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5th Circuit Upholds Texas Law on Funding for Women’s Health Program

 

Guess what? States are allowed to decide what they want to spend tax money on!

From the ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court on Texas’ Law prohibiting our Family Planning tax funds from going to any “affiliate” of an abortion provider or anyone who “promotes” abortion: ”

Although this restriction functions as a speech-based funding condition, it also functions as a direct regulation of the content of a state program, and is therefore constitutional . . . “[W]hen the government appropriates public funds to promote a particular policy of its own it is entitled to say what it wishes.” Rosenberger, 515 U.S. at 833 (citing Rust, 500 U.S. at 194). 

Needless to say, the press, including the Texas Tribune and theAustin Chronicle  disagree with this ruling, the latter more obviously than the former.

Once again, please look at the Texas Tribune’s own interactive map or the State’s data base of doctors and clinics who have contracted with Texas’ WHP. Those Planned Parenthood clinics aren’t located in health care shortage areas. There are no shortages of willing providers for the services in question in the areas surrounding the abortion affiliates.

Texas Medical Association wants you to pay for elective abortions @texmed @texasallianceforlife #pro-life #tcot

Not all of the members of Texas Medical Association agree with the TMA on this.

The San Antonio Express News published an editorial August 9th, by O. Ricardo Pimentel, entitled, “Texas tries to get between you, your doctor:”

For them, the issue isn’t abortion; it’s about the doctor-patient relationship, patient health and the ability to put everything on the table that needs to be discussed. Even if it’s abortion.

In a recent letter to the state, the Texas Medical Association, joined by other medical groups, said Texas is about to embark on a plan for providing medical care to low-income women that will impose a “gag order” on discussing abortion even on doctors working with patients not in the program.

Other groups, weighing in during the public comment period on proposed state rules, have similar concerns.

It’s a plan, they say, that will ensure not enough doctors for this program willing to provide care, including family planning services. And this, they say, will guarantee more unintended pregnancies, more abortions and more illness that might have been prevented for low-income women.

Among those also commenting on the rules were the Center for Public Policy Priorities, and leaders of Planned Parenthood entities in the state, South Texas groups among them.

Trust me, for everyone who is mentioned above, it’s about abortion. The law doesn’t stop anyone from discussing or even promoting true contraception that doesn’t end the life of our youngest children of tomorrow.

And it is about “elective abortions:” those that are performed on health babies in healthy mothers. We’re not talking about the more controversial abortions in cases of rape and incest, much less in the cases of congenital disorders that are “not compatible with life outside the womb and certainly not in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Since when do elective abortions “need to be discussed?

How difficult is it to understand that Texas taxpayers should not pay for “promotion” of abortion? Or that we most certainly do not want our State tax funds to go to doctors who perform elective abortions on healthy babies and healthy mothers?

While I don’t speak for the Society, I am an elected delegate for my County Medical Society to the TMA House of Delegates and I believe that most of our members would agree with me on this. I am very much in favor of restricting payment from our limited State funds to only those doctors and organizations that provide comprehensive and continuing medical care for the whole woman and her whole family. With Texas Family Doctors, Internal Medicine Docs, Pediatricians and OB/Gyns reeling from the lack of increasing fees from Medicare and decreases in Medicaid funding, why not help keep them in business by adding the availability of billing the State for screening tests like pap smears, exams for breast masses, diabetes and high blood pressure?

In fact, that’s what the Legislature decided: that money would be prioritized. First come the comprehensive care docs, hospitals, and county and city clinics. Planned Parenthood is never mentioned, although there is a section of the law that absolutely prohibits the State from contracting with anyone who “promotes” abortion *if there are other qualified providers available.*

Texas DHS has already identified more than enough doctors and clinics that qualify under the law. These doctors can actually treat the diseases for which the Texas Women’s Health Plan screens. Our Texas Legislature made a wise decision when they agreed that it doesn’t make sense to send our few dollars to a clinic that treats a very narrow medical spectrum in an intermittent manner.

And the law has already saved human lives: Austin city and Travis County taxes once paid for 400 elective abortions each year. A year ago, the law achieved what the taxpayers who protested this use of their money couldn’t do: Austin and Travis County health clinics were forced to stop funding those abortions.
If you have a family doctor, consider a polite call to his or her front desk asking them to let the TMA know their views on using Texas’ tax funds to support Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

You might also consider contacting Texas Alliance for Life and/or you local Crisis Pregnancy Center to let them know that you support their efforts to keep your State (and federal) tax funds from paying for the ending of lives of our Texans of tomorrow.

Texas Womens Health Program update

Texas Alliance for Life has sent out a notice of a hearing Monday, August 8th, on the TWHP. (Sorry for the formatting, I’m traveling, so limited access to the Internet.)

* * * URGENT LEGISLATIVE ALERT 8/3/12 * * *

Please Contact the Texas Department of State Health Services to Register Your Opposition to Tax Funding for Planned Parenthood!

Deadline on MONDAY

Please immediately contact the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and register your opposition to tax funding for Planned Parenthood in a new state health program.

DSHS is creating a new state-funded program, called the Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP), to provide preventative health care for low-income women. The services will including some STD screening and treatments, screening for breast and cervical cancer, and contraceptives. The new state program will replace the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, which is expected to come to an end in October. The new TWHP will provide the same or more services as the Medicaid program it replaces.
See a sample message and contact information below. Comments must be received by Monday, August 6.

The Obama Administration is killing the Medicaid Women’s Health Program in Texas because Governor Perry and the Legislature refuse to fund Planned Parenthood. Senate Bill 7, passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Perry last year with Texas Alliance for Life’s strong endorsement, explicitly excludes organizations that provide or promote elective abortion, like Planned Parenthood. Without Senate Bill 7, there would be no statutory basis for excluding Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid Women’s Health Program and from the Texas Women’s Health Program.

SAMPLE MESSAGE: Please call, email, or mail a message in your own words by Monday, August 6.Phone — 800.322.1305 (during business hours):

Email — click here to email to CHSS@dshs.state.tx.us.
“Dear Ms. Garcia,
“This is a comment regarding the proposed rules for the Texas Women’s Health Program published in the Texas Register on July 6, 2012.
“Please assure that Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide or promote elective abortion are not eligible for public funding under the Texas Women’s Health Program. Planned Parenthood runs 14 abortion facilities in Texas, and they promote elective abortion at every one of its sites in Texas even where they do not perform abortion. I do not want my tax dollars to go to organizations that perform or promote abortions as a method of family planning”
“—–Your name and address

Mail: Imelda M. Garcia, Department of State Health Services, Division of Family and Community Health Services, Community Health Services Section, Mail Code 1923, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347,

Deadline: Monday, August 6, 2012.
Please let us know you’ve made your contact. Simply send comments to info@texasallianceforlife.org.

BACKGROUND

For more information, visit Governor Rick Perry’s website, Fighting for Women’s Health: http://governor.state.tx.us/initiatives/womens_health/.

