This category contains 328 posts

Cheering free speech Supreme Court decision, Christian doctors warn of government enforcement of ideology : Resources : Christian Medical & Dental Associations

The 15,000-member Christian Medical Association, which along with other faith-based organizations had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a U.S. Supreme Court case examining free speech and assembly rights, lauded the decision announced today in the case, McCullen v. Coakley.

“The Court simply reaffirmed that the First Amendment’s protection of peaceful speech and assembly is a cornerstone of this nation,” explained CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens. “Hopefully such decisions will begin to address the alarming growth of coercive assaults on the free speech of anyone deemed not politically correct by the government.”

The brief, submitted by the Christian Legal Society, sought to counter a Massachusetts law that had attempted to ban peaceful pro-life speech on public sidewalks, by prohibiting many citizens from entering a public street or sidewalk within 35 feet of an abortion facility.

“The fact that the government was bent on not only banning peaceful speech and assembly, but also penalizing its citizens with fines and jail, demonstrates the type of coercion that can happen when governments decide to enforce their own ideology,” stated Dr. Stevens.

via Cheering free speech Supreme Court decision, Christian doctors warn of government enforcement of ideology : Resources : Christian Medical & Dental Associations.

“Buffer zone” Unconstitutional #Stand4Life #Prolife rules

This should have been obvious, but now it’s the ruling of the Court. Good news

Developing: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a Massachusetts law banning abortion-clinic protests within a 35-foot buffer zone violates the First Amendment rights of protesters, SCOTUSblog reports.

The court was unanimous in its judgment. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the opinion (PDF) for the court.

An earlier Massachusetts law had established a six-foot “no approach” zone around abortion clinics that barred leaflets, signs and counseling of persons within the zone absent their consent. It was replaced in 2007 with the new law generally barring people from public sidewalks and public ways within 35 feet of abortion clinics. (People entering the clinics, employees, police and people who happened to be walking by were exempted.)

SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein has this analysis: “The upshot of today’s ruling is that an abortion clinic buffer zone is presumptively unconstitutional. Instead, a state has to more narrowly target clinic obstructions. For example, the police can tell protesters to move aside to let a woman through to the clinic. But it cannot prohibit protesters from being on the sidewalks in the first instance. If in practice protesters still are obstructing the entrance, then it can consider a broader restriction.”

via 35-foot buffer zone for abortion-clinic protests violates First Amendment, SCOTUS rules.


From the majority opinion:

But petitioners do not claim a right to trespass on the clinics’ property. They instead claim a right to stand on the public sidewalks by the driveway as cars turn into the parking lot. Before the buffer zones, they could do so. Now they must stand a substantial distance away. The Act alone is responsible for that restriction on their ability to convey their message.


Updated to add the quote. BBN 6/26/2014 10:45 AM

All nine justices reject recess appointments in Noel Canning case – The Washington Post

UPDATE: A few quick observations. First, the central holding of the opinion for the Court is that the Senate gets to determine when the Senate is in recess, provided the recess is of sufficient length. This is significant in that it gives Congress the ability to prevent recess appointments.

Second, none of the justices were willing to accept the position of the Obama Administration, which was unnecessarily extreme. In choosing the make the recess appointments in the way it did, such as by not following precedents set by prior administrations (including Teddy Roosevelt) and filling some Board spots that the Senate never had time to fill, the Administration adopted a stance that was very hard to defend, so it could not attract a single vote.

via All nine justices reject recess appointments in Noel Canning case – The Washington Post.

Texas Ethics Commission Law & Regulation on Lobbying

You’ve probably seen the emails, Twitter posts and Facebook comments about the Texas Ethics Commission charges against Michael Quinn Sullivan (@MQSullivan) of Empower Texans (ET)/ Texans for Fiscal Responsibility for failure to register as a lobbyist.


According to my own personal scorecard, Mr. Sullivan and I agree about 95% of the time. I’ve heard him speak at Republican Women meetings and have followed his website and social media posts. (He and I disagreed on the 2013 scorecard.) He claims he’s a journalist and is protecting the rest of us from being silenced. However, Mr. Sullivan earns about $130,000 a year, and he solicits donations to help him influence Texas legislators.  In fact, Mr. Sullivan has registered as a lobbyist in the past. When did he stop being a lobbyist, and how did he determine that he was no longer a lobbyist?

The Texas Ethics Commission has made mistakes in the handling of this complaint, including closed door meetings, gag orders (or the equivalent), and there have been delays and down-right stalling when it comes to allowing MQS to confront the two legislators who filed the complaint against him. I’ve long objected to the need for filling out that paperwork, including my occupation and employer, when I buy a pin or meal at a New Braunfels Republican Women meeting.


Today, Mr. Sullivan had his hearing at the Texas Ethics Commission. It was live-streamed on the Internet (here). Mr. Sullivan refused to testify, repeating “On the advice of counsel, I’m not testifying today.” For hours.  In my opinion, that’s not brave and definitely not helpful.


In the long run, this is a question about the law. The State of Texas has published its rules and regulations. Even though I’m not a lawyer, the law and regulations seem clear to me. You can read them here.



Lobby registration is required if a person meets either one of two thresholds: the “compensation and reimbursement threshold” or the “expenditure threshold.” A “person” required to register may be a corporation, partnership, association, or other type of business entity as well as an individual. See Entity Registration.


