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The Bathroom Bill Might Have Cost Texas 50,000 Jobs

The anti-transgender bathroom bill debate is a strike against any Texas city getting the Amazon HQ2.

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Dan Patrick has been known to put ideology over economics.
AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner

Despite all the breathless excitement and competing promotion among cities, attracting the Amazon second headquarters—also known as HQ2—to Texas is a long shot thanks to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Governor Greg Abbott. They may have already pissed away $5 billion in construction and 50,000 permanent jobs for Texans with this summer’s special legislative session and its marquee issue—the bathroom bill.

Only the most craven cynics still promote the idea that the bathroom bill, which businesses in Texas lined up against last summer, had anything to do with keeping predatory men out of women’s bathrooms. The legislation was solely about whipping up anger against the LGBTQ community within a fundamentalist religious base of voters, who tend to turn out heavily in the Republican primary. It may have been good primary politics for the state’s top two leaders, but now that a grand economic prize is on the table it looks like foolishness at best and gross incompetence at worst.

Amazon, which already had 20,000 fulfillment jobs in Texas, was one of the companies that opposed the bathroom bill. One of the major concerns businesses had about the bill was that it would make employee recruitment and retention a problem—not only for LGBTQ employees, but for a millennial workforce that tends to be more tolerant than previous generations. And though the company’s request for proposal to cities vying to land the new corporate HQ does not specifically mention anti-discrimination ordinances, it does say, “The Project requires a compatible cultural and community environment for its long term success. This includes the presence and support of a diverse population, excellent institutions of higher education, local government structure and elected officials eager and willing to work with the company, among other attributes.”

But if you’re still unsure if the bathroom fight will affect Amazon’s decision on whether to come to Texas, let’s look to recent history for an example. Not so long ago, Texas almost lost an $80 million Apple sales and service center and its 700 jobs over a gay rights issue.

In late 1993, three of the five Williamson County commissioners put Texas in the national spotlight by voting to reject $750,000 in tax breaks for Apple simply because the company had domestic partner benefits insuring that unmarried employees could get health insurance for their partners. Apple’s policy—notably in place before gay couples were granted the legal right to marry—applied to both heterosexual and same-sex couples.

One of the commissioners, David Hays, said he voted against the tax break because he did not want to walk into church with people saying, “There’s the man who brought homosexuality to Williamson County.” Another said he voted for “promoting family values.” The Republican Party of Texas executive committee passed a resolution praising the commissioners who voted against the tax breaks.

Apple immediately said that without a tax incentive it would look at locating elsewhere. “We’re not in the business of defining family values. We’re in the business of selling personal computers,” a company spokeswoman said at the time.

Then-governor Ann Richards was a political friend of the LGBT community, but she also was a top promoter of business coming to Texas. Richards managed to attract businesses without the benefit of the gubernatorial slush fund known as the Texas Enterprise Fund, which governors since 2003 have used as a cash-incentive “deal-closing” kitty to lure companies into expanding or relocating in Texas. So though recent governors have created economic development with money, Richards did it by the power of persuasion. She also used her unique role as the state’s first female governor elected in her own right—jokingly referring to herself as a “two-headed cow” that company CEOs wanted to see—to gain an audience. “Some people are willing to let me into their office and talk to me just because they want to see the genuine article,” she said. But if she got through the door, she usually won the argument.

Exactly what behind-the-scenes work Richards did in Williamson County is unknown, but she became the effective intermediary, negotiating a compromise between Apple and the commissioners. The deal was simple: Instead of getting an up-front break on taxes, Apple would pay its taxes and then get a rebate. Ultimately, the argument became less about gay rights and more about whether government should dictate to business how to conduct itself.

Hays converted from a no to a yes, and the incentives for Apple passed, keeping the computer manufacturer in Texas. Hays had put economic development ahead of fundamentalist politics. After flipping to support the deal, Hays sheepishly left the meeting, only to be confronted by a minister. “I’m very disappointed in you,” the minister said, according to the Austin newspaper. “And there is a swarm of people over there who are very disappointed in you.” The commissioner sighed, “I know.” A young man in the crowd shouted: “Gays are going to be infiltrating the whole county!” But gay rights groups praised the decision, and the head of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce said, “We’re happy when Apple’s happy, and Apple’s happy this is behind them.”

That was almost 24 years ago. That service center expanded an Apple toe-hold that originally was established with a Round Rock office in 1991. Over the years, the company shifted its focus from Round Rock to Austin. Today, the company has 8,407 direct employees in the state, another 105,000 jobs in app development, 515 suppliers with thirteen manufacturing facilities, and eighteen retail stores. According to the company’s website, “Apple’s second-largest corporate presence in the world is in Austin, with 6,000 employees from the local area.” Apple’s largest campus—1.1 million square feet—is located in North Austin. It is unlikely any of that would have happened if the Williamson commissioner’s court had refused to accommodate the company in 1993.

And, so far, fire and brimstone has burned neither Round Rock nor Austin off the map as retribution. No one has turned into a pillar of salt. Lot’s wife probably could be a happy homemaker here. Austin is a Democratic stronghold, and Williamson County is reliably Republican.

But yet, Texas finds itself in a similar situation almost two decades later. Sure, business won out in the bathroom bill fight, but Patrick and Abbott have not ruled out the issue coming up again either in the regular legislative session of 2019 or in any other special session.

