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December 26th, 2009:

Saturday video break: The 12 Days of Christmas

My sister first pointed this video out to me, then I saw it at Letters from Texas. And now here it is:

Happy Boxing Day, y’all.

Texas keeps growing

Every year it’s the same thing – there are a lot more Texans than there were the year before.

U.S. Census estimates released Wednesday show that Texas added more residents than any other state in the year ending July 1.

The Lone Star State has 478,000 more people than it did a year ago — roughly the equivalent of packing up all of Fresno, Calif., and moving it here.


The population of Texas has grown to 24.8 million, second only to California. Just the growth of the Texas population since 2000 — 3.9 million people — is greater than the population of 24 states.

If that trend continues through the official decennial count next year, Texas stands to gain four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, [Texas state demographer Karl] Eschbach noted.

It’s pretty damn amazing. And it will make redistricting that much fiercer a fight.

County pays off last bill related to Ibarra brothers lawsuit

Merry Christmas.

Harris County Commissioners Court agreed [Tuesday] to pay the last of what has amounted to more than $4 million in bills related to a lawsuit brought by two men who said they were wrongfully arrested after one of them videotaped sheriff’s deputies during a drug raid.

The commissioners approved a settlement that calls for the county to pay a total of $163,100.57 in attorneys’ costs to two law firms.

Terry O’Rourke, first assistant county attorney, who briefed commissioners on the settlement in closed session, told them before their 5-0 vote in open session that it closes the books on the 2002 incident.

I can’t summarize this in one or two links, so just go here and browse away. May we never do anything like this again.

Shapleigh not running for anything

It’s a shame, because I was really looking forward to being able to vote for him for something, but at least State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh will be an active participant in the 2010 election.

Shapleigh, 57, said he considered running for the governorship but changed his mind once Houston Mayor Bill White stepped into the race.


“Bill White is the best candidate in decades,” Shapleigh said. “He is proven. He is responsible. He will deal with the challenges of our times. He can win the election.”

Shapleigh, who has been a vocal critic of Gov. Rick Perry, continued his criticisms Monday as he called on voters to select new leadership.

The senator said he would go door-to-door, make campaign stops and write op-ed pieces to help White get elected.

“The best thing that I can do, that we all can do as a state, is to help him win this important office,” Shapleigh said.

Needless to say, I’m down with that. Given that we’ll have good choices for most of the statewide offices, and given that Shapleigh was never going to run for Comptroller or Land Commissioner, I can cope with his decision to sit this one out. But honestly, I wish he were running for re-election at this point. I wish him well in his return to private life, and I certainly hope that if he succeeds in helping elect Bill White Governor that there will be a prominent place for him in White’s administration. Thanks to the Trib for the link.