A Further Perspective

Texas Primaries: A Chance to Prove the Tea Party Right

By 5.30.14

HOUSTON – Texas Monthly is famous for three things: long-form stories of crime and punishment unsurpassed in American journalism, a barbecue editor who is the Robert M. Parker of smoked meats, and the political commentary of Paul Burka, whose experience and influence gets him called the “dean of the Austin press corps.”

While each of the first two is sui generis, Burka is generic, a perfect representative of what Jay Rosen once called High Broderism, the mainstream approach to political journalism that claims authority by pushing off against “ideologues” on either side. Since Texas is short on commies, Burka ends up pitting Democrats, open-wallet Republicans, and “pragmatists” like himself against conservatives, whom he describes as “extremists,” “bullies,” “ideologues,” “ultra-conservatives,” or anything else that marks them as deviants.

Since the primary runoff was held Tuesday, Burka has exhausted his synonyms for “zealot.”

Tea Party Favorite Beats Congress’s Last World War II Vet

By on 5.28.14 | 12:32PM

In what will be called the Texas Tea Party Primaries, incumbent Republican Ralph Hall, who at 91 was the oldest serving member of the House, was beaten by a youthful Tea Party challenger. Hall, who had spent thirty-four years, or seventeen terms, in the House, lost to forty-eight-year-old former U.S. attorney John Ratcliffe after a runoff.

Pregnant Texas Women Taken Off Life Support

By on 1.27.14 | 3:13PM

Over the weekend, a Texas district judge ruled that pregnant, brain-dead patient Marlise Munoz be taken off life support. John Peter Smith Hospital had refused to do so beforehand, citing a Texas bill that prohibits the withdrawal of life support from pregnant women. 

I wrote about it originally here. 

The real question in this case was whether the baby could have survived. He or she was 14 weeks old when Mrs. Munoz suffered from a blood clot in November 2013. On Sunday, she was in her 22nd week of development. 

Updates on the Texas Abortion Law

By on 11.5.13 | 3:20PM

Last Friday, the Fifth Circuit of Appeals overturned District Judge Lee Yeakel’s ruling that a portion of Texas’s abortion law was unconstitutional. The clause in contention required all abortion doctors to get admitting privileges to local hospitals.

Though Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott requested an immediate emergency ruling on October 29, the Fifth Circuit waited until Thursday to issue its ruling.

On Monday, Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia denied Planned Parenthood’s emergency request to stay the appeals court’s ruling, asking the state to file a response by November 12.

The law has resulted in 13 clinic closures in Texas, a third of the total. The closings have prompted feminists and liberals to attack the decision as a broadside on women’s rights.

California Crass, Texas Class

By on 11.2.10 | 5:02PM

In a disappointing, undignified statement as he heads out of office, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn't resist making a "nah-nah" political point while congratulating the San Francisco Giants on their World Series championship:

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Texas Rangers tonight, just like California voters are going to defeat the attempts of dirty Texas oil companies to undo our clean energy laws at the polls tomorrow.

Throughout the season and post-season, the Giants have shown remarkable determination and excellence. They have made this state proud and shown the world what we are capable of. I join all Californians in congratulating the entire Giants organization, coaching staff, players and fans on this much-deserved win.

Texas Oil Can’t Keep Up with California Greenies

By on 10.28.10 | 11:24AM

"Titanavatarinator" director James Cameron is out with a new campaign ad that opposes California ballot initiative Proposition 23, which would stop the state's extreme global warming emissions law (Assembly Bill 32) until its unemployment rate falls below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters:

Mass Climate Disobedience in Texas?

By on 6.4.10 | 3:30PM

The self-descriptive online propaganda tool SolveClimate selectively "reports" that despite a new rule implemented last year by the Texas Board of Education, which would allegedly require "teachers to cast doubt on human contributions to climate change," that students and educators are largely ignoring it.