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Dewhurst, Patrick flip flop on 17th Amendment repeal

(AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Deborah Cannon)

Evan Smith, left, moderates a discussion Oct. 12 between lieutenant governor candidates, second from left, current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples during the Texas Municipal League’s annual conference at the Austin Convention Center.


AUSTIN — Flip flop.

That’s exactly what Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick, both trying to capture the tea party vote in the Republican primary, did earlier this week when posed a question about repealing the 17th Amendment.

You might remember at a tea party debate back in October that Dewhurst and Patrick made headlines around the state — read stories here, here and here — for coming out strongly in favor of stripping voters of the ability to elect U.S. senators by abolishing the 17th Amendment. They each advocated for a return to a system that allows state legislatures to elect U.S. senators, one they said would help reign in an out-of-control federal government.

Patrick’s position at the time: “I unequivocally support the repeal of the 17th Amendment and the restoration of our Founders’ original intent to have the state legislatures select our United States senators. The 17th Amendment has severely limited the influence of the state as a party to federal law-making.”

The Dewhurst take: “Right now many members of Congress, United States senators and United States congressmen don’t have a feeling for what the states need. They feel separated. Believe me, with the absence — a reversal of the 17th Amendment — would make all of our United States senators listening daily to the heartbeat of the legislatures and not be passing the laws that cost all of us.”

Fast forward several months to Monday’s debate hosted by the King Street Patriots. Both Republican candidates vying for lieutenant governor have now reversed course on their public positions on doing away with the 17th Amendment.

“I would not be in favor of repealing it. The people have been voting for their senators too long,” Patrick said, offering as an explanation for his earlier comments that he had “misspoke,” was “misquoted” or that it was reported incorrectly.

“I’m not sure which,” he said.

Dewhurst followed Patrick by saying that now he’s also not in favor of a repeal based on “sheer practicality.”

“It’s not going to happen,” he said.

So why the flip flop?  Neither campaign offered an explanation when asked.

But it’s not hard to see why the candidates would selectively tailor their message on this particular topic.

Aside from being a popular talking point for tea partiers, it’s also a point of contention for folks in that camp: consider that without the 17th Amendment, current tea party champion U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz might never have been elected to office. Dewhurst almost certainly would have been lawmakers’ pick.

And anything that even seemingly cuts against Cruz is bad news for folks trying to win tea party votes.

Just look at the answer Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, one of four vying for the GOP lieutenant governor nomination, provided at the same debate on the topic of a 17th Amendment repeal.

“If we didn’t have direct elections of senators Ted Cruz wouldn’t be in the United States Senate today,” he said, which evoked loud cheers and claps.

Staples had previously said he supports “a rigorous debate about the merits of repealing the 17th Amendment” in any conversation focused on limiting the size and scope of the federal government. But he never specifically endorsed the notion of a repeal.

For his part, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, also a candidate in the…Continued here:

Common Core and the EduTech Abyss

By Michelle Malkin
The Common Core gold rush is on. Apple, Pearson, Google, Microsoft and Amplify are all cashing in on the federal standards/testing/textbook racket. But the EduTech boondoggle is no boon for students. It’s more squandered tax dollars down the public school drain.

Even more worrisome: The stampede is widening a dangerous path toward invasive data mining.

According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the ed tech sector “is expected to more than double in size to $13.4 billion by 2017.” That explosive growth is fueled by Common Core’s top-down digital learning and testing mandates. So: Cui bono?

In North Carolina, the Guilford County public school district withdrew 15,000 Amplify tablets last fall. Pre-loaded with Common Core apps and part of a federal $30 million Race to the Top grant program, the devices peddled by News Corp. and Wireless Generation were rendered useless because of defective cases, broken screens and malfunctioning power supplies.

Last year, the Los Angeles Unified School District dumped $1 billion of scarce resources into a disastrous iPad program. Educrats paid $678 per glorified Apple e-textbook, pre-loaded with Common Core-branded apps created by Pearson. As I’ve reported previously, Pearson is the multibillion-dollar educational publishing and testing conglomerate at the center of the federally driven, taxpayer-funded “standards” scheme. Pearson’s digital learning products are used by an estimated 25 million-plus people in North America. Common Core has been a convenient new catalyst for getting the next generation of consumers hooked.

