Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"What's good for me is good for a lot of people," said the bill's sponsor, Republican doctor Stuart Spitzer, who also pointed out that he himself practiced abstinence until marriage. (Gag)

Posted by Jezebel on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Adrienne Honors Selena with ‘I Could Fall in Love’ Performance

YOUR TURN: Should the texting and driving ban go statewide?

Posted by myFOXaustin on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Texas Department of Public Safety wants $123 million in the next budget for border operations, but can't show what...

Posted by Texas Tribune on Monday, March 30, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Missing boy was former Houston officer's son - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Missing boy was former Houston officer's son - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Jimmy and Guillermo Play “Piñatas and Tequila”

While playing an epic game of "Piñatas and Tequila."

Posted by Latina Magazine on Sunday, March 29, 2015

Revisit one of TribTalk's most-read columns so far this year: "I think it is finally time to recognize and remember the full scope of our Civil War story," 13-year-old Jacob Hale writes.

Posted by Texas Tribune on Sunday, March 29, 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Most Prolific Serial Killer In History - Amelia Dyer -The Baby Farm ...

The Horrific World of England's Workhouse (Full Documentary)

The attorney general’s office has provided cost estimates for 29 of the cases against the Obama administration, which totaled about $4.25 million.So what did Texans get for their money?

Posted by Texas Women's Coalition on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

The hearing to repeal in-state tuition for Dreamers has been set for 8:00 am this Monday in the Border Security...

Post by Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus.

Trust us, you and your friends will thank us in a few months.

Posted by Houston Chronicle on Friday, March 27, 2015

Efforts to ditch a law that allows some undocumented students to pay in-state college tuition appear to be on a fast...

Posted by Texas Tribune on Friday, March 27, 2015

Our public schools are in danger of losing even more funding. We all need to push back against this effort to divert...

Posted by Texas Organizing Project on Friday, March 27, 2015

The plan includes more than two dozen immediate, mid-term and long-term solutions.

Posted by The KVUE Insider on Friday, March 27, 2015

Joséphine Baker: The 1st Black Superstar

The Murder Of Emmett Till - Documetary in HD

Tirangle Shirtwaist Fire 1911

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Texas House OKs Ban on Texting While Driving

*Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

The Texas House on Wednesday tentatively approved a ban on texting while driving, a measure that made it to Gov. Rick Perry's desk in 2011 before getting vetoed. 

House Bill 80 by state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, passed 102 to 40. It would make texting while driving a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $99 on the first offense and $200 for additional infractions. 

If the House gives the measure final approval — which is likely — it will then head to the Senate.

“The main thing we need to say is, it is a safety issue in this state — driving is not a privilege,” Craddick, the former House speaker, told lawmakers on Wednesday. “It’s our responsibility as legislators to put forth the tools that the [Department of Public Safety] and other police officers in this state need to make it safe on our highways and streets.”

 Six amendments were tacked onto the bill, including one that clarifies that cities can still pass their own ordinances, another that lets drivers text if they are completely stopped and a third that states that simply looking at a phone screen is not prohibited.

The bill also requires the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to erect signs alerting drivers to the ban in prominent locations, and where drivers enter the state on highways.

Craddick faced pushback on the bill from several lawmakers, including state Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston.

“This bill opens an opportunity for everybody in the state of Texas to be pulled over because a police officer may believe that they are texting,” Dutton said. 

Dutton held up his phone and asked Craddick if he could tell whether he was texting or not. Craddick said he could not tell.

 “I think this is no different [than] if you were speeding and pulled over, drinking and pulled over, or weaving down the road and pulled over,” Craddick said. 

Forty cities in Texas — including Austin, El Paso and San Antonio — have bans on texting while driving, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. In addition, 44 states ban text messaging while driving.

Whether a statewide bill could make it into law is still unclear. Gov. Greg Abbott indicated while campaigning that he was against both statewide and local bans. He has since said it was premature for him to say whether he would veto a texting-while-driving ban. 

