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Health insurance choice is bad?

The San Antonio Express News picked up a Washington Post op ed on those big, bad Republican plans to repeal Obamacare. Originally titled, “The reason Republican Republican health-care plans are doomed to fail,” by the editorial board that declared, “There’s no way to replace Planned Parenthood.”

And it’s bunk, even as prudently renamed and appropriately filed in the Opinion section.

What we are *actually *seeing *today is that costs are rising and insurers are withdrawing from States. Choices are certainly limited if there’s only one insurance company on the exchange and routine screening costs are “free” — But the care for treatment discovered at screenings is subject to high deductibles.

Limited coverage plans with major medical for extraordinary costs – rather than a wish list covered with other people’s money from first dollar – encourages personal responsibility and will cut costs. It would also allow people to own their insurance, rather than have it controlled and limited by current employers.

Don’t regulate plants!

​Ridiculous! It’s a plant. Which literally grows like a weed – or house plant – and doesn’t require manufacturing or processing to use. What business does government have in outlawing a plant?

Marijuana laws are in the news in Texas, once again. I hear and read plans to make money from taxes and autocratic demands to”protect” people from the plants. The same Republicans who demand legalization of the sale of raw milk and think gambling dollars should stay in the State argue against any decriminalization of marijuana.

Even if you don’t have sympathy for the thousands  jailed for use while the plant is illegal, the raids on gardensseizures of farms or the arrests of people because owners are suspected of growing illegal *plants* should make you consider the harm from draconian narcotics laws. 

In fact, my trouble getting poppy seeds for the hard, back in the’90’s is what changed my mind about these laws. The Clinton Administration was arresting people for selling seeds and dried pods used in crafts:

Somniferum is the only poppy species mentioned in the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, where it is listed as a Schedule II drug, the same as cocaine. The entire poppy plant, not just the opium that oozes from its green seedpod, is considered contraband.

“But the law specifically exempts somniferum seeds, those blue-gray dots you find on your bagel. So chew on this: Seed companies can legally sell opium-poppy seeds, but gardeners who buy those seeds break the law by planting them.

Republicans are advocates of personal responsibility and remind others about the words in the Declaration of Independence. We should know that legitimate laws are intended to protect us from the infringement of inalienable rights by third parties — and the government. Laws are not meant to protect us from ourselves.

In a liberty-minded, Republican-controlled State and Nation, there shouldn’t be any laws against growing seeds from your grandmother’s heritage poppies or your new neighbors’ marijuana plants.

Addendum: a 1992 article about poppies at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello:

Thomas Jefferson planted white opium poppies at Monticello. They grew in the historic garden near Charlottesville, Va., until last June, when they were yanked up.

****

“The center even sold the seeds. Until its governing board — “which has a mania for being legal,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said — decided to press the issue.”

Taxpayers voted Republican

Here’s the New York Times graphic description of voters by income. Clearly, voters who pay income tax were more likely to vote Republican. This explains the support for T’s down ballot from the vote for President.


 

RedState vs. Pro-life

There is only one candidate on the November ballot for President this year who states that he is pro-life.  Even if Donald Trump is inconsistent – and he is, I’ll admit – the fact is that Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson are very consistent in their advocacy for legal elective abortion. Trump may have said that Planned Parenthood does good work, but Clinton campaigns with Cecile Richards.

RedState has lost all relevance as a reliable source for conservative commentary, in their zeal to defeat Donald Trump.

First, the moderators began banning commenters who simply questioned RS authors during the Primary. Now,  Discus and comments have disappeared entirely  from the site, and any public feedback  is moved to the ephemera on Facebook. 

The latest supposedly #NeverTrump move is an attack on pro-life
organizations by the editor, Leon Wolf, who once stated that he would vote for Clinton over Trump in a close race for President. 

Yes, Pro-life Bills are often weak, incremental compromises. We face the reality of needing to win at least some Dem votes and the probability of vetoes. The Press invariably paints usas evil. As Wolf pointed out – and the Supreme Court ruling on Texas’ HB2 clearly showed – the current Courts are stacked against us.

One of my friends acknowledged the weak Bills and compromises that our legislative efforts sometimes become, likening our efforts to lifeboats.  Rather than big, shiny, well-crewed ships to use to rescue the unborn, we are forced to borrow any thing that floats. Our crafts are ugly and leak, and we constantly have to worry that we will sink. This is all we have, but we go back again and again, to rescue as many as we can without each trip.

Leon Wolf just shot a few new holes in our efforts, from his safe harbor at RedState.

Lawlessness for All (A Modest Proposal)

Tell me why I should believe that  “Latinos” are a big homeogeneous blob who don’t care about anything else except immigration, including law and order?  