As state Representative Byron Cook, a Republican from Corsicana, recently wrote in newspaper op-eds: “So will Amazon seriously consider any of the Texas cities competing for Amazon’s second headquarters? Probably not, unless Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick take the bathroom bill off the table for future legislative sessions.”

In all likelihood, Texas is probably too late to have a viable shot. If Abbott and Patrick are serious about expanding the Texas economy, though, they should tell their supporters they fought a good fight and lost, then take the bathroom bill off the agenda—forever. Even that might not be enough as clergy across Texas continue the fight one city, one school district at a time. Patrick made clear during the debate that the bathroom bill did not apply to private business because he is a “free enterprise” Republican. Amazon is making it equally clear that politicians who regulate community standards of morality also are regulating private business.

Ann Richards put jobs and economic growth ahead of prejudices. When she won the fight in Williamson County, Richards simply said: “This should send a very positive signal to the rest of the country that Texas is serious about bringing industry to this state.” To commit to the economic future of Texas, Abbott and Patrick should do the same.

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  • WUSRPH

    Off the topic:

    What do you think was gong thru Paxton’s lawyer’s mind when he suggested March 6–which just happens to be the same day of the GOP primary—as a good date to start his trial? I guess he figures Ken will be free that day since there is little you can do on primary day to change the outcome…Or is there a wild chance that Paxton might be thinking of not running in which, case, it makes no difference….We know Mrs. Paxton expects to be busy that day but what about Ken?

    • dave in texas

      I think the AG simply doesn’t like campaigning; he hardly did any of it during the general election last time around. Of course, that’s probably because he just didn’t want to answer any pesky questions about his pending felony charges.

      • WUSRPH

        Maybe he will spend his time campaigning for his wife in her state senate race….since her winning is the only way to insure that a Paxton will stay on the state payroll.

  • John00

    Do we want businesses with individuals who have not been elected running our states?

    • St. Anger

      too late

      • WhyMeLord

        Faaaaar too late on several levels.

    • SpiritofPearl

      We have many unelected individuals making decisions for our state. What’s the big deal?

    • Forth Sadler

      Have you looked at how your government works lately? Or ever? If you think unelected heads of business haven’t been dictating how government functions since forever, you’re doing some remarkable wishful thinking.

  • WhyMeLord

    We had (small) interest in NC and sold them befor the NC version of the bathroom bill hit the fan (no advanced knowledge just blind luck) Our competitors and peers were hammered hard as a result of the stupidity.

    We did learn a lesson from the experience. Our current business interest are 100% portable and can be ‘moved’ with a few simple key strokes.

  • anonyfool

    So what the writer is saying is that if we don’t want the Amazon HQ in Texas we should support the transgender bathroom bill abortions by Abbott and Patrick continuously. Heck, if they do a good enough job, they might be able to drive Apple out of Williamson County/Texas! 🙂

  • WUSRPH

    Administration
    © Getty Image
    “White House chides media: ‘You have a responsibility to tell the truth’ ”

    Definitely not one of those if its good for the goose it is good the gander things!

  • WUSRPH

    Another outstanding analysis of the political situation in the GOP from The National Review. I probably disagree with them on 89% of the issues…BUT they are consistently provide a thorough and insightful analysis of the corner the GOP is painting itself into…..in which the anger and hate of the voters makes it less and less possible for elected officials to do what they are intended to do: GOVERN.

    http://tinyurl.com/y7jnnk9a

  • John Bernard Books

    Dems say it was because of bathrooms….
    “Ethical challenges at City Hall and outdated technology conspired to short-circuit a much-ballyhooed Google Fiber venture in San Antonio.
    The company announced Wednesday it was dropping its plans for TV service in the market. The move came after a yearlong controversy that embroiled city officials in ethics complaints.”
    https://texasmonitor.org/google-fiber-san-antonio-dropped/?utm_content=buffercb813&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    dems have no values and are crooked…..

    • JJB1310

      Nice deflection. This is about a stupid bill supported by stupid people and advanced by a stupid charlatan that would sell his grandmother for a vote.

      • John Bernard Books

        I say it is about dems taking kickbacks ……SA has been known for its corruption under democrat rule….

      • SpiritofPearl
      • Bothen

        In other words, you belief system was not codified so everything is stupid because you say so. How about some more identity politics from the Dems, been missing that for one day.

        • T0m0

          And YOUR belief system is what? Based on a Supreme Being who existence you cannot prove, in order to judge others, in a country that perpetuates a culture of rape and still treats women like second class citizens? Or maybe you just need to come out of the closet, instead of passing legislation so you can put you hands down my pants, Bothen.

          • WUSRPH

            The question is not anyone’s belief system or beliefs….The question is their willingness to FORCE their beliefs on others….

    • John Petty

      Wow. Talk about unethical and dishonest. You failed to mention this paragraph in your screed about Democrats:

      “Ultimately, the company decided that advances in wireless capabilities were making cable-style trenching obsolete and cost-prohibitive. With San Antonio’s fast-track approvals generating nothing but bad press, Google cut the cord and its losses.”

