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.
Other sites besides Infowars.com 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.”
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 WingRight.org, “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.
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.
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.
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: http://wp.me/p1FiCk-1cj and here’s my review of the controversy on the floor of the Convention: http://wp.me/p1FiCk-1ce
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
• 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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.”
“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.”
I’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
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.
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.
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,
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.
I 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.
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: http://www.texastransparency.org/State_Finance/Budget_Finance/Reports/Revenue_by_Source/revenue_hist.php . The fact is that the bulk of Texas revenue comes from our sales tax and the return of tax money from the Federal Government.
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.
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:” “
The First Amendment protects political speech, which includes donating what we want, when we want, and to whom we want.
The Supreme Court today did not get rid of the individual candidate limit with the ruling, only the limits on overall donations to multiple candidates. You still can’t give more than $5200 per campaign cycle to any one candidate for Federal office.
Like the signers of the Declaration of Independence, we may pledge our fortunes to political candidates – within limits.
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alex De Tocqueville
A March 27th Op-ed in the San Antonio Express News by Nicholas Kristof calls us a “Nation of Takers,” claiming that the US government gives welfare to the wealthy with mortgage tax “subsidies” for the wealthy and lower capital gains taxes as opposed to earned income taxes.
Forget that Kristof doesn’t understand the difference between taxes – where the government takes from some – and subsidies – where the government gives tax money to the benefactors the government selects. Taxes take, subsidies and benefits give.
Kristof assumes that all money is the government’s to tax, rather than the property of individuals who have the unalienable right to earn and accumulate what they earn to provide for themselves, their dependents, and for the future when they are unable to earn. The money doesn’t belong to even the most utilitarian – or Utilitarian* – government plan for its use.
Those capital gains taxes are on money already taxed and invested for a certain period of time. If you want to encourage investment, don’t tax it. If you want to encourage hoarding on the other hand . . .
As to those yachts and beach homes – people who don’t use these dwellings as their actual homes can’t claim the mortgage deduction. In any case, thanks to the effects of the alternate minimum tax, the wealthy don’t receive any mortgage tax deduction.
*Utilitarian good is the idea that government should rule “for the greatest good.” We end up with the biggest gun, the most charismatic leader or the majority voting — and eventually, “might makes right.”
“I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you’ve earned, but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” – Thomas Sowell
What about evolution?
The Obama administration said Thursday it is placing a grassland grouse known as the lesser prairie chicken on a list of threatened species, a move that could affect oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in five central and southwestern states.
The decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service is a step below “endangered” status and allows for more flexibility in how protections for the bird will be carried out under the Endangered Species Act.
Dan Ashe, the agency’s director, said he knows the decision will be unpopular with governors in the five affected states — Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico — but said the agency was following the best science available.
“The lesser prairie-chicken is in dire straits,” Ashe said in an interview. “The bird is in decline and has been in decline for more than a decade.”
The prairie chicken, a type of grouse known for its colorful neck plume and stout build, has lost more than 80 percent of its traditional habitat, mostly because of human activity such as oil and gas drilling, ranching and construction of power lines and wind turbines, Ashe said. The bird, which weighs from 1-1/2 to 2 pounds, has also been severely impacted by the region’s ongoing drought.
Biologists say a major problem is that prairie chickens fear tall structures, where predators such as hawks can perch and spot them. Wind turbines, electricity transmission towers and drilling rigs are generally the tallest objects on the plains.
Libertarians within the Republican Party and Republicans who are called “moderate” because they aren’t social Conservatives claim that we will win over more voters and that it’s hypocritical of small-government Conservatives to use government to define or license marriage.
Radio talk show host and commentator Dennis Prager destroyed the claim that Republicans could win elections by dropping our social conservative platform planks in his recent essay :
“To respond to the first argument, it is hard to believe that most people who call themselves fiscal conservatives and vote Democrat would abandon the Democratic Party if the Republican Party embraced same-sex marriage and abortion.
“The left and its political party will always create social issues that make Republicans and conservatives look “reactionary” on social issues. Today it is same-sex marriage, the next day it is the Republican “war on women,” and tomorrow it will be ending the objective male-female designation of Americans (Children should have the right to determine their gender and not have their parents and their genitalia determine it, even at birth). Or it will be animal rights, race-based affirmative action or an environmentalist issue.”
Contrary to the claims of those libertarians, traditional marriage of one man and one woman encourages smaller, not larger, government. State marriage licenses prevent the need for a formal legal contract (and a lawyer) before marriage in order to clarify the mutual duties and rights of spouses, inheritance, and a myriad of paternity/maternity rights within intact marriages, at death, and on dissolution of the marriage. Recognizing that not all marriages result in children, the laws do recognize the State’s “compelling interest” in defending the child’s right to life, liberty and property.
While some (on the Right, as well as the Left) might favor laws making entering into a marriage as burdensome and expensive as divorce, many people would simply cohabit. When they go their separate ways – or if one dies – without a marriage license, the Courts will still determine the separation of property and child custody. At best, the new burden will be added to the old. Or, more likely, whole new layers of court rulings and State or Federal legislation would have to be added to replace current law.
There are strong historic, biologic and societal reasons behind the support for defending the Conservative definition of marriage. The new definition is not clear-cut and has very little history. However, the proponents of gay marriage are seeking not only all of the legal – government – benefits and protections afforded traditional marriage, as well as special protection from those same governments to coerce everyone with a business license into participating in their nuptials. There’s nothing “small government” about “getting the State out of the marriage.”