Mon March 2, 2015 12:41 pm By R.G. Ratcliffe

A House committee today took invited testimony from experts on climate change, including a NASA scientist who said oil and gas drilling is creating a buildup of methane in the atmosphere in regions of Texas and the United States that once were pristine.


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Mon March 2, 2015 8:57 am By R.G. Ratcliffe

Robert Draper’s dissection of Battleground Texas in this magazine interested me on two cutting issues. One, the Battleground leadership never thought Wendy Davis could win the governor’s race last year, and, two, their goal remains to turn Texas blue by 2020. That’s a presidential election year, and while winning that election might be important for the Democratic National Committee, it probably is too late for Texas Democrats. If winning statewide is delayed until 2020, Texas Democrats likely are looking at another decade of Republican control of the state.

Why, you ask?

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Mon March 2, 2015 8:22 am By R.G. Ratcliffe

Happy Texas Independence Day! On March 2, 1836, the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed at Washington-on-the-Brazos even as Santa Anna’s army laid siege to the Alamo. The convention elected David G. Burnet as interim president to oversee the young Republic until an election could be held. Seven months later, with the Mexican army defeated and a new president elected, Burnet gave his farewell address to the legislators of the First Congress of the Republic of Texas, on October 4, 1836. The state Legislature is in session today, so I thought I’d share some of Burnet’s words with them:

“In the course of your labors for the public weal, you may experience trials and vexations that will be calculated to discourage your hearts, and diffuse distrust into your minds. Your best exertions, and most elaborate productions may receive reproach instead of approval, and your motives may be impugned when they are pure as the snow on the mountain top; but let not these things dishearten you; ‘it is but the rough brake that virtue must go through.’ Banish from your councils all party spirit and political intrigue, and armed in the panoply of an honest patriotism, move forward in the path of duty, and onward to the goal of our country’s redemption.”

Sun March 1, 2015 10:46 pm By R.G. Ratcliffe

Texas Republicans at their state convention last year refused to give the gay rights group Log Cabin Republicans even table space in the exhibitor’s hall. But California Republicans on Sunday gave the Log Cabin Republicans a charter as an official state volunteer organization. This according to the Sacramento Bee:

The California Republican Party granted charter status to a gay Republican group on Sunday, after spirited – but ultimately minimal – opposition from within the party’s conservative flank.

The recognition comes years after Log Cabin California first sought to become an officially recognized volunteer group. Supporters called the measure an overdue sign of inclusiveness.

Delegates approved the charter by a 861-293 vote, touching off an emotional celebration in which members of the club hugged their supporters at the back of the convention hall.

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Fri February 27, 2015 9:12 am By R.G. Ratcliffe

In an apparent effort to restore his gravitas as a presidential candidate, former Governor Rick Perry delivered a tough foreign policy speech to conservatives this morning that compared problems in the Middle East to securing the Texas border.

Perry focused his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference less on the red meat of domestic politics and more on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the Crimea and the threat of ISIS. The crowd was enthusiastic for Perry’s foreign policy rhetoric, but gave him only polite applause when he turned to national issues.

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