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Patrick Backs Straus Into a Corner

Lieutenant governor threatens to force repeated special sessions unless his agenda is passed.

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Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick issues his ultimatum to Speaker Joe Straus at a press conference on Tuesday.
Deborah Cannon/Austin American-Statesman via AP

The reputation of Joe Straus’s speakership is suddenly on the line.

Through much of this legislative session, Straus has been an able foil for Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. Straus and his House leadership team have blocked Patrick’s social conservative agenda on bathrooms and private school vouchers. Then a series of cracks in Straus’s control of the House over the past two weeks has put Patrick in a powerful position.

Seizing the moment of Straus’s weakness, Patrick on Wednesday took key pieces of legislation hostage and threatened to force a special legislative session if the House did not submit to his agenda like serfs before the lord. Cell phones throughout the Capitol lit up as lobbyists watched the live stream of Patrick’s morning news conference. If the House failed to please him, Patrick said, the blame for failure would rest on Straus’s head. “Whether we have a special session is now in the hands of the speaker,” Patrick said. He said if the House fails to pass his agenda, he will ask Governor Greg Abbott to call a special session on issues such as transgender bathroom restrictions. And if the House continues to stall, “I will ask the governor to call us back again and again and again.”

In the hallway behind the House chamber, Straus attempted to assure journalists that all is well, even as he admitted that he and Patrick have not spoken for a while. “I believe more in consensus than demands and threats. My experience in the House is the House doesn’t take threats very well,” Straus said. He said time remains to resolve problems before the regular session ends on May 29.

We predicted back in February that Patrick would be the politician in charge this year under the Capitol’s pink granite dome. Some lobbyists referred to Patrick as the real governor of Texas, because Abbott is largely missing from the scene. Whatever portion of Abbott’s agenda that has passed or will pass did so because it also was Patrick’s agenda. Patrick has been the leader on social conservative issues such as restricting bathroom access to birth gender and a crackdown on law enforcement agencies that refuse to help the federal government deport undocumented immigrants no matter how small their crime.

Those were issues that big business opposed and counted on Straus and his House leadership team to halt. Corporations complained the transgender bathroom bill would harm employee recruitment, and cost Texas major sporting events and concerts. The House would be the stopper at best and the chamber of moderation at worst.

Straus initially played able defense. He slowed down the appointment of House committees and the consideration of legislation. Straus never even referred the Senate’s tough bathroom bill to a House committee for consideration. Then the House, on a vote of 104-33, punched Patrick and Abbott in the nose with a budget amendment to block state spending on any form of a private school voucher program. The House followed that up with a 91-48 vote on what some described as the middle-finger-to-Abbott bill that would forbid a governor from appointing to state agencies and commissions anyone who had donated more than $2,500 to his or her political account.

Joe Straus looked like a speaker unquestionably in charge. Then things started falling apart.

The problems for the speaker have been caused by a small group of Republican legislators known as the Freedom Caucus. The core group is nine lawmakers out of the 150-member House, and sometimes they can get their vote up to nineteen. Even some conservative Republicans complain that the Freedom Caucus is not truly Republican, but rather a group of libertarians more bent on causing chaos in the House than anything else. Some of the most prominent members are Matt Schaefer of Tyler, Jeff Leach of Plano, and Matt Rinaldi of Irving. Their titular leader is Bedford Representative Jonathan Stickland, who uses parliamentary rules to kill other members’ bills and then strongly objects when his own legislation suffers a similar fate. The Freedom Caucus opposes Straus but have generally been an ineffective annoyance.

That changed on April 27, when the House endured sixteen hours of debate on an anti-immigration bill to address so-called sanctuary cities. In the course of the debate, Schaefer offered an amendment to prevent police chiefs from restricting their officers from asking people who have been detained about their immigration status. In a moment of conciliation, Schaefer offered to pull down his amendment if Democrats would stop offering their own amendments designed to make Republicans look heartless and cruel. Some Democrats wanted to take the deal, but Representatives Armando Walle of Houston, Cesar Blanco of El Paso and Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio argued against it. By refusing to compromise, the three guaranteed that the so-called “show me your papers” amendment would become part of the bill that Abbott eventually signed into law.

But undeniably, Straus had an opportunity to affect the outcome of that bill. He could have kept it bottled up as he was doing with the bathroom bill, though he had allowed a similar sanctuary cities bill to go through the House in 2011. Straus also could have demanded discipline out of his chairs to vote against Schaefer. The amendment went on the bill by a vote of 81-64, with fourteen of Straus’s committee chairs voting for the Schaefer amendment, while three other members of his leadership team were away at a conference committee on the budget. Straus needed to switch only a dozen votes to keep the most controversial language out of the bill.

The Freedom Caucus was empowered, at least in perception.

In the days that followed, caucus members got an amendment on a foster care bill to prevent the vaccination of children who have been removed from their homes until a court ordered the child’s permanent removal. And last week they used maneuvers to slow down the House calendar so that a “safety net” bill failed to pass to keep agencies subject to the sunset review process alive even if their reauthorization legislation failed. And finally, they won passage of an amendment to a State Bar of Texas bill to make it an affirmative defense for a lawyer under disciplinary review to claim he or she acted because of a sincerely held religious belief—an amendment that Democrats viewed as giving lawyers the ability to discriminate against the LGBT community.

After the religious beliefs amendment passed on a vote of 85-59, Representative Rafael Anchia of Dallas blurted out, “Last session these guys couldn’t pass gas. Now they’re running the floor.”

Several senior Republican members of the Straus leadership team have told me they don’t feel like anyone is in charge in the House. One called it a rudderless ship. None said they are ready to abandon Straus or revolt against him, though the frustration is rising.

With the Freedom Caucus suddenly finding some success in the House, Patrick no doubt saw an opportunity to reassert control of the session. The death of the House version of the “safety net” bill was important. It’s called a safety net bill because it allows agencies under sunset review to continue operating. It has to pass. With the demise of the House’s bill, the only option left is the Senate’s version. And Patrick made clear he intends to hold that bill hostage.

In his press conference Wednesday, flanked by the flags of Texas and the United States, Patrick noted that he had control of the Senate version of the safety net bill. Then he demanded the House surrender on using the state’s rainy day fund to pay for a revenue shortfall in the budget; that the House accept both a private school voucher program in a substantially reduced school funding plan, and a controversial property tax reform for cities and counties; and that some form of his bathroom bill receive House approval. Otherwise, Patrick would force a special session to get what he wants.

While talking to reporters today, Straus admitted the death of the safety net bill in the House gave Patrick the opportunity to “make threats and demands. It was unfortunate. I’m not sure it gave anyone positive momentum.”

The past two weeks may not have given Patrick additional momentum, but it took the gas out of Straus.

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  • roadgeek

    Great synopsis. Much appreciated. I enjoy knowing what’s going on behind the scenes, and this article brought it to vivid life. I wondered how SB 4 got past Straus; he kowtows to, among others, Charles Butt, who certainly wouldn’t approve of such a thing.

