Monday afternoon Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst performed a feat only politicians seem able to do on a regular basis, at least with a straight face. He denounced politicizing an issue that he was holding a press conference to politicize:

“This issue is about teaching Texas children. I personally have a problem with any effort to politicize this process. It is an affront to these families, and Texas families across the state, and the values we hold dear as Texans.”

Oh please. About the only thing missing from this press conference was a ritual book burning.

Dewhurst was flanked at the press conference by tea party and other political activists — the same ones he and Sen. Dan Patrick have been courting in their coming Republican primary battle. Patrick and Dewhurst have competed in recent months to see which one can pretend to be the most outraged — OUTRAGED! — by classroom lessons written by current and retired Texas teachers (known radicals, of course).

On Monday, Dewhurst repeatedly charged that those CSCOPE lessons are plagued by “errors” and “bias.” He offered zero examples. Do “the values we hold dear as Texans” include promoting unsubstantiated smears and falsehoods to… Read More

The absurd, manufactured controversy over CSCOPE in Texas is leaping back into the spotlight. And that spotlight is illuminating just how hypocritical some of the curriculum tool’s political critics really are.

On Friday State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, and state Senate Education Committee Chair Dan Patrick, R-Houston, announced that they have agreed to a public debate over CSCOPE. At around the same time, state board Chair Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, said the board will resume its review of CSCOPE lessons. That review had been short-circuited in May when Sen. Patrick bullied the state’s Education Service Centers into ending their development of those lessons. And now we hear that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will crow at a Monday press conference about a state judge who apparently has issued a temporary restraining order against the use of CSCOPE in a Hill Country school district.

Regarding the debate, Patrick has been one of the most vocal legislative leaders in the anti-CSCOPE witch hunt. Far-right activists have claimed (with no real evidence) that the program is Marxist, pro-Islam, anti-American and anti-Christian. The state’s Education Service Centers developed CSCOPE, which includes lessons written by current and retired… Read More

The Texas Observer reports that the Texas Department of Public Safety will release documents the Observer and other media outlets have requested regarding allegations that pro-choice activists brought jars of feces and urine to the Capitol when protesting extreme anti-abortion legislation this summer. Religious-right groups and Republican politicians like Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have used those allegations — for which the DPS and Dewhurst have provided no evidence — to attack pro-choice activists as an unruly mob.

The DPS had earlier asked the Texas Attorney General’s Office for an official opinion on whether it must turn over any such information. The department now appears to have reversed course and says it will release that information, the Observer reports.

From the Observer story:

“Republicans have complained that Poopgate is silly. Here’s the thing: This is a ridiculous scandal. And it’s one that exists (and continues on and on) because of DPS and Dewhurst. In the heat of an unprecedented moment at the Texas Capitol, the state law enforcement agency issued a press release accusing citizens of bringing jars of ‘suspected’ feces and urine into the Capitol but has been unable to point to any evidence to back up… Read More

Now Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has joined state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, in throwing local control out the window and pandering to fanatics attacking the CSCOPE curriculum program used in hundreds of Texas school districts.

In a letter to the State Board of Education on Wednesday, Dewhurst said that he is “deeply troubled” that teachers in local school districts plan to continue using CSCOPE lessons. Activists on the loony right have absurdly attacked the lessons as Marxist, anti-American and pro-Islamic. Dewhurst wrote that “it is my intent to pass legislation as soon as possible to prevent districts from using CSCOPE lesson plans” as well as other components of the program.

Nearly 900 school districts — close to 80 percent of the school districts in Texas — use CSCOPE to help teachers cover all of the state’s complex and convoluted curriculum standards in a cost-effective way. Now the lieutenant governor wants the state Legislature to tell local superintendents and teachers what curriculum tools they can use in their local schools.

Dewhurst has also posted an anti-CSCOPE petition on his re-election campaign website, repeating the same silly claims (“unnecessary bias,” “veil of secrecy,” “attempt to undermine Texas values”) Tea… Read More

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is in full damage-contol mode following last Tuesday’s debacle (for him, especially) in the Senate chamber. Today he sent out an email insisting that he will push through, in the special session that starts Monday, passage of the same legislation that failed last week — legislation that would have government interfering in the personal medical decisions a woman makes with her doctor about whether and when to have children. The war on women in Texas rages on.

His email also attacks the activists and lawmakers who helped stop the passage of that legislation last Tuesday, with Dewhurst complaining about an “outrageous effort to undermine the democratic process in the Texas capitol.”

We’re sorry, but what credibility does the lieutenant governor have to talk about the “democratic process”? He and other Senate Republicans flagrantly ignored their own rules and precedent in trying to ram through passage of their extreme and divisive legislation last Tuesday. In fact, even Republican state Rep. David Simpson — one of the state’s most conservative legislators — tweeted late that night that the Senate had “run roughshod over the rules.”

Then on Friday, in an interview withRead More