in Houston, Texas
TSA’s specialized dog breeding program targeted for elimination
Monday, Nov 19, 2012, 03:01PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
puppies

The Transportation Security Administration, which brought to America humiliating and very public searches of airline passengers, is also masterful when it comes to clandestine and duplicative operations.

Right under the noses of the people of San Antonio and at a cost to taxpayers of just $400,000 a year the TSA has for more than a decade been breeding a kind of super hip-dysplasia-resistant dog for its K-9 Explosive Response Breeding, Leashing and Attacking Mission.

(Please note: the previous formal title for this hush-hush program was invented by Texas Watchdog to produce the acronym, KERBLAM. We apologize for this sophomoric diversion.)

And just when the TSA is on the brink of getting all this comingling just right, the TSA wants to shut down the Canine Breeding and Development Center at Lackland Air Force Base, the San Antonio Express News reports.

The loss of what might be called a poop shovel-ready program will wipe out a dozen or more local jobs and curtail federal research funding, the story says.

Officials for the Federal Air Marshal Service said the service intends to procure its super sniffers from the U.S. Department of Defense which, coincidentally, operates the world’s largest training facility for explosive detection dogs. At Lackland Air Force Base.

Retired Army Col. Jim Boelens, who has become a bit of an expert on the once-vital program by taking in the puppies-in-training, defended the program as cost effective and its budget “a pittance” of the the overall budget for the TSA.

From this rather limited perspective, Boelens is right. The 2012 Budget for the TSA is $8.1 billion, itself a relative pittance compared to the $57 billion annual budget for the Department of Homeland Security. (Please see page 85 of the document for the TSA breakdown.)

Overall, the budget includes $125.7 million for the TSA to deploy 900 canine teams to breath deep for potential threats at airports and other mass transit gathering places all over the country.

Dogs aren’t the only weapon. Homeland Security is currently spending $273 million for other explosive detection systems. And another $237 million for more than 3,300 sleuths known as behavior detection officers, trained to ferret out terrorists and criminals without resorting to the rough fondling of the privates of otherwise bedraggled travelers.

What’s more, KERBLAM (there we go again) costs just a fraction of the overall  cost of putting on, entering and attending the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

While the Kennel Club is notoriously circumspect about its budget, the club stands to take in roughly $5 million this year, should the show attract 30,000 attendees, thousands below its record attendance. Not to mention its longstanding contract with the USA Network for broadcasting rights.

The $75 fee alone will generate $240,000 if the Kennel Club accepts its maximum of 3,200 entrants, according to its report.

There has been, unfortunately, no groundswell of support either for explosive-sniffing or hip dysplasia resistant dog categories at Westminster.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo 'TSA Sept. 11 Puppies 10' by flickr user NowCastSA, used via a Creative Commons license.

Hidalgo elections officials allowed voters outside school district to cast ballots
Friday, Nov 16, 2012, 11:05AM CST
By Lee Ann O'Neal
doubtful votes

An elections error in South Texas may have cost the election, and it has surely dented public trust.

The elections department in Hidalgo County, nestled along the Rio Grande River and bordering Mexico, allowed 61 voters not residing in the Hidalgo school district to help elect a new board member there, the Monitor reports.

The race in the Hidalgo Independent School District was decided last week, with Norma Garza-Torres leading Mentor Cantu, 1,013 to 976. Discounting the faulty votes, Cantu would have won, 968 to 960 --- a whisper of a victory in a region not known for squeaky clean elections.

The questionable win by Norma Garza-Torres boosted a reform movement that has pledged to rid school hiring decisions of politics.

Now, lawyers are gearing up for the inevitable court fight.

Correction: This story was updated at 3:26 p.m. to reflect that the 61 votes would have changed the outcome of the election. An earlier version of the story stated otherwise. Texas Watchdog regrets the error.

***
Contact Lee Ann O’Neal at 713-980-9777 or leeann@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo of money by flickr user athrasher, used via a Creative Commons license.

Bexar County to post campaign finance reports online
Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012, 11:38AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
mouse

‘Bout time, Bexar County.

Beginning with the Jan. 15, 2013, filings, taxpayers in San Antonio and the rest of the county will be able to use their computers to review campaign finance reports required by law for every one of their elected officials and candidates for office, the San Antonio Express News reports.

