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False “leaders” call for martial law

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/50158577

Occasionally speaking of herself in the third person, Joann Fleming, the self-proclaimed head of an East Texas “Tea Party” group, led a press conference at the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday. The Fleming gang demanded that Governor Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott order a Special Session of the Texas Legislature (cost: well over $1 Million) in order to spend the Rainy Day Fund (cost: up to $4 Billion) and that the Governor declare martial law (cost: immeasurable).

 

 

Fleming (“. . . if you’re like me, your brain will be screaming to you . . .”) shrilly  stated that the Federal government has no right to tax Texans “except when they have declared war or a state of emergency” and that “Maybe we can’t count on our State officials to protect us, either.” Calling Texas a “sanctuary State,” Fleming ignored the fact that Governor Perry “alienated some potential supporters after his push to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas.”

 
Failed 2014 Republican Congressional candidate, Katrina Pierson, who once called  a US Marine Captain “deformed” because of his war injuries, took the stage to complain that 50% of Texas’ budget comes from Federal dollars! Where does she think “federal dollars” come from?  In fact, through 2010, Texas was a “donor State.  Since then, Texas received a bit more than Texas taxpayers sent to Washington - if you count Medicare, Social Security and the money that supports the military in our State. Sounds like pay back to me.

 

 

Another member of the gang, a lawyer, said that the Governor (and Attorney General?) had been getting bad legal advice. When asked what difference this plan would make, since Texas can’t legally deport illegal aliens, the lawyer suggested that the Governor should ignore the law, order the Guard and DPS to deport illegal aliens, and bypass Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He said that the worst that could happen is that President Barack Obama and Holder could sue.

 

 

Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution:

“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

 
Under the usual circumstances, the National Guard is under the command of the President of the United States, rather than control of the Governor. As explained by the (far-right wing) Red State last year, the National Guard is not the “militia” of the several States. Instead, the men and women serving in the Guard are considered ‘troops.”

 
It is true that in times of “imminent danger” the Governor may declare a state of emergency and call up the Guard for duty within the State. You may even remember that in 2010, then-US Attorney General Napolitano told Governor Perry that if he wasn’t happy with the 250 troops sent to the Texas border, he was welcome to call them up himself and pay for it.  Unfortunately, the current US Attorney General is Eric Holder.

 

 

The emotional demand by one woman, Alice Linahan of Women on the Wall, that Governor Perry and General Abbott “Show us that you’re actually different from Obama,” sums up the cognizant dissonance of the entire press conference.  The gang seems to have no understanding of how quickly President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder ignore the law, at the same moment that they condemn it.

 

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.

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.

 

 

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.

Note to the Anti-Incumbent Republicans

The “anti-establishment’ comments from the Right always remind me of the Left’s  “don’t trust the establishment” anti-America crowd of ’60’s and ’70’s. It’s the same knee-jerk, across-the-board, ignore-loyalties, and follow-the-(anti-establishment)-leaders chant and rant heard around 1970.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written on this subject, but here goes, once again.

The Republican’s problem is that we failed to get out the Republican vote and lost what little majority we had in the House in the 2006 mid-term election and allowed the media and the Left to claim it was because of the war on terror (read former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates’ memoirs, Duty, for verification of the belief in DC). Then, conservative voters refused to vote for Republican candidates for President in 2008 and 2012.  They ignored Reagan’s “80%” rule (“The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.”), stayed home, claiming “purity.”

(Or, how about Sarah Palin’s observation that the Dems never talk about “DINO’s:”

“Some far-right conservatives are enamored of the term “RINO,” standing for “Republican in name only.” But is there an equivalent term “DINO,” standing for Democrat-in-name-only? No, the Party of the Donkey isn’t that politically stubborn. They just call them “Democrats.” They win with their approach — and we lose (too often) with ours.”)

The reality we have to deal with is that there is a majority of Dems in the Senate, the White House and the media. Every effort – even the valiant effort to defund Obamacare by the House and Boehner in September – is twisted into something else. Have any of the anti-incumbents said one good thing about that effort by the House and Boehner, or did they just turn on the “establishment?”

Did they support Boehner and the House Republicans when they passed the bill defunding ObamaCare? Have they corrected anyone who claimed that the House Republicans cut Veterans benefits, when in fact, they cut the increase from 5% to 4%?

The anti-incumbents are teaching the same “lessons” of 2006-2012: Republicans can’t be counted on.

Lies, Damned Lies and “ScoreCards”

It takes a long time to write the hard posts, so I’ve been putting this one off for a while. But with Primary season off and running, conservative groups are turning on conservative legislators and using political “score cards” to attack.

Let’s start with the most manipulated “scorecard” of all, especially now that someone else has stepped up to explain so much better than I ever could.

Texas Right to Life, the organization which was criticized by the Texas Catholic Conference for their “misstatements and fabrications” concerning HB303 and HB 1444, continues to make up whatever they wish, this time with their arbitrary  “Legislative Scores.” Their scorecard is so “Unconventional” and “perplexing” that it prompted the following letter, signed by all the Texas Catholic Bishops:

December 9, 2013

The Honorable Dan Huberty Texas House of Representatives P.O. Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78768

Dear Representative Huberty:

I am writing at the behest of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Texas to share their concerns about a recent “pro-life scorecard” released by Texas Right to Life (TRTL). This “scorecard” purports to declare which Texas legislators are “pro-life” based on a selective number of votes during the 83rd Legislative Session.

Unfortunately, the unconventional methodology and subjective scoring of the TRTL scorecard produced a number of perplexing results–including assigning low scores to pro-life lawmakers who have worked long and hard to protect and preserve life.

As you know, the Texas Catholic Conference does not use scorecards. Instead, our bishops encourage parishioners to fully form their consciences through prayer and education about issues. Scorecards are a poor substitute for that level of thoughtful policy engagement. Perhaps the most faulty implication of the scorecard is that, in its current form, it casts the tradition of Catholic teaching as being insufficiently pro-life–which is a patently absurd notion. TRTL does not have license to publicly define who is sufficiently pro-life or not.

Some legislative scorecards, when created objectively and appropriately, can be informative. If not, they stop being about informing the public and become more about advancing political agendas, with the unfortunate result that some citizens end up being misled about the issues and misinformed about the voting records of their legislators.

The recent TRTL scorecard selected only three bills (and assorted amendments) to calculate the scores out of the thousands of bills considered during the 83 rd Legislative Session. Several pro-life bills were excluded from consideration. For example, the TRTL scorecard did not include or minimized support for bills that would have prohibited abortion coverage from insurance plans provided in the Affordable Care Act healthcare exchanges (HB 997); prohibited sex selection abortions (HB 309); strengthened parental rights to reduce judicial bypass for teen abortions (HB 3243); or criminalized coerced abortions (HB 3247). All these proposals were unquestionably pro-life, yet were not scored equitably on the TRTL scorecard.

As a result of this selective vote counting, several legislators, who have spent their careerscommitted to pro-life issues, were said to “reject opportunities to protect the sanctity of innocent human life” when that is clearly not the case. For example, Senator Bob Deuell was responsible for requiring abortion facilities to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers (SB 537)—a key provision of the landmark prolife legislation that ultimately passed during the Special Session. However, the TRTL political action committee gave him no credit for authoring this pro-life bill. In another instance, State Rep. Bill Callegari was given no credit for his authorship of the parental rights bill (HB 3243).

The method by which the scores were assigned was haphazard and confusing. Some legislators were awarded more points than others for the same legislative action, while other legislators’ contributions were completely ignored. For example, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg and Rep. John Smithee both authored pro-life bills during the session, but Laubenberg was awarded 25 points for authorship of HB 2, while, Smithee was awarded only six points for authoring another pro-life bill that sought to remove abortion coverage in the insurance exchanges. In another example, Rep. Tracey King, who voted against both pro-life omnibus bills (HB 2 and SB 5) received a higher pro-life score than Rep. J. D. Sheffield, who voted FOR both HB 2 and SB 5.

Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. was not scored as pro-life, despite his co-sponsoring and voting for HB 2 and SB 5 and twice crossing party lines to be the final necessary vote to suspend Senate rules and debate on these bills.

What was most troubling to the Texas Catholic Bishops was that the scorecard appears to attack those legislators who supported perhaps one of the most pro-life bills during the 83rd session: protecting individuals and families at the end of life by reforming the Texas Advance Directives Act. Advance directives reform not only would have given families more tools to protect their loved ones at the end of life, but would have provided conscience protections to medical providers to refuse inflicting burdensome and unnecessary procedures on patients. The advance directives law would have changed current law to:

 prohibit the involuntary denial of care to critically ill patients, including food and water;

 prevent doctors from making unilateral “Do Not Attempt Resuscitation” orders without consulting families; and,

 require treating all patients “equally without regard to permanent physical or mental disabilities, age, gender, ethnic background, or financial or insurance status.”

