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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

George Nassar's blog

Voting Rights Act Lives to Fight Another Day

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled on the challenge to the Voting Rights Act by Northwest Austin Municipal District Number One, and, much to the relief of civil rights activists everywhere, let stand a key provision stating that certain areas within the United States with histories of injustice at the voting booth -- including much of Texas -- are required to get federal approval for any changes in their voting procedures.

Arbitering the Unthinkable

I've always believed that forced arbitration agreements are one of the most stark displays of unchecked corporate power beating down The Little Guy. The idea that companies that are big enough and that supply services that one will nearly inevitably need -- for example credit card companies, cell phone companies, home builders, and other such industries that are never very popular with consumers -- can by merit of their size and the standards of their profession avoid all accountability in the judiciary, the one institution designed to be the protector-of-last-resort of the rights of the few, is appalling to me. But I was left numb by the idea that it was even possible that forced arbitration be enforceable in a rape case.

Because Lege News Never Gets Old

Nobody yet knows when or for what, but there will be a special session of the Texas legislature this year.

Rep. Kuempel Collapses

EDIT: 6/2/09: After receiving care at an Austin facility for a life-threatening heart attack, Rep. Kuempel returned to the House yesterday, to everyone's relief. We are very glad to hear of his recovery.

Representative Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin) was found collapsed and unconscious in a Capitol elevator by a House sergeant-at-arms late last night, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

Sen. Arlen Specter, D-PA

You read that correctly. After some polling out of Pennsylvania showing that the senator may not fare so well in a contested Republican primary, Senator Arlen Specter is to announce today that he is switching to the Democratic Party.

Texas Young Democrats Convention This Weekend

The Democratic youth vote in Texas went up over 300% in 2008. Want to know what this surging demographic is up to next? Catch the movers and shakers of the Texas youth movement at the Texas Young Democrats Convention in Austin this weekend.

If Liberals Moved to Canada, Will Conservatives Move to Albania?

And has Governor Perry bought himself some land there yet?

Charles Kuffner nails this one on the head. Remember those guys who threatened to move to Canada if Bush won a second term in '04? And how they got railed on by the Right, and were told that they should? Implication: "We don't want you here. If you're not proud to be a part of the country, you should leave."

Well, now that Governor Perry wants to secede (which, of course, he can't), it would seem like the same argument should apply.

Getting Back AIG's Bonus Money

So this is what it took to get bipartisanship? The House has just passed a bill imposing a 90% tax on the $165 billion in bonus money given out to AIG employees, with all Democrats and nearly half of Republicans voting in favor.

No News is Good News

...and in that spirit, I note that Texas Republican congressmen Joe Barton and John Culberson made the news today for showing their true colors as being more interested in sacrificing bipartisanship to get in some partisan points instead of working together to benefit Americans and Texans.

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