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Open letter to RPT Convention delegates on censure

I am writing to ask you to vote against censure by the Convention of named Republican, elected, officials.

How often have we complained about the elites who get in power only to ignore us to follow their own agenda? How many of you are at the Convention because you got tired of the establishment working against you?

Well, guess what? If you make it to the State Convention, you’re the elite establishment! Don’t be that kind of elite establishment.

For the first time in years, I couldn’t participate in the 2018 Republican Party of Texas Convention process. I still follow your efforts and have read the resolutions submitted to the Platform Committee. One Senate District has submitted resolutions demanding that the RPT State Convention censure specific legislators.

I appreciate the work you’re doing this not just this week, but over the last few months. Having served as a Delegate to the Republican Party of Texas State Convention and on both the Platform and the Rules Committees, I know you have a week of long walks to simply get to your meeting rooms, heated discussions, long waits, and many re-votes, one after another. The Committees and sessions start early and go late. (Wear comfortable shoes and take snacks!)

Through all of this, please don’t forget that you are in San Antonio as the grass roots embodiment of our Nation’s representative democracy, our Republic. You are not simply individuals expressing your own will and opinion. You are there as representatives of your constituents: the Republican voters from your Counties, Congressional Districts, and Senate Districts.

In the same way that you expect legislators to represent their voters, your voters expect you to represent us.

While it may be appropriate for the local SD Convention to censure their own legislators, especially before the Primary or run-off, many people in our Party disagree. But now, these are elected candidates. I don’t believe that it’s appropriate for the State Convention to censure them in opposition to the local electorate’s wishes.

When the votes on censure of any Republican elected official comes up, please take a look at their constituents’ votes, especially in the last Primary. Did he or she win? Was it by a substantial margin? Was he or she unopposed in the Primary because no one even challenged them?

These men and women deserve your respect, just as President Donald Trump should be given the respect he deserves after being elected President. In the same way that it was wrong for Hillary to deride Republican women as voting the way their husbands told them to, it’s wrong to dismiss these voters as illegitimate.

In addition, as this is an election year, you are writing the campaign ads for the Democrats.

Please do not oppose the voters you represent by voting in favor of public censure of Republicans.

Beverly B. Nuckols, MD

Comal County, SD 25 and CD 21

(Edited because some of the formatting got lost.)

Rough pro-life waters (#weshootourown)

Calling allies “cancer” and divisive is about as malignant and divisive as it gets!

Mark Crutcher and Troy Newman have co-authored a blog piece over at Life Dynamics that does exactly what they accuse others of doing. They manage to insult sidewalk counselors and Crisis Pregnancy Centers and groups like New Wave Feminists and And Then There Were None. Add in the dark graphics and the sanctimonious, unyielding tone to the accusations, and it’s no wonder our movement hits wall after wall.

What differentiates these two from their designation of “Grandstanders?” Talk about your purity test! 

My instinct as a proponent of “Can’t we all just get along?” was to remember my Mama’s advice: if you haven’t done the bad things they talk about, the scolders aren’t talking about or chastising you. 

And let’s face it, there’s a kernal of truth there: some people are all about power and fundraising and we’ve got to continually educate both new and old activists to focus on our goal of ending abortion.

However, Crutcher and Newman go too far to be too specific and don’t give any consideration – much less kudos – for the possibility that there are effective exceptions within the groups.  While I could point out examples of each of the people they describe, I can easily name more exceptions.

Instead of the negative analogy to cancerous growths, I prefer the picture drawn by my friend, Joe Pojman, PhD., of Texas Alliance for Life

Think of our pro-life efforts as attempts to rescue the unborn and their mothers from the sinking ship that is legalized elective abortion. We each have a boat which we use to make trips to bring as many to safety as we can. Every boat is different: Some boats are old and leaky, some are a bit nicer or newer,more or less efficient or are captained by people who wander around a lot and keep making detours, but none of the boats that we have today is big enough or fast enough to save everyone, so we make trip after trip as fast and efficiently as we can. If some of our sympathisers spend time on the shore shooting holes in everyone else’s boat – or anyone else’s boat – fewer lives will be saved. That’s real “mission drift.”

