No more Texas governors for president

“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.” - Molly Ivins
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Posts tagged "texas"


Barbara Jordan recalls her first meeting at the White House on Feb. 13, 1967 (about 20 seconds from beginning of recording): 

“Of course, everyone in Texas knew that Lyndon Johnson was a premier political figure in Texas. But when I was in the Texas State Senate—I served in the senate from January of 1967 until 1972 when I went to the Congress—Lyndon Johnson was president of this country, and I received a telegram at my home in Houston from Lyndon Johnson. The telegram was to the effect ‘we are having a meeting at the White House’ or having several people to discuss the future of a bill which was pending in the Congress. This bill was regarding changes in housing legislation to infuse that legislation with a civil rights component. And this telegram asked if I would meet at the White House to discuss this legislation, and it concluded, ‘Present this telegram at’ some gate of the White House.

“Well, I was, of course, quite startled to receive a telegram from the President of the United States asking that I come to Washington to talk about anything! I said, “Well, I guess I will go.” And I took the telegram—I was in Houston when I received the telegram—came back to Austin for the senate and showed it to my colleagues in the senate. I said, ‘You see, I’ve got an invitation to go to Washington.’ They were kind of excited about just the prospect. Now at the time, John Connally was governor of Texas, and I hadn’t had very good relations with Mr. Connally, but here was this invitation to the White House, so I went. 

“At that time you would fly to Washington to Dulles Airport and then you would take a limousine, which is really a bus, to Twelfth and K Streets at the Albert Pick Motel or Hotel. Then you take a taxi to where you wanted to go. So I flew to Washington. I got the bus to the Albert Pick. I took my bag—I wasn’t staying overnight so I didn’t have much luggage, and I put whatever I had in a locker at the Albert Pick transfer point, got a taxi and went to the White House, presented my telegram and got in, just like magic.

“I went up to what I now know was the Cabinet Room. There were other people assembled, people who were active in the civil rights movement. We sat and waited around a table for the President and the Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, to arrive. Well, as I sat there really at the far end of the table, I still said to myself, ‘Now, Lyndon Johnson probably doesn’t know who I am or what I am about, and my name probably just slipped in somehow and got into that [list].’ So the President came in, everybody stood up. He sat down, we all sat down, and we started to discuss this legislation, fair housing legislation.

And the conversation was going around the table. The President would call on first one person for a reaction and then another person for a reaction. Then he stopped and he looked at my end of the table, he said, ‘Barbara, what do you think?’ Well, I just … in the first place, I’m telling you, I didn’t know the President knew me, and here he’s looking down here saying ‘Barbara’ and then saying, ‘What do you think?’ So that was my first exchange with Lyndon Johnson. I’m startled. I got myself organized, of course, not so that I wouldn’t stammer, since it is not my habit to stammer when talking, and I gave a response and then this conversation ensued.”


Back in October 2012, the University of Texas and Texas Tribune included a question in a poll to gauge Texans views of section 5.

The question got asked again in a February poll, but this time it got asked two ways.  

One question asked whether “some states” with a history of discrimination should be required to have changes to voting-related laws approved by the federal government (which is how the question in the October poll also got asked).  

But poll respondents also got a second variant of the question this time which asked if “Texas” because of its history of discrimination should be required to have changes to voting-related laws approved by the federal government.

That variant in wording shifted results for Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

When asked about “some states” without specifying Texas, 75% of Democrats favored section 5 review as did 17% of Republicans and 40% of independents.

But mention “Texas,” and Democratic support for section 5 goes to 80%, while Republican support goes to 10% (minus 7) and support from independents does to 27% (minus 13).  Republican opposition, likewise, goes from 69% to 80%.

Here’s the full breakdown.


March 14, 2013 - Senator Ted Cruz, in the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on a bill to ban assault weapons, talks about his familiarity with the District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court case.

He argues that a ban on assault weapons would be unconstitutional under the Heller decision. Interestingly, during the Heller case he argued exactly the opposite.

The first paragraph of the amici brief filed by Ted Cruz:

Amici, the State of Texas and 30 other States, have an interest in this case because of its potential impact on their citizens’ constitutional rights. The individual right to keep and bear arms is protected by the United States Constitution and the constitutions of forty-four States. (1) Given the significance of this fundamental right, the States have a substantial interest in ensuring that the Second Amendment is accorded its proper scope.

The footnote:

(1) Amici States have attached an Appendix outlining the relevant state constitutional and statutory provisions concerning firearms.

The Appendix is mentioned again on page 36:

It bears emphasis that amici States likewise have a strong interest in maintaining the many state laws prohibiting felons in possession, restricting machine guns and sawed-off shotguns, and the like. See Appendix.

But all 31 amici States agree that striking down the District of Columbia’s categorical ban on all operative firearms would pose no threat to these reasonable regulations.

The Appendix of Ted Cruz’s brief, previously referenced as a list of examples of States protecting the second amendment, and again as “reasonable regulations” includes these listings:

CONN. GEN. STAT. §§ 53-202(b), (c) (assault weapons); 53a-211 (sawed-off shotguns and rifles)

MASS. GEN. LAWS ch. 140, § 131M (assault weapons)

N.Y. PENAL LAW § 265.02 (machine guns, “assault weapons”)

Now Ted Cruz claims that his own examples of States’ “reasonable regulations” that protect the 2nd Amendment during the Heller case would be unconstitutional because of the Heller case.

Would that argument hold up in court?