Here’s a (YouTube) video of Texas Alliance for Life’s executive director, Joe Pojman, Ph.D.: Joe Pojman, Ph.D., Executive Director. This video interviews Texas Alliance for Life’s board member, Dr. Beverly Nuckols: Beverly Nuckols MD, FAAFP, Family Physician 

Texas Alliance for Life (TAL) is a non-sectarian, non-partisan, pro-life organization of people committed to protecting innocent human lives from conception through natural death through peaceful, legal means. TAL is a statewide organization based in the Texas capital.

www.TexasAllianceforLife.org    512.477.1244

twitter.com @TXAlliance4Life     facebook.com/TexasAllianceforLife

@GovernorPerry: One Shot At Electing @DavidHDewhurst #TxSen

 

Great video!

Office of the Governor Rick Perry – [Press Release] Gov. Perry Announces Janek and Traylor to Lead New Leadership Team at HHSC

This should be interesting! Have we ever had a former Representative and Senator for Commissioner of Health and Human Services?

Office of the Governor Rick Perry – [Press Release] Gov. Perry Announces Janek and Traylor to Lead New Leadership Team at HHSC.

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Dr. Kyle Janek of Austin as executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) effective Sept. 1, 2012, and announced that Chris Traylor of Austin will serve as chief deputy commissioner. This team will oversee the operations of the five health and human services agencies, including more than 55,000 employees, combined annual budgets of more than $30 billion, and the state’s Medicaid program.

“Texas, like the rest of the country, is headed into a period of the most significant changes in health care in our history,” Gov. Perry said. “This new leadership team, with Kyle and Chris at the helm, combines unparalleled experience and expertise to ensure Texans continue to have access to the health care they need while implementing fiscal policies that are mindful that it’s taxpayer money they are spending.”

Janek is a board-certified anesthesiologist and director of anesthesia services at Lakeway Regional Medical Center. He is a past member of the Texas Legislature, serving in the House of Representatives and Senate from 1995 to 2008. He is also a board member of the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute and the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation, and a member of the Travis County Medical Society, Texas Medical Association, Texas and American societies of Anesthesiologists, the International Anesthesia Research Society, and the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists. Janek received a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and received a medical degree and completed his residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He replaces Tom Suehs, who is retiring.

Traylor has served as commissioner of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services since 2010. He helped oversee the consolidation of the 15 health and human services agencies into the current five in 2004, and is past associate commissioner for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. He has also previously held additional positions at HHSC including chief of staff and deputy commissioner of government relations. Traylor received a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University.

What you might not know about the Texas US Senate Race #TxSen

At Monday night’s debate in Houston between Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz, Republicans in the runoff for the US Senate race(Twitter #TxSen), I met a couple who said they were still “undecided” about who to vote for. They asked why I was supporting Lt. Governor David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz. They were surprised that I believed his record is so strong and hadn’t even heard about Ted Cruz’ speculation to reporters that Governor Perry wanted to get Lt. Governor Dewhurst elected because he wanted Dewhurst out of Austin. The fact that these two went to the effort to attend a debate on  a Monday night made me believe that they are actually informed voters, but that if these two people don’t know the issues, perhaps many others don’t either.

I’ve covered some of this in other posts on WingRight, including my last Post, “An Open Letter to Texas Voters,”  and you can read about the support David Dewhurst received from 18 of the 19 Republicans in the 31 member Texas Senate, here. Here are more specific reasons why I support pro-life, pro-marriage, small government candidate Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for US Senator from Texas.

As I’m sure you know, Texas has a quirky system, where our Lieutenant Governor is more powerful than our Governor in many respects. If you want to know what Lt. Governor Dewhurst will do in the US Senate, look at just some of the laws he’s helped pass over the last 10 yrs:

  • Women’s Right to Know Act, an informed Consent law for abortion with 24 hour waiting period, 2003;
  • Prenatal Protection Act which declared the unborn an “individual” – a person in Texas law – “from fertilization until natural death,”  2003,
  • Defense of Marriage Act, 2003, with a Second law passed to amend our State Constitution, 2005;
  • Parental consent for abortion, 2005;
  • Tort reform, 2005;
  • Decreased school property tax by 1/3, 2007;
  • Jessica’s Law, 2009,
  • Loser Pays, 2011;
  • De-funded abortionists, including Planned Parenthood, 2011;
  • Prohibited illegal aliens from getting driver’s licenses, 2011;
  • Photo Voter ID, 2011;
  • Blocked the law written specifically to force Texas to follow the Democrat’s call to raise school spending at 2009 stimulus levels, 2011;
  • Sonogram Bill, requiring the abortionist to offer the mother a chance to see her child and hear the heartbeat;
  • Castle Law 2009 that allows Texans to use deadly force to defend themselves against threats, without having to prove they tried to “retreat”to safety;
  • Stronger protection for Concealed Carry Permit holders every session since 2003:
  • Balanced our budget every two years, even when there were projected shortfalls in 2003, 2009, 2011;
  • Every year since 2005, Texas has spent at least $100Million of our tax dollars to augment border security and that number was doubled in 2011.

Governor Perry, with the help of Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and the Texas Senate, refused to accept those “Stimulus funds” for education and unemployment insurance that would have forced us to change our laws in 2011. Yes, we used some stimulus funds that didn’t require us to change our laws, but, as our former Senator, Phil Gramm said,

“(I)f the Congress had a vote on whether to build a cheese factory on the Moon, I would oppose it based on what I know now, and I cannot imagine the circumstance under which I would support it. But on the other hand, if Congress in its lack of wisdom decided to start a cheese factory on the Moon, I would want a Texas firm to do the engineering, I would want a Texas construction firm to do the construction, I would want the milk to come from Texas cows, and I would want the celestial distribution center to be in Dallas, Texas, or College Station, Texas, or somewhere else in my State.”

 

These are just the highlights of a career that began the same year that 11 Democrat Senators left Austin on a supporter’s plane in order to hide out in Albuquerque New Mexico for a full month in order to deny the Senate a Quorum and avoid losing the votes on Congressional redistricting.

You might have read that Dewhurst increased taxes, with the misleading statistic that our revenues went up over the last 10 years. Increased revenues do not necessarily mean increased taxes! They also go up with the growth of the economy. Texas’ population went up over 20%  and our State added more jobs than all the other States combined in the same time period. These were good jobs, and they went to legal residents who come into our State at the rate of 1000 people a WEEK! The fact is that even the Club for Growth, who is now backing Mr. Cruz, stated last year that Texas’ spending has actually gone down over the last 10 years, when adjusted for population and inflation.

How did we spend that money? Mr Cruz knows exactly how: he was the lawyer who worked out a deal in Federal Court when he was Solicitor General that bound the State to increase spending on Medicaid. He uses this spending from his agreement against the Lt. governor.

You might also read that Dewhurst supported a “payroll tax,” or even an “income tax.” These accusations are based on words in a press release and an editorial against the Lt Governor, from 2006. These weren’t the words used in the Bill that is bandied about, and that Bill never became law. In the law that was eventually passed, there are three ways to calculate our State business franchise tax. One of those is a tax based on employee pay, minus benefits. But there are two other ways, and the business chooses the best way for them. More telling is that our Attorney General won the case proving that the tax is not an income tax, last November. Cruz knew that his claim was wrong as from the beginning of his ads and web campaign against Dewhurst.

