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A Loose Coalition Is Coming for Dan Patrick—And It’s Not a Bunch of Democrats

Educators and business groups are lining up to defeat some of the Republican senators who give the Lieutenant Governor his power.

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Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick pauses during a speech, in Austin, on May 17, 2017.
Photograph by Deborah Cannon/Austin American-Statesman via AP

With a wireless microphone attached to his striped tie, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick was striding across the stage at a Texas Public Policy Foundation event in Austin, describing a legislative agenda that ranged from pushing a bill to limit access to gender-specific bathrooms to efforts to limit property tax increases by capping local government spending. Sitting in the audience, listening intently, was Kristin Tassin, a long-time Republican and president of the Fort Bend ISD school board. When Patrick got to the part of his speech where he talked about public schools and his private school voucher plan of special needs children, he suddenly said something that was like a slap in the face to Tassin. “We’re having a bit of a battle with educrats,” Patrick said. “That’s not teachers. That’s not even principals or good superintendents. It’s educrats who have forgotten that it should be about the kids and not about the adults.”

Leaving the meeting angry, Tassin stormed up to her hotel room and dashed off an open letter to Patrick for the Houston Chronicle, declaring that she was a mother of three children in public schools, an elected official, and—“contrary to what you may believe”—she and people like her are not “educrats.” She blasted Patrick for a school finance system that favors the state Legislature over local taxpayers. Tassin said she and her husband have been advocates for mainstreaming special needs children, because one of their daughters was born with Down syndrome. Patrick’s proposal was for a private school voucher program for special needs children. Tassin said most private schools do not accept special needs children, and the ones that do accept only that population so that the children do not receive a mainstream education. “As a parent of a child with a disability, I am frustrated when I hear start leaders use my child as an excuse to support school vouchers,” Tassin wrote. As lieutenant governor, Patrick is the presiding officer of the state Senate, and Tassin told him, “I’ll see you in Austin.”

A year later, that may become more true than Patrick would have imagined. Tassin is now running for a seat in the state Senate, and she is just one candidate in a growing coalition of education and business groups that want to roll back the social conservative agenda of Patrick and Governor Greg Abbott. And recognizing the ineffectiveness of the Texas Democratic Party, they are concentrating their efforts on the upcoming March Republican primaries instead of betting on candidates in the general election. “There is a perfect storm brewing, and it goes a lot deeper than just a vouchers vote,” Tassin told me. “What really led me to step into this race is I really see this past session as an indicator of failed leadership and, often, particularly in the Senate.”

This is, at best, a loose coalition. Some by law are restricted to urging people to vote based on certain issues, while others are gathering money to put behind candidates who will clip Patrick’s dominance in the Senate. If they just pick up a few seats, Patrick will no longer be able to steamroll controversial bathroom bills and school voucher bills through the Senate, because he will lack the procedural votes needed to bring the legislation to the floor for debate.

For Patrick, it’s not so much that they are conspiring against him as much as it is like the old saying, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.” Unlike the organization of the Democratic Party, this loose coalition does not demand issue purity, but it is trying to get support for candidates who support a broad agenda for growing the state’s economy, creating real property tax reform, and adequately financing public education.

On the business side, the North Texas Advocacy Coalition is a group of businesses and Chambers of Commerce that are merely urging their members and employees to vote in the upcoming primaries. Members of the coalition include, American Airlines, AT&T, BNSF Railway, Fidelity Investments and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “During the last session, we saw the true power that our region’s stakeholders can wield when we all work together for a common cause,” James D. Spaniolo, president and CEO of the North Texas Commission, said in a news release announcing the affiliated coalition. “Our goal for the coalition is to keep Texas, and North Texas, business friendly, to support our municipalities and higher education institutions, and to ensure that the businesses that have moved here in the past several years feel welcomed.”

Patrick’s bathroom bill was seen by many businesses across Texas as harmful to the state’s economic climate because it appeared to discriminate against transgender people. That likely was going to lead to economic boycotts of Texas as well as make it difficult to recruit and retain younger employees for the state’s growing businesses. The North Texas Commission opposed any bill that would “damage Texas’s reputation as a ‘business friendly’ state.”

One of the main groups that fought against the bathroom bill was the Texas Association of Business, and its political committee currently is evaluating which candidates to support in the primaries. “You’re seeing more and more business leaders engaged in this election—this time in the primaries in particular—than you probably ever had,” TAB President Chris Wallace told me. He said the leaders are motivated because “we had such a divisive time” during the 2017 legislative sessions.

Most of the TAB endorsements will be made over the next several weeks, but the group already has endorsed state Representative Cindy Burkett in her Republican primary challenge to incumbent Senator Bob Hall. In the TAB scorecard for pro-business votes, Hall sat at 53 percent and Burkett was at 94 percent, even though she supported the “sanctuary cities” legislation that TAB opposed. Hall voted in favor of the bathroom bill, but it never came up for a vote in the House. Because Burkett also carried legislation adding restrictions to abortion last year, she probably would not gain much support among Democrats. But as an advocate of public education, she already is opposed by the Texas Home School Coalition.

Emotions already are running high. When Hall put out a tweet that he is one of the most consistently conservative senators, a former school principal responded: “No, @SenBobHall, the reason we’re coming after you is because you side w/ Dan Patrick over the will of your constituents time and again. That’s why we’ll vote for @CindyBurkett_TX in the Mar. Primary. We’re not liberals, just ppl who want to be heard. #txed #txlege #blockvote.”

