46 years ago today, America walked on the moon. Or perhaps I should say “Nixon walked on the moon” in the same sense that “Obama got Bin Laden.”
Put this in the category of news that didn’t make the news.
You may recall mention of two sales tax holiday bills working their way through the legislature.
The good news is that SB904, the emergency/preparation bill, was signed by Governor Abbott on June 15. While the law itself takes effect on September 1, the first day of the actual sales tax holiday for the enumerated emergency prep items is the last weekend in April, which in 2016 will be April 23-24. At the very least, consider it a good weekend to stock up on batteries.
As to why no news outlet seems to have even mentioned this fact in passing, I couldn’t tell you.
The bad news is that it appears both HB 849 and SB 228 died in committee before the end of the legislative session. Since n special session is currently planned, it seems unlikely there will be a hunting and guns sales tax holiday any time in the next two years.
Senate Bill 11, the campus carry bill sponsored by Sen. Brian Birdwell, has passed the Texas House. It had already passed the Senate earlier, so now it’s headed to the desk of Governor Greg Abbott, who has promised to sign it. The only downside is that it doesn’t take effect until August 1, 2016.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Abbott signs both the campus carry and open carry bills today.
The name of the second dead terrorist in the Garland attack has been released. “A federal law enforcement official is confirming the identity of the second gunman in the shooting outside a contest for Prophet Muhammad cartoons as Nadir Soofi, according to AP reporter Eric Tucker in Washington.”
Oh, and the lawyer for Elton Simpson, the first terrorist identified, says that he’s “a devout Muslim.”
Try to contain your shock.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also gets it right the second time, calling the attack a “heinous crime” and stating “We live in a country where the First Amendment is one of the paramount promises of this nation,” Abbott said. “That provides people the ability to speak out to say what they want. Just as people draw cartoons mocking the governor, people may draw cartoons mocking others.”
And here’s the cartoon that won the Draw Mohammed contest:
More details are trickling out about the failed Islamist terror attack on a Mohammed art exhibit being held in Garland:
From a 10 AM conference by Garland police officer Joe Harn:
Officer Harn did a good job conveying just what he knew, and refusing to speculate on what he didn’t know.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued the following statement: “Texas officials are actively investigating to determine the cause and scope of the senseless attack in Garland, Texas. This is a crime that was quickly ended thanks to the swift action by Garland law enforcement. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected tonight.”
With all due respect for the governor, this was not a “senseless attack,” it was a premeditated act of Islamic terrorism.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott gave his State of the State address yesterday, and there’s plenty to talk about. Some highlights:
So far it seems that Abbott is serious about governing as he campaigned…
With all the votes in, we can start analyzing some of odder aspects of the Texas statewide race results.
For those watching the race, it’s no surprise that (discounting 2006’s strange four-way race) Wendy Davis was the worst-performing Democratic gubernatorial candidate this century. The surprising thing is that, as bad as she was, Davis was the Democrat’s best statewide candidate this year. Her 38.9% was the highest statewide vote percentage by any Texas Democrat in 2014. Leticia Van de Putte’s 38.7% was the second highest. Otherwise statewide Democratic candidates ranged from a low of 34.3% for invisible Senate candidate David Alameel to a high of 38% for Attorney General candidate Sam Houston.
And those who said Abbott would outpoll Dan Patrick were right…but only by 1.2%.
Abbott took ten counties that Bill White won in 2010: Harris, Bexar, Brooks, Culberson, Falls, Foard, Kleberg, La Salle, Reeves and Trinity. Harris (Houston) and Bexar (San Antonio) are the 800-pound gorillas on that list. In 2012, Ted Cruz won Harris by 2% (while Romney was edged there by a thousand votes) while losing Bexar by 4%. For a while Democrats were able to stay competitive statewide by racking up big margins in those urban counties even while they were losing rural and suburban counties. If Republicans can now win those counties outright, it may be a long, long time before a Democrat can win statewide again.
Two statewide Republican candidates got more votes than Abbott’s 2,790,227: Senator John Cornyn and Land Commissioner-elect George P. Bush. The rest of the country may suffer from Bush-fatigue (though I imagine that it’s now dwarfed by Obama-fatigue), but you’d be hard-pressed to find signs of it in Texas…
Since Democrats failed to contest three statewide court races, both the Libertarian and Green parties reached the minimum 5% threshold to maintain ballot access in 2016.
Shockingly, David Weigel actually brings the wood when discussing Battleground Texas:
“These are the greatest geniuses of data in the f**king world and they can’t figure out that less people voted?” asked Carney. “Every publicly pronounced goal of Battleground, every one, has been an abject failure.”
Davis only out-performed the 2010 ticket in her home base of Tarrant County (Ft. Worth).
Oh, and it got worse. Abbott’s campaign said throughout the campaign that it would poach Latino voters, especially in the Rio Grande valley. A quick look at a Texas map might tell you that Abbott failed. Not quite true. Perry had lost Hidalgo County (McAllen) by 34 points; Abbott kept the margin down to 28 points. Perry had lost Webb County by 53 points; Abbott lost it by 39. In exit polling, Perry ended up pulling only 38 percent of the Latino vote. Abbott won 44 percent of it, about what was expected in a Texas Tribune poll that Davis allies tried to debunk. Abbott actually won Latino men, 50-49 over Davis. The Democratic wane and Republican outreach helped oust Rep. Pete Gallego, elected in 2012 in a district that sprawled across most of the border. He won 96,477 votes that year; he won only 55,436 this year, allowing black Republican Will Hurd to win, despite being out-fundraised 2-1.
Weigel may be a partisan, but at least he can read a spreadsheet…