Texoblogosphere: Week of April 7th

The Texas Progressive Alliance always comes in ahead of projections as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff analyzes precinct data in Harris County from the Democratic and Republican primary elections.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos learns Greg Abbott has not only invited creeps to advise his campaign but he has also brought a Tom DeLay minted crook on board. Abbott campaign pervaded by creeps and crooks.

Too many who need health insurance in Texas are intentionally being kept from getting it. WCNews at Eye on Williamson makes sure everyone know that If You Don’t Have Health Care In Texas Blame Rick Perry & The Texas GOP.

The social policies of Charles Murray, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a white nationalist, serve as inspiration for Greg Abbott’s education reform proposal. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs is shocked and awed that Abbott is making so many critical mistakes in his gubernatorial campaign.

Texas Democrats haven’t claimed a statewide elected office in 20 yrs, but after a rousing bus tour, Texas Leftist is convinced now more than ever that pharmacist, State Senator extraordinaire and Lt. Governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte has the prescription to change that.

Neil at All People Have Value offered the view that courtesy & a sense of self-worth without a feeling of superiority is a form of resistance in our society. All People Have Value is part of NeilAquino.com.

Kingwood Area Democrat Karen Menke wrote a timely op-ed in the Kingwood Observer about women’s rights. – EgbertoWillies.com.

Texpatriate releases an April Fool’s day issue of The Houston New Post.

And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Texas Redistricting charts the components of population change in 12 Texas counties.

Scott Braddock reports that some legislators are concerned that schools will not have the funds to implement some mandated reforms.

Jason Stanford explains how Texas women can win on equal pay.

Juanita can’t help but see the face of Tom DeLay in today’s Congress.

Dutch Small celebrated at the wedding reception of Houston Mayor Annise Parker and her wife Kathy Hubbard.

Christopher Hooks tries to pierce the conservative persecution complex that surrounds Republican SD02 candidate Bob Hall.

M1EK has a simple suggestion for where to locate a rail line.

Obama Visits Houston, Lambastes Congress

It appears that traffic frustration isn’t the only thing that President Obama stirred up during his recent visit to Houston.

After a somber appearance at Ft. Hood, the President and First Lady of the United States came to the Bayou City for some fundraisers in River Oaks and the Museum District. Here’s coverage from Reuters via Huffington Post

HOUSTON, April 9 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama sharply criticized what he called the least productive U.S. Congress in modern history on Wednesday in a fund-raising speech that he used to try to energize Democrats to vote in November congressional elections.

Obama blasted Republicans in the U.S. Senate for blocking a Democratic-supported bill earlier in the day aimed at addressing a gap in pay between male and female workers. Republicans argued that pay discrimination is already illegal.

Obama also cited Republicans’ refusal to agree to an immigration overhaul and an increase in the minimum wage as examples of what he called obstruction by his political opponents.

“This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory. And that’s by objective measures – just basic activity,” Obama said.


Obama said Republican “obstruction” this year may be a good political strategy if Democrats do not vote in the mid-terms. Democrats are active in presidential campaign years, he said, but “we have this congenital disease, which is in mid-term elections, we don’t vote at the same rates.”

“We need you to take these mid-terms as seriously as any presidential election that you’ve ever been involved in,” said Obama.

Though the 113th Congressional session isn’t yet over, President Obama is likely to be correct. This Congress is well on its way to being the least productive in history, and at this point in the year, it’s next to impossible to change that. Just 98 bills have left the House chamber since January of 2013.

Yet unlike the average American worker, Congress gets to do no work, keep its job and still get paid. Don’t forget that every legislator that represents us in Washington is getting paid a minimum of $174,000 per year to NOT legislate. Adding insult to injury, one of the few bills that could be passed this year is whether or not Congress deserves a raise. I am believer in the role of government, but this is just ridiculous. If we’re looking to cut a welfare program, Congressional pay is a GREAT place to start.

Blasting frustrations aside, there are very clear reasons for the degeneration of America’s legislative branch. The first one is of course money. Congressional campaigns have become so expensive that the average federal law-maker spends more time fund-raising than they do on anything else. It’s quite sickening that they are being paid to call donors just so they can keep their job.

And of course the little time that they are in session is spent in total disagreement. Thanks to the GOP’s calculated gerrymandering plan, this is the most divisive Congress in recent American history. Congressional questionnaires that have measured basic ideology over the years prove this fact. And because so few in Congress have to compete for voters in the middle of the political spectrum, the two parties continue to drive further and further away from each other.

Let’s hope that voters start taking notice of the waste happening on Capitol Hill this year. It’s really becoming too much to bear.