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Texas Versus the Feds

A brief history of the state’s love/hate relationship with D.C.

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John Moore/Getty Images

Given the eight-year battle between Texas’s leaders and the Obama Administration, and today’s inauguration of Republican Donald Trump as president and his promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico, I thought this was a good moment to review the love/hate relationship between Texas and the federal government.

1845: Anglo Texans were eager to become part of the United States. The first act of the state constitutional convention was to petition the federal government for troops to secure the border between Texas and Mexico.

1850: During congressional debate on whether to allow slavery to expand westward and where to establish the boundaries of Texas, the Texas Legislature authorized Governor George T. Wood to raise an army to guarantee the state’s claim to Santa Fe. President Millard Fillmore mobilized federal troops to repulse any invasion from Texas. The whole affair was settled by the Compromise of 1850, establishing the current Texas borders and paying the state $10 million.

1861: Anglo Texans, angry that the federal government had not been able to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act in northern states and fearing that the election of Abraham Lincoln would lead to the emancipation of all slaves, voted to secede from the Union.

1865: Federal troops arrive in Galveston on June 19 with the Emancipation Proclamation, effectively ending the Civil War and freeing the slaves.

1874: Republican Governor Edmund J. Davis won a Texas Supreme Court ruling invalidating the election of 1873, an election rife with fraud on both sides. But Democrat Richard Coke had received almost twice as many votes as Davis. Davis barricaded himself in a Capitol office surrounded by state police while Coke held parts of the state with armed forces. Davis pleaded with President Grant to send federal forces into Texas to protect the civil rights of African-Americans as well as his government. “Would it not be prudent, as well as right,” Grant wrote back, “to yield to the verdict of the people as expressed by their ballots?”

Skipping ahead, we come to the 1930s and a time when Texans embraced the federal government.

1933: Businessman J.O. Langford, legislator E.E. Townsend and Fort Worth Star-Telegram publisher Amon Carter began a push to preserve Big Bend. By 1942, the Legislature appropriated $1.5 million to purchase 600,000 acres, and the land was gifted to the federal government for a national park. The 1933 Legislature also purchased East Texas forest to gift to the federal government for national forests.

1933: Mayors and city managers from Texas’s 31 largest cities meet in Austin to discuss limiting the ownership of machine guns because of criminal activity of Clyde Barrow and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. As a result, Governor Miriam A. Ferguson called a special legislative session to ban the ownership of a machine gun in Texas. The Texas law prompted passage of a federal act limiting ownership of machine guns. However, today, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms reported in February 2016 that it had registered 34,848 machine guns and 165,499 silencers in Texas.

1935: Four rural school districts near Lubbock consolidated into the New Deal school district, named after President Roosevelt’s programs. The nearby town took the name in 1949.

1953: President Eisenhower signed legislation ending the Tidelands Dispute between Texas and the federal government over ownership of 2.4 million acres of offshore land. Oil interests wanted federal ownership because federal oil drilling leases were cheaper than those of Texas. Eisenhower ended the dispute by acknowledging state ownership. Since that time, the state’s public school fund has received more than $2 billion in royalties from the offshore leases.

1950-present: The conflicts between the state and federal government over the civil rights of minorities is too complex for a simple item, but suffice to say it easily extends from Herman Sweatt’s efforts to attend the University of Texas law school to today’s battles over voter identification legislation.

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    We Texans have always taken pride–often unjustified–in our “specialness”. One symbol has been that we say we are Texans before we say we are Americans.

    • Tejasguitarman

      I agree that it’s often unjustified & uncouth bragging without substance. Must have gotten that sense of entitlement from all the years in “special class” at school.
      trump (intentionally not capitalized) said on Fried Day that from now on it’s America first & on Saturday Americans & citizens around the world took him up on that.

  • BCinBCS
    • John Bernard Books

      “President Barack Obama will leave the federal government approximately $9,335,000,000,000 deeper in debt than it was when he took office eight years ago, according to data released today by the U.S. Treasury.”

      ex-Prez Obama runs up more debt that all the rest of president combined…..what a legacy.

      • Tejasguitarman

        Guess he should have stiffed employees,declared bankruptcy & left creditors holding the bag several times & not paid income taxes like the new guy? WTF??!! Are you on medication legal or otherwise?

  • John Bernard Books

    47%ers are angry….
    “Footage shot by MRC Culture and CNSNews.com shows protestors vandalizing local businesses, destroying a limousine with hammers, spray-painting on walls and windows, smashing kiosks, and chanting “no cops, no borders, fight law and order.””

    Looters are angry as entitlement ride ends….


    One of the Trump Administration’s first acts was to suspend a cut in the premiums for mortgage insurance…..a favor for Wall Street right off the bat.


