Texas's terrible new abortion regulation is a con aimed at low-information/anti-abortion voters

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Texas passed a new regulation requiring "cremation or burial" of fetal tissue after a miscarriage or medical abortion, and to hear the lawmakers who passed this idiotic rule, this requires grieving women to dress up minute scraps of tissue in little funeral suits and stand contrite over a tiny casket while a clergyman excoriates them for disappointing god with their selfish uteruses. Read the rest

The New York Times's GOP voter-suppression retrogame: "The Voter Suppression Trail"

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Throughout the election cycle, The GOP Arcade has been releasing satirical 8-bit games about the GOP and right-wing politics in America; the New York Times commissioned a special one, based on the classic Oregon Trail, in which you play one of three voters attempting to cast a vote in either Texas (where you are a Latina nurse); Wisconsin (where you are a black salesman) or California (where you are a white programmer). Read the rest

Texas county commissioner candidate's election ad is pretty great

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Gerald Daugherty, a Republican county commissioner in the Austin-area Travis County, has produced one of the best ad-spots of the season, depicting him as a politics-obsessed public servant whose long-suffering, side-eyeing wife can't wait for him to be re-elected so she won't have to listen to him drone on about how much he wants to help people and fix things in the county. Read the rest

As America's temperatures soar, prisoners are dropping dead

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Most states have no maximum temperature standards for their prisons: combine that with a succession of hottest-months-on-record and a prison system that provides less water than is medically recommended even when it's not hotter than blazes, and you've got a carceral state that is roasting prisoners alive. Read the rest

5 years after Texas GOP's attack on women's reproductive health, TX leads developed world in maternal mortality

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Remember when Texas governor Rick Perry and the GOP state government led an unprecedented assault on women's reproductive health in the name of preventing abortions, using dirty tricks to pass an unconstitutional law that led to a boom in unsafe home abortions and a black market for day-after pills, while ending Planned Parenthood's vital cancer-screening program, before defunding Planned Parenthood altogether? Read the rest

Man who shot up "Draw Muhammad" event was urged to "tear up Texas" by undercover FBI agent

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Elton Simpson is one of the two men who fired assault rifles at people gathered for a "Draw Muhammad" event in Garland, Texas before being shot to death by an off-duty police officer; in the weeks leading up to the attack, Simpson had corresponded with an undercover FBI agent who urged him to "Tear up Texas." Read the rest

Gun nut mom went back for more bullets before executing daughter

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Police say that Christy Sheats, the gun nut mom who shot dead her two daughters during a family confrontation that spilled into a Texas street, returned inside to reload before executing her child in view of horrified neighbors. She was still shooting when cops arrived, which is why they killed her.

Read the rest

Gun-waving cop who attacked black teenaged girl in her bathing suit faces no charges

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Last July, McKinney, Texas police officer Eric Casebolt made headlines when video surfaced of him pulling his gun on a group of black children in their bathing suits at a pool party, tackling a young girl in her bikini. Read the rest

Supreme Court strikes down Texas abortion law

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The Court ruled in Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt that the Texas law placed undue burdens on clinics that performed abortions by requiring them to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, use doctors with admitting privileges at local hospitals -- measures that led to the closure of three quarters of the state's abortion-providing facilities since 2013. Read the rest

Texas judge orders prison to provide inmates with safe drinking water

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Texas's prison system must provide safe drinking water to its inmates, a judge in Houston federal court ruled Thursday.

The Associated Press reports on a case that saw Texas fight all the way to court to continue supplying arsenic-laden water to prisoners— a position U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison wrote violates "contemporary standards of decency."

In his 15-page ruling, Ellison wrote the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has been "deliberately indifferent" to the ongoing risk inmates at the unit face from prolonged exposure to "extreme heat" and from having to drink arsenic-laden water in order to reduce the risk from the heat. The drinking water at the Pack Unit has contained between 2 and 4½ times the amount of arsenic permitted by the Environmental Protection Agency, the judge said.

The prisoners have "demonstrated that (the prison system's) current and ongoing conduct violates contemporary standards of decency," Ellison wrote.

At least 20 prisoners have died indoors in non-air-conditioned Texas prisons from overheating since 1998, including 10 who died in 2011, Ellison said.

Other than fixing the tainted water, the prisoners asked for temperatures in the Wallace Pack Unit to be lowered to 88°F. See the aerial photo above: suburban Houston is hot, but it is not a desert.

American prisons are hell: violent rape camps operated by the depraved and indifferent, many of them private corporations. And these prisons are in Texas. Read the rest

Family of teen raising money to rescue her from pray-the-gay-away "boarding school"

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When Sarah, a 17 year old in Texas, decided to take her girlfriend to the prom, her parents forced her into an "East Texas Christian boarding facility for troubled teens" from which she has repeatedly attempted to escape. Read the rest

Lawsuit: Texas's largest jail is full of people who are locked up for being poor

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According the the filings in a lawsuit brought by Equal Justice Under Law against Harris County, Texas, 77% of the inmates in Harris County Jail -- largest in Texas, third largest in America -- are there because they couldn't make a bail payment of $5,000 or less. Read the rest

Texas: prisoners whose families maintain their social media presence face 45 days in solitary

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According to a new offender manual from Texas Department of Criminal Justice, prisoners whose families maintain a social media presence to call attention to their incarceration will be liable to harsh punishment, including up to 45 days in solitary, loss of privileges, and extra work duty. Read the rest

Man exonerated after video shows unprovoked police beating, cops insist all is well

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Three officers from the Caldwell County, Texas Sheriff's Department -- Sgt. Dustin Yost, Deputy Michael Taylor and Deputy Houseston -- beat the shit out of Larry Faulkenberry in his driveway and lied about it, a fact that only came to light when Faulkenberry produced footage from a CCTV that (ironically) the same police department had advised him to install after a burglary. Read the rest

Texas Board of Education candidate claims Obama worked as a prostitute

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Why does United States President Barack Obama have a soft spot for homosexuals? Because he was a gay hooker in the '80s, reports Mary Lou Bruner, a Republican candidate for the Texas State Board of Education.

"That’s how he paid for his drugs. He has admitted he was addicted to drugs when he was young and he is sympathetic with homosexuals; but he hasn’t come out of the closet about his own homosexual/bisexual background."

This is only one tread among many in the bright tapestry of Bruner's moral rug.

Meanwhile, “Climate change has nothing to do with weather or climate, it’s all about system change from capitalism (free enterprise) to Socialism-Communism. The Climate Change HOAX was Karl Marx’s idea. It took time to ‘condition’ the people so they would believe such a HOAX!”

Salon's article offers a smorgasbord of similarly spectacular Republicans from the Lone Star State.

Correction: The headline of this article originally identified Bruner as a mayor. She is a retired teacher. Read the rest

Stop paying your student loans and debt collectors can send US Marshals to arrest you

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Student debt is a life-destroying trap, engineered by Wall Street and backed by the US government. Read the rest

Vehicle surveillance company's "free" deal turns Texas cops into bill-collectors

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Vigilant Solutions is "one of the country’s largest brokers of vehicle surveillance technology" and they've got a great deal for Texas police forces: install our license-readers and we'll alert you every time someone with an overdue fine drives through your town. You pull them over and offer them a trip to jail or immediate payment, using our credit-card machines, for which we charge a 25% "fee" which goes straight into our pockets. Read the rest

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