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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Friday Roundup: A Busy Week

The Texas Transportation Commission agreed with Dewhurst, the Regional Transportation Council, and most everyone but Cintra that NTTA should handle the 121 Toll Road contract. There may be some discontent over the decision from Cintra, and Cintra will get it anyways if they can't get everything tied up in 45 days, but it looks like a deal is, as they say, a deal.

It is still raining everywhere in Texas, and while Burnet County would like some help from Rick Perry in the disaster funds arena, Marble Falls could really use some water. It is ironic that floods can knock out a city's water supply, but such is the case. Floods are a bad business, and while what we're seeing isn't catastrophic on a post-hurricane level, rising water causes years of problems in sometimes just a few hours.

Governor Perry engages in one of my favorite political activities in an Austin-American Statesman editorial this morning: he says that what people are saying about something he did is wrong. The particular flavor of this one is about eminent domain concerns in House Bill 2006, which he vetoed. Pay no mind that most of the criticism of this particular veto is coming from his own team.

Many of you joined George's liveblogging escapades during last night's Democratic debate, but if you missed it, read that and then check out Cillizza's take. He points out that, due to the debate's format, candidates who aren't Obama and Clinton got a lot more exposure. Something tells me the Republican debate in September with Smiley will be quite interesting.

The immigration bill died (again) yesterday, and the Washington Post is starting to think that maybe Bush is running out of time for any sort of lasting domestic legacy. This is probably true — when was the last time you heard about how we have to fix social security? Or the Ownership Society? Or combating man-animal hybrids?

In other, more domestic news, Galveston County is the latest to sideline the top-down voter registration program from the state. TEAM has had scores of problems and been abandoned or refused by several counties, and it seems like most of those problems stem from a lack of testing. To me, it seems like a statewide stress-test would be among the first things you would do with a new information system that would be used statewide. But what do I know?

With that and all of the other recent defeats for the Bush administration in mind, you might expect the news that Pelosi and Reid are teaming up on a new angle for ending the war in Iraq. This time it sounds like they're serious, so July should be a long month of procedural votes and press conferences.

Lastly today, Kristen Mack writes a little on how Democrats are plotting for Harris County to be the next Dallas County. It'll be a big job, but it'll be a bigger win. The piece features Harris County Democratic Chair Gerry Birnberg, whom you may be familiar with from this week's On The Record.

Domestic Legacy...Pah!

It's funny that it would be brought up that Bush would be worried about a "domestic legacy." The man's entire administration has been focused on nothing but pushing and defending the Iraq war. It seems like the only time domestic issues were pushed, were when our eyes were trying to be averted from some sort of mess-up that they didn't want everyone to pay attention to in Iraq!

How many days does he have left in office again? (Josh, I know I can count on you for this) However many days, it’s not few enough.

Lauren A. Molidor



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