Texas Legislators Introduce Real Medical Marijuana Bill

Categories: Lost Causes

Cannabis oil
Almost as soon as state Senator Kevin Eltife and Representative Stephanie Klick, both Republicans, introduced their plan to make a very limited subset of cannibis-infused oils available to an even smaller subset of those patients who would benefit from medical marijuana therapy, the push-back started.

Shaun McAlister, the executive director of the DFW Chapter of NORML, said the law proposed by Eltife and Klick was misguided and failed to account for the complexity that makes marijuana an effective treatment for so many conditions. Dean Bortell -- the father of Alexis Bortell, a 9-year-old with intractable epilepsy -- said the bill didn't go far enough despite its being targeted at his daughter's condition specifically.

See also: Two Texas Republicans Have a Crappy Plan to Sorta, Not Really Legalize Medical Marijuana

The Bortells are now in Colorado after leaving Texas in search of effective cannabis treatment for Alexis, but they continue to fight for appropriate medical marijuana reform in their home state. Friday, Dean Bortell announced his support for a new medical marijuana bills from state Representative Marisa Márquez and state Senator José Menéndez.

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Clayton Williams Is Advising Rick Perry's Presidential Campaign, Which Just Feels Right

Categories: Lost Causes

Richard Loomis via YouTube
Future Secretary of Energy Claytie Williams
Rick Perry's presidential campaign is going to be like the weather, apparently. We know it's coming, so we might as well relax and enjoy it.

Perry's PAC, RickPac, announced a list of major donors Thursday, calling the group its "advisory board."

"I am grateful and humbled to have the support of so many champions of conservative principles," Perry said in a press release. "I look forward to working with the men and women on RickPAC's Advisory Board to continue promoting policies that create opportunity for American families by allowing job creators to risk their capital and get a return on their investment, including low taxes and a smart and predictable regulatory environment."

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Watch As a WWE Host Tries Real Hard To Ambush-Interview Glenn Beck

Pro wrestling and Glenn Beck are in a fight. Apparently this has been news for a few weeks, but we've only just learned about it, courtesy of Mediaite, who bring us the delightful video clip you see above, of WWE commentator Michael Cole trying his hardest to storm Glenn Beck's Las Colinas studio for an interview. Spoiler: he does not succeed.

The very important, deeply serious back story: WWE has invented two "Tea Party" villain characters named Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger. They wear safari vests, hate illegal immigrants, and are real bullish on President's Day. In the video promo for WWE at the link, they fulminate about "hard-working English speaking folk" losing their jobs to shadowy illegals, against a backdrop of a "Don't Tread on Me" flag.

It's all very subtle. Slate pretty much calls this one, terming it a blatant publicity stunt. As opposed to the stuff WWE does to promote literacy and fight world hunger.

Several people, probably the ones you'd expect, have taken the bait. Alex Jones and his InfoWars folks got pissed off about it first. Beck leapt on the bandwagon shortly thereafter, asking "Did George Soros buy the WWE?"

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The State Legislature Will Consider Requiring UT and A&M to Play Each Other in Football

This year, for the first time in about a century, the University of Texas and Texas A&M did not meet on the gridiron. With the Aggies now in the SEC, the annual football matchup that fueled the long-standing rivalry is effectively over.

Millions of Texans were sad. Some were outraged. None could do anything to change the cold hard facts of college football economics that led to A&M's exodus from the SEC.

That might not be necessary. Yesterday, state Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City, filed HB 778, which would require the two schools to play at least once a year.

"This game is as much a Texas tradition as cowboy boots and barbeque," Guillen, an A&M grad, told the Texas Tribune. "The purpose of the bill is to put the eyes of Texas upon our two greatest universities to restore this sacred Texas tradition."

