Today in Texas History – March 24

From the Annals of Coahuila y Tejas – In 1825, the Mexican Congreso General  passed the State Colonization Law of March 24, 1825. The act was intended to foster migration (particularly from the United States) to the largely uninhabited  parts of the state of  Coahuila y Tejas.  The act had provisions that attracted land-hungry Anglo settlers.   They  could obtain a square league (approx. 4430 acres) of range land and a labor (177 acres) of farmland for a small price.  The act also provided tax relief for a period of time.  Immigrants had to swear allegiance to the federal and state constitutions, adopt the Catholic faith and display sound moral principles and good conduct.  Person who accepted the terms would be naturalized as Mexican citizens.  It was under this act that  Empresarios Stephen F. Austin, Green DeWitt and others began Anglo colonization of Texas.

Saints Showing Interest in Johnny Football?

NBC Sports is reporting that New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton is possibly interested in signing disgraced former Texas A&M and Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel as a backup to Drew Brees.

In New Orleans, Manziel would have no chance of earning a starting job, but he could earn a spot as a backup to Brees, where he’d learn from a veteran quarterback and perhaps get himself ready to be a starter some day.

Still, talking to Manziel and actually signing him are two very different things. If the Saints were convinced that Manziel was ready to put his personal problems behind him and contribute to a team, they could have signed him already, and they haven’t done so.

Johnny Football, New Orleans, Bourbon Street, Drive-Through Liquor Stores, Bars open until 4 a.m.   –  What could possibly go wrong?

Rick Perry Challenges Results of Election of Gay Student as President of Texas A&M Student Body

Proving that our former Poor Idiot Governor is still an idiot, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has decided to weigh in on the election of a university student body president.  The student in question is Bobby Brooks who was the first openly gay student to be elected as Student Body President at Texas A&M University.  Perry, the first Aggie to serve as Texas Governor, claims that the election was stolen from Robert McIntosh – son of a major Republican fundraiser and Donald Trump supporter.  McIntosh won the election by 750 votes but was disqualified by the student election commissioner after accusations because of accusations of voter intimidation.   A&M’s judicial court — the university’s version of a student supreme court — overturned McIntosh’s disqualification, ruling there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove he intimidated voters. The court did find, however, that McIntosh  failed to disclose financial information for glow sticks briefly featured in a campaign video and he was thus, disqualified.  Brooks, who came in second place in the election, was named the victor.

Perry, apparently not busy enough managing America’s energy needs, decided to weigh in in commentary published by the Houston Chronicle.  Perry played the race card in questioning the decision of A&M students.

The desire of the electorate is overturned, and thousands of student votes are disqualified, because of free glow sticks that appeared for eleven seconds of a months-long campaign,” Perry wrote. “Apparently glow sticks merit the same punishment as voter intimidation.

What if Mr. Brooks had been the candidate disqualified? Would the administration and the student body have allowed the first gay student body president to be voided for using charity glow sticks? Would the student body have allowed a black student body president to be disqualified on anonymous charges of voter intimidation?

Here is a suggestion, former Governor Good Hair. Mind your own frigging business. If the son of one of Trump’s sycophants can’t follow the rules, just butt out.  And if for some reason you don’t have enough to do, call up Donald Trump and tell him you need work.

Today in Texas History – March 23

From the Annals of Lying Ted – In 2015, Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) announced that he would seek the GOP nomination for President.  Cruz who had held elective office for less than 2 years and was widely reported to be the most hated man in the U.S. Senate seemed a long shot at the time but stunned observers by winning the Iowa Caucuses.  That win kept him in the race for the long haul.  Cruz racked up several more primary and caucus wins including Texas.  Cruz’s campaign, however, was dogged by accusations and proof of various “dirty tricks” including a misinformation campaign about Ben Carson before the Iowa Caucus and a smear campaign against Marco Rubio.  These problems resulted in Donald Trump (amazingly now it seems) tagging his as “Lying Ted.”  In the end, Cruz was unable to match the bombastic firepower of Donald Trump and was forced to suspend his campaign after losing in Indiana.  There was talk of Cruz attempting to engineer a brokered convention but that fell apart with Trump’s closing rush.  It is hard to say how the losing run will affect Cruz’s political future.  He seems certain to draw an opponent in the Republican primary in 2018.

On a personal note, Red can state that within in 10 minutes of meeting Ted Cruz (well before he became a major public figure), he was convinced that he was about the most obnoxious person he had ever met.

Interstate 14 is Coming (cont.)

The first 25 miles of Interstate 14, or I-14 are nearing completion and will likely be opened near Fort Hood in Killeen before summer.  The first segment is a conversion of US 190 to Interstate condition and status.  The segment runs west from I-35 in Belton is intended to provide direct access to the main gate at Fort Hood in Killeen.

The purported intent of I-14 is to provide improved highway connections between U.S. Army facilities at Fort Hood, Fort Bliss and Fort Polk and the military deployment ports at Beaumont and Corpus Christi.  I-14 is the result of the 2015 act of Congress created the Central Texas Corridor generally along the US 190 route.   Various groups are pushing for expansion of the project to provide Interstate access  to San Angelo and a connection with I-20 in Midland-Odessa.

Today in Texas History – March 22

From the Annals of Reconstruction – In 1866, the Texas State Central Committee of Colored Men met for the first time in Austin.  The group was founded to address the concerns  of African Americans arising after the conclusion of the Civil War.  The group was one of the first to focus on the social, economic and political problems facing freed former slaves and free blacks.  Jacob Fontaine, a Baptist minister, presided over the convention. Fontaine was also the publisher of The Gold Dollar, said to be the first black newspaper published in Austin and the greater Travis County area. The promise of real freedom was short-lived in Texas as successive Republican administrations abandoned efforts to fully integrate African Americans into American social and political institutions.  It would be another hundred years before minorities in Texas would obtain full federal protection for their rights.  Ironically, it would be a president from Texas who shepherd through the required legislation.

Beto O’Rourke to Take on “Lying Ted”?

The Austin American-Statesman reports that Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso may take on Senator “Lying” Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) in 2018 – that is assuming LTC survives a likely Republican primary challenge.  O’Rourke, little known outside of far west Texas, raised his profile by taking a road trip with Republican Congressman Will Hurd when neither could get a flight back to DC due to weather.

Beto O’Rourke had, it seemed, already made up his mind he was going to run for Ted Cruz’s U.S. Senate seat next year.

But among the many hurdles the three-term Democratic congressman from El Paso would face, semiobscurity seemed hard to crack. He was little known outside of his hometown — no El Paso native has ever won statewide office — despite recent trips to virtually every corner of the state to raise his profile.

That changed Tuesday, when O’Rourke and his colleague, Will Hurd, a second-term Republican from Helotes, found themselves unable to fly from San Antonio into snowbound Washington in time for some House votes Wednesday. Instead, at O’Rourke’s instigation, they rented a Chevy Impala and hit the road for the nation’s capital.

Thus was born a 30-hour bipartisan road trip (plus four hours sleeping at a Nashville, Tenn., hotel), much of it streamed on Periscope and Facebook Live, that O’Rourke from the outset described as the “longest cross-country livestream town hall in the history of the world,” and which over the course of their 1,600-mile journey garnered encouragement from politicians of both parties, 2.6 million views online and the kind of avalanche of positive media coverage that most politicians will never see in a lifetime.