Friday, February 29, 2008

Obama team reaches out for votes

Amazing. The Obama campaign is so aggressive they called me personally last night to see who I was voting for. I told them "Sure, I'll vote for that eloquent black man who will change America ... Alan Keyes." (I've been waiting to use that line on someone all week.)

The kid, barely old enough to vote it sounded like, asked "Who's that? Independent?" I chuckled, told him to look him up on the web and fired off a parting shot at Obama's liberalism. Still, this is a remarkable example of the volunteer hours available in the Obama camp that they can call Republican primary voters. Or maybe they are taking advantage of the dirty little secret of Obama's success - significant numbers of independent and GOP crossovers cast an "anti-Hillary" vote for Obama in recent primaries.

You may even get lucky enough to get this email in your mailbox:


My fellow Identity-Americans:

As your future President I want to thank my supporters, for their ... well, support.

Your mindless support of me, despite my complete lack of any legislative achievement, my pastor's relations with Louis Farrakhan and Libyan dictator Moamar Quadafi, or my blatantly leftist voting record while I present myself as some sort of bi-partisan agent of change.

I also like how my supporters claim my youthful drug use and criminal behavior somehow qualifies me for the Presidency after 8 years of claiming Bush's youthful drinking disqualifies him. Your hypocrisy is a beacon of hope shining over a sea of political posing.

I would also like to thank the Kennedy's for coming out in support of me. There's a lot of glamor behind the Kennedy name, even though JFK started the Vietnam War, his brother Robert illegally wiretapped Martin Luther King, Jr. and Teddy killed a female employee he was having an extra marital affair with who was pregnant with his child. And I'm not going anywhere near the cousins, both literally and figuratively.

And I'd like to thank Oprah Winfrey for her support. Her love of meaningless empty platitudes will be the force that propels me to the White House.

Americans should vote for me, not because of my lack of experience or achievement, but because I make people feel good. Voting for me causes some white folk to feel relieved of their imagined, racist guilt.

I say things that sound meaningful, but don't really mean anything because Americans are tired of things having meaning. If things have meaning, then that means you have to think about them.

Americans are tired of thinking.

It's time to shut down the brain, and open up the heart.

So when you go to vote in the primaries, remember don't think, just do.

And do it for me.

Thank You.

UPDATE: Austin Mayor Will Wynn is supporting the most liberal Senator in the U.S. Senate and is sending robo-calls on Obama's behalf.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Conservatism was alive in 1937

RedState has an article about 'earning the true conservative vote' and describes a piece of hidden history: Conservatives opposed and responded to the New Deal. You don't read about that in the history books, so let me share the factoid.

In 1937, US Senator Josiah Bailey of North Carolina was concerned that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal programs were leading America and North Carolina down the road to collectivism. Although he did not oppose every attempt at government intervention, Senator Bailey believed that limitations should be placed on government growth." He is credited with being part of a group that drafted the Conservative Manifesto which offered 10 "practical solutions" for the problems of the times:

1. Immediate revision of taxes on capital gains and undistributed profits in order to free investment funds.
2. Reduced expenditures to achieve a balanced budget, and thus, to still fears deterring business expansion.
3. An end to coercion and violence in relations between capital and labor.
4. Opposition to “unnecessary” government competition with private enterprise.
5. Recognition that private investment and enterprise require a reasonable profit.
6. Safeguarding the collateral upon which credit rests.
7. Reduction of taxes, or if this proved impossible at the moment, firm assurance of no further increases.
8. Maintenance of state rights, home rule, and local self-government, except where proved definitely inadequate.
9. Economical and non-political relief to unemployed with maximum local responsibility.
10. Reliance upon the American form of government and the American system of enterprise.

See this Troy Kickler article for more of the story.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley, Jr, A remembrance

The magazine he founded, National Review, honors William F. Buckley, in the wake of his passing. National Review is quoting a number of leaders from President Bush and Newt Gingrich on down to NRO's own Jonah Goldberg and Mark Steyn. The eulogies are as gracious and kind as the man himself. A great man, a good man, and a man with wit and flair. His influence cannot be underestimated.

What does William F. Buckley mean to me? Some time ago, I thought about who my political influencers were, and I came up with many books and events ... but one man who informed me into conservatism:

BIGGEST INFLUENCE: My political ideas been shaped and informed by many, but one great conservative was a key influence: William F Buckley. He masterfully has woven the threads of traditional conservatism and classical liberalism thinking to create the synthesis that is modern American Conservatism. Watching "Firing Line" and reading National Review as teenager was an early influence for me. Up from Liberalism!

I first got the influence of William F. Buckley in the late 1970s in High School, with his show "Firing Line". In 1981, I visited a friend at Harvard and saw William F. Buckley in person, in one of his famous Firing Line debates. Bill Buckley, with Jack Kemp and Art Laffer on his side, defended Reaganomics (then not even yet fully implemented) against some liberals - his pal-cum-nemisis John Galbraith and some other forgettable sidekicks. (That friend of mine had an untimely passing himself in the past year.) These were debates that would leave today's talking head shows in the dust. His debates were impressive because they were about big ideas, and they worked precisely because he was a man of ideas. He loved ideas and in particular he loved the essential ideas that make up modern conservatism, and through his love he made the Right Ideas bloom.

Buckley was also a man of humor, wit and humility. His book "The Unmaking of a Mayor" was one the early books of his that I read long ago. His run for New York City Mayor in 1965 was a Quixotic attempt to stave off liberalism in one of its most fertile precincts. A journalist asked him what the first thing he would do if elected, and he retorted: "Demand a recount."

I recently (last year) read a collection of his writings, "Miles Gone By", that reflects both his personal and political writings. One essay discussed his 25th anniservary edition of "God and Man at Yale." He give a fascinating account of the machinations of the Yale University authorities to stop Buckley, then 24, from publishing his account of the ideological indoctrination of College students. So much has changed - his is arguing against Keynesianism, an economics theory that has become and antique; and so much is the same - colleges today are more aggressive in their leftist indoctrination than ever before. And so, while his book was the first of its kind, it was not the last: The Closing of the American Mind, Illiberal Education, and other books have given an update on the continued ideological derangement of the American University.

This book of Buckley's begat his career as writer and magazine editor, which begat the modern conservative movement, Goldwater to Reagan to Gingrich and beyond; it begat a global revolution away from socialism around the world. John O'Sullivan says: "He founded the American conservative movement that, among many other achievements, won the Cold War." He left his mark on the world, and he left his mark on me. In both cases, for the better.

Buckley's Passing Should Serve as a Reminder for Conservatives

Buckley's Passing Should Serve as a Reminder for Conservatives
by Michele J. Samuelson

George Will once said that without the National Review, we wouldn't have gotten Goldwater, and without Goldwater, Reagan. If you've been involved in the conservative movement for even just a short time, you've felt that influence whether aware of it or not.

William F. Buckley, Jr. was only 29 years old when he founded the National Review, in 1955. By that time he'd already written one of the first books to seriously critique the coming liberal takeover of our universities in "God and Man at Yale." He helped found Young Americans for Freedom, out of which grew Young Conservatives of Texas and Young America's Foundation.

Buckley wrote countless memoirs, fiction novels, and conservative tomes, and his magazine helped get intellectual conservatism in the hands of everyday Americans. It was his vision that gave us the intellectual tools necessary to found the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institute, the Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, and countless other think tanks and grassroots organizations that promote the conservative cause today. The National Review took the Reagan Revolution and gave it shape and focus like no other publication could have. Without William Buckley, we might never have gotten to the Brandenburg Gate, where President Reagan implored the Soviets to tear down the Berlin Wall.

When Buckley left the day-to-day operations of National Review, it was shortly after Ronald Reagan's passing, and it would have been easy to assume that conservatism was dying without it's leaders. But looking around as statesmen, grassroots leaders, and conservative thinkers pause to mourn him, we see the fruits of his labor. We have conservatives entrenched in the very battlefields where they are needed most. It would be foolish to assume that conservatism is dead. Buckley worked to ensure that it was not right up until his passing this week at age 82.

Understandably, conservatives are increasingly disheartened as our message gets lost in electoral cacophony. The process has hurt us, and it's difficult to see our way past it. Our issues, however, and our beliefs survive despite all this. Perhaps it is time, as we remember William Buckley, to do as he once said about the National Review: "stand athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it."

Our fight is far from over, and it is critical that we not lose heart. Rather, we must, as Buckley did, work unceasingly for the cause of conservatism. Only we can stand athwart history now, and if we stand together we could turn back the tide of liberalism and socialism for good.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Obama Files - immigration, corruption, abortion, bamboozling

Obama praises Judges who squashed local democratic action on immigration.
Jim Webb, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama Vote For Amnesty.
Barack Obama's F- on immigration.

IL Governor may be a crook - Antoin "Tony" Rezko connection. Obama-Rezko timeline.

Obama Truth

UPDATE: John McCain is the surprise winner of the Democratic debate tonight! Hillary "threw" the debate, but Obama was horrid on the Farrakhan question: "Yes, Obama lost the general tonight on this question. His Hate America Church is his achilles heel."