Students breached the LAUSD’s iPad firewalls and made a mockery of their hapless adult guardians. Despite hefty investments in training and development, many teachers couldn’t figure out how to sync up the tablets in the classroom. Taxpayers now realize they were sold a grossly inflated bill of goods, but the district wants to buy even more iPads for computerized test-taking. School officials recklessly plan to use school construction debt-financing to pay for the new purchases.

Los Angeles taxpayer Planaria Price summed up swelling outrage perfectly in a letter to the Los Angeles Times this week: “Cash-strapped LAUSD — which in 2012 cut libraries, nurses, thousands of teachers, administrators and support staff … is spending more than $1 billion on one of the nation’s most expensive technology programs. … I would say that ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark,’ but few would understand because the teaching of Shakespeare has also been cut.”

By its own account, Apple dominates 94 percent of the education tablet market in the U.S. Microsoft is pushing its own Common Core-aligned Surface RT tablet and app suite, along with “Bing for Schools.” Rival Google wants in on the game on the taxpayers’ dime, too. The company’s “Chromebooks,” which use a cloud-based operating system mimicking the Google Chrome browser, are gaining market – See more at:

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: Change the Word ‘Welfare’ to ‘Transitional Living Fund’

( – In a brief speech on the House floor Wednesday, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) hailed the war on poverty, endorsed government welfare programs, and said the “safety net has to be something for all of us.”

“Maybe the word welfare should be changed to something of, ‘a transitional living fund.’ For that is what it is — for people to be able to live,” she said.

Jackson Lee hailed the Earned Income Credit, food and nutrition programs, jobs training and education programs, Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act as “huge safety nets — not handouts, but safety nets, she said.

As part of her five-minute speech, she displayed a photo of people in a long line “who are possibly looking for work.” Jackson-Lee said there’s no way to know which of those people “are near the edge of poverty or living in poverty simply because they cannot find work.”

She urged Congress to pass emergency unemployment insurance — “a transitional outreach to individuals who are chronically unemployed,” as she put it.

“Quite frankly, of all the wealthy nations, we have the lowest safety net and the highest poverty, because we’re not willing to accept the fact that sometimes an American needs help. Even a veteran — even a soldier.

– See more at:

Texas ban on gay marriage targeted

By Chuck Lindell

AUSTIN, Texas — Taking advantage of a newly favorable legal climate, gay-marriage advocates have taken their fight to federal courts in Texas and at least 16 other states, winning recent rulings in Oklahoma and Utah that could spell trouble for the Lone Star State’s ban on same-sex spouses. Gay couples have filed three federal lawsuits in Austin and San Antonio asking judges to void the Texas law and constitutional amendment limiting marriage to opposite- sex couples.


Making the same arguments that prevailed in courtrooms in Republican-dominated Oklahoma and Utah, the lawsuits claim the ban on same-sex marriage subjects gay couples to unequal treatment in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

“Texas stigmatizes same-sex couples, as well as their children and families, and denies them the same dignity, respect and stature afforded officially recognized heterosexual family relationships,” said a lawsuit filed in Austin by two women who hope to marry and two  men who want Texas to recognize their out-of-state marriage. Both couples live in Austin.

That lawsuit and another filed in Austin by two Fort Worth-area men are still in the early stages.

A San Antonio challenge is further along, with a Feb. 12 hearing set on a request for an injunction barring Texas from enforcing its gay-marriage ban.

Like the legal challenges in Oklahoma and Utah, the Texas lawsuits employ language taken from last summer’s U. S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act, enacted in 1996 to limit marriage, under federal law, to the union of one man and one woman.

The high court’s 5-4 decision in United States v. Windsor was a “game changer,” shifting overnight the legal ground beneath gay-marriage bans, said Jody Scheske, a lawyer for the two Austin couples who sued.

Writing for the Windsor majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the law, known as DOMA, violated the core constitutional principle that people are entitled to equal protection under the law.

DOMA’s main purpose was to demean and stigmatize homosexuals, relegating them to second-class status and humiliating the children they are raising, Kennedy wrote, concluding that there can be no legitimate government purpose for a law intended to “disparage and to injure.”