      So, according to Google, in the end it had nothing to do with ethics complaints. It had everything to do with reading the landscape of technology and realizing that the coming 5G standard is going to make cable outdated and unneeded as we move to a fully wireless model. But you just read the clickbait headline and decided that it was a good time to smear Democrats. Typical Republican tactic: Just throw any kind of crap out there and expect your brain-dead, uninformed, and low-intelligence fellow travelers to believe it. Nice job.

  • SpiritofPearl
  • Bothen

    If this is Amazon’s criteria for a headquarters then we don’t need them here.

    • T0m0

      Do you want to do a penis check on me?
      We can get you a crossing guard uniform with a sash and bottle of cologne, ‘Eau De Urine’.

      • WUSRPH

        About the only thing I regret about the bathroom bill not passing is it postponed my effort to post a picture of Dan Patrick with the slogan “Remember Dan is watching” in every public restroom in Texas….I say postponed…because he is sure to try again next time.

    • John

      Yeah, we’ll have lots of menial jobs from Hispanic guest workers kicked out by Trump for us to mow lawns and wash dishes. Except who will be able to pay the expensive $8/hour wages?

  • T0m0

    I am more concerned by the culture of rape perpetuated in this country by heterosexual males, then by men and women who are dressing as/or transgendering to, the opposite sex.

    I am more concerned by Dan and Greg, standing at public restrooms, asking my daughter, who is a bit of a tomboy, to drop her pants so they can do a penis check.

    I am more concerned by Greg Abbot legislating against women and LGBT in this state, when he benefits from laws that protect the handicapped.

    I am more concerned by the needs of the governor to push his gestapo agenda, as a moral issue, because his ‘lifestyle’, includes organized religion.

    I am more concerned by a man in a wheel chair with a non-functioning penis, telling others where they can drain their own weasel.

    When I take my daughter to a public restroom, she is old enough now, to scream, if there is a problem, and our family has a transgender friend M ==> F, who has accompanied her into a public restroom. We told our daughter about her, so she would understand. We have also taught her about sex and stranger danger. I trust my friend more then I trust Dan and Greg.

    We should be doing more to stop the sexual assaults perpetuated by heterosexual men in this society, starting at a young age, with age appropriate dialog in every grade level.

    Instead of universal health care coverage, how about health care at schools with a staffed doctor (so they can pay off their medical bills), so kids can get the information they need, instead of, when it is too late. or the parent is with them and they are afraid to talk.

    Don’t screw this up. The Democrats are right about some social issues, Do not lose the state, by acting like an Uncle Pervy.

    • Randall Stevens

      So you’ve taught your daughter to buy into you friend’s mental illness that he is actually a woman? Will you be teaching her that 2+2=potato as well?

      • BCinBCS

        Randall Stevens: Being transgendered equals being mentally ill.

        Is that your definition of mental illness or is that the opinion of psychiatrists, doctors and scientists?
        …because, guess what…

        • WUSRPH

          At least he’s progressed enough to label it a disease rather than the result of being possessed by the devil. Give him another century or two and see what happens.

        • Randall Stevens

          So science says that men are women? XX is the same as XY? Do the world a favor and eat a bullet.

          • BCinBCS

            You are utterly, completely ignorant about biology. For example, did you know that there are many species that can change sex (and reproduce) due to environmental conditions? Yea, I didn’t think so.

            Let me give you a piece of advice. Opinions are not facts. Just because you believe something does not mean that it is true. Also, why is it that so many conservatives resort to ad hominem attacks and threats or suggestions of violence when they encounter opposition to their mind-set?

          • Randall Stevens

            Can HUMANS change gender due to environmental conditions? NO. “Your friend” isn’t a Hyperolius viridiflavus frog, they’re insane

          • Female to Martyr

            Oh Randall, Alex Jones called, he wants you to bring condoms and a sausage to his studio tonight. Gay frogs!

          • Randall Stevens

            I’ll leave the AIDS celebrations to you.

    • Female to Martyr

      Thank you.

  • T0m0

    Will a GOP Gestapo armband, allowing those who wear them, to randomly do penis checks?
    Will there be a secret handshake and covert passwords?
    Will there be databases and classes for bulge profiling?
    Will both men and women be allowed to join?
    Will there PTSD coverage for those who are randomly beaten for doing their jobs?
    Is this just another law, that will never be enforced, until it is convenient?
    Is this just more bureaucracy?
    Does a non-functioning penis, on a man in a wheel chair, mean he can use either bathroom, since he poses a reduced threat?
    Is Greg punishing the rest of us, because of his own, personal situation?
    Do Greg and Dan know, that Chick-Fil-A, put the spotlight on its own gay employees. The very same ones that fix/handle your food every day?
    Can you say divisive?

  • John

    Gee, you think? We don’t know how to balance or even create a budget or anything remotely good for humankind, but we can call an expensive and useless “special session” just to make decisions about who goes to which bathroom. Friends of mine were traveling in France and needed to use the facilities. They saw two signs, one saying “men” the other saying “women”. So each went to his or her own entrance and then met at the bottom of some stairs at the same facility for both. Really it was good for state government in that it kept the fools busy doing nothing that caused worse damage than what they already have done to our once grand state and reputation. A native Texan, I am now embarrassed to say from whence I came.

    • Female to Martyr

      Most WCs in France are gender-neutral, but your anecdotal story is great for people who’ve never traveled or cracked open a book.

