20 to 11; 95 to 55

Those are not lopsided football or basketball scores. They are the practically quorum-proof majorities Republicans enjoy in the House and Senate. With those margins Texas Republicans could create a real paradise for businesses and residents. Visions of high speed rail, the world’s best public education system and a leadership role in crafting solutions for immigration and health care are just some of the positive results we should demand from a Republican Party with a virtual lock on the state capital.

Realistically I would be happy if they would just build a few roads, fix the broken public education and property tax systems and stop messing around with people’s right to vote.

Instead, what are we getting from the 2017 legislative session? How about homophobia, bigotry, misogyny, fiscal irresponsibility and a million-dollar special session so that Dapper Dan Patrick can try to ram his transgender-phobic “bathroom bill” down our throats one more time.

The Senate wasted months on SB25 ironically nicknamed the “wrongful birth” bill, which would have prevented mothers who give birth to children with fatal birth defects from suing their doctors even if the doctor knew and chose not to tell the mother of the condition.

The House, where supposedly the grown-ups live, took their turn on the crazy-go-round by passing HB 3859, ironically called “Freedom to Serve Children Act.” That bill allows even state funded adoption and foster care agencies the “freedom” to reject potential adoptive or foster parents who might be LGBT, Jewish, Muslims or atheists on the basis of their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

These radical proposals were designed to make primary voters think Texas politicians actually care about mothers and children. I mean. who could possibly be against freedom to serve children or for wrongful birth and of course who could possibly be in favor of men in women’s bathrooms. The problem is when you look past the rhetoric at the state budget this is what you find.

More than $1 billion in public education costs was transferred from state to local taxpayers. No effort was made to fix public education or property taxes. Proposals to increase funding for pre-K and disabled children were short changed and DPS got more money for even more troopers on the border. The legislature couldn’t even balance the budget without using an accounting trick to delay a $2 billion payment for highway funding until 2020, which is one pretty big can to kick down the road.

But don’t worry thanks to Gov. Greg Abbott’s special session. Dapper Dan and the radical right wing fringe of the Republican Party can now burn millions more in taxpayer dollars debating private school vouchers, more anti-abortion regulations and the importance of banning local tree preservation ordinances. And even if all that fails, at least they have protected doctors from their pregnant patients and ensured that thousands of homeless children won’t be adopted by LGBT, Muslim or Jewish households. Obviously it is still business as usual in Austin.

Neil G. Baron, an attorney and former League City Councilman, is writing columns from a progressive perspective.

(21) comments

Carlos Ponce

"Dapper Dan Patrick can try to ram his transgender-phobic 'bathroom bill' down our throats one more time."
Really, Neil? That's how your mind thinks? The so called "Bathroom Bill" was NEVER aimed at the transgendered. It was designed to protect the women and children of the State of Texas at what should be considered a private function. Neil, did you ever bother to read the actual bill? It is not aimed at the LGBT but at sexual predators, voyeurs, peeping Toms. Looks like Neil Baron wants to actually protect the sexual deviants of this state. If you ever had a mother, wife, daughter, sister, girlfriend, niece, etc spied upon or assaulted in a public restroom you should be for this bill. Neil, don't you care about them?

Doyle Beard

Neil's objective is to be biased.

Jarvis Buckley

One thing we know about Neil. He is consist in berating Republicans. He is determined to go down with the ship.
Problem is the Democrats have already sunk.

Doyle Beard

Neil your are wrong on this title. This title is so perfect like (never has so little fact been written in these columns). you are so far out not even in left field, you arent in the stadium.

Kelly Naschke

Neil has routinely identified himself as a political hack. His continued column every week just reaffirms this fact. Part of me is sad that such unmitigated drivel so easily flows so readily from his predawn and factually baseless narrative...yet part of me is overjoyed that the demb dembs are going bezerk dealing with Trump and the conservative take over of the political circus. The demb dembs will continue to obstruct and fight against Trumps (& American) economic success to the detriment of their constituents based on the fact that Trumps (& American) success will be the final nail in the demb demb's coffin. It's got to really suck to be part of the party that lauds failure over success. That might explain the new mental condition of "demb demb derangement syndrome".

Steve Fouga

Kelly, what is a demb demb?? I've seen you use it several times. It must be a form of code. Please share, so the other 72% know what you're talking about. (Polling data courtesy of 538)

Steve Fouga

Ooops, a boo-boo. I should have said 62%. Sorry. [cool]

Carlos Ponce

"Kelly, what is a demb demb??" You don't know what a demb demb is????
Now THAT'S FUNNY![beam]
I dare say more than 72% know what it means. GCDN readers are not dense.

Steve Fouga

62%. I admitted a mistake.

Afraid to say what a demb demb is? Why? Do you think it's a stupid term? It's sounds like a childishly insulting name, but I can't be sure, since this forum is the only place I encounter it.

Please explain, if you would.

Carlos Ponce

Since you consider it "childish", ask a child. He or she will enlighten the grownup. [rolleyes]

Steve Fouga

You're a teacher, Carlos. Teach me, please.

BTW I only thought it was childish because it sounded childish. Maybe it's actually an erudite comment that I need to be knowledgeable of. So I googled it, of course. No luck. So I need you, or someone else on this forum to educate me. Teach, Carlos, teach!

Carlos Ponce

To teach you allow the child to discover. It will mean more. Whenever a word is unknown, look at the context. Now re-read the passage and see what the passage tells you. And "Google" is not the ultimate source of knowledge.

Jim Forsythe

. The word literally means "oak" in Yiddish. If it's not oak, oak then you are right Steve, it's a childishly insulting name. Just as some use, tin foil hat , tilting  windmills ,
demon-crats  and other verbiage, to make themselves feel better. Just waiting for someone ,to use some of the following

– Wanker – Slag – Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys – Lost the plot –Chav – Dodgy – Git – Gormless – Manky –Muppet – Naff – Nutter – Pikey –  Pillock – Plonker – Prat – Scrubber  Twit , Lazy Sod – Skiver – Wazzock – Ninny – Berk – Airy-fairy –

Steve Fouga

Good one, Carlos. You must have been an excellent teacher.

Okay, okay, I admit it, I just don't understand the need for name-calling. It demeans the caller, not the callee.

Doyle Beard

Neil just grow up, be a big boy cause your party lost. Hillary lost,

Doyle Beard

Remember obama saying I won the election. I really hurts now doesnt it. Accept reality and go on with your life.

Diane Turski

Thank you, Neil, for cutting through the rhetoric and explaining what the state legislators have actually tried to accomplish under the guise of doing something good when they are really trying to do something bad!!

Steve Fouga

Without resorting to the harshness and silliness of so many on this forum, and without attacking the precious Bathroom Bill, I'll just say I agree with the basic premise of the article, which is that the Republican-controlled House and Senate haven't accomplished much of importance.

If their goal is simply keeping anything "progressive" from happening, then they're a success. But if they're striving to live up to the standards we traditionally associate with "governing," they're hitting way below their weight.

PD Hyatt

I would ask Neil "what" did the demon-crats do when they were in power? Name (use actual facts) what the demon-crats accomplished!!!! I would be willing to bet that Neil can not and will not because he can not use facts as he has NONE to use....

Steve Fouga

PD, maybe they didn't accomplish much either. If so, maybe that's why we now have a Republican majority. Why should we settle for such a low bar?

Kelly Naschke

I thought it was self explanatory....

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