The Road to Nowhere in Texas, by Horse Dooty

The old saying that all politics is local applies here. The Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, a Republican, is trying to push a new set of highways on to the people of Texas. These roads will be a monster project that the Texas Dept of Transportation is attempting to oversee. They will be toll roads. The roads will be approximately 1,200 feet across. This is an out and out land grab for the sake of more tax money in the coffers of the State of Texas.

The TxDOT has said that they can and will use the Emanate Domain laws to acquire the land for the roadway. The roadway is being called the Trans-Texas Corridor. Just two years ago this deal looked to be a done deal. Lately there has been a ground swell of disagreement from the communities that will be most affected much to the dismay of TxDOT. Commissions are being formed and they are asking for TxDOT to follow the letter of the law with regards to the environmental impact studies and the like. The TxDOT has admitted to not having the impact studies done yet. Interestingly, before the commissions were formed, TxDOT had said on the record that the studies had been done. They have been caught in a lie.

In central Texas, there are several small towns that will be affected. The proposed plans show no exit or entrance ramps near these towns. Most people’s opinions are that it will kill these small towns in much the same way Interstate 35 killed other smaller towns when that highway by-passed them. This is also some of the best farmland in North America. It is black clay land. There is a federal law already in place called the Farmland Protection Act. There are about 5000 acres that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has identified as land that deserves to be designated as “high priority protection”. These 5000 acres is smack dab in the middle of the very land that Governor Perry wants to be used for highways. These laws and Parks and Wildlife statements are not enough for the powers that be regarding this obvious land grab.

The contract for this road has been given to a road building company from Spain. They will build the road and collect the tolls. The Central Texas group as environmental, economic, and legal issues to pick with TxDOT. There are supposed to be 434,000 permanent new jobs and $135 billion in additional personal income in the state. The report done for the state agency on the TTC economic impact doesn’t make that prediction on new job creation. This study suggests that the personal income will only be reduced around 90 million dollars. On the TTC-35 section alone, The Perryman Group consultants predicted governments would lose $94 million a year in taxable property.

The Central Texas commission has sent a request to the Feds to get a ruling about the need for another Environmental Impact Statement study. If the Feds side with the commission the small towns just might get a win out of this yet. That is my hope anyway. OK, time to hit the lake.

Adios para ahora, mis amigo

Yo soy un demócrata amarillo del perro.

¡yo soy Horsedooty!
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56 responses to “The Road to Nowhere in Texas, by Horse Dooty

  1. Morning gang, congrats doots on being our first poster to post two days in a row! I’ll have more to say after my first cup of joe kicks in!

  2. The following numbers are quite outstanding!

    Obama 325 electoral votes

    McCain 199

  3. dog's eye view

    Good post, Doots. Could you put up a link with info on the project itself and its proposed route? (Sheerly lazy request.)

  4. Obama +2 in Rasmussen Daily Tracking

    Obama +2 in Gallup Daily Tracking

    McCain in Michigan today

    Hope all are well! Ready for a good weekend?

  5. I was expecting to wake up, turn on the TV and see that Obama was already in Iraq. Damn I’m eager for this trip to get underway!

  6. Horsie,

    Similar foul tax ideas are a foot here in GA with eminent domain and the attempt to abolish property tax and jack up our sales taxes to 30%. As long as those of us down here in one party states have to deal with these politicians using regressive tax measures and passing them off as reform, our states have little hope of progress.

    Look at it like this though, if these assholes get their way and get their regressive taxes passed, the state services will be so messed up they will be out of office soon enough.

    Good post.

  7. Brian,

    When is he set to arrive?

    I would think he would not want to get there on Muslim sabbath and at the end of a news cycle. Whats up with that???

  8. We don’t know when he’s set to arrive, because of security reasons that’s heavily guarded info! BTW Steve how bout writing something up for next week?

  9. I am a bit rusty at writing but i will try! Let me see what I can come up with.

  10. Doots at first I was stumped as to what to post in regard to your thread since it’s such a local issue, certainly your post touches on many issues that touch us all, but I wasn’t sure which one I wanted to tackle. However the one line in your post that kept jumping out at me was this one:

    “The contract for this road has been given to a road building company from Spain. ”

    Now aren’t the repugs the ones usually crying out against undocumented alien workers, claiming that it is taking jobs away from good hard working Americans? Yet the repugs have for the past 8 years sent record amounts of our cash to foreign companies and governments. We’ve hocked our future to China, the Pentagon awards multi-billion contracts to Air Bus despite Boeing having the better bid, and here’s another example you give us of just how the repugs really care nothing for the American working man or woman.

  11. Steve why not do a light hearted piece about how moving up to broad band has changed your life ,really!

  12. Let me mull it over, Brian.

    I can do something, though, and will get on it.

  13. Let me mull it over, Brian.

    I can do something, though, and will get on it.