You can find my other posts on the US Senate race here.

About those attacks on Dewhurst #TxSen

In spite of the Open Letter to Texans from the Senate Republican Caucus, people on Twitter (follow the subject tag #TxSen), Facebook and even RedState.com are still making the accusation that Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst “proposed” or “supported” a personal income tax and/or a “wage” or “payroll” tax for Texas, back in 2006. I’ve touched on the subject before, but thought I’d post a more detailed explanation.

There’s a quote all over the Internet, used to prove that the LG made a statement in favor of the income tax when in fact, the comment is taken out of context. Dewhurst was objecting to adding another burden to small businesses and start ups. Unfortunately, the original Associated Press March 30, 2006 article, “Businesses studying proposed tax structure,” by April Castro, is not available online. (A Screen shot of the first page of one newspaper that carried the article is here in pdf, but there’s no quote from Dewhurst in this part. I haven’t been able to find any online version carrying the supposed quote.) However, here’s a summary from Politifacts debunking of the claim;

A March 30, 2006, AP news article, headlined “Businesses studying proposed tax structure,” indeed quotes Dewhurst as saying: “I think I’d rather see a tax that’s based on income — you earn money, you pay something, you don’t earn money, you don’t pay anything.”

We can see why a critic would single out that comment, though the full AP story indicates that Dewhurst was speaking to the particulars of revamping the business franchise tax rather than advancing his desire to create a personal or business income tax.

The story initially points out that lawmakers had previously stumbled over how to restructure the business tax, which most corporations did not owe. “They worried that proposals would not apply equally to different business structures,” the article says. “And business-friendly Republicans have been hesitant to levy a new tax that could be harmful to job creation and economic growth.”

According to the story, the consensus proposed fix — which was a plan devised by a panel headed by John Sharp, a former Texas state comptroller — would tax businesses on a percentage of their gross receipts, meaning the money a company brought in before expenses, with each company choosing between deductions for cost of goods sold or employee benefits like salary and health care. The story says sole proprietors and general partnerships would be exempt, along with companies that have annual gross receipts of $300,000 or less.

For more than 80 years, the story says, the state’s main business tax had been based on a company’s net assets, though lawmakers changed it in 1991 to make it more like a corporate income tax. Texas companies subsequently had the choice of paying either 0.25 percent of the value of their net assets or 4.5 percent of their net corporate income, whichever was greater, according to a 2003 report on Texas taxes by the nonpartisan House Research Organization.

The LG’s comment was in fact made in opposition of one idea floated during the 2005/2006 update of Texas’ 100 yr old tax business franchise tax, so that all businesses, whether they made a profit or not, had to pay on gross receipts.

In order to lower property taxes and comply with a Federal Court ruling that allowing local school districts to max out the property tax was a de facto State income tax, Governor Perry named an independent Commission in 2005, under the leadership of John Sharp, a fairly conservative Democrat. (Texas has a lot of those as well as left radicals.)

Before, there had been a lot of loopholes and exempted businesses, so that only 6% of businesses paid at all.. When the franchise tax was broadened to include nearly all businesses in Texas, lots of ideas floated around. It took a couple of years, but the final tax ended up with an exemption of the first $150K and then the next session amended that to the first $300K.

Another claim – currently seen in Cruz’ TV ads – is that Dewhurst “actively supported” a “payroll tax” during this process. Cruz cherry picks two words from a  Press Release issued by the Dewhurst staff in 2006. One Senate version of the franchise tax rework praised the Senate for passing a bill that included School finance and the business tax changes. The term is only used once, in paragraph 4 and is not actually in the Bill. There are quotes around the statements by Dewhurst, but no quotes are found in the part that uses the words “payroll tax.” The Press Release notes that businesses had the option to choose between the two ways to calculate that tax, one based on income alone and one adjusted by employees payroll with exemptions, but doesn’t advocate one way over the other. (That version never passed into law.)

Attorney General Abbott successfully defended the tax against a lawsuit claiming that the franchise tax was an income tax on sole proprietorships and small partnerships in August, 2011, and the ruling from the Texas Supreme Court was reported in November, 2011.

Medicaid Expansion Would Cost Everyone

Bravo to Governor Rick Perry for refusing to move ahead on the Medicaid expansion requirements in the misnamed “Affordable Care Act,” AKA “ObamaCare.”

According to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, of the 6.5 million uninsured in Texas, fewer than 10% of Texas’ uninsured would benefit from expanding Medicaid to everyone at 133% of the Federal poverty guidelines. ObamaCare has no requirements other than annual income.  The law won’t allow asset verification or take into account beneficiaries’ willingness and ability to work.

Texas uninsured numbers include Nearly 1/3 that are illegal aliens, about 40% who earn more than $50,000 a year, and about 1/4 who are already eligible under Medicaid and CHIP. None of these people  would be eligible under the expansion. Many are young and healthy, not convinced they need to spend their money on insurance, anyway.

The cost of expanded Medicaid, much less the rest of Obamacare, would require increased taxes, overt and hidden, on everyone. Sure, for two years, the Federal government is supposed to “pay” for the 10% of Texas’ uninsured added to the expanded Medicaid. But it won’t pay for that 25% of uninsured that are already eligible and it won’t cover illegal aliens or “the working poor.” And after 2 years, the Federal money goes away, leaving Texas with the bill.

Even though Washington can print paper money, the government doesn’t have any money that it doesn’t take in taxes. The cost is not just what is collected by the IRS, it comes in the loss of value of the money and assets we earn or already have.  Obamacare, and the Stimulus before it,  are sold by the Left as a classic take-from-the-rich “redistribution of the wealth.”  However, hey also cost non-taxpayers and the working poor and middle class by the harm they do to our economy and the increase in cost of necessities. As well as inevitably rewarding those who are unwilling to fend for themselves, they punish everyone who lives pay check to paycheck as well as the “wealthy.”

Governor Rick Perry tells Obama Admin, “No!” #TxSen @GovernorPerry

Governor Rick Perry has made it official: Texas won’t expand our Medicaid to cover all adults up to 133% of the Federal Poverty level. The ACA Medicaid expansion does not allow any requirements other than income. No need to work, no asset limits, no medical need or other hardship.

Here’s the Press Release from the Governor:

July 9, 2012

Gov. Rick Perry, in a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, today confirmed that Texas has no intention of implementing a state insurance exchange or expanding Medicaid as part of Obamacare. Any state exchange must be approved by the Obama Administration and operate under specific federally mandated rules, many of which have yet to be established. Expanding Medicaid would mandate the admission of millions of additional Texans into the already unsustainable Medicaid program, at a potential cost of billions to Texas taxpayers.

“If anyone was in doubt, we in Texas have no intention to implement so-called state exchanges or to expand Medicaid under Obamacare,” Gov. Perry said. “I will not be party to socializing healthcare and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government.

“I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab. Neither a “state” exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better “patient protection” or in more “affordable care.” They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care.”