The Tassin race may create divisions in this loose coalition. She is challenging incumbent Senator Joan Huffman of Houston in the primary. Huffman gave Patrick a procedural vote he needed to bring the voucher bill to the floor, but then voted against the legislation. Huffman also voted in favor of killing dues check-offs, which allow teacher groups to collect their membership fees directly from a member-educator’s paycheck. But Huffman’s pro-business score is almost has high as Burkett’s, even though Huffman voted for the bathroom bill. Huffman also received a Best Legislator nod from Texas Monthly for helping negotiate a solution to the city of Houston’s financial problems with its police and firefighter pensions. However, the firefighters are angry over that deal and likely will work for Tassin in the primary. Huffman, though, has received an endorsement from Governor Abbott. We can’t make a prediction in that race until the endorsements come out.

One odd note is that Republicans attack Tassin for having a Democratic primary voting history. She told me that she did vote in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary as part of Operation Chaos promoted by radio host Rush Limbaugh. She said she has been attacked in the past because of confusion between her and another Kristin Tassin. The conservative web site Empower Texans chided Tassin’s campaign announcement last year by calling her an “educrat” and said Huffman “was one of the votes Patrick and conservatives could count on to move legislation through the chamber.”

Empower Texans also said it was “unable to find Tassin’s purported ‘Democratic twin.’” However, Kristin S. Tassin of Louisiana obtained her Ph.D from the University of Texas in 2014. By email, she told me, “Yes, I did vote in Democratic primaries and donate to Democratic candidates while I lived in Texas. I lived in Austin from 2005-2010.” I found her so quickly that I had to wonder whether Empower Texans even bothered to look for Tassin’s “Democratic twin” in Texas.

On the education side of the fight, the bipartisan Texas Parent PAC will endorse and finance candidates. Like TAB, it is expected to take action in the near future. Other groups, such as the Texas Parent Teacher Association and Texas Educators Vote, have more generic get-out-the-vote campaigns rather that promoting specific candidates. “Did you know that 90% of Texas elections are decided in the March primary?” asks the website of Texas Educators Vote, also noting that voters should consider “whether to support or undermine public education” and “whether to privatize education in Texas.”

One of Patrick’s lieutenants in the Senate is Republican Senator Paul Bettencourt of Houston. Bettencourt has asked Attorney General Ken Paxton to rule on whether school districts are violating state law by promising to provide rides to polling places in March and by urging employees to sign a promise to vote promoted by Texas Educators Vote whose “viewpoints espouse a political perspective on education.” Among other things, the website points potential voters to the Teach the Vote website run by the Association of Texas Professional Educators, a group that opposed Republican efforts to eliminate dues check-offs.  “No group should try to stampede ISDs into spending public funds to influence voters to vote for or against a particular measure or candidate,” Bettencourt said in a news release.

The director of Texas Educators Vote, Laura Yeager, said the group is doing nothing more than trying to create civic engagement among educators. “Maybe they don’t want everyone to vote,” Yeager told me. “The pushback is riling up educators even more.”

By a small irony, Paxton’s wife is running for a state Senate seat in Collin County, and she could be expected to serve as a Patrick ally. If Paxton rules against the education groups, it might give educators a reason to vote for one of the other Republicans in the contest, for nothing else than possible spite.

At present, I find it hard to see how the loose coalition might help either Scott Milder, who is running against Patrick in the Republican primary, or the Democratic candidate Mike Collier. But Milder already has picked up one substantial endorsement, former Texas Education Commissioner Shirley (Neeley) Richardson. Richardson was former Governor Rick Perry’s commissioner from 2004-2007, and previously was the superintendent of the Galena Park ISD. “We could become a strong professional, well respected political voice to improve public school funding, the Teachers Retirement System, drive out fear in our profession, stop unfunded mandates, restore faith in our public schools through sold, data-driven facts, and so much more,” Richardson said in her endorsement statement. Milder had been her communications director in Galena Park.

Waves such as this tend to crash ashore without much effect. Patrick held the best political hand going into the 2017 legislative sessions with a solid block of Republican senatorial votes to allow him to move his agenda easily through the Legislature’s upper body. But that also made him uncompromising and dictatorial, and he demonstrated an uncanny lack of savvy in knowing when to back down. He angered educators and business, and now they are coming for him. Their loose coalition may not land like a tidal wave, but if only a few votes slip away from Patrick, his agenda will become more difficult to move—and it will expose even farther how much he squandered his power.

(Disclosure, my wife was the chief spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency during Commissioner Neeley Richardson’s tenure. My wife and I did not discuss this story.)

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  • WUSRPH

    It must be a very loose group when the Texas Manufacturers Assoc. endorsed Patrick this week…..I wish them all well for the best of Texas, but I am not expecting much.

    • anonyfool

      This article feels like it is grasping for straws in the haystack that is Texas politics dominated by the GOP.

      • Dinah Miller

        There are very good Republicans running against very bad Texans in the upcoming primary. Kristin Tassin is 100% Republican, owns a “guntry club”, a fancy gun range but also honors the Texas Constitutional duty to public education, unlike incumbent Huffman.

      • r.g. ratcliffe

        And that’s why these groups are making their play in the GOP primary. They’re making it pretty clear that the general election doesn’t matter.