Though Kennedy said his opinion applied only to federal recognition of same-sex marriages performed in the 17 states that allow the practice, Justice Antonin Scalia was having none of it, issuing a scathing dissent that warned — correctly, it turns out — that the ruling would lead to inevitable attacks on similar state laws.

“By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition,” Scalia wrote.

Last month in Utah and last week in Oklahoma, federal judges acting on those predicted lawsuits overturned state bans based on the principles stated in Windsor. A judge in Ohio also relied on Windsor to force that state to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages on death certificates.

“Once you get married lawfully in one state, another state cannot summarily take your marriage away,” U.S. District Judge Timothy Black ruled in the Ohio case last month, adding that, like the federal government, states cannot discriminate “simply because the majority of voters don’t like homosexuality.”

The Utah and Oklahoma rulings were placed on hold while those states appeal. Ohio officials appealed Black’s ruling last week.

In Texas, Attorney General Greg Abbott has vowed to vigorously defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, passed into law with strong House and Senate majorities in 2003, followed in 2005 by a constitutional amendment approved by 76 percent of voters.

In briefs to San Antonio federal Judge Orlando Garcia, Abbott argued that the Windsor decision affirmed a state’s authority to recognize same-sex marriage through the democratic process. That power is meaningless unless the same authority applies to states that decide to recognize only “traditional marriages” through the same process, he wrote.

“Plaintiffs argue that the right to marry includes the right to define marriage as they see fit. That is wrong,” Abbott told the court.

Texas has always defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and the couples who sued cannot prove that same-sex marriage, a relatively recent concept, is a fundamental constitutional right, Abbott said.

Moreover, Texas has an interest in promoting “responsible procreation and child rearing,” he wrote, adding that traditional marriage increases the likelihood that children are raised in a “stable and enduring family unit.”

Earlier this month, Abbott asked U. S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin to add the San Antonio lawsuit to two challenges in his court, noting that the challenges make similar arguments. Sparks declined, saying in a Jan. 9 hearing that he didn’t have power over another judge’s docket.

Abbott next asked the San Antonio judge to shift his case to Sparks’ court. The couples who sued opposed the request, suggesting in a legal brief that Abbott appeared to be forum shopping after Sparks, during the Jan. 9 hearing, made statements about the difficult burden of proof awaiting the gay couples.

Garcia hasn’t yet ruled on Abbott’s request.

Outside of court, opponents of same-sex marriage aren’t giving up.

This month, U.S. Rep. Randy Weber — a Republican whose coastal district is centered on Galveston — introduced a bill requiring the federal government to recognize only marriages that are valid in the state in which the couple lives.

The 27 Republicans who signed on include two from Central Texas: John Carter of Round Rock and Bill Flores, whose district includes North Austin, Waco and Bryan.

In Indiana, the Legislature is debating a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Currently, 29 states have similar constitutional amendments, while four others ban the practice by law.

Momentum, however, appears to be shifting toward allowing same-sex marriage, said Cary Franklin, a University of Texas assistant law professor.

The main driver, Franklin said, has been an “unbelievable shift in public attitude, particularly when you look at young people, who are overwhelmingly…Continued here:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Kofi Annan to Discuss Drugs at World Economic Forum Panel

Photo Credit World Economic Forum / Flickr


The World Economic Forum in Davos will host a plenary session on drug policy onThursday, January 23. This is the first time that the prestigious gathering has given such prominence to the issue.

The panel, moderated by Univision anchor Enrique Acevedo, is called “The Drugs Dilemma: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.” Former UN head Kofi Annan, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Human Rights Watch executive director Ken Roth and Texas Governor Rick Perry will be on the panel.

“I’ve long wondered what it would take to persuade the Davos organizers to put drug policy on the main stage of the forum,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “They clearly were moved by the fact that some of the world’s most distinguished statesmen, including former UN Secretary Kofi Annan and former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, are now deeply committed to ending the global war on drugs and pushing the envelope of drug decriminalization. Drug policy reform as a global political movement has come of age.”

In recent years, debate and political will for drug policy reform has gained unprecedented momentum in many parts of the world, especially Latin America and the U.S.