The advance directives reform bill was a moral and compassionate approach to end-of-life care that was opposed by TRTL, but supported by a broad coalition of groups, including the Texas Catholic Conference, the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, the Texas Alliance for Life, the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, the AARP, the Texas Pro-Life Action Team, the Texas Conservative Coalition, and the Catholic Hospital Association of Texas. Advance directives reform was important to the Catholic Church–and to many legislators–because we recognize human life as a gift from God that is innately sacred–from conception to natural death. We have taken this position after much reflection to ensure that the law respects the natural dying process.

The implication to be drawn from this scorecard is that TRTL opposed the advance directives reform bill, and appears to have taken to punishing those pro-life legislators who disagreed with them by inaccurately casting them as not being sufficiently pro-life. That is plainly inaccurate.

In the case of the advance directives reform bill, legislators who supported the law were strongly pro-life; they merely opposed the TRTL’s position. These are not necessarily the same thing. It is unfortunate that so many members who continue to fully stand for life are being attacked for doing just that. We hope that this letter has clarified what would otherwise have remained an unfair and confusing characterization.

Sincerely,

Jeffery R. Patterson Executive Director

Criticizing Cruz

I love what Senator Ted Cruz is doing to fight ObamaCare and the Democrats, and totally agree with his stated goal, but strongly dislike one aspect of how he’s doing it.

Unfortunately, Senator Cruz – who was absolutely correct and exactly on target 99% of the time in his 20+ hour stand in the Senate on Tuesday and Wednesday – leads his crowd in attacking fellow conservative Republicans who support the House Bill that would fully fund the Federal government except for ObamaCare.   This, in spite of the fact that Cruz has said that the fight against ObamaCare is “multistaged,” praised the Bill and House Republicans for their action and even joined in Wednesday’s unanimous Senate vote to consider the Bill in the Senate.

Most people either love or hate Ted Cruz, his agenda and his Senate tactics. There doesn’t seem to be any room for distinction between the Senator, his politics, and his actions.   John McCain called him a “wacko bird.” Harry Reid called Cruz an “anarchist” – along with everyone in the Tea Party. Even Dorothy Rabinowitz, of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, went overboard contrasting Cruz and Senator Mike Lee with the “sane” wing of the Republican party. Bloggers and editors, as well as politicians focus more on Cruz’ “self regard,” his certainty that he’s right and everyone else is wrong and his lack of humility, than on the fight to stem the tide of Federal overspending and government interference in our lives. (See Wednesday’s Senate floor rants of Harry Reid And Dick Durbin, with the classic propaganda technique – or possibly, classic psychological projection – of accusing your opponent of doing the worst thing that you’re doing.)

At the same time, Cruz’ supporters have gone out of their way to call any of the Republicans who didn’t “#StandWithTed,” “traitors” and “RINO’s.” They make no distinction between McCain (who is a “RINO” in my opinion), and Texas’ Senior Senator, John Cornyn, promising to “primary” the latter in 2014.

I urge Senator Cruz and all conservatives to work to build up, not tear down. Do not join the Dems in emotional attacks and accusations. Most of all, don’t turn this into a 3-sided fight between the Dems, the Republicans, and the other Republicans.

Edited to add link to article on John Cornyn. BBN

Federal budget: No real Republican divide

If you only read the headlines and first paragraphs of – or the inflamed comments on – the media coverage of the debate over the Federal budget, you might believe that Republican leaders in the Senate are caving to the Democrats on funding Obamacare. In fact, Senators Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn and Senate Republicans recognize and support the House Continuing Resolution which fully funds the Federal government while defunding Obamacare.

There aren’t just two sides to the story. In fact, the media reports obscure that there are three factions: Harry Reid’s Dems, Republicans who support for the House continuing resolution, and In fact, there are three factions: Harry Reid’s Dems, the Republicans who are garnering support for the House continuing resolution, and the Republican efforts led by Senator Ted Cruz to block even the House Bill by filibuster. Hopefully, Senator Cruz will acknowledge that the House CR makes his filibuster unnecessary.

The House Continuing Resolution is a good Bill, allowing the continuation of the Federal government into December. It’s true that the whole budget debate will continue — but wouldn’t it any way?

Ted Cruz’ Enemies: the Texas Senate Republican Caucus (and Lt. Governor Dewhurst, Governor Perry #TxSen

Did you see how diplomatically the Texas Senate Republican Caucus worded their letter, without mentioning Cruz’ name? They just corrected the distortions he’s spread for a year about their actions in the Senate.

In contrast, Cruz wrote an “Open Letter” addressed directly to Lt. Governor Dewhurst, calling him a liar — which means he’s calling all the other Senators liars, too.

Not only that, but – even though the letter from the Senators was signed by 18 respected Republican Texas Senators —  Cruz went to the trouble of opening the “Properties” folder for the letter (composed in Microsoft Word 97-2003) and publishing a screen shot, accusing the man whose name appears of writing the letter.That may seem a logical assumption to anyone who is already looking for conspiracies  and goes to the trouble to open the Property folder in the first place.

. However, it seems that no one called Mr. Grimes. Mr. Grimes says he didn’t write the letter. He said he used the computer at one time, but doesn’t work for that firm anymore:

I had absolutely nothing to with this letter,” Grimes told Roll Call. “And if the Cruz folks had called me beforehand and asked me, I would have told them, but they didn’t.”

Other sources say that the letterhead was designed by a staffer at a consulting firm called The Eppstein Group. Grimes, who is no longer at the firm, once used that computer and the sources say that is how his name surfaced in the computer software.

Cruz didn’t need to go to all the trouble of working up a conspiracy between the City of Austin and the Lieutenant Governor. (Is he at all familiar with Austin politics? The City of Austin is farther to the left than the cities surrounding his almae matres,  Princeton and Harvard). Erick Erickson of RedState.org has already figured out what happened and wrote that “arm twisting” was going on in the Senate. They, along with everyone else in Austin, are supposedly afraid that they’ll never get another Bill passed if they don’t back up the Lt. Governor.

So, let’s get this straight:18/19 Republican Senators – an easy majority in the 31 member Senate – didn’t mean what they signed their names to — because they are collectively – all 18 of them – afraid of David Dewhurst? They can’t gang up on Dewhurst, but can on Cruz? Without mentioning his name in the letter?

Even Jane Nelson, one of the most poised and competent Legislators in the Nation? Even Florence Shapiro and Steve Ogden who aren’t running again? We’re supposed to believe that Chris Harris, Dan Patrick and John Carona are afraid of anyone? Do they all lie out of fear?

Well, there’s one Senator that Cruz believes. The unnamed “senior Senator,” who was anonymously quoted by that reliable source, the Texas Monthly – and now, Ted Cruz, the Baptist preacher’s son. Now we all know that it’s a badge of Conservatism to be named among their Worst List. We also know that unattributed quotes from the TM are worth less than the paper this blog isn’t printed on.

Nevertheless after listing his distortions once again in the “Open Letter” to David Dewhurst, Cruz gratuitously went farther:

“. . . if the Texas Senators had to vote on whether David Dewhurst should be considered one of the Ten Worst Legislators in Texas, the vote “would be 31 to nothing.”” (link included in original)

So much for diplomacy. Or even Christian decency.

Which Senator lies to support David Dewhurst but can be trusted to tell the Texas Monthly anything truthful?

One thing is certain. He has no idea how much he’s going to need these people, whether or not he wins on July 31. If there’s “fear,” perhaps it should be on Cruz’ part: that they’ll hang him out to dry on Augut 1 and in January if he does get to DC.

Déjà vu, or Repeat as necessary

“We ended up with candidates chosen by the least knowledgeable voters.”

Here’s an older post that I wrote June 1, 2010 and again, last summer? It still applies, more than ever!

We Republicans are the Tea Party. If you look at the Tea Party, you will see the Conservative foundation, the remnant that have opposed “centrists” and “moderates” for years. We are the ones who have known all along what the Dems relearn each election cycle, but some of our own never seem to: Americans are conservative, to the right of center. When all the couch potatoes woke up last year, we were the ones who were here to welcome them and give them somewhere to start.

Some of us sat out the 2006 and even 2008 elections to “teach them a lesson;” that they need to legislate like Republicans if they want us to support them. Where Republicans turned out to vote, we held offices. Where the Republican voters were no-shows, we lost ground and offices. In a few cases, Republicans crossed over in the name of Chaos and strong conservatives were narrowly defeated in the Primaries, leaving us with a choice between a RINO, a Democrat or an under vote. We ended up with candidates chosen by the least knowledgeable voters.

Well, that was successful, wasn’t it? Can’t you just imagine all the true conservative candidates in the Presidential primary of 2008, each wishing the Chaos voters had turned out for them?

The Dems won a majority and then a super majority in the Federal House, Senate and the White House, allowing them to ram-rod their agenda to spread the wealth around, undermine families and threaten the weak and sick at all stages of life. Corrupt and corrupting Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, and John Conyers wield Committee Chairmanships when they should be indicted. The media ignored – and continues to ignore – our plainly stated opposition, underreporting our numbers and drowning out our voices as they proclaim that we lost because the Left better represented the voters and the Country was ready for Change! And now, the media and the liberals are crowing about the power of the tea partiers, and asking everyone who will give them a few seconds what we’ll “do” with “them.”

