Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Texas good ol' boy Attorney General tickled pink about Voting Rights Act defeat

Practically hollerin' "Hot-diggity doag, what in tarnations are we waiting for?", Texas attorney general Greg Abbott set out to implement the state's controversial Voter ID law which was previously denied by the US Attorney General under the then-active Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Excerpted from the Dallas Morning News

After the Texas Legislature enacted the voter ID law, the Justice Department invoked Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to block implementation. The Obama administration, siding with minority advocates, says the law would discriminate against low-income and minority voters. An appeal is pending at the Supreme Court.

But with preclearance suspended, Abbott tweeted after this morning’s 5-4 ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts, US Attorney General “Eric Holder can no longer deny VoterID in Texas” and “Texas VoterID law should go into effect immediately.”

In a statement, he lauded the high court for wiping away unequal treatment of Texas and other states. He acknowledged that Texas — like all states — is barred from racial discrimination and remains subject to after-the-fact lawsuits under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which remains intact.
“Today’s ruling ensures that Texas is no longer one of just a few states that must seek approval from the federal government before its election laws can take effect,” Abbott said.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

News? What news? Laredo Outlet Shops: Check this PDF from circa 2007

It's been labeled the greatest announcement in Laredo in the last 20-30 years. But wait, there's this PDF brochure-type of the Laredo Outlet Mall Shops and it appears to be from around 2007.So maybe it's not quite that.

The "brochure"  shows the location of a proposed "Mall" as in the green, grassy type and it also illustrates an extension of IH-35 that will supposedly take you all the way to the door of the Outlet Shops themselves. 

Check it out at :,%20TX.pdf

Friday, June 7, 2013

Ol' West Texas town runs out of water

The Texas Tribune is also reporting that Barnhart, in West Texas, is just about out of water and the people are very PO'd about the situation. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is predicting that about 30 Texas communities could run out of water this year.

From the Texas Tribune

Barnhart, a small community in West Texas, has run out of water.

John Nanny, an Irion County commissioner and an official with Barnhart’s water supply corporation, said on Thursday that the situation was serious. When reached by telephone, he was working on pumping operations and hoped to have a backup well in service Friday morning. A load of bottled water was on its way to the community center, he said.

The town has one main well that serves 112 customers, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. But the well stopped pumping quickly enough Tuesday evening, and while there is still some water in it, Nanny said, "We don’t want to get down to the mud."

Nanny said he had checked for a leak but had not found one. The Barnhart area has been hard-hit by drought, he said, just as surging oil and gas drilling activities have increased local water demands. Barnhart was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal owing to the increase in oil boom-related railroad traffic through the town. (Incidentally, Barnhart's backup water well was drilled by the railroad in the early 1900s, Nanny said.)

Read the rest of the article:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tex Leg. to Border produce inspectors:Wait while we do another study

Hurry up and wait goes the old saying.  This time, it's the Texas legislature telling that to US Customs inspectorx at Texas' border ports. I guess they figure that there's not enough business at the border to necessitate expediting shipments. Or.....there's some cronies that are about to make some big bucks doing another study......or both.

From The Texas Tribune

Border lawmakers and local officials who had hoped for state money to help train new produce inspectors at border ports and reduce wait times instead got a promise from legislators to study the issue.

Nearly half of all U.S. fruit and vegetable imports from Mexico last year came by way of Texas land ports, including those in Laredo, El Paso and McAllen. As Mexico nears completion this year of highway improvements that will create a quicker route from agriculturally rich areas in the western parts of the country to Texas ports, the already large amount of imported produce is expected to increase dramatically.

Lawmakers and local officials from border communities say the federal government's investment in southern land ports has not kept pace with the expansion of trade. The ports have run out of capacity, and there aren't enough inspectors to examine all the goods coming across. It all adds up, they say, to unpredictable wait times that slow down commerce and leave stalled trucks idling for hours, belching exhaust into the air.

Washington is exploring ways to address the shortage of agriculture specialists who inspect produce at border ports, but state Rep. Bobby Guerra, D-Mission, came into the legislative session with a proposal to address the problem sooner with local resources.

Guerra filed House Bill 3761, which would have used local institutions like the Texas A&M University Kingsville Citrus Center in Weslaco to train produce inspectors to meet federal guidelines. New inspectors, he hoped, would reduce wait times and increase the speed of commerce

Read the entire article, including how Texas lawmakers from other parts of the state opposed this measure and how some shippers/importers are even willing to pay extra to get more inspectors at the various Texas ports.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Taco Bell fires employee Lickety Split

USA Today is reporting that the infamous Taco Bell "licker" has already been fired, along with the person who took the photo of him licking a tall stack of taco shells. Apparently, they wasted no time in deciding to fire him. You could say it was done lickety-split.

From USA Today

Now, it's the Taco Bell employee who is taking a licking.

The nation's largest Mexican fast food chain says that a Taco Bell franchisee has suspended -- and "is in the process of terminating" -- the restaurant employee whose photo showing him licking a stack of empty taco shells went viral earlier this week. The person who took the photo no longer works for Taco Bell.

The photo caused a serious public relations headache for Taco Bell earlier this week. Red-faced Taco Bell executives had to try to explain to a skeptical public the circumstances behind the embarrassing photo. On Monday, the franchisee informed Taco Bell corporate that both employees were no longer with Taco Bell.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Five minutes with Fox: Auditions for FOX continue at IRS hearings

Tea Partiers bask in the limelight on Fox News

Fox News is keeping close watch on the ongoing IRS hearings that are supposed to find out to what extent the Tea Party was "targeted" during their application for tax-exempt status. Specifically, they have been applying for 501 (c)4 status, which actually maintains such an organization's activities must be exclusively for social-welfare purposes. The word exclusively was replaced with primarily way back during the Eishenhower administration and thus has led to the current melee.

In watching Fox News for a mere 5 minutes this morning, a Tea Party lady was obviously auditioning to be on Fox News and I'm pretty sure she'll be on Fox by tonight, probably on the Sean Hannity show.  Her main complaint was that she their (she and her husband) application was targeted because it contained the words Tea Party. Note that in cases such as these, the word Party designates a political party, which is specifically forbidden by the original IRS law. Of course, that fact escapes the entire scandal-hungry Fox network.

 Update: It looks like I'm behind the curve here, it looks like this lady's already making the rounds of Fox.