In 2011, Kofi Annan, Paul Volcker and Richard Branson joined former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazil), César Gaviria (Colombia) and Ernesto Zedillo (Mexico) and other distinguished members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy in saying the time had come to “break the taboo” on exploring alternatives to the failed war on drugs — and to “encourage experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs,” especially marijuana. More recently, current presidents Juan Manuel Santos in Colombia, Otto Perez Molina in Guatemala, and José Mujica in Uruguay have joined these calls for reform. In May, the Organization of American States produced a report, commissioned by heads of state of the region, that included marijuana legalization as a likely policy alternative.

Meanwhile, marijuana legalization has moved into the mainstream of U.S. and international politics now that Colorado, Washington — and as of last month, Uruguay — have become the first political jurisdictions in the world to approve the legal regulation of marijuana.

In an interview with the New Yorker published Sunday, President Obama spoke…Continued here:

Equality Texas’ PAC Endorses Moderate Republican State Rep. Sarah Davis Ahead Of Tough GOP Primary

by: Omar Araiza

For the first time in its history, the Equality Texas’s PAC has made an endorsement for a Republican candidate — Texas state Representative Sarah Davis (R-Houston).

The news was first broken yesterday by the Lone Star Q. In the article, Texas Equity PAC volunteer, Daniel Williams — who is also Field Organizer and Legislative Specialist for Equality Texas — explained the reasons behind the PAC’s endorsement.

“The majority of Republicans agree with most of our legislative priorities,” said Williams. “We have to make it safe for Republican representatives to be out front on those issues. Rep. Davis has done that and she’s facing a primary opponent who is decidedly anti-equality. Endorsing Rep. Davis in the Republican primary isn’t just the smart thing to do, it’s a vital step towards making it safe for other Republicans to represent true Texas values of fairness.”

This race will leave a lot left to consider on just how much the GOP has gone off the deep end if a moderate Republican like Davis loses her primary; particularly, after she voted against the omnibus abortion bill, HB 2, and is receiving endorsements that usually go to support Democratic candidates.

Along with Sarah Davis, the Texas Equity PAC announced a list of other endorsements. Two endorsements include state Representatives Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth), and Alma Allen (D-Houston), allies of the LGBT community, who are also facing potentially tough opponents in the respective primary elections.

“This is a list of pro-LGBT candidates that we believe are in races where a little bit of support, a push from the LGBT community and our allies, could make the difference between advancing the cause of equality, or falling behind,” Texas Equity PAC said in their endorsements email.

“Some of these candidates are incumbents facing anti-LGBT challengers from their own parties. Some are incumbents facing pro-LGBT challengers who lack experience, seniority or proven track records. Some are first-time candidates we believe have the potential to be great assets for equality. This is not a list of every pro-LGBT candidate for the Texas House, that list would be much, much longer. This is a list of five races where we as a community can tip the scales towards equality.”

Last year, Davis was keynote speaker at the Texas’ Log Cabin Republicans’ first state-wide conference, where group members met to discuss the growing support of LGBT rights among young Republicans. The LCR is an organization within the Republican Party that advocates for equal rights for the LGBT community. Davis has been endorsed by the Texas’ LCR organization in previous elections. She has helped defeat anti-gay legislation and supported some pro-LGBT bills.

Davis has the other distinction of being the only House Republican member to vote against the omnibus abortion regulation legislation this summer. In an op-ed with the Houston Chronicle, Davis articulated her position, stating, “at its core, the Republican Party stands for personal freedom, which is lost when government controls our lives.”

Right-wing conservatives were enraged by her argument.

They blasted Davis as a RINO (Republican In Name Only), calling for an extreme right-wing conservative challenger to beat her. Davis is now facing longtime Republican supporter, Bonnie Parker, who previously ran and lost to Davis in 2010, by only a single-digit margin. Parker has already received the endorsement from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, and seems poised to become a tough opponent for Davis.

Luckily for Davis, her district — House District 134 — includes River Oaks, the most affluent area of Houston. Tea Party Republicans do not own this territory.

So it brings to question: If the not-so-anti-choice and not-so-anti-gay Republican legislator loses her primary in one of the arguably more…Continued here:

Sessions Opponent doing what she can to get noticed

By Ben Barrack


Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Primary races can be interesting but like most college football games, they’re often blowouts, with the incumbents on the winning end. Exceptions are hard to predict but challengers are always heartened by prominent endorsements, media attention, and an ad or two that resonates with a wide swath of voters.

