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Railroad Commission race loses luster, challenges emerge elsewhere

Photo: Karla Held for Pville Pflag

Then-Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson at a Veterans Day ceremony in Pflugerville 2014.

For a brief moment, the Republican race for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission seemed destined to provide the best political theater during the run-up to the March 1 primary. But, that hope fizzled Monday as two colorful politicos, former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, said they wouldn’t run.

Patterson, who spent the weekend camping with his 11-year-old son, was reminded that moments spent with his ….. read more here

By Tim Eaton – American-Statesman Staff

Gene Haas: F1 could find new U.S. Grand Prix venue

Gene Haas said that the U.S. could find another venue for the U.S. Grand Prix if COTA was unable to host. PHOTO BY LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC

 ‘I THINK BERNIE UNDERSTANDS HOW IMPORTANT A U.S. RACE IS’
America’s future in Formula One is not endangered due to the problems facing the current U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
That is the view of Gene Haas, the founder and owner of the sport’s new Ferrari-linked American team for 2016.
The future of the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin is in doubt over a funding dispute with ………. read more here. 

Tea party and GOP establishment battling again in Texas House races

File photo of a 2011 tea party rally in Austin by Ben Sklar/Getty Images

Texas Republicans are headed for more battles over whether the Legislature should swerve harder to the right, with as many as 30 House races in the March primary to pit tea party conservatives against more traditional Republicans.

Establishment Republicans are hoping Texas’ new relevance in the GOP presidential nominating battle will generate a bigger …… read more here. 

Arresting news: Texas cop story clicks with readers

ALL POINTS BULLETIN: A Watchdog story about San Antonio’s thinning blue line hit a nerve with readers.

A Watchdog.org report on San Antonio’s chronic shortage of police officers attracted heavy reader traffic, as well as a few applicants.

Dozens of police officers and wanna-be cops from Florida to California emailed this reporter about work at SAPD following publication of …….. read more here.

By

Witt: A Christmas Story

 

I received a Christmas card yesterday from my friend, Chrystal Lee. I don’t get many. I put it above the fireplace. Sitting alone last night, I found myself looking at it for the longest time. I live alone, and don’t set up a tree or anything. Pam does that in the other house. Basically, that card is my only ornament. Now, before you start thinking that I’m a bitter old prick, I’m not, but somehow that card put me into a melancholy mood. Whiskey helps. Doctors say it’s bad for you, but there are more old drunks than there are old doctors.

By and by my thoughts centered on recent events. Just by chance I caught a little bit of “A Christmas Story,” on Netflix, but didn’t watch it all because my mind began to turn out a more current Christmas Story. I thought of the fourteen in San Bernardino.  I thought about their husbands, wives, kids, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and all their friends and co-workers, and I considered what their Christmas must be like. The funerals, the empty plate, the clothes still hanging in the closet, the empty desk at work. Yes, Allah was truly great that day. He certainly spread a lot of holiday cheer, didn’t he?

It is hard enough to lose a grandparent, or someone who has been ill for a very long time, but to lose someone who simply went to an office party is horrific. There is no preparation, no understanding, nothing! Just loss, and pain, and the pain will never go away, and the hole in your heart will never completely heal. I thought of the children left behind. If you think such an event is rough on adults, put yourself in their shoes. On one hand is the expectation of Santa, only this time they have to look at mommy, or daddy in a box, and the big people try to explain to you how they are in heaven, but you don’t really know where that’s at, only that they won’t be coming home with you.

So I lit another cigarette, poured another glass of Jim Beam, and thought of Paris. If San Bernardino gives you pause, Paris is overwhelming. The city of light. A concert transformed into a field of death. One minute, music and laughter, and the next, chaos! A man running for his life, leaving his dead wife because of his age and inability to simply drag her body out of the building. Seems Allah doesn’t like parties, and certainly doesn’t get into music, and happiness.

