Archives

Public Policy

This category contains 459 posts

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.

Early Voting Today, Primary Run Off

VOTE

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.

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

http://tlcsenate.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=284
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.”

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: 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.

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.

Our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

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.

 

Feds List Lesser Prairie Chicken as Threatened

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.

via Feds List Lesser Prairie Chicken as Threatened – ABC News.

Texas abortion restrictions withstand legal challenge – San Antonio Express-News

Great news. If there must be abortion, and it’s “between a woman and her doctor,” shouldn’t the doctor have hospital privileges to care for complications? Or does he cease being “her doctor” when she needs him most?

A federal appeals panel on Thursday overturned a lower court decision that had deemed a portion of Texas’ controversial sweeping abortion restrictions as unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had already temporarily lifted a district court injunction that blocked a state provision requiring abortion doctors to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from going into effect.

Thursday’s ruling gives Texas the green light to continue enforcing the provision on a permanent basis.

via Texas abortion restrictions withstand legal challenge – San Antonio Express-News.

Federal Judge overturns Arkansas law

More of the oligarchy that passes for Courts these days: un-elected judges acting as though the Constitution gives the big questions to the appointed members of the Judicial branch, leaving only the small, inconsequential decisions to the People and our duly elected representatives.

A Federal judge has ruled that “non-viable” human beings – healthy babies in healthy mothers who are exactly what they should be at that stage of life – are not endowed with the inalienable right to life.

Wright left in place a portion of the law that requires doctors to check for a fetal heartbeat and to notify the pregnant woman if one is present.

Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, had vetoed the bill, citing the viability standard. But Republicans, controlling the Statehouse for the first time since Reconstruction, overrode him with a simple majority vote.

 

Gordon Crovitz: Drones Cleared for Takeoff – WSJ.com

A victory for less regulation in our lives. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

This month a federal administrative judge held that the FAA has no legal authority to meddle in the market and dismissed a fine levied against an operator who defied regulators by getting paid to use a drone to film the University of Virginia campus. Judge Patrick Geraghty of the National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the agency had only issued internal guidance on drones and hadn’t followed any process to apply restrictions to the public. He ridiculed the FAA’s broad assertion of power to regulate drones by saying the agency could use the same argument arbitrarily to block “a flight in the air of a paper aircraft, or a toy balsa wood glider.”

via Gordon Crovitz: Drones Cleared for Takeoff – WSJ.com.

Marriage, Activist Courts, Democracy and Evolution

An unelected Federal judge overturned the Texas Constitution’s definition of marriage, proving the Courts’ lack of respect for our Constitutional Republic – and democracy in general.

 

Marriage is what it is: the union between one man and one woman. No one, least of all a lawmaker in the form of an activist judge, can make two men or two women “one flesh,” literally or figuratively. Biology isn’t destiny, but it does have consequences. The biological reality is that the male form and the female form are complementary for both pleasurable sex and for procreation.

 

No one ever claimed that the design of water fountains made one fountain suitable for one race and another fountain suitable for the other. In contrast, there is an obvious biological and common sense suitability in the sexual union of the male and female body – as well as potential consequences of that union– that can’t be found in homosexual sex acts.

Even in polygamous marriage, the man enters into many marriages, each between himself and an individual woman. Polygamy doesn’t create a marriage between the man, his wives and that woman. There’s certainly more history in support of polygamy than for same sex “marriage.”

In their zeal to redefine marriage and restructure society, the Left and the US Federal Courts engage in the equivalent of LaMarckian experiments with the fundamental institution of social organization of our society and government.If, as the Left claims, our Nation has “evolved” toward their definition of marriage, why must the Courts turn over State Legislature after Legislature?

 

That the People and the States were to be sovereign over the United States Federal government is supported both by the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution and the original document’s provision for an orderly Amendment process. The Courts must stop acting as though the Constitution reserves the major decisions to the Federal Courts, while only allowing the People and our elected Legislatures to decide inconsequential matters.

LOL at the Bill of Rights?

     Last February 14th, 18 year old Justin River Carter made a comment during an argument with a few acquaintances on Facebook that would shock most people, but I doubt that many people would take his hyperbole seriously enough to feel threatened:

“I think I’ma [sic] shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent run down and eat the beating heart of one of them.”

 

The truly shocking and frightening thing to me, though, was the reaction of my own local law enforcement officials, including one who told San Antonio WOAI  radio that it was necessary to arrest and hold Carter for months, so there wouldn’t “be questions about why more was not done to stop him.”