      • Jed

        Wow if that’s how you respond to allies I’d hate to get on your good side.

  • WUSRPH

    Speaking of bathroom bills, the Texas Values folks have released their vote ratings. You can find them at:

    https://txvaluesaction.org/

    Of note, JJ’s The Great Listener is tied for 1st place with a 100% rating, Phil King who is running against Straus for speaker got a 97%. The highest ranking Democrat was Ryan Guillen with a 34%…..Sure seems like we have a lot of evil Democrats in Texas. Sarah Davis, the only pro-choice GOPer, got a 3%.

    • SeeItMyWay

      Oh, Professor…you know me…if I thought Matt Krause was a total loon like Stickland with no redeeming qualities as a pol, and was not listening…or was like Burton, and only broadcast Cruz’s, Dunn’s and TLR’s rhetoric, I would not be supporting him. This young man has grit, and he listens…as he did when constituents made him aware of the plight of Texas’ special needs children. Maybe you missed all that.

      Next, I would suggest you visit with my city’s governance. Out of all the state elected officials in office with District fingers running through Arlington, I think they will tell you that they are most comfortable working with Rep Krause.

      You know a lot; you just don’t know it all. You just think you do.

      • WUSRPH

        As to what I think I know…..you might want to think about the story of Socrates and the Oracle of Delphi. It tends to restore a little perspective…which you badly need.

    • WUSRPH

      For all I know, the Great Listener may be a nice guy….loves his wife and children…goes to church twice on Sunday…and helps little old ladies across the street…..He may even use his great listening skills on local government officials…BUT all l can judge him by is his VOTING RECORD in the legislature since that is what tells what kind of legislator he really is…..And when I do that by looking at the ratings put out by two of the most extreme rightwing radical groups in the state…I find that he and Jonathan Stickland are virtually the same man……Both have 100% with Texas Values…Stickland has a 100% with Empower Texan and TGL has a 98%. Tell me again why I should detest Stickland—as you say you do–and not TGL? I suppose you will find him just as wonderful when he stabs Joe Straus?

      • SeeItMyWay

        All I know is that Michael Jordan was once cut from his high school basketball team because he wasn’t any good. Those judging by history and not posssesing an ability to see potential are commonplace. You fall into this category.

        Besides this fact, if I said black was black, you would disagree. Anything I say, you are going to take an opposite position. I understand that…so does everyone else who has been here awhile. You are an angry old man, because I don’t think you are the smartest man alive, and know that you played a big role in the stinky politics that I abhor. You just can’t stand it. I get it.

        • WUSRPH

          Wait until he puts the knife into Straus….But you will forgive that too…as long as the pats you on the head and pretends to “listen”.

          My problem–if any–with you is that I tend to find it very hard to accept any political advice or view with wisdom anything said by someone like you who in less than six months went from fawning all over Wendy Davis—who tried to set herself up with the image of being the LIBERAL of Texas Liberals—to praising The Great Listener whose voting record is 3000% different. Talk about sticking to your principles!

          PS. While I appreciate your continuing to try to promote me to a higher position in the pantheon of evil which you consider the legislature to be, I have never claimed–nor do I claim now—to have played more than a support role at best. That is one of the reasons why I entitle my little vignettes of my life in the Capitol as “Tales from the Capitol basement”.

          • SeeItMyWay

            “Answering questions”. No one ever has to ask you before you take off.

            I supported Davis, right up until she was convinced to use abortion as her calling card. Never once in her years as senator had she been an open advocate for abortion. She never brought it up, and if she ever publicly made any reference to the subject, I never heard or saw it.

            So you can continue to hang on to that all you want to. I bounce around, as I think all should do, who are not complete trunk to tail ideologues.

            The people in Krause’s District 93 know him much better than you do. He has potential. He is honest, forthright, communicates with all, and never cuts off dissenting constituents, and has shown, initially on the funding for special needs children, that he is not afraid to distance himself from his band of brothers. I expect more of this from him, but not overnight.

            Cuss him all you want to; it will eventually end up your being on the wrong side of ultimate results once again.

          • WUSRPH

            It is clearly not worth wasting my time—or anyone else’s time—discussing this (or any other issue) with you. So I won’t.. Nor will I waste my time reading you. But I wonder how he has “distanced himself” from the likes of Empower Texans when he has never had less than a 98% voting record with that group..

        • BCinBCS

          SeeItMyWay: “Those judging by history and not posssesing an ability to see potential are commonplace.

          And I’m still waiting for your buddy Comrade Trump to pivot.

  • Horde56

    ..

  • WUSRPH

    Assume you saw that America’s new energy czar, our own beloved former Governor Oops, wants the taxpayers to subsidize the coal and nuclear energy industries as a backup in case our natural gas and wind and sun power energy systems break down? To bad he wasn’t around when gasoline powered vehicles started to replace horse drawn buggies……The Studebaker Corp. might still be making a really great Conestoga Wagon.

  • WUSRPH

    The most disheartening onion I’ve seen since January 20th…..

    http://tinyurl.com/y7nzqecb

    • José

      So plausible.
      So sad.

    • SpiritofPearl

      Let’s see what happens in the midterms before we emigrate.