Under current Ethics Commission rules, a person who receives, or is entitled to receive under an agreement under which the person is retained or employed, more than $1,000 in a calendar quarter as compensation or reimbursement to lobby must register as a lobbyist. 1 T.A.C. § 34.43. (Compensation and reimbursement must be added together to determine whether registration is required. Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 103 (1992).) Compensation for certain communications, however, does not count toward the compensation threshold even though the communications may be intended to influence legislation or administrative action. SeeEXCEPTIONS FROM REQUIRED REGISTRATION, in this guide. Also, a person who crosses the compensation threshold is not required to register if lobby activity constitutes no more than five percent of the person’s compensated time during a calendar quarter. See EXCEPTIONS FROM REQUIRED REGISTRATION, Incidental Lobbying.

Compensation to Prepare for Lobbying. Compensation received for preparing lobby communications (for example, compensation attributable to strategy sessions, review and analysis of legislation or administrative matters, research, or communication with a client concerning lobbying strategy) is counted toward the compensation threshold. 1 T.A. C. § 34.3. If a person engages in preparatory activities, but does not actually communicate to influence legislation or administrative action, registration is not required. Id. A person employed by a lobbyist (or a person employed by the lobbyist’s employer who works under the lobbyist’s direction) to assist the lobbyist in nonclerical lobby activities must be listed as an assistant on the lobbyist’s registration. See Reporting Assistants.

You can look up the lists of lobbyists at the website, too.

The accusation that I object to is the claim that the TEC will come after the rest of us next. Not unless we are compensated (paid) for our lobbying and it’s a condition of our employment. Today, one of my friends on Facebook made the claim that the pro-life group, Texas Right to Life, is next. However, at least one of the lobbyists for TRTL registers during odd-numbered years.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I’m on the Board of Directors of Texas Alliance for Life. At least two of our employees are registered.)

Edit:  Mr. Sullivan was registered in 2009. BBN, 6/26/14 7:55 AM.

Choice vs. Prayer (obscene gesture) #Stand4Life

Today is the one year anniversary of mob and chaos that Leticia Van de Putte and Wendy Davis initiated and encouraged when the Texas Senate began to vote on a law to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks and require doctors who perform abortion to have privileges at a nearby hospital and to use the FDA guidelines that they agree to use before becoming eligible to This was the response of one woman to prayer and a crucifix last year at the Texas Legislature.

The women were following the leader of a man who shouted, “Whose choice?” by chanting “My choice.”It strikes me as odd that every time I witnessed one of these chanting/response sessions, a man was leading the women. That’s not the version of feminism I expected.


This picture came from a video that I took on July 2, during House testimony on HB5, which later became law prohibiting abortion after 5 months and protecting women who chose to undergo abortion.

Cropped Choice vs prayer2

New Braunfels Republican Women mentioned on Alex Jones’ Infowars

NBRW logoWe’ve made it to the big time, Ladies!  via » Web Filtering Company Launches Purge of Libertarian, Conservative Media Alex Jones’ Infowars:

Other sites besides have also been miscategorized by Blue Coat.

In the past, the company also labeled New Braunfels Republican Women, the web site of conservative commentator Carolyn Gargaro and Reunion Ministries as “pornography.”


To be fair, at one time there was a pornography site using the initials as NBRW.  You can see our website at and our Facebook page is here.

Open Letter to Legislators on “A minor border crisis”

I’ve sent a copy of this letter to all my State legislators (slightly edited for each):

What can we do to help moderate what appears to be the makings of an international crisis due to the numbers of families and vulnerable, unaccompanied children entering our country?

Please see this post about the issue at, “A minor border crisis.” I am concerned that the unaccompanied minor children in these stories are being used in a political ploy designed to beat away at the resistance to “immigration reform.” Whether that is true or not, they are suffering physical and sexual abuse and abandoned due to the inadequate system in place at this time.

As to the “practical action” that I mention in the blog post, perhaps we could utilize the systems for handling refugees that the State of Texas built after Katrina.

Our goal should be to return these children and families with minor children to their homes in their own country immediately after they are caught and funding for the effort should come from the Federal government. Since I’m not sure we can count on this Administration to agree, Texas must take the lead.

I’m offering to work as a volunteer anywhere I can be of assistance, whether as a doctor and/or doing the “scut work” in coordination of the effort.


Medicaid backlog creates payment hassles for physicians | Medical Economics

And the docs will pay if the patient doesn’t qualify . . .


Though 6 million new patients have enrolled for Medicaid coverage due to expansion of the program, media reports say that nearly half of those enrollment applications have yet to be processed.

Because of the bureaucratic backlog, physicians might get stuck waiting even longer on Medicaid reimbursements for patients who have yet to receive authorization. In addition, practices may incur costs from patients who signed up for but were denied Medicaid coverage.

via Medicaid backlog creates payment hassles for physicians | Medical Economics.

What Cantor’s Defeat Means « Commentary Magazine

Perhaps that #RPT Immigration plank wasn’t a fluke, after all. This is much bigger than the Tea Party, alone. Or the Tea Party is bigger than anyone thought!


