Sunday, August 31, 2008

Freedom Ain't Free: Ma Ying-"dove" Moves Taiwan Towards Unilateral Disarmament

Freedom Ain't Free: Ma Ying-"dove" Moves Taiwan Towards Unilateral Disarmament

Some developments in Taiwan that may have ramification for U.S. Security interests in the Western Pacific Region.

Gov. Palin Accused of Being Insensitive to Comments about State Senator Lyda Green

I made this comment in response to a article that attempted to smear Vice-Presidential candidate and Gov. of Alaska Sarah Palin for supposed insensitive laughing at remarks made about Senate President Lyda Green during a radio talk show interview. See HuffingtonPost article linked below my comment.

Posted Comment
If you listen to the entire audio and hear the responses in context you will find that Gov. Palin was simply laughing in what appears to be a nervous manner that anyone in her position might do, while biting their tongue. She did not embellish the negative comments made about Green by her obviously Palin-friendly and Green-unfriendly hosts, nor did she attempt to refute them (maybe the comments were accurate). Her fault perhaps was not being perfect, like Jesus, in loving her enemies. She picked her words very carefully as a wise politician would do, but she did not try to defend Green. Why should she? If Green is a political enemy why stand up for her? That's politics.
About Sarah Palin
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Troubling planks in the Democratic Party Platform

H/T GOPUSA - The Democratic Party's platform for 2008, which was approved earlier this week in Denver, is a marked departure that stands in stark contrast to the proposal that will be put forth by the Republican Party. At 94 pages, the Democrats' platform is more than twice as long as their 2004 version. Buried deep within it are planks that advocate plans to reverse the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Consider these troubling excerpts buried within the Democrats' 94-page document:

  • Special Rights for Gay Couples: "We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections. We will enact a comprehensive bipartisan employment non-discrimination act. We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us."
  • Support for Card Check: "We will strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions and fight to pass the Employee Free Choice Act."
  • Overturning NLRB Decisions: "We will restore pro-worker voices to the National Labor Relations Board and the National Mediation Board and we support overturning the NLRB's and NMB's many harmful decisions that undermine the collective bargaining rights of millions of workers."
  • Taxpayer-Funded Abortions: "The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right."

    According to the Grand Rapids Press, "The plank in support of abortion rights is even stronger than usual....Gone is the phrase from the past that abortions should be safe, legal and 'rare." (Editorial, Grand Rapids Press, 8/26/08)

Obama Team Befuddled by Genius Palin Selection

Via Patterico:

” Ms. Palin came as a surprise not only to many Republicans and journalists, but also to the Obama team. The campaign has been busily preparing TV commercials to run against Mitt Romney — with aides gleefully watching hours of footage of Romney-McCain exchanges from the primary — but far little opposition research had been prepared about the Alaska governor. And aides said no commercials were ready to be immediately released, which the McCain campaign did when Mr. Biden was chosen.”
One has to wonder about Obama. Obama gets the wrong intelligence, focusses on the wrong things, makes the wrong statements, and has to backtrack. Is this the making of a good CinC? Obama got rolled by the Clintons into giving them 2 days at his convention, screwed up by dissing her on the VP pick, then made a bad VP pick, and the McCain campaign has run rings around him. Take Obama to the showers now. He isn't ready to lead.

The Palin pick gives conservatives a clear path forward. That’s why it’s exciting. We now have an heir apparent, one who is more qualified and has more executive experience today as a VP pick than Obama does as Presidential nominee.

UPDATE #2: RedState has the Obama - Palin comparison in full detail.

UPDATE: That experience thing - visiting the political blogs, you see the Obamaniacs are desperate. Despite the fact that the pick is such an exciting and popular one for the Republican base, they are calling the pick desperate, and slamming Palin for her supposed lack of experience. The elitist slams of Sarah Palin, who has more accomplishments and more executive experience under her belt than Obama is pathetic.

Sarah Palin is a normal American. A hockey Mom, business operator, PTA leader, and civic leader. She moved up and now leads a state as Governor. John McCain is a warrior and war hero.

Joe Biden and Barack Obama are life-long practitioners of politics. They have no diversity in the American experience outside politics. Two lawyers who decided to go into politics as their 'job'. And Obama's track record is one of left-liberal activism with almost no accomplishments to show for it. They never had to manage a payroll, deal with private sector concerns; they never led or managed like McCain did when he was in charge of the largest air squadron in the US Navy; they never took a 'the buck stops here' stand like Palin did in Alaska standing up to oil cos and fighting and exposing corruption. Obama talks the talk, but Sarah Palin has already walked the walk of change and reform.

MCCAIN AND PALIN HAVE A DIVERSITY OF EXPERIENCE, INCLUDING EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE THAT TWO POLITICIAN LAWYERS WHO HAVE ONLY RUN THEIR MOUTHS CANNOT MATCH. Oh, and sometimes the gaffe-able Biden and Obama cant even manage that quite right. So the Obamamaniac elitism is not only insuffereable, it is narrow-minded, clueless and hypocritical.

Let Obama be a mayor or governor for a while and THEN tell us he's ready for the president. Right now --- He's not.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Freedom Ain't Free: Followup: Gov. Sarah Palin for Veep

Freedom Ain't Free: Followup: Gov. Sarah Palin for Veep

The Genius of the Palin Pick

The Democrats are saying that Palin doesn't have enough experience to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Yet Governor Palin has more experience and accomplishments and background to be President than Barack Obama! ...

If the Democrats want to lower themselves to questioning a VP pick we can compare and note how much more ready Palin is to lead compared to Obama. She is ready, Obama is not.

Found this account of the VP selection announcement on RedState:

... and let me tell you that all the way up to Dayton (we got VIP passes from the state republican party in KY - I'm in Lexington) we were buzzing from the initial news that it would be Palin.

When we arrived, there was a line out the door that stretched farther than we could see. We lucked out in that our VIP passes put us right through (sorry to all those that waited to get in - and I heard many were turned away) on the floor. In fact, we were about 20 ft in front of where McCain and Sarah spoke.

They absolutely electrified the crowd. Sarah was refreshing, strong, inspiring, and Reagan-esque in her tone. There were women all around with tears in their eyes. I have to admit to getting a bit choked up by the palpable emotion in the air.

It was without a doubt the most exciting republican event I have ever attended. People walked away with renewed enthusiasm in McCain, the party, our brand, and for our future.

Most spoke of their energy to get back and get to work.

There was a huge number of hillary supporters there. Overall, there were more than 16,000 people in attendance (not an estimate by me, it was announced by official at podium). There simply weren't enough seats... many stood to peer into the arena.

I don't know how it came across on tv. I don't know if one could feel the electricity that was in that room through the images, but let me tell you that this event was an absolute grand slam all the way.

Oh, and for the first time in four years I dontated to the republicans. I couldn't be more excited to do so. In fact, I've even signed up to man phone banks and help get out the vote (even though KY is a "safe" state for McCain).

This report is a first-hand account of how the Palin pick has added a level of energy to the McCain campaign. the genius of picking Palin is how it works on so many levels, and how none of those levels contradict each other much:
* Evangelicals love her and libertarian fiscal conservatives love her.
* She has reformer credentials
* her bio is distinctly covers all bases - hunts and fishes, hubby is fisherman, soccer-Mom, church-going family values, business operator, working class roots, educator family and PTA leader, union member. Gosh, what flyover America Demographic is not hit there?
* Obama is calling for change and for having someone from outside Washington to come and effect change. Well, you can't get much farther than Anchorage!
* Picking a woman reaches out to Hillary voters and puts Obama's snub of Hillary back in the Obama campaign's face - who's taking women for granted now, Barry?
* The only fly in the ointment is Palin's experience, she's been mayor for a number of years and Governor since 2006. But even that is a fly trap for Obama. She's has a short tenure in executive office. Obama has ... NONE.

I feel distinctly different about McCain/Palin than I felt about McCain say a month ago. I feel like WE CONSERVATIVES NOW HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO AND SOMETHING TO SUPPORT. Pleasing the base all by itself is a worthy goal, but since the pick makes sense on a populist, maverick image building, lets-change-washington, and make-history-for-women level, it makes a good pick into a GREAT pick.

Sarah Palin is an Outstanding Choice

There was rampant speculation over the last couple of days as to who Senator John McCain chose as his running mate. The speculation is over. Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin was been selected and will be introduced in just minutes at a press conference in Dayton, Ohio.

