Rep. Steve Stockman Tried to Abolish Civil Asset Forfeiture on His Way Out

Rep. Steve Stockman, the guy who named a climate denial movement after himself.

Congressman Steve Stockman has basically, essentially, technically left the building as far as actually being a member of the U.S. Congress. Sure, there's still a sort of hangover effect until January rolls around and Congress actually goes back into session, but either way Stockman is heading home to Texas and staying here, at least for the foreseeable, assumable future.

This fun fact makes one of his last acts as a member of the 2014 Congress downright charming, as if a dog had suddenly noticed that people were annoyed by all the eating of slippers and stood up on its hind legs and started tap dancing like Fred Astaire. In Stockman's case the congressman actually went and filed a bit of legislation that actually makes some sense.

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City Fails to Redefine Attorney-Client Privilege In Spat With Fire Union

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Christopher Ebdon via Flickr Creative Commons

The state Attorney General's Office has shot down an argument from the Parker administration that twisted, in pretzel-like fashion, any common-sense understanding of the term "attorney-client privilege."

At issue is the city's refusal to turn over emails between former Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association president Bryan Sky-Eagle, who abruptly resigned from the post in September, and Mayor Annise Parker, City Attorney David Feldman, or Chief Policy Officer Janice Evans during Sky-Eagle's time leading the union. The union insists it's trying to rebuild after a year of failed contract negotiations and discord within its own ranks, but that it's still in the dark about much of what transpired during talks between Sky-Eagle and city officials.

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Equusearch Founder Seeks City's Support to Recover 127 Vehicles from Bayous

Equusearch founder Tim Miller told Houston City Council members Tuesday that he's lined up companies willing to retrieve more than 100 cars submerged in bayous at no cost to the city.

KPRC's Joel Eisenbaum broke the story that Equusearch had discovered 127 sunken vehicles while searching for a missing woman in 2011. Miller told council members, as he told Eisenbaum, that HPD wasn't interested in recovering the vehicles.

"We were told to just kind of keep quiet," Miller said.

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Great Hair, Stellar Entertainment: We're Really Going to Miss Rick Perry

For the past 14 years, the state of Texas has been run by the guy with the best head of hair in professional politics. Now we are reaching the end of an era. Come January 20, Gov. Rick Perry will leave office after serving the longest gubernatorial term in the state's history, roughly 5,110 days. Whether he follows through on his threat to go into quiet California Dreamin' retirement or takes the more likely path and tries another quixotic run at the White House, one thing is certain: We're going to miss that hair and the strange and wondrous mind beneath that gorgeous dome.

Perry has been many things to us in Texas -- an Aggie, a Sam Rayburn-inspired Democrat, a state legislator, a more-conservative-than-your-most--conservative-relative Republican, agriculture commissioner, lieutenant governor and governor -- but he has also been something infinitely more priceless -- dear Lord, even when his policies have been the stuff of nightmares, Perry has been entertaining.

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Rep. Steve Stockman Gets His Own Climate Change Denial "Theory"

Rep. Steve Stockman, the guy who named a climate denial movement after himself.

Retiring Texas Congressman Steve Stockman is on his way out, but it looks like he's making one last swat at cementing a little Congressional recognition for himself with a climate denial bill.

Stockman, a Republican, has been a fairly ardent denier of all things climate change for a while now. Just last month he made a bit of a splash when he started questioning John Holdren, presidential science and space adviser, about why global wobbling wasn't included in models on climate change. "I mean think about it, if your ice cube melts in your glass it doesn't overflow, it's displacement," Stockman said. "This is the thing, some of the things they're talking about, mathematically and scientifically don't make sense." The Daily Show had a lot of fun with that one.

And now Stockman is trying to get a little Congressional recognition for one of his own theories about climate change, namely that actual climate change is a myth and whatever is going on with the weather these days might be caused by magnets. (To be fair, messing with climate denial stuff probably beats pondering how longtime Sen. John Cornyn trounced him in the primaries a while back, or worrying over how he and three aides were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury for some sort of criminal investigation, according to the Associated Press.)