Eric Cantor wasn’t supposed to lose. His own pollster had him up by, get this, 34 points the other week. He’d raised nearly $5 million, and in the past two weeks spent $1 million against his rival’s $79,000. Not enough.


So is this a case of the Republican Right eating one of its own to prove a point? Perhaps. Or it could just be he was hit by a perfect storm of anti-Washington sentiment and his own advocacy for an immigration bill that made him a whipping boy for ratings-hungry radio chatters. He lost touch with the voters in his own district and was done in.

via What Cantor’s Defeat Means « Commentary Magazine.

About Those RPT Convention Votes and Immigration

Raise your hand if you were one of the delegates to the Republican Party of Texas Convention who voted for the plank but didn’t have a clue what you were voting for. I didn’t think any of you did. I certainly knew what I was voting for.

In case you were incompetent or driven by ugly emotions when you voted on the Platform – and for those who weren’t there but are hearing from the media and even some Republicans: Here’s the Immigration Plank we voted into the Platform: and here’s my review of the controversy on the floor of the Convention:

The press has been running an increasing number of articles about the crisis in our State resulting in the arrest of over a 1000 people a day in the Rio Grande Valley alone – 148,000 in 7 months, compared with 60,000 caught in Arizona. Over 47,000 of the Rio Grande detainees were minor boys and girls, some as young as 8 years old, since last October. 75% are from El Salvador, Guatemala, and the Honduras, countries other than Mexico.

I don’t fully support only two of the many points in the new plank. For one thing, I’m not convinced about ending in-state tuition for young kids who are brought here before 15 years old who go on to graduate from our high schools. Although I do worry that we are drawing those minors numbered above. In addition, I’m concerned about new Federal data banks and the usefulness of E-verify.

However, I agree with the bulk of the Plank, especially the call for a secure border. I agree with the suggested cooperation between law enforcement branches and relieving ranchers from the fear that they and landowners will face crippling civil suits if a trespasser is harmed on their land while in the country illegally.

I’ve seen some confusion about this line: “Contiguous physical barrier coupled with electronic, infrared and visual monitoring.” That’s support for a fence that’s actually on the border where the two countries meet, rather than miles in. It’s not a call for a continuous fence all along the border, but one where it’s needed and supplemented by actual people and technology where they are needed.

My main sticking point was the Committee report’s appearance of asking for a “provisional visa program,” that apparently started with “the participant’s” application from within the country by people here illegally. That’s why I decided that the plank is a good compromise for our Party. I strongly approve of the statement that “Any form of Amnesty should not be granted, including the granting of legal status to persons in the country illegally”

Edit: cleaned up grammar and typos, 6:22 AM 6/10/14 – BBN

Immigration Plank of Republican Party of Texas Platform 2014

Amendment to Preliminary 2014 Platform of the Republican Party of Texas Submitted by Peter Batura, SD 17

America is proudly a nation of immigrants. Throughout our history, our nation has attracted productive, industrious and gifted people to America because she is exceptional, and those immigrants and their descendants helped make America the world’s unrivaled economic and military superpower. It remains imperative to create fair and consistent procedures that will again enable freedom-loving, hard-working and law-abiding immigrants to join us, by providing them an efficient, practical method of legal entry, so they can lawfully take positions where their labor is needed, without exploitation or harassment.

Our national interests are poorly served by our broken, embattled, and outdated immigration system, and patchwork attempts to mend its deficiencies will not prepare us to continue to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex global economy that demands the legal movement of people to fill jobs at all skill levels. An efficient, profamily and market-based system will provide a more workable solution that is compassionate, equitable and respects the rule of law.

But by failing to create a rational and effective system that encourages and facilitates legal immigration to the benefit of the nation, Congress has forced states to deal with the consequences of a broken immigration system, including human, sex and drug trafficking, the direct criminal activities of cartels and gangs. This situation must end so America can, once again, enjoy the fruits of a vibrant and beneficial system of legal immigration.

In addition, with 92 million Americans not working, the labor force at 36-year low and a lethargic economy, the United States of America can ill-afford a guest worker program designed to depress wages.

The following outlines specific actions needed to address these critical issues:

• Secure the borders through

o Increasing in the number of border security officers
o Increasing joint operations and training with local law enforcement, DPS and the Texas State Guard
o Contiguous physical barrier coupled with electronic, infrared and visual monitoring

• Ending In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants

• Enhancing state smuggling laws

• Prohibiting sanctuary cities

• Prohibiting the knowing employment of illegal immigrants

• Providing civil liability protections for landowners against illegal immigrants

• Protecting the ability of law enforcement officers to inquire of the status of someone in custody

• Modernizing Current Immigration Laws to address the following:

o Any form of Amnesty should not be granted, including the granting of legal status to persons in the country illegally
o We support replacement of the current employment visa system with an efficient cost effective system
o We support ending country of origin quotas
o We support ending the annual green card lottery

• Once the borders are verifiably secure, and E-Verify system use is fully enforced, creation of a visa classification for non-specialty industries which have demonstrated actual and persistent labor shortages.

On the Immigration Plank of the Republican Party of Texas

I am proud of the heritage of our Republican Party of Texas as welcoming citizens of all backgrounds who hold faith, family and freedom as our principles and who ask others to simply follow the law.

