Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Children Of Hurricane Refugees May Enroll In Texas Schools

KWTX | Children Of Hurricane Refugees May Enroll In Texas Schools

Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that Texas school districts will enroll children of Hurricane Katrina refugees sheltered within each district.

Perry made the announcement during a ceremonial signing of an eminent-domain bill passed during the recent Legislature.

Perry and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco agreed Wednesday to a plan that would move at least 25,000 Hurricane Katrina refugees from New Orleans to Houston.

Most of the refugees are sweltering in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.

The plan calls for them to be moved to Houston's Astrodome, where they would be sheltered temporarily until better accommodations can be found.

.“In the face of such tragic circumstances, we all have to pull together so these families have as much normalcy as possible during these difficult times,” Perry said.

Perry said the Texas Education Agency has been directed to provide all needed support for districts having to absorb the additional children from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

He said Texas wants to do all it can to comfort children who have "almost overnight been uprooted from their daily routines."

The TEA said the refugee children can qualify as "homeless" and may enroll without proof of residence.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

What is the definition of 'classroom spending?"

Huntsville Item Online - Huntsville, TX: "Following two failed special sessions of the Texas Legislature for education finance reform, Gov. Rick Perry ordered education commissioner Shirley Neeley to restrict how much Texas schools can spend outside of classroom expenses. Under Perry's order, districts will not be allowed to spend any more than 35 percent of their budget on non-classroom expenses, but Huntsville ISD superintendent Richard Montgomery wonders what exactly Perry means by classroom expenses.

'The first thing that I would wonder about is how does he define classroom expenses?' Montgomery said. 'I really don't know what that means at this point. The other thing is, what is the indicator from an educational standpoint that caused him to pick 35 percent as the number?'"

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Top News Article |

Top News Article | "- Thousands of Iraq war supporters and protesters staged competing rallies near President George W. Bush's Texas ranch on Saturday as he warned Americans to brace for more sacrifice in Iraq.

With almost 1,900 U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war, Bush's job approval rating has plummeted to new lows. He is under increasing pressure from critics to finish training a new Iraqi security force and bring the soldiers home.

But in his weekly radio address, Bush acknowledged there was more work ahead for American soldiers in Iraq.

'Our efforts in Iraq and the broader Middle East will require more time, more sacrifice and continued resolve,' said Bush, who has spent most of August on vacation at his 1,600- acre (648-hectare) ranch.

Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq last year and has camped outside Bush's ranch seeking a second meeting with him to press for the withdrawal of troops, said her efforts would ultimately lead to the end of the war in Iraq.

'I know that the Camp Casey movement is going to end the war in Iraq,' she said after folk singer Joan Baez led supporters in singing 'Amazing Grace.' Rally organizers estimated the crowd at 2,000, although it appeared smaller."

Tribes paid, but for what?

Kansas City Star | 08/27/2005 | Tribes paid, but for what?: "The Tiguas of Texas had just lost their casino and were told that if they wanted to see profits again to start throwing money around Capitol Hill.

They were told exactly where to aim it.

The Coushattas of Louisiana, the Choctaws of Mississippi and other tribes with gambling operations also wrote big and bigger checks.

Between 1999 and 2004, nearly $1 million went to the campaigns of lawmakers from House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican, to then-Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, a Missouri Democrat.

Sen. Conrad Burns, a Montana Republican and a subcommittee chairman with huge sway over Indian affairs, got the most, nearly $140,000.

Even Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican and a champion of family values, received $42,000.

The maestro behind this orchestration of cash was Jack Abramoff, a lawyer-lobbyist whose influence — based largely on his friendship with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican — was rivaled by few, until its collapse last year.

It turns out that the Indian money sent to campaign coffers was dwarfed by the dollars that stayed in the pockets of Abramoff and business partner Michael Scanlon, who headed a public relations firm."

Calling a Bush visit unlikely, Sheehan turns focus to DeLay - Calling a Bush visit unlikely, Sheehan turns focus to DeLay: "Iraq war protester Cindy Sheehan, whose vigil near President Bush's ranch has become a symbol for the anti-war movement, said Friday she plans to focus on Congress, starting with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Sheehan has been demanding a meeting with Bush to discuss the U.S. presence in Iraq, where her son Casey was killed in 2004.

She plans to launch a bus tour Thursday from Bush's ranch to the White House to campaign for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

One of DeLay's Houston-area district offices likely would be the first stop, she said.

'I think our first stop might be Tom DeLay's office' in the Houston area, she said., surrounded by supporters. 'I just wanted to let him know so he'll be in his office when we get there.'

'The president is not going to meet with us, probably,' Sheehan said. 'We the people need to influence our congressional representatives, and I hear he's pretty close by,' said Sheehan, referring to DeLay.

A spokeswoman for DeLay said his schedule already is set and he does not plan to change it to meet with Sheehan."

The cost of gasoline is pushing some motorists beyond the breaking point. And gas retailers and station attendants are paying for it.

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News

The cost of gasoline is pushing some motorists beyond the breaking point. And gas retailers and station attendants are paying for it.
[Click image for a larger version] AP
The price of gas has some people considering alternative transportation.

They say they're dealing with increasing anger and even the threat of violence for circumstances far beyond their control.

"Maybe because we work here, they think we set the prices, but we don't," said Frank Chuc, manager of a Texaco station at Inwood Road and Cedar Springs. "They're mad."

The anger and abuse and the losses from people who fill up and drive off have some retailers wondering why they stay in the business.

"I sell gas for $2.61; I buy it for $2.59," said Gita Bhimani, operator of a Sunlight Food Mart on Jupiter Road in Garland. "I'm tired of it."

Saeed Mahdoubi, who operates a Texaco station at Greenville Avenue and Walnut Hill Lane, took a pre-emptive approach to deflecting customer anger. He posted signs on all of the station's pumps with a simple suggestion: "If skyrocketing gasoline prices bother you, call your congressman."