This is an excellent choice for John McCain and the Republican Party. Many people will site her pro-life record and her stances on drilling in ANWR as great policy points. Many others will site the fact that she could attrack many of Hillary Clinton's "PUMA's" to vote for McCain. Others will site that she has cleaned up a culture of corrupton in the Alaska Legislature. Many pundits will say that this balances out the GOP ticket with the same level of experience level that the Democrat ticket has. I have another take.

Senators seldom make good Presidents. The last Senator to be elected to the highest office was John Kennedy in 1960. My knock on Senators is that they never have had to be leaders. They can wax eloquently on issues, philosophize on the direction of the country, and build relationships with other Washington insiders.

But, Senators are never expected to lead. They do not have to determine the best way to organize a cabinet to get the best results. They do not have to determine heads of bureaucracies to get the most efficiency out of their work force. They do not have to represent the broad base of their constituents while still working to achieve the best results for their citizens. Just look at the most famous Senator of all time, Cicero. He was a great political philospher who helped moved Rome into a grand direction. But, Cicero was no Julius Ceasar.

This is where Governor Palin gives John McCain a strong advantage over the Obama/Biden ticket. Sarah Palin leads a state economy and infrastructure. She puts leaders in place to achieve results that are in the best interest of her state. She focusus on the big picture of the direction of her policies and then utilizes her cabinet and staff members to execute her vision. Governors must put their vision into action or they will not get re-elected. Senators simply cast visions and then argue over symantics of the vision with others.

Governor Sarah Palin is an asset to the GOP ticket in her role as Governor of Alaska. She is the best possible pick for John McCain and the Republican Party to compliment the Presidential ticket. To quote the monk in Indiana Jones, The Last Crusade, "You chose wisely."

Alaska Gov Sarah Palin is McCain's VP Pick

UPDATED: MN Gov Tim Pawlenty is - no, scratch that, is NOT - McCain's VP Pick
Last minute mis-direction kept people guessing. The RW blog chatter and Intrade say its ... Palin.

UPDATE #2: FoxNews says she is in Dayton, but ABC News confirms Sarah Palin is in Alaska ... Yikes.

If it's Palin, this is a great pick. An FR comment calls it 'bombshell pick'. Yup:

If McCain, after all of this dragging it out and hype, makes a bombshell pick like Sarah Palin, well..........I will say right now that this is one of the best political and strategic plays in my entire lifetime.

UPDATE #3: CNBC Confirms Palin is the nominee!

McCain has made a great pick.

Here's why - a clip from Yahoo aricle on her:

Palin has a long history of run-ins with the Alaska GOP hierarchy, giving her genuine maverick status and reformer credentials that could complement McCain's image.

Two years ago, she ousted the state's Republican incumbent governor, Frank Murkowski in the primary, despite having little money and little establishment backing.

She has also distanced herself from two senior Republican office-holders, sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don young. Both men are under federal corruption investigations.

She had earned stripes — and enmity — after Murkowski made her head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. From that post, she exposed ethical violations by the state GOP chairman, also a fellow commissioner.

Obama talks the talk of change, but Palin has walked the walk!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Domain: A Deal You Can Refuse

Come on now! Take a break from the Obamamania and RSVP for the the Central Texas Republican Assembly meeting on September 16, 2008 at which important information for taxpayers in Austin will be presentation by Brian Rodgers, Founder of Stop Domain Subsidies.

Click here for the details.

Obama's Speech, Freedom's View

He gave four speeches. The synopsis: I'm a regular guy; the Republicans are evil and screwed up; here's my favorite 29 Government programs; and I have a dream.

Every time Obama got specific, he got wrong. His worst parts were his feeble attacks on McCain on foreign policy. His best part was the end, no specifics, just hope and change and let's all work together for the glorious socialist future that awaits.

Some things stick out.

"So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first."

Squealing like a stuck pig. Country First is a great slogan for John McCain, that hits on biography and policy at the same time.

Obama has neither the background nor the positions to be the 'country first' candidate. Barack Obama is just an inexperienced empty-suit front-man for the same old tired liberal Democrat socialist policies that have cost people jobs, made America poorer, kept children less well educated, emptied our pockets through more taxes and bigger Government, litigated businesses to death, and harmed our national security.

Nobody is questioning your patriotism, Barack. We are questioning your lack of experience, your extremist friends (Ayers, Wright), your left-liberal positions (most Liberal Senator in the US Senate according to National Journal), your pathetic and poor judgment on issues like Iran and Iraq, your failure to know history, and your empty and phony campaign of hype. That's all - not your patriotism.

His claim that he would cut taxes for the middle class.

It's a phonyclaim built on the sophistry to making earned income tax credit welfare increases 'cuts' and taking credit for cuts Bush has already enacted. It is scary in that Clinton successfully ran on the same lie in 1992. We know that in the end Clinton dropped it and gave us a huge tax HIKE, but people might get fooled again. Obama is "paying" for this by pushing up tax rates for the rich past 50%, a level of income redistribution that will topple over and actually reduce Government revenue, while harming the economy significantly. He absurdly bashes Bush, while most of the tax cut he touts is already in place and enacted by Bush. All we have to do is make it permanent! The GOP should issue a challenge and opportunity - lead and get the tax cut passed and on Bush's desk to sign or veto. The Democrats have the Congress - surely they can pass it.

BUSH failed to respond to America’s challenges.

Other than that 9/11 thing, Bush tax cuts that turned around the economy, Bush taking on the need for Social Security reform (and the Congressional Democrats stopping it), the challenge of putting good men on Supreme Court (Roberts and Alito), No Child Left Behind, etc. Bush did fail to cut and run from Iraq when Obama wanted to. Bush also failed to close Gitmo.

He trashed the economy and criticized Gramm's "mental recession" comment.

Obama and the Democrats are poor-mouthing a growing economy as a way to scare people into voting for them. Fact: Economy grew 3.3% in the past quarter.

Even so, we were struck by Thursday's news that second-quarter GDP was revised up from 1.9% to 3.3%, more in line with boom than bust. The consensus estimate was for 2.7% growth. ... Since 2006, the economy minus the ailing housing sector has grown at an average 3.3% rate. Add housing back in, and GDP growth has averaged just 2.4%. So housing's collapse has cost us roughly 1% of GDP.

"Discredited Republican philosophy." Attacks the "ownership society". Calls it "you are on your own."

Basically, creating a strawman to attack, but in the process making clear that he really doesn't understand nor care for markets, even though he says otherwise in his "BUT" statements.

"It's time for us to change America."

America is the greatest country on earth, and it's time to change all that. Obama actually said that in a previous speech, and people should ponder the irony.

"An economy that honors the dignity of work"

We honor the dignity of work by keeping taxes low and Government out of the way of workers and employers. We honor the dignity of work with "Right to Work" laws and with a secret ballot for Union Workers, both of which Obama opposes. We honor the dignity of work when we offer choice for retirement to replace an outmoded Social Security.

Attacks John McCain for opposing ethanol

He sounded lame and false when attacking McCain on alternative energy and environment because he WAS lame and false.

Drilling is a stop-gap solution, not a long-term solution

We have more shale in Colorado then there is oil in Saudi Arabia! This man is seriously deluded and out-of-touch on this. We can and we should drill now, and it will pay dividends not short-term but for decades to come. His energy solution litany sounded a bit bipartisan, but devil is in the details. Earlier in the night, Al Gore did his litany and touted being 'free of fossil fuels'. Obama was far less ambitious - free of mideast oil. We only get 15% or so of oil imports from the mid-east, most of it comes from closer places - Canada, Mexico, Nigeria, etc. So it is in effect a proposal to lower our imports by about 2 million barrels a day in the next 10 years. Well guess what, we lowered oil imports in June by about a million barrels a day versus a year prior. Amazing what the power of price, supply and demand will do.

Obama's $150 billion on alternative energy like solar and wind? Will be a big boondoggle. CO2 sequestration is also a big boondoggle.

" safely harness nuclear power"
Sounds good except
1. We've been safely harnessing nuclear power for decades so it's no 'change' and not merely as bold as McCain's real change of actually building more nuclear power plants.
2. he has pandered to Nevada to oppose Yucca Mtn. It's a forked tongue promise.

“Eliminating programs that no longer work”

What has Obama done in the past to prove he will do this? A vital question for the debates? What programs don't work? And what programs have you voted to cut in the past? Non-defense ones?

Parents have to turn off the TV.

That rhetorical fluff, sounding off like Bill Cosby, got the biggest applause. Bizarre that he criticized small things elections and got applause on this.