    • BCinBCS

      WUSRPH, I read this article (Trump is on Track to Win Reelection) when it came out and, initially, it gave me a fright since he had managed to win the presidency once. After a few days, though, I realized that the premise was wrong. Comrade Trump won the election only due to the Electoral College aided by Russia and James Comey of the FBI. Democrats, who probably? learned their lesson, will defend those three states that created the 38,000 vote electoral win and James Comey is no longer around to interfere. As for the *Russians, well, we’ll see.

      *As a liberal who caught considerable hell from conservatives during the 60’s for being a communist because I opposed many of Richard Nixon’s policies (like the Viet Nam war), I find it absolutely astonishing that today’s conservatives are partners with the Russians. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

  • John Bernard Books

    What a bunch of sickos….
    “Weinstein’s association with the Democratic Party runs deep. He has long been one of the most prominent figures on the donor circuit that runs through Hollywood.”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/354310-democrats-rush-to-cut-ties-with-harvey-weinstein

    what about the rapist/murder/pedophiles Kennedy and clinton?

  • SeeItMyWay

    Just stopping by to give my eversoften assessment. I see that there have been 32 posts prior to mine. 25% of them have been by our omniscient, pendantric Professor. Of those, only two were anywhere close to on topic.

    Anyone reading his off-topic offerings? If they are on history, I encourage you to take a look; if having to do with current events or some prediction, move on by. His average is below the Mendoza Line when it comes to forward thinking.

    • BCinBCS

      And you think that posts such as this one of yours are better/more informative/more appreciated than his?

  • WUSRPH

    The DACA deadline is near and there is some speculation about how many will come forward and file the necessary papers….but look at it from their point of view……This is Donald Trump after all….would you voluntarily give him a list of your names your addresses and contact info and your workplaces…..if you had any reason to fear that, when he next needs to throw some red meat his “base” say just before the elections next November, that he would just pick up the list and have you rounded up and deported? Of course, there would be screams and legal challenges—-including a claim that doing so would violate the 5th Amendment—but you’d already been in a pen or dumped over the border….so do you take the chance?

  • dormand

    Apple’s view of Texas may not have progressed since the time that the Texas Securities Commission banned the sale of Apple Computer stock in the State of Texas, as it doubted the ability of Apple to survive.

    Apple currently holds enough cash to distribute $750 to every man, woman, and child in the United States.

  • John Bernard Books

    Are all dems sick….
    “In 1985, Dodd and fellow Senator Ted Kennedy were out (with dates) for a night on the town at La Brasserie. Much liquor was consumed–that will come as a shock to those of us familiar with Ted Kennedy–and the two Senators were at one point unaccompanied by their dates. The Senators made a “Waitress Sandwich” out of some poor, unsuspecting waitress.

    If you’re not entirely sure what that means, let’s just say you wouldn’t want to be the waitress.”
    http://sonsoftherepublic.blogspot.com/2005/08/kennedy-dodd-waitress-sandwich.html

    yes democrat voters are stupid

  • WUSRPH

    I see where Trump is attacking the late-night TV comics for telling jokes about him which, he claims, are not even funny….I really cannot judge the quality of the jokes since I gave up watching those shows some years ago…(back when I was working mostly the night shift for Bullock I was not able to watch them and got out of the habit.) But my wife listens to some outtakes of the previous night’s shows on the web and she seems to laugh a lot….However, I might agree with Trump if what he means is that THERE IS NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT HAVING TRUMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE. Frightening, yes, funny, no.

    • BCinBCS

      W, I record and watch both The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Late Night with Seth Meyers and they are hilarious.

  • John Bernard Books

    Stock market is up and unemployment is down….this is bad news for dems…..
    “Sunday on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation,” Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said President Donald Trump was causing a “growing sense of hopelessness today in America.””
    http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/10/08/rep-john-lewis-trump-causing-growing-sense-hopelessness-america/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

    Rep lewis laments with Al the hopelessness of the dem party…..

  • WUSRPH

    Sometimes you have to wonder about people who appear to be going out of their way to create an impression of who they really are…..A good case in point is “Beto” O’Rourke, the Democratic Congressman from El Paso, who
    is running for his party’s nomination for the right to probably be beaten byTed Cruz.

    O’Rourke comes from an upper middle class (at least financially) background…..and was “raised better” but, according to news reports, sprinkles the “F” word and other once not socially acceptable words in mixed company throughout his speeches…..suggesting that he either actually talks that way all the time or is making a dedicated effort to look like “common folk” or at least of how he thinks “common folk” talk.

    I am old enough to remember when people used to attack President Harry Truman for his occasional use of what today would be mild “cuss” words in public……which, it was said, was “beneath the dignity” of his office and gave a bad impression to the youth of America. Of note is the fact that one of those who had the harshest words about Truman’s choice of words was Richard Nixon….who it turned out when the Nixon tapes were released when he talked in private made Truman sound like a professor of elocution at Oxford.

    Life today is much cruder than it was when I was a youth….but Is it too much to ask that a candidate for public office control his language? I think not.

    (Of course, some of us remember a female press secretary for a major democratic officeholder in the 1980s who, when she did not want to be quoted, used a whole string of such words…..in the full knowledge that back
    then most newspapers would not print them and most broadcasters would not run them. How things have changed…and, in my view, not for the better.)