  14. Getting a little more into what the GOP is doing in places like Texas and Georgia is they are taking donations from contractors, then seizing roadside land and giving the road “improvements” to the sub-companies, etc their contributors set up in the first place.

    Some of this kind of hanky panky started down here with water supplies about 4 years ago and they ran into opposition from the conservation groups, which have some clout here in North Georgia. When the drought hit, our glorious Governor backed away from messing with the streams

    One of the very few drawbacks to Ralph Reed getting beat down here in 2006 when he ran for LT Guv was that the guy who beat him, Casey Cagle, was involved in stream mismanagement.

    Having said that, though, we were far better off with Cagle winning.

  15. dnd

    Perhaps Gov Perry should call former CO Gov Bill Owens (who is a former Texan and is a fellow Republican) and ask about the E-470 toll road. It was advertised as a faster way to Denver International Airport. It sure is. There is zero congestion because (almost) nobody takes it! It’s a financial mess, and I think operation has been taken over by a foreign outfit.

    It’s a limited access highway, but that may change, as developers want to build near the highway, and that may put more traffic on this disaster. Which would create another disaster…

  16. Karolenna


    I’ve noticed reports lately that Georgia, like many other states, has a record number of new registered voters. Maybe if you are getting more registered Democrats and Independents, as the attached link suggests, you can get some meaningful change there and not allow the GOP to fun things.

    “Like Georgia, new registrations have favored Democratic, independent and African-American voters.”

  17. Karolenna

    I think if we have any new registrants, it will be mainly in the blue parts of the state, which are all around the ATL. I’m in beet red North Georgia. I cant see a lot of evidence of things turning at this point, but we are not getting out and about as we normally do due to gas prices.

    We shall see!

    Thanks for the link

  18. Horsedooty

    Dog and the rest of you if you are interested in a map of the roads look here:

    ¡yo soy Horsedooty!

  19. dnd

    Isn’t the TTC part of the system to get more cheap goods from Mexico, using Mexican truck drivers? Part of the NAFTA hangover?

    With diesel prices over $4 I wonder how much sense this makes.

  20. dnd

    Here’s how I’m convinced Hillary is seriously in the Obama camp. I was skeptical with moving her GE funds to her senate race. I was skeptical when Bill volunteered to campaign for Obama. But James Carvil, who’s loyal to the bone for the Clintons, is speaking forcefully for Obama. He wouldn’t do that unless the Clintons asked him to do it. So hats off to the Clintons.

  21. dnd

    Al Gore wants us to be carbon free in 10 years. I don’t think that can happen, because Doots will still be driving his pickup in 10 years. And it’s not clear to me that you could formulate a carbon neutral jet fuel in 10 years.

    But that’s not the point. The point is 1) to get started now, and 2) the path that will lead us there is unknown, but that’s how science works. Innovation and new ideas comes from working on current ideas and making discoveries.

    Legendary supercomputer designer Seymour Cray once posed a problem to one of his engineers (I think it was Steve Nelson). After a couple of days Nelson came back to Cray and said the problem couldn’t be solved. “I know” said Cray, “but think of how many problems you’re going to solve trying to.”

  22. dnd

    Doh! Gore’s plan is to make electricity carbon free in 10 years. My mistake. Since you can’t get a nuclear power plant online in 10 years, I’m guessing he’s ruled out nukes.

  23. Al Gore on nuclear power:

    “I’m not an automatic opponent to any nuclear power plants [but] I think that a realistic view is that they will play only a small and limited role. The reason why they’re likely to play only a limited role is mainly economic.”

  24. dnd

    Isn’t Gore on MTP Sunday?

  25. Yes he is. BTW I think we are making a mistake not using more nukes.

  26. dnd

    “BTW I think we are making a mistake not using more nukes.”

    You wouldn’t if they stored the waste in the basement of your apartment building. Nukes are way too expensive, particularly when you factor in the cost of waste storage.

  27. But they are not going to be storing the waste in mine or your basement! And so much of the cost is due to an outdated regulatory process. I know this is one of those issues where I’m out of step with my liberal brethren. I do strongly believe that coal fired plants are a much greater risk to our over all health than nukes.

  28. dnd

    Sorry Brian. Transportation and storage of waste is a deal killer for me. And if you knew all of the problems with WIPP you’d think the same.

  29. we’re not going to agree on this dnd so lets drop it!

  30. dnd

    Yeah. It’s Friday, and cocktail time. We can fight about it later.

  31. Petron on the rocks, double lime for me

  32. dog's eye view

    Hi pals. Having a Campari and orange juice on the deck, and hoping Obama has a productive and safe trip abroad.

  33. Campari and soda with a big wedge of lime thank you very much!

  34. dog's eye view

    Doots: gotta tell you. The Boxmasters are growing on me. Hunting down some friends to see them in Annapolis (preferred) or Baltimore next month.

