Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, folks: Open thread

That's it for Grits for now, at least until after the holiday and probably until sometime after the UT Longhorn football team whips the Texas Aggies on Friday, if I had to guess.

Consider this an open thread: Tell me what's going on in your neck of the woods, or what you think Grits should be focusing on as the 80th Texas Legislature approaches. Also, don't forget I'm still looking for intel on possible 5th Circuit nominees to fill Texas' two open spots, just add your observations to this post.

I hope Turkey day finds you happy and well.

OFF-TOPIC UPDATE (BUT FUN): As the holiday season formally sets in, let me refer readers to a short video my wife produced for the nonprofit group Consumers Union, "It's Always Christmastime for Visa," featuring music by the Austin Lounge Lizards and video by Austin's Animation Farm. They're using it to promote legislation in Congress restricting usurious credit card rates. Watch it - it's really funny, IMO - then do the missus a favor and join the 25,000+ people who've already sent messages to Congress.

Happy Thanksgiving, folks.


Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm ... Thanksgiving. Natives welcoming strangers, newcomers, sharing food and giving hospitality.

Don't you find it odd that this holiday that commemorates welcoming immigrants is celebrated so enthusiastically in America? Many Americans scorn those values today.

Enjoy the time off. :)

John D. McLauchlan said...

This won't come as a surprise, but increases or decreases in indigent defense are of particular interest to me. Unfortunately, except for HB 298 (which I don't view as a good thing), that subject hasn't yet made it onto the legislative radar.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your Longhorns. They played disappointingly poorly, in my opinion; the Aggies should never have won that thing.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks, Bruce, they really did play poorly. The QB seemed off all day, probably still injured, and the defense just couldn't get the damn Aggies off the field. Texas really collapsed here at the end of the season. They looked awfully strong before the K-State game. Friday they looked like Baylor might have beaten us.

Texpd- I'll look at that bill and keep my eye out, though I think pay for indigent defense is probably a county by county thing. I don't actually know.

And anonymous, you're fight, that is ironic. Maybe pro-immigration folks should adopt a Thanksgiving theme next year. Best to all,

John D. McLauchlan said...

Historically, funding for indigent defense has been a county by county thing. That's been its great failing. DAs offices are also funded by the counties, but in amounts disproportionate to those spent on defense. Grants given to counties by the Task Force on Indigent Defense (a state source of funding) have helped to add a bit more money to indigent defense, but in at least some counties those funds are not being used to address salary and suport staff parity issues. That's why I suggest adding public defenders to the longevity pay statute (which exacerbates the salary disparity problem) and state legislation to force counties with public defender offices to correct resource and salary disparities. I'm not coming out of left field here. I'm not suggesting anything not already published in various standards of the State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association, and numerous other organizations. So endeth the rant.

Anonymous said...

Just watched the video. Got a new slogan:

"Consumers Union - saving consumers from themselves all year long!"

No one puts a gun to people's heads to get more credit cards. People need to read the fine print a little more closely. It's just like blaming the oil companies for paying higher prices to fill up your SUV.