    • SpiritofPearl
      • WUSRPH

        I didn’t bother with Trump because that is more than a lost cause….Getting a complete sentence—much less a rational thought out of him–is impossible…But that does not make what O’Rourke is doing any less objectionable……We used to like our leaders to at least to try to inspire us….

        • SpiritofPearl

          Beto inspires many who find Cruz unacceptable. I can live with a few F-Bombs. Church ladies get upset . . .

          • WUSRPH

            I doubt anyone thinks that I fund Cruz acceptable…..nor am I anywhere near a “church lady”…but there are still some things we should expect from our leaders—and casually throwing around “F-Bombs” is not one of them. Over my lifetime our society has grown much more casual….which I, like most people, enjoy….but it has also grown cruder…..part of that is because we now accept people in high positions throwing F-B either for effect or because of intellectual laziness….I doubt anyone would have been inspired by Jefferson or even JFK’s eloquence if they had descended to the level that O’Rourke finds acceptable…They asked us to be better than we are….he does not.

          • donuthin2

            Wish Cruz or Cornyn had the gonads and brains of Senator Corker.

          • BCinBCS

            But, then, they’re running for re-election.

          • SpiritofPearl

            I realize you’re not a Cruz supporter, but dwelling on Beto’s language is irrelevant. FWIW: Jefferson and JFK succumbed to the sins of the flesh and will be remembered for that more than for their soaring rhetoric.

          • WUSRPH

            I would think that Jefferson might just be remembered a bit for the Declaration of Independence. As for JFK, there was never, in my view, much there but the rhetoric.

          • SpiritofPearl

            You were a Republican when JFK ran, no? For Catholics in America, JFK’s win was earth shaking, just as Obama’s was for POC. My high school bused us down to Kiel Auditorium in STL to hear him speak. When he entered I was struck by his color, orange. I later learned he had Addison’s disease and his abnormal color was symptomatic of the disease. Who knows what he might have accomplished?

            Jefferson was a complicated man . . . and a sexual abuser.

          • WUSRPH

            As to Jefferson….sexual abuser might be a little harsh…He is known for only one long-term involvement that included children with a woman who was most likely the half-sister of his late wife who had made him promise her that he would never marry again.

          • SpiritofPearl

            How do you think those children were conceived? Sally Hemings was enslaved and given to Jefferson and his wife as a wedding gift by his FIL. She was 15-16 when he began his relationship with her – what choice did she have?

            You are omitting significant details of the nature the arrangement.

          • WUSRPH

            None of us is in a position to know the nature of the relationship between Sally Hemings and Jefferson and whether there was any feelings involved on one or both sides. I tend to believe that the suggestion that she may have been the half-sister of his late wife (and by some accounts resembled her) had a major effect on Jefferson…..As to Sally, I can’t say….nor can you….You assume the worst…I may give him the benefit of the doubt. In any case, Jefferson was not a perfect man or even close to it….but what makes him important is that–despite all his apparent human weakness and faults—he was still able to accomplish great things….I, unlike you, am willing to accept that all men (and women) have feet of clay.

          • SpiritofPearl

            I didn’t say Jefferson was unaccomplished. I said he was a complicated man.

            I assure you that Martha Wayles Jefferson would roll over in her grave if she know her widowed spouse was boinking her adolescent half-sister who no doubt had little choice in the matter . . .

            We must look clear-eyed at our heroes. There are so few these days.

          • SpiritofPearl

            We did not know at the time of his womanizing.

  • Randall Stevens

    I love how the author pretends to care about the issue of freedom of association in this article. I promise if Amazon was suddenly headed by a white nationalist who wanted to set up shop in Texas, economics would take a back seat to virtue signaling and race cucking.

    • BCinBCS

      And your point is…?

      • Randall Stevens

        Just beyond your grasp.

        • BCinBCS

          You really don’t have a clue, do you?

          • Randall Stevens

            Actually, I have a firm grasp on reality. I know that must be difficult for someone like you with a room temperature IQ who thinks gender is an interchangeable feature.

          • BCinBCS

            You’re a textbook example of Dunning-Kruger.

          • Randall Stevens

            Coming from someone who doesn’t know the difference between male and female, your “analysis” is useless.

          • BCinBCS

            You are so clueless that you don’t even realize that you don’t have a clue.

  • BCinBCS

    I just saw my first Christmas ad this morning.

    • José

      Only 11 weeks away.

    • SpiritofPearl

      Do men dread Christmas as much as women? Asking for a friend . . .

      • BCinBCS

        Women dread Christmas? If so, it’s a love-hate relationship.

        • SpiritofPearl

          Women make Christmas happen. They love to see the joy on their children’s faces. They are very tired and crabby when it’s all over.

          • BCinBCS

            They are very tired and crabby when it’s all over.

            Yea, unlike the other eleven months of the year. /s

          • Jed

            Thank goodness my kids don’t have to wait for a woman to make Christmas happen.

          • SpiritofPearl

            It’s what we do. Had I born a Hindu, it would be even more all-consuming.

          • BCinBCS

            What?
            Hindus celebrate Christmas?

          • SpiritofPearl

            Hindus have many more religious celebrations/rituals involving food than westerners do. Guess who does the food prep?