This leaves Tarrant County alone among the state’s five most populous counties in not providing comprehensive campaign information available online. Harris County, Dallas County, and Travis County have their own search engines.

Tarrant County continues to invite you to visit their County Elections Center in downtown Fort Worth.

Taxpayers statewide can search for campaign finance and lobbying reporting for officials and operatives at the state level at the Texas Ethics Commission site.

When completed, the Bexar County Elections Department system will provide the latest campaign finance report filings and begin scanning in all past filings, Elections Administrator Jacquelyn Callanen told the Express News.

At first, the reports will simply be scanned into the system and more reports added. A searchable database will be created, although Callanen wasn’t sure how long that might take.

This online disclosure was brought to you by the Bexar County Commissioners Court, which voted Tuesday night to create the online reporting system. A similar effort in 2008 was undermined and defeated by quiet opposition from several elected officials.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of computer mouse by flickr user MD Click Photography, used via a Creative Commons license.

Plans for taxpayer-aided water park floated by El Paso city leaders
Monday, Nov 12, 2012, 04:55PM CST
By Lee Ann O'Neal
Schlitterbahn

Burdened by a plague of corruption among elected officials, looming pension liabilities and substandard accounting in the tax office, El Pasoans will surely be soothed by the latest idea from City Hall: A publicly-funded water park.

El Paso city leaders are entertaining plans for a park, euphemistically announced Thursday as a “partnership” between a yet-to-be-named company and the good taxpayers of the city, the El Paso Times reports

During a news conference to talk about the city's bonds and the future of El Paso, City Manager Joyce Wilson said she couldn't provide further details on the water park, and that the company asked not to be identified yet.

Wilson said that the company has several other sites across the nation, and has expressed "serious interest" in El Paso. The venture would be a public-private partnership, with the city having to contribute financially to the project, Wilson said.

The news comes after El Paso voters on Tuesday approved the highest hotel tax in the state to build a new minor league baseball park downtown -- another project that has proven the city’s knack for numbers. City leaders may want to play down that 17.5 percent tax when wooing the tourists away from Schlitterbahn and Six Flags to their new water park.

In the meantime, we at Texas Watchdog have our fingers crossed that the unnamed private interest is Dolly Parton, who in September withdrew her backing for a water and snow park in Nashville. Just the ticket for our Texas desert climes.

***
Contact Lee Ann O’Neal at 713-980-9777 or leeann@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo of a child at Schlitterbahn water park by flickr user Galveston.com, used via a Creative Commons license.

Weslaco ISD threatens suit following newspaper’s report on wasteful spending
Friday, Nov 09, 2012, 11:09AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
money

As if to prove a point made by a Texas Education Agency investigation into financial mismanagement, Weslaco Independent School District trustees have threatened to spend taxpayer money to sue the local newspaper.

In dudgeon as high as only school boards can muster, Weslaco board members promised to take “any legal action necessary to preserve its rights,” unless the McAllen Monitor removes from its website a story based on the TEA audit and the text of a confidential memo sent to board members outlining the investigation’s results, the Monitor is reporting.

The story, published on Nov. 1, focuses on several criticisms by the TEA of decisions made under former Superintendent Richard Rivera for the school district, between McAllen and Harlingen.

For instance, diverting $2 million from a worker’s compensation fund to help build a press box for the football stadium, the audit said.

No one on the board is suggesting anything in the story or the audit is incorrect, not that that matters. What has the board particularly chapped is how its super-secret memo got leaked to the Monitor.

School district attorney Fernando Saenz, who has been putting all of this bile in letter form, pleaded attorney-client privilege for the memo, while acknowledging Texas laws that protect journalists from being made to give up their sources.

The letter to the Monitor, Saenz said - perhaps playing good cop to the school board’s bad - is really just a formality.

Steve Fagan, executive editor of the Monitor, is treating the threat as even less than that. The paper has no intention of removing the story. Any lawsuit based on the letter would be frivolous and unwinnable, Fagan said.

And if the district sued and lost, Fagan said, the newspaper would ask that its legal fees be repaid by the district. In others words, district taxpayers.