"They pitch the money at us and say, 'That's ridiculous,' " said Rosalinda Hernandez, who works at a Chevron Food Mart on Miller Road in Garland.

BRAC Commission couldn't buy Air Force lack of dollar sense

Local News Headlines: "The Air Force believed that moving 29 B–1 bombers out of Ellsworth to one location in Texas would save the taxpayers $1.8 billion.

But the Base Realignment and Closure Commission believed they could do one better, save Ellsworth and stop the Air Force from spending $19 million in the process.

Today’s deliberation on Ellsworth’s future, and an annual economic impact of $280 million in western South Dakota, began dry enough with Air Force BRACC analyst, Lt. Col. Arthur Beauchamp, reading the Pentagon’s justification: “By consolidating the B–1 fleet in a single location, DOD expects to achieve operational and economic efficiencies. The justification also states that the B–1 activity is transferred to an installation with higher military value.”

That's what the Air Force believed anyway. But that's not what the commissioners were ready to swallow.

When stripping away the nonexistent troop cut savings, Air Force analysts said moving 29 bombers to Texas would actually cost the military $19 million, not save the reported $1.8 billion."

Texas loses two bases, keeps depot | News for Denton, Texas | AP: Texas: "After days of base closing decisions, Texans were crowing about dodging some of the worst possible outcomes, predicting rebounds from losses and raising alarms about possible terrorism threats to the Gulf Coast's petroleum industry and ship channels.

The Base Closure and Realignment Commission endorsed much of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's plan to streamline the nation's military bases during discussions that started Wednesday and concluded Saturday. They approved plans to close Naval Station Ingleside and move its minesweeping fleet to San Diego — where training can be done with other Navy forces — and shut down Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant in Texarkana.

But the commission defied the Pentagon on Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, voting to keep the site open and move only its missile work to other depots. Repair work on Bradleys and Humvees returning from Iraq and Afghanistan accounts for most of Red River's jobs."

Dueling Rallies In Crawford, Texas |

CBS News | Dueling Rallies In Crawford, Texas | August 27, 2005 16:39:44: "This one-stoplight town of 700 residents near President Bush's ranch braced for thousands of visitors Saturday, most in a cross-country caravan for a pro-Bush rally and others to support Cindy Sheehan's anti-war demonstration.

CBS News Correspondent Mark Knoller reports that at Sheehan's base camp, there were cheers of welcome as more anti-war protestors arrived by bus. A few miles away in the heart of Crawford, they rang a replica of the Liberty Bell at a gathering of counter-protestors who back Mr. Bush's Iraq policies.

More than 3,000 people were expected at the school football stadium for a pro-Bush rally, the culmination of the 'You don't speak for me, Cindy!' tour that started last week in California.

It would be the largest counter protest since Sheehan started camping out off the road leading to Bush's ranch Aug. 6, soon after his Texas vacation began. She vowed to remain unless he talked to her about the war with Iraq that claimed the life of her son Casey and more than 1,870 other U.S. soldiers. "

I think I have figured out a solution for Texas' school problems - Local News - 08/27/2005 - I think I have figured out a solution for Texas' school problems

With the same Solomonesque deftness that's probably needed to bring peace to the Middle East, I think I have figured out a solution for Texas' school problems.

I don't want to hold this out as the perfect solution, but it probably is worth considering as much as some of the other things that the Texas Legislature considered and rejected.

The unique thing about this idea is that it may accomplish bridging the razor-edged divide between those who think Texas' public schools need more money, and those who think the education answer is vouchers.

Opponents say vouchers will undermine public schools and lead to cream-skimming of the best students. Plus, top-notch private schools have nowhere near the capacity to educate even a small fraction of Texas' 4.4 million students.

That's where my solution comes in. Rather than allow skimming off the best students, these vouchers would go to every student. And, like GI Bill vouchers, the students could choosed to use them at a private school, or at a public school, including the one they already attend.

The vouchers would afford freedom of choice. The voucher money that follows the students would provide a financial boost for schools wherever it goes.

That's because under my plan, the money spent per student would be the same as the tuition for day students at Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts, one of the nation's best-ranked and most prestigious prep schools.

Why Andover? Because that's where the previous President Bush and wife Barbara sent their eldest son, George W., for high school.

Now comes disclosure of what may be a sticking point for this plan. The current tuition rate at Andover for day students -- those who do not board, but come for classes each day -- is $24,220 a year.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Freeze angers DISD vendors

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "A consortium of technology vendors Thursday called for a federal agency to lift its freeze on Dallas schools' computer money, saying it unfairly pinches their finances and casts a shadow over the good work they've done.

While saying they don't condone the behavior that prompted the freeze – ordered after reports in The Dallas Morning News – the vendors argued that the news reports and the freeze hurt those who have worked together in a massive project to wire Dallas campuses to the Internet.

'You've effectively created this universe where we can't make any money, where there's public distrust,' said Eddie Hill, president of Hill Professional Services."

Bilingual-principal plan approved

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "The Dallas school board meeting turned racially heated Thursday night as trustees voted 5-4 to require some principals to become bilingual.

The policy, which pitted blacks against Hispanics, will apply at campuses where at least half the students enrolled in the last three years have had limited English proficiency.

In elementary schools, the requirement applies to principals in schools rated acceptable or unacceptable by the Texas Education Agency.

Elementary schools rated exemplary or recognized and all middle schools and high schools would need one of their top officials to be bilingual, but not necessarily the principal.

Administrators will have a year to enroll in a training program at district expense and three years to attain bilingual proficiency."

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Senatorial Courtesy--Will John McCain Let Republican Perps Walk?

Senatorial Courtesy, 8/26/2005 - The Texas Observer

n September 29, 2004, Arizona Senator John McCain made a promise to six Indian tribes defrauded in an $82-million lobby billing scandal perpetrated by two close associates of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay: “To the aggrieved tribes and Native Americans generally, I say rest assured that this committee’s investigation is far from over. Together we will get to the bottom of this.”

