In case you missed Rolling Stone’s description of Texas politics that was included in the Quorum Report’s daily clips yesterday, here it is in full [emphasis and links–nonfunctioning–are from the original RS story by Julian Brookes]:
Nothing against Texas. Great state. Not to be messed with. But: unless I’m mistaken, Texas politics seem to have a higher-than-average crazy quotient. Consider this (highly unscientific) sample of recent tidings from the Lone Star state.
• Just yesterday the State Senate passed a measures allowing people to go around with concealed weapons on university campuses and another making it just fine for current and former legislators, elected officials and some state employees to pack heat virtually everywhere.
• Texas lawmakers recently passed a law requiring doctors to perform a sonogram before conducting an abortion and to provide the woman with the opportunity to see the results and hear the fetal heartbeat. The doctor is also required to describe what the sonogram shows.
• Late last year the conservative U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which includes Texas, sanctioned a former high school cheerleader because she brought a lawsuit claiming she shouldn’t be required to cheer for her alleged rapist, a star on the football and basketball teams. The court called her suit ‘far-fetched and frivolous.’
• Gov. Perry issued an official proclamation drawing on his constitutional authority designating three April days as Days of Prayer for Rain. It read, in part: ‘I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal and robust way of life.’
• In April, Texas lawmakers began considering a bill that would ban state courts from considering foreign religious or cultural laws, such as Islamic Shariah law. Said Rep. Leo Berman, sponsor of an anti-Sharia bill, ‘We all know what Shariah law does to women – women must wear burqas, women are subject to humiliation and into controlled marriages under Shariah law. We want to prevent it from ever happening in Texas.’
• In May, with the end of the legislative session looming, and important issues unresolved, business in the Texas legislature ground to a halt courtesy of a fight over a law regulating ‘puppy mills.’
• Last December, a reporter from the Texas Observer obtained an email exchange between two Republican state legislators about efforts to oust the (Jewish) House Speaker. ‘We elected a house with Christian, conservative values,’ one wrote. ‘We now want a true Christian, conservative running it.’ Confronted with the email, one of the men pushed back: ‘I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office. They’re the people that do the best jobs over all.’
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Nice job, Julian, but you aren’t keeping up with the latest developments. During the debate over the House budget in April, April, Rep. Wayne Christian decided to act on behalf of all forum-less heterosexuals in Texas’ colleges and universities by requiring that if state funds were spent to support Gender and Sexuality studies, funding should also be provided for centers in which the straights could discuss their lifestyles in courses concerning Traditional and Family Values.
Rolling Stone might also be interested that Texas sportsmen may soon be able to enjoy a new activity: hog hunting by helicopter. A bill by Sen. Troy Fraser passed out of the Senate yesterday that would allow airborne sharpshooters to reduce feral hog populations.
Normally, Texas is a bastion of parental rights, but not when it comes to students who misbehave in school. A bill that would have prohibited corporal punishment in Texas schools failed yesterday, after an amendment to allow parents to give blanket permission likewise failed. It was opposed by the Texas Conservative Coalition.
Finally, this is the year of Postcards from the Lege. This is not a reference to the Statesman’s blog of the same name. Rather, it refers to the collection of resolutions Texas is sending to Congress, telling them what we want them to do. Balance your budget, just like we do. Get us out of Medicaid and let us do block grants. Don’t mess with our sovereignty! And don’t put our resolutions in some file cabinet where they will never be looked at again, like you always do.
KATHERINE STEVENS/PAUL BURKA