UPDATE - Obama's work to stop the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

Obama's lifted campaign script: Obama has done a great job of lifting rhetoric from others to make his campaign - There will be bamboozling.

Hollowness we can believe in.

Vote Your Principles

I hear this a lot form the digruntled conservative base voters. They don't want to vote for the nominee pick because the want to vote their "principles". People keep talking about ‘principles’ as if the only principle worth mentioning is whining about the ever-present inadequacies of politicians running for office.

So, a guide for the principled voter - some real principles to base your actions on:
1. There is a lot more to advancing the cause than voting. We do more for the cause with letters to editor, agitating the politicians, getting the liberals we know educated, etc.
2. You never get to vote for someone who thinks 100% like you unless you are on the ballot.
3. Unity is strength, and divided we fall. If conservatives dont unite, then we lose.
4. You should select the candidate based on character, competence and vision.
5. Count your blessings and savor your victories. Too many see the empty part of the glass only and discount the good our guys do. And goodness - Jeb Hensarling, John Carter, Ted Poe - 3 solid conservatives in the House from Texas, that’s probably more good conservatism than any other state. Why don we praise the good guys more?
6. Whining and winning never happen at the same time.
7. Stopping a bad thing (like an Obama presidency) is often most important thing we can do. Political tides come and go, so let it wash over us and we are done for, or stop it now and we can rebuild and move forward another day.
8. Someone who agrees with me 80% of the time is an ally not a traitor.
9. To advance conservative agenda with your vote, vote for the most conservative viable candidate.
10. The good is the enemy of the perfect. Aim for the good, as the perfect is never found near politics.

clip-n-save, that way when asked to ‘vote your principles’ you can find what principles to vote on!

Joe Donnelly v Pam Waggoner in HD 48

Joe Donnelly has a website, but I cannot discern anything from his website on what he will actually do. Take this vapid statement on transportation:

"Our quality of life is negatively impacted by the time we remain stuck in traffic. With our expanding population, traffic has become burdensome. We as legislators must use the data and planning already available to ease the congestion as the Central Texas population continues to grow.

This keen grasp of the obvious doesn't give any hint of where he will come down on toll roads, on stopping diversion of the gas tax, etc. He speaks of property tax relief, but says only "together we can enlist the bipartisan support necessary to obtain success on these issues." Where are the conservatives principles and approaches to this? Nowhere.

Pam Waggoner likewise is not getting into any issues on her website, but instead focusses on her bio and her experience. She touts that she is a "public education advocate and small business owner." She has been in elected office, on Leander ISD school board, and has voted in Republican primaries (Donnelly has been an irregular voter who never voted in primaries). With neither candidate going beyond generalities, Pam Waggoner gets the edge for the primary in having a record of public service and Republican activity.

Monday, February 25, 2008

For School Choice

Response to those who pit vouchers against public education - a false dichotomy in my book ...

Burka: "I'm not 100% against vouchers. I'm FOR public education."

you should be for education, and vouchers = better quality in education.

To be pro school-choice is to be pro-school-children.

" I just can't figure out how to have a voucher program without hurting the public schools."

Vouchers help the STUDENTS. the idea that our education funding should be for the benefit of the institutions and not the students is why we have a broken school system. wrong priorities! The system should help the *child* not the system help itself. Who gets hurt when students and parents get choice? Does a school get hurt when a child leaves the school? Why? they have one less student, a student they obviously couldnt teach properly since they are losing that child? Should we be concerned about the school? The school exists to educate the child - but we have 'advocates' who trat children like cattle and the institutions as the be-all and end-all ... so we "help" the school "system" by locking a non-learning child into a failing school and telling the child we have to spend $8,000 a year and their parent have no say in it (for whose benefit?) ... How crazy dumb is that?!?

Rule #1: Put the child first!!! What do the children need? They need involved parents and they need the right environment - school choice enables both. It enables taking kids out of failed situations - either the 15% of schools that are failing or cases where a teacher is a bad one, and lets parents 'vote with their feet' and put the child in a better school environment. This is a surer path to school reform than any of the failed-miserably attempts at reforming the unreformable system.

When you look at countries like New Zealand that went fully for school choice, what happened? Did public schools fail.NO! They prospered. Why? Because they were forced to perform or die. When given that choice, the better instincts of good principals and teachers kicked in. School choice *liberated* the public schools from being locked into rigid bureaucracy and failed approaches, as they new they 8had* to go with what works or they lost students. It liberated teachers by showing that the way to success was - what it should have always been - about helping student succeed in ways that parents and students could see.

Today, we rely on the good nature of teachers to do the right thing, because this 'system' in no way rewards excellence, let alone competence to a large degree. School choice is the best possible pro-education reform we could make on behalf of the schoolchildren of this state. School choice works. Its way past time we gave it a try in texas.

State Rep Roundup & Local State Rep Candidates

Burka;s blog shows that 89 House Seats will be contested and gives a run-down on them.

Key race: "Allen Vaught (D) -- He took out extreme conservative Bill Keffer in 06; Keffer wants his seat back. Huge race."

"Phil King (R) -- Joe Tison, who resigned as mayor of Weatherford to challenge King, is a strong opponent. The Republican who wins the primary should have no trouble in the general election against Democrat Charles William Randolph. This is high on the list of the most important races in the state."

Here locally the Democrat Dawnna Dukes (A Craddick D) is challenged by newcomer Brian Thompson.

The GOP Travis county State Rep candidates are:

  • Donna Keel for HD47.
  • Pam Waggoner and Joe Donnelly in HD 48 primary.
  • Jerry Mikus for HD50.
  • Jim Hasik in HD49.

  • Corbin Van Arsdale's Agenda for Texas

    Corbin Van Arsdale, State Rep in HD 130 in Harris, has a race on his hands, with Allen Fletcher running to oppose him. However, hey both are running on similar platforms. Van Arsdale has a long list of conservative endorsements, such as YCT, Texas Right to Life, CLEAT, Texas Home School Coalition, Texans For Fiscal Responsibility. Fletcher is supported by Senator Dan Patrick, and running in part on disgruntlement over the TTC. Here is Corbin Van Arsdale's Agenda for Texas, an agenda I'd like to see pushed by the Travis House members (yeah, good luck with that):

    Agenda for the 2009 Session

    1. Combat illegal immigration

      • More troopers, resources and technology for border security

      • Require citizenship and photo ID to vote

      • Require proof of citizenship for government benefits

      • End sanctuary cities

      • Prohibit illegal immigrants from getting in-state tuition

      • Deport illegal immigrants from our prisons and jails

    2. Bigger, bolder ideas on property tax relief
      • Abolish the school property tax altogether by replacing it with local spending accountability, dedicated surplus and statewide sales tax.

      • Keep pushing to lower appraisal caps. In the Senate, there are roughly 8-10 votes FOR, and we need 21 (for constitutional reasons, not because of the "2/3rds Rule"). In the House, we probably have 84-85 votes FOR, and we need 100. While we need to keep pushing to lower the 10% appraisal cap, we also need to come up with better property tax relief ideas that: (1) only require a majority vote (i.e., easier to pass) or (2) do more than just slow down automatic tax increases.

      • Require automatic voter approval for total property tax increases of 5% or more.

    3. Cut government spending
      • Identify wasteful spending. Along with four other legislators, I helped Susan Combs create a new searchable Internet database for all state spending, grants, and contracts in the 2007 session. This will empower you, my constituents, to identify wasteful spending for us to cut.
        Pass a true constitutional spending limit tied to inflation plus population growth, not the gimmick “spending cap” we have now that limits returning surpluses to taxpayers.

      • Provide simpler mechanism for returning surpluses to the taxpayers as an actual rebate.

    4. Additional cuts to the business tax
    5. Use surplus, consumption taxes and reduced spending to add to the business tax cuts that were passed for small business in the 2007 Session

    6. Stop the Trans Texas Corridor and abuse of eminent domain

    Bryan Daniel earns Heritage Alliance Endorsement

    The Heritage Alliance released their endorsements for State Legislative races today. Among those endorse is Bryan Daniel, who is running for State Rep in District 52 in Williamson County. Bryan Daniel is seeking to replace Rep. Mike Krusee who is retiring when his term expires.

    Sunday, February 24, 2008

    What has Changed Since Upton Sinclair?

    Upton Sinclair, in his novels, portrayed an image that corporate monopolies were led by greedy men who used the masses unrelentlessly to make money. The Jungle illustrated inhumane living conditions in the meat-packing industry area in Chicago. The movie There Will be Blood, based on the novel Oil, is based on greedy oil mogols taking land from farmers. Has our country progressed from this time?

    These novels, and others like them, pushed the populist movement in America at the turn of the 20th century. The populist movement is responsble for labor unions, anti-trust laws, economic regulations, and Keynsian economic theories. The populist movement in America helped to move America to a more socialist system from a laissez-faire economic system. The populists cried out that the common workers are underprivledged and needed the government and labor unions to intervene to make their living and working conditions better. After almost a century of government intervention and manipulation of the economy, are we better off as a country?