    • WUSRPH

      Straus gave into the pressure on sanctuary cities as too many members of the House, including his Team, could not stand the heat. A speaker is supposed to protect the members from overly controversial issues, but there comes a time when he has to yield to protect them from challengers. What Straus personally believes on these kinds of issues is unclear…..I tend to think he is more “moderate” or cares about them only when they infringe on business…(see my comments on “business conservatives” on the prior thread)….

      • Jed

        when did pro-business become “moderate”?

        overton shift alert.

        • WUSRPH

          When the spectrum shifts so far to the right that people are no longer ashamed of being racists, a right of center position becomes “moderate”…..

  • Plowboy87

    The Freedom Caucus is going to grow in the interim and with some luck and a few more Legislators dropping their testicles we will see Straus gone from the position of Speaker.

  • WUSRPH

    Now is the time for Abbott to stand up and show some “leadership”…Of course, this may be beyond his abilities…..but an effective governor would call in both Straus and the Speaker (figuratively at least) and let it be known that he wants the budget bill and perhaps SB 2 and that he will not consider ANY requests for a special session before those bills pass. He should make it clear to Patrick that, as governor, he finds it very, very objectionable for someone to try to force him to call a special session and that, when it comes time for vetoes including in the budget, he will take that into account. And, he should make it clear, that, if he has to call a special, bathrooms will NOT be on the call. In short, he should act like a governor. But, of course, as I have already said, that may be beyond Abbott’s capabilities. A John Connally or Alan Shivers he is not. An other problem is that no one may pay attention, fully knowing that they can put Abbott in a position where he has to call a special session….but, it that happens, it will be because Abbott has not earned their respect or fear..

  • Arlie Tater

    I am ashamed beyond belief that my hometown Representative the Honorable Matt Shaheen is one of these yahoos. He makes Frank Eikenberg look good.

  • Jorge Jaramillo

    The Lege up to its usual crap, whats new.

  • Joe Straus is a pointy headed libtard in Republican clothing. And a note to the author writing this drivel for this libtard rag,the lieutenant governor IS more powerful than the governor by design. There are three liberal sewers contaminating Texas,Austin(of course),Houston,and Dallas. The rest of the state is on board with Patrick and company trying to stave off libtard lunacy and immorality. Libtardism is a disease,a brain disorder that is just as dangerous and deadly as AIDS,Ebola,or any other horrible malady and should be eradicated with all dispatch.

    • donuthin2

      Nope, you are wrong. This is at least one from none of the places that you mentioned that absolutely loathes Patsy. Looks like the lunatics, at least on the national level, are having to rethink their selection.

      • Spoken like a true libtard moron lemming. Nobody is “rethinking” anything. We fully realize the effort by the left and their most trusted ally,the corrupt,lyin’ media to stop Trump from undoing the damage that that stinkin’ Kenyan and his demonic minions did to this country. Even your username describes libtards.

        • Jed

          ha ha. you just called a republican a libtard.

          • Obviously your reading comprehension is as feeble as your mind.

    • Jed

      i guess this is one time us libtards are grateful that you keep electing guys who cut health research funding.

      • That funding is B.S.. Billions upon billions have been thrown at all kinds of diseases for decades and those diseases are still around doing their thing. Too much money to be made to cure them. Wake up.

        • Jed

          i guess us libtards are safe from eradication then, after all? phew.

          go to sleep, you’re obviously overtired.

          • No,your eradication is coming sooner than you think.

        • BCinBCS

          My God, you are one ignorant cowcatcher.
          Eradication of polio, small pox and soon T.B.
          Not to mention overwhelming reductions in measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus H. influenzae and hepatitis A and B.
          Almost total cures for childhood leukemias.
          Your knowledge of diseases is as extensive as your knowledge of politics.

          • My God you’re clueless. Those maladies you mentioned were eradicated decades ago and at a fraction of what’s being wasted now. And childhood leukemias are far from being cured. You also conveniently fail to mention that those diseases were eradicated mainly in industrialized nations and that the son of satan,Bathhouse Barry Odummy opened the floodgates,allowing tens of thousands of unvetted,disease ridden third world typhoid Marys into the country carrying drug resistant strains of diseases that you mentioned above. So,in conclusion,the next time you want to make disparaging remarks about other peoples’ intelligence,try taking a look in the mirror if you want to see the real face of ignorance.

          • BCinBCS

            Ya know cowcatcher, I started to write a reply stating the statistics and facts concerning the diseases that I listed in response to your ignorant initial statement but realized from your most recent uninformed reply that you are a special case of stupid that does not warrant my time. It’s a good thing that stupidity isn’t hereditary or your children would be in a world of hurt.

            BTW, your ignorance is so profound that you forced me to break my rule against personally insulting others but because that insulting description is true, I will make this exception.

          • Well,some things never change. EVERY time you confront libtards with facts and slap them back to reality,their reaction is always the same. Lash out with mindless insults and futile attempts to be clever. Since your username is as imbecilic as you obviously are,I’ll just call you asswipe. More fitting. Glad you didn’t list any”statistics”because they would’ve just been made up numbers. That’s the libtard way. You obviously have just enough live brain cells floating around in that vacuum between your ears to make your body functions work.One has to wonder,were you born this stupid,or is it something you’ve worked on and strived to achieve? I know the desire to spread your wings and show the world the power of all your years in special ed. To proudly display the fact that you’re the smartest window licker ridin’ the short bus. But alas,you’ve failed again. Your pathetic attempt to show that your intelligent has exploded in your face once again. But,you can always take solace in the fact that if your mommy and daddy were to get a divorce,they’d still be brother and sister. A little something to ponder.”tis better to remain silent and thought a fool,than to speak and remove all doubt.” In your sad case,truer words were never spoken. Hopefully,someone in a position of authority when you were young,observed the obvious and had you ‘fixed’ so as to not contaminate the world with your demon spawn. You despicable mongrel.

          • BCinBCS

            You are a textbook example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

    • pwt7925

      You should really quit drinking before lunch.

      • And likewise you should stop dropping acid,,,,period. His approval ratings show otherwise. His motivation and intentions are to stop the “progressive”trash from destroying Texas like they have other states,i.e. California,New York,Illinois,etc..

        • Jed

          those destroyed states are kicking our asses in just about every measurable way.

          • r1morris

            You literally have to be brain dead to make a stupid, false, comment as that. Or, a liberal, which is one in the same.

          • Jed

            you are familiar with statistics and facts, yes?

          • SpiritofPearl

            Highly unlikely . . .

          • BCinBCS

            Jed to them, statistics and facts don’t count and shouldn’t be used when it runs counter to their opinions.

    • Elephant

      You forgot San Antonio.

    • IndyTexan

      It takes one to know one. Oh, never mind this childish bullying.

      Straus is, whether intentional or not, becoming more like most of Texas — independent — thanks to the Empower Texan owned crew, including Dan Patrick. Texas is more than ready for an independent break thanks to the so-called Freedom Caucus. Freedom from what? Personaly, I’d like to be freed from politicians’ version of Christianity. Contarded!