The news yesterday was full of “Latinos” declaring that they have turned away from voting for Donald Trump after his speech on immigration in Phoenix. 

These people on the “news channels” and social networks claimed that an entire group of people, all lumped together because of who their parents are or what language they speak, are of the same mindset, and will vote as a block to ensure that some people – dare I say “their people” –  are treated differently under the law from everyone else 

There’s no justice  in ignoring the law. On the contrary, inconsistent enforcement of the law is injustice:  it infringes on everyone’s rights. Everyone’s liberty is placed at risk by inconsistent enforcement at the whim of whoever has the biggest gun, the most votes or the latest appointees to the US Distric Attorneys offices and Federal Courts.  Whoever has power gets to decide which of us is “more equal.”

Illegal aliens have at least committed a misdemeanor for the first offense. If they’re working, they are probably using false Social Security numbers, possibly committing  identity theft –  not a victimless crime, even if you believe the reports that illegal aliens contribute more than they cost society.

So, here’s my “Modest Proposal,” with apologies to Vicar Swift.

If you think we should just let illegal aliens hide out for 10 years, then self-report (yeah, sure) , sign up for fines and an English as a Second Language class,  how about treating every equivalent infringement the same?

Let us each pick our own tort or crime, to be determined at our convenience. Give everyone a year or 10 – after the fact – to self-report, pay a fine, take a class  and go on.

Start with other cases of identity theft, then move on to Federal offenses like voter fraud, money laundering, Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse, on to failure to pay the IRS, bank fraud, embezzlement.

After all, it’s only fair.

Not-Libertarian Town Hall

Watched the John Stossel “Libertarian Town Hall” from August 26th on YouTube.   I believe I will “discriminate” against these two. Johnson and Weld don’t seem to understand the basic tenets of either the Libertarian Party or their former Republican Party. They have moved far to the Left and openly  advocate force against anyone who works in the public

Basic Ethics: It’s not aggression ( or harmful “discrimination”)  to refuse service – to refuse to act. In direct contrast to the statements made by these two, religious freedom is not restricted to “the church” or within the church worship service. Integrity requires that people practice their religion in all aspects of our lives. And, business regulation cannot legitimately be used to enslave by forcing future labor or giving the government the power to allocate private property.

Both men argued that the government may force a Christian baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Johnson repeatedly refused to answer Stossel’s question about the Muslim delivery owner being forced to sell pork. Such simple question!


Johnson tried to make a distinction between selling a cake and decorating the cake, calling the latter a matter of free speech. The point is that the right to liberty is an inalienable right which gives rise to religious and speech liberties.

In the cases that have been brought against bakers who won’t sell cakes, the cakes have been *wedding* cakes which are, indeed, decorated. Those cakes would have been the result of future labor, and made to order, not cakes already baked, waiting in a display shelf. 


In order to justify Federal interference, Weld said of one program, “The proof is in the pudding.” In other words, the ends justify the means. No, in an ethical world, illicit means are illicit, even if they work.

The bottom line is that neither Gary Johnson nor Bill Weld displayed an understanding of ethics, or the rationale behind Libertarian or Republican policies. 



Trump can’t run 3rd Party in Texas?

Read the Texas Secretary of State information page on Presidential candidates, here. (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/president.shtml )

I’m not a lawyer, but it appears to me that Texas election laws will prevent Trump from placing his name on the ballot as a 3rd Party candidate in 2016.

Any lawyers disagree?

Primary Nullification (Not)

The common thought is that Donald Trump has enough delegates to win the Republican nomination for President. Trump supporters claim that only an act by “elites,” overriding the “will of the People” at the National Convention could avert his nomination.

The Republican National Convention is absolutely NOT anything  like those super delegates appointed by Dem Party leaders.  Republican National Convention delegates are elected by Republican voters who have a very real opportunity to become delegates, themselves. Beginning at the Precinct,  through the State Convention or Caucus.

However, under current rules – the various State Party rules in place before the individual primaries – there’s a chance Trump will not win the first ballot.  If he doesn’t,  then he certainly won’t win the second.

In Texas, we actually require our delegates to sign a pledge. We elect delegates proportionally, with a “winner-take-most” method for candidates who received at least 20% of the votes.  Cruz, with 44% of the Primary votes,  was alotted about 2/3 of the delegates as bound to him on the first ballot. About 1/3 are pledged to vote for Trump, with Rubio getting 3 pledged to him.

Other States have different methods for electing delegates. Some are winner-take-all for the  candidate with  the most votes, while State Republican Party rules call for “unbound,”  “uncommitted,” “unpledged,” or “available  delegates. Look at the breakdown and explanations here and here.