    A century ago, there was a poor working class and underclass of Americans. Today, there is still poor underclass of Americans. The difference is that the underclass of today is a result of the economic planning and intervention of the government instead of corporations. Candidates now insist on government intervention to create jobs in places like Michigan where the automakers have moved out because the labor unions made it unprofitable for the corporations to remain. No longer do oil companies take land from individuals, it is the government claiming eminent domain for the vague purpose of "economic development."

    Government spending has increased exponentially because John Maynard Keynes convinced a few politicians in the 1930's that the government can spend us into prosperity instead of allowing our corporations and business owners to create jobs. The growth of the government sector is one of the reasons we have an underclass of people. The corporations of America were operated by William Randolph Hearst, Rockefeller, and JP Morgan, men who sought money and power and created jobs and innovations in the process. Now, America is ruled by career politicians who also seek money and power but only work to stifle invotation and stop job creation by regulating the economy.

    So, I ask you now, even after Upton Sinclair exposed corporate greed in America a century ago, are we better off as a nation? You must remember that "greedy" enterpreneuers drive the American economy, not greedy politicians that support government spending, but continue to prop up the underclass in an effort to assure themselves of votes. Upton Sinclair fought corporate monopolies in his day. I dare say that he would be just as angry with the government monopoly today as he was with the corporate monopolies of 1905.

    Nathan Macias Under Attack by Special Interests

    Why Is Doug Miller Lying About Nathan Macias? asks Empower Texans: "Doug Miller’s campaign – recruited by an unholy alliance of big-government liberals, anti-taxpayer bureaucrats and trial lawyers – hasn’t offered much in the way of a positive agenda or vision. He’s simply spreading lies and innuendo about Mr. Macias."

    Special interests are behind these attacks, but which ones? Ractrack Operators have gone after not just Macias, but also Phil King and Betty Brown. Burka's blog on Texas Monthly says:

    "The ad blitz against Republican incumbents Phil King, Betty Brown, and Nathan Macias occurred as the result of a split in the horseracing community ... This year a faction of the horsemen's PAC, Texans for Economic Development, decided it was time to go nuclear. This group is led by Greg LaMantia, a South Texas beer distributor with interests in racetracks in Laredo and McAllen. Behind him are a lot of smaller players in the racing community acrss the state who feel that they have been ignored by their representatives. Parker County was mentioned to me as an example; horse breeders there feel ignored by Phil King, a social conservative."

    Is he being attacked on being not pro-gambling? Of course not! These attacks are of a wolk-in-sheeps-clothing nature. None of the candidates are being attacked for the real reasons that the special interests oppose them. This is the lowest form of campaign misdirection, and it would be wise for Republican primary voters to look carefully behind the campaigns and candidates for the real hidden agenda.

    UPDATE: Comment #1 mentions Judge orders gambling related PAC to stop attack ads against Macias. So not only were the attacks on Macias sleazy, underhanded and wrong, they were also violating the law. Phew! I hope the Comal county voters do the right thing and overwhelmingly support Macias against these attacks.

    Saturday, February 23, 2008

    Ma and Pa Ferguson

    I saw on the local news tonight that Bill Clinton is traveling around Texas in support of Hillary. I could not help but think of our former Texas Governors, Jim and Miriam Ferguson.

    James "Pa" Ferguson was Governor of Texas from 1915 to 1917. In the middle of his second term as Governor, Pa was impeached on charges of misapplication of state funds. In 1924, Miriam "Ma" Ferguson was elected Governor. She was elected a second time in 1932. The campaign slogan for Ma Ferguson was "Two Governors for the price of one."

    In watching Bill Clinton, I cannot help but think of him saying the line, "Two Presidents for the price of one." Bill and Hillary Clinton want nothing more than the power of holding the highest office in the land, and they will stop at nothing to get it. Bill is running this campaign as if he himself is running for another term, not his wife.

    Ma Ferguson ran for office to restore the family honor. I believe Hillary is running, not just to restore family honor, but to prove that Clinton family administrations is better than the Bush family administrations. Hillary is using the popularity of her husband, just like Ma Ferguson, to run for office. It is a shame that Ma and Pa Clinton are using all of us, the electorate, to achieve their goals of pride and power.

    Thursday, February 21, 2008

    Wednesday, February 20, 2008

    Are Republicans Wasting Their Votes?

    I have had a couple of conversations since early voting began yesterday with long-time Republican voters who are chosing to vote in the Democrat Primary. They are attempting to chose the candidate that they perceive is easier for Republicans to defeat in November, which is Hillary Clinton.

    What I am concerned about is whether this is a general trend among Republicans. If this is true, our down ballot conservatives will be hurt as their regular voter base will be voting in the wrong primary. When conservatives vote in the wrong primary to try and make a difference in the Presidential race, they allow the fox to guard the henhouse in the down-ballot races. The Texas House could be decided by tax-and-spend Republicans and their cronies.

    When you decide to vote in the Primary, you need to make your decision on your local races and your State House races. Incumbent conservatives like Betty Brown, Phil King, Nathan Macias, Bill Zedler, Frank Corte, and Doc Anderson are depending on their conservative constituents to vote in the Republican Primary, not the Democrat Primary. In the open seats, Mike Pearce, Bryan Daniel, and Randy Dunning are counting on conservatives to vote down the ballot in the Republican Primary.

    Remember, all politics is local. If you chose to vote up the ballot, you will forget to vote locally for the Republicans who are fighting for our conservative values in the Texas House.

    Global Cooling

    Continues. January 2008 capped a 12 month period of global temperature drops on all of the major well respected indicators, an Amazing 0.64C drop in a single year. This drop is as large as the total amount of global warming claimed since 1980.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2008

    Eloquent but Empty

    McCain gave a shot across the bow to Obama, calling him eloquent but empty. Obama gave a 45 minute stemwinder after his win, proving that Clinton cannot touch him on the Change theme. His Houston crowd was jazzed for the whole address. Someone must have thrown some water on her, because Hillary is melting away.

    Whether America gets over its swoon soon enough to avoid the second worst administration of my lifetime will depend on whether John McCain can rise to the level of engagement needed to address the real issues Obama raises. He raises them, speaks to them, yet behind the curtain, there is no there there. Obama says that Washington is the place where good ideas go to die, insinuating that if only we'd let him tinker, all will be well. But the root-core problem with American politics is that DC and the whole political culture is chock full of bad ideas, and Obama's promise of change is a promise to make bad problems worse in area after area.

    The Obama Delusion tells us that the real problem with Obama is not that he's an empty suit, so much as a deceptive salesman for an impossible dream, covering boilerplate left-liberal policies with glad-handling and vague rhetoric:

    Obama is largely a stage presence defined mostly by his powerful rhetoric. The trouble, at least for me, is the huge and deceptive gap between his captivating oratory and his actual views. ...If you examine his agenda, it is completely ordinary, highly partisan, not candid and mostly unresponsive to many pressing national problems. ...

    He has run on the vague promise of "change," but on issue after issue -- immigration, the economy, global warming -- he has offered boilerplate policies that evade the underlying causes of the stalemates. These issues remain contentious because they involve real conflicts or differences of opinion.

    The Liberal Democrats try now and again to evade fighting lost argument by reinventing themselves with names like "New Democrat" and rejecting "liberal" label, but pushing the same slogans. Obama takes a different tack, and weaves his campaign into a narrative of social advance. In other words, vote for the multi-racial multi-culti progressive to get to the Liberal Nirvana. He out Hillary'd Hillary. But in his narrative, the liberal advances in the 1960s were not mistakes but preludes to what is to come. If we rejected 1960s liberalism before, why would we accept its 21st century offspring? The battle is not a new battle after all. These are not new ideas, but old ideas in new package. Obama's 'change' message is simply the tactical call to reject non-liberal policies and move America left.

    UPDATE: Advice to McCain - Call him a liberal.

    Obama's Roe v Wade position
    Obama's plagiarism
    Obama's collective politics.
    Policy Mysteries.
    Obama casts his spell.
    Obama - old wine in new bottle.
    Name that accomplishment!
    His silver tongue is forked.
    Obama's New Vulnerability by Karl Rove: "For Mr. Obama, words are merely a means to hide a left-leaning agenda behind the cloak of centrist rhetoric. That garment has now been torn. As voters see what his agenda is, his opponents can now far more effectively question his authenticity, credibility, record and fitness to be leader of the free world."

    You Tube of a man who knew Obama in Chicago.

    Obama Cultists can get their fix here.

    Obama's votes. National Journal pegs him the most liberal Senator in the Senate.

    The real Barack Obama, annotated bio.

    Radical Muslims for Obama. Also, Obama aide "Foreign adviser's 'anti-Israel policies,' sympathy for Hamas, raise concerns".

    Partners' funds in lobbyist firms given to Obama.

    Obama shrugged.