Texas redistricting now apparently is the by-word for aggressive gerrymandering as evidenced by this piece about the electoral boundaries drawn for Egypt’s first post-Arab Spring elections.

A memorable quote:

Redistricting I have found in Egypt is every bit as controversial as it is in Texas, in fact more so.

Uh, go us?



Like any good conservative event, CPAC 2013 kicked off with a WAR PANEL featuring Rep. Louie Gohmert, noted WAR ENTHUSIAST. To the highlights:

  1. Louie Gohmert describes seeing a dude wearing glasses. Says the guy looked “somewhat liberal” thanks to the specs. That’s right, corrected vision isn’t for freedom-lovers! See things with your all-American beer belly, not with your eyes!

  2. Gohmert condemns the United States for withdrawing from Vietnam, because we totally could have won that war: “Vietnam was winnable, but people in Washington decided we would not win it.” 

  3. Speaking about the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan: “I know they’re Muslims, but they’re our friends.” Rebranding at work!

This has been Deep Thoughts With Louie Gohmert, CPAC 2013 edition.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images New/Getty Images

I am even more mortified to learn that this idiot is an Aggie.


Chart o’ the day, “everything is terrible” edition. More here.


- Texas’ demographic mix broken down by age group without adjustment for citizenship.


Nonprofit VOTE is out with its look at the 2012 election, with information on turnout, demographics, early voting, and the impact of same-day voter registration.

As set out in the report, voter turnout continues to lag in Texas, with the state ranking 48th in voter turnout in 2012 (compared with 47th in 2008).*  

Overall, according to data from the United States Elections Project, Texas saw voter participation decline by 9.2% in 2012 over 2008, a steeper decline than in all but six states.

The full report can be found here.

* Texas was 50th in voter turnout in 2010.


On the plus side, this would be a great place to display all those paintings.

It’ll be like the creation museum of national parks. Best part from the article:

…Bush’s home in Midland has already been converted into a private museum. The museum is currently looking for someone to donate a vintage washing machine, and even has an online store which sells marbles, for some reason…


Kehinde Wiley

Gavin Study I, 2008

Oil wash on paper

40 x 26 in.

Collection of Brent Hasty and Stephen Mills

Photo courtesy Lora Reynolds Gallery

Now on view in the Blanton exhibition Through the Eyes of Texas: Masterworks from Alumni Collections.

In Texas, copyright laws are much stricter than gun laws.
Stephen Colbert (true)



How I’m spending last day at work before flying to Austin.

We’re putting on a show! If you’ll be in Austin on Sunday, let me know - we’d love to have you there.


A.D.I.D.A.R. (All Day I Dream About Ramen)

Photograph by Jody Horton.


Texas Republicans learn that some spending cuts are just way too expensive.

Texas Tribune:

The fight to restore family planning financing that was cut from the Texas budget in the last legislative session has taken a turn toward primary care. Republican state senators have proposed adding $100 million to a state-run primary care program specifically for women’s health services, an effort that would help avoid a political fight over subsidizing specialty family planning clinics.

“It’s a much better way to treat the women because they don’t just have family planning issues,” said Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, a family physician who has advocated for increasing primary care services for women.

Using taxpayer dollars to finance family planning services has become politically thorny in Texas, largely because of Republican lawmakers’ assertions that the women’s health clinics providing that care were affiliated with abortion providers. In the fiscal crunch of 2011, the Legislature cut the state’s family planning budget by two-thirds, with some lawmakers claiming that they were defunding the “abortion industry.” Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that more than 50 family planning clinics closed statewide as a result of lost financing.

Now, amid estimates that the cuts could lead to 24,000 additional births in 2014-15 at a cost to taxpayers of $273 million, lawmakers are seeking a bipartisan solution to restore financing without ruffling feathers.

Of course, what’s actually happening here is that they’re looking at restoring family planning funding, but putting it under primary care services in hopes of keeping the anti-family planning religious nutjobs from noticing a retreat from their extremist position. After gutting Planned Parenthood funding, Texas is facing a public reproductive healthcare crisis — in the form of a wave of unplanned pregnancies. You really didn’t need a crystal ball to see that one coming. It’s obvious and it’s exactly what critics of the move predicted would happen.

But, in addition to showing how the GOP War on Women is boneheaded and wrong, it also shows that some spending is cheaper than the consequence of cutting that spending. It may cost a lot to keep a dam in good repair, but it’ll cost a lot more if the dam gives way. This is the same principle. You spend money now to make sure women have access to adequate reproductive health care or you pay later for the increased health spending and poverty that comes with unexpected pregnancies. I don’t care how many times you say, “But the Bible says…” you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Long story short, when a liberal talks about investing in America’s future, we’re not just spreading horse manure — we really do mean making investments in America’s future. You either deal with problems now or spend one helluva lot more money dealing with them later. And, of course, by dealing with it now, you avoid a whole lot of screwed up lives and futures.

Contrary to the rightwing stereotype, liberals aren’t about spending taxpayer money because of some hippy-dippy “Oooh, we gotta all love each other, baby” stuff. This is hardheaded realism. It’s the people who think we can cut everything and anything who are the head-in-the-clouds dreamers. Don’t want to pay taxes to support family planning? Sucks to be you, but you’re going to do it. Because this is America and in America we try do what’s in America’s best interests. I pay for nuclear weapons I hate, you can at least pay for some birth control. You’re not special.

If the Texas retreat from the extremist position teaches us anything, it’s that Republican claims to fiscal genius aren’t just ridiculous, they’re hilarious.