Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Carter Peace More Deadly than Bush War

No, this is not a criticism of President Carter's foreign policy, either as President or loose-cannon ex-President - even though he deserves it. (Yes, he was and is a danger to our national security, then and now.) Rather, I found this statistic on
WND, and found it so surprising, I had to share it:

In 2005, a total of 1,942 U.S. military personnel were killed in all causes, including accidents, hostile action, homicides, illnesses, suicides, etc. That compares to 2,392 in 1980, the last year of President Jimmy Carter's administration. In fact, twice as many U.S. military personnel were killed in accidents in that one year than were killed in hostile actions in any year of the Bush administration.

They show that "Despite suffering 4,000 deaths in Iraq, annual U.S. military casualties overall during the first six years of the Bush administration are well below the average for the 26-year period beginning in 1980."

Statesman Blurs Immigrant vs Illegal Distinction

Statesman reports on "Immigration rights marches losing steam?".

Is this about legal immigrants and advocating for them? No! So why the dishonest headline? This is a story about getting the illegal aliens and their friends to march so they can get 'legalized'. When it happened in 2006, it backfired, as voting-entitled-Americans aka Citizens realized how dangerous the illegal immigration trend was, and they were not happy about surrendering to it. This is a sob story about how 'immigration rights advocates' see less enthusiasm by "unauthorized immigrants" (illegal aliens) because, horror of horrors, they might get picked up by ICE and deported.

It is very dishonest to call this "immigrants rights". These are not legal immigrants, and legal immigrants have zero to fear from enforcing the law and sending illegal aliens back to their home country. Consider this nonsensical statement in the article: ".. now every immigrant is threatened by being not only detained and deported but being put into jail, and that is pretty harsh."

Immigrant? My family includes (legal) immigrants; I work with immigrants; immigrants are friends of mine. And no, immigrants are not only are they not threatened by it, they welcome the USA enforcing the law as it should.

American Statesman journalists and the 'lamestream media' need to stop kowtowing to the illegal immigration activists and stop using euphemisms that blur the real distinction between legal immigrants and illegal aliens (e.g. copouts like 'unauthorized immigrants'; they are not immigrants at all, they are foreigners or aliens). These groups are *ADVOCATES FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS* not "immigrants rights organizations".

The Coming Social Security Crash

Gary Polland posted this article today on his Texas Conservative Review newsletter. Social Security is a pyramid scheme that will come crashing down in the near future. The Democrats solution, according to sound bites from Hillary and Obama, is to raise the capital gains tax and to tax all IRA and mutual funds investments and apply that tax to "shore up Social Security." The coming Social Security collapse is one of the biggest problem facing my generation of Americans. In essence, Americans collecting Social Security are going to bankrupt the taxpayers in the same way that retired labor union workers have bankrupted the big three American automakers.

For years (decades?) conservatives have been saying there is no Social
Security trust fund: that in essence it is a government Ponzi scheme, and now
unfortunately we are being proven right.

Allan Sloan, in the March 31, 2008 edition of Fortune says the real trouble will begin in 2016-17. You may recall the conservative complaints: that essentially money comes in and is paid out immediately for current retirees benefits and the "surplus" is borrowed by the government to spend on other bills. The government in return issues treasury securities. Sloan described the catch; "say that Social Security calls the treasury ... on 2017 ... to cash in $20 billion of securities to cover benefit
checks." The treasury can get the money three ways, spend $20 billion less,
raise taxes by $20 billion or borrow $20 billion. The choice is essentially no
different than if there wasn't a trust program.

So the train wreck is coming as more and more of the U.S. budget is
going for retirement benefits. One way to slow judgment day will be to divert
the surplus from Treasuries to the "equivalent of a sovereign wealth fund", but
that will affect the present "borrowing" of the Social Security surplus. Other
unpleasant options: raise taxes, means testing, reducing benefits, and raising
the retirement age. Maybe the idea of partial individually owned and controlled
Social Security accounts makes some sense, given the alternatives.

City Council Energy Rules afflict Austin Homeowners

People are waking up to the terrible and unnecessary burden the Austin City Council is placing on home-owners and home-sellers with their draconian energy-saving rules. This is based on the nutty and false idea that cutting energy use in Austin will help the climate (it won't; the impact will be miniscule to nonexistent - even if all Austin adopted huge changes, it would impact average global temperature by mere millionths of a degree). Like with their water-use restrictions, this is nanny-statist eco-extremism run amok. The large pocket-book pain ain't worth the fly-speck gain environment-wise.

Carl Tepper, President of the Small Business Group of Austin, sent this note:

The below ran on KXAN the other night as a follow-up to an earlier story about the same issue: KXAN News Video: "Realtors target new green remodeling idea"

Good for the public that they're calling City Hall demanding that their elected officials answer for this crazy idea. The "Task Force" should be ceased immediately and it's insulting that it was started in the first place.

In the story it's amazing that the elected officials would lie blatantly about their pet project. We put up with so much "weird" and creepy stuff from the City of Austin elected officials already, but this is directed straight at our homes. We have to ask ourselves where we draw the line.

This is a concept that WILL cost you thousands of dollars when you sell your home or business (yes, commercial property is included). They say that the "BUYER" will pay. But we all know that an appraiser will determine these costs and the BUYER will require the SELLER to pay in the end by a reduction of value. This is also a direct attack on the elderly, many of whom have much of their personal wealth attached to their homes.

The Austin Board of Realtors is right-on here. They deserve a commendation for sounding the warning about this ridiculous effort. THANK YOU Austin Board of Realtors.

The website Keep Austin Affordable has the latest on the impact of these rules and the effort to stop them.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008



Ethanol Mandates Causing Food Crisis

Ecnomist Milton Freidman encapsulated economics into the one-liner: "There is no such thing as a free lunch." We have learned it, in spades, with the recent climb in food prices, which has happened on the backs of increased US and EU mandates for biofuels, ie., ethanol and other food-to-fuel programs. The US and EU have put biofuels mandates that are taking food production offline and using it to make fuel.

We cannot have our cake and drive it too. Around 30% of US corn acreage is being used for ethanol production, and the come-uppance of this bad policy is in all-time high prices for wheat, rice and corn. For every acre set aside for ethanol is one less acre for corn for food, and the supply-demand imbalance is making prices ramp up in supermarkets - corn is up over 240% and other food commodities, including meat and eggs are also rocketing. The mandates are driving the commodities markets haywire. Its a huge huge mistake, brought to you by the global warming alarmists and anti-oil environmentalists ... and ADM.