Gov. Perry has frequently called for the allocation of Medicaid funding in block grants so each state can tailor the program to specifically serve the needs of its unique challenges. As a common sense alternative, Gov. Perry has conveyed a vision to transform Medicaid into a system that reinforces individual responsibility, eliminates fragmentation and duplication, controls costs and focuses on quality health outcomes. This would include establishing reasonable benefits, personal accountability, and limits on services in Medicaid. It would also allow co-pays or cost sharing that apply to all Medicaid eligible groups – not just optional Medicaid populations – and tailor benefits to needs of the individual rather than a blanket entitlement.

Gov. Perry has consistently rejected federal funding when strings are attached that impose long-term financial burdens on Texans, or cede state control of state issues to the federal government. In 2009, Texas rejected Washington funding for the state’s Unemployment Insurance program because it would have required the state to vastly expand the number of workers entitled to draw unemployment benefits, leading to higher UI taxes later.

In 2010, Gov. Perry declined “Race to the Top” dollars, which would have provided some up-front federal education funding if Texas disposed of state standards and adopted national standards and testing.

To view the governor’s letter to Secretary Sebelius, please visithttp://governor.state.tx.us/files/press-office/O-SebeliusKathleen201207090024.pdf.

teDCruz Ruse #5: Attack @GovernorPerry for endorsing @DavidHDewhurst

Governor Rick Perry released the following statement last night in response to Ted Cruz’s false attacks:

“Earlier this evening Ted Cruz falsely characterized my rationale for endorsing my friend and conservative colleague David Dewhurst for the US Senate. David Dewhurst championed and passed multiple tax cuts, billions in spending cuts, major tort reform and strong pro-life measures. David will build on that Texas conservative success in the US Senate to overhaul Washington, block President Obama’s socialist agenda and restore the 10th amendment of the US Constitution. Making false statements about my motives or David Dewhurst’s conservative record is a disservice to Texas voters.”

via teDCruz Ruse #5: Ted Cruz attacks Gov. Rick Perry for endorsing David Dewhurst | Dewhurst for Texas.

Together, Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst worked to:

  • Defund Planned Parenthood
  • Pass 51 tax cuts for a savings of over $14.5 billion for Texas taxpayers
  • Pass the largest tax cut in Texas history
  • Pass Photo Voter ID
  • Pass landmark tort reform to make the trial lawyer agenda obsolete

 

 

Governor Perry, integrity, Texas Senate Race

That doesn’t sound like a man who is being “expedient.” He isn’t just praising Texas’ success in general. No, Governor  Perry is giving credit to Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst for his conservative leadership.

And yet, Ted Cruz, “fighter,” believes he knows the Governor’s real motive.

From the press conference after the debate:

DALLAS — U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz is questioning Gov. Rick Perry‘s support for opponent David Dewhurst, saying Perry only supports Dewhurst to “get him out of Austin.”

Cruz saved his sharpest comments for reporters after he and Dewhurst exchanged words in an hour-long KERA/Channel 13 debate, dominated by Cruz’s criticism of Dewhurst for “negotiating” and “cutting deals” with Democrats in 10 years as the presiding officer in the Texas Senate.

First, Cruz told reporters the “Texas political establishment” is opposing him because “there are a lot of folks in Texas who would very much like to get him out of the state legislature and send him to Washington.”

Later in the press conference, Cruz named Perry, saying Perry and Dewhurst “have fought tooth-and-nail” over state budgets but “It is in [Perry’s] political interest to get rid of David Dewhurst and get him out of Austin and send him somewhere else.”

Cruz is Cr
CrRead more here: http://blogs.star-telegram.com/politex/2012/06/after-debate-cruz-says-rick-perry-just-wants-dewhurst-out-of-austin.html#storylink=cpy

Donna Campbell recognized by Governor at RPT Convention

You can watch the video at WFAA
Then, from my hometown paper, the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung:

Perry salutes Campbell at convention

From staff reports | Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 11:25 pm

FORT WORTH — On Thursday, New Braunfels’ Donna Campbell made her first public appearance since her strong finish in the primary election, attracting the attention of Gov. Rick Perry at the Texas Republican Convention, her campaign said.

In a spontaneous exchange, cameras caught the governor, with reporters in tow, giving a congratulatory hug to Campbell after his keynote address.

“Donna, congratulations. Well done,” Perry told the New Braunfels physician and tea party favorite.

Campbell has received a lot of attention ever since her grassroots campaign upset Elizabeth Ames Jones in Senate District 25, her campaign said. She faces longtime incumbent Sen. Jeff Wentworth in a runoff on July 31.

“It’s exciting,” Campbell said of the experience. “To know people are rooting for you because they believe you can change the political culture and bring fresh ideas to government.”

Campbell received another warm welcome later in the day when she addressed the delegates of District 25 at a caucus meeting, her campaign said.

 

 

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst: A Record of Results

Why do I support David Dewhurst for Texas Senator?

From the Preamble to the 2010 Platform of the Republcan Party of Texas: The embodiment of the conservative dream in America is Texas.”

The result of conservative government in Texas is clear. Our State’s direction with the leadership of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Governor Rick Perry is a Conservative example for the Nation. Their policies and achievements demonstrate the results of action based on the belief that true liberty is Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-business, holds the line on taxes, spending, torts, and Washington, DC interference and regulation.

Texas leads the Nation in the creation of jobs. Our unemployment rate went down to 6.9% in May, in spite of legal US immigrants that average close to a thousand a day. Lt. Governor Dewhurst has balanced our budget in Texas, even when it meant cutting $10 million in 2003 and $15 million in 2011. In fact, the 82nd Legislature  cut Texas’ dollar amount spending below the previous biennial amount for the first time since WWII. Adjusted for inflation and population, Texas spends less than when Dewhurst took office.

And there is no contest when it comes to legislative victories on social issues. Texas’ Defense Of Marriage Act was passed not once but twice under Lt. Governor Dewhurst; the second time amended our State Constitution. Thanks to his leadership, Texas passed our own Prenatal Protection Act and the “Woman’s Right to Know” informed consent law in 2003. This year, we not only added sonograms to the informed consent law, we also managed to move all of our State health care funding away from abortion providers and any of their corporate affiliates. Yes, that’s right, Texas de-funded Planned Parenthood.

The 2011 Texas 82nd Legislature was also incredibly effective on protecting our State’s borders and Sovereignty;  banning drivers’ licenses for illegals, getting Voter ID, allocating $400Million for border security, and changing the law to allow Texas authorities to turn illegal aliens over for timely deportation after they’ve served their jail time. And yet, Lt. Governor Dewhurst’s opponents ignore these victories, claiming that the Lieutenant Governor “killed” two Bills in 2011: the Transportation Security Agency Anti-Groping Bill and the Sanctuary Cities Bill. However, both the TSA and Sanctuary Cities Bills were passed by the Senate at different times. The problem was coordination with the House, where the Speaker refused to allow timely consideration of the Bill and opposition by some strong conservatives, including Steve Hotze and Norm Adams.  In the Special Session, the TSA bill was passed by the Senate, along with the biennial budget and a landmark omnibus medical finance bill.

In fact, even the “failed” passage of the TSA Bill in the Senate during the 82nd Legislature’s Regular Session was an example of the power of Dewhurst. He is said to have “twisted arms,” along with Governor Perry, to get the vote to the floor, even going so far as to try to “suspend the rules” to bring it up out of order. The Democrat Senators block-voted to prevent the 2/3 vote necessary while every single Republican voted for it. It is likely that had the Lt. Governor not pushed for the suspension of the rules on the TSA Bill, the budget would have passed in the Regular Session if it hadn’t come down to the midnight filibuster by the Dems.