Now, I’m hearing – and reading on Facebook – that it’s the fault of myself and the Republican Party of Texas that ObamaCare was forced on us at midnight on New Years’ Day *and* that it’s my fault that there are (an estimated) 12 Million illegal aliens have entered and are currently residing without status in the US.

Absolutely, unequivocally: NO!

This exact line of “reasoning” from the Chair of the Platform Committee, Tom Mechler, is what made me join the fight against what came to be known as the “Provisional Visa Program,” but was formerly the “Texas Solution.” Until Mechler made these claims, I was hoping for a blending of the positions of the two groups. (I was even called a “liberal” on a post on this blog.)

It’s not our fault! We have petitioned our State and Federal Legislators, our Governor, our Party. Some few of our citizens have joined patrols and militias and have been vilified. This week, many of us took our time and effort to testify to the subcommittee considering the Immigration Plank.

They didn’t listen. Instead, the leaders who initiated the battle over the “Texas Solution” engaged in overt gamesmanship.



The language that was printed under the heading of the “Minority Report” failed because the vote in Committee, actually on a motion to replace the language we later saw as the “Committee Report,” was a tie. At 15-15, there was no 50%+1 majority vote and the previous language prevailed. I had been told that the Chair voted to break the tie, when in fact the motion failed because he did not vote.  TJ Scott, the delegate to the Committee from SD 14, led the “minority.”



Rather than allowing Mr. Scott, the author, to read the “Minority Report,” Chairman Mechler chose his man to read the “minority report.” Mr. Ramsey (SD 7), moved to immediately amend the Committee’s report, jumping right over the** “minority report.” (Ramsey even claimed to be the author, but was forced to retract that claim from the stage.  He later said that he was talking about being the author of the amendment.)

I believe that TJ spent nearly all day Friday trying to determine the proper procedure. He did exactly what he was told was the correct thing. He was misled.

In fact, I was the first to turn in an amendment (and the 6th), but the Chair decided that the order of amendments were submitted meant nothing. The only thing that mattered was getting to a microphone first. Then, he gave the mic to Mechler, who gave it to Ramsey.




Fortunately for all of us, one of our members was able to win the battle of the microphones and presented an amendment that was truly a compromise. (I’ll publish the new Immigration plank as soon as it’s online.)
The newest argument is that the Delegates passed the Amendment without knowing what we were voting for. (Totally ignoring that they voted for what Chairman Munisteri repeatedly called “the Ramsey language,” presented the same way, without a paper copy.) That is certainly not true for me. The clerk read the entire amendment out loud and we were able to read along with her. I was able to understand what I was voting for and trust that the bulk of the delegates who voted with me are just as capable of understanding.
There is no call for deportation in the Final 2014 Platform. There is a demand that the magnets which draw the illegal aliens to our State be ended. There *is* approval of a guest worker visa when needed. It does not micro-manage the details of the visa.

(BTW, doesn’t it seem odd that some people are demanding a “living wage,” while others advocate adding millions of low-income workers through a guest worker program?)



Finally, I hope that the Republican Party of Texas will post the Final 2014 Platform on-line so that we can all review exactly what we are discussing. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to read the Platform for common ground, rather than the differences.

We Republicans remain the Party of life, liberty and property. We are the Party which best defends the Constitution of the State of Texas and the United States and faith, family and freedom!

*** Edited 6/8/14 at 9:48PM to correct the statement that Mr. Ramsey moved to amend the “minority report, by inserting “the Committee’s report, jumping right over the.” Of course, Mr Ramsey made the motion to amend the Committee’s report, after reading the minority report.

Update at 10:40 PM, clarification about that tie vote in the Committee.

The Texas Solution – just some thoughts

going to convention keep it redIt looks as though one of the big fights at next week’s biennial State Convention of the Republican Party of Texas will focus around the “Texas Solution,” a plank in the 2012 Platform. (See below **)  As usual, I have an opinion or two to share.

Of course, as a 2014 delegate, I’m not sure how I’m going to vote until I see the drafts.  I do know that – as in the past – I won’t allow one plank – or even several planks – to overcome my support for the only Party that protects life, liberty, property and is unquestionably the best defender of vulnerable life and marriage. If I’m willing to work with the Party, rest assured that I will be more than happy to work on common ground with the people in the party who have different opinions.


I do agree with most of the 2012 Texas Solution. I am most concerned with maintaining our Republican Party support of the rule of law rather than expediency and appeal to emotion. For the most part, I disagree with the parts that were left out, along with the Solution’s call to end birthright citizenship “without exceptions.”


I was a member of the 2012 Platform Committee. Due to pressure from influential Texans, we voted on the Solution at the very last minute, when we had no time to debate or win support proposed amendments. Our report was due at the printers at a given time, so we had a strict time line.


 The Committee narrowly voted against an amendment (made in spite of that deadline) that would have added a requirement that the process for a worker’s permit begin in the applicant’s country of origin.  If we support allowing them to apply at an office in the US, we not only repeat the mistake of the Reagan amnesty of 1986 (encouraging an influx of illegal aliens hoping to qualify), we increase the vulnerability of the current illegal alien.  Applicants would have to walk into a government facility, admit to being here illegally (whether they entered illegally or over-stayed a visa) , and our laws would need to either punish (fines), forgive or ignore his admission that he broke the law.