Maybe it is a minority view (see previous post), but the clamor is growing to stop it.

NRO says "The Biofuels Disaster Must End":

U.S. dependence on imported energy continues to reach record levels while no commercially viable biofuels have been produced. At the same time, the government-subsidized burning of our food supply to create ethanol has both increased carbon dioxide emissions and driven up food prices at a startling rate. This must end.

This op-ed from environmentalists, Ethanol's failed promise, is a litany of the problems with food-to-fuel:
"Taking these together -- the environmental damage, the human pain of food price inflation, the failure to reduce our dependence on oil -- it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that food-to-fuel mandates have failed."

Senator Hutchison has come out against the ethanol mandate, she notes:

On Dec. 19, 2007, President Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act ... The bill required a huge spike in the biofuel production requirement, from 7.5 billion gallons in 2012 to 36 billion in 2022.

This was a well-intentioned measure, but it was also impractical. Nearly all our domestic corn and grain supply is needed to meet this mandate, robbing the world of one of its most important sources of food.

We are already seeing the ill effects of this measure. Last year, 25% of America's corn crop was diverted to produce ethanol. In 2008, that number will grow to 30%-35%, and it will soar even higher in the years to come.

... Congress must take action. I am introducing legislation that will freeze the biofuel mandate at current levels, instead of steadily increasing it through 2022.

This is a common-sense measure that will reduce pressure on global food prices and restore balance to America's energy policy.

Now governor Perry is asking for an ethanol mandate waiver as well. Kathleen Hartnett White, Director of the Center for Natural Resources, responded:

On Gov. Rick Perry’s request to waive the federal ethanol mandate “The Governor is correct to call for at least a partial waiver of the federal mandate for grain-based ethanol. Our federal government’s policies to subsidize and mandate the ever-expanding supply of ethanol are causing massive distortions in our economy, multi-billion dollar losses to our livestock producers, and severe hardships for Texas families.

“It takes 21 pounds of corn to produce one gallon of ethanol. One person could be fed for an entire year from the corn that we’re instead cooking for a single pickup tank of E-85.

“This year, the United States will convert 30 to 35 percent of its corn harvest into ethanol. Federal mandates and subsidies for ethanol production are generating a supply that will be far beyond what the United States is able to use.

“As the Governor noted, global food commodity prices have nearly doubled in the last three years, with corn rising even faster. Those higher prices are just now starting to show up on our grocery shelves, and Texas consumers are in for real pain unless we quickly move more corn back from our fuel supply to our food supply.

“A 50-percent waiver of the ethanol mandate is a good immediate-term step to alleviate the pain from spiraling food inflation. But with each new day bringing stories about double- and triple-digit increases in the price of food staples, domestic food rationing, and Third World food riots, the solution will only come when the U.S. Congress wakes up and reverses its mad rush toward ethanol.”

Bottom line: Congress is to blame - they made the law, they can undo it. This needs to become an issue in the upcoming election. Find out where your Congressional candidate stands.

Monday, April 28, 2008

House GOP targets ... Obama

House GOP attempt negative coattails for Liberal Obama in a conservative district, with an ad that links the local Obama-endorsed candidate with Obama:

"Travis Childers claims he's a conservative. But Travis Childers contributed money to John Kerry, and is endorsed by Barack Obama, who has the most liberal voting record in the U.S. Senate."

In this conservative Mississippi district, the GOP was shocked when the Democrat almost won outright, leading the Republican candidate narrowly. We will see if it works. If it does, expect it to go national.

Corpus Christi Democrats & Tainted Money (Mauricio Celis fallout)

Corpus Christi – Nueces County Republican Party Chairman Mike Bertuzzi today called on State Reps. Abel Herrero and Juan Garcia to return the large, corruption-tainted donations they have received from indicted Democratic contributor Mauricio Celis.

Celis was indicted for the second time by a Nueces County jury on Friday. The grand jury handed up two indictments charging Celis with money laundering and impersonating a lawyer. In November 2007, a Nueces County grand jury indicted the former law firm operator on felony charges of impersonating a lawyer and a police officer, perjury and theft.

“When is corrupt money too corrupt for Abel Herrero and Juan Garcia?” Bertuzzi asked. “If Celis contributions were too tainted for Solomon Ortiz Jr., why do Representatives Herrero and Garcia continue to hang on to their contributions?”

Ortiz, Jr. apparently decided it isn’t right to keep money donated by Celis. He donated thousands of dollars in contributions from Celis to charity earlier this year.

“The people of Nueces County have had enough of inside deals, and pay-to-play politics,” Bertuzzi said. “Herrero and Garcia ought to return every dime of his tainted treasure.”

Herrero, has given away $1,000 of Celis’ contributions, but refuses to give away the full $50,000 he has received from Celis directly. In addition, Herrero has received $50,000 from the so-called Good Government Political Action Committee, which has been bankrolled by Celis and other wealthy Democratic donors.

Celis gave $17,000 directly to Garcia’s campaign but the Celis sponsored Good Government PAC spent over $450,000 to help Garcia win the District 32 seat. Garcia has previously called Celis, who hosted a national fundraiser for Garcia, one of his largest individual contributors.

Bertuzzi said Garcia and Herrero should return all those contributions or give them to charity because all of the money was tainted.

“This is not the first time we have asked Herrero and Garcia to do the right thing and give back these tainted contributions,” Bertuzzi said. “How many times does Mr. Celis have to be indicted before the these two politicians realize that the hundreds of thousands of dollars they have collected from Mr. Celis and his associates was money they should not have used to line their campaign pocketbooks?”

Source: Email via FR.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Minority View - Big Corn and Ethanol Hoax

One of the many mandates of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 calls for oil companies to increase the amount of ethanol mixed with gasoline. President Bush said, during his 2006 State of the Union address, "America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world." Let's look at some of the "wonders" of ethanol as a replacement for gasoline. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Johnny has right to information, Sally to expression, Mom & Dad are left in the lurch

No Thank You, Mom and Dad

Posted by: admin on April 25th, 2008

Part II of an In-depth Look at Article 13 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

In an age where information is becoming easier to access every day, children face new and uncharted risks. Our American heritage has long honored the right of parents to direct their child’s access to information, recognizing that in the vast majority of circumstances, parents are best situated to monitor their child’s activities and to provide necessary guidance during the transition from childhood to adulthood. Unfortunately, this vital role is being undermined by the rising tide of international thought, far removed from our own tradition and championed by international agreements like the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Travis County Appraisals Skyrocket

Marc Levin posted this on the Empower Texans blog.