  • SpiritofPearl

    So what’s the big deal? Perry had a couple of special sessions to foist the anti-woman legislation he wanted.

    FWIW: Texas has an accelerating rate of maternal death and teen pregnancy. How’s that misogyny workin’ out?

    • Jed

      if you hate women, maternal death isn’t really a problem for you.

      • SpiritofPearl

        Such good Christians . . .

        • WUSRPH

          I think my Irish first cousin (removed) Oliver St. John Gogarty best expressed the problem women have with people like Patrick trying to control women’s bodies when he suggested that:

          “I think it is high time the men of this country found some other way of loving God than by hating women.”

          • agkcrbs

            Out-of-towner here; no clue on this history. You guys are still talking about mashing, snipping, chopping up, and poisoning babies, disguised as women’s health care, right? Obstruction of murder being “hatred” of pitiful murderers, right? Or is anything you said about hating women actually true?

            Because it says here…
            “Causes of maternal deaths in Texas range from cardiac events to hypertension, drug overdose and suicide…”

            “Why Texas women died from seemingly preventable ailments — and why African-American women are more likely to be affected — remains a mystery […] Some experts point to the state’s cut of family planning services and refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act as possible reasons. […] But the family planning service cuts didn’t kick in until September 2011 and don’t account for the sharp spike in maternal deaths logged at the beginning of that year…”

            “Growing obesity in Texas women and increased cases of hypertension and other ailments while pregnant make them a health risk unlike any seen in recent years […]. ‘We have to accept that pregnant women these days are more complex and at risk than
            before’ […] ‘Women today are more complicated. They’re heavier. They have more underlying conditions.’ ”

            (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2016/09/10/texas-maternal-mortality-rate/90115960/)

          • SpiritofPearl

            So you’re implying that the high maternal death rate in Texas is caused by too many Twinkies?

          • agkcrbs

            Texas does seem to possibly have a particular issue, but maternal death is said to be up across the nation. And if the average death in Texas is 6 weeks post delivery, and if any of these pregnancies are “unwanted”, this also disproves (at least here) the old line that women without access to professional fetal destruction will just get unsafe abortions anyway (they didn’t; they gave birth, and some few had complications resulting in death about six weeks later). Or, if these babies were wanted, then this is not related to abortion restriction, but to low post-natal maternal care in general.

            I get that some want to kill their children to protect their lifestyles, and I personally am not going to hound them over their own self-destruction. But making administrative hurdles for the eradication of new human organisms, even if they legally belong to you to kill, is not reducible to mere “hatred” of you or your gender (if it were truly hatred, the haters would WANT to destroy both the abortive parent and their offspring). Those are little people, whom aborting couples are making and then breaking. This is not simply a clear line between support and opposition of women’s health care; it’s a very blurry line of women’s health care PLUS the antithesis of fetal health care.

            And if we’re being realistic, feticide is fewer unwanted -black- pregnancies, AKA genocide.

            What’s that — genocide is not the motive behind a practice we know is shrinking the black population share? Well, “hating women” is also obviously not the motive for trying to save the lives of those “hated” women’s babies. Drop the slander, or else accept criticism of your own racism in return.

          • SpiritofPearl

            This post is a lunatic’s ravings.

          • agkcrbs

            Words no longer mean anything at all to you, do they? Do you not know what “lunatic” and “raving” mean?

          • SpiritofPearl

            Yup.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Your opinion is that an embryo or fetus has more value than a pregnant woman.

          • Too Sweet

            It’s not a matter of value, Pearl. Neither the woman nor the baby has any value to these people, except as objects for political posturing. They want to end any type of support for the mom and babies immediately after birth. Matter of fact, they kinda do now. Almost 60 percent of the babies born in Texas are paid for by Medicaid. The mother’s Medicaid coverage ends the moment the baby is born.

            Their issue? Control of women.

          • SpiritofPearl

            For right-wing politicians, that is very true, but for some of their voters, they believe an embryo is a “baby.”

            Here’s a topical essay from today’s NYT:

            https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/20/opinion/sunday/abortion-people-whove-had-them.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

          • BCinBCS

            You’re right agkcrbs not only is abortion the taking of a life but so is contraception, the rhythm method and, to a lesser degree, masterbation.

          • agkcrbs

            I can easily smell which bodily cavity you yanked those strawmen out of, BCinBCS. What I can’t tell is where your rabid anti-black racism is coming from, to consign millions of their most innocent to death. Not many black friends, and you want to keep it that way, right?

          • BCinBCS

            I don’t really want to get into a dick measuring contest but I am certain that I have more African-American friends than do you.

            I would recommend that you do some reading in the medical literature about gestation (fetal growth) and a little study of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. That might help you with the morality of abortion.

  • Manuel Labor

    Stickland’s double-digit IQ (the first number’s NOT higher than 7) has somehow propelled him to the leadership of like-minded tinfoil hatters. We’re in trouble now. If Ken Paxton can stay out of jail and keep his law license, he can lose these stinker bills in court when they’re found to be unconstitutional. Not that it matters to the tinfoils. Lawyers keep making the money on these deals, and Texas taxpayers pay for it all.
    Remember when Patrick was a caricature of himself at KHOU? He still is.
    On the other hand, if the bathroom bill includes a requirement that fast food joints have to keep the men’s room as clean as they keep the ladies room, I would quit using the wrong one at DQ. I only do that at the “one-holers,” so as not to embarrass anyone.

    • Marvintyson

      Knowing many of these people personally, Jonathan Stickland probably has one of the highest IQs in Austin.
      But, please keep up the juvenile name calling and denigration of conservatives in Texas. It adds to our numbers every time a logical or reasonable Texan hears or reads it.
      As for the so-called “bathroom Bill” it is clearly supported by a majority of Texans, and if we are to restore a republican form of government here, that majority should prevail, regardless of what a court may or may not rule.

      • SpiritofPearl

        The majority in the states of the Confederacy acquiesced to slavery. That didn’t make it right.

        • Marvintyson

          The people WILL get it wrong from time to time. Do you think judges won’t?
          We were left the ONLY true republic in the world in which the people were in control of government, and the people are far less likely to “get it wrong” than a single individual in a black robe.
          A couple of years from now it will be liberals who will be screaming from the rooftops “We can’t let these judges and courts rule! We have a republic!” Why? Because one more SC justice appointment by President Trump will see Roe overturned, same sex marriage decided by the States, strict voter ID instituted, and many of these other phantom “rights” legislated from the liberal courts will be gone.
          THAT is why the will of the people should always be respected in every State.

          • SpiritofPearl

            You have been brainwashed by right-wing media.