Speaking of football and political ads, Katrina Pierson, who is challenging Republican incumbent Pete Sessions (TX-32), has released an ad that incorporates a football reference with an effective attack on Barack Obama that is catching some attention:

Ben Jacobs of the left-leaning Daily Beast has taken notice of Pierson’s campaign and he seems to imply that Sessions might be the better choice, via his article’s subtitle:

Rep. Pete Sessions is one of the most conservative members of the House. Now he’s being challenged by Tea Party activist Katrina Pierson in a race that may show just how far right the Lone Star state will go.

After subtly painting Pierson as an extremist, referring to her allusions to Reagan as a ‘verbal tic’, Jacobs wrote the following about Sessions:

In contrast to Pierson’s ideological purity, Sessions was far more pragmatic. In his opinion, the differences between him and his Tea Party opponent were mostly “stylistic.” It’s “whether you vote no on everything or whether you recognize you’re in the majority and if you vote no, you don’t change Barack Obama [and] you don’t change things. You have to be for something.” Whereas Pierson attacked House Republicans for “capitulating” since retaking the majority in 2010, Sessions seemed reasonably proud of Speaker John Boehner’s accomplishments. “Our agenda is what got us sequestration,” he said. “Our agenda is what got us and will get us billions of dollars cut in welfare and food stamps and other things, [and] our agenda is the one [that] moves our country forward.” The Texas congressman conceded that “nothing is perfect.”

In contrast to Pierson’s attacks on “Republicans who failed to keep their promises” and “wave the white flag,” Sessions seemed to have friendly words even for Democrats. During the interview, the Texas congressman greeted Gregory Meeks, a liberal African-American congressman from Queens, who was walking by. Sessions joked, “I was endorsed by a Democrat from New York yesterday.” Meeks responded jocularly, “Whatever you need, I’ll endorse you or run against you, whatever helps.”

Earlier this month, Rafael Cruz, the father of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), joined conservative blogger Michelle Malkin and endorsed Tea Party favorite Katrina Pierson in the latter’s race against Sessions (TX-32) in North Dallas.pete-sessions2

As we all know, money is the mother’s milk of politics and cash is king in elections. Despite Pierson’s appeal to the conservative base, Sessions is currently winning in a route when it comes to fundraising. Continued here:

The heroism of Wendy Davis: Gold digger

Photo courtesy

Ann Coulter: Overcomer story of Texas Dem governor candidate far from accurate

Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator running for governor, became a liberal superhero last June when she filibustered a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. (This was the good filibuster, not that awful filibuster three months later by Ted Cruz – that was just grandstanding.)

Apart from her enthusiasm for abortion (and you have to admit, abortion is really cool), the centerpiece of Davis’ campaign is her life story. Also the fact that she’s a progressive woman who doesn’t look like Betty Friedan.

In a typical formulation, Time magazine said Davis was someone who could give the Democrats “‘real people’ credibility,” based on “her own personal story – an absent father, a sixth-grade-educated mother, a teen pregnancy, followed by life as a single mom in a mobile home, then community college and, at last, Harvard Law School.”

The headlines capture the essence of Wendy-mania:

CNN: Wendy Davis: From Teen Mom to Harvard Law to Famous Filibuster

Bloomberg: Texas Filibuster Star Rose From Teen Mom to Harvard Law

The Independent (U.K.): Wendy Davis: Single Mother From Trailer Park Who Has Become Heroine of Pro-Choice Movement

Cosmopolitan: Find a Sugar Daddy to Put You Through Law School!

Actually, that last one I made up, but as we now know, it’s more accurate than Davis’ rags-to-riches life story.

The truth was gently revealed in the Dallas Morning News this week. Far from an attack, this was a puff-piece written by Wayne Slater, rabid partisan Democratic hack and co-author of the book, “Bush’s Brain.” (He is not an admirer of Bush’s brain.) It would be like Sean Hannity breaking a scandal about Ted Cruz.

The first hint that Slater was trying to help Davis get ahead of the story and tilt it her way is his comment that Davis’ life story is “more complicated” than her version – i.e., completely the opposite – adding, “as often happens when public figures aim to define themselves.”