    Best Analysis of the Trump Speech I’ve seen yet.

    • rickthenailer

      more like before WWII

    • John Johnson

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…want words mean can often be interrupted in totally opposite ways, as well. Your post is a prime example.

      The America that Trump supporters see is one in decline; not one at the bottom of the heap.

      • WUSRPH

        I know you are comfortable living in the world of “alternative facts” (i.e.—if Trump, et al. make it up and say it, it is “true”) but most of us still are holding out for the real facts….You know the ones that can be supported by evidence……The speech was replete with “alternative facts” and presented an “alternative reality”…..but it did sound like you.

        • John Johnson

          As I stated, we hear and decipher with biases. The ones who elected him feel good about what we heard; you whiners heard it differently. Go figure.

          • WUSRPH

            That’s because you live in a world of myths.

          • John Johnson

            Oh, Professor Pedant, this forum has allowed you, for how many years now, to not only share your histortical astuteness, but also your prognosticational ignorance. If we were talking baseball averages, you would be below the dreaded “Mendoza line”.

            I am not dealing with “myths”…which by definition, are history…I am looking forward.

            I was when Obama came into office, too. I had just publically dumped Bush in Sunday opinion pieces in both the Star Telegram and Houston Chronicle. I was banking on Obama to come through with his promises.

            I was not pissing and moaning in mid-November; I was not yelling and screaming until Obama let the Mega-Banks/Wall Street’ers get away with receiving taxpayer subsidized multi-million bonus payouts that year after it was determined that these were the very people who caused our financial collapse.

            I encouraged you to watch the most recent PBS Frontline programs which highlighted this fact. Have you?

            Every advisor, save Geitner, told Obama that the average American needed him to show them that he affixed blame to these bank heads and that allowing them to be further enriched after causing same was not going to happen.

            Geitner won the argument…and, I impress, it was against the advice of all other advisors who got him elected.

            This was the first stupid decision he made that turned me against him and made me realize that he was an empty suit, like Bush, and out of his element. Both should have never made it to the Presidency.

            You are so entrenched in ideaolgy that you defend the indefensible.

            I cussed Perry; I cussed Cruz; I cuss Patrick; I cuss Burton; I radical anything.
            You hold your same old party line bullshit.

            You are a dinosaur; you are history. Go to bed; get up tomorrow and plan your spring garden.

            If someone asks you about what happened back when, tell them; but please leave prognostications out of your posts.


    How about some “fact checking” of Trump’s speech…As usual, he—to be kind on his first day in office—stretched reality just a bit.


  • Sam Jacinto

    A noxious orange cloud with the stench of corruption and the taste of intolerance and overwhelming incompetence has descended upon our land

  • Texas Voter

    So if Texas secedes from the USA does that mean we have to pay for the Trump Wall along our western, northern, and eastern boundaries?

    • SpiritofPearl

      More importantly, do we get a different president?

      • WUSRPH

        Yes. Dan Patrick. Leaving could be worse than staying.

        • SpiritofPearl

          He’s not the president. Or would Texas just crown him king?

          • WUSRPH

            Like Napoleon he would probably place the crown on his own head.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Good image! These Republicans think they are royalty these days. Let’s continue to remind them about Louis XVI.

  • Wurty

    I don’t understand the law against owning a machine gun. My understanding is that for a $750 annual fee we can own a machine gun. Does Texas forbid this?

    • WUSRPH

      Federal law prohibits it without a special permit and fee. The state is governed by the federal law. The law was adopted back when gangsters were using Thompson Submachine guns and BARs.

    • Sam Jacinto

      Why do you need a machine gun?

      • Wurty

        To stop a crowd of Zombies from raping me.

        • St. Anger

          I think for that all you need are pants.

  • John Johnson

    Burka Blog…a special gathering place for a covey of liberal whiners.

    • BCinBCS

      …and a$$hole conservatives.

  • Lone_Star_Obelisk

    2013 Then Attorney General Greg Abbott has his minion, Joel Rodgers, testify for H.B. 3017, a Bill mandating that the family law system steal a portion of federal disabled veterans’ compensation awards in all child support establishment & Governor Perry signs H.B. 3017 into Texas Family Code mandating that the family law system steal a portion of disabled veterans’ compensation awards in all child support establishment in violation of the 14th Amendment, numerous U.S. Codes, regulations, directives, and Congressional Acts in order to receive substantial federal incentives as listed in 42 U.S.C. Sections 658a & 655.