          • Marvintyson

            I have been brainwashed by facts.
            Come back and debate when you have a cogent argument to make, or real words that show my point to be invalid.
            I am an author, a teacher, and a public speaker who deals with politics and both the U.S. and Texas Constitutions and have for four decades.
            I have testified before congressional committees several times in the last few years and have been interviewed on radio, TV, and in newspapers more times than I can remember.
            “Right wing media” has been brainwashed by me.

          • SpiritofPearl

            And I’m the queen of England . . .

            Cite some facts. So far you have been sharing your opinions.

          • Marvintyson

            Read a book or six. I’ll recommend one for you; The Fall of the Western Empire by Marvin Tyson. You can find it (and its sequel very soon) on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and Defiance Press.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Haha! You must be joking.

            Why don’t YOU read some books written by experts and patriots, not biased hysterics like yourself? Start with the Constitution and several books on constitutional law.

          • WUSRPH

            You might also try a recent book—Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 by Pauline Maier published by Simon & Shuster—of significant benefit. This study is the FIRST history of the entire process of ratifying the Constitution. It is based on the diaries, public comments, newspaper reports and every available piece of paper dealing with the ratification efforts in every state or colony.

            The work clearly presents exactly what most of those most involved in the battle to ratify the constitution thought it meant at the very time they were fighting over its ratification. It presents ALL sides on the issues and makes it crystal clear that both the Constitution’s advocates and opponents in the debate understood that “UNION” meant something much different from the loose “confederation” established by the Articles of Confederation. And, that all also understood that the central government, not the various states, would be the superior authority in the new governmental structure.

          • Jed

            Wow you have the same name as that guy.

          • WUSRPH

            Of course, Judges “get it wrong” certainly sometimes in moral terms—see Scott, Dred……BUT even then the SCOTUS was acting within its authority and interpreting the Constitution as Madison clearly said it was entitled to do…….In that case, regretfully, it was probably constitutionally correct, but morally wrong. Even Lincoln argued that an amendment was needed…..but the difference is that this is a nation of laws, not of men……..

            I would also note that both Madison and Hamilton in The Federalist warned against the kind of a nation you are advocating…..and both made it more than clear that the structure of the new government—the branches, the separation of powers, the checks and balances—were specifically designed to protect against “the momentary passions” of the mob….They created a representational democracy under the “rule of law, not man”.

          • José

            Funny, I was under the impression that the people still have the power to exert their will should they find themselves on the losing end of a judicial ruling. They can change the law and even the Constitution, if it comes to that. But they cannot pass laws that violate the Constitution or other laws. That seems fair enough to me. It seemed fair enough to the Founders too.

        • WUSRPH

          It did not make it right….but, unfortunately, it was constitutional…….

      • Jed

        so totally unclear on what “republican form of government” means.

        hint, this is what it isn’t: “that majority should prevail”

        that’s not even democracy. it’s not even a good way to pick a lunch spot.

        • Marvintyson

          We were left a republican form of government by our founders. That is, one in which all the power to govern resides in the people, and the people alone.
          So many people, especially on the left side of the political divide, think that the people should only rule when they are in the majority. When they find themselves in the minority however, they want only the courts to govern. The trouble with that is, you will be the minority one day and the majority the next.
          That is why the United States was actually established as a union of Nations, not unlike the European Union of today, in which the Nations (or States, the two words are synonyms) make their own laws, and establish their own rules, bound only by the language of the U.S. Constitution.
          That way a person could simply live in the Nation/State in which his own beliefs and morals were in the majority, and move if that changed.
          Today we have a single leviathan in DC ruling over all the States and there is no choice left to anyone. That is the reason we stand on the edge of the abyss of violence and anarchy.

          • WUSRPH

            You apparently have a mislabeled copy of the Articles of Confederation and mistake it for the Constitution……But you do make one good point “bound only by the language of the US Constitution”….You know language like:

            “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.

            The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

            No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

            All of which totally conflict with your claims about the powers of the States.

          • Marvintyson

            You can dance around this as much as you want, you can try to play word games until doomsday, but until you can show us some real words in the U.S. Constitution supporting judicial review, your premise is built on a foundation of lies and prevarication.
            The portions of Article IV that you cite are clearly NOT meant as any association whatsoever with anything I have claimed about the States either. The “full faith and credit” clause has ONLY to do with those things enumerated in Article I as Federally mandated.
            You nor any judge is entitled to just make up some “right”, “privilege”, or “immunity” and say “okay, now you all have to do this!” It is ONLY referring to laws and acts passed by the U.S. Congress.

          • WUSRPH

            See Madison’s comments above.. As the “Father of the Constitution” and the author of the Bill of Rights I think his views are much more worth our respect than your warmed-over Calhounism..

          • Jed

            Did you just switch rants in the middle?

            Are we arguing about judicial review, republicanism, or liberals?

            Sort it out, get back to me.

        • Marvintyson

          By the way Jed, if you don’t think the majority should prevail, I assume you think the minority should. But which minority?
          There are religious minorities, minorities of sexual orientation, economic and employment minorities, etc. And few of them agree on much.
          Should the minority of Muslims be free to sexually mutilate little girls through female circumcision?
          This “minority rule” is a very dangerous pathway to trod.

      • WUSRPH

        The purpose of a constitution and a bill of rights is specifically to protect the minority from the overzealousness and tyranny of the majority…….”Majority rule” over all restrictions and rights of others is not republicanism or democracy with a “little d”…It is Mobocracy.

        • vietvet3

          Thank you.

        • Marvintyson

          The fact is; you will not find a single word in either the U.S. Constitution or its Bill Of Rights that grants authority of a judge, justice, or court to overrule the express will of the people.
          You are correct that our Constitution is designed to protect the rights of the minority, but you cannot simply claim something as a “right” if it’s not found in that document.

          • WUSRPH

            The false claim that you raise was settled once and for all time by Marbury v Madison in 1803 which was accepted as a binding ruling by the founders who wrote the constitution and the bill of rights.

          • Marvintyson

            Wrong again.
            I understand that reading comprehension is not your long suit, so I’ll break my “claim” down for you; I said that you would not find any support for your falsehood in the U.S. Constitution or its Bill Of Rights and you come back and quote John Marshal (Chief Justice of the SC at the time of the Marbury opinion).
            And even Marshall couldn’t show constitutional justification for judicial review, he just said it seemed like a good idea to him.
            As for your ridiculous (and bogus) claim that this nonsense was “accepted” by the founders, I offer this quote by Thomas Jefferson in his denouncement of the Marbury fiasco; “Under this hypothesis our Constitution will become a thing of mere wax in the hands of the judiciary, to be twisted and molded into anything they desire.”
            If our founders “accepted” the idea of judicial review of the Constitution surely they would have mentioned it somewhere in Article III (authorities of the judicial branch) but they did no such thing.

          • WUSRPH

            I might note that Jefferson had NO role in the drafting of the US Constitution….He was abroad when it was drafted and ratified. I might note that James Madison, known to history as the “Father of the US Constitution” and as the author of the Bill of Rights, addressed your view of the power of the states as follows:

            “The Judiciary there may in the course of its functions be the last resort within the provisions & forms of the Constitution;”

            “The opinion that the States ought to be placed not less under the Govt. of the U. S. than they were under that of G. B., can provoke no censure from those who approve the Constitution as it stands with powers exceeding those ever allowed by the colonies to G. B. particularly the vital power of taxation, which is so indefinitely vested in Congs.”