 

I want to know why more was not done to protect Carter from abuse by New Braunfels and Comal County law enforcement community. No “LOL”  No “JK”

 

 

     The actual conversation that  caused Justin Carter to be arrested no longer exists on the Internet, according to Facebook. The only “evidence” is a screen shot clip picture of the comment taken by the person who called the Austin Police Department’s Crime Stoppers, incorrectly stating that Carter lived near a school in that City.  Based on that anonymous tip, Austin PD had US Marshals to arrest Carter at his job in San Antonio and transferred him from Bexar County to their jail on February 14, 2013.

 

 

      A problem – for the Austin police — developed when they eventually discovered that Carter lives in New Braunfels, not Austin. I don’t know how they found out where he worked, but couldn’t verify his address until after the arrest.

 

 

     One month after his arrest, and still without a court hearing, a search of Carter’s home, or any evidence that Carter owned a gun or had made any violent plans, APD invited the New Braunfels police to drive to Austin to interview Carter in their jail.  He spoke to them without his lawyer, because he foolishly thought that he would be able to clear up the confusion if he explained the comment.

 

     This was a huge mistake.

     Someone at the NBPD decided to file his own complaint with Comal County Criminal District Attorney Jennifer Tharp, who convinced a Grand Jury to indict Carter for a third degree felony charge of making “terroristic threats.” (Read the Statute here.)

 

     District Judge Jack Robison doubled the bail from the $250,000 set in Austin to half a million dollars.

 

 

     Sometime later, Carter was moved from Travis County to Comal County,  where he remained in Comal County jails from late March until July 10th, when an anonymous donor posted bond on his behalf.

 

 

I’ve been told that the DA makes it a habit to charge the maximum possible and then offer “plea bargains” that are no bargain, at all. As long as the innocent-until-proven-guilty won’t admit guilt, the hearings and procedures can drag out for years before an actual trial. As to that ridiculous bail amount, it seems that it’s routine for judges automatically double the bail anytime someone is indicted, regardless of the amount of bail in place before.

 

     Carter, as is customary, was placed in the same jail with convicted criminals in both Austin and New Braunfels. He suffered injuries due to abuse by other inmates and his father reported that he was transferred to different jail facilities several times and was kept in solitary confinement and nude, on suicide watch, for many days.

 

 

     On December 12, 2013, Judge Robison announced his decision not to drop the indictment. The next hearing on the case is scheduled for January 28, 2014.

 

 

     A more complete review of the history of this case through July, 2013, is here.  You can read Carter’s mother’s version of the story and intermittent updates, here.

 

 

Just don’t get arrested for anything in New Braunfels. And don’t talk to our police without a lawyer, if you are.

@GovernorPerry: Supreme Court Declining to Block HB 2 | Texans for Rick Perry

This is great news!

Government, as a tool of and with the consent of the governed, has one job: to protect the inalienable rights of humans. If some – the powerful, the ones with the most votes or most guns – can decide that some humans aren’t human enough to have the right not to be killed, then no one is safe. Our state has determined that we will license doctors and medical technology — therefore, we must restrict the single instance where one human being may decide that another is not human enough and enlist the aide of our licensed doctors and technology to end a life.

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow Texas abortion restrictions to remain in effect:

“This is good news both for the unborn and for the women of Texas, who are now better protected from shoddy abortion providers operating in dangerous conditions. As always, Texas will continue doing everything we can to protect the culture of life in our state.”

via Statement by Gov. Perry on Supreme Court Declining to Block HB 2 | Texans for Rick Perry.

Drs discover that sick people use health care!

Ezekial Emanuel is Rahm’s brother. He has been one of the Obamacare pushers for years.

The new goal, according to Emanuel, should be per-capita annual health care costs by 2020 that increase no more than the annual gross domestic product.

“It’s clear and easily measured,” he said. “But it’s not going to happen overnight.”

It would require a “renewed, systemwide focus on transforming the delivery system to improve the way we care for the chronically ill,” said Emanuel, because 10% of the population with chronic illnesses now consumes nearly two-thirds of health care dollars.

Another recipe for reform was offered by Joanne Lynn, MD, of the Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, Altarum Institute, Washington.

“We almost all get to grow old; it’s the terrific success of modern medicine,” she said, but the system hasn’t evolved to cope with this reality.

via Physicians outline critical issues facing US health care | Healio.

