Adventus

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“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Friday, January 11, 2019

Meanwhile, In Texas


Two years ago Lite Guv Dan Patrick (a constitutionally mandated office in Texas) was tearing around the Great State of Texas accusing schools district (independent governmental agencies in Texas) of all manner of immorality and transgression for trying to accommodate transgendered students with bathrooms they could use, too.  He fought that fight viciously in the Lege, losing it because a more sensible Speaker of the House wouldn't bring it up (Lite Guv presides in the Texas Senate).*  Then came the thrashing of Texas Republicans last November, some of whom lost, many of whom barely won what should have been walking away victories.

At a Governor’s Mansion press conference on the second day of this year’s legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — who last session was the top state leader championing the measure, which would have regulated the use of certain public facilities for transgender Texans — suggested there’s no need to bring back the divisive proposal that headlined the last legislative year in 2017, but failed to reach the governor's desk.

“When you win the battle, you don’t have to fight the battle again,” Patrick said, sitting beside Gov. Greg Abbott and recently elected Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton. “I think it’s been settled, and I think we’ve won.”

Without citing evidence, Patrick claimed that the school district behavior he said necessitated the measure has “stopped.”

"Sometimes a bill doesn't pass, but you win on the issue,” Patrick said. He added later in the day at an event with Texas Realtors that “school districts have stopped this policy.”

“There aren’t any school districts forcing students — as one school district was — to share showers, lockers and bathrooms,” Patrick said.

But experts said most school districts work to accommodate transgender students on a personalized basis, and that that approach has not changed in light of the debate at the Capitol in 2017.

“Most districts deal with this kid by kid,” said Rebecca Robertson, chief programs officer for Equality Texas, an LGBTQ advocacy group. “For Dan Patrick to say now that schools have abandoned these policies and reversed course — I don’t know of anything to support that claim.”

The Lege only meets for 140 days every two years, which understandably makes every day of the session count.  Not to Lite Guv Patrick, though:

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick missed the first day of the Texas Legislature on Tuesday to attend a last-minute border security meeting at the White House, where he helped with President Donald Trump's nationally televised address from the Oval Office and met with the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

That message — in which Trump continued his long call for the construction of a border wall — came on day 18 of a partial shutdown, the long-running result of a stalemate over the wall.

Patrick, a staunch supporter of the president who served as the Texas chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential run, will also join Trump for a briefing in McAllen on Thursday, his office announced. Patrick has long been a vocal advocate of the border wall.
Well, the less he's in Austin, the better.  He's doing Trump about as much good as he's doing us.  Patrick staunchly denies his time in D.C. indicates he's pursuing a job there, the answer to a question nobody asked. ** Usually that means he has had an offer, or he'd welcome one.  Again, it would improve Texas and not make any difference to D.C. at all.  Then again, if wishes were horses....

*and if you think that's a dead, or even irrelevant, issue on the national stage:

“I don’t want the next national emergency to be that some Democrat President says we have to build transgender bathrooms in every elementary school in America,” [Rep. Matt] Gaetz [R-FL] said.

**Apparently Patrick offered for Texas to build the wall, in Texas at least, providing the Feds reimbursed the cost.  Not only would such costs include construction and materials but, of course, eminent domain claims the state would have to pursue, hardly a politically popular circumstance in this state in the best of times.  And then there's the matter of the Congress holding the pursestrings, not the Administration.  If you haven't noticed, Trump's clout with the House, where all funding approval must start, is not the greatest just now.  Trump did tell the press it would be a "relatively small amount of money," which shows Trump has no clue, either.  Yeah, nobody ever accused Dan of being the sharpest blade in the drawer.

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