        • St. Anger

          The general election doesn’t matter because of them, not the other way around.

      • SeeItMyWay

        Texas may be a one party state, but that one party is greatly divided. The asleep-at-the-wheel group is finally waking up to the fact the Tea Party groups have overrun their precincts and Dunn’s and Wilke’s money through Empower Texans has fired up the group with red meat half truths and lots of trite battle cries. “Picking winners and losers”, “keyboard warriors”, “strict constitutional interpretation”, etc. Ask one of them about Fed agencies not called for, like the FAA, USDA, and SEC and you get no response. I have found most of these people to be very motivated and involved, but not very “deep” when it comes to issues. I have found many of the most involved Tarrant County Tea Party members to be obscene bullies. It floored me when the head of the NE Tarrant County Tea Party was quoted by the FW Star Telegram as saying prior to a past election, “Don’t vote for _______. He’s an anything goes Methodist. Vote for ______, the Southern Baptist.” I want nothing to do with narrow minded ideologues like this. I think others are catching on.

        • anonyfool

          I hope Texas turns around before it reaches the depths of Kansas after the state offices were taken over by the Tea Party and the TP folks there gave away the farm before moderate voices regained control, but we’re going to have to see if sane people or TP supporters win this round in Texas.

    • Kay Ketzenberger

      That’s basically because no business group will endorse a Democrat. Not like they have a choice.

  • SeeItMyWay

    The TP started off this way and motivated people to become active in their local GOP precincts. I think Straus has told state business and education leaders that they can no longer sit back and do nothing…that money needs to be collected and their message broadcast. I do not expect Straus to disappear from politics.

  • scottrob

    Politics abhors a one party state. In Texas’ case, the second party is arising out of the one party.

  • St. Anger

    “Unlike the organization of the Democratic Party, this loose coalition does not demand issue purity”

    Ah yes, to be so ideologically pure as the Democratic Party.

    WTF? Are you confusing the parties?

    • r.g. ratcliffe

      Let’s see, over the past year, I’ve suggested that Democrats reach out to white people in rural areas on issues of comment interest, such as opposing vouchers, and have been told No, Democrats don’t want to reach out to rural voters because they are all racist. There’s also been attacks on one Democratic candidate on the ballot this year because he supports a woman’s right to control her own body but he personally opposes abortion, so he should be taken seriously by the party because he’s not pure. Believe me, a lot of Democrats are as strident on the left as the tea party is on the right.

      • SeeItMyWay

        Let moderates in both parties meet in the middle, and find common ground, and what happens? Radicals from both sides start lobbing race, abortion and gay rights grenades on top of them driving them back to their respective party’s foxholes.

        • St. Anger

          Dude I wouldn’t have any reason to call you a racist if you weren’t brining up race all the time.

          Or is that what you meant?

          • SeeItMyWay

            I meant exactly what I typed….and your “bringing up race all the time” is a lame statement…especially from a self proclaimed intellectual.

          • St. Anger

            Clearly you don’t understand what I wrote. I am wondering if you understood what YOU wrote.

          • SeeItMyWay

            If quoting government figures regarding ethnic statistics is racist, then I guess I am a racist. Is the government racist for gathering and reporting these stats? Are the statistics opinions or fact? Are we allowed to form opinions based on these statistics or is that racist? Is a black person stating the same conclusions I am racist, too? Racist seems to be a catch phrase that you and others like to throw out there when the truth is unflattering and condemning, and one has the gall to offer it up for consideration.

          • WUSRPH

            We all KNOW that Trump is not a racist….He (and others) “just tell it like it is”…..Just because racists say (and think) the same thing is not their problem.

      • St. Anger

        And that feedback was direct from the Democratic Party?

        I’m not sure they are ideologically pure so much s underfunded and incompetent.

      • SpiritofPearl

        Who on the Dem side did you “reach out” to?

        I’m pro-choice, but know that there are Dems at the national level who are not – Bon Casey of PA and Joe Donnelly of IN. I suspect there are anti-choice Dems in TX as well. More to be revealed on this topic in TX . . .

        Pence forced a voucher program through the IN legislature. Now public schools are closing in IN at an alarming rate. Hoosiers don’t like it and will eventually rebel, but rebellions take time. Be careful what you wish for.

  • Bettie Gaylor Saccardo

    Oh Dan, its not educrats, its hardworking educators who are tired of you trashing us thats coming for you. Coming for you and every politician who has only their pockets and ego in mind. Yes we are definitely coming for you and its about time.

    • BCinBCS

      Dan Patrick said: ““We’re having a bit of a battle with educrats…

      What sort of warped logic makes Patrick think that a locally elected school board member is more out of touch with the needs of their school district than is a state elected politician like himself?

    • Maggie

      Goog-l-e is payin-g- $97 per hour,w-i-th weekly p-a-youts.Y-o-u can a-l-so avail this.O-n tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this l-a-st four weeks..with-o-u-t any doubt it’s the most-c-o-mfortable job I have ever done .. It s-o-unds unbelievable b-u-t you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it!ax40u:➜➜➜ http://GoogleNetJobsDesignsEasyTechJobsOpportunities/easy/jobs ♥♥d♥d♥d♥♥♥a♥♥♥z♥♥m♥♥z♥g♥♥b♥♥♥q♥x♥♥w♥j♥♥♥j♥♥♥e♥♥♥b♥♥♥a♥d♥♥n♥♥♥b♥r♥♥n♥♥b♥♥♥m♥r:::::!be622p:lhuhuh

    • Tejasguitarman

      sic ’em!