At a time of record foreclosures and declining home values, someone forgot
to tell the Travis County appraiser. Values were posted minutes ago and my home
rose a whopping 19.3%, sending my school property tax cut up in smoldering
flames. However, values are up 31% in Lago Vista.
If you own a home in Travis
County, check your value at:

Warning - viewing not recommended if you are on a defibrillator or
assisted breathing device.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Craddick Announces Property Tax Relief and Appraisal Reform Committee

Tom Pauken and his committee put in a lot of hard work touring Texas two years ago, researching and hearing testimony for appraisal caps and property tax relief. With this committee, Texas taxpayers may get some additional relief.
I am especially excited that Ken Paxton is on the committee. I know from personal experience that he is committed to reducing the tax burden on Texans. He worked very hard in the 80th Session to lower property taxes, including carrying legislation that would have reduced property taxes an additional 8 cents per $100 of valuation.


For Immediate ReleaseWednesday, April 23, 2008

Austin) - Speaker Tom Craddick (Midland), today, announced the formation of the Select Committee on Property Tax Relief and Appraisal Reform, which will oversee all matters relating to property tax relief and reforming the property appraisal system. Rep. John Otto (Dayton) will chair the committee and Rep. Ken Paxton (McKinney) will serve as vice chair.

"The House is committed to doing everything it can to provide meaningful and responsible property tax relief to those who are strained by the burden of soaring taxes," Speaker Craddick said. "Under the experienced leadership of Rep. Otto, I have full confidence that the members of this committee will come together and create a workable solution to this issue."

The committee will review the sections of the Texas Constitution and the tax code that limit or authorize limiting the appraised value or increases in the appraised value of property for tax purposes. It may request assistance from any executive branch agency, and it will issue a report to the House of Representatives before the 81st Legislative Session, which may include draft legislation or recommendations for legislation.

"I would like to thank Speaker Craddick for allowing me to chair this committee," Rep. Otto said. "This issue of property tax increases continues to frustrate property owners who feel the current system is too subjective and unfair. I look forward to working with the committee members as we consider realistic ideas to improve the system for all taxpayers."

The committee members include: Rep. Drew Darby (San Angelo), Rep. Gary Elkins (Houston), Rep. Ismael "Kino" Flores (Palmview), Rep. Dan Flynn (Van), Rep. Dan Gattis (Georgetown), Rep. Joe Heflin (Crosbyton), Rep. Phil King (Weatherford), Rep. Tracy King (Batesville), Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon (San Antonio), Rep. Inocente "Chente" Quintanilla (Tornillo) and Rep. Larry Taylor (Friendswood).

Alexis DeLee or Chris Cutrone (512) 463-0223

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Travis County Commissioners Court Update

My wife posted this on her blog earlier today about the Travis County Commissioners Court vote today. The Court voted unanimously to eliminate the question asking if a person has ever had prior convictions before applying for a job.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

AISD Bond Proposal

Austin Independent School District has a proposal on the May 10 ballot for a $343.7 million bond. It seems like every year, we the taxpayers, are asked to spend more tax money on these long-term loans. I saw a sign this morning that said "Vote yes on the School Bond. For the Children." I urge every voter to vote down the AISD Bond Proposal.

If these school board administrators were really passing these proposals for the children, they we would not be having extraordinarily high drop-out rates. We would not be talking about shutting down at least three schools in Austin (Pearce Middle School, Johnston High School, and an elementary school at St Johns and IH-35).

If these bonds were going to strengthen public schools, why do teachers need to constantly go over the heads of their local school board and appeal to the State Legislature for raises each year? Last time I looked, the State Legislature is not responsible for hiring and firing teachers in local school districts...that is up to the local school districts themselves.

These bond proposals are not for the children. In fact, the debt we as a society are racking up is hurting our next generation. Local government debt has risen 5 times greater than the rate of inflation in the last thirty years in Texas. The City of Austin alone has a greater debt to taxpayers than the entire State of Texas! And they continue to ask for more loans!!

The real loan crisis in this country is not with home mortgages, it is with cities and local school boards continuing to receive taxpayer funded loans that can never be paid back by the current generation!

One of the premises of the State Legislature is to not tie the hands of future Sessions of the Legislature with debts, programs, and taxes that the future Legislature cannot control. In essence, local school districts, cities, and county governments break this premise every year in local elections by saddling future school boards, future County Commissioners, and future City Councils with additional debt and programs that cannot be paid by the current revenue stream.

Our public debt at every level is too high. It is up to you, the taxpayers, to vote down every new bond proposal that comes up on the ballot and to ask the tough question of your elected official, "What are you doing to lower my taxes today?" If the elected official cannot answer that question, it is time for a replacement.

Vote no on the AISD bond proposal on May 10.

Complete Local Election Ballot: Travis County

I found a great link on the Austin American Statesman website this morning that gives a drop-down menu listing every candidate for the local election on May 10. It also includes bond proposals and a referendum for a sales tax increase.

The link sorts the ballot proposals by district.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Peggy Venable at the CTRA Meeting

On Tuesday, April 15, Peggy Venable spoke at the Central Texas Republican Assembly. Peggy is the State Director of Americans for Prosperity, an organization that works to lower taxes and spending in Texas.

One of the highlights of Peggy's talk was the fact that local governments have paid over $16 million to the Texas Association of Counties to lobby additional government spending, fight tax limitations, and fight against appraisal reform. The Texas Association of Counties is funded by the individual counties who collect their revenues from taxpayers. Thus, we have taxpayer funded lobbyists that are working to raise taxes and keep spending high in the name of "local control." Peggy Venable has won a lawsuit in Williamson County citing a statute that dissallows taxpayer funded lobbying.

Americans for Prosperity is hosting a national blogger conference in Austin on July 18-19 called the "Defending the American Dream Summit, the CyberCity on the Hill." Bloggers from around the country are invited to listen to a wide range of speakers and organize our ideas to affect change in politics. For more details on the convention, visit the website at Some of the rumored speakers are Michael Reagan, Barry Goldwater Jr, and Michele Malkin. None of these are confirmed yet.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mr Vo's neighborhood

Funny youtube, "Mr Vo's Nieghborhood", from Empower Texans, on Houston-area State Rep Vo's slumlord holdings. Houston Chronicle explains how they investigated millionaire Vo's East Houston rental properties and found dreadful conditions; they demand: "State Rep. Vo must decide whether he wants to be a public servant or a slumlord."