Finally, I support Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst because he’s proven that he believes that  “The government has no money, it’s the people’s money.”

Devore: How California’s budget blunders led to my divorce from the Golden State | Fox News

Chuck DeVore, former California Assemblyman has moved to Texas and sings our praises, while pointing out the pitfalls of statist California:

Texas’ bureaucracy, excluding teachers, is 22 percent smaller as a portion of the population than is California’s, with every Texan paying about $467 a year for government retiree benefits, compared to California’s $1,105 in pension costs. Sky-high benefits for bureaucrats may soon cause the bankruptcy of Stockton, California’s 13th-largest city.

California has more government paper-pushers but Texas has 17 percent more teachers per capita, with educational outcomes favoring the Lone Star State. In fact, Texas K-12 schools perform consistently above the national average across age, racial, and subject matter areas, while California schools perform well below the national average.

To support its bloated government, California asks more of its taxpayers who pay 10.6 percent of their income to state and local government, above the U.S. average of 9.8 percent. Texans pay only 7.9 percent.

via How California’s budget blunders led to my divorce from the Golden State | Fox News.

Governor Perry: “David Dewhurst is a conservative fighter.”

Governor Rick Perry has made a “Straight Talking” radio ad endorsing Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. Of all the people you might be hearing from or reading, Governor Perry should know the facts.

And this is what he has to say:  “You know the DC insiders are scared when they spend millions of dollars attacking Texas Conservatives. . . David Dewhurst is a Conservative fighter. . .  David is the one candidate best prepared to make Conservative change happen in Washington!”

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?”

Planned Parenthood “affiliates” and the Texas Women’s Health Program

Today, the Austin Chronicle, the local “alternative” news source, has yet another article “Perry continues assault on women’s healthcare,” claiming that Governor Perry and the Commissioner of Health and Human Services Suehs have acted – seemingly on their own – to shut down the Texas Women’s Health Program (more info here) in order to spite the poor underdog, Planned Parenthood.

Today’s statement is that “The new regulation signed by Suehs – redefining “affiliate” to mean that Planned Parenthood clinics not providing abortions are deemed affiliated with those clinics that do – conflicts with federal law, as confirmed last week by U.S. Health and Human Ser­vices Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.”

Actually, the Attorney General ruled on the definition of “Affiliate.” The Secretary must follow the law passed last Spring by the 82nd Texas Legislature.

It’s not surprising – in fact it’s common sense – that subsidiary corporations are considered “affiliates” by the State, since they are members of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  The annual report of PPFA calls these facilities their “medical affiliates.” The President of PPFA, Cecile Richards, shown above with Texas Senator Jeff Wentworth at a Planned Parenthood of San Antonio and South Texas event, visits these subsidiaries in her official duties.

(Photo from the 2009 Annual Report of Planned Parenthood of San Antonio and South Texas)

“Obama Standoff,” or To Coin a Phrase – Revised

We used to call it a “Mexican standoff,” but that could be considered bigoted these days. Or at least non-PC.

“Obama Standoff”  is a better description for a specific condition – one that’s becoming more common and hitting us more frequently. In the “Obama Standoff,” the Obama administration demands that Texas, some other State, or any individual or organization of individuals with a conscience,  violate their own laws, Constitution, or conscience – threatening to withhold Federal tax money, fine, or break that law himself if others don’t comply.

Unbelievably, Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius visited Houston today and announced – on the Friday before the funding for Texas’ Women’s Health Program expires on Wednesday, March 14 – that she is going to deny renewal of the Medicaid waiver. She did this *before* notifying the State or the Commissioner! See the Governor’s announcement in response, here. http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/17025/ )

The Obama Administration doesn’t even care that there will be no meeting of the Texas Legislature until January 2013. Of course, this is the Constitutional scholar in the White House who ignored the meaning of “recess appointment” in January. Why should he honor concepts like the Legislature makes laws and the Executive Branch must follow them?

It doesn’t matter that Texas has had the same law for 10 years  any more than it matters that the Catholic Church has opposed contraception for thousands of years. It doesn’t matter that physicians have defended the right to follow their consciences for 2500 years, since Hippocrates’ oath was adopted by the Profession.

Why should they? They don’t care that the First Amendment guarantees the free expression of religion — to “establishments of religion,” by the way!

In a particularly unconscionable moment, one Obama Administration official told representatives of religious organizations that they had a year to reconcile – with Obama, not with God.

And they certainly don’t understand, much less care, what a “conscience” is other than some roadblock in their goal to control and force every doctor to be complicit with ending human life – or at least make sure to move next door to someone who will.

To paraphrase C. S. Lewis: We laugh at honor and are surprised to find treachery among us.

@GovernorPerry appointed me to Texas Institute for Health Care Quality and Efficiency

I can’t say the whole name of the Institute in one breath, so I alternate between calling it “the Institute,” or “tick” for “TIHCQE.”

TIHCQE will make recommendations to the Texas Legislature on how to measure quality and efficiency and help bring innovation to cut costs while still taking care of our Medicaid patients, those who have State health plans, and future “health care collaboratives” or HCC’s. The latter could be the Accountable Care Organizations that are laid out in the Accountable Care Act (“Obamacare”), or something brand new in Texas.

Anyway, I sent out this notice this morning:

For immediate release:
Reference: http://governor.state.tx.us/news/appointment/17014/

Governor Rick Perry Appoints Beverly B. Nuckols, MD, FAAFP, to Texas Institute for Health Care Quality and Efficiency

Austin, Texas – Texas Governor Rick Perry has appointed New Braunfels Family Physician, Beverly B. Nuckols, MD, FAAFP, to the Board of Directors of the Texas Institute for Health Care Quality and Efficiency, for a term to expire January 31, 2013.

The 82nd Legislature created the Texas Institute for Health Care Quality and Efficiency as part of Senate Bill 7.  The Institute is charged with improving health care quality, accountability, education and cost to the state by encouraging health care provider collaboration, effective health care delivery models and coordination of health care services.

Nuckols, a board certified family physician in private practice, has lived in New Braunfels with her husband, Larry, since 1993. She is a member of the Texas Medical Association, American and Texas Academies of Family Physicians, and the Comal County Medical Association. Nuckols serves on the Board of Directors for Texas Alliance for Life, New Braunfels Options for Women and is the Chair of the Family Medicine Section of the Christian Medical and Dental Association. She has served as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, and a board member of the Comal County Women’s Shelter and New Braunfels Hospice.

Nuckols received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler, and completed medical school and family practice residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.  She received a Masters in Bioethics in 2007 from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois.

—End—

Texas Governor Perry Pushes Back (Family Planning, Women’s Health and PP)

Governor Rick Perry is pushing back against the Obama Administration’s threat to kill our Texas Women’s Health Program due to law passed by the Legislature last June. The Governor’s office has produced 4 new videos (one of which includes me) explaining that the State is prepared to ensure that women are able to access continuing comprehensive care under these programs.