          • SpiritofPearl

            Nah, unless they’re Christian, but they celebrate Diwali (this weekend), Holi, Navratri, numerous others. There’s even a day each year when mothers-in-law make a special meal for their sons-in-law with appropriate rituals.

            Every morning and every evening the head of the house performs the fire ceremony. A Hindu wedding usually takes five days. If the bride’s parents can afford it, it’s catered. If not, the bride’s female family members cook for days in preparation. Hinduism is an orthopractic religion rather than an orthodoxic faith. Lots of ceremonies throughout the year . . . and food, lots of food.

          • Jed

            Sexist. I make Christmas happen for my kids.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Who’s sexist? Me?

  • chriscolumbus

    Abbott and ‘Costello’ should go the way of the outdoor toilet ….. , and so should their ‘supporters’ ……

  • WUSRPH

    Happy official federal Columbus Day Holiday….

    Of course today is “Indigenous People Day” by official proclamation of the Austin City Council… but I am old fashioned enough to still call it Columbus Day……I know all the facts that about how he treated the natives
    he encountered and of the horrors resulting from the conquest of the New World….BUT I also recognize how the history of the world down to such mundane things as the food we eat was changed by the fact that Columbus stepped ashore on that small island on the edge of the Caribbean Sea 525 years ago on Thursday. And, for good or bad, that is an event worth remembering.

  • Andrew Reimers

    Not sure what you mean by “elected in her own right,” but Miriam Ferguson was the first female governor of Texas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miriam_A._Ferguson

    • WUSRPH

      But she was elected as a stand-in for her husband, James “Pa” Ferguson…..who had been impeached and barred from running again….They ran as a “two-for-one” vote ticket and few people had any question about which one of the two made all the decisions. .So, while she was technically the first female governor, there is some reason to question whether “elected in her own right” would apply.

      What she is most remembered for today….if she is…is the bad joke about her alleged statement about whether Latin should be taught in the public schools…..She is (alleged, did not happen) to have said she did not think it should because “if English was good enough for Jesus it was good enough for the school children of Texas”…..presumably referring to the fact that the bible was printed in English..

      • Andrew Reimers

        Well she was re-elected in 1932, but I take your point. That’s a pretty funny story – thanks for sharing.

  • WUSRPH

    Back during the special session we heard a lot of talk about how an uncertain number of school districts “would not be able to open their doors” come September unless the legislature extended their hold harmless aid….Well,
    October is here now….and has anybody been keeping a count of the number who did not open for classes? Or, was the minor fix the legislature did adopt, enough to tide them over?

  • WUSRPH

    What do you think about Jerry Jones’ proclaiming that players who do not respect the flag won’t play for the Cowboys? A patriot—-responding to the at least four phone calls it is reported that Trump has made to him to encourage this step—-or a shrewd businessman playing to the audience or perhaps both? He, as Team owner, has the legal right to set standards of behavior for his employees, as their First Amendment rights do not count on the job…..but it will be interesting is whether any of his players challenge him …..Of course, when your team looks as bad as the Cowboys do this year, Jones could always use their not being allowed to play as an
    excuse for the team’s record.

    For me, it is just another reason not to support the Cowboys…..Being a Houston-area native I was a fan of the Oilers (my father had season tickets from 1960 and their first game in the old American Football League right thru his death 30 years later when my sister-in-law inherited the ticket rights)…but when they moved to Tennessee I kind of lost interest….I tried to follow them for a couple of years after the move but the old loyalty was just not there….I just haven’t been able to get interested in the new Texans….so, when I follow pro-football at all, it is probably my wife’s old team, the Green Bay Packers…

    • WUSRPH

      Personally, I have no problem with standing up for the flag…..but I also have no problem with other people feeling the need to protest…I would pick another way myself…but they are not me. (For which they are probably eternally grateful.)

      • SpiritofPearl

        Remember, the players are protesting police brutality against black folks, not the flag, the anthem, or the military.

        • Jed

          Too bad, since those need some good protesting too.

    • dave in texas

      It pisses me off no end that reactionaries have turned this around and made it all about” respect for the flag.” The very specific reason behind these protests has always been to raise awareness of the way African Americans are treated at the hands of the justice system. It has absolutely zero to do with the flag or with soldiers or with any of the BS reasons people are bringing up to distract from the actual reason behind the protests. I’ve been a Dallas fan since Don freaking Meredith was the QB, but Jerry Jones can kiss my a$$.

      • SpiritofPearl

        Mr. P. and I watched the Jaon Stockley encounter with Anthony L. Smith on youtube. It’s an amalgam of dashcam video and cell phone video. Stockley committed murder in my home town and got away with it. We should all be ashamed.

      • BCinBCS

        Our “fiscally conservative” GOP headed by Comrade Trump and his side-kick Dense just wasted up to an estimated $1,000,000 of taxpayer money to pull a political stunt about the sbject at the football game Sunday. Add the money wasted by the Vice-President to the exorbitant cost to the taxpayer of Comrade Trump and soon we’ll have to increase the national debt limit just to accommodate them.

      • WUSRPH

        When I see these flag wavers proclaiming how much they LOVE the American flag–especially those from this part of the country—I wonder how many of them had ancestors who FIRED UPON THAT FLAG and how many even today cheer those who still wave one of those traitors’ FLAGS. But that was different….perhaps because of the color of the people doing much of the protesting.

