:
Apparently there was some talk about sneaking gambling in under the existing lottery laws. If you hooked all of the slot machines up to a single mainframe, you could argue that what you have is really a lottery run by a single machine, and not individual slot machines. Sneaky, no? Not sure if this is still being considered, or how far the discussions got, or even whose idea this was
Friday, April 1, 2005 "Youth Poetry Slam Performance"
TIME: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
PLACE: GSD&M - Idea City (828 W. 6th St.)
State Representative Mark Strama invites you to meet Austin's Youth Poetry Slam Champions. Come hear them perform their poetry and help them practice for nationals. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to help pay for the poets to travel to San Francisco for the national youth poetry slam at the end of April.
Read the extended entry for my own Poetry Slam
Our aquifer tipster has pointed us towards HB2832, which would take the power to regulate water quality away from the municipalities and give it to TCEQ. We know someone who worked at TCEQ and from what we learned from them, currently TCEQ oversees the towns and cities in their pursuit for water quality. Staff members go out to the facilities in the towns and do quality checks periodically, based on the quality charts sent to them. This system seems to function somewhat well, and we understand that the resources at TCEQ are quite limited as it is. How will TCEQ be able to take over this regulation with their limited resources? As our contact notes, "They are certainly in no position to take up the slack left by the cities being stripped of regulatory power."
note: Bluebonnet actually wrote this. Oops!
The Texas GOP site has this cute little "testimonial" thing you can scroll through and see why certain people are Republican. Funny, I didn't see "Uhm, general stupidity" as one of them.
It was this lovely gem that made me spit my Budweiser Select all over my computer screen. (See the screen shot)
Somebody needs to pull poor misguided Elizabeth aside and explain this:
There has been much discussion on the Tax Bill passed by the House this Session. We at PinkDome have reviewed the bill (and the criticism) and think the hoopla has been overblown by the media. HB 3 passed the Republican-led House to move on the Senate.
Increased taxes are good for Texans. The increases on the payroll tax mean employers will be forced to cut employees, freeing them up for additional leisure time. In addition, some of those folks may wind up helping law enforcement improve response times to crimes such as burglary and theft.
Additional funding for the Texas Enterprise fund will bring new business to Texas, and continue to build Governor Perry's glowing record of "Texas: Open For Business."
Just about the first political thing I learned was Not In My Backyard! Learned it in college when our geology class was trying to find the best place to locate a hazardous waste site. NIMBY was something we all became familiar with, and that's why I laughed at Mark's quote in the AAS yesterday about the gambling legislation.
Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, stood alongside about 15 legislators at the rally, though he said in an interview he'd probably support an approach that limited a casino to a single location, such as South Padre Island.
Mark, nobody would care if they only allowed casinos in shitholes.(I make no apology to South Padre Island. You know you're a shithole no use denying it) It's like saying I might support bombing Iraq if they had WMD's. Oh shit, wait..that's not a good example. But y'all know what I mean.
Remember Democrats here's your Talking Points Memo: Gambling is a tax on the poor and disenfranchised. I oppose putting the State's burden on their backs. It's time for all Texans to share an equitable burden in taxes and generating revenue for state programs. Let's work together, across party lines to make sure we do what's best for Texans and stop these partisan games that get us nowhere.
Goddamn one of y'all ought to hire me as a spokesman. I can really clean up my language when I have to!
Yep, Idiocy still Reigns Supreme. Senate passes measure to name I-20 Ronald Reagan Highway. I'd like to propose we name I-35 JoJo the Diving Donkey because that is just about as relatable to Texas as RR.
Tom Craddick and Texans for a Republican Majority have hot power hungry talk via phone and email. Oh yeah, baby...make me Speaker.
We don't even know what 'remote control hunting' means, but we're pretty sure we'd oppose it. Urban hunting doesn't sound like something we'd be to keen on either. Is that something gangs are doing in Houston? Urban hunting?
Ok, a wet-behind-the-ears lobbyist has started a blog using the 'alias' lobby duck. He writes about the adventures of being a lobbyist, but my favorite things are the super cute photos of where this little duck winds up.
All you seasoned lobbyists take him under your wing, if for nothing else it's the most creative expression about the world of lobbying we've seen so far.