  • Rico Politico

    Education and business groups are coming after these narrow minded Republicans and supporting candidates that value a friendly business community as well as excellent schools without the use of vouchers. Who cares which organization is endorsing Lt. Dan. At the end of the day, March 6 to be specific, it’s gonna be those that work for those manufactures who will support common sense, common decency candidates over these hate-filled, fear mongering morons.

  • WUSRPH

    In 2002 the Texas Medical Association (TMA) was so upset with a veto of a major TMA-backed bill by Gov. Perry that they actually endorsed Tony Sanchez, his Democratic opponent….Perry won big….and the TMA PAID BIG for its courage…..That is why, even if we are to accept RG’s view that much of Big Business is unhappy with Lt. Gov. Patrick, we are not likely to see any of the Big Business groups endorsing either the Democratic candidate or even Patrick’s GOP opponent. They will probably be punished for any support they give to state senators on Patrick’s team as it is….it would be suicide for them to oppose Patrick. About the most that can possibly be expected is that a couple of them may not make a formal endorsement, but even that is unlikely. Of course, if Patrick’s allies do poorly in March or Burton in November, they may be a little more willing to oppose him in the future…But not until they see blood in the water. The same, of course, goes for the GOP in Congress with Trump.

    • WUSRPH

      Another clear example of what I have been talking about:

      “Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been endorsed for re-election by the Texas Chemical Council. in a statement released this afternoon by Patrick’s campaign, the council’s president and CEO, Hector Rivero, praised Patrick as a “stalwart for Texas business and industry.” Patrick is being challenged in the Republican primary by Scott Milder.” (From the Texas Tribune’s “The Blast”)

  • WUSRPH

    One of the saddest realities in America today is that Trump’s latest spew of racism—just like all of those that have poured out of his putrid mouth in the past—probably HELPED HIM POLITICALLY both with a number of those who regularly post on this blog and with his Base. In fact, I would not doubt that he probably went up a couple of points in the polls that count. And, most sickeningly, many of those who will applaud him the most are descendants of those who were the victims of such racism in America’s past. America still has a long, long way to go to live up its ideals…..and probably is slipping backwards.

    • John Bernard Books

      shutup you old racist

    • SpiritofPearl

      Let’s be honest: bubbas love that stuff.

  • John Bernard Books

    finally the dems who vote republican are coming out of the closet….are they ashamed of being called a dem? yep…..

  • Jongy Lipschutz

    This shows once again that for Patrick and his rethuglicrat sycophants ignorance is the main tenet of American exceptionalism.It is good to see that finally someone in his party stands up for public education and real solutions

  • BCinBCS

    As someone old enough to have participated in duck and cover drills in elementary school and who had the chit scared out of him during the Cuban missile crisis, it is with huge trepidation that, this morning, I discovered this:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0fd886513ea66180ea6dc452583e7cb79159097c1d7ff555bffe7cad542c7a86.png

    No one knows yet whether it was a mistake or someone hacking the system but I am so thankful that Comrade Trump was happy golfing in Florida at Mar-A-Pendejo. All we need is for a pissed-off trigger happy president to get us in an accidental nuclear war.
    (shivers)

    • BCinBCS

      According to the New York Times’

      “Cmdr. David Benham, a spokesman for the United States Pacific Command, said in an emailed statement: ‘USPACOM has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii. Earlier message was sent in error.’
      and that
      Gov. David Y. Ige later told CNN that someone had ‘pressed the wrong button’ during a shift change at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

      • BCinBCS

        While we’re on the subject of nuclear attack, you might like to try this little simulator on your home town. It’s sobering.

        http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

        • BCinBCS
        • SpiritofPearl

          This does not make me feel secure . . .

        • WUSRPH

          And after that comes “Nuclear Winter” to do to the few survivors what the asteroid did to the dinosaurs.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Time to read “On the Beach” again . . .

          • WUSRPH

            Or try to get a laugh or two out of it by watching “Dr. Strangelove or how I learned to love the Bomb”. I once knew an English professor at St. Edward’s who used to come into a showing of that movie only for the last scene which would make him almost literally roll on the floor in laughter……But even horror can be funny.

          • SpiritofPearl

            I’ve observed over the years that men seem to love that scene better than women.

    • WUSRPH

      I’m more afraid he will get us into a DELIBERATE war that quickly turns nuclear…..One has to hope that they hide the launch codes from him….as they did to Nixon in the closing days of his presidency.

      • BCinBCS

        W, I find it interesting that the only commenters were you and Pearl. I suppose that is mostly due to our age, having gone through the constant nuclear annihilation threat of the cold war. I would have thought that it would have been taken much more seriously by others who read this blog but maybe that’s only due to my ingrained fear of “the bomb” from my childhood.

        • BCinBCS

          I also find it telling that you and I first thought of the comedy-drama Dr. Strangelove while Pearl thought of the romance-drama On the Beach. The final scene of both movies are chilling.

