Cruel and unusual in Oklahoma

Via the Washington Post. The state viciously murdered one of its citizens last night because of those damned secret execution drugs. I told you they were dangerous! Categorical opposition to the death penalty is the only reasonable solution.

In other news, I will be back posting normally in 47 hours. I CANNOT WAIT.

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Civil Affairs: Death Penalty

CIVIL AFFAIRS

Texas leads the pack when it comes to capital punishment. Since the start of this year, the Department of Criminal Justice has ended the lives of seven people, with yet an eighth execution scheduled for early next month. In comparison, the other 49 states combined have put to death 12 people in that time. Once again, as is assumed, the status quo of this horrifyingly beloved institution still looks to be popular. Recent polling consistently shows upwards of 60 percent support, including majorities on both sides of the aisle. However, controversy over the source of execution drugs has kept this issue in the limelight of the gubernatorial election.

Gov. Rick Perry, under whose watch almost 300 prisoners have been executed, openly brags about how much “justice” has been accomplished throughout his lengthy administration. However, both parties’ nominees to succeed him as governor, disappointingly, appear to share that sentiment.

“I support capital punishment and I believe that, as it has worked in this state, it’s been one that has provided due process in a way that I think we all would hope would occur,” said Wendy Davis, a state senator and the Democratic candidate for governor.

PLEASE SEE THE REST OF THE COLUMN AT THE DAILY TEXAN!

TPA Roundup (April 28, 2014)

Note: The opinions of the Texas Progressive Alliance are not necessarily those of Texpatriate or its contributors.

The Texas Progressive Alliance strongly favors net neutrality as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff notes another redistricting lawsuit, this one filed by people who think our Senate districts aren’t white enough.

Horwitz at Texpatriate reports that a majority of Houston City Councilmembers support a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance.

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Texpatriate endorses in Republican Agriculture Commissioner runoff

The Agriculture Commissioner is one of the most respected and powerful posts in the State, a steward of all things related to food, as well as a few other miscellaneous duties involving gas pumps and other odds and ends. For years, the Texas Farm Bureau has played kingmaker for this post, not only when Democrats carried the day in Texas, but for the past two decades of uninterrupted Republican rule. This year, they endorsed J. Allen Carnes in the Republican primary, something we later did too.  For all our efforts, Carnes came in dead last, and a runoff election has now emerged between Sid Miller and Tommy Merritt, two former State Representatives from the rural portion of the State.

The two men have somewhat similar stories, in that their service in the Legislature often consisted of right-wing grandstanding, and that they were both ultimately defeated for re-nomination in the 2012 Republican primary. Merritt was defeated by the more conservative David Simpson, who has since become a stalwart of Tea Party causes in the legislative. Miller, for his part, was defeated by J.D. Sheffield on account of allegedly neglecting the needs of his home constituency. Both men are lacking in the Agricultural credentials, to say the least, although the same thing could be said ten times over on the other side of the aisle.

Please click here to see who we choose!

Texpatriate endorses in Democratic Agriculture Commissioner runoff

In last month’s primary, Democrats were faced with two legitimate candidates representing two legitimate options for the party. There was Hugh Fitzsimons, a longtime rancher and farmer, who had fabulous inside knowledge of everything that is agriculture, and would have valiantly lead the office as a competent and pragmatic technocrat. The problem, of course, is that Fitzsimons was terrible at sheer, ugly politics. Accordingly, enter Kinky Friedman. Despite his best intentions, Friedman is not anyone’s maven on agricultural issues. However, as a famous musician and one-time candidate for Governor, he boasts name recognition and identification superior to Republican counterparts running for this post. Those focusing on politics more than policy, in this board’s opinion, were wise to vote for Friedman in the primary.

Friedman advanced into a runoff election, but Fitzsimons did not. Instead, an insurance salesman from Cleburne named Jim Hogan finished in first place, advancing into a runoff with Friedman while winning nearly a majority of counties across the State. Small counties, like Loving County, and large counties, like Harris County, voted alike for Hogan, a political dark horse with no website, no platform and no competence. In fact, when political reporters contacted Hogan following his upset performance, he openly mocked the political process and promised to do absolutely no campaigning between now and the runoff and, if nominated, before the general election.

Click here to read who we select!

“Reduced status”

Academically speaking, Brandeis was truly a remarkable place. Almost everything I did in my classes revolved around essays and centered upon being a good writer. I suppose that is possible in a smaller school, but not at UT. In probably the most spectacularly stupid thing the Texas Legislature has ever mandated, and that is not hyperbole, I am required to take FIVE (5!) science classes in order to get a degree in Political Science. Unfortunately, mastery of geology has little to do with writing or rhetoric. Instead, it is simple, tedious memorization.

Long story short, I turned in an eight page paper today, have another eight page paper I need to get to any day now and have six finals next week. That’s right, six tests in five days. One test on Monday, two tests on Wednesday, two tests on Thursday and one test on Friday. To say this will be living hell might be an understatement, and I will truly need to devote all of my time to preparation in the hope I do decently in these classes. Accordingly, I will be signing off from Texpatriate for the next eight days.

We have a couple of Editorials on deck and ready to go that will be published here in the next few days, and I have one last op-ed in The Daily Texan coming out on Monday that I will obviously link to this site. Otherwise, this will be my farewell until my four month long summer starts at 10:50 AM on Friday May 2nd. I will be in Houston working on some exciting stuff, which I may be expanding upon as well here in the next couple days. Otherwise, I thoroughly suggest you get daily updates from Charles Kuffner at www.offthekuff.com and Perry Dorrell at brainsandeggs.blogpost.com. Additionally, Stace Medellin at doscentavos.net and Wayne Ashley at texasleftist.blogspot.com provide awesome intermittent updates. But please start checking back next week!!!

Thank you for your patience, and I am looking forward to another awesome summer in Houston!