Why should someone who got 40% of the votes expect the elected delegates representing the other 60% to vote for him against their conscience?

I hope the former candidates can come together before the Convention  to pledge their delegates to one man other than Trump. If they are able, and/or some one other than Trump becomes the Republican candidate for President,  we will see representative democracy in action, not a power play by fictional “elites.”

Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!

Primary Nullification (Cruz has delegate count)

Donald Trump didn’t win the Primary. Ted Cruz’ campaign won the majority of National Delegates. That distinction may mean the difference at the Republican Convention.

Trump won 40% of the votes in the Republican Primary, with the help of non-traditional, never-voted, and cross-over votes. The 60% of Republican Primary voters who did not vote for Trump are the ones savvy enough to understand the Caucuses and Conventions at the Precinct, County, Senate District, and State levels.o

We are the people who elected the Delegates to the National Republican Convention.

Forget that Trump has no staff, almost no paid media presence (thank the Lord we don’t have to watch that) and no campaign funds.

Ted Cruz won what may become the deciding vote: the majority of delegates to the National Convention are his supporters, even from States where Trump won.

 

Push for Primary Nullification

Delegates must vote their consciences!

(Texas is safe: our delegation must vote as bound on the first ballot, but the majority are bound to Cruz.)

Follow Trump’s Example: Support 3rd Party

Trump demands Party loyalty when it’s his campaign, but the only loyalty he’s demonstrated is his loyalty to candidates who oppose Republicans.

If you can’t donate $25,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Committee (and don’t want to donate to Anthony Weiner or Planned Parenthood’s favorite Senators Daschle, Kerry and Schumer, perhaps you could support the 3rd Party candidate as Trump did in 2009, when he gave the newly Independent candidate, Charlie Crist, $4800.

Trump Highlighted Political Donations

Look, it’s not “go along to get along” when a man donates tens of thousands to the Democratic National Committee, the (Democratic) National Leadership PAC, and the Democratic Senatorial Committee. That’s partisanship.

In fact, as it’s been reported, Republicans can expect Trump to support us about 40% of the time, Dems, 48%.

Trump - Donations chart - March 7 2016

 

 

Donating to Crist in 2009? That’s anti-Republican.

 

Texas’ Republican Platform 2016

RTPsymbolAbout 300 delegates to the RPT weren’t Republican.The Platform of the Republican Party of Texas is online under “Platform,” here: http://www.texasgop.org/2016-convention/ . The numbering in this version of the Platform is awkward, but the plank-by-plank votes are reported at the 3rd link, below.

110 even voted against Principle #5, “Personal accountability and responsibility”

Just under 300 voted consistently against what should be non-controversial issues, such as the plank against human trafficking.

(Numbering appears to be a typographical error, hopefully soon corrected. The hard copies we had were much clearer.)

https://www.texasgop.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/PERMENANT-PLATFORM-as-Amended-by-Gen-Body-5.13.16.pdf
https://www.texasgop.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2016-Texas-GOP-Weighted-Totals-.pdf

Pennsylvania Judge Rules Cruz Eligible

A judge in Pennsylvania rules that anyone born a citizen is a “Natural Born Citizen.”

 

The judge relies on several pieces of legal scholarship. First,  a memo produced in 1968 by Charles Gordon, then the General Counsel of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, which says: “The Framers were well aware of the need to assure full citizenship rights to the children born to American citizens in foreign countries.”  He also points out a 2011 Congressional Research Service Memo entitled the “Qualification for President and the ‘Natural Born’ Citizenship Eligibility Requirement.” The document concludes:

“The weight of legal and historical authority indicated that the term ‘natural born’ citizen would mean a person, who is entitled to U.S. citizenship ‘by birth’ or ‘at birth’ either by being born ‘in’ the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents.”

Another ruling was handed down March 19 in Utah. This judge dismissed the case due to standing, but also made the comment that Cruz is a US citizen by birth. Other cases in Illinois, Florida and New York have also been dismissed due to legal technicalities.

Max Headroom or Donald Hairroom?

Seriously, have you ever seen them together? Or Trump in sunglasses?

image

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Newbie Republican TRump

TRump is a very recently converted –well, mostly converted, except for big government, taxes and tariffs, government healthcare, and using government agencies to pick and choose winners and losers and courts to threaten others – Democrat.

It’s not as though he changed any donation habits more recently than the last two years. 

It’s not even as though he’s voted in a Republican primary since 1988.

He believes money and lawsuits are weapons and he is a bully.

He can not or will not give more than anecdotal evidence for any of his other conversion experiences.

He lied as recently as the steak incident – an entirely unnecessary lie, easily discovered.

He has no conservative credentials and does not pretend to apologize for it, even to God.