I am in favor of a very few exceptions to the above in the case of young adults who were brought here by parents when they were minors, but reached the age of majority.  In those cases, the applicants don’t actually admit to breaking laws and we don’t have to ignore the rule of law.



However, I’m firm on the opinion that minors should live with their parents, even if the parents go back to their home country.


I disagree with the people who want to shut down immigration completely and those who want to end birthright citizenship (although minors with citizenship would need to go home with their parents at the end of the work visa until they aren’t minors).  I also disagree with those who hold that people who have permits shouldn’t be allowed to bring their families. Our Party supports the family.


You may notice that I haven’t given links or names of the people who are talking about the Texas Solution. That was on purpose, because I don’t want to add to what is already acrimonious in-fighting.  These are truly “just some thoughts” of my own. What do you think?



**The Texas Solution as it appeared in the final 2012 Platform of the Republican Party of Texas:

The Texas Solution – Because of decades-long failure of the federal government to secure our borders and address the immigration issue, there are now upwards of 11 million undocumented individuals in the United States today, each of whom entered and remain here under different circumstances. Mass deportation of these individuals would neither be equitable nor practical; while blanket amnesty, as occurred with the Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986, would only encourage future violations of the law. We seek common ground to develop and advance a conservative, market- and law-based approach to our nation’s immigration issues by following these principles:

1. Secure Our Borders – The U.S. Border must be secured immediately! We demand the application of effective, practical and reasonable measures to secure our borders and to bring safety and security for all Americans along the border and throughout the nation.
2. Modernize the United States Social Security Card – We support the improvement of our 1936 Social Security card to use contemporary anti-counterfeit technology. The social security card will not be considered a National ID card for U.S. citizens.
3. Birthright Citizenship – We call on the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States to clarify Section 1 of the 14th amendment to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a citizen of the United States with no exceptions.
4. Create an Effective and Efficient Temporary Worker Program – A national Temporary Worker Program should be implemented to bring skilled and unskilled workers into the United States for temporary periods of time when no U.S. workers are currently available. The program should also require:

• Self-funding through participation fees and fines;
• Applicants must pass a full criminal background check;
• Applicants with prior immigration violations would only qualify for the program if they paid the appropriate fines;
• Applicants and/or Employers must prove that they can afford and/or secure private health insurance;
• Applicants must waive any and all rights to apply for financial assistance from any public entitlement programs;
• Applicant must show a proficiency in the English language and complete an American civic class;
• Temporary Workers would only be able to work for employers that deduct and match payroll taxes;
• All participants would be issued an individual Temporary-Worker Biometric Identification ard that tracks all address changes and both civil and criminal court appearances as a defendant.

Vote David Dewhurst for Texas Lieutenant Governor

Vote for DewhurstVote for David Dewhurst as Lieutenant Governor of Texas in the Republican Primary Runoff May 27, 2014!


David Dewhurst led the Texas Senate to pass strong legislation for Texas that so many other States haven’t been able to pass:

He held the line in 2003 when Dems ran to New Mexico and in 2011 when Doggett wrote Federal law specifically to prevent Texas from receiving education funds,

Tort reform for everyone, not just doctors like me,
The Defense of Marriage Act, followed by a DOMA amendment to Texas’ Constitution,
The Woman’s Right to Know Act requiring a 24 hour waiting period and informed consent for elective abortion,
Prioritized family planning funds, so Planned Parenthood was defunded,
Requirements that abortions after the 15th week be performed in an Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) followed by a law requiring that all abortions be performed in ASC’s,
Doctors who perform abortions must have admitting privileges with in 30 miles of the business,
Abortion businesses must offer the patient a sonogram and explain the findings,
Minors having an abortion must obtain parental consent and an afadavit that the person signing the consent is who they say they are,
A ban on 3rd trimester abortions in 2005, followed by a ban on all abortions after 5 months, except when the mother’s life is in danger.

And in case you missed it, Texas’ State spending is down from 2002 levels, when adjusted for inflation and population growth.  We have the lowest or second lowest debt per capita in the nation and the bulk of it is self-supporting by users, tolls, etc. 79% of our State debt is pensions. Look at independent reports like that last link and the State Comptroller’s reports.

My endorsements for Republican Primary Runoff Election 2014

Lieutenant Governor – David H. Dewhurst

Attorney General  –  Dan Branch

Agricultural Commissioner – Sid Miller

Railroad Commissioner –  Wayne Christian

Comal County Precinct 4 County Commissioner  Jen Crownover

Any questions?

Early Voting Today, Primary Run Off


Did you know that Comal County Voters can vote in any of the Early Voting locations in your Texas County?  Did you know that the sites are open 7 AM to 7 PM, today?

If you happen to pass one of the Comal County Early Voting places while out and about today, you can stop in and vote, even if it’s not your usual voting location. (Take your photo ID!)

I hope you will vote for these people:  Lt. Governor: David Dewhurst,  Attorney General: Dan Branch, and Comal County Commissioner, Precinct 4: Jen Crownover.

