February 22, 2011
Here’s my past Sunday (2/20/11) by the numbers.
13.1: Mileage I ran in the LIVESTRONG Half Marathon.
2: Half marathons I’ve run since January 30.
5: Halves I’ve run since this same time last year.
53: Days I’d been dieting in order to train for the race by avoiding anything that tasted good, was considered a carb, or contained alcohol.
18: Pounds I lost in those 53 days. (And no, there’s not a chance the next number will disclose my actual weight.)
114: Minutes it took me, including an additional 53 seconds, to run the 13.1 miles (a personal best).
10: The level of discomfort I found my emaciated self in (on a scale of 1 to 10) running east on Enfield/15th street – from the base of the bridge over Lamar Blvd. to the top of that sick hill that majestically and tragically presents itself at nearly the end of the run.
Here’s a picture after it was all over:
Here’s another picture of me at a time when my hips didn’t feel like they’d been massaged with a hammer.
It was taken last Friday (before the pain of Sunday) when I gave an interview to MSNBC on the sexting bill I filed a couple weeks ago.
The appearance wrapped up what was a very big week at the Capitol. I tried to chronicle it faithfully on Facebook and Twitter (and by the way, if you haven’t “liked” me or “followed” me . . . well, you really should). But in case you missed it, here were some highlights.
— On Monday, I held a press conference with Rep. Mark Strama to talk about what we call our Prevention Works bill. This legislation could reduce the number of abortions in Texas by preventing unplanned pregnancies in the first place – and do it in an incredibly cost-effective manner.
You know, that should be such a common-sense, bipartisan idea: that the best way to prevent the termination of an unplanned pregnancy is to prevent the unplanned pregnancy in the first place. But for some reason, that logic gets lost at the Capitol. Instead, folks spend a day taking a break from their conservative rhetoric to issue government dictates about how doctors should treat women patients.
— On Tuesday, I filed the 14 bills and one proposed state constitutional amendment that make up most of the Honesty Agenda, my effort to reform Texas’ finances by making the budget more open and honest, making state financial information more widely available, and ensuring that those in control are accountable for the state’s fiscal condition.
Here’s a description of the legislation and what it will accomplish. Here’s last week’s Watson Wire, which describes how the Honesty Agenda relates to the budget crisis that Texas now faces. And here’s a link to the Newsroom on the website, which has summaries of each of the bills.
And on Wednesday, there was a nice editorial in the Statesman about how important this is.
— Also on Tuesday, there was a big hearing of two Senate committees to find out what went wrong to cause the blackouts that rolled over Texas when the weather got cold this month.
During the hearing, I asked the agency in charge of the state’s power grid to release the list of power plants that failed during the freeze. These power blackouts shouldn’t cause an information blackout too.
— And on Wednesday, Texans learned of a report from a conservative group doing an evaluation of the State Board of Education. Like most tests of that board that are performed with even a little bit of objectivity, it didn’t turn out so well.
In my view, the report doesn’t bode well for the Board of Education’s Chair, who needs the confirmation of the Senate this year. I don’t oppose her because of what she believes or what I believe. I oppose her because she’s left this very important board with so little credibility that many, including some conservative groups are all but flunking it.
— Also on Wednesday, the census numbers came out. These will be the numbers used in the decennial redistricting of Congressional, State Senate, Texas House of Representatives, and State Board of Education seats. I’ve written some about how redistricting will impact Senate District 14. You can read those posts here – scroll down to the “Newsletters” section and look at the three entries from this month.
— Then came Thursday, which (as I may have said) was the day some folks decided that being conservative means dictating how doctors should treat women patients.
— And on Friday, I was on national television talking about sexting. Weirdly, that may have been a slow day.
There’s going to be a lot more going this week. Committees are gearing up, and legislative deadlines are beginning to kick in. But, of course, the dominant issue’s going to be the budget.
In the next few days, I’m going to announce details on a live internet town hall, broadcast over UStream, to talk about the state budget and the challenges we’re facing. So stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter and next week’s Watson Wire for updates about that.
I’ve also launched what I call the Honesty Agenda Bill of the Day (which, hopefully, will soon be widely known by the hashtag #HABD). Every day, I’ll post a link on Twitter and Facebook to a summary of one of the Honesty Agenda bills that will reform the budget process to make it more open and honest.
So stay tuned.