But he says that a simple majority is “a random number” and demands that the Republicans ignore our Convention rules and let him  make up his own.

TRump still lies, redefines words, ignores the rules and history and makes threats when he doesn’t get his way.

Newbie Republican still acts like a Dem.

Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!

Right Wing Dystopia 2016 – Update with quotes

Conservatives/small(l)and Big(L)ibertarians /”Tea Party” activists and candidates have “Progressed” to the point that they can out-cuss, out-victim and out-mob any Progressive.

The course, vulgar language in public speeches, not just public speech, by supposed “Conservatives” has a history that goes back at least to the elections of 2004, when “Republicans” could be heard repeating Code Pink talking points. Our protests and counter-protests were once known for good behavior and leaving the site cleaner than we found it. But no more.

Who is surprised that the (later) slogan, “Shut ‘Er Down!” was taken literally to the point of the anarchy we now see at campaign events?

An interesting commentary by John Hart, comparing two division(s) within the Tea Party as “The French Revolution,” is worth your time and attention. Mr. Hart has worked with both former Senators Coburn and DeMint. (If you don’t know the significance of this part of his resume, you are who I’m writing for and you especially need to read the article.)

The loudest discourse in Conservative venues first became critical, then condemning, of anything other than obstruction and taking hold of power. At one time, Conservatives spoke of the emotional, illogical campaigning on the Left, which angrily demanded instant gratification.

How could Ann Coulter forget her own words in “Demonic?”

“The French Revolution was spontaneous, impulsive, passionate, emotional, romantic, utopian, resentful, angry, dreamy—anything but rule-bound and reasoned. No one knew, from one year to the next, where the Revolution was heading. That’s why, at the end of it all, they enthusiastically threw themselves into the arms of the dictator Napoleon.”

Or Mark Levin his opening lines in “Liberty and Tyranny?”

“For the Conservative, the civil society has as its highest purpose its preservation and improvement.”

Or his admonition in Chapter 2:

“The Conservative believes, as Burke and the Founders did, that prudence must be exercised in assessing change. Prudence is the highest virtue for it is judgment drawn on wisdom. The proposed change should be informed by the experience, knowledge, and traditions of society, tailored for a specific purpose, and accomplished through a constitutional construct that ensures thoughtful deliberation by the community. Change unconstrained by prudence produces unpredictable consequences, threatening ordered liberty with chaos and ultimately despotism, and placing at risk the very principles the Conservative holds dear.”

Historically, anarchy is soon followed by a plea for any relief, even if it means a dictator. Tearing down without a firm foundation of principles based on the furtherance of civil society is not necessarily a desirable Revolution, and certainly not sustainable Reformation.

March 9, 2016 Republican Delegate Count – UPDATE

Hawaii is in. Look here – or here – for updates.Further breakdown of allotments is available at the Washington Post website.  (UPDATE) The New York Times also has clear graphics (and faster) here:

NYT Delegate Tracker

NYT Delegate Tracker

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Screenshot_20160309-065641

Washington Post Delegate Tracker

Delegate tally so far

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/primaries/delegate-tracker/republican/

No “capitulation,” from Senator Cornyn

Watch out for political blogs pretending to be news sites.

As an example, you may have seen the tired attempt by “The Conservative Review,” (to get clicks by) “reporting” the exact opposite of reality and “prove” that the Republican leadership is not effective or Conservative.

Here’s  Cornyn’s statement as paraphrased:

“And although Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Majority Whip, reiterated his desire that the next president fill the vacancy, he said that holding hearings is entirely up to the Judiciary Committee Chairman and scheduling a floor vote is entirely up to McConnell.”

That “although” is pure spin.

Here’s what he actually said ( from a link in the blog post):

“”It’s *entirely* up to the chairman of the Judiciary Committee whether *even* to schedule a hearing on the president’s nomination,” Cornyn said on “The Mark Davis Show,” a talk show on Dallas-area radio station KSKY. “And *were the nomination to get out* of the Judiciary Committee, it’s *entirely* within the control and discretion of the Senate majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, whether to schedule it for a vote. **Which does demonstrate that majorities do matter**.”” (Emphasis mine)

A bit less supportive, don’t you think?

Isn’t this what we’ve all said in support of waiting to confirm a candidate nominated by the next President? Now, read on down for an emphatically different meaning:

“Cornyn said the presidential election should be a referendum “on who makes that appointment because I think many people simply feel like they don’t recognize their country anymore.””
He added, “It’s entirely up to the Senate whether to confirm that nomination, and I think we should not, and we should defer that to the next president.”