Here are the four Early Voting locations in Comal County:

Comal County Elections Office
178 E. Mill St. Ste. 101, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Bulverde/Spring Branch Library
131 Bulverde Crossing, Bulverde, Texas 78163
Church In The Valley
14181 Hwy 306, Canyon Lake, Texas 78133

Garden Ridge City Hall
9400 Municipal Parkway, Garden Ridge, Texas 78266

The Texas Republican Primary Run Off Election Day is Tuesday, May 27.  On election day, you will have to go to your particular precinct voting site.


Sen. Deuell challenges Texas Right to Life over “slanderous” ads | Dallas Morning News

Remember: Senator Bob Duell was instrumental in convincing the medical community to adopt voluntary procedures to protect patients and families affected by the Texas Advance Directive Act, even though actual amendments to the law have been blocked by the very people attacking him.

How much “freedom” does a third party Political Action Committee have in their paid ads? Is it wrong to challenge them legally when the ads are blatantly false?

In this case, the ad opens by implying that Senator Duell is responsible for the too-short 10 day period allowed to find alternate care when the family or patient disagrees with the doctor at the end of life.

Senator Duell was not in the Senate when the Texas Advance Directive Act was passed in 1999. Members of the PAC, Texas Right to Life, were present and lobbied in favor of the Act.

In contrast, Senator Duell has for years been a strong advocate for amendments that would have increased the power of families to protect their loved ones in the case of disputes with the doctor.  The amendments would have changed the waiting period to at least a month before any disputed decisions by the doctor would take effect.

As to the challenge, Senator Duell has excellent support for his case:

The Texas Catholic Conference and Catholic Bishops of Texas, who supported Deuell’s bill, have debunked the claims. They said that Texas Right to Life “has tried to stoke fear through ridiculous claims of non-existent death panels and assertions that doctors are secretly trying to kill patients. Both claims are absurd.” The Catholic Conference also ripped Texas Right to Life for spreading “fabrications” about the position of Catholics on the issue.

via Sen. Deuell challenges Texas Right to Life over “slanderous” ads | Dallas Morning News.

Mother Accuses Doctors of Forcing a C-Section –

Mother Accuses Doctors of Forcing a C-Section and Files Suit –

Here’s one of the tough questions. (Lots of parenthetical explanations, too.)

I believe that the doctors should have gotten the best informed consent that they could obtain and allowed an attempt of vaginal delivery. I can’t bear the idea of “tying down” a mother for forced surgery while she begs me to stop. However  . . .

We weren’t there and don’t know from this report the condition of the baby or the mother at the time that they wheeled them into the operating room.

It appears that they did wait “several hours.”

We have precedent that mothers in labor may not make life-changing and -threatening decisions. For instance, the law doesn’t allow Medicaid to be billed unless a mother consents to tubal ligation at least 4 weeks prior to delivery. Even with private insurance or cash-pay, few doctors will perform a sterilization without consent obtained in advance. (I understand that the purpose of this law is to prevent coercion and eugenics, but the one-size-fits-all seems patronizing to all mothers.)

I’ve assisted several women who became hysterical at the end of labor. (One woman stood up on the gurney several times, even as her baby was “crowning” and we were trying to prep her for the imminent delivery. I was a resident in training, and my supervisor ordered the sedation and restraints to protect her from falling from the bed, and the baby from a free-fall delivery from over our heads. She delivered her baby almost immediately after the last time we got her on her back – before the restraining orders could be followed.)

The mother in this story did present herself at the hospital, implying (and possibly signing) consent to the treatment by her attending obstetrician. If she had stayed home for the delivery, there would be no dispute in the first place.


Marriage of three women

Down the slippery slope, we have a “throuple,” a three-woman marriage, performed in Massachusetts in August of last year. One of the women is now expecting a baby.

All men and women may take advantage of the “benefit’ of marriage. However, it required a redefinition of marriage for a man to marry a man or a woman to marry a woman. Such a redefinition was never required to allow the black man and woman to drink from the water fountain or for a black man  to marry a white woman or a black woman to marry a white man.

Once the redefinition began, what is there to stop anyone from making their own meaning?

I agree that freedom and the recognition of rights means that I will live among people who don’t agree with me. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for over forty years; I know that reality very well! However, I don’t have to sit quietly while throuples and others change laws to force me to involuntarily subsidize their choices. It is the duty of the ones desiring change to prove it beneficial or harmless *prior* to the change. Instead, we saw illegal acts by the mayors of San Francisco and other cities, lawsuit after lawsuit, after lawsuit . . . And suddenly: “it’s the law of the land!”

Edited – Added that last paragraph – BBN


Van De Putte doesn’t represent Texas voters (Planned Parenthood)

We are beginning to hear how great for the State of Texas it is that Leticia San Miguel Van De Putte will be the Democrat nominee for Lieutenant Governor in November. The story is that she will cause more Latinos to register to vote in the hopes that she will represent the 38% of Texas voters better than the Anglo man who will be nominated by the Republican Party.

Think so? I don’t.

Democrat Senator Judith Zaphirini nominated Senator Leticia Van de Putte for Senate President Pro Tempore on the opening day of the Texas 83rd Legislature on January 8, 2013:

Zaphirini speech, Opening day 2013 Texas Senate
Move the cursor to 45 minutes in, when Senator Zaphirini introduces Leticia Van de Putte’s children and grandchildren. Listen to the words, watch the faces around her.
“Six children, six grandchildren! What blessings! I’m not sure at what point in time Senator Van De Putte became such an advocate for Planned Parenthood, but her children are so glad that it wasn’t earlier than it actually was.”