McCain was willing to ‘muddle through’ on Afghanistan.

A Lie. Obama was lying about McCain on Afghanistan. In Dec 2006, McCain called for more troops in Afghanistan. In mid-2008, Obama came around to that position and then claimed he though of it first. Obama taunted McCain that he wasn't willing to follow Obama to his cave. Excuse me, Senator Obama, if you know where Obama is then why aren't you following him to his cave - NOW - and pointing him out to us?

Obama is all hat and no cattle on the war on terror. He is seriously unstable and wrong on this stuff and it is actually quite scary in a "What if a dumber and more naive version of Jimmy Carter got elected?" kind of way.

“Grasping at the ideas of the past.”

The rhetoric is fine, but Obama’s attacks on McCain’s Iraq policy are feeble.

“The party of Roosevelt and Kennedy.”

Yeah, a guy who gave half of Europe at Yalta and ignored the USSR threat and the guy who screwed up the Bay of Pigs. And why not mentions “Hostage Crisis” Carter and his terrible naive foreign policy?

Bush has squandered the legacy ...

Bush has squandered what legacy? The legacy of Carter that let Iran become a theocracy. Or the legacy of Clinton that did nothing to respond to the 1993 WTC attacks and theUSS Cole bombing, but got us in an unnecessary war in Serbia that now has given us some 'blowback'?

“I will end the war in Iraq responsibly.”

Thanks to Bush’s policies, we will have won the war in Iraq by the time Obama takes office, removing the possibility of the Democrats screwing up that war. Bravo, W!

“Never question my patriotism”

Judgment, experience, and proposals. You are wrong for America on all three, Barack.

Attacks the 2nd Amendment supporter with a crack about criminals getting AK47s.

A strawman argument and one that shows his weakness on the issue. Stop lying Senator and start explaining your support for banning handguns, including your support for the DC gun ban?

“hiring illegal workers”

Lament from a pro-amnesty pro-drivers-licenses guy. Republicans take note - Liberals win by sounding conservative!

“No fresh ideas, use stale tactics” ... attack them as “someone people should run from”


What about the Bush and McCain cracks? All negativity. They attack Bush relentlessly and then are shocked that the Republicans dare to expose Obama’s radical associates, extreme views, and zero accomplishment record. The hypocrisy of policies and the audacity of hype!

He doesnt want a “Big election about small things”

Small things: Obama’s resume.

“When Washington doesnt work”

The big Obama Lie is the typical liberal lie that if only we send them more money, or rotate new people, we can fix what is broken. Wrong - the whole philosophy of big govt is broken. Power corrupts, and socialism is a prescription for poverty. If the people in DC have failed, fine, fire Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Congress. Get a Republican Congress in place.

“Something is stirring, ... this election is about you.”

“Enough to the politicians of the past” - Like Kennedy, Clinton, Biden????

“Moved families from welfare to work” (in the Illinois state senate)

It turns out Obama is taking credit for something he didnt do.

Cites his accomplishments in Washington. 3 bills that amount to Resume enhancement. Rove went after Biden on that item in a WSJ column. One bill was ethics reform, which did far less than it should; another was a feel-good non-controversial bill with Lugar to track nuclear materials in ex-USSR that was so unimportant it passed on a mere voice vote and was not reported on; and the third he actually did very little to help pass. RESUME INFLATION BY THE EMPTY SUIT!

“Our universities and culture are envy of the world.”

Especially professor William Ayers and Ward Churchill, eh?

He closes more positive. He sounds conservative with some nice rhetoric that means nothing fills the gaps between partisan shots and left-liberal policies.The positive message probably works for him. More BS and less liberalism will fool voters better than telling people what he will and won’t do.

A young preacher from Georgia. ... “America, we cannot turn back.” ... We must march into the future.”

Onward to Left-liberalism.

Yes, the future is tomorrow and the past is so yesterday, and the best parts of his speech are so ... meaningless ... which tells me that this speech might "work" if people don't think about the inherent contradictions in the speech and in Obama's overall campaign.

He denounces negativity in politics, yet engages in it as the core reason to vote for him.

He denounces the failures of the past, yet proposes to repeat failed past policies.

He calls on us to march into the future, but says no to the real solutions that can carry us there.

Live Blog: Barack Obama Speech

I don't know where to start.

How is it that out of touch politicians can call other politicians out of touch? Is it because it takes one to know one? The only audacious thing about Obama is that he has the guts to sell socialism and a forced national collectivism on the American people in a way that they buy into it.

This cornucopia of feel good ideas about free health care, secure tuition, high-paying jobs for all, and welfare for all must be paid by somebody. The somebody that pays for all of these noble goals are the hard-working Americans that are trying to scrap by each and every day, but can never get ahead because they are taxed into oblivon because the bureaucracy (you know, those guaranteed jobs) must feed itself.

Punishing entreprenuers by raising their taxes and regulating their industry leads to jobs going over seas. Why is it that the government is more "profitable" every year than the largest corporations in America? If those individuals that work hard to create jobs keep getting punished by our regressive tax code, there will no longer be an incentive to produce new technology and innovation.

All of Obama's feel good goals are impossible to accomplish as long as bureaucracies are not held accountable and cut off at the knees to limit government power and spending. I fear Obama will continue to prop up failing bureaucracies and create new bureaucracies to achieve his goals.

The progressivism and guaranteed earnings and fairness that I continue to hear from the Democrat Party remind me of Lenin and Stalin and their feel good ideas. Eighty years of liberalism and big government solutions are the reason we have high inflation, high tuition, adults who cannot read, high gas prices, and slow moving bureaucracies that will not get the job done.

Obama raises many great points about individual responsibility in raising our children and being stewards of our neighborhoods and communities. This point is very important in a day and age when many people look to serving themselves at whatever the cost to their families and friends. True Biblical service is a missing link in our society.

Obama has said more one thing I do agree with. It is time for change on November 4. It is time to turn over Queen Nancy and her Democrat servants in Congress. Only by removing the road blocks of the liberals in elected office can our country achieve true greatness.

Peace and unity for all come at a price for all. Are you prepared to pay the price that Barack Obama is asking? Are you prepared to sacrifice your freedom, your hard earned money through high taxes, and even your national sovereignty just to have this concept of peace and unity achieved?

McCain has a Running Mate

Fox News is reporting that Senator McCain has chosen his Vice Presidential running mate. The press conference is tomorrow in Dayton, Ohio at 11 am.

There is wild speculation regarding the choice. Rumors have Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Joe Lieberman accepting the position.

I need to give John McCain a word of caution, if he choses a pro-choice Republican or Joe Lieberman in an effort to "reach across the aisle," he will lose two Republicans from his base for every one swing voter he picks up.

Senator McCain needs to solidify his base with a pro-life, fiscal conservative who articulates our platform well. Without this, the Republican base will conveniently forget to vote this year.

Stay tuned to the news on Friday.

UPDATE: Intrade has Tim Pawlenty at 85% now, up 50 pts. It's as good a bet as any.
Redstate: Get to know Tim Pawlenty

Deputize Yourself

I became a Deputy Voter Registrar in Travis County today. I went by the Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector's Office (Do we like taxes?) and took 5 minutes to become a deputy.

I encourage everybody who is politically active to become a deputy registrar. You can set up a table at your church to register members. Set up a table on campus to register college students. Set up a table at Alamo Draft House to register movie-goers on Friday nights. If you are out campaigning, register folks to vote who have just moved to the neighborhood.

Our vote is our most sacred right as an American. The only way you can throw it away is to not use it.

Michael Williams Shines in Obiden Attack

Texas Railroad Commissioner Leads the Charge on the Energy Front; A Stealth Energy Secretary Audition?

The indomitable Michael Williams, Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, appeared today in the RNC's daily press conference along side national Republican luminaries cranking up the latest attack on the Democratic presidential ticket.

Viewable at Not Ready 08 (it should be posted in the next day or two), the streaming video press conference with VP fave Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl, and former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, developed the themes of experience, strength, courage, substance true bi-partisanship, and energy security.

On the last topic, Comm. Williams, the Texas version of the Secretary of Energy, brought into sharp relief the contrasts between Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

KBH for Veep?

Kay Bailey Hutchison's name has bubbled up lately in the John McCain Veepstakes. McCain will announce his pick Friday. Intrade has had Romney leading in the 'who will be picked VP' betting, but reports today say he's not in the running and his Veep stock has dropped by 18 pts, to 48. KBH has coincidently risen 12pts to 16 pts. Also in the running is Rep Eric Cantor (19 pts), Gov Tim Pawlenty (24pts), and Tom Ridge (11pts). Best conservative in that bunch would be Cantor of Virginia. Sarah Palin is at 3pts. No way of telling what is real news and what is baseless gossip until the actual announcement Friday.

