Category Archives: Uncategorized

Judge throws out contested Pierce/Jones election

I was at an event on Wednesday night so I didn’t see this until later in the evening. I didn’t have the best night’s sleep that night, I’ll tell you. A visiting judge from Bexar County on Wednesday ordered a … Continue reading

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Texas Medical Board’s abortion guidance is a mess

I have three things to say about this. Doctors who perform life-saving abortions may soon be required to document whether they first tried to transfer the patient to another facility to avoid terminating the pregnancy, a move some say goes … Continue reading

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Spring Branch ISD single member district lawsuit on hold as federal courts screw around with VRA

Frustrating. A federal lawsuit that aims to change Spring Branch ISD’s election system to bring more representation to the school board will likely be delayed for months, pending decisions in several other cases that could impact the legality of the … Continue reading

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The case of the no-evidence lawsuit

The lack of evidence in the Harris County election lawsuits is so glaring, I don’t know how we’re talking about anything else. In the weeks following Harris County’s November election, 22 Republican candidates who lost their races filed lawsuits challenging the … Continue reading

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Meanwhile, in Ken Paxton crime news…

Paxton buddy Nate Paul loses an appeal on the contempt charges against him. The Austin real estate investor accused of bribing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton still faces 10 days in jail for contempt of court, after losing an appeal. … Continue reading

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Won’t someone think of the catchers?

There’s at least one constituency affected by the looming future of robo umps that isn’t so sure about the whole thing. While pitch clocks, bigger bases and other rules changes debut this year at the major league level, the Automated Ball-Strike System will receive its … Continue reading

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I’ll see your AstroWorld lawsuit and raise you $10 billion

That’s a big number, though that’s partly because there are a lot of plaintiffs. A local law firm has just filed the largest suit to date against Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival after the mass-casualty tragedy that claimed the lives of … Continue reading

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Deshaun Watson not traded

He’s still with the Texans at least though the end of the year. If quarterback Deshaun Watson had been able to settle the 22 civil lawsuits before the NFL’s trade deadline on Tuesday, he would be leaving Houston for Miami, … Continue reading

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We need to up our vaccination data game

As noted before, it gets harder from here. As the initial mad rush for COVID-19 vaccines wanes, Texas is shifting its distribution strategy to focus on smaller providers, setting up a crucial test for the state as it attempts not … Continue reading

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The infrastructure bill and the Hobby Airport light rail extension

More good thing we could get from the eventual Infrastructure Bill. Houston was made and marketed by the slogan “where 17 railroads meet the sea.” Local elected officials now think its short-term future, and the local success of a proposed … Continue reading

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Republicans are determined to learn the wrong lessons from the blackouts

It’s kind of amazing, and yet completely on brand. With millions of Texans having lost power during the winter storms, key players in the Legislature say one of the most immediate reforms they will push for is recalibrating the state’s … Continue reading

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Looks like (maybe) we have a Speaker

I give you Rep. Dade Phelan. May he not spontaneously combust in spectacular and self-inflicted fashion like a drummer for Spinal Tap the last Speaker. State Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, announced Wednesday he has the votes needed to become the … Continue reading

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SCOTX extends stay in Harris County vote by mail case

I was set to be super outraged about this, but as you will see it’s not quite as bad as it first looked. The Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked Harris County from sending mail ballot applications to all registered … Continue reading

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The weather effect

Maybe a little bit of hope. We’ll see. Communities living in warmer places appear to have a comparative advantage to slow the transmission of coronavirus infections, according to an early analysis by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The … Continue reading

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Still waiting to see which cities will get to host World Cup games

Houston’s right in the mix, and after that we’ll see. This time last year, former Houston Dynamo president Chris Canetti began to find his stride after leaving the team in late 2018 to lead the Houston 2026 World Cup Bid … Continue reading

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No bail in

No surprise, I’m afraid. Texas won’t have to seek federal approval when state lawmakers draw new election maps in two years, a three-judge panel in San Antonio decided Wednesday. The judges, however, cautioned Texas that its next process will “undoubtedly” … Continue reading

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“Laggards”

You can do something about that, you know. The Maryland congressman leading an investigation into the error-filled effort to purge suspected noncitizens from Texas voter rolls referred to Texas officials as “laggards” who are taking a “minimalist approach” to satisfying … Continue reading

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Kulkarni reports $234K raised in Q2