Or maybe there’s still a little left over in the worker’s compensation fund, if it hasn’t already been spent on a Jumbotron.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of money by flickr user 401 (K) 2012, used via a Creative Commons license.

Texas family services commissioner Howard Baldwin resigns, police investigate alleged cover-up in child abuse case
Friday, Nov 09, 2012, 10:33AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
stuffed animals

Howard Baldwin, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services commissioner, resigned Thursday amid an investigation into the death of a 22-month-old girl and the handling of it by the Department of Child Protective Services in Abilene.

Baldwin’s boss, Kyle Janek, executive commissioner of the state Department of Health and Human Services, would say only that Baldwin was leaving to pursue other interests and thanked him for his many years of public service, according to the Houston Chronicle today.

In Baldwin’s absence, CPS Regional Director Bit Whitaker, Program Director Gretchen Denny and supervisor Barbara McDaniel remain on paid leave as Abilene police look into allegations of a cover-up and tampering with evidence in the dehydration death of Tamryn Klapheke.

Howard BaldwinHoward Baldwin

The body of the girl and her sisters, 3 and 6 months old at the time, were found Aug. 28 in their mother’s home on Dyess Air Force Base where they had been alone without food and water for as much as a week, Abilene Police said.

Tiffany Klapheke has been charged in connection with the death and the neglect. She is being held in the Taylor County Jail.

The discovery of Tamryn’s body came six days after Claudia Gonzalez, a Child Protective Services caseworker, closed the third investigation of neglect by the family, the Chronicle reports.

Gonzalez had not visited the children nor had she gotten a necessary supervisor's signature to close the case. Gonzalez resigned.

In a search warrant obtained by Abilene Police, Whitaker, Denny and McDaniel are accused of tampering with evidence in the case.

No one with Child Protective Services has been charged in connection with the investigation.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of stuffed animals by flickr user The Eggplant, used via a Creative Commons license.

Formula 1 races in Austin later this month, courtesy of the taxpayers, but at what cost?
Thursday, Nov 08, 2012, 10:55AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
Formula 1

An event so stupendous, so gargantuan it threatens to shut down all of Austin demands from the city a plan so all-encompassing no one could possibly tell how much it might cost.

Which, judging from the way it has done business with the city, is just fine with Circuit of the Americas, which is bringing its show to the Capital City sometime next week for races Nov. 16-18.

While the public waits for a judge to decide whether it has the right to see how its tax money is involved with the Formula 1 event, Circuit officials aren’t quite sure how they might be reimbursing the city and Travis County for turning their sheriff’s, police, fire and streets departments over to them for some of that “Laissez les bons temps rouler-ing,” the Austin American-Statesman reports today.

The Statesman has so far done a bang-up job making whatever it can public about the European sport of the extremely well-to-do, from junkets offered to city officials to a plan to siphon off some of that free solar development money Austin Energy likes to give away.

City Manager Mark Ott has assured the hoi polloi the city is doing everything it can to keep costs down. A bill is being carefully kept for all of the public services including the master command center in East Austin and the auxiliary command centers at the track and in the middle of traffic downtown.

Just what that bill will read by the time the circus - we meant Circuit - moves to another glamorous town, Ott cannot say.

Circuit of the Americas needn’t worry. When it comes to things the city of Austin really wants, like a billion-dollar urban choo-choo or eliminating the blight of plastic grocery bags, it is worth it no matter what it costs.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of F1 race car by flickr user ash-brown, used via a Creative Commons license.

Pete Gallego, Randy Weber, Steve Stockman prevail in U.S. House races for Texas
Wednesday, Nov 07, 2012, 12:30PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
U.S. Capitol

Late into Tuesday night Democratic votes from the western border counties secured a seat in Congress for state Rep. Pete Gallego.

Gallego, of Alpine, took down first-term Republican Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco, of San Antonio, to represent the people of the 48,000-square-mile 23rd Congressional District.

In one of the few true swing district races, with Democratic and Republican support evenly split, Gallego won 51.7 percent of the vote to Canseco’s 44.2 percent, pulling away as the votes were counted after midnight.

The margin of victory was slightly higher than the five percentage points Canseco garnered to oust incumbent Democrat Ciro Rodriguez in 2010.

