Friday Wrap: Nate Silver, T.S. Eliot, Cruz & Cornyn, and the Senate Finance Committee

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If it's Friday, it must be the weekly wrap, when your Burnt Orange Reporters comment on all the news that fits in a blockquote.

South by Southwest is already underway, making downtown parking even more horrific than usual. Adding tremendous humor to the proceedings is parodic twitter account @SXSWPartyzzzzz with gems such as this:

The entire feed is worth a read, especially if you're already over SXSW party hysteria.

On an utterly non-satirical note, if you're free for happy hour tonight, you're welcome to join the Austin Young Democrats at Gourmand's tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. RSVP on The Facebook.

Last but not least, Burnt Orange Report was pleased to be named to The Fix's Best State Blogs list! All of the blogs on the list were nominated by readers, so thanks to everyone who took the time to endorse us.

Below the jump, find out what the BOR staff thinks about Nate Silver, T.S. Eliot, the Rainy Day Fund, Cruz & Cornyn, and the best thing to happen to the Senate Finance Committee in our lifetimes.

Nate Silver recently took a look at the odds of Texas and Arizon going blue by 2016.

Basing his analysis on a Center for American Progress report on shifting demographics, Silver suggests that while the long-term trends are positive, there is “uncertainty” in forecasting future population statistics based off current trends and rates of change. He notes that Hispanic and Asian-American voters still turn out to the polls at lower rates than African-American and non-Hispanic white voters.

What Silver fails to account for, however, is the emergence of Battleground Texas and national money and infrastructure coming in to help elevate turnout among likely Democratic voters and help close that precipitous turnout gap.  He warns Democrats in Austin not to stock up on the confetti just yet, and he's right — we should stock up on clipboards and voter registration cards first.

Katherine Haenschen


First full week of the sequester.  People who slumbered through freshman year college English class or wailed “when are we ever gonna use this?” have been sighted quoting T.S. Eliot to describe the effects of the sequester. “This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.”

Edward Garris


On Wednesday and Thursday, through behavior that would never happen under a Republican, Texas' senators have actually been representing us well in Washington. First, Ted Cruz joined the filibuster against the Department of Justice's insane drone policy, and then John Cornyn questioned Eric Holder about the prosecution of Aaron Swartz, and Holder admitted that he considers it a “good use of prosecutorial discretion.” That's the case where Swartz, an Internet pioneer, may have been driven to suicide while facing decades in prison because he downloaded files from JSTOR in violation of their use policy. Holder's excuse that lower prison time was offered earlier in the case is questionable; why would they drum up to 35 years of prison if they thought it was a low-month sentence? 

Ben Sherman


A new poll released today by the Texas State Teachers Association shows strong support across partisan lines (79%) to use Rainy Day Funds to restore the $5.4 billion that was cut from Public Education. The poll also shows majority support even among Republicans to “hire more teachers, reduce class sizes and restore important academic programs.” Some 61% of likely voters now say the funding cuts hurt the quality of education. A similar poll in 2011 found only 47% predicted such disruption if cuts were made.

Joe Deshotel


Elizabeth Warren continues to bring it in the US Senate. For progressives, her election may be the best thing that's ever happened to the Senate Banking Committee. Yesterday, she grilled bank regulators about the lack of criminal charges filed against British bank HSBC, despite the bank's massive money laundering violations and financial services support for Mexican drug cartels.

Thanks to the Internet, it's already a meme:

Personally, I hope the gentlelady from Massachusetts never yields.

Katherine Haenschen


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Burnt Orange Report

Burnt Orange Report, or BOR for short, is Texas' largest political blog, written from a progressive/liberal/Democratic standpoint.

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