Actually, the truth is much simpler than her story. Also, be sure to look for that “as often happens” excuse the next time a Republican gets caught lying about his resume.

Ann Coulter’s books pack punch, reason and intellect … along with her sharp wit and humor, of course. See them at the WND Superstore

Slater’s peculiar obsession with whether Davis was 19 or 21 when she got her first divorce, and exactly how long she lived in a trailer home, is meant to deflect attention from something much more problematic: the huge whoppers Davis told.

Her big lies were about the obstacles she had to overcome and how she overcame them, not about how old she was at the time of her first divorce.

She claims she was raised by a single mother, went to work at age 14 to support her family, became a single mother herself in her teens, and then – by sheer pluck and determination – pulled herself out of the trailer park to graduate from Harvard Law School!

The truth is less coal-miner’s daughter than gold-digger who found a sugar daddy to raise her kids and pay for her education.

Point No. 1: Davis’ family wasn’t working-class. Her father owned a sandwich shop and a dinner theater, which puts Davis solidly into middle-class land.

Point No. 2: No one who works at MSNBC would know this, but everyone whose parents run a family business starts work at age 14, if not sooner.

Point No. 3: Her parents were separated, but that is not the commonly accepted meaning of “single mother.”

Point No. 4: As for being a single mother at age 19 – she wasn’t a “single mother” in the traditional sense, either. She was married at age 18, had a child at 19 and divorced her first husband, a construction worker, at 21. (He couldn’t afford tuition at Harvard.)

So she got married young? That isn’t a hard-luck story. Well into the 1950s, nearly half of all first-born children were born to married women under the age of 20.

But Wendy Davis’ harrowing nightmare of poverty and sacrifice wasn’t over yet.

Just a few years after her first divorce, Wendy was on the make, asking to date Jeff Davis, a rich lawyer 13 years her senior, who frequented her father’s dinner club. In short order, they married and had a child together.

The next thing Jeff Davis knew, he was paying off her college tuition, raising their kids by himself and taking out a loan to send her to Harvard Law School.

(Feminists rushed to the stores to buy the shoes Davis wore during her famous filibuster. I’d like the shoes she was wearing when she met her sugar daddy.)

Wendy left her kids with the sugar daddy in Texas – even the daughter from her first marriage – while she attended Harvard Law.

Slater says Davis’ kids lived with Jeff Davis in Texas while she attended law school. Wendy Davis claims her girls lived with her during her first year of law school. Let’s say that’s true. Why not the other two years? And what was the matter with the University of Texas Law School?

Sorry, MSNBC, I know you want to fixate on how many months Davis spent in the trailer park and her precise age when the first divorce went through. And that would be an incredibly stupid thing for conservatives to obsess on, if they were, in fact, obsessing on it. But I’m still stuck on her leaving her kids behind while she headed off to a law school 1,500 miles away.

The reason Wendy Davis’ apocryphal story was impressive is that single mothers have to run a household, take care of kids and provide for a family all by themselves. But Wendy was neither supporting her kids, nor raising them. If someone else is taking care of your kids and paying your tuition, that’s not amazing.

Hey – maybe Jeff Davis should run for governor! He’s the one who raised two kids, including a stepdaughter, while holding down a job and paying for his wife’s law school. There’s a hard-luck story!

Mr. Davis told the Dallas Morning News that Wendy dumped him as soon as he had finished paying off her Harvard Law School loan. “It was ironic,” he said. “I made the last payment, and it was the next day she left.”

In his defense, a lot of people are confused about the meaning of “ironic.” That’s not “ironic.” Rather, it’s what we call: “entirely predictable.”

It’s ironic – my car stopped running right after I ran out of gas.

It’s ironic – my house was broken into, and the next thing I knew all my valuables were missing.

It’s ironic – I was punched in the face right before my nose broke.

In his petition for divorce, Mr. Davis accused his wife of adultery. The court made no finding on infidelity, but awarded him full custody of their underage child and ordered Wendy to pay child support.

Wendy boasted to the Dallas Morning News: “I very willingly, as part of my divorce settlement, paid child support.” Would a divorced dad get a medal for saying that?