UPDATE: There is Media bias when it comes to naming affiliations of politicians, and it crept in to the Chronicle's editorial. In case you didn't know - State Rep Vo is a Democrat.

Pope to Bishops

Test of Pope's message to Catholic Bishops. In it, he acknowledged many positives trends in U.S. Catholic ministry and life, but made a challenge:

"Is it consistent to profess our beliefs in church on Sunday, and then during the week to promote business practices or medical procedures contrary to those beliefs?”

The Pope spoke of the need to challenge the secular trends, to defend the family, and to not be afraid to speak out in public. For example:
"It is your task to proclaim boldly the arguments from faith and reason in favor of the institution of marriage, understood as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, open to the transmission of life."

The Pope's message is the right one. There are challenges to the Christian and Catholic community, and while the community addresses many well (eg charity), it needs to address others (challenge of secularism and materialism), with the leadership of the Bishops. 'Catholics should be Catholics' is how one commentator described the speech. Bishops react; includes comments from Bishop Aymond of Austin.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pamela Waggoner seeking Re-Election on LISD Board

Places 6 and 7 on the LISD school board will be on the ballot for the Saturday, May 10th election, with winners elected to three-year terms.

Place 7
Will Streit
D.R. Dadey
Pamela Waggoner
Bryan Martin

What is interesting is that Pamela Waggoner is seeking re-election on the Leander ISD and is seeking election as State Representative in HD 48. A few questions need to be answered about her intentions.

Does the fact that she is seeking re-election for LISD indicate that she is not expecting to win the State House seat?


Is Mrs. Waggoner running for LISD re-election to get her name in front of voters again this year? She will be involved in three separate elections this year in three separate months which gives he a lot of name ID among voters.

If Pamela Waggoner is serious about running for State Representative, I think it would be a good idea to not seek re-election on the LISD Board and focus on running for State Rep. This view is shared by some of her constituents in the Leander Independent School District. It will take a lot of effort to beat incumbent Democrat Donna Howard.

Austin Community College Board of Trustee Election

The next ACC Board of Trustee Election will be held on May 10, 2008.

Current 2008 Candidates for ACC District Board of Trustees (Updated 3/03/08)

Place 5
Raul Ruben Alvarez (unexpired term)

Place 2
John-Michael Vincent Cortez

Place 3
Nan McRaven

Place 1
Tim Mahoney
Harrison Keller
Mike Reid

The results of the official drawing for a position on the ballot for Place 1, the only contested race, is as follows : Tim Mahoney, Harrison Keller and Michael (Mike) Reid.

Harrison Keller is an interesting name. Speaker Tom Craddick has a gentleman working as his Director of Research named Harrison Keller. I do not know if this is the same person, though.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Austin's New Homeless Plan

The Austin City Council approved a plan proposed by Mobile Loaves and Fishes, a non-profit organization, to locate RV's and trailers in an undeveloped area of East Austin to house Austin's homeless. While the program, called the Park Place Village, has good intentions, the real question is will this solve any of the problems in Austin?

The goal of Mobile Loaves and Fishes is to end the homeless problem. But, does giving incentives for homeless the best plan? By giving incentives, such as housing, the homeless and hobos will naturally be even more attracted to our lovely sancturary city. Right now, the taxpayers will not have to foot the bill. But, the City Council is also amenable to granting a bond to assist Mobile Loaves and Fishes with the trailer park compound. What happens when the number of homeless exceed the room available in the trailer park? More than likely, the Austin taxpayers will be asked to pitch in to subsidize the incentives given to people who do not intend to contribute to society in a positive way.

My uncle was an alcoholic and homeless for nearly 20 years before he died. He went from one handout to the next, usually taking advantage of family members, only to fund his bad habits. No amount of counselling or rehab would change his attitudes.

I fear that if we give further taxpayer-funded and non-profit funded incentives that promote homelessness, the citizens of Austin will see even more homeless people, and the bad habits that goes with them, than we can count. This almost makes me want to move to Williamson County to get out of Austin's tax base.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Say No to Earth Day

Some companies are touting Earth Day, and I think it is time set things aright there. That day is just a politicized beat-up-on-industrial-technology-and-humans Day. Here is a letter to send to any company, business or organization that touts Earth Day:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I don't approve of those who tout Earth Day or cater to those who do. It provides a vehicle for indoctrinating more people in phony and false concerns and beliefs. In the end, Earth Day is about making it harder for people and companies like yours to do what you do every day - fill a need for people.

Robert W. Tracinski at the Earth Day 2000 Countermarch Press Conference put it well:

And there’s one main reason why Earth Day is so widely accepted and uncontroversial. People think that environmentalism just means being for clean air and clean water—and who could possibly be against these things. But the actual message of Earth Day is much deeper, and much different. In fact, we believe that the environmentalists don’t really care about clean air and clean water. Their real goal is to destroy technology and to subordinate mankind to nature.

Watch the crowds of environmentalists who will gather on the Mall tomorrow, and notice that they have never met a form of technology they liked. Every kind of new technology is attacked, from nuclear power to genetically modified foods. But they also oppose every old, existing technology, from fertilizers and pesticides to the internal combustion engine. And they always place the blame for every problem on one basic target: the Industrial Revolution.

The fact that we are able to eat, without having to spend all day out in the fields toiling behind a hand plow—that’s what we owe to the Industrial Revolution. The fact that we can clothe ourselves, without having to spend all day bent over a hand loom—the fact that we can build houses, without having to spend all day swinging an ax—the fact that we can have the tools we need to work, without having to spend all day hammering away at a hand forge—these are all benefits bestowed on us by the creative minds of the Industrial Revolution....

... We think the environmentalists are opposed to industrialism, not because they care about any real or imagined harms to human life, but for precisely the opposite reason. They are opposed to industry because they do not care about human life. Instead, they want to sacrifice human life and happiness for the sake of a kind of primitive nature-worship."

... The real message of Earth Day is that technology is evil—and the reason the environmentalists regard technology as evil is that it allows humans beings to dominate nature. Their goal, by contrast, is to make man subordinate to nature. Here’s how one environmentalist put it: “We are not interested in the utility of a particular species or free-flowing river, or ecosystem to mankind. [These things] have intrinsic value, more value—to me—than another human body, or a billion of them.”

... In light of these views, the name of one radical environmental group is admirably exact: “Earth First!” The implication is: humans last. Any philosophy that has such a disregard for human life can only lead to destruction.

