Advocates for gun control want—according to opponents like the NRA—to take away your guns. While that's probably not the case, leave it to a tiny Texas town to make gun ownership the law. Sort of. On Tuesday, the town, which happens to be named Gun Barrel City, passed a resolution to encourage all of its citizens to own a firearm.
Senator Dan Patrick and Attorney General Greg Abbott have teamed up to try to prohibit Texas employers from providing domestic partnership benefits to their workers. Patrick got the ball rolling when he discovered that Pflugerville ISD offered domestic partnership benefits to employees. Abbott made his ruling through an Attorney General's opinion, which Patrick had sought. The basis of the ruling was Article I, Sec. 32 of the Texas Constitution, which reads:
Sec. 32. MARRIAGE. (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. (b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.
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It was a wild night in the House yesterday as Democrats and Republicans battled over their respective priorities: water, for Republicans and education, for Democrats. The leadership could not get the votes for taking money out of the Rainy Day Fund for water—even though Perry came out for doing so in a mid-day GOP caucus. The reality of the House is that many members, particularly those in the last two classes, still fear their own constituency (and enforcers like MQS) more than Perry or Straus.
U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a former El Paso city council member, ousted eight-term incumbent Democrat Sylvester Reyes (who was backed by Democratic heavyweights including former President Bill Clinton) in a pitched primary battle last May. Now, 100 days into his first term in Congress, El Paso’s new congressman seems to be acclimating comfortably to life on the Hill. Texas Monthly caught up with the lanky, Ivy League-educated freshman in Washington D.C. on April 25.
Today is the pivotal moment of the session—a vote on HB 11, the funding bill for the water plan. The vote was preceded this afternoon by a meeting of the House Republican caucus, at which Rick Perry was in attendance.
The opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center went smoothly, complete with blue skies and warm feelings. There were a few protestors with signs on the SMU campus, but they were stationed a long distance from the area occupied by the presidents--and out of their sight. The best description I can give for the proceedings was "sweet." W. is not a man who hides his emotions, and his eyes glistened during the speeches. He choked up as he finished his own remarks, and he was particularly moved by the presence of his parents, noting that this was the first time the parents of a president have been present for the dedication of their offspring's presidential library. Laura's appearance was greeted by a huge ovation; for the former First Family, Dallas is most certainly home.
On one issue, at least, George W. Bush—the former president of the United States, and the former governor of Texas—is badly out of step with the country. He is a man who describes certainty, decisiveness, and conviction, as key to understanding who he is as a human and who he was as president. Most Americans, however, don't know what to think about either at this point.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center will be dedicated today on the campus of Southern Methodist University, in Dallas. As is the custom with such events, the current president, along with every living former president, will be on hand, and I am pleased to be there to witness it. But inevitably it will be a bittersweet ceremony, because the memories of the Bush presidency are still fresh, and unfortunately there is not a lot to celebrate. They were difficult years, but also consequential ones. We need to look back no farther than the bombing at the Boston Marathon to recognize that we are still living in that era.
Bush was an extremely popular governor, and as someone who thought he was a very good one, I never expected that his presidency would take the turn that it did. He started his political career as "a uniter, not a divider," and to my dismay, ended it as one of the most divisive presidents in American history. By the halfway point of his presidency, 2004, the person I knew as Governor Bush had morphed into President Bush, a politician whom I did not recognize. It was sad, but self-inflicted.
Gov. Rick Perry said Monday that spending more state money on inspections would not have prevented the deadly explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant that was last investigated by Texas environmental regulators in 2006. Excuse me for asking, but ... how would Perry know? You can't prove a negative.