At the time, McCain probably meant what he said. But if he is to be a viable candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, he may have to slow down the investigation he began a year ago. Because at “the bottom” of the inquiry McCain directs from the chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee is a second scandal that extends beyond the $82 million Mike Scanlon and Jack Abramoff took from the six tribes they were working for. Abramoff and Scanlon did more than enrich themselves. They enriched the Republican Party. The two Washington political operatives moved millions out of the accounts of the Indian tribes and into the accounts of Republican campaigns and advocacy groups whose support McCain will need for a presidential run in 2008. The personal contributions they made, such as the $500,000 check Scanlon wrote to the Republican National Governors Association in 2002, were derived from illicit billings of Indian clients.

McCain won’t antagonize Republican governors who know that Scanlon wrote the largest check they received in a critical election year. Nor does he seem inclined to cross Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform and arguably the most influential unelected leader of the Republican takeover of the Congress and White House. McCain has requested ATR’s financial and membership files and Norquist has refused to deliver them. Norquist claims McCain hates him. Perhaps. But Norquist’s unofficial position of power in Washington places him beyond the Senator’s reach. Norquist is not the only powerful Republican who would have to be questioned if McCain were to conduct a proper investigation. The list of subjects the Senator would have to take on includes Bush’s Interior Secretary Gale Norton; Bush’s 2004 Southeastern campaign director Ralph Reed, who once ran the Christian Coalition; the National Republican Governors Association; the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee; and the Republican National Committee. All were recipients of large Indian contributions brokered by Abramoff. Majority Leader Tom DeLay had his hands in the Indians’ pockets and was the marquee name Abramoff used to sell his lobbying services to tribal leaders. Republican Congressman Bob Ney, who faces greater exposure to criminal prosecution than anyone except Abramoff and Scanlon, would be an immediate casualty of a proper investigation.

Read the rest.

Perry joins Craddick in the blame game Editorials: "Talk about a desperate move. Gov. Rick Perry is telling the state's school districts how to spend their money.

What happened to local control? Hasn't that been the conservative mantra?

The governor's pronouncement that he's taking this action because the Legislature did not fix the school funding problem is the latest effort by a major state official to shift the blame to his colleagues."

Perry on Schools: Governor evidently doesn't trust local districts

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion: Editorials: "Meanwhile, it was odd to see a Republican governor telling local schools how they must spend their money. Only a few years back, then-Gov. George W. Bush made his mark arguing for local control of schools. Evidently, Mr. Perry doesn't share the same trust of them. His office says he's only calling for what those schools are saying themselves. But if that's the case, why give them one more mandate, particularly one that doesn't match the realities of managing a school district?"

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Strayhorn radio ad slams Perry on taxes - Strayhorn radio ad slams Perry on taxes: "The dust had hardly settled on Gov. Rick Perry's unsuccessful special legislative sessions to cut property taxes Monday when re-election challenger Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn launched radio commercials attacking him — for wanting to raise taxes."

Political Wire: Another Issue That Divides Us

Political Wire: Another Issue That Divides Us: "Another Issue That Divides Us
Survey USA found that red states and blue states differ significantly on the right way to discipline a child."

Interesting post from Political Wire. I can't believe there are states where the where up to 40% believe it's alright to wash a child's mouth out with soap. And even in red states folks are reluctant to have a teacher discipline a child by spanking, while they overwhelming support their own right to spank. I guess they don't want those danged unionist, liberal teachers touching any part of their kid except for his or her mind.

Red River Army Depot to stay open

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "The commission considering military base closures voted Wednesday to realign the Red River Army Depot in East Texas instead of shutting it down, sparing the Texarkana area's largest employer.

The Pentagon had recommended closing the depot, which repairs Humvees and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, refurbishes missiles, and makes rubber pads for armored vehicle treads. But the Base Closure and Realignment Commission decided to retain the work on Humvees and Bradleys and move other work elsewhere.

Also Wednesday, the commission approved a Pentagon proposal to move a 4th Infantry Division combat brigade and headquarters team from Fort Hood to Colorado."

The Justices' Task: Court has chance to end school funding mess

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion: Editorials: "On to the courthouse.

That's the mood around Austin, now that legislators have given up on a funding fix for Texas schools. Everyone is focusing on the Texas Supreme Court because its justices could rule at any time in a case that questions the state's method of funding schools.

The suit involves close to 300 school districts that believe the system fails to meet the state constitution's standards for schools. State District Judge John Dietz ruled in their favor in September, and here's why we hope the Supreme Court concurs:"

Burnt Orange Report - Crawford PO Workers Halting Mail?

Burnt Orange Report - Crawford PO Workers Halting Mail?: "Seems as how the ladies working at the Post Office are none to fond of the Peace House (hostile comes to mind). For a couple of days the Peace House was receiving a flood of mail and then all of the sudden almost nothing. I do not know all of the details of what came next, apparently inquiries were made, can't deliver without the 11 digit zip etc.

Well to make a long story short, sometime within the last week, according to Kay, 4 Inspector Generals swept into the Crawford PO and they were caught red-handed (something about one or more letters addressed to Peace House with return to sender found)."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Blame the PTA - for caring about kids and schools

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion: Viewpoints

As the Texas Legislature ends its most recent special session in failure over school finance, the blame game has kicked into overdrive.

The speaker of the House blamed the Senate in radio ads across the state. The lieutenant governor blamed the House for its lack of action. The governor blamed both the House and Senate for not sending him a bill to sign. The comptroller blamed the governor for a lack of leadership on school finance. Next, the speaker blamed school superintendents.

So, who is really to blame for the Legislature's failure over three years, two regular sessions and three special sessions? Who is to blame for lawmakers' unwillingness to compromise on reforms and finances?

If state leaders must blame some group outside the Capitol, they can blame the Texas PTA and our 650,000 members. Parents who have written tens of thousands of e-mail messages and letters and placed hundreds and hundreds of phone calls to elected officials. You can blame the parents and taxpayers of this state for not allowing the Legislature to push through inadequate funding for our children's education and harmful regulatory changes disguised as "reforms."