"Gov. Abbott will consider any bill passed by the Legislature with the goal of making Texas better," said John Wittman, an Abbott spokesman.

Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, has filed a companion measure in the upper chamber — Senate Bill 25. 

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/25/texas-house-texting-while-driving/.

Video: Opinions on Ted Cruz in Times Square

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/26/video-opinions-on-ted-cruz-in-times-square/.

Regents to Vote on UT-Austin President

Regents to Vote on UT-Austin President

The University of Texas System Board of Regents is expected to name University of Texas at Austin provost Gregory Fenves the sole finalist for the flagship's presidency in a Friday morning meeting, sources close to the proceedings say. 

The regents will meet privately in a telephone conference call that is expected to begin at 8:30 a.m. 

Fenves would replace outgoing UT-Austin President Bill Powers, who is widely respected on campus and among UT alums but has been a thorn in the side for system leadership and certain regents. Up until last week, Fenves wasn't the frontrunner for the job; Oxford Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton was, but he accepted the New York University presidency instead. 

Because of Fenves' close ties with Powers and Powers' rocky relationship with the board, a few regents oppose his candidacy. But the nine-member board only needs a simple majority — just five votes — to name Fenves the sole finalist. 

Outside of Fenves, UT-Dallas President David Daniel is the only other candidate left on the regents' initial short list, though he is no longer believed to be in the running. Before Hamilton took the NYU job, Joseph Steinmetz, executive vice president and provost at Ohio State University, also withdrew from consideration. 

Before becoming UT-Austin's executive vice president and provost in 2013, Fenves was the school's dean of engineering, where he raised millions of dollars for the university. Fenves also served as the chairman of the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/26/regents-meeting-friday-next-ut-austin-president/.

Perry is Texas Monthly's Bum Steer of the Year

Oops, they did it again.

For only the second time in its history, Texas Monthly has named a Texas governor its Bum Steer of the Year. The first was Dolph Briscoe, who earned the distinction, if you can call it that, back in 1976. This year, Gov. Rick Perry takes the (booby) prize, thanks to a stumbling presidential campaign that has been grade-A fodder for late night talk show hosts and cable TV comics.

In a note accompanying the unveiling of the January 2012 cover, editor Jake Silverstein acknowledges that his staff was reluctant to "confer the lowest honor on our highest office" — if only in a show of solidarity against the "Texas-mocking Yankee press." But Perry's now-infamous brain freeze in the middle of a GOP debate pushed them over the edge.

"The end came swiftly, in a matter of seconds," Silverstein writes. "Fifty-three of them, to be exact: the time it took the governor to go from trying in vain to name the third agency of government he would shutter as president to giving up and muttering—in a phrase that will surely go down, should his campaign expire, as its perfect epitaph—'Oops.' In that moment all our resistance melted away, and we rushed, shaking our heads in disbelief, into the arms of our unquestionable 2012 Bum Steer of the Year. We didn’t want to, but we had to."

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2011/12/15/no-surprise-perry-tm-bum-steer-year/.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Latino Community Does Not Forget...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cruz Wants to Upend Laws on Contraception, Gay Rights

Editor's note: This story has been edited for length. 

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a conservative torchbearer and potential presidential contender, turned his attention to local D.C. politics this week by introducing a measure in Congress to upend one new city law regarding discrimination over reproductive health decisions and another to keep religiously affiliated colleges in the nation’s capital from having to fund gay and lesbian student groups.

The measures, known as disapproval resolutions, could in theory halt local laws passed last year by the Washington, D.C. Council and signed by the city’s mayor. But to do so, Cruz’s measures would require support of both chambers of Congress and the signature of President Obama.

Although rarely successful at stopping D.C. laws, the resolutions are often more effective politically, giving members of Congress legislative records to build bona fides with constituent groups that feel strongly about the District’s often liberal stances on social issues.