    Admits he's not ready for the job of President in 2008 - "You know, I am a believer in knowing what you're doing when you apply for a job."

    Cautionary tales about Obama.

    More details on the Chicago corruption links of Obama: "The handshake heard round the world took place in April, 2004, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago between Barack Obama and a mysterious London billionaire named Nadhmi Auchi."

    Raised funds for Palestinians.

    Michelle's 'proud' statement.

    Angry White Man

    In election 2008, don’t forget Angry White Man
    by Gary Hubbell (Aspen Times Weekly)February 9, 2008

    There is a great amount of interest in this year’s presidential elections, as everybody seems to recognize that our next president has to be a lot better than George Bush. The Democrats are riding high with two groundbreaking candidates — a woman and an African-American — while the conservative Republicans are in a quandary about their party’s nod to a quasi-liberal maverick, John McCain.

    Each candidate is carefully pandering to a smorgasbord of special-interest groups, ranging from gay, lesbian and transgender people to children of illegal immigrants to working mothers to evangelical Christians.

    There is one group no one has recognized, and it is the group that will decide the election: the Angry White Man. The Angry White Man comes from all economic backgrounds, from dirt-poor to filthy rich. He represents all geographic areas in America, from urban sophisticate to rural redneck, deep South to mountain West, left Coast to Eastern Seaboard.

    His common traits are that he isn’t looking for anything from anyone — just the promise to be able to make his own way on a level playing field. In many cases, he is an independent businessman and employs several people. He pays more than his share of taxes and works hard.
    The victimhood syndrome buzzwords — “disenfranchised,” “marginalized” and “voiceless” — don’t resonate with him. “Press ‘one’ for English” is a curse-word to him. He’s used to picking up the tab, whether it’s the company Christmas party, three sets of braces, three college educations or a beautiful wedding.

    He believes the Constitution is to be interpreted literally, not as a “living document” open to the whims and vagaries of a panel of judges who have never worked an honest day in their lives.
    The Angry White Man owns firearms, and he’s willing to pick up a gun to defend his home and his country. He is willing to lay down his life to defend the freedom and safety of others, and the thought of killing someone who needs killing really doesn’t bother him.

    The Angry White Man is not a metrosexual, a homosexual or a victim. Nobody like him drowned in Hurricane Katrina — he got his people together and got the hell out, then went back in to rescue those too helpless and stupid to help themselves, often as a police officer, a National Guard soldier or a volunteer firefighter.

    His last name and religion don’t matter. His background might be Italian, English, Polish, German, Slavic, Irish, or Russian, and he might have Cherokee, Mexican, or Puerto Rican mixed in, but he considers himself a white American.

    He’s a man’s man, the kind of guy who likes to play poker, watch football, hunt white-tailed deer, call turkeys, play golf, spend a few bucks at a strip club once in a blue moon, change his own oil and build things. He coaches baseball, soccer and football teams and doesn’t ask for a penny. He’s the kind of guy who can put an addition on his house with a couple of friends, drill an oil well, weld a new bumper for his truck, design a factory and publish books. He can fill a train with 100,000 tons of coal and get it to the power plant on time so that you keep the lights on and never know what it took to flip that light switch.

    Women either love him or hate him, but they know he’s a man, not a dishrag. If they’re looking for someone to walk all over, they’ve got the wrong guy. He stands up straight, opens doors for women and says “Yes, sir” and “No, ma’am.”

    He might be a Republican and he might be a Democrat; he might be a Libertarian or a Green. He knows that his wife is more emotional than rational, and he guides the family in a rational manner.

    He’s not a racist, but he is annoyed and disappointed when people of certain backgrounds exhibit behavior that typifies the worst stereotypes of their race. He’s willing to give everybody a fair chance if they work hard, play by the rules and learn English.

    Most important, the Angry White Man is pissed off. When his job site becomes flooded with illegal workers who don’t pay taxes and his wages drop like a stone, he gets righteously angry. When his job gets shipped overseas, and he has to speak to some incomprehensible idiot in India for tech support, he simmers. When Al Sharpton comes on TV, leading some rally for reparations for slavery or some such nonsense, he bites his tongue and he remembers. When a child gets charged with carrying a concealed weapon for mistakenly bringing a penknife to school, he takes note of who the local idiots are in education and law enforcement.

    He also votes, and the Angry White Man loathes Hillary Clinton. Her voice reminds him of a shovel scraping a rock. He recoils at the mere sight of her on television. Her very image disgusts him, and he cannot fathom why anyone would want her as their leader. It’s not that she is a woman. It’s that she is who she is. It’s the liberal victim groups she panders to, the “poor me” attitude that she represents, her inability to give a straight answer to an honest question, his tax dollars that she wants to give to people who refuse to do anything for themselves.

    There are many millions of Angry White Men. Four million Angry White Men are members of the National Rifle Association, and all of them will vote against Hillary Clinton, just as the great majority of them voted for George Bush.

    He hopes that she will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, and he will make sure that she gets beaten like a drum.

    1976 all over again, pt2

    I am not the only one who sees parallels with 1976. Understanding 1976 may be a key to defeating Obama.

    Monday, February 18, 2008

    Cult of Personality

    People on both left and right are trying to figure out what to make of Obama-mania. Glenn Beck made a good point about the latest breakout of the 'cult of personality' while discussing the "Che" flag that ended up in an Obama HQ. He said that Mussolini was popular, as was Stalin, but this is denied now. They had both devoted followers who bought into the propaganda and they had intellectuals who willingly adored their strongman tactics to build the collective state. Yes, they crushed dissenters and couldnt abide real democracy, but they surely cultivated devoted followers. Today, "Che", the mass murderer, is viewed as an innocuous cult figure, by those ready to follow the next hip Leftist messiah; from one 'cult of personality' icon to the construction of another.

    Glenn Beck tied it in with his discussion with Jonah Goldberg on Liberal Fascism. Goldberg discussed Woodrow Wilson's actions and the liberal intellectuals or the era, and explained how the Mussolini policies and eugenics were favored by the 'progressives' and liberals of the era. The connection come down to today, to the statement by Hillary Clinton:

    "Hillary Clinton said in a speech in 1996, a major address, you know, that was written in advance. She used this line and similar circumstances elsewhere. But she says we as a country need to move beyond the idea that there's anything, there's any such thing as someone else's child. Now, I'm sorry. My child is my child and my wife's child, maybe her child and my child, but it is not the State's child, it is not the collective child, it is not the community's child. "

    And what of Obama:
    "Barack Obama I think is an honorable and decent guy, but he subscribes to this cult of unity, this idea of that if we just all join hands and march toward the sunny uplands of history and buy each other a Coke, everything will be solved. And that was the same with Hitler, that was the idea of leaders of men in Woodrow Wilson, this idea that we just rally around the spiritual fresh of one man of the nation, all our problems will be redeemed."

    The blind followership of 'cult of personality' leaders is what Erich Fromm called
    "The Escape from Freedom", who attempted to examine the appeal of authoritarian regimes. Better insight into the mind of the cultic follower was produced by Eric Hoffer in the work The True Believer (see also Sowell's comments on his legacy):

    "A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business."

    Those with insecurities of different sorts - economic, cultural, whatever - are willing to give up self-determination and freedom to follow a 'leader' who promises everything, if they will only act like sheep.

    What we have here is a segment of the populace, brain-dipped in the errors of multi-culturalism and Disneyfied naivite about human nature, ready to write a blank check of left-liberal policies with a man who promises the moon: If only we will sing Kumbaya, and hand over all our Change, we can put our Hopes in the Bright Shiny New Leader. As Bill Clinton put it, in a fit of accidental truthtelling: "This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen."

    Beware the policies and program that comes from the cult of personality.

    Budget Graph

    Want to know where all the money goes to fund the Government? Amazing Graph of the Federal budget.

    NASCAR Curiosity

    I am not a big fan of NASCAR. Watching a bunch of stock cars going in circles for 4 hours does not appeal to me, but it obviously appeals to many others. I had some thoughts last night during the Daytona 500 highlights on SportsCenter.

    I got to wondering last night if liberals are NASCAR fans. The cars themselves go in circles for hours, marketing useless products to the masses, and make continuous left turns to stay on track.

    In many ways, the liberal agenda is the same. Liberals will talk for hours with little substance, but use many buzz words that confuse the general public. Words like "global climate change," "going green," "for the children," and "let's help others," are words that I have heard many times over in Austin this election cycle. What is curious is that I translate those words into practical definitions for you, "I want to raise your taxes when I am elected." That is the plain and simple truth of the liberal agenda...redistribution of your wealth. This is the actual NASCAR race that is being waged during the election cycle. The cirlce of buzz words.

    These circle of buzz words make continuous left turns. Whenever the liberals site a new "crisis," it generally means that they are seeking a new tax to penalize businesses, consumers, and our future generations. These new "crises" are used to incite the masses to vote for a liberal policy or politician without understanding the full nature of the issue. The latest crisis is global climate change. In a desire to impose a national carbon tax, the science has been geared to produce a result that backs up the opinion that global climate change is actually caused by humans. That is very arrogant, to think that Americans must pay an additional tax to prevent us from hurting ourselves over an issue that scientists cannot even agree on. These continuous left hand turns of the liberal agenda are frustrating.