There were few obvious election night surprises in a state that remained from the top of the ticket to the bottom a Republican stronghold.

As expected, Texas voters gave Mitt Romney an easy victory over President Barack Obama, 57.2 percent to 41.4 percent, according to unofficial results compiled by the Secretary of State.

Romney’s percentage margin was higher than the 12 percentage point win for Sen. John McCain over Obama in 2008. Romney, however, received 4.5 million votes, only slightly higher than the 4.48 million McCain received.

And while Romney was failing to inspire his Republican base, Texas delivered 3.3 million votes to the president, down from 3.5 million votes four years ago.

In Harris, Dallas, Travis and Bexar counties vote totals for Obama and Romney were down compared to their counterparts in 2008. The margins favoring the Democrat for every county but Harris were virtually unchanged. Harris, which went slightly for Obama in 2008, split at exactly 49.35 percent for Romney and Obama.

All of the millions spent in District 23 did not mean a more motivated Republican Party. Canseco was thought to have an advantage as a native son of the city with the greatest number of precincts in the district.

But throughout the night the lead he built from Bexar County voters dribbled away as the count wended its way through 28 more counties and a Gallego majority in El Paso.

Canseco raised $2.5 million, spent $1.9 million of it through the middle of October and burned through roughly $3 million in outside political contributions that paid for a hard-hitting, negative advertising campaign.

Gallego spent nearly all of the $1.5 million his campaign raised and about the same amount as Canseco coming from national political groups.

The winner, who forged a reputation for working effectively in a Republican dominated House, disavowed the brutal politicking of the past several months in his victory statement last night.

Pete GallegoPete Gallego


“What you will get over the next two years is not a political person but someone who will reach across the aisle,” Gallego said, according to the San Antonio Express News.

Randy Weber, who had the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, will succeed him in representing the 14th District after beating former Congressman Nick Lampson in another race that early on was close.

Weber got 53.5 percent of the vote, Lampson 44.6 percent.

Gallego and Weber will be joined in the Texas congressional delegation by Steve Stockman, in one of the more improbable comebacks in Texas political history.

Stockman crushed Democrat Max Martin with 70.8 percent of the vote to represent District 36 in East Texas, one of four new Congressional districts created by the state’s population growth.

Steve StockmanSteve Stockman


Stockman, a born-again drifter who fell into the conservative movement, was elected to Congress in 1994, part of a mid-term Republican backlash during the Clinton presidency.

After a single term, Stockman knocked around conservative politics, losing in a bid to join the Railroad Commission in 1998 and failing to get his name on the ballot to run for Congress in 2006.

When the Legislature completed its map of Congressional districts, Stockman had a voter base that matched his fundamental conservatism.

At the other end of the political spectrum, after vanquishing eight-term U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes in a mud-spattered Democratic primary, Beto O’Rourke, a former El Paso city council member, thumped Republican Barbara Carrasco in District 16.

In District 33, another new district, state Rep. Marc Veasey became the first African-American from Fort Worth elected to Congress.

Another state representative, Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, twin brother of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, won easily Tuesday night and replaces retiring U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez as the representative for District 20.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo of U.S. Capitol building by flickr user Kevin Burkett, used via a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons License
Like this story? Then steal it. This report by Texas Watchdog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. That means bloggers, citizen-journalists, and journalists may republish the story on their sites with attribution and a link to Texas Watchdog. If you do re-use the story, e-mail news@texaswatchdog.org.

City officials in Texas take open meetings challenge to Supreme Court
Tuesday, Nov 06, 2012, 10:20AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
Jimmy Stewart

You knew they would. We said they would. The Texas city officials who continue to insist the Texas Open Meetings Act is unconstitutional are going to the Supreme Court.

William McKamie, one of the attorneys representing the group we fondly refer to as the Furtive Fifteen, told the Amarillo Globe-News the case belonged in the hands of the “guardians of the First Amendment.”

There is no guarantee the Supreme Court will agree to hear the case, and from the rulings in every lower court, as faithfully reported for more than a year-and-a-half  by your Texas Watchdog, the case more appropriately belongs in Sunday night’s recycling.