DeLay at large

Brattleboro Reformer - Editorials: "Patriotic Americans hoping to live long enough to tune in CNN for a perp walk by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay will have to watch their cholesterol. The ethically challenged Texas Republican dodged another legal bullet this month when the Federal Election Commission announced that a political action committee he runs broke election law during the 2002 campaign but the infraction was not criminal. The FEC may or may not fine Armpac, Americans for a Republican Majority, and the chances are that since the GOP now controls this election-law watchdog, it won't.

Democrats claim that the $203,000 misuse of soft money for Armpac administrative expenses was way too much cash for the inadvertent bookkeeping error the PAC claims it was. The Democrats are probably right, but who's going to do anything about it?

Mr. DeLay has helpful pals on both the FEC and the House Ethics Committee, but he is still under the scrutiny of a less sympathetic and pliable body, a grand jury in Texas that has already indicted three of his PAC cronies for illegally funneling corporate money to Texas legislative races. Mr. DeLay said he was shocked, shocked to hear of these goings-on -- if they happened at all -- but he would never knowingly violate the law himself. That investigation is ongoing."

Strayhorn camp seeks apology for "One-Night" comment | Postcards from the Lege

Strayhorn camp seeks apology for "One-Night" comment | Postcards from the Lege: "Carole Keeton Strayhorn’s campaign says a GOP official should apologize for “wholly inappropriate public comments” comparing Strayhorn’s pitch for Democrats to vote for her for governor in the March 7 Republican primary to a one-night stand.

Jeff Fisher, executive director of the Republican Party of Texas, said in an article published in the American-Statesman Sunday: “It’s one thing when a candidate tries to invite like-minded conservative Democrats and independents to make a lasting commitment to the Republican Party. It’s quite another to encourage liberals to vote in the primary like a one-night stand.”"

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Texas Whip: Update on Dem's Suit Against the Texas Association of Business

The Texas Whip: Update on Dem's Suit Against the Texas Association of Business: "Several corporate donors, most of them insurance companies, are now defendants in a lawsuit filed by three Democrats who lost legislative races in 2002.

The suit alleges improper corporate funding of the candidates' opponents, allegations that a grand jury is also investigating.

The Democrats' lawyer, Buck Wood of Austin, added eight corporations this week to the suit against the Texas Association of Business, a trade group that spent about $1.7 million of corporate money on ads that touted Republicans and criticized Democrats. "

GOP cedes Robin Hood Metro | State: "When Republicans secured their dominance of the statehouse nearly three years ago, they painted a target on the Robin Hood school funding system that requires property-rich school districts to share with the poor.

Two regular sessions, three school-finance special sessions and one court ruling later, Robin Hood lives — the beneficiary in large part of GOP infighting over how to raise the state taxes needed to change the system's reliance on local school property taxes.

'When everything was said and done, there was more said than done,' said Rep. David Swinford, R-Dumas, at the center of the battle to raise billions in state taxes to lower local school property taxes.

'It's all about money. It's hard to make the deal run when you're not robbing those rich folks like Robin,' he said.

Just having House and Senate majorities and the key to the Governor's Mansion is a far cry from holding together lawmakers in the traditionally tax-shy party, especially on an issue like school finance that lawmakers have noted turns more on local concerns than party lines.

'We do have a majority of folks who are like-minded,' said Rep. Frank Corte, R-San Antonio. 'When it comes to school finance, it's a little more problematic than that.'"

Special session fails to produce school funding

Jacksonville Daily Progress: Special session fails to produce school funding: "he Texas Legislature adjourned its special session Friday, ending the fifth failed attempt to restructure the way Texas pays for public education.

The 30-day special session - the third one Gov. Rick Perry has called on the issue - was required by law to end Friday.

'The speaker finally got us out (Friday), and I'm coming home,' Rep. Hopson (D-Jacksonville) said. 'I'm glad we're done, but I feel very sad and frustrated we didn't accomplish anything. We came down there to do school finance, but we didn't do anything for schools. We didn't reduce property taxes; we didn't give teachers pay raises; we didn't restore health insurance.

'These sessions were supposed to be about putting more money into our public schools and lowering property taxes for our homeowners, not politics,' he said."

Texas protest guarantees political fallout

Texas protest guarantees political fallout - "The high-profile vigil near President Bush's Texas ranch by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year, could scramble the politics of the war as much for her allies as for the target of her protest.

The most immediate effect could be to increase the pressure on liberal activist groups and Democrats, who have focused this year mostly on other issues, to challenge Bush more forcefully on the war.

'It has gotten people back in the fight,' said Eli Pariser, executive director of the political action committee associated with the liberal 'What we're seeing is a lot of people who have thrown up their hands recommitting themselves.'"

Senator: School finance will continue to be an issue - Local News - 08/21/2005 - Senator: School finance will continue to be an issue: "Although school finance reform remains unsolved by the Texas Legislature, Sen. Kel Seliger said it's an issue that won't go away.

'As a practical matter, it's never going away,' Seliger said. 'We can just hope to make meaningful reform as Texas changes. Our reliance on property taxes is no longer the way to fund schools' in a 53 percent service economy.

The $33 billion system educates 4.3 million children and every Texas homeowner helps pay for it with property taxes, the Associated Press reports. Lawmakers failed to pass reforms in regular sessions in 2003 and 2005.

Seliger said people can at first agree on what to do about a problem, but the details make it difficult. House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, had proposed ending the session earlier this month. Neither the speaker nor his office would comment on the end of the session Friday."

Bush, Armstrong take 2-hour ride

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "President Bush held the lead Saturday during his bicycle ride with Lance Armstrong, but the seven-time Tour de France winner took home another jersey – a red, white and blue riding shirt that reads 'Tour de Crawford.'

Meanwhile, the anti-war vigil started two weeks ago by Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq last year, expanded to a second site despite her absence. And counterdemonstrators established their own camp within view of the war protesters' original roadside spot."