            “With respect to the supremacy of the Judicial power on questions occurring in the course of its functions, concerning the boundary of Jurisdiction between the U. S. & individual States, my opinion in favor of it was as the 41 No. of the Federalist shews, of the earliest date; and I have never ceased to think that this supremacy was a vital principle of the
            Constitution as it is a prominent feature in its text. A supremacy of the Constitution & laws of the Union, without a supremacy in the exposition & execution of them, would be as much a mockery as a scabbard put into the hand of a Soldier without a sword in it. I
            have never been able to see, that without such a view of the subject the Constitution itself could be the supreme law of the land; or that the uniformity of the Federal Authority throughout the parties to it could be preserved; or that without this uniformity, anarchy & disunion could be prevented.”

            “Nothing can be more clear than that these auths. &c., &c., of
            the States, in other words, the authority & laws of the U. S. must be
            the same in all; or that this cannot continue to be the case, if there be a
            right in each to annul or suspend within itself the operation of the laws &
            authority of the whole. There cannot be different laws in different states on
            subjects within the compact without subverting its fundamental principles, and
            rendering it as abortive in practice as it would be incongruous in theory.

          • Marvintyson

            Good grief! Do you ever read the actual words you quote as supporting your position?
            Certainly the judicial is supreme on questions occurring in the course of its functions. That doesn’t mean it is supreme on those things outside of its “functions”, which judicial review clearly is.
            And nothing I’ve said denies the supremacy of the Constitution, quite the opposite in fact. But saying the Constitution is the supreme law of the land DOES NOT mean that whatever some judge says about it is supreme.
            These quotes that you site were uttered in a debate about taxes. Madison was saying “the Federal Government must have the power to tax the States if we are to do the things the Constitution charges us in doing”, nothing more.
            And he certainly did not mean to imply that the Federal government held authority OUTSIDE of those things listed in Article I Section VIII. Otherwise the 10th Amendment granting supreme authority to the States on any issue outside of Art. I Sec. VII and not denied them in Sec. X, are “left to the States”.

          • WUSRPH

            McCulloch v. Maryland, established as the “law of the land” since 1819, says differently….As does the 14th Amendment which extends all federally protected rights and privileges to the States.

            Madison’s comments were taken from several sources, but not primarily dealing with taxes…..They primarily dealt with his views on nullification and the 10th Amendment. I would suggest you read them again… but it would be a waste of time since your mind is closed to any thoughts but yours and John C. Calhoun’s.

            Part of your problem is that you misread the 10th Amendment to say something that no court or Madison has ever said……Madison made it very clear, in fact, at the time of the adoption of the 10th Amendment that it was (as Judge Bork described the 9th Amendment) basically dicta and changed nothing in the Constitution.

            In effect, he said, with or without the 10th Amendment what mattered were the powers given to the Congress by the full Constitution stating: “Interference with the power of the States was no constitutional criterion of the power of Congress. If the power was not
            given, Congress could not exercise it; if given, they might exercise it, although it should interfere with the laws, or even the Constitutions of the States.”

            You also fail to recognize that both the US House and US Senate when they adopted the 10th Amendment specifically rejected your argument that the powers of the federal government/Congress are restricted to those in Section 8 of Art. I but SPECIFICALLY VOTED NOT TO INCLUDE THE WORD “EXPRESSLY” BEFORE THE WORD DEDICATED. (See: Annals of Congress767-68 (1789) (defeated in House 17 to 32); 2 B. Schwartz, The Bill of Rights: A Documentary History 1150-51 (1971) (defeated in Senate by unrecorded vote)……This, is of course, is clearly in line with the holding in McCulloch v. Maryland.

            But enough wasting of my time trying to discuss a serious subject with you……

          • WUSRPH

            What they did and what they meant as the role of the Judiciary is clearly set froth by Hamilton in Federalist 78. I suggest you read it.. He clearly sets for the role of the judiciary in judging the acts of Congress……..And, by the way, he’s one of those Founders……Again, Mayberry v. Madison (1803) clearly reflects that right…

  • WUSRPH

    I guess I would have more respect for Joe Straus if the called the bully’s bluff…….Pass SB 2—as the House has amended it—-and then tell Patrick to take SB 6 and go to the bathroom with it where he can put it to good use. Giving in to complete the State’s work in 140 days should not outweigh killing a bill that is bad public policy. Nor should it allow Patrick to threaten everyone into doing it his way.

    • WUSRPH

      And, when they pass SB 2—the HOUSE VERSION—the author should announce that he will NOT go to conference on the bill…..Take it or leave it.

      • WUSRPH

        Looks like Straus is getting tough…He sent the House home for the day JUST as it reached SB 2. This delays action on the bill for another day…….and time is running out.

        • WUSRPH

          If Patrick forces a special session by not passing the budget and the Sunset continuation bill, the House strategy should be:

          Come to town
          Ignore any thing that looks like the “bathroom bill”
          Refer the Budget and Sunset Bill to Committee
          Report them from committee that afternoon
          Pass them on 2nd & 3rd Reading the next day
          Adjourn sine die subject to the signing of bills by the Speaker.

          The House did just about this back in 1979 when it got tired of trying to pass a workers compensation insurance bill. They actually did come back—using a loophole in the rules to sidestep the sine die adjournment—but it forced the Senate to adopt a bill the House could accept.

  • WUSRPH

    Rumor has it that there is a legitimate point-of-order against SB 2 in the House so the Speaker held off taking it up while they try to work out the problem. There is still (barely) enough time left to run it back to committee and out again to correct something if that is necessary. Plus any lost time will only increase the pressure on the Senate to accept most, if not all, of the House’s somewhat improved version.

  • BCinBCS

    I have a question for R.G or WUSRPH: “What would happen if Straus called Patrick’s bluff and allowed the safety net bill’s passage to fail?
    Would the bad fall-out be a way to “shame” Patrick back into the dark? Would that put the power back in Straus’ corner?

    BTW:
    Did you notice Patrick’s lapel pin in the photo above?
    A U.S. flag and a Texas flag flying from a cross.
    Kinda Elmer Gantry.

    • WUSRPH

      This is a hard one to answer. First, I think that it is impossible to embarrass Patrick…He is clearly shame proof. He is too fanatical (whether for real or for political reasons or a combination of both). IF Patrick kills this sunset continuation bill and/or the budget you would think the public would blame him…..But I doubt he would care…just like Cruz shrugged off the responsibility when he helped shut down the federal government. It is “for the cause” and therefore justified.

      As to the lapel pin….It is a perfect example of Patrick’s repeatedly proclaimed position that there is no separation of church and state and that this is a Christian nation….