Untested Waters (TMA on ObamaCare)

From the Texas Medical Association website:

Both Texas Oncology and ARC, for example, already participated in most major health plans in Texas before the launch of the exchange. Because not all of those insurers explicitly invited Texas Oncology to join their new marketplace networks, the group was combing through its contracts and contacting carriers to find out how to opt out of the exchange plans. All of ARC\’s existing contracts require insurers to renegotiate with the group before including it in any new products or networks. Some payers never approached the group; others came back with lower fee schedules, which ARC declined. On the other hand, 27 percent of respondents in the MGMA survey said they are participating in the exchange because their existing contract terms required them to participate in all of an insurers\’ products under so-called \”all products\” clauses.

Because a number of Dr. Buckingham\’s contracts include such clauses, the six-physician practice, Eye Physicians of Austin, faces the prospect of renegotiation in order to opt out of certain exchange plans.

\”To me, my hands are tied, and they are making me jump off of a plank I don\’t want to jump off of. And it\’s an expensive process, and it interrupts patient care,\” she said.

via Untested Waters.

Texas Tribune interview with abortion-seeking couple

First, I hope and (am praying) Marni begins to love her child and allows her to live.

The Texas Tribune has published an interview with a couple whose baby’s life has been spared – at least for a few days – by Texas law.

Here’s the interview:

However, she found 2 alternatives within 2 days, so her rights are not at all infringed upon.

Marni is mistaken about the number of abortions in Texas every year. There were 66,000, not 80,000 abortions in 2012. 72,000 in 2011, 77,500 in 2010, 77,850 in 2009.

 

Marni specifically asks what sorts of “resources” the State and pro-life people have made available. She should have already known – and should ask their abortionist at her next appointment – about the Texas Woman’s Right to Know “Resource Directory.” She should have been given a copy at her first abortion consult appointment with Planned Parenthood. It’s also available online here.,  The file in pdf includes the information she asked about. The booklet lists agencies and assistance that’s available  from the State, County, and private organizations for pregnant women  in Travis County.

 

I’m not surprised that their comments are so political, and that John talks about politicians “shoring up their base,” etc., since that’s a common talking point for abortion advocates when they talk about pro-life politicians. I’m sure that someone at Planned Parenthood fed them the inaccurate statistics and coached them on the motives of people like me and the legislators who worked to protect life.

 

(I do have to wonder how Marni and John missed all the press leading up to the passage of HB2. You would think they’d have heard about Wendy Davis’ filibuster at least!)

 

Hopefully, when they see the way they’ve been misled about statistics, they will begin to understand that the prolife activists and politicians are as honest as we can be about our motives.

 

 

#Stand4Life Victories: Texas’ law upheld, ObamaCare contraception mandate struck

Victory on two levels! Many of Texas’ abortion facilities are closed today because they don’t have doctors with hospital privileges and today, the DC Court of Appeals ruled in favor of religious conscience rights, even for people who own businesses!

From The Hill, a blog out of Washington, DC:

A federal appeals court on Friday struck down the birth control mandate in ObamaCare, concluding the requirement trammels religious freedom.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — the second most influential bench in the land behind the Supreme Court — ruled 2-1 in favor of business owners who are fighting the requirement that they provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control.

Requiring companies to cover their employees’ contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds, even if they are not purchasing the contraception directly.

“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.

via Court strikes down mandate for birth control in ObamaCare | TheHill.

Food Stamp Enrollment Growth (with Interactive Map)

If Federal Food Stamps Map WSJIf the Federal government increases spending and decreases limits, is it surprising that people take advantage of it?

If you’re concerned about the news that the Federal food stamp program funding will be cut 5%, take a look at this map from the June, 2013 Wall Street Journal, showing the percentage of population in each state which receives Federal food stamps.

It is accompanied by a graph of growth of food stamp enrollment depicting periods of enrollment. Food stamp growthThat bright red line is Texas’ growth, which is nearly parallel with the US average, shown as a grey-green line. (Take a look at the annual spikes of Alaska’s enrollment, which I guess is due to the disbursement of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend.)

But take a look at the growth since the “Stimulus” was passed by the Dem-controlled House and Senate, nearly doubling funds for food stamps and increasing the number of recipients from 28 million to 48 million.Food stamp growth 2008 2012Since the increase in enrollment has been over 70%, that 5% cut in payments will not bring the spending levels back to pre-recession levels. Wouldn’t it make sense to tighten up on the eligibility requirements, rather than make an across-the-board cut?