If we want to put humans first, where they belong, we have to understand the value of industry and technology and stand up to defend it.

Instead of kowtowing to Earth Day, celebrate Industrial Revolution Day by offering discounts on products made by your capital equipment that have made our lives richer, safer, and more pleasant and enjoyable.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bryan Daniel gets the nod for HD 52

Williamson County Republicans have chosen their candidate to face off against the Democrat, Diana Maldonado, in the House District 52 race. Bryan Daniel squeaked by in the April 8th runoff in early voting with a 3 vote lead (0.23% of the vote), but on election day stretched that lead to an almost 7% margin of victory (1656 to 1432).

Daniel attributed his win to the grassroots work of his supporters doing the basics, like knocking on doors in the final days of the campaign. Several of those supporters were members of the Central Texas Republican Assembly (CTRA) which did not endorse in the Primary or the runoff but who broke for Daniel in the runoff as evidenced by the March 18th recommendation of the CTRA Endorsement Committee to endorse Daniel (a vote of the full membership was not held due to the lack of a full quorum) and the block walking of CTRA members such as Tim Bradberry, Randy and Michele Samuelson, and Eric and Jen Stratton. Daniel received endorsements from the Texas Alliance for Life, Texas Right to Life, and The Texas Home School Coalition. He also ran a very positive radio ad.

On election night, Bryan and his wife Tamara were upbeat as the early voting results were posted and the initial election day results were phoned in. Then as the prospects of certain precincts (which were thought to be in the Hobbs camp) coming in with higher turnout than had previously been figured weighed on them, their demeanors became rather stoic. They looked every bit a team, even in the manner that they took the news that the race might be extremely close and Bryan might lose. Their faces mirrored one another. Then when they got the news that Bryan had indeed won by a good margin they stayed reserved and yet they were clearly excited. On the other hand, the small gathering of supported were quite elated by the news.

When asked about the prospects of beating the Democratic, Diana Maldonado, in the General Election, Daniel said, "It's going to take all of us, working together." He mentioned again the importance of groups like the CTRA. When asked about what he thought about the plans for the CTRA to help start a Williamson County Republican Assembly (WCRA) he expressed his enthusiatic support.

Daniel is currently the Vice President for Business Development and a member of the Board of Directors for Agricultural Workers Mutual Auto Insurance. Prior to this position, he served as the Texas State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture. As State Director, Daniel led USDA’s economic development efforts in Texas.

After twenty-two years as an award-winning government efficiency expert at the Texas Comptroller’s Office and as the President of the Round Rock ISD school board, Maldonado (says she) understands how to balance priorities, find common ground and get the people’s business.

Daniel was the most conservative candidate in the Primary Runoff, and without doubt he is by far the most conservative candidate in the General Election. We need to get behind him and come together to keep HD 52 in conservative Republican hands.

Primary Election Run-Offs

Update at 5:58 AM, April 9:

Rosemary Lehmberg beat Mindy Montford by a 2-1 margin for Travis County District Attorney.

In other races around Texas:

Bryan Daniel defeated Dee Hobbs in HD 52 in Round Rock in the Republican Primary. Congratulations to Bryan Daniel! Up next in November is Democrat Diane Maldonado. In 2006, Mike Krusee won by a slim 50% to 46% to 4% (Libertarian). This will be a tough race for Bryan.
Pete Olson defeated Shelly Sekula-Gibbs in the Republican Primary in CD 22. Olson, who was endorsed by Ed Hendee, will face Nick Lampson for Congress in the seat that Tom DeLay held for nearly 20 years.

Ralph Sheffield defeated Martha Tyroch in the Republican Primary for HD 55 in Bell County. This race got very dirty, but the better candidate won in the end as Sheffield supports the fiscal conservative agenda. Sheffield will face Democrat Sam Murphy in November, which will also be a tough fight. The winner of the race in November will replace Rep. Diane White Delisi, who has served Texas admirably for many years.

Tryon Lewis defeated incumbent State Representative Buddy West in HD 81 (Odessa). Buddy West held this seat for many years. Tom Craddick has been very outspoken against Buddy West during the primary, which pushed Lewis over the edge in this primary, winning by a 3-1 margin.

Angie Chen Button defeated Randy Dunning in HD 112 (Richardson). Button will replace Fred Hill, who is not seeking re-election. Fred Hill was one of the leaders of the charge last Session on removing Tom Craddick as Speaker of the Texas House. Fred Hill has also been the leader in putting his foot down to kill legislation to for appraisal reform and a reduction in the size of local governments.

Ken Legler defeated Fred Roberts in HD 144 (Houston). This is the seat that Robert Talton gave up to run for Congress in CD 22. Talton will be missed, but Ken Legler is the conservative in this race, which should give us some hope.

Public Integrity Unit

With Ronnie Earle retiring, we now have the perfect opportunity to ask the Legislature to move the Public Integrity Unit out of the Travis County DA's office and move it to the Attorney General's office. The Public Integrity Unit investigates and indicts all state and federal elected officials in Texas for violations of law.

Ronnie Earle has politicized the office towards a slanted agenda. He has gone after Tom DeLay and Kay Bailey Hutchinson while turning a blind eye against the likes of Dan Morales. Some of Ronnie Earle's indictments and investigations have been against Republicans, only to have the charges dropped or overturned by the 3rd Court of Appeals. This is not to say the Attorney General would be completely impartial, but the AG is elected and held accountable by voters statewide instead of a small cross-section sliver of Central Austin voters.

Moving the Public Integrity Unit from the Travis County District Attorney's office is a plank in the Republican Party of Texas Platform.

Run-Off Election is Today

If you are eligible to vote in the run-off elections, please do so today.

In Travis County, there is only one race on the ballot. This race is for the Democrat nominee for District Attorney between Mindy Montford and Rosemary Lehmberg. The only eligible voters are Democrats. If you voted in the Republican Primary in March, you are not eligible to vote.

We have two previous posts concerning the DA race.

April 2, 2008

March 5, 2008

Also, for our friends in southern Williamson County, there is a run-off election in the Republican Primary for State Representative in District 52. This district runs from Anderson Mill to Round Rock to Hutto to Taylor. The two remaining candidates are Bryan Daniel and Dee Hobbs. Only Republicans are eligible to vote in this run-off election. One of these two gentlemen will be the Republican nominee for State Representative in November.

Of these two candidates, Bryan Daniel is more in-line with conservative values and the Republican Party of Texas Platform on fiscal issues. Bryan supports limited government and lower taxes.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Whatever happened to Tom DeLay?

