Thursday, July 29, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
by Timothy Bradberry
President, Central Texas Republican Assembly (CTRA)
On behalf of the CTRA Board of Directors
In similar vein to Speaker Joe Straus “endorsing” Democrat Patrick Rose by headlining a fundraiser for Rose while Rose’s very viable Republican opponent, Jason Isaac was ignored by the Speaker, three former Republican members of the Texas Supreme Court have explicitly endorsed Democrat Kurt Kuhn in his bid for the 3rd Court of Appeals while Kuhn’s very viable Republican opponent, former District Judge Melissa Goodwin, is left with what can only feel like a knife in her back.
Here is how the announcement of this latest Republican betrayal is reported on the Texas Lawyer Blog (Tex Parte Blog):
On his campaign website, Kurt Kuhn, the Democrats’ nominee for a seat on Austin’s 3rd Court of Appeals, touts endorsements by three former Texas Supreme Court justices, all Republicans. Former Chief Justice Tom Phillips and former Justices Craig Enoch and Scott Brister confirm they have endorsed Kuhn, a partner in Austin’s Brown McCarroll. Phillips, now a partner in Baker Botts in Austin, says, “Most of us who have been on the [Supreme] Court in recent years do not regard the judiciary as a partisan enterprise.” Enoch, a shareholder in Winstead in Austin, says, “I’m retired [from the bench], so I’m free to express my opinion.” Brister, a partner in Andrews Kurth in Austin, says he has known Kuhn for a long time. “I think he’ll do a great job,” Brister says. Kuhn says he is trying to run a broad bipartisan campaign. “I’m not going to be a Democrat if I’m elected; I’m going to be a judge,” he says.The former “Republican” Supremes may not view the judiciary as a partisan enterprise but if they truly want themselves to be seen as apolitical, they picked a strange time to stir the political pot by endorsing a Democrat in a general election. Also, former Chief Justice Tom Phillips' motivation for taking off his robe at this time in this election is clouded by the fact that he advocates for appointed rather than elected judges.
Regardless of their apolitical status or reasons for endorsing a Democrat I ask, like I did about Speaker Straus, what kind of Republicans are they? If they were members of the Central Texas Republican Assembly they would be expelled from membership as our members are not allowed to endorse or campaign for candidates of other political parties. Though we did not end up making an endorsement in the Republican Primary in the 3rd Court of Appeals race, once Republicans choose Melissa Goodwin we were and are bound to follow the lead of the Republican Primary voters and put our weight behind the Republican nominee. What the three former Supremes have done is to betray Republican Party voters, many of whom had previously voted them into office.
Apparently ignored by the three former Supremes, the reason we need Melissa Goodwin on the 3rd Court is her extensive experience with administrative law, criminal law, and family law. These three facets of the law account for nearly 2/3 of the cases that the 3rd Court will potentially hear on appeal. Goodwin brings the most experience to the table on these important areas of law and fills a void on the existing 3rd Court, which is made up almost entirely of former civil litigators who have represented deep pocketed clients and have very little experience representing the little guy or gal. Kuhn fits that mold, and if he is elected, he would add nothing to the court that's not already heavily represented (and thoroughly dominates at the Texas Supreme Court).
All evidence from her prior jurisprudence indicates that if Melissa Goodwin gets on the court she would not carry water for trial lawyers or business interests but would be fair and respect the right to a trial by jury. She would also bring important expertise in areas of law that are very much underrepresented on the appellate courts as described above. She has a lot to contribute that isn't there yet, unlike Kuhn.
In summary, Goodwin’s experience covers a supermajority of the kinds of cases that will come before the 3rd Court of Appeals and on the flip side Kurt Kuhn is lacking in the experience that is sore needed on the Court.
So, let me just say in response to this betrayal, Republicans should ignore the three former Supremes and give our full support (read money, money, money, etc.) and encouragement to Melissa Goodwin in her bid to be the next elected Republican on the 3rd Court of Appeals.
In response to my first blog entry about UT's James K. Galbraith's being a part of the Journolist the professor himself responded that my characterization of the list as being that of a hate group was "entirely false" and that "Not every comment made on such a list bears repeating. But on the whole I found it useful and appropriate."
I guess definitions of "hate" can be seen in the eyes of the beholder so let's take a look at what I deem to be "hate."