Unfortunately, the “moderate” Republicans and some of our conservatives didn’t learn the lesson we wanted to teach them. Instead, they decided they need to spend more time and money wooing the swing voters and undecideds. The Big Tent is looking more like a Circus. (See CPAC and “gay conservatives.”)

Many who have appropriated the title of “conservatives” – those who have never been active (or even voted) in the Republican Party before and those who spend their “meet-up” time with the Libertarian Party – are using any and all opportunities to infect the Party with their discontent. If they can destroy us for their own political gain and “Revolution,” they will be happy.

If your goal is to throw the bums out for the sake of defeating the old established leadership, if you think it’s your turn at power, even if you’ve never been involved, much less been a leader, then perhaps your motives aren’t as pure as they should be. Please reconsider what your real goal is and how – whether – your actions will achieve your purpose.

Open Letter to Texans from Senate Republican Caucus

Tonight, the Texas Senate Republican Caucus, 18 of the 19 Republicans in the Senate,  took the unprecedented step of writing a letter to refute some of the stories you’ve been hearing about Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst.

The letter pretty much speaks for itself and is an example of the consequences when Republicans forget who the opposition is and begin attacking the record of one of our own.

Texas State Senate Republican Caucus
Sen. Robert Nichols, Chair
Open Letter to Texans
July 8, 2012

Setting the Record Straight:

An Open Letter to Texans Dear Fellow Texans: In the U.S. Senate primary race, statements have been made that are untrue regarding the records of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, the Republican Texas Senators, as well as Governor Rick Perry. This letter is to set the record straight.

The Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill

Many members of the Texas Senate and the Lt. Governor felt strongly about outlawing the practice of sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants. During the Regular Session, the Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill was blocked by the Democrats through the use of a parliamentary procedure. The Lt. Governor asked Governor Perry to call a special session, removed the parliamentary block, and the bill then passed the Senate along party lines early in Special Session on June 14th. The bill was sent to the House early in the Special Session where it failed to move and died. We are confident that the Senate will again pass the bill in the upcoming 2013 Legislative Session.

Controlling & Cutting State Spending

Governor Perry, Lt. Governor Dewhurst and the Republican-led Texas Legislature have always been committed to balancing the state budget without raising taxes, and have repeatedly done so since 2003. Most recently, the state budget was balanced in 2011 by cutting $14 billion in overall spending. Budget watchdog groups have repeatedly praised Texas for being a low tax, low spending state and specifically for keeping state spending lower than the rate of population and inflation growth since 2003. To characterize the Texas record as one of reckless spending is simply untrue.

The TSA Anti-Groping Bill

The Senate Republicans and the Lt. Governor wanted to protect travelers from unwanted and unlawful intrusion, so Lt. Governor Dewhurst requested that Governor Perry add the TSA Anti-Groping Bill to the agenda for the Special Session. The Texas Senate passed S.B. 29, the TSA Anti-Groping Bill, with enough time remaining in the Special Session for the House to take up and pass the bill. The bill was a tougher version than that of the House, but ultimately died as a result of opposition on the House side.

State Income Tax, Wage Tax and Payroll Tax

We the undersigned, and the Lt. Governor, have always opposed a state income tax for Texas, as well as a wage or payroll tax. Newspaper fact checks clearly confirm this.

Texans deserve to know the truth in this important election.

Signed by Senators John Nichols (Chairman),  John Corona, Bob Duell, Robert Duncan, Kevin Eltife, Craig Estes, Troy Fraser, Chris Harris, Glen Heger, Joan Huffman, Mike Jackson, Jane Nelson, Steve Ogden, Dan Patrick, Kel Seliger, Florence Shapiro, Jeff Wentworth, and Tommy Williams.

Not signing was Senator Brian Birdwell – I’m sure we’ll read the story on that, soon.

Republican Party of Texas 2012 Final “Protecting Innocent Human Life”

Here is the final 2012 section containing the substituted 2010 language and the amendments made in the whole Platform Committee on Thursday night, June 7, 2012

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES, PROTECTING LIFE AND PROMOTING HEALTH

PROTECTING INNOCENT HUMAN LIFE
Party Candidates and the Platform on Protecting Innocent Human Life – We implore our Party to support, financially or with in-kind contributions, only those candidates who support protecting innocent human life. Further, we strongly encourage the State Republican Executive Committee to hear and recognize the longstanding and overwhelmingly consistent voice of the grass roots and revise its by-laws to make this action binding on our Party.
Partial Birth Abortion – We oppose partial birth abortion. We recommend that Congress eliminate from all federal court jurisdictions all cases involving challenges to banning Partial Birth Abortion.
Right To Life – All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We affirm our support for a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution and to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection applies to unborn children. We support the Life at Conception Act. We oppose the use of public revenues and/or facilities for abortion or abortion-related services. We support the elimination of public funding for organizations that advocate or support abortion. We are resolute regarding the reversal of Roe v. Wade. We affirm our support for the appointment and election of judges at all levels of the judiciary who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We insist that the U.S. Department of Justice needs to prosecute hospitals or abortion clinics for committing induced labor (live birth) abortion. We are opposed to genocide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. We oppose legislation allowing the withholding of nutrition and hydration to the terminally ill or handicapped. Until our final goal of total Constitutional rights for the unborn child is achieved, we beseech the Texas Legislature in consideration of our state’s rights, to enact laws that restrict and regulate abortion including:

1. parental and informed consent;
2. prohibition of abortion for gender selection;
3. prohibition of abortion due to the results of genetic diagnosis
4. licensing, liability, and malpractice insurance for abortionists and abortion facilities;
5. prohibition of financial kickbacks for abortion referrals;
6. prohibition of partial birth and late term abortions; and
7. enactment of any other laws which will advance the right to life for unborn children.

Harassing Pregnancy Centers – We urge legislation to protect pregnancy centers from harassing ordinances to require pregnancy centers to post signs in violation of their Constitutional rights. We further oppose any regulation of pregnancy centers in Texas which interfere with their private, charitable business.
Parental Consent – We call on the Legislature to require parental consent for any form of medical care and/or counseling to minors. We urge electoral defeat of judges who through judicial activism seek to nullify the Parental Consent Law by granting bypasses to minor girls seeking abortions. We support the addition of a legislative requirement for the reporting of judicial bypasses to parental consent on an annual basis to the Department of State Health Services and such reports shall be made available to the public. Further, we encourage the Congress to remove confidentiality mandates for minors from family planning service programs operating under Title X of the Public Health Services Act and Medicaid.
Protection of Women’s Health – Because of the personal and social pain caused by abortions, we call for the protection of both women and their unborn children from pressure for unwanted abortions. We commend the Texas Legislature for the passage of the Woman’s Right to Know Act, a law requiring abortion providers, prior to an abortion, to provide women full knowledge of the physical and psychological risks of abortion, the characteristics of the unborn child, and abortion alternatives. We urge the state government and the Department of State Health Services to ensure that all abortion providers are in compliance with this informed consent law and to ensure that all pregnancy centers and other entities assisting women in crisis pregnancies have equal access to the informational brochures created by the Department of State Health Services.
Alternatives to Abortion – We urge the Department of State Health Services to provide adequate quantities of The Woman’s Right to Know Resource Directory to anyone that works with pregnant women.
RU 486 – We urge the FDA to rescind approval of the physically dangerous RU-486 and oppose limiting the manufacturers’ and distributors’ liability.
Morning After Pill – We oppose sale and use of the dangerous “Morning After Pill.”
Gestational Contracts – We believe rental of a woman’s womb makes child bearing a mere commodity to the highest bidder and petition the Legislature to rescind House Bill 724 of the 78th Legislature. We support the adoption of human embryos and the banning of human embryo trafficking.
Fetal Pain – We support legislation that requires doctors, at first opportunity, to provide to a woman who is pregnant, information about the nervous system development of her unborn child and to provide pain relief for her unborn if she orders an abortion. We support legislation banning of abortion after 20 weeks gestation due to fetal pain. *
Unborn Victims of Violence Legislation – We urge the State to ensure that the Prenatal Protection Law is interpreted accurately and consider the unborn child as an equal victim in any crime, including domestic violence.
Abortion Clinics – We propose legislation that holds abortion clinics to the same health regulations as other medical facilities and that subjects clinics to the same malpractice liabilities. We oppose any public funding for Planned Parenthood or other organizations/facilities that provide, advocate or promote abortions.
Abortion Requirements for Hospitals – We propose legislation that entitles hospitals to refuse to perform abortions because government has no moral authority to require such an abortion.
Conscience Clause – We believe that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, any employees of hospitals and insurance companies, health care organizations, medical and scientific research students, and any employee should be protected by Texas law if they conscientiously object to participate in practices that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs, including but not limited to abortion, the prescription for and dispensing of drugs with abortifacient potential, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, eugenic screenings, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration. We call on the Texas Legislature to pass legislation to strengthen and clarify the current conscience clause in the Occupational Code to include the above-mentioned persons and practices. We further encourage legislation that requires hospitals and clinics to inform all health care personnel of their right to refuse to become involved in abortion or euthanasia, and their protection from prosecution and retaliation under Texas law.
Fetal Tissue Harvesting – We support legislation prohibiting experimentation with human fetal tissue and prohibiting the use of human fetal tissue or organs for experimentation or commercial sale. Until such time that fetal tissue harvesting is illegal, any product containing fetal tissue shall be so labeled.
Stem Cell Research – We oppose any legislation that would allow for the creation and/or killing of human embryos for medical research. We encourage stem cell research using cells from umbilical cords, from adults, and from any other means which does not kill human embryos. We oppose any state funding of research that destroys/kills human embryos. We encourage the adoption of existing embryos. We call for legislation to withhold state and/or federal funding from institutions that engage in scientific research involving the killing of human embryos or human cloning.
Human Cloning – Each human life, whether created naturally or through an artificial process, deserves protection. We confirm that somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is the process by which a human being is cloned, and that SCNT creates a unique human being with the same properties of a human embryo created through the union of sperm and egg. We seek a ban on human cloning for reproductive purposes (where a cloned human embryo, created through SCNT, is implanted in a womb and the human clone is birthed). We also seek a ban on research cloning (where a cloned human embryo, created through SCNT, is created, grown in the laboratory, and then destroyed when its stem cells are extracted for research purposes). Furthermore, criminal penalties should be created and experimenters prosecuted who participate in the cloning of human beings. No government or state funding should be provided for any human cloning.
Patient Protection – We support patients’ rights by calling on the state legislature to amend the Advance Directive Act to establish due process of law and ensure that a physician’s decision to deny lifesaving treatment against the patient’s will or advance directive is not due to economic or racial discrimination or discrimination based on disability. We also support the passage of legislation to amend the Advance Directive Act by requiring hospitals intending or threatening to withdraw life-sustaining treatment against the patient’s wishes or their advance directive to continue all treatment and care for such patients pending transfer to another facility.