Pressure at the Pump: Rising prices drive home need for big changes

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion: Editorials: "If there is a silver lining to soaring gas prices, it's that more Americans are trying to get around without their cars.

Public transit ridership is up, as is car pooling. Drivers are rethinking the utility of sport utility vehicles and pondering whether to put a hybrid in the garage. Don't be surprised if working at home gains popularity as commutes become more expensive."

Bring 'Em In: Step up U.S. role against Mexican drug lords

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion: Editorials: "Top Mexican leaders said last week that the drug-related bloodbath along the U.S.- Mexico border is a shared responsibility for both nations – an implication that Washington should dish out more help along with criticism.

We'll buy that and go a step further: U.S. authorities should place Mexican drug lords on the FBI's most-wanted list and put better-publicized bounties on their heads. The move would signal the narco-militias that the U.S. is beyond the ability to tolerate the carnage and chaos along its southern border."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Marine doesn't qualify for in-state tuition

News 8 Austin | 24 Hour Local News | LOCAL NEWS | Marine doesn't qualify for in-state tuition: "Former Marine Carl Basham remembers his two tours in Iraq like yesterday.

'Three mortars every single night that were landing within a couple feet of your living area. Pretty scary,' he said.

Basham, now home with his parents, wants to start a new life with a quality education.

When he enrolled at Austin's Community College to become a paramedic, they told him he'd have to pay out-of-state tuition, because of his time in the military."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Texas Whip: It's Dead, Wrapped in Plastic...

The Texas Whip: It's Dead, Wrapped in Plastic...: "... or at least that's what Deputy Andy Brennan would have told Sheriff Harry S. Truman if he'd found the corpse of our current special Session. 2 out of 2 Legislative chamber leaders agree:"

Ellen Jones: Proud of Texas schools ...

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion: Viewpoints: "I am a moderate Republican, but, at this point, I am almost ashamed to admit it. I always believed that this party stood for local control, but party leaders in Austin seek to control when schools start and how they should spend their limited resources.

Each district in Texas is unique, and its locally elected trustees and staff know best how to spend educational resources to get the best results from their students. The state has set up strong accountability measures that allow each district to monitor progress without the need for any additional 'reforms.' If each child in Texas is to be 'given a chance in life,' as Gov. Rick Perry has noted, schools should be funded to the full extent necessary to make this happen."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Texas Whip: Spotlight: Crawford

The Texas Whip: Spotlight: Crawford: "For those of us living in central Texas, it has been nearly impossible to not hear about Cindy Sheehan and company, camped out at the entrance to President George W. Bush’s ranch near Crawford."

And again, read the rest.

Burnt Orange Report - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Burnt Orange Report - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: "The good thing about this special session is that the House and Senate discovered that there is a bipartisan group of legislators that are committed to listening to teachers, parents, and taxpayers about the best ideas and plans for education. Legislators aren't willing to pass any old education bill, and they are willing to make sure they get the job done right."

Read the rest.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Bush will `go on with life''s Printer-Friendly Page: "President Bush, noting that lots of people want to talk to the president and 'it's also important for me to go on with my life,' on Saturday defended his decision not to meet with the grieving mom of a soldier killed in Iraq.

Bush said he is aware of the anti-war sentiments of Cindy Sheehan and others who have joined her protest near the Bush ranch.

'But whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the president, that's part of the job,' Bush said on the ranch. 'And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say.'

'But,' he added, 'I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life.'" | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "Legislators will take one last long shot this week, but after that, they're likely to wait until the Texas Supreme Court forces them to change the school funding system. And until then, Republican lawmakers will be back in their districts, awaiting political fallout as well.

Read their lips

Many pollsters, politicians, consultants and civic leaders say that one central issue has caused the quagmire: the Republican no-new-taxes pledge. Funding schools, always a difficult task, and even the politically desirable effort to slash property taxes have been rendered all but impossible."

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Poor Man Cafe � Right Wing Says American Soldiers Killed in Iraq are Losers

The Texas Whip: Catfight in Austin

The Texas Whip: Catfight in Austin: "Apparently in Craddick-land, 'education reforms' are synonymous with tax breaks. What a magical land that must be. Furthermore, I'm getting the feeling that the Midland Madman would rather 86 the funds for textbooks than reach a compromise vis-a-vis necessary budget items. Seriously, dude, it is August and the schools are about to open."

Figure in DeLay Probe Appears in Court

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Figure in DeLay Probe Appears in Court: "Lobbyist Jack Abramoff appeared in federal court Friday on charges of committing fraud while trying to buy a casino boat company - a case that has attracted attention because of Abramoff's close ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The court appearance came a day after Abramoff was indicted in Florida. He surrendered to the FBI later Thursday in Los Angeles.

When U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Game asked Abramoff if he was aware of the charges, the lobbyist replied, ``Yes, sir.''

Game ordered Abramoff to give up his passport before allowing his release ahead of his return to Florida next week. Abramoff later left the courthouse and departed in a car without commenting to reporters."

Friday, August 12, 2005

Special sessions could be costly for state leaders - Local News - 08/12/2005 - Special sessions could be costly for state leaders: "House Speaker Tom Craddick went into the 2003 legislative session with such firm control over the House that by session's end, even those Republicans who resented his iron fist nonetheless let him use it.

'I'm just drinking the Kool-Aid,' one moderate Republican defensively grumbled at the time.

On the Senate side, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst took over as that body's presiding officer in January 2003, and not a senator made any overt move to diminish his powers, more of which are granted by the Senate rules than the constitution.

By the end of that session, Dewhurst was given high marks by surprised observers. They said he'd exhibited more bipartisan leadership than anyone else in the capitol.

That was then. This is now. And both leaders, while not in complete danger of losing their clout, there are definite signs that a growing number of legislators are beginning to rebel against their top-down management styles."

Time To (Sine) Die!