Here's a few paragraphs from a story today on the American Thinker that describe but one apparently accepted tactic by members of Journolist:
Jonathan Strong of The Daily Caller broke the news about left-wing journalists conspiring on Journolist to kill the stories during the 2008 election about Barack Obama's relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Strong writes,
What strikes me is the entirely capricious nature of Ackerman's false accusations. To paraphrase, his prescription is to "just levy accusations of racism against anyone who stands in the way." What a hateful thing to do to other people, to attempt to destroy their reputations with accusations of racism simply for the sake of changing the subject and pursuing your political agenda. Which then leads to the question of the motivation for such an awful act, which in my view could only be hate. Ackerman has so little disregard for his fellow man he would just sling a very hateful accusation willy nilly.
"In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama's relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama's conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, "Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares -- and call them racists.""
Ackerman skipped the intermediary suggestion of even asking loaded questions of Obama's conservative critics and proceeded directly to proposing false accusations against figures -- "who cares" -- on the right.
I don't know about the professor but engaging in knowingly false race-baiting is a particularly hateful act in my view and should be discouraged and reprimanded when it occurs.
Okay, so that's but one example. I don't guess it's fair to call everyone on the list a hate group member because of that. Or is it?
The American Thinker article makes the pertinent comment that:
The fact that such open malice of at least a few of the four hundred "professionals" on Journolist did not result in their expulsion from this professional Listserv, and indeed seemed tolerated at the time by its members and now by its defenders, would seem to indicate a more widespread problem. The dog doesn't bark when it's comfortable with the visitor.More will be coming out about this list in the days ahead.
I'll tackle the example of hatred toward Rush Limbaugh in a future note, when I have some free time. My non-tenured position requres that I work to pay the taxes that support the University of Texas and it's tenured professors.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
University of Texas professor James K. Galbraith, the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations and Professor of Government, was outed this week as being part of a hate group that seemed to have had as its sole purpose the coordinated promotion of Barack Obama to the presidency and the slanderous demolition of anything that stood in the way.
Galbraith is the son of the economist John Kenneth Galbraith and a recent book review indicates his sole purpose in life seems to be discrediting anything that discredits his father. If nothing else the reviewer says Galbraith is a gifted dissembler:
He writes so well, you have to pinch yourself to remember that, yes, the free market has produced robust growth and central planning has usually failed. Galbraith acknowledges that the United States has mostly enjoyed prosperity in recent years; his glib explanation is that hold-over New Deal institutions (government mortgage agencies, subsidized health care, student loans) have come to the rescue of misguided conservative policies. In other words, if it works, it's the residue of Franklin Roosevelt and Galbraith's dad; if it fails, it's the market's fault. That seemed preposterous when I first read it; but in the wake of the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when all of Wall Street could be headed for a bailout, one wonders.Of course being a dissembler qualifies him to be a part of the Journolist group. But it's sad that it also seems to qualify him to be a tenured professor at the University of Texas.
The complete list of haters is here. They are haters because of their own words on the Journolist, discussing the exercise of fascism against their political oponents, like proposing to pull the FCC license for Fox, or worse "Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out" as Limbaugh writhed in torment of a heart attack. Seems like something you'd read from Nazi fascists' diaries. Be very afraid America. These people hate you, want to see you die, and will use any tools against you, even removing your Constitutional rights.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Imagine. You’re being sued and in the middle of the trial you learn that your lawyer flunked the bar exam but is allowed to practice anyway because the authorities think he will pass on one of the next three times he tries.
Parents of children in some Texas schools – and all Texas taxpayers – are in a similar situation in regard to the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test which their children took. The press has reported that under something called the Texas Projection Measure (TPM), a student who fails the test is counted as having passed if he is expected to pass within three years. Using this deceptive system, every student group improved in every subject. Except, of course, they didn’t.
Press reports noted that 74 school districts in Texas were rated “exemplary” and 73 of them gained that status by using this fraudulent scoring method. The Austin American-Statesman reported that eight schools in the Austin school district were rated academically unacceptable last year, the first year the TPM was used. Under an honest measure 11 would have been ranked unacceptable. For the current year, only one AISD school has been found academically unacceptable. An accurate scoring would have put four additional schools in that category.