    However, disabled veterans now have a way to moot Texas Family Code Section 154.062(b)(5). The following testimony with attached child support order JPGs show that the contemptuous Texas statute is rendered moot by a simple due process affidavit and Challenge to the Constitutionality:


    Another Texas Disabled Veteran child support victory just announced in the Disabled Vet Child Support Info group:

    “So it’s taken me a while to do this, but here’s my testimony:

    My cousin Amanda Lynn sent me the group’s info when I was setting up permanent child support orders. I was about to agree to letting the State of Texas take 20% of my VA disability on top of my work income because after paying my attorney $3000+, I was told I had no choice. I felt defeated and was ready to just finish the whole ordeal and pay my money. The morning that I spoke to the group owner for the first time in October was the morning I was going to sign my permanent orders and give up my VA disability money. He instructed me to do a Parsons Due Process Affidavit, A Challenge to the Constitutionality of Texas law, as well as filing a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Apportionment claim as directed in IM-98-03. I terminated my attorney’s services I started the fight pro se. The minute that I filed the PDPA, the challenge to the constitutionality of Texas law, and gave it to my ex-wife’s attorney, the fight went to my side immediately. He called, threatened me, said I was going to lose in court, and said just about everything he could to bully and scare me into agreeing to give up my money. My apportionment ruling took about 32 days to get back (a denial), and my court date was set. Fast forward to last week. My court date was January 13th, and I settled and signed my permanent orders with NONE of my VA disability included in the calculation.

    Follow that group’s advice, assert your rights, and you will win. The best part is you get the best tools you can find to help you win FREE OF CHARGE!

    Before speaking to the group owner, I was going to be paying $1,551.00 per month, so I saved approximately $62,000.00 in child support. What are YOU waiting for?” — Brandon Q., disabled Texas veteran obligor

    Here is the Texas Family Code that Brandon’s PDPA package forced the judge to break. Force your judge to break state law, not federal law: Section 154.062(b)(5) “Resources include: … all other income actually being received, including, … United States Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits other than non-service-connected disability pension benefits, as defined by 38 U.S.C. Section 101(17), unemployment benefits, disability and workers’ compensation benefits….”

    Brandon adds, “The great part of this process is while your ex is shelling out thousands to her attorney you’re representing yourself for free, so there is a high probability that she will run out of money and settle for what you choose.”

    The latest proof that the Parsons Due Process Affidavit (PDPA) coupled with a Petition to Challenge the Constitutionality of a State Statute can force a Texas judge to break state law and not steal veteran’s disability compensation, even in child support, by far the most difficult family law issue to crack. And when the state is denied assignment of your compensation, the intended consequence is that the odds of being awarded 50/50 or even full custody of the child(ren) increases significantly. Below is a JPG of Brandon’s Motion to Quash that blocked the opposing attorney, and more importantly, the state, access to his VA medical and benefits award:


    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5906130b9177f1e87ae895d482008b82b94755c3f5659fd305f3abd217f17dce.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b57662ec3a1a7eafce8b9632919a1c1b51fdb0e98854b4db08d276cece6e8a39.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6751267164410c1ec44745dcb2aa59b499d44eba4d4a18d0b84b1f8c5ab9ff82.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/03730b8d94a72967ec62b841ec37c3ff3d3f6eb90a718a2e4d96344fa86767e6.jpg

    • John Johnson

      While I understand your position, with regards to the court’s taking away Vet disability benefits, I am also fully aware of the deadbeats who do little or nothing to support the children they father….then we taxpayers end up having to do so. Many women simply give up, and the fathers end up on the dole as well, because they can’t pay support and survive on the little they end up with each month from low paying jobs. It is a vicious cycle, and one of the biggest problems we in this country.

      • WUSRPH

        What “dole” do the fathers get?

        • John Johnson

          Dole (noun): “a portion or allotment of money, food, etc., especially as given at regular intervals by a charity or for maintenance.”

          • WUSRPH

            Glad you can read the dictionary…Now tell me what GOVERNMENT programs provide an allotment of money to a voluntarily unemployed male, as in the situation you described.

          • WUSRPH

            P.S. Since the problem is the “low paying jobs”….I would presume you continue to oppose an increase in the minimum wage.

          • St. Anger

            I am “voluntarily” unemployed. I can assure you I am getting no allotments from the government.

            In fact I am paying $7k a year for health insurance, with zero income.

          • WUSRPH

            According to the myths that JJ lives by you are supposed to be getting cash, food stamps, housing and medical care from the taxpayers. That’s the kind of world of “alternative facts” he thinks exists where everyone is “on the dole”.

  • John Johnson

    One of these days, when the angry women can get enough other women onboard to agree with them, and others like First Baptist Dallas’s Robert Jeffress, who understand that you cannot depend on government to pass laws to mandate what women do with their bodies, things will change.