Note that some of the 2010 language was removed and that the * the portion that I’ve printed in red was an amendment made after the substitution.

Susurrus II ( or #RPTCon and the malignant telephone game)

A friend told me that looking up “susurrus” on Google News brings WingRight.org to the top. Maybe I’ll start a word fad.

I’m planning at least one more blog post beginning with “susurrus” about the social and health issues subcommittee. Although “tempest,” “cyclone,” ”hurricane begun with motion of butterfly wings” and “chaos theory” will be needed to qualify the word “susurrus.”

(Now, if I can learn to spell “susurrus.”) BBN comment at10:00 PM.

Susurrus – Or, “How to divide a Party”

Okay, I’ll admit it: I like the word, “susurrus,” and look for excuses to use it. A better term would be “whispers from the crowd that are going around” or . . .

There are rumblings that the 2012 Republican Party of Texas Platform is “pro-amnesty.”  the ones saying this have a history of assuming the worst and getting attention because they accuse.

The wording in the RPT 2012 platform (on page 21)  titled, “The Texas Solution” plank isn’t “pro-amnesty.” It is a little wimpy and *too easily interpreted* to allow amnesty –  especially if someone  or some group chooses to interpret it that way.

I, too, wanted to see changes in the wording of “The Texas Solution” that would ensure that no one claimed that we in the RPT approve amnesty of any kind.  The term “illegal alien” should have been used instead of “undocumented individuals” and the plan should specifically require guest workers to return to their country of legal residence to apply for guest worker visa.

However, the most important fact is that the Platform was passed after the Delegates had plenty of time and warning to read the planks and even some advance warning about what to read and why. The amendments failed in Sub-Committee, in the larger Platform Committee (on both Wednesday and on Thursday) and then, at the General Session when voted on by the Delegation.

The good news is that the Platform isn’t law. It is a list of those things we in the RPT believe. We do believe in “solutions,” not just complaints and criticisms. We will insist that our elected officials not –  in any way, shape or form –  promote “amnesty.”

spelling change 6/10/12 “Susurrus”

Conservatives, Republicans: Fire, Aim, Ready!

Conservatives are at it again: shooting our own.

When Conservatives decide not to vote for Republican candidates, Republicans lose. Conservatives lose. The Democrats, socialists, and atheists win. Obama wins.

Where Republicans voted in 2008, we won new offices. Where they voted in 2010, we won majorities. Conservatives made the difference in the winning races and in the lost races. Not only did we have fewer Republican victories in those races where Conservatives didn’t vote, the races were decided by the least knowledgeable among us or by the Dems.

More than before, in conservative blogs and forums, I’m reading good men and women declare that they will never vote for Romney if he’s nominated. They remind me that they were the ones who refused to vote for John McCain in 2008, or who (like me) voted for Sarah Palin and McCain just benefited as a side effect.

I certainly wish that Conservatives had found themselves working hard to force McCain to keep his promises for that last three years instead of watching Obama keep his.

And here come the third party rallies!

The problem is certainly the “GOP elite,” and their support for Romney — that’s why Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum couldn’t get a foothold, right? And why Newt Gingrich is still so far behind?

How many votes do you suppose the “elite” have, anyway?

Talk about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, yesterday, Rush Limbaugh warned Conservatives what may happen if the Republican nominee doesn’t win. Yes, he  titled the post of the segment “A Warning to the Republican Establishment,” ending with a prediction that the Republican Party might never recover if “they screw this up.”

The warning to the rest of us is ignored:

If this doesn’t pan out to big-time electoral victory the way the establishment has it figured, then what will their excuse be? And I think I know. I think that if this campaign goes on and if it results in Obama winning, I think what the establishment is going to do is blame us. They’re gonna blame us conservatives for once again being too rigid and too demanding and too narrow and unrealistic and all this, and telling us that we’re the reason that Obama won.

Why not? That’s exactly what happened in ’06 and ’08. (And don’t forget Rush’s own Chaos.) The media and the Left ate it up! The lesson learned was that no one can count on Conservatives. That’s why we repeatedly watch people who should be our champions “pander” (Rush’s word) to the “middle,” the “undecideds,” the independents.

Why not learn instead from successes, like the 2000 election, a victory that the Dems never saw coming? A good friend recommended that I re-read David Horowitz’ “How to Beat the Democrats.” One of the lessons is,

Lesson 3: There Is No Natural Conservative Majority (But You Can Create One through Political Action). The critical role Republican unity played in the election leads to a third lesson: There is no “natural” conservative majority.

. . . Such facts are no cause for conservatives to despair. What they are is a reality-check. If the conservative mission is to restore basic American values, the way conservatives fight the political battle will determine its outcome. There may be no current conservative majority in America, but there is a potential majority, if Republicans have the will and intelligence to create one.

David Horowitz (2002-10-06). How to Beat the Democrats and Other Subversive Ideas (Kindle Locations 842-843, 861-863). Spence. Kindle Edition.

Do we have the will? The intelligence? Can we forget the animosity we have had for each other the last year? Are we willing to say, “Let him who never had a change of heart cast the first stone?”

An estimated 56% – give or take – of the Republican National delegates have been decided, but 44% have not. The numbers aren’t set in stone, yet, depending on what happens to the delegates who went to candidates that dropped out or in States like Iowa, where the actual choice will be made at caucus in June. “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

I’m sure that I won’t see Conservative blogs pulling their anti-Romney posts, but I hope to see a few willing to be positive and work together to ensure Primary victories for the remaining Conservative in the Republican Primary, in order to deny Romney an easy nomination. Is their motto, “Anybody but Romney,” or is it, “Anybody but Obama?”

Has Sarah Palin Forfeited the Role of Uniting Conservatives?

I believe that Governor Sarah Palin had the potential and many opportunities over the last 3 years to unite us in much the same way that Ronald Reagan did when he built his coalition between 1976 and 1980. The fact that she did not isn’t because Governor Palin herself is divisive, but because we Conservatives are a cantankerous and factious bunch who tend to eat our own and fight over degrees of commitment to the principles we hold dear.

“We’ll keep our God, we’ll keep our guns, we’ll keep our Constitution.”

Palin gave what should be a unifying,  landmark speech at the Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC). She warned against turning on our candidates,

  “We know that the far left and their media allies can’t beat us on the issues, so instead, they distort our records,” she said. “They’ll even attack our families. Let’s not do the job for them. OK, Republicans? OK, independents?”

The news contains report after report about Palin’s passionate speech to an overflow crowd who cheered her with even more passion.  Human Event’s Tony Lee is not the only one who asked, “. . . how many who were listening to the speech were coming to the realization that Palin should be the GOP nominee for president?”

The problem is that Palin refused to be the candidate. Worse, she still has not supported any of the candidates, and her words at CPAC are being used to “do the job.”

Palin delayed her announcement about whether she would run for too long, adding to – or at least enabling – the very division and conflict within the Conservative movement that she told us to avoid in her CPAC speech.

While Mitt Romney,Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum were visiting Iowa and New Hampshire long before announcing their candidacies, Palin coyly deferred any commitment to running. The very loyal and enthusiastic Palin supporters went on the attack against anyone who looked like a possible candidate in their hope that she would run. The rhetoric continued even after the announcement that she would not run, with those same supporters interpreting Palin’s comments to justify building up or tearing down through many re-shufflings of the front-runners.