(Again, emphasis mine)

“The Conservative Review,” like Wingright.org, is a blog, not “reporting” by a valid news source. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott endorses Cruz for President

Huge endorsement from Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott. This is one I had been wondering about.

In a video announcing the endorsement, Abbott said,

“Unlike far too many in Washington, the Ted Cruz we’ve seen in the Senate is the same Ted Cruz we elected and he’s the same Ted Cruz I served with when I was attorney general,” Abbott said.

I was very impressed and very proud of Ted Cruz back in 2009, on the day when Kay Bailey Hutchison announced that she would run one more time as Texas’ Senator. Within minutes, Cruz withdrew his bid for Attorney General, rather than run against General Abbott. Although later I became opposed to his campaign tactics, that moment showed integrity.

( I’m just barely cynical enough to think it also showed good political sense. In fact, that only just occurred to me. Doggone it! I want to believe it was character, not simply savvy politics.)

Cruz needs mentoring – to *accept mentoring* – from both Governor Perry, who has also endorsed Cruz,  and from Governor Abbott. I hope that he will.

21st Century Conservative Movement

Should our focus be on spreading our ideals and growing  the 21st Century Conservative movement or on the deficiencies of the current government? Both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz made good showings in South Carolina, but neither was able to beat Donald Trump. Contrast the positive, inclusive, forward-looking message from Marco Rubio with the negative, divisive, backward-looking messages from Cruz and Trump.
 
Rubio’s speech was inclusive, about the Presidency and the future of the country and conservatives. He spoke of “new beginnings and fresh starts”:
 
“”Ronald Reagan made us believe that it was morning in America again, and it was. Now, the children of Reagan are ready to assume the mantle of leadership. . . Those of us who grew up when it was morning in America and Ronald Reagan was in the White House are ready to do for the next generation what Ronald Reagan did for ours!””
 
 
Although Cruz said he looked forward to debating the  “Socialist” the Democrats nominate, he didn’t divide the country into liberals vs. conservatives, statists vs. small government individuals.  With his remarks mocking “those screams across the Potomac (from) the Washington cartel,” Cruz divided voters into the “Washington power brokers” and the “grassroots.”  This is fine for Republican voters, and is the same classification Donald Trump named in his speech.
In fact, Trump and Cruz seem to be competing for the same voters: those who aren’t happy with the status quo in the Federal government.
Marco Rubio wants those voters, too. But he invited a wider audience to join him: the single mother and the father working two jobs who want a better future for their children, as well as the struggling student who knows that God created him for greater things than people around him tell him he’s destined for. 
Rubio reminded us that our 21st Century Conservative movement values haven’t changed: “limited government, free enterprise, and a strong national defense . . . we still celebrate success” and people “who work hard and moved ahead.” 21st Century Conservative movement also fights “for those still trying to make it.” He pointed to the people on the stage with him tonight as examples of “Twenty First Century conservatives” and proof that the American dream of Reagan conservatives still is possible. 
MarcoRubio.com

Death Politics

Someone named Rich DeOtte has written a Facebook piece attacking friends of mine. Rich mocks Dr. Joe Pojman as “a rocket scientist” and “knucklehead” (needless to say, that’s not popular in the Nuckols household) and takes a slap at Kyleen Wright, of Texans for Life Coalition and the Texas Medical Association.

Dr. Joe Pojman, Ph.D., is indeed a “rocket scientist,” who gave up his original career path of aerospace engineering to sacrifice as founder and Executive Director of Texas Alliance for Life, an organization I’m proud to support and serve as a Board member.

Joe wrote the op-ed that Rich attacks in direct response to the “misrepresentations” in another, political op-ed piece by Emily Kebedeaux Cook on the Texas Right to Life Website. Joe only wrote about issues, and did not engage in name calling or derision. The only reason Emily and TRTL are mentioned is because she’s the author of the political opinion piece about the “decline in the Texas Legislature’s efforts to protect human Life.”

As Joe points out, the very document to which Emily refers refutes her position: Texas was named one of three “Life List All-Stars” for 2016 by the Americans United for Life.

Joe laid out the case that our Texas Legislature’s pro-life laws are most definitely not at a standstill: we are ahead of the Nation. Joe’s position that Texas leaders gave us many successes in the 2015 84th Legislature is supported by the similar list of “Wins” reported by the Texas Catholic Conference, representing the Bishops of Texas. In an earlier letter, TCC notes that many of the criticisms Emily makes in her February 8th blog post were not previously scored “equitably” by TRTL. For instance, Senator Bob Deuell received no credit for authoring much of what became HB2.

In fact, Texas’ Legislative leadership in passing pro-life laws is why many of us are going to Washington, DC on March 2nd to bear witness when the Supreme Court hears testimony on the abortion facility regulations in HB2.