 

Fifth Circuit Stays Yeakel Ruling: Court of Appeals says HB 2 abortion restrictions go forward – News Blog – The Austin Chronicle

Court of Appeals says HB 2 abortion restrictions go forward

By Michael King, 7:53PM, Thu. Oct. 31

Fifth Circuit Stays Yeakel Ruling

In a decision released late Thursday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the motion of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, overturning the ruling of federal District Judge Lee Yeakel and allowing enforcement of the restrictions that will likely leave thousands of Texas women without access to abortion care.

Specifically, the three-judge panel stayed Yeakel\’s injunction against the law — specifically the provision that will require doctors administering abortions to have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital – pending an appeal to the whole Fifth Circuit that will not be heard until at least January. That means many clinics will close, because most doctors will not be able to get admitting privileges to hospitals where they do not normally practice. The ruling left in place, in part, the judge\’s ruling that medication abortions could be performed in certain circumstances, when the mother\’s life or health is in danger.

via Fifth Circuit Stays Yeakel Ruling: Court of Appeals says HB 2 abortion restrictions go forward – News Blog – The Austin Chronicle.

PolitiFact Texas Defends – and Interprets – Davis On Abortion

If I were being exceptionally kind, I’d interpret Texas Democratic Governor candidate (and portable urinary catheter user) Wendy Davis’ position on abortion restrictions as, “Whatever the Supreme Court rules is good enough for me.”  When not so generous, I’d say she’s not answering the question.

What Wendy Davis said,

 “Davis, while addressing the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2013, was asked, “Could you discuss what legal limits on abortion you do support?”

She replied, “You know, the Supreme Court has made that decision. And it’s one of the protected liberties under our Constitution. And I respect the constitutional protections that are in place today.”

.”

Politifact’s interpretation:

 

So in her response in Washington, Davis signaled that she both accepts letting states limit abortions after the first trimester and limit or ban abortions after fetuses are viable, unless the mother’s life is at risk.

via PolitiFact Texas | Davis opposes late-term abortions, with certain exceptions.

How refreshing it would be if one of the “fact-checkers” actually asked the hard questions of a pro-abortion Dem!

Study compares panhandle teen pregnancy and Planned Parenthood – KFDA – NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

It appears that Planned Parenthood doesn’t change teen pregnancy rates – it’s neither necessary nor effective:

The study uses pregnancy rates reported by the Texas Department of Health State Services.

In 1996, a year before opposition to Planned Parenthood began, the teen pregnancy rates across the panhandle was more than 43.6 per 1,000 girls.

Two years after all facilities had closed, teen pregnancy was at 24.1 per 1,000 girls. Researchers are claiming that this is a significant confirmation that Planned Parenthood\’s presence and its sex education programs are not a necessary tool in reducing teen pregnancy.

But that doesn\’t seem to be the case everywhere across the state.

NewsChannel 10 has done some more research of it\’s own. In other areas of Texas where Planned Parenthood is a part of sex education and teen pregnancy rates have also dropped.

via Study compares panhandle teen pregnancy and Planned Parenthood – KFDA – NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports.

Unions to win delay of ObamaCare tax (Not the rest of us, tho’)

Labor unions are poised to score the delay of an ObamaCare tax in the bipartisan budget deal emerging in the Senate.

The bargain under negotiation would make small adjustments to the healthcare law, including delaying the law\’s reinsurance fee for one year. The three-year tax is meant to generate revenue that will stabilize premiums on the individual market as sick patients enter the risk pool.

via Unions poised to win delay of ObamaCare tax in budget deal – The Hill’s Healthwatch.

Good deed, punished

My local Canyon Independent School District, in Comal County, Texas, has a proposal for a $451 Million Bond on the ballot in November.

“”The fast-growing district’s Nov. 5 ballot initiative is more than double its largest past bond issue, a $205.8 million package approved in 2008. Its size, and a lack of specifics on when new campuses will open, is drawing criticism.””

Out of the goodness of our hearts, Texas’ voters have agreed to “freeze” taxes for our neighbors over 65 years old. Will we be repaid by Seniors’ voting for every tax hike that comes along? Our grand-children will be paying for this bond, whether or not we will. We owe those future young adults our best judgment and our restraint.

“Welcome to the Party, Pal” | The Northern Right

Amen to this:

“So what do we Americans do with a feral, out of control administration, misusing and abusing their authority? Well, we can start transferring power and authority out of Washington DC back to the many states. Doing this with all public lands, National Parks, National Forests, Wilderness Areas, National Monuments and everything else the feds own and operate would be a good first start. Follow it up with moving all licensing and permitting back to the states.”