      • Jed

        “First, I think that it is impossible to embarrass Patrick…He is clearly shame proof. ”

        be nice if this weren’t true of his voters as well. the problem isn’t the leaders, it’s the followers.

  • Daniel Woodworth

    That’s quite a hostile stance on the Freedom Caucus, and hardly a fair characterization–Stickland fights bills because he thinks they’d be bad government, and objected when Freedom Caucus bills were killed wholesale for personal reasons. As he and the Freedom Caucus demonstrated, if they decided to kill bills wholesale, as the establishment had been doing to theirs, they could make quite the mess.

    The Freedom Caucus is exactly what we need right now. Someone needed to crack Straus’s grip on the House. It’d be nice if it didn’t empower Patrick, who’s a bit of a loony, but that’s what happens when you try to suppress the will of the people: they tend to swing back the other way.

  • Gtmogal

    Patrick needs to sit down and shut up. He was an asset before he became a “politition” and he still is an ass.

  • keenan ochoa

    I support Stickland and the freedom caucus! They’re doing what’s right and what real Texans want!

    • SpiritofPearl

      What’s a “real” Texan?

  • WUSRPH

    As I reported last night, the House has had to send SB 2 back to committee to correct an error that could have resulted in a valid point of order. The chairman of the committee, when asked, said he thought it would be back in the committee for “maybe an hour”. It must then go back thru the Calendar process…but it can get a special placement on the Daily Calendar as it is was declared an “emergency” by Abbott at the beginning of the session.

  • WUSRPH

    Now that the Senate author says that his bill to repeal/roll back the “10% rule” is dead, is anyone doing a running tally of the status of the various, multiple attacks on higher education?. We know that the House/Senate conferees are just getting to the major differences in the amount of funding they provide (both cut, but the Senate uses a chain saw while the House uses a paring knife)…but what about the bills to, in effect, reduce the amount of scholarships to less affluent students and so forth and the real attack on medical schools, particularly the new on in Austin?

  • RLee

    Straus is a problem. Typical pol. Likes to deal off the bottom of the deck when he needs too.

  • r1morris

    Recall Strauss. This guy is a liberal, disguising himself as a conservative. It’s time for Strauss’s reign as RINO King to end, and, time for conservative Texas to flourish.

    • WUSRPH

      Just what, and be specific, has Straus not done this session—other than the bathroom bill—to frustrate the cause of conservatism (assuming you know what that means) in Texas? Taxes will be cut, spending, when adjusted for growth and inflation, will be cut, guns will be easier to get, abortion will be further limited, “religious freedom” will be granted in adoptions and to professional licensees, sanctuary cities will be prohibited—in a tougher manner than the Senate provided, cops will be protected, trial lawyers will be further restricted and on and on…..Sounds like the program you apparently favor to me……Not one some “liberal” would allow thru the House. Stop reading only what Empower Texas tells you and take a look at the real, and not the “alternative” facts.

  • WUSRPH

    Tomorrow is the last day for House committees to approve Senate bills….So, unless it is out of committee by midnight, it is dead….Good bye SB 6. This means that next week the Senate will spend most of its time passing HB bills that will be loaded down like a xmas tree with amendments that try to resurrect a dead Senate bill….Most will then be killed by the House enforcing the constitutional germaneness rules…(The Senate is less bound by the constitution)….A few House members will try to do the same to some SBs in the House, but they usually—as happened today to the school lunch bill–get killed by a valid point of order. Normal behavior for this time of the session…….As everybody waits to see what the House will eventually do to SB 2 and what will be done about the Sunset continuance bill.

  • Texas Publius

    The Freedumb Caucus is a tiny group of legislators whose shared trait is they don’t know how to influence or persuade their fellow legislators. As legislators, each of them is a square peg in a round hole. They’re just not cut out to be in a legislative process.

    Some of these guys have been around three full terms yet still don’t know how to navigate positive change thru the Texas Legislature–ie, pass a bill. Collectively, all 12-13 of them have passed virtually no bills in the last six years. Not really sure why they keep leaving their families every other year to head to Austin and get nothing done–other than their stunt of killing 300+ broadly-supported bills that would’ve really helped Texas. Wonder how that will play out for them should they return next session….

    No Texas Senate exists at the moment. Just a Lt Governor who has 31 votes (ie, the 31 Danbots).

    We’re all still watching the film “Looking for Greg Abbott…” He’s too busy obsessing over his campaign finance totals improve policy in Texas or lead.

    • SeeItMyWay

      They take their marching orders from the hands that feed them – Tim Dunn’s and Richard Weekley’s.

  • Yeah Uh Huh

    Patrick sucked as a sportscaster and he sucks as a politician. Hey Danny Boy, when you’re voted out of office (hopefully very soon, unless you are removed for malfeasance), if Drumpf’s orange posterior is still squatting in the White House, maybe he’ll hire you.

  • WUSRPH

    As I said yesterday, if the Legislature really wants to do something it will find a way: Two Patrick threats taken care of:

    “House takes care of Sunset scheduling issue by extending five agencies under SB 80

    Copyright May 20, 2017, Harvey Kronberg, http://www.quorumreport.com, All rights are reserved

    May 20, 2017 2:37 PM

    With the Bonnen version of SB 2 added, Texas House tentatively passes SB 669

    House parliamentarians have ruled amendments on rollback rates are not germane to SB 669.”
    (Thanks to the Quorum Report)

  • WUSRPH

    The House passage of bills in place of SB 2 and the Sunset scheduling bill reverses the situation. It takes Straus out of the corner and puts Patrick there. Now he has to decide whether not getting the “bathroom bill” and having to settle for less than he wanted on SB 2 are sufficient grounds to kill the budget bill and force the Legislature into a special session…..This puts the full responsibility for wasting the 140 days ON HIM. A normal officeholder, who knows that under our system of government you cannot always get exactly what you want it being a democracy and not your own property, would take what he has, pass the budget and go home. But then Patrick’s apparent paranoia about transgenders makes it hard for him to give in. It almost makes one wonder if he once made a pass at the wrong “woman”.

    • WUSRPH

      Now that the budget conferees have announced an agreement on the budget the pressure on Patrick is likely to be even more intense. Is he willing to sacrifice 140 days of effort—and the only issue that the legislature must deal with every two years—the budget—-for his fixation with “getting it my way” on SB 2 and SB 6? We await his answer.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Don’t you know that Tim and Michael are all pissed off tonight.

  • WUSRPH

    West Virginia v. Barnette (1943): ” If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.”

    Sorry about that Danny……

  • WUSRPH

    One of the consistent themes of this session of the legislature (and partially of recent sessions) has been a growing threat to the right of local elected officials to “represent” the people who elected them. In fact, the Legislature has considered—and passed in many cases—bills that strictly tie the hands of local government on subjects ranging from how their police treat undocumented aliens to short-term rentals or control of taxi-like services, not forgetting the “you can’t control oil drilling” bill from 1015.

