Texas Is Seeing Red: The Best (and Worst) Election Night Twitter Rants

Well, it appears that Texas is remaining awfully red. At least for the next four years or so, anyway.

With the results of last night's elections leaning quite heavily in favor of Texas Republicans, quite a few of the folks who were aiming to turn Texas blue took to Twitter to voice their frustrations.

We love a good vent -- especially on social media -- and so many of the Dems' responses were too clever to pass up. So we've compiled some of the best to help you ease those blue-blooded wounds this morning.

But don't worry. There's more.

While we were trolling our Twitter timelines for reactions that measured up to comedic gold, we came across some of the worst sore winner comments we've ever seen, and because we were kind of horrified, we've thrown some in for good measure. Fair is fair, right?

Here's to four more years, folks.

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Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson: HERO Supporters "Will Be Destroyed"

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Reality TV, duck calls and homophobia came to a head this weekend during the "I Stand Sunday" event at Grace Community Church, a protest thrown by conservative Christians in their fight against the "dark forces" and the "radical agenda" that is (apparently) sweeping our nation.

Thousands of people showed up last night for I Stand Sunday, a rally by conservatives against the City of Houston's HERO ordinance, which bans discrimination against gay and transgender people. The televised service featured speeches from a number of well-known conservative leaders, including Fox News host Mike Huckabee and the Duck Dynasty reality star Phil Robertson.

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Ex-Fire Union President Erased His Computer Weeks Before He Quit

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flickr/Christopher Ebdon

The tumultuous back-and-forth between the local fire union and the Parker administration was punctuated last month by the abrupt resignation of Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association president Bryan Sky-Eagle, just 11 months into a three-year term.

Discord within the ranks over Sky-Eagle steering the union in some very unpopular directions -- like suing the union's umbrella group, the International Association of Fire Fighters, or negotiating a contract with the city that a whopping 93 percent of fire fighters flatly rejected -- had boiled over into violent threats. In a September 1 letter to his members, Sky-Eagle quit citing "venomous actions, mental and physical, taken against me by those who call themselves my 'brothers.'"

Sky-Eagle said he received "threats of, and calls for, violence against me, my wife and my children" via email and Facebook.

While the city's Office of Inspector General is investigating those threats, union members are trying to figure out something else about their former president's resignation: Why did Sky-Eagle erase all data on his union computer weeks before he quit?


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The City Is Withdrawing Sermon Subpoenas, So Stop Sending Bibles

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carl & tracy gossett
The City of Houston is withdrawing the controversial "sermon subpoenas" that targeted five local religious leaders who vocally fought the city's equal rights ordinance, Mayor Annise Parker announced Wednesday.

"I am directing the city legal department to withdraw the subpoenas," said Parker.

Parker's announcement came amid heavy criticism over the subpoenas, which targeted local pastors who were particularly critical of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and worked with activists who petitioned to repeal it. The city is now fighting a lawsuit against a group of Christian activists who say they got enough signatures to put the anti-discrimination policy to a public ballot referendum; the city threw out entire pages of signatures, saying they were incorrectly gathered and that the petition failed to meet the mark.

Conservative leaders responded to the subpoenas with outrage, urging people to send sermons and bibles to the Mayor as a form of protest.

According to Parker's spokesperson, their office has received somewhere between 500 and 1,000 bibles so far.

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Citing "War on Teachers," Houston Educators Vow to Back Ogg in DA's Race

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Claiming incumbent Devon Anderson has helped launch a "war on teachers," representatives from five Houston-area teacher groups vowed to back Kim Ogg for District Attorney at a news conference Tuesday.

At issue is a supposed agreement between the Harris County District Attorney's Office and Superintendent Terry Grier, an agreement under which the DA's office would help investigate any future allegations of cheating on standardized tests in the district.

"The DA's office is not the testing police," Ogg declared. "Allegations of cheating are basically administrative violations."

There's just one little problem that Anderson-backed "war on teachers," though: it doesn't appear to exist.

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Black Panther Party Founder Rejects Local Successors

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Photo by Susan Du
Bobby Seale, founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, had some harsh words for local black organizations.

On a whirlwind tour of local media stations, Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale firmly clashed with some local black activists on the role of armed resistance in current affairs.