    NASCAR markets their drivers to the American public to excite the masses. You do not see the cars, the mechanics, nor the parts that make the car go, you just see the drivers. In the same way, liberals market their candidates to the American public. You do not truly see the mechanics, parts, or cars that make the agenda go. You just see the drivers with their corporate logos on thier chests and hear the cliches, stump speeches, and slogans. If Americans could truly see under the hood of the liberal agenda, you would see a greedy machine that craves your tax dollars for fuel. The goal of the liberal agenda is to control your lives, not to free your minds and your pocketbooks to better you and your families.

    Do not be fooled by the liberal agenda. Their agenda is one continuous loop to control the American public. I prefer baseball. As the great baseball philosopher Crash Davis (from Bull Durham) said, "Ground balls are more democratic."

    1976 all over again

    H/T race 42008, from Peggy Noonan:

    When we think of Reagan, we think so immediately of his presidency that we tend to forget what came before. What came before 1980 was 1976–and Reagan’s insurgent presidential bid against the incumbent Republican President Jerry Ford. Ford was riding pretty high, he was the good man who followed Nixon after the disgrace of Watergate; but Ford was a moderate liberal Republican, and Reagan thought he was part of the problem, so he declared against him.
    He ran hard. And by March 1976 he had lost five straight primaries in a row. He was in deep trouble–eleven of twelve former chairmen of the Republican National Committee called on him to get out of the race, the Republican Conference of Mayors told him to get out, on March 18 the Los Angeles Times told him to quit. The Reagan campaign was $2 to $3 million in debt, and they were forced to give up their campaign plane for a small leased jet, painted yellow, that they called “The Flying Banana.” On March 23, they were in Wisconsin, where Reagan was to address a bunch of duck hunters. Before the speech, Reagan and his aides gathered in his room at a dreary hotel to debate getting out of the race. The next day there would be another primary, in North Carolina, and they knew they’d lose. Most of the people in the room said, “It’s over, we have no money, no support, we lost five so far and tomorrow we lose six.”

    John Sears, the head of the campaign, told the governor, “You know, one of your supporters down in Texas says he’ll lend us a hundred thousand dollars if you’ll rebroadcast that speech where you give Ford and Kissinger hell on defense.” The talk went back and forth. Marty Anderson, the wonderful longtime Reagan aide who told me this story, said he sat there thinking, ‘This is crazy, another hundred grand in debt….’

    The talk went back and forth and then Reagan spoke. He said “Okay, we’ll do it. Get the hundred thousand, we’ll run the national defense speech.” He said, “I am taking this all the way to the convention at Kansas City, and I don’t care if I lose every damn primary along the way.” And poor Marty thought to himself, ‘Oh Lord, there are twenty-one….’

    The next night at a speech, Marty was standing in the back and Frank Reynolds of ABC News came up all excited with a piece of paper in his hand that said 55-45. Marty thought, ‘Oh, we’re losing by ten.’ And Reynolds said, “You’re winning by ten!” Reagan was told, but he wouldn’t react or celebrate until he was back on the plane and the pilot got the latest results. Then, with half the vote in and a solid lead, he finally acknowledged victory in North Carolina with a plastic glass of champagne and a bowl of ice cream.

    Ronald Reagan, twenty-four hours before, had been no-money-no-support-gonna-lose-dead–but he made the decision he would not quit, and at the end he came within a whisker of taking the nomination from Ford…..

    Sunday, February 17, 2008

    Spending Limitation Resolution

    This was posted by Marc Levin on Empower Texans blog.

    Texas GOP Primary Ballot will include a Spending Limitation Resolution

    Texas Republican primary voters will weigh in on a non-binding resolution that asks whether state and local governments should be required to limit annual budget increases to the sum of the population growth and inflation rate. The measure is likely to pass overwhelmingly, just as a similar proposition did several years ago. Hopefully, this time lawmakers will get the message.

    Voting Options and Voting Duties

    A lot of conservative Republicans, outraged that we are making the blunder of putting John McCain as our standard-bearer are threatening to not vote in the general election. Here's my take:

    It’s 1976 all over again. Obama is Carter. Obama is selling his smile and 'change' - giving voters someone fresh and unsullied by the compromises and corruptions of recent years. It's "the biggest fairy tale" as Bill Clinton said, and he would know; he gave us a fairy tale in 1992. but Obama is a socialist who got the rating of most liberal Senator in 2007. Beyond pro-amnesty, he is pro drivers licenses for illegal aliens.

    A Republican victory in 2008 will be better for the future America than a Clinton/Obama Democrat victory. It will ripple down 5,10, and 20 years, maybe forever. We dont know if the obama leftwing shift will be permanent, but history records that most of the time that is indeed what happens. There are dozens of policy points where McCain is better and more conservative than Clinton/Obama.

    The Leftists are hankering for that victory and think it will be a significant victory:

    This election could be the one that knocks back conservatism for ten years to a generation.

    They may be right. We can always fight for more conservative candidates in future GOP primaries. What we will NOT be able to do is to take our COUNTRY back if our sovereignty is given away by Obama.
    Republican conservatives lost the primary election to a RINO. We had the field we had and the GOP primary voters gave more votes to McCain than any other candidate. Some conservatives might sulk about that loss and compound the error by letting the most liberal Senator in the nation become President. ... Or, we can do something constructive.

    The #1 constructive thing we can do is make sure in all the OTHER races, and there are many from US Senator down to local school boards - that we are fielding conservatives, supporting conservatives and voting for conservatives.
    We need to continue to fight for conservatives at all levels of govt, and abdicating the GOP to non-conservatives will do great harm to our cause. Here in Texas there are a number of vital state-house and congressional primaries, with better candidates and lesser candidates. Dont give up on the party just because we got a less-than-satisfactory outcome in one race.

    The second constructive point is that we still must vote in the general election for the more conservative choice. To not do so is to abandon the field to the enemy and harm the conservative cause. But more importantly, we must consider what is best for America?

    Young men are giving their lives to defend our freedom. Anyone who will not exercise the right to vote that others have died for is squandering the inheritance they left to us. And if conservatives fail to do their duty, they leave our nation’s sovereign power fall in the hands of those opposing more political and economic freedom. Bad, unpatriotic and counterproductive all way around.

    You can vote for less freedom, vote for more freedom or not vote at all. But the voting duty of a patriot is to stand for freedom.

    Saturday, February 16, 2008

    Texas Conservative Conference: Live Blog. Tony Dale.

    Tony Dale is the Grassroots Organization Director for the Williamson County Republican Party. Tony gave us information on how to be a Precinct Chair, how to be State Delegate, and a National Delegate. We need conservatives involved in our county Republican parties.

    There are numerous get out the vote techniques that can be used. The identification and use of Precinct Captains is one of the most effective.

    Texas Conservative Conference: Live Blog. Steve Koebele

    Steve Koebele, Principle of Texas Counsel, gave us a run-down on down ballot contested Republican State Legislative races. Those in danger in the State Senate are Kim Brimer and Mike Jackson. Also, Senator Kyle Janek has announded in retirement in Houston.

    In the Texas House, there are a few State Representatives in danger in their primary. These are Phil King, Nathan Macias, and Betty Brown. These Reps have challengers funded by gambling interests. Bill Zedler is also in trouble in Arlington. In the open House seats, Mike Pearce, Randy Dunning, and Bryan Daniel are the conservatives.

    The Speaker's Race is very important in the State House races. There are many well funded candidates that are consulted by Kelly Fero. Craddick is in trouble.

    We need Bill Keffer back! There is consensus!

    Texas Conservative Conference: Live Blog. Kelly Shackleford

    We just heard from Rod Martin, the President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies about getting involved in your local Republican Party.

    Kelly Shackleford is speaking off the record at this point.

    What happens when winning becomes the only principle? We lose our core values and principles and continue to elect un-pricinpled politicians. This is a problem. When winning is the only principle, we lose all of our other principles. Principles are more important than winning, and those elected officials that are principled need grassroots support to win their races. Kelly started the Texans for Conservitive Principles PAC recently to evaluate what our principles are and to prioritize them.

    Most Republican elected officials will never have to make decisions on right-to-life. But all will face economic decisions. We must demand fiscal responsibility in conjuction with pro-life principles. Republican Texans are anxious to make a decision in the Presidential race.

    Kelly is now speaking about the Free Market Foundation and its goals.

    The Free Market Foundation is a non-partisan organization to promote issues and to give the citizens of Texas how their elected officials and candidates view the issues that are important to the voters. The best way to do this is through their Voter Guide which asks questions, based on the party platforms, to determine which candidate upholds the platform.

    The Free Market Foundation also lobbies the Texas Legislature on particular issues that relate to their pro-family ideology. The Free Market Foundation worked to pass the religious liberties legislation in the Texas Legislature in 2007, on the last day of Session.