KVUE blog asks "Whatever happened to Tom DeLay?" As in, whatever happened to the Ronnie Earle case against DeLay?

Ronnie's Earle goal from the get-go was political, and that is proven by the fact that he (in defiance of ethical standards) spoke of hisintention to indict Delay in front of a partisan Democrat gathering a long time before it was returned. In fact, he screwed up the indictment and had to convene another grand jury to 'fix' the indictment. and then ...

"Texas courts threw out the charge that he and two associates conspired to violate state election law."

Well, that is because Earle charged Delay with violation of a law that didnt even exist in 2002, in defiance of our Constitutional ex post facto rights. A Judge promptly tossed it out on its ear.

So a partisan DA brings a weak case for political purposes, and in similar cases has let defendants 'get off' by giving donations to Earle's favorite causes (another unethical stunt). The goal from the get-go was to destroy Delay's career. Mission accomplished even if in the end a jury finds Earle's accusations worthless.

Maybe the successor DA will do the right thing and quietly drop the case.

"Promise for Texas"

Gary Polland, editor of the Texas Conservative Review and a possible candidate for State Senate in District 17 (Houston), highlighted a "Promise of Texas" plan in today's newsletter. I fully support Gary Polland in this plan. I would imagine there are Republican Texas House members and candidates looking forward to campaigning on these planks as well.

TCR has been "lobbying" for years for a state version of the Contract with
America (1994) and this election cycle key conservatives from around the state
are interested.

Among the common issues being discussed are:

Fair tax for Texas: replacing the school property tax and the gross margins
(income) tax with a broader and reduced sales tax.

Limitation in growth of state and local government's spending.

Sensible immigration enforcement and reform.

A mobility plan for Texas that respects private property rights and
Texas sovereignty.

A constitutional amendment requiring a super majority before any tax

Reform the top 10% rule on college admissions.

A campaign of ideas is exactly what the GOP needs in 2008 in

Will PDO drive a cooler global climate?

Temp records show a recent dropoff in the past year, a downtrend that We've noted and Daily Tech and Anthony Watts and other Climate Skeptic blogs have as well. We are, this year at least, in Global Cooling. UPDATE: March sees an uptick with SH cooling and NH rebounding.

Two immediate questions are: Is this a blip for a season, i.e., just one anomalous cold winter and then back to 'global warming', or is it an indicator of a different trendline? And what is driving this change? It's too early to tell, but the answer may be "PDO". PDO stands for "Pacific Decadal Oscillation" and is a long-lived El Niño-like pattern of Pacific climate variability. Wikipedia PDO entry mentions that "Shifts in the IPO change the location and strength of El Niño (ENSO) activity."

In Climate Audit blog, commenter Ron Cram mentions that PDO has recently 'flipped' into cool mode:

You write that the recent cooling is driven by ENSO turning to La Nina. I disagree. While this has played a role, it is really the PDO turning to its cool phase in combination with La Nina. When PDO is in its warm phase, El Nino can be quite warm - such as in 1998. When the PDO is in its cool phase, the La Nina can be quite cool. But the opposite is not true. La Nina will never be this cool when the PDO is in its warm phase. ....
It takes four or five years for the PDO to shift from one regime to another. The Bratcher and Giese paper was written in 2002 and based on their observations they predicted the PDO would change regimes in “about four years.” It did not actually seem to shift until late 2007.

So while monthly values may fluctuate, I do not expect you will see any exceptionally warm El Ninos for the next 30 years or so. The exceptionally strong and cool La Ninas, which we have not seen in recent decades, will dominate this cool PDO regime.

The PDO history matches well with North American temperature history and drives mnay North American effects like salmon runs, and is linked to El Nino/La Nina cycle. If Cram's comment is right, then PDO cool phase may may lead to a stable-to-cooler temperature trendline for some time (decadal oscillation). This chart shows how 30 years of 'cool mode' PDO matched a cool trend in US temperatures from 1940-1970, while 30 years of 'warm' PDO matched recent warming:

A look at solar activity is also portending cooler trends.

Climate models that IPCC (and Gore) uses to promote the Global Warming 'crisis' are
overly simplistic and ignore decadal climate factors - at their peril:

Such predictions represent a huge gamble with public and policymaker opinion. If more-or-less steady global warming does not occur as forecast by these models, not only will professional reputations be at risk, but the need to reduce threats to the wide spectrum of serious and legitimate environmental concerns (including the human release of greenhouse gases) will be questioned by some as having been oversold. For better or worse, a failure to accurately predict the changes in the global average surface temperature, global average tropospheric temperature, ocean average heat content change, or Arctic sea ice coverage would raise questions on the reliance of global climate models for accurate prediction on multi-decadal time scales.

The failure of models to account for this trends leads them to overstate mankind's influence and understate natural variability. As natural variability rears up and potentially takes us in a cooler direction for a while, it will discredit the models that Global Warming fearmongering is based on.

I leave it as a question, not a statement, of whether PDO cycle will drive cooler global climate, since only time will tell whether cool PDO/ENSO effects will persist. But climate model teams should take this as a wake-up call to fix their models before reality overruns their credibility and leaves them falsified by data. Gore's claim that the science is 'done' and debate over is un-scientific bunk. There is plenty more to learn about earth's climate before we can declare certainty on these matters. But don't be surprised if the cool trend continues.

Craddick Appointees to the Business Tax Advisory Committee

Speaker of the Texas House Tom Craddick appointed Representatives Warren Chisum (R-Pampa) and Myra Crownover (R-Denton) to the Business Tax Advisory Committee today. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst will appoint two Senators. Comptroller Susan Combs will serve on the Committee as will 14 Texas citizens.

The business tax was created in 2006 during the Special Session of the 79th Legislature. The goal of the business tax was to generate revenue so the State Legislature could buy down property taxes from local school districts. In reality, the Legislature expanded the existing franchise tax which Republicans fought for 15 years to remove from law after Governor Ann Richards signed it into law.

I would have preferred to have Representatives John Smithee and Ken Paxton as members of the Business Tax Advisory Committee as both of these fine men serve on the Ways and Means Committee and have studied this issue in depth. Also, both of these men voted against the expansion of the franchise tax.