On the two issues at hand, there are more than a few with strong feelings.

Last month, more than a dozen prominent conservative groups and Catholic institutions asked Capitol Hill leaders to overturn the two D.C. laws, calling them “unprecedented assaults upon our organizations.”

The laws would restrict the ability of private groups to discriminate based on religious beliefs. One, the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014, would prevent employers from taking action against workers based on their decision to use birth control or seek an abortion. The other, the Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014, repeals a longstanding, congressionally imposed measure exempting religiously affiliated educational institutions from the city’s gay nondiscrimination law. 

As is the case for all D.C. laws, the two are now under a mandatory 30-day review period before Congress. Without congressional action, they could take effect as early as next month. That happened last month with the city’s marijuana-legalization law, when, despite threats from House Republicans, no lawmaker introduced a measure to stop it. Some Republicans feared a vote on marijuana legalization could expose a rift between conservative and libertarian wings of the party.

Asked about the measures Wednesday while walking through the U.S. Capitol, Cruz referred questions to his office, which did not immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment.

In a statement, Kimberly Perry, head of D.C. Vote, an organization that lobbies for voting representation for the District in Congress, criticized the effort as counter to Republicans’ belief in greater states’ rights.

Perry called on “every other member of Congress to step up and see this for exactly what it is — un-American and un-democratic.”

Religious groups were more pleased. “These bills are serious violations of religious freedoms,” said Casey Mattox, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group. “We are pleased members of Congress are taking them seriously.”

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/19/cruz-wants-upend-laws-contraception-gay-rights/.

Texas Lawmakers Consider "Parent Trigger" Schools Law

Hoping to prompt parent involvement and quicker turnarounds at struggling schools, Texas lawmakers are considering a controversial policy known as a "parent trigger" law. 

A state Senate panel heard testimony Thursday on legislation allowing parents of students at underperforming public schools to campaign to make changes at their campuses — including hiring new staff, contracting with a charter school operator to take over management or closing the school altogether.

Texas passed a version of this law in 2011, but it has gone largely unused because it applied only to campuses that had been rated "unacceptable" by the state for five years or more. 

Senate Bill 14, from state Sen. Larry Taylorwould lower the number of years needed to prompt action under the law to two.

"You take five years from an elementary school child? They’re never going to catch up," said Taylor, R-Friendswood, who added that the bill provided a "viable way" for parents to advocate for their children. 

Opponents of the policy say it creates conflict instead of positive engagement within local communities, and can often mean turning over control of schools to third-party charter management companies. 

"Our concern on this bill is the profit motive that could be driven by some educational management organizations," John Gray of the Texas State Teachers Association told senators on Thursday. "You are calling it a parent empowerment law, but looking at the for-profit motive, once those parents sign the petition they are done."

They also point to questions about how the process has played out in other states, where parents have complained they were misled into signing petitions by charter operators looking to take over neighborhood schools. 

California passed the first parent trigger law in 2010. Five states besides Texas — Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio — have passed versions of the law since then.

Gabe Rose, who represents Parent Revolution, a group that has worked to implement the law in California, told senators on Thursday that it had served as a "powerful catalyst for district-parent partnerships."

Though he said it was "too early to have a lot of meaningful academic results," Rose said parents at six different schools had used the law to push for changes, noting that only one of those resulted in an outside charter school taking over management. 

In addition to Taylor, who is the chairman of the Senate's education committee, the proposal has the support of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who named it among his top legislative priorities for education.    

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/19/texas-considers-parent-trigger-law/.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The stabbing of Dr. King: New documentary delves into Izola Curry mystery by Brittany Tom | March 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Post by PBS.