A CAPITOL BLOG: "What is going on? So many of you have asked this question. One moment the session is dead, the next it is alive passing bills at lightening speed. Then it is proclaimed dead again, with no support for a tax bill, it seemed sine die was inevitable on Tuesday. Again life was evident and the session lives on. To an outsider this legislative session must seem bizarre and confusing - a ship lost at sea without a rudder?"

Thursday, August 11, 2005

FEC Finds Misreporting by DeLay Committee

FEC Finds Misreporting by DeLay Committee: "A federal audit of a fundraising committee founded by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay found that it failed to report more than $300,000 in debts and incorrectly paid for committee activities with money from another DeLay-connected group.

The Federal Election Commission's report didn't indicate whether it would pursue enforcement action against Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee.

ARMPAC's executive director, Jim Ellis, has been indicted in Texas in connection with a separate DeLay-connected committee, Texans for a Republican Majority. In that case, Ellis is charged with money laundering for state legislative campaigns. DeLay has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the case."

Latinos edge whites out of majority | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "Texas is officially a majority-minority state with a distinctly cafe-con-leche hue, thanks largely to Latino population growth.

Non-Hispanic whites dipped under the majority mark in Texas, around July 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday. And minorities now make up about 50.2 percent of the state's population, heralding further wide-ranging changes in commerce and culture, education and politics.

The transformation was predicted three years ago by demographer Steve Murdock, who sees the shift as a 'mixed blessing' and one that indicates where the rest of the nation is heading." | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "About 77 percent of Texas schools and 87 percent of school districts met federal improvement standards this year, the Texas Education Agency announced Thursday.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, signed by President Bush in 2001, schools that receive federal poverty aid must show 'adequate yearly progress.'

This year, 149 districts and 900 campuses failed to meet those guidelines, the TEA said, with math performance the most common reason."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Governor Perry Signs Education Budget; Adds Eminent Domain to Special Session Call

KAUZ NewsChannel 6|News: "Gov. Rick Perry today signed the $33.1 billion Texas Education Agency budget and added eminent domain to the special session agenda so that legislators can protect private property rights.
“I am signing HB 1, not because it adequately funds education reforms, but because it ensures schools will open on time,” Perry said. “I remain hopeful that the legislature will act in the remaining days of this special session to finish the job of reforming our education system, giving teachers a meaningful pay increase and funding textbooks.” Perry also added eminent domain to the call, saying, “This is a very important issue to Texans who want assurances their private property won’t be taken from them to advance someone else’s private interests. I hope legislators can come to a consensus on protecting Texans from unfair land grabs.”"

Thune: Texas lawsuit should hold more sway on Ellsworth

AP Wire | 08/10/2005 | Thune: Texas lawsuit should hold more sway on Ellsworth: "South Dakota Sen. John Thune said this week that the Air Force is ignoring and misrepresenting a lawsuit filed against Dyess Air Force Base in Texas over the flight patterns of B1-B bombers training there.

Under Pentagon recommendations released in May, Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, S.D., would transfer all of its B1-B bombers to Dyess and close permanently. Thune and other members of the South Dakota congressional delegation have argued that all of the nation's B1-B bombers should not be consolidated in one place.

They have used the Texas lawsuit, filed because of noise complaints, as further ammunition.

The lawsuit was filed by local residents and led to a temporary court-ordered restriction of B1-B flight patterns in the area. Thune took issue with a July 19 letter from Air Force Lt. Col. David L. Johansen that said the Air Force had 'voluntarily' changed its flying altitude to accommodate local residents when the changes in fact stemmed from the lawsuit."

Judge Won't Drop Charges Against DeLay Associates

Judge Won't Drop Charges Against DeLay Associates: "A state district judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss charges of money laundering and accepting illegal political contributions against two associates of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).

Judge Bob Perkins denied arguments from attorneys for John Colyandro and Jim Ellis that the charges were based on an unconstitutionally vague law and that the indictments were improperly worded. Attorneys for the two said they would appeal, which could delay a trial for several months.

The charges stem from the 2002 Texas legislative elections. Colyandro worked for DeLay's fundraising committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, and Ellis worked for Americans for a Republican Majority. The laundering charges are based on $190,000 in corporate money that was sent to the Republican National State Elections Committee, which donated it to seven Texas House candidates."

Monday, August 08, 2005

Off the Kuff: DeLay's dilemma

Off the Kuff: DeLay's dilemma: "
I have a pet theory about what DeLay is up to, since we've seen several out-of-character things from him lately, ranging from his ballot access petition to his sudden proclivity for pork. I think DeLay wants to do more than just win his race against Nick Lampson. I think he wants to get back above 60% of the vote. In doing so, he'll get the last laugh on everyone who ever wrote about him as being 'endangered' electorally - he took the Democrats' best shot of a well-known, well-financed former incumbent and won handily. Having done that, he can go back to doing what he really wants to do, which is get other Republicans elected and keep the K Street money flowing.

Obviously, I have no connection to the man himself, and even if I did this kind of streetcorner psychologizing should always be taken with an appropriate measure of salt. But it's what I think, anyway.

I believe he'll have a very hard time meeting that goal (if it exists for him), and not because of who he's running against or the 'culture of corruption' of which he is an integral part. I think he'll find that his district is becoming less hospitable to him over time, and if he wins in 2006 he'll still be endangered in 2008."

Off the Kuff: Gallego to Craddick: Let's not adjourn

Off the Kuff: Gallego to Craddick: Let's not adjourn: "Some of us may think that it's high time for a sine die motion in the House, but State Rep. Pete Gallego does not. He's hand-delivered a letter to Speaker Tom Craddick imploring him to let the House get back to work."

Off the Kuff: Radnofsky interview

Off the Kuff: Radnofsky interview: "Damon McCullar went for a jog with Barbara Radnofsky and came back with a nice interview of her. One point to highlight:" | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "Like a traveling preacher trying to convert a nation, Sen. Eliot Shapleigh is waging a battle to turn an enormous political tide all by himself – one congregation at a time.

Playing David in his one-man road show: A statewide income tax that he and an increasing number of unlikely disciples say is the only fair and reliable way to fund public education.