  35. Horsedooty

    good, I am leaving about 8am tomorrow morning to meet them in Lubbock (home of Buddy Holly) in the afternoon. It is about a 300 mile trip. I filled up my truck today and it cost $89.00 Gotta get Brad to buy some gas.

    ¡yo soy Horsedooty!

  36. dog's eye view

    You have a wonderful trip, and plz shoot some footage if you can. Sounds like a fab weekend.

    I’m workin on a plan to save our home…

    Gotta love a band that’s recorded “shit list.”

  37. I think I’m ready for a break from the “over there” crowd!

  38. Breaking News Alert
    The New York Times
    Saturday, July 19, 2008 — 3:34 AM ET

    Obama Lands in Afghanistan on War Zone Tour

    Senator Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan early Saturday
    morning, opening his first overseas trip as the presumptive
    Democratic presidential nominee, to meet with American
    commanders there.

  39. Morning troops, got some “bid Ness” to take care of today. I will be in and out.

    Brian, I will be thinking about what i am going to write and will try to have it done by Sunday night.

    Blesings to Obama and good luck. Going to see if the nets are offering coverage yet.

    Later Gangy

  40. dog's eye view

    Morning all.

  41. dog's eye view

    Some roads don’t lead to nowhere.

    Backchannel guardian angels wish doots a great road trip weekend.

    No pandering here; another traveler is in agreement that Texas is a wonderment of a state.

    “A place that I’ve come to love, which I did not expect until this campaign, is Texas,” he said in an interview the other day aboard his campaign plane, a patchwork of the countryside passing below him. “I ended up loving Texas! I’ve been struck by how many beautiful places there are in the country that you don’t necessarily think of as beautiful. Pittsburgh, for example, is a really handsome town with the rivers and the hills.”

    Who said this? Who else? The campaign as road trip on steroids.

  42. Chef Sheila

    Morning everyone.

    My Apologese to all for not being around yesterday…I bet ya missed me right? lol

  43. Chef Sheila

    A potentially earth shattering revelation in an op-ed found by Colleen.

    Worth putting up here for everyone to read. I know we’ve heard it before, but its how and who that could finally blow the lid off Rove and what we know but can’t prove yet.

    My goodness!


  44. I’ll tell ya something about Rove, I would have a very hard time finding another public figure who shows more contempt for the law than him. It seems that every time we turn around the guy is up to something else involving crime and reaction.

    I think my favorite thing about him was the day he left office and told the press what an honor it had been for him to “serve the public.” I damn fell out of my chair over that one.

    Speaking of which, I gotta hand it to the McCainiacs. Their newest ad criticizes Obama for not visiting Iraq. I’m guessing it is going to run on the evening news, and likely be wedged in with reports of Obama….visiting Iraq.

    How in the hell is Obama not up 15 points by now???

  45. Chef Sheila


    I hate to make the obvious observation, but the reason he isn’t up farther in the polls is just one reason….

    and everyone is going to skirt the issue until the cow come home. Its that secret feeling a lot of Americans get when thinking about Blacks in America.

  46. Chef Sheila

    And I’ll put myself out there with this personal statement.

    Hillary Clinton supports Obama and 15% of her followers are still going to vote for the Ape Rape Candidate….They would rather vote for him than someone of a different color.

  47. dog's eye view

    But it’s the principle of the thing, Sheila.

    They perceive the MSM and other campaigns employed outright sexism against Hillary.

    Therefore, they are voting for a candidate who wants to keep their children and grandchildren embroiled in Iraq for the long term and who tells jokes about women being beaten and raped by “that marvelous ape.”

  48. Chef Sheila


    I have thought for some time that it was prejudice all wrapped up in the guise of sexism.

    I acknowledge that sexism exists and have had a real good dose of my own, but I really believe her treatment was not that much. It was more like a candidate that turned out NOT to be the best candidate.

    So sour grapes mixed in with a natural distaste for certain skin colors. The same people are allergic to all sorts of people, not just blacks though.

  49. dog's eye view

    Sheila: thinking further on the racism comment:

    Yes, some of the resistance to supporting Obama comes from racism, but it’s not evident how much of that is in play.

    I think more is people’s resistance to “the new.” The broad outlines of Obama’s thinking are pretty obvious, and how much does it help to get pinned down on super-specifics when circumstances and opportunities are in flux. Obama is a man of principles, as is McCain, and you can see them if you are genuinely looking.

    Many voters took a gamble on GW Bush and lost badly. It still amazes they were willing to roll the dice on him twice.

    Hillary Clinton and John McCain are “the known”, for better and worse.

    Obama has a lot of ground to make up, but the state by state polling is encouraging and his positions and principles are a lot closer to the American public’s than McCain’s.

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