Traffick Jam: Democrats Filibuster Human Trafficking Bill Over Anti-Abortion Provision Posted: 03/17/2015 Jennifer Bendery Headshot Jennifer Bendery Become a fan jen.bendery@huffingtonpost.com Email Amanda Terkel Headshot Amanda Terkel Become a fan aterkel@huffingtonpost.com

Monday, March 16, 2015

CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE [Banned Discovery Channel Documentary]

2015 Dyeing the Chicago River Green for St. Patricks Day - Time-lapse

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Become a Park Volunteer -Discovery Green, Houston, Texas

Become a Park Volunteer -Discovery Green, Houston, Texas

Texas fraternity under fire for reportedly forbidding “deuschbags,” “Mexicans” and interracial dating

Texas fraternity under fire for reportedly forbidding “deuschbags,” “Mexicans” and interracial dating

“We’re f**king cuckoo! Cuckoo bananas!”: Jon Stewart rips the GOP Senators’ letter to Iran

“We’re f**king cuckoo! Cuckoo bananas!”: Jon Stewart rips the GOP Senators’ letter to Iran

Artist Uses Period Pads To Spread Feminist Message

Artist Uses Period Pads To Spread Feminist Message

Monday, March 9, 2015

Austin is the most wildlife-friendly city in America Natalie Groves, @NatalieGroves 12:31 p.m. CDT

Bipartisan Bill in Congress Would Send More OB-GYNs to Underserved Rural Areas Emily Crockett by Emily Crockett, Federal Policy Reporter, RH Reality Check March 9, 2015 - 9:52 am

Amazon Prime For Women

RIP Sam Simon

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

Statewide text ban supporters hope third time's the charm

Even the voting problems are bigger in Texas http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/battleground-texas-report-voting-laws-registration-wendy-davis via @MotherJones


ALERT: Texas Senate Republicans Set Hearing on Anti-Latino Bill Posted on March 6, 2015 |


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dalea Lugo Political Blogger :: Watch live streaming video from nowcastsa at lives...

Dalea Lugo Political Blogger :: Watch live streaming video from nowcastsa at lives...: Watch live streaming video from nowcastsa at livestream.com
Watch live streaming video from nowcastsa at livestream.com

Committee Passes Second Chance Bill For Seniors

*Editor's Note. Updates to include that GPA requirement is eliminated from bill language.

A bill that could give Texas public high school seniors who have failed the state's mandatory exams a chance to graduate this May was approved by the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

State Sen. Kel Seliger's bill gives school officials the option to graduate students who have failed state exams if they meet certain criteria.

“This is a great first step towards addressing a very pressing situation in the current school year for students who may not graduate with their class, but deserve to,” said Seliger, R-Amarillo.

The bill would allow school districts to set up panels made up of educators, counselors and parents to weigh factors like grades, college entrance exam scores and attendance to determine whether a student should get a diploma despite state standardized exam performances. To graduate under the legislation’s alternative route, pass all courses required for graduation and receive a unanimous vote from the review panel. A requirement that the student also have a minimum 2.0 grade point average was eliminated from the bill to make it easier for school districts, with their varying GPA standards, to apply. 

The bill is expected to make it to the Senate floor within the next few weeks. It cannot go to a Senate vote immediately unless lawmakers agree to suspend the 60-day rule which bars votes on legislation not designated as an emergency by the governor during the session's first two months.

Seliger's Senate Bill 149 comes two years after lawmakers voted unanimously to drop the number of required state exams from 15 to five for high school students.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/04/committee-passes-second-chance-bill-seniors/.

Et tu, Rick? Perry Has Own Private Email Trail

While Rick Perry has joined Republicans casting stones at Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account while she was secretary of state, it seems the former governor is not without sin.

Perry was among the first potential 2016 presidential candidates to chime in on revelations that Clinton conducted government business entirely on a personal email account. On Tuesday morning, Perry said the findings add to a “pattern ... of non-transparency” surrounding Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president in 2016. 

“It’s an ethical issue that’s going to have to be addressed,” Perry said during an interview on Fox News, tying the issue to other revelations about the Clinton Foundation taking money from foreign countries while she was the United States’ top diplomat.