Who’s really gone crazy?

“Everybody’s gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing,” Sen. Paul said in an interview with the New York Times this week. “I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.”

via Rand Paul sounds off on voter ID: Will it help the GOP with black voters? (+video) –

Only YOU Can Prevent Property Tax Increases

Only YOUDo you REALLY want to do something about high property taxes in Texas? REALLY, REALLY, REALLY?

Then go VOTE  in your local City and School Board,etc. elections – TODAY!!!
There are no Texas State Property Taxes — only local property taxes.

Only you can prevent those increases by learning who is representing you on the Boards and Councils that are responsible!

Attending the Republican Party of Texas State Convention?

going to convention keep it redI’ve been lucky enough to attend the last 6 Republican Party of Texas State Conventions and served on the Platform Committee in 2012. This year, I was nominated to represent Senate District 25 on the Rules Committee. The most important thing I have learned from these experiences was that when parliamentary procedure isn’t followed, the results are questioned.

Delegates and alternates, especially those who are appointed to the Temporary Committees and/or elected to a Permanent Committee, should do a little homework and get acquainted with the scheduled agenda, the current Rules and Platform  and the guidelines of the current parliamentary procedure, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. There’s a summary of those latter Rules, here.

If you were selected as delegate or alternate by your County Convention, do everything you can to attend the State Convention. Go early, attend one of the open hearings of the Temporary Platform, Rules or Credentialing Committees on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday when non-members may speak at certain times and places. Speak up if you have something unique to say or if you hear proposals that go against our Republican principles.

Committees, Caucuses, and the delegates to the General Sessions shouldn’t just agree to what seems to be a consensus. Committees and sub-committees should take votes. Learn what it means to “call the question,” “divide the question,” or “demand a roll call vote” – a vote of the members is necessary for each of these.
If you are on one of the Temporary Committees or a delegate or seated delegate at the (State) Senate District Caucus or General Session, ensure that the meetings are held according to the correct parliamentary procedure. (There isn’t a Congressional District Caucus since this isn’t a Presidential election year. This means a few less meetings and votes and we all get to go home earlier.)
Ask around about who is running for State Republican Executive Committee (SREC). This Committee is made up of one man and one woman from the districts of the State Senators.  Ask why one candidate is better than the other. Think of questions about what the candidates believe the SREC can and can’t do in the two years between State RPT Conventions.

Finally, wear comfortable shoes and clothes and take extra water or sodas and some sort of snack to the General Sessions. The Fort Worth Convention Center is huge and you’ll do a lot of walking. The food and drink are insurance in case the meeting goes long. It’s very important that you stay to the end: if you don’t someone might make motions or cast votes you can’t agree with.

Our RPT is supposed to reflect the Republican voters of Texas and our Platform and Rules originate with those voters. Our “bottom up” representation is much more “democratic” than the “top-down” Party structure of the guys on the Left.

Do your homework. Go as early as you can. Speak up. Stick around to the end, so that your voice will be heard during the debate and vote on the Platform.

Edited – BBN to add graphic

Tea Party Patriots give to themselves, not candidates

Corruption knows no party lines. (Give your money to the Candidates!)

The Post found that of the $7.4 million that the Georgia-based group’s super PAC has spent since the beginning of 2013, just $184,505 has gone to boost candidates. Three-quarters of the spending by the Citizens Fund — $5.5 million — has been devoted to fundraising and direct mail.

In addition, Tea Party President Jenny Beth Martin, who runs the super PAC, has been receiving $15,000 monthly consulting fees.

via Tea Party Patriots defends its spending.

Debate . . . between Dewhurst, Patrick

What Republican thinks it’s “dangerous” to have “a lot of money?”

Dan Patrick told the Houston Chronicle that Lieutenant Governor David H. Dewhurst is “dangerous because he has a lot of money.”

Dewhurst might be dangerous because of the skills he learned serving our Nation in the Air Force and CIA. But he’s not dangerous because of his success in business.



More on docs and conscience

Just after posting the article about Great Britain’s new official exclusion of pro-life doctors, I received an email from AAPLOG, the American Association of Pro-life OB/Gyns, referring to this article:

“In medicine, the vast majority of conscientious objection (CO) is exercised within the reproductive healthcare field – particularly for abortion and contraception. Current laws and practices in various countries around CO in reproductive healthcare show that it is unworkable and frequently abused, with harmful impacts on women’s healthcare and rights. CO in medicine is supposedly analogous to CO in the military, but in fact the two have little in common.

This paper argues that CO in reproductive health is not actually Conscientious Objection, but Dishonourable Disobedience (DD) to laws and ethical codes.”

Read the rest for more about the “dishonorable doctors” who follow their consciences and well over 2000 years of “First, do no harm.”

Edited: BBN  to add corrected url,

UK: Doctors with consciences not welcome

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Great Britain have determined that any nurses or doctors who oppose any form of contraception may not complete training and will not receive certification in the specialty:

Doctors who oppose morning-after pill on conscience grounds face qualifications bar

Guidelines confirm that doctors and nurses who oppose controversial emergency contraception on ‘moral or religious’ grounds cannot receive key specialist qualifications

This is very possible in the US. Take a look here at some fairly recent history of attempts to keep docs from practicing with a conscience.