It should be noted the bill (HB 3, 79S3) that expanded the franchise tax was passed 80-68, by a Legislature controlled by Republicans. The Republicans that voted against the business tax were:

Dwayne Bohac (Houston)
Carter Casteel (New Braunfels)
Linda Harper-Brown (Irving)
Will Hartnett (Dallas)
Harvey Hilderbran (Kerrville)
Charlie Howard (Sugar Land)
Bryan Hughes (Mineola)
Delwin Jones (Lubbock)
Bill Keffer (Dallas)
Jodie Laubenberg (Rockwall)
Ken Paxton (Frisco)
Debbie Riddle (Houston)
John Smithee (Amarillo)
Robert Talton (Pasadena)

Of these Republicans, Carter Casteel and Delwin Jones are RINO's and were voting against Craddick, not against raising taxes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lemberg Ally Smears Montford and Keel

Wow, did DA candidate Lemberg and her consultant Fero step in it. A website run by Lemberg consultant Fero accuses Montford of being supported by Keel, but Keel denies backing DA hopeful, accuses opponent's ally of libel: is registered to Kelly Fero, an Austin political consultant retained by Lehmberg to work on her campaign. Keel is threatening a libel lawsuit against Fero.

Odds of truth on this are somewhere between slim and none. This is classic Old School LBJ-style last-minute smear "If you lie close enough to the election, you can get away with it". You gotta love that quick response libel threat from Keel going after Fero.

UPDATE 4/4: Keel files criminal complaint ... and with the DA's office, no less!

Keel's lawyer, Jason Nassour, said he is filing a criminal complaint with Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle but would seek a special prosecutor because Earle has endorsed Lehmberg.

Nassour cited election law prohibiting the "misrepresentation of identity."

The law says "a person commits an offense if, with intent to injure a candidate or influence the result of an election, the person misrepresents the person's identity ... in political advertising or a campaign communication."

Statesman then points to Rick Reed's experience on the matter; Rick Reed ran for the DA office, and met with Fero in November. Fero said that "“whatever ground that Gary had managed to cover they could make that up in an afternoon by putting something out on a blog,“:

After Reed got home he received an e-mail from Fero with a link to an item on declaring Reed would be the “frontrunner” in the race if District Attorney Ronnie Earle were to retire.

“It’s incomprehensible to me … that Rosemary was unaware that Austin Political Report was their Web site or they controlled it,” Reed said. “This was evident to me after the one conversation I had with them and she hired them.”

This make suspect the denials of Lemberg that she didn't know was connected to Fero. Suspect is putting it gently - "What did she know and when did she know it?" is the question to ask. So Fero breaks campaign law and engages in libel, Lemberg spreads the libel and engages in Nixonian dodges when it surfaces ... and this person is running to be in charge of the Public Integrity Unit?!? Only in Ronnie Earle-land could thigns be so upside down.

KBH has shindig on Texas Issues

Hutchison held secret summit on state issues, at a hotel in Dallas with 100 'experts' from around Texas.

Does she still need help to figure out the right thing to do after 14 years in office, or is it Governor 2010 prep work?

Senator Hutchison opposed the one-year ban on earmarks. Senator Cornyn supported it. I’d say that lately Senator Cornyn is doing a better job of listening to what the people want.

Texas GOP Platform

What would happen if we had elected leadership in Texas that would lead based on the conservative principles stated in the Texas Republican Party Platform? You would have leadership like Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal.

Jindal was elected in 2007 to replace an incumbent who let the state nearly collapse financially. Hurricane Katrina is the easy blame for Louisiana's economic state of affairs, but in reality, it has been 40 years of welfare, liberal policies, environmental regulations, and a mind-set that individuals are owed something by the government.

In just 3 months as Louisiana's governor, Jindal has pushed through a school voucher program, made sweeping welfare reform, is working on a comprehensive school finance reform package, reduced the size of state government, and encouraged businesses to build new infrastructure through economic incentives.

There is no reason these same opportunities cannot be seized on in Texas. We just need leaders who will dare to lead instead of allowing the people to dictate their principles. We need leaders who will not just follow the Republican Party Platform but will also share the principles espoused in the platform to inspire others to become problem solvers.

I don't want to wait for a category 5 hurricane and 40 years of failed liberal policies to move towards a conservative agenda. Conservative principles are viewed by many as a last ditch effort for success. Bobby Jindal, like Ronald Reagan, is proving that wrong. True conservative principles are the backbone of our society.

Texas needs a leader like Governor Bobby Jindal.

Quotes of the Week - Ronald Reagan

'Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.' - Ronald Reagan

'The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' - Ronald Reagan

'The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.' - Ronald Reagan

'Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.'
- Ronald Reagan

'I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.' - Ronald Reagan

'The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.'
- Ronald Reagan

'Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.'
- Ronald Reagan

'The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.' - Ronald Reagan

'It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.' - Ronald Reagan

'Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.' - Ronald Reagan

'Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.' - Ronald Reagan

'No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.' - Ronald Reagan

'If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.'
- Ronald Reagan

Lying candidate in Meltdown

No, it's not Hillary it's Obama. The author is a former Rendell appointee (Clinton side).

Obama is 'all hat and no cattle'. Obama has poor judgment in his associates and/or shares the extremist views of them: sticking with Rev Wright's afrocentrist church for 20 years; helping Farrakhan in 1995 with his Million Man march. The more you look in his past, the more you find him firmly planted in left-liberalism and extremism, in his positions, friends and associates.

And what exactly has Obama accomplished? Nothing really. He's given a few good speeches, whose words were lifted from the campaigns of others. He ducked votes in the Illinois state senate, he had barely a year and a half in the US Senate before he started campaigning for President.

Obama has little experience, poor judgment, and an extremist left-liberal viewpoint - and NONE of this is brought out by the fawning mainstream media. For the sake of this country, we need to reconsider and vet this candidate properly. Now that it is happening, Obama is looking more and more like an ordinary politician.

No, I take that back. No ordinary politician would collaborate with former Weather Underground honcho William Ayers to funnel money to Professor Rashid Khalidi, a known terrorist sympathizer. Extraordinary!

Another take on Obama's extremist pals: "Obama's untested achilles heel is his relationship with three men -- Tony Rezko, William Ayers, and Rashid Khalidi. These names will become shorthand for Corruption, Terrorism, and the Destruction of Israel. "

Conspiracy Theories Are Bunk

The Left Trades Places, looks at what the conspiracy-mongering Left:

When I was in the ninth grade I decided to run for student body president of my junior high school, and became suddenly and vitally interested in all things political. My father's friend had given him some copies of American Opinion, the John Birch Society magazine. I read them cover-to-cover.