However, Perry is no stranger to using a personal email account to discuss state business, according to two lawmakers familiar with email exchanges involving the governor that surfaced two years ago. The extent to which Perry used his personal account over the years in unclear, but legislators and open-government advocates said it seriously undercuts his criticism of Clinton.

“In reviewing non-confidential documents related to the UT Board of Regents investigation and reviewing public testimony by Regent [Brenda] Pejovich of the UT Board of Regents, it’s clear to me based on that review that then-Gov. Perry was using a private email account to communicate with members of the Board of Regents,” said state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, who sits on a special House panel on transparency in state government. 

“I just think sometimes it’s wise for Gov. Perry to sort of look in the mirror before he looks at his talking points,” Martinez Fischer added.

Martinez Fischer’s account was confirmed by former state Rep. Naomi Gonzalez, who said Wednesday the situation raised a “red flag.”

“It did set off an alarm for me that Gov. Perry would be doing state business on personal email,” said Gonzalez, an El Paso Democrat who also sat on the committee.

Martinez Fischer and Gonzalez both sat on the House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations as it looked into turmoil on the University of Texas System Board of Regents. At a meeting of the panel in 2013, Martinez Fischer brought up the emails in question, some of which were then obtained by The Texas Tribune. The emails, in which Perry is identified as only "RP," show him corresponding with a number of UT regents as well as Jeff Sandefer, a prominent Republican donor and informal adviser to Perry.

Without addressing the claims by Martinez Fischer and Gonzalez, Perry’s team on Wednesday defended his use of email while governor.

“The Governor’s Office complied with state law regarding email correspondence,” Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said. “While serving as governor of Texas, Gov. Perry’s emails were requested and released through public information requests.”

Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, said Perry may not have broken the law, but did not act in the full interest of transparency. Using a personal email address makes it harder to track down messages related to state government, she said. 

“Good governance dictates that public officials be transparent and make their records easily available to the public,” Shannon said. “It’s just a matter of good government."

Perry’s case illustrates the political challenge some Republicans face as they seek to capitalize on the controversy surrounding Clinton without inviting scrutiny of how their own offices use or used email. For example, even as he criticizes Clinton, Democrats are pointing out that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had his own private email account during his gubernatorial tenure. Bush last month released a trove of emails from his time as governor, a move he was quick to point out Monday night after The New York Times revealed Clinton’s email activities.

Joe Larsen, a First Amendment attorney, called it hypocritical for Perry to criticize Clinton for apparently skirting email disclosure when he was frequently criticized for doing the same as governor. Perry’s office took heat over the years for deleting emails every seven days, a period Gov. Greg Abbott extended to 30 days immediately when he took office in January.

“Quite frankly, it’s ridiculous for Perry to be out there complaining about Clinton because his situation is no better, if not worse,” said Larsen, who sits on the board of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

Records from Perry’s gubernatorial tenure are currently being archived by the Texas State Library. Stephen Siwinski, a spokesman for the library, said Wednesday that the archive will include some emails between Perry and his staff, but library officials have not yet determined whether those exchanges involved personal addresses.  

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/04/perry-faces-transparency-questions-after-clinton-r/.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jon Stewart: Republicans gave Netanyahu ‘the longest bl*wjob a Jewish man has ever received’

Jon Stewart: Republicans gave Netanyahu ‘the longest bl*wjob a Jewish man has ever received’

Jon Stewart: Republicans gave Netanyahu ‘the longest bl*wjob a Jewish man has ever received’

Jon Stewart: Republicans gave Netanyahu ‘the longest bl*wjob a Jewish man has ever received’

Ronda Rousey Record 14 second fight DAMN! UFC184 - #14Seconds cat zingano

Monday, March 2, 2015

Black History Month | Because Of Them, We Can – Maya Angelou | Nick

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spock's Death and Funeral

THE HUNTING GROUND - Official Trailer

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Political Trip Fundraiser