In response to Wayne Slater’s faux-”exposé,” naturally Davis put out a statement denouncing … her probable Republican opponent, Greg Abbott. Again, Slater wrote the



Ann Coulter: Overcomer story of Texas Dem governor candidate far from accurate




A look inside teens’ secret social media apps

by staff

HOUSTON — Imagine trying to see who your child is talking to on social media, but the pictures and messages are gone before you have a chance to look.

Police said mobile apps like Snapchat, Kik and Text Plus have them worried.

“The bad guys use it too. Think about it this way, where’s the bad guy that wants to approach children where are they going to go,” said . “They are going to go where the kids are. Well the kids are on Snapchat. Well that’s where the predator is going to go.”

Investigators said apps that automatically erase can make it very hard to track down people who prey on kids.

Police said parents should check their phones and know…Continued here:

The Brief: What Trailergate Could Mean for Davis in 2018

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, officially files her candidacy for governor in front of a crowd of supporters at uShip’s headquarters in Austin on Nov. 9, 2013.


The Big Conversation

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza has put a different frame on the Wendy Davis storyline from this week — focusing less on the immediate implications of Trailergate and more on what this means for Davis’ attempts to position herself for elections to come.

Cillizza’s main point is that Davis had to run this year for governor in order to take advantage of the national prominence afforded her from last summer’s filibuster. Running this year makes sure she is in the mix in the next couple of election cycles, when Democrats are hoping to run stronger because of the ongoing demographic shifts in the Lone Star State.

At the same time, the field is expected to be more crowded as stars-in-the-making like San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro make their move onto the bigger stage. In other words, the pressure is on the Davis camp to keep her viable through 2018 and beyond.

“What Davis then needs most of all is not to win — although that would be nice for her and her supporters — but rather to be seen as having run a creditable campaign that continues to elevate her star status,” Cillizza wrote. “Allegations like these about her résumé, if they persist and/or lead to other problems with the campaign, are perilous to that perception.”

Today in the Trib

Texas Regulators Air Concerns on Greenhouse Gas Rules: “Texas appears to be headed for another clash with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over greenhouse gas limits — this time, for existing power plants.”

Water, Local Control Issues Paramount In HD-53 Race: “After re-electing Harvey Hilderbran every two years since 1992, the voters in House District 53 are vetting a group of fresh faces and hosting a slew of candidate forums to hear where the GOP primary candidates stand on issue No. 1 — water.”

After Failed 911 Call, Family Seeks Hotel Phone Change: “A gruesome murder in a Texas hotel room and a 9-year-old’s futile effort to call 911 has sparked a national petition — and prompted federal officials to seek a legislative remedy.”


Hannity to attend State of the Union with Rep. Gohmert, may run for office in Texas, The Dallas Morning News

Texas executes man despite opposition from Mexico, The Associated Press

Fetus in Muñoz case is “distinctly abnormal,” attorneys say, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

City sues firefighters’ pension system for more control, Houston Chronicle

Expert: Texas school funding remains inadequate, Austin American-Statesman

Why state workers are leaving their jobs, Austin American-Statesman

Elections Panel Calls On States To Make It Easier To Vote, Huffington Post

Quote to Note

“Well I’m supporting your re-election. And I don’t want it to hurt you, but you’re a good man and I love your principles and I really, really — your letter meant more to me than I think you’re ever going to know.”

Sean Hannity to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on the Sean Hannity Show. Hannity notably backed Ted Cruz over Dewhurst in the 2012 U.S. Senate contest.

News From Home

As part of our commitment to transparency, we’re putting our code of ethics to paper. Also, we have a created a standalone corrections page. Both can be accessed from our home page as well.

Trib Events for the Calendar

A Conversation on Our Nation’s Future Featuring U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in San Antonio, 1/23

Comptroller candidate Debra Medina at the Austin Club, 1/30

Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, candidate for lieutenant governor, at the Austin Club, 2/6

Sen. Kel Seliger and Reps. John Smithee and Four Price at West Texas A&M in Canyon, 2/7

Reps. Joe Deshotel and Allan Ritter at Lamar University in Beaumont, 2/19

Texas Tribune Festival On the Road at The University of Texas El Paso for a daylong symposium on demographic change, 2/27

Save the date for the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival: 9/19-9/21

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at