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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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November 16, 2011     Hays Free Press
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November 16, 2011
 

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Hays Free Press November 16, 2011 OPINION Page 5A + [] | Tlousands of unemployed for feeling idealistic ~mericans got a form letter allq Jng her congressmel~ YoUNG~ from Congress last week: - epublicans John Carter and Mike "D~ ~ar Unemployed American: Co aaway. She really thought that if Your ])enefits have run their course, sh~ told them what motivated her, Sorry about that. We realize that this the y'd be touched, and maybe less is the worst economy in decades and re( alcitrant about working with the you n tight think we helped make it prsident to create jobs. the way it is. But extending your ben- 7he reason: She sent pictures of efits I aight give the impression that bo we ar .~ helping the less fortunate; wil our j( b description is to help the Th fortul rate. As always, know that we are c(,mmitted first to making Barack sh~ Oban you h Th~ Garz~ man, Ga: me tc to th~ the O 'Tr feel p ta a one-term president. Catch foi .ter." to s is not exacdy the letter Erie received from her congress- Ca but it was every bit as galling, jo[ 'za, an Austin resident, wrote pd say that she was ready to take foi streets along with protesters in :cupy movement, wc 1 ready to protest, because I tio Jwerless." sol :h congressmen shaking hands h her son at Camp Liberty in Iraq. at's a pretty personal message. I wrote to tell them that they ~uld pass the jobs bill, especially the soldiers who are transitioning :ivilian life." 9he got a form letter back from :ter. "It listed why he's against the s bill, no surprise, but I was sur- sed that he didn't thank our family my son's six years in the military." Yelcome back, servicemen and men. You just drove up the na- a's unemployment rate. Aha: nething else to pin on Obama. Those returning service personnel - and hooray for their return - might not understand what has prevented Congress from doing a thing to make things better for them on the homeland. The whole thing is about resisting any means of raising extra revenue. With tea party patriots providing marching orders, Republicans say that Washington has enough money and needs no more. They say this in the face of a $15 trillion national debt that these veterans and their children and grandchildren will have to resolve. It is revealing that even Congress- man Paul Ryan, budget wunderkind, he of the allegedly visionary deficit plan, admits that down the road the nation would have to raise taxes in some way under his plan. Not now, of course. That would constitute sacrifice. Only our nation's fighting forces are in line for that. If the Republican Congress really wanted to do something to help the nation's unemployed, it would have done it, because President Obama has given it every opportunity. What it wants to do is posture to its core constituency, which, by review, is not unemployed. Evie Garza tried to lodge her concerns the traditional way, the time-honored way. "That's powerlessness, being told all your life to write your congress- men, and when you do, you get a form robo-signed letter that doesn't acknowledge anything personal that might have been addressed in the lib letter." When I search for actual contribu- tions to the common good by this, the do-nothing 102nd Congress, Googie delivered me by accident to the deeds of 102nd Cavalry Recon- naissance Squadron in World War II. These dog faces tramped around god-forsaken spots of Europe after landing on Omaha Beach. The horror and heroism of D-Day was just the beginning for them. They got the job done. They came home to a support- ive nation. How many of those returning from war this time will be greeted by form letters from leaders who were too committed to their partisan pursuits to make things more hospitable at home? Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. jyoungcolumn@gmail.com V~ters approved seven propo- fro tions and rejected three in or e Nov. 8 state constitutional sct ameE ' Un the O show Texas voter., Appr~ PI ture t of a 1' with taxati P] WateJ up to bond: p] Hight Boarc gatim loans ,Pj lature enter other impo: of a si P~ Land dment election, fill )fficial figures posted Nov. 9 by rice of the Secretary of State to that a little over 5 percent of su more than 12 million registered deJ cast ballots in the election, su wed were: of op. 1, authorizing the Legisla- the provide the surviving spouse ele )0 percent disabled veteran ers n exemption from ad valorem anq :)n. op. 2, authorizing the Texas Development Board to issue ;6 billion in general obligation )p. 3, authorizing the Texas r Education Coordinating to issue and sell general obli- t bonds to finance education for students. op. 5, authorizing the Legis- cre to allow cities or counties to dis into interlocal contracts with atfi cities or counties without the ~ition of a tax or the provision to aking fund. lai op. 6, allowing the General pu: 3ffice to distribute revenue tiv( aa permanent school fund land )ther properties to the available ool fund to provide additional cling for public education. Prop. 9, authorizing the governor ~rant a pardon to a person who :cessffflly completes a term of erred adjudication community ~ervision. Prop. 10, changing the length he unexpired term that causes automatic resignation of certain :ted county or district officehold- if they become candidates for ~ther office. Re~ ected were: ~ Prop. 4, authorizing the Legis- latUre to permit a county to is- su~ bonds or notes to finance the ' development or redevelopment of an unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted area within the county. ? Prop. 7, adding E1 Paso County to the list of counties authorized to ate conservation and reclamation /icts to develop parks and recre- m facilities financed by taxes. Prop. 8, requiring the Legislature provide for taxation of open space l devoted to water stewardship 9oses on the basis of its produc- capacity. .... CAPITAL HIGHEiGHTS i~;t~i~i ~i~i~i~i~i%~ ~i~i~i~i~::~@ Redistricting lines rejected by judges A panel of three Washington, D.C., federal district judges on Nov. 8 threw out U.S. congressional and state House and Senate district lines redrawn by the Texas Legislature earlier this year. The court order denying the State of Texas' motion for summary judg- ment to have its new redistricting maps declared legal is worded as follows: "Having carefully Considered the entire record and the parties' argu- ments, the Court finds and con- cludes that the State of Texas used an improper standard or methodol- ogy to determine which districts afford minority voters the ability to elect their preferred candidates of choice and that there are mate- rial issues of fact in dispute that prevent this Court from entering declaratory judgment that the three redistricting plans meet the require- ments of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act." New maps must be produced by the Federal District Court, Western District of Texas, San Antonio. Veterans story exhibit debuts "EveryVeteran has a Story to Tell," an exhibit at the Texas Capitol Visitors Center, opened onVeterans Day, Nov. 11, and will run through September 2012. Twelve Texas veterans of four wars -World War II, Vietnam and both Iraq wars - are featured in videos re- counting their firsthand war experi- ences. The exhibit is the work of the Texas General Land Office Gov. Perry's statement in honor of Veterans Day included this excerpt: "With common bonds of selfless- ness and bravery, our veterans are a credit to our nation'and our state. Their legacy of courage and convic- tion endures in the form of our most precious gift: freedom." Jessop sentenced to 10 years With the sentencing of Frederick Merrill Jessop last week, 10 Yearning for Zion Ranch-related defendants have been convicted on felony charges and sentenced to prison. All were indicted on sexual assault of a child, bigamy or other charges, and two more defendants are await- ing trial, Attorney General Greg Ab- bott said Nov. 9. A Coke County jury sentenced Jessop to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for performing a ceremony prohibited by Texas law, Abbott said. YFZ Ranch, owned by the break- away Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is near Eldorado in Schieicher County. Prosecution of certain adult male ranch residents began after the ranch was raided by federal, state and local agencies in the spring of 2008. Ed Sterling works for the Texas Press Association and follows the Legislature for the association. edsterling@texaspress.com iiiiiiiiiF!iiiiiii!iiiiii'; "Listening to you is my number one priority in Washington." -- Rep. Lbyd Doggett Facebook.com/LloydDoggett Youtube.com/doggett @RepLIoydDoggett Flickr.com/RepLIoydDoggett