          • WUSRPH

            There was also “Fail Safe” ….which tries to raise some ethical questions..
            One reason why the Younger posters may not have reacted is that they have lived too long in a world where no one considers the possibility of nuclear war…..They, like many scholars before World War I, live with the belief that man is too sane to allow it to happen…..That all the “facts” and “reason” make it impossible…..
            Of course, the likelihood has always been that, if does, it will be by a mistake—like the one yesterday in Hawaii….They are blind to the fact that there have already been quite a number of occasions where a system failure or misreading of the circumstances brought us close to the edge….
            I used to believe (and did at the time) think that almost everyone overreacted to the Cuban Missile Crisis as I was convinced that no sane person would use nuclear weapons if we actually invaded Cuba….as many of our military commanders were advocating. After all, at the time we were able to hit the Soviets with several hundreds of nuclear weapons and they could hit us with only a few dozen…..That convinced me they would not do so…but what I did not know—nor did our government—was that the Soviet tactical commanders in Cuba had been equipped with tactic nuclear weapons…Of course, they were not supposed to use them unless given the word by Moscow….but there was always the possibility that a commander on the spot, being overrun by our forces, would say “you’re going with me” and use one…..
            We also now know that Israel’s plans for the 1973 Yom Kipper War included the use of such weapons as a last gasp strategy…and that they probably would have had hit Damascus and Cairo if the Syrians not misjudged the situation on the Golan Heights and held back their forces when they were on the very edge of breaking thru to Galilei. The attack planes were armed and ready.
            Similarly, I have little doubt that Nork Korea will use if them if attacked…but the world sleeps on.

          • WUSRPH

            Back in the 50s the US actually deployed its own “tactical nuclear weapon” down to the level of a squad mortar called the “Davy Crockett”….but phased them out when it realized that they might not be controllable…..We also gave up the idea of “limited nuclear war” in which one side could sue small nukes without the danger of its escalating into a full-scale “thermonuclear exchange” (a lovely phrase).

            Since then, other than one poster on this blog, no one had apparently given much thought to using a nuke against ISIS, etc. BUT now the Defense Dept’s draft policy paper on the future of nuclear weapons is AGAIN talking about developing smaller warheads, etc. Of course, they claim they would only be a “deterrent” against others with no chance that we would use them.

          • Jed

            i took classes in college about nuclear proliferation and arms control. it was a constant part of life in the 3rd quarter of the 20th century.

            that stuff probably sounds quaint today.

            i’d like to know more of the story, but i am thankful we are all still here. god has nothing to do with it (if there was a god, we wouldn’t be dealing with any of this nonsense in the first place).

          • WUSRPH

            I’m not sure that there is a God….and I have real doubts that, if there is one, he is involved in our day-by-day events….But I am glad that something….logic, the ability of a human to reason or, just plain luck or circumstances has kept us from disaster so many times.

            In an earlier post I mentioned the Syrian commander on the Golan Heights hesitating in his attack……and how that might have saved the world…..which is only one example of how close we might have come.

            For those who do not know or do not remember, in 1973 Egypt on the Jewish Holy Day of Yom Kipper launched a surprise attack on the Israeli forces occupying the Sinai peninsula (where they had in place since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War) and, while the Israeli forces were being thrown back, Syria followed up with a massive attack on the Israeli positions on the Syrian Golan Heights (also occupied by Israel since 1967)…..That attack was able to pierce the Israeli defenses and was on the verge of breaking thru and down the heights into Israel proper where Syrian forces could have easily overrun the many Jewish settlements and been on their way deep into the heart of that small country…In fact, the Israeli lines were broken and there was nothing between the Syrians and Galilei…But, suddenly, the Syria commander held back…Had he not, it is more than likely that the Israeli’s would have launched a nuclear attack on Damascus….using the forces it had on standby for just such an attack……Had that happened, it is likely that the Soviets would have responded…..perhaps with their own nuclear forces on Israel….to which we would have responded…perhaps bringing on a world wide nuclear holocaust. But one man’s hesitation staved off that possibility….giving the Israeli’s time to plug the gap with reinforcements.

            Later the Syrian commander was asked why….and he explained that he had doubted what his eyes told him was true as he just could not believe that he had achieved so much against the vaunted Israeli forces who had defeated Syria again and again over the prior years. Thus, one man’s momentary doubt may have saved mankind….My fear is that we cannot continue to count on such “chances” in the future.

          • WUSRPH

            Those among you whose knowledge of defense matters is limited to having read a Tom Clancy novel or two might remember that in one of his Tom Ryan novels the nuclear works used to make the bomb the terrorists set off at a Super Bowl game came from an Israeli aircraft that had been shot down while on its way to drop just such a bomb on Egypt during the Yom Kipper War.

          • SeeItMyWay

            What a crock! Total speculation as to what “could have” or “might have” happened. It’s a Worrier’s Tale.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Got any data to refute W? Or just your “gut”?

          • SeeItMyWay

            The past incidents were real concerns. To even insinuate that the Hawaii incident put us close to a launch is nuts.

          • SpiritofPearl

            The Game Show Host is nuts, that’s why.

          • SpiritofPearl

            The Game Show Host is ignorant and incompetent. Not only are we in danger from external threats, we are in danger from within.