But we can bail water and plug those holes if they’ll just give us a chance.

Clichés are repeated because they prove true, time after time.  Remember this one: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” But do we really “educate” with wide condemnation of the efforts of others who approach our goal from a different angle or do we create more of the very harm we are warning about?

Keep building those coalitions, looking for common ground, and plugging along!

“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!

Harsh and critical

RPT Elephant shooting duoMy brother told me that if I want to make a difference in politics, I need to be more critical and stop trying to be “nice” or “balanced” with these posts. What do you think?

In the past, I’ve written open letters to our elected Republican legislators. I made up that little graphic, above and wrote post after post about the way we “Eat our own” and “Shoot our own.” I’ve written about “Susurrus I,”  “Susurrus II” and the “Deja vu.” (“Susurrus III” is still an unpublished draft in my files. When it came right down to it, I couldn’t bring myself to be that critical and air the dirty laundry of the Party.)

There was even one post headline where I cussed: “Lies, Damned Lies and Scorecards.”

However, those posts made me uncomfortable. I believe I will continue to try to follow the advice of these little Gems I’ve posted on my front page:

 Emotional noise is destructive to education according to David Horowitz. It’s just as destructive to government, politics and policy and getting along with our friends and neighbors.

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

 

Note to the Anti-Incumbent Republicans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lies, Damned Lies and “ScoreCards”

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

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

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

December 9, 2013

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

Dear Representative Huberty:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Jeffery R. Patterson Executive Director

Federal budget: No real Republican divide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So much for diplomacy. Or even Christian decency.

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

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

Déjà vu, or Repeat as necessary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES, PROTECTING LIFE AND PROMOTING HEALTH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?”

Heritage Action Endorses Deal on Payroll, Unemployment and “Doc Fix”

Don’t be too quick to call our Republicans “RINO’s!”

Heritage Action for America is part of the family of Heritage Foundation institutions. They have noted the purely political nature of the arguments about the “tax cut extension” and support those Republicans who voted for the recent bill that extends the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and prevented a huge cut in pay to doctors who see Medicare patients.

The deal comes after House Republicans prepared to move a standalone extension of the tax cuts. That changed the dynamic in two ways. First, President Obama and his allies became nervous about the fate of unemployment insurance benefits if they were not tied to the tax portion. Second, the insistence on “paying for” the extension of a tax cut (i.e., stopping a tax increase) waned. Why? Because allowing Americans to keep more of their own money shouldn’t be offset, because that wasn’t the government’s money to begin with.

Much of the gridlock surrounding the payroll tax cut extension came because Democrat negotiators insisted on preventing a tax hike by implementing a different tax hike.

via Deal Reached on Payroll, Unemployment and “Doc Fix” – Heritage Action for America.

Yes, Virginia (and the other 56 States), not everything in Congress is black and white – or absolutely Conservative vs. not-Conservative.

The final solution to big government is obviously to not only cut growth of government, but to get rid of past growth. We must also face the reality that spending must be cut.

However (you knew there would be a “however,” didn’t you?), the very conservative Heritage Action for America stressed to members of Congress and the rest of us that the best solution at this time was to move in such a way to prevent the other side from claiming victory – and doing so every two months throughout the election year.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ann Coulter: still picking losers for President

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

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

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

In contrast, in the case of Rick Perry,

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

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

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

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

The Plot Against Perry – Patriot Update

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

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

Here’s someone who does see conspiracy:

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

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

via The Plot Against Perry – Patriot Update.

“Tea Party” Presses Perry on Immigration

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

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

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

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

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

Yellow dogs, splitting hairs and being human

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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