The Goliath: A state population that has always hated the idea of an income tax and Republican leaders convinced that voters would call out the lions if they so much as talk about it."

News 8 Austin | 24 Hour Local News | HEADLINES | Why the session failed

News 8 Austin | 24 Hour Local News | HEADLINES | Why the session failed: "Anything can happen in Texas politics. But for all practical purposes, this special session is dead. The three-year struggle to deal with school finance and property taxes died of mixed motives, bad faith and an adversarial attitude toward educators not shared by a substantial portion of the Republican House and Senate majorities.

The problems this session have been compounded by an increasingly paralyzing lack of trust and good will permeating the entire Capitol."

Sunday, August 07, 2005

In Our View: Trying do-littles

Texarkana Gazette: News and Classifieds From Texarkana, Texas/Arkansas: "Lawmakers don't fear failure; they fear losing

You don't have to be able to pass the elementary school TAKS test in Texas to figure out what's happening with public education funding in the Texas Legislature, now only two weeks away from ending its third special session for the purpose of court-ordered revamping of financing for schools.

Lawmakers are trying all right-but not trying to reach a fair, equitable and adequately financed public school formula. They are trying the public's patience and they are trifling with the education of our children."

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Burnt Orange Report - TFN Ranks Educators On Education Issues

Burnt Orange Report - TFN Ranks Educators On Education Issues: "The Texas Freedom Network has released a report card, ranking members of the Texas House on education issues.

Interestingly, the report card ranks Legislators using the same standards the state uses: Exemplary, Recognized, and Academically Unacceptable."

Off the Kuff: "Draft Sharp" website

Off the Kuff: "Draft Sharp" website: "I suppose this was inevitable. I don't know what the main driver is in his run/don't run decisionmaking process, but I kind of doubt that a 'Draft John Sharp' website would have that much effect. I suppose it may give him some inkling as to what kind of support already exists, depending on how widely known it becomes. Maybe."

Off the Kuff: Tejano Insider

Off the Kuff: Tejano Insider: "Here's a new blog on the block - Tejano Insider, the official blog of the State Tejano Democrats. They've got a nice piece on Howard Dean's visit to the 2005 Hispanic Leadership Summit in South Texas today. I'll be adding it to the blogroll shortly. Check it out."

C.I.A. Leak Case Recalls Texas Incident in '92 Race - New York Times

C.I.A. Leak Case Recalls Texas Incident in '92 Race - New York Times: "These hot months here will be remembered as the summer of the leak, a time when the political class obsessed on a central question: did Karl Rove, President Bush's powerful adviser, commit a crime when he spoke about a C.I.A. officer with the columnist Robert D. Novak?

Whatever a federal grand jury investigating the case decides, a small political subgroup is experiencing the odd sensation that this leak has sprung before. In 1992 in an incident well known in Texas, Mr. Rove was fired from the state campaign to re-elect the first President Bush on suspicions that Mr. Rove had leaked damaging information to Mr. Novak about Robert Mosbacher Jr., the campaign manager and the son of a former commerce secretary.

Since then, Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove was the source, even as Mr. Mosbacher, who no longer talks on the record about the incident, has never changed his original assertion that Mr. Rove was the culprit."

DeLay criticizes Houston's policy on illegal immigrants - DeLay criticizes Houston's policy on illegal immigrants: "House Majority Leader Tom DeLay criticized the city of Houston's 'sanctuary' policy toward illegal immigrants in a speech Thursday night.

Speaking to a packed house of Fort Bend County Republican faithful, DeLay said he supported the concept behind legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., that would withhold federal funding from cities such as Houston that refuse to enforce immigration law.

'It greatly concerns me that the police chief in Houston, Texas, has created a sanctuary in Houston by announcing that he is not going to enforce our laws,' the Sugar Land Republican said, in response to a question about Tancredo's bill.

'That is unacceptable, and we hope to address it through Tancredo's legislation or other legislation.'

Since 1992, a Houston Police Department policy has officially forbidden officers from enforcing immigration laws in most cases."

Students may not get new textbooks | News for Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas | News 8: "Gov. Rick Perry wants to reassure textbook makers that they will be paid for new books for Texas students, despite the fact that the Legislature is stalled on school finance.

Books are ready to be shipped, but as it stands now, public school students across the state will be going home with lighter backpacks."

Grits for Breakfast: Texas leads nation in prison rape allegations

Grits for Breakfast: Texas leads nation in prison rape allegations: "Texas reported the highest number of allegations of prison rape in the country according to the first-ever national study on the subject conducted by the Department of Justice: inmates alleged 550 incidents of prisoner-on-prisoner rape in 2003, but in only 13 cases were charges sustained. Texas' rate of sustained allegations was abominably low -- about 2%, compared to about 30% sustained nationally. It makes you doubt whether the Texas Department of Criminal Justice takes these cases seriously."

Friday, August 05, 2005

Let Them Have Books: Lawmakers have ignored the basics | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion: Editorials: "HOW MANY TEXTBOOKS?

The estimated number of books held hostage by the Legislature's failure to approve money in time for the start of school:

800,000 foreign-language books

1.6 million health books

3 million fine arts books, including music, visual arts, theater and dance"

Conservative group commends Bush - The Daily Texan - Top Stories

Conservative group commends Bush - The Daily Texan - Top Stories: "Roads were shut down Wednesday and residents living in nearby apartments between Dooley and Ruth Wall Roads were warned not to look out of their windows Wednesday. School busses from Grapevine-Colleyville ISD formed a perimeter around the site where President George W. Bush was scheduled to land. No one was going to get a glance of the president on his way to the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center. "

Rick Perry vs The World - Craddick wants sine die

Rick Perry vs The World - Craddick wants sine die: "Harvey Kronberg reports that Speaker Craddick suggests sine die adjournment for the House.

That would mean that school finance reform is dead.

Question: does Perry's repeated call for special sessions on school finance help him or hurt him now that we know that they failed?"

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Rick Perry vs The World - Leaving the door open?