          • SpiritofPearl

            When I was a child, I lived in a big city which can be noisy, even at night – trucks and trains rumbling by, planes flying overhead. I’d awaken and think it was either (1) the end of the world, or (2) “them Rooshuns.” I spent a lot of time in the confessional during those days to make sure my soul was pure. We were a terrorized group of kids.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Polio was much more devastating to our generation. Did you stay up at night worrying about that, too? How about earthquakes in California? You think they are all sleep deprived from worry? And to think that you are the one calling me scared all the time. Come on, Pearl.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Actually, measles crippled and blinded far more children than polio ever did. My medical microbiology professor said that polio was the “glamour disease of the ‘50s.” I’m glad both are on the wane. Those “intellectuals” you hate devised vaccines to protect our children and grandchildren and I am grateful.

            Ever been in an earthquake? I’ve been in several – one when I lived in CA, the others in the midwest. The largest land displacement from an earthquake ever in the U.S. took place just down the Mississippi from STL – the New Madrid quake. Moved the river 30 miles west.

            Tornadoes are a constant threat in the midwest, yet I don’t fear them. I don’t fear black people. You do.

          • SeeItMyWay

            You just keep saying that. Give it a rest. You bounce around all over the place.

            I lived in CA twice in mylifetime and used to wake up and go right back to sleep through the tremors like most do.

          • SpiritofPearl

            I’m “bouncing all over the place”?

            All the earthquakes I’ve experienced were during the day.

            Peace out, man.

          • Jed

            don’t forget rogue one.

    • SpiritofPearl

      When I see old films of children in the 1950s sticking their heads into their desks, I have to laugh. What possible benefit could ever have been gained by that manuever?

    • John Bernard Books

      merely a bored state worker…..hitting the wrong button….while blogging on Burqa blog.

  • WUSRPH

    Trump’s sudden love for Norwegian immigrants to the US is, as always, based on the fact that he little or nothing about the history of this country or Norway or any place else. The FACTs are that, until the middle of the 20th Century Norway (except for the color of the skin of its resident) met many of the conditions of the “s…hole countries” Trump hates…..It was a relatively poor country, losing population because there was little opportunity, land was owned by a few…and until 1905…it was dominated by either Denmark or Sweden (alternating as the result of one war or another)….You can find a little of that background in this story:

    http://tinyurl.com/ybwcj2ed

    The Norway of today is quite a different place….a good deal of which is due to the social democratic reforms adopted since WW II which the GOP despises…..Of course, Trump wouldn’t know that all he knows is the current minute.

  • WUSRPH

    Whenever I hear or read someone saying “This is a Christian country” or “a White Country” or even any of the latent racist things Trump spews out of regular basis I take comfort from what George Washington said in his letter to the Hebrew (Jewish) Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island. I can only hope that what he said, not what Trump or these others spout, represents the real America or, at least, what we try to be:

    “The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy–a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience
    and immunities of citizenship.

    It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

  • WUSRPH

    What to do if the alarm is real next time:

    Pray, if you believe, or even if you don’t….since it might help those who do.

    Think of all the good things in the world and in your life and hope that, if there is a God, he will not let all those things be lost. Say goodbye to your loved ones if you can or if only be thought.

    And wait. It will be too late for anything else. You had your last chance to change things when you voted….

    • BCinBCS

      What to do if the alarm is real next time:

      When I was younger, it was patiently explained to me, that when a nuclear attack occurs, one should quickly fall to the ground, assuming the fetal position and use your arms around your legs to pull your head tightly between your legs and then kiss your ass good-bye.

    • SeeItMyWay

      “The sky is falling!” “We’re all going to die!” More crazy prognostications. Take a pill.

      • Jed

        we just had a nuclear scare. it was probably one of the closest brushes we have had with nuclear war since cuba (or at least since the movie wargames).

        you are an unbelievable asshat.

        type type type.

  • John Bernard Books

    The TP is coming after corrupt dems……
    “An 11-count indictment was handed out on Friday connected to the alleged Russian bribery scheme involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Obama administration, and Uranium One.”
    https://www.dailywire.com/news/25828/breaking-indictment-handed-out-russian-bribery-ryan-saavedra?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=062316-news&utm_campaign=dwbrand#

    all out war…dems against taxpayers……which side are you on?

  • SpiritofPearl
    • BCinBCS

      Our President Man-Child is incredibly ignorant.

      • SpiritofPearl

        We are in great danger.

        • SeeItMyWay

          Who’s afraid? Who’s seeing boogie men? How do you envision our obliteration?

          • SpiritofPearl

            Stupidity.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Do I need to read this piece by a publication that has gone totally off the rails to determine that that white’s receive more benefits than blacks? Really? Does the article address percentages based on overall population? You seem to have a problem grasping this aspect. When the blacks comprise a minority of the US population as a whole, yet are receiving benefits disproportionate to that number, you get the true picture. Now if you want to address the reasons for this disproportion, let’s have at it, but quit throwing up this skewed argument. It sullies your position as a “smart” person.

      • SpiritofPearl

        Your “true picture” is inaccurate. Poor people need more help because they need help. You think they want help because they’re black.

        And I didn’t tnrow up . . .

        • SeeItMyWay

          If this is what you want to truly discuss? Are the numbers wrong? What is it going to take to help in remedying the situation?

          I have spent the last two days on FB debating WUSRPH’s Tea Party clone about the need for affording amnesty to the Dreamer’s. Instead specific answers to questions posed, he felt a need to offer up his Yale education, ability to speak several languages, his being head of a local highbrow neighborhood association and the local GOP “club”. Not knowing him, I asked some of the TP’ers I regularly debate with about him. Even they think he is a tyrannical asshole.

