Today in Texas History – April 16

Amor Prohibido - Wikipedia

From the Annals of Tejana Musica –  In 1971, Tejana superstar Selena Quintanilla Perez was born in Lake Jackson.  She was a Tejano superstar and attracted the then largest crowd in Astrodome history during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 1994. Her 1992 album Entre a Mi Mundo made her the first Tejana to sell more than 300,000 albums.  Her 1995 album Dreaming of You hit number one on the national Billboard Top 100 the week it was released.  Tragically, her career was cut short when she was shot by the founder of her first fan club on March 31, 1995 just as Selena was on the verge of becoming a huge crossover star.

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Quote for the Day

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“Notre-Dame de Paris is, in particular, a curious specimen of this variety. Each face, each stone of the venerable monument, is a page not only of the history of the country, but of the history of science and art as well.”

Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Dan Patrick Would Blow up the Texas Senate Just Because he Can

A very desperate Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (not his real name) threatened to use the so-called “Nuclear Option” to cram through a deeply flawed property tax bill that will shift the tax burden even more on to lower income Texans.   Here’s the deal, under long-standing Senate rules to take up debate on legislation, three-fifths of the Senate, or nineteen senators, must vote to move forward.  Patrick has warned that he will throw out the three-fifths rule.  This is called the “Nuclear Option” because it will destroy decades of tradition in the Senate, a body that has served as bulwark against bad legislation because the three-fifths rule requires consensus-building and reaching across the aisle.  Feckless Republican leadership was ready to go along with Patrick.

But on Monday, hold out Sen. Kel Selinger (R-Amarillo) relented and allowed the bill to come to the floor for debate despite his strong opposition to the substance.  It seems that Selinger (one of the only Texas Republicans with any backbone) was willing to allow bad legislation to proceed in order to preserve Senate tradition.  Selinger likely recognized that Patrick’s petulant behavior was the bigger danger in the long run than debating a very flawed tax bill.  Patrick could have won a pyric victory by exploding Senate consensus – a move that would have long term consequences should the Democrats ever regain power.

And the legislation itself?  Patrick’s bill would have capped property tax revenue growth for local governments, special taxing districts and school districts at 2.5 percent a year, a threshold that many local government officials have said is way too low and will negatively impact their ability to provide critical government services like police and fire protection.   As a compromise to get Selinger on board, the proposed legislation now sports a 3.5% annual cap.  In any event, local governments could exceed the cap with voter approval.  The real kicker, however, is the likely tie into a yet to be filed bill that will increase the state sales tax by 1%.  That is the most regressive form of taxation and will likely pass.

Today in Texas History – April 15

From the Annals of the Supreme Court – In1869, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Texas v. White which essentially eviscerated the argument of individual state sovereignty apart from the Union.  The SCt ruled that Texas still had the right to sue in the federal courts despite having seceded in 1861.  Texas has sued for an injunction prohibiting George W. White and others from transferring U.S. issued bonds they purchased from the secession-era Texas State Military Board during the Civil War.  The bonds had been issued to Texas as part of the Compromise of 1850, but at the time of the Civil War not all such bonds had been issued.  Texas sold the bonds to raise funds durng the war.  After the war, the US Treasury refused to redeem the war-issued bonds.  Texas sued to reclaim the bonds from the purchasers.  Under Article III, section 2 of the US Constitution, which provides original jurisdiction in the Supreme Court in cases where the State is a party, Texas sued directly in the U.S. Supreme Court   At the SCt, the issue turned on whether Texas, having seceded and not having completed Reconstruction, had status in the Union and therefore the right to sue as a federal court.  Texas argued that the Union was indestructible and Texas’ status as a state remained unchanged by the war.  White argued that Texas, by seceding from the Union and waging war against the United States, had lost the status of a state in the Union and therefore had no right to sue in the SCt. In a five-to-three decision authored by Chief Justice S. P. Chase, the court held the Union to be indestructible and thus not dissoluble by any act of a state, the government, or the people.

Quote for the Day

“The Nazis enforced their laws as well. You don’t separate children from their families! Ever! You’d have to kill me to take my child from me simply because I was trying to get them to a better place for a better tomorrow. I am glad to be on the right side of history.”

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo – shaming the “family values” wing of the GOP.

Note that Red approves of playing the Nazi card whenever appropriate and when dealing with the administration of Trumph – the Insult Comic President – it is unfortunately all too often appropriate.

The Curse of Ted Cruz

The Curse Of Ted Cruz

No the “Curse of Ted Cruz” is not the fact that Texas has a spineless weasel (willing to supplicate at the personality cult alter of the man who insulted his father and wife and gave him the forever epithet of “Lyin’ Ted”) as its junior senator.  That is bad enough, but the curse is something entirely different and applies to LT’s use of twitter selfies at big Texas sporting events.

Red is firmly of the belief that Lyin’ Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) could and should be blamed for anything bad that happens.  And Cruz seems to have an especially pernicious effect on Texas sporting outcomes.  Many are blaming his premature (and pathetic) selfie from the National Championship game last night as laying the last second curse on Texas Tech’s chances at a title.  Red will bite.  Curse you, Ted Cruz and your sports curse.  Keep your smarmy whiskered face out of our sporting events.  And as far as Red knows, you have no connection whatsoever to Texas Tech.  So why were you gravy training and why were you  sitting in the cheap seats?

Trump is a Golf Cheat

Sportswriter Rick Reilly’s new book Commander in Cheat – How Golf Explains Trump details Individual 1’s cheating ways on the green field of honor.  As a longtime golfer, Red understands that golf is a gentleman’s game where the players largely call penalties on themselves and follow the rules because it is the right thing to do.  Red has played with some cheats over the years.  One playing companion (for a short while) could only be described as “The Master of the Leather Wedge.”  And is one thing to cheat yourself so that you can feel better about a friendly Saturday afternoon round by taking a mulligan or two, but it is entirely another to cheat when you are in an actual tournament or there is money on the line.  Apparently, Individual 1 cheats in both of those situations and any golfer worth his salt knows that such behavior tells you everything you need to know about the man.  Trump claims some absurd number of bogus club championships and claims a 2.8 handicap.  Pro golfers in there 70s don’t have 2.8 handicaps.  By all accounts Trump is an above average golfer, but that’s not good enough for someone with an extreme narcissistic personality disorder for whom every waking moment is an exercise in personal glorification and continued building of the worst personality cult that our country has ever seen.  And it’s not like there wasn’t enough information out there to inform the public that Trump’s entire life story presented to the public in his 2016 campaign is just one giant lie after another.  But this is golf!  This is a line in the sand!  If you are a golfer and still support this lying, cheating pathetic excuse for a human being, then you have no honor.  And Red is done with you.