If KBH does get picked and goes on to win, it will certainly reorder the possible 'line of succession' for the many state-level Republican officials.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Where the Sun Doesn't Shine

Patterson and Bullock tell Ma Richards What to do With Her Opposition to the CHL Bill

At a recent Travis County Young Republicans meeting, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson revealed the inside story on the genesis of the Texas Concealed Carry Handgun law, including a choice exchange with former Lt. Gov Bob Bullock on how to work around then Gov. Ann Richards' anti-concealed carry stance.

(more, video...)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Racial Spoils Crowd Tries to Intimidate City Manager Ott

Statesman reports breathlessly on hypervenitlating at city hall, City leaders try to quell storm over Ott - Hispanic group had questioned city manager about firings, hiring: "Top Austin officials, including Mayor Will Wynn, are urging residents to "unite as a city" amid concerns about a potential racial divide in how the public is forming opinions about City Manager Marc Ott."

Mayor Wynn's bed-wetting flapdoodle about 'unity' is because Ott happens to be black and two recently fired officials happen to be hispanic. The chickens are coming home to roost on the racial spoils system, built up on the patronage of HUB (historically underutilized business), racial quotas and ethnic group pandering. The racial spoils 'diversity' crowd is getting skittish that a City Manager is daring to make the decisions of, er, a city manager.

The comments in the Statesman article are fascinating for revealing the real storm - the utter and complete lack of justification and disapproval for reverse discrimination and the racial spoils system, and the disgust for the ethnic intimidation squad that City Manager Ott (rightly) refused to grovel to. A sample of the many comments:

Diversity is just another word for discrimination. guess who is gonna get left without a piece of the pie ?? white folks thats who. the City of Houston is already lost- if you are white ( particularly a white male) you won't get a job or a contract there.

Let me see if I got this straight ... a "person of color" get special privileges in regards to winning a business contract with the city, and that's good "diversification". But ... if that were to happen to a white-owned business, it's "discrimination".

He is the 2nd BAD HIRE that Austin has hired. Police Chief and Cith Manager.Need to rid the city of both.

10 - 1, a meeting. What a hidden agenda. I think the 10 of them are being racist. They weren't representing me as a white person. I think General Manager Ott is doing a good job, and I don't appreciate the "mob" affect of the 10 hispanics. It's actions like that, that give them a bad name.

If the man fires 2 hispanics and 2 black men are appointed immediately lets take a second look.
Otherwise the race card is getting used up, and it's a damn shame too because there are times when it IS a racial issue.

One thing I've never missed about Austin since leaving is the death grip held by the Hispanic population and the do-nothing attitude of the Austin City Council. Austin could be a truly great city but potential greatness is held at bay by the same elected officials who are installed over and over and over again. What a waste for a place I dearly love and in which I grew up.

As a City of Austin employee, I have seen a lot of racism especially with executive members. It saddens me that our new city manager is going to continue with this behavior as well. I recently learned that one of our executives that is viewed as being recist has been playing golf with Mr. Ott. This does nothing to encourage us (city employees) that he is going to put a stop to this behavior. Regardless of how long Mr. Ott has been in place he still should have the common sense on how to deal with sensitive issues of this nature. Give him a chance? What do you think the last 6 months have been!

Wow, this is so great that this has gone on for 4 or 5 days, and now involves the time of two Council members. Gosh, with a billion plus dollar budget and high fees, taxes, the worse traffic in the world, and tons of other non-important things to worry about, they get to spend time on this./ Makes one proud to be an Austinite.

Its time to put the bone, back into the backbone of this city and move forward. Stop using race as excuse to get your way. Because truth be told, the city of Austin has never stop discriminating against minorities, no matter who sits on the dias as the City Manager, Mayor or as a City Council member. Treat others as you want to be treated. The unification of this city will occur only when we START believing and acting like we are children of the Most High God. At the present, He is not pleased with our behavior.

This amounts to the jerkoffs who work at the City crying racism since Ott is not going to put up with their "business as usual" (i.e. unqualified leadership fearing for their jobs). And he doesn't appear to be intimidated by the leftover Toby hangers-on. as a taxpayer, I hope Mr. Ott sticks to his guns, shakes out the troublemakers and turns city government into some form of a respectable entity. Us taxpayers deserve at least that much.

I support Ott. The man has only been on the job six months and because he does not pander to 'special interests' then now they are out to get him. The City Manager is not an elected official. He is appointed by the City Council and serves at their discretion. The City Manager has the discretion to hire/fire whom he chooses. If you have an issue with his performance, then take it up with Council at open hearings and make it an issue that will cause a change. What a waste of time for taxpayers to have to hold hands and sing Kumbayah or whatever.

I wonder if the fact that Ott is not white is hindering his performance as City Manager. Guilt-tripping white Austin liberals are used to walking on eggshells when addressing demands from minority groups. I'm sure Toby Futrell would have assumed the proper deferrential attitude towards the Hispanic delegation. As a member of a minority group himself, Ott is probably not used to having the race card played against him.


I find it ironic the Hispanic leaders wanted to discuss Mr. Ott's commitment to diversity but then got agitated because he didn't immediately fall into the stereotypical "Yes Boss" submissive tone they expected. I guess a strong minority figure isn't a good thing....unless you are of the right minority.

instead of focusing on diversity in the workplace, how about hiring the best people for the job, and firing people that aren't getting the job done. Let's give Ott a chance and see how he performs before we start knocking him.

Gonzalo Barrientos is no longer an elected official, and he has no right to question anyone, about anything. The problem here, is that the good old boy network is offended that a black man is standing up to them. I am very proud of the new City Manager. And I would remind Gonzalo Barrientos that he is not an elected official and his meddling in not only unappreciated, but it may also be illegal.

These 'leaders' are the only people who appear to be the slightest bit upset...judging from the reader comments on the related articles, the lack of reaction from Mr. Ott and the lack of protest parades up and down Congress Avenue...there is NO storm.

Another sloppy, trashy, driveling article by the Statesman trying to create a furor over city governance. This is embarrassing reporting, but we're used to it from our little bottom tier paper.

The Statesman is once again guilty of editorializing by using a sensationalistic headline.

Texas Longhorns post Depth Chart

I know, this is not a political post. But, the only thing that gets my heart thumping more than politics is my wife and Texas Football.

Coach Mack Brown released the first depth chart for the 2008 Football Season today.

Some local high school athletes have made the starting roster, including Jordan Shipley (WR) from Burnet, Charlie Tanner from Anderson HS (OG), Ryan Bailey (most accurate kicker in Longhorn history), and Blake Gideon (S) from Leander HS.

The countdown has officially begun in my book. Six days, 1 hour, 30 minutes until kickoff.


The Texas Education Market Speaks. Is The Legislature Listening?

Nearly 17,000 Texas School Children Denied Education Opportunity

A recent study by the Texas Public Policy Foundation found that the the 215 Texas charter schools, state-funded public schools with fewer regulatory restrictions than normal public schools, can only serve 87% of the demand for charter schools. There are currently 113,760 students enrolled in charter schools and at least 16,810 on wait lists.

Furthermore, Texas charter schools serve a disproportionately minority and poorer population. According to the report:

Eighty-one percent of students in Texas charter schools are minorities compared to 60 percent of students in traditional Texas public schools. In addition, more than 60 percent of students in Texas charter schools are economically-disadvantaged compared to 56 percent in traditional Texas public schools.
The Texas legislature has set a cap on the number of charter schools that can operate in the state at 215 (currently there are 196 operating charter schools and 210 active charters), up from only 20 charter schools allowed when the program first started 13 years ago.

This cap could be a deterrent to other companies in the business of running charter schools from entering the Texas education market. Given the fact that charter schools cost the taxpayers, on average, $1500 less per student than normal public schools, why wouldn't the state legislature be more interested in eliminating the cap and allowing more robust competition?


Sunday, August 24, 2008

HD-50 State Rep candidates Q&A

The HD-50 State Representative candidates, Republican Jerry Mikus, Mark Strama, and the Libertarian Jerry Chandler were profiled in Community Impact newspaper. I wish I could link it, but can't seem to find it online; we got the Q&A in the dead-tree version. It was a tame Q&A for all candidates, but a bit revealing on Strama's partisan talking points that were over-the-top in response to generic questions. Here's a few more questions I wish were asked.