American Academy of Family Physicians resignation

AAFPI wrote a very difficult letter today. I  resigned from the organization that is supposed to support Family Physicians in our education, practice management and good medical care of our patients. Instead, the American  Academy of Family Physicians too often strays toward forcing its members to be complicit with controversial policies such as condoning gun control and over-the-counter contraceptive drugs, and condemnation of “reparative therapy” for homosexual patients, even when those patients are unhappy with their sexuality. I write about my main conflicts and the “final straw” in the letter:


It is with great regret that I write this letter as notice that I have decided not to renew either my Texas or American Academy of Family Practice membership. While I am still a family doctor, neither the Texas Academy of Family Practice (TAFP) nor the American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP) represent my political or ethical views.

The political, social and ethical controversies were the main reason I remained in the Academy for the last few years since I left full time practice. I hoped that I could make a difference by volunteering my time and money as an active participant in the Texas Academy, the National Conference of Special Constituencies, the AAFP list serves, the Academy Legislative meetings in DC and our annual AAFP Congress of Delegates.

From the time of Hillary Clinton’s closed meetings on healthcare to the endorsement of the passage of the ACA before it was written, the political actions of the AAFP leaders has disappointed me in Washington, DC. Our practice hassle factors have grown and grown, too often with the blessings of – and sometimes due to the experiments with alternative methods of practice by – the Academy.

The AAFP advocated for elective abortion before I joined as a Student member and I accepted that the burden of persuasion was on those of us who disagreed.

However, the Academy’s decision to advocate for the redefinition of marriage in 2012 and the refusal to reconsider the extracted Resolution on marriage neutrality at the 2013 Congress of Delegates in San Diego were the final proof that there’s no tolerance for family doctors who hold conservative politics or traditional ethics in the Academy.

Unfortunately, our TAFP spokesperson to the 2013 AAFP Reference Committee on Advocacy misrepresented the Texas Delegation’s instructions from the Directors on marriage. As I remember the discussion and vote, the intention was to allow the Texas delegates wide latitude in voting on any final form of the Resolution.

I hereby resign from the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians and as a Fellow of the AAFP.


I waited to resign after nearly 30-year membership until the last minute before being dropped (for lack of paying my annual dues). There were several reasons for my hesitancy. For one thing, I didn’t want to be an undue influence on other members when they considered whether or not to write that hefty annual check to the Academy. For another, while I will continue to work with the AAFP and the Christian Medical and Dental Association to protect the right to life, marriage, the conscience rights of doctors within the profession of medicine and the specialty of Family Medicine, I do believe that it is important to work to persuade from within the organization. The biggest problem with finally writing the letter was that I was looking for a way to somehow keep my integrity while allowing the Academy to claim to represent me.

However, now that I’ve resigned, please consider sharing my letter with your family doctor. Many of them are unaware of the policies that our professional organizations push on good doctors of today and the students and residents who will be our doctors of tomorrow.

Texas doesn’t have State property taxes

I’m reading Republican primary run off ads stating that our Republican State Legislators and, in particular, the leader of the Senate – the Lieutenant Governor, David Dewhurst – haven’t done enough to lower property taxes. Well, those candidates are indulging in the worst sort of campaigning, since there are no State property taxes in Texas!

Here are the sources of State revenue in Texas: . The fact is that the bulk of Texas revenue comes from our sales tax and the return of tax money from the Federal Government.

In 2006, Lt. Governor David H. Dewhurst led the Senate when they cut and limited the amount local governments may assess as property tax rates and the property assessments those taxes are based on.

Unfortunately, the local districts *and their voters* raised those taxes up to the limit in some districts.

In areas such as Houston and Harris County, the appraisals are being *inflated* and/or *rising* nearly 100% due to the good economy there.  It seems that the problem is at the School Districts, City Councils, and County Commissioners Courts, not at the State legislature.

Again: there is no State property tax in Texas. The solution to high property taxes is in your home town, not Austin.

Windy/Wendy Davis gets lesbian Left “support” – as a sex object

Well, flip! Substitute my F-word for their F-word and drop the suggestion that even straight women want to “do ‘very sexy things’ to Windy, and I could have had the Vast WingRight Conspiracy laughing at this column. Ironically, the f’ing-bomb-this and f-bomb-that commenters all seem to take Wonkette’s “satire” take on Windy as a sex object as supportive!

Wonkette is a left-wing blog whose writers spew forth with a foul keyboard, and I think that she and her readers are serious about supporting Windy. It’s just that their support is . . .  shall we say “bent?”

Most of the readers of WingRight would agree that it’s preposterous to complain about “ties” to a Political Action Committee with which Greg Abbott has had no dealings since 2004. And it’s true that Windy ain’t Ann Richards.

But Wonkette’s Rebecca Shoenkopf is mostly upset that Windy’s campaign might object to the “very sexy things” comment.

Even odder than a feminists’ objection to an imagined objection from Windy  is the use of an Austin-American Statesman article entitled Greg Abbott holds double-digit lead over Wendy Davis, who is viewed unfavorably by almost half the electorate” to support the idea that Greg Abbott is a “nothingburger:” “

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