    Liberty Legal works for securing individual liberties and religious liberties throughout Texas. They have worked many cases and lawsuits to allow for religious liberties, specifically Christian liberties.

    Texas Conservative Conference: Live Blog. Cynthia Dunbar

    Cynthhia Dunbar, a State Board of Education Member, is running for Congress in CD 22. CD 22 is Tom DeLay's former seat in SW Houston and Fort Bend County.

    Mrs. Dunbar is giving a tremendous speech on judical activism, Constitutional Law, and the direction of the Republican Party with respect to activist judges. I decided not to write much on this topic as she is facsinating to listen to and I did not want to distract myself.

    She also mentioned some of the battles of the State Board of Education with textbook cirriculum. What the children of the present learn today, they will become later in life. Because the children are learning entitlements, big government, and poor skills to achieve success, we will turn out a generation that looks to the government to solve all of our problems.

    I encourage all to talk to Cynthia Dunbar about Constitutional Law and judicial activism. She is fantastic!

    Texas Conservative Conference: Live Blog. Peggy Venable

    I missed Robin Armstrong's speech as I needed a bathroom break. He is always very good as a speaker and as an advocate for Republican values. I am proud that he is the Vice President of the Republican Party of Texas.

    Peggy Venable, the Texas Director for Americans for Prosperity is now speaking.

    Peggy is a leading taxpayer advocate in Texas. She is speaking on the TaxPayers Bill Of Rights (TABOR). Taxpayers need transparency and accountability among our elected officials. Government entities are spending lots of money with no restraint.

    County governments are spending money on lobbyists, through the Texas Association of Counties and the Texas Municipal League, to lobby the Legislature for additional money. Taxpayer funded lobbyists is a major problem in that the money that is spent on lobbyists is usually going to advocate for additional tax money wasted by our government entities. This is a blatant violation of the Texas local government code. Peggy Venable has sued Williamson County for spending money on the Texas Association of Counties to illegally lobby for additional funding. Peggy Venable won the lawsuit, but Williamson County has not pulled out of the Texas Association of Counties.

    We need elected officials to stand up for spending constraints at the state and local government level. Over the past 30 years, local government spending has risen 4 times from what is was in the early 1980's. The debt of local governments has increased 5 times from the early 1980's. The total amount of interest on debt that local government pays statewide, as of 2007, is greater than the amount of money that local governments spend on fire and police departments statewide. More money is spent on interest payments than on the necessary functions of local governments.

    The government is run by those who show up. Inform yourselves and get active in lobbying your elected officials for spending restraints, appraisal caps, and transparency in government. Only through a grassroots efforts can we lower spending and limit the growth of government spending.

    Texas Conservative Conference: Live Blog. Jerry Patterson

    Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson led off the Texas Conservative Conference today in Austin, TX. As always, Commissioner Patterson is full of jokes. Today, he told the Republican Assembly members from outside of Austin to watch out for Leslie, the infamous Austinine transvestite who has run for Mayor.

    Jerry Patterson mentioned that he is still very proud of authoring and passing the concealed carry law in 1995 while he was a State Senator. We have not had mass shootouts like at the OK Corral because of law abiding citizens having a concealed handgun. In fact, the concealed carry law has given us additional protection to preserve our most precious

    On a personal note, we need to extend this law to universities and government offices to allow law abiding college students and government employees to defend themselves. In seeing the horrible tragedies on our college campuses recently, the concealed carry law needs to extend to all of our law abiding citizens as a means to protect themselves.

    Who do you Associate with as your Republican Influence?

    There are many Republicans that associate with Ronald Reagan as their leader and their influence on the Republican values. I greatly admire Ronald Reagan and all of his beliefs, but when Reagan retired as President, I was 12 years old. I don't have a recollection of most of his Presidency as I was not politically active until high school.

    My inspirational leader is Newt Gingrich. When I was a freshman in college at UT, Young Conservatives of Texas fought hard for the Contract with America and those candidates that believed in that platform. Newt Gingrich taught me that the fiscal conservative agenda is just as important as the social conservative agenda. Newt taught me that politics as usual is not an option...that we have to find market solutions for our problems instead of relying on the government.

    Newt Gingrich is my inspriration as a conservative.

    Texas Conservative Conference: Live Blog

    Today, Feb 16, is the Texas Conservative Conference, hosted by the Texas Republican Assembly in Austin, TX. This is the 2nd Annual Texas Conservative Conference which is highlighting grassroots efforts within the Republican Party.

    I discovered that I have wireless here at the hotel in Austin, so, as long as the wireless connection holds up, I plan on live blogging the convention.

    A little background on the Republican Assembly. The National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) has chapters in nearly 30 states. The Republican Assembly is a grassroots efforts to put conservatives in place in the Republican Party, conservatives that uphold and believe in the GOP platform. The goal is to place conservative leaders in place all the way from Precinct Chair to County Republican Chairman to National Committee Person to RNC Chairman.

    The Texas Republican Assembly is led by Mike McNamara from Austin. The Central Texas Republican Assembly is led by Tim Bradberry and consists of Travis, Williamson, Hays, and Bastrop Counties.

    Currently, there is a National Board Meeting going on. The first speaker is on stage at 10AM. I'll be back then, wireless and weather permitting.

    The schedule of events for today:

    Master of Ceremonies: Texas National Committeeman Bill Crocker

    10 AM: Jerry Patterson: Texas Land Commissioner and Founder of the Texas Republican Assembly

    10:15 AM: Dr. Robin Armstrong, Republican Party of Texas Vice Chairman

    10:45 AM: Peggy Venable: Texas Director at Americans for Prosperity

    11:15 AM: Cynthia Dunbar: Texas State Board of Education Member

    12:00 Noon: Lunch with Congressman Michael McCall (R-TX, Dist 10)

    2:00 PM: Congressman John Carter (R-TX, Dist 31)

    2:30 PM: Rod Martin: NFRA President

    3:00 PM: Kelly Shackleford: Texas Free Market Foundation

    3:30 PM: Steve Koebele: Texas Counsel

    4:00 PM: Tony Dale: Williamson County Republican Party Organization Director

    6:00 PM: Dinner with Ambassador Alan Keyes and the Honorable Tom DeLay

    Friday, February 15, 2008

    CFIF Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Preserve the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

    In its ongoing efforts to protect rights explicitly granted by the United States Constitution, the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) this week filed an Amicus Curiae brief before the United States Supreme Court in the much-anticipated case District of Columbia, et al. v. Heller, commonly referred to as "the D.C. gun ban case." Read more from CFIF media release:

    "The Bill of Rights is almost entirely a declaration of individual rights held by 'the people,' and that term is used throughout the Constitution to confer rights upon individual citizens," said Timothy Lee, CFIF's Director of Legal and Public Affairs. "As our brief points out, one cannot assert with a straight face that these Amendments somehow protect collective, governmental rights, as opposed to individual rights. In fact, the Second Amendment unequivocally states that, '... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'" ...

    Contrary to popular myth and gun control advocates' common assertions, the United States Supreme Court has never held that the Second Amendment confers only a collective right to keep and bear arms, nor has it somehow rejected an individual right interpretation. Rather, in the 1939 case United States v. Miller, which gun-control advocates commonly cite, the Supreme Court merely held that the defendants had failed to appear before the Court at oral argument or present evidence in their defense. As a consequence, held the Court, it was simply unable to determine whether the defendants' weapons were protected by the Second Amendment. Accordingly, the Supreme Court left unanswered the question of what rights are conferred by the Second Amendment.

    Election Integrity Plan

    This is from State Representative Ken Paxton (R-Frisco):

    "An Election Integrity Plan to Protect Texans’ Right to Vote"

    By: Representatives Leo Berman, Betty Brown, Dan Flynn, Linda Harper-Brown, Jim Jackson, Phil King, Thomas Latham, Ken Paxton, Corbin Van Arsdale, and Bill Zedler

    I, along with several of my colleagues, recently wrote the following opinion piece on the issue of voter fraud. I would like to take the opportunity this week to share this information with you.

    Across the country, vote fraud is an all too common part of our elections. This is why we are formulating a plan to win back the public’s confidence in elections in our state.

    Indiana’s voter identification law, enacted in 2005 and recently considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, requires voters to present a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, passport, or student ID card issued by a public university. The law is simple, yet bolsters the integrity of elections in Indiana.

    The plaintiffs in the suit before the Supreme Court make the unsubstantiated claim that the Indiana law is a partisan ploy by the dominant party of the Legislature in their state to disenfranchise voters of the other party. In the absence of proof, the lower courts disagreed, noting that plaintiffs could not find one person who intended not to vote because of the photo identification requirement.