    This dislike of the idea of freely elected officials exercising their own will and best judgment extends to more than just the operations of local governments….In fact, it is an integral part of the package of legislation Lt. Gov. Patrick pushes each year to limit BOTH the fiscal resources of local governments (thru property tax caps, etc.) AND future legislatures thru such steps as limiting the revenues available to them by cutting taxes and/or putting tightening spending limits. It is like they don’t trust anyone but themselves to make the “right decisions” and are acting to make it impossible for future elected officials, including Lt. Governors, Governors, and Legislatures to use their best judgement about what is needed.

    Gov. Abbott, in his own less than colorful way, explains this as fighting “Californization”, but, when you get below the surface, what you find is less of a concern about different cities having different policies….and more the fact that Patrick, Abbott and their ilk JUST DON’T BELIEVE IN REPRESENATIONAL GOVERNMENT by anybody but themselves and want to assure that all local governments and future state governments “Do it my way”…..

  • WUSRPH

    The Trump deals (long in the works) with the Saudis and the UAE will certainly keep the “defense” sector busy with some spill over to steel, etc. but that segment of the economy has not been the real trouble area. What is it going to do for the consumer sector is not clear. Trump probably feels that he is “buying” Saudi support against ISIS, but, as usual, he probably doesn’t understand the total situation. The Saudis don’t view ISIS as being so-much of a terrorist group but as much more as religious heretics…..Destroying ISIS as a major force is not going to end the problems in the Middle East and the Arabia Gulf region….They will continue as long as the branches of Islam are unable to live side-by-side or accept each other as being equal citizens. It took the Christian west several centuries (and millions of dead) after the breakup of “Christendom” in 1517 to be able to do that……Islam is still in the early stages of that process and selling one side more arms will not speed up that development. It may only make it harder for them to accept the other branches of their faith.

  • Texas Publius

    Did that “corner” even last 48 hours?

    Stickland, Tinderholt, Leach, Rinaldi, Schaefer, Sanford, Krause, Zedler, and Shaheen filed 218 House bills this session. It’s already mathematically determined: 0 (as in zero) will pass. Impressive legislating…….

    • SeeItMyWay

      That’s what happens when you piss people off. That’s what happens when you get too big for your britches; that’s what happens when you go to shoot ducks off the pond with a 410, and you find they are all carrying grenade launchers.

      • WUSRPH

        They, of course, probably score it differently since they are convinced that only their presence has kept Texas from being “California II”. Of course, little they did had any effect on that…..They mostly killed tiny little bills that would have done nothing to advance of cause of international socialism and degeneracy But, in their minds, they are very, very important fighters for the cause of Freedom and God. Too bad that thought exists only in their minds and not in reality..

  • WUSRPH

    Patrick can force SB 669, as amended to be the House version of SB 2, to conference…but that will do nothing to advance his call for mandatory elections when taxes to up more than 5%……His only chance to get those provisions put back into the bill would be if the House were actually to pass SB 2 and it went to conference….But, having passed its version of the bill in SB 669, there is no incentive for the House to ever put SB 2 back on the Daily Calendar….Or, if they do, to put it in anything but the last place on a long, long Calendar. Patrick can force a conference on SB 669 just out of anger, but there is no way the election provisions can be put into it… That is because the House Parliamentarian was right…..those provisions are not germane to the bill and, should he somehow find a way to inset them into it, the bill would be killed by a point of order when it got back to the House for concurrence. In short, the House has outfoxed him. He can either accept part of SB 2 or get noting….There is virtually no chance of him getting anything much more significant than the House has approved. I can’t think of a more pleasant way for this all to end.

  • WUSRPH

    It looks like Obama and Hillary aren’t the only people afraid to say “Islamic terrorists”. But at least he did not condemn Islam…..although he seems to be taking sides in their theological battles over which is the “right” Islam.

    • WUSRPH

      Trump seems to think that you can kill an idea with bombs and guns……That only works if you kill all the people who ever believed it or could believe in it….You kill an idea by changing the conditions that made it attractive to people….In this case those are primarily economic…..but Trump said nothing about helping to resolve them and, in fact, is advocating doing less in foreign aid and development when more is needed. I suspect that, if we are able to crush ISIS as a movement, that it will wind up much like it did when we financed the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan with us “winning” and then walking away doing nothing about the underlying conditions. Poor Charlie Wilson tried to explain what would happen in Afghanistan if we did that….but no one listened…..and Trump is not listening now.

      • SpiritofPearl

        Too bad no one in the Trump administration knows the difference between Sunnis and Shiites and why it matters to Muslims.

        • WUSRPH

          Trump probably does not know the difference between a Baptist and a Methodist.

          • SpiritofPearl

            “And therein lies the rub . . .”

            W. Shakespeare

        • SeeItMyWay

          How would you have addressed the issue with both the Sunni’s and Shite’s in mind?

          • SpiritofPearl

            Well, I would try to understand both sides. ISIS and the Saudis are Sunnis. IRan is Shia. That’s going to eventually backfire on the Mad King.

          • SeeItMyWay

            The Saudis are pseudo friends. Don’t know that playing softball with Iran would accomplish much.

            I think it’s kinda like addressing an issue like abortion or immigration here at home. Some are going to like what he says; many aren’t.

          • SpiritofPearl

            The Sunni-Shia conflict has been in existence since the seventh century. The smart politician wouldn’t take sides.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Centuries or not, is their conflict more pronounced than some we are experiencing here? Can you not see how what is happening here could not easily turn into a civil war?

          • SpiritofPearl

            What “conflict” are we experiencing here? Please be specific.

          • WUSRPH

            The Saudis problem with ISIS is not that they are Sunnis….but that they claim to be the new Caliphate and, as the guardians of Mecca and Medina, they will not allow us a claim to go unchallenged. But, just the same, Trump clearly has no problem with taking sides in a centuries old religious war…..assuming he understood the words he was reading off the tel-e-promoter.

          • SeeItMyWay

            He has definite issues, but do you truly think he lacks a measure of intelligence when it comes to comprehension?

          • WUSRPH

            I think Donald Trump is a man who has no philosophical (in the general meaning) belief structure….who believes that the only goal is power and wealth….and who cannot understand why people do things for other reasons……His is not an uncommon problem. JJ suffered somewhat from it…..As such, he cannot understand the centuries of tribal and religious struggles that underlie the situation in the Middle East. He clearly lacks any real knowledge of the history of his country or the world….Remember, for example, he said he learned more than he ever knew about China and Korea in a 10-minute talk with the Xi, the Chinese leader.

          • SeeItMyWay

            JJ must have been a hoot. I saw that he is gone from here for a reason yet explained. What does “blocked” mean?

            Back to your point. He is a loon in so many senses of the word, but most do not seem to care. I voted for him because I have never been a fan of Hillary’s, but he makes me cringe almost every day. However, he won because “regular” people had grown tired of being ignored. No one was listening; nothing was changing; it seemed that Washington was taking care of the elitests and the low end of the economic spectrum to the detriment of the middle class. This had to be the reason for the blue state crossover votes that got him elected.