Just as bad as the fraud itself is the reaction of the state’s education officials. Education Commissioner Robert Scott has promised, not to abolish this deceptive practice but merely to "review" it. And he want to review not because parents and taxpayers are entitled to an honest assessment of our schools’ performance, but because, he said, the students' and educators' "hard work is being overshadowed by criticism of the use of TPM.” Apparently Scott would be just fine with this dishonest system if only the critics would just shut up.
However, faced with the criticism, Commissioner Scott has reportedly offered several options for modifying the system. His options include abolishing the system, allowing districts that want to continue using it to do so, or modifying it in some unspecified way.
State Rep. Scott Hochberg (D-Houston), chairman of an appropriations subcommittee overseeing the education budget, correctly dismissed Scott's proposals as "lipstick on a pig." Hochberg says that only abolishing the TPM and instituting a “real measure of the progress students make," is acceptable.
But Hochberg is facing an uphill battle if he wants to get the TPM abolished. Whatever its faults, it does make the schools look good – and that’s what keeps the state and Federal money flowing. And isn't that what public education is all about?
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Austin Catholic Reporter Ensnares Immaculee Ilibagiza in Bearing False Witness Against Arizona Innocents
Immaculee Ilibagiza is a Catholic cashing in on book tours and speaking engagements about her experience several years ago hiding in a small bathroom with seven other Tutsi women as Rwandan Hutus murdered one million people.
Here's how the newspaper's senior reporter Enedelia Obregon covered remarks she made at her May 1 appearance to a sold-out crowd of the Paramount Theater in downtown Austin:
Prior to her speech, Ilibagiza briefly addressed the immigration issue in this country in light of the newly adopted Arizona law. As she signed autographs, protestors marched down Congress Avenue near the theater where she spoke.I am in full support of Ilibagiza's comments. When people fail to see that all other people are God's creatures they lose touch with God's calling to us to be fully human and to love thy neighbor as thyself. That was the source of the Civil War fought in the United States in the 1860s, one group of people failing to see others as fully human. Good triumphed then.
"It's important to respect laws," she said. "What is hard is when people start to see others as less than human who don't have the same rights. Sometimes people don't see you as their brothers and sisters because you look different."
When people are seen as less than human, then people can justify treating them inhumanely, Ilibagiza said.
"That's what happened in my country," she said. "People called us cockroaches."
What we all need to do is recognize that we are all God's children, Ilibagiza said.
"Think of all those people as your child," she said. "Look at them and ask yourself how you can help them. We need to treat each other with love."
But there is no doubt that failure to see others as fully human was one of the many failings of the murderous Hutus in Rwanda. Hacking people to death with machetes is about as far from humanity as you can fall.
Closer to home, this blind eye to the humanity of victims is a central (and sinful) failing of the drug smugglers, human traffickers, kidnappers and murderers who are on villainous sprees against innocents in Mexico, Texas, California and Arizona. Need proof? Let's look at some headlines from Arizona, using one media outlet and one search term (drug smuggler):
- Deputy Shot by Suspected Drug Smugglers, April 30, 2010
- Smugglers Boldness an Eye-Opener for Sheriff: Drugs, Guns Smugglers Mark Desert Danger Zone, June 23, 2010
- Smugglers Threaten Police in Arizona Border City, June, 22, 2010
- Mexico's Drug War Heats Up Near Arizona Border, July 5, 2010
The lead sentence for the latter story should send chills down Ilibagiza -- it is very similar to the heathen lawlessness that occurred in Rwanda:
Altar, Mexico -- Very few residents dare to drive on one of the roads out of this watering hole for migrants, fearing they will be stopped at gunpoint. They worry they will be told to turn around after gas tanks are drained or, worse, be kidnapped or killed.I fully support Ilibagiza if she is chastising, with her "important to respect laws" remark, the villainous thugs in Mexico who are violating immigrants in Mexico as they refresh themselves at a watering hole before illegally crossing the border into Arizona. The thugs obviously have no respect or love for other people or laws, either Biblical law or American law or Mexican law.
I even more fully support her when she says "What is hard is when people start to see others as less than human who don't have the same rights." The innocent people who are raped, or smuggled into the United States in inhumane conditions, or left to die in the desert are not viewed by the smugglers as people with rights. The Americans who are kidnapped, raped, killed, and stolen from by the smugglers are not viewed as humans with rights. In both cases, the Mexican and American victims are obstacles to the smugglers' profits.