Rick Perry vs The World - Leaving the door open?: "Gary Scharrer has Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's comments today:

'Of course I'm disappointed, as every Texan is, that we are not fully funding our schools and that we are not (lowering) these onerous property taxes on many of our citizens,' she said after speaking to the Texas Association of Broadcasters.


'I thought when I bowed out of the governor’s race that it would take the politics out of the Legislature. That's one of the reasons why I announced early,' she said. 'I really thought that would help. I see no change, and I’m disappointed.'"

A Seat at Jack Abramoff's Table

TPMCafe || Politics, Ideas & Lots Of Caffeine: "The Jack Abramoff-Tom DeLay scandal has received no shortage of publicity. But relatively little attention has been paid to the fact that Signatures, the swanky Pennsylvania Avenue trattoria Abramoff still co-owns, has netted at least four Republican members of Congress in what appear on their face to be violations of the congressional gift ban."

Greg's Opinion -

Greg's Opinion - "So what does it all mean? Major Paul Hackett does 20 points better than four-time loser Charlie Sanders in the Ohio 2nd in a year that has seen a precipitous drop in Bush's support, believability, and credibility among the voting public. He nearly pulled off the upset, but he definitely sent the first shot across the bow of the 2006 campaign. The meaning in Ohio is, of course, easier to ascertain - the GOP is toast unless they can rely on outspending their opponent as Senator Voinovich did Fingerhut in 2004. Methinks it'll be tough for Senator DeWine (who IS up in 2006 and has already seen his son go down to defeat in the OH-02 GOP primary) to pull off that feat."

Hutchison 'disappointed' with Texas lawmakers State Government: "“I thought when I bowed out of the governor’s race that it would take the politics out of the Legislature. That’s one of the reasons why I announced early,” she said. “I really thought that would help. I see no change, and I’m disappointed."

Off the Kuff: Watson eyes Barrientos' seat

Off the Kuff: Watson eyes Barrientos' seat: "Former Austin Mayor and 2002 Democratic candidate for Attorney General Kirk Watson wants to run for the State Senate seat currently held by Gonzalo Barrientos. For now at least, he's saying he'll only do it if Barrientos retires."

Off the Kuff: Ogden's gambit

Off the Kuff: Ogden's gambit: "You've got to give Sen. Steve Ogden credit - he's doing what he can to bring Meaning and Purpose to our endless legislative summer. Tax bills cannot originate in the Senate, but constitutional amendments can, and he's got a threefer for us."

Daily Kos: 25 House seats to target

Daily Kos: 25 House seats to target: "Given that the environment in 2006 may well be conducive to big gains for the Dems (the Plame investigation/indictments, Iraq, gas prices, various scandals, etc.), it would seem to me that--on the House side--the best chances for gains would be in places that are generally predisposed to Dems; the seats that should be Democratic but are held by GOPers. Kinda like the surprise losers for us in 1994 were people like Dan Glickman (D-KS) and Neal Smith (D-NE). "

Daily Kos: 75 House races as possible pickups (long analysis)

Off the Kuff: Building on Hackett's success

Off the Kuff: Building on Hackett's success: "Time to talk horse races. Here's one Kos diarist's view of the 75 best Democratic pickup opportunities in the House, and that same person's report on the 25 most Democratic districts that elected a Republican last year. The latest Democracy Corps memo (PDF) suggests voter groups to be targeted. And Josh Marshall has set up a thread to discuss vulnerable incumbents, if you just can't get enough. Happy reading."

Burnt Orange Report - DeLay's Misdeeds Continue

Burnt Orange Report - DeLay's Misdeeds Continue: "With Congress's passage of the long-awaited energy bill this past week, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Sugarland, TX) proved yet again his complete inability to function in an ethical manner (See posts on The Daily DeLay and Think Progress blogs for more).

Besides the fact that the bill was a huge disappointment for those pushing a more responsible energy policy, DeLay felt it necessary to insert some last minute pork for his district to the tune of $1.5 billion." | News for Dallas, Texas | Education | News for Dallas, Texas | Education: "As Texas schoolchildren begin returning to the classroom next week, many will find tattered old textbooks used for years – while glossy new replacements gather dust in warehouses in the Dallas area and Lubbock.

Millions of new textbooks for foreign language, health, art and music classes cannot be delivered to school districts because the Legislature, caught in a stalemate over school finance for months, hasn't authorized their purchase.

Principals and teachers are busy scraping up as many old textbooks as they can find, preparing to double and triple up on certain materials and photocopying pages where there aren't enough books to go around.

In the Lewisville school district, textbook coordinator Bonnie Isom has been shipping truckloads of damaged books – some nearly 15 years old – to a bookbinding company in Waco for repair.

'We have close to 10,000 foreign-language books alone that were supposed to be replaced this year, but we can't order them,' Ms. Isom said. The shortage has been aggravated by the district's growing enrollment."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Star-Telegram | 08/03/2005 | 2 senators offer way to end gridlock

Star-Telegram | 08/03/2005 | 2 senators offer way to end gridlock: "As hope wanes for comprehensive tax and education changes, a bipartisan pair of state senators Tuesday proposed an exit strategy for the rudderless Texas Legislature.

State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, unveiled a $1.8 billion plan to increase teacher pay and deliver to Texas schoolchildren millions of textbooks that were ordered long ago but never funded.

The senators said those two items enjoy broad support in the Legislature but haven't advanced because they're in controversial tax and education measures that have tied the House and Senate in knots."

Rick Perry vs The World - Bush staying out of the fray

Rick Perry vs The World - Bush staying out of the fray: "It's not too surprising that President Bush has decided to stay out of the gubernatorial primary. I'm pretty sure George W has better things to do, and I'm guessing that almost any ex-governor of Texas would rather think about anything other than school finance:"

Rick Perry vs The World - Half-full or half-empty for Perry?

Rick Perry vs The World - Half-full or half-empty for Perry?: "The news du jour for school finance is that Perry says he'll take compromise on school finance."
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