If you only have time for one, watch Carol Everett’s video in which she relates that the Commissioner of Health and Human Services has identified 2500 doctors willing to participate with the Well Woman Program and Texas’ Family Planning, even in rural areas where there has never been a Planned Parenthood clinic. There are also videos from former Waco PP Executive Director Abby Johnson, Texas Alliance for Life’s Executive Director Joe Pojman, Ph.D., and me.

The videos can be viewed at the Governor’s YouTube page and via the Office of the Governor website. They are the beginning of a series of announcements and news releases in hopes of convincing the Obama Administration and Secretary Sebelius to preserve these programs. Time is short as the current Medicaid waiver is due to expire at the end of March.

Stop and think about it: What the media is reporting as a single crisis is really the effect of two separate events. One is the cut in funding to Family Planning that went into effect in October,  along with many other cuts that were made in order to balance the State budget according to the Texas Constitution while paying for Medicaid for children and education.  The second is what is happening in a few clinics that are partners with other clinics that do abortions and are panicking because they are about to lose State funds.

Where are the reports about the thousands of providers who have agreed to see patients under both these programs?

The media is also acting as though the law prohibiting anyone who performs or refers to abortions, or who is a business partner with an abortion provider is brand new or that the Governor got up one morning and changed the law. No, the House and Senate of the 82nd Texas Legislature deliberated for months on Medicaid funding, including the best way to provide care under the Family Planning Title X funds and the Medicaid funded Women’s Health Program. They continued the old prohibition on funding affiliates.

The only change is that the Attorney General has clarified that “affiliates” include organizations that are part of the same national corporation.

The media and President Obama also ignore that the legislature won’t meet until January, 2013, so there is no way to change the law that appropriates State Tax funds.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you: I was nervous as I could be and I spent too much time giving a list of my credentials. But if you’re brave, here’s my video.

Update on Texas, Contraception, and Women Who Vote (and blog)

Over the weekend, there were more op-eds published in online magazines and newspapers all over the Internet championing women’s “right” to contraceptives and nearly everyone of them tied that “right” to the “right” to obtain an abortion. Search the news on “Texas contraception politics” and you’ll find a few dozens of articles published repeatedly in newspapers across the Nation. They often begin discussing cuts in State funding for contraception and move straight to the theme that mean old Republicans in Texas just don’t want to pay for abortions.

Yes, we don’t want to pay for abortions or support corporations that do them. That is our “choice.”

However, the reality is that Texas Legislators had no choice other than to cut spending. Where is the money going to come from?

Texas also cut money to train resident doctors – the future family doctors, OB/Gyns and pediatricians because there was not enough money. But I don’t see any articles on “The war against physician workforce.”

The only way to raise money would be to raise taxes. In order to raise taxes, we would have to have a vote to change our Constitution. I, for one, would vote “no.”

Everyone – including the Obama Administration – ignores the fact that Texas’ part-time Legislature will not meet again until January 2013, so there won’t be a chance to change the funding until after the November election.

Please notice the hateful tone of many of the blogs, op-eds and especially the readers’ comments and letters to the editors. And note that they always focus in on abortion – and that even the National articles narrow in on Texas. The truly mean comments claim that Republicans hate women. Some articles are even titled, “. . . War on Women,” and “When States Abuse Women.” One of the “War on Women” articles was published in the UK’s Guardian.

Women vote in Texas. We believe that life begins at fertilization and that every human being is endowed by our Creator with the right to life.

And we sure don’t have extra money to pay higher taxes. How hard is that concept to understand?

Pro-Planned Parenthood against @GovernorPerry

Governor Rick Perry wrote an Editorial about the refusal of the Medicaid waiver for our Women’s Health Program by the Obama Administration. While it appears that very few news organizations actually print the op-ed, many have published their own, and a few reference the Governor’s essay. (A search at Google News on “Women’s Health Program” yields about 100 media posts, more blogs.)

Once again, the comments from the media and readers are derogatory, don’t contain the facts, and very critical of all of us “anti-abortion idiots” (per one commenter at Texas Tribune).

Texas has had law limiting the distribution of Medicaid and the Woman’s Health Program funds to those who perform, refer to, or affiliate with abortion providers for years, and received waivers in the past – even from this Administration – under this law.

The real difference is that this year, the Legislature prioritized funds to providers who provide comprehensive, continuing care at Federal, State, local, and County health clinics.

Yes, there was a renewal of the ban on abortion providers, although PP itself was never mentioned. And, yes, the Attorney General has clarified the meaning of “affiliate.”

However, while a nice side benefit, PP wasn’t excluded because they are PP. They were excluded because the State had to prioritize our funds and PP doesn’t offer comprehensive continuing care. They don’t treat high blood pressure, but Federally Qualified Health Centers do. They don’t treat diabetes, but the health clinic run by the county does. They don’t even write orders for mammograms, they just have a list of clinics that do.

In the last few months, the State has already made contracts and arrangements with other providers for a more efficient use of the limited funds we have. If access is cut, it won’t be for a lack of doctors and clinics – it will be because the Obama Administration doesn’t like the way our Legislature decided to prioritize the funds.

There is no federal law that says that Texas has to make contracts with anyone and everyone. As pointed out by the Governor and in this fantastic letter from the Executive Commissioner of the State Department of Human Services, Tom Suehs, the Social Security Act specifically gives the right to the State Legislatures set preconditions for contracting with the State to provide Medicaid.

Since PP only provides a narrow range of care, they don’t qualify – even though they aren’t mentioned in the law. They don’t treat high blood pressure or diabetes, or even do mammograms.

However, the Obama admin – and all those hateful commenters and editorializers – choose to focus on only one “provider.” The same organization that had 4 illegal abortion clinics shut down in San Antonio. The one that gives directions to facilities that do mammograms, but doesn’t even write prescriptions or give orders for the mammogram lab. The one that Texas is finding surprisingly easy to replace.

Now, our limited State tax dollars will go to Women’s Health Program doctors and clinics where they can receive treatment after being screened.

Another Soros Service Announcement?

The twits (my all purpose term for people who do dumb things) over at the Soros-funded Texas Tribune have earned the title again. I hate to give them “hit’s,” but that’s where the story is.

TT has an irregular feature they call the “Texplainer” “answering” what are presented as questions from readers. Today, the “Texplainer” popped up at the front of my Google News page with a question about why Governor Perry did not attend last weekend’s National Governor’s Association meeting in Washington, D.C.

The Governor is even said to be “reliably absent.”

Several news agencies, including some of the other UT affiliates, noted the surgery. Some even gleefully reported that the doctor, Bruce Malone, has criticized the Governor’s policies on funding for women’s health programs (definition of women’s health = abortion and contraception).

However, there’s no mention of the Governor’s Friday surgery in the “Texplainer’s” “explanation.” (“Twits” = “Jerks”)

Addendum at 3:20 PM: You can’t make this up! In answer to my comment questioning why there was no mention of the Governor’s Friday surgery, someone posted that one of the TT regulars had written about that subject in full, last Friday.

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.

CPAC: My first and probably my last

I have a new expletive or two for really, really, really bad “screw ups”: one is CPAC and the other is the name of one particular rude CPAC staffer I encountered.