    One has to be struck by the fact that the first two days of the Trump Administration (sic) have been primarily spent on contesting the estimates of how many people attended the inauguration. The man and his cohorts are consumed by the necessity of presenting an image of being the biggest and best in all things. His standing in front of that wall of heroes at CIA HQ and spending most of his time attacking the media for its crowd estimates has to be one of the saddest sights of recent days.

    • WUSRPH

      P.S. There is no truth, I hope, to the report that Trump wants the White House painted gold.

      • WUSRPH

        At least not until the second term.

      • Sam Jacinto

        He has issued calls for an architect to design his New Trumpania

    • Sam Jacinto

      Trump undermines intelligence agencies, delegitimizes the free press, insults generals, denigrates our institutions, and flouts all traditions and mores. He tweets his disapproval of someone/something and his army of minions attack. His press secretary takes a turn at the podium for the first time – to lie on behalf of his boss. His surrogate KC coins “alternative facts” and lies for her boss. Now the “audit” appears to matter no longer. His followers refuse to accept any criticism of the great leader and believe only his “truthful hyperbole”. He wanted missile launchers and tanks in his parade. He whines about his ratings and spins an alternate reality. To think that this is only the third day.

      The Sudetenland better watch out.


    One feature of Trump’s speech that has not been commented enough was his inelegant promotion of 16th and 17th Century economics….I had not heard such an insipid defense of the Mercantilism and Autarky since the British Whigs last-ditch defense of the Corn Laws in 1846. I guess he was absent from class at the Wharton School of Finance on the day they talked about Adam Smith’s inconsequential little book, The Wealth of
    Nations. PROTECTIONISM here we come……Like all Americans I know, I favor considering the best interests of this country first, but I also understand that we now have a world-wide economy and have to live with it.

    Whether Trump can sell going back to the very, very old days to the GOP in Congress is questionable….even with his aides already threatening that Trump will go after any congressman who waivers from his program. The last president to do that was FDR’s attempted purge of dissident Democrats in 1938 and that blew up in his face. We may see whether Trump can do better in the 2018 elections.


    “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

    -Theodore Roosevelt

    • John Johnson

      AGREE! Keep it coming…and allow him to respond to such, however, and whenever, he deems appropriate.

      Too much for you to stomach?

      • WUSRPH

        See you had a “few” while watching the games….hope the liver holds up.

  • John Johnson

    BUYER BEWARE…Anyone scrolling down from here will be exposed to moaning and groaning and gnashing of teeth like you have never been exposed to before…unless you think that Hillary should be President; she somehow got cheated out of it; all those people living in the massive red areas of the U.S. map that got Trump elected are imbeciles; and that Obama was not the epitome of a racist, by naming a person like Sharpton as his “emissary” to Ferguson, MO.

    Enter at your own risk.

    Closer to home, we are closer to agreeing. Our Gov is bought and paid for; our Lt. Gov is as a big embarrassment as I have ever seen, and takes big money from the same groups; TP reps and senators with promises and support from the TLR and Empower Texans dance on the end of the special interests’ pulleys.

    Want the state to pay for the college degrees of those wanting to go into public school teaching and the like? Don’t go here. Don’t read further. This group below believes in hiring unqualified teachers, and allowing them to keep their jobs when they aren’t performing.

    This group does not understand how allowing the influx of a largely unabated group of people across a southern border of our state is not a net gain, and “trumps” the spending the money saved on birthing the reported 60K anchor babies here in Texas each year, instead on of those who want to teach in public schools, but choose not to because they cannot pay off college loans, buy a car, a home, and raise a family as a teacher.


  • BCinBCS

    I have been biting my tongue about Kellyanne Conway, but her defense of Press Secretary Sean Spicer was too much.

    Alternative facts!



    Was Gen. Flynn 2016’s Madame Chenault?


    Trump just rewarded Round One in the Trade War with China to the Chinese. Pulling the US out of the TransPacific Partnership is just what China wants……That now probably dead trade pack deliberately left China outside the deal in a move to lessen its influence in Asia. Now it is free to lean on its neighbors to join a pack which it will dominate and, should Trump push it too hard, could wind up penalizing the U.S. As Trump will probably prove many time over the coming months “Good politics” is often “Poor Policy”.


    Neither did I….I would have watched the Packers game (sob)….but was sitting in a hospital waiting room instead.

    • John Johnson

      Sorry. No fun under any circumstances.

  • Kozmo

    Forget about secession — can the Union simply expel Texas? (And maybe a bunch of other disgruntled Dixie states?) Wouldn’t that make a lot of people on all sides happier? Texas doesn’t have to keep suing and complaining and pointing the finger at the terrible “Feds,” and the remaining Union states would breathe a sigh of relief knowing their days of kowtowing to corrupt Texas blowhards were at an end. And no more catastrophic Texan presidents!