uggh pass the prozac... AND besides that i found this crap...i am seriously considering a coup.
Since George W. Bush took office as Texas governor, 9,921 Texans have died of AIDS and 19,532 new cases have been diagnosed. Texas ranks fourth in the country -- behind only New York, California and Florida -- for reported AIDS cases. In those 60 months, Bush has never said the word AIDS publicly in either a health, social or policy statement, according to leading AIDS organization leaders on a city, county and state level, reporters covering the governor's office, and gay community leaders.
Aug. 24, 1999 | AUSTIN, Texas -- Once upon a time -- seven, 15 or 25 years ago -- Texas Gov. George W. Bush was "young and irresponsible." But as governor, Bush has had little sympathy for Texans who commit youthful indiscretions. He has tightened the state's drug-sentencing laws, OK'd the housing of 16-year-olds in adult correctional facilities and slashed funding for inmate substance-abuse programs.
But Bush has not indicated his support and referred to nondiscrimination laws as "special treatment of people." The grisly murder of James Byrd Jr. in Bush's home state of Texas, shocked the nation.
Despite pleas by the Byrd family, Bush helped defeat a hate crime bill in Texas and has not expressed his support of the bill that just passed the Senate,
http://www.wiu.edu/users/milafs/gay_news/mary_cheney_hrc.htmlAgain in Texas, Bush supported a law that would have banned gay people from adopting. He would rather see more than 500,000 children languish in foster care than find loving, secure homes with gay or lesbian parents, saying "I am against gay adoption. I believe children ought to be adopted in families with a woman and a man who are married."
On the issue of AIDS, Bush has pushed only abstinence education as the way to stop the spread of HIV. He also opposes needle exchange programs that have shown to be effective in reducing the transmission of this deadly disease.
the House was at work on the first piece of his [GWBs]1999 agenda. "There's a lot of people hurting," the governor had said this past January when he requested that the Senate waive its procedural rules and immediately bring to the floor a $45 million tax break for the oil-and-gas industry. The decline in oil-and-gas prices, Bush argued, erodes the earnings of thousands of "stripper well" owners (most unaccustomed to seeing their annual individual income fall below $100,000).
While Bush and his staff were pushing the oil-and-gas tax bill through the legislature, they were also fighting to hold the line on health insurance for children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to purchase private health insurance. There are 1.4 million children in Texas who have no health insurance. If eligibility were set at 200 percent of the federal poverty level, more than 500,000 of them would qualify to purchase low-cost insurance policies. Bush insisted, however, that the line be set at 150 percent, eliminating 200,000 children in a state second to California in the number of uninsured children and second to Arizona in the percentage of uninsured children. "It shouldn't even be a fight," said Austin Democratic Representative Glen Maxey, adding that Republican governors in Michigan, California, Florida and New Jersey all agreed to their states' participation in the program. "Christine Whitman is even going to 300 percent," he noted.
Asked about his accomplishments, Bush inevitably begins with, "Well, there's tort reform..." Tort reform was roaring to a conclusion here when Bush took office in 1995. He immediately embraced the program as his own, designating as emergency legislation a package of bills that placed caps on actual and punitive damages for injured parties, raised standards of proof for plaintiffs and established a hometown advantage for defendants. In Texas, tort reform achieved two important objectives: Not only did it insulate the Republican Party's corporate clients from the consequences of their behavior,
Bush seized on a $1 billion surplus in his initial proposal to help fund a $2.8 billion property-tax cut: Texas has no personal income tax and depends instead on a mix of sales taxes, corporate franchise taxes, severance taxes on minerals and property taxes. In that mix, the sales tax is the most regressive while the property tax, based on the assessed value of real estate, is the most progressive. To reduce the annual bill on a $60,000 home by $333, Bush proposed increasing one of the highest sales taxes in the nation--from 6.25 to 6.75 cents on the dollar. In cities such as Houston, where the local sales tax already pushed the level up to 8.25 cents, Bush's proposal would have meant 8.75 cents of every dollar spent would be taken as sales tax. Meanwhile, the greater the value of your home--or vacation home or weekend ranch or refinery--the greater your property-tax relief. And the 40 percent of Texas residents who rent homes or apartments would have got nothing.
It did return a more modest $1 billion to homeowners, who quickly saw their tax break disappear as school districts raised rates to make up for revenue lost in Bush's property-tax reduction.
And he managed to give away a budget surplus in a state that is forty-seventh in the delivery of social services and thirty-eighth in teacher salaries. "As long as he's in office," one Democratic legislator complained, "we're going to have to tax people high enough to have a surplus while we fail to provide them with basic services."
Bush instructed his commissioner of Health and Human Services to move ahead with the privatization of the state's $8 billion welfare system, offering a $3 billion, five-year contract to bidders such as Lockheed Martin, IBM and Electronic Data Systems to certify clients, deliver services and lower costs [see William D. Hartung and Jennifer Washburn, "Lockheed Martin: From Warfare to Welfare," March 2, 1998]. It was obviously the second component of a campaign intended to attract voters to a presidential candidate who could say he returned money to taxpayers while privatizing his state's welfare system.
This session Bush has proposed adding $1 billion to the state's public education budget, to which the Texas House Appropriations Committee has added an additional $2 billion. "We have $12 billion in needs and will have to be the wise Solomons that can divide that $3 billion among $12 billion in very legitimate needs," the vice chair of the state's House Public Education Committee said.
"Not a word about higher education," Texas House Higher Education chairwoman Irma Rangel said to me at the end of Bush's January State of the State address.
The Texas Workers Compensation system has been largely dismantled, the days when labor would attempt a big push for something like a farmworkers' minimum wage are past and labor conventions where delegates talked of repealing the state's right-to-work law are so remote that they are almost folkloric. Organized labor--like environmentalists, defenders of affirmative action and the state's diminished cadre of civil liberties advocates--advances its agenda in very small increments.
Texas is the largest polluter in the nation, and while Bush has been in office it bottomed out at forty-ninth in spending on the environment.
To a vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court, Bush appointed a defense lawyer from Houston who has written what many believe to be the most radical antilabor decision handed down by one of the most conservative courts in the nation. Texas-Mexican Railroad v. Bouchet eliminated all job protections for workers who take employment-related complaints to attorneys.
Then Bush delivered on his "tough love" promise of boot camps for young lawbreakers, and he set out to end "social promotion" in public schools and begin a voucher program for private schools.
THEN, THERE IS the state's archaic sodomy statute