    Jeffrey Milyo of the University of Missouri found that turnout in Indiana increased with the photo identification law in effect, even in Democratic counties. Turnout also increased in Arizona after enactment of a citizenship verification and photo identification law. In Mexico, turnout is up following the implementation of citizenship verification and photo ID requirements that create one of the most secure and sophisticated election systems in the world. Dr. David Muhlhausen of The Heritage Foundation concluded in a September 2007 study that “voter identification laws largely do not have the claimed negative impact on voter turnout based on state-to-state comparisons.”

    Through open records requests, the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute has found that from 1999 through early 2007, Dallas County cancelled the voter registration of 1,889 non-citizens. Before being deleted from the voter rolls, 356 non-citizens voted in Dallas County. In the state’s five most populous counties, 6,700 non-citizens have been removed from voter registration lists.

    These numbers were discovered incidentally, through jury summons returned marked with “non-citizen”. A statewide study has not been conducted and the state’s chief elections officer admits that voters are on the honor system when they claim U.S. citizenship.

    The election integrity crisis in Texas is very real. In 2007, the State Auditor identified 49,049 registered voters who may be ineligible to vote, including 23,114 possible felons and 23,576 who may be deceased. The Special Investigations Unit in the Office of the Attorney General referred eleven cases of vote fraud for prosecution in 2007, and two public officials were convicted on separate charges of vote fraud.

    Each illegal vote counted silences the voice of a legitimate voter. Poll taxes, literacy tests, and all-white primaries are a stain on our state history. Yet the effect of those despicable practices is no different from the effect of vote fraud: disenfranchisement.

    The evidence is conclusive: Vote fraud exists. Election integrity measures increase voter participation.

    Yet opponents of citizenship verification and photo identification requirements continue to levy anecdotal claims that the poor, the elderly, and minorities lack identification and will be disenfranchised. In Texas, however, there are 1.4 million more drivers’ licenses held by the voting-age population than there are registered voters. According to the Department of Public Safety, 73 percent of the 79 and older population hold a valid driver’s license.

    Texans with a limited income drive cars, purchase tobacco and alcohol, and get married – all of which require photo identification. Additionally, many low-income individuals and families continually meet the federal citizenship verification requirement to qualify for Medicaid.

    Elections are announced many months in advance and typical turnaround time for issuance of a driver’s license is nine to thirteen days, giving ample time for anyone without photo identification to obtain it.

    Furthermore, state law currently allows everyone over the age of 65 and most people with illnesses or disabilities to vote by mail, a practice that is unaffected by most photo identification laws.

    In light of evidence of vote fraud in Texas, and given the positive experiences with voter identification in other states and nations, we are working diligently on an election integrity plan that includes both citizenship verification and a photo identification requirement.

    Following the Supreme Court’s guidance, we are determined to protect the most basic and important right of our representative democracy - the right to vote.

    State Representatives Leo Berman (Tyler) and Betty Brown (Terrell) are co-chairs of the Election Integrity Task Force, convened by the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute. State Representatives Dan Flynn (Van), Linda Harper-Brown (Irving), Jim Jackson (Carrollton), Phil King (Weatherford), Thomas Latham (Sunnyvale), Ken Paxton (McKinney), Corbin Van Arsdale (Tomball), and Bill Zedler (Arlington) are active members of the Task Force.

    Leininger to end San Antonio Voucher Program

    We all know that a statewide voucher program is the beginning of improving our education system and teaching our next generation the necessary skills to succeed. Now is our time to take up the torch of the voucher issue and bring the issue to the people.

    Article follow:

    San Antonio voucher program to end, but voucher debate will not

    An article appeared in today's San Antonio Express-News. After 10 years, Children's Education Opportunity Foundation (CEOO) of San Antonio -- which has provided some scholarship money for parents to send their children to private schools -- will end with this school year.

    CEO San Antonio is the sister program to Horizon, a voucher program for kids in the Edgewood Independent School District. Both are funded by San Antonio businessman James Leininger, arguably the state's biggest support of school vouchers.
    Jessica Almanza has sent her daughter Jenna to St. Leo the Great Catholic School with a CEO voucher for the past five years. She said she'd find a way to keep her daughter there. "My first thought was, 'What are we supposed to do now?' This is our choice. Are we supposed to abandon our choice?" Almanza said. "I'm not saying public schools are bad, but this is what's right for my daughter."

    Horizon, the better known of the two programs, was billed as a decadelong experiment to prove that vouchers not only will help students who use them to go to private schools, but also improve public schools by providing competition. It currently serves 1,703 Edgewood students and is scheduled to end this year.

    But CEO, which serves almost 700 students, has been available for students all over San Antonio and pays up to $1,500 a year in tuition assistance — just under half of the cost of most Catholic schools' tuition on the South Side.

    The program wasn't scheduled to end this year and it left parents, and Catholic school leaders, surprised. "We thought CEO was going to continue indefinitely," said Carol Johnson, principal of St. Leo's, where 43 of 186 students use CEO vouchers. "Parents have considered it a blessing that CEO was there for them. Otherwise a private-school education would be beyond their means."

    Voucher critics speculate that shuttering CEO and Horizon might mean the end of the voucher debate in Texas. Leininger, who has spent $50 million funding the programs, long has lobbied for a publicly funded voucher program.

    But Ken Hoagland, a spokesman for Leininger, said they're not giving up. They'll continue to lobby for a publicly funded voucher program at the grass-roots level as well as reach out to legislators that represent inner-city districts, Hoagland said. "Dr. Leininger's hope was that when state legislators saw the results of letting parents choose any school they wanted for their child that they would see this is a reasonable solution to the high drop-out rates in public school," Hoagland said, pointing out that more than 90 percent of students in the Horizon and CEO programs not only graduated from high school but went on to college.

    Hoagland said Democrats in other states are beginning to warm to the idea of school choice — a broad spectrum that includes charter schools and voucher programs. He still hopes to convince lawmakers, Democratic and Republican, that vouchers are a good idea. "We're just going to keep trying and not make this a partisan issue," Hoagland said. "Really, his (Leininger's) passion is for the children not the politics…."

    The article which appeared in the San Antonio Express-News is online here:

    Thursday, February 14, 2008

    Lincoln's Endorsement

    Romney has endorsed McCain today, adding further inevitability to McCain's nomination. I coincidentally came across this little-known piece of history. Something to ponder when considering endorsements and the dilemma of voting for the lesser of two bad choices. Lincoln's forgotten run for the Senate:

    "On this day in 1855 (February 8th), Abraham Lincoln lost his first bid to win a seat in the U.S. Senate. The Illinois legislature chose between three candidates: Lincoln, running as a Whig; Rep. Lyman Trumbull, an anti-slavery Democrat; and Joel Matheson, the pro-slavery Democrat Governor. Though Lincoln came just six votes short of victory in the first round of voting, he could not expect any Democrat legislators to vote for him. So, he threw his support to Trumbull in order to keep another pro-slavery Democrat out of the U.S. Senate.

    Lyman Trumbull was elected and soon became a Republican. Senator Trumbull went on to write the Republican Party's 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery."

    Youtube of a Liberal Republican

    Valentine's Message for Charlie Geren.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Rep Michael McCaul on FISA

    "Mr. Speaker, today Congress is engaged in an important debate, perhaps the most important debate, certainly in recent years. Our most solemn obligation to this country is to protect the American citizenry.

    "In my view, our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are playing a dangerous political game, and the American people are the pawns in this game. I bring to the Congress a unique experience. I worked in the Justice Department under the FISA statute. I have worked on national security wiretaps, and I can tell you that the statute was never intended to cover foreign targets in a foreign country. And, if Osama bin Laden is on the phone calling into the United Sates, I think the American people want us to pay attention to that and listen to that conversation.

    "Intelligence, good intelligence, has stopped every threat to this country since 9/11. Intelligence is the first line of defense in the War on Terror, and we need to protect the American companies who we ask to protect the United States and the American people.

    "They stood up to the plate, and now it is our time to stand up to the plate and protect them. They were doing their patriotic duty in a time of war when America asked them.

    "If we do not protect them, then what company, American or otherwise, will dare help the United States of America in its greatest time of need, in a time of peril, in a time of war.

    "Yesterday, the Senate passed the FISA bill, which included this immunity and also protects Americans. I say we put that bill on the floor, let’s pass that bill and let’s make the Protect America Act permanent. Now is the time, not 21 days from now, not several months from now. For the American people, let’s pass this and protect the American people now."

    Michael McCaul
    U.S. Congressman,
    Texas' 10th Congressional District

    Young Conservatives of Texas Release 2008 Primary Endorsements

    For Immediate Release
    February 13, 2008
    Contact: Laura Elizabeth Morales, YCT Director of Public Relations, 956-821-7925,

    Young Conservatives of Texas Release 2008 Primary Endorsements

    (Austin, TX) The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) are proud to announce their endorsements of conservative candidates across the state of Texas for the 2008 primary elections.

    "These candidates are true conservatives who will bring real Texan values to the offices they are elected to," said Laura Elizabeth Morales, YCT Director of Public Relations.

    YCT uses questionnaires and personal interviews along with meticulous research to identify each candidate's positions on the issues before making their endorsement decisions.

