In which most Texans prove smarter than their elected representatives…. (gun edition)

George W. Bush, Rick Perry and Ted Cruz made it their business to give Texas a bad name on the national stage. The current crop of Texas legislators is on track to outdo them.

The vast majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens and generally sensible sorts. Yet, although the federal government never advocated a takeover of Texas, Governor Abbott wanted the Texas State Guard to monitor Jade Helm 15, the series of military exercises conducted in Texas last summer. Similarly, as a result of …

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President Obama’s press conference – Feb. 2016

For those who missed today’s presidential press conference, here is a quick recap.

As the president said, unemployment, deficits, and gas prices are down; jobs, wages, and the number of people covered by health insurance are up.

The unemployment rate is now at 4.9%, which is less than half what it was at the height of the recession. The economy added over 140,000 new jobs. This caps 71 months of continuous job growth. 12.7 million people either signed up or renewed their health insurance, and wages are …

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Wide open spaces, cowboy poetry, and the senseless death of Lavoy Finicum

Lavoy Finicum will no doubt be painted as a martyr by the occupiers of Malheur refuge in Oregon. I see him as more victim than hero. And I may condemn his actions, but still I mourn his death.

Mr. Finicum seemed to belong to a different time. The ridiculous figure under the blue tarp became eloquent when talking about his loves — the sun and wind on his face, the ranching life, his family. I know absolutely nothing personal about him, but he stirred …

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Bernie’s “establishment” quote

On Rachel Maddow’s show, Bernie Sanders referred to several organizations that had just endorsed Hillary Clinton as “the establishment”, thereby triggering a severe episode of hyperventilation. I am no mind reader, but I think that what was meant was that these organizations are “big players”. In a game of chess, they would be kings and queens rather than pawns. This does not in any way devalue the causes they support. On women’s reproductive rights and women’s health in general, we trust Planned Parenthood. On LGBT …

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Trump and the power of magical thinking.

  There is a glaring contradiction at the center of Trump’s rhetoric. He claims that government in general, and the federal government in particular, is inefficient and wasteful. The president, he says,  is incompetent, weak, and makes “terrible deals”.  In that respect, Trump sticks close to the general Republican and Libertarian core belief, “Business, free markets — good! Government — bad! If Trump is elected, however, he will build a wall between the US and Mexico, he will deport roughly 12 million undocumented immigrants, and he will somehow enable border agents to tell Muslims …

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Happy Thanksgiving to all.

I am sitting in a hotel near Washington, DC, listening to some Republican candidates howling on TV about Syrian refugees, terrorism, all lives mattering and all the tropes in their vast repertoire….

Two days ago, I was walking around Terminal D at DFW airport. The terminal was practically empty, and a disaffected waiter hailed me, advertising his lunch menu. I needed to eat, so I took a table. I am white. A few minutes later, a black lady came to the restaurant, holding her boarding pass. The waiter’s …

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