Emily and Rich focus most of their criticism on the efforts of pro-life groups, including doctors like me, to reform end of life care and the Texas Advance Directive Act (TADA). Session after session since it was passed, we in the pro-life community have had our efforts repeatedly blocked by the “death panel” accusations Rich makes and the demands in Emily’s op-ed.

I was one of the doctors appointed to the Texas Medical Association ad hoc committee that evaluated last sessions’ end of life Bills for TMA approval. Our group of doctors agreed to and helped fine tune HB 3074, what Emily called a “modest protection”: prohibiting the removal of Artificially Administered Nutrition and Hydration, including food and water by invasive medical methods like IV’s and “Total Parenteral Nutrition.” We were called anti-life and pro-“death panel” (Rich’s words) for including medical exceptions for the rare circumstances when the patient can’t process the AANH and/or when it actually caused harm.

Those “three strongest Pro-Life bills” that Emily mentioned were included in the “Wins” listed by the TCC. The Bills not only would have forced doctors to continue to indefinitely perform acts that we believe are not medically appropriate as long as a patient or his family demands it. They would have forced all disputes between the doctors practicing medicine and patients or their families into court and add “liability”(civil and criminal penalties) for the doctor.

Forget if you can, that if all disputes go to court judges would be required to determine medical care – to practice medicine – probably based on the testimony of dueling, paid medical expert doctors. Malpractice rates will go up for doctors taking on the most vulnerable patients – the elderly, the trauma victims and the victims of cancer. Those doctors will spend more time in courts, rather than in the ICU. And so will more grieving families.

We found out what happens when malpractice goes up in Texas, before tort reform was passed. Because of the malpractice crisis, there were no neurosurgeons west and south of San Antonio and Houston – none at all in El Paso or all of South Texas. We were losing obstetricians and family doctors willing to deliver babies and offer prenatal care, all over the State.

I don’t know how to translate past physician shortages directly into the possible shortage of doctors providing end of life care. However, I will predict that fewer family doctors, internists, pulmonologists and the ICU intensivists will be able to afford to practice in the ICU. Just as a patient had to be flown to Dallas, San Antonio or Houston from most of Texas for a head injury, only the tertiary medical centers in those cities will be able to staff their ICU’s properly.

Physicians, not hospitals – and certainly not courts – practice medicine in Texas. Doctors must be allowed to practice medicine according to our medical judgment, which is a combination of education and experience, under the watchful eye of the community; not “death panels,” but fellow physicians, nurses, ethicists, lawyers (who may be any of the former) and lay people. In the end, if you force the hands and minds of doctors against their judgment, you will end up with doctors practicing without judgment, and humans with inalienable rights forced to act against our will and in violation of our conscience.

And, now, back to Rich’s Facebook post. Think twice when you read political posts full of  personal attacks and name calling. We should be able to discuss politics without, as Emily said in her blog post, “unnecessary, vicious, and vindictive fights inside the Republican Party.”

Edited to fix a name glitch – BBN

Texas: Don’t Vote Early

I’ve never done this before,  but  …
I hope Texas – and especially Comal County – voters will wait to vote.  The State elections and the Presidential race are full of dirty tricks and deceptive ads and flyers.

People I once trusted are so fearful of a couple of powerful Lobbyist groups in Texas, and at least one lying campaign management firm, that they are making ill-advised endorsements. Those people most likely will not benefit the way they think they will.

Wait. Watch. Election day is March 1st.

Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!

“Inaccurate and misleading” (Cruz attacks on Rubio)

At the Faith and Family conference, Senator Ted Cruz claimed that Senator Marco Rubio had not supported the defunding of Planned Parenthood by not voting against the annual budget vote in September, 2015.

I don’t know if most of my readers can understand what a big step it is for a group like National Right to Life to enter into this political debate between pro-life candidates. However, this accusation was enough to cause this statement to go out, as reported by Andrew Bair, @ProLifePolitics :

https://mobile.twitter.com/ProLifePolitics/status/698321269687775232/photo/1

“The following may be attributed to Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life:tobias feb 2016

“Marco Rubio voted to defund Planned Parenthood before Ted Cruz ever got to the U.S. Senate (see roll call on H. Con. Res. 36, April 14, 2011). Since Ted Cruz joined the U.S. Senate, both he and Sen. Rubio have voted the same on every roll call that National Right to Life regards as pertinent to defunding Planned Parenthood. To suggest that Rubio voted wrong or missed meaningful votes on the Planned Parenthood issue is inaccurate and misleading. National Right to Life is pleased that all of the major Republican candidates for president, Sens. Rubio and Cruz included, have stated that, if elected, they would work to derail Planned Parenthood’s government gravy train. “

News: “U.K. Scientists Given Green Light To Edit Human Embryos” | IFLScience

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/uk-scientists-given-green-light-edit-human-embryos

Cute. We’re assured that it’s still illegal to implant these “edited,” engineered embryos – but until now, it wasn’t legal to edit them! See the pattern?