          I am a middle guy whether you want to admit it or not. At this point, if I say “yes” the Professor is going to respond “no”. I get that. I egged it on. I am not into helping inflate needy egos. You are a bit different, as are a few others. I think we are capable of getting back to meaningful discussion, if we stop dealing in absolutes and allowing it to turn personal.

          • SpiritofPearl

            If you want respect, you have to give respect.

  • SeeItMyWay

    Schnurman: Who’s afraid of politics? Dallas firms want to get out the vote and set Texas on a better path DMN.

  • WUSRPH

    Does anyone think there might be a little hypocrisy in the fact that Gov. Abbott and Atty. Gen. Paxton, despite repeatedly condemning the SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling as bad law and actively supporting a case in the Texas Supreme Court to deny equal rights to people in such marriages, are ACTIVELY FIGHTING a lawsuit in Dallas that challenges the constitutionality of same-sex marriages? (See today’s Austin American-Statesman).
    In fact, they both declare in their filings against the law suit that, in effect, same-sex marriage is now the “law of the land”. (This probably represents the first time that either has publicly recognized Federal Supremacy.)

    Of course, it is kind of a kooky lawsuit that claims that homosexuality is a religious doctrine of atheists and humanists and thus allowing it violations the First Amendment….and which claims, that if you allow it, you have to allow one of the plaintiffs to marry his lap top and people to marry animals, etc., etc., etc..
    But, you would think if they really believe what they preach, Abbott and Paxton would at least stay out of the case and not ask the court to dismiss it. I wonder what the real homophobes like the good Dr. from Houston are going to say about Abbott and Paxton deserting them in their fight and refuting the arguments they make.

    • BCinBCS

      W: “[I]t is kind of a kooky lawsuit that claims that homosexuality is a religious doctrine of atheists and humanists…

      Since when did atheism become a religion?

      Atheism is a religion like “off” is a television station.
      Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.
      Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color.
      Atheism is a religion like silence is a form of music.
      Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position.

    • BCinBCS

      This is yet another futile attack on gay marriage by the religious right.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ea2810b50b55f0035c7e44f29ea7a755d571631b4cea720e1f594becaa2eb0b1.jpg

    • SeeItMyWay

      Bam! Way, way off topic. Should TM start calling this site the “BurkaWannabe Blog”?

      • BCinBCS

        JJ: “Get off my grass!”

  • Jed

    I am suggesting it doesn’t help, especially given the sheer incompetence of the executive leadership.

    but really my point was that making fun of someone for being afraid of nuclear war is an indefensible move.

    • WUSRPH

      I might suggest that the fool who appears to be responding to you might want to think a little more carefully and consider that it has almost happened several times before. This lists only a few:
      .
      http://tinyurl.com/zt7ypbw)

      • SeeItMyWay

        The Boogie Man is coming!!! Run for your life!

        Several people choked on their food and died in Texas this last year. WUSRPH is going to suggest next that we quit eating solid food.

        • BCinBCS

          JJ, you are coming very close to being the new JBB.

          To try to equate the threat of nuclear war to the threat of chocking on food is absurd. I recommend that you read the History channel article to which WUSRPH linked. The absurdity of dismissing the threat of nuclear annihilation is the height of folly.

          • SeeItMyWay

            OK, Chicken Little, to compare what happened in Hawaii to the Cuban Crisis or any of the others is crazy. No one is going to push a nuclear button based on some guy in Honolulu inadvertently flipping a switch. If you can’t get your arms around this, you are stupid.

            Is some guy’s alarm mistake Trump’s fault?

            You people wear me out. How many words can you type about a close call that never was?

          • BCinBCS

            The mistake in Hawaii made real the existential threat that Comrade Trump represents. No one is saying that a false alarm on a distant island will result in a nuclear missile launch. What it does do is focus the mind on the real danger that we face from an unstable leader and his nuclear proliferation policies.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Bullshit. The North Koreans pose the threat. Look up proliferation. Study past broken treaties. Stop the foolishness. The Korean threats are real. The Hawaii incident has nothing to do with it.

          • BCinBCS

            Oh, I see, JJ. The slap in the face with a wet towel that was the Hawaiian false alarm should be ignored since we are absolutely safe from the threat of nuclear war because we have only to worry about North Korea. Your man-child president is such a stable genius, he would never do anything unconventional like getting us into a nuclear conflagration. The rest of the country and I feel relieved since you are certain that he has everything under control.

          • SeeItMyWay

            There you go again. Somehow, in your mind, a mistake by a civil servant that threw all of the Hawiian Islands into an frenzy for a few minutes can be bridged to Trump possibly pressing a button and sending warheads toward Korea. You fail to even consider how goofy this thinking is. You have every right to worry about our using nuclear weapons on North Korea, but only after they launch and it is deemed the Real McCoy. Trump is not going to be making that call regarding “real”. Our military will be, and they will pass it on. How you make the leap from a civil service warning being a mistake and causing us to obliterate NK is just goofy, yet you continue to do so. Am I concerned with the current NK situation? Yes. Did the Hawaii incident make me moreso? No. Our early warning weather sirens go off by mistake on occasion. I flip on the radio or TV to verify what’s what before heading helter skelter for a closet. I bet you do, too. I bet the Hawaiians did the same. Can you say “mountain out of a mole hill”?

