Archive for June 1st, 2011

You have to hand it to Solomons-Seliger.  They drew the ultimate screw-just-about-every-Dem map.  They put a punk job on Travis County five different ways.   Dallas-Ft. Worth area Latinos found nothing but a half-eaten stale tortilla chip under their redistricting Christmas tree.  Houston area Latinos found a note from the GOP Grinch that said “manana.”  The only Dems that got something were a few Latino-Latina congressional wannabees in Bexar County.  Solomons-Seliger is about unfair and ornery as you can get if you ask me.

Two noted reviews related to the Special Session are worth a mention.  Of course they aren’t so kind to the Dems up in Austin.  Here is one from Chron.com:

After spending the last 140 days trying to find a way to crystallize their opposition to the Republican budget, Democrats got the gift of the session from the filibuster given by the woman who has nothing to lose.

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who had already lost her district to redistricting, managed to become the symbol of Democratic opposition to Republican plans to overhaul school finance, and by extension a budget that slashes spending on schools and social services.

Twitter exploded, the Democratic base seemed to be energized for the first time in months and operatives began whispering that Wendy Davis could very well be a compelling candidate for higher office — something Democrats have dreamed of since the washout of 1998.

To capitalize on the sudden burst of attention the Democrats were receiving, leaders called a press conference that featured their new star in a bid to capitalize on the new-found momentum. With rows of chairs filled by reporters and a bank of TV cameras from nearly every major station in the state, the minority party finally had the chance to frame the budget fight in a way that would grab attention and headlines.

The entire effort fell flat. There was no sound bite that grabbed everyone’s attention, refrain that brilliantly summarized the Democratic position, no mention of the core Democratic belief that a budget is a moral document. Instead, Rep. Jessica Farrar, Wendy Davis and other Democrats gave reporters another version of the same litany of statistics they’ve been delivering day after day after day during the 82nd Legislature.

And like every time before this session, it was a numbers-heavy punch that failed to connect.

For the Texas branch of party of Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson — where losing primary bids end with speeches that are long remembered as some of the political oratory of the 20th Century (e.g. “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die”) — it was just another example of an opportunity lost due to a messaging failure.

Well what else in news!

Hunter Pence had a three-run dinger last night and now has 43 RBIs.   What are most RBIs Hunter has ever had in a season since he made the team in 2007?

Oh, here is what my pal Robert Miller says about Dems and the Special Session:

I believe it was a major strategic mistake for Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) to filibuster SB 1811 and force the First Called Session.

A Regular Session of the Texas Legislature is designed to kill bills: A Called Session is designed to pass bills. In a Regular Session, approximately 6,000 bills compete for scarce committee and calendar time: In a Called Session, the only bills eligible for consideration are those determined to be within the Call of the Governor. In a Regular Session, the Senate has a blocker bill and requires two-thirds or 21 votes to pass most legislation: In a Called Session, there will be no blocker bill in the Senate and it will only require a majority or 16 votes to pass legislation.

The Democrats are hoping that the public will become engaged and enraged in a Called Session regarding the $4 billion in proposed cuts to public education. However, the Republican leadership intends to pass SB 1811 quickly before the opposition can fully mobilize.

The Republican leadership will then be free to pass other conservative issues that failed in the Regular Session. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst listed 9 issues that he would like to see on the Call in a letter to the Governor yesterday:

  • SB 1811 relating to school finance;
  • SB 23 relating to Medicaid cost savings;
  • SB 8 relating to the quality and efficiency of health care;
  • HB 5 relating to a health care compact;
  • HB 12 relating to sanctuary cities;
  • HB 272 relating to TWIA;
  • HB 400 relating to efficiencies in the operation of public schools;
  • HB 1937 relating to TSA groping; and
  • Congressional redistricting.

Without the two-thirds rule in the Senate and the logjam of bills in both the House and Senate, the floor time and votes will now be there to pass all of these bills — and others such as campus carry — if the Republican leadership so desires. Sen. Davis passionately believed that she was making a principled stand Sunday night and successfully killed SB 1811. However, it portends a Pyrrhic victory for the Democrats.

FYI:  “Pyrrhic victory” means winning but losing a whole hekuva lot in getting the win – got it?

The H-Town City Attorney put out a memo last week that said if you served two terms on the H-Town City Council, you couldn’t file for a third term even if you sent in a letter of resignation before your second term ended.  I wonder if the City Attorney was talking about a former CM that ran for Mayor.

The City of H-Town is fixing to sell the Heights Recycling Center down the street that Commentary uses.  I don’t know about that since I don’t have one of those fancy green bins. 

“Start spreading the news.  I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it.  New York, New York!”

Guv Dude is taking his smirk to New York City in a couple of weeks.  He’ll be speaking to foreigners, erry NY GOPers.  Good luck!

“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.  It’s up to you, New York, New York!”

Last season of course was Hunter Pence’s best with 91 RBIs.  BTW:  Hunter picked up career dinger numero 100 last night.  Way to go Hunter!

The last thing I expected last night was a six run ninth inning come from behind win.  I thought the 20-year old Jordan Lyles did A-Okay despite his throwing error in the eighth.  In the ninth I was fully expecting Cubbie closer Carlos Marmol to own our arse again but he only lasted a third of an inning.  Did I mention that Hunter Pence is now batting .319 and they close out the series this afternoon at Wrigley?


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