Here are some of the week’s most notable quotes culled from news reports from across Texas, and beyond. Read More

by Dan Quinn

Crushing disappointment for those of us who were excitedly awaiting the Republican primary duel between two of the most wackadoodle right-wingers in Texas — Terri Leo, R-Spring, announced Tuesday that she is dropping her challenge to state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball in next year’s election.

Leo posted the announcement on her Facebook page, explaining that she hadn’t been aware that the Texas Constitution bars her from serving in the Legislature while she is an employee for a public school district. She works as a school counselor.

The civil war between very conservative “establishment” Republicans and the even more fervently anti-government arsonists in the GOP was the catalyst for Leo’s now-aborted challenge to Riddle. Riddle, one of the most right-wing Republicans in the Legislature, apparently had angered the even-more-extreme firebreathers in her party for some reason or another this year. So they turned to Leo, who embarrassed Texas as a member of the State Board of Education for a decade through 2012.

As we noted last month, Riddle’s extreme political positions include considering public education an idea “straight out of the pit of hell.”  Leo was a leading member of the education board’s hard-right faction. In addition to attacking instruction on the science of evolution, sex education and Islam in textbooks,… Read More

First they came for the homosexuals. Then they came for the abortionists. Now religious-righters are coming for you, fantasy football fans.

Cathie Adams, head of the far-right Texas Eagle Forum, sent to her email list today a new essay — penned by the group’s national leader and founder, Phyllis Schlafly — attacking folks who enjoy playing fantasy football.

Schlafly’s essay describes how hellish fantasy football really is:

“Fantasy football means imaginary games played by imaginary teams in imaginary leagues, which are made up of real players whose playing statistics are compiled from real football games. So instead of betting on the actual NFL games, fantasy football participants bet on something that depends on the actual NFL games.”

So the game involves creating “imaginary” entities whose ultimate success depends on the performance of actual individuals who make up those entities. Hmmm… It sounds a lot like mutual fund investing. Diabolical.

Schlafly goes on to explain how fantasy football hurts its participants:

“It’s illegal in most places to bet on actual NFL games, but fantasy football enables participants to do something similar by betting on fantasy teams that win or lose based on how real NFL players perform each week in real NFL games. Participants then… Read More

Texas Congressman Bill Flores, R-Bryan, told the Texas Tribune today that he will likely run for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The decision by Flores comes as House Republicans stumble around in search of a replacement for John Boehner, the Ohio Republican and current speaker who has announced that he will resign at the end of this month.

Flores first won election to Congress in the Tea party wave in 2010, defeating longtime Democratic incumbent Chet Edwards of Waco. Flores told the Texas Tribune that he would seek the speakership if Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, continues to refuse to run for the top post — which is behind only the vice president in the line of succession to the presidency.

House Republicans, currently split between really conservative members and fire-breathers who orbit even farther out on the fringes of the right, have been unable to settle on a speaker. So where does Flores fall in that spectrum? Based on his past rhetoric, he’s way out on the edges of the right.

For example, Flores has supported impeaching President Obama, something of an entry-level political position for the extreme right. But he really pushed the limits of reason when he linked same-sex marriage… Read More

Today the Texas Freedom Network joined with partner organizations in raising the alarm about the harmful effects of anti-abortion legislation passed two years ago in Texas. Here’s the joint press release that just went out:

Independent research confirms that Texas is already seeing the harmful consequences reproductive rights organizations warned would happen following the passage of draconian anti-abortion legislation, leaders of those organizations said today. A new study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP), released on Monday, reveals that widespread clinic closures are substantially increasing wait times for abortions, pushing women seeking abortion care later into their pregnancies.

Nan Little Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund, an organization that provides financial assistance for abortion said, “Access to abortion shouldn’t depend on where a person lives or how much money they have, but this is the Texas we live in today. If a person is traveling from Lubbock to Fort Worth and facing waiting periods of 20 days or longer, the level of financial and life stress caused by the combination of finding time off of work, the cost of travel, finding childcare, and the higher cost of a second trimester procedure… Read More

Progress Texas

Happy 4th of July, Texas! 🇺🇸 We cannot stop fighting until the freedoms this day is meant to celebrate are a reality for all of us. #BlackLivesMatter #FourthofJuly progresstexas.org/bl…