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Bond Was Set Extra High for Keystone Pipeline Protesters, to Send Those Hippies a Message

Categories: Lost Causes

thib protest shot.jpg
Photo by Brandon Thibodeaux
Cherokee County Sheriff's deputies drag a recently maced protester to the paddy wagon in November.
For more than two weeks, three young people arrested on misdemeanor charges have remained in a Smith County jail, unable to bond about because a judge set bail at $65,000. They stand accused of misdemeanor criminal trespassing, resisting arrest and illegal dumping.

But the unusually high bond amounts are entirely artifacts of who they are and what they represent, not the misdemeanor crimes committed. They remain in jail because they trespassed on the right-of-way belonging to TransCanada, the company that will construct the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline.

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Keystone Pipeline Protesters Tie Themselves to Construction Equipment, Halt Work

Categories: Lost Causes

Tar Sands Blockade
Three protesters tied themselves to logging equipment clearing trees for the southern portion of the Keystone pipeline early Wednesday morning. A representative of the group, which calls itself the Tar Sands Blockade, says work on the East Texas site is currently halted.

"A caravan of between seven and nine vehicles (filled with workers) came to the site and the foreman waved them on and sent them on their way," says Ron Seifert, a representative of the group.

The site is near Saltillo, halfway between Mt. Pleasant and Sulphur Springs. Seifert says the Hopkins County Sheriff Office is "negotiating" with the protesters and representatives from TransCanada, the international pipeline company. A representative of the company says the company may comment later. We'll update accordingly.

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Kids In Texas Are Worse Off Than Those in Almost Every Other State, Report Says

Categories: Lost Causes

That's one solution for Texas, I suppose.
Governor Rick Perry and the Republican leadership in Austin have made Texas a rhetorical model for the nation, an economic dynamo that has soared despite the federal government's meddling. Our obsession with low taxes, small government and a lean social safety net has led others call us the best state for business. We call ourselves the best state, period.

Turns out the Texas miracle hasn't been so miraculous for a good chunk of the state's 6.9 million children. According to a Kids Count report released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Texas ranks 44th in terms of child well-being, nine slots worse than last year.

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Boy Scouts Stand Firm on Gay Ban, Spokesman Tells Ousted Pack Leader Jennifer Tyrrell

Categories: Lost Causes

Jennifer Tyrrell with 7-year-old son Cruz.
Boy Scouts of America has made it abundantly clear: While they have no problem with gay people per se, they do have a problem with gays being associated with the organization. That's why Irving-based BSA ousted Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell as leader of her son's Cub Scout Pack.

A couple of months back, the BSA quashed scurrilous rumors that it was so much as considering changing its gay ban, and, in case it wasn't clear the first thousand times, it reminded us again on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, Tyrrell followed through on her plan to show up at BSA's Walnut Hill headquarters this morning to hand-deliver a petition to the organization's leadership.

Talking with the media after a 12-minute meeting with BSA spokesman Deron Smith, Tyrrell said the meeting was respectful but "no promises were made," the Morning News reports. In short, BSA did what we expected them to do: They told Tyrrell she can't serve as her son's pack leader and that their policy's not changing.

Ousted Lesbian Scout Leader Jennifer Tyrell Will Confront Boy Scouts Brass in Irving on Wednesday

Categories: Lost Causes

You might know Jennifer Tyrell as the mother from Ohio ousted as den leader of her 7-year-old's Cub Scout pack not because all the other kids were jealous that her son is named Cruz Burns, which is undoubtedly the awesomest name a second grader could have, but because she is a lesbian. She was devastated. Cried for two days, she told CNN back in April.

But then, she got to work. Change.org, the for-profit online petition incubator, sent word this morning that Tyrell has collected more than 300,000 signatures in support of her reinstatement as Bridgeport, Ohio Pack 109 and the end of the Boy Scouts of America's policy of banning gay leaders. And in case you assumed Tyrell's supporters were just ordinary homophiles, Change.org's press release points out the extremely relevant piece of information that "Tyrell's campaign has earned the support of numerous celebrities as well, including Julianne Moore, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Hutcherson, Ricky Martin and others."

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