Jerry Chandler:
Mark Strama mentions that in 2004 he won be only 500 votes. The Libertarian got a lot more votes, and the result was a victory for a Democrat who got an "F" rating from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. What assurances can you give that you are not just a spoiler that splits the "smaller Government" vote to enable a big-government Democrat to win? Is that a desirable outcome to you? What will you do to ensure the result of your involvement is not just a victory for Big Government? You say you will 'prioritize' education and adhere to the dictum "That Government is best which governs least". How will you apply that dictum in education?

Mark Strama:
You mention a bunch of detailed things like teacher mentoring and technology in classrooms as if it was a State Reps job to do this - are you running for school board, or do you intend to further take decisions away from schools and school boards on this matter and centralize them at the state bureaucracy level? What about giving more authority to the State Board of Education?
You speak about the need to 'reform ... campaign finance systems', yet you have taken in hundreds of thousands of dollars, much of it from various PACs, tort law firms and other special interests over the last election cycles. Are you going to show your opposition to special interests by returning the special interest PAC money that you have gotten? if not, why not?
Given your endorsement of Obama, your contributions to Annie's list and your attendence at a NARAL banquest, should we take that to indicate your agreement with Obama's extremist pro-abortion views? Was Obama right or wrong to oppose state-level protection of the born victims of botched abortions? How would you vote on such a bill?

Jerry Mikus:
You say you want to replace the school property tax with a state-level sales tax, but how will you ensure the state taxes won't get raised but local taxes not get cut? Also, the other two candidates both emphasized education as a top priority; do you agree and what are the top things the state can do to make learning and education better for children?

In the interest of full disclosure, I support Jerry Mikus for this office because he is right on most of the issues from my perspective (which if you read this blog you'll figure out is conservative and Republican), so you can consider the questions in light of that. However, I think they are all fair questions.

The Obama-Ayers-Annenberg Connection

Okay, so Obama was friends with a leftwing radical William Ayers who in his younger days bombed the Pentagon. Obama served with Ayers on a left-wing foundation that gave out grants to some rather suspect recipients. Obama brushes it off with a "he's not really close to me" even though Ayers funded one of Obama's first fundraisers. Asking Clarice Feldman to ask: If voters find out Obama was lying about his past, will it kill his chances in November?

The truth is that the two men worked closely together for years, beginning several months before that 1995 fundraiser. The fund Obama chaired and which was supposed to improve public education in Chicago never met its stated purpose of improving public school pupils’ performance and, in fact, probably hindered it, despite having blown through $110 million in the process. And as chairman of this group Obama funneled this money to politically useful types including Fidelistas and Maoists who like Ayers (now vice-president elect of the American Education Research Association) are working to make our public schools indoctrination centers for the left .
The University of Illinois on Friday after considerable criticism announced they will release the documents on the Annenberg Challenge on Tuesday. This issue will not go away.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bad-Choice Barack Picks Sub-Average Joe

The O team has decided on Joe Biden (D - Beltway Establishment) to give us the OBAMA BIN BIDEN ticket. This is a great pick ... for the Republicans. Here's why the thin man has blown his first decision:

1. Like when Obama picked Eric Holder and Jim Johnson to do vetting itself, it's another DC insider appointment. "So much for hope and change." There IS no real change with Obama, it's just big, meaningless, campaign hype to present the same old liberal policies of Mondale, Dukakis and Kerry in a shiny new package. Even AP says: "The candidate of change went with the status quo."

2. Biden is a gaffe machine who has already made the case for McCain over Obama in previous comments.

Biden, on a post-debate appearance on MSNBC, October 30, 2007: “The only guy on the other side who’s qualified is John McCain.”

Biden appearing on The Daily Show, August 2, 2005: “John McCain is a personal friend, a great friend, and I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off, be well off no matter who...”

Biden spent most of 2007 running on 'experience' and reminding people of its importance in the White House. Biden in an interview with the Huffington Post, he assessed Obama and Clinton: “The more people learn about them (Obama and Hillary) and how they handle the pressure, the more their support will evaporate.”

Biden said in a campaign ad, “When this campaign is over, political slogans like ‘experience’ and ‘change’ will mean absolutely nothing. The next president has to act.” When Obama gave a speech saying he’d send troops into Pakistan, Biden told NPR that “It’s a well-intentioned notion he has, but it’s a very na├»ve way of thinking how you’re going to conduct foreign policy. ... Having talking points on foreign policy doesn’t get you there."

He also released an ad that said: ”The White House isn't a place to learn how to deal with international crisis, the balance of power ... the economic future of the next generation,' the narrator of Biden's 1988 ad for the Democratic nomination said. "The president has got to know the territory.” (Source: Politico.)

Then there is this, which sums up the clear put-down of inexperienced Obama that the McCain campaign is using already in ads - Video here:
“You were asked, “Is he ready?” You said, ‘I think he can be ready but right now, I don’t believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.’”
Mr. Biden: “I think that I stand by the statement.”

3. Forget the 'Biden is a centrist' talk. Biden was for Iraq war, but is otherwise quite liberal. His lifetime ACU rating is 14%. The most liberal U.S. Senator picked the third most liberal Senator as a running mate. The kind of guy who says: "I WOULD LET THE TAX CUTS FOR ALL OF THE MIDDLE CLASS LAPSE". We still have the most liberal ticket ever, that outdoes Kerry and Mondale tickets in being way to the left. Ticket is more liberal than Chomsky/Ward Churchill: "In the coming days, you will hear every single moron in the national Barrystream Media talk about Biden's moderate stances on things. That is quite frankly, yet another lie from our media. Biden is almost as far to the left as Barry Obama."

4. Sub-average Joe had trouble in College and wiki tried to cover it up when he got picked! This is the watered-down version:

"at Syracuse Law School, Biden had plagiarized a law review article in a class paper he wrote ... Biden drew "chunks of heavy legal prose directly from" the article in question. ... Biden was permitted to retake the course after receiving a grade of F, which was subsequently dropped from his record. ... Biden had claimed falsely to have graduated in the "top half" of his class, (when he actually graduated 76th in a class of 85). that he had attended on a full scholarship, and had received three degrees.[29] In fact he had received two majors, History and Political Science, and a single B.A., as well as a half scholarship based on financial need."

The non-watered-down version mentions his actual undergrad grades at U. of Delaware (on Newsbusters link). Ouch! F in ROTC, C and D's except for an A in physical education.At the University of Delaware, Biden was 506th out of 688 classmates. Sub-average Joe did his share of partying.

5. Biden voted for the Iraq war and has at times expressed support for it in ways that steps on the "Bush is a warmongering fool" meme. "I still believe that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction and that the war in Iraq was justified." - Joe Biden, 2003 on the Iraq War

6. With a white-haired dude VP pick who is old enough to collect social security checks, the issue of McCain’s age is now off the table.

7. Biden's gaffes are legion:
- Barry and I have been tested for AIDS
- Biden's infamous 'clean' comment on Obama: “the first mainstream African American [candidate] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
- Biden gets out of hand dissing DeLay: “The next Republican that tells me I’m not religious, I’m gonna shove my rosary beads down their throat!”
- Biden on President Bush: “This guy is brain dead. I know I’ll be quoted, I’ll be killed for that.” July 2007 (Source: FR.)
- Some of Biden's comments have bordered on the insensitive to racist (not just the above one). One infamous one is this: "In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian Americans - moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking." - Joe Biden, speaking to Indian-Americans.

Biden's skeletons
Biden known for slips of the tongue
Biden experience ads

Cross-posted at No-bama blog

Obama & Biden Preach Hypocrisy

Springfield, Illinois--2:30 pm, CST

Behind a throng of supporters cheering, "Yes We Can!", Barack Obama and Joe Biden preach a message of "No we Won't!" Here is a brief list of things that Obama and Biden will refuse to address during their administration:

*The United States has a dependence on foreign oil. Nearly 70% of all of America's oil comes from overseas. The Obama Administration will do nothing to increase the domestic supply of American oil, which will continue to drive up oil prices. "No they Won't" decrease America's dependence on foreign oil.

*The United States has a tax code that punishes hard work, entreprenuership, and companies that create real jobs. Biden said that the Obama Administration will remove tax credits and breaks on these businesses because it is not fair. Read my lips, taxes will increase on all Americans during the Obama Administration. "No they Won't" decrease taxes on the working class. They must increase taxes on working Americans so they can give more handouts to the un-working class of Americans that create the base of voters for the Democratic Party.