And now, rather than calling for unity among Conservative voters, Palin seems to be supporting a brokered convention. Well, just as I called for her to make a decision about running for President, I’m asking her to use her power and skills to bring us together behind one of the Conservatives, whether an announced candidate or not.

I have a little crush on Big Government’s Andrew Breitbart. In “The Undefeated” documentary on Sarah Palin that was released last year by Steve Bannon, Mr. Breitbart chastised the rest of the Republican men for their failure to defend and protect Governor Palin. And Mr. Breitbart delivered my favorite line of the entire week in his speech on the “silver pony tail gang,” that morphed from the anti-war movement to the Occupiers : “Ask not what the candidate can do for you, ask what you can do for the candidate!”(full video here)

Governor Palin, please join Mr. Breitbart and me in our march against the Occupiers and Barack Obama.

Conservative Advice For @MittRomney, @NewtGingrich2012, @RickSantorum

When Conservatives refuse to vote, we don’t just get fewer Republican voters. We end up with candidates chosen by the least knowledgeable voters.

Conservatives are the foundation of the Republican Party, the remnant that has opposed “statists,” “centrists” and “moderates” for years. We are the ones who the Reagan Democrats joined; the glue and pegs that held together his famous 3-legged stool. We know what the Left re-learns each election cycle but our own Party never seems to: Americans vote to the right of center.

To “Teach Them A Lesson” many Conservatives sat out the 2006 and 2008 elections and a others crossed over in the name of Chaos. The result of both strategies was the defeat of strong candidates in some Primaries, leaving Conservatives with a choice between a RINO, a Democrat or an under-vote. Many who appropriated the title of “conservatives” – those who had never been active (or even voted) in the Republican Party before and those who spent their “meet-up” time with the Libertarian Party – used any and all opportunities to infect the Party with their discontent in the name of “Re-love-ution.”

      The Democrats won a super majority in the House and Senate as well as the White House, allowing Nancy Pelosi to turn off the lights and kick reporters out of the Chamber and Harry Reid to pass “Obamacare” at midnight on Christmas Eve. Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, and John Conyers wielded Committee chairs when they should have been indicted. The media ignored our plainly stated opposition, under-reported our numbers and drowned out our voices as they proclaimed that we lost because the Left better represented the voters and the Country was ready for “Change!”

    The Democrat Senate refuses to pass a budget for the third year and the Obama told the Catholic Church she has a year to overturn 2000 years of doctrine on abortion.

     In spite of 2010 Tea Party victories and a Republican House, our Party had a hard time staying on task.  The “moderates” and some of our conservatives decided to woo independents. Last year’s CPAC invited gay GOProud  and Ann Coulter joined their Council. The Big Tent began to look more like a Circus Tent.

      The media and Democrats now claim the Tea Party is dead and that we’ll see a repeat of 2008 in November, 2012.

      Conservative voters deserve respect, if only for the power of our numbers. Even in 2006, where Conservative voters turned out to vote, Republicans gained offices. Show us you are listening, convince us that you have learned from the mistakes of your own and the Republican Party’s past.

      Republican candidates should search for common threads in our Republican Party Platform, Newt Gingrich’s Contract from America from 2010 and the videos and bloggers’ accounts of those early, nearly impromptu, Tea Party events in February through April, 2009. Send staff to CPAC this week, not to campaign but to listen and learn what Conservatives are concerned about, now.

What would I do to get the Tea Party and Conservatives to turn out to vote and support the Republican Party? Go Right, Candidates!

Ethics, what’s that? Or how not to switch candidates.

Well, for one thing, I’m sure that it’s not ethical to make a public spectacle out of turning on your candidate just six days  before the caucus. And it’s certainly not cool to break up via text message.

Kent Sorenson, an Iowa State Senator who endorsed Michele Bachmann back in March,  and who became Chair of that State’s Bachmann campaign for President, evidently attended a Bachmann rally in his hometown of Indianola on Wednesday afternoon, hen let his former campaign know of his intention to switch his endorsement from his car on the drive to a Des Moines, Iowa Fair grounds rally for Ron Paul .

Seriously,how did he do it?  With a “CUL8R MB”?

Sorenson then made a pretty spectacular announcement at the Paul rally (video, here).

We’re now seeing the “he said/she said” accusations that Sorenson betrayed Bachmann for money offered by the Paul campaign. Sorenson, Paul and Bachmann should all realize that we will eventually see any donations or payments made to Sorenson or his future campaigns by the Paul campaign.

Just to make sure that this is not about Romney, the Boston Globe dedicated the second part of the report on the defection to Bachmann’s criticism of Governor Rick Perry. Even if we Republicans didn’t “shoot our own,” the media will skew the story for maximum circular firing squad effect.

Ann Coulter: still picking losers for President

Ann Coulter never seems to pick a winner in Presidential elections. This year is no different. The problem may be that she is not as conscientious about research as I thought.

I’ve read all her books, and have been impressed with her research. She can certainly say “Lexus-Nexus” faster than anyone I know.

She’s obviously not done her homework on Rick Perry and the law in Texas.   In this video interview at the Wall Street Journal, she says that Romney lied about Global Warming because he was attacked, but that we should believe that he won’t support the same people if we elect him President. She’s sure that he’s learned his lesson on Romneycare, too.

In contrast, in the case of Rick Perry,

His position on illegal immigration is a killer. . .
You can’t repeal the citizenship.
We have a path to amnesty for illegal immigrants that’s a policy can never be changed.

There is no such thing as a path to amnesty in Texas Law, and the Governor has never endorsed amnesty.

We have already been burned once by false promises of border security in exchange for tying security to other aspects of the immigration debate. President Regan, in 1986, signed the immigration reform and control act, which legalized close to 3 million undocumented immigrants. The law was supposed to be a comprehensive solution with provisions intended to clamp down on border security. These provisions were never enforced, and the subsequent explosion in illegal crossings has resulted in some 11 million illegal aliens living in the United States today an estimated 1.8 million illegal immigrants are currently residing in Texas, compared with 1.1 million in 2000. In ten years, that represents an increase of 54 percent or 70,000 persons each year coming to our state illegally. Today, the Pew Hispanic Center estimates than about one in ten people born in Mexico live in the United States. And all of this has occurred outside the system and to the disadvantage of others who have been waiting in line for many years. There are literally millions of people waiting to get into the country legally.  (pp.118-119)

Perry, Rick (2010-11-15). Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington. Little, Brown and Company. Kindle PC Edition.

The Plot Against Perry – Patriot Update

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but I do think Governor Perry is red meat for the controversy-hungry media and that he scares the dickens out of RINO’s.

And now, we’ve got the Washington Post literally turning over rocks to turn up scandalous words. (That rock never belonged to him or his family, although the reports say they repeatedly tried to hide the word.)

Here’s someone who does see conspiracy:

There are three reasons why these groups are plotting against Perry.

First, he hails from Texas and they claim he is “soft on illegal immigration.” I will set the record straight on Perry’s immigration policy. Second, he’s not a “silver tongued” public speaker — as if that should be a qualification anyway. We all know what the last “silver tongued” orator has done to our country. Actions, my fellow citizens, speak louder than words. Third, Governor Perry is a Christian Conservative.

via The Plot Against Perry – Patriot Update.

“Tea Party” Presses Perry on Immigration

You may hear about a media event held yesterday, when some self-proclaimed and self-promoting “Tea Party leaders” held a press conference.

Don’t forget that there really are no “Tea Party leaders.” We in the Tea Party are a very loose group, organized around the theme that we are “Taxed Enough Already.”  I seriously question whether this theme is consistent with a call for an expensive special session for a single issue.

In addition, there are no “sanctuary cities” in Texas. We have individual police chiefs and city officials who discourage law enforcement checks for citizenship status. Is it appropriate for those of us who believe in local, small government to over-ride local officials by an Executive Order or even legislative action that can’t garner wide spread support??

In this case, Governor Rick Perry put the “sanctuary cities” legislation on the emergency list for the Regular Session that began in January and then he brought it back during the Special Session called in June for the Budget Bill. During both the Regular and Special Sessions, the Governor brought pressure to bear on the Senate and the House to pass legislation. He called attention to the widow of the Houston police officer who was killed by an illegal alien. The Senate passed the Bill during the Special Session, but the House did not.

Another problem is that the so-called “leaders” can’t get their act together. During the Special Session, the “leaders” sent conflicting messages, with disagreement on the language in the Bill that had been cleared by Attorney General Greg Abbott. Take a look at this article from the same publication, “Sanctuary Cities Cause Rift.”

Yellow dogs, splitting hairs and being human

Memories in the hearts and minds of others are what we leave behind. Even more than our DNA, that’s what makes us human. We are the only species having this conversation, after all!

More than I’ve noticed in the past, this nascent Presidential election is bringing out emotions, old rivalries, and pitting Conservative against Conservative as we perfect our skill of hair-splitting. We’re covering life, liberty and pursuit of happiness like the founders and many since, and reviewing changes in local politics as well as basic philosophies and world visions. (Not New World Order, how you see the world.)

And, Lord knows, we Conservatives can split hairs finer than Baptists.