The courts have consistently upheld a 37-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Junell.

To recap once again, knowing full well there are 15 people in Texas who never tire of the story, city officials from across the state filed suit in 2009 contending the Texas Open Meetings Act restricted what they could say in public, violating their First Amendment rights.

In late September the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion that the Open Meetings Act is written to insure the public’s business will be done in public. Not exactly what the Furtives had in mind.

Former Texas Solicitor General James Ho, who represented the state when the suit was originally filed, told the Globe-News what mostly everyone but the Furtives and their lawyers are well aware of.

“Every court in the country to have ever faced a First Amendment challenge to an Open Meetings Act law has rejected the challenge and upheld the law,” Ho said.

Should it happen again, expect the Furtives to huddle up with their attorney, take in another viewing of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” and then file a request to start all over again in District Court.

As Jefferson Smith said, just before passing out on a bed of telegraph wires, “Somebody’ll listen to me, sss...”

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," the 1939 classic directed by Frank Capra.

High-dollar race for House District 23 features references to Jesus, gay marriage, and a rare eyeless spider
Monday, Nov 05, 2012, 04:12PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
spider

The most interesting political race after the July 31 runoffs in Texas was one of sharp images: a holy card Jesus; two young men kissing; a tiny eyeless spider. But above all, a dollar sign.

National political organizations have spent nearly $6 million on mostly negative advertising for incumbent U.S. Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco and his challenger, state Rep. Pete Gallego for the politically reconfigured, 48,000-square-mile District 23.

Canseco’s campaign has raised $2.5 million and spent $1.9 million of it through the middle of October, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filings. Gallego’s campaign has spent nearly all of the $1.5 million it raised.

All of this money has produced for prospective voters broad and sometimes garish portraits of a rigidly conservative Republican Canseco and a wildly liberal Democrat Gallego, images the two candidates have sometimes angrily attempted to refute.

But what it also fostered was a true swing district race none of the experts is confident to call, pitting two Hispanic candidates in a Hispanic majority district almost evenly split between Republicans and Democrats clustered in San Antonio and strung out to El Paso in all or parts of 29 counties.

Canseco got here by beating incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez by five percentage points in 2010. He was unopposed in the May 2012 Republican primary.

Gallego lost to Rodriguez in the May primary, but forced a runoff he won in July by a 55 percent to 45 percent margin.

Pete GallegoPete Gallego

During the primary Gallego’s staff presented their candidate, the first Hispanic to represent his District 74 when he was first elected in 1990, as a conciliator whose reputation in the House has been built on working with Republican majorities.

Gallego was, however, the choice of state Democratic party leadership to run in the newly created District 23 in spite of Ciro Rodriguez’ announced intention. There has been no mistaking, in his speeches and his ads, Gallego’s partisanship.

Gallego has repeatedly told voters Canseco’s political extremism is driving him to undo the entitlement system that protects the country’s most vulnerable people.

The Sierra Club sponsored radio advertising in Spanish charging that Canseco is in the pocket of major oil and gas companies, who have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Canseco’s campaign.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the League of Conservation Voters and the Democratic House Majority PAC are among the major donors who have given millions, mostly for television, print and radio ads.

On Oct. 25 former President Bill Clinton stumped for Gallego in San Antonio, crystallizing his attack on Canseco. "If you look at the campaign that's being run against Pete Gallego, it's your basic, standard tea party deal: 'The government would mess up a two-car parade, and God is on my side,'” Associated Press reported Clinton telling a crowd. "I don't want to get into a religious dispute. But the Bible that I read said the only time Jesus got really angry is when he had to run the money changers out of the temple."

Clinton’s reference to Jesus was a gossamer-veiled reference to a mailer sent to homes by the Canseco campaign in early October. At the top was the Jesus image with a caption that Gallego’s Democratic party had three times chosen not to include the word God in its party platform.

Below Jesus was a baby’s face, alleging that Gallego supported abortion for underage girls. And at the bottom next to the kissing men was a piece of a quote, “I really don’t have an issue,” meant to suggest Gallego’s support for gay marriage.

While Gallego has voted in favor of laws giving allowing minors to have abortions with the consent of their parents, he is opposed to same-sex marriage.

