Sep 8, 2017
Just when Texans were getting past their hurricane fears from the destructive Harvey, a stronger Irma was bearing down on Florida -- and Jose and Katia were churning away in tropical waters with no threat to the Gulf Coast.
As the cleanup in devastated Houston and a 350-mile stretch of the Texas coast got underway, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp was named the state's recovery czar by Gov. Greg Abbott to oversee the restoration of public infrastructure that sustained at least $432.9 million in damage -- $101.6 million in Houston alone, with the tab growing by the day.
Abbott says he expects the final damage figure from Harvey to top $150 billion -- with a 'b' -- and continues to be confident that Washington will make good on its promises to fully fund Texas' full recovery, after the most expensive hurricane in history.
The most expensive, probably, until the more powerful Irma hits the Sunshine State.
With Abbott pushing hard to get the Lone Star recovery underway, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is praising the can-do spirit of storm-damaged Texans to get clean up their homes and businesses, and get back to work and normal lives.
But lines at the gas pumps, traffic gridlock in Houston from still-flooded expressways and mountains of storm debris may delay that normalcy for some time in the hardest-hit areas, even as the the recovery seems to be moving ahead with bipartisan support -- and absolutely none of the political rancor evident on a number of other issues before Harvey blew in.
Still, politicians are fighting over the Trump Administration decision to repeal an immigration sidestep known as DACA, and over court decisions regarding Texas' ban on sanctuary cities, redistricting, voter ID and voter rights, among other things.
Add to that some nasty Republican primary challenges for Senate and House seats, including one where Angela Paxton, the wife of Attorney General Ken Paxton, has announced she is running for a state Senate seat against a fellow tea party conservative Republican named Phillip Huffines.
While Huffines -- the twin brother of state Sen. Don Huffines -- has announced support from a Who's Who of conservative Republican luminaries. But Angela Paxton, with strong supporters of her own, also has her song.
In 2015, about the time her husband was indicted for alleged securities violations, she was a hit with a song she wrote and played at GOP functions.
"I'm a pistol packin' mama and my husband sues Obama."
This is Texas. You can't make up stuff this good.
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