I’ve had a miserable time at CPAC, the only shining moments were Governor Rick Perry’s speech, Andrew Brietbart’s rant about Obama and the “silver pony-tail gang”, and the Presidential Banquet with Paul Ryan’s talk and the privilege of meeting some wonderful Conservatives. I was especially struck by one panelist’s comment that the proof that faith and family are priorities and that the proof is that the TEA Party hasn’t literally formed a third party.

I’ll complain about the Convention itself later, but, first, the Politics!

Here at CPAC, virtually everyone who finds out I’m from Texas told me they were rooting for Perry and/or that he was their first choice. The exceptions were one who switched over from Sarah Palin, two that were interested in Cain, and one Ron Pauler; all but the Pauler had supported Perry while he was in the race.

Governor Perry’s speech was extraordinary and had more passion and truth than all the current candidates’ speeches. He gave the boldest speech so far.

For the Powers That Be, all the candidates should have acted like they were at CPAC. Early in the speeches, we needed to hear their conservative ideas, social issues, and self-criticism of their past mistakes, preferably with a passionate conversion story, preferably one that made us all know how strong and permanent the change has been. At CPAC convince us that you could smell the brimstone and feel the singe of the heat.

Instead: We got Santorum’s very sad-faced family and 20 minutes of foot-stomping and whining without any substantial plan, Romney’s wide-eyed gaze at us, and his assumption that he’s already won and we’d better study his 50 page plan. Newt not only had his friend introduce Saint Calista, but Newt himself gave us big government plans to *replace* the EPA with a new Federal bureaucracy and *reform* the FDA, both of which should be abolished and their regulations returned to the States.

And now, to my own rant about the Conference: I have a new expletive or two for really, really bad times: one is CPAC and the other is the name of the incredibly rude staffer I encountered on Thursday

My husband and I have attended several very large conventions (The Texas Straw poll in ’07, the Value Voters Summit in DC in ’08, American Academy of Family Physicians with up to 10,000 in attendance, the National Pawnbroker’s Convention, and the Texas Republican State Convention, etc.) The system and facilities for CPAC2012 are the worst I’ve ever experienced.

The Marriott’s too small, the ballroom was set up wrong, and no one could have designed a more dangerous traffic pattern, even without the Mormon missionaries standing shoulder to shoulder, blocking traffic in the halls and lobbies.

I could never recommend that anyone pay for “Platinum Package.” Several people have said that they should have saved the money and gone “Diamond.” And it turns out that there’s another level of Very, Very Important People, but none of the rest of us get to even glimpse them.

I’m told that all previous CPACs offered less security rules and presence and more access to the Candidates and celebrities. That access was exactly why I asked my husband to buy me the “Platinum Package” tickets for my birthday this year. I also signed up for Blogger credentials (free), as well.

Well, there was no access.

The bloggers were divided weeks ago into the in-crowd and the rest of us.

And money can’t buy happiness, either. I’ve been in more lines this week than I thought possible, and there has been very little of the promised “special lines.” Even the “VIP entrance” is a joke: I’ve been stopped more than half the time and then still fight the fire-hazard crowds in the single in/out aisle. On the first day, I couldn’t find and empty chair in the “Platinum/Diamond” area until after noon. The Platinum Balconies offer little or no view and the food is available for very limited times.

The opportunity to hear the 3 main candidates in one day and to meet some great Conservatives is the only benefit I’ve seen this week at CPAC. (You can follow my tweets @bnuckols )

Time to review “If only we had a vaccine for hysteria”

I’ll give you something to be hysterical about:  Rosanne Barr has filed the paperwork to run as a candidate for President. For the Green Party. We can laugh all day about her taking votes from Ron Paul AND from Barack Obama.

Unfortunately, I don’t mean hysterical-funny. I mean the more common definition of a psychiatric condition involving emotional excesses.

(I’ve still got the button to donate to Rick Perry on the WingRight home page and have no intention to take it down, so take my advice with that in mind.)

We don’t have a vaccine for hysteria, although Michael Fumento called for one back in 1999 in his op-ed on the hullabaloo surrounding the anthrax vaccine. I used the reference when writing about the HPV vaccine, back in October, 2011.

Now that we’re getting down to the pure, partisan politics in the Republican Primary election for Presidential candidate, I think we all need to take a look at the destructive nature of hysteria on our Conservative priorities. We want a President and Congress that will cut spending, cut government interference in our lives and businesses, and protect our inalienable rights. It is still absolutely true that the worst of the Republican candidates will be much more likely to give us what we want than Barack Obama.

The Conservatives I know fall into two camps, both of which are inappropriate in my opinion.  Either they believe that Mitt Romney already has the nomination for Republican candidate sewn up or  they’re angrily vowing  not to vote in the Primary or the November election.

Dr. Jack Kelly at the To The Point blog (behind a pay wall) is in the first camp. He’s already moved on to nominating the future Romney Administration VP (Marco Rubio) and Secretary of State (John Bolton).

Over at FreeRepublic.com, there are plenty of FReepers in the second group. They have spent months vowing not to vote for Romney if he’s nominated. “No Romney, No Way!” and “FUMR!” are all over the place.

Let’s not forget that we still have a long Primary season ahead of us. Less than 5% of the 1100 eventual delegate votes are determined. We should each remember that Obama is much more our enemy than any of the Republican candidates. We should also each continue to support the candidate that best reflects our values, even if it’s our own version of “FUMR!”

Great Day at the Texas Rally For Life in Austin, Texas

It was a beautiful day to go to the Capitol in Austin, Texas! I took my 11-year-old granddaughter to the Texas Rally for Life and we handed out information on the new “Choose Life” license plates that are available in Texas.

Texas’ Attorney General Greg Abbott was our key-note speaker. The video at this link has a portion of his speech and comments from people who attended – by their own free “choice.” The crowd displayed warm, loving support for those lives, mom and baby, threatened by abortion.

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst (who is running for US Senate) and our Senator John Cornyn also spoke, along with Joe Pojman, PhD, of Texas Alliance for Life, and Carol Everett, a long-time supporter of pregnancy assistance services.

From the Austin, Texas TV station, KVUE.com:

AUSTIN — Crowds carried hundreds of signs in protest of abortion as they marched up Congress Avenue. For decades the Texas Rally for Life has brought people from all across the state to the steps of the capitol.

The Texas Rally for Life brought close to 3,000 people marching through downtown Austin Saturday afternoon.

Crowds listened as anti-abortion leaders urged them to spread their message to everyone.

Keynote speaker Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott explained how he learned the beauty of life when he lost the ability to walk.

Those who took part said the polarizing issue of abortion should not be approached with hate, but with love.

“Being Pro-Life is just such a blessing and seeing how much love we have for everyone — even after they have an abortion,” Elise Bockover said. “We’re still here for them, and I want people to know that — we’re here for them always.”

The date of this year’s rally added significance to everyone. Late January marked the anniversary of Roe V. Wade, the landmark decision legalizing abortion in 1973.

This is very positive coverage of our Texas Rally for Life!