The experiments are only supposed to only  use “surplus” embryos conceived by in vitro fertilization. Next will come the argument that embryos should by designed “from scratch” as a couple’s right (or group marriage partner’s rights.

The only embryos that will be helped as a result of this line of experimentation wold be extracorporeal embryos that are to be edited, themselves! Job security for the experimenters, perhaps.

We can be sure implantation will happen, moving closer to “designer babies.” Lots of science fiction has often dealt with the good and bad, the intended and unintended consequences of “editing” the humans or transhumans we conceive.

The unintended consequences can’t be known, but we can know that they will occur. And yet, that child of tomorrow can’t consent, his or her contemporaries can’t consent and their off spring certainly can’t consent.

The nascent  human once again unquestionably becomes the means to another’s end, rather than an end in himself.

Yes, someone will point out that  many or even most parents may have children for their own purposes other than to truly become one with their spouse or to reproduce and pass on their genes. The mere fact that anyone can contemplate “spare” or “excess” human beings is proof of that. (And don’t forget the “unwanted” child the abortion advocates constantly remind us of.)

Will there be a money-back guarantee for the “failed” comodified child?  Will those future generations think better of us than we regard past efforts at breeding a better human? Let’s hope that if we live among them, they tolerate us!

Perry endorses Cruz for 2016

I still haven’t made up my mind and I’m waiting to see how those objections and lawsuits concerning whether Cruz qualifies as a “Natural Born Citizen.” However, the endorsement from Governor Perry is a strong mark in Senator Ted Cruz’ favor:

 

“I wanted to talk about him, who he was, see if I could get a handle on Ted Cruz the man, not Cruz the caricature I’d seen through the political lens. What I found was a very different person than what I had been led to believe.”

******

Conservatives Against Trump

NR Against TrumpThe National Review has a page online of non-endorsements for @therealdonald. They are worth reading. Here’s a few excerpts:

From Erick Erickson, radio talk show host and formerly of RedState.com, this reminder:

“Nonetheless, I will not be voting for Donald Trump in the primary. I take my conservatism seriously, and I also take Saint Paul seriously. In setting out the qualifications for overseers, or bishops, Saint Paul admonished Timothy, ‘If anyone aspires to the office of overseer . . . he must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil’ (1 Timothy 3:1,6).”

 

From Yuval Levin, editor of National Affairs and author (I stole his line about Pope Benedict for my email signature, “I have a mustard seed and I’m not afraid to use it.”), observes:

American conservatism is an inherently skeptical political outlook. It assumes that no one can be fully trusted with public power and that self-government in a free society demands that we reject the siren song of politics-as-management. A shortage of such skepticism is how we ended up with the problems Trump so bluntly laments. Repeating that mistake is no way to solve these problems. To address them, we need to begin by rejecting what Trump stands for, as much as what he stands against.

Take the time to read these comments, please!
(Edit: BBN  to add) A quote from Dana Loesch:

“Why is there a double standard when it comes to evaluating Donald Trump? Why are other politicians excoriated when they change their minds — as, for example, Rick Perry did on the question of whether HPV vaccinations in Texas should be compulsory — but when Trump suddenly says he’s pro-life, the claim is accepted uncritically? Why is it unconscionable for Ted Cruz to take and repay a loan from Goldman Sachs to help win a tough Senate race but acceptable for Donald Trump to take money from George Soros? Why is vetting Trump, as we do any other candidate, considered “bashing”? Aren’t these fair questions?”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430126/donald-trump-conservatives-oppose-nomination

“Quixotic crusades over substantive victories”

Today, the Conservative grassroots are shouting raw emotions, masses feeding off headlines, “Shares,” and “Likes,” rather than the meat of the story.

Paul Waldman, in “Why have so many GOP governor’s fizzled out in the 2016 race?”online at “The Week,”  astutely describes the insanity that has gripped the Party formerly consisting of Conservatives, but which is now infested with destructive anti’s.

From the article,

  ”

Over the past few years, the party’s grass roots have been gripped by an anti-politics fervor that values quixotic crusades over substantive victories, and equates actually accomplishing anything through ordinary political processes with betrayal.”

He continues…

“That’s why someone like Ted Cruz, a senator who has never written a law and who, if you ask him what he has accomplished, will tell you about the times he “stood up” and failed to stop Barack Obama and his own party’s leaders from keeping the government open or not defaulting on America’s debts, can still be considered unsullied and thus potentially worthy of the nomination. And those like Donald Trump and Ben Carson, their minds uncluttered by even the remotest understanding of how government works, are the most popular of all.”