But in the context of the Catholic Spirit story, of the March that was occuring on Congress, to protest the Arizona law, it appears as though Ilibagiza is not referring to the villainous thugs.
Instead, it appears she is speaking against the innocent people of Arizona wanting relief through the legal system from heinous smugglers and drug terrorists, by enforcing border laws.
In doing so she impugns the innocents' development of effective laws as being inhumane to immigrants.
She should be informed that those are the laws that law abiding people of Arizona, through the democratic process, have enacted to deal with the horrific consequences of villainous thugs who have crossed the border, illegally. The innocents have crafted a law that is as humane as possible given the smugglers' inhumanity to them and Mexican immigrants. The Arizona law seeks only to check a person's 'right' to be in the United States after they are suspected of another offense. That is far more consideration of a person's rights than the non-consideration given to victims by the evil people now rampaging in Mexico and Arizona and other border states.
In my view, Ilibagiza commits the sin of bearing false witness against innocents, the Arizonans. She mischaracterizes the Arizonans' intent for their laws and impugns their motives. I feel nothing but sadness for this woman because she is being ensnared to bear false witness by catering to those who are pushing a political agenda through her story.
Truly it is they who are committing wrong.
Indeed, it is disgraceful that the Catholic Spirit would allow her to commit this sin on the front page of their paper for their own political purposes of pushing the "immigrants rights" agenda.
It is also unconscionable that the Catholic Spirit newspaper would engage in this sort of exercise in propaganda, subjugating this poor woman to becoming a shill for their political objectives.
They likewise become users of people, hoisting Ilibagazia's story and experiences as rhetorical weapons to silence those who want nothing more than to protect their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without fear in their homes. The propagandists are using Ilibagiza to remove obstacles to their political objectives. They therefore also, as consequence, encourage the continuance of immoral behavior and the violence clearly demonstrated by the smugglers and traffickers.
We should pray for Immaculee Ilibagiza, so that her new found fame and wealth on the Catholic book circuit does not further force her into the occasion of sin by bearing false witness against innocent people, those using democratic processes to secure their own lives.
And we should pray for those who -- by involving her in American politics -- diminish and dilute her story of the power of prayer and God's deliverance in times of peril. That is the real disservice that journalists like Obregon perform.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The Obama administration is suing to stop the Arizona immigration law. As reported by ABC:
The filing makes no assertion that the law is discriminatory or risks being applied in a discriminatory fashion, as the president and other officials said they feared would be the case. Interestingly, this suit makes no civil rights charges against the Arizona law.They are centering the case on a claim of pre-emption, that basically the state's action would prevent effective enforcement of immigration law at the Federal level. Why this is not the punchline in a late-night monologue is not explained. To be clear, the Arizona law explicitly makes EXACTLY violation of Federal immigration law a state trespass violation. It's the opposite of pre-emption.
By the Obama administration logic in the case, sanctuary cities should subject to lawsuits . But it's not about logic, it's about stopping the enforcement of immigration law. Obama's DOJ is not suing because Arizona is stopping imigration law enforcement, they are suing because Arizona IS enforcing it.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 9:43 PM
Monday, July 5, 2010
PDF from Business Roundtable on the devastating impact of Obama's agenda on business:
Many regulations and legislation – both existing and proposed – exacerbate the uncertainty created by today’s volatile economic environment.They conclude the executive summary with:
Virtually every new regulation has an impact on recovery, competitiveness and job creation. Often that impact is negative. On an individual basis, most businesses can cope with each new regulation. But the collective impact on the economy is enormous, and often harmful.
With a massive new health care law and financial reform legislation looming, companies are more worried than ever about the impact new regulations and legislation will have on their operations and their bottom line. Not knowing what to expect from these pending regulations, businesses are acting cautiously to forestall any negative impact. These actions are squelching economic growth and job creation, as companies are forced to freeze investments and hiring until they understand how they will be affected by these new mandates.
We believe that a new, comprehensive assessment of federal policies and regulations is fundamental to the U.S. economy regaining its competitive strength. Regulators should assess the financial impact of individual and collective mandates, remove existing mandates that have become redundant and increase efficiency through market competition. They should also establish a system for creating new regulations that do not impede private‐sector investment and job creation.
At the same time, the government must reduce spending to manage down deficit and debt. The current levels of U.S. debt, as well as those required to finance the forecast deficits, will crowd out private capital. If less capital is available for corporate borrowers, it will retard future growth and investment, erode the value of the U.S. dollar, accelerate inflation and, eventually, reduce consumer spending power.