    "The Young Conservatives of Texas applaud the candidate's positions on the issues, some of which include controlling government spending, securing our nation's borders and limiting the size of government," said Morales.

    YCT has chapters at Texas Tech University, West Texas A&M University, A&M University, the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at San Antonio. YCT is a non-partisan grassroots political organization that has been fighting for conservative values for more than a quarter century in the Lone Star State. To learn more visit

    United States House of Representatives
    CD-3 Sam Johnson
    CD-4 Ralph Hall
    CD-14 Ron Paul
    CD-22 Robert Talton
    CD-23 Quico Canseco

    Texas House of Representatives
    HD-4 Betty Brown
    HD-8 Bobby Vickery
    HD-26 Charlie Howard
    HD-29 Randy Weber
    HD-52 Bryan Daniel
    HD-55 Mike Pearce
    HD-56 Doc Anderson
    HD-61 Phil King
    HD-67 Jerry Madden
    HD-73 Nathan Macias
    HD-78 No Endorsement
    HD-83 No Endorsement
    HD-96 Bill Zedler
    HD-97 Mark Shelton
    HD-99 Tom Annunziato
    HD-101 Mike Anderson
    HD-112 Randy Dunning
    HD-122 Frank Corte
    HD-127 Joe Crabb
    HD-129 Jon Keeney
    HD-130 Corbin Van Arsdale
    HD-144 Ken Legler

    Texas Senate
    SD-4 Tommy Williams

    Local Races
    Harris County Judge Ed Emmett

    *No Endorsement means that no candidate adequately represents YCT’s stated principles

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    Central Texas Republican Assembly Endorsements (February 12, 2008)


    Central Texas Republican Assembly Announces Its Endorsements
    February 12, 2008

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 12, 2008

    Austin, Texas

    The Central Texas Republican Assembly (CTRA) has announced endorsements of candidates in contested races in Travis, Williamson, and Bastrop Counties for the March 4th Republican Primary Elections. The endorsements were approved by a minimum two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at the Endorsing Convention on Feb 12 in Austin TX.

    CTRA is one of six chapters of the Texas Republican Assembly and is affiliated with the National Federation of Republican Assemblies ( The assemblies, cast in mold of President Ronald Reagan, envision themselves as “The Republican Wing of the Republican Party”. The Republican Assemblies endorse those candidates in contested races in the Republican Primary who are considered to have the strongest conservative qualifications.

    The complete list of CTRA endorsements is as follows (“I” indicates Incumbent):

    Bastrop County
    County Sheriff – Terry Pickering

    Travis County
    County Republican Chairman – Rosemary Edwards
    Constable, Precinct 2 – Constable Bob Vann (I)

    Williamson County
    County Commissioner, Precinct 1 – Lisa Birkman (I)
    Constable, Precinct 1 – Robert Chody


    Ronny Ables
    Chairman, CTRA Endorsement Committee
    2nd Vice-President, CTRA
    (512) 383-5677

    Timothy E. Bradberry
    President, CTRA
    (512) 507-2823

    Commissioners Meet on Sheriff's ICE policy

    The Travis County Sheriff helps the Federal authorities enforce the law, letting ICE authorities review immigration status of detained criminals so they can be deported. Sounds like a good idea. Who could be against that? ... Activists for illegal aliens express outrage: Will opponents of the Travis County sheriff’s decision to allow federal immigration agents full-time access in the county jail ask him to step down as a candidate for re-election?: "Cotera later told the American-Statesman that she knows of members of several community, civil rights and immigrant rights organizations who are interested in asking Sheriff Greg Hamilton to drop his bid for re-election. Cotera said they plan to meet first with the Travis County Democratic Party chair."

    Sheriff Hamilton is being asked to explain his situation to the Commissioner's Court today. Let's hope they don't put the new policy on "ice" - (Note: On Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 1:45 p.m. the Travis County Commissioners Court has called Sheriff Hamilton to explain his actions concerning ICE Agents in the Jail. You are invited to be a part of that discussion as the ones against this will be present as well. Commissioners Court meets in the Granger Building, 314 West 11th Street.)

    Monday, February 11, 2008

    Hillary's last stand may be in Texas

    Hillary counts on Texas: "She has to win both Ohio and Texas comfortably, or she’s out,” said one superdelegate who has endorsed Mrs. Clinton, and who spoke on condition of anonymity to share a candid assessment. “The campaign is starting to come to terms with that."

    Get Happy, become a Republican

    Who'd have thunk? Republicans are happier than Democrats.

    The Che Candidate

    From Lone Star Times, Obama office adores Marxist thug, Che.

    A writer reminds us of Obama's view of wearing a flag pins:

    “I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest,” he said in the interview. “Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism.” On Thursday, his campaign issued a statement: “We all revere the flag, but Senator Obama believes that being a patriot is about more than a symbol.”

    So, no to flag pins but yes to Che. Can Obama get away with it? Si, se puede!

    Update: More in that vein ... Nation of Islam members staff Obama's campaign - "Obama has employed and continues to employ nation of islam members in high positions in his Illinois and US Senate campaign and office staffs."

    Update 2/12:
    Obama supports drivers licenses for illegal aliens.

    Obama supports a Global Tax, in Obama's "Global Poverty Act" (S.2433).

    Update: The real Barack Hussein Obama. Also,
    An Obama supporter speaks out:

    "Obama is our Ronald Reagan and he is going to obliterate everything that Reaganism stood for. Yes he will raise taxes, but the wealthy will still be paying less than when Reagan took office. Yes he will increase spending on the poor, the homeless, the sick, the elderly and students, but it will still be less as a percentage of GDP than under Carter. Yes he will get us out of this silly "war on terror," bring the troops home, slash the size of the military, and restore peace on a global basis. And if he reinstates the "fairness doctrine" and gets that conservative hate speech off the air, so much the better. Obama is going to return us to the peace and prosperity that we enjoyed under the Kennedy Administration and the nay-sayers should just get over it. Only Obama can unite the country and it is high time that it be done. My only regret is that he has not said that he will prosecute Cheney and Bush for their war crimes, for illegal wiretapping, and for gross incompetence."

    Update: Offscript Obama is a weak and highly partisan speaker.

    Most pro-abortion candidate ever

    2008 is 1976 all over again

    Randy made an analogy to 1976, which other have made and to a great extent I agree with. John McCain, like Gerald Ford, has been at odds with Republican conservative activists. But in 2008 there was no Reagan in the race. Many tried to wear the mantle, and in all cases, it fit not too comfortably. Thompson and Romney were the best chances the GOP had of unifying conservative candidates, but Thompson's low-energy campaign and Romney's Mormonism and changed position on abortion were too great a hurdle. When McCain was challenged on his conservative credentials, he retorted that "he was a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution." This is true, but the conservative lament is how a Reaganite degenerated in time to a RINO (ACU rating in 2007 was only 65%). Yet there it is: The GOP has nominated a candidate who, while prolife and a fiscal conservative, has the feel of a Ford not a Reagan.

    On the Democrat side, a not-very-experienced fresh face with a winning smile and a naive view of foreign policy won in Iowa and then over time surged ahead of the
    rest of the pack. That candidate ran on change and on being 'unsullied' by the taint of having been in Washington politics too long. So in 1976, the Democrats chose Carter as the agent of change and today they pick Barack Obama - "Change we can believe in."

    That's right - Barack Obama is going to be the Democrat nominee. (Dick Morris agrees.) Barack Obama beat Hillary Rodham Clinton in Democratic contests in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington State, and his now leading in the Potomac state contests. It turns out that Hillary averted disaster in the 'super Tuesday' states only because she racked up early voting leads. (Note to self: Avoid early voting in primaries.) Flush with money, Obama can compete all the way to the convention. The question now is not when will Hillary be coronated, it will be: When will Hillary have to concede? or maybe, How much dirty tricks will Hillary pull with Super-delegates to eke out a win?

    The mindless, shallow pap that served up Carter's vacuous campaign is the main course for Obama's campaign - "In your heart you know he's trite." And why not when its a winning message? National Journal rated Obama the most Liberal Senator in the U.S. Senate last year. Had he run as an angry ideological uber-liberal, like Edwards, he would not be getting the support of people who are wanting to believe in 'the audacity of hope'. Instead, a vague, vapid, liberal, empty suit campaign fits the guy whose #1 qualification to be the nominee is that he WASN'T in Congress to vote for a war that the Democrats have spent the last few years demagoguing against.

    So what will McCain v Obama look like electorally? Intrade has an answer ... take the state Intrade outcome probabilities and map it on an electoral map and it looks like this:

    1976 was a close race. 2008 may well be a close race again. Some conservatives will see that analogy and conclude - "I won't vote for McCain. I am waiting for the next Reagan." I don't think it is a responsible thing to send America through another 4 years like we lived with Carter, in the vague hope that a Reagan would materialize out of it. Maybe we will have the country so bamboozled, that like Clinton, Obama will get 8 years not 4 years; and the damage to our cause, our culture and our country will be irreversible.