Brutal. Truth. Insanity, where failure equals stature and inexperience and ignorance are lauded as qualifications.

Can we re-use the Know Nothing name for our party?

Once upon a time, the grassroots of the Republican Party, especially Conservatives,  were researchers, well informed, and capable of reason. It was a joke among us that the real news was hidden in the penultimate paragraph of any news story. 

Yet, 14 years of Governor Rick Perry’s Conservative leadership in Texas is mocked amid comments about glasses and his performance over a few months in 2011. Governor Scott Walker won and re-won elections in a Blue State and braved for-hire Union mobs willing to break windows in the Wisconsin State Capitol, but he was simply ignored. Each were treated more seriously by crooked Dem Prosecutors than by Conservatives.

There’s no way this latest crop could have exposed the Clinton’s of the 1990’s – or will be able to do so in the last half of the 2010s.  Sticking out the month long re-count in Florida, or defending the Governor’s Mansion in Austin?

Not while dragging that couch they supposedly got off of in 2009 and Tweeting about the “Establishment.”

I’m not being flippant when I say, God help us!

Clarity: “Reporters” vs. What They Said

James Taranto’s Best of the Web Today distinguishes between the comments of Donald Trump and Marco Rubio and the “reporters” that covered them. The truth is worse than a set of “When did you stop beating your wife” questions: the reporters inserted words and assertions that weren’t voiced by the candidates.

From November 20th’s “More Hillary than Hitler:”

 

Further, the atrocious idea of “a database or system that tracks Muslims in this country” didn’t come from Trump but from either Hillyard or Yahoo! News’s Hunter Walker.

And,

ThinkProgress’s headline: “Rubio Trumps Trump: Shut Down Any Place Muslims Gather to Be ‘Inspired’—Not Just Mosques.” But Rubio didn’t say Muslims, he said radicals. ThinkProgress thereby takes the position that there is no distinction between radicals and Muslims more generally.

 

I’ve seen high praise and strong condemnation for both men, based on the falsehoods “reported” in the news – or in the headlines of articles slanted by those “reporters.” I’m not surprised at the bias from sites such as “ThinkProgress” or even “Yahoo.” However, I’m deeply disappointed in the voters and, especially, the conservative bloggers and voters who take the headlines at face value.

Detention, boxcars and “papers”

Please read the link – or at least the entire quote I’ve pasted here – before commenting.

The immigration debate and its ability to divide the Republican Party and split the Conservative vote is not new. Here’s a commentary about the dispute in light of the 2012 Presidential election, written in 2011. (Scroll down the page to “On Immigration,” Saturday, May 21, 2011.)

Dr. Jerry Pournelle has served our Nation in many capacities (including serving in the Army during the Korean War), but he’s probably best known, to those who know his name at all, as the author of Science Fiction written from a conservative, libertarian-leaning viewpoint. I strongly recommend his essays, including this one from 2011:

“We aren’t going to deport them all, and no Congress or President will do that, nor could even if it were thought desirable. The United States is not going to erect detention camps nor will we herd people into boxcars.  We can’t even get the southern border closed. Despite President Obama’s mocking speech, we have not built the security fence mandated a long time ago. We probably could get Congress to approve a moat and alligators, although there are likely more effective means. We can and should insist on closing the borders. That we can and must do. It won’t be easy or simple, but it’s going to be a lot easier than deporting 20 million illegals. Get the borders closed. We can all agree on that.

“That leaves the problem of the illegal aliens amongst us. We can and should do more to enforce employment laws; but do we really want police coming around to demand “your papers” from our gardeners and fry cooks and homemakers?”

This is not a trivial point. I advocate for the necessity of identifying illegal aliens and would prefer that the process begin in the country of origin. However, in practical terms, how would the “Maria” Dr. Pournelle describes, who was brought here as a child, “begin the process?”

Defense and security requires that we secure the border and that we identify as many who are here illegally as possible. A first step would be to better track people who enter on Visas: what are all those computers at border entry spots for?? We should also cease the fiction that our schools don’t know which families with children are undocumented. We should hold employers accountable, but be very careful about instituting new government papers and government computer lists of eligible workers.

We must determine common ground for the sake of success. As pointed out four years ago by Dr. Pournelle,  errors will be used against us, with the hard cases like “Maria” will be splashed across media and social networks. Without common ground, and with emotional demands to “deport them all,” we’ll still be debating this four years from now. And our citizens – and the illegal aliens – will remain at risk from the violent and criminal, if not from the terrorist.

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