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Texas Man Accused of Trying to "Destroy" Christian Beliefs for Objecting to Courthouse Nativity Scene

Photo courtesy of Daniel Ross/American Humanist Organization

Plastic Jesus is the reason for the season. Well, it's the reason for the season at one East Texas courthouse, anyway, where a religious battle royal is heating up between Christians and Atheists over some novelty-sized Christmas lawn ornaments.

On the lawn of the Cherokee County Courthouse there sits an over-sized nativity scene, and it's become the source of contention between county officials, who erected the display, and local resident Daniel Ross, who wants the thing to come down.

According to Ross, the display is unwelcoming toward non-Christians and individuals with no religion, like himself. Ross emailed the county judge and commissioners November 14th, asking to be allowed to display some symbols of his Atheist holiday, HumanLights, alongside the nativity scene.

And, as expected, someone with the county freaked about the request, and Ross is probably, most definitely on the dreaded naughty list now.

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HISD Teacher Who Called Muslims "Goat-Fuckers" Challenges Quanell X Over Racism Accusations

Screenshot, Tommy's Garage

UPDATE December 4, 2014 10:45 a.m.: The HISD Board of Education signed off on Angela Box's resignation Thursday morning in a special meeting. HISD says that Box, whose resignation will take effect immediately, will receive the equivalent of three months' pay.

The controversial HISD teacher who made disparaging comments about Muslims on a local conservative cable access TV show is now challenging community activist Quanell X for accusing her of being a racist.

Angela Box, a third-grade teacher at HISD's Ray K. Daily Elementary School on the West side of Houston, was accused by Quanell X late last week of using the "N word" while referring to President Obama in a press conference in front of the school.

It was a charge Box vehemently denied, and it turns out she was telling the truth. Quanell addressed the war over the "N word" accusation Wednesday, saying that it turns out his "publicist made a mistake." Box is now demanding an apology from the community leader.

"This is a lie," she said. "I demand that Quanell X apologize to me."

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UPDATED Fed Up With City Council, Montgomery Mayor Posts About Resignation on Facebook

Fed up with his city council's "fear" and "arrogance" over a proposed grocery store in his town, the mayor of Montgomery, Texas, took to Facebook to vent post his official resignation* last week.

In a rant worthy of a thousand "likes," Montgomery Mayor John L. Fox aired the city's dirty laundry on the social media site November 15, stating that the Montgomery City Council was unlikely to approve the proposal for a new Kroger. Fox said that goes against the organized growth he's been pushing for in the small town, which in 2013 had a population of about 676 people.

But Fox didn't stop there. Elevating his post to bad-bitch status, Fox reminded everyone to "Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way," and then made it clear that the waffling over the new grocer was enough to make him decide to straight up quit, effective 6:30 p.m. Friday.

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Former Constable Victor Trevino Avoids Jail Time, Sentenced to 10 Years Probation

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Longtime Harris County Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino won't face jail time but will remain a convicted felon.

Trevino, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to misapplication of fiduciary duty, a felony that could have put him behind bars for 10 years, will instead face 10 years probation, along with a $1,000 fine and 150 hours of community service, a judge ruled at his sentencing hearing Monday.

Prosecutors had claimed that Trevino siphoned cash from his well-known charity, Constable's Athletic Recreational and Education Events Inc. (CARE), to buy Lotto tickets and fund gambling trips to Louisiana casinos. Early this year, the Harris County DA's Office had offered Trevino what, to the rest of us regular non-elected folk, seemed like the deal of a lifetime: avoid four felony indictments by simply resigning and copping to the equivalent of a traffic ticket (a class C misdemeanor). Trevino, for whatever reason, rejected the deal, but then pleaded guilty to one felony count early this month after only one day of trial.

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PRIDE Houston Moves Date of 2015 Celebration After Uproar Over Juneteenth Conflict


The organizers of the 2015 PRIDE Houston have agreed to move festivities from the weekend of Juneteenth to a later date after a number of community members spoke out about the conflicting dates.

PRIDE organizers had originally scheduled the annual parade a week earlier than last year's festivities, meaning PRIDE would happen on June 20, the weekend of Juneteenth celebrations across the city and state. Organizers announced they'd agreed to reschedule the date to a later weekend during a heated meeting at the Montrose Center Thursday night.

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