Mocking the stone age science at the Texas State Board of Education has now gone viral — late-night comedians have the rest of the country laughing at us. Bill Maher de-pantsed the governor on last Friday’s episode of his HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher.

He [Perry] appointed a creationist to head the Texas State Board of Education, which is shocking. Texas has a board of education?!?


And Maher surely speaks for scientists everywhere when he scolds Texas politicians who had a sudden come-to-science moment last week when confonted with the outbreak of swine flu.

You can’t crap all over Darwin and stem cell research and global warming, then come crawling back to science when you want Tamiflu.

Watch the whole embarrassing segment (warning: Maher’s language is colorful).… Read More

Is Gov. Rick Perry abandoning Don McLeroy? The Houston Chronicle’s R.G. Ratcliffe asked the governor today whether he’s worried that the Senate would reject his reappointment of the controversial Bryan dentist as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. The governor hardly offered a ringing endorsement of the man he first appointed to the post in July 2007:

“I’ll leave that up to the Senate. They have lots of people go through. The Senate will work that out.”

Ratcliffe then asked if the governor has been contacting senators and urging them to confirm McLeroy’s nomination. Gov. Perry’s answer seems to indicate that he’s not:

“I have 1,500 different appointees a year. We appoint them. They go through the process. That’s the way it’s always worked.”

You can see Ratcliffe’s post, along with video of his interview with Gov. Perry, here.

It looks like the chances that McLeroy will win Senate confirmation are beginning to crumble. Well, if so, then what? The question will be whether the governor appoints a new chairman who puts the education of Texas children ahead of personal agendas and divisive politics.… Read More

It is obvious now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is basing his hopes for re-election next year mostly on winning over the far-right wing of the Republican Party. (That's the same wing that wrote the 2008 state party platform. You can read that classic example of extremism here.)  If Gov. Perry can win the GOP nomination, he figures he'll win the general election fairly easily in a Republican-leaning state. So with an expected challenge for his party's nomination from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the governor has raced to the extremist fringes. In addition to sharpening his attacks on reproductive rights for women, Gov. Perry has rejected federal aid for the unemployed, revived the racially poisoned "states rights" rhetoric of the segregationist right from the 1950s, and even suggested that Texas could and might one day secede. And this week he's once again pow-wowing with fundamenalist pastors at a closed-door confab in Austin. Read More

Texas Gov. Rick Perry really seems comfortable around some rather apocalyptic types these days. Case in point: FOX News commentator Glenn Beck. Beck has sounded almost unhinged lately. Earlier this month, he shrieked that America is headed toward fascism. He even claims a symbol on the Mercury Dime -- introduced into the U.S. currency in 1916 -- is proof that our march toward fascism stretches back to the early 20th century. Beck is also an admirer of James Dobson, who founded the religious-right group Focus on the Family. Beck brought Dobson on to his show a while back to talk about prayer in schools, declaring that some people "want to remove God from America entirely." Across the bottom of the screen was a caption reading, "Progressives want to remove God from America." (That surely must come as a shock to the tens of millions of people of faith in America whose political views are, in fact, progressive.)…… Read More

Texas Freedom Network

It took years to convince the @TXSBOE to create a Mexican American studies course for the state's public schools. It's great to see school districts offering it to students.