Nevertheless, I think all this fussin’ is a good thing as long as we stop short of “eating our own. ” We’re proving, once again, that we are not merely reactionaries or like those old “yellow dog” Democrats or Republicans (meaning we’d vote for an old yellow dog before we’d vote for the other Party). We have arrived – and are arriving – at our opinions through thought and research. (Don’t you love the Internet?)  No one can watch us nit-pick (and cherry-pick quotes) and accuse us of blindly following some leader. Oh, no. Not us!

However new and raucous our debates have become, some of us have been reminiscing about the people who influenced our views on politics, even as we continue to engage in political arguments.   I’ve gotten to “know” some pretty impressive grandma’s and parents and been able to share my own memories of my family.*

We’re reminding one another of why Texas went from a Democrat State to a Republican State. And we still learn lessons from the people who lived that conversion before us.

What a great debate and a blessing to live in these times!

===============

*My mother passed away in August, 2006. I still miss her. Here’s an introduction in the form of the note I wrote on what would have been her 70th birthday:

Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007 would have been my mother’s 70th birthday. Helen Margaret Jernigan Burnett, “Mama,” died from complications of thymic carcinoma last August.

Mama is probably the source of my addiction to arguing and politics. Some people might think it comes from being the oldest daughter of a Baptist preacher, but I believe it comes from being the daughter of a certain Baptist preacher’s wife.

Mama was a teetotaler, prolife, conservative who believed in equal opportunity for anyone who would do the work, but also worked to help others. She and Daddy stopped to “early vote” on the way to see the chest surgeon – just in case her surgery was scheduled before the election a few weeks away. She was semi-famous in her hometown as the food demonstration lady at the local Wal-Mart, the one who handed out samples and root beer floats. She won awards at work for leading fund raising and selling at the store, and ran the early morning Senior Citizens Bingo. Most of all, she was the best “Grandmama” in the world.

As Daddy pushed her wheelchair into the hospital for what turned out to be her last admission, she suddenly looked up at the people around her and said, “I have the best insurance in the world: Jesus Christ!”

It turned out that she was suffering a series of strokes that would steal her ability to do even basic self-care and make her delirious most of the time. Daddy, my sister or I took turns to be with her most of the time; feeding her, helping with her baths and trying to help her control her pain. I wasn’t always patient and I’m afraid that I preached a few of the lessons I learned from her, back at her. But I was better at doing what I could for her than I would have ever thought.

In spite of what I knew of her condition and prognosis, Mama’s death was totally unexpected. Evidently, she had her final stroke while in the MRI, as I sat at the head of the machine, singing to her and trying to keep her (both of us) calm.

I’ve often heard people say that they wouldn’t want to be a burden to their children. Needing someone else to feed us and wipe our chin when we can’t hold the spoon, much less assist us in performing much more intimate acts of hygiene, seems to be the worst thing we can imagine.

I’ve never had a good answer for patients or family members when they express this fear to me. Now, I know that the worst thing that I can imagine is living the rest of my life without having fed Mama, washed her, and rubbed her back on that last day.

The faith that she and Daddy surrounded me with as a child makes me sure that Mama is in heaven. But it’s the memories of caring for her those last few days that let me live here on earth knowing that I loved her as best I could when I could. Mama’s last lesson was that we owe it to our loved ones to allow them to care for us, for their sakes.

Answer to Bias Against Governor Rick Perry

We would be wise to remember a universal truth: No government has ever taxed and spent its way to greater prosperity.” Governor Rick Perry, 2005

This is in response to a post by blogger “MarkAmerica” at FreeRepublic.com. Unfortunately, there are many bloggers out there making the same accusations and false statements. Hopefully, this will clear up some of the questions less biased people might have.

To MarkAmerica:

Incredulously, your statements here imply that you are privy to the thinking and motives not only of Governor Perry, but of Mark Davis! Your comments are skewed bias and nothing more useful than shotgun accusations without evidence to back them up.

You falsely state that the Governor does not represent the same ideals as those of us in the Tea Party. I attended my first Tea Party event on February 27, 2009 in San Antonio and I say that you are flat wrong. Governor Perry met with 3 separate Tea Party groups on Tax Day, April 15th, 2009 – the day he’s accused of suggesting that Texas might secede. We know he never suggested any such thing, but he has always firmly stated his belief in small government, less taxation, and greater accountability to the people.

You also falsely claim that Governor Perry has less in common with regular Texans than with Wall Street “types.” I think his history is at least more familiar to Texans: he grew up far away from the city on a tenant farm, became an Eagle Scout, flew C-130’s as an Air Force pilot, and spent a few more years back on that farm as an adult.
You falsely claim that the Governor is uninterested in individual rights. A review of his speeches and of his books prove that to be a lie. He said in his first State of the State in 2001, that “We must preserve freedom and opportunity by extending it, one Texan at a time.” In his 2003 State of the State address, the Governor made his concern for the individual even more clear by telling the Legislature to remember that “behind every government program, there is a real taxpayer funding it.” He also reminds us that “The right to life is a fundamental right declared by our forefathers” and has consistently championed prolife laws each session.

Your false claim that the Governor only talks tough when he’s running for office is easily dis-proven by looking at 2003, when he had just won re-election for four years. Texas, like the Nation was reeling from the financial fallout of September 11, 2001. The Governor had already led State agencies to cut spending for the fiscal year by 7-13% and called on the Legislature to pass the first budget to cut State spending since World War II by prioritizing education, security and “fiscal responsibility, because neither of these priorities can be met unless our spending is disciplined.”

The Governor has always been adamant about cutting taxes, too. He’s repeatedly called for cuts in property taxes. Look at this, from the 2005 “State of the State”speech:

It is time to cut property taxes for the hardworking people of Texas. In fact, let’s not only give Texans property tax relief…let’s give them appraisal relief too.

Texans don’t like taxation without representation, and they are sick and tired of taxation by valuation.

The time has come to draw a line in the sand for the taxpayer: Let’s cap appraisals at three percent.

If you oppose a three percent cap on the philosophical grounds of local control, I can respect your position. But then I would hope you would be consistent, and advocate for the repeal of the ten percent cap on the same basis. There is no point in being lukewarm on this issue. Either be hot or cold; either provide real appraisal relief, or none at all. But let’s stop this false pretense of taxpayer protection at ten percent.

You falsely claim that the Governor has had a “more recent conversion” on tightening border security, ignoring the fact that Texas spends about a (edit 21:00 8/28/11) 100 dollars of our own tax funds each year to secure the border. Back in the Spring of 2001, he vetoed a driver’s license bill because it didn’t limit illegal aliens. He has consistently demanded that the Federal government do its job on border control by authorizing National Guard deployment. In 2005, he used money from his own office budget to increase funding for local law enforcement and set aside a task force from the Department of Public Safety.

You falsely accuse that the Governor is guilty of “corporate-cronyism.” The Governor promotes privatization rather than growth of government and taxes wherever possible, encourages Texas to compete with other States for jobs and business investments, and most of the business owners appreciate his efforts. Our 2005 tort reform – and the new “loser pays” law – has benefited every business except the trial lawyers. The Toyota plant that opened in San Antonio and a $3 billion dollar Texas Instruments plant are just two strong examples that our Texas policies work to bring jobs to Texas.

Your false claim that the Governor is a “statist” is ridiculous. The entirety of the book Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington is proof against your statement. Here’s just a couple of quotes:

“The statists believe in a powerful, activist central government that advances a radical secular agenda in the name of compassion. The hide behind misguided notions of empathy and push token talking points about fighting for the little guy, all the while empowering the federal government to coercively and blatantly undermine state-, local-, and self-governance.” Location 320

“The truth is, I don’t care what party the statist is in. The fact of the matter is, it is the statist, and those who support or enable him, who is the problem. For too long he has undermined this country by empowering the national government at the expense of liberty. An America defined by the statist in Washington is an America doomed to fail.” ” Location 338

(both quotes from Perry, Rick; Newt Gingrich (2010-11-15). Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington. Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition., the Kindle PC edition. And, no I don’t get a dime from Amazon.com, either. I just do my homework.)

Since you dismiss anything since 2010, here’s an earlier example that the Governor has a clear understanding about personal responsibility, opportunity and a better understanding than most about the differences in power of local governments, the States and the Federal government. He testified before the US House of Representatives against federalization of emergency first responders in 2005. (Testimony here.) (Yes, the response of Washington to the crises after Katrina was to propose to federalize EMS.)

I’ve blogged on the Gardasil Executive Order at LifeEthics.org since February, 2007 and have written more in the last month at WingRight.org. It’s foolish to continue to claim that the Governor was bribed by $6000 in donations (he raised $20 million dollars that year). There is no evidence that the Governor had any motive other than to decrease disease, speed up the coverage of the vaccine by private insurance, and to strengthen parents’ rights by making it easier for them to opt out of any or all mandatory vaccines.

Which leaves the TransTexasCorridor. That was a now-defunct attempt to solve a lot of problems including the need to move more traffic and freight faster, safer and outside city congestion by a combination of privatization and tolls. We had concrete examples of the need for more roads leading across the State during the evacuation of South Texas in response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike. The Governor encouraged the 2005 law to protect private property rights through the control of eminent domain and signed even stronger protections this year.