*Obama praises the government of Communist China. Does that mean that Obama's Administration will pursue a plan to enslave 75% of our citizens to bureaucratic control so that the 25% of the elite in the ruling class can make decisions? "No they Don't" believe in individual liberties and freedom for all Americans.

*The Social Security pyramid scheme is insolvent. Instead of scrapping the scheme and privatizing it and therefore making it solvent and profitable for the investors, Obama and Biden want to prop up a failing system to protect the bureaucrats and their voter base. "No they Won't" address making Social Security solvent.

*The cost of health care is rising faster than our citizens' paychecks. Instead of allowing for Health Savings Accounts (HSA's) to allow individuals to shop around for the best price and pay cash, Obama and Biden want to increase our taxes and take away our ability to choose the best health care options for our famiilies without mandates from bureaucrats in Washington. "No they Won't" give us choices in health care, choices which will lower prices for all health care services. The universal health care plan will actually raise prices and create more gridlock to take away our high quality of life in the United States.

We cannot afford to have these hypocrites win in November and enact their plans for Americans. The poor results of the plans of the Obama Adminstration will ring out louder than the crowd of liberal elites that are angry with the Bush Adminstration. Americans cannot afford the results of the Obama Administration. "No they Won't" listen to the American people!

Thanks Union Bosses

Sarah Barracuda, Miss Congeniality, Fire and Nice Gov. Palin for Veep

Now that Senator and "Borker-in-Chief" Joe Biden has been announced as Obama's Veep pick my advice to Senator McCain is to add a proven winner to his ticket, someone who can balance out the negatives that he has with the base of the Party, someone who will inject charisma into his otherwise dead pan political delivery.

That someone, I contend, is the most popular governor in the country, Alaska's Sarah Heath Palin. She will put an attractive, knowledgeable and strategic face on the "drill here, drill now, and pay less" imperative that the majority of Americans are demanding, and she is poised to duke it out with the AFI-CIO and Biden.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Stop Domain Subsidies

Leaders of Stop Domain Subsidies have urged the City to drop this $64 million, 20 year tax subsidy for the Domain, ever since it was rushed through Council in 2003. No checks have been written and they're scheduled to start this October -- in the midst of a budget crunch. The libraries may be slated for a cutback to save the city approximately $400,000. Meanwhile, the October Domain subsidy check will be $1.5 million covering only 8 months.

Back in 2003, the Council gave the public a little over 1 week's notice, before they signed a complex tax incentive package that only a developer would understand. A local small developer, Brian Rodgers, read about it in the newspaper (just after the fact), and pulled the contract. His analysis revealed that the original developer, Endeavor, made 7 misrepresentations to the Council. When Rodgers shared his analysis of the deal with those Council members who would listen, he was told "a deal is a deal". So, in 2005, Rodgers went in to court and won an out-of-court settlement that rendered the deal completely voluntary.

Please visit the Stop Domain Subsidies website for additional information about the court case.

I believe that the Council has been on the wrong track for some time now. They've forgotten who signs their paychecks --Austin voters and small businesses, who bear much of the brunt of the tax burden. If you've had enough of these shenanigans, won't you join me in supporting the passage of the SDS Proposition this November?
Here's the trailer of a documentary that will soon be released, with some interviews with owners of some of Austin's signature local businesses who are part of this effort:

I urge everybody in Austin to vote for Prop 2 on the November ballot to stop the tax subsidies to the Domain.

Chet Edwards Voting Record

Congressman Chet Edwards has been known in Texas as one of the most liberal Congressmen in the state. Chet Edwards entered the Texas Senate in 1983 and since then, conservatives had him pegged as somebody who is out of touch with his own district.

Congressman Edwards is not only the King of Earmarks but he is the only Southern Baptist from Texas in the US Congress to receive a perfect score from the NARAL Pro-Choice America for supporting abortion in every way, shape and form.

Young Conservatives of Texas has consistently rated the Texas Legislature since 1975. Their scorecards for the Texas Senate in the 1980's turn up these scores (0% is liberal, 100% is conservative) for Chet Edwards:

  • 1983: 31%
  • 1985: 55%
  • 1987: 35%
  • 1989: 18%

UPDATE 11/16/08:
I found this very telling quote from Left of College Station blog, that 'says it all' about Chet Edwards' real record:
There has also been a selective discussion on Congressman Edward’s record and issue ratings. Edwards has voted with the Democratic Party 95.8% of the time in the House, which is three points above the average Congress Democrat. Edwards is Pro-Choice in a very Pro-Life district (the Coalition for Life is based in College Station), and has received a perfect rating from NARAL in 2007, 2004, and 2003. The positions that Edwards has taken on social and civil rights issues have been mixed, but recently he received ratings of 67%, 87%, and 96% from the ACLU, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and the NAACP respectfully. Edwards has also received a perfect rating from the Americans for the Arts Action Fund from 2000-2003, and he also received a perfect rating from the National Education Association from 2005-2007.

Palin for VP?

Texas State Prof Suggests Other McCain Veeps Pale In Camparison

OMG WDYTO joe b?

With all the mainstream media a-twittering about Barack Obama's vice president choice, to be delivered via the trendy text messaging method, now might also be a good time for serious people to think about McCain Veep possibilities.

Texas State Political Science professor Will Ruger recently penned a recommendation for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Money quotes:

"First, the attractive young governor, ... would provide much-needed energy and youth to a ticket whose main candidate is frequently on the receiving end of "he's so old" jokes. "

"Palin would give Hillary-voters frustrated by their candidate's loss and still unsure about Obama a reason to shift over to McCain. And there is no doubt this former Miss Alaska pageant contestant would give red-blooded men in purple states like Ohio a reason to watch the vice-presidential debates. "
Young and attractive, Palin as VP could help dampen the chic aura built up around Obama by his handlers. Furthermore, a female VP pick coupled with the maverick McCain may be enough to peel off disaffected, moderate female Democrat voters in key swing states.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

School Bond Issues and Investment in Public Schools

Round Rock ISD is proposing two bond issues in November "for for capital improvement projects totaling $293.9 million." (The bond issues will bump up the 0.31 tax rate debt load to 0.34, on top of 1.04 load for current operations.) They are not alone. Across Texas there's a lot of school-building going on, and it once again begs a question of whether these expenditures are prudent or not.

I've seen schools that are built that are beautiful schools, similar to those reported in Ennis schools: The “wow factor” was the phrase Dr. Mack Boyd used. Some of those taking tours simply settled on “Oh my gosh!” and “This is nice.”

RRISD certainly is expanding, but are we paying a lot for schools that are focussed on being high-priced beautiful architected masterpieces rather than focus on what's needed for learning? The multiple gyms in the RRISD elementary school hasn't hurt my kids but neither has it made them athletes. Whether we need a $30 million elementary school begs a question of whether the schools are teaching the children as they should. This Empower Texans video has a perspective on that wider question:

Texas Senate Race gives GOP a Black Eye

I can imagine David Letterman having this on a Top Ten List. "Top Ten Signs that Your Campaign is in Trouble." Let's look at the State Senate District 10 race between Kim Brimer, the incumbent Republican, and Wendy Davis, the challenging Democrat.

In this race, Senator Brimer sued Wendy Davis to get her off of the ballot. The lawsuit failed and Davis remained on the ballot.

After the lawsuit failed, Senator Brimer filed a writ of mandumus with the Texas Supreme Court, challenging the eligibility of Wendy Davis to run for Senate. This court action also failed.

Senator Brimer is in trouble in this race and is threatened by his opponent. Instead of debating Davis on the issues and taking the Republican Party Platform to the campaign trail, Senator Brimer has filed lawsuits challenging his opponent's eligibility. While there are concerns with Davis's eligibility due to the timing of her resignation from the Fort Worth City Council, the fact remains that Senator Brimer is not working the campaign trail.


The Obamedia, By the Numbers

How the Media Made Obama the nominee. Answer: with stunning amounts of bias in their news reports. (Who'd a thunk!)