“Welcome to the Party, Pal” | The Northern Right.

UnitedHealthcare drops physicians from Medicare plan – Financial Mines

“Keep your doctor?” NOT!

Physicians across the state are reeling after they were informed that they will no longer be participants in a popular Medicare program.

UnitedHealthcare sent a letter dated Oct. 2 to 810 primary care physicians and 1,440 physician specialists, telling them that the separation from its Medicare Advantage network would be effective Feb. 1, 2014.

The business, a unit of Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group, said affected physicians have the right to appeal and told them that their agreements for other UnitedHealthcare networks will not be impacted.

The notification came as a surprise to the Fairfield Medical Association, which counts 1,499 physicians in its ranks.

“They’re letting 19 percent of the physicians in the network go,” said Mark Thompson, executive director of the association. “This is where insurance companies are using insurance contracts to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship.”

via UnitedHealthcare drops physicians from Medicare plan – Financial Mines.

ObamaCare begins to “Ping” the IRS for information

What might have been missed in all the emotional media coverage about the troubles people are having with the ObamaCare exchanges and the news that the IRS official shared tax information with the WhiteHouse:

Hall Ingram said a key piece of the healthcare law’s new infrastructure — the federal “data hub” — is working well.

When consumers apply for insurance and tax subsidies through an exchange, the exchange uses the data hub to draw information from several state and federal agencies to confirm applicants’ identity and calculate the subsidies they can receive.

Exchanges have successfully pinged the IRS’s servers to request income information about applicants, and the IRS has been able to respond, she said.

“As far as we can tell, and we are looking on a daily basis, it\’s operating well,” Hall Ingram said.

via GOP grills IRS’s ObamaCare chief – The Hill’s Healthwatch.

BOR: Lies from the Left (I know, it’s redundant)

And BOR is a much better acronym than anything I could make up.

The Burnt Orange Report is Texas’ own quintessential leftist blog, spinning and twisting any stories or facts to make conservatives look bad.

Good little far-left Democrat media tool that the BOR is, it seems almost superfluous to note that the blog is pro-abort. However, the reason I’m bringing BOR to your attention is Part 1 and Part 2 of “Why Texas Women Need Access to Later Term Abortions by someone named Natalie San Luis.

The BOR enjoys bold exaggeration in its fonts, to highlight the most emotional rants. There are the usual facetious arguments that women need abortions after 5 months such as, “wealthy women who have the means can jump over the barriers, but more and more women can’t” and “Amniocentesis, which tests amniotic fluid for fetal abnormalities and genetic problems, is sometimes performed as late as 22 weeks.” (The babies of less than wealthy women and their mothers deserve protection, too. And amniocentesis is usually done much earlier  and is still legal, just as it is at 30 weeks or 35.)

Ms. San Luis would also have us develop sympathy for doctors who fear the liability of making a decision about whether a baby’s birth defect is compatible with life.

After. 20. weeks.

Because: ” Accounting for factors like the woman’s health history and future complications, it is almost impossible to accurately guess the likelihood of fetal survival in each of these cases. “

(Maybe that’s why they can’t get local hospital privileges.)

While I can mock the poor logic of the author, it’s better to catch her repeating easily checked, but false “facts.”

The founder, President and CEO of the San Antonio Abortion facility, Whole Woman’s Health, Amy Hagstrom Miller, is quoted as saying, “We’ve seen a 10 percent increase in second trimester abortions just since the sonogram bill has passed,”.

Besides the fact that there’s only one year of data available “since the sonogram bill has passed” and went into effect in late 2011, the numbers don’t back up that statement, unless it’s local to the San Antonio facility.  According to numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services, there were 136 fewer 2nd trimester abortions in Texas in 2012 than in 2011.

Year      Total Abortions      2nd Trimester Abortions  1st Trimester Abortions   %1st

2012       66098                          5204                             60882                          92.1
2011       72470                          5340                             67121                          92.6
2010      77592                           5542                             72042                          92.8

(I couldn’t resist showing the steady decrease in abortions in Texas, even though it horrified me to put those large numbers into the calculator.)

Did anyone else notice that there’s no obvious way to make comments on BOR?

 

Edit 10/10/13 – correcting punctuation, removing my own redundancies — BBN

@bnuckols tweets

Click here to get your “Choose Life” license plate

Rick Perry for President

Yes, I'm still for Governor Perry!

Donate here

What to read around here

Archives

SiteMeter

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,652 other followers