From the Inbox: Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress, Sri Preston Kulkarni, raised over $400,000 in receipts to date for his campaign to unseat incumbent Pete Olson (R-TX). This is the largest total ever for a Democratic candidate for the current … Continue reading

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You don’t have to attend those tax rate hearings now

They’re not a thing any more. Mayor Sylvester Turner on Friday said he would withdraw a proposed property tax rate hike after Gov. Greg Abbott handed him a check for $50 million to help fund the city’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey. That also … Continue reading

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State files inevitable voter ID appeal to SCOTUS

As expected. Texas wants to take its voter identification battle to the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the justices to hear his arguments about why the state’s photo ID requirements for voting do not … Continue reading

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State finally releases abortion data

It’s exactly what you’d expect. The Texas Department of State Health Services has released the state’s 2014 abortion data after weeks of allegationsthat the agency had been intentionally withholding the numbers. The 2014 data is significant because it is the … Continue reading

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2016 primaries: Congress

The big story here is that Rep. Gene Green not only survived, but won big. He was up 65% to 32% in early voting, a margin of about 4,000 votes; in the end he won by about 58-38, for a … Continue reading

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Freedom From Religion Foundation sues Abbott over Bill of Rights display

From their press release: The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a federal lawsuit today against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over his removal of the group’s Bill of Rights display from the Capitol. Abbott downed FFRF’s solstice display, intended to counter … Continue reading

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Hey look, a Regent Square update

Sometimes I forget this is still a thing. In 2007, longtime urbanites said goodbye to the Allen House Apartments, a decades-old complex along Dunlavy just south of Allen Parkway. The multiblock property was a Houston institution, housing hundreds of college … Continue reading

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Day 8 EV 2015 totals: Breaking it down to districts

Day One of Week Two: Year Early Mail Total Mailed ====================================== 2015 73,903 23,560 97,553 43,279 2013 45,571 16,076 61,647 30,548 The running 2015 totals are here, the full 2013 totals are here, and for completeness the full 2009 totals … Continue reading

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Endorsement watch: Houston GLBT Political Caucus 2015

Congrats to all the endorsees. A raucous municipal endorsement meeting brought mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner the coveted backing of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus on Saturday, positioning the 26-year state representative to broaden his coalition to include the city’s progressive … Continue reading

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First call to action: Sanctuary cities

Stace sounds the alarm. Republicans have set a hearing to debate and railroad through committee SB 185, a sanctuary cities bill which will allow local and state law enforcement to participate in immigration duties through the practice of racial profiling … Continue reading

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Uber and Lyft will leave San Antonio

The second time was not the charm. The revisions to the vehicles-for-hire ordinance, approved in a 8-2 vote, eased regulations the council had originally adopted in December and were meant to persuade Lyft and Uber to continue operating in San … Continue reading

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The state’s puppet witnesses in the HB2 lawsuit

The Austin Chronicle tells the story. Among the state defense witnesses who took the stand on the third day of trial against Texas’ abortion-restricting House Bill 2 were two women with overt objections to abortion and one physician whose testimony … Continue reading

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Appeals court revives MBIA lawsuit against Sports Authority

Here we go again. A lawsuit against the agency that pays the debt on Houston’s sports stadiums is back on following an appeals court ruling. Last April, a state district court judge ruled that a bond insurer could not sue … Continue reading

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Saturday video break: Take Me To The River

Song #12 on the Popdose Top 100 Covers list is “Take Me To The River”, originally by Al Green and covered by the Talking Heads. Here’s the Rev. Al: If you’ve seen The Commitments, you will recognize that this is … Continue reading

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Saturday video break: I Feel For You

Song #18 on the Popdose Top 100 Covers list is “I Feel For You”, originally by Prince and covered by Chaka Khan. Typically, Prince videos are not easily available. Here then is as reasonable a facsimile that I could find: … Continue reading

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Stand up and be counted

Please participate in the Census. Nothing good happens when you don’t. When the new, condensed census form arrives in the mail during the second week in March, each recipient’s decision about whether to toss it in the trash or fill … Continue reading

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Parker’s police plan in practice

I think we’re all reasonably familiar with the basics of Mayor-Elect Parker’s plan for the police force, which includes more and better coordination between the various local law enforcement agencies. This story, which perhaps ought to have been run before … Continue reading

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