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

MSM Misses Easy Facts in Paddling Story

By now you've no doubt heard the breathless mainstream media cacophony about how minority children are spanked more in class than non-minority children. In a well-organized propaganda blitzkrieg, the eternal scolds at Human Rights Watch have manufactured yet another story from their "America is racist" template that has rippled through the credulous MSM, singling out Texas and Mississippi for their scorn:

"Researchers also interviewed students, parents and school personnel in Texas and Mississippi, states that account for 40 percent of the 223,190 kids who were paddled at least once in the 2006-2007 school year."
But there are some annoying little factoids missed by this fulminating coverage.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sanctuary City of Austin, Time for a Change

Statesman reports that two State Reps are asking for an AG opinion on what the state of Texas can do about sanctuary cities. Austin's non-enforcement of immigration law makes it a sanctuary city, as the article notes:

Current policy prohibits Austin police from stopping or detaining people solely to check their immigration status or checking the immigration status of victims or witnesses, but does require cooperation with immigration officials to help identify illegal immigrants who commit crimes.
What should our policy be? Sheriff Hamilton did the right thing at the Travis county jail to allow ICE to review the immigration status of prisoners in the jail. City policy should also review the immigration status of all those arrested by the police. It is also wrong to prohibit immigration status checks as a whole, although it may be reasonable to prohibit checking the status of victims and witnesses. If there is suspicious activity from illegal aliens, why not check their status and bring them in? Even though robbing banks is a Federal crime, it is absurd to insist that local law enforcement not detain bank-robbers on an FBI wanted list. It also does our city little good if we are jailing and releasing illegal aliens who commit petty crimes when we could deport them and thereby ensure they are committing crimes here again.

This is not about turning Austin police into ICE, but about enforcing laws that apply here on a uniform basis without unwarranted exceptions that incite lawbreaking. The City non-enforcement policy should be changed, and it will be a pity if Austin can't see the need for such change rather than getting it forced on us at the state level.

UPDATE: A reminder from San Fransisco of the price of sanctuary city policies - illegal aliens who committed violent crimes are released after doing time and go on to assault and kill others.

Is Hell Freezing Over?

Growing Texas Town Decreases the Property Tax Rate, But What Will Happen to Appraisals?

This week's Hill Country News featured an encouraging story on the City of Leander actually reducing it's property tax rate while increasing services.

"The budget could be increased by $1.36 million to nearly $17 million and more firefighters and police officers would be added, all while lowering the property tax rate to $0.602590 per $100 of property valuation, which is a half-cent decrease from the current amount of $0.607591."
Leander, a growing suburb north of Austin, has wisely chosen to use the growth strategy to raise revenue, instead of the wealth confiscation strategy.

"[City Finance Director Sharon] Johnson said increased fuel costs have been fixed into the budget as well as the projected incomes from Lowe's and Kohl's. "
It seems that having a low cost of living and reasonable tax rates versus the high taxing neighbor to the south, attracts businesses, which, in turn, generate revenue for the city. Of course, we'll have to keep on eye on what happens to property valuations this year, as local pols are notorious for decreasing tax rates and claiming they cut taxes, when they turn around and increase property valuations so that the net effect is a tax increase.

Unfortunately for Leander residents, the city is not the only taxing jurisdiction makin its budget these days.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Armed Teacher is a Respected Teacher

An Armed Teacher is a Respected Teacher. Just had to make that brief quip on the heels of an outbreak of common sense in Texas.

Mikus v Strama on Welfare for illegal aliens

Jerry Mikus is running for State Rep in district 50 in north Travis county. I am happy to support Jerry Mikus because he is running on a good conservative platform of Government transparency, protecting taxpayers, supporting picture voter ID, and is running against liberal Democrat Mark Strama, who got an F from Texans for Fiscal Repsonsibility and opposes voter ID. I just found another reason, which frankly surprised even me; I knew Strama was more liberal than he lets on, but Mikus sent a missive out recently that informed me that Strama voted for giving welfare to illegal immigrants. He was with only 30 other state Reps on that vote. Funny, Strama never mentioned that in his taxpayer-funded mailers to his district residents:

Legislative Background: During the debate on the Children's Health Insurance Plan in 2007 (HB 108, 80R), a floor amendment was brought forth that would ensure that illegal immigrants would not be given the ability to enroll in this welfare program. This amendment was adopted by a vote of 109-30-3. Record Vote 270, House Journal Page 1510 (80th Legislature), April 3, 2007

Jerry Mikus Position: I do not support non-U.S. citizens from receiving benefits paid for by U.S. taxpayers. I support all measures to ensure that non-US citizens do not receive taxpayer funded health care, insurance, and welfare.

Mark Strama Vote: Mark Strama voted to allow illegal immigrants to enroll in this welfare program.

Texas Sunset Commissions Stands Firm Against TRCC

The Texas Sunset Commission, a state commission comprised of 12 State Legislators which works to eliminate unneccesary government programs, issued a report today recommending the Texas Residentical Construction Commission (TRCC) be terminated during the 81st Legislative Session.

The TRCC was created in 2003 under Governor Perry's Administration. The TRCC was tabbed as a commission to regulate the new home market to give consumers confidence. The big problem with the TRCC is the home-builders set their own rules and regulations that they chose to abide by. This is akin to a player who cheats at poker being allowed to deal his own hand.

Some of the highlights of the Sunset Commission Report include:

  • "Current regulation of the residential construction industry is flawed and does more harm than good."

  • The Sunset Commission recommends the abolishment of the Texas Residential Construction Commission and repeal the Texas Residential Construction Commission Act.

  • Agency functions do not add value, distract from the Commission's main duties, and confuse many homeowners.

The report goes on for 75 pages, but you get the gist of the idea. Increasing government oversight, regulation, and supervision of industries results in bad policy, the potential for corrupt government officials, and negative impacts to the consumer.

The Sunset Commission is taking the right steps to recommend the abolishment of this state agency. It is time they look at many other agencies that are overstepping or not adhering to their missions and are working to only prop up their own bureacracies instead.

The State Legislature needs to take this recommendation to heart, in spite of Bob Perry's large campaign donations, and abolish the Texas Residential Construction Commission.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bolton's Earns "I'm a tax-and-spend Democrat" Award

I ran across this Statesman article in 2007 that piqued by interest: Legislative Study Group freshman award given to Valinda Bolton. Bolton is a liberal Democrat who got a F- rating (23%) from the Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, the most leftwing of a pretty leftwing Travis delegation. She's had an undistinguished record and few accomplishments as a State Representative. So why would she get an award?

So I tried to find out more about the LSG (Legislative Study Group). Rep. Garnet F. Coleman, Chairs the Legislative Study Group. The group consists of State Reps and it appears dominated by liberal Democrats (although some Republicans are on it), and Rep. Bolton just happens to be a board member of that group which gave her an award. LSG is a liberal caucus that lobbies for more Govt spending: "By arming members with accurate information LSG has proved to be a vital part of many legislative battles including protecting key teacher's rights to benefits, protecting and strengthening our public schools by helping to defeat the sending of tax dollars to private schools, and leading the effort to stop the crippling cuts to the CHIP program."

Valinda Bolton, D-Austin, just received the Legislative Study Group’s freshman of the year award for her work for Texas families.
So Bolton got an award from this liberal LSG group where she is on the board, for her work on the LSG favored agenda - opposing school choice, advocating higher welfare spending, and advancing the teachers' unions agenda. In other words, she got an "I'm a tax-and-spend Democrat" award.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Key Legislative Issue: Voter ID

I have talked a couple of times on what places require photo identification to conduct business. The voting booth not one of those places that requires photo identification to conduct the business of elections.

There is an online petition that is going around which asks the Texas Legislature to pass a law requiring voters to show proper photo identification to vote. This petition can be found at

Under current law, voters are only required to present a voter registration certificate to a poll worker to vote in a regular election. While this practice attempts to ensure that only registered voters receive a ballot on Election Day, it leaves a potential loophole for fraud, as individuals are not required to show identification to register to vote. As a result, it is possible for an unscrupulous individual to submit several falsified voter registration applications and to receive the voter registration certificates for those applications.

The Texas Legislature must make it a priority to protect the integrity of our election process by enacting legislation that requires voters to provide valid photo identification in order to cast a ballot in any and all elections conducted in the State of Texas.

With your help we can pass a Voter ID Law in Texas!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Prevent spreading of viruses

How to send and forward "clean" email..
I personally always selectively copy-past my e-mails excluding all previous addresses unless I especially think that the reader may want to confirm the veracity of the email using that address/es.
How to send and forward "clean" email.

A friend who is a computer expert received the following directly from a system administrator for a corporate system. It is an excellent message that ABSOLUTELY applies to ALL of us who send e-mails. Please read the short letter below, even if you're sure you already follow proper procedures.