Houston, home of an active New Black Panther chapter, hosted Seale this weekend for the revolutionary anti-police brutality organization's alumni reunion. Although the original Black Panther Party for Self Defense disbanded in 1982, a number of successor organizations around the country have adopted its iconic logo and its key practice of citizen armed resistance.

Houston's New Black Panther Party, led by high-profile activist Quanell X, is one, though Seale gave the organization a "two thumbs down" for hijacking the Black Panther name to incite violence against non-black people.

"Straight up, it's a bunch of racist rhetoric that's hijacked our name. What they do and what they say is totally antithetical to what the organizers of the Black Panther Party were about," Seale said, citing the leader of the national New Black Panther Party's endorsement of Al Qaeda. "I don't trust them. I can't care for them."

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DPS Tells Mayor Parker's Daughter She Can't Have Two Moms

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We already know that Texas' bullheaded stance on gay marriage -- that it won't in any way recognize it, even if couples were married in other states -- trickles down to individual Texas Department of Public Safety clerks. Same-sex couples in Texas have to navigate roadblocks that can royally screw with your day, even if you're the mayor of the 4th largest city in the country.

A tweet from Mayor Annise Parker caught some of that frustration with DPS Thursday, after one of the Houston offices barred her daughter from taking a driving test because, well, her daughter has two moms.

Parker, who is the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city, wed her longtime partner in January, but the two women jointly adopted this child and her older sister in 2003. Both women are legally her parents.


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Last-Minute Shit-Slinging in District Attorney's Race

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As the race for District Attorney continues to heat up, Democratic challenger Kim Ogg is talking weed policy again -- and this time, she's questioning the low number of burglary cases Devon Anderson, the incumbent DA, has prosecuted compared to misdemeanor pot charges pursued by the office.

Citing the 10,903 marijuana cases she says were prosecuted by Anderson's office in 2013 -- all but 261 of which were for amounts under 2 ounces -- Ogg at a press conference outside the Harris County courthouse Wednesday questioned why the DA's office is prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases at five times the rate of burglary cases.

Ogg's new(ish) talking point comes as the DA candidates are locked in a dead heat less than two weeks before election. On Wednesday, the Houston Police Officer's Union held a press conference with Anderson, announcing their endorsement, which comes on the heels of a scathing radio ad claiming Ogg, while in her position leading Crime Stoppers years ago, sent the identity of a juvenile sexual assault victim to a TV station. Ogg called the ad misleading and "offensive," saying that a victim's name was inadvertently included in a draft script for a TV program called "Predator Check"; the error was caught before the program ever went live, and the victim's name wasn't aired.

Ogg Wednesday focused on the number of marijuana prosecutions compared to burglary cases brought by Anderson in 2013. And while the numbers Ogg cites might at first glance look impressively bad for Anderson, there's a bit more to this equation. The DA's office may be prosecuting upward of 10,000 marijuana cases, but they can only really prosecute what cops send them.

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These Cannabis Bills Could Change Toking in Texas for Good

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Remember the first time you met that good old bill, who was just sitting on Capitol Hill? Yep, Schoolhouse Rock was the learning bomb, and it knew just how to explain complicated subjects with catchy little songs like "Conjunction Junction" and "Mother Necessity."

Well, those Schoolhouse Rockers may want to add a new cannabis-themed ditty to their repertoire, given all of the recent marijuana bills inundating lawmakers across the nation.
But if we may, we would like to suggest that this time, rather than the little bill sitting on Capitol Hill, the tune should take place in Texas.

After all, three new marijuana reform bills are being drafted under Marijuana Policy Project's multi-year legislative campaign in Texas. The first bill is aimed at decriminalization of marijuana in Texas, but MPP is hardly stopping there.

Rather, the three bills are stepping stones to the full monty, covering not only decriminalization but medical and recreational marijuana as well, which leaves all facets of legalization on the table for lawmakers to decide in the next legislative session.


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Activists Planning to Broadcast Live Abortions Near the Alamo

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There is such thing as an "Abortion JumboTron TV," and it will be deployed for some extremely graphic anti-abortion protesting in San Antonio on Wednesday, as the fight over reproductive rights in the State of Texas rages on.

Parents are being warned to keep their children away from the Alamo in San Antonio on Wednesday afternoon, as activists from two anti-choice groups, the Ohio-based group Created Equal and Love of Truth Ministries, will be broadcasting footage of abortions -- complete with what are supposedly fetal body parts -- on that "JumboTron TV" projection screen near the historic building.


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