A Sleight of Hand

The Trump Administration (Office of Management & Budget) is proposing regulations which will change how inflation is calculated. You might say “so what,” but this change could profoundly affect the eligibility of millions of poor people for government programs such as Medicaid, food assistance, housing assistance and other social safety net programs.  This is because […]

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Driving Nails in the Coffin of Your Rights

On 4/24/19, the U. S. Supreme Court probably drove the last possible nail in the coffin of cases wherein an employer or, for that matter, any company enforces a contractual provision which states that disputes must be resolved by arbitration (rather than in a court of law) and prohibits participating in a class action case. […]

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The Census Citizenship Question Hurts Texas

On April 23, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of U.S. Department of Commerce v New York. The Supreme Court will have to decide whether the Trump Administration will be allowed to include a question concerning citizenship in the 2020 Census. The evidence before the Court proves conclusively that inclusion […]

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“Tell Them We Are Full” – No Room in the Inn

It is often hard to keep in mind that we live in two parallel universes. The first is the universe of reality. The second is the universe of politics. In the universe of reality, immigration policy is a real problem that needs to be rationally addressed and fixed. In the universe of politics, immigration policy […]

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The Effective Assistance of Counsel

Photo by verkeorg on Foter.com / CC BY-SA On April 9, 2019, the Houston Chronicle ran two interesting stories regarding the appeals of two Texas death penalty cases. In the first case, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes of Houston ruled that it was permissible for one of the defendant’s two lawyers to sleep during the […]

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The Price of False Promises and Angry Threats

My father used a lot of old sayings in an attempt to teach me at opportune moments. Those moments were almost always just before or just after I made a big mistake he knew I would regret. One of the sayings my father was fond of was: “Son, don’t let the wind of anger blow […]

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The Perils of Fame and Greed

Image property of Wikipedia.com It has been recently reported that Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who has become famous for representing Stormy Daniels, has been arrested and charged in New York with trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike, the giant shoe and apparel company. The facts related to the charges involving Nike seem to be […]

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The Question of Impeachment

Image by: gfk DSGN Just like you, I have heard what seems like an endless number of opinions about impeaching President Trump. I have not read anything that explains the process better than an article now appearing in The Atlantic by Yoni Appelbaum entitled, “The Case for Impeachment.” The longer the Trump Administration lasts, the […]

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The Dangers of a Cozy Relationship

Boeing 737 Max 8: Image property of Getty / www.dailstar.co.uk The crashes of Boeing’s 737 Max 8 have exposed a major fault in the regulatory relationship between the FAA and the manufacturers of aircraft. As the facts now appear to be, Boeing was regulated by its own employees. If you are like me, this is […]

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Be Careful What You Write and Publish

Justice Clarence Thomas. Image property of AE Biography/ AE Television Networks/ Biography.com Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court is mostly known for his contentious confirmation hearing (which he likened to a lynching), for not asking questions from the bench and for his perpetually sour countenance. He can be counted on to vote […]

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Speaking Truth to Power Has a Cost

Image property of: NYT / Associated Press Obituaries appearing in major newspapers are fascinating. You can learn a lot or be reminded of history you have forgotten and there is frequently a backstory about the deceased that you probably would never have known about otherwise. The New York Times of 2/22/19 ran the obituary of […]

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Hard to Believe

The Trump Administration has become notorious for appointing people to important positions that have a demonstrated antipathy or disdain for the agency or department they have been appointed to lead. If you have harshly criticized an agency or said it shouldn’t exist or lobbied for a special interest group or industry that is regulated by […]

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Corporate Leaders Emerge on Global Warming

On 2/7/19, the front page of The New York Times and all major news papers featured an article on global warming entitled “2018 Continues Warming Trend, As 4th Hottest Year Since 1880”. The article featured a graph that unmistakably demonstrates the warming trend. According to the article, 2018 was the 4th highest average surface temperature […]

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Let’s Just Don’t Get That Started

Even though a deal seems to have been made among Congressional leaders, Trump is still threatening to declare a national emergency or to act by executive order or to do both to build his wall. Should President Trump declare a “national emergency” in order to build his wall? Setting aside without debate the question of […]

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I Remember When…

As we get older we tend to remember the past as being better than the present and probably even better than it actually was. This was my reaction to a story written by Kathryn Eastburn in the Houston Chronicle of 2/4/19 which has to do with the loss of our wetlands habitat. Ms. Eastburn describes […]

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The Dangers of Coal Ash

Image is property of Nenad Zivkovic/Shutterstock On January 17, 2019, The Texas Tribune published a story about groundwater contamination in Texas caused by the negligent storage of coal ash. Coal ash is what’s left after coal is burned at power plants. Coal ash has to be stored safely to prevent leeching and seepage. According to […]

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Scattershooting While Wondering About…

There was once a wonderful sportswriter in Dallas named Blackie Sherrod. His column always began, “Scattershooting while wondering about __________”. That blank could be filled in with any tantalizing thought. Blackie would leave his opening thought hanging and proceed with the column. His lead never failed to hook me. If you follow this blog you […]

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More Bad News for the Environment

On December 28, 2018, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Trump Administration has pulled the plug on Obama-era regulations that would have required coal-fired power plants to retrofit their facilities with air-pollution scrubbers designed to reduce the emission of sulfur dioxide. This “rollback” will affect 9 power plants in Texas. Sulfur dioxide, which is colorless […]

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