To all who call us “anti-abortion and “anti-choice” and to you who say that we who are pro-life should “adopt all the unwanted children” (see comments at this page): The people who attend this rally are the most likely to give their time and money to charities to directly help mothers, babies, and their families. We are truly “pro-life” and we do support the mothers and babies we defend. Take a look around, I’ll bet there’s a pregnancy crisis center close to you, run by volunteers and donations.

If you would like to support adoption, you can easily donate $22 when you renew your license plate by choosing the “Choose Life” license plate option.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I’m on the board of Texas Alliance for Life and my local “Options for Women” pregnancy assistance center.)

@GovernorPerry should not drop out!

If Governor Perry drops out, most of the Nation will never get a chance to vote for our candidate, or to influence the Republican primary at all. I’m afraid that the voices that claim that the “Powers That Be” really determine our candidates will be proven right.

Now, I’ll admit to being an early supporter of Governor Rick Perry.  I’m still convinced that the Governor is the right man for the job. And he’s the only one of the remaining candidates who still has a job – and the only one who hasn’t been running for President for over a year.

Part of the reason that Romney is always in front is the script that he IS the front-runner. And part of the reason that Governor Perry is trailing is the repetitive script that he can’t win because he got in so late and made mistakes in his first couple of debates. I’d think more people would have noticed how fast Rick Perry learned debating, and how much he has improved in such a short space of time. But no: the consensus is he goofed up in September, so it’s all over.

The reality is that it’s still January. Even after South Carolina and Florida – the first “winner take all” primaries – just 5% of the Delegates to the Republican Convention will be determined. No one can possibly be declared the winner of the Republican Primary until late March. With less than 50 delegates out of the 1144 needed to win, half of the 2288 total, the race is – and should be – still on.

While both Santorum and Gingrich are Conservatives, their histories are no less tainted than any other candidate, and some of those votes and actions will need to be defended. Neither can speak authoritatively about working in the private sector, creating jobs, serving in the military, or upholding the Second Amendment. Worse, both have a long record of “crossing the aisle” and forgetting to come back.

Gingrich has been married three times and has a very public history of adultery. He muddled his response just last month as to when life begins and the balanced budgets he brags about depended on the Sustainable Growth Rate.

Santorum has a lack of executive experience, as well as the specter of his support for Senator Specter (who turned Democrat) and his loss in Pennsylvania. He also voted against the Right to Work Act because, as he said last week, Pennsylvania is not a Right to Work State.

And then, there are the wives. Apparently, there was a “war” over the wives at that meeting of Christian leaders last week. As the Republican platform supports the Defense of Marriage Act, the wives will become an issue when their husbands go up against Obama.

Governor Perry has had well over 11 years of experience running Texas, both as Lieutenant Governor and Governor. He understands what it means to be required to balance a budget, work with a contentious Legislature and fight for laws not only in the House and Senate, but in the Courts and in public opinion. He understands the ramifications of regulations and appointments to regulatory bodies.

He’s the only one of the five remaining candidates other than Paul who has served in the military, having volunteered to serve in the US Air Force near the end of the Viet Nam War, becoming a pilot for over four years and retiring as a Captain.

On the social issues, there’s no one with a better record than Governor Perry: he has been married to one wife, and has always been pro-life, pro-family, pro-gun, pro-state’s rights.

Governor Perry doesn’t just say these things because he believes it’s what Republicans and Conservatives want to hear. Governor Rick Perry, in his books, Fed Up! and On My Honor, and in his years of service to the State of Texas, has proven that he understands and believes in Conservative ideals.

Does Texas ‘informed consent’ law signal a successful new strategy against abortion? : News Headlines – Catholic Culture

Knowledge is power. Especially when it comes to Courts and lawyers. Knowing that the baby who might be aborted is not just a lifeless “tissue” or “product of pregnancy” is bound to change hearts and minds. Someday, abortion will be thought of in the same way that we think of slavery.

Legal scholar Hadley Arkes believes that the groundwork for a powerful challenge to legal abortion has been laid, in a judicial decision affirming the “informed consent” law in Texas.

Judge Edith Jones wrote a carefully reasoned decision in Texas Medical Providers v. Lakey, Arkes writes. Her decision, emphasizing that the new Texas law does not place any barriers in front of a woman seeking an abortion, is very likely to withstand a Supreme Court challenge, Arkes believes.

Beyond the judicial sphere, the Texas precedent should encourage legislators to consider bills that protect the unborn without directly challenging the Roe v. Wade precedent, Arkes suggests.

That move is bound to set off crippling tensions within the party of abortion in Congress. They are the tensions that could make that party come apart, and bring us to the beginning of the End.

via Does Texas ‘informed consent’ law signal a successful new strategy against abortion? : News Headlines – Catholic Culture.

Texas has already determined that it’s wise to regulate doctors, medicines and surgical procedures. In the case of the abortion laws and sonogram requirements, the rules for action are placed on the doctor doing the procedures. The doctor is the only one being “made” to do anything.

We have a 2005 State law mandating 24 hour waiting period and a set of steps to ensure that the patient, the woman who is going to have an abortion, receives thorough informed consent.  Texas also protects other patients with regulations requiring specific informed consent for sterilizations, hysterectomies, radiation therapy and electric shock therapy. These procedures are often performed on patients who may be vulnerable to outside influence (by the doctor or family members pr social expectations) and all carry risks of permanent harm and consequences that the patient should know about.

The Sonogram Bill ensures that the woman seeking an abortion will meet the doctor who will perform the abortion and that the physician will tell her the status of her pregnancy and the development of baby, all before she’s sedated and in a gown, before she’s up in the stirrups.

Who would go for any treatment without first meeting the doctor? Would you consider it “punishment” or “shaming,” much less based on some “religious value” to enforce Texas’ similar informed consent laws for patients about to undergo radiation therapy, electric shock therapy, or a hysterectomy? Where’s the outrage about shaming or frightening the smoker when the doc sits down to explain why you need bypass surgery?

Would any one argue that the man who goes in for radiation therapy does not know that he might have cancer cells remaining in his body? Or that a woman doesn’t know that she won’t ever be able to have children again if she has a hysterectomy? (We’ll skip the problems with consent for electric shock therapy.)

The Bill is reminds me of our earlier fights to allow patients to own their own medical information, to make our own choices with full, informed consent. It’s patronizing to tell women seeking abortion that they don’t need to see their own sonogram or to consider sharing her medical information with her as interference by the State.

‘You Know What’s Despicable? Beheading Daniel Pearl’ @GovernorPerry

Go watch the video, it’s impressive. “I saw a reduction of force  . . .and the results of it in the sands of Iran in 1979. Never again.”

Rick Perry sounded off on what he called the Obama administration’s “disdain” for America’s servicemen and women. He then addressed the video that surfaced of Marines urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters, saying that these “young men made a mistake.” He then asserted, “The fact of the matter is this, when the Secretary of Defense calls that a despicable act … Let me tell you what’s utterly despicable. Cutting Danny Pearl’s head off and showing the video of it. Hanging our contractors from bridges. That’s utterly despicable.”

via Perry on Marines Peeing on Taliban: ‘You Know What’s Despicable? Beheading Daniel Pearl’ – Rick Perry – Fox Nation.

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