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October 17th, 2010:

Endorsement watch: Probate court

The probate courts in Harris County have been messed up for some time. The Chron is ready for some changes.

Harris County Probate Court No. 1: Kathy Stone, the Democratic incumbent, is our choice to be returned to this bench.

Harris County Probate Court No. 2: Joellen Snow, the Democratic challenger, would bring rich professional background and a fresh perspective to this court.

Harris County Probate Court No. 3: Priscilla Walters, the Democratic challenger, is our choice for this bench, which handles the probate courts’ mental health docket.

Harris County Probate Court No. 4: Tammy Manning, the Democrat, is the stronger of two well-qualified for this open bench.

Stone was elected to fill the unexpired term of Probate Court #1 in 2008, so she got a head start on getting the mess cleaned up. Here are the Q&A responses from these candidates:

Kathy Stone

Joellen Snow

Priscilla Walters

Tammy Manning

As usual, you can find Q&As for Republican judicial candidates at Big Jolly Politics.

Weekend link dump for October 17

“Who asked for a Family Circus movie? Ida Know. Who wants to see it? Not Me.”

Political systems are ill-equipped to deal with problems that are vehemently denied by one major party.

Race-baiting for the heck of it.

The social network movie you won’t see.

Unlike the Chamber of Commerce, unions disclose their donors. And as long as we’re discussing the Chamber, here’s how they get their foreign money, which they won’t tell you about. Oh, and the Chamber and its Rovian allies are, unsurprisingly, a bunch of big fat liars.

Does winning the Nobel Prize in economics make one qualified to serve on the Federal Reserve board?

We need more government spending now and for the foreseeable future.

People will say very dumb things about taxation to justify lowering their own taxes.

If only being “pro-life” meant giving a damn about mothers and children.

There’s no bottom to their dangerous stupidity.

The astrophysics of “Goodnight, Moon”.

Halloween hysteria.

How about we agree to call a bigot a bigot?

For no particular reason, I felt like linking to The Story of Mel, A Real Programmer. It’s a geek classic.

If there’s a bigger dodge in politics than blathering about earmarks, I don’t know what it is.

Yeah, I don’t think vegan cleavage is an appropriate thing to be posterizing in a medical facility. Or anyplace else.

What comes after cap and trade? Or maybe not.

“Free public WiFi” isn’t what you think it is.

How to opt out of yellow pages delivery. If you try it, let me know if it works.

There are many ways to measure life expectancy, and none of them make us look that good.

The things you can learn when judging a beauty pageant. That was not meant as snark, just so you know.

Three questions to ask when you see a negative story about the Affordable Care Act.

Now that is how you fight back.

Possibly the dumbest libertarian quote ever. That’s really saying something.

Laurie Kendrick eulogizes her friend and mentor, Mark Stevens.

Would you vote for a man who wears ducky pajamas in public?

Would you vote for a man who blames his unpopular policy statements on headaches?

“Vote for me, I know nothing”

To me, this story about the race in Harris County Precinct 2 between Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and her Republican opponent Jack Morman boils down to this one paragraph:

Morman is short on specifics as to how he would cut spending, better manage construction projects or respond to jail overcrowding. Rather, he is running against Garcia in part by running against President Barack Obama.

Jack Morman knows nothing about how the county operates or what he would do as County Commissioner, but he hates socialism and fascism and loves freedom and long walks on the beach, and isn’t that enough? Spending is bad – well, spending on stuff you don’t like is bad – and not spending is good. What else do you need to know? Stace has more.

Conference realignment isn’t just for the big boys

Expect to see a lot of smaller fish moving around now that the dust in the big conferences has mostly settled.

[Southland Conference] commissioner Tom Burnett told the San Antonio Express News last week that he expected Texas State and UTSA to eventually leave the Football Championship Subdivision and bolt for the WAC, which is scrambling for survival in the aftermath of losing Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada to the Mountain West Conference.

His position remains unchanged.

“When you look at what the WAC is faced with and what they need to do to essentially ensure their existence in the future, they need football programs, and they need them right now,” Burnett said. “Texas State and UTSA have made it very clear that this is something that they want in their future, and they have not only said that but have acted on it.

“They have put money or soon will into tremendous growth in their athletic departments, facilities, scholarships, staffing, all of that which will lead them to have the ability to play in the Football Bowl Subdivision.”

Here’s that Express-News story, which has a lot more detail. The SLC is an FCS conference, so this will be a step up in more ways than one for UTSA and Texas State. UTSA hasn’t even played a game yet, which in addition to the bump in conference level means the timeline is uncertain. As I’ve said before, as things stand now I think C-USA is the best geographic fit for these schools, but who knows what C-USA may look like in a few years’ time.

Endorsement watch: ParentPAC

I haven’t mentioned the Texas ParentPAC lately, as there’s been so much other stuff going on lately, but they are as busy with endorsements as ever. Here’s a list of candidates that they have announced they are backing for the general election. The links are to the press releases they sent out in each case:

State Rep. Robert Miklos, HD101

State Rep. Carol Kent, HD102

State Rep. Joe Moody, HD78

Loretta Haldenwang, HD105

State Rep. Ellen Cohen, HD134

State Rep. Joe Heflin, HD85

I’ll pass along any others that come my way.

UPDATE: Add the following to the tally:

State Rep. Chris Turner, HD96

State Rep. Allen Vaught, HD107