Conservatives and Republicans shouldn’t forget that our enemy is big federal government and that States are better suited and have the Constitutional authority to try many more solutions to many more problems. As someone who’s been accused of being a “Perry operative” due to my answers to the multiple political rants against Governor Perry, I assure you that some of us have sincerely come to the opinion that Governor Perry should be our next President by the same process that others have decided to advocate for their own particular candidate. We recognize that in his 10 years as Governor, he has boldly practiced what he professes: that States should be “laboratories of democracy.” Not every experiment works, but the Governor has demonstrated that he can learn from mistakes and has the flexibility to change course when the people object.

The Facts on Gardasil and Perry: Right Wing vs. WingRight

Do you really want to frustrate me? Publish an opinion piece online, but restrict comments so that I can’t tell you where you’re wrong. Sure, it’s your site, and you make the rules. Well! Since I have my own blog  . . .

The mainstream media has rediscovered Executive Order RP65 that Governor Perry issued in February, 2007. I wrote a “A Dose of Reason, Perry and Gardasil” to answer some of the gobbledygook in the media.

Unfortunately, some of the pundits we normally consider conservative are just as mixed up and fail just as miserably in their research and conclusions.

Michelle Malkin (michellemalkin.com ) won’t take new subscribers or comments from the public at all. She has written a disorganized rant calling Governor Perry “Obama-like.”  She claimed that the Governor went over the heads of the Legislature, calls the opt-out clause “bogus,” without researching what it was before the Governor’s EO, and is evidently completely unaware of the funding of vaccines in the US.  I was able to comment at the column’s syndication site, Creators.com,   copying and pasting my coverage of these concerns in “A Dose of Reason, Perry and Gardasil.”

RedState’s  Bill Streiff and Erick Ericson have posted their own articles That site won’t take comments from new subscribers. Ericson reposted his 2007 missive that compared the Executive Order to eugenics and focused on the possibility of corruption due to Merck’s lobbying.

Streiff’s two pieces, here , and  here,  cover the de-bunked corruption charges and provide a succinct list of ethical objections that are less subjective and a bit more organized. Here’s my reply:

1. The recommendation did not include males, though males can carry and transmit HPV. This oversight made the creation of “herd immunity” impossible. This, definitionally, means the vaccine could have only a limited effect in combatting HPV.

The vaccine had not been recommended for boys at the time. The reasoning is that the vaccine prevented cancer. Society was not ready to talk about anal sex and males having sex with males, so there was a delay in adding boys. Since that time, the recommendations have changed to include boys.

2. Not all strains of HPV linked to cancer were affected by the vaccine. While doing something is better than doing nothing… generally… no one knows what the impact will be of creating a better evolutionary environment for the others strains by eliminating competing versions of the virus.

We knew at the time that the vaccines covered the viruses that caused 70% of cervical cancers (16 and 18) and 90% of the strains that cause genital warts (6 and 11). The preventive effect for these strains was 96% to 100%. according to the British Journal of Cancer article on the 5 year follow-up, published in December, 2006. (It was on-line November, 2006 and I accessed it for review today, August 18, 2011.)

We already had evidence, since confirmed, that there might be some cross-immunity for other strains.

3.Requiring people to receive a vaccine against diseases which they may very well never encounter is a very queasy ethical area. Unlike diseases like measles, whooping cough, etc., HPV is not spread through casual contact.

True. But 50% of people will be infected at sometime in their lives. The true cost is all of those abnormal pap smears – the cellular changes are all – 99.7% due to HPV.  It’s also true that we vaccinate for tetanus – what we used to call “lock jaw” – even though it’s not contagious, and for Hepatitis B, which is only spread through blood and body fluids.

4. Clinical trials were conducted on women aged 16-26 leaving everyone to presume that Gardasil was safe and efficacious in 10 year-olds even though there was zero data pertaining to that age group.

Completely false. Both the 2007 Gardasil insert (no longer available online, but I saved a copy on my computer) and the current insert contain information about early testing on boys and girls 9-15. 1122 girls ages 9-15 received the vaccine during trials to test the immunogenicity, demonstrating the production of antibodies.
There. I feel better, don’t you?

Debunking the Rick Perry “Pro-Sharia” School Curriculum Myth

Please read the whole column at CounterContempt. Note that the whole fuss began at lefty Salon.com as a (successful) attempt to bring out criticism of Governor Perry and to get inflamed people to make inflammatory remarks about Islam.

Much of the curriculum centers on very dry materials, presented with no editorializing – historical timelines, glossaries, the basic tenets of Islam (presented without either endorsement and praise, or denunciation and criticism), etc. Of interest to us, however, is the lesson plan that deals with Islam and the West, past and present. This is the lesson plan that mentions Sharia, al-Qaeda, Israel, Hamas, etc.

The lesson plan was written by Ronald Wiltse. Mr. Wiltse is a retired history teacher in San Antonio. He graduated from Pepperdine University in 1966, and received his MA from Middlebury College in 1982. For several decades, he taught world history at Edison High School, in San Antonio.

He is a Christian, and an ardent and vocal supporter of Israel.

via CounterContempt Debunking the Rick Perry “Pro-Sharia” School Curriculum Myth.

Bogus “14 Reasons” – Here’s the truth

There’s been an email going around with out and out lies about the Texas economy and half truths or lies about our Governor Perry.I worked on this last weekend, sitting up most of Sunday night and rechecking my facts and numbers this morning.

Here’s the truth:

To everyone thinking about Rick Perry for President:

#1 Rick Perry is a “big government” politician.  When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was approximately $49 billion.  Ten years later it was approximately $90 billion.  That is not exactly reducing the size of government.

During that same period, Texas’ population increased by about 20% ( and we grow 1000 – 1300 people a day from people moving in from all over the US)  and aggregate inflation over that period was about 25%. So the actual growth of government was 39% over 10 years, or less than 3% per year.

#2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control.  According to usdebtclock.org, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645.  In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932.  If Rick Perry runs for presi dent these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.

These are completely false numbers.  In fact, Texas received a credit upgrade this week.

Go to the US Debt Clock Website   or Texas’ Debt Clock.   I checked this morning, August 16, 2011, in order to make sure I had the correct numbers: Texas has a debt to GDP ratio of 18.5% and a debt per person of  $8345 – down from last week’s  $8930.

The truth is that Texas is second lowest State in debt compared to personal income.  Half our our debt is bonds voted on by the People at election time. The other half is mostly “self-supported debt” – like student loans – that is paid off when people pay interest on the loans. Texas has decreased “non-self-supported debt” by 16%.

More here: http://www.willisms.com/archives/2011/08/texas_interest.html

#3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2010/mar/04/bill-white/white-says-texas-debt-has-doubled-under-perry/    since Rick Perry became governor.  So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?

The “more than doubled” number includes city, county, and school districts — not just State debt.  See # 2 and the link that notes that the People voted to allow TXDOT to borrow money (Bonds) in 2001 and voted to sell bonds for the creation of the Texas Cancer Prevention and Research Institute. Everyone should quit voting for more debt when those amendments come up at election time!

#4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system.  If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.

The Legislature stopped the above, Perry signed the Bill. But, the Legislature introduced Regional Mobility Authorities, etc., which can make these deals. It was on the ballot and the People of Texas voted to pass the Constitutional Amendment to allow borrowing in the form of bonds in 2001.

Perry put SB 18, a bill to protect private property rights from the misuse of eminent domain, on his “Emergency” fast track this year and signed the Bill into law at the first Regular Session.   That law limits the use of eminent domain to public use, requires a formal “bona fide offer” process, mandates a market price and allows the original owner to buy the land back in 10 years for the LESSER of either the original price or the current market price if it’s not used for the stated purpose.

#5 Rick Perry claims that he has a “track record” of not raising taxes.  That is a false claim.  Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor.  Today, Texans are faced with significantly higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.

These are cigarette taxes, user fees, etc. that were raised when the school property tax was lowered in 2006.

#6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.

And 26 States have higher rates!

We are increasing jobs faster than most and have produced more NEW jobs than all the other States put together.

Our unemployment rate is impacted by our illegal immigrants and legal immigrants. 1000 people come in legally each day. If the rest of the US were adding jobs at the rate that Texas is, the US unemployment rate would be 7.9%.

#7 Back in 1988, Rick Perry supported Al Gore for president.  In fact, Rick Perry actually served as Al Gore’s campaign chairman in the state of Texas that year.

Al Gore was Pro-life, Pro-marriage, and Pro-Israel in 1988 – he got most of his grief in that race from opponents backing Jesse Jackson because he was Pro-Israel.

Governor Perry’s dad was a Democratic County Commissioner. Governor Perry said in 1985 that he was going to make the Democrats move right. By 1989, he changed Parties. His home County still voted Democrat in 2006.

#8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent.  In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.

Texas’ annual wages have grown significantly faster than other big States.  We didn’t lose jobs in the first place.

The false number proves that there’s lies, darned lies and statistics. (That, and don’t use Rachel Maddow for your source.)  It costs less to live here, too.