            Who knows what to expect next? This Presidency will be interesting to say the least. I feel that more are being drawn to national politics every day because of the press overload – many who have never given politics a minute’s notice.

          • WUSRPH

            Blocked refers to a method that you can use to effectively block out any post by a person whose views you find offense, etc. It just blocks you from seeing them. Everyone who has not blocked that person continues to see what they post. You engage it by clicking on the little upside down triangle out at the far right of that individual’s post. It pulls down to allow you to block future posts by that person. There was an particularly offensive Troll who went under various names who was blocked by many people. He seems to have moved on to other places as a result of the fact that his posts were having no impact.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Thanks. Something new for the offended, or the unyielding. Great.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Some posters are angry and/ or uninformed. I read TM to learn about Texas politics. I block those who interfere with that process.

          • SpiritofPearl
          • SpiritofPearl

            He didn’t.

          • WUSRPH

            Getting people who are convinced that “God is on their side” to agree to stop battling those who have a similar belief is not an easy task. Trump probably came closest to it in his almost-like-Obama plea that they take a stand against those who use violence in that struggle……”Drive them out of your….”…..But it took centuries and numerous “wars of religion” for Europeans to learn this lesson and accept that they could peacefully live next to those who see God differently….and that only when the whole idea of a theocratic world was beginning to be challenged. I doubt that Islam has yet reached the point where Sunnis, Shias and the various sects within each including the Saudi Salafi or Wahhabi branch can exercise the tolerance that would be required. The most we can hope for is that they can tamp down the violent elements……but, remember, it is still a capitol offense in Saudi Arabia to adopt some other faith than Islam.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Here’s one for you that this old undereducated reprobate found:
      “TOLERANCE IS THE LAST VIRTUE OF A DYING SOCIETY” ARISTOTLE

      • WUSRPH

        It might help if you, as they say, “know where he is coming from”……Aristotle was no fan of “democracy” as you understand it…….He wanted to limit power to the “virtuous”..

        http://tinyurl.com/md8cj6f

        • SeeItMyWay

          “Aristotle states that whenever large groups of people get together to make decisions it is inevitable that their personal bias will appear, and the decisions will not be made for the virtue of the city-state.”

          • SpiritofPearl

            Who are you quoting?

          • Jed

            not aristotle. more nonsense conservative talking points.

            https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52183738

          • SpiritofPearl

            Good catch! Even if Aristotle HAD said those words, they were taken out of context. The tragedy is that the True Believers don’t realize they’re being scammed.

          • Jed

            it’s actually not even a catch. whenever a conservative quotes someone famous to make a point, i automatically assume it is a lie. then i go look for proof. it is virtually always a lie.

          • Jed

            i think most of them do. only a very few are truly that ignorant or stupid.

            the rest are just so selfish they don’t care who they are screwing by spreading what they know to be lies.

          • SpiritofPearl

            I disagree. Most bubbas are so thoroughly propagandized at this point that they don’t know up from down.

          • Jed

            maybe. but the average trump voter makes more $$ than the average american.

            the bubbas are the minority.

          • SpiritofPearl

            All Trump voters are bubbas. It’s embedded in their DNA to be fearful.

        • Jed

          it also would have helped if aristotle actually said that.

  • WUSRPH

    Read in the paper that the House is gong to give a little on the “bathroom bill” by amending a SB to make it apply only to public schools……..Sorry to see that it has given in this much…..but at least it gives Patrick one less reason to force a special… But who was it that said the House was more “moderate” than the Senate…Seems to me that it has passed at least part of most of the poor public policy stuff that Patrick pushed thru the Senate. Does doing only two-thirds as bad as the other guys qualify as being “moderate”?

  • WUSRPH

    Well, the Texas House has spoken…..transgenders will have their own bathrooms (or one closed off to all others while they use it) in our public schools……What’s next? Separate bathrooms to make sure “liberals” don’t spread their diseases? How about one for Christians so they do not befouled by pagans, atheists, Buddhists or Muslims?.
    After all, should we protect our “sincere religious belief” not to mix with others?
    As usual, Senfornia Thompson gave, in her own way, an eloquent explanation of what was wrong with this idea…but, as usual, she was ignored. One correction to her remarks however…..She noted—which is a fact–that when the late Barbara Jordan was elected to the Texas Senate in 1966 there was no bathroom for her to use. This was not the result of racial segregation, as Thompson suggested, but simply because women senators were so rare (having been only a couple) that no facilities were available for her as a woman other than the couple of public women’s rooms in the Capitol. The Senate eventually built a private bathroom for Jordan which she used until she went to Congress.
    The problem of inadequate women’s rooms in the Capitol was not limited to the Senate, however, as there were only a few women’s rooms in the entire building….After all, when the Capitol was built women were supposed to stay at home and not run for public office or work in the Capitol. Even as late as 19712 there was only one woman in the House…and none in the Senate since Jordan had moved on to Congress. The situation began to change with the election of another woman senator in 1972 and about a half dozen in the House. but there were still floors in the Capitol—such as the 4th Floor—where there were no bathrooms for women….This became a particular problem later in the 70s when there were four women members on that Floor…..with no bathroom…..They handled the problem by having a male staff member stand at the door of the men’s room when they needed to use the facility……Later the House added a bathroom by taking over and remodeling a room on that floor that had previously been used as an unofficial House Chapel.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Did you happen to catch Rep Anchia’s thoughtful, thought provoking, dissenting comments from the back mic?

      If listening, I hope it kept some who voted aye from sleeping well last night.

  • Pevine Wannamaker

    “…a crackdown on law enforcement agencies that refuse to help the federal government deport undocumented immigrants no matter how small their crime.” I so love unbiased reporting. And it’s good to know the size of my crime should be some sort of deciding factor in what happens to me going forward!

    • BCinBCS

      The next time that you get put in jail for a speeding ticket, remember what you wrote.

      • SpiritofPearl

        Bingo!

      • Jed

        i think you meant “executed.”

    • Jed

      actually, the determining factor is the constitution. the text you quote is discussing something that would be unconstitutional.

      i do so love unclued commenting.

      • Pevine Wannamaker

        Me too! But the quote didn’t talk about state agencies that refused to act independently, rather those that refused to help the federal government, which seems to be constitutional – “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Just my unclued opinion.

  • WUSRPH

    Every day of Trump’s term seems more and more like Nixon’s. Now we learn that he tried to get the CIA and the NSA to declare he was innocent and lean on Comey at the FBI……Doesn’t someone in his crew remember that Nixon tried the same scheme back in the summer of 1972? Failed then. Failed now. Nixon wanted the CIA to tell the FBI that its investigation of Watergate was infringing on CIA operations……The director of the CIA declined to do so….One has to wonder if the outcome of this mess will be the same as with Nixon—-a president resigning on the verge of impeachment. Is there any chance that they are already drafting the Pardon for Pence to give Trump like Ford pardoned Nixon?