I don’t spread it all around but I don’t pray. I talk to Jesus all through my day. Now, don’t get me wrong, He doesn’t talk back, that’s schizophrenia, but thoughts, from without form in my mind, such as this article. The Lord said that if someone hits you, then you should turn the other cheek, but He also said that one day you would have to sell your coat, and buy a sword. My friend, Doc Greene, updates that and says we should buy a gun. Just by chance I watched a retired police officer explaining that most beat cops want an armed citizenry. It’s only the chiefs and upper end that bow and scrape to the politicians, and advocate gun control.

Some Muslim cleric said last week that to say, “Merry Christmas” was worse than murder. Well, he doesn’t have to worry about that. Allah certainly took the “Merry” out of Christmas, now didn’t he? Then the message of the card became clear. Rise up, Patriots, we have work to do!

 

Simple Ol’ Boy From Austin

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT SHOWS CONTEMPT FOR PROPERTY RIGHTS

Image: texaspolicy.com

Since 2008, the Bureau of Land Management has claimed up to 90,000 acres of private property inside Texas along the Red River as federal land. For nearly seven years, affected property owners along the river tried to settle these disputed titles with BLM. And for nearly seven years (and counting), BLM failed to come to the table.

Last month, those property owners — represented by the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for the American Future — filed the federal lawsuit of Aderholt v. BLM to end BLM’s arbitrary seizure of their homes. In the past two weeks, the state of Texas and the …….. read more here.

by CHANCE WELDON

Texas primary election ballot starting to fill out

(Photo: Rob M Ferguson)

As the window for candidates to file for the March 1 primaries closed Monday evening, Democrats had a last-minute surprise as former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia filed to challenge U.S. Rep. Gene Green of Houston.

A race between Garcia and Green is likely to be a high-profile contest in what is expected to be a feisty primary season in Texas, topped with more than 20 presidential contenders.

Thirteen Republicans and eight Democrats had filed for president in Texas as of late Monday afternoon. The Republicans included Texas’ own U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush, former Florida Governor and father of Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. Others on the G.O.P. ballot include ……. read more here.

by Madlin Mekelburg and Aman Batheja, The Texas Tribune

 

 

 

 

Texas Railroad Commission chairman won’t seek re-election

Photo: File 

The big news among oil and gas circles in Texas last week was the announcement by the top regulator of oil and gas activities that he will not seek re-election.

David Porter, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, announced on Thursday that he will not seek a second term, which surprised many because he had announced and filed for re-election as a Republican.

The Railroad Commission has regulated the oil and gas industry for about 100 years.

Read more here…..

Written by Alex Mills, Texas Alliance of Energy Producers

SCOTUS case could tighten state regs on abortion

(AP Photo)

While abortion opponents insist the regulations protect the safety of women obtaining abortions, supporters of abortion rights say they’re a closeted attempt to force clinics to shutter.

 

Thirty-three-year-old Scott Keller is preparing to defend Texas’ new regulations on abortion providers before the Supreme Court this spring. The 2013 law, which requires clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards and says doctors must have hospital admitting privileges, has raised major and contentious legal questions about how …….. read more here.

By PAIGE WINFIELD CUNNINGHAM (@PW_CUNNINGHAM)

Texas Independence and Texas Exceptionalism

Image: texasgopvote.com

“You may all go to Hell, I’m going to Texas.” – Davy Crockett

Like many great Texans, I am a not a native of my adoptive state of Texas. I came here in my twenties for a better political and business climate. What I found was that it is not the politics of Texas that makes it great, but the optimism of the people.

Many people say that it is the Texas ego, but I believe it is just the natural outlook of Texans to believe that everything will be okay and that we can do better. That is the same mindset that used to be known as American exceptionalism, but magnify it and you find Texas exceptionalism.

We have a great economy in Texas partially because we expect to have a great economy in Texas and that leads us to act like it. It’s a ……. read more here

by Jason Vaughn