    • SeeItMyWay

      B.S. We are not on the verge of nuclear war. People who dwell on it are sissies.

    • WUSRPH

      It might be worth noting that on three occasions in the past where we came close to a nuclear conflict….twice in 1963 and again in 1983….the situation was kept from escalating by the acts of three single individuals…..two junior level officers of the Soviet Union, then mortal enemy, who, amidst great tension and excitement, in 1963 and again in 1983 withstood the demands of others to take action that could have started a war and again in 1963 the president of the US who rejected the almost unanimous recommendations of all his defense chiefs that he attack Cuba. My fear is that Trump is not such a man.

  • John Bernard Books
  • WUSRPH

    One last comment on yesterday’s war scare:

    What does it tell you about the president of the United States that when thousands of citizens of his country are frightened to death by a report that they are under nuclear attack when he did not even take a minute to use his magic tweeter to send them a message not to be afraid?

    I assume they told him…unless they didn’t want to hurt his punting game….but, if they did, did he just say “Oh well, I got a four on that one?”:

  • SpiritofPearl
  • WUSRPH

    Trump honors MLK by playing golf…..but someone told him it was a holiday…..why he didn’t know.

  • John Bernard Books

    Finally an idictment in the Russian collusion case….
    “Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, reacted Monday morning to the first indictment in connection with the Uranium One deal. ”
    http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/01/15/fitton-uranium-one-indictment-russian-money-laundering-must-be-thoroughly-investigated

    oh wait its the Clintons…..

  • SpiritofPearl

    No, that’s the point.

  • WUSRPH

    How about a little truth about those Walmart pay increases and bonuses from the Trump Tax Bill:

    https://www.facebook.com/democraticunderground/photos/a.511220905561959.137882.455410617809655/2059035727447128/?type=3

  • BCinBCS

    JJ: “I’m going with what the niece had to say.

    Two points:
    (1) You should have provided a link to the niece’s statement (for courtesy’s sake, at the least).
    (2) Comrade Trump is a racist, no matter whose niece say otherwise.

    • WUSRPH

      Remind me again…just how big was that tine that Trump and his daddy had to pay for refusing to rent to blacks in New York City?

      • BCinBCS

        Actually, I don’t believe that they had to pay any fine (although they may have had to pay some court costs).

        According to the court document summary:

        After two years, the matter settled with a consent decree, signed June 10, 1975. It included the ordinary disclaimer of liability (the settlement was ‘in no way an admission of a violation’), but prohibited the Trumps from ‘discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling.’ Fred and Donald Trump were ordered to ‘thoroughly acquaint themselves personally on a detailed basis’ with the Fair Housing Act. The agreement also required the Trumps to place ads informing minorities they had an equal opportunity to seek housing at their properties. According to a contemporary article in the New York Times, Trump Management was required to furnish the New York Urban League with a weekly list of all apartment vacancies, for two years; the League would get three days to provide qualified applicants for every fifth vacancy in Trump buildings where fewer than 10 percent of the tenants were black.

        Interestingly, the Trumps were brought to court again for discrimination because, although they were renting to blacks, they were steering them into only a few ill-repaired apartment buildings.

  • BCinBCS

    I sit, mouth agape, reading and watching what is happening in Washington, D.C. The conservative Republican party of patriotism and family values that I was exposed to in my youth has sprinted away from their roots. I never liked the rigidity of the conservatives after all, I was a teenager during the rebellious ’60’s but I could tolerate the party and those around me who supported them.

    My tolerance has come to an end. Not only has the Republican party elected an incompetent, ignorant, xenophobic racist as the leader of this country but the one thing that allowed me to tolerate that party has ended. In the beginning, many Republicans did not support the horribleness of this president however, like opposite poles of two magnets, they have firmly attached themselves to him to the point of lying to protect him. This is unacceptable.

    Comrade Trump has turned his pathologies into a loyalty tests. He will do something outrageous, such as call Haiti and the African countries chitholes, then require that members of his party, just like he did with Press Secretary Sean Spicer in describing the inauguration attendance number, to blatantly lie. To be a loyal Trumpster, one can no longer simply fudge the truth and state, for example, that they “I don’t recall” what was said, one must prove fealty by changing that to the outright lie of “No, he never said that”.

    I truly hate hypocrites. It may be a character flaw on my part but hypocrisy really, really gets under my skin. I tolerated decades of conservative rigidity and values during my youth only to find that those impositions were placed on me not because they were firmly held beliefs of morality and righteousness but because they were convenient restrictions by those who could not tolerate change and who would not tolerate change in others.

    Folks, the emperor has no clothes. Everyone now knows that. It is the height of cynicism to believe otherwise and the height of hypocrisy to insist that everyone join in the lie.

  • Well, What Next?

    I’m gonna talk about Patrick: I have loathed him since he was a skeevy, repulsive sportscaster in Houston. He can’t be removed from office quickly enough.

    Same goes for the Russia-toadying duffer orange blob whose a$$ is currently defiling the highest office of the land.

    Oops, there, I mentioned Drumpf.

  • WUSRPH

    Abbott continues to go farther and father off the deep end….Today’s tax limit plan is even more extreme than anything hatched by Patrick and Bettencourt…..It would totally strangle local government…..with the tightest garrote possible.