  • Dontoe

    We need to jump loops through our ass to accommodate, what .02% of population that can’t figure out what they are, just look below the belt line that might give you a clue!!! If you can’t get then just go stand behind a tree and piss away

    • José

      Nope. Don’t need to make loops or jump through hoops. There was no need for a potty bill. Just drop it already. Stop. Go home.

      There was no problem until y’all decided to make a fuss and lie to folks that there was one.

  • WUSRPH

    If you have access to Blast, the Texas Tribune’s daily e-mailed newsletter, you might find two articles of interest:
    The first is a report that a Christian TV big wig named Bruce Jacobson is considering taking on Cruz in the GOP primary.

    The second is a promise by House Speaker candidate Phil King to seek a constitutional amendment to limit the speaker to no more than three terms and/or limit the number of years that a member can be the chair of a house committee. Straus is seeking his sixth term….
    .
    The last speaker to talk about limiting terms was Price Daniel Jr. (Speaker 73-74) who voluntarily limited himself to one term….which had been the tradition for most of Texas’ history up till the 1960s…After him the speakers have served four terms, five terms, five terms and three and now Straus’ five, maybe going on six. It should be noted that two of those, Pete Laney and Tom Craddick, had planned on longer terms, but events got into their way.

    A constitutional amendment would require the support of the Texas Senate as well as the House and you would think that the Senate would say “well, if that’s what they want’ and go along…but that has not the case when Daniel tried to put a limit on the number of terms…and it may not be this time if King is successful in defeating Straus…..as Senators (and especially Lt. Gov. Patrick) and maybe even Gov. Abbott tend to get a little antsy when someone says the words “term limits”…..out of fear that the idea might spread to their domains.

    • WUSRPH

      It may be of note that the guy who is supposed to be thinking about taking on Cruz is tied into a group that calls itself “Texas for Texans”……I wonder if they think that Ted’s Canadian-Cuban citizenship does not qualify.

  • donuthin2

    Senator Corker is a breath of fresh air in Washington. Wonder if any others will begin to follow his lead. Looks like the President is doing his best to prove to the world that he is mentally off balance.

    • dave in texas

      I think it’s too little, too late. Corker was an early Trump supporter and has voted with Trump something like 95% of the time. It’s nice that he’s finally calling the president out, but how is it he’s just now seeing his manifest unfitness and staggering ignorance and instability? The rest of us have known for years what kind of unhinged jackass Trump is.

      • donuthin2

        I know, but at least he has limits. Hopefully others will too and step up.

  • WUSRPH

    Those were the days:

    ON THIS DAY

    On Oct. 10, 1973, Vice
    President Spiro T. Agnew pleaded no contest to one count of federal
    income tax evasion and resigned his office.

  • WUSRPH

    “liddle” Bob Corker…challenging Tillerson to an IQ test….More and more it appears that we have a four-year-old who thinks he is the Emperor of China in the White House.

  • WUSRPH

    Speaking of Trump’s mouth….here is the latest compilation of his false or misleading statements since the took office..I was somewhat surprised that it is only 1300….It sure seems like a lot more.

    http://tinyurl.com/ydfljzpx

  • John Bernard Books

    People are shocked by Harvey’s antics?
    “Can a womanizing, alcoholic, emotionally unstable elected official become one of the most powerful and feared figures in state government? A generation ago, before blogs, YouTube, and the 24-hour news cycle, one did.”
    I remember WASSUP’s old boss
    “He often carried a handgun and spent long nights at the Quorum Club, owned by his old friend Nick Kralj, a sometime political operative and lobbyist. In a drunken snit one night, he pulled his gun on a young waiter who had displeased him. He put the barrel against the young man’s head, cocked the hammer, and blew hot breath in his face.”
    https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/the-devil-and-bob-bullock/

    WASSUP will tell you Bob Bullock was brilliant but he was nothing but a common thug like most dems….

  • WUSRPH

    You would think that by this point in my life I would have grown blasé enough about things to let episodes like the current pilling-on on Harvey Weinstein past without comment….I know little about the man—and care to know less. But, I have to be at least bemused by now, when he is accused of some totally disreputable and perhaps illegal behavior—how suddenly all the little fishes that swam in his sea are becoming ferocious sharks tearing as his carcass.

    Even more bewildering is how Republicans—with one of the little Trumpets leading the way—are trying to suggest that what Weinstein is alleged to have done is in some way connected to the fact that he has contributed to Democratic candidates and that, somehow, that makes all Democrats into Weinstein’s….as if they had never heard and seen the Trump tapes are even read what he has said himself (and written in his books) about his way of approaching women…..

    But then life is funny.

    • SpiritofPearl

      It’s important to realize that sexual harrassment occurs in all professions, not just entertainment. Harrassers are Republicans or Democrats, rich or poor, young or old. The issue is the need to intimidate the powerless. Like rape, it has little to do with sexual attraction.

    • donuthin2

      You are right, Weinstein is a democrat, but not all democrats are a Weinstein. But it is disappointing that he has not been outed by all of the media, both the more supposedly progressives as well as the conservative, types. They are now in the middle of the feeding frenzy but were way to reluctant to expose the freak.