#9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation.  The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year….

•  We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma. •  We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores. •  We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.

These numbers are useless without telling us what the same numbers were before 2000. Are we better or worse than we were?

They are strongly influenced by the poor performance of the school districts in the inner cities of Houston, Dallas, and El Paso, plus our border areas. It’s aggravated by the illegal aliens that are unstable or just through the State.

 #10 Rick Perry attended the Bilderberg Group meetings in 2007.  Associating himself with that organization should be a red flag for all American voters.

Governor Perry was invited to speak as the Governor of the State of Texas, which would be the 17th largest economy if we were an independent Nation.

On the other hand, Margaret Thatcher was a member.

#11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.

At least they’re working and not on unemployment!

Our job force and our job numbers are growing much faster than the rest of the Nation.

#12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue. If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.

Governor Rick Perry is for border control and has the record to prove it:

Governor Perry has always advocated for “boots on the ground” at the border, but has been unable to get the Feds to send the manpower. He’s advocated  letting the military practice the use of unmanned Predator aircraft along our border (“They’ve gotta practice somewhere.”)

There are National Guard troops on the Border. Perry has repeatedly asked for more and recently won approval for the 1200 (we only got about 250) that have been deployed to stay longer.    Read this news report from a year ago.

As a direct result of the Governor alerting the Texas Republican Congressman about Obama’s plan to remove the National Guard after less than 6 months, we’ll have them longer.  News report, here, from last month about the extension.

More, here http://www.freerepublic.com/%5Ehttp://wingright.org/2011/08/06/perry-palin-fish-or-cut-bait/

Watch and listen to Governor Perry talking with Greta van Susteren about the border. boots on the ground, and the problems with the fence. (You can see and hear the Texas Ranger helicopters in the background.)

He created the Ranger Recon force, sending 150 Texas Rangers (one riot, one Ranger) to the border along with helicopters and  Texas Guardsmen. He demanded and got National Guard and two unmanned drones. He got the National Guard deployment extended beyond the original 6 months.
Unfortunately, Texas only got 1/4 of the Guardsmen and 2/8 of the drones.

Texas (with our costs from the ICE detention center detainees being dumped in the State by Homeland security, support of Katrina refugees, our natural disasters like Ike, wildfires, and tornadoes) is expected to pay for our own Guard if we want them here after September.

Texas has spent $200 million a year on the cost of jailing illegal aliens that the feds bring here. We’ve spent $79 million of our own Texas tax funds on troops, helicopters.

The Legislature refused to fund his virtual border, so he used money from the Governor’s discretionary fund. In some cases, local sheriffs and cities refused to cooperate.

Here’s an article from January of this year showing resistance from border Sheriff Wiles.

#13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less.  By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.

More Rachel Maddow.   AT LEAST THEY’RE WORKING!!! 

Do you want the Federal Government to raise minimum salary, again? Or how about a Chicago-style “living wage” requirement that runs businesses out?

#14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade.  Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with a highly controversial vaccine. Since then, very serious safety issues regarding this vaccine have come to light.  Fortunately, lawmakers in Texas blocked what Perry was trying to do.  According to Wikipedia, many were troubled when “apparent financial connections between Merck and Perry were reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution and Merck’s hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work.”

Gardasil is a good vaccine. The truth, is that the Legislature had already imposed mandates and had made it harder to opt out in the prior session. Governor Perry made it easier.

According to a complete review by the CDC and the FDA, is that there have been no Deaths due to the vaccine.

I’ve covered this subject in an earlier review at this blog.

(Edited 8/17/11 for formatting and a couple of typos. Hopefully, it’s easier to read. My answers should be in red.)

The Undefeated: Sarah Palin Documentary

Sarah Palin “The Undefeated” Documentary

Did you know that there is a documentary movie, The Undefeated, about the life of Sarah Palin that outlines her political career before her nomination as John McCain’s running mate in 2008?

The movie opened July 15, 2011, in ten theaters across the Nation, with very little advertising other than word of mouth and some on-line buzz. Texas is a big State. Since the only Texas theaters were in Dallas and Houston, I didn’t think I’d get to see the movie until it comes out on DVD.

However, I was in Dallas, Texas for a medical conference last week and realized that I was closer than 250 miles. My sister lives in the Arlington area and we went to see the movie at the Grapevine AMC, near the DFW airport. The only 2 other people who were there bought their tickets after asking us what we were going to see. They had never heard of the movie, at all. Since they like Sarah, they were glad to hear about it.

I was worried that I would be disappointed in the movie since I don’t sit still very well, and rarely go to movies in the theaters anymore. I sure wouldn’t have ever guessed I’d volunteer to go see a documentary!  In addition, I’ve read Going Rogue, and just started America by Heart, so I knew some of the biographical information and feared I might be bored or offended by saccharine fawning.

However, after 2 hours in a darkened theater, the only complaints that I have about the movie are that some of the filler clips looked like cheap effects and that the movie was a tad too long.

The film included quite a lot of video documentation from the years that Sarah was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, from her time as Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and as Governor. There are videos and news clippings documenting long years under fire from both Republicans and Democrats and the fact that her family has spent years living life in the public eye. The real-time news footage and recorded speeches show a competent woman who understands the issues with which she is confronted and who has faced challenges as she tried to cut spending and waste. We learned about the law making Alaska’s natural resources the property of the State. The Governor fought old ways of making back room deals in order to maximize the oil and gas industry for the benefit of Alaskans and the Nation. Not only that, but there’s a couple of great bits of film showing a very pregnant Governor Palin!

Before seeing the movie, I was worried about the effect that running for President in 2011 might have on Governor Palin and her family. The movie convinced me that they have been seasoned as Sarah moved up through Alaska’s political ranks.  Should she announce for President, I believe that the Palin family would know exactly what they are getting into. I believe they can handle it.

How come we never saw all this film and real-time news footage about the Palin as Mayor, State Commissioner and Governor during 2008? The McCain for President and Republican National Committee powers-that-be must have been incompetent or actually wanted to lose the election.

McCain’s staff blew it worse than I thought!

One of the more powerful parts of the movie was the portion of an interview with Andrew Breitbart in which he called the men of the Republican party “eunuchs,” for failing to stand up for Governor Palin. I’ve been thinking about the men that I admire in the Party, and wonder why they have not defended the Governor. Could it be true that Sarah is a threat to the Republican old guard?

Sure, Sarah and the rest of us understand what it means to “fight like a girl.” She doesn’t need to be defended by a bunch of big, tough men. The point is that the men should have stood up for her, whether she needed it or not. That way, they’d have acted like we expect men to act.

The de Tocqueville Moment: will we endure?

Has the United States of America reached the Moment predicted by Alex de Tocqueville when,”The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money?”

Congress and the DC bureaucracies have expanded the federal government, increased regulations and permits, heaped ObamaCare —>on top of “Stimulus” —> on top of TARP and all of this —> on top of the other spending that made Conservatives angry enough to stay home in 2006 and 2008 is not the answer.  We didn’t like it in November, 2010 and we don’t like it now!

 

Edited for spelling 3/28/2012 BBN

An Open Letter to Republican Leaders

Conservative Republicans from my home town of New Braunfels and all over Texas have made it a point to tell me that they are frustrated with you. Even as you begin asking for our support in next year’s election, y’all don’t seem to remember who brought you to the dance, and that we are supposed to lead.

You may have heard our Conservative song at times; even going so far as to dance all around your own Bills in order to appear in step with us. But you still dance to a beat we don’t like far too often.

We worked so hard last year to send a Republican majority to Austin and Washington, only to have the people we elected seem to pay little attention to us and our Party Platform.

In Austin, it was a compromise on the Speaker and toll roads. In DC, we’re watching this political theater about the budget and the debt ceiling.  Why are Republicans, with a majority in the House and a clear mandate from the voters, still getting bogged down in “negotiation?”

And don’t tell us how hard it is to hammer Bills into Laws. This is your job, the one you volunteered for. It can’t be any harder than what we did to get you there in 2010, and what you’ll ask us to do in 2012.  And we did it on top of our regular duties, not as a paid, full-time job!

After all the time and money we  invested in your campaigns before the primaries, some of us spent  thirteen hours working the polls on Primary Day and rushed from there to attend our Precinct Conventions.  Delegates to our Precinct and County Conventions gave up hours on Primary night and on a Saturday later in the month. Before these meetings, we reviewed the old Party Platform and carefully crafted new resolutions. Then we defended them at our Precinct, County and State Conventions. Some of us served on Convention Committees at the County and State level, giving more time to sift through the Resolutions, put them in order and finally come up with a Platform that our Delegates approved at the State Convention.

I’m sorry if this seems like I’m giving you a hard time, and I’d rather be spending my time encouraging you than griping. But, still,  if we can do all that, why can’t y’all cut spending in DC?

Edify, don’t split hairs

We Conservatives can split hairs finer than Baptists – or the Galatians and Ephesians to whom the Apostle Paul wrote 2000 years ago. Apostle Paul had good advice when he admonished us to edify one another and to gently correct our opponents.

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