Francisco 'Quico' CansecoFrancisco 'Quico' Canseco

Canseco has repeatedly hammered on what he told reporters was Gallego’s intention to foist “European-style socialism” on the U.S.

Canseco, too, has gotten millions from outside sources, like  $1 million from the Congressional Leadership Fund, almost all of it for media.

In a last pitch for Canseco, A Better America Now, a conservative non-profit based in Florida underwrote a mailer circulating in the district insinuating Gallego is a job killer. The star of the ad is Cicurina Venii, sometimes known as the Braken Bat Cave meshweaver.

The discovery of this tiny, pellucid and very rare spider by an environmental consultant for the Texas Department of Transportation in early September has put a stop to a $15.1 million highway underpass project in northwest San Antonio.

The mailer made clear the problem. “Left-wing extremists think spiders are more important than jobs,” and  “Left-wing extremists support Gallego.”

In the 2008 presidential election Barack Obama beat John McCain in what is now this district by .61 percentage points. It remains to be seen whether a District 23 that has changed little politically since then will find spiders, or Jesus, or Bill Clinton, or babies more important on Tuesday.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of Braken Bat Cave meshweaver spider via UMass Lowell website.

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Grits for Breakfast
Governor signs omnibus innocence bill to track informants, record interrogations Governor Greg Abbott today signed HB 34, Texas' latest omnibus innocence legislation. Grits explained in this post why the eyewitness ID...
Update:1 year 7 months
Grits for Breakfast
Houston meeting of Texas Latino GOP PAC tomorrow evening From the InBox: The Texas Latino GOP PAC are the gatekeepers to the conservative Latino Community, for far too long GOP outreach to Latino...
Update:1 year 7 months
Big Jolly Politics
Sen. Joan Huffman to recap the 85th From the InBox: Join us THIS WEDNESDAY, June 14 (Flag Day!), for our meeting with State Sen. Joan Huffman, SD 17, who will be discussing...
Update:1 year 7 months
Big Jolly Politics
Gov. Abbott mistakes incarceration smell for "freedom" Governor Greg Abbott made a speech in Bell County recently declaring that, as one drove north out of Austin, one could notice a different...
Update:1 year 7 months
Grits for Breakfast
Unanswered questions about law-of-parties beyond death penalty In our podcast the other day, Texas Defender Service Executive Director Amanda Marzullo estimated that 10 percent of death-row defendants...
Update:1 year 7 months
Grits for Breakfast
Priorities The headline from the Victoria Advocate declaring that the Texas Legislature prioritized mental health treatment over incarceration is...
Update:1 year 7 months
Grits for Breakfast
Legislative Session The 85th Legislative Session was different in many ways. Two things changed the narrative this session. First, Empower Texans successfully...
Update:1 year 7 months
Big Jolly Politics
Court trends advise tempered enthusiasm for HB 34 eyewitness ID reforms Does this sound like a suggestive photo array to put before a witness?A witness described being robbed at gunpoint by a “[b]lack male,...
Update:1 year 7 months
Grits for Breakfast
MAY 22, 2917 / Theodore Dalrymple on secularization and transcendence THE SECULARIZATION of Europe is hardly any secret. Religion's long, melancholy, withdrawing roar, as Matthew Arnold put it, is a roar no...
Update:1 year 8 months
Unca Darrell
MAY 10 / James B. Comey . . . . . . needed firing. Everything he did during the 2016 election was wrong. He was wrong . . . . . . back in July to release information...
Update:1 year 8 months
Unca Darrell
Droppin' F bombs, Beto O'Rourke style It's not often that a politician decides to start cursing repeatedly during speeches and interviews. But that hasn't stopped...
Update:1 year 10 months
Rick Perry vs The World
APRIL 5, 2017 / Weeding out the audience at the Alley is . . . . . . a feature, not a bug. Houston's Alley Theatre is running "An Act of God," a loosely dramatized collection of irreverent one-liners...
Update:1 year 10 months
Unca Darrell
Statewide primary rumors It's that stage of the election cycle where politicians are trying to figure out if they should run for something else or stay put. ...
Update:1 year 10 months
Rick Perry vs The World
Is Ted Cruz vulnerable? Is Ted Cruz vulnerable? Not really. Sure, he's not liked, Texans think Ted puts Ted first, his approval rating is upside down, etc...