I learned that the Trilateralists, the CFR, the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, the Bildebergers, the Jews, and the Imperial House of Hapsburg really ran America and-for that matter-the entire world. And they did it in secret.

I distinctly remember marching into the kitchen with the literature. I was panicky over the impending junior high election, but my misgivings had not stopped my family from spreading word of my campaign throughout the neighborhood and beyond. "How come ... if nobody in this family can keep a secret ... how come all these guys could keep all these secrets all these years?" I demanded of my father.

Dad grinned down at me and answered, "They couldn't and they didn't. Politics are public. You can't run for student body president without people knowing. People love to talk ... even when they don't know what they're talking about." He took the magazines from me and threw them in the trash.

My dad should have been a political philosopher, instead of a building contractor, because with those few sentences, and that one toss, he helped me understand two fundamental political truths: (1) conspiracy theories are rarely valid; and (2), conspiracy theories are almost always promulgated by people who do not currently wield political power. In other words, by people who do not know what they are talking about.

Call it a truism if you will: Conspiracy Theories Are Bunk.

I too had a similar teenage years experience: Reading then rejecting the main ideas of the conspiracy theorists, wondering if the conspiracy is that big how do they keep their mouths shut. Well, they can't. Conspiracy theories and claims have abounded in American politics and in human history, but reality is more mundane. Most of the problems we face in society are due to common and open human failing - we suffer the consequences of bad ideas, and incompetence is just as likely as malice to get us into trouble.

But now the conspiracy theories are prominent not on the Right but on the Left:

The parallels between the once rabid right and the new loony left are staggering. The conspiracy is exactly the same: secret worldwide domination by a few tightly controlled special interest groups. Most of the names of the organizations in charge of the conspiracy have been changed, to convince the credulous. For the Trilateralists, the CFR, the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, the Bildebergers, the Jews, and the Imperial House of Hapsburg simply substitute Haliburton, Big Oil, Pharmacuticals, Multinationals, The Military Industrial Complex, the Jews, and The Imperial House of Bush. ...

The loony left is dangerous because there are so many of them. Membership in The John Birch Society peaked at about 100,000 nitwits. can count on millions. Never in the history of the United States have so many people bought in to conspiratorial theories. Conspiracy theorists, of any political stripe, are dangerous because they cannot think and act rationally about the world that they live in. It can't be good for a country when many of its best and brightest are totally convinced that every time they lose an election that the election was rigged.

The claims are absurd - for example, Bush is said to want higher oil prices for his personal benefit, even though he sold his oil company back in 1989.
If all they have is this, it means they are out of ideas. As the author said: "Conservatism got out of the illusory business of conspiracy theories and into the rough and tumble real world of politics. Conservatism stopped peddling its fears and started marketing its ideas."

We need to keep doing that.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

AISD School Board Election

The election for the AISD School Board is on May 10. There are four positions up for election this year. Three of them are incumbents who are running unapposed. Position 3 is the only contested race. The two candidates are Jerry Garcia and Christine Brister. I found this article on the Austin Chronicle talking about the race.

Open seat candidates for Position 3 (North Central Austin):

Jerry Garcia is a stay-at-home dad who worked in the Texas Comptroller's office working on tax policy. This is very interesting as one of the major issues facing school boards is property taxes. Jerry's major issue is bilingual education.

Christine Brister is a long-time volunteer with the PTA and is a member of District Advisory Council for Lanier High School.

At the outset, Brister looks to be more polished and more qualified as a candidate. She also looks to be more of an education insider, meaning she is more likely to look for ways to generate revenue (raise taxes) and support public education (meaning the status quo).

Garcia, from a glance, looks to be the more conservative candidate (if that is possible in a May election in Austin) as he home schools his children and worked on tax policy under Strayhorn, who supported spending accountability and tax transparency while she was comptroller.

If I get the chance, I'll try to contact both of these individuals and ask them about their potential policies.

Illegal votes cast in Macias v Miller race, Macias wants new election

Macias seeks new election in Republican race for House seat: "He says there were several hundred illegal votes cast." There were literally hundreds of double votes:

Macias' attorney said hundreds of illegal votes were counted in the contest, including 253 from voters who cast two ballots.

"I, personally, as former general counsel for the Republican Party of Texas, was shocked at irregularities," said Macias attorney Rene Diaz.

Diaz said the same unique voter ID numbers appeared more than once on the official voter lists from each party's primary. In some cases, people voted early in both primaries. Some voted early in one party primary but voted in another on election day. Other voters cast ballots early and again on election day.
Diaz also claims 44 mail-in votes and three provisional ballots are illegal because they were not signed by county election officials.

The challenge also questions the validity of a Gillespie County ballot box, which the suit claims was turned in to the counting location four hours after polls closed, included a defective sign-in sheet and was counted by an in-law of Miller's.

This is a shocking reminder that ballot security and voter integrity are still issues in elections. It happens. I don't know the details of electoral law, but the right thing to do at this point is to call for a new election.

Did Ron Paul help Republicans in Down Ballot Races?

This is a hypothetical question that I raise for discussion purposes. In recent years, the Libertarian Party in Texas has run a candidate in nearly every race. Many of these candidates have taken precious votes away from Republicans like Bill Keffer, Jack Stick, and Jim Landtroop, just to name a few. All of these candidates lost these races because 1) Republicans did not turn out and 2) the Libertarian took votes away from the Republican.

There are many reasons that the Republicans lost votes to the Libertarian. There are many reasons to be upset at the Republican Party and their candidates. Those folks that chose to vote Libertarian as a protest vote in the general election allowed Democrats to win. The Democrats have become intrenched in many of those seats now (such as Mark Strama) and (with the exception of Bill Keffer) it will take redistricting to win the seat back for a Republican.

I have heard that there are individuals who have voted Republican for the first time in 20 years this year. In previous years, these folks declined to vote in the Republican Primary so they can support the Libertarian Party as delegates and candidates. This year, they chose to vote in the Republican Party for Ron Paul (I can respect that decision) and get involved in the Repubilican Party.

By simple deduction, does this mean there are fewer Libertarians available to run for office this year? If so, does that mean that there will be fewer votes being taken away from Republicans in favor of Libertarians?

Hillary Lied in 1974

Don Calabrese has a column on North Star Writers this week about how Hillary lied in 1974 when she served as assistant legal counsel for the House Judiciary Committee. Neal Boortz was highlighting this column on the radio today.

The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary
Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate
investigation, says Hillary’s history of lies and unethical behavior goes back
farther – and goes much deeper – than anyone realizes.