Economic recovery must be lead by the private sector, both large and small, if we are going to create jobs and reduce the unemployment rate. In assessing all regulations, the goal should be to reduce uncertainty, fear and overall cost impact while creating a regulatory system that is business‐friendly, cost‐effective, and encourages efficiency.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 12:18 AM
Sunday, July 4, 2010
But Harry Reid is against Yucca Mountain, and Nevada has voters to curry, so Obama had his DOE unilaterally kill Yucca Mountain. What a travesty that so much public policy damage was done on behalf of such an insignificant cause - Harry Reid's re-election. (Which won't happen anyway.)
Thankfully, some Judges have noticed the law doesn't allow such a blatant disregard for Congressional intent: Judges block Obama effort to close Yucca Mountain waste site:
"Unless Congress directs otherwise, DOE may not single-handedly derail the legislated decision-making process by withdrawing the (Yucca repository) application. DOE's motion must therefore be denied," the judges wrote, adding that the DOE had weakened its arguments by "conceding that the application is not flawed nor the (Yucca) site unsafe."
"Given the stated purposes of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and the detailed structure of that legislation, it would be illogical to allow DOE to withdraw the application without any examination of the merits," the judges found.
Posted by Freedom's Truth at 9:18 PM
Friday, July 2, 2010
Some Americans are convinced that President Obama is not an American and are trying hard to prove he was not born in the U.S.A. but rather in Kenya or some other alien locale. They can relax. It doesn’t matter.
It would make no difference if Obama were born in Mayberry right down the street from Sheriff Andy. He is not an American and it is not because of where he was born. It is because he does not consider himself an American and has no loyalty to this country and what it stands for.
The recent flap over Joe Barton and his apology to BP are an example. It is an American maxim that everybody is entitled to his day in court and that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Nobody has to prove he is innocent. But Obama, in that lame speech about the oil spill, simply stated as a fact that BP was “reckless” and that he was going to extract at least $20 billion from the company and put it into an escrow fund to compensate persons injured by the spill.
This was contrary to the principle of separation of powers which is a key factor distinguishing the American form of government from that of its European predecessors. It is also contrary to the explicit language of the Constitution which states that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” That means BP’s alleged recklessness must be proven in court and if it is, the court will determine the remedy. Barack’s action was more kingly than American.
By the way, Joe Barton was right the first time. It was a shakedown and the GOP leadership that jumped all over Barton needs to grow a pair and stand up for the Constitution.
Another uniquely American ideal is the belief, spelled out in the Declaration of Independence, that “governments are instituted among men” in order to secure our rights. This was a reversal of the old European notion that kings ruled by “divine right” making governments the agents of God. In America, the government was made the agent of the people.
A mid-June Rasmussen poll reveals that almost half of Americans (48 per cent to be exact) believe that principle has been abandoned and that government has become a threat to our rights. Only 37 per cent believe the government is performing the job for which it was created – protecting our rights.
Which brings us to another hallowed principle underlying the American form of government – the belief – also set down in the Declaration of Independence – that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Only 21 per cent of Americans, according to the Rasmussen survey, believe that today the government has the consent of the governed.
Would a true American, elected to the presidency, choose for a science advisor a man who believes the government has the right to introduce sterilizing chemicals into the nation’s drinking water in order to limit population growth? Science advisor John Holdren set out his views on population control in a book he co-authored with population fanatic Paul Ehrlich who predicted in 1968 that the human race wouldn’t make it through the 1970s because of population pressures.
And Holdren doesn’t confine himself to the U.S. government determining how many children we should be allowed to have. He believes that chore should ideally be turned over to a “Planetary Regime.” This Planetary Regime, he suggests, could determine the “optimum population” for the world and decide each country's share of population.
And the Regime’s authority shouldn’t stop at population control. Such an international, body, he proposes, "could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable.”
Does that sound like someone an American president would turn to for advice on science issues?
It’s pretty clear that Obama, regardless of where he was born, does not identify with this country, its history, its fundamental values. In fact, the waves of immigrants who came to America in the 19th century, although born in places like Italy, Ireland, Poland and Russia, were more committed to American values than the interloper who now presumes to govern this country.
The most important thing we can do now is work to elect an American to the White House in 2012.