Update:1 year 10 months
Rick Perry vs The World
MARCH 16, 2017 / Jim Webb on what it means to be a redneck, and . . . . . . why redneck culture matters. In 2004 Jim Webb wrote Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. Though the 2016 presidential...
Update:1 year 10 months
Unca Darrell
MARCH 3, 2017 -- Goodbye, and thanks, to Thomas Sowell THOMAS SOWELL, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and one of America's most important public intellectuals, retired from...
Update:1 year 11 months
Unca Darrell
March 2, 2017 / The poem our teachers got wrong TWO ROADS diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Generations of commencement...
Update:1 year 11 months
Unca Darrell
FEBRUARY 27 / Eric Hoffer on . . . . . . baby boomers and alienated intellectuals. "SCRATCH AN INTELLECTUAL, and you find a would-be aristocrat who loathes the sight, the...
Update:1 year 11 months
Unca Darrell
2017 Project: January “Progress” There are two different ways to interpret my 2017 project: that it's a way more complicated New Years Resolution, or that it is essentially...
Update:2 years 1 week
Greg's Opinion
Ted Cruz's first senate term in a nutshell The National Review's Tim Alberta switched to Politico, and one of his opening pieces put Ted Cruz's first term in a nutshell It...
Update:2 years 1 week
Rick Perry vs The World
Andrea Parquet-Taylor named KTVT CBS 11 news director Former KHOU 11 assistant news director Andrea Parquet-Taylor named Vice President, News Director for KTVT CBS 11 Andrea...
Update:2 years 2 weeks
Mike McGuff
VIDEO: KPRC 2 10pm newscast (1-24-99) ...
Update:2 years 2 weeks
Mike McGuff
Democrats actually thought Wendy Davis was a serious candidate? Hat tip to Willisms: VIDEO- Wendy Davis being Wendy Davis: https://t.co/SHq3ACGVDJ #txlege— Will Franklin (@WILLisms) January 24,...
Update:2 years 2 weeks
Rick Perry vs The World
Luke Bryan to sing National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LI on FOX ​ Country music superstar LUKE BRYAN will sing the National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LI pregame festivities at NRG Stadium in Houston...
Update:2 years 3 weeks
Mike McGuff
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 6 years 8 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 6 years 8 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 6 years 8 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 6 years 8 months
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble http://t.co/4OfeBlrG (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 6 years 8 months
Great addition, been burned too much by bad subs. "Google Play Announces Free Trials For In-App Subscription Services" http://t.co/TOLgRVak
TxDOT | 6 years 8 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 6 years 8 months
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 6 years 8 months
Aren't State Dept career people suppose to be non-partisan? Not the political appointees, the career people. #Libya
San Antonio Current | 6 years 8 months
Go ahead, chalk it up http://t.co/YMWpC5wM #satx #chalkitup
Caller.com | 6 years 8 months
Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
Ballotpedia | 6 years 8 months
Does your state offer early voting? Do you qualify? Find out! #election2012 http://t.co/eodxBYVD
Dallas Morning News | 6 years 8 months
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) http://t.co/gURdYkj1
Caller.com | 6 years 8 months
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run: http://t.co/NgerCdsQ
Karen Townsend | 6 years 8 months
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 6 years 8 months
Diigo: United raises fares by up to $10 per round trip - Business - http://t.co/kWY8gwPV http://t.co/bw25JP5R
News 4 WOAI | 6 years 8 months
If you see news in or around San Antonio 'SEND IT' to @NEWS4WOAI here: http://t.co/uMqbMXQv OR email us at: NEWSDESK@WOAITV.COM
swamplot | 6 years 8 months
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold http://t.co/HMMBArMX
swamplot | 6 years 8 months
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway http://t.co/JXmkSx11
KFDA NewsChannel10 | 6 years 8 months
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues http://t.co/y3VrPfkM
Williamson County | 6 years 8 months
Mental Health Awareness Week FREE Webinar:"Understanding Depression-How to Help You or a Loved One" Thurs,Oct 11@1pm-https://t.co/YUWi19WY
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