Do you really know how to forward e-mails? 50% of us do; 50% DO NOT. Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail? Do you hate it? Every time you forward an e-mail there is information left over from the people who got the message before you, namely their e-mail addresses & names. As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds, and builds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus, and his or her computer can send that virus to every E-mail address that has come across his computer. Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them or send junk mail to them in the hopes that you will go to the site and he will make five cents for each hit. That's right, all of that inconvenience over a nickel! How do you stop it?

Well, there are several easy steps:

(1) When you forward an e-mail, DELETE all of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message (at the top). That's right, DELETE them. Highlight them and delete them, backspace them, cut them, whatever it is you know how to do. It only takes a second. However, you MUST click the 'Forward' button first and then you will have full editing capabilities against the body and headers of the message. If you don't click on 'Forward' first, you won't be able to edit the message at all.

(2) Whenever you send an e-mail to more than one person, do NOT use the To: or CC: fields for adding e-mail addresses. Always use the BCC:(blind carbon copy) field for listing the e-mail addresses. This is the way the people you send to will only see their own e-mail address. If you don't see your BCC: click on where it says To: 'BBC' will be at the end of that line. Click on it and it will bring up a 'Bcc' address line - left click Bcc and your address list will appear. Holding down the control key, highlight the addresses you wan to send to. They will load in the Bcc window. When you send to BCC each person will get your email WITHOUT ANY other addresses:
ALSO - in the 'letter' itself:
(3) Remove any 'FW :' in the subject line. You can re-name the subject if you wish or even fix spelling.

(4) ALWAYS hit your Forward button from the actual e-mail (page) you are reading. Ever get those e-mails that you have to open 10 pages to read the one page with the information on it? By Forwarding from the actual page you wish someone to view, you stop them from having to open many e-mails just to see what you sent.

(5) Have you ever gotten an email that is a petition? It states a position and asks you to add your name and address and to forward it to 10 or 15 people or your entire address book. The email can be forwarded on and on and can collect thousands of names and email addresses.

A FACT: The completed petition is actually worth a couple of bucks to a professional spammer because of the wealth of valid names and email addresses contained therein. If you want to support the petition, send it as your own personal letter to the intended recipient. Your position may carry more weight as a personal letter than a laundry list of names and email address on a petition. (Actually, if you think about it, who's supposed to send the petition in to whatever cause it supports? And don't believe the ones that say that the email is being traced, it just ain't so!)

One of the main ones I hate is the ones that say something like, 'Send this email to 10 people and you'll see something great run across your screen.' Or sometimes they'll just tease you by saying 'something really cute will happen.' IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!! (Trust me, I'm still seeing some of the same ones that I waited on 10 years ago!)
I don't let the bad luck ones scare me either, they get trashed. (Could be why I haven't won the lottery)

Before you forward an 'Amber Alert', or a 'Virus Alert', or some of the other ones floating around nowadays, check them out before you forward them. Most of them are junk mail that's been circling the net for YEARS! Just about everything you receive in an email that is in question can be checked out at Snopes. Just go to . It's really easy to find out if it's real or not. If it's not, please don't pass it on.

So please, in the future, let's stop the junk mail and the viruses.

Finally, here's an idea! Let's send this to everyone we know (but please delete my address). This is something that SHOULD be forwarded.

The Real Windfall Profit

Windfall is defined by as

money received which was not expected and not a direct result of something the recipient did.

We have all heard the rhetoric from the liberals about the windfall profits that the oil companies are making right now that should be taxed.

Based on the definition of "windfall," the real culprit of high gas prices is the government. The oil companies, on average, make about 9 cents of profit per gallon of gasoline sold in the United States. This 9 cents is re-invested into the company to produce better products, explore alternative energy sources, and produce divedends for the shareholders. This after the corporation pays their workers, pumps the oil from the ground, refines the oil into gasoline, and ships it around the country to consumers. This profit is well earned.

How is this profit and job creation rewarded? The oil companies are taxed heavily to subsidize failing alternative energy supplies. If the subsidies from the government ended, the alternative energy sources would end, too. The oil companies paid more in taxes in the last fiscal year than they made in profits. But, that is not even the full story.

The government also makes 43 cents profit off of every gallon of gasoline sold in Texas. Not only is the oil company punished for producing their product, but consumers are also taxed for purchasing the product. The government, which does not produce any energy or oil, makes 4.5 times more profit off of a gallon of gasoline (not counting corporate income taxes) than the oil companies.

This stat is astounding! The liberals, who claim that the meager 9 cents of profit that oil companies make a sale of $3.80, is not fairly earned by the corporation that does all the work to get the product to the market. At the same time, the 43 cents of profit that the government makes on every $3.80 is not scrutinized at all by the taxpayers.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wind factoids

“In July 2006, wind turbines in CA produced power at only about 10% of their capacity; in Texas, one of the most promising states for wind energy, the windmills produced electricity at about 17% of their rated capacity” Source: “Gusher of Lies” by Robert Bryce

“One notorious example is a wind farm in Altamont Pass, CA. In their 27 year lifetime, these wind turbines have dealt a grizzly end to upward of 130,000 birds. And these aren’t just plain everyday birds. For example between 75 and 116 golden eagles are sliced to death each year.”

“Two of the biggest wind farms in Europe have 159 turbines and cover thousands of acres between the, but together take a year to produce less than four days output from a single conventional power station.”

- Source: Forbes, June 16, 2008, H. Sterling Burnett, analyst at NCPA

Texas passed California and is now number one state in the nation in installed wind power capacity. Source: Jerry Patterson, Land Commissioner. Texas Wind Power. Patterson has leased offshore facilities for Offshore wind farms.

If you want to know why T. Boone Pickens in Amarillo is excited about wind power, look here:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Up in Smoke - Austin's BioFuel Boondoggle

Austin City Council is considering funding a biofuels power plant that will burn up wood chips and wood byproducts from the East Texas lumber industry. There is sticker shock:

The city-run utility is on the verge of going forward with a $2.3 billion, 20-year contract for the power that includes paying for the construction of the plant, which will be fueled by wood waste. ... Austin Energy would buy power from Nacogdoches Power at a rate high enough to pay for construction, operation and maintenance of the facility but would not participate directly in the business. ... The contract would also be a hedge on traditional fuel prices, officials said: They say the price of biomass fuel, once transportation to the plant is factored in, is comparable to that of natural gas.
That is a large amount of money for a 100 MW plant. Is this $23,000 / KWh cost for the plant, or does it include the fuel costs? Based on the comments that this sticker price is like a 20-year lease, it seems the latter. Austin Energy estimates are that it could cut or add to costs - they provide no estimates past 2012. But the numbers are still a high price. The economics don't add up for this plant, at least not without the prospect of further carbon-bashing legislation or Government subsidies, as hinted at in the article:
Future grants or legislation that promote the use of renewable fuels could make the contract even more compelling financially, he [Smith of Public Citizen] said.
Some of the environmentalists are starting to notice that biofuels means burning, is not any cleaner than a natural gas plant and has other impacts. And then there is this:
In a letter to Mayor Will Wynn, the Texas Forest Industries Council, which represents Temple-Inland and other paper and wood product companies, said there is not enough wood waste in East Texas to fuel the plant.

And increased demand for that waste would increase prices and possibly harm the environment, the letter said.
So a plant that is more expensive than natural gas, has environmental issues as severe, and relies on a fuel source that is severely limited is a 'great idea'? It's a great idea like expensive purchases of solar and wind are 'great ideas', shakedowns to raise our cost of energy. Meanwhile 95% of our actual energy (over 2.5GW) comes from nuclear and coal.

Who are the sawdust-for-brains proponents of this biofuels idea? Mayor Wynn and Lee Leffingwell. The same council that turned down expansion of nuclear power recently. Nuclear power is safe, economical, clean and reliable, and is CO2 emissions free. Because nuclear power is so practical, the Austin city council just had to turn it down. Austin Energy supplements the city general fund to the tune of $100M a year. All the city council can do is find ways to squander the surplus and raises costs for taxpayers and ratepayers alike. It's a real pity we do't simply tell Austin Energy - find lowest cost sources of energy and sign contracts to obtain them. It's not the City of Austin council's place to put onerous burdens on ratepayers as the cost of living in Austin.

As a comment on the Statesman online board puts it:
This really feels like one of those things about which Austinians will be writing in 2012, decrying the exorbitant cost and short-sightedness of our political leaders. But what the heck, as long as our intentions are good, this should be OK! Right?
Indeed. I have feeling a lot of money will go up in smoke in this effort to make Austin 'greener'. Boondoggle is just another word for "The Cost of Good Intentions".