The 84th is spitting out legislation at an astounding rate lately, but it’s not a difficult task when you’re a one-party state. The only problem is that a one-party state creates one-sided legislation as well.
In the past, Texans could expect a smattering of purple legislation to offset the pain of austerity and conservatism, but all bets are off this session.
From cupcake amnesty to the unhinged tsunami of gun nuts in the offices of the Capitol, to panic buttons and Joni Ernst’s bread wrapper tale (i.e. we all suffer together, but I get Koch money!), governance, both in Congress and the Texas Lege, looks more like a romantic comedy sans the romance.
If another politician uses the word “mandate” in any of their self-congratulatory speeches, I’m going to scream. It's almost become an expletive.
Tuesday marks the beginning of the 84th Texas Legislative session, a reality show for those who seek entertainment, something akin to dog fighting for others, and a boon for political bloggers.
The class of the 84th is an ambitious group: the first day of filing saw 350 potential pieces of legislation and as of today, that count climbed to 758. That won’t be the final number because the last day to file is March, 13, 2015.
Since the ringing-in of the New Year, a long-line of daily swearing-in ceremonies for our newly-elected officials have taken place; from the new Land Commissioner, George P. Bush to the top lawyer of Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton, then on to the solemn oath taking of each of the members of the 114th Congress.
Forget about losing weight and quitting smoking, Texans need to resolve to pay more attention in 2015.
The recent controversies, suspected fraud, and backroom deals taking place within Texas state agencies are happening so fast that it’s hard to keep up. Procurement deals and outsourcing contracts for state services sail through the bureaucratic paces with barely a cursory examination.
And maybe it’s even possible that turning a blind eye is intentional.
Even Ebenezer Scrooge realized that corporate profits shouldn’t trump the rights of human beings.
Apparently, the city of Eloy, Arizona, the Corrections Corporation of America and Red McCombs haven’t learned that lesson yet.
Americans watched the Ruble crash, and in a scene reminiscent of Weimar, economically well-off Russians rushed, not to banks, but to stores, grabbing up commodities that would hold value better than Russia’s currency.
We cheered for lower gas prices and harbored a bit of schadenfreude at Putin’s fall from political grace.
With the worship of the Texas Miracle and the subsequent injection of oil and gas money into political races, it’s hard to believe that Texans didn’t see this coming.
As a result of voter blindness, Texas has a proxy government that’s calling all the shots and undermining the governance of the Texas Legislature.
The last place we should expect to hear hate speech is in church. Unfortunately, that’s exactly where the most recent hate speech is coming from—the pulpit. From the Westboro Baptist Church to Koran-burning-crazy Terry Jones, it seems to get worse every year.
I like Mondays. I look forward to Chris Hedges’ weekly column and I receive Congressman Randy Neugebauer’s newsletter.
Every week, the Congressman offers a survey question. The wording is consistently and laughably skewed toward the conservative views he represents. Maybe I'm the only one